Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Surprise, surprise

Thank you to everyone who left Happy Birthday wishes, you sure made me feel special.

We had planned a very low key day, starting with heading up to Oak Harbor to do a little shopping, then afterwards, going to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Mi Pueblo, for dinner.

We did some shopping at Wal Mart, where Mr.C bought me a new range bag. I had been using a small soft sided soda cooler, which was OK, but was getting rather full, so my new bag with all kinds of compartments and pockets will be better. I can put more stuff in it.

We then went to the Dollar Store, where I wandered the aisles in search of bargains. After I had bought all I wanted we went in search of a monument which had been erected to honor Navy fliers from Whidbey Island. We drove around, and around looking for the monument , Finally, there it was, but then we had to find parking within walking distance. After parking, we walked the short distance to the monument where MrC took a few pictures for a future post on his blog. There was a very chilly wind blowing *shiver, brrrrr* so we soon returned to our Vanmobile. You name your vehicle, don'tcha? *smile*

MrC asked if I wanted to go cruise any of the other stores as it was a little too early for dinner. Truth be told, I was hungry enough to eat right then, but he wasn't, so being the nice person I am, I said let's go check out Saars. Saars is a large grocery store In Oak Harbor which sells many, many different kinds of ethnic foods, I really enjoy looking at all the products and planning what international delight I may cook in the future. We came out of Saars with close to $50 worth of goodies. Now it was time to go and eat.

We arrived at Mi Pueblo where MrC insisted he take my picture outside by their roadside restaurant sign, then we went inside and walked upstairs to the restaurant.

As we entered the restaurant, I noticed a bunch of folks already seated, but did not look at faces. instead turned to MrC and asked if we would sit in our usual place by the front windows so we could look at the view. We were walking down the few steps leading to the lower level, when MrC said "look there's Lou" I looked, and there was Lou, and Luke, and Rainy, and Al. The thought flashed across my mind "I wonder what the occasion could be for them all to be here"

About this time, as I was greeting everyone, MrC started around the back of the table, with me in tow, to sit down. I, in my naivete asked "Oh are we joining you for dinner?" THEN the penny dropped, this was a set up. It had all been planned by MrC

es, MrC had been scheming and planning this birthday surprise for a couple of weeks, AND I had not sniffed the plan out. I am usually very good at detecting something a little out of the ordinary. WELL DONE HONEY, it was a wonderful birthday surprise.

Mr C has pictures HERE

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Whoo Hooo! bring on the chocolate

Yes, it is true, today is my 60th. I am wondering how it managed to sneak up and take me unawares *grin*

60 really is just a number, I do not count, I go by how I feel, and I do not feel 60, though, not being here before, I don't know what 60 is supposed to feel like. Seems to me it feels pretty good.

I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
~Chili Davis

A well adjusted woman is one who not only knows what she wants for her birthday, but even knows what she's going to exchange it for.

I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.
~Author Unknown

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
~Lucille Ball

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
~Jennifer Yane

Old age is not for sissies.
--Bette Davis

"Count your life by smiles, not tears. Count your age by friends, not years."

"I don´t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering ones aspect to the sun." Virginia Woolf

You are only as old as you act!

"So many candles... so little cake."

"The more candles, the bigger the wish."

"Birthdays are good for you: the more you have the longer you live." Unknown source

My Favorite

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician. ~Author Unknown

Friday, January 26, 2007

Turkey Shepherd's pie with mashed sweet potato


  • 1 large sweet potato(es), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion(s), chopped
  • 2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 6 medium baby carrots, chopped
  • 20 oz raw turkey sausage, sweet Italian-variety, casings removed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 10 3/4 fl oz canned tomato soup, made with low-fat milk


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.

  • Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover potatoes. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil; boil until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes; return potatoes to pan. Mash potatoes with buttermilk and garlic powder until smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add carrots; sauté 1 minute. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.

  • Add sausage to skillet; sauté until browned, breaking up sausage as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet; stir to combine. Add oregano, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper; cook 1 minute. Add soup; simmer until liquid is absorbed and mixture is thick, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate.

  • Spoon mashed potatoes over turkey mixture and spread into an even layer using the back of a wooden spoon.

  • Bake until filling is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Perfectly Perfect Day

I am never in any doubt as to the ever changing beauty of this world we live in.
Yesterday was so awesome. The morning, as I arrived at work, was so still and quiet. The air was still a little crisp and damp with dew, and the only sounds, were from the waterfowl feeding along the shore.

Two huge logs bumped their way along the bulkhead as they moved with the tide in Saratoga Passage.

Another huge log floating along.
Later on in the day I watched two Loons with out stretched wings, drying themselves as they perched on a floating log.

Ahhhh!! a glorious ending to the day. What an incredible sunset.
If you click on this picture, you can see A Great Blue Heron,( just to the right of the fence post) searching for his dinner.

No, I did not photoshop the pictures. Mother nature does not need any help here, besides I do not know how to photoshop.

As usual click on the pictures for a larger view.
The cascades can be seen in the far distance, and Camano Island is on the left.
As I said, A perfectly, perfect day, sighhhhhhhhh!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A sight to warm your heart

When you see Forsythia coming into bloom, you know Spring must be out there somewhere.

Yesterday it was a balmy 40 degrees. There was a very light wind ruffling the water of Saratoga Passage, and the sun showed it's face from behind the clouds now and again.

It was a day to experience a *whiff of Spring*

I don't know about you, but during particular times of the seasons, when outdoors, I experience a feeling deep inside, an awareness, and notice an elusive fragrance in the air which tells me a new season is about to begin. I can't find the words to explain exactly what I feel and smell, except to say it probably goes back to my primeval beginings.

After the winter we have endured thus far I am ready for spring.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Alabama- Hell Yes, We Have Electricity.
Alaska- 11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!
Arizona- But It's A Dry Heat.
Arkansas- Lituracy Ain't Everythang.
California- By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda.
Colorado- If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.
Connecticut- Like Massachusetts, only smaller.
Delaware- We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.
Florida- Ask Us About Our Grandkids And Our Voting Skills.
Georgia- We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.
Hawaii- HakaTiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum, Leave Your Money) .
Idaho- More Than Just Potatoes..Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good .
Illinois- Please,Don't Pronounce the "S" .
Indiana- 2 Billion Years Tidal WaveFree.
Iowa- We Do Amazing Things With Corn.
Kansas- First Of The Rectangle States.
Kentucky- Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names.
Louisiana- We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That's Our Tourism Campaign.
Maine- We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
Maryland- If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It
Massachusetts- Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's And Our Senators are more Corrupt!
Michigan- First Line Of Defense From The Canadians.
Minnesota- 10,000 Lakes, And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes.
Mississippi- Come And Feel Better About Your Own State
Missouri- Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work.
Montana- Land Of The Big Sky,The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies, and Honest Elections!
Nebraska- Ask About Our State Motto Contest.
Nevada- Hookers and Poker!
New Hampshire- Go Away And Leave Us Alone.
New Jersey- You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right here!
New Mexico- Lizards Make Excellent Pets.
New York- You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney...And No Right To Self Defense!
North Carolina- Tobacco Is A Vegetable.
North Dakota- We Really Are One Of The 50 States!
Ohio- At Least We're Not Michigan.
Oklahoma- Like The Play, But No Singing.
Oregon- Spotted Owl....It'sWhat's For Dinner .
Pennsylvania- Cook With Coal .
Rhode Island- We're Not REALLY An Island .
South Carolina- Remember The CivilWar? Well, We Didn't Actually SurrenderYet ..
South Dakota- Closer Than North Dakota .
Tennessee- Home of the Al Gore Invention Museum.
Texas- Se Hable Ingles ,
Utah- Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus.
Vermont- Too liberal for the Kennedy's.
Virginia- Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?
Washington- Our Governor can out-fraud your Governor!
West Virginia- One Big Happy Family...Really!
Wisconsin- Come Cut Cheese!
Wyoming- Where Men Are Men And The Sheep Are Scared …

Saturday, January 20, 2007


It has been a very long busy day for Rocket, so it is time for a nap.

Friday, January 19, 2007



1/3 c. Chablis dry white wine
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tbsp. honey
4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced
1 tbsp. water
2 1/2 tsp. corn starch

Combine wine, soy sauce, pineapple and honey. Rinse chicken. Place in 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours. Top with chestnuts. Microwave on HIGH for 8 to 10 minutes. Rearrange chicken after 5 minutes. Remove chicken; keep warm. Combine water and corn starch. Add to marinade. Microwave 2 to 4 minutes until thickened.

Serve with 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving.

Serves 4.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today is my day to skite (kiwi for brag)

I started Weight Watchers last August, have reached my goal weight, and am one week shy of becoming a lifetime member.

I did not find it very difficult at all, as the program I am on is based on all food being given point values. Each person has a certain number of points according to age, starting weight etc.
I can eat anything I want as long as I do not exceed my alloted points for the week. Yes that means, chocolate, icecream, cake, fish and chips etc and etc. which does not mean I eat all those foods, I just choose to have some of them as treats instead of daily as I used to do.

I did not have a whole lot of weight to lose, but it was enough that all my clothes were very tight, and I refused to spend money on a bunch of new clothes. Besides if I bought a size larger, then next year I might have gone another size larger, and sure as H--l I was not going to let that happen.

So how about a *well done Keewee*

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why, Why, Why

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is
suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best
friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New visitor

A chinese pheasant has discovered all the fallen seed under one of our bird feeders.

And Rocket has discovered the pheasant.

Mr.C has a picture HERE from another angle

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sweet & Sour Sausage Over Rice

1 lb sausage- I like Lite smoked
1 sweet onion
1 apple
1/2 cup craisens, raisens or golden raisens
1 cup water
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1tbsp. soy sauce
1tbsp cornstarch

Saute the chopped onion in a little oil
Add the peeled and chopped apple

Stir in the Craisens, water, ginger, soy sauce, pepper, and sliced sausage.

I wait until it is cooked before adding salt, just in case the sausage is salty. I sometimes add a little brown sugar and vinegar if I want a more *sweet & sour taste*

Cover pan and simmer until apple is soft. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and stir into the liquid. Simmer until it is thickened.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I am staying home today

How lucky for me to have the first of four days off work.
We woke this morning to a snow blanketed world. There is no wind, the skies are a watery blue and the silence is almost deafening.
Here are some views from several windows in our home. As usual you can click on the pictures for a larger view.

When it is very windy the willow branches slap against the side of the house, which just happens to be our bedroom side. I think they will have to be trimmed back to allow us some uninterrupted sleep during windstorms.

The sun is just starting to peep over the trees gilding the pine tree outside our kitchen window.

I love the ever changing view outside the den window I sit in front of at my computer. This morning the tree looks as though it has been gold leafed by the sun.

From our front kitchen window, we look across Useless Bay, over Double Bluff, toward the snow covered Cascades, which are being lit by the morning sunrise.
Isn't mother nature grand?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


As I glanced up from my desk at the spa, I noticed a fog-like cloud moving across the waters of Saratoga passage. It stretched from the surface of the water up as far as the eye could see.

It looked so incredible, I turned, walked about six steps to get my camera, turned back and noticed how fast the cloud had moved along. It was approaching the spa at a considerable rate of speed, and by the time I had taken three photos the cloud was upon me. The dense cloud of frozen rain/hail or whatever you want to call it, sent me scurrying back into the warmth of the spa.

The hail, came down for quite a while then faded into large beautiful snow flakes which stuck to the vegetation but melted almost instantly upon hitting the ground.

I had never seen a weather front move in quite like this before, it was truly awesome.

Bank Account

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait! "

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. "It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank! . I am still depositing." Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3 Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Now here is some good advise. Perhaps if we all lived by these simple rules, the world would be a better place.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


S--T, yes I am cussing.

I hear the wind whipping through the trees outside the den window, the wind chimes are sounding their angry peals as they are buffeted by the gusts and the weather forecast is grim.

Today we could get wind gusts of up to 60 mile per hour, and you know we will have more trees down and probably be without power AGAIN!!!

Then to top it all off, by tomorrow evening we could possibly get snow and icy conditions as the temperature drops.

The novelty of indoor camping has worn off, I am looking forward to spring.

BUT, I do count my blessings, it could be worse, we could be experiencing
the aftermath of a hurricane, so I will quit whining and try to find the bright side.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

ANOTHER power outage

Last night around 10:30pm our lights went out once again, and they have just turned back on. It is Saturday 6:30pm. Even though we have a generator to power our furnace, and a camp stove to cook on, this is all getting to be rather tiresome.

There were a couple of branches off of our trees laying on the ground this morning, but that is nothing compared to what is hanging over the power lines just up the road from our place. Mr.C has the whole story HERE

Mr.C gave me a portable DVD player for Christmas, so I was able to pass some time watching a movie, and I also enjoy reading, so I do not become too bored.

I am ready for spring.......bring it on!

Friday, January 05, 2007


This recipe for gingernuts was given to me about 40 years ago. I have made a couple of ingredient substitutions as I could not find the ingredients here in the USA.

The recipe is as my Mother-in-law wrote it for me, in the back of an old recipe book.

1/2lb butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten together

4 large cups flour
2tsp. baking powder
4tsp. ginger
2tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. mixed spice (substitute ground allspice)
Golden syrup

Cream the butter and sugar until creamy add eggs and combine.

Lightly stir in the sifted dry ingredients.

Pour in the warmed golden syrup. You can find Lyles Golden Syrup in some supermarkets,or you can send for some. Get the syrup in the can.
I prefer Steens

As for the amount of syrup, you slowly add just enough until the mixture is easy to handle.
Take large walnut size pieces and roll in hands to form balls.

Place on a greased cookie sheet, or on a parchment covered cookie sheet, flatten with a fork, or make thumb indentations in centers of cookies.

Bake 350F for about 12-13 minutes or until just starting to brown.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

At the end of the rainbow

Yesterday, looking from South Whidbey Island, across Saratoga Passage, to Camano Island

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Brain exercise

It is said, as we grow older and want to stay alert , then we need to continue to find new ways of using all the capacity of our brain, and not letting it become sluggish from lack of use.

There are crosswords, chess, card games, and many, many more ways to exercise our brains.
I came across this chart below which is a fun little exercise as it really makes you concentrate.

How did you do? let me know.