Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pumpkin Ravioli

Here's what F made us for dinner last night. :>)
She modified a recipe from Cooking Light. After putting the ravioli together, she gently boiled them until they floated to the top and sauteed them with some turkey bacon and garlic. Before serving she topped the ravioli off with ground pepper, sage and shredded Parmesan cheese. I never would've believed pumpkin ravioli would be something I would love.
Today we're making the onion, apple & bacon side dish recipe I stumbled upon several years ago. Now people ask for it during the holidays. It goes so well with ham. F found a similar recipe in Cooking Light. So, we'll see how it goes with the new modifications. It sure smells good! But how can you miss with onions and bacon? :>)
The pumpkin goes in the oven to roast next. Which reminds me . . . I better go turn the oven back on. What a ditz!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

The first day back at school

The first day back at school/work went well. I didn't accomplish anything, but anymore I don't expect to with the two kg orientations and staff breakfast meeting. I did get all 6 computers set-up for the kids. Not as neatly as I always wish I had the time for, but they work - and when you're talking about computers as old as these, that's a good thing.
The OS student helping out for two weeks is a sweetheart AND a hard worker. Good to know, since I'll be gone to an appointment the first week.
Time to start thinking about what to accomplish for camping this weekend. :>)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Well, today F went in for the injections into her appendectomy scar. She said she can feel some numbness on the upper side of the incision, but not down below. So, walking (lifting the legs) is still slow going. She'll be going in to see the pain therapist on a weekly basis and back for her follow-up appointment with the pain doctors in 2 weeks. I feel like we sit and wait for the intervals in between appointments to speed by us.
Tomorrow she goes in to see her primary care doctor. One of the items the pain clinic wants her PriCare Dr. to address, is to make some needed adjustments to her list of medications. I'm glad they're so thorough in their health screening - makes me wish all of the medical people she's come in contact with would have been.
She sent in her transcripts to the OHSU nursing program on Monday. Nice to think about the future again.
I can't believe I go in to work on Thursday. How many kinders will we have this year? What kind of classes will we have?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Either success or another diversion

F had her consultation this afternoon. After much poking (a safety pin, even) and prodding, the NP went back to discuss the case with the other doctors. When she returned, she brought a different doctor than the one scheduled to the case. This one excitedly entered the room and said that F looks like she has a case of what he specializes in - nerve pain/damage caused by surgical incisions. He told her what the procedure would entail and what relief she might have. Then they gave us some paperwork and sent us out to schedule physical therapy and the pain procedure. tick tick tick More waiting for more appointments . . . I want things to happen now! Maybe I should've sat on the floor and refused to leave?? ;>) They also had suggestions for needed changes in her prescriptions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First appointment at OHSU

Well, it's just hours from THE appointment.
Tomorrow a little before noon, F and I will be heading north for the Comprehensive Pain Clinic. She was pretty upset last night, stressing about the possibility of being stuck in this state forever. Probably why I was unsuccessful in talking her into getting her doctor to sign for a wheelchair. It's not giving up (I insisted), it's the ability to get around and not be stuck on the couch. {sigh}

Friday, August 3, 2007

An end to the pain???

F got her test results this morning.
She tested positive for cdif.
FINALLY a positive result on one of the oodles of tests she's had to go thru! This one should have been done long ago. In my opinion, it should've been done by the hospital she worked at. Will all the abdominal pain finally be coming to an end? Oh please, please, please! My skinny, little, shadow of a young woman is more than done with doing her Tim Conway impression. I can't wait to have cheerful, energetic, hardworking, silly, fun, F back!!! It's right up there with wanting L & J on the west coast.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

and August walked in

Ah, Zuzu the cat, has decided to hop up and help me type. Hmmmmm, a cat challenge! She's been letting us know how traumatic it is for a cat when her owners leave. Such a people creature!

We drove up North for a job interview yesterday; to a land of trees, new developments and happy smiling people who make eye contact. I reclined in the comfy truck, read my current book, called my sis to chat and see if she could look up a local coffee roaster's address and then read some more. Nice way to spend an afternoon, in my book. :>)
After the 1 1/2 hour interview, we drove to the downtown area and found the coffee roaster's shop. I bought some Dancing Goats coffee, of course. It looked to be a spacious, relaxed establishment in an old, high, ceilinged building - lots of comfy, medium dark wood everywhere.
Then we stopped at Costco to gas up, picked up a few groceries and drove to K & K's house for a delicious, finger licking dinner that started with margaritas, then continued with guacamole salad, sock-eye salmon, ribs, cantaloupe and sour dough bread. Oh my gosh! One of those dinners where you wish your stomach didn't ever reach capacity! Of course, the great company always adds to the food, doesn't it?
We stopped in to say "hey" to Ma & Pa and C & L, before heading south. During those moments, I want to divide myself in two so I don't miss visiting with anyone. {sigh}
We were more fortunate than those freeway travelers heading north. Our construction on the south side barely slowed us down in two places, but on the other side the trucks and cars were strung out like gaudy, over done Christmas lights.
F called on our way home and said she and J have found a place to live in the land of peanut butter pie! Yay! One less thing for all of us to fret about. Moving day is weekend after next.

Monday, July 30, 2007

after BC Vacation musings

As I watched and participated in the casual conversations and mingling while enduring our long wait at Tsawwassen Quay on our way to Namaimo, I couldn't help wondering if Canadians have more chances to connect than Americans. And then I wondered if that's why we noticed a greater tendency to drive in a considerate fashion in BC - feeling more connected to one another. It wasn't once or twice that we encountered people doing the decent thing on the highways, it was nearly every time we needed it.
We enjoyed the cleanliness, spaciousness, privacy and beauty of the provincial campgrounds we stayed at - Little Qualicum Falls, Buttle Lake, Cowichan Lake and Goldstream River, all on Vancouver Island. At Buttle Lake we enjoyed the community feel at the water pump - people chatting and often helping one another filling water jugs.
The only thing I'd change is the sheer, one ply TP. I thought the TP at U.S. rest areas and campgrounds was thin, but apparently it can be manufactured thinner. :>.
Another word about Salty's Fish and Chips on the north end of Victoria. I just can't say enough about how perfectly prepared and cooked the halibut was. The slaw was fresh and tasty, chips were definitely fresh cut as advertised and I swear the catsup was homemade, but the waitress laughed when I asked. I assume then it must be from a bottle. We'll have to be sure and try one of their meat pies next time round. I'll never forget the response I received from one of the owners (?) when I told her they served us the best fish and chips we've ever had. "So, where are you from?"
"Salem, Oregon."
"There ya go.", and with that she walked away from our table with a smile.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Second segment of vacation journal

Ah, now, we're back on our computer! Seems our little friend vundo crept in again. Our browser was inaccessible, but we've been able to use our microsoft streets and trips all along. Norton asked to run this afternoon and that's how we found out. All along we just thought it had to do with a setting getting changed when we used an internet link at a pub in Duncan or N. Cowichan.
Monday, we drove around Duncan and walked around town and looked at their totems, then tried to find Cowichan Cultural Center. No luck after walking many, many blocks. Too much ground to cover by foot. So we hopped into the truck. We took the tour at the Cultural Center. I swear our guide had a George Monday accent - no kidding. Then we drove to quaint Chemainus walked the mural tour and the streets near the bay/inlet. Exhausted, we drove back to the campground and made chili browns for dinner. :>)
Tuesday, we drove to Lady Smith situated on a hillside overlooking the water, and walked all over town. Then we drove down to Transfer Beach and watched the water, boat traffic and people, then ate lunch. We drove to Cowichan Bay. Pretty, reminded me of Brinnon with all the cars parked on the land side and the close in, shoulder to shoulder shops on the other. Then we drove to Duncan to get groceries, wine and cider. We bought some Okanogan Cider. So much better than what we can buy at home. We drove home and made chicken cacciatore in the dutch oven. What a success! Fingerlicking good!
We stayed 3 nights at the Cowichan River campground. The rain hung on.
We drove to Goldstream Campground Wednesday morning. We took a wrong turn, got in a bit of a pinch and well, the truck has her first ding in her bumper. :>( Nice campground, well spaced out and best of all . . . sunshine! After setting up we drove into Victoria to look around and get our bearings. We came home and cooked a beef roast with vegetables in the dutch oven. Probably the wrong type of roast for how we cooked it, so it was on the tough side, but tasty still. If only we'd had some cornstarch or flour to make gravy! The next day we were up early and drove into Victoria. Unfortunately, it took so long to find a parking place we were both dying for a washroom with the lovely BC single ply TP. We walked down to the harbor and strolled along the edge watching the float planes, wee ferries, kayaks and all manner of big excitement on the water. Then we walked around downtown shopping and people watching. We ate at a beautiful restaurant and sat out on their deck to enjoy the water view. One of their umbrellas became airborne and dropped down below. wonder if it hit someone's car? We walked and shopped a little more and then stopped to enjoy some street performers over the edge of the upper walkway - some jugglers and a marimba band. We drove around some lovely neighborhoods and found Craigdarroch Castle where we took a tour. On the way out of town we stopped at Salty's and had the best fish and chips we've ever had - chips cooked to perfection, fresh cole slaw, crisp, tender, delectable fish, served with fresh tarter sauce and a nice smooth ale and lager for Norm. Oh, my gosh! I want to go back! We took a drive out to Sooke and Saanich. Such pretty areas! There was a place that looked like it would make for a great stay - Sooke Harbour House, I believe. We went home in time to charge up the batteries for the sleep machine. Although, Norm had to run into to the edge of town to buy more gas for the generator. I stayed in camp to watch the generator and to get briquets ready to make brownies in the dutch oven. By the time all was done, we only had time for one game of cribbage before bed. Friday we were up even earlier. We drove to The Butchart Gardens and stayed there until around 1:30. So many beautiful flowers and views! What a vision Mr. and Mrs. Butchart had to create the gardens from a quarry! After that we worked and worked until we finally found Merridale Cidery. Oh my! Ciders that taste like wine! And others, too. Now we're back at camp to make dinner. Tomorrow we pack and up and head for Seal Rock and then home. After dinner we drove into Victoria to find a liquor store to buy more Okanogan Cider to take home. Before that we went ahead and drove around downtown. So much going on! Must be fun to stay in a motel and enjoy the city at all hours of the day.
Up earlier than ever - 7:30 - and on the road at 9:30. We're sitting at the ferry terminal, hoping they'll fit it us in. Ah, great! We're off the ferry and it's only 12:54! Heading home! The wait for the ferry was only about 40 minutes - much better than nearly 4 hours. We opted to go home via Tsawwassen. The same port we started at. The Victoria port wasn't the best place to go check out with a tent trailer in tow. It's a crowded lot in a busy area of the city. It took about 30 minutes to get through the border. Once we were at the head it was fast though. Traffic through the Seattle area was slow, so we didn't reach Olympia until dinner time. We stopped to eat at a Red Robin near Black Lake Blvd. We got home around 9:30 or 10. Unhooked, got out what we needed and headed to bed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

First half of Vancouver Island Journal

On day one (Monday), we left Salem at approximately 9:45. We stopped at Costco for gas before heading out of town. We had an italian pasta salad in the cooler to eat for dinner. It worked out for us to stop off at Kalama to say hey to mom and dad. We stopped off at the McDonalds at (maybe, we're not positive now) the Tenino Aberdeen exit to eat lunch. The employee who took our order had worked for "the corporation" forr 27 years. How does she survive?? We stopped at Bellingham Costco to gas up and then went into Office Depot to find a better adapter for the computer. The Targus universal adapter had sucked a bit from the beginning. A nice young man made a suggestion that's working great for us, plus it has a surge protector. Bonus! :>) The border crossing was relatively painless, since we had all necessary papers ready to hand over. We made it the BC ferry port around 6 PM, missing our goal of 3:15 (hahaha). July and August are the busiest months for the ferries to the island, so we ended up having to wait until the 10:45 departure for the 2 hour trip. bleh I was so glad we had a dinner packed. We ended up spending the last bit of time talking to two BCers - Hughie and Susan. Hughie is a Canadian war veteran and Susan is a nurse. He said he was 82 and we're thinking she could easily be 25-30 years younger. Ah, but he's a young 82! Hahaha! He had many good stories and we probably would've been entertained for many hours, but there was that Archie Bunker in him that crept out now and then.
The campground at Qualicum closed it's gate sometime around 11 PM, so we parked in the picnic area and tried to get some shut-eye. We MAY have slept an hour of two. Sometime around 6 or 6:30 AM we gave it up and began to move around. Ate a fruit bar and made a bathroom stop. We drove into the campground around 7 AM, set-up camp and took a nap. Before we left the campground to go exploring, we drove down to the picnic area we slept at and hiked the trails to the Qualicum Falls. Beautiful! I was surprised there weren't more ferns near the falls, but Norm thinks it may have to do with the sandy soil. So many cedars and madrona, too. We ate lunch then went for a drive to Port Alberni (not a prosperous looking place) and then to Qualicum Beach. The water in Georgia Strait is so still and glassy. So many tiny beach crabs, I don't think it would be safe to sit. Yikes! We saw a sign for Horne Lake caves and decided to go take a look. It was a semi-long oiled, gravel road that went past vacation homes and lots. We walked up and took a peak at the cave entrances - not big, by a long shot, and one had water running out. The map at the cave parking lot made it look like we could continue on the gravel road and come out in a slightly better position to head back to camp. We must've taken the wrong road, because we had to give up after traveling through an adolescent timber stand for 12 or more miles. We turned around and came out the way we went in. We made a casserole in the dutch oven with ziti pasta and italian sausage. It was tasty, yet reminded me of something you'd eat at a potluck. Clean-up was work for Norm, with the stuck on pasta, but then we were both pretty tired. We pulled out the new shower tent and proceeded to find out how that would work. Remember to turn off when the water turns cold! It felt good to wash off the first two days on the road.
We were surprised that we slept in until 10:30. That rarely happens when we're camping. Must've been a combination of how tired we were and the overcast sky dimming the sunlight. Nice campground, too, very quiet and clean. It took us 2 hours from getting out of bed until we were on the road. We stopped at Parkersville to get gas at Petro Canada. Our mileage was about 16.5 mpg. The first tank gave us 17.12. Heard from Sara with text messages. The colonoscopy didn't show anything, but the doctor did blood work to check for IBS and celiac disease. We arrived at Buttle Lake campground around 3:30. It appears we were fortunate to be able to set up camp without getting rained on. It's been raining ever since - started out slow, but now it's raining in earnest. We've noticed that the temps stay right around 65 - 70 degrees here. Like our coast with the little temperature variance, but warmer. I wonder how long the rain will continue? After dinner and clean-up, We pulled out SkipBo and tried to remember how to play. I think we finally figured it out. Now we need to remember to bring directions for both SkipBo and Cribbage. I wonder where the Rummy Cube game is?
It rained pretty much for the rest of the day. It came down pretty good and then would ease back for short periods of time. I don't think it rained much during the night, though. Norm cooked the meatloaf and veggies in the dutch oven under the awning. I'm glad we have that! We showered and hit the road to Campbell River. It's time for new ice for the coolers and probably some apples, too. I found a few bruised ones this morning.
We drove to Campbell River this afternoon. First we stopped at the vistor's center where we picked up some maps and guides and i bought a tee shirt. Bathrooms are always nice. :>) Or should I say "washrooms", as that's what they're called here in BC. We drove back and forth through town while the rain came down. We stopped at a small park to watch the water and eat lunch. An airplane took off while we watched. Then we drove back into town and parked at Discovery Pier, where we walked out and watched a couple of sailboats and some barges out in the choppy water. We discovered there was wi-fi available, so we did a little surfing, email checking, etc. Then I called Sara to see how everything's going. Some things just don't translate well to texting. Gwen and Randy, took good care of her for her colonoscopy and then took her out for her first solid food afterwards. Then we drove to one of the local liquor stores and found out they had apricot brandy, but not peach. Hmmm, little cultural things we discover. We bought gas and then drove up Buttle Lake as far as Auger Point and then turned around to head back to camp. We ate delicious steak and made a silly video without sound. Clean up time and then a walk? Sounds good to this old dog. We played SkipBo and this time was it was my turn to win most of the games. Sorry Norm! :>)
Ah, I slept well last night. I did wake once, but that's not bad after past nights. We took our sweet time getting up and moving around. Sometime around breakfast, filling the water tank, making lunch and taking showers, the rain began again. We became aware of a disturbing condition affecting the trailer ceiling last night. The ceiling covering (?) is puckered, wavy and bubbling over the wee window by the couch. It's damp/wet to the touch. Not a good sign, especially since this is the same area that showed leakage and grew mold last Spring. We've heard about these problems on the trailer bulletin boards. When we return we'll make an appointment to take it in. We better have them fix the trim around the sink cupboard, too. We're on the road around the lake for a sightseeing tour today. We hiked a couple of short trails. One to Myra Falls and the other to Lupen Falls. Both fairly easy trails, plus it wasn't raining for either of them. :>) At Myra Falls we chatted with a German couple who decided not to walk it and on return with a young couple from Australia. They talked about seeing a mother bear with a cub just down the road. We drove up what we think was Jim Mitchell Lake Road. One place was too much for the Tundra. We need to have a talk with Toyota! We did spot a rental Hyundai abandoned on the side of that road and then the soaking wet "owners" walking back from the top where they'd been given a ride up to. It looked as if there had been some major rock slides off of the mountain. It had taken out trees and road and a pipeline in several places. That's what made the road tough - how loose the rock and how big. We tried driving to Gold River for cell access. No luck. But we did see a black bear on the side of the road. Then we stopped at an Elk viewing spot. Nothing to see, but I think i heard an elk bugle and Norm's sure their scent was in the air. So for today that makes one young buck, a heron and now the bear. Finally, wildlife!
It rained good and hard most of the night. The ceiling shows it. I wonder what it looks like between the roof and the ceiling? Can't be good.
On our way out the door, I came upon more wildlife - a big banana slug had found my bright pink thong on the outside rug. He was doing some serious investigation. This morning after our routine of breakfast and showers, we noticed a voice mail message on the cell. In response to my pitiful pleading, we drove to Campbell River to check who and what it was. Once we arrived, a text from Lisa and Karen showed up. :>) According to Karen we'll have rain until Monday. Hopefully enough sun after that to dry things out. I called Sara to get the latest from her. All is fine, now I can relax again. We stopped at a grocery store to buy apples and Kashi - no beer or wine at grocery stores. Then we went to Canadian Tire (like Yardbirds) and found a possible replacement glass chimney for the Coleman lantern (we found out it works to light up inside for playing cards to save battery) a battery gizmo which may help to charge the trailer batteries more efficiently, a travel candle to get rid of food odors and a "knot a bag" for making your own size of garbage bag. Now we're driving in the rain on the way to Gold River and then Tahsis. It'll be about 4 PM by arrival. Tahsis gave us the impression that it had been an important logging or fishing place at one time. Guess we'll research when we return.
So many big boats headed in on our way out. Norm's trying out his new doodad to help with maintaining the trailer batteries or battrees if you're Canadian. :>) I'm getting some jobs done to help with getting out of here at a decent time in the morning.
I think it rained all evening and most of the night. Everything is damp, damp, damp! I spread out our raincoats and bath towels near the warmth of the propane lantern while we played cards last night. It did help a little It helped to dry the ceiling a little, too. Now we've noticed the other side, over the waterpump, is doing the same thing. bleh! We only slept in a little this morning, ate, showered and packed up. The awning slowed things down a little, but not enough to keep from using it. It's 12:30 and we have a good start on our trip to Cowichan Lake. Okay, just saw sign for a place called, "Sushi Eh"! That's worth a good laugh. Ladysmith looked like a nice place to stay. Arrived at Lake at 3:30.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thanks Lise!

The game was fun. I think we enjoyed the people watching more, tho. There was a couple who thought they knew us. They walked right below us (not a soul behind us or around us), stopped, turned, waved vigorously with big smiles. Later, I felt horrible for just sitting there, but I was waiting for the old brain to remember who they were. I'm positive we don't know them, positive. They must've realized their mistake, because the next time through they turned and smiled. We smiled and waved and then it became a thing for the rest of the game. Some people must never sit down.