Sunday, February 28, 2021

Life Lately


We are experiencing the most beautiful weather; the kind that draws you outside where you take notice of the birds chirping, the blue sky and the sunshine.  I also feel incredibly optimistic about Covid, with more and more people getting the vaccine and positivity rates dropping in the state overall and especially my county (Sarasota) and even my zip code at <1%.  Still lots of mask wearing, but otherwise open.

I have been enjoying the pool at home and getting out and about too, like to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.  How fun to get fresh, local vegetables in the winter and especially strawberries, direct from Plant City. We have a fabulous Farmer’s Market in Venice with live music, a variety of vendors and the added bonus of blue skies and Royal Palms overhead.

 There has been a lot of planting going on both at my house and in my neighborhood where I continue as chair of the Beautification Committee.  We designed a new bed by our pickle ball courts that is getting raves. It’s hard work, but I do love it.  With new plantings in Florida, there is no shirking from daily watering and that is keeping me on my toes, with all the sunny, dry weather.

Here is a sampling of my life lately in photos.  Happy last day of February!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Chai Tea Latte at Home


I was so happy to find this recipe.  A chai tea latte is something I would order more often at coffee shops, but when you don’t drink caffeine, there really isn’t ever the option.  At home, I can simply make this using decaf black tea.  And, my newest obsession and Amazon purchase, my hand held frother, takes it to another level.

Here is how you make the chai spices.  

Mix together:

1 T ground nutmeg

1 T ground ginger

1 T ground cloves

2 T ground cardamon

2 T ground cinnamon

Store in an airtight container.

To make one serving of chai tea latte:

Brew one serving of strong black tea.  In a small glass pitcher or measuring cup add 3 ounces of half and half, 1/2 tsp of chai spice mix and a splash of vanilla.  Heat  for 45 seconds in microwave, then froth.  Add 2 squeezes of honey to hot tea, stir and then top with the spiced froth.

This recipe is so simple, delicious, and a great alternative to coffee.  It also proves that anyone can be a barista, right at home.

Happy Monday!

Monday, February 15, 2021

What I am Watching


Sometimes, I am more inclined to watch something on Netflix than read and that is where I am lately.  I have found some really good series; some new and some that have been around for awhile.  I love a crime series and found two that really hooked me.  Both are smart, brooding and immerse you in the location (Sweden and Wales) where they were shot, which I love.  The Queen’s Gambit is simply stunning and I especially loved the costumes.  Who knew that a chess tournament could be so exciting?  The Dig is the quiet kind of English countryside story that I enjoy, with the intrigue of an archeological dig and the start of WWII as a backdrop. Think Downton Abbey.

The Dig on Netflix

Hinterland on Netflix

The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix

Young Wallander on Netflix

While The Dig was an original Netflix movie, Young Wallander will return for another season. Hinterland will not from all I can tell.   I’m hoping that The Queen’s Gambit will have another season as well.  There are a lot of shows on Netflix, but finding quality is sometimes difficult.  These are all ones that I was sad to see the final credits roll by and definitely worth watching.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Snow Memories


It is easy to sit in the sunshine and remember fondly the snowy days of a Michigan winter.  There were the good things.  A cozy day at home with the fireplace going while snow fell softly and covered everything so prettily.  Walking in the woods with the crunch of snow under my boots. Waking up on Christmas morning to fresh snow.  Ice skating on a pond, skiing in fresh powder and taking my daughters sledding on a school snow day with all their friends.

There were also the annoying parts that I don’t miss.  Endless days of morning snow and having to shovel the driveway to take Melissa to pom practice by 6 a.m. on slippery roads.  Having to shovel a tunnel in deep snow, just so my dog could go outside.  The dirty snow piles on the side of the road and in parking lots, taller than your head, that took forever to melt.  Fighting with the snow blower.

But, today I am going to remember how pretty and peaceful it can be on a snowy winter morning.  

Friday, February 5, 2021

Seize the Day


Thoughts on life today as we hopefully near the end stages of the pandemic and start to feel some hope. From the beginning, at least after I was able to do my own research and not get caught up in the media hysteria, I have not let worry about the virus overtake my life.  Yes, be safe and follow the guidelines based on science, but not so frightened that I kept to my house and didn’t see anyone.  

I live by that motto that life is short and you need to your spend your time intentionally.   My daughters needed to see me and I needed to see them.  We did it as safely as possible and I have no regrets for the time we were able to spend together this year.  Family is everything and I really feel sad for those who have not felt comfortable seeing their loved ones for a whole year.  That is too many memories lost, never to be found.

The hope comes from the vaccine and every shot it the arm is one step closer to normal.  Every time I see our Governor giving the vaccine totals and announcing new locations to receive the first shot, I feel myself silently cheering.  Thank goodness for the scientists, because this is about more than the hospitals, the economy and even the simple act of going to a restaurant.  It’s about that human connection that we all need.  

So yes, I am approaching this new year as the year to start to make those connections again.  Two things happened yesterday towards that goal.  I had lunch here in Florida with a Michigan friend who lost her husband suddenly last September.  I gave her a big hug when I saw her and have no regrets about that. Then later, I started to rebook a Key West trip with my daughters that was supposed to happen last Mother’s Day weekend.  It was something that I needed after my Mother’s passing  (one year ago ) and while Covid may have delayed it, we will wear our masks and make it happen this Mother’s Day.  

Have a wonderful weekend.

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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