21 July 2006

I'm off!

Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
We are setting out on vacation in the morning. We are touring the western U.S. not including the coast. So that means, we take the two hottest weeks in the summer months and go to states without a beach. Hmmmm. Something could go wrong here.

Nah. All's good. Watch for pictures.

Read More......

19 July 2006

A bit of excitement

Today began with little excitement. My oldest daughter had been to the emergency room Sunday, checked out and sent home. She then went to the doctor yesterday with the same ailment and scheduled for surgery this morning. I was waiting for the call from her sister, who would be there with her, to call and report how things had gone.

Instead, an hour and a half past the time I expected to hear something, anything, the phone rang. Interestingly enough it was my eldest daughter on the other end of the line. Surprised I asked why she was calling? Did the surgery go so well that you're out of recovery and feeling wonderful? Her response: "Well, they didn't do the surgery." I was confused to say the least. I asked why? and then came the response never expected:

Mom, they didn't do the surgery for a good reason. I'm pregnant! Well, needless to say there were cheers heard round the world. This daughter, and her husband, could have been knocked over with a feather. You see, they were told last year, they would most likely never have children.

A miracle has taken place. We are all so excited. Except, of course, the soon to be parents. They are quite confused and will need a bit of time to adjust. Not that they aren't happy. Just very, very, surprised.

Looks like there will be a need of a car seat for the beetle.

Read More......

16 July 2006

Your tax dollars at work. The right way.

Yesterday we went for a drive. It was going to be in the 112-115 degree level at home, so we decided to get closer to the coast. We by way of the Ortega's. Stopping at the view point above Lake Elsinore we shot a few pics and some video. As you can easily see the picture is filled with smoke. Smoke from the Yucaa Valley and Millard Canyon fires.

It was a smoke filled day, and will be for the next week most likely, in the Inland Empire. My nephew is working the fires. I live in a city that has a base for the arial bombers that work fires. It is as glamorous a job as it appears in the movie Always. It's hot, dirty work. Work that you must be trained to do. That you must be willing to be part of a team to do. There are no soloists on this team of brave people. Everyone knows that their job is as important as everyone elses. That the job you do is integral to the success of saving lives or puttin gout fires. Even if you stay on the ground and at the airport all day and never see a flame. Not one of them leaves work without knowing they made a huge contribution. What a great way to do a job.

I am posting a few of the pictures I shot at the airport last evening. There are a lot more on flickr.

air strike.JPG

This is the most famous view from the sky in our area. Hemet Ryan Air Attack has been around
forever. Our valley is well known for our fire fighting pilots and ground team.

calif fire season.JPG

Coming in to land. A good shot between the palms.

on approach.JPG

Turning base. When a plane comes in on appraoch they circle the valey and then turn base to land.

taxi-ing in.JPG

He's landed and taxi-ing toward the fill area. This is just one of many planes that will repeat the process throughout the day.

fill 'er up.JPG

The plane has now manuevered himself into position to be filled with fire retardant.

ready to pump.JPG

The ground tech fills the plane with Phos-chek. It is a liquid protein used to retard fires.

off to fight fire.JPG

Filled and ready to go in five minutes. That is the most incredible thing about the operation. If you go to flickr and review all the photos, you'll see #83 on approach, landing, being filled and taking off again in the span of 10 minutes. There is no wasted time in fire fighting. These guys do their jobs well and with accuracy.

On another note, the planes came in and went out in about an hour's time. Possibly shorter than that while I was there. Not one of the planes took on fuel. The hold is filled with retardant, the wings are filled with fuel. Incredible.

Where we're fighting.JPG

This is the team plan. There is a map of the fire. Where each plane will need to fly in, drop the retardant and get out, safely and as quickly as possible. There was a group of people in the observation area watching the planes land, fill and take off. It was a beautiful dance to some. These are the heros of the valley. Every one of them. Because of them, my nephew's job gets done. The firefighters on the ground work in conjunction with them to get the fire out as quickly as they possibly can.

It puts my day at the beach in stark contrast.

Read More......

10 July 2006

What a Monday can do for you
You Tube

This is what I do on some Mondays. A group of us go to club sponsored events and autocross a parking lot. This one was held last Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium. It was sponsored by the BMWCCA and some of the members of North American Motoring decided to participate.

I went to one a couple of Mondays ago when my youngest and her husband were visiting. It was a lot of fun. The best part was watching a couple of the guys spin out and do a 360 or 2. I am not sure I'll drive a course ever but I think I could be talked into it. The biggest problem is the expense. $45 to participate which isn't bad, but the tires are what will eat you alive. You usually add quite a bit of wear and tear on a set and really should have a set just for auto crossing.

I'll have to take a Phil Wickes course prior to driving autocross. I definitely want to do that. More than likely I'll do that next March when we participate in the Mini Vacation in Vegas IV.

So I don't spend all my time in the kitchen or the garden. Some of it is in the sun on pavement. :-D

Read More......


Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Okay, I don't know about the rest of you from the desert arena out here, but I am tired of being HOT! Not in the "wow she's hot" sense of the word but the "Oh my heck it's over a hundred and five again!" sense of the word.

Soooooo, as good Souther Californians do, we took a trip to the big ocean. Yes, that's the pacific in the picture. We drove down with mot of everyone else in the desert, on Saturday to commune with the lucky ones that actually get to live there. We spent the day soaking up the wonderful world of beachdom.

My favorite part of the experience is the smell. The salt air has its own unique ability to take you down a few notches in the stress department. Then there are the smells of summer. The firepit wafting it's smoky, barbeque aroma, mixed with the fragrance of heavily oiled bodies make for an all over feeling of well being. Let alone that the temperature was a wonderful 80 degrees.

My favorite place

Tower of the golden boys of summer

This is a shot of where the golden boys and girls of summer live an average of 12 hours a day throughout the summer. Yes those wonderful tanned and well trained bodies who will save you if you get caught in a rip tide or just get tired from swimming and keeping in shape! It could be the dream job of most beach dwelling high schoolers. What could be worse?

Read More......

08 July 2006

One word - yeah right!

Anyone who knows me, knows I talk a lot once I get warmed up. I can speak to a crowd of four hundred, but not to someone I don't know one on one. To say my dating years were excrutiating would be an understatement. Of course after reading Kim's post, on a one word meme, I was intrigued. I can do one word answers very easily in hopes of continuing a conversation. So imagine me, if you will, in our first conversation getting to know one another in person.

1. Yourself: weird
2. Your partner: thoughtful
3. Your hair: coarse
4. Your mother: crafty
5. Your father: sad
6. Your favorite item: cooper
7. Your dream last night: fun
8. Your favorite drink: cocoa
9. Your dream home: glide
10. The room you are in: living
11. Your pleasure: ocean
12. Your fear: success
13. Where you want to be in 10 years: farm
14. Who you hung out with last night: husband
15. What you're not: extrovert
16. Your best friend: daughters
17. One of your wish list items: books
18. Your gender: female
19. The last thing you did: deliver
20. What you are wearing: smile
21. Your favorite weather: 78
22. Your favorite book: cook
23. Last thing you ate: Italian
24. Your life: unabrigded
25. Your mood: happy
26. The last person you talked to on the phone: daughter
27. Who/what are you thinking about right now: future

There you have it. A bunch of one word answers to ponder. What would my next explanation to each statement would be. Try this one yourself. I am sure there are better adjectives that could be filled in by others. Maybe that could be the twist to this meme. Identify yourself and then let others do it too.

Read More......

07 July 2006

Monday Meme

Lisa has gone and tagged me for a Monday Meme. Funny, it's Friday. But hey it's Lisa! I'm going to have some fun aswering her questions.

1. Do you think that anyone with a desire to create is an artist of sorts?

As much as I'd like to believe the statement, I have to say I am a bit skeptical. Pretty much everyone has a desire to create. However, not everyone who creates does it well. And, not everything that is created can be classified as art. Art can be very subjective, and it is not appreciated by everyone. So I guess the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" cliche is really true.

2. What frightens you most about getting older?

Hmmmm. I haven't really thought about it all that much. You see, I am a minimalist when it comes to the future. People I love won't get sick, get feeble, move away, all those things that can make me sad. Getting old has it's scary parts, I am choosing not to think about them.

I love the city. When I drive through a large city I notice the older citizens. I imagine what life must have been for them years and years ago. You see, when you're young you own the city. It's your place, you know the nieghborhoods, the best places to eat and the best place to find a bargain. Suddenly though, it got faster paced. Some of your favorite places closed up shop and the new ones aren't nearly as friendly as the old ones. The faces are becoming less familiar and the neighbors have moved away. You find yourself a stranger in your own hometown, eventually.

I see them every time I go. Still holding onto their memories of life the way it was a few years back. Still pulling that cart behind them filled with laundry or groceries. Hobbling slowly down the sidewalks, as youngsters on skates or boards fly passed in a wink. No one stops to visit or chat. They'll stop and buy a newspaper, more out of habit than need, truly afraid of the newest headlines. Simple reminders of a life gone by. Too quickly.

3. When was the first time you traveled by air? Where did you go?

I don't remember. I do know it was after I had been married a long time. I think it must have been to San Francisco for work out of Salt Lake. I was working for American Stores at the time and we were moving a portion of the buying company from San Mateo to Salt Lake City. I remember sittin gon the plane in Salt Lake watching the wings ice up waiting for departure clearance. I kept thinking it was not good for this to happen and we needed to get off the ground soon. Finally after a longer wait than one would expect we took off and landed safely in SF. Then we drove to the hotel, that trip seemed to take almost as long as the entire flight!

Flying is one of my very favorite things to do. I like big airplanes and small. I even like helicopters. In fact, I've flown a helicopter. An R22. It was a blast. I spent an hour flying and wish, oh wish, I could go back and become a pilot. I think it would be great to have a license and be able to fly medi-vac in the north of Arizona. The only problem with the equation is that an R22 costs about $200,000. I would love to be a helicopter pilot. Maybe I just need to sell a few more Sunspots!

We owned a plane in the 80s and 90s. It was a six seater Cherokee Six. A flying bus. We flew everywhere. San Francisco, Newport Beach, Mexico, Arizona. All kinds of different places. It was a blast and we learned quickly how fragile mortality can be at times. Once we even killed the engine just before landing by mistake. Aaaaack! It made for good memories.

Okay Lisa, this one was pretty easy. Tagging, hmmm. Anyone who wants to participate!

Read More......

03 July 2006


You Are Fall!


I always thought of myself as a summer gal. Hmmm. These quizzes are fun, but I am not sure I am a fall girl. Summers at the beach are my childhood definition. I probably have ingested more salt from the ocean than from Morton's. I still can't spend anytime sunning now days because of the terrible burns I inflicted upon myself as a teenager.

Yet, I do love the fall in a state where you can tell it's fall. Like Utah. When my husband was in school, we would drive out to Spanish Fork Canyon in the fall just to see the leaves, it was breathtaking. Those were the lean years and we didn't own a camera. I still say that some fall in the future I will have to go back and see if I can shoot a few pics of the beautiful fall leaves.

Read More......

01 July 2006

Periodic table of dessert

Periodic table of dessert
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
My west wall has been absolutely blanks for a year except for my hippies sign. Finally I ordered the Periodic table of desserts from cafe press. I saw it about two years ago and thought I'd eventually own it without really ordering it. A few weeks ago I came across it again and decided this time to just order it. And when it came, I flattened it out and now today I put it in a frame and put it on the wall. All in a weeks time! That's a record.

It's cute and fits in well with my life, currently. Eventually it will go up in another room in Arizona where my life will be even more consumed with dessert. Dessert and lavender that is.

Read More......