Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beach Time

I wanted to go for a walk on the beach this afternoon.  I parked my car and started to walk toward the water.  I also started coughing like crazy and then sneezing.  I am predicting that there will be a red tide warning in the next day or two.

The water was kind of murky anyway.

I checked the air quality report on the library web site and it was listed as good.  Well, I consider myself an early warning system for the presence of red tide.  As soon as I left the beach the coughing and sneezing stopped completely.

My friend Diane is coming for a visit on Friday.  I am very excited.  I found a good place to rent a bicycle, I have tickets for a concert, there is a Greek festival in Sarasota, an orchid show and a quilt show in Venice, restaurants to explore, and I do hope we will get some beach time.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Credit or Debit?

I have a debit card.  I always kind of wondered why I was asked.  I take my debit card out when I want to use debit and I take my credit card out when I want to use credit.  (Yes, I know that a debit card can be used as either, but in my own head I am clear about my intent!)

Then I kind of figured out that it makes a difference to the vendor.  Credit card fees apply to the seller, they don't just make money off the interest charged to the buyer who doesn't pay off the full amount each month.  On the other hand, the credit union loses with debit use and makes the fee from sellers so they always encouraged members to use the card as a credit card.

So generally I try to use my debit card for small, local vendors.  I always use my credit card for gas and restaurants and online purchases.  I didn't have much of a reason other than that is how I do it, but then I came upon this article about 8 dangerous places to use a debit card.

Who knew?  But I will congratulate myself for having good instincts anyway.

Friday, January 29, 2016

What Happens in Flint

My daughter accuses me of making things up.  Actually, she accuses me of having lied shamelessly to her throughout her childhood.  I try to convince her that I am merely talented at speaking metaphorically.

 I don't know.  I find myself asking myself, "Did that actually happen or did I make it up?"  Let's just say I have complete empathy for Brian Williams and his suspension for exaggerated stories of his ride in a helicopter.

But I do think this is a real memory.  Why would I possibly make this up?  I think the news about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, stirred up a memory of an old grammar book from elementary school days in the late 1950's.  Because I had the feeling I had experience with the place but I don't believe I have ever actually been there.   I remember writing letters--lessons about proper form, etc.--to people and businesses with  Flint, Michigan, addresses.  I remember writing and punctuation sentences about things going on in the daily lives of sixth graders in Flint.

Does anybody else remember something like this or have I made it up?

In any case, it was in some ways a very different world then because it seems to me the point was that '50's Flint was just the embodiment of the American dream.  But then, in other ways, it is not such a different world, because then as now, no one would have gotten away with poisoning the entire water supply of a prosperous, predominantly white city.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winey Wednesday

It has been an all day rain here today.  I had planned a walk on the beach.  Instead,  I caught up on a dozen little chores.

  1. cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floors
  2. tidied up the office
  3. did a load of laundry
  4. found a lost button and sewed it back in place
  5. read some blogs and e-mails
  6. chatted with a friend
  7. read, finished a book a friend had loaned to me
  8. finished two poems I had been working on
  9. home yoga practice
  10. gathered up the recycle to put out later
  11. gathered together some tax information
  12. swept out the lanai (which I have barely used this winter)
I am thinking I can just kick back with a glass of wine and listen to the rain on the roof this evening.

J'aime boire du vin rouge.  I practiced my French lessons as well.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Kitchen Experiments

Perhaps you recall that I recently made a 'pizza' with a cauliflower crust.  I wouldn't call it a real substitute for pizza, but it was not a bad dish in its own right.

My latest cauliflower experiment was baked Buffalo cauliflower.  There are lots of recipes on the internet so I won't repeat one here--basically oven roasted cauliflower with Buffalo hot sauce.  It was really tasty though.  I eat less and less meat as time goes on.  I will definitely keep this recipe.  Maybe even sometime add chicken wings or shrimp to it.

I made a rice and lentil salad to go with it.  I cooked Jasmine rice and some lentils earlier in the day.  Then I added scallions, a seeded and chopped piece of cucumber, chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice, and some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Tomatoes might have been nice, and I may add some to the left over.  Fresh Florida lemon juice is so much better than the lemons that make their way to Vermont.  The lemons at the market today were very small and thin skinned compared to what I am used to at home, but the flavor was so much more bright.

Good thing I liked it because I will be eating that salad for the rest of the week.

Ooo...maybe I will get a bag of lemons and make some limoncello.

Friday, January 22, 2016


I started an adult education class last night--French for travelers.

I was the only one who actually did not have definitive travel plans, but one can dream.

A fellow student recommended some phone apps.  One was duo lingo.  It has any number of languages if you are so inclined.  I did the most basic lesson and I was informed, with a bit of computer fanfare, that I am now 1% proficient in French.
But, I have to start somewhere and I can say, "Je parle un peu francais."  Unfortunately, I do not know how to put the little beard thingie under the c.

I have homework to do.

I think I will also assign myself to re-read Me Talk Pretty One Day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Busy Bee

Today was a busy day.  I had to go get the blood work done that I was supposed to get done before my annual wellness visit.  I had to be on fasting so I wanted to go as early as humanly possible even though I am hardly an early bird by nature.
I got there in a timely manner and went right in to provide my three vials of blood.  It took a couple pricks, but I managed to not faint.

I was a bit distressed that when I went into the bathroom the sink was covered with plastic and the toilet tank was wrapped in caution tape.  This is exactly the condition it was in from last year.  I decided I would definitely look for an alternative lab next year.

I rushed home to get my coffee started, noting as I left that the waiting room was now standing room only.

I signed up for a class at a local quilt shop.  I signed up a few days ago and the shop owner said, "Oh, I went to high school with an Olga. Olga XXXX."  Today she told me that the next day she had a friend request from Olga XXXX, now in
California, on Facebook--had not heard from her since high school,which had to have been at least thirty years ago.  I said I was glad I could facilitate the reconnection!

We made these wallets--

Every one's was different of course.  It took almost three hours to complete, but we had to share cutting space and  one iron.   The picture is not so clear, but one side has credit card slots and the other side has a pocket for bills and a zippered compartment for change.

After that class, I rushed to the book discussion group I joined.  We are discussing a collection of essays on aging and spirituality.  It is a lively and engaging group.

I still need to fit in a little yoga time and maybe some writing time as well, but right now I think I maybe better concentrate on getting something to eat.