Back to the grind

It’s been nothing but busy since getting home. On Sunday we had a great day courtesy of Tom and family. They got Nancy and I tickets to the musical Book of Mormon for Nancy’s birthday. We met up with them after the show for an exhibit of hand crafted Florida birds at the Rollins College Art Museum and then din din at a new place (to us), Jimmy Hula’s. The show wasn’t my favorite, a little over the top, I thought, with offensive language. Parts of it were humorous but other parts were a bit too mocking of another religion. Now the birds were magnificently crafted from paper so, although we expected more of them, they were worth seeing for sure. Jimmy Hula’s is very casual dining with fish taco’s being the trademark meal. Great draft beers and really good food. It could easily be a destination place for us – especially considering it’s proximity to Costco.

The garden did suffer while we were gone and it’s taken a couple of days to get it back in shape. It’s really amazing how quickly weeds happen. I started planting seeds again and got in a row of snow peas, spinach, scallions, and two varieties of carrots including red carrots. The good news is that since planting the seeds the weather has been perfect, mostly overcast with light showers on and off, and temps between the mid 60’s and low 80’s exactly what I like to germinate new seeds. I picked several pounds of green beans. The other big job was staking tomato plants. They were fairly small when we took off but within a week had put on numerous branches and added at least a foot of height. My neighbor watered while we were gone but he uses a sprinkler which loads the foliage with water and causes the branches to droop, sag, and take on weird shapes. It’s hard to get them growing straight again without breaking off shoots.

I picked up where I left off filling with dirt and covering with wood chips. I finished off the path along the lake towards the north and the two view areas accessible from the living room. All of that finished off the last of the dirt pile and used one pile of wood chips. My neighbor’s usage is more ambitious so he’s taking one of my three piles off my hands leaving me with enough to last a couple of years. I know that all the areas I filled and covered will sag a bit over time so eventually it’ll get used.

More good news – Olivia was accepted to USF (South Florida) a couple of weeks ago and by UCF, the preferred target school, today. I never had any doubts at all that she would be accepted but now that it’s bagged, she feels much better. Already picking a dorm and all that goes with that.

A great week at the beach

Can you overdose on vitamin D? What happens to your camera when you have it in your pocket and then fill the pocket with sand fleas? I hit the beach early on Thursday to fish the outgoing tide. It was high about 5AM so I was halfway to low tide when my bait hit the water. I caught a few small whiting and one keeper in the first hour then it slacked off to zero. The camera still works although it sounds kind of funny when the lens pops out. The whiting is now fillets in the freezer.

Whiting ready to clean
Whiting ready to clean

The upstairs neighbors invited us up for a fish dinner last night. They’re from Wilmington NC and I had contributed several fish to their larder over the week but hadn’t expected to be eating it. This is the first time we’ve ever had another fisherman here at the same time so that’s been nice.

Lunch today at a favorite spot. We hit this beach shack once each trip and say the same thing every time – best burgers in the galaxy. We split a burger and an order of onion rings and have to stretch to finish it. Add an Octoberfest brew and it’s as close to culinary perfection as it gets. It’s right on the beach, truly a shack, but an incredible menu and quality of food. First timers would drive right by, thinking no way they would ever stop at a place that looked this bad. We did until we kept wondering why there were so many cars there at lunch and dinner. We walked in and the first thing that strikes you is that it really is marginal in terms of the structure. But you also notice right away that the selection of drafts at the bar is excellent. Then when you get the menu you think these are wildly high burger prices – lots of other things too- but the burger prices jump out at you. The first time we each ordered one – big mistake. These are thick, juicy 3/4 lb burgers cooked exactly right as are the onion rings. We watch other people ordering other things and everything they put out looks incredible. Fantastic service and it’s the kind of place where people just talk to each other as if they’ve known them for years.

All in all, this week has been the best fishing, worst catching week I’ve had at the beach. I closed it out with an evening mixed catch of small sharks and small catfish.