The Care & Feeding of Zebras

An A to Z Look At The Ironies Of Life

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Junk Drawer Days

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Saturdays are a unique kind of day. We look all week, Monday through Friday, to that day we can ignore alarms and pray the dogs sleep in, or the kids entertain themselves as we linger an hour or two longer with our dreams.

As we slip from our beds, the reality is, this day of luxurious rest will be filled with errands, shopping, soccer games, dance lessons, cleaning, washing and meal making. Saturdays have not changed that much since my childhood or that of my children. Even in retirement, Saturday’s seem to be that, ” junk drawer day.”

We start out on Monday planning a rest filled weekend ahead and by Friday we find that we have managed once again to only make a “junk drawer” of our Saturday. All those little nagging jobs we didn’t get to on Tuesday, we moved to do on Saturday. Wednesday’s rain kept us from stopping and getting that extra gallon of milk, we’ll do that on Saturday! Not picking up the dry cleaning on Thursday was an oversight, not to worry, we’ll get on Saturday! Friday is a given, to rush home and decompress. What ever we needed to do or meant to do, we’ll do it Saturday!

I remember chasing all around town with mom, as she picked up extra food for Sunday dinner. Stopping at the cleaners to pick up and drop off. Early Saturday baths with hair washing and curling for Sunday church. Often there would be a pot on the stove simmering with a delectable scent filling the house. It wasn’t a pot filled with left overs, but a delicacy each household member looked forward to on Saturdays, especially in the fall and winter months.

Mom worked her magic with a bit of ground meat, tomatoes, a veggie and pasta. Usually macaroni. We began to call it our Special Saturday Satisfying Supper! A pot of goulash fit for royalty!

With hair wrapped in torn strips of rags, to make the “banana curls” mom liked me to have and clean jammies, we would enjoy our dinner and talk of plans for next weekend when we would not have so much running to do and perhaps have time for just fun things!

With fresh linen on the beds, mom would tuck me in and turn on our radio for me to listen to as I drifted off to sleep. I heard her cleaning the kitchen, which included her mopping the floor before she would allow herself a well deserved hot bath and a time to rest. Mixed with the scents of the fresh bed linens and the freshly mopped floors was the lingering delightful smells of mom’s goulash. We had such wonderful “junk drawer” days that I prayed they would never end.

Every time I make mom’s special Saturday supper I know our special “junk drawer days” have not ended and never will! We are only human and we all have a junk drawer or two somewhere!

Recipe for mom’s Special Saturday Satisfying Supper:
1 – pound ground meat
1 – yellow onion diced
1 – green pepper diced
2 – cloves garlic minced
Small container of white mushrooms, cut up
1 − 141/2 or 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 − 4 oz can of tomato paste
1 – cup frozen corn or vegetable of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 – beef bouillon cubes
A pinch of sugar to taste
2 – cups dry pasta (macaroni, shells, twists) Cook pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet brown the ground meat. Drain off excess grease. Return to meat to skillet add onions, peppers and garlic. Allow onions to become opaque and pepper slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add can tomatoes, undrained and tomato paste. Mix well. Add bouillon cubes and about a 1/2 cup of water. Stir. Add mushrooms, stir and season with salt. Add cooked pasta, stir well. Cover and turn burner to a low simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes. You can add more water if you want your sauce to be thinner. Taste sauce and if too tomatoey add about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar to cut the tomato taste.
Serve with a nice salad and fresh crusty bread. I always have enough to freeze for a second meal during the week.

Enjoy this hearty filling and satisfying meal any day of the week and continue to plan for those wonderful weekends. Enjoy your “junk drawer” days too!

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Stepping Out

As a FaceBook user I try to not be tempted by the many ads placed on my pages. Most of the time I am very good and have a decent amount of self-control.

Until yesterday! There it was! Enter and WIN a Trip to Spain! YES! I will!

Not even knowing what I had to enter, the magic that gripped me was a Trip to SPAIN! Clicking the link took me to Campo Viejo Wines. After hitting the “Like” button I entered a photo contest sponsored by this Spanish winery that is in Rioja, Spain.

I choose the colorful winter sunrise

I’m trying to be realistic, but if you happen upon this post and like this photo, even a little, I would be very grateful if you would take a minute to vote for it and for me. I have long dreamed of visiting Spain. This could be my chance. Besides visiting the large winery, Campo Viejo and seeing the many delights of northern Spain, the winner will also receive a Master Class with a world renowned photographer, that is priceless.

Gracias por ayudar a un sueño hecho realidad.


Como un usuario de Facebook que trato de no dejarse tentar por los muchos anuncios colocados en mis páginas. La mayoría de las veces me siento muy bien y tiene una buena cantidad de auto-control.

Hasta ayer! Allí estaba! Entrar y ganar un viaje a España! ¡SÍ! ¡Lo haré!

Ni siquiera sabiendo lo que tenía que entrar, la magia que se apoderó de mí era un viaje a ESPAÑA! Al hacer clic en el enlace me llevó a Campo Vinos Viejo. Después de golpear el “Como” botón entré a un concurso fotográfico patrocinado por la bodega española que se encuentra en La Rioja, España.

Elijo la salida del sol del invierno colorido

Estoy tratando de ser realista, pero si le toca a este anuncio y como este foto, aunque sea un poco, yo estaría muy agradecidos si usted desea tomar un minuto para votar por ella y por mí. Hace tiempo que soñaba con visitar España. Este podría ser mi oportunidad. Además de visitar la gran bodega Campo Viejo y ver las muchas delicias del norte de España. El ganador también recibirá una Master Class con un fotógrafo de renombre mundial, que no tiene precio.

Thanks for helping a dream come true.

Changing Hues

February Sunrise 1

February Sunrise 1

February Sunrise 2
February Sunrise 2

February Sunrise 3
February Sunrise 3

February Sunrise 4

February Sunrise 4

These four pictures of February sunrises were taken from my front yard as the sun broke the darkness of the woods across from my home. Each day that I captured here a different hue was cast through the darkness casting a regal glow to the nature waiting to greet its light. A pure expression of God’s love and glory.

Fresh from the oven …

Nothing says loving …

Grew up on that jingle. Pillsbury Dough Boy and all!

This is a very easy recipe. The hard part is waiting for it to cool three hours. Should have made this in the morning!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened.

1 cup white sugar.

1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

3/4 cups white sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.

3. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9×13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom dough, cover with the remaining piece of dough.

Topping:

Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and butter. Dot this mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

Nutrition: Servings per recipe: 12; Calories: 481; Amounts per Serving: Total Fat: 28.7 g; Cholesterol: 61 mg; Sodium: 459 mg; Total Carbs: 50.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g; Protein: 5.6 g.

Got the recipe from AllRecipes

Techno Leap

This is a first for me! Writing this my iPad on a Bluetooth keyboard. Not a feat perhaps for most season bloggers or techno wizards. Being neither a season blogger or a techno wizard, this is a major accomplishment.

Now have a MacBook, iPhone, and iPad! Would say I’m connected and ready to go! This card carrying old person is about to enter the fray!

 

13.2.27 iPad with keyboard

 

January Sunrise

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Winter Wonder

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Pollo Español

This may not be so much an original recipe but a few months ago I had defrosted several chicken breasts and had no idea what I was actually going to do with them. After scouring the pantry cupboard and finding two boxes of Spanish rice mix and one can of diced tomatoes.

Light bulb time! I just knew I could make a good meal that my husband was going to like. As long as it had rice, it was a shoe-in!

It went over so well that I have added it to our monthly meal plans. It is quick and easy. Less then an hour and you have a hearty meal that is full of flavor and fit for company too! We hope you find it as good as we do and that your family enjoys it as much as mine. It is my version of a “poor man’s” paella.

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Spanish Chicken

Cooler By the Lake

For all the Michigan City-ites—past and present!!

“Cooler Near the Lake”
by Scott Nelson

I am from “M.C.” or “City.”
I am from an identity crisis.
I am from a place where it is normal for a cornfield, a beach, and a steel mill to be within a few miles of each other.
We are almost, but not quite, Chicago.
We are almost, but not quite, “The Region.”
We are almost, but not quite, Michiana.
My license plate, my address, and my roadmap all say “Indiana,” but we don’t act like Indiana.
We are the point where Indiana, Michigan, and Chicagoland intersect.
We are “East meets Central” (Time Zones that is).
Where I am from, Republicans come out to vote in the hundreds and Democrats come out to vote in the thousands; yet during Presidential elections, we are one of the few blue islands in an overwhelming sea of red.

I am from a place where the Chicago South Shore rolls down 11th Street, and where the Franklin Street Bridge stops the traffic going into Washington Park as it raises for the boats sailing down Trail Creek and into Lake Michigan.
I am from the Lake and the Dunes.
The Lake brought me the joys of fireworks and glow necklaces, trudging up then running down Mount Baldy, walking on the pier out to the lighthouse, being buried in the sand by friends, digging into the beach until you found water, and gazing at the Chicago skyline on a clear day.
The Lake also brought me the struggles of fighting lake effect snow, fearing the undertow, hiding from E. Coli, and learning to cope with the “F.I.Ps” who invaded my hometown every summer.

I am from blue collar Polish Catholicism at its finest.
I am from a place where the sound of an accordion means you party, and the sound of a pipe organ means you pray.
I am from kielbasa, rye bread, golumpki, pierogi, potato pancakes, jezynowka, and plenty of beer.
I am from fish fries, first communions, high school graduation parties, and enormous Catholic weddings.
I am from parish festivals with polkas, beer gardens, and raffle tickets.
I am from Dyngus Day, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day, St. Nicholas Day, and long Easter weekends.
I am from a community of people named: “-alski,” “-anski,” “-arski,” “-elski,” “-ewski,” “-inski,” “-orski,” “-oski,” “-owski,” “-ulski,” “-ske,” “-zke,” “-czak,” “-iak,” “-lak,” “-vak,” “-wak,” “-czyk,” “-icz,” “-ik,” and “-ow.”
I am from being stunned that any restaurant, anywhere, would ever, for any reason, consider serving red meat on a Friday during Lent and still expect to make a profit.

Where I am from…
Highway 12 takes you to where you can buy alcohol on Sundays.
Highway 20 takes you to the Golden Dome.
Highway 35 takes you to Slicer territory.
Highway 421 takes you to the rest of the Hoosier State.
I-94 takes you past the steel mills and on to Chicago.

I am from summer band concerts and parades.
I am from dominance in volleyball and obsession for basketball.
I will forever know who won the Indiana State High School Basketball Championship in 1966.
I am from growing up a minority because I didn’t like the Cubs or Notre Dame…only to eventually realize this also made me a minority in most areas across the country.
Where I am from, you are accustomed to hear outsiders say: “So, where in Michigan is that?,” “That’s the town with the nuclear power plant, right?”, “Oh! I was just at Blue Chip last weekend!,” and “I love your outlet mall.”

I am from Michigan City.
It’s not in Michigan.
It’s not quite a city.
Either way, it will always be home, and things will always be cooler near the Lake.=

Disclaimer: This was sent to be by my husband, who received from a friend. This is our home town. I am very proud to be a Hoosier and to have been born in Michigan City – The City Be the Lake. Thank you Mr. Nelson for putting such eloquent words together stating what this City means to so many.

Hello world!

Snowy Day

A late winter snow crowns the earth with a blanket of diamonds.

The record for this site reads that we have been here since October 24, 2011. Funny how this is really my first attempt to really use Word Press, four months plus here we are, right at the beginning again.

Not even sure which way we are going with this blog. We will try to be led by the day, the need.

Be Still And Know That I AM

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