Monday, August 31, 2015


iMessages can be a beautiful thing:

Congratulations, Cors! See ya in Michigan!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CARPE DIEM!!! Today on Golden Pond

Joe was about to jump into the shower early this morning to get ready for work when I suggested delaying the same so as to take an early kayak ride. It's a hot and steamy one, today, and I knew our trip around the lake wouldn't happen, if not taken early. He obliged me…
As a result, we received an incredible gift from Momma Nature, one we might have missed had it not been for neighbors Stephanie and Joe. We were paddling feverishly, but caught their signal after we'd passed a tree in which Baldie was perched. We are indebted to them for what was probably the very best eagle photo op ever. Imagine being on the water, under Big Bird!
After watching and shooting for about half an hour, we left to continue our ride, returning to the same spot about an hour later. Baldie was still there, providing even more captures before he soared off to the opposite side of the lake.

What a treat!! And what a lesson for human fishermen and women. Patience. It's a great virtue, for sure. Our star caught nothing in all that time, reminding us that it takes a long time to catch that lunker you're after… and an even longer time in the bird-watching arena to score such a special moment.
In other lakeside news, the water was perfectly still, this morning. What amazing reflections it offered up. How 'bout that seemingly upside-down tree?? 
Returning home, the gift that keeps on giving was in gorgeous bloom. Who can resist hibiscus in summer?
Sharing. Giving thanks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mango-Plum Tart

We overbuy fruit. You know… summer fruit. It's so irresistible, especially when marketed well in gorgeous displays. Plums and mangoes. Yep, they were this week's must-haves. Too many, of course. So, with the threat of spoilage looming, what to do? Make a tart, of course.

Simply pare, cut, sugar and flour fruit; add a hit of ginger and let sit while you make a crust. In case you've forgotten...

2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt mixed in a bowl… add ½ cup canola oil mixed with 5 tablespoons icy water. Stir quickly, split in half and roll between two sheets of waxed paper.

Assemble tart and sprinkle top with sugar/ginger mixture. I did not bring top crust to edges… let 'er bubble.

Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes (this is a thin tart, so baking time depends on amount of filling).
The jury is already on tonight's dessert… it got a solid 10!
Buon Appetito. Here's to the season.

Recommended - Dr. Joe D'Abbraccio, Visiting Vet

Big Dog was feeling a tad under the weather, last week. Maybe he was missing Lyla??
He bounded out of the kennel after a two-night stay, only to injure his rear leg getting in or out of our SUV. From that point on, it was downhill. One night, he bedded down on his pillow at midnight and didn't arise till six the next evening. That's a lot of hours to avoid bodily functions such as eating and relieving… not to mention that he always wanders into our room at night, giving us turns on which side of the bed he chooses. Always fair, Mambo.

Time to call "the" vet. But, "what" vet? We haven't had good luck, in this arena. One past doc actually referred to Big Baby as, "… you son-of-a-bitch…" Albeit true that he is the son of a female dog, aka "bitch," we didn't take to the reference too well. Oooh-kay, let's try visiting doc, Joe D'Abbraccio, highly recommended by Rock Ridge Kennel, whom we occasionally entrust Mambo to.

Sure, the patient whimpered as though being murdered while Doc examined him and Brother Jim assisted; but not to worry - examination was completed, shots caught up to date and diagnosis made, all in the comfort of our great room, Mambo's lake view uninhibited. A successful visit. Hmmm...

Seems that after what is fast approaching nine years of the sweet boy's existence, we've finally found a suitable match to help him along in his old age. The probable ligament tear is already healing and we're back in the business of summer. Might I add that glucosamine never hurts… remembering (link) Ike, here. I digress...

Try (link) Catskill Veterinary Services… you and (wo)man's best friend shall love 'em!!
Mambo promises.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Just Bludgeon Me, Now...

Remember this gift blanket I started on June 8th and then posted about? Well, last week it was finally finished… or so I thought…

In a proud moment, it was bound off and arranged for a pending photo op. Ahem. Till I saw a MAJOR twist on one side. Might I add… an IRREPARABLE major twist. The rest of that day was spent ripping out the entire work. Ask me how ill I was…

Oooh-kay, so after a week of cryin' in my beer seltzer, it's once again on the needles. What you see in this original pic is about the point new blankie is at…

It occurs to me that my multi-tasking skills are somewhat diminished. Wish me luck.

On a positive note, though, each stitch represents a get-well wish for the recipient… multiplied times two in what is a rather large finished product, I'm just  hoping they have the proper affect.

This one's for Zu. She's my crafty soulmate. She'll empathize.

It's All In The Lemon - A Fish Dish

Last week, we had leftover breaded chicken cutlets that I quickly turned into Chicken Francaise over pasta. So, why not fish over rice, prepared similarly? With a thick chunk of fresh-frozen cod and a couple of flounder fillets, we ended up with gourmet fare worth talkin' about:

First up was Trader Joe's Basmati Rice, set to cooking in the rice cooker. While that was working…

Into an ovenproof sauté pan went EVOO, butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice, parsley, paprika, garlic powder and pepper, all brought to a simmer, after which I tossed in the fish to cook till almost done. Then, I removed fish to a plate, leaving remaining sauce into which I added the cooked rice. A good toss later, I topped rice with fish, a coating of cornmeal, a light sprinkling of cheddar cheese 'n' paprika and a spritz of EVOO. Pan went under the hot broiler to finish cooking the fish and brown the top.
Wowsa! Really! It's all in the lemon. Buon Appetito!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Worth Repeating

 We'll take it! Another gorgeous weekend and two more birthdays. Too bad Lyla's wasn't here, along with Bri's 45th; but c'est la vie.
We have to be nonetheless joyful…

 Lots of repeats… barbecue, cake, candles, fishing, relaxing and presents. Summer celebrations are the best, especially when Old Sol cooperates.

Every picture - in no particular order - tells a story… even if you've heard it before! We can be silly or serious, but we're forever grateful. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ducky Birds of a Feather

These pretties came by, today, in the wake of a quick storm. I've never seen this variety before. They're cute. Have I mentioned that I have never consumed duck, in spite of having been to the finest of French restaurants where it's been featured on the menu. It goes back to my childhood in Massapequa and growing up on Unqua Lake. We always had the little cuties in our yard, mostly of the mallard breed. You know the drill…

Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck may be somebody's mother…

Funny that I've no problem with consuming lake bass. Is this discrimination?
I was unsuccessful in my attempt to identify this breed. Anyone??

Worthwhile Watching - "Wentworth"

We needed summer fare and found it on Netflix in this fantastic drama that keeps us on the edge of our seats… and occasionally keeps moi shielding my eyes and asking Joe to tell me when I can again look at the screen…

Highly recommended and quite different from "Orange…"

The only extra effort for us lies in the understanding of various Aussie accents.

Sunday of Summer '15 is Soaring By

Jeesh. It's August. June's Friday and July's Saturday have flown by in the blink of an eye. Now it's summer's Sunday. Way, way too fast. Days are already getting a wee bit shorter. Earlier sunsets. Earlier twilights. It's not right… the rapid soaring, that is. But what to do? Just grab each moment and make a memory to treasure through another long winter…

Or maybe we should dedicate a room to wintering over elephant ears?
Hmmm… food for thought.

Friday, July 31, 2015

When In Rome...

Yeah, yeah, yeah… you know the rest! Look who caught finner…
Real-TimeFriday iPhone Photo Credit to Joe

Thanks for the Beauty in My Life, Honey...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Busy Day in the Wild Kingdom

Y'all know the day's beginning, with Big Baldie on our neighbor's dock (previous post). What could possibly top that? Well…

At what seems to be the five p.m. bewitching hour for wildlife activity, I donned glasses and wandered over to my homemade aquarium to check out our resident tadpoles. Hmmm. Everything is in the timing, I've been told. Look at what greeted me…
So, the first one leapt to freedom. RIBBIT!! And almost simultaneously with my calling Joe to witness the Great Escape, he yelled to me… you know the drill…
He caught finner.

Now, every wild kingdom needs blossoms and blooms. As if to say, "Ahem, we're here today, too," our newly planted clematis decided to open the first purple petals on its fragile vine. Wowsa! We didn't expect this phenomenon till next spring, but who's arguing with nature? Gorgeous beginners are ready to color all four patio posts.
Here's to hot 'n' steamy, lazy and crazy July days, surrounded by the wonders of Nature.

This Eagle Likes Our Space...

At 6:30 this a.m., I said, "Good Morning, World," and looked out to see Big Juvenile Baldie sitting on our neighbor's dock, obviously having breakfast. Location? Right below yesterday's tree-stand! Hmmm… it seems this teenager likes the hood. He quickly took flight; I believe he sensed NIK et moi lurking in the background.
Photos taken through glass.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today's Treat

Late this afternoon, Joe and I had just settled in on the deck, when I spotted a juvenile eagle soaring above and behind the next-door neighbor's trees. About fifteen minutes later, he reappeared and settled on a nearby limb that extended well over Golden Pond. By then, Joe was fishing from the kayak and I was perched at our deck rail for an exceptionally lengthy photo shoot. His mottled color and partially white head and tail feathers tell us he's not quite reached five years old, as that's when brilliant white appears.
"Patience" was the name of the game for all parties. Joe caught just one little perch. Baldie caught nothing. (We thought he might be awaiting a larger human catch to steal.) For me, it was well worth the wait, as he abandoned the hunt and sailed away over the ridge that leads to Holiday Mountain. To think that we used to drive many miles for sightings such as this!!

Misty Mornin' 'n' LakeLove

Before moving permanently to Florida, lake-friend and neighbor, Klaus, shared with us his special feelings about this gorgeous environment. He loved the difference each day brought in lake views… every day special and unique on or near the water. This morning's hazy sunrise on perfectly still Wanaksink made me think of him. Spectacular LakeScape…

July Garden

Our flowers are looking gorgeous, I must say. But our elephant ear plant is nothing short of spectacular… and it's only just beginning! This year's was started from a ginormous bulb and took a while to start. For Zu, who misses her Bermuda variety…
While I'm on the topic, check out Mom's hydrangea, perfectly complemented by Dad's autumn joy, in the background…
And not to forget our amazing hibiscus that continues to thrill. Now, it's doing double duty. You see, after the kids left, I missed aquarium-watching. Sooooo, Joe fetched five more tadpoles and I built my own little tank. What's perfect for creating shade?? Why a nice, big and colorful tropical flower. Can you see one little guy atop a petal, peering out at my lens?? Not to worry… they were only in the house for a photo shoot… we do not want more escapees around here (post below).
How does your garden grow??