Friday, June 28, 2013

SUPER VILLAIN kills 25,000 Bees

This is a story right out of a Marvel comic book. 25,000 Bumble Bees found dead in an Oregon parking lot and the assumption is insecticide is the killing culprit.

25,000 of anything is horrible but bees are critical. We need bees for pollination. And pollination for our food source. Without bees, we lose crops and food. But due to insecticides we're losing bees and cutting down our own food supplies.

And Monsanto is like the giant Lex Luther of the modern day world. It has been a major contributor to the decline of our bee population. This one corporation assumes the super villain role by creating genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) that kill bees. They must be planning on creating their own robotic bees and then charging everyone in the world for pollination. Control the food supply and you control the world. MWHA-HA-HA, they want to take over the world. 

But there's nothing funny about this Sci-Fi story, especially since it's real.  Farmers are even suing Monsanto over the destruction of their crops.

Control the food sources and food supplies and you control the population. But don't humans work in that corporation? I just don't get it. This is crazy sauce served up Monsanto style.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting Ready to Run a Half Marathon

Okay last year I ran a marathon and I wanted to do a triathlon but no such luck. This year I haven't been training like I did in 2012 because I sprained my ankle on Halloween. It was stupid. I was running in the dark and hit a divot and went down. The worst part of all is that it took six months to recover enough to even run... :( so I started running again in March (slow and short distances to build back up the strength in my ankle) it's been a super slow process.

But I signed up for the half. So, now I'm trying to prepare for the event.

How 'bout you...any set backs to your goals any secrets, tips or hints you'd like to share?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Meatloaf was our theme for the day on Sunday. But not the singer. We were celebrating the shape of a bread loaf but made of meat ;D

It was our monthly cooking contest. My family gets together once a month to have a food fest. We all have a theme we have to follow. This month it was . . . yep, meatloaf and we had 8 loaves to judge, eat and celebrate.

We treat the judges like kings and queens
And some really ham it up

And we really try to make sure it's a blind taste test. We have one person set out little samples in cupcake papers and have them numbered so that no names are associated with the bite.

And here's the winner for the meatloaf challenge

Next month it will be a Spam off.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

World War Z

We all went to see World War Z.

I loved it. Thought is was filled with suspense and run, fast, zombiesque thrills without the usual gore of typical zombie flicks.

I also really liked Brad Pitt in this movie. And I'm not a big Pitt fan. Not that he hasn't done some good work but I always think of him as a pretty boy instead of an "actor" but in this show he wasn't the average Pretty Boy. He looked like a really human--which I loved.

Over all I would rate this fairly high. Now on the bad didn't stick to the story in the book, but then that might have been really a difficult task. It would have been better if they had given the movie a different name than the book because if you go into the movie expecting to see a visual display of the book, you'll be sorely disappointed. But...if you go to the show for a zombie movie, I think you'll be entertained.

If you've seen it, let me know what you thought.

Monday, June 24, 2013

St. Andrews Legal Clinic Race for Justice

The Race for Justice is a fund raiser to help raise money for free legal services to benefit St. Andrews Legal Clinic.

It was a fun run.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Projects - Picket Fence Benches and more

My husband likes to reuse, recycle and repurpose more than anyone I know. He's made me quite a few benches and chairs out of an old picket fence someone tore out of their yard.

It's the reason our upstairs project has been taking so long.

He couldn't just go out and buy more wood. No. He had to use the lumber he'd torn out of the walls to make new flooring and he couldn't just buy new building materials. No. He had to hunt out materials that were taken out of other projects. Even the chandelier we bought for the room was an antique someone else wanted to get rid of. He was willing to rewire the light, if need be.

So maybe our projects take longer than some, but in the end it's pretty cool to have benches in the backyard made out of old picket fencing that someone else was throwing out, and arbors in the front yard made out of recycled lumber and flooring fashioned out of wood torn out of walls.

 So maybe my hubby takes longer to complete projects but when he finishes, it's always beautiful.

Here are a few more projects he's made for me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


"Kabob" means a small piece of meat on a stick.

But what about fruit kabobs?

We thought this would be a good idea for our renewing of our vows celebration because people could grab one and eat it anywhere. Beautiful, tasty and convenient.

We had pork kabobs, steak kabobs, chicken kabobs and even turkey kabobs and each meat had its own style and accompaniments. 

The chicken was marinated in Teriyaki sauce and paired with pineapple.

The steak was paired with corn, onions and little cherry tomatoes but you could make them anyway you want.

Here's how we did it.

First we soaked the shish-kabob sticks in water over night--so they wouldn't catch on fire on the grill.

Then we boiled the corn and pre-cooked the pork for 30 minutes in the oven.

Then it became a labor of love skewering the small bites onto the sticks.

It took all evening. Then we wrapped them in foil and set them in the fridge until the next day, when they were thrown on the grill.

The only problem was they were eaten faster than they could come off the grill. People were grabbing them like popcorn and they disappeared just about as fast.

Still they were yummy and pretty...don't you think?


It sounds like part of the body...intestines or like some sort of illness but it might even be worse than an infection.

Do you know what the word means?

INTESTACY is my word for Wednesday.

If you think you know, take a guess...

Then scroll down to see if you were "write" or wrong.

Have no idea, guess any way. What will it hurt and no one needs to know.

Now scroll down. . . for the answer. . .

Further. . . .

FURTHER. . . .

The word might remind you of dying and death...maybe that's why you don't know what it means. I mean, after all, who wants to focus on the hereafter rather than the here and now?

Well, you might want to think twice about that, if you have anything you want to pass down to someone.

Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of their enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration. Alternatively this may also apply where a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of the estate, the remaining estate forms the "Intestate Estate."

Intestacy law, also referred to as "the law of descent and distribution" or "intestate succession statutes", refers to the body of law that determines who is entitled to the property from the estate under the rules of inheritance.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Renewing Wedding Vows - from 1983

Return of the Jedi was playing on the big screen. The Rebels were rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt (or in my mind - the Slug Man) and attempting to destroy the Second Death Star, while Luke Skywalker tried to turn his father away from the Dark Side and bring him back to the Light Side of the Force.

The Police and Men at Work were playing on the radio and Clint Eastwood was telling people to "Go Ahead, Make My Day" while I was wearing my fashion forward Swatch Watch and the computer mouse was invented.

Lars was busy watching Wargames, Octopussy and Risky Business but I was more interested in Christine and The Dead Zone.

He was a republican and I was a democrat...but somehow we found enough in common to get married back in 1983.

Of course, back then, we never thought about where we'd be in 30 years. When you're 21 you don't think about hitting 50! That would be too old to even dream about...because in truth it would seem more like a nightmare. Or just plain gross! With all those wrinkles, gray hair and sagging flesh...we'd be picturing ancient artifacts and mummies. And no one wanted to hang out with mummies back then, except maybe Harrison Ford who (while we were getting married), was busy making Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984.

The year was 1983, the Christmas Nintendo Entertainment System hit the shelves and Cabbage Patch Dolls were the gift of the year.

It was a time of big hair and Flash dance. Everyone was partying because when you're young, there are lots of things to celebrate: graduations, engagements, bridal showers, marriages, house warmings, new jobs, baby showers, births . . . the list goes on and on.

Then you get busy with life, work and children and it's easy to lose track of friends and fall out of touch. We put off celebrations for another day...but the days slipped into years then decades and before you knew it, time was gone.

So, we decided to turn back the clock and celebrate the passing of time with a Renewal of Our Wedding Vows along with our family and friends and some fantastic food.

I made cupcakes...of course.

And, together, we stood up at one of our favorite parks (next to the dog park) to say a few words...

And - like always - I was looking up to my husband. But, of course, I couldn't keep my mouth shut or stop laughing.

And it just wouldn't be the same without the friends and family who were in our original wedding. So I insisted that they get out of their chairs and come stand up beside us--once again.

But the true story teller was Elliot...not us.

He told the story of how we met and even gave away our 30-year secret: he told everyone how we eloped back before our "real" "church" wedding. Yes. It's true. We snuck away and got married on our own.

Our first wedding was in the courthouse. We never told anyone--not back then. And with no family or friends we hired a Judge to do the deed. But, we didn't know we needed witnesses. And we weren't going to be deterred, so, we grabbed a couple passersby out of the hallway to stand up as our witnesses. That was the first time we saw them and the last.

So Saturday, we did it again. We celebrated our love by renewing our vows at our third wedding ceremony. Then, we went up to the house for the real party...the feasting and food.

Fatina and Kara worked hard to put it all together.

And were they ever delicious! And the fruit kabobs were even prettier.

And old friends we hadn't seen in years stopped by to wish us well.
And Andrea, who designed and made my original wedding dress, brought a few of the tee-shirts she makes for tall men (like my husband and boys) to show us some of her new clothing line: Altus Menswear

It was a day filled with food, feasting, new and old friends, family and even a few fashions ;D

What a way to spend a day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Man of Steel

And no I'm not talking about my husband ;D

I'm talking about the new movie in the theaters. It was Father's Day on Sunday and my hubby picked this show to see as a family. So we loaded up the Expedition and drove to Century 16 to watch the handsome young man fly around in his cape and spandex. Not a bad way to spend a day ;D

It was pretty good, maybe a little long in the fight scenes. I mean after all you can't hurt those aliens (yeah Superman was one of 'em) you never think of him as an alien...but he is. Not the typical little green man with the bubble-head that you think of but still an alien. Who else would run around town in that outfit? Only someone from out of town would have no idea how out of fashion that is. . . but then again I'm not complaining.Man of Steel

The only part of the movie that really bugged me was when Amy Adams went on the military mission...come on! She's a reporter. Why would she be the one to put the chip in the ship...?

It made no sense to me. If they would have had a little scene where she said, "Superman's father taught me how to do it and there's no time to teach anyone else. You'll have to take me along." Then MAYBE it would have been okay. But no, they take Amy on a critical mission to save the planet and yes...she's the only one who can do it... now that's worse than thinking that no one can recognize Clark Kent from Superman because he slips on a pair of glasses!

But all-in-all it was a fun show, with popcorn and candy! The whole Shabang! Great afternoon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Like a Turtle

We're finally making some progress...or maybe I should say my hubby is. He started this project about a year and a half ago. Maybe some of you remember the beginning.

We had a room upstairs that was all odd angles and corners. And the ceiling was sort of low. Now, my son is 6'5" so it isn't as bad as this looks but it still was only a 7 foot ceiling. So one day my husband started looking around.
And he thought, there's a lot of room up there. So, he tore it out and then he moved on to the walls.

And this was in November. Here in Portland, Oregon, it's cold and WET in November. So, I wasn't so upset until he tore off the roof. Yep, you heard me right, the roof. I came home from work and found the walls gone and even the roof.

Luckily, this happened to be a sunny day - rare in Portland. But I knew the rains were coming. So I insisted that they hurry and get the walls and roof back me demanding.

So my hubby stayed working on it until well after dark.

He didn't take long to get the walls back up and the roof back on, with help from Luke, Bo and Per and Jacob and . . . yep, even me.

But then progress slowed to about the pace of a turtle, thanks in part to Minecraft, which is the adult cyber-version of Legos.  My husband was hooked. He spent more than a few hours mining for gold, rubies and best of all Diamonds.

In between bouts with his pick, he got the French Doors in.

And some new windows installed.
But he got a little sidetracked. First building benches to wrap around the back deck. First he had to design them and then frame them.

Then he had to build them.
And when that was done

He wanted to replace a couple of boards of flooring. But this house is 123 years old. So he had to make his own tongue and groove flooring out of old boards he'd pulled out of the walls.

Finally, with some help from Bo, Per, Jake and Luke, Lars got the insulation in.

Then all the walls got put back together.
Now he's "mudding" and "taping" the room and then...

Hopefully we'll get to paint the walls.

Then there's the balcony to build, the floor to refinish, the trim to put's a neverending story

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chia Power

Have you heard of Chia? And I'm not talking about the pet. I'm talking about the latest and greatest new super food or at least that's what everyone is telling me.

It's high in fiber, high in protein, low in fat and calories with omega-3 EFAs.

Supposedly it was a staple for the Aztecs and Mayans and when my sister started eating it for breakfast, she lost five pounds in one week. No kidding. She put it in almond milk and let it sit over night in the fridge so it could expand. The next morning she ate a bowl and was full until lunchtime. It's kind of like a thin porridge but it tastes petty bland. When she had me try it I put a bunch of cinnamon and nutmeg on it so it would taste "okay" to me.

The only problem for me, was I had to keep running for the bathroom...seriously. I told my sis I could not eat that every day. I'm not sure if it was just all that fiber or if it wasn't reacting well with my body but I'm telling you, if I ate that stuff everyday I would definitely lose a few pounds...maybe more but I'd probably be dehydrated too.

So has anyone else tried the "Chia Pet Breakfast"? That's what my sis and I are calling it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Here it is! A giant SPAMwich.

It was similar to a hotdog. Highly processed, a lot of salt but not bad tasting. The only problem I had with the SPAM was the texture. It was soft and mushy . . . sort of. More like the texture of tofu than meat. But it honestly wasn't bad inside the sandwich, with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles piled on top.

We cooked it in the cast iron pan, just like Mom used to do. And it wasn't so pretty but it wasn't bad either. Kind of like a square hamburger patty.

We sliced it thinly and just fried it up. It could have been spiced up a little too, if we had thought about it (but no more salt--that was already in strong supply). We were more curious about it's true taste. So, I took a big bite of the sandwich and was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good.

Then, I had to take a bite of the SPAM without all the condiments and veggies to find out for sure. And all alone, I didn't like the texture so much because when I took a bite and tasted it inside the sandwich, I didn't even notice the soft texture. I don't think I would buy it again because it's so high in sodium but I won't think so badly of it either. Kind of like a chili dog sort of night: quick, easy and inexpensive but not so very healthy.

So how bout you? Any foods from your childhood that you'd like to taste again?