Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Hope …

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter. I had too much chocolate but lots of time with friends and family which is never too much. The title of my blog conjures up many images especially during the dreadful events … Continue reading

Happy Easter Weekend!

Oh, I love Easter. It’s perhaps my favourite time of year. The days are drawing out, daffodils are everywhere, the lambs are frolicking in the fields around us, and we have the promise of better weather on the horizon.

20160325_131758Today the weather here in the UK is glorious, so we took Vivvy to the seaside. It’s the first time she has seen the sea and felt the sand beneath her paws and she absolutely loved it. We did an hour’s walk one way, then stopped for coffee and a hot cross bun at a lovely seaside cafe, before heading back the other way for another hour’s walk. Apart from coaxing her still for a photo shoot, I don’t think Vivvy stopped running once. There were so many dogs around and it was lovely to see them all playing and enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

20160325_164603I’m going to do an awful lot of walking this weekend because then I can have a guilt-free chocolate Easter egg. A friend bought one each for me and AJ and I’ve spent the last couple of days with that egg sitting on my table just calling to be eaten. I so love chocolate. And I heard that the chocolate of an Easter egg once broken becomes devoid of all calories. Apparently, it’s something to do with the chocolate pieces coming into contact with the air 😉 Ha. Works for me 😆

Happy Easter!

 

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Does this recipe work for me? I’m not sure…

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With Mom living here with us now, I comb the internet and my recipe books for low salt alternatives to change up our lunch and dinner menus a bit. I found a low-salt chicken pot pie recipe and tried it. … Continue reading

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Who Does This? Two Crazy Things!

Jillian here. I am leaving on Thursday for a wedding in Texas. Who sets their wedding the Saturday before Easter? This is so crazy. It’s a must-attend event for me as it is my cousin’s son and I think of … Continue reading

They Found What?!?! by Valerie J. Patterson

Picture it: Monday afternoon, a lovely day for al fresco dining, a pleasant meal, good company, and, well, rodents!

There, I said it.  I didn’t want to say it.  I don’t even want to think about it, but there it is.

Monday, my friend and co-worker, Debbie and I went to a local eatery for lunch.  As soon as we stepped outside the courthouse and into the sunshine we were refreshed and happy to be anywhere but inside.  We walked a few blocks to one of our favorite places–a Mexican restaurant–and were delighted to see new wrought iron tables and chairs and big umbrellas lining the sidewalk.  I looked at Debbie and smiled.

“Shall we eat outside?”

“Absolutely!  It’s gorgeous out here!”

We went inside and informed the host we would have a table outside.  He grinned great big and said we would be their first patrons to use the new tables.

Outside we went.

The sun was shining, the service was excellent, and the food was as tasty as always.  Plus we both tried a new dish.

Then, a few days later a friend texted me and asked, “Hey, did you hear the Mexican place was shut down because of a rodent infestation?”

I thought for certain I was going to lose the dinner I had just finished eating.  I left my kitchen where I was doing the dishes, and sat down on the sofa and gagged!  I texted back that I had not heard that news, and that I was trying to process it without being sick.

How does this happen?  How do you run a restaurant and not know you have a rodent infestation?  How do you not take care of it immediately?  How is it possible that you have to be shut down by a Food Safety Inspector before you deal with it?  How do you continue to serve unsuspecting patrons?

Truth be told, if I frequented the Department of Agriculture’s website and viewed the reports of the restaurants I eat at, I’d never eat out again.  Ever.  I’d brown bag lunches and my freezer would be stocked with meals I had prepared myself.  And let’s be honest, this would be far healthier for me anyway.  Again, let’s also be honest in admitting every now and then we all enjoy a good meal out somewhere.  Who doesn’t want or need a break from the kitchen here and there?  Or to step outside from work occasionally?

I recently read an article that said if you want to know how clean a restaurant’s kitchen is, use the restroom.  If the restroom is not clean, neither is the kitchen. If this is true, then perhaps if I had used the restroom before dining al fresco, I wouldn’t have eaten at that restaurant Monday.  I’ll never know.

What I do know is this: It’ll be a long time before I go there again…if I go there again.  Even though I know it will be up to the standards of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety when it reopens, I will be remembering that they didn’t care enough for my health as a patron to run a clean kitchen to begin with.  It took me almost 2 years to return to a restaurant that had received a bad report, and they weren’t closed down–for rodents or anything else!

Until next time, may your kitchen pantry always be full of a variety of inviting choices and may the restaurant you choose to eat at be clean and rodent-free!  Maybe check the restroom before you sit down!

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More Remodeling

Maybe this time it’s more like redecorating. The good thing about purchasing a pre-owned house is that you can redecorate and remodel it to your taste. The bad thing about purchasing a pre-owned house is you might have to redecorate … Continue reading

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What I’ve Been Up To

It’s hard to believe it’s March already and this weekend we will set the clock ahead in what I call “spring forward.”  It means I’ll be sleep deprived for several weeks until my body catches up. At the end of … Continue reading

I <3 Caribbean Cruises!

Running late today, which is unusual for me. And it generally means my calendar is way too full. My morning started with a couple fillings at the dentist, something I angst over big time, even though I have no reason to. I guess anxiety doesn’t care about logic, eh?

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. I thought I’d share some pictures of our recent cruise to the Bahamas. We had good, but not great weather. The temperature was in the 65-75 degree Fahrenheit range. Not really warm by Caribbean standards but warm for us Pacific Northwesters. And it was windy enough that we couldn’t snorkel and one of our ports of call had to be cancelled because they couldn’t tender us in to shore from the ship. But the wind also kept those pesky mosquitoes at bay. So a good thing, in our estimation.

It still managed to be one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had. We watched 4 hit movies, including The Martian which I LOVED. I read four books! I haven’t had much time to read recreationally lately so that was awesome. I swam in the on board pool and laid out in the sun. And we even managed to go ashore in a couple places. So lots of relaxing made for an awesome trip.

Of course, being back home meant diving back into a too-busy routine, but the R&R time reset my brain and heart so it’s all easier to handle for the moment. 

Here’s some pics from our week away. I hope you all get some time to relax and rejuvenate soon, if you haven’t already!

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A Shocking Story

Friends, I have had the most shocking three weeks and suggest for your own safety if you come across me in your travels please do not rush over and attempt to give me a hug else you to could received … Continue reading

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Garden Show

   I had the opportunity to go to the Seattle Garden show at the convention center a few weeks ago for the first time. We were there four hours and saw half so it looks like I need to try … Continue reading