Four Calling Birds

Yep…we didn’t have the full 12 days of Christmas but we did get the 4 calling birds part.

After my last post it kinda got chilly…so much so that Neil had to put on tights, Gore Tex jacket, and ski glove liners under his bike gloves when he went riding…and with the wind being in his face on the way home pretty much every day the last week or so it was pretty darned chilly the last 3 miles on the way home.

Saturday afternoon we did Midnight Mass at 1600…because…Florida and old people ya know…they mostly don’t like to drive at night so it has to start early. The choir was doing their usual Christmas concert before Mass starting at 1530 so we got there about 1445 figuring that the church would be packed as it usually is but it was amazingly sparse at that point. It got a lot fuller later on but was never to the jammed point…and she reported after singing again the next morning at the 0900 choir mass that there were very few people there…that’s strange as usually all of the Masses are pretty full on Christmas. Anyways…they finished up and came home…split a turkey pot pie for dinner and that was it for the Eve. 

Sunday she was out early about 0800 for the 0900 Mass and Neil went out on the aforementioned cold and chilly ride. When they were both home he baked some home made cinnamon crescent rolls and fried up some bacon for a brunch…he had plans for an early dinner. Early afternoon they had a snack of a few crackers, cheese, and prosciutto while he worked on dinner. He had some lamb chops that he had marinated for about 24 hours that he put on the grill. Side dishes were both something that Connie had found on the web…potato pancakes made out of sweet potatoes with a topping of berry balsamic sauce and goat cheese and this thing called melted onions…essentially you cut the onion in half and put them in a muffin tin…bake for about 20 minutes then brush with ghee (that’s clarified butter which means you melt it and pour off just the yellow fat part and leave the milk solids behind…then pour into a jar and keep in the fridge…the milk solids burn when you cook with it so you just leave them behind). Then put them back in the oven for another 30 or 40 minutes until they’re sweet, soft, and excellent. He figured out the right time to start everything so that the onions finished up while the lamb was resting and he fried the sweet potato pancakes. Put all of that on a plate and then had a very nice bottle of La Creme Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to go along with it. She even broke out the good china and we ate at the dining room table instead of our normal sit at the island routine.

IMG 3446

And earlier in the week while she was over at practice…she noticed some wild pigs in the yard outside the church…they look like in the 200 or so pound range and there are a lot of them ‘round these parts.

While we were working on dinner we spotted the aforementioned 4 calling birds out at the pond…a Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, and a Double Crested Cormorant…all of these have been given nicknames except the Great Egret…they’re LBH, GBH, and C-Man respectively. Connie took some photos with her iPhone and tweeted them but on further review they just aren’t good enough to be blog worthy…although I do have some of a different Great Egret for ya a bit later on. All of them were making their normal noises…except for the Cormorant which doesn’t make much noise at all and sounds vaguely duck/goose like when it rarely speaks.

Monday we stayed home…originally we were going to clean up and do some prep work for a visit by our friends Bill and Linda…but we got a text in the early morning that she was sick up in GA and they were going home for her to get better rather than continue their trip and potentially infect everybody. Turned out to be not serious so that’ a good thing…although it did spoil our second attempt to get together with them since the fall…the previous attempt was part of our aborted trip to AL/VA/NC/NJ that hurricane Ian put the kibosh on.

Tuesday we went ahead and made the dinner we would have made for them…it was already thawed out and some of the prep work done. Neil made Beef Bourguignon mostly following Julia Child’s recipe from “The Art of French Cooking”…Beef Bourguignon translates as Beef in Wine Sauce but it’s essentially French for Pot Roast…except it doesn’t have any carrots in it…just mushrooms, pearl onions, spices, and a bottle of red wine. He made some pan fried red potato cubes to go with it so it would have a little more texture…and this time he made it in a dutch oven on the stove top instead of the crockpot because (a) it’s bigger and he was cooking for 4 vice 2 and (b) he wanted to see if doing it that way would keep the beef from falling to pieces while cooking. You actually want it to fall apart but not while cooking…it should fall apart when you eat it. And the stove top version was better everybody that ate it thought. There’s left over for tomorrow but we moved Date Nite from Tuesday to Wednesday this week since we were going to have guests and she decided not to move it back since we needed to cook the Beef Bourguignon anyway.

That’s about it I guess.

This is a different Great Egret than we saw on Christmas…but this one is in his/her breeding plumage although there’s no way to tell if it’s male or female as both look the same. Those wispy white feathers hanging down are the breeding plumage…and the area right behind the beak will get a bit more greenish when it’s in full bloom. 

20221225 LPR 2

20221225 LPR 4

Interesting things found on the net.

One day a Viking named “Rudolph The Red” was looking out the window when he said: It’s going to rain.

His wife asked: How do you know?

He answered: Because Rudolph The Red knows rain, dear.   


56339 snowman



280 million years old but it has an expiration date.


What a world we live in.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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