Tapioca pudding

We've been on a kick lately.  Tapioca Pudding. 

I made it twice in the microwave, but couldn't get it to turn out the same each time.
So then I switched to the old bring to a rolling boil method. Which has worked.  However, my recipe seems not quite as sweet as what you buy in the dairy section at the grocery store.  Not to mention that  I have twice forgotten to add vanilla.  I made pudding today with added sugar and REMEMBERED the vanilla.  Real vanilla. 

During my childhood it was such a treat to have tapioca pudding.  We had a small farm so the major ingredients were there at hand.  Mom ALWAYS used the method where she beat the egg whites separately and then added it before serving  to make a fluffy dessert.   There were so many of us that she probably made a triple batch.  I don't remember ever getting my fill.   Always left wanting more.

"More" is a silly family joke from my aunt Myrtle.  (Everybody should have the opportunity to have one like her.)   If so…

OOOPS....spoke to soon


The Blues

Watching the weather channel makes me feel very guilty. In some states, friends have endured weather colder than Antarctica.  But, in our little corner of the world it's been a fairly easy going winter.  The local snow pack is currently 93%, so at least the mountains around us are getting some normal winter moisture.

From our back yard we can see the Blue Mountains over the neighbor's fence.  And, they're on my mind. I'm hoping that winter snow pack is protecting the beauty that bursts forth in May.  Here are some samples to distract from that polar vortex . . . . . .

Lady Slippers / Orchid Family                                                           Striped Coralroot / Orchid Family

Field of Balsomroot / Sunflower family

Small False Solomon Seal / Lily Family

Wild Iris

Heart Leaf Arnica

Yellow Lupine

Pine Tree                                             Larkspur

Of course I would still enjoy a nice couple of snow days before spring.

Phone Home

Today I sat in an office waiting room and felt bereft because I left my phone at home on the charger.

Every so often this happens, leaving me feeling vulnerable and sort of technically naked. 

It was not boring as I watched people come and go. I got there a bit early  - just an offer to pick up someone else who had an appointment. I twiddled my thumbs,  is that even allowed anymore?

A middle aged woman and an early teen age girl sat the closest to me, both nose deep in their electronics.

Suddenly there was a loud wail from one of the offices hidden from view.  The sound caused the other woman and I to `eye meet` with a similar opened mouth surprised look.

We began to talk about voices carrying, about kids with no inside voice control, and then she told me how her mother learned to "holler" clear across the military base to call her and her siblings home.  She pointed to the girl and said that her youngest could have put that crier we heard to shame with her wailing as a baby…

Seventy Six Daze

On May 1, 2018 a 37-year old man dropped his two children off at school; the daughter in 8th grade and the son in kindergarten.  He drove towards home and waved at his 36 year old wife as she headed out for her job.   He made several more stops. He purchased some food items and some other specific things from the local super center.

From there he drove to a park several miles away on the edge of wilderness area and proceeded to walk down to the river and perhaps back to his car.  Picking up his cell phone he sent several suicide texts to his wife.  She didn't see them until she got out of a hearing she was transcribing as the court reporter.  By that time, he had most likely followed the railroad tracks and turned south towards the  foothills of the Cascades where the trees began to shelter and hide other flora and fauna that thrive in the mountain greenery.

That was the beginning of the 76 daze that our family struggled through in agony.  We all attempted to support our youngest …

Chatty Cat

We got elGee twelve years ago...... just temporarily.  She has been a timid cat that loves the two of us, but still runs and hides under the bed when visitors arrive.
Her age hasn't been officially calculated, but everyone thinks she is fourteen.  Age can cause problems and she is currently fed carefully because of some kidney issues.  
Another problem that may be part of her aging process is that she has become sort of chatty.  Lately when she attempts to meow to get our attention there seems be a crack in her voice or a lowering resonance that causes her to quite literally say, "hello!"   This happens every day. 
Then last week she began to say "I love you." 
We've gotten a lot of giggles and of course reply, "hello, I love you, too!"
Today she said "Grandpa."
She stopped right at the office door, sat down and looked at my husband and clear as a bell she said it.
"Did you hear what I heard?"  I asked him.
"Sounded like …

Pink Kitty

(Second Post about Paradise, CA and the Camp Fire)

My brother and his wife have a 5-year old grand niece, Kaylin, who lost her "pink kitty" in the fire that swept through Paradise, CA on November 8.

Kaylin and her family lost pretty much everything they owned, except for whatever they were able to throw in their vehicle before driving away.

As the weeks headed toward Christmas, the little girl told her mama, Kristin, that she wanted "pink kitty" back from the old house for Christmas.

Mama Kristin, daddy, grandpa and grandpa and other family members searched the internet and stores in Sacramento and Chico.   There was no match found for "pink kitty."

Kristin decided to reach out on facebook.

"I need a Christmas Miracle Please, " she wrote on the Facebook Page
Paradise Fire-Adopt A Family.  A blurry cropped background photo of "pink kitty" was attached to show readers the object of their search.

Hundreds responded.  So many good-hearted p…