Friday, September 29, 2017

Fall Reading List


There has been a lot of change in my life this year, but there is always one constant. No matter how busy I am or what my day may bring, there is always a book that I am in the midst of reading. I may read for hours, or I may read a page here and there. When I finish one, there is always another ready to start. It used to be a stack of library books, but now, with my iPad, there is a whole world of books, just a click away.

I love to write these posts about books, whether reviews or this kind of post; a post about the books I plan to read in the next few months. There is always wonderful possibility in a list like this. The possibility that one of these books will be one of those great stories that are impossible to put down and stay with you, long after the book ends.

My fall reading list is my usual mix of mysteries and detective books by authors I love, as well as novels that either have been recommended to me or that I have stumbled across browsing Amazon. There's also one that looks appropriately spooky for October. Happy reading!










Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal




Instant oatmeal is fine, but some mornings, I really want something a little more special, that is equally as quick. I have made many varieties and flavors of baked oatmeal (Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal here), but they do require some time and some recipes even need to sit overnight.

This microwave version is the solution when you want something quick and filling and I think I will be making this often. It is mixed together in the baking dish, so no mixing bowls and clean up too. It was delicious, full of apple and cinnamon goodness, and perfect for a fall morning. Fall in Florida is really no different than summer, but I still crave the flavors we associate with this time of the year. I won't be baking an apple pie anytime soon, but a fall inspired breakfast definately hits the spot.


Microwave Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

In a microwave safe baking dish, mix together the following: 1 cup oatmeal, 1 medium to large apple, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 T brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar), pinch of salt, 1 2/3 cup water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir and return to microwave for 2-3 minutes. Stir before serving. Makes 2 generous servings.


{ Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane


Rattlebridge Farm


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Top Three




I thought this was a fun idea for a post when I saw it on Laura's blog. Maybe you will learn something new about me :-)

Happy Thursday!


Three Experiences

Bike ride downhill from the crater of Haleakala in Maui at sunrise.

Watching one daughter birdie the first hole at the state golf championships and the other perform a pompon routine during halftime at the Breslin Center.

Watching the sunset on Sarasota's Sand Dollar Island with my daughters (and husband) on their first trip to our Florida home.

Three Pieces of Advice For Everyone

Don't worry about the small things when your children are growing up. It will all work out in the end and you will wonder why you worried so much.

Find someone to marry that's good to his mother. (For my daughters)

Faith will get you through anything.

Three Things I'd Give Up In A Second

High Heels

Television (except for sports)


Three Things That Are Always In My Fridge


Orange Juice (medicine when you're a diabetic)


Three Things That Are Always In My Freezer

Ice cream

Bags of Ice for the cooler

Frozen waffles

Three Things That Are Always In My Pantry

K cups (decaf coffee for me)

Peppermint Tea


Three Most Often Used Makeup Products

Oil of Olay Moisterizer with SPF

Naked Eye Pencil (zero)

Almay hypoallergenic mascara

Three Things I'll Spend Money On


Aveda Salon highlights

Lilly Pulitizer

Three Things I Won't Spend Money On


The Gym (yoga and walking for me)

Trendy clothes

Travel Bucket List

Napa Valley


Hiking in Colorado



Gin and Tonic



Note: In all the upheaval of Irma, my little blog passed the one million page view mark. I think that's worth noting. It been a slow and steady growth and I'm happy with the community I have built. I plan to keep writing and I hope you will keep reading too. I think a blog design to reflect my new life in Florida is on the horizon!

Friday, September 15, 2017





We finally were able to return home yesterday after 5 nights in 2 different hotels in Georgia. We had another hotel booked on the way home, in case we couldn't make it, due to flooding in the area threatening to close the interstate. I'm so happy to be home and am grateful for the following:

  • That we are safe, our new home was not damaged and our beautiful stretch of the gulf coast, including the beach towns, restaurants and bars I love, sustained minimal damage and are able to reopen once power is restored.
  • That we have power, unlike so many in Florida who are dealing with the daily misery of temperatures in the 90's post hurricane. While we were lucky, my heart breaks for others in this beautiful state who lost everything.
  • That so many states are sending everything they can to help with recovery. As we were driving both north and south on I 75, we passed convoys of utility trucks coming to help, trucks with building materials and generator after generator
  • That so many family members and friends reached out to us, were worried about us and even offered a place to stay if the worst had happened. We definitely felt the love.
  • That we are home and that after I write this post, I can go have coffee in my favorite mug, go to the grocery store (not sure if they are stocked, but I'll try) and generally go about my day. Normal sounds pretty good!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma Update #2








Just a quick check in and some photos from my neighborhood and downtown Venice. We are safe, our house is safe and Venice dodged a bullet when the eye moved west and weakening occurred. We have no power, but the water has come back on. There are many terrifying stories and it has been a stressful week for the whole state. The west coast of Florida was hit hard, but the east coast ended up almost worse, because they were battered all day and night with the bad (dirty) side of Irma.

When I can, probably in a few days, I will post our Irma experience. Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Irma Update




Our first hurricane watch has got me stressed! From what I can gather by watching all the forecasts, both national and local, it is quite unusual that the impact on pretty much the whole state is unknown at this point. I just want someone to tell me whether we should stay or go and the local weather reports from Tampa seem to be saying that the storm is turning east and the gulf side should be only getting tropical force winds. The national reports seem to be more about hedging their bets and creating panic.

We will be fine whatever we decide. Our cars are full of gas, we have plenty of food and water and the hurricane shutters are up. Our house has new construction, with all kinds of hurricane codes. Later today or in the morning we will bring in all the outdoor furniture. If we decide to leave and head to north Georgia, where I have a hotel reservation ( that I booked several days ago), we will leave in the early hours Friday. In some ways, that prospect seems even more nerve racking, because I 75 north is basically a parking lot and there are gas shortages to deal with.

And, for what it is worth, my daughter Melissa works in the airline fuel industry and has access to extensive and accurate weather reports. She passed on to me that her people feel the gulf side of Florida will be fine. At this point, I will take any kind of reasoned report not designed to create panic (I'm looking at you The Weather Channel).

Prayers for all of Florida are appreciated.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is Irma Coming?




Our first hurricane season in Florida and it looks like we are possibly going to be in for a big one. Right now we are making preparations and I'm following all the lists of things to have on hand. There is still a lot of uncertainty about where Irma will make landfall, if at all, but a category 4 or 5 is serious and we may even have to evacuate to the north. The worst case scenario for us would be Irma taking a turn north, up the gulf side of the state where I live.

Things I'm doing: stocking up on non perishable food, dogfood and water for at least three days, making sure I have candles, lighters, flashlights and batteries, filling car with gas and listening closely to the hurricane reports to know if we need to put our hurricane shutters up and then ride it out or evacuate. Craziness to this Midwestern girl and I don't really know what to expect.

It is a weird week, where everything seems calm at the moment, but you know there is something coming. Off to the grocery store now, before the lines get too long. Wish us luck!


Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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