Saturday, April 29, 2023


First of all there was one.

He had found this refreshing pool of water...

and had just decided to take his bath but then another arrived and...

he decided to jump in to claim his place.

He did not want to share the bath right away...

but the other was impatient and noisily voiced his objection.

That's when the argument started.

At first sitting on his haunches....

he decided to stand tall to see if he could intimidate his opponent.

Then they flew up in the air at each other with talons outstretched.  Too much for the late arrival!  He decided it wasn't worth all the fuss and flew into the trees to await his turn.  Thinking about it for a while the first Blue Jay said...

and he moved very fast...

so fast he was an absolute blur.

He had time to think for a while...

and just to prove a point...

he quickly finished his bathing and realized he
had taken too long with his ablutions.

A good learning lesson for the Blue Jay, compromise and civility!

Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend!

Friday, April 28, 2023


Photos taken of pretty homes on our way to Burke Lake Park, those posts can be found at this link.  I have always enjoyed looking at different styles of the places we see.  The one above looks like a converted barn.  

This is our base, our favorite place,
Our beginning and end to each day.
It's our triumph and glory, 
That these walls tell their stories
As they soak up all we do and say.
This is our space.  Each corner is laced
With items we've chose with care,
From sweet-scented candles, 
To fixtures and handles,
The atmosphere's just right to share.
So near or so far, wherever you are,
No matter where we choose to roam,
We live and we learn, but we always return
This the place we call home.

~Ms. Moem~

"Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."

~Robert Montgomery

"His native home deep imag'd in his soul."

~Homer, from The Oddyssey~

The last photo is of a barn we have been passing by for years.    There have always been horses in the surrounding fields but none today.  I can see this being turned into a lovely home, but I would miss seeing the horses.

The common denominator of all these places?  There are a lot of trees nearby.  This is quite a change from the semi-arid land when we lived in Southern California.  I would miss these trees if we moved.  We have no plans but as the old saying goes, never say never and if that day ever comes, please let us have lots of trees.

Thursday, April 27, 2023


Resharing a few sights around London towards the end of a vacation from several years ago.  Some of you may remember them, but it's been a long time.  It was a very interesting walk around the city, and I like looking back on my old posts.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023



"I wish to you sunshine, my dear one, my dear one. And treetops for you to soar past. I wish to you innocence, my child, my child. I pray you don't grow up too fast. Never know pain, my dear one, my dear one. Nor hunger nor fear nor sorrow. Never know war, my child, my child. Remember your hope for tomorrow."


Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


When our son came over a few days ago, he stopped at our local shopping center to pick up a coffee for his mum.  When he parked and got out of his car, he saw someone staring at him first, and then that someone looked towards the coffee shop.  I think his human was already getting their coffee and sweet dog was wondering how long they would be.  He was very calm and didn't get agitated when son said hello and took his photo. Maybe he recognized someone who loved dogs as much as we do.

I would say to his humans...

"You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

~Author Unknown~

I'm sure his human knows that already, he looks well-loved.

What a sweetie-pie!  Thanks for taking those photos son!  I found a few frames for him.

"Properly trained, a man can be a dog's best friend."

~Corey Ford~
And a funny for you.

“Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?”

~Mary Oliver~

My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,
It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.

~Author unknown~

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."

~W. R. Purche~

Monday, April 24, 2023


Today's recipe came from Kirbie's Cravings, hosted by Kirbie.  It's called an impossible pie because it makes its own crust.  I made it because I have been thinking about English Custard Tarts lately, and I am interested in seeing how it compares.  I don't make desserts very often but as our son was coming over, I thought this would make a nice treat.  The original recipe can be found at this link.  Thank you Kirbie!  She has wonderful recipes on her food blog.  You will also be able to read the tips she added for this one, and I have added a few below.

The following are from Kirbie’s recipe.

"This creamy custard pie is called impossible pie because a pie crust magically appears during baking. This easy pie requires just 4 ingredients and one batter that takes only five minutes to prepare. When the batter bakes, it separates into a creamy custard and a pie crust."

4-Ingredient Impossible Pie

Servings: 10

Calories: approximately 128 per slice (other nutritional values can be found at Kirbie's website)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes 

4 large eggs

3/4 cup (148 g) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (64 g) all-purpose flour

2 cups (473 ml) low fat milk (I used 2%)

(Optional) Powdered sugar for dusting the top of pie when cooled

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease the interior of a 9-inch pie pan.

Add eggs, sugar, flour and milk to a blender.

Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and evenly mixed. 

Pour batter into prepared pie pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

The pie will also start to pull away from the sides. 

Let cool to room temperature. 

It will deflate a little as it cools. 

Place in fridge for several hours or overnight to chill and let the flavors fully develop. 

If using, sprinkle the pie with powdered sugar before serving.  I use a mesh sieve to do this.  

Pie is best served chilled.

More of Kirbie's notes: 

"Make sure to refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. This lets the flavors develop better. 

Without refrigerating, the pie does not taste as sweet and the custard tastes eggy.

This pie is not super sweet. If you prefer sweeter desserts, you can add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar to the batter, or you can dust the pie with extra powdered sugar, or add some other sweetener on top. 

For more flavor, you can add 1 tsp of vanilla to the batter.

Do not use a shallow pie pan because your batter won't fit.

Coconut version: If you want to make the coconut version, make the batter first without the coconut. Then stir in 1 cup of shredded coconut to the batter. You will need to bake the coconut version about 5-15 minutes longer.

Low fat milk can be substituted with whole, skim or milk alternatives like soy milk or almond milk." 

Below you can copy and paste the address if you prefer it that way.

What did we think?  

This was enjoyed by the three of us   I put a small dish of blackberries and raspberries on the side.

I didn't have much time to chill because as soon as the lads saw the finished pie, they asked for a slice straight away.  I only found the recipe an hour before baking.  It was sweet enough and no one found it 'eggy'.  Next time though, I will make it the day before, or at least several hours earlier.  And our pie was even better the next day with the required chilling.  The pie also has a cleaner appearance/edge when sliced.

It puffed up a lot, similar to when I have made Yorkshire Pudding, but as mentioned in Kirbie's notes, it deflates quickly.  

Bubbles appeared on the surface even after cooking.  I'm sure this was due to mixing it in the blender, and maybe I could have stopped whirling earlier? I saw the bubbles before putting the pie in the oven, too many to smooth out but thought they might disappear in the cooking process, Nope! My pie was doing a perfect impression of the surface of the moon.

They did, however, disappear after sprinkling powdered sugar all over the top, which I did before serving.  You couldn't see them at all, and it had a wonderful taste.

My pie also cracked a little in the middle.  I'll have to read up on how to prevent that but again, after I covered everything with powdered sugar, no problem and the finished product was not only delicious, but very pretty.

One of the easiest desserts to put together and I have had requests to make it again.  It would be very nice for when we have company.

Saturday, April 22, 2023



Mr. Woodpecker has a chance to think whether he wants to lose his birdmanity, and finally...

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of The Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of The French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought.

Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by (formerly Earth Day Network), including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. The official theme for 2023 is Invest In Our Planet.

Friday, April 21, 2023


 Burke Lake is a place we went to years ago but promptly forgot.  I don't really know why.  This is our second or third visit now, in a relatively short space of time since rediscovering it.  We kept our walk short today though, because it started to rain.  

This is the road leading into the park and one of the signs below.  We come under 'county residents' so access for us is free.
There is a freshwater reservoir, and contained within Burke Lake Park is a Fairfax County public park. Burke Lake is formed by a dam on the South Run, a tributary stream of the Potomac River. 
It was Saturday but not very crowded, maybe due to the fact that we went later in the afternoon.  A few people had brought small boats and kayaks, and we watched one or two trucks with boat trailers as they backed down the ramp.  We decided to go to the left where we walked along the beach for a while.  It is where we found our friendly dogs from yesterday's post.

Does anyone have an idea of what kind of shells these are? I have looked online but can't find an exact duplicate of this one.  Maybe freshwater clams? They were scattered all over the rocky beach where we saw the dogs playing in the water.

They also had interesting driftwood.  I can see an artist's beautifully polished wood under the scraggly outer layer, and imagined how pretty it would look.  I know we can't see that from these photos, but that's the direction my head goes when I look at these things.

New growth among the old.

You can learn more about this tree if you click here.  It has great information.
This path would take us through the Frisbee Golf Course.  We avoid as there is a history.  
I have had experience.  I avoid frisbee trails as though avoiding a treacherous bog.  On one occasion I was hit in the face with a flying frisbee, and on another occasion a couple of years later I was hit with a flying body trying to catch a flying frisbee.  I am not at the age where I need a concussion.  It looked quiet but then so had those other times, until someone yelled a warning seconds before.

Here is a map of the lake.  It covers 25 acres and averages only eight feet in depth.  Not for swimming but there are plenty of people who go out on boats, including kayaks. It is also managed as a fishing resource.  

That's all from this trip to Burke Lake Park until the next time we go.  I have a few photos to share of pretty homes along our route, but I'll share those when I can get them done.