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DETAILS OF THE LOST WEEKEND … THAT WASN’T!

Well, I got up early on Friday, so I could get my grocery shopping done and return home before the mercury boiled out of the thermometers around town. Also, I was racing against the possibility of a promised thunderstorm.

So I got up, dressed, had a quick slice of buttered toast and a cup of dark chocolate …

 

 

 

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If you’ll look closely at the cup of hot chocolate, you’ll notice a rather strand marshmallow floating on top. Actually, it one of those mini-Peeps I mentioned in another post a couple of weeks ago.  Who knows, maybe Peeps really aren’t little chickies, but really are little duckies.

I ate and then headed out the door to the nearest Metro Transit Center. You know, you meet the craziest people … and dogs when you travel by Metro Transit. Thankfully, it was very air-conditioned.DSC00280

Not only was I shopping to restock my larder, but I was also picking up hamburger and hot dog buns, but also the ingredients to make my mother’s fresh cucumber pickles. These were the things I was preparing to bring to my niece’s old-fashioned birthday barbecue on Sunday. So after I picked up the things I needed, and worked my way through the  checkout line, I was ready to head back to my Metro Stop. Along the way, I spied this cute little weak flower.DSC00274

While the flower was delicate and pastel, the stems holding it up were thick and woody. One of Mom Nature’s little jokes.

As soon as I got home I started on the fresh pickles.

 

MY MOTHER’S FRESH CUCUMBER PICKLE RECIPE:

*4 ripe large cucumbers — peeled and thinly sliced

*1 red or white onion sliced into thin rings. [Note: the red onion will give a sweeter taste to the finished pickles, but also a pink tint to the pickles. The white onion will give a stronger onion flavor, but will leave the pickle slices white.]

Place the sliced cucumbers and onions in a large Ziploc plastic bag and sprinkle with

*1 TBSP. salt

Seal the bag and shake to cover all cucumber and onion slices with salt. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning drain all the salty water that has been drawn out of the cucumbers, and place them in a large bowl. My mother used to squeeze the salty juice out of the cucumber and onion slices.

Mix and dissolve together …

*1 cup granulated sugar

*1 cup white vinegar

Add …

*1 tsp. celery seed

*1 tsp. mustard seed

*1 light shake of  ground black pepper

Mix and pour over the cucumbers and onions and stir them all together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

OPTION: My mother never used it, but if you want you can stir one 8 oz. carton of sour cream into your pickles before you refrigerate for 24 hours.DSC00315

I always serve my fresh cucumber pickles in  a Mason Jar with a large slotted spoon.  The recipe should make enough to fill to large jars. BTW, three of the ladies asked me for the recipe at the birthday party.

While searching for my mother’s recipe I also discovered the last cookie cutter that belonged to my grandmother.DSC00279My grandmother gave all of her cookie cutters from the early 1900s to my mother. And when my mother died, I handed out one each to my brothers and nephews and nieces. I saved the chicken for myself … I think I must have worn off the red enamel on handle helping my grandmother and mother cutout sugar cookies.

The party was a lot of fun.DSC00288

My great-niece Nicole (2.5) played doctor with my nephew’s new puppy, Stella. (9 months)

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And my great-nephew Luke (1.5) preferred higher dog safe areas where he could eat hotdogs, instead of being licked by the puppy.DSC00291He also does a great godfather impression.

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And that was my weekend that really wasn’t lost at all.

 

 

 

31 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Days 25, 26, 27 and 28

OMG! IT WAS A LOST WEEKEND! Well, I had to have some excuse for missing an entire weekend of CREATIVITY! So I cranked up the origami butterfly production to capture all the days I missed.

FRIDAY – DAY 25 — THE MASK OF ZORRO BUTTERFLY.MaskOfZorroBF

 

SATURDAY – DAY 26 — THE SISTER MERRY BUTTERFLY

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SUNDAY – DAY 27 — THE BERRY BLUE BUTTERFLYDSC00304

MONDAY – DAY 28 — THE BUTTER CARAMEL BUTTERFLYDSC00306

Hopefully, I’ll be able to give you the written update on the past weekend a little later today.

But to be really honest …

This is the photo I really wanted to post for SUMMER LOVIN’ …DSC00252

But I figured too many people would find it obscene.  I don’t know why, it has been sitting in a sunny spot on the lawn of the Missouri Botanical Garden for as long as I can remember.

DAILY POST Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

THIS WEEK, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SAYS SUMMER LOVIN’ TO YOU! For more information click here!

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SUMMER’S FINEST BLOOMS DAY LILIES

And yes the peach one is my favorite.

 

31 DOC – Ornamental Butterflies … Day 24

Today, I took a break from folding an origami butterfly, and took the opportunity to enjoy the cool July weather that returned overnight. I went trekking and used my camera to capture images of butterflies I spied on my trek around town. 

FIRST LAWN ORNAMENTS I DISCOVERED IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD …DSC00229

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They both have a center fan segment that catches the wind of twirls. The wind also rotates the butterflies to keep in the direction of the moving wind.

On a somewhat grander scale there was this giant Monarch Butterfly and Blossem made from a multitude of Lego blocks.Monarch

It was part of a special exhibit in the Missouri Botanical Garden in the Climatron which is a multi-level tropical greenhouse encased in a giant geodesic dome. I’ll cover more of my  TREK to the Garden in tomorrow’s and Saturday’s posts. In other words, that means I took a lot of photographs that I have to go through before I can post them. By the way, have you ever seen of CORPSE FLOWER? You will in one of my next posts.

31 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 23

For my Wednesday (Day 23  of my 31 Days of Creativity) I folded a gold foil butterfly per a request from a friend.GoldenButtergly

GOLDEN BUTTERFLY

The only problem with foil folding paper is that the reflection of light makes it difficult for photograph. Also, you can’t make any fold corrections.

[Note: I just realized that there are 31 Days in July.]

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 22

30 Days Of Creativity – Tuesday – Day 22 — Today my Origami Butterfly is another variation that I created based on a number of models I featured in past posts.

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The Lemon-Lime Butterfly

MASTERING THE ART OF SLEEPING

I am totally convinced that dogs are the only creatures who have mastered the art of sleeping. As proof, I offer this photographic evidence of Mlle. Renee captured in my ongoing scientific canine sleep study. Today, she decided to doze next to my chair in my office as I worked on the computer.Today

Yesterday, she opted for a spot on my bed where she could catch the cool air from the floor vent in front of her.DSC00216

(I wasn’t sleeping, I was resting my eyes!”)

Sure, that’s why she carried her pillow onto the bed.DogDays

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(Okay, beware the REVENGE OF RENEE the next time you fall asleep watching TV!)

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 19, 20 & 21

This could be my catch up on three missed Days Of Creativity, but I prefer to think of it as …

VARIATIONS ON A BUTTERFLY THEME

In other words, I decided to fold three different Butterflies all based on the same butterfly folding pattern, but using different thicknesses, types and colors of folding paper.

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SATURDAY – DAY 19 – THE BROWN SPARKLING STAR BUTTERFLYDSC00215

I used the double- weight paper with a star pattern on one side and white on the other for my first variation. Thick paper is stiffer and harder to fold.

SUNDAY – DAY 20 – THE PATRIOTIC BUTTERFLYDSC00214I used the thinnest folding paper printed with shades of red, white and blue on one side and white on the other. Thin paper is easy to crease and fold.

MONDAY – DAY 21 – THE SUNSET BUTTERFLYDSC00213I used a glossy coated paper with a different shade of red on each side. The glossy paper is a little harder to fold and photograph due to light reflection. But it did produce a butterfly closest to the original pattern.

So, which variation do you like best.

HOW TO GET OUT AND ENJOY A GREAT DAY IN JULY

DSC00190  The day started off by first being cool … having great Saint Louis blue skies with floating puffy white clouds. And I decided to get out and seize the great day while I was able. I decided to start with a walk in the park which I captured with my pocket camera.DSC00166

The main entrance to Forest Park is the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL dedicated to our third president who had the foresight to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The memorial is also the home of the Missouri History Museum. Notice that the Museum is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis. They have a great exhibit celebrating the anniversary running through next February, but I didn’t want to waste the day inside a museum. So I went around the museum and into the park.

But first I had to walk around the TROLLY.DSC00168

No, this is not the trolly that Judy Garland rode on in Meet Me In Saint Louis. This is the trolly you will be able to ride on later next year, when it travels from the Museum to the entertainment center of the historic DELMAR LOOP in University City.DSC00167

Once inside the park, I discovered another SAINT LOUIS 250 Birthday Cake.DSC00169

There’s 249 more of them scattered around the metropolitan area. But I wasn’t looking for cakes, so I continued my journey into the park along the Grand Esplanade.DSC00171

You know, the park has something to interest almost everyone …DSC00172

Bikers and runners …

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Lovers of forests …DSC00175And waterways …

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Wild flowers …DSC00177

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And cultivated gardens …DSC00179

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And even potted plants!DSC00180

And ducks …DSC00182

And duck families!

And that brings us to the second reason for my walk in the Park.Boathouse

THE BOATHOUSE

The Boathouse is located on Post Dispatch Lake in the heart of the park. If you’re athletically inclined you can rent a paddle boat and wear yourself out exploring the waterways in the park. The Boathouse is also a damn fine restaurant and that was why I was there.  I was meeting a half dozen people I used to work with for an ungodly amount of years for one of our regular lunch get-togethers.DSC00184

Naturally, we opted to dine outside to enjoy the view and the fantastic day. The conversation was great! Ditto the food! And it was a totally enjoyable day!

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