Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taking Off

We are heading out in a couple hours. We are leaving Bella with Maggie and Evan (first time ever!) for a week. Wait until she get's them up in the middle of the night to go out!!!!! (Let's keep that quiet; at least until the plane takes off!) We are gonna hook up with the grand girls and their mom and then head for the airport for a week of fun in the sun. I am ready. All my appliances are charged to the hilt; I have a book on my iPod as well as a brand new paperback (The Book Thief), some Special K bars, Crystal Light for a water bottle and of course, knitting. Can I be more prepared? Oh, I don't think so.

I know I forgot something!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I think the first thing I did when we moved into our 'new' house in Florida was to call a shower door guy and have him measure for a door in a guest bath shower/tub , vs the shower curtain that we currently had in place, thanks to the previous owners. I told the guy the day we were leaving for the season just to be certain I wasn't giving him a deposit for nothing.  Never heard from him and so finally we called him with three days to spare before leaving and he scheduled the install for the afternoon before we were heading north. The time came and went  and he was a no show and I took it in stride.  He called an hour later and asked if he could still come siting some unforeseen hangups in his schedule.  He did and within fifteen minutes he put in this beautiful


 
enclosure.  He was clean and efficient and left (with a check, of course), shaking my hand as if he didn't realize I was a shy, timid and weakling female.  I was immediately impressed and still am.  I like a guy like that.

 
As you can see from this photo I took from the front passenger seat ,  Bella has a very difficult time with travel arrangements.  She hates her car seat and is a reluctant passenger.

We are home, temporarily.  We leave for Arizona tomorrow.  We have a bunch of wedding festivities (including a wedding) and then on to Scottsdale to hook up with Nancy and Frank and Jayne and Rich for a few days of fun.  I had better get packing!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone!!!!


Here are my gals enjoying their part of the Easter tradition.  Violet had gotten back from Mass and collected her Easter eggs and after temperatures thirty degrees lower two weeks ago, our beautiful Charlotte


is checking out the grass.  She will be one year in a couple weeks.  How time flies!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Playing With My Food

I have always questioned the mega amounts of mattress stores and couldn't quite get it until I overheard a conversation about the fact that we spend at least one third of our life in a bed. Then it kinda made sense to me; kinda.

Also, thanks to the new Maytag commercials, with the guy 'in' the appliance (refrigerator, double oven, dishwasher) I didn't really realize how much work a refrig does. Unlike other appliances that are used intermittently, the old ice box runs all the time. I have a new reverence for them.

Trying to use up some of the stuff in the freezer before we head north isn't always easy. My choices in the last couple days are iffy at best. G had an easier time picking out what he wanted, because with following lent rules, he had to go with the frozen cod for a sandwich or two. I, who have no religious scruples as far is eating is concerned, have the world as my oyster, yet what I had for dinner last night was, even in my eyes, weird.

 
I grabbed the second to the last lean and reading the front realized that 150 calories for dinner was not gonna cut it.  I then opened the snack cupboard and saw two bags of tortilla 'scoops' and decided to combine them together.


It's a poor pic, I know.  because the plate of my 'nachos' was in my lap and the camera (iPad) was above but you get the pic.  I heated the lean, drained it (there's gravy in the meat) and chopped up the meat and mushrooms along with the broccoli and put them inside the scoops and then added cheese and nuked it for thirty seconds. It was amazingly good.  Try it!  you'll like it!  Now, what's for dinner tonight!

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Little Piggy

The coming and going to and from Florida is  always mind boggling.  I know of people that bring back and forth each and every thing they take but we don't do that.  Even so, there's meds, some that need refrigeration, vitamins, everything Bella and misc stuff that we only have one of (computer, etc).



While my brain is wizzing around, I took pictures of the great room tv stand where just some of my pigs are housed.


They look very pleased to be on clean glass shelves.

Okay, so this group is a  bit cramped.  It's a process.
 

And who said that pigs can't fly?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Words To Live By


Yeah, thanks everyone for reminding me of Bombay Company.  I truly loved that store and by the sound of it, you did too!

I spent yesterday with my adorable friend Genie.  Tuesday was her last day at work (forever!) although H & R Block doesn't know it.  She even showed me her name tag which she confiscated to prove that she would not be returning (last day?  April 15th!)  She said that if you wanted to meet the world's dumbest people, work reception on tax day.  Enough of that.  We gabbed like there was no tomorrow, had a laugh or two, had some great food and did some shopping.  What more could a girl ask for?  And then there's this:



I got nothin' left to say.  This is my mantra from now on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Forger

I was just opening Scrabble, which I do A LOT and watched a guy, David Has show how to cut multiple cherry tomatoes at once on a YouTube that Kay put on Facebook. I would tag it here but I don't know how so I will just explain. Place a salad plate down on the counter and fill with the tomatoes. Place another salad plate on tom and take a chef's knife and cut through the opening between the two plates. You have completely cut in half tomatoes. Thanks Kay!


Also, do you sometimes have a nagging question that won't let up and you can't find an answer to? I have had one for most of a week and am now reaching out to the smartest people in the universe to help me clear the question up. Here goes: There used to be a store in major malls that specialized in inexpensive dark wood pieces of bric a brac and small tables and hutches, etc, along with other home accessories and I believe it had some sort of Oriental in it's name. It had at least two words in its title. It's probably been gone for 20 years but it was my go to store for cute things for the house. Any ideas?

I was in a bedroom a couple days ago, doing something that I have done in the past but have never gotten caught when G walked in on me and shockingly said, 'What in the hell are you doing? Have you lost your mind?'
I thought for a minute and was surprised that in all our forty some years he didn't know that I have always improvised when something didn't live up to what I ended up wanting.  I bought this comforter for a queen sized bed and decided it needed a splash of color (especially because I wanted to have turquoise towels in the adjoining bath!)  I just got out my paint and painted parts.


As you can see from this ridiculous photo, I have done four flower centers so far.  It is slow going and I don't relish doing it so I only do one a day.  Now you know yet another secret of mine!  Yeah, and I do it on quilts too!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Green Thumb

I have lots of orchids and I wanted to hang them in my trees in the hopes of saving them while I am gone for the summer. I looked all over the place for those little wooden crates that I have seen orchids in on Florida trees but couldn't find them. So I went on line and found out that they are called vanda's because they are used with vanda orchids. I don't know what kind I have and don't really care and some people I know try this with any orchid so I thought I would give it a try. If they die, they would have anyway.
These are the little wooden crates.  I ordered a dozen 4 inch ones because it cost almost as much to ship them to me as they cost; they are just under $4.

 
Here they are, adorably hanging in my palms.  I hope they are alive when we return in the fall!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Kitchen!

I have been asked about the kitchen in our new house so I thought I would show you it in photos.
Except for a four burner stove instead of my dream six burner, it is amazing in itself because the neighborhood has natural gas, which is a rarity in Florida.  The cabinets are darker than maple and I have no idea what wood it is.  The refrigerator is a Samsung and we keep leaving the freezer door open, not being used to anything but a straight side by side.



The microwave is also a convection oven, just as mine was at our last house.  There is a doorway into the dining room in between the pantry (next to the ovens) and then there is a nook that I am referring to as a butler's pantry.

We have dueling  coffee machines side by side, with Flavia being my favorite and Keurig being G's fave.


The sink island has a slight bar on the back of it that has four chairs around it.

The center island is currently used as a table for my cutting mat.  I started sewing stuff for the bedrooms but called a halt to it because I am still not flexible enough to keep going up and down to do things.  I  figure it will get done eventually and with only six more days before we travel home, I am not gonna frustrate myself.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tampa Or Bust

I can't believe it; I forgot to blog three times this week. I have to blame it on winding down the Florida season and the morning power walk. It's my only excuse.
My girlfriend Wendy picked me up yesterday morning to take a trip to Tampa.
 

There is my little girl looking at us depart.  She loves Wendy.  Our plan was to buy some shrimp to take up north and to pick up her Mom (who I adore) and go to lunch.  And that's exactly what we did!

We went to the Port of Tampa where the shrimp boats come and sell their wares.  We took coolers so we wouldn't have to rush.  Depending on what time of day the shrimp come in,  you could get them right from the boat.  They actually flash freeze them,  on the boat.  I chose 21-25 size.
 
I decided on 25 lbs.   It is so sweet and wonderful tasting.

You can buy them with or without heads.  I have had them both ways and cleaning shrimp isn't my favorite thing in the world to do, but taking out one step of it helps.

Then we were off to the Historic District of Ybor City.  We chose  Columbia for our lunch choice.

This is a terrible picture of the place.  It is surrounded with tile work of Spanish life.  The restaurant started out in 1905 right in Tampa after the owners immigrated from Cuba.  You can find other restaurants of theirs that sprang up in other Florida towns since then, all with the same name.

I chose a Tapa for lunch  of chrizo, lobster, tomatoes, and manchego cheese on flatbread, which is them drizzled with an piquillo pepper alioli.


The star of the restaurant is the Columbia's Original '1905' Salad'.  It consists of iceberg, with a very thin julienne of baked ham, swiss, and also tomatoes green olives (which I don't eat) grated romano and this salad dressing.  It is truly the bomb.  You can get the recipe for both salad and dressing on line.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sweater Numbero Uno Is Done

I finished the sweater I started with Kathy, probably purchasing the yarn and pattern the second or third week of February.  If you will notice, the top is held together with a crochet hook because first, the big buttons I was gonna use on it are up north, and second, the button holes are on the bottom of the front border rather than the top where they are supposed to be.  Because of that error, I think my closure will be one of those chop stick closures instead.  When I do this again I will be more aware of top and bottom.  When it is just pieces it's hard to figure out or rather I just went for it, and didn't pay much attention to what was top and what was bottom!!  I will now have to pay the price.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Knitting Away

I'm a tad like a fish out of water, flopping around in this new, fantastic house. The studio is filled to capacity with boxes so I can't call it my own yet. I have been spending my evenings in the great room on the new couch. The tv doesn't have a box so I don't switch channels but watch the food network channel from around 8 p.m. to bedtime. I ran out of stuff that I was working on so went upstairs to the not yet studio and found a couple projects that I had set aside to work on when I thought we would be homeless.


One was a larger version of a sweater I made for Maggie Z's first granddaughter.  I had the yarn and it is always easier to make a sweater when you just finished one because your brain and hands are geared up for the same stitch.  I have that one done (I knit exclusively at night) except for the ribbon closures, which are boxed with all my ribbon and somewhere upstairs.

The next project was a little more difficult to just pick up and continue on.

 
It took me a couple hours to figure where I was in the process.  Once I got my sea legs, I had the parts all made and started to put them together last night (my least favorite part of knitting).  If I recall, the knitting store I purchased the yarn from doesn't sell the patterns but rather gives you the pattern when you buy the yarn.  This sweater called for 900 grams (100 grams too much) and at 100 grams a ball for $9.75, the sweater cost $87.75 without the needles or tax, and that's without it being made.

I was at JoAnn's yesterday and found this amazing Bernat super bulky taupe yarn that feels like chenille.  It cost $7.49, (on sale from $9.99) and with the senior discount, I got 20% off that.  Each ball is 300 grams so I can literally make the same sweater for less than $20.

Here's the comparison of the two skeins.  I love a bargain!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Nature Made

I think I mentioned the turtles that we have in the back yard. They are really something.
There are two birds (crows?) that are constantly harassing one turtle.  My picture taking timing is way off.  I seem to find the camera when the pecking is over and one bird has lost interest and flown off.

The turtle ( I guess I should name him) keeps kicking up his right rear leg and making dust (sand? dirt?) fly.  The turtle and birds make a lot more noise than the jumping mullets, white pelicans or dolphins I had in my last back yard.  It just doesn't make sense.

I was closing windows due to rain starting yesterday when I saw a tree frog that was as big as my fist.  It was sitting on an alarm clock in an open window and scared the stuffing out of me.  Needless to say, I had to get G to remove the thing.  I was not gonna get warts!!!! I have enough on my plate.  I suggested gloves but G would have none of that.  I am gonna watch him very closely.  It feels like a zoo here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Shiver Me Timbers

I just realized I forgot to blog today. One thing led to another and all that. It somehow slipped my mind. I probably wouldn't have even realized it until tomorrow morning except for this picture my friend,
Susie, who is the shortest gal in the photo, sent me.  I saw it when I opened email and thought, ' I should have blogged this pic' and then it all came clear.

This was a pirate themed gala we went to that, as you can see, I was the only non costumed gal in our group.  I had only been out of the hospital for three weeks and didn't feel confident in my movements to  go in costume.  Plus, I was very restricted in footwear due to my uneven legs.  As it was, the dancing went on with out me and G  participating.  Next year?  I will go as the sluttiest wench you can think of. I already bought the skirt!


Monday, April 07, 2014

Keeping Busy

I got fabric and patterns for some dresses (which is pretty much all I wear in good weather) and immediately made one back in January, before the hip and all.  It was too long and on the hanger forever and I decided to wear it anyway


and if it felt too odd, I would either give it to Goodwill or shorten it.  I ended up doing neither.  My belt drawer just happened to be open when I was walking by and I saw a black and white bead belt and thought to myself, 'that would work' and slipped it on and was happy as a clam.  I went into the man cave and had G take a picture of it.  I managed to uncover some of the other regular fabric and a couple patterns so I will busy myself with that if I find I am looking for stuff to do.

Right now I am making pillow shams and bed skirts and stuff like that.  Just washing and drying new towels takes all day.  I usually wash and dry them four times before they can go into the regular wash,  but I still have some wine colored towels from years ago here that still make water turn reddish when soaked.  I found that out when trying to use one to wash Bella's face.  She ended up with a pink tint!

Because the studio and 99% of its contents are off limits, and mostly because I labeled the boxes, 'STUDIO' rather than battery charger for the vacuum or de walt electric drill/screw driver, things that would come in mighty handy if I didn't have to open 80 boxes to find them, I am relatively screwed for now.   The floor was to have been already started and it's not so we leave in two weeks and therefore I decided to screw it and not have all those workers under foot while I am still here.  I have enough to keep me busy.  Plus, it's Florida.  Who knows when they will show.

I saw a commercial for Sparkle paper towels and was very impressed with the comical commercial about us not needing a paper towel that can hold a bowling ball or some such thing, and was determined to get some.

Yesterday was the day I finally saw it in the store and purchased it.  I haven't opened them yet but I have been a Bounty gal for a long time and then thought, why?  All I use them for are little messes, nothing big so why waste the money throwing paper in the trash that could have covered my roses in a frost?  Time will tell.  Anyway, I love the commercial and the 'fairy gal' that does them.  Kathy, my BFF who happens to be on her way to Paris, swears by them.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Constructive OnLine Shopping!

I grabbed the camera to show you just a few things I received from Amazon Prime this past week.  I looked all over the place (home depot, lowes, bed, bath and beyond to name a few) for certain things with no luck.  So on line I purchased
 
this hanger line that folds up when not in use that has been a staple in my laundry for years and years.

Also these ceilings in the closet must be 10' and I can't reach the top shelves so I was looking for a one step stool that folds up and out of the way.  Having been unsuccessful for a week or two of finding one, I got one delivered the next day.

Yes, these two photos are of the same stool.  My camera color seems to be slipping.

This storage ottoman reads blue in this photo but the color of this chevron is grey, not blue.  This is for the foot of the bed so Bella can get into bed unaided.
 
I also got two of these hooks and had them installed on the tile of our master shower.  There was no place for our towel to hang in the whole bathroom.  I wonder what the previous owners did, throw them on the ground?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Amazon Prime

I have heard about the wonder of Amazon Prime from my friends for a long time. You pay something like $70 a year and all stuff you purchase is shipping free and next day delivery. All these people got almost everything from Amazon. Considering we lived on an island, it made sense to them. All I could think of was all that wasteful packaging. Yes, that is how my brain works. Then, I was discussing it and I was told that all the boxes etc are recyclable and if I wasn't getting it, some store who probably didn't recycle at all, would get it. So I finally came around. And in a very good way.


All the little things I need in a new move and I have gone store to store to find them, have shown up at my door the very next day. I will start to document the stuff I am buying. You will get a kick out the diverseness of it all.
 
I purchased this higher ottoman that matched the door and has storage for $60.  Bella likes it

although she is still a kid and likes to spy on passersby on her own two legs.  I auditioned the other ottoman but kept the tags on and covered it so it would be good as new in case I wanted to return it.  And now I will.  I wonder if I will  have Saturday delivery!!!!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Glorious Food!

Deborah from Minnesota, I think I found you on facebook but if not, email me directly so we can chat. I love a new neighbor!!!!

Oh, we are gonna walk now so I will have to finish this when I return.

I'm back.

I have some pictures of wonderful lunches I have had with my friends.



Turkey sandwich


Fish tacos

Wedge salad


Veggie Sandwich


Bacon sliders

 
Fried oyster salad

 
Fried shrimp

 
Mussels

Lobster roll


Buffalo blue cheese fries


And not a wine glass in sight.


and this is what I have when left to my own devices.  See why I need my friends around?