Thursday, January 31, 2019

Seems like a whole lot of cooking and eating lately!!

And so the cooking started over the weekend..... With the weather being so much colder, we made up a big batch of Chile, and I made Rich another Chocolate pie!

Monday I made homemade meatball subs!  This was the first time we'd tried making our own.......Baked the meatballs, and then simmered them for a couple of hours in the sauce. Tried some large sub rolls from Publix - and they were fresh, soft and delicious.  A sprinkle of oregano, provolone and Parmesan cheese and they were excellent!

And Tuesday - it was a bit warmer so we cooked our Chicken K-Bobs out on the grill, with some boiled baby potatoes.

And speaking of bad and friends in NY are seeing really cold weather.....snow and wind with wind chills 20 degree and more below zero...

And Dennis and the family, in Iowa.... well even colder -24 degrees and Feels Like -50 degrees below zero........

Lots of people suffering with this record low temperatures!

Today I was able to get a couple of good shots of our Blue Heron in the nest.  And it seems that at least once or more a week, at about the same time of day, this cat makes its way through the back yard and into the neighbors..... Don't know who he belongs to, but seems to be healthy and is wearing a collar.

This afternoon was my follow-up visit with the Cardiologist, following my CT Coronary/Angiogram.  Needless to say, I've been worried, given I've been told I had a heart attack, had an irregular EKG, and an irregular Nuclear Stress Test....praying every day that everything is OK..... but still nervous about the possibility of a heart catheter. 

Rich went with me today, and we were both very surprised, and happy when Dr. Win said everything looked good.  She said "you have a very strong heart"  there is a lot of calcium built up, you're cholesterol is excellent, and their is no blockage at all. And she encouraged me to watch my weight, eat healthy and try to get exercise...... which, of course, I know is the right thing to do. 

Given the good news, we decided to stop at Red Lobster on the way home, for dinner. And of course... you know how was always say " I'll start tomorrow!"  Well this dinner, I'm sure is not what the doctor would consider "healthy eating".  But we enjoyed the 4 Course Meal (special of the day). Rich had the Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo, while I had the Shrimp Linguine Alfredo..... Dinner also included soup (Rich -Potato/Bacon, Me- New England Clam Chowder), Ceasar Salad and their delicious Cheddar Biscuits.  The special also included dessert, which was a triple chocolate brownie with ice cream! Mmmmmm Good!

Left over Chili tomorrow!!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Orlando, Hibachi and Miss Ava!

Thursday was our trip to Kissimmee for my CT Coronary Angiogram with  

Contrast........ While that sounds a little scary, and yes I was a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect - it's actually completely non-invasive.  The prep time actually takes longer than the actual procedure.  After completing all the paper work, checking blood pressure and heartbeat etc.... they did give me a little medication to bring down my heart rate.  I'm very claustrophobic so I was a bit nervous knowing that my face would be inside the tube.. ( It was however a very large tube!!!  and I kept my eyes closed!  I was given an intravenous injection of radio-contrast ( now that's a very strange feeling) and then the scan of my heart was done with a high speed CT scanner.  The whole thing took about 8 minutes!!   Now it just waiting to see the results. 

And then we were on our way hone.... and I was hungry. No coffee since about 2:00 o'clock the day before ( No caffeine for 12 hours prior) and only had a couple pieces of  melon in the morning.  It was about 1:20 when we radio-contrast ( now that's a very strange feeling) and then the scan of my heart was done with a high speed CT scanner.  The whole  arrived at the hospital, and about 4:00 when we left..........and about 5:20 when we finally arrived at Hibachi!!!  

Nathan met us at Hibachi, after we'd finished eating.  We'd be taking Miss Ava home with us for a few days while they went to Ocala. And we enjoyed every minute of her visit. 

She lets us know when she wants to go out - sitting right in front of the door.  She's enjoyed the back yard......but her friends Zolfo and Augie have not been at home.  She's claimed her own chair on the back lanai...set up her bed, so she can be close to Rich while he's working..... and then her favorite spot - on the back of the couch looking out the window..... or sleeping!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cooler weather.... a lot more energy!

Well, for a change, we were quite productive over the weekend. Got some work done in the yard, and enjoyed a little comfort food!

On Friday after morning grocery shopping, I made my very first EVER homemade chocolate pie.  When I asked Rich what sounded good for goodies, he suggested the pie...........and so I found a recipe, picked up the ingredients at the store........... And I have to admit it was EXCELLENT! 

With the cooler weather we've been enjoying a little more comfort food  while  using up the left-over Ham.  It was ham and potato soup on Friday,  Chef Salad on Saturday, Chicken Fajitas ( I know that's not a comfort food!) and then Macaroni and Cheese with..... Ham!!!

On Saturday morning we headed into town to get some non ethanol gas for both the boat and the power washer.  I would not normally tag a long just to get gas... but Rich suggested that we stop at the Inter-lake Blvd Cafe for breakfast. Usually a bit busy on Saturday morning - but it's worth the wait. Bacon/Sausage, home fries, eggs..... mmm good!

And so on Saturday we got some yard work started....  Rich got the power washer going, and finished most of the driveway before we had to call it quits.  In the meantime I worked on trimming the shrubs.  Sunday was a day of rest - rest for the back!    And on Monday we finished the driveway, and started in the back yard.....  We worked together to give the grill a good cleaning, Rich did the power washing - and I cleaned the lanai!

This morning - Monday - it was really quite cold in the morning..... It was pretty funny when the Whistling Ducks came around early..........and gathered only in the sunny areas.......Only a small area of the roof on the boathouse had sun.... and so they crowded around that area...

Still lots more to get done..... and hopefully we'll have some more of this nice weather.  

Thursday - I an scheduled for my CT Angiogram/Coronary.......... which I a NOT looking forward to..... That means a trip to Kissimmee!  BUT..... On the way back we will be picking up our favorite little visitor - Miss Ava.....who will be staying with us for a few days. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

And the first month of the New Year is half over!

And so the New Year starts out about where we left off in 2018.  Rich and I have both had our blood work done, and had our follow up with the Doctor - and everything looks good.  But we both have appointments again coming up......before the end of the month.

Grocery shopping this weekend on Saturday I made meatballs and spaghetti sauce and we enjoyed linquini for dinner.  Sunday morning I made a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies, and we had Ham and Scalloped potatoes, and Monday was some of the left over meatballs with Ravioli........and peanut butter cups for dessert!

Dennis called over the weekend and said he would be in Orlando again for work in February, so he'd be spending three days with us, which would include Rich's birthday. So far we've made plans to pick him up in Orlando and head to Dania Beach/Hollywood, Florida whe've booked a room for the night.  We'll head over to the Dania Casino and Live Jai Alai on Friday and Saturday, and then head for home..........and then maybe stop by Gatorama......on Sunday if they are open!!

Monday was a beautiful day with temperatures around 73 and sunny, so the doors were open letting in the fresh air.  And while they were open, Rich did a few minor repairs, and we cleaned and lubricated the tracks.  Still need to clean the windows!!!

Tuesday was a late afternoon visit with the Cardiologist..... so since we were already in Sebring it only made sense to stop at our favorite restaurant - Hibachi Grill for dinner.  Left well satisfied and with full bellies! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Holiday's are over.......

It's been a pretty quite week and things are pretty much back to the norm.....  It was just a couple of days after ringing in the New Year that we started to take down the decorations, the tree and pack everything away for another year. 

The weather has been quite nice lately - especially when you can leave the windows and doors open and can hear the birds chirping!!!  The past few days we've had the sliders in back and the front door open.....

and it's so nice to see the Whistling Ducks again.......It's been a while, and we usually have dozens of the atop the boat house.......Today they split between the boat house and our neighbor's back yard.  They can be pretty loud when they all get whistling!

For the past few days, my baby brother has been going through some very very old photographs and has been sharing them with family and friends on face book!  They really do bring back some wonderful memories growing up....  Left to right top row:  My parents, Jack and Marge Benjamin, Me and brother Dave/Easter Sunday, Brothers Chuck and Mick.  Second Row: Jackie Snyder and Me in competition at the Eldridge Park Talent Parade,  My family, before David and I were born:  back row: Brothers Mick, Jim and Don.  front row:brothers Bill and Chuck, Dad, Mom, sisters Ronda and Sandy.  Bottom row: Me and brother Dave at Christmas, Sister Ronda (front), Mom, ME, and brother Chuck, and Brother Dave in back, and the last picture another Easter Sunday for brother Dave and I. 

And today would be my Dad's birthday. Born January 9, 1909.   He would be 110 years old today.

Happy Birthday in Heaven.  We love and miss you...........

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Best Time EVER with family and friends.....

On Monday, New Years Eve Day,   we headed out just before 11.00 AM to meet up with family for New Years Eve cook-out, and ringing in the new year.  Our destination would be Wesley Chapel, at the home of Pete and Kim Walters.  Kim is our son Dennis' step-sister.   We, along with Grandparents,Wayne and Kathy would be spending the night here.  Dennis, Dalton and his girlfriend Briana, and Chauna and her boyfriend Ryan would be here for festivities, but spending the night with  Grandpa, Jack Jones .  Everyone will meet back here in the morning and head to Raymond James Studio for the Outback Bowl - where we hope to see our Iowa Hawkeyes WIN!

It was about 2:00 pm when we arrived at Pete and Kim's.... Dennis and the Kids, and Jack, and his friend Mike were already there.  Wayne and Kathy arrived a short while afterward.  They have an absolutely beautiful home.  Below (top) Kim and Pete, Dennis and Kim, (Bottom) Ryan, Kathy, Jack, and behind them Wayne, Dalton and Briana,  far right is Grandma Donna, and Grandma Kathy!

Most of the afternoon was spent outside.  It was a beautiful day, and so games of corn-hole, or fishing, or just tossing the football took place in the back yard.

And when not playing - the guys were relaxing under the Pergola enjoying an afternoon beverage, or watching Pete take care of the grilling!   At the table from left to right is, Dennis, Rich,  Grandpa Jack, Mike (a family friend of Jack's) , Grandpa Wayne, and Pete.  That's Chauna, waiting to plate the meat!!

There was sooooo much food!  We enjoyed Cheeseburgers, Dogs, Chicken, Beans, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Veggie Platter, Chips, A delicious Orange Cake, and a variety of cookies and donuts.  Everything was absolutely delicious!!

The remainder of the afternoon, and until about 11:30 it was more game time...  Most were either involved in shooting pool,  or playing Mexican Train.  The second floor of their home has a huge game room with pool table, hockey, TV/with games, and one large "theater room" complete with huge screen and four recliners for movie night!  After all that food - Ryan took to a little relaxing time!

Those spending the night at Grandpa Jacks in Land 0' Lakes headed out hoping to arrive there by mid-night. Pete and Kim and the kids (Michaela and Camden), Wayne, Kathy and I stayed up to ring in the New Year.... Rich did not make it!  But it was time to get a good night's rest in preparation for Tuesday - Game Day!

The plan for Tuesday - Grandpa Jack's group would arrive back at Pete and Kim's by 9:00 AM - Everyone should be dressed in their Hawkeye Black and Gold for group pictures, and plan on being on the road to the stadium by 10:00 am.  We would be taking three vehicles with Pete in the lead, followed by Rich, followed by Dennis....Stay together so we can all park together...

Kim was up very early and had a huge breakfast prepared for everyone!! Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy... coffee..... Worked out perfectly - those of us who stayed at Kim and Pete's were pretty much finished eating, when the rest of the crew arrived....... 
Top left: Pete, Jack, Briana, Dalton.  Top right: Donna and Dennis in the front, with Briana, Dalton, Pete and Kim in the back.  That's Kim at the stove, Camden and Pete standing behind me and Rich,  Bottom left:  Chauna, Briana, Dalton with their backs to the camera... Rich at the right, and Pete and Kim and Jack in the back. Bottom right: Pete, Rich and Jack, standing. 

Right on schedule - Dennis called for group photo's of those who would be attending the game.  As you can see everyone is wearing their team colors today!!  Kiddos were first, with their pictures taken both inside AND outside... That is Camden, Dalton, Briana, Chauna and Ryan!  Bottom Left is the Grandparent group:  Wayne and Kathy, Jack, Donna and Rich.  Each grandparent, as requested, was wearing their " University of Iowa Grandparent" T-Shirt!  And last but not least the Group Photo - 12 of us ready to head to the game!
 Only about 12 minute ride to the stadium, parked side, by side, by side.... chatted with a few Hawkeye fans, took another group photo - made our way to the stadium, went through security - ( Rich got stopped twice... once because of the metal detector ( his belt!)  and again because he didn't take his hat off!!) And then we were on the escalator headed for our seats. 

Just checking things out around the stadium....watching the teams out on the field.......... and more pictures!!!!!
Dalton & Briana, all four, Ryan and Chauna

And of course, the rest of the group!!!  Love that picture of Pete and Camden!! (upper left)  and then it's those old folks - the grand-parents.  OH LOOK - another group photo ( but I think Kathy is missing)! , Dennis and Dalton,  Donna and Rich, and Wayne, Kathy and Jack!

A few shots of the billboards at the stadium Happy New Year -  The Buccaneer Ship, the Bands on the field....and I even caught the flyover.......before it was out of sight!

It was a great game....Iowa did not start out too well - falling behind, then rallied and took the lead........ We were yelling  and clapping and doing the WAVE and the I - O - W - A  ( much like the Y M C A - if you remember)  and it was almost as much fun watching Dennis as it was the game!!

Iowa Wins 27 - 22

Both of us had such a great time - we hated to see the day come to an end.  But we said our good-bye's when we got back to the vehicles, and we headed for home.  Dennis and the Kids would be staying with Jack for the night, and leaving for Iowa early in the morning.  We enjoyed meeting Briana for the first time... and  Ryan - well he's just a really nice guy, and soooo funny!  They are all just great kids...... ( won't be able to call them that very much longer!!) 

It was a long wait both trying to exit the parking lot, and then to get back on to I- 275N  to head back home. It was probably 6:30 when we were going through Sebring, so we stopped at the Sebring Diner for dinner.   I had the Chicken Fried Steak, and Rich had the burger with French Fries and Gravy.... Continued on home, unpacked the car......... We were tired and called it a day earlier than usual.