Sunday, November 4, 2012

Third Best Thing

I excitedly told my friend that my daughter and son-in-law brought me a gift. 
"Guess what they brought me?"  I excitedly asked her.
 "A new car?" she queried, getting excited herself.
"Well no," I replied, "but the next best thing."
"A refrigerator?"  she asked.

"Well no, then the third best thing."  I retorted.

 I had been lamenting how nice it would be to have one, but they are spendy.  Well  bless their hearts,  they presented me with an i pad.

I was so excited, I had to find my glasses to actually see it to believe it!

The thoughtfulness of those two makes me most proud.

 In 2011, both of them lost their fathers, and their grandfathers. They went through what no one, especially  twenty somethings should have to go through. In a world where there are so many takers, they are givers.  I am so  proud of them!

But back to my i pad, I get to figure this thing out!  Apple is known for their simplicity of use, but for me everything seems to be a challenge. We'll see.

I'm going to have fun with my new i pad, even if  it's the third best thing!
See you on face time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Penny Saved? Or a Moment Wasted?

It's been a while since I felt like writing anything.

The other night, though, my mind drifted back to 5 years ago.

My son Morgan and I had gone to store.  Upon leaving and getting into the car, I noticed a penny on the ground.  I showed Morgan and told him to pick it up.  He declined.  I told him the old adage, a penny saved is a penny earned.  He shot back, a penny picked up is a moment wasted!  Whoa! What a come back!  That statement from that 18 year old really made me stop to think   Was it a moment wasted or was it earned to bend over to pick up a penny off the ground?

Recently, Morgan came to visit.  He asked me if I remembered him telling me that.  I said I did.  Well, he reversed his position!  The penny is worth nearly 3 cents, he told me.  I guess the copper, or what little copper in the penny is more valuable than the penny itself. I Googled the cost to make a penny and came across this site  

The days of the penny may be numbered!

Maybe Morgan will now pick up a penny off the ground.  I, on the other hand, will continue to deliberate if it is indeed a penny earned or a moment wasted?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


A friend gave me about 100 pounds of salmon.  What to do, what to do.

I'm not a big fish eater, mainly because of fish bones.  But occasionally I like a salmon steak.

I have found the easiest way to cook salmon, is to broil it.  My favorite recipe is to salt and pepper the fillet, broil it just until done, and top it with a generous pat of compound butter.  It's easy, delicious and makes for a very nice presentation.  Serve with asparagus spears.

Compound Butter

1/4 pound butter softened (1 cube)
1/2 shredded jalapeno pepper
1 medium clove of garlic shredded

Blend pepper and garlic in softened butter and place on waxed paper and roll into a log or get fancy and use candy molds.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours, for flavors to develop.

But with so much fish, I decided I would smoke most of it.  Since I have never smoked anything (and I mean anything) in my life, I had to do research.  The results were delicious!

I borrowed a home made smoker barrel from a friend that worked well.  Since the first time was a success, I am going to make my own smoker.  Here's how:

You will need a 30 gallon galvanized garbage can with lid.
Drill a hole 2 inches from the bottom, wide enough for a cord to fit through.
An electric hot plate
An iron skillet

Place the hot plate in the bottom of the can and extend the cord through the opening.  Place the iron skillet on top of the hot plate.  Smoke wood chips (any hard wood) in water for 30 minutes to an 1 hour and place in skillet.   You may want to drill additional holes around the bottom of the can for air. Cover can. That's it. A smoker.

For the brine:

1 1/2 cup sea salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 gallon water

Mix all ingredients together and soak fish in brine for 3 to 5 hours.
When done, rinse fish.

Skewer fillets on wires to suspend from top, or cut into chunks and place on a grilling rack, and let air dry for about 2 hours in a cool drafty place.

Place in smoker, cover with lid,  and smoke for 3 to 5 hours. You will probably need to add more soaked wood chips to keep the smoke going  for that length of time. When done the internal temperature of fish should be about 140 degrees.

When done let fish rest and cool.  Place in seal-able bags and freeze until ready to use.

For a nice appetizer flake some salmon, mix with cream cheese and eat on a Ritz cracker.

 A reward for a job well done!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pacific Migratory Flyway

Twenty years ago my husband moved his wood shop to where we  live now.  He had signed the lease on the shop building, and had brought us up to see his new work space.  It was January 1, 1992.  My youngest was 6 weeks old.  It was a warm beautiful winter's day.  We loaded all into the family's wagon and headed north.  As we were driving the back roads we noticed there was a wildlife refuge.  We decided to tour it.  What an incredibly beautiful place.  Mind you this was 20 years ago. 

This refuge happened to be on the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds. There were thousands upon thousands of them. This refuge has provided a winter haven for ducks, geese, and swans. Waterfowl migrate here by the millions from as far away as the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. 

We were awed at God's creative works!

This year, January 1, 2012, was a warm beautiful winter's day.  I awoke thinking this was an anniversary of sorts.  My mind drifted to the wildlife refuge.  So we went.  My oldest daughter and her husband, my youngest daughter, and I drove the 6 mile trail.  My, a lot has changed in 20 years.  There weren't as many water fowl and fewer varieties of birds.  California Department of Fish & Game have found overall duck numbers have declined.  I can attest to that!  But one had to think - what's happened to the birds?   Man's way of doing things has certainly impacted us all - even the birds.

Still it was an incredibly beautiful place to visit.  If you happen to pass by a wildlife refuge, stop in, you won't be disappointed.