Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday Adventure

Ron and I took a little ride yesterday into Elyria.  Ok, I wanted to make sure that if I did have to go for jury duty that I could find the building where I needed to be as well as the parking lot I needed that is like five blocks away from the parking lot. 

(By the way, Day 1 of jury duty and I do NOT have to show up yet.  One day down, fourteen more to go!)

So, as long as we were in downtown Elyria, I wanted to go to the waterfall behind the police station.  I've taken pictures there before and posted them, but it's really such a pretty place that I have more pictures to post again! 

This is the upper falls.  It was just a beautiful day yesterday.

I am standing a good 20 feet above the top of the falls here.  I happen to look to the right and was SHOCKED to see a giant fish!  Keep in mind, I'm like 20 feet up and I swear that fish was at least 18" long if not longer.  I know it's kinda hard to guess the size of a fish from so far away but trust me, it was HUGE.

My little camera amazed me by capturing this shot!  I leaned over the edge of the railing, turned the zoom on and hoped I caught the fish!  I believe it's a carp but I won't be offended if anyone tells me I'm wrong.  The next shot even captured a couple of coins on the rock next to the water.  Almost looks like the carp is looking for the money.

I think the picture will get bigger if you click on it.  One coin is on the crack almost even with his eye and the other one is even with the stick jutting out of the water.  I thought it was cool that I captured this! 

I saw a total of three huge fish.  This guy that was hanging by the edge of the rocks and there were two more that were over about 20 or 30 feet away from the falls.  The two of them would appear and then dive out of sight.  Then back up for my photo op and then back down. 

These two were easier to see in person as the photo really didn't come out so well.  But you get the idea.  Finally, we headed over to the other viewing platform to get  a shot of the upper and lower falls.

Then, looking to the left, down the river.

It was just such a pretty day. 

As I was standing here in the corner taking pictures, a fly landed on the railing.  As an homage to Mark, who is the BEST bug picture taker, I have "The Fly".

I know Mark would have zoomed in close enough to see the fly's toothy smile, but I at least got a shot in.

This is just one of my favorite spots in the area.  It's beautiful to sit there and just look at the waterfall, and every time I'm there I have my camera.  It's a fun place to shoot.  Go on over.  Tell the carp I sent you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And I Still Miss Him

This is my Dad and today he would have been 88 years old.

I have been thinking a lot about my family the last few days.  Mostly, the family members who are no longer with us.  For example, my Dad.  Being the youngest as well as a daughter, Dad and I had a special relationship.  Was it always good?  By definition, heck no!  Dads and daughters sometimes butt heads!  But, on the other hand, a Dad and his youngest daughter always have a special bond that can't always be explained.

Dad fought all my monsters, protected me from loose dogs, killed spiders in my bedroom and came all the way over to my apartment to load (and unload if necessary!) my mouse traps.  Dad fixed what I broke and started to explained things to me that I needed to know.  He gave me my first tool box complete with tools.  Craftsman tools, of course!

One of my favorite Dad stories was a little thing we did whenever he wanted to get away from Mom some evening.  That meant he didn't feel like doing whatever was on his "honey-do" list and he didn't want to hear Mom bitch about him doing nothing for an evening.

For real, he'd go up into the attic where there was a phone.  He'd call me at my apartment and ask me to call back and ask for him.  Ok, whatever, I'll give the guy an out for an evening!  We'd hang up the phone, I'd wait a few minutes and call the house.

Mom would answer and I'd start bellyaching to her that I broke something again.  My poor vacuum cleaner "broke" more often than I can tell you!  Anyway, I'd bellyache to Mom, she'd call Dad down from the attic and then Dad would "complain" on the phone in front of her about having to fix whatever I broke . . . AGAIN!  Fine.  I'd remind him quietly on the phone to bring the pizza and in about a half an hour or so there would be Dad on my doorstep, pizza in hand.  We'd spend a quiet evening eating pizza and watching a movie and he'd get out of doing chores at home.  Win/Win!

So, walk with me down memory lane as I remember my family.

My sister Barb and her husband Bill.

The older I get the more I think I look like Barb!

Barb and Jim, mugging for the camera!

 I miss her.  She was my voice of reason, my confidant, my supporter, my friend.

I don't have good pictures of my Mom.  I didn't have a digital camera back in the day so I only have pictures of her towards the end of her life.  My Mom was really a beautiful woman, but that's not reflected in these pictures where she's swollen from the medications she was on. 

Mom and my brother Mike.  This was 1997 shortly before she passed away.

Mom with two of her favorite sons, Mike and Jim!

And here was a rare sight.  One I can only remember seeing twice in MY life.  Then again, I'm the last of six children so all of this must have happened LONG before I was born!

This is four generations of men in my family back in 2003.  Starting with the smallest, my great nephew Evan who is now a strapping young man of 11!  To the right is his Dad, my nephew Mike.  I won't give his age!  On the left is Mike's Dad, my brother Mike.  And in the middle, is my Dad.  Mike and Dad have on their Hawaiian party shirts because you can't have a bad day in a party shirt!  This was in 2003 and we were celebrating Dad's birthday.  I thought it fitting to end with a birthday pictures.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thank You! That Was Mighty Neighborly!

Tuesday I came home from work and all was well.

A few hours later, Ron and I are sitting on the porch while he's having a cigarette and I see just to the north of my house, in the north bound lane of traffic, a HUGE groundhog.  A huge DEAD groundhog.  Yuck.  That was NOT there when I had come home from work that day.

Part of me wanted to rush over and take pictures for the Lorain 365 blog, but lucky for you, I have been working on editing my thought process!  I'm sure all of our readers there will be so happy about that.

Even though there are no pictures of this huge dead groundhog, it was a train wreck (and almost a few car wrecks!) in the street.  North bound cars were swerving to avoid the hit and every time a car went by, I couldn't do anything but watch it go by, waiting for a direct hit.  I could NOT look away.  As much as I was telling myself that I did NOT want to see that groundhog get flattened, I just couldn't look . . . away.  It was horrible.

Finally, Ron suggested I leave my post on the front porch and go into the house and quit watching for the inevitable smooshing of the groundhog.  Fine.  That was probably a good idea.

Into the house we went and upstairs to the office.  I turned on m computer, turned on the TV and guess what?  All I could see is that damn groundhog!  I had such a good view of it from out the office window!  Again, Ron had the good idea of shutting the blinds on the window thus forcing me to QUIT LOOKING but that would have been too easy.  Besides, there is a cat perch on the window ledge and the cats like to get up there and look out which is why the shade is up.  I didn't want to close it on the cats!  (Besides, I was still waiting for that smooshing.  Ugh.)

Then one of the neighbor kids stepped up and took care of it. By kids I mean teenager, or at least he looked like a teenager to me.  You know the older you get the younger they look.  Anyway, he grabbed a long stick and kinda rolled that groundhog off of the street and over into the tree lawn across the street.  I can still see him there, but he's not as mesmerizing to look at now that he's not in the middle of the street.

So thank you, neighbor!  You saved me from putting a spot light on that ground hog so I could watch all night long until someone hit that poor thing again!

Then there is tonight.  It's now a group sport, coming to look at this groundhog.  First were three kids, maybe preteens.  The boy I think was trying to look macho in front of the two girls.  He actually took a picture of the poor dead animal and then proudly proclaimed "this is now my facebook status!".  Can you say "ewwww!!"  The two girls tried to poke it with a stick then ran screaming. 

Then, there was the father and daughter who were so fascinated with this poor rigor mortis filled dead groundhog that he actually had to pull over in the alley and get out to go LOOK at the groundhog with his little girl.  Ah, it made my heart warm that little family moment.  By the way, he also took pictures of the dead groundhog.

Why oh why did I pick NOW to start editing my brain?  I so should have gone out to take a picture and post it on the blog. IS still light outside . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Share and Relish, Fresh Lake Erie Walleye

I know I am so far behind in posting recipes!  My friend Georgia is much better and keeping up the recipe sharing.  Please make sure you go check out her delicious looking Be-Well Soup and the rest of the good food she's posted!

Ron and Larry have been out on Ron's boat fishing most weekends.  The guys have been catching the best of what Lake Erie has to offer; perch, white bass and my favorite, walleye.  Here is a picture of one of the walleye that they recently caught.  This baby was our dinner Friday night.

From fresh caught walleye to beautiful fillets.

On the top left is one of the fish cheeks.  I guess it's a delicacy.  Ron and Larry got to eat those since they are the ones that caught the fish!  Fair is fair.

I took the filets and cut them into pieces about four inches long.  I was baking half of the filets and frying the other half.

Let's start with the baked fish.  I filled one bowl with milk (2% milk because that's what we drink!) and I filled one bowl with Panko break crumbs.  What I found out later is that Panko break crumbs are really made for deep frying.  I should have stuck with a bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes as a coating.  The panko were ok in the baked version, but next time I would use something else.

Anyway, here are my two bowls.

Real simple, I put the filet into the milk then into the Panko to coat it.  Since my baking sheets are all rusted and crappy, I cover them with aluminum foil before baking anything.  Once the filets were put through both bowls, I lined them up on the baking sheet.

I then melted two tablespoons of butter and drizzled the butter over the filets.  Then, baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, until filets flaked apart easily.  Here are the filets ready to go into the oven.

Since I didn't think to make this dinner into a blog until I was in the middle of making dinner, I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.  And, we were all drooling so much, so as soon as the food hit the table, we were chowing down!  I could have taken pictures of four full bellies, but that would not have looked as good on the blog.  Trust me, it was a fabulous dinner!

The second half of the fish was cooked the good way.  Fried in Crisco (or lard!)

This time I needed three bowls.  From left to right, flour with salt and pepper in it, three eggs whisked, another bowl of Panko bread crumbs.

Easy peasy here.  Coat the fish filets in each bowl, going from left to right.

I placed all of the filets on a dish until I had all of them breaded.  In a heavy cast iron skillet, I heated up about 1/2" of Crisco.  Here is the fish just placed in the hot oil.

Fry until both sides are golden brown.

I wish I would have made the time to take pictures of the finished product but like I said, we were in too much of a hurry to eat.  You gotta believe me when I tell you, the fish was AWESOME!

I had also cooked some halushki and Ron made some corn on the cob.  I need to make both of those things again and show you how to make a couple of our favorite things.

For now, fresh walleye from Lake Erie.  It doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day's Dam Saturday Walk

I talked Ron into taking a walk on Saturday.  We headed over to Day's Dam right here in Lorain Ohio.  I didn't think I had been there before, but some parts of the park were very familiar, like the giant cottonwood.  But, more on that below.

So, we went for a walk in the park.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful trail.

We took one of the side trails that went to the giant cottonwood tree.  Here was the trail

and here was the tree.

You can't appreciate just how massive this tree is in pictures.  So, I asked Ron to stand next to the tree so you could get an idea.

That's a damn big tree!  As we were walking up the path (two pictures up) I was telling Ron that the only thing we were missing was the troll under the bridge.  Then, there it was!  In the picture with Ron, if you look over his head about six or seven feet, there was a troll face!  Ron thinks it's just the stump from a branch that was cut off at one time but whatever.  I know what I think it is and I think it's a troll's face!

The tree was huge.  And absolutely beautiful.  A giant cottonwood.  It's worth the side trip off of the main trail to go and see that.

Back on to the main trail, there were a ton of bird houses all along the trail.  Even trying to be quiet, we didn't see any birds.  Too bad as these little houses definitely looked like they were in move-in condition!

Then there was another little side trail that went to the waterfall. 

This is really one of the nicest MetroParks I've been to see.  Granted, we didn't get through all of it but what we saw, I loved it.

Finally we made it to the waterfall.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a good photo opportunity at this waterfall that didn't include wading in mud up to my knees!  So, from where the trail was dry, here is the waterfall.

Too bad the picture sucks because it really was beautiful!  Just to the left of where I took this picture, I saw what I thought was a giant snake climbing up a tree!  Ok, this is from the woman who sees a troll's face on the giant cottonwood! 

I'm still not sure what that was climbing up that tree, but I know now that it's not a snake.  I don't know if it's a root somehow or just a vine that snaked up the tree but for a second, it scared the heck out of me!

This was the best part of my weekend.  I'm going to have to try to talk him into more walks.