Indio, California: The year is nearly over. Whoosh! It goes so fast when you have a toddler in the family. A year ago this week, Lenny & Lisa were in Africa on a photo safari and we were in Los Angeles watching-over Leo. Here is a photo of Leo one year ago… and now:

Wow. What happened to our little baby grandson? Now he’s in pre-school, out of nappies and we can understand most of what he says. Light of our Life, that boy.

We had a busy weekend. Lots of exercise, we watched a few films and have spent quite a bit of time showing-off walking our adorable GrandDawg, Reese. The weather has been (again, so sorry to announce to all My Freezing Readers) in the high 70’s every day.

The resort is especially pretty in the morning, with the early shadows on Joshua Tree National Park (in the mountains north) and exquisite pink bougainvillea blossoms floating in the canal. We are entertained each morning with an interesting menage a trois white crane situation. Lots of fussin’-and-a-fightin’, chasing, swooping and mating going on. Someday, somewhere, someone’s gonna to lay an egg.

Don’t forget to watch the Fighting Ducks face the Texas Longhorns tomorrow (Monday) night in the Valero Alamo Bowl, on ESPN at 3:45p Pacific.

Here is my recipe for Potato Leek Soup (for two) from the December 2013 RV Goddess Newsletter. It is another one-pot really easy, really inexpensive and really fast meal (with vegetarian and vegan options – and if your stock is gluten-free, so is this soup) and perfect for a work-night supper.

If you do not yet subscribe to the monthly RV Goddess newsletter, there is still time. The January 1st newsletter features an amazing super-low-calorie Salsa Chicken Chili recipe – perfect to kick-start all the healthy eating you have planned for 2014. The newsletter is free, we do not share your info and there is an UNSUBSCRIBE option if you change your mind.

I use a low-sodium chicken stock in this recipe, but feel free to use veggie stock to make the dish vegetarian; omit the dairy at the end for a vegan version. No blender or food processor required – my version calls for an old fashioned potato masher.

2 leeks, white and pale green parts only
Olive oil
2 cups stock
2 medium Yukon Gold or other yellow potato,
     peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh (or dried) thyme leaves
1/4 cup half & half or milk, optional
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parsley or additional fresh thyme as optional garnish

Remove root end and slice leeks in half lengthwise, rinse to remove any sand, then place the leek, cut-side-down and thinly slice. Heat a medium pot over a medium fire and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Add the leeks and saute, stirring often, until the leeks just begin to brown, about ten minutes. Pour the stock into the pot, add the potato and thyme. Bring to a boil. Let simmer about fifteen minutes, or until potatoes are very soft. Use a potato masher to smooth the soup to desired consistency (I like it a little chunky). Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired. If you would like a little silkiness, add a little half & half or milk. Serves 2.

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SLOGGER REPORT: I knocked out 5 miles Friday, rested Saturday and ran another 4 today. 97 miles covered; 3 to go. I have two days to run 3 miles. IT COULD HAPPEN!

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

RV PARK: The Motorcoach Country Club – The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.

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