Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Early Mother's Day

Salad
Mother's Day is Sunday, but I hate crowds and even more I hate crowds full of "energetic" (boy aren't I polite) children--I taught school for too many years to enjoy the company of those drastically younger than me.  So I asked Mac to take me out to lunch today instead.  Not a big fan of chain restaurants, but Italian restaurants are few and far between in our neck of the woods, so Olive Garden it was.
It was nice, empty and only one squealing child in the distance--in the bar area no less.
We started with their never ending salad bowl, which was quite nice, good unobtrusive Italian dressing.

Appetizers
Next a trio of appetizers to begin with: Calamari, Stuffed Mushrooms and Deep-fried Beef Raviolis.  The best that could be said was that they were ok.  The calamari were all breading, the mushrooms were drowning in cheese and why the heck would you deep fry a ravioli?
Spaghetti
Shrimp Scampi
Then came our main courses, Mac had spaghetti with marinara sauce and Italian sausage.  I had Shrimp Scampi cooked in a garlic sauce with tomatoes, asparagus and angel hair pasta.  Both were quite good, but huge portions, we brought about 3 lbs. of them home.  There was no room for dessert.



When we got home Mac gave me part of my Mother's Day gift, a beautiful asparagus dish made by Royal Winton.


I told Mac that the food was good, but the company was better.  All in all a nice day.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Breakfast in America,

This was the first song on my MP3 this morning, nice bouncy one to get me going.  Made me think about what we do have for breakfast, Mummy dear, Mummy dear.  

Around here it's rather a light breakfast.  We have coffee, black for me with no sugar (hate the taste of sweet coffee) and a little dab of Irish Cream for Mac.  Then it's toast made with my homemade honey wheat bread.  I have butter on  mine, no jam, hate the taste of anything sweet in the morning.  Mac has butter, peach preserves and cinnamon.  That's about the only time of day he likes sweet stuff.  Then it's a small glass of low calorie orange juice.

That changes when we travel.  There is nothing like getting in a car to make me hungry.  Then I want eggs, potatoes, toast, maybe even some pancakes, Mac likes sausage.  But that's not an every day event, we'd look like blimps if we ate like that everyday.

What's for breakfast at your house?



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Things

I started to blog about the heat, it was 93º here yesterday, but I decided it was much too early in the year to start complaining.  So I'll talk about a few other things.

Reading:  I finished the novel, notice I didn't say book, it's so much more than that, North and  South and I have to say it is one of the best books I've read in awhile.  I'm glad I stuck with it inspite of the use of dialect that was slowing me down.
Though it dealt with many social issues (the growth of industry, unions, child labor, strikes) it was at its heart a love story.
And its love story reminded me, in a strange way of Pride and Prejudice  , my favorite book.  When Mr. Thompson tells Margaret of his love she is as angry as Elizabeth was when Darcy first declared his.  But she was both full of pride, after all she was a lady, and prejudice, he dealt in business.  He expected her repudiation, but like Darcy he was wounded.
At the end when he again asked for her love it reminded me of Darcy asking Elizabeth is she'd changed her mind.  And like Elizabeth, Margaret was ashamed of her former refusal.
This one will stick with me for a while.

Listening:  On my MP3 player today while I was exercising were:

Roxanne by the Police
Surrender by Cheap Trick
Take Me Home Tonight  by Eddie Money
Red, Red Wine  by UB40
Talk Tonight by Oasis

Worked on my puzzle, it's a doozy, beginning to wonder if I'll ever get it done

For lunch today, if I get up and get going, will be pizza and a salad.  Not too heavy for a hot day.

Tonight it will be silly British TV:

Was It Something I Said
Room 101

And not so silly, but oh so good, a Miss Marple.

Hope you're having a good weekend too.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday

It's a hot, hot, hot Friday--think 90º--and I'm afraid summer may be here for awhile.  Time to join in with the lovely Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.  Quiet week for us, too hot to do much but muck about the place a bit.  I did get some flowers planted, though Mac had to finish it up, I just got too hot.
Anyway it was a nice week and I'm sharing a few things that made me smile.

First on my list are the veggies from our garden that we've been eating this week.  Things you've grown yourself are always tastier and Lord knows they're fresher, talk about farm to table freshness.  So this week we ate our own lettuce, broad beans, sugar snap peas, strawberries and red potatoes.  . The potatoes went into potato salad and the peas were blanched and put in my salad along with the lettuce.  Plus I froze green peppers. The tomato plants are finally forming tomatoes so I'm thrilled.  We don't have a lot of luck with tomatoes so fingers crossed.





No more lettuce for a couple of days and the beans are finished,
but still lots of potatoes, peas and strawberries.  We have to pick
the strawberries early to keep the critters away from them.


Second is seeing the local pond turtles coming out to lay eggs.  Mac always worries when he sees them crossing the road and helps them across.  He's raising a couple of box turtles that he found last year, one is about a year old and the other 2.  He'll keep them till there bigger then let them go in  the backyard.  We already have 3 that live near the pool.



















The one-year old

The two-year old, aren't they cute.



Third is my, or is that Miss Kittie's, new bathroom sink.  It's finally done and all we have to do now is paint the bathroom.  It's not a huge room, so if the weather cools a bit we'll get it done.  Right now it's a rather light sand color and we're going to go a bit darker with a brown that has pink undertones.

The before

And the after!



Fourth is not something that made me smile, but was an interesting fact I learned.  While reading the novel North and South I learned that in the mid-1800's women were not allowed to attend funerals.  They were considered too emotional.  So the main character in the book was not supposed to attend her Mother's funeral.  How strange is that.




And Fifth  is the book Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson.  But then Bill Bryson always makes me smile.  This is book he wrote in the early 1990's before he moved his family to the States.  He wanted to revisit the places he'd first seen when he arrived in England in the early '70s.  He was a little cruel, but most of it was written with love for he does love England.  And after a few years in the States he moved his family back to England.

That's  my Five, hope you have a great weekend.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday in the Swamp

Knew it was going to be warm today, didn't know it was going to be HOT!  Worked in the garden trying to get more of the plants we bought Monday planted.  I think I fried my brains!  I was slathered in sunscreen which also is an insect repellant, so I'm not burned or bitten, but oh was I hot when I came in.  Not done yet, will try to get out a little earlier tomorrow and finish the job.
Miss Kitty was outside too and we thought we'd lost her, but she's gone under the back deck to cool off.  Obviously she has more brains than we do.
Mac is working assiduously on the pool, but I don't know when it will be ready and Friday the forecast is for 90º weather.  Hope you're enjoying good weather wherever you are.
The new Lily has been planted, there are Zinnias in the background.


The patio is covered in tomato plants, no tomatoes yet though.

My Easter Lilies are blooming.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reading Habits

I love to read and I'm a fast reader, but a couple of books have really slowed me down lately: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and Villette by Charlotte Bronte.  The problem is language,  North and South primarily takes place in the north of England in an imaginary town called Milton, research suggests it's supposed to be Manchester.  When the characters from that area talk it's all in dialect.  I'm no expert and I assume it's some sort of midlands dialect.   I  thought at first it was a Yorkshire drawl, but if it takes place in Manchester and that's not Yorkshire.
It really slows the story down for me.  Instead of breezing along I have to read very slowly to get the meaning of what's going on.  I was very frustrated at first and almost gave up on the book, but it's such a good book I couldn't.  And I'm glad I didn't, I'm almost finished and it's so good.  Reading the dialect hasn't gotten much easier, but I don't mind as much now that I know the characters better.  I'll do a review of this book when I finish it.





The other book giving me trouble, Villette, and the  problem is because of all the French sprinkled
through it.  I guess that most educated people at the time this book was written could read and speak
French, but I cannot.  I read and speak Spanish so you can throw Italian and Latin at me and I can pretty much figure things out.  I lived in Germany for a number of years and even though I don't speak it well, I usually recognize enough to understand short bits of it.  But French destroys and annoys me.  I'm not the biggest fan of the Brontes to begin with, but I needed a book written a 100 years before I was born for a book challenge so I chose Vlilette.  I'm about half way through it, page 300 and something, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure I'll finish it.  I just don't care enough about the main character to go on, I don't care what happens to her.
Are there things in books that give you trouble?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Finally Here

Yes, finally, my glasses are here.  They called late Friday and said they were in and that they were open till 5.   We live 8 miles from town and and we never go in for just one thing, so we didn't dash off Friday to pick them up.  There were several things to be done today, in addition to the glasses--box to mail at UPS, paper notarized at the bank and masses of plants to buy, so we waited.
When I tried them on today it was interesting because I was wearing my contact lens.  Notice I said lens, not lenses, I only wear one because my brain only listens to one of my eyes.  So I put the glasses on, closed my good eye and looked with the other (my brain will listen to that eye if the other one isn't available) and said they'd do.  The lovely assistant said they really look nice and I laughed.  I said that with this prescription the lenses look like coke bottle bottoms and I only wear my glasses at night, at home, otherwise I wear my contact lens.
Saying that triggered a memory and when I told Mac about it, I teared up and almost cried.  For when my Mom was dying, before I could get to see her one last time, she kept asking my sisters where the little girl with the coke bottle glasses was.  So sad, but as Mac said, it meant she was thinking of me.