Nature Walks – Out Before It Gets Too Hot

We thought we were being smart today and went on our walk-about before it got too hot outside.  Which means we took Vinnie on a longer walk too.  We tried to beat the beat, but we were still a bit too late.  It was still pretty hot out, and is going to get even hotter still.  But as always, we made the most of it and saw lots of our friendly “neighbors” who were also out before it got too hot.

The prairie dogs checking everything out.

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A turtle our for a leisurely swim.

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A swallow perched high above the world.

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An egret dancing on the water.

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And not one,

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Not 2,

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But 3 cormorants.  I have never seen 3 together before.  I always thought they were a bit on the solitary side.  I learn something new everyday.

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

Our 4th of July Feast

Our 4th of July celebrations were small and low key, probably like most everyone’s this year.  We celebrated with Janet and Bob, and even though it was just the four of us, we had enough food to feed a small army, which is usually the case anyway.   Our feast was a combined effort.  Janet made the salad, the potatoes and the cherry pie (the cherries were from her tree) for dessert and I made the BBQ sauce for the meats and the pasta salad, but the meats were all Larry.  I’ve trained him well.

 

Once again, Larry pulled out the smoker and filled it full of meat.  He smoked brisket, ribs and turkey.  The smoker was completely full, with about 30 lbs of meat.  He is becoming quite the smoker.  It took a few tries, but now he seems to be mastering it quite well.

He started with the beef brisket, coating it with salt, pepper and garlic salt, then smoked it for about 8 hours.

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Next came the turkey, that he coated with a Cajun rub that I found the recipe for.  He put that on the smoker for about 4 hours.

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The last thing to go in the smoker were the ribs, that he smoked for about 2-3 hours.

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And the end results …..  We all agreed, everything came out just perfect.  Larry did a really great job with all the meats.

The brisket.

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He cut off the tips to make burnt ends that he coated with my homemade BBQ sauce.

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The turkey.

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Everything comes together to make the feast.

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The meal was made complete by Janet’s fresh cherry pie and a cuppa.

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We were going to play a friendly game of Farkle too, but the fireworks were loudly being fired off, and we had to make it back home before Vinnie had a nervous breakdown.  For being such a big boy, he is really very scared of loud noises.  The game of Farkle will just have to wait for another day.

Hope you all enjoyed your holiday.   Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

a M E r i c a

I don’t usually reblog posts, but this is one of those rare occasions. This message is spot on. America is GREAT because of WE THE PEOPLE, not because of ME. Let’s keep the WE in America strong and not focus so much on ME.

e-Quips

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth, 1967
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Last  weekend in Charlottesville, a public building was spray painted.

All __________ are racists and liars.  What is the correct answer?
a.  Cops
b.  People of Color
c.  Republicans
d.  Democrats
The ME in America seems more important today  than ever.  Whatever the first person singular, I, want is paramount to public safety, common sense, the collective wisdom, science or whoever you think is trying to take away your/my/our/their ideas of freedom.
We are so taken up with our individual rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we forget that it is We, not I,which is from the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…

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The Bald Eagle Is the United States

The bald eagle is the symbol of America.  The bald eagle was chosen to represent the United States because it is unique to North America, making it ‘our’ eagle; it is strong and independent; it is a survivor. It is  majestic, bold, and faithful. It is a symbol of strength and determination.  The bald eagle represents the principals our country was founded on.  The American people ARE the bald eagle and the bald eagle is us and is the USA.  May the eagle always fly majestically, proud and free.

The Eagle

Happy 244th Birthday America and MANY, MANY MORE to come.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Gifting the Compliment – Thank You Rory

My blogging buddy Rory over at

is always so good about brightening up everyone’s day.  He is NEVER shy when it comes to “Gifting the Compliment” to others.  Click onto the link below to see who his latest compliments go to.  You might recognize a few names.  If not, then at the very least, you will be introduced to some new blogs and some great stuff.  I will give you a hint ….. Thank you Rory!

Gifting the Compliment

Happy Birthday America

Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  This day is a BIG day for Americans.  We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.  The American flag is red, white and blue.  The colors were chosen to represent valor (red), liberty and purity (white), and justice and loyalty (blue).  The stripes represent the original 13 colonies that became the original 13 states.  The stars represent each state of these 50 United States we call America.  Our flag is so important that its history tells the story of America itself. It represents the freedom, dignity, and true meaning of being an American.

Sadly, this year, our big birthday bash will not be celebrated as it usually is.  But we Americans are still showing our love and support for our big day by proudly displaying our stars and stripes.  These are the flags I saw on our latest walk-about.

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We proudly display our flag too.  We’ve raised “our kids” right too.  Lucie and Vinnie are proud, patriotic Americans as well.

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Happy Birthday to the land I love.  Happy Birthday America.  May this beautiful flag FOREVER wave!

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  Have a happy, safe 4th of July.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

Italian Sausage Wraps

You all know I can cook ANYTHING.  I can cook the fancy foods with flair, but I can also cook the simple foods that are fun.  In the summer, I tend to cook more fun, simple foods than fancy foods.  I want to enjoy the summer too.  Usually, I am in the pool, swimming my arms off, but not this year (all the pools are STILL closed), so I just don’t have the time or the desire to be in the kitchen all day when I would rather be outside and in the water.

We had some Italian sausages down so I thought I would dress them up a bit, and make them a little more fun.  This recipe could not be any easier to make and only requires a few simple, everyday ingredients.

As you know, I am the wine aficionado.  The Mountain Dew is all Larry’s.   I guess I didn’t do such a good job of getting it out of the picture this time.  🙂  We fried up some French fries and I made a cool green bean and tomato salad to go with our Italian sausage wraps with some marinara sauce on the side for a perfect, easy-peasy summer meal.

You can use any kind of sausage links and cheese you like, I just happened to have hot Italian sausage links down.  Larry likes cheddar and I prefer Mozzarella.

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Italian Sausage Wraps

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1 package ready made crescent rolls

Italian sausage links, or your choice of sausage links

cheese of your choice

marinara sauce

 

Cook your sausages first and let them cool.  Separate the crescent rolls and flatten them out with your fingers on a lightly floured surface.  Place the cooked sausage onto the wide end of the crescent and roll it up, making sure to cover as much of the sausage link as possible.

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Preheat the oven to 350* F of 180* C.

When the sausages are all rolled up, add the cheese on top.  Lightly press the cheese into the dough.  Place them on a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.

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Bake for about 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

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Serve these sausage wraps with your favorite side dishes and some warmed marinara sauce on the side, and sit back and relax.  Dinner is done.  Enjoy!

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks -More Colorful Flowers

My camera and I are very close, intimate friends.  We go walking together all the time.  My camera is an extra set of eyes that often sees things I would not see.  It certainly makes me look and notice things in a completely different way.  This time, we were looking at more flowers.  There were so many brightly colored flowers to see, both common and exotic.  They all shine in their bright beautiful colors.

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Look closely.  Do you see the bee?

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Roses on the run.

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Lilies and exotics in all shades of orange and red.

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Life is colorful.  Enjoy all the colors of life.  Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

From Supporting Role To Rising Star

The other day when I made my strawberry jalapeno salad/salsa, Strawberry Jalapeno Salad I enjoyed it so much as a side dish, that I decided to have it again.  This time, however, I made it as the main attraction.  It was so cool and refreshing, especially with a cool, crisp white blend on the side.

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To transform the salad into a main meal, I added fresh spinach, red onion slices, cucumber slices and red bell pepper slices, then topped it all with sliced chicken breast.  It’s cool, easy and very refreshing, especially with a lime vinaigrette.

 

Lime Vinaigrette

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1-2 TBSP honey

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1-2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

 

Combine everything together and mix well.  Top or toss your strawberry chicken salad with it right before serving.

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For the finishing touches, I added some toasted almond slivers and sliced green onions on top of the sliced chicken breast.

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This quick and easy salad is definitely a delicious way to cool down on those days when the temperatures are really soaring.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – A Sunset Stroll

Sadly, we are not doing our walks as much as we were before.  It has been too hot during the day time, and then we have been getting thunder and rain in the evenings.  Mother Nature has not been cooperating for us to do our walks lately.  Vinnie has been missing his walks, and so have I, but Mother nature gave us a perfect evening this time, so we were able to take a walk again last night.  It wasn’t quite sunset, but close enough to sunset to call this a sunset stroll.  We all enjoyed it, and we all needed it.

We saw gatherings of geese.  And yes, the “babies” are mixed in here too.  It is hard to tell the babies apart from the grown-ups now.  You have to really look closely to tell them apart.

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We saw the ducks out for a swim as well.  Yep, these are the “babies” too.  Once again, they are almost all grown up.

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Then resting after.

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We saw a couple of egrets, but I had a hard time getting good shots of them today.  This is the best I could get this time.

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And we also saw a bunny hiding in the grass.  He was afraid of the “big bad wolf” who was walking along the path.  That big bad wolf was Vinnie, our happy, go-lucky big goofball.

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.