A little cooking and a vacation

Can you believe it’s December already?  I mean some days I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it’s 2018 and I’m so far behind on so many things but hey, let’s look at the bright side, it’s almost 2019 and I can just reset, right?

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  We did.  My in laws came up from Englewood and MacGyver and I cooked.

all about the basteMacGyver found these little mini pies at Sam’s and look how the cherry has a little heart right in the middle.

Three piesAfter dinner MacGyver and I decided to do what we said we weren’t going to do.  For the past few years on Thanksgiving we’ve headed over to the Walmart to brave the crowds and purchase T.V.s at a ridiculously low price.  We really weren’t going to go this year but then lightning hit our house in Nokomis and our 60″ TV got fried so off to Walmart we went and this year, we got a 65″.

The lines weren’t too bad and we were in an out in under an hour and that was a good thing because I had to get home to pack.

Hank in the bag

Can I come too?

They really wanted to come but we did not bring the dogs.  My in laws were kind enough to fur baby sit for us so that we could go to Tennessee for a week.


You can leave now, Grandma has better treats anyway.

We left on Friday and arrived in Tennessee that afternoon.

Knoxville airportMacGyver spent most of our time there hunting with my brother in law and my sister and I did some shopping.  We also bought an old table at an estate sale and refinished it for my mom.

unfinished table


side table


I love doing projects with my sister.  I wish we could do it more often.  It was also nice to be able to make something nice for my mom who just moved back to Knoxville and is now closer to my sister and brother.

We had a few gatherings at my mom’s house too but I must have been in the moment because I totally forgot to take pictures.  MacGyver, my Mom and I also went out to dinner with some of my aunt’s, uncles and cousins that I hadn’t seen in forever and we had an awesome time and  I was in the moment then too because again, I forgot to take any pictures.

I did take a few pictures of my sisters farm.

chickengoatsOne morning as my mom and I were dropping MacGyver off to go hunting, we had to stop for wild turkeys crossing the road.

wild turkeysI didn’t take a lot of photos while we were there but no trip to Tennessee is complete without heading up to the mountains and snapping a few.  We didn’t make it all the way to Gatlinburg but we hit Pigeon Forge for dinner one night and I got some pics of the lights.

lights in pigeon foreIf you’ve never been to the area, I highly recommend it.  It’s also family friendly which is really nice.  It’s hard to find places that still cater to families and I feel like this area totally does.

While we were in Tennessee I managed to run almost every day, even on the cold days.

going runningI even conquered the hills in my mom’s neighborhood.  If you’re from the area, then you know, the hills of East Tennessee can be ferocious, but I love them.

On Thursday morning my mom took MacGyver and I back to the airport and we headed home.

knoxville airport

Fortunately we were just at the correct weight for our luggage and didn’t have to pay any extra and I still don’t know how we managed that.

We got back home before 9AM on Thursday and I’ve been playing catch up ever since.  Yesterday I finally started putting up my Christmas decorations and I’ll actually take some pictures this week and share them.

MacGyver an I have a ton of stuff going on this week so it’s going to be a bit hectic but hopefully I’ll be back to writing a little more often….or I’ll just have to make it one of my New Years resolution’s.

How was your Thanksgiving?

When’s the last time you took a vacation and where did you go?

Vacation recap part 2: Pete the Repeat

Last Thursday my sister, my nephew’s wife and I decided to get up very early and take the kayaks and the paddleboard out to explore.

kayakingWe left sometime around 7:30 in the morning and headed off down the canal. We didn’t expect to see anyone in the canal so early so we were surprised to happen upon one of the neighbors doing some early morning fishing. I should mention that I have never seen these people outside, ever, but they have a growing beer can collection in the backyard that rivals the Eiffel Tower, it’s impressive in a college fraternity sort of way.

Beer Can collection

All I can see is money!

They also have a pretty sweet set-up in the backyard complete with a full size sofa by a make-shift fire pit and the matching lazy boy on the dock for fishing purposes I assume. What I’m saying here is that code enforcement in Sarasota County apparently does not care about your backyard.

Anywho, the two fellows outside that morning were pleasant enough. The conversation went something like this:

Two guys: Good morning ladies.
Us: Good Morning, how are you?
Guy one: Good, I’m just doing a little fishing before work.
My sister: Why? Is it bring your fish to work day?
Guy one: Good one!
My Sister: I got hundreds of em’. Hundreds of em’ I tell ya.
Two Guys: Were you from?
Us: Tennessee
Guy two: Were from Maryland
Us: Well, nice to meet you, have a good day.
Two Guys: You too.

Once we were out of earshot I said to my sister, ‘You should have asked them for their beer cans, those would substantially increase the amount of money in the cabana fund.’ They gotta be worth hundreds, seriously.

As we neared the end of the canal, I yelled ‘pretty bird’ to the parrot who lives in the last house. He always whistles back when I do that but this morning, he didn’t respond. I guess parrots sleep in.

Anyway since we had already taken the kayaks out to the Gulf we decided to paddle down Shackett Creek. We wanted to check out the fishing situation in the creek and we were not disappointed. We saw snook and tarpon all over the place. We even saw a manatee! It was crazy how many fish were jumping and it made me kind of wish we had brought some poles along.

We paddled around for nearly 3 hours just looking at houses and watching fish and birds. It was very relaxing and we had a shit ton of fun.

Kayaking on shackett creekFinally, we made our way back into the canal and as we entered I saw a huge snook jump in front of my kayak. It was so big that I was momentarily paralyzed and I ran right into a tree. Once I composed myself, I yelled back to the girls, ‘Oh my God, that’s the biggest fish I’ve ever seen.’ One second later we heard a voice say ‘Oh my Gawd, that’s the biggest fish I’ve ever seen!’ It was the parrot! He was mocking me.

My sister and I were laughing so hard that no sound was coming out but my nephew’s wife laughed out loud, ‘bwahahahaha’ and literally one second later, Pete the Repeat said ‘bwahahahaha’. So without missing a beat my sister said ‘L—-(my BIL) Sucks’ and I said ‘MacGyver Sucks’ and we waited, nothing.

No matter how hard we tried that damn bird wouldn’t say anything else but now that I know what he can do, I intend to keep practicing.

Have you ever had a bird mock you?
Do you like to kayak or paddleboard?