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Friday, December 28, 2012

A LIttle Post-Christmas blurb

We went from no snow to "living in a snow globe" within a couple of hours on Wednesday. It was the kind of snow that makes you SOOOOOOOO happy that you're indoors!
We welcomed little Cohen into our family last week. He arrived safely on Tuesday the 18th. He's a whopper - weighed in at 9.4 pounds. There was a definite urgency in getting him photographed in his "Size newborn" duds. Proud parents are my stepson, Kyle, and his SO, Janelle.
I thought I'd include a little tutorial on converting those wine-bottle gift bags into regular sized ones - or small enough for some little trinkets. If you're a friend of mine, I know for sure you get a LOT of these bags from somewhere or other. I know it's too late for this year - but this could be a lifesaver for you next year!

Use bags that have a repeating pattern.

Cut about 3 ins from the top, then about six or seven inches from the bottom. Discard center section.
Use decorative scissors to trim top section.
Fit top section over bottom section.
Stapling is fine for joining the two pieces.
You can add detail such as a little fringe.
Voila! I hope this can spare you a few last-minute trips to the Dollar Store next year!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Love Florida

.......and FYI - the best time to visit is in fall, in my humble opinion! You have lovely temperatures, little if any humidity, and the traditional fall drought that may aggravate the gardeners is wonderful for us tourists!

The Heritage Center in Tarpon Springs, Florida
I arrived shortly before Thanksgiving and my sister, Noel, had planned an outing for us to Tarpon Springs - a lovely little Greek community in an unspoiled Old Florida town, whose waterfront is still working and busy. We were going to a cooking class at the Heritage Center in Tarpon Springs!
Beautiful Yiota, our teacher
Yiota was assisted by her granddaughter, also a talented cook!
My sister Noel was an audience participant.
ReYiota, our teacher, had planned a Cypriot dish for us to make: kleftikos. The recipe is simple: a 4 oz or so piece of lamb shoulder, a quarter potato, a bay leaf, lots of salt & pepper. Wrap up in parchment & heavy-duty aluminum foil for two hours at 350. Yiota said that kleftikos are great for a party. The recipe's name means "stolen", as Cypriots used to steal lambs from their many invaders over the years. To conceal the lamb while cooking it, the Cypriots dug a hole, built a fire, and cooked the meat underground to prevent smoke coming from the fire - avoiding eventual discovery! My visits to Tampa are always low-key. I do plenty of relaxing under the oak trees in Noel`s front yard.Her house is on a narrow, tree-lined fairway on a local golf course. For the unluckier of the golfers, it`s pretty much of a `hell-hole`but a pretty entertaining spectacle for us. My mom could pay for her National Enquirers with the amount of good golf balls that land in the yard.

We love grilling in the yard.

The evening`s fare was pompano. (Recipe: put it on hot coals and cook `til done.)
I met up with my good friends and absorbed some of their boundless energy. We hit the waterfront in St. Pete and wandered around in the sunshine after  lunch at Cassis.
Brenda snaps pics with the expertise of an experienced traveler.

I'm off to do some holiday-related tasks but wanted to introduce my new kitty, Honey to you all. Thanks for your continued loyalty and for the visits even when I hadn't posted in a while!

If you're interested, I adopted Honey from St. Thomas Animal Aid in St. Thomas, Ontario. If you have the luxury of ever deciding when you're getting a  cat, as well as which one, then this place is for you. It's a veritable cat wonderland. The staff  does a great job of match-making cat to adoptive family.
Lovely Honey, my new kitty.
We'll soon see if Honey is a "hat cat" like Lillie!