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Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

So here it is July already. 2019 is just zipping right along isn’t it? We’re already past the longest day of the year and diving head first into those REALLY hot summer days leading up to Fall. (more…)

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As you may remember, I mentioned earlier that I traveled not too long ago and, for subscribers to my newsletter, I also mentioned that I’d be blogging about my journey. At the very end of January we spent 3 days at Disney World (yes – again) followed by a 7-night Disney cruise. (more…)

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fireworks courthouseSo here we are on the cusp of another Independence Day holiday. For most folks this simply means a day off with pay. For some it means a full day of work at time and a half wages. For others it means a trip to the lake, the mountains, or the backyard swimming pool. It often includes BBQ, iced cold beer, ice cream and other yummy backyard cuisine. (more…)

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WDW Christmas 2015 078

Photo by P. Rickrode

I often hear, “You’re going to Disney World again? Didn’t you just go last year (or in June, or January, etc.)?” My response is always the same, “Yes, we did and yes we’re going again.” You want to know why? I’ll tell you. It’s fun!! I love Disney World. We always know we’re going to have an excellent experience, good food, clean rooms, quiet pools (we know the ones to visit), free transportation and much more. It’s money well spent (in our opinion). (more…)

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As an author, I am anxiously awaiting the day I receive my first book review. I know this may not be a pleasant experience, but I’m anticipating it none-the-less. Book reviews are two-edged swords. Most authors want reviews, especially if they’re good. But, you must take the good with the bad and I know there will undoubtedly be a bad review or two. (more…)

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My life as an innkeeper is never dull. Most of the time my work is very rewarding. The average guest is very nice and respectful. And every day I see or hear something that makes me go:

bewildered-face

Being an innkeeper has challenges for sure, but there’s an amusing side as well. And an even larger amazing component that most people probably don’t even think about. (more…)

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So we’re getting ready to hit the road; going to caravan about 2,100 miles with a 26′ U-Haul truck, towing a car, following another car, with a 75-year-old man who loves to nap and a 70 pound, 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, across the Mojave Desert, Arizona and Northern Texas during July. What could possibly go wrong?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, moving is a hassle. And I’m not just talking about the packing part, I’m talking about every single thing you have to remember to do. Like turning off all utilities, forwarding mail, remembering what gets auto deposited or debited into or out of a bank account that you’ve now closed. Stuff like that. Pain in the ass.

But with moving, comes excitement and anticipation of starting out new and fresh somewhere else. Finding new homes for your things, learning new routines, exploring new places. Fun, fun, fun.

Sad to leave friends I’ve had for 45 years and the town I grew up in and know like the back of my hand, but happy to discover new friends and new places.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled (in no particular order) of things that I am in NO way going to miss:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

1 – the 45-minute commute to work;

2 – the 45-minute drive home from work;

3 – wearing business professional clothes, heels and up-do’s every single day;

4 – being someone else’s employee;

5 – rationing water;

6 – the fear of a forest fire burning down my house;

7 – exorbitant taxes;

8 – extremist political leaders;

9 – everyone thinking you live in Hollywood or near the beach just because you live in California;

10 – everyone thinking you’re wealthy just because you live in California.

11 – not having to bring my own grocery bags to the store;

12 – the penchant to litigate everything.

Things I’m definitely GOING TO miss:

1 – Too many friends to mention by name;

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

2 – Disneyland;

3 – the weather;

4 – my local chapter of Romance Writers of America;

5 – my nieces and nephews;

6 – the ocean;

7 – Lake Tahoe;

8 – knowing all of the short-cuts and secret passages around town;

9 – being just 45 minutes from awesome snow skiing;

10 – some of the best wine in the entire world;

11 – The Olde Town Grill;

12 – my zumba class.

Tell me loyal subjects – uh, I mean followers, what would you miss most about your home town? What special “secret” things do you cherish about where you live? Would you travel across the desert in the heart of summer?

Word of the Day: Uncinate

Fun fact about me: I’m a planner; down to the smallest details. Yet, I love being spontaneous. Go figure.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Happy birthday America!

Bonus post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Video courtesy YouTube.

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The menopause saga continues folks and let me tell you, it gets weirder and weirder. I have to laugh, because my only other choice is to cry myself into a padded room. And let me start by saying that men definitely got off easier (again) on the whole aging thing. I mean, at mid-life they just buy an expensive sports car and – bam – they’re over it and move on into their golden years.

Women however, we experience mid-life differently. Most get the “usual” physical symptoms, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, bulging bellies. But not me my friends. No sirree, not me, although my belly does bulge a little. I have all of the “other” symptoms. I ones you never hear about.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Let me explain. For awhile now I’ve been experiencing some strange little things in my body. Things like a sore thumb one day, a sore wrist the next three, creaking knees the following week. No injury, no apparent reason for the pain. And, sometimes while I’m driving, my fingers go numb; my feet often “go to sleep” when I’m watching TV. I’ve also been having extreme vision issues, issues not correctable (or explainable) by my eye doctor. I wear a different bi-focal contact lens in each eye and I still have to wear glasses sometimes. And then there’s days when I just can’t seem to see at all, my vision is so blurry. And my eyes hurt. They feel dry and gritty and they twitch. A lot. But then at night, when I lay down to try to sleep, they water like crazy, soaking my pillow on both sides of my head. What the heck? What is this madness?

Where am I going with this? I’ll tell you. I did some research on WebMD.com for dry eyes and joint pain. Both list possible causes for the ailment and potential remedies. But way down on the list for each problem I found that these conditions may be the result of menopause. Say what? Dry eyes and joint pain are menopause symptoms?

Apparently so. And this created a burning need to research menopause a little deeper, leading me to a long list of “unusual” symptoms of menopause. Holy cow! I have more than half of those “unusual” symptoms. And what’s even funnier are the suggested homeopathic treatments for the symptoms.

Here’s an abbreviated list of lesser known menopause symptoms: loss of bladder control, extreme fatigue, inability to concentrate, tingling extremities, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, weight gain, hair loss, brittle nails, and bloating.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Here’s a partial list of cures: drink lots of water, exercise, get lots of rest.

Okie dokie. Let’s just back the apple cart up a little bit here shall we?

My symptom is loss of bladder control and you tell me to “drink lots of water?” Really? How is this helpful? I cannot sleep more than two hours at night and you’re telling me that the cure is to “get lots of rest?” Well duh. And wouldn’t that be nice? And you say that more exercise will cure the weight retention and bloating issues? Yeah, maybe under normal conditions, but, I am so freaking tired there is no way in hell I’m going to exercise more.  I can barely get through one 1-hour zumba class a week. Most of my exercise these days consists of getting up from my two-hour nap each night.

And I might experience anxiety. You think? I’m pretty sure that getting only two hours of sleep each night might make me a little — how shall I say this — tense. Not to mention my hair is thinning at an alarming rate. And my heartbeat is so irregular I think I’m having a heart attack and in fact, consider waking my husband up to have him drive me to the emergency room. I’m pretty sure, this symptom would make anyone anxious.

This article is really funny.

I little farther down on this ever-so-helpful site I read that menopause can last anywhere from twelve months to twelve years. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME? Twelve freaking years?!? Nothing anxious about that. Can’t I just buy a Corvette and be rid of it?

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

But here is the kicker my friends; the suggestion that makes me laugh the hardest and longest. The article recommends avoiding alcohol. Seriously? I have 52 things wrong with me and if I drink enough water and get enough exercise and rest in twelve years they MAY go away. But, in those twelve years I’m not to have a drink? Like that’s really going to happen. If there is one thing I really, truly NEED at this very moment in my life, it is alcohol. Please dear God, let me never be out of alcohol. (Unless you bring me a Corvette, then I might reconsider.)

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So, I know it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, if you read about your symptoms on the web, you may be enlightened. Or mislead. Or entertained. I was definitely entertained at the end of my on-line research. However, I am a little less worried about all of the little crazy symptoms I’m having. There’s light at the end of the twelve-year tunnel that they may go away. Seems I’m not having a heart attack, I’m simply anxious. And I’m definitely going to try staying up all night exercising and drinking water since, Lord knows, I certainly won’t be sleeping.

So (everybody raise your glass), here’s to aging, hair loss, peeing your pants, being awake all night, slightly overweight, anxious and blurry-eyed. I thank the good Lord every single day that I am generally healthy, happy, mobile, employed, and do not have some horrible debilitating disease, or chronic condition impacting my life in ways too unspeakable to mention here. If getting old means having a few aches and pains and anxiety along the way, so be it. I’ll take every day I am blessed to live. Even without a Corvette.

How about you readers: have you ever experienced any unusual or unexplainable condition that worried you? Do you try to self-diagnose? Do you rely on information you read on the web? Ever find a silly suggestion to fix a problem?

And, if I haven’t told you lately, I am blessed to call you all friends and thankful for your support.

Word of the Day: Nide

Fun fact about me: If it were practical and affordable I would drive an expensive sports car every single day. (And that’s not just the menopause talking.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, May 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I enjoy trying new dishes and recipes. I love reading and collecting recipes and flipping through cook books. I would love to take some cooking classes. I want to learn how to cook like a pro, flipping omelets with ease, flinging pizza dough over my head, frying up the perfect sunny side up egg. I’m excited just thinking about tying on a pristine white apron.

When I was growing up my mother prepared well-balanced, colorful meals, but painfully lacking in variety. Every week saw the same dishes set before us, spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, the occasional casserole. These dishes were accompanied by over cooked vegetables or boring green salads with vinegar and oil for dressing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my mother to pieces and she never failed to have those healthy meals on the table for us each evening, for which I am eternally grateful. But, she lacked imagination or innovation or creativity of any kind when it came to cooking. Her spices of choice were salt and pepper and when she did get a little crazy and add herbs they usually consisted of dehydrated chives for the baked potatoes.

I think my husband wishes I were a little more like my mother in that regard. He’d be happy to have hamburgers or pizza (or both) every night of the week without ever seeing a vegetable or anything he can’t pronounce on the table. And don’t even say the word “fish,” when he’s around.

My poor, poor husband. I’m afraid his destiny is to endure experimental meals; meals prepared with love from the caring hands of the woman he loves. At least that’s what I keep telling him.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

After many years of experimental cooking, let me give you a tip, read everything before doing anything. The preparation instructions are just as important as the list of ingredients. On more than one occasion I have been whipping and stirring and folding in things only to discover that my delicacy must marinate or some other such process for several hours before moving on to the next step. There goes dinner for that night. And, how often have you been mixing like mad, adding dashes of this, and pinches of that, only to discover that the next ingredient is something you’re either out of, or have not idea what it is? Yes folks, that has happened to me. I’ve learned to read carefully before assembling products and gathering dishes and utensils.

While cooking is fun and eating is enjoyable, the preparation process can be tedious and downright frustrating. Here are some examples of ingredients I’ve come upon while preparing to serve an outrageously delicious meal: Amchur powder, garam masala, bulls horn peppers, ground sumac, elderflower liqueur, locatelli cheese, dry prosecco, Taleggio cheese, furikake, sharp pecorino, wattleseed, Fleur De Sel. That last one is just sea salt and why in God’s name the recipe doesn’t just say sea salt is beyond me, but what the what? I guess, “sprinkle liberally with Fleur De Sel” does sound better than “salt at will,” but really, do I need to go to the trouble of locating and purchasing glorified salt?

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Well, if I’m anything, I’m persistent. Google is my best friend and the store manager at my local supermarket has learned to run and hide if he sees me in the store, because I have sent him on a wild goose chase on more than one occasion looking for that special ingredient for my dinner. After I discover what furikake or bulls horn peppers are, I will spend way longer than necessary trying to find them at the market. Or, special order them.

And then there’s this quandry: you locate the item, or a close equivalent if you’ve been lucky enough to find out what that substitute item might be, only to discover that it costs like $100 for a half an ounce. You only need an 1/8 of a teaspoon and you’ll probably never use it again, but should you buy it – just in case it makes or breaks the dish you’ve been longing to try? I mean will you even notice if the wattleseeds are not present?

Ah yes, the joys of cooking and experimenting with new recipes. I have an impressive collection of spices and quite an assortment of colored salts (they’re all the rage now apparently), but my pocketbook is also considerably lighter. Was it worth it? Don’t ask my husband.

How about you friends, do you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with crazy new ingredients and recipes? What’s the most money you’ve spent on something for a recipe? What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve come across in your cooking adventures? How often have you Googled an ingredient in a recipe? I’d love to know. Please share.

Word of the Day:  Jaup

Fun Fact About Me: I sometimes try a recipe just because I like the name of it (can you say “Pasta Ponza?”)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

 

 

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