wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Egg Family

Father, Mother, and Junior have egged me on to do this post about them. My ideas were a bit scrambled and I didn’t know eggzactly what to do, but I poached this idea from a long eggo post.

The sunny side up about this whole thing is that the yolk is on them because I’m the one having the fun.

You may notice that the big daddy of all eggs is green with envy. He wanted to be like the others, but his wife, the mother egg, got browned off with all his complaining.  Her baby is browned off too, but as it turned out later, he was all bluster on the outside and runny guts on the inside. Father Egg always said Junior was coddled too much, but he still gave him his benedict – shun.

“Remember that we’re all the same on the inside. Our outer shell may be different but, for better or worse, we’re all whites on the inside,” Father Egg said.
“Yeah and a bit of yellow belly. That comes from being destined to be a chicken,” Mother Egg said.

Father Egg said, “I know I should never have left Denver and the other omelettes. You are the most deviled egg I’ve ever met. I know you think that was a wise crack you made, but in the end that crack will be your demise.”

“Fiddle faddle,” said Mother Egg. “Trying to be so hard boiled. You really are just a shell of a man.”

“Be careful, Mother,” said Father Egg. “You think I’m just over easy, but I know egg-I who was too eggcitable, and was always foaming at the mouth until his people had the idea of whipping him up into a lemon meringue pie.”

“That won’t happen to me,” said Mother Egg. “I’m just going to set here and write my memoirs. Someday omeletters will be in the museum archives and I’ll be famous. Junior can help me.”

“Oh no,” clucked Junior. “I’m too much of a chicken.”

“All right,” said Father Egg, “It’s time for some more yolks. Did you hear the one about the guy who went into the restaurant and asked what the specials were. The waiter said, “I recommend the cold tongue sandwich.”

“What?!” the guy said. “Me? Eat something that someone else has had in their mouth?”

“Oh, pardon me,” said the waiter. “Well, let’s see. How about an egg then?”

And so it went until they all cracked up and took a flying leap into the frying pan.

It turned out that big daddy turned out to be twice the man anyone thought he was. Here he is in the bowl. He had an eggstra yolk to tell, but we never got to hear it.


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Father’s Day Flowers

One day a year we remember to honour our fathers. You may say, “My dad died years ago. I can forget about Father’s Day.” But don’t we owe it to our fathers to think of them for one day out of 365, even if they are no longer with us?

I understand that there are many unfortunate people out there who had a father that was less than ideal, but if we think hard, there is probably something in all our growing up years that is a good memory of him.

The bottom line is, without them, we would not be here.

Just in time for Father’s Day, my Oriental poppies opened up …

as well as one of my favourite irises …

to keep the old standard blue irises company.

 

Father, so proud of his children each day,

He will protect them in every way.

Sometimes he seems to be quite out of touch,

With things important, that matter so much.

 

Wait a few years and revisit the scene,

Often we see just how wrong we have been.

Fathers have been there and made those mistakes

That now his child out of stubbornness makes.

 

Sometimes old fashioned, and sometimes too stern,

Still he’s insistent that his child must learn,

Grow up with values so decent and right,

Though foolish children put up such a fight.

 

No, it’s not easy to parent a child,

Easier being too meek and too mild,

But it’s the strict laws that Father lays down

That make us thankful with smiles, not a frown.

 

If your dad’s with you, give thanks for his love,

Think how he kept your hand warm in his glove,

Caring, admiring, so proud of his child,

Little he knew just how much you ran wild.

 

Love unconditional, that’s what he gave,

In any danger, your life he would save,

Think of him kindly, and don’t criticize,

You did no wrong in his sweet, doting eyes.

 


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Holiday Time

 

It seems to be snowier this year, but only in dribs and drabs. It snows, and the next day it rains and the snow is gone. But the wind is bitter cold and the air is raw. I hope all the little birds and squirrels find warm places to spend the night. I know they’re out and about even in terrible weather, looking for bits of food to keep them warm enough. Even the hummingbirds that didn’t fly south are sipping at the cold sugar water in the feeder. Poor little things.

I hope you are all helping to keep the birds alive this winter by putting out suet or bird seed. Please don’t feed them bread. It’s not going to do them any good. They need proper bird seed and sunflower seeds.  And if you have a cat, be sure not to put the feeder where a cat could get to it. On second thought, if you have a cat, don’t feed the birds. Let your neighbour do it.

I hope you all have a happy time over the Christmas holidays. Be good to your friends, neighbours, and families. There is probably not enough of that kindness in the world.

With so much Covid fear, it seems that we are losing the closeness we had with friends and family. Everyone is afraid of this monster illness. But maybe we need to work harder at keeping up our friendships by writing, or phoning, or having more over-the-fence visits, until we get a handle on this virus.

Let us try not to forget that humans are meant to hug, and smile without masks, and love each other.  I worry about the toddlers who are not learning to read their parents’ facial expressions as they grow up. Somehow, someday, we need to get back to the way things were.

Have a healthy and happy Christmas time. I wish you all the best for 2022.

 

PS. I noticed I said, “I hope” several times in this post. I was going to change it, but then I thought, “No, I DO hope a lot.”

I hope you have a  lot of hope too.

 

 


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American Thanksgiving

Just when you think things are so bad that you have nothing to be thankful for, along comes the Thanksgiving holiday to remind us of so many blessings in our lives.

I won’t begin to name any of the thousands of things we have to be thankful for. Each of us has a perspective uniquely our own. Some might be thankful for good health, while others in failing health are thankful for other things that they have come to appreciate. Some might be thankful for having lots of money, while others are just as happy with much less.  My own thought on that is ,”Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps.”

Whatever your circumstances allow, it’s important to make the most of the good things in life.

If you are lucky enough to be with friends or family on Thanksgiving, why not share some of the things you are truly thankful for.

H     Home for holidays is fine,

A     Appetizers, and some wine,

P     Pie dessert is understood,

P     Pumpkin’s always pretty good,

Y     Yams and taters fill the plate,

T     Turkey dinner would be great.

H     Happy family, sisters, brothers,

A     Aunts and uncles and their “others,”

N     No one needs to be left out,

K     Kinship’s what it’s all about.

S     So much to be thankful for,

G    Guests and family we adore.

I     It’s a happy time of year,

V    Valued friends that bring us cheer.

I     It’s a ritual affair,

N   Nothing else can quite compare,

G   Giving thanks for all we share.

 

In case you have trouble getting a turkey this year with all the supply chain problems just choose one of these Merriam’s wild turkeys I “shot” for you by the Missouri River.

 

To all my American friends and family, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 


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Harris’s Sparrow

Brr! That’s a cold wind. I think it’s coming from the north, from Canada. Might be bringing Montana snow soon.

But wait! What do I see over there? A door in the side of the hill? I wonder who lives there? Might they put out a bird feeder?

I’d check it out, but it’s awfully close to Halloween…. I hope it’s not a goblin hideout.

Harris sparrow braves the breeze

Teasing up a feather,

Tolerates the cold with ease,

Any kind of weather.

 

Food is easier to find

On the warmer days,

Winter is by far less kind,

He must change his ways.

 

Roots in cellars could be good,

Oh, to peek inside,

But the cellar’s sealed  in wood,

With a door so wide.

 

Maybe it’s a lucky stroke,

Harris sits and thinks,

Really this is not a joke,

Something in there stinks.

 

Spooky, hidden, hillside cave,

Holds a vampire body,

Harris finds he’s not so brave,

Flies off chirping, “LAWDY!”

 

After midnight he’ll be bound

For a place serene,

While the ghouls go dancing round,

Spooky Halloween!

 

 

 

 


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Spider Hideouts

Spider Hideouts

With all the bad weather we’re having, I took a mental trip back to sunnier days when we were in Mexico for the winter about twenty years ago.

Camped at Chacala, 360 kms south of Mazatlan, we often bought our fruit and vegetables from the produce truck.  One day, I lugged home three big bags of fresh vegetables.

“Coming to the beach?” the Captain asked.

“You go ahead. I’ll be down right after I clean these veggies,” I grumbled, slapping at the tiny biting flies. I soon gave up trying to work at the table I had set up outside and brought the vegetables into the bug-free trailer to clean in my little kitchenette.

Done at last! Now for the beach and a cool swim. I hurried outside to bring in my bathing suit from the clothesline we had strung between two coconut palms. I was about to step into it, when I let out a shriek. A furry eight-legged critter about the size of a wolf spider was eyeing me from inside the bathing suit bra.

Anyone passing by must have gawked at the bathing suit flying out the doorway.

I was late getting to the beach that day, and although the water was refreshing, I couldn’t relax. Other swimmers must have wondered at the woman who kept pulling away the top of her bathing suit to look at her boobs.

That evening, we sat at the kitchen table in the trailer, playing cards and relaxing with an Oso Negro gin and peach juice. I tidied up the last few things before getting into bed.

The Captain had just finished brushing his teeth and as he came out of the bathroom he heard me GASP! His eyes followed my arm as I pointed to the corner of the trailer. There, clinging to the ceiling, sat the biggest spider I’d ever seen. The hairy dark brown visitor had a body the size of my thumb, and his legs could easily straddle a saucer. If I had been a screamer they would have heard me all the way to Mazatlan.

“And I’ve been sitting there playing cards all evening with that thing poised right above my head,” I wailed.

I handed the Captain the fly swatter, and, in a shaky voice, told him, “If it gets away, I’m not sleeping in here tonight and I’ll be on the plane tomorrow.”

“It must have come in with the vegetables,” he said, as he tossed its crumpled body outside.

And where had it been while I sat there cleaning them? I wondered. Hiding in the cauliflower leaves? How close had I come to touching it? Shivers ran down my back.

It seems spider experiences run in three’s.

The next day we visited an open air market in a nearby town. I admired the handmade wooden cutting boards and picked one up to study the grain. Something ran over my hand. I threw the board into the air and squealed, “Una araña!” The vendor laughed and seemed unperturbed as I pointed to the gigantic spider running in his direction.

I was having serious thoughts of home. But imagine missing all this fun.


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Being Thankful

What do we have to be thankful for?

That depends on your perspective. We need food, water, shelter, and enough warmth for comfort. To varying degrees most of us have that and we are grateful for it.

But it is all secondary, if we don’t have our health. For those who are not in good health at this time, we can be thankful to live in the days of modern medicine for making our illnesses bearable. Without modern inventions and medical discoveries, many of us would not even have made it to adulthood. The smallest infection might have killed us in the days before penicillin, and appendicitis would have claimed countless lives before the days of operations and anaesthetics. Childhood diseases would have taken their toll.

This year’s Thanksgiving may be bittersweet. Actually, forget the sweet part – it will be bitter for those who have lost loved ones, many of them to Covid. But we have to muster a positive attitude and continue to strive to beat this virus.

This is one of the hardest times for some of my generation. We missed the World Wars and most of us were not affected greatly by the smaller wars that followed. We have lived fairly free of world scale disasters … until now.

At first everyone was extra careful about social distancing and wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and washing hands, but I see all around me that people are giving in. They are tired of being careful, tired of being isolated. But, as in any battle, if you stop fighting before it’s truly won, the backlash can be devastating.

We are almost there in the push to beat back the virus, so I hope that people will not become too cavalier about relaxing their precautions until we are clear of this pandemic. Take care, especially at times of celebration, like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

One day soon this ugly virus will be eradicated, and we will truly have something to be thankful for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, America, and take care to stay healthy.


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Yule Love Yule Logs

This is a very Christmassy recipe, but it’s good any time of the year.

Simple to make: all the ingredients are in the picture below. No baking powder or baking soda or salt. Just butter, sugar, flour and an egg, vanilla, dates and nuts (you can do without the nuts if you have an allergy). Recipe is at the end of this post.

You can see that I’ve chopped the dates (except for one to show you) and the pecans (you can use walnuts if you prefer them).

Mix the butter and sugar, add an egg and mix again, add the vanilla and then the flour. You’ll get a gooey batter. Add the nuts and dates.

Drop by spoonfuls, a couple at a time, into a bowl with shredded coconut, and to avoid getting batter all over your fingers, take a big pinch of coconut and push the batter off the spoon with it. Then coat the batter over and over  in the coconut, pressing lots of coconut into the batter as you shape it into a roll (a yule log).

Place the logs on a greased cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for 15 minutes.

They should be golden brown when they’re done.

Now all you need is a cup of something to go with the logs.

I copied my mother-in-law’s recipe years ago. She used walnuts, but I like pecans too, so sometimes I substitute.

Easy recipe. Enjoy!


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Turkey, not the Country

Meet my friend, Meleagris gallopavo merriami (Merriam’s turkey).

When guinea fowls were brought from Africa to Europe, they were thought to have come through Turkey (the country), so they were named “turkey.”

Later when Europeans came to North America, they saw a local bird that looked liked their guinea fowl (which they had called a turkey), so they called this bird a turkey. There is no real connection between the bird and the country.

The native people of eastern North America hunted and ate turkeys, and this is how that bird came to be associated with “what was for dinner” at the first American Thanksgiving feast.

Turkey must have made quite an impression on the pioneers, since it became a traditional component of the Thanksgiving dinners that followed every year since then.

By the way, if you can’t remember when American Thanksgiving is: it’s always the fourth Thursday in November.

Happy Thanksgiving, America. We have a lot to be thankful for.


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Scary Movies

Just in time for Halloween, I wanted to tell you about a movie I saw way, way back in another century, when I was a little girl. The idea of The Monolith Monsters was so scary for me that I have remembered that movie all these years. The basic plot was simple: Meteors struck the earth and when they came in contact with water, these “rocks” grew and grew until they were like giant skyscrapers that finally “lost their balance” and fell down, smashing anything in front of them and breaking into many smaller pieces of rock which then began to grow again into more skyscraper rocks, which again came crashing down.

So the rocky skyscrapers advanced, coming closer and closer to the big cities where people would certainly die from being smashed by the rocks.

When we traveled to Montana and back, we saw towers that carry high voltage power lines. They reminded me of some monstrous beings. Don’t they look like they will start walking to wherever they feel like going … carrying enough voltage to zap their way through any place they want to go? If I had more imagination I’d write a horror story about them, but even if I could, I think it I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I’m a coward when it comes to horror shows or stories. I just can’t watch them  or read or write them without having nightmares for years afterwards.

And it’s not like there is only one of these monsters. They are everywhere.

They have joined together for a more dramatic effect.

Yikes!! I’m scared. Will I be able to sleep tonight???

Oh — and the Monolith Monsters…. Do you know how they were stopped?

Some smart scientist discovered that salt stops them from growing, so it was just a matter of getting truckloads of salt to pour onto them. Whew! Just in the nick of time too!!

If you happen to know of a horror story or movie that features the power towers, please let me know. I feel as if there is a story out there about them but I can’t remember it.

Meanwhile, be careful out there. Halloween is coming.