Monday, June 30, 2014

CENTRAL OREGON

So it will not be long and we will be in this country. I have missed it I suppose.  I must state I do not want to live in central Oregon again but do enjoy being there from time to time.
I am busy today loading things into the trailer. The trailer as you know is tiny so I must make sure I think simple and small

It is really heating up today, into the eighties and tomorrow into the nineties. Then it cools which makes me so happy. Sunny and mid to high seventies is fine by me.

We had a lovely meal last night. Cast iron seared sockeye salmon with salad and orzo with Italian parsley and scallions cooked in chicken broth. A very tasty bright meal and not too filling.
Tonight it is country style steaks with red potatoes and fresh green beans. An country style meal.

I am going to say good-bye for the day as there is much to do.
Adios.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

PORK CHOPS IN THE IRON SKILLET

This was our meal last night. Yummy and juicy tender chops done up in a iron skillet. This is what I did.
I set the oven for 400 degrees. Salt and peppered the steaks and let them stand at room temp for about a half hour. Heated the iron skillet on high to HOT. Added a drizzle of canola oil and dropped the two chops in. Let them sizzle and fry fast when browned on the underside I flipped them over and put the skillet into the oven to finish the chops. When your instant read or roasting thermometer or reaches 140-145 degrees the chops are perfectly done. That is it.
Well of course you can get more creative by making a rub of your choice of spices and herbs, but these were so scrumptious just plain and simple like this. All I served them with was a large romaine salad with radishes, tomatoes, onions and carrots with my homemade honey mustard dressing which was such a good accompaniment for the pork.  I dipped my chop in the salad dressing as I served it all up on one plate.

So today being Sunday I usually do not do much but with our trip looming I am going to get our clothes squared away for our camp out. I will take a walk and make out my grocery list for tomorrows shopping. I thought I would go this morning but feel a little tired as I had an allergy attack during the night so my sleep was interrupted. That happens to me occasionally in the spring and early summer. My head will fill and I start sneezing and blowing and well you get the idea. Not fun. My head is still full at the moment.

I have not heard from my daughter in Vegas. She usually calls me and tells me what fun she is having, laugh. So that leads me to believe she is having too much fun to find time to call. They are back home this afternoon.
I will be going to see her and my brother sometime later in July. July is a busy month for us. As well as a lot of work for my husband, there is the 4th, then his birthday is the 5th and our wedding anniversary is the 9th. We have forgotten our anniversary a few times as we get so wrapped in the 4th and 5th we forget. But this year I have remembered. Hubby will be working however but that is OK I will fix us a nice meal and we will still celebrate with dinner out when we have time.

It is a nice day here, warmer with big clouds floating in the blue. 
Enjoy your Sunday.
That's all folks! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

HUBBY KICKING BACK

So here is my husband kicking back and enjoying life on our cabin cruiser. Ah the life huh? Well it was a great time over several years that we had the boat. We traded it for our first motor home in 2000. I guess it still makes me sad not to have it. But we could not afford or did we have room for a 23 1/2 ft boat and a 30 ft. motor home. So choices had to be made. But I will say the best times of my life were spent on that boat. And that is saying something as we have had some great times.  So as summer descends on us each year I remember all the summer days spent upon the "Crescent Star" our boat.

So today I am starting to pack for our trip. I like to start early so I do not need to rush.
The older I get the slower I become. Just fact. Getting the fresh linens in and restocking our supplies and packing dry goods are on the agenda for today. 

We had a lot of showers yesterday so many in fact that I hesitated to take a walk and get caught. It would be nice for a while and then the showers and wind would hit and all hell would broke loose as they say. So today I must walk and as soon as I finish this post I shall head out. It is cloudy and no wind at the moment so that is nice.
We may grill this evening I have some plump looking bone in pork chops. I could french them and put them on the grill they look so pretty that way. If so I will make a potato and pepper packet to go along with. This evening is to be warmer and hopefully no showers if I plan this. But I guess all could go in the oven as a last resort.
Well I really have no news just chattering as usual and I am anxious to get my walk over and start hauling things out to the munchkin trailer.
Have a nice weekend.


Friday, June 27, 2014

CAMPING AT BELKNAP HOT SPRINGS

Yes this was us a few years ago camped in a river spot at Belknap hot springs. Belknap up on the McKenzie pass is a favorite place of ours. We have been going for our entire life together which will be 32 years the 3rd of July. Bend and Eugene are about equal distances to the hot springs. So we have driven there from the east side of the mountains as we now do from the west side. We have not went this year and will not go until school is in session again. We love to go in the spring or in the fall. It is one of the few places you can camp along the McKenzie river and have access to the hot pools at the resort. There are hiking trails in the resort area but also we like to hike or mountain bike the McKenzie river trail. As that trail is a bit of a bike ride for me now I will go on foot for the remainder of my life.

So what is it doing here in Eugene today? It is windy. What is going on today is stronger than a breeze. It is also sunny, cloudy and showery. It is more like a March or April day rather than a summer day.

My husband will be home early today and he called to inform me we are having company. There is a contractor he was done work for several times and now my husband has steered him to a job just across our street. So Dennis whom I have never met will be coming over to meet me and visit for a while. My husband says he is a very interesting person and he is a spiritual fellow and is of the Buddha faith. So I find that interesting in it's self. 

My daughter is now hanging out in the heat and sun of Las Vegas as her husband is in business meetings today at a seafood convention there. After this evening the business part of the trip will be completed and Gina and Doug can enjoy what Las Vegas has to offer until Sunday afternoon when they fly back home. I wish I was there with her today. What fun we would have.

I have no idea what to have for dinner. I bought a mound of burger at the market that I need to break down into smaller portions, seal and freeze. So I will probably use burger tonight in some way. Come on Zo be creative. 
I will finish this up now and get on to my house chores. As we are having a guest I must attend to the kitchen and family room floors. Seems I have been neglectful of the floors again.

The weekend is upon us. Have a good one.




Thursday, June 26, 2014

MY PARENTS

These are my parents Arthur and Marta Nesbitt. Such a cute couple in my opinion. Of course it goes without saying how lovely my mother was inside and out. With her beautiful smile and sweet demeanor everyone fell in love with her.
My father with his good looks and dark hair and olive skin and light gray/green eyes was a charmer. He had devilish way about him. Being a Gemini you never who he would be from one day to the next. Gemini being the twins you know. 
My parents were both avid readers. Sometimes the evenings were so quiet with us all reading the only noise was the turning of a page.  My father was no game player but my mother and I loved to play games. My parents loved adventure, travel especially but even a Sunday drive with a picnic lunch or a camp out put a smile on their faces.
It is fun for me to remember them with such pleasure in their younger years. 
I am looking at my fathers suspenders. He most always wore them. And he always wore button down shirts the only tee shirts I recall him wearing where undershirts. He loved to dress up and wear a suit or sports jacket and white shirt. A lot of times he would just wear casual pants or jeans and wear a white shirt with the sleeves turned up.
It looks as if my mother has a pair of wedge sandals on. They are the trend again. In fact those shoes could be in a store right now. My mother fancied dresses and wore them the majority of the time. But occasionally she would wear her loose slacks or a pair of jeans. It was cute when she was in her seventies and eighties she wore jeans a lot and for her shoes she donned white leather athletic shoes. She was so cute for her age and always appeared so young.

Well I have had a day. I went grocery shopping at three different places this morning. Then also went and bought a armload of books. Oh that always makes the day exciting for me. I bring them home and stack them on my chair side table in the living room. I will then look through them read the backs and select which order I will read them in. I know I am odd, but I have always had a close relationship with books.

The mist was dense when I was out and about and though I did not notice it at the time I got quite wet. My hair that I worked at to get straight is now crazy. Wavy, limp, straight, curly. I have all of that going on. Good grief, believe me it looks very peculiar. But it smells good there's a lingering of Herbal Essence and a hint of fresh misty rain.

I have been taking a break while typing this. My counter top is filled with tote bags full of groceries. Here in Eugene we have to supply our own bags or pay for paper bags, there are no more plastic bags. We are quite a green city. I do not mind I have been using my bags for years before the city made it law.
So now the groceries must be put away so I best get to it.

You all have a nice day. It is throw back Thursday today on FB that is why I posted the photo of my parents as I did so on FB.  But I have so enjoyed writing about them.
Later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TACOS AND BLACK BEANS

Taco's and black beans tonight. This is actually a photo of pork verde tacos. Tonight we are making carne asada tacos. I have a piece of sirloin steak that I will use. I will make a warm spicy rub with the likes of cumin, coriander, allspice, paprika, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Let the steak hang out in the fridge and grill it to med-rare. Then let it cool down and chop it up and turn it in to a cast iron skillet to put a final char on the edges. We will add cilantro, onion and cheese, nothing more is needed. We will then drizzle our fave hot sauces over. I have black beans to go along side. I love black beans in lieu of pintos sometimes. They are so hardy and I just love their earthy dense texture.

Well a cloudy day here and it is to remain so throughout the day with a shower or two. I could care less it is nice for a change. I am rather worn down from the mugginess we have had this past week. It was so hot and muggy last night I had a hard time sleeping. We had the windows open and the breeze through the screen doors and all of our four ceiling fans whirring away which helped some. This cooler weather is just fine for me now.

I am starting today to prepare for our trip to central Oregon. Between our neighbors both sides and hubby's sis who lives a couple houses down the street our home is always well taken of. It is like a neighborhood watch really. We always have someone to take care of the garden and flowers and garbage. This is a very safe neighborhood as so many folks are aware of anything out of the ordinary. I know we always keep tabs on Dee and Bills place when they are away.
I have a lot to get ready for this trip as my husband has a job in Sunriver which will take a few days the rest of the time we will be enjoying my son's company and hanging out at his place in the country. The weather is to be HOT. In the high eighties. Good thing as the weather now over there is not good. Cold in fact. Central Oregon can be a bear sometimes this time of year.

Today is making out the grocery list and menu for this week. My pantry is looking a little deprived right now and the freezer is sorely lacking so I will have a full cart for sure. I also have laundry to do. Seems there is always laundry doesn't it? Even though we try to be conservative with our clothing the hamper still manages to get full. 
I hope to take a long walk today. As it is cooler that will make it better for me. I must go however before the showers come in. So that leads me to believe I should sign off this post and get those walking shoes on and head out.
Ciao.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

THE "O" ON HER 4 WHEELER

Here is little Olivia on her 4 wheeler. Goodness so young for riding a ATV!
I cannot wait to see this little munchkin when we go for Tyson and Lindsey's wedding in September. I wonder if little O will be a flower girl being pulled along in a wagon or be in the wedding party in some capacity. The wedding is going to be at Champoeg park near Newberg. They will stand at the rivers edge and say their vows. A lot of the guests are camping. We are not we are staying with my daughter in Oregon City as we will be getting back from a end of summer camping trip. They are a lovely couple with a adorable child I wish for them a life filled with love and happiness.

Today is warm and muggy so it seems hotter than it is. And here we are  installing a screen door in the sun. I had to come in. I am only the holder helper anyway.  Installing a screen door is no easy task it is irritating. It will be so nice though to have a screen door back on that front door for a cross breeze. We will replace the back door one soon also.

So next I am going to go to the back deck and do a little rearranging. I am putting my white iron bistro set in the corner of the deck railings. Move the table four chairs and umbrella to the center of the deck. We took the fire bowl away for summer it will go back on the deck in the fall.  I am looking forward to having my bistro set on the deck.  Just two chairs with the small table is nice for two folks.
So I will be  also cleaning the deck area good today. That also includes the hot tub cover which gets dirty just from sitting there. I spied a new small tear the other day. That means that coon is still coming occasionally and why I do not know. It is warm weather now and the hot tub is drained, so no warmth coming from it. Now we have a total of four small tears on our leather cover and I do not know how to rectify this.  Covers are expensive and if we cannot get it to stop this habit what good would a new cover do? The only thing I found on the internet as a deterrent is a sonar device that is said to work well at keeping them away. It emits a high pitched tone that we cannot hear.  They are expensive and what if it does not work? Anyone have any ideas for this problem?

Well as I said it is muggy and I feel hot so I need to slip into a cool cotton or linen shirt.
So until tomorrow.

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

ITALIAN SAUSAGE KABOBS

This was our meal last night. It was a simple fun meal to make. I used Italian sausage so I did get to much char in a couple of places as the sausage flared up a little. But we like the char. My fave on the skewers was the red potatoes. I cute small reds in half and then boiled till just tender. You need to be careful here because if overcooked the potato will fall apart when you put it on the skewer. The sausage was good and of course I boiled that for thirty minutes beforehand. I topped each skewer off with a radish. Radishes are very tasty cooked they lose their sharp flavor and taste more sweet and mellow. As you can see there is a jalapeno in the foreground of the plate. Guess who ate that? Really you guessed my hubby? Right!

It was a nice day yesterday sitting out in the eighty degree weather with our feet in the pool. The wading pool of course but oh how refreshing. It definitely keeps a person cooler. I read and hubby listened to his I-pod then I worked some puzzles in my puzzle book. Then we made out a list for our camping trip to central Oregon. After our dinner which we ate outdoors we lingered and played a game or two at the patio table. It was such a nice warm evening and very quiet.

Today we shopped for a new screen door for the front door. I like what we chose. It is very simple, nothing on the top two thirds so our red six panel door will show through. The bottom portion is just the cross board with simple vertical panels going from the cross board to the kick panel at the bottom. So it will be installed tomorrow and I for one cannot wait to have that breeze wafting through our living room and family room areas once again. I love my screen doors.

Today will be somewhat of a repeat of yesterday. Feet in the pool this afternoon. I will read my boring as dirt book for a while. Actually the story is a little more interesting since I am about third into the book but still it is slow and drags along like an afterthought.

We picked up steak for tonights dinner not because we were hungry for steak but because we like to grill. So I have it hanging out in the fridge with a rub on it.
I will fix a green salad with radish, onion, cucumber and onion drizzled with creamy Italian dressing. That's it!

Well I need to try and reach the insurance department of BOA who holds our home mortgage so I can complete the changes as we switched insurance carriers.
So I will go and finish this one last chore and go enjoy my pool! :)



Saturday, June 21, 2014

GRANDMOTHER AND I

Just look how happy I am. I knew my Grandma loved me at an early age it seems. And she did she adored me but also expected a lot from me.
My grandmother always looked old even when she was young. However my father was thirty-eight when I was born, he was his mothers first child. So she was probably close to sixty when this photo was taken. She passed away when I was twenty-three. Oh how I mourned her. She had loved me and had been an important part of my life. It was the first time I experienced a death in the family so it was very emotional for me.
When I scan these old photos my memories come to life. I do not mind them they are part of who I have become, some are happy some sad. But I still get a hitch in my heart when I remember my grandmother.

So today is a "ME" day. I have been busy all week and have nothing heavy duty today. My office is clean and squared away, the house tidy, the laundry is done. So today I will take a long walk before the heat comes one, I will read, I will scan some photo's and then this afternoon sit on the deck with my toes dancing in the little pool to keep me cool.

I am making pizza for dinner tonight so I will make my dough early afternoon. I like it to sit in the fridge for a few hours before rolling it out and flipping it around. It does raise in the fridge sometimes bursting out of its plastic wrap. Our mouth is watering for pizza. Tomorrow night I want to grill something so I will see what I can scarf up out of the freezer.

My husband has a bid this morning and then off to the mall to buy himself some athletic shoes at Sports Authority. Then on to look at screen doors. We had to remove our front screen door as it finally bit the dust when the handle broke off. It has needed replaced for a while as well as the back screen door. But one at a time as they are not easy to install. It has been hard without the front one as it is my habit to open both doors in the morning to the screen doors so the breeze wafts through.

My son called yesterday he finally signed on his home and property. He said he when he got home he just looked at every tree on his property and thought, this is mine. He is a first time home owner so all is new to him and very important. He is just so happy which in turns makes his Momma(as he calls me) happy.

I now will start my 'me' day. A long shower, do my toes, into my clothes and walking shoes and off I go on my walk, no hurry I want to enjoy it. There is not a cloud in the sky today, all is quiet like normal for our area here on a weekend morning.
Hope you all have a great weekend.


Friday, June 20, 2014

BLUE JAY'S NESTING

These are not our birds but we have the same thing going on in the tree overhanging our deck. At this point they have already had a batch of babies early spring now they have eggs again. This morning all hell broke lose. We had the back door open when the squawking started with abundance. There were several crows perched in a nearby tree all eyeing the tree with the blue jay eggs. So the jays started flying around crazily and then perched on our fence rail and starting squawking as loud as they could. The crows did not move just continued to watch. Finally after about ten minutes of this racket one jay flew into the depths of the tree where the nest is. The other jay continued to squawk trying to distract the crows. Finally one by one the crows circled and left. Then the other jay flew into the tree to the nest. Then after almost a half hour of this madness it turned quiet. It must be very difficult to actually keep the eggs safe until they hatch and then keep the babies from harm. What a job! So that was our excitement first thing this morning. Sometimes I wonder are we really living in the city? We have coons at night, squirrels everywhere doing their funny bushiness, birds of many varieties, cows mooing and sheep bleating and roasters crowing across the road. I guess we have a little bit of country in the city limits. I do love that!

Today hubby will be home early as it is only a coat day, which is the last coat on the floor he is working on. Then he will get the work vans oil changed and run a few errands before heading home. The day for me holds some office duties and some laundry otherwise there is nothing pressing to do.
It is cloudy here this morning but we are to have sun breaks this afternoon, we had a soft rain this morning while the jays were doing their thing. The rest of the week after today looks wonderful, lots of sun and blue skies. I am thinking that our wading pool may come out this weekend. Ah it is so nice to put your feet in on a hot day.

I now must get out of my morning attire, get dressed for the day and start my office chores.
It will be a nice weekend for us as my husband is not working. So we may go for lunch or grill here. We wanted to have hubbies sis and husband for pizza but she is working this weekend. So I am going to make pizza for us tomorrow night. Tonight who knows? Last night our dinner was nice and light. A gorgeous salad made from the farm produce with honey mustard dressing and lightly coated fried chicken fingers dunked in extra honey mustard. I have two chicken fingers and some salad left so that will go into my tummy for lunch. Yum!  Hubby told me this morning when he left he is stopping for a Jumbo Jack. He always knows that makes me jealous as I love Jumbo Jack's. They are about the only fast food item I like. Second choice is a Burger King jr. whopper. So now you know my junk food secrets.
Later, have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

LITTLE ME

This is a cute little picture of me with my hair in disarray as it always seemed to be except when Mother first did it up for me. I think I was a bit of a tomboy when I was young. I know it is hard to imagine now, but I seemed to enjoy a lot of adventurous things such as climbing trees, looking for bugs, riding bikes that were way to large for me thus continually falling, playing softball with all my boy cousins and swinging high from an old tire tied to a large tree limb. I do recall though being afraid of snakes, the dark, the barn, the cows in the field and many other things that were part of our farm life. 

Today I am finally off to run errands. It is an amazing day here. The sky is filled full with sun and not a breeze is stirring. That could mean a hot afternoon. That is ok by me our tomatoes could use a little heat now as we have had some cool days.
I had to replant some flowers as a squirrel managed to dig in one pot it was hiding it's peanuts and it destroyed a couple of plants. I really wish that our neighbor Dee would not put out so many peanuts. They are everywhere, in my herb barrel, flower pots and the garden. Flowers are expensive and it is a shame some of them get ruined.

Our meal was so very delish last night. The shrimp brushed with the Soyaki and then grilled in the grill basket on hot heat was so tasty. The smokey flavor mingled with the Soyaki was just perfect. We managed to devour the entire basket of shrimp. Granted they are small white shrimp but still...we were piglets as I my hubby would say.  Strawberry shortcake once again last night. Now we have one shortcake biscuit to share this evening and then no more shortcakes. I still need to make a rhubarb pie before the rhubarb is gone from the farm. So that will be our next dessert.
I sometimes wonder how can I keep coming up with idea after idea for dinner. It does get tiresome sometimes. So what to have tonight? Well as I bought veggies yesterday I can make a lovely salad. But what to go with? I guess I am leaning towards making chicken fingers.  That would be all we would need. No need for a starch tonight.
Saturday night I am making pizza it has been a few weeks and we are craving it. Also I need to make it frequently so I do not forget how to make the dough perfect. There is a trick in making it just the right consistency nothing you can write down it is just the needed amount of water, flour and oil to make it bind just right. It is a thing you have to feel.

I am going to start carrying pepper spray with me when I walk. My son got me a canister of it sometime back and I have not been taking it. So this morning my hubby forced the issue. He showed again how to use it and to take it in my pocket when I walk.  So between the nagging from both son and husband I will comply. So today the little can of pepper spray will be part of my walk.  I hope I never have to use it.

Well it appears I will be going north to Portland and Washington state in July sometime after we return from central Oregon and seeing my son.  It is well over a year since I have seen my brother.  He does not want to come here as he is 84 now and the drive is hard on him. Well it is not that easy for me either but one of us has to make the effort so it will be me as I am younger. That I-5 drive gets harder and harder as the traffic increases every year. From the time you hit the freeway it is constant driving every minute with all your concentration. Not enjoyable in the least. But I am looking forward to spending time with my daughter and my brother. I hope to see my little great granddaughter Olivia and Tyson my grandson and Lindsey also.  I will see my two grandchildren that live in Portland when I am at my daughters. It is a lot to try and see everyone and I come home tired.  When my mother was still living I of course I would see her also on these trips as well as son who was living in the Portland area.  So many to spend time with and share love I am so blessed.

Well I must now get my walk out of the way while it is still cool, then home to shower and out the door  to finally take care of those errands.
Enjoy this grand day.





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BOUNTY FROM THE FARM

I decided to post a photo of my bounty I purchased at the farm today. These are absolutely perfect vegetables and fruit. Every item at the farm is pristine. I do not know how they do it and many items are organic. You never see blemishes or bugs not even bruises. This is eighteen dollars well spent. I was amazed at the number of cars at the farm. Thankfully the folks were not all inside the building. I noticed there was a sign saying their u-pick strawberry patch was open also they have goats and other farm animals so there were families there as school is out. The kids love to wander around and watch the animals and pet the goats and lambs. They even have a ramp that runs up the gable ends of the goat barn with a fenced  walkway across the length of the top of the barn. The goats love this and strut their stuff going across. The kids love it. There are many wooden picnic tables with benches in a covered eating area. The area probably holds a hundred folks. This is a huge farm with large rooms filled with not only their own produce but from other areas in the valley. The smaller farm nearby has greenhouses loaded with many varieties of flowers, trees and herbs. There is only one large room for produce and a smaller room for items that need to be kept cold. They also carry wine from several vineyards the prices are comparable to store prices. This smaller farm is where I get my strawberries each year they are lower priced than the larger farm and tend to be bigger, better berries. Both farms have spray free berries. The smaller one does not stock anything that is not grown on their own farm so early in the year like it is now there is not a lot of choices. So each farm has it's merits. 

Well as I posted once today this is the end here. I just wanted to show this bounty from the farm down the road. Have a wonderful day, it is so lovely here today makes my heart very happy.

CENTRAL OREGON

Though the clarity of this photo is not particularly good it a scene of the Deschutes river in Bend OR. This shot of our once home is taken from a street across the river. Our house is third from right, fourth from left. There is a trail that leads to the river from the house that connects with the river trail that takes you the mile or so to town. My husband and I walked this trail many times to town to have lunch and drinks or go to the park with a picnic. Now this all seems very idyllic but there are times when the wind along this trail freezes your wits as well as your body parts. And that can happen in summer as well as the other seasons. Usually there is a west wind sailing off the snow capped mountains straight to town.
Farther south in the Sunriver and La Pine areas the wind is no more. I am hoping that it will be pleasant when we are visiting my son in July. However where Mike lives is on the edge of the high desert so it is colder than other areas in the vicinity. No doubt about one thing the nights will be chilly, no air conditioning needed. You have to remember I lived in the La Pine area for seventeen years and in Bend for fifteen years for a total of thirty-two years. Central Oregon is beautiful and I always enjoy going back for visits.

So today I have been waylaid by phone calls. My daughter called and we were on the phone for an hour or more. Then I was talking with Comcast regarding our new box for the TV for another half hour. So now some of the daily chores are completed but not all.
I am going to run to the farm today for our weekly supply fresh veggies and fruit. I am going to get more strawberries as there are two shortcakes left. That has been such a luscious treat every evening. There is nothing better than juicy ripe Oregon strawberries. California berries in the grocery do not even compare. So I must have more of these addictive sumptuous little darlings before they are gone for the season.

Last night we played dinner by ear and wound up having patty melts with two kinds of cheese. We actually like a patty melt better than a grilled burger. They are juicer and greasier and just more tasty in our opinion. The grease may not be a desired effect for most folks but that is the way a good patty melt is, that good buttered sourdough bread becomes all crispy when fried and when you pick it up you have grease on your fingers. No matter it is finger licking good!

Tonight we will have healthier fare. I am preparing grilled shrimp in the grill basket. I will marinate them quickly(as not to get them too salty)in the Soyaki marinade then spray the grill pan and toss them in with some lemon chunks. Shake them around until pink and off they go to be tossed upon sticky rice and then scattered with scallions. To the side I will serve steamed asparagus with lemon butter. All the flavors just meld beautifully in our mouths. More strawberry shortcake for dessert :)

Well I am off to finish my daily chores and put my face on.....laugh and off to the farm. I always enjoy driving there as I have mentioned before a country road is right at the end of our street. I take that country road to River road about a half mile then turn right and in another few minutes I am to the first farm. That's it! So close and convenient and so pretty in farm country with the big sky and billowy clouds, no developments just a farm house and barn here and there and field after field of produce for our eating pleasure. Wonderful!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FAMILY

Tyson, Lindsey and baby Olivia at the Washington Zoo in Portland. I love this little family. 

I spent time yesterday scanning more old photo's. I love seeing the old snapshots come up on the computer screen and then cleaning and cropping them adding more contrast in color where needed. It is becoming quite a hobby for me. So you will be seeing from time to time some oldies.

I was going to run some errands this morning but have rethought that as it is gloomy out and quite chilly. When I finished yesterday's post I commented that it has started to rain. Well let me tell you it continued to patter softly for a short while then as quickly as the snap of the fingers the sky turned threateningly dark  then the the heavens broke loose. Thunder boomed, lighting lit the dark skies and the hail pounded. Oh no I thought, our poor tomatoes. I went to the dining room window where I can view them and there they were standing proud their yellow blossoms hanging tight. They were warriors holding off the enemy. Not a one succumbed to the pelting hail. Bravo tomatoes!  

Now the question, what to have for dinner tonight? I loved the comfort food last night it was a perfect choice for a rain soaked evening.
I made panko crusted baked pork chops, mashed potatoes with chopped parsley and grated cheddar and I creamed some corn.  I find I am using my italian parsley from the herb barrel frequently. It is so good chopped and added to a variety of dishes. It adds vibrant color and so much freshness.
I am thinking along the lines of soup for dinner as my husband may be quite late this evening and soup is easy to hold. I just need to scout out the pantry and fridge and see what I can conjure up.

Right now I am needing a little something to eat. I think another cup of tea and piece of cinnamon toast sound about right. So I will say good-bye for today.

Monday, June 16, 2014

LAST NIGHTS EVENT

Top photo hubby's plate after making up his carne asada taco's. Now remember he is a condiment man first and foremost. So my dish did not look nearly as festive. I bought a new kind of taco shells and they were fluffy and soft and a little larger in size than a regular corn tortilla. They are LaTortilla Factory brand and these were a combo of yellow corn and wheat hand made style. They are of course more expensive than other brands, we enjoyed them. The next photo is my biscuits but made more luscious by increasing their size to accommodate a large serving of strawberries and whipped topping. Now I did take a photo of the finished product a perfect strawberry shortcake with a big dollop of Cool Whip on top. Well the when I imported this picture this morning it was blurred. I was in a hurry and ruined the photo. But we are repeating that dessert this evening so I will take another photo.

It was so gray here this morning I had to put on my big kitchen lights. I do not like to use those can lights loaded in my ceiling as they are just too bright but this morning called for drastic measures. It was depressing in there and five-thirty came early. I am up when hubby gets out of the shower to make his lunch and fix him breakfast. I did not always do this when I worked it was a joint effort then. But as I am home now and retired except for my office duties so I try to take care of his needs. The days he is not working he caters to me or we cook together or whatever. He is a good helper when I need him to be and usually I never need ask.
My how I get sidetracked. I was talking about the weather. This afternoon now it is decent, some sun breaks and less gray. Each day will get better now the forecast reports.

Well most of my days laundry list of things to do are done including the laundry, no pun intended.
So now I have about two hours before hubby walks in the door to kick off my shoes, settle in my chair have a snack a glass of wine and read. Oh I am afraid I have chosen another boring as dirt book. I have no more on hand or I would ditch it quick. It may improve I am only into the third chapter but something had better happen soon. This is a national best seller, really?

I will leave this computer now as I have spent quite a while doing computer things today. I wrote another post for our hardwood blog on our business website. This time it was in regards to how hardwood floors add to the design or decor or your home and a few idea's on what woods to choose depending on what furnishings etc you have in your home. There is a world of product out there so if you go into a store without an idea it can be overwhelming.
Hope your'e all having a nice Monday.
Well now guess what? It is raining just that quick and it is coming down good and hard. Must get cozy now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

VEGETABLES READY FOR THE OVEN

I have the vegetables ready for the oven.
This is what I used. Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled halved and quartered, red bell pepper, hatch pepper, shallots and frozen baby green beans.
This is what I did. After the veggies were chopped I added them to a large bowl and added olive oil to coat, kosher salt and cracked black pepper and sprinkled them about a tablespoon of with Herbs of Provence. I used a large baking sheet added a silicone baking sheet and arranged the vegetables on the pan. I baked at 400 degree's for 35-40 minutes.
What I should have done. The green beans I knew would be overdone but they turned out like cement french fries. I should have added them about halfway through. I normally do not use green beans but I had no other green veggie on hand. What works well is asparagus or broccoli but a couple of carrots adds flavor and orange color to the mix.
We always love roasted vegetables and they were a great accompaniment to the grilled chuck steak which tender and very juicy. A nice dinner we so enjoyed.

We have steak left so tonight I am going to morph it into carne asada taco's. 
This is what I will do. I will cube the meat and heat a cast iron to hot. Add a drizzle of oil to the bottom of the skillet and toss in the meat and fry them sizzling just to heat. They get crispy smokey taste this way.
Then I will make up the taco's. I bought home style corn shells which I will make soft crispy and into them will go the grilled steak, grated cheese, chopped onion and chopped cilantro. Hubby will drizzle his tacos with Salsa Bravo hot sauce and I will use Taco Sauce.
I am not making re-fried beans from scratch tonight I will instead open a can of pinto beans and rinse and drain them. I will add these to a pot and heat them with a little chicken broth. When heated I will then mash them rough with my potato masher so some beans remain whole and some are smashed. While doing this I will add a little milk as the beans begin to get dry when they are mashed. We do not like them to dry.
So this will be our dinner tonight. One that hubby will totally enjoy.

It is a relaxing Sunday for us. My husband worked a few hours this morning finishing up a job and like I mentioned I ran for a few groceries and to the farm for more strawberries. So now our to-do's are out of the way and we are in a laze about mode. That is what I love about Sundays. 
I need to search for my biscuit shortcake recipe as I have misplaced it but I can probably make them without the recipe. Basically my same good mile high biscuits but with a little more sugar.
We love strawberry shortcake on biscuits. I always slice my berries and add just a tad of sugar and cover them so they juice, if they are not as juicy as I like I mash them a little. Because biscuits can be a little drier than sponge or angel food cake the berries need that extra juice. And because of my lactose intolerance I cannot have real whipping cream so we will use Cool Whip. I am looking forward to that desert this evening while watching Next Food Network Star, always a fave show in this household.
Well now for sure I am out of here. I have posted twice today! Time to rest, laugh! 

PIZZETTE

When we want a small bite size pizza this is what I do.
I always have Totino's Pizzas on hand in the freezer. I take one out and place thin slices of mozzarella cheese on it to cover the top. I use the mozzarella in the ball in the refrigerator case of the grocery store. I add whatever additional toppings we are wanting such as olives,onions,meat etc. Then it goes into a 450 degree oven for about 16 minutes we like the cheese to crisp around the edges and the bottom firm. Then I sprinkle a few torn pieces of the basil I grow in the kitchen on top. Presto! An amazing little pizza all grown up! I use an airrated pizza pan that I have had for years, it is totally black and in my opinion works as well as a pizza stone which are a pain to use. That pan makes for a very crispy crust like if you had placed the pizza right on your oven rack. So try this little semi-homemade pizza idea.

I so love to be in the kitchen prepping and cooking. I am one person that would enjoy a very functional kitchen with a big fridge, walk-in pantry,large gas range with two ovens, a built in wine cooler that stores more than a few bottles, a large island where guests can sit away from me while I prepare but still be in my presence. I had a kitchen just as I have described in our last home in Bend. I designed it so it had all the amenities I wanted and oh how I loved working in it. Also just adjacent to the kitchen was the dining area and the family room with a huge stone fireplace. All in this one big space. This area is where we truly lived.The kitchen I have now is a decent size kitchen. It has a pantry but not a walk in one. It has a good amount of counter space, we upgraded to stainless appliances and glass tiles between our cabinets and counters. All of this helps but still I do not have a gas range as we do not have gas coming into our house. My oak cabinets are in the need of refinishing and that is something we are going to tend to. Not a refinish but I want them painted in a vanilla color. With our oak floors it will be complimentary and not all the same as it is now. I like the hardware we have on the cabinets as they are stainless in the style of bin pulls. I need a new sink desperately as the white cast iron one I have is stained and scared. So I would like a black composite sink with a big high fancy stainless faucet. We plan on replacing our granite tiles on the counters we installed some years back to solid surface granite in black, brown and cream tones. So things are in the works as the money comes in. But still the design will remain the same. Our bar is useless except for counter space as there is no overhang and no room to add one so no one can sit there. I do have one bar stool sitting there and folks do hike up on it but it is not a comfortable perch. But it is what it is I will be thankful for the upgrades we will be making.
My how did I ever get started on this? I suppose the reason is just like I stated. I am a kitchen person so I am always thinking of ways to improve my space.

Well it is Father's day today so many of you have fun plans.
I must go now and attend to some things that did not get done as I needed to go grocery shopping this morning. I also made a run to farm for more strawberries. Oh my they are so juicy and sweet. I have all ready eaten a few. Tonight strawberry shortcake!






Saturday, June 14, 2014

GRILLED SOCKEYE SALMON OVER GREEN RICE

Oh this was a tasty little dinner last night.
I took two sockeye fillets out of the freezer thawed them and brushed them with soyaki.(You buy this at Trader Joes) then I readied the grill and placed the fillets on a hot oiled grill and brushed more soyaki on them while they cooked. One turn only added more glaze and took them off. I made green rice to accompany the dish. I sauteed, a shallot, and four sliced green onions and a 1/2 cup of minced flat leaf parsley in a combo of butter and olive oil in a large pan until translucent then added 3/4 cup long grain rice and cooked three minutes, then added one and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1 small bay leaf and a pinch of Cayenne. Then put on the lid and simmered for approximately 30 minutes. The rice was so good with the fresh parsley grown right in my herb barrel. I love flat leaf parsley always gives everything you add it to a lovely fresh finish. This was a nice light summer meal.
Soon our supply of sockeye salmon will be depleted. I have only four fillets left. I do have four large bags of white shrimp from Belize. So we will start working on those.

Today my husband will be home very early as he only has a coat to do on a floor. So he will do necessary weeding and some trimming of shrubs and trees. The vegetation just gets out of control if you are not on top of it.
My day will entail finishing the laundry, cleaning my house, taking a nice long walk, making out a grocery list, as we were gone I need to pick up a few supplies early tomorrow morning.

I plan on making strawberry shortcake for tomorrow nights meal (which I still have not planned.) There are no fathers at my house but I will give a call to my son and grandson who will be celebrating his first ever Fathers day.
Tonight for dinner I am grilling a chuck steak. It was a stranger hanging out in my fridge and needed my attention. So I will get a rub on it as soon as it thaws. So to go with the steak this evening I am roasting potato chunks with red bell pepper and shallots. I will serve sliced cucumbers and radishes for some freshness.

I now need to get myself out of this computer chair, away from this screen and start my day. Hubby could be home before I get out my sleepy clothes.
Have a super nice Father's day weekend.

Friday, June 13, 2014

WATERFRONT DEPOT FLORENCE OREGON

We had dinner here last Sunday evening our first night in Florence. We were fortunate that we snagged a reservation at the last minute. This is a very good eatery with a reputation that keeps growing. There was a line out the door. There are only twenty tables and the bar seats about twenty-five. The place was full. The edge of the table in foreground in the middle was our table not bad for a last minute accommodation.
We both ordered their signature dish which is crab crusted halibut with sweet chili sauce, served with a crisp cesar salad. The fish had a crunchy crab crust on top. My fork broke through the crust and then slid into the silky halibut cooked to perfection. A dip into the sweet chili sauce and my taste buds were dancing the rumba.
We will definitely put this restaurant on our list every time we frequent Florence.

Our little five day getaway highlights were our first two nights at the Siuslaw Port Marina RV park adjacent to Old Town. As we walked the boardwalk along the marina and then popped into the many shops and eateries and pubs. Then we moved on toward the ocean and stayed at Heceta Beach RV park. There we enjoyed campfires and I enjoyed my husbands breakfasts that he graced me with cooked on the camp stove outside. No mess for me and the food was so delish. That man can put together a tasty breakfast. Walks on the beach were terribly windy so I declined but hubby went a couple of times coming back with his pockets loaded with shells and rocks. While he was gone from camp I enjoyed the quiet listening to the many song birds while reading.
It was great to get away but always nice to be home again.

Now as I never cleaned the trailer yesterday that is my chore for the day. I do not mind it is small and takes less than an hour. I keep it up while we are away but still I clean it extra good when returning home.
Here are few more photo's of our trip.








Saturday, June 7, 2014

ON A ROAD TRIP 82'

It was on this little trip from Bend to Eugene that I fell in love with my now husband. 
We had been dating for five months and I was not ready to commit to a long term relationship. On the drive home from a fun filled day in Eugene of meeting old friends of my now husbands and having lunch and taking tours of where he went to school and lived I looked at him while he drove us back over the mountain to Bend and realized I had handed my heart over. However it was still almost two years until I told him I loved him though I had heard it from him on numerous occasions. 
This photo was taken on the McKenzie pass. 
I just thought I would write this little story as I ran across this photo while sorting through some photo's to scan. Seems every photo has a story behind it. 



HECTA BEACH KOA RV PARK FLORENCE

This where we stay when we go to Florence and want to be near the beach. It is a nice RV park and a short walk to the beach. We also stay at the Siuslaw Marina RV park in old town Florence. Both very nice in their different ways. I cannot wait for our trip.

Another beautiful day they just keep getting better and better. Love this time of year. Not to hot just perfect. We ate outdoors last night such a warm night and it was peaceful out in our back yard area.

Tonight for dinner I going to make tuna cakes. When I really do not plan a meal I always have the quality tuna in the pantry on hand. My son in law Douglas brings us a case occasionally and we so love it. Pacific Seafood premium albacore tuna. Yum! I am going to make some rice pilaf and a side salad to go with so it will be a nice light meal.

Well I have no chatter this morning and I need to go for my walk as the temperature is perfect for walking right now. See you later!


Friday, June 6, 2014

OH YEAH THE VINO !

It was a good sale at Albertsons grocery yesterday. Not only was all this wine on sale if you buy six bottles mix and match or all the same you get an additional 20% off. I saved $12.00 which is like getting a bottle for free. I always do this when the 20% is offered usually all the grocers offer is 10% on six. So they are chilling out in the wine cooler. I have a rack that holds 40 bottles and a wine cooler that holds 32. So that is 72 bottles of wine. I have been rather neglectful however keeping them both full. When we drink a bottle I need to replace it ASAP. I only have 22 bottles total at present. So I have a lot to replace. I have an assortment of Chardonnay's as I am trying to find my truly favorite ones and stick with them. In reds I have most all the varieties but heavier on the cabs. We will be making a trip to wine country this summer and if we see a good deal on a case of wine we enjoy we will grab it up. Bottom line we both enjoy our wine.

I forgot to mention the Asian meal I prepared it was good but you know what it was a lot more detailed than my simple marinated beef and veggies stir fry and they taste very similar. So I am going to stick with my own version.Sometimes I get irritated with recipes and all the extra steps that are not needed. It seems the extra steps require more prep and extra dishes and pots and pans. I find I can adapt most recipes to fit a one pan or pot method.
Our dinner of polenta, peppers and sausage last night was as good as always. Only this time I really really loved it as I used sweet italian chicken sausage. The flavor of that sausage just added another dimension to the casserole. I really do not have the time to post the recipe with a photo today as I am pressed for time. I do think it is on this blog I will research that when time allows.

I need to share something funny at least it was amusing to me.
As this post centers on wine this is what occurred yesterday afternoon.
First of all my son calls it is about three-thirty he said he was sitting in sun and sipping Rodney Strong chardonnay. At about four PM while still talking to Mike I went and poured an icy cold glass of Chardonnay myself. I am still talking to my son at four-thirty and my hubby walks through the door carrying a bottle of his favortie wine. I started laughing so I am still talking to Mike on the phone and hubby is pouring a glass of cold white wine. While still talking to my son(we have long calls) my hubby and I move outdoors to the patio with our glasses of wine. Then the house phone starts ringing and run in with my cell while still chatting with my son and see it is my daughter on the house phone calling. So I drop off my son saying quick goodbye and I love you. Pick up the house phone and my daughter says, I was just sitting here in the sun sipping a glass of wine and thought I would call and chat for a bit! I just started laughing. What a bunch of wine drinking fools!


Well now it is time to take a quick shower and put on my walking shoes and take my walk before it heats up. It is to be almost 80 degrees today. There is much for me to do today so I best get to it.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

US

Well just look at us!
I love this picture. It was taken in Portland while visiting friends in 1999 or 2000. We were living in Bend at the time. Jim and Kem were the friends we were visiting and we always had such a fun time with them whether they came to our home or we went to theirs. Jim and my hubby had been friends for quite a number of years before I came on the scene. But we all fit like pieces in a puzzle. The day this photo was taken we had all been to downtown Portland. We took the Max and went to a pool hall a big one and played pool for a couple of hours and had brews. Then we went to the White Elephant restaurant I think it was called. An old establishment with an bizarre flair. All of this was near the river in downtown. I remember Jim ordered oysters on the half shell with some sort of sauce off to the side for an appetizer. Oh I dislike oysters but I went along and had one. I more or less gulped it down and almost choked when it slid down my throat.
The rest of meal was wonderful in this unusual but totally Portlanda style restaurant.  Then we rode the Max back to Kem and Jim's and walked to their home from the Max station it was not that far. A really fun weekend and good memories.
Kem and Jim moved to the small town of Elgin in eastern Oregon. We had plans to go see them but it is a long way from here and we never seemed to have the window of time it required to make the trip worthwhile. We miss them. We call on the holidays.

I am off this morning for my grocery shopping and banking. Then home to water yards and work in the office for a while to do a little catch up.

Tonight for dinner I am making an old favorite of ours. It is sausage polenta casserole. I will take a photo this evening and post the recipe tomorrow. I think I may have posted it before but if so it was years ago. I love this casserole as it is juicy with peppers and zucchini and onions and I can use our homemade roasted tomato sauce.

I am going to buzz off now as there is much to do this morning and I want to be out of the house before ten.
Have a good day it is so pretty here I am "loving it"!