RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Sun

Fireworks on July 4th, 2011

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Happy Independence Day

Did everyone get enough to eat?  I know I ate too much and will probably pay for it for a couple of days.  I do not think I will have an appetite for the next week!  That is what holidays are about and I do a holiday really good!

Today we our celebrated our Nations Independence Day and it was a festive occasion and it was topped off with sun… yes I said sun.  We needed our sunglasses! WooHoo! We always say we here in the Northwest do not have summer until July 4th.  Will that day came today and brought with it the sun and I am hoping it brought it along for the whole summer!  I would love to make up for the year without summer, being last year.

This evening we got to sit out on our master bedroom balcony and watch fireworks that were put on display at our neighbors’ house.  You know we cannot see the neighbor house, for that matter we cannot see any of our neighbors houses from any one piece of our properties.  Trees, trees, trees, but Washington is the Evergreen State and so there are trees everywhere.  It is a good place to play hide n seek or get loss (lots of people have.)  The fireworks had to get high enough so we could see them above the tree line.  That is pretty high with all the trees that grow here, and with the majority of them (are not old growth) have been growing since the early 1900’s.  So they have had a long spell to mature.  The long and short… the reason we were up on the master suite balcony, it the highest point in our house and sits with a perfect view of the fireworks show!

I was able to get a couple of pictures taken during the stunning light show this evening from the balcony.  My pictures do not give the fireworks justice, I have to face the truth, they would do nothing justice.  I closed my ISO to 100 and got everything where it should be, put camera on camera pole (name escapes me and it could be days before I find the right name! the pole with three legs.)  So you know I finally remembered it is called a camera tripod stand, I am lucky I finally found it in my memory!   I had everything ready deck side and was waiting for the show to start.

Boy did it ever, one of the best light shows I have seen in a while.  Our neighbor loves the 4th of July, he does everything you can think of and even all the things you cannot think of to do on Independence Day, for him it is Independence Day for a full week.  His wife says this is his holiday and he puts everything into it.  I know he does, they are such a nice couple.  Busy, busy, busy they wear me out just thinking about it.

 I missed so many good shots and the ones I took; I wonder if I moved the camera just a tiny bit while taking some of the pictures.  I tried to keep the camera as still as possible.  You may be thinking why did I not put it on AUTO, then the shutter speed is too fast because of the black of night and the light of the fireworks.  Besides I would have had to come back into the house, go down two flights of stairs and read my book telling me how to reverse what I had done.  What I am saying is that I cannot remember some things (directions and such) and have to review what I have done repeatedly, not only with camera directions but most things.  One day I will remember everything the next day is like I know nothing, makes life interesting.  By that time the light show would have been over.  So I just pointed, click, turned off, turned back on, click… I know blah, blah blah!

I’ll try again next year.  But, I am posting a couple of the pictures (embarrassed – feeling just a little inept! I think I need to get some picture taking lessons when I am taking my cake decorating classes) so you will get an idea of the kind of show I watched, the real deal (not the pictures I took!) was so much better….

The Feel of Summer and Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks

Yesterday was a very rare day; we had sun from sunup to sundown.  There was not a cloud in the sky, and it was the bluest of blues.  What a wonderful day it was and it isn’t even July 4th when our summers usually start.  It was close to 80˚ and a day full of sun, beautiful, rare sun.

It makes one realize what a true blessing good weather is.  It changes the attitude of everyone, even the animals.  I will admit… I spent most of the day outside doing very little.  I was just enjoying the weather conditions that we had not seen for a very long spell.  Too, the weather report is that it will last only a couple of days.  I am going to look at this as the glass being half full and enjoy each minute that we have the sun.

We decided early on to have a barbecue.  Rib-Eye Steak, they are delicious and extremely easy to grill.  The aroma they put off while grilling is incredible.  It had been a while since I have had grilled steak.

The number of times I eat red meat (not including buffalo, very lean) a year could easily be counted on my fingers if that many.  Every once in a while it is nice to have a steak, or for me a very rare (infrequent) Angus beef hamburger.  Generally speaking if I am eating red meat it is buffalo, it is so much tastier than beef and healthier.  I do manage to cook at least one brisket in a years’ time and they have several meals per with so many various ways I can serve it, roasted, pulled, with red beans and the list could go on.

I was raised in the Midwest and the beef flavor is completely different from in other parts of the country, so is chicken.  When we first moved to the east coast nothing compared to the beef from the stockyards of Kansas City and Chicago.  Those that had not had beef from the Midwest had no idea what I was saying and those that had would collectively agree. They knew what I spoke of.  Now the little beef I do cook is organic, and Oregon grass-fed beef, it is really good.

Having not eaten much steak and beef (heavy on the stomach) I knew that the rest of the meal would have to be light.  I decided on roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes and a salad, it was just the right balance and too I had them on hand and would not need to get them at the market.

Here is how we grilled our Rib-Eye Steak:

            Ingredients:

  • 2 Rib Eye Steaks
  • A Couple Tablespoons or so of Olive Oil
  • One Large Garlic Clove
  • Onion Salt to Taste
  • Sea Salt to Taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to Taste
  • Thyme to Taste

Directions:

Earlier I had diced the garlic clove up and put in it in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and let it marinate for a couple of hours. 

 I placed the two Rib-Eye Steaks in a shallow pan.   I took the garlic olive oil mix and rubbed on all sides of the steaks.  I then sprinkled a little onion powder, sea salt, ground pepper and thyme on both sides of the steak and pressed them into the meat.  I marinated the seasoned steaks for a couple of hours, turned them over half-way through.  .

 The potatoes I misted with olive oil and sprinkled a little sea salt, with some fresh ground black pepper and chopped parsley.   I roasted at 425˚ for 20 minutes; I stirred them once half way through.  I turned down the heat to 375˚ and finished cooking them, each oven is different, so you will have to watch yours and be sure to stir at least once.

When the potatoes had about twenty minutes left we put the steaks on the grill and seared well and turned, we cooked them to our desired doneness

The steaks were sooo tender, very juicy and full of flavor.   I could not finish my steak will probably use it in a salad or beef stir-fry.   It will be just a matter of slicing and heating it to temperature. I enjoyed every bite at least what I could eat of it.  The potatoes were scrumptious and the fresh salad was the perfect side dish.  We had our dinner outside and enjoyed the sun, the weather was perfect and the food was luscious and a perfect pairing with the weather….

A Hallowed Day in My Peat Bog Hollow

 

© 2009 ….RaeDi

I went for a walk this morning. The weather was perfect for it, been a long winter. Winters are very hard on this soul. This will be the last one spent here in the Pacific Northwest. It is God’s country, but the cold damp winters are hard on my health. I hope and pray each spring that I get back my losses. I have noticed the past two winters; I have not gained all that was lost so this was the decision maker. My winters will be spent in a dry Southern region. Not for sure where, but what an adventure it will be to find my special spot. 

I love adventure. I always have, I am one not to sit still for long. Each and all of my memories are very cherished and to this point in my life not forgotten. The good, bad and indifferent, the reason, I feel I have learned from each one of them and each one good, bad or indifferent are what makes me ~ me. I am whom I am because of all that which makes up my past. I hope that the good things represent more of who I am and what defines me, and I believe they outbalance the other two. The last I think are what has made me stronger, I am what most would call a survivor of the many obstacles that have been in my life. Some I created or put there, I am relieved to say that the better parts of those were come upon. Nevertheless, I survived. Who knows what is around the corner, but it may just be something that blesses me more than anything I could possibly dream of?

Yes, I need to get back on track….It is a beautiful day. In the 70’s, sunny and the sky, the most beautiful color of blue, what a contrast to the dreary gray we see here from usually September until June, it sure makes one stop and take in the beauty and give thanks to our Maker. When I started out, I was not for sure in which direction I would go. Our mudroom has two doors. One leads to our woods the other to the beach. I decided to take the one headed for the woods. Not sure in which direction I would take, just start walking, listening and watching for anything that would take my attention. This is a norm for me, even if I did plan what and where I was going usually something draws my attention, and I’m off in that direction. 

I call these times when I am out and about with myself, my spiritual time. I let my soul look, feel, smell, and during the right time of season taste all the Lord has given us. I often wonder if others see their world as I see mine. I count all the notes, I hear our feathers friends singing the songs of praise straight from Heaven. Even the plumage these creatures wear is God’s gift to us; you see every color that He created. I think what a gifted God we have, talented in all fields. Can you imagine being able to create these colors with such perfection? From the little Hummingbirds to the Eagles seen often gliding in circles overhead, size does not matter they are each such a beauty and grace in flight. Their notes filling the air, I call it tranquility. It so soothes my spirit.

 I take a few breaks to listen and look. On one such, break a doe and twin fawns appeared ahead. She knows I am here, she also knows not to fear me. The little fellas white spots are still very bright; they cannot be more than a few days old. It so amazes me when I see these little ones how they balance on those wee little ankles.   I give her time and she moves on. I am in awe as I continue my walk, the colors of spring greens so bright, as bright as the sky is blue. 

I have picked a glorious day for a walk. I packed a small picnic to take with me, at this time I am so   thankful I took the time. I will indeed be out in my woods for a good spell.   The fresh air feels so good, I note that I am taking in deep breaths and realizing the refreshing sensation, I feel throughout my body.   It gives this soul pause to think about all that is, and it transcends me once again to be one with spirit. It surpasses anything I can put to words at this point. I just know that my spirit comes alive, and I see things through my Maker eyes. 

I do not bring my camera on these walks. I put my all into seeing and feeling, smelling all that surrounds me. I wish I could share or put to words how amazing this altered states feels, it exceeds all I can describe, it surpasses anything else that I have experienced in my walk on this my life’s journey the Lord has given me. To feel one with nature, a oneness with our Lord, to walk as a spirit, that is what I feel I experience each time I let myself just go deep into without thought really. Just letting my spirit be, consenting a totality, and making available the enter spirit to be the one to think, see and listen, setting no limits or bounds. 

Then I often times wonder if other souls realize what a gift He has given us, when we allow Him just to be, to put everything else to the side, and just be, let Him lead and show us all that is, all that surrounds us. This journey is so exhilarating.   Nothing can you compare it too. I go where not I lead, I am allowed to see and feel things that, for the most part, I feel are sanctioned by our Lord, in letting go, I received so much more than I could even think to ask for. 

I find myself in the lower bog.   I have been told this peat bog is millions of years old. Finn Creek comes through. This is one of our hollows; the Lord has been so good to me. The sun filters through and makes sun streaks everywhere I look, it is so spiritual. I feel the light of our Lord everywhere, reflecting and throwing beams in all directions. I find myself on my cedar tree. This is a special spot for me, since the first time I set eyes on this hollow. My cedar tree has grown into a bent hammock over the creek. Just wide, enough for me to get a relaxing lay on her.   I lay there and I hover, I feel as though I am floating, drifting off to where the Lord wants to take me to show and teach me things that I know of not. I am positioned here on my cedar hammock with the creek surrounding me, I listen to her babble underneath me and on both sides, and it is so soothing. I see every once in a while a small fish come through.   I hear the special notes above me, I look up and see a pair of Bald Eagles circling and with a juvenile,   it is being taught the lessons of life. The thin chittering notes; seem quite weak for such a magnificent bird. I have no idea how long I watched them. 

It amazes me the repertoire of each birds call or songs: from feeding and alarm calls, announcing their presence, or calling their mates to name just a few. The doves are cooing the sound so peaceful, I guess that is why we have the dove and the olive branch. I am honored and privileged that the Western Tanager makes a call. The male with his brilliant red-head, bright yellow body, with the black of its back, wings and tail that is so striking against the bright colors, their mates the females in the what seems to be muted colors of yellow-green in comparison to the males brilliant, intense colors. His colors are used to draw attention away from the nests, her colors, so she blends in.   Their song is strong and carries far, very similar to the Robin. They are so shy; it is a wonderful offering from our Lord to allow me to watch them for an extended period of time.   A Sapsucker has landed on my cedar hammock on the rise, I know he knows I am here, but he has decided to sit a spell and sun himself. I wait in quiet and just watch and take in all his colors from his red-head to his claws.  

I realize I have been gone for a long time, and I am hungry and so thankful for the food I brought. It is a very simple meal of cheese, bread, grapes and a small thermos of hot tea. It was very tasty and satisfying I decided to leave some of each as a gift to my friends who have visited me this consecrated day the Lord has given me. This is a day the Lord has blessed me with, very hallowed grounds in my peat bog hollow, one, I will not forget. I feel as good now as I have felt in a while, and I know my spirit has been recharged.   I will now head home ~ back to reality, until next time….

 

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