Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hungry duck, cooking class, bass, and season is here

Wow, the people are arriving in big numbers from other states and other countries. A lot of languages are suddenly in the air. Traffic is building, restaurant reservations harder to come by, and parking anywhere is turning into an issue. Well it's season...we're not the only ones who know a good thing when we see it.

More cooking classes this time with Mark attending and two in one day. Mass immersion. A pasta class in the morning and a Mediterranean Moroccan style meal in the afternoon. Fun, messy, and some good recipes. Sur la Table rocks. Chef Mark enjoyed but didn't learn any new master techniques, knew all these.

It's been so hot here flirting with record high temps a number of days. Temperatures are supposed to rachet down this coming week to normal - mid 70's. We'll be up north for Thanksgiving and staying in Miami for the following week so won't see the lovely weather for a bit. (unless it flows over to Miami also) It's amazing how different the weather can be from coast to coast. In the meantime Crested Butte has been getting snow and the ski mountain opens for season this coming Wednesday. These extremes play with the  mind.

Hey there are fish in our canal! Large mouth bass and the first fish Mark has caught in the infrequent attempts outside our lanai. Kinda fun to walk a few steps out your back door and fish.

Projects abound around here. Planned the timing of our floor demolition to happen over the Thanksgiving holiday and the week beyond. Literally have to move out until its done. Having done a number of renovation home projects over the years, I can safely say they're a big fat pain, then you have short term memory loss and rave over the results. I would do well to remember that as this is part 1 of 2 (master shower next).

This is our new pet ugly duck. Fed him a couple of times and poof, he now comes multi times a day even though once in the morning is our limit. Since Mark takes conference calls out in the lanai when he's here, its a good thing that duck doesn't quack.

Wishes for safe travel and a wonderful Thanksgiving to everyone.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

White sand, swaying palm trees, and the birds

This week in Naples has zoomed by. Thanksgiving is looming and Christmas madness is peeking through here and there. Here in balmy Florida Xmas decorations went up in our community this week. Hard to swallow. The best part, and really the only part I should concentrate on, is that both occasions will mean we have family getting together.

Let's talk about our over 40 year old dieffenbachia plants, a very early anniversary gift from Mark, that we have taken with us literally everywhere we've lived, transported back and forth from summer and winter homes, even overnight fed-Xed once. Yes, I'm a teeny bit crazy where these plants are concerned. Realized last spring the two remaining plants were in a death spiral barely surviving yet another crackly dry, super cold winter and down to Florida they came to stay. The three, they reproduced another as I chopped and repotted a gangly one, live happily outside in our screened in lanai. and if they could speak they would shout, "We must stay here." Wish I'd thought to take a photo of the sad death rattle plants before we brought them down.

Beach bound again this week. It's my big nature fix here and five minutes away so I go quite often. And this visit also included a weird version of The Birds.

They gathered in the water in front of me and continued to grow in numbers until there were thousands. A feeding frenzy that went on for an hour without any movement elsewhere. Fishing boats showed up too to try their luck. And then a mass of seagulls plopped down in front of my chair to visit and watch the rest I guess. I felt as if I had a circus and parade just for me alone. You had to be there...

My osprey friend 
I continue to add activities here with yoga as the newest addition. I'm in "gentle" yoga class, plus restorative yoga, so you'd think it be easy, but it's some work for me. And I had to race out and buy a new mat and proper clothes. You know, the kind of pants that don't slide down and a top that stays put no matter what weird position you've got your torso, arms, and legs in. Gotta start somewhere...

my banyan tree walk
Much reading as usual happening, as well as some writing, more on that at a later date, and have to say quite excited about this book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Tiffany did a review on it on her blog - and I'm loving it so far. All about creativity and she writes so darn well. Also just discovered the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Love his writing! He is long gone from us, died in 1926, but sounds so contemporary it's eerie. I'll leave you with a quote.

The only journey is the one within.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Miami scene

Back from the Miami jaunt or Mark's regular trek in his case. I hadn't been back since June. It rolled over my birthday, so we made sure to have a special dinner out. Coya - magnificent Peruvian cuisine. After a 7 course tasting menu and three hours later we wound our way back to the condo. Driving the couple miles rather than walking. It's a circus out there in downtown land.

Look who's back - Mark Cuban's yacht. All part of the ambiance on my morning walk. The size is very deceiving next to all the skyscrapers. His is the big one, excuse me I mean the biggest one - 288ft.

It's quite the event every morning dodging all the runners and people walking their dogs. It's a great island walk with the oh so perfect landscaping and do not, at risk of suddenly becoming a homeless person, lose your security key fob or the location of the unmarked door of your building. Trouble, trouble.

So an odd daily occurrence has been happening that I can see from the balcony of the condo. It's been going on all summer according to Mark. That crazy geometrical building you see is surrounded every day by buzzards. Hundreds of them. At only that skyscraper... What's up with that?

One of a constant flow of incoming and outgoing cruise ships. I hear the booming horns and imagine where they came from and where they're going next. Huge industry here.

It's extra warm in Florida this week, a throwback to summer. The strangeness of weather change continues in so many places. Good thing we humans are so adaptable. Back in Naples for a bit, a much less urbane place.