Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beach Trip, Continued

On Saturday morning, we set a leisurely pace. I awoke after 8 am; dressed and made my bed.....only to find the other ladies in the kitchen area, still in their jammies.
Rain was threatening.....

We ate a lovely egg-mushroom-spinach casserole with fresh peaches from the farmer's market, after which we left to go into Wilmington to a well-known antique place....The Ivy Cottage.  It is a large shop in three different buildings, plus a warehouse area. You can find almost anything you want there, along with some things you didn't know existed.   I didn't buy anything; I just got rid of a huge lot of stuff last year when we moved, so I don't need to add anything more. But the others all bought something, and it was fun to window shop with them. That morning was rainy, so it was a perfect place to be. As we moved from building to building, I

flowers and berries I didn't recognize and they were a perfect photo opportunity.

After shopping, we drove back to the house and had lunch; chicken salad sandwiches and some vegetable chips that I can't remember the name of, but they were delicious. The remainder of the afternoon was spent on the porch or dock when the rain let up and permitted being outside.
Around 4pm we went to the beach and it was sunny and beautiful, at last;  allowing us a short walk at the water's edge.

We showered and dressed for dinner at  Port Land Grille,
which came highly recommended by our hostess' daughter. It was rather fancy, and the food was tasty, although a bit too esoteric for me. I prefer food that is readily recognizable and needs no explanation.....
I had scallops over a bed of risotto and spinach, that was served surrounded by a tomato puree. In my opinion, the tomato overpowered the taste of everything else. However, the rest of the meal was good, the bread delicious, the butter spiked with fresh tarragon, the coffee rich and hot - and the company was excellent, as always. I forgot to take photos of my food, as often happens. 

We sat on the porch and reminisced about many things that night; meaning to view a second DVD by Jeanne Robertson, but realized at 11pm that it was too late to start, so we retired, for another night's good sleep. 

When I resume the story, I'll tell you about Sunday, and our brunch in downtown Wilmington. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

My First Girl's Beach Weekend Since 1962

Several months ago, a friend asked me to join her and a few other women at her beach home in Wrightsville Beach. I was really pleased to be asked, as I have known and loved these women for many years. They are my good friends and former neighbors. For health reasons, I was not certain that I would be able to join the group, so I was very happy to learn that I could.

We left Raleigh on Friday morning, and stopped for a quick lunch on the way to the beach, arriving mid-afternoon.

 The house tour was first; with everyone being assigned a room (quite lovely accommodations, I might add.) Plenty of room for everyone.

We sat on the front porch, overlooking the ICW - or Intracoastal Waterway, with gentle breezes that moderated the 90+ temperatures. 

Near dinnertime, we left to drive a short distance to Bluewater Grille.  The menu was large and varied; I ended up with coconut shrimp and mango dipping sauce, which was very tasty, if a bit dry. 

Sunset entertained us for a bit and then.....

Joe's wedding party took over. They all wore lime green tank tops imprinted with "Joe is getting married," with a cartoon of a guy in a pink, fuzzy bathrobe, hoisting a beer. They were, as you might imagine, a bit boisterous - but in a nice way, and they were most polite to a group of "ladies of a certain age,"  shall we say. As we got up to leave, they asked if we were going to join them at the bar after dinner. Wouldn't that have been a hoot?  I have a feeling that I might have enjoyed that.....LOL
We returned to the house and sat once more on the front porch, enjoying the evening breeze and the bright lights of boats coursing down the ICW. Eventually we went inside and watched a DVD of Jeanne Robertson, a former Miss North Carolina and an excellent speaker with down-home humor. We all enjoyed it, as Jeanne can be very funny. 

We retired into our respective rooms and here I will leave you.........tune in next time for the rest of the trip.

But before I leave you, I want to say thanks again to my hostess especially,  and also to the two other women. I am very blessed to have all of you as friends, and I am exceedingly grateful for the opportunity. It was all wonderful; I enjoyed every minute and I hope we can do it again sometime. Y'all are just about perfect!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I Saw on TV.......

that a detergent company is trying to sell us a cleaner for our washing machines. 

Do you think we really need that?  If you run a load of clothing, etc., through the washer, rinse it and let the machine air dry (by leaving the lid open), how could there ever be dirt or a bad smell in the interior of the washer? 

The top part of the washer  (I have a top loader) under the lid gets dirty, but I clean that with a damp rag. I have never seen any dirt left in my washer and there has never been a smell emanating from it - other than bleach. I can see how it could mildew in humid climates, or if you never left the lid open so it can air out. 

So what is your opinion? Will you buy a special cleaner for the interior of your washing machine?  If so, why?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Play Games

Well.....word games, that is.

Scrabble, the board game, has been part of my life since I was in high school. I played with friends back then and a neighbor after I married. My children all  played it with me, but they didn't like getting beaten most of the time  (and I hated to let them win often) so they gradually stopped. 

Did you let your children win at games? 

Little did I know back in the 50's and 60's that it would be possible to play this game with people who were separated from me by hundreds and even thousands of miles, on different continents, across oceans. I am not sure which I prefer; face-to-face gaming or on the computer - but I am very grateful for the opportunity to play it every day, no matter how it is done. There are two other games I play in addition to Scrabble:  Wordscraper and Lexulous, both of which are derivatives of the former. I love Wordscraper because the scoring is so wild, and huge scores are possible. 

I have 5-6 people with whom I have been playing regularly for several years, and a few others who came into it recently. I even play with anonymous people from time to time, but I have noticed that if I win a few games, they stop playing. I have never cared if I win or lose - it is the game that interests me. Sometimes I eschew a more high-scoring play in favor of one that seems interesting or clever to me at the time.  It feels good to win, though.....LOL

Today I was thinking about the people with whom I play; they are as varied as snowflakes. Three retired schoolteachers (in NC, FL and WA), a former psychologist (MI, NC and FL), a chicken farmer in Oklahoma, a former actress and model in the UK,  a Pennsylvania grocery manager, a former singer; only three of whom I have met in person. Now I am also playing with a Singapore ex-pat (formerly of Raleigh), whom I have spoken to on the phone, but never met.  

All but one of these people is a blogger, and that is how we all initially "met." I am so grateful to my son, who introduced me to the computer back in 1999. I don't know what I'd do with out it.  

Do you play computer games (specifically word games)?  Wanna' play with me? I think I can handle a few more.....LOL

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Coincidence? Synchronicity? Whatever you call it.....

it turns out to be interesting.

We were invited for dinner tonight at the home of friends we have known for about 4 years now. They mentioned that another couple would be present, and they hoped that we'd be compatible with those people. We don't usually have trouble being compatible with others, but the host couple was hoping we'd hit it off, so to speak. 

We got a very big surprise when the other couple turned out to be people for whom I had done wedding flowers and the woman had worked with my husband at a large computer company about 30 years ago. The hostess couldn't get over it, as this is the second person she has met (out of the blue) for whom I did wedding flowers. I think she was pleased at having rejoined people who had enjoyed their associations previously, but not been together in over 20 years. 

We all talked non-stop for 4 hours; only stopping to dine on exquisite food, and then picking up where we left off moments before. It was such a nice evening, and before we left, we exchanged contact info, so I hope we will be seeing them again soon. 

I should have photographed our food....lovely hors d'oeuvres, salad, first course of delicious meatballs and bow tie pasta in a wonderful marinara, entree of pork chops in a buttery sauce with mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, Italian bread and for dessert....strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream. You would have loved it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Printer is Driving Me Crazy ( it Word?)

My printer, the HP Photosmart 5515 is great, but now it is driving me nutso. At least I think that fault lies in the printer, but it may not. 

I am typing and trying to print pages in Microsoft Word Starter. That is the form of Word that came on my laptop five or so years ago. Apparently Word Starter only lasts 3 years or so, and then you have to buy new software. Well, cr** on that!  If you pay $500 for a laptop, Word or Word Starter ought to last for the life of the laptop, in my opinion. What say you?

Trying to get this thing to print is worse than trying to pull teeth with no pliers. But I discovered something this morning:   if I compose a page in Word Starter, it will not print. BUT, if I change it to a PDF file, it prints as well as ever.  HOW?  WHY? What can I do, if anything, to get back to being able to print Word files without having to buy the software again???

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Two or More brooms?

Do you have more than one broom in your home?  I have two; one in the kitchen and one in the garage. 

I read something recently that proposed we should have a separate broom for the bathroom as well. The article said that brooms used in the bathroom would have germs that should not be transferred to the kitchen. I agree with that probability, but it never dawned on me before. I have never used a broom in a bathroom, except to sweep up broken glass. At all other times, a vacuum cleaner and mop are the tools of choice for that room. 

What about you?