Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 2014

This has ben one of those months that reminds me how frail our body's are and how thin the thread is that connects us to this life.

I have a good friend who was on the mend. We were spending time together and going on short trips. Then she took a fall. Now she is down, and fighting to get back, back to where she was will be a good thing.

Another friend was in a terrible auto accident and is recovering slowly. Not being to get out and do for your self is very demoralizing.

An old friend found her cancer is back after 27 years. But we are positive it is the same and we will beat it again.

Friends husbands are receiving bad news from their dr.'s and not doing well. One is just worrying a lot and driving her nuts another has just given up and they are selling their home and moving out of state to be with family. She is giving up her life.

I am trying to be grateful with out analyzing everything.

I have friends that call to wish me Happy Birthday. I have friends and family that just call to chat. I have family that want me to come visit ! I have a wonderful friend to travel with. My life is good because of people like you who read this. I am a very lucky women. I am a good friend and I try to be a good person. I am optimistic and I think having a positive out look serves you well in this life. So one day at a time. ... I will live life as it comes and make the best of it. Hope the world is a better place because I am here.

Home again

I got home from LA Sunday 5-25-14. Had a great time. As usual my life took over and I had a bit of an adventure.

I met my Daughter and her Husband at the LA air port. We did not have much of a plan, meet up rent a car and go to the hotel. Sounds easy. In the baggage area I realized they may not be arriving in that area ...you think !! My Daughter is flying out of Montrose or Grand Junction, Colorado. Either way it is not easy to get any where ! So I check the itinerary she sent me. It looks like something out of a spy novel, so I go to the old guys at the information desk, they say they have seen everything. Well turns out they have not seen this itinerary, she is flying over here, thru here up here to Phoenix and in to LA on ?? He can't find the flight number on his computer and he is supposed to have all that info on his computer. As we are scratching our heads here come Kalena and Joe with their luggage, thru a side door. Their puddle jumper, 9 passenger from Phoenix, landed, taxied on a road they think in the maintenance area of the airport thru the buildings and up to a gate. They fix aircraft instruments for a living and both worked on planes in the Navy so I think they know the maintenance area of an airport. I was sure glad to see them, so was the info guy.

We rented a Chrysler 200 and drove to Sherman Oaks and checked in to the hotel, met my Granddaughter and then went to the taping of The Arcino Hall Show. This story later.

Wednesday was Granddaughter Andrea's Graduation from Cal State Northridge, University of Southern California Northridge, The Matadors. It was sunny, over cast (thank you), a beautiful day. I bought a lei on the way in to the stadium for her. She is a beautiful girl and the camera loves her, all the pictures they took of he turned out great. Lots of wonderful kids and proud parents. The processional was well organized, the kids well behaved and it went fast.On the guad after they set out water, coffee and juice, pastries' and fruit on tables. The buildings were open to tour and for restrooms. I took a whole roll of film. Beautiful campus. Drove to the hotel changed clothes then to the beach !! On to Malibu to Duke's for some great sea food. Back to the beach !!

I told her this is what happens when old beach bums come to visit. I lived in LA for a while before I was married. Her Mom and Dad met at Miramar Navy base in San Diego. So we all miss the beach.

We drove down the beach road stopping now and then until dark. Joe wanted steamed clams. Andrea got on her phone and found a restaurant, a good one and we ate home made linguini and steamed clams, and home made crab ravioli in cream sauce. Heaven. Annie took home lunch for two days.

Thursday I took Joe and Kalena to the airport. We had a donut at Randy's Donut's, it is a land mark, and then back on the 405 and the hotel.

Andrea and I spent Friday and Saturday together and I flew home Sunday.











Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday

Here I go again. Off to Ogden, this time for a great massage !

My cozen Marsha is a licensed massage therapists . I know, I'm impressed. She is excellent. When I have been on a road trip, or just on a plane for 4 or 5 hours I can't wait to have her work on my back.

I have all the every day lower back stuff after working in the yard or house work. It seems every thing I do is at a 90 degree angle. Well after I spend time with Marsha and her magic hands, well honey, I feel fine for a good long time.

After I see Marsha I am going to Idaho and put flowers on Gary and his parents graves. I took a good look at the flowers in my front yard and there was no way they were going to wait a week while I played a week in LA. I am lucky they waited while I was at Talladega.

Yes Kalena I took lots of pictures. No I don't know how to put them on face book. Dolly will show me how when I get back home some time in the future !!
 see ya

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday 5-17-14

This morning I am cutting flowers. Dark Wine short Iris, Tall Violet, Tall dark Purple, and Tall Snow White. They will make a good show on my Mother and Fathers graves. My Mother's Mother and Father and sisters and an Aunt will get some and My Sister and her first husband. I will put United States Flags on My Father's grave and My Brother In Law's. I am also going to put some flowers and a small flag on Gary's son's grave. Then it's over to my Father's Father's and  his Mother's and Brother's. I have some red Peony's for the men.

I cut some hangers so I can anchor the containers to the ground. That is one thing Mr. Cope left me was tools. I have good wire cutters and small pocket size wrenches and pliers. I found them in all of his overalls and jackets. I think he bought everything by the dozen.
They are a handy size to take along on these outings.

So, I am off. After lunch I must pack for LA. I am looking forward to seeing my Granddaughter Andrea. She has worked hard at school and at work. We will have fun hanging out together for a few days. My Daughter got tickets to the Arcineo Hall show while we are there. That will be fun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I am home

Home from Talladega and Georgia ! What a trip. The flight to Georgia was a little bumpy. Low clouds getting out of Salt Lake and unsettled weather all across the US. We had one of those map things to watch so that entertained us. 3+ hours. Atlanta is one of, if not the largest airport in the US. WOW, you look at the map in the in flight magazine and panic ! We are never going to get out of here ! But It is very easy. By the time I went to the restroom, got on the train, found the baggage carrousel, our bags were waiting. The crowds are large but they are moving. The people are very courteous and pleasant. The hotel shuttle picked us up and the Double Tree Airport Hotel was nice. The staff was helpful to two weary travelers.

We checked in with our Dream Trip Hosts and received our tickets, pit passes, lanyards, plastic credential holders, and Talladega pins.

Our room was a king and was nice. After checking it out we went in to the restaurant. The server, Ben, was great. My friend had an appetite so he got him pork chops. Me I was just a little hungry, he suggest a chicken casedea, it was very good. We had margaritas from the bar, up, salt and no salt. All and all a nice meal, Gave us time to relax and calm down from our flight.

The hotel puts up Delta crew and staff so they are busy. My room was quiet, no outside noise, no hall noise. The halls and common areas were clean and the d├ęcor was different from a lot of hotels. The room was typical Hilton. They use fresh flowers in the halls, by the elevators, seating areas, etc. Welcome to the south. We desert dwellers like that.

Sunday morning we got up early. The small bus that took our group to the Race was new and very clean. There were 25 of us, plus a Host. Our driver was very knowledge. He made his way around construction, accidents, cops giving tickets, cars being towed and detours. Talladega is in Alabama on Anniston Air Force Base about 105 miles from Atlanta. We passed some small towns, but nowhere you would want to stay, unless you had your home with you. Lots of camping. Talladega its self is out in the middle of nowhere. It is a huge track, surrounded by land. Anniston is a closed Base but we passed an active Base on our way, plus national forest. At the track they have lots of parking at track side and camping places for trailers, campers, tents and all sorts of rigs. Hundreds of porta-pottys. All with in walking distance of the track.

There is seating for 100,000+. The stands were not full. The race is flat out - 3 and 4 wide most of the time. Single file is not the norm.
Danica did good early on, but it is like she runs out of gas or something. She always finishes in the 20's. Everyone said the wrecks were not as bad this year. I have not watched the race before so I can not compare, but I thought they were spectacular !! The one at the finish line on the last lap was a real dust up!! At least they let the race end.

I am so glad Royce goes with me. He knows why the cautions are called. He knows all the cars and drivers and where they stand in the points in the races. He takes time to explain over and over why things are as they are in the race. He has a real good time at the race and holds my hand on the trip to and from the track. It is nice to have some one to have fun with.

Back at the hotel we relaxed and cleaned up. boy were we covered with dirt. The restaurant was closed, they were doing room service with no charge and serving in the bar. We did not want to go any where so we ate in the bar. The bartender was a delight. He ask every ones name, and remembered them.

Monday we spent some time seeing a bit of Atlanta. I have done a lot of traveling and going in and out of airports and hotels does not count as seeing a city. Having never being to Atlanta before  we hired a cab for 2 hours and saw some sights. They have a giant Ferris wheel downtown by Olympic Park. We rode that first. What a thrill. You can see all the buildings, all of Olympic Park, we were alone in  a gondola that could seat six or eight people. It is quite a ride. Next we drove by the Coke a Cola Museum, the Aquarium, the CNN building, Ted Turner's complex and the home of the author of Gone With the Wind, the novel. He stopped were ever we wanted.We saw Emery University, and the home of the Atlanta Braves and drove through another business school. We went to Atlanta Underground but I did not go down. We drove through neighborhoods and were impressed by the hotels and banks down town. Atlanta is a big city, we took a small bite and then went back to our hotel. The cab driver likes Atlanta, he is from Ghana by way of London. He feels living, working and going to school in the United States is easier than in London. He goes back and forth to London a lot. He knew the city well and we had a good time with him.

Tuesday we flew home. We checked out of the hotel at noon and our flight was not until 4:30pm. We got a good feel for how big the air port was !
We bought a pizza and a beer and sat by a window and watched a tarmac with the planes coming and going and the baggage trains going 90 miles an hour in all directions with no traffic lights. It was incredible. Our server explained that the bar tried to be a little different. They are such a big, busy place they try to have different food, a full service bar and a place to sit out of the flow of the food court. Our pizza was a build your own with feta cheese and Italian meets and a thin crust, hand tossed. Good sauce. There was a man playing Jazz on a piano.

The flight home was bumpy. 90 mile an hour tail wind all the way. Good pilot he didn't let it slow him down!!
Good to be home. Next stop LA


































Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday 5-8-14

This will be a little discombobulated. That is how my day is going. OK I am home.

Yesterday I thought I would unpack, do some laundry, take stuff to the cleaners and pick up my mail. Lazy day-recoup- right ? Well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. I wonder where that saying comes from ?? Anyway a friend called. We see each other once a month at least, go to lunch or dinner. She has had some very serious health issues and has been on the mend this last year and we have been making the best of it. Getting her out more and more. A little over a year ago she was really down, mentally and physically.  I was talking to her on the phone about her childhood on a sheep farm. "Oh how I would love some lamb chops." Well get some, you have a house full of people there. I know most of her family very well. "No one will cook lamb>" I will. "Really ?" So I cooked beautiful lamb chops with little bones, asparagus, and red potatoes. We had cheese cake with straw berry syrup for desert. A teen age grandchild came by and just tasted a chop and ended up eating one. Her Mother lives with her and was so happy to have lamb, she ate two ! Her Mother told stories about the sheep farm out by Bridger, Wyoming. They had some wild winters ! My friend came to Salt Lake and worked at The Auto Auction and is a car guy like me.

This year we will have almost the same menu. Fruit and Ice cream for desert. I am trying to work with Greek Yogurt instead of ice  cream, but I cannot get it to taste good,.....maybe if I put ice cream in the yogurt ......

The prep went well. I cooked the chops 3 minutes on one side and 2 on the other on high heat. This got them nice and brown. Salt and pepper on one side when I turned them. I never season meat when it is raw. The asparagus I fried in a pan with a  olive oil and a little Garlic powder, about 5-6 minutes. The red potatoes until just tender.
I gave up on the yogurt. We had Ice cream and fruit.

My friend, her husband, her Mother, her grandson and I had a great meal and I left them with enough for another meal. We enjoyed great conversation and are glad we are in each others lives.

An old friends daughter dropped by. She is living across the street, renting a room. She mentioned a few people, but I did not know any of them. Her Mom is doing OK but not really well. We lost touch when I quit drinking. Lori is the same age as my daughter Kalena. She was a reminder to me how hard friendships can be. Her Mom and I could be friends tomorrow if I would have a drink with her. There was a time when we saw each other every day, and played with each other two or three times a week. I have saved her life and she has saved mine. But when my husband and I quit drinking she could not get past that. "But you don't have to quit just because he does." "IF we go out you can have a drink with me." She is one of those people who cannot be around you if you are not drinking. So I accepted that. I missed her for a long while, but life goes on, that was 12+ years ago.

So all in all a full day. I will write about Talladega soon.











Friday, May 2, 2014

Cleaning out the fridge

When I leave town I stop buying groceries and try to use up most of the perishables.

Tonight I made some great soup out of left overs. I went to my favorite noodle house two days ago and brought home good broth, noodles and bean sprouts. I had a piece of pork chop and some french fries from a day or so before. I can not throw food away I save little dabs of this and that and then I make soup, chili or spagaitti, depending on what I have on hand and who is coming to dinner.
So, you put a little olive oil in a small skillet, heat it up with some salt and pepper fry the cut up pork for a minute, add the cut up French fries, and add some green onions, 3, you found wilting in your crisper, season with season salt, garlic powder and pour the broth over it, I ate the noodles last night, heat it up good and with the sweet sprouts on the side and some black olives and a Pepsi, it is a good soup and a nice meal.

I have done the same thing with spagatti sauce in a pinch. I have made it with left over roast beef, one hamburger patty, two pork chops, a few pieces of chicken and maybe a piece of sausage. It was the best sauce. If you read the old recipes they always had more than one kind of meat. Usually pork and beef.

I got my boarding passes printed out so I am ready to fly away. The neighbors are watching the house. Hope the weather is nice in Atlanta and Alabama.