Friday, July 22, 2016

Wildtree to the Rescue!

Been cooking in the slow cooker these hots days--we're inside hiding from the heat.  Wildtree to the rescue!  The kids liked each one.  

Pork Carnita Wraps 

3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, fat trimmed
1 small white onion, chopped OR ½ bag frozen chopped onions (6 oz)
4 oz can diced green chilies (optional)
¾ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons Wildtree Agave Margarita Mixer
2 Tablespoons Wildtree Garlic Galore Seasoning Blend
1 teaspoon Wildtree Fiesta Salsa Mix
1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Combine ingredients, marinate in fridge (or place in freezer.)  Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Serve as soft tacos. 

Apple Balsamic Chicken

21⁄2 lbs chicken breasts
11⁄2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons Wildtree Apple Balsamic Vinegar 

Combine ingredients, marinate in fridge (or place in freezer.)  Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  I liked it over rice, with cabbage cooked with it.

Apple BBQ Bacon-wrapped Chicken
1½ to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 or 16 oz package turkey bacon (20 slices) OR center cut bacon
¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce OR 3 apples (peeled, cored & cubed)
½ cup Wildtree Cactus Pete’s Agave BBQ Sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Wrap 2-3 bacon slices around chicken before putting in freezer bag.  Put wrapped chicken in bag & add other ingredients into freezer bag.  Remove air, seal & attach label.  Double bag and freeze or marinate overnight.   Defrost bag in fridge before cooking.  Place bag contents in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Had a great picnic, all sorts of yummy food--quesadillas, empanadas, burritos, chips and guac, macaroons, chicken sliders, ahi tacos, farro salad, meatballs, caesar salad, chicken tenders, onion rings, soda, seafood salad, lobster roll, clam chowder, pizza . . .  we didn't do too much else, but we did have some fun making rings with pipe cleaners.  It was a lovely night.  We love our annual picnic!

Happy Trails

Today, we visited the local horse riding academy.  Sis has been going to Girl Scout camp with a horseback riding academy for three years; now, she's taking weekly lessons.  We arrived at the barn and she knew all of the horses by name, both of the dogs, and some of the staff.  She glowed from ear to ear, so excited--more so after she donned her new boots and riding pants!  She's going to love taking lessons.  We're so proud of her--first, ice skating, now horseback riding.  This weekend, sailing lessons (with Mama); next week, rock climbing camp!  Sis tries many new things and pushes her limits--she's just so amazing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wedding Bells

Sixty-four years ago, my dear Lambeth and Mrs. Lambeth were married.  They are special people and a wonderful couple together--an inspiration for long married life!  We are so pleased and proud to know them both.  Love you, Lambeths!!!

Ups and Downs

Let's start with downs.  Our ol' man Mojito has lost 2 lbs and is starting to have kidney problems.  I've been giving him subcutaneous fluids a couple of times a week, which isn't fun for anyone, but should forestall problems for awhile.  He is 17 or so, which is 84 in people years.   He's been braver, even going upstairs. He now sleeps between our pillows and has taken over Albus's spot in the window by the dresser.  He still hisses at Hermione but doesn't run away so much.  All in all, he seems fine; if it weren't for the weight loss, we wouldn't have suspected a thing.

We think Mo has found his courage from Eris, our new 6-year-old silver tabby.  She doesn't take any gruff from Hermione--Eris stares her down and Hermione just backs up.   Albus gives Eris wide berth.  And Mo has taken advantage of the household upheaval to move around.  Eris lives in the front corner of the house by the couch.  She switches from Mr. P's (and before him, Morgan's) black cat tree, to the tall cat tree, to the short tan cat tree.  Apparently, at night, she sleeps on the arms of the couches or on the ottoman.  She loves to have her ears scratched, and sometimes her belly, but only just a tiny bit.  She apparently was an abused kitten in the very beginning and, despite a loving home for the last 6 years, she's still skittish about unexpected noises or people moving around by her.

All told, things are going well in the house cat-wise.  One day at a time.  And right now, they're all asleep in their spots.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A New Toy

Yep, the family has a new toy.

Actually, I have two new toys.

All of us are playing Pokemon, the app that's taken the world by storm.  I should specify that I'm not really playing--Sis is playing on my phone.  It certainly makes riding in the car more fun--she plays in the backseat while I drive.  But we've also walked around the neighborhood and the town green a few times, with dozens of other people, staring into their phones, not talking to anyone.  It looks like a scene out of Doctor Who, when everyone stops to listen to their ear pieces; it's kind of creepy.  Mama has played with Bud and Sis, too.

The other new toy I have is the DragonVale app.  Mama and the kids have been playing for a long time, years even, for Mama.  But I'm not much for games.  The only other ones I've even tried are Mario Kart and Splattoon.  But Bud was so excited to show me how it all worked that I downloaded it on my phone and have been dabbling ever since.  I'm not really into advantageous breeding of dragons or the like, but I do like decorating the little island--I have a rose garden, flower beds, a thatched cottage, and a half-timbered building.  And the dragons are cute when they're small.

I guess I've finally entered the 21st century.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

In Memoriam

My first public Zentangle art class is tonight; the anticipation has been building all week, as I plan tiles and tangles, prep supplies, and pack the student kits.  I chose the date, partially for convenience and partially in memoriam--it's Aunt Sis's birthday.  She loved art and encouraged my love of art, starting with Botticelli and then moving on to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  (I never could quite love Gauguin or Picasso as much as she did, though.)  I'm not exactly sure she would have embraced the Zentangle method of combining patterns--probably too many rules (dots, borders, strings), too much like a cult (that side of the family is not into joining anything), but she would have appreciated the mindfulness, though I doubt she'd have called it that.

Anyway, class is tonight and I'm very excited.  I spent yesterday working on a big Opus (10.5 x 10.5") tile made completely with basic tangles students learn in the beginning; the Zentangle names of the tangles are written along the edges.  I'll use it as a demo tonight.