Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tomato Pie

Here's a before photo of the tomato pie I made for dinner Thursday night. It was very tasty with the conbination of tomato, fresh basil, onion, and two kinds of cheese. Dang, I forgot to take an after photo showing it fresh out of the oven.

I found the recipe (super easy) on the blog Deep Fried Kudzu. Click here for a photo step-by-step and recipe. If you have a bountiful harvest of tomatoes I suggest you try this. It's yummy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tijuana Flats

Mom and I went to Tiajuana Flats for our Friday girl's night out tonight - we both enjoy the black bean taco salad.

They have lots of humerous bumper stickers and, knowing that I wouldn't be able to remember any once I got home, I took photos so I could share a laugh with Jerr when I got home.

The hot bar with all kinds of salsa from mild to nuclear, LOL.

Click on the bumper sticker photos to enlarge and read.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jury Duty, part 2

What's an idle juror to do? Blog, of course! Don't you just love living in the digital age where I can photos on my camera and a few minutes later they are on the blog? Amaizing.

The Pinellas County courthouse from a distance. This photo gives you an idea of just how far back in the lot I had to park :) It was hot too and it's only morning.

These are either artwork or the county is farming strange cement pillars.

A closer shot of the courthouse. I recognize those cement balls because they have them in front of a Target store in Pinellas Park. At first glance you think they are decorative but I suspect they are really there to stop a vehicle from being able to drive up to the main entrance - I know that is why they have them at Target.

I decided to pass on taking a photo at the security area but it was pretty much like at the airport. You put your stuff in a bin that slid on a conveyer belt through an x-ray machine. You walked through a metal detector and claimed your stuff on the other side. Only difference is that we did not have to take our shoes off. The jury room was immediately to the right of the security area. Very convenient yet too close to security for me to take a photo of the entry into the jury room - did not want to take the chance of binge strip searched. There were tons of deputies lined up there just waiting for something to do. I didn't want to be it.

This shows about half of the jury room. You walk into a reception area where you get instructions, a number, and grab a clip board with a form to fill out. the chairs were comfy and the temperature was pleasant.

This is the office area for jurors to use the computers provided or to plug in their own laptop at the empty desks. Thank you for the WiFi! There were also some desks in the main jury waiting room but this was nicer.

Here's the jury break room with coffe, hot water, vending machine, and a television. This was the only place where food and drink were allowed. They had a microwave but no refrigeration so I brough a PB&J sandwich for lunch. You can see the corner of my laptop in this photo as I eat half my sandwich.

And last but not least is the ladies room. On our first break this place had a line out the door.

There was an intercom system in all these rooms, including the bathroom, so you didn't miss it if your juror number was called. So far we've had two sets of numbers called and I wasn't in either. I so want to serve but it is not looking good - there is a light trial load because many of the judges are at a conference. Oh, this is criminal, not civil, court.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jury Duty

I got jury duty tomorrow. And, I'm not even moving! Sorta an inside joke because almost everytime I have been called I was either in process of moving, about to move, or had moved.

I moved from Arkansas to Seattle in August of 1977. Either that November or the next I went back for Thanksgiving, broke out with the chicken pox while I was there, and received a jury summons in the mail. Did not serve since I was no longer a resident.

Fast forward to 1983, living in Seattle, and got called for a case so important that there were four jury pools and we were organized by color. They went through the red and were days into interviewing the yellow section before finally letting us in the blue and green groups off the hook. A coworker and I both were called and that's how I knew what was going on in the yellow group ;) Anyway, there was a lot of speculation regarding the case such as the jurors were threatened by the Chinese mafia, being sequestered, etc. The case turned out to be the Wah Mee massacre where a Chinese speakeasy in Seattle' 's international district was robbed and the the bad guys left 14 people for dead - they were wrong. One person survived and could eyewitness them.

I moved from Washington state to Alaska in 1986 and shortly thereafter I received a jury notice. In 1990 I was in the process of moving from Aniak to Kodiak and, you guessed it, jury notice. I thought for sure the magistrate would let me off because I was leaving on a couple days after the duty but no, he said they really needed me. Now that was an interesting jury duty. Basically we, for lack of a better term, declared people dead all day for the coroner. These were cases where a body was never recovered so the corner needed a court order to issue a death certificate. We also had to determine the cause of death which wasn't as easy. There was a plane crash into a lake, boat and belongs found along a river bank, four wheeler out in the tundra, and I don't recall any of the others.

I got jury cuty several times in Kodiak. So often, in fact, that I was able to get our of serving because I was called too often. It wasn't bad in Kodiak because you just had to call a recording every night for a month. I only had to go in once. Now, if you get grand jury, you have to go to the airport and get on an airplane to Anchorage if you are called in. I got a summon just as I was leaving and the time they had scheduled for me would be after I moved to Florida in 2001 so I didn't serve that one.

I've been in Florida for 9 years now and just got jury duty. I am wondering if I am about to move. LOL

I've packed my lunch with items that do not have to be refrigerated per the isntructions, packed a light throw because they say it is cold in there, and am charging my laptop because they have WiFi - woo hoo! Things have sure changed in the jury pool.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Green Thumb Sunday

We've been working on our jungle a little lately. These are mid project photos. Hopefully I will have more for you soon where the yard looks much improved. We had to stop here for a while because I can upon a wasp's nest under a large leaf and they ran me off.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Random Writings

Mom has been in Seattle this week where all her sisters are visiting my Aunt Hellen. Jerry has been off all week and to make it feel like vacation we have been going out to dinner everynight blowing through our stash of gift cards. It's been fun actually.

This is a photo of a little snack basket I keep at work. I buy candy at Costco or The Dollar Tree and mark them up and send the profits to Ratbone. I reinvest the priniciple in more candy, popcorn, ramen noodles, nuts, gum, etc. I make a few dollars a week profit - we're not gonna fund the entire Ratbone mission on this idea but every little bit helps.

Jerry and I went to the movies this afternoon before going to dinner with Marge at Smokey Bones. We saw the movie Inception. Wow. That's all I am going to say about it because I don't want to be the spoiler. And, by the way, don't order the turkey burger at Smokey Bones. It is too salty. The waiter said he had received several complaints. I couldn't eat it but he didn't offer another dish :(

This is one of the restaurants we went to this week. It is called Cafe Ponte and it serves haute cuisine. This photo doesn't reflect the modern elegence of the decor.

Another lousy photo (I to0k them :) but dinner started with this amaizing creamy mushroom soup served in a demitasse cup and saucer. It was like nothing I ever tasted before, delicious.

Jerry's dinner was steak au poivre - chairman reserve aged steak, black peppercorn crusted, roasted garlic mash (he substituted rosotto), sauteed wild mushrooms.

I had "Diver Scallops" - short rib sauce, cremy corn polenta, sauteed morel mushrooms and asparagus in a carmalized shallot sauce.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green Thumb Sunday on Tuesday

OK, I am not ready to share photos yet, but instead of doing a bunch of things I need to be doing, we have been doing something else we need to do. When will the to-do list be finished!?!

Our backyard was a overgrown jungle. I like it this way except that you could no longer walk around the pool and the dogs were having a hard time finding a potty space so...................we spent many hours over the weekend and yesterday working on cutting it back. But, better yet, we had two professional tree trimmers come help with the really big stuff.

I want to finish up before I share photos. The "before" photos are a few posts back and the "during" photos are in my digicam. Still working on the "after" photos. Hopefully we can call it done (or at least as done as it will get for now because I've learned you can work FOREVER in a Florida garden) next weekend and share photos.

It's OK friends and family. You can come over again. You won't be shoved into the pool by plants!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Did It!

I performed my first marriage ceremony yesterday and it almost went off without a hitch. Luckily the only hitch was something no one else would even have noticed. The bride is my friend Christina and her new husband Ami seemed to enjoy the ceremony and the dinner party after. The fireworks were fantastic! We saw them from three different places.

The wedding was supposed to be at the Florida Botanical Gardens but we had rain that could best be described as a monsoon. So, the ceremony was changed to the restaurant where the dinner was served. Even driving into that parking lot we had to cross a river of runoff.

The food was remarkable. It started with 4 appetizers (conch fritters, pot stickers, calamari rings, and skewered pork with peanut sauce) and then we had a choice of salmon, stuffed chicken, mixed grill, or two sizes of sirloin steak. Jerry chose the mixed grillw hich included lamb chops, a skewer or terrikayi steak, and shrimp. I had the smaller steak but it more than I could eat even though it was delicious. The entrees came with wasabi mashed potatoes or this very light, delicate rice. We will be going back to that restaurant again for sure.

Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention pond...