Monthly Archives: May 2010

Hacksaw: On Memorial Day weekend, remembering those who served

Happy Memorial Day and a big thanks to those who have served our country.   This is a nice article about remembering those heroes today.

Hacksaw: On Memorial Day weekend, remembering those who served.

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Filed under Community, Holidays, Recognition

The Pig

Another Merced hot spot that has always caught my eye is The Pig.  It is actually called “The BBQ Pit” but the restaurant’s main icon is the giant pig statue that greets guests and lures them in from G street, hence the reason my family calls it “The Pig.”

Today we went there for breakfast.  The Pig serves food all day and is known for their excellent BBQ, particularly the ribs. Regardless, breakfast was no disappointment.  The Pig is decorated in red and white, with Coca Cola pictures on the wall and a jute box in the corner.  It looks like a diner you’d see in the 50’s with a stainless steel-trimmed soda fountain up front.

Dave and Pam

I ordered the Spanish omelette with home fries and fruit.  Dave ordered eggs and bacon that came with a side of pancakes and strawberries.  The pancakes looked amazing.  Scott and Pam had eggs, hash browns and sausage with a side of biscuits with gravy.  I am pretty sure that the biscuits and gravy are the money-makers for The Pig during breakfast.  They looked so good.

Our waitress, Katie, was friendly and prompt.  None of our meals were more than $7 each.  If you’re ever driving up the 99 freeway through Merced, do yourself a favor and stop off at The Pig for a bite to eat.

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Filed under Community, Eats, Family, Restaurants, Travel

Applegate Zoo

For years I’ve been coming to Merced and driving past the Applegate Zoo.  For years  Scott has been telling me how the Applegate Zoo is terrible and showcases nothing more than a Lhasa Apso in its natural environment (i.e. a couch).  I’ve never met a zoo I didn’t like, and I like to go to zoos every where I go – I’ve even been to the zoo in Barcelona.

Last time I saw my in-laws I mentioned to them how I’ve been dying to go to the Applegate Zoo for seven years.  They echoed Scott’s sentiments about the lack of exotic animals at the zoo, but agreed to take me regardless.  Today we visited the zoo.  It was fantastic … even the resident Mercedians thought so.  Granted, it was a small zoo, but it was well-kept and a pure delight. As with most of my animal postings, this story is best told in pictures.  Enjoy.

Applegate Zoo Entry

Very affordable entry

Pacing cougar

Curious raccoon

Hard to see, but a peacock with fully fanned-out tail feathers

This swan loved the shower

Sleepy bear

Lunch time for the monkeys


Filed under Activities, Animals, Community, Entertainment, Family, Sights, Travel

Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar

Heading downtown for the Padres game, we thumbed through our catalog of gift certificates and came across one for the Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar on 5th Avenue.  It is right by the stadium so we walked on over and grabbed a quick bite to eat before the game.

This place is a small, bistro setting with very diverse options for diners.  While it boasts being a wine bar, it also has WiFi internet, so some people are there using it like a coffee shop. They also feature locally brewed beers on home game days for $4 and they have giant flat screen TVs with sports on.   And then – as you would expect – they offer full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Scott had a Tuscan chicken wrap and a Stone IPA.  I had a spinach salad and a glass of sauvignon blanc.  My salad was out of this world.  The food is moderately priced and the beer specials are exceptional.  The wine list was good, but not extensive and glasses averaged $10 each.

Regardless, this is a great place to visit for something a little out of the norm when heading to a baseball game or visiting downtown.

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Filed under Activities, Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Restaurants, Sports

I’m Walking for Arthritis

I guess since this is my blog, it is OK for me to let you know what I’m up to and how you can donate to a cause, right?

Well … here it goes:

As many of you know, I have had a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  No, I do not have arthritis, nor does any member of my immediate family.  However, through my volunteer efforts, I have come to learn a lot about the disease and met many amazing people who live with the disease – some more easily than others.

Did you know that arthritis is THE LEADING CAUSE OF DISABILITY in America?  Did you know that arthritis affects more than 3500 children in San Diego and Imperial Counties alone?

What I have come to learn is that arthritis takes on more than 100 different forms, including lupus, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. It touches us all in some way … at all ages. It is not an inevitable disease, nor is it one that only impacts the elderly.

These people have touched my heart in many ways so this year I have decided to join a team for the Arthritis Walk on June 5 to help give back.   Please consider donating to this very worthwhile cause.  Even if it is $1 … anything helps!

To make a donation, please visit my personal page.  I have a goal of $1,000.

All of my donors will be recognized right here on my blog!  So far I can thank:

  • Debbie Ketaily
  • Rylan Bowers
  • JP Garcia
  • Robyn Simon
  • Bonnie Nicholls
  • Gary and Patrick Robert (my dogs)

If you would like to see just how your donation will impact the people in our community, watch this video from NBC San Diego about the Juvenile Arthritis Camp, held each July in Julian, hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

I sincerely appreciate your support.

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Filed under Activities, Community, Education, General, Health, Recognition, Resources

Tangy Fruit Dip

My dear friend Maren gave me the recipe for some of the most delicious fruit dip I’ve ever tasted.

It goes great with berries, apples and citrus fruits.  It is easy to make and can be made in either full calorie or low-calorie.

  • 1 tub of Cool Whip (low-calorie/fat-free optional)
  • 6 ounces of vanilla yogurt (low-fat/fat-free optional)
  • pink lemonade Crystal Light powder

Combine Cool Whip and yogurt.  Mix in Crystal Light powder to taste, depending on how tangy you like it.  Chill for an hour before serving.  Serve with fruit of your choice.

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Filed under Cooking, Nutrition, Resources

Ladies Night Pink Drink

A few friends and I hosted a ladies night party yesterday. To make it really girly, we concocted a pink cocktail.  It turned out to be very delicious and pretty low calorie (as far as cocktails go) too.  


  • 1 part raspberry vodka
  • 2 parts light ruby-red grapefruit juice
  • 2 parts diet 7 Up (this can vary depending on desired fizziness)
  • sliced strawberries

Warning … it doesn’t taste like alcohol at all so it is easy to drink quickly.

This would be great for baby or bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or just a night with the girls.  Enjoy!


Filed under Cooking, Drinks, General, Resources