Dinner inspired by our past travel

At the end of 2012, we traveled to Morocco where we were served shakshuka; a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic, aromatically spiced with cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. It appeared one night for dinner and included meatballs. Tonight Mary recreated that meal using this recipe: https://downshiftology.com/recipes/shakshuka/https://downshiftology.com/recipes/shakshuka/

Here is a picture of the meal that we had in Morocco back in 2012:

And here is a photo of Mary’s shakshuka:

Hopefully someday soon, we can travel to a country where this dish is served, but for now this will have to do!

So, 2020 has not exactly started the way that we all had hoped for…

It has however slowed us all down and made us appreciate life more.

Perhaps never before have we appreciated living where we do more than we do now.

Both of us remain employed, working from home which we both enjoy immensely. Less commuting gives us more time, which we take full advantage of on our daily photo-safaris around Rott’n Manor. Spring time means so much variety of flora and fauna in our yard.

And Mary seems to be enjoying cooking. Fortunately, we have quite a few smaller local “farmers markets” nearby that have online or phone ordering and curbside delivery…fresh produce, meat, and even some dairy, all locally source!

Pete is in danger of running out of “honey-do” projects, nah.

And despite all of the human activities, the critters are still able to get in their naps.

Happy New Year!

I wanted to get this posted in January, and it looks like I just made it!

I can’t believe just how fast January has flown by. We spent the final days of December and the first few days of January in Mary’s happy place…the Caribbean, specifically in the Grenadines aboard our favorite ship the S/V Mandalay owned and operated by Sail Windjammer.

Mid-January Sail Windjammer shared their plans for the future of the S/V Mandalay, and sadly past 2020 those plans will not include passenger vacations.. and sadly we don’t have enough vacation days in 2020 to add another week (or two) on our favorite ship.

So, our last Windjammer photos have been uploaded into our online photo album under the 2019 folder.

Here are just a few of photos of that trip:

Merry Christmas

Christmas Card 2019

Merry Christmas and all the best of health and happiness in the coming New Year!

The last workdays of the year are upon us, as both our places of employment prepare to have their holiday vacation shutdown. We look forward to the time off.

At this time of year, we pause a moment to look back at our busy year and we are amazed at how fast it has gone by. Most of all, we’re grateful for the time that we have been able to share with our family and friends. Both our jobs are doing well and we get to spend our spare time doing things we enjoy. Can’t ask for much more than that!

You can keep up with our adventures by vising our online photo album: https://clukey.smugmug.com/

 

Then it helps

On a shelve in my cubicle at work, I have a little bucket of sand from the Sahara desert in Morocco.

Looking at it today, I snickered as I thought of how similar my bucket of sand is to Jack Sparrow’s jar of dirt.

The scene in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Chest between Tia Dalma and Jack Sparrow goes as follows:

“Davy Jones cannot make port. Cannot step on land but once every ten years. Land is where you are safe, Jack Sparrow, and so you will carry land with you.”

“…Dirt. This is a jar of dirt.”

“Yes.”

“Is the jar of dirt going to help?”

“If you don’t want it, give it back.”

“No.”

“Then it helps.”

As I glance at my bucket of sand, memories of places we’ve been and thoughts of places we’ll go, take me briefly away from the box (cubicle) within a box (building) in which I work. And for a brief moment, yes “it helps”!

Spring gardening

Every year, we weed and replant around our lilac bush. This year it was our big weekend project!

We turned one side into a memorial garden…”No longer by my side but forever in my heart”. Bolo and Indy being most recently lost, but this is for all our critters who have, as a friend of ours likes to say, made their transition into what is next.

The other side is a small herb garden.

Catesby Trillium

What started as one little plant has grown into quite a big clump this year.

Catesby Trillium (Trillium catesbaei) is a spring ephemeral plant that is native to Georgia. This perennial is one of 20 trillium species native to Georgia.

Happy spring!

Yesterday was the first day of spring and Mary is so happy to say goodbye to winter.

It has been very rainy here in Georgia, lakes are overflowing and there have been several flooding watches issued recently. Thankfully the last few weekends have had some sunshine break through the clouds.

We took advantage of the good weather by visiting the nearby local botanical garden Gibbs Garden. They have over 20 million daffodils which bloom over 6-weeks.

And we were able to go see the cars that showed up for the March PoBoys Cruise-In.

Hope there is more good weather in everyone’s future!

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful, healthy, and fun-filled 2018! To our family and friends near and far, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy healthy New Year!

Reminiscing

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Last year around this time, we took an amazing trip to the South Pacific; visiting islands in the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Islands, and the Marquesas Island.  We boarded a very unusual vessel, the Aranui 5, in Papeete, Tahiti.

We had a wonderful room with a balcony.

The ship had a wonderful crew and amazing food.

During the trip, we visited some very exotic islands….

First there was Tahiti, where we spent a few days exploring before boarding the Aranui 5 and almost a full day after disembarking.

Moorea where we visited with the sharks and stingrays.

On Fakarava we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the Heiva festival activities.

Nuku Hiva is an island that has to be experience to believe that it exists. Its remarkable scenery and welcoming people make this an island that we’d love to return to someday.

On Ua Huka we visited an  arboretum garden and a cultural museum.

We got our exercise on Ua Pou by hiking to the top of the hill to enjoy the amazing view. After our hike, locals entertained us performing the traditional bird dance of their island.   And before bidding this beautiful island farewell, we enjoyed a delicious buffet at a local restaurant.

Te l’lpona on Hiva Oa has the largest tiki statues in French Polynesia! It is easy to see why Paul Gauguin chose to live here.

The Church of Vaitahu on the island of Tahuata has the prettiest stained glass window.

Fatu Hiva welcomed us with music and demonstrations of local craftsmanship.

Rangiroa is the largest atoll of the Islands of Tahiti. From snorkeling to learning about pearl farming, everything here centers around the crystal clear endless shades of blue water.

Bora Bora, so beautiful its name has to be said twice!

If you’d like to see even more photos, visit our online photo album:  https://clukey.smugmug.com/Through-The-Years/2017/South-Pacific-2017

It was definitely a trip of a lifetime! Come on lottery, I’d like to do this trip a few more times!!!!!

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