Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pasta with Gorgonzola and Italian Sausage

Sorry for the unimpressive cell-phone photo, but damn! This tasted really good and I was just using us ingredients I had in the fridge:

8 oz. cooked pasta
8 oz. Italian sausage, browned
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
3/4 cup milk
4 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Brown the sausage, add garlic, brown a bit, add spinach, milk, cheese, and red pepper flakes, reduce until thickened, add to drained pasta.

Top with grated parmesan.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One of the Joys of Reading...

I subscribe to Outside Magazine (website: not because I’m the most robust, outdoorsy person or that all the articles appeal to me-some don’t, in fact, but I usually read them anyway-for the writing. All of the writing is outstanding, so even if the subject doesn’t interest me I can ride a wave of better than exceptional prose and far-over-the-top vocabulary and learn about some subjects I wouldn’t have otherwise if I didn't bother to read them. Some articles are about extreme activities, some human interest stories, and some are funnier than hell.

Normally I do need to look up a word or two I find in each issue, so to my delight, in the November issue article On the Origin of Species, written by Michael Roberts uses the word “sastrugi”. The article explains why Steve Martin’s new movie The Big Year, in Martin’s irreverent style perhaps -I haven’t seen it-may garner some long-overdue respect for bird watchers. But Roberts uses the word describing a skier. What the hell? I’m a skier and have certainly never heard that word. But the beauty of learning it that way, as a delightful surprise, is that I’ll never forget it. Go ahead-look it up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sort This!

While in a long meeting this afternoon, I mused over an item I recently saw perusing Skymall Magazine during a recent flight, amid the countless yard ornaments and luxury items for your pets:

A plastic cup that you presumably allow your adorable offspring to use to separate the cereal from the marshmallow goodness in Lucky Charms?

These is so much wrong with this; that we need another useless plastic implement (it's a long list, but I include in it those plastic devices with different sized holes that help you measure the correct amount of spaghetti like you can actually screw up and cook too much, and these charming plastic containers I saw at the store shaped and colored like either lemons, onions or tomatoes to store either lemons, onions or tomatoes in that probably don't "keep" them any better, if even as well, as the plastic bag you brought them home in) on the planet whose oceans and landscape are choking in it. Is there truly a need for these?

Back to the cereal, if you want your child to eat marshmallows for breakfast, buy 'em a bag of Jet-Puffed or even better - a jar of marshmallow creme. Instead of letting them sit and sift out the toasted oat cereal (Lucky Charms via Wikipedia - If Wikipedia can be trusted, this cereal is the original Cheerios with sugar and marshmallows added, and I never realized there were so many iterations of the marshmallow shapes), probably leaving them for you to eat, buy some Cheerios for yourself in the first place. Do parents actually let their children sort the cereal?? I remember getting seriously chewed out for trying to dig the prizes from the bottom of the box before we ate all the cereal, but then, we didn't have a handy tool to dig it out with.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leaving Ocean Shores

We tourists probably think this is adorable-I  know I do, I turned around to take this photo, but if it was my yard-probably not.

We had a mom and child deer visit us at the condo about dinner time Saturday night. We tossed out sliced veggies and apples. The little one just sniffed at them, but mom deer chowed down. We're probably not supposed to feed the deer, but it was obvious from their expectant looks up at us that, if not us, someone will...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Long Weekend at the Beach

We took a walk on the beach today. Normally the first thing I do when I get to the beach is shed my footwear and wade in the surf, but this trip, the water is a dark chocolate color and leaves a mucky residue on the beach. I have no idea what's caused it, but it's nothing I want my feet in, although we did see some people surfing this morning. Blech.

This was the sunset Friday night:

This morning I was looking at the tracks of someone who walked the beach in wedge heels, apparently. I find just walking in the sand my Keens fairly challenging and sure wouldn't try it in a heel. If it's all I had to walk in (and that would never happen - I subscribe to a one pair per day + another pair just in case strategy), probably I'd just take them off and brave the chocolaty muck.

My love of the ocean grew from horrible yearly family trips to the ocean when I was a kid. We'd start out in darkness, my parents would overdose me with dramamine because my Dad refused to stop the car if I got carsick and was outraged if I rolled down the window and puked down the side of the car. People who can't tolerate the unexpected probably shouldn't have children, but this is not a rant about my Dad.

Once at the ocean, we'd get up pre-dawn every day to go dig razor clams. I hated it, a squeamish young kid shouldn't have to kill things; once we got our limit, Dad would hasten off to a bar and the rest of us were free to nap, read, or explore. I spent a lot of time propped up against some driftwood with a book in my lap, watching the breakers and listening to the surf. I love it to this day, and nobody makes me go dig clams these days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Water for Elephants-A complete surprise

I recommend this book, not because it's pretty much a chick novel and is released as a movie now, but because to me it's evident that the author researched Circus/Carnival history and has an interesting story to tell, much of which is true, go ahead, google it.

I loved it, the ending is - not fall off the wall, "I gotta end this book"- but went just where I'd want to go if I were in the main character's situation. How often anymore do we get an original plot line like this?

Will see the movie but worried about how it's treated.

Mes Chaussures

I won this trip, no kidding, ask me...
Before our recent trip to India, I heard my husband – on the phone with one of my friends – tell her “maybe two.” Shoes-that’s how many pairs of shoes the sadly erroneous man and love of my life thought I could get by with for a week-long trip? Most men don’t get shoes; they think they are merely functional items that either keep your feet warm or keep you from stepping in unpleasant stuff with your bare feet (you know what I mean, we’ve all done it). They don’t see the need to own multiple-to-numerous pairs, many of which may be inarguably similar. He has a pair of dress shoes, a pair of unremarkable grey tennies, some flip-flops and a pair of Keens I got him because I thought he could use a sporty upgrade in the footwear sector.

Chez Shoes
Our history with shoes probably began when he noticed I had to have shelves built in my closet to hold all my shoes. (I also had a rack built to hold all my earrings, but that’s a story for another day.) We travel well together which is fortunate because we travel a lot, and, like most couples, I probably have the conspicuously larger suitcase because – I have to pack enough shoes. The word at issue here is “enough.” The preferable number for me would be about a pair a day, plus maybe a pair for evening. He asked me once, at the end of a trip if I wore each pair. What has that got to do with anything? It’s not that I wore them, but that I could wear them.

The "Mustard Festival" Napa 2009
Take a trip we took to California wine country a couple of years ago; the suitcase with my shoes packed in it didn’t make it into the car (there is some question over whether I didn’t bring the suitcase out of the bedroom or that he should have had a gut-feeling there was another bag with my shoes in it), leaving me on a week’s trip with a pair of Clark loafers and a pair of Minnetonka moccasins. The kind with the suede soles. As it rained nearly the whole week we were there, relegating me, really, to just one choice of shoes, I did try shopping for substitutes, but my heart wasn’t in it. That’s a mission not to be taken under duress; shoe shopping should be a pleasure, not an emergency. I haven’t worn that pair of Clarks much since.

Coach, but uncomfortable...
The latest trip was to Japan. Since we were gone 18 days, the one pair per day was impractical. I don’t own a suitcase large enough, plus we were very mobile and had to haul our luggage with us a lot. Even I could get tired of dragging a suitcase full of shoes around Japan. At one point though, I did tell my honey that I couldn’t wear a particular pair of sandals; they weren’t “walking” shoes. (Insert a look here from him, “why did you bring the damn things all this way then, to not wear them?”) I only tell that because, after we got back I had the damn things on when a friend and I decided to walk to the waterfront for lunch. Then she said, “but I don’t have walking shoes on, so let’s drive. “ See, she understands shoes.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This is Sad and It is True

Troy Alan Wilton
Two weeks after my last post, over a year ago, my youngest son, whose lasagna I had featured in the post, took his own life. There is so much I could say about this, but where would I begin and end? Mostly I would say that, stilted as it sounds, you don't know what you've got til it's gone, I wish I had yelled less, listened more. He was a beautiful, cheerful child who skipped around the house and wanted everyone else to be happy. He battled depression from the time he went to college, maybe earlier, but never found that happiness in himself, and on April 3rd, 2010, all alone, he made the irrevocable choice to end his life. It left all of us with shattered hearts, shattered family. Anger, Confusion, Guilt, Questions. I write about this now because on Father's Day, Ron & I were in Home Depot and I saw a father bitching at his son that "this is why I didn't want to bring you"...Obviously the kid was bugging his dad about something ("I would have yelled less, listened more"). The little guy, about 8, sat down cross-legged on the cart and looked sad. I nearly made it out of the store without crying. I should have 1) hugged the kid and told him -to quote the lines at the end of an incredible book "The Help" - "You is kind, you is smart, you is important", 2) I should have plinked the asshole father on the tip of the nose and asked him "how bloody dare you? Do you have no idea the gift you have been given and the damage you have just done." Because, as I witnessed it, I regretted every single time I yelled at my kids about things that really didn't matter even one day later, or that interrupted "my quiet time".
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