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Cactus Quiz Winner; Ty’s in Trouble; Kayaks and Raptors; No Quitters! Ty Needs Help! Great Bread Contest

The results of the Cactus Quiz are in, and the winner is… drum roll, please… Connie England! Thanks to Peter Lee, Colette Sasina, Dale Hilliard, Terri Horsmann (AKA Terri of the Frozen North) and Lynn Spence for your entries; they were all thoughtful and creative. Here is Connie’s limerick entry: 



Oh, yes..the Ferocactus
I found it, through my practice
        of chasing links,
      and now me-thinks
A breakfast feast will feed us

The blossom yellow-green or red
Crown-shaped upon its head
      in southwest found
      in desert ground  
   A beauty, it’s been said

Flowers boiled to make a drink
Or eaten cooked like cabbage
        Pulp scooped for food
        Could it be stewed?
Might do, if you are ravaged

Emergency fluid if you’re lost
Enough for one or two
     A tool you’ll need
     to get that feed
Tongs handy.  They will help you  

The barrel shape is useful too
For natives of the areas
   holds little things
   like beads or strings

called barrelcacticarriers

Speaking of literature and fine arts, I never thought that I’d get in trouble for reading or an interest in photography. Seriously, would my English teacher from 6th grade, Mrs. Snelling,  have rapped me across the knuckles for admiring a work of artistic journalism or looking at an article titled “America the Beautiful”? Perhaps an explanation is required… I had been reading the news, and saw that a popular American magazine, Sports Illustrated, was under attack by the Forces of Darkness for allowing a young woman to be photographed wearing a swimsuit on its latest cover. I mean, come on, this isn’t Iran or Saudi Arabia, is it? Girls are allowed to wear swimsuits here, and aren’t required to wear burkas when they go swimming. In the spirit of freedom of speech (and only for that reason!), I decided to look at the web site for the aforementioned national magazine. Unfortunately, My Lovely Bride happened to glance down at my computer screen at just the wrong moment (I knew I should have gotten one of those anti-snooper filters that they advertise in airline magazines), and said, “Hey, are you looking at a naughty girl web site?” I replied, “No, Love of My Life, I’m supporting freedom of speech in the USA, and am about to look at an article about a baseball player. This just happens to be the cover of the magazine.” “She doesn’t look like a baseball player! She looks like a stripper!” “Well, um, gee, I think she’s betrothed to a baseball player, some guy name Jeter, I think, maybe, possibly…” “You’d better get back to something less stimulating, like fishing or cricket!” “Yes, Ma’am…” (Well, that was a strike against Freedom of the Press… Sigh. Nota bene: Discretion being the better part of valor, I have omitted the photograph of Hannah Davis which got me in such trouble. Ladies, you really don’t need to look at the cover of Sports Illustrated – it’s pretty boring. Gentlemen, if you subscribe, then hide it right away!) 

On a less controversial note, I recently attended a meeting of The Villages Canoe and Kayak Club, where one would expect the topic of the day to be paddling. That would have been fine, but even better was the guest speaker, Carol McCorkle, co-founder and director of the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka, Florida. Carol and her husband Scott have been working with birds of prey for over 40 years. They and their staff rescue and rehabilitate wounded and injured eagles, osprey, owls, falcons, hawks, kestrels and kites. Carol brought a barred owl (shown in photo), a short-tailed hawk, a kestrel and a kite to the meeting, and gave us fascinating facts about birds of prey. (Did you know that the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world, capable of diving at speeds to 240 mph?) The ARC is open to visitors on Saturdays (10 AM-4 PM), where you can see these beautiful birds up close; there even offer a flight demonstration. For more info see

I don’t watch a lot of movies, and part of the reason is that the cowboy has fallen out of fashion in Hollywood. This sign in the Phoenix airport reminded me of the good old days when you could go to a movie and not have to cover your kids’ eyes and ears because of inappropriate scenes and language. “American Exceptionalism” was the norm, not something to be maligned and apologized for. And the good guys always won… man, I wish we could turn back the clock.

The “Ty Needs Help” subtitle is not related to tools or roofing or car repairs, which are mostly “guy things”, but actually more “a girl thing”… no, I don’t need fashion advice (NO SMART-ALECK COMMENTS, PLEASE!), but something far more serious… a good bread machine recipe. Now, before I get a lot of flack from the male contingent out there, let me remind everyone that the world’s greatest chefs are mostly men (sorry, ladies), but having been at sea for most of my adult life, I am somewhat deficient in some of the finer aspects of culinary expertise. I have been baking bread recently in a decent West Bend bread machine, but have been disappointed by recent (mediocre) results… even after following the recipe in every detail.

So, our new contest asks for entries of your favorite bread machine recipe. I will try each one over the next week or two, depending on the number of entries. The Great Bread Prize will be awarded for the best submission, based on my admittedly biased palate. (Okay, Suzanne will also have some influence on my decision). The winner gets lunch for two with Der Blogmeister and His Lovely Bride. Please send entries to (Warning: entries including quinoa or coconut oil are doomed from the start.) 


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