Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Storm

It is very seldom we have a thunderstorm(s) here in the Sacramento Valley during the summer.  They occur often up in the mountains, during the summer.

Last night and early this morning, we had some.  One of the lightening strikes seemed like it was very close...woke me up.  And it rained really hard too.  It sounded like it could have been hailing too...I didn't get up to see.

The weather forecast is for another very hot day.  Right now there is a soft breeze and it is rather pleasant.  Kinda of overcast too.  It will be interesting to see what the rest of the day turns out to be.

It was miserable yesterday, well over a 100 degrees.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Do you do Pinterest?  It is addicting...lots of fun things on there including lots of yummy recipes.

I saw this Cucumber Tomato salad on Pinterest and pinned it to my Recipe board.  It is so easy to put together and a recipe that a person can customize to their own liking.

The recipe is cut up cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and black olives.  A vinaigrette is used for the dressing.  I used a cucumber cut up in thin slices, grape tomatoes, 1/4th of a cut up red onion, 1/4th of a red bell pepper diced and black olives (yes, I made sure to read the label) and then used a balsamic vinaigrette.  Mixed it up real good and then let it chill until dinner time.  It was really good and refreshing.  (Forgot to take a picture).

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's Going On?

Yesterday we drove up to Grass Valley for lunch.  Gerry had a coupon for Lumberjacks Restaurant.  There are several of them around the area including one about 3 or so miles from us on Madison Avenue.  They are noted for serving large portions.  I had liver and onions off the senior menu and Gerry had a skillet breakfast.  We like to go to places that serve breakfast all day and also have a lunch and dinner menu.  I want dinner for Sunday lunch, Gerry enjoys having breakfast.

Lumberjacks is much like Black Bear Diner that we go to a lot.

The Grass Valley location use to be a Lyons Restaurant.  A sad story about that former Lyons...this happened several years ago.  We had gone up to Nevada City to the campground the Nazarene churches in the Sacramento region use, to attend a Sunday night service.  It was the last night of Family Camp.  After the service we drove into Grass Valley to get something to eat...we went to the then Lyons.  Several other people that had been at the service stopped there too.  The place was packed...because of the lateness of the night, there weren't very many service people working.  They were running their legs off trying to wait on everybody.  And then we hear that one of the cooks cut his hand severely and was rushed to the hospital.  The manager was in the kitchen cooking and trying to help get the orders out.  Unfortunately some of the people got tired of waiting for their food, left, and only paid for their drinks.  Gerry and I had gotten there before the crowd and had our food before all this happened.  I couldn't help thinking about that night so many years ago.

The restaurant doesn't look anything like the old Lyons,  Lumberjacks restaurants all have a timber lodge look.

After we left the restaurant, we drove through the town and then got on Highway 20 which goes to Marysville.  Grass Valley is up in the pine trees.  It doesn't take long on Highway 20 to be out of the pines and into oak trees and DRY hillsides/ fuel for grass fires.

From Marysville, we got on Highway 70 which meets up with Highway 99 and eventually I-5 into Sacramento.  We were on 99 for just a short distance when we saw a Highway Patrol car cross the center of the got in front of us with its lights flashing, slowing traffic down.  We were right behind it and were going 20 mph.  It didn't take long for traffic to pile up behind us.  We turned off on one of the country roads...we could see traffic stopped ahead of us.  Gerry said there was probably an accident ahead of us.  Just before we turned off, the Highway Patrol car went across the center to head back up and slow the traffic down.  I didn't see anything in the paper this morning so no telling what was going on up ahead of us.

It was warm again yesterday.  Today it is breezy and cool.  It is only suppose to get up into the low 80's.  Some rain is expected tomorrow north of Sacramento.

I'm home by myself today...well, that's nothing unusual...I'm by myself most days.  Gerry rented a motorcycle again and he is off with Erik and Jason (sons).  Erik got into town yesterday...he lives in Idaho.  The plan is to ride out to Bodega Bay and back...260 miles or so, round trip.

I've got laundry going and should be sewing.  I started a quilt top and am sewing the squares together.  I bought some fat quarters the other day to make another purse...a larger version of the zippered pouches I've made to use as a clutch purse...or I might put a long strap on it and use it as a cross body purse.  We'll see...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Heat Wave

We finally have some relief from the heat wave that came to visit us earlier this week.  The temperature readings were well over a 100 degrees on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  It was absolutely miserable.

It cooled down considerably yesterday, into the low 90's.  I didn't turn the A/C on yesterday until about 3:30pm.  It feels like it will be another cooler day today.  The reason for the cooler temps is the Delta Breeze that comes up the Sacramento Delta from the Pacific Ocean.  It is our natural air conditioning and we like it.  I actually closed our bedroom windows last night and slept with a blanket over me.  Sleeping is so much nicer when it is not so hot.

There is a fire burning in Foresthill which is above Auburn in Placer County.  According to the news people that live in the area of the fire were evacuated.  The paper this morning said smoke from the fire was covering the valley.  I haven't noticed the smoke here in our area.

It is a typical summer here in the Sacramento area...high temps and fires...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quick Trip to Kettleman City and Back Home

We left home about 7:30 am to drive to Kettleman City.  One of our granddaughters was going to spend a few days in Southern California with aunties and cousins.  Daughter Wendi drove up to meet us in Kettleman City.  The granddaughter will be in Southern California for a week and then the Southern California family comes to Sacramento next week.

Gerry put on his Facebook it was a total of 455 miles 

Kettleman City is about 225 miles or so south of Sacramento on I-5 and Highway 41.  41 goes from Yosemite, through Fresno in the Central California Valley and ends at Highway 1 in Morro Bay.  We kinda consider it the halfway point between Los Angeles and Sacramento.  It took us about 3 and a half hours to get there and the same amount of time to get home.  There were periods of heavy truck traffic which is to be expected on I-5.

We are in the middle of a heat wave so it was a pretty warm trip, the A/C got a workout.

One of the things that amazes me about traveling on I-5 is the acres of farm land...fruit trees of all kinds stretching for miles.  Meandering its way through all this farm land is the California Aqueduct.  You can read about it here.   The canal can be seen for miles and then it disappears only to reappear in another area.  There's not much else to see on I-5 and the drive can be so boring.  There is one section on the freeway where there is a cattle stockyard.  That stretchs for several miles too as does the "wonderful" aroma coming from the stockyard.  It is hard to hold one's breath until getting past all of that. :-)

When we left this morning, all the windows and blinds were closed and the A/C left on at 80 degrees.  That sure helped, it wasn't an oven in the house when we got back.  After we were home an hour or so, we went out for dinner and then to Bel Air for some groceries.  In the van it said it was 102 degrees outside...that was after 7 pm.  I haven't gone outside to see what it is like now...its not quite 9:30 pm.  The rest of the week is suppose to be HOT!!  Typical July in the Valley...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Smoked Ham & Veggie Pasta Salad

I saw this recipe on the Southern Plate blog.  I love Christy Jordan's recipes...they are simple and very "downhome".  Click here to get the recipe and a photo of the salad.

It went together quickly...we'll have it for dinner tonight.  It is going to be a warm week so trying to avoid having to be in the kitchen.