Lake’s Rising

Another Thursday, another large pot of spaghetti sauce. I went out to the garden this morning and noticed it had been a couple of days since plucking cherry tomatoes. What do you do with 10 lbs of cherry tomatoes? You pick some oregano, some basil and wake the chef up. Nancy gave away 4 pints of the last batch of sauce earlier this week – 2 to the quilt gal that supplies the ground beef; 2 to the bridge gal who donated about 10 lbs of sweet Vidalia onions – so we needed some replenishment of the stock. Just consider – the regular tomatoes haven’t started ripening yet.

And two more loaves of zucchini bread. These featured Cavili squash, blueberries, pecans, raisins and chocolate chips. Wonder if anyone has ever made a cherry tomato zucchini bread? It may be a stretch for Nancy but if there was ever a year to try it………..

We’re finally into the regular summer weather pattern. That means low 90’s by noon, rain by 4PM. We’ve had a particularly long dry spell and been plagued by wildfires for the past 3 months. This will end that quickly since the typical rain dump is 1-2” with an occasional real dumper. It’s not unusual at all to get an inch of rain in 15 minutes. Our 10 day forecast is for a daily 60% rain chance with plenty of severe storms. For calibration, we’ve had 5” so far this week and the lake is already up a few inches. The good news is that this weather will finish off many of the winter visitors and the wimpy Fla residents will start heading up to the Carolinas, leaving the beaches to the hardiest of us.

I’ve mentioned the new restaurants and gathering places that keep popping up in downtown Deland. Nancy heard about a “noodle” place so we gave it a shot for lunch. It’s a really small place and we passed by it a couple of times – I don’t mean in the car, I mean walking on the main street and just missing it. It’s only about 12’ wide and maybe 50-60’ long including the kitchen. Turns out it’s a Vietnamese place and neither of us had ever had Vietnamese food. One thing for sure – it’s popular- busting at the seams with lunch customers at 1PM, about the time you’d expect it to be clearing. We had to wait about 10 minutes for a seat. The menu was strange for us and the waitress did not have a command of English so we mostly made selections from pictures. I had a spicy vermicelli beef soup and Nancy had rice noodles and pork. Very good. Within a couple hundred feet on both sides of the boulevard we can eat Greek, Italian, Mexican, barbecue, deli sandwiches, and standard American; drink craft beer, wine, and meade; and speciality desserts. PS Deland was just voted Best Small Town or something like that, in a nationwide contest among 242 mainstreets in 48 states.

Learned something interesting and surprising. I mentioned, in a previous post, that we are beleaguered by cardinals attacking the sideview mirrors on any vehicle that parks around our house – independent of the color, make, model, style. If you park virtually anywhere near our house, within a couple of minutes the cardinals are on the mirrors and leaving droppings, either directly on the mirrors or on the car frame. We protect our vehicles with booties Nancy fabricated and keep a spare set for guests. They work 100%. We assumed this was something common and not just perpetrated against us but we learned that none of our neighbors have the problem. They have plenty of cardinals in the trees around them but no side mirror attacks. I checked when one neighbor said he had no trouble and found that not one of the 3 adjacent neighbors have ever had the problem. What???? As the crow (cardinal) flies, these three neighbors are within 150’ of us. I was curious enough to call the Florida Wildlife folks. They were aware of the mirror attack issue with cardinals but had no idea why they were active only on our property. They suggested that I “cover the car or park it in the garage”. duh.

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