Sunday, May 30, 2010

And all the dogs came out to play

Several weekends had gone by since N and I took the dogs to the dog park in Keizer. This long weekend without rain (at that time) gave us an opportunity. When we rounded the bend at the end of Chemawa Road there were only 2 dogs in the large dog area in sight--zero small dogs.

BUT just minutes after our arrival the small dogs kept showing up. I'd guess the total grew to somewhere around 12 dogs in 15-20 minutes. Reminded me of going to play at an empty park and suddenly kids are coming out of the neighboring houses. Fun times!

Wandering Aengus

It's always fun to do a tasting of Wandering Aengus Ciders.  James loves to talk about what he does and we love to listen.  Not only did we get to taste the featured ciders, but he brought out 3 unfinished varieties from the back room.  Plus, there were so many people we ran into from out of state.  Awesome!
Two days of tasting possibilities left!  :>)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Florence Welch

I heard this song in the car yesterday.  Love hearing a new amazing voice.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Old Scout


The Care and Feeding of U.S. Senators

May 18, 2010
I was the only reporter who snuck into the Senate Spouses dinner in Washington last week and nobody swore me to secrecy so here goes ...
Tuesday, May 11, in the lofty, leafy glass arcade of the U.S. Botanic Garden near the Capitol, tea partier Scott Brown hobnobbed with prairie progressive Tom Harkin, affable Chuck Schumer put an arm around flinty Chuck Grassley, and cranky old Jim Bunning went . . . (click here to read the rest)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A little respect

Instead of seeking out somewhere new to us or longtime unvisited, N and I decided to enjoy Willamette Burger Co. for date night.
About the same time that our burgers were delivered to our table, we noticed a local street person cupping their hands and peering into the window.  They settled into one of the chairs outside for several minutes and then ventured into the restaurant.
I was curious to hear what would happen next.  The young man who waited on us, greeted this person in the same manner he welcomed us, "Good evening! What can I do for you?".  After receiving his to go order, he went back to one of the outside chairs to eat.
After witnessing this interaction, I remembered something I read in the SJ's letters to the editor years ago.  A wife wrote in to describe how her stocking cap wearing husband was treated at a local business.  There was an assumption by one of the staff that her husband was a street person because of his attire.  He was immediately asked to leave.  The woman was incensed that he was treated with so little respect all because of his appearance.
And now?  Now I have even more warm fuzzy feelings about WBC.  All because of the simple human respect that young man showed a customer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Changes

I browsed through an article in Newsweek this morning (yup, I browse before I read) about future cities and changes we might live to see.  One of the things that excites me the most are the energy producing buildings;  photo voltaic crystals in windows and decorative extensions on skyscrapers that capture the energy of the wind. Oh and the green roofs!
I wonder if any of these changes will happen on a big scale in my lifetime?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Downtown character

Early this week, after work, my phone told me I had an incoming text message.  Lise wanted to know if she'd done anything to make her papa or me mad.  What?  Huh?  I texted her back, "no, not at all. why?"  She had sent us both 3 or so texts during the day, but neither of us had heard or checked our phones during our work day.
That's when I learned her car had overheated on the bridge and there wasn't enough time before work to get her car towed.  She parked it at Riverfront Park downtown and asked if we could go take a look.
Norm and I ate dinner before heading downtown.  Just minutes after we opened the Lumina's hood, a young man appeared, asking what the problem was.  He told us all about the horrible frailties of that particular engine and how it was most likely done for.  We explained that the car had had that issue repaired already, but then he pulled a plug out to show us there was water in the engine.  He's a mechanic, he said, he's seen this before.  He went on to tell us that he just moved from North Dakota and that the best car to own was a Toyota.  Those thousands of people with the unexpected acceleration problem?  He said that was the driver's fault, not Toyota's.  We listened to him tell us about the granola eaters in California, while we continued with checking out the car, until his friend was ready to leave the park.  Whew!  Thank goodness!  I'd had about as much of his negative energy as I could graciously handle.
And after hearing all that, N and I were greatly relieved to hear the Lumina just needed a new freeze plug.  In the meantime, I'll admit,  I'd already begun a used car search.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Salisbury Steak In Mushroom And Green Peppercorn Sauce

(click for link to original recipe using beef)
======================================================
2 Pounds of ground turkey
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon of worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tsp. horseradish
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauce

1/2 small onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 Tablespoon green peppercorns
Fresh Mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons Flour
Broth 2 to 3 cups (Beef or chicken)
Pan drippings plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or oil.

Saute onions in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until tender but not browned. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. In a bowl combined ground turkey, parsley, thyme, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and salt and pepper. Add onions and garlic and mix well. (I use my hands).Form into oval shaped patties. (I made 5 nice size ones from the 2 pounds, but you could make smaller if you prefer). Brown the patties in a heavy skillet in a little olive oil. You can also brown these in a grill pan. Remove the meat from the pan. Add a little more oil if needed and saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Add wine, stir till it cooks off.  Sprinkle with a little flour, cook for a couple of minutes and add the broth and the green peppercorns. Add the patties to the pan, cover and simmer on low for at least a half hour. Make sure there is enough sauce to almost cover the steaks.
Serve with rice or ??

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Old Scout


A Farewell to a Gentle Swede

May 11, 2010
Mr. Ray Nilsson died in an upstairs bedroom in my house early Monday morning around 2:35 a.m., which was nothing he or I contemplated back when I married his daughter, but life takes us down some mighty interesting roads. If he'd had his choice, he probably would've died in the woods around his log cabin in northern Wisconsin, axe in hand, splitting wood — a big whump in the chest and the sky spins and (click here to read the rest)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Respect the Road

Not often, but once in awhile I'll drive home at lunchtime.  I'm lucky to live fairly close, especially on days when I leave important things at home--like my school keys.  :>P  That's what happened today.  After driving home I figured as long as I was there, I'd chug a cup of coffee, let the pups out and grab a bite to eat, before hopping back in the car to head back to work.
I hadn't even driven a quarter mile up Croisan Creek Road, when a Ford Explorer came careening (yes, careening) around the corner--two wheels on the road.  Obviously the driver had lost control of their vehicle, driving far too fast for the corner (or ANY part of the road).  The Explorer went into a skid, all those 100's of pounds of vehicle sliding sideways straight towards me.  All I could think was "crap! and the roads are slick with rain!"
Thankfully, the young driver knew how to steer in a skid and directed the Ford into the ditch, where it quickly slowed to a stop.  I sat in my stopped car, staring, feeling ill, trying to shake the adrenaline surge and wondering what I should do.  Within seconds, the car behind me pulled around and into a driveway and got out to see what they could do and then a truck did the same.  Me?  Seeing that they had help, I continued my drive back to work.  I'm glad the boys are okay, but I hope next time they'll respect the road and get their thrills elsewhere.
I can hope, can't I?

Short-cuts

Years ago (or is it now considered eons?), when N and I were dating, we were visiting some of his friends.  During the course of conversation--probably being gifted handy hints without my full realization--Sandi (one of the friends) told me about her attempt to consolidate activities in her daily schedule.  She figured that it made sense, as long as she was already in the shower in the morning, to wash the shower at the same time.  She was less than impressed with her results, because of the contact with the cleansing powder.

That conversation has stuck with me over the years.  It appealed to the consolidator in me.  N and I were already using a squeegee after our showers--to cut down on the length of time it takes for the bathroom to dry out.  So it was easy to take the next step.  I had recently been introduced to "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser" sponges by a school parent.  They seem particularly suited to cleaning the smooth surfaces of fiberglass and porcelain.  So now, instead of using the squeegee every morning, I wipe down the shower enclosure with the sponge.  I don't know if this classifies as a time saving hint, but now I never have to worry about how the shower looks when company visits.  Plus soap scum doesn't have much of a chance to accumulate.

There! Now you've just been gifted a handy hint!  Yours to do with as you choose ... ;>)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tweets do tell

This morning, I noticed one of the local Tweeps I follow had replied to Scott Simon of NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.  Curious, I clicked back to see what he had tweeted.

"nprscottsimon Hotel in Salem OR across street from Dem Party HQ, Tea Party Bookshop, Mexican grill, and local Pagan Center. I love America."

"Oiks!!", It had never occurred to me what kind of impression an out of towner might get from looking out their Grand Hotel window.
Salem!!  We need to take care of this!  Not a total obliteration, but some changes, definitely.
How about we talk Gerry Frank into putting his Konditorei in there somewhere, and we get rid of that nasty, past it's prime building that houses the Mexican restaurant?

What would be appealing to you if you were looking out one of those windows?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Maybe a longer list next time?

I'm pleased that it's only a quarter to 4 and we've already completed all but one thing on the to do list (chores can wait, as far as I'm concerned!).  I do still need to type up my itemized donation list and hose out our pop can bin, but that's small stuff.  Liseanne and I took our bottles and cans to Roth's for the first time.  It was nice to have a cleaner environment AND a sink to wash up in after we finished.  Athough, four of the bottles in the bottom of the bin were fuzzy with mold.  Not sure how or why that happened.
Okay, back to enjoying the deck and pondering what to do next--besides watching Izzy laying on her back in the grass!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Making My Friday Mental List

"Yes, squirrel, I see you peering at me. Geez, he is one healthy specimen!"
Oops! Sorry! Distracted yet again! That's what happens when you have a big window behind your computer desk. You're constantly reminded that you could be OUTSIDE doing things.

Of course I'm excited about our plans this evening and have already put new batteries in my camera, but I was reminded that there will be other (less fun) things to do this weekend when I took my empty pop can out to the garage this morning.


  1. Trip to the church of bottle deposits
  2. Trip to the Deer Creek transfer site after a quick sort through the garage and backyard
  3. Trip to the Goodwill to donate latest pile of clothing and replaced drinking glasses
  4. No, chores, I haven't forgotten you! :>P
  5. Enjoying backyard and N

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Old Scout


Hullabaloo in Times Square

May 4, 2010
I often walk through Times Square where the Incompetent Bomber parked his 1993 Nissan Pathfinder last Saturday with the alarm clocks wired to the M88 firecrackers in the canister between the five-gallon gasoline containers and the three propane tanks, the bags of nonexplosive fertilizer, and so I take a personal interest in the case. (to read the rest click here)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Irony?

Yes, I'm one of those creepy stalker type people who keep track of the number of blog visitors and where they hail from.  Okay, so that feature isn't always as accurate as we'd like it to be, but it's right on the money 96% of the time.
So why does it give me the shivers when someone reads my blog from beginning to end?  Who knows.  Especially since I'm the one putting so much of myself out there on the web and then I become slightly weirded out when someone finds it and reads it.  And that's where the irony steps in.
It's times like that when I'd like to be able to reach out and answer that tentative knock and say, "yes? can I help you?" Now that would truly be creepy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finishing a good book

Oh how I love to read a good book and how I hate to finish it!
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was excellent from start to finish with well drawn characters.  I felt like I even learned a little about dogs.  I was surprised that David Wroblewski, the author has done so many things in his life--and done them well.

Now to choose the next novel from the waiting shelf. I hope it's good!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gliding & Musing

Watching the short folk enjoy their foam gliders made me happy yesterday.  I'm not a big proponent of disposable toys, but I do like to give them some fun after all of our weeks of doing flight in science.  I'm glad Shindigz.com pushed to get the replacement order here on time.  Good to know I won't have to find a new place to order the gliders next year.

There's a house for sale that meets most of our criteria.  I made the big step (for me) of emailing the listing agent to ask a few questions.  Then in the shower this morning I began to think of the details--mainly getting OUR house ready to sell.  I wanted to crawl back into bed and pull my pillow over my head.  So overwhelming!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For Chuck


When N and I spotted this on our weekend drive, we had to turn around to take a picture.  This is for you big brother Chuck!  :>)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rerun

Resharing this experience from a year ago. Wow! Glad that's not a regular occurrence! What do people incapacitated by their illnesses do in a situation like this??

After work on Friday, I walked out to my car and called Fran to check in and see if there was anything I could do for her before I drove home. She reminded me that she had two prescriptions to pick-up at Costco and one written prescription ready to pick-up at Salem Clinic (pain meds have to be rewritten every month and physically retrieved. lord knows how families in worse situations than ours cope with this hassle.). Which helped me remember that I had an appointment to have my hearing aides checked - also at Costco.

I took the convenient 12th St. route across town to Salem Clinic. The employee at the counter couldn't find Fran's envelope in their expanding file and jogged into the back to talk to Dr. Week's medical assistant. After several minutes she returned and said that we had picked up this same prescription just 9 days ago. I know that Fran keeps better track of her pills and rarely makes a mistake, but without the bottle for proof there was nothing I could do. I went out to the car, called her and suggested she give them a call to sort it out. She immediately called back, said she had left a message and would keep me informed. So I called N at work to let him know he might need to retrieve this one as I was on my way to an appointment.

After my appointment (where I found out my right ear was slightly worse) I did my shopping and picked up the two prescriptions that were waiting. As I wheeled the cart out to the car, I ran into N with the prescription in hand. Yay! (but wait there's more) I took the groceries out to the car and joined him inside for the wait. Turned out (due to the efforts of the Feds to protect us all) Costco was out of oxy, but called Safeway on Center for us and found out they did have someWe hopped into N's truck and motored over. N submitted the prescription and we left to sit in the truck and people watch for the wait. Fifteen minutes later, N's phone rang. It was Fran. Safeway had called to tell her the prescription needed to be signed. We looked at our watches and decided we could still make it to Salem Clinic before 7 and hoped they could help us. We retrieved the prescription and made it with 2 minutes to spare. I handed it over to the young woman behind the counter and told her (pitifully) that this had been such a hassle and boy I sure hoped they could help us out. She apologized and said it's something she tries to check (signatures) every time. She disappeared into the back and returned beaming, "Dr. Weeks was still in her office typing away!". Yay!

We returned to Safeway with the magic paper in our hands. The assistant handed it over to the pharmacist. He called us over and inquired (oh so careful not to suggest any wrong doing) how in the world we had gotten it signed so fast. We told him how fortunate we had been in arriving at Salem Clinic just in time and how Dr. Weeks was still in her office. (Who knew when something good finally happens, it could be bad.) He scanned our faces, asked a few more questions and probably wished he hadn't when I began to tear up.

Finally!! Mission accomplished! Nothing like an after work work-out, but I have to say - I'd rather be walking the dogs at the park under that beautiful moon. And after dinner, we did. :>)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Weekend


This is one of my favorite times of the year--heading out to the nurseries.  Our favorite is Fessler's out on Monitor McKee Road.  Since we were out in the neighborhood, we made a stop at Bauman's.  While we were there, we walked around the garden path, bought some donuts and tomato plants and dined in the green house.  :>)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops - Giada De Laurentiis

Have to share this winner of a recipe.  We don't often eat pork, but this recipe made the event a worthy treat.  The only thing I changed was instead of Italian-style bread crumbs, I substituted panko.  No reason, it's just what I happened to have in the cupboard.


Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
12 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.