Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Stormy Night in Georgia

It's been stormy and windy all day with white caps on the water and wind out of the south.  The good side of this is the wind is warm.
The warm weather has brought out spring blooms early.  I saw my first iris in bloom this morning, and some of the azaleas are even blooming.
After watching the waves hammer the docks for hours, we suddenly saw big black clouds headed our way.  In the next 20 minutes, we saw the rain gauge fill to the one inch mark.  
Now we're back to more wind out of the south, but no more rain.  It's supposed to get colder next week.  The farmers will be happy for that.  They've been worried about the lack of cold weather and what it means for the bug population.

Within about 30 seconds, the wind shifted to the north, typical of a tornado pattern.  Sure enough, the power went out and we sat in the semi-dark for several hours.  We feel fortunate that all we had was a brief reminder of how dependent we are on the grid.  Other places in Georgia got hammered much worse tonight.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lemons and Coincidences

We knew we had a lot of lemons on our "satsuma" tree when we left Georgia and headed down to Florida a month or so ago.  We weren't thinking about them too much as we had invited the whole neighborhood to come and pick all they wanted.  However, when we got back up here, we realized that our lemon crop was bigger than our neighborhood could handle.
The ground under the tree was littered with lemons that had fallen.
The top of the tree was still covered with lemons.
Some were even low enough and on the outside of the tree where I could reach them without the tree attacking me (citrus is notorious for its thorns).
Ron helped me pick up the fallen lemons for the compost pile.
Then, coincidentally, my friend Karen sent me this email:
 All it a frozen lemon

> Many professionals in restaurants and eateries are using or consuming
> the entire lemon and nothing is wasted. How can you use the whole
> lemon without waste?

> Simple.. place the washed lemon in the freezer section of your
> refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred the
> whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your
> foods.

> Sprinkle it to your vegetable salad, ice cream, soup, cereals,
> noodles, spaghetti sauce, rice, sushi, fish dishes, whisky.... the
> list is endless.

> All of the foods will unexpectedly have a wonderful taste, something
> that you may have never tasted before. Most likely, you only think of
> lemon juice and vitamin C. Not anymore.

> Now that you've learned this lemon secret, you can use lemon even in
> instant cup noodles.

> What's the major advantage of using the whole lemon other than
> preventing waste and adding new taste to your dishes?

> Well, you see lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more
> vitamins than the lemon juice itself. And yes, that's what you've been
> wasting.

> But from now on, by following this simple procedure of freezing the
> whole lemon, then grating it on top of your dishes, you can consume
> all of those nutrients and get even healthier.

> It's also good that lemon peels are health rejuvenators in eradicating
> toxic elements in the body.

> So place your washed lemon in your freezer, and then grate it on your
> meal every day. It is a key to make your foods tastier and you get to
> live healthier and longer! That's the lemon secret! Better late than
> never, right? The surprising benefits of lemon!Lemon (Citrus) is a
> miraculous product to kill cancer cells.
> It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.

> Why do we not know about that? Because there are laboratories
> interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge
> profits.

> You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon
> juice is beneficial in preventing the disease. Its taste is pleasant
> and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy.

> How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so
> as not to jeopardize the beneficial multimillionaires large
> corporations?

> As you know, the lemon tree is known for its varieties of lemons and limes.

> You can eat the fruit in different ways: you can eat the pulp, juice
> press, prepare drinks, sorbets, pastries, etc... It is credited with
> many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on
> cysts and tumors.

> This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types. Some say
> it is very useful in all variants of cancer. It is considered also as
> an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi,
> effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood
> pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress
> and nervous disorders.

> The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of
> the largest drug manufacturers in the world, says that after more than
> 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that It destroys
> the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate,
> lung and pancreas...

> The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better than the product
> Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world,
> slowing the growth of cancer cells.

> And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon
> extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect
> healthy cells. So, give those lemons a good wash, freeze them and
> grate
> them. Your whole body will love you for it!!!!!

> Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly.
Which inspired me to pick a couple of dozen and freeze them!  I have gotten into natural salves and tinctures and will not do more experimenting to see how I can add lemon parts and pieces to my recipes!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Out of Alaska to Florida

My folks arrived in Florida on Saturday, January 12, 2013.  After weeks of being more or less shut in by the weather, they started enjoying swimming in the outdoor pool,
and dipping their feet in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dick and I decided to go snorkeling,
But even though the water was pretty warm, we couldn't see a thing because the waves stirred up so much sand.
Meanwhile, Ron looked for treasure using his metal detector.  He did find one earring and tons of pop tops.
 Dick doesn't like snakes - so the many stuffed snakes at the Linger Lodge made him anxious.
We did have a nice walk in the sun there.
Dick has worked an entire jigsaw puzzle in his spare time.
We're going out tomorrow to see the Lipizzaner training sessions, then on to our homes in Georgia on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Linger Lodge, Bradenton, FL

The advertising brochure claims this is "the fifth most bizarre restaurant in the country".  No arguments from us!
This little guy stood on the counter to greet us as we entered.
On the one side of the big room we entered, we saw this alligator tethered to the wall.
On the other side, we saw a fish tank full of fish preserved by taxidermy.
More animals everywhere we looked.

Fish, snakes, heads of all kinds

Lots and lots of snakes

Snakes used to spell the lodge name.

All of us at the bar while we waited for our meal.
Good food, interesting decor, nice wait staff,

outside seating

 - Everything we look for in a restaurant.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lipizzaner Show

Of all the places we have been and things we have seen in Florida, this is my favorite.  At the Herrmann Lipizzaner Ranch in Myakka City, Florida, they have practice sessions with the horses that are open to the public Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. 
Most young horses are born black and gradually lose all color until they are pure white.  An occasional brown Lipizzanner is born, and is considered good luck to have on the farm.  This is the youngest stallion that is in the act.
It's hard to decide if the trainers or the horses are the better athletes.
The horses were trained to jump so that a general could view the battlefield.  During WWII, 500 Lipizzaner horses that had been stolen by the German Army were rescued by General Patton and protected until the war was over and they could be returned to Austria.
This short video clip gives you a taste of the hour and a half presentation.  For anyone in SW Florida, I can't stress enough that a short trip outside Sarasota to visit this farm is well worth it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Ride to the Lipizzaner Farm

We fully appreciate the warm sunny days in Florida in the winter.  On the last day of 2012, we rode the motorcycles with our friends Patti and Fran.  They had found a farm near Myakka City that raised the famous Royal Lipizzaner horses.
 The gate was open so we rode in, hoping to find information on when they had shows.
We found a very picturesque farm with tidy barns, beautiful horses and gorgeous old oak trees.
Even the manure pile was neat and tidy.
We wandered around looking for someone to talk to, even looking into the large barn

Where beautiful horses munched on hay and looked at us curiously
Clearly, someone was home at one of the several homes on the premises, but no one came out to talk to us.
Multiple trailers for their road trips filled a huge building.
Bleachers to the side of the horse barn gave us hope that they did hold shows here.  In checking on-line, we found that we were on the wrong day for a show.  Saturday we plan to go back to check it out when someone is there!