Total Pageviews

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Rain ~ Punxsutawney Phil ~ Picture of the Day ~ Seals Take Over California Beach ~ Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi Soup ~ John & Trish Bowler ~ Groundhog Day

Good 44Âș cloudy drizzling morning. 

Rain started yesterday afternoon and so far we've gotten 1/2". More coming and even a chance of snow down here by Sunday or Monday.

As of this morning in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted and early spring!
Picture of the Day ... orphaned pony and his best friend...

Interesting .....

These seals took over a California beach during the government shutdown - and won't give it back!
It’s unclear whether the initial incursion happened stealthily at night or brazenly during the day — though authorities are almost certain the invasion occurred by sea.
And federal employees who returned from the month-long partial government shutdown decided that it was probably not worth the effort to relocate the roughly 90 individuals involved. That’s because some of them were pregnant or newborns, and all of them were opportunistic elephant seals that have taken over what used to be the tourist area of Drakes Beach, Calif.
Across the nation this week, returning federal workers slogged through backlogs of voicemails, sifted through bursting email inboxes and tried to remember the name of the childhood pet at the beginning of their log-in passwords.
At Drakes Beach, part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, employees had a much bigger problem. Literally. Some of the elephant seal squatters weigh as much as a car.
A colony of nearly 1,500 seals inhabits nearby Chimney Beach, which is protected from binocular-wearing tourists by 100-foot-tall cliffs. But Drakes Beach, with its wide swath of sand and spectacular views of the Pacific, has been claimed by humans. Park officials have used a decidedly low-tech method to enforce an armistice between the mammal species: They waved blue tarps to annoy the seals away from the areas most popular with Homo sapiens.
“It doesn’t scare them, and it’s a standard technique used with elephant seals,” John Dell’Osso, chief of interpretation and resource education for the seashore, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This would have kept them farther away from tourists.”
The annoying tarps were an effective plan, usually chasing all but a seal or two away from the beach, which is a 90-minute drive from San Francisco.
But the federal government apparently does not regard the tarp-wavers as essential federal employees, so the workers who did it were among the 800,000 furloughed.
During that time, according to the Chronicle, high tides and storms battered the seals' normal habitat.
So the seals showed up at the suddenly deserted Drakes Beach, and they brought friends and apparently family, too. Seals give birth during winter, and the unoccupied Drakes Beach appears to be an excellent place to raise pups.
On Jan. 27, Point Reyes National Seashore notified eager would-be visitors that Drakes Beach and other popular locations would reopen after the shutdown. Then four days later, officials posted this:
“Drakes Beach and its access road from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard are temporarily closed to all vehicle, foot and bicycle traffic due to elephant seal activity in the area.”
Pictures of the beach’s newest residents show seals of all sizes sunning themselves in the sand, basking on a beach that provides some of the best views in Northern California.
A few have made forays into more human territory. According to Vice, two male adults have been spotted in the parking lot, one on the ramp to the empty visitor center and another beneath a picnic table.
Bulls can weigh as much as 4,500 pounds and, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns, “despite their sometimes docile and clumsy appearance, elephant seals can be extremely quick and sometimes vicious if humans or their pets get too close.”

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:20 minutesTotal Time:30 minutes Servings: 4

A light and creamy chicken soup with pillowy soft gnocchi, potato dumplings, that is so easy to make!
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour (or rice flour for gluten-free)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
  • 1 pound gnocchi (gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 1 pound gnocchi 
  • 1/2 cup cream (or milk)
  • 1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste* (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Melt the butter along with the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onions, carrots and celery, and cook until just tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme and flour and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the broth, chicken and gnocchi, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the gnocchi floats, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, mix in the cream, spinach and Parmesan and letting the spinach wilt and the cheese to melt into the soup.
  5. Mix the miso paste into 1/4 cup of the broth from the soup and then mix back into the soup before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: White miso (aka shiro miso) is a salty bean paste used in Japanese cuisine that can often be found in the international, sushi or health food sections of grocery stores or at an Asian grocery store. Feel free to omit this if you cannot find it.
My friends John (LASD ret) and Trish Bowler got married on this date in 1963! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KIDS! XO

Historically this date.......1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated. 
1848 – California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese immigrants arrives in San Francisco, California
1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed. 
1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada
1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution.

And births this date include...
1937 – Tom Smothers, American musician and comedian
1947 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (d. 2009)
Here is a picture I took of her in Acapulco when I was working for Fabergé and we represented her line of hair products...
1948 – Ina Garten, American author and TV personality
1954 – Christie Brinkley, American model
.... still a rare beauty! She looks like a teenager! and she's 65!!!!!
All I know. Nuff said. Happy Saturday. Ciao.
xo Sue Mom Bobo

Groundhog Day is observed on February 2nd, each year in the United States and Canada.  For a nice welcomed break during the winter, on this day the groundhog awakens from his nap and goes outside to see if he can see his shadow.  It is believed by many that if the groundhog sees his shadow that there will then be six more weeks of winter. If this is so,  he then retrieves back into his den and goes back to sleep.  If he is not able to see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play and people celebrate believing that spring is just around the corner.
The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. Clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations.  Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes.  Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog until their arrival in the United States when they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site for the annual Groundhog day event.  Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.
Although already a well known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.

An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, by storekeeper James Morris, dated February 4th, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania.
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”