Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I miss...

SANDY CREEK COE PARKJasper, TX 75951
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NO, I DO NOT MISS NEW JERSEY!!! 

FOOD:
But, there are certain conveniences of living in a highly populated state.
I miss Costco. I never did a lot of shopping there and probably never made up in savings to cover the $55. annual membership fee. I thought of that fee as more of an "entertainment" fee. I enjoyed going to Costco and finding new items that I don't find in a regular grocery store. Much of their packaged items are EXCELLENT. 
Such as...
I miss the tub of Chicken Salad. Very unhealthy, but very delicious. Lots of chicken chunks, with walnuts (I think), mayo, cranberries...mmmm. 
I miss the canned Salmon (boneless). This salmon comes in a can like tuna.  I love salmon salad sandwiches. 
I miss the huge bottle of Glucosamine/Chondroiton we use for our 8 yr old English Setter. This is a bottle of 375, 1500mg for under $20.

I miss the double pack jar of natural peanut butter. Almost every morning I have whole grain toast with peanut butter & jam. I also toast a slice with peanut butter and give to our dogs & an itty piece for our parrot.
Since I eat so much peanut butter, I thought it best to not use regular peanut butter any more with all the crap they add to it to keep it smooth and creamy. Natural peanut butter's only ingredients are peanuts & salt. Now that I've been using natural peanut butter, it is difficult to enjoy the regular peanut butter. It taste like a mouth full of grease.
I miss the Terra sweet potato chips. I can get these at Walmart I believe, but much more expensive. That reminds me that I love the sweet potato & beet chips (not at Costco) even better! I'll have to keep a look out for them. 
And this reminds me that


A close 2nd is Indiana Kettle Corn (not at Costco).

For those sheltered folks who've never had the pleasure of tasting Kettle Corn, it is popcorn that is salty & sweet.  The combo is incredible.






But, I've become sidetracked! This "what I miss" subject started, because 
I miss Bagels!!!! Oh, to have a lightly toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese. Please do not say I can get bagels in any supermarket. Those prepackaged, mass produced bagels fresh or frozen are just a glob of dough. I have yet to find a bagel store in Texas. That is one of the sacrifices I've made to not only live this full time RV lifestyle, but to also live in the more isolated, less populated areas.
The small sacrifice is well worth the HUGE BENEFITS of this wonderful lifestyle.
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FOOD: RESTAURANT REVIEW
Our Camp Hosts said that Cedar Tree Restaurant was very good. So off we went. Cedar Tree is a casual place with a friendly staff.
CEDAR Tree Restaurant on Urbanspoon  Started off with a huge heap of fried onion rings. Delicious. Nothing fancy about the batter, but it was tasty. The onions were nice and sweet. The dipping sauce seemed to be a combo of ketchup & mayo mixed together with some Cajun spices. Scott usually dips his fried onion rings in ketchup, but he liked the dipping sauce so much he didn't use ketchup this time. Plenty of onion rings for 2-3 people.Would definitely order this appetizer again.
Scott ordered the 12oz. rib eye steak. He normally doesn't order steak other than prime rib in restaurants, but since he was planning on having rib eye at home until I said we were going out, he ordered it.
Scott said it was one of the best pieces of meat he's had in a restaurant. He wished he could cook steak that nicely. His baked potato was perfect. His dinner came with a house salad that was larger than you'd expect a salad with dinner to be. We would order this meal again.
I had the Chicken Monterey over rice with a choice 2 sides. I chose mac & cheese and coleslaw. The mac & cheese was cheesy,creamy & buttery. The coleslaw was a sweet slaw & delicious. The chicken was moist with sauteed green peppers & mushrooms on top with a slice of monterey jack cheese melted on top. It was good, but average. Would probably opt for a different main course next time.
Water was served with ice & a lemon wedge.
Only complaint is although, Brooke, our waitress was very nice, she did rush us through even though the restaurant was not busy.  Our appetizer of onion rings came at the same time as our salad & meal. Then she gave us our check without asking if we'd like desert and/or coffee.
We plan on returning for their lunch buffet from 11-3.

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RV:
The campground is finally starting to drain. Because of all the heavy rain, we had small ponds (not puddles) throughout our section. Our site (#35) was fine.
The campground electric went out a couple of early evenings ago. Camp hosts went around letting us all know. Of course most, if not all already figured it out when our lights went out, etc.
We decided to go out to dinner & along the way saw the electric company working on a pole. Sure enough, by the time we got back, power was back on.



RV MODS:
We go from warm temperatures during the day to cool to very cold at night. The thermostat that came with the RV is crap! It works in that it does regulate the temperature in a general way. It has a sliding gauge that is not very accurate. I finally asked Scott if he thought he could replace it with a digital thermometer. He went out the same day and finished the job.  Wow! Scott is much better at completing "honey-do's" now that he is retired and only has the RV to worry about.
This new thermostat is working beautifully. I believe it has 4 programs you can set for on/off, temps, times, etc. We are very happy with the HUNTER PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT we purchased at Walmart for $24.99.
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CRAFTS:
Hopefully, we are out of this rainy period. Texas has presented us with mostly dreary or rainy days. Yesterday was almost perfect. I spent most of the day outside. In the morning, I made a campfire and the smoke was kind enough to stay away from me. Then for most of the rest of the day, I listened to podcasts and continued my counted cross stitch project.
Speaking of projects, I am still trying to use up the "chiengora" yarn (our dogs' spun fur). I don't think I ever mentioned who spun this up for me.  Check out STONYCREEK ETSY SHOP. Diane was a friend from the WHAT'S THE SCOOP, knitting night. What's the Scoop also has wonderful ice cream. Our favorite was the blueberry ice cream, but not always available.
Ryley 2001-2011
Lyla 8yr old

Left: English Setter, Right: Irish Setter

A couple of weeks back I finished DIAGONAL STRIPED SCARF, made with "chiengora".
A couple of days ago, I finished the TWIZZLER BERET, made with "chiengora"

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BOOKS:
Dangerous Love by Catherine Lanigan 
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fiction & "Romance"?:
SELF-love is the most dangerous love.
One man, three women. Each woman describing how they saw life leading up to and during their "romance" with the same man.
Also this man's point of view and what effect his death has on everyone.
Held my interest, but wouldn't really recommend as a good read.



AUDIO:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (#3 & final book of series The Hunger Games

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fiction, fantasy, suspense:
The first 2 books of the series were better, but of course you HAVE to read the final book. I've become so entrenched in the characters, you NEED to find out their outcome.
Unfortunately, the outcome was anti-climatic, but I must say more realistic, than my version of a more interesting ending would have been.
I highly recommend this series. This is among my top 10 books of all time.







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