Friday, July 25, 2014

Mahler's Bakery Low Carb Diabetic Bread

Is good but very gas inducing. Very.

We went to get some lunch yesterday, there being not a whole lot in the house in the way of lunch type food and me being (as usual) too lazy to fix anything anyway, so after much discussion we ended up at the Black Bear Diner. The food is okay, nothing all that special about it, just a little fancier coffee shop type food, but the atmosphere is nice and the wait staff usually very friendly.

Keith ordered breakfast and I got the tuna chef's salad, a different twist to the usual chef's salad with meat and cheese on it. The tuna was a little bit too fishy for my tastes but it was an okay lunch. Keith actually had breakfast, real corned beef hash with real corned beef in it and big potatoes, not the uniform chunks of meat and potatoes that come out of a can.

Anyway, we were in the same parking lot as Lassen's Health Foods, a place that I rarely go into because it's just way too expensive and crunchy granola-ey, but I wanted to get a loaf of low carb bread and that's the only place that I know of in town that carries such a thing.

The low carb bread is on the same shelf as delicious looking cinnamon bread with frosting, thanks Lassen's, but I resisted the cinnamon bread and got a loaf of a bread called California Lifestyle Vegetable Protein Bread that says on the label Good For You! and A Good Source Of Fiber.

It's made with wheat gluten, soy flour, almond meal, etc. and has flax seed, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and a bunch of other vegetables in it. I usually steer away from things with flax seed in them because it does a very gassy number on my stomach, but I figured I'd give it a try.

I toasted the bread, and with a liberal spread of butter on it, not half bad. A little dry but not bad at all except for the having gas (bad gas) a few hours later that lasted the rest of the day.

It is a little weird to see little chunks of bright orange (the carrots I presume) in your slice of bread, though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Strange Day Weather Wise And A Road Trip

Very weird. It is noon here and it's only 75 degrees outside. My windows are open and there is a nice breeze blowing and the air conditioner is turned off and while I know it will get warmer as the afternoon goes by, it certainly is unexpectedly pleasant right now. It won't last long, it's supposed to be about 102 by Saturday, but I'll certainly enjoy this nice weather break while it lasts.

We were both really bored on Sunday afternoon, Keith having slept after a night shift for most of the day and me spending the day not feeling like doing much of my usual things that I do when he is sleeping, things that don't make too much noise. I was thinking how nice it would be to just go for a drive and he must have been reading my mind and suggested doing just that.

We drove the back way across town, not really having a destination in mind, then out by the river and the big park there, and then a left turn onto the highway, and up towards the mountains and the highway into Lake Isabella. As we were starting up the narrow canyon road, with rock mountains on one side of the road and a plunge into the rocky river on the other side of the road, a highway patrolman came up and around us with his siren on and lights flashing and we kind of went oh no, an accident or other tragedy up ahead.  As you drive into the mouth of the canyon on that very narrow road, there are big signs in both English and Spanish that tell you how many people have died on the Kern River, which is a very rapid river with swift currents, incredibly huge boulders, and lots of rapids and whirlpools. Every summer someone goes into the river and never comes out, and that is what the sheriff was driving towards that day.

We slowly passed a fire engine, ambulance and sheriff cars on the side of the river, the road still being very narrow in that part, seeing people standing on the side of the road looking down into the river, and as we passed by a helicopter was preparing to either land in the road or drop some search and rescue people down into the canyon. We did find out later on the news that yes, another apparent drowning in the river, a 19 year old man who had been spending the day swimming and jumping off the huge boulders into the river went under and never came back up. They searched until dark and again the next day and probably still have not found him. Very sad way for a summer's day to end.

The rest of our ride was not quite so sad, we hadn't been up Hwy 178 in a few years and I had forgotten how pretty but scary the road is until it finally widens once you get out of the canyon. We drove up around the lake, which is so sad looking with the water level being so low. Dead trees were sticking up all over the lake, trees that normally would be under lots of water, there were no boats out on the lake, probably because it's not really safe with all the dead trees sticking up, and only a few campers parked along the banks.

We took the Caliente/Bodfish road back, another road we had been on before but forgotten quite how long it was and how many hairpin turns there are as you are coming down out of the mountains. You pass the little hamlets of Bodfish and Havilah, with signs along the road warning that cows do wander about unfenced. We did startle two young bucks along the road but no cows wandering about. About halfway down the mountains you come out into a huge mountain meadow area called Walker Basin, which was just beautiful, all ranches and high desert type plants with the mountains surrounding it. We saw a few abandoned homes and lots of for sale signs and then we did see some unfenced cows, a little calf and his mama who were on the side of the road, having crossed over from their field where the rest of their herd was to get at some nice green weeds. As we passed out of the basin, we did see a very successful looking ranch, with a big beautiful house on a knoll and fields and fields of grazing cattle below.

After the basin you come down more mountains, more narrow winding roads, and I couldn't wait anymore, I made Keith pull over so I could go down by what is supposed to be a stream on the side of the road but of course no water in it and take an emergency bathroom break. Nothing like watching out for cars while you are trying to pee by the side of the road and also not get any pee on your shoes. There was no way I could wait another 45 minutes or so until we got back to civilization, though. Fortunately I had my pants back up before a car came along.

We didn't get back into town until about 8, not having left our house until 4 or so. A lot longer trip than we had really planned on, but it was so nice to see some greenery and trees and a couple of deer and wandering cows.

We really should start keeping a camera in the car, though, there would have been some nice pictures to go along with this story! Either that or finally get a fancy picture taking cell phone.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What's Been Going On Around Here?

Not a whole heck of a lot.

Mimi (and Buddy on occasion) has been sleeping in her new boot box cat bed all day every day. The few times she gets out of the box Buddy takes over. I guess the box is just the right size for kitty cats.

Genie (the murderess) caught a bird the other day that was innocently eating seeds at the bird feeder. I had just happened to glance out the back door at the moment of capture, she jumped up and got that poor little bird right off the edge of the feeder, which is actually a bird bath but works really well as a feeder. I disposed of the bird and she kept going back to the kill site looking for it. Then she killed another one a few days later, so I put the feeder up on a stack of paver bricks to make it too high for her to reach. So far no more dead birds but a rather frustrated cat.

Keith got home from work in the middle of the night yesterday and was sound asleep by the time I woke up around 6:30. He woke up for a little while in the middle of the day and checked the lineup and it looked like he would be going back out in the early evening so he went back to bed and slept all day long. He got up long enough to eat some dinner and watch a little TV and then went back to bed. His call time got moved back a few hours and he ended up going out on a 3am train. I think he got enough sleep though!

This morning Mimi was tired of waiting for breakfast so she sat outside my door and meowed very loudly over and over and over again. MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW. It worked and I got up and fed everybody.

It hasn't been as hot the past few days so on Thursday I did the front yard mowing and weed whacking, then yesterday tackled the back yard. It's mostly dirt where it should be grass, so no mowing involved but I did get the Webster spiderweb remover brush thing out (which works really well if you have spiderwebs) and knocked down all the webs on the patio cover and fence, then swept up all the cat hair that Genie has been so copiously shedding, also the stray leaves and such here and there. Then, despite the extreme drought and the don't wash down things that don't need washing down rule during a drought, I washed off the patio bricks and garden furniture. I've also been watering the front yard on a daily basis, I know we are supposed to let our grass go brown but if you do that in this neighborhood you get nasty letters from the homeowner's association about how you need to water your grass. It is starting to look greener out front, the dead spots are slowly filling in with grass.

I did research fake green spray for the dead spots in your lawn and they do make such a thing. I've been sorely tempted to just spray paint the front yard. Someday we will get rid of all the grass and get that fake grass that looks incredibly real. The town of Wasco a little north of us has been replacing the grass in public areas with fake grass and it looks great. It also saves someone having to mow the median of a very busy highway that runs through town. I'm sure the public works gardeners aren't too thrilled about possibly being put out of a job by fake grass, but it sure saves a lot of water.

Other than the usual home maintenance, keeping the house sort of clean, feeding cats, cleaning cat boxes, we really haven't done anything. We go out to eat once in a while because I am too lazy to cook and really hate cooking anyway, but this week we are trying not to spend any money because payday is still a week away, so pretty much staying right here at home.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Cat Bed

We went shopping at Walmart on Sunday afternoon, which is a bad time to go shopping anywhere let alone Walmart. Keith needed to get some new work boots and there were a few other things we needed, so Walmart it was and if you are really bored you could sit out front of Walmart and watch people all day long. You do see some interesting folks there. Like the time I was coming out of the store and a man and a woman were coming in with one of those kid shopping carts with the big plastic kid seat thing on it, kind of like those carts with the kid car in the front of them. There were no kids sitting in the big plastic seat, but the full grown woman part of the couple was. Or the heavily tattooed girl we saw as we were leaving whose jeans were so tight and so low cut that she had quite a plumber's butt going on. A plumber's butt that squished out over the top of her way too tight pants. Or the couple that at first we thought were lesbians but then realized that one of them actually WAS a man. With quite the man boob chest thing going on. Both had lots of tattoos of course because hey, why buy your kids some food with your welfare money when there's a tattoo parlor open somewhere?

Anyway, after lots of trying on boots while I not so patiently waited, Keith found a pair that were comfortable enough. When we got home he put the boot box on the floor and about two seconds later Mimi had found herself a new cat bed.

She slept in that box for quite a while that day.

Then yesterday I had my box of ribbons sitting on the bed and hey, a box of ribbons looks like a good place for a nap, right?


Every time I watch the news this time of year I wonder why the weather reporter doesn't just phone it in because the weather is basically the same every day. It's hot, folks. It was hot yesterday, it will be hot today, and yes, it will be hot tomorrow also. Just put up a big sign that says IT'S FREAKING HOT! and that's all we need to know, you can take the day off and sit by the pool with a glass of iced tea.

Monday, July 7, 2014

One Cat In The Yard

Sing it!

'Our house is a very very very fine house. With two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy cause of la la la'

Every time I see one of our cats in the yard I think of this ancient Crosby Stills and Nash song. We loved this song way back in 1970 and could listen to it over and over and over and over again.

I was getting ready to water the yard yesterday morning but decided to wait a bit since Lucy looked oh so content and peaceful laying in the flower bed. I just couldn't disturb her, the yard could wait a while longer for a drink.

This is the view from the front porch. I can't believe how tall some of the wildflowers are, about four feet is my guess since I didn't get a tape measure out. You can see the gray monsoon clouds in the sky, the monsoon clouds that dropped a little rain over the city according to the weather report last night, but if they did it wasn't in my part of the city.

I would really much rather have a beach or mountain or lake or river to look at across the street rather than houses and cars, but I don't think that will happen in this lifetime.

Keith had a bit of a surprise at work the other night, well, morning actually. They had brought their train in from Barstow and as it was leaving the yard with a new crew aboard Keith did what they call a roll by, where he watches the train leave for any problems with it and then gives the crew a good to go. As the last engine is going by at the end of the train (no cabooses anymore, but usually an engine or two at the end of the train for extra power) he sees a little Filipino woman sitting on the steps of the engine waving at him as she goes by. Keith is all What The Bad Word That Begins With F! and radios the engineer to STOP you've got a lady sitting on the last engine!

She had ridden the train all the way from Barstow sitting on the engine's steps. The trainmaster went out and spoke to her, telling her that he wouldn't call the police this time but get the heck off of the train! And don't do it again!