Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ed's View

Maezy decided to perch herself on Ed's lap.  Since she wouldn't let him get up, he took this photo.

Days spent at home are so exciting, aren't they?



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Place Of Refuge
2014: A Story Told In Stone
2013: Eddie Sandwich
2012: Finally – Freight To Buzz About!
2011: For The Crybabies
2010: Chillin’ In Utah
2009: Taking The Peas For A Ride In A Cozy Little Shell
2008: Wyth Jane’s Kin In Wytheville
2007: Color In Architecture
2006: Living On
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Last Link Should Be Your First Stop

Photo courtesy of Kwiat
If it's all Greek to you, this might be why.

Tired of one-night-stands?  You're not the only one.


Recipes from La Tavola Marche.  After visiting Fossombrone in Le Marche in 2010, this place is on my list for the future.

No electricity?  No fridge?  A Johnson & Wales graduate?  You can find that classically trained chef in a rural Amish community in Maine.

North Dakota is actually more interesting than you may think.

Want to know which muscles are stretching during those hateful exercises?  Check this out.


I love granola.  I love coconut.  And I think I'm going to love this once I get around to making it!

Still around.  Still batshit crazy. Still utterly clueless.

I'm here to tell you this is true.    


Need an app to help keep you on the fitness track?  Here are fourteen of them.

Like to bake?  This infographic has lots of great information.   

Could this be the sincerest form of flattery or is it straight-up thievery?


Winter is just getting started in Banff and Canada is a huge bargain right now. I think it's time to hit the Canadian Rockies!
But if you're one of those crazy people who doesn't like snow, there's this.  

Hunger is psychological and dieting only makes it worse.  Interesting.

And last but not least, let's not forget that Valentine's Day is coming.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: The Gods Are Angry. Or Laughing.

2014: These Four Guys Always Have The Same Expression On Their Faces
2013: Save Money On Sandwiches, Buy Nice Car
2012: Big Money Needed For A Relaxing, Feel-Good Experience
2011: The Original Metrosexual And The Petting Zoo
2010: Cribs For Corn, Not Celebrities
2009: LL Cool E
2008: Hunt On Hold
2007: The Blondes Come Marching In
2006: Thank You Is Not Enough
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 01, 2016

Cooking Is Love Made Visible

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my father's death - weird, calling it an anniversary. But that's what people do, don't they?  That's me with him in the photo.  I was two weeks old. He was 26.

I wrote about my father's Walnut Crescent Cookies a few months ago.  The poem by Naomi Shihab Nye reminded me of his recipe.  They were always a family favorite and my Aunt makes them to this day as part of her Christmas cookie lineup because my cousins request them.

This is the card that's been in my mother's recipe box for over 39 years, front and back.


I'm posting the recipe because so many memories of my father involve food and cooking. I mean, look at the picture - I'm two weeks old and he's feeding me - we clearly bonded early over a meal.

When I 
sauté garlic, make chicken cutlets, assemble a lasagna, or make a big pot of chili for Ed, I always think of my father. Sometimes I'll be driving and I'll think of something to do with my father, and before I know it, I have a memory that somehow involves food or cooking. It just happens.
So I know it's only a cookie, but it's my father's signature cookie, and it's a great way to publicly mark the day. 

You should make them.  They're delicate and delicious. I promise you'll love them.

Because like Julia Child said, "People who love to eat are the best people."

Get a copy for printing HERE.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Remembering

2014: We Do Not Remember Days, We Remember Moments
2013: Sharing The Long Haul Lifestyle
2012: Love, Peace, And Soooouuulll
2011: Taste The Fire
2010: Finally, A Shot At Playmate Of The Month! (Sorta)
2009: Remembering
2008: Eddie Gets His Eyes Checked Friday
2007: Shifting The Sun
2006: My Daddy Is Gone
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Special Order


Sometimes we actually do get coldish weather.

This is what the coming week looks like.


I couldn't be happier.

Because dreams really do come true.....ha!




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
Clooney Was Not At The End Of The Pier

2014: Where They Build Palaces Out Of Corn
2013: Modern Market Girl
2012: A Berry Good Time
2011: Traveling Through Mountain Ranch
2010: Backroads
2009: If Only I Could Fit All Of This Information On A Bumper Sticker…
2008: Gambling Haze
2007: Published
2006: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Climbing The Regal Horned Lizard

Today Ed went to the top of Tumamoc with Kim and a few of her friends. I sat this one out.

Here's a 360 degree panorama of his view.  Enlarge it to see what he saw.


He said it was steep.

I would have never made it. The hill rises 750 feet in 1.5 miles.

To put that in perspective for my fellow truckers, this hill would require a 9.4% grade sign.

The sign below says, "Tumamoc Hill is an 860-acre conservation site that provides an outdoor, natural laboratory for education and advanced research in ecology and archaeology.  Since 1903, Tumamoc Hill has been providing decades of environmental information available nowhere else.  It often leads the world with innovative research projects in basic ecology, in conservation, and on plants such as saguaro and desert wildflowers.

In recognition of its history and success, Tumamoc Hill has been officially designated a United States National Historic Landmark, a United States Archaeological District, and an Arizona Environmental Study Area."
He said he enjoyed the hike and hopes to do it again.  Just like he's proud of my one-mile walks on flat ground, I'm proud of him tackling the horned lizard.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: The Valley Of The Temples
2014: The Day The South Fell Apart...Again
2013: Island Graffiti
2012: Four Seasons Of Food To Conquer
2011: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
2010: As Seen On TV
2009: Eddie Polishing His Chrome Friday
2008: Traveling With Your Cat
2007: Getting Wet In The Next County
2006: Down With O.P.P.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, January 29, 2016

I'd Rather Be Listening To This All Day


I heard this song on American Idol last night.  I didn't know it but I love it.

It's going on my playlist immediately and will accompany me on my next walk!



Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne) 
by Clean Bandit

Oh
We're a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there's no place I'd rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene

As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat

With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay
Strolling so casually
We're different and the same, gave you another name

Switch up the batteries

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can't shame me
When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be

Ooh ooh

We staked out on a mission to find our inner peace
Make it everlasting so nothing's incomplete
It's easy being with you, sacred simplicity

As long as we're together, there's no place I'd rather be

With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay
Strolling so casually
We're different and the same, gave you another name

Switch up the batteries

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can't shame me
When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be

N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be


When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be (Yeah)

Hoo
(Be)

Yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah, yeah, yeah

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can't shame me
When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be

N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be

When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
North Shore Surfin'

2014: Calling It A Day
2013: Eight Ways To Take It Easy
2012: Dinner With Friends
2011: This Is What Sheer Joy Looks Like
2010: I’ll Have The Tootsie Rolls And The Butterfinger And The Lollipop And The Gummi Bears And The Hershey Kisses And The Snickers Bar And The M&M’s And…
2009: Meals On Wheels
2008: Mercury Dropping
2007: James Cameron For $79.99 A Night
2006: The Town That Big Tobacco Built
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walking Along The Canyon Of Gold

This morning I cranked out another walk with Ed and my friend Kim.  A good portion of the trail runs along the Cañada del Oro wash, which when it rains turns from what's generally a dry river bed all year long, into a raging river. There was no water today. The sun was shining and the air was cold.  Perfect walking weather for me.

I've never been on this trail before.  Shocker.  Kim has walked it and Ed has biked it. Part of it is used for horses so we had to wade through a lot of deep sand - easy on horse hooves, not so great for me.  It was like walking on deep beach sand and I had to empty my shoes when we got to the end of that section.  I wasn't too happy about that.

Oh, and there's also a hill. It doesn't look like a hill because it's so gradual, but I felt it. If I'm going to do this hateful exercise thing, I need to start out on land that's Kansas flat. Baby steps.


I think tomorrow I may try an indoor walk with Leslie Sansone and then do another outdoor thing with Kim on Saturday.

I have to get as many walks in as I can while I'm home because when we go back on the road, I'm going to have to be used to this shit.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Aloooooooha
2014: Better Than No Touch Freight
2013: The First Step Is To Admit You Have A Problem
2012: The Top Five Sweet Scents In My World
2011: A Weekend Full Of Bright Stars And Not Much Else
2010: I’m Floored
2009: Two Worlds Collide
2008: Girl Crush
2007: Silly Boys
2006: It’s Nowhere Near Mexico, Y’all
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ed Knows How To Break The Fast

I like simple, usually cold breakfasts - cottage cheese and fruit or yogurt and fruit.  That's it.  Occasionally I'll do oatmeal but I really don't like to get up in the morning and cook, and I really don't like eating a big meal in the morning.

The only exception is when someone else is cooking - and usually that means a place where I can get French toast or a Belgian waffle since those are two things I never make.

Ed, on the other hand, likes a big, hearty breakfast. And he'll eat almost anything you put in front of him - pancakes, quiche, waffles, frittata, biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs, breakfast burrito, anything.  He even ate pickled fish for breakfast when he was in Norway.

So while I'm scooping out yogurt and cutting up strawberries, he's whipping up cheesy omelettes with salsa and avocado, crispy bacon (he always makes two pieces for me), and a side of Dave's Killer Bread, toasted.

I crank out some pretty delicious meals from midday on, but Ed is your man if you want to start your day with something substantial and delicious.

And you can place your order by just pointing at the photo above.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
The Mighty Mo

2014: We Work A Lot, We're Fat, And You Can't Get By Without Us
2013: Domestic Cat Life
2012: Being Appreciated
2011: Just A Phone Call Away
2010: A Practically Perfect Circle
2009: My Frozen Kentucky Home
2008: On Tour And Collecting Paper As We Go
2007: Finding Your Way
2006: Trivia From The First Tsar Of Russia
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Furniture Recon

We went shopping today for furniture. We started out at Bassett, which is going out of business after being in town for over 10 years, so we wanted to see what they had left. After Bassett, we hit Sam Levitz.  They have so much stuff.  Lots of nice things, really pretty living room groupings, dining sets, accessories.  I saw a sectional couch I wanted to live in.

My mother bought a new bedroom set which gets delivered this weekend.  She's beyond excited.

Ed and I just walked away with ideas.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
Deck Walkers

2014: The Land Of The Blue Angels
2013: Taking A KW For A Spin
2012: New York And Snow – My Two Favorite Things
2011: Doin’ The Math
2010: Well, Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit
2009: I Even Have Time To Go On Strike
2008: Teaching Them Young
2007: You Gotta Be In It To Win It
2006: Cinema Stupido
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Natural Desert

Our friends came to visit us this weekend and while they were here we walked the property - Ed was showing them the points the surveyor marked - and took some pictures. This is one of mine, looking at the house from the east side of the property.

Out here we have what's called "natural desert landscape". I think it's kinda hideous. Brown, brownish-green, green, greenish-gray, gray, grayish brown. Every once in a while you'll see purple, and in the spring there are flowers, but it's still essentially blah.

There are lots of companies that do beautiful landscape designs. Some use the natural desert as you see it here, just a lot neater and usually incorporating decorative rock into the layout, and others do more greenery, maybe patches of grassy areas, and colorful flowers.

At one time we had lemon, grapefruit, and pomegranate trees in our backyard, and the front yard hadn't been washed away by heavy rains like we had two years ago and then again just recently.  We're considering in the next year doing some work to the yard and making it a little more appealing.

When that eventually happens, I'll be glad to have some photos to look back on.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
Ed Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa

2014: NOT An Oasis
2013: Drop The Flag And Take Me Home
2012: Cottonwood Trading Company
2011: Service With A Smile
2010: Getting The Red Out, One Barn At A Time
2009: Obamaduck!
2008: How A Four Year Old Can Make You Feel Like Crap For Trying To Get Out Of Doing Yard Work
2007: Florida Fro
2006: Hail To The McGriddle Gods
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Fell Into A Vat Of Caramel-Colored Carbonated Water

Carbonated Water:  Fizzy water, created by dissolving carbon dioxide gas under pressure into regular 'ol water.

Caramel Color:  Water-soluble food coloring found in everything from bread to soft drinks, beer to barbecue sauce, potato chips to cough syrup. It's in a lot of stuff.

Aspartame: An artificial sweetener 200 times sweeter than sugar.  Some people believe aspartame causes cancer.  I'm not one of them.

Phosphoric Acid: A clear, colorless, odorless liquid with a syrupy consistency that gives colas their tangy flavor.  It's also commonly used for rust removal. But, a consumer watchdog group found that "only a small fraction of the phosphate in the American diet comes from additives in soft drinks.  Most come from meat and dairy products."

Potassium Benzoate: A food preservative found in fruit juice, sparkling drinks, pickles, salad dressings, syrups, jams, olives, etc.  It's also what gives many fireworks their "whistle".

Natural Flavors: Nobody knows what the hell this really means anymore.

Citric Acid: A weak organic acid naturally found in citrus fruits - oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes - that's a natural preservative and also used to add a sour taste to foods and soft drinks.

Those seven ingredients, combined, make pure evil.

OK, really, it's just what they put in Caffeine Free Diet Coke.

The very same Diet Coke I've been drinking, even though I swore off of it a little over two weeks ago.

I have to confess - I've failed miserably in the Diet Coke department.  I fell off the wagon a bit in other areas too - some sugar and my favorite General Foods International drink - but I did make some improvements.

I walked.  Only three times, but about a mile each time.  And I'm doing more this week.

I didn't have any Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, cheese danishes, or white rice. I said no to dessert more times than not, and ordered a few salads when dining out.  Shit, dining out is a killer because I like SO MANY things!

I did very well eating breakfast - which isn't hard because it's the easiest meal for me to tackle- did pretty decent with portion sizes, and I didn't post one kale recipe.

My friends came to visit and I made some really delicious meals.  Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Black Olives, Brown Rice, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (which were amaaaazing!).  Another night I made Flounder stuff with Crabmeat and Shrimp, a Quinoa and Five Grain blend, and Roasted Green Beans.  And the last night, spaghetti (for Marlaina), but also what I thought was a kick-ass Spinach Lasagna. Although I did go a little overboard on the Artisan breads from Sprouts.

On the upside, since September 30, I have lost 16 pounds.  You'd never know it by looking, but that's what the scale told me. And I had my friend Marlaina calibrate it while she was here.  She knows her weight to the ounce and confirmed its accuracy.  On her, a 16-pound loss would turn her into a waif, on me, the difference is as visible as a waif-er. But it's still gone.

So, that's really it.  Just wanted to check in, tell you I'm still working on it, thank you for the support and encouragement via emails and comments, and to let you know I'm still continuing on.

I'm not completely convinced it's going to get easier, but I suspect it will.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Three Squares And A Midnight Snack

2014: They Were Five
2013: Wake Of Imagination
2012: Woman With Cat
2011: From Blue Grass To Wine Country
2010: Plump With Fat Quarters
2009: Eddie Out With The Old, In With The New Friday
2008: You Can Get Them At Home Depot??
2007: There Are Never Enough Hours In The Day To Do Anything When You Have A Baby
2006: Tequila Sunrise
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Drop Zone

Those are not specks on your screen.  Those nine black dots that you're currently trying to scrape off your screen with a fingernail, are skydivers.

Yes, skydivers.  People who jump out of planes.  On purpose and supposedly for fun.

We picked up our friends Marlaina and MacG at the T/A in Eloy today.  They're spending the weekend with us.  Our first stop was lunch and since it's Eloy - which is basically consists of dirt, cotton, and correction centers - our choices were limited.

We found the Bent Prop Saloon & Cookery located on the grounds of Skydive Arizona.

When we arrived we saw planes circling and skydivers falling from the sky. Lots of them - at one point, we counted 20 divers in the sky.

We all ordered the Bent Prop burger - not bad, served with a giant slice of green chile - and scarfed down our meals since all four of us were on the edge of starving.

There were only a few customers in the bar area, more in the main dining area, and several sitting outside dining and watching skydivers hit the dirt.
The quiet of the building interior belied the crowd just outside the doors. People sitting on the back patio of the salon, wandering the grounds, and in their own lawn chairs just in front of the landing area.
It was definitely a good call since lunch came with a show.  After watching a few jumps - and one guy fall to the earth without a parachute (we were told he was okay) - we headed back to the house.
I've never seen skydivers this closely.  The divers seemed pretty young (and fit!) and seemed experienced, if their landings were any indication.  I only saw one guy come in and land on his ass.
There were also quite a few guys in camo since they also do military jump training at this location.
Skydive Arizona bills itself as the "world's largest skydiving center" since they average 135,000 dives per year.

There's a chance of death involved - a guy just died in a jump a few days ago, and another one on New Year's Eve - so it's not anything I would ever do, but all in all, it was an interesting find.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
King (And Queen) Of The World

2014: Winding It Up Before Leaving Town
2013: Who Is A Bahamian?
2012: Pay No Attention To The Cat Behind The Curtain
2011: Papa Can You Hear Me?
2010: The Err Erudes Them
2009: Sorry, no post for this date.
2008: Addicted
2007: When You Just Can’t Decide Between Dinner And Breakfast
2006: Purple Industrial Skies
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Her Talent Is Black And White


My mother recently shared this video with me, knowing I would love it.  It's from a 2012 X-Factor audition.

The singer's name is Panda Ross.

Her personality is amazing and her voice is great.

Things like this make me very happy.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Two Old Ladies And A Truck

Vejigantes Taino - Puerto Rico collage by Galina Victoria (2013)
My mother recently went to see the new apartment of one of her lady friends.  While there, she dispensed with decorating ideas.  My mother has what one might call an artist's eye, which can mean two things - she sees shades of colors that the untrained eye doesn't and has a keen sense of what looks good together, or everything in the place is so colorful it looks like a Puerto Rican decorated.

The day after her visit, she was so achy she couldn't move.  She did too much. And she and her friend fell while moving a rug.  She's 73 years old and doesn't need to be moving furniture.

Which brings me to the conversation we had a few months ago about her desire to purchase a gun so she could defend herself.

From what I don't know.  Maybe javelinas?

When she recently brought it up again - because she heard some news story that involved self-defense - I had to, pardon the pun, shoot her down.

"See?  That's why I need a gun." she said, "In case that happens to me."

"Mom, please.  First, it's unlikely anything like that is going to happen to you.  And second, you can't even move an area rug without falling over.  What makes you think you can wield a gun??"

So if you see a chubby little Italian lady in a super-bright, colorful muumuu coming at you...

Run - because she might be packing - or distract her by asking for help to move your furniture.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Leaving San Diego In A Lavender Glow
2014: Thin And Crispy. Just How I Like 'Em
2013: Amber Jack
2012: Adding A Poodle To The Mix
2011: If…
2010: How The West Was Fun
2009: Pecking Order
2008: The Sympathy Train Stopped Dead In Its Tracks
2007: Shalom
2006: A.D.I.D.A.S.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Sea Of Blue

Ed and I are always watching HGTV, looking for houses, and talking about home design.  OK, maybe that last one is just me, but we do indulge in the other two as a couple.

I have several websites and blogs I like to browse for ideas.  These are my current five favorites.

Houzz - This one pretty much covers everything and it's my top site.

Wayfair - if you haven't seen their commercials, you probably live in a cave with no TV.

Dear Lillie - This is a new one I found and I love it.

Design Sponge - A long-time favorite.

House of Turquoise - I have loved this blog for years. I'm not even a blue person and it makes me want to add shades of the color everywhere. And I LOVE the huge photos!




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 
We Are On The Biggest Boat In The Marina

2014: The Only Thing I Haven't Done
2013: United Tails
2012: I Grew Up In The O.C. Too
2011: Snowy Arrival
2010: Not A Pretty Sight
2009: Marking This Day In History With A Vibrant Spot Of Color
2008: Lighting To Do Laundry By
2007: The Benefits Of Dating A White Boy
2006: Shhhhhh, You’ll Wake The Driver
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!