Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jeff’

beeberries-2

Read Full Post »

l4a6cc043-m0x

photo courtesy of realtor.com

I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately. Probably too much, in fact, considering that I have at least 35-38 years of work ahead of me.

But honestly, I wish I had started thinking about it sooner. When you’re young and considering whether or not to start thinking about retirement, time is big money. I’ve recently abandoned my plan to pay down my student loans as aggressively as possible to be done with it within the next five years or so. As lovely as that dream was, I’ve gotten a little smarter since then. Instead, I could moderate my student loan payments, and begin socking away 20% or so of my income into a retirement account. This will cost me at least a few thousand dollars in interest, since my student loans will take longer to get paid down. But the great thing is that the difference between saving right now for retirement, and waiting a few years to start investing…will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

(In theory, anyway.)

So, as I tuck away my pennies into my brand new IRA, I started thinking to myself, “This is for my condo in Florida!”

Then I though, “Wait a minute, I don’t want a condo in Florida! That sounds terrible!”

Why does everyone move to Florida when they retire? Presumably it’s for the warmth, though I don’t know that 90-degree days will be any easier to tolerate when I’m 70 than they are now. Longer days in the winter appeals to my Seasonal Affective Disorder, though according to weather.com, a January day in Miami is only an hour longer than one here in good old Indiana. I do like the idea of living near the water, but in Florida there are so many millions of people living near the water that you can’t even get close to it without having several million dollars to spare.

So I’ve decided that when I retire I might just throw all  convention out the window and move north instead. If nothing else, just to be contrary in my old age.

Of course, I haven’t discussed this yet with the one person who will be sharing my retirement home with me, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t mind saving a lot of money so that we can instead have a waterfront cabin on one of the Great Lakes. Or maybe a nice little cottage on the coast of Maine. Or an Oregon bungalow. The one thing we do have is plenty of time to discuss it. Trees, books, cats, a view of some water, and a little land to grow my green things on–this is all I really anticipate needing 40 years from now. That, and access to a good doctor.

l8f3a3844-m3x

photo courtesy of realtor.com

Read Full Post »

It’s a simple life I live, but one full of happy moments. Here are just a few that made their way onto my camera this week:

1. Sharing the Cozy Chair.

DSCN2508

2. Rainy days at home.

DSCN25433. My merry minstrel.

DSCN27474. Optimistic tomatoes.

DSCN27505. Surprise white bleeding hearts.

DSCN27536. The best scones ever. (Archer Farms!)

DSCN27627. My garden’s first flower.

DSCN27648. Pointy ears.

DSCN27659. A beautiful view on a gorgeous 70-degree day.

DSCN276810. Mulberry season.DSCN277011. Anything Charley Harper.DSCN277312. Foster kids.DSCN2777

Read Full Post »

Rambling Robins

DSCN2398

Today’s photograph was captured by Jeff, and shows evidence of one of many robins who flew in for their summer vacation yesterday, and are now left hopping about in the snow, searching in vain for a tasty morsel. I’m sure the little guys can fend for themselves, and they don’t look too miserable running around in the winter storm, but I do worry about their fate in the several inches of snow that is predicted to fall overnight. I hope they can manage to find a nice warm place to sleep.

Read Full Post »

Jeff and I got back home from our bike-run (I bike, he runs) just as darkness was falling here in Rocky Ripple. I looked over in the dusk just at the right moment to see Evie execute a mid-air pounce on something. Something big. Assuming it was a bat, I picked up a stick and tossed it close to her, just enough to startle her away from the thing. This is my usual method of scaring the kids away from bats, which almost always allows the bat ample time to flutter away to their (and our) safety.

This time, however, I didn’t see anything fly away, so we approached slowly, peering intently at the spot where the creature should be. I was so thoroughly expecting to see a bat that I almost did not see the beautifully huge winged thing that was lying on its back in the grass and struggling frantically to upright itself. Beneath a shock of bright red legs and a red and white striped body as big as my thumb, were a good six inches of gorgeous black, gray, red, and white wings. We found out afterward that it was a Cecropia moth, North America’s largest native moth.

With a little effort we were able to wrangle the cats enough to give the clumsy thing a chance to get airborne. We watched as it flapped away over the neighbor’s yard, looking more like some large exotic bird than any insect we had ever seen. Evie looked on ruefully.

The wonders of Rocky Ripple never cease to amaze us!

Read Full Post »

Some things that make these winter days worthwhile:

1. Snow Pants!

2. Magical Fruit Soup (yum.)

3. Kids So Sleepy

4. Negative Thinking

5. Fresh Reading Material

6. Finding recipe clippings stored in my Grandma’s Joy of Cooking. These almost sound worse than boiled hot dogs.

7. Colorful Graffiti

8. Sculptures by Nature

9. Pretending to take a picture of something in the foreground while someone is doing something weird in the background.

10. Flowers in February! (and realizing that I haven’t managed to kill off Florence)

11. More Sleepy Kids

12. Finding hidden trails in unexpected places…

13. Gorgeous views in the middle of the city.

14. And, of course, more sleepy kids.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you just need to get away from the day to day drudgery of a warm and cozy home, and get out and enjoy a little local scenery in the exhilarating January air.

To commemorate our first frigid walk together two years ago, we headed out to Turkey Run State Park for some winter hiking. This is one of the best times of year to get out and see the natural world, so long as you are properly dressed. The snow and ice have a tendency to accentuate gorgeous geographical features that might otherwise go unnoticed in the summertime.

Winter hiking is inherently peaceful. Not only are there fewer hikers (we met only one other group on the trail in our two days at Turkey Run), but the entire landscape is blanketed in a relaxing quietness. The only sounds to be heard are the occasional woodpecker, a squirrel gnawing away at a walnut, and the gurgling of the stream as it is passing under a sheet of semi-solid ice.

Yes, the Indiana winter landscape is a sight to behold. At least, it’s enough to get us out of the house and trudging around in the snow and ice for a change of scene.

Of course, a little coffee and donuts on the way home doesn’t hurt either.

Happy Two Year to US!

Read Full Post »

Fortnight Favorites

A few highlights from the past couple of weeks:

Star-gazing by firelight.

My handsome hiking buddy.

Cozy foster kids.

Movie night aftermath.

Antics.

Cold cuddly kitty cat congregations.

Pumpkin bread and hot apple cider.

Surprise new bikes!

Looking good, October!

🙂

Read Full Post »

“It’s so much friendlier with two. ”

~Winnie the Pooh

It’s been 572 days since Jeff and I first met. I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that we haven’t regretted a single day since!

 

Love you Mr. Bee. ♥

Read Full Post »

Just west of the intersection of 52nd and College Avenue in Indianapolis you will see a new facade. It’s nothing flashy, but the sign had caught my attention recently. It says, Garuda Indonesian Restaurant. Like this:

Hailed as Indiana’s very first Indonesian cuisine, we were excited to try it out. “Oooh, the Spice Islands!” and so on.

So we did.

Let me first say, don’t attempt to park in Garuda’s impossibly tiny parking lot. Even if you do get a spot, it’s not easy getting back out onto 52nd street from it. It’s much, much easier to keep driving about 50 feet or so to Broadway, where parking is plentiful and just a short jaunt to the door.

The inside of Garuda is put together well. The walls are painted in rich, dark colors, and the decor is not bad. I liked the painted brick floor, but I didn’t like how there is no back wall, and you can see straight into the kitchen from every seat in the house. Overall the cozy space gives a generally classy feel.

During our visit we were one of only two parties dining at Garuda. We were seated immediately and the owner, Peter Oomkes, sat down with us to explain the menu since we were completely unfamiliar with Indonesian cuisine. That was a plus.

We ordered two appetizers, Tofu Lumpa and Vegetable Satay. But first, they brought out Krupuk, which is a kind of spongy fried shrimp cracker. I didn’t care for the taste of the cracker, but it did come with a spicy peanut dipping sauce that was quite good.

The Lumpa, a type of spring roll, was tasty, though more reminiscent of a hash brown than a spring roll, in my opinion and experience. The veggie Satay was like a miniature shish-ke-bob, and was also tasty, though not amazing.

For our entrees we ordered the Bami Goreng (noodles and mixed vegetables), Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice with vegetables, and chicken), and Kare Opor (Indonesian chicken curry).

The Bami Goreng (above) was, I think, the most flavorful dish. I’m a little disappointed that they used dumpling egg noodles instead of an Asian noodle. I would be curious to know how the taste would change if traditional noodles had been used. I only tried a bite of this, but Theresa ate the entire thing and reported that it was good.

Now would be a good time to point out that the portions at Garuda are rather small. I prefer this because I don’t like having leftovers or wasting what I can’t eat. However, anyone with a bigger appetite might consider ordering two entrees.

My entree was Nasi Goreng. The presentation of this dish is perfect for me: separate little piles of every component, ready to be mixed and matched however I please in each bite. How did they know that’s how I like to eat? Maybe I have Control Freak written all over my face, I dunno. At any rate, my little pile of rice, little pile of chicken, little pile of veggies and my egg kept me occupied for the short time it took me to scarf the whole thing down. My only complaint? This is the most bland meal I have ever eaten. Apparently Peter Oomkes missed his latest shipment from the Spice Islands. The tiny dusting of soy sauce atop my rice pile was the only added flavor. Of course, Peter did point out to me that I could add flavor with the two pots of sweet sauce and hot sauce that were on the table from the beginning, but I didn’t want either, I wanted spices. Luckily bland food tends to be very palatable to me so I didn’t really care too much so long as I wasn’t going hungry.

I also tried a bite of the Kare Opor. It was very curry-y. Jeff reported it as being a very bland curry, and the chicken very dry. He mixed in the spicy peanut sauce that we both liked in order to add flavor to the dish.

So, the food is bland. That was a disappointment. As for the service, well…it wasn’t horrible. There were some things that were left out here and there, and getting enough plates to share our appetizers was a challenge, but those aren’t things that can make or break a meal. The worst part of the service was that one person would get their entree, then ten minutes later the next person would get theirs, and so on. If Theresa and I had been polite and waited for everyone to get their food before we began, then our food would have been cold by the time the curry rolled out.

I understand that the kitchen was short staffed. I could easily tell this because the chef was cooking about 15 feet from our table with no wall between us. But really, considering that there were about six people in the dining room, they are simply going to have to step up their production efforts in order to run a successful restaurant.

Overall, we decided as a group that, if we were going to spend $10-15 per entree on another dinner anytime soon, we would choose from a number of other places before we chose Garuda. Viet Bistro, India Garden, Thai Cafe: all these places close by offer a LOT more bang for your buck. Larger portions, amazing flavors, variety, hard-earned popularity, and variety—

all these things Garuda has not.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »