Thursday, May 4, 2017

Vanilla Vinaigrette Salad

Audrey invited us over for dinner the other night and I was bringing a salad.  I had fresh strawberries and oranges so looked up a salad that would have those ingredients.  I found one called "Salad Greens With Oranges, Strawberries and Vanilla Vinaigrette" at and then remembered I had vanilla balsamic vinegar from F. Oliver's and made it "my own" as they say about singers.

Proportions aren't necessary.  Just use what you like or have on hand.  I'm listing what I've included in various versions I've made this past week as a reminder of options for next time.

My Vanilla Vinaigrette Salad

chopped romaine
small slices red onions
sectioned oranges
sliced strawberries
grape tomatoes
toasted walnuts or pecans
blue cheese

Vanilla Vinaigrette
3 parts EVOO
2 parts vanilla balsamic vinegar

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Florida - Week 3 - short week

Tuesday I met Dennis, the brother (who works at Vistana Beach) of the woman from the wine and cheese the previous Tuesday night.  Glad I got to meet him because she had already told him about the circumstances of how we had met.  If I don't explain that here now will I remember 5 years from now?? Hint:  It was at a game to meet people where you had to list some facts about yourself on a paper that was given out to others and they had to find you.

From the Beach Club we went to Orlando for a few days at the Vistana Villages before the cruise and were able to get into our favorite section.  This was probbly the first time that we were in Orlando that we didn't go to an outlet mall.  Something must be wrong with me, I seem to have lost my desire to shop.  Or maybe it was that I didn't have one inch of space in my suitcase or weight for the plane when we were going to have to fly home from Barcelona.
We left on Saturday to head to Port Canaveral and return our rental car.  On our way to return the car where we thought the rental place was we came upon it in a different location.  Our timing was perfect, we dropped the car off, got on the van to the port and almost immediately got onto the ship with no lines and very little waiting.  However, that was probably the last time we didn't have to stand in a line for the entire cruise.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Florida - Week 2

Mon- March 20
Michael and Doris came to visit today.  After hanging out for awhile we went out to get some lunch.  We didn't know where we were going but then decided to go to downtown Stuart.  Doris remembered being on the street we were with her Grandmother and going to a jewelry store.  Laura also has mentioned this is a good area to go to for lots of restaurants and shops.  We had lunch at the Osceola Street Cafe
photo courtesy of my copying from Google maps
I wasn't too hungry so couldn't decide what to get but finally decided on a veggie melt.  It was delicious and I brought half of it home.   We wandered around Stuart on our way to the car and from
there we went to the Harris Museum which was filled with all kinds of old things especially cars that are in mint condition.  We had 1 hour and 10 minutes before they closed and thought that was just the right amount of time until we came to the photography room.  Here were all these great shots with the behind the scenes story of how each photographer was able to catch the shot.  This is something that shouldn't be missed because you'll want to read all the descriptions.  The people working there were so nice when they noticed how we were engrossed and they wanted to kick us out so they gave us four complimentary tickets so that we could go back.
For dinner we went to Shuckers around 6:00 and we ate inside because we would have to wait for an hour to eat outside.  I got my normal fish tacos and they were as good as always, even indoors.

On Thursday Nadine and Michael came and we went to Shuckers again, this time for lunch around 3:15, the best time when there never seems to be a wait.  I decided to get something new so I got a Tomato Mozzarella Panini, it was good but I think I'll stick with my tacos or the ahi tuna burger.
Friday became dark, windy and later in the afternoon we had a lot of rain.  We all went to the Harris Museum in the afternoon and I got to read the descriptions with all the pictures.  From there we went to a Mexcian restaurant, Cinco de Mayo, in the Publix shopping center for a late lunch, early dinner. 

Friday morning we all went for a walk on the street.  It was windy again but nice for walking as long as you held on to your hat.  Since we ate out for the last two days today was the day to help eat what we have in the refrigerator plus the ice cream that we bought last night and everyone was too full to eat.  Nadine and Michael left around 7:00 - a fun few days with them.

Saturday Audrey and Steve drove up from where they were staying at Marriott Ocean Pointe in Palm Beach Shores.  We sat out on the deck, ate popcorners, hummus and peanut butter pretzels and caught up on our travels.  They watched IVs game while I went to the pool and then we went to, where else, Shuckers.

Sunday I finally got a chance to take a walk on the beach again.  I walked all the way down to the CVS plaza and saw that there was a public beach and huge parking lot which wasn't noticeable when we walked on the street.

Monday morning, our last full day here, started out like a "real" Florida day.  It was hot and sunny and then the next time I turned around it was grey clouds and rainy.

Florida - Week 1

I can't believe the first week in Florida is over all ready.  I've washed the windstorm, no power, sleepless night and having to pack out of my mind (even though I just finally blogged about it last night).  We arrived down here around 11 PM after a nice, short, direct flight from Rochester.  We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport using Larry's free night from his credit card.  If we didn't have to change our flight we would have forgotten all about that night and lost it.

The next day we took the shuttle from the hotel back to the airport to get our rental car from Dollar.  I was really concerned about the price we were told we would get when I booked the car because it was so good using a AAA discount.  When we went to get it we did upgrade to a medium priced car and it went up $200.  We got this really cute KIA Soul.

We drove to the Vistana Beach Club and our room wasn't ready so we went to Shuckers for lunch.
When we came back our room was ready and found out we got a room in the beachfront building. Later on in the week I realized it was the same room we had last year based on photos I took from the beach.  This is the picture from last year with Larry out on the deck.

We started off out stay here mostly doing some grocery shopping and some walking either on the beach or on the street.  On Friday, St Patrick's Day, after a corned beef and cabbage dinner, we went to The Barn Theatre in Stuart and saw Neil Simon's Chapter II.  The cast did a great job and we were so glad we went.

On Sunday Larry got a picture of me from the deck as I took a walk on the beach.  It was the first day nice enough to walk with a bathing suit.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Saturday night, after we had our power back I was lying on the couch watching TV and for some reason I went to the Southwest app on my phone.  I noticed they were talking about an impending blizzard that was forecast and were offering people with flights on various days from various cities to change their flight at no extra charge.

Our flight was scheduled for Tuesday morning and they had Tuesday and Wednesday as the days that could be changed if you were scheduled to fly out of Rochester.  I changed our flight to Monday morning and almost instantly realized I had an important dental appointment Monday morning to take care of some things before we would be gone for 6 weeks.  I called southwest and was informed that there would be 76 minute hold time or I could have a call back.  I chose the callback and more than 90 minutes later, at 1:06 I got the call.  I was on hold for 10 minutes before a real person came on the phone and after another 45 minutes and some begging and pleading we got on the Monday night flight.

I booked us a room at the Fairfield Airport hotel and by then, since the clocks were also moved ahead an hour, it was too late to go to sleep since it was almost time to get up.  Who knows what else I was doing but I was probably pretty wired by then and too tired to be tired.  I made it through all of Sunday without a nap and finished packing and got ready for the trip.

Karen took us to the airport where we shared a Subway sandwich for dinner.

Our plane was about 1 1/2 hours late but we got on it with all the other people who had switched their flight and flew direct to Orlando in 2 1/2 hours.

During the day the flights for Tuesday were cancelled and between Tuesday and Wednesday there was a snowfall of 27 inches in Rochester.  We were so fortunate to get our power back when  we did and get our flight out when we did.


Most of February and the beginning of March were such mild times for winter in Rochester.  We didn't have any snow stick around long enough to snowshoe or X-C ski.  Then all of a sudden we got a windstorm with winds up to 80 mph and the damage was almost as bad as the ice storm of 1991.
It was Wednesday, March 8th, I had a dentist appointment that morning and then was meeting Terry for lunch at the Red Lobster in Henrietta.  I didn't really notice the winds being that strong on my drive there but I did notice that some traffic lights were out.

During lunch Larry called to say that our power was out.  I guess I didn't think too much of it until we left and I got in my car.  The wind was howling.  The traffic lights were swaying back and forth and as I sat in my car without even turning it on, I felt like I would be whisked off to Oz just like Dorothy.

I called Larry and he was on the phone with me for most of my drive home.  The intersection of Jefferson and E. Henrietta Rd didn't have any traffic lights working but all the drivers were very good at taking turns.  I was glad to get on the expressway before I had to come to anymore traffic lights.  It wasn't until I got close to home that I could see where the problems were in our neighborhood.  I had to detour 3 times because trees were down across the road and I couldn't get through.   The trees took wires down with them too.
This was the first tree that I saw down on Raphael, roots and all as were most of the downed trees.

Oops, not going to get through this way so I turned around and went the other way on Stony Point Trail.

but when I tried to go that way, I wasn't going to get through there either and as I turned my car around

I watched this tree go down right next to me in slow motion.

Of course, now that we didn't have any power the temperature started to drop too.  We went out and took a walk around the neighborhood and when we realized the extent of the damage we didn't think we'd get it back right away.  The first night was fun. We had wine and appetizers in front of the fireplace and my leftovers from lunch for dinner.

The next day Larry and I both had breakfast plans and both wound up coming home without having breakfast.  It seems like everyone in town without power decided to go our for breakfast too and the lines were really long everywhere.  I was in Irondequoit and Larry was in Pittsford.  I saw that Wegmans had power so I took my devices and power cords and headed over there.  It was packed and the people at Wegmans were wonderful installing additional power cords and extensions in the food court to help out everyone and there was food too.  I spent the day there and Larry came over for awhile too.

At night it was wine and appetizers in front of the fire again.  I got my Coleman propane little stove up from the basement and cooked soup that we had in the freezer out on the deck.  I bought that stove in 2003 when we had the last ice storm so that if I lost power again I would at least be able to boil water for coffee.

Friday morning we used that little camp stove to boil water in the garage and then make some camp style drip coffee.  The coffee pot and drip were never used before either.

John brought over their generator that morning since he and Karen got their power back on Thursday and we got our refrigerator and microwave plugged in and hooked up a bunch of extension cords.

 I was hoping for some light and heat because I needed to pack and it was colder and darker in the downstairs bedroom where all my clothes were.  The next day he was going to install something to do the furnace.  Our gas fireplace was keeping the upstairs warm in the meantime.  It turns out we couldn't do the furnace after all because it was relatively new and had a lot of safety features.  
Saturday as we were camped out again in front of the fire with our wine I get a text from Betty saying how great it was to have power again.  We never would have known since we had the generator running unless we would have notice lights from the outside.  We shut off the generator and flipped the switch and kept our fingers crossed.  YEA!!!!  We had power and HEAT!!!!!  What a great day!
Next up, a blizzard was on the way.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Visit to Greta and Laura

There was going to be a Camp Somerset reunion in Boston on March 5 that Nadine and I were going to go to.  We would stay with Laura and she could come to.  First I went to see Greta and the boys on Thursday.  We had some hockey of course and on Friday afternoonTucker and I went to the movies and saw A Dog's Purpose.  Some more hockey for Tucker that night and we were going to go out to eat but it was so late that we just went home.  Myles had come with us but he ate at Chelsea Piers.  Tucker and I had leftovers at home and Greta and Charles went out to eat.

I took B2B pictures with each of the boys.  Tucker is the only one still shorter than me.

Greta and I went for coffee the next morning, we were both up early, and it was nice to have the time together.  I left around 9ish and got to Laura's before she got home and before Nadine got there.
There was snow at home that weekend but only cold in CT and MA.
We drove into Boston to the Prudential Center and wandered around Eately.

We ere going to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner but it was packed with an hour wait.  We didn't want to have to go outside to find somewhere to eat because it was so cold but we found another place right near there and thanks to Laura's eagle eyes, we got ourselves a high table in the bar area and didn't have to wait at

On Sunday we all went to hot yoga and then to the reunion.  There weren't very many of us but it was fun remembering things and hearing about the new owners plans for the camp.
 Back at Laura's it was time for a fun video using an app I learned about at an apple watch workshop.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Appliances

Last week we got all new appliances for the kitchen and although they do look really nice, now that I started using them I find that keeping them clean is not that easy.

The glass top stove already doesn't look like new but I found some good suggestions for cleaning.
I bought some recommended cleaning product but I think this will work better using vinegar and baking soda - the magic for almost everything.

And here's a suggestion for the refrigerator doors

Stinky cutting board - make a paste of 1 part water 3 parts baking soda

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Open iTunes Library

When you've moved your iTunes folder over to your external storage device, you'll need to select it in iTunes in both Windows and OS X.
In OS X, ensure iTunes is first closed. Then, launch the iTunes app while holding down the Option key, often marked Alt, and select Choose library. Locate the iTunes Library.itl file in the iTunes folder on your external storage and hit Open. Next, reboot your Mac into Windows. Launch iTunes while holding down the Shift key and select the same file located on your external storage.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Still got it

Today I went to the main library to take a "Writing with Photographs" workshop.  This is to give me some inspiration to write that memoir I keep saying I'm going to write.  I left early so that I could try to get a parking spot in front of the library which are usually sparse.  If I couldn't get one there I would park in the Court St garage.  As I was driving I dug into my purse for something and realized I didn't have my wallet.  Now it was critical I get a spot in front since I didn't have any money or charge cards.  I did have my phone but didn't know if they took apple pay.

The Womens March was organizing as I drove past on Clinton Ave and turned onto Broad Street.  I had to do a U-turn (not sure if it's legal there) to get in front of the library where there was a possible space for me to park.  Now that I didn't have any money I had to try and fit into it.  Some of the other cars pigged up spaces but maybe that was fortunate for me because this one space may not have been available otherwise.

I did it (still got it - the parallel parking) and took this picture after the course.  Neither of the cars that I was between had left although the rest of the block was pretty empty.

BTW - the course was good but I think I'll take a walk now and put off doing that memoir some more.

One thought, since I mentioned the womens march.  Ever since Trump got the nomination I thought that he reminds me of Nicolae Carpathia in the Left Behind series.  If anyone ever reads this and has read that series, do you agree??  Emily would be the only one I know and whether she would see this buried so deep is doubtful.

OMG- I just did a google search Nicolae Carpathia and Donald Trump and I wasn't the only one.

Conversations with Siri and Alexa

Last week I was taking a walk and using the Workout app on my Apple Watch.  I wanted to see if I could end my walk by asking Siri to "stop."  The first time I said Stop.  The next time I said stop Activity then I said Stop Workout.  After the first 2 times Siri said that she didn't know that command.  The next time she said something like "I'm not yet programmed to do that" but after another request she came back with the best response.  I only wish there was some way to see past responses because it was "I cannot Stop not even in the name of love."

Later on I was doing Alexa's 7 Minute Workout.  She really wasn't understanding what I was saying and I was getting frustrated.  When I was done, I gave her a piece of my mind and told her she was fired.  This was her response.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Microwave Cozies/Potholders

I should have posted this back in November.  It was another instance of me going overboard on a project.  I went to see Terry at the Casa Larga craft show on November 3rd.  She was set up with all her beautiful quilting projects.  As I wandered around I found someone selling microwave cozies and within a short period of time I looked up how to make them, bought material on my way home and made 4 by Sunday to take to Terry's next show.

I made a bunch more before going to Greta's the week before Thanksgiving so that when I saw everyone they could each get one.
To keep track, that week I gave a medium sized one to:  Greta, Beverly, Laura, Aunt Harrie, Nadine, Emily (2- one small) and Ashley. Brought one to Paula, the hostess of a Christmas brunch.

When I came home I started making more.  These I gave to: Kim, Andrea, Angela, Karen, Meg, Sarah.  Then I took them to Ann's on Christmas day for Ann, Amy, Patti, Carol and Mary Kay and I gave a large yoga one to Laura, but at home.  On New Year's Eve I gave a yoga one to Audrey.  So how many did I give away?  Just counted and it was 22.  I have 3 of my own - a small, medium and large.  Still have one for Patsy and another yoga one and some more cut fabric for a few more.

These were my prototypes
 Here's how it looks with a bowl
This is the fabric I bought after my initial purchase.
When Laura was in NH for New Years she stopped in Zeb's General Store in North Conway and they were selling the large ones for $10.99 and the small one $8.99