Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mrs. Greenberg

Mrs. Greenberg is Beasley, my Cockatoo's, companion. Mrs. Greenberg is a Peach Faced Lovebird. Yes indeed, there is quite a size disparity, yet Mrs. Greenberg (who I suspect is really a Mr., which REALLY complicates things) regularly grooms Beasley's head feathers and crest. Beasley waits for Mrs. Greenberg to toddle out of his feed bowl before he goes for a bite. His food bowl is more than big enough for Mrs. Greenberg to disappear into in search of bits of crumbs that Beasley has pulverized with his much bigger beak. They sleep next to each other sometimes in the afternoon. Both of them all fluffed up, Beasley with one foot folded up into what is left of his chest feathers. Who would have thought a Cockatoo and a Lovebird would be friends, chums, cagemates? Although Mrs. Greenberg has her own cage, she is only confined there at night. In the morning, I take the cover off her cage and out she comes. She is small enough to slip in between the bars of Beasley's cage - and the day begins for the birds.

Here are a few pictures of Mrs. Greenberg perched on my leg while I type on my computer keyboard. I put my feet up on my desk and Mrs. Greenberg makes herself right at home.

Next, a few pictures of Beas and Mrs. Greenberg. I posed them on the back of my desk chair. They were very suspicious of what I was doing, so there are no fluffing and going to sleep postures, so you'll have to use your imagination.

More Sunflowers With Guests

Here is the beautiful sunflower as backdrop to various "guests" - a bluejay and a bee. I love blue and yellow and the colors of the bluejay next to the sunflower are eye candy, I think:

Next, a few non-sunflower pictures. Two of a cat in a basket - our Neko, a backyard monk parakeet looking for food and a tiny red flower. Oh - and the usual squirrel with a peanut.

I love to sit in the backyard and enjoy our beautiful and amusing guests. I have to confess I like them so much more than most people and would rather enjoy an afternoon with them than an afternoon spent in the midst of people.

I almost forgot one last guest - a knight anole lizard in our firebush:

Here is another plant that sprouted from bird seed. I have no idea what it is, but I'll leave it until it ripens, then place the seeds in a feeder, unless the birds eat them right off the plant before I have a chance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The birds must have dropped a sunflower seed on the ground in their haste - and it took root. Here are a few photos of the beautiful sunflower that has emerged. I wonder if the center of the sunflower is a Fibonaci spiral....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back Yard Pics

Well, it's Monday, Memorial Day - and tomorrow it's back to work. This morning I took some photos of tiny butterflies and a tiny bee in my back yard. That's the extent of my photos this weekend.

These little butterflies are the kind you would hardly notice. They were lighting on weeds in the grass which will be mowed shortly. Until those weeds flower again, the tiny butterflies will have to depend on some other bloom, although it will only take a day or two before the weeds flower again.
The first tiny yellow butterfly is called a "Dainty Sulphur". It is common out west and in Florida.
The next butterfly is called a "Gray Hairstreak". It is common throughout the lower 48 states. It is also tiny - I didn't even notice it until I was sitting on the ground waiting for the Dainty Sulphurs to land. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed this little Gray Hairstreak just sitting quietly on a little yellow flower.
And finally, there was also a tiny bee. Once again, if I hadn't of been sitting on the ground, I never would have noticed him either. I took a few shots of him:

That's all folks until later......

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Night Dinner - Cuban Food

So, I did everything I said I would do. I put the pork roast in the oven, I made the black beans and the plantains and the rice, and I cleaned house and vacuumed. Not to mention I did a little of the laundry, but I started petering out at that, so tomorrow is another day for laundry.

Here are some pictures of my culinary adventure. I didn't buy the correct cut of pork. The recipe called for a pork shoulder. I couldn't find that at the store, although the clerk said that "pork picnic" is the same as pork shoulder. The "pork picnic" they had was huge, so I bought something called "Boston butt" instead. It wasn't as good as I would have liked. The flavor was there, but the texture wasn't as moist and shreddy (is that a word?) as the Cuban pork I've had at local restaurants.

Here is a before and after photo of the pork roast:

Next, the beans. I've made black beans before so I had no problem here, and they were QUITE good. I followed the recipe just so far, and when the taste wasn't what I expected, I added tomato sauce and green olive juice - call me weird, but it worked! I often experiment with "throwing stuff in" that way. Here is a picture of the beans, both before and after they had simmered for a couple of hours:

Finally, the plantains. I've cooked those before also. I have my own way of cooking them. I slice them into thin chips, add garlic powder liberally to them, and then fry them in a little olive oil until they are brown or even black-brown. They are better than the mushy gushy plantains you get at a traditional Cuban restaurant. Those, from what I've read, are fried in lard. This meal is bad enough, what with fatty pork - I'm not going to make it any worse by frying something in lard. I didn't take a before picture, just an after - and here it is:

Last, here is a view of my plate after I served myself the rice and beans, the pork and some plantains. I used brown rice instead of white rice, also. I'm used to the flavor and texture of brown rice and it's better for you.

I loved the plantains and the rice and beans. The pork - my husband loved it, but then he loves everything. I didn't think it was as flavorful or moist as the local Cuban restaurant. I won't be making this dish very often - it's loads of work and it is fattening. When I do make it again, I'll try a different cut of pork. I had fun, though, and my husband is happy.


Finally - it's Friday again. I'm at work, where I'm far more relaxed than I'll be at home tonight. Hence, I'm writing a post now. I have a computer job, and there's not much to do today, so I can sit at my computer and.....not do as much as on other days. The operative word is "sit", as opposed to what I'm doing later on.

When I get home this afternoon, I'm making my first attempt at Cuban style roast pork, which will then be shredded and fried with onions. Then I'm making black beans and rice to go with it - I've made them before. And finally, plantains, which I've also made before.

In between the cooking? I'm vacuuming, straightening up the house, cleaning and doing laundry. This is a three day weekend and I don't want to spend any of those three days cleaning. I want to go on an outing, which means MORE PICTURES TO POST and I also want to take one day to go through all the junk and messy cabinets I have in my kitchen, throw out or give away unwanted "stuff" and generally pare down. I started doing this last night and feel better already. The counters have less on them and a couple of cabinets have less IN them, too.
So, keep tuned to this "channel" for some weekend pictures - and you have a wonderful weekend yourself!

Oh - and to my sister? Here's your post - I hope you enjoy it!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Night Quick Pics

Just some pics from hanging out in the backyard at sundown. Note the tiny green spider on the sunflower. To see larger versions of the images, click on them. The bananas are also growing in our backyard.

And now, one of the squirrels that frequent our feeders - this one LOVES peanut butter!

Our cat Buster loves to eat grass. He craves it. Here he is looking longingly through the screen waiting for me to stop taking pictures and let him out. He never runs, if a loud noise occurs while he is out in his grassy spot, he bolts for the house and climbs the screen door in panic. He is definitely NOT lion hearted, but he is our baby, not an outdoor cat at all, except for these little 2 minute excursions to one particular spot daily. The birds and squirrels ignore him because all he wants to do is eat a few blades of grass and head indoors again to safety. Smart cat.

Last but not least, my Cockatoo, Beasley. He is outside briefly also, perched on a lawn chair, eating peanuts.