May 26, 2009

Willamette Valley, Oregon Wineries and More!


Architecture, Cunea Winery
Stag Hollow vista.

Stag Hollow owner, Mark Huff


Stag Hollow Vista

This part of the world is very, very green. The views from a high point in the valley will take your breath away. Verdant fields, blooming clover and grape vines line every road. The wine tasting tours are only surpassed by what you might find in the Sonoma/Napa Valley area in California...and then not by much. Bed and breakfasts with romantic names like FBrookside Inn on Abbey Road‎ are readily available. It is the perfect escape from the realities of this world.
Map of Bed and Breakfasts located near Carlton, Oregon


We have just passed the Memorial Day holiday and it is gorgeous, sunny and warm. The temperatures have been in the 70's since last Thursday. Rose Festival has just started in Portland and visitors from around the state and nation will come to this area for a beautiful holiday. It can rain but this area is beautiful because of the rain.

I want you to late a look at the pictures I took on Sunday when my husband and I wandered down the road toward Carlton, Oregon. We ate lunch at the Cunea winery (Cana's Feast) and visited Stags Hollow Wines and Vineyards a little later. It was one of those days when I could have been tempted to buy real estate. Then again I already have a beautiful condo, live here 6 month of the year and love every minute of my time spent in my home state. I own a rain coat, sweater sets and warm slacks. In my own personal view it is perfect...even in the rain.

Come on over and see us sometime! =)


Cunea Winery/Cana's Feast couryard seating


Stag Hollow Vineyard

The Willamette Valley



May 21, 2009

Santa Fe, New Mexico...bringing the flavors home! Corn Bread

Food while traveling can be a problem for many older people. Grown accustomed to home cooking consisting of meat and potatoes they find that exotic spices and textures just don't go down even when they try. It really is too bad that they can't do the food thing!

But for those of you that enjoy a new taste, don't mind an exotic spice once in a while and love to travel, I am telling you that there is a world of wonderful food for the taking. Even in the United States, various regions have a distinct food preference. For example, the southwest is influenced greatly by it's closeness to Mexico. But even there you will find Sonoran style food, Texmex food and that food made in the pueblos in New Mexico. That is where I found the food I truly loved. I can't even tell you what it was about it but WOW is it good.

In New Mexico red and green chili peppers are found on almost every dish. You have a choice, or if you are adventurous, you can choose the Christmas variety using both. Hot is a good thing but this food is not about temperature...it is about flavor.

Tonight my husband and I are back in Oregon. But we had a wonderful dinner reminiscent of that wonderful week we spent in Santa Fe. Corn bread with green chilies and cheese added were the side dish for barbecued pork ribs. Yum! Yum!

I found the recipe for the corn bread on Cooks.com by putting New Mexico corn bread in the google search. (The recipe is #5 on the list) I chose the one made with yogurt. I used chopped green chilies from a can but fresh jalapenos would work too. The lovely thing about the recipe is that it is very forgiving. By using the canned green chilies that are more moist than the fresh peppers, I has to increase the cooking time. I think you will love it. Give it a try.

MEXICAN CORN BREAD
3 lg. eggs, beaten
1 c. plain yogurt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided
2 tbsp. jalapeno chilies, chopped or chili peppers
1/2 med. onion, chopped
In small bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, 1/2 of cheese, chilies and onion; set aside.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients with fork. Cut in butter with pastry blender.

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 c. yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir until just blended. Turn batter in greased shallow 2 quart oven-proof dish. Spread batter level and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and when toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Serve hot or warm.

The Poppies Are in Bloom...a reminder!

The Poppies Are in Bloom...a reminder!

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May 19, 2009

Don't Act Like You Are 125 years old!!!

Okay, I will say it one more time...GET UP OFF THAT CHAIR AND GO GET SOME EXERCISE!!!! My goodness, I should not have to tell you more than once!!! How old are you anyway? You're acting like you are 115+! Don' t do that!

There are so many places we can go to get moving. Yoga, gyms, local hospital wellness centers. Pick yourself up and move. Curves is my torture of choice...I go out the door in clothes off the closet floor, wrinkled and maybe a little dirty. My shoes are suppose to be clean so I take the pair I am going to workout in and wear another pair there. My shoes are clean always. =). I don't think about it...I just get up and go! For me this is the only plan that works. If I think about exercise or what I need to do on any given day, I will not go! If I do that very often someone needs to yell at me...GET UP OF THAT COUCH AND GO EXERCISE!

Curves has helped me in ways I cannot even explain. I stand up straighter. Getting into and out of chairs is easier and turning over in bed...or my goodness I did not realize what a flopping walrus I has become! I am sure any exercise program would do the same for you.

It's fun, it's invigorating, it's not too expensive and it's our only choice. Exercise now or DIE!!! Yuck! Even exercise appeals to me when it is put that way.

Have a nice day!

b

May 17, 2009

What is the Senior Lifestyle Anyway?

Condo in Orenco Station
Oregon Condo


I want to sell my home here in Oregon. I want to buy a smaller one here. I want to move my main home to Arizona. My husband wants to come along. He is 71 and I am 67. We have been trying to make this move for a year...tick tock goes the days of our lives. But I am thinking if we don't do this for three years, how old will we be? The answer always comes back...we will be the same age as we would be if we did do it. I know our life is finite but I am not living it with the idea that it will be over soon. I, along with my husband, am living life  until we cannot do it anymore. How about you?

Senior Lifestyle can be all about how you shape your life. While we want to embrace our age with glee, we need to find a way to feel that every paint job can be updated in a few years...there is plenty of time. We need to hang on to the "ongoing" parts of our beings and never, never finish with our growth as humans. I want to die in the midst of a big project! But then that is just me!

b

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May 13, 2009

St. George, UT and Wikenburg, AZ Shopping

Alph Inventions Link
Do you score some good stuff when you travel? Do you just drop into a shop that looks cool from the outside and do some aisle surfing? Do you look for great bargains or are you the kind of person that is will to spend a fortune for a memory piece of art? Whatever your style may be, travel holds opportunities for your shopping habit.

While my husband and I were traveling home I had the chance to visit a couple of shops that caught my fancy. The first was a shop names Salsa in Wickenburg, AZ. Located in a block that featured a saddle shop, the store was a mixture of old and new items. Gently used clothing hung near a pile of fabric roll ends. That was where I found my first treasure. I had looked for years for the perfect bark cloth...at antique stored, fabric store, and on and on. When I stepped into Salsa there was that piece of cloth. I purchases 2 yds of the material for a table cloth and it is perfect.

In St. George, UT, I discovered a shop called Urban Renewal while searching for local history. I am a blog writer after all. My husband I parked in a lot just off St. George Blvd. because it was close to Brigham Young's summer house and a local LDS church and Temple. I just wanted to take a few pictures. My choice to step into the Urban Renewal shop turned out to be serendipitous . The store features consignment items, new decorating items and clothing. I purchased a pharmacy lamp that had been consigned to the shop. It has found a home along with the bark cloth table cloth in my dining room here in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Both items were priced well below what I would have spent here in the Portland, Oregon metro area. After all I am the traveler that is always looking for a great bargain.

If shopping is your gig and you know what you want and like, travel shopping may be just the thing for you. If nothing else, you will have bragging rights!!

Have a wonderful journey!

b

http://www.alphainventions.com/

May 12, 2009

Highway I-84 from Eastern Oregon to Portland.

We traveled across Oregon yesterday. The journey took us from Ogden, Ut to Portland, Oregon. These are just a few of the images I captured as we took that slow memory filled journey.

Fishing platforms used my the Celilo Indian to net
fish from the river. Only native Americans are allowed to do this.


Windmills used to generate electricity
dance across the horizon not far from
the huge hydro electric dams. The Columbia River is home to
McNary, John Day, Bonneville, and Hood River Dams.
They generate power for the north west.



Union Pacific Railroad carries products across the state.
My great-grandfather helped build the bridges on this rail bed
from Pendleton to Huntington. I have a pillow top embroidered by
workers from the Far East (China?).


Huntington now lays several miles off
the I-84. It was a major railroad terminal
at one time and the building that
still stands on main street (Highway 30) houses business that have
been there for over 80 years.


This one room school was the classroom my mother
and her sisters attended over 90 years ago. It is located to a now defunct lime rock mine. It is about 40 miles west of the Idaho border. I attended the 1st grade here before moving to Huntington where I graduated high school in 1959.


The hills in Eastern Oregon are green and beautiful this time of year. If you are coming to this part of the world I would recommend late May. Flowers grace every hillside.

b



Tuesday Scribblings...Gratitude and the Garage Door!

Tuesday Scribblings...Gratitude and the Garage Door!

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May 9, 2009

How to Choose a Motel... Holiday Inn Express Ogden, Utah


Is there a motel at the end of this rainbow? (Tucson, AZ. 2009)

Well we really scored with the motel in St. George, UT last night. My husband chose the Ramada Inn by searching online for a good price, good location and reputable chain. The motel sported three award trophies on the counter when we checked in. Our room was perfect, the pool area was as nice as any resort you will find just smaller and the breakfast included, bagels, rolls, English muffins, biscuits/gravy, cereal and several juices. The coffee was passable and the breakfast room was big and sported two big screen TVs.

Tonight we are in Ogden, UT and staying in the Holiday Inn Express. This room is equally as nice and there is an indoor pool next to a well equipped work out room . That is a good thing as the mountains still have quite a lot of snow and the temperature was only in the mid 60s when we arrived. The free wifi is just an added bonus. We will wander downtown to the historic 25th Street for dinner this evening. The website makes it look very appealing.

I think we should get out more! We have traveled using time share bonus time or in a motor home for several years. This motel room thing is working for me!

More later.

b

May 7, 2009

St. George, UT How to Choose a Motel....I wish I knew!

Hot air balloon seen this morning from the 1st tee box on the St. George Golf Club.

I don't know everything about travel. Getting reservations at a resort several month in advance is one thing. I can do that. My husband and I are time share owners so we are limited by what is available our vacation location . Our choices are narrowed naturally in that case.

But choosing a motel is quite another thing. Clean, handy, non-smoking are our requirements. We don't care about the pool or even the breakfast in the morning. We do care about stains on the carpet, a bed spread that is stained and a bathroom that leaves us feeling a little wozzy! The trick is to pay the least for the best! WE ARE NOT GOOD AT FINDING JUST THE RIGHT THING! Unfortunately we have stayed in more expensive places for less, been placed next to the laundry or furnace and spent a wakeful night, Even 4 stars are not a quarantee. Expedia or other discount sights are not a sure thing. We have payed a fortune and had our granddaughter stung by a scorpion.

In the mean time wish us well. We are staying motels for the next few nights. Our fate is in their hands!

Oh by the way, if you have a secret method of finding just the right place let me know. If there were a little black book...the secret to motel room selection...we would buy it. We are staying in the Ramada here in St. George tomorrow night. The room will cost us $97.77. It is near restaurants and an outlet mall. I hope it is worth it. I will let you know how that turns out!

b

May 5, 2009

Utah Vacation, St. George

My friend said, "I think I've died and gone to Hollywood!" We were visiting some of her old friends from a former life. They were both in their 80's and I was a young person looking on. We were in Palm Spring, Ca. The condominium complex was built during the late 1980's and the view was of a fairway lined with palm tree with water laying in the middle and green in every direction. You could almost feel the ghosts of Bing Crosby and Bob
Hope playing through. I love that memory...even though it, like the condo, have gotten dusty over the years.
The Oasis, The Palmer Course

Well we played golf in Mesquite, NV yesterday. Mesquite is west of
LasVegas but would love to be closer. Casinos, both new and dusty, lie along the freeway and the condos are beautiful until you look beyond at the reality that lies there. Like Palm Spring, the fantasy sometimes fades and the reality settles in.

The Palmer course there in Mesquite at the Palms Resort is a difficult challenging course. The cost can be astronomical if you are not using a "left over golf times" booking. We used the Golf Now for this particular booking and the cost, tee times and amenities were just as stated by the website. We paid around $110 on this day including cart, any taxes and range balls. We loved the course with the exception that the tee boxes were not marked clearly leaving us searching for our tees a number of time. I even had to skip one tee box because we had driven off a hill and there was no going back...people were behind and in front.

As we sat on the first tee, I could not help but think of my friend. I took a picture of the beautiful setting there. But, as we played the rest of the course, reality settled in. The unfinished developments loomed everywhere and one could not help be reminded that Palm Springs looked like this at one time. It will be a long time before Mesquite catches up. LasVegas and it rapid growth still over shadows this part of the world. It is a wonderful place to be...warm, green but sometimes very dusty! But it is not the cultural center of the western world!

We gambled at the Casablanca Casino in the evening and had a dinner in the grill for a very reasonable price. The porter house steak sold for $10.99. It was reminiscent of the prices we paid in LasVegas 10 or more years ago.

We have been using our Work Mark time share in St. George, Ut. The condo we use was very hard to find in the dark. I thought I had it nailed down on my iphone but it turned out that, when we arrive in town, the directions changed and we ended up in a subdivision on the north side of town. I called the office here at World Mark St. George and got the correct directions...it still took some doing to find our room for the night. My suggestions would be...do not come to town in the dark. St. George evidently enforces strict sign laws that do not allow resort accommodation to post signs leading to the resorts. With the correct address, my iphone and about 5 turn arounds, going back from whence we came, we finally arrived at the resort around 10 p.m.. We had left Mesquite around 7 p.m. for the 30-40 mile drive. WOW!
Sunbrook Golf Club
St. George, UT

We played the Sunbrook Golf Club here in St. George, UT today using the GolfGopher.com. Our experience with this discount website was not as good as Golf Now but we think there may have been some misunderstandings. We had to pay more that the understood booking price. Sunbrook says they will not be using the service anymore. I found the golf course to be very unfriendly to women in that the fairways were set a long distance from the women's tees. I am not a particularly long hitter. I would discourage anyone with a handicap above a 28-30 to avoid the course.

Zion National Park
near St. George, UT
We have gone into the Zion National Park near St. George. It was a beautiful day trip. The entrance to the park features a lovely resort area, motels/bed and breakfast and restaurants. A tram will take you into parts of the park that cars cannot enter and I think it would be worth the time and cost. We just drove through the park and took pictures. What a beautiful part of the world.

We are staying here until next week and will head north toward Oregon and home. Until then we are on the road.

b




May 3, 2009

Hoover Dam Bypass Project! Confession of a traveler!!!


View from the highway approaching Hoover Dam...taken from the moving car, downloaded into my iphoto program on my mac computer and cropped. Not bad huh???

I have a confession to make....I take pictures from the car while it is moving!!! I know! It is unbelievable but it seems that sometimes stopping just is not possible. I will take pictures through the windshield, the sun roof or out the drivers side of the car as my husband drives leaned back as far as he can. Surprisingly, the pictures will actual turn out very good. I have a small Sony Cyber-shot 7.2 mega pixel camera that I have used for several year. This little camera has been a winner for me. I suppose I could learn to use a camera with a telephoto lens and often wish I had one but this is very simple and the results work for what I do...like taking pictures from a moving car.

For example when we went over Boulder Dam on our way to Las Vegas on Highway 93 this last Wednesday, we were following another car in tandem, moving from lane to lane. We wanted to stay together as traffic picked up. We were late pulling into Las Vegas, NV because we had golfed the Wickenburg Country Club in Wickenburg, AZ earlier in the day. Rush hour was approaching and we needed to keep moving. As the sun was getting low into the sky, colors appeared on the distant mountains that took our breath away.

A new bridge is being built as a part of the Hoover Dam Bypass Project. The project will allow truck traffic and those not interested in stopping at the dam for pictures to bypass the bottle neck. But, until that is completed in June of 2010, big rigs are not allowed and commercial traffic is routed on a different highway into Las Vegas. The road approaching the dam is very crooked and slows traffic to a standstill. Everyone that needs that route for commercial purposes will welcome the change.

So, as I took pictures of the dam, the looming construction on the bridge that will span the Colorado River canyon and the smokey hill in the distance, my husband drove at the speed limit. These are the images I captured....evidence that my confession is, in fact, true!!!

Have a wonderful week!
b

Bridge spanning the Colorado River looms over Hoover Dam. The dam built in the 1930's began offering tours in 1937.

Lake Mead, the lake that is created by Hoover Dam, is a resort destination for many. House boats are available for rent.