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

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.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Armadillos and Alligators

We're accustomed to exotic birds and animals in the back yard, but the armadillo was a surprise.

It dug a large burrow under our air conditioning unit. There are at least 21 species of armadillos in the Americas including the Pink Fairy and the Giant armadillo which can weigh over 100 pounds. I know you aren't supposed to capitalize species (except for different types of apples..go figure) but I don't care.

The armadillo doesn't tolerate cold well due to lack of body fat, but the nine-banded species has beeb observed as far north as Illinois.

The armadillo has rudimentary peg-like teeth with no enamel, suited to eating worms, grubs and soft plants.

Armadillos are super diggers. I saw one once dig a hole and disappear into it in just a few seconds.

We also have soft shell turtles in the back yard.

The air conditioner is behind the Staghorn, which should not be capitalized..

Mrs. Phred takes a ride.

Friday, 21 October 2016

As American as Apple Pie

Sarasota, Florida

Can you bake an apple pie, Bobby boy, Bobby boy?
Can you bake an apple pie charming Bobby?

We're back in the Condo in Sarasota. The RV is in the shop due to the accident on US 15 up in Pennsylvania. A concrete construction barrier jumped out and scraped five of our basement doors and tore up our hot water heater. Hopefully it will be fixed when we are due to move back to Sun & Fun in November.

I'm amusing myself today with a crock pot dinner and a home made apple pie. To be completely honest I bought the crusts in the frozen section of the grocery store. Beside the crusts I used the following ingredients, mixed together in a big bowl:

cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
cup sugar
tablespoons all-purpose flour
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground nutmeg
tablespoon lemon juice

On my morning walk in Benderson Park, I ran into a 5K Zombie race. The kids run the path with red ribbons tucked into shorts and the zombies try to grab the ribbons.

This zombie appears to be munching on a severed leg.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Chicken and Yellow Rice

Watkins Glen, New York

- Five chicken thighs with skin and bones
- One pound Vigo yellow rice
- Two ounces chopped pimentos
- one can green peas
- one onion

Brown the chicken thighs and saute the onions and set aside.. Cut the chicken off the bone into small chunks and cook with the yellow rice, chicken and onions according to the rice directions. Add the peas and pimentos the last two minutes and serve..

After eating the chicken and yellow rice we take the four mile round trip hike at Watkins Glen. At the end you can hear the race cars up on the hill.

Glen stream has carved this gorge over the last 10,000 years since the glaciers retreated.

We've been hanging around watching the leave slowly change to yellow, orange and red. We'll hang in here hitting the wineries until the colors peak.

We are finding we like some special white grapes developed by Cornell University. Our favorites so far are Melody and Seyval Blanc.

Mrs. Phred has salmon tacos