Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beach vacation 2012

 So, we just got back from our Gulf beach vacation.  It was a beautiful week of sunny days and warm weather.  Not too hot, but still plenty warm enough to swim and enjoy the beach.  We love going this time of year because the crowds are gone, prices are reduced, and we can really relax.

On the way in, we rode the Dauphin Island Ferry.  We had to wait awhile for it and here a picture of  where we hung out.  They just happened to sell ice cream, so we had an ice cream cone while we waited.  We sat under the building in the shade with our ice cream, since it was a warm day.


I saw and heard our first seagulls on this trip.  I love seagulls...they make me feel like I'm truly on vacation.

There was a pier and I had to check it out.

 I took this shot off the end of the pier.

There was a guy there fishing for mullet.

This was the line of cars waiting for the ferry.  I was glad we were near the front of the line!
 Then, the ferry came.  Hooray!!

We finished the drive in, and this was our view from the balcony.

 It really was a little piece of paradise.


We  had a good time and decided we are DEFINITELY retiring to the beach.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday supper

So, this crazy heat FINALLY broke, and we've had a couple days of beautiful, sunny days with little or no humidity. It's been awesome.

Yesterday I decided to make soup. I love soup, but it's sort of against the law to make soup when it's 95 degrees or more outside. I do believe you can go to jail for that. So ... as soon as the temperature dropped, then I was in soup-making mode.

I had a bowl of leftover roast with gravy/potatoes/onions/carrots in my freezer, just waiting for such an auspicious occasion. So I took it out and popped it into my big heavy dutch oven.

Here's another tidbit of information. I do not know how to make a small pot of soup. Really.

Anyway, the roast makes such a nice base for an easy beef veggie soup. It adds a depth of flavor I just can't get otherwise. From there, it's just a matter of what I happen to have on hand. This time I diced up onion and celery, added a can of corn, a big can of diced tomatoes, a can of pinto beans, frozen peas & carrots, a can of beef broth, minced garlic, a bay leaf, and pepper. I let that simmer on the stove for a few hours. Near the end I added three large spoonfuls of salsa, just to give it a little kick.

Then, just because it's also a requirement when you make beef veggie soup around these parts, I made cornbread in a small cast-iron skillet. Since it was just the two of us, I halved the recipe to just make enough for us. I didn't take a picture of it, but believe me when I say it was a thing of beauty.

Lastly, I decided to make a pan of bar cookies. I love bar cookies, because they are easy to make and package up for lunches or snacks throughout the week. This time I tried a recipe called "Dream Bars." Very nice.

What's been cooking in your kitchen lately?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can you be a crazy cat lady with only one cat?

I am so enamored of my cat, Hobbes. He just makes me happy. I love his smuushhy face and his sweet little paws and how his tail curls tightly around him when he is happy. I love his personality and his spunk and his acrobatic abilities. I love that he wants to cuddle in the mornings and that he and Chance get along well (when they're not chasing each other through the house growling, that is). I love that he drags his toys over to my feet when he wants me to play with him. I love that he does this big, plaintive, MEOWW to get my attention.

Actually, I could go on and on ... and thus, no doubt secure the title as the craziest cat lady in the history of the world with only one cat. But you know what? Bring it on. I'll wear the title with a smile. Because if loving Hobbes is wrong, I don't want to be right.

This is Hobbes in a kitty-grass induced sleep. He is smiling because nothing makes him happier than getting to munch on fresh kitty grass. Speaking of that big ol' LOUD meow, he puts it to good use when he wants the grass and I am not moving fast enough to provide said grass.

I love how he sits up on the end of the couch, like he is watching TV. Honestly, he looks as though he's going to change the TV channel and look over at me any minute and say, "hey, couldya bring me a drink?"

This is how he loves to sleep on me ... just splayed out like nobody's business. He likes me to pat his tummy while he's in this position. He's part dog.

By the way, sorry about some of these pictures. My digital camera is going out on me and I haven't replaced it yet. I plan to this weekend, though!

But back to the subject at hand ...

Are these not the sweetest little paws ever?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My new phone

I am not the type of girl who needs the latest and greatest electronic gadgets. I'm never on "the leading edge" of anything, and am pretty okay with that. I'm fine with keeping computer, phone, whatever, for years, as long as they still work for my needs.

That said, though, I have found myself coveting (and I use that word absolutely correctly here) a new phone made by Samsung -- the Galaxy Note. This phone has the biggest screen size out there: 5.3 inches.

Isn't it divine? The Note has been out for several months now, and I've watched the price drop over time from obscene to painful. (I am nothing if not frugal.) The break came when Samsung announced the second generation Note II would be coming out soon...perhaps even later this month. Then, the price really started becoming more reasonable, because they need to unload all the first generation phones they can to make way for the next latest and greatest.

Anyway, last week I went to the AT&T website, and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a refurbished Note for only $49.95. It was available in white and midnight blue, and I chose the white. In fact, it's exactly like the one shown above. And yes, it actually comes with a stylus.

I love it. I can go online, play my games, text friends and family, read my Kindle books, even watch TV shows and movies -- and actually SEE what I'm looking at. Having had a cornea transplant (and 50+ year old eyes) makes that harder than it used to be.

My friends at work are teasing me (good-naturedly) ... "wow, Patty, is your phone gi-normous enough for ya?" etc., but I could not care less. I tease them about their microscopic phones and how sorry I am for them that they have to strain to see what's on their screen.

So, I am just really, really happy with my phone and hope to live happily ever after with it. Or at least a few years. : )