Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday..."K" as in I need a Jewish Grandmother

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  Head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants and information on how you can participate too.

This week we are studying the letter "K" as in KUGEL.  I don't have a Jewish grandmother, but there are a couple of Jewish dishes that I enjoy and one of them is Noodle KUGEL.  (The other one is Matzo Ball Soup.)  Lacking a Jewish grandmother I did the next best thing and used grandma Google.

I came upon this site called Feed Me Bubbe.  Bubbe is the Yiddish word for grandmother.  If you have time take a look at one of the videos of Bubbe cooking some traditional dishes.  She's adorable and her grandson helps her with the site.

After much research I came across a recipe for Noodle KUGEL on another site and after a couple of adjustments came up with this:

Noodle Kugel

1 pound egg noodles

½ cup butter, melted

8 eggs

1 c. sugar

2 cups sour cream

2 cups small curd cottage cheese

1 t. cinnamon


9 cinnamon graham crackers

3 T butter, melted


Cook noodles and drain. In a bowl toss the noodles with the ½ cup of melted butter and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, sugar, sour cream, cottage cheese and cinnamon until well blended. Stir in the noodles.

Transfer to a greased 13 inch x 9 inch x 2 inch baking dish. Put the cinnamon graham crackers in a Zip Lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Combine the cracker crumbs and the 3 T of melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the noodle mixture.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F. for 50-55 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let stand for ten or fifteen minute before cutting. Serve warm or cold (I prefer warm).

Note:  You can always use No Yolk Noodles for a healthier alternative.  This should delay the heart attack by approximately two months.

However, if anyone has a real Jewish grandmother I'd love to have her recipe for Noodle KUGEL.

Sometime I'll share my recipe for Matzo Ball Soup too, but I'm pretty sure I'm not doing it correctly since I'm cooking my Matzo Balls in Chicken Noodle Soup and I'm pretty sure they're supposed to be cooked in chicken broth and then added to the soup.  I do it my way and they clean their bowls, so I must be doing something right.

Now on to another "K" word...KILLING.  The drought is KILLING  trees in the Houston area.  I'm seeing well established trees and shrubs dying.  Soon it will be like Christmas for the tree removal companies.  I believe it's mostly trees and shrubs that aren't native to this area that are dying off.  They've told us to deep water the trees by putting a hose under the canopy of the tree and running it very slowly for a couple of hours.  That way the water will soak into the ground and not run off. 

Something KILLED one of the trees in my yard, but it wasn't the drought.  This one started dying last year and I think it might have been hit by lightening.  It had a huge crack down the trunk last year and it finally died this year. 

Click on pictures to enlarge and use your browser back button to return to this page.

This is a picture of the crack in 2010.  It became much wider this year.

Look at all the ferns growing around the base of the tree in 2010.  They didn't come up this year due to the drought.  The yard was much prettier last year.

We had the tree taken down yesterday.  I was concerned that a hurricane or storm would knock it over and it would take out another tree with it. 
It was interesting watching them work.  This is our poor tree marked for removal.  It had three large branches, but one was up by the power line that runs along the back fence.

The branches went pretty high up.  The electric line didn't show up in most of the pictures, but it's there.

They threw rope up over the branches of some of the other trees in the yard and then used them to help lower the branches of the dead tree.  They kept cutting it into slices as they lowered it.

Here's one of the men throwing a small orange rope over a branch.  The orange rope had a weight to help bring it down on the other side.  This particular tree is a distance away from the dead one.

Then they attached a heavier blue rope to the orange one and brought that one up over the branch. 

They'd tie one end to the dead branch they were cutting and then they'd pull while it was cut.  There would be more than one line attached to the branch and the men would be positioned around the yard so they could slowly lower the cut branch and guide it down.   In this picture you can see how far away the one man is from the tree they're cutting down. 

And the branch is lowered.

They got those dead branches to fall exactly where they wanted them.  I have a bunch of smaller trees that we've been nurturing for a few years.  They were seedling that were given away on Arbor Day.  They didn't hit a single one.  The last branch was the tricky one.  It was right by the power line, so one of them had to climb up, tie the rope on, and then cut.  He'd cut and then slide down a little only to repeat the same thing again.

In this one if you look closely you can see the power line.  It's even with his left foot.

They were here and gone in two hours.  Here they are almost done.

All gone!

Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog so you can visit more Alphabe-Thursday "K" posts!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Show and Tail...Ash and Zoom

Welcome to Tuesday's Show and Tail sponsored by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures.  For a list of this weeks' participants head over to Angela's blog.

This week Ash managed to beat the other cats to the basket.  It's on a table right under a lamp and they all enjoy sunbathing.  To be honest that's why I've left it there.  They take turns.

Meanwhile, Zoom is up to her old tricks...

Never a dull moment.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Working on some family projects...

I've been thinking about working on genealogy again.  I originally did some work back in the 1980's BC (before computers).  At that time we even visited some of my relatives in New York cemeteries.  By doing so I even found where a great-great grandmother was buried next to a great grandmother and no one in the family ever knew it.

A few years ago I became interested in learning more about the Ziegfeld Follies since my great aunt had been a Follies Girl (as they were called).  She performed in the Follies and the Midnight Frolic.  This is a picture of her from the Ziegfeld Frolic and I believe this was called the balloon dance.  From what I understand gentlemen could pop the balloons. 

I came across a site called Find a Grave and decided to add my great aunt's information in case a relative of another Follies Girl stumbled upon it.  Then I forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I decided to take a look at the site again.

My Dad died this past September and I was surprised to find his information entered on the site.  I assumed my sister or someone in her family had probably stumbled across the site and decided to add it, but to my surprise they hadn't.  It was someone I didn't know, so I clicked on the name.  It was a man who lives in the next town and does volunteer work for the site.  He gathers information on local deaths and enters them so they'll be available for research.  I contacted him and he turned the listing over to me so I could update the biography.  That's when I decided to start adding information on my mother and other relatives.  I'm only adding the ones that I have first hand information about...either the cemetery plot information or graves I've personally visited in the past.  If I haven't documented it myself I don't add it.  I'm still not finished, but work on it whenever I have a little extra time.

I've also started going through old photos and writing on the back who the people are, where the photo was taken, etc., and then scanning them.  Does anyone know if there's a program that I could put on my computer for old photos?  I'm finding I can't list all the names, dates, and locations when I save the scans to my computer.  The titles would be much too long.

I enjoy old photos.  Here are a few I've come across:

Both sets of my grandparents together. 

My second grade class.  I'm the little girl with the glasses in the second row at the front of the class.  The little boy at the front of the third row told me there was no Santa Claus in Kindergarten.  I've never forgotten.

My Grandma Durgin with Hilda Sims in 1932 in Washington, DC.  I believe Hilda must have been a cousin since my grandmother's maiden name was Sims.

This is my Grandpa Morris' Christmas card.  He owned a gas station in Westwood, NJ.

Have a good weekend...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday..."J" as in JIM, JEM, and JOY!

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week's assignment is to study the letter "J."  For a list of this week's participants and information on how you can participate head over to Ms. Jenny's blog.

We were having dinner one night this past weekend when my husband said, "This coming week is the letter "J" for Alphabet Day (he was close) and that means "J" as in JIM.  Yes, his name is JIM.

I enjoy old photographs and lately I've been trying to get them all organized and scanned.  I figure in ten years I'll be done.  Click on these pictures to enlarge and use the browser back button to return to this page.

Here's Big JIM (his father) and Little JIMMY (yes, that's what they were called) in October 1948.

JIMMY and his car in July 1948.  I wonder if he was impatient with other drivers back then?

This is one of my favorites.  It's Cynthia (I'm not sure who she is) and JIMMY in October 1948.  I think they look like Russian immigrant children just off the ship.

This is Aunt Anna, JIMMY, his sister Marge and his mother Marge in August 1952.

This was also taken in August 1952 and it's JIMMY with Marge and all their Martin cousins and their mother.  JIMMY is in the second row on the left.  Marge is in front of him.

This was Christmas 1952 and JIMMY and Marge got new bikes for Christmas.

We have a cat named JEM.  He was one of the kittens that a feral cat brought to our yard with his three litter mates when they were about five weeks old.  The mother cat came and went for a while, but now we haven't seen her since March.  I know other people were feeding her too, so I'm not too concerned.  I think she was ready to leave her kittens and move on.  They're a year old now and have gotten pretty tame around us.  (I had the mother and all the kittens fixed and vaccinated for rabies.)

JEM is the adventurous one.  Can you see him up in the tree?

I know I've shown this one before, but this was the day JEM had a little snake.

JEM enjoys looking inside to see what we're doing.  He and our indoor cats often visit.

JOY!  JOY!  JOY!  It is finally raining today.  The first significant rain since January. 
At first it just teased us.  Scout didn't even bother seeking shelter.

And then we got a little more.

Oh JOY!  I think it only rained here for about four hours, but it was a light steady rain that had time to soak in instead of run off.   It was all over by 2:00 PM.  I'm hoping for more tomorrow.

That's about all I could come up with for this week's class.  Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog and visit some other Alphabe-Thursday posts.

Blog Question...anybody know??

HELP!  I wanted to move my labels from the sidebar to the bottom of my blog.  I can do it, but the font is white instead of blue like the rest of my blog.  I have no idea why.  You can scroll down to the bottom of this page to see what I mean.  Meanwhile, I've also kept the labels on the sidebar for now.  I'll have to keep them there if I can't figure out how to get rid of the white font.  Thanks for any help.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's Show and Tail...Sophie is better!

Welcome to Tuesday's Show and Tail sponsored by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures  Please head over to Angela's blog for a list of participants and information on how you can join in on the fun.

I posted about our dog's e-coli infection last week.  You can read about it here.  I wanted to let everyone know that Sohpie is better.  Her latest test showed absolutely no e-coli!  Since she never really acted sick she's acting no different, so we'll just have to go by the test results.

Here's a picture of Sophie and Ash taken last March.  I haven't had my camera out this week. :)

 Just wanted to share the good news!
Now head over to Angela's blog to see more pets/animals.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday..."I" as in my favorite ITALIANS

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  For a list of this week's participants and information on how you can join the the fun just head over to Ms. Jenny's blog.

The letter "I" really had me stumped.  Some of you had great suggestions last week, but all of a sudden it hit me...I could show you two of my favorite ITALIANS.

Yes, two of our sons were born in ITALY.  That's Keith on the left and Troy on the right.  Keith was born on May 31, 1969 and Troy was born on October 20, 1970 at the US Naval Hospital in Naples, ITALY.  Here they are they are dressed in their little ITALIAN knit outfits shortly after we came back to the States.

Over the years I've had people tell me that my sons could never be President of the United States because they weren't born here.  That's incorrect.  You just have to be an American citizen at birth.  They have two birth is ITALIAN and the other one was issued by the State Department for the birth of a U.S. citizen born abroad.  If you or Donald Trump would like to see their birth certificates I can make them available.  At the present time they have no aspirations to run for political office (thank goodness!)

We lived in Sicily for 2 1/2 years, but unfortunately all our pictures from that time period are slides and I haven't gotten but a few scanned.  Otherwise I'd be showing you where we lived, Mt. Etna, etc.  For now you'll just have to use your IMAGINATIONS.

Then I thought I'd show you an example of INFLATION.  This is a menu that my mother had from Baumgart's Luncheonette at 215 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ.  I have no idea what year it is from, but I would guess somewhere between 1938 when she was a senior in high school and 1943 when she married.  What throws me off a little is that on the cover it says the place is air conditioned.  Did they have air conditioning that early?  (Click on image to enlarge and use your browser back button to return to this page.)

As you can see prices have gone up over the years due to INFLATION.

Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog to visit some of the other Alphabe-Thursday participants.