A Day at the Petersen Automobile Museum


Los Angeles is home to many museums of all types. The Petersen Automobile Museum is one for car buffs and curious minds alike. It is a three story museum showcasing exhibits of vehicles of different categories and it makes for an interesting day out.

This is the third time I have been to the Petersen. The only complaint I have is that one used to go to the museum and see more cars for the admission. Now, the first floor is devoted to “the vault”. In order to get into “the vault”, one must pay extra. Other museums have done this as well, such as the San Diego Automotive museum. It always makes me feel a bit jipped though. Why can’t everyone see all the displays for the same price (that is already enough money)? Well, needless to say, we did not pay the extra to visit “the vault”, however, we still had a nice time.

There were so many wonderful vehicles at the museum. I like the unique cars or cars with different features. I very much enjoyed the three wheeled Electric Shopper of the 1960’s. A car designed for a shopper, now that’s my idea of fun! I also thought the 1993 Isdera Commendatore 1121 (only one of left) was interesting, with the side-view mirror mounted on the roof, visible to the driver through a transparent panel.

Electric Shopper

I am including the following Harley Davidson for Melie. (I hope you read this!) I saw this and know that you like to post woman motorcyclists. I found this interesting….

So, if you like automobiles and other vehicles and are in or around LA, why not stop by the Petersen and take in some car history. You may learn a thing or two, as did I. Who knew they used to make a hair dryer that worked in the car! Genious!

Car Hair Dryer

As always, Happy Driving!


Avocado Fries


Watching an episode of Next Level Chef, I was intrigued by one of the chefs saying they were adding a side of avocado fries to their dish. Avocado what? Yes, there is such a thing and they are quite tasty.

I found a recipe for avocado fries at: https://gimmedelicious.com/healthy-baked-avocado-fries-chipotle-dipping-sauce/ and gave it a try. The recipe was simple enough, very similar to making fried zucchini. Simply slice the avocado, coat it in flour, then egg, and then panko. Put these onto a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with oil or spray with cooking spray, pop them in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes and voila, avocado fries.

I served my fries with a mixute of mayo and ketsup. Yum! I think even children would find these french fry alternatives a tasty treat.

As always, Happy Cooking!

Movie Review: Shirley Valentine

movie review

Shirley is an English housewife in her forties. She has started talking to the wall in her kitchen. Oh, she’s not crazy, just board with her life.

Shirley’s adult children have moved out and it is just her and her husband. Her husband only seems interested in what is for dinner. Steak on Thursday, every Thursday, rain or shine.

A flashback to when Shirley was a girl, long before married life and children, introduces us to Shirley Valentine. Shirley Valentine was a girl with guts, not afraid to say or do what was on her mind. Whatever happened to this Shirley Valentine?

Knowing Shirley has always wanted to travel, her friend, Jane, who has won two tickets to Greece, invites her to accompany her on the trip. Shirley doesn’t think she could possibly get away. After all, who would cook her husband’s steak on Thursday?

Greece ends up being just what Shirley needs to stop talking to the wall. She finds her old self, Shirley Valentine, again. She is now enjoying life and feeling useful and happy. But what of her life in England?

Shirley Valentine was a delightful, light, and amusing movie. It makes one think of not just living one’s life, but really living life to the fullest, not loosing one’s self along the way. I would recommend watching Shirley Valentine for a nice getaway.

(Picture from: Rotton Tomatoes site)

Gaza Mon Amour…A Valentine’s Day Movie Review

movie review

It’s February and love is in the air. Wanting my movie pick to reflect on the holiday, I chose the movie Gaza Mon Amour. A drama with a touch of romance.

Gaza Mon Amour debuted at the Venice Film Festival, September 5, 2020. It is in Arabic with subtitles in English. It is a drama with political messages as well as a romance and a touch of good humor throughout.

The movie takes place in Gaza where the main character, Issa, a 60 year old fisherman, is highlighted. He goes out on his boat, hauls in his load and goes back through a check point each day on his motorcycle/truck. ( I mention the vehicle because I thought it most interesting. ) On one such occassion, Issa hauls a Greek statue out of the water instead of fish. He decides to keep this treasure, which proves later, not such a wise decision. Issa decides it is time for him to find a wife. He has a woman in mind. As he tries to charm her, he is constantly interupted by one thing or another. Will he ever get married and what about the statue? Watch Gaza Mon Amour to find out.

I really liked this movie. The main character was very easy to like and to sympathize with him. The movie was done very well and I thought about it afterwards, which is not always the case with movies. It gave a perspective on a different culture from my own. It was serious, romantic, and funny all wrapped in one package. I highly recommend Gaza Mon Amour.

(Image from: cinema.de)

Making Bib Overalls from a Pants Pattern


I am a big fan of bib overalls. I also am a fan of corduroy. Put the two together and I have a favorite new addition to my wardrobe.

I found a perfectly cute, to die for pair of corduroy overalls at Free People. I excitedly took them into the fitting room. My bubble was burst when I went to pull up the bib and it was way too short. Ah the problems of being a tall gal. But don’t worry, I got my overalls afterall. I made them myself.

I started with a mauve colored corduroy (about three yards if I remember correctly) and Vogue pattern V1731. From there I made the pants but lengthened them so they were full length instead of capris. I left the front of the pants waistband unfinished. I attached a bib that I drafted to fit the width of the front of the pants. I put elastic in the back of the pants as per the pattern and added straps that crisscrossed in back and were attached with fashion buckles. The nice thing about the elastic is, is that there are no side buttons to worry about.

These overalls made-up quickly. The pattern worked out very well for adding a bib. I plan on making the pattern again, this time linen capris.

As always, Happy Sewing!

Next Level Chef


Chef Gordon Ramsay has another new cooking show on television. This time, Chef Ramsay is competing with Chef Nyesha Arrington and Chef Richard Blais to see whos team can produce the next level chef. Each taking turns to pick their team after the first competition.

The teams are randomly assigned to one of three kitchens. The top level is any chefs dream kitchen, fully equipped to meet their needs. They also have first dibs on the food that passes from floor to floor on a lift. The contestants have a mere 30 seconds to grab all they can to make their dish before the lift goes to the next level.

The middle level is a nice enough kitchen without all the bells and whistles. Probably nicer than your home kitchen. Chefs on this floor have second dibs on the food.

The bottom level is not nice by any means. The knives are dull and the Chefs have to make due with what little equipment they have. The big bummer is that they have last dibs on the food, usually the leftovers that are harder to cook with. They have to work harder to make their meals shine.

The famous chefs are mentoring the contestants hoping that one of their chosen chefs will win the competition and make them look good. Compared to the other cooking shows, this one may be a bit more stressful for the contestants, as they have hardly any time to come up with a meal plan and even less time to gather the ingredients. Throw in some unexpected twists or having to cook in the bottom level kitchen and the fact that the top chefs are competing and this could be a highly stressful situation, but fun to watch.

If you love cooking and like to watch Chef Ramsay’s other cooking shows then tune-in to Next Level Chef for even more cooking fun.

(Photo from: https://hollywoodlife.com/2021/12/07/next-level-chef-first-look-gordon-ramsay-preview-video/ -The key art for ‘Next Level Chef.’ (FOX) )

Roasting Peanuts


I let the peanuts (I harvested from the garden) dry for a couple of weeks. Now it was time to roast them. I set the oven to 300 degrees F and got started.

First I got out a colander and rinsed the peanuts. To get all the dirt off, I scrubbed them with a vegetable brush. Then I set them on a towel to absorb the water while I got out a baking sheet. I placed them on the baking sheet and popped them into the preheated oven. I set the timer for 20 minutes and watched them like a hawk. I was not about to ruin my first and only batch of peanuts.

Rinsing Peanut

My directions said to roast the peanuts for 20 to 25 minutes, but to check one to see if they were done. After 20 minutes, I popped one in my mouth. Chewy, not crisp. Back in they went for another 10 minutes. I tried another and popped them back in the oven. I think the roasting time was closer to 35 to 40 minutes.

Once out of the oven, I let them cool and served them with dinner. Everyone enjoyed the peanuts. To me, they tasted extra fresh. I really enjoyed them. I just wish there were more of them. This planting season, I plan on planting a lot more peanut plants. Watch out Planters!

Fresh Roasted Peanuts
Roasted Peanuts in the Shell

As Always, Happy Gardening!

P.S. — Check out my earlier peanut posts to see the entire process.

Traveling to Death Valley


Death Valley. The name does not sound like a welcoming place. I imagine it is not very welcoming in the summer, with temperatures well above one hundred degrees. However, Death Valley is quite welcoming in the winter.

The destination of our family trip was Death Valley, Nevada. This was not going to be a glam trip. I figured that out with a little research. It would not exactly be roughing it either. Here is the thing, we would be staying in Beatty, Nevada, just a little outside Death Valley National Park. A convienient drive to the park. Staying inside the park was not an option. Not only were they sold out, the rooms were over $300 a night, which was beyond our budget. It ended up that our hotel was just fine. Recently remodeled rooms and nice thick walls (so we could not hear our neighbors). The main problem, the reason I say it was going to be a bit hard, was that we would have to bring food for our trip. Yes, that is correct, be sure to bring lots of food to Death Valley.

Beatty only has a hand full of restaurants. Our oppinion was that they were not even close to being somewhere we would recommend. We tried the VFW, as it got good reviews. None of us thought much of the food there. I ordered the shrimp scampi. While the shrimp was delicious, the noodles were very greasy and had enough garlic to ward of vampires. They also did not give me the bread that was to come with the meal. Our adult kids, who normally like French dip sandwhiches, did not have anything good to say about these. We tried another local establishment. As soon as we walked in, we were told that they had to close but would reopen in a half hour. Something sketchy about that. We ate at Denny’s. Not a five star restaurant, but the burgers and fries were better than anything else in town. The last night we took a different way out of the park and found a Mom and Pop style Mexican restaurant. Everyone liked that meal except my husband, who said it was just ok. I might add that we took all our meals to go and ate them at the hotel or in the car.

We did not see options in the park for food, although the hotels were supposed to have restaurants. I HIGHLY recommend bringing a cooler full of food. We did this and were thankful of it. We brought food for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Our hotel had a microwave and refrigerator. I made a simple pasta salad for dinner the first night and packed it on ice. We ate the rest of the dinners out from restaurants the rest of the trip, but were not overly joyed at the quality of the food to choose from. Beatty does not have a grocery store, the nearest was over an hour away, we were told. They only have a Family Dollar, which has a few food items.

Getting over the food obsticles, the park was beautiful. Winter is the perfect time to go, as the temperatures are perfect for hiking in a desert. It was a bit cooler than I had orignally thought it might be. I was glad I researched the weather and packed accordingly. December in Death Valley was cold for a So Cal gal. I wore a light winter jacket, every day, over a hooded sweatshirt and was glad for it. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. A hat or earband would also be highly recommended as would gloves for the early morning chill. We even saw a few snow flakes while in the park. Some areas of the park are warmer than others due to terrain and altitude differences.

Every day of the trip we saw wild burro wondering about. They are running around Beatty and some can be spotted close to the park entrances. There are mixed reviews as to whether or not they are friendly. Some say they can be petted, others say to keep your distance. We also saw coyote.

The dunes were vast and beautiful. The mountains were colorful and majestic. The hiking was plentiful. The desert was grand.

Here are some lovely views of the park…

Wild Burro looking into our vehicle
Stove Pipe Wells
Natural Bridge
Devil’s Golf Course
Charcoal Kilns

As always, Happy Travels!

Happy New Year 2022!


As the sun sets on another year, I like to reflect on the memories made. Taking photos is a great way to keep the memories alive, so is journaling. This year, I will strive to do a little more of each. I am late at making my New Year’s resolutions. Before the day is over, I will have them posted on the magnet board above my desk, there to remind me of my goals.

Wishing you a Very Happy 2022!

Our First Peanut Crop


If you’ve been keeping up on my gardening posts, you may remember that we planted peanut plants this year. I read that the peanut plants should be harvested when the plants turned yellow. Ours never really turned yellow. What degree of yellow were they talking about? I started to think that I’d better check out the peanuts. This was taking way too long.

I dug around and found a peanut under ground. A real home grown peanut! Oh boy! I was over the moon with excitement.

Peanuts out of shell. Success!

My bubble was burst a little when I actually dug up the plants. Hoping for loads of peanuts attached, I was surprised to find very few. Some had burst a bit and were sprouting. Oh no, I think I waited a bit to long.

I did manage to harvest some peanuts, just not as many as I had hoped for. I will not find out if the peanuts are any good for a while though, it seems. First, I have to dry the peanuts for a couple of weeks and then I have to roast them. A lot of waiting for such a small crop. This, perhaps, is why Planters is king of their domain.

It was fun to grow the peanuts. I think if I try this again next year, I will check on the peanuts sooner. My version of yellow leaves is not the correct version apparently. Don’t worry Planters, you haven’t lost my business, not yet anyway.

If anyone wants to share their peanut growing wisdom, please do so in the comments below.

As always, Happy Gardening!