Saturday, April 28, 2012


Posted by PicasaThoughts of spring. This photo was taken last year from our living room window. This plant today is just starting to bloom and will look like this in less than ten days. I guarantee it.
Today the sun came to shine early afternoon. I was walking and the clouds opened and the sun smiled upon me. It was warm and made me feel all mellow and hugged. Thank you sun.

I finished an amazing book a little while ago. I must say Elisabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors. She touches on such small things in life. Things you would think do not count for much but really they count for everything. She has a way of making you see through her words how your heart feels. Sometimes when you are deeply touched by something don't you just wish you could describe it like it makes you feel?  Elisabeth does that with such ease and beauty through her words.
If you have not read any of her novels you must give one a try you will be so pleased you did.

It is early evening now and we have the back door open enjoying the freshness. Hubby is watching the OREGON spring exhibition game he recorded it earlier. He just told me the freshman quarterback is playing amazing. My husband is a nut for OREGON football.  I know that living here in Eugene home of the Uof O is one reason it makes you more connected but he loved OREGON football when we lived on the other side of the mountains. He is such a fan.

I am going to retire to the sofa now and watch the remainder of the game with him. I feel content this evening I know it is the weather that has brightened me.
Have a lovely evening.


Posted by PicasaI could not resist putting this on my blog. A friend had posted it on FB. It just cracks me up. Not something I am looking forward to.

Well it has been quite boring at this household this week except for the adventures with our rig. Our speedometer has been not working properly for quite sometime now.  As we are scheduled for a road trip we needed to address this subject. So we made an appointment with our favorite garage in the city, took the rig in. That was Wednesday. They checked out the problem and unfortunately we needed to replace our cluster sensor.........not cheap. They were able to find a used one in town so we were happy about saving dollars. We were told our rig would be ready Thursday. As we had not heard from them by two on Thursday hubby called and the gal in the office said it was ready.  So we jumped in hubby's work van and headed across town. My husband dropped me off and away he drove. When I went in to pay and get my rig everyone seemed surprised I was there. There was no paperwork indicating the work had been done. Finally the manager said the part was not even there yet.............what? Now I have no ride home. The gal in the office had us mixed up with some one else duh? So they had a worker there bring me back home. So no car Thursday. Thursday night the owner called and said the replacement sensor had come in late afternoon and was now installed in our car. However though the speedometer worked now the turn signals did not indicate they were on though they did work. We said that would be ok until we got back as they would then put in another sensor. So this morning early hubby once again drove me back to the garage. I went in and retrieved my keys and started my car and nothing in the dash compartment came on. The gas gauge, odometer, all the gauges were dark,  no indicators as to what gear you were even in etc. Well hello! The speedometer worked but that was all. Well no thanks! So  I go back inside the garage and tell them I am not taking my car on a trip in that condition. So once more I call my hubby and he comes to fetch me. We told them to put our regular sensor back in the vehicle. So we were back where we at when we first took it in Wednesday. So I finally got my car late Friday and everything works but the speedometer. I am tired of it all by this point.
Hubby had a grand idea. As this repair was going to cost us over four hundred dollars he went and bought us a GPS for under a hundred bucks. We mounted it on the dash and it tells us our speed as well as all the other readings a GPS has. So that is what we did fixed the problem ourselves. 
So that has been our past three days. Back and forth and back and forth to Joe's Garage. They did not charge us for a thing, should we have charged them?

It is so ugly here the past few days I am totally fed up. Grim.... groan! A looming damp gray blanket has been hanging over us for days now. I am happy in the thought that we will be out from under it for a few days soon.

Well enough of my complaining all is well really. Life is good.
I will leave you now to go about your business.
We are having a vegetarian dinner tonight nothing noteworthy  just simple clean nourishing fare.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis was what I served a couple evening ago. I made Parmesan crusted chicken breasts, mashed yukon gold potatoes with sliced scallions and butter sauce, a salad of baby greens, beats, onion and tomatoes with my Mother's Russian dressing and a scattering of  sunflower seeds. A very nice dinner easy to prepare and enjoyable to eat. I will share how I make my Parmesan chicken with you.
I used a fresh chicken breast half and cut it through length wise to fillet it into two pieces. Salt and pepper and dredge into flour then into egg wash and a final dredge into a combo of half fresh Parmesan grated cheese and panko crumbs. Coat well shaking off excess place on a baking sheet or I prefer to place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Drizzle sparingly with oil I prefer canola oil as it is light and does not deter from the flavor of the cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and pop into a preheated 375 to 400 degree oven.  Set timer for twenty minutes at the end of that time, flip the breasts and drizzle tops with oil. Bake another fifteen minutes or until all is golden and the crust is crispy. The breasts make take a longer or shorter baking time depending on how hot your oven is. 

I was so looking forward to the day today. For it is to be sunny and plenty warm just perfect really for working outdoors which is my plan. Well it is now going on two pm and there is no sun. We have fog in our area. I do not know if the entire city is fogged in but I am not liking this one bit. It has just taken the spirit out of me today. I was hoping by this time I would have had the deck hosed, the spa cleaned and be giving the deck railings a new coat of fresh paint. However I have not even bothered to step out the door into this gloomy realm. It could be one of those days that the sun makes an appearance at four or five..........why does it bother?

I made reservations today for a four night getaway for hubby and I. We have not been away since our little adventure to Lincoln City in February. So we are more than ready. Also have plans on the agenda in June for a camping trip with my brother at Silver Lake Wa.  

My format has been changed for this blog. Not that I requested that they just do it, so now I have to muddle through it and figure how to use it once more. Also my Picasa photo program was changed and now  I do not know how to get my photo's to FB. So more things to learn for this complete dimwit of computer technology. 

I must leave you now and make myself something to eat. So many choices all boring I fear. Cereal or a 1/2 sandwich, soup, fresh fruit or salad. I feel like being bad and having something not good for me, but I will not.

Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Posted by PicasaLemon cake pie and veggie tostado. Both very very tasty.
I have been making the lemon cake pie for years. It has a light fluffy filling like lemon pie on the bottom portion with cake on the top part. The recipe will follow as I don't recall putting it on the blog previously. Do try it as it is easy to make and so delicious. 

Another showery day and cooler but watch out here comes the weekend. Sun and warmth into the seventies oh I can hardly contain myself. I am going to paint the deck railing on Saturday and then clean the deck really well and sit up the  patio table and chairs. I will not do the chair pads and the rest of the summer decor at this time as I know we will still have more bouts of nasty rain but at least it will be a start and that will make my heart happy. Then Sunday I intend to plop my bottom in my fave comfy deck chair and read and read the afternoon away. Ah life is good.

I have just finished the most amazing book. The book is called EVERGREEN and is written by Belva Plain. This is the third time I have read this book the first if I recall correctly was in the 1970's. It is a saga of four generations. Of coming to America and making a life here in the late 1800's.  When I finished the book last evening I wrote on the first page to always keep this book and when I am no longer of this world for it to be passed on and read to be enjoyed over and over again. The story of family, love and triumphs over loses and tragedy are heart rendering. The book reveals our human spirit and what it takes to make something of ones life no matter what the circumstances. The characters are so real it seems you have met them before.
So now on to another book today. I  picked up five more books at St. Vinney's yesterday. I was fortunate as all are my favorite novelists. 

I will write the recipe now for lemon cake pie and then on with my day. Seems the time as flown out the window this morning.

Lemon Cake Pie.
pastry for a nine inch one crust pie
3 eggs separated
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1.4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degree's.
Prepare pastry homemade or Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
Beat egg white in large mixer bowl until stiff peaks form,  carefully set aside into another bowl. Rinse mixer bowl and add the eggs yolks beat until blended well then beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and milk. Add sugar, flour and salt and beat until smooth. Add the stiff egg whites back into the mixer bowl and mix on slow until blended about one minute. Do not over beat. Pour into the pastry lined pie plate. Bake until golden brown 45-50 minutes. Serve with sweetened whip cream if desired. Or you can drizzle chocolate sauce over the top or around on the serving plate in an artistic design.

I must leave you now and get dressed. Hubby will be home early afternoon today would not want for him to see me still in my sleepy clothes and the house a mess. I do have my standards lol.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Posted by PicasaWe are planning a trip the first part of June to join my brother at Silver Lake and will stay in this cabin once again we have done so twice. It is well equipped and suits us just fine. My brothers RV is not far just across the canal so we will spend most of our time at his camp. I will cook up good food for us in the cabin as usual. Seems that June is far off but we have a few plans for little getaways before that so that time will come more quickly than we think.  We need to make our plans so we can block the time out on the work schedule.

It was great day here today. The clouds lifted late morning and I hit the deck running..........yes. I took out my most comfy reclining lawn chair, drinks and book. Oh the sun felt so good and that spring sun is so hot. I put short shorts on and oh my white pasty legs looks so sad. Hubby laughed as he always does when I first expose that white scaly winter skin to the sun. But hey it does not take me long to start getting color.  He is always amazed how quickly I turn to brown. I was totally enjoying the comfort of my chaise and reading my intriguing book when I heard the neighbor to the left of us start up his power washer. Then shortly thereafter the neighbor adjoining our back yard started up his edger then his loud, loud lawn mower. So the peace of the day was shattered with the grinding and humming noise of machines..............ugh. I knew it would last at least an hour so I stayed for an agonizing half hour more and then into the house until it had quieted then back out for a while. I let it get to me and hubby says not to, as there is nothing we can do. We live in a neighborhood of tight lots and that is the way it is. He is right but oh I get so frustrated I cannot help myself. But the good news is I did get some color and my body feels sun kissed. I love that feeling. So a good day.

I took a long walk today and talked to Betty my brother Jack's first wife and mother of his children. Betty is dear to me we have a lot of history she came into my life when I was nine. She has been dealing with health problems but always she is funny and uplifting and makes me laugh. We are silly together and always have been. She is a character. So thank you Betty for the good conversation today, all the reminiscing and great stories.

Tonight hubby is making pork Verde taco's and I am having scrambled eggs in corn tortilla's. I am still being careful with my tummy. It is not that hard to do but I do so love good food and feel disheartened  that I cannot eat what I want. However this is just short term as my tummy is feeling better day by day so soon it will be healed the natural way. Yes no doctor prescribed drugs for this gal, I am so against most prescription drugs unless of course you need them to save your life. But just to take them because it is easier to pop a pill than dealing with some things that can be better handled through proper nutrition and natural supplements seems wrong, for me anyhow.

I will leave you now I was not even going to blog today as I really have nothing to write about. But I guess there is always is something I can chatter about it is a day of my life no matter what.
Till later.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Posted by PicasaThe table is ready and waiting for my little luncheon with Sarah. A panini and salad very simple and tasty with a nice chardonnay to sip and share.

The day is gray and cool. Are we in England? You always hear of so many grim gray days in England. How do they stand it? When hubby and I were in Aruba one spring we encountered to English ladies pool side they were having a gay old time loving every moment of sunshine. They had the whitest skin I ever saw like bleached bones. They smiled at us as we sprawled in the chaise lounges browning like toast. They said in their crisp accent "you are Americans aren't you?" They found Americans interesting. Why?  Americans are normally loud and boisterous and the center of attention.  We told them we were from Oregon. They were not sure where that was, then one lady said I have heard of Portland, are you from Portland? Well no, we tried to explain that we were from the other side of the Cascade mountains. They tried to follow but lost interest I think. They said they loved the sun, but where they were from the sun rarely made an appearance.  They explained that they lived outside London in the country and as they told the story of their little town it sounded so enchanting to us though all that gray.........we have enough here.

Sarah and I had a lovely visit. We are both communicators. We share and share. She pumps me for family info and I am happy to give it to her and I am interested in all that she does and is going to do and on and on. She is a great gal and I so enjoy her company. We made plans at some point to go to pizza the place that serves up pizza out of those special ovens that are rare in America. They originated in Naples Italy. The pizza's get so incredibly hot the pizza crust is charred around the edges. The pizza's are simple and not overloaded like American pizza's. The tomato sauce is rich and taste like fresh tomatoes. All the ingredients are fresh. So that will be a fun lunch out another little adventure for Sarah and Zo.

I was out of reading material so I looked through my bookcase and found a book that I had read about thirty years ago or maybe even longer. It is a saga of a family and their family history. The story commences in the late 1800' s and at this point of the book I am in 1939. So the atrocities of the Hitler regime are taking place. The story will continue through two generations. It is a wonderful tale full of romance, tragedy and suspense. I do not remember the characters or the story but occasionally something in the back of my mind seems familiar. I will keep this book forever it is a grand novel. I am about half through and I have cried, laughed, chewed my fingernails as the pages turn. Oh I am so thankful that I love to read what it brings to you is immeasurable.  No matter how old we are there is always something new to learn and wonder about from books.

I have the slow cooker filled with pork shoulder, onions, shallots and garlic. Over the top of all I poured salsa Verde. So tonight that yummy sauce and pork will go over a mound of rice and pinto beans in a deep bowl. I will serve warm flour tortilla's to sop up the sauce. I know hubby will adore it as I have made it before as it is an easy camping meal and we made it quite frequently in the motor coach. I must be careful of the sauce as I am still dealing with digestion issues. I will have a small portion.
Last night the codfish sammies were wonderful. We had them on toasted kaiser rolls with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions and homemade tarter sauce. Each roll held two big fillets of fish. We hummed and munched as tarter sauce oozed through our fingers.

I must leave you now as I need to do a few things in the kitchen as usual.
I liked this day visiting with my dear niece. She is like a friend even though the age difference is huge we always seem to keep the chatter up. She so truly loves teaching. She was telling me about her fifth grade student teaching class and her eyes were just glistening. I can see that she would bring much to that classroom. She is bursting with enthusiasm and energy. She will make a wonderful teacher she already is!

So it is Friday late afternoon almost evening. Oh how that meant something when I was young. No school for two days, or off work for the weekend. Time for what needs doing in ones life and time for enjoyment.
So to all you TGIF folks I remember them well. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Sad gray skies and rain today. A day for staying indoors I will not walk. 
Hubby is working today so I have the quiet house to myself. Today I have Pandora Radio playing Beethoven. I quite enjoy classical music as I putter in the house I find it relaxing.  A few moments ago Moonlight Sonata filled the house. That composition is so achingly beautiful it makes my heart fly away like notes on the wind.

We had very delicious scalloped potatoes last night and I mixed up my recipe a bit by adding sweet potatoes with russets. That was a wonderful addition. Layers of potatoes, ham, cheese and creamy sauce what is there not to like?
Tonight we will dine on leftovers as I have mentioned before we like leftovers.
I am going to bake today as to make the house cozy and comforting though the gloom seeps in through the windows. I may make the light delicate buttery coffee cake that we both enjoy. 

Thoughts are pushing at me today it must a combination of the music and weather. When I listen to classical piano music it brings so clearly to mind the years in which I took piano lessons. I was not a good student though I was talented and could have been if I would have been more inclined to play a perfect score. However I always wanted to change things up or make the pieces more dramatic. I always had my own little interpretation of how I wanted a piece to sound. So much to the dismay of my piano teacher and my Mother I really never mastered the classic's.
What I recall brought me the most pleasure was after I was through practicing at the piano I could then play what I liked and I would play with much gusto.
Our home was small the piano in the living room so I must have made my family crazy as I pounded on the keys. My Mother told me in later years that I would be especially dramatic at the piano when I was in trouble as I would pound out my frustrations. As I grew older however my music mellowed and brought me much comfort and pleasure. Even to this day I will play my own compositions that I know and play from my heart with much emotion but also sometimes I will sit and rock out a blues song with much bravado. I am thankful that my parents made it possible for me have a fine piano from a young age. That massive upright piano was a masterpiece. Constructed of solid cherry and tooled in lovely rope and spiral designs with a grand harp ringing true and pure. I do not have that piano any longer however I do so love my 1910 Netzow big upright that I have at present. It is not pretty but the sound is so sweet. A great piano for playing the blues or jazz. There is a ting and jingle to those treble keys that is like nothing I have heard on any other piano and it just calls for honky-tonk music so you cannot help yourself but to belt one out every so often. A piano has been part of my life since I was six years old a very lengthy time. Perhaps today while the coffee cake is baking I will have to try my hand at Moonlight Sonata. I played that piece rather well back in the days of my youth.

The day now calls to me and I must make something of it.
If it is dreary where you are today do something to brighten your spirit. Sing, dance, play the piano, bake a cake, laugh at yourself or someone else.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Posted by PicasaAh Tuscany. My next life? I even have my new future name picked out. What do you think of Elysium  , well Elle for short. Elysium pertains to the afterlife in Greek mythology.  Any how plans and more plans. I have already let hubby know this information so we can hook up. He needs to figure out a name also so I can remember as well. Well one never knows.........

Easter has passed the day was bright and warm and for that we are thankful. Our meal was a large one for two folks though what we put on our plates were our normal portions. However a little of this and a tad of that do add up.
I fixed a baked ham with current red wine glaze, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, asparagus with lemon zest and butter and cracked pepper, yeast rolls with honey butter and a relish tray with our favorite bites. No desert was planned though hubby did have some rainbow sherbet later in the evening. We will eating on that ham now for a while then what is left will be put in the freezer to use later for fifteen bean soup and ham. The meal melted in our mouth's it was comfort food.

As the weather has been pleasant my husband has been doing yard work. There is much to tend to so a little each day is the plan. Today I cleaned the sidewalks in front and washed the windows at the front of the house. The showers will be back tomorrow and then rain is predicted for a couple of days. Is spring around the corner? Perhaps as it is warmer but the sun is still being shy for this time of year. It seems to me to that this spring may be a repeat of  last year.

I have not been blogging much as I have not been cooking different and interesting things. As I mentioned before I am dealing with digestive issues I am better but still have some lingering effects. So I am being very careful of what I eat and certainly keeping to small portions.

My niece Sarah is coming for lunch on Friday we have not spent time together for quite some time. The little lunch I am planning will consist of mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil panini's. I will serve along side a salad of mixed baby greens with a Italian dressing with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. A nice bottle of white wine is in order. I will connect with Sarah to make sure she cares for the ingredients in this little lunch. You never know with young folks what their likes and dislikes are. Though I feel Sarah has a sophisticated palate as she has traveled and lived abroad.

I am wanting to go out back and hose off the deck now, I just feel inclined to be outdoors right now. The air is warm and fresh though the sky has dreary  clouds pressing close so little sun is peering through. However the mild conditions are a welcomed lift to the spirit. 

Off I go........