Friday, April 25, 2014

So....this is 54!

And it was the BEST birthday :)

Brenden is now 4...and I am 54.  One more year and I've officially reached the  posted Indiana speed limit!

Donna...huge thanks for bringing Brenden to share ours this year!

This was his "first bike" birthday. And he rode it from the bicycle section all the way through the checkout and out the front door.


Hannah, Kaylee and Jasmine came the day before and brought me a "Birthday Bear" and were the very first to phone the next morning and say Happy Birthday

And brought copies of their latest school pictures and an oh-too-cute Easter shot. :)     Thanks Tanya!

So...Had a wonderful coffee and chat with Idgy.  Started my day with New York Cheesecake and cherries...and ended it with Italian Cream Cake :) Finally was allowed to open my packages...which was a little like being six years old again...with the pink wrappings...ribbons and

Which included the very not-six-year-old gift of Victoria's Secret "Noir  Tease"  [thanks guy!], in addition to Christopher's morels and a bit of extra cash for more flowers/plants...and a trip to Avon. Brunch with Loretta and Judy (who was also celebrating her birthday) at Almost Home Tea Room. Gift cards and candy, phone calls from all the boys and friends/family :)

Mais, OUI! 

And today the apartments brought my boxwood bushes and roses!

(...maybe they aren't Lawn Nazis after all...)

All things considered...54 rocks!

Finishing Aiden's quilt this weekend!

Bring on the New Grandson!!!!!!!!!!

 You'll have to excuse me now...I'm off to plant Roses and Boxwoods!

Hard to believe we are both Grandparents these days!
For the record- Yes, you do make one awesome Grandpa!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Cup

Happy Easter!

Celebrating Spring...a Season of Renewal...Rebirth.  Oh...and maybe chocolate :)

Sipping a blend of chocolate and French vanilla with a touch of cinnamon added to my "fill it yourself" K-cup and enjoying a square of cream cake...but seriously eye-balling the large chocolate egg from Coldstone Creamery that Chris left for me this morning! Maybe later :)

Yesterday marking the end of "Virtual Maine" and it was an adventure. Discovering that virtual travel can be kind of fun. And has its advantages.

No crowds. No lines. Shops don't close. The weather isn't an issue. I am getting better with the photography captures. No "whale snot". Minimal expense. The recipes and so much new information. And the Bed and Breakfast is! 

So last week: Maine


And after a week of Maine Blueberries, "lobstah" Rolls, Crab Cakes and Crab Salad...and the sudden chilly weather we have was almost like being there :)

Back from a journey with souvenirs and best of all...NO Laundry...and no boarding fee/"You abandoned me" looks from Tucker.  Who actually enjoyed sampling the cuisine as the week progressed.

So yeah...I think the Virtual Gypsy Project might be a huge success.

Muddying the lines even further between Real Life and Virtual Reality...I was STILL able to attend Sal and Diane's nuptials yesterday (along with a large number of our DS family) in almost realtime video of the ceremony and the cake cutting...all of us chatting on Facebook back and forth...and even real laughter and tears as Rabbi Steve was having them repeat their vows.

"My favorite moment
with two of my very special friends"

And a late night promise by Marti (another DS sister) that she and Lee who will be marrying in May will do it this way, as well!

So...anyway...back to Real World.

A gorgeous Easter morning and as if on cue the Spring Flowers in my patio baskets seem to have finished blooming overnight. Cascades of pink, blue, reds and yellows. Enjoyed photos of Emma (honorary grand-daughter) at an Easter Egg Hunt yesterday and with her new Easter outfit.

Recent new photos of Kaylee and Hannah's Indianapolis Zoo Adventure

"They have a roller-coaster now, Grandma!"

And they brought their new school pictures!

And an Easter visit (surprise) with them today!

Nearly finished with Aiden's Quilt. May actually have it done before his arrival!

Down to embroidery and binding now! 

Despite my initial protests...the arbor and basket patio gardens are wonderful! Much easier to tend and a place to display my specimen fossils and rocks.


It's shaping up to be very comfortable :)
Tucker having an al fresco breakfast with the neighbor's kitty...

Good news as later this week I will be spending an afternoon with Brenden, my youngest grandson to celebrate his 4th birthday! Can't wait to see him on his miniature "birthday" bike :) Also brunch with Loretta at my  favorite tea room...and later in the week an annual meet up/birthday celebration with an old friend!  Wednesday a "birthday box", I've been told, is on the way!

more days until "Idgy" arrives...and our Summer plans for picnics in the grass/ adventure to a new French restaurant...and wine and chat on North Patio Beach, of course!  Maybe even a trek to Indiana Beach before she leaves exploring the old amusement park!

Chris hopping off early to be the Easter Bunny to not only me- but Donna, Eric and Dayne...Connie and Kimber and Tina, of course.  He is spending the afternoon with Tina (and Kimber and baby Emma) at the hospital. Emma born 2 months almost 6 pounds and doing well!

Talked with James who in his latest stint as "Where's Waldo" is in North Dakota and loving the scenery...sending me through the wind-shield shots of his travels!

And soon I will be off to the phone touching base with friends and family...exchanging Easter Greetings...and later, of course...the plundering of the chocolate egg :) As well as indulging in a few of my "Early Birthday Present" morels :)

Despite the many inconveniences of FRED at times...I am truly BLESSED!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Last Day...and A Huge Mazel Tov to Diane and Sal...

Today will be the last day in my "Virtual Maine" adventure...and it has been an amazing week! Spent an hour yesterday "aboard" the Margaret Todd. I love some of the first-person video available...where you can hear the clack of the wooden winches as the red sails slowly are raised...and the rippling thunder of the sheets as they catch  the wind...and the beautiful silence as she sets out under her own power. I think the silence except for the wind and water and miscellaneous boat/wildlife sounds is what has always drawn me to sailing.  The final thing on my LIST is the whale watch. No. Walmart doesn't count. Normally, one would have to wait until August to see the mammoth "spy-hoppers" but through the magic of the Internet...I'll enjoy them today...front row seat...only slightly chilly not dressed in 4 layers...and completely crowd and "whale snot" free.  Although I have obviously never experienced it myself I have heard a friend say that there is nothing quite like being slimed by a whale...including the smell. 
 She says "It is like letting chum rot in a bucket...let it get really slimy and gross...then spray it on yourself with a mister."  

Uh...I'll pass on that. 

Wishing Diane and Sal "Mazel Tov" today as the Yenta by proxy-chick and my favorite DUCK tie the knot. :) I love you guys!  Vicki, Brenda and LuAnn are already there...Flat Stan gets to be the ring bearer...which seems weirdly appropriate...and I am seriously bummed that I was unable to make it...but through FB/Skype we will ALL be there at 1:00  with Rabbi Steve...who may have survived the DUCK yarmulke but I think LOLA will do him in.

                                                   Diane and LOLA :)
               Diane, Stan (with his yellow bow-tie looking spiffy) and LuAnn

What do you get a guy who has EVERYTHING? An anatomically correct life sized vinyl blow-up sheep, of course. With lipstick and a garter and high heels! does this virtual CAKE thing work anyway?
 Thanks to my youngest son...I am heading into the Easter Weekend with a special treat in my basket.

Early Birthday Morels!!!!
Greys.  First of a season which is slow in coming. Fixed a huge skillet last night for dinner...nothing else...just the mushrooms...and it was perfect!

Nothing quite like them!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Virtual Maine

It is the middle of the week and half-way through my virtual adventure. And somewhat amazed at what you can "find" out there...both at the library and online. Am getting a bit quicker at the video-capture (capturing images as you watch a film/documentary of an area you're exploring...and it does have the same feel as photography after a while. No backing up a film...if I miss the shot..well I missed the shot.

Still on part of the Acadia adventure...I was quick enough to catch this guy.

Also checked out the Precipice...which had a high clench factor even on video. I couldn't have done this climb on my very best day...okay?

At 1,058 feet with almost vertical granite walls...and iron climbing rungs marking The Precipice Trail...that would be no...possibly even hell no. You Tube has some amazing footage of the trail from top to bottom by people who not only climbed it...but packed a video-camera while they were doing it.  National Geographic needs you guys :)

Also took a peek at Bear Cave...and enjoyed a trek down to The Old Sea Cave off Schooner Road.

                                                        Bear Cave

                                                   The Old Sea Cave

Today's trek was to Portland Head Lighthouse. Incredible place really. Oldest lighthouse in Maine...commissioned by George Washington himself! Maybe the place that has made me always want to see Maine.

Anyway through the magic of the Internet was able to not only see it inside and out and a brief fun video of scuba-diving just off the headland- but also able to head the sound of those giant breakers...and the foghorn...and even capture a bit of the lighthouse at night...which provides a beacon in the Atlantic over 26 miles.

And my favorite...the night shots...

And the Underwater adventure

Which can lead to only one possible outcome...a trip to the market tomorrow and "Lobstah Rolls" for "dinnah". Face it, folks. Ya gotta have a plan!

Popped by the Portland Head Lighthouse gift shop before calling it a day...and unlike the REAL one...the online store is open 24-7. 

So without further adieu...

That recipe for Genuine Maine "Lobstah" Rolls


4 (1 1/2-pound) cooked lobsters or 4 lobster tails or 1 1/2 pounds lobster meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 inner celery stalks and leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 rolls, split and lightly toasted
Melted butter, for brushing

Chunk cooked lobster meat...mix ingredients together and serve on toasted hard rolls split and brushed with melted butter. 

Pair with coleslaw and Bellinis :)

I think this "virtual gypsy-stuff" is going to be okay :)