wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


42 Comments

A New Year

Have a happy 2023.

Find and reconnect with friends, old and new.

Enjoy playtime and exercise.

Ponder new recipes.

Try new dishes.

Go with grace and beauty.

Enjoy life.

New adventures? Dive right in.

Soar to new heights.

Keep alert for danger.

Greet each day in a positive way.

Could be a good year, don’t you think?

Best wishes for a great year ahead, from the animals in my menagerie. 

Those who were camera shy today also send you their heartfelt wishes for a happy and healthy year.

 

 

 


50 Comments

The Most Popular Elusive Guy

I think I see him. I hope he’s got my bag of grubs.

Yes, you’re right! And I see the big sack full of hazelnuts for me.

Er, ah, HERE I AM, Santa. OVER HERE!

Where? I don’t see anything.

When he does come, I hope he brings me a lot of rosehips. Wonder what they’d taste like. In the winter I get tired of these holly berries and mountain ash berries. But maybe the rosehips are too fuzzy inside. They look good though.

Oooooh! Look! He’s got sleigh troubles. His reindeer are conking out. Should’ve got a Tesla Sleigh. With inflation, the price of reindeer food today is high, even for Santa. But even so, the cost of the Tesla Sleigh itself is enough to break the bank.

Yeah, he’s in trouble all right.  Look! He’s turning around. Sniff… there goes that box of dog biscuits I asked for.

I see that. Hmm … I think I hear them complaining about being hitched up so close. Something about social distancing.

Sigh! No herring for supper tonight. Not by special delivery, anyway.


Well, I never! He’s going back to the North Pole. There goes that bunch of tree bugs I asked for.

I’ll go round up some recr-hoots.

Hey, you. Santa’s looking to hire you, Al and the Paca, to be his reindeer substitutes.

What’s that you say? You don’t play second fiddle? Huh! You’d think that in the spirit of Christmas, you’d oblige an old man. I see you are related to those llamas next door with all their llammering. You’re just lazy, the All Packa ya. Well, see if I give a hoot.

Here’s a likely crew.

Say, would you pronghorns like to save Santa’s bacon tonight?

But we’re in Montana.

That’s okay. He’ll have to go by there when he limps home with his rainydeer crew and drops them off. Maybe you can hop on and help get them home before the nightshift begins. Thanks a lot.

I’ve been watching and I don’t see him coming back yet. Must be in the workshop, adjusting the harnesses to the new team.

I think I see him now, with his fresh crew of pronghorns. Funny-looking reindeer. Better than nothing, I guess.

Oh, this is so exciting. We just can’t sit still.

Children, children, not so loud,

Reindeer’s nervous of the crowd,

Send a delegation out,

Find that sleigh, and kids don’t pout.

Let’s go meet him.

This way! This way!

Santa’s big sleigh.

Sliding, gliding,

Santa’s riding.

 

Now settle down or Santa will think you’re all quackers.

Look how well behaved we are; black and white, eating at the same table together. One big happy flock. We’re a “blended flock.”

Oh, listen to you guys. You think it’s easy being the black swan of the family?

Whaddaya mean? You think you’ve got it bad? You try being a rat. All I did was chew on a few of those lovely black licorice cords in the truck and WHAM! They lifted the trunk and exposed me to the elements. But they won’t see me hiding in the corner. Bet you can’t see me either. I’ve got a really good hiding place in the door well too. I’ll just wait there until Santa brings new wiring for me to nibble on.

One thing we all got for Christmas – not sure if Santa had anything to do with it – was darn cold weather. So when Santa had to fly back to change his Rainydeer tires for the more heavy-duty Pronghorn brand, he asked the North Wind to provide some Puddle Puzzles for us to play with while we await his return.

Actually, I thought the puzzles were more like A-maze-ing. You just try it. See if you can find a path out of this maze.

I hope your Christmas holiday time is amazing too.

Did you find the rat in the truck? Look on the far back right-hand corner of the picture (actually the left side of the truck).


43 Comments

Solstice Solace

Hi Folks,

My name is Vera. I’m a varied thrush. You may think I look a lot like Roberta the robin. She’s my cousin.

Here’s Roberta the robin this spring, looking a bit ruffled up against the wind.

Roberta came down from the hills with her friends and family last week and so did all my varied thrush friends. We’d been in the conifers in the hills, picking at berries and bugs, but then the snow came and covered all our food.

So we huddled in the woods until the worst of the weather blew over and then found out where Roberta had gone. Well, we all congregated at Anneli’s house and at some of her neighbours’ too. The bare patches of dirt had bugs and worms we could pick at, and the houses along this road had a lot of mountain ash trees growing, so we ate some of those red berries they grow.

It feels like snow will fall again,

Although we birds prefer the rain,

I’m eating berries from the trees,

Though some are icy from the freeze.

 

When bare spots popped up through the snow,

My friends and I knew where to go,

We found some tiny bugs to eat,

The little spider was a treat.

 

The yard across the street has shrubs,

We hide in bushes eating grubs,

When rays of sun warm up the lawn,

A worm that peeks out will be gone.

 

The mountain ash’s berries fall

The sun ferments them one and all,

My cousin ate more than a few,

And then into a window flew.

 

Yes, life is hard these winter days,

But it is just a passing phase,

With winter solstice we will find,

That happy days aren’t far behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


49 Comments

Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 cups warm water

1 envelope dry yeast (7 g), or 2 tsp. fast rising yeast

5 cups plain flour

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

You can make the dough the old-fashioned way, or if you have a bread machine, you can put in the wet ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients, and put the yeast on top of the flour. Then use the dough setting to mix the ingredients and let them rise in the machine.

After the dough is mixed and set aside to rise (or the machine is doing all this for you), crush a clove of garlic into 1/3 cup of olive oil.

In a separate bowl, place two medium white onions, thinly sliced, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and set aside.

When the dough is ready, having risen in a bowl or in the bread machine, punch down the dough  and divide it in half. Roll out each piece to make 30 x 25 cm rectangles (it works out to cover two of my smaller baking sheets). Place on the greased baking sheets. Cover and let stand  about 15 minutes.

At this point, preheat the oven to 450 F.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, press indentations all over the dough about a half inch (or 1 cm) deep. Brush the dough all over with garlic oil and sprinkle with half the onion mixture on each baking sheet.

Bake at 450 F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut into pieces to serve.

If you freeze it later on, you can take out what you need and put it in the toaster.

The batch in this picture could have been done a minute or so longer to be more golden brown, but it is still good.

Goes very well with any soups or stews, or just as a snack with a piece of cheese. It’s perfect with a glass of white wine.

If you don’t like garlic, you can substitute and sprinkle some chopped rosemary onto the dough before baking.


18 Comments

Characters We Love

Lori Virelli’s new novel, Through His Disciples’ Eyes, is based on a mission that Joshua Cane undertook. He had “the gift of the gab,” and traveled about the country talking to people and helping them any way he could. Joshua never presented himself as a modern-day Jesus, but he happened to embody many of his good qualities. The followers of Joshua Cane were skeptical of him at first, but they soon came to adore him and to cling to his word. He did not seek fame; instead, it found him, most likely because his message “to forgive yourself” appealed to so many who heard him speak.

When we read a good book, its characters, with their aspirations, successes, dilemmas, and failures, continue to live in our head, sometimes long after we finish reading the book. The author’s challenge is to make us care about the characters.  Otherwise, why should we bother to continue reading?

In Lori Virelli’s novel, Through His Disciples’ Eyes,  I met several characters from various backgrounds, and soon worried about their problems and the potential dangers that might befall them.

The author does an excellent job of presenting her characters as having feelings, emotions, needs, and desires, just as we do. They are not perfect, but most people aren’t. Their imperfections make us empathize with them even more.

Julia is a young girl whose luck is spiraling downward. Luckily, she stumbles across Joshua and his group. Here, the story begins, and we learn to love Julia in spite of her troubled childhood and her many anxieties. Throughout the novel we watch her character grow into something admirable, but not without problems along the way.

Each of the characters (and they are a real variety pack) evolves along the story arc.

Tobias has some bad history, but he feels remorse, and worries about how he will be able to redeem himself.

Max has issues that many of us could identify with. We hope he can work through them.

The author cleverly weaves the actions and personalities of the characters together into a story that spans decades.

I enjoyed being a part of that ride, and I’m sure you will love this book and come away from it feeling good.

 

Here is the blurb about the book.

In the year 2029, the world is broken, and so is Max Greenwood. In his attempt to find inner peace, he learns of a long-lost prophet—Joshua Cane—who lived in the 1950s. His life appears to mirror that of Jesus, complete with healing miracles, disciples, and being murdered in his thirties.

Researching for more, Max uncovers information on two of the disciples. Tobias Jones is a tempestuous man who separates from Cane’s other followers to spread the prophet’s teachings on his own. His ideas to control the righteous message lead to trouble.

Julia Flores is a teen whose mother kicked her out. Homeless and feeling unloved, she finds purpose in following Joshua Cane on his Mission to spread peace. As she travels with him, emotional issues from her past emerge, causing drama along the way.

The stories of these troubled souls searching for meaning trigger life-altering revelations for Max Greenwood—revelations not only about Joshua and his disciples, but about himself and all of us.

L. Virelli interweaves concepts from self-help, spirituality, the Bible, and New Thought into an allegorical tale.

To find out more about the launch of this book, click this link:

https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2022/12/06/its-heeerre/

Through His Disciples’ Eyes is available at amazon in both paperback and e-book.

Just click the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BNY1VCZF

*Please feel free to help Lori out by re-blogging this post or doing one of your own. I know it will be appreciated.


45 Comments

Sudden Snow

Gone are green hillsides,

Gone, the green grass,

Kids love their sleigh rides,

Kids yell en masse.

 

Searching for food to eat,

Searching for shelter,

Birds by the feeder meet,

Birds helter skelter.

Snow covers all the ground,

Snow hides the seeds,

Trees with snow all around,

Trees, a bird needs.

Thrush trills a lonely song,

Thrush calls his friends,

Hoping they’ll come along,

Hoping snow ends.