Monday, November 02, 2020

Humphrey Was Here First


Here we are crossing the Sacramento River in Rio Vista, California just as the sun greets the day.  Rio Vista is located in the Sacramento River Delta region of the Central Valley.  Rio Vista is home to the largest American endive producer of Belgian endive in the United States.  

And another thing I learned from the Wikipedia page on Rio Vista is that in 1985, a humpback whale lost its way and wound up in the Sacramento River, 60 miles upriver from the Pacific Ocean.  The whale was nicknamed "Humphrey" and attracted a lot of attention from curiosity seekers before it was eventually guided back to the ocean by rescuers.  In 2007, humpbacks were again sighted in Rio Vista - and mother and her calf named Delta and Dawn - stopping at least twice in the river near the town.  

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2019: Bettlejuice At The Playground
2018: Bratislava Boo!
2017: Hunting For Halloween Candy
2016: Why I Don't Open My Door
2015: How To Escape The Grim Reaper
2014: Happy HalloCatMoose
2013: It's That Time Of Year
2012: Happy All Hallows' Even
2011: What You’ll Find In The Hills And Hollers Of Tennessee
2010: Three Coins In A Fountain
2009: Truck Or Treat
2008: Spooktacular
2007: Isn’t He Comcastic?
2006: Trick Or Treating With All Ten Toes
2005: Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Sweet And Petite


Last week, Ed and I took a little walk from the truck stop in Jessup, Maryland, to the nearby Mom's Organic Market.  That's where I found these beautiful fall vegetables.

I was captivated by that tiny Honeynut squash in the foreground of the photo. At about 3” long, it was like a baby version of the butternut squash. Although similar in shape to the butternut (the honeynuts can be up to 6” long) it’s said to be sweeter than butternut, have three times the amount of beta-carotene, AND they don’t have to be peeled because they have a thin skin. If you’ve tried to peel butternut squash, you know why this is a big plus.

The squash was created around 2009-2010 by Michael Mazourek, Associate Professor in plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University in New York’s Finger Lakes region. 

It’s only been available at farmer’s markets since about 2015 but this is the first time I’ve seen it. And it’s beautiful!

I can’t wait to cook one!

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2019: Sorry, no post on this date
Stepping Outside Of The Comfort Zone
2017: Fall, Falling, Fallen
2016: Twisted Monday
2015: The Bitchy Beast Of Strijen
2014: Montana Moments
2013: Scanning Comes To A Mouth Near You
2012: Go Ahead, Judge Me
2011: Con Los AƱos Que Me Quedan 
2010: Ten. Ten. Ten. A Perfect Score! 
2009: Lighting The Testosterone Torch 
2008: Eddie Helps The Economy Friday 
2007: Talk About A Thorn In Your Side 
2006: My Sentiments Exactly 
2005: Mason? Dixon? Line? BELOW It.

Monday, October 05, 2020

I Can't Get Off My High Horse

If you're not following The Kabs Family (Tay, Chan, Teija, Maliya, and TJ) you should - you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  They're a great bunch, currently living in London.  My favorite in the group is Maliya, the one who's singing here in this video.  The last song she sings is "Somebody Else's Guy" by Jocelyn Brown, a great tune from the eighties.  I love that Tay (the father) is teaching her some great old school tunes.  

After watching Mali sing, and bringing me back to a time when I was jamming out to these tunes myself, it made me Google the song. Here is Jocelyn Brown doing her song.  Sing along with the lyrics below:


Somebody Else's Guy

I-I-I-I... can't get off my high horse

And I can't let you go
You are the one who
You are the one who makes me feel
So real
Yeah yeah yeah
Oh! What am I supposed to do
Oh! What am I supposed to do baby
When I'm so hooked up on you
Then I realize
Oh I realize
That you are somebody else's guy
Oh yeah
Why you wanna do this to me boy?
(Ooh ooh ooh
Somebody else's guy)
Can you remember the times we spent together
Sharing our days in the sun
Then I found out that you were somebody else's
After all the plans we made, now were shattered
Still I can't get off my high horse
I can't let go
You are the one who makes me feel so real
Ooh what am I supposed to do
When I'm hooked so on you
Then I realize that you're somebody else's guy
That day in September, I'm sure you can remember
That's when all the stuff hit the fan
You told me a lie and you didn't have an alibi
But baby yet I still cared
You know I loved you so baby that I can't let go
No, no
You are the one who makes me feel so real
Ooh what am I supposed to do
When I'm hooked so on you
And realize you're somebody else's guy
You know I loved you so baby that I can't let go
You are the one who makes me feel so real
Ooh what am I supposed to do
When I'm hooked so on you
And then I realize that you're somebody else's
(Oh I can't get off my high horse and I can't
Let go
You are the one who makes me feel so real
Ooh, what am I supposed to do when I'm hooked so
On you
And realize that you're somebody else's guy)
(Oh I can't get off my high horse and I can't
Let go
You are the one who makes me feel so real
Ooh, what am I supposed to do when I'm hooked so
On you
And realize that you're somebody else's guy)
I, I, I, I can't let you go no
See you are the one who makes me feel so real
What am I supposed to do
When I'm hooked so on you
Then I realize that you're somebody else's guy
(repeat chorus and adlib to fade)

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2019: Sorry, no post for this day
One More Look
2017: Not Exactly "Woodland" Creatures
2016: Hot Is Hot
2015: Washy Watercolor Morning
2014: The Piano Man Put Us In A New York State Of Mind
2013: Eddie Sandwich
2012: Scenes From An Italian Kitchen
2011: Living Deliberately But Not Without Scars
2010: Maybe They Just Don’t Like Oklahomans
2009: Mexico? Derecho.
2008: Juxtaposition
2007: Eddie Sports Pigtails Friday
2006: Gambling Under The Big Sky
2005: Sleeping Beauty

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sign Of The Times


The Bruno Truck Sales sign can be found in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, right off of Interstate 278.  It is a scaffold design and was built around 1965.  

These signs, like the old Kentile Floors sign, are quite popular with historians and sign aficionados.  Everyone remembers a sign from their childhood or from a place they loved.  Maybe it was a spot that marked how far you were from a place ("once you see the XYZ sign, you know you're almost there"), or it belonged to a business you frequented.  I have many memories like this, as I'm a visual person and often associate a place or memory with a structure like this.  I take pictures of the signs I love when I can - anything to avoid another flickertail.  

If you happen to be a fan of the Bruno Truck Sales sign, you can now wear it - it's been memorialized on a t-shirt.  

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2019:  Sorry, no post on this day.
Essential Travel Preparation
2017:  Getting The 'Ol Girl Washed
2016:  Lit From Below
2015:  The Devil's Highway Takes You Past A 27 Million-Year-Old Rock With Wings
2014:  One Of Millions 
2013:  I Walked In The Footsteps Of Richard Gere
2012:  Flower Bar
2011:  A Sign For Sore Eyes
2010:  A Primm Landscape
2009:  I Am A Kandee Addict
2008:  The Tiny Intersection Where The Colors Collide
2007:  Loved Shack
2006:  Holy Mother Of Pearl
2005:  The Starfish Effect

Monday, September 21, 2020

Rescue A Coconut, Save The Planet


In 2009, Ed and I found ourselves in Key West, Florida taking some time off after delivering a load to a business a few towns over.  While there, we rented scooters to get around town and had some fun wrangling coconuts.  The abundance of the coconuts there for the picking got me thinking.  I thought about the tropical islands you see in the movies, where the main character is usually stranded, just them and the palm trees.  What do they eat?  A lot of coconuts, I imagined.  But seriously, when you have an abundance of something what do you do with all of it?  Especially the parts that are leftover.  

I collected about 15 of those coconuts, in their husks, and brought them home to family members.  I still have mine.  But when you take the actual nut out of the husk and eat the coconut meat, you're left with a shell.  We've all seen the coconut bras sold at seaside souvenir shops.  But what can really be done with them?  People in locations where they're plentiful must use them practically.  Have you ever wondered what happens to all the coconuts in the world?  I have.   

Well, you no longer have to wonder.  

Rainforest Bowls has the answer.  And they're out to save the planet with a solution.  In a partnership with them, through their Ambassador program, I'm here to offer you a way to help.  First, this, from the documentation I received from them:

Did you know that over 55 billion coconuts are harvested worldwide per year?  It also means that billions of coconut husks are discarded and burned in landfills each year. Rainforest Bowls helps the Earth by turning coconut waste into useful, food-safe bowls.  With your purchase, enjoy peace of mind knowing that you rescued a coconut shell from being burned as waste, you're supporting the livelihood of local farmers and artisans, and you're doing the environment a favor by choosing sustainable products.

They have a mission.  For every 10 bowls they sell, they will plant one tree through environmental charities - One Tree Planted and Trees For The Future -  that focuses on global reforestation.  So if you buy a few bowls, you're not only adding something unique to your home, you're helping to save the planet.  Can't get any easier than that, can it?

The bowls are beautiful!  I have this set:

The bowls are made from reclaimed coconut shells and handcrafted by local artisans in Vietnam.  See how they're made here.  

And courtesy of Rainforest Bowls and my association with them, they are offering my readers a 20% discount if you decide to make a purchase.  Just use the coupon code SALENALETTERA at checkout to get the discount.

Click HERE to start shopping!

And don't forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook!

* Sponsored post.  Photos courtesy of

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2019: Sorry,  no post on this day.
Pom Wonderful
2017: How Do?
2016: Silver Luxe
2015: Art From The Bottoms Up
2014: Weekend Getaway
2013: Long Shadow In Kansas
2012: Spreading Joy, Pixie Style
2011: Coming Soon 
2010: Feren Films Y’All Shouldn’t Miss 
2009: This Guy Sucks 
2008: Shine And Shine 
2007: Eddie Hoots It Up Friday 
2006: Eddie The Bird Whisperer 
2005: Laundress

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Fire And Brimstone In The West


The fires in California have left an eerie haze over much of California, Arizona, and Oregon.  Reports of smoke have come from New Mexico and as far as Europe.

In this photo, we woke up in Suisun City, California to a weird yellow cast over the sky.  There was ash on the asphalt where we parked.  At first, we thought it was dust, but when Ed reached down to inspect it, discovered it was white ash.

We've seen the haze in the sky here in Tucson and up in Phoenix and our neighbors have family in Oregon whose farm has been affected by the fires.  

What else is 2020 going to bring us?  Should I keep my eyes open for locusts?

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2019:  Bird Of Prey
2018:  Down The River
2017:  Valion Pride
2016:  Be Virtually Anywhere
2015:  This Is Not 100% Natural Spring Water
2014:  Rain Day Delay
2013:  That Sunday, That Summer
2012:  Heading To The Mountains
2011:  End Of Summer Rainbow
2010:  UGG, What A Surprise!
2009:  Under The El
2008:  We Escaped With Our Teeth Intact
2007:  Praying In The Jewel Of The South For Over 250 Years
2006:  Drive Time Champion
2005:  Yukon Bet We're Far Away

Friday, August 28, 2020

Hotel Magnate Starts His Empire In The Lonestar State

The water tower in Cisco, Texas at sunrise.  

Fun fact:  Conrad Hilton started the Hilton hotel chain in Cisco, Texas with the purchase of a single hotel.  He came to Cisco to buy a bank but the bank cost too much so in 1919 he bought a hotel instead. 

That hotel is now a local museum.

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2019: Sorry, no post on this day.
Football Season In Minnesota
2017: Ideas Blooming
2016: Blushing Rain Clouds
2015: Last Night Was Super!
2014: Sloths Are The New Kittens
2013: In The Shadow Of Mount Olympus
2012: Toni And Her Sisters
2011: Paper Boy…And Girl
2010: Breakfast Of Champions (And Truck Drivers)
2009: Vegetarianism Brings On Extinction
2008: It’s Beauty Is Just The Beginning
2007: Eddie Relaxes In Style Friday
2006: How To Tell Your Parents You Don’t Have A Roommate
2005: Mangia! and You Just Know When You’ve Met “The One”

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Boundless American Optimism

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  It is the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.  

Architectural critic David Dillon opined that the arch exists not as a functional edifice but as a symbol of "boundless American optimism". He articulates the arch's multiple "moods"—"reflective in sunlight, soft and pewterish in mist; crisp as a line drawing one moment, chimerical the next"—as a way the arch has "paid for itself many times over in wonder".

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The Movies Have Always Been An Escape

2018: Nowhere Near As Cute As A Kitten
2017: Celebrating Seven And A Half Decades
2016: Makes Complete Sense
2015: I'm Always Hoping It's The Last Time
2014: Apes At The Hitching Post
2013: History On Water Street
2012: Do It Like The Settlers Did. With Whiskey.
2011: No Vacancy
2010: Imperial Sand
2009: How Many Twenty Year Olds Have A Seventy Pound Head?
2008: My First Time
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Text Me
2005: Eddie Dines Out Friday

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Truckin' To The Truck Inn

The Truck Inn was located in Fernley, Nevada at Exit 48 on Interstate 80. This Freightliner cabover-in-the-sky marks the spot where it stood.

Operating from 1984 to June 2008, it was your quintessential truck stop - breakfast 24 hours a day, horseshoe-shaped counter lined with solo drivers. They offered live gaming from 1990 to 1998, and then slots only from 1998 until they closed. They leveled the building after it closed. All that remains is their giant parking lot.

Which is where we were last night to watch the fireworks show.

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2019: Sorry, no post on this day.
Commerce On The Savannah
2017: The Horsepower Of The Apaches Was Natural
2016: Putting In The Miles
2015: Grand Parking Lot
2014: True Independence
2013: Pyrotechnic Parade Across The Midwest
2012: Plane, Train, Or Automobile – Just Get Me To Canada!
2011: Hello, Kitty. Who’s Your Friend?
2010: If It’s Good Enough For Homeland Security, It’s Good Enough For Me
2009: The Top At Dock
2008: Night Interrupted
2007: Just A Train And A Tree
2006: This is One Lawn Boy I Have No Desire To See Naked
2005: Not So Cuddly

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Fire On The Mountain

This is the mountain I see from my living room window.  The mighty Santa Catalinas.

I've photographed and written about it many times.  You can see pictures of it when it wasn't on fire here, here, here, here, and here

Oh, and here, when it had a rare covering of snow on it.  

It is currently on fire.

They are calling it the Bighorn Fire, presumably after the Bighorn Sheep that roam the range.  
It was started by a lightning strike and has so far burned 37,028 acres and is 21 percent contained.
The Santa Catalina Mountains - we just call them the Catalinas - is the most prominent range in the Tucson area with the highest elevation, at 9,157 feet above sea level.
We were on the road when we heard about the fire. Although we are close to the area, our house was in no danger.  And we weren't required to evacuate.  Yet communities just a few miles from us were asked to evacuate their homes because the fire was getting too close for comfort.  They didn't want to wait until the last minute to get people out.
We arrived back at our house at 2:30 in the morning.  We could see the orange brightness of the flames from Interstate-10, at least 9 miles from our house.  I saw fire on the very top of the mountain and on Pusch Ridge, a little to the north of the peak on our side.  
These photos were taken this week. I noticed the giant plume of smoke when I left to go to the store.  It was massive.  Because it seems to be on the backside of the mountain there isn't as much smoke smell in the air.  The night we got home the entire neighborhood smelled like a giant campfire.

We saw helicopters a few days ago hauling giant buckets of water to the fire and before we arrived home planes spread fire retardant on the mountain, which is now visible in red streaks across the landscape.  

In the more than 35 years that I've lived here, I've never seen anything like this happen.  It's an incredible sight, really.  We have a close-up view of the result of what Mother Nature can do with just the crack of a lightning bolt.

See more spectacular images HERE.

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2019: Celebrating The Dads
2018: Pastoral
2017: Dune Crawl
2016: The Closest I Get To Camping
2015: This Guy Rocks It, Man
2014: Pillows Of Deliciousness
2013: Staring Me Down On Dad's Day
2012: Load Check
2011: Hotel Special Effects In An Instant
2010: The Great American Shoe Hunt
2009: The First Glimpse Of The People’s Coast
2008: Ohhhh, So This Is How It Works
2007: Can You Hear Me Stereotyping Now?
2006: In The Kitchen With Eddie
2005: Top Ten

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Signs Of Summer

Ed took this photo of quail eggs under a rock in our backyard.  This is the time of year when we see the parent quails being trailed by 10-15 of their little ones.  We've already seen one set!

Can't wait for the next batch!

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2019: Sorry, no post for this day.
2018: Tip-Top Turtle
2017: Education In Ruins
2016: 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.