Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A little of this and a little of that

For those who enjoy random posts, this one's for you. The photo above was taken a week or so ago when Mr. T. and I took a supper picnic to a favorite lake.   He had a day when he was finished early with work, so after we had completed a number of tasks and errands we were shoehorning into his time off, we packed up a simple picnic and headed for the lake.  We took chicken salad sandwiches, horseradish dill pickles, potato chips, and granola bars.  We got there in the late afternoon around 5 pm or so.  Time enough for a swim and then enjoying the tranquility of a nearly empty beach for awhile before eating our supper.  Although the sky was overcast, the view was still lovely and so calming.

We had tried to do something like this a few weeks ago.  It turned out to be the most unrelaxing picnic either of us could ever recall!  This was a Saturday, a day we would not ordinarily attempt a picnic at the beach.  So we planned our timing to get to the lake around 4:30 p.m., a time when many people are leaving the beach,  and in fact, I think it was closer to 5 when we actually got there.  Our first clue that this was no ordinary Saturday was the full-to-overflowing parking lots.  I usually park in a side lot that isn't busy, but on this day it was packed.  We finally did locate a space, got our stuff out and headed for the beach.  Then came the second clue.  We felt as if we had wandered into some Latin American country on a major holiday. There were EZ-up canopies, multicolored hammocks strung from trees, tents, boom boxes blasting everything from Latin music to rap, families relaxing on the grass, people grilling. 

We did find a place to put chairs on the beach (no empty picnic tables, but that was a blessing in disguise because we could no longer hear the music) and relaxed for perhaps 15 minutes when there was a rumble of thunder and the lifeguard ordered everyone off the beach, out of the water, and behind the tree line.  The clouds looked threatening, but we proceeded to start eating our supper in our chairs beyond the tree line.  We had known that severe thunderstorms were in the forecast, but none were shown for the particular area where we were headed, so we had gone anyway.

Suddenly the wind came up -- it was a very strange, horizontal, unrelenting wind --  and things went absolutely crazy.   People running and screaming!  People grabbing one another and hysterically shouting in Spanish!  Chairs, sand, umbrellas, food, paper plates, foil cooking pans, towels, just everything, went airborne.  When we stood up, our camping chairs immediately blew away (but Mr. T caught them in time).  I noticed Uno cards spread across the sand, and a baby's sandal, among other things.

We managed to shout to one another (the wind was incredibly loud, in addition to all the other sound effects going on) that we would simply head to the van, not running, not trying to stay together, but just meet up there.  At one point Mr. T caught up with me and shouted that I should put my sandals on.  I had taken them off earlier and of course, when everything began happening I did not take time to replace them.  The sand was hitting us and stinging; it was absolutely crazy and it did not let up.  I got hit in the side of the face by what felt like a rock, but I believe it was a pine cone.   The force of the wind made it feel much harder.  All of our stuff nearly blew away -- in fact, some of it did -- and we made it to our vehicle without getting seriously hurt. 

We sat in the van and finished our supper.  When the wind lessened a bit, Mr. T went back to the beach, where he managed to hunt down almost everything we had lost.  He returned with our missing belongings, and with news.  There were people out in kayaks and they got blown off  them.  Food was left behind cooking on grills.  Canopies and their frameworks were destroyed.  What an amazing occurrence!  We had to return home by a back way since there were electric wires down on two roads we would ordinarily have traveled.  And in the area we had been, we never did see anything but just a spatter of rain.

Needless to say, I did not get pictures of this event!

•  So, let's see, in other news ... one evening we took three of our grandkids to visit my dad and then we took them to a nearby picnic area by a covered bridge, to eat supper.  As they explored the area, I gave 12-year-old Sam the camera.  He got some good shots!

Notice the reflections in this one

Taken through a window from inside the bridge
•  My mother loved wild roses and had transplanted them from several different locations.  I snapped the following pictures with my Kindle at my dad's one day.  It seemed like a very good year for these roses.

•  Months ago I visited a new-to-me local thrift store and found something really nifty:  a vintage Pyrex® bowl in the Gooseberry pattern.  I think I paid $3 for it.

It was certainly oven safe and looked as if it had been routinely baked in.  This was as clean as I could manage to get it.  It's currently sitting in the kitchen filled with ripening nectarines.

•  I've been slowly plugging away at crocheted hot pads, since they are something I can work on that's portable and by now I have the pattern memorized.  I've been having so much fun with the various colors of ombre cotton yarn.  This one is called Pink Lemonade.

A scan, rather than a photo.  Sort of interesting effect.
It's interesting to combine ombres and solid colors in these mats for varying effects.

•  Have you ever made watermelon salad?  We've done this a lot this summer and it is SO refreshing.  Just cut the desired amount of watermelon cubes and place in a serving bowl.  Drizzle over a fruity dressing (I like either the Ken's raspberry vinaigrette or the Wish-Bone super-fruit vinaigrette).    Then sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the top.  We love this salad and it is so easy!

•  This has seemed like the summer of ice cream.  There's a fantastic ice cream place not far at all from where my dad has been in rehab.  Milk from local cows, homemade ice cream and waffle cones/dishes, generous servings.  We get kiddie dishes every time and it is plenty.
Swings where one may sit to enjoy ice cream.  There are picnic tables too.
These ice creams are actually the "small" size.  This was our first visit.  After that, it was kiddie size for us!
Yes, they offer their own soft-serve as well.
Stone wall at the ice cream place.  The Connecticut River is far below. 
So there are a few random ramblings I've been meaning to share.  Hope those of you who love random posts have enjoyed this one!


  1. Spanish speaking beachgoers in New Hampshire when a windstorm blows up? Crazy all around! Talk about alternate universe.

    When odd things like this happen to me, I try to document; otherwise, I'd forget. And who wants to forget these interesting things? You're not going to forget this one!

    I like your gooseberry bowl and your pretty hot pad.

    Kiddie size is just right for me, too. Satisfying without a lot of extra calories.

    Stay out of the windstorms now!

    1. Vee, it was the craziest thing! It truly did feel like entering the twilight zone or another world.

      After we got home, I wrote an email to my daughter describing our "relaxing" picnic (she had known about our plans and was so pleased we were taking time for ourselves). I felt, just as you said, that I needed to get it down in print because it was just so improbable and unbelievable. And yes, just as you said, unforgettable.

      Glad you liked the hot pad and bowl. Vintage pyrex is not an obsession of mine (thankfully; I have too many obsessions already) but I do enjoy it and will snap up a deal if I see one.

      Ice cream ... yes, the flavors at this place change from day to day. So far I have tried peanut butter cup, lemon cream, sweet cream, coffee toffee, maple walnut, cheesecake. Think I've had the lemon cream and the coffee toffee twice. We feel a once-a-week indulgence in the kiddie size is not too bad.

  2. I loved your 'Random' post!! What an adventure you and the Mister had at your windblown picnic the first time around. I wish we lived near a lake or beach. When we picnic - it just means we eat in our gazebo!

    1. Linda, I am glad you enjoyed it! Yes, we are blessed to have this lovely lake and beach at a state park about 20 minutes away. Senior citizens get in for free, so we can just go for a few hours and not feel we are wasting money.

      It's nice to have a gazebo of your very own to picnic in, too, though!

  3. That sounds like you might live in Alabama Mrs T!! We get lots of straight line winds that come up with little notice. So glad you two were safe. And Ice Cream....who doesn't like it in the hot days of summer?

    1. We had never before experienced a wind like that, Arlene. When the thunder rumbled and the wind began to come up, we were expecting a thunderstorm. But the wind soon showed us it was no ordinary wind. I read later it was about 60 mph. Yes, we were thankful to be safe. I wondered, for a few minutes there, if we would end up a mile or two away!

      Some summers we end up not getting ice cream very often at all. Just don't find time to go out of our way to get to the seasonal ice cream stands. But this one ... we are right in the area every Sunday when we visit my dad, so, ice cream it is! Last week we were able to take him out there for ice cream and he had his favorite ... strawberry!

  4. I like your idea for watermelon salad with the dressing and feta. What a scary wind, glad you recovered your belongings. This is my first visit here.

  5. It is a delicious salad, Terra. And so very easy! Hope you enjoy it if you try it.

    Yes, that wind was scary. A lot of people didn't recover their belongings, I'd say, because a lot of things did really blow away or were destroyed. We were thankful to recover most of ours.

    Glad to have you visiting. Please stop by my kitchen table any time! Although I don't get to post every day, the archives are full of things that might interest you.


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