Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 7 January 2017

My Mind Blows Gently

Ken lets me steer the boat for a couple of hours. I manage to keep to a heading (give or take 30 degrees).

Cousin Katie comes to visit for a couple of days. We take her to a Tiki bar on the beach and to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

According to Wiki, "The Gardens feature the most diverse living and preserved collections of epiphytes in the world, and feature more than 20,000 living plants including 5,500 orchids, 3,500 bromeliads and 1,600 other plants".

In case you were wondering, an epiphyte is "a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids growing on tree trunks in tropical rain forests".

The orchids are very pretty, but my favorite plants are the ones that have evolved in poor soil and have become meat eaters. Some of those are coming up later...

Let us arrange 
these lovely flowers in the bowl

since there's no rice
 Matsuo Basho

White plum blossoms
though the hour is late,

a glimpse of dawn
 Yosa Buson

see how the wild violets bloom

within the forbidden fences!
 Shida Yaba

smells like rotting flesh
luring the hungry insects
plants dining on death

bending down for the top leaves 
on the bonsai tree —
baby giraffe

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.

-Emily Dickenson

Mai-Tai in a Tiki Bar on the Beach.

I am observing
mighty Mother Earth spinning
my mind blows gently...
Tim Ryerson

Friday, 30 December 2016

I'm Late

The 2017 Firecloud Calendar should have been done by now...I'm just getting the pictures selected...Google took away my Picassa photo editor which has been making me batshit frustrated..but I found a site in New Zealand that let me reload it...

50th anniversary with Mrs. Phred  for Christmas Eve on the Nieuw Amsterdam in Tortola.

Somewhere in Alaska

Barcelona Zoo

Hunter S. Thompson said that peacocks can't fly above 7,000 feet.

On the Chattooga with Mrs. Phred where they filmed Deliverance.

Detroit, Michigan

An orchid in the Dominican Republic

Florence, gelato and two of the grandchildren.


Homer, Alaska

Melody the cow on the Finger Lakes wine trail.

Birdseye view of the Coliseum.

Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.

Same church.

Somewhere in Europe where the Romans once dominated.

Ithaca, New York storefront

Tortola, B.V.I.

Watkins Glen, New York


Thursday, 22 December 2016

San Juan

We're on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam. We've been on it before for an Atlantic crossing to Barcelona.

In Grand Turk we went snorkeling and played with some stingrays. The stingrays are sort of on the payroll. They get bits of food from the locals and seem to enjoy having their undersides rubbed. The big ones are female. The little ones are male and have some extra equipment in back.

We took a cultural tour in the Dominican Republic. A lot of island history, a museum, a fort, an amber market and lunch in a garden.

San Juan hasn't changed much. I've been here many times on business for a week or two.

We still have St. Maarten, Tortola and Half Moon Cay coming up. We'll be in Tortola for our anniversary on Christmas Eve,

These Sand hill Cranes were in the backyard a few times this month.

Sunset in the Dominican Republic.

We're at a table for four with an interesting couple from Canada. They were in the Foreign Service and have been stationed all over the world.

A view from the fort at Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The locals claim Sir Francis Drake pretty much destroyed the fort and town. Maybe he did.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Apple Cobbler and Impending 50th Anniversary

Place six peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples in an 8 by 15 baking dish that has been lightly greased with butter.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs and a tablespoon of cinnamon.

Cover the apples with the mixture and the pour 1 cup of melted butter on top of everything.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F (177 Celsius).

Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

After the RV trip up to Ontario we spent a month in the new condo and then moved back into the RV at Sun & Fun in Sarasota on November 8th.

We've been waiting two months for five replacement basement doors and a water heater after I scraped a concrete barrier on US 15 in Pennsylvania.

Our 50th anniversary is coming up on Christmas Eve. I'm taking Mrs Phred on a cruise so we will be celebrating in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. A good meal, a tuxedo, some champagne and maybe a corsage or flowers?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Time Change, Banana Bread and Chicken Soup

Spent an hour turning back clocks, stoves, coffee pots, Ipads, computers and Iphones that had already automatically reset. Stoves and coffee pots and alarm clocks are all a lot smarter than they used to be, but apparently I'm not.

Caught on when the sun rose today at 5:41 and it was at 7:41 yesterday. Spent another hour correcting the original time screw up then made banana bread and chicken soup.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.