Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My niece Victoria is a superb baker 🙂

Money is NOT everything!

Well, it has been far too long since my fingers and brain coordinated and decided to sit and write.
I had a really horrible day yesterday, my car needs repairs and, quite frankly, I just don’t know where I am going to find the funds. I cried for a while feeling sorry for myself, if you know me, that didn’t last long 🙂
I decided to take a long walk through the wonderful landscape at Ecola State Park. It is amazing how your perspective can change when you quit dwelling on the bad and dwell on the good.
My view is of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, elk come visit me, sitting in my back yard chewing their cud, grey whales swim by putting on a wonderful display, the pelicans, oyster catchers, puffins, and hundreds of other sea birds entertain me with their comings and goings. I get up every day to a volunteer job that brings me joy, meeting people from all over the world who come here to learn, picnic or just enjoy the view.
My health is terrific, I can easily hike 10 miles and still have the ability to climb steep terrain and scramble over rock and downed trees. Eating and cooking mostly vegetarian for myself and enjoying the simple pleasures of cutting an onion, breaking lettuce adding some seeds and cheese and relishing each bite. Fast food is a thing of the past along with soda, chips and the mindless eating in front of a tv.
The library brings me great pleasures, books about far away lands and times, books about self-improvement and just fun books like Harry Potter.
I have hundreds of friends, some close with who I can discuss my heart, some who engage me in mindful debate, some who drive me crazy. I cherish my family, my nieces, my sisters and brother, and am grateful my mom is in great health and mind at 82 years young.
I don’t have lots of “stuff” or clothes or shoes or all those other things that we are told will make us happy.
What I do have is a wonderful life, my life. It is raining today, and I am going to go out and dance in it!!

Cathy

Squirrel Attack

Getting up in the morning, I noticed the roof of the car was left open.  Opening the door and sitting down to start the car to close the roof really scared the dickens out of the squirrel sitting in my backseat enjoying a delicious organic d’anjou pear.  He scrambled up over the head rest and out the way he came in, scaring the dickens out of me!

All I had left of the encounter were some footprints on my car and chewed pear bits and hunks.  The attack occurred on the poor pears, it could have been worse….

Portland Fruit Tree Project

I spent a glorious Saturday with the Portland Fruit Tree Project at an organic pear tree farm in Hood River, Oregon.

PFTP identifies fruit trees in neighborhoods and asks the owners permission to harvest the fruit. The fruit is then distributed to the local food banks and each harvester gets a share.  In conjunction with Farmers Ending Hunger 60 volunteers gathered at the orchard with Mt.Hood and the beautiful valley as our backdrop.

We harvested 19,000 pounds of delicious d’anjou organic pears.  I personally got to take home 77 pounds of pears.

I, of course, lost my keys in the Orchard and luckily remembered to put a bright key ring on them, thanks for the idea Mom 🙂

If you have a fruit tree in the greater Portland area, please get in touch with Portland Fruit Tree Project.  Its a win-win, the fruit is not left rotting in your backyard, your tree gets trimmed and cared for and you can help feed a hungry city.

Cathy

Occupy Portland / We are the 99%

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have the need to say “no more” this is the simple message of those occupying Wall Street.

1% of Americans hold 99% of the money.  Our education system is crumbling, cities beg for relief, ordinary, hard working Americans are losing their homes, jobs, security.  One medical problem and  whole families can be out on the street.

Our children graduate from college wallowing in debt to take jobs that cannot even pay the rent.  Boomers, you are not immune, do you really think that Social Security will even be there when we retire?  Are your adult children living with you because they cannot find a job, or the job they do find barely covers necessities?

We are on the edge of something that is brewing in America, I do not believe the occupiers will just go away…what do they have to go to?

I chose to join the march and will be participating in occupyportland on Thursday, October 6th at noon at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Please at least visit the websites Occupy Wall Street and We Are the 99 Percent and decide for yourselves, do you want to leave the world with your children and grandchildren wallowing in debt, pollution and paying homage to the corporations and lobbyists?

Cathy

Lola’s

Lola’s is by far the best dive bar in Houston.  John the bartender is tough, inattentive and makes a killer drink.  No sign outside, just a little purple building stuck behind a Chinese Restaurant and a NAPA Auto Parts store off Montrose.

Tell me if you find it when you hit Houston.

Cathy

I get by with a little help from my friends

I need help.  I would like to publish a “Bug Bite Counter” on my blog.  I do not have the technical savvy, working with WordPress, to make this happen.  It would be nice if it could run along the side like a widget.  Any ideas??

Friends along the way…….I met Mary Ellen Szper, an incredible illustrator,  at the Thrift Shop, who introduced me to Steve, the owner, who both came over to the campground and shared my fire.  Steve brought wood, I have the best fire in the campground, pizza and popcorn, thanks!!   If you go through Coloma, CA, stop in the Thrift Shop and tell Steve I said “Hi”, he has all matter of miscellany for your needs and tons of information about the area.   Anthony, who I met at Sierra Rizing, this incredible bake and coffee shop. I admit to eating lemon bar, apple tart and chocolate chip cookie as breakfast and lunch, it was worth every calorie!!   The 4 girls at Marshall Park with the cute matching pink shirts, and Chris and Jim at American River Resort who have been awesome.

Cathy

Liberty, life aboard a docked sail boat.

Talking with my friend Geri today about living aboard a boat.  Geri suggested I write a blog about it, so…here ya go.

Liberty is a 37′ sloop, which is a sailboat with one mast.  There is power from shore and a great wi-fi connection from the harbor.

Water – go get the hose and fill the two on-board water tanks.  One tank feeds the kitchen, foot pumped, and the other the bathroom sink.  There is a marine toilet, so no solid waste, but if you have to pee at night it is a lifesaver.  Just saying.   Hot water,  put a kettle on.

Galley – that’s the kitchen for you landlubbers.  A small gas stove and sink, there is a cooler, but I prefer to use my Yeti.  I have been making most of my meals here and have become very efficient at washing dishes in a tiny sink, there is no garbage disposal and you have to be careful of what you put in there because it drains out to the bay.  I am using an enviro washing soap.

Berth – the bed is luxurious.  A custom made mattress, very comfy.  No heat, but a small electric heater, I get it all warm and toasty before we turn in.

Main shower and bathroom are on land, about a 3 minute walk.   First you take off the 3 boards which are the main cabin door, then up over the side of the boat and jump down to the dock, up the main ramp to the main dock, down the main dock to the beach and over to the building which houses the showers.  There is a super fancy french restaurant in the building called Le Garage, I stopped in once and $$$$$$$ oooo la la.

There is a nice “Captain’s” seating area which would normally have maps and charts but now houses my computer and reference materials.  I can stream shows to my mini and that is how I watch tv or movies.

There are a lot of boats anchored off the docks.  I counted over 100.  The guys who live on them are called “anchor outs”, a scruffy group of gentlemen who have been nothing but kind to me and Edgar.  They come into shore in an array of different skiffs and park them on the dock next to mine.  A neighborhood of sorts, I like it.

Edgar is having a hard time adjusting to the rock and sway of the boat and fell off the steps more than once.  I tried to get him to jump off the boat to the dock and he did it twice, but, I think it is just too far for the little guy.  I lift him on and off.

So, we are snug as two bugs in a rug.

The boat is being dry-docked for a few days on the 23rd of this month.  I would like to go gold panning while I am off the boat.   Has anyone done it?  Where is the best place in N. California?

Cathy

San Francisco

I drove to San Francisco to take in some tourist attractions.  These are the kind of places on the official tourist maps.

If you can find a spot at the foot of Van Ness at the Aquatic Park, enjoy 4 hours free parking. As a bonus, you can see the Historical Ships docked at the Hyde Street Pier.  From there it’s a short walk to Ghirardelli Square and the attached ice cream shop, I bought a small dark chocolate bar.

Deciding to walk off the chocolate before I ate it, I headed up Van Ness Ave toward Lombard.

 

 

Edgar was tired when we reached the top.  We walked up the other side and down the “crooked” side.  These hills are steep.  Going down, we had a nice view of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.

There is a documentary about the Parrots of Telegraph Hill, they were flying around as we strolled back toward the waterfront.

 

 

We headed up The Embarcadero toward Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.  I bought a loaf of famous San Francisco Sour Dough bread at Boudin Bakery.

There are tons of shops on Fisherman’s Wharf and lots of places to buy and eat fresh chowder, crab, and all sorts of seafood.

Edgar pulled me through the shops and out the other end to the docks where the sea lions rest their huge bodies.  Seems the sea lion residents of San Francisco decided to head north and increased the population of the Sea Lion Caves in Oregon.  We did see lots of tourists and a few sea lions.

We passed the Cable Car Turnaround and the Bay Cruises Terminal where you can catch the ferry.  At least it is free northbound on the Golden Gate – southbound it costs $6.00 to cross.

Headed home with our bread and chocolate, anyone have some wine?

Cathy

Customer Service, Product Quality and Pricing

It finally quit raining and my sister brought her dog, Jack, over to the boat.  We walked to Caldonia Street in Sausalito and I went into Caffe DiVino for two cappuccino’s.  While waiting for my coffee, I overheard a conversation.

“I couldn’t believe it” he said “after all I paid my chicken was dried out, they did a crappy job wrapping it, I am sick of that place.”  I turned around and said “Could you be talking about Mollie Stone’s?”

Wednesday night I stopped in Mollie Stone’s and bought a forbidden piece of $4.00 cake.  I expect a $4.00 slice of cake to be worth the calories.  When I put my plastic fork into it, ahhhhhh, blue, disgusting, fuzzy mold inside the icing.

Thursday afternoon my sister was putting away some groceries she bought at Mollie Stone’s and the  Aidelle’s Sausage, which we both love, was – you guessed it – slimy and moldy.

Mollie Stone’s pricing places them in the “boutique” category of grocery stores.  They are convenient to the docks.    Most people will pay a little more for cleanliness, convenience and great customer service, but the quality of the product is the foundation and Mollie Stone’s is crumbling and moldy.

Cathy

p.s. The cappuccino at Caffe DiVino was scrumptious.