Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Roasting In The Arizona Desert

I am loving the hell out of roasted vegetables.  Not loving how hot my kitchen is getting this time of year in blistering hot Arizona, but loving the veggies.

In the photo above you'll see the cauliflower I roasted last night, which I sliced into "steaks" and roasted with whole cloves of garlic.

I've been doing carrots, peppers, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and more.

Here are some roasted vegetable recipes I like.  Some I've tried, some are on my to-do list.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Peppers and Red Onions

Roasted Broccoli

Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower (can you tell Cauliflower is a favorite?)

Roasted Red Peppers

Italian Roast Potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Garlic (I loooooove this!)

This is one of the easiest ways to prepare vegetables.  Toss in oil, season, throw on a sheet pan.  Bliss in less than an hour.

Get on it!

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2016: Summer Reading
2015: Music = Sheer Joy
2014: Bean There, Done That
2013: Capital Letters Indeed
2012: Look For The Sign
2011: This Is My Life
2010: The Power Of Liberty
2009: A Day At The Park
2008: A Body Temperature Of 98.6 – The Only Requirement To Work AT McDonald’s
2007: Laughter Is The Best Medicine
2006: Homeless Shelter
2005: Sorry, no post for this day. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Scrambled, Poached, Or Over Easy?

A quail egg and a chicken egg.
I rescued a quail egg today.  Well, I guess not really rescue since it's not back where it came from.  I just saved it from being eaten by a predator.

I looked out of my bedroom window and saw two GIANT black crows toying with what I thought were white rocks.  I was thinking to myself, we don't have any round white rocks like that in the yard, where'd those come from?

I banged on the window and scared the crows away but one took off with this "rock" in his beak.

I went outside to investigate and when I bent over to get a closer look, I realized it was an egg.  I picked it up.  It was warm.  I figured the crow must have stolen it from, or knocked it out of, a nest.  I looked up in the big tree above me for a nest but didn't see anything. I took the egg in the kitchen and put it on the counter in a small bowl.

I didn't know at the time it was from a quail.  Only after I described it to my brother did I learn it was a quail egg and from what I know, quail do everything on the ground, under bushes and such, so it's unlikely the nest was in the tree.  Where did the eggs come from?

I did a little Googling and found that quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. The only person I know who would probably enjoy a tiny little quail egg - because she has very refined tastes - is my friend Marlaina.

I like to cook and I always make sure we have good meals when they're here visiting, but I can tell you right now, I am not foraging around under bushes in my hot and dirty yard to collect eggs the size of large grape.

That's where I draw the line.

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2016: Office Hours
2015: Baking In The Evening Sun
2014: Sundown Heaven Town
2013: Hold The Vodka
2012: Forging America In The Holy Land Of Steel
2011: Captivating
2010: Not That He’s Insensitive Or Anything
2009: Ode To Milk
2008: Eddie On The Rocks Friday
2007: The Unintentional Beating Of A Red State Child
2006: Sorry, no post for this day.
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Back In The Saddle Again

This weekend I took Ed to The Silver Saddle Steakhouse, a place I haven't been to in 19 years.  The restaurant was founded in 1980 and grills steak over mesquite wood located in the dining area.

The Silver Saddle Story on the menu reads, 

"In keeping with old southwestern tradition, a custom steel and brick mesquite wood grill and pit were built.  An antique buggy wheel with welded horseshoes attached served to raise the cooking grill to appropriate levels above the smoky mesquite wood fire.
Burning Arizona's native wood lends an unmatched smoke flavor to the food, plus this amazing wood, while burning, can produce temperatures which can exceed 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, so we suggest that no one stand too close to our open fire.  

Over 21 different varieties of mesquite wood grow in the areas of Arizona and Mexico. Our bar top in the Tapadera Lounge was formed from a large mesquite tree milled in Trincheras, Mexico.  Strips of bubinga, an African hardwood, highlight the mesquite wood to create a bar top of unique natural beauty.

Every tabletop in the house was handcrafted of willow with highlights of purpleheart, another African hardwood, which deepens in color with exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

The block and timber walls, built over fifty years ago, wear their newly remodeled, resawn fitted pine planks like a new coat.

The greatest care has been employed to present our guests with a comfortable environment in which to dine.  Blended with our pride in excellence of food and beverages offered, we hope the Silver Saddle stays at the top of your lists of fine restaurants."

The restaurant is located just off of Interstate-10, in a sketchy part of town, next to a seedy motel, but don't let that deter you.  Believe me, it doesn't deter the locals, the place is always packed.  Don't let the challenging parking situation scare you off.  Find a spot, and get inside.

It's a true cowboy steakhouse atmosphere.  Your mouth will start watering before you get into the building, as you can smell the mesquite and the steaks cooking from outside.  The place has a comfortable vibe.  You will see college students, families, old timers, and businessmen dining side-by-side.  It's not a chain, so don't expect to see a blooming onion, but take advantage of watching the steaks grilled before your very eyes.  They have a big salad bar and the staff is super-friendly.  

You will definitely walk away satisfied.

If you're in Tucson or just passing through, check it out.

It's going to be hard to pass up a great steak grilled over authentic mesquite wood!

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2016: Wild Kingdom
2015: Cuteness Overload Alert
2014: The World Of Water And Wind And Stone And Wood
2013: Hours Of Excitement
2012: Earl Is The Only Grey In My Life
2011: I Gave The Tatooed Behive A Chance And I Liked It!
2010: A Diet Coke With A Squeeze Of iPod, Please
2009: Eddie In The Creepy Sailor Mask Friday
2008: No Wonder Sailors Came Up With A Special Knot
2007: Bridge To The Gate Of Heaven
2006: Summer Staples
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Killer Bikes

The shopping for the new motorcycle has begun.  Ed's salivating, so I suspect it's going to be the shortest shopping trip ever.

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2016: Insta Addicted

2015: I Solemnly Swear
2014: From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Do Grow
2013: No Stack Security
2012: My New Obsession
2011: FANtastic
2010: You Won’t See These Giant Feet In A Museum
2009: Semantically Speaking
2008: He Fought The Ed And The Ed Won
2007: Electric Fence
2006: You’re Such A Pansy!!
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Education In Ruins

 This is the Kent Public School in Kent, Texas.
Located at Exit 176 on Interstate 10 in Kent, Texas, this abandoned school sits is easily accessible from the service road.
I've passed this building hundreds of times just in the last year, and probably several hundred more times in the past thirteen years and have always wanted to stop.  I was hoping to get here as the sun was setting for that really cool light but it had dipped below the horizon before I could reach this point.  I used what light I had to get these shots.
Whenever I see buildings like this I wonder why someone didn't rescue it.  It's just a very cool stone building.  I guess having a twenty-five to fifty person population since its inception probably doesn't warrant a renovation of any kind.

I found this information on a ghost town website:

"Kent is an unincorporated village in West Texas at the intersection of Interstate Highway 10. It was founded before 1892 and was originally known as Antelope because of the large numbers of those animals found there. A post office was established in Kent in 1892 but was never in operation. A second post office opened the following year with John Charles Rickli as postmaster. In 1896 two livestock businesses operated in Kent. By 1914 the town had four cattle breeders, a general store, and an estimated population of twenty-five. For four decades beginning in 1924 the estimated population was fifty. The post office was closed in 1960 and the Kent school in 1961."

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She's Dressed In A Tuxedo

2015: Turn Of The Century
2014: The Passing Strange
2013: One Pan Eddie: Five Steps To Paradise
2012: Crossing The Hackensack
2011: Don’t Hate On Me On This Lovely Golden Day
2010: See You At The Curb
2009: A Blaze Of Crotch Sniffing And Licky Kisses
2008: Going To Market
2007: Lazy Sunday
2006: Can Someone Define Their Purpose??
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Urban Fighter

This is Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood, singing "The Fighter" from his newest album, Ripcord.

Really great upbeat song!  If you prefer live versions, watch their Grammy performance here.  

And if you love Carrie Underwood as much as I do, watch this fun video of her doing carpool karaoke with James Corden.

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2016: Throw Back (Way Back!) Thursday
2015: West Texas Depot
2014: Plymouth Trawler
2013: Miles Of Sky And Some Reading Material
2012: Calling All Questions
2011: Rolls-Royces, Sun Kings and Teardrops
2010: Less Is More
2009: A Look At An Oil Baron’s Lookout
2008: Spring In The Maritimes
2007: Envisioning A Huge BLT Sandwich
2006: Eddie’s New Passion Friday
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


This is the motorcycle Ed bought about three weeks ago.  It's a 2009 Kawasaki Eliminator 125.  It's supposedly a great learner bike, has a small frame, and doesn't go too fast (they consider this a con, I consider it a pro).

Ed used the bike to get his motorcycle endorsement and has ridden it a few times over the last two weeks getting his two-wheel legs back.  It's been a while since he's ridden a motorcycle.

We'll be shopping this week for another bike - a bigger, faster adventure bike - and although I'm trying to talk him out of it daily, I don't think I'm going to have much success.

And this is going to be a total shocker for anyone who knows me...

I'm considering getting my own motorcycle endorsement.  Just for the hell of it.

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Nuzzle Me

2015: A Burst Of Color In Texas
2014: It Really Is Just A Rock
2013: Lattes And Love Stuff
2012: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
2011: Feeling Great About Hands And Breasts (Even If They’re Drooping)
2010: It Pays To Blog About Life On The Road
2009: Bringing A Little Tropical And Some Pretty In Pink To The Trucking World
2008: My Kind Of Festival
2007: Happy Memorial Day
2006: Closing The Age Gap
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Odd Little Hedgehog

These are called Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus.  They can reach up to 8" in height and sprout pink to magenta flowers that are approximately 3" in diameter.

A nice pop of color for the otherwise very somber desert landscape.

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Go Further
2015: Until We Meet Again
2013: Pinged
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Full Service

Today we had a mechanic come to the house to work on the truck.  That's him, under the hood.

Ed is on the guy on the left, sitting in a lawn chair wearing his big straw landscaper's hat, drinking a beer.  He's making himself available just in case he's needed.

This is what I call full service.

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Approaching El Paso

2015: Dark And Stormy Abilene
2014: Where The Rooms Have Angels
2013: Under All Is The Land
2012: Squinty Eyes? Check. Big Smile? Check. Ed, Happy? Check.
2011: The Last Great Italian
2010: That’s So Cherry
2009: Crouching Eddie Hidden Lamb Friday
2008: Help Me Understand
2007: Take Two Lattes And Call Me In The Morning
2006: It’s Never Too Late For A Good Sale
2005: The Original Goldfish

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Set The World On Fire

My brother at his 8th grade graduation ceremony in Tucson, Arizona.  May 1982
It's graduation season.  My youngest nephew graduates 8th grade this week, my oldest nephew graduated high school this weekend, and my best friend's son graduated last week.

The photo above shows my brother at his 8th grade graduation ceremony here in Tucson, Arizona.  I did 8th grade in New York and don't remember having a graduation ceremony, I don't think we did that there.  But I guess it's a thing now.

Friday night we went to a special Honors Graduation ceremony for my oldest nephew. They have general graduation for the whole school this coming week, but the Friday night assembly recognized the achievements of the honors students.

My nephew is an AP Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, got a Seal of Excellence in Math, and received the Wildcat Excellence Award from the University of Arizona.  He's in the top ten percent of his class along with his beautiful brainiac girlfriend, who is the Class of 2017's Salutatorian, and many of his close friends.

I'm looking forward to watching my nephew navigate his future.  He's handsome, smart, kind, funny, and resolute.  He's planning to become an anesthesiologist and has already participated in some programs at a local hospital shadowing doctors during their work day. It's all very exciting.

Oh, to be young again.  Now I know what people mean when they say "If I could go back, I'd do things differently.  More of this, less of that...whatever."  These kids have so much opportunity these days and they have so many choices.  Really, the world is smaller.  It can be held in their hands.  I hope they explore it, embrace it, and set it ablaze.

Congratulations to all of you!

"Go forth and set the world on fire!" ~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Eff Your Beauty Standards

2015: This Steak Caused A Buzz
2014: There Was Gold Everywhere
2013: Two Telephone Poles And A Cloud
2012: I’ve Yet To Make Lemonade
2011: Alien Ribs Of The North
2010: White’s Bastard Cousin
2009: Jake
2008: I Might Have To Be Put In Restraints For Our Next Conversation
2007: People Who Are Happy To Help You Drown In Debt
2006: I, I, I
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Explosive, Powerful, And Short When It Comes To Flying

We always have Gambel's Quails in our front yard.  They exist happily among the white winged doves, the ground squirrels, the coyotes, and the other creatures we see daily.

The male, pictured here, has a bright rufous crest, chestnut flanks striped with white, and creamy belly with black patch.

They prefer walking and running to flying.  We always see them scurrying from one bush to another.  The bird guide says their flight is "explosive, powerful, and short".

They're fun to watch.  Very fidgety, lots of movement.  And for fat little birds they do run pretty damn fast.

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House Love

2015: Perhaps You Should Have Hired An Airplane, Not A Truck
2014: Another Good Reason For Time Off
2013: I'd Follow Him Anywhere
2012: Yes! We Have No Bananas
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part One
2010: A Tank Full Of Freightliners
2009: The Sad, Sad Future Of Our Young People
2008: Sighting The American Idiots
2007: Orbiting Out Of Control
2006: Passing Through Life
2005: Texas Pride?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Eighteen And Life To Go

Eighteen years old, standing in the driveway of our New York house.  I remember that outfit like it was yesterday.  My red earrings, belt, and shoes matched the red in my shirt.  I'm sure I thought I was so chic.  And since I rarely wore a big winter coat, this sweater took me from house to car to wherever.  Actually, I think I still have that sweater somewhere.

Wow.  I really miss those days.

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Butter Sculptures And Luxury Camping All In The Same Post

2015: Eye See You, Orlando
2014: Handmade Import
2013: So Serene, Even Serial Killers Would Be Drawn To It
2012: Time To Lounge
2011: You Can All Stop Complaining Now
2010: This Puss Doesn’t Have Bots
2009: Milling, Spinning, And Bleating
2008: What Happens When You Have Too Much Time To Think
2007: Eddie Rides A Polar Bear Friday
2006: Lite Brite, Making Things With Light
2005: Texas Pride?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Daily Coyote

This is one of my coyotes, peeking through the bushes.  We have three that wander through the yard, usually together, but this one came alone today.

I'm about 30 feet away from him, photographing him from inside, but I swear he's staring right at me.

Probably because I look delicious.

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Waiting For A New Life

2015: Fair Winds!
2014: Over Fifty Years In The Making
2013: Boom! Color.
2012: Little Dragonflies Alighting Upon My Ears
2011: Snuggling On Hold
2010: Confessions
2009: There’s Nothing Like The Humor Of A New Yorker
2008: Anne’s Land And Beyond
2007: Butter Me Up
2006: Master Backer Or Master Bater?
2005: Not By The Hair Of My Chinny, Chin, Chin!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cheesy Reward

After Ed passed his written motorcycle test, we celebrated with a Philly Cheesesteak at Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks.

I'm not sure why I was eating an insanely delicious cheesesteak sandwich, but I believe I deserved it for helping him study.

Oh.  I didn't help him study?  Whatever.  I was there, supporting his effort.

Bring on the Whiz!

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On Shaky Ground

2015: Harnessing The Power Of The Wind
2014: Listen And Learn
2013: Escape From Texas
2012: Like Cattle In A Penn
2011: Another Day In The Trucking Life
2010: Ed Prepares For The Italy Trip
2009: Strolling Along The Atlantic
2008: Eddie Chatting It Up Friday
2007: The ABC’s Of Me
2006: After The Storm
2005: The Essence Of Me

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Glympse Of Eddie's Day

Last night Ed took his motorcycle out to practice for his road test.  This morning, Ed took the written portion of the motorcycle endorsement test.  He passed with ease and they handed him a permit for him to take his motorcycle out and terrorize the rest of motoring public.

After we got home from the test, he went out to practice for a few hours.  He is going to take the driving portion of the test later this week.  When he left for his "practice" ride, he sent me a Glympse - a location sharing app that allows a person to follow your in real time - so I could see where he was riding.  I followed him around the neighborhood and then saw him head for the big parking lot behind the strip mall about a mile from our house.

Since the Glympse shows movement in real time, I watched him drive around and around this parking lot.  3 miles an hour, 5 miles an hour, 8 miles an hour, 12 miles an hour.  It shows your speed whenever you're moving.  I've watched him ride the bike trails around Tucson this way also, following his route when he's out on his motorcycle.

I took a screen shot of the tangled knot he created because I found it amusing and wanted to show him when he got home.  He explained that he was recreating some of the motor vehicle test course - doing a few serpentine curves, riding between the lines of the parking spots, and practicing timed stops.

When I saw that he was heading home I greeted him at the door, showing him his Glympse masterpiece.

He looked at it and burst into laughter. 

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2016: I Nap Where I Want

2015: Kites And Kajillionaires
2014: Art In The Old Pueblo
2013: Cinco Canciones I Love
2012: The Path To Christopher Street
2011: It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
2010: More “Holy Crap!” Than “Oh Dear”
2009: Eddie So Hot He’s Cookin’ Like Guy Fieri Friday
2008: Maybe She Should Hold Off On The Pet Ownership
2007: It Must Be A Sign
2006: Keeping Time With His Ticker
2005: Yo! Yo! Yo!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Catering To The Mothers

Today I'm having the mothers (my mother, my sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law's mother) over to our house, with the hubbies and children in tow, for a Mother's Day Celebration.

On the menu is my delicious, somewhat famous, and often requested Lemon Chicken. Served with Parsley Rice Pilaf, Roasted Green Beans, and a Fennel Clementine Mixed Greens Salad.  For dessert, my mother is bringing Key Lime Pie and I'm making Chocolate Mousse in Mini Graham Cracker Crusts.

Looking forward to the day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

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2016: Checking The Shot
2015: The World Races To Newport
2014: Every Time You Open Your Mouth Diamonds Come Rolling Out
2013: The Real Way To Save The Planet
2012: Lunch At The Park
2011: I’ve Got A Crush On You
2010: The D’Angelo Bros. Outfit The Navy
2009: One Day A Revered Indian Chief, The Next Day Wagon Train Eye Candy
2008: Not Exactly The Best Way To Reach Out To Your Community
2007: Carny At The Junction
2006: Mother Superior
2005: Great Expectations

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Over The Adventurous Land

Photo by Ed G
Today Ed attended the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona.  He's interested in adventure motorcycles and wanted to learn more about what's out there.  This is one of the reasons he got a bike, to be able to experience some unique travel with it.

The event is billed as "the world's most unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts, with hundreds of session-hours of classes for 4-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycling, inspirational programs, the Overland Film Festival, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, food, and a large expo featuring over 250 vendors of adventure travel equipment, camping gear, bikes, vehicles, and services."

It was a three-day event, but since we got home yesterday and tomorrow is Mother's Day, he was only able to go for the day but he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  He came home with a goodie bag, pictures, and lots of info.  The next one is in September in Asheville, North Carolina.

I'm going to try to convince Marlaina and MacG to meet us there.  The boys can traipse through mud all day and Marlaina and I can shop downtown Asheville, get mani/pedis, and decide on which fancy restaurant we'll be dining at for the evening.

And I can make plants to tour the beloved Biltmore Estate again.  It's the one place in my thirteen years on the road that left the biggest impression on me and the only place I've longed to go back to.

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2016: Un Ping├╝ino Prepares For The Ride Of His Life
2015: Cash Only Seafood
2014: Exactly
2013: Cottage Industry
2012: The Whole World
2011: Weekend Retreat
2010: I Might Even Give It An Academy Award
2009: Two Poles, One Man, No Fish
2008: When You Don’t Have Time To Make More Than One Trip
2007: A Mother Of A Mother
2006: Could You Love William Perry?
2005: Herding The Blogger Sheep

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking Good Before The Pounce

Another beautiful desert animal, the bobcat.

This pair was seen at the Arizona-Desert Sonoran Museum, but we have these in our yard too.

They waltz right up to the house, this one was about 30 feet from our side door, and this one snagged a bird in the tree in our backyard, less than 50 feet from our back porch.

Bobcats around found only in North America.  Read more about this gorgeous cat here.

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2016: Rollin' The Dice
2015: The Pond Is A Lot Smaller Than You Think
2014: You Can't Sleep Here But You Can Get A Fruit And Veg Fix
2013: Mommy And Me Kickin' It At The Yacht Club
2012: Dinner At The Diner
2011: My Guitar Hero
2010: The Competition Is Getting Fierce
2009: A Little Smooch Makes Everything Taste Better
2008: The Greatest Spectacle In Racing
2007: Jalapenos Basking In The California Sunshine
2006: Millions Of Miles Of Knowledge
2005: Midnight Snack