Sunday, March 20, 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022

St. Patrick's Day -



All photos taken in Co. Kerry ~ 2016 and 2019

I would love to be back in Ireland today, or any day
 come to that!  
Traveling across that emerald isle, stopping in a
 friendly pub for a drink while listening to real
 Irish musicians singing and playing their
 melodious instruments. Talking, always talking,
 to the locals, learning the history, feeling welcome,
 feeling safe. . . . . . and loving life!

Ireland will always remain near the top of the "where to
 travel next" list, even though I've been there twice.
Being married to a wonderful man of Irish descent
 on his father's side has a lot to do with it. 
There's just something special about the Irish and
 Ireland. . . . . and that's coming from an English woman, haha!
If you celebrate, enjoy the day ~ this year especially, 
we owe it to ourselves.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

A Fishy Story!

Yesterday I mentioned a 'fishy' recipe I was planning to make for 
our supper. I was given a copy of a great Fish Soup recipe recently, 
after sharing a bowl of it made by my great neighbor Bob. 
You can find all the info at SIMPLY Recipes and take it from
 there - they have a great website.

For my version I used haddock and salmon. Also threw in a can of 
chopped clams along with the juice + the 8 oz. bottle of clam juice
in the original recipe, and the 1/2 cup of Sauvignon Blanc. 
I did use fresh chopped tomatoes as I had them on hand, also
 fresh snipped thyme from my garden pot.

Due to our new eating regime which means as little sodium as
possible, I did not add any salt and found it didn't require any, it 
was perfect without! I did cut down a bit on the olive oil, 4 Tblsp
rather than 6 - it was sufficient to sauté the aromatics.

This is a fabulous fish/seafood main dish soup or stew.
I wouldn't hesitate to serve to company. It will become a
staple dish for us as we don't eat meat and often rely on
 fish/seafood for our protein.
The recipe is so easy. I like how additional info shared in
the recipe notes included tweaking it with other ingredients, 
such as potatoes, white beans and other veggies that will
 make it different on some occasions.

I served this last night alongside a mixed green salad with a
 drizzle of ginger dressing. Although we would have enjoyed the
 suggested crusty bread to mop up the liquid, we are also 
trying to cut back on that also due to the sodium content!


Happy kitchen hours this weekend dear friends.
I plan to bake green pistachio cupcakes with 
Irish Cream frosting for St.Patrick's Day. . . . . and
to heck with the sodium count!!!

Friday, March 11, 2022

A good cuppa and this week's bird notes -


This week I discovered a package of loose Darjeeling tea in the far
 reaches of my armoire. As I haven't been to England to shop in Harrods
 (or their Heathrow Airport shop) I must have bought this tea at least three
 years ago, the last time I was able to travel to the UK. Actually the Best By 
date was 2020 which is now part of the more serious early COVID history
 days and months. Anyway, I opened it one afternoon and having been
 stored double sealed, in a dark place, it tasted just fine.
While sipping tea I tried to wipe sad thoughts of another week of
 war - yes that's what it is - and the devastation of Ukraine and its
 innocents seen each day on the TV or computer screen.
I also thought about each of you who sent kind words to Bob and 
myself in regard to our health blips, which are quite insignificant 
compared to what so many men, women and children are facing
 in Ukraine. We thank you so much and are managing well.

I haven't strayed far from the comfort of home this week.
Things were somewhat off kilter, with expected visitors unable to 
make it - but at least the house got a little much-needed extra
 dusting and titivating. 
More low-sodium recipes were pulled together which meant a lot 
of healthy veggie chopping, but we ate less, and drank nothing
 stronger than water! This afternoon I'm trying my hand at a fish
 stew with haddock, salmon and clams - will get back later to
 share the results.

Last but not least, I picked up the framed birds from Hobby Lobby.
I'm thrilled with how they look and the entire job was done so well.
Currently hanging in the bedroom, I'm considering moving it to the
 lower stairwell later.
Below is a close up of the antiqued wood frame I chose as I 
thought it perfect with the 1927 trade cards which are 
showing some age.


The weekend is upon us and it will be a very cold one - a fire on our hearth
the next few nights. Many of you here in the east are in the path of even more
 severe weather with a possibility of more snow - definitely not springtime yet!
Take care and stay safe.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

DASH Plan -

It was not a good week, the one just gone. 
No glaring details, already far too much negativity hanging
 over us all in regard to the state of the world and its future.

No in depth details about Bob, other than he experienced a health scare
 last Sunday, I drove him to the ER, he was admitted overnight for tests
 all of which turned out well thankfully. He's wearing a heart monitor for
 a couple of weeks until his follow-up visit to a cardiologist.

Because of the above, we are walking more each day - although it's
somewhat difficult with my back issue. If you drive by you might spot me
 hanging onto Bob's arm for a little extra support on the slopes as we
 wander our neighborhood streets, haha!

Our weekly grocery shop on Thursday took an extra hour just to read
the sodium count on every item we took off the shelf. Most were scary! 
 Per the cardiologist Bob is now on the DASH eating plan, and I've
 joined him. Salt is a huge no-no!  Getting used to the loss of a familiar 
flavor and food enhancer is workable. Herbs, spices, apple cider
vinegar will be of help.
Fortunately we are already on a plant-based diet, and have been for
 years (I've eaten no meat or poultry for 45 years, Bob eats meat very rarely).
I cook from scratch daily and since COVID arrived we've only eaten 
a few times away from home.
We feel we can do this. . . . . . . with perseverance. 

Saturday, March 5, 2022


This has not been a good week in so many ways.
This female bluebird is a bright spark though. She was 
outside the window a little while ago.
I cleaned out the large birdhouse ready for spring nesting
 and hopes of more bluebird babies this year.

This Saturday morning the news from Europe, especially as broadcast by 
the BBC, and much more in depth than what we are seeing on US news
reports, has stunned us even more. The almost a million refugees arriving
 in Hungary and Poland - Ukrainian mothers and their little children being
 'adopted' by caring people - but they also scared for the future of
 their own countries.
 Ukrainian fathers now 'soldiers' trying to save their own country.
Babies are being born in basements and metro stations. 
Many have nothing but the clothes on their backs or in a backpack
 as they escape the bombing of their much-loved homes.
Hundreds of Indian university students are locked down in hostels without
 food and water for several days now, no way to leave, nowhere to go, and
 being shot at if they venture outside, and it's bitterly cold.
So many more stories, all heartbreaking.

Please pray for these people, and all who are fighting for their lives, their
country and the freedom they so rightly deserve.
Once again the entire world is in danger because of one insane man!

 Yesterday I walked to the neighborhood park.
The sun was bright and very warm.
I knew I was safe, a lucky person, and in a peaceful place.
This blue and yellow reflection in the pond was a message.