Monday, July 24, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today is the birthday of a wonderful friend, Elga. She and her husband have been our best friends since we met them 8 years ago. She has grown children so we don't need to go into her exact age. However, this would also be my mother's birthday; she would be 94 today but she missed it by about 9 monlths.

A couple of years ago we adopted a cat who had at least a couple previous homes. We took him on and, because no one could tell us differently, we anointed today as his birthday. Today we celebrate Scotchie's 11th birthday.

Happy Birthday to them and to everyone else born on this day!

Monday, July 10, 2006

A trip!

We were invited to a 4th of July party at the home of some relatives who live about 2 hours north of here. We keep our travel trailer at their house since they have several acres. Went to the party; they are in their mid-sixtys and are the young people in the neighborhood. NOT a hot party but ok. It was one of those "men here; women there" things & the men were outside. I almost melted. Went over to the trailer in the afternoon & took a nap! In the evening someone set of a few fireworks to celebrate the holiday. I liked them but the others were kind of disappointed in the quality of the bangs. I think they are dangerous & ought to be outlawed. Florida does, in fact, outlaw them but allows explosives to be sold to people for use on farms to clear away tree stumps, etc. You sign a waiver that says you are using them in that way & can by all kinds of stuff. Laughable but there you are.

The next day we took the trailer away for a couple of days. We hadn't moved it since October of 2004! The tires needed more air but otherwise things seemed ok. Towed it about 50 miles to a park we know & like. Found a spot & stayed from Wednesday through Friday. We wanted to be home Sunday to see our daughter or would have stayed longer. We did almost nothing for the days we were there but trying out all the systems on the trailer made us happy. Now we know that everything works! There were some Sand Cranes at the campground & I got a few pictures of them. Big birds, about a meter tall, with a very distictive cry; we enjoyed their company. I'll try to post their pictures somewhere & add the URL later.

Friday night went to a favorite restuarant only to find that it will be closing next weekend. Very sorry to see it go but that's life. It sounds like the owner got a good offer on the building & decided to close. Saturday we came home & Sunday visited with the daughter. She is going out West next week to visit relatives so we wanted to wish her a good trip. Had bbq'd pork loin and salad for dinner. Lately we've been mixing a 'regular' bbq sauce with a mustard based one & like the combination. It works well on pork & chicken; I'll report later on other meats!

All in all it was a quiet week. Hope everyone had a good one. Take care!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hmmm, haven't been blogging lately!

I keep thinking that I'll be a more consistant blogger but then something come up and it's been a couple of weeks. Bah! What's been happening? Well, week before last we were little social butterflys in spite of the fact that the Mrs. came down with a cold on Tuesday. She seldom becomes ill but this was a nasty cold. It didn't keep us from celebrating our 22nd anniversary on the 22nd. Went out to a local restuarant with a really good reputation.

The place is called Six Tables; guess how many tables they have! It is price fixe at $80 for a 6 course dinner; you pay extra for wine & gratuity so they don't really need tons of customers. They had 3 reservations for that night & one table didn't show so we got lots of attention along with really fantastic food. My spouse had the chateaubriand and I had rack of lamb. Both entrees were very nice; they also had venison, duck and salmon. The food was fairly simple but nicely prepared; just what we were wanting. Neither of us cares for these places that invent extravagant entrees like 'veal chops with eggplant and pepper stuffing and roasted red pepper sauce on a bed of radicchio with a pomegranate-hazelnut glaze'. I just made that up but you know what I mean. The staff is probably trying to be original but I think they only succeed in obscuring the basic ingredients.

Anyway then on the Friday we went to a friend's surprise birthday party. The Mrs left after half an hour but I stayed a couple hours. These people are so nice that one always feels at home at their house. I imagine they have trouble with people staying on too long from time to time.

On the Sunday I went to another neighborhood party. Mrs skipped that one entirely. Nice folks; they are from England and he works for some telecommunications company that is basically unknown here. They are always on the run and have visitors staying with them about 40% of the time. Don't know how they do it!

By the following Tuesday the Mrs was feeling better and I felt a little off color. There for a moment I thought we might be tossing the cold back and forth but I managed to shake it & am thinking it's gone. Thank goodness!

We used to have a palm tree in our front yard but someone offered to buy it and we finally decided it was time to sell. These people give you a few hundred dollars for the tree then sell it to a hotel or the state for 3 or 4 times what you get. But our tree was starting to get tangled in our oak tree and of the two, we really like the oak. It was time for the palm to go. The crew came in & dug it out by hand then picked it up with a crane and off it went. The house looks a lot better without the palm so we are happy. Now I have to do landscaping in the front yard though! Boo, hiss!

This last week we just did all kinds of foolish stuff. Like, we were sitting watching tv and there was this big bang. Looking around we discovered that one of the shelves in the garage had fallen off the wall! It took me most of a day to pick up all the stuff that had been on the shelf, re-attach it then reorganize the contents.

Yesterday I did Carnitas - it's a pork dish that is a filling for tacos or burittos. You chop up about 4 lbs of pork shoulder and cook it for a couple of hours in broth with onion, garlic, tomatos, and seasonings. When it's done you just break it up with a spoon and dig in. I guess you can fry it afterwards to make it crisp but I've never gotten beyond sticking it in a tortilla. Yum!

Gotta go. Have a fun and safe 4th. We'll be out of town for a few days but should be back by the weekend.