donuts, Florida landmarks, food, fun, go with the flow, pastries, photography, silliness

The Florida Strawberry Festival…

That I”m a rookie at this photography stuff came home to me again when I realized that I had taken a lot of pictures at the strawberry festival yesterday, but never took one of the actual strawberry shortcake.  I had wondered if I would come away with nothing but pictures of mounds of whipped cream and strawberries, and came away with none.  I wonder if Sunday afternoon might be the biggest crowd of the entire week, but I found myself sucked into a vortex and just snapped photos as the crowd swept me along.  If it’s shortcake you are looking for then you’ll have to get down there yourself, it runs through the 11th…



I found the charm I was looking for in the exhibition hall where they displayed their winning cakes, horticulture, quilts, and lots more.  A large display case held images of all the strawberry queens over the years, but I was a little disappointed that 1948, my birth year, wasn’t represented.  But then I saw that she was in a featured showcase of her own.



Maybe it’s the fact that I pack donuts for a living, but the donut burger caught my eye.  You always hear about crazy fair food, and I was excited to take this picture because it was early on and I expected to take lots of photos of food, but this and the elephant ears were my only food photos.  And I was obnoxious and told the woman that that’s not what we call elephant ears at Publix.  She said that hers were ‘authentic’.donutburgerelephantearI purposely wanted to go to this event alone, as I do most of the time when I’m wanting to take pictures, because I think I’ll drive another person nuts with my photo taking.  But I think that with another person’s perspective my visit might have been even more fun.  So grab a friend and go, but try not to miss the strawberry shortcake!

Florida landmarks, food, friends, fun, Jenkin's Creek, moments, nature, photography

Swampfest 2018

This weekend is the 25th anniversary of Swampfest, and my first Swampfest ever.  It is held at Linda Pedersen Park, which is right across the street from Jenkin’s Creek, so not far at all from home.  It began as a fundraiser for our local businesses and community organizations, but it has grown into an event that draws a big crowd from the surrounding area.  The funds raised go back into the community, a worthy cause.

I enjoyed the vendors’s colorful booths…

There was lots of food to choose from (but I was good, except for the strawberry shortcake for breakfast)…

Had nice nice chat with a photographer working on her degree…3-3photographerThis gentleman asked me what I was going to take a picture of, and I said, “You!”  And I did.3-3you

The entertainment was provided by Actual Bank Robbers and they were very good.  I don’t know what it says about them that they played songs I knew and liked, but everyone seemed to be enjoying their music.  Google them to find out where they are appearing, I think you’ll like them.3-3bandDid I mention the Swamp Monster Contest?  The gals looked great, but that little guy stole the show, and came away with third prize of $25, causing him to dance around yelling that he had dollars.  The gal in blue won first place.3-3monsters3-3littlemonster

But on any given day a visit to this park is worthwhile.  Nature at it’s finest.  The observation tower is newly reopened after a fire, so of course I went up.  Aside from the power lines it gives you a very nice view of Jenkin’s Creek and the fishing pier.  I was excited to go there for the sunset one night when I first heard about it, but no one had mentioned the power lines in the way.  No eagles flying today.

3-3swamp23-3tower3-3Jenkin's Creek

food, perseverance, photography, technology, the easy way out, unintended consequences

Food for thought…

Grapes, I can’t get enough of them lately. I don’t know it the same thing applies everywhere, but the grapes I’m buying here in Florida lately are really good. I mean really, really good. So I crave them, and I’m sitting here realizing that this craving is exactly like craving candy or ice cream, or any other ‘sweet’ that I shouldn’t eat. But grapes? It’s fruit for gosh sake, how bad can it be? And considering that this obsession has been going on for a while, what is the equivalent amount of wine that my grape consumption represents? Wine ‘on the hoof’, so to speak. So far I haven’t had to resort to anything illegal to fund my grape habit, but with my reduced hours of work per week who knows how long that will last. I did eat $10 worth in one day, which I only know because I bought them and finished them all in one day. If the 24 hour period spans two days it really doesn’t seem that extreme.

Aside from grapes I do ponder what to eat, but not because I’m craving carbs or anything like that. I just don’t know what to eat, mostly because my diet instruction came second hand from an acquaintance who said that his PA daughter said, “Don’t drink your calories.” Okay, that’s easy, I thought, even though I don’t think that coffee was an approved drink, but no one gets between me and my coffee. Then I asked okay, what do you eat, he shrugged and said “a lot of salad”. I realize now that the reason this all worked for me is because I said to myself, ‘Self, you like salad. And water, easy peasy”! And it was. Had I said to myself that I wasn’t going to ever eat a piece of bread again it would have been harder. A lot harder! By the time that thought crossed my mind I had seen results, and I have no real desire to change anything. So I’ll pull up my big girl pants, which are now held in place by a belt so there is no worry about what unintended consequence putting my phone in my back pocket might cause. You gotta do what you gotta do!1-13groceries.jpgI went grocery shopping today.  This is the mainstay of my diet lately.  I could have added a jar of peanut butter which I spread on the celery, and a can or two of Progresso soup.  I don’t eat much processed food, but this chilly weather has made a nice bowl of soup a must here and there.1-11truthinadvertisingDid I say that I don’t do processed food much at all?  When I do make an exception it usually turns out like this.  I have a little glass pyrex bowl, but even if I had transferred this meal into that bowl it wouldn’t have looked like the illustration.  It tasted okay, and was on sale, and dinner in 8 minutes was too much to resist…


food, home, life goes on, memories, Yummy

You gotta eat…

It was a long, hard day at work today, too long and too hard to go out for the sunset.  So I checked the yard for photo ops, but the squirrel out there ran away and then yelled at me from a tree branch.  Which left dinner as my only option for a post for tomorrow.  Not too long ago someone told me he didn’t drink his calories, and ate mostly salads, on the advice of his physician assistant daughter.  Since I heard that I’ve been eating that way, and not only have I lost a significant amount of weight, but I feel terrific.  I think that’s why I stuck with it, besides it being so easy.  No muss no fuss.  Steamed spiced shrimp has been my choice to add some protein a couple of times since I started, and that’s what I felt like fixing today.  I always have shrimp in the freezer because Publix puts it on BOGO a lot so I stay stocked up.  And I confess that just like I kept checking the sunset as I was trying to leave Pine Island last night, as I cooked I kept checking the front windows to see what the sunset looked like.  I even picked up the camera and almost headed out the door once.  But no, I stuck with the plan.  Shrimp and BOGO fresh pineapple chunks.   Yum.

I think this is Charley’s recipe, which he had passed along to my son when he needed to make it for a party,  So Mike had to pass it back to me.  Charley did a lot of the cooking, and I regret not making him write down his recipes.  Several favorite recipes are just gone.  A word to the wise.

Steamed Spiced Shrimp, Baltimore style…

Put 2 inches of water in the pot, add 12 ounces of beer and 4 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning.  Place your shrimp in a steamer basket and douse liberally with more Old Bay.  Definitely a time when more is merrier.  Steam the shrimp, but don’t over cook.

Charley’s not-so-secret cocktail sauce has two ingredients, catsup and horseradish.  The proportions are up to you.  His version would clear your sinuses.  Mine?  Not so much.

Don’t tell my Uncle Ray about this post, that was his beer in my refrigerator!

food, pamper yourself, photography, simple things, the easy way out

Something different, but good…

Having temporarily lost several of our key co-workers, coupled with the consequences of Hurricane Irma, have made the last couple weeks at work exhausting. Yesterday was a longer day than normal and going out for photos didn’t seem as if it was going to be in the cards. But what was in the cards was my dinner. Publix has started offering a freshly prepared seafood dinner in a pouch, and as part of a promotion they gave us all a coupon to get the associates to try it. The coupon was going to expire tomorrow, and with my long day at work the time had come to take advantage of the offer. Sweet chili salmon was my choice, and it was absolutely delicious. What a nice option to have when you are hungry but you need a break. No prep, ready in 20 minutes, fast food with no guilt! Yes I work for Publix, (where shopping is a pleasure), but this is my honest and unsolicited opinion. dinnerinapouch