American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, January 30, 2009

When bored, cook......

Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce

  • 2 t. olive oil

  • 1 t. minced garlic

  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes

  • 1/4 t. dried thyme

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets (I used fresh)

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute one minute. Season chicken with thyme, salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently until browned, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Add broth, cover and cook 5 minutes. Serve over rice. 2 servings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Time flies.....

I haven't posted since Sunday because there was nothing to post about. Even though it is pretty dull around here the days go by fast. It was a beautiful day today....bright sunshine, blue skies, about 65 degrees by afternoon. Sam went to Home Depot to ge a bolt for the Direct TV dish....the strong winds kept blowing it so that it would tilt down about 1" and lose the satellite feed. The original bolt was stripped and wouldn't hold tight anymore. With that done, I was able to watch the Speed channel most of the day where they had a program recapping some of the races (NASCAR) from the end of last year. The campground has free cable but the cable does not have Speed channel, a must for race fans. With Direct TV, we don't have the networks (or local channels) which I need in order to watch a few programs at night....American Idol, Grey's Anatomy, Desperte Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, "24", and Survivor when it comes back on. So, we have the cable hooked up to the small TV sitting on the dinning table and the satellite hooked to the big TV, which we watch the most. Yes, we could have the Networks from the East Feed or the West Feed for $9.99 more a month but we don't have this problem unless we are out of the Atlanta "umbrella" area. When in Florida or anywhere in Georgia, we get the Atanta local channels (networks) through the satellite feed.

Here's the two TV's on at the same time......not usually the case.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365 Day 77 - Spaghetti Pie

I found a recipe for Spaghetti Pizza Casserole that looked good. I just called it Spaghetti Pie. It was okay. I've made this from leftovers before and it was just as good. Just take leftover spaghetti noodles, mix in bowl with an egg or two and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Spread mixture in a 8x13x1" pan. Top with your choice of spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Bake about 30 minutes at 350. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Project 365 Day 75 & 76 - One Big Rig

This was one of the biggest rigs we've seen. The bus was huge and they were pulling a trailer with a full size truck and a boat and trailer on top of the truck. There was also a storage area on the trailer at the back of the truck. They were only here for one night. We heard they come here quite often to fish. The black and red colors are for their team at Texas Tech. They must be huge fans!

Couldn't get the entire rig in one picture. This is the trailer they were towing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Project 365 Day 74 - Us at the Gala

There is just not much to take pictures of around here. Same ol' same ol'.

Sam is working Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...10 hour he is off today and also Friday and Saturday. He doesn't have his uniform or hat yet. It will probably be a few weeks. Like anything with the government...the wheel turns slow! He says the job is very easy...rides a truck all over the park and up the Rio Grande River (part of the park, also) checking the garbage cans, bathrooms, etc. They did repair and paint a couple of signs yesterday and today. There will be more to do when the weather warms up some more. Now it is 70-80's days and 50's nights. Not bad.

Us at the Winter Gala

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Project 365 Day 72 & 73 - Bomb Dog

At the Winter Gala in Del Rio, the Air Force had a display area and this airman had his dog along. Actually, it's the Air Force's dog.....specially trained to detect bombs. He was muzzeled but was friendly to everyone....the dog, that is.

Nice puppy

Monday, January 19, 2009

Project 365 Day 71 - Old Bud

At the Winter Gala in Del Rio, Sam caught up with his old buddy, John.

Project 365 Day 70 - Palm Trees

Here's a shot of the sign at the entrance to the campground.

Love the palm trees...they remind me of Florida! They're NOT native here...they were planted. They seem to grow well all around this area but they do not grow naturally in the wild. (Only the cacti are native here). All around the shops, stores, etc., they have been grown in a nursery then transplanted.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

PHOTO HUNT - Theme for this week is Hat(s) - and Project 365 Day 70

Saturday…… the Winter Visitor Appreciation Gala at the Del Rio Civic Center. It’s given by the City of Del Rio, sponsored by the Winter Visitor Committee and lots of volunteers. All winter visitors to Del Rio are invited….and there are a lot of winter visitors in the area’s campgrounds. I’m told there will be booths and displays by the town’s businesses, entertainment, drawings, tequilla drinks and free beef brisket dinner.
The hats were made by some of the ladies at our campground and are part of the decorations for the tables reserved for all of us from our campground. There is a prize of $100 for the best decorated tables. I’ll take pictures of everything and post them later tonight.

So this worked out really good for the Photo Hunt theme!
Clickie here for more info on Photo Hunt.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Project 365 Day 69 - Desserts

Dessert Row from last night's Pot Luck.....yum, yum.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Project 365 Day 68 - Marinara

A good day for cooking.....
Today is overcast and chilly....a good day to make a big pot of multipurpose Marinara Sauce. Here are the ingredients.

The recipe came from Cooking Light Magazine a few years ago. It's great for any pasta dishes, chicken dishes, or even pizza. Also good for a dipping sauce for bread or crudites and as a spread on a meatball sandwich or burger with provolone cheese.
The best thing about this marinara is it's low fat and low calories. And for Weight Watchers, it's 100% Core with no points.
Basic Marinara
Use a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Recipe yields 12 cups. Cook at low simmer - just a few bubbles every few seconds will yield the deepest taste.
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion (3 med.)
  • 1 T Splenda
  • 3 T minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups fat/free less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 (28-oz) cans (no-salt added, opt.) crushed tomatoes

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add splenda and next 7 ingredients (thru fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Yield: about 12 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup).

Calories 50; Fat 1.8 g; protein 1.3 g; Carb 8g; Fiber 2.1g. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze up to 4 months.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Project 365 Day 67 - Steak

I always forget to take the food pictures until it's half eaten, but here is our 'homemade' steak dinner with baked potato and salad. This makes up for the not so great dinner out on Saturday night.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Project 365 Day 66 - Amistad Reservoir

Amistad Reservoir

The lake is so big it is hard to get much of it in a picture. It has more than 850 miles of shoreline, 540 of which are in Texas. The US/Mexicn border follows the bed of the Rio Grande through the lake. Summer is definitely the busy season for the lake with motorboats, sailboats, and houseboats as early as the end of February. We're looking forward to seeing the sailboarders when the weather warms up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Project 365 Day 65 - Holiday Trav-L-Park

Here's a few pics of the campground. It's almost full.....just a few spots left. A lot of snow birds coming South for the winter.......except every night this week will be in the mid-30's. No snow though, so I guess that is why they come. Some have boats and they go fishing every day at the lake across the street.

No dieting here! Saturday morning was Pancake Breakfast with biscuits and sausage gravy. (That's regular every other Saturday). Tonight was "Campfire" with hot dogs, hamburgers, marshmallows, biscuits on a stick with jam. (That's regular every Monday night). Every other Thursday is a Pot Luck dinner where everybody brings a dish. Tuesday morning is Ladies' Coffee (with sweet rolls of course). And I'm sure there is more we haven't heard about yet!

Of course to offset all of that is weekly Line Dancing, Exercise classes, and water aerobics when the pool opens in March (brrrrr?). Also for your enjoyment is Bingo, Pokeno, Crafts, and plenty of walking and biking,!

I have felt a little under the weather for a day or two so we haven't been anywhere since Saturday when we went to Wal-Mart. Maybe tomorrow we'll ride over to the lake and take some pictures. It's very scenic.

That's us on the left, above

Some of the 120-plus sites

Project 365, Day 64
Saturday was Sam's 66th birthday so last night we went to a local Steak House for dinner. Not very good. We won't go back. Prices were higher than Longhorns' for steak ($20.99 +) so we had chopped sirloin and hamburger steak. I could have made better at home! There was brown gravy poured all over the hamburger steak for some reason. The waiter never once came around to check on us and we even had to go the counter to pay without our ticket because he never brought it. Funny thing is, the place was packed?? I thought Texas was supposed to have good steak/beef. Maybe we're too close to Mexico. There are probably 40 Mexican restaurants in town! No Longhorn's though. We may stick to Applebee's or Chili' least we'll know what we are getting.
(Posting pic of Wright's Steak House tomorrow.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Project 365 Day 63 - Mars?

I thought we were in West Texas but I believe we made a wrong turn and ended up on Mars!

Nothing..........for as far as you can see!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Project 365 Day 62 - Coachmen

We're at Del Rio, Texas, at the Holiday Trav-L-Park. We drove straight through from Port Lavaca (Magnolia Beach) and arrived here about 5:00 pm. Got situated, heated up some leftover spaghetti, found we have no cell phone service with Nextel but do have internet service with Sprint Data Card, talked to Sprint online, told we have to get Sprint phones (instead of Nextel) to have service here, made plans for tomorrow (to-do list), and now we're going to bed! Pictures tomorrow!

Set up in the campground

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Project 365 Day 61 - Magnolia Beach

Some pictures of Indianola and Magnolia Beach.

The water is pretty.............can't say much for the beach......mostly broken shells and rocks. I guess they got some Hurricane damage also. There were a lot of emply lots for sale. We're leaving in the morning and heading further west away from the coast.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Project 365 Day 60 - Port Lavaca

We've arrived......

We're staying at Oceanside RV park near Port Lavaca, Tx. This is a fairly new, small park with 8 or 10 paved sites and 6 others that the owner just has finished working on. We're on one of the newer sites because all of the paved sites are full. There are a lot of parks in this area of Texas and most seem to be full up with snow birds! We'll be here until Friday, to explore the area, then head over to San Antonio.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Project 365 Day 59 - Last LA sunset

It rained buckets this morning so we decided to wait another day before packing up. This is a nice little park (Holbrook Park, Lake Charles, LA) and the price is right at $6.00 per night. Tomorrow we're heading into Texas and will probably turn South and go down the coast for a while. There's a couple of parks at Port Lavaca that are supposed to be nice....right on the gulf beach or across the road. From there we'll head up to San Antonio for a couple of days then on to Del Rio. It's a 3-day trip from here to Del Rio but we have over a week to get there so we'll take time to sight-see on the way.

Here's a shot of the sunset our last night in Louisiana.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Project 365 Day 58 - Cameron Prairie NWR

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

On a lighter note..........we stopped at another wildlife refuge which didn't have as much damage as Sabine. Cameron Prarie NWR is small at 9,621 acres but is located at the convergence of two major flyways for migrating birds. The refuge is comprised of marsh, coastal prairie, and old rice fields. Normally there is an auto-tour route but the interior roads are still closed due to Hurricane Ike last September. Road side pull offs are still open for tourists, as well as the visitor center.

This turtle is called a red eared slider.

On the lake at the Visitor Center

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Project 365 Day 57 - Holly Beach, LA

We went on a road trip today to a couple of National Wildlife Refuges in southwestern Louisiana. Here's what we found instead:

Holly Beach, Cameron, Louisiana in September 2005....

Holly Beach 9-23-2005, after Hurricane Rita...

The few families who could, began rebuilding after Rita. Then 3 years later, here is what Holly Beach looked like in September, 2008, after Hurricane Ike.

Here is what we saw of Holly Beach today...

A few homes are repaired. A few live in travel trailers or motor homes. It was very sad. Mud still covered most of the side roads and lots. There is no sand, no grass, no flowers, no bushes. Just empty poles sticking up out of the mud and puddles of water.
Holly Beach is just one example (probably the worst) of this area of Louisiana. We thought the Gulfport area was bad but it was nothing compared to this area.
Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
The National Wildlife Refuges???........The largest, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is currently closed to all public uses because of damages sustained during Hurricane Rita (in 2005). "All of the office buildings, visitor center and maintenance shops were damaged beyond repair and have been removed. There are three remaining structures at the headquarters area that will be repaired." Worst of all....."West of Hwy. 27, Sabine refuge canals and marshes were severely impacted by storm wind and water. Approximately 32,000 acres of refuge marshes, levees, and canals have been negatively impacted. Canals and marshes are clogged with seven million cubic meters of debris from off shore rigs and coastal communities. There are both physical and chemical hazards present throughout the refuge, many of which have settled below the marsh and water surfaces. Tanks and barrels containing hazardous liquids and gases have the potential to explode or break down and release toxins into the environment. Over 1,400 hazardous material containers have been identified and are estimated to contain between 115,000 and 350,000 gallons of hazardous liquids and gases. Public safety is the primary reason that Sabine NWR is still closed."

Project 365 Day 56 - Cardinal

Saturday, January 3, 2009

There are lots of birds in the campground.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Joining up with Smokey

Where are we going next??

Smokey knows!!

Sam has a position with the National Park Service at Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, Texas, on the Rio Grande River. He begins January 18th. We will gradually make our way to that area over the next week or so. We got the call on New Year's Eve....Happy New Year to us!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Project 365 Day 55 - Holbrook Park, LA

We are currently at Lake Charles, Louisiana, staying at Holbrook Park in Calcasieu Parish. This is a small Parish owned/run park on a lake. There are only 12 sites, all with water and electric, mostly used by locals for weekend camping. The good part is the fee is $12 per night but only $6 with Golden Age Passport. The campground host, Chad, and his wife are very nice. All the State Parks in Louisiana also give a 50% discount for Golden Age Passport which is a very good deal. More states should do it! I will definitely get some pictures posted here tomorrow.

Here we are, backed up to the lake.

Our view from the back window

Great Egret

Lake view from rear of camper

We spent most of today in a RV service center. The electric tongue jack on the trailer wouldn't go up or down so we manually hooked up the trailer to the truck and drove about 8 miles to the nearest service center. They could not repair, only replace, the unit for $395. We have the extended warranty which will cover this item but we would have to pay the dealer and get reimbursed from the insurance company. We opted to wait to get this done once we are settled in Texas. In the meantime, the dealer 'gave' us, and installed, a manual jack to use on the tongue and only charged for 1/2 hour of labor. They were very nice. If you are ever in the area of Lake Charles, LA and need RV service, look up Kite RV Sales and Service.