Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Word!!??

(I found two pages of my writing in a spiral.  I don't remember writing these words although I must have done so within the past few months because I know the spiral is fairly new.  It's a bit strange to read my own words and not recall the writing of them).   

Weary                                                People respond  
Why weary?                                      To situations
Worry                                                 According to
Worry on top of worry.                     Their own compass.  

To do or not                                       My compass is not
To know or not                                  Your compass
Doing right?                                      Your strengths are

Caring enough?                                 Not mine.

Aging worries                                    My capacities
Aging challenges                               My perceptions
Aging ages.                                        My actions
                                                           Are not yours.
No rights
No wrongs                                         
                                                                                 My choices
Human hunches                                 Shape my life.  
Human guesses                                  Your choices form
Human assumptions                          Yours.
Humanness sucks.
                                                             You and I
Relief relaxes.                                      Are different.
Absent of harsh fears                          Let us respect
I uncoil.                                                That fact.

Let us
Let them.
Pushing, demanding
Unnecessary force.
Stress, anger, frustration.

We are born.
We live
We die.

Between birth and death
If God allows
We thrive, love, live well.
We strain, fear, fight
With ourselves.

Living freely works
When fears flee.
Chains broken
Release love.

So fear not
And love, yes, love. 

(I used to journal regularly a few years ago.  I must have had the urge again).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Out With the Old and In With the New

Our old kitchen cabinets and floor...

...were replaced by these.

We are happy with the changes. 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Yesterday Was Arbor Day So We Planted Arbor Vitae!

A corner of our back yard before putting down a fresh layer of red mulch.
After spreading it around, that area looks much better.

We planted a dozen arbor vitae along the north side of our lot in the front yard.  (The two tall ones in the background are in our neighbor's yard).   We like the privacy it provides.    

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Does Redd's Strawberry Ale Count as a Fruit Serving?

I swapped one of my beers with my neighbor for a Redd's Strawberry Ale.  I love that I can enjoy an ale and also have fruit at the same time.

The label tells me this is "An Exceptionally Crisp Strawberry Ale."  In fine print, I discover "Ale with natural apple and strawberry flavors with caramel color added."

I'm even happier now.  I'm getting two fruits with my evening ale.  

5% ALC./VOL.  Fruit with a kick!!!  Who'd have thought?


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For a Cloudy Day, There's Shiner Bock

Today, I introduced myself to Shiner Bock Beer. Now, I'm going to do the same for you. The bottle neck label reads: Handcrafted in the same brewery where it was first made back in 1913, this gently hopped medium brown brew is the pride of Shiner, Texas. Bock beer combines old world Bavarian heritage with American handcraft brewing for a smooth, delightfully drinkable dark beer. Prosit!

(I looked up prosit. It's used as a toast to someone's health while drinking).

The la...bel around the belly of the bottle reads: Small town, small brewery. Every drop of Shiner beer is brewed right here in Shiner, Texas (Pop. 2070), by a handful of local craftsmen who take pride in our little brewery. This lightly-hopped, American-style bock has a clean flavor and a slightly sweet finish. We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoyed making it.**********PROSIT!

Spoetzl Brewery, est. 1909, Shiner, TX.

As always, I liked it!!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Need a Pub for Sam Adams Irish Red

I worked my job this morning and have been going nonstop this afternoon. It's time for a beer. Today, I'm having my first ever Samuel Adams Irish Red. It's icy cold and AS ALWAYS, I LIKE IT. Being off my feet adds to my enjoyment. I have only one wish: Hurry home, Lon, grab a Miller High Life Light and meet me on the deck.  (Lon doesn't care for all the beers I like to try.  Miller Light is what he wants).

The label around the neck of my bottle reads: Deep russet in color, our Irish Red is full of hearty, roasty character inspired by the red ales of Ireland. Brewed to suit the cool rainy days (or any time in a pub), we use roasted caramel malts for a rich smooth malt backbone and balance them with earthy English hops for a comforting & satisfying brew. Cheers! Jim Koch.

(I've got news for the label designers, this beer suits me just fine on sunny day far from a pub).

The main label tells me my beer is proudly bottled and brewed by The Boston Beer Company. Product of the USA. 5.8% ALC./VOL.

What will you be enjoying this evening in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

312 Urban Wheat Ale, Ten Hills Pale Ale and Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat Ale

Beer #1 today was Goose Island: 312 Urban Wheat Ale. It's brewed in Fort Collins, CO. The label says "Serve 312 in a tall glass. 4.2%ALC./VOL. 312 is an unfiltered ale. A sediment may form in the bottle."
 As always, I liked it. 
Beer #2 today was Goose Island: Ten Hills Pale Ale. Label info: "Limited release. Hops from Elk Mountain Farms. Brewed in Baldwinsville, NY. Serve Ten Hills Pale Ale in a nonic glass. 6.2% ALC./VOL. Est. 1988 Chicago. Contains: Wheat."
Anyone know offhand about a nonic glass? For fear of ruining a good beer by drinking it from an improper glass, I drank it straight from the bottle.
Beer #3 ( my last for those who may be worrying) today was Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat. Label: "Belgian-style ale brewed with cider and spices with natural Honeycrisp apple flavor and other natural flavor. Brewed in St. Louis, MO. 5.2% ALC./VOL. To serve, pour down the side of the glass until 1/2 inch is left in the bottle. Swirl the remaining brew and pour to produce a rich, thick collar of foam. Enjoy!
As always, I liked it.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hang On to Your Credit and Debit Cards

See that red debit card? I dropped it in the parking lot at the grocery store this afternoon. When I got home, I realized I didn't have it. After looking in my pockets, the truck, the grocery bags, the floor and so on, I called Woodman's.... Someone had found it and turned it in at the service desk. AM I FORTUNATE OR WHAT!!!!!!! Of course, without my pin number it may have been useless, but I was relieved, anyway. May God bless the good Samaritan.

Samuel Adams Cold Snap To the Rescue

My brothers from Michigan were in town last weekend. I showed off my newly developed taste for beer by purchasing 6 six-packs of various beers I've never had before and a variety pack of Sam Adams beer. Since warm weather is here, I thoug...ht I better get rid of the Sam Adams Cold Snap (Seasonal Brew) ASAP. So that's what I'm doing right now. You know what I'm going to say, right? I like this beer. I always do!! Except for the gluten free beer I accidentally ordered in FL.

I found this description around the neck of the bottle: Crisp and lively, the hazy smoothness of this unfiltered White Ale is roused by the crackling of spring spices. From a hit of sweetness from orange peel and plum to the peppery bite of fresh ground coriander, the subtle blend of spices creates just the right refreshing kick to signal that spring is on its way. Cheers! Jim Koch

5.3% ALC./VOL.

Do You Want to Be a Writer?

I feel the urge to write and yet I think I have nothing to say.  And yet, first thoughts aren't always accurate.  In my first writing class, I learned that if I want to write, I must do just that.  If I get the ball rolling, an endless number of possibilities are tapped.

Creative writing thrills me.  I can go anywhere, at any time, simply by letting my imagination take charge and writing down what it thinks up.  I can be in Paris, looking at the Eiffel Tower.  I can stay a week, a month or relocate there permanently.  I can be a young child or an elderly gentleman.  You get the idea.

When I let my imagination go to work, I'm happy, in spite of my inner critic who tells me I can't write worth a darn.  I've learned to ignore that negative voice.  When I look back on past writings, more often than not, I'm pleased with my work.

If you have a secret desire to try your hand at writing, I highly recommend the online writing class, Beginning Writer's Workshop available through the website, ed2go.  The class is online so you don't even have to leave your home to participate. If you're like me, that made all the difference in the world.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Glarus Fat Squirrel Ale

It's beer time again. Lon and I sat on our deck in the late afternoon sunshine and enjoyed our beers today. Lon prefers his Miller High Life Light. Today's beer of the day for me is New Glarus Brewing Co. Fat Squirrel Ale. I like it. Of course, I do! I haven't met a beer yet than I didn't like enough to at least drain the bottle dry.

I love reading the labels on beer bottles.

Fat Squirrel's label reads: "One deceptively springlike winter day, Brewmaster Dan walked home ...from the brewery, sat down to dinner and said, "Boy there are some fat squirrels out there. They're running all over the place. I think I should brew a Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale." Deb agreed and so another beer legend was born. 100% Wisconsin malt of six different varieties impart the natural toasted color to this bottle conditioned unfiltered ale. Clean hazelnut notes result from these carefully chosen barley malts. Hops from Slovenia, Bavaria and the Pacific Northwest give Fat Squirrel its backbone. When the going gets tough remember to relax a moment and enjoy the 'Fat Squirrel' in your neighborhood. Truly yours, Daniels & Deborah Carey

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maple Pecan Beer?

I've only recently become a fairly serious beer drinker.  I love trying as many different kinds as I can.  I bought a variety pack of Samuel Adams beer and two bottles of this Maple Pecan Porter were in the box.

The bottle label reads as follows:

Sweet New England maple syrup and a distinct pecan note define this balanced porter.  The roasted character of our blend of malts complements the maple sweetness with hints of coffee and chocolate.  Reddish-black in color, this full-bodied brew has a sweet and slightly nutty finish.  Cheers!

Ale brewed with maple syrup with natural flavors added.

5.6% ALC./VOL.

I truly didn't expect to like this particular beer.  I had one yesterday and the second this evening.  Much to my surprise, I can honestly say that I WILL be buying it again in the very near future.

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Mentally Strong" Challenge #3

This month I will focus on the following:

Mentally strong people don't shy away from change.

Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge.  Their biggest "fear," if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant.  An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

(This is #3 on a list of 13 things mentally strong people avoid which was compiled by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker).

Even at 65, I can improve.  Please join me if you're so inclined.  Goals are good motivators.   

#1 on the list was:  Mentally strong people don't waste time feeling sorry for themselves.

#2 on the list was:  Mentally strong people don't waste time giving away their power.  


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Siesta Key Vacation in March of 2014

Jared and Lon always attract attention as they make their way to go fishing down the beach.  They walk to a point south of Crescent Beach, beyond Point of Rocks.  Inquiring minds want to know what these guys with their fishing poles are up to.  Here, Jared is showing these guests at Siesta Dunes pictures on his phone of the fish they've caught.    

Every morning, the pool area and the lounge chairs are hosed off and the pool and Jacuzzi waters are tended to.  The chairs are meticulously placed in groupings of three and also in rows on the opposite side of the pool. 

The gulf side deck is hosed down and its lounge chairs are also cleaned and placed perfectly.  

Everything at the condo complex is meticulously cared for on a regular basis.  

Rarely is the beach empty.  Joggers and walkers regularly pass across our view of the beach from the condo windows and balcony.

I was puzzled by that light gray band along the horizon.  Jared thinks it was rain. 

We often forget to use this walkway to the beach.

Ribs, baked beans, potato salad, rice and bread are delicious at Mr. Bones.  It is on Anna Marie Island, a beautiful drive from Siesta Key. 

Inside Mr. Bones.
How about those clouds?
Early morning light.
Frequent rain had brought the grass to this beautiful shade of green.
Sea grasses are allowed to grow freely in several areas adjacent to the beach.
We watched three workers bring that tall palm tree in on a truck, lift it off with that end loader and put it in the hole they'd dug.  The end loader had a hook that went into a loop fastened around the middle of the tree trunk.  That's how they got it off the truck.  Amazing.

On our way to dinner.
Jared's catch.  He was fishing while we kayaked around Turtle Island.  This snook pulled his kayak for quite a while.  Jared tried to keep his kayak between the snook and the mangrove.  Eventually, the snook headed into the mangrove, but Jared was able to get out of his kayak in the shallow water while keeping a good hold of his pole.  He untangled the line from the branches and reeled the fish in. 
In spite of Lon's fingers, you can see how large the snook was by comparing it to Jared's legs and shirt.  After taking pictures, he let it go.  That's his kayak on the right.