A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Tripping with Rainy Day, Part 2

How much is that pony in the window???
After tromping around Fort Simcoe for a while, going through what buildings were open, and getting greasy eyemarks on the windows of those that were closed, Rainy Day and her friend turned and headed back toward home.

Eye looking for nonexistent treat
While still on the Yakama Indian Reservation, we stopped at a home with a corral and a horse and some ponies. They were very friendly, and came too close to the fence for really good shots. Of course, they weren't interested in posing so we White Eyes could take their pictures, they were more interested in whatever treats we might have. Alas, we had no treats, so they eventually turned and walked away. We did not take photos of the horse's hind end;-)

On the way home, Rainy Day suggested a stop off in Grandview, Washington for lunch. She knows of a really great place for Mexican food. Since her friend also likes Mexican food, we stopped at a little place just off the freeway, Garcia's.

One of the truly nice things is, they give students $1.00 tacos during the lunch hour! Alas, neither Jim nor Rainy Day qualified as students, and we weren't there during the traditional lunch hour, but we both had the Gordita. I had beef, he had chicken. Any business that treats students well, and encourages them to go to and stay in school, is worthy of Rainy Day's business. Especially if they serve good food!

For the best Mexican food in the neighborhood
Rainy Day is not sure how to describe a Gordita, other than Good, or as Alton Brown might say, "Good Eats!" Wikipedia describes it as "a corn cake made with masa harina and stuffed with cheese, meat or other fillings." Like a really thick tortilla. At Garcia's, they slice it like a bun and make it into a thin and crunchy sandwich. You can also stuff them like pita sandwiches. For a recipe to make your own, check out All Recipes .
From the courtyard
Back to Garcia's for a bit. Their menu is pretty impressive, and Rainy Day received permission to take these photos, by the way. Out a side door is a nice courtyard with tables, a fountain, some palm trees made of metal, and a saguaro cactus made of barbed wire, with lots of Mexican artifacts hanging on the walls. Inside are some small, bistro sized tables and chairs, and one booth. The inside is very small. They also have drive up service.

Should you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Grandview, it is listed as Garcia's Drive Thru, 1027 W. Wine Country Road, Grandview WA 98930, 509.882.0239. Stop and have a truly delicious meal and a delightful experience.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day Tripping with Rainy Day

Yakima Valley and Horse Heaven Hills
Every year about this time, a friend of Rainy Day's comes to visit for a few days. Primarily, it is so he can attend the local science fiction convention, RadCon, but he always spends a few extra days so we can go on day trips and take photographs. While Rainy Day loves to take pictures, and use the idiot settings on her camera, Jim is a real photographer and takes photographs to sell.

This year, we ventured to Fort Simcoe, on the Yakama Indian Reservation just outside of the town of White Swan. Ft. Simcoe was built in the late 1850s and in use for three years. In 1869 the military turned the fort over to the Yakama Indian Agency where it became an Indian school and the Yakama Indian Agency managed its affairs from Ft. Simcoe until the early 1900s.

The sign welcoming us
Washington State took over the site in 1956 and established a day-use park. Many of the original buildings are gone, or have been rebuilt, but some have been restored. In the summer, the Officers Quarters are open to the public. Each room has been furnished with furniture and accouterments that if not original to the Fort are true to the era. Unfortunately, about the time Rainy Day got to the Fort, she remembered it was probably closed. (She could, of course, have checked online before they left; however, she didn't think of it.) Sure enough, after a two-hour drive plus a few minutes, she pulled into the road leading to the parking lot, and parked. In the road.

One of the old canons in the parade ground. Barracks in background
The gate was shut with a great sign telling us the park was closed but visitors were welcome. Rainy Day hung her Discover Pass (now a requirement to visit Washington State Parks) properly on her car's rear view mirror and we walked around the gate and wandered the 200 or so acres of parkland.

Looking out from inside a blockhouse
The barracks and blockhouses were open, so we could go in them, the Officer's Quarters were closed, as was the Interpretive museum, and guardhouse/jail and the rest rooms. However, we could see enough to know we want to come back in the summer when the park is open. The winds were, and still are, blustery and strong, but they broke the overcast cloud blanket into small and interesting forms, to give us some great clouds shots, and wonderful lighting.

Looking west at the Cascade Foothills
Being in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, we saw several lenticular cloud formations, which are always fun. Unfortunately, the main cloud blanket still covered the mountains of the Cascades, so we could not see Mt. Rainier, or Mt. Adams, or any other of the great mountains.

For a good, and short article on the history of Fort Simcoe, click here.

Wikipedia also has some information about the fort.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rainy Day and A Boy Named Sue

The 54th Grammy's were on the other night. Rainy Day missed them. Again. She had her nose buried in a book, and just couldn't bring herself to watch a bunch of really great entertainers she knew nothing about make a bunch of speeches she really didn't want to hear. And, she admits, she didn't want to cry when they did the tribute to Whitney Houston.

Rainy Day liked Whitney Houston. Or at least liked her music, never having had the honor to meet her in person. Rainy Day got to thinking about other singers she's liked through the years – Michael Jackson, Elvis, Ed Ames, Johnny Cash....

Johnny Cash and his marvelous song about "A Boy Named Sue." Oh, Rainy Day could, indeed, relate to that song on a personal level. Perhaps not as strongly as Sue, but nevertheless Rainy Day could and did empathize with that boy named Sue.

Rainy Day's family was a little strange, too.  A time existed when Rainy D, as she came to be called, despised her parents, perhaps even hated them.  Not now. Now, chronologically at least, she is an adult and beyond such childish and immature emotions.

The War to End All Wars raged around the globe.  Rainy D's mom, pregnant by one of our Brave Boys In Uniform (to whom, if it's any of your business, she was married) hobbled to the hospital during the worst rainstorm since Noah's journey.  After a long and difficult labor (aren't they all?) Rainy D's mom produced a boiled-in-beet-juice red, squalling, albeit perfect, daughter.  When the nurse, exhausted after spending the whole night with screaming about-to-be mothers entered her mother's room to fill out the birth certificate and asked for the name, Rainy D's mom was talking to her Hero in Uniform over a very bad telephone connection.  Hero, in Communications, was stationed Stateside and had 'privileges.'  He asked about the weather, she responded it was a rainy day and the nurse dutifully wrote down what she heard before shuffling her weary self out of the room and off duty.

Rainy Day never forgave the nurse or her mother who laughed when she realized what had happened, and saw no reason to correct it.  But then, Rainy Day never bothered to change it either (she did like the name Margo for a long time, or even Sue).  Over the years, Rainy D realized she not only was used to the name, she actually rather liked it.  Her favorite song is still "A Boy Named Sue".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rainy Day and the Misplaced Days

This has been a strange week for Rainy Day. One of her oldest and bestest friends in the whole wide world visited for a few days, and so nothing much was accomplished beyond a great deal of visiting, a few glasses of red, and entirely too much coffee;-)

Then, her friend went home, and Rainy Day seemed to have misplaced a few days.  Do you ever lose a day or two? And if so, do you ever find those lost days? Where?

So, Rainy Day woke this morning, sure it was Monday and that she had two full days in which to work on her weekly offering, only to discover as she was out and about, running errands, meeting with other friends, that today is Wednesday, and she's the eight ball with the queue stick coming fast upon her!

It is most embarrassing for Rainy Day. She likes to have her column written well before the due date. And has actually started several and filed them away someplace safe. Too safe. She can't find them. Sorta like those days that disappeared on her. Or her Life. She is very sure she put her life in a shoebox on the top closet shelf a few years ago when she had important things with which to deal, but then, when she went looking for the shoebox, it was gone.

So, Rainy Day is asking for your patience – and if you find her missing days, or better yet, her missing life, please let her know!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rainy Day and The Good Old Days That Weren't

Rainy Day turned on the television a while ago to watch something while she ate her breakfast, reruns of The Twilight Zone. Now, Rainy Day is old enough to remember watching them the first time they aired, and she remembers a lot of the stories, so she settled down with her bowl of cereal and enjoyed Cliff Robertson leading his little wagon train to California. Only, of course, Cliff took a slight detour into The Twilight Zone.

Rainy Day enjoys a lot of the old TV shows – The Twilight Zone, M*A*S*H, the old Law & Order, and even some of the not-so-old CSI:Miami. Rainy Day admits, the last show is primarily for those few scenes when they are in the Everglades, and, oh, all right, Eric Delco is pretty easy on her eyes;-) And, of course, she loves NCIS – at least the parts where Dr. 'Ducky' Mallard stars. Rainy Day thinks David McCallum is the hottest actor on TV, and has held that opinion since his days as Illya Kuryakin.

Perhaps Rainy Day is getting old, and prefers living in the good old days that weren't?  She mentioned 'the good old days' to her Auntie Marie several years ago, and got quite a lecture about how the 'good old days' really weren't all that good. There were no antibiotics, children died or were crippled by diseases that today we hardly know about; cleanliness was not a way of life, death came early, was painful and smelly. Smallpox, polio, whooping cough...the list goes on and on.  The Surgeon didn't wash his hands or his equipment between patients, and was probably also the barber and or undertaker. Talk about one-stop shopping!

Enter a store to buy some pickles, and you would be pointed to the correct barrel. With your dirty hands (no sani wipes then) you'd reach into the barrel to pick out your pickle, then eat. Your dirty hands would follow a host of other and dirtier hands reaching in to the same barrel. Hands that had not been washed since morning, if then.

The towns and general stores of the Old West movies were nothing like what really existed. TV cleaned them. Actors wear antiperspirant, so we never see the sweat stains on the hero's shirt. (Fortunately, we still don't have smellevision;-) Actors also have proper dentists, so we don't see our hero with dirty, crooked, broken, or missing teeth. Mr. Grocer always fetches and hands Mrs. Shopper whatever she needs, thereby keeping the pickle barrel clean of any germs but his and he used a long handled fork. When people were shot, they dropped, they did not stagger back, collapse and jerk and take five minutes of prime time in which to die. And when they were shot, and died, it was messy, and smelly as muscles and sphincters relaxed, and that is never, ever shown.

So, no, Rainy Day is not waxing nostalgic for the good old days that never existed as such, she is waxing nostalgic for her youth, and all those hot men that used to be on the screens, both large and small, and the dreams she had of maybe, someday, meeting one. Of course, she still drools over many of today's hot young actors, but she is older and wiser and knows that she will never meet them, and even if she did, what could they possibly talk about?