Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Trucks Bring It To Them, They Bring It To Us

A couple of weeks ago, Ed and I tried grocery delivery to our home.  It was our first time and we weren't sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a great experience. 

This past weekend, we tried it again.  Except for this time, since we're on the road, we had the groceries delivered to us at a truck stop!

We were in Atlanta.  It had been raining for two days.  We were in our pajamas.  And we needed food.

We planned on going out to shop for ourselves over the weekend, but laziness took over and when the rain came, neither of us wanted to go out in it.  So Ed started looking into grocery delivery.  We found a Publix (one of my favorite grocery stores) a few miles away who offered delivery.

Ed placed the order and waited to be contacted by the delivery person.  Publix uses Instacart as their delivery service and they keep you updated during the entire process - "Your order has been received", "Your basket is being filled", "Your order is complete", "Your order is on its way".  They gave us the name of the two women who were doing the shopping and delivery and provided a time frame for the delivery.

When Ed received an ETA from the driver, he got dressed and met the driver at the main building of the truck stop.  He thought it'd be easier to meet her at the building rather than her trying to navigate a sea of semi trucks in the parking lot.  He took our two big tote bags so he'd be able to carry everything back to the truck.

Minutes later he was knocking at the back door.  I opened it to find him standing there with two bags, his raincoat falling off his shoulders.  He looked adorable.  But more importantly, he had our groceries.

This, my friends, is a total game changer.  Grocery delivery to a semi truck??  Awesome.  Not having to navigate parking lots that aren't truck friendly?  A big plus.  Ordering groceries in our pajamas?  Heaven.

Our original plan was to either take an Uber to the grocery store or drive the truck over.  Bobtailing (driving without the trailer) meant that Ed would have to drop the trailer, which he didn't really want to do, and driving the truck and trailer meant we could lose the parking spot we'd been in all weekend.  And, although the parking lot appeared to be able to accommodate our truck, you never really know until you get there.  No Truck Parking signs are a familiar sight.

It was a deal, too.  The delivery fee is waived if you order over $35 worth of product, which we did, so all we had to pay was the $3 service charge.  The Uber would have been over $20 plus tip for the round-trip.  The only thing better?

I didn't have to get out of my pajamas.  

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Cloud Cover

2017: Vintage Sip
2016: Amateur Arborists
2015: Sea Day
2014: Art Deco Color
2013: Formed Around A Grain Of Sand
2012: Pinwheels, Cartwheels, What’s The Difference?
2011: Maybe You Left It On Mars
2010: The Art Of A French Cooking Friend
2009: Eddie Supervises Friday
2008: Squeaky Clean
2007: Rushing No More
2006: My Constant Gardner
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ring The Bell For Tips

I'm always reading about cooking online.  I love finding new recipes (even if I don't make them, which is often), watching cooking shows, listening to cooking podcasts (The Splendid Table, America's Test Kitchen), and finding new tips and tricks. 

Here are five links that I found offering a multitude of tips:

57 Things You Can Do to Be a Better Cook Right Now

101 Simple Cooking Tips

21 Cooking Tips That Will Change Your Life  (#15 actually works!)

26 Cooking Tricks to Steal from the World’s Best Chefs

15 Secrets from Top Chefs That Every Home Cook Should Know

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Snacks & Bar

2017: So This Happened Today
2016: Agrarian
2015: Tied Off
2014: Seek And Ye Shall Find
2013: Frantically Trying To Get Back To Indonesia
2012: I’d Like Some Snow For Dessert
2011: Getting A Little Carried Away
2010: On A Need To Know Basis
2009: Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong
2008: Flying Into The Sun
2007: Riding The Rails
2006: Keeping Me Quiet With A Chocolate Snap
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Slow Skate Slow Jam

Last week when Ed and I were in Atlanta there was an R & B concert (Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Keith Sweat) on Valentine's Day that we almost attended.  We wound up not going, but talking about the artists got me thinking about the music I listened to growing up.  I was a hardcore disco and R & B fan.  Babyface and Keith Sweat were only part of my collection.  

While perusing YouTube for slow jams,  I found the video above - "Always and Forever" by Heatwave.  I loved this song.  They always played it for during the slow skate portion of the evening at the roller rink we went to. 
They were known for two other songs around the same time - "The Groove Line" and "Boogie Nights". 

According to Wikipedia, after Rod Temperton, one of the founding members quit the band, he "continued writing songs for them but became better-known for his songwriting for other artists.  He penned award-winning songs for some of funk's biggest names, including Rufus, The Brothers Johnson and George Benson.  He also wrote for Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, but his most famous partnership remains the one forged with Michael Jackson, writing three songs for his 1979 Epic debut Off the Wall – "Rock With You," "Off the Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out", and three songs for the 1982 Thriller LP, including the title track."

For me, this song will never die.

"Always and Forever", always and forever. 

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Running Through Hollywood In The Desert

2017: Demo Day
2016: What? This Is Perfectly Normal.
2015: Inside The Walls
2014: What A Difference A Day Makes
2013: The Inner Path To The Outer Banks
2012: The Greatest Love Of All
2011: Step It Up
2010: It May Not Be EVERY Day You Learn Something New, But It’s Certainly True Of THIS Day
2009: Dreams Of Do-It-Yourself Dolloping Come True
2008: Rest In Peace Sweet Green Eyed Beauty
2007: George And Ira
2006: Zip It Up!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Parade Of Light For The Year Of The Pig

Last weekend, Ed and I took part in the Parade of Lanterns in San Antonio, Texas.

The press release for the event reads:

"The Chinese New Year tradition of observing a parade of lanterns dates back to 221-207 BC. The Parade of 
Lanterns event on The San Antonio River Walk will carry on the tradition by featuring ten enchanting boats carrying large illuminated lanterns, each featuring different scenery.

The breathtaking display will float 
throughout the 2½ mile downtown stretch of the River Walk. This free event runs nightly from February 9 to February 23, 2019, from 7:00-9:00 p.m."
"Each Chinese New Year celebrates one of twelve animals representing a different Chinese zodiac sign. 2019, the Year of the Pig, is one of the twelve animals. The pig is lucky and connotes carefree fun, good fortune, and wealth while displaying energy and enthusiasm. Many of these characteristics reflect the makeup of the River Walk and experiences encountered when visiting.

Each float will feature lanterns ranging from three to seven feet in length or height. Themes include a Texas setting complete with cactus and a longhorn, pandas surrounded by luminescent trees, a dragon that looks as if it were gliding on water, and more. This year the event will unveil four new themed floats." 

Asian-inspired music wafted softly through the air, as paper lanterns hanging from the bridges gently swayed above the river.

The San Antonio River Walk Association, who organized the event, were selling square lanterns and lotus flowers, each with its own battery-operated votive candle.  They had decorating stations set up along the River Walk for people to put messages on their lanterns before they launched them into the river.  There were couples, children, families, and groups of friends writing messages for loved ones, wishes for themselves and others, and sending them off into the night.

Ed and I bought and launched a lotus flower.  We watched it drift toward the illuminated group of lanterns and move wherever the current took it.  Eventually, we lost track of where it went and just took in the beauty of the colors floating by.

There's still time for you to catch it.  If you're in the area, go see it!

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Three Hippie Chicks And Me

2017: The Fanciest Digs In Town
2016: Moon Rising
2015: Almost There
2014: Winter Water Running Through Watertown
2013: The Pretty Pink Sailor
2012: Many Thanks To Those Of You Who Come To Peer Through My Window
2011: And I Thought My Feet Were Big!
2010: ABC. Easy As 123. As Simple As Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, Baby You And Me
2009: Under The Black Palm Tree
2008: The Zoo In Stateroom 7377
2007: Pillars
2006: Fiori Di Como
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Discover The Magic

 A couple of shots of the San Antonio River Walk.  This is the first time we've ever been to the river walk and I was very impressed.  It's pretty, serene, lush, colorful.

There are barges available for narrated tours.  Restaurants, shops, hotels.

It was cold when we were there, so I was surprised to see so many flowers still in bloom.  They must still be having warm days down in south Texas.

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Garlic Is Life

2017: The Queen Of Copper's King
2016: Working The Land
2015: Pre-Columbian Toothlace
2014: Who Needs Sochi? We've Got Watertown.
2013: On The Brink Of A Duel
2012: Cheap And Accessible
2011: What’s In A Name?
2010: Missing The Day
2009: Shameless Self Promotion
2008: Dwarfed By A Behemoth Of The Sea
2007: Ditched
2006: Hudson River Solitude
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Winter Tree Warning

There was a bird in this tree, but I couldn't see him.  I only heard his squawking.

As if the tree was trying to tell me something.  A warning, perhaps?

It was kind of creepy.

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The Dog From The State Of Sonora

2017: More Like A Submarine Sandwich
2016: Good Stuff, Maynard!
2015: Spiky On The Outside, Sinfully Delicious Inside
2014: The Most Awkward Descent Down A Snow Covered Hill. Ever.
2013: At The Top Of My Favorite Cities List
2012: Not Looking Anymore
2011: There Is Hope
2010: Where The Bunnies Of The Desert Hang Out
2009: The Marion County Shirt Factory Incident
2008: Eddie Roams The Mayan Ruins Friday
2007: Self Service Antiques
2006: Begin At Once
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Be Anything, But Be Mine

I saw The Dressmaker a few years ago and although it wasn't what I was expecting, I liked it.  Kate Winslet and Judy Davis were wonderful but the movie was a little strange.

It did, however, 
have great music. This Sarah Vaughan track - Be Anything (But Be Mine) - was one of the songs in the movie.  It's perfect for Valentine's Day.

Here are the lyrics:

Be a beggar, be a thief
Be sunshine or my grief
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Be a wise man, be a fool

Treat me tender or be cruel
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Climb to the top of the ladder
Be master of all you survey
Fail and it still doesn't matter
If you love me ev'rything is O.K.

Be the angel of my pray'rs
Be the devil who cares
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Be the angel of my pray'rs
Be the devil who cares
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Remember...there is someone out there who LOVES you!!

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Comfortable Love

2017: I Heart Cats
2016: Sweet And Undefinable
2015: Grand And Important
2014: Winter Is A Table Set With Ice And Starlight
2013: The Romance Of The Road
2012: Celebrate With A Wild Desire
2011: Powerful Stuff
2010: Falling In Love With Ugly 
2009: A Love Like This Can Know No Death 
2008: Peace To This House
2007: The Sultan Of Love 
2006: It’s Even Better Than Arbor Day
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

An Icon Of The Old South

This gorgeous Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) - also known as the southern live oak, an evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States - is located at Alamo Plaza, within The Alamo historic complex.

The informational plaque near the tree says:

"In the early part of the twentieth century, many San Antonio residents believed it was impossible to transport full-grown trees.  Walter Whall - a retired English seaman - started San Antonio's first tree moving company and proved it could be done.  He carefully removed the earth from around the roots of the tree to be moved and then used a block and tackle to lift it out of the ground.  They transported the mature trees through the streets on a wagon pulled by four mules.  Whall contended that the hardest part of moving a full-grown tree was avoiding power and telegraph lines.

This Live Oak was approximately forty years old when Whall brought it to the Alamo around 1912.  The base of the century-old tree now measures twelve feet in circumference while its main branches are over fifty feet long."

Click the panoramic photo below to enlarge and see the beauty of this tree.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Remembering The Shrine Of Texas Liberty

We made it to The Alamo!  And during a selfie, Ed captured this lovely photo of us just as I was fixing my scarf.

Normally, I'm pretty interested in the historic sites we visit, but the Alamo just didn't do much for me.  We took the self-guided tour, walked around the grounds for a bit and read some of the plaques describing its history.  

The mission was founded in the 18th century by Roman Catholic missionaries and was used for the education of local American Indians after their conversion to Christianity.  It is best known for being the location of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.

No pictures were allowed inside of the chapel and we were told not to touch the walls.  The guard said the limestone reacts to the oils in people's skin and damages the structure.

The Wikipedia page about The Alamo provides a lot of information on the history of the complex if you're interested.

"According to Herbert Malloy Mason's Spanish Missions of Texas, the Alamo is one of "the finest examples of Spanish ecclesiastical building on the North American continent".  The mission, along with others located in San Antonio, is at risk from environmental factors, however. The limestone used to construct the buildings was taken from the banks of the San Antonio River. It expands when confronted with moisture and then contracts when temperatures drop, shedding small pieces of limestone with each cycle. Measures have been taken to partially combat the problem."

Here you can see the exterior of the building:

 Wrought iron lamp on one of the garden arches in the complex.
 Side exit of the church.
The front side of the mission.
The Alamo is the No. 1 tourist attraction in Texas and sees almost 3 million visitors each year. Even in the rain, people are still remembering The Alamo.

The Independent Travel Cats put together a great guide for visiting and other information on The Alamo.  Check out their post here.  

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Healing, Herbs, And Community

2017: This Is Everything
2016: Shocking
2015: Waiting For Turistas
2014: The Still Before The Storm
2013: Sizzle, Drizzle, And Pour
2012: Dreams Explored Over Dinner
2011: I’m In Love And It’s Not Even Valentine’s Day Yet
2010: Eddie As Fisherman Friday
2009: Birds And Barbells On Muscle Beach
2008: A Girl On The Shores Of Cozumel
2007: I’m Not Exactly Sure What You’re Proposing Here
2006: The Blizzard Of 2006
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Worst Bar-B-Q In Texas

When we're in Texas, Ed wants barbecue.  I don't know that Ed would be able to pick a favorite place, but one of the places we've been to is Rudy's - they have several locations throughout the state.  This one in San Antonio wasn't too far from our delivery location and they had parking for the tractor.
Ed always likes to have at least two meats - brisket and sausage are his two favorites.  I wanted ribs, but they didn't have any ready so I settled for brisket and some chicken.  For sides, we chose creamed corn, coleslaw, and potato salad.  Along with the meal, they give you several slices of plain 'ol white bread, and pickles and raw onions are a must. 
They serve the BBQ sauce on the side in big bottles on the tables, with industrial-sized salt and pepper shakers, hot sauce, and toothpicks.  Drinks, paper towels, and plastic utensils are self-serve. 
I always find BBQ to be an expensive meal, but knowing the time that goes into smoking meats, I can see why they charge what they do.

We ended the meal with peach cobbler.

The meal hit the spot and should keep Ed going until he gets back home and starts smoking his own brisket again.

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Bestie In The Caldera

2017: A Living Snapshot Of Another America
2016: C'mere, Give Me A Hug
2015: La Bufadora And Almejas Gratinadas
2014: In The Nick Of Time
2013: This Business Means Business
2012: A Nodding Donkey On The Hill
2011: What A Croc
2010: Flash Of Pole
2009: They Hire ‘Em Young These Days
2008: Setting Sail At Sunset
2007: Happy Bee
2006: It’s Not Unusual
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Invoke His Name To Help Find Things Lost Or Stolen

San Antonio, Texas was named after Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of miracles. 

This seven-foot bronze statue, located on the River Walk, was made by Portuguese sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida and was a gift to the city of San Antonio from the country of Portugal.  It was presented during the 1968 HemisFair when the Portugal Pavillion opened. 

According to a 2015 article in the San Antonio Express-News, "Born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal, on Aug. 15, 1195, Anthony left his wealthy family life to immerse himself in theological study at the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, Portugal. A subsequent meeting with friars in Coimbra drew him deeper into the mendicant evangelical life, as he joined that new Franciscan order and adopted the name Anthony.

Anthony would become a renown preacher and follower of Francis of Assisi, revered as much for his passionate delivery as for his erudite knowledge of scripture. Pope Gregory IX, who would later canonize Anthony, referred to him as “Ark of the Testament.”

Anthony died on June 13, 1231, in Padua, Italy. He was canonized May 30, 1232, the second-fastest canonized saint after St. Peter of Verona.

Centuries later in 1691, Franciscan chaplain Father Damian Massanet bestowed the name San Antonio de Padua on the Yanaguana River on June 13, the feast day of Saint Anthony. The river ran alongside a Payaya Indian settlement, which Massanet came upon while part of an expedition led by Domingo Teran de los Rios, the first governor of Spanish Texas.

The river and subsequent Spanish mission built near it would become the heart of a settlement that has since flourished into what is now the seventh largest city in the nation.

Hence it’s only fitting that a life-size statue of Saint Anthony overlook the banks of the River Walk, the Christ child standing in its arms as if blessing those very waters so connected to San Antonio’s past, present and future.
“San Antonio of Texas is a symbol of human resourcefulness and man’s belief in taming what was considered to be untamable,” said Portugal ambassador Vasco Vieira Garin in a 1968 address at HemisFair, a presentation that officially opened the Portuguese pavilion and gave the city that very statue from Portugal.

“His vision was universal,” Garin said, “despite the kind of society prevailing in the 13th century.”

Garin called that time an age of despair, hate and unprecedented rivalry between men and nations. He lauded Anthony as “a legend in his own time,” one with a unifying approach to faith and family whose preaching had a profound impact on people from creeds other than Catholic."

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Scraggly Winter Tree

2017: Finding Money In The Mule Mountains
2016: The Sounds Of The Desert
2015: The Ancient And Mysterious
2014: The New Rest Area
2013: Sidestepping Nemo Wasn't All That Hard
2012: Fun, Fresh, Fabulous Little Neighborhood
2011: What Do You Get When The Daily Rant Meets The Plum Trucker? A Plum Crush!
2010: Industrial Morning
2009: Sunset On Venice
2008: Knots And Nautical Miles
2007: What Is The World Coming To When The Girls Next Door Think They Are Fat??
2006: T.T.D.L.I.T.H.A.T.I.F.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Friday, February 08, 2019

Punctuation IS Important


Mi'kmaw "are a First Nations people indigenous to Canada's Atlantic Provinces and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec as well as the northeastern region of Maine".

In Canada, the First Nations (French: Premières Nations) are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. 

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2018: Wipeout!
2006: Pool Shark
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!