Archive for December, 2009

Lost and Found

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

About two weeks ago,  I lost my favorite winter hat.  It’s the kind that is nice and warm but not so tight it smooshes down the hair.  Hard to find and impossible to match up to the matching scarf as no two leopard skin prints are alike.  I called around to our local haunts…we haven’t left town since Thanksgiving Day…so it was easy to remember where we had been.  Other places,  like restaurants, we appeared in person and asked if anyone turned in a leopard skin print hat.  then, finally, we were at CUB and I wondered if it could be possible that I dropped it in there.

We went to the customer service desk and I asked the lady if they have a lost and found and she asked what I lost, I told her a leopard skin hat.  She pulls out this big drawer about 1 by 2 by 3 ft, and asks when I lost it…I replied about a week ago, not really knowing when exactly.  She goes right to the back of the drawer and starts pulling out what looked to be my hat.  Slowly, she pulls the hat out like it was taffy or something.  And slowly I began to recognize that what she had was MY HAT!  Hurray.  I was delighted.  I have rarely if ever lost any hats or gloves in my adult life. A record of which I am proud.  But the message here is, CUB has a drawer with probably 100 hats in it.  So, if you or your child lost a hat recently, and have been known to shop at CUB,  go over and ask the nice lady at customer service to check it out for you.

If you find your favorite hat or whatever in there, I know I have done my good deed for 2009, and you can give a bag of food to the local food shelter through CUB instead of buying another hat.  Or buy another hat anyway and keep a few downtown shop owners happy while you are at it.  Hatty New Year!

My Northfield Garden

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Been meaning to do more here for some time.  Here’s a quick rundown of the plants and trees I have in my back yard right now.

Henry Hudson Rose Bush.   Full grown, blooms 150 blooms several times throughout the year.  Pale pink to white.

Apothecary Rose.  Given to me by a garden club member who had to move and couldn’t take it with her, some of the loveliest bluish red roses I have ever seen.

We don’t do much to these plants, just water and take away any diseased looking leaves we might encounter.  Water only during times of stressful drought that we first see on more tender plants.  Oh, every spring, I heap a load of good earth over the roots and every autumn, some cedar chips.

A pair of ak Tree Hydrangea.  Lovely this year after a few years of waiting for maturity.  They make a nice winter statement now that the blooms stay on the bush and the bushes stand up nice and tall.

There is a nice Japanese dogwood about as tall as I am. Lovely flowers,  pretty spring and autumn colors and good winter bones.  We don’t trim it or shape it.  To me, it is a dancer that must be left to create and express itself without human intervention.

We are trying to grow goji berries, and we are succeeding in getting a few so far.  It’s a great treat just to know that bush is there.

There are several trees and arbor vitae surround the home.

We did loose our transplanted lilies, because the neighbor’s tree roots drink up the water and I didn’t know how thirsty those plants were, coming from the home of a friend who likes to water.

To be a good gardener, all you need is the right conditions for the right plant for you area and some good soil as food and timely watering schedules.  Plus a little bit of knowing when to just leave it alone. After all, these plants made it in nature without you at some point.  Even if they are hothouse grown, just follow the directions closely.

All my other gardening is now done in containers.  Containers are great.  They can be moved, they use only the smallest amount of water (unless they are dark in color and the holes at the bottom are too big and unrestricted) and the size and food factor are completely controllable.  They go anywhere and then you can bring some inside for winter beauty.  Have fun.   Garden!

A Holiday Dinner to Remember Plus

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Yesterday, the Saturday  of Kwaanza, we celebrated at the Northfield Golf Club Restaurant.  They have a pretty decorated tree in the front lobby, next to a nice gas fire place.   Once inside you can see the tree lights from the decorated trees outside dance all along the open window walls.  It’s quite magical.

The dinner was set for 5PM to 9PM and we were practically the first ones there, as I like to eat early, believing that the later you eat, the more you will retain.  Then when you get up, you are not that hungry, so you skip breakfast, and that really is the most important time of day for humans to absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals and then burn calories throughout the active cycle of the 24 hour period. Ah, but I digress.  Sorry.

Anyway, I ordered the Shrimp Tempura, Caesar salad, baked potato and mushrooms.  D had the filet mignon and mashed potatoes and asparagas plus buffet salad bar.  It was all good.  When you come in early, the chefs have time to pay attention to your food and only your food.  Super.  I must rave about the Caesar salad though because it was one of if not the best I ever had.  A bit of mustard was present and the rest was light as air.   So, too, about the mushrooms.  Ah,  just plain ol’ button mushrooms, whole and fried up in the pan.  Delicious.  I didn’t want them to end, so I had every other bit a mushroom and ended with a mushroom.

Now the shrimp was good, too.  It wasn’t covered with all the oil and batter one usually gets.  It was so underdressed, I barely noticed it in the dim but flattering lights of the restaurant.  The shrimp were firm, but not rubbery, not soft, not mushy.  They were like you dream shrimp would be,  but never are except for when one of your fav chefs makes them on Kwaanza.

I am not raving about the baked potato.  I think it was an attempt to keep it from drying out too much.but it was slightly underdone for me, but that made me not eat all of it, and that’s a good thing. My respiratory meds make me hungry and even ravenous at times,  and I really have to watch my weight even over the holidays.  I am hearing a lot of heads shaking up and down right now.  I know you are with me as sighs of failure drift by this page.  Oh, don’t feel bad, pretty soon, you’ll be up and running off all those extra calories, when you actually take back the things you don’t want and get something you do want.

Here comes the best part, while we were waiting for dinner, we ordered a Sazarac.  Some of you may know, a Sazarac is the first official cocktail of the United States, originating in New Orleans.    Now, I am not a drinker, can’t do it, won’t do it, but once or twice a year, I will imbibe with a half drink of something.  I get all warm and bubbly and then I get a cup of coffee before I pass out for the night from it.  Haha.

The Sazara reminds me of days in New Orleans with friends on a Public Chemical Advisory Panel.  We’d all go out to dinner after each meeting and swap food stories. My closest buddy, an elder named Doc usually had something to do with whiskey , maybe cuz he is from Kentucky where they make quite a bit of it well, but he told the Sazarac story and I went with it and tried it and always liked it.  Any bartender worth his salt (did I just say that?)  knows how to make a Sazarac, but if yours doesn’t…here you go;

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beverage/SazeracCocktail.htm

Happy Holidays to YOU!

Assalted!

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Last week, dh and I went and had a late lunch at a local restaurant.  I ordered a pasta dish and dh had his usual burger with a heart attack array of goodies  on top.  I am not going to complain about how salty the pasta dish was, or that the salt inflated my cells so much I was forced to drink water all into and through the night adding on another 3 pounds to my 122 lb frame.   I won’t go on and on about how my tongue felt like the salt flats in Utah for 3-4 hours.

However, I will tell you that I complained about the dish to the waitress and made sure she told the kitchen that that was the saltiest food I have ever tasted.  She did and the response was slow to come.  Before too long though, the waitress came by to say that I could get another similar dish the next time I came to the restaurant and it would be on the house.  Free.  Non-gratis even.   So,  I have to give kudos to someone doing the right thing.  But, I don’t want to rat them out for making a big mistake on the salt, especially since I ranted about the salt a few months back, so they shall remain nameless for now.

Since my salt rant, I  have noticed more and more restaurants returning to putting salt and pepper shakers out on the table.   Big risk since people like to take them home as a momento of their good time at the restaurant, or because they are too cheap to buy their own, and apparently too good to use salt and pepper right from the box.

So let me take this opportunity to ask my guilty readers and their really guilty friends not to take glasses, silverware, shakers, or napkins and stuff them in their coats and purses.  It adds up for the restaurant owners, because you aren’t the only one doing it and  the waitstaff and customers all end up paying one way or the other for your trespass.  My advice… get your own or do without!  Thank you.

Art and Music – Hot Tips!

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

My painting, “Battlefield” is at the Northfield Arts Guild, in the second or Other Room, where it can not be viewed easily. In this painting I look at good vs evil, heaven vs hell, and all the thoughts that go through the minds of those involved in the battle.  Well, at least some of the thoughts and some of the feelings.

So I am asking people to have a look at it as best as you can and look for the sublayer of images that came in upon their own volition, more or less.  Please let me know what you think at  you know my name  @beautywood.com, except fill in my name, Bright at the beginning of the email address.   This arrangement will keep me from getting too much spamola.  Thanks!

My holiday present to my readers is this music link where you can hear streaming music, whatever you choose just about for free with ads and $3. per month without ads.   The first one I searched for was “Jam” by Michael Jackson and then “Skylark” by Cleo Laine.  Two amazing artists and two wonderful tunes.  Enjoy!

http://listen.grooveshark.com/

Don’t Forget Your Puppy or Your Kitty!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

During this hustle bustle time of the year, we sometimes forget our best friends!

Farmer’s Almanac has some great recipes for homemade cookies for our furry

four legged darlings, including one for a microwave dog cookie that cooks for

ten minutes or less!  Your pet will thank you this holiday season.

http://www.almanac.com/content/pet-food-recipes-cats-and-dogs

Geminids Meteor Showers

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Look to the Northeast all night December 13-14 for 75 meteors per hour, the year’s largest meteor shower!

http://www.almanac.com/content/meteor-showers-guide-2009

Philip Glass Sampler-Free to Download

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

http://tinyurl.com/yglnnc2

Boston Gourmet Pizza of Faribault

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

http://www.Bostons-Pizza.com

125 1st Street, Farbault, MN

(507) 331-3255

We hadn’t been here since they first opened up a couple of years ago. I didn’t care for the chemically tasting sauces, tomato or cheese, so I didn’t order that stuff this time.  But dh did, and I tried it and I still didn”t like it.  At those prices 15.00 for  a dinner with no salad or soup included, one expects real tomatoes and real cheese and milk products.  They aren’t that expensive, really.

Anyway we were enticed to go back because I mysteriously found a $10 off $25.oo or more coupon if  purchased by 12/27 and thought we’d give it another go.  I ordered the oven baked salmon and it was decent.  Though, really the same thing Perkins has at a few dollars less.  My  Boston’s version included the heap of cole slaw and heavy potatoes I ordered as my two sides.  I could have ordered the same thing almost exactly from Perkin’s sides menu and saved $3.00, plus the tax and tip on $3, which would be almost another $1.

We did like the service and the atmosphere was a nice change, but dang that sauce!  We ordered the white cheese cake and ice cream with raspberry sauce for dessert.  I thought it was good to average with a high price for what I perceived as cheap vanilla ice cream.

I asked for hot tea and they brought me five different Bigelow flavors, and three packets of honey.  No base dish for the hot tea pot, though. Don’t know what we paid for that, their website seems to leave out the prices, but it was normally priced, I think.  I drank  the lemon lift tea which was pleasantly worthy.  Dh had some nice strong tea.  They serve alcohol and have TV’s.  Unlike Perkins.

Boston is handicap accessible, but the door is not close to the handicap parking space, so plan on a 100 foot walk or so.

A Little Present for You

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Amazon.com is offering a free to download Holiday album from some of the old time greats like Frank Sinatra and Mahalia Jackson.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=&x=0&y=0