Mad Cooking Skills

I stopped cooking when I married a fine dining chef, and so my skills are kind of rusty now, but I do love cooking a fantastic meal to enjoy and making it low carbohydrate, as that is how I am eating now, its an extra wrinkle that can only benefit me. Low carb is the way to go, for those who are diabetic and trying to control their numbers, which I am, also I hate shooting up insulin 4 or more times a day and if I can avoid that, well, we all win.

My favorite meals to cook and enjoy are still alot like the ones Mom cooked as I was growing up and as a young adult. I wanted to make a list of the dishes I enjoy the most so I won’t forget how easy they are to make and how delicious they taste,  so here goes:

Stuffed Mushooms – made with sausage, onions and a little cream cheese, broiled, yum.

Rameki – water chestnuts with bacon wrap, under broiler, another yum.

Crab cocktail – omg, my favorite part of Christmas dinner, sublime.

Vegetable omelet, with onions and asparagus a bit of cheese.

Beef Stroganoff – I like it over rice, with lots of onions and sour cream, 5 yums

Spaghetti – homemade with hamburger and lots of onion & garlic

Quiche – rich with eggs, cream, bacon, spinach, cheese, overthetopyums!!!

Flan – A crustless quiche made with the same ingredients as quiche, add bread tho

Roast vegetables – coat in olive oil and bake til golden

BBQ  really any kind of delish meat cooked to perfection, open flame

Kalbi Chicken or Ribs – great Korean eating with sesame oil marinade, a secret

Pies of every kind – Banana, pumpkin, lemon, chocolate cream the biggie is the crust

Pasties – a Cornish dish made w lots of pie crust & meat & potatoe filling, not lo carb

Funny little steaks –  Moms name for those steaks w the cut bones, she bbq’d them

Rice Krispie Chicken – omg Dredge pieces in butter then crushed cereal, bake 1 hr

Crepes – my all time fave are chicken and avocado with mornay sauce, not easy

Goulash – brown meat, add egg noodles, can corn, olives, tomaotes, cheese, kitchen sink

Roast turkey, chicken, beef – season, put in oven, watch til cooked, simple stuff & good

Candies – Mom made holiday candy, cookies, cakes to enth degree, Tina carries on trad

Fruitcake – the kind you love, w whiskey & kept in closet for 6 wks, so dang good

What are my absolute favorites, besides all of them? Oh golly, the candy, the rice krispie chicken is way up there, pumplin pie, especially the praline,  the quiche, crepes, I think I reeled in my last husband with those stuffed mushrooms tho, he still talks about that night.

I’m so glad I made this list, I have been meaning to for awhile, now when I need an idea of what to cook (hahaha) I can look at this list and find something I know I love. Heart shape.







Endlessly Knackered

Why      Knackered?

Yes, I had to look it up. I always find it very interesting to encounter a word I am not at all familiar with today. When I did read the definition of knackered I realized yes, that is me, almost all the time. I invariably feel knackered from when I wake up each work day morning imparticular,  until I fling myself onto the king size every night, or afternoon if I just cannot stay upright another moment.

I haven’t always been  knackered, it just feels like I have, but it is important for me to remember my essentially pre-knackered life. When was that exactly? Lets think about this one,  for a moment.  As a youngster I would leap out of my bed, pre-dawn,  some days and throw myself into whatever I had left off on the night before, it was often music or an art project or rarely school work.  I had bloody, serious stamina.

In my 20s I could literally work all day, dance all night at the disco, stay up and party into the wees, sometimes I worked a demanding part-time job after my other demanding eight hour job, or I would go to classes, then party before sleeping a few hours and then, get up and do it all again the very next day!

It literally boggles my mind to think I was able to do that day after day after day, year after year, ad nauseum.  When exactly did it all change? Well in the 90s I took custody of a little boy, who was the absolute light of my life, and who seemed to age me visibly. Mom tired, there is nothing like it.

Also I was working twelve hour shifts then, as a hotel concierge in Maui and that was exhausting work and I was in my 40s by this time.  Next,  I was diagnosed with diabetes, so after my initial, horrendous shock and crying for days,  my vigor was replaced with well, not vigor. So it became more difficult to face ordinary tasks so easily, I felt bogged down and indeed I was knackered, I just didn’t know it. I said, hey! I’m tired, oh well, so sad, too bad, no one listened, so I carried on with my work.  Waking up tired became de rigueur.  I worked on the diabetes, I continue to work when I should be retired today and I deal with feeling tired nearly every waking moment.

Today, I woke up knackered, I will be knackered all day, even when I take my 1 hour noon rest I will be knackered, then I will stay knackered until I get home after 6pm and fall into the bed, knackered.  It’s so exhausting.


    In other words, I’m knackered.







SF Giants #beatla

A sweet walk off win tonight! I just love Hunter coming thru and how great to be sitting in 10th with bases loaded and zero outs. You could smell Victory for the San Francisco Giants !

Cueto kept it real, limiting the damage to keep us in contention. He didn’t get the W but we did win, he pitched 6 good innings.

Hating the smurfs is a sport I excell at and we can win this series if we beat them again tomorrow, oh yes please.

The enemy is ringless and we have 3 World Championship rings!!  Adding on another ring is a doable goal, if they keep the energy up like it is now. If the rook, Arroyo continues to contribute and Morse comes off the bench to blast the long bomb, tie it up late, and everyone plays up to there ability we are absolutely in the hunt to fill up that hand with another sparkler.

So proud of our #sfgiants !

Digging for my Roots


Chinese banyan tree has amazing roots.

On being a party to my own untangling of Roots.

How did I get here? Who is the progenitor of my bloodline? How do I untangle that big bunch of Hamrick’s from Virginia anyway? And was great grandpa Samuel J. Wright actually hatched from an egg or does it just feel that way?

Researching my family history has been the most nerve-wracking and thrilling endeavor of the last 20 plus years of my life.  I definitely had an interesting introduction, and a completely  captivating beginning into the sport of genealogy.  Back about 1995 I was planning a trip to NorCal from my home in Maui, I was to spend a few weeks with my sister, away from the preschool where I was teaching (ie. young children to stay safe primarily).  So I was not very surprised when my sister suggested a side trip of several days, driving up to Northeast Oregon on the trail of our father’sbirth father, who we had always wondered about and never ever met.

In fact, I would discover much later this trip would be much larger than your basic genealogy excursion, we were going to learn of the man we had only known previously as,  The O’Neal.  He was the much maligned absent father of our father, who was rumoured to be a ne’er do well bootlegger of the most heinous variety. Our grandmother and our father both hated him from what I could tell, so we were now on the trail of this family famous mystery man who’s surname carried our true bloodline. Our father had been ‘adopted’ by Grandma’s second husband, although no proof of true adoption was ever discovered. So our last name at birth,  was different than our bloodline name. As teens we were assigned to do a wee bit of family history research, I think its in 8th grade in California, which was when I first found out about the O’Neal. So I used to write out my name, inserting O’Neil or O’Neill or O’Neal in fancy cursive writing with my own given name. I even thought about changing my name so I could have my ‘real’ name. Especially when I was mad at my Dad, which was pretty often.

My sister filled me in on this trip when I arrived in California. We were going to travel by Country Squire, with my sisters mother-in-law in the drivers seat, and my aunt as well. We were hunting for my aunts father, as my uninterested dad had recently passed on. She was intently interested in locating any information about the now newly revealed Charles E. O’Neall, the father of our father.  My sister told me she had requested his death certificate from Oregon and had been sent a certified copy, with his name and with the name of his death informant on the death cert also, a man named, Walter Primm. When my sister located Mr. Primm she talked with him on the telephone and arranged for us to drive to Oregon to meet up with Walter. He was 90 years old I believe, and had known Charles O’Neall for decades, had known our grandmother and her parents as well and said he was looking at a photo of Charles in his living room, ‘right this second’. Obviously my sister had found the correct person for us to learn about our secret grandfather.

So we left California for the long trip to Hermiston, Oregon on a cloudless June morning, three adults and two young children, my nieces who were genealogy veterans, to my neophyte. We stopped the first night in Bend, Oregon, to break up the trip into manageable bites as my sister and her mother-in-law waxed poetic about previous genealogy jaunts they had enjoyed, which I had read about in their previous correspondence. In short order we arrived in Hermiston, checked into a less than glamourous motel and called Walter Primm who said he would be right over to meet us.  He was great, my aunt was visibly moved by meeting him and he invited us to his place as well. As it would turn out we were very fortunate to locate him and visit him when we did.

So many things happend on the trip, from a midnight “Elijah!” moment to visiting all the places Charles had lived and worked to finding Walter’s niece and her cache of our families photos, to be regaled with stories of muddy, first dates by carriage and a man completely in love with our grandmother. We traveled to Le Grande to see the house our Dad was born in and the nearby graveyard,  to see the very freshly planted tombstone of our grandfather who’d been gone 8 years already. Someone obviously had that tombstone inserted very recently perhaps in honour of our visit.  Most impressive we learned of the true character of our grandfather and the proof of his life. He was a virtuous man who did not re-marry until he reached ager 60+ and then he married Walter’s sister Mamie Primm. He had been a railroad engineer for 30 years and had traveled to Sacramento to find his youngest of four, babygirl Patty at her school and tried to see her. We saw there were photos of our Dad and his siblings when they were several years old, someone had sent him a few photos. We learned he had gone with our Grandmother about 1930 to Sacramento but had returned to Oregon at his own Mother’s behest. That struggle was real and my Dad and his siblings lost that battle, as Charles O’Neall stayed in Oregon and lived until 1987, which means we ALL could of known him.

I recorded by hand everything Walter Primm told us and wrote a piece about the adventure so I would not forget the details. I questioned Walter who had very wonderful recall and seemed to enjoy our visit as much as we enjoyed meeting him, and  in a way, meeting our grandfather through his intimate recall.

Walter Primm was happy glad to be of help, and we were very grateful for his stories and knowledge of our family history, all provable and easy to understand. And we were just in time, Walter passed away the following Spring, just seven months after our visit, I am so glad we made it on time, and am sure he has since filled in our Grandpa on a very meaningful, genealogy trip.

So this was gnealogy then?  I was informed that this was much more than basic family history research, this was uncovering the past and answering questions so many of us had, and laying to rest the bad juju that can happen from slanted, prejudiced opinion of people and the role they play in our lives. We could have had a grandfather if we had been told the truth, my Dad could of had a father.  Who knows why things happen? He did desert the family, he did choose his mother over his wife. But he was not a boot-legging devil man with no redeeming qualities. He was a human, with flaws and wonderful characteristics too. He gave most of his money to tele-vangelists, and he gave his small fortune and property to his nephews by marriage, the Primm boys.  And when his niece in Bend, who gave us a wealth of family history in photos and stories said, she would sit at his feet, by this time he was blind and had limited mobility, and she would ask him? “Don’t you think you have grandchildren somewhere?” He would wistfully answer, “ohhhh, I probably do at that.”  He’s not alone in his wistful longing as I wish I had known my Grandpa too.

And this is why I dig for my roots.
























I’ll just leave this right here for luck.

Tonight our, #sfgiants  play our first game vs. the dreaded smurfs and we are going to need to pull this Win out tonight!  

It’s been a rough start to 2017, a very humbling beginning, which I believe builds tons of character!

I wish I was at the game. As always I’ll be watching every hit, run and out as I have forever. 

I love my San Francisco Giants!

No Zip at All!!!

I got no Zip!!!

Thats the North shore in the background

I will try desperately NOT to be whiny this weird Monday morning in NorCal. I have 26 more days of work  then I am off until late in the year. I do work short assignments when they come up, to augment my paltry monthly income, oh oh, sounds whiny to me. Step right over that for a minute. My pace is slow when I am employed, I do not do much other than work, go home, rest and get ready for work again the next week, just like this last weekend. I did laundry, made healthy meals, cleaned up parts of the house, watched baseball and movies, laid around like a tired person. In other words I got no Zip.

When I was younger, I could literally work all day at the library, go home and rest an hour and then go out at night to dance, maybe even go to a class or work a part time job. That is not happening anymore, in fact I can barely make it through an eight hour day at the job. And it’s not like its hard work, sitting at a desk, doing clerical work and answering a phone for a big elected official.

I watch kids play and wonder how do they do it? They don’t even look like they feel tired at all to me, boundless energy. Youth really is wasted on the young. They do not appreciate how getting older feels, how you slow down, well, how I slow down. It is what it is I suppose. Maybe I am just mourning the loss of my youth and wishing I felt full of energy again.

When I did have zip, I could ride a bike for many miles, swim a million laps, dance all night long, or walk from West Sacramento to my home in mid-town, many miles away. Walking along with a friend, you really notice the neighborhood too, the flowers in each yard, how they smell, sweet and sour at the same time. A unique color someone has painted their front door, or a cheery Welcome sign in a friendly neighborhood. I could swim all day long at Kam III beach in Kihei, where I was lucky to live from 1995-2004.  I really did have zip then.

So what am I going to do about it? Since I sincerely want my zip back, I have already started eating better. I am doing the low carbohydrate thing. This not only benefits my weight but it helps to stabilize my glucose, which has been way out of whack for over a year. So for me it starts with eating to live, not living to eat. Big step. And not an easy one either, I am surrounded by food temptations and married a chef, and those things are sometimes counter-productive to trying to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Luckily my hubby chef is onboard and helping me with yummy veggie omelets in the morning and packing me a low carb lunch. He knows what I can and cannot eat on a paleo like food plan. But he is not home a lot of the time so I am left in a house full of crap food on the weekends.

I want my zip back, I need to feel better and be healthier, my diabetes numbers are off the chart and if I do not keep up there will not be a solo rv trip for me at all. Also I am going to need some zip.








High Heels as Spikes

Spike This!

While some ultra high heel shoes are intended to be walked in while wearing, for me, the only way I can wear these is laying on my back in a bed. This pair of heels could also be used as a weapon in a pinch.


Most podiatrists agree these heels could do real damage to a womans’ feet, but oh! they do look tasty. The sheer height of the heels and the spikey construction of them lends a feeling of danger to these expensive shoes.

Why wear shoes that have spikes? Just ask a foot fetishest that question and they will give you an impassioned oratory on the blessings of high heel spikes.


These look fantastic to me, but frankly I would be afraid of attempting to walk across a room with them on my feet. They look like it would be easy to tip over if I tripped on so much as a wrinkled pea. But really, What an Impressive Entrance! Tongues would be wagging from here til Tuesday. And in case the end of the night comes along and the woman wearing these heels has ‘sent the wrong message’ she has that handy, dandy spike to remind her stalker that she was wearing these shoes to show off tonight and not for him at all. Besides, she cannot wait to lock her double bolted front door behind her and kick those suckers off and make fists with her toes on the flokati.

For a kinky fun night out at the newest sexy, fetish club a gal may opt for the latest in high fashion kink attire to wow the boyz and girlz. These spike heels essentially speak for themselves and could be very dangerous if worn while intoxicated or for that matter, while dancing.
But aren’t they INCREDIBLE? Indeed, I can only wear them whilst laying on my back.


In the final analysis spike heels are a 20th century invention meant to draw ones attention to our divine lowest extremeties and transform those who have hobbit like feet into something of a fantasy and wonderment and it succeeds mightily. I am inclined more toward the conservative spectrum when it comes to footwear, and if I can stand up in them mores the better.

However if footwear was politics, I would definetly be interested in those spikey, crazy looking ones that could kill with a single blow.

Ha! I love fishnets with garters also and these are very sexy high spiked heels.