Saturday, July 18

Hot and Humid

We are not used to it. The heat and humidity are oppressive. I do not care if it makes the corn grow. I do believe they have messed with the genetics of corn to the point it would grow despite anything and everything. They seem to come up with record crops every year despite all circumstances. Before I hear from all you farmers I do know there is a limit.

Colleen and I are still walking every morning. Yesterday, we had decided on a different time to walk, but then it didn't work out so I called her and asked if she was ready and would she come right away. She said yes and yes, walking out the door in the wrong shoes. By the time she reached the trail her feet were hurting but decided to try it despite the pain. It didn't work. We didn't have our phones so she decided to walk directly home from where we were at the time. I said, "Wait. I have my bike at the trailhead so you wait here and I will get my bike, come back and loan you my shoes so you can get home." We wear the same size but my feet are extremely wide and hers are extremely narrow. I can bike in my stockinged feet. It could work. I always wear tennies, but she feels like her feet are in prison if she wears tennies. So she started home with my shoes and I rode home on my bike. I know what it is like to have hurting feet so I jumped in the car and caught up with her to take her the rest of the way home. She said, "A friend in need is a friend indeed." She added, "I always wondered why anyone would want needy friends, but now I know the real meaning of that saying." I should have said but didn't, that it was the first time my shoes had walked without me and I was worried about them. Smileycons! Every day is an adventure.

This morning we noticed the tent camping area by the trailhead was loaded with RAGBRAI people. One guy wandered out of his sleeping bag and started to pee on a tree but noticed us and headed to the restroom. We should post signs on all the trees at eye level for men that say, "Please don't pee on me!" Not that they would pay any attention. Cameras might work better. Guys do that on golf courses too for all you readers that do not realize that ugly fact. Not all guys do it, but way too many of them.

Snappy Salads for Summer Fare

Snappy Salads for Summer Fare

Janet Groene’s
Main Meal Salad
Master Recipe

Scrap the old macaroni salad. Healthy whole grains are all the rage these days, so make them the foundation for a main dish salad that includes a starch, fruits or vegetables, protein and a dressing to bind it all together. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce or cabbage, in a lettuce cup, in a wrap for added carbs. Just keep proportions the same and you can have a different dish every day.

2 cups cooked grain (farro, rice, freekeh, red or gold bulgar, barley, spelt, kamut, etc.)
2 cups chopped fruits or vegetables
2 cups protein such as meat, fish, cheese, tofu, nuts or egg
Dressing to taste

Do the math. Here’s a f’rinstance:
1 cup raisins
2 cups cooked farro
1 cup chopped apple
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Plump raisins by soaking in warm water or juice. Drain. Toss all ingredients lightly. Season to taste. Serve as is or wrap in lettuce leaves. Makes 4 main dish servings.

Invent a main dish salad using whole grains and share it.

Thursday, July 16

Bad news, Good News stories

Colleen sold her house. She has it till October 1st. Sold it with the furnishings so that lessened her to do list. Next summer she will be back here and stay with a friend, at least for part of the summer. She gave the bulk of her art supplies to the school art department since most of her things are duplicated in her Florida home. So she was unable to complete her tube art for me. I forgive her. So I did one myself. Been working on this thing for hours but I must say it was fun.
It is getting its polyurethane coat in the garage at the moment but will soon have its spot next to Jerilyn's tube. Jason has been thinking on his. I can see him getting into it. I also think this could be a project for the craft bunch at Magnolia Park next winter. It is easy, fairly cheap and could keep us occupied for a long time.
Items needed:
Poly Sewer pipe as long as desired (the cheap thin stuff will do)
Tape- to mask off areas for design
Paints- I used spray paint, nail polish, colored sharpies
Polyurethane spray to protect your masterpiece, 2 or 3 light coats
Re-rod as long as desired but if it is too short your tube will blow off

I will post another picture when it is placed in the 'gallery'.

So next part....
Windows 10 is downloading into my Toshiba computer. Still unsure if I will install it. I know this because last night, when I shut it down, it said it was bringing in 18 updates. Not unusual but it took HOURS! Got up at 1:00 and it was still downloading. So my guess is that it is Windows 10. Those of you with Windows 8 are saying WHOOPEE but the rest of us are not so sure. So this morning when I turned it on all those updates needed to configure and it takes as long to configure as it does to download. Now that is a disruption of my usual routine and we do not like that at all. But wait! I have a Google Chromebook so I do not have to wait for Microsoft to do its thing. So this post is done on my Chromebook. Another plus is that Butch does not have to complain because he is on his Chromebook too. Oh, by the way, I saw a brand new Chromebook on sale for $169 yesterday. Just sayin'!

Tuesday, July 14

This and that...

Computer class was last night from 6 to 8 at the library as usual. Great group- we all get along well and reminds of the ones we have in Texas. That is the good news. The bad news is we did not have WiFi from 7 to 8. That puts a damper on things. So today I went to the telephone company, told my sad tale with hopes they can do something about it. Can we all say, "Public Service"? Cross your fingers...
The cartoon above was in the selection for today. It does start early.

Party at Pat's-No one in this group of three is going to be happy with this picture. They look, shall we say, chunky and grim. Perhaps I should have encouraged them to smile. Really, we had a great time last Saturday evening despite what you see here. Pictured from left are Judy Peacock Wills, Mickey Sanders Starr and Dave McQuillen.We all went to school together.
 The party was mainly because Diane Bryan Rae was coming through Iowa on her way home to Washington state. She is pictured below on the left visiting with Colleen O'Brien Clopton. Parties at Pat's are always a good time.

It has been a bit steamy in the mornings. The flowers love it. This is where I meet Colleen in the morning at 7:00. And below is a flower named Gooseneck Loosestrife. Colleen gave me a sample from her garden. I planted it and it is doing very well. I like the little goosenecks.

The last few days, Butch and I were binge watching Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. We watched season one and two and wanted to start on three but it wasn't offered on Netflix. I knew it was being shown on PBS so I hooked up the Chromebook to the TV via an HDMI cable, Butch set the TV to HDMI and I tuned in PBS and season three, episode one on the screen and we then were able to watch it. Afterward, I became enthralled with having this giant monitor. It was fun! It would be so helpful to have this set up for computer class.

It is a bit more bearable today. Summer is here.

Sunday, July 12

Lemonade Pudding Fruit Salad

No oven needed. Invite lots of friends!

Lemonade Pudding Fruit Salad
Lemonade Pudding Fruit Salad Recipe

1 medium honeydew, peeled, seeded and cubed
  1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
  2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  2 medium peaches, sliced
  2 medium nectarines, sliced
  1 cup seedless red grapes
  1 cup halved fresh strawberries
  1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  2 medium kiwifruit, peeled, halved and sliced
  2 medium firm bananas, sliced
  1 large Granny Smith apple, cubed
  1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients.
 Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, stir in bananas and apple. Combine lemonade concentrate and dry pudding mix; pour over fruit and toss to coat. Yield: 20 servings (3/4 cup each).

Easy Pot Pie

If it were not too hot to turn on the oven I might try this today. Summer finally made it to Iowa-hot and humid!

Chicken Pot Pie with just 4 ingredients? It couldn't get any easier!

Grands Chicken Pot Pie Puffs
2 cups Green Giant frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits
Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, combine vegetables, chicken and soup; mix well.
Press each biscuit into 5 1/2-inch round. Place 1 round in each of 8 greased regular-size muffin cups. Firmly press in bottom and up side, forming 3/4-inch rim. Spoon a generous 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each.Bake at 375°F 20 to 22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.
Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Pillsbury® Kitchens
Substitute 2 cups of any frozen (thawed) vegetables you have on hand, such as broccoli, corn, peas or green beans, for the mixed vegetables.
If your family loves cheese, sprinkle some shredded Cheddar cheese over each puff about 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.