Friday, August 31, 2012

Tortellini Lunch...a homey treat!

My Tortellini Salad * photo by Suzanne

I love pasta...although, a little too much, I suppose.  From time to time, I throw together this special salad, that is a treat in my house.  Originally, I acquired the recipe from my Southern Living magazine in 2002, and over time, I have...well, you know...changed it up
just a bit.

I'm one of those 'throw-together-good-stuff' kind of people, and, I know what you like! 


Get some tortellini, of any kind you or two 9 oz. packages
1 can Artichoke Hearts
Luncheon Salami ( I use beef cotto salami, about 4 slices) 
Onion, or Green Onion (chopped)
Black Olives (sliced)
Fresh chopped garlic (my pick)
Lemon Pepper (my addition)
Lemon juice (fresh squeezed) 
Shredded Parmesan cheese (my addition)
Caesar salad dressing

I think that's all of the ingredients, unless you want to variate with some cooked chicken, which is also good...and lightly sauteed mushrooms, mmm!  The lemon juice and garlic are my additions...I stir the juice and garlic together in a little bowl, and toss the cooked tortellini with it before adding the remaining ingredients.

I cut and slice all of my veggies before cooking the tortellini, so it's all ready to go.  Since I use sliced salami, I cut  the slices into squares, as you can see in my photo.  The tortellini is cooked to tenderness (just a little bit of canola oil in the water), drained in cold water and, transferred to the salad bowl.  

* Lightly season cooled tortellini with lemon pepper
* Toss the tortellini with lemon juice and garlic mixture
* Add onion, black olives, and salami
* I cut the Artichoke Hearts into bite sized pieces, and
gently fold into salad
*Lightly toss the salad with shredded Parmesan cheese

Now, I leave the dressing up to you.
  I love Caesar salads, but, store-bought Caesar dressings are too salty for me, so I just use a Kraft Italian dressing.  I like the 'Sun-dried Tomato' dressing on my Tortellini salad, it's not as salty.  
Tortellini Salad * photo by Suzanne

And, now...I promised my 'cohort' over at MyTexasGardens that I would 'implore' of you, my dear readers, to participate in a sharing event that she is planning for her garden blog.  Susan is working on a 'windowsill' 'photo-sharing' (not a contest) post for early October.  She would love to post any photo of your own that you might have of a windowsill with, say, flowers, fruit and vegetables, knick-knacks, etc., or with nothing at all on it.  Susan wants you all to email your photo to her no later than September 25th, so she can get started on the post and display all of your photos.  Please include your name, city, state and country.  However, if you prefer not to have your name used, just let us know.  And, if you wish to give your photo a title, please do so.  So far, she has received 2 photos, and, she will probably write a quick post from MyTexasGardens with her plan and request.  This request also includes you guy(s)!!!   Please indulge her...
  so she'll get off my back!
I didn't say that...

Here's an example
My Bumper Crop Tomatoes, lol!

Thank you all for humoring me with your gracious visits,  I really enjoy the sharing and fun that blogging has brought me.  Believe me...having penpals as a kid was fun, but, blogging brings it all much closer to home.  I look forward to hearing your news, seeing your wonderful photos, and, at the same time, I have learned so much from you.  Stop by anytime and say hello!

Thank You:
Southern Living
Kraft Salad Dressings

"Friends are the Bacon Bits in the Salad Bowl of life."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Drastic Measures...Mosquito Warfare!!!

Two-engine plane out of
Dynamic Aviation in Virginia

Greetings, my gracious blogmates!  As you probably know, we are in the midst of a mosquito invasion here in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.  And, I'm sure, in most states, some of the same is going on.  However, our state of Texas seems to be the center of the 'West Nile' virus, that is carried by mosquitoes.  They can actually contract the virus from other animals and birds! 

This virus affects most folks over 50 years of age, and can cause high fevers, headaches and disorientation.  There is no vaccine for this virus.  More than 30,000 people have come down with the disease since the first reported case in 1999.  And, so far, it has resulted in 14 deaths in Dallas, with at least 200 people affected.

The Mayor of Dallas has declared the city in a State of Emergency, and Dallas' county Judge Clay Jenkins has commissioned planes from Dynamic Aviation of Virginia to spray for these deadly invaders.   The decision came about after consulting with health officials and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  There has been some conflict from some Dallas citizens, citing that the pesticides could be toxic to citizens, animals and plant life.  But, county Judge Jenkins declares that the pesticide known as 'Duet' will be used, and, is considered safe, as it has been used successfully in other communities in the United States.  Duet was developed in 1988 by Clarke out of Chicago.  Aerial spraying is common in Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan and Minnesota. The Judge says that after the aerial spraying, the odds of infection will be 6 times lower.  And, the last time aerial spraying was used in Texas, Lyndon Johnson was in office as President of the United States.

Well, two of the planes arrived on Thursday, scheduled to begin their plight on Friday nite.  I believe another 2 planes have since arrived.  Above is a photo of one of these planes.  Generally, 2-engine planes are certified for aerial spraying to fly over cities, in the event of engine failure, to aid in safe landings.  That is one good looking plane, don't you think?   

As, for Fort Worth...well, no aerial spraying is planned at this time.  Doesn't mean we don't have those varmints tho!!! That lady over at MyTexasGardens has to wear flannel pants to go out and water plants, and-she puts a little cotton in her ears to keep them out! 
Can't stand the buzzing, eh?

So, promise me that you'll spray yourselves...I know, I know-the spray is costly (highway robbery!)  But, you can brave the heat and wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and....yes, put some cotton in your ears to ward them off.


We've had our grandson 'Scootie' this past week, and, he has cabin fever because we're keeping him inside as much as possible.  So, we bought some puzzles to occupy him with.

ABC Puzzle * photo taken August 14, 2012

And a little balloon time!

Thank you so much for your visit.  I appreciate all the visits and wonderful comments received by you...I always look forward to hearing from you.

P.S.  I have not posted any photos of real mosquitoes... can just step outside!

Please let me thank:

"What is the difference between a mosquito and a fly?"
"Try sewing buttons on a mosquito!"

'au revoir, mes amies!'

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jailhouse Jive...featuring WHO?

Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock * November 1957

Hi everyone!  Here we are again, heading into Elvis week, 2012.  And, you know there are lots of events going on just to commemorate the life of this Rock N Roll 'King'!  If you can get to Memphis, you will be part of a great celebration all over'll be dancing in the streets, visiting various vendors with their displays of Elvis memorabilia, and, eating some fine southern foods!


I'm sure you noticed the picture above.  There he is showing his stuff in his movie "Jailhouse Rock".  This movie went public in November of 1957 to a social pounding of mixed reactions. However, the movie fared very well at the box office-afterall, it was Elvis, wasn't it?  The film was cut on a budget of $400,000.00, and grossed, well, add a few more zeros...$4,000,000.00 On the downside, some of the negative criticisms were:    "This is a 'blown-up tale', with cheap, human values."  Then we have, "Elvis' performance was dangerously near being repulsive."  Funny, I didn't notice that, haha!

As for 'kudos', Elvis' performance was praised-"He proved himself as a dramatic actor."  One publication stated that, "Elvis displays himself as an actor, top singer and dancer, making this film his first big dramatic role!"  One author wrote that the film contained the perfect balance of song and story, capturing Elvis' raw, sexy energy, and 'sneering' charisma on film!  Elvis' costars and the choreography were also praised.

* I still love to watch this movie! *

The song, 'Jailhouse Rock', was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, September 24, 1957 for this movie.  In the US, Jailhouse Rock reigned #1 for seven weeks, and in 1958, the song peaked at #1 in the UK for three weeks.  It reached the #2 spot on the R & B charts,  and was even at the top of the Country charts.  This song was a HUGE contribution to our rock and roll era!

And, how about that prison uniform?  I thought it was just designed for the movie...nah!  That style of prison attire has been around for quite some time.  Sometimes we watch Perry Mason and Dragnet from the 1950's and 1960's, and I've noticed that inmates are dressed very similar to Elvis in Jailhouse Rock.  It seems as though in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the striped prison uniform was phasing itself out.  It was thought that if prisoners were able to dress with a little more normality, they could be rehabilitated with more success.  The old, nasty, striped uniforms were used as a measure of punishment, a badge of shame, if you will.  Blue jeans and chambray work shirts eventually became significant in suggesting fair treatment toward the non-violent offenders in hopes that they would be able to return to society with improved attitudes.  Does that work?  I would like to believe so.  But, what about escapees?  The striped uniforms served as immediate flags to identify prisoners who escaped, whereas, blue jeans and chambray might lead us to think they're just 'law abiding' citizens!  But, of course, now we have the colored jumpsuits-are there certain colors for specific offenses, or, are they color coded according to state, county, or cell block?
 Oh well, I'll let the prison system handle all of that!

Elvis, just so you don't feel singled out in your jailhouse attire, I've invited some of my favorite 'jailbirds' by to model their jailhouse duds!
  I miss you 'E'!

David Janssen * 'The Fugitive' * 1963

Burt Lancaster and Karl Malden * Birdman of Alcatraz * 1962

Susan Hayward * 'I Want To Live' * 1958

Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman * 'Papillon' * 1973

Sean Connery * 'The Rock' * 1996

Paul Newman * 'Cool Hand Luke' * 1967

Johnny Depp * 'Cry-Baby' * 1990

Wow...a cagey group to be sure!  Do I like prison movies or what?  What is it about a man/or woman in uniform that strikes our fancy?  Well, a prison uniform certainly doesn't suggest authority, does it?

Seriously, sometime this week, please take a moment to remember Elvis and the driving force behind him that got us off our seats, and sent us careening onto the floor.  Haven't most of us, even you ladies, tried to sing and dance like Elvis at sometime in our life?  Ed Sullivan liked did my parents! And, believe it or not, we've passed his legacy down thru the decades to our children and theirs.  He still has that certain charisma, that makes us stop, look, listen, and, even try to curl our upper lip!

Thank you all for coming're the greatest!  Stop by anytime, everyone is welcome.  And don't be shy about saying hello...sometimes communication with others (even on a whim), is the best medicine!  Tell you makes my day!

I'm greatly obliged to the following sources:
Yahoo images

Elvis A. Presley
~ January 8, 1938 ~ August 16, 1977

"If I stand still while I'm singing, I'm a dead man."
Elvis Presley

And, in loving memory of Karo's father, my father-in-law
Benjamin W. Trammell
February 22, 1921 * August 16, 1995


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sky Bauble...fine trinketry!

photo by suzanne * July 24, 2012

As is my nature, while toolin' around one hot afternoon on I-30, just a little west of Fort Worth, I was looking around, (since I wasn't driving)...for anything of interest, that, maybe I hadn't seen before.  I'm sure I've probably mentioned to you that I'm always after a story.  Oh, not that I don't have plenty of stories tucked away for a rainy day, but, sometimes I just want to find something new.  And, sometimes I have to go out into the field to see what I can come up with.  We're cruising down the highway, and, POW! There looms this rustic 'herculean-like' object, just off to the right of the freeway!  What in the world...?  Of course, I didn't have my camera with me...sometimes I just don't think I'll see any photoworthy items...sound familiar?  But Karo said we could go back soon with the camera to get a few shots, and, we did!

* So, "What is this mammoth creature?", you ask'?
*  I say, "Why, it's an 'armillary'!"
* You:  "Armillary?"
* Me:  "Yes, a sphere made up of rings representing celestial longitude and latitude."
* You:  "What is it used for?"
* Me:  "It is used to map the constellations, demonstrating the motion of the stars around the earth.  There are 6 exterior parts (or rings) of this sphere that represent  the circles of the heavens."

Oh, what the heck!!!  Here's a diagram of one.
~ Armillary ~
It is said to have been invented by the Greek Astronomer Hipparchus

* "So, what's this got to do with your photo?" you ask.

As we got closer to the structure, we could see that this colossal sphere was atop a small building-somehow attached so as to anchor the crude structure.  It turns out that this is an ironworks company owned by a couple of guys, and, it's been here since 1985!

Aaron Ornamental IronWorks * Fort Worth, Texas
~photo by Suzanne

I had occasion to sift through the Aaron Ornamental Iron Works website, and was pleasantly amazed at  the work they do.

This awning is 'Fabulous'!

 Beautiful 'balcony boxes'!

'Ornate, ornate, and ornate! Gorgeous door!

Is this a stairway, or what?  Awesome!

Who'd have thought all of this beautiful stuff could be designed and produced in that little building with tin siding?  Well, wonders never cease (as my mom says)! 
 Some of their projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area include:

* The Fort Worth Mint
* Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
* Six Flags Over Texas
* Medical City Dallas

And, they are still up and running, committed to excellence in the iron work industry.  It looks to me as though they have a lot of excellence under their belts.  It is a very impressive portfolio, loaded with plenty of artistic and engineering talents for this Fort Worth landmark!

Oh....what about my bauble?  Well, I have found that the 'armillary' is also used in garden design.  And...I HAPPEN to know that 'what's-her-name' over at MyTexasGardens has a concrete column, about 3 feet tall, just sitting way out in the back forty of her yard-with nothing to do.  Maybe we can shame her into adding another feature to her garden!!!  How about it Susan?

Here are 2 examples of what you can do with these interesting trinkets:
Very 'old world' and classy!


Isn't it amazing what you can learn from just one photograph?  I have to tell you, I had no idea what an 'armillary' is!  And, I must confess, even tho I read about it, I didn't totally understand all of the scientific terminology, but, I did pick up on some of it, thankfully so!

"Involve me, and, I learn."
~Benjamin Franklin

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what I am up to on this hot, dog-day of summer.  Actually, (guilty as charged) I have been watching the Olympics in the evenings, and, enjoying all of the games.  Consequently, I have neglected my blog reading, and, I am backtracking to catch up-is there an Olympic event for blogging? Nah!  Congratulations to all of the medal winners, and, to those who qualified to participate.  The competition was pretty stiff!!!  The gymnastics were pretty intense, and, I detected a bit of poor sportsmanship (specifically in the women's gymnastics), but, all in all, I have the utmost respect for teams who displayed respect for others, and, represented their countries proudly!  I've also enjoyed getting to see some of beautiful London!  I loved seeing The Tower of London and the bridge over the Thames-please take me there, someone!

Wow!  Let Me Thank:
yahoo images

*do all of the above references mean I needed help with this post?

does a bear...?

this little tidbit was emailed to me by a co-worker
~ thank you Jeff!

Be safe...see you next time!