It was early fall in 2010 and we had just returned from an exhilirating, as well as exhausting, first time visit to Ireland. In every respect it lived up to and even exceeded our high expectations. We made new friends from among the congenial group we toured with. That group was led by Fathers Steve Peterson & Thomas Loomis from southeastern Minnesota parishes.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Our neighbor, Gina, wanted to know if we would like some leeks. She had "too many," she said. Expecting the large supermarket variety from Costa Rica or some other exotic locale, I nodded "sure." "Mmmmm," I said to the young woman as she opened the bag, "are you sure those are leeks?" "I think so," she replied, "at least that's what Fred our handyman told me. "He finds them in our woods and cow pasture." Increasingly skeptical and not wanting to risk poisoning my bride, I told her I wasn't sure what they were and would "check them out." Googling" is the operative verb as to what happened next!
It seems in the Blue Ridge area and down the Appalachian chain leeks are known as "ramps." Memories of Euell Gibbons on TV recommending the flavor of pine cones as well as Grape Nuts Flakes came flooding back. Further research revealed a few recipes and much praise of their "delicate and mild" onion flavor. Mmmmm. The cleaning process began early the next morning with visions of fantastic omelette's in mind.
Oh... they were so good. Now I can add them to the list of things to look for in the spring, like morels, that I can hardly ever find. Some time later, I asked Gina how she liked the leeks. She replied that she had "thrown them away." "You didn’t seem too sure about them," she added. Oh dear.......:(
Friday, June 16, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Sunday, June 11, 2017
When Roman engineers used concrete and their famous arch to throw bridges across streams and mighty rivers, their armies and trade followed apace. This limestone bridge built in the 1860's near Stillwater Minnesota echoes that classical era.
Here in southeastern Minnesota's "Bluff County" a similar two arch bridge spanned the South Branch of the Root River. Unfortunately I NEVER thought to take a photo of it. Atop it appeared as nothing but a gravel township lane. In the water, both upstream and downstream, we trout fisherman called the stretch "by the arches". It's also Mrs. T and my favorite area to walk Miss Lily...... Take a .look!
You might imagine my shock just a few years back when I approached my favorite trout fishing spot to see that "the arches" bridge had been replaced by a boring concrete structure. It's still an idyllic setting from streamside and the fishing is still very good...... but it takes a little more effort now to daydream a bit about Roman arches. But there was the time when I and group of high school students were in Rome looking up at the Coliseum and.........
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
For fifty plus years, watching hordes of hungry squirrels gorge themselves on the seeds and suet, I'd carefully placed in my bird feeders, has been somewhat of an annoyance. Initially, I used to blast them with my 12 gauge till Mrs. T and the neighbors began to look askance. Then I encouraged 5 generations of dogs to chase them off. Now, Lily has taken up that job with minimal results as there must be at least 2 large squirrel families living in the pileated woodpecker holes I left for the birds. Then, when recently I saw the following pictures a fellow birder sent me, I've decided the problem could be much much worse.
Friday, June 2, 2017
After days of clouds and rain Mother's Day turned to sunshine. After church I had to photograph my personal sunshine showing off her corsage from our DIL Deanne.
About the same time our long time friends John and Joanne arrived with a special friend so we could say goodbye to her.... She was their exchange student who spent a school year here in rural southeastern Minnesota.
Her name is Anna and in a few days she would be heading back to her home in far away Ukraine. What a sweetheart.....