Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hauntingly Helpful Associates

The normally helpful associates at a Home Depot near here were just a bit "creepy" earlier this week.

These ghouls were dying to be of service.
Have a haunting weekend, Everyone.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Funnies

Halloween is this weekend and we have already seen quite a few ghouls hanging around, quite literally, on the downtown streets in Nashua, NH. The local store/business owners decorated scarecrows in keeping with the type of business they were placed near.

These "ladies" were seen in front of some of the fashionable shops selling nothing or accessories.

"Men" were also seen on the street representing a chef and dentist.
A pumpkin is also needed for Halloween fun even if wearing a green face.

Are there any decorations placed around your town/city?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Celebrate Chocolate Today & Every Day

Just read that today, October 28, is National Chocolate Day.

HOW did we not know this?

Apparently, there's a lot as in MANY chocolate celebrated holidays throughout the year, but National Chocolate Day today celebrates all things chocolate.  

We've all heard about the benefits of eating chocolate and how it can provide physical, psychological and emotional benefits. 

That's all true, isn't it? And, if not please keep it quiet. Sometimes living in denial isn't such a bad thing.

Deemed America’s favorite flavor, chocolate is well celebrated annually. It's equal to a whole month of celebrating, just not all at onceSo if like us you want to celebrate chocolate more than a single day, here’s a list of monthly chocolate-related ways to celebrate throughout the whole year. After all, any reason to celebrate (and enjoy) chocolate is good great:
  • January 3 - National Chocolate-Covered Cherries Day
  • January 10 - National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • January 27 - National Chocolate Cake Day
  • February 1 - National Dark Chocolate Day
  • February 14 - National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
  • February 19 - National Chocolate Mint Day
  • February 28 - National Chocolate SoufflĂ© Day
  • March 19 - National Chocolate Caramel Day
  • March 24 - National Chocolate-Covered Raisins Day
  • April 21 - National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
  • May 1 - National Chocolate Parfait Day
  • May 2 - National Chocolate Mousse Day
  • May 3 - National Chocolate Custard Day
  • May 12 - National Nutty Fudge Day
  • May 15 - National Chocolate Chip Day
  • June 3 - National Chocolate Macaroon Day
  • June 7 - National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • June 26 - National Chocolate Pudding Day
  • June 22 - National Chocolate Éclair Day
  • July 8 - National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • July 28 - National Milk Chocolate Day
  • August 20 - National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
  • September 12 - National Chocolate Milkshake Day
  • September 22 - National White Chocolate Day
  • September 27 - National Chocolate Milk Day
  • October 18 - National Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • October 28 - National Chocolate Day
  • November 7 - National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • December 16 - National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
  • December 28 - National Chocolate Day

Talk about timely, with Halloween being celebrated this weekend in various forms, it's even a better reason to enjoy chocolate. Since we may be a bit "over the age limit" for trick-or-treating (nevertheless young in heart and mind), we'll let the grandkids and others have fun. And, we'll celebrate privately with some of these favorites. Snack size portions have less calories — right?

Grenville read that you should eat 2 pieces of dark chocolate per day for health reasons. And, he feels that piece size is optional — the bigger the piece the healthier he feels.

Are you celebrating too & what's your favorite chocolate type?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Funny

Tiny house living . . .

to the extreme?

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Paying It Forward Works

As adults, we may have told a child to be mindful of his or her belongings. If an item is lost than perhaps the child is told he or she was careless.

But what happens when we adults lose something (usually more important/valuable)?

We would hope that some good soul won't take the adage "finders-keepers" to heart and instead try to find the rightful owner of a misplaced (or lost) item. More often, the items adults tend to misplace tend to be more critical than a toy, like keys, phones, electronics or papers. If that happens, we can only hope (and pray a lot) that the item is found and returned

That's what happened twice this week. 

Tuesday, I found a cell phone while walking to the post office. Long story short, the owner was located and the phone returned.

Wednesday morning, I discovered that I had lost misplaced my Kindle reader after using it Tuesday morning in the gym here in the apt building.

Which mean that while I was locating the phone's owner and returning a misplaced item, I was unaware that I had misplaced (forgotten?) something.

Hopeful (and a bit frantic too), I asked at the apt management office on Wednesday if anything had been turned in from the gym. YES, an unknown someone had not only found the Kindle but turned it in. There was no info on the "returnee" so I couldn't thank him/her personally, but did so many times in my heart! I have found out that it was a young man and asked the office staff to convey my appreciation.

Double Gratitude this week from myself and Bill (the phone's owner)

Just Wondering — Have YOU ever had a similar experience ?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We've Made It

October 21, 2015..... What???? You don't know what today is?????

Does the name Marty McFly ring a bell????

Maybe 'Doc' Emmet Brown????

Does it maybe reving up your Delorean to say 88 miles per hour and energizing your Flux Capacitor ring a bell?????

Ah yes,,, i see a glimmer of light sparking in your eyes....

Today is the day that Marty McFly returns back to the future.

AND if you are an Amazon Prime Member you can binge out on all three (yes there are three) "Back To The Future" movies, for free.

And now for some trivia (also known as useless information that only nerds know or care about.)

How much power did the flux capacitor need?

In order to travel through time, the vehicle integrated with the flux capacitor needed to be traveling at 88 mph (140.8 km/h), and required 1.21 gigawatts of power (1,210,000,000 watts), originally supplied by a plutonium-powered nuclear reactor.

What does the Delorean run on in Back to the Future?

The Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor is the name of a power source used by the DeLorean time machine in the Back to the Future trilogy. It can be seen at the end of Back to the Future when "Doc" Emmett Brown pulls into the McFlys' driveway after a trip to the year 2015.

What day did Doc Brown invent the flux capacitor?

On November 5, 1955, Dr. Emmett Lathrop Brown hit his head on the side of a bathroom sink. As his headache faded, an image appeared, an idea that would finally make time travel possible: the flux capacitor.
Special Note:::: the last answer may be one of the only references to "Doc" Brown's middle name.
So, now that we've arrived at the future, I'm going to go get another cup of coffee, and plug my flux capacitor into my Mr. Fusion organically powered nuclear reactor, and gourmet coffee maker, for a recharge.
Have a great day, Grenville
"Some come to the fountain of knowledge and drink, others just gargle."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend Woods Walk

Fall weekends are perfect times to get out and enjoy nature's colorful beauty.

These autumn colors are from Mine Falls State Park, a short walk from our NH apt.

The Nashua River flows alongside much of the walk.

Pretty to look at, but not to touch — poison ivy.

Other plants displayed softer fall-like colors.

We shuffled through leaf-strewn pathways aware how soon this color will be gone.

Until it does we'll continue to enjoy.
Hope you also enjoyed the weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Funnies

LOOK a squirrel. (See Grenville's post last week.)
Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Hope the weather will be good for outdoors time wherever you will be this weekend. 
Like so many others, we are thankful that the rains have subsided in South Carolina.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Big Easy Shrimp

Seafood is a favorite ingredient in our meal planning (besides chicken and veggies). And, we're always on the lookout for easy and great-tasting recipes.

That said, we were delighted ecstatic (and really glad) to find this South Beach recipe for a traditional Creole dish, minus lots of extra calories. Serve it over cooked brown or basamati rice vs. white rice. You can substitute sea scallops for shrimp – or include some of both.

Compared to a "traditional" Creole dish, this recipe has 185 cal per serving; add more if serving over rice.

Big Easy Shrimp
  • 6 strips turkey or Canadian bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Place on a paper lined plate to drain, crumble when cool. Remove and discard all but 1 TBSP of pan drippings.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery to drippings and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes (with juice), bay leaf, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and crumbled bacon. Cook for 10 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers ).

Monday, October 12, 2015

Apples and Pumpkins Columbus Weekend

It's Columbus Day in the U.S. today and, if you are among those folks who enjoy a 3-day holiday weekend. — good for you. (See below Columbus trivia.) And, for our Canadian friends and fellow bloggers, it's Thanksgiving — Happy Holiday.

As for Grenville and I, this holiday weekend was perfect as far as the weather goes with cooler daytime temps. And for us (and many others) that signals Fall apple picking and pumpkin festival celebrations.

While there are quite a few apple orchards throughout NH, Sullivan Farm is the only working farm that remains just outside Nashua, NH and it has apple orchards. This 50-acre family-owned farm offers in-season produce, plants, garden accessories and offers fall apple picking in the orchards. Last week, we stopped there to do some picking and on a mid-week afternoon, no one else was out in the orchards picking that day.

By contract, this past weekend, we found LOTS more folks celebrating pumpkin season at the 26th Milford (NH) Pumpkin Festival which is held annually on Columbus Day weekend. Festival organizers estimate that this event attracts more than 35,000 people over a 3-day holiday weekend each fall.

The Pumpkin Festival is spread out over the historic, Milford Oval, which includes Milford Town Hall and the entire downtown area. Events included pumpkin painting, face painting, scarecrow stuffing, and a craft fair; there were also various food vendors and entertainment and free admission.

How did YOU spend your fall weekend ?

Columbus Day has been a U.S. national holiday since 1937 to commemorate the arrival of Italian navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus in the New World in October 1492. Since then, many things taught about Columbus in schools years ago have been updated. Here's a few things, I gathered from online sources, including Wikipedia:
  • Christopher Columbus is an Anglicized version of Cristoforo Colombo.
  • He didn't discover that the earth is round and he didn't explore North America. He made 4 trips to the new world between 1492 and 1503.
  • He set out to discover a shorter route to Asia, planning to give Spain an advantage in the Asian spice trade. He died believing that he had done so. 
  • Three countries, Portugal, France and England, said No, before Spain said Yes.
  • He left Spain with 3 ships, returned with 2 (the Santa Maria was shipwrecked on Christmas Day).
  • He's only one of 2 people to have an American holiday named after him; the other is Martin Luther King (apparently holidays named after U.S. Presidents figure differently).

Friday, October 9, 2015

Phriday Phunny

HEY Grenville!!!!!!! 
Who ate the Lox and Capers??????

Thursday, October 8, 2015

So Easy Broccoli Soup

While I tried to come up with a better title, the one seemed to perfectly describe this soup recipe. It was just that — so easy. There's no step-by-step directions for this soup recipe as far as measurements.

Several times before heading out on a road trip (sometimes unexpectedly), we've had unused vegetables in the fridge. Not to waste them, I've usually blanched  and frozen them; usually green beans and broccoli.

That said, I had two bags of frozen broccoli that and a friend suggested I make fresh soup and crockpot broccoli soup seemed a great idea — and an easy one too (did I mention that earlier?). 

An online search, as always,  produced so many recipes that included milk and/or cheese. My goal was a simple vs. rich soup (as in less fattening). As many of you know through previous posts, we're cutting calories and using a lot of South Beach (diet) recipes from our collection. Alas, this one was not in any of the recipe books.

Here's what I did:
Took the frozen broccoli from the freezer and got the crockpot from the pantry.

Sliced a small onion then sauteed in a TBSP of olive oil adding in a couple TBSPs of chopped garlic. Removed onion and garlic from pan when softened and put into crockpot.

By then, the broccoli had  started thawing but it needed a quick rinse under cold water to separate the florets. The florets were drained and put in the pan where the onion had been cooked to roast it a bit. I had to do this in a several batches.
Then the broccoli went into the crockpot. 
Next came spices — all approximate measures, which can be increased or decrease according to taste: 

1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 TBSP cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt
Low-sodium chicken broth (1 carton)

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley would also work well. 
I set the crockpot on LOW and let everything cook all day. The softer the broccoli gets, the easier it is to puree. Putting the hot soup mixture into a blender would be a challenge, so I used an immersion blender and pureed in the crockpot. 

Adjust seasonings to your taste and enjoy.

This soup will keep refrigerated several days — we'll enjoy it for lunch now that cooler fall days have arrived.

What's your favorite recipe(s) for leftover veggies?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Window Dining

It's wonderful to have skilled and creative family members, and especially great when their talents result in a very lovely gift. This bistro table was made by our son-in-law Paulo and personally delivered from PA to NH last week. We are so happy with it.

We bought a pub-style dining table after relocating to NH and also bought 6 chairs with the plan to some day get another small table. After looking around and not finding anything that would fit our space, Grenville contacted SIL. He sent information on the table size we needed and included a photo of the espresso and black chair colors.

This is a perfect window seating where we enjoy breakfast and afternoon coffee while viewing the Nashua River.

Fairly soon this area will be showcasing fall colors — and we'll be sitting and enjoying the colorful view — our thanks to Paulo.