Our view

Our view

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Crops On The Farm

It is hard to believe that we have been away from the farm for almost two months now and so much has changed since we left.  When we left in early April it was just starting to get green and now everything is green, thanks to the pictures by Lisa, and the crops Lisa and George have planted are starting to grow.  Lisa and George had their first picking of cherries and now it looks like the fruits are starting to really grow.  Great job George and Lisa!  We can't wait to get a chance to eat some!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sea Glass Hunting

Jenny loves sea glass and so when we go to the beach we look for sea glass.  Thursday we were at Barber's Point where we found some great sea glass and yesterday we found some at dog beach.  I did not expect to find any there but we did.  So today may be another sea glass hunting day.  Jenny wants to make some jewelry out of some of her sea glass.  We attempted it about a week ago but had little success but with the right tools I know she will make some beautiful pieces.  Check back and see what we find!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The USNS Mercy Hits The Arizona Memorial

So a couple of days after blogging about the USNS Mercy I have more to report.  As it was leaving  port Wednesday morning to head out to sea it, along with one of the tug boats guiding it, ran into the Arizona Memorial.  The Memorial and the ship itself had little to no damage done however the dock area had severe damage and so now the Arizona Memorial can only be looked at by boat at least for the next week or two.  The whole incident is under investigation but the eye witness details are that the ship and one tug ran into the Arizona Memorial.  I had reported that the Mercy is the second longest ship in the Navy and from the eye witness accounts they were trying to turn the ship around in the harbor.  I guess we will not know whose fault it is until the investigation is over.  I hope the Mercy's journey got better after a rough start.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Jenny's Day

Today is my daughter Jenny's birthday and I want to take this opportunity to wish Jenny a very Happy Bitrthday.  We love you so much and we are so proud to have you as a daughter and mother to our Rory. You have been a wonderful daughter and have made us proud of you since the day you were born.  Thanks for being such a great daughter, a wonderful wife and a great mom!  We love you Happy Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

And Now I Have Two

Lisa let me know the other day that the Crafty Cottage is the place to hang if you are a luna moth.  She text me the other day to let me know that I have to come up with another name because the first luna moth had a friend.  Since they only live for seven days I am glad that they got to spend the week end together.  I was joking about naming my pets and since it seems that the Crafty Cottage may continue to be home for some of this kind of moth I may as well name them.  The first one I am calling Lunar mostly because that is what I was calling the moth anyway.  The second I am naming Junior.  So Lunar and Junior be good and mind Miss Lisa until I return!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The USNS Mercy

While we were touring the USS Missouri we were on the 5th deck and we noticed the USNS Mercy Hospital ship was coming into port.  It was really a sight to see especially on Memorial Day.  The ship is huge and since it was coming into port the entire crew stands at attention on deck while sailing in port and docking.  The USNS Mercy is the lead ship in its class of hospital ships in the US Navy.  It was named for the virtue of compassion.  In accordance with the Geneva Convention the Mercy and the crew do not carry any offensive weapons but defensive weapons are available.  Firing on the Mercy would be considered a war crime. 
The Mercy was originally built as an oil tanker, the SS Worth, in 1976.  In 1984 the SS Worth was renamed and converted to a hospital ship and was commissioned in Nov 1986 at the USNS Mercy.  It is the second largest ship in the US Navy fleet by length surpassed only by the nuclear powered Nimitz.  The Mercy's primary mission is to provide rapid, flexible and mobile acute medical and surgical services and support to the Marine Corp, Army and Air Force troops deployed ashore and Naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat.  It also provides medical services for the US Government during disasters or humanitarian relief.  It is based out of the San Diego Naval Station and supports the Naval Hospital while at port. 
It was an added bonus to watch the Mercy come into port, especially while we were on the deck of the USS Missouri.  We enjoyed touring the USS Missouri and highly recommend it while on Oahu.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Thank you to those who served and have lost their lives while serving to protect our country and allow us to live here free.  They made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  So please take a moment today to think about all those who gave the lives for us.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Crafty Cottages New Pet

So even though we have been gone from the farm for about 6 weeks life goes on at the Crafty Cottage.  A Luna Moth has taken up residence outside the Crafty Cottage door.  So, not knowing anything about this moth I should find out a few things.  Number one, they live in North America from the GreT Plains to the Northeast and as far south as central Florida and parts of Mexico.  Depending on where they live they can have one to two generations. It looks like the one that has taken residence at the Crafty Cottage is a one generation.  It should live for about 7 days.  So welcome  Luna moth;  I guess I need to name you!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Cannonball Tree

We were at Waimea Valley yesterday day and on our hike to the falls we came across this tree called the Cannonball Tree.  It is from the Amazon area and is part of the Brazilian Nut family.  The fruit from the tree are large heavy globes that grow right from the bark and are very heavy.  There is some flowers on the tree that are only alive for one day.  They have a beautiful scent that you can smell even when you are not even close to the tree,  The fruit is editable but not very paletable  They are chopped up and fed to the cattle.  It was really an interesting looking tree and the one day flowers are beautiful.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Blues Of Waikiki Beach

We went to Waikiki Beach yesterday and had a great time.  The weather was beautiful and the water was several shades of blue. It was really gorgeous and the waves were pretty high too.  The beaches at Waikiki are white sand but once in the water you have to watch for the coral.  We did find one area that we want to go back to and that was an area along the beach that had seawalls protecting it so the waves don't get into the area.  It is a perfect spot for babies to play in the water. We had a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

North Shore On Oahu

On the North Shore of Oahu there are several beaches that are absolutely beautiful with white sand and clear blue water.  We went for a drive yesterday up to the North Shore and we were expecting to see some large waves but I learned that the really large waves are only in the winter.  The rest of the time the beaches are calm and ready for people to enjoy and enjoy they do.  One of the unique things when driving in and around Haleiwa is the shrimp trucks that are everywhere.  There are food trucks all over the town but a lot of them just sell shrimp.  Haleiwa is a surfing town and several of the stores in the area rent surfboards.  We had a great lunch at Cholo's Mexican restaurant then we headed to check out as many beaches as wee could. It was fun but there was so many we finally had to call it for the day.  We will be heading back up to the North Shore for some hiking and swimming in a waterfall.  New experiences; we are having so much fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grocery Shopping With Rory

We got to take our first solo trip with Rory yesterday to the Grocery store, the Commissary, on Hickam AFB.  It was not a long trip but we were glad that Jenny and Nate were comfortable enough with us to let us take Rory with us.  We found one of those shopping carts that looks like a car and Rory loved it.  She was perfect the entire time and she just smiled and waved "Hi" as we passed some of the other shoppers.  It was a short trip but we still loved every minute of it.  Thanks Jenny and Nate and thank you Rory for just being you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rory's New Ride

Rory got some great presents for her Birthday and one that is really cool is the Little Tikes Princess Coupe. It is a  car that can be pushed or pulled as she "drives".  It is adorable and Rory seems to love it.  We decided to take her for a long walk in it yesterday and we walked to the Exchange on Hickam.  Rory just kept her hands on the steering wheel like she was actually driving.  It was so cute.  First Grandpa started out pushing her then Dad did.  When we got to the Exchange Nate switched the handle so she could be pulled on the way home.  Mom and Dad were in charge of that.  It was fun to take a walk with Rory and it was also good for all of us.  I know there will be more because Rory will want to drive again.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aloha - The Movie

Jenny and Nate received four free tickets for a pre screening of the movie "Aloha".   It was fined here on Hickam AFB and various spots on Oahu. Since t was filmed here they decide to treat some of the personnel to see the movie before its release on Friday May 29th.  The theater was packed and  before the movie started they had some pre entertainment of hula dancers from the school that they used as part off the movie.  The Star Spangled Banner was played after that and it was a very patriotic feeling standing with the men and women who serve for our country all standing at attention while our National Anthem was being played.  After that the movie started and it was pretty good.  It is not going to be a summer blockbuster but it is a great movie for date night, or family night.  It stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Jon Krasinski and Alex Baldwin. When we were here for Christmas of 2013 the film was being filmed here and at the lighting of the Water Tower both Bill Murray and Emma Stone were there to help with the lighting and now we know why they were there.  Go see Aloha, it is a feel good movie.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rory's 1st Birthday Is A Success

Rory had a great 1st Birthday with wonderful friends to help celebrate.  It was on a private beach at Hickam AFB and Jenny and Nate did are great job planning and hosting the party.  The food was good, the location was beautiful and everyone had a great time.  Rory was dressed like a hula dancer when she first arrived at the party then changed after her smash cake to open presents.  She was really good through out the party and she ended her party with a little walk on the beach with Grandpa.  It was a great day and I am so happy I could be here to celebrate Rory's Birthday; we love you Rory!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Rory!

Today is my Granddaughter's 1st Birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY RORY!!!  We love you so much and one of the happiest days in Grandpa's and my life was a year ago when you entered this world.  You are so precious to us and we are the luckiest Grandparents to have you as our granddaughter.  You are one years old today and this is going to be an exciting day all for you!  Happy Birthday Rory!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Crafty Time For The Rory's Party

We started a project Wednesday night but we got too tired to finish it so yesterday Jenny and I finished it and it looks great.  What am I talking about?  Jenny bought a large gallon + jug to make her special adult beverage for Rory's 1st Birthday party.  It is her own recipe that she put together when she was working at Hurricanes during her College years and it became so popular Hurricanes added it to their drink menu.  Anyway, that jar was a little plain and we wanted it to look special so we did some decorating.  We glued the starfish to the lid then hot glued twine to the jar then added some more décor on the twine.  It turned out great!  Check back tomorrow for more party prep fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

We Are In Hawaii

We are in Hawaii, on Oahu, and are so happy to be here with our daughter Jenny, our son in law, Nate, and our beautiful granddaughter Rory.  She is an amazing little girl who turns one this Saturday.  I cannot believe it has been a year since we have been here but I can sure tell by the way Rory has grown that it has.  She took to Tim right away but it wasn't long before she liked me too.  Needless to say we are over joyed to be here and cannot wait to get things started.  I did receive my Mother's Day gifts from Jenny, Nate and Rory and they spoiled me.  Along with a membership to Weight Watchers I also received a Fitbit, a beautiful heart necklace, a Lily Pulitzer cell phone case and a key chain with a picture of Rory.  I loved it all.  Today we will be busy shopping for Rory's Birthday party and then Friday starts all the prep work for the party on Saturday.  We are loving it here and this is just the first day! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Bird Sanctuary

George and Lisa have been busy building a Bird Sanctuary between their garage and back porch.  What started as a muddy filled area with saw dust has been transformed into  a pretty sanctuary for birds.  They have planted plants, placed a bird bath, put a split rail fence around the area and have bird houses and feeders placed through out.  It will be a nice area!  Great job George and Lisa!  The pictures look great; I can't wait to see it in person.  Today we leave for Oahu, Hawaii where we will be visiting Jenny, Nate and Rory and celebrating Rory's 1st Birthday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Crafty Creations From The Farm

As many of you know I have a beautiful Crafty Cottage at the farm where I have spent hour after hour working on all sorts of crafts.  The last few crafts I worked on we're for Pam's SAS and they were a hit.  The door prizes were very popular and the candy filled paper mugs was loved by all.  What surprised me was the Hershey kisses filled butterfly.  It was a door prize that only a few won but the ones who did loved them.  So all the hours I put in creating things in the Crafty Cottage do pay off.  Once I get back to the farm there will be a lot more cards, door prizes and surprises especially since Pam has given me a whole new supply of stamp sets, inks, paper and other goodies!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Another Mother's Day Is In The Books!

I had a wonderful Mother's Day and I want to thank everyone who I spent the day with, facetimed, talk to on the phone, text and the many greetings.  You all made my Mother's Day so special!  A special Thank You to Tim, Pam and Brian, Mom, Craig and Karyn and the Dillon Family for spending the day together.  I also loved facetiming with Jenny, Nate and Rory not once but twice yesterday and getting to talk to Carrie over the phone.  I may not have had my girls with me on Mother's Day but I sure did feel their love.  Of course getting to spend another Mother's Day with my Mom was special and I feel very blessed to have celebrated with her.  It was a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

This will be a quick posting so I can say I hope all my Mom friends and family have a great day.  A special Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, my mother in law and my daughter Jenny.  Have a great day andI love you all very much.  Happy Mother's Day to All!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Farm Babies

There are new babies at the farm.  The bird's nest that Lisa discovered above one of the tool sheds lights has new babies.  The eggs have hatched and Mommy bird will be celebrating her first Mother's Day this Sunday.  Lisa thinks there are three or four baby birds in the nest. The nest is actually in a very safe place and should not be bothered by other predators so the babies should grow and be able to stay right here at the farm.  Welcome new baby birds!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Coca-Cola Pork Roast

Yup, it's another recipe and it is a good one and very easy to make.  I have used this recipe several times and every time it turns out good and is also a hit with whoever is dining with us.  My sister Pam's SAS is today and tomorrow and we are going to make pulled pork for dinner/lunch.  In doing so we will be cooking about 9 -11 lbs of pork.  We went to Costco to buy the pork loins for two reasons; 1) the meat is great and 2) it is also very reasonably priced.  We bought two large pork loins each about 9 lbs each.  I cut the first loin in half and cooked a pork roast in one crock pot and pulled pork in another.  Here is the recipe for the Coca-Cola Pork Loin Roast:

4 to 5 lbs boneless Pork Loin
12 oz can of Coca-Cola (not diet)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons mince garlic

1. Place the pork loin in the slow cooker
2. Pour the coke all over the meat
3. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the roast
4. Stir mixture
5. Add the rest of the seasonings on top of the roast.
6. Cover and cook the roast for 7 -8 hours on low or  4 hours on high.
7. Remove the pork loin and carve.

Tips for serving
Save some of the cooking juices for gravy

That's it!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Setting Up For The SAS

Pam's May SAS is this week end and yesterday began the set up of this event in the house.  Pam uses her Dining room, Living room, Kitchen and Garage for the event.  In each area there are tables set up for making the different cards.  Each area has its own tables, lights and supplies and Pam keeps this organized for having a large tote for each area with everything needed for set up.  Yesterday we set up two areas the Dining  and Living rooms.  The kitchen this time will be for food prep and serving dinner/lunch and the Garage will be the other table for cards and also have tables set up with all the items Pam will be selling; it will really be a garage sale.  The end of May is the end of the year long Catalog for Stampin Up and the new Catalog breaks in June.  This is the time of year Pam sells her retired stamps and accessories and orders new items from the new catalog.  It is a bitter sweet time because sometimes you lose some of your favorite stamp set and colors but then the excitement of all the new stamp sets and products that become available is exciting.  Today will be more set up and finishing all of the fun stuff for the SAS.  The next few days are going to busy but fun.  Check back for updates and pictures!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

One Pan Dinner

I have another great recipe that is so easy to fix and is really good and it is all done in one pan.  I got the recipe from Pinterest and it is definitely a keeper.  Prep time takes about 15 minutes and cook time is an hour.  The ingredients are really easy and once it is cooked it is delicious.  I don't really know what to call it so I will just say it is Oven Baked Chicken Dinner.  Here is the recipe:

Oven Baked Chicken Dinner

Four Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
8 -10 Red Potatoes, cubed
20 0unces Green Beans, fresh, frozen or canned
One package of French Onion soup mix
One package Zesty Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a 9x13 cake pan or casserole dish place the chicken breasts in the middle of the pan.
Place the cubed red potatoes on one side of the chicken
Place the green beans on the other side of the chicken
Sprinkle the French onion soup mix on top of all three ingredients
Sprinkle the Zesty Italian dressing mix over all three ingredients
Pour the melted butter over everything
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour

Here are some helpful tips I have learned in preparing this recipe:
It may take more time than one hour in some ovens.  Check the potatoes and chicken to insure both are cooked.
I prefer using the fresh green beans
This recipe can be cut in half and the results are still delicious.

Give this a try for an easy and delicious chicken dinner. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I am involved in a card club that is called the Crazy Card Club.  It consists of 14 ladies and each month we have a theme then we each create one card but make 14 of them.  I send out 13 of the same cards (one card per member) to each of the CCC members and in return I receive 13 different cards.  This month's theme was a Thank You card.  I created mine today and this time because it is a Thank You card I made a few extras because I always seem to need a Thank You card.  I have been in this club now for at least 10 years if not longer or whenever it started.  Hmmm, I just realized I am one of the founding members and I think there is only 2 of us left.  The talent of the members is amazing and I look forward to receive fun snail mail each month.  If you are a stamper and looking for something like this let me know and we can add you to the club.  One more thing; Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Here in California it is a big deal!

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Beds Have Been Planted

George and Lisa spent the week end planting the beds they prepared to grow an assortment of vegetables.  They decided that they would plant several different vegetables to see which ones grow the best so next year they will plant the best crops. So they planted corn, green beans, peas, beets, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, romaine lettuce, bib lettuce, celery, radishes, spinach and turnips.  There is still one more bed to be planted which will be potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, cucumbers, squash, butternut squash and zucchini.  So, like a said, a variety.  It will be interesting to see what happens at harvest time.  Unfortunately, there were some casualties in the planting of the vegetables.  Several bugs and gnats sacrificed their lives to bite up Lisa.  She got so many bites, especially around her neck and arms that she had to wear a turtleneck to Church to cover her swollen bites.  Thank you Lisa.  Check back on the progress of the crops and harvest time.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What A Way To See A Movie

I don't know what is better seeing a first run movie at a movie theater that only charges $5.00 a person or seeing a first run movie at Cinepolis, a luxury movie theater.  I guess both is great.  With a $5.00 ticket fee we have seen more movies than usual in Newport, TN and seeing the Avengers; Age Of Ultron at Cinepolis tonight was great.  Cinepolis seats about 50 people per theater because the have full size recliners as seats; very comfortable.  Also that have table service for food so there is no waiting in line for Popcorn and a drink.  You just go to your seat and press a button and someone from the wait staff will come to take your order.  There are even a couple of 21 and over theaters where you can actually order wine, beer or a mixed drink.  It was a great way to see the new Avengers movie.  Although, if we were home, seeing the Avengers for $5.00 is pretty sweet too!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Night For The Dogs

We took the dogs for a walk along the beach in  downtown Carlsbad last night.  They have been so good and we thought they deserved a night out so we made an evening out of it.  While Tim, Pam and Brian were walking Shadow, Maddie and Gunnar I sat on a bench along the beach and watched the sunset.  Last week I had a small accident at Zion National Park while hiking up a rock cliff I lost my footing and ended up falling the rock and sprained my left foot and wrist.  I also tore up my knees that have a beautiful case of road rash.  After the walk we had dinner at Hennessey's Tavern in Carlsbad.  They have a huge patio and they are dog friendly.  Scott, Carrie and Peyton joined us for dinner and we had a great night together.  So did the dogs until it got a little late.  I think we wore out Shadow and Peyton.  See the picture to the right.  It was a good night; thanks Pam and Brian.

Friday, May 1, 2015

More Stuff Is Growing

I received a few more pictures today of more fruits starting to show up on the trees.  It is good to see especially with the kind of winter we had but maybe all the snow and rain has helped the growing season.  We will still have to wait and see what the summer brings and hopefully not bugs to eat the trees and plants.  If everything makes it then this fall there will some yummy homegrown fruits and vegetables.  Way to go George and Lisa!