Sunday, July 2, 2017

It Was a Great Phone While It Lasted

During the trip to Williamsburg, my phone decided to have a tantrum and gave me all sorts of problems.  Of course, just when I needed it most for directions, finding restaurants, running the Colonial Williamsburg app, and all those things you need your smartphone for when you’re on vacation.

It just won’t hold a charge.  It has performed like a champ since I got it, and now, suddenly, it’s getting ready to abandon me!

Darned phone.

So I got irritated at it today, and took the plunge.  I ordered a new phone, AND got an unlimited data plan.  It turns out the unlimited plan is the same price as my old plan – what a deal!

I ordered the new Google Pixel XL.  I feel a little guilty.  My first smartphone was the original Motorola Droid, and I’ve had Droids ever since.  But there are no Droids available, Turbo or otherwise, and I’m not a fan of the Motorola Moto, so I caved and went with the Pixel.  It seemed the most like my poor old Droid Turbo II.

Image result for google pixel xl
It should be here Wednesday!

ACK!

Not that I’m excited or anything.

I just have to nurse the old phone along until then.  It’s been a good ol’ phone.

Don't spill the beans and tell it what I'm up to!  If it finds out, you KNOW it will die early!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Williamsburg on the Half Shell



Governor'S Palace, WilliamsburgEarlier this month, I drove to Lexington, picked up my sister, and drove to Williamsburg for a girls' week of fun and frolic!

After settling in and figuring out how to navigate the city (it's divided by train tracks, and you're always on the wrong side), we took a day and drove up to Baltimore to visit The Girl and her family.  The Son-in-Law had told her Williamsburg was about 1 1/2 hours away, but as it turned out, it's 3 1/2 hours - ONE WAY.  Thank you, MapQuest!

We went anyway.

The Girl directed us to Fells Point in the Inner Harbor, where we caught the red water taxi and rode it round trip back to Fells Point.  It was a glorious day on the water - sunny and breezy, the boat wasn't crowded, and we got to eyeball all the sights of the Inner Harbor in comfort from the water.  Much better than trudging around cobbled/brick streets with a stroller!

After we left to head back to Williamsburg, I took a little detour to show my sister something The Girl had pointed out to me when I visited for the second grand's arrival.  Here's a picture:

These bushes are in a CEMETERY.  The carefully trimmed shapes are weirdly appropriate, don't you agree?  They must be the work of either a disgruntled employee or someone totally clueless.

We think it's hilarious.

Yes, my family has a twisted sense of humor.

Anyway, back to Williamsburg.  Planning this trip, we were ready for loads of Colonial and Revolutionary history, but we didn't anticipate seafood.  Restaurants serving oysters, crabs, lobster, and crab cakes were EVERYWHERE.

Upon further consideration, it makes sense.  Williamsburg sits on a peninsula, between the James River and the York River, ending at the Chesapeake Bay.  Archaeological excavations at Williamsburg and Jamestown have uncovered tens of thousands of oyster shells (yes, they actually count them).

By the end of the week, we had a favorite - Fat Tuna Grill and Oyster House.  I confidently ordered oysters on the half shell.  Our server asked what kind I wanted.  Well, raw, of course.  No, no, what KIND of oysters did I want - and oh, by the way, they were out of Blue Points.  Uh...what?  On the board above the bar, there were listed at least FIVE kinds of oysters - this one is fairly sweet, that one is the saltiest...  We'd had no idea!

We also ordered crab cakes, and they were nearly all crab - hardly any bread crumbs to hold them together - and HUGE.  A young couple near us ordered whole crabs, and when the bucket arrived, those peoples' eyes boggled!  I don't think they knew what part of which crab to start cracking.

And the hush puppies - oh my!

We went for the history and fell in love with the food!

We had made a wish list of places we would have liked to have visited, but we ran out of days and barely scratched the surface.  We saw Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.  We visited The Girl and saw the Inner Harbor.  We went to a harpsichord/organ concert.  I took a short class in spinning wool into yarn using a drop spindle.  We bought running shoes at an outlet mall (you have to keep your priorities straight)!

So here's the list of leftovers for the next trip to Virginia (in no particular order):
  • Virginia Beach
  • Washington, DC
  • Chincoteague Island
  • Asateague Island National Seashore (wild ponies!)
  • Fredericksburg
  • Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
  • Monticello
I've got my work cut out for me!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ah, Spring at Last!

It finally feels like SPRING!  Not that the winter was so terrible.  We had hardly any snow.  There were no ice storms.  The temperatures weren't anything to get excited about.  But winter in central Indiana isn't pretty.

Winters here are an ugly dark gray/brown, wet, and cold, with an occasional frigid day or week.  Snow makes things look bright and cheery for a bit, then it melts in the late afternoon and refreezes at night.  Or it rains during the day and freezes overnight.  Or there's freezing rain.  Or the ever-popular "wintry mix."  UGH.

Mostly it's hypothermia weather - wet and cold-ish.

Then there's the precursor to spring - rain and wind and mud - oh my!  Still not pretty.

But this past week - suddenly SPRING!  The grass glows with the color of a green crayon. Dandelions and violets have invaded the yard!  Daffodils and tulips bloom in their beds!  Peonies, day lilies, and hostas poke up from the ground!  Asparagus begs to be cut in the garden!  Fuzzy ducklings and goslings block traffic at the marina!  Tree frogs sing in the evening!  Magnolia, dogwood, and redbud trees bloom in a riot of magenta, pink, and white!  All at once!

Nature has had enough of winter, and as my dad would say, "Spring has sprung!"  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hoosier Pie, Revisited

It has been pointed out to me that in my excitement to write about yummy Hoosier Pie I thoughtlessly neglected to provide the magic recipe!  (It has been suggested that it was intentional, to see just exactly how many people actually read this blog - HA!)

So here it is, in all its glory.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe is the addition of nutmeg.  I used my trusty Sunbeam Heritage stand mixer, which made it super easy to make the filling nice and smooth.

If you're curious about the history of Sugar Cream Pie, there's some interesting information here and here.  




OLD FASHIONED CREAM PIE

1 cup sugar
scant 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
9" pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients.  Stir in half of the cream to make a thick paste.  Stir until very smooth.  Add the remaining cream, then beat lightly, again until very smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.  Pour into the unbaked pie crust.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, then dot with butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 45 minutes.  Let it cool on a wire rack about 15-20 minutes before cutting.