You Should Try This!

I did try some new recipes for the Thanksgiving Day feast..... And I have to say the Sweet Potato Casserole that I tried from Pioneer Woman Cooks website was the best thing. Ever. And then I made this delicious Apple Pie. Whoa Nellie! I've been reading this blog for a couple years. I have tried many of the recipes. And to be quite honest - there isn't anything I wouldn't make again. They have all been great recipes. I love her stories. She has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are best friends. She is an amazing photographer. She's my hero! Now if only I could win one of her many prize give-aways!....



It's only going to keep feeling like a race until the first of January, right?.... We had a perfect Thanksgiving break. I really would have enjoyed a few more days off with the kids. They only have 13 more days of school before the next holiday break. I'm looking forward to that. We spent our Thanksgiving up at the cabin - the weather was just amazing. Unusual for sure. We ended up not leaving to go up until Monday - but I opened the cabin by myself for the first time. Inside was only about 38 degrees when we got there at 5 PM. But was already up to 60 degrees by 9 PM. We just piled the blankets on and wore stocking caps to bed.... I was a bit worried when we woke up at 6:30 AM and it was still only 65 degrees - but alas we reached a warm 70 degrees at some point that day!

So of course we ate too much, relaxed, played hours of Wii and had some fun! We ended up going to Hauns Meadow (or Van's pond) for some fishing and shooting practice!.... A Thanksgiving tradition with Kevin's family. On Friday we did the tradition of going into town and viewing the 2nd Annual Parade of Lights and than the Merchant Walk (Chester's take on Christmas Preview). Really brings in the Holiday spirit. I've never gone out on Black Friday to shop - so I didn't feel left out of that at all! And than of course it was all over and time to head home. I was talking with the kids about that on the drive home - we are all on the same page - we all love going up there - but we love coming home too! It was weird for me this time...... When we got back into town I was looking around and thinking how different everything looked - after only a week. Happy to be here - thankful, grateful and relaxed! Hope I'm still feeling it in a few weeks!.....


4 More Days!

I'm so ready for this election to be over I can hardly stand it..... It's the first time in my 23 years of voting that I can actually remember so much debate amongst the parties. Very well could have been there before - maybe I was better at ignoring it. Maybe I disagree more with what I'm hearing? I'm a little offended by the email forwards - like this one I received last night. (I'm not correcting their spelling or grammar errors!)

Many of you know I'm not an Obama supporter. In the beginning, I kept an open mind but their ARE too many unanswered questions. I researched some of this on the net and it's true, I could not find one of these inquires. Something to think about especially if you are leaning toward the Obama side. I'm not saying McCain is great either but at least hes not hiding information. Look it up and see for yourself. -(name removed for privacy) ps. if you find anything, let me know. I would be very intrested.

She was responding to this email she received.

As we come to the last week of this very long Presidential Race, I dreamed I was "Joe The Plumber" .Here are my questions for Mr Obama:

Sorry to bother you Mr. Obama, Sir Excuse me Mr. Obama, Imean Senator Obama, sir. Um . . know you are busy and importantand stuff. I mean running for president is very important and .. . ah . . . I hate to bother you. I will only take a minute ok,sir? See, I have these missing pieces that are holding meup, and I was wondering sir, if you could take time out of yourbusy schedule and help me out. You know, no big deal, just someloose ends and things. I can't seem to get someinformation I need to wrap this up. These things seem to eitherbe 'locked' or 'not available'. I'm sure it's just someoversight or glitch or something, so if you could you tell mewhere these things are . . . I . . I . . . have them writtendown here somewhere . . . oh wait. Sorry about the smears. Itwas raining out. I'll just read it to you. Could you helpme please find these things, sir? 1. Occidental Collegerecords -- Not released 2. Columbia College records -- Notreleased 3. Columbia Thesis paper -- not available, locked downby faculty 4. Harvard College records -- Not released, lockeddown by faculty 5. Selective Service Registration -- Notreleased 6. Medical records -- Not released 7. Illinois StateSenate schedule -- 'not available' 8. Law practice client list-- Not released 9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate- - Not released 10. Embossed, signed paper Certification ofLive Birth -- Not released 11. Harvard Law Review articlespublished -- None 12. University of Chicago scholarly articles-- None 13. Your Record of baptism-- Not released or 'notavailable' 14. Your Illinois State Senate records--'notavailable' You couldn't get a job at McDonalds and becomedistrict manager after 143 days of experience. You couldn'tbecome chief of surgery after 143 days of experience of being asurgeon. You couldn't get a job as a teacher and be thesuperintendent after 143 days of experience. You couldn't jointhe military and become a colonel after 143 days of experience. You couldn't get a job as a reporter and become the nightlynews anchor after 143 days of experience. BUT.... 'From thetime Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to thetime he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratorycommittee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate.That's how many days the Senate was actually in session andworking. After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed hewas ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World.... 143 days. We all have to start somewhere. The senate is agood start, but after 143 days, that's all it is - a start. AND, strangely, a large sector of the American public is okaywith this and campaigning for him. We wouldn't accept this inour own line of work, yet some are okay with this for thePresident of the United States of America ? Come on folks, weare not voting for the next American Idol! Please, pleaseforward this before it's too late!!!! Until he answers these questions,
I would NEVER vote for him.....Would You???

Vern Wigley -
I don't know Vern - so I'm leaving him in there.

So than this morning I get this awful "reply to all" email.

Here is how I feel...
McCain scares the hell outta me.. plus what kind of foreign policy experience does Plain have???? ZERO.....do we really want someone with NO experience dealing our foreign commanders???? I don't... Biden at least is brilliant and very experienced in foreign policies...
I watched the special last night on Obama... and he does answer alot of questions I had in my mind.......I have been a sceptic since the beginning... saying very closeminded comments about Obama and why he should not even be allowed to run for president.. so I was on your side... but ...... I have been doing my research and trying to be fair.. and in the process.... I have really learned alot... and NOT from the internet...... all that information you describe below is available to see... its just not so easy to acquire...especially when you are running for president.... it's not being hidden..don't you think if all that information was unaccessablie to anyone of authority in this country.. it would be all over the news??.do you really believe half the crap that is out there on the internet??? the majority of it is posted by McCain/Palin supporters to deter anyone away from learning any truth about Obama.. What I have seen and heard myself from watching the actual candidates speak is that the Mcain/Palin side sure spends alot of time trying to slander their opponents and less time explaining who they are and what they offer...... while Obama/Biden spend alot of time really trying to explain who they are and what they are about. What they believe in and why... How things can change and when....
Bottom line is...... Is anyone ever going to be 100% truthful in politics... probably not.... but.... I gotta tell you.. I believe in Obama and what he stands for.... and this comes from many hours of really listening to Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin...
I'm sure some of you will not agree with me... but be honest.... those of you who dont agree.. how much true research have you done? Or have you just been listening to "internet rumors" or "half truths" or being swayed by others around you and their opinions.... Cause I know I would be right where I was in the beginning of all this had I not really taken the time to find out for myself....

I say OBAMA 08

(again don't know Lynda - so I'm leaving her in there)

Do these people have no shame? Do they honestly think I want to hear what they are saying. How dare they "reply to all" - tacky! You know I can put up with a friend feeling the need to reach out to people. But when your friends friends turn around and "reply to all" that is when I lose it. Kind of like last night - when the phone rang at 8:45 PM and I looked at the caller ID and it said "protect marriage". Are you kidding me? Now these people are whacked. It's a good thing I couldn't get the phone to answer - I may have unleashed on the person! I have been so offended by there tactics it makes me not want to vote at all. These people have come to my door and spewed their garbage in front of daughter - to which I than had to have a conversation with her because of what she heard - one I was not ready to have. I than received some unpleasant mail from them as well. They will no doubt keep trying - I may get my chance..... Where do these people come from. Enough. I'm done. I voted weeks ago and I have to be subjected to this. I want a button to push - Yeah sorry I've already voted - go away!


Oh Yeah!

Baked Brie "Special"

This is my new favorite appetizer...... Again a friend shared the recipe with me. My kind of cooking - Easy! You just take one of the big Brie rounds from Costco. You than get a Pillsbury French Loaf in the dairy case of any grocery store - except of course the market in Greenville. I've tried that and it didn't work out for me. We had a party to go to in Taylorsville and stopped in at the market on the way home and the selection was a bit slim! So I had to run into Chester to get that one thing before the next party of the day - two parties in one day = too much! The Greenville Market is a nice quaint store if you only need the basics. We actually shopped there a few times this summer to try something different. It's about the same distance for us on our side of the lake to go to Greenville or Chester. Oops! Off subject....

Okay - so where was I? Brie from Costco - check, Pillsbury French Loaf - check. Apricot Jam, now I choose the Low Sugar version because you also sprinkle brown sugar on the top before baking. You can choose any kind or flavor. Of course you'll want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. First you place the brie in a pie dish (or round baking dish), take the French Loaf and stretch it around the brie. You can roll it between your hands to lengthen it. You then spread the Apricot Jam over the top, even spreading on the French Loaf. Next step is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Now just pop it into the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of baking you toss slivered almonds over the top too! Enjoy!


It's What's For Dinner

This has become a family favorite over the last year or so. My friend Mary shared it with me. It's so perfect for so many different settings. Like last night when I didn't get home until 5:40 from dragging my kids all over the place. Oops! Did I say dragging - I really meant driving. Kevin had a meeting to go to at 6:30 so I was trying to get him fed as well - but since it takes 30 minutes to cook and I didn't get it into the oven until 6:00 - I struck out on that one. Which really was okay - because then the kids were able to take the leftovers for lunch! Which if you ask me, that's a grand slam for mom! I packed their lunches last night and avoided the great debate this morning! Yeah for me! It's really feeling extra special this morning since Kevin took the kids to school!

I've made this dish for larger groups as well. We had a couples Bunko a few weeks ago and I made enough for 18. It's perfect with a nice salad, some pasta or just a loaf of french bread! It's super easy - I made it last night while on the phone, I had it in the oven in less than 15 minutes.... So give it a try!

"Easy" Chicken Parmigiana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce (I like the one from Trader Joe's)

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Halves

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

  • Pour Marinara sauce evenly in bottom of ungreased 12x8 baking dish. Place chicken breasts over sauce.

  • In small bowl combine cheeses, bread crumbs and oil. Mix well. Sprinkle evenly over chicken.

  • Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender & juices run clear



Bringing Down the House

Fall has Arrived

I toured the backyard yesterday picking up remnants of summer. All the patio cushions and umbrellas have been stowed for the winter. All the various balls that seem to litter the yard are now back in the basket - for how long is any ones guess. I noticed when I went out yesterday morning (before daylight) that it had rained during the night or very early morning. And now they are predicting a big storm to start off our fall/winter season. I did hear it raining again this morning too. I'm a bit happy/sad for it. While we really need the rain and snow - we have our annual Harvest Fair at school on Friday afternoon when the heaviest rain is scheduled to fall. I can't help but think of all the time and effort that goes into planning and putting on an event like that. To have it spoiled by rain would just be such a bummer.....

Anyway, while out again this morning I noticed the darn squirrels have been eating my Fuyu Persimmons already. I think I need to take up target practice. My cats seem to take care of the rat population, but they can't fly from tree to tree like those squirrels. I love watching them up in the trees trying though!


A Week Old and Still Funny!

I laughed at my timidness this morning. I realized as I jumped into the car to run the kids to school that I had my hair up like Sarah Palin and I had on my Tina Fey glasses. All I needed was my beauty pageant sash! I was a little worried about getting out of the car for fear someone might notice. Don't get me wrong - I look nothing like Sarah Palin. My husband recently commented to me on how pretty he thought she was. I was just worried for a brief moment that someone could think I might be trying to copy her. Not. I'm not going to get into a political debate - there is no need for me to tell you that I am a voting republican - much to my families dismay. Honestly, I've never felt that my vote matters much - does the State of California count at all? So there you go - just a Monday morning funny!


Just For Fun

Found this in my draft folder.....

The idea is to make a copy of this list and highlight via boldface or underlining all the things you have done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (in the process)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para sailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life


Well fall is certainly in the air these days and I've started working on the Omega Nu Fall Project at what seems to be the perfect time. I've got posters to get up around town. I've got food to price and tickets to sell..... Somehow I've ended up as the Food Chair....? How did that happen? Thankfully I've got great people on my committee to help - and Kevin is heading up the BBQ! We are hoping to sell around 600 tickets. It should be lots of fun - many people have been asking to have the barn dance brought back and here we go! The last time we did it was 2003 and only had about 450 people in attendance. This time we are at the Patrick Ranch in a real barn - so we'll see! Our biggest hurdle is selling tickets! So let me know if you need one!



I'm getting more sore by the minute..... It's never fun doing something you haven't in a really long time. All those muscles you've neglected come roaring back at you..... I find it a bit discouraging. So we did ride our bikes to the school yesterday - it took us 30 minutes to get there. Not bad. We then rode around downtown because it was "Taste of Chico" - we had a little lunch and then headed over to Bidwell Park for the kids to take a dip at one mile. We got home a little before 3:00 and headed straight for our own pool. It felt pretty good. That was until this morning when the kids jumped out of bed at 6:00 AM - because they wanted to ride their bikes to school this morning. So I of course did not discourage their excitement. That's when I started feeling the pain of the day before - now I've done a little whining lately about the bike situation. I clearly stated I wanted a new bike seat at the least. Oh my goodness. Yikes! Hoping up on that seat was painful..... Sure I'd like a new bike that I don't have to bend over the handlebars to ride. I'm pretty sure from the pain in my neck and back that that is almost a necessity at this point. Now this morning we took about 27 minutes to get there. Again that was all well and good. Now the ride home after dropping off the kids - not so much. Because I of course had no slow poke that I needed to wait for - I peddled the whole entire way - with the exception of a few lights. Oh and the guy who almost took me out at the intersection of Palmetto and Neal Dow! I had a few choice words for him - him covering his eyes when he realized he was about to hit me did nothing for my disposition. So I made it home and now time is flying by and I'm going to have to get back on that @#$% bike and ride back to school so I can turn around and ride home...... And it's gonna be hot. And I'm gonna be more sore. And. And. I think I might cry. Maybe I should take the car and put the bikes on the rack!.... Yeah! That's the ticket! But my kids would probably be disappointed.... So I'll be riding that bike back down there.........sigh......


Six Things

Oh No! I've been tagged by Tricia. It's my first time..... Can I do it?

Six Things about me that I haven't shared before?

1. That I use to run 7 miles a day without even thinking about it....

2. I now wish I had never stopped...

3. I have obsessive compulsive tendency. (I have to buy 3 tomatoes, 3 avocados, 3 cans of chili and so on)...

4. I love to watch and follow NASCAR.

5. I love to sing and secretly want to be a rock star.

6. In 1986 as the talent portion of the Miss Lassen County Contest I did the uneven parallel bars....

Whew..... I'll tag, Dad, Shan, Sistah, Michelle and?..... Okay we are off on our bikes to see how long it takes us to ride to school. We have to calculate what time we'll need to leave in the morning..... Not sure how this will work out since the traffic is totally different in the mornings! And a friend and I just set up a carpool for 4 of the days in the week!.....


Things are a Wee Bit......

Well nothing like throwing me some curve balls lately. I would like to remind you all to back up your computers today, tomorrow and everyday after that. You can see how my dad reacted to my loss - here. Because guess what?.....Your hard drive can crash with NO warning at all. I have unfortunately lost everything except some web pages I bookmarked?...... That was a wee bit strange. Yep - not a single photo back to Nov. 2004. I honestly have felt like a member of our family has died. Not a single word document that I typed up. Gone - all of it...... After a day of many tears I'm moving forward. Or I was until I realized that all the music I'd uploaded to iTunes (2004 songs) were gone as well. The thought of sitting there and adding all those CD's again - was not appealing. I guess I didn't realize that my iTunes library was on my hard drive - I thought it was on the web. And on top of that - Apple would only help me transfer the songs I purchased from them. So just be warned. And copy your library often...... There was some good news there - I found this website. And it's all back! Yeah! So it's true - when you hit bottom - things start to look up!
Ps. That would also mean I've lost everyone's email address - so if it's not too much trouble - drop me a line so that I can add you back into my address book:)


You Don't Say.....

What is it with our society that we always have to have new and better all the time. Now articles like this frustrate me - me the consumer. I thought I had the best camera available. I don't like reading a few years later that it's no longer the best..... What do I do now? Actually I know the answer to that one. Nothing - I love my camera. But I do feel a wee bit slighted now. Will I be embarrassed each time I pull it out of my bag. Will people point and stare?

We've become such a disposable society. I really hope that changes with our faltering economy. I know I have a new job around here and that is taking in the recycling for cash - we'll no longer use the curbside can except for newspapers and things they won't take at the recycling plant. We also a few months ago stopped using the plastic bags for groceries. I have my Chico bags that I use for everything. It seems lately I keep hearing about another city banning the plastic bags and charging people for using them. I love it! If I'm not mistaken - the city of San Francisco tried that a few years ago - here's an interesting article on it. But recently Seattle proposed a ban and a 20 cent tax. And a few days later Los Angeles county is trying the same thing. All I can say - is you go!


Such a Peach

(We) made this last night for dessert. It of course was delicious. We have peaches galore on our tree. I prefer to make a crisp vs. a cobbler. I think the oatmeal makes it feel more wholesome for me. So stop by if you want some peaches - nectarines are next!
edited later to include the recipe!:
Lots of Peaches to fill a 9x13 in. dish
2 cups Quick Oats
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Stick Butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Bring pot of water to a low boil, drop in peach for approximately 1 minute, drop into cold water and skin will peel right off. Repeat until you have enough peaches to fill pan. In a separate bowl, cut butter into oats, sugar, flour, salt and spices until crumbly. Spread peaches into 9x13 in dish. Sprinkle crisp topping over top and bake in 350 degree oven for approx. 35 to 40 minutes. Serve topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. Enjoy!
We didn't even get a chance to take a picture of it after it came out of the oven - too delicious! It.Must.Be.Eaten.Now!


Stranger Amongst Us?

This is really freaking me out

I have never (or until today) seen my husband without his mustache. I seriously think he would have left this morning without me seeing him if he could have. I am so freaked out by it. He has shaved a few years off his look if you ask me. He would not cooperate for a picture this morning. I'll have to keep trying. Who knows how long this might last - considering my reaction this morning. He's probably already started growing it back - just to shut me up. I've asked many times over the years for him to shave it off so that I could see him without to no avail. I think I mentioned last week that the goatee needed to go as it had so much gray in it that it was making him look older than he is. But oh my goodness - this is not what I expected! It will take some getting use too! I think I love it?!.....


Humboldt Fire

I'm not sure what I was doing yesterday to have not noticed the huge looming black smoke cloud. I was getting ready to take Karlee to reading at 4 PM and looked out the window for the first time and saw what looked to be the south end of Chico burning. It was a bit strange driving to the California Park area with that huge gathering of smoke right there. As I got closer I could tell it was actually on the other side of Hwy 32 and the wind was definitely blowing southeast. The smoke was certainly deceiving - from my house it looked so much closer. We dropped Karlee off and went to the Galley over off Park Avenue. From that viewpoint you could tell the fire was burning in the canyon going towards the Skyway. After stopping by the Plant Barn to check up on things with my sister (who wasn't there) we decided to go up the Skyway to turn onto Bruce Road and see the fire from there. They had actually closed the Skyway at Bruce Road at that point. So we drove along Bruce and you could see the helicopters dropping the water. You could tell that the Doe Mill area appeared to be out of danger. We came out at Hwy 32 to head back to California Park to pick Karlee up. Kyle and I noticed that the helicopters were dipping into Sierra Lake . We had about 15 minutes until it was time to pick up Karlee so Kyle and I decided to head over and see if we could catch the helicopters coming in for the water. When we got there is was mildly crowded. Kyle and I crossed the street, and this was the moment I regretted. As I was stepping up onto the bridge I misjudged the height and fell flat on my face. Not a good moment for me..... So I now have a skinned knee and bruised wrist. And of course my ego was hurt a little. Good thing I have such a sweet boy! He of course ran back over to help me up and kept asking if I was okay. Fortunately we were quickly distracted by the helicopters coming in. At one point there were 4 helicopters hovering and taking turns getting the water and heading back to the fire. It was pretty awesome to see up close like that. I soon realized the crowd that had gathered was now triple the size. Some had even brought lounge chairs.....? We ended up bringing Karlee back to hopefully get a glimpse as well. But that wasn't the case - after waiting about 10 minutes we realized they had obviously moved on to another water source. On the 11 PM news reports they stated that no structures we involved but the fire had quickly grown to 6000 acres. I hope they get a handle soon. The winds don't seem to be as gusty as yesterday but they are still blowing and that is never good for fire. I'll be looking for updates here.



Electra Townie

Electra Cruiser Daisy

This is what I have-only dark blue and about 15 years old

Okay I have a new obsession! I really want a Townie.... What a cool bike! I think even my mom could ride this bike. She hasn't ridden a bike in many years - but I know this could be the bike for her...... Anyway back to my obsession! We went to Baskin Robbins one afternoon and this large group - what looked like two families came riding up on these bikes. Oh my gosh. Talk about cool. They each had there own theme and colors. But what struck me as cool was the ergonomic ease of the bike. The handle bars and foot peddles were so perfect for the rider. So of course I came home and researched them. And the Townie is all about flat foot technology. Which I know isn't new but they seem to have increased in popularity. Or maybe it's the marketing of other products that has gotten the bikes popular, like this commercial. Here is an article on the bike craze from the New York Observer. And yes I have a perfectly good bike - but it's a mountain bike and not designed for commuting. The handle bars make you bend over to far. You can't touch the ground when you stop. And if that weren't enough - the seat is far to small for my derriere!.....I know I can get a bigger seat. But that is simply not the point! Of course the price of gasoline has gotten me thinking about bikes these days. We got rid of our SUV when it started costing me $ 60.00 each time at the pump. And now my sedan is taking $60.00 worth at each fill up. I'm seriously considering riding our bikes to school next year. And Kevin is talking about getting the Honda 90 going again...... Personally I think he should be walking - and have felt that way for 9 years. He is so close to work. I'd be doing it if it were me...... So will we be making that 10 mile round trip commute in the future? It would be double for me. We'll see! It certainly wouldn't hurt!


We have a visitor.....

If you haven't met Sophie yet - here she is.....
This is my sister's dog. We are dog sitting this weekend. It think the same thing can be said about dogs as is said about children - God made them so cute - so you don't hurt them. Is she not so adorable. She slept from 10 PM to 7 AM this morning - that was great! You know there is a but right? But she's pooped 3 times on my carpet and it hasn't even been 24 hours yet! And she's been outside a dozen times - for long stretches of time! So when my sister gets home I'll be recommending this book to her. I haven't had a puppy in the house for so many years! Although Sophie is already 8 months old - she is still very much a puppy. Kevin and I had a Yorkie for just over a year (unfortunately he was hit by car). He was great. But he too had pooping issues. I'm not sure if that is common for the breed or not. But I had the hardest time getting him to poop outside. Good thing we just LOVE Sophie. We'll get through this weekend - no problem! Thankfully I have the carpet cleaning guy already scheduled for Monday at 9 AM! That was just a coincidence.......


Fast Food Nation

We watched this movie the other night. It was something I had recorded on the DVR. I've been doing that lately - I look ahead on the guide and record movie's we haven't seen before. I really wish I had just read the book. It looks far more interesting than the movie. The movie was just bizarre. It had so many story lines going I couldn't keep it straight (actually I could, I just didn't want to) - nor could I figure out what they all had to do with each other. And it had all these big name people in the movie with these tiny little parts. Weird I tell you. Kevin and I talked about it after and decided they were trying to say - you can't change things? Why........

And if that weren't enough there was lots of unnecessary cussing - which always makes me shake my head. Not that I'm opposed to cussing - I do plenty on my own. But in this case a 1/3 of the movie was in Spanish and you had to read the subtitles - which had foul words too. So not only were you hearing it you were reading it as well..... And now I'm curious how different the book is from the movie. I guess I'll have to hit the library!

But back to the DVR - now if that isn't a little slice of heaven than I'm done for! I just love it. I don't watch all that much TV anymore - but the TV I do watch is all done on my time schedule. And with no commercials! I had for a while been recording Law & Order: Criminal Intent because I had stopped watching TV for a bit and missed so many episodes. And now I'm all caught up and it's set to only record new episodes now. It only takes about 1/2 hour to watch a full hour show. How nice is that. Plus I can pause it when I need to. I'll have to find another show that I want to catch up on....... So I guess it's back to reality - today is the first day of summer vacation!
Edited to add another link (Thanks Dad!)


Our Salutatorian!

Durham Intermediate
Class of 2008
Definition: In the United States and Canada, the title of salutatorian is given to the second-highest graduate of the entire graduating class of an educational institution. This honor is traditionally based on grades and overall GPA, but consideration is also often given to other factors such as extracurricular activities. Or further clarification from my sister - she got a 3.96 or higher grade point average in 6th, 7th & 8th grade.....
And we are so proud of her! Congratulations Meghan!


Happy Anniversary Baby!

Jan. 1992
Today marks the day of our 15th Wedding Anniversary.....


Our Wedding Day - May 29, 1993
I met Kevin in February 1988. I was living in So. California at the time. I had come up to Chico to visit my sister on a 3 day weekend. We were introduced at the Blue Max, which is no longer around - it's a music store now (across from Chico VW). We danced the night away. That was back in the day of the Ice House, which stayed open until 4 AM (It's now the Jesus Center). I remember thinking to myself what a great guy he seemed to be - to bad I was leaving to go back to Newbury Park come Monday morning. It was a couple months later when I received a phone call from this guy named Kevin, he asked if I remembered meeting him. Honestly we were in a large group and I had met a lot of people that night - so no I didn't remember him exactly. He also didn't say "I'm the one that danced with you all night". Anyway, he asked me if I'd like to go out to dinner with him. He was coming to Woodland Hills to help his Aunt move to the bay area. Because he didn't have a vehicle there he asked if I would meet him at his Aunt's house. I remember when I got there I was thinking I really don't know who it is that I'm meeting here. But when he came out of the room I was so relieved it was him. He was the one I was hoping it was - and that was it for me. I knew he was the one that I was going to marry. I went to work the next day and told the ladies that I worked with the same thing...... So I guess you can say the rest is history.
And here we are now - 2 kids, a home - Life's great! Easy? Never! Worth it - yes!


Farewell My Friend

We'll miss you girl!
2-28-96 / 5-26-08



We went to the Red Bluff Round-Up today - and all had a great time. It was an eventful day for the crowd. I'm going to try to stay awake to watch the 11:00 news - just want to be sure no one was seriously injured - I don't think they were but it was hard to tell. They had a bull jump a 6-8 foot fence into the stands. Scary! Two young kids were carried off and at least two adults were injured as well. The event came to a halt at that point as they waited for the ambulances to return. In my nearly 20 years of attending - I'm going to put it all out there and say - that's never happened before. It was the 87th year - so maybe it's happened before - I seem to recall an incident in the North arena one year - but I don't think it was this extreme. I was just commenting to Kevin on the drive up there that I'd sure like to get seats in the section in front of us (it's all bleacher style seating - but the front section has backs to there seats). I think I'll stay right where we are.
Today they had the Clydesdale Budweiser Wagon Show - those horses are truly amazing. No matter how many times I've seen them - it's just spectacular! They also had the One-Arm Bandit again. He is a pretty talented rider. And he brings in two huge Buffalo that are also a part of his act - which I forget they are even around anymore. And of course the show started from the air - my favorite part of the day. A skydiver brings in the American Flag - it's a very nice tribute. We happen to enjoy going on Sunday, the final day of the event. The theme for the day is "Are you Tough Enough to Wear Pink". It's also a fundraising day for Breast Cancer. I learned today that in the last five years (the National Rodeo Association?) they have given 4.6 million dollars to the Susan G. Komen fund. I think that is awesome! Someone in the stands today bought a pair of pink chaps for $22,000.00! All for a good cause..... Also a fun part of today's events are the Wild Ride and the Wild Horse Race. The Wild Ride - the riders dress up in crazy outfits on bareback broncos - what a hoot! With the Wild Horse Race they have 10 teams and they try to saddle up a wild horse and ride it around the track and the first team to succeed wins - usually the horse comes around without the riders. They had lots of winners today. And some that traveled great distances to see their efforts over in less than 8 seconds.....



Just a regular cake mix
Ready for the oven
Yup - there done
Now the fun begins
Looks like stiff peaks to me
Be sure to put enough in the middle
This resembles my son's hair at times.....

My father-in-law celebrates his birthday on St. Patrick's day. And this year he happened to be in Puerto Rico. So I decided to surprise him on Wednesday evening with a cake sitting on his counter top when he got home...... He was definitely surprised and much appreciated! My husband's family started this tradition many, many years ago. I believe Kevin's grandmother use to make it for his dad when he was a little boy. I do remember Saralee telling me that Kent use to always say (I think only in the beginning) that it never tasted like the way his mom made it. I've had both Kevin & Kent tell me that mine doesn't taste like Saralee's. I'm okay with that - I'm using her exact recipe - and they never let a morsel go to waste...... It's been a few years since they've said that. But I have to tell you the way these men act over this cake - you instantly see 40 years shaved off their age. And the manipulation they use to get the most cake. They will fill your dinner plate with seconds and thirds if it means you won't have a slice of cake after dinner. It's really hilarious. My husband will break into song when he sees the cake - singing the Bill Cosby song "(Dad) Mom is great, give me some chocolate cake". I'm not quite as generous with my cake making - Kevin's parents when hosting the birthday child would make two cakes - one for the celebrant only and one for the guests! I'd rather make it and give it away. For me it's really only good on the first day. Yummy - Enjoy!
Seven Minute Frosting (I make 1.5 times) enough to frost 2 9-inch cakes
1 1/2 cups sugar (2 1/4)
1/3 cup cold water (1/2)
2 egg whites (3)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (1/4 + 1/8)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In the top of a double boiler combine sugar, cold water, egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.
2. Place over boiling water (upper pan should not touch water), Cook, beating constantly with the electric mixer on high speed about 7 minutes or till frosting forms stiff peaks. Remove from the heat; add vanilla. Beat 2 to 3 minutes more or till it reaches spreading consistency.


Dear Blog,

I'm so sorry to abandon you. I think about you everyday with hopes of catching up with you. But it just doesn't happen. I will try harder in the future. I really think April will be a good month for me. I sit down at my computer and spend so much time reading other blogs that I just lose track of time and before you know it - times up! Please forgive me.....




Put a Fork in me.....

This is how I'm feeling today.
I've been home with a sick child for 4 days now.......I'm done. I've had someone home with me pretty much since Feb. 11th - that's 3 weeks. Take your germs and go away! I don't want them.... The germs that is. I suppose it's the flu bug that has taken my children captive. We've had the high fever that has been knocking them down flat on there backs - followed by a lovely nasal thing. And poor Kyle, he now has pink eye. Yuck! And of course you mention the word Pink eye and my eyes start twitching. Now my hands are rough and dry - they've been scoured so many times. I'd really like to go back to my routine. A good night sleep would be just as lovely. It's not much to ask for. I miss the gym - I know it's missing me......I miss the peace of my quite home from 8 to 2:30......Maybe tomorrow......


You Know Your A Tater Tot When.....

Tater Tot Casserole

Here is something I made the other night. I had a meeting to go to and my parents were coming to watch the kids because Kevin was working at the Burlingame office on Thursday and Friday. It's super easy and has only 5 ingredients! I set the timer on the oven to have dinner done by 6:15 - so when they got back from Basketball practice it would be all ready. The table was set and dinner was in the oven - what more could you ask for.... As I left for my meeting I told my parents I would be dazzling them with my cooking expertise! I found the recipe here. Of course I cut the recipe in half as I really don't need two 9x13 pans of the stuff! With a side of veggies you are set to go! Dinner in a flash. Not sure how much dazzling I did, but they had time to eat dinner, clean up and then run off to ice cream before I got home at 7:10. It is a perfect solution for our busy lives between school, sports and homework!
1 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
1 1/2 2lb bags tater tots
1 cans cream of mushroom
1 cans evaporated milk
1 cans cream of chicken
Brown meat & place in 9x13 dish. Cover with tater tots. Mix soup & milk together. Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour. Enjoy!


There Goes Another One

Well this one certainly came and went without a hitch! The dark cloud I was under last year seems to have lifted. I had no weeks of depression like I did last year. And that's such a good thing! We were invited to go to Kevin's dads' for dinner on my birthday - but earlier in the day it changed to dinner out my choice and they brought a German Chocolate Cake from Upper Crust - nice treat! I believe it's the next best thing to homemade.....I didn't bring my camera to dinner, but I thought it was so lovely I just had to snap what was left when we got home! This song below is the first thing I thought of when I started this post - reflecting back over the last year - I'd have to say I've song these words many times. They seem very true for me or they must be sticking in my head! Or we have Hannah Montana on way too much! Bottom lines is: Life's What You Make It.

Don't let no small frustration
Ever bring you down
No no no no
Just take a situation
And turn it all around

With a new attitude everything can change
Make it how you want it to be
Stay mad, why do that?
Give yourself a break
Laugh about it and you'll see

Life's what you make it
So let's make it rock
Life's what you make it
So come on come on (everybody now)

Why be sad, broken hearted?
There's so much to do
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Life is hard or
It's a party
The choice is up to you

With a new attitude everything can change
Make it how you want it to be
Stay sad, why do that?
Give yourself a break

I know you wanna party with me
Life's what you make it
So let's make it rock

Life's what you make it
So come on come on
Lets celebrate it
Join in everyone
You decide 'Cause life's...what you make it

Things are looking up
Any time you want
All you gotta do is realize that
It's under your control
So let the good times rock and roll

Ow!Da da da do it nowAaaaaaaaaaaaaahOW!
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah

Life's what you make it
So let's make it rock
Life's what you make it

So come on come on (everybody now)
Let's celebrate it
Join in everyone
You decide'Cause life's...what you make it
Life is what you make it


Happy Valentine's Day

You are my heart, my hope, my help,
The passion that is me,
The whole of which I am a part,
My peace, my ecstasy.

You are my future, present, past,
My ship, my sail, my ocean,
The wind that brings me home again,
The home for every motion.

You live within me, yet I am
Without you all alone.
With you I am full of light;
Without you I am stone.

Is this foolish? Yes, perhaps,
But also it is true.
I think of life as something I
Can spend with only you.

Ah, my love! Love longs for such
Sweet celebrants as this!
Love is a burden and a joy,
Slavery and bliss.

This day of love come love with me,
Come sing with me my song.
Come be my Valentine, and I
Will love you my life long, my love,
Will love you my life long.



Kevin brought home Sunday and Mondays' paper yesterday which was a real treat for me. I'm not really sure how long it's been since we gave up the daily paper. At first it was a real struggle for me as I savored my morning routine of breakfast and reading the paper. I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover - something you really can't do via the internet. The paper comes to the office and no one reads it so Kevin had said he'd just bring it home for me. A few times I've grabbed it when down there and there have been a few times that he's brought two weeks worth home for me. Sadly, I carried it right back outside to the green recycle can. Thanks for the thought - but really old news is just that!

So today I got around to reading Sunday's paper and came across this article. And AP Writer Ted Anthony pretty much summed it up for me! This is exactly why I've not missed the paper - or the news for that matter. I have the attitude that if it's important someone let me know. The rest is just too much! Seems to me that my dad found a site for happy news - I need to find that again. I'm so sick of celebrity news, which seems to have the front run these days. Who cares!

And to completely contradict what I've just said - I have found a new TV program that is at the top of my DVR list. It's Chelsea Lately. This gal is laugh out loud funny! She has a great (dry) sense of humor - and so sarcastic! Love it! I know it's not nice to make fun of other people - but she is so right on you can't help but laugh! Yes it is celebrity news - but it's more about the celebrity tales that won't end...... And she really makes fun of the media and there overhype on everything! So if I have to endure celebrity news - I'll take it this way - Laughing out Loud!

BTW - does anyone know why Blogger spell check is no longer working?.......


Must or Dust

Standing here like soldiers
Priced at 31 cents - they have got to be old
Here you can see the varying ages - by price of course

Considering the fact that I have issues with germs - it's really surprising to me that I found these in my cupboard recently. The spice cupboard has never really been my source of attention - it's Kevin's really, he's the spicer in the family. Not to say that I don't use spices I really do, but only when it's called for! And I have to use a stool to reach anything above the first shelf anyway. So imagine my surprise when I started emptying the cupboard when I was cleaning and relining the shelves. Good heavens! One of the brown boxes has a date of Aug, 1980 on it. Clearly, the 31 cent boxes are from the 60's or possibly the 50's. Kevin's grandmother was a big time canner. A weekend project two weeks ago was cleaning out the basement - and boy was that a treat! There are still lots of treasures down there. But we did toss out a huge amount of glass jars (I shouldn't say toss out - we recycled them). Our basement has never been that clean - it's probably been decades since it has been that clean. It was a great source of accomplishment. I wish I could say the same for the boxes of cinnamon.......I'm having a hard time throwing them away now.........I must have other issues as well........ Now if you are worried about how old your spices are do a little reading here. You can also find lots of colorful ads for sale on ebay of your old spices. I'll keep working on tossing those boxes of old, very old cinnamon sticks - that no longer smell of cinnamon!



Only 6 ingredients
These remind me of the scones I use to get at Steam & Bean

My kids just love these - could it possibly be the Chocolate Chips in them?...... They are always requesting Chocolate Chips in there pancakes. Around the holidays I found some Milk & White Chocolate Chips at Raley's and have been using them - nice twist! I'll share the recipe with you. They are super easy and yummy!

Chocolate Chip Scones
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Additional whipping (heavy) cream
Additional sugar
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray with cooking spray or grease cookie sheet. Stir Bisquick mix, chocolate chips, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, the egg and vanilla until soft dough forms.
2. Pat into 8-inch circle on cookie sheet (if dough is sticky, dip fingers in Bisquick). Brush circle with additional whipping cream; sprinkle with additional sugar. Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate.
3. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown; carefully separate. Serve warm. 8 scones.