Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Wanna know what exciting venture a couple of 30-something married folks do on Halloween night? Leave the candy bowl at the front door and head to their parents' home for dinner, LOL.

Maggie's cooking is something even a big bowl of candy cannot bribe me out of missing.

All day I was dressed as a devil. One of the grocery store clerk got a kick out of it. She giggled and told her co-worker, "Look, she even has a tail!". Halloween is the only time of the year that my true color really shows .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Role Reversal

I was running late one evening and got home ready to cook dinner but low and behold, I walked into a home filled with the sweet aroma of a home-cooked meal.To my surprise, John had been busy behind the stove grilling chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and corn. All I had to do was sit down and eat dinner, which I did with wonder and pride. I think this was the second time he made a whole meal for us entirely on his own (so I had to document this, LOL). And you know what? It was actually ... not bad . I finished my entire plate.

You see, we usually stick to what we do better. I cook, he does the dishes and cleans the kitchen but I think we may be able to swap roles every now and then. (As an afterthought, John said he should have made a terrible meal so I will never allow him to cook again, LOL. Too late buddy; I now know you can cook an edible dinner.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

West End Girl

On our one and only day together, John enjoyed a long ride with his cycling team. They met at a central location and rode to the Nevada/California state line. I slept in and when I woke up, drank my coffee and attempted to catch up on my blog posts.

When he returned from his ride, we drove to a sports shop to pick up a pair of cycling shoes for me. Having a pair is becoming necessary because I ride the stationary bike at the gym almost every day. The toe cages installed are usually missing straps to secure the feet to the pedals, which are important for the full range use of the leg muscles when pushing down and pulling up on the pedals (they also keep my feet from flying off when I'm spinning like a mad woman to Sandstorm).

My husband is fortunate enough to work and live within a few miles of each other on the East side of Las Vegas in Henderson while I drive West every work day. This part of town is where a few of my favorite places are located.

Our next destination was a place that John has never been (and I doubt very many people know about or have gone to). A Lao Market that he urged me not to visit alone. It is a great store but in a shady location near old downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street. Nevermind the fresh specialty produce and aisles of ingredients to make many of my favorite dishes--I was in salt heaven at the deli area!! We left with grocery bags full of papaya salad, sticky rice, pickled fish and all the treats I love to eat but rarely get to enjoy unless my sisters are in town (the can cook Laotian food so this is a real treat). The magic of salt can keep the food preserved while we head towards our next location.

The bigger treat for both of us was lunch and guess where? Pho Kim Long, our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Every time we are there, we think about trying other items on their menu but could never pass up on their specialty, pho!! And we are never disappointed.

After lunch we went to the rec center where I work out on the stationary bike so John could fit me on the bike with my new shoes. I was set for the week!

One last errand inside the mall led to a little shopping here and there so by the time we got home, we had a car load of groceries and shopping bags to unload. Boy, I am exhausted just writing about our day, LOL!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Milo's Cellar & Sidewalk Cafe

Who wants to pick up litter all morning and then go home to cook in the evening? Not me (just kidding, I would have) but John thought it would be nice for me to take a break. Dinner out also relieves him from doing dishes so we decided to go to Boulder City for a light dinner at Milo's Cellar.

We grabbed a couple glasses of wine while we waited for a table to open up at the Sidewalk Cafe.

This was the Saturday before Halloween so many of our friends were dressed up and enjoying a party somewhere. I hate to admit it but this year, I couldn't find the spirit to celebrate this holiday of trick-or-treating. I'd much prefer celebrating October and only the treats like an Oktoberfest or Purple Haze beer.

When we were seated at our table, we shared the Chianti Platter:
Salami, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella and aged provolone cheeses, pepperoncinis, Mediterranean olives, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts. Served with bread and extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar dip.

John had the Beef, Blue, and Dews:
Thinly sliced beef, melted blue cheese, peppadews, and garlic mayo, served on a hogie roll.

October is about cooler weather with temperatures in the high 70s, low 80s. It means we can open our doors and windows to allow fresh air in our house (the cats love being that much closer to the outside world where they can squeak at birds and quails). The trees that are able to, turn fabulous colors. More and more people flock outdoors to walk with their dogs or babies in strollers. I thought I might be able to take Havi for a stroll on a leash since she likes riding my shoulder around the neighborhood.

On this Saturday night, many others were dining inside Milo's Cafe or out on the patio where we were seated. Next door there were many sports fan gathered to share a beer or dinner of pizza, enjoying each other's company and their game. It was a perfect ending to my day.

Boxcar Crawdad Cove at Lake Mead

I drove to Lake Mead at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. This time not as a boater but as a volunteer in the Get Outdoors Nevada's group effort to clean up litter at the lake in the Boxcar/Crawdad Cove.

Passing many cyclists and bikers, I arrived at the check-in station and was greeted by a young, cheerful park ranger. She provided me with water, mini Cliff bars and several cards containing codes to download music from iTunes for free. There were also t-shirts, buttons and garbage bags for cars available. When the rest of the volunteers showed up, we each grabbed gloves, garbage bags, a bucket and one of those handy trash picker upper tools. We even had neck lanyards with a rubber ring to hold our water bottles!

Well equipped, I wandered off down the road towards the shoreline along with the other handful of volunteers picking up trash. There were grocery bags, cigarette butts, toilet paper, beer cans and lots of beer bottles (whole and broken). Some stood out like sore thumbs and others camouflaged into the landscape as if they were trying to belong to the desert. After all, they were discarded items that were no longer wanted.

Much of the litter was held captive by brushes and tumbleweeds so they were easy to spot. I felt like I was participating in an Easter Egg Hunt or playing a game of Operation but instead of pulling parts out of Sam, I was carefully pulling trash from shrubs, being careful not to damage the plants.

What I've found strewn throughout our desert the most were beer cans and beer bottles. Most appeared to be Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona or Rolling Rock (I don't mean anything by this; just a trend I noticed). Many were shattered against rocks, scattered like sparkling jewels decorating the desolate land. As strangely beautiful as I thought they were, they didn't belong there and so I spent quite a bit of my time close to the ground picking up the pieces with my gloves. But it was like picking up Humpty Dumpty; pieces I could never put together again. I didn't mind the tedious work. By then I had stopped listening to the quiet desert and had my earbuds in listening to tunes off my iPod. I wanted to take photos of the volunteers cleaning up to show you but it's not convenient to do with gloves on, a bucket on one arm, garbage bag in one hand and the trash pickup tool in the other. There is a photo slideshow on the Lake Mead National Park Service's website from previous volunteer efforts.

As the hours went by, there were just four people left including me. A gentleman, two military soldiers and myself. The day was getting warmer and I was grateful for my hat and sunglasses. Though I had slathered on suncreen, I am glad my long sleeve shirt offered extra protection against the sun and my pants saved my legs from the prickly brushes. By eleven o'clock, I decided to head back towards the check-in station with the two young men.

Along the way we picked up various parts for a car and so they joked that we were going to build a car from it. I had the to-go items for the lunch we would have in the car once it was built: a cardboard cupholder, a straw and styrofoam cup.

After we parted ways, I drove towards home. I was dusty, sweaty and tired but felt a sense of accomplishment and pride for the very lake that my husband and I have so often boated on. My car looked like it had been off roading for the first time in its life and I...I had a great time and would do it again in a heart beat.

(BTW: I'm aware that driving and taking photos is not safe but I know my camera so well to be able to operate it while keeping my eyes on the road. I just keep in mind that digital pics are free to take and if I were to wreck the car, it would really, really suck .)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Last week my husband and I were in the living room when John noticed a moving shammy (chamoise) in the kitchen. It was Havi looking like a lump underneath a Sham-Wow cloth. We called at her but there was no response. She was in her own world and probably pretending we didn't exist. So I grabbed my camera to take photos and a video.

In the video I asked in my cat-talk voice, "Where's Havi? Honey do you know where she's at because I haven't seen her all night." What she did next was so cute; I had to share.

Shrimp Salad

cimg0537, originally uploaded by Hello Daly.

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner but usually start out with a salad of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and green onions.

I sauteed some shrimp in a little butter, garlic, black pepper and a sprinkle of seafood seasoning mix.

For the dressing, I shook together vegetable oil, rice vinegar, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. We ended up having a meal!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Nails

Instead of getting the usual french manicure, I thought I would change the white polish for black. Then I thought that would be too Gothic so the nail lady thought to add a coat of clear, sparkly purple polish with hints of blue and green sparkle. I liked the result much better than my first idea. We added a skull to my pinkies for a touch of Halloween.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Card

A Halloween card from Aunt Jan and Grandma. It is SO CUTE with the spooky font and all!!!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Art Show at Lake Las Vegas

The weather on Sunday was absolutely beautiful; a perfect day to browse the art show at Lake Las Vegas. My husband and I met our family and browsed the vendor booths picking up gifts and a Mojave Green Turquoise necklace and earrings set (dyed to intensify the color) for me because I like green.

The show wasn't as large as the Art in the Park in Boulder City but there were still some neat stuff.

After browsing and shopping for a good part of morning, we quickly realized we were hungry. Sunset & Vines was nearby so we decided to try them for drinks and tapas.

Since it was a gorgeous day, we sat on the patio overlooking the lake. There was quite a buzz around us; sounds from tables nearby as others decided they were hungry too. I was comfortable in the shade and sitting with family I haven't seen in a while (or have never met).

The first round of drinks came, Tanqueray martinis with onions and olives for Jan and Grandma, Bloody Mary for me and so forth followed by the tapas.

We had a great time enjoying each other's company, food and drinks kept coming.

I was sad to part with those I loved so much but I am grateful for the time we shared.