Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Stealing - 09/08/19




Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. The hosts steal all types of interesting and intelligent questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our task is to answer the questions and learn a bit about each other.

1) What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
Many years ago I was accidentally hit in the face with a baseball bat (full Swing). My face was cut open by the sunglasses I was wearing and I had a concision, my short term memory was affected.  I had no family in the area and I hadn't made many friends yet in my new state. So many people stepped in to help me (I was out of sorts for a month): co-workers, hospital staff, casual acquaintances and surprisingly my ex-boyfriends family.  I felt blessed that so many people stepped up to help me, it was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

2) What is the most fun thing you have ever done?
I went on a 14 day cruise to Europe. I loved the trip and saw so many sights in a very short time span. Granted, I was exhausted after running full speed for two weeks, but it was a wonderful trip and so much fun!

3) Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Right handed, but I can use both without much thought.

4) What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?
Humpback Whales, they were everywhere in Alaska. I also saw a very large grizzly in Alaska.

5) What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?
I was sitting on a log in the redwood forest writing in my travel journal. It was quiet and magically due to the light streaming in at an angle through the giant trees. I looked to my right and found a tiny mouse sitting on the end of the log with me.  The little mouse looked so out of place in this giant landscape. We sat peacefully enjoying each others company, it was a wonderful moment in time. 

6) Do you ever have funny dreams at night? 
I don't think so, they are usually strange.

7) If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?
Free healthcare and affordable prescription drugs for all citizens. 

8) What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
Sneak in the Baltimore House and see all the wonders of life in the Gilded Age. I would play "Queen for a Day".

9) If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?
Oprah - "you get a house, and you get a car, and you get a vacation, and you get a makeover, and you get a boat, etc...". I would love to fulfill the dreams of others.

10) What would you like to change about yourself?
I'd like to have more enthusiasm when it's time to down size...we have too much stuff!

11) What would your perfect day be like?
Waking up in an exotic tropical place, breakfast served on the balcony over looking the water, a day of relaxation and pampering, a sunset dinner on the beach with tiki torches and fine wine with each coarse, and then snuggling with my sweetie in our over water bungalow, listening to the waves as we drift off to sleep. Perfection!

12) What makes you nervous?
The idiot in the White House and everything he is doing to destroy the country.

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA



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Monday, September 2, 2019

I Love Coconut....

Today is World Coconut Day!
Nobody knows exactly when the first coconut popped out from a palm tree, but specialists say that the oldest coconut fossils were found up to 55 million years ago in Australia and India.
Comfortably growing along the coast between 26 degrees north and 26 degrees south of the equator, they serve as a dietary staple for nearly a third of the world’s population.
In ideal conditions, one coconut palm tree can produce 75 fruits annually. However, if the land is not fertile enough or if the temperature isn’t consistent, a low yield would be around 30 each year. When coconuts mature, they automatically drop to the ground. Yes, falling coconuts can kill people, and are frequently compared with the number of shark attacks in the world, but don’t worry both statistics are very low and please don’t let that deter you from hugging a coconut palm tree!

You can’t make a piƱa colada or a decent Thai curry without it, its water makes a great recovery drink, and its fibrous husk, when burned, repels mosquitos — these are just three of many excellent reasons to celebrate World Coconut Day on September 2.

World Coconut Day Activities:
1.   Crack one open
It’s a lot of fun to crack into a real coconut, and no, you don’t need a machete. There are a number of methods, so check out some YouTube videos. Whichever you choose, be sure to save the coconut water before prying out the sweet meat for snacking.
2.   Cook something different
If you have only ever had coconuts in tropical drinks and macaroons, get acquainted with the savory side of this fruit. Try your hand at a coconut-based curry, coconut shrimp, coconut-lime rice, or even coconut-crusted onion rings!
3.   Throw a tiki party
Now that you have all these coconutty delights, why not host a Polynesian-themed party? They’re best held in the backyard, where you can light the area with tiki torches. Provide leis and/or grass skirts, decorate with orchids and tropical fruit, and play some festive ukulele music to get guests in the mood. Don’t forget to put umbrellas in the drinks...Cheers!



Yummy! A fabulous, moist coconut cake studded with vanilla beans is filled and coated with a coconut meringue buttercream frosting.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE:

  •  
    cups
    cake flour
  •  
    cups
    granulated sugar
  •  2
    teaspoons
    baking powder
  •  ½
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  •  ¾
    cup
    unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch pieces
  •  6
    egg whites
  •  1
    cup
    coconut milk
  •  1
    cup
    sweetened shredded coconut
  •  1
    vanilla bean
    (split in half lengthwise)

FOR THE FROSTING:

  •  
    cups
    granulated sugar
  •  6
    egg whites
  •  
    cups
    unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch pieces
  •  1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  •  ¼
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  •  
    cup
    coconut milk

FOR THE GARNISH:

  •  1
    cup
    sweetened shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  2. Sift the cake flour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces and beat on low speed for 1 minute, or until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, coconut milk and the 1 cup shredded coconut until combined. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and whisk to thoroughly incorporate the seeds throughout the mixture.
  4. Add half of the coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the remainder of the coconut milk mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until the batter is well-mixed, light and fluffy.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
  6. Make the Frosting: In a small, heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Heat the mixture, whisking occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Remove the bowl from the heat and transfer the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a light, white meringue and the mixture is cool to the touch. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter a couple of pieces at a time. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is smooth and glossy. The frosting may initially look curdled after adding the butter, but continue beating and it will come together, looking smooth and creamy by the end of the mixing time.
  8. Add the vanilla extract, salt and coconut milk and whip for another few minutes on medium speed, or until the coconut milk is thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is smooth. Again, the buttercream may look thin and separated, but continue mixing until it comes together. It will be more of a satin-like consistency, versus the thick powdered sugar frostings that are often used.  Note: Use the frosting within 30 minutes, or transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, then beat with a mixer (using the paddle attachment) until smooth before using. You can also store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, then bring to room temperature and beat with a mixer (using the paddle attachment) for 6 to 8 minutes until smooth before using.
  9. Assemble the Cake: Remove the cooled cakes from their pans and level the tops, if necessary. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and top with 2 cups of the frosting, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges.
  10. Place the second layer on top, top-side down. Spoon 1 cup of the frosting onto the top of the cake and use a large offset spatula to spread the frosting on top and over the sides of the cake, covering it with a very thin layer (this is the crumb coat). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  11. Use a wooden spoon to mix the remaining frosting to lighten it up since it has been sitting. Spoon it onto the cake and spread it evenly over the top and down the sides. Use an offset spatula to create a smooth finish. Press the 1 cup shredded coconut onto the top and sides of the frosted cake. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  12. Cheers!
  13. Lori in Blue Ridge, GA




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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Stealing


I'm joining Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World". . host of Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we answer all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Bev works hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves joining the fun!

Swap Bot asked people to post questions they would like to answer.  I copied and edited them all and put together this brief selection.
1) What do you enjoy about summer?
Water sports on the Lake and the Toccoa River. The water is just the right temperature to be refreshing on a hot Georgia day. It is also a step closer to Fall my favorite season. 


2) Do you like snow? Why?
I like watching the snow fall, but I am not a fan of driving the mountain roads after a fresh covering of snow.  We only get snow once or twice a year so it is more of a joy than a issue.

3) What do you think about dogs?
LOVE dogs, and dogs generally love me! I'm a bit of a dog whisperer, even shy dogs are drawn to me. We have a Goldendoodle puppy named Sophie. She is smart and wants to please, a good combination in any dog.   

4) Have you ever gotten lost?
I have a good sense of direction and very rarely get lost. I traveled for many years during my career to new cities. I had to navigate to job sites without the help of GPS to get me there. The only city that gave me a serious run for my money was Boston, I was lost as soon as I got out of the tunnel exiting the airport. It was a adventure!

5) What are your favorite type of socks?
Fluffy extra soft socks are my favorite. We have hardwood floors that stay cold three seasons out of the year.

6) What is your favorite style of shoes?
Birkenstocks.  I have a very high arch and Birks are comfortable all day. I'm always looking for brightly colored pairs that are a little more feminine than the standard two strap (boring) original design.

7) What would you name your boat if you had one?
The "Luck Lady" after a movie starring Liza M.

8) What common misconception do you hate to hear repeated as fact?
Gays can be "cured."

9) What was the last shop you went into and what did you buy?
The last shop I went into was the gift shop at "Polly Claire's Tea Room" in Chattanooga, GA. I bought loose tea called "Pina Colada". I joined my best friends for High Tea and I bought the mix that I had in the Tea Room...yummy!

10) What's your favorite thing to do to pass the time?
Canping in the many state and national parks within about 3 - 4 hours drive. It's were I recharge and craft without distraction.

11) Travel or home body?
I love to travel, but lately have become a home body; except for weekend camping trips.

12) Have you ever gone to a Bingo hall?
Yes, when I was young I would go with my maternal Grandmother. It was hosted by the church we belonged to.

13) What is the longest plane trip you have taken?
Atlanta to Hawaii, it was about 10 hours.

14) Do you text more or call more? Why?
Text.  I can get a response more quickly from most people. 

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA


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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Link Party - Wednesday Medley - 08/14/19



I am linking up with Terri @ Your Friend From Florida for her Wednesday Medley.
NATIONAL V-J DAY (Victory over Japan Day)National V-J Day on August 14th commemorates the day in 1945 when news broke around the world the Imperial Government of Japan would surrender ending a long a grueling world war. In Europe, the date was August 15 due to the time zone, but regardless, the celebrations that broke out were no less zealous

1.  I'm sure many kids today have no idea what V-J Day is all about.  Did you have a loved one who fought in WWII? No, I did not have any relatives in WWII, but my husband's Father was in the war stationed in Germany. I never met him, he passed before I met my sweetie. 
2.  The iconic sculpture from the famous photograph of  "The Unconditional Surrender" has been defaced recently because of the #metoo movement. I know we can get very political about this subject, but just keeping it in the spirit for which it was created, what are your thoughts? I think it was just a moment of excitement between two kids at the end of the war. Nothing more or nothing less....

3.  Terri's grandson, Tristan, loved playing a game called "Axis & Allies".  It was quite complicated, took up the entire dining room table, and was not something Terri wanted to play (Grandpa understood it and played though).  Can you name three Axis countries and five of the many Allies (okay to look it up!)? Never heard of this game; looked it up: Axis:  Germany, Italy, Japan.  Allies:  United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark.
4.  Terri was surprised to learn that most historians agree that WWII began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Others say it started when Japan invaded Manchuria on September 18, 1931. And some scholars suggest WWII is actually a continuation of WWI, with a break in between.  Have you ever visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or any other WWII memorials around the world? I have visited Pearl Harbor in the late 70's, but no other large memorials. We do have a small memorial in our city park with names of local veterans.
5.  Calvin Graham was only 12 years old during WWII when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.  (God bless him.) Terri doesn't know any 12-year olds today who could qualify or get away with something like that.  Times are so very different now but (in the US) we do have ROTC in high schools.  Do you know anyone who started in ROTC and went on to enlist in one of the services? Yes, I had an acquaintance who was in ROTC, went on to the Naval Academy, finished his six years of active duty, and then went to prison...probably not the best ending for a military man.... 
6.  Please tell us something about your week so far. This weekend my family (on my Mother's side) traveled to our place in Blue Ridge, GA for a family reunion. My Mother is still alive and was able to join the event. We had a great time reconnecting after so many years. Below are some photos of the weekend...
Black Family Reunion 2019

Tubing Trip Down the Tocooa River
The Cousins - Janet, Lori, Jennifer, Linda

Core Family Members - The bloodline continues!
Chillin' on the porch.
View from the porch...Blue Ridge Mountains.
Cheers!  Lori in Blue Ridge, GA


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Monday, August 12, 2019

Afternoon Tea Week August 12 -18....

History of Afternoon Tea Week...



Afternoon Tea Week was established to help preserve a tradition that has graced British afternoons since the 1840’s. In those days, dinner often wasn’t served until 8 pm, and lunch wasn’t actually a thing. So what did Victorian lady's who wanted to lunch do? They created a new mini-meal in the middle of the day. Traditionally this meal includes tiny finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and sweet dainties like cakes and pastries to help lift the spirits, bolster energy, and see you through the rest of the day.

This simple afternoon meal grew into a social event, especially for those who spent their lives in the upper echelons of the day’s society. This became even more prominent once Queen Victoria herself took part in this tradition. At that point the concept of the ‘tea reception’ was born, lavish and fancy afternoon events that could host anywhere from a close collection of friends to a couple hundred of society’s most important people.
As the name suggests, tea was a central part of this meal, a tradition started by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford. She often found herself feeling weary or worn down in the middle of the day, and a pot of tea with a snack just seemed to be the best way to take care of it. She soon invited friends to join her for walks in the field, and the affair that would become Afternoon Tea began.

How to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week
Celebrating Afternoon Tea Week is simple, for the length of a week take a break for Afternoon Tea as part of your day. Warm tea, a few sweets, and a small refreshment will help lift your spirits and drive you through the rest of your day. If you really want to go all out you can organize a tea party, and even go so far as to wear Victorian Costume to honor the history of this holiday. Even if you just have a cup of tea each day. 
Rumor has it that High Tea is coming to Blue Ridge, GA soon...I'll keep you posted! Remember Afternoon Tea Week and take a few breaths to Keep Calm, and Carry On.
Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Link Party - Wednesday Medley - 08/07/19


Michigan City Lighthouse, Indiana
I am linking up with Terri @ Your Friend From Florida for her Wednesday Medley.

NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY

Observed annually on August 7, National Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea.  At one time, the beacon of light could be found across almost all of America’s shorelines.
Kilauea Point Lighthouse, Kauai, Hawaii
1.  Let's start with a number! How many lighthouses have you visited? So many that I can't even count! I grew up on the southern tip of Lake Michigan and traveled to many lighthouses on both the east and west shores. I've also visited lighthouses on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and  on many islands. My all time favorite... Kilauea Point Lighthouse, Kauai, Hawaii. My home turf lighthouse is in Michigan City, Indiana.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

2.  Have you been inside a lighthouse and did you walk to the top?
The only one that I've been to the top of is the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse near Daytona Beach Florida.
3.  Do you seek them out when you are traveling the coastlines or are you not that big a fan? I don't travel specifically to see lighthouses, but if there is one close by I will make an effort to visit.
4.  Do you have a favorite scripture or another reference to share with us concerning a guiding light in your life? We have a daughter that chooses darkness no matter how much others provide light and love. 

5.  If you don't collect lighthouses when you travel, is there something tangible that you tend to collect as a souvenir when you are on vacation or a road trip? I collect small tasteful shot glasses (some can be very tacky...you know what I'm talking about) when I travel; they are easy to pack in even the smallest bag and they are a great reminder of all the lovely places I've traveled.
6.  Please share something with us about your week. This week has been full of projects, we are replacing the front porch and wrap around deck (big project), we've cleaned top to bottom for a upcoming family reunion here in Blue Ridge, we've shopped for provisions for our guests, and worked on our travel plan for our vacation to Florida (Disney) in October. Busy week!
Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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