Sunday, March 27, 2016

Paddling around ............

We had our favorite company last week.    Becca and Lizzie left snowy Colorado and came to visit.   We got a bit of their time but mostly, they spent their days with Mickey and Harry Potter.    Becca left her heart at Disney after her intern days and her joy at returning is so obvious.   Lizzie wants to go to school at Hogwarts but it seems that Northern Colorado State accepted her instead.      Seems strange that they are so grown up that we just give them the keys to the car and off they go.

 On a perfect day, we did join them for some kayaking.    Altho there are many springs and lakes recommended for this venture, Weeki Wachi Springs seems to be the favorite.   The water was a cool 72 but didn't seem to bother the many younger kayakers as they jumped from rope swings or swam near a sand bar.    We chose to stay mostly dry.     The water is so amazingly clear.   No alligators in this river but we saw turtles and assorted herons and osprey along the jungle-like waterway.    As the river neared the Gulf, we saw a few manatees and one mother with her little calf.

 We were captured in Becca's selfie as we paddled DOWN river...
 Weather was pretty nice while they were here, with only a few showers and low humidity.    Meanwhile, looking out the back of the western manse, the day was not good for golf.

I'm constantly on the look out for new recipes and I found a winner.    Called "nice cream", it is a creamy delicious frozen treat.   Made with only frozen bananas and a few added berries,  we would be hard pressed to differentiate between this and ice cream or sorbet.   And it's so guilt-free.    I am an avid proponent of this whole food, plant based way of eating that we are committed to but I try not to be too preachy and obnoxious about it.    I came across this article today and because many of our friends and family are of a certain vintage and might just have some creaky joints, I decided to share this informative bit of info.    I understand that many are skeptical of claims that seem to good to be true, but the sources that we use have backed up their claims with proven studies and reliable credentials.    So, peruse if you want ....or not.    I just wanted to share.........AND, my achy joints are gone and I feel pretty limber and flexible for this stage of my life.     AND, the pickle ball player in the family is even more obvious proof as he has all that metal holding him together.

And now, we are in full pre-travel mode.    We leave in 4 days.     We've been cleaning inside and out.....unless we power wash the lanai and walks and furniture at least every 6 months,  the green will take over.   I'm trying to pack up  less this year, having learned that i don't have to take everything I own with me.   We always leave something behind but usually manage to have the important stuff.... like each other.

We will try and wander westward at a reasonable pace and stop along the way.    We need to be in Casa Grande AZ on the 10th for a big Tiffin (the brand of our motorhome) rally.    Then it's up to Jeff and Jen's beautiful new home in Scottsdale for a few days before heading farther north to Montrose.  We'll be there at least a month earlier than usual but the social calendar is already getting filled in because it's that kind of happening place.         Stay tuned..........

Monday, March 14, 2016

R & R

Because  the day job is so taxing and stressful, we had to get away from it all.......

Besides Pickleball daily and dealing with a stressful golf game, we also had to spend way too many hours waiting for the launch of the newest Space X rocket.    Many nights, we consulted the clouds, measured the winds and hovered over the live updates on the laptop.   But time and time again, the launch was cancelled at the very last second.   One time the countdown had reached ZERO and then they cancelled......must be like stopping your golf swing right before you hit the ball and about wrenching your arm.    But, we were finally rewarded with a spectacular sighting as it lifted upward at sunset.   Now, you'd think if we'd waited this long for this spectacle, I would have stepped beyond the lanai to get a picture sans screen.....but I am basically lazy and the grass was wet. 


I am totally frustrated by my inability to find a working can opener.    And I've tried.    I remember way back when, there were the electric can openers and they got all gooey and messy but they worked.   A few years back, well maybe 10+ my mother raved about the battery operated one at the top of the pic.    It worked amazingly well... I set it on the can, it zipped around and the lid came off.   It lasted a long time without frequent battery changes and when it did give up, I went to Target and got another.    And then it started slowing down and we started eating differently and apparently it isn't made anymore.     Cans  needed to be opened.... beans, beans, beans and veggie broth and tomatoes and ROTEL.    So, I tried a couple of different manual openers....they all failed quickly or became too hard to operate.   I even tried different colors hoping for a miracle.    Nada.      Then, at Christmas, I wandered into Williams and Sonoma and there it was.... a smaller black battery operated gem.    I bought 3, convinced it would make a good gift in a stocking.  

Well, it worked about once !   I changed batteries, shook it, cleaned it and occasionally, it moved at a snail's pace half way around the can and then would die....forcing me to wrench it off the can with fury.    I hope the gifted ones have had a better life.....    Last week, I found the white one at Publix.   It was $16.95 and it turns easily.   BUT, altho the lid is cut off, it won't lift off without brute force, often causing the contents to spray about and once, it left a tiny metal spear which sliced thru my thumb and caused a mingling of my blood and tomato sauce so I didn't know which was which....nor did I much care at that point.      Finally, there is the one at the bottom.   This belonged to my grandmother and I remember her using it.    It worked slowly but efficiently as she nudged it around the can lid.   Notice how the paint is worn from where her thumb would be.     It is a bit rusty and I'm not sure if that is healthy but at this point, it can't be worse than my stress and my lacerated finger and it cleanly lifts off the lid.  

And that is why our escape from the bubble was imperative.  

We headed over to Anastasia St Park, a couple miles south of St Augustine.

The beaches are vast and vacant.

The gulls are quiet and relaxing as well.

We wandered over to St Augustine ..... if you haven't been there, we recommend it highly.   Very historic, many many B&B's and interesting restaurants.     Flagler College was once  the mighty Flagler Hotel, built for the rich and famous to stay in as they traveled down to FL by train.    It is impressive in its opulence.

The entry was designed to impress the millionaires.

The dining room, with copies of the original hand carved chairs, is now the student dining hall.

Mostly, we hung around the campground and walked a lot .    The nature trail was quiet and cool and the only wild beasts that we saw were the birds.

We spent our days walking, reading, lounging at the beach and de-stressing around the campfires.   It was quite lovely.   

 My efforts to even out the golf tan..........( Yes, I know about the sun and aging but I think I've passed that point and I saw the dermatologist last week to see if there was anything growing on me ...and there wasn't so it was back to the hard work of tanning.)

We did go to an excellent Farmer's Market on Saturday, right next door to the campground.   We found good vegan food ! and enjoyed vegan tamales and bought some Korean kimchi to add a bit ( or a lot ) of spicy goodness to our burgers and burritos when we get home.    We also bought a wonderful red lentil soup that is now frozen and will make us happy when we are on the road.

We came home yesterday.    It is getting hot over here and more humid.    Life will get much busier in the next couple weeks.   Lizzie and Becca will be here in a few days to make us very happy.    And they will be happy getting their Disney fix.      Then, it's last minute stuff to get done and in about 2 weeks we head WEST !!      Stay tuned............