Friday, February 20, 2009

President's Day Excursions

President's Day started off a bit chilly, but tolerable. Our plans were to head to St. Louis to go to the Science Center, but a "slight" diversion took place. As we approached St. Louis, the beautiful Jefferson National Expansion Memorial came into view- affectionately know as the Gateway Arch. We crossed the Mississippi and decided that the beautiful sunshiny day was beckoning us to stop and see the arch in all its splendor.

We parked on the riverfront and proceeded to mount the many steps up to the memorial. While we have been several times before, we decided this particular day would be a good day to return and share the aerial beauty of St. Louis from the perspective of the top of the Arch! Inside, while we waited on our tram ride to the top, we meandered through the museum.There was lots to see concerning the time era of the pioneer and the westward expansion of the United States.Our view from the top was clear and splendid. The shadow of the arch fell into the Mississippi as we took in the scenery from above.By the time we were ready to leave for the Science Center, it had closed- due to its winter hours. So, we made another unplanned stop at the zoo. It was a brisk afternoon for a walk in the zoo, but we pushed on through the maze of animals as we hurried to beat closing time. The Sea Lions were posing delightfully for us.Alas, our evening was filled with a visit to Chuck E. Cheese's. What better way to end a day of unexpected surprises?!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Oddity of Creation

There are many oddities found among the flora and fauna on Providence Prairie. Recently brought to our attention was this unusual mud dauber nest. No ordinary mud creation, this appeared to be a hieroglyphic casting. The "lady" that built this particular formation attached it to some sort of tag or label. When removed, the underside revealed the interesting hieroglyphics! It appeared to be some ancient form of writing. :) With our wits intact, we scurried to the mirror to unravel the mysterious inscription.
On close perusal, we recognized the reflection in the mirror to be Spanish. Time and pressure, catastrophic events, etc., could have petrified our little formation into a oddity for future generations to puzzle over!

Alas, the rain melted away the mud and the nest was cast aside to add to Providence Prairie's topsoil. Thus this oddity of creation passed into oblivion.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

We took the opportunity to experiment with our sourdough starter and found a recipe for Chocolate Cake that was brought west by the pioneers. It is a very old recipe and was one of their favorites and we found it delightful as well. If you have a sourdough starter, you can enjoy this recipe too!

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

2/3 C. shortening
1 2/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 C. starter
2 C. flour
2/3 C. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating after each addition. Stir in starter and dry ingredients. Mix alternately with water and vanilla. Stir. Stir in walnuts. Pour into greased cake pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until done. Cool and frost.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

V13#1 is Here!

Our dedicated readers have just received the most recent issue of the Prairie Proclamation~ a compilation of tittle-tattle for those who may be interested! If you would like to become a part of our family of subscribers, we welcome you to do that here, where you will find all the needed information!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Praise the name of the Lord!

Let the name of the Lord be praised,

both now and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,

the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The name of the Lord is exalted over all the nations,

His glory above the heavens.

~Psalm 113:2-4

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh! The Purity of Snow

What a wonderland we awoke to! Everything including the ice from the day before was covered in white from top to bottom. There is something charming and breathtaking upon waking to a snow covered ground. It is as if a new world has appeared- one that is fresh and pure, waiting to be explored. We received about ten inches of snow and ice on January 27 and 28. We all were excited for the precipitation to arrive and enjoyed most of our week out-of-doors. We took several walks through our woods and the scenery there was beyond description!Oh! The Purity of Snow!