Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Halves Of A Whole

Here is my Half and Half it’s amazing how different my eyes look. Although each eye is from a different pic.

the other eyeright eye

Becoming A Senior Isn’t A Great Feeling

Here's the proof of my discounts that I didn't use or need!!!
Here’s the proof of my discounts that I didn’t use or need!!!

So as of May 6, 2015 I officially joined the senior class, and can I say right now it was an uncomfortable feeling for sure! Talk about humble pie, I got mine yesterday, WOW!!! I took the woman I care give for to the casino which she loves, and since I don’t gamble I read a book and surfed the net on my phone while she played the slots for a while.

As I walked up to the rewards desk to get a player’s card (even though I don’t play) the only good thing which came out the experience, is the woman at the rewards desk informed me of my discount because she did the math on my ID. Well thank you very much for math, for goodness sake!!! I couldn’t believe how much that affected me. All I kept hearing echoing in my brain is, “Well I need to inform you, that you qualify for the senior discounts because you’re 50.” Wow, thanks senior discounts, for rubbing my 50 years in. What’s weird is I don’t really think it’s that bad being 50, but I’ve lived half my life and haven’t done a lot of things I want to do yet. So now I feel a little pressured to get that stuff done, which is travel, I need to travel. So this is what I’ll be working toward this side of 50. So that’s what’s really going on!!!!

WPC: McDonald’s Wallpaper & Floating Roses

McDonald's wallpaper.
McDonald’s wallpaper.

Trying to take pics of depth conjures up many things in my mind, and from the examples of other blogs I’ve really got nothing substantial here to work with. Although, it’s the trying I guess that counts, at least that’s what I’m telling myself right now…

Thai restaurant floating roses.
Thai restaurant floating roses.

WPC: Finding The Toilet & Turning On Water

Minimalist ~ This week, show us your minimalist photos.

I went looking for the toilet in the bathroom and this is what I found, I was at my friend’s house and he has a amazing place, so I got my camera phone out and snap a pic of this. It made me laugh and was interesting. I thought it was a trash can, the flusher is the sliver button on the side, and I guess the toilet is something like a trash can…

 

 

Calvin's Modern toilet
The toilet found!!!

So the sink was a little easier to identify, but learning how to turn it on was a puzzle!!!!!

Finding running water was strange too.
Finding running water was strange.

Going On My PK Walk

Pk looking for a place to mark her territory as she traipsed through the Perennial Geraniums.
Pk looking for a place to mark her territory as she traipsed through the Perennial Geraniums.

So yesterday I went on my walk with Mormor’s dog PK, we went all around the gated community. When I walk, I try to find fun things to take pics of as I go because it makes the walks fun. So here’s what I saw yesterday in God’s wonderful creation…

First, a festive tree fruit, called Yangmei or Myrica rubra an Asian fruit which is indigenous to China and Japan and you can make juice with it. There are two types one is sweet and one is sour. I however didn’t taste this so I’m not sure which one is in the community I live in but it’s very festive and the color is vibrant and perfect for fall.

Yangmei Fruit or Myrica Rubra.
Yangmei Fruit or Myrica Rubra.
Fuchsia Tea Rose.
Fuchsia Tea Rose.

Then Tea Roses, are blooming now like dandelions and are just gorgeous to gaze at. Here is one bush I always go back to because it produces some of the prettiest colored roses. And this bush never disappoints.

 

Also, the Heirloom Rose is a beauty, it looked like it had just been washed and made camera ready. Fall is just as beautiful as summer but in a somber way.

Heirloom Rose.
Heirloom Rose.

Then I wait all year for these lovely Maple Trees to start turning yellow and red and even a bit purple in places, it’s an amazing site to see these trees turn into gold and red light. Just brilliant, and to know these trees are actually dying makes it kind of bittersweet to watch this transformation happen.

Maple Trees in their beautiful decline.
Maple Trees in their beautiful decline.
Maple Blaze Tree.
Maple Blaze Tree.

 

 

Lastly, the Maple Blaze Tree, it has a bit smaller leaf but is just as beautiful as the Maple Tree. These trees are all over Sacramento, and brighten up the city in fall. It’s such a pretty contrast against the pretty blue sky. Happy November.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

From: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Raw kale is an acquired taste, so if you’re not a fan, try steaming the kale for a few minutes instead of massaging it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well (I used a combo of red and white quinoa)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or other pure chile powder, not a blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (optional)
  • 4 – 6 cups chopped kale leaves (about 4-5 ounces)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed (optional)
  • additional lemon juice and seasonings, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a saucepan. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and the garlic and toast it until almost dry. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup: whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons broth, chia/flax seeds, chile powders, cumin, and salt. Allow to stand until the chia seeds start to thicken the dressing.
  3. Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Add half of the dressing and massage it into the kale using a wringing motion until the kale is very tender. Two minutes of massaging should do it, but the longer, the better. Add the quinoa, black beans, carrot, and bell pepper, along with the remaining dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving, check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, chile powder, cumin, and salt, as needed. Stir in chopped avocado, if desired, or serve with slices of avocado on the side.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s) | Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6. Makes about 8 cups.

Nutrition (per serving, no avocado): 206 calories, 22 calories from fat, 2.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 509.8mg sodium, 535.9mg potassium, 37.3g carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 1.3g sugar, 10.3g protein.

Nutrition (per serving, with avocado): 254 calories, 59 calories from fat, 6.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 512.1mg sodium, 682mg potassium, 39.8g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 1.4g sugar, 10.9g protein.

International Quinoa Salad

From: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Ingredients
Quinoa:

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed very well
2 1/4 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Vegetables:

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 medium-large tomatoes, finely chopped
kernels of 2 ears of cooked corn (about 1 cup), optional, this corn is a NO for me.I replace with sweet peas.
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced or for a milder version, green, yellow or red pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup parsley — minced
1/3 cup fresh mint — minced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (reserve a few slices for garnish)

Dressing:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (NOT lemon)
3 tablespoons vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper


 Instructions

To cook the quinoa in a pressure cooker, place it and the water, garlic, and salt in the cooker and lock the lid. Over high heat, bring to high pressure and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Fluff the quinoa and allow it to cool. (To cook it on the stove, use 2 1/2 cups of water. Rinse the quinoa and toast it in a saucepan over medium heat. Add water, garlic, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat, and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff and cool.)

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and mix well. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled. Taste before serving, and add more lime juice as necessary (you want it to be tangy). Garnish with avocado slices and serve. Makes about 8 servings.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Nutrition (per serving): 239 calories, 55 calories from fat, 6.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 366.2mg sodium, 627.7mg potassium, 38.8g carbohydrates, 7.7g fiber, 4g sugar, 9.1g protein.

Gluten ~ Free Meatless Chickpea Ragu Recipe

Another gluten free option for making a tomato dish, without meat.

Food Fanatic

 Ingredients

Meatless Chickpea Ragu/my image
Meatless Chickpea Ragu/my image

8 ounces Brown Rice penne or rotini pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
10 ounces crimini mushrooms, stems removed and diced
15 ounces chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons herbes de provence, optional
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup red wine, dry
20 ounces tomato puree, or crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper

*You can also add a half a bunch of cilantro, diced very fine for extra added flavor*


 

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until just al dente, about 7 minutes, and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chickpeas in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times, just until beans are roughly chopped (stop before beans are pureed into a smooth and creamy texture).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the crimini mushrooms and chopped chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic powder, herbes de provence, and (optional) crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add the red wine and cook until wine is reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, stir until well combined, and season with additional salt and pepper.
  6. Allow sauce to simmer and cook about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cooked pasta.
  7. Top with fresh chopped parsley (optional), and serve.

As, The Raven, and The Pearl…Are AMAZING!!!

By Heart ~ You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?


the pearl
Characters from the short story, The Pearl/image: glogstar.com

The first song that comes to my mind is As, By Stevie Wonder 1976, and the poem that comes to mind is The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe 1845, and the story is the short story by John Steinbeck, called The Pearl 1947. These three classics made me as child catch my breath and effected me deeply. So much so that when I think about them now I get goose bumps. The poem, just seemed so sad, and yet so emotional, and the short story seemed like I was watching a movie as I listened to the teacher in 10th grade English read it. With each, it really shaped my life about what art was, and how important the written word is to the mind and how it affects us as we read or listen to someone sing it. These three, make me happy to be an American because all three are by very gifted American men from very different times.

Where Are Your Parents, Honey?

Second-Hand StoriesWhat’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.


One day while at a previous job, a really funny co-worker told us a story about the kids coming to her door at Halloween. She told us how one group was really in performance mode and explained how priceless and clever the gag was.

Jessie from Toy Story/image: tumblingwestblogspot.com
Jessie from Toy Story/image: tumblingwestblogspot.com

She hears a knock and someone say “trick or treat.” Answering the door she see’s a little girl standing there who looks about 3 or 4 years old and is a cow girl like Woody’s girlfriend Jessie from Toy Story. So right away Ann the co-worker get’s upset because she doesn’t see the little girl’s parents. So she asks cowgirl, “Where is your mommy or daddy honey?” Cowgirl, is standing with a rope around her waist being pulled slightly, and says, “They’re not here, because I had to get my cattle because they ran away.” So, Ann asks, “What cattle, hon…?”

And as Ann looked down the lawn at the other end of the rope, she saw two parents roped around the waist together, waving at her in their cow costumes. So she laughed hysterically and gave them all her candy in the bowl!!! Also she took pictures but I don’t have those. This was before the days of camera phones.