Jan 272018

Last weekend my sons Anthony & Jeremy, Jeremy’s wife Susie, and I went out to the Zephyrhills Brewing Company. They had a food truck from Loli’s Mexican Cravings restaurant. By the way, the building the brewing company is in used to be a bank.

There was a live (very loud) band and the room was packed so we sat in a room off the main bar. Much more quiet so we could talk.

Since I don’t drink alcohol, I ordered a non-alcoholic Spruce Beer from the bar, which tasted much better than I thought it would. From the food truck I ordered a Chicken Taco and a Chorizo Taco. Both were very good.

After we finished eating we sat for a while and talked, then went back to Jeremy & Susie’s house and played Monopoly Gamer. I was Donkey Kong.

I love spending time with my kids, and all four of us had a lot of fun!

My Chorizo Taco ~ Yummy!

I told you it used to be a bank

My boy babies, Jeremy on the left, Anthony on the right

I don’t know why I didn’t take more photos. Next time I’ll try to remember.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Sep 192017

I’m so thankful Hurricane Irma wasn’t as strong as they predicted for our area. Only minor damage where we’re living now, and one tree down at the house in town. We did loose everything in our fridge/freezer and another freezer. Tons of food gone to waste 🙁

I didn’t  read or listen to my current audiobook. No blogging or visiting blogs, so it will take me  few days to catch up. Also none of my dvr shows got recorded so I have to find them On Demand.

We stayed with my son Jeremy, daughter in law Susie, Arianna and Jordon, since they live in town and only a few minutes from work. (Thanks so much for inviting us to stay with you. It was very much appreciated!) The first few days were bearable because there was a breeze, but then the wind stopped and it got HOT! Thankfully my son and daughter in law found a generator in a town about 50 minutes away, so they drove there and bought it. It felt so good to have a/c again! Let me tell you, nothing was easy to find after the hurricane hit. The grocery stores and gas stations finally got up and running but lines were really long and they ran out really soon.

Publix opened up as soon as they could but ended up having to close in a short time because they sold all their food. I love Publix, Here is one of the reasons why. Make sure you read the article after watching the video.


Our electricity where we live finally came back on we were able to go back home on Sunday.

The Withlacoochee River is flooding and many houses are in water. We live about a mile from the river, but thankfully it hasn’t reached us.

My daughter Kilah, son in law Harley, Alecia, and Harley Jr.  stayed with Harley’s brother. They are all ok.

Thank God Maria is headed out to sea!

My prayers are with everyone who has suffered from the hurricanes, fires, floods etc.

BTW: I’ve lived out in the country for over 30 years which means well water. You need electricity to use well water. When I found out Jeremy & Susie still had water, I was shocked. I had forgotten that with city water you still had water, it just can’t be heated. I loved still being able to take a shower, but doing it by flashlight and only cold water isn’t something I’d recommend. Especially having to wash your hair in cold water. Brrrrrrrrrrr

Sep 022017

The other day my son and I took the day off work because we had business to take care of. Our appointment was in the morning so we decided to do something instead of going straight home. We were trying to decide where to go eat lunch and since we had never been to Ford’s Garage we decided to go there.

I love different, and this restaurant was definitely different. I absolutely loved it!

We both decided to get a burger and since you can choose which patty you want, we both ordered the Kobe beef. We’d never had a Kobe burger and it was the best burger either one of us had ever had, anywhere. You can click on the link above and then click “Food Menu” to see the other burger options.

I couldn’t stop taking photos! It is the most unique restaurants I’ve ever been to. Check it out!

 The front door with gas nozzles for handles


Old Timey Gas Pumps, the front outside wall are glass garage doors


There are 3 or 4 old vehicles outside


There are even some inside the restaurant, hanging from the ceiling


The menu is leather


The napkins are grease rags secured by metal clamps


My burger with fries


Anthony’s burger with mac & cheese, served in a mini cast iron skillet


The bathroom door handle was also a gas pump nozzle


The sink was a tire, the faucet a gas pump nozzle


Photo of the water running


Urinals were beer kegs (son took this photo of course)


Don’t you think this is a neat restaurant? We both loved it and we’ll definitely be going back!


Weekend Cooking

Saturday Snapshot

Feb 182017

Last Sunday I went to the Straz Center to see the play Wicked with my daughter in law Susie and her mom Joan. It was so so so good, and very hilarious, which surprised me.

Before we went to see the play, we went to a new to me and Joan restaurant called Datz. For an appetizer Susie ordered the Berrychetta, which is toasted batard topped with goat cheese and Florida Strawberries, arugula and cherry balsamic drizzle. Oh my goodness. It was fantastic!

Everything on the menu sounded amazing, but I ended up ordering the Pepping Tom which is Oven roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, avocado spread, lettuce, tomato and mayo, served on a ciabatta roll. I asked for regular bread instead of the roll (don’t ask me why, it was just a spur of the moment thing)  and the sandwich was amazing. It was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Yum E!

All the sandwiches are served with house-made sweet-n-salty chips with creamy blue cheese drizzle and green onions. We all thought they were yummy!




Peeping Tom

Pepping Tom &  Sweet-n-Salty Chips

(you can click the photos to enlarge)

Joan ordered the Roger’s Rockin’ Reuben: Sy Ginsberg’s corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Served on rye bread. She loved it.

Susie ordered the The Happy Cow: House-made black beans, fresh corn veggie burger. Topped with Sriracha aioli and shredded lettuce. Served on a sweet sourdough bun.  And yes, she loved it.

The restaurant had a great atmosphere and I would recommend it 100%. I hope to go back soon. Sadly, the only locations at this time are in Tampa.

We had some spare time between the restaurant and the play so we decided to walk around Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. I love the park and enjoy it every time I go. That day they were having Yoga In The Park and I was surprised at how many people were yoga-ing. I also love watching all the dogs that people bring to the park to walk. Someone even brought their pet pig.



Of course my favorite part is walking beside the water. I am a water lover. Pond, river, canal, ocean, puddle. I love em all.

Anyway, if you are ever in the downtown Tampa area and are hungry, I suggest you visit Datz. They have other items on the menu besides sandwiches. Everything we ate was really good.


Hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jan 282017

My daughter and I go on day trips once in a while. Two weeks ago we went to Lady Lake and stopped at Sweet Tomatoes, one of my top 3  favorite restaurants. For soup and salad, it’s #1. If you’re not familiar with Sweet Tomatoes, they’re a salad, soup, and baked goods restaurant. And their food is oh so yummy. I didn’t get a photo of the salad bar because we got there just as they were opening the door and there were a bunch of people waiting to get in. By the time I tried to take a photo, there were people on both side of the bar and I couldn’t get a good shot.  Next time. There are more soups and bakery items than in the photo, it was just hard to get a clear shot with the people standing in front of them. I know the restaurant isn’t in all states, but if you haven’t been to this restaurant, check to see if there’s one near you. Their food is so good!


unnamed (1)

Sign Outside

ST soup bar

Soup Bar

ST bakery bar

Bakery Bar



Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Souper Sundays2
Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen
Jan 132017

A little over a year ago my son Anthony talked me into looking for another dog. I had recently lost my husband and my dog Patches (who I’d had for 18 yrs.). I really didn’t want to get another dog but he said a dog would keep me company and help me heal. Finally he convinced me it would be a good thing. So, we looked every day off that he had from work, for months. I was looking for a dog that was medium size so I could take it on walks with me around the neighborhood when we moved to Zephyrhills. I just could not find the right dog for me. We looked and looked. We looked at every dog shelter within a few hours drive. I kept telling Anthony that when I saw the dog I was meant to have I’d know it. One day we ended up in Sarasota. As I was walking, looking at all the dogs, I came to a pen that didn’t have a dog in it but I looked at the photo. I knew the second I saw her photo that she was was my dog. She was nothing like what I’d been looking for all those months. She was tiny, only 9 pounds. She was a smushed face dog (I never thought I’d have a smushed face dog). And she was long haired and looked like she need a good grooming. But that dog was mine the minute I saw her photo. I told my son to go find out where she was and prayed she was still available for adoption. He headed for the door to find someone who worked there & I read her info. It said she was a puppy mill survivor. I got the leaky eyes.

As soon as he got to the door a man walked by. He had her in his arms. I told him I wanted her. He said that the person who was supposed to adopt her that day had just called to let them know she had changed her mind. Perfect timing. While we were filling out the papers to adopt her they put her back in her pen, and there were 3 other people that wanted her.

“Sorry, too late. She’s mine!”

We took her home and the next day took her to the vet to make sure she was ok. She’s a Japanese Chin and they are supposed to have long hair, but I wanted it short since it’s so hot and humid in Florida, so we took her to the groomer and got her fur shampooed and cut. She was adorable with her new fur-do!

She wasn’t housebroken even though she was 2 years old. She was shaky and nervous. She had a few teeth missing from not being taken care of. She wouldn’t go through a doorway unless you backed away from the door (I’ve been told that this was because she’d had doors slammed on her), and she didn’t know that she was supposed to play with toys, she’d just look at them and then forget about them. She wouldn’t walk with a leash, as soon as I put one on her, she froze. She’s over come most of those things, but we’re still working on a few of them. Now she is a happy little dog that loves to eat, loves making her toys squeak, and loves cuddling.

Kaiyo is such a Blessing to me. She helped me heal (Anthony was right), and I helped her heal. I still miss Patches, I’ll always love and miss her. But Kaiyo is my baby too and I know Patches would approve.


Happy One Year Anniversary Kaiyo!

♥ And thank you Anthony, without you I wouldn’t have her! ♥

Jan 082017


December 31st was Kaiyo’s 3rd Birthday! To celebrate she got to go to town and do some shopping. She got some toys, this birthday cookie and hat, a cupcake, and a few other little yummies. I adopted/rescued her on January 13th (which happens to be my oldest son Jeremy’s birthday) so she’ll get to go shopping again soon. I’m so glad I rescued her, I love her so much!

Isn’t she adorable in her Birthday Hat?

Saturday Snapshot

Apr 232016

The other day my daughter Kilah and I drove to a new shopping mall, I’ll post about that in a week or so. Anyway, while driving home, Kilah told me there was a store nearby that she’d never been to but would like to go. Well, of course I was curious so we checked it out. The store was The Fresh Market. It’s similar to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

I really loved how they displayed everything, and the lightening  really made it have a comfy feeling. I don’t remember seeing any fruits or veggies but Kilah does. I guess I was just engrossed with the all the different kinds of coffee they had, that I forgot to take a photo of. The meat section was amazing, and they had rows and rows of nuts, cheeses, wine.  Here are a few photos I took:








wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Mar 202016

So I’ve had a few people tell me I need to do an update on “Desi”. I’ve been meaning to but just didn’t get a round to it.  Can you say procrastinate? Anyway, here it is.

A few days after I adopted her we took her to the groomer (it’s time again, appt. next week) and the groomer Rebecca said that  she didn’t look like a Pekingese at all, that she looks like a Japanese Chin. So we researched and researched and talked to a few other people familiar with dog breeds and everyone told us that yes, she’s a Japanese Chin. We were going to send off her DNA to make sure, but like I said, I’m a procrastinator. Then, off course, we had to give her a Japanese name. I wanted to name her the Japanese word for “healing” because we are healing each other. She is healing me from the loss of my husband and Patches, and I’m healing her from being born and abused in a puppy mill. But, I didn’t like the sound of it which was Chiyu. After looking at many many other choices I finally decided on Kaiyo, which means ocean, which is my happy place. What was so funny is that even though her original name was Desi, and we called her that ourselves for almost two weeks, she ignored us when we’d call her. But from the first time we called her Kaiyo she stopped what she was doing and looked at us. It was like she knew she was supposed to be named Kaiyo.

Here she is sitting beside me on the couch, just staring at me.

She’s thinking “Thank you for rescuing me. I love you!”.

Kaiyo Staring


Kaiyo P Boy


That’s her peeing. Yes, she pees with her back leg hiked up. Like a boy dog. But she’s a girl. It’s so cute! And no, it’s not from a urinary infection, the vet gave her a clean bill of health, other than being malnourished. Anthony thinks she may have learned to pee like that from the male dogs in the puppy mill.

And btw, she told me to tell you she’s having a bad hair day month, so don’t think she always looks like this. The groomer was backed up and she’s way past due for a furcut. When she goes next week I’ll tell Rebecca to make it the same date every month so she won’t have to go around all shaggy.

Did I tell you she snorts like a pig? Yes, she does. It’s so cute. It’s because her little face is all smushed in. I was never a fan of dogs with smushed faces, but I am now. Kaiyo is adorbs. And she snores. Loud. Like a huge dog. Really loud. I tried uploading a video of her but it’s too big and I was having trouble getting it to my email. I’ll work on that and post it in my next update if I can.

Kaiyo shows me every day, all day long, how happy she is to have been rescued from the horrible place and how much she loves me, and Anthony.

I promised her the first day I had her that she would never go hungry or thirsty, never be hit, kicked, yelled at or abused in any way again. And she won’t. She is a very special doggy,  a tiny little thing wrapped in a whole lot of love. To me it’s amazing that she went from being so broken, and in just a week or so she was full of happiness and trusted me completely, well, except that she still won’t go through a doorway without me backing up away from it. Don’t know why.

I still miss Patches everyday, and although I’ll always hurt that’s she’s no longer with me, Kaiyo makes that ache a bit more bearable.

There’s so much more I could tell you about her. Like how she is SO MUCH like Patches. Here’s one example. Patches never laid on her dog bed like she was supposed to. I have so many photos of her laying this way and that way but never the right way. Kaiyo does the same thing. I’ll save those photos for another post. But I will share one of her laying on the pillow I have for her in the dining room floor by my chair.

Kaiyo sleeping on back


I loved Patches so much that I didn’t ever want another pet. But, the happiness and love from a new pet sure does help you heal. I love those car stickers that say “Who Rescued Who”. That’s exactly what I think to myself every day.

Jan 302016

Since I live at least an hour from any city that has a Whole Foods, I’ve never been to one. I usually just go to where I need to and go back home. Once in a while we’ll roam around a bit to see what we can see. That’s how I found a Trader Joe’s a few months back, and then yesterday after my son had some drs. appts. in Tampa, we decided to go to some pet stores we’ve never been to (don’t you love GPS?) and passed a Whole Foods and stopped on the way back to check it out. That store is amazing! I loved it! They’re a bit more expensive on some things, but we saw some food we’ve never seen before like 4 strange varieties of sweet potatoes. We bought one of each to try them. I also found Kiss My Face products. I love this brand and can’t find them anywhere in the area I live. I bought a bottle of their deep moisturizing lotion for 50% off! I’ve also been looking for Garam Masala and found some there.

I was surprised to see that they had so many different departments. Their meat looked amazing as did the seafood. If we had been going straight home I would have bought some. They also have a floral section and cheese shop, but what surprised me the most was their buffet style food tables. They had one for soup, one for all kinds of different foods, and one for olives. What? Yes, they had an olive bar. I was amazed at how many different types of olives they had. Neither one of us knew there were that many different varieties of olives. When we told my daughter about it she said the same thing. The soup bar was amazing too and we smelled every one of them. There was one that smelled over the top yummy and I plan on making it soon. We didn’t get a photo of all the bars (wish we had) but we did get one of the olives. There’s even a little section where you can sit down at a table and enjoy the food. We were there around noon and quite a few people were eating their lunch there.

If you haven’t been to a Whole Foods (and Trader Joe’s) before, you really should find one and go. I love them both.

whole foods olive bar


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Saturday Snapshot

Jan 202016

Most of you know that I lost my babydog Patches in September. I NEVER thought I’d get another dog, but I did say that if I found a Puppy Mill survivor, I’d gladly adopt her/him. My son and I have been looking for a few weeks, and finally on Wednesday, the 13th (which btw was my oldest son’s birthday) I did find one, and  did adopt her.  Another thing I kept saying was that I wouldn’t adopt any dog that looked in any way like Patches. And Desi definitely doesn’t.



Desi panting


This is Dessabell (we call her Desi). Isn’t she adorable? I’ve never had a really small dog and would not have gone looking for a Pekingese (we found out she’s actually a Japanese Chin) but a shelter in Sarasota had a bunch of puppy mill dogs and when I saw her I knew she was the one I wanted. Desi was found in a puppy mill that a woman had at her home, and was one of 250 dogs.  I just don’t understand how anyone could harm an innocent animal. So horribly sad! Anyway, I kinda felt like I was…(don’t know if betraying is the right word) but I did feel a lot of bad/sad thoughts about getting another dog because of Patches, but I knew she would want me to rescue this broken doggy.

My son and I took Desi to the vet yesterday just to make sure she was doing ok because she was spayed the day before we adopted her, and also to get more detailed information on her health than we got when we adopted her. She does have a few missing teeth, had two ticks and some fleas, but that’s pretty much it other than underweight from not being fed enough. I plan on getting her groomed toward the end of the month, as soon as her stitches heal.

She just turned 2 years old on Dec. 31st. The longer a dog is in a puppy mill the worse their health is. She doesn’t walk around much because of being in a small cage with other dogs and not having room to walk around.  She was living in a cage and not being taken outside, and hasn’t figured out grass yet. It’s a new feel, new smell etc. And she still can’t hold much food at a time, but all these things will improve with time. She is starting to wag her tail when we go near her or talk to her. She’s never been on a leash, so doesn’t quite know that she’s supposed to walk so we have to work on that, plus (something I never thought of) even though she’s 2 years old, she was never taken outside to potty, so she isn’t housebroken. Oh me! Thank God I have a really really powerful shampooer, lol! It’s been 17 years since I had to potty train Patches, so I hope this goes well.

She has quite a few things in common with Patches. Not laying with their whole body on her bed, picking a piece of food out of the food bowl and laying it on the floor then picking it up again to eat it, love getting rubbed on the head. So far that’s the only things that they both have in common but I’m sure I’ll notice more as time goes by. I kinda think Patches led me to this dog. They are so much alike.

If any of you have any tips or advise as far as helping a puppy mill dog acclimate to living with a family and being a part of the family, I’d be very thankful. Desi has been through so much and I want her to know that there are people who will love her and never starve or be mean to her.

I still haven’t gotten over the loss of Patches and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and shed a tear for her (and her daddy Henry) but today when I was holding Desi and talking to her, a thought popped into my head that really clicked in my brain.  “We’ll help each other heal”.  That was such an “aha” moment and it sure did bring on the leaky eyes, but I know that’s what we’re doing. Helping Each Other Heal.