An Evening Of Song, A Bottle Of Wine and A Wombat

While on our way to the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Gramps and I stopped to visit cousins in Dubuque, Iowa.  It’s a wonderful town on the Mississippi River, bordering Wisconsin and Illinois.  The weather was perfect and one evening we took snacks and a bottle of wine to a music concert at the arboretum.

The evening was cool (in July!), the grass was covered with blankets and lawn chairs and the air was filled with the singing voices of young people from all over Wisconsin.  We sipped our favorite wine from handmade glasses and shared a wonderful occasion with some of our favorite relatives.  The whole time we were surrounded by flowers, trees and bushes of magnificent beauty.  Could we have had a more perfect time?

Oh, and in the midst of this idyllic scene I saw a young woman carrying a small furry animal.  It wasn’t a cat or a dog.  It was . . . well, it was a wombat.  That’s right , a wombat.  A baby wombat in the arboretum in Dubuque, Iowa!

It was all snuggled up in a blanket and seemed as mesmerized by the stunning singing voices as we were.  But really, a wild animal in a crowded group of people just didn’t seem normal to me.  No one else seemed bothered, just me.

At the end of the program, we all showed our immense appreciation, finished off the last of the wine, gathered our belongings and headed home.  What a splendid evening we all had.

I think the wombat had a good time too!

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The Taste of Summer

Summer foods – love them! Watermelon, ice cream, sno-cones, green salads, lemonade, fresh corn, popsicles. Fresh, crispy and cool. The taste of summer. Ahhh!

The months of June, July and August are warm. Here in Texas, they are HOT, HOTTER AND HOTTEST. So we tend to want cool invigorating meals when the temperatures rise. And I’m always looking for new fresh foods and recipes to try.

With the wedding at the beach and planning for numerous meals to share with large groups, I was especially mindful of appropriate snacks, dishes and drinks. I found 2 recipes that were great hits and thought I would share them with you. One is a snack cracker and the other is a wonderful version of Sangria.

Enjoy my Sweeties!

MADELYN’S SIMPLY MARVELOUS RETREAT SNACK CRACKERS

3 sleeves unsalted crackers

1 package dry Zesty Italian dressing

1 package dry Ranch dressing

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cup canola oil

Put crackers in airtight container or jar. Mix together all other ingredients and pour over crackers. Turn container every 30 minutes for 4 hours. Serve.

SUMMER WHITE SANGRIA

1/2 pound strawberries, sliced thin

1 apple, diced small

1cup fruit of choice, cut up as needed

mint leaves, optional

1-2 bottles Chardonnay

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup club soda

1 cup white grape juice

In large pitcher, layer fruit and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add club soda first, then remaining liquids. Fill pitcher with wine. Stir and serve.