God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't You Just Love Spring?

I do!  And yet, this year we have only teasers. Here in always sunny San Diego, the sun plays a game of hide and seek. Just as I slide feet into sandals, the cold reappears and socks come out once more. Rain has become a thrice weekly uninvited guest.

But...when the sun does shine, how delightful it is. As in today! Sun shadows play in the yard, birds are everywhere, singing their songs, flowers sparkle and boast their colors. Scratch luxuriates in the warmth. Ken plants sunflowers. It is nice. And soon I will go walking.

Sun shadows play in the yard

Birds are everywhere

And here...

Scratch basks in the warmth.

 Flowers drink the sun

 And the water

And the charming humming bird flits from cup to cup

(My Italian friend Chiara, upon first seeing this delightful creature, mistook it for a big bug. They are not in Italy. I wonder if one can be found in Botticelli's Primavera?)

So today is a lovely gift from God and so too will be tomorrow's thunderstorms. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What To Do With Last Night's Salmon?

Simple things in life excite me--safariing in Kenya, climbing the Great Wall of China, swimming in the Ecuadoran Amazon and....making a successful left-over dish--which was last night's ego builder. First, I am not much of a chef or even a cook. Sometimes I do wonders but other times am happy if whatever it is is edible. Certainly left-overs are not a forte and Monday was my first venture with salmon which is probably why I bought twice as much as needed.

Last night I didn't know what to do with a very good piece of left over fish and knew I couldn't reach friend Cindy in Alaska for pointers. So, I turned to the ever trustworthy internet for guidance. After sifting through lots of ideas, mostly for croquettes which I knew would not be received well, I found a recipe that sounded good and for which I, surprisingly, had all the ingredients on hand. It turned out to be a real find--good enough to feel the need to share. So here it is--straight from Gourmet by way of Recipezaar.


Serves 4-6

1 onion chopped
1 TBS olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dill, chopped (I cut back on this)
1 1/2 tsps. lemon zest
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups salmon-flaked (or whatever you have)
10 ounces capellini (angel hair)
  1. In a large saucepan cook onion in the oil, over medium heat until soft (5-8 minutes)
  2. Add broth, cream, vodka and salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced to 2 cups (45-60 minutes)
  3. Remove from heat and still in dill, lemon zest, juice and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce.
  4. Add salmon to saucepan and cook over medium low heat until fish is heated through (2-4 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions.
  6. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta
  7. Return pasta to pot and toss with reserved sauce and cooking water (I just did this in the bowl.)
  8. Put pasta in large bowl and spoon fish sauce over top; toss before serving.
  9. Enjoy
     Now, not being a professional at sharing food or recipes I again committed a cardinal sin--no picture of the product. Among my foodie friends, this is a not to be forgiven mistake but what can I do?

    Well, since writing this, I enjoyed some left over left over so--a picture.

    Hope you like this as much as we did. Let me know.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    An Old Soap Box

    Blogging lately has become a challenge as I don't have a focus--no living in Italy, no interesting travel observations, no current passion (in terms of opinions, that is,) no life upheavals--just day-to-day living which doesn't hold much excitement for me yet alone for someone else. So--it is a dry spell. Maybe things will pick up in Kenya a few months done the road.

    But, then, I did see this today which perked the spirits and gave a smile. Since my great distaste for smarmy SP has not abated, this was sheer enjoyment. If TF would do more, then maybe SP would loss her appeal as she is left stripped and exposed.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010


    Casey and brothers on Easter




    They are a handful!

    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    Today is Easter!


    I believe that the man Jesus was and is the Christ foretold in Isaiah of the Old Testament. He is alive and well today and sits at the right hand of God.  He is waiting to be known by all who  will acknowledge him.