Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lester Schwartz Sculptures Discovered

Last weekend we learned about making maple syrup.  I wrote about it in a blog.

What I didn't include is what else I learned that day.  As we drove onto the property for the tour, I noticed several metal sculptures in the landscape.  I had seen these from the road for many years, but I never took the time to find out about them.  Apparently this was the home and property of Lester Schwartz, and it was his daughter and her husband who created the informative maple syrup tour.

I learned that Les Schwartz founded the art department at Ripon College and was a famous artist.  He was the Artist in Residence at Ripon College for many years.  At his home, near Green Lake Wisconsin, he built large scale sculptures made from scrap metal.  His sculptures were inspired by his travels and his love for the circus.  He named the sculpture garden "Gloria Hills" after his late wife.  Lester died in 2006 and the park is no longer open to visitors.  Hopefully some of these sculptures can be preserved and moved to a park, to the Town Square in Green Lake or better yet, to the Ripon College campus.  Moving them may be a huge project, but they should be available for people to see on a regular basis.

Here is a link with more information about Lester Schwartz:

I don't know the name or history of these sculptures but they were very interesting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Piper Saves The Day

We have a little grand dog.  Her name is Piper Ann, and she is a cockapoo.  I have written this story before, but will mention it again.  She got her name because when my daughter was expecting her second child, ultrasound photos said she was probably having a girl.  Probably is an important word because five years ago yesterday our fourth grandson was born.  They had chosen a girl name but not a boy name.  For a few hours our grandson was nameless.  They finally agreed on naming him Ewan.  It seemed to fit with his brother's name which is Dylan.  Since they liked the girls name Piper, that is what they named their girl dog.

Piper is a spunky little thing.  She is extremely smart but can be a bit naughty at times.  Many times when my daughter gets home from work, her bedroom door is open and Piper is lounging on the bed.  She can go into a purse and gently remove a mint or tissues without disturbing anything else.  She loves tissues.  We took care of her this weekend, and she can remove one tissue from the box without disturbing the box or any other tissues.  We tie her out on a long tie out when she is with us because she can find all kinds of things in the woods.  We also don't want to be responsible for her getting away from us.  She is the only dog we have had who can untangle herself from trees or bushes.  They have tried to train her not to open doors or steal items, but today it was a good thing she didn't pay attention.

My daughter lives in the country now.  She has had an unbelievable number of Asian Beetles (or as my grandson says Ancient Beetles).  She will vacuum for a half hour and ten minutes later there are fifty more on the window sills.  She finally had enough even though spraying for them was not what she wanted to do.  She hired an exterminator who came to their house and sprayed today.  He went out on a balcony they have so he could reach some of the window sills on the second floor.  When he tried to come in, the door was locked.  He knocked and knocked until my daughter heard him and opened the door.  While she was upstairs, he wanted to show her where some of the beetles were gathering.  As soon as they went back out, the door slammed shut.  There she was, locked out on a balcony with a strange man.  She was thinking about what to do and who to call, when she heard Piper.  She called to her and told her to come.  Yup, the dog opened the door for them.  The man called her a Hero Dog.  So in this case, Piper's stealth skills came in very handy.  You never know when you might need a dog that can pick a lock.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peanut Butter Granola

My husband and dad eat a lot of oatmeal in the morning.  I know how good oatmeal is for a person, but some days I just can't eat another bowl.  That is why I make granola using oatmeal.  I still get the oatmeal but in another form.  I have made variations of the same recipe for years.  I blogged about it two years ago.  Here it is in case you missed it.

Recently I made a new favorite.  It is super easy.  I added powdered peanut butter to the recipe.  If you haven't tried PB2 powdered peanut butter, you should.  It has 85% less fat calories.  You just measure out some powder and add water.  Mix it up and use it as you would any peanut butter.  I add it to recipes instead of protein powder.

Easy Granola

6 cups oats (either quick cooking or regular)
5 cups flake cereal (corn flakes, wheaties, rice krispies)
1 cup wheat germ or bran or oat bran
1/4 cup powdered peanut butter (more or less to taste)
1 cup pecans (anything will work like walnuts, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds)
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 t. salt

Mix together these wet ingredients:
 3/4 cup oil
1 cup (honey, maple syrup or agave)
1 T. vanilla

In a big bowl mix the dry ingredients together.  Heat the wet ingredients and pour over the dry ingredients.  Mix it up so everything is coated.

Pour on a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.  Stir every 30-45 minutes so the edges don't get too brown.  At the end press down the granola, turn off the oven and let it cool completely in the oven.  This will give you chunky granola, but you can break it up however you like it.

I added a few mini chocolate chips to the cooled granola.  I like the chocolate and peanut butter taste.  You could add coconut, cinnamon, dried fruit or anything else you have on hand.