To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's That Noise?

About a week and a half ago, we started noticing a strange whirring sound outdoors. At first, I ignored it, thinking that it must be machinery doing work somewhere out on the road. But it was constant and sometimes, loud enough that we could hear it inside the house. When the newspaper ran an article about it, we realized we were hearing an unusual natural phenomenon - 13-year cicadas. These harmless but noisy bugs have the longest developmental period of all N. American insects, growing underground as nymphs for 13-17 years, depending on which brood they belong to. We're being treated to the song of Brood XIX, which last emerged in 1998, and won't be heard again until MB is 21 years old. Read more here.

This video is a good example of the sound. It isn't quite this loud in our yard, thankfully.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado

When I did my master's at the University of Alabama, I lived in an apartment complex on 15th St. in Tuscaloosa, just one mile from the corner of McFarland Blvd. and the University Mall. Today, I'm seeing video on the national news of that area as it was ravaged by a monster tornado. I haven't been able to see my apartment complex in any photos or videos, but it's hard to believe it could have escaped being damaged. From what I can tell, it looks like the tornado came from the stadium down 15th to the mall and then veered somewhat north to go through the Alberta City area, but it would have been within a few blocks of my place. Scary stuff. My heart goes out to all those affected. This video was taken from the mall parking lot by someone with nerves of steel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lemon Sage Chicken

This recipe is definitely a keeper! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and fresh sage from my herb garden. I browned them in a skillet 'til about half done, and finished them in the oven. Next time, we'll grill them.

Lemon Sage Chicken


  • 2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if using sodium-containing chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the lemon-sage marinade into a large glass baking dish; add the chicken to the dish, turning the pieces once to coat with the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate the chicken for 1 hour, turning the pieces once every 15 minutes. (Laura sez: just put it all in a zip-lock bag, mush it all together, and squeeze out all the air. No need to turn every 15 min.)

Preheat a grill or brush a large skillet with oil and set it over medium-high heat. Arrange all the chicken pieces on the grill or place the chicken, in batches, into the hot skillet. Discard the marinade. Cook the chicken for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. The chicken is done when the thickest part feels firm to the touch and tests 165F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve hot as an entree or refrigerate the chicken and serve it sliced in a salad.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Easter Cookies

Easter may still be a few weeks away, but we didn't let that stop us from making Easter cookies today! It was the perfect activity for the morning after a sleepover. I love using this recipe from Alton Brown. The cookies don't spread, and they always turn out perfectly. I mixed up some confectioner's sugar with a small amount of milk and some food coloring for icing.

It freaks me out to hear a 7 and 8-year old talking in emoticons. When they're excited, they say, "OMG!" The letters, that is - Oh, Em, Gee! (For those of you not up on the lingo used in text messaging, it stands for "Oh, My Gosh!" At least, that's what they think.) They don't even text yet! They're just picking it up from the atmosphere, I guess...

School Project on the Seneca Tribe

The sun is shining, it's 60-something degrees, and it's Spring Break! Woo-hoo! You know it's spring in Augusta when the azaleas, the dogwoods, and the Golf Traffic signs are in bloom. Another sign of spring: school projects. Mary Beth's class has been doing a unit on Native Americans.

Yesterday, the two 2nd grade classrooms were transformed into a museum about Native Americans. Each child had researched a different tribe and prepared a report, a poster, and a model home. They had also made clay pots, weavings, and dream catchers. Earlier in the year, the students had written letters to the current governments of their tribes, and some had mailed back letters and information. Mary Beth's tribe was the Seneca, and they had mailed her lots of brochures. Too bad she didn't get the Creeks (Muskogee) since she's 1/64th Muskogee herself, but we enjoyed learning about the Seneca tribe! All of the parents came to see the displays. They were all very proud!

We made our longhouse by gluing bark and sticks to a structure made from a narrow shoebox and an oatmeal box cut in half lengthwise for the roof. We spray-painted it brown before putting the bark on. Our "hide" door was cut from a scrap of suede, and we found a doll-house sized bowl and basket and some tiny vegetables at the craft store. I tried to brainstorm how we could fashion some tiny lacrosse sticks since Seneca boys liked to play that game. But, Mary Beth said, "Mama, you're getting carried away."

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...