Monday, November 28, 2011

Kenny 365

Fall is quickly slipping into Winter. And the Kenny 365 neighborhood photo project continues to capture a day in the life. Here are my last 8 submissions...


This natural wreath will soon be withered on the vine. But the rusty sunflower has weathered many Winters.


Our street has a new resident. And he is a beautiful black squirrel


Yellow, red and orange might be the popular Fall colors. But brown is better than a snowy white!


The owner of this Kenny house was camera shy. But she allowed me a photo of her beautiful yard. And anyone who walks grass lake has enjoyed her Fall display.


A day in Kenny is like a day at the beach. Well, sort of.


Free mobile home on lakefront property. Nestled in the safe and friendly Kenny neighborhood. Sports an open floor plan perfect for a very small family of 3. A tiny barn is also included in the free asking price. Hurry! This charming fixer upper won't stay on the market for long.


Just another example of the spooky spirits in Kenny.


Is this the yellow brick road? No, it's just a street in Kenny.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I was never really sure if I liked Belly Lagossa's perfectly circular and bug eyed peepers. Belly was illustrated for local writer Beth Solheim. He is a character in her series of mystery books. And it is a mystery to me as to why I painted those giant orbs so round. They seem to pop right off his goofy (intentional) face. But Belly's eyes did give me a fun entry for

And in other news. I've been having trouble getting aROUND to commenting on my favorite blogs. I don't know if it is my computer or blogger. But whenever the blog asks for an ID or html the link doesn't open. Weird. But don't worry. I'm still making my rounds!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup canned plain pumpkin (I used left over mashed squash)

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1 2/3 cups flour

Streusel topping: 2 tbsp flour

1/4 packed brown sugar

1 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)

1-2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375. Premix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in the egg. Then blend in squash and milk. Now add dry ingredients until combined. Don't over mix. Place batter in a greased muffin pan. (I used liners) Makes around 12-14 muffins.

Now combine the topping ingredients and blend with a fork. Add to the top of muffins and then bake for 18-20 minutes.

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover squash. Any kind. Or you could go the traditional route and stick to pumpkin. And speaking of pumpkin... HAPPY THANKSGIVING BLOGGING FRIENDS!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A chicken in every pot for Thanksgiving

Please lord. My wish for this Thanksgiving would be a chicken in every pot. Actually, make mine a turkey. Or scratch that. A cat in every pot for everyone. Oh my. The horror!

I had just hand washed this pot after a big batch of chili. My husband came along and (wanting counter space) placed it on the floor in the entry way. Isn't that just like a man to put a clean pot on the floor in what is probably the dirtiest spot in the house. Sigh. But it was about to get dirtier. Our cat Akua has never met a bin, basket, box, or in this case pot he doesn't love. Let's just say Dean cleaned it this time. Tune in Wednesday for my latest recipe. And for more cats visit

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vanity inflated pride in oneself. Waaaaay back in the day I did a whole series of cats lounging and cavorting on this fancy sofa. Basically just acting like they are king s&#@ and all that and a bag of chips. And I dare you to try and convince them that it ain't so. Vanity is the theme of the day over at

P.S. spellcheck thinks "ain't" is spelled correctly. And we all thought is wasn't even a word. Say it ain't so.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple Rhubarb Pecan Crisp

4 peeled and sliced honeycrisp apples (or your favorite)

1-2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2-3/4 cup pecans

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp nutmeg

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1 stick butter

Place apples and rhubarb in a buttered baking dish. If you are using frozen rhubarb, defrost slightly and pat dry with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. If you don't like rhubarb just leave it out.

Combine all dry ingredients. The flax seed is a healthy addition that you won't taste at all. But leave it out if you don't have it. Add the butter in slices and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to form crumbs. Sprinkle topping over apple mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes at 375.

Enjoy! Serve with some Edy's vanilla ice cream. The cinnamon, flax seed and rhubarb were my own additions to this recipe. I add ground flax seed in small amounts to many recipes. I also reduced the sugar in this recipe from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup. If you like things sweeter use the full amount. Especially if you add extra apples or rhubarb. Be sure to use the envelop icon at the bottom of the post to send the recipe to friends. I know we've all made apple crisp. But this one has a little bit of a twist.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In memory of my Dad

My Dad Sidney passed away last Sunday morning. He battled Parkinsons for the last decade or more of his life. And spent way to many years in a nursing home. But before that he was a beloved son, husband, father and brother. A hard working farmer and small business owner. And as many of these photos will show, an animal lover. This is my favorite photo of my Dad. It just says everything you need to know about him.

This is my second favorite photo. He is walking in the hills behind our farm with my husband Dean. It just captured his life so beautifully. At the funeral my cousin Shannon said she had dreams of my Dad walking in tall grass before he died. How fitting. That was one of his favorite things to do. Walk in the woods.

But lets go back to when he met the most special woman in his life. My Mom Doris. Of course he probably thought of my Grandma Ruth as a pretty special lady as well. My Mom always said that she treated her just like one of her own daughters. I always thought they looked like movie stars in this photo.

And speaking of movie stars. My aunt Margaret (Dad's sister) passed away within 24 hours of my Dad. She was a beautiful and talented lady. She was also an awesome cook and housekeeper. No wonder one of her first jobs was in the employ of movie stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.

I love this photo of my Dad and his best man (my Uncle Jim)

My Dad looks pretty happy with his new wife.

I love this photo. My Dad saved a little orphan. He actually adopted a whole batch of baby raccoons. Which were nursed by the family cat. While I was going through old photos I laughed at one with a little flying squirrel on my cousin Julie's head. Yes, they also had a flying squirrel.

I bet I never made my Dad this happy again. But he is just beaming in this photo.

My Dad really has his hands full here.

My Dad was able to fix every piece of machinery on the farm with his hands. But sometimes all a truck needs is a little bit of duct tape. (as seen behind my Dad's head) But I think he forgot a spot!

My Mom and Dad were avid snowmobilers. They traveled to Wyoming and Yellowstone (with their sleds) almost every year of their married life.

That's me.

My Dad hard at work in the combine.

My Mom had just recently passed away in this photo. And things were never quite the same after that. But they lived a full life of hard work on the farm, traveling to Switzerland, Florida and Dad's beloved mountains here in America. Along with fishing, hunting and raising one wayward artist. Now he is at peace with my Mom once again.


He was bound to the land from the day of his birth

His roots anchored deep in the fertile earth

Nurtured, sustained, by the soil he grew

And his life, like his furrows, ran straight and true.

In faith, each spring, he planted the seeds

In hope, to reap his family's needs

With patience, he waited for the harvest to come

To gather the fruits of his labor home.

Ever turning seasons, the years sped past

Till the final harvest came at last

Then claimed anew by beloved sod

He gathered home to be with god.

Barbara W. Weber

Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm posting this oldie but goodie today for This scene is one page of a two page spread. Here's the scoop...

Carmen knew exactly where to find the crazy red fox. His den was under the tallest oak tree in the forest. "This is the one," said Carmen. Sidney looked up and smiled. The oak's branches spread out like a giant maze towering over all the other trees in the forest. Sidney's smile spread from ear to ear thinking about all the fun he'd have climbing the wise old tree. "Wow!" said Carmen as she raised her eyes to see the tippity top. All of a sudden Carmen felt the odd sensation of prickles racing up and down her back. Out of the corner of her eye she could see a shadow creeping towards them. "Well hello my yummy little friends." It was the red fox!

Obviously the fox was silent in his stalking.

Friday, November 4, 2011


This is just a little something striped and spotted I painted back in 2007. Or was it 2010. Oh, how could I forget the MNSCBWI Zoo Day of 2009. Especially since the monkey is waving it right in front of me. I've grown a lot as an artist in the last few years. But my Girbra stands the test of time. I still love him and wouldn't change a thing. And my weird 1/2 breed with the handy tongue is my entry for

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A new twist on taco night!

Here I am preparing fresh tomatillo salsa:

1/4 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed and chopped in a mini food processor. Or you can use the canned variety. In that case drain and process.

1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic
1 or 2 seeded and minced hot peppers
1/4 -1/2 diced onion
1/2-1 tsp sugar
chopped cilantro to taste
1 large chopped ripe avocado (peeled and pitted)
salt and pepper to taste (But remember to not make salsa too salty if they are being added to seasoned foods) Or eaten with fritos scoops. Yum!

Now here is the twist. I was so proud of my ingenuity. In the middle of preparing the salsa for that night's meal, I realized I didn't have any flat, fried corn tortillas. I had made my favorite corn pancake recently. (for breakfast) I usually add blueberries to this savory treat. But with the addition of corn it became the foundation of my taco! Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 table spoon sugar (or to taste)

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk)

4 tablespoon melted butter

1 beaten egg

(corn or blueberries to be added later)

First off, when ever I bake anything I premix the dry ingredients. In this recipe stir together the cornmeal, sugar, salt and boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes. Then add the remaining dry and wet ingredients. You never want to over mix pancake batter. If you want to make breakfast or dinner even easier. Mix this batter up the night before and it will be ready when you need it.

I used Penzey's chicken taco seasoning to season the chicken. (Beef, chicken or vegetarian would work) But go easy on the seasoning part what ever you use. There is salt in the other additions to this meal.

I layered the corn cake, cheese, chicken, salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Yum! Well, there you have it. My first recipe. Be sure to use the envelop icon at the bottom of the post to email the recipe to any friends that might enjoy it. Because I really hope that my recipe Wednesdays will be shared and enjoyed! This is my first official recipe. But I'll be labeling all future recipes, so with one click they will all pop up. A pretty cool feature I'll be adding to all future posts.