Friday, October 9, 2015

more Florida SUN fun

out the window of my hotel room

Bougainvillea (just like grows in Southern Africa) in Mount Dora-- an adorable little town I visited with Martha.
The brick arched gateway led into the garden patio of a former tea house.

the historic inn of Mount Dora

Martha and me
We wandered the streets of Mount Dora, stopping to check out little specialty shops (my favorite was The Spice & Tea Exchange). Of course we stopped by one of the local sweet shops for something cold and chocolate-y (gelato!) mid-afternoon as well. After a walk along the boardwalk by the lake, we meandered back downtown to enjoy dinner at the Lost Parrot, a local restaurant with outdoor dining. As the sun set, we made one final stop at the mini lighthouse down at the lake.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Warriors

I have the privilege of joining a little group of warriors each Wednesday at noon-- shooting arrows for needs that dot the globe, gleaning tidbits of wisdom from those a few generations ahead of me, and pausing to be thankful for so many good gifts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I saw an ALLIGATOR, and other true tales...

Last week I spent a few days in sunny Orlando, Florida!

Friends- let me tell you about the SUNSHINE and humidity, the palm trees and bougainvillea, the blooming flowers and GREEN everywhere.

I felt like I was in the southern hemisphere.

Of course the conference was great, and the extra day spent catching up with a friend was a treat too.

As an added bonus-- My flights were so punctual that I almost wasn't sure it was really me traveling with myself! ;)

gorgeous, eh?

the conference center

Friday, September 25, 2015

night out

lovely outdoor dining at the Greek restaurant

I consider myself privileged to share a house with three amazing sisters-- it's really the next best thing to sharing a house with my own amazing sister/s.

Once each month we have a goal of "house dinner out," which means we find an evening that's open on all our calendars, choose a local restaurant, and spend some time together sharing a special meal. Not only is it a great time to catch up on each other's lives and discuss plans for the upcoming weeks, we also get to sample the area's restaurants. Plus, we can check in with each other to ensure all is well with the current sharing of household responsibilities.

Our most recent choice of cuisine was Greek (YUM.MY!). The restaurant is less than a mile away, and it was a perfect evening for a little stroll.

Previously we've sampled Italian, Indian, and Lebanese.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


a few of my Wegmans purchases

I am a gal of favorite places to shop...

Examples include Pine Valley Bulk Foods, Choma Dairy Co-Op, Food Lover's (a South African chain), Dillsburg Farmers' Market, and now...

I hear that Wegmans originated in New York. It's a unique grocery store, because it includes a massive take-away section and bakery... in addition to everything a "normal" grocery store would have PLUS everything an organic grocery store would have! 
On top of the impressive selection, the store's marketing is fresh and full of style.

The first time I stepped into Wegmans I couldn't believe such an establishment existed. After wandering the aisles for an hour and getting a sense of what the store might house, 
I put "visit Wegmans in detail" on my to-do-one-day list.

A couple weeks ago my roomies were out and rain clouds moved in for the entire day. So, I figured it was a perfect time to roll up and down and up and down the aisles of the massive Wegmans store.

i choose-your-own bulk fruit/nut bins :)
this was a tasty trail mix that highlighted banana chips and dried strawberries

I made all sorts of wonderful discoveries (such as the ENTIRE aisle of teas!), carefully selected some items for purchase (including three boxes of tea), and eventually exited the store some 2 hours later. 
It was an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Friday, September 11, 2015

to market

looking down from the second floor of West Shore Market

I have an infatuation with markets, especially outdoor farmers' markets.

I love watching the sun rise on the way to set up displays of fresh produce. I love the colorful stands of neighboring vendors. I love happy shoppers who bustle about with reusable bags brimming with garden goodness. I love providing customers with quality food...

With a little break in my usual extra-curricular activities recently, I made time to check out two more area markets: West Shore Farmers Market and Farmers On the Square. (I have a goal to visit local markets wherever I live.)

While it was interesting to visit these two new markets (ps- the mixed berry yoghurt drink I purchased from Gettysburg Creamery at the Farmers On the Square was absolutely amazing!), I'm still sticking with my favorite local produce points: Dillsburg Farmers Market, and a small farm stand on 641 between Carlisle and Mechanicsburg. (and I still love Midland's Farmers' Market back home.)

After stressing in the hectic traffic, hunting for a parking space, waiting for 5 minutes for the "walk" sign at the busy intersection where Farmers On the Square is held, browsing the gourmet, over-priced produce and specialty items, and gazing at the $1 each zinnia stems the other evening...

I stopped at "my" little farm stand on the way back to Mechanicsburg and purchased two butternut squash and a lovely bouquet of zinnias ($6 total). No crowds, great selection, reasonable prices, and fresh, local items. That's the kind of farm produce I like.

And tomorrow, I plan to visit Filey's Pride and a couple other favorite stalls in Dillsburg, where I can buy fresh, local produce directly from the farmers.

It still feels a bit silly that I'm the customer instead of the seller, but... that's how life is these days :)