Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's All About the Shrimp

It was Spud's Spring Break.

The Colonel, Spud and I decided to head down to the Ft. Myers Beach area for one day of the break.

We have never been there and we wanted to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants that now has a second location there.

The restaurant is called Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille.

Randy Wayne White owns the restaurants. Randy is a writer and has published many books and has written for many magazines. Doc Ford is a character who is featured in roughly 16 books he has written. The Colonel and I have read all of the Doc Ford books and we have met Randy in person while we lived in Key West (I met him twice) and he has signed two of our books.

One of the other characters in the Doc Ford books is called Tomlinson, a wise hippie who lives on a sailboat in the marina where Doc Ford lives.

Randy's restaurant serves an excellent dish called Yucatan Shrimp (I always order this). It is steamed shrimp in a dressing of real butter, fresh cilantro, mild Colombian chilies and key lime juice (The Colonel found a recipe for this dish on line and we are eager to try it to see how close it is to the original).

Tomlinson traveled to the Bay of Ascension, Quintana Roo, Mexico to fish for bonefish and came back with this great recipe (God bless you, Tomlinson).

A little promotional card stuck in the condiment holder on the restaurant table featured the Yucatan Shrimp. It claimed 'It's all about the Yucatan Shrimp'.

When we left our house the morning of the day trip we had every intention of having our delicious lunch of shrimp and then hitting the beach for a while.

The traffic to the beach was bumper to bumper for several miles. We inched our way to the restaurant's exit which was before the beach exit. Once we reached the restaurant we all decided we would eat our much awaited lunches and then skip the beach altogether.

So I guess our little day trip really was...'all about the Yucatan Shrimp'!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We're Gettin' Good at This Kinda Thing

The parking area is done.

The last retaining wall (at least for now, The Colonel likes working with concrete block) is finally complete.

We've been having great weather so getting the last wall done didn't take long, just a few days.

When we had the parking pad poured we had the concrete man and his crew dig and pour the footers for the future retaining wall. Thank goodness, been there, done that and I didn't want to do it again for this wall.

The first row of block must be level, that is very crucial. The Colonel painstakingly placed each block and checked for level as I mixed bucket after bucket of mortar.

The Colonel had to build the wall around the existing light pole.

Getting there...

Next the cap pieces were placed.

After all of the blocks and cap pieces were stacked we had to wait two days for the mortar to dry before we could start to stucco the wall. Before we stuccoed the wall we stained the cap pieces first. We did not want any of the watery stain to drip down onto the stucco.

Once the wall was completely stuccoed we had to wait another couple of days for it to dry until we could paint it.

With the last brushstroke of paint the parking area hardscaping was completed.

The Colonel and I love it when our DIY projects come out the way we envisioned them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spars and Stars

Once, my baby sister and I used a tape recorder to record an episode of Star Trek. I think it was The Tholian Web episode. We then transcribed the dialogue and eventually acted out the whole show (we also would do the same with a Little House on the Prairie episode). I played Capt. Kirk and Spock (being the oldest), my sister played Dr. 'Bones' McCoy (her favorite character) and one of our younger brothers played Scotty (his favorite character). We made communicators and phasers out of pieces of wood nailed together.

We all liked Star Trek, but my baby sister was a huge fan. She'd gotten all kinds of Star Trek items for birthdays and Christmas. She had action figures of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, models of the U.S.S. Enterprise and a shuttle craft.

One year for Christmas she asked for the soundtrack of Star Trek...

Christmas morning came and under the tree was a package with my baby sister's name on it that could not be mistaken for anything else but an album.

With great excitement she tore at the wrapping paper, she spied the letter S, "Santa" had left exactly what she'd asked for, the Star Trek soundtrack album! She tore more of the paper away and when the last piece fell to the carpeted floor, she sat still, in her hands was a soundtrack album...for the movie...Spartacus.

Spartacus? What's a Spartacus?

Our mom, seeing the disappointment on my baby sister's crestfallen face, said she was very sorry that "Santa" had made a mistake and that she would get a Star Trek album as soon as possible. She made good on her promise.

While my sister waited for the Star Trek album to show up she played the Spartacus soundtrack. Our sister Lori and I would listen too. It turned out that the soundtrack for the movie Spartacus was excellent! We would sit and listen to it, dance to it and be totally enthralled by composer Alex North's musical genius (he wrote the music for Unchained Melody and the score for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, to mention a couple. He was a prolific composer). His music elicits great movements of emotion. I'd love to listen to that album again.

Sometimes a little mistake can lead you down a road well worth the traveling and your life is made richer by the detour.

What was the impetus causing this little trip down memory lane?

I have been watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena lately and it made me think of the Spartacus soundtrack my sister got that one Christmas long ago. I have never seen the 1960 Spartacus movie starring Kirk Douglas. I have put it in my Netflix queue. When I watch it I will be paying close attention to Alex North's musical score.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011