Don't forget to double click on pictures to enlarge

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Six years and counting

Hubby and I have come to understand that we have saved records for a lot longer than the recommended six fact I don't think we have gotten rid of a thing! So I started one of my new projects............shredding Shredder doesn't like staples

Little shredder....big project

In desperation.....but too much smoke.

Well, it has taken several weeks but I am proud to report the job is done. I have even created a little file system to remind myself that when we store our next years records we need to shred the last years.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In rememberance

On May 14th I posted "It's a test" and put up pictures from peoples early blogs. I shared that there were two not claimed and I was concerned ......... This was Granny J's from Walking Prescott It is a picture of an angel her Mom made and hung on her door at the care center and it was from 2006. Today, Granny J's daughter Omega Mom, posted a special tribute to her mom as a last post for Granny J who has passed away. She shared this very special picture. You will be greatly missed Granny J.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Parrot saves the day

I am a stay at home wife but last Thursday I met my daughter for lunch....while eating my hubby called and said the alarm company had called and said our burglar alarm was going off and the the location was the master bedroom door...he told them to send the police and he was on his way and that I should stay put.
It was not a false alarm. I had this standing jewelry box in a little alcove in the bedroom and I guess they could see it and thought it was worth the risk. After busting the door frame with a crow bar.....they grabbed my hubby's pillow case and just started dumping, even took two of the drawers...... (I did not have the heart to take the picture with everything on the floor as we found it). Well, there is good news and bad news....the good news is that the top was a lid that lifted up and they must have not realized it.........there was some good stuff in there and the sides opened out and had necklaces hanging in them and they too were left untouched. The bad news is that even though for the most part it was costume type jewelry, a lot of it was my mom's.

I left our house at 12:20 p.m. and the alarm went off at 12:45 p.m. The police surmised that they may have watched me leave....they came over the block wall back fence off the street because none of the gates had been disturbed as I have little lock type things on them and they were intact.

Here is what we surmised.....our bedroom door had been shut (we leave it open) so they knew we had the two dogs......
they shut the door to keep them out and began dumping BUT what they didn't know is that we have a parrot and when the dogs get upset and bark he starts hollering his favorite thing.......HELLO!!!!
He sounds just like me so it seems they panicked and left the bottom drawer open but everything there (with the exception of a beautiful bracelet that went with this set)
So Toby bird saved the day from being any worse......

I am trying to make a little light of this but if you have ever been broken sets you on edge....I have come up with all kinds of ideas like barbwire strung on top of the fence:)

Think the neighbors would mind..........

Hubby says "we have lived here 18 years and never been broken into before..I am not changing anything"........ Does sleeping with the gun on the floor next to his side of the bed count?

Well, there have been a few changes.........
this is the new resident of the alcove and I have started leaving the radio on if I leave (we have an outside speaker). Hubby and I have spent some time discussing different situations and what to we might do. I have reminded myself...."put the good stuff in the safe" and I have decided to get rid of a lot of the jewelry I don't wear.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where was I for my birthday?

Did you guess the Bass Pro Shop? Actually this was just a stop to kill time, but if you have never been in one of these, it is worth the stop. I planned the day myself and it pretty much all backfired....after church we were to go to a place called "The Farm".........If you go to their web site you will easily see how I had these visions of the beautiful gardens and a lovely lunch etc. Well, they were having some kind of an event and it was so packed we had to park across the street, it was nearing 90 degrees and the lunch restuaurant was a self serve......not quite what I had in mind but hubby came to the rescue and took me to Aunt Chilada's mexican food restaurant instead. We planned to spend the night at the newly opened Talking Stick casino but got a phone call the day before with lots of apologies because they didn't pass their fire inspection and could not honor our reservation BUT they had made reservations at the Scottsdale Resort
all paid for including taxes and would be sending a voucher for a free night at the casino at a later is that for too cool:):) Still stopped at the casino and lost my normal amount. The resort had a beautiful room and we had a wonderful dinner at their restaurant as well as a great breakfast buffet......ah, it was a good birthday after all.

Hmmmmm I am seeing a pattern.............most everything includes food:)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Every blogger has their first picture ever posted......

Here is mine , posted on Oct. 1, 2007

Which one is yours??????

Number 1
Dec. 23, 2006

Number 2
Aug. 10, 2008

Number 3
Aug. 31, 2006

Number 4

July 27, 2007

Number 5
June 7, 2006

Number 6
Nov. 17, 2005

Number 7
Sept. 24, 2006

Number 8
Nov. 15, 2007

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Can't hold my tongue

Thousand of individuals from foreign countries walk unchallenged across our southern border every day. We don't know who they are, where they come from, or their intentions. It is an invasion by definition.
I am not only a citizen of Arizona but a third generation native of the state.
Standing in line waiting to board our plane from New Orleans, the news on the TV was showing Gov. Brewer signing the new law for Arizona and a young girl standing behind me asked her mother what that meant....the mother quickly replied that it was profiling and that it is a wrong thing to do and not what our country is about, but when I purposefully turned and looked at her she quickly added that people were causing a lot of trouble in Arizona and they were having a hard time.

It ceases to amaze me how people can so quickly come to a conclusion on a matter not even having read the law, or lived in the area affected but then if our Congress can pass bills without reading them I guess it should be of no surprise.
Been to an airport recently? Know how tight the security is? Know how many people are complaining that enough is not being done? Do you support airport security? Why then is it no problem that illegals with backpacks can just walk into our country in droves? Here's a news flash they don't all stay in Arizona.

Well, this is my opinion........We (America) is at fault
Many years ago we stopped adhering to the law and looked the other way. There were perhaps many reasons for this, charity, greed for cheap labor, friendships or whatever but we looked the other way and now, when just one report of illegals apprehended and retained for trial for one day, in one location, Feb. 5, 2009 shows that 325 were charged as border intruders and 8 were charged as drug runners at night, we see we have a problem.
If you are interested go here to see some statistics.
Many years ago employers and police enforced the law that required people to have proper documentation.....a green card if you will. They are still around but few have them, why you might ask? Well they aren't that easy to get... ...they require a sponsor, a fee, and a waiting time so if someone will hire you without one why should you bother? On a side note if you are pregnant and can get into the US and have your baby (free by the way) you have an immediate legal citizen to bind yourself with, these are called Anchor babies.
WAY back in the day when I got my first driver's license I had to bring my birth certificate, today, that is not required, and by the way you don't even have to speak English, you can take the test in Spanish here in Arizona. I guess I have lived in the dark ages because until I recently checked it out, I thought it was still required and that if you had a driver's license that proved you were here with paperwork. I think I am still a little confused on this issue because my Grandson has applied for ID (not a drivers license) and has always had to bring a copy of his birth certificate. That being said I have hired people to clean my yard or my house if they were driving and I want to share this situation with you. My past cleaning lady was a young Christian woman married with three children and has lived here in the US for 12 years or more and came to me under recommendation, one day I simply asked her if she was here legally and to my shock, she said no, that her husband was but she wasn't............These situations are why this is now a heartbreaking problem. I asked her if she was trying to become a citizen and she said "It's just not that easy". I checked it out and you see, once you come here illegally you pretty much have to go back and apply for the green card that allows you to live and work in the US for 10 years. After five years you then can apply for citizenship but not only do you have to be able to read, write and speak English you also have to understand the fundamentals of U.S. history and government and can support the principles of the U.S. Constitution to become a citizen.....Can you imagine that this is our law and yet, when a Govenor of a state tries to pass a law that to get a driver's license you must speak English it all but creates a riot?
Just to set the record straight here is a condensed version of the Arizona law:
The Arizona law requires the police to determine the immigration status of any person who is stopped for any "lawful" reason. Only if that person does not present valid, government-issued identification is there a "reasonable suspicion" that he or she is "unlawfully present in the Untied States," after which the officer must make reasonable attempts to verify the person's immigration status. State authorities are required to report the arrest or conviction of an illegal alien to Federal immigration authorities. The law requires an illegal alien (or a lawful alien who is not carrying his green card) to pay fines and jail costs.
The vast majority of the law is dedicated to imposing stiff sanctions on those who employ or smuggle illegal aliens. This Arizona law is not a new law deciding that being here without paperwork is illegal....... It is an Arizona law that creates a State penalty to mirror what already is a federal crime.
I have shared many of my hubby and I trips to Mexico on this blog and have loved going but we won't be going this year....... It is just too dangerous. In the past when a US citizen was in Mexico it was pretty clear that the government had a tight reign on any violence that would threaten the tourist market but the Mexican drug cartels now dominate and are overpowering the Mexican government. We experienced this first hand if you remember my post On June 10, 2008 on our trip to Puerto Vallarta where they robbed and killed a worker where we were for a zip line ride. Our last trip to Mexico was a Rivera Mexican cruise in 2009, some people that found out we were from Arizona asked us is it was safe to come to Arizona with all the kidnappings, drugs,murders and etc. Are people afraid to come to your state?
I am very fortunate, I live in the suburbs of Phoenix and do not hear the gun shots at night and the sirens 24 hours a day and see the results of the drive by shootings but I tell you what I do see, if I drive in certain parts of this city, I would swear I am in Mexico...the colors, sounds and all the writing on business's are in Spanish and I by the way am an intruder. I can go to my local post office on any given day and see anywhere from 3 to 7 Mexican men waiting for someone to come and offer them a day job...same thing at Home Depot. I watch the news and see a high school go against a group of us citizens wearing our American flag because it may offend those celebrating Cinco de Mayo which has absolutely nothing to do with the United States except for an excuse to party. I see people who are here illegally standing and protesting.....try that in Mexico, you will be shot. Do you know that even being born to Mexican citizens in Mexico does not give you the right to Mexican citizenship? Google "Requirements to become a Mexican Citizen" and get a big shock....You have to live there five years just to apply to become a citizen and you can not own land in your name if you are not a citizen.
I want to tell the illegal young people I see who are standing and protesting, go home and build a country others would want to come to, put your hand to the plow not up in a fist to the government that gave you a free education. I hear people say "this country is built on immigration" they just forget to add legal. Both sides of my family immigrated here from other countries but they were sponsored to come here, documented and became citizens, adhering to our culture, language, customs and contributing in taxes and accepting the reponsibilty of going to war to protect this country. Illegals do none of the above and will protest and threaten when we try to adhere to the law of our land as we are seeing.
There has been a 60 % reduction of illegal immigrants in the area between San Diego, Calif. and Yuma, Az. Why?
this is the area that the proposed wall has been completed. Now people say "you can't build a wall across the whole southern border" I say, if Congress wants to pay for job creation via Public works projects ---there is a fence that needs to be finished and by the way.....what happen to the "Yes, we can, man"? His position, and I quote...."So I want to say it again, just in case anybody is confused. The way to fix our broken immigration system is through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause). "That means responsibility from government to secure our borders, something we have done and will continue to do." I am sorry Mr. President, but I am confused...first you state that our immigration system is broken and then you say that the way to fix it is doing what we have done and will continue to do?
Build a fence, add border patrol, have cameras like in New York City, send in troops like we are doing in Afghanistan to protect their borders, crack down on employers hiring illegals , do whatever it takes, but the most important job of the Federal Government is to keep us safe and secure our borders!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Olreans 6

This will be the last New Orleans post (some are breathing a sigh of relief). Of course we did all the things New Orleans is known for..... eating a beignet (fancy word for a donut) at Cafe Du Monde, strolling down Bourbon Street, Jackson Square and etc. but think this last post will be about food and drink......

Went to the Carousel bar...... Ingenious! It actually turns very slowly and is really beautiful. Located in the Hotel Monteleone.

Overall, I found the service in New Orleans to be very generic, maybe because so many people go in and out of the area and they are always serving a new face.

Even though it is the south the food is more Creole based. I personally don't care for it but did try a few things popular for the area.

A new local popular drink, Sazerac, was made with whiskey...not my favorite but did give it a try.....already tired a Hurricane on my first trip here.

As I mentioned before, there was a little Mexican food restaurant across from our resort and their food was real good to our surprise. We went to an Italian restaurant one night and had a love/hate experience. The bar area and bar tender was warm, relaxed and friendly but the restaurant area (separate room) was cramped and rushed...they all but threw the food at us and they were in the process of setting us their entertainment (a piano player) which was to have started 30 minutes earlier. Was shocked to see at the bottom of the menu that we would be charged $3.00 each for this. I told our waitress not to charge us for a service we did not get. Have never heard of charging someone for their un-advertised entertainment like that.

My very best dinner was at Mila They had wonderful bread and my Pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon on top of Celery-Root Puree was to die for. I had never eaten celery root before but I loved it! Hubby's favorite dinner was at Cochon....Oven roasted gulf fish (red fish) "fisherman style". We also had Shrimp and deviled egg gumbo here.....not bad to my surprise. Another pleasant surprise was my tomato soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwich at the World War II restaurant....big deal huh? but not only was it very good but was served real clever on a wood plank with a soup can panted white on the outside for the soup bowl........I happen to love things like that.

Most of you know my love of cookbooks so of course I had to bring home a few little ones....

"The little Gumbo Book"..The preface says "Ahhhh.... gumbo. The word itself conjures up warmth and contentment sitting before a steamy bowl of this healthy,rich, Creole dish". There was a large section on the importance of Roux and how to make it. My second book was "Soul on Rice" and it not only has recipes but also history of how the African slaves influenced American cooking as they tried to make a home away from home. I share one of the little entries with you...Hoe Cake
"Hoecake was meal mixed with water in a thick batter. Got it's name from some of 'em slappin' it on a hoe and' holdin' it in de fire place tell its cooked. Mother ain' done that. She used to cook hoecakes in a big iron pan, two or three at time. Simple fare, it was, but they was always plenty of it."

* * *

"Moisten salted corn meal with scalding water or milk. Allow it to stand for an hour. Put two or three teaspoons of this on hot greased griddle. Smooth it out to make cakes one-half inch thick and let it cook. When one side is done turn over and brown the other. Serve very hot for breakfast. This dish goes well with sausage. "

My last little book was "From the Land of Tabasco Sauce".

I was surprised to learn that the creation of Tabasco sauce came from here. I would have loved to have taken a tour of Avery Island that has existed since 1818 and founded the pepper sauce industry in 1868. The pictures of the swamp, gardens and fields are beautiful and the recipes interesting. Most include just a dash of Tabasco and may indeed lend a special touch to some old stand by's like "Picnic Potato Salad".
Now, if I just cooked:)

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Orleans 5

Swamp Tour
Signed up for a swamp tour but the real thrill is the airboat

There is nothing to compare with this....

To my surprise many parts of the swamp were pretty
Notice the yellow headphone looking things on the lady taking the picture? That was ear protection from the noise of the motor. Of course the goal is to find alligators and we found several, like this guy hiding in the cool of the green and you know the old saying.....seen one alligator seen them all. The tour guide brought a bag of marshmallows and would throw one out and an alligator would sometimes come and get it. He said they don't taste them but are attracted to things that are white and that is why the number one killer of them is white plastic bags. See the marshmallow...

He was one big alligator....
About 12 foot long and the highlight of the allegator hunt.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New orleans 4

(Photo from web site)
A trip to the south without a visit to a magnificent plantation would just not be right. I took several pictures but this professional one captured the unbelievable glory of the trees.

This mansion was built around 1838 and the oak trees (already established) were the inspiration. There is a dirt road at the end of this walkway and on the other side a green berm which serves as a dam for the Mississippi river. Thanks to Mrs. Stewart, the last widowed owner of the estate, the non-profit foundation was set up and allows it to be enjoyed today.

The estate had been sold several times and was abandoned for a time as well so there was little original items inside but the view from the second story was the best......can you imagine sitting and sipping a mint julep with this view.

Like all of the elegant mansions of the south the architecture is wonderful but here at Oak Alley it's all about the trees....

deemed more that 300 years old.
As you can imagine there have been several movies filmed here and of course wedding and receptions. There is also a little restaurant were we had lunch and I experienced Chicken-and-Andouille Sausage Gumbo................mmmmmmmmmmmmm. After I got home I went hunting for a recipe and hope to enjoy it again.
I have to remind myself these beautiful places had no running water, no electricity and no indoor toilets and was dependent on slave labor. Many didn't survive the Civil War.
There were 8 more plantations that could be toured in this area and I would have loved to have seen them all but for was just right.