Category Archives: October 2009

happy halloween – meet dracula

About 20 years ago, give or take a few, we decided to turn our son into Dracula for Halloween. Here’s the result of our efforts:

dracula complete

dracula in the making







Pretty good, don’t you think?


uncle royce

My Uncle Royce, my mom’s brother, died on September 28 after a wonderful life of helping people, throwing the best barbeques, having the greatest Halloween parties and just being an all-around good guy. He will be missed.

Uncle Royce

RIP Uncle Royce

san francisco

This past Tuesday and Wednesday we took a quick trip to San Franciscoblog - sf fwy sign to have dinner with our son, The Intrepid Traveler, and his wife, The Jersey Girl (also a world traveler). They’re both heading to Thailand for working vacations so we wanted to visit with them before they left.

The dinner, at Bobo’s, was also a combined belated birthday dinner for myself and Mr WS and, as always, it was wonderfThe World Traveler & The Jersey Girlul. Bagels for breakfast the next morning completed our visit. The kids took off for work and we wandered over to the Ferry Building to see if anything was open at 8 in the morning. A farmer’s market full of produce from local farmers was open and I ended up buying heirloom tomatoes, red pears and a jar of capers, all of which are organic. Outside the building we camblog - tomatoes, red pears & caperse upon a (seemingly) friendly seagull. I got within a foot of him, but didn’t press my luck and try to pet him even though I really wanted to. An hour later we were on our way back to the hotel to pack up and heaour seagull friendd home.

The trip home was the usual six hour drive through orchards, cotton fields, a very pungent cattle ranch and lots of barren hills.  A stop for pea soup for lunch was in order, followed by another stop where we fired up the GPS and discovered there was a geocache across the parking lot, so we grabbed it – #297 for us. A couple more stops for leg-stretching and… voila!… we’re back home. It’s always nice to be home.

The Intrepid Traveler left very early this morning for two weeks at Muay Thai training camp and The Jersey Girl leaves Thursday for a week working with rescued elephants. After their separate vacations they’ll spend a week enjoying the lush beauty of Thailand together. All the while Mr WS and I will be waiting for photos and updates about their trip. It’s great to live vicariously through our kids.

And now for some photos of our trip up Interstate 5 to San Francisco.

The Grapevine

gas station at lebec

chp giving ticket

cotton fields

cattle ranch - hold your breath

sf skylilne from bay bridge

sf skyline

sf building

chinatown building

Farm Fresh to You

go karts

There’s always something interesting going on in our valley. Yesterday, it was go karts. They were practicing for a go kart grand prix-style race at a downtown event this weekend and I managed to get a couple of shots of them as they practiced.

go kart practicing for race

go karts

palm trees

Just about everywhere you look in Southern California there are palm trees of all shapes and sizes. To me, California (at least So Cal) wouldn’t be California without palm trees and over the years I’ve taken lots of photos of them, so I decided post a few here.

early morning palms

triplet palm trees

twin palm trees

feathery palm tree

short n round palm trees

acton and a geocache

Mike and I took a little ride to Acton to check on our On The Road To Shambala cache and to drop off a new travel bug, Komodo Dragon. The recent Station Fire had come close enough to cause evacuation of Shambala, so we wanted to see what the area looked like and see if the fire had gotten near our cache. Not even close. Everything was fine.

This is the cache site. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!

acton - cache site

There’s a cache in there somewhere…

mr ws at shambala cache

And here’s the cache with Komodo Dragon ready to start his travels from cache to cache. Happy journey, KD!

komodo dragon tb in shambala cache

Now for a few photos of the more rural part of Acton…

coming into acton

acton area

acton train


I’m enjoying my new-found passion for cooking. My mom was a great cook, her mom was a great cook, all the women in her family were great cooks. My dad’s mom was a great cook, too. By all rights, I should have gotten plenty of cooking genes! I used to cook, but somewhere along the way decided I didn’t like cooking and quit almost entirely. I still made spaghetti, tacos, stuffed bell peppers and swiss steak, but most everything else fell by the wayside. When we wanted something special we went out. But with us being so close to retirement and starting to practice living on less money, cooking at home was a no-brainer for saving money. At first, Mr WS wasn’t completely on board for eating at home (I’m sure he was skeptical that I could cook anything really great), but now he can’t wait to see what I cook next. The money we save by eating at home? It’s going into a special savings account so we can wander as much as we want to when we retire. Life is good.

This whole cooking thing started when I found a blog about a family living in an old stone cottage in England (Mutterings from the Moor… the link is on the right-hand side) and after enjoying that site, I checked out her links to other blogs. That’s where I found Forest Street Kitchen (also over on the right) and it’s just about the best thing I’ve found in ages. One of her posts concerned making an elegant finger sandwich lunch for many people and needing recipes that would suit so many folks. She said she went to and got just what she needed. She noted that she looked for recipes with the most stars and the highest number of reviews.

Awesome Baked Sea ScallopsSo… I just hopped on over to and started browsing. Boy! I hit a goldmine for great recipes. In the past week I’ve made two dishes from the site and  BOTH are winners. Today we had Awesome Baked Sea Scallops (pictured here). I’ll be making them many many times in the future. Another recipe I used with great success was Chicken Fried Chicken. It’s just as good warmed up the next day… and the next. I’m 2 for 2.

After running out about 60 recipes from I decided I had to stop for a while until I tried some of the recipes I’d already collected.  That idea lasted about an hour and I was back at the computer looking up old favorites to see if there was a recipe for whatever came to mind. Almost everything I wanted was there!  Then I started searching by single food items… chicken, tuna, green beans, cream. Now my recipe folder is bulging even more. And the searching continues. Speaking of which… gotta go!