Monday, September 30, 2013

Lovely Weather Day

Sunday was a beautiful day.  No rain, temperature was just about perfect

On my walk I found some trimmings left by the side of the road and brought home some purple berries



As you can see they look nice placed with the cypress needle fronds (leaves?).  The M's are breaking out in blooms

Jim worked and I spent the day mostly on the computer.  I'm trying to update my blog.  How do you like what I've done so far?  Yay or Nay?   Also did some laundry, it's one of those never ending chores.  I watched Eli and the Giants lose badly.  And when Jim came home we watched his bother Peyton (Broncos) set another record of 4 touchdowns (16 for the season) in the game they won

We had our leftovers from Saturday for dinner and they were just as good reheated.  It was a PBS night on TV, we watched Last Tango in Halifax with Sir Derek Jacobi and the last episode of Foyle's War.

Neither one of us slept well last night so Monday is going to be a long day!  And tonight we will watch the Saints and Dolphins face off on Monday night football.  Both teams are 4-0 so it should be a good game, which the Saints will win...WOO DAT!

For those readers who don't know, we lived in New Orleans when the Saints were the Aint's!


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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lunch with Family

Our Saturday started out dismal...I was up early and knew we had a chance of cloudy skies and rain.  And it lasted most of the day.  Not sure the sun ever came  out.

No matter, we had a date with Sonsearae and Chris.  After doing the dishes and making the bed I got dressed for out lunch in DeLand.  The last time we were down there I noticed a Spanish Tapas restaurant, De La Vega. 
http://www.delavegart.com/
 Sonsearae and Chris were going on a cruise and we made plans to meet at the restaurant so we could visit.

They were already seated when we arrived and had ordered chips and dips.  Pico de Gallo, tomatillo and a habenero, along with queso and of course guacamole.  All were yummy and we had to order more chips.We had a leisurely lunch that included Sangria for three of us.  Everyone enjoyed their order, but more importantly we enjoyed each others company. Sonsearae ordered the Banderrillas  while I had Avocado Rellenos. Chris had Taquiza Gringa and Jim had a similar dish, Taquiza de Camaorn.  If you go to the website you can read about these delicious dishes. We all had leftovers and lucky us, we got to bring them home!

After lunch we strolled up and down the street checking out the craft show. It was nice the rain had stopped. I didn't know the Quilt and Craft show was going to be there, but I lucked out because because I like craft shows!

Soon it was time for us to part and after we exchanged hugs, they headed south while we headed north.  We did drive through another shower.  

Walked in the house just in time to feed Boo and enjoy our afternoon coffee.  Watched some of the LSU Georgia game....it was real interesting with the score going back and forth and LSU taking the lead in the fourth quarter only to lose right at the end

I sat outside for a bit enjoying the cool breeze and watching the birds.  Must have been six cardinals out there flitting from feeder to feeder.  A couple of wrens showed up too.  Since filling the feeders we've had blue jays  a woodpecker, the cardinals, doves, wrens and a titmouse or two show up.  The rain and clouds cleared out and it was a lovely end to the day.

We spent the evening watching TV and Netflix.  When we finally got hungry I fixed some soup...it was all I needed and Jim said it hit the spot.

It is now 0800 on Sunday and time for me to start my day....Jim needs to get up for work, Boo needs to be fed and I think I'll go for a walk since we have sunny skies


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Look Around You

On a day to day basis, what do you see?  Do you take the time to observe?  We've been here so long that I fail to see anything but the ordinary.  As I type this at 0630 I'm listening to the rain....just a gentle rain, you can barely hear it.  But I have a bucket under the down spout and I can hear the gentle plop of water as it hits the surface.  We sit under an oak tree and every now and then, when the water gathers I hear a heavy spatter of drops.

My coffee smells good so I take another sip

 

Boudreaux, such a big name for a little dog.  My constant companion when I'm home but sometimes, I admit, I don't see him or pay attention to him. Now that the weather is cooling down he's spending more time in my lap. Like now, he's curled up and snoozing away.


On our ride yesterday I tried to 'see' what was around me.  We saw a huge flock of buzzards!  Perhaps 50 or more birds just circling around on the thermals. Some just tiny birds so high up, others close enough to make out beaks and eyes.

Fall decorations are showing up and I'm going to try and capture some of that with my camera.  The colors of Autumn can be very intoxicating for me.  Just makes me want to create,cook and be a homebody


There are flowers in this part of our world.  Even though its late September my world has delicate flowers blooming. You just have to look around...what do you see in your part of the world?
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Friday, September 27, 2013

plants

Friday I was once again up a 0600.  After a few stretches I enjoyed my coffee while reading and writing blogs.  It was about 70 degrees outside and dark.



Our deck looks good, don't ya think?


The M and M's!  Marigolds and Mum.  Once the buds start opening all three pots should be pretty


While we sat out Thursday enjoying our cold brew we were entertained by the squirrels   This guy arrived with one of the biggest 'nuts' I've ever seen.  Not sure what kind it is but once he discovered the bird feeders he abandoned it.


How's this for fall color?  I'll take it because all to soon nothing will be blooming.

We went for a trike ride this morning...not a long one but it sure felt good and I didn't even break a sweat.

Jim washed the truck and got it tidied up for our trip Saturday to meet up with Sonsearae and Chris.  They're on their way to Orlando to celebrate their anniversary.

I made a pot of minestrone for our dinner. We both sat outside enjoying the lovely weather this afternoon.  I potted up the tomato plant but I need more potting soil before I can continue. The sky started getting cloudy and before long it was overcast.

Don't you know it rained on the clean truck!  Just a piddling shower so it should be easy enough to wipe down in the morning.

After our showers we settled in for an evening of TV.  House Hunters, Star Trek TNG and on Netflix, Inspector Lewis
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Paper

The other day I bought a couple of magazines at Barnes and Nobles and did you know they offer a paperless receipt?  They just emailed it to me!  I think that's fabulous....no little piece of paper that ends up in a recycle bin or land fill or ends up floating around as a piece of litter in the parking lot. I hope more stores offer this option!

I also took the opportunity to look at the Nook tablets. So many options for hand held devices out there!  I have the original Nook reader, no bells and whistles.  Do I need another one?   Not really...I have an iPad (original, 1st edition) that I no longer carry everywhere because I'm afraid the battery will run down and I won't be able to recharge it (issues with the plug and cord). I really miss not taking it everywhere because with all the apps I can read, play games and with WiFi can get online. Do I need another one, not really.  But I can dream

Thursday I was up a 0600...for years this has been my normal rising time, but because I haven't been sleeping well getting up later has been the norm lately.  Hopefully this changing seasons will be a new beginning for me. Not that I like getting up when it's dark!  But the longer I stay in bed the more my back hurts.  And it does give me quiet time for reading and hearing the birds as the sun comes up.

Around mid morning the clouds started dissipating and the sun came out!  I wanted to make a run to Lowe's for some plants so we changed into our city clothes and headed out.  

I did managed to find a potted chrysanthemum I liked and chose a couple marigolds to flank it.  Also bought a tomato plant, a pepper plant and a dish of succulents   Our hanging pot of fuchsia looked pitiful so I bought some impatiens to replace it.  Stay tuned for pictures!

We also bought a new bird feeder, squirrel proof according to the label...we shall see.  Along with some bird seed and suet cakes we're all set to watch the birds and squirrels

Next stop was Verizon, we get a 15% discount for Jim's military service and we had to show his ID card and send in paperwork to continue getting this discount.  Not a big deal and after a few minutes we were good to go. I like saving money, how about you?

Next stop was Subway for lunch.  I had a $10 gift card and we took advantage of the $5 foot long and along with a soda and chips we indulged ourselves.  Can't recall the last time I had real soda

Our last stop was Publix for a few groceries.  Back home Jim unloaded the truck, placing bagged plants all over the patio and I took care of the groceries.  Couldn't help but notice it was only 1300....Jim took a nap

Once he was up we both headed outside to take care of the plants and I did some re-potting. I filled the new feeder and hung it out while Jim set out seed in a couple other feeders   Then it was time for cold beer....have you ever tried a fruit flavored beer? I had an Abita Strawator, Strawberry Harvest Lager.  Quite nice on a warm afternoon.

Our Thursday night Pizza/Pot Luck was quite pleasant.  This front that went through left us with a cool breeze and lower temperatures.

It was so nice that when we got back home we opened the windows and turned on the exhaust fans.  We haven't done that in the last few months!  Then we showered and settled in for an evening of TV watching.   Shortly after 2100 we had to close up the house and turn on the AC...it was nice to have the fresh air moving through the house once again

What this world needs is a new kind of army - the army of the kind.  ~Cleveland Amory

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Autumn!

Is it Autumn where you are?  Are fall colors showing up?

It's still quite green here and I'm not sure what to expect.  The temperatures are milder but we still have 80+ degree days 


These pictures are from last year when we were in Tupelo and on the Natchez Trace


While living in the south has it's advantages of rarely being bone chilling cold you do have to give up the changing seasons.  Having been raised in Michigan which has four seasons I don't miss the cold, but I sure miss the Autumn colors
 


When I see displays of pumpkins and hay like the photo below I want to decorate!


What about you?  Is fall your favorite season?  How do you celebrate the coming of colder weather?
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recipe Wednesday--Antipasto Couscous with Chickpeas

Another dreary day here.  Not a lot of rain, just clouds and love bugs.  Jim did a lot of vacuuming and dusting and I stripped the bed and washed sheets.  Also gave Boo a bath.  It's just after 1700 still cloudy, getting dark and the rain has started again.

I've not tried this recipe but I like couscous and Chickpeas!  If you make it let me know how it tastes

Antipasto Couscous with Chickpeas

By Sharon Palmer, RD

A staple in North African cuisine, couscous is actually small pieces of semolina pasta made from whole grain flour. My whole grain couscous dish is based on a variety of flavorful preserved vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, and marinated artichoke hearts. You can keep these ingredients in your pantry and make this wholesome one-dish meal at a moment’s notice. And it’s just as good served cold as a salad.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium Red Onion, chopped
1/3 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced
Half 12-ounce jar drained, sliced Fire-Roasted Red or Yellow Peppers (about ½ cup)
1/2 cup canned marinated Mushrooms, drained
Half 12-ounce jar marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked or canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), no salt added, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pitted Green Olives, drained
1 Tbsp Capers
1-1/2 cups Water
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 cup uncooked Whole Wheat Couscous
1/3 cup chopped Pistachios
Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, chickpeas, olives, capers, water, vinegar, lemon pepper, paprika, and oregano. Cook until bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Pour the couscous over the vegetable mixture (do not stir) then cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the cover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Sprinkle with the pistachios and serve immediately.
Notes: Chill this dish to serve it as a salad. If you plan on serving it much later, reserve the pistachios to keep them from getting soggy and sprinkle them on at the last minute.

Per serving (about 1-1/8 cups):

Calories: 240, Carbohydrate: 38 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 8 g, Total fat: 6 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Sodium: 252 mg

Star nutrients: Vitamin C (20% DV), niacin (10% DV), folate (13% DV), iron (11% DV)

Recipe from The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today, copyright © Sharon Palmer, 2012. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available June 2012.

Rain

Jim worked Sunday and that evening we has some sprinkles and during the night more gentle rain fell upon us.  Not even loud enough to hear in the bedroom.

Monday I got up to overcast skies and drizzly rain. Jim is working today also.  Meanwhile at home I did laundry and baked blueberry mini loaves.  First time trying my new mini loaf pan.  It make 4 little loaves. They turned out well.  The two center ones browned more than the other ones so my baking time has to be tweaked.

Tuesday I was up around 0600 having slept quite well. I've been having trouble sleeping thee past couple of month's.  My back and hips don't seem to like my mattress.  Could be caused by lack of exercise, age, poor posture, etc.  So I've been working on it.  Started walking every day but that hasn't happened lately.  Last week there were two days when we had to be somewhere early, then last Thursday I got bit, not once, but three times on my left foot and couldn't get a shoe on.  Now it's raining...

We left around 1100 for Jacksonville.  My followup appointment was at 1450. It takes about an hour and a half to get there.  The rain had moved off and we followed it to Jacksonville.  By the time we got to the restaurant it was just a fine mist.

Jim found a Japanese restaurant for us to try, Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse in the St John's Town Center. We sat at the hibachi grill and enjoyed a lovely lunch.  We both had green tea and miso soup for starters.  Jim ordered steak and shrimp while I ordered just veggies.  Both meals came with fried rice, vegetables and sweet carrots. Everything was tasty and we'd go again.  We both recalled Hayashi's in Mission, Texas where we've shared many a meal with our friends.

After lunch we had time to kill before my appointment so we headed to Barnes and Nobles just across the street.  This shopping center has a lot of restaurants and stores that we're familiar with.  Even a BJ's Brewhouse!

Jim settled in with magazines while I wandered around looking at the new Nook tablets and cookbooks.  I did find a couple magazines to bring home.

My appointment went well and the Doctor thinks I should have my right eye cleared up before new glasses are bought.  He will send that recommendation to the VA and we'll see what they say.

The drive home during rush hour traffic on I-95 was interesting.  Once we got on Highway 207 the traffic was less but we ran into some heavy rain.   All of this activity and rainy weather made for a long day.

Boo was quite happy to see us when we got home around 1830! I got him fed and then showered just relaxing in the warm water.  Then it was Jim's turn.  We each had a warm beverage and some blueberry bread and settled in for the evening watching both NCIS shows.

By 2200 we both were ready for bed and looked forward to sleeping well.  But Boo had other plans....I think he slept all day and wasn't the least bit sleepy so it took awhile for everyone to settle in.

During the night I heard the gentle rain and this morning when I got up at 0700 it was still rainy and drippy outside.  I guess I won't be walking again...


Sunday, September 22, 2013

never fails

After I post a blog, I think of other things I wanted to tell you!

In the last issue of Escapees Magazine we read a tip about Oxyclean, put a scoop in your sink, add water and let sit for a bit.  Viola! you have a shiny, white sink...I've been using it once a week and it works great.

Another thing Jim did was buy a WiFi booster antennae.  We now get the signal here quite nicely and we don't have to rely on our phones for Internet.  Our phones are getting cranky and we know we'll have to get new ones and when we do we'll lose our unlimited data.

Most every campground has WiFi so this will help and we can find other ways of being online with cafes Panera Bread and Starbucks...even Barnes and Nobles has free WiFi!

Same old stuff



Not much to write about.  Our days are pretty much the same from week to week.

Jim finally got the deck he's been wanting since we moved to this site.  Unfortunately he found out mid summer that the owners would pay for the materials.  By then it was much to hot for him to build one.  I flatly told him no...

Annie and Les left right after Labor Day and Jim got their deck!  Just had to move it and that proved to be a lot of work for him.  He dismantled one side and moved it over board by board.  But the other side had stripped out screws and he had to wait for the guys to help him pick it up and move it...



As you can see, he's a happy camper!

Last Tuesday I finally had the 'cloud' in my left eye removed.  I've been cloudy for about two years and I'm not sure why the VA in south Texas couldn't take care of it but all is well now.  When you travel as much has we have in the last year or so its difficult to be seen in the VA system.

Apparently when you have your cataracts removed over time you can develop clouds....and this is what this was.  Once I got VA approval the Atlantic Eye Institute in Jacksonville Florida just lasered it away.  It took about 20 minutes and that's because the drops to numb and dilate my eye took time to be effective.  Once in the chair with the chin support it took maybe two minutes and by the time I was in the parking lot I could see clearly!  I have to be checked this coming Tuesday and we'll see about new glasses if they're needed.

I had a strange thought yesterday...where do cows come from?  Domestic dogs can be traced back to wolves etc.  Cats can be traced back to Lions and Tigers...but where do cows come from?  Have you ever seen one in the wild?
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recipe Wednesday---Insalata Fantasia

Do you exercise? I try to do something everyday but I skip more often then not.  This morning I went for a walk and boy can I feel it!  It's been awhile since I've done any walking and I didn't realize all the different muscles I'd be using.  It's still very humid here early in the morning so I had to shower when I got home.

The Tuesday after Labor Day our neighbors, Annie and Les pulled out and headed home.  They left behind a beautiful deck that Jim covets.  As soon as they left he started measuring and dismantling it so it could be placed at our house.



As I type this half of the deck is here, but he needs help with the rest of it.  Apparently screws are stripped out and dismantling the other side is difficult.  So the guys are going to help him 'carry' it over....I'll let you know how that goes.



As he was moving things around he found this little snake under the potted plants....I like snakes!


I found an interesting recipe in Happy Herbivore Abroad by Lindsay Nixon.  I haven't tried it yet but it looks very tasty!

Insalata Fantasia

3 cups chopped lettuce
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
5 black olives
5 green olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup corn
lemon (optional)

Place lettuce in a bowl and top with the rest of the ingredients, squeeze lemon over and enjoy!

Now she says this serves one and it would make a fine meal...but I think you could split it with a loved one if you so desire.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recipe Wednesday

Hey!  It's September already!  Where does the time go? 

We haven't been anywhere or done anything other than the normal chores and shopping for groceries.  I have to go to St Augustine or Jacksonville to get some of the foods we like and we did that a couple days ago.  

Jim worked Sunday and Monday.

The rain has finally let up and it's no longer a daily occurrence.  The Labor Day weekend was perfect for all the folks who were here....but....at our gathering at the pool Monday evening we had a light shower!  It was a good cookout with our hosts providing chicken and pork that Kevin grilled.  The rest of us brought the sides, I made Cowboy Caviar from the Happy Herbivore, it's a simple recipe using ingredients that can be found in any grocery store: http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/cowboy-caviar/

There was potato salad, ramen noodle salad, drop biscuits, some kind of cookie/cake desert, fruit salad and I think everyone had plenty to eat!  Once the heat of the sun passed it was quite nice to sit outside.

Boo has been doing great! He's still taking Temeril daily and on the 5th he'll start taking every other day until it's gone.  Hopefully this will be the only time he has to take it. He's sleeping most of the night, which means we sleep better too.

Jim was off Tuesday and after working on our deck during the morning he took the afternoon off.  Annie and Les (work campers) left this morning so we're getting their deck!  In order to move it Jim has to break it down a bit so it may take a few days before we have the deck he wants.  I wouldn't let him build one this summer because of the heat, it's still to hot to work outside but I'll keep an eye on him!

For dinner Tuesday I fixed stuffed peppers using the Spanish rice I made a couple days ago.  Corn muffins rounded out this dish and I ate one to many muffins!

Jim worked today and I did laundry, bathed Boo and watched The Tudors on Netflix.  Jim managed to make it home before the rain started.

We're beginning to think about where we want to go when we leave Welaka...whew that's a lot of w's!  We have to go south near Tampa to get a couple windows un-fogged and we'll explore the area.  Then meander back north.  I'm thinking maybe we should see Texas and it could be fun to head back to Amish country.  But where?  Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland?  Where else can these charming people be found?  Let me know!!

Dinner tonight will be simple, I've baked a couple potatoes and I'll figure out something.  The rain has cooled it down a bit...maybe some soup!

Some of our friends are traveling now and I hope they have safe travels.  Wherever you are enjoy the view.