The Best Blender Salsa

Easy Blender Salsa
• 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
• 1-10 oz. can original Rotel (if you can find the new fire roasted Rotel I like to use that)
• 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
• 1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not depending on how spicy you like it
• 1 tsp. honey
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 – 2 handfuls of washed cilantro, roughly chopped
• juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the food processor or blender. Pulse to combine for 30 seconds or until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or favorite dishes.This salsa gets better when it can sit in the refrigerator overnight or even a day or two. It gets better with age.

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Sand Hill Cranes

As Evan and I were driving back into Jackson from dropping my girls off at camp we came across these beautiful Sand Hill Cranes in the Elk Refuge. I have come across them before on trail rides, and they are quite large and make the most unusual noise. They are spectacular creatures.

Creek in Kelly, Wyoming

The colors in and on the banks of this creek just outside of Kelly were extraordinary. I’m not sure if that green stuff on the sides is a good thing, but it sure was pretty.

Corrugated Tabletop Planter Box

I’ve seen these really cool plants around at a few places this summer. They were so interesting looking that I bought 4 of them and knew exactly the kind of planter I wanted to make for them. I don’t know what the plant is called so I can’t help you out there.

I made the planter completely with recycled materials for a cost of $0 except for the nails and screws. I did pay for the plants and the sand/stone stuff I used to cover up the dirt. I made the box of the planter with wood from a wooden palette that I got for free. These are easy to find around and most places are happy to get rid of them, but do ask before you take. The rusty corrugated metal I salvaged from an abandoned barn on the Southern Road Trip I took with my sister in December.

The sides of the planter were made from wood recycled from a wooden palette. The bottom I made from a scrap piece of plywood.

I cut out some rusty corrugated metal using a metal-cutting blade and my jigsaw. That worked fine, but I do think there’s a better tool for cutting metal than that. It made one heck of a racket and jumped around a lot. I cut a pilot hole with a large drill bit to cut out the center hole with the jigsaw.

I screwed the corrugated metal to the wooden box base, sanded off any sharp spots on the corrugated metal, and then I was ready to plant. First I filled the box of the planter with high-quality potting soil.

I planted the 4 plants evenly in the planter so that the soil came to just a little below the corrugated metal, pressing it down slightly to compress the soil.

I added some tan colored large-grained sand (or tiny stones — I’m not sure exactly what they were) on top of the soil so it would highlight the tan color of the plants interesting flowers.

That was all there was to it to make a really cool looking planter that I thought worked perfectly with these unusual plants.

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This sweet bison was part of a large herd this evening in Teton National Park as we were on our way home from picking my son up at camp.

Wood Door at Mormon Row

Mormon Row outside of Kelly, Wyoming is a beautiful place that I visit every time I come here. Sometimes, however, there are so many bison milling around it isn’t safe to get out of your car. Today when I was there with India and Maia there were only 3 bison visible pretty far off in the distance, which allowed me the luxury of walking to some far-reaching buildings that I had never been to before. We kept a close eye on those bison — that were slowly wandering our way — and kept calculating in my head if we could reach the car before they reached us should they decide to charge. Since I’m writing this, thankfully I never had to test my calculations.

I have photographed this door before at Mormon Row in Kelly, Wyoming, but the beauty of the wood and simplicity of the chain draws me back every year to photograph it again.

The Art of the Roll

I’m in Wyoming now, having arrived late on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow we pick up my son from camp. He’s been gone for a month and I absolutely cannot wait to see him. On Saturday we will drop my two youngest girls off at the same camp for their month of fun.

Today I took the afternoon off from camp packing to drive to some of my favorite places: Lunch at Dornan’s in Moose, Mormon Row, Kelly and Teton National Park.

There is something so joyous about watching a horse take a good roll. I thought I’d share it with you.

Roll Complete. Oh geesh, they were watching…

Promote the Goat

I stopped by to visit The Butterfield Farm Company in East Granby, CT last week. I found them through a bumper sticker I saw on a truck a few months ago: “Promote the Goat” was all it said. Of course I went home and Googled it and stumbled across their farm, who uses that catchy phrase in their promotions. They had some really beautiful Nubian goats.

Fodor Farm Community Garden

There is a community garden in the next town over from where I live that for as long as I can remember was an abandoned house and overgrown yard. It was purchased by the town a few years ago and now holds 220 4′ x 12′ garden beds plots that resident families can rent for a mere $5 a season, which is kept low by an obesity prevention grant under the Connecticut Department of Health.

I drive by this garden frequently, but a few weeks ago I happened to have my camera in the car and the evening light was just beautiful. When my girls said they didn’t mind, I stopped in for a quick photo session. Although there were only two people working in their gardens when we arrived, there were probably as many as 20 people working away when we left.

So here you go – a little porn for the gardener

The cabbages I’ve seen around this year have looked pretty awful; probably due to the crazy weather we’ve had. The cabbages here however were beautiful.

A blossom of a butterfly bush

A bee gathers pollen from a coneflower

The lovely colors of Swiss chard

This zinnia has so many textures and colors when looked at this closely.

I just love allium flowers

Onion blossoms

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas


More lettuce

This was no dumb bunny. He clearly knew where to find the best fruits and vegetables around.

Rolling Computer Case

This is a re-post of a brilliant idea (at least I thought so) that I had a few years back. As an update, the iLugger is now available for the 27″ Mac computer at a cost of $199.00, or you can go for the gusto with the Tenba 27″ case for a whopping $654.95. Truthfully, my idea really was meant to serve the purpose of bringing my large computer safely to the Apple Store when I needed to, and for that it could be the best $20 you’ll ever spend. If you are in a situation where you have to travel with a computer of this size safely, this probably would not be the way to go. However, if you have to take your computer in for servicing or for any reason, this is a back saver.

Computer Travel Case

Originally published on November 11, 2009

OK. This was one of my better ideas.

I am extremely fortunate to have the new 27” iMac computer. My kids were using the computer so much now for homework and such that I found it hard to get some ‘screen time’. I’d been bugging my husband about it for 2 years, and we finally just bit the bullet. Fortunately for me, the new 27” iMac had just been released days before and was the same price as the old 24” iMac was.

This is the original box that my iMac came in

The problem with this big, beautiful computer is that learning how to create this web site has required weekly, if not more often, one-to-one training at the local Apple store.  Lugging this computer down to the Apple store all the time is really awkward and heavy. The box is a whopping 30” x 24” x 9.5”. I don’t even know what it weighs. They make this thing called the iLugger, but not only is it really expensive, it’s not available yet for the new 27” iMac. It dawned on me this morning that, just like on the lemonade stand that I built, I could attach simple rolling caster wheels to the bottom of the box and away I’d go.

4 rolling casters with mounting plates, bolts, washers and nuts are all you need. You may want to invest in a different handle than the one that's built in to the box; a strap handle mounted on one end of the box would be super.

Mark all of the holes for the mounting plates and pre-drill. You want to make sure your bolts aren't so long that they'll poke the computer in any way.

Attach castors to box using bolts, washers and nuts.

 A quick trip to the hardware store where I purchased 4 2” rolling caster wheels with a screw-in plate, 16 bolts  about 3/4” to 1” long.appropriately sized for the caster’s plate holes and 16 locking washers and nuts. For $19.25 and a half hour of labor I have a rolling computer case that I barely have to lift at all.

Finished rolling computer case.

Now isn’t that a good idea?
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