Monday, April 28, 2014

RICHARDSON PARK

We are off to Richardson Park in the morning. Just look how beautiful it is. I hope I do not have a full blown allergy attack as there are a lot of trees there of all varieties. I will take my allergy pills for sure. 
Today is in the 60's, tomorrow in the 70's and then moving on into the 80's for the remainder of the week. What I wonderful birthday I will have on Thursday I feel blessed. Three nights away with my sweet hubby staying at this beautiful place in our little trailer with all the amenities. Good food and drink, games, walks, ah, I think it is heaven.

We are so fortunate when we go away that our neighbors Bill and Dee watch over our home. We do the same for them. We are right next door and they are very aware when anything out of the ordinary happens here. They have our cell number and also know that hubbies sis lives right down the street. One year when we were gone and one our underground sprinkler lines broke the water was shooting everywhere. Bill shut the water to our place from at the street before our whole lawn and area were flooded. They would be the first ones to let us know if any hanky panky is happening at our home and we do the same for them. It is nice insurance!

I was going to go grocery shopping for our little getaway yesterday morning but we were having torrents of rain and it was miserable out so I have waited until this morning. After groceries I need to go pick up a couple of new books as I will be finishing my current one in a couple of chapters now. It has been quite a interesting book all about this little gal that has OI. In case you do not know what this is it is called Ostiogenies Imperfecta which is a lack of collagen in your bones. Children born with this genetic defect have hundreds of broken bones in their lifetimes if they survive birth. It is a heart wrenching book about one families struggles and the pain of raising a child that is always breaking.

My window of time has now vanished to I will finish this and write when we return all tan and rested. Then this coming weekend we are working in our yard, spreading new red bark and trimming bushes and shrubs.
Enjoy this great weather!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

THE FARMS ARE OPEN FOR THE SEASON

Yeah, the farms are open for the season. I will drive out Monday and pick up some beautiful fresh veggies. I will now get all my produce at the farms through October. No more nasty grocery store vegetables or lack luster cold storage fruits. This is something I look forward to every spring. Right now the offerings will mostly be from Washington state and CA.  However every veggie and fruit is perfect and the best you can purchase this time of year. Soon there will offerings from various farms in the valley and from the farm itself. That is when I get really excited!

Hubby is refinishing hardwood floors in a veterinarian clinic in Springfield today. The clinic is in an old house.  He only has three days to complete the job as they will be open on Tuesday for business as usual. So it will be a long day today as he needs to get all the floors sanded. Then the next two days the coats of commercial finish will be applied.
It is nice today to have the house to myself. I have a few things I want to accomplish.

I will clean the inside of our truck today. I noticed when I was riding in it the last time it is due for a spiffing up. Weather permitting I will clean the hot tub cover and deck. There is office chores again not to many but the top of my big desk is once again covered with items that need filed or tossed.

I am going to put boneless pork ribs into the slow cooker with salsa verde and onions and garlic for pork burrito's this evening. Hubby will want a traditional burrito in a flour tortilla. I will make mine taco size in soft corn shells. I am making pinto beans for a side. As he may be later than usual a slow cooker meal is a good choice as you can hold it.

Our chicken fingers were so crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. There were several left over so I made my husband a chicken tender sandwich for his lunch loaded with onion and pickles and sauce. Looked pretty yummy I hope he enjoys it. I will munch on the last two for my lunch today. I usually prefer a protein lunch as it keeps me going strong for the remainder of the day.

I need to email a couple of friends so I will exit this post now.
The weekend is upon us so have a good one!
This is Lone Pine Farms produce five minutes from my house. So wonderful makes my mouth water just looking at this photo.

Friday, April 25, 2014

CAMPFIRE

Ah the lure of the campfire. If it is not smoking and burning properly who does not love a campfire?  I do not enjoy a smoking fire and I am telling you in all my years of sitting around campfires I have had more than my share of smokey fires. These fires were not built or attended by my husband as he does his best to make a smokeless fire. But there are others on both sides of our families that make campfires you want to run from and do!

We are going camping very soon and we are so happy. The weather is going to be nice and warm. We are not going far just to a lovely RV park that is in our area. So I have started the camping list.

We did not have our chicken tenders last night as we were not hungry so we just had a small snack. That happens sometimes with us we just decide we do not need a meal. So that is fine by me, why have the calories and go through the ordeal of cooking and cleaning when no one is hungry? So tonight we munch on chicken fingers and eat our salad with creamy honey mustard dressing.

I had an interesting walk today. I just slipped on a hoodie over my shirt and off I went. The day has been a mixed bag of clouds and sun. A typical spring day in the valley. Well off I went I was planning on doing a loop that takes me about a forty minutes to complete. Before I could connect to the street that loops me back home the sun went away and all turned dark. Then the air was fresh with the smell of rain. I put my hand out and felt the first tender sprinkles. So what to do as the sky in just moments turned threatening. I decided it would be faster to get home by retracing my steps rather than doing the loop. So I turned around and picked up my pace as the drops increased in size and fell faster. I flipped the hoodie up over my head, took my sun glasses off which I could not longer see out of anyhow. And put my shoes to pavement as fast as possible. When all was said and done it was quite exhilarating when I walked through the door. I smelled of fresh rain, my clothes were damp but I was not cold. I was breathing hard and almost in a giggly state. I decided it was a fun walk!

So now that my day is winding down and it is "my time" I am heading for the living room to read a couple of chapters before preparing dinner.
The weekend is upon us have fun!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

ZO AS A TODDLER

Yep here I am as a toddler. Quite a chunky little bundle thanks to my mommies home cooking. I have posted this photo because I just posted on TBT on FB. Seems my panties are looking a little droopy. All of my baby and childhood photos portray me smiling or laughing.I can actually remember a couple of things from when I was that young. Odd but true. I will not share them as they would be boring to anyone but me and my family.

Today I went to shop and bank. Home now and enjoying a lazy afternoon. After doing my daily chores, and grocery shopping and putting it all away I had a lunch of leftover fresh green beans and potatoes. Not exciting fare but I do like leftovers for lunch. Then I read for a while in my rearranged living room and enjoyed a bit of relaxation.

Tonight for dinner we are having chicken tenders and large salad with the works drizzled with my home style honey mustard dressing. Sounds light and fresh.

I have a birthday coming up shortly so we are assessing our options. So much depends on the weather. Will it be wine country, camping or out to dinner? All are fine with me so we wait and hope the sun will shine on us and we will be off to wine country for the day or camping for a couple of nights at a lovely place near by. If it is not nice weather we will go to dinner at a place of my choice. Now therein lies the problem? It is always hard for me as there are not to many places I care to go to dinner. And it is not that I am picky but like I have mentioned before this is not exactly a food lovers mecca. 

I am outta here now as there is not anything interesting to chat about and I feel a little tired today. It is the tree pollen working it's way into my system.
Later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TIME FOR WINE COUNTRY AGAIN

So here I am at Sweet Cheeks winery a couple of years ago.This is our favorite winery to have a picnic lunch that I have packed and enjoy a bottle of their wonderful wine.
My birthday is coming up soon and we will go to wine country for the day. However we will have lunch at King Estate Winery. The food there is amazing and of course the wine is world renown. We always love wine country in spring. The various greens of the hills and valleys are so lush you almost drown in the color. On the drive through wine country here in this southern Willamette valley there is nothing but pure beauty. The apple and pear blossoms are opened wide, fluffy and fragile and against a deep blue sky they appear almost surreal. Let us hope there will be blue sky on May 1st.

There is no blue sky today. Gray clouds once again enclose us. The streets are wet and plastered with pink and white blossoms. The rain did make a perfect appearance though as my husband was expecting it to. He went up on the roof with the moss killer and sprinkled it on our moss gardens living up there. He also fertilized and put weed killer on the lawns. When you do that you need rain then to disperse it all where it needs to go. So the timing was perfect. Hopefully that moss will do as the product is named. Moss Be Gone!

Today we are staying home. Tomorrow we will run errands. First stop the DMV to renew my drivers license and get new tags for our truck. Then we are going for fast food. We were going to go to lunch at one of our fave places but decided to go for fast food burgers. And my favorite burger is the Jumbo Jack at Jack in the Box. So not exactly gourmet fare but so juicy and good, looking forward to it.

We heard back from Cover Oregon for my husbands health insurance. He has been on Lifewise Health Plan for years, but of course that more things need to be covered their rates have almost doubled. So today hubby will see what is available to him on the Cover Oregon sight and choose a plan. He will get a nice discount on the plan of his choice. So we are happy about that. I have my own plan to go along with my medicare. I think the Obama Care will work way better for us as my husband had an awfully high deductible.

Our dinner last evening was very good. Salmon fillets cooked by hubby and a warm spinach salad compliments of me. A good combination of flavors for the palate. Tonight I will make ham and cheese panini's with home fries and fry sauce. The ham is still giving birth it seems in the fridge. But we carve away at it daily.
Well I must start my day in earnest.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NEW RED CHAIR

The living room is quite cozy now. I nested the furniture closer so we can hear one another easily when we talk. This is where my husband and I sit to have our conversations. Also when my daughter comes this is the room we find ourselves in rather than the family room with the television. So this is my room essentially to read, play piano, go through my recipes, write and meditate. It is the place to doze and dream when I close my eyes and listen to the tinkle of water as it flows through the water fountain. This is where I find serenity in my home.

I had to laugh today. I was looking for a blackened salmon recipe today as we are having salmon tonight and were trying to decide how to prepare it. So I typed in "blackened salmon in a black iron skillet." So the list came up on the first page. I scrolled down then, food network, cooking channel, epicurious.
I almost fell off the chair when I then saw Zo's Kitchen Tonight listed next. What? Anyhow I read through my recipe sounded good. Laugh.
I am however going to have hubby prepare the salmon the way he does trout. We love it that way. My contribution will be a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. Sounds like a good mix of textures and flavors. We have been existing on ham it seems since Sunday. Ham for breakfast, ham for lunch, ham for dinner. Well enough ham for a day or two we need a break. I purchased the smallest one possible but still over nine pounds of ham is a lot for two people to get through. Of course when I get down to the end I will freeze it and then later make a good pot of navy beans and ham. We always look forward to that. I usually will make scalloped potatoes and ham but this Easter I made a romanoff potato casserole and that is so like scalloped potatoes that it would be redundant to do that. I am thinking fried rice with diced fried ham and asparagus would be good as would ham and two cheese paninis. And I do love a good omelet with ham and cheese and scallions for dinner. I could also use the grinder on my Kitchenaid mixer and grind some ham up to make ham salad for sammies. So it will be gone at some point, no waste.

It is now time to sit in my chair in my newly rearranged living room and start a new book. I finished that incredible book I was reading that was about the research team in the Amazon jungle. I was so sorry to put it back in the bookcase. I made a note on the first page, keep this book. I will read it again in a few years.
Have a nice Tuesday evening.


  

Monday, April 21, 2014

OUR LITTLE EASTER GIRL OLIVIA

Here is Olivia with her daddy Tyson Easter Day. She is wearing the little dress I got her. Tyson calls it her princess dress. It has two layers of skirts that are flared with white bloomers that go under. The top is overlaid with lace with a silk rose a the waist. It is hand washable but otherwise it is totally impracticable and nothing more than a great grandma's indulgence. I will say she looks quite fetching. What a happy sweet little baby that is surrounded each day with so much love. She has a stay at home Mommy though I know that is a struggle financially but Tyson and Lindsey felt it was very important. Olivia has a hands on Daddy he is evolved in every aspect of taking care of her.  They are a beautiful family.

We had such a lovely Easter day. A relaxed one for me as I puttered in my kitchen, first making a divine coconut cream pie. I will say this you stand at the stove stirring that custard for about forty minutes. Next time I will use my bar stool to get that chore done. Our ham was very good not to salty, just juicy and complimented by my brown sugar, apple cider honey glaze. We nibbled on our  el dente asparagus with lemon butter. I was good and did not have a bun though hubby scarfed down two of them.
I decided that we would dish up at the counter and sit at the nook table. I adorned the little table in yellow and lime green. Very pretty for Easter. 
After dinner there was still some remnants of sun in our back yard so we took the deck chairs down to the lawn and raised our faces and full bellies to the sun.
We watched a movie come nighttime, the end of a perfect day.

 I am off to "maybe" purchase a chair for our living room. It is a good buy and comes in rusty red leather which will be perfect in that room. I need to sit in it and see if it is large enough for my husband. I will then put the chair that is in there now in our bedroom under the wall mounted TV. We have needed a chair in our bedroom to sit on while dressing.

So I will be off now as it is after one PM. When I get home I want to walk as it is a nice day. Rain is to come in this evening. 
Hope you are having a nice Monday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

STATE OF WONDER

State of Wonder is the name of the current book I have my nose in. It is written by Ann Patchett. It was a national best seller as well as book of the year and received many other accolades. The reason being it is one of the most amazing stories that unfolds in the Amazon jungle off the coast of Manaus Brazil up the Negro River off in smaller tributaries that snake through the jungle. The destination is a compound where several doctors have been for a number of years doing research on a tribe of indigenous people whose woman folk are still giving birth into their sixties and seventies.(Who would want to?) The book is a page turner as more and more adventures take place in this remote harsh environment. It has everything rain forests enthusiasts expect, snakes, insects of every imagination, bats, birds, every slippery creepy creature that slithers are all there to feast upon your flesh with deadly results. I am hooked on this book. How on earth will I get anything done until this book is finished and put back into my bookcase? It is a nail bitter but I will refrain from that as my nails look bad enough the way it is.

Had a good visit with my brother yesterday afternoon. He did sound so tired however. He has given up his second home at Silver Lake. He has sold his trailer and gazebo, decking etc and is clearing things out his rented space in the park. 
I know it has just became too much for him to take care of. The older you get the simpler you need your life to be. So his space will be empty on Monday and then he can go home to his house in Kalama and relax. He is still thinking of a little camper if he can find one. They are hard to come by, the small ones but I feel he would still like to make a little trip now and then. Also he still has his nice boat so I am sure he will be taking it to Silver Lake this summer on day trips. He is 84 and in good health as far as he knows. He is like me in the respect we do not doctor as we say. He said yesterday he just does not have the energy any longer for a lot of busyness. I know what he means. I have said often the older I get the less interested I am in doing things that take a lot of effort. The little trailer and simple getaways suit me just perfect. I am such a homebody that I do not mind being home and puttering about doing my daily chores and indulging myself in my hobbies which are all quiet endeavors. I was thinking the other day of perhaps taking up painting again but not in the same style as I did in my younger years. I have canvas's, brushes, even an assortment of paints that have not been opened as to whether they would still be usable I do not know. But basically it would take little expense and effort to take it up again.

Well I must email off a couple of bids so I had better do my office chores and not procrastinate. 
Later.



SHRIMP FROM BELIZE

These shrimp were given to us compliments of my son-in-law Douglas. Oh my talk about good. They are so sweet they taste like lobster. I just left a bit of the tails on after cleaning them and then sauteed them in a little garlic, butter and white wine, salt and pepper. Served over lemon with a side of asparagus fried rice. The rice was also a winning dish. I made my regular fried rice, with scallions, a tad of minced garlic, a little ginger, toasted sesame oil but this time I added a little small diced linguica. Sauteed until all was melded then added the rice until fried lightly brown, then I made a well in the middle of the pan and poured in a couple of beaten eggs and stirred them until they started to set them incorporated them into the rest of the dish.
The shrimp and the fried rice made for a classy little meal that tasted over the top.

I just had the leftover fried rice for lunch. Very good even the second day. I do adore fried rice I always have it when going for Chinese food. Eddie's in Bend was always my favorite place for Chinese food. Everything they made was excellent and it was grand that is was just a block away from where I worked downtown Bend. Many days I lunched there alone with a book or a manual I studying or something to keep me occupied. As far as I know the place is still there. We have no favorite Chinese food eateries in Eugene, I think we have tried them all in every direction within the city and have not found one that we cared for. Sad but true. So I try to make what I can. So far that includes fried rice of many varieties, chow mien, chop suey, sweet and sour chicken or shrimp, beef and broccoli, pepper beef, egg foo yong with sauce and just run of mill stir fry with whatever veggies I have in the fridge all done up in the wok. But how I yearn to go to Eddie's and order up all that they make so deliciously.

Tonight in my kitchen I am making pizza. We have not had pizza for three weeks since Gina and Douglas were here. So we are needing a fix.
Tonight's will be topped with similar items which seem to be turning into our favorite toppings. Leeks again, we love the flavor of them, linguica cut into half moon slices and put on the very top as to get crispy around the edges, sliced black olives, and tonight I will toss on some pineapple tid-bits. I have mentioned before that the pineapple and onion or leeks in this case compliment one another on a pizza.
So when I finish this post I must got get my dough made and simmer my sauce to reduce it.

Gray is the order of day here in Eugene. But spring is here and it is comforting to hear the whispering of limbs softened by new leaves and opening buds instead of the rattle of bare branches.
And on that lovely thought I will you for the day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

OUR SPRING YARD IN OUR HOME DOWN THE STREET

Yes this was our front yard in a home we built down this very street back in 95. We lived in this home until the summer of 98 when we then moved back over the mountain to Bend.
My husband did a phenomenal job on this yard. The amount of tulip bulbs he put in was overwhelming. When they all started coming up it was so very exciting. Also back by the fence in this photo he put in delphinium bulbs. That will be the other photo I put at the end of this post.
This house had a charming little front porch where I would sit and read and gaze at the flowers.
In the large backyard my hubby built a roomy gazebo that we housed our hot tub in.  Inside we had a large palm plant and then put hanging begonias at the entrance and clematis looped in and out of the lattice around the entire structure. It was very beautiful and we got many compliments for our landscaping.
So this time year I tend to think about those tulips.

The yards are not same when I walk by them now. The lady that owns the place is a gardener however. Though she choose a different route. She took out the kidney shaped yard and made it square. There are no more tulips except a few that she has planted along the walkway. Every season something pretty blooms as it did when we lived there. But I certainly like what we implemented much better.
In retrospect I do wish we would have kept that house and had not gone back to Bend as it just did not work out for us. The house down the street was too small for us only being 1350 sq.ft. However the backyard was huge and we could have easily added on to make a larger kitchen and have added on a family room. It is still a very sweet house I could have lived there forever. But as we say hindsight is better than foresight.
Here is a photo of the delphiniums. 

There is low sky this morning but it is to lift and some sun will come in early afternoon. I am hoping that is true. As the rain has brought every ugly last bit of pollen, twigs and seeds from the tree in back down onto the back deck and hot tub cover. I would like to hose the decks and do some cleaning out there this afternoon.
Tomorrow will be cloudy to partly sunny and Easter Sunday is to bring mostly sunny. So not to bad however the showers and gray return on Monday.

My husband asked me this morning if I minded that he work a half day on Easter. Well I do not. He is pushed right now to finish on time to keep his schedule on track. We do not really celebrate Easter.  Who really knows for sure the exact dates of biblical occurrences?  We are not church goers either but we recognize the religious aspects of the day and respect them.   

Today is not a busy day for me which is nice. I will finish up a few things in the office and then hopefully get outdoors. I want to take a walk later and I must vacuum the floors and area rugs. Other than that the day is pretty free which means I can read. I have not had much time this past week for reading so it will be nice to be lazy this afternoon and indulge myself. I also hope to have a nice long phone visit with my brother.
I am now feeling a little hungry as I did not even have cereal or a piece of toast this morning and I have been up since six.  So I think I will fix myself a piece of cinnamon toast and have a small dish of applesauce. I love that combination.
Have a nice Friday.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

WET SPRING DAY

Well it is a wet spring day today. It has either been showering or raining the entire day.
It was not the best day for grocery shopping and errands but that is what I do on Thursday's and of course with my mentality I cannot switch anything up as that would seriously disorganize me. 

I purchased all that I needed today for our Easter dinner. I am looking forward to making the meal and hubby will clean up. That part I like real well.

I have bacon I need to use up in the fridge asap. So tonight we will dine on BLT's and either home fries or tomato soup whatever my husband desires. I do not care as I will more than likely just have the sandwich.
Tomorrow night we will have some of that Belize white shrimp that we have yet to try. I found a recipe for asparagus fried rice that makes my mouth salivate by just looking at the photo in the magazine.
This Saturday night it is linguisa and leek pizza.
When was at the meat market today I bought a grand rib eye steak close to three inches thick. It is a big bugger that we will split. It was on sale for $6.99 a pound and as you probably have read that beef prices are soaring. So I have been of buying more beef than usual. I also stocked up the pantry good today. All the shelves are stuffed so no more now for a while. It always feel good to me however, to have my fridge, freezer, pantry and wine rack loaded.  Yes the wine rack!  Stocked up is stocked up in every capacity that's where it is at for me.

I am so thrilled as you know with our new grill but now I am on the search for a killer deal on new dining chairs for our patio table. As you know we do not have a covered patio so I cannot have anything with attached cushions. I was thinking I wanted to find black metal chairs and put colorful cushions on them. But as I search our home improvement stores on the net those black metal chair are not easy to find. I am annoyed that the new style sling chairs with the metal arms are all in taupe or brown tones. Please, for a patio. I like my patio to be a happy place with bright colors. Anyhow I hope I will find something suitable as we really need to replace our other chairs. 

My hubby has just walked through the door which makes me happy. He is so tired as he left very early this morning. So I will leave you now to have some visit time with him. Once he showers, relaxes and has dinner he will be ready to zone in front the telly.
Later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BACKPACKING IN CENTRAL OREGON

So here I am in 2000 camping at the base of Broken Top mountain. Hubby and I hiked in about five miles. It was a great spot not to far of a hike not to much of a uphill climb though enough to give your legs a little burn. The weather was beautiful. I miss those days but at least I had them. It is the greatest experience to be out in nature far away from anyone and just enjoy your surroundings. The stars at night seem touchable. The coyotes howling sounded as if they were right outside your tent. The air is sharp and crisp at night so you snuggle deep into your sleeping bag. It is very cozy. Morning brings even colder air it seems so you quickly dress and head for a spot in the sun. The alcohol burner stove is lit and water is heating for tea or coffee. There is an assortment of energy bars,fruit and nuts for breakfast. When you let yourself become totally immersed in the tranquility and peace that surrounds you, you are truly blessed.
Really?  I took my crocheting along on this trip. Well it gave me something to do once we arrived at our destination and it was light to pack and took up no room to speak of in my pack. Notice a wine bottle on side of me and my water bottle on the other. Funny girl!

Well I have things to do today that I have not yet done. Hubby is working now until Easter Sunday and then starts a job Monday. So I will have the days to myself to get on a schedule once again and get my ducks in a row.
Ciao.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WHAT A DEAL!

So this year we needed to replace our big grill as it finally bit the dust. I should not say finally it only lasted four years. I was looking on line and saw this grill at Lowe's. I thought I was not seeing things right as it was a $299 grill for $64.58 assembled mind you!
So I called them and yes it was a closeout last years model. They checked inventory and had five left at our Lowe's store. So I bought it over the phone and hubby went to pick it up.
Grills are so expensive and we did not want to bite the bullet and get one this year. So we thought we will just use our Smokey Joe and make that do.
I am thrilled what can I say. I has 40,000 BTU's and a side burner and it is what they call the commercial series. So tonight instead of having roasted chicken in our oven, I will butterfly the chicken and put it on the grill.
Happy! It is so cute we both love and it was up to 600 degrees in nothing flat! Perfect size for us. A the quality seems great.

So it has been a mixed up day. I ran to mail the tax money off this morning. Nothing like waiting until the last moment.
Now I have messing around with the new grill.
Still have not done a stitch of laundry but oh well the day still lingers on.

Hopefully my husband will be working the rest of the week.
If so I can once again get on a schedule.

I am going to make this quick today as I need some fuel in this body have had nothing but a piece of toast and tea.
Later.

Monday, April 14, 2014

CHIMNEY STARTER

The chimney starter doing it's thing. We when use the little smokey joe we always use the chimney starter as we do not like to use lighter fluid as no matter how little you use it taste disgusting and is not good for you. This method involves crumpling some newspaper at the bottom of the chimney starter then filling with briquettes and lighting the paper. In not to long of time the coals start turning white and then you dump them into your grill and get them hotter and whiter and grill your food. This little items works amazing and is quick.

Our chuck steak last night was so tasty and tender. We have enough left tonight to make carna asada taco's always a fave and I have refried beans left so good mexican fare this evening.

Right now my husband is off on a important bid, of course all bids are important especially when work has been slow. As he left this morning I was struck by the fact that my hubby is a salesman first and worker second. The job must first be attained. Everyone gets at least two or three bids and sometimes more. So how you present yourself, communicate and show professionalism is just as important as the bid itself. This month has been slow as April tends to be. So time now for work and to get dollars back in the coffer after paying taxes. 
I will mail the taxes off tomorrow. When I need to write a check seems I wait until the last day.

Yesterday's weather was so enjoyable though it was breezy again. We were tired as it had been a busy weekend. After our overnight company left at about 10:00 AM I whizzed through my morning house chores. We have these amazing comfy chair/lounge slings. They are red canvass so in the afternoon I took one of them out to the deck and spent a couple of hours in the sun with my back to the wind reading. Ah what a pleasure. Just me and my book, the blue perfect sky, the lush green small leaf maple tree above me, the blue jays, a pair of them bouncing atop the deck railing squawking to me. There were three squirrels arguing with one another their mouths full of peanuts, treats from our neighbor. I so enjoyed my time out there alone with nature in my own backyard.
Later hubby brought out a bottle of chilled champagne and joined me. We sipped our drinks in the warm sun and relaxed even more then it was time to start preparing dinner. A very nice relaxing Sunday indeed.

Now I heard from my daughter this morning via the email. I am concerned about her. She also sent a photo of her face. She does not know what is wrong. Her face is swollen to the point that her eyes are barely open, her entire face is effected. She said she had some itching behind her ears before the onset of the swelling. She has been taking benedryl which gives her no relief. So her husband is taking her to the doctor today. This could be very serious if her throat were to swell and close off. This whole thing makes me very nervous I wish she would have went in to urgent care this weekend. She has not had spring allergies in the past.

I just got back from a half hour walk. It was lovely as there is no wind today. So many yards are sprinkled with colorful tulips. I adore tulips they are such a happy looking flower and their faces inside so alluring.
I walked up on the back porch of a big house that was for sale on my route. Wow, as I looked through the solid glass french doors I was peering into the most wonderful kitchen. Old fashioned appeal but with modern top quality stainless steel appliances. A huge gas range to die for. Oh how I love to cook on gas. The cabinets were white with bead board trim and with pulls like I have on my cabinets, the old fashioned bin pulls in stainless. The kitchen was so spacious with lots of light and Brazilian cherry floors. Just lovely but the floors do need a least a buff and coat as there are scratches. It appeared that the whole downstairs was hardwood flooring. So tomorrow when I walk I am going to insert one of my hubby's business cards in the door. Because I am quite sure whoever makes a offer on the house will want those floors refinished. It could work out!

Now I must finish my chores, I still need to make the beds. Clean sheets in the guest once more. It has been a busy place lately.
Ta Da.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

SADLY THIS IS NOT THE SCENE THIS YEAR

There is no star jasmine this year. It is cut back to a few inches above it's roots. I am not even sure if we will even have a sprout this year. I am hopefully that the roots are not dead. The whole entire plant was encased in ice.  It makes me really sad not only that this gorgeous plant is missing from our deck railing but the aroma of that jasmine plant was so sweet and fragrant.  But we will move on, I have put our patio set in this spot and rearranged things on the deck as to take my mind off the jasmine plant.

You know our weather has been warmer and sunny or clouds and sun but we have had wind every day coming at us from the north bringing it's cold breath.  I am thankful for the sun but please Mr. North wind would you stop visiting us.

A report on my son Mike. He has been back in his hometown now for almost a month. He is fairly well settled into his home. Talk about happy he is flying high. Loves his property and his big shop and the climate and on and on. Sometimes where you grow up holds tight in your soul and it is hard to let go of even if you wanted to.  Mike has always had a soft spot for Central Oregon. He loves the pines and the way the wind makes that swishing sound as it moves through the branches and needles. He loves the dry air and cold nights and the deep blue sky days. He told me yesterday that we are going to love coming and staying there for a few days in summer. We will have our own little parking area being all cozy in our little trailer. Mike is setting up a horse shoe pit and we will have campfire at night. So I must admit we are looking so forward to that. I love campfire and staying up late and star gazing and he is right, in Central Oregon the stars seem so close you can reach up and touch them. Summers are wonderful there.

My daughter Gina will be moving in May. They are thrilled with the house as it is quite grand, but it is a neighborhood scene. Where they are now is quite country. Though there are houses around they have a huge lot which is totally private. There is a lot of wildlife chatter and critters abound.
I know how it is when we lived in Sherwood a suburb of Portland we had a very lovely house but everyone could see us from our back yard. I did not like that, we were in a fish bowl. 
Our  backyard now though small is very private. No one can see us, though I am sure at times they can hear us. But better seen than heard I think.

It was good to see Sarah last night and meet her fellow Michael.  Hubby and I are going to try and work it out to take them through our wine country while they are here. We will tour three or four wineries and I will pack a nice little lunch that we will eat at Sweet Cheeks Winery. The view there is incredible. We will have a bottle of their good wine to share.  I think it sounds like a perfect day and I think that Sarah and especially Michael will enjoy seeing that beautiful area.

Tonight we are grilling steaks. I went to the market and picked up chuck steaks this morning. As in days of old when budgeting we bought those steaks and marinated them all day. So that is what I did today. It is such a pretty day and will be a nice evening so grilling is perfect. To the side, coleslaw and bakers.

I am going to leave you now as I am tired. Though I got to bed at a decent hour it has been a busy weekend. Our company left about ten this morning after a breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
I have a busy office week this week. I am going to switch insurance companies for our vehicles and trailer. And need to get the taxes sent with a check....ugh.

Have a nice Sunday evening.

Friday, April 11, 2014

FRESH WHITE DECK RAILING

I am finally through with the deck railing. Two coats of paint on each and every picket top to bottom fresh and white. A lot of work. My back is aching a little but a glass or two of wine is doing it's magic.
I love new white paint. It is so bright and clean it gleams. Now hubby will get the deck boards stained our usual red brick color. It is a nice contrast with all the green foliage about. I am good to go now until next year when I will give it another coat or two depending on winters damage.

I am making refried beans at the moment for tomorrows dip but we decided I should make a tad more so we can have bean and cheese burritos this evening. Hubby can have those but I am going to put my beans in soft hot corn tortillas. I will chop up some onion, grate some cheddar cheese and serve with taco sauce or salsa and sour cream. Sounds good to me a veggie meal.
I like the smell of the beans cooking. There is something earthy about them simmering away on the stove top. We always love them from scratch. I sometimes us milk to mash them with or sometimes I use chicken broth and sometimes a combo of both which is what I will do this evening. I am going to leave them a little chunky they will be more meaty that way for dinner. You need to add plenty of kosher salt to the beans.
When I go to fry them after draining them I use my black iron skillet. I get it hot and add a little olive oil to the bottom. Then I add a couple cloves of minced garlic. Being careful not to burn it, I then add the drained beans and cook them adding a little of my liquid of choice. I then start mashing them as I keep adding liquid and when they are consistency you want taste them. A good bet is they will need more salt. Add more salt if needed and black pepper.
We do not like ours thick or do we care for them to runny but all that is up to you as you are the one adding the liquid.
Tomorrow what is left will be morphed into bean dip with warmed white and yellow corn chips.

I know this is my second post today but it is how I relax. Either on the computer typing away or reading.
I will not post tomorrow as we will have company coming early in the day.
Have a good one. 

MORE OF DEATH VALLEY

More photos of our visits to Death Valley. I guess this time of year we have thoughts of that warm scenic place. Hiking, biking and picnicking in that spring heat. It was always so nice to leave this cool spring weather and drive into the heat furnace that is Death valley, like heaven.

Today is such a beautiful day and I have much to do. I will finish the deck railings and set up the deck. Then in to redo the guest room. Tonight I am going to make refried beans to make into a dip tomorrow with canned green chilis, minced onion and hot sauce and cheese. That will be a nice little snack when Imre's brother and wife arrive.
It sounds as if there will be hoards of folks at hubby's sister Liz's house. Besides welcoming Sarah and Michael from Scotland, Kara will be celebrating her graduation and degree in business administration. We are not too much into large crowds but will go for a couple of hours.

Well the day awaits and because I have so much to do I should get down to business.
Have a lovely weekend. Ah spring don't you just love it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

READY FOR SUMMERS BOUNTY

The farms just opened, I must make a run out there soon. Of course this is summers bounty at the farm. Looks so luscious makes my mouth water.

I decided to make chocolate chip walnut muffins today. I will make a dozen with company coming this weekend they will be nice to have on hand. I will put them in my cake keeper to stay fresh.

I still have not painted the deck railings as I had set that aside for today. I did not paint yesterday as the rain was to come in during the night, which it did. Today would be warm enough to paint but it is quite breezy with a north wind. I do not like to paint in the wind as it blows the paint from my brush onto the decking. So now the plan has changed until tomorrow after I get home from grocery shopping.

I am going to make a breakfast dish for my company this weekend. It is called San Antonio Migas. It is a skillet dish consisting of tomatoes, green chilies, red sweet pepper, onions, eggs, corn tortilla strips and pepper jack cheese and few other things. To me it sounds tasty and the photo of the recipe looks amazing. I will just serve it with toasted english muffins. When we have company for breakfast I love doing a big skillet dish or something in the oven. Less work and definitely less clean up.

As tomorrow is grocery shopping day I have been flying by the seat of my pants creating dinners for us. When I shopped last week it was primarily for the weekend. So that left our fridge and pantry lacking for this weeks meals.
Tonight I am going to make a simple rigatoni with our fresh frozen roasted tomato sauce. I will add onion, cocktail size frozen meatballs(I found at the bottom of the freezer) and green olives. May be an odd combo but I think it will be OK considering what I have to work with. A good helping of quality grated parmesan cheese over the top makes anything tasty. I will toast some crispy sourdough bread with garlic butter to go with.

Well my husband has been busy this morning, the fence addition is completed and now he is topping our arborvitae. We have a long stretch of it going the length of our entire back area. So this is a chore that needs doing every spring or it just gets wild and crazy like a spiked hair cut gone bad. I will keep myself busy with the muffin making and polishing off some small loads in the washer. Things I should be hand washing but will do on delicate and hang dry.
Speaking of drying, remember last year I mentioned I wanted a outside clothesline? Well I have not changed my mind but we are reconsidering as now we are thinking of building deck over the grass in that area and making a covered patio coming out from our roof where our bedroom is. Putting in a full light door in the bedroom as to access that patio. That way when we are hot tubbing we can go directly to our bedroom without tracking through the entire house. It would also provide us with a place undercover to keep the big grill, the propane patio heater and a couple of comfy chairs. So we will see how the finances go this year for taking on something like that. We can always go back to plan A and the clothesline for me.

The washer has stopped so I must fetch my delicate items from it and hang them to dry.
Have a great day you all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ANOTHER BUSY WEEKEND COMING UP

This coming weekend it will be all about my hubbies family.
Our niece Sarah his sister Liz's youngest child will be home from Scotland she has been going to college there at Edinburgh for the past year. She is bringing her fellow with her he is from Scotland. They will be here for three weeks they are planning a trip down the coast to San Francisco and through the redwoods for part of that time.
My husbands brother and wife are coming this weekend from Bend they are staying with us.
Our niece Kara Liz's oldest daughter is graduating from Lane Community college Friday night getting a degree in business.
There will be a gathering of all the brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and hubby's Mom at Liz's Saturday with a bbq featuring pulled pork sandwiches, I am taking the coleslaw as usual. It is my Mom's recipe and I always have to take it. It will be a really huge bowl this time to feed this crowd.

So a photo of Sarah will follow this post and I must leave you now as I have my projects for the day to finish. It is a pretty day here, warm and no breeze a pleasant spring day.Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

THE BEST SHRIMP IN THE WORLD

These are known to be the best shrimp in the world. These are what my son in law Doug brought us this past weekend.
We will prepare these tomorrow night. I am going to make them in the grill basket with just salt and pepper and lemon. I will steam some asparagus to go with.

Oh it is so lovely here today and I must get outdoors quickly as to not waste a moment. I am preparing the deck rails for painting today as doing some other cleaning and tidying outdoors. Hubby has already weeded half of the raised boxes in the garden but cannot do the other half as the debris bin is full. Now he is washing and waxing our little trailer. He will also add on to our fence this week that divides our area from our neighbors. We had a big tree doing that job but it had to removed as it broke in the windstorm. So a fence will replace that. So it is a busy day for him.

I am tired today again as I stayed until the ACM awards show was over last night and I did not sleep that well either.
I read in our paper this morning that country music is now the number genre on the radio stations across America. Country has taken the place of the Top 40 genre. That is quite amazing. I know we just got into country a couple of years ago. Hubby was always classic rock and new rock. I loved country years ago but after meeting my husband I did not listen to it any longer and learned to love his music. Of course I have always loved most types of music and listen to a huge variety. The awards show last night was very good we thought, always enjoy Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton as co-hosts.

We are looking forward to Richardson Park opening soon. It is twenty minutes from our home on Fern Ridge Reservoir.Such a lovely area to camp and the RV spots are generous in size with nice tables and fire rings. The stars at night are bright in a black sky as it is away from the city. So we will go once they are open for the season and the weather permits.
Hopefully we are through with early spring weather patterns. I am more than ready for some warmth, getting our deck together and our outdoor furniture set up. Also I have a few pots to fill this year with flowers and herbs as our hard winter killed the ones I have had for years.

It is a little after one in the afternoon so I must get on with my day.
Maybe it is nice where you are also, if so get out and enjoy this great day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

FAMILY LOVE

I choose the color purple for this post. As purple is LOVE.
A wonderful weekend with my daughter Gina and her husband Doug. Oh how we love those two.
We had so much excitement and fun from the time they walked through the doorway. They brought us hostess gifts consisting of two bottles of champagne, a big bottle of red wine, snacks and a box of the best shrimp in the world from Belize. They are both so generous with their love and gifts.
First night my grand pizza, which was scarfed up as soon as I sliced it. Accompanied by a salad of greens, artichoke hearts, olives, onions and topped with my Mamma's homemade blue cheese dressing. Later a wedge of decadent chocolate pie with whipped topping. Just so good and we all enjoyed.
Then onto playing games on the WII. I won golf. YES!!!! I love to win(who doesn't?)and I am good at this game. Then soul touching music to finish off the evening and then after bed serenaded to sleep by the many frogs we have around our neighborhood. A great Friday night.
Saturday morning found us relaxed and ready to enjoy the day ahead. My hubby made breakfast for those that wanted it, and then I later put a little spread out of our combined snacks......delish extra sharp white cheddar with crackers, green uncured olives, chex mix, nuts and pretzels. Good snacks.
Then we called a cab and went to our nearest mexican eatery. Good fare, and a little video poker for those that wanted to play. The margarita's ripped and the food was good and plenty. So a fun time Saturday. Then home to more games, music and the TV. A good time for sure. Now it will be our turn to go their new beautiful home the end of June. We are pumped up already for that visit. We just have so much fun together what can I say? It is family love!

Now I feel I am a lucky mother. Both of my children are happy. They are both settled and enjoying life. I feel I can breathe. Isn't that what family is about? You want your children especially to be content with their lives. When they are content and well I am that way also. I know I am not responsible for their lives or the choices that they make, that is their business but I also know my Mother's heart and it wants so much for my children I brought forth in this life to be happy with their lives. So I will sleep well tonight.

Today hubby and I were tired, worn out is more like it. We just rested today enjoying a warm afternoon outdoors and a simple but delish dinner. I am beyond ready now to have a slice of that chocolate pie and get into my cozy clothes and watch the AMC awards show on the TV.
See you tomorrow, nightie, night. 





Friday, April 4, 2014

MY SONS HOME IN THE PINES

Here is my sons home in the pines. His home center and you can see the shop with the red roof to left.
All is brown this time of year. Well no mold or moss or matted leaves and the many icky slimy things we have here on this side of the mountain. It is easier maintenance over the mountain. Nothing gets rusty either. There are many good points. It is just the cold that gets to me as I have gotten older.
Mike sent a lot of photo's. His place is so cute and cozy inside, all is new and fresh. It is small but he lives alone and there is less to take care of that way. It is a perfect size for him but later if wants to build on a family room for instance he has an acre there so no problem.

So at the bottom of the post is Mikes big dog Bru. He looks like you would not want to mess with huh? Well I guess he can be threatening if he does not like you. However he seems more of a lover. He likes his new place. He loves his grammy(me) I am glad of that. Laugh!

Well I have not much time to post as company coming tonight and I have things to do.
Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MISSING MY BROTHER

Yes I am missing this guy. It will be a year in June since I went camping with him at Silver Lake. That is what my hubby and I are planning on doing again when the weather lends itself to that.
And the way the weather is going it will more than likely be June again. I am hoping when we go that the weather will be nice and warm. We love going out in his fishing boat. Not that we fish much but we cruise around the lake and so enjoy the scenery. Also it may work out that my school pal Judy can drive up to Silver Lake and spend the day with us. That would be so fun for the two of us gals.


Our niece Brooke left for South Africa today via the way of Brazil. She is on a mission for her church and will be gone for six months. Working with children in the schools. She loves doing this kind of work and she has been to Uganda previously a couple of years ago. She just turned 21 and is a beautiful talented girl. She loves acting and has been in quite a few a productions here in Eugene. So off she went alone today from the Eugene airport on the first leg of her new adventure.

We have had an amazingly busy day and accomplished much. The lawns are mowed and shrubs are trimmed and weeds are pulled. The deck is as clean as it can be this time of year with the tree dropping it's husks to the new buds that adorn it. As I have said before it is the messiest tree I have ever had the pleasure to live under! Still all looks rather forlorn. My pots are sporting no plants just potting soil. The  star jasmine plant is no longer threading itself along and through the deck railings. We now only see dirty rails with winters grime upon them until I clean and repaint them. The patio table is clean but does not have the decoration of a table cloth and the chairs are old and faded so all looks lacking. 
We were talking today that it would be to our benefit to deck over the entire little back yard and sidewalk and make a roof over the top. A covered patio could then provide cover from the rain. We could have our grill under cover, a outdoor gas heater, a Tragger smoker, and we already have a small glass and iron patio table and two adorable iron chairs with pads that would be our seating in there. Also we could add a door going out of our bedroom to that deck which would adjoin our other deck with the hot tub. So when getting out the tub we could then enter the house through our bedroom and the bathroom with the shower is right there. So our minds are working. There is so much we want to do so sometimes our minds run a muck thinking of ideas to make our home more livable. 

I am in the office now writing this as my husband makes dinner, well almost. I did my share. I added to last nights salad and made sauce for the fish he is preparing. He is using our good sockeye salmon out of Alaska and he is breading it like he does his lake trout when he catches them. And then fries them in light oil until crispy. So my mouth is watering already. I love it when he cooks I will say many of girl friends feel the same way. What is better than your man cooking you an amazing meal? I love that he enjoys cooking.

We sat on the deck this afteroon after we were through with our outdoor chores. The sun was hot on our faces. Is there anything better than spring sun? It is so hot when it burns through the clouds you have to unbutton your shirt or slip into shorts or roll your long pants up and take off socks and let your bare feet loose their winter white. We were loving it.
Hubby glanced at our backyard sidewalk and said, what is that a snake? It looked like one to me. Well he walked over and it was indeed a young snake that raised up and struck at him. It was sprawled out soaking in the sun and did not want to be bothered. I long for the spring sun to stay. But we know it will gone by tomorrow afternoon and the showers will again be pattering on our deck.

Well it will not be long before hubby calls me to dinner so I will go now.
There is always tomorrow to share thoughts.