Sunday, 19 February 2017

What's for dinner?

We’ve been quiet for a while.  Nothing is wrong all is good here in warm and sunny Florida.  Please don’t be worried!! The days seem to fly by because we seem to be surprised when yet another weekend it upon us.  Other than the normal grocery shopping or trips to get a few everyday things we run out of there hadn’t been any reason for us to leave the park.  However, while being stopped at a traffic light in town we thought it was interesting to see an anvil mounted to the rear bumper of a van.  I have never seen that back home in Canada, but being here in Ocala, the horse capital of the world, it seems plausible that perhaps the vehicle in front of us belonged to a hoofer or farrier on his way to shoe a horse. 

This afternoon the unmistakably melody of an ice cream truck grew slowly louder behind our camper.  There are no children here in this park, but you don’t have to be a kid to instantly recognize this tune.  The weather was certainly pleasant enough right for this kind of treat, but my hubby will get his favorite ice cream, “Bryers Black Raspberry Chocolate” later tonight as he does most nights.  There are advantages being in an RV park and ours offers also one night a week an ice cream social where you can choose your own toppings in addition to the ice cream favor of your choice.

For Valentines Day I dipped strawberries in melted milk chocolate, which we devoured in the afternoon with our coffees.  Why didn’t I take a picture of them as they were so pretty I asked myself?  So when I served our dinner, chicken Parmesan with green beans and bacon I grabbed the camera.  Not that this was a very special meal, but I guess sometimes I too can mention what’s for dinner at our table. 

Tonight we have German Frikadelle (kind of a large flattened meatball but not a hamburger) made in the frying pan with “Diana” sauce and zucchini.

That is all for today.  Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday and I wish everyone who is looking for bargains happy shopping tomorrow on Presidents Day! Benno already did his on Friday at “Harbor Freight’s” 20% off Presidents Day sale, more screw drivers and little clamps!!

This is in response to Patsy's comment below: I tried out another font in normal size and it didn't make any difference in the view.  By choosing the next larger font as suggested by Blogger which is this format, it looks huge to me and I have to find perhaps another solution. (What do you think?)  I also have sometimes difficulty reading blogs with small fonts and use the option of "Reader View" which is by clicking on the lines to the left of the blog description (look at the picture below) and this brings up the site with a white background and larger black font. I think it is available on most devices. 


Monday, 13 February 2017

Correction on the stinkbug we found

Thanks to our loyal reader and friend Rudi Halbrichter from Toronto, who is a world travelled nature expert, I have to make a correction.  He pointed out that the assumed stinkbug we discovered sitting under our awning was in fact quite an aggressive and dangerous little bugger called (Arilus cristatus) or commonly called a Wheel Bug.

Checking the Internet I found several websites and the "Featured Creatures" site, which I include, gave me a lot of information.  The Wheel Bug belongs to a mean family of bugs called kissing bugs, assassin bugs, vampire bugs etc., reaching lengths of up to 1.5 inches, which was about the size of the specimen we found. It preys on pest insects and in fact attacks the brown marmorated stinkbug we thought we had captured. They are feeding at night and are attracted by light, hence since we found it on the LED strip below the awning. Its bite, when inflicted, can be more severe than a bee, wasp, or hornet sting. No wonder, as the number of teeth vary from 8 to 12. (Really?) Wheel bug saliva contains a toxic, paralytic substance that immobilizes and kills the prey insect within 15 to 30 seconds of injection.
It goes without saying that this bug should be avoided or handled with caution.

pictures were taken from Pinterest

However, Wikipedia states that Wheel bugs are highly regarded by organic gardeners because they consume a variety of insects and their presence indicates a healthy, pesticide-fee ecosystem.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I wont come across another one. Yuck!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Some tidbits from last week

Oh how nice it is to laze around the campground doing not much of anything, just enjoying the nice weather.  Well, this does describe our life here, but not exactly every day. The other day, or better a few days ago we drove to Ocala’s UPS Freight Terminal on the south side of Ocala to pick up a big, and heavy wooden crate, weighing about 200 lbs. or so.  It is for Benno.  I consider it a long awaited and belated Birthday and Christmas gift all in one. I wont say what it is, but it is for his new workshop back home in Canada. What I can reveal though is that it came from the company and it will be complimented with some tooling from a company  So here are some pictures of the crate from the Freight Terminal while I oversaw the loading of the box onto our truck bed, and Benno inspecting the goods at our place in the RV Park. If you want to find out what was in the box you’ll have to keep following along until I will reveal the contents.

What else have we been doing? Going grocery shopping at my favorite store called Aldi, which is a chain store established first throughout Germany and also found here in many states (2018 stores in the USA, incl. Trader Joe), worldwide 10366 stores. They carry a good variety of European items and their prices are lower than any other grocery store.  However, their inventory is limited and you might not find everything on your grocery list.  So, while out shopping we drove by this hardware store and stopped because the helicopter outside looked interesting.  Well, that is exactly the purpose of that thing.  Benno went in to see what kind of merchandise they carried and the sales clerk told him that they had traded this little helicopter in, in an exchange for a lawnmower some chap haggled for because he’d fallen out of that flying machine and was scared to ever attempt another liftoff.

Benno was so fascinated with this thing
that he contemplated of how to get it home
I had to seriously talk him out of it

This brings back a memory both Benno and I share.  Way back, before our sailing days in our first sailboat on Lake Ontario, a 29-foot Bayfield, Benno became obsessed with building plans for a helicopter kit.  It looked a lot like this red toy in front of the hardware store. He thought it would be fun to build one and then take off into the blue yonder.  I didn’t want any part of it and said: “Not even 10 horses will drag me into this helicopter. If you want to know what I like, I’d like a nice sailboat and go cruising on the oceans.”  “Why didn’t you say so,” he said. And thus our sailing years began.

Back at the campground we found that critter sitting under our awning.  At first sight it looked like a massive spider but after further inspection once we trapped it in the broom we think it’s a type of stinkbug.  In any case, we got rid of it and threw it over the fence. 

Not one day goes by without our dogs barking at the cute squirrels who keep teasing them by running up and down the big oak tree in front of our window.  They know the dogs will not be able to catch any of them when they are outside, but our dachshunds keep trying because it's in their nature.
So we keep enjoying our time down here in Florida. The weather is nice and next week we will find some new things to do and see.  Stay tuned, we love it when you keep checking.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Yard Art

Occasionally it gets cold here in Florida, too. On those days we choose to go grocery shopping. However, there is only so much food one needs so we have to think of other things to do or see to pass the time.
When we went to the National Navy SEAL Museum a week or so ago we passed by what looked like an interesting outdoor art collection market.  It looked huge, bigger than anything we have ever seen. An eye-catching place with a life size buffalo sculpture out in the front.  We noticed it on the return trip, but it was late in the evening and the place was already closed for the day.
Yesterday, being a bit more chilly but sunny, we thought we drive back to that kind of artsy place we had seen to have a closer look.  I am always interested in yard art to beautify our garden and here in Ocala I had been to the “Moon Tide Garden Escapes” who sell beautiful garden ornaments.  They are located at 5581 S Pine Ave., but although I very much liked many of their creations, they were too pricy for me.

So yesterday morning off we went to see this other yard art place. We both remembered vaguely having seen the art displays on State Road 40 on our right hand side close to an intersection on the return trip, but we were not sure exactly how far away it had been.  We followed SR 40 into the famous Ocala Forest and kept on driving.  The SR40 is a beautiful scenic road but after each bend and mile after mile we thought that surely we must be almost there.  When we passed the Fire Lookout Tower on our right neither one of us could remember having seen it coming home last week, but it was dark then. 

We drove 10 miles further and another 10 miles and I thought we are like the “Energizer Bunny” that keeps on going and going indefinitely.  When we crossed over the St. John River I was ready for a coffee, but Benno was hopeful we would be almost there or we would end up at Ormond Beach.
Finally, we saw what we were coming for. Yes, I couldn’t believe it, but we had driven close the 50 miles to get here!  You couldn’t miss the place either, because some of the aluminum animal statuaries are HUGE that are lined up outside the fence.  There, close to the intersection of US-17 and SR-40 in Barberville, is Florida’s Largest Outdoor Unique Hand Made Yard Art Emporium.  Just picture two acres full of thousands of authentic, one of a kind Mexican Talavera pottery, figurines, lamp posts, fountains, wrought iron trellises, windmills, planters, teak wood furniture and carvings, local chainsaw wooden art and so many other souvenirs.  In addition they were selling local pure raw honey, boiled and roasted peanuts and fresh Indian River fruit.

We were overwhelmed to say the least.  It’s a place worthwhile to come back to and I couldn’t possibly have taken pictures of all the things on display. Here are a few…

If you ever come to this area, put this must see place onto your bucket list. The address is:  Barberville Roadside Yard Art Emporium, 140 West State Road 40, Pierson, FL 32180