Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Recipe Wednesday, Italian Pasta Salad

We both enjoyed this salad and Jim said it's a keeper!  It makes enough for 4 sides and I'd take it to a potluck to share.  If it's going to be consumed in one sitting, go ahead and add the avocado.  I only used 1/2 cup of dressing and it tasted just fine and thus has less fat

A classic Italian pasta salad recipe with plenty of vegetables. This vegetarian pasta salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare 

1 1/2 cups shell, bow-tie or corkscrew pasta
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 6 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup sliced black olives
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
In a large salad bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and onion.

Toss with the dressing, then cover and chill for 4 hours.

Before serving, toss the salad with the olives, tomato and avocado.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

far off thunder

Despite all the rumbling of thunder we had Sunday afternoon it never did rain.  It got dark too, but I guess it just passed us by.  Darn!  I was looking forward to more rain!!!  :-)

Our dinner of Italian Pasta Salad was good but I did forget to mention the artichokes it had and I didn't use the avocado.  I'll post the recipe Wednesday.

We watched Rosemary and Thyme (British TV show) and Endeavour on PBS.  In bed by 2230 and I slept very well!  I've been having trouble sleeping because of back pains. I keep adjusting the number on my mattress and I think I have it set right now.  Time will tell.  I know I'm tired of waking with a back ache in the middle of the night.  It's hard to go back to sleep....

Monday Jim worked a few hours and while he was gone I stripped the bed and did laundry.  He got home around 1300, had lunch and then a nap.  He had to rest up for a visit from Sonsearae and Chris.

I've been watching the Showtime series, The Tudors on Netflix.  Have any of you seen this?  I'm on episode 9, I think, and find it very entertaining. Jim didn't care to watch it so I've been viewing it while he's at work.

Chris had a training session in Lake City on Monday so Sonsearae decided to join him overnight.  She worked Monday morning and left Tallahassee after her shift at the Post Office.  Chris left about an hour later and joined her at the hotel.  Then they both drove down to East Palatka so they could have dinner with us at Corky Bell's.  What a delicious meal we had!  Jim and I split a seafood platter for two with grilled fish, broiled scallops, oysters, shrimp and fried clam strips and stuffed crab, along with 4 sides of 2 slaws, green beans and cheese grits...Oh can't forget the hush puppies, they come with all the meals!  Sonsearae had fried shrimp and catfish with slaw and baked potato and Chris had fried catfish with cheese grits.

We chatted and had a good time!  All leftovers came home with us and there were quite a few!  We'll enjoy them over the next two days.

We parted in the parking lot and they headed west, northwest while we headed east, southeast.  The sky was pretty with the setting sun and clouds.  We made it home before dark and quickly showered and settled in for the evening.  Sonsearae let us know they arrived around 2200.  

Tuesday morning Sonsearae drove back to Tallahassee so she could work that afternoon....ah, to be young again and put all those miles behind us.

Tuesday I was up just before 0700.  Quiet time with my coffee and some reading.  I woke Jim at 0800 and we both spent time on Facebook and reading email.  After breakfast Jim headed outside to dust off the truck and tidy the patio.  I did laundry and dishes. He also took the propane tank and had it filled.  How much does it cost in your area?  We paid $30 to fill a big tank.

After lunch we both inspected our eyelids for leaks.  Me on the lounger and Jim on the bed.

Around 1600 it started getting dark and don't you know, we had a thunder storm!  Rained pretty good for awhile and just before sunset the sun tried to come out

Dinner tonight was indeed some luscious leftovers.  I reheated the fried catfish and  hush puppies under the broiler. The green beans I popped in the microwave and heated up some baked beans and we also ate the rest of the slaw....took all of 10-15 minutes to fix dinner!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

dinner friday evening

I think we just set a record.....two and a half days with no rain!  But Jim pressed his luck by washing the the truck yesterday and we had sprinkles today....just enough to spot the truck.

Let's see, what have we been doing?  Just the regular, normal day to day stuff...Jim worked Friday and I'm sure I did laundry.  Seems like I do at least two loads every day and lest you think we're slobs, one load is puppy pads that Boo uses, he's house trained and most of the time we just don't take him out!  I guess if he didn't have us trained so well we'd take him out more often.

It's really been to hot to think about cooking much, inside or out.  Of course when we do plan on cooking out it's I've pretty much stopped planning for that.  Friday evening I fixed twice baked potatoes and a salad.  The potatoes were a first for me and I must say they turned out well.  I baked them and then I sauteed some onion, bell pepper and mushrooms in some vegetable broth.  When the potatoes were cool enough to handle I sliced off the top, chopped it up and scooped out the inner potato.  Then I mashed all this together with more broth until it was smooth enough to add the veggies.  Stuffed all that back inside and topped with a bit of vegan provolone cheese and re-baked them for about 15 minutes

Served with a Caesar salad it made a fine dinner!

We've been watching a lot of Netflix, various shows like Foyles War, Rosemary and Thyme, even a couple goofy movies.  After Jim washed the truck yesterday we spent the afternoon just chilling watching TV.

This morning I made a grocery run.  Jim worked all day.  I made an Italian pasta salad for dinner and it has broccoli and cauliflower along with mushrooms, onion, tomato and black olives.  It calls for an avocado but I'm not sure about that...we both like it but what if we don't eat the whole salad?  Will it turn dark???

Tonight we'll watch Endeavour on PBS
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Friend Anne

I can't begin to tell you how much I love this lady and miss her terribly!  And if I know her she'll complain about this picture and me making a post about her.

She's funny and when we're together we always find something to laugh about.  We complain about our husbands to each other and talk about other friends.

When we see each other it's like it was just yesterday when we parted.

She's clever and talented and very thrifty when it's necessary

I don't make friends easily and with a female it's very rare, I'm honored she has chosen to be my friend
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Miles and miles on the truck

Monday Jim had doctors appointment at 0930 in St Augustine so we were up a little early, well Jim was, it was my normal rising time.  Quick cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal for me and we were off at 0830 for the drive into town.  Made it with 10 minutes to spare.  You just never know about local traffic and those who are rushing to their jobs.

Good news!  The tests came back negative but he still has some damage to his esophagus and has to remain on Nexium.  Matter of fact, for the next two weeks he's doubling the dosage to see if that helps with the symptoms (coughing, clearing his throat, etc) which seems to have gotten worse since we've been in Florida.  It could be just nasal drip that's causing him to do this.  He's also going to be keeping a food journal to see if foods are causing the symtoms...

After we left the office we headed to Cracker Barrel for some breakfast....Jim had all the items he doesn't get at home very often.....eggs, bacon,ham, sausage, cheesy potatoes, grits, biscuits and gravy and apples!  Oh some coffee with half and half....I must say he did enjoy it!   I had some blueberry pancakes and a glass of orange juice.

Then we headed to Gander Mtn to see if Jim could find a brimmed hat.  No luck and when we came out he noticed a side light on the fender of the truck was missing so we stopped at the Ford dealership right next door for the part.

Still on the quest for a hat we hit the outlet mall and hit a couple stores but again no luck, sooooooooo we just headed home.

During the drive to, from and during, we had rain showers.

Yesterday we had our coffee and some breakfast and it kept getting darker and darker and then the rains poured for the longest time!  

When it rains we like to go to Barnes & Nobles to read maybe have a cup of coffee and just wait it out.  So that's why we headed to Jacksonville.  The drive is a lovely one and takes about an hour and a half.  Of course the rain let up and we could see blue skies ahead.

Once we got there we decided on Panera Bread for lunch.  I had half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich along with a bowl of chicken orzo soup, both were delicious.  Jim had a turkey avocado blt with chips and a strawberry smoothie.  Because it was so nice we sat outside and enjoyed the gardens and listening to the birds.

We then listened to Ethyl (our gps) who said Barnes and Nobles was 250 feet away...She lied it was a Walmart!  Still on the quest for a hat Jim asked Ethyl to find us a Dick's Sporting Goods.  What luck!  Just a few miles away and across the river at the Orange Park Mall was just the very store we wanted.  Alas no luck with a hat, so after a bit of strolling we left.

Since we were on the west side of the ST John's River we decided to go to NAS Jax....This is where we got married and where I also had the surgery on my back.  We looked around the Exchange but no hat....They do carry Tommy Bahama clothing for men that costs 20-40 dollars cheaper than 'the outside world' and no taxes!  It's good to know in case Jim needs something before we leave Florida next March.

Back across the river we headed to Whole Foods Market, which is my favorite grocery store.  Didn't really 'need' anything but like Sonsearae said I did find some things to buy....spent less than 50 bucks!  Jim sat and enjoyed a latte while I browsed the aisles.

Then we headed home, but wait!  One more stop at Ace Hardware to see if they had hats....they do!  And Jim found one to his liking.  This store was huge and we liked every nook and cranny.  Found a couple of air plants and some bird seed.  Oh can't forget the free popcorn!  YUM

Then it was time to head home.  By this time it was pushing 1700 and I'm sure Boo was starving to death!

We did have more rain during the day and the drive home but we never did find the Barnes and Nobles!

And guess what?  It's raining as I type this...Jim was outside washing the rig and step mats trying to get rid of mildew....oh well maybe tomorrow, if it doesn't rain!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

It must be the rainy season

We've been getting rain almost daily, sometimes it's just a brief shower, sometimes it rains gently for awhile and sometimes we have thunderstorms.  Everything is green and pretty!  Does make using our new grill a problem because neither one of us wants to stand out in the rain to cook!

Jim has been off this week and he's been working on the wheel well.  Back when we had a blowout it got messed up so he has been working each morning with fiberglass and smelly stuff to fix it.  I don't think he wants to do it again....

We got the new shocks for the truck, now he needs to find a garage that will install them ...

Woke up during the night, couple of nights ago and noticed our big air conditioner was not coming would try then cut out.  So I turned it off and when we tried it after breakfast it still wasn't working right.  Called out a repairman and he came same day...he couldn't find what was wrong, but he fixed it!  Could have done without the expense.

This guy hangs around all the time

We had lunch at Corky Bell's yesterday...sure love the food there.  Of course we talked about a lot of things but the most important thing was Jim telling me we're leaving here March 15th!
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Jim spent last Saturday morning doing yard work!  We've had so much rain that our 'grass' needed trimming so he got the lawnmower and got rid of the tallest growth.  If you know Jim, you also know that he had to tidy up the yard, put out corn and seed for the squirrels and birds, etc. My cucumber plant was done producing so he dumped the pot and cleaned it.  It only took him about an hour and a half and was finished by 1130.  Of course he was soaked in sweat and a shower was much needed to cool off.

Since we've been having afternoon showers we decided to grill a late lunch of hot dogs and veggies.  Good thing we did because the showers came and we had light showers off and on all afternoon and evening.

I've only got one tomato that has fruit ripening on it along with the two pepper plants that have been prolific but we can't eat them fast enough.

Sunday Jim worked and guess what?   No rain!!!  Same on Monday, Jim worked and we didn't have any rain.  I made a run to Winn-Dixie in Crescent City.

Tuesday we had lunch at a new restaurant for us, Musselwhite's Seafood and Grill.  We both had seafood off the lunch menu and found it to be very good.  The place needs a makeover as I didn't care for all the dead animals on the walls.

I forgot to mention that we only paid $3.75 a gallon for diesel when we went to Jacksonville.  Cheaper than what we have around here by at least 10 cents.

I think we sat and watched Netflix on Wednesday...can't remember much about the day. :-)

Yesterday we had lunch at 3 Banana's and went for a drive afterwards heading over to Georgetown.  Nice drive through the country and we headed down a couple back roads just to see what was there...We found Lake George but never did find the marina Jim was looking for.  Guess we'll have to go back

Jim is working today and so far I've just been sitting here at the computer!  I guess I should get dressed, make the bed and do the dishes and laundry...boring stuff but it still needs to be done...and I tell everyone I'm retired!  From what, I  have no idea

Friday, July 5, 2013

Here I am!

Gosh, I've neglected this blog again!  Oh well, there's really not much to write about.  

Last Friday, the 28th (which would have been my mom's 87th birthday) we did drive over to Palm Coast to meet up with Jim's nephew Joel,his son Owen and his wife Jackie.  We haven't seen Joel and Owen in a long time and it was our first time meeting Jackie.  They we're vacationing with friends and it was awful nice of them to share some time with us.  We had lunch at Mezzaluna , an Italian restaurant in the European Village Resort. Apparently you can stay upstairs and have your choice of dining experiences in the courtyard.  There are other shops and even and Natural Grocery Store.

We arrived before they did and strolled around the courtyard checking out everything.  We then decided to wait inside and being just about the first one's there we had our choice of tables!  We ordered our drinks and decided to get the large antipasto knowing we could share it when they arrived.  Truthfully, it was large enough to feed all five of us.  It had all the meats and cheeses you'd expect along with peppers, tomatoes and artichokes, all on a bed of lettuce!  Served with a side of Italian dressing.

It wasn't long before they arrived and once they ordered their drinks we sat talking for a long time.  It was finally decided with the help of our waiter to order a half and half large pizza along with a slice of pepperoni pizza for Owen.  All of the food was delicious.  Eventually we had to say our goodbyes and we left them to stroll the courtyard and we headed to Flagler Beach.

It was time to walk in the surf!

There were a lot of dark clouds in the south west and we kept an eye on them, knowing we could rained upon at any minute.

This shrimp boat was no doubt offshore looking for shrimp!

Those clouds kept getting closer so we headed back to the truck and don't you know we got sprinkled on while we washed the sand from our feet....

We've had rain every day I'm sure.  Sometimes just a brief shower, other times gully washers inundate us for long periods of time.  No flooding here but in our travels we have seen standing water along the roads and in shallow spots.

On Wednesday Jim treated me to a visit to Whole Foods Market in Jacksonville!  We drove up Highway 13 along the east side of the St John's River and what a lovely drive.  One of Florida's Scenic Highways
Posted by PicasaThere we some beautiful homes and some that were there before 'big' got popular.  Some right on the river, others across the street with access to the river.  the closer we got to Jacksonville there were gated communities of magnificent homes.
As it turned out it took us right to where we wanted to be!  We had lunch at Miller's Ale House.  Then went shopping at World Market before heading to Whole Foods.  One more stop for fuel $3.75 a gallon for diesel, and we were on our way home.  We left just before 1000 and arrived home in time for Boo's dinner at 1600.

Today we went into Palatka for a Walmart run and a stop at Publix....Gosh, I think all we do is buy groceries!

Hope y'all had a wonderful July 4th.  We had a parade of decorated golf carts drive through the campground but no fireworks.