Monday, February 28, 2011

Answer To "What Is It #12"

Once again you guys are right on the ball. The answer to "What Is It #12" is a pinecone. Took the photo of the pinecone while up in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park last October when I went there with my two brothers and my nephew.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Is It #12

Finally found some time to post another "What Is It?" photo challenge. Here we go.....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ben Is Home From Hospital

Brought Ben home. He's still bloated, but they said because he had poop from the tube in his butt in his poop bag & because he was able to go sit on the toilet @ the hospital & get some poop that they would send him home. I asked about the bloating & they said that it will take several days to go down. They said if he stops pooping again and/or starts throwing up, for me to get him back down to ER. They didn't find anything wrong except for the gas build up in his colon. He's in on the bed asleep already. He said he didn't get any sleep at the hospital.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ben Is In The Hospital

Ben is in the Kaiser Hospital down in Panorama City. He had a colonoscopy last Tuesday and the air that they pump up there to open things up did not come out like it should have and he could not go to the bathroom or eat. His stomach was cramping really bad and looked huge like a beach ball. I took him to the ER yesterday and they did blood tests and x-rays and also gave him an enema and it seemed to help so they sent him home. He was worse this morning so I took him back to ER this morning. He has what is called an Ileus. It is when the bowels become paralyzed and will not function. They cannot constrict and contract to push gas and stool through. They put him in the hospital overnight for observation and to insert a tube into his rectum to try to get the gas to come out. Hopefully he will be home sometime tomorrow, but it may not be until Sunday. I just hope they can get the gas out so he is not in pain and miserable. I hated leaving him there alone.

Coming home was awful. It was raining and there were accidents everywhere. Just as I was going to get on the free to head north, I heard on the radio that there was a big accident (sigalert) on the northbound 14 at Golden Valley and that all lanes were closed. I ended up going up into Santa Clarita the "old" way by taking all the back roads along the freeway. It took me over an hour to get home from Panorama City.

I will probably be heading back to the hospital early tomorrow morning. I just hope it is not raining a lot.

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Day

Spent 8 hours at Kaiser ER with Ben today. They discovered he had an Ilieus which is a blockage which was caused from the air bubble they shot into his colon for the colonoscopy 2 days ago. They took blood tests and x-rays...all was good. They finally gave him a warm water enema and that seemed to help so they sent him home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Answer To "What Is It #11"

Once again you guys do not seem to amaze me. You all knew that the "What Is It #11" was a tree branch with fungus/mushrooms growing on it. It was a downed tree along the Placerita Waterfall trail.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Is It #11

OK, here's the next "What Is It?" challenge.

"Perfect" Brownie Pan

A few weeks ago I bought one of those "Perfect" Brownie Pans that you see on TV.

I've seen them for $19.95 at most stores, but was able to get one at Big Lots! for only $7.00 which was a good deal, or so I thought.
As you may know, it comes with three pieces. The first piece is referred to as the "mould". The second piece is referred to as the  "plate" and the last piece is referred to as the "divider". The plate is supposed to sit inside the mould and this is where you pour your batter. This is fine except they also mention that you'd better put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack under the mould and plate when you are baking the brownies because since the plate is removable, there is not a good seal and some of the batter leaks out. The claim that warming the mould and plate in the oven for 5 minutes prior to pouring in the batter will help prevent leaks as it supposedly makes the plate fit for firmly into the mould. NOT! After pouring the batter into the plate/mould combination, you then place the divider into the batter, then you put the entire thing into the oven for baking. DON'T FORGET THE PIECE OF ALUMINUM FOIL!
I was not sure how long to bake the brownies for as the mould is not your normal size baking pan. Usually brownie pans are 9"X13" but this pan is 6"X10". I tried 25 minutes but the center of the batter was still uncooked, so I had to go about 40 minutes before the "toothpick test" worked.
When I took the pan out of the over, the aluminum foil was stuck to the bottom of it because of the leakage between the plate and the mould.
It was easy to remove the divider, however, the plate was pretty much stuck to the mould due to the baked on batter that had leaked out onto the aluminum foil. I was able to remove the aluminum foil with no problem, but I had to scrape the baked batter off the bottom of the plate so that I could remove the plate from the mould.

All in all the brownies themselves came out pretty good, but the really need to come up with a way that this pan won't leak. I'm thinking next time I might put a piece of aluminum foil inside the plate/mould combination. That should stop the leakage I think.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My New Little Toy

Ben and I went over to Big Lots! this morning because they are having a 2-day President's Day sale. I saw in their flyer the cutest little camcorder and I wanted to check it out. It was only $19 and I thought maybe it would be good for my hikes. Anyway, after checking it out in the store, I bought it. They only had 2 of them left, so I'm glad I got there early. They normally sell for $25 at Big Lots! and the range anywhere from $50 to $99 when you look them up on line, so I got a pretty good deal.

It's called the Simpleflix Slick Camcorder.

It's a little tiny thing that fits in the palm of your hand (only 4" X 2"). Mine is just like these photos, but mine is black instead of gray. It takes still photos (you can adjust the resolution, it has effects, etc.). It takes videos. It can be used as a web cam.

It comes with a little tripod, hand strap, soft carrying case and a disk with an Arc Soft program on it for managing your photos and videos. It also has a USB cable for plugging it directly into your computer and it has an "RCA" cable for plugging it into a TV. It runs on 3 AAA batteries. It does not have an internal memory, so you use an SD Card which I prefer anyway.

I think I got a pretty good deal on it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Answer to What Is It #10

I just cannot stump you guys! Yes, these are tadpoles and/or poly wogs. They were in a puddle under the waterfall up in Whitney Canyon a few years ago when I went hiking up there in the early spring.

Yes Paula, the tadpoles were in water. It was so clear that you it appeared that there was no water.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Answer To "What Is It #9"

Answer to What Is It #9 - You guys are really good. You all guessed that it was some kind of roller coaster. It is the Xtreme Coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA.

I will be posting another "What Is It?" soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Something Most People Do Not Know About Me

I have never been in or seen a tornado. We don't get many of them here in California and when we do, they are usually water spouts out over the Pacific Ocean.

I have always been terrified by the thought of being in a tornado or even seeing one. I remember when I was a kid and my family would go to Oklahoma to visit my aunt's family every year. Sometimes when we were there, we'd have huge thunder, lightning and rain storms and I was always afraid that a tornado was coming.

With this said, for some reason, I am totally fascinated by tornadoes. I love watching "Storm Chasers". I loved the movie "Twister". I can even understand why storm chasers do what they do, even though I would never do it myself.

I don't like when a tornado hits a town or a farm, destroying everything in it's path or killing people, but out in the middle of nowhere, where it cannot destroy or kill, a tornado can be a wondrous thing. They come in so many shapes and sizes. They swoop up and down from the clouds to the ground and back again.

Maybe I'm crazy, but when I see something on TV about a tornado, I am hypnotized by it.

I happened to see these 10 interesting facts about tornadoes online today and thought I'd share it. You can click on the graphic below to enlarge it so it will be easier to read.

Happy Valentines Day

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

This morning, Ben and I got in the car and headed out for me to check out three possible future hiking sites. We headed over toward Simi Valley, CA to an area knows as "Rocky Peak". There is a park there just off the freeway. There was nowhere for us to park, but at least I was able to find the place and it looked promising. We then drove over to a place called Sage Ranch Park. It is way back up in a rock canyon known as "Box Canyon". There are a lot of cool rock formations there and some great views of both the Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley. It looked really promising too.

The last place we headed for was a place called Santa Susana State Historic Park just outside of Chatsworth, CA. When we got to the gate of the park, it was all fenced off and there was a sign saying "park closed for your safety". I don't know what that was all about.

My friend Linda and I are running out of areas to hike here in the Santa Clarita Valley. I've hiked all the trails here several times and there are now only one or two that she has not hiked since she started hiking with me back in December. We need to start branching out to other areas before we start to "re-hike" the trails here in our valley.

What Is It #9

OK, let's see if you can tell me what this is.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Answer To "What Is It #8"

I cannot believe how good you guys are. I thought sure the last "What Is It?" would stump most of you but I was wrong. In fact the majority of you were correct.

It is the center of a sunflower (aka the "anther").

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Is It #8

Here we go again. I think this one is going to stump most of you. WHAT IS IT?

Ben's Latest Visit To The Eye Doctor

Took Ben down to Kaiser Panorama City for his appointment with his ophthalmologist today. They doctor told him to cut back on his eye drops from twice a day to once a day and to stop them all together in two weeks. He will go back to the doctor on April 1st when they will decide when they are going to do the surgery to remove the oil bubble they placed in his eye when he had the vitrectomy last October. They will also be doing cataract surgery on the eye at the same time. Doctor told him that they cannot do either surgery until 6 months past the original surgery which will be the middle of April.
Sure hope he will get some sight back in his left eye after all of this is over.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Answer To "What Is It?" #7

You guys are so good. I knew that you who live in the cold, snowy, area would guess this one. Yes it is ice in a creek. The water was sitting around the rocks in the creek bed and one morning when I went for a hike, it was frozen.

I'll post another What Is It? soon.

Descanso Gardens - La Canada, CA

Today my friend Linda and I went to Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA. There were not really a lot of flowers blooming yet, but it was still pretty. We saw a few daffodils and some irises. I love the "green" area with all the big oak trees and redwood trees. There is also a Japanese Garden where there was a cherry tree, and the cherry blossoms were beautiful. There are also many koi ponds in the gardens. This botanical garden is right in the city, but makes you feel like you are out in the forest.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What Is It #7

OK, here we go again. This is "What Is It?" #7. Do you think you know what it is?

Drive To Ojai, CA

Ben and I headed out this morning for me to check out a new hiking spot up between Santa Paula, CA and Ojai, CA. The hiking area turned out to be a bust, but the beautiful day and the quaint town of Ojai, CA were definitely a winner.

Along the road to Ojai, CA

The Ojai Valley from a vista point

Downtown Ojai, CA

Libbey Park in Ojai

Downtown Ojai

Lake Casitas


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nice Afternoon Drive

The weather here in SoCal was so nice this afternoon that Ben and I decided to go for a drive. We headed up Interstate 5 to the Castaic Lake area about 12 to 15 miles from where we live. Saw some wildflowers along the road so hopefully that means that Spring is not far off.

Answer To "What Is It?" #6 guys are way too good. Just about everyone got this one correct. It is a Maple Leaf that I found while on a hike this past fall.

Friday, February 4, 2011

If You Watch The Young & Restless

The Y&R has killed of the character of Cane Ashby. The fans are very upset about this.

If you watch the show and are unhappy with this storyline, let the Y&R know.

Email them at


Call them at 323-575-2345

If you are on Facebook, there are a few pages where you can post your opinion.!/TheYoungandtheRestless!/pages/Keep-cane-on-the-young-and-the-restless/186617661369238

What Is It #6

OK, here is the newest "What Is It"? I'm thinking this one is going to be pretty easy and most of you will probably be correct when you post your guess.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Nice Day With The Girls

Today I met with a bunch of my "retired from Lockheed" girlfriends for lunch. We met at the Hometown Buffet near my home. It is always so much fun when we get together. We gossip about everything. We reminisce about things we remember when we all worked together. I worked with most of these women for about 35 years and we are more like family than old co-workers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wow, You Guys Are Good

You guys are just too good at this. Just about everyone got it right. The answer to What Is It #5 is......

My hiking boot print in the sand along the Placerita Canyon Trail. You all get a gold star (LOL). I'll be posting another "What Is It?" soon.