Arla, Tennis, A Capp, Luminaries, My Love, and the Golf Cart Parade

I have this friend named Arla and her hubby George. They are from Connecticut, but to me she has a thick New York accent. We play tennis together. She is a nut! She tells it like it is and at first (many years ago) I was a little off-put by it, now I just love her! She cracks me up! She is extremely talented. She has this fun bright colored house and she is a good cook.

She had my mom and I over for dinner and this really nice couple name Janet and Wayne. Janet and I play tennis together as well. Janet & Wayne are from Nova Scotia. One of the first times I played tennis with them, a friend, Michael and I were looking for someone to play doubles with us and we found them. They kicked are butts. I was SO thrown by how good they were. Michael and I still talk about it till this day. You just never know what people have up their sleeves.

So, Arla made a big pot of turkey chili with a variety of toppings that included green onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream. She made a side salad that was really yummy. I still don’t know what was in it, but the dressing was yummy. Dessert was AWE-SOME….she made dark chocolate brownies using Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. I have the recipe at home and have never tried it, I am so picky about brownies. I love these Fat Witch brownies that I used to buy at Chelsea Market down in Chelsea in NY, but never find ones that compare. THESE did! Then she had a black walnut ice cream. I have never heard of it. It sounded awful and it was delicious!

Then, you will love this….a group of ladies, other tennis gals pulled into crazy, wacky, fun Arla’s driveway blaring music, honking the horn like a bunch of teenagers! They are all at least 60! Just goes to show that age is ONLY a number!

At Arla & George’s dinner,  Wayne asked if we would be interested in attending the tennis dinner the following night at SANDBAR. We said yes.

Okay, I had coconut shrimp and fried plantains with a dark chocolate and raspberry sauce drizzled over it. It was so yummy.

I went up to the manager and told him so. I showed him my now healed leg since he was the manager that NAGGED me to go to the doc! And I told him how good the food was! He said he STILL hasn’t read the blog, but he will. Hope he reads how yummy that dish is! Who would have ever thought to put chocolate on shrimp? I just love that sweet and salt flavor at the same time. It sends my taste buds into their happy place.

Next day, we went out for blood and breakfast. My mom had to give blood and then we went to the Sanibel Deli for breakfast. I had a fried egg that SHOULD have been runny, but wasn’t, because I forgot to ask. It came  with sausage and cheese on a croissant. It was good. The capp left little to be desired.

Here is the funny thing and again demonstrating how small this island really is. When my mom was giving blood. A man came out of the office and immediately lit a cigarette and stood by his truck to smoke it and read a NEW YORK POST. I got out of the car and walked with the dog to a nearby shop to get away from the smoke.

Guess who sat next to me at the breakfast joint? You got it! Mr. I need a smoke! And it was outside eating so he lit up again. I could escape him once, but not twice!

We took Dulce to visit Patty the Vet. I used to go with my mom to the vet as a child. Loved it. I thought I wanted to be a vet except that I suck at math, okay at science and I can’t deal with animal death. But everytime I go in a vet’s office, which now is ONLY Coral Vet on Sanibel and Patty rocks! I think…did I miss my calling? Then I ask myself, could I put a dog down if I had to, and I get my answer.

Sanibel Luminaries is put on by the Kiawanis Club. All the members go around and deliver the brown bags filled with sand and a candle and then a different group in the organization goes around to light them. They extend from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other end and it is so pretty. Shops, restaurants are all open and the shops serve snacks. My mom always thinks that will constitute a meal. Three cubes of cheese, two of ham, and four carrot sticks is not a meal.

I was lucky enough to be allowed to set up in front of The Island Cow. There were two potters there, a scarf maker and I, the writer. The night started slow for me. I witnessed a four-year old child walk up to the guy next to me and tell his mom he liked the pottery and point and pick up what he liked. (personally, I would have killed my child if he/she did that!) I silently laughed to myself because the child was walking around the table saying I like this, this is my favorite, and the mom bought all the pieces he picked. Butter my biscuit and call me Sunshine. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

Finally, the books began to sell. A man looked at BRAND MY ASS and then at me. He said is it scandalous? I said yes. Not 50 Shades, but it has some fun! He asked all about it and I told him and then added, “I never tell people, but the main character Belle is a serious foodie. A friend joked if I could write as well about sex as I do food…the money I could make.” He said, “I am a retired chef. I will take it.”

I had another gal come up to me and she said, “I hear you have a book on divorce that will help kids. I came to get that!” I sold her a copy of TURNAROUND KIDS

TURNAROUND KIDS made me a little nervous after I wrote and published it. I may have said this before, but I was not sure how it would hit people. However, a dear, dear friend Ellen read it and she said she thought it was great and it hit all the key points and had great ideas for kids and parents, so it gave me a little more confidence I was on the mark. My dear friend, Jennie’s daughter, read it and said it was spot on, so I know I hit the kid market, I wasn’t sure about hitting the parent market, but now I feel like I did.

My little love, my sweet, sweet girl, my favorite and only four-legged sister came running onto my bed the other morning to greet me and she PLUNGED into my face and now I think I have a hematoma under my eye. Does this mean I can’t exercise my eye for a month? I am totally kidding here. I don’t think it is a hematoma, but it looks like someone punched or scratched me in the eye.

I am so bummed no one has asked me about it. I want to say I fought with my mom for a pint of Queenie’s ice cream, and it got physical and she beat me for it. But no one has asked. I forgot to tell Queenie that when I saw her at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday. She would have loved it!!!

Okay, we went to the Golf Cart Parade up on Captiva. People were so clever and creative. They went down the main drag in Captiva…okay the only drag in Captiva and people had decorated them SO well. It was awesome! Highly recommend it.  If the pics look okay and I can figure out how to add more than one, I will include them in the post.

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and finally Santa and Mrs. Claus……

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Monday I went to play tennis with my Beachview girls. I was so excited! I arrived at the courts and stepped out of the car to see the man who sat beside me on the trolley shuttle ride to the Tweenies Christmas lighting the week before. He had moved here from Arkansas and reminded me of a sexy Vet back in Cincy. Small, small world.

Tennis was so great! I had to be there at 8am, that didn’t matter, every two games we switched sides and the one side we were all blinded by the light. That didn’t matter. I was just happy to be on a court and not have an injured leg. Yippee!!!

Well, I hear it is I HATE Florida day(s) up North, because Florida is the only state that isn’t freezing it’s tush off. I feel CRAZY lucky to be here!!!! So, on that note, I need to go take a swim before I meet Sylvie, Ellen and their dogs: Rala, Rumo, Winnie, Cookie, Sadie, Tess and Bella with my sister Dulce on the beach!

Okay, we came home from the beach and I started to work on another version of my Peri the Pelican™ prototype and I look across the floor and there is a CLEAN pair of my green shorts crumpled into a ball on the floor. I pick them up and there are holes near the pocket. I reach my hand into the pocket and there is another hole the size of baseball in the bottom. I must have left a treat in there and it went through the wash (how scary it survived) and I had folded them and they were sitting on my bed waiting to go in a drawer.  The aroma from the treat must have been too powerful for Dulce to resist. So, I go to find her and she is sitting in front of the coffee table with an UNWRAPPED tampon in her mouth. Just a plastic tampon hanging out the side of her mouth like she is smoking a Cuban cigar. And you know what? I STILL love this nutty dog!

Until we meet again…..

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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