Tuesday, December 3, 2013

goodbye oreo

It’s very sad and quiet in my house now as my cat Oreo went to kitty heaven on December 3, 2013.  Trevor and I first got Oreo as a kitten in September 1995 and we were fortunate to have her around for 18 years.  She was a really good cat though she tolerated being pet only so long before she gave you a little nip to let you know she was done.  She will be dearly missed.

Rest in Peace Oreo  

April 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2012

buses/trains - trains-buses but no taxi

Thursday, September 27, 2012
We got up and packed for our trip to Citta di Castello (CdC).  La Villa, the name of the town I stayed in Bagni Di Lucca was a cute town but it is too small to be used as my home base not to mention having to arrange the train/bus schedule to come and go.  Not as convenient, especially without a car.  It is very relaxing area in the mountains and is very beautiful.  This is a lovely area to visit and probably would come back when I had a car so I could do some exploring.
The trek to CdC was going to be a long trip since we had no car.  We left Bagni di Lucca at 12:40p and didn't get to CdC until 7:45p.  The gentlemen at the bar at the train station in CdC said there were no taxi's but that it was a short walk to where we were staying.  Note, I believe due to the lack of my Italian language he was saying that I 'don't' need a taxi as it was not a long walk.  Well, it had been a long day of travel and that last thing mom and I wanted to do was walk, we just wanted to get to our room.  Little did we know that it was just the beginning of our adventure.
We went the way the gentleman told use to go, took first turn into CdC wall instead of second but through asking someone for directions made it to our apartment at Residenza Antica Canonica.  Rang the bell, no answer.  I called the booking service I used for this reservation and they said I needed to arrange a time to meet the apartment mananger if arriving after 6pm.  Shoot, didn't do this.  Didn't I see this in my email confirmation.....  obviously not.  I asked them if they could reach the manager, they tried.  We were on hold for quite a while and the service said the best they could do since the manager wasn't answering their phone was to book another room for the night.  I asked them to see if the hotel could send over soemone to pick us up as they had said it was a mile away.  I told them that it was late at night, no taxis (which I later found out was incorrect) and my mother was 78 years old (pulling out all the sopts) and couldn't walk that far.  Again I was put on hold as they checked and made reservations at the other hotel.
As we were standing there waiting for the service to book a room and get us a ride a man came up and asked if we had a reservation at the Antica Canonica?  Said yes but couldn't reach the apartment manager.  He said he saw us and his wife is the manager.  He called her to let us know the people that hadn't showed up yet for the apartment were here.  She arrived and funny thing is that the hotel that the booking service was getting us a room for that night at had called Alicia the apartment manager to let her know that guests who were supposed to be staying at her apartment were making a room reservation.  Too funny, only in a small town does this happen.  The booking service finally came back on (was on hold with them a total of 45+ minutes) and I told them to cancel everything as Alicia had shown up.
Alicia was a sweetheart.  She showed us too our room but mentioned that the room I had booked had some really steep stairs and that she wanted me to check and make sure they were okay for my mom.  How sweet is she?
The stairs to the bedrooms were REALLY steep so she said she'd look into finding us an apartment on one floor but that tonight she was booked.  It had been a long day of travel with a lot of frustration (which had I read my reservation confirmation would could have alleviated).  It's a good thing that Italians eat late or we would be going to bed hungry.  Alicia gave us the name of a place called Trattoria Lea, the food was good and the wine even better after our day.
Needless to say we slept good that night after the long day of travel.
Walked 9,465 steps = 4.77 miles.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

shopping, train, and bus - food too

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Mom slept good last night and woke up refreshed, maybe she won't have any jetlag.  We had caffe at a bar that had free internet so I could check email and schedules since it wouldn't be as convenient once I made it back to Bagni di Lucca.
Stolled aroumd the San Lorenzo market just looking as I won't purchase anything until I return right before I fly out, no reason to cart it all over Italy, my bags are already heavy enough.  My mom didn't come over with a carry-on so I plan on sending her home with 'stuff' to take home for me.  Will buy a cheap bag in Florence before she flys out.  Found the kitchen store in the area that was recommended on the Slow Travel site but it didn't have any wooden pasta boards-rollers that I was looking for.  Finding the place was an accomplishment in itself.
We had lunch at Trattoria da Giorgia, the food is always good and the price is right, 12 Euros (lunch)/13 Euros (dinner), included is a primi (1st course, usually pasta), secondi (2nd course, usually a meat), cortono (vegetable-side dish) and wine or water. 
We took a train to Lucca and bus to Bagni di Lucca.  We strolled in Lucca for a bit as the bus we wanted to Bagni di Lucca wasn't running because school was in session.  The schedule didn't mention this but it is one of the things you have to go with the flow in Italy.  You can't let these things get to you or you'll go crazy in Italy.  It's just part of its charm.
We had a little trek up a hill getting to the apartment in Bagni di Lucca pulling moms luggage, was a bit of a trek for mom but she made it. That is one thing with all the walking one does you don't get really cold due to the cardio workout.  I count on this as it allows me to eat whatever I want, justification as I call it.
We had a lovely dinner at ??? (will update this post when I can find the name) of veal chop in balsamic reduction, roasted potatoes with rosemary, wine, and water.  Was very good.
Tommorw we leave Bagni di Lucca for Citta di Castello.  Mom really didn't have much of a stay here and if I had to do it over again would not make the quick trip back here with her but go directly to CdC as it was a lot of bus-train travel.  Oh well, lessons learned.
Walked 12,339steps = 6.21 miles.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

back to firenze - mom arriving

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Mom is arriving tonight in Florence at 9:30pm.  Due to train and bus schedules we can't get back to Bagni di Lucca tonight so we are staying the night in Florence.   I don't have a room reservation yet but I'm not worried.  I thought I'd have phone/internet connection in Bagni di Lucca to take care of these details but unfortunately it's not so.
Took the 1pm bus to Lucca and train to Florence.  Once I arrived I found a bench and started making some calls for a room using the past places I' ve stayed in and Rick Steves book.  Since it was late in finding a room for the night (4pm) all my contacts were full.  I did find a place in RS book that had a room - Soggiorno Anna Maria.  Had a bathroom ensuite so all was good.  The owners spoke little English but you can definately make do with sign language.  I even made a reservation to stay there my last two nights before flying home.  The location is East of the train station right by the San Lorenzo Market.  I've never stayed in this area and thought it'd be a nice change.
Only took my backpack with change of clothes-toiletries so I must say I was traveling light and wish I could figure out how to do this all the time so I didn't have to lug my huge suitcase around.  Didn't have time to eat but purchased a bus ticket to the airport and made my way to get mom.
Her flight was ontime and she had no problems.  She had slept some on her flights, Redding, CA - San Francisco - Munich - Florence so she wasn't exhausted.  We dropped her bags in the room and headed out for a stroll.
We had dinner at Antichi Cancelli of pasta, water, and wine.  Stolled around some to get a bit of exercise and then called it a night.  It was after midnight when we went to bed, not sure if mom would have jettleg or not.
Walked 10,686 steps = 5.38 miles.

Monday, September 24, 2012

viareggio - toes in the sand

Monday, September 24, 2012
Decided to head to Viareggio on the coast North of Pisa.  It took a 45 minute bus and 25 minute train ride to get there.  It was a 10 minute walk from train station to beach.  Stopped for a cappacino at Carmencita Cafe where I had the best cappacino yet.  The creme on it was lovely, very much enjoyed it.  Side Note:  Even though I'm a tea person at home when I travel in Italy I find myself drinking coffee, you know... when in Roma (literally).  My normal preference is a caffe latte but I find I now prefer a cappacino, interesting but not something I will ponder why.
The skys were overcast and the clouds threathened rain but there was a good breeze that pushed the weather out quickly and not a drop fell.  I walked and walked on the beach walking in the water which was a very comfortable temperature.  Not like the Pacific ocean on the Northern California/Oregon coasts, that has some frigid water that we went to growing up.  It has been over 2 years since I had my toes in the ocean and sand and it was really relaxing and calming.  Tide was coming in and I had to keep rolling up my pants further so they wouldn't get wet.  I stopped to read and enjoy the oceans hypnodic pattern and to people watch.  Schools in so there weren't any kids but their were a few adults and some clearly were sun worshppers, their skin so tanned golden brown, a dermatologists dream.
Started getting hungry and realized I had walked miles and back tracked my steps.  Ate at Bagna Irene, had lasagna, salad of fennel, orange, and pinenuts along with water.  Was good.  Chatted with two couples from England that were there for a long weekend since it's just a 2 hour flight for them and it was rainy (no, not England).  We discussed temperatures in Arizona, England, Italy and parted ways.  Was jealous how they can get to Italy so qucikly and so often.
Took the train to Lucca and purchased my ticket for the last bus back to Bani di Lucca.  Went to the TI to get a map and rent a bike.  I really wanted to ride on top of the wall of Lucca, it is so peaceful and I was really in the mood for excise that day.  The rampart is about 3 km around, I went 1 1/2 times around and then made my way into the town.  Pretty brave tempting to ride a bike during passeggiata (afternoon strool) in these small streets.
I was happy to see even though the last time I was in Lucca was 2006 that I was still able to find my favorite places.  Found out that the main Piazza's have free internet access for 1 hour so took advantage to check email, train schedules, etc.  Called home to wish Mom a safe flight as she was leaving that night to arrive in Florence on the 25th in the evening.  Had dinner at a non-descript place and had eggplant parmesan and some wine-water.  It was good as the ingredients were fresh but not worth going back.
I was making my way  back to the  station to catch my bus and as I rounded the corner my bus was pulling out.  I flagged it down and it stopped - WHEW.  Had I missed that I would ahve been getting a room in Lucca for the night or paying a very expensive taxi ride to Bagni di Lucca.  Lesson learned: make sure you're at your bus at least 5 minutes before the departure time.
It was a long but very peaceful day.  Definately had my share of walking/biking.
Walked 24,324 steps = 12.25 miles.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

meeting over caffe

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Had an early low key evening last night but I wish I'd had stayed out later as I still couldn't get to sleep.  I dozed while reading around 8pm (which was probably my problem, nothing to keep me awake) and preceeded not to fall asleep until after 1am.  I did manage to sleep until 6:30am so hopefully the kinks are getting worked out.  Once my mom and sister arrive there will be more activity.  I'm going to see if I can download some movies onto my iPad so I can watch soemthing.  The TV in my apartment has about 900 stations but not many are in English and it takes forever to go through the channels, not worth it.  I haven't seen or heard any news for 4 days, for all I know the whole world except for Italy has perished and I wouldn't have a clue.  Guess I could check out CNN while on the internet but don't to waste my time nor spend so much at the interet cafe.

It was overcast when I woke up and the clouds looked ominous so I wore a long sleeve shirt with jeans and took a scarf and umbrella just in case.  No need for that.  Even though overcast when you're walking you warm up and there's no sign of rain..

I met up with Debra who blogs at Bagni di Lucca and Beyond and Bella Bagni di Lucca for a caffe in a the town of Ponte A Serraglio which is a 20 minute walk.  Enjoyed a caffe latte and miele sfoglia (apple pastry) at Il Monaco (total €2).  Chatted about our love for Italia, places I'm visitng on this trip and she gave me many suggestions in the places I'm going.  Fortunately she's posted this on her web for easy access.

It's 1pm and I'm ready for prazo as I've already gotten in 5 miles of walking.  The Pinnochio festival is still going on so the main street in closed in La Villa which makes it nice to wander around without worry about the cars.  I found out Bagni di Lucca is the name of group of approximately 25 small towns and the town I'm staying in is called La Villa.

Off to lunch, will update with the rest of my day later... Ciao.

Walked 12,359 steps = 6.22 miles.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

pinnochio festival

Sat., September 22nd

Woke up at 3:30am (darn ole jetlag) and read my kindle until 7:30am.  The sun was up but I knew I needed to get more sleep, 4 hours wasn't enough.  I did manage to sleep until 11am which made for a late start of the day but hoping the added sleep will get my internal clock back in order.

So far I've only found one thing that I forgot to bring with me, my hair gel.  Pretty important part of the hair process (right ladies) but since I had a haircut right before I left my hair is short enough to go without.  My mom will bring it with her when she arrives next week.

Since I missed breakfast I started my day with pranzo (lunch). Ate at La Lira, salad with apple and bruscola, pasta alla carbonara, and water (total €11.50).  Was good but the eggs in the carbonara were scrambled, I've never seen that before, was good though.  The waitress asked if I didn't like it as I didn't eat it all, frankly I ordered too much food.

This weekend is a festival celebrating Pinnochio who turned into a donkey in Bagni di Lucca.  He was created/born in a town just up the road.  They closed the main street and had a little parade, tables with things to buy, and food to try.  The event is for the kids but there are a lot of adults dressed up too.  They aren't all dressed up in Pinnochio garb as I saw a superman and a lot of princesses around.   Very festive.

Stopped by the TI (tourist information) to inquire about bus schedules, spas in the area, and using the internet.  Weather is nice, overcast but still pleasant.

Will try and meet up with Debra who I met through her blog, maybe hae a caffe.  Hopefully it won't be too difficult since I won't have internet.

Got back to apartment around 7pm and was still full from pranzo and didn't feel like walking back into town.  So I put on my jammies, read my kindle, and had popcorn for dinner.  Not very exciting but my cheapest meal yet, €0.99.

Walked 6,477 steps = 3.26 miles.

Friday, September 21, 2012

trains - knowing when to get off

Fri., Sepember 1st

Only had 2 hrs. sleep last night so got a late start this morning.  Checked out of my room, had a caffe and brioche and then stopped by the train station to purchase my ticket to Bagni di Lucca.  Boy was the station crowded with tours, large groups everywhere.  I then zipped to the San Lorenzo market to get a couple of scarves as Bagni di Lucca is up in the mountains and may be a little chilly in the evenings.  I also looked at some purses and other items I'll go and purchase before I fly home. 

Zipped into the Merccato Centrale, wow what a jolt to your senses, the sights, the sounds, the smells - that's one happening place.  I always feel the need to buy fresh pasta, meats, fruits/veggies and go make something, will need to look into renting an apratement sometime in Florence so I can do that.

Caught the train to Bagni di Lucca but it didn't take me long to realize I was on the wrong train and knew I'd miss my first connection to Bagni di Lucca.  No worries, had a 1.5 hour wait for the next train.  Had my kindle, was good to go.  Caught the train and was trying to be alert, maybe too much so as I got off 2 exits early. I drug my bags off the train, not a quick and easy feat as the big one weighs 45 lbs.  After I got off I called to a couple if this was the correct stop at the same time I saw the station name.  Nope it was not Bagni di Lucca.  Understand the train stops for no more than 2 minutes and for me to turn around a get the bags back onto the train could have been done but my fear is I'd have one of the bags on the train, the door close and me unable to open the door to get the other bag onboard along with myself.  Aargh.  The next train through was in another hour + so I had the hotel send a taxi, more expensive... yes, but it got me to my destination sooner.  I usually asked people before getting off the train if it my stop or not and I don't know why I didn't this time.  Lessons leared.

I'm staying at the Byron apartment through the Hotel Regina in Bagni di Lucca.  It is a lovely apartment, plenty of room, no internet as of yet.  Will call Roberto the maanger.

After unpacking and settling in I went for a walk and learned the lay of the town.  It's small so that didn't take long.  Bought a few groceries and then had dinner at Ristorante del Sonno.  This was a recommendation of someone who lives in Bagni di Lucca, Debra.  I had Saltimbucco (veal with proscuitto and sage), roasted potates with rosemary, and ravioli in a butter and sage sauce, red wine and water (total €29).  It was all very good.

Walked home which took me a bit as it was dark and was a little disorientated until I found the street I needed, maybe it was the wine at dinner.I walked approximately 6,000 steps today.

Iìm reading The Red Tent my friend Jan recommended, very good, stayed up past 10p reading, should really get some sleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ciao from italia

Well after 18 hours of flights, layovers, crying children, cramped spaces I'm in Bella Florence, Italian.  It is worth all that effort and much more.

The weather is perfect, mid-70's with a light breeze.  Arrived around 12noon and had no problem locating my hotel.  It had no lift but thankfully it was only up 1.5 flights.  Manageable with my 2 bags.  I was able to have lunch at one of the most reasonably priced with delicious food that I swear Nonna (grandma) is in the kitchen cooking ~Da Giorgio's on via Palazzuolo.  I enjoyed gnocchi with a Gorgonzola and noci (walnut) sauce -very yummy; sliced steak on a bed of arugula with shaved Parmesan cheese on top and some spinach.  All for a grand total of €12 and included a bottle of water and a 1/4 liter of wine (rosso for me).

Stopped at the TIM store to put money on my phone and I was ready for a walk.  Walked to Piazza Della Repubblica and watched the kids on the merry go round in a daze, jet lag is starting to hit.  Walk over towards the Duomo where I went to see about getting a sweatshirt like the one I purchased on my first trip in 2004, worn it so much it's starting to gets holes.  They don't have this style any longer but will keep checking.  Picked up a map at the TI store as I gave mine a couple at lunch.  After a few phone calls I went back to my room and made some hotel reservations, did a few emails, and then decided not to fight the jet lag any longer.  Got a good 3 hours of sleep.  

At 9pm (only in Italy do I eat this late) I went to Il Latiini's (via dei Palchetti, 6r).  This is truly a red meat eaters place.  They have a great Ragu and their Bisteca alla fIorentina is massive and comes carmelized on the outside and bloody on the inside and is usually 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick. What I like to call a caveman cut.  I enjoyed crostini with chicken liver pate, a barley salad, prosuitto, penne with ragu, and a glass of vin santo wine (complimentary) and a cappacino to end the meal (total €20).  Dined across from a lovely young man, Nicolas, who has opened up a clothing store in Piazza della Signoria, enjoyed the conversation over dinner. Sat next to two couples from Philadelphia and gave them some suggestions on places to eat and visit.

Left the restaurant almost 12am and it's now almost 2am, I'm hoping I won't wake up too early.  Have a zanzare (mosquito) in my room must get rid of it before falling asleep.  Reminds me to pick up some of those outlet plug-in repellants, tomorrow.

Blogging on my iPad is going well so far, need to figure out how to post pictures.    


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

new to me ~ varrooom

The day has finally come - I leave for my trip to Italy today. After a year in planning I'm ready. I will be posting from Italia.

I am the proud new owner of a 2005 Hyundai Tucson, isn’t she pretty!! My 1997 Toyota Rav 4 which I really loved was getting old and showing her age along with seeing more of the mechanic than I’d prefer. So I said good-bye to my Toyota and hello to a new car. I’m really enjoying it and the air conditioner works GREAT!! An important feature to have in Arizona.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a surprise in july

Over the 4th of July week/weekend a dear friend’s daughter was getting married in Santa Barbara, California so I took the opportunity to stay in the quaint town of Solvang, CA and have a relaxing long weekend. It was heavenly and the weather was perfect while in Arizona it was a sweltering 110+ degrees. Loving it.

Upon arriving home I had a lovely surprise from Erin over at
Postcards from a Small Town, a macaroon cake mix from France. How fun is that!! And how sweet of her to think of me and send it.

I had Erin's name in last December's Season's Eating’s exchange and sent her some diced chili's and chipotle chili's from the sunny Southwest. How thoughtful of Erin to send me this sweet treat. I've yet to make the cake which she graciously translated the directions into English but will do so in November and will post pictures and result on the blog.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

season's eatings - a gift of spice

I'm sorry it's been a very VERY long time since my last post. I wish I could say I was on a trip around the world or kidnapped by some tall, dark, and handsome man who whisked me away to a deserted island and have been drinking those fruity drimks with my toes in the warm sand, but alas, it's not true. I guess I've been lazy.

I'm posting from Italy, I zipped over here to spend Christmas in Rome and a time in the lovely little town of Spoleto. Have been having a wonderful time.

For a second time I've participated in a food/spice exchange called Season's Eatings that Katie over at Thyme for Cooking puts together every year. Thank you Katie!! Katie's blog is about cooking good healthly food with fresh seasonal ingredients that your family will eat and love. She's made a believer out of me in making your own salad dressings, it's so easy that why would you spend all that money on bottled dressing and all those preservatives ? Katie also blogs on renovating a house in France along with all the trials and tribulations that go with that and also has 2 adorable puppies that she's training which leads to some fun times in her household. Check out her blog here.

My Season's Eatings package arrived in a box with festive red duct tape on the outside - Love it! It came from Christina from Georgia. Christina blogs at
Mele Cotte and has a lot of yummy mouthwatering posts for you to check out. Her latest post is how to make Mulling Mix. Though the holidays are coming to a close our weather is still cold and some good mulled spice wine/cider hits the spot.

I received from Christtina a cute card and gift bag and a lovely glass jar full of bay leaves. I've been thinking about seeing whether a bay tree will grow in Arizona or not so funny that bay leaves would be my gift.

Since I rushed over to Italy I did not have time to make anything with my bay leaves but reast assurd there is a soup or stew in my near future. With the temperature at 7C/45F I'm ready for some warm comfort food.

Thank you Christina for the wonderful bay leaves, I will certainly enjoy cooking with them.

Buon Natale/Merry Christmas to everyone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a budding artist

The other day I went with a group of ladies I work with and we spent some time in a ceramic place where you buy the pottery, slap on several coats of paint not knowing what the final color will be, come back in a few days and it's all fired and glazed to perfection.

Artistic I am not but on occasion I create something that isn't hideous that I would actually serve food on it in front of people. I don't see this turning into a paying job but it is fun.

Friday, January 1, 2010

nuovo anno felice

Happy New Year!!

May you and your family have God's Blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

Thank you for making Ice Tea For Me one of your blog stops. With millions to choose from I'm much humbled.

Here's to Happy Travels, Good Eats, and Cherished Friends. I hope this year I get to meet more of my fellow bloggers. In 2009 I met:

Diana @ Creative Structures - Acqui Terme, Italy ~ May

Diane @ Under an Olive Tree - Veroli, Frosinone, Italy ~ June

Two wonderful ladies who opened their hearts and homes ~ Gazie Mille.


PS - If you find yourself in the sunny southwest, give me a shout.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

san diego, california

It’s only obvious that I’ve not posted much this year (no comments from you Tammie), and for that I’m sorry. I’d like to say I’ll do better in 2010 and even make it a new year’s resolution but I won’t go that far to commit myself so I can add more guilt on me. Let’s just say I’m hoping to post more in 2010 and leave it at that.

This past Labor Day my mother and I took a long weekend and zipped over to lovely San Diego, California for a little rest, relaxation, and good food. It had been 12 years since I’d been there and I think longer for my mom, so it was going to be fun exploring all the wonderful sights again.

Mom was flying in from Northern California and me from Phoenix, Arizona. We arrived at about the same and thought we'd meet up at our gates as we assumed since we were flying the same airlines that the gates would be close to each other. First mistake, we assumed. Mom flew into the main terminal and I flew into the small annex since my connecting flight was from Los Angeles and was a puddle jumper. Mom connected in San Francisco so she was flying a larger plane.

After figuring out we were at different terminals and that one needed to take a 2 minutes shuttle bus to the other I called mom’s cell phone and left her a message. Assuming technology would work, oops there’s that word ‘assume’ again, I hopped on the next shuttle bus on my way to the main terminal. Seconds after the doors closed and we were on our way my cell phone rang and it was mom saying she’s on her way to the annex terminal I flew into. WHAT!! I laughed and said I was on the bus too on my way to her. Too funny. I told her to stay on the bus and come back to the main terminal where I waited for her. Was this an omen of how our weekend would go, I sure hope not.

We took a taxi to The Bristol Hotel were we had gotten a smokin’ deal for a room close to the gaslamp quarter. We arrived on a Friday morning and were leaving on Monday afternoon so we had a lot to see and not much time. Once we checked into our room we decided to hop on a ferry over to Coronado Island for lunch, beach, and revisit Hotel Del Coronado or The Del as locals call it. As a family we stayed at The Del about 35 years earlier and wanted to see if it had changed.

The ferry ride over was really nice and relaxing. When we landed out first priority was to eat as we’d both had early flights and were ready for lunch. We had a hard time deciding where to eat but we took a locals recommendation and went to a pub. I wish I could remember the name. We had a map and it looked like it was a short walk to get to the pub. Oh how maps can be deceiving. The blocks were quite long and we had 3-4 to walk. I also must mention that the weather was lovely, actually a little on the warm side as we’d dressed thinking it was going to be cool being that we were on the ocean. So being hungry, hot and a wee bit cranky we finally found the pub after what seemed like forever.

Coronado Bridge from Ferry Landing @ Coronado Island

We both had nachos and gallons of ice tea and looked at the map to chart our course for the day. We had thought of renting those pedal bikes, I thought it would be fun and easy to scurry around the island. Boy, am I glad we didn’t as a friend told me that their family (4-2 adults, 2 teenagers) found it exhausting to use the bikes. My mom is a young 75 and I 48 probably would have been able to move this bike a 100 yards before giving up. Can’t you just see that? Anyway, we decided to call a taxi to pick us up at the pub, drive us around the quaint homes on the island and deposit us at Hotel Del Coronado to relax on the beach. This was a smart move.

The homes weren’t as quaint as I remember them but 30+ years will do it to a memory. The Del was exactly as it was 30+ years ago, nothing had changed. The dark wood paneling, furniture, and the lovely gardens. It was nice to see it again but it had the musty smell of being old and the wood stair railings had a tacky feel, you know when it’s been cleaned so much with product. All that just reminded you of how old it really was.

Gardens at Hotel Del Coronado

Mom at Hotel Del Coronado Gardens

We made our way down to the beach, rolled up our pant legs and waded in ocean. It was very soothing after a busy morning. By that time we were pretty exhausted and wished we’d had some beach chairs to sit in and wiggle our toes in the water…. Next time.

Mom on Beach in Front of Hotel Del Coronado

We figured out the local bus system and took that back to the ferry for our trip across the bay. It was after 5pm and our walk back to the hotel seemed awfully long (it was 4-5 long blocks) that by the time we got to our room we were exhausted and tired. We relaxed and both read our books. By the time our stomachs told us it was time for food we were still so tired that we made our way down to the restaurant of the hotel and had a lovely meal.

On Saturday we took the tram to Little Italy and enjoyed the street market that was spread out over 3-4 blocks. They were selling everything from vegetables and fruit, herbal/organic items, meats, cheese, pasta, gelato, clothing, tablecloths, etc., etc. Oh, there was so much we wanted to buy but because we were flying with carry on only we had to be good. I’ve looked for tomato paste in a tube here in Chandler, Arizona but couldn’t find any, even at Trader Joe’s. I somehow forgot to pick some up when I was in Italy last June. I found what I was looking for at an Italian pizza/grocery store. I only bought one tube as I thought it may be confiscated at airport security as it was more than 3.4 ounces and didn’t fit in my 1 quart size baggie.

Little Italy

We had lunch and then walked around the streets. What I loved about the area is the chairs all along the sidewalk that you can sit and rest whenever you want. We stopped and enjoyed a yummy gelato. We zipped over to Horton Plaza on our way home from Little Italy but neither of us were in a shopping mood so we wandered around and then walked back to our hotel.

Mom Eating Gelato in Courtyard

Late afternoon we took the tram over to Seaport Village were we walked around looking into the little shops, down the little pier, and then had to make the hard decision of where to eat. We chose the Edgewater Grill overlooking the bay. They had reggae music playing outside and we took a seat in the corner on the patio and sat down for a lovely relaxing dinner. We both decided on a margarita, on the rocks, no salt. A great way to start out any meal I say. We shared a salad which was good but can’t remember what it was. It was a specialty salad that I remember had balsamic reduction dressing, nuts of some kind and was tasty, can’t remember anything else. For dinner mom chose seafood fettuccine and I the grilled pork chops.

Seaport Village

Both our dishes were fantastic. I hesitated in ordering the chops as this was a touristy area and pictures two thin over cooked pork chops on the bone, dry and overdone didn't appeal to me. Obviously I have an overactive imagination. Our server recommended the pork chop saying it was his favorite on the menu. I tend to go with their suggestions as they do work there after all and if I was steered in the wrong direction would reflect poorly on them and their tip. Let me just tell you this pork chop was cooked to perfection. I’m not a raw or undercooked kinda gal and this chop was done and moist, the chef knew what he was doing. This one large thick chop was served with a sherry demi-glaze over garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus. To die for, I licked the plate when no one was looking. My mom too enjoyed her pasta dish.

Towards the end of our meal we were treated to a firework show from the middle of the bay. It was very nice, a great way to end the evening. We made our way back to the hotel where we played some cards, read a little, and then retired for the evening.

On Sunday we took the bus to Birch Aquarium which is North of La Jolla and about an hour bus ride. The person I spoke with at the aquarium said the bus stops at the aquarium, which I assumed was at its front door. Please note the word ‘assume’ again. We had a relaxing bus ride (we didn’t rent a car) and were let off at the intersection/entrance to the aquarium. The driver pointed down the road for us to get to the aquarium. We aren’t averse to walking so off we went, it was another lovely day in San Diego albeit warmer then what we’d like. We walked down hill, and then of course walked up hill and we wondered just how far the aquarium was. Thank goodness it was mostly down hill. We had water with us but all I could think about was we needed to walk back up the hill to catch the return bus home. Aargh. We finally made it to the entrance of the aquarium and of course picked the line (in the sun, no shade) that the lovely young gal at the ticket booth couldn’t quite figure out that you take the money, give the tickets and move the line on its merry way. We ended up having a lovely conversation with two ladies in front of us which turned out to have some advantages, one of them was we got one ticket free.

The Birch Aquarium is really neat. It was Labor Day weekend so it was crowded but I assume it typically is on weekends. Once you get past the crying, runny nose ankle biters whose parents can’t or won’t control them you see all these amazing creatures of the sea. Pretty cool stuff. After our long trek and the slow stroll through the aquarium my feet were killing me. I was wearing the sandals I wore in Europe last May/June but I don’t remember them hurting so badly. My mom and I were both not looking forward to the trek up the hill to catch the bus so we (really it was mom that asked, I tend not to do this) asked the ladies that we chatted with in the ticket line if they would mind giving us a lift to the top of the hill. They were happy to, whew; we figured it was a good mile or so from intersection to entrance.

We caught our bus and hoped off in La Jolla for a little lunch which again we were both starving after all the walking we’d done. We ended up eating at a Mexican place right on the strip which had good margaritas and chips and salsa, but frankly the food was just so/so. Over priced and okay. We made our way back to the bus stop, hopped on the next bus back to our hotel. It was a good day, long but good.

That night we went to the Gaslamp Quarter. I’d never been there and had heard great things about it. Boy, were the sidewalks packed with people of all states of dress/undress and sober/intoxication that it was like herds of cattle slowly moving down the street with restaurants handing out coupons to get you to eat at their place. This definitely is a touristy place but it seemed like quite a few locals were there as well, which frankly surprised me. After 10 minutes of the crowds I was done. We strolled all the way down one side and up the other and since we weren’t hungry, as we had a late lunch, we stopped at the Ghirardelli ice cream store and both had sundaes of various kinds. We walked the couple of blocks back to our hotel and called it a night.

Our weekend was coming to a close; all that was left was Monday morning before we both got back on planes to home. Monday morning we got packed and then left to go find a late breakfast before we checked out of our hotel. Se stumbled across this lovely little bistro called, St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro. Quaint little French place. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and strolled around as we knew we’d be sitting in a plane much of the day.

We played some cards while I waited for my departure then mom bused over to her terminal to wait for her plane. It was a great weekend with lots of sun, good food, and quality time with mom. We both decided if we were to do it again we’d get a hotel by the beach, buy beach chairs and umbrellas when we arrived and plant our bums in the sand. I guess we’d done our fair share of walking this trip.

I certainly hope it doesn’t take me 12 years to get back to San Diego; it’s a lovely town with lots to do.

So mom, where are we off to next?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

season's eating's - butter tarts

For several years at Katie’s Thyme for Cooking blog she’s done a Season’s Eating's blog foodie gift exchange. I read about this last year on several blogs I visit and that is how I found Thyme for Cooking. I just love how one finds great blogs through other blog sites. This year I decided to partake in the Season’s Eating's event. Katie’s blog is great as she posts a food recipe everyday and also shares her experiences of living and renovating a home in France.

The concept of the Season’s Eating's food exchange is for you to send to the person that was randomly picked some spice or items that are regional to where you live along with a recipe that they can be used in. When you receive your ‘gifts’ of pleasure you blog about it along with pictures. How fun it that?? The person I sent items from Arizona to lives in Paris, France. I’m not sure if they received them before Christmas but hopefully they received them. I’ll blog about what I sent and to whom when I get word the package has been received.

I received my package from Jerry of Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants. Jerry is from Burlington, Ontario Canada and I received from him some yummy maple syrup, pure maple sugar leafs, raincoast crisps, and a homemade jar of Raspberry Chambord Jam.

Jerry included with these tasty items a recipe for butter tarts. I’ve never had butter tarts before but the recipe was very easy. He even gets the mini tart shells at the grocery store in the freezer section. Now that’s my idea of quick and easy. So in my holiday shopping I put tart shells on my list of items to pick up. Now let me first tell you that here in the big metropolitan area that I live in you can pretty much find anything and everything you ever wanted, so frozen tart shells are a no brainer to me. HA, was I in for a surprise. I went to 4-5 stores looking for these tart shells but to no avail, is Chandler, Arizona residents not tart eaters or are they such great bakers that they make their own dough?? I must confess I did buy pre-made ready-to-use pie crusts but in the end decided to go homemade all the way.

Anyway, after futile attempts to find these tart shells I stopped at my local Sur La Table (one of my favorite stores) and purchased 6 cute little tart pans. I found a recipe for an easy tart dough recipe at epicurious.com and away I baked. Dough made and in the refrigerator resting for an hour. As I started rolling out the dough I realized that the rolling pin I have is old, wimpy, and I believe I’m in need of a grown-up rolling pin. One of those that doesn’t spin around a center rod but is a solid tapered wood stick that you spin the dough around to come up with a perfect circle for your pie crust. One like I see all those on the cooking shows use. I managed with my wimpy rolling pin to roll out the lovely dough for the tarts, found a Tupperware container the perfect size to cut the dough with enough clearance for the sides of the tart and proceeded to roll, cut, gently press, and cut off the excess dough from the tart. Note: Jerry said the recipe makes 2 dozen tarts but I spit the recipe in half and made 6 tarts. I don’t know if I filled the shells too full or my tart tins are bigger then the pre-made shells.

I’m not the best baker and did find my nails got in the way as I was gently pressing the dough into the tart pan. A tart or two may have had a nail indentation but the filling covered it up. Whew!!

The filling was super easy to mix together and you just fill up the tart 2/3 full and put in the oven. Jerry mentioned he won’t eat a butter tart without raisins but I didn’t have any and was not going to the store again so I put slivered almonds in some and left the others plan. Since it’s just me at home I decided to only make ½ a recipe as I knew I’d eat all of them and had already consumed enough yummy sweets that I’ve not stepped on the scale for days and that may turn into weeks. Half the recipe made 6 tarts and they came out beautifully, don’t you think? I posted the recipes below.

It’s funny that Jerry had me to send gifts to as I’ve been reading Jerry’s blog for years now, we both frequent the website Slow Travel, and I met Jerry at the Palm Desert GTG in 2007. I tried many a recipe from Jerry’s blog and I appreciate him taking the time to post them.

Thanks Jerry for the wonderful products from Canada and a new favorite of mine, Butter Tarts. Stop by Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants, you'll enjoy his postings, pictures, and recipes.

Thank you Katie for taking the time to do Season’s Eating's. Stop by Thyme for Cooking and check out Katie's blog.

Butter Tarts
2 eggs
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of REAL maple syrup
4 Tbl. of butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl; beat until the thickness of cream. Fill each tart 2/3 full. Makes 2 dozen tarts.

Note: Raisins and nuts can be added.

Easy Tart Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter – chilled & cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Tbs. (or more) ice water
2 Tbs. whipping cream – chilled

Blend flour and salt in food processor. Add butter while pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and cream. Process just until moist clumps form adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

(can make dough 2 days ahead and keep in frig.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

swine flu paranoia...

I thought this was just too cute not to post.

If you think I'm not taking the swine flu seriously may I just remind everyone that the most important preventative for not getting the flu is to Wash Your Hands!!

photo credit - unknown

Thursday, August 13, 2009

a gift that keeps on giving

Several months back on my birthday I received a lovely gift card for Starbuck's. Yes, I love my carmel macchiato's (non-fat, sugar-free, stirred, extra hot) and I like to sip it while working at my desk throughout the morning. I can usually make it last for a while. If it gets cold I just go nuk it. I know I've posted about my 'coffee' before.

What's nice about gift cards is it's a gift that keeps on giving. I still have anther 5 drinks to go on this card which should take me into September. Wahoo!! Thanks Mom & Dad.

In an attempt to cut calories/$$ I would only get my Starbuck's once a week. It would be on Wednesday's as I had a 2-hr. staff meeting in the morning that I'd take it to, a sort of justification that I needed it to 'make it' through that meeting. Yeah, like I needed any justification. Well, the meeting was moved to the afternoon so my justification went out the window. And to be honest the cashier at the one I stop at, Fred, moved with his wife up to Seattle to be closer to family. Bummer, he was a nice guy, a lot older than most of the 20 something's that tend to work there.

I'd still swing by every now and then but it's not on a weekly basis and it's not the same, a lot of new faces.

This leads me to a question:

Did I stop at Starbuck's on a weekly basis to have the coffee or the interaction with Fred?

Readers, do you find yourself frequenting establishments because they remember the drink you like a product they keep in stock for you ~ the personal interaction? Or do you go because of location, price, and convenience?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

it arrived

If you remember a couple of posts back (here) I mentioned I had won a Travelers Guidebook of Calabria in a contest that Michelle at Bleeding Espresso had on her site.

It arrived, isn't it pretty?

I'm looking forward to reading all about the Calabria region. This is the first time I've seen a Traveler's guidebook and I can't wait to start reading it.

Thank you Michelle for the book!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

chocolate zucchini cake

I had a craving for something sweet and chocolately and had some zucchini in the frig that needed to be used. Barb over at Art and Barb Live in Italy posted this recipe and I decided to give it a try.

It turned out delicious, very most. I tried both her suggestions for toppings but used walnuts instead of hazelnuts. You can't go wrong with this cake. Starting my diet tomorrow.

Here's Barb's recipe:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt1
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)

cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Topping 2
40 g light brown sugar mixed with 1/2 Cup (70 g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped).

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2” baking pan.Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl.Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over.Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan. Serves 12.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

it happened

Several weeks’ back Michelle @ Bleeding Espresso had a contest to win a new guidebook that was coming out of the region she lives in Italy, Calabria called Traveler’s Calabria.

I’ve not made it that far South to Calabria in my trips to Italy but someday I will get there and finally meet Michelle and hopefully Cherrye @ My Bella Vita.

It’s always fun entering contests as you just never know, you may win. What entering into contests on blogs has done for me is take me to a variety of blog sites that I may never have found through my normal blog reads. Michelle’s always good at either having contests on her site or putting links in her blog to other bloggers that are having them. You rock Michelle!!

I’m happy to announce that I received an email from Michelle letting me know I was one of the lucky 5 people to win a Travelers Calabria guidebook. Yahoo!! Can’t wait for it to arrive and read about Calabria.

Thanks Michelle!!


On another note, I know I’ve been absent for too long and I promise I will be posting about my Italy trip really soon. Need to capture those memories before I forget. I appreciate you not giving up and coming back to check my blog from time to time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

italia - i made it

-9 months of planning

-endless hours of emails

-some sleeples nights

-on Italian soil - priceless

Yes, I'm finally walking on Italian soil, enjoying the caffe and food. It was a bit crazy the last week prior to my flying out but I'm here. I haven' journaled or blogged as I had thought I would but things haven't come as easily as they have in my past travels to Italy.

Italy cell phone not working - needed to get a new cell number, TM store closed, then my passport wouldn't work so had to use my moms and finally after too much time my phone isn't getting service where I am in Acqui Terme. Aargh.

Brought a netbook with me to email, blog, etc. and have yet to figure out the wirless feature. This is purely a user issue and then finding a WiFi link. Have found some Internet cafes so working through them.

banking - didn't get to take care of this before I left but have done it online in the past trips. Well my back has put more security features into their system and doing banking from Europe has been challenging at best. Thank goodness for my wonder sister Tammie and my son Trevor, they've bailed me out.

Will write more and post pictures hopefull really soon.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

let me introduce myself

Yes, I’m the owner of this blog and take full credit for its lack of postings of late. I know I haven’t posted for a while as my sister reminds me on a regular basis, but I’ve been really busy at home and work life and this has taken a sad back seat but it has not been forgotten. I’ve not even had time to keep up with the blogs I normally read and this has got to stop. Right Now!!

I’m not sure I even have any readers left but on the sheer luck that someone accidentally lands on this blog and reads it other than my sister Tammie then let me be the first to say – Welcome.

So what’s kept me busy you ask? I’ll just make you a list because I’m good at doing that, here it goes:

Women’s ministry – I co-lead the women’s ministry at church which entails meetings, etc. that need to be attended and emails to be answered.

Women’s retreat - I was on the planning team which means regular meetings and a lot of emails not to mention I was in charge of taking care of the craft at the retreat. The craft was decorating with pretty paper a composition book so they could use it as a journal. The journals turned out great and the retreat was awesome.

Bible Study – Every Tuesday night I have the pleasure of having 6 wonderful people over at my house to do a more in-depth study of the bible. These people are like my family and I love being with them. Having it at my house means I know my house will be cleaned or at a minimum the clutter picked up at least once a week.

X GAMES @ work – with less than a 4-week notice I put together a competition with my group of 160+ at work where they split up in 8 teams, each team had a captain, team color, etc. We had 8 games for these teams to compete against each other and also arranged the catering. We had our X GAMES last Friday and it turned out great. Everyone had a wonderful time and can’t wait for the next one…. Next year thank you very much!

Vacation – did I mention I was going on vacation to Europe for 4 weeks along with my parents and am planning the whole trip myself? Oh, yes indeedy I’m planning everything from plane, train, and automobile reservations, B&B & hotel accommodations, tours, where we’re going, etc. It’s a good thing I like doing this. I will go into more detail in a later post but let me just say the first 3 weeks are planned and a done deal but the last week in Italy I still need to figure out where I want to go, sans the parents.

House – there seems to be a lot of things inside and outside that needs to be taken care of. I used to tackle these things on my own by now after many years of do-it-yourself I really have no interest in it. That’s where my lovely son comes in and helps… when I see him which frankly isn’t often enough. I have the front yard landscaping that needs to be redone thanks to the vermin I wrote about in previous posts but I really don’t want to do this until after I return from vacation. I also like to make sure my house is clean before leaving on a trip so it’s clean when I return, that means washing windows, exterior of the wood cabinets, baseboards, etc. I’ve also given myself a goal to have most of the boxes emptied and out of my garage before I leave. Thankfully I do have someone staying at my house while I’ll be away so I don’t have to worry about what to do with my cat Oreo.

So if that isn’t enough to keep me busy what do I do to myself but add one more HUGE commitment to add to the list and stress me out…

Italian Class – I signed up for a Beginning Italian class so in hopes that I may learn some more tidbits before heading off to Italy. The only problem is that this isn’t my first Italian class so I’m well aware how difficult it is learn all those irregular verbs, tenses, masculine, feminine. There’s a lot of studying that needs to be put to this. Well I started off great but couldn’t keep up with the homework with everything else I was doing so I finally let go of the stress and told my instructor Davide that I won’t be able to keep up so ‘don’t’ call on me in class but I will contribute where I can and that I will still attend. This removed a lot of stress I was putting on myself and I am learning though not at the pace of the others in class. Fortunately it’s a small class. I definitely will be able to read a lot better than the last time I was in Italia.

So dear readers that is what I’ve been up to. Nothing exciting or earth shattering, just my life. I hope to keep my posts shorter so maybe I’ll post more often and don’t think Ive forgotten that I haven’t finished posting about my home remodel, I do promise that is coming.

I have purchased technology so that I hope to blog while I’m on vacation or if nothing else journal so I can post at a later date. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


PS ~ Gail of ‘Gail – Fort Rock Glimpses’ received her package of Arizona products she won in my blogiverisary/100th post contest. Stop by her site and see all the yummy goodies I sent her.

Editors Note: Site Counter just hit 1,000 visits, so someone's stopping by my blog whether it's on accident or purpose. Yahoo!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

and the winner is...

Thank you to everyone who entered into the drawing celebrating my 1st blogiversary and 100th post.

As previously mentioned, picking the winner was going to be done the ole fashion way. I printed out the names, cut them into pieces, folded them, and put them into a Tupperware container. I’d show you a picture but my camera died last week so no photo. I then mixed up the names really well and pulled out a piece of paper.

I’d like to congratulate Gail – Fort Rock Glimpses on winning goodies from the sunny Southwest.

This was really fun and will look for other opportunities to have a drawing. Who doesn’t like to win something?

Friday, February 27, 2009

the vermin is gone

If you read in my November 10th post here I had an unwelcome visitor in my front yard, i.e., a gopher. From this point on the said gopher will be called ‘vermin’ as gopher sounds too nice and cute for what this creature is.

WARNING: Before I continue I must warn you that there will be pictures at the end of this post that if you get squeamish over dead things you might not want to proceed past a certain point. I will put up another warning with plenty of notice.

Like I said in November I had an unwelcome visit from a vermin. I did not know what to do as everything I heard there isn’t much that will kill these ba@t#$d’s (excuse my French; I’ve never hated something so fiercely in my life). I didn’t know what I should do.

Besides the tell tale signs of mounds it was quite evident I had something lurking under the lawn as the neighborhood stray cat would come sit and listen to the noise the vermin were making and would pounce and attack. Bless the heart of this cat, so patient and diligent but to no avail.

One day as I was sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a caffe’ mocha I saw dirt fly up out of a mound. Not only that but the little vermin was also taunting me by actually coming out of the hole a bit so I could see it. I swear it looked me straight in the eye and snickered. The audacity!!

Well not to be out done by a 4-6” rodent I put on my shoes grabbed the shovel, gloves, plastic bag, and my camera (couldn’t miss an opportunity to capture this event) and went-a-huntin’. I took the garden hose rammed it down the freshly dug hole and turned the water on full blast and waited….

going huntin' tools: shovel, gloves, & hose

Since I knew these vermin feel vibration I had my shovel in hand standing by the flooding area and stood very still. I can’t even imagine what people thought as they drove by when they saw this middle aged women in her yard with a shovel in the attack mode standing as still as a statue. But I didn’t care. I was on a mission. There I stood staring at the ground waiting for a sign. Low and behold within a minute or two I saw a piece of grass twitch. Hmmm, very interesting, was my sight playing tricks on me?? Motionless I waited. Again more ground movement and then hello, a head poked out. I jumped into action and pushed the shovel behind the said vermin and scooped out a big chunk of dirt onto the lawn. Without going into gory details the vermin took its last breath.

After pictures were taken, dirt put back in place, and hose put away I somewhat remember doing a little happy dance in my front yard. I was so happy the vermin was dead. Life can now get back to normal, or so I thought.

And then there were two….

Little did I know as I was doing the happy dance there was a bigger wiser vermin under my lawn rolling around in all the tunnels it had made laughing its tail off… at me.

As the days passed after I extinguished the vermin I bragged how on my first attempt I had gotten rid of it to everyone I came across. I was so happy to be done with it. Then four days later it appeared, another mound. Words can’t express how I felt (well there are words but they are not nice ones), I couldn’t believe I had another vermin in my lawn.

Because I was so successful with my first attempt to eradicate the vermin I thought I could just go out and ‘flood & kill’. Well, not this time. Every time there was a new mound I’d go flood to no avail, it was becoming quite the ritual. I started leaving my shovel in the back yard and as stealth-like as possible walk from the back to the front trying to be oh so quiet.

the distruction

I put the garden hose into the mounds and turned on the water full blast and it would never come up to the top. That’s how extensive the vermin tunnels were in my lawn. I swear there was a man in China standing in his flooded basement complaining to his wife that he just could not figure out where the water was coming from.

Time after time I did this with no ‘dead’ outcome. I came to realize how lucky I was when I took care of the first vermin because this one was driving me crazy. I purchased mole bait online that a friend told me worked for their vermin problem – no luck. I’d bought some traps at the big box store that it looked like it would take Houdini to put together but I was afraid to try this.

One Saturday morning as again I was enjoying my hot cup of caffe’ mocha I was listening to a home improvement show on the radio and they mentioned this company (Gopher Gitters) that has products and along with onsite service to get rid of ones vermin. I didn’t wait to call.

so much damage for such a little rodent..

Six hours later Gordon was at my house to set traps; 3 days later he returned to remove traps and dead vermin; it has now been 3 days and no mounds in lawn. I’ve learned my lesson on doing the happy dance a little too prematurely but Gordon seems pretty confident that there isn’t any more.

Oh how I wish I would have heard about Gordon 3 months ago before my lawn looked like golfers had been hacking at it for years. But it is finished, finito, done. BUT, if I ever do get more of those nasty yard destroying vermin, I know who to call – Ghost Busters, I mean - Gopher Gitters.

Note: Gopher Gitters has not paid me to promote their company, they got rid of my vermin. THANK YOU GORDON!!

Vermin Facts I Learned From Gordon:
~Vermin don’t hang around together, mom kicks kids out relatively young, no waiting for their 18th birthday
~Vermin have a territory; they don’t like to live close to one another
~One vermin will produce 1-2 mounds every day or so

Now all I need to do is get a gardener to come repair my yard...

********** WARNING!! **********






my torn up yard

vermin #1