Saturday, November 29, 2014

USC's Mascot Traveler

Wayne and I have been on a University of Southern California sports vacation. Wayne is an alumnus and huge fan.

Today, we went to the USC vs. Notre Dame football game at the USC home field in the Coliseum, the  historic stadium that dates back to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.  It was a warm, sunny day, a nice change from the chilly high of freezing in Powell River.

If I had to pick my favourite college mascot, it would be Traveler, the white horse carrying a Trojan warrior at the USC home football games. First of all, I'm a horse nut. Second of all, Traveler gallops around the stadium each time the team makes a touchdown.

Today Traveler was very busy with 7 big USC touchdowns versus the two that Notre Dame made.

On the USC campus, you will find a bronze statue of Traveler that was donated by outgoing president Steven B. Sample in 2010.

According to Traveler's own website, he first pranced onto the field at USC football games in 1961. That was Traveler I. He was discovered in the 1961 Rose Parade. Traveler wasn't the first horse to perform at USC football games, but he is the most famous. 

Over the years there have been seven Travelers. They have been a combination of Tennessee Walkers, Arabians, mixtures of both, and now an Andalusian. But they all have been white. You can also find Traveler in the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, ridden by his Trojan warrior, Tommy Trojan. 

It's quite a sight to see Traveler gallop around the field at the Coliseum as the USC Band plays "Conquest" when the team makes a touchdown. Here's a sample by equusvideo on YouTube. -- Margy

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NOMA LED Twinkling Spheres

Last Christmas our good friend Jeanne gave us a set of Valerie Parr Hill Glass Spheres. When I wrote about them on my Powell River Books Blog, they weren't available in Canada.

But this week Canadian Tire came out with their Christmas Catalog and I found an ad for NOMA LED Twinkling Spheres. I went to the store to check them out. They look exactly like the Valerie Parr Hill ones.   YEA! Now we have a local option to get these great decorative items.

The NOMA spheres cost $49.99 CAD and come in small, medium, and large. They can be hung or have a flat bottom for table display.

The NOMA spheres come in silver or gold. A timer controls a 6-hour on, 18-hour off cycle. They are indoor/outdoor rated, and use three C-cell batteries that last over two months.

These are great sitting on a patio table (like Jeanne uses them), or hanging in the living room (like we do). We both use ours year-round, and at the cabin, they make a nice warm glow in the evening without using any of our limited solar-powered electric supply.

Here's what ours look like in action.

If you enjoy glowing lights at night, give either the Valerie Parr Hill or NOMA version a try. -- Margy

Friday, November 7, 2014

Easy Chili Rellano Casserole

In September, I shared a recipe on the Powell River Books blog for Easy Zucchini Casserole.  I discovered the original  over at Linda's Crafty Gardener Blog.

As I was eating the tasty dish, I thought the concept would work to make an Easy Chili Rellano Casserole. Here's what I came up with.

Easy Chili Rellano Casserole

1 can whole green chilies
Mozzarella cheese cut into sticks
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/3 sweet onion diced
3 eggs well beaten
1 package refrigerator crescent rolls
1/2 cup grated Colby cheese
Saute onion. Set aside to cool.

Cut Mozzarella cheese into thin sticks.

Grate the two cheeses. I used Mozzarella inside the casserole for that gooey consistency, and Colby for the topping for a toasty flavour. You can use any kind you like.  Set aside.

Open the can of whole green chilies. There are four in a can, a perfect size for this casserole. Carefully stuff each with the Mozzarella cheese sticks, trying not to split them open.

Press half of the crescent rolls in the bottom of a lightly greased 9X12 inch baking dish.

Beat three eggs until frothy.

Spoon half of the beaten eggs over the crescent roll bottom crust. Sprinkle half of the grated Mozzarella cheese over the eggs.

Lay the four stuffed chilies on top and sprinkle the top with the sauteed onions and remaining Mozzarella cheese. Then pour the remaining beaten eggs over the top.

Cut the remaining crescent rolls to make four large triangles to cover the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Sprinkle with the grated Colby cheese and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until it's melted and slightly browned.

Cut and serve warm. This made two large servings for our dinner plus two extras for later in the week. I added a taco salad on the side and it made a hearty fall meal.

Thanks Linda for the inspiration. I find so many great ideas at your Crafty Gardener Blog. -- Margy

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Historic Rosalia Railroad Bridge

This weekend Wayne and I took Highway 195 from Spokane to Pullman for the Washington State University vs. University of California football game.  Wayne did the driving. That gave me lots of time to watch the scenery and take pictures.

The two lane road follows undulating hills of grain dotted with beautiful barns. Another interesting sight along the way was an old, concrete arched bridge. It took some searching, but using Google maps in the satellite view I was able to locate it just of Highway 195 near Rosalia, Washington.

The Rosalia Railroad Bridge was built in 1915 by the by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Where freight and passenger service once ran, now the John Wayne Pioneer Trail exists. When the railroad went bankrupt in 1980, the right-of-way was obtained by the State of Washington. From the Washington/Idaho border to near Seattle, the old rail bed provides a dedicated route for non-motorized use.

The concrete bridge seems out of place in these hills better known for wheat production. But in its day, it provided an important link for the busy route from back east to the west coast. The arches are a classic design, helping the bridge get recognition in the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge has two spans. The shorter 114 foot section is over Northern Pacific tracks. The longer 502 foot span crosses Pine Creek and the Old State Highway. Want a unique experience? Check out the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders Association. They have an annual Cross State Ride along this unique trail. No horse or wagon? Hikers and bike riders are also welcome. Or watch the Rosalia Battle Days parade to see riders and wagons pass through town. -- Margy