Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Outdoor Wednesday

While everyone else seems to be posting spring pictures, flowers, green, heading into summer pics--I am posting some of a hike we took about  6 weeks ago.
You know, we live in the high desert---not so much green here.  And while it was hot over this past Memorial Day Weekend,  we did have snow six weeks ago, up in the hills.

I am linking  up to Outdoor Wednesday.

Our hike up Water Canyon
I always think no one in the East knows what a cattle guard is---so I always take photos of them.
Cattle won't cross them, so it's a way to keep cattle out or in a certain place. 

So begins our hike...

It's a bit cloudy and the Handyman wanted to know if I wanted to carry on.
I did.

The sun kept trying to peek out here and there.

It IS Water Canyon, after we had some little streams to cross here and there.

Rock formations on the way.

A cave!

For some reason I love to take pictures of old trees against the sky.
No one knows why...not even I.
I gave you some poetry there.

I've always been intrigued by tree carvings.

Strange to be out in the wilderness and see tree carvings and then realize you know this family!!
(small town)

Took time for a snowball fight!

More tree carvings!

Headed back to home!

And so ended our hike up Water Canyon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cool Beans Salad

The Handyman and I have decided to eat a bit more healthy.  The only trouble is--The Handyman sometimes doesn't like 'healthy'.  

I found this meatless main-dish  on the Taste of Home Website and I decided to give it a try.  

I knew the Handyman could not comprehend a 'meat-less' meal, so I did add some roasted chicken to this meal.

Surprise!  This is so good!  So good that even the Handyman said,  "I could have eaten this without the chicken on the side."
It's filled with beans and rice and corn--with a zippy tasty dressing.
We loved it.

I am hoping to have a few more good meatless meals in the coming weeks.   We'll see if the Handyman can handle more.

Cool Beans Salad


  •  3 cups cooked basmati rice
  •  1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  •  1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  •  1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  •  1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  •  1 garlic clove, minced
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon chili powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Directions

    1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Reading Flash Mob (and WBN a little late)

One of our local elementary schools hosted a FLASH MOB this morning.  A READING flash mob.
So of course I made everyone at my work stop drop and read!!

The maintenance guys thought it a treat to stop working for  15 minutes.
(of course at that time, I had no  power to my computer and we were trying to find a breaker in this old building.  I was a bit worried about how I was going to 'post' this today, as we are supposed to take pictures of our community reading)
(no worries---they fixed it!)

The girls in the office next door---they too, love to stop and read for a while.

We do give Brenda a bad time about how big her print is on her Kindle.

And..... notice the extra books on Michelle's desk?
I brought them.
I brought all the books.
Just in case they didn't bring their own for the Flash Mob.

Of course everyone knew I would participate in the READING FLASH MOB!
and I would make everyone around me.
THANKS FRIENDS and co-workers!!  

THIS JUST IN!  My friend Shelly sent it  to me via Facebook.
(I feel like Rosanna  Rosanna Dana, from Saturday Night Live....
Never mind) (only my age people will get that)
Never mind....

Today's scheduled Flash Mob reading has been postponed until Friday due to the rainy weather. It is rescheduled for 10:30-11:00 this Friday. Please take photos and forward them on! Enjoy the rain!

Well.....  never mind.
I made everyone  flash mob read anyway!!!!

I support reading every chance I get.

which leads me to this.....

...I didn't get the chance to share my World Book Night photos/experience.
It ended up being a very bad week, but I digress--and I want to share now.

Last year, we 'street walked'    (because you can in Nevada)  (that was a joke)  (but it's true)

But this year, we started out in a bar!
An Old Basque Boarding House bar

Yes, there were a few people in the bar at 4pm in the afternoon.

Trying to entice the cook!
He wasn't having it tho---he told us he couldn't read English.
So, perhaps a suggestion for next year? 
A Spanish edition?

A picture  of a basque sheepherder graces the walls.

What is a Basque restaurant?
Mostly it's the 'way' you eat--boarding house style.  
The give you big bowls of soup, salad, beans and bread before you place your order.   You have to share with whomever is seated at your table. 
And they DO place you next to strangers.
Lots of lamb, (but beef and chicken and pork too),  and lots of garlic.

It really could be on the show,  Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
It's really good.

Headed into City Hall and then the County Courthouse.
Our fearless leaders have to be readers!!

First stop, the County Recorder's office to give my friend Debbie E a book.
I have had coffee with her EVERY SINGLE Tuesday morning for the past 12 years at:
(in our jammies)

She really is a 'light' reader.
She had just gotten back from Boston, watching her daughter run the marathon, hence the Boston Strong T-shirt. 

We thought this was funny! 
No gum in the court house kids!!

At the Sheriff's office, we had to pass the book under the Plexiglas barrier. 

 The Planning Commission and the Treasurer's Office love to read!
(okay, it's a small town---we know all these people)

And then, us lowly little book givers!
(notice our stickers)
Again, we had the best time.

It was funny tho, as you who are Book Gives know, some people are very wary of  us giving them books.   
Some just say NO
Some want to pay.
Some think we are religious.
Some just want us to go away.

But....when they find out that our books are just  a gift, they love it.

We love to be book givers!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Snapshot

Just a quick Saturday Snapshot today...

My Twin Grandchildren celebrated their 5th birthday a couple of weeks ago.  They are very excited to be 5 now!   They each got a cake.   When Emerson bent to blow out her candles---her hair caught on fire.
Luckily just some singeing and smelliness, but not burns, etc.  Her parents acted quickly...and the photo was just because one always takes pictures of blowing out birthday candles, right?

But here's the thing...  while her head was being "put out"  her brother, Eli leaned over and blew out her candles.  

That was the icing on the cake!!!  
Your brother should just not steal your glory like that.

Saturday Snaptshot is hosted by  Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday--Spell it out.

There is a name for someone like me... but I don't know what it is.
Someone who  just lurks and picks and chooses what games (meme's/blog hops) to play.
I say that because today I found this one.. the Spell it out  Challenge. 
I think tho, that is is in the middle of another blog hop or challenge which I'm not doing.  (Bout of Books 10.0?)
I just saw this and thought it might be fun to try.
(forgive me all other blog hoppers/challengers---I just like to do what I like to do.  I mean,  I have no rhyme or reason for my blog---it's just a hobby for me, so sometimes YOUR challenges sound like fun.  And I take part.)
and truly, only my mother-in-law reads my blog.  And  a random friend or two.

The point of this challenge is to use books you have read or want to read to spell out a word.
For example, my I am going to spell out my name.  So I went to my book shelf and found a book in which the first word of the title  also  was a word that started with the first letter of my name.

The Spell It Out Challenge is being hosted by Kimberlyfaye over at Kimberlyfaye Reads! 
I am not going to link up, because I am not in their  reading challenge, but it is fun to hop over and see what other bloggers are spelling out!

My name is Debbie
and all these were taken from my bookshelf this morning.

 d-- I love a good vampire love story.  I actually do like  Sookie Stackhouse and also the TV Show.  I haven't read the whole series, but about half of it so far.

 e-- when we file a book on a library shelf, we never us 'the', so I felt justified using  "The" End of your Life...
This was a good memoir.

 b-- Yes, the is on my book shelf, but I have not read it yet.  I want too--my TBR Pile is just TOO BIG!

 b-- read this one for my  Totally Lit Book club-- about a year ago.  We all loved it.

 i-- I have not read this one either, but I have read the first in the series. Very good!!

 e-- and this one?  Very disturbing, but very good.

This was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  You try it!
The 'e' was hard.  And I have two of them.
Just find books on your book shelf and a word to spell.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just thinking

Yesterday, I had a question for my book club friends, it was   a question about Robert Redford.   The Robert Redford of the olden days.

First, I must backtrack---
---there is a new mystery series coming out in June by Annamaria Alfieri.  The first book in the series is titled: Strange Gods and is set in  British Colonial Africa in 1911.

I found  out about this new series while reading  Jungle Red Writers.  I love to read Jungle Red Writers. What is Jungle Red Writers?   They describe themselves as: 
7 smart and sassy crime fiction writers dish on writing and life. It's The View. With bodies.

I love the authors who contribute to the blog.  I don't read all of them/their books, but I am faithful to a couple.
But back to the book at hand... 

Alfieri says that her book was inspired  by the real life characters known to us from Out of AfricaWest With the Night, and The Flame Trees of Thika.

In my book club  "Totally Lit",  we read "Out of Africa" about 5 years ago.
I loved that book!!  And I loved that movie!
(we also read "West with the Night")

Out of Africa was one of the most romantic books I have ever read, and one of the most romantic movies I have ever seen.
And I do not mean that in the 'lovey-dovey' sense of the word, but in the scope and extensiveness and the beauty of the story.

I am excited to read this new series, because the author uses and intersperses real-life characters into her story along with her fictional characters.
I am very excited.

Having said that tho....(that I'm excited for the series to come out)
I asked my book club members and now I'm asking you too...
the old school Robert Redford?  Yay or nay?  Do you love him?

from Out of Africa:
the director said no one could project an image of elusiveness on the screen like Redford.

Do we like elusive?  RR---yay?  or  nay?

I'm just sayin' ----- I do.  And while I read this series, my mind will be inserting mental images of  Denys Finch-Hatton, the real-life character Robert Redford plays in Out of Africa.  I mean I will be picturing Robert!  Not Denys.  

Happy National Chocolate Chip day and Chocolate Chip Cookie #12

Not being a food photographer, I am running out of unique ideas to take photos of cookies.
Look!  Look at this really cool wine glass my friend April made for me? She wrapped beads around the stem.
I love them.
Just right to stick in a few cookies and take some pictures!

This cookie is #12 in my chocolate chip cookie countdown (and 10 from this book),  today is also  National Chocolate Chip  day, so I thought, why not?  I'll make some cookies.

You know how I love the elusive taste of the perfect, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, melt in  your mouth chocolate chip cookie like my mom used to make?
Well, this one is not it.
this is a great cookie!
It's more like a shortbread cookie with chocolate chips, and a great almond taste (almond extract is included in the recipe).
I loved them. So did the  Handyman.
And so did my friends at  6am Bible Study this morning.

They are named "Nutty" chocolate chip cookies, because you can either put the pecans in chopped OR ground.  I just did the chopped version.
The note on the recipe also says to add  1/4 cup flour to make the cookies chewier, but we liked them very much as they were.

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (the recipe said margarine, but I didn't have any.  This could be why they had a shortbread texture)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 finely ground pecans

Sift together the flour, soda and salt three times.  Set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, almond extracts.  Stir the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture, along with the pecans and ch chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 

and I also wanted to show you this picture of some homemade spudnuts--which my daughter-in-law made for me on Sunday.

You haven't heard of Spudnuts?

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...