Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Late Easter Post




It's days after Easter, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it.  Before our daughter moved to Japan we would fly up to D.C. to spend Easter with her.  Now we're on our own, just us and the cat.  But I still dye eggs and devil them for Easter lunch.  We've had lamb fairly recently so we opted for prime rib.  I bought a rib steak more than 2 inches thick and had to Google how to cook it.  But it was simple, a quick sear and finish off in the oven.  It was so good, almost melt in your mouth.  Of course I didn't remember to take any pictures. We finished with strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream.
It rained most of the day, we got more than 2 inches so things are a bit soggy around here, but so pretty and spring like.
Neighbors have Dogwood trees that are blooming and I love them.  But we've brought 2 Dogwoods home and though we tried they both died so we just have to admire our neighbors.  The Wisteria is blooming too and if there is anything more southern I don't know what it is.  We have it growing up our trees and draped over the garden wall.
Mac is busy transplanting Bell peppers and tomatoes out into the garden.  He also brought home some cuttings from plants in Florida, a banana tree among other things.  Yesterday we ate the first  Fava  (Broad) Beans from the garden and had lettuce from the greenhouse.  So good to eat what you've grown yourself.
Our electricity went off for about a half hour this morning so I'm behind on everything, so off I go, running to catch up.



An Easter present from Mac

Wisteria and Freesias

Eggs ready to devil




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More Florida

We did go to the beach while in Florida, but not to lay on the beach.  My dermatologist assures me that those days are over and after seeing the folks who looked like very badly tanned leather I have to agree.  Note  to folks of a certain age, mine, and weight, mine, please put some clothes on.
Anyway we did go to Jetty Park so Mac could fish, beautiful park, nice beach and nice pier to fish from.





Very pretty, but tiny.







Lots of pelicans

More than a few sea turtles

Snowy egrets in the picnic area

The regular beach was just a 100 yards from our hotel, people were surf casting and the big blue herons were there to help out.

Coming back from the Space Center we stopped for Mac to fish along the Banana River, he caught a good-sized catfish.

We enjoyed the trip, Canaveral/Cocoa Beach is only about 4 1/2 hours from here, but as I say every time we go to Florida, there are just too many people there, could not live there, it would drive me crazy.


Monday, March 28, 2016

We've Been Awe Struck

I've been absent from Blogger because we've been in Florida.  To lay on the beach you ask, no, we went to see a space launch at Cape Canaveral/Kennedy.  It was a night launch so they don't let you get close, but it was still incredible.  Now we want to go back for a day launch which you can view from 2-4 miles away.
We had a hotel room in Cocoa Beach and joined the other guests on the 8th floor to watch the lift-off. No tail of fire like we'd expected, but it was pretty incredible to watch.
The next day we went to the Kennedy Space Center and spent the day.  To say we were awe-struck is an understatement.  We saw rockets, we saw models of space capsules, we walked on the gantry that the Apollo astronauts walked on.  We went to the I-Max theatre to see a 3-D film about space and the Hubble Telescope, we saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis, we went in the shuttle simulator and felt what it's like to take off.  We had the most incredible day and didn't have time to take the bus out to the launch pads--that alone is 2 1/2 hours.  We will be going back, probably this Fall if they're having a daylight launch.  You can view it from the viewing stands at the Space Center.
The launch we saw was an unmanned mission to resupply the International Space Center.
We learned about the present mission they're working on, the Orion missions that will begin going to Mars and sometime in the 2030's will culminate in a manned mission to Mars lasting somewhere between 2 1/2 - 3 years.
The pictures we took don't do justice to what we saw, can't wait to go back.
























Here it is, no fire tail like we'd expected


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Drano For Olives

As I said in my last post you can't eat olives straight from the tree, they're hard as a rock and have to be cured before you can eat them.  There are 3 main ways to do this; with salt water, with oil and with lye.
The salt water method, which Mac has tried, takes forever and really, the olives are just so-so in taste.
He hasn't tried the oil method, but we've eaten oil-cured olives and though reasonably tasty, to be blunt they're oily.
So he decided on the lye method and after doing a lot of research he decided to use Drano crystals, they're almost pure lye---though I've read that they've changed the formula and it might not be as good to use.  Anyway, you put the olives, the Drano and water into  a plastic bucket and let them soak.  After a couple of days you cut an olive open to see if the lye has penetrated all the way to the pit, the flesh of the olive will turn pinkish in color, check the biggest olives first.  When the lye has penetrated to the pit, dump that water and put the olives in fresh water.  As the lye leaches out it colors the water red.  You keep changing the water until the water is clear.  Dump the water again, put in fresh water, add garlic, oregano or any herb you like.
Then put them in jars.
They were wonderful, everyone use to ask for a jar.  I would love it if this tree produced, but if I remember you have to have at least 2 trees.  We'll see.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five On Friday

Not unlike the white rabbit, I'm late.  Had to go running around town buying things we've been putting off buying.
So for my Five on Friday I'll be joining in with Amy at Love Made My Home and showing you where the money went.
First is for a new dishwasher, ours went out some time last summer and we're just getting around to replacing it.  For 2 people it's just about as easy to wash by hand.  But some day we'll be selling this house and it will need a working dishwasher, in stainless steel to match the rest of the appliances.  It will be delivered next Saturday.
Next we're sprucing up Miss Kitty's bathroom and she is so appreciative.  We thought about replacing the whole vanity, but there's really nothing wrong with it, it's the cheap looking top, sink and faucet that needed replacing.  So that's what we did.  This is the top we bought.
Love the rectangular sink
It didn't come with a faucet so that was our next purchase.
It's in brushed nickel and should look good.

Next up is a new kitchen faucet, something we've needed for quite some time.





Then we saw this at Walmart----an Olive Tree.  We grew them in California, Mac made olives for us---did you know that you can't eat olives directly from the tree they have to be cured.  He cured ours with Drano, can you believe it?
We're going to plant it in a pot and put it in the greenhouse during the winter.  Don't know if we'll ever get olives from it, but we're going to try.

That's my Five, hope you have a good weekend.  Ours will be quiet, we're now broke.











Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  Savannah hosts the 3rd largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the world.  This year there are thunderstorms in the area, but I doubt that will slow people down much.  We went out to breakfast and saw some of the annual parade on tv.  Up to 30,000 people were expected to view the parade and close to 400,000 people descend on Savannah for the celebrations. It will be going on through Sunday.
It all starts before the big day with the greening of the fountain in Forsyth Park and the Irish Festival--Tara Feis held a few days before.
This celebration has been going on for 190 years, with a few breaks.  Parts, like the Irish Festival are family orientated and some are just an excuse to get drunk.
We stay out of Savannah and usually go somewhere this time of year, crowds are not our thing and drunk crowds ever less so.  But I'm a bit Irish on the maternal side, we're from the poor branch of the Kennedys.  So Erin Go Bragh.
The fountain in Forsyth Park

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Good Day to Sun Bathe

I guess St. Patrick must have missed a few.  This one was sunning himself next to our driveway.this afternoon.  Mac said he's a Black Racer and was about 4 1/2 feet long. You know I didn't take the picture.  I'm not particularly afraid of snakes, but then again, they're not on my list of animals I'd like to hang out with either.
After seeing this one Mac saw another  snake swimming in the lagoon, he studied it with binoculars and decided that it wasn't a moccasin or a cottonmouth so he didn't shoot it.  He thinks it was a Great Northern Water Snake.
Now snakes on the land are one thing and those in the water another.  I HATE WATER SNAKES!  There's just something evil looking about them.
So if you happen to see St. Patrick tell him I have a job for him.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In A Fit of Madness

In a fit of madness I mowed the lawn today, I figured if I could cut the flowering off the rye grass life might be easier for me.  And I think it will be, once I stop sneezing.
Beautiful day today, again in the 80's, much too warm for March, but they've promised us cooler weather for next week.
Sent SPQR back to the library, didn't finish it, read about 100 pages and realized it was telling more about Cicero and Catiline than I ever wanted to know.  There are things I would like to know about Rome, but this wasn't what I had in mind.
We started rewatching a movie we've seen before last night.  It's Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman and written by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame.  It's so good.  I think this is about the 3rd time we've watched it.
Time for lunch, roast chicken pasta salad.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hello Spring Fever

Some of the pollen on our driveway.
Or is that spring allergies.  Don't get me wrong, I love spring, seeing the new plants coming up, seeing what survived the winter.  But I could do without the overload of pollen that we get here in the south.  It rained last night and now everything is covered in yellow pollen,  I walk out the door and start sneezing and my eyes start watering.  The pollen count all week is in the very high range.  It's predominantly tree pollen.  The worst offenders for me are the maple and oak trees which we have many of.  The pine trees are covered in pollen too, but the pollen spores are too large to cause most people problems.  The other thing I didn't know about is rye grass.  Well guess what we overseed our lawn in during the winter, rye grass and it's flowering now. I had no idea it could cause a problem.
I finished a couple more  of my library books,  Brooklyn and When Breath Becomes Air, good reads both.  Brooklyn a rather simple story of a young Irish girl who comes to America in the early 1950's.  She meets a young man and he falls in love with her, then she has to return to Ireland after the death of her sister.  It becomes rather complicated.
When Breath Becomes Air is the true, but sad story of a neurosurgeon who nears the end of his training, but is given a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.
Now I'm working on SPQR, a 600 page history of Rome.
In lighter news we're thinking about painting our kitchen cupboards.  They're a rather dated looking light color.  I don't want to stain them, but I would like to paint them a green color.
Here are some of the color choices I'm looking at.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Overload

As I've said many times I read a lot, and to save money I buy used books and check out e-books from the library.  We're 9 miles from the library so we save gas, time and money by checking books out electronically.  Unfortunately it's usually a bit of a wait to get the books I want.  They have loads of audio books, but I'm too hyperactive to listen to books, 10 things would distract me from listening.  So I put the books I want on hold and wait to move up the list to get them.  We're allowed to put 5 books at a time on hold.
At the beginning of January I put Finders Keepers by Stephan King, Brooklyn by Coln Toibin, SPQR by Mary Beach, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanighi and The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende on my hold list.  Well guess what, after waiting almost 2 months they became available, all of them at the same time.  I now have 14 days to read them all.
So I've been plowing through them.  I read while I eat, but I don't usually use my Kindle, just a regular book because I don't want to get messy fingerprints all over my screen.  But time being of the essence I've put away the paperback I'd started, The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett and started reading all my e-books.
I finished Finders Keepers, it's a follow up to Mr. Mercedes and I liked it better, I usually "enjoy" Stephen King books, he knows what frightens me.
I then read The Japanese Lover and really enjoyed it, I know I need to read more Isabel Allende books.
And now I'm reading When Breath Becomes Air, it's not a long book, but not one you can rush through.
Next up will be Brooklyn and then SPQR.
That's what's ahead for me for a while.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five on Friday

Tis' Friday again, I'm beginning to think there's more than one of them in each week.  This week some of the bunnies decided that you should see how they navigate around this house after dark, because it really gets dark with all the high ceilings and few outdoor lights.  Though bunnies eat lots of carrots that are full of vitamin A they still need some help seeing in the dark so we have lots of nightlights.  They're  just for the bunnies, I don't need nightlights, I'm not afraid of the dark.

The First nightlight is in the hallway bathroom, it's a froggy and I gave him to Mac for Christmas to put in this bathroom because it's the one he usually uses.



The next light is under the desk in the living room.  The living room has 20 foot ceilings and only 2 narrow windows, it truly gets dark at night. It's a teacup and our daughter gave them to me as a gift one year.




The Third light is in the master bathroom and it's a bear.











The Fourth one is in the hallway upstairs, no windows so it's really dark at night.  It's another teacup.




The last light isn't a nightlight, but rather a small lamp we keep on in the upstairs bathroom any time we have guests staying over.






That's my Five on Friday, hope you visit Amy at Love Made My Home and all the other bloggers who are participating.