Category: VoxPosts


There's a patch of wild strawberries near our house. Right now, anytime we go by, we can pick our fill within minutes. They are the sweetest, tiniest, juiciest, most flavorful, real strawberry flavor on the planet. Today, we were heading out for a hike, stopped by to pick a few, and were simultaneously treated to a light rainshower. Here's just a small sampling of the goods:

Those things in the grocery store sure look beautiful. Big, fresh-looking, plump, red as a fire engine. But no flavor at all. I just don't buy them anymore. Now these? These are the real deal.

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A mass of iridescent blue-purple butterflies resting while on migration. Such a beautiful spectacle.

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Pic of the Day – 7/10/10

These orphaned baby hedgehogs have taken a shine to this bristle-brush, due to its remarkable physical similarity to their mother. So sweet and sad…

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Pic of the Day – 7/9/10

I want to be there right now. With a little chair, and a book, and something lovely to sip on. Who wants to join me? No talking, though – let's just read, and listen to the water gurgling, and the birds chirping, and the air moving through the trees.

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We have these things that pop up on our property. We have no idea what they are. First, these things we call the "bean plants." They're long, spiky-shaped, and flexible. In the spring they bloom the loveliest flowers with the most incredible scent – very citrusy. They seem to live for a few years before slowly dying off, but new ones are always popping up to replace the old ones. We've only seem them in one other spot near our house, maybe a mile or so away as the crow flies. I took these pix two or three weeks ago:

This is what they look like now. The flowers have been replaced with bean pods. Anyone?


Next is the purple poofball. We got one of these last year, and it lasted forever. Even after it was all dried out, it lasted through heavy winds, rain, hail, snow. Eventually the poof fell off, but the stalk remained. You can still see the old stalk from last year to the right in the first pic. Now there are two there, and another huge one growing maybe 100 feet away.

There's no greenery at the base, either – just some dried-looking scraggly leaves:

Anyone know what these things are?!?

As a bonus, here are a couple pix of Clyde and Gracie lounging outside, and a wire basket full of dolomite and quartz chunks from the property:

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This might be the same orphaned giraffe from two days ago. He sure likes whatever's in that bottle! Check out those eyelashes. I love the furry little deely-bobs on his head, too.

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Root Beer Baked Beans
(8 servings)

1.5 oz. Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Recipe Pieces
3.5 cups chopped onions
3-4 oz. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
(4) 15 oz. cans cannellini (white) beans, rinsed & drained
1.5 cups root beer
3 TB apple cider vinegar
3 TB light molasses
2 TB tomato paste
2 TB dijon mustard
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, until slightly browned. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to boil. Transfer pot to oven and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until liquid thickens.

I enjoyed it with some tortilla strips. Delicious.

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Pic of the Day – 7/7/10

I love the sepia tones of this beautiful portrait. Looks like this may have been taken in a studio. Labs are so cool and mellow. This one's owner must love him very much.

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Beware the Periodontist…

I've been pulling a lot of extra shifts at the lake recently.  A co-worker, Arlene, let her dentist talk her into gum surgery. This is an extremely healthy woman.  Works out all the time, eats right, her teeth look perfect.  The rest of us all seriously doubt she really needed it.  Anyway, they do one side at a time.  She got the first side done maybe 2-1/2 weeks ago, and she's already been sick twice, and this time it's serious.  She went to the ER on Sunday (7/4) when her tongue started turning black.  Turns out she has a viral infection and a bacterial infection.  BTW, the dentist didn't see fit to give her any antibiotics.  She should have been on them from the day before the surgery.  My boss there was talking on the phone to Arlene's husband, and he just went on and on about how great their dentist is supposed to be, and oh well yeah maybe we should ask about antibiotics, and no I've never heard that gum infections can cause heart failure…  She's scheduled for the other side next Tuesday the 12th.  He is actually okay with her going.  Boss kept trying to tell him that no doctor worth his salt would touch a patient with a raging infection, especially one he was responsible for!

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I'm guessing this is a black jaguar cub. Check out the BIG paws, the slightly dappled coat, the big pink tongue, and those slate-green eyes…

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