wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


32 Comments

Lupines

I hadn’t thought of these beautiful flowers as wolf plants, but the Collins Dictionary definition asserts that the word is 14th century in origin, from the Latin lupīnus, “wolfish,” as it was believed that the plant ravenously exhausted the soil (info from Wikipedia).

Seemingly contradictory is this edited quote, also from Wikipedia: Like other legumes, they are nitrogen fixing plants. This adaptation allows lupins to be tolerant of infertile soils and capable of pioneering change in barren and poor-quality soils.

My sister took these pics in her backyard. What a feast for the eyes.

I had no idea that the seeds of lupines are eaten in many parts of the world. However, when I read on, and learned about bitter tastes and that the seeds were often soaked and toasted or boiled and dried, I thought — too much work — I would probably enjoy them more just as a flower to be admired.

 


31 Comments

Are you Flagging?

With all the restrictions and isolation due to Covid-19 rules, is it any wonder my friend Iris is flagging?

She and those in her bubble have been keeping their distance from others–in fact, firmly rooted as they are, they haven’t been able to move from their living space except for a few wild waves at the wind going by.

We tried to keep our sanity by playing games in the garden, but I got worried when a friend of mine just keeled over. Must have been the heat that made her just wilt. So I called for help from the wise, bearded one.

Sorry, I may be the bearded one, but the best I can do is give you a date for a telephone appointment.

You can see I look pale. I don’t know if I can last that long, waiting for a date when you’ll call me and I still don’t know if you can help me.
Actually, it will be me who calls. I’m a nurse. I live just across the street, so I’m handy. See my blue and white uniform?
Take her up on it, Iris. You need to get your colour back so you can be vibrant like us.
Yeah, I agree. Your colour isn’t good at all. Look at me, how bright the back of my throat is. Yours is quite a yucky yellow. You should get that looked at.
That’s right. I’m a good doctor. I also have assistants to advise me. You can see that I have two distinct colours, one for each area of medicine.
I’m the assistant. I’m branching out in three fields of medicine so you’ll be in good hands.
So no more talk of flagging. You can feel better soon and be with your friends, like I am … in your own bubble of course … or at least six feet apart.
My advice, Iris, is to get that appointment and let them at least give you some suggestions, or you could end up like me with the blood vessels showing – they’re not varicose veins, are they? … but I can’t say too much because the cat(erpillar)’s got my tongue.


41 Comments

Going Squirrely!

The Captain said the other day, “I think that’s enough Lincoln posts. They’re cute and all, but I think it’s time for something different.”

I agreed. I know I have a thing for Lincoln and his girlfriend, Della, but okay, enough is enough. No more squirrel posts.

But today, the Captain yelled, “Anneli, come quick and bring the camera. Della’s got three babies!”

I took about nine videos of them but a lot are blurry or there is background noise (someone mowing a lawn). I picked one that shows Della grooming her babies. They all have fleas or some other little parasites. If you watch closely you can see Della groom the babies and eat the pests that are “bugging” them.

Thanks for enduring yet another squirrel post. I had not intended to inflict any more on you, but you see, with these new additions, they’re so cute I couldn’t resist.

PS Don’t bother to look for Lincoln. Now that the kids have arrived, he’s “gone fishing.”

Della had a big surprise,

We could not believe our eyes,

Three young children showed today,

Leaping, turning, every way,

Della’s nerves are wearing thin,

Squirrel One, where have you been?

Squirrel Two, sit still and wait,

For your grooming though it’s late.

I will find that pesky flea

I will eat it, you’ll be free

Of those bites and itchy pain

Till one lands on you again,

Squirrel Three, be careful there,

One misstep you’ll fall through air

If that happens what to do

Is grab a branch that passes you.

Yes, I witnessed your close call

Hanging by one leg, that’s all,

But you pulled yourself right up

You deserve a golden cup,

Be more careful though, next time,

Or you’ll have the family crying.

Now let’s settle down and wait,

Here comes Anneli at the gate,

She will bring me sunflower seeds,

Always she fulfills our needs.


50 Comments

Cinnamon Rolls

I used to make sticky buns (cinnamon rolls with a syrupy topping) but I’ve found that without the stickiness, these cinnamon rolls are much more fun to eat (unfortunately).

The easiest way is to use the dough setting on a bread machine. If you don’t have a bread machine you can still make up the dough the old-fashioned way (recipe at the end of the post).

Once the dough is rising, either in the machine or in your old-fashioned bread bowl, there is plenty of time to get the ingredients lined up.

I chopped pecans (which you can leave out if you have a nut allergy), and mixed up the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Currants are ready in a jar, but you can use raisins if you prefer them. Butter is waiting to be melted in the microwave just before I roll out the dough.

I like to make two smaller batches from the one dough recipe, so I cut the dough in half and then do the following procedures twice, once for each baking dish.

Roll out the dough in a rectangular shape, until it is a little less than half an inch thick. Spread melted butter over the rolled out dough.

Sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on the dough. You can make it quite heavy without hurting the outcome of the rolls. Add the nuts and currants. My rectangle didn’t turn out so well, but it didn’t matter that much.

Roll up the dough and cut into 12 pieces. I cut the roll in half and then cut the halves in half again, and finally I cut each of those four pieces into three. That allows me to make four rows of three in the baking dish, which I have already buttered very well.

Place the rolls into the baking dishes and then brush butter on the sides of each roll so it’s easier to take them out once they are baked. I press the rolls down so they are almost touching before letting them rise in a barely warm oven for about half an hour.

Below, you can see that I have pressed them down before letting them rise.

I set them in the barely warmed oven to rise for half an hour, and then turn them on to 375 degrees to bake for about 35 minutes. Watch them near the end of the baking time so they don’t burn.

The brown sugar in the rolls may have dripped through and baked into a bit of syrup, but this shouldn’t be a problem. The rolls should be easy to remove from the dish if you’ve remembered to be generous with the brushing on of butter between the rolls. Remove the rolls immediately after they come out of the oven.

The dough:

2 cups milk heated for 2 minutes in the microwave

2 T. butter

2 T. honey or sugar

1 1/4 tsp. salt

5 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. fast rising yeast

*Optional: add a beaten egg to the liquid before adding the flour

The filling for the rolls:

3 T. melted butter (some of it to be used for brushing the sides of the rolls)

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1 T. ground cinnamon

3/4 cup (or more) chopped pecans (or other nuts)

1 cup currants or raisins

When the cinnamon rolls are in the oven, go put your feet up for about 35 minutes until they finish baking. The rolls, that is, NOT your feet!

This is a good time check out Anneli’s website at www.anneli-purchase.com


34 Comments

Table for One

With the coronavirus rampant, the rules for dining out have changed. I’m waiting for my meal to be served, but am keeping well away from Anneli, my waitress, while she brings my daily breakfast of sunflower seeds.
I hate to do this to my girlfriend, but we just can’t share a table anymore – not until this pandemic blows over. For now, it’s a table for one when I eat out.
Okay, I’m ready to eat. Hope she’s more careful today. She puts the seeds in a little jar, but she always ends up spilling some. What a waste.
HEY! Stay away, Della. Don’t you know the rules for social distancing? That counts especially here in the restaurant. We don’t want to get closed down here too.
Okay, dear, just keep calm. Stop your scolding. I’ll make sure to save you a few sunflower seeds.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah. I want to thank you bloggers for watching this video I’m featured in. Thank you for your patience.
Now if you’re ready, I’ll show you how to peel a sunflower seed without fumbling and dropping the seed inside. Heck, I’ll even show you how to do two at a time, and in record time. Watch carefully.

Thanks, guys! Now why don’t you go over to Anneli’s webpage and check out her great West Coast novels and her copy-editing skills at www.anneli-purchase.com


33 Comments

The Used Cow Lot

I posted this a few years ago and happened to come across it again. For new followers, I hope you enjoy it, and I thank faithful longtime followers for their patience.

Here goes:

Montana has miles and miles of ideal cattle grazing country. I did a “drive-by shooting” (with my camera, of course) of these cows…do you call them cows if they’re male too? I never know what to call them. There’s probably a lot of bull here too.DSCN4485

Whatever you call them, there were a lot of them dotting the scenic Montana landscape between Helena and Garrison. As we pulled into the tiny town of Drummond to fuel up, I played tourist while the Captain topped up the gas tank. I got out to take a picture of the “Used Cow Lot” across the street from the gas station.

Notice the sign beside the building advertising “Mentzer’s Livest”? It says: Overnight fees, Cattle $3, Horses $5. Shouldn’t the price be the same for all? That’s just plain discrimination if you ask me. And what do you think goes on in that animal hotel? Mentzer’s Livest? I know the animals must go in there naked, but what are they doing in there to make this the livest show around? Your thoughts?

I’m not sure I’d want to stay there. You can see what happened to the Grim Reaper cow that didn’t get past the doorway. But with those long horns, maybe it’s bull once again.

A used cow dealer renting out a cheap shack for naked customers, advertising the livest show? I bet they’re all in there sleeping together and acting like real animals.

DSCN4494

Oh no! Wait! I’ve got it figured out. I found another photo that explains it all. Three letters were missing on that first photo. It’s not Mentzer’s Livest, but Mentzer’s Livestock.

DSCN4495


24 Comments

Little Tree and Big Tree

Wow! Look at YOU, Little Tree! Just look at all those blossoms! But I wonder why they call you a dogwood. Is it because dogs do something on your wood? Terrible thing to do to a beautiful tree.
No, that’s not why they call me a dogwood. But something has stunted my growth. Would you believe I’m the same age as Big Tree across the street? That’s how it is to grow up on the wrong side of the tracks. I’ve missed out.
Big Tree has spent his whole life in the sunshine near a water tap, while I’ve been thirsty for years, shivering in the shade. You’d think that Big Tree would share his food and water since I have so little, but he doesn’t make a move to help me – I mean social distancing is one thing, but he’s downright unfriendly – won’t even talk to me.
Well, it’s not my fault if I was born with a fertilizer spoon in my mouth. My caregivers are simply smarter than yours. I show them my thanks for the food they gave me. And you’re wrong. I would share with you, but I can’t leave. I’m kind of rooted to the ground.
I see what you mean, Little Tree. He’s twice your size. Does that mean you’re the poor relation? Would you feel better if I tickled your bark to make you smile. I could scratch any itch you might have. All I have to do is run up and down your trunk a few times. Make you feel better….
You think about it and let me know, okay?