Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm looking over.......................

I'm looking over a four-leaf clover

That I overlooked before

One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain

Third is the roses that grow in the lane

No need explaining, the one remaining

Is somebody I adore

I'm looking over a four-leaf clover

That I overlooked before

I loved to sing that song as a young child. It is such a cheerful fun song. I came across this in the backyard and the petals looked as if it might be clover but the plant seems too big and the flower is wrong.

Does anyone have any ideas on this? Don’t the leaves have three petals shaped like those of a clover? No matter what, the flowers are pretty. Have a good day and go on a backyard safari exploring for pretty wildflowers and four-leaf clovers.

Mary and I joined the Denny’s restaurant email club and today we each got a coupon for a free hamburger and french fries for each of us. Knowing what the hamburgers cost at Denny’s, this is a pretty good deal and Mary and I are going to take our coupons to Denny’s on Tuesday and relish the taste of their hamburgers. No movies on Tuesday because the really isn’t anything that we care to see so the trip to Denny’s will take the place of the movie theater free popcorn. Make it a special day and have a cheery word for someone to brighten their day. Lew


I don’t know what kind of tree this is but its leaves have turned a bright red. But the leaves don’t seem to be falling off any more. I have seen other trees just like this one with the red leaves in the neighborhood. There is such a variety of vegetation and trees in Orlando. The picture above does not adequately show the redness of the tree. It is really a sight to see.

We went to the flea market at the Florida fairgrounds this morning. But no flea market. The County fair is going on instead. We didn’t go to the fair because the admission is $ 10 per person. I didn’t want to pay that much for a bunch of “carny” rides. I guess that Disney has spoiled me. So instead of being at the flea market, here I am typing my sometimes daily blog. It is suppose to warm up some and so after lunch I will probably be working outside. Have a nice day. Lew

Saturday, February 27, 2010

apple dumpling

Today Mary made apple dumplings for dessert after supper. She used fresh apples, cinnamon, sugar, pie crust dough and probably some other ingredients. They were a golden color and were very good. There was a nice sweet sauce in the bottom of the dishes. The apples were baked to perfection, not too soft and not too hard but just right. We also had spaghetti and garlic bread for supper. Tomorrow morning we are having waffles for breakfast. Have a good evening and don't forget to turn the electric blanket on before going to bed to give the bed a chance to warm up. Lew

rising moon

This the moon rising in the early evening. I keep trying to get a good picture of it. Although this is a color picture, I think that close-ups of the moon look better in black and white and so I converted a close-up to the black and white format.

I guess that this is about the best that I can do. Today is a cold drizzly day. We had originally planned to go to the flea market in Sanford called Flea World. It is one of those indoor flea markets. After the flea market we were planning to go to see the Senator which is a huge cypress tree. I mean really huge. The walk to the Senator is along an elevated boardwalk through the swamp. The swamp seems so primordial that you would expect to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur come through the jungle at any moment. It makes for a very pleasant walk with pretty scenery. Unfortunately a combination of the rain and cold weather caused us to scrap our plans. So it will be a trip to Winn Dixie instead to take advantage of their “buy one, get one free” sale. Plus we have a coupon for $ 10 if we buy $ 50 worth of groceries. I don’t think that we will be spending that much but it doesn’t take very much meat to get the cost up pretty quick. Have a nice day, stay dry, and be grateful that we are having rain instead of snow. Time for a cup of hot chocolate. Lew

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Benny's buddy

The neighbors next door got a rabbit that is black in color. They keep it in a cage and moved the cage next to the fence. We saw this and did the same with our bunny Benny.

The rabbits were interested in each other. They told me that their rabbit was also a male. But they seemed to get along never-the-less. It was good to see Benny interacting with another rabbit.

Today we saw the movie Shutter Island starring Leonardo DiCaprio and it was much better than I was expecting it to be. Ben Kingsley’s performance was really good as most all of his performances are. I remained a fan of his after seeing him in the movie Gandhi. After the movie we went to Cici’s for a late lunch. They have a pizza buffet with a myriad of pizzas. After a nice salad with Ranch dressing I sampled a wide variety of pizzas. They had a special on the buffet and it was only $ 3.99 per person. It is hard to beat a deal like that since you can get salad, soup garlic sticks, a wide range of pizzas and a host of tasty desserts. We left stuffed to the gills and couldn’t eat another bite. Supper will be canceled for tonight and we will eat extremely light like soup or salad if anything at all. Tonight will be a relaxing night of watching television. What would we do without television? Lew

Monday, February 22, 2010

tricky cat

The cat has learned a new trick. We had a problem with the chihuahua dog eating the cat's food so we cover the cat's bowl with a plastic lid. But then the cat can't eat from the bowl either and so when she shows an interest in the food we uncover the bowl. We came out to the kitchen one time and there was the lid lying about a foot from the bowl and the cat happily eating away. She lifts the lid off by herself. So now she has sort of a self-serve eatery and can eat the canned food anytime she wants. Of course the dry food is available as well.

Mary rescued the cat when it was just a kitten and the cat behaves as though we are her parents. I don't think that she remembers her real mother at all. And just like children who like to imitate their parents, the cat tries to imitate our behaviour and what we do. She sees us using our hands to eat with and we have noticed the cat doing the same. She will use her paw to scoop up cat food on the bottom of the bowl near the edge where it is hard for her to get to it. She will then lick the cat food from the foot pads of her paw and then go back for more. One smart kitty.

The weather is nice with respect to temperature even though rain is predicted for today. And so I am getting to do some yard work outside. Usually, it is too hot (summertime) or too cold (winter time) but right now it is just right. Sounds like Goldilocks and the three bears with the porridge. Now is the time for me to start thinking about what I am going to plant this spring. Maybe I can try growing some vegetable in containers instead of putting them in the ground. The vegetable just don't seem to do well in the ground. But the topsy turvy planter is doing great. Maybe some scallions. Have a nice day and enjoy the great outdoors. Lew

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The cold weather has taken its toll on the tomato plants. They have been moved to Mary’s PICU (Plant Intensive Care Unit) for lots of extra TLC (Tender Loving Care). When we got the topsy turvy planter I knew that the cold weather was coming and that it wasn’t a good time to plant tomatoes. I just wanted to see if the topsy turvy would work, which it did.

We brought the tomato plants into the garage during the cold snaps. And when I moved it to the PICU we would wrap both of the tomato plants with blankets when the weather got cold. But the leaves look like they have been pretty badly beaten by the chill. Before the cold snap, the plant in the topsy turvy was doing so much better and much bigger than the tomato plant in the black plastic container. This surprised me. Why would hanging upside down cause the plant to grow bigger and bear much bigger tomatoes and a lot more of them. I am baffled. Once these plants have finished producing their tomatoes I plan on trying again with new baby tomato plants from WalMart or Lowe’s.
It’s Saturday but it is also early. The cat got me up at 5:10 to go outside. A crazy cat. She goes outside early in the morning while it is still dark and stays outside all through the cold morning hours. She will come back into the house to eat and then immediately goes back outside. Then when it is warmer in the afternoon and pleasant she stays inside the house and sleeps. I am baffled once again. Carpe Diem. Lew

Friday, February 19, 2010

chop, chop

Perhaps the term “snip, snip” might be more appropriate than "chop, chop". I was in the backyard trimming the old branches of the grapevine with the pruner clipper in the picture. I had my stereo headphones on listening to my MP3 player. I always like to listen to music while working outside. Sort of like the Walt Disney tune Whistle While You Work. I was doing good on the trimming when the headphones went silent. The wire going from the MP3 player to the headphones was long and had gotten in the way and got snipped in half. I hadn’t seen that the wire had sagged down and was among the branches. But no problem because I have done this a number of times in the past and so I am well experienced in stereo phone wire repair. It is easy, just tedious.

Today was “buy one and get one free” in the meat department at Winn Dixie and so we took advantage of that sale. We saved over twenty dollars and spent only thirty-two dollars to get that twenty plus savings. A great deal. Tomorrow is Saturday and in addition to being “big breakfast day” it is also free pretzel day at Auntie Anne’s pretzel place at the mall. No coupon needed. I plan on getting a cinnamon and sugar pretzel. I am not sure what kind Mary will get. I wonder if Seaside and Villager are going for their free pretzels at Auntie Anne’s? Tuesday we are going to see the movie Shutter Island which is a scary movie. I got my weekly coupon via email from AMC for a free bag of popcorn and printed it out today. There just isn’t anything like movie theater popcorn. So turn off the television set and go to the movies, even if there isn’t anything good playing just to get the popcorn and soda. Have a good time this weekend. Lew

Thursday, February 18, 2010

built in headlights

I got this picture to show the heavy frost that we have been getting here in Orlando. This is to let the people who are shoveling snow know that we are having it rough also, at least until the sun comes up and melts the frost. And to make you northern blue-bellied yankees feel even better, there was a heavy glaze of ice on all the windows of the car. What do you think of that?
But wait. Look again at the picture. What is it you see in the corner of the yard? A cat with glowing eyes?

Yep, it’s our cat Tammy with the glowing eyes. Sort of like built-in headlights. No wonder cats can see so well in the dark. I guess that these eyes make her a wonder-cat. Or could it just be the reflection of the flash from my camera? Hmmmmm, I will have to think about that one.
Last night we had butterfly shrimp for supper along with onion rings and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. The cake did not want to be upside-down because it didn’t want to come out of the pan. But with persistence, Mary finally got it to release. Stay warm. Lew

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

crazy wino

Crazy wino? That was a typo error. It should have been crazy wine not wino. Never heard of such a thing? Well, when Mary and I were at the History Center, in their gift shop they had these various types of bottles of wine for sale on their display shelves. But the wines were quite unconventional. Like the Orange Blossom Honey Wine pictured above.

Now orange blossom honey is my favorite type of honey. But orange blossom honey wine? I would rather have the honey. And it appears as though they won a medal for the wine at the state fair. I wonder what it tastes like? Maybe Mrs. Delaware has tried it.
Now orange wine sounds a little more sensible. Nice name, Orange Sunshine.

Now grapefruit wine might be pushing the limit a bit. How could you ever make that sweet? I would think that it would have to be bitter like grapefruit.

Now orange wine with fermented chocolate syrup may be a bit much. And they named the wine Cocoa Beach. Where is the wine named after New Smyrna Beach?

There was orange wine aged with coffee as well as tangelo wine. But the name Midnight Sun I always thought applied to Alaska. But the tangelo wine sounds interesting.

And of course let’s not forget the Mango Mamma wine or the blueberry wine. Mango Mamma sounds like something served in a Key West bar.

I know that this has been a lot of pictures but I needed them as proof that there really were all these different types of crazy wines (not wino). If someone had told me about these wines I would probably have had doubt. But I close with one last picture and a question. Why do they always put these large dents in the bottom of the wine bottles? Is it a structural thing to give strength to the bottle or like a beer mug, is it done to make you think that you are getting more than you really are?

Have a great day everyone. It is Wednesday or hump day as it is called and we are on a downhill slide to the week-end and never-ending fun. Well, never-ending fun for those of us living here in sunny Florida. For those folks living in Long Island, happiness is a new snow shovel. And for those living in Logan, you won’t be barbequing any hamburgers on the grill in the yard this coming week-end. Enjoy life anyway as best you can. Lew

Monday, February 15, 2010

alligator attack

This is Mary "clowning" for a picture of being attacked by an alligator. The alligator is a large brass sculptor in a small park in front of the History Center in downtown Orlando. It was very life-like and it really did bite Mary. The sculptor had these brass pointed teeth in the mouth which poked her leg. The teeth were in the shadows of the mouth so I enlarged and lightened the picture to show them so that you can see just how pointed the teeth are. “All the better to bite you with” said the wolf dressed like grandma to Little Red Riding Hood. Just look at the detail in the sculpture.

Her leg was getting "bit" by the teeth in the lower jaw which you can't see here because her leg is on them. Mary posed with another sculptor of an alligator wrestler.

When I was working in x-ray in a large hospital in Miami I had a patient named Alligator Joe and he had been bitten by the alligator that he wrestling. His shoulder muscles were torn up pretty badly but his wounds would heal. I guess that he must have “zigged” when he should have “zagged” (like zig-zag). I asked him if he would continue to wrestle alligators and he said that he would because that was all that he knew how to do. He certainly had an exciting occupation. Here’s hoping that your day is exciting too. Lew

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

It’s another day. A fresh start in life. Yesterdays ills and problems are behind me and a new day awaits me. A good day. After all, it’s Valentines Day and Mary and I are going out for lunch.
Good news and bad news already. The good news is that as I sit here looking east out of the window, I am greeted with a magnificent sky that is brightly lit with a golden hued light from the sunrise. So what is the bad news? As I look out the window at the sunrise I am also seeing the neighbors “solar dryer” and it is loaded with clothes. Sort of ruins the view just a bit, don’t you think? But I must laud them with praise for “thinking green” and saving energy. Where can you find parts for a solar dryer like clothespins? They may have gone the way of Gulfwax. Remember Gulfwax? It was a block of pure paraffin wax that was about the size and shape of a one pound package of butter. It was used in the “old days” in canning. After filling the jars with the cooked vegetables and jam, my mom would pour melted parrafin wax over the surface of the jam. When it cooled it would form an airtight barrier to prevent spoilage. Parrafin wax was very common in the grocery stores along with mason jars. But I haven’t seen blocks of parrafin wax for canning in eons. It has probably gone to the Peter Pan Neverland along with wooden clothespins.

The picture above and below is of a wildflower that has been fooled by the warmer weather last week and started to bloom thinking that it was spring. Some people call them weeds but I prefer to call them wildflowers. The flowers are small but up close they are as pretty as any garden flower. Lew

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sci-Fi Adventure

Today was an adventure trip to the History Center. This is Mary in front of the History Center as we are about to go in. Today they had a special deal on the admission. The special deal was that the admission price to the museum for today was free, and that is definitely a special deal. The history center had a special exhibit of costumes and props from science fiction movies. These included the Star Trek series, the Star Wars sagas, Terminator, Blade Runner, and “on and on”. It was a really great exhibit because these were the original costumes and props. Unfortunately, they would not allow anyone to take pictures of the exhibit. So for my blog I don’t have any pictures of the exhibit.

But the gift shop is another story. There were so many Star Trek and Star Wars items that it looked like a Star Trek convention in the gift shop. Practically anything that you could possibly want from sci-fi was on sale there. As you can see there were even Star Trek glasses. What is that at the bottom of the picture? Lunchboxes?

Yep! If you didn’t have a Star Trek lunchbox back in the 60’s, well you can have one now and impress the people at work.

And ears. Don’t forget the Vulcan ears. Slip a pair on whenever you drink your favorite beverage from you’re Mr. Spock glass

From you’re $ 10.99 glass. Just don’t drop and break it.

And in closing, no self-respecting Trekkie would be caught without some Star Trek trading cards.
I had a great time and I think that Mary did also but I am a bigger Star Trek fan than she is. We left the History Center and moseyed on over to the main Orlando library which is right next door to the History Center. The library is absolutely huge and has absolutely every book that you could even think of wanting. Racks upon racks of books. They even have a cafe inside the library so that if lunchtime comes and you haven’t finished looking at the books you can take a break and have a lunch of sandwiches or salads right in the library. Pretty neat. Have a nice day and stay warm. Lew

Thursday, February 11, 2010

favorite toy

Our cat Tammy is a pampered cat and she has all kinds of toys to entertain her. She has somewhere between one and two dozen of these small mice. They are about the size of a small mouse and at times she will carry one around as a trophy of having caught it. She is too well-fed to catch real mice. Are these mice her favorite toy? Nope!

Believe it or not this toy is supposed to represent a mouse. A calico mouse. You can see the little tiny ears and the tail. But this toy is special because it has a long Velcro fastener on its tummy that acts as a zipper. Open it up, pour in the catnip into the belly that came with it, zip up and give to the cat. The cat nip made the cat very playful and she liked playing with this toy until the catnip odor gave out. Was this her favorite toy, catnip and all? Nope!

This was an expensive toy. It is a motor driven mouse.

It is driven by the two rear wheels and steered by the white wheels up front that move and swivel. The drive motor in the mouse is powered by batteries. It must also have a computer chip because it will change directions on its own including backing up. This toy just fascinated the cat because of its random movements. A neat toy, right? Her favorite toy? Nope!

Yep! This is the cat’s favorite toy. A simple twist tie, the kind that holds the plastic bag shut on a loaf of bread. She will play with one for long periods of time; batting it around on the floor and then chasing it, carrying it in her mouth from one room to another. She just doesn’t seem to tire of them. So we didn’t need to get her all of those expensive toys but rather just a simple twist tie. Has anyone else experienced this kind of behavior with a pet? Like feeding the pet fancy feast pet food and then the pet gets into the garbage and eats some garbage from the day before? We all have pets with their undying and unconditional love and affection which makes it all worthwhile. Personally, our cat Tammy makes me laugh a lot with her antics. And if you don’t have any pets then get an Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm for entertainment. Remember those ant farms? I had two of them at different times when I was young. A lot of fun and very entertaining. Have a fun filled day. Lew

Monday, February 8, 2010

rocket exhaust

This is about the best that I could do with the camera that I have. All that can be seen is the exhaust from the Solid Rocket Boosters or SRB's as we shuttle fans like to say. I know that it may sound like an old cliche but it really was tremendously nicer to see with the naked eye than what I got on the camera. So there it was around 4:15 am and me and the cat were standing at the chain link fence in the front yard freezing while looking at the shuttle launch. The sky was absolutely clear down to the horizon. I got to see the big dipper in its entirety. I looked for the north star but couldn't see it because of the city lights. Then it was back into the house to watch the full launch of the shuttle on television. I didn't go back to bed because I was wide awake after having stood outside in the cold. But I am sure that the tiredness will catch up to me later on during the afternoon.

Today is WalMart shopping day. Our local WalMart is so busy on yhe weekends that we try to do our shopping on the weekdays. The weather is chilly with a crisp wind which should put a little pink into the cheeks. Since it seems to be cold all across the nation, everyone everywhere try to to stay warm. Viva Gaia. Lew

Saturday, February 6, 2010

the end

Who is the mystery woman behind the “shades” (sunglasses)? The answer to be revealed at the end of the blog. The battle of Townsend Plantation reenactment took place in a very large field and they had numerous wooden bleachers set up all along one side of the field.
Did you notice the two bags of kettle corn on the bleacher to the right of the mystery woman and two people devouring a bag of kettle corn to the left of her? Doesn’t it look as though the man is about to take a rather large handful of the kettle corn? I guess that he must like it. I do too. There was a woman in period dress pulling a cart selling the kettle corn to the spectators. I have had kettle corn and it is very good. It is popcorn to which some sugar has been added to the hot popping oil. This gives a slight sugary glaze to the popcorn giving it a light sweetness. We didn’t get any because we had just eaten a large lunch at the nearby fancy Italian restaurant Vincents.

They had a rope strung up the length of the field to keep the spectators from wandering onto the field where all of the shooting was taking place. This fellow was patrolling the rope to prevent anyone from going beyond the rope.

Just look at the antique handcuffs he had hanging from his belt. They really went for authenticity in their dress. And the gun. Everyone had guns at this event.

Everyone was dressed in soldier uniforms except for the sheriff above and the gentleman below.

Since this was the battle of Townsend Plantation perhaps he represented a gentleman plantation owner. And he also had a gun tucked away in his vest with just the handle showing.
Now I couldn’t resist putting this next picture in.

As you can see there is a Union artillery piece on top this mound along with a number of blue bellied yankees. The announcer referred to this as Mound Dora and that originally Mount Dora was actually called Mound Dora but that the name was later changed to Mount Dora because it sounded better. A cute and funny bit of humor during the festivities.

And now it is time to reveal the identity of the mystery woman. It’s Mary. She is bundled up because it was very cold this day. Like me her hands got cold and we both walked around with our hands in our coat pockets. We had a good time and got lots of pictures.

And so now we say goodbye to the folks at the reenactment since this is my last blog about them (thank goodness). But wait! Who are those people in the background of the above picture?

What kind of civil war outfit is this? I think that these bikers meant to go to Daytona. They were very well behaved and no rowdiness at all. I think that everyone had a really good time including the bikers. Have a good week-end and try to do something special and most of all, have fun. Lew