Tuesday, April 29, 2014

another wonderful person

As I was writing the goofing off post I mentioned the lady who does my nails.

Meet Mariaelena. She is from central Mexico. She has been in this country for 40 years. She met her American husband when he was in the army and stationed near her home town. Her Father and Sister are Doctors and worked at the hospital where he worked. He had to work hard and do a lot of talking to get her family to agree to the marriage. She tells some funny stories of telling her Father she would run away. But her Father knew you can't run away with an army guy. They have 4 children all married and healthy and happy. They have lived in Salt Lake City and Utah for 20 years.

She trained as a cosmetologist in Mexico. Where she earned her license. She has worked in salons in the US. I met her when I walked in to a salon near my home and ask if they had any one who could do manicures on real nails. She was there and came out and we talked and I made an appointment with her. That was three years ago. We became fast friends. We are both very opinionated. We love good clothes and our family's. As we became friends I kidded her a bit about her English skills, they were lacking. How did you deal with your kids teachers in school ?? She admitted it was hard. She only did real nails. We talked about that. Acrylic and gels are all the rage.
You have to go to school. I'm to old. I would like to ... but .... reading all that English .... her daughter came in one day and we conspired to get her in school. Her daughter is a cosmetologist and works in a good salon. She has gone thru the school so she can help her Mom. It took some doing but she did it. Boy did Mariaelena work, and sweat and work and worry but after a few weeks..... the kids liked her and she was learning all kinds of things.
Like "you were right they gave me wooden sticks". She uses all metal tools. I brought orange wood sticks to use on my cuticles, because they are easier on the nail.  her English improved too.

 When I went to Cancun she told me all about the tipping and the resort etiquette. She is the reason I took more than one swimming suit, "they will not dry, and you do not want to wear a wet suit. Do not just wear a cover up, always change for lunch and dinner." She is a delight and I look forward to our time together. I tell her what is going on in my life and I hear about her trips to Mexico and California for weddings and birthdays. Since her schooling her business has increased and her confidence has improved. It is nice to see. I am lucky to have these wonderful people in my life.

goofing off

Right now there are 15 things I should be doing so I am going to just hide out and just write on my blog. This is nice, it is quiet and I can just ramble for a while.

I am almost packed. Took some jackets to the cleaners, they will be back tomorrow. One is a golf/rain one. It is a pretty color and light weight, has a hood in the collar and could go over a skirt. Got to count my pills. Being old is fun. Got the phone # for Atlanta Tours, hope they have a good history tour. Today is cold and windy. I am such a wimp, I have seeds to get in the ground but I hate working in the wet dirt. It has been cold and raining off and on for two weeks. My Iris are really blooming they love cool springs. The Peony's buds are tight and not  showing color. So I am hoping they will all just chill out until I get back on the 7th. Yeah right. I am getting a mani and a pedi tomorrow so that will blow the day. If I have to I could take flowers up to the graves Thursday or Friday. Just make a day of it. Don't fly out till Saturday. I have been on the phone disputing a charge on the VISA. That is fun. "But I didn't go to New York." They will call back or send forms or both. My mani, pedi lady just called, her car died. So all bets are off. Now she has to see when she can get in to the salon. Should I offer a ride ? Her husband is not working ...maybe he can get her home. I called her back and I am going in Thursday. Another client is going to pick her up and she will do her and her Mother in the am. Then I will come in and she will do me and I will take her home. She and I have become friends over the three years she has been doing my nails. It is important to me to get my nails done. When she does them they look good and last longer than when I do them. I want to be able to wear sandals if the weather is nice in Atlanta. Well got to go to the store, just a few last things. I am really looking forward to this trip. This is a big track and a big race. FUN FUN WHEEE

Monday, April 28, 2014

Talladaga 2014

Today I am packing for Talladega !!

I booked this Dream Trip thru WorldVentires a travel club my son and I belong to. They are the company that arranged my trip to Cancun last year.

In February I was looking at their web site and this trip was listed. 2 nights in Atlanta, Georgia at a 3 star property= Aniston Tower tickets to the Sprint Cup race Sunday=pit passes=airport transfers=roundtrip transfers to the Talladega Speedway on Sunday= and lots of goodies. Trip is for two, under $800.00, airfare not included.

They will have personnel at the hotel to take car of any of your needs, room upgrades, tickets to the races and upgrades, transportation and reservations at area restaurants and transportation to them. I found them very helpful in Cancun. It is a 1st class organization. I am glad to be a member of my son's team.

After the 6 and one half hour rain delay at Daytona and Atlanta starring in the Weather Chanel TV Shows I am planning on rain. Royce is buying ponchos. He thinks I will last longer in the stands if I can keep my underwear dry. I am taking my Danica Patrick jacket. It kept me dry for quite a while in Daytona and this is one of the few places I can wear it . I am packing jeans and racing tee shirts, scarves for wind and to keep sun off the back of my neck.

You know turning up your collar and ascots serve a purpose.

I am also taking some layers, hoping for sun. We get in late Saturday, Sunday is race day, so we have Monday and Tuesday to see Atlanta. I have never been to Georgia. Atlanta is a big city with lots to go and see. I have ask about Stone Mountain State Park, with their train ride and any Confederate tours. The hotel and the trip folks will have info available foe us. I am not driving so I wand to go and do and see the area and not be in a car or a building. I told our Host going to the race and the airport do not count as being in Atlanta.

I remember a interview with Michael Phelps after he won his last swimming medal in the Summer Olympics. Bob Costas was chatting with his Mother. We all saw her in the stands over the years, read the articles in the magazines and in  newspapers. After 10 years or longer you feel like you know them. He turned to Michel and ask about The Barcelona Olympics in 4 years, "There are rumors you are going to retire". "I am really thinking about it" His Mom laughs and says, " But I want to go to Barcelona". Michael says I have been to every major city in the world. Competing in the World Cup or in a different race. I have seen every airport, swimming pool, hotel, and out, on to the next meet. I have never seen the city. I have never sat in a cafĂ© and had a 2 hour lunch with friends and not hurried. Bob turned to his Mother and said, "I'll bet he can buy you a ticket to Barcelona and get you in to he games!". They all laughed. But that is just it, airports do not count, I want to see some of the city. We may only have two days but that is enough time to see if we want to go back.

So back to packing. I have a black maxi that is straight with a sliming silhouette. With a red shrug it will  dress up in case we go out to dinner. I am toying with the idea of packing one more skirt. They are cooler than pants and jeans are for the races. I like jeans in grandstands, you never know want to expect. BUT, we are only there 3 days the other days we are flying, and I only want to take one bag this time ......so I have to be reasonable. Also there are shoes.  Real sturdy ones for the race track, we have pit passes, I don't know what that means, how much walking we will be doing, so my Converse tennis. Then got to have some thongs (flip flops), I have some nice wedge black ones for the maxi, slippers, I am up to 4 pair now. Then underwear and an extra jacket and two tops in case it really does rain !! One bag .... wish me luck.

Oh, did you hear about the black bear attack in Lake Mary Florida ?
I wonder how close it was to the hotel we stayed in for The Daytona 500 ?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mom's liver amd onions

Buy Calf Liver about one pound for three people

 go to an AG Market, or a market where they have a meat counter where all the meat is not wrapped and packaged. If you can only find baby beef liver smell it. It should smell fresh and feel firm. If it is soft do not buy it, if it smells funny do not buy it. Some meat markets will order a liver for you.

Wash it real good under cool running water. Slice it into one inch slices and run your fingers thru all the veins you can and clean out all the old blood you can under cool water.  Cut the slices into one inch cubes and dredge in salt and pepper and flour The easiest way to do this is in a plastic bag mix the salt, pepper and flour  in the bag throw the liver pieces in and shake.

You will need a heavy cast iron pot. I like a dutch oven. Put in about 2 to 3 table spoons of oil in the pot and heat it. Put the liver pieces in a few at a time and fry on high heat. Brown all of them. Do them in batches if you have a lot. Stir them do not burn them. Turn the heat off. Now in the same pot, do not clean it, pan fry some bacon.4 pieces for one pound of liver and more for more. If you like bacon you may add more after you have cooked your first batch. Only fry the bacon about one or two minuets. Not crisp. Take the bacon out and pile all the liver in the pot, shake it to level the pile and put the bacon on top. Now the secret. Big beautiful yellow onions 4 or 5. Slice them thick,  half inch slices. cover the liver and bacon with at least 2 inches of onion slices. Use more onions if you have to the secret is 2 inches. Put a good tight cover on the pot. This steams the liver with sweet onion and bacon flavors. When the onions are tender the liver will not stay pierced on a fork,  those tender morsels will win some hearts. Yum. If your cover - lid is not tight put a brick on it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Getting older

One of the delights of getting older is laughing at the younger generation.

I remember my Grandmother saying " you think that is new ? "
There is a saying, every thing that's old is new again.

One of my favorite shows on TV is Andrew Zimmerman's food network show. He goes all over the world eating all kinds of things.

There was a department store in Salt Lake City, ZCMI, that had a food court in the 1950's. They had a bakery, a diner, a specialty grocery store and a candy counter in the basement. This was in the middle of town in one of the best stores. On the top floor you could buy New York Fashions, one off's for my Lady, and furs.

My Father and I would buy canned pacific salmon, whole oranges pickled in jars and chocolate covered ants. The herring in sour cream and sardines were special and the Kadoka Figs were out of this world.

My Mother was a good cook. When she cooked chicken we all wanted some of the liver on saltine crackers. The heart and gizzard were treats too. She prepared calf liver with bacon and onions and we all loved it.

I have done a lot of Deer hunting. When you kill a Deer you have fresh heart and liver for camp supper. I have had hunters tell me " that's ok, I'll have a sandwich ". When I get the dutch oven going with the onions, bacon, spices, liver and heart all of a sudden maybe " I'll just try one piece " then you have them.

Now I read in a magazine, The Week, that a new restaurant in LA, B.O.S. thinks offal - OFFAL- is new and trendy. If you look that word up in a dictionary it is The Parts of a butchered animal that are considered inedible by human beings. rubbish; garbage; carrion. They are serving tripe and calling it squid. They think heart has a beefy flavor, really? could that be because it comes from a beef .....
I wonder what their prices are like ?

I have a wonderful recipe for liver and onions. I will dig it out and share it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The wonderful People in My Life

I am a most fortunate person. I have wonderful people in my life.

Let me introduce you to my gardener.  Notice I said gardener not landscaper ! When my husband got sick
I got busy. His care, Dr.'s, lots of unforeseen stuff. I kept the house clean, but the yard went to pooey. My husband died, I didn't do a lot in the yard for quite a while and it showed. The yard looked like no one lived here. So I looked  landscaper up in the yellow pages in the phone book. The first one showed up with a truck 3 guys and a lot of power tools. I explained I needed the yard cleaned up and grass pulled and flower beds cleaned and weeds pulled. They left. I went to the yuppy garden store around the corner and they recommended "Wild Willy's" so I called. They had new red trucks and trailers. Three guys and three days later I could not see what they had done. He said I was the first person that had ever fired them. I ask how long they had been in business. He cut his invoice in half. I was ready to go to the high school or .... when I came home and found a sheet of paper on my door with a note telling me of a gardener a GARDENER. so I called, he called me back and came over the next morning. "we will clean up your yard, all the leaves and old dead plants. we will pull the grass in the flower beds, we will pull the weeds. In three days if you are not pleased you will not pay us and we will be gone. If we do good work we will be your gardener all summer. I had told him my tale of woe trying to find some one. So we agreed and he has been my gardener for 2 years.Mr Sandino Caro comes twice a month. I have watched his son grow and graduate high school, now he is married with a son. We have gotten rid of morning glory, what the farmers call bind weed. This year we are putting back in seeds I harvested that first year. His man Mr. Sanovio and I worked around each other as I saved seeds from Lark Spur, and Flax. We are ahead of the Iris beds and the grass is even under control. The Day Lilly's and the Roses look good.

This year Oscar has one flower bed ready for planting. Now I just have to get the seeds in the ground. I have them ready, with the Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper and Epsom Salt. Hope the pepper keeps the birds away until the seeds get started. I have lots of birds. They are used to coming for the sunflowers. We have Robins and Doves and Pigeons and Sea Gulls. Later I will see Canaries and Blue Jays. When I get them in the ground I will put garlic in the water for a while. I have read that drives every one away. It got rid of a cat a year ago.

In my next gardener story I will tell you about losing a fight with a rose bush and how that almost landed me in the hospital !

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter 2014

I have been told to just start putting my thoughts  on here and quit editing so much.

I went to a Dr.'s appointment. Her office is in a building adjacent to a hospital. They have the best gift shop ! I stopped in when I left and bought my self a lavender bunny.

I do not need a bunny, I have lots of bunny's, but this bunny was not very big and it was lavender. And it has long floppy ears and well I bought him, yes he is a boy bunny.

When I was a little girl I had a large white rabbit. I lived in a city so the rabbit was in my back yard in a cage. His name was Thumper. He got out a lot. I think that was my fault. I remember chasing him around the yard and sometimes into the neighbors yard. I have black and white pictures of Thumper and me. When I would hold him his legs would hang down to the ground. Either he was big or I was small.