Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ah roasted vegetables

Mushrooms, sweet onions, green peppers.

PLUS parsnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

First I  par-boil the root vegetables.

When they have cooled I put them into a re-cycled plastic bag (the ones in which we place our veggies at the market), then add the softer vegetables (mushrooms, onions, peppers etc).

Then I add some olive oil, and "swish" the veggies around. This seems to be a very efficient way of coating the veggies.

That being done I place the veggies on a baking tray, then season them with back pepper, cayenne pepper, or rosemary.

Once seasoned, I roast  the vegetables for 40 minutes at 400 f.

Oh my goodness - this is fabulous food.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Such excitement

The concrete retaining walls around our pond are disintegrating, with the result that the pond's banks are eroding.

So those walls are being broken up, and will be the basis of a riffraff  perimeter.

The work began three days ago.  It is so exciting that I can scarcely contain myself (lol).

The workers began their task with pneumatic drills which were not up to the task.  Now they are using what looks like a giant Dentist's drill, (or do I mean a Dentist's giant drill).

Old edging 1

Old edging 2

Driller 1

Driller 2

Breaking it up 1

Breaking it up 2

Existing riffraff at the western end of our pond - the bit which is owned by our neighboring "Glen Oaks Manor" community.  They riffraffed this section about four years ago

The Glen Oaks Manor folks did not care for the results of riffraffing on the section of our pool which they own. So they opted for plantings to sustain the banks  around their own pond.  The results are very lovely.  "If only" my community had opted for plantings.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Don't sleep with Brie. Dog poo. Trader Joe's, and other matters

A cautionary tale:

In the middle of last night as I was either sleep walking or was half-asleep I went to the fridge and cut off a bit of Brie cheese for a mid-night snack.

Once back in my bed I fell back into a deep sleep before eating the cheese.

Brie does not do well in a warm bed.  I awoke this morning to find melted cheese all over my sheets.  Oh what a mess!

What the heck:

Back from my second walk with Penne this morning I noticed a plastic grocery bag on top of my recycling bin at the curb side (today is trash day).

I thought “what ho?” and investigated closely.  The bag contained dog poo.

I am not on the outs with any of my neighbours, so I can but guess that some lazy dog walker decided to gift me with the poo.

That’s not nice.

Fallible memory:

Back in Cambridge days I was a regular patron at the Arlington MA branch of “Trader Joe’s” = a quirky supermarket.  “Trader Joe’s” patrons have an immense and intense loyalty to the company and its products.

So there was great rejoicing when Trader Joe’s opened its second store in Florida just last week. The first Florida T.J. store is in Naples FL.  Sarasota is the site for store # 2.   Ben and I hoved down there today.

 I was somewhat under-whelmed and a bit disappointed.

The Sarasota T.J. store has a small and dismally laid out parking lot (hard to get in, and hard to get out), (the same was true in Arlington, MA).

I had forgotten that T.J.’s has a confusing system for price labelling. For instance I saw some good apples priced at 69c.  The small print revealed that this was 69c per apple, not per pound.

And I looked at a nice frozen, boned and seasoned leg of lamb all wrapped up in plastic –“ a bargain” I thought “at $ 8.99.  In this case the small print showed that the lamb was selling for $8.99 per pound, not $8.99 for the package.

I’ll probably go back there, because T.J’s is quite funky, and there are a few bargains.  But I suggest “caveat emptor”. Despite its funkiness T.J’s is a business not a charity.

Not alone:

I had a growth removed from my temple today by my good dermatologist, Dr. Karen S.  It’s been sent off for a biopsy,

She, the Doctor, said that at first sight I will probably need surgery – to dig deeper.

Then she asked about a dermatological surgeon, asking “did I have any one in mind”.

I replied “last time I needed surgery you referred me to Dr. C. But I was not comfortable with her bedside manner”. 

My dermatologist then suggested another surgeon, and added “you are not the first one to express discomfort with Dr. C’s bedside manner”

I responded with “good”, and then hastened to add that my “good” was not a judgment on Dr. C, rather it was my immediate reaction to the news that I was not alone in my critique of her bedside manner.

I’ll get the biopsy results next Monday.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


My good family members "rewarded"  my hospitality with some neat gifts.

The gifts included a wonderful "Bristol Blue" bud vase from Martyn and Wendy.

(see )


We were all at a gift shop on Siesta Key when Toby noticed some glass turtles.  I admired them with him.

He was wonderfully "sneaky enough" to purchase one of them for me. How cool!


Sam and Toby wanted to give me a valedictory gift.  They had considered wine glasses.

Martyn alerted me to their desire.

I  responded  by saying  that I really needed some adjustable wrenches. So that is what I received.

Many thanks Sam and "Tobes"


ttfn  poves

Postscript to the Party is Over

Warmest thanks also to Ron and Charlotte Thompson who took very good care of Penne whilst we were on the cruise.  Penne settled in their home very quickly, and had a wonderful "vacation"

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The party is over

Martyn, Sam and Toby are safely back in England.  They are very tired, but extremely happy to be with their family members

It was a fabulous two weeks for each of us.  We were busy

*A cruise to the Bahamas

*jet skiing

 *fun at a water park



*circus museum visit

*a helicopter flight for Sam, Toby and me

*a trip to Massachusetts and back for Martyn

*and a nice flight in a Cesna Skylaner out of St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport for Martyn, Sam and Toby. (Up the Gulf Coast as far as Tarpon Springs, then going south to fly over our lovely Sunshine Skyway Bridge).

My warmest thanks to:

1. My neighbour Ed Green who allowed us to use his condo. as sleeping quarters for the boys

2. My friend Ben Morse who welcomed the lads by allowing them to use his swimming pool at any and all times

3. My friends Jack and Donna Chrisman who enabled a relaxing evening and fine food at their home (as well as pool time for Sam and Toby).

Here are some photo's

Four  of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (taken by Sam)


Nine of the Gulf   (St. Pete Beach to Tarpon Springs) (also taken by Sam)

Would someone please identify this Hotel


Four from our valedictory dinner at the Longhorn Steak House

Good Pals

My fine nephew Sam

Dinner over (Martyn is "bushed")


And a final farewell at SRQ

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Reunion Party

We hosted a party last evening at which Martyn and Sam met some of their friends from last year, and Toby made new friends.  There were sixteen of us and we had a grand evening.  Whilst the adults ate and drank, Sam, Toby and Noah and Jacob Taylor hoved off to our local field  and enjoy throwing and catching a football.  Some of our guests were camera shy, so the following is an incomplete roster.

My friend Barbara Dunne (ex-Piitsfield)

The Revd. Andi Taylor (St. Boniface) and Charlotte Thompson. Andi and Charlotte knew each other in the Boston area. Kay Dohoney (ex-Pittsfield) in the background.

Barbara Dunne and Jonathan Taylor 1

Barbara and Jonathan 2

Noah Taylor, Toby, Sam and Jacob Taylor walking home (regret picture is a wee bit out of focus)


Today, Sunday is our last evening together.  The guys fly back to the U.K. on Monday - arriving there in Tuesday.  It's been a simply wonderful visit.  I'll  do a "wrap up" tomorrow, but for now "thanks be to God".