Tuesday, December 25, 2012


We are still in Oklahoma and are enjoying a quiet Christmas Day with one of our daughters and all of my animals; Scooter and Georgio, (the ferrets) Bubbles and Pickles (the Cockatiels).

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

This is the view from our front porch right now......:-)

The picture doesn't do it justice, but there is a bit of a blizzard going on here.  We watched it go from sleet to full blown blizzard.  We don't usually get this kind of weather in the part of Canada we live in.  So, this has been a spectackular event to Scootard.  He has never been in my neck of the woods this time of year....:-).

Now, we pray the weather is much better when we start our long trek back home in a couple of weeks.....:-).

This is a tree we found in the attic already dressed and ready to go! 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Double Dog Dare ya!

When I moved to Canada, I started really experimenting with different recipes and spices to pass some time.  One of the things I concocted was a pepper blend that I gave various names to depending on which peppers I actually used.

I figured since our trip has been delayed until January, I might as well get busy in the kitchen making some of my famous blend.  We went on the local Army base and visited the commissary and loaded up on peppers.  The included Serrano, Jalepenio, (green and red ones), Pablano, Anahiem, crushed red pepper, Habanero and a white pepper that didn't have a label.

Having done this before without being properly prepared, (believe me, I paid dearly too);  I decided to take some precautions this time around.....Now, I'm armed and dangerous!  I pulled my hair back, turned on the exhaust and put on my "protective gear".  They teach you that in the military when you are under threat of a chemical agent.  haha  Oh, I wore plastic gloves as well......:-).

We had just purchased this small chopper from the store last week and I wanted to try it out.  This picture is actually AFTER I used it to chop everything.  I had to tear it apart to clean it.  It worked like a dream.....:-).  The cutting and chopping of the peppers and fresh garlic took about 20 minutes.  The peppers had to be cut into smaller pieces that would fit into the chopper.  AND THEN, the chopper stopped working at one point.  It took me an addition 15 minutes to get it figured out with the help of Scootard.  He said it had some kind of saftely mechanism on it that will not allow it to start unless all of the parts are properly seated.

After getting everything chopped, I heated a large skillet and added some virgin olive oil (first cold pressed), and added all of the peppers including the seeds.  After cooking them for about 12-15 minutes, I added some ground Cayenne, White, and Black pepper that I had already blended in another container.  I guess by now you understand why the mask, glasses and gloves.....:-).  The house was filled with the smell of pepper even though I had the exhaust on full power.

Once the peppers were tender, I turned the heat off and added 6 large cloves of fresh garlic that I had chopped in my new chopper.  I wanted the garlic "cooked" but not "toasted" which is why I turned the heat off before putting it in the pan.  The oil was already hot enough to do the trick.

 And of course, I had to have something special to put it in.  I just happen to bring my jar from Canada already labeled.  After letting it cool for just about 5 minutes or so, I added about a tablespoon of Buckwheat honey.  I used that particular kind because it was the only honey I had on hand.  I didn't do this in my other recipes.  But I wanted to see how it tasted.  I experimented with a small amount first before adding it to the entire batch. 

But after looking twice, it occured to me that it may not be the right size. So, I found another one and decided to go with it instead.  It was till too small and I had to put what was left over in a small dish.  No matter though.  We could use it for dinner that evening....:-).  Now, the filled jar was placed in the freeze for about 15 minutes to help create a seal

We had wild salmon, augratin potatoes and broccoli for dinner with my pepper sauce topping the fish.  It was excellent.  So much so that I forgot to take pictures!  haha
Oh well, trust me.... it was good, but you really need very little.
See ya next time  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas In The City

It is COLD in Oklahoma now.  I have had to get Scootard to pull the battery out of Ms Vickey as the temps have plumeted to below freezing in the past couple of days.  I guess winter is officially here.  We did have one nice day the other day and decided to take our daughter to the state capital. 

She had never been and Scootard and I have been twice for his visit, but always caught them "closed".  It had been several years since I had been inside and was a little sad over the pitiful displays that were there.  But I did like this one that was sitting over the state seal in the middle of the rotunda...by the way, I tried resizing my pics before posting them.  The first two were fine, then all the rest uploaded according to the size they are now.....:-(.  So, I just made them all uniform or rather Scootard did, but had to do it from his computer.  We have concluded that it is something with my computer that is causing the resizing issue or some kind of a conflict with the blogger software.  Otherwise, you would be looking at this from a microscope....:-(.

The ceiling is so massive that it was impossible for me to get the whole thing in a single shot.  This is looking three stories up AND the lighting was not that great.

This is what I call the "grand stair case".....:-).  Can you imagine living somewhere with steps like that?  Geeze...definately would have to have "merry maids" coming in at least once a week.

Since Scootard and my daughter had not been here on a tour we decided to take one.  Did I mention security was "intense" going through.  It was almost like being at an airport.  But I guess once you have had a visit from the likes of Terry McVeigh (the Oklahoma city bomber), you cannot be too cautious.  After learning that the tour started every half hour, Scootard had just enough time to make a new friend.  I'm not sure I liked her...:-(.

We met up with the tour guide and began making our rounds....The bronze statue was called "The Watchman".  This is the top of the grand staircase that "Merry Maids" would have had to come clean if I lived here....:-).

This is the Hall Of Governors.  All of the governors that have served the state of Oklahoma are immortalized here in bronze with the exception of three governors.  The current governor is among the three and must finish her term before she is set in bronze here.  The other two were impeached and will not be admitted here.  

Art was in abundance in the capital halls.  This is an example of some of the work on the walls and ceilings.

After completing our tour, our daughter wanted to visit the Memorial and the museum for the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing.  This is the west side of the memorial.

I had only been able to bring myself here two years ago.  It was hard to believe that it had been 17 years since this happened.  Being there made it feel like "yesterday".  It took me 15 years to get here and this was my third visit.  It was bitter sweet.  The wreaths were so beautiful, but the memory was bitter and sad.  You could almost here the blood crying out from the ground.  Very sobering indeed.  A stark reminder of the depravity that humans are capable of stooping to.

Very nice....you cannot see the difference from this shot in the chairs, but the smaller ones were for the children that were killed in the day care center.  McVeigh, before his execution refered to them as "collatoral damage".

We went through the entire inside and after having had enough sadness for the day, we decided to get some dinner.  Time was passing by, it was cold outside and we were hungry.  Scootard found a place to park and we waited outside the resturant for him.  I was tempted to rent this coach for a night ride, but the wind was biting a bit.

I had my heart set on some spinach manicotti, but alas it was no longer on the menu. 

The right side of the picture below shows a street car that has been made into a seating area for the patrons to eat in.  I have eatten in it once, but it seemed that they forgot I was there.  So, I opted to sit at a regular table.  Also, it would have been hard for my daughter to get up the stairs.

She loves here veggies and decided to order a vegetable lasagna.  I don't think she left any either...ha.

I ordered garlic shrimp.....it was spectacular!  I could not finish it and had it for leftovers later.

Scootard ordered Southwest chicken lasagna.  It was pretty good too.  I had a taste of it....:-).  But I didn't give them any of mine! haha

It was time to head home after filling our bellies.  The lights were on everywhere and it made the city that much more beautiful.

I love this time of year as I think lights make everything....well...brighter; of course!

parting is such sweet sorrow!  Farewell, resturant....

There is a section of the city called Bricktown which is a huge torrist attraction in the winter and summer months if the weather permits.  This is a shot of the canal that I tried to get "on the fly" from the car as we passed by.

I'll bet living in those apartments right over the canal is not a cheap thing....

Then we passed this bird looking thingee on the highway......I think I could have made better use of tax payers dollars than that thing.....:-(.

 An hour and a half later, we made it back to our own city and decided to take a quick trip through the "Holiday In The Park" which comes up every year at Christmas time.

I think it has only been hosted here for the past 4-5 years now.  I still find it a bit sparce.  I don't know how tall this tree is, but I am sure it was taller than me...:-). Which, by the way doesn't take much to do....

Well, we heard later that the prairie dogs who are locals in the park have been vandalizing the sets by chewing on the wires and causing some of the lights to go out.  There has also been vandalism by humans....wow, what a world is all I can say to that. 

It was a wonderfully full day with family....:-).  Once we got home and got settled in again, I decided to go into our backyard and see what the sun was doing.  This is what I saw.....:-).

See ya next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plumbing, Restaurants, and Burgers! Oh My!

If you have ever had a day that seemed that it wouldn't end, that was me last night.  We noticed over a few days that the water pressure in our home seemed to be getting weaker by the day.  Finally when it takes FOREVER just to wash dishes or fill a pot with water, it's time to check into things.  We just had a brand new water line installed the week after we got here because of a MAJOR, very expensive leak just feet ahead of the main water pipe that leads into the house.  So, NOT getting water is not acceptable $2000.00 later. 

We needed to find out what the problem was.  The city comes out and checks the pressure and all is well.  ????? By the time we get ready for bed, there is virtually no flow coming from the kitchen tap....I mean it was so little that a bird would have been upset over a missed bath!  AND it was close to midnight....:-(.

Well, since we don't know what is wrong, we had to take the whole contraption off and try to find out; which by the way was no easy task. The water is very hard here.  Harder than in years past and seems to have a lot of calcium in the water now.
First order of business is to see if we can soak it and get some of the build up out of the mixer mechanism inside the faucet.  But just in case, we visited the local Wal-Mart super store and picked up a replacement.  Thank God for 24 hour stores!  I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen and the dishes were still not done yet:-(.

Since I cannot reach high enough to do the job, you know who (Scootard) was on a mission to get it done.

After a lot struggle, pulling and grunting, Scootard was able to pull the fixture off.  We soaked it in the CLR solution, scrubbed with a wire brush, soaked some more, ran water through it, blew air through it and reassembled it in hopes that it would get water flow and then take the new fixture back to the store.  

I went to bed exhausted and slept like a log.  It's amazing how watching someone else work so hard can wear you out! ha  I woke up to a clear, beautiful fall day.  The trees are mostly bear now.  Not the lush green that was still present when we arrived over two months ago.  

It's been several days since Ms Vickey and I went out for a spin and the days are getting chilly! So, I decided to saddle up and ride.

There is an historic restuarant that is known for its food located at the cross section of these roads called "Meers".  It is also located in Meers Oklahoma.  I believe the restaurant was established in 1901.  They have good food if you can get a seat.

The original building which you see here has been moved from its original site and some updates had to be made in order for it to be in code.  The interior used to be covered with business cards.  Even the ceiling and walls were covered.  They closed for a bit and when they reopened, it had a heating unit, added room and all of the cards were gone by order of the fire marshall I suppose.   

It had been over a year since I was here last and was anxious to get inside and have some lunch.  And then.......

WHAT!???  We came all this way and you don't want my visa???  UGH!  I'm starving by now......:-(.  Ok, back to town I guess for some food. 

On the way back to town, we saw this forgotten restuarant.  Scootard had not been and I had, but wasn't too impressed with the food.  However, it had been over 5 years, so maybe they won't let me down this time.  Ann's Country Kitchen.

Wow, that was some wicked gravel I had to ride over.  Glad to make it inside where it's warmer....:-)

Scootard is excited about his lunch coming....haha.  See the "glee"?  haha. 

We ordered the buffulo burgers and I was sure they were going to be dry.  Not everyone can cook this the right way, although I must admit I am one of the ones who can.....:-)

And don't forget the onion rings.....:-).  Scootard found one shaped like a "Q" and thought that was funny......

After lunch, we (he) had desert.  Italian Cream cake was the order of the day.  I was told that it was wonderful.  I passed on desert as I found it hard to even finish my lunch.  Scootard was estatic probably about not having to share with me....haha.  We should write a movie called "Scootard Sees A Q"......haha

and then it was time to make the long trip home as the weather was starting to turn chilly....

well, not that long, but the temperature dropped from 68F (19c) to 16c (65F) which is chilly when you are moving at 70 miles per hour.  We hope to be able to get a little more riding in before we leave.  Our leaving keeps getting pushed back further. I guess we will eventually get back to Canada....

See ya next time!