Thursday, July 31, 2014

Katie and Ruth... Quite the Interview...!

I find it impossible not to like Katie Couric, and when she gets to talking with other very impressive people in their own field, the dynamic is history-making.

Such is her conversation today on Yahoo News with US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thank you Katie, and thank you Ruth, for sharing in terms we can undestand, thoughts about the world in which we live.

I found two comments by Justice Ginsburg to be especially helpful:

"One has the freedom to move one's arm, until it hits the other fellow's nose."


"I think daughters can change the perceptions of their fathers."

A wise woman indeed.

Le Style Laura Bush...C'est Magnifique...!

Having studied and worked in the field of architecture prior to seminary and ordained ministry, I continue to be interested in things architectural, from finding the work of early Orlando architects to seeing what's doing round the world in the way of buildings and interiors.

As a treat, Judy subscribed to "Architectural Digest" for me and my first issue came in June. About that time, one of the people whom I follow on Instagram posted an AD cover and mentioned that her home would be featured in that magazine's pages. It was not in the June issue, so, fully I expected it would be in the July issue. I was so eager to see it when it arrived; but no, it was not in that one either.

Yesterday, the August issue arrived and - hooray! - the long awaited cover feature along with it. That is, the Texas home of President and First Lady, George and Laura Bush. (Did you know, by the way, that it is always correct to refer to those who have left The White House as "President" and "First Lady", it is kind of like being an elder or deacon in the Presbyterian church, even after you are no longer on the board, once an elder or deacon, always an elder or deacon).

But as I say, there was the photo spread and article about where the Bush family now live.

I must say it is without exception, the most lovely home that I have seen featured in AD or any other "dwelling" themed magazine for many a year. Mrs. Bush has exquisitely good taste. Nothing in excess, all in tremendous visual comfort and style.

The finest compliment I believe you can give to someone about their home is that "It looks like you..." This is precisely the compliment that I would bestow upon Laura Bush about the home she has created.

I dare say that if she wanted to, she could do interior design as a profession and have a long waiting list of clients, eager to have a home in "Le Style Laura Bush". Soft colors, comfortable upholstered furniture, select pieces of fine art, mingle with custom-designed pieces such as a fabulous Laura Bush coffee table and fine old heirlooms (the breakfast table is from grandmother Dorothy) or antiques-sleuthing pieces. There are large expanses of windows looking out on to the wonderfully beautiful Texas landscape of trees and wildflowers.

Serene, soothing, a gentle feast for the eyes: these are the features of Mrs. Bush's handiwork. So much like the lady herself.

Today's designers could take many a cue from the way that Mrs. Bush has created a warm and personable living environment where any who are fortunate enough to visit will feel graciously welcomed and relaxed.

If you subscribe to AD then you will have seen the August issue already. If not, by all means, go and get it.

It is a keeper.

(Photo courtesty of Mrs. Bush's Instagram).

Hot Diggety Dog...!

Last night for supper we met at BurgerFi.

I suppose most people go to BurgerFi for the burgers. After all, it is in their name. I however prefer their New York Style Hot Dog. Something about a grilled hot dog with just the right fixin's hits the spot. I do have them add the neon green relish, both for flavor and for color. So my dog is a kind of hybrid.

So Anne and Steven, Mimi and Papa, and I met up after work last night and had supper together at Burger-Fi. We saw one of our Wekiva Charter Members pulling out of the shopping plaza's lot as I pulled in (Hi, Mary Bell!). I am guessing she had been to Fresh Market, but maybe she was taking supper home to Fred from Burger-Fi...?

Like me, Mimi and Papa have taken to hot dogs at BurgerFi. Anne and Steven went for the burgers. We all enjoy their rings and fries (they call them "Cries and Frys" - clever!).

If you have not tried one of their "Concrete" desserts - well - you are in for a treat. It is ice cream mixed with some other dessert--the standards are Key Lime Pie (last night's choice), something with lots of chocolate, and "Red Velvet". We usually get "one for the table", and a bunch of spoons, and that seems to be just about right. Last night Judy could not be with us, but that did not prevent her from texting us a request that we take home a red velvet "Concrete" for her.

She managed to eat the whole thing...good for her!

You could travel far and wide to find the other "best" hot dogs around the USA. And in fact, I did an article about that very subject recently. You can read it here: Best Hot Dogs in America.

There's Plenty of Summer Time Left...

Summer seems to be coming to an end here in Central Florida.

No I do NOT mean the weather. It is hotter than blue blazes just now. Although we have had one of the wettest summers of the 18 we have been in Florida, that has not meant coolness. No it has been heat and humidity, mixed with humidity and humidity and 100 per cent chance of rain for weeks on end. I thought the only rainforest in the continental USA was in Washington state, but I am begniing to wonder if Orlando-land is not creeping up on that statistic, precipitaiton wise.

But I digress as I often do...

Back to summer coming to an end. I can remember when summer ended with Labor Day Weekend. The community swim club closed, the kids (myself inclded) went back to school, and there was just a hint of coolness with the evening breeze. Not so here and now, with school starting up in early August and the cool breeze delaying itself till mid-November or later.

Well, even though the TV is overrun with back-to-school shopping commercials, trust me, there is still time to enjoy summer. If you have not considered it, why not think about a driving trip along one of the more storied roads of our USA. I am speaking of US 10. You thought I was going to say the Pacific Coast Highway perhaps, or Route 66. Both are good choices. But for a different sort of vacation, why not drive the nation, at a pace where you can enjoy it? I did a blog article about that very subject and you can read it here: Best Small Towns on Interstate 10.

Maybe you know some of them?

Savoring Summer

While we were away...

...we spent some time at St. Pete Beach. If you have not done so, I can recommend it highly. The entire Clearwater-St. Petersburg area is filled with things to do, including being at the Gulf, which is as close to doing nothing whatsoever as I can think of.

We enjoyed our stay at the Post Card Inn (which incidentally was ranked among the "Today Show’s top 100 places to stay this summer, yesterday). We were ahead of the curve! Our little room was just "steps from the beach" and the pool was huge, so what more could you ask for?

We found some quaint places to dine--including Beverley's for breakfast--a cute pink and blue building at the corner of St. Pete Beach's most historic shopping street. I selected an omlette that was filled with tomato, avocado and sour cream... mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! We also found a great English Pub, and a nice Italian eatery but we mostly did more picnic type fare or as we call it, silly supper, fruit, cheese and crackers, so as to not slow us down as we relaxed and saw the sights.

Oh then there was "Larry's"...boasting 80 different kinds of ice cream. No we did not try them all but we must confess that one evening we "didn't feel much like dinner" and ended up going directly for dessert. Judy had the banana split and I had apple pie a la mode. I will share a photo...

You know you could just travel the world trying the pie.

Or you could at the very least drive the nation to see what kinds of pies were out there that you might enjoy. In fact, I wrote an article for the "Drive the Nation" blog about that very subject. You can read it here: American Pie Challenge.

Lest you think all we did was eat on our vacation, let me say that swimming in the Gulf with schools of rays is something I will not soon forget. Nor will I soon forget poking around Pass-A-Grille, seeing the circus estate of the Ringlings, or happening upon a house designed by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, which we ended up getting a tour of, by its new owner. As you know, I love seeing antique, second hand and vintage shops, so we did some poking around in that line as well. We came back with tans that were on the verge of burns, because we spent so much of our time just "steps from" our room, on the beach.

All in all being at St. Pete Beach was a great way to savor part of the summer.