Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yummmo!!!...and the Squirrel Battle Continues!!!

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.  ~Alfred E. Newman

I came home today and announced to my Hubby that he was going to be a guinea pig once again at dinner....most of the time that is a good thing, but I suspect he might get a little nervous when he hears that...I love to try recipes!!  A co-worker of mine gave me some homemade tomatillo sauce that his wife had canned and I have never had a sauce like that, so he told me it was used on enchiladas and burritos... so I thought Okay, I'm game!! 

Hubby wanted to know a little more about what to expect, so the conversation went something like this: 

I told him I was going to make some burritos...
he said "that sounds good"...
and I followed it with "*coworker* gave me some Tomatillo sauce today, and I want to try it,"... 
"what's that?" he says 
I followed with "it's a green sauce" should have seen his face, he scrunched up his nose and obviously was now much more nervous!!  He says "I'm not too fond of GREEN sauce!" but quickly followed it with, "but I guess I can try it." 

Later, when he came into the kitchen, I took off the lid and let him smell it (BTW it smelled wonderful!) , and he says "it smells like pickles!!" I guess green means pickles!! :) 

So here we go....this has to be the World's easiest recipe!!  (I took pictures this time...I still feel silly doing that!!)

As I mentioned before, we try to stick to veggies for meals during the week, at least for supper, it is healthy, and hopefully it will cut down on some of the weight gain that has been happening around here!!...(Sorry, I digressed!)

I got a can of fat free refried beans, low fat sour cream, shredded mild cheddar cheese, flour tortillas and medium salsa and a sweet onion at the store on the way home from work....oh and spanish rice mix.

I mixed about 1/4 cup of medium chunky salsa with the refried beans....

I then added 1/4 of the mixture into the center of one Medium size flour tortilla and topped it with about 1 Tbsp of the cheese...

Then I rolled it up (this takes practice, believe me!) and put it in a glass pan sprayed with nonstick spray, flap down...

I did this with 4 tortillas..... (I got better at it as I went along)

I then poured the Tomatillo sauce over the top, and added the rest of the cheese from the package....~1/2 to 1 cup or so I would guess....

Cover tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray....

and put into an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 20 minutes....

While that is cooking....thinly slice 1/2 the sweet onion, and saute in butter or olive oil (I use low fat margarine) until transparent...

after 20 minutes, remove foil....(be careful not to burn yourself on the steam!!) put back into oven for about 5 minutes or until tortillas begin to turn slightly golden.

Put onto plate and top with sour cream and sautéed onions, serve with spanish rice on the side!!

It was REALLY, REALLY good!!!...and So easy, it even looked sorta fancy!!  This was the final result for both of us.... Hubby thought it was good too!! :)

I made 4 of them, but one each was more than enough!! so I froze the other 2 for another time!! You can spice it up as much as you like, maybe garnish with peppers, or even roll them in the filling....I wanted to make sure not to overpower the sauce so we could taste it!! It was great!! Thanks Deb....of course you know now I want the recipe!! :)  


Meanwhile......Outside the kitchen window

While I was playing in the kitchen, I kept one eye out of the window on the new setup of bird feeders....the squirrel ruined feeder number 3, so I regrouped and decided to try something different!! I got a new feeder on Monday....

I also strung a thin cord across  about 6-1/2 feet high and hung the finch sock and the new feeder on the string. Obviously the feeder is still too close to the shed, but that is an easy fix!! (and I think a little grease on the 'hat' to the right will be a help too!! )

I know, it looks a little bit like West Virginia, but I am determined to feed my birds, and not the least from the bird feeders!!

While I was cooking....I saw his silhouette on the shed!!

...Cue Theme Song "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly"

..... I grabbed my camera, and this is what I got!!


I think I won the battle this time!! Yahoooo!!! I'm going to 'tweek' things, and we'll see how it goes!!



Friday, July 22, 2011

The end of an era!!

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" 
~ Greg Anderson

I started working at NASA over 30 years ago.  The shuttle was all the rage back then, though we didn't work on it much in my facility.  I saw some of the new shuttle tiles and saw a few checkout tests on those, but we continued testing different types of structures for aircraft.  I remember as an apprentice, several of us brought in our portable TV sets to watch the very first shuttle launch....everything was riding on this launch, I mean EVERYTHING.  We had no administrator at NASA and the vice president wasn't going to appoint one until after the first launch.  If it made it okay, NASA would continue...if not, it didn't look good!!  Mind you, this was before cable TV, so we adjusted the rabbit ears on our portables in the middle of our shop and watch it lift off flawlessly!! It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen!! When it landed, we did the same thing, it almost brought tears to your eyes!! NASA was back in business!!

Since that time, I have seen a whole lot of changes, the shuttle went from being broadcast from the time it was rolled onto the pad until it landed...then it got to be old news, and no one carried the coverage.  I was 3 months pregnant when Challenger came apart, we sat in the cafeteria and everyone watched it on TV, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, it was devastating to us all!! We all remembered exactly where we were when we heard the news!!

We all worked on the repairs, and ran tests on booster rocket joints, we now belonged to the shuttle program.  Once again, when liftoff occurred, it was covered on every channel!!

Then it happened again, we all watched while Columbia came back down to earth in pieces...devastated once again!! We all had more in it this time, so it was even worse, if that is possible.... I had the opportunity to go to Texas to assist in recovering pieces of the shuttle, to help with the reconstruction, so we could find out what happened!! It was and experience I will never forget, and one that I will forever be honored to participate in.  I spent 9 days in and around Palestine Texas, collecting shuttle debris, friends and co-workers covered the area all the way to Louisiana, we all became a true team, all working together to help!! 

A few years later, budgets were getting slashed, if they managed to be approved at all, we had to learn to do more with less. Then they decided it costed too much to do this...and we lost our vision.  It's so sad to think about, it truly is an end of an era, I grew up at NASA and with the Shuttle.  Now we don't get budgets to operate, we have to be innovative without funding and we don't know where we are going....How sad!!  They have begun tearing down operating facilities, and putting up administrative buildings, everything is calculated and modeled, and we don't have the same ownership we used to.  We have to depend on someone else to take us to the space station, or into space....Hey guys, we are (were) NASA!!  So Sad....but I must say, I am very proud to have participated in all of this, but I never saw it launch in person, except one night from Sanibel Island, Hubby and I did get to see it streak across the sky.  We were there again when it came in and I got to see it fly over and hear the sonic booms!! I will miss the Shuttle, and all of the adventures that went with it. I only hope that before I retire....(which hopefully is very soon) that NASA will manage to have a vision and mission that makes sense, that we all will be able to see, and buy into....and that we will finally have a budget!! 

16 foot wind tunnel being torn down
Atlantis final landing

My Vanna White impression!!



Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Third Wedding Anniversary... July 19, 2008!!!

Love one another and you will be happy.  It's as simple and as difficult as that.  ~Michael Leunig

It is really hard for me to believe that it has already been 3 years since Brad and Jess were married!! 

How time started speeding up my freshman year of high school, and continues to soar right on by!! According to my nearly 85 year old Dad, it just continues to pick up speed!!

Jess and Brad have been married 3 years ago today (July 19)!! I'm posting this early because it is already July 19th in India, where Jess is!! Their life has been one adventure after another, it survived a long distance relationship with Jess going away for 4 years to college, then they got married and the adventures continue with her in Vet School, buying houses and life in general....he had to  become a Virginia Tech Hokie, (even though he graduated, and got his masters at Christopher Newport University in Newport News!!) He moved to Blacksburg and now teaches History at Blacksburg High School, and is the lead coach of the debate team....all the while wearing his maroon and orange Hokie colors!! He even got to travel to China on a Fulbright scholarship from Virginia Tech....during their last anniversary!!

We sure are proud of you two, and the life (and the adventures) that are built into your life together!! We continue to follow your many adventures with our chests stuck out like proud parents do!!  Here's to more fun adventures and a life filled with Lots of Love and Understanding!! 

I couldn't resist, had to play with the software and make you guys a little video of your own!! Enjoy!! We Love you Both!!



Saturday, July 16, 2011

The competition is on!!

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn.  ~Author Unknown

I know you all remember my buddy mr. squirrel, well he has one the battle....but mind you, not the war!!  

For now we will say Squirrel 1, Shelllady 0!!  

He has completely destroyed the finch socks by eating holes in them, I repeatedly darned them until the 'darn' things aren't worth fixing!! So I took down that feeder, and we truly miss our gold finches!! 

Now he has figured out how to get to the new (#3) bird feeder!!  I happened to be looking out today and decided to grab my camera to film him.....just in case....this is what I saw!!

So Mr. Squirrel, you have given me a challenge....tomorrow is another day, and we will regroup and I have a new plan!!  

Stay tuned!!



Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Chloe!!

Happy Birthday Chloe!! 

Our grandbaby is 2 YEARS OLD today!  Her name is Chloe and she is the cutest thing!!  I want to dedicate by blog today to her!!

This is the first time we got to hold she is with Gampaw!!

We thought it was great that she had the same hairdo as Gampaw!!  We went up to the top of the Empire State building, and she stayed bundled up to keep warm!!
This is when she was 1 Year Old!!

....and now she is 2!!!

Isn't she so sweet??

We wrote her name on the sand on Sanibel Island when we were there in April so she would know we were thinking of her!!

And She LOVES Bubble Guppies!!!

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Dear Chloe
Happy Birthday to You!!

We Love You Chloe!!


::Hugs and Kisses::

Gammaw and Gampaw!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Circle of Life....and some new life, and a fishing trip!!

Life is not always fair.  Sometimes you get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.  ~Terri Guillemets

I don't have anything special to post, just thought I would update you on the happenings around here.  The mama duck never returned to the eggs in our garden, which is so sad.  Unfortunately we had another visitor though....I was sitting on the top step, and just casually glanced over at the nest, and was startled at what I saw!!.....

In case you can't figure it out, it's a black snake that has dislocated his jaw to swallow one of the duck eggs!! Those eggs are larger than a standard chicken egg, so he's a pretty good sized snake!! I ran into the house and grabbed my camera, ....and my hubby!! I video taped him taking in this one egg, it's really pretty amazing!!

We then decided that we wouldn't let him feast on the rest of them, and proceeded to 'nudge' him along into the woods next door....he really was not at all interested in doing so, so it took us a long time! We finally 'convinced' him, and he slowly went on through the fence into the woods, but I forgot to get a picture of him to show you how long he was....we guessed he was about 4 feet long!!

Just swallowed it....
Talk about stretch marks!!
Slowly moving down!!

I guess we lost that battle!! The eggs had rotted so we went ahead and tossed them over the fence as well, so the 'circle of life' continues! :(

While we were messing with the snake, we saw this guy who was watching too!! (You can see the eggs in the background) That seems to be a favorite corner of the garden for all the wildlife!!

I do have good news plants are showing signs of new life!! Each of them has sprouted some flowers! While they still look pretty pitiful, each one has shown signs that they may make a comeback!! Check it out!!

My Mother's Day Petunia!!
My Mother's Day Plant from Jess!!
....and the white is blooming on my Patriotic plant!!

Maybe they will come back completely, at least there are signs of life on all of them!!

My Dad and I went fishing last weekend, we went super early so we could leave early evening and get home at a decent hour, so I could get up Monday morning to go to work!  We had a few strikes, but only caught one bass that passed the limit, so we sent him free so he could grow up!  It was so calm and so beautiful there that morning before the heat set in, I took a few pictures to share with you....notice the minnows stirring up the water!  

We saw some more cypress knees that seemed to be posing for us.....what do you see?  Click on the pics to look at them full sized!!

I hope you all have a of the week!