Summer view

Summer view
A View From Our Deck

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Update of Baby Robins and Turtles

This is an update from the post I had yesterday Baby Birds in Jeopardy.   Today the robin's nest is empty and everything is good.  Early this morning the last two baby robins fledged.  The snake is gone also.

On a sadder note, the turtle nest I wrote about Turtles Are Finally Laying Their Eggs has been dug up and the eggs were destroyed.  We had another turtle lay eggs in an other nearby location.  Those were dug up too.  We have a few more that are still intact and I hope those eggs will hatch eventually.

Dug up turtle eggs.
Turtle eggs destroyed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Baby Birds in Jeopardy

Today was an exciting day on the home front.  My sister is visiting and we were just sitting around talking, when we heard a terrible racket outside.  A pair of robins were clearly agitated.  They had a nest right on the corner of our front porch.  The babies were growing and doing very well.


Baby robins begging for food.


We looked up and saw a snake slithering down into the nest.  The parents were doing their best to chase it away, but it wasn't working.  I took a stick and tried the hook it so I could put the snake on the ground.  It just coiled up again and waited to go after the birds again.  It wasn't a big snake.


Mama Robin looking up to see if the snake was coming back.

Here she was peeping and peeping for help.

While the snake was waiting to attack again, the mother robin got one of the babies to leave the nest.  She tried with the others but they wouldn't cooperate.  They are still in the nest.  Maybe they will leave in the morning. 

Baby robin wondering if he made the right decision.

The snake moved in again and again I tried to chase it away and so did the mama robin.

Stand off between the robin and the coiled snake.

Snake is at it again.

 I gave the robin some worms so she could stay near the nest and not have to go out and find food.


Robin picking up a worm.

Then tonight at 8:30 the peeping started all over again.  I think the snake is back but I can't see it.  Hopefully the birds will be able to get some rest and won't get attacked overnight.  I will let you know what happens. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Facebook Recipes Reviewed-Cowboy Cookies & Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

This week I made two more new recipes that I saw on Facebook.  The first were called Cowboy Cookies.  I really don't know why they are called that, but they are basically Oatmeal Chocolate Chip with a hint of cinnamon.  They are good and the recipe made about four dozen good sized cookies.  I will make them again.

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, blend the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes. Blend in the vanilla extract.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture one half at a time. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Refrigerate the dough for 1 to 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large, preferably light-colored baking sheet with aluminum foil, then grease the foil.
Using a scant 1/4 cup per cookie, shape the dough into balls and place them on the sheet about 2 inches apart.
Flatten each ball.   Bake the cookies on the center oven rack for 13 to 14 minutes, turning the sheet about halfway through. When they’re done, the cookies should be very lightly browned and still look moist. Don’t over bake them.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Customizing Cowboy Cookies:
Add some variety to your cookie jar by replacing the walnuts and chips with different mix-in combinations:
Coconut Cowboy Cookies: 1 cup of flaked sweetened coconut, 2 cups of chocolate chips, and 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cowboy Cookies: 1 cup each of white chocolate chips and dried, sweetened cranberries.
Peanut Butter Cowboy Cookies: 2 cups of peanut butter chips or 1 cup each of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.


The next recipe I made was called Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls.  They are a casserole made with all the ingredients used  in making Cabbage Rolls the regular way.  I posted a recipe for them earlier (Cabbage Rolls for Dinner), but this is much easier and tasted much the same.  I tried take a picture of my final product but it didn't look very appetizing.  I didn't want to discourage anyone from trying this recipe.  Because real cabbage rolls have rice in them, I added some cooked rice to this recipe also.  Here is the photo from Facebook which looks much more appealing.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandchildren are a Joy


Ewan saw this fire engine for sale.  He wanted me to buy it for him.

In the past few weeks I have talked a little about my grandchildren.  I have five of them.  The youngest is named Ewan.  The Doctor thought Ewan was going to be a girl.  My daughter even had a girly shower thrown for her and the baby.  Then late on March 31, 2010, a beautiful baby boy was born.  It was very close to April Fools Day, and we thought our son in law was joking.  He wasn't and everyone was just so happy that baby and mom were healthy.

Ewan just a few minutes old.

Ewan is three now, and he is completely enthralled with firemen and firetrucks.  He wears the hat most of the time.

He pretends to be a fireman a lot. 

Here he is learning to slide down the pole.

He is learning to drive so he can get to the fire station quickly.  I wonder how he learned to back up with that technique. He needs a little practice steering, but that will come.




He looks for fire stations where ever he is.  He was very impressed that the Princeton Fire Department had two big doors to the garage that stores the engines. 

While visiting St. Germain Wisconsin with his other grandparents, Ewan found the Fire Department.


He really likes mechanical things.  He even got to drive Grandpa Wayne's boat.



I love that all the kids have their own unique personalities.  Dylan is Ewan's brother.  When he was little he loved Thomas the Tank Engine.  He played for hours with all the little trains.

Dylan playing with Thomas and his train friends.

The two other grandson's liked super heroes and dressed up like spiderman or superman.  They jumped around and pretended to have super powers.

Jack as Spiderman

Sam liked super heroes, but he also liked to dress up as a cowboy or a pirate.

Sam as a cowboy.
Sam looks like a tired pirate.

Then there is Melissa.  She is our only grandaughter. 

She took dance lessons.


and cheered,

 and she could use her imagination in so many ways.  I think she is trying to catch butterflies or birds.  Fortunately she didn't catch anything.  She didn't know it but I was rooting for the butterflies and birds.





Now they all have electronic devices that consume them at times.  It's too bad that innocence passes so quickly.