Taking a leap forward and expanding my music play list, an adventure in discovering something outside of my normal genre and tastes! Worth sharing and one never knows who else might enjoy something that they didn’t know about before, like me!
With the New year now upon us, we can go the distance to enjoy great things!
Creating the family’s recipe of homemade, chunky cranberry sauce is a favorite activity of mine; my mother was also willing to offer up her kitchen while I was on vacation in Colorado to make it happen. Of course, we had to add a healthy dose of orange Triple Sec to each jar we made, otherwise, it wouldn’t have that extra zing we all love! While I think the recipe is pretty common, it’s the special one we use at home becuase it turns out the best.
Naturally, Mom took the lead and I assisted, being the elf to Mrs. Claus, of course.
The homemade cranberry sauce is great on any poultry, with prime rib, and of, course, with leg of lamb.
As you can hear and see in the short video I snapped/shot, the wind is really howling! It’s so cold, too and the icy winds bite at the skin. Yes, it’s blizzarding! Welcome to the cold and snowy Colorado plains! I also got my wish for Christmas, I witnessed a good snow fall and all was merry and white!
Thankfully, the blizzard did stop and I own plenty of warm wear to go out and play in the snow, a favorite past time of mine, while also getting to enjoy the warmt of the indoors, with hot cholate and games with family and friends.
We are playing Scattergories, Clobber, and card games, always a delight, no matter the weather!
It’s that time of year when homemade goodies are an essential. For me, I like to keep things easy and simple; I also like to share!
Here is the link to the recipe I used (and of course, I had to sample the goodies) I also substituted 1/2 the vanilla for almond infusion as it makes it so cheery! And a little music to help set the mood as you bake/cook/ enjoy the Season!
Christmas and the holidays are just around the corner and we know what kind of crazyness that can add to people’s lives.
You can win two ways this year, support a local artist whom had hand-made fashion accessories (scarves and necklaces and more) and beautifully hand painted art, give a gift to yourself or to a loved one, items include free shipping and free gift wrapping (upon request).
Ordering/purchasing now will guarantee arrival of your purchase to gift your loved one and friends!
Here is the link to my personal eBay! Make me an offer!
Here are some photos of just a few of the items available!
Fa-la-la-la-la-de-dah! Christmas bells are ringing!
An original Christmas painting, oil on canvas, framed and matted (no glass) is available for purchase, ready to hang, just in time for bringing in the holidays and Christmas cheer! Listed at $65 (offers are welcome!) and will ship in time to be gifted or hung by the chimney with care.
Scarves are an excellent way to stay warm and fashionable, especially when hand knitted! Check out my ebay for a nice selection of scarves to be worn or gifted! Happy Shopping (and yes, I can gift wrap upon request!)
Adventures, Travel, hiking, going and doing–walk, run, crawl–go! Dr. Seuss wrote a great book “Oh the places you will go” and much of it is true, even now.
People are mobile, ambulant. If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d be rooted to the earth like trees, whom even move and sway with stimulation and groan in growth, spreading limbs and leaves as far and wide as they are able–and we, as humans, could follow by example and stretch our limbs, and “leaf” out, try new things.
While every venue would be impossible to see and do in a lifetime, certain areasand places are perhaps unatainable and don’t pique your interest, there are a great multitude of places to be explored. Mountains, beaches, bookstore corners on a forgotten street, GropeCunt alley, the Fraunalb Ruins Near Ettlingen Germany, the bakery down the street.
May I suggest you write down a wish list of places you have read about and would like to see or places referenced in a movie? I have always wanted to go Lime in England, Carnival in Brazil, and places that Jane Austen wrote about, Castle Bran in Translyvania as Stoker wrote such vivid details of the mystical auras, and more.
Meeting new people can be tricky, especially in this technology based world but when a neighbor introduces themselves and ask where they can easily get internet service, a connection is made! My new neighbor is from Alexandria, Egypt and she invited me over for a wonderful, homemade Egyptian meal, which was a new, spiced delight for me!
While I can’t even begin to spell the names of the dishes, they were fabulous!
Traveling by plane, in my opinion, is fun but sometimes it can be a bit odd and ackward, whether you have layovers or direct flights. Having flown domestic and international flights, I learned a few things with the travel.
Here are some tricks and tips that I have learned/gleaned from flying:
Carry at least a little bit of cash, some venues only accept cash or after hours, vending machines are the only thing available. Plus, luggage carts are a nice perk at the end of a journey and many only take cash.
Wear something comfortable and appropriate (I have never understood traveling in lounge/pajama wear), limit jewelry as no one ones to loose a cuff link or earring while in transit
Carry a phone charger and outlet plug with you, many airlines don’t have inflight outlets, charge devices in airport or at home.
When in the airport, especially if you have a layover, pick up postcard and send it to someone, a little note to say hello, a thank you, or send it to yourself. A little note goes a long way
Pack your carry on and personal item as light as possible, remember, you are carrying these items, sometimes a lot.
Avoid or limit alcohol consumption, intoxicated people aren’t often allowed to board, especially if the person is “acting up”
Carry a small book or small project to work on, especially if the flight is long. Especially important with children.
Carry your own snacks and beverages (check with your airline for regulation), in-flight snacks/options are not often given or “tasty” in variety
Go to the restroom before boarding, no matter one’s size or shape, airline toilets are cramped, tight and not comfy
If you like to sleep on the plane, carrying/taking a “u” shapped pillow or similiar item will be a nice luxury (I use a teddy bear that I travel with, it’s a pillow, a back prop,, a camera/phone holder for photo opprotunites, etc)
If you are early for your flight or have a layover, wonder around the terminal, You often find interesting statues or other “treasures” that could be fun to read about or share via photo.
Keep/use a print out-paper of your flight itineraries. It’s a sure fire back up incase your phone dies, the internet isn’t working, or your 2 year old nephew got a hold of your phone and deleted or moved the QR code and confirmation email.
Make sure your ID’s are current, active, and in guidelines with traveling. the “real ID” is often required or another qualified issued government ID.
For the comfort of yourself and others, practice extra good hygiene. People will be in close quarters.
I hope these tips are helpful and useful as you travel.
Spending an evening with my parents is always fun as we live very far apart. While on vacation and staying at my parent’s home, I took the liberty of cooking a meal for them–after running errands with my mom and having gone to the fields to check water with my brother (he’s a farmer with irrigated fielda) a hot, easy meal was in order.
One of the errands was going to the grocery store (in the next town over) so picking up ingredients was a breeze. Of course, I also chose items that were on sale or had the “club price” with a member’s card (the free one’s you get when you sign up at many “big” stores.).
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I used a combo of both)
1 Jar of Madras Korma Curry Indian simmering sauce
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 -3/4 pound of chopped up raw veggies, I used red bell pepper, some cauliflower florets and stems, shredded carrots and a half chopped red onion and sliced mushrooms.
Line a glass baking dish with the chicken (after spraying it with some oil), dump the jar of sauce, can of coconut milk, and veggies all in it give it a light stire and bake for 90 minutes on 350 degrees, covered with aluminium foil.
It’s easy, Indian/Nepal inspired dish and there was more than plenty for 4 people to have 2 whole meals off it.
It can be eaten as it or served over white rice or with Naan.
Our road trip back to Colorado included going through the beautiful, quiet state of Nebraska.
The rolling praries and grasslands, scattered amongst the grain fields and ranches, was quite stunning and we stumbled upon Chimney Rock, quite a stunning view as it just “pops” out of seemingling no where!
We stopped in Scottsbluff for a meal, Subway, and enjoyed the scenery of the quaint town (and found more postcards, which was a pleasant surprise in the small town).
In full truth, Chimney Rock is very pretty but the praries are something unique to behold, a hidden treasure of America’s bread basket country (which I have heard many people call a “fly over” area, which I believe is a true mistake, as it’s breath taking). If given the chance, drive and stay in Nebraska, it has lots of charm and the people are very warm and welcoming.
An adventure of a lifetime with my bestest friend in the whole world! Kevin planned it out for us, which was a huge treat for me. I flew into Colorado to join forces with Kevin and then off we went!
Mt. Rushmore, featuring 4 U.S. carved into the Black hills, is absolutely stunning! The entrance to the national monument is free but it does cost a minimal price to park (and we got rock star parking near the entrance!)
While it was hot, hence the floppy hat donned by me, it was a picture perfect day in South Dakota! Kevin’s fit bit marked that we walked almost 2 miles around the site and it was well worth the tired feet. The park does offer plenty of photo opprotunities and places to relax and take in the views, which is awesome when you are with your bestest friend and want to soak it all in!
Along the walk way, each state is represented with a flag and a stone marker of when it was inducted into the USA, as a state officially, which is rather interesting. I learned that my home base state was inducted after Nebraska, which is suprising but both states were part of the Louisianna purchase, so all is good.
Kevin and I enjoyed the day thoroughly and even purchased a few postcards (will come in another post.)
While walking this morning, post work, I saw the most beautiful Hawk. He, I guess it’s a boy, is absolutely stunning.
While observing, I suspect the Hawk was hunting/searching for prey, mice and such. While he definitelty saw me, he was very polite and easy going. He moved over to the edge of a storage shed, squatting for a better view and he appeared to be a great hunter and well fed. South Carolina wildlife is most certaintly stunning and the unexpected view on my walking adventure was a big treat!
A friend gardens and shared her extra produce with me (which is awesome as I live in an apartment, sans garden).
This is a rendition of eggplant parmesan, made with stewed, simmered chunked and seasoned roma tomatoes, layed a piece of steamed tilapia filets, and egg washed and battered sliced eggplant, topped with parmesan cheese and steamed with a side of steamed fresh green beans (and a limed glaze)
2 carrots, pealed and sliced thin (or peeled thin)
1 large tomatoe, diced
3 TBLSP olive oil, split in half
2 TBLSP curry powder
1 TBLSP Dried Parsley
1 TBLSP diced freshed ginger
Slowly simmer the tuna fillet (from frozen) in half the oil, add salt and pepper
Mixe all the other ingredients in a sauce pan, simmer lightly and then add 2 cups of cold water and stew for 45 minutes on low head
Remove Tuna from skilltet, add the flour to make “roux” until browned and thick. Add the vegetable mix and simmer together, making it all thick. Put the tuna on a bed of mixed spring mix and top with tuna and a scoop of the curry vegetables. Serves 2-4, depending on how cut the tuna steak
(I easily found Curry powder in the International food and spice aisle at the local Ingles Market)
A new friend showed me a walking trail along the lake in Clemson, South Carolina, tucked away and out of sight unless you know where it is! The friends, being local, showed me the way and the easy access entry point, tucked away on a side street, one wouldn’t know it was there unless shown!
There it is, I am an admitted Jurassic Park Franchise Junkie, and it adds happy to my heart. As an early birthday gift, my Sweetness treated us out on a date night to see the newest addition the series, Jurassic World Dominion.
Yes, I am even wearing a dinosaur dress with velicoraptor earrings on our date night. I just can’t help myself!!!
A new sponsor! This is a first for this American Adventurer and blogger, we now have an official local sponsor!!!! Thank you, Bondsman Jones for your support!!
¿Necesita ser rescatado de la cárcel? Somos un hombre de bonos bilingüe en Carolina del Sur, con licencia y vinculado para ayudarlo a salir. 10% Servicio y planes de pago disponibles.
Ubicados en Clemson, Carolina del Sur, estamos disponibles las 24 horas del día, durante todo el año. Llámenos en cualquier momento al número de teléfono celular mencionado anteriormente. Damos servicio a todo el norte del estado de Carolina del Sur
Living near a watershed and Lake Hartwell and Seneca River provides ample opprotunity for critters and the like to wonder into my neighborhood, which is an absolute delight. The flora and fauna is also quite stunning!
Some of these items were seen as I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood and some things ended up on my porch, willingly to hang out with me! Life is always interesting.
The ingredients were all already in my house (I grocery shop only twice a month) and are all affordably priced from my local Aldi’s grocery store (except the spice jars, which I got at the local Dollar Tree or at Aldi’s)
1 pound ground turkey, frozen
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 can each of chili beans, great nothern beans, black beans (don’t drain)
1 tablespoon each of cumin, chili powder, parsley
Salt and Pepper
2 small purple onions, chopped up
2 jalepenos, chopped up
1 medium green bell pepper, small chunked chopped
Brown the turkey in the pot, add all the fresh vegetables to simmer while the meat finishes to cook.
Add all the spices and canned goods, simmer for 45 minutes to let it all “melt” together.
Can be topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar or my favorite, served with homemade cinnamon rolls
Yes, another one pot wonder meal to the rescue (and at an affordable price, too!)
I enjoy one pot meals because they are easy to make, affordable, and can simmer without being slaved over. I use easy to find, inexpensive ingredients too so we can all save our pennies for travel, adventures and other hobbies.
2 chicken breasts (2 cans of chunked chicken breast also work, whichever is found on sale)
2 bell peppers (or raw poblanos)
2 cans of red kidney beans (75 cents each at my local Aldi’s)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used the pre seasoned ones with oregano and basil)
2 toes of garlic, salt and pepper
Cook the chicken in a deep pan/skillet, until done, cut into chunks
Chop up garlic and peppers
Open cans of beans and tomatoes, don’t drain, add everything to the chicken pan
The state of South Carolina has so many wonderful venues that are easily accessible on a whim!
My Sweetness and I drove down to Charleston to pick up a motorcycle part from a dealership (while he is adventurous and rides a motorbike, I am not that brave. We drove down in a regular vehicle.) Since we were “in the area” hahaha, we drove to the Isle of Palms and enjoyed a good chunk of the day on the beach–thankfully, a regular grocery store wasn’t far off, so we popped in, purchased some bottled water and sunscreen, and off we went!
The Isle of Palms boasts a lovely, clean long beach, an intact pier and a great environment for hanging out, soaking in the sun, and enjoying the splendor of the strand. While I didn’t partake in the other amenities of the area directly, there are plenty available. I simply was enjoying building “ruin” styled sandcastles (I am no castle architect) but we did see dolphins as well!!
A small town, a small cemetery but a treasure to find while out exploring. The old trees are beautiful and the property is kept in very nice condition!! I didn’t find any local historical signs or markers so the history is unknown to me! Still a treasure!
My youngest brother came for a 2 week visit and, of course, a walk with coffee breaks had to be included! It’s always a joyous time to spend with loved ones with a bean buzz and fresh air. The sites and venues are always an added perk as well.
While here in the Upstate, I wanted to share some of the local awesome adventures with him…and he smiled the whole time. His smile lightens up the whole world and he is a fun, handsome guy (but I might be just a bit biased, being his sister and all!)
The photos are captioned of the places we attended. The conversations were endless!
A lovely day, sitting out on the veranda with a friend/brother and enjoying two of life’s greatest pleasures–coffee and ice cream.
I enjoyed trying something new–a Mayan Mocha…bursting with steaming flavors of mildly spicy chilis and robust brewed beans, it was a huge treat for me–mixing spices and flavors together that I had previously never had blended together. My brother enjoyed a regular latte and enjoyed the frothiness and flavor as well as he is Classic Cookie and Cream Ice Cream cone.
While the coffee and ice cream are superb, the conversation with my brother was amazing. We caught up on items, discussed hopes and dreams, laughed, told cheesy jokes (the only kind I know, of course) and spent several hours just having fun together in the comfortable outdoor seating. The Cafe boasted faux lawn under the table, which added a nice touch and color.
Adventures are always more fun with a friend and brother.
A Sunday Drive to a major vacation (anything over 7 days in my book) all require a bit of planning and forethought, even whilst winging it. Why? Well, no one particularly cares for being caught “with their pants down”.
Thus, here are a few tips that I think are helpful and I use them myself.
Have at least a general idea of where you are going.
Make sure you have adequate fuel in your vehicle/taxi fare/bus passes on hand
A bag/backpack, even if left in your vehicle, is a great way to keep stuff together
Keeping at least one cell phone with “directions” capable app on it or a paper map is helpful, we all need directions from time to time.
Comfortable footwear, with a spare set of socks
Keep a little extra of cash on hand for an impromptu cup of coffee or other last-minute need. We all need a relaxing break and sometimes that need sneaks up on us. Why cash? Sometimes after hours, vending machines are all that are available.
Keep a bottled beverage with you (and maybe a little snack, like nuts or something) or at least accessible.
Keep a reliable person’s phone number handy, in case you break down or need a pick-up.
Enjoy yourself and take all the photos you desire!
If you are taking a pet with you, remember to grab a leash and snacks/treats for the pet too and a water bottle and dish!
A tunnel to…. nowhere! The train tunnel remains as an incomplete project but it’s very fascinating, rich in history! Located just outside of the city of Walhalla, Stumphouse Tunnel was initially meant to be a train tunnel, but it was never completed.
At one point, Clemson University even used the tunnel as a forum for aging their famous bleu cheese (Clemson University Bleu Cheese and Bleu Cheese products are still available for purchase at local venues, groceries stores and such).
The more indepth history can be seen in the photos and via the videos attached. I hope you enjoy!
Chili’s roasted, cilantro, diced onions, freshly grilled chorizo and Alpastor, my mouth was already watering even before I could order at the window from the cherry red food truck.
The proprietor doesn’t speak any English but with my improving Spanish language skills, I ordered 8 tacos, 2 chorizo, 4 Alpastor, and 2 Asada–with 4 ramekins of salsa, 2 mild, 2 picoso (hotter) and guess what, my language efforts earned a gold star! I received exactly what I ordered and desired (it’s a true struggle when developing language skills to convey a genuine message when ordering food.)
I delivered said order to my Sweetheart’s house, and much to my delight, his Guatemalan Grandmother even approved and ate 2 of the tacos!
History comes to live in a graveyard and the history is richly embedded here at St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) here in Walhalla, South Carolina. Founded by a German emigrant in 1853 (which makes it older than my home state; Colorado was indoctrinated as a State in 1876).
The German Emigrant who founded the church wanted to create a place of worship for new and incoming fellow Germans, I am speculating as a way of integration and for creating a foundation for their lives in the new world (just as my opinion); what creates a better sense of belonging than a community of faith?
According to the historical marker (signs that are posted frequently around the Southeast, which is boundless in its history), the German Emigrant was General John A. Wagener. The history of his efforts and settlements can be read in the photos below.
The one particular headstone that really caught my attention was the one bearing the name Martin Luther Waldt. Why? Well, Martin Luther is the great German Reformation leader, creating what is now known as the protestant Church. While his intention was to reform the Catholic Church, noting such things that we are saved by faith alone (versus penance) and nailing his 96 Thesis to the doors of the castle church door at Wittenburg. His intent was to reform, not to split, but severance of the two did happen, creating the two factions we now know.
A Little Video allows one to hear at least the toll of one bell (I wasn’t quite quick enough to get the full set of bells tolling for 5 p.m.) When I was younger, my parents had taken me and my siblings on a family vacation to Germany (my first time being abroad); I often heard the bells chiming. I asked my mother why they rang so often, and her answer has stuck with me ever since, as I often sang along with the hymns or music that the bells performed. My mother said, Anna, those bells are chiming for you. Every time the bells ring, I can’t help but think they are especially for me, as if magically they knew I was there to hear them. Finding this graveyard created a full circle, so to speak, for me, having German heritage and being Lutheran, this happy happenstance couldn’t have been more perfect.
A day out with my grandfather, with local history, a great variety of plants, and even a stuffed mountain lion, it literally rocked as toured the Botanical Gardens and Geology museum–an extra nice perk? The venues don’t charge admission but do take donations (which are well worth giving!)
There is so much more to do and enjoy in Clemson, beyond going to a football game, and there is ample parking! The parking lot abuts to the gardens and is easily accessible, and most paths are handicap/scooter friendly for those who desire to go with some assistance.