Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saturday In The Park...

Well, not quite a Saturday in the Park but that's the song from the 70s by, um....Bread maybe? Regardless, John, Mom and I actually spent 'Sunday at the Winery.' It was a gorgeous day this past Sunday and, after a whole lot of conjoling on our part, we got Mom up from her comfy chair and out to Sugarloaf Winery. She was cute as really didn't want to go and John and I actually resigned ourselves to going alone. We were in the car, heading out of the driveway when we backed up - it was just TOO gorgeous to leave my gorgeous Mom sitting in a chair for the day.

We came in the door and she was already headed up the stairs. I asked her where she was going and she kind of looked surprised and said 'I'm going upstairs to get dressed. I knew you'd come back for me.' Sure would have saved us a bit of pleading if she had just agreed the first time. Regardless, we were both delighted to have her come with us.

The winery just released their Chardonnay reserve which, albeit a bit pricey, was quite delicious. The three of us took the three little girl dogs along for the ride (we prefer a 1:1 ratio of humans to dogs for outings) and headed out around 2 to sit and sip. Sugarloaf winery is located right at the base of our teeny weeny Sugarloaf mountain and has live music on the weekends. Just the right amount of ambiance for a 2.5 hour outing. A great time was had by all. Mom got a bit of sun, talked to a few people who came to admire little Gizmo who was perched on her lap, and sipped some good wine.

A great day was had. Totally great, just as the pictures document!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A story about a tootsie roll...

Ok, I've found a new internet site on which to get residual earnings on writing, My best ever internet friends, Peggy and Joan, are also not-so-willing participants at the site. I say not-so-willing as, collectively, we earn, oh, maybe 3 cents a day on articles. Yes, you read that right....3 cents a day COLLECTIVELY. Now, I appear to be ahead of the curve, having earned almost $3.75 this month alone (no, it's not going to carry me into my twilight years in Key West, but,'s a start). Anyway, I was lamenting with my pals about what I could do with my big ONE CENT earning today. I asked Peggy and Joan if there was even penny candy made these days.

Joan replied that they make a teeny weeny itsy bitsy tootsie roll - a mini, mini sized Tootsie roll which is sold at her local drug store. Somewhere back in the archives of my mind, I got to thinking about a Gert story...

When Mom was about 75 or so, Mom and Dad were driving from Phoenix to Las Vegas, a trip of around 5 hours. They were about half way there, and approaching a very small town called Nothing, Arizona, population 2 - Google today reports that the population of Nothing, Arizona is now 4 so someone was busy...

Anyway, Mom wanted Dad to stop in Nothing because she wanted to get a candy bar. Dad, being Dad,. really just wanted to get to Vegas and didn't want to stop but Mom pestered him and pestered him and, as was her wont, got her way. 'Fine' he said, we'll stop but he wasn't happy about it.

So, they went into the one and only store in Nothing, Arizona. Mom says it had one gas pump and a small store that sold pepsis, cokes, and potato chips and candy (the important part to the story is the 'candy' part).

Mom at that time wanted a candy and picked out a tootsie roll. You know the kind; they looked like something that was coming out of the body instead of going in...So, Dad got Mom a tootsie roll that she reports was older than she was. She went to bite down on it and her mouth was not round any longer; it was square. She had broken her jaw on a tootsie roll! Big bummer. Mom had to have her jaw wired, which I don't recall Dad complaining about, for a month or so. I'm not sure she ever got over that tootsie roll. That tootsie roll cost her $1500 she says. And, as she says at this very moment, "I don't like tootsie rolls anymore."

So, as her 94th birthday rapidly approaches, we at least know what NOT to get her!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another glorious Key West weekend.

The house kitty (hated fish - go figure)
John and I had possibly the best time yet in Key West on this past trip - albeit, an expensive one! And, we thought this trip was going to be cheap! Well, it would have been if not for a few nice purchases...

Flew all the way in this time - view of 7 mile bridge
Found yet another very cheap airflight so took them up on it and flew all the way in. 4 short hours later, we were standing at our hotel off Duvall. We stayed at a new place for us, Hollinsted house, which was just delightful. Just a block off Duvall in the 600 block (half way between island ends), the house is made up of a variety of condos, some of which are simply devine.If you're going to Key West anytime soon, email me and I'll hook you up with Tracey, the owner of a few of the condos there. Got a great deal all the way around. The cat above is the house kitty, or so we thought. She appeared magically out of the bushes, usually yawning and looking for affection. She made JB look like a GIANT, which, of course, he is.

We walked the streets a lot this trip and even rented a little two person electric car in which to tool around for a day. Took us down some paths we'd not found earlier as we discussed where we'll be living one day. Met some great locals - 2 stand out in our minds. Houston and Suzie are both 5th generation (!) Conchs - born and raised in KW. Talked to them for quite a while. Houston's 87 year old mom lives next door and sounds like she's the opposite of my Mom. Houston was telling us some great tales about her complaints, etc, as she's a very crotchety old woman. I shared tales of my delightful Mother. I sure wish I could talk mom into moving to KW with me NOW but that ain't happening. Ah well, it will happen one day but I'm not rushing the future.
No, it's a LIVE rooster!

John and I decided to rent a boat again this trip and go looking for dolphins - no luck. We needed Bobbi, the official dolphin spotter with us. The ocean was rockier than last time we went out but we didn't really care. We headed out to the reef and moored up for an afternoon of conversation, cocktails and a few quick swims.

Tried a few really nice restaurants this time around. One of the great things about staying in a different part of the island is that we explored instead of going to the same old rounds we usually do. Sarabeth's owner, David, was a wonderful guy and, although dinner was good, we're thinking breakfast is even better. The last night there, we went to Cafe Marquesa which was probably the best restaurant I've ever been to, period. But, you'll pay for it too. The ambiance is great, food was outstanding, and the whole dining experience was worth the price.

Ah, but, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end so we flew home after just 3 days in paradise. But, the end of this trip starts the countdown to the next one which is already on the books. We'll be in Key West 4 times this year, which seems about right to us...
Love this shot!
I'm struck by how lucky I am

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ah, technology...

So, John hooked up a wireless connection between my computer and the big screen tv so I can now easily show Mom pictures and articles that people send over to show her. Went through and showed her pictures that I have categorizes as she and Dad. Ran across a few fun ones which I'll post here.
Mom and Rita always seem to have a connection

Not bad for a woman who didn't use to like dogs

Pic from the Beach house this summer

Gert and Gizmo have a fan club too

Red hats gave us much amusement

Rita is always an attentive is Gert

On other recent news, John, Mom and I went to see the Cirque de Soliel show here at National Harbor a few weeks ago. Amazing show although the first half was better than the second. We got handicapped parking which was great, wheeled her in, got her a beer and settled in the first row of the second tier. Wonderful seats to watch the show. They do such amazing stuff, it's hard to follow! My favorite part was this wormy thing that I really couldn't understand at all. It was, evidently, a single person inside this wormy suit and the thing moved in amazing ways. If you get a chance, catch the show. It's Ovo.

Love that Key West trip!

Getting ready to head to Key West this weekend for some much needed R&R. Supposed to be a wonderful weekend, weather-wise, and John and I will probably get a boat again as we had such a great time doing that in August. We're just going for a long weekend but the prices for flights all the way down can't be beat right now - $157 roundtrip out of Baltimore. Got another trip lined up for December and looking to plan KW in February next. We're rapidly adopting the island as our second home base which works well with the plan of retirement.

Here's the latest writings on the internet:

Top 5 Worst Places to Make Money Online
Top 5 Items to Include In a Soldier Care Package
Top 5 Symptoms of a Stroke
Top 5 Ann Rule Books
Top 5 Things That Should NOT Be Posted on Facebook
Top 5 Board Games  

Top 5 Stupid Gestures   

Flintstones Characters


Saturday, October 2, 2010


So, John surprised me yesterday by taking me crabbing for the day on the dock of the bay. It was too windy to go out on Namaste and jet ski season is past so I was WAY game for a day on the dock. He thoughtfully purchased 3 new crab traps, a bottle of good vodka, a picnic lunch, chicken necks (not part of the picnic lunch), string, and chips. So, we set up the traps, put up two chairs and proceeded to have a great time just waiting. 2 hours later, we had confirmation that the bay had a sense of humor as we had lost:

1 crab trap
1 chair (which we managed to fish back out of the bay)
The bag of chips (blew away)
2 cocktails
The bag the chair came in (same gust took the bag as the chips and cocktails...)
BUT, we had crabs. FOUR crabs. Pitiful I tell ya! So, we decided to head over to the bridge where the locals were.

Off we went and set up our remaining traps off the bridge. I perused the catch of the local while John went to surprise me and buy some crabs from a man who had been down on our pier. While he was gone, I decided to take matters into my own hand and approached one of the friendly locals with a 20 spot. Got two gorgeous dozen crabs, #1 jimmies and beauties to boot. Was quite proud of myself until John came up beaming. Why the smile? He had gone down to the other man, and, for $20 had bought, well, five crabs. I suppose it was a case of supply and demand. Sweet gesture thought and well appreciated.

So, after an hour nap cozed up on Namaste, I headed back home where Mom, Sophia, Joni and Mark were awaiting our 'catch.' Cooked them up in 3 batches and they were delightful. Sat and chatted over a nice bottle of wine in the dining room, mom at every claw (!), the rest of us filled up on as much crab as we could eat. A wonderful night was had by all.

Here's a couple of articles about crabs:
How to Cook Crabs
How to Tell A Female Blue Crab From a Male Crab
How to Measure a Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab
How to Set A Table For A Crab Feast
How to Prepare A Crab Feast 
In a pinch, you might have to boil crab legs - yuck
How to cook crabs - works every time!
How to Order A Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Feast Online
How to Make a Crab Bisque
And, if you're not in the mood for crabs, how about some delicious Mexican enchiladas (only 4 ingredients!)

Cabin weekend

As I go about updating the blog, I was looking through pictures to trigger my memory of what we've done this summer. Turns out, we were sort of movers and shakers this summer - well, John and I were at least. Gert was more of a sitter. But, had a beautiful summer with many weekends spent on sailing or on the jet ski and a few very nice weekends at the cabin.