Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Kind Of Salad

With the leftover chicken Ed made on the smoker, I made one of my favorite Chicken Salad recipes from Provence Breads and Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee.

7 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used the leftover ones from yesterday)
Salt & Pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lavender
1 lemon, juiced

3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup sliced roasted almonds

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 bunch celery, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chives
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves

DRESSING (Mix all ingredients together in seperate bowl)
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Clean the chicken thoroughly.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, cayenne, lavender, lemon, and garlic on chicken.  Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Let chicken cool, and then pull it into small strips.

Put pulled chicken into a large bowl and add roasted almonds, onions, celery, dressing, and herbs.  Mix well.

Serve by itself or on a sandwich.


Click here for the original recipe source and ability to print copy for your records.

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2016: In Disguise
2015: Hawaii Five-O
2014: I Like Big Boteros And I Cannot Lie
2013: The Young Never Have Trouble Screwing
2012: Making Tracks Across The Country
2011: Eddie Is The King Of The Dome
2010: Do It For Half An Hour A Day
2009: Sipping In Nyack
2008: The Tink Tink Tinkle Of Recycling
2007: Ralph’s Service Station
2006: The Isle Of Capri
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

No Chickens 'Round Here

Photo by Ed
Another delicious meal from the smoker.  We made GIANT chicken breasts, on the bone and with skin (the horror!), which no one seems to eat anymore because it's "so bad for you".  Well, we're no chickens!

The skin was crispy and AMAZING! if you were wondering.  Paired with roasted green beans, mashed potatoes, and a green salad and our meal was complete.

All this smoker meat we're eating is probably highly carcinogenic, but I guess you've gotta die from something.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Piquing Interest

2015: Not Your Average Hula Girls
2014: Some Links Are Sexier Than Others
2013: Who Says I'm Spoiled?
2012: So That’s How It’s Done
2011: Sunny Bright Yellow Moments Ahead
2010: Loaded
2009: C’mon, Just Do It Already!
2008: Counterproductive
2007: If You Need A Reason To Cook More Often, I Think I Have One
2006: Warning: May Contain Traces Of Nuts
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Inside The Queen

Earlier this month we took a day trip to Bisbee, Arizona for Ed's birthday.  He'd never been to the historic mining town, and had never been in a real live copper mine.

This mine ceased production in 1975, but for 100 years before that closure, the mine continuously produced metals valued at $6.1 billion in 1975 dollars!  It was one of the largest production valuations of all the mining districts in the world.

That wealth came from "8,032,352,000 lbs of copper, 2,871,786 ounces of gold, 77,162,986 ounces of silver, 304,627,600 lbs of lead and 371,945,900 lbs of zinc". Here's an interesting bit - Phelps Dodge, the company who eventually acquired the Copper Queen Mine, is a company my mother worked for when she was a young woman starting her career in the Bronx, New York.

Once we entered the visitor's center and paid our admission, we headed over to the area to suit up for the trek into the earth.  

 Hardhats, safety vests, and headlamps.
Ed, ready to head into the mine.
We all pile onto a rickety rail car, straddling a padded wooden bench seat, our lights ready to go for when we enter the tunnel.
The tour guides for the mine tour are all former miners.  We had two extremely knowledgeable guides who took us through some of the inner workings of the mine. Here's one of the rickety staircases we ascended to get to the center of a room to look at an area where the miners spent time chipping away at the veins of copper.
Once in the cavern area, the guide pointed out some of the areas where some of the metals showed on the rock face.  All of us tourists shined our lights in those areas to get a better look.
 Very important throughout the mine - signs pointing to the way out.
 The tour takes about an hour and takes you 1,500 feet into the mine.  And, a bonus for me - it's always 47 degrees underground.  I must have been a cave dweller in a previous life.  
Once the tour is over, the mine door is closed until the next group is ready to enter.  

Time to hit the gift shop!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Glorious Tulips

2015: Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
2014: ¡Bienvenido! 
2013: We Couldn't Catch Him
2012: It’s Vital For My Existence
2011: Boxed In By Hills
2010: Ask A Trucker
2009: Getting Our Truck Tweaked While Making New Friends And Enjoying A Free Lunch Pie*
2008: Sunglasses Also Required Here
2007: Windows Vista, Trucker Style
2006: Being A Girl Again
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Ed prepared ribs and sausages this week, all using his new smoker.  I didn't get a picture of the ribs, but the photo above contains bratwurst, spicy Italian sausage, and Andouille sausage. 

All were very yum!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Stop And Pray
2015: Stateroom 342
2014: The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God
2013: My Two Cents On Oscar Fashion
2012: A Little Nip Of A Love Affair
2011: It’s A Serious Addiction
2010: Why Play Fantasy Football When You Can Spend Your Time Making Lists For The Halle Experiment?
2009: I Hope There Isn’t Going To Be A Quiz
2008: Sunglasses Required
2007: Golden Eye
2006: Making A List And Checking It Twice
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Only A Boob Drives Into A 'Boob

Traveling west on Interstate 10 in New Mexico, Ed came to a sudden stop causing me to wake from my deep and dreamy slumber.  When I got up and asked what was going on, he said "Haboob!"

He quickly pulled over to the side so no one would slam into the back of us.  Once he knew we were clear - and there were plenty of vehicles backed up behind us - he started to creep forward with everyone else.

These dust storms are sudden and extremely dangerous.  A few years ago in Phoenix one caused a terrible pileup resulting in several deaths, just days before Christmas.  Horrible. This is why paying attention to what's going on up ahead is a crucial aspect of driving safely, and reacting quickly is of utmost importance.

Once we got further into the blowing dust, we saw some vehicles stopped in the slow lane.  A big rig ran into the back of another big rig, causing substantial damage to the front of their truck.  I shot a little video which you can see here.

If you see a dust storm, it's probably best not to drive into it.  Here are some tips on what you should do if you encounter one.

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2016: A Citrus Oasis Awaits Me
2015: Ed Travels Light
2014: La Ventanita
2013: Big Fat Proof Of Your Weight
2012: This Could Be Very Confusing For Men
2011: The King Of Thrift
2010: Dances With Sheepskin
2009: The Seat You Offer Your Arch Enemy
2008: The Man With The Silver Handbag
2007: Silver Snowscape
2006: Let Go Let Flow
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sometimes Inspiration Comes From Having Cool Tools

One of my shopping obsessions is stores that sell kitchen stuff.  I don't always buy, but I love to look.  I found a cute place on Fourth Avenue in Tucson - items pictured in the photo above - but can't remember the name of the store!  Man, I'm getting old.

These are my other favorite cookware stores, the names of which I can remember:

Sur La Table - Probably my all-time favorite cookware store.  I can die in this store and be happy doing it.

Williams-Sonoma - My second favorite store.  The items for sale beg to be used.

Crate & Barrel - Just beautiful, useful stuff.

Table Talk - A local company with almost everything I need.

Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's - Same company, three different stores.  Offers great stuff at discounted prices.

Le Creuset - I love the classic enamel-covered cast iron pots but have yet to own one.  I need one, but I'm weak now and don't like such a heavy pan.  I have a hard enough time lifting Ed's cast iron Lodge frying pan.  The only Le Creuset products I have are two coffee mugs.  Love 'em.

World Market - Lots of great dinnerware sets, kitchen storage products, barware.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Drill, Baby, Drill
2012: After This, It’s Time To Close The Left Door For A While

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Vintage Sip

Vintage soda bottles are seen in the Miners and Merchants Antique Center on Main Street in Bisbee, Arizona.

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Amateur Arborists

2015: Sea Day
2014: Art Deco Color
2013: Formed Around A Grain Of Sand
2012: Pinwheels, Cartwheels, What’s The Difference?
2011: Maybe You Left It On Mars
2010: The Art Of A French Cooking Friend
2009: Eddie Supervises Friday
2008: Squeaky Clean
2007: Rushing No More
2006: My Constant Gardner
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

So This Happened Today

Today was a nice, overcast day.  Cool, cloudy.  One of my favorite kinds of days in Tucson. On average, we have about 290 days of sun a year.  That's a lot of sun, way too much for me.  I relish the days where it decides to stay behind the clouds.  

We even had a little rain today, probably from the storm that's hitting California.  Among the cool air and the spurts of rain, we were treated to a rainbow.  Actually, it was a double rainbow.  I first saw it out my living room window, one end of the rainbow cutting through the roof of the house across the way.

It was enough of a sight for me to get my ass off the couch and walk outside to see the entire thing.  Spectacular!

A nice way to end a weekend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Agrarian
2015: Tied Off
2014: Seek And Ye Shall Find
2013: Frantically Trying To Get Back To Indonesia
2012: I’d Like Some Snow For Dessert
2011: Getting A Little Carried Away
2010: On A Need To Know Basis
2009: Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong
2008: Flying Into The Sun
2007: Riding The Rails
2006: Keeping Me Quiet With A Chocolate Snap
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Demo Day

So....we started a mini-renovation on our kitchen counters.

We are planning a complete renovation sometime in the future, gutting the existing interior and rebuilding it to resemble the architect's drawing, but I hated this kitchen and wanted to do something until that takes place.  These tile countertops were old, some of the tiles were cracked, the grout was horrible, and I hated the unevenness of the surface. 

It all started with me chipping a few tiles off the small counter surface near the fridge.  It was so easy.  Because they practically peeled away effortlessly, we decided to do the whole thing, thinking a few small, simple changes could make the whole kitchen look different.

Well.  It turns out they only came off easily IN THAT ONE SPOT!  The rest of the counter was like mining rock with a child-sized pickaxe.  Me, Ed, and my friend Kim spent hours chipping the tile off of the counter.  
In the photo above, Ed is using an air hammer to get the tile off.  And that still wasn't easy.  We started by hammering the individual tiles - which surprisingly didn't break as easily as I thought they would, then we used the butt end of an axe which broke part of the wood underneath, and then Ed finally decided to use the air hammer.  That worked, but took quite a bit of time and caused Ed's hands to ache from the constant vibration.
I was really surprised the tiles didn't come off in big chunks.  Little pieces flew everywhere - we all were wearing safety goggles to protect our eyes and ear plugs to block out the noise from the banging Kim and I were doing and the air hammer Ed was using. 
Once we got all of the tile off, it wasn't as smooth as we thought it was going to be.  We had all these ideas - tile over it, put wood over it, pour concrete - but we weren't sure which would be the best plan, so my brother came over to give us some advice.

That brainstorming session turned into him and Ed taking the entire countertop completely off.  Had we known that' was going to happen, we wouldn't have spent all that time chipping away all the tile!

This is what it looked like at the end of the first day, halfway through:   

In the course of our demolition, we discovered that my brother tiled this counter in 1992, which we found out because once they got the countertop off, there was a notation my brother left on the wood underneath that said "Rebuilt by American Tile West 5/92".  My brother has this thing about signing his jobs, you just never know where you'll find a little love note from him.

Twenty-five years this tile was on there.  And it probably would have lasted another 25 years based on how well it was secured.  My brother wasn't messing around when he put this together.

After much deliberation, we decided to have a laminate countertop installed.  It's inexpensive, it will be a solid surface, easy to keep clean, and will look nice until we do the complete house renovation.  Ed and I are going to attempt to tile the backsplash ourselves.

We'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

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2015: The Nuts And Bolts Of It
2014: Gorgeous, Rich, And Rugged. And That's Just The Bag.
2013: Back To Basics
2012: I Can Think Of Better Ways To Spend Hump Day
2011: Can I Appoint Myself The Baroness Of Cattle?
2010: This Time Losing The Wallet Really Means Losing The Wallet
2009: Marley & Me
2008: Eddie Gets Handy Friday
2007: The Perfect Neapolitan Slice
2006: The King Of The Flying Salmon
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Fanciest Digs In Town

The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona was built between 1898 and 1902 by the Phelps Dodge mining company.  It was used as a place to entertain and lodge investors and dignitaries that came to town to visit the Queen Mine, the only reason people came to Bisbee.

For nearly a hundred years, the mine produced "8 billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver and 2.8 million ounces of gold along with millions of pounds of zinc, lead, and manganese."  Phelps Dodge made a lot of money in what was the most productive copper mine in Arizona in the early 1900s.

The hotel is a four-story Victorian-era structure, built in the style of an Italian villa. Construction of the hotel was not easy as it was built into the side of a mountain which had to be blasted away to make room for the structure. The walls of the hotel are nearly two feet thick to keep it cool during the summer.

It is considered to be the longest continuously operated hotel in the state of Arizona.

The mosaic tile, seen above in the entry hall and below in the lobby, is an original feature and was imported from Italy.  
The front desk is made from Tiger Oak and back in the day was encased in a wrought-iron security cage.  The safe behind the desk came from the copper mine across the street.  It was used to house the payroll for the miners but eventually became too small for the amount of money it needed to hold.

Phelps Dodge liked to pay their workers in cash, knowing it would come back to them when the employees bought goods and drinks.

The hotel is said to be haunted and has been featured on TV shows that focus on the paranormal.

According to Wikipedia, "The most famous ghost is that of a woman in her thirties by the name of Julia Lowell. It is said that she was a prostitute and she used the hotel for her and her clients. She fell madly in love with one of her clients and when she told him this he no longer wanted to see her. She took her own life at the hotel. Guests and staff at the hotel say that they feel her presence on the second and third floors of the west side of the building. Male staff and guests have reported hearing a female voice whispering in their ear. Others have also reported seeing her dancing provocatively at the foot of the stairs."

This nude, which hangs in the hotel saloon, is said to be Julia Lowell.

The hotel has 45 rooms and "modern" conveniences like air conditioning, color TV, and wifi.

We did not stay at the hotel as we were only there for the day, but my brother and his wife got engaged there and they've been married now for 24 years.

So the Copper Queen isn't only haunted, it's also a good luck charm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Moon Rising
2015: Almost There
2014: Winter Water Running Through Watertown
2013: The Pretty Pink Sailor
2012: Many Thanks To Those Of You Who Come To Peer Through My Window
2011: And I Thought My Feet Were Big!
2010: ABC. Easy As 123. As Simple As Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, Baby You And Me
2009: Under The Black Palm Tree
2008: The Zoo In Stateroom 7377
2007: Pillars
2006: Fiori Di Como
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Queen Of Copper's King

Here's Ed getting ready to take the Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee, Arizona.

I sat in this very spot just a mere 21 years ago, the last time I visited the mine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2016: Working The Land
2015: Pre-Columbian Toothlace
2014: Who Needs Sochi? We've Got Watertown.
2013: On The Brink Of A Duel
2012: Cheap And Accessible
2011: What’s In A Name?
2010: Missing The Day
2009: Shameless Self Promotion
2008: Dwarfed By A Behemoth Of The Sea
2007: Ditched
2006: Hudson River Solitude
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More Like A Submarine Sandwich

Ed just started watching "Trainwreck", the movie written by Amy Schumer.  I'm not a big Amy Schumer fan but I just overheard a line her character uttered that I liked:

"I'm sorry, I just... I don't know why we treat these athletes like heroes just because they can skate fast or kick a ball in a net. I just think it's weird. No offense. I just think that sports are stupid, and anyone who likes them is just, like, a lesser person. And has a small intellect."

That made me want to watch the rest of this cinematic train wreck.

PS:  Tilda Swinton is unrecognizable in this movie.

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Good Stuff, Maynard!

2015: Spiky On The Outside, Sinfully Delicious Inside
2014: The Most Awkward Descent Down A Snow Covered Hill. Ever.
2013: At The Top Of My Favorite Cities List
2012: Not Looking Anymore
2011: There Is Hope
2010: Where The Bunnies Of The Desert Hang Out
2009: The Marion County Shirt Factory Incident
2008: Eddie Roams The Mayan Ruins Friday
2007: Self Service Antiques
2006: Begin At Once
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Is Everything

It should have never happened, but it did.

WTF is happening?  It's twenty-fucking-seventeen, people.

You're not going to shut us down.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Shocking

2015: Waiting For Turistas
2014: The Still Before The Storm
2013: Sizzle, Drizzle, And Pour
2012: Dreams Explored Over Dinner
2011: I’m In Love And It’s Not Even Valentine’s Day Yet
2010: Eddie As Fisherman Friday
2009: Birds And Barbells On Muscle Beach
2008: A Girl On The Shores Of Cozumel
2007: I’m Not Exactly Sure What You’re Proposing Here
2006: The Blizzard Of 2006
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Living Snapshot Of Another America

Lowell, Arizona was a small mining town settled in the late 1800s.  This is a picture of Erie Street, its main drag.  Read more about the town here.  

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2016: C'mere, Give Me A Hug

2015: La Bufadora And Almejas Gratinadas
2014: In The Nick Of Time
2013: This Business Means Business
2012: A Nodding Donkey On The Hill
2011: What A Croc
2010: Flash Of Pole
2009: They Hire ‘Em Young These Days
2008: Setting Sail At Sunset
2007: Happy Bee
2006: It’s Not Unusual
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Queen Of The Copper Camps

A view of Bisbee as you come down the hill, approaching from the west.  You can see the Copper Queen Hotel (beige building, red roof) to the right of the church steeple.

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He Ran By And Told Me To Share Links

2015: Heading To Shore
2014: Chocolate And Gnocchi - The Best Of Any World
2013: Looking And Smelling Good Behind The Wheel Of A Big Rig
2012: Necessary Evil
2011: Getting Drunk On Summer Fun
2010: How Is It The Fish Don’t Freeze???
2009: A Meal Even 300 Year Old Monks Would Love
2008: Not A Knock Knock Joke
2007: Eddie Shades Friday
2006: The Idiot And The Box
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!