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Kam's Berry

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I am a tad cranky today. Partly because I believe the next-door cat is, indeed, gone (that mainly makes me sad, but it contributes to my overall crankiness), and also because I truly detest unsolicited (negative) comments, as well as people in authority — who really should know better — who call you the day of an event they fully expect you to cover (in this case, “you” being “me”) instead of giving you (again: “me”) the courtesy of advance notice (for example, a couple of days or more rather than a few short hours). Especially considering said event consists of spending an excruciatingly boring evening in a hot gymnasium. Blech.

Also, I am cranky because a year ago, I was en route to the Grand Canyon, in the midst of a most excellent trip to Arizona, and I cannot help wishing I were there, again, right now.

Earlier in the week, I had set out for the Saguaro National Park with my trusty atlas in hand … resulting in a photo that captures My True Drokdom just about as perfectly as possible:

Traveling Drok

This particular trip was especially good for thinking because I spent a good portion of it alone. Driving. And listening to music. And seeing stuff I had never seen before.

And I do not wish to rewrite the trip because what I wrote here¬†and somewhere in here (the MySpace bloggie is not nearly as easy to navigate — another reason I ditched it, I suppose) is better than anything I could write today because it was fresh, then … and here it is, a whole year later.

My, how time flies.

I do remember, though, a site I saw and a thought I had, at one point in my journey. I had just (reluctantly) left Sedona, and as I drove toward a town called Jerome near the top of Mingus Mountain (7,815 ft., according to my atlas), on a couple of nearby mountains, I saw the letters “J” and “C.” And me being me, at the time, I immediately saw that as a reminder of an acquaintance of mine whose initials are J.C. — an acquaintance of mine who was, I finally realized, becoming an ex-acquaintance.

Just over a month later, though, I made a new friend whose initials are J.C.

How cool is that?

I’m mostly a car girl, but tell me I wouldn’t look good in this 1965 Chevrolet Stepside! (By the way: It’s for sale. Anyone got several thousand bucks I could, heh, borrow?!)

1965 Chevy Stepside

Stepside Sideview

Right here, in the middle o’ town:

Rooster

Rooster & Hens

Looks like my next-door-neighbor cat is going to be moving, after all.

I am bummed.

No one has ever been as enthused to see me as he has been. Consistently.

(OK, I know it’s mainly about the Meow Mix, but still.)

Sucks, man.

Even though I am pretty sure I do not have a single drop of Mexican or Spanish blood in me, I have been celebrating the holiday by cleaning (my house) and shooting (poppies and various other plants) and cooking (Mexican chicken, pico de gallo and guacamole) and watching/listening (to baseball: Astros 13, Cardinals 0 [Ouch!] and Cubs 5, Nationals 3) and eating! Oh, and now: blogging!

Here are today’s recipes:

Mexican Chicken (courtesy of Paula Deen)

1 whole chicken, boiled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
12 corn or flour tortillas (I prefer corn)

Preheat oven to (what else?) 350 degrees F. Combine soups and tomatoes in a large bowl. Mix in about two-thirds of the chicken. (I saved the rest of it, along with the chicken broth, to make some chicken and noodles tomorrow.) Spray a 9-by-13 baking dish with Pam. Lay 6 tortillas in the baking dish, overlapping them to cover the bottom of the dish. Pour in soup and chicken mixture. Top with remaining 6 tortillas. Cover tortillas with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Pico de Gallo

4 tomatoes, diced
1 slice of red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced into teeny-tiny pieces (I used only about one-fourth of a pepper)
Several leaves of cilantro, chopped
A couple of sprinkles of salt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill before serving with tortilla chips or on tacos.

Guacamole

4 avocadoes, diced
1 pkg. guacamole spices
1 slice of red onion, diced
A few squirts of lime juice

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. (I prefer to keep my avocadoes rather chunky.) Chill before serving with tortilla chips or on tacos.

Now if I only had a bottle o’ Corona to finish it all off!

For Jane, of course!

Grizzly Bear

Malayan Sun Bears

Polar Bear

OK, maybe not all of them!

Spectacled Bear

A couple of elephants were out Monday morning during our visit to the Saint Louis Zoo: 9-month-old Maliha and her mother, Ellie.

Maliha & Ellie

Maliha Tossing Dirt

Ellie & Maliha

Asian Elephant Sign

Baby Maliha

Maliha & Straw

Baby Elephant Walk

Bunch of Poppies

1 Poppy

5 Poppies

Poppy Profile

Another Solo Poppy

May 2007
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