November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm grateful for many things; my husband, kids, critters, family and friends.

Going to be a small holiday this year, just the 3 of us and DW. My other kids cannot come home this year, but I'm hoping maybe next year we can have a Thanksgiving with everyone.

November 11, 2016

50th Birthday

It was, frankly, a surreal 50th birthday. I mean, think about it, I'm 50. What is 50? There's a lot of deep thinking going on here along with other, sadder circumstances I don't want to talk about at the moment.

The weirdest part was when we stopped at Publix after dinner. I stayed outside and walked around a bit visiting Pokéstops (hush) and ended up leaning against a lamppost where I could see Sharky and Petunia exit the store.

I'm usually more alert, but wasn't at the moment a deep male voice behind me said "Hey there." I screamed and jumped about a foot in the air, making the young 20 something guy in his flannel pajamas (it is Riverside) step back with his hands in the air and yell "I'm not going to hurt you!" Poor guy looked so scared that I started to laugh and I told him not to worry, he just startled me.

Then, I swear, he looked me up and down and said, "Hey, got your Wayfarers on?" and I had a brief flashback to The Boys of Summer and 1984 (the year I graduated high school). (It's a song by Don Henley, formerly of The Eagles, in case you didn't know.)

I said "What?" and he said, and I'm not making this up, "I said, Hey beautiful, got a boyfriend?" I was barely able to stop laughing (again) long enough to say "I have a husband." and he smiled, shrugged, and walked away.

I told Sharky and Petunia about it when they came out of the store. I got seriously teased and honestly, if it were any other neighborhood, they might not have believed me.

So, long story short, a very young guy in pj's came on to me. Not sure if I should be flattered or creeped out. Definitely an interesting beginning to the second half of my life...

November 5, 2016

Early Voted Yesterday

I went to the Murray Hill Library to early vote and it was a horrible clusterfuck. Tiny claustrophobic  room, no logical flow of stations (so people wandered around aimlessly), and rude as hell voters pushing and shoving. One guy in a motorized wheelchair forced his way in and trapped us because he refused to back up and there was no where for us to go to let him in. He almost ran me over and a little old lady grabbed my shirt and started yelling "Let him vote!" over and over like I was preventing him from doing so. I don't think I'm going to early vote again.

October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

I am emotionally exhausted from errands today. We missed large crowds, thankfully, and there were a lot of good people, but a lot of rude ones as well. If you have to go out today, be extra nice to those folks at work who would much rather be home preparing for Hurricane Matthew instead of dealing with ugly customers.

There is just so much stuff I need to do, and time keeps ticking away. I'm afraid of pushing myself too much.

Went to Home Depot this morning and got a small propane grill and a small dog cage for the cats. Swung by DW's house and got his extra water and flashlights. (He evacuated to Atlanta). Came home and ran back to Publix to drop off rx and picked up some canned soup, etc.

I will try and update this as I can...

October 2, 2016

Elite Event: Yelp’s Southern Feast at Gilbert’s Social





From my review:

First off, thank you Chef Gilbert for once again generously opening your doors to Yelp and thank you too, Matthew, for coordinating all of this. Chef Gilbert really seems to appreciate people's reviews of his restaurants and it was good to hear that. Our table was taken care of by Jay, the general manager, who really kept on his toes and made sure all our needs were met.

I had a marvelous time. The restaurant is adorable, small but cozy and I love the orange and black color scheme. The seating concept (communal) is an interesting idea. We will definitely come back to see it in action.

The food was fantastic. Most were a tad spicy, but in a good way, allowing you to enjoy the heat and the flavors at the same time. That can be difficult to achieve, in my experience, but Chef Gilbert nails it perfectly.

Honestly, the one thing I loved more than anything else was the pimento cheese appetizer. That was so perfectly made, I would buy it by the pound for parties. It made all the others I've tried pale in comparison. My next tip top pick was Chef Gilbert's signature cocktail, The Beast. I've never had anything like it (passion fruit, ginger beer, and jalapenos) and it is incredibly delicious.

The meats were cooked and seasoned perfectly. I love catfish, and would definitely come back just for Chef Gilbert's. The fried and jerk chicken legs were delicious - some of the biggest chicken legs I have ever seen. Definitely not standard supermarket fare. The brisket was cooked perfectly, with just enough fat and fall apart tender. The meat quality was superb, but I'm not that big a fan of sweet barbecue sauce, so I most likely would pass on it in the future. If there was an option of other types of sauce (Chef Gilbert makes a mean white sauce), I would order it.

The kale salad was dressed perfectly and very enjoyable. The watermelon & strawberry salad was intriguing. I would try that again. I had not had field peas before, but they were delicious. I passed on the turnip greens (personal dislike) but they looked like something my husband would love. The cornbread dressing was fantastic - the top was crunchy, the bottom was moist and superbly "herbed." Sadly, our table missed out on the biscuits.

Dinner ended with a taste of their S'mores dessert served in a shot glass (perfect size after all that food). It's something I'm not normally a big fan of, but this was perfectly delicious. The mini-marshmallows on top were toasted just enough to just melt in your mouth and the chocolate creme brulee was superbly decadent.

My husband was incredibly jealous when he saw all the pictures. (My guest was a Yelper friend, who I'm very glad came with me.) I cannot wait to come back and bring my husband. He loves southern food and I know he'll enjoy Chef Gilbert's take on it. I am definitely recommending this place to all my Jacksonville friends.


September 2, 2016

Friday Coffee with Rita - Maple Street Biscuit Company



Summer is over, school is back in session, and #FridayCoffeeWithRita is back! Today is a special edition with my first-born, his first chance to join in. We went to Maple Street Biscuit Company in Murray Hill. Rita had regular maple tap coffee and Drew and I both had an iced maple vanilla latte (delish). He had the Five & Dime (chicken, bacon, egg, sausage gravy), I had the Loaded Goat (chicken, fried goat cheese), and Rita had The Farmer (chicken, cheese, bacon, apple butter). We all split the side of mac & cheese which was more cheese than mac and topped with Cheez-its. Lol As always, it did not disappoint and Drew agreed, it lived up to the hype. Lol

August 30, 2016

Elite Event: Yelp’s Steak & Crab Bash



From my review:

Had a marvelous time. Thank you, Matt and the staff of Outback, for setting this up. All the food was delicious (save for a wee bit of fishy lobster in the appetizer). I've never tried "Rumchata" before, that was fun. The main course, sirloin and crab legs, was a treat. The steak was perfectly cooked. I think the highlight of the evening was the Salted Caramel Cheesecake.

The wait staff was very personable and made our evening enjoyable. I do believe a wonderful time was had by all.

July 27, 2016

Elite Event: Il Desco’s Italian Supper


























From my review:

First off, thank you Matthew for arranging this. It was wonderful to finally meet you. Thanks to Matt and the rest of the staff of Il Desco - this was an amazing night.

I loved the communal table and made new friends. It was a lot of fun to put personalities next to people's pictures and names on the website.

Il Desco is lovely inside and the food was superb. Everything was delicious and well seasoned. There were a few pleasant surprises - the little spice of the meatball was a treat and the octopus? Melt in your mouth. The pasta was delicious but I think the big hit of the evening was the wood fired pizza. I'm always wary of that (don't care for burned crust) but the pizza tonight was fragrantly smoky and not burned at all. The meats and cheeses on both tasted top of the line.

The two cocktails were absolutely wonderful. My favorite was the Italian 75, I will definitely order that again. The Final Secret was a nice treat with whiskey.

The Goody Bag given to us by Il Desco was a wonderful surprise, with cookies and a $25 gift card that I cannot wait to use. I know my husband is dying to come here after seeing all the pictures.

July 15, 2016

Friday Coffee with Rita - Cool Moose Coffee Company




#FridayCoffeeWithRita is at the #coolmoosecafejax for lunch. Yes, we both had 2 cups of coffee along with our food. Lol We've been huge #coolmoosejax fans for a very long time, and not just because my sons worked here way back when. Lol It truly is the best place in Jax for breakfast!





June 24, 2016

Dreamtime

Met one of my grandfather's younger brothers (in WWII uniform, in sepia, not quite black and white - IS's father) and while introducing myself, noticed that he had the same nose as my younger son. That made me very happy.

I kept trying to tell Sharky a joke about something funny that just happened in a nightclub we were in. He kept laughing and rolling on the floor, with his hands up to his head, yelling penguin feet and pointing to his crow's feet at the corner of his eyes (with his fingers splayed out like bird feet).

I told him that John Barrowman was there dressed as Captain Jack and had picked up a trumpet and played the first few notes of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. The crowd in the nightclub went wild, screaming for more. He told me he didn't know the rest, so he faked fainted (to save face) and I told everyone that he had malaria and they were all sympathetic.