Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sanibel Sunday: May 7, 2023


Hello, friends. It's another sunny Sunday on Sanibel, but rainy season is right around the corner. We visited the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge this morning in hopes of seeing the roseate spoonbills we've missed all season. A facebook post reported them on a sandbar yesterday morning, along with majestic white pelicans. Unfortunately we did not spot either species today, but did see a few yellow-crowned night herons, racoons, an alligator, and assorted ducks. We were among the only people around, so it was an incredibly peaceful morning.

I appreciated the stillness after another week of construction, appointments, and helping my SIL prepare for her move. Some of her furniture will be delivered to our house later this week to replace what we lost on our lower level from Hurricane Ian. With all of that, I did not finish any books last week.


Current reading//


Nine Black Robes by Joan Biskupic

As I mentioned last week, I've been limiting myself to a chapter per day with this book. There really is a lot of information to absorb, plus reading much more than that tends to make me angry. Just one chapter and the epilogue left, so I'll finish within the next day or two.


K√ľnstlers in Paradise by Cathleen Schine

I considered setting this novel aside early on, but I've enjoyed a couple of Schine's other novels so persevered. It started paying off around the 30% mark. I'm 40% in now.


On the blog//



In the kitchen//


Since the Coconut Chicken Fingers with Bang Bang Sauce was such a hit a couple of weeks ago, I tried another Half Baked Harvest  recipe for Baked Crunchy Pretzel Honey Balsamic Chicken, which is basically just a variation. It was good, but nowhere near the crowd pleaser of the previous week. None of us really liked the sauce much, which was surprising since I usually love a honey balsamic combination. I think it would have been much better with a light honey mustard sauce. Next time...


The week ahead//

A night out with friends, a couple of appointments, furniture delivery from my SIL's place, and a farewell dinner before my SIL's Saturday departure. We've also been assured that the lower level sheetrock will be hung this week... my fingers are crossed!


That's it for my week... what's new with you? What have you been reading?


The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.







35 comments:

  1. Good to hear that DIng Darling Refuge is back to some sort of normal. I’ve only been there once but it was fantastic! I wonder where the spoonbills are… they have been seen north of their usual range in recent years.

    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae - We love the Ding Darling and visit often. They were closed for months after the hurricane and finally reopened a few weeks ago. Some of the trails and boardwalks are still under repair, as well as many of the buildings... but it was so nice to visit again. Early morning is the best time to see the birds and it was nearly 8:30 when we got there. We'll go around sunrise later this week.

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  2. Sounds like you still have a lot going on. I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Cindy - It's been pretty wild around here, but it will settle down once the sheetrock is in.

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  3. Nine Black Robes may be a bit tough for me to read and I'm not familiar with the other 2 books so I'll be looking for your thoughts on 3 of them.

    I LOVE pretzels so the Baked Crunchy Pretzel Honey Balsamic Chicken is going on my list to make.

    Your week sounds busy. I'd love to see photos of your furniture and I hope the sheetrock gets delivered on time. Safe travels for your sister in law!

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    1. Vicki - Nine Black Robes is not a book for everyone. I've been reading about the Supreme Court for years and have found that background to be helpful. We're getting a couple of leather recliners and several bookcases from my SIL. It will be good to have room for my books again... and a comfortable chair for reading!

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  4. I wonder if your Bang Bang sauce has anything in common with a dish I enjoy from an Asian restaurant called Biang Biang Noodles. I adore them! However, your pretzel dish looks quite fantastic as well.

    Isn’t it funny how sometimes it takes persevering with a book to find you do like it after all? That happened to me with A. S. Byatt’s Possession, which I began no less than four times and now consider one of my favorites books of all times.

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    1. Bellezza - I'm guessing the Biang/Bang sauces are similar, and I love it, too!

      Interesting you mention Possession. I've set it aside at least two or three times over the years, yet so many readers list it among their favorites. Maybe I'll give it another try...

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  5. Sanibel looks so lovely. Glad you had a good time. The wildlife refuge sounds like fun. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Yvonne - It's been such a nice day on the island! Things are slowly rebuilding and recovering... so good to be part of it.

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  6. It sounds like you have been busy! I’m glad to hear you are recovering from Hurricane Ian. I was horrified as I watched online videos and the news. Prayers continue for yours (and other’s) recovery!
    I so understand about Nine Black Robes…ug…
    How interesting – I’m also finding that about the 30/40% mark, “so-so” books begin to grab me as well.
    Happy reading!

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    1. Miaismine - This area was devastated by Ian, but the community has pulled together in a way that's been both amazing and inspiring. There is still a long way to go, but we'll get there!

      Most books I don't usually have patience to wait 30% to be pulled in, but this is an author I've enjoyed. Hope it will be worth it in the end!

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  7. Those chicken tenders look amazing! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Jodie - The pretzel tenders were really good... can't say the same about the sauce though. Hope you have a good week, too!

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  8. Oops my wrist just hit something and yeeted me out of my reply to your post. I was saying that the wildlife refuge sounds cool but I'm sorry you missed the specific birds you wanted to see.

    I didn't realize your SIL was sending you some of her furniture to replace what you lost. That's great!

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    1. Jinjer - I'm going to try and get to the wildlife refuge just after sunrise later this week... really want to see those birds before we head north. My SIL is going back to northern NY to life in the family home, so she won't need all the furniture from here. We're getting a couple of recliners (yay!), some small tables, and several bookcases. We're pretty happy about all of that!

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  9. Your time at the nature reserve sounds absolutely wonderful; there is just something about spending time out in nature that is so relaxing and fulfilling.

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    1. Helen - It was a perfect morning at the refuge. We live fairly close and usually go often, but they've been closed since the hurricane. So glad it reopened before we head north!

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  10. I would love to see those spoonbills. Hurricanes are so hard on wildlife, it's nice you have that wildlife area to visit so close by. I have The Plot! But I am in the middle of my British police novel right now and I tear through those so....will start The Plot soon.

    Half Baked harvest was a hit or miss for me. I did try her broccoli soup with baked pretzels and it wasn't fantastic. The cheesy bread was good but time consuming.

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    1. Tina - We just love that refuge! Used to bike through it, but we lost all the bikes in the flood and haven't replaced them yet. Driving in the convertible was the next best thing!

      Yay, you got The Plot! I sure hope it is every bit as good as The Latecomers... will be curious about your first impressions.

      I've had mostly good luck with Half Baked Harvest, although there have been a couple of disappointments, too. Bought her first cookbook, then my sister gave me her second for my birthday last summer. Both are in CT though. Most of the recipes tend to use a lot of ingredients!

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  11. Sounds like you are keeping very busy! Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I think things will slow down once we head back to CT... fingers crossed!

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  12. I'm reading Poverty by America very slowly, and it's making me angry, too, so it's probably better that I wait to read Nine Black Robes until I finish it.

    We live close to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, and we visit these often. Though both of these are in my county and I've lived in this county all my life, I never knew these were here until I became a Texas Master Naturalist.

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    1. Deb - Poverty by America is on my list, too, but I'm going to need a breather after Nine Black Robes. That book is even more enraging as the end approaches. I think we're both pretty luck to live close to wildlife refuges... they are such peaceful places!!

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  13. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge was a favorite when we visited Sanibel Island, years ago. Your photo is so peaceful.

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    1. Joy - It really is such a beautiful place... even as the vegetation continues to recover from Hurricane Ian.

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  14. I imagine the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place. I am sorry you weren't able to see the roseate spoonbills. We have had more coyotes than usual roaming about the neighborhood. My mom has one visit her every day just about, to eat the berries off her bushes.

    I can see why Nine Black Robes might not be an easy book to get through--I think I would feel similarly if I were reading it and need to take it slow.

    I hope you have a great week, JoAnn!

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    1. Wendy - We need to go shortly after sunrise to see the roseate spoonbills. Hoping we can do it toward the end of the week. We thought the coyotes might be gone after the storm surge flooding, but no such luck. They are already back. Hoping to finish Nine Black Robes today and move on to something less disturbing...

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  15. I've definitely thought about reading Nine Black Robes, but slowly would also be the only way I could read it. I've read some of Cathleen Schine's journalism here and there, and it's made me curious about her books, but I haven't read any.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Reese - Nine Black Robe is an excellent book, but definitely requires slow reading. I'm hoping to finish today.

      Cathleen Schine's novels have ratings lower than I would expect on goodreads. The two I especially liked were The Three Weissmans of Westport (a modern retelling of Sense & Sensibility) and They May Not Mean To But They Do. Hope your week is off to a good start!

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  16. Now where is your SIL moving to? I probably have already asked. But I hope it's nearby. And I'm glad you're our book expert on the Court. That institution has run amok. And definitely needs some ethics rules for sure. Ugh don't get me started. I'm so down on the Court right now - I'm not sure I could read much about it but we need to. Hope you have a great week.

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    1. Hi Susan - My SIL had been living in the family home in northern NY, then got a place in the same community as my FIL in 12/2019 with plans to 'snowbird'. Obviously things didn't go as planned - pandemic, my FIL's decline and death, Hurricane Ian. She's going back to NY and will hopefully find a place to rent here next winter until she decides what to do. I'll finish Nine Black Robes tomorrow - it's both infuriating and disturbing, but so well done.

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    2. That's good your SIL will rent there next winter and figure things out. It was sad about your FIL.

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  17. You are entering the rainy season and we are finally saying goodbye to ours! It's been gorgeous this past week (perfect weather for visitors for my mom's birthday) and it's only going to get better. We might even hit the 80s this weekend!

    Isn't it nice to get alerts on FB for wildlife sightings? I belong to an Orca Whale group and we have had more Orcas on our coast this spring than I can remember. A couple of days ago, there was a pod of 6-8. Sadly, they were working together to attack a gray whale and its calf. Lots of photos and drone footage from that predation, but not easy to watch.

    We are laying low this week after all the birthday celebrations. We were exposed to Covid on Friday evening, so we've isolated and just tested negative (no symptoms), so I think we're in the clear. Phew! Hoping my reading will pick up again now that all of our visitors have left and we have a couple of quiet weeks before we start getting ready to head out to Canada.

    Hope you're having a good week!

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    1. Hi Les - So glad you're finally getting some warmer weather, and even better that it was in time for your mother's big party! Hope you do get those 80s this weekend... it's been a long time coming!

      FB alerts do help with wildlife sightings. We're planning to go to the refuge again this weekend and getting there earlier... just after sunrise. There will be a lot more birds there then. We've had a problem with alligators on the island lately. There are so many storm repair workers who aren't from the area and are unaware of the rules. They've been feeding alligators (my former neighbor saw them offering fried chicken!) and now alligators are approaching people in search of more food! A trapper removed an 8-footer from a small pool behind our old house this week. Scary!

      Hope you're enjoying a more low-key week with plenty of reading time. I finally finished Nine Black Robes, but the Kunstlers in Paradise ebook disappeared from my kindle. Library loan ended and I forgot to turn it on airplane mode in time! Back on the hold list I go...

      Hope you have a happy Mother's Day!

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