Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Watching the eclipse up in Chicagoland was a complete bust.  Where the range is was completely clouded over, not even a single break in the clouds. With 10% of the sun uncovered it barely even got dark out, just dimmed like it would on any story day  The dog slept through it, as well.

However, gunblogger True Blue Sam (otherwise known as my father-in-law) got some great pictures from Southern Illinois where they reside.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stripper Clips - A Barkley Memory

When you have a Labrador retriever, you never know WHAT kind of trouble he can get  into.

I've never been in a strip club.  Just saying.  Many moons ago and before political correctness took over most workplaces,  I worked at a place where there was one close by the facility.  We were kind of out in the middle of no where and there wasn't much around in the way of decent dining establishments. The club was actually a high rent one, from the looks of the outside of the building and they had a full service restaurant inside.  For the sake of discretion, I will call the place "Bouncing Betty's". Several of my colleagues would go there for lunch when they tired of eating microwaved leftovers from home in their "business casual" or at the greasy burger place. Never after work though, all them trotting off happily home.  But they'd do lunch there. They were always back within the required lunch period, soda pop on their breath and smiling.  I said "you go to a strip joint for lunch?"  They said "the sandwiches are REALLY good!  Uh, yeah.

You could always tell when someone went. You'd ask where they went to eat and they'd  avert their eyes and say "uh. .mumble mumble diner". . but there would be glitter in their hair.
One day, a group was headed there for lunch, and one of the young fellows was unable to go due to a meeting he had to attend.  He was pretty disappointed.  I said "you could have them bring you back one of those GREAT sandwiches."  He just sulked a little.

When he came in the next day, on his desk was a brown paper lunch bag on which was printed with a pen, the words "Bouncing Betty's To Go Lunch".  Inside was a peanut butter sandwich, some glitter and, a G- string"

I have NO idea who put that there  :-)

So, although I have no personal knowledge of what goes on in such places, there's not much my delicate (ahem) little ears haven't heard.

Which leads to my story, or rather, Barkley's story. 
I carry a purse that has some compartments inside where I can zip important things, but the main part of the purse is just a collection area for keys and essentials, which includes the occasional grocery receipt/coupon and a couple dollars in change (and the occasional flung brass which is why this is not my travel purse).

Barkley and I  were hanging out with Midwest Chick when I set the purse down as I came into the house, a couple single dollar bills just slightly sticking out of the top, which I'd failed to close.


Midwest Chick (excitedly) "He's got your DOLLAR!  Where's he going ?"

Me (heavy sigh):  "Oh Great - probably off to the strip club . . ."

When Midwest Chick and I quit laughing, the dollar and dog were rounded up, not too much the worse for wear, but then I had a sulking black lab..

But they told me I could get a private lab dance there!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Canon Fodder - Life in an Old House

 What is a day like in a hundred-year-old home with no television?

It's soft light through the windows as all is quiet.
It's books, so many books.
 It's seeing your life reflected in those things that surround you.

It's the sound of music of generations ago.
It's board games played while bread bakes in the oven and the dog slumbers nearby.

 It's antique lace, and things few know how to make any more.
It's things from the ground and the garden collected to be beauty or nourishment.

It's the sounds from a shop, things being repaired or built
 to make the home stronger.
It's soft laughter and amber liquid, there in that quiet house
 where you will soon lay your head.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Calling a spade a 剷子

You have to  click on the pictures to enlarge to read, but the English instructions made me smile. Somewhere from the Road when this posts - with love, Brigid

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Raiders of the Last Plate - Banana Bread Pancakes

Cooking for me is always an adventure.  I regularly get ideas for recipes by surfing the web, cookbooks or other blogs.  But I never leave well enough alone and end up with part of a recipe that gets taken in a different direction, or at least tweaked.  With rare exception (the time I forgot self rising flour in making a new pancake recipe and ended up with what resembled paper plates and the Amoebasaurus Dinosaur pancakes) the results are fun and tasty.

Here's something I made one morning recently and saved for a time I was busy.  It tasted just like banana bread, but with a soft, fluffy pancake texture. A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, paired with vanilla infused syrup was the perfect topping. Partner ate a HUGE stack, and gave them two thumbs up between bites. The recipe serves 2-3, and would easily double
Indiana Jones:  Marion, don't look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. 
Don't look at it, no matter what happens!

In a small bowl combine:
3/4 cup milk at room temperature (I nuked mine for 20 seconds)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
set aside

In a larger bowl (big enough for the final batter) combine
1 cup flour
3  generous Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt.

In a third (and final) small bowl.
Mash 1 and 1/2 large or 2 small very ripe bananas (skin turning black)
whisk in one extra large or jumbo egg until smooth and fluffy
Continue to whisk in:
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons melted butter (add slowly in a stream while whisking).
Stir banana mixture into milk mixture and blend.
Add to flour mixture and stir JUST until combined

Cook by 1/4 cup measures on oiled griddle.

Tips:  The batter is a bit stickier than your normal pancake batter so make sure your cast iron griddle is well oiled, adding a little extra oil  between batches if it looks dry

The pancakes may not bubble up quite as much as you're used to, check the bottoms and the temp to avoid burning.

Serve with:
butter and 1/2 cup maple syrup warmed with 1 teaspoon vanilla added in