Sunday, March 17, 2024


First cup of morning chocolate coffee is the same cup of coffee brought to me every morning. A routine. My wife does this for me out of love, caring and habit. The moment also is accompanied by jibber jabber of the day ahead and her morning weather report from just having gone outside to feed the cats. Quite often, I comment that the coffee is supreme. Just supreme! She says that it is the same first cup of coffee that she brings me every morning.

I sit, two hands around that cup. Sipping. Another, then another. Trying to extend that first cup through first thoughts of how the day ahead may play out.

After a few minutes she returns to me from her computer with a hand outstretched for my empty cup. She completes the full circle around the kitchen again with a second cup of regular coffee for both of us and we enter phase two of our pre-sunrise mornings, scouring the web. 



Two linemen hang on spurs repairing and restoring power on the backroads of NH this past week. Son has been in the business now for over 20 years. He is very good at what he does, loves the work and is leading this particular crew on this particular day on this particular offroad repair. 

He shared this quick photo with the comment, "thank god for young linemen." He has spent many a day hanging from hooks on poles on cold mornings "getting it done." 

Quite a few years ago, he sent me a text of him throwing a switch on an outage repair while hanging on a set of spurs.  The small neighborhood of homes came to life and the folks outside watching the crew work cheered.  He commented to the fact that all of the hard work and long hours comes with moments of pure joy of accomplishment. This was during one of the big storms up in the northeast. The folks watching these guys work in the evening dark delivered hot coffee and snacks to the fellows as the long night evolved.

And yes, he has also sent texts of folks who yell and complain under similar outage circumstances. 

I smiled to myself knowing how much that simple comment means accompanying this photo. The boy has a birthday coming up. A year older. And the electricity turns back on.

Yep, proud father.


It is amazing to me how much shrinkage happens taking the moisture out in the dehydrating of fresh vegetables. Judging efforts from appearances is a mistake though, as dehydrated squash mixed into soups/stews take back on the moisture of the meal being cooked. They return to almost their original size and flavor.

The upside of taking the time to do this is all of these squash can be easily stored in a large air-tight container in a pantry cabinet. It takes 10 hours to dehydrate a batch like this.

Four-plus dozen squash/zucchini in a jar!!


First solar eclipse in my lifetime where the full event will take place over our front yard. We are not sure yet if it just be my wife and me or if we will gather with neighbors. Hope weather co-operates.

We drove through Pittsburg, TX this past week and found the lamp posts sporting posters to visit their town during the eclipse. Other towns and local farms are offering opportunities for folks to come visit and find a spot to park to watch the full eclipse.

Local news bulletin from February 24th.   Not sure how crazy local areas may get, but best to settle in for the day. 

Texas Officials Warn.....

Interactive map.

I plan to GoPro the event, but not the sun eclipse itself. I am curious as to how a local landmark may look a half-hour before till a half-hour after. 

Will distant chickens start up? How will our cats act? Other sounds that may come and go from light to dark to light. Regardless, this is the one for me/us in our lifetimes and it has landed smack dab in our laps.



Found this on the net. Had leftover parts and pieces in the fridge and put this meal together and then into the oven. It was very good. Next time, I am going to add more seasoning for deeper flavor. Baked for 20 minutes.

I let the dish set for 20 minutes giving time for it to cool and allow some of the juice to re-absorb. Quick, easy and full of flavor. Quick leftover hot meal from the microwave is a plus also. So happens the flavors improved noticeably the next day. In a perfect world, I would make this the day ahead to include baking and serve it the next day, warmed up. 
My wife is always a grounded critic of things I cook.  She is not and never has been a casserole person. I am. 
But when she test tasted this casserole, she commented over and over how much she liked it. She cautioned me not to change a thing in the making when I repeat it.
.............I want to steam several Sam's hot dogs, cut them into bite-size pieces and make this again with those hot dogs. Each cheesy bite with a hotdog chunk. Junk food at its best



We happened on this potted plant last week and could not resist bringing it for the 2024 wheelbarrow display. My wife walked directly to this plant and loaded it on a cart. 



My bet this rockbed at low tide is somewhere along Hoods Canal in Washington State. I am also guessing we are collecting steamer clams.
Appreciate the visit this week.

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