Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back up & around

Been a bit under the weather the last few days with a virus of some kind, very unusual for me, so a delay in posting. Happily I'm much better today. Your health is really the all important thing it appears.

The weather has gone chilly & rainy here - again - climate change a-coming? And, once again, not complaining as the northeast has been slammed with snow again. There'll be lots of dancing when spring finally hits I think.

As I didn't have much energy to venture out, caught this egret wandering our neighborhood looking for food. I think they're so graceful &r regal looking,but wouldn't want to be a frog or lizard close by...

Finished book #16 Family Album by Penelope Lively. I've read every one of hers over time and love her style. She's a british author who specializes in writing about families and the intricacies therein.

We have an experiment going on in the kitchen. We are trying to dry age beef ourselves. Our latest Cook's magazine issue gave instructions (a great magazine published 6 times a yr if you're not familiar) so we will see. Most beef in grocery stores & restaurants are all wet-aged (packed in vacuum packaging) - the cost is substantially less. Dry aging is done in commercial frigs for least 7 to 21 days. It loses 20% weight by this method and then has to have extra trimming done, so profit wise, it doesn't make sense for most to do it. Dry aged is more flavorful and tender than wet, so we thought we'd try. I do not want to pay the ridiculous price for dry aged beef in the store even if I could find it! You just wrap the steak in cheesecloth, put it on a rack and shove it in the back of the frig for 4 days. Doesn't look like anything special, right? I'll let you know...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whispers of spring plans

The sonic boom from the space shuttle returning rattled windows & doors, waking us up night before last. Hard to get your mind around what they're doing up there in space. Readying a space station for future astronauts, when I'm not sure there's money allocated to build new shuttles (as our current fleet is aging out). Too many other problems to fix right now, like the economy!

I have trees on my mind, but not the ones in the photos. So excited, I have ordered baby trees (aspen & spruce) to plant on Star Mountain. Okay, yes we have acres of woods, but almost no evergreens, just aspen. For less than a dollar a tree the state forest service gives you a choice of type and hands them to you in a bunch of 30 at a time. They will, of course, take years to get to any size - (when I say baby I mean 12 inches), but it's still fun. Our woods are almost all aspen, so the thought is add some evergreen and add aspen to our cleared areas around the house. We will pick them up in May. Spring planning!

Finished book #15. Good, not great. The Cadence of Grass by Thomas McGuane. He has a very odd style of writing (jerky) but the characters were interesting (modern western based in Montana). Hmmm...perhaps I was attracted to the western theme??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Visits around town

Made it to the farmer's market yesterday. It is wildly popular and you have to make your way through the crowds. We bought a few things including the meyer lemons for Tiffany. Now I just have to hope they'll arrive in good shape.

The weather has finally turned warm - we can open the slider doors - hurray! First day in a while that I didn't have to wear a jacket to walk on the beach. Now that's what Florida is supposed to be about. Come on down everybody!

I got my hair colored & cut this week for the first time since we've been down. Twice as much money & twice as much time as my cute little beauty salon/house in Gunnison, but I must admit, a much better haircut. I'll have to think a bit on how to get my person in Gunnison to up her game, hmmm...

Finished book #14 and it was a good one. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Great writing and wonderful characters. It's set in 1962 Mississippi with all the issues of the day. I didn't grow up in the South, so some of this was foreign to me, but loved the book.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Cooler than normal temps here still, but I'm not complaining - really! The beach was quiet this morning except for the loud, bouncy exercise class that happens every morning with either Monika or Olea, depending on whether you're at the north or south side. Those classes are full too - good for them.

My discussion on meyer lemons has produced an order!(Tiffany) I'm going to try and send her some non-mashed. They are only at the farmer's markets, not the grocery store so come Sat, there I'll be. We love any excuse to go anyway...

We've been watching a lot of Olympics, which a lot of you are probably as well, and I decided that the US team hat is very cute and I wanted one. (it's the beanie with the animals on it). HA, no such luck. It's made by Ralph Lauren and there's a "sold out" on their site. Oh, well.

Speaking of the Olympics, Wall Street had a funny quote about Johnny Weir's attire (he's the crazy dressed figure skater). hey said he looked like "Ziggy Stardust wrestling a can of silly string". This was Tuesday night and I though he looked ridiculous too. He's on again tonight - can't wait to see the outfit...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Old things & Sweet things

Good shelling today. The water was calmer, so I suppose the waves could gently deposit shells without smashing them to bits. A few more starfish flung around - have no understanding of why there were a mass of them beached. I didn't mention a couple of shells we found yesterday, but have a picture of them today. Weren't sure what they were and had to look them up. It turns out they are fossils actually, millions of years old, that probably were thrown up on by our Clam Pass side. Fun!

Now on to a small discussion on meyer lemons. They are in season here now, and while I should have known about them in the long time we've had the house here, must admit only found out about them last year. LOVE's a very juicy lemon without the acidity of regular, almost sweet really. They don't transport well since they are very thin skinned, so I'm not sure how available they are out of Florida. They're huge compared to a regular lemon (and not very attractive either) but a special treat.

I've finished another book (Water for Elephants) which I've had sitting around for some time and don't know why I took so long to start it. It's very good, about circus life in the 30's with all the bells & whistles (love story, violence, adventure,etc.) Massive amount of people have read it too - on my librarything site - over 10,000 people have it on their list...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Beach debris

Interesting walk on the beach this morning. Lots of wind and heavy surf dumped some different things on the beach. Someone's fishing trap, icky large jellyfish, and a lot of starfish. We lost count on how many 9 point starfish had washed up on the beach. Yes, threw them all back, and couldn't believe it - there was an actual perfect 9 point! The books say you won't see it since they can shed a leg the instant an enemy takes a hold.

I've finished my latest book: Diana Gabaldon's most recent - An Echo in the Bone. All of hers are fabulous and very long - this one was 814pgs. Since I more or less eat books, long is good for me!If you haven't read the series try it - it's terrific historical fiction (Outlander series) I've given it my first 5 star. You can see my whole list if you click on the words "my book list" - it appears I didn't explain how it works very well...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blowing and books

After wringing my hands with worry, realizing I couldn't do anything to help with the ridiculous blizzard conditions that the girls had been in for a WEEK (breaking all records for seasonal snowfall for DC metro), I went to the beach ( yes, poor me) with Pam, who was visiting with her husband Wade for a few days. Yes, the sun, warm breezes, and sunscreen. Hmmm, big wind(as in hair in your eyes and sand in your mouth), chilly, and after a bit clouds rolling in - a precursor to the rain that fell. This was amazingly, as far south as we are, connected to the giant storm in DC. We as the tail end... We had fun anyway and Pam came away with a large bag of shells.

Mark & Wade went fishing, of course, caught some, and we have a sea trout in the frig to try out. Never had one before - sure it will be delicious.

Now you may have noticed that my book list has changed. I found this fabulous site that made my little homemade book list look like a kindergarten abc. The books rotate every 15 seconds, and you can click on each book for a review -mine (ferventreader), and site reviews. If you click on my book list, it will take you to the site with my whole list in column form. I'm excited about the site, but I cannot tell a lie - I had trouble, big surprise, getting the link on my blog. Heather did it via phone. She's very good...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Early morning treasures

We walked on our usual path to the beach this morning feeling a little bit guilty that we have this beautiful weather to enjoy. As I write the northeast is being hammered with what they say could be a record breaking blizzard. I have checked in with both girls this am, and they had 20 and 22 inches respectively with another 12 hrs to go of snow. What craziness... be safe everyone!

The latest book I finished was Ted Turner's autobiography. Definitely struggled to get through this one. My 2 star rating indicates a flaw of some kind, in this case character. His - the egomaniac that he clearly is. Brilliant, yes, accomplished some amazing feats, yes; but boy, I would not want to have been the wife/family of this one. They appear to have been, maybe, number 20 down the list of priorities...

The alligator (Pam!) continues to show up fairly regularly in the morning on the south beachwalk. She (I think) doesn't seem disturbed by the tram or people foot traffic. Breeding happens in the spring, but so far I have only seen one...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Peace with a little chaos

The weather has been changeable, so we adapt to whatever. Rain & clouds, so we went to a movie (Sherlock Holmes) and when it clears we enjoy the outdoors. No complaining here, I know the snowy stuff is in many places.

It's very quiet when we walk to the beach early in the morning. We get best pick of shells, check the water for tide and fish rising (for Mark), and take a few pictures. Snowy egret on the hunt and the other is a baby stingray, first time I've seen that on the beach. Too bad it didn't make it...
Not so quiet at the house these days. With it up for sale, there has been non-stop traffic coming in. The market is picking up, so hopefully we'll have a buyer soon. It certainly is not fun keeping it super squeaky clean & neat. And putting away all personal things - toothpaste, etc. - the silly games that sellers must play!