Friday, August 14, 2015

Strawberry jam for breakfast…

Einstein Bros bagels from Costco are always really good but this morning they were extra special.  What made them special?  Homemade strawberry freezer jam compliments of J.V.!  Yumm!DSCN8214

Earl Grey tea for me and coffee for GET rounds out our breakfast.


Thanks for a great start to a beautiful day!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Tacos, tacos, tacos…

GET is a Native Californian who grew up eating Mexican food, especially tacos.  I am a Native North Dakotan who, back in the 60’s, had NO clue about Mexican food so when I tasted tacos on our 30 day leave to California I was hooked!  No matter where we went or what we ate I had to have a taco every day.   He thought I was pretty funny.

And, my favorite taco stop that summer?  The Big Do-Nut Drive-In on Imperial Highway in Inglewood.  (Big Do-Nut was later bought out by Randy’s Donut)  Another favorite haunt was The Red Onion on Hawthorne Blvd. with Linda and Clif.  “I’ll have #1 please: one enchilada, one taco with rice and beans.”big_donut-228x300

GET and I on leave in California with our first born Rusty…that’s our ‘56 Ford.  Don’t we wish we still had it!?1963-Gary Betty Rusty

Last night I made tacos which included lettuce and tomato from my container “garden.”

Small leaf lettuce in a hanging basket.20150807_091742

The plant looks a little bedraggled but the tomatoes are delicious.20150807_091814

My tacos are pretty basic: 

    • Fry up ground beef, season with cumin and chili powder
    • Grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • Lettuce
    • Tomato- chopped or sliced
    • Ranch dressing-maybe sour cream too
    • Taco sauce
    • Optional: Avocados sliced (if the price is right and the store has ripe ones)
    • I use flour and corn torts. I wish I could say I made homemade tortillas but these from LaTortilla Factory are pretty good! Fry the tortillas one at a time in hot oil (I use my small cast iron skillet,) fry flat for a bit, flip over, fry flat a bit more, fold in half and brown a bit.  I don’t let them get too crispy but not too soft either.  (Sometimes I just throw them on the gas burner and turn to soften and then fold in half.  Of course this won’t be happening anymore because I now have an Induction cooktop – no flame!)

GET complained about the price of avocados at Safeway but agreed that they tasted pretty good.  Nothing like a taco made at home with fresh ingredients.


First taco eaten in 1963…no end in sight! I wonder how many I’ve eaten and made?

P.S. I got so hungry for Mexican food while writing this that I convinced GET to run out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch! 

And a note:  While I dearly love tacos, I feel almost as strongly about enchiladas, huevos rancheros, burritos, taquitos, tostadas etc. etc. etc… and don’t get me started on ALL New Mexico Southwestern food!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For my deck--a pallet project. . .

I saw this pallet countertop project on Pinterest and thought “I can do this!”  And, just now, as I was looking for a photo to post here, I see that it is for sale on Etsy for $148.00.  pallet countertop
The Pinterest project used more perfect pallets and is painted white.  Our deck is unpainted rustic so we wanted our countertop to follow the rustic theme.
First order of business is choosing two pallets. Luckily we have a huge stack to select from over in the maintenance yard.
“How about this one?”
Two pallets were chosen and loaded into the truck bed.
The pallets are a little too tall for our deck so we cut one board off the bottom of each.  Then GET used his drill to screw the two together.
I love the look of the irregular sized boards on the front. That’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s control tower in the background.
I used three reddish-tone pavers (again, maintenance yard finds) for the top.  After this photo I gave them three coats of spray varnish which gave them a little sheen.
  • time spent, about 1-1/2 hours including pallet search
  • cost $0
I originally thought I would use it as a buffet table for barbecues but I think it will have a double duty as a potting bench. Umm, I love blue, maybe I’ll stain or paint it later?
Love it! Now, what else can I make with pallets?  Saw some with plants between the slats at T & A CafĂ© in Spreckels last night.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Valentines live on. . .

It was roses for me and to satisfy closet chocoholic GET’a pot full of chocolate turtles!   (Someone said that Valentine’s Day is only for the ladies.  I don’t agree.)20150214_102553-1 A few days later the roses had wilted and the red ribbon was saved in my ribbon box for use another day. I really liked the narrow oval shape of the vase. . .AHA! perfect for another beachy arrangement!

When we travel I carry kitchen storage bags to collect a bit of sand from the beaches.  DSCN7774Inky was quite positive I was out on the deck to pet him rather than take photos of my beach sand stash.DSCN7770Here I layered sand from Galveston, Texas, Orick, California and Jalama Beach, California.  The shells and sand dollars were found on various beaches across the country and the long narrow stone caught grandson Jorden’s eye in Bar Harbor, Maine.DSCN7766The chocolate turtles have been eaten and bright red cellophane removed and the terra cotta pot waits on the deck for its next use.DSCN7768This arrangement in my kitchen is in a clear glass pitcher I found in a thrift store.  Sand, shells and sand dollars are from places such as Maine,  California, Washington, Alaska and Florida. DSCN7778This beautiful crystal vase was another thrift store find and also contains shells, sand, stones and sand dollars from many states.  I like to collect clear glass and crystal items. 

The vintage Bauer pot contains items to be used in the future.  See the little  glass tray?  Kelle said she couldn’t resist buying it for the  Queen “B” of our family!  Funny girl.DSCN7780

“The rose that you gave me has faded, and wilted away. But, the love tucked in deep inside remains in my heart forever.” Unknown

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Happy Valentine' is in the air

My daughter's twin kitties, Johnny and Gizmo all snuggled together - I think they look like a Valentine's heart!
These two crows have been outside my Sound booth window at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during all three days of this at the race track?

Monday, February 02, 2015

Fresno 5 & Morro Bay, a fitting wrap-up. . .

We’ve come to the end of our latest “on the road” adventures with our case of itchy hitch syndrome temporarily put to rest.  Tomorrow it is back to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where we happily resume our race track duties.

Back in November our first stop was an overnight visit with the Fresno 5 (the Fresno 5 consists of our son Russ, daughter-in-law Denise and three amazing grands Stanley, Mary and Will.)  Something incredible happened during these two months: they ALL grew taller than their Grammie!

Fittingly, we figured, we wrapped it up with meeting them for the weekend in Morro Bay, California.

That’s Morro Rock behind our Fresno 5.


Sandpiper feeding on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.


No time in Morro Bay is complete without fish and chips at Giovanni’s Fish Market. The three smokestacks (locally known as the “three fingers”) are part of a now closed power plant.


What I’m sure is an unusual site for this threatened species:  five Mama California Sea Otters all with pups!  Some latched themselves to Mama and both napped, some were tumbling in the water with their Mamas.  When a Sea Lion showed up he/she proceeded to play and tumble with the otters.


While we were enthralled with the otters two dolphins swam by, a hummingbird landed in the bush below us, pelicans flew over and, of course, sea gulls everywhere!DSCN7648

AND, we looked down in the rocks and noticed this lizard doing push-ups.


Pure joy!! Brothers and sister enjoying a run through the dunes.


Will said we should probably go back to Fosters Freeze! His choice was called something like “worms and dirt.” Not many other than a twelve year old boy would choose this!DSCN7676 Selfie with my Nikon camera --- harder to manage than with a cell phone camera.  I have wild hair but the wind on the beach made it really wild!DSCN7703

Since Will was taking an interest in photography I let him use my Nikon. “Keep the strap around your neck so it won’t fall and break.”  I am channeling my favorite cooking host The Pioneer Woman?


The end of a beautiful day.


Papa, Grammie and Dulee flop into chairs and enjoy the campfire.


P.S.   Its Super bowl Weekend!  We end the weekend with a photo op of the Thomas guys in football jerseys.


I think life is good!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Port “A” from my window. . .

This Great Blue Heron has come to the same spot on the dunes near us every day that we’ve been in at Gulf Waters RV Resort.  Wonder if he is as grouchy as he looks?DSCN7585

Yesterday this one flew in and stayed awhile, never getting close to the big guy—another Great Blue or maybe a Grey Heron?DSCN7589

GET & Dulee enjoying a little sun.DSCN7580

In general Dulee is a slug but in this stance he looks like a real guard dog!  (A few minutes later he was curled up inside on the back of the sofa.)DSCN7581

Ever since we hosted at Island RV Resort during the winter season of 1998-99 Port “A” has had a special place in our hearts.  We regularly stop during our travels.  I accidently got this shot a the Wetlands Birding Center during our 2005 stop.HPIM2000 egrets cropped

Port “A”----another of our many very favorite places in the U.S.A.  Another reason we continue this lifestyle!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Filling a gaping hole. . .

Opened the door after a great day touring the Bush (#43) Presidential Library to be greeted by the refrigerator’s beeping sound.  “Uh oh, we left one of the refrigerator doors open.”  Opened and closed the door:  the beeping didn’t stop!  Let’s try this again…nope beeping, beeping, beeping so turned it off completely and called Barry from Running Bear RV Service.  We’d become fast friends with Barry since arriving in Northlake, Texas; first he fixed the large “kitchen” slide out and then the landing legs but I’ll skip this long story and share the refrigerator saga.

So sad, because from all outward and inside appearances it is in perfect condition.DSCN7471

First Barry did the same magnet fix that Rick in Ventura had done earlier in the year.  Yeah, the refrigerator started working so Barry went on his merry way.  A couple minutes later I detected a strong ammonia smell, an indication that the whole cooling unit was gone.  This is serious!  We have options, albeit all pretty much involving a serious expenditure of money:  1)replace the cooling unit ($1,500 give or take), 2)replace the refrigerator with another RV style refrigerator (about $3,000,) and 3)replace refrigerator with residential type (cost unknown depending on the refrigerator.)  We quickly eliminated option #2---$3,000 is just too too much!  We decide to go the new cooling unit route after checking the cost of a new counter depth frig, the only size which will fit into the limited space.  RVers know that exact size is more often more important than cost and style when buying for a RV home.  “Ok, Barry let’s go with replacing the cooling unit.”

Even though we feel that it is a total waste of time we stop in to check the Sears Outlet near the movie theater where we went to see “Unbroken.”   What are the odds that there will be a refrigerator which fits in the 35” wide by 27” deep by maximum 68” tall opening…at a decent price?  Not going to happen but there it is! And it has been marked down another time not shown on this tag! (GET ripped off the final sale price.)  It is a discontinued model (who cares what year your refrigerator is?) and has a small dent on the door (“we’ll cover it with a magnet”) but the savings are enough to make us almost cheer!

Hot buy? You bet it’s a HOT BUY! “Barry, cancel option #1!”


Old refrigerator leaving.DSCN7480

A little collateral damage.  The glass in the china cabinet gets broken taking the old unit out (I’ve been wanting to replace it with opaque glass so I’m sort of happy. . .shhh, don’t tell GET.)


Gaping hole in our home-ouch!DSCN7481

Ah, the Frigidaire Gallery fits after trimming off about 1” of side molding and the gaping hole is filled,   Note the  Uff Da” magnet covering the little dent?  We are not boondockers so we are still deciding whether or not to buy an invertor or a generator to power the refrigerator on the rare occasion that we have no electric power.  Most likely an inverter.


We retrieve our food from Kelle & Joe’s freezer and unpack the ice chest—yeah!


So far I have found two baskets to utilize the 5” space on top.  Still looking for a narrow basket to fill the space between.  (Remember the “exact size is a more often more important than cost and style”  I mentioned earlier? Forgot this rule and came home with two perfect baskets that were 1” too tall-back to Michael’s!)DSCN7573

Oh dear, I lost the wonderful drawer under the RV refrigerator! Have to figure out where my “Tupperware” is going to call home.DSCN7474

This turned out to be a domino effect project:  moved the canned goods to have a place for the Tupperware drawer, moved the linens to make space for the canned goods, moved some of my crafts to make space for the linens and on and on and on!  Almost worse than moving!


Let’s see now, landing legs are working,  kitchen slide out is moving in and out and we once again have a refrigerator.  What is next?  This is like living in a house. . .except we can move when we want to!

Exactly why we love full time RVing!