Saturday, May 31, 2014

MY SON BELKNAP HOT SPRINGS

I had such a great visit with my son this morning. We were on the phone for well over an hour. Oh how we can chat. We talk about everyone and everything from cooking to fishing to house cleaning and wine selections.
This photo was taken a fews years ago at Belknap Hot springs. Many of my family gathered there in the hotel and on the river in RV's. A great time was had by all. We soaked in the hot pools, walked on the many trails, rode mountain bikes roasted wieners and had campfire at night. We need to do that again.

It is such a wonderful morning. I have just come in from watering my flowers and herbs. There is no breeze today and all is quiet outside. Only the jays are chattering away. Yes the the pair is still here we saw them yesterday afternoon. I am so thankful for that but regardless a bird lost to a cat is still a bird lost and it saddens me.

We had a great day yesterday a play day of sorts. Though hubby did work around here yesterday before we left for lunch. We had good mexican fare and a couple of beers and came home to sit on the deck in the sun. I looked at my newest magazines as we chatted away. It is hard for me to sit still without my hands doing something. So usually I am looking through magazines or working puzzles.
When the sun left the deck late afternoon we sat on our little sidewalk adjacent to the back yard. The sun is there until it goes behind the arborvitae late in the day. When the sun was no more we came in and played a game of golf on the Wii. We always enjoy that. Hubby was happy he got an eagle. I did not play too well we tied at 1 under par. Not bad but considering my record 8 under par and hubby's is 9 under par the 1 under was not good. Maybe too much wine in the sun for accurate play.

So today is mine to do as I choose. Lovely!  However I have no plan. I may extend my walk and because it not windy today I should do some spray painting on my decor items for the yards and garden. I have a couple of birdhouses I paint each year and my milk can and few other metal items an old lantern and a sunflower. They are so bright and cheery after being painted anew.

For dinner this evening I have one thought in mind. I thought a nice salad made with crispy romaine hearts, black olives, artichoke hearts and red onion, dressed with my mother's Russian dressing. I have not made this dressing for quite some time and my husband is a fan so he will be pleased. But what to serve with it. Maybe a couple of grilled pork chops or perhaps mac and cheese. I need to see what I am feeling hungry for right now the mac and cheese seem to please. Hmm a poet perhaps?

So I am going to go and enjoy this awesome spring day. I hope you are having a lovely day as well.





Friday, May 30, 2014

A SHAME

I think it is a sad state of affairs when I look on FB and a friend has posted a photo of a blue jay that has been torn from end to end and beheaded with it's organs strewn about. It all came about because her cat killed the bird and she posted the photo and a very tasteless comment trying to be humorous. Good Lord. This is the not the first time she has done this. Now I just had to comment back, I felt it my duty to say my piece and stand up for the birds. So I let her know how sad this was and to post a photo was not a good thing to do. Also I mentioned that household cats kills hundreds of thousands birds each year and many bird species are dwindling in numbers due to cats.
I only hope that the mutilated bird I saw posted is not one of the pair that we have here at our house. There have been the pair for the past two years. And we are quite sure they have a nest with babies at the moment. We love them in our neighborhood. Dee our neighbor feeds them so they spend time in our trees and on deck also. They are always chatting it up big time. I will have to watch and see if there are still two. We only live four houses away from the murder scene. Yes it is murder, domestic cats do not normally eat what they kill it is just their instinct to hunt and the thrill of the kill and usually in a cruel manner.
I will say seeing that photo has quite upset me this morning. I so love wildlife and enjoy watching and listening to them. It is very sad that some folks are so callous and indifferent to the death of a living creature.

My husband had a doctors appointment today for a physical. He is home now mowing lawns and catching up on a few things outdoors. Then we are off to lunch. We are going for Mexican food so I will not need to make dinner this evening as the portions are large so we will bring food home. We will spend the afternoon on the deck and I will watch for the two birds. Oh how I hope they are still together.

It is pretty today with some clouds but it is breezy once again. We are moving into a summer mode now you can see the lawns are not quite as lush green and overall the foliage is slowly fading.

Did I mention I am switching all of our insurance except our business insurance to Safeco. We have Farmers now and have had them for over thirty years. Safeco came in cheaper than anyone and with two and half more times more liability coverage than Farmers. So all should be done in a few days. The savings is right under $1200.00 a month. That fact is just amazing to me. I have heard that if you are with a company for a long time there are no kudos for doing so. In fact our insurance has gradually been going up each year. With clean driving records and no accidents go figure that one out! Well we are through with Farmers......yeah! I am a happy woman anytime I can save us dollars.

Well I will go and put myself together for my lunch date with hubby. I always so enjoy our time together. We are so lucky we found one another in this lifetime.
Have a good day.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

FOUR GENERATIONS

Here we are four generations. My Mother Marta at top, I am next, then my daughter Gina, and my granddaughter Kali. I imagine my other granddaughter Megan took the photo. I had to post it in a black and white as there was a bright glare of sun at Gina's neck area and in color it ruined the photo.
I remember the day that photo was taken. Just look at my Mom's smile she was so thrilled to be with us all. I had been staying with her in Longview and we drove to Gina's in Gresham to spend the day. We had an amazing time with Gina and the little girls. Time seems to go by so quickly and then we find ourselves in old age sooner than we would like. I still find it hard to believe I am in my old age, my senior years or however you say it means you are old! My mother has passed, I will be next and on it will go down this line. Life's progression of the species. So knowing that time is so brief and precious we surely must enjoy every moment. I have certainly tried to.

I have had an extremely busy day once again. However all has went much easier than yesterday. I was at the grocery store early and then on to Walmart for paper supplies, drug items, this and that. It is always the this and that in the cart that gets me trouble. With the trunk full I headed home. I was starving or thought I was. So before unloading the haul I ran through the door to the fridge and grabbed the kielbasa chowder from the other evening ladled it into a bowl and zapped it in the micro. Buttered a biscuit, poured a glass of ice water and put spoon to bowl and made quick work of my lunch. Feeling fortified I proceeded to put away my goods.

I am off my feet now resting my back as it is pain in the back right now, laugh!
When the pain subsides I will go for a walk. 
We have a breezy day here so perhaps I should take a allergy pill. Hmm I will have to think about it. It is the trees that get to me and they should be done doing their thing the first of June and we are almost there. So I can more than likely deal with the little bit of pollen that is near it's demise.

I put my new solar lights along the pathway in the front yesterday. But they look too busy. I make take two out as I have six and space them farther apart. Anyhow I like to mess about with things like that. So I will square them away after my walk.

Our comfort food dinner last night was very good. Hubby just loves meatloaf, he especially loves my topping on the meatloaf. I mix ketchup, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar together spread it on thick and then grind pepper over the top. The sauce is rich and dark and a bit sticky. Yum! So today for his lunch I made him a meatloaf sandwich on sourdough with mayo and spicy mustard, a slice of sweet onion, dill pickle slices and crunchy romaine leaves. It will be treat for him. He gets so tired of his usual sandwiches but will not to take soup or anything heaven forbid that he would actually have to take a break to eat. He eats while he works so he does not have to stop. So something in his hand works best, a sandwich wrapped in foil works.

I was in luck with my missing long hoodie jacket. I called my sis-in-law and asked if she had seen it. She returned my call, and yes it was at her house in the closet. So I ran down the street with a happy heart to fetch it home again. I really dislike losing or misplacing something. I rarely leave a thing anywhere but sometimes I guess I get lackadaisical. 

Oh a odd thing did happen today. I stopped at Joanne's Fabric's on the way to Walmart. They have really cute garden and lawn decor and I wanted to see if there was anything for our garden fence. When I put artwork on the fence in the garden area you can see it from the dining room window so I like to something interesting every year. I was probably browsing for about ten minutes and I started to itch so bad, my head and neck and then here and there all over my body. Like an itchy rash. I left the store without purchasing anything as I was itching so bad. When I got to my rig I sat behind the wheel and scratched at my neck and shoulders causing redness. Then it started to subside. It must have been the fabrics and textiles. That has happened to me on occasion. This time though it was more apparent and had I stayed there longer I think welts would have appeared.

Well I want to get this walk over today as I am not in the mood to be out in this wind. 
But when I get back and get my few chores done I can relax and read for a while. Ah my sweet pleasure.
Bye for today. 



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

KIELBASA POTATO CHOWDER

This is what I decided to make last night for dinner. Along with a stack of my oh so high biscuits with honey butter. I am going to post a photo of the biscuits and share the recipe. I have always wanted to make a great biscuit and never achieved that until recently. My mom always made high,light fluffy biscuits. I was never sure what recipe she used. I have tried dozens of biscuit recipes and finally came upon one that was not "to bad". So I took that recipe and changed it a tad. Instead of buttermilk I use sour cream and a little milk. I handle the dough lightly just a couple of turns to form a soft mound, then I roll it out thick. The recipe calls for an inch thick I cut them at approximately an inch and a half. So the recipe is suppose to yield 12 biscuits but instead I get 8-9. They raise high and perfectly golden in 12 minutes. They are light and tasty as they have a half stick of unsalted butter in them.
I have been making these particular biscuits now for a couple of years. I have mastered them!
"ZO'S SO HIGH SOUR CREAM BISCUITS".
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces, 1 cup sour cream and a little milk to make the dough come together.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sift together (or whisk) the first six ingredients into a large bowl. 
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the sour cream and stir if dough does not form add a little milk until it does. 
Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth. (I knead only a few times as to not over work the dough it will make the biscuits tough.)
Roll out the dough approximately 1- 1/2 inches thick.
Using a biscuit cutter cut out the biscuits.
Gather scraps and roll out again and finish.
Transfer biscuits to a silicone mat on a baking sheet.
Bake until golden 12 minutes is perfect for my oven. Do not over bake them.
Serve warm.
A great biscuit I can contest to that!

I had one for breakfast warmed with honey butter. I had one for lunch with a piece of ham tucked inside. Hubby had one this morning warmed with a fried egg and melted cheese and hot sauce. We love our biscuits!

I have had a screwy day so far I hope that it is over.
I took the car out of the garage this morning and the gas gauge was on the red line. (hubby drove it last). Anyhow not to scold but what to do?  I had planned on driving across town to have the oil changed and also go to Trader Joe's as it is in the same complex. So I tabled that trip until tomorrow or Friday. As we get gas at Fred's I thought it made more sense to get gas and grocery shop today. But problem being I had not made out my menu for the week so thus no grocery list for Freddie's. It was nine-thirty and around here you need to get to that grocery store asap in the mornings or it gets crowded. So I know it takes me an hour to make the menu and list so that was not going to work. So what I decided to do was get gas as I had no choice, go get what I needed at Bi-Mart and Albertson's as all is in the same area. So that is what I did.
I got the kiddie pool at Bi-Mart yeah, now we have a foot pool for summer. I bought my usual array of items at Bi-Mart and then on to the Albertson butcher block where I buy my meat if I am not getting it at the meat market. As I was leaving the Albertson's check stand I could not find my keys. I had my purse that only has two compartments so it was not hard to see that they were not in either place. I asked the checker if they were one the counter, no she said. Well I started to search through my purse again and somehow it got turned upside down and everything spewed onto the floor at the end of the check stand. My wallet flew out so hard the latch that holds my change compartment popped open and change went rolling everywhere. Everyone is looking as I am scooping up things as quickly as I can. Not easy with all that change going every direction.
Finally all is thrown back in my purse but still no keys. So I am retracing my steps back to the meat area to see if I set them down on the butcher block counter there. No nothing, I asked the gal behind the counter. No I haven't seen them sweetie she said to me. I am now almost starting to panic. I had on a light weight jacket so I checked the pockets nothing but then I felt a bulge in my left jean pocket. Sure enough there were the keys. I never and I repeat never put my keys in my jean pockets. My jeans are always tight and my key chain with its many keys and key bob is large it would stick out like a lopsided growth on my hip. But for whatever reason or no reason I did.  I was so relieved I went and bought a megga bucks ticket I thought maybe it was my lucky day after all!

So I am back to my normal state now. I have had my lunch, checked my mail, finished the paper and now the blog.
When I am finished here I am going to walk. Hopefully that will go well. We are having some strange weather today. Quite pretty, then dark clouds, then a hard shower and then sunny again and on and on it goes. With what has happened already today perhaps I should take an umbrella.

Oh something else occurred today that throws me for a loop. As I was heading out the door this morning I went to my closet to grab my rose colored long hoodie coat. It is made of nice quality sweatshirt material and oh so cozy and comes to my knees one of my fave jackets. Well it is not in my closet, what? I looked in the hall closet, hubby's closet, the laundry hamper, the utility room drying rod, everywhere I could think of. The car, the truck, the travel trailer......Nota. Something like that always gets me going as I NEVER misplace anything whether it be clothing, kitchen items, hubbies undies.......whatever! So I started searching my mind as to when I wore it last. I cannot remember except that I had laundered it and when I wore it last I had to toss it into the dryer for a few minutes as I hang it to dry and there were a few wrinkles. The only thing I can come up with is a couple of weeks ago when we went to my sis-in-laws for dinner I may have taken it along to wear home as we walk to her house. Maybe I hung it in her guest closet as I do sometimes though it is usually so jammed in that closet and there are never any hangers so I may have skipped that and hung it over a chair. But if I did why hasn't she let me know? I called and left her a message today as she is working. So darn I am going to be really bummed if it does not show it as it is my favorite jacket and I have had it for a number of years and it is still like new.
Boo.

For dinner tonight I am making meatloaf. I have not made it since winter and hubby loves it. Also It will be a nice change for him for sandwiches for his lunch. 
Our kielbasa potato soup chowder was good as always. I made a small amount though enough for one meal with a little left over for a lunch for me or a snack for my husband.

Well off with the sandals and on with walkers, I am outta here!





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LA PINE COUNTRY

The little Deschutes river in La Pine country. This is such a pretty photo and was taken by my grandson Seth. Now my son lives in this area permanently again, where he grew up.
It will not be long and we will be on vacation there in July. And it appears like it will be a paid vacation. Hubby got a call this morning from a previous client he did work for here that has a home in Sunriver. The floor in his kitchen/dining area has water damage. So the floor needs some repairs and then sanded and refinished. My husband responded that he does not work out of the area but if they were willing to wait until our vacation there he would do it then for them. Well the fellow was thrilled and said yes they would wait. So now we will stay at my sons property in the La Pine area as planned but will add a day to that trip. So I will have some time with my son alone which is nice. I suggested to my son Mike that we take a nostalgic drive one day. I could pack a picnic lunch and we could take a tour down memory lane.

Today is big time office day for me. Yikes! I am getting insurance quotes on our three rigs, travel trailer and home through the Hartford. I will be talking to a local agent. I have tried online and it is just to complicated for all the above mentioned.
Then I need to do filing, making out the monthly's, and general cleanup.
Tomorrow I must run over to the other side of town to Trader Joe's and to get my rig an oil change and whatever else it needs as it has been a while. Then Thursday is my grocery and banking day. So it is turning into a busy week.

Our salmon pasta last night was very tasty. I made the sauce lighter and one fillet of salmon was more than enough. 
Now I am at a loss again as to what to make tonight. Now the reason for this muddle is because I did not make out weekly menu before grocery shopping last week. So see what happens? I always have my pantry and fridge stocked so it is not that I do not have dishes I can make it is just what?  So I will ponder that this morning. We have not had rice for a while so I may make a veggie meal incorporating rice. Or I have a bag of yukon gold potatoes and oh how I love mashed yukon golds. Well we will see what I conjurer up in this mind of mine. Well I have too much to do today to write any longer. Off I go. 

I

Monday, May 26, 2014

DECK SNAPSHOT









This is one little corner of our back deck. In the herb barrel is thyme, Italian parsley and rosemary. All newly planted this year. I still need to plant some oregano and cilantro in a different tub. I have basil growing by my kitchen window indoors where it is handy as I use it quite frequently. I love having fresh herbs at hand.

We surely have enjoyed our deck this past three days. We dined outdoors for two evenings. There are no insects this time of year like later in the year with the flies and bees. There was a nice breeze yesterday afternoon as we played games at the patio table. 

Last night I grilled turkey burgers. We had them on sourdough toast with romaine lettuce, tomato and onion slices and avocado mash. They were scrumptious. 
For tonights dinner I am still contemplating. I am thinking of perhaps taking one sockeye salmon fillet and grilling it and adding it to fettichini with a little cream, minced garlic and white wine. I am lactose intolerant so I must be careful with the amount of cream I use. So I will keep the sauce to the light side. I have all the fixings for a green salad so I could serve that up to go with. So unless this very un-creative mind of mine today comes up with a more ambitious dish the above mentioned will be our meal this evening.

I had a call from my son again yesterday morning. He had hooked with an old friend of his they were best buddies throughout grade school and high school. Well they wound up spending most of the weekend together camping on the river. It sounds like they had a great time. Mike's friend John lives in Jacksonville Oregon but he has a camping place in central oregon on the Deschutes river. It sounds as if it was a very fun time for them both.
I see on FB that my daughter Gina had her children over for a grill at their house in Oregon City. So it was nice a weekend for my family it seems.

We enjoyed our visit very much with my great niece Diana and family. The little ones were so precious it was good to see them.

Well I am treating today as a normal Monday. I have much to do today. Hubby is working all day and it is laundry day for me and house chores and I will take a long walk.
I will go now and start attending to those things.
Have a nice Memorial Day. Remember why it is Memorial day and honor those that have given their lives for our country.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

AUDREY IN TULIPS

Audrey Christine is my great, great niece. Her grandmother Chris my niece and closet person I ever had to a sister passed away before Audrey was conceived. Oh how she would have adored this little girl. She is very petite for her age she is like a fairy full of light and energy.
He little brother Steven arrived a little less than nine months ago. What a sweet nature that little one has.
We had a very nice afternoon with my family. Diana my great niece, Geoffrey her hubby and these two little ones. The children brought such energy to our home and we so enjoyed them all.

I really slept in this morning. Snoozing away until almost nine. I never do that but I went to bed a little later than usual and I must have been tired to sleep that long. I feel refreshed this morning. 

It is a decent day, clouds and sun but mild once again. I should have an enjoyable walk.

Our dinner last night was rib licking good!  On the charcoal grill we basted on the mop sauce and turned the ribs, over and over again until that sticky tasty mop sauce was coated in every crevice of those ribs. I waited until they were dark crispy around the edges of ribs before removing. I cut the rack into two pieces to grill, I find it is the best way to move them efficiently. The Italian pasta salad was a nice accompaniment. I am going to post how I make my Carolina mop sauce which is the tangy kind of sauce we prefer. I may have posted it before but browsed through my posts and did not see it. So here it is.
Carolina mop sauce for ribs, chops or chicken.
Made from bottled sauce.
Makes one cup.
1/2 cup your fave bottled bbq sauce(I like honey)
1/4 cup white vinegar
A good splash of apple juice
1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey
one squirt of ketchup
Black ground pepper to taste
A few drips of hot sauce, like Franks or Tabasco or shiracha(sp).
Mix all together
Note. These measurement are approximate and if you would prefer balsamic or apple cider vinegar you can use either. It always turns out tangy and is good regardless what you switch around.

I bake my ribs with a little salt and pepper in a roaster pan with a little water in the bottom in a 325 oven for about 45 minutes until just tender. 
Put the ribs on your grill and cook over med heat mopping the sauce and turning the ribs very often for about a half hour.

A perfectly cooked rib is to have a bit as it pulls from the bone leaving just a bit of meat. If your bones are clean then you have over cooked your ribs. So it is always to the bite.
Wow we loved the ribs and still have enough for another meal this evening. I will just foil wrap them and reheat them in them in the oven.
Another tip. We feel it is better to buy the St. Louis style pork ribs. They are a little bigger than baby back and have much more meat and are incredibly flavorful.

Well time is a wasting as they say. And you cannot replace time. So I had better get on with my day as I have not done a thing at this point.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend. For you workers you still have two days off after today.....yippee!





Friday, May 23, 2014

MEMORIAL WEEKEND COMING ON!

Memorial weekend is upon us once again. This will be the 72nd one in my life. Though for the most part they are barely memorable. For one thing when I was young and living with my parents it was more about the young men fighting in our wars. It was a day of remembrance for those who gave their lives for our freedom. There were more parades and venues pertaining to the military. As my father had spent eight years in the Navy he considered himself a part of the whole. So we tended as a family to attend events and then have family out to the farm for food and drink on the weekend.

Our guests will be here about three today.I did my needed chores in fast order this morning so now I have free time.
I need to make up some Carolina mop sauce for our grilled pork ribs this evening. And after our guests leave I am going to make a pasta salad.
We have had a little light shower or two today. We knew that was going to happen. It is warm and humid today and I have fans whirring once again and the doors open to the screen doors. I love this time of year when you do not need to put the air conditioning on. It is nice to have the doors and windows open to the fresh air.

Even though hubby is loaded with work at this time we are striving to find a small window of time to go to the beach. We have scheduled a few days out in June so hopefully that will work out.

Well I think I will make my salad now so it has time to sit in the fridge and totally chill down for our evening meal.

Have a fun but safe Memorial Day weekend.
God Bless America!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

THROW BACK THURSDAY 50TH BIRTHDAY

My 50th birthday at work and we were celebrating. I was a designer at Wall St. Interiors in Bend. This photo was taken upstairs in our office area. Looks as if there are refreshments on the table more than likely wine as we all drank wine. I had a great dinner after work at my fave Italian restaurant with all my friends and co-workers. A great group of women and I surely do miss them. I could spend a week in Bend and probably not see everyone. No one has moved away be me.

Oh how I love today. The windows were varnished with early morning light. I peered outside and the sky was pale blue. As the morning edged on the sky became what it is now, cobalt. There is a frenzy of green about our home, every hue imaginable. To be surrounded in this green abundance touches me deeply.
I showered and was out of the house early to grocery shop and run errands. When I went into Albertson's they were just taking their roasted chicken pieces out of the oven. On special a bag of assorted pieces was $5.99. Well I just could not resist. So we splurged at lunch time enjoying juicy chicken.
This evenings meal will be healthy to some extent except for the dressing. I am going to prepare a Seafood Louie with iceberg lettuce, and all the trimmings plus hard boiled eggs and a healthy serving of bay shrimp. Now none of that is unhealthy but then of course I am making my Mother's La Pine Inn thousand island dressing. It is not low cal but I will be careful not to overdue it.

My husband has stained the deck today and trimmed back our big trees on the street. We have two of the largest trees on our street and I love them. 
The next nice day I will take a photo of our newly improved small backyard area. I am going next week to buy our plastic kiddie pool. Yes we use a kiddie pool in the summer. I like to put it on the deck in the sun and fill it, it is only four feet in diameter so it does not take up much space. We like to sit in the afternoon and put our feet in the water. It is very refreshing. Our other mode for a summer cool down is to put our sprinkler on low and sit in lawn chairs in the grass and let the water sprinkle on us. I have been known to turn up the sprinkler and run through it and also to plop my bottom down into the kiddie pool.I am still a kid at heart I suppose.

It is has been a busy day so I am now going to relax for a while reading my book and glancing at the greenery outside our windows.
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DELPHINIUMS

Yep we grew these beauties. This is not a current photo however. They are such gorgeous flowers but you have to stake them when they get this big as they are so heavy if it showers the will topple and break.

My husband is so busy today as he starts a big job Memorial day and when that one is done moves right onto another. So he needs to get done all that needs doing outdoors. Today he is planting a few more pepper plants and spreading decorative rock next to our walkway in the back. Tomorrow he will stain the decking. 

I have spent the morning in the office on the computer communicating with a client from Califonia that owns a rental here that hubby will be doing the floors in. It is hard when the owner is not here as we email back and forth needed information. So I have had to write two lengthily proposals and materials cost, time frame etc. All which is very time consuming.
Then I did my house chores and just settled down to eat lunch and as I was finishing my son called and that was long call.  I feel exhausted and it is only one-thirty.
I still need to get my walk underway. The weather was to be cloudy today but actually it is quite nice. A few clouds and some blue and sun.

Tomorrow is grocery shopping and errands. Then Friday our company will be here from Portland for a visit. This weekend we will just be hanging out at home which is what we always do on holiday weekends. Safe at home. A bad weekend to be driving and camping. We are fortunate as my husband has for the most part been self employed and when I worked I had Sunday and Monday off. So we could go camping and traveling when others were working. In the earlier years when I was employed we made the best of the time we had. After I retired which has been ten years this summer we have had the freedom to go whenever he had the time. So that has worked out great. I swear if I only had the choice to go to a RV park or campground on a holiday weekend I am afraid I would not show up. A few years ago when we had our motorhome we went with my hubbies family to a lake campground on a summer weekend as they work during the week. It was not even a holiday weekend and it was a zoo. No thanks, no fun!

Tonight we are grilling bacon burgers with pepperjack cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and my special sauce. I have a pot of baked beans simmering. It will be easy good fare.
Our fried rice and roasted asparagus last night was so yummy we really enjoyed our meal.

Well this is quite a boring post and I have nothing more to say. I need to get those walking shoes on and head out for my walk.
Ciao.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BEAUTIFUL DAY

Yes it is a stellar day here in Eugene. Just like the photo minus the tulips as they are thing of the past as summer flowers are now coming on.  I am looking forward to my walk this morning.  But morning seems to be slipping away quickly.
My husband has just left for the supply store to get some items for his next flooring job. So I have the house to myself for a while. I like to do my blog when I have no interruptions.

We will be seeing my great niece Diana and family early Friday evening. It will be delightful to see her and the children. Little Audrey is now four I believe and the new one Steven I have not met before I think he is about eight months or so. It will be nice visit. It is always good to see family.

I am having another cup of coffee to get a caffeine boast. Yesterday's coffee did not upset my tummy so I am hoping for the same results today. I feel that all will be fine if I limit my coffee to one cup. I still enjoyed my cup of tea this morning.

We are having chicken fried rice this evening with roasted asparagus. I love fried rice. I put in a number of vegetables diced small. Carrots, celery, scallions and seasonings and toasted sesame oil at the end the sesame oil not only gives flavor but helps browns the rice after the eggs are added. We love it. Of course fried rice is so simple anyone can make it. I do like to use cal rose rice aka sticky rice. It has a tendency to lump together and after it cooked and then added to skillet I break it up of course but leave a few little clumps together. I also use Bragg liquid aminos instead of soy sauce. It is less salty and good for you. Also if you have not tried roasted asparagus it is amazing. The flavors become very concentrated. I put the asparagus on a silicone mat and spread the trimmed asparagus on the mat drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Set the oven at 400 and roast until the asparagus is for tender approximately 12 minutes.

I will make a run to the farm this afternoon. I want to pick up the asparagus, avocado's, leaf lettuce, onions and some peppers. The avocado's look amazing, two very large ones for five dollars. We adore avocado's. I like them just sliced with salt and pepper I am a simple gal what can I say. Of course my hubby loves guacamole. We both love them on burgers and sandwiches and as toppers for a salad.

My husband will mow lawns when he returns. The grass grows so fast this time of year he needs to mow about every four days to keep it in control. Our neighbor behind us mows just about every day for at least an hour. This has been a issue since we bought this house eleven years ago. His lawnmower is extremely loud(he wears ear gear). He always manages to mow when we are enjoying our deck late afternoon or just when we want to sit down at our patio table and enjoy our meal. It almost seems when he hears us outdoors he grabs his mower. Would someone deliberately do that? Well there are a lot of strange folks out there. Regardless why the reason it is a big annoyance. What I think is that he is just a self absorbed person and does not think of anyone but himself.

I must now shower and get ready for my walk.
Have a lovely day I hope where you are that your weather is just as amazing as it is here today.
Happy Tuesday ☺☺☺




Monday, May 19, 2014

THIN CRUST PIZZA

Another pizza from Zo's Kitchen. Now that I have made it so many times it is a just matter throwing the ingredients together and proceeding no recipe needed.
It always surprises me how wonderfully good it is and it is made by me! The one who tried to make pizza dough so unsuccessfully she had given up entirely. If I had not tried it in the kitchenaid mixer you would be seeing photo's like this. That crust is perfect every time and of course it is totally up to you how you like your crust thick, thin or in the middle. As we prefer thin crust I just roll it a little thinner. It is always good however and a thicker crust is more tender. I am going to make calazones next time. That would be fun!
As for the toppings it does not really matter as long as we use our good roasted tomato sauce. I reduce it on the stove to give it a little more body and add a tad of Italian seasonings and that is it. We like it to taste like fresh tomatoes. I use the mozzarella cheese that is fashioned in a ball but I do not buy fresh in water as it is not necessary. Just do not buy shredded or in a block as it is rubbery and hard. I slice the cheese into the rounds and place them on the sauce and build from there. Leaving the meat for top so it gets crispy around the edges.
As we make a large and eat half we are dining on the other half this evening. I put it back in a 350 oven for about seven minutes on a aerated pizza pan just to warm it so the cheese is melted. I will add a romaine heart side salad this evening with cukes, red onion and tomatoes. Italian olive oil dressing to the side with fresh parmesan.

I so enjoyed my walk this morning as my legs were a little stiff when I slid to the floor from our high bed this morning. I had a muffin for breakfast with a cup of tea and then had a cup of coffee as I felt I needed some energy. I have not had coffee for a few months now so I knew that one cup would do the trick, which it did. So with the caffeine induced high flowing through me I tied on my walking shoes as was out the door. The sky looked threatening so I wore a lightweight hoodie. The sun teased moving swiftly in and out behind huge bilious gray clouds. At one point a ways from home yet it became dark as dusk and the air was filled with the scent of rain, but nothing happened not even a sprinkle. This has been going on all day looks like a downpour but nothing.

Hubby is outdoors working on the black berry vines. We have been trying to keep it corralled but you know how those sticky prickly things are they just take over. So he is cutting it clear down though it will start to work it's way up again in no time. We have a place not far from here near the river that we pick black berries each summer. We pick just enough for a couple of cobblers and a few jars of jam. It is fun filling our containers each working here and there without a word. The bees buzzing about you and your hands sticky with blackberry juice it so reminds of childhood and picking with my Mother.

I received an email from my friend Gerie this morning. She and another gal pal are in Napa Valley wine country and she wanted to know what kind of wine to bring back for hubby and I. Now how sweet is that? She wrote that yesterday they went on the Napa valley train ride through wine country. This morning they took a hot air balloon ride and this afternoon they are going to spa for the works! Tomorrow they go on a wine tour of several vineyards. It surely sounds like fun except for me I would forget the hot air balloon adventure(scary) and the spa. No one touches this body but myself and my husband!

I heard from my son this morning also. He is looking forward to the opening of fishing season in the streams and rivers next weekend in central Oregon. He wants to fish for Brown trout like he did as a boy. When he was young we lived just adjacent to the Little Deschutes River. He would take a lunch in his tackle box and his fishing pole and hike over to the river and fish for hours. I can see him now doing the same.

I conquered the laundry pile this morning so that is one chore completed. The house is tidy but it is bathroom deep cleaning today. Not a fave as you know. So of course I put if off until last but I must don my rubber gloves and get on with it.
See ya tomorrow.




Sunday, May 18, 2014

ANOTHER HAPPY SUNDAY

Yes so far it has been a happy Sunday for the two of us.
I woke at eight and padded out to the kitchen to make tea. I purchased some very splendid lemon poppy seed muffins yesterday so my taste buds were already salivating on my way to the kitchen. Lemon poppy seed and marionberry are my two favorites muffins. I lingered through the Sunday paper sipping tea and nibbling on the muffin. A great way to start a Sunday or any day for that matter.
After paper reading and computer time I did my house chores, took a shower and a walk. Then I made pizza dough for tonights meal and sat in my quiet living room chair and started a new book. This is always such a pleasure for me. I love getting introduced to the characters and letting myself be led into the story.

I emailed both my son and daughter this morning and filled them in our weekly doings.
We have accomplished much in our yard and garden this past week and all is looking very neat and pretty.
We sat out for a while yesterday as the weather was perfect for enjoying. Not to warm just into the seventies and no wind. I sat and worked in my puzzle book and hubby listened to his I-pod. We later grilled chicken and I made the warm spinach salad. Oh that salad is so divine. Every time I eat it I am reminded that I must make it more often. I just chowed on that salad, no apologies needed. It is super simple and I believe I have shared that recipe before on this blog but I will check and if I have not I will post it. The salad is loaded with flavor thanks to a very good tangy dressing.
We are in the mood for pizza tonight we will find a movie to watch while munching.

Gray and sunny here today. Showers and breezes coming through then leaving and returning. One of those days where everything changes by the minute it seems. No matter we are lazy and enjoying this Sunday. 
I am anxious to get back to my new read so I will say goodbye for now.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

BBQ'D THIGHS TONIGHT

Grilling thighs this evening on the charcoal grill with bbq mop sauce. We are hoping it will not shower as a couple are called for this evening. If so we will switch thoughts and grill them on the gas grill. I am making a warm spinach salad to go with and that will be it as we will grill a substantial amount of thighs. We always love the leftovers.

We had a very nice evening last night with Liz and Joe, hubby's sis and husband. We sat outdoors and chatted the sun was still bright and warm. Then we went indoors and played a game and then enjoyed a nice dinner Liz had prepared for us. I took a bottle of champagne for Liz and I and my husband took a small jug of micro brew he bought at our local Filling Station. He loves taking his jug to the Filling Station and choosing a brew to bring home. I think these stations are a great asset to the community as it keeps folks from drinking and driving. Though one can indulge and have a brew or so at the Filling Station most just go to fill their jugs.
I will reciprocate and have Liz and Joe over for a grill and we will eat outdoors. But we must get our deck stained for it is in bad shape, this past winter took it's toll on many things. Joe requested my banana cream cake for dessert. Oh how he loves that cake so I will make that for dessert and send home a couple of additional pieces for them.

As we got to bed later than usual we are a little tired today. No matter however as we really have nothing planned. All of outdoor planting and lawn care has be attended to. I must make a quick trip to the grocery store to buy bacon for our warm spinach salad and I have run low on potatoes which I must always on have on hand as hubby is a fried potato lover and makes them most mornings.

I had a nice walk yesterday. I was talking to my brother as I strolled the neighborhood and Beacon Road. I did my shorter loop which takes about twenty five minutes. We continued to chat after I arrived back at the house. My brother is still looking for a small camper since selling his travel trailer but so far has not found what he wants. Here he is at 84 years working in his field giving it a haircut with his tractor. He said he cleared the entire bar pit along the road to his home with the weed eater. He has always been a very ambitious man. I suppose that is what keeps him healthy and young for his years.

I must now tidy my house and be off to the store before it gets too busy out there.
Enjoy the weekend.


Friday, May 16, 2014

SWEET STRAWBERRIES

It will be a month and these little darlings will be at the farms. Is there nothing better than an Oregon strawberry?
I picked strawberries every year to earn money toward my school clothes. I know some kids that picked circles around me but I earned enough to buy the bulk of my clothes except for my coats and shoes. It was hard getting up so early and getting on the berry bus(old school buses)at the break of dawn. We were on the field at daylight, bent over or on your knees take your choice. Neither is my preferred mode of transportation. I was not cleanest picker either. Sometimes there was dirt in the boxes and stems not completely removed. So I would get talked to by the owners and told to please be more careful. Oh it was hard work even for a kid or teen. My mother and I would pick together when regular picking season ended. We would glean whatever was left in the fields for jam and pies.
I still have a memory of being so hot in the field with sticky red fingers,itchy,sweaty skin, hair hanging in my face,the knees of my pants dirt caked and sometimes the seat of them when I was younger and tended to scoot along on my butt when I got tired. I looked so forward to that whistle blowing for lunch break. The afternoons were agony the hours seems to drag with each berry that was placed in a box. No one even talked on the bus home, we were just so tired. When I got home the first thing I did of course was head to bathroom to fill the tub. Oh how I wished for a shower but all we had was a bathtub. So I filled it with the hottest water I could tolerate and lots of soap and I would soak myself clean. Of course my hands throughout the season were always stained. After bathing I then had the gritty ringed tub to contend with. I was always so happy on the last day of picking and we would quit early and the owners of the berry field would have a picnic for us. Lots of food like fried chicken, salads, sandwiches and desserts. It was always a happy day on the bus that last day. Lots of laughter and chatter and everyone sharing how much they had made for the season. The goal was a $100 for most of us. Some made more some less.
My daughter went to the berry fields when she was in eighth grade and we were living near Mt. Rainier in the little berg of Eatonville Wa. The bus picked her up at dawn and off she went with her gal pals excited for this adventure. She came home aghast. She exclaimed you would will not believe it! You are treated like slaves. Crawling around on your hands and knees picking berries. They blow a whistle when it is time for lunch! I laughed at her outrage and made her go the next day. As soon as she got home the next day she came through the door and stated she had quit! So that was Gina my little two day berry picker.

Well it seems I always have a story no matter what the subject.
I must go now and walk before the days wears on and my back wears out.
Have a nice Friday and weekend. We are joining family for dinner this evening so no cooking at this house.
Bye for now.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

GERBERA DAISY ONCE AGAIN ON DISPLAY

I so love the Gerbera daisies. They really give off a boast of color wherever you place them. I have ours sitting on a little black rod iron table on the front step.
Everything got into the ground or pots yesterday late afternoon. It was fun for me placing my color spot posies in pots about the deck.
We spent the afternoon outdoors had more wine than we needed. But we were adding ice and sparkling water to it as we do in the summer so that diluted it. We played a game or two at the patio table and then hubby proceeded to get the little smokey joe ready for our salmon fillets. I will say that Cesar salad topped with salmon was a winner the dressing was rich and I did not really taste the anchovy paste but something in there gave it a boast of flavor. I am thinking the anchovy.

Today is not quite the day we had yesterday as it was perfect. Today is somewhat hazy mid-seventies which is nice but the humidity is high. I have all four of our ceiling fans going and both doors open to the screen doors. I feel guilty as I did not walk early this morning when it was cooler. But I needed to get two labor extensive bids out this morning via the email and by the time I finished with those I wanted to tidy the house. So then.....well the walk just did not happen. It so needs to be a priority which it is not. Seems the older I get the less discipline I have. Maybe that is common.

I had a nice call from my daughter yesterday afternoon. She was setting up the last of her kitchen and bathroom cabinets and clothes closets in their new place. Now mind you they have not moved in yet! She is just as I was. We moved so many times into new homes we had built I had the moving part down. I learned years ago you pack boxes by room and label them. We would cart over all the items we could in boxes and then I have would have everything set up into cabinets etc. When the furniture then arrived I directed where it was to be placed. When that was done all I had to do was decorate the rooms. So Gina has done the same thing. She said when Doug came by after work he walked in and said, wow it looks like we are living here already but without the furniture. Gina gets off work at 2:30 so she has been able to make a trip over each day to get things done.
Their furniture is being moved tomorrow. They are both taking the day off so they can be there to direct the movers and then settle in. Oh I so remember how exciting that was.

It sounds like I will be seeing my great niece Diana and her hubby and two children at some point over the Memorial weekend.
It is sweet of her to make the effort to see me and let me get to know her little ones. Her husband Jeff has family that lives east of Springfield so they do get this way occasionally.
Diana is a sweetie always has been. I know it must be so hard losing her mother Chris four plus years ago. Not having her mother here to enjoy her grandchildren is sad. And Chris would have made such a good grammy.

Tonight we will grill again but it will be my job not hubby's as we are having sirloin steak with foil packets of yukon gold potatoes, peppers,onions and garlic on the grill. I am serving just one small sirloin I have it sitting with a rub on it after it is cooked med rare and has rested under foil with a dab of butter I will slice it thinly cross grain I then like to toss mine right in with my tators!

Well I need a big glass of ice water and then hose the front sidewalk.
Later.






Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WINE COUNTRY GAL

This photo was taken about four years ago at King Estate Winery here in our southern Willamette valley. I like this photo so I posted it. It is always a fun time out there but we have yet to to make that trip this year. But we will and soon.

We were busy folks today. Up at six and out the door at seven-thirty to head to the DMV. However though we were the first ones there we did not realize they do not open up until nine on Wednesdays. Well who would ever know that. So we went to Jerry's Home Improvement store. We originally were going to do that after the DMV.  At Jerry's we bought our nine tomato plants, cuke plants, herbs for my barrel and assorted possies for my pots. It was fun. Then back across town to the DMV.  The line was terrible. But I kind took a cut(bad) and we nabbed #18 ticket. I had to renew my drivers license and we had to get tags for two of our vehicles.  So fifty minutes and $212 dollars later we were out of there. Well we are starving so how handy that Jack in the Box came into view. So we dinned on Jumbo Jack's and ice teas. Then we made a stop at Bi-Mart and shopped a bit I bought a few more possies and hubby got a serano pepper plant. We also bought a nice glazed ceramic pot for an indoor plant that needed re-potted.
Once home hubby put new garden soil into my containers and I planted all of my items except my large Gerbera daisy. I will do that early evening while hubby is planting the tomatoes. I was getting to hot outdoors.
My husband is now on two bids and I have come in the house to cool off.

Tonight for dinner we are having salmon Cesar salads. Hubby is going to use our Smokey Joe and add mesquite chips and slowly cook our salmon fillets while they smoke. I will be alert to what he is doing so he does not over cook them.  I am making my own Cesar dressing and yes I will add anchovy paste. Just a tiny tad as I hold my nose. I do not use raw eggs however I use a little mayo instead and a dab of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and olive oil and good quality Parmesan cheese. I have a sourdough boule to go with the salad. We are going to eat at the patio table. The umbrella is now mounted in the table looking very festive so we cannot resisit. So it will be a nice evening spent outdoors.

Now I am going to sign off and kick off my shoes and plop in my faded but oh so comfy chair and read for awhile while the house is quiet.



Monday, May 12, 2014

A GETAWAY AGAIN SOON

I have this photo set as my desktop. So I see it so often throughout the day. It just makes me want to go somewhere and soon. And we will as soon as hubby is freed from work and the weather is nice. Too bad it has not worked out for this week but he is finishing a large job and then we need to take advantage of the weather and get our deck stained and set up and the garden in. Our next trip for four nights will be to Florence again. One of our fave getaways. The first night we will spend at the Port of Siuslaw Marina RV park. We love it there right on the river and adjacent to Old Town Florence. This time we will go to dinner at The Waterfront Depot it has been highly recommended to us by a few folks. So hopefully they are right. I will post a review after we have returned home. The next three nights will be spent at the KOA RV park near the ocean. We are excited! I still cannot get over the fact of how much we love that little trailer. Now I am wondering why did we ever have those motor homes when this works for us so much better? I thought we needed all the space and I always went for the big kitchen set up. I now like small as I find we cook way more outdoors, either the slow cooker perched on a little table outside the door or hubby cooks on the camp stove and grills. Of course I have a very suitable kitchen in the little trailer but I do keep things simple. I like it!

So today is laundry day there are just a couple of loads to do so will not take long. General Monday house spruce up and a little office work. I will take my walk early right after I finish this post. Then I will wash a few windows on the back side of the house. So over all a good Monday.

We had a nice time with my husbands mother yesterday. We enjoyed our lunch very much. Then we took her back to the home and gave her the little gift bag I had filled with treasures I knew she would enjoy. It was a beautiful day with deep blue sky and big cotton ball clouds floating about. We came home and put our deck chairs out on the back sidewalk by our little yard and put our faces to the sun for a while. Then came in and played three games of WI golf. I did not make dinner as we had plenty to eat at lunch so that was a nice Mother's day gift itself. Both of my dear children called and much love was shared. A very nice day indeed.

Tonight for dinner I am making an asparagus tart. I make this tart once a year when the asparagus is at it's peak. This is a wonderful tart with swiss cheese, cream, eggs etc.  I am looking forward to tonights meal.

I am going to start my day now.
Monday was never a favorite of mine but it will be a nice one today.