Monday, March 31, 2008

Good Morning, Good Morning

Seals of a different color.*

These be of the Navy variety jogging on the beach. Think I better get out the BIL's binoculars and make sure. hehe.

If you click on this picture and look closely, you will see the land mass in the distance. That just happens to be Mexico. Go figure.

*Frank Baum wrote many of the Wizard of Oz books while vacationing at The "Del."


It doesn't get much better than this. Fresh orange, anyone? This beautiful tree sits beside the back patio of my BIL. The orange blossoms fill the air with the sweetest aroma. Someone pinch us.

The flight was a short four hours from Nashville to San Diego. I am always enthralled with the views from the airplane once we get closer to the West coast. I find the terrain absolutely beautiful. I could bore you with many photos taken from the air, but I won't.

We have been busy since we arrived. We finally got to meet our little niece, and God daughter, after waiting three years! Shame on us. She is as precious as she is in the pictures and on the phone. In fact, even more so. She has taken to us as us to her, like we have always been in each other's lives. Such a precious little girl.

As promised, I tried to hide my head in the sand. Right? Well, actually, we hit the SD Zoo the first day. It is amazing.

Look at this beauty.
The family took us out the the 94th Aero Squadron for the hub's 50th. What a fun place!

Today, we drove up the coast a little to La Jolla Cove to see the seals and their pups. Awwww. How sweet and how beautiful the entire area is. Look closely and you can see the little ground squirrel. Another awwwww.

Seals in the cove. My SIL remembers swimming here when she was little. Since the seals have taken over, some citizens are up in arms to get them out and return it to a children's swimming "cove." As my SIL says, "Like we don't have enough other places to go--leave 'em alone."

It was such enjoyment watching the mothers with their babes. Showing them the ropes, so to speak. I think I could have sat there for hours, watching one mother and her pup. She would jump up on one of the rocks and wait for the baby. He tried and tried. Couldn't make it. So she would jump in and they would swim for a little bit and then come back to try again. No luck. She then coaxed him over to the beach and she waddled out. He didn't want anything to do with that. He stayed close by the shore until she came back in after him. It was just heart warming watching them play. When we returned home, I was telling my SIL's mother about watching the mother trying so hard to help the little one up on the rock. She told me "maybe tomorrow." Yes, maybe tomorrow the little fellow will be able to make his way up on that rock and feel the warmth of the sun on his little tummy.

We then drove to Del Mar and had lunch at Jake's, right on the Pacific. This was my Torte Milanese. Oh my. It was as good as it looks, I guarantee.

And then to end the day, we arrived at the Hotel del Coronado. Such beauty and pure bliss, indeed. Sigh.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some Like it Hot

The hub is turning the big five-0 on Tuesday and we thought it would be nice just to get away for a long weekend. We've been thinking about somewhere to go and decided we would visit his brother, brother's wife and our niece out in San Diego. Yay! I tell you, we just got back last week from Riverside, but I am ready to go. I am totally exhausted. We leave tomorrow. Not a moment too soon, I say!

We are still having kitchen woes and looks like we are going into a legal battle. They don't seem to want to fess up to any wrong doing (shame on them) and we sure aren't backing down. Let the fun begin. Just say prayers I don't have to hit the stand because there aren't enough drugs in the world to calm my nerves of that! Public speaking is one of my worst nightmares. Seriously. What a pain. Another reason to want to get away. I just feel like hiding my head in the sand; and that is just what I may do while there. The entire project has stripped me of so much energy, I don't know if I will ever get it back. Human nature baffles me at times.

We've been busy with projects that the kid has due next week. The latest being a catapult. What fun that was. Not. Yes, if we had all the necessary tools available, it would have been fun. But you know how I work. I work with what I've got and make do. The kid and I got the structure finished before the hub got home. Made it nice and sturdy. Then he and the kid got the actual working parts done. Thank goodness. I don't normally do moving part thingies.

It works fine. Especially while shooting Easter jelly beans! I'm sure Frankie, my mom's dog, will enjoy sniffing them out tomorrow.

As I love hearing my SIL imitate an old colleague of hers, "Seeyuz."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bloom Where You are Planted

Unless you're in a Chinese pot. Lordy.

I transplanted these plants less than two weeks ago after they had become root bound. Of course, I went on a mission to find larger pots to move them into and decided on these orangy ones from Tuesday Morning. Mistake. I should have known better when I read they were made in China. First of all, once I transplanted them and watered them really well, one was flooding. Yep. I forgot to see if it had a hole in it for drainage. One did, one did not. So, I had to go and buy a tile bit to drill a hole in the bottom of it. Ok. Nothing is ever easy. They were looking pretty good when we left for Riverside. But when we returned home, ooooof. They were drooping big time. They had been watered once while we were gone and I keep one of those plant nannies in it (see below), so there was not excuse for them to be drooping.

When I inspected the pot, the paint has cracked and is seeping. Already. It probably is painted with lead paint as far as I know. Probably killing the plants. And so today, I went out and bought two terra cotta pots and transplanted them, again. Let's hope they do a better job at helping these big babies grow.

As mentioned above, I found these "plant nannies" somewhere along one of my journeys. Since we do leave town quite often and sometimes the plants don't get watered, I thought these were a good idea to stick in the dirt while transplanting.

You're supposed to used old wine bottles; but since we don't drink enough wine to have a couple of bottles sitting around, I found these pretty bottles, again at Tuesday Morning for about $3 each. Hey, cheaper than a bottle of wine! (Ew. Look how hard our water is!)

Windy here today. I'm about ready to fall asleep. I had to take the hub to the airport at 4:30 this morning! Zzzzzzzz. And, I have to pick him up after 11 tonight. Yep, I think it's nappy time down south.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just Had to Share

I know I just posted, but I just had the sweetest sight in front of the house.

As I sat at my computer, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was one of those odd "can't quite figure it out" blurs.

When I turned to look, there were four deer trotting down the middle of the street. Do deer trot? They normally stay hid until dusk, at least, when you see them cross over from the hills to drink from the ponds in the back. But not this young group. First the big one passed, then two smaller ones and then the littlest one kept up the end. They didn't seem to have a care in the world. Aw.

I quickly grabbed my camera which was right here and snapped a shot about the time they figured they'd better move it on up to the sidewalk--folks will be coming home for dinner soon. They then moseyed up the hill back up into the forest.

A sign of Spring? I think so by the looks of that little one falling behind. But geesh, we had a little flurry action happening here this morning, I kid you not.

Ok, won't bother you again tonight.

Felix's Fish Camp

I'm sitting at my auto shop getting a new battery for the wagon. She didn't much like being left behind at home and not making the trip to Riverside, I'm afraid. Soon, Ollie will retire down to Riverside as I think I may have to break down and get a new car. Oy. Ollie is getting a little long in the tooth. Tootling around the Gulf is one thing, running around Nashville everyday is quite another. Any hoo, I thought I would catch up on some of my Alabama postings while they poke and prod the ol' gal. I know how you feel, honey. Been there, did that.

One day, we went for a ride along the old Mobile Bayway and found a new restaurant, Felix's Fish Camp. New to us, anyway. It is one of the best restaurants to date. Not only was the food out of this world, but the service was impeccable. By the looks of the place, you wouldn't think that all the waiters would be trained in waiting for all the plates to arrive at the table and all being placed in front of each guest at the same time. How fancy is that? Our friend Richard told us that (I think), it was run by the same person who founded Ruth Chris Steak House, or something like that. I was busily trying to close up Riverside as he was telling us the background on the place. Sorry Richard, I was only listening with one ear. At any rate, it is well worth the trip if you're ever in the area. It sits on Mobile Bay which always an added bonus.

The hub ordered crab soup to start.

I ordered the turtle soup. Mmmmm mmmmm good. Campbell's has nothing on this stuff.

Of course, we had to try the jalapeno hush puppies. Duh.

I had the shrimp and grits with succotash on the side. I haven't had succotash since I was living at home with mom! And they made it with a creamed corn. It was soooo good, needless to say.

The hub had some type of seafood pasta. The kid had his usual crawfish po boy.

It's always so much fun finding a new restaurant that is so good. We were lucky to have just run up on the place during our outing. I'm always up for something new, especially when it comes to food!

Ok, the car is just about finished. Yep, Ollie needed a new battery. Perhaps a new alternator is also on the list of must haves. Joy. I suppose with over 200k miles on her, she's about ready for some new parts. I shouldn't complain. This car was around when the teenager started kindergarten. She still has little stickers on both back windows from when the boys put them there umpteen years ago. She's part of our little family; so I don't mind putting a little money into her to keep her healthy and happy. Plus, an extra car at Riverside will be quite the luxury. No more running folks to the beach when I want to stay home! Sounds like a plan to me!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ready for my Bypass, Doctor

I decided to have our Ukrainian Easter meal early. The official Ukrainian Easter isn't until April. Don't ask me why. Just got the whim and did it.

We had:

Kyshka (don't even ask)
Kovbasa (both smoked and fresh)
Pyrohy (cheese and potato dumplings)
Fresh peas from Alabama
Krashanky (hard boiled eggs in onion skins)
Half Sours (pickles)
Banana Pudding (my Southern addition)

Here the eggs are boiling in the onion skins. They turn out a beautiful brown. If you add a pinch of vinegar, they turn even darker!

And the finished product. You always start your Easter feast with a slice of krashanka. Unless, of course, you are the kid, he who doesn't eat eggs.

Fresh kovbosa.

Fresh Alabama peas.


Now for the banana pudding!

If your bananas aren't ripe enough, put them in a preheated oven for about ten minutes.

The skin will blackened but the inside will be perfect for, say, banana pudding!


First layer.
Meringue in the making.

Then, POOF, banana pudding.

Did someone say angioplasty? Gawd.



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