Monday, August 29, 2022

The Week That Was


Last week was a good one containing many pleasant moments along the way.  The community we live in now is considered an active 55+ community.  There is an emphasis on staying active and engaged as we navigate the senior years.  Just about any activity you can imagine is available.  It would be easy to find things to do all day, every day if you chose.  On the other hand, if you don't care to participate, that is fine too.
Periodically over the summer they have held outdoor concerts.  The bands are typically tribute bands playing music recognizable to our age group.  Last week it was the Liverpool Legends.  I had to chuckle at how concert going has changed since my younger days.  For this one our neighbor across the street drove us in their golf cart.  A line of fellow concert goers followed behind us as we made our way to the venue.  There was still singing along and dancing, although not quite as wild as our younger days ;).  The weather was beautiful.  The band took us from the earliest days through the highlights of their career with several outfit changes along the way.

This is my Cardinal Climber Vine (aka:  hummingbird vine).  
I planted it from seed in the early summer.  I have watched it grow and grow and grow.  When we returned from vacation it had started growing across the patio and attached itself to every nearby shrub it could find.  It seemed to be growing like Jack's beanstalk without a bloom in sight.  I had to give it a haircut and have given it weekly trims since.  It seems to grow a foot overnight :D.

Last week I finally started to see some blooms.
Just in time to help nourish those sweet little hummingbirds before they begin their migration in a month or so.
My sugar water feeder is in amongst all those vines.  I enjoy watching the birds take a few sips of the flowers before darting into the feeder for a few more sips.

Friday was an afternoon of boating.  At 90 degrees it was hot unless you were in the water or the boat was moving.  Mid-afternoon we heard a crack of thunder and the wind picked up.  It felt delightful, but it is always a concern to be on a boat with a thunderstorm threatening.  Brett put the pedal to the metal and raced us across the lake to a less threatening spot.  We watched as the skies went from blue to dark and cloudy with rays of sun peeking through here and there.  We hung out close enough to the marina to make a mad dash, if necessary.  In time, the rain threat passed and the cooler temperatures were much appreciated.
Soon boating season will be over for another year.

Last night we were invited to a neighbor's house for an end of summer/50th anniversary celebration.  We have fallen into a comfortable routine with this group of everyone bringing a dish to share.  My plan was to bring a Caprese Salad.  While it was a casual backyard gathering, I felt I should elevate my serving utensil from the everyday one I always bring to these events.  A 50 year anniversary seemed to call for something a bit nicer.  Rummaging through my kitchen drawers I came upon this very tarnished silver pie server.  Fairly obvious that it hasn't been used in ages.
Since I did have a jar of silver polish, I decided to see if it could be shined or if it was too far gone.

After several rounds with the TarnX, it was transformed.
After seeing how pretty it looks all shined up I had to wonder why I let it get to that horrible state.  Silver really is beautiful when it shines.  

I never seem to remember to take a photo until I'm rushing out the door as was the case last night.  That salad made with red, yellow and orange heirloom tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze and a sprinkling of chopped basil was simple to make.  It disappeared fast too.  It seemed fitting for an end of the summer salad as before we know it the tomatoes and basil will also be done for the year.

This week there's only one thing on the calendar, which is okay with me.  My personality enjoys being busy/social, but requires time to regroup for awhile.  How about you?  Do you prefer a busy social calendar or not so much?


Monday, August 22, 2022

Chit Chat

Since returning home from vacation we have enjoyed some downright delightful summer days.  Lower temperatures accompanied by low humidity is almost unheard of for August in these parts.  Consequently, we have been enjoying being outdoors every chance we get.  The hummingbirds have been providing great entertainment.  The solar hummingbird lights pictured above were a gift from our Florida kids.  They bring a touch of magic to the evenings as the lights change colors.

Since returning from vacation we've also been busy.  Very busy.
One of the things keeping me busy was putting together a little ladies night get-together for some neighbors.  I had so much fun getting ready for it and thought it might make good blog fodder.  Since I only took one photo of the dessert plate, there went that idea.
The days leading up to the event became a bit hectic when the refrigerator decided to "go on the fritz".  Luckily we have an older fridge in the garage so everything got crammed in there.
The repairman has assessed several problems that will cost $900 to fix.  I guess I will be dating myself to say that I am a bit shocked at this for a refrigerator that is only 4 years old.  To further date myself I will tell the story of the fridge we left behind in our Michigan house.  It was over 40 years old at the time and still plugging along with no issues.  True the ice box was smaller than our microwave and had to be defrosted, but it did the job without ever requiring repairs.
I guess in our current times I am just glad the parts are available and the repairman will be back tomorrow to do the job.

While in Florida, Amber familiarized me with the air fryer.
I have been curious about them, but unsure if we would use it enough to make it worthwhile.  Brett became intrigued and ordered one.  Last night we gave it a trial run.  Happy to say that we successfully made roasted potatoes and Garlic & Herb Chicken Skewers.  These were recipes from the book that came with it.  Both turned out well and tasted delicious.  I've noted a few other recipes that I plan to try soon.  If you use an air fryer, I'd be curious to know what you like to make in it.  Now that it's just the two of us most nights, I can see how this could be better than heating the oven for certain things.  The clean up was simple too which is nice.

This is shaping up to be another busy week around here.
Wednesday will be a concert of the Liverpool Legends (Beatles tribute band), boating on Friday and then a neighbor's 50th anniversary gathering on Sunday.  All happy things as the summer season begins to wane.

Hope your week is a good one.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Summer Vacation

While it wasn't a train trip,  we recently took a southbound vacation.
It was our first travel since Covid began.

First stop:  This nice bed and breakfast inn located in Savannah, Georgia.

Our room could be accessed right off of this pretty courtyard.
It was pretty to look at, but far too warm to make for enjoyable seating.  Since we weren't going to be in Savannah long enough to sit much, we checked in and walked for blocks and blocks until we found a place to eat dinner.

Dinner was served in a giant plastic bag.
Any guesses as to what was in there?

A mixture of shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob.
More commonly known as a low country boil.  A very popular dish served in this part of the country.  We had eaten it many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was just as good as we remembered this time.

After that big dinner we walked and walked checking out the interesting shops along the Savannah River.  We enjoyed the beautiful sunset before it was time to head back to the inn.
Savannah wasn't the destination for this trip.  Just a stop along the way to break up the long drive.

The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast before heading for the next stop.
St. Augustine, Florida.  Also known as the oldest city in the USA.
We spent two nights here.  Did a lot of walking and enjoyed fabulous fresh seafood in outdoor restaurants.  For some reason my only pictures were taken at the beach.  After dinner both nights we took long walks on the beach.  It had been a long time since we have been to the ocean.  After the stresses of the last few years, it felt so freeing to feel the sand between our toes, the waves crashing at our ankles and the breeze blowing through our hair.  I wished I could have bottled it up and taken it home with me.  Instead I selected a few shells to serve as a reminder.

After leaving St. Augustine, we could hardly wait to arrive at the real destination.  A visit to see our son and family.  They were scheduled to visit us in June to celebrate Jaxson's birthday.  Those plans were cancelled when Brett came down with Covid.
So, we had a belated birthday celebration and enjoyed lots of pool time.  Jaxson has become a little fish since we last saw him.

He especially enjoyed water games with his uncle.

Fourth grade will be starting for him this week.
Yikes!  How is this possible?
We went out and got his school supplies.  His mommy got his homework desk set up and I requested a photo.  Looking very grown up and studious in his new glasses.

Like all good vacations, this one went by too fast.

Today it's back to reality.
Catching up on work, checking in on my garden and lots and lots of laundry to be done.

Until next time, I hope you are enjoying your summer.