Friday, February 17, 2017

An Overdue Update: 2/17/17

Sanibel Sunrise

Good morning from Sanibel. It's been far too long since I last checked in here! So far this month we enjoyed visits from our oldest daughter, my brother and his girlfriend, and friends from home. We traveled across the state to visit old friends, and tomorrow my sister and brother-in-law arrive for winter break. Our popularity seems to increase when we're in Florida... and I love it!


Read recently//


Old Age: A Beginner's Guide by Michael E. Kinsley

Meh. I read this book now because it was written by Mike Kinsley, on my tbr list, and available on the shelf at the local library. Twenty years ago, while still in his 40s, Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. While this slim book includes a lot about PD, it's not really about  PD. The focus is on aging, or the 'end-game' for baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Old Age is a quick read, but it didn't sit quite right with me... probably due to the final essay. In it, Kinsley proposes that boomers pay off the national debt. Our parents, the Greatest Generation, paid their debt to society with their lives through two world wars, while privileged boomers opted out of Vietnam. He feels boomers should leave a financial legacy instead. What?

"Is it simply long life that you covet, or is it long life with all your marbles? Isn't the final boomer game really competitive cognition?"





Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

This is another book I picked up because it was available on the library's new fiction shelf, and I loved it! Set in NYC during the financial collapse of 2008, it juxtaposes the lives of a wealthy Lehman executive with that of his Cameroonian immigrant chauffeur. The immigration aspect is especially timely now and it offers an interesting perspective on the issue. I haven't read anything quite like it. Thank you, Susan, for the recommendation. This is my favorite book so far this year.




Current reading//


Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope 
The #PalliserParty continues. Progress has been embarrassingly slow this week; I am beginning chapter 32 today. If my sister is in the mood to hang out on the beach and read, then I'll definitely be more productive next week ;-)
 "It is better to have a false husband than to be a false wife." - Lady Glencora  
"... men and women ought to grow, like plants, upward. Everybody should endeavour to stand as well as he can in the world..."  - Alice Vavasor




Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
After a false start a few months ago, I'm finally in the mood for a psychological thriller and this fits the bill nicely. Not very far in yet, but there's definitely something strange going on in this marriage. I feel a sense of dread settling in... should be an exciting ride!




Watching//


It's hard to avoid getting sucked into political news... there seems to be something new every. single. day. BUT, this past week I've been enjoying college basketball (well, not so much Syracuse's loss to Pitt), the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and I finally watched Florence Foster Jenkins.


In the kitchen//


As we move into "high season" on the island, restaurants are becoming more and more crowded so we opted to have a special Valentine's Day dinner at home. I made this Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil from Damn Delicious ... and it was! This is an interesting twist on the classic low-country boil - parboiling the potatoes and corn-on-the-cob, then finishing them on a sheet pan in the oven with shrimp and andouille sausage. My photo isn't quite as pretty as hers, but you get the idea.

I also tried these Oven Baked Beef Tacos from Six Sisters' Stuff... yum.


Photo of the week//


Morning beach walk... love these two!!


The week ahead//
I'll be spending time with my sister and brother-in-law... that will mean biking, shopping, dining out, and, of course, plenty of time on the beach!

What's new with you? Have you read any good books lately?

28 comments:

  1. I'm not making much progress either...shall we aim for chapter 35 or so, at some point? (Besides, it's too much fun to rush it.)

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    1. Audrey - Chapter 35 sounds reasonable (especially since I won't be walking alone this week)... and you're right, Trollope should not be rushed!

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  2. I bet having all that company at the beach is fun! Carl gets caught up in all the political news but I've been trying to avoid it.

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    1. Kathy - Yes, I love having friends and family around! The news on the other hand...

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  3. Florida residents, whether permanent or Northern snow bunnies, have long attracted all manner of relatives and others who can wangle an invitation for a vacation in the sun when it's cold and snowy up North. You just have to make sure they don't wear out their welcome. 😂 I, too, enjoyed the Westminster Dog Show this year. Not normally a huge fan of large dogs (except Zelda of course), I thought the German Shepherd was a beautiful dog and certainly deserved to win.
    Other than your sand dollars, have you found any other interesting shells so far? I saw some great shells at an estate sale I went to today and I can never resist picking up a few.

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    1. JudyMac - Everyone is very careful not to stay too long... they want to be invited back ;-) We always had miniature poodles growing up, but as an adult I had a Brittany and, for a short time, a Bernese Mountain Dog before adopting Zelda. My breed choices seems to be getting larger!

      The shelling has been pretty good so far, too. I found some sort of olive, a could of banded tulips, and several varieties of conches. No more sand dollars though.

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  4. I make those tacos all of the time...we love them! Enjoy your books and your visitors!

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    1. Patty - I pinned the taco recipe ages ago! So glad to finally try them.

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  5. I've not had a shrimp boil since I was last in years, and that looks so good. I had to check out the tacos and would love to try those. Enjoy the family and sunshine. :)

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    1. Kathy - This was the first time I made a shrimp boil! I'm going to make it again some night when we have company :)

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  6. That shrimp boil looks and sounds so good. It is 6:30 AM here and I want to eat shrimp and sausages right now.

    I also tend to move through Trollope books slowly. I am currently reading Phineas Finn.

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    1. Brian - I'm sure my husband would have had it for breakfast the next morning if there'd been any leftovers, lol!

      Trollope is so much fun to read, it's impossible to rush through his books :)

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  7. Good to hear that you guys are having such a good time in FL. Yes, I'm not surprised that you've had a lot of company. Since you are enjoying that, it's all good, right? Nice pictures, by the way! Have a good week!

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    1. Kay - We're calling them our 'winter refugees'. Syracuse hit the 100" mark for snowfall last week... no wonder they want to get out!!

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  8. That morning walk looks so amazing. Is that your triathlete daughter?

    And that's quite a discussion point - should Boomers pay off the national debt? That could make for a fiery book club discussion..

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    1. Sarah - Yes, it is. She has an new project this year (in addition to triathlon)... guiding a visually impaired runner through a group called Achilles International. She committed to a marathon next month! Sounds like a great program.

      Kinsley's book, especially that last essay, might just lead to war in my book club, lol!

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  9. Beautiful sunrise! I'm curious about Behind Closed Doors as I've seen a few reviews for it now, and it does sound suspenseful and a little creepy. I've been really getting into the psychological thrillers lately.

    I imagine you are popular at the moment lol. And I love watching those dog shows- so relaxing. Have a wonderful week with family and friends, and enjoy that beach. It looks great!

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  10. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time with your loved ones! I don't blame you for staying away from the blog :) Hope you enjoy Behind Closed Doors - I thought it was a great thriller.

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  11. Love these FL updates JoAnn. That meal looks yummy and it's good to see that you are still getting some reading in with all the company that has been visiting.

    Thank you for you sweet comment about Lily.

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  12. Hey thanks for the shout-out! I am thrilled that you liked Behold the Dreamers as much as I did. I found it a captivating read. Sounds like you are enjoying all your company there in FLA. The Westminster Dog Show beats Trump coverage any day of the week! Stay with the dogs. Thank goodness for them. Love the German Shepherd.

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  13. That sheet pan supper looks awesome. So glad you have had a chance to spend so much time with family. NICE. And I can't believe I haven't seen Florence Foster Jenkins! Must make amends.

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  14. I skimmed Kinsley's memoir, but didn't care enough about it to actually read it from cover to cover. Doesn't sound like I missed much! I may have to give Behold the Dreamers a try, though. It sounds like it might be good on audio, so I'll look into that. Are you reading or listening to Behind Closed Doors? I listened to it and thought it was fantastic! I can't remember the last time I was so engrossed in a thriller. I plan to post my review for it later this week.

    Enjoy your visitors and beach time. I can't complain about our weather. We were in the 70s all weekend!

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  15. I love your comment about becoming "more popular" when you're in Florida; I can imagine that would be true! :) Also, the sheet pan shrimp boil looks AMAZING; I need to look up that recipe and try it out! I'm glad you enjoyed Behold the Dreamers; it sounds interesting.

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  16. Here in the UK, my school has just broken up for a well-deserved half term break! As for reading, I have just finished A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens :-)

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  17. Enjoy your time in the sun! Loved the photo :)

    I'm not sure about the goal of paying off the National Debt--the economy doesn't work like that. While my dad flew planes in WWII and my mom kept the home fires burning, I wouldn't say we Boomers were slouches. We cleaned up the air and the water, marched for peace and civil rights, learned tolerance, educated our young, got fit, quit smoking, went organic, installed solar and wind power generators. We're saving the world in different ways, and our work isn't done yet.

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  18. How nice to hear about your time in Sanibel. Keep relaxing and enjoying.

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  19. So glad to see that you are enjoying life out there! I love the sound of what your days are like. Behold the Dreamers is on my wishlist too - have to squeeze that read in.

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  20. Pinned both of those recipes - yum! Your time in Florida seems so lovely - always lots of reading and time with family.

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