Have you missed me?

After all this time, I’ve finally thought I’d get back to blogging again. There are a number of friends in Europe not connected to Facebook who don’t get much of our news.

So, I just had a birthday. Actually, I was going to call this blog Fifty Eight Shades of Grey. Guess how old I am!!! Russ took me out for a delightful lunch on the marina here in Venice, Florida. Then we went to our favourite downtown wine bar in the evening, La Dolce Vita, where our good friend Sam was playing, as he does every Thursday.

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We sang along (badly, as usual) to all our faves from the 60s and 70s, and even danced a bit. Russ is not in the photo. He was hanging out with the guys at the bar.

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Met up with all our friends, too. It’s the place we all hang out and mingle. Well, one of the places. The others are the Venice Wine Bar, and the Venice Cafe. On Tuesdays and Fridays, respectively. We are busy.

I play mahjong on Monday evenings here with my lady friends. We play for money and I was break even after two weeks. Then, blast it, the group expanded last week to eight ladies (and they ALL play in mahjong tournaments). Guess what? They CLEANED ME OUT. I lost my entire purse for the evening. Thank heavens we only play for $5.00 and once that’s gone, one just continues to play for free. Like that makes you feel any better. The poor country cousin, the loser. Oh well, chin up. There’s always next week for revenge.

We also continue to be amazed at what life throws at us. We were expecting to leave Florida around January 2 and drive back to Canada to face cold weather before flying to Australia on February 4. Well, lo and behold, don’t Joyce and Dave tell us to move into the condo they have not yet sold and stay a while longer. They have bought a new house, new furniture, new everything and the only thing they are taking to their new house from the condo is their big screen TV, and replacing it with a 32 inch TV. Damn. And the rent? A good dinner! Can you beat that? Oh yes, here’s how you do it…….
So you know we are going to Australia for three months,  leaving in Feb. 4.  I’d rented a condo on Horizons golf resort for six weeks, and we were going to mooch off friends and family for the rest of the time. Well…… Robyn and Brian call two weeks ago. Do we want to house sit for them while they travel for four months or so? They have a three bedroom home on the 17th hole on the golf resort we play at. One house away from my bestest, bestest Australian friend Di! The price? We just cover costs like electricity and water, and we get the use of their golf cart as well. Holy smoke. Can you top all this?

I write this as Russ is cooking dinner. A delicious lemony/peppery shrimp with fettucine. Last night I made seared scallops in a whisky cream sauce which was amazing, if I say so myself. So as you see, we continue to eat like kings. I’ve also started to cook a lot more exotic dishes, and lately made a scrumptious Chinese orange/ginger chicken with rice.

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I’ve also experimented with Moroccan and Indonesian recipes, although the ingredients can sometimes be hard to find, and I have to make the spice mixes from scratch. Actually, that’s half the fun, although quite labour intensive. And my last lamb biryani (a dish from Pakistan), had almost 30 different ingredients, including all the spices. Yum, yum, yum.

That’s enough. Dinner is ready. Bon apétit!

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