Saturday, July 28, 2012

"You can't choose up sides on a round world." ~ Wayne Dyer

A few years ago, I came across "Where the Hell is Matt?" (also titled "Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth) - I think that my sister Robin forwarded it to me.  That video has been a permanent fixture on my blog since its beginning, in the right hand column, under:  

Some of My Favorite Flash Mobs, Dance Videos and Other Clips!

To view the first one - click on the link below - it's just fabulous!

Now - the most recent installment, sent to me by my dad. If  you are receiving this via email  and the video does not come through, click HERE to watch it:

This makes the world a smaller, and happier, place!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Lou Holtz

I have joked with Bruce that we really need to build a duck-blind out on our deck!  It's pretty difficult to get decent photos of skittish birds when I have to sneak up on them!  The action at our feeders the other day leads me to believe that our hawks are elsewhere.  We may see them again, or we may not. In the meantime - it's nice to have the song-birds return!

So nice!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"As Rosemary is to the spirit, so Lavender is to the soul." ~ Anonymous

Click on the box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen to watch in "full screen" - much nicer.  And have your sound on - enjoy!

Music:  "Riverbend" by Jann Levinson 
Pictures:  T. Altieri

Saturday, July 14, 2012

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” ~ Mae West

BITE met again recently - quite soon after our last gathering.  The son of our host for this month will be getting married in a few short weeks, so we moved the time up a bit so that she had a little "wiggle room".  Ellen determined the theme "Decadence" for July - a departure from our usual country/ethnic themes.  Of course - I forgot my camera, so the pictures that you see below are the closest that I found to what was actually served.  Below each photo - you will find the address for its source. 

We still abided by our tradition of each member being responsible for a course - and I was in charge of appetizers.  I decided to make two, and did a Cheese and Wine Fondue for the first offering.   While I love anything to do with wine, and anything to do with melted cheese - I have never made fondue before.  It was absolutely delicious!  I made it earlier in the day and was a bit concerned with how it would reheat prior to taking it to dinner.  I had no trouble with it at all.  As in the picture below, we dipped cut up French bread into it - I could have just used a soup spoon and been happy!

Next I made Olive Tarts.  This is a recipe that I have made many times before, having borrowed it from my mother who has also made them many, many times.  They are a bit of a family tradition, and we just love them - I had Bruce drop some off at my parent's house that evening, knowing that my dad would not want to miss out!

Next, Tierney brought a side-dish of Lobster Mac and Cheese. Oh my goodness!  It was incredible!  A wonderfully crunchy top followed by creamy, cheesy pasta and chunks of sweet lobster - all of my favorite food groups!
OK - so at this point - it just keeps getting better.  Ellen's offering was  Lobster Pie!  I'm not kidding - lobster pie!  I was in lobster heaven!  I have never eaten anything like it before - but you can bet that I will make this at home!  It was just delectable.

For dessert, Chris brought Dulce de Leche Cake.  A sweet, extremely moist cake that, after having a leftover piece that I brought home, Bruce declared he wanted for his birthday.
Before leaving home for our dinner, I told my son that I thought that there would probably not be a vegetable in sight - and I was right (save for the olives in the "olive tarts").  Every bite was "decadence" indeed.  I mentioned several times throughout the evening that I was so glad that I'd had my cholesterol tested the month before - I can only imagine what it was like the morning after our meal! But I guess that that's what makes some foods decadent - you know it's not terribly good for you - but it tastes oh so good.  And, you know that you only do it every once-in-awhile.

I don't know what our theme will be for next month, but since I'm in charge of the side-dish, I think that I will bring along a salad - just for good measure!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Carols of gladness ring from every tree." ~ Frances Anne Kemble - Or at least they did till the hawks showed up!

For the past few summers, we have had hawks nesting in or very near our backyard.  Their arrival is usually marked by the swift absence of songbirds from our feeders.  They arrived a bit later this year, and I think that they have nested a bit farther afield than in previous summers.  We have not seen them, or heard them, nearly as much.  This could also be due to the fact that with the very warm weather, we have either had a fan propped in the sliding door to the deck, or that we've had it closed altogether and the room air-conditioner turned on.  In any case - not as many sightings this year.

I missed a golden photo opportunity the other morning as one of the fledglings sat on the rail of our deck in a head-to-head confrontation with a squirrel.  Of course - my camera battery was charging following our several day Finger Lakes trip - I couldn't believe it!  Bruce did capture some of it on his cell-phone and I will check out later if any of those photos captured the hilarity of the scene.

I have managed to catch a few  ~ and here they are:

I took the next three through the screened window, fearful of scaring her (him?) off by opening the sliding door.

This last one was after I snuck out as quietly as I could.  While it looks as though the bird may be injured, we observed this same kind of "sprawled out" pose in years' past.  It was a very warm day, and I wonder if it is just a way of spreading out to stay cool.  Other summers we have seen them sprawled flat on the grass.

And then, of course, she flew the coop - so to speak!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"May you live every day of your life." ~ Jonathan Swift

We just returned from a Thursday evening wedding, set in the Finger Lakes of Central New York.  Days other than a Saturday seem to be more common place for weddings these days.  My niece's upcoming wedding is on a Sunday, and I know of others this summer that are Friday evening or mid-week.  And - a setting like the Finger Lakes?  Well - just beautiful.  

I snapped a few photos along the way. While the weather was very warm, it was amazingly beautiful.

~~Some random sunflowers alongside a vineyard~~

~~Hops' vines in a roadside field~~

~~Grapevines from one of the numerous vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region~~

~~A wedding setting as lovely as they come~~

~~It's all good!~~