Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fenis and Chipper

My husband is writing a series of children's stories involving the protagonist squirrel--Chipper.
Squirrel eating a nut

I was really surprised at how well he doing. I thought I was the only one in the family who could write (smug comment here, in case you can't figure it out). Now he's writing a mini-mystery that will include:

Fenis--the red-tailed hawk
Rufous morph

Chuckie, the chipmunk
Tamias rufus

and (drum roll here . . .)

the villain--Seymour, the black snake.
Northern Black Racer, C. c. constrictor

(We think this is Seymour--it was hard to catch him on camera!) He's as bad as I am. No, not the snake. Hubby. He read the ending to me late last night and hasn't even written the first part yet. I loved it! The story, that is.

Chuckie the chipmunk is a sub-character that will play an active part in one book. We quite disagreed on this sub-character's name.

Hubby: Groundy (yuk and double yuk--from me)
Caroline: Charlie
Hubby (ignoring me): Woody (me: I like it, but it reminds me of a certain woodpecker)
Caroline: Chappy

And on and on.
Finally, he told me a couple of days ago, he'd settled on a name. Chuckie. (I like Charlie better, but Chuckie is good.) So Chuckie it is.

It is his book after all. I have to concede that point.

If you want to read about the adventures of Chipper and all his forest and farm friends, let me know. The stories really are quite good. Almost as good as I could have done! (Smile)

I love cold drinks in the summer, love preparing them. Here's a thirst-quenching one you might enjoy if you love tea:

Strawberry Iced Tea

Makes about 8 (about 8-ounce) servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Stand: 2 hours


  • 2 lb. fresh strawberries or two,16-ounce packages frozen unsweetened whole strawberries
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 recipe Iced Tea (see Recipe Center) or one 1-liter bottle club soda, chilled
  • Fresh strawberries (optional)

Directions: In a large saucepan combine fresh or frozen strawberries, brown sugar, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel from lemons; juice the lemons (should have 1/2 cup). Add strips of lemon peel, lemon juice, and rosemary to mixture in saucepan. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover; cool to room temperature.
Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids (you should have about 1 quart syrup). To serve, fill glass with ice. To each glass add 1/2 cup Iced Tea and syrup to taste (about 1/2 cup). Garnish with fresh strawberries. Makes about eight (8-ounce)

Make-Ahead Directions: Syrup may be prepared, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days.

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. --Sir thomas More


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