Florida

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My mother became ill and is going to be in a rehab facility for awhile…or more.   The kids and I went to Florida for a few days to help dad get used to mom not being around…and to help mom get used to not being at home.  It was and still is so difficult.  They’ve been in their home since 1969 and the thought of him in that big house all alone was heartbreaking.  At the same time, knowing that mom wasn’t home was equally heartbreaking.


My parents live in Fort Walton Beach but the rehab center is in Bluewater Bay, an adjacent town close to where my sisters both live.  We spent our days hanging out there all day, but went home each night with Papa.   Kaela cooked pancakes for him each morning (okay, so she just helped…)

and then he would go out and check on his orchids

We didn’t do a lot of touristy things.  Instead, we went to the hospital for a visit with mom or pretty much hung out. The kids were wonderful. No whining about being bored, no asking for anything.  They entertained each other (and everyone else) and made everyone around them smile.  I can’t tell you how many compliments they got for how well they behaved.  They made me so very proud.

I took them to the beach for a couple hours on 2 different days which they really loved.  I felt bad because I fully intended on going each morning.  They tan quickly but I just didn’t want to leave them on the beach for hours like I did as a kid.  They aren’t from Florida and don’t know the dangers of rip tides, amongst other things.  I get a bit choked up at the beach because I pretty much grew up on it.  I love it at all times…when it is calm or furious, in the early morning at sunrise or late at night…and everywhere in between.  To be so fair, I had a great tan as a kid from all those days…but I don’t miss the tan.   I miss the smell of the ocean and I miss the call of the sandpipers as they skitter across the beach.  I miss finding the little clams that scootch down in the sand and the occasional hermit crab or perfect sand dollar.

Kaela stayed in the water most of the time.  It was clear and seaweed free with lots of sandbars and deep spots.  The waves were perfect too…not rough enough to knock you over, just gentle swells.    The seaweed and dog flies shouldn’t arrive until late August so I hope to take them back before then for some real beach time.

Matt took a nap while Kaela and I walked out to a nearby sandbar…

each evening, we hung out with Page to eat dinner.  Page lost her husband in this same facility back in the spring so walking through those doors each day tears her up…but she does it anyway.  Here she is with Weezie, who only wants to be held like a baby.  If you hold her like a dog, she flips over.

Here she is, getting ready to flip on her back but I was too busy paying attention to the camera (and my glass of wine) to notice.

Hanna and Weezie slept on the couch with Matt while he was watching t.v. one night…too cute

Although it was a trip intended to help dad and mom with this new development, we all had a great time.  Family is all you’ve got folks, so be sure to tell them you love them.

Here fishy fishy

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Dean and I have had aquariums for YEARS.  I had several smaller tanks when I was in college but when we started dating, we bought several large tanks.  Then after the kids were born, we downsized….but then…as luck would have it, a friend offered us a 60 gallon tank and we couldn’t refuse. 

We set it up and filled it with fish from our other two tanks…and it is gorgeous!    

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quick trip

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We didn’t have any plans for Independence Day so Dean suggested we run to Baton Rouge for the day.

We spent a few hours running around the LSU campus,

checking in on Mike the Tiger…who was swatting flies and rolling around in the shade.

                                                                                                                        horsing around in the Greek Theater

                                                                                                                        and running down the Indian Mounds

Overall, it was a great day!

salmon dip

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I’ve moved!  Sure hope my family finds me here!  My old home was yarnigras!

Dean makes the BEST smoked salmon ever.  He uses cedar planks and OH. MY. GOSH.  It is amazing!    The other day he made some and we had leftovers.

He loves the salmon dip from J. Alexander’s and asked me to find a copy cat recipe for it.   I found this one on cookwithcoupons.com. It was really hard for me to take some of our salmon to break up into a dip…but it was worth it.  I don’t like dill…at all…but the dip was so good it didn’t matter.

I didn’t add the liquid smoke at first because our salmon was already smoked, but it really did need it so don’t be afraid if you use pre smoked salmon.  I did break the salmon up a little too much so next time, I’ll leave it chunky.

Needless to say, he and Matt consumed this in about 5 minutes…with Matt taking the dish and running around the kitchen with it!  Dean being the food “stylist” added the bagel chip while I poured some wine…


“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W.C. Fields