Merced, California: I can officially state it was warmer at home today than it was in Central California. Mother Nature is not cooperating with my running vacation! It literally rained buckets all night. I refused to run again this morning. DT ran on the bike path along the American River and reported, on his return, that I would have hated the path this morning. It was soggy. It was muddy. I would have needed to "ford" several times.

I stayed inside my cozy bus, shipping orders and drinking coffee. Hey, someone in this family needs to earn a living.


When life gives you kumquats... Dave's Mom has a friend with a kumquat tree who delivered a large bag of the citrusy fruit. Tonight Mom made a casserole with chicken breasts, kumquats, pineapple and peppers - served over rice. It was delicious.

Here is the recipe:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar (Mom used red wine vinegar)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks, with juice
8 or 9 sliced kumquats

Place chicken in casserole. Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 90 minutes. Serve over rice.

NOTES: Mom cut each chicken breast in half. Brother Kent added a bit of freshly-grated ginger, which I found quite lovely. You may want to reduce the sugar a bit... it was a little sweet. Baking the kumquats for such a long time produces soft, chewy slices. Delicious.

Aleria & Isaac

Aleria's boyfriend, Isaac, needed three helpings to make sure the Chicken-Kumquat dish was good. Then he had a piece of chocolate cake.

Until my next update, I remain, your Merced correspondent.

RV Park:  
Castle Air Museum Family Camp (in Atwater, California). The only game in town. We always stay here. It actually used to a a parking lot - but the Air Museum added eight 50-amp full-hookup campsites. It floods during a rainstorm. No bath house. No wifi. We love it here. Dogs allowed off-leash. Very casual. Quiet.