Showing posts from August, 2016

Tuesday's Cupboard—Talapia Pockets

The easiest way I know to cook fish_fresh & delicious!

talapia pockets

adapted from Best of Weight Watchers Magazine Vol. I

Serves 2
(2 filets each)

four 4-oz. filets of talapia (thawed)4 green onions, choppedabout 6 T. of Kikkoman Ponzu sauce2 T. freshly chopped ginger4 T. sesame oilcracked black pepper1- 2 cups of hot cooked jasmine riceadd-ins:  a sprig of fresh dill, 2 slices of fresh lemon or lime (per pocket)
make it!
Preheat oven to 350°F

1 fish pocket Tear off a 12" x 18" rectangle of non-stick foil or plain parchment paper or double-backed foil /parchment.  Fold it in half so you have a 12" x 9" rectangle.On one side near the center fold, place 1 filet of fishTop filet with 1/4 of the chopped onions + 1/4 of the chopped ginger + a splash of Ponzu (about 2 T.) + a drizzle of sesame oil (about 1 T.) Top with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper Wrap into a sealed packet Repeat with the other filets.  Place sealed pockets on a cookie sheet lined with foil…

Good forYou, Good forThe Kitties

This is a fun app for your kitties by developer, Martine Carlsen

Catch & Paint Games for Cats by Martine Carlsen
$1.99 on iTunes
iPad app

What Makes this App Fun for Cats realistic looking mice (the others are cartoons)touch-activated sound fx (the mice squeak when touched with a paw)continuous critter noises (digging, mousie chatter)realistic movement

2 Games in One
The catch game gives cats 7 different varmints to chase.  
The paint game is a chase game, plus it drops a splat of virtual paint on the screen whenever a kitty paw touches the screen.  If you want your kitty to create a unique work of art, this is a great app!  

Good for Your Cats Cats get bored just like humans do, and this is a wonderful and inexpensive toy for them.  They'll love it, and hoomins will love watching their BFFs (BestFurryFriends) have a great time! 

• loving • cats •

Tuesday's Cupboard—Chicken Tumeric

Summer Reruns!  An oldie, but a goodie.  One of our favorite suppers.

Chicken Tumeric
serves 4 to 5 hungry people

Equipment:   10"x 10" x 2" square casserole dish Large ziploc plastic bag Large nonstick skillet for browning chicken

Ingredients 1 cup white flour2 tsp. Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
kosher salt & cracked black pepper1/4 c. olive or canola oilolive oil cooking spray4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)1 cup uncooked basmati rice1 tsp. tumeric1 large onion (halved, then sliced)2-1/2 cups boiling water
Make it!
Combine flour & herb seasoning in the plastic bag.Coat the chicken breasts in the flour mixture.  Brown the chicken in olive oil or canola oil until med brown.  Add a little salt & pepper as the chicken browns.Spray the casserole dish with olive oil PAMAdd 1 cup of uncooked basmati rice + 1 tsp. tumeric + sliced onions + a dash of kosher salt & cracked black pepper to the casserole.  Pour 2-1/2 cups of boiling water into the …

Sunday—Tahoe August16

Pix from our weekend in beautiful Tahoe


20 aug 16

blue canyon
21 aug 16

• keep • tahoe • blue •

Saturday Finances—The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan

Some really great tips from Kevin Ruth, Head of Wealth Planning and Personal Trust at Fidelity Investments

10 Common Pitfalls of an Outdated  Estate Plan

If you have a trust or a will, good job!  You got that far in creating an estate plan.  Most of us don't get around to it until a major life event forces us into it.  For me, it was becoming a successor trustee after my dad passed away in 2013.
After I closed my dad's trust a year later, I was compelled to put my own house in order.  I found a good estate attorney in town, and the following year, our family trust was finished.
It really is a great feeling to have it done!
The following article by Kevin Ruth from Fidelity Investments caught my eye because now that we have a trust, it is important to keep it up to date.
Dust off your estate plan: 10 common pitfalls to avoid, by Kevin Ruth, Fidelity Viewpoints
3 August 2016

Kevin's article is excellent!  He includes some helpful links at the end.  Make a copy & discuss any concer…

Wednesday—Good forYou, Good forTheDeck

Our gazebo & fence repair is finished!  Before & after pix 

March 5, 2016

August 19, 2016

How the insurance worked
Even though the tree belonged to our neighbors, the damage was covered by our homeowner's, not theirs.  
Wind damage is considered an "act of God" by insurance companies, and unless a neighbor can prove negligence on the part of the tree's owner, each homeowner is responsible for the damage on his/her own property.  
If your tree comes down on your neighbor's property, it is your neighbor's responsibility to make the repairs.
We had a $1,000 deductible.  Kemper's original estimate was $12,061.63 (after the deductible) to replace the gazebo and the fence and to fix the table.
Our actual incurred expenses were $16,534.77 (after the deductible).  We reduced the replacement costs by building th

Tuesday's Cupboard—Best Banana Bread Ever!

From Martha Stewart online

This really is the best banana bread I've ever made.

Best Banana Bread

Find the recipe & a video on Martha's website:
Martha's 1982 recipe from her book, Entertaining

• love • good • food •

Saturday Finances—2016 Sales Tax Findings

State & local sales taxes as of 1 January 2016

From the Tax Foundation Fiscal Facts, No. 504 (pdf)_March 2016_by economists, Scott Drenkard & Nicole Kaeding

2016 State & Local Sales Tax Rates

Interesting Findings
The Sales Tax Clearinghouse publishes quarterly sales tax data by zip code at the state, county & city levels.  These figures are then weighted by population according to the 2010 U.S. Census.  Some zip codes have no residents, so the findings in this study are based on populated areas known as Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA).
45 states & the District of Columbia collect sales taxesLocal sales taxes are collected in 38 statesThe highest average combined state & local sales taxes are collected in Tennessee (9.46%), Arkansas (9.30%), Louisiana (9.0%), Alabama (8.97%), and Washington (8.9%)The lowest average combined state & local sales taxes are collected in Alaska (1.78%), Hawaii (4.35%), Wisconsin (5.41%), Wyoming (5.42%), and Maine (5.55%).…

Wednesday—Good For You, Good forThe Shower Pan

This works.  No kidding.  Easy-Off in the blue can (fume-free)

From a discussion on

The Super-Easy Way to Clean a Faux-Pebble, Textured, Fiberglass Shower Pan

1.  Spray 1 can of fume-free Easy-Off onto a dry fiberglass shower pan.

2.  The comments I read recommended leaving it on overnight, but I sprayed it on in the morning and left it for about 6 hours.

3.  Wipe it with a non-abrasive sponge & rinse.  Don't worry if all of the grunge doesn't come up the first time.  Let it dry, then try it again.

It might look like my drain cover is dulled.  It's not, that is the non-shiny brushed finish of the drain cover.

4.  Tip:  You won't be able to get every last bit of Easy-Off out of the can.  It will run out when you start seeing lots of foam.

5.  You don't need to scrub your arms off!  Give the chemicals time to work, then just wipe away the crud. 

Happy cleaning!

• love your home •

Tuesday's Cupboard—Summer Reruns! Pesto, Ricotta & Tomato Tortilla Pizza

A perfect dish for fresh summer toms

Inspired by Weight Watcher's Online

Pesto, Ricotta & Tomato Tortilla Pizza
ingredients 2 large whole wheat tortillas1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese1 c. shredded Italian cheese 1/4 c. grated Parmesan2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges1 container of refrigerated reduced-fat pesto saucefresh cracked black pepper

make it! Preheat oven to 450°FArrange 2 tortillas on a Silpat covered baking sheet (or a large cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray)Spread each with 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto.Top with small dollops of ricotta cheese (1/2 cup per pizza)Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to each pizzaSprinkle on grated ParmesanCover each pizza with sliced tomatoes arranged in an even layerTop with cracked black pepperBake until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted, about 7 to 10 minutes.Remove from oven & slide each pizza onto a durable cutting surface.  Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, carefully slice into quarters.  Pla…

#TBT—Campus Housing Lists 1974 & 1978

Steve's 1974 UCSC packing list  & my 1978 UC Berkeley housing booklet

UC Santa Cruz v. UC Berkeley...

Camp U-See-Es-See Cabin Five 1974

In addition to the usual boring stuff...
toothbrush and toothpaste (if you're cavity prone)musical instrumentmilitary brush setmusical instrument [listed twice]pen knifestudy lamp (the rooms get dark!)Burpee's Seed Cataloguefive-speed bike (ten-speeds are now considered to be a bourgeois affectation)meditation equipmentImpeach Ford bumper stickers (for possible later use)cosmetics (coming back in this year)porkpie hatbeer mugbaseball mittworks of Buckminster Fullerplants that don't look suspiciousincense burnerfrisbeecomplete set of Mother Earth NewsNervous Norvus albumsInstamatic & extra filmhardhat lunches (bike bags are passé)

UC Berkeley 1978

Good forYou, Good forThe Shower Doors

The easiest way I know to clean stubborn soap scum off of glass shower doors

Bounce Dryer Sheets

Spray the glass with waterGet the dryer sheet wet (the more water, the better)Rub gently along the surface of the glass to remove soap scum (it's easy!)Rinse & dry with a clean towel or paper towelsPolish with Windex or your favorite glass cleaner
More ways to clean your shower doors at

• clean • happy • healthy •