Sunday, October 12, 2014


I choose a photo of myself when I was a little girl for this post. This photo which is a childhood memory certainly has nothing to do with a food blog which endorses what I am going to say. I am letting my cooking blog go off into oblivion. For the past year I realize I am posting less and less recipes and not focusing on food.  So it is time to switch gears at least for a while. I think what I am going to do is keep a personal journal on my word processor as I am in the mood to do that again. Yes again as I did that in the past. I will write when I feel I have something to say and then I will print it out and put into a binder. Sometimes things are lost from the computer even with back up and I would like to keep an old fashioned written record.

Today as I sit here and type there is gray outside the office windows. As I view our big tree at the edge of our front yard it is finally changing colors on the north side of the tree. Orange, yellow and red are now taking over the fading green foliage.  Soon the tree will be a blaze of glory and quietly and softly the leaves will float to the ground and bare branches will scrape against one another in the cold wind. Not that I mind I am ready for change.

I am quite certain I will start another blog at some point in time, a different name with a different approach, right now I intend to use the time I have spent blogging to compose some new songs on the piano and learn some new pieces. I played the other evening and it filled me to the brim. I have not touched the ivories for quite some time and I so enjoyed playing. Really it amazed me that most of the pieces I played I remembered them completely and played them well.
I also am thinking of bringing out my oil paints and brushes and seeing what I can do on canvas. I may have to replace the oil paints as it has been years. But the brushes and the stack of canvas's I have still will be usable.  I already know my style will be different. Before I was more of a landscape artist as that is what I was taught in art classes. I think I may dabble in buildings, ancient cities, hillside villages, that type of thing with detailed images but more subdued. I could use some new artwork in my house. I love canvases hung on walls with no frame. So I am excited to start again some old hobbies with new twists.

So I will leave you now until I get the urge to start up a new blog.
Thank you for enjoying what I have posted these past few years.
I am off now to dig out those art supplies. I am excited!

Post note. October 14th. Well I could not stay away from blogging it seems.
New blog is called  Plums and Pits-Scraps and Bits. You can catch it my going to

See you there.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I am finishing my fall decor today. I bought a large pumpkin yesterday at the farm to go with the mum and my Mr. Pumpkin head for the front door area. No body for Mr. Pumpkin this year just his head will sit on the steps on a little metal table. I need to add a few more touches to my kitchen window decor and hang my ghoul and skeleton. Same things every year but I am one that loves tradition the same items going up every year brings me contentment. About the only new thing I buy in the line of holiday decor every year is candles. I have orange mini lights that will die out at some point, this year I have them strung through my wine racks. Every year it seems I put them somewhere new. I love them as they give such a cozy glow in the evening.

I got so much accomplished yesterday it must have been because of that caffeine high! Same thing is happening today. One coffee pod made in the Keurig pot and I am flying. It is a good thing today as I sleep like hell last night. First of all about midnight I had a allergy attack with much sneezing so two hours later and empty box of Kleenex that event was finally over. Then I was fighting leg and toe cramps. Good grief I was about ready to give up but finally early morning I slept for a couple solid hours. So the coffee was much appreciated this morning as I needed a big lift.

Today I will remove the rest of the patio furniture from the deck that we will not be using this winter. We do keep the table and chairs out on the deck snuggled partially under the eaves. The big grill will be housed in the garage as soon as hubby gets home and the two of us roll it out there. We have our small charcoal grill on a stand with wheels that we will keep on the deck under the eaves, which reminds me I must get a little cover for it.

Last night we dined on an array of veggies stir fried in the wok. I served them over rice. I bought two huge bags of veggies and fruit at the farm yesterday morning.
For tonights meal we are having pulled cuban style pork sammies on toasted burger buns with sloppy horseradish sauce and slaw to the side or tossed on the sandwich too.

This is what I did to the pork loin roast. I made a rub of kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne(a wee bit) cumin, coriander, brown sugar, garlic powder and paprika. I patted the rub in good to both sides of the pork roast. Then laid the roast in the slow cooker lined with a slow cooker bag(only way to go). Then I made a mixture of three parts apple cider and one part apple cider vinegar and poured along the edges of the roast. The rub with a sweet hot combination of spices will meld nicely with the tang of the cider and vinegar as it all slowly cooks together.
After it is fork tender I will shred it for the sammies.

It is another beautiful day here in Eugene. Lots of warm sunshine in the mid seventies today. Our street trees have yet to change color. But the trees has gone dormant as there are few leaves now fading and there is little blotches of bright color here and there. 

Tonight we will watch a college football game and tomorrow night the OREGON game.
Again I must say how much I love this time of year. The weather, the geese flying over with their big honks, the football games droning on in the background, the changing foliage of the trees, and apples from the farmers fields adding their sweet scent to the cool air.

Well I am anxious to get back to decorating. I am having a fun day today after such busy busy days.
See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


This photo was taken the last time I saw Steve. I believe it was three summers ago. Steve and Judy were coming through Eugene and I met up with them at a RV park in Coburg.
Oh it was so good to see them as it had a been a while.
As I mentioned in yesterdays post Steve passed away Monday evening the 29th of September.

Steve was bigger than life an entertaining man full of devilment. I met him when I was a teen. Steve and Judy starting dating and Judy and I made plans for our boyfriends to meet. Which they did and they hit it off immediately so it was a good foursome and we had so many adventures and fun times together well into our married lives and our children s lives. 

After I learned of his passing I sat by the campfire that evening as we were camping and thought about him with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes and a glass of wine in my hand.

Steve was an entertainer. With his magnanimous personality he was always at the center of things. 

When Steve prepared breakfast for company it took three hours and twice as much champagne and OJ to get the meal to the table. But it was always worth the wait as we were starved and half giddy from the bubbly so everything tasted ten times better than under normal circumstances.  Those were glorious times spent with the Danchok's in their cozy little kitchen with comfort food served up with love and laughter. 

Steve was such a good Dad and spent time with his sons and he was so dear to my children also, loving them like they were his own. He called my son Mike, Milo and Gina my daughter, Little crusty chin as she was a droller when she was teething and always had a chapped chin.  Steve would snatch her out of her playpen and hold her on his knee and entertain her with his antic's.

Boy that man could put the whiskey away. He and my father(they were both navy men) and my former husband would polish off a half gallon in an afternoon. No matter whose home we were at after the drinks came out so did the musical instruments. We had guitars, harmonica's, banjo's a piano at times and Judy and I had our singing voices. The kids joined in at times there was much merriment and the good times rolled with good old fashioned fun.
When we went with Steve and Judy on weekend outings to the beach or mountains one never knew what Steve would be up to. We had more fun with him in a grocery store,  a playground, campground, hotel or anyplace as he was such a character. I sometimes would get so embarrassed by the stunts that he pulled and sometimes I would laugh until I couldn't catch my breath and my eyes were blurred with tears.
I could tell stories for the next few hours but I guess what I am trying to say is that man was a big presence not only in my life but in so many's.
He will be sorely missed for many reasons, his big heart, his generosity, his humor, his goodness and his ever endearing love of family, friends and life! Which he lived to the fullest.
So to you Steve I raise my glass and toast you dear friend. I know you will be waiting for Judy with arms wide open ready to share another adventure.
God Bless you.

Monday, October 6, 2014


What a great time we had at the beach! One of the best trips ever. The weather was absolutely amazing for the first part of October. I was barefooted on the beach actually wading to my knees. It reminded me of when I was a child and would do the same thing. The breeze was even warm.

We enjoyed our wonderful meal at Waterfront Depot in Old Town Florence. Our first night was spent at the Siuslaw Marina and RV park we were fortunate to get a river site the only one available. We were there early and sat by the river and then strolled down the boardwalk poking around the docks and the little touristy shops. We went into the Beachcomber Bar and Grill to play a little Oregon Lottery which was fun as hubby won some money and we had a drink or two. Then wandered again for a while before our dinner reservations. Then home to play games in the trailer and watch the stars come out over the river. That evening was spectacular. As the sky turned black the stars shown like diamonds and they glittered in the water like a million fireflies. The pier lights smeared the water with their color. The half moon hanging bright projected itself into the still river. My eyes loaded with tears and my heart had a lump I could barely swallow it was so tenderly beautiful.

In the morning we loaded up and went to our next camping place. The Heceta Beach Good Sam Park. Here we spent four nights. Our spot was secluded but provided good sunlight. My husband cooked breakfast each morning outdoors on the camp stove saving me the trouble and mess in our small trailer. In evenings we grilled. During the day we packed our packs with drinks, snacks and reading material for me and would walk the fifteen minutes to the beach. Hubby carried our camp chairs though he much prefers sitting on a log. But there were not that many logs and we feared they may be taken. However there were not many folks on the beach during the week and barely a spattering more on Saturday. 

It was nice to be home yesterday. Now today I have the trailer to clean, a mound of laundry and awaiting on the counter are the last of the red tomatoes that will need to be processed for another quart or two of sauce. Then we will pick the remainder of the tomatoes the end of this week and the vines will be cut down. The green tomatoes will go into brown paper bags to ripen like magic usually one or two a day will be ready for eating.

Now on a very sad note the night before we left on our trip a dear friend of mine passed away. Judy whom I have mentioned before on this blog lost her husband Steve and best friend to cancer and the other diseases that had riddled his body and caused such pain for a long while. Judy insisted that Steve be at home until his time came as she wanted to care for him. They were married for 54 years this past summer. I can only imagine how difficult this has been for Judy and now the loss. She is a strong woman and has much support of family and friends so that is a blessing.  
There is much I want to say about Steve so I will devote my little blog to Steve tomorrow.
I must go now and start my chores.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Olivia's first birthday party was Saturday in Oregon City at her grandma Patty's house. Her birthday is tomorrow the 30th.
I so wish I could have attended her little party especially looking at how adorable she was in all of the photo's. My daughter Gina Olivia's great auntie said she wanted her! She just loves her. I told her she could be Olivia's favorite great aunt as Olivia is in Oregon city frequently and Gina lives there also. I am jealous!
Just look how she loves that sample of cake she was given. She is a eater, loves food and all kinds of food her mommy and daddy have introduced to many different foods. Just think back in the olden days(60's)laugh, when I had my kids they were barely eating solid food at a year and baby food at that. Not this little gal.
The theme of the party was Alice in Wonderland. 
The little car was given to her from her nana Cindy and Brian her grampy. She loves it as you can tell. Only a year old and already she is a car owner. Way to go Olivia!
I am so looking forward to when Olivia and her parents come for a visit. I will give her gifts to her then, fun!

Well today I am a busy woman but I wanted to post these pictures and say a little about Olivia.

It is quite a nice day, started out cloudy but now there is sun and it truly feels like early fall. It will be wonderful at the coast, blue skies which make for a blue, blue ocean. The wind will not be much bother only about nine miles per hour. All days except for one are going to be sunny. Yeah!!!!!!!makes me smile!
I luckily snagged reservations to our favorite restaurant it is very hard to get in. The place has limited seating and only has three window tables overlooking the river and we got one. If you are interested it is called the Waterfront Depot in old town Florence. Amazing food it has been mentioned in quite a few magazine and newspaper articles.

I have no time to spare and I am in the midst of making a pasta salad, the pasta has probably cooled by now so I best get at it.
I will write when we return with pictures.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Well the Oregon coast awaits us. The weather coming up seems perfect for a fall trip. We are more than ready for this outing.

This week we seem to have been mired in vehicle maintenance. As I type our pickup is at Joe's garage having a new water pump installed and the work van is at Schwabs getting a set of new tires as well as a brake job. All I can see is dollar signs! Good grief and the work van still needs to go to Joe's Garage as it is running rough. It just had a tune-up last year so hopefully it is something simple and cheap. I so dislike spending on things like this. It is always lots of money and I cannot tell we bought anything.....nothing exciting like new furniture, or window coverings, even new appliances is better than auto maintenance.

Hubby is not working today so he is able to have a little break which is so good as he has been working for days on end. So we have cleaned the big grill today and took the van for repairs and tires and we will need to fetch it later it today. I have grocery shopped and picked up six more books for my reading pleasure.

Tonight we are grilling a rib eye steak to split I have a rub on it while it hangs out in the fridge. I have two luscious ears of bodacious corn to with and I will make a salad with mixed greens and garden veggies and homemade dressing.

Our day today is gray however at the moment I am seeing some sun breaks. We have a little breeze but all seems so fresh and clean since our recent rain. The old farm dust has been washed away I am very happy for that. As our days unfold each one will get nicer now until we are back in the mid to high seventies. Indian summer I love it! We still have many tomatoes hanging on the vines that need to finish ripening so that sweet sunshine will accomplish that.

My great granddaughter Olivia is having her first birthday party today. Has it really been a year since this little one was born? Time just races away it seems. I was invited to Oregon City for the birthday girls celebration today but sadly could not go. As we needed my rig for the shuffling of our other vehicles to their perspective shops. Also I am in the midst of getting us ready for our trip. Hopefully it will not be to long before I see her and her daddy and mommy and she can celebrate her birthday with me.

I am going to sign off now and load a few items into the trailer.


I love this soup and I make it often in the fall and winter. It is my take on the Toscana soup they make at the Olive Garden. I like my version very much and I have posted this recipe before on my blog.
So tonight we will have this creamy sausage spinach soup. I am going to make my cheesy biscuits to go with. Now I am worried about making those cheesy yummy biscuits. I can easily stay out of so many food items I like but those biscuits they are going to test me. You want to bet I can't eat just one? 

I had a really fun time with my gal friend from Bend. We went to lunch at PF Chang's I love the food there. We had the lettuce chicken wraps for an appetizer and then I had the Chang's fried rice and my friend had the Chinese dumplings. We brought food home so I have been eating on that tasty rice. We spent the rest of the time on the deck even though the sky was grim and grey. We sat at the table with the big umbrella and stayed out until eleven that first night.  About eight or so in the evening the rain started to fall very softly but it was still warm out and the big umbrella keep us dry. I lit candle jars and tea lights on the table and turned on the chili lights around the window and when the solar lights put our their soft light along the backyard walkway is was super cozy.
I actually wrote this post several days ago and I am just now posting. I have been busy!