Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sanibel Saturday: March 10, 2018



It's March?? February certainly got away from me, and so far March is just as crazy. It was not a great month for reading, but we entertained lots of visitors, spent time with old friends, and enjoyed all the outdoor activities our island has to offer. After our daughters left early last month, my sister and brother-in-law came to visit. Next to arrive were my college roommate and her husband. While she was here, we drove up to the Tampa area to visit more old college pals. My brother and his girlfriend flew into Tampa yesterday to catch a couple of baseball spring training games, and they'll drive down here tomorrow. Twin B will be back at the end of the month for Easter and an early birthday celebration. Busy is an understatement, but I'm loving every minute!

Southwest Florida basked in record warmth throughout the month of February, while the northeast has been pounded by one storm after another. The first nor'easter (Riley?) dropped 29" of snow at our home in central NY, though Quinn barely grazed the area. I miss my family and friends - and Wegmans, of course - but am happy to be out of the snow belt!

Current reading//


The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Remember my February read-along with Bellezza, Audrey, and a few others? I'm still plodding along,  now around the 75% mark. This was supposed to be a read/listen combination for me but, with all our recent company, I  hardly remember my last solitary beach walk. I'm mostly reading on my kindle now, and find myself stumbling over James' long sentences at times. Too many distractions? Possibly.





Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

This book has been on my wish list since before its release. The publisher's summary reminded me of This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, which I loved and still consider to be one of the funniest books ever.  I spied Hornak's novel on the library shelf the other day and the first 50 pages are entertaining. So much for reading from my shelves this winter...



Watching//


We started this six-part PBS series by Ken Burns last week as we contemplate another great western adventure... possibly in September or early October. Author Wallace Stegner referred to the nationals parks as "America's best idea" - what a great subtitle.


In the kitchen//

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie I mentioned in my last post was a big hit. Served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce, it is very rich, so cut small pieces! It also freezes well.




These are really glorified chicken tenders from the kids menu of your favorite restaurant, but so tasty! Serve with a little marinara sauce on the side for dipping. They're easy to prepare and cleanup is minimal.




I'll be serving up these Blackened Shrimp Tacos from Budget Bytes again. The same seasoning blend could be used two make fish tacos, too. I might us a little less next time - we're not big on spicy.  I've already made the coleslaw three times!


Looking forward to//

- spending time with my brother
- kayaking and biking at the wildlife refuge
- finishing a book ;-)


That's about all the news here. What's happening in your corner of the world? Have you read any good books lately?




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43 comments:

  1. It sounds like you're having a great time with your visitors! I'm jealous of your fabulous weather even though we haven't had snow.

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    1. Kathy - We love all the company. The weather turned rainy and colder as soon as I published this post, lol!

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  2. I'm ogling those chicken tenders! And I'm still at about the same point in Portrait. :) We didn't end up getting too much snow from Riley but so many people around here are stil without power...I was lucky to escape the real effects. Enjoy the sunshine!

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    1. Audrey - I see you've finished Portrait now. I walked alone this morning (!) and am at 85% now. Should finish soon so we can chat :) Glad your power stayed on during the storms. Looks like there's another one headed your way now...

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  3. We’re heading to Florida now, but it’s supposed to cold the whole week we are there. Oh well.

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    1. Diane - Yes, it has turned a little chilly, but it's all relative... still not as cold as NYC. Fingers crossed it warms up before you leave!

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  4. Florida sounds wonderful this time of year, but I really shouldn't complain. Our winter has been fairly mild. I'll be interested to hear if Seven Days of Us stands up for you. It wasn't one of my favorites. The food...amazing!

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    1. Susie - I just love being down here in the winter! Still enjoying Seven Days of Us at 30%... hope that continues.

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  5. Between your foodie blogs and mine I am getting more recipes than I can handle! But...I have to make these Shrimp Tacos and the Cole Slaw, too! Did you notice that on her recipe she listed the cost of each item? You have had lots of guests but it’s so much fun! I am sure Wegman’s has missed you, too! As to reading...oh well...it will all come eventually...

    So...my wish for you? Continue to relax and have fun!

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    1. Patty - Yes, I think we're keeping each other supplied with plenty of new recipe ideas! I did notice the prices on the shrimp tacos... she calls her blog Budget Bites, so that's her twist on recipes. I've definitely been spoiler living close to Wegmans all these years. I can ALWAYS find even weird ingredients... not so down here. Oh, well...

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  6. Glad to hear what's going on your 'Summer' place, JoAnn. Sounds like you have been busy, but happy. The recipes look great. Your reading sounds 'good enough' for me. Ha! And I'm ready for spring wildflowers in our part of the world. We're not quite there yet, but hopefully soon. Enjoy the rest of your March!

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    1. Kay - I always love seeing photos of the spring wildflowers from your part of the world... such beautiful colors! Spring flowers are starting to bloom here, too, and I'm trying to learn all of their names. So different from what we have in the north.

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  7. Hooray! I've missed your posts! So glad to hear that you are loving your time on Sanibel. We know what it's like to live someplace where everyone wants to visit. :) And we are so happy to be away from snowy weather, too. I haven't been listening to as many audio books, either. I usually listen when I'm walking outside, but we've had a lot of rain this past month, so my workouts are inside and I usually watch YouTube travel vloggers while I walk on the treadmill. Your fall adventure has piqued my curiosity! Can't wait to hear about your plans. We are getting excited about our upcoming trip to Northern California (in our travel trailer). We'll be gone 3 weeks. Lots to plan and organize! Those recipes look great. We had shrimp tacos last night, too. So good to hear from you again, JoAnn. Enjoy your visitors and good luck finishing a book. :)

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    1. Les - Funny, but I can't listen to audiobooks on the treadmill either... not enough visual stimulation, I guess. No treadmill down here, but at home I tend to watch Netflix while on it. Like the idea of watching vloggers!

      So far our fall trip will include a visit with my BIL and SIL in Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, and maybe the Hoover Damn, a Utah park, and Death Valley. We'll see...

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    2. Your fall trip sounds like fun! We've been to Santa Fe, but never to the Grand Canyon. It's on my list!

      If you're interested in the YouTube channels I watch, here are a couple:

      Gone with the Wynns

      Less Junk, More Journey

      They're very addictive, especially since we're just getting into the whole RV travel thing. Who knows, we may go fulltime sometime in the future!

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  8. OMG, that beach picture is gorgeous!! Such a nicer view than the foot of snow we have right now. I hope you enjoy Seven Days of Us - I liked that one.

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    1. Angela - I've been trying to get out to the beach for sunrise most days... it's always breathtaking! So far I'm enjoying Sevens Days of Us. It's a nice break from Henry James ;-)

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  9. I'm glad it's warm somewhere- ha ha! It's been cold and snowy here in Michigan. And those nor'easters- yikes!

    The blackened shrimp tacos look fabulous! Yum. And yay for kayaking- one of my favorite things to do.

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    1. Greg - It cooled down as soon as published this post. Today we're wearing sweaters and eating soup, lol. Hope spring will be right around the corner for you!

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  10. While you've clearly been very busy - it does all sound like good, fun busyness. The weather in February was bitter here in the UK, although my town did seem to be a bubble which was protected from the worst of the snow (I am guessing because we are in a valley). Mmm I am loving the look of that garlic-parmesan chicken. With our weather I have been cooking nice big pots of soup and stew! As for books, I am currently reading historical fiction Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir and the American classic This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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    1. Jessica - It's been busy, but that's fine when it's with all good things. I've seen some very impressive snow photos from the UK this winter... glad you were spared the worst of it! I've enjoyed a few of Fitzgerald's novels, but have never read This Side of Paradise. Will look forward to your thoughts.

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  11. Henry James wears me out, and those chicken tenders look fab! Making them soon for sure. Thanks for recipes :)

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    1. Amy - Henry James must wear everyone out,lol! There's been so much going on here and it makes it hard to spare the brain power her requires. I still enjoy him though...

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  12. Wow you have had a lot of visitors! Henry James is a tough author to read even in the very best of circumstances -- so I can see where his prose would be very trying in busy times. You need a break. The snow is melting now here -- but we've had some roof leakage so will need to reassess once spring comes, yikes. Enjoy your week.

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    1. Susan - It may have been a mistake to attempt the James reread during this busy season, but I do enjoy him even though he sometimes makes my brain hurt ;-) Glad your snow is finally melting and hope the leakage turns out to be a minor issue. Hurry up, spring!

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  13. I have always enjoyed reading Henry James. But with one caveat. Each time I have done so, I've chosen to read him when I've had nothing else going on and there's been nothing going on around me. Absolutely.

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    1. Judith - So sensible! I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to reread James in the midst of all this confusion!! I do love this book, but it is requiring a lot more effort that I remembered...

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  14. It sounds like you're having such fun!

    I also loved This Is Where I Leave You and Seven Days of Us.

    That food looks delicious...thanks for sharing!

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - We really are having a wonderful winter. So hard to balance it all with blogging and reading. I've read about a third of Seven Days of Us and am still enjoying it very much. Think it will turn out to be winner for me, too!

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  15. JoAnn you've got your plate full of activities - how fun! And, look at that picture. What a gorgeous sunrise. I didn't even open Portrait of A Lady. Glad you are still reading it. Here's wishing you a great time with your family!

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    1. Iliana - Portrait of a Lady was wonderful, but it took a lot more effort to get through it this time. I had a great time with all of our visiting family, but now that everyone is gone, I'm looking forward to Mrs. Osmond. Hope the library hold arrives soon!

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  16. I love that chicken recipe you shared! I've made it a few times and it's a favorite here. I love oven roasted green beans. Sounds like you've had quite a busy time of it but a very fun time! I'll take warm weather over snow any day but then I'm a life long Southerner so I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I've got Portrait of a Lady on my TBR though I'm a little nervous about it. It sounds like slow going. Hope you're having a great week!

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    1. Katherine - The more time I spend in Florida, the bigger cold weather wimp I become. The Portrait of a Lady was excellent, but it required a lot more concentration than I was prepared for. I've made that chicken recipe again and it turned out just as good... a new favorite here, too!

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  17. Yum food! I've been wanting to read Portrait of a Lady for awhile now. Also have the National Parks series queued. Need to get to it soon! Have a great week!

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    1. Heather - We took a little break from the National Parks series to watch all the college basketball last weekend, but plan to get back to it tonight.

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  18. I love that your spend your time on the island meeting up with family and friends.

    Love the look of those shrimp tacos!! I am hungry now!

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    1. Ti - I think we've had even more visitors this year than last. It's crazy, but so much fun!!

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  19. I really loved Ken Burns's NP series--I'm a fan of both KB and NPs, and this was a wonderful way to armchair travel and make bucket lists!

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    1. JaneGS - My bucket list is growing with every episode we watch! We're starting to plan a late September trip now.

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  20. Sounds like you have been busier than ever in retirement. Same thing happened to me when I retired in 2015 - "how did we find time for work?" LOL Glad you missed the terrible snows this winter in NY and her in New England.

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    1. Diane - Things have definitely been a lot busier in retirement than we expected, but it's all good. We've had over 150" of snow at home this winter and I'm VERY glad not to be there. Hope this latest nor'easter missed you. Fingers crossed spring arrives soon.

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  21. Well you certainly have been busy... Although not much reading completed, it sounds like many fun memories have been made. Time with loved ones is so precious.

    I quite enjoyed Seven Days of Us - I hope you have the same experience.

    Happy reading!

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    1. Jade - We've had a wonderful winter, so I'm not regretting the lack of reading. I did end up finishing Seven Days of Us and enjoyed it very much... definitely my kind of novel!

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