Sunday, February 25, 2007

That Little Whippersnapper and Other Musings

Ever since I was a little girl, my dad promised a quarter or fifty-cents to the first one to see a robin in the spring. Even as an adult, I've still been quick to cash in on that challenge. Well, this year he extended the challenge to my niece and nephews ,and didn't my 9 year old niece B call him already to let him know she'd spotted a robin! The little whippersnapper!

I don't know if there's a runner-up prize or not, but I'm still looking for that robin! Heck, I'm on the lookout for any sign of spring! But today it looks pretty far away - we're under a "freezing rain" alert in my city today. Don't know if I will still be shopping and visiting with my sister as planned.

Speaking of weather alerts on the news, do you ever wonder why they call it "news"? I mean, when you have to hear it five or six times, is it really new? I've seen the same lady now three times saying she hopes the new casinos in our area pay off!

I spent last evening with my parents and some house guests of theirs. They're visiting from Spain and very eager to learn and improve their English. Among other things, we discussed the custom of engagement. In Spain, there's no such thing. The churches have a waiting list for people to get married. Once a couple decides to get married, they head for the church and get their name on the list! I couldn't imagine marriage without several months to prepare; they couldn't fathom the whole engagement ring and waiting period!

They also found it amusing that our cat is diabetic and needs shots several times a day! I guess that is kind of bizarre but I don't find it amusing! She's seventeen years old. I mean, she's a nice enough cat (when she's not hissing at my dog), but how many lives does she get?!

One last thing, and I promise I'm working on a real post soon. Yesterday I made some awesome vegetable soup. Neither Mike nor I really care for beef in our vegetable soup, so this is truly vegetable soup. Here's the recipe in a nutshell, but understand, I really don't measure when making this!

1 large onion, chopped
4-6 stalks celery, chopped
6-7 carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 turnips, peeled and diced
4 cans vegetable broth
1 large & 1 reg. can of stewed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes - you can crush them yourself)
1 large can V-8 juice (I try to use low sodium if I have it)
1/2 - 3/4 cup cooking wine
2 cups savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 cup baby spinach
dried basil, pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, saute onion, celery, carrots and turnips in about 2T olive oil until the onions and celery are tender. Slowly add the broth, tomatoes, V-8 and cooking wine. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat and add cabbage and spinach leaves. Season to taste. Simmer for at least an hour. Enjoy!

This goes really great with homemade bread, unless you've lost the kneading blade for your bread machine!!!


gail said...

We've been having an unusually high number of robins this year I think; maybe yours are still here in the South! They've been around here for several weeks I think.

You have a cat that's 17 years old? NO, don't tell me that! My daugher left her 2 cats here & hasn't taken them yet; I didn't know they might live so long!

Katrina said...

Well, I hate to tell you, but Camden and I saw four robins last week, flitting between our yard and the neighbor's. :) Do I get a quarter?

As for the weather... I am more than ready for Spring. I'm getting a little tired of hearing the weatherman announce yet another winter storm approaching. Yuck.

I don't think Chad would agree to give our cat daily shots if she needed them to continue living. I'm afraid we would just have to say goodbye to her. She's only 11, but he's ready for her to go to a far, far better place!

Susanne said...

I haven't seen a robin yet either. We had a beautiful day yesterday but it was still quite cold.

Your veggie soup sounds very yummy and perfect for that freezing rain kind of day.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

We have had a ton of robins here and maybe they just haven't made it back up towards you yet. Can you count the ones you spied on my photoblog for your quarter win?! :) Hope you get some spring-like weather soon. Take care if you're out in the freezing rain.

Interesting about the cultural differences with engagements with our country and others. They don't do engagement rings? I wonder where that originated....

Your soup sounds yummy! Did you order a kneading blade for your machine? Hope it comes in soon :)

Barb said...

I know Spanish weddings are beautiful so I'm asking myself how on earth do they do it without months and months to prepare. Right about now, I seriously wish I knew!

I love vegetable soup. I actually try to have meatless meals at least a couple of times a week - it's good for us.

I can't imagine seeing a robin any time soon. But Thursday morning, my two morning doves were back! There they say, softly cooing, on my back fence. They're pretty big birds - maybe that's why we see them earlier.

After the weather you've had this past few weeks, I'm sure you're ready for spring. My word, it's been awful there.

And what do you mean, a real post. THIS is a real post - I thoroughly enjoyed it! :-)

Jennifer said...

This post is real enough for me.

One time we were almost to my grandmother's house. I think that my dad had had enough of the chatter (and maybe arguing) that two girls can cause, and he offered to pay us a lot--$50 I think--if we saw a deer before we got there. Seeing a deer was a pretty rare occurrence and he didn't have to pay up, but it probably was quieter, since we were looking--hard.

Christina Berry said...

I'm just afraid that the first robin will be identitifed when I open up the lid of the cat house. Every so often, when I'm feeding the cat, I open the lid to a swirl of feathers. Poor bird. :-(