Friday, October 31, 2014


 I've collected some ceramic pumpkins over the last 20 years, since I no longer have gremlins to carve pumpkins. I still like to decorate, even if we don't get any trick or treaters...our driveway is too long, dark and scary! 
 I think that I picked this one up at Harry and David many years ago when they still had neat seasonal stuff in their store located here in Medford. A pumpkin candle adds some pumkiney smell.
 This year we've have over 5" of rain so far since Sept 1st. We're hoping it keeps up, even if it means soggy leaves all over the patio. Would you believe that I had this all cleaned off yesterday? It's going to be a soggy, cool Halloween night.
One of the culprits..mainly gold and orange leaves except on the very top...not enough cold nights to make all the leaves turn red. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Maybe I'll whip up a nice pumpkin pie to surprise my big gremlin who is out in the shop finishing off another Saab transmission rebuild!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


 It was our first day trip in our new Honda Fit. A very nice autumn afternoon. We were traveling on Foothill Blvd, the road that folks use as a "beltline" around the congestion of Medford. And THERE THEY WERE! A large herd of Roosevelt Elk, about 2 miles from our home, munching their way across a prairie-like field. The main bull is towards the left of the can just make out his antlers. He spent much of his time chasing away the younger bull at the end of the herd on the far right. We were able to pull over and watch for several minutes, as did many folks who were as thrilled as us to see them. As you can see, they are nice and fat...much better looking than our deer population.
 Jack took country roads that skirted the Evans Valley where we came across a large flock of wild turkeys on both sides of the road. This bunch of young was making lots of noise trying to cross over to get nearer mom and dad. 
 We came into the tiny hamlet of Wimer (pronounced why-mur) with the accent on the first syllable. Anyway, their claim to fame is the newly rebuilt covered bridge.  
 So I jumped out and snapped a couple of shots of the new car with the new old bridge.
We ended the day at the local DQ...soft ice cream cones dipped in chocolate, thank you very much! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014


 Sometimes nature is very artistic. This is a shot looking down at my feet on the patio. A mix of maple leaves and brown cedar pieces makes an amazingly pretty mess. We had a good bit of wind on Thursday and Friday that brought all this stuff out of the trees...with lots more to come!


 Yes, Chris turns 40 this month! He and Susan motored up from Chico to visit the 'rents on the weekend. We celebrated with cupcakes and Trader Joe's pumpkin ice cream. Chris got a mini die grinder for his mini motorcycle work.  
 Then Mr. A surprised him with some hand painted discs for one of his motorcycles...the famous dragon motif.
After a breakfast of pumpkin waffles, they departed for home to ready for their Viking cruise on the Danube through Austria. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014


 It's that time of year when the Quaking Aspen really go for it up at Rocky Point (about 45 miles east of Medford on Hwy 140). 
 Quaking Aspen like the 5,000' elevation in the Cascades and the sight of huge groves of them in the sun is absolutely breath taking!
We try to get "up top" every fall when the weather cooperates. This was a good year for doing that as we haven't had a big storm yet to blow all the leaves off the trees and the daytime temps have been warm with cool nights in the 30's at Rocky Point. A good chance to enjoy our little Honda CRZ on a 114 mile round trip. Gets us "out of Dodge" for a morning, too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I get the desire this time of year (fall and again in the spring) to want to see out my windows. The build up of crud, water spots, spider webs and pollen/dust of summer make for some ugly window glass and screens. When I was working, I hired a guy to wash our windows for about $200 (we had 16' skylights and multi-pane French doors. I was glad not to have to do it myself! 
But nowadays, with only 12 windows in our little rancher and living on retirement income, we've had to do a lot of the "do it yourself" stuff. Luckily I watched how it was done. So I got the equipment, including the nifty washing head and the squeegee. I use's cheap and it works the best at cutting grease and grime. I use old towels for wiping down the sills and the squeegee. 
Jack kitted me out with an extension handle so I don't even have to use a ladder. It took about 4 hours to do them all, inside and out, along with the screens and our 3 mirrored closet sliders. 
This time I got smart and left off some of the screens for winter since we don't open those windows anyway. 
I swear it even makes the house smell better to get all that build up off the insides. And they look great!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


 This is a recipe from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, as she calls her blog and TV show. The very FIRST THING you have to do here is plan ahead! You will need some almost cooked (I used boiled but you can used baked) potatoes that have been cooled (preferably overnite) and peeled for starters. In case you think you can outsmart Ree and use frozen hash browns, put that thought right out of your pretty little head, Miss Scarlett! They won't work. Trust me on this! The other thing you MUST HAVE is some cooking/baking spray...that Pam stuff. 
 Okay, so you have the potatoes grated and SEASONED. Since I use a jumbo muffin tin, I probably should have had one medium potato for each. I didn't have quite enough but I pressed on anyway. See, you want the potatoes to overfill the cupcake hole and flop over the edges. That way they look like nests. They do shrink up when baked. FIRST you liberally spray the holes with the cooking spray. Remember that you want to get these out of the pan in one piece! Then you put in the potato and LIGHTLY press it into the sides, making an indent.   
 Then spray on to the nested potatoes with cooking spray. I used a pre-heated 425 degree oven and they browned in about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. You can see that the potatoes shrunk up. So I didn't let them cool because I was pressed for time. I cracked an egg into a custard cup and poured it into the potato nest. (I like to use extra large or jumbo eggs).  
 They are ready to go into the oven but here I added my own touch...some cubed cheese (everything's better with cheese, I always say). Grate some fresh pepper on top too. Into the oven for about 15 more minutes or until the whites are set. If you have done everything right, they'll come out of the tin easily with a large spoon
They do look nice on the plate with some seasonal fruit (Rogue Valley pears and handpicked grapes) and some bacon. I sprinkled on some grated jack cheese (I think pepper jack would be good for a bit of zing. And a glass of tangerine juice with some white wine goes well, too. Mr. A pronounced this recipe "a keeper!" I have found that most of Ree's recipes fall into that category! Yummm.