Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Alligators and Crab Shacks - FlavoursomeTuesdays

In 2006, my spouse and I rode the Auto Train for the first time. (The Auto Train is a train that runs from Northern Virginia to Central Florida, and vice-versa, not making any passenger stops.  To ride it, you must have a car, which travels on the same train.  It's the only such train in the United States).

I've never slept well on the Auto Train, and something happened on that first trip that has become a tradition.

I woke up from a fitful sleep to realize we were traveling through a city.  We were passing under an Interstate, and some large billboards were visible.  One billboard, lit up, advertised "The Crab Shack. Tybee Island."

I didn't have Internet access on that trip and had never heard of Tybee Island. But I researched it as soon as I could and found it was an island close to Savannah, Georgia.

In March of 2009 spouse and I traveled on the Auto Train again.  I woke up from a fitful sleep, and as my spouse softly snored next to me, I peeked out of the window and saw the very same sign.

It was a sign, that sign!  I was being told to eat at the Crab Shack.

We were supposed to drive through Savannah on the way home but had car trouble, and had to take the Auto Train home.  We swore we would visit Savannah and we subsequently did, but didn't eat at the Crab Shack.

In March of 2013 we rode the Auto Train still again.  This time, we both woke up as we were traveling through Savannah, and my spouse spotted the sign even before I did.  Marveling at this huge (to our sleep-bleary eyes) sign, we decided that yes, we would go to the Crab Shack.  We would fill in this hole in our travels.

And so we did.
From the outside, it looks like a "tourist trap".  But the food (noting I do not get compensated for this or any other review) was good.  My spouse still remembers their soup.
Inside, I noticed the restaurant had open walls to the outside - with only a screen between diners and the great outdoors.  If only I could live in a place like that, said my winter-starved inner voice.
Not so fast, said reality, as I saw movement outside the screened in wall.  Can you see what I saw?

After lunch we went outside, to see some of the 78 alligators the Crab Shack owned. These are all domestic, as in "born in captivity".  The Shack does not tolerate any abuse of the gators by customers, but they were easily accessible (if someone dared) and I hope they have good lives.
Up close, they almost look fake - but they certainly were not fake.

Here's their menu.

So, guess what.  This month we are hopefully riding the Auto Train for the first time since 2013.

 I wonder if we will see the sign again?

Join Bellybytes at Mumbai on a High and Shilpa Gupte at Metanoia for #FlavoursomeTuesdays. If you want to share a food related memory, why not join us?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day January 2018

What a January it has been, in my zone 5b garden and home in upstate New York, near Binghamton.

Some of the plants I brought in when frost beckoned are still going, such as this pink begonia.

Or this Calibrachoa.

As far as houseplants, about all I have are my Thanksgiving cacti, still going strong.

For a few days, we had been fooled by Mother Nature.  But the ice and snow and soon to be below zero temperatures are back.

Would you like to see my front yard?

And here's my back yard.

My garden sleeps on.

If you are looking for Music Moves Me, I will be participating next Monday.   But in the meantime, if you are looking for a song mentioning colors and flowers, how about this - Roses are Red, as sung by Bobby Vinton.

Ah, summer........

Thank you again for Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly meme.  Come join us every 15th of the month to show what is blooming in our yards and homes.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Return of Winter

Winter is back, after a short break, in upstate New York. 

We were lulled into thinking it was springtime for about three days.  For a brief moment, we were happy.

Friday, it got to 66 F (18.8 C) around lunchtime. 

Then, reality intruded.  Rudely.

This is what resulted.  We are fortunate in comparison with other parts of upstate New York, cut it is a bit slippery out there and I never left my house yesterday.

More pictures tomorrow, when I participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

This will probably be my last post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge, January edition.  I am leaving the Challenge early as I have not had the time to properly read/comment on new blogs and old favorites.  I will still be posting daily, at least for the next week, but many of these posts are either "reruns" or prewritten posts.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have seen, and if I have not been able to respond to your visit or comment, I apologize.

While I am here I want to thank Paul Taubman for all he does to keep the UBC a well run challenge.

I hope to "see" some of you in April, and some even sooner.  If I am able to rejoin before the end of the Challenge on January 31, I will.

Day 14 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - The Dutch Falling Cure

Do the Dutch have the cure for elders falling and hurting themselves?

A fellow blogger, Roy, has become a blogging "friend" of mine. (I hope he doesn't mind me calling him a blogging "friend").  Some of his posts are a bit over my head (sorry, Roy!) especially the tax posts (he is an experienced Enrolled Agent) and some of the scientific ones.  But recently, he sent me a Facebook message about a New York Times article.

This article is about how the Dutch are facing a rising population of those over 65, many of whom find themselves living alone in their golden years.  Many, in general, are at risk of falling.  Reasons vary from age to inactivity to the use of certain medications (I, for one, suspect a medication I take, and it is one I need, also is leading to balance problems).

My spouse fell in October (and is still undergoing physical therapy).  My mother in law has endured many falls.  Falls kill.  Falls injure and lead to decline.  If someone could find a cure for falling, that person would win the Nobel Prize in a heartbeat.

But what do we do until then?

The Dutch may have the answer.  And it's an intriguing one.

Falling classes.

Not falls prevention classes (I've taken one, by the way, and it was excellent.  I still do the exercises).  No, these are actual "How to fall" classes.  The class typically meets twice a week.  In one session, the seniors walk an obstacle course.  In the other session, they fall, in supervised ways, onto mats (not at first.  They work their way up to falling.  It would terrify me, for one, having survived several falls already at age 65).

They learn exercises to strengthen themselves, and simple home modifications, which my falls prevention class also touched on. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful to lose the fear of falling?

Some of the falling posts on my blog - you are welcome to check them out.  Here is one:
Did my Falls Prevention class work?

Day 13 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

Friday, January 12, 2018

January Sunrise - Skywatch Friday

Taken at sunrise, January 11.

The snow is melting.  Right now it is 58 degrees F (14.4 C) with heavy rain and we are under a flood watch.

The sunrise progresses.

Beautiful purples.

At this point, regretfully, I could no longer take pictures.  So this last picture is from about 15 minutes later, in downtown Binghamton, New York.

Join the bloggers of #SkywatchFriday as we take pictures of the sky from all over the world and share them.

Day 12 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Snowy Tree - Thursday Tree Love

When it is a cold day in upstate New York, the sky is so blue.

The ground is usually white.  Observe this photo, which was take on New Years Day.  The temperature that morning had hit zero F (-16.6C) but it was warmer by then.

The tree is in its winter sleep, unaware (or is it?) of the cold and snow around it. 

At the right time, it will awaken and put forth flowers and then leaf buds.  In the fall, the leaves will turn yellow and drop.

And the yearly cycle will begin today.

But for now - snow and cold and the long winter's sleep.

Join Parul and other bloggers who love trees for twice a month #ThursdayTreeLove. 

Day 11 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Winter Wonders - Closed

A sign of the times in upstate New York.

Closed due to weather.

We've been fortunate.  Yes, it's been cold.  But we are below normal (so far) in snowfall.  And, we missed the coastal snowstorm that created such destruction in New England, New York City and the South.   We've missed the fires.  We've missed the terrible mudslides.

Call it climate change.  Call it global warming.  Call it a "normal" fluctuation in climate.  Some minds are as closed as the above store was.   But just look at the world as a whole. 

We can't say we weren't warned.

Day 10 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost