May so soon?

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I felt like writing a real blog post.  Not quite sure why… but my guess would simply be “decompression” from all the stress from the month of March particularly.   It seems like I barely blinked and May is here.  Well, it certainly hasn’t felt like May here!  Day after day of rain and more rain, all the precipitation we didn’t get last winter.  And cold!  It was down to 37 degrees here last night.  Taking a leap of faith, believing that spring and summer will truly appear, I planted quite a few pots of flowers for our back deck, a hanging basket, and this  year, some veggies!  Three tomatoes (two of which appear to be frost bitten); zucchini and crookneck squash; green & yellow bell peppers; and a bunch of herbs in my former “strawberry” pot – you know, the one with all the little peek-a-boo openings?  I have to say that the basil I planted in the strawberry pot has already perished, possibly from too much water – or the cold night temperatures.  In a few weeks, I’ll replant the basil, it’s such a great herb to have fresh anytime you want it!

Dear Hubby is still recovering from the muscle tear in his psoas muscle and the hematoma that occurred after the tear.   Each day he gets a little better and for that we are both SO thankful, but it’s a looooong process for the body to reabsorb the blood that pooled in that muscle.  He’s walking daily on the treadmill and using the cane less and less.  His new hip seems to be fine – another thing to be very thankful for.  After suffering for weeks with this hematoma thing, the poor guy suddenly got a horrible tooth ache last week.  A trip to the dentist confirmed the worst, he needed a root canal.  Like I’ve said before, “when it rains, it pours”.  The dentist consulted carefully with the orthopedic surgeon to do what they could to prevent the infected tooth germs from traveling through his body directly to the new joint.   Yes, he’s on ten days of antibiotics.

While recovering from the hip and the hematoma and the root canal, we’ve taken some time to plan out our big summer trip in the motorhome.   We’re going to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park.  Because summer is the busy season in Yellowstone, we’ve reserved our camping spots all along the way.   What’s still up in the air is whether or not we’ll have our “RV cat” with us….  Can Jinx tolerate two weeks on the road?  Can WE tolerate Jinx’s kitty yowling?  Since we are not sure of the answers to those vital questions, we hope to do a two night trip with Jinx in tow – to see how it goes.  We may be tearing our hair out by the end of it, but only time will tell.  I’ve told hubby that Jinx needs a friend to hang with in the motorhome, but so far I’ve had no luck convincing him to add to our family.  Even subtle hints like email links to adorable kitties on have not worked – yet.

Mother’s Day weekend is upon us, and this mother is actually quite excited.  On Saturday we are hosting the neighborhood game night.  Sunday afternoon we are going with the neighbors to a Mother’s Day brunch – a yearly tradition for us.  Then…. Sunday evening, I’m going with our neighbor Susan to Seattle for a B-I-G concert!  Susan and I are going to see a couple of 70’s icons – James Taylor and Carole King!  I’ve been to many concerts over the years and have seen many of my favorites, except JT.  The time has come!  These two are stellar songwriters AND singers.  The concert in Key Arena is slated to be “in the round”.  I’ve only been to one other concert configured like that – John Denver in 1978.  Nothing has ever topped that one.

Here’s wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all – to everyone who is a mom, who has a mom, and even to those hoping to be a mom.  🙂

Just for fun, my very favorite James Taylor song :

August delights

I think this time, more pictures and less verbiage!  First off, some of my FOOD pictures.

COOKING09 015 I do love to try a new recipe from time to time, and this one I found I had many versions of.  Italian Bread Salad, or “Panzanella”.   We thought it looked yummy for a warm summer’s day, so I gave it a try.  Seen in the picture are large bread cubes from what the recipe called “country” bread, but it was actually a round loaf of Italian rosemary bread that I picked up at Trader Joe’s.  English cucumber, red onion,  provolone cheese, plum tomatoes, cannellini beans, and fresh basil.  I made a simple vinaigrette as the recipe suggested, using red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper.  COOKING09 018

I tossed it all together, waited the suggested two hours (for all the flavors to mingle and the bread to soak up some of the dressing), and then served it up.  Dee-lightful!!  You can see the recipe I used by clicking here.

Recently (this past week) we took our motorhome out on another adventure.   Each time we go we learn more and more about the features of our newest acquisition.  This time we stayed away two nights and I got the chance to try out the microwave/convection oven.

COOKING09 022The motorhome does NOT have a “regular” oven, so I needed to see what baking in a convection oven might be like.  Well, here is the result!  My version of a Plum Tart.  It was nice and brown and properly baked – and was so tasty.  I only wish we’d had some vanilla ice cream to go with it.  I got my idea for this dessert hereCOOKING09 025

Yesterday we stopped by our favorite farm stand and picked up a HUGE bag of these “Romano” green beans.  We buy them every year and LOVE ’em!  This year I decided to buy A LOT and freeze some for wintertime.  So here they are, just out of their blanching, then ice water bath, waiting to be packaged for the freezer.  YUM!

Now for some motorhome  pics from our last trip.  We headed a little further away this time and ended up at an RV park on Willapa Bay, very near the open ocean.   We were able to park waterside, and this is the view we had!August 09 022The little island you see in the above picture seemed to attract a very large amount of seagulls–August 09 026Guess there really is something to that old saying… “birds of a feather, flock together….”

More  scenes of  “camp life”August 09 016 – just hangin’ out in our fold-up camp chairs…

August 09 035Dear hubby enjoying the campfire and the sunset. 🙂

We had a nice time and would have loved to have stayed longer.  Someday, yes someday if we are truly lucky and blessed, we’ll get to take a three-month trip around parts of the USA and Canada.  That dream is still way off in the future…. but there’s nothing wrong with having a few dreams!   Hoping you are enjoying your own “August delights”!

A happy birthday

The older I get the less excited I am about birthdays.  In fact I’ve begun to dread them, ignore them for the most part, and simply sweep them under a rug.  This year it seemed like we had a lot of stuff transpiring on and around my “big” day, and as it happens, people in our neighborhood decided that I got one HUGE present on the commemoration of my 54 years of life.  Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t really a birthday gift.  Here is a snap shot of “it”:

June 2009 036It’s our “new to us” Winnebago Journey motor home.   This thing looks huge, and it sort of is!  We hoped to find one that was 32 to 34 feet long, but ended up with this beauty which is 36.  What an adventure we had… or should I say journey … to get it home from Olympia WA.  We navigated rush hour traffic through Tacoma and Seattle… trucked on through Everett, and then up the narrow, winding roads to home – where it barely fits in our driveway.  We’re not allowed to keep it at home for more than three days (homeowners association rules), so it will be moved to it’s home away from home on Saturday.  We are planning our first outing in July – can’t wait!

One of my goals is to get our cat, Jinx acclimated to the motorhome, so he can become a real RV cat!  The previous owners had two RV cats that went along with them.  One was an indoor/outdoor cat like our Jinx, and we were told that he adapted very well to the RV lifestyle.  I’m still not convinced that Jinx will truly adapt, but we are sure going to give it a try.  Here’s a picture of Jinx getting comfortable with the new RV.  June 2009 032

He actually had a great time exploring every possible nook and cranny!  On the counters, the sofa, the dash, the bed, and everywhere in between.  I do worry a bit the first time he is inside and we start up the big ol’ diesel engine…. he may go WACKO!!  Again, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will adapt to the sound of the engine, the movement, and also the fact that he will most certainly have to stay INside while we are camping.   That’s a lot for a kitty to have to learn to live with, so we shall see.

June 2009 029What I really got for my birthday was this gorgeous bouquet of flowers from my precious husband – the best husband on earth (well, I think so!!).  Then we went out to dinner at Anthony’s, a popular seafood restaurant here in the Northwest.  I splurged and got the fresh Alaskan King salmon, and ohhh la la, it was delish!

Having a birthday at my age has lost it’s thrill, but there’s still something to be said for just plain happiness and contentment.  I’m lucky because I’ve got them both…. and great kids and step kids, the world’s greatest husband (oops, already mentioned him), fabulous neighbors & friends, a great job….  well, you get the point.  I’m a lucky girl and I really DO know it.