Monday, July 29, 2013

Up On The Roof

In recent months my Husband and I had been hearing occasional scratching sounds on the roof of our home. Our community is in a more rural locale and with that comes a greater number of predatory birds. So, we thought it had to be an occasional Turkey Vulture or Hawk sitting on the roof. Surely watching for what little field prey there is, in the area, to scamper by. Or, just as bad, watching out for the small birds who come to our bird feeder. We very much enjoy having the birds come to our yard and have taken great effort to make our yard feel like safe haven to the smaller birds in the area.  A few times we went outside of our home to investigate the sound and each time there would be no evidence of anything on our roof. I know... cue the men in the white coats... lol.... Surely there was some explanation for the scratching sounds. :/
 
One afternoon, I was sitting in my office working, and again the scratching sounds started on the roof. Very pronounced above my head and outside of my office window. Then an odd little call began from the rooftop... unclear whether animal or bird. I thought surely a bird disgruntled about something... Since we have had few wildlife in the area due to the aggressive birds that inhabit the area; it had to be a bird of some sort, with his feathers in a ruffle.
 
Our cat Cleo, jumped to the window sill and looked outside with me...  and there, sitting on our Queen Palm was a little squirrel.
 
 
 An unusual sighting in my area for sure...in the years that I have lived here... never a squirrel to be seen.
 
 
 upon notice, he looked at me in a rather timid fashion....
 
 
He tried the 'maybe if I pretend I'm sleeping she won't see me' ploy... :p
 
 
Then suddenly, yet ANOTHER squirrel came out of the tree and called to him to get back into the palm tree! Ok..so.. Squirrel wives ARE NOT dissimilar to human wives... who knew?!
 

 
They made their way back into the palm tree....
 
 
It became apparent that Mr & Mrs Squirrel were not simply visiting,  they had set up housekeeping in the Queen Palm.... and what a brilliant choice w/ palm tree nuts at the ready. :)
 
 
Mr. Squirrel mustered up courage to come out of the palm tree...
 
 
I guess he figured that if he was to remain a 'tenant' he'd better man up and approach me.
 
 
Gradually, he made his way out onto a palm frond that outreaches to my window...
 
 
and motioned to me, as if to say..' please let us stay here... and I thank you from the bottom of my heart'.. who could resist his charms?! ... Ok, so.. Squirrel guys ARE NOT  dissimilar to human guys in that regard.... buggers!!
 
 
And so they stayed! There was no way that I was not going to let them... I love little creatures! They eventually had a little baby squirrel... and still made their way onto our roof from time to time...
 
But when the Palm nuts were gone, off they went... guess they decided they needed something more for their growing family... Ok, so... Squirrel couples ARE NOT dissimilar to human couples.... :P

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

GardenVibe's Smoky Summer Soup

 
 

Recently, I went to Farmer's Market and purchased marvelous fresh vegetables. I decided to throw together a fun & smoky flavored soup. For me, any time of year is good for Soup (and Salad) as it can be made so naturally and is healthy for you. This Summer soup is eyes- buggin'- outta- your- head good! Never mind the Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron you are getting..... :) And this is a very Guy-friendly soup... Smoke, Pepper, Bacon and hearty ... what more could a guy ask for?

Croutons:
1/2 Small Loaf of Cubed French or Italian Bread ( about 1 Cup )
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. dried Basil

To make the Croutons I combined the Cumin, Olive Oil and Basil in a bowl. Tossed the Bread Cubes to coat. I spread them on a baking sheet lined w/ aluminum foil and baked at 350' for about 10 min. or until they become golden brown.

Soup:
2 Tsp. Olive Oil
1/3 Cup finely chopped Onion
1/3 Cup finely chopped Celery
2 Strips finely chopped Bacon, uncooked
2 1/2 Cups roughly chopped Golden Cauliflower
4 Small to Medium sized White Potatoes, peeled
1 Cob of Fresh Golden Corn
2 Cans fat free, low sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 Tsp. Dried Basil
1/8 Tsp. Ground Red Pepper Flakes

In a Large Saucepan I combined the Olive Oil, Onion, Celery, and Bacon. ( I use 2 strips of Bacon, you can use additional if you desire)  I sautéed until the Vegetables became translucent and the bacon is cooked through without becoming crisp.


Concurrently, I placed the Potatoes, Cauliflower and Corn in a large Steamer Pot to steam until tender. ( I removed the Cauliflower and Corn from the pot earlier than the Potatoes, as it takes the Potatoes longer to steam to tenderness. )

 
 Combine the Potato with the Bacon / Vegetable mixture in a food processor. Add 1 can of Chicken Broth.
 
 
Food Process/ Pulse until the Potato is in small pieces. Place Potato mixture in a large pot. Remove the steamed Corn from the cob and add to the pot. Add the steamed Cauliflower to the pot. You can now add the second can of Chicken Broth to desired consistency.  Add Basil and Red Pepper flakes. Heat through on Stovetop.

 I like the soup to be hearty with the vegetables, so the consistency of my soup is as pictured below.

 Serve with Croutons in the center of the soup.
 
Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

But With a Wind of Change

  
 
Truths blowing in your winds differ from mine, but as people we are entitled to breathe in our own air. Try to 'Expire' understanding. 
Breathless we will perish...
But with a wind of change; Understanding and respecting our differences becomes a breeze...
 A little Inspiration for you..... xo

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tempest




Sometimes it becomes easier to recognize our own thoughts and our own feelings when we face them in the 'mirror' of  someone who is a reflection of us. While that can be a tempestuous experience, it can ultimately be very rewarding. This is a poem that I wrote with that in mind.

                                      Tempest  

Tempest, shrilling, loud and hard
Your primal cries echo familiarly in my soul.
Cut straight through like a mirrored shard,
The rush of pain, and pleasure of a shared sharp scream cuts through me, in a
way that makes me whole. 

Tempest, reigning hard and hot
Pent up emotion opens as a deluge.
A storm of words flashes forth untold thought,
The rush of empathy at our banks whets desire for understanding and
refuge.  

Tempest, flowing bold and true
Psyche no longer damned leads past confusion.
Shared truth binds the soul of me to you,
The rush of silence breaks where fight and flight answers fear and clears
illusion.  

Tempest screams and Tempest runs
With a power that overcomes pain.
Thawing anger warms us like a million suns
And the glow in a once icy mirror reflects a spiritually joyous rain.
 
 

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