Friday, January 31, 2014

ST. MARTIN WEST INDIES 1997

So as you can see I had time yesterday to scan some of our St. Martin photo's. First row left is our hotel, right Imre at the Docks waiting for our catamaran to arrive to take us to the island of Anguilla.
Second row left to right. Saturday market at the docks, the locals there and on other islands bring fish and various seafood, fruit, spices, clothing etc. Second row right, is me standing on the steps of the Casino. On the Dutch side of the island named St. Marteen they have gambling, on our French side they did not.
Last row, is my handsome hubby standing on Shoal Bay in Anguilla. Shoal Bay is voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. We concur, it pure white beaches are perfect and it is a leeward beach so the water is never rough it is just placid and the most incredible blue I have ever seen. Of course all the Caribbean sea is pretty much the same. The last photo bottom right is the catamaran we sailed on. It was a whole day trip with about 10 other folks with Imre and I and one other couple taking the side tour to the island of Anguilla. We anchored in the cat out where you see it. Then a Zodiak took us to shore and a van picked the four of us up and we toured the island. After returning to the boat we had a lovely lunch and then walked down the stairs that dropped from the catamaran into the ocean. We swam out of the water under the boat into the sunny sea it was heaven. Then the wind pushed us hard back to St. Martin, we went fast! Imre and I laid on the rope webbing at the front of the catamaran. Exhilarating is all I can say!

When I think about how calm my life has become the past ten years it quite amazes me.  When I met my present husband he pushed me to do things I had never done, like climbing mountains, going on week long back pack vacations. Also running to Canada on a long weekend. Good grief for someone like me to be that spontaneous it is hard as it is not in my nature. He taught me to swim which alleviated my fear of water. He encouraged to climb up steep peaks and down into canyons with a heavy pack on my back and across rivers and creeks.  He taught me how to be comfortable in a canoe(not easy) and to camp out of a raft in the wilderness area's. I am so thankful that I could do what I did especially as I did not start these ultra adventures until I was in my forties. 

My hubby will be home about three today and that makes me happy as we have not had much time together this past couple of weeks.

I loved our dinner last night. The steak was cooked perfectly in the cast iron skillet. I let the skillet heat a while on med- high with no oil until it is smoking. Then I drizzle a small amount of canola oil in and toss the salt and peppered flat iron steak into the that hot skillet and let it sizzle. I turn down the heat just a notch and continue to turn and drizzle oil when needed around the steak.  The steak gets a nice crust on each side and it was cooked a perfect med rare in the middle. Amazing. Then I put it on a bread board with a lip and put pats of butter on the top and covered with foil for eight minutes. Then slice against the grain thinly. Oh we are talking melt in your mouth goodness here.
Every kitchen needs a cast iron skillet. I have two and have had them for forty years. They are totally black and well seasoned. This is the way we cook steak in the winter. If you have not tried this you should. Any kind of steak will work, but the flat iron steaks are not that thick so they fry quickly which is a plus as you need to be attending it constantly. I loved the salad as I put artichokes in it. These are Trader Joe's canned artichokes not marinated ones. I slice them and scatter on top of the salad. The ranch dressing was delish also a perfect dip for my steak. I put a small sauce dish of the dressing to the side so I could dip my steak.

Well I need to get on with my day.
Have a great Friday as we go into Superbowl Sunday. GO SEAHAWKS!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

LEMON NUT BREAD

I love to make almost everything in this cute little lemon cookbook. I have had this book for well over twenty years and I continue to make the same things over and over as they are so good, such as this lemon bread.
What I like about this recipe is that the bread is not dry it is moist and gets even moister as you add lemon juice with sugar over the top after poking the top with holes. I am saying it is a mouthful of tart lemony pleasure.
Recipe will follow.

So this morning I am off for a fresh food for the fridge and our Superbowl fare. We decided this morning we would snack on salsa, guacamole and corn chips during the first part of the game and then we are having tostado's for dinner. I will make them with burger simmered in taco sauce that is how I like them loaded with the works.
Sunday will be my hubby's only day off. He has had no days off since he started this volley of jobs since returning from the coast and it continues for another week or so. 

As much as I hate to face it I must start getting things together for Cover Oregon for hubby's health insurance. His private insurance monthly rate is going to almost double. So we are hoping he will qualify for getting a tax credit at the end of the year. This whole health insurance fiasco really gripes me. It is good that everyone will have health insurance but why is it always the middle class that has to pay?  We do not have extra dollars for our insurance to double. I do realize we are covered now for some things that we were not before but still we were making our own choices. Enough! This is no rant it is just that I have to jump through hoops now to see if we can get some justification here in the form of a tax credit.

Later. I have now returned from my errands. So the afternoon is mine to be productive or wasteful. I need to make home made ranch dressing for tonights steaks salad. I had no idea of what to have but I do have a lot of things that need using in the freezer and flat iron steak is one of them. So I will make a nice salad with assorted greens and veggies. I will put the seasoned flat iron steak in a hot cast iron skillet and cook it till med rare, let it rest until the juices settle then slice thin and serve along side of or over the top of the salad with ranch dressing.
We like to do this quite frequently as it is a tasty easy meal and not to unhealthy for a body. There is always steak leftover and that provides my hubby with a big tasty sammie the next day and a protein fix for me to nibble on.

Here is the recipe for this great moist lemon bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Grease and flour two bread pans med size or three tiny ones.
Bake 45 minutes.

1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
lemon zest from two lemons
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts(optional but we love them, gives the bread a crunch)

With a mixer cream sugar and butter, add the beaten eggs and milk and beat thoroughly.Add the flour and baking powder and when all is well combined add the lemon zest, then stir in the nuts.

Scoop into the prepared pans and bake.
Cool five minutes, then prick top(I use a wooden skewer) and drizzle over the top a mixture of a 1/2 cup of sugar and three tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

This little bread is great for a dessert or a snack with a cup of tea or good with your morning coffee.
I like to take it in the RV as it is handy, just slice off a piece or two. Keep it in the fridge if you like it moist.

There is a tart lemon cookie recipe in this little book as well as yummy lemon sauces and chicken dishes, lemon curd and the richest most fattening lemon pound cake that has ever passed through my lips. I love this book.

I would like to set time aside later this afternoon to scan some photo's of our St. Martin Caribbean vacation. That was the last tropical trip we made and I celebrated my 55th birthday on that island. What a exciting time we had. Gourmet eating area's were abundant. We stayed on the French side of the island so the food was really special. St. Martin is known as the gourmet capitol of the Caribbean. All I know is we surely enjoyed dining on the freshest seafood just plucked from the ocean. The spiny lobsters they serve are scary prehistoric looking creatures. The folks that live on the island are French and there are a lot of French tourists. Americans are the minority and we loved that.

I am now going to tend to a few house chores that must be done today as they are driving me bats!
Tomorrow I will be here as usual.






Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CARIBBEAN TRIPS

So here I am in my tan! Clockwise top, me on our veranda in Cancun. Middle photo a black me in Aruba, top right me Aruba, bottom right last day on Cancun I am sitting under the tree and not wanting to leave the beach, left bottom sitting at the pool waterfall at our hotel. We also went to St. Martin our last trip in the Caribbean west indies, so I may post a few of those at some point.

This has been fun going through our travel photo's. Some of them are so smeared, torn and ravaged it is a wonder I could get decent copies of them. When I am scanning the photo's and they come up big on the screen from the little photograph it is so fun as it brings back all those memories my hubby and I have. Each trip we took to the Caribbean was special. We always flew in, no cruises and spent two weeks. They were not thrifty trips but we were both making good money at that time and it was something we wanted to do. We do not regret it in any way as the trips brought us much pleasure and still do when we look back and remember the adventures.

We made the Aruba trip when I was 49 my daughters age now. I think I was spurred on to look at these photo's as Gina and Doug are leaving for Hawaii for 12 days on the 12th of February. It reminds me that I had fun too when I was that age. Not that I do not now but our fun times have a different venue called close to home......laugh. Our economic picture has changed since those days but it does not matter, fun is fun.

I just took two loaves of lemon nut bread out of the oven, oh the house smells lovely with hints of vanilla and lemon. I was going to make lemon cookies but changed my mind. 
It is Wednesday evening, yes I have posted three times today. Sometimes I am like that I just like being at the computer and writing. I am awaiting a call from my hubby as to what time we shall have dinner. He said this morning he would be late. It is not a big deal as it is just fish and risi e bisi. It takes a little stirring but not hard to make. It is like a risotto but a little different. Basically rice, peas and garlic, butter and olive oil. 

We really had gusty wind this afternoon. It would be very quiet, strangely calm but then the sky would go dark and dangerous looking and the wind would hit the house with a fury. The wind chimes were playing the craziest music. A couple of decor items flew off the fence railings and what brown disgusting leaves were left have left the premises. 
Now I am going to say good bye for sure. I do not think I have ever posted three times on this blog in one day. Sorry.
Later.

GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER OLIVIA

Olivia also known as "little o". How cute is that? These are recent photo's I have been asking for some so I got a bundle yesterday. Yes! Isn't she a little cutie? She is so happy. I just cannot get over how much she looks like her daddy Tyson but she looks like her mommy also. They all kind of look the same! I cannot wait to get my hands on her and love on her. I must make a trip to see them all this spring.
She is four months old today.

My husband has a long day today so it is a good opportunity for me to get a few things accomplished. I have an idea or two as well as baking cookies.
Tomorrow I have some errands to attend to so it will be a busier day.
So I am off now to start a productive day.
Ciao

YOUNG MOTHER ME AND MY CHILDREN

Well this was certainly a long time ago. It was 1964. We were renting a house a few miles south of La Pine out in the country. We had but one vehicle so I was really a stay at home mom.
My husband at that time worked long hours as a electrical lineman for the local power co. He was gone from home for long stretches at a time especially if the weather was stormy. There was one winter storm that kept him away for three days. The power to the house went out during that time so I had to keep the huge fireplace going 24-7. Just going to the wood shed to get the wood was an effort as the snow came up to my thighs. I remember it well.  One time I was nearing the woodshed and there stood a huge 5 point buck deer. We just looked at one another and then he bolted and bounded through the snow ever so gently.
I heated my baby daughters bottle in a pan in the fireplace as well as made hot cereal for the little ones. I put both babies in bed with me at night so we could stay warm. It was like homestead days I swear. My grandmother said I was a brick, that was compliment.

I received some wonderful news. My grandson Tyson and Lindsey are getting married September 7th. As you know they had a baby girl Olivia this past September 29th. Ty and Lindsey have lived together for approximately three years and are currently living in a hundred and ten year old home in Oregon City. We are so happy that this union will take place not only for Olivia's sake but because we absolutely adore Lindsey. She is a amazing young woman so unassuming, polite, sweet, thoughtful and so cordial and warm. She is special. Tyson and Lindsey make an adorable couple, Tyson is 6'3'' and has a large structure, broad shoulders, big arms and hands etc. Lindsey is 5'1'' I think she said, and is very petite. She fits under Tyson's arm.
So the wedding is going to be at Champoeg Park near the Aurora area. So we will be there of course celebrating their life together with Olivia who they endearingly call, "little O". Well of course they are both big OREGON fans. So that is where probably that came from, cute.





It is cloudy and warmer here today. That pleases me, though it is dark indoors for the lack of light outdoors it is so nice to have the daytime temps back to normal.

Tonight for dinner I am making seared wild sockeye salmon with risi e bisi. The fillets are a good size portion so I am only making the one side dish  as salmon is so rich. This afternoon I am making lemon cookies which will be a nice light dessert. We polished off the last of the chocolate pie last night.

Well I am going to sign off this post and post another today as I have new photo's of Olivia.






Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I AM CRAVING THIS CAKE

I am totally craving this cake even though I have half of a chocolate pudding pie sitting in the fridge. What is wrong with me? This is not good. I do love this cake though. It is a one bowl chocolate cake made from cocoa powder. It is rich, moist and lip smacking good. So lovely with a cup of hot tea. So I may need to make this little beauty next week.
Speaking of hot tea I am about ready to forget coffee and start drinking black tea. It so settles my tummy and coffee sometimes(most times) gives me a bit of indigestion. Knowing that tea is full of antioxidants as well as some caffeine which are both good for the body it encourages me to drink a couple cups a day. Besides I read all these books that take place in Europe especially the UK and all folks there are such tea drinkers. There is something I like about holding a mug of tea in ones hands to warm you in multiple ways.

As I look at my drink choices it reminds me I am a woman of few needs. I drink tea or coffee in the morning, water and perhaps sips of a sports drinks intermittently throughout the day my preferred brand is orange or grape Powerade. Then it is wine in late afternoon and with dinner. In the evening I always have my water while watching the telle. That is it folks, no soda's except on rare occasion, no fancy bottled drinks, no Starbucks offerings, no store bought ice tea's, Snapples etc. Basically if I had to choose but a few it would be, tea, water and wine. I could get by with those choices.

My summer dress/skirt will be here in about six days. Now I surely hope it fits. It is cute and I am looking forward to having it to wear this summer when we go to Crescent Lake and down to Seven Feathers RV resort and summer camping at Fern Ridge. My closet suffers and hubby knows this so he is always encouraging me to buy things. That is hard for me because I am picky and items either do not fit right, or they itch me, or they are too expensive(my perspective) or many other reasons. So it makes shopping hard for me and I do not like to shop anyway. I will wear the same things until they are worn thin. My daughter in her way told me I needed to buy some current style items. She was gentle about it but I got her drift. Time to update Mom was the idea. So I am trying what can I say I cannot keep wearing the same old rags year after year.
Truthfully my favorite attire is a comfy pair of jeans that fit well, a shirt or blouse with a snuggy hoodie over to hold me together.But I will try to put myself together a little better.

The Hungarian meal was so delish last night. My husband does such a good job on this dish.
He uses my big red pot and fills it with sweet peppers and onions and garlic, canned tomatoes, seasonings, lots of paprika and sliced kielbasa and lets it cook slow for a couple of hours. All cooks down into a wonderfully rich sauce tasting of green peppers and sausage and garlic. He then serves this tasty concoction over boiled potatoes. Last night he used yukon golds my favorite as they are so creamy. My contribution to this meal was broiled baguette slices with butter and parmesan cheese till crispy.
We are having the rest of this one pot meal this evening so I am going to bake bread or rolls today of some sort. I made sure I was stocked up on yeast and flour as I like to make bread products in my Kitchenaid Mixer.

We had a enjoyable afternoon and evening last night. Before my husband starting working in the kitchen we visited in the living room planning trips we want to take with the little trailer. After he had the pot filled and cooking we played Yahtzee at the nook table for money. Two bucks a game, betting always makes games more fun for us. My money bag is bulging and his is a lightweight but he won five dollars from me last night so that put a little more weight in his money pouch. We play with quarters. We then enjoyed our meal and cleaned the kitchen and watched the movie,"The Life of Pi". We had seen it before when it first came out. We like it. Then it was off to dreamland.

It is a gray with a little light rain so it is warmer today. I like that. The air even in the house feels fresher. We do need rain, as the greenery around the house is lacking water I notice. Everything outdoors looks so unkempt this time of year. I just put my blinders on as there is nothing I can do to make it better.

I actually crawled back into my still warm bed this morning after hubby left. He was out of the house at seven and I was still sleepy after making his breakfast and lunch. So I thought why not? I have nothing pressing today though I do have bills to make out and push through the mail drop. I want to bake bread and clean the floors in the main living area which is the kitchen, family room and nook. So an easy day without rushing.

I will start my day now, put on my fave house attire and tend to my projects. If I have time on my hands this afternoon I am going to scan some more old photo's. Fun.




Monday, January 27, 2014

MY SUMMER ATTIRE FOR AT THE LAKE ETC.

This will be my go-to beach wear. Obviously I do not wear swim suits any longer and the past few years I have resorted to colorful skirts and white thin blouses with a sun top under. So here I find this great combo a dress or drop it down to your waist and it is a long skirt so I will add a summer white shirt and I am set! As I still like to tan and be cool the dress will work well. You can wade out into the lake in short skirts or I have worn a pair of nylon shorts under for swimming. Works great if you wear ones that do not have side pockets and are thin material. Just peel off the skirt at the waters edge and go for it!
Sad when you get older and the skin starts to droop,hang and wrinkle and what you must do at that point to look presentable. I know why should you care?  I just do, cannot help myself. I am like my Mother in that regard. I remember when she quit wearing the shorter shorts and donned carpri's in warm weather. I do not really remember her wearing swim suits when we went to the river to cool off when I was young. On our Florida trip to spend the winter she was 46 years old(she had a good shape) and never wore a swim suit there. Just long shorts and a cool sleeveless tops.
This little garment is not cheap but I will get a lot of use out of it. I hope it fits as I ordered online and would not want the hassle of sending it back. However it is elastic, that should stretch to the right fit.
Speaking of stretchy things I found a pair of leggings that I had tucked away years ago when they went out of style. Well that trend is back now with high boots, which I just bought so I thought it would be fun to put them on today. I picked them up and looked at them and they looked like they would fit my arm. They are tiny but looks are deceiving. I wriggled my body into them and I was in heaven. Why have I forgotten how comfortable leggings are? I felt like I wanted to run or more practical at my age skip down the street. I am loving wearing them around the house and will get a couple more pair. These are black so will get a navy and a dark green pair if I can find them, then I will be set for the Duck games. What could better watching the game in a pair of comfy leggings and a long cotton Duck tee?

Hubby arrived home yesterday afternoon around 4pm. So we had a nice afternoon and early evening together. I made rueban sammies, they were easy and very tasty. We first sat, sipped wine and visited in the living room, that is our conversation room as we call it. We caught up on the some of the series we follow on the telle later in the evening.

I talked to my son yesterday afternoon. It has been a while since we had a good chat. I sure miss both of my children when I have not seen them for a while. Of course they were both here over the holiday's but still it would be nice to see them more often.

Tonight my husband is making dinner. He will be home early afternoon as today he is applying a coat of polyurethane finish to a floor and cannot apply another coat until tomorrow. Unlike waterborne finishes oil takes longer to dry. So it will be nice to have him home early and make me a Hungarian meal. He is stopping to pick up the ingredients he needs so I am not sure what he is making.

I forgot to mention how wonderful that chocolate pie is that I made the other day. That chocolate pudding recipe is the best. It melts like silk in your mouth. We had a slice last night with some whipped cream and it was a bit of heaven in your mouth. I have already posted that recipe on this blog. I will research it and let you know the date it was posted in case you would like to try it.

I am going to get on with my day now. It is still cold here this AM as I write. This is the first year in the ten years we have lived in this house that my star jasmine that fills one end of the deck and crawls along the railings has dead brown leaves on it. It not healthy looking at all. It has been cold for so long. I will more than likely need to cut it way back in the spring. I know it will survive but I hate cutting it back as it was growing along the deck railing so beautifully. Our boxwood shrubs in the front are thinning out have no greenery whatsoever and look frozen as well. This has been a very cold winter so far and hard on many of our plants.

Much to do on this Monday so I am outta of here!









Sunday, January 26, 2014

OUR HOUSE DOWN THE STREET

This is the yard of a house we built in 1995. It is located down the street from where we live now. We left this house in 98' to move back to Bend. I loved this house, though it was small it had a very open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and lots of storage. My hubby knocked himself out with the landscaping in both front and back yards including an amazing gazebo in the back with a hot tub tucked inside. I stroll by this house on my walks and the owners have kept it immaculate. They have changed the yard in the photo by taking out the pavers and making a square yard. The tulips are gone but the lady that lives there is certainly a gardener as her flowers are ever changing with the seasons and it is a cute yard and flower garden with an old fashioned flair.
I love looking back at our homes. Each one was different and unique. I would have so much fun when we moved in and I set it like a model home. The homes we built are all so loved by their owners and well taken care of. That makes me happy.

So Sunday today. A day of rest, well not for me today. As I feel full of energy as I slept well last night for a change. So I will do some catching up to make up for a few days I wasted being lazy.
I plan to bake today as I did not do that as planned. I will clean the back deck if the sun comes out this afternoon, I will wash our trailer bedding and replace it in the rv. And it is a personal grooming day for me. I will spoil myself a bit with a facial and do my nails etc.
Hubby is working a long day today.

Tonight for dinner we are having rueban sammies with white cheddar, corn beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. I will make home made potato wedges to go with.
Our tuna salad last evening was wonderful. We need to do that more often. My hubby is always open to a good salad. I am going to make BLT salad before long it is so good with homemade ranch dressing.

It is foggy this morning but we are to have sun later. I hope so it so lifts ones spirits. 

I had a nice visit with my brother. He was up at Silver Lake in his second home there. He was sitting in his boat that was anchored at the shore and fishing for crappie and perch. I love that he is so active and enjoys his time in these later years of his life. It is what keeps him healthy physically and mentally.


So I am going to get on with my day.
I have read the big paper from front page to last page and downed two cups of strong coffee and a few animal crackers......I do this sometimes while having my coffee as the joe sometimes upsets my sensitive tummy. I am looking forward to my little lunch I am going to make a half of peanut butter and honey sandwich on 12 grain bread with a cup of hot tea. Doesn't that sound so good?
Bye now.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

MY 39TH BIRHTDAY

I remember this day as if were yesterday.
We as a family were going to La Pine from our home in Bend to attend a wedding. My sweet daughter made the cake for me and the mirror you see sitting on the table was a gift from my son as he made it for me. I still have that little oak mirror.
I was wearing a new outfit. I had purchased it in Portland a couple weeks prior when I went there on a buying trip for a client with my friend Janis and partner for our design business Independent Interiors. I adored this off white skirt and fitted jacket and I wore a little silk Hawaiian shirt under. Odd what you remember so clearly. It was a very nice day seeing old friends in La Pine, the wedding was lovely and we had a festive time afterward at the reception.
When my 40th birthday rolled around I was separated from my husband and living in an townhouse on the other side of Bend starting a new life at forty which I will say was very scary. That is another story to be saved for another time. 

I had fun this morning. As you know I am not a shopper but the day is amazing and I wanted to get out of the house for a while. So after a quick tidy of the house and even a quicker shower I was out the door. I had two things on my mind. Leather high black dress boots with a low heal and a long black fairly heavy cardigan sweater to wear in lieu of a coat. It is a good time of year for closeouts. I wear a 8 1/2 shoe size though and it seems so does everyone else, there is never that size in closeouts or deep discounted shoes. However I scored. I found a pair of very simple high boots almost touching my knee I would have liked a buckle or two but hey to find my size(the only pair) and have them fit like a glove I feel very fortunate. They were discounted 60% so I purchased them for a mere $25.00.   Of course I would not pass them up. I did not find a sweater so I will continue to look it has to be black so it is versatile.
I went to a kitchen store to look for a komachi knife but did not find one I like. I stopped and picked up a few bottles of wine for our collection in the rack and grabbed a few fresh items at the grocery store.  I stopped and bought five bucks worth of lottery tickets. I do this sometimes whenever I get the inkling.  Then I was going to run my car through the car wash but I guess everyone else on our side of the city had the same idea as the line was so long I bagged that thought.
So I am home now and the rest of the day is mine to do whatever with. I have no plans......laugh. I will take a walk when this is finished and then I will figure out the day as I go. I love to do that sometimes.

My hubby will be home about his usual six pm time. Tonight we are having a Pacific Seafood Tuna Louie with my homemade thousand island dressing. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions and hard boiled eggs  will round out the salad. I bought a baguette to pop in the oven and that is it folks! Easy fare and light. That tuna that Douglas gave us is so amazing. It is like a solid cake of tuna with the best flavor. It tastes great in a salad.

I will leave you now and get on with my walk. This day is glorious. The sun was shinning through my filthy windows this morning without a cloud in sight. Three days in a row now we have been blessed with this same scenario.
Bye, have some fun this weekend. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

REMEMBERING TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE TODAY JANUARY 24TH

Remembering two people close to my heart today.
The top photo is my Mother of course. The best mom anyone could ever be so fortunate to have. This is just not my thought everyone that ever met her thought so. My cousins still say to me how much they loved my Mother and loved being in her presence. 
My mother passed away seventeen years ago today. There is not a day that goes by without a least one or two thoughts of her. As my hands touch the kitchen tools she used for years I think of her. As I fold my linens or old pillow cases that she made for me I think of her. As I don my jewelry that she either gave me or passed on to me I think of her. As I look at old photo's read old letters and read the books she handed down to me I think of her. As I use her cookbooks and make the recipes she made I think of her. As I use her special occasion dishware and silverware I think of her.
So you see she lives on with me daily. I also dream of her frequently. Thank you Mom for still being a part of my life.

The photo below is of my gal friend Judy. She is having her birthday today. So I wanted to say a few things about Judy. I met Judy when I was fourteen I know I have mentioned this before.  We were best friends throughout high school and many years afterward. We have always stayed in touch and these past few years though we do not see each other often we write frequently on the email to stay connected.
Judy will always have a special place in my heart as we share so much history. I wrote her today and relayed my thoughts. I told her it seems not so long ago we were silly teenage girls sprawled on a blanket in the heat of a summer day tanning. When I look back I can recall so many scenes so prominently. Like it were just yesterday. The two of us had so many adventures together; after we both married as couples we would go camping and to the coast and mountains. After our children came two for each of us we continued with the little ones joining in on the fun.  
So happy birthday dear friend I hope you have a lovely day as you are lovely gal!

OUR LITTLE FRIEND

One of our little friends, actually we have several of these bushy friends that we enjoy watching. The best part is we do not need to feed them as our neighbor Dee takes care of that. They bring their nuts to our fence or deck and eat or bury them in my flower pots and garden.....laugh. They are so humerous though running the lattice railings and scampering across the deck.

I am on the top of the world today as it is another sunny day. It was gorgeous yesterday also. There is not a cloud to be seen. It is cold and clear. I like that. Everything had a thick coating of frost this morning. Now the sun has everything a sparkle.

I did not post yesterday as I had such a busy non-stop day. I was so tired last night.
I went on a shopping spree two grocery stores and Walmart and banking and picked up supplies for my husband. I did not get through putting all I purchased away until mid afternoon. I then still had other chores to do plus make dinner. I did find time to sit in my chair and put my nose in a book for a hour. This book is a hoot and I shall always keep it. The name of the book is "Big Stone Gap" by Adriana Trigiani. There is a review by Whoppi Goldberg on the back cover where she quips this is her favorite book of all time. I have to concur. It makes me laugh out loud in places and other places it hits home like a stone in my heart. The type of writing this woman puts out there is so true to how one actually feels when certain circumstances arrive in our lives. The story line is so well written with it's many crazy characters that the author brings to you bigger than life. Such a joy to read and I am almost finished with this superb book and that is not a good thing.

So what is going on in my kitchen today? Well very little actually. I made a delicious chicken pot pie from scratch last night. This is the third meal I made from the roasted chicken. See how far it goes? So tonight we will finish the pot pie with a green salad to the side. I am going to make lemon cookies however this afternoon if I feel in the mood.
I want to restock the travel trailer this afternoon with staples that I picked up yesterday. Also I need to work in the office and catch up on our business files and such. When my husband is busy I am busy in here. Also if it warms some this afternoon I am going to take a walk. I have not walked in the fog for it has been just brittle outdoors. So those are today's plans.

Either tomorrow afternoon or Sunday afternoon depending on when hubby has his half day we are going for a late lunch early dinner to the Steelhead Brewery. My husband loves their micro brews so I told him I would drive and forgo having anything alcoholic for lunch. The food at this brewery is quality and we both know all ready what we are having. Besides they also make yummy homemade root beer just like my mama did when I was a youngster. I remember her bottling it and it was such a tasty ice cold treat that we always looked forward to having.

As it is after nine AM I must get on with my day. I have much more energy when the sun is out it really does make a difference in ones mood.
Have a great day!

    

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MARTA WITH HER NEWBORN BABY ME

My mamma and me. I was a but a few days old. my mother was thirty years old when she birthed me. My older brother Jack was twelve when I was born. So he was a really big brother who got so annoyed with me, a pain he says now. If I was fussy Mother would have him rock my cradle. He said if he stopped when I went to sleep it woke me and I would start crying. Hmmm is there something wrong with the picture? Is it called spoiled?
So now you have an idea with these scanned photo's what is going to be showing up on this blog. I just cannot help myself,  I love looking at the oldies and I love to remember as I do have quite an exceptional memory when it comes to the past. Of course now I cannot remember why I left the living room and went to the kitchen.  However I have heard that doorways remove your memory. 

I have come to the conclusion I am going to quit clipping recipes and filing them. My lord I would have to live to 200 years of age to make all the recipes I have collected. So enough.........unless of course something is really outstanding, laugh. It is time to par down when you get older not the other way around. I really must go through recipe tins and my cookbooks as well. I seem to cook quite a few of our favorites frequently.
I usually do try to include one new recipe a week. This week it will be dessert. I am not sure but I am wanting something in chocolate. So I will go through my clipped recipes and see what stands out.

Our potato chowder was very good. I call it chowder as it was thick with cheese and chopped baked potatoes and country sausage and onions. Of course the cheesy biscuits were divine. I actually had one for my breakfast cold. Even cold they melt in your mouth. I gave the recipe to my daughter, I wonder if she has made them yet. If not they are missing out.

Well I am putting off my grocery shopping for another day. I pulled my shoulder yesterday reaching deep into the back of a closet and lifting something heavy out. So now it is sore.  So lifting grocery bags into the car would not do it good.
So I am going to rest it a day. I need to quit doing everything so fast.  Seems I am always pulling a muscle or something anymore. I whiz through my housework like the white tornado. Time to slow down Zo at least a little.

So tonight it is chicken taco's as we had our yummy roasted chicken last night.  We decided on Spanish rice instead of beans and rice for a side. The way I make this rice is so simple and tasty.
I cook my long grain rice with the same ratio for rice and water in the directions but instead of water put in a combo of  three-quarters jarred salsa what ever heat level you prefer and a quarter chicken broth. I chop some sweet onion and add to that mixture. Cook as directed.  Then take a small casserole dish and spray with cooking oil and spread the rice in the bottom till all is even. Then top with a generous portion of grated mexican blend cheese or grated cheddar or pepperjack and scatter a few sliced pickled jalapeno's over the top and finish off by sprinkling the top with paprika. Doing this makes it very pretty.
Now pop into in a 350 oven uncovered until cheese has melted. This is good and so simple. Tonight I will shred the chicken and put into a skillet with a little chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper and a hot sauce of your choice and how much depends on the amount of heat you want. I like mild chicken as I put taco sauce on my taco's and hubby puts hot salsa on his. Then I fry corn shells till crispy and sprinkle with parmesan cheese this absorbs any extra grease.
So then we load our shells, chicken, cheese, onions, lettuce or cilantro or both and diced tomatoes, your salsa or taco sauce and finally a dab of sour cream. It is a mouthful but a tasty mouthful. Sometimes we add avocado slices.

Well as I am home today I am going to learn about Cover Oregon. My husbands insurance is going to be almost double what we are paying now. Makes me upset. So we will see if we can qualify for a tax credit at the end of the year off what we pay in health insurance. This is one thing I wish Obama would not have messed with. Yes it is great every american will have health insurance but a who's expense? Middle america of course. We struggle too and I do not like paying for others insurance. Not fair! So now we must scramble and shop for a cheaper insurance and hope for a tax credit. So I had better get to that task.

Have a nice Wednesday. We are in fog still. It never lifts! It is our gray winter blanket forever it seems. Truthfully I would be happy to see a patch work blanket, blue, yellow and gray would be nice for a change.







Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ZO AT TEN YEARS OLD

Here I am with my girl friend Betty Kimberling on the swing set at our farm.
Betty and I were best friends all through grade school and then she moved away to Drain in our seventh grade year. I so missed her and we wrote one another until I started high school and then we drifted apart. I believe I was ten in this photo. I know it was summer and I was brown as a berry as they say. I love this photo as reminds me of those carefree days of childhood and playing games, riding our huge horse, playing in the hay in the barn, just being a kid. I look happy because I was happy.

I feel so fortunate that I grew up in the times that I did. The kids of today have so much pressure it seems. So much homework it astounds me. When I went to grammar school we did our work at school. That was what school was for. The teacher gave us a lesson to do and we did it there. No big packs with books hanging on our backs like now days. If I recall the only time I took work home was when I had lessons to catch up on if I had fallen behind from missing school days. Of course once I started high school there was homework required but nothing like now. Usually you were done with your homework in less than a hour.
And summer was for carefree days. I did not have to be at this event and that, summer camps, soccer games(now they play at three years old). I stayed home as my Mother did not work out of the home until I was older. She stayed home and took care of her children and home. Summers gave me time to spend with grandparents and cousins there were picnic's and family gatherings. It was a time for long drives with my family or a vacation to the other side of the united states to visit my Mother's family on the east coast.  It was a good childhood and one I so appreciate all these years later when I reflect back.

We are still in fog and will be for days it seems. It is dismal but I try not to let it get to me. That gray blanket spreads out above us daily. Yesterday afternoon it pulled back it's edges for a moment or two to reveal blue patches.

I will admit I am lazy today. Yes I am. Yesterday was such a busy day for me and I never accomplished what was needed in the house as I was tied up in the office playing catch up. My husband has been busy scheduling jobs and going on bids since we returned from Newport. So that creates much paper work for me to attend to. I had planned on going shopping today but had no time to make a list or make the weekly menu.
So I must attend to that today as well as house chores and finishing the laundry.

I will close now and get to my chores or they will never get done.
See ya.

COLLAGE OF NEWPORT TRIP 1/14

This is a few photo's our fun getaway to Newport.From left clockwise, Zo standing on the dock with someone's sailing vessel, an awesome sailboat. Hubby strolling down the path by the Yaquina Bay bridge, our little nest in it's RV space with the full moon shining on, my husband strolling along the jetty trail to the ocean and Zo sitting in front of the trailer enjoying the sun and lastly a lone seagull watching over to the bay front at the end of the wooden walking pier

Now on to other subjects. As I was glancing at FB earlier one of my friends had posted yet another something about dogs that was over the top. There are photo's all over FB with dogs kissing their owners faces or worse yet their mouth. Pictures of dogs sleeping under the sheets with their owners and on and on. These are dogs imitating humans and they do a darn good job.

I had pets for the first forty years of my life, yes forty years I was never without a pet. That included dogs and cats both or one or the other. I was a good mommy to my pets but they never once sleep on or in my bed though the cats always tried to jump aboard but were tossed back off. I am not one to have pet hair and other items that may dislodge from furry friends in my bed sheets with me. I enjoy my clean sheets and bedding. No greasy stained bedspreads please. My dogs were not allowed on the furniture for that matter furniture is for people to sit on.
I also feel the country is where pets belong. I see no need for each household in the city to harbor one, two or three dogs. All of our neighbors have dogs. I see them a couple times a day walking their pets down the sidewalks or streets with their little plastic poop bag in their hand. I would not like to be a mommy that had to pick up my darling doggies poop two or three times a day and dispose of it. And worse yet is all those plastic bags winding up in the dump where it takes years and years for them to break down, that is just sad for the earth. Also I do not enjoy going on my walk and stepping into do-do because someone was not tending to the poop scooping task. We always we have dog poop in our yard, oh what fun when hubby mows the lawn and comes in with poop shoes.......not!
This is where I stand. A dog is a dog, a human is a human. We are not the same. Give a pooch an inch and they will take a mile. My dogs when in the house went directly to their blanket or bed and were not allowed to wander the house, under the table begging for scraps, wagging large tails about knocking objects off tables, or worse yet giving you kisses with their tongues on you face or mouth every time they came near. All I can say this dog worshiping has gotten out of hand. It goes well beyond being a good caregiver for your pet. My hubby and I have seen many times strollers with small doggies dressed in clothing with their little toys tucked in with them. These sights just blow me away! It is crazy! Are these folks insane?
Where we were camped at Newport in a splendid RV park there were bags right by the garbage bins for dog owners to use and then dispose of in the trash. Every RV that pulled in someone was immediately out the door with dogs on leashes heading for the bags. Most had two dogs a couple folks had three and some had one. Off they would go on the walk so the dogs could do their thing. Do you ever wonder how much poop is scooped in a day in America?  How much waste in plastic bags goes in the refuse pits? How many turds are left on the ground to dissolve into the surface or be washed away into rivers, ponds, oceans causing contamination?
Folks take their pets to the vet, for vitamin care, to have their teeth brushed and cleaned and dental work done, to have their nails trimmed as well as medical care which cost a fortune anymore as the veterinary world knows they can play on your emotions when it comes to your pet. Then there all of the pet stores. Selling, clothing, toys, beds, blankets, movies and treats for dogs. Now there is doggie TV also. I am saying this whole craze is out of hand. I am thinking that it is better to be a dog than a human. At least that is the way it would appear if someone were looking at our earth from another planet. They would certainly think the dog was the top species on this planet.

In my estimation you are good dog owner if you give your pet attention and love and make sure it gets exercise. Take it for medical care when needed, give it a good diet(not people food) a warm place to sleep either a dog house shelter or a spot in your home that is designated for your pet to sleep. That's it folks there is no need for more.

Tonight in my kitchen a big fat chicken will be roasted in my oven on a bed of veggies. I like to put lemons inside my chicken when I roast it and I make a rub for the skin and do not cover it in the oven so the skin gets crispy. Tomorrow we will have chicken taco's with beans and rice and whatever chicken remains will be made into chicken salad for my husbands lunch. I love a plump juicy roasted chicken. There is just something so homey and comforting about it. Also it is a good meal to make if you are on a budget as it can be extended into other meals or will feed a number of folks.

I must now get on with my day there is much to do.
Have a good one.







Monday, January 20, 2014

FINALLY A PERFECT PIZZA

Yes this was a very good pizza last night. All made from scratch. The dough was made with my mixer and the sauce made with last summers tomato sauce. Toppings were what I had in the fridge that would work. Mozzarella cheese, and shredded italian mix, chopped onions and pineapple tidbits then topped with thinly sliced pepperoni and canadian bacon. It was very yummy with the crispy crust the cheese a little to the brunt side(just as we like it) and the right amount of sauce not to overwhelm the ingredients. 

It has taken four tries at this crust to get it perfect but now I have it down. There are notes all over my pizza crust recipe. It seems I have changed most of the original recipe found on line for dough made with my kitchenaid mixer. 
Next time I will make two smaller crusts and hubby and I will create our own pizza's. I like a simple pizza, sauce, cheese and fresh basil. Hubby thinks he needs meat so we are different in that respect.

So I have found a way to get the photo's to the blog. Not as easy as before but at least it is working. So no more chatter about it from me. I promise.

My husband is off on a bid this morning and then picking up supplies for a new round of jobs. 
I am finishing up the laundry I started yesterday and cleaning house. A typical Monday I suppose if there is anything typical in our household, don't think so.

The little munchkin trailer is spotless, I just need to restock a few things which I will pick up at the store tomorrow. It will be waiting for it's next trip and that cannot come soon enough for me.

I must now throw some clothes on and get on with my daily tasks.
Have a nice MLK day. A lot of folks will not work today in his remembrance. My daughter being one of the lucky ones working for the school district. She gets a lot of breaks with the holidays and furlough days it seems. Plus the summer off so I am thinking not a bad place to work and her benefits cannot be beat.

I am off now.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

TRIP PHOTO

Here is a photo of the bridge in Newport taken at sunset from our RV spot. Quite a nice view indeed.
I managed to upload this photo through a back door so to speak. This is not the normal way of doing it however it worked but it is a hassle. I still do not know what to do to resolve my problem.

I have pizza dough raising and soon it will be baking in the oven with simple toppings and our good homemade pizza sauce. I thought it was a good day to make pizza with hubby being the couch spud today watching football.
The Seahawk/forty-niners game is on now and you see where I am at lol. I am not a NFL fan never have been. Just love the college football. Of course I would like Seattle to win as they are here in our vicinity but I really do not care.

I cleaned the trailer this afternoon it is easy to do as it is so small. I am dutiful when we camp and stay on top things as there is no room for clutter or mess. So it is not bad when we return home. Now it is ready and waiting for it's next little adventure.
In fact we already have that trip planned. Back to the coast but closer this next trip it is off to Florence again an hour away. We will spend the first night taking opportunity of a free-bee camping night in the Three Rivers Casino. Then it is off to the KOA campground.It is two blocks from the beach and it is such a lovely long wide beach. So we will take a small cooler for drinks and a pack with our snacks and a blanket and walk and settle into the dunes for the day. We have done this before and it is always fun. I take a book and enjoy just laying in the warm sand out of the wind and reading and sipping wine and munching on cheese and crackers or whatever. So we will spend three nights at the KOA. Hubby will work a few weeks now and then a break. I love having something to look forward to and buying that little munchkin trailer has put is back in a world we have missed.

The fog gets to me. Today was bitter cold. We woke to 32 degree's and it only got to 34 today. Too cold to walk or clean the sidewalk of debris or wash a rig or even step outdoors really. I made sure it was warm in the trailer before going out to clean.

Tomorrow my hubby has a bid and needs to go to the supply house etc. So I am staying home to clean house and catch up on laundry and make a list for things I need to pick up Tuesday. I must run to Trader's Joe's and then over to TJ Max home store. I am looking for dark sage green plush throw rugs for the trailer. And also a couple of rusty orange throw pillows. So I will go out an about and pick up a few groceries and go banking. I surely need to run my rig through the car wash. It is dreadful and the inside is no better.  I always keep it very nice but this winter it has been so cold even in the garage I have neglected to keep it up.

I am off now to slice up my ingredients for the pizza.
Enjoy the game and whoever you are rooting for I hope they win!
Later. 

OUR GETAWAY

We just returned from Newport. We were there six days. Went a day earlier than planned and then extended for two more days. We could not come back to the fog and cold. All days there were sun filled, bright blue skies and the ocean the color of the Mediterranean sea and the frothy waves were crisp white. It was warm into the sixties and yesterday was so mild and warm it truly felt like spring. We were in shirt sleeves and comfortably warm sitting outdoors in our camp chairs with a view of Yaquina Bay and the marina. 
As we have the truck now to tour around in we were all over than that sweet beautiful coastal town. We loved Nye beach and went several times as well along the jetty road and south beach and also Agate beach. We strolled the Bay Front and bought fresh seafood and smoked salmon. We ate at Georgie's a restaurant in the Hallmark Inn on Elizabeth St. and overlooked the ocean while eating a seafood lunch.
We made two runs to the grocery stores for extra food items as I only packed food and wine for three days. What was I thinking? We usually always extend unless we have a job scheduled.
As we were fifty feet from the marina in Yaquina Bay we strolled the docks daily. There were lots of huge fishing boats, yachts and smaller pleasure craft. The large marina was basically full. We are attracted to boats and took our time exclaiming over this one and that. We walked a lot out on the long walking dock that stretches into the bay and across the way is the Bay Front. And of course we walked the beaches. So even though we did not particularly eat healthy and we consumed more wine than usual I doubt I gained weight as we were so mobile.
I so wish I could download photo's to this blog. I took probably fifty plus photo's. I will truly work on getting my photo's to publish on this blog even if I need to get a nerd to come take care of the problem. I am going to post a collage of photo's on FB soon.

We left at nine-thirty this morning under sunny skies and the drive home continued in the same manner until we left Pholomath and then the fog settled in thick, heavy and damp. Same when we pulled up in front of our house. Brrr cold 36 degree's and fog, fog, fog. So nasty.

I just came from helping hubby back the trailer into it's spot beside the garage. It is so frigid outdoors, my hands feel numb. I absolutely despise this freezing ugly fog and that is all the paper shows for the next six days. Bah-humbug! Well we can be thankful we were able to escape it for a few days.

Friday, January 10, 2014

CAMPING PARENTS

I love this photo of my parents. They were camping at La Pine state park. We were all together a big clan of campers.
I still cannot conceive how my mother could be prepared to make bake goods, huge meals, glorious snacks, mouth watering breakfasts out of their small trailer. No wonder my father quipped it was so hard to tow as it weighed a ton. 
I remember one time so vividly. My mother, daughter and myself went blackberry picking while camping on the Umqua river. I assumed we were just going to eat them in their natural state. But no when we returned to the campground my mother took the bucket of berries and preceded to make a deep dish berry pie. Absolutely amazing! Crust from the scracth the whole works and it was so delish out there camping in the woods. We always had a grand time camping with them both. Dad would have his drinks around the campfire and his stories would keep us entertained for hours. I miss those times but I am so thankful I have the memories.

Well as I mentioned we are having salmon in a lemon cream sauce for dinner tonight. I will start my daughters yeast rolls about four or so.That should give the dough adequate time to raise, then I will form the rolls and let them raise again.
I am really going to try hard not to overindulge on the rolls. I have managed to rid my body of the extra pounds I picked up over the holidays. I do not want them returning. It was not hard to lose the weight really. I have just been eating quite skimpy portions and staying away from deserts and high calorie foods.I have also cut back on wine consumption. Alcohol is fattening!

I still cannot send photo's directly from Picasa to this blog. So that means if that problem cannot be rectified I will have some strange food photo's on here as they will not be cropped etc. I so want to fix the problem it is always on my mind and I am spending way to much time on this computer trying to get it sorted out.

We are so wanting to get away for a few days but work in just spotty enough that it does not allow a few days in a row. We need the work so I am not complaining but it is time for a trip. It is always spur of moment it seems as sometimes we will get a delay or a cancellation or some other reason. Then we have to act fast, pack and leave! I lot of folks would not like that but I do. It is rather exciting.
My hubby is in the process of buying a step for the high 4x4 truck we tow the trailer with. Then I will not have to struggle getting in. The tires are big and the truck sits high off the ground and I am shrinking daily it seems in stature. So the little step will surely make it easier to get into the cab.

So we want to make three trips in the near future. To my brothers(no trailer involved) we will spend two nights. We want to make a trip to the coast, either Newport or Lincoln city and then also up to Belknap Springs which is an hour and half from our home. But we do not want to deal with snow towing the trailer so we will have to watch the road reports as the springs is up on the McKenzie. When we had our A class motor coach we spent Christmas there with my son. We all got snowed in. What was going to be a three night trip turned into a six night trip. It snowed continually for three days and then did not melt. So we had to wait for snow plows to clear the highway.

I need to attend to some phone calls for the business. I will be happy when the advertising is set for the year.

Have a nice Friday the weekend is upon us.