Sunday, April 30, 2017

A new tenant in my bird house!

Two weeks ago, my son took down the old (over 20 years old!), rotting bird house and attached my new bird house in its place.  Now this was no ordinary new bird house.  It is made of cypress and very well constructed.  The squirrels should have no interest in chewing this one to destruction.

Every day I eagerly checked to see if new inhabitants had taken residence.  Nothing.

I was really getting discouraged.  Maybe it is the human smell on it.  But with all the rain we have had, surely that has been washed away.

This afternoon I was drinking a glass of water and staring blankly into space at my kitchen sink.  My idle gaze was interrupted by something flying near the bird house.  It was a real live bird that just flew into my bird house.

Now I have baby birds learning to fly to look forward to! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dinner tonight

Hot off the grill!  I grilled chicken thighs rubbed with Crazy Good Chicken Rub from Stuart's Spices here in Rochester.  Delicious!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Smoking a brisket today

Today I smoked a brisket in my Weber Smoky Mountain Smoker.  It turned out DELICIOUS!

Most of you already know how much I have enjoyed my Weber smoker.  I enjoy sitting by the smoker, enjoying the outdoors. . . people walking their dogs, the Cardinals and Robins coming by for a visit (when Bailey and Morgan are not in the backyard!) And when the dogs are in the backyard, watching them chase each other and fight over sticks (as if that is the only stick in the whole world).  It is a time when I can put aside the craziness going on in the world and look forward to a great tasting piece of meat at the end of the day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Bird House

My new bird house just installed yesterday.  As I sit at my kitchen table I can watch the birds go in and out of it. . . now all I need is for a mother bird to come in and build a nest!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Recipes for smoking meat

I belong to the Weber Smokers facebook page and someone asked me for recipes.  Here are two of my favorites:

Marinade for Brisket

1 pint orange juice
juice from 2 limes
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 T. black pepper
1 cup oil

Just before smoking rub with:

3 T. paprika
2 T. black pepper
2 T. salt
1 T. sugar
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin

After the above preparation, I let the brisket sit at room temperature (about 45 minutes), while I prepare the smoker and get the charcoal heated.  The last half of the smoking, I spray with apple juice about every hour or so. 

The next recipe for Mesquite Smoked Roast is another real crowd pleaser!


1.5 to 2 gallons water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire
2 T. garlic salt
2 T. molasses

2 to 3 large roasts


3 cloves chopped garlic
coarse ground pepper
McCormick's Sweet and Smoky dry rub
Garlic powder or salt

Set aside two cups of the brine

Soak roasts overnight

Remove from brine and rinse

Coat roasts in chopped garlic and pepper

Coat well with dry rub

Use reserved brine and inject the roasts

Let stand at room temperature at least half hour

Place in smoker (225 to 230 degrees)

Smoke about 5 hours.

Let stand about 30 to 45 minutes covered in foil to allow juices to redistribute.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring is here!

There is color in my front yard!  Yes, I still have to weed and prepare the soil for planting, but these early blooms are welcome!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Facebook. . . the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Where would our lives be without Facebook???  I have come to accept the fact that with Facebook, it really is "the good, the bad, the ugly."

For the good:  Most of the time, I do enjoy Facebook.  I have connected with friends from my "way back" past that I may never have connected with in any other medium.  Case in point:  there is a Facebook page for my high school Class of 1966.  I truly have enjoyed that. . . none of us look like we did on graduation day!!!  Recently, on my annual trip South, I met up with Elizabeth, someone I hadn't seen in over 50 years.  That was a very enjoyable evening and oh, the laughs we had!

The bad:  There have been a few (very few) people that I have unfriended and some that have unfriended me.  One example:  Someone I knew from work who suddenly and totally unexpectedly lost her husband.  He died without warning.  She is left with two small children to raise.  Now anyone can have deep sympathy for that.  But as the months turned into years, she still flooded facebook with tales of woe.  I refused to play along with her pitty party and she dropped me and several others.  I wish her well, but she needs to learn to pick up the pieces and move on.  Few, if any of us, pass through this life without being struck by tragedy and life altering events.  I'm no exception.  But you don't dwell on it and eventually you find ways to be happy again.  At least I did a little over two decades ago.

The ugly:  Well, sometimes I am too lenient.  Generally, I won't accept a friend request unless it is someone I know, or at least someone who has mutual friends on Facebook.  A man requested to be my friend.  His Facebook page had very little information.  I assumed it could be because, maybe he was new to Facebook and was trying to build up his page.  WRONG!  He insisted on "conversations" with me, which I kept to a minimum and only gave out very general information.  All of a sudden I got a message from him, "Based on our conversations and mutual understanding (what???) I want to send you a package.  Please send me your real name, street address, phone number,. . ." and I'm not sure what else he asked for.  NO THANKS!  I unfriended him.

Occasionally, I run across people who are not on Facebook.  Usually, this is because they are computer illiterate.  Others, due to the nature of their jobs (one person I know is a psychologist in a prison - that's good enough reason!) have to avoid any social media.  So, my bottom line, enjoy the jokes on facebook and the interactions with friends, but be careful!