Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

But it feels more like Labor Day.  Mac has most of the old pool down and I've been polishing floors, making bread and cleaning out my painting/crafting area.  Wound up a bunch of yarn balls and carried stuff upstairs to my messy craft room---its next.
Going to be hot today, around 94º so trying to get everything done early so we don't melt.
Have quite a bit more energy since I got my B-12 shot, they help a lot.  Been taking them for a couple of years and they make a difference.  When I first started taking them I took them in my upper arm alternating between left and right.  The right one was fine, but the left one was always sore and miserable for a week or more, not the injection site, but the whole muscle.
After about a year I talked to the doctor about taking it in the upper hip instead.  I've had no problems since then.  I've read that the shot needs to be at body temperature and injected slowly.  I'm working with new nurses, but so far they've been great.
The first tomatoes of the season, cherry tomatoes.  We never have much luck with tomatoes, this plant will probably croak now that it's given us a few, but I'll enjoy what I have.
Some more Gladiolas too!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Not a Five on Friday

Not enough time, not enough to post, not enough energy as I always like to visit the other Friday bloggers, but 2 doctor visits ate into my time this week.

But a bit has been going on, my Rose of Sharon came into bloom while we were gone and isn't it gorgeous.



The old pool is coming down, poor Mac, his helper, our friend Mike is on vacation, and I'm not strong enough even after taking my B-12 sho to help.  The new one goes in next week weather permitting and it won't be Mac putting it in.  It'll be trickier to put in than the first one as we've added the deck, the lattice work and all the plants, but that's the pool company's problem and probably our financial one if they charge us more.



I got a new backpack while we were in Yellowstone, not for my Grandkids, we don't have any, just for the little girl who still lives in me.



Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday in the Swamp

Just back from the doctors, had to have my B-12 shot I was about a week late and I've been doing supplements.  Also have an ear ache.  They took all kinds of wax out of my ears, like Shrek cleaning his.  But they couldn't get it all out of the sore ear and so they put in softener and I have to go back tomorrow to have them finish up.
We were under a tornado warning yesterday afternoon, but we were lucky, one touched down in Ludowici, about 20 miles west of here and another on Wilmington Island, about 36 miles northeast of here.  We just got thunder, lightning and more than an inch of rain.  More is forecast for this afternoon.  Hopefully the electricity won't go out as it is incredibly humid.  I think I'm missing the Montana snow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Recovery

Quaking Aspens
We use to say, back before we retired, that we had to go   back to work so we could get some rest after one of our trips.  Now being retired feels like being on vacation and traveling feels like work.  We had a wonderful time, but it's still tiring, so for a couple of days we're in recovery mode.
Getting to Yellowstone and back is not a straight shot from here.
We left at 5:30 am and flew from Savannah to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Minneapolis/St. Paul then to Billings---Bozeman is closer to the park, but has fewer flights.  Then we had a drive of over a 100 miles to the cabin, it rained for 90 miles and snowed for 30. Coming back we flew  Billings to Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Savannah.  It was a rough, but easy flight except for being delayed in Atlanta where we waited on the  plane for an hour for someone's dog to show up.  So we didn't get home until 2 am.
Glad we upgraded to a SUV, we had a Dodge Durango and it was great, will rent one like it next time we go regardless of the weather.
Please excuse the window screen, too cold to go out for the shot
The speed limit in the park is never more than 45 mph and usually 35 as you never know who or what might be crossing the road.  Hitting a deer will significantly damage your car, ask our daughter she hit one once, can't even imagine what hitting a  buffalo would do.  They're so big, about the size of a Volkswagen.
Badger enjoyed the trip too, though he wondered why the buffaloes kept crossing the road.
We saw a young buffalo, probably a year or so, rolling in the dirt to remove his winter fur and then he jumped up in the air and all but clicked his heels, talk about your rights of spring.
Mac made a small snowman on the back porch, using my vitamins for his eyes and nose, badger liked him.
And we admired the mule deer at the bottom of the yard.

Our cabin was so comfy, 2 large bedrooms, a loft up above if you had a load of kids.  Downstairs was a large tv room.  There was a small electric stovelike fireplace that heated the whole place as well as having regular heat.






Monday, May 22, 2017

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We've been to Montana to visit the northern end of Yellowstone National Park.  It was wonderful.  Though we'd visited Wyoming and the southern end of the park before we'd never made it to the northern end of the park, the park is huge.
Before I deluge you with photos a few facts about the park

•  Yellowstone was the first National Park, dedicated in 1872

•  It's huge measuring 63 miles north to south and 54 miles east to west.

•  It covers nearly 3500 sq. miles

•  It's larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined

•  It's highest elevation is 11,358 feet and it's lowest is 5282 feet and you really feel that elevation
   when you're out hiking around.

•  The basin is a huge caldera ( that's when a volcano collapses into itself) measuring  45 miles by
    30 miles

•  It has 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes a year

•  It has more than 500 active geysers

•  It has 290 waterfalls

ª  It has bears, bison, elk, deer, antelope, lynx, wolves, coyote and so much more

•  It has snow, even in May!

The view from our cabin on May 17

Our cabin



The Norris Basin, some of the walkways were still covered in ice



Buffalo crossing the road with its calf, they're called Red Dogs and are one of the first signs of spring in Yellowstone.






  • We saw White Pelicans, Canadian Geese, Blue Herons, a  Bald Eagle, Magpie, Osprey and its nest, Sand Hill Cranes---they make the strangest sounds and I totally messed up my picture of them---and beautiful Mountain Blue Birds

Elk


We just missed a group of 4 grey wolves, but Mac had seen one the day before.




And best of all there were black bears.  We watched a Mother bear with her two cubs, we saw another bear ambling down a valley and then right next to the car we saw a bear eating.


We had a wonderful trip and have already decided that we'll have to go back again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday in the Swamp

Muggy day, temperatures rising, heading towards ninety.  Can't believe we'll be flying off to where the highs will be in the 30's and 40's.  Had to dig out winter clothes to pack.  Ordered myself a rain poncho as I don't really have any rain/snow gear.  Extra shoes, extra jeans.
And then we got to thinking about driving in bad weather and we upgraded our rental car to a SUV.  We usually rent the smallest car we can get away with, but decided something heftier might be in order.
We have a beautiful cabin rented, we're bringing things to do while it snows and hopefully we'll have some decent weather too.  I'm bringing a teeny, tiny cross-stitch and yarn to crochet some veggies that I saw on Gillian's blog Tales From a Happy House .
This is the book the veggies are in, I ordered a copy for my Kindle.
You don't usually expect snow in mid-May no matter where you're going, but we'll have a good time regardless of the weather.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers, the Nuturers and all those who care for others.
My Mom has been gone for many years, but I carry her memory with me always.  The skinny little girl from a poor Okie family who grew up to be my Mom, Lorraine Strader.


To my Mother-in-law Pazquela Hernandez Gutierrez known to everyone as Patty.  I was blessed with the best Mother-in-law in the world.  Wherever we lived she came to visit us, be it Texas, Colorado, Georgia or Germany.  We became very close, closer than I was with my own Mom.  

Here she is with our daughter.  She came to see us in Germany and we took her to Spain where her family was from.


To my Sister-in-law Laura, who though hurting herself (bad shoulder) takes such good care of Mac's brother George.





To Isabel Mac's 86 year old cousin who still travels the world, she is an inspiration to us all.



Happy Mother's Day one and all


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rainy Saturday

It's raining, started late last night and has been an on again off again event.  Right now there's even a bit of thunder.  We need it, we've had a really dry spring.
I've nicked another recipe from The Low Carb Diabetic, they post such wonderful recipes.  This one was for Leek and Chorizo Frittata.  I changed it a bit, used Linguica instead of Chorizo, we like Chorizo, after all Mac's Spanish.  But we love Linguica, a Portuguese sausage.  I also added potatoes to it, we hadn't had any all week and my Irish soul (the only country where I was served potatoes with potatoes with potatoes) was crying out for some.
It turned out delicious, it makes it into the summertime meal rotation.


You will need these ingredients:
Serves 4 - 6
1 tbsp. of oil
2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
50g chorizo, thinly sliced
6 medium eggs
a large handful of basil, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper
a handful of rocket* leaves to garnish

Here is what you do:
1. Pre-heat the grill to high.
2. Heat a medium sized non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil followed by the leeks and chorizo. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, basil, chilli flakes and seasoning. Add the egg mix to the sautéed leeks and chorizo in the pan; cook for 1 minute without stirring.
4. Place the pan under the grill and cook the frittata for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Remove the frittata from the frying pan onto a serving plate using a spatula. Slice into wedges and garnish with a handful of rocket

From an original Sainsbury's recipe here

Friday, May 12, 2017

Five on Friday

It's here too soon, I'll have to scramble to find five this week.  But do join the other bloggers at FastBlog for this week's posts.

First and Foremost.  I finished my cross-stitch.  I started it last August, it was supposed to be a Christmas present, it will be a birthday present, but I can't show it for a while.  It was really an ambitious project for a first project and I learned a lot.  It was really slow going in the beginning, but by the end it really moved along.

My second is my table ready for the rest of spring, no more bunnies just flowers


Had to change the picture, my lemons and limes came in so it's flowers and citrus.



My third one is my new cutting board made of glass.






My fourth is the third bird puzzle I've finished and the next one I started.









My fifth is my new suitcase, it has 4 wheels so you can wheel it any way.  Won't  say where we're going, but they're  predicting snow for one of the days we/re going to be there and we're not going to Alaska.

  Well that's my five, please excuse the brevity but my cat objects to me typing and was attacking my hands the whole time I was typing.  Hope you have a good weekend.




Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is It Really Thursday?

Can't believe it's Thursday already and I haven't blogged since Sunday.  My only excuse is that it's hot here, will be 97º here today and I fried my brain just cleaning the kitchen.  Walked early and got a load of laundry done because we had notice that the water company was turning off water between 10 and 3 today.  Mac had noticed that there was water sitting on the empty lot next to us and we haven't had enough rain to even form a puddle.  He checked where our meter was and the leak wasn't from there so he called the water company.  They sent someone out the next day and they looked at it and put a couple of orange cones around the puddle.  It's been a couple of weeks and they're finally back to fix the leak, so we have no water today.  Mac set up some buckets to flush toilets with and we always have bottled water so we'll be ok, but it's an inconvenience.
Earlier this week I had a fight with Express Scripts, they provide our medications  by mail.  I was down to 8 blood pressure pills and I wanted them to send more, but they said I had a 90 day prescription  at my local pharmacy so I had to get it there.  Called the local pharmacy and they said they couldn't fill it because Express Scripts had filled it the week before.  I asked how much to just pay for it myself and the pharmacist said $31.95 fro 30 days, I said ok, fill it.  He said he'd contact Tricare and get permission to fill the prescription for 30 days.  I called Express Scripts back and they admitted they hadn't filled it, not had the pharmacy, but the pharmacy could give me a 30 day supply and they'd cover the cost.  So on our way home from shopping we stopped at our pharmacy, the pharmacist called Tricare, got permission and filled it on the spot.  The local pharmacy was great, Express Scripts not so much.
I ordered a new piano book Pucini's Operas for the piano and I'm loving it, Le Boheme is just so beautiful.  I've been playing it ever since it came in and humming the arias when I'm housecleaning.
Fought with my Mp3 player all morning yesterday because I never remember how to load music on it.  GRRR!
Last night we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Liked it, but didn't love it.  A bit too long and too many side stories.  Liked the secondary characters better than the leads. Dan Fogler as Jacob the baker and Katherine Waterson as Tina were much more interesting than Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Morton.  The beasts of course were wonderful.
Read another Anne Tyler book, The Beginner's Goodbye.  It was short, but quite wonderful.
Aaron's wife Dorothy has died, hit by a tree that falls through their house, but she comes back.
Must read some more of hers.
Have to start thinking about Five on Friday.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beautiful Day in the Swamp

It is a beautiful spring day here in the swamp, temps in the 70's, though they're threatening us with a 97 for later in the week.  Mac is out working in the yard, cutting back bushes and cleaning the front of the house.  I'd told him I'd be out too, but my allergies are driving me wild so I stayed in and cleaned instead.  His allergies are acting up too, but he just keeps going.
Fixed something new yesterday, The Low Carb Diabetic posted a recipe for Asparagus done with sliced almonds, butter and Manchengo cheese. They're always posting great recipes over there.  This one looked so good I had to give it a try and except for having to substitute Pecorino Romano
for the Manchego I used the same ingredients and it was fantastic.  Definitely one I'll keep in the rotation for summer meals.

To go with it I fixed Raviolis in a tomato/meat sauce.  I didn't make the Raviolis, but I did make the sauce and together they were great.




Here's their recipe for the Asparagus:
Ingredients:
Serves Six
36 asparagus spears
140g unsalted butter
100g whole blanched almonds (or toasted pine nuts if preferred)
juice of 1 lemon
50g best-quality Manchego cheese (or a vegetarian hard cheese could be used)

Method:
1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and plunge in the asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes, drain, then leave them to sit somewhere warm.
2. Next, put the butter into a cold pan with the almonds. Carefully heat it up, watching that the butter doesn’t get too dark. When it just turns golden brown and is beginning to foam, remove from the heat and pour in the lemon juice to stop the cooking.
3. Arrange the asparagus onto 6 serving plates and spoon over some of the brown butter and almonds. Shave the cheese with a peeler, scatter over and serve.

From an original BBC Food recipe


The flowers are from the garden, hope the heat doesn't do them in this week.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Five On Friday

I got lazy last week and didn't post, but will try and get this one done in time to join in with Tricky over at the Fast blog.
It's been a quick week, but they all seem that way lately, it's so nice that we have no deadlines or commitments keep up with, we'd be floundering.  Today, after the kitchen is cleaned, I'm heading upstairs to finish a puzzle off and clean my craft room, that's my contribution to health and safety today.

My theme this week is Japanese in nature.  My first photo is a shelf on my desk that I've put a lot of my Japanese treasures on , 2 little scenes our daughter made for me, a Torii, Godzilla postcards, 2 Gudetama--the lazy egg--, and some Japanese mascots.



My second it a small Japanese garden my daughter made for me and a pagoda we bought in Japan to make.






My third has to do with 1,000 origami cranes.  It is an ancient Japanese legend that if you make a 1,000 tiny origami cranes and join them by string you will be granted your wish.  While on a train in Japan we saw an elderly Japanese man making these tiny cranes, he worked so quickly it was amazing to watch.  Mac has done origami and use to show his students how to do it back when he was teaching.  So we bought some origami paper for him to make some cranes with.  I don't think he'll made a 1,000.




My fourth is a jigsaw puzzle, it will be the next one I do after the birds.



And my fifth is a small notebook, I loved stationary stores and Japan has wonderful ones.


That's my Five, do join the other bloggers at Five on Friday.






Thursday, May 4, 2017

Before The Storms Come

They're predicting thunderstorms for us today and tonight and I wanted to get the lawn mown before that happened as part of it were knee high.  We have a riding mower and I enjoy mowing, there's something very satisfying about seeing the grass/weeds shoot out the side.
The flowers continue to be a delight, more and more Gladiolas are blooming and the Gardenias are heavenly.
The Jim Ed Memorial Rose (named in honor of my Dad James Edward) is in bloom and has one of the sweetest smelling white roses on it.
Time to fix lunch and batten down the hatches, but I'll leave you with a few pretties.

Gardenias







Jim Ed Memorial Rose

Zinnias


Gladiolas

Lily

My Azaleas in the shade are just now blooming




















































What's Cooking?

The kitchen smells heavenly.  I made vegetable beef soup, think it's the first time I've done that.  It's for lunch tomorrow and...