Tuesday, November 30, 2021



From Oxford Languages, "used to encourage or draw attention to the performance of some physical, especially acrobatic, feat."  In this case Mr. Squirrel giving a ten-out-of-ten performance while on the balance beam, after hearing yet another dinner bell in the next garden.  

"Alleyoop Mr. Squirrel, Alleyoop!"

Next word of the day, "Motivation".


Monday, November 29, 2021


We have been eating a lot of leftovers since Thanksgiving, everything enjoyed but not one single recipe made to share today.  Instead I found this poem. 


I didn't have potatoes,
So I substituted rice.
Didn't have Paprika,
So I used another spice.

I didn't have tomato sauce,
So I used tomato paste,
A whole can not a half can,
I don't believe in waste.

My friend gave me the recipe,
She said you couldn't beat it,
There must be something wrong with her,
I couldn't even eat it!

(Hmmm...... I have been on both sides of that table.) 

Thanks for looking and have a great day!

(The author of this poem is unknown.  If anyone knows the person who penned it, I'll be very glad to add their name.  The graphic for my signature graphics come from Pixababy.com, put together in Paint Shop. Pro)

Friday, November 26, 2021


An old blog post which I hope you don’t mind me revisiting.  I haven’t had a chance to take any nature photos since our last walk.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving here.  For those of you who were celebrating, I hope your day was wonderful.  To all those who had a regular day, I hope your day was wonderful too.  

Since we have lived in this area we have visited George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, on several occasions. Usually this is where we take family and friends who have been visiting at the time.  My first photos show the likeness of General Washington, and below these I have included several of his quotes.

Depending on the time of the year, the lines can be very long and our guests on occasion, understandably so, do not want to wait the two hours it might take to get inside the house.  This has often been in the height of the summer when it is very hot and humid. However, the walk around the grounds alone is well worth the visit and they have a lovely garden. And the Fall is a great time to go for less crowds, and also reasonable weather, especially in October.

The two photos above and below were taken in the museum.  The one below is a larger than life hologram that greets you.
Quotes attributed to George Washington.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.

Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.

The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.

There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.

We must take human nature as we find it. Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.

In the visitors center there is an amazing stained glass of various scenes from George Washington's life, close-ups of some below.  It was so big we found it difficult to get it all into frame.

If you ever get to visit I would say plan on a lot of walking, and make sure you are wearing very comfortable shoes. Also, take along a backpack with bottles of water.  I saw several people do this including one person who had his own 'camel-back'.  If you are a serious hiker you will know what it is, if you are like me and didn't/don't, you can see what they look like here.  I got a lot of great tips at Tripadvisor here from people who had already visited.  Scroll down to where you see the other reviews button.  There is an extraordinary number of them, but reading the first few should give you an idea. 

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


and I thought I would share some of them today, mostly with an Autumn/Fall theme.  I know several of you enjoy doing the regular jigsaw puzzles and I have those too.  I have enjoyed them since childhood.  I find them so relaxing!  

Not much to say today.  More pretty visuals than anything else.  Hope you are all having a great week.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021


(Photo from Pixabay, with thanks)

As The Day Breaks
Ernest McGaffey

I pray you, what's asleep?
The lily pads, and riffles, and the reeds;
No longer inward to the waters creep,
No longer outwardly their force recedes,
And widowed night, in blackness wide and deep,
Resumes her weeds

I pray you, what's awake?
A host of stars, the long, long milky way
That stretches out, a glistening silver flake,
All glorious beneath the moon's cold ray,
And myriad reflections on the lake
Where star-gleams lay.

I pray you, what's astir?
Why, naught but rustling leaves, dry, sere, and brown:
The East's broad gates are yet a dusky blur,
And star-gems twinkle in fair Luna's crown,
And minor chords of wailing winds that were
Die slowly down.

I pray you, what's o'clock?
Nay! Who shall answer that but gray-stoled dawn?
See, how from out the shadows looms yon rock,
Like some great figure on a canvas drawn;
And heard you not the crowing of the cock?
The night is gone.

Ernest McGaffey

American poet and lawyer.  Born in Ohio in 1861, McGaffey was a minor poet of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  After working as private secretary to Chicago Mayor Carter H. Harrison, McGaffey was admitted to the bar and subsequently practiced law in Chicago.  He produced several volumes of poetry, including Poems of Rod and Reel (1892), Poems of the Town (1901), Cosmos (1903), and a late collection called War in 1939.

Monday, November 22, 2021


I found a great recipe at Add a Pinch hosted by Robyn.   The original can be found here.  

The beef and vegetables are marinated separately the night before, but you can marinate also up to one hour before. However, having everything prepared the night before made this dish super fast and easy to put on the table.

Robyn has many others delicious looking recipes. I am looking forward to going back soon, and I also enjoy reading her tips before each one.

Steak Fajitas 

6 Servings 

2 pounds skirt, flank, sirloin, or hanger steak sliced into ½ inch strips

1 red pepper deseeded and sliced into thin strips

1 green or yellow pepper deseeded and sliced into thin strips

1 medium onion peeled and sliced into thin strips

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic minced

6-8 tortillas warmed

Here are several garnish choices you might choose, depending what you have available.  I put an asterisk next to our selection. We would enjoy any of these.  

Grated cheese (we use a Mexican blend from the supermarket)*

Sour cream*

Tomato, diced

Green onions, sliced thin



Refried Beans*

Sliced jalapenos, the kind that have been marinated in a jar 

Crispy Lettuce*


Measure out all your ingredients and prepare steak and vegetables.

Prepare marinade:

In a jar with a screw top lid, add olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Shake until well combined.  (I had an old peanut butter jar that I saved just for things like this).

Place the steak into a resealable bag. 

Place the peppers and onion into a separate resealable bag. 

Pour ⅓ of the marinade over steak, ⅓ of marinade over vegetables and reserve and refrigerate the remaining marinade in the jar for using when cooking the steak fajitas. 

Seal the bags and gently squeeze the bags to distribute the marinade throughout, (being careful to check your bag is sealed tightly. I usually put these bags upright in a large bowl to prevent accidental drips.)  Refrigerate for one hour to overnight.  

Next day just before you are ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 350 deg. F.  You will be using a skillet for the meat and vegetables but will be heating tortillas in the oven. (See note below if you prefer to use a microwave.)

Start heating the skillet over medium-high heat.  

Wrap a stack of about four to six tortillas in aluminum foil and put in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.  These need to be nice and warm as they will have a direct impact on how they will hold and taste when used in your recipe.

Note: Alternatively you can place 3-4 tortillas at a time on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds, then set aside until ready to serve. This method can sometimes make tortillas a bit gummy, but it still works if you are short on time.

Now for the steak and vegetables: 

Carefully empty the bag with the vegetables into the preheated skillet and cook until just tender crisp, about 5 minutes. 

Remove the vegetables from the skillet to a plate and add steak strips to the same skillet. 

When the steak is done (about 7-10 minutes), add vegetables back to the skillet along with the reserved marinade.

For serving, place enough steak and vegetables on the warm tortillas, and layer your chosen garnishes on the top.  Gregg had his refried beans in a separate dish on the side.  I spread a thin layer on my tortilla before adding the steak/vegetable mixture   

If the links don't work at the beginning of my post, here is the address of the original recipe:


Excellent dish which we will make again.  

We both thought extra sweet peppers and onion would be nice.  

Gregg didn't think there was enough marinade, so he added a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and the juice from a second lime.  

There were enough leftovers for dinner the next day, and lunch the day after that.

This is very tasty.  A fun food but a tad messy.  Extra napkins will come in useful.  

Even though this is meant to be eaten with your hands, we added a fork and spoon at each place setting.

Thanks for looking and ...

Friday, November 19, 2021


 I was more than happy to stay home and potter around here for a few hours, but I enjoyed the photos they sent me.  I thought I would share them here today.

Gregg is standing next to The Lone Sailor Statue.  You can read its history at this linkIt was sculpted by Stanley Bleifeld who was an enlisted man in the Navy during World War II.  Mr. Bleifeld was assigned to illustrate Navy training manuals. Standing at 7 feet tall, there are 17 other identical statues in other locations, and you can see those in photographs if you go to this website.  The one here is standing in front of The United States Navy Memorial at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue (7th and Pennsylvania Ave) NW, Washington, DC 20004, and is the original.  It arrived on October 13th, 1987 for the celebration of the 212th birthday of the United States Navy.
Our son Brad is standing in front of this interesting sculpture, but unfortunately he couldn't find a marker identifying it, and searches I have done have proved fruitless.  Update 11-20-21:  Thank you Anni at Hootin' Anni's Day Trippin' for ID'ing the statue above.  It is appropriately called "Man with Briefcase."  I found a website that describes it: "Jonathan Borofsky 1987-1988, Cor-Ten steel."  Also, "the artist was inspired in 1979 by a newspaper advertisement for men's suits and subsequently made this archetypal office worker a recurring theme in his work."  You can read more and see photos at this website.
The above photo shows the decorative touches on one of the buildings, and the explanation for that follows.
Here we can see one of the many electric bicycle rentals.  The lads said they 'were all over the place'.
The electric bicycle Gregg is standing next to was left by someone who had made good use of it, not placed on any stand, just on the street. The company sends out a van to pick them up and do maintenance when needed.  We are assuming they use GPS to find it?  This website from the actual company tells you more about the bike and where you can rent them.  All rental bikes, still more regular ones than electric I believe, were taken off the streets during the pandemic, but they seem to be making a comeback.
Brad is standing near the Chinatown entrance which you can see above his head. That large gate is beautiful and a cultural work of art.  Here you can read about its history.  I haven't been here in several years, but it is a wonderful area to walk through and I would like to do it again.
Another interesting sculpture with an explanation below.
Next is the Hotel Harrington.  
The restaurant you can see on street level is advertised as Ollie's Trolley: An Old School DC Burger Mainstay.  The article says that it was started in the 1930s on North Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach by Oliver Gleichenhaus. He was the owner and chef and his girlfriend was a waitress. If anyone asked for ketchup, he would throw them out of the restaurant and use profanity. If anyone wanted their burger cooked any way other than medium rare, he would throw them out of the restaurant and use profanity.  And now you know about the original owner of this chain and if you go to the link you can read its entire history.  The story did make me smile.  I would have been thrown out asking for ketchup, and another secret I keep to myself usually, I don't like the mustard they put on burgers over here (I do like Colemans and Dijon), but would much rather have ketchup on my burgers.  Ah well, sorry if I disappointed you but we like what we like and don't what we don't.  'Nuff said!  
Getting back to the hotel as I digress as usual, it is in a good location as it is steps from Ford's Theater (where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and if you click on its name you can read other interesting information).  

It is 8 minutes by foot to Capital One Arena. This is home to the NBA's Washington Wizards (basketball for those of you who are overseas), but it also holds many other events.  There will be one performer who is very much my cup of tea, Andrea Bocelli in December.  I would love to see him, but am not ready for a large crowd just yet.  

Hotel Harrington is also 0.9 miles from The White House and 0.9 miles from The Washington Monument.  I know nothing about the hotel itself and if people are thinking of coming to DC and this sounds inviting, it would be a good idea to look at reviews online beforehand.

Gregg took this photo as they left Washington DC (waiting at a traffic light).  The Washington Monument was bathed in a golden glow at sunset.
And that's all from Washington DC.  My thanks to husband and son for letting me share these photos.

(The lines I used for the top of my logo is from a speech given by Abraham Lincoln.  It was taken from the last paragraph of his Second Inaugural Address.  If interested in seeing that speech you can find it here.  The photograph in my logo came from Pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 18, 2021


We are still on the boardwalk continuing our walk through the marshy area. You can see more Canada Geese in the background.
We couldn't see much bird life out there...
though these ducks swam into view.
Not very good photos as they were very far away, but from the shape of their beaks I thought perhaps Northern Shovelers? The sun was very bright and it was hard to make out their coloring.
In the next photo you can see part of the boardwalk that we take over the marshy area.  It is half-a-mile long and leads to a double-tier observation deck.  The park itself is a 1500-acre wetland.
We didn't go to the observation deck this time but took the shorter loop back to the car, which you can see below.
We saw more ducks, mallards this time.

There was also a turtle...
moving fast...no, not really.  The sweet thing was moving faster than I was.
And there were frogs...

“It’s not easy being green.” - Kermit The Frog.  I know Kermit, I know.

“I want you to begin keeping a calendar of who you see and when: the first day each year you see buttercups, the first day frogs start singing, the last day you see robins in the fall, the first day for grasshoppers. In short, I want you to pay attention."  - Derrick Jensen.  Thank you Derrick, that's a great idea and I will do my best.

So, we say goodbye to the ducks and the geese, the turtles and the frogs, and we are back in the woods.
Bushes are laden with berries and my surroundings have once again given me great joy.  I wish you the same.
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." says William Shakespeare.  
A lovely thought William!  Here's hoping we will get there one day.
That's all from our walk at Huntley Meadows.  I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for looking.  

Happy Thursday!