Seriously Scoffable Banoffee

Yummo!

ice cream magazine

Seriously Scoffable Banoffee

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I find Banoffee’ists can be territorial but this is a bit of a fail safe to the most discerning and determined.

Sometimes you need a little luxx, and if the luxx uses up tired cookies and biscuits.

Turning a fridge raid into a diner party delight?

Who’s complaining!

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The topping is the key:

The Ice Cream -Cream

Combine whipped cream (soft peak) to ever so slightly softened vanilla ice cream with ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Cut and fold the ice cream and vanilla into the cream.  Roughly equal quantities of ice cream to whipped cream, then place into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and return to the freezer for a few minutes if too soft.

The Base

Bash and generally beat up the biscuits by hand rather in the processor, (I used ginger biscuits that were becoming a tad soft) and added some nuts in…

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To Market, to market….

….no, I am not talking about the old children’s nursery rhyme.

When I was in the city, I made my pin-money by participating in market research for two different firms. Obviously,I am no longer in the big city, but did a little happy dance this afternoon. Evidently, I responded to an email from them and qualified for a study to be done on line.I thought that was really awesome: on-line.All the fun of being in the big city without the hassle.

It so funny when I stop to reflect back on what I have participated in.What’s even funnier is when I watch television and see ads for products I helped develop.Back in the meeting, we saw pictures of concepts and suggested changes and viola’! The changes are in the commercials! As I have gotten older, the products I qualify for have changed, and I laugh.Sure there are some food products still thrown my way, but once you’re retired, I guess it opens up a whole new world of stuff.

One thing that she asked me tonight, I guess to make sure I’d be a good contributor to the study is I had to tell her 5 out of the box ways to use a stapler.

Thank God the liberal artist still has got it!

The Voice..continued

So yes, I have been sucked into the Voice.

I have gone through the blind auditions, the knock-outs, and the stuff that comes after.I have seen them with their mentors and advisors and my head, quite frankly, is spinning.Telling singers they have to be open and honest? Jeez, I thought they pretty much were. Shows what I know, right?

I still have switched allegiance to the Voice from American Idol.Sure,it was nice to see raw talent like Carrie Underwood, but these seasoned voices rock!

Columbo-thon

Once again, I found myself surfing the channels and saw movie after movie and then what did I see?

The Hallmark channel was running back to back Columbo episodes.

Gosh, I love Columbo.

For those of you not versed in NBC Sunday night mysteries, later on ABC, or weren’t around back then, well…Sunday night mysteries had different characters/series running each Sunday. One week was Columbo, a police detective starring Peter Falk. Another was McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver, followed by Banachek, played by George Peppard.Susan St.James and Rock Hudson played McMillan and wife.and lastly Jessica Walter as Amy Prentiss.It was basically whodunit Sunday, of which Columbo was my favorite. It wasn’t quite the golden age of television, but it was great.

Those were the days.

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Spring this….

So the first day of spring was the other day, right?

Can’t prove it by me.

We went for shopping this afternoon and as I was trying to pick out Easter flowers, there were snow flurries in the air.

SNOW FLURRIES.

It brought back memories of my Mom, who would tell me how, at my oldest brother’s First Holy Communion, in May, back in the early fifties, it snowed.They couldn’t take pictures of the kids at grotto areas for keepsakes due to snow.The thought brought a smile to my face, and drew me to a pot of three white hyacinths.Tradionally, my brother in the city with me would pick up a purple hyacinth for her, I would get her a white one, and my Dad would buy Mom a lily.The memory brought a smile to my face. Once the flowers fade away, I’ll have the bulbs to come up each spring to renew the memory.

Thank God for small favors.

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Neither hair nor there…

What is it about hair?

I decided to try to let mine grow out a little bit.An end result of that is I went to an interview looking like a rag mop.

Well, not really, but you get the idea.Time to visit my local salon, called “Cuttin’Edge.

I went and got my hair done today and it is incredible what a trim will do, and I also got my”skunk stripe”, as I affectionately call it,covered.It is amazing what a little bit of TLC to the body does to the soul.Even out of a” working” environment, you get wrapped up in a daily grind and even a pass at a mirror brings your thought to “tomorrow”.

Well my tomorrow was today.I went to my salon and hung out with a few of my buddies and had a blast.I find it ironic that you, regardless of length of hair, go to a salon to”let your hair down”, as it were.

Here’s a view of the back of my bob in training cut.We’ll see how I make out.

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Equal Time

I did a post the other day about the reason my heart keeps beating…my Zush.

In all fairness, I have to post about the other reason it ticks, and that is my Kasia.

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Kasia is a golden retriever and chow mix.This spring she turns six.Since we adopted her, she has put a little spring back in Zush’s step.The chow in her has made life with her crazy: we never had a dog that barks until we had Kasia come to live with us.She was hard to walk out with people, but the chow in her made her very protective.When it is just me and Jim and Zush alone in the house, she is nothing but a love muffin.The picture inserted above is one of Kasia, as I typed this, she came up on my leg to get her belly rub.Mind you, she still barks at folks going by, but as she gets older,she becomes a little more sedate.

She’s still my Kasia and she is a Sweetie!

Holiday away

It’s hard this year.

I pulled out my Mom’s ceramic Easter egg and a small crocheted easter egg she had. I couldn’t handle too much more out, because it’s the first Easter at the new home.We won’t be here for dinner, per se, because we’ll be with Jim’s Mom and family.

When Mom was around,we had Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving every year at our home, and did what a lot of couples do: go to the other spouse’s family so everyone gets even time and you try not to slight anyone.

Mom is gone three years.

I haven’t had a Polish Easter in 3 years and for some reason, I am a little sad about it. I miss the traditions, although having the Polish parish in Manayunk get shut down by the Archdiocese doesn’t help either.I miss my brother and his family, I miss my Aunt and cousin: I am missing a lot.

My memory is still ok though, so I will have to share Easter with them in my prayers and in my mind and heart.

I am thankful that God still will let me do that.

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The Zusher

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Zush is really my bestie.

She tolerates Jim putting his glasses on her and actually sits for it with an invisible little bubble over her head that would say,” But it’s my Dad, so I guess I have to.”

It is hard for me to leash her, because she is so well-behaved, but in season, the law here is all dogs must be on a leash.I look over to her and tell her she has to have a leash on and she looks up at me and I can feel her sigh.She resigns herself to the fact and hangs in as we walk, and just goes bananas when we get close to the house.Once she gets into the yard,she says with her eyes,”Will you get this leash off of me?”

She really has hung with me, especially through the first few months of retirement, to the point where Jim said her eyes follow me where ever I am in the house.

She’s my heart!

Up and Down

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This merry-go-round horse has gone up and down like emotions today.

We went to the physician’s office this morning and there was a really weird minute where I realized I was the youngest person on the patient side of the office.Multiply that by angst I felt when the physician, when talking to me,let me know that I am now” of that age” and I needed an EKG.

“Of that age”…? Oh, yeah, I am retired for now.

I went on a job interview this afternoon and for the first time in thirty years, I remembered the jitters of worrying if I’d get a job.Then I had the interview and it was, like,really? Do I need this at my age? They promised to get back to me either way by the end of this week.

I just want to pull on that comfortable sweater called “retirement” and keep it on for now.

Big day

Tomorrow is a big day for us at Undisclosed.

We take another solid step away from our roots and get ourselves established with a new physician for our “golden” years.

It’s hard, as anyone who has moved to a new area can attest to, to start all over again. We both shared the same physician at our old spot.We are going to do it again, but we have two separate appointments to meet up with him.We have our histories written for him, so that’s done.We just have to get in there tomorrow and hopefully,he will prove to be a good fit for us.

I have something on the burner for tomorrow afternoon:depending on what happens, it might be another blog post….stay tuned!

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Introducing…

…PAVERMAN!

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If you loved following the epic saga of Jim dealing with his case of the shingles, or Jim starting up our compost, you will love Jim as Paverman.

The yard tends to get a little wet when it rains and when you have two dogs and want to save a floor, you try to get pavers to make a path for the back yard. We went to Lowe’s today to get bricks to accent the pavers and pavers themselves.Jim started the project when we got back and if he feels up to it,and the aches aren’t too bad,he might go back tomorrow to it.It is a hard job, and I do feel sorry when I watch him do it, but his sense of accomplishment when it looks good is overwhelming.

Slowly but surely, Undisclosed Deux is taking shape.

Ha-ha-ha…who’s got the last laugh now?

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Tonight,daylight savings time,is the first day of spring.

You couldn’t tell it by the above picture.

Jim and I went to a funeral this morning and this was the picture I took when I got out of the car at the funeral home.Yup, snow.The Weather Channel, in their 2015 trend, named the storm Ultima.It was hysterical, because when we came back from the luncheon,there was a dividing line of weather, and the snow turned into rain.

But it’s spring now…right?

Just checking.

Beautiful day…

…because we are due,according to the weatherman, to have snow tomorrow morning.

We have to go to another part of the state for a funeral tomorrow morning, so we have to call it an early night.The fit bit zip has seen lucky 15,000 steps, we had Chinese food for dinner**our first since we relocated down here**, all I have to do is get the girls out for a quick good night walk, and then we are shutting down for the night.

Have a good Friday, and if the weather is iffy tomorrow where you are, be careful,ok?

Diane Sawyer -Beyond the Sound of Music

I got back from the city tonight in time to see Diane Sawyer and Julie Andrews talk about behind the scenes at the Sound of Music.

They are blowing wide the story, telling of how Grace Kelly and Doris Day were up for the role of Maria, Mia Farrow auditioning for the role of Liesel,the giggles in the gazebo scenes between Maria and the Captain,Julie Andrews reworking the wedding march…quite good stuff.

It does intrigue me this movie.Perhaps it is the classic perfect life that you know it will never be.Perhaps it is the love that you never thought you’d have, with Maria and the Captain.I read that when Maria Shriver was marrying Arnold Schwarzenegger, she wrote to get the permission from the estate of Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers, to get permission to have the wedding march played as she was going down the aisle.There’s something about this movie.

I have never gotten to Salzburg, but I’m sure I would have joined one of the Sound of Music bus tours.I read that the Sound of Music sites get more tourists than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace…SERIOUSLY.

It takes me back and makes me wistful for both of my parents,an easier life, none of the weight of being grown up.For an hour tonight,I “must have done something good.”

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Jinx

I am bingeing on the HBO series “The Jinx”, about real estate millionaire Robert Durst.

They have turned it into a docudrama, but it’s funny how it shows how the judicial system works for the rich.

He was accused of killing an ex-neighbor in Texas, his medical student wife disappeared and he still is a suspect in that, and then there’s a third person, a lady friend who he is accused of murder.It’s kind of sad, that now they are having the wife’s family talk about how they looked for her. Oh,did I mention she disappeared in 1982? Friends stole Durst’s trash and caught him throwing away his wife’s medical books, make-up, clothes.

The reason I put this on is that there was a piece on the news that they stopped him from getting on a plane to Cuba.I assume we don’t have extradition there.It really sounded like a strange case, so I am checking it out….until the Voice is on at 8…lol

The Voice

So I am still watching THE VOICE on NBC.

They are in the knock out stage now, which means that they have to lose members on their teams.The coaches, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine,Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton, pick a song and two members of the team sing the same song, and the coach decides who stays on the team.

It is so hard, because in my opinion, the talent on THE VOICE is more on a semi-professional level than American Idol.How can they actually let these people go off the show? It is saved for some of them, as the other coaches have the ability to steal someone and put them on their team.

I know it is confusing, but the level of talent is there.It’s a pleasure, on the whole, to watch and listen to THE VOICE.

Buddies

I had a friend from the office who retired before I did.He’s 58 now, I think.We used to laugh about which of the two of us would retire first.He did,obviously, because he is older than me.

I bring him Holy Communion after Mass, as at 56, he had a stroke.He can talk, go to the bathroom, but he is having a lot of trouble walking.Now his hypertension is going through the roof and they are trying to knock it back down.

I usually don’t ask a request from you,reader,as I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to read this post.If you would hold a good thought for my buddy Marc, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.

Well, at least it cleaned the car off…

We had a full day of rain today.

What’s the old school saying? It makes the flowers grow? It cleans the air of all the pollen, snow, pollution,fill in the blank ________.

There is something nice about a full rainy day on a Saturday.Not a rainy week, mind you, or three rainy days in a row, but a rainy Saturday.

You get up in the morning when the spirit moves you.Things seem to go a little slower.When the girls and I walk, we are walking slower because it must make the smells more attractive to the girls.Not too many people are out so the world is a little quieter, except for your footsteps and the sound of the rain.

The highlight of the day?

The salt got cleaned off the car…..lol.

Hole-y Sinking Sand!

The girls and I had a rare treat today.
Jim finished work early and we celebrated by taking a 3 mile walk on the Cove beach at Cape May.

We had a rough time for a little,though.

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Where we were walking, which would normally have been the sand right around the tide line, when you stepped on, when Zush stepped on it, it sunk! I mean, you would put your foot down and your foot would go down a bit and then, eventually, you hit another layer of sand.It scared me, and Zush and Jim, when it happened to each of us: eventually we moved away from the tide line.

We love the Cove, as do a ton of folks, because it allows you a southward view of the ocean and beach and the lighthouse at Cape May State Park.
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We took our time walking,picking up seashells as we went along.There is a bunker that was built for World War II that still was on the beach, and for some reason,we couldn’t make it out from the distance. It gave us incentive to keep on walking.Well, we decided when we would make it to the bunker, we’d touch it and then turn back.

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Here’s a shot of Jim and Zush when we made it down to the ruins of the bunker. Kasia was walking with me.I took this shot of the lighthouse and considered it my reward for the effort and to make 15,000 for my fit bit zip today.

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It was a wonderful family outing…I am hoping we have more of them in the future.

Movie Rut

As I type this, “The Fugitive”, starring Harrison Ford is playing on cable. I think this move was in the early 1990’s. Earlier, Jim and I watched “In The Line Of Fire”, which starred Clint Eastwood. It, too, was from the early 1990’s.

Did you ever get into a rut where the movies that you watch were like a comfort food of sorts? I mean, we watch the films because we like them, or something in the movie strikes a message to us.Then, in the next breath, I find myself lamenting the fact that there are no movies that we currently like around.

At least when the Phillies were good, Jim and I had something to sit and watch together at night.Now,it is a different time.We watch things here but as folks with cable find out, there are a ton of stations with not many things worth watching.

Radio, anyone?

Greetings from Undisclosed

It’s been a while since I wrote an Undisclosed update.

I think I wrote more about Undisclosed, I think, before I retired, but since I have been down here full-time, I haven’t really thought about it as” Undisclosed”, although it is still that.It’s weird,because it’s home to boot.

We are adjusting to full-time life here, and we are happy.The girls really are happy because, for now, I am here full-time, that is, not working, so they get a ton of attention.Jim likes to tease me about being a happy homemaker,but after 30 years of waiting on cold street corners and windy train platforms to go to town,there are plenty things to keep me happy.

We both are trying to figure out about working.It is weird,because it is something we know that can’t be full-time, because there basically NO full-time positions here.We’ll decide, somewhere along the way, if there is something we can do.As the weather gets warmer, it’s less of a thought because there are things to get done around here, and when it is nice out, who wants to be outside.

Life is good.

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The Sound of Music

Dame Julie Andrews was on Good Morning America this morning.
She was promoting the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music.

Fifty Years.

I am 55: I saw the Sound of Music with my parents in 1965 in The Ocean Theater on the Wildwood New Jersey boardwalk.I remember that as if it were yesterday.

Throughout my early teens,I was so enamored with Christopher Plummer in the movie.Some day, if I got married, I wanted a guy just like “The Captain.” To show you man planning and God laughing,Jim likes to do everything BUT dance. I went to a all women’ college that was the motherhouse for a religious order. When I was in my 20’s, I had a dress like the dress Julie Andrews wears when Christopher Plummer sings Edelweiss.In my late 30’s, I went to a movie theater in downtown Philadelphia to attend the sing-a-long version of The Sound of Music.

I really loved the movie and still do. It reminds me of an easier time in history and an easier time in my life.I just can’t believe it’s 50 years.

Squirrel Girl

There is a history behind my affection for squirrels.

When I was a kid, my Mom let me go to the local recreation center and one of the first arts and crafts that I did was painting a plaster of paris mold of a squirrel. I loved that statue and it was around for a full time.As a kid, I’d go with my best friend, Karen, and we’d collect acorns and put them in the trees for the squirrels.Seriously.We did.

When I got older and was up Penn State’s main campus,I met the timid, almost tame squirrels.I was in heaven.When Zush came into my life, she chased squirrels and she became my squirrel girl.

It was very funny.that as we go for walks here, I found a sign that I was meant to be here.
The picture is below.

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“Weather or Not”

As a lot of folks have experienced,the weather has gotten a little bit warmer.There were no 10 degree minutes today;in fact I think the weather was in the mid to high 30’s.

People were asking me and checking in with me about my stepping with my Fit Bit Zip.

When it was really bitter cold, I managed my 10,000 steps a day, if not a hair over.Jim was vital in this some days, especially when the wind chill factor was low,he would take me to a store where I could take a chunk of my daily steps.His support in this has been vital.

Yesterday, the first day of the defrosting weather,I actually got over 17,000 steps in.Today, as of this writing I am 90 steps short of 15,000.

I’m ba-a-ck!

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” Self Praise Stinks.”my Mom always said…

..except the subject of my last post, the band ALL TUNED UP, actually pulled my post and put it on their Facebook page.That really made my day, because I think that was the first time a subject did that for my post.

Diane and George started the band, and I owe George an apology for calling him Gary yesterday. There are five members all together and I can’t begin to tell you how amazed we were to see a band that actually played music.Sure, there are a lot of groups that play down here, but they usually have their background music on computer.They sound like they are a bigger band, but it is really the computer playing the music.

We laughed last night, because Jim and I normally wouldn’t have been a fan of the song” Uptown Funk”‘ because we really don’t pay much attention to new music, but the tune is so catchy, we had no choice but to really get into it, because the tune gets stuck in your head.Jim always likes It’s All About The Bass, because he felt Megan Trainor’s voice was different.I used to play the song all the time on You Tube because it got me through the workday.When we heard older standards played, we felt that this what a well-rounded group does.They cover the whole thing.

Anyway, this morning I was beat.I hadn’t danced that much in a long time and that was a good thing.We are looking forward to the next time they come on down and play.

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Friday Night Date

We went out tonight to the local fishing club for dinner with our friends Dottie and Al.They are leaving tomorrow to go to Arizona.

We had seafood for dinner and were so busy having a good time that we didn’t realize the band for Friday night was tuning up!

The group was called “All Tuned Up”, and they were awesome. A female lead singer named Diane and her husband, Gary started the band.They were five all together, and in an age where a lot of musicians use computers to play back up music, there were NONE with this group.Pretty impressive, I thought. They played a great mix of music: from Zac Brown Band, to Megan Trainor,thru 50’s, 60’s and so on, everyone loved their mix.Even the oldest of diehards were bopping along to their cover of Uptown Funk.

It was a fabulous night.Most fun we had in a long time, I would say, with wonderful company.

Life is good.

Everyone is out of town…

…Seems like, I’m the only one around.Somehow these words came into my mind.I don’t remember what song they are from but it was one out in the 60’s when I was a kid.

My buddies Juls,Dottie and Kathy are on their vacations. Juls leaves tomorrow for Hawaii to see her daughter and her family. Kathy left yesterday and is with her husband down in Miami waiting to go on a Caribbean cruise.Dottie leaves Saturday for Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

That’s the funny thing about being retired.I am not working: why would I need a vacation? I am in a quiet spot, well, at least quiet for now.I used to have to get up early in the morning to get up and walk the girls and then get ready for work.Now, when I get up in the morning, I am shocked not to be awake at 4:45am.There is something to be said for having a new routine established in your life.I wonder when the newness of it wears off: probably when I end up getting a little job.Then I’ll be back to square one, and in dire of a vacation.

I guess I’ll be out-of-town, then.

Winter Storm OVER

I guess the Weather Channel thinks they have almighty power over the National Weather Service and have decided to name all the winter storms.

Seriously?

And tonight’s storm due to hit here is named Thor? What’s more depressing?The fact it’s March 4th and all the storms have hit ALL THE WAY down to”T”? Or is it more depressing that we have managed to make it through and are still here to see yet ANOTHER storm? Would it be the fact that the Weather Channel figures it’s a cute marketing tool to name those storms.

Dear Weather Channel,

I am 55 years old and have gone through enough storms.I know there will be more to come.Do you have to be cute with the winter storms? Seriously? Just tell us what’s up,ok? Unless you are coming to shovel or walk the girls in the ice, just the facts, ok?

A disgusted viewer who doesn’t live in Boston.

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The Voice

I have watched American Idol in the past.

(Past being the operative word)

There are only so many times you can watch singers, good, bad and in-between,fight to get recognition and win competitions…until now.Sure they might win the contest but outside of Kelly Clarkson and maybe Jordan Sparks, where are they now?

I admit when The Voice came on the air, I kind of hung on it as another American Idol.Until this week,when on Monday night, I never thought I’d be watching a competition again.Now I have found The Voice.

What really intrigues me is the concept of the blind auditions.The ability to judge someone by their voice, not how their appearance.It really makes me appreciate that music is universal when you listen first and then look.I was pleasantly surprised. They have gotten me as a convert.I’ll be following the show through this season.

Inland Ice

Yesterdays’ post dealt with chunks of ice in Delaware Bay.

Overnight we had sleet down here that would have had Katerina Witt shaking her head and going WTF?

Our handicapped ramp in the back is metal, so when I take the girls out, I have to go out very slowly, as I still have the phobia of landing on my knees and seeing pieces of metal sticking out of my knee replacements.It’s almost 4 years but falling on ice is still pretty scary.

We went down for our walk this morning and although the temperature was pretty stable at 28, you were getting your head wet from the ice melting when it dripped off the trees.I feel sorry for Kasia, because with weather getting warmer, she will definitely miss the snow. The girls are pretty good though, as they know the tone of my voice when I tell them,”Go slow for Mommy.”

I hope, gentle reader, you have fared well in the ice. Hang in there: spring is coming.

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Anybody see the Titanic?

When Jim and I were coming home from Mass today, we decided to go down to the bay and see what was going on.Boy, were we shocked!

I have posted pictures of Delaware Bay when it was frozen solid.A few years it was an odd sight for us, but unfortunately,it has been a common sight here of late.Today when we were down there,we saw icebergs….seriously….icebergs! I am used to seeing icebergs in the North Atlantic or in books about the Titanic, but in Delaware Bay? I have never seen them before.

It’s a sad statement on the environment,in my humble opinion,when things are that screwed up with our earth.It would be nice it people would wake up and try to save out planet! Just be aware of the environment and try to be a good caregiver of it.

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