“Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.” – Arnold Bennett

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I think we are mid-summer. Tonight, out by the pool we saw only a few, last fireflies. They have moved up into the trees. Their blinks are bright and long, but there are very few of them. And, I think we heard the first (non-17-year) cicada tonight. It only lasted a few minutes, but is a signal of the noise to come. Next week is historically the hottest week of the year, and it is not going to disappoint this year. We will be in the 90s all week. 

That means lot of pool time! 

The pool water has been evaporating, so tomorrow I may add an inch or two of cold well water--something I always hate to do because it lowers the pool temperature by a degree or two. But, the hot weather will warm it back up.

Tonight we swam some. I did 10 laps, Lynne did 20. The water is about 83°. Not bad at all, but I've grown to love 86° or 87° wink

Alex is doing great today. He has now had two chemo treatments, but the first seemed to kill off most of the bad cancer cells. We are celebrating his strength and progress while enjoying the nice evening. 

Oh, and we got the canoe back today. Andy did a phenomenal job of giving her a spruce-up with new varnish and polished fittings. I left her on the truck tonight with the plan of taking her out some tomorrow. We'll see.

Tags:  at-homepool
Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 07/13/2013 at 07:19 PM
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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July, 2013! [Updated with Photos]

Wow. It is another 4th of July holiday. Of course, I have off work today, and even though tomorrow is a work day, I'm taking it off.

Plans? Well not much. Our activities will revolve around food and the pool, of course. It is supposed to be in the high 80s but with the humidity percentage equal to the temperature, it will be a muggy day with a heat index well into the 90s. The pool is open and the robot is cleaning to prepare for an afternoon in the water.

We call this the Chic Sheik Shack. A great place to hang out if not in the water!

I'm going to try a ceviche for lunch. I love ceviche, but have never tried to make one myself. I'll let you know how it goes.

It went well!

And, around noon I will start the process of smoking then roasting a pork shoulder for pulled-pork sandwiches. I made a spicy rub yesterday and the pork has been sitting in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, sucking up the flavors of the rub. I've got hickory chips soaking in water. Soon, I will fire up the Weber charcoal grill and when ready smoke the pork for about 3 hours. Then it gets wrapped in foil and goes in the oven for another 2 hours. Then into a double thick paper bag for one hour. Even after resting for an hour, it will be very hot, but by then we will be so hungry I'll tackle it with a couple of forks to "pull" the meat off the bone. We'll serve it on hamburger buns with a ketchup-based barbeque sauce and cole slaw. Yum. I can hardly wait.

Pork shoulder smoking.

Pulled pork.

The completed dish.

Ice cream for dessert.

Tags:  at-homefoodactivitiespool
Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know!Food and Cooking • by Rick on 07/04/2013 at 07:09 AM
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lime Day

We bought a bunch of limes on sale at the store today with the plan for having a Lime Day. So far, I've made an awesome Caipirinha (the national drink of Brazil) which is limes muddled with sugar topped with a couple of ounces Cachaca and ice. Shaken well. Best drunk slowly.

Update: Here is a photo of the Caipirinha:

Then, there is the Key Lime Pie that Lynne made. Can't wait for dessert.

And, I made some ice pops from watermelon, mint, tequila, agave nectar and lime. Those are in the freezer and probably won't be ready until tomorrow.

Now, I am looking for a good way to use lime in the beer can chicken we plan to cook tonight.

BTW it was a pool day. Last night was the first skinny dip of the season. The pool is at 82° which is just right. And, after working hard all morning, we had a nice long dip this afternoon, too. Maybe more later?

Tags:  at-homefoodpoolactivities
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 06/29/2013 at 02:24 PM
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Flowers on the Deck

A nice photo from Lynne's Lytro camera of flowers on our deck. You can barely see the pool in the background too. This shows off the refocusing feature of Lytro photos nicely. Just click where you want to focus:


Tags:  at-homelytro
Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 06/10/2013 at 11:52 AM
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Bella at the Beach

Recently we had a chance to visit very dear friends at their NJ shore house--recently restored after damage from Sandy. We were able to take the dogs. And, we were especially curious about how Bella would react to the ocean. She does like to wade in water, but had never seen salt water with waves.

Here is a video of the experience:

Tags:  dogsbellaalexhailey
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 06/04/2013 at 04:58 AM
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