Friday, February 28, 2014

LEAVING CANCUN

Here I am last day at the beach in Cancun leaving to go to the Island of Cozumel for a week. We loved the beach at Cancun and I was not happy about leaving. So hubby took this shot of me pouting. I have to laugh as this is the way my daughter felt leaving Hawaii. It is hard for her to get back into the grove. I know just what she means. Back to your job, your routine, your normal life.
We had two legs on this trip. One week in Cancun and one week in Cozumel. The Cozumel part of the trip was OK but there were some drawbacks. The beach that our bungalows were situated on was small and part of it was rocky. Also there were jelly fish that came in so would have to be careful. The sting from them is painful. The resort was quite isolated and we did not plan on renting a car on Cozumel as we did at Cancun. So in order to go into the little seaport town of San Miguel we had to take a taxi which was a little expensive. We did twice though and had a fun time in that lovely town. 
There was a great restaurant in our resort that we dined at morning, noon and night. I so love the happy hours in Mexico. Two for one means two drinks presented to you at the same time. It is odd sitting with four drinks on the table when there are just the two of you. However the happy side of that is you are not always waiting for a waiter.
The bungalows were quaint situated along a curving sandy path lit by tiki torches and palm trees. Our beds were turned down each evening by the maids and little chocolates were placed on the pillows with fresh carafes of water on the bed tables as well as bowls of fresh fruit on our little patio table. Yes I said beds.....twins in all the bungalows. Well we made do.
In Cancun in were in a high rise hotel on one of the top floors with a view out over the pool area and ocean. It was a huge room with king bed, partial kitchen and great balcony. There were two amazing restaurants in our hotel,and an array of beach and pool bars. We enjoyed the huge pool complex whereas the Cozumel pool was small and warm. Not inviting for swimming as when the ocean is always 82 degrees it is nice to have the option of a cool pool.
We let our travel agent talk us into this arrangement as she loved Cozumel but you know different folks enjoy different things. In retrospect we would have preferred to spend the entire time in Cancun. But we learned to rely on our own ideas on future trips.

So my hubby will be working late this evening so I thought I would make us breakfast for dinner. I am going to prepare spinach omelets and cheese toast. Something light as it will be a later meal. 
It is time to bake again today. I think I want to make a simple white cake as I did buy sherbet yesterday, the rainbow mix. So I just need something classic and plain to go with it.

The fog has not lifted as yet. When it does I am hoping for blue skies. Yesterday turned from gray to blue in a few brief minutes. I so enjoyed the sun yesterday. A short walk for a breath of wintry/spring air was refreshing. The afternoon was lovely indoors with the sun finding it's way in through the slated blinds making patterns on the floors and walls.
Oh I was so lazy yesterday afternoon and it was a welcome reprieve from being buried in the mounds of papers complied for taxes. Today I return to the office to put all my figures down in the tax booklet. Then a couple other items to calculate and I am free!
So my day today is to get that chore done and bake a cake! Not a bad day at all.

At the moment I am off to toss some clothes on this body and get to it.
The weekend awaits. We are both longing to get that little trailer hooked up to the truck and head out on a little adventure. But my honey is working tomorrow and the weather is not cooperating for a camping trip. Must wait.
You all have a nice weekend.




Thursday, February 27, 2014

AHHHHH LASANGA

Ah lasagna always a fave.
Thick gooey cheese, meat, noodles, sauce. What is not to love?
I always make a small one as the big baking pan is just overload and we get so tired of it before we can finish it. Last time I did make a big one however as I froze half of it as I wanted to take it on our Newport trip. That worked well as it was wrapped in triple foil so I just popped into a hot oven in the trailer. Such an easy dinner.

So today I am off to buy groceries and run errands on a rainy dark day. We are to have rain throughout the next few days. It is chilly out and gloomy. Not my fave to go out in this weather.

The progress with the taxes is coming along. All that needs doing now is transferring all my figures into the booklet, making some copies of documents, signing and sending them off. I will do that on Monday. Thank goodness I am seeing daylight in the office again. My back was putting me down yesterday late afternoon when I finally gave up the battle and plopped into my comfy chair with my book and a glass of wine in hand. My brain and body had had enough for one day.

Tonight in my kitchen we are dining on left over lasagna and bread and I will add a side of sauteed zucchini. It is nice that I do not have to make a big dinner this evening.

Tomorrow I will bake. I have not deiced what to make as yet. I am craving sherbet however so maybe something that would compliment that. As I have a bit of lactose tolerance issue ice cream will sometimes upset my digestive system. What is strange is some brands set it off more than others. The purer the ice cream the more difficult it is to digest. The cheaper brands that taste less palatable do not seem to bother me.But I do not care for those but I have had no problem with sherbet.

I made out a very simple menu for this coming week. Basic meals I know my hubby likes. I have so many items in my pantry and freezer. So I will create meals with what I have mostly on hand.

Well the day is carrying on without me so I need to join in. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MR AND MRS DOUGLAS ROAN

Here they are in Hawaii. This is a great photo. They look so happy and they are so coordinated! Gina said they did not plan that,they just got dressed and matched. Well great minds you know. As you can see they both have great tans, 
I am envious. I am my usual pasty scaly winter white this time of year. Not attractive. Sometimes in winter I use tanning creams but this year I have not bothered. It will not be long and I will be able to pick up a little color on our deck. 
The crocus and daffodils are now up. It always makes me happy when they pop up out of the earth knowing spring is not far behind. Though this week does not appear that way. The temps are a little warmer but still gray and showery and wintery appearing.

I am back in the office today and hopefully by the end of the day I will have a good handle on the taxes. At this point I have everything in individual stacks ready to be totaled and calculated. Then to fill the booklet out. So Friday I will finish and get them in the mail. Tomorrow I have a lot of errands to do. Besides grocery shopping at two different stores, I need to go to Bi-Mart and purchase paint for the garage cabinets so hubby can start that project on his next break. Also need to pop into Office Max and to the supply store for hubby. A busy half of day so I know I will relax when I get home.

Tonight in my kitchen I will be preparing lasagna with our good homemade pasta sauce. A big green salad with creamy italian dressing and a crunchy sourdough boule with garlic butter to go with. We are both craving lasagna. It has been a while since I have made a pan full. However we do have Italian about every ten days sometimes in the form of pizza as you know. As I make my weekly menu and grocery list out today for tomorrows shopping the one thing I am including again is a wok meal. We so enjoy the veggies and it is such a healthy meal.

Well no more procrastinating. I must now grab the calculator and get to adding up a thousand receipts. That may be a tad more than there is but nonetheless there are a lot.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TYSON PLAYING AND SIGNING TO LITTLE O.

Daddy Tyson playing for Olivia(little O). Now little O is starting to look like a chunky O. What a little chub!
I cannot wait to see her again, this spring we will go and play and love on her. My grandson Tyson is an amazing guitar player. He plays his own compositions as well as others. I love to listen to him pick. He started playing guitar when he was a young teen. So I have two musical grandchildren, Tyson and Megan who plays the piano beautifully. I wonder if Olivia will take after her daddy.

So today it is back in the office. I am getting a late start as I had couple bids to get out and also bills to get in the mail but I wanted to post this blog, have a little me time before starting to add more figures. Yesterday was a long day. I was more than ready at it's end of it to plop on the sofa with a glass of yummy red wine and watch the evening news while my husband made dinner. How sweet of him he also cleaned up the mess(except for the bad pan). Those always seem to hang out in the sink and wait for my hands to clean them.

It is not raining today which is nice but it is gray though it is a light gray and not that cold but certainly colder than yesterday. Yesterday was 62 degrees in the afternoon. My walk was so nice in the warmth but my shin splints and back both were hurting so it took some of my pleasure away.
Actually as I glance out of the office window now I see blue sky, those clouds are starting to dissipate. It may be a sunny day after all.

Tonight for dinner neither of us is cooking. Hubby made enough last night to have leftovers this evening. I will add a salad to last nights delicious sausage purchased from our neighborhood meat market and the paprika potatoes. Those potatoes are yummy. Yukon golds with added sauteed green peppers, onions and lots of paprika and butter.

My husband is in the garage putting our new very cute mud flaps on his pickup. We need them when towing the trailer to stop the flying road debris from hitting the front of the trailer.
Yesterday he worked very hard. He purchased a half cord of wood. So he loaded it into his pickup where he purchased it and then unloaded it at our house in our side yard next to the house. It is good dry wood and is covered now with a big trap. We like to have wood on hand to throw in when we go camping.  We also have a fire bowl for our back deck and use it occasionally when the weather complies.
My hubby is working tomorrow for a few days. We have a lot of bids out right now so I feel March will be busy for us.

I cannot procrastinate any longer. Back to the taxes.









Monday, February 24, 2014

BACKPACKING DAYS

Here I am in back country with my honey in the 80's. We did this often almost every weekend in the summertime in central Oregon. I loved it, though nervous in the beginning as I was not accustomed to packing all my gear somewhere on my back, then setting up a tent and sleeping in the wilds. But it was a new adventure and my then boyfriend, my now husband was obsessed with being out in nature and backpacking. So what to do? Go or stay home. Of course I love good food and that is a bit of a sticky wicket when backpacking. Seems we mostly dined on ramen noodles, dried soups, hard boiled eggs, crackers with peanut butter, jerky, trail mix and the likes. We always had tea our go-to hot drink but we also took a bottle of wine and a few beers along, not the lightest items in the pack but a must! Oh and a bit of brandy for evening.
As I was looking through albums this afternoon for photo's to scan hubby and I had a walk down memory lane. It was fun recalling this trip and that. We miss the mountains and backpacking but are so happy we had those experiences.

My son is having trouble finding a suitable rental. As soon as he finds something he is interested in it is rented in within hours. It is very frustrating for him to say the least. He needs to be out of his home the end of March. When he rented that house five-six years ago, his landlord asked him how long he was thinking of staying. Mike said, probably for years and years, the house suits his needs. But when one rents you are at the mercy of the owner. They have decided to put the house on the market as they need the money for their retirement. I have been looking online also hoping to be of help knowing what he needs and what price range,with a large outdoor dog etc. It is hard. So mainly I just try to keep him encouraged. A mom's job...right?

Well my daughter has returned from Hawaii as a married woman. Yes Gina and Doug got hitched as they say with their bare toes in the pacific ocean in Hawaii. Family has known about this event but a lot of friends have not. But I saw she posted on FB they have returned from their trip and honeymoon. I am so happy for them both. This will be a good union. They have known each other since they were young teens. They have much in common including birthday's and now the wedding day too on their birthday's on Valentines day. So Gina said her name will now be. Gina Jarvi Roan. I have a new son-in-law Douglas. He is a dear and treats my daughter amazing. So what is not to love?

So I start the tax process today. I will sequester myself in the office for approximately three days, two and a half if all goes well. Of course I do not DO our taxes but by the time I get all together for our CPA I may as well have done them. As we are a small business it is time intensive. So I think I may have been a tad grumpy yesterday knowing this is my fate for a few days.

I am off now to start on the file cabinet this if the first process the adding up of our business expenses. Of course I have them filed in their separate categories but they still need to be sorted into months and added and clipped together and entered into the tax booklet. There are many different categories so it is no quick fix.
Here I go........sad face.






Sunday, February 23, 2014

GAMBLING IN ST.MARTEEN WEST INDIES

So here I am on the steps of the Lightening Casino in St. Marteen. We arrived a little early and they were not open yet. They do not stay open 24/7 like the casinos in the states. I did not win but my husband won just under a hundred bucks so we left there and went to a Dutch grocery store and bought stuff with our winnings. They have gambling on the dutch side of the island but not on the french side. And we were staying on the French side. It is the best side in our opinion.If you were not in the tropic's you would think you were in France. Everyone speaks french and all the hotels, eateries etc are mostly french owned as well as most of the workers in the resorts.

So today it is not tropical here nor will we be gambling. But it is a nice day so we will enjoy some sun as we did yesterday.
The sun came out yesterday about noon and boy did it come out. By early afternoon we had a big blue sky and bright blinding sun. I took a nice walk ah felt so wonderful. Then we hit the deck with faces to the sun. We stayed about two hours and we both got a little color. We loved letting that sweet warmth soak into our skin.

Our pizza was amazing. I am just getting better and better at making pizza. Initially I put too much water in the dough as it was sticky. But when I rolled it out I just added more flour and it was perfect. Crunchy just the way we like it. The pepperoni was so delish the best I ever ate. It did not have that spicy bite like the Gallo pepperoni has. It was more of a light spicy great tasting salami. Anyhow one mighty good pizza which we will enjoy for lunch today.

My husband has just run to Bi-mart. He enjoys going there, it is an easy store to shop. So I sent him with a little list and he is also going to get a case of his favorite wine. There are some good wine values at Bi-mart. He is also going to look for a battery operated lantern for our trailer. For when we camp where we do not have electricity the lantern will work well so we do not use all of our battery power. As we play cards till wee hours the lantern will work well for needed light. We are used to having motor homes and thus generators so the trailer will be a different experience when we dry camp. We are thinking of picking up a generator at some point.

Well I must get at my necessary house chores and walk. Yes WALK. So good to be back in the grove. But rain this next week so how will I cope then?
Well I am off to do nothing much on a lazy Sunday day.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

IS IT GRILLING TIME YET?

I am so hungry for a grilled steak whether on our big gas grill or our compact Smokey Joe. But the weather is just not good for outdoor grilling. It has been showery, windy, cold, soggy and whatever mother nature throws at us. This is a grilled steak with a spice rub, grilled med-rare and then left to sit with a wad of herb butter for eight minutes. I lay foil over the top to keep the heat in. Then eat and enjoy. Yummy!
But no steak tonight. We are having pizza, yes pizza once again. I need to make it every couple of weeks as to not forget and to even more improve my technique. Tonight's offering is good quality pepperoni, with sliced black olives and onions. I like making pizza on the weekend when my hubby is home as we always have a good amount left over and he can snack on it all weekend. Believe me that husband of mine is a snacker.

Well as mentioned yesterday we were going to check out a RV park at Fern Ridge. Well we did just that. The owners of that RV park have let folks live there permanently it seems. The view was beautiful and the park is right on the reservoir and that part is nice. However the sad part is that these full time nesters have added a conglomeration of sheds, shacks, added on buildings to their RV's and what have you. So it is a big eye sore. So no thanks! What could have been very nice has turned into a shanty town. At least we got out of the house and went for a nice ride through the country. It was nice seeing the big sky with a billowy mix of clouds some quite angry dropping dark shadows over farmers fields.

My husband is on a bid this morning then stopping to see his Momma at the memory care home. He will take her a milkshake. I sent a handful of magazines.

I have to say the Olympic's has been a pain in the butt to watch this year. They do not come on until eight and go off at eleven. Who stays up that late? We have only seen one medal ceremony. I missed most of the ice skating competitions as they come on last it seems and then not wanting to hear the results the next day is about impossible as it is all over the evening news. Even though we have a DVR and my husband is recording the Olympic's we cannot watch more than we do in real time. So I am bummed out as we love the games but the time difference has made it awkward.

We were to have sunshine today but none has appeared yet. I wanted to take a nice walk today in the sun. My body is craving exercise. I can just feel my muscle tone going away in my legs. This winter has been the pits for enjoyable walking. I do not like to be cold so walking in the cold does not excite me. So we will see what the afternoon has to offer, it may perk up.

I have some emails and a post to write for hubby's business blog so best get on with it.
Hope your weekend is a good one.

Friday, February 21, 2014

HIKING IN DEATH VALLEY

Here I am hiking my buns off in Death Valley at Golden Canyon. The many times we have been there we always do this hike. It is a steep one and long one. I doubt I could I make the long grade to the top now, but I would try.
It is very hot so you start early and take a plenty of water and wear a hat. Hiking and biking in Death Valley is something we have done four times in the past. We hope to go again at some point. We find when you are craving warmth and are bummed out from winter's gray wet days, Death Valley is a good fix. This time of year through March is normally in the mid to high eighties. However one year we were there it was into the low hundreds and it was a furnace. We were staying at Furance Creek......truthfully that was the name of our campground. We had to move to a different part of park to Stove Pipe Wells as they had full hook ups and we needed our air conditioning at night. The first night we were at that campground we were sitting outside and could see many coyotes circling our RV camping area. It was quite spooky. But our closet encounter with a coyote was at Furnace Creek. We had just finished dinner and it was almost dark. I was cleaning up the dinner mess and we heard a whining like a dog below the window. I looked down and there was coyote, it was begging for food it seemed. It continued to stay for about ten minutes and pitifully whined as we watched out the window. Then it gave a couple yelps and meandered away through the hills. Quite strange indeed. I intend at some point to write something quite poignant about Death Valley. It is an incredible place.

Today our reality is to go for a drive to check out a camping area at Fern Ridge reservoir.The campground there we normally go to is closed until mid April. It is very nice, large spaces and the lake is a short walk away. It is so close, fifteen minutes from home. The other campground we are driving to today is at the other side of the reservoir. If we like it we will go when the weather allows, just for a couple of nights. It is nice just to get out of the house and camp as you can take walks, enjoy the wildlife etc.

Tonight for dinner who knows? Hubby is home today and maybe he will cook. The fridge is stocked as well as the pantry so he can come up with something. I made a nice breakfast for us this morning.

I need now to get ready for our little outing. It is a little brighter out now this morning was light rain and very gray. Actually it suppose to be partly sunny today, we will hope for the best.
Have a great Friday the weekend is upon us.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BROASTED CHICKEN YUMMY












Yes this was amazing chicken. Prairie Schooner will see us again with our legs under the table crunching on these legs. Next time we will we split an order as we brought pieces home. The chicken pieces were plump and cooked to perfection with a crunchy goodness. The jojo's were also good though I ate but a couple. I had two glasses of Duck Pond Chardonnay which was pleasant with notes of apple and pear. Hubby had a pint of beer.
It was storming something sinful when we left for our lunch. The wind was whipping turning the hard falling rain sideways. The windshield wipers barely could keep up.
When we returned home we played two games of Wii golf. I won both games..ha. Then we played gin rummy I won. Then on to Yahtzee and finally hubby won something. Poor guy. He was getting frustrated I think.
Then we listened to music and finally settled down to watch the Olympic's. So a nice fun day with my husband.

It is quite nice out as I write and I should be walking. I feel a little tired however no extra energy to expend. However I know it would probably give me extra energy not take it away. But I feel lazy. I was hoping to sleep in this morning but hubby was up early setting the garbage and recycling out as he did not attend to it last night. So of course that woke me, then he jumped back into bed all cold and wanted my body heat. Well by that time I was wide awake. So no more snoozing for me.

I had a good breakfast made by my husband. He made potato pancakes with onion and sour cream tucked inside. They were crispy and so good. I only had a small one however as I am not a eater in the morning. The most I usually can muster is a 1/2 piece of toast or a small muffin. Today for lunch I will have a piece of cold chicken.

I heard from an old friend this morning via the email. It is always good to hear from my gal friends and hear what they have been up to. A lot of my friends travel, in fact most do. We do not as my husband is not retired. So we do our little getaways that I am really content with. I feel another coast trip approaching we are watching the weather and can be ready to roll in a days time. So if there is no work for a few days at that time we will be off.

Tonight for dinner we are having crockpot pork which I already have slow cooking away. I will make mashed potatoes and sauerkraut and put dollops of both in a bowl then serve the pork and it's juices over the top. A nice dab of sour cream and ah it is heaven.

My daughter and Doug will be home from Hawaii Saturday. Seems they have been gone forever. Though she kept in contact with me via the email several times to keep me informed of all the fun they were having.

I am outta here now, I have chores that are screaming my name.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

MY MOTHER A TEENAGER

Here is my mother as a teen. I am thinking she is about fifteen as she got married at sixteen. This is one of a few I have of her at a young age. She was living in Pennsylvania. My dad's family lived next door. My father was in the navy came home on leave and they fell in love.  That is making the story short by the time my father passed away they had been married over 55 years.

So today is a full day for me. I have an advertising meeting this morning. To get one our ad's squared away for the coming phone book. Then after my hubby gets home early afternoon we are going out for lunch to a tavern that promises good broasted chicken. So we will see. My husband did a flooring job for the owner and he is the one that promised.

I am so tired today which is not good. I did not sleep well the first part of the night and I did not go to bed until after eleven as I was watching the ice dancing on the Olympic's. Then at five this morning I woke with nerve pain on the inside of my knee. Every once in a while it would pulsate and the nerve would spark. Not fun believe me. So needless to say that kept me awake early this morning. So I feel like I have not slept at all. Hopefully I can pull myself out of this lethargy.

I made panin's last night to go with the last of the posole. That soup is amazing. We enjoyed it just as much last night. As we are going for lunch today we will more than likely just have a small snack this evening if needed. So nothing exciting going on in Zo's kitchen.
I made muffins yesterday after all. We had the muffins for breakfast this morning with our tea. They are tasty they are a basic muffin recipe but filled with seedless raspberry jam and topped with nut crumble.

So this will be all today I must get myself moving, hope that's possible.
Ciao



Monday, February 17, 2014

POSOLE A WINNER














This bowl of posole was unbelievable and one of the best soups I have ever tasted. And the best thing is you can make it as hot or mild as you like. I went for the mild version. Served with cornbread it is a complete meal without meat.
Here is my version of the recipe.
Zo's Posole
(I cut this recipe in half and it was perfect for two with some leftover.)
2 cans of yellow hominy drained and rinsed
2 cans of red beans drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 med sweet onion diced or sliced scallions
1 16 ounce jar of mild to hot salsa
3 1/2 cups sodium reduced chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup whipping cream 
Shredded cheddar cheese

Using a heavy soup pot add beans and hominy,onion,corn, chicken broth, salsa and oregano. On medium heat bring to a soft boil and then put to simmer and let simmer for approximately a half hour.(you are just trying to meld the flavors and you do not want to keep it at a higher heat and let it boil as you want the hominy and beans intact and not mushy) When well heated slowly drizzle in the cream and stir and turn off burner and let sit in the pot on the burner until the cream is heated. 
Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Is there anything easier than this? Serve with corn bread, flour tortilla's, cheesy biscuits etc. Also I think chicken would be a nice addition if you cared for some meat in it.(the photo at top is not mine I got it online and it appears to have chicken in it).
I have to say my husband just loved this bowl of goodness. He added a little chulula to his as he likes it a little hotter.
I will keep this recipe and make it often. It is perfect for a stormy night which we had last night.

Today is windy again and quite a heavy down pour this morning. I do worry about our tree that was broken in the last wind storm. A limb barely missed our little travel trailer. Hubby removed the broken part but the tree is not strong now. The entire tree needs to be removed. He may try to do that today if the wind subsides. It is a concern.

We are making jerky today. I bought a couple london broils sometime back and put them in the freezer. So we have thawed a three pound piece and we each will make jerky of our choice. As hubby prefers his spicy with kick and I like teriyaki we must make separate batches. We like having jerky on hand especially when we camping. Well who knows when we will go camping as we are waiting for winter storms to abate. But we will jump at the first chance we get and head back to the coast. To Florence this time to the KOA there a short two blocks to the ocean.


As I have much to do today I need to get at it. It is Monday after all as I do nothing much on Sunday's Monday's tend to be busy days.
See ya,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUT HOLES

I cannot wait to make these little darlings but we must eat our cake first! Laugh.
This kind of weather makes me want to bake. Drizzly and rainy, cloudy, windy, snowy days are all conducive to baking up a batch of something! The aroma fills the house and makes it all so homey as well as a mouth watering affair. 

So we woke to sunshine pouring through the dirty winter windows, but it was a still a dazzling sight. Now the sky has turned cloudy and we are under a high wind warning for this afternoon and evening. So I will once again ready the oil lamps in case I have to elicit their help.

My husband is undertaking a huge project today. He is cleaning and rearranging the entire garage. His hope is to make enough room to get our little fishing boat into the garage along with my rig. The garage is overflowing as that is where he stores all of his supplies and equipment for work. There is a huge array of cabinets that he will reorganize for maximum storage. Then he will paint the cabinets they surely need it.
Also today he is cutting up the tree that he had to partially take down after our last storm. We use the wood for camping. So he is a busy man today.
As for me....ah it is Sunday I rarely do a thing except what is needed. I have tidy'd my house and read the paper and nibbled on a delish breakfast that hubby prepared for us. So the rest of the day I will play on the computer, catch up on emails and read. A lazy day just what Sunday's should be.

Tonight for dinner I am making posole for the fist time. This recipe is called, Zesty bean posole. It looks very interesting and I think that my husband will like it. Posole is a hearty mexican stew with hominy. It is suppose to have chili peppers but I will add milder ones. I will add a jar of mild salsa instead of the medium that it calls for. So I am making some adjustments for my digestion. It also has red beans, scallions, chicken broth and cream. The photograph in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine looks amazing. So I will give you the review tomorrow.
I am going to serve it with warm tortilla's.

Everyday I look forward to an email from my daughter in Hawaii. She wrote a lengthily one yesterday. I am enjoying my own trip through her eyes. They are having a great and sometimes humorous time. So I had to share with her a misadventure we experienced on one of our Caribbean trips.

Well I am going to leave you and email some friends.
Have a super Sunday.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Yummy, yummy for your tummy. A great cake and glaze. The recipe is posted on a previous blog under the title name is you think you may like to try it.
We had a happy Valentines day yesterday.
My hubby got home we opened wine and sat in the living room and visited. Later we played gin rummy and he won the quarters. But that is ok as his quarter bag was looking quite sad. We then opened our gifts to one another. He was happy with his micro brews and candy. I was delighted with my gift as well. A sweet African violet and a bottle of my favorite red. We then had our salmon dinner, always so wonderful that sockeye salmon. Once again we cleaned our plates and hummed while doing so.
We then settled into the sofa's and watched the Olympics. We went to bed rather late so I am little tired today but I have things to accomplish and hubby will be home at one.
We may go for mexican fare so I must get on with my chores and get myself around.
Have a nice weekend you all! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

ANOTHER VALENTINES TOGETHER

This is our 31st Valentines together. We always have celebrated this lovers day with a small gift to one another and a lovely dinner. So I wonder what my husband will pick up for me today? Sometimes it is flowers, a plant, a CD, a favorite bottle of wine or champagne that I like, candles, or several of these items tucked into a gift bag. One year he got me a darling bracelet, another time a gift certificate to my favorite kitchen store. So you see that sort of thing. This year I bought him different kinds of micro brews he likes and a box of candy. You notice I did not mention that he gives me candy? We have a rule no candy for me. I do not really care for candy and my body surely does not need it.
Tonight for dinner I am preparing salmon  seared in the black iron skillet with salt and black cracked pepper and drizzled with lemon juice. We are also having asparagus and a bottle of pinot noir.
I am going to mix up my one bowl chocolate cake with chocolate glaze for desert. So simple but feels a little decadent.

Another gray day with a little rain now and then but it is mild and I am content with the weather.

My daughter is having a lovely time in Makaha Hawaii. She wrote this morning that they are basically the only tourists there. The condo they are staying in is just like promised. Newly remodeled and so comfy on the 9th floor. She said they leave the sliding door to the lanai open 24/7 for the tropical breeze to waif in. The beach is virtually empty of folks, and she said not a gift shop to be seen. The condo complex has a spattering of older folks staying there. All is quiet and nature abounds. Doesn't it sound just grand.
Today is both Gina and Doug birthday's. So I would imagine the celebration is on. Surely it is a amazing Valentines day for them.

My hubby will be home early today. Yes. Maybe I can twist his arm to play a hand or two of gin rummy. We are playing a on going game that has been going back and forth for many hands. So on his days off or short days we sometimes play. I wonder who will finally scarf up the bowl full of quarters?

Well whether it is Valentines day or not laundry waits for no one. That hamper is plump!

Enjoy your sweetheart today if you have one, if not pamper yourself and have a good day.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

NEWCASTLE ENGLAND

This is Newcastle England such a beautiful romantic looking city. I wanted to post a photo of this city as I am in the midst of a book where the story takes place in this area. Most of the books I choose to read are novels but novels that are based on fact. So as I read sometimes I make a trip to the computer to goggle something that I have just read usually a location or a bit of history. I think I would love to travel to this city for some reason it draws me. It sits eight miles off the North Sea. Basically the city was in it's early beginnings a fishing town. Now it is a booming metropolis with a mix new and old. And strangly they have wonderful venue for folk music. Music inspired by the sea and working folk of years past. Anyhow I find it all quite interesting.

I am listening to Pandora as I type. I have it tuned to Celtic music. Very appropriate. I heard a song a earlir that I love so much I have heard it many times before. It is called Adagio by Secret Garden. You can goggle that and go to YouTube and listen to it. 

As I am drinking so much tea of late, I found myself setting up a little tea area adjacent to my stove. I put out a proper tea pot and my favorite mugs. I am going to purchase a electric tea kettle soon. Boiling hot water in two minutes sounds very inviting. We can use that kettle for individual coffee's too as I have a filter holder for cup size or for tea water or to make a mug of hot chocolate. The one I want to buy is the Cuisinart. It is not exactly thrifty but when I buy for my kitchen I buy what I want. Cost does not seem to matter as I want appliances and kitchen tools that will last and do what I want them to.

By now my daughter and Doug have landed in Honolulu and have picked up their rental car and are making their way to the other side of the island to Makaha. Where they will stay in a beachfront condo for ten days. Gina said they will make a stop at Costco and a grocery store on the way. 
I so remember how it was on our tropical vacations. The last trip to St. Martin was kind of unusual however. We arrived on one of their major holidays. So everything was closed. Everyone goes to the beach and there are all kinds of events. We could not find one grocery open on either the dutch side of the island or the French side where we were staying. So luckily there was a Seven Alive open. Yes it is the equivalent of a Seven Eleven. We bought cheap wine(was all they had) beer, cheese and crackers, chips, junk. We were starved. We drove to our hotel almost getting hit head on by a farmer behind the wheel of an old truck hauling cages chickens. He was right in the middle of the road on a blind corner. Hubby headed toward the field on the right hand side of the road. There are so many crazy drivers on that island you would not believe it,that is another story as they say. Anyhow we arrived at our hotel and went to our room, home at last in St. Martin for two weeks. We refreshed and headed to the hotel restaurant as we were famished. Well guess what? They were closed......bummer. So we ate what we had bought at Seven Alive and our snacks we took on the plane. At least we had a bottle wine! So I think Gina and Doug will be a little more prepared than we were. The next day we went and bought groceries after we figured out how to unlock the grocery carts and of course we had no idea how much we were paying for anything as the pricing labels were in French.

Our wok food was so good last night. It seemed my body was craving vegetables. I so liked the combination of veggies used that I wrote down what I did. I am happy there is enough left for me to have lunch today.

I could not sleep very well last night. Then it dawned on me how much tea I put away yesterday and my last cup was at three thirty. So if I am drinking tea that late in the day I will have decaffeinated. I have an entire box of it to use up.

My husband will be home today at two or so which is so lovely as we need to go to his sister's early evening for a birthday party for his mother. Actually her birthday was on the 10th but it did not work for others to have it at that time. It will not be hard for me food wise as I am just asked to take coleslaw. It is my mother's coleslaw recipe and it is good the dressing is always perfect, the right amount of tartness and sweet. After dinner we will come home and watch more Olympics. We sure enjoy the winter games.

Well I must tidy my house and get on with my extra chores today. I would like to be done so I can enjoy our afternoon together.
Ciao


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WOK FOOD

This was to be our dinner last evening I had everything chopped and ready to go. Then the power went off for three hours last night. As I finished dicing the chicken, the lights went out. I scrambled for lighting as the house went completely dark. I grabbed a flashlight and then proceeded to light my oil lamps and then some candles to put in the bedroom and bathroom. My hubby came home to a lamp lit house and a cold dinner of salad and cold slices of bread and butter. Later just before nine the power returned and we heated mugs of chicken noodle soup. Then watched a hour of Olympic's and off to bed.
So I still have all those veggies chopped and waiting in the fridge so it will be a easy dinner tonight. The photo is of a previous dinner.

Today it is rain and more rain. And yes we do so need it. We have some wind but not as bad as the weatherman predicted. I am staying in today and working in this office so it makes no difference to me. In fact it is quite cozy.


I had a very nice visit yesterday with the birthday man my son Mike. He had just returned home from spending time with his sister. She was so sweet she bought him a german chocolate cake as that was always his birthday cake of choice when he was growing up. He said he had a nice day and talked to everyone in the family.

Seems I bought the grocery store out yesterday. But you know I am the kind of person that needs my pantry, fridge and freezer full. As I love to cook and bake I like to have the supplies on hand I need if I decide to whip something up.I also bought many things at the $Tree. I have not been for months in fact I think the last time was when I visited my daughter in Damascus and we went to the one there together.
I get some office supplies there, such as paper clips, pens, post-it's, that type of thing. Also a lot of cleaning supplies. As I have mentioned before there spray window cleaner is great. A different container but the same product as the grocery stores. Anyhow it was fun to poke around the dollar tree.

My daughter Gina and Doug are off to Hawaii at ten this morning. So they are waiting for their flight at this moment. They will be celebrating their birthday's Valentines day. They were both Valentine babies...how sweet. They have so many things planned for their ten days there. It will be an amazing trip for them.

Well this office waits for no one so I best to my work.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MY SON MICHAEL'S BIRTHDAY 02/11/62

My son Michael's 52nd birthday.I love the photo of him in his grandfather's cowboy boots and hat. The middle photo is of Mike at Paulina Lake where he worked at the resort. He rented us a cabin for a couple of nights there in mid-winter. He and a co-worker picked up hubby and I at the snow park on the way up the mountain to Paulina Lake. We stashed our gear in the sled they towed along and we each jumped behind a driver and made our way to the resort in falling snow. It was such a fun time snuggled in that cabin buried in deep snow with the wood stove popping and cracking keeping us warm.
The picture at top right is of Mike playing basket ball on the varsity team at Bend High in Central Oregon. This next one is one of my favorites. He was riding his rocking horse which he just loved doing. He was such a little character and always so happy. The bottom photo is Mike opening gifts on a past birthday.
So my son I am sending you so much love today on your special day. You mean so much to me and always have. I am proud to be your Momma as you call me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

OLIVIA'S FIRST SNOW

Olivia in Central Oregon with her Mommy and Daddy enjoying the snow. She is so cute in her little snowsuit. Her Mommy is not bad either!

I remember the first time my son Mike saw snow. He was seven months old, we were living in La Pine in central Oregon. One evening the snow started to fall just after dark. We bundled up little Michael in a brown snow suit and cap.  We jumped in our car a 54 Chevrolet and headed up toward Paulina Lake as it was more elevation. The farther we went the deeper the snow got and more mesmerizing it became as the flakes landed on the windshield like patterns in a kaleidoscope. My son was in the front seat of the car between the two if us. He was just bedazzled by the event. We went as far as our car would allow without becoming stuck. My husband stepped out into knee deep snow with his son in his arms.  The snow was falling in huge flakes and with Michael's pudgy little fingers he was pointing to the sky and saying something that sounded like, oh, oh, oh. He was laughing his hearty little laugh and was so animated in his gestures. He was loving every moment as were we his parents.
For some reason that picture of him pointing to sky and jabbering his baby jabber will stay with me forever it was such a happy moment. It was magical.

You know what that son of mine is still crazy about snow! He absolutely loves it, to work in it, to play in it, to drive in it, it does not matter that he is cold he is never miserable. One of his fave things is to snow camp.  He is my mountain man, that is what the family calls him. 

I for one am very happy that the snow is melting. Though it is not gone yet. This morning finds us here in Eugene, with snow still on the ground, but the ice is gone. Trees are broken, shrubs are down trodden, leaf plants look as if they came from the Adam's Family set. We need to take a tree down, the one that split that stands by our trailer. Well you get the picture and it is not a pretty one. But as my son nicely reminded me yesterday, "but it's winter Mom." He has the same scenario going on in Portland. He does not mind, he was without power for 12 hours not the pitiful three we were without it. I suppose I have turned into a weenie. 

We enjoyed our scalloped potatoes last night and we have a couple of helpings left so to those tonight I will add a couple of baked pork chops and boil more carrots with honey butter. They are so yummy. I just clean the carrots and simmer till barely tender, then drain and add a dollop of butter and return to the burner to melt the butter, then put them in a bowl and drizzle honey over them. They are wonderfully glazed and sweet and savory both.

My husband made it to the job site yesterday and all was well. Of course because of the weather he is running behind now as he had jobs scheduled back to back. However we cannot control the weather so I am sure his next folks will be fine with the delay.

Well I need to get myself around as I say. My hubby left before seven this morning, so I have had a nice couple of hours to read the paper and have tea and toast(am I from the UK) and play on the computer a bit.
Tomorrow I will go grocery shopping so today I must make out my menu and my grocery list.  At least the major roads are in OK shape now. Our street though is still a mess.

The work week starts today for many folks. Sounds as if the folks in Portland may be getting a day off however. I would assume my daughter will not be working as I think the schools are closed. So a fun snow day for her.

See ya later.




Sunday, February 9, 2014

EUGENE ENCASED IN ICE

Sunday morning starts out frozen. No changes during the night we are still encased in ice. It is now noon and things are starting to drip. Tree's continue to loose their branches you can hear the cracking noise throughout the neighborhood. As of now we have lost a couple sections of our arborvitae shrubs in the back, they are what gives us privacy from our backyard neighbors. A big limb fell from the tree beside our travel trailer but fell in front of it. I hope no other limbs come down off that tree and land on top the trailer. Needless to say all of the shrubs, flowers and small trees that surround our home will need to be cut to ground level and we will hope they survive. The heart breaker for me is our Star Jasmine which grows by leaps and bounds every summer has succumbed, looking like death at this point. This plant fills the deck rails at the north end of our deck and I have been training the trailing vines to go through and along the rest of the deck railings. But now all will have to be cut to the ground. Our spring scene will surely look different without foliage softening the perimeter of the house. There will be much work to do.

My hubby talked to the contractor whom he is doing work for this morning. The contractor was clearing the long driveway at the job site with a bucket tractor. So my husband left for the job site about nine-thirty. I watched as he spun out going down our street. He must have made his destination in the Coburg Hills as I have not heard differently. He has not been able to get that job started for four days now because of the weather.

We lost power after going to bed last night it was only out for about three hours or so. The news this morning said to be prepared to lose power again as more and more trees and limbs come down while they are thawing. I have the oil lamps ready, candles etc. We had already decided in the middle of the night when the power went off that if it were not back on today we could stay warm and cook meals in the trailer as we have the propane tanks full.

My grandson Tyson, Lindsey and baby Olivia are stranded in
Central Oregon, the roads to bad to travel back home to Oregon City. Tyson was there the past couple of days applying for a job with the Dechutes County Sheriffs Dept. I think he is still at his Grandpa Carl's who lives between Sisters and Bend. They had a huge dump of snow over there and the news reported this morning that the highways are not cleared as of yet and to stay off the roads unless it is an emergency.


Bless the newspaper delivery folks. Our paper was late but then here the delivery man came spinning down the street and brought our Sunday paper. There are still thousands of folks without power. We heard last night while watching the Olympics that 24,000 homes were without power in the Eugene/Springfield and outlying areas. 

I am not going to do anything today other than what I have already done which is tidy the house. I will make us a nice comfort food dinner tonight. I thought I would make scalloped potatoes we have not had them for a while and I will make some sauteed veggies to side and I may make a nice warm loaf of bread to go with.
My husband will not be too late as he wants to head home before dark in case he were to have a problem.

I think I will relax today, read and scan a few photo's of the grandkidlets when they were little. Obviously we did not sleep well last night. After we discovered there was no power we snuggled in bed and talked for well over an hour. So we both felt a little jet lagged this morning.

I think now is a good time to fix a little lunch for myself. As we had taco's last nights I saved a few remains to make a taco salad bowl.

Have a nice Sunday and I hope you are not dealing with a mess like this.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

SILENT NIGHT OUR STREET

I took this photo about nine last night. Nary a foot print on the side walk in front of the house or leading to the front door. It was so still and quiet. Not one sound came from any directions. Most folks were tucked into their warm homes enjoying having the day off. Many work places and stores were closed. The streets and freeways were such a dangerous mix of ice and snow it was treacherous to drive.
We sat and played gin rummy at the nook table and watched huge flakes come down for the most part and then some freezing rain came through. Then finally the silence.

Our roast was good and a easy diner to put together. Tonight we have roast remains morphed into shredded beef taco's.

Another day with my husband home. With the ice thick under the blanket of a foot of snow, no one is going anywhere. So hopefully tomorrow he will be able to make his way to the job site in the hills.

We watched the opening ceremonies last night from Socho. It was beautiful, they did a fine job on the building that was constructed just for the opening and closing ceremonies. No other events will be held there. We are looking forward to the watching the Olympic's every evening now. We both prefer the winter games to the summer ones.

I am not planning any big projects today. I will tidy the house and then I want to scan some more old photo's. That scanner is a wonderful Christmas gift my husband gave me.

February is a big month for birthdays in both my hubbies family and mine. Starting tomorrow with his mother's, then his nieces, then my son and a couple days later on Valentines day my daughters, then hubbies sis Liz finishes off the month. I think I forgot someone well I will remember at some point.

The ginger cream cookies and old family favorite are wonderful as usual. They are such a glorious mixture of warm spices, with cinnamon,ginger,nutmeg and cloves. They have a cake like texture and are not sweet so you really need the butter cream frosting on top. I was going to have a couple with my tea this morning but decided on a half piece of toast to go with a wonderful crispy mashed potato patty my husband made this morning for breakfast. 

So I am off now to enjoy my Saturday.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend. If you have snow it is so nice to stay in enjoying your warm home. I love glancing out the windows seeing the frozen snow and knowing I am safe and cozy in my home.