TBT Lesson #48

We cheered on the U.S. Olympic team during the summer of ’96, and one of our goals was to watch track and field events in the Olympic stadium. Unfortunately, the medal events had a four ticket purchase limit. Since it didn’t seem like a good idea to leave one member of the family sitting in the car while the rest of us entered the stadium, we decided to buy tickets for one day of preliminary events which did not have a ticket limit.

Tickets were available in sessions that did not indicate what events would be run so we chose a morning date at random hoping for the best. Well, we enjoyed being in the stadium, but the 50km race walk which took place mostly outside of the stadium was less than exciting. We watched athletes walking around the stadium and warming up for later events, but I think we all wondered if we’d have been better off sleeping in than taking our seats for the 7:00am walk.

FullSizeRenderTBT Lesson #48: Not all Olympic track and field events are worth the price of the ticket (or all that much fun).

Bring Out the Derby Glasses

Since 1940, Mint Juleps, the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby have been served in colorful glasses featuring unique designs as well as a list of previous Derby winners.

We’ve collected dozens of these glasses over the years. Many with images of horses.

And others with red roses, the traditional flower of the race.

The list of previous winners provide a great opportunity for a little Derby Day trivia.

However, the 1969 glass is missing the list of winners since it was pending the appeal of the disqualification of the 1968 winner, Dancer’s Image.

And the oldest glass in our collection? Ones from 1959.


Canes 24 – Noles 23

I know that looks like a football score, but that was the final score of the Miami v FSU  baseball games this past weekend; and if we’d let our school media specialists score the event, they would have declared Miami the winner of the series. (A little background on the library connection to a baseball series: When setting up the guidelines for the annual book bowl competition, I argued that using the total score of multiple matches was NOT the way to determine the winning team, but rather, the score of individual matches should be used to calculate the win loss record of each team. On second thought, maybe they were on to something.)


Unfortunately, for the Hurricanes, media specialists do not determine the winner.

As a result, FSU took the series after winning a six hour, seventeen inning game Friday night 8-7. And, yes, we did stay to the final pitch at 1:00am Saturday.


The second game wasn’t pretty as the Noles came out on top 15-5; but then the Canes mounted a series comeback on Sunday with a 12-0 win for a total weekend win of 24-23. And no, we didn’t stay to the end of either of those lopsided contests.

Maybe we’ll see these two evenly matched teams meet again in a few weeks at the ACC tournament.

And Ocala and Osceola Middle School was well represented in Miami…an FSU player, a Sugar Cane, and fans cheering for both teams.



Avoid Distractions

This weekend as I rode my bike  through the streets of Miami Beach I was grateful for all the drivers who made driving their number one priority. Road construction, rain, traffic, detours and of course the unusual sights that make Miami Beach famous provide plenty of distractions, not to mention those that drivers initiate in their cars with passengers, the radio, cell phones, eating and even their GPS.

Driving’s a lot more complicated today than forty years ago when I learned to drive. The only distractions I dealt with was messing with the radio or talking to passengers. Now we eat, talk on the phone and manage a host of technology that is supposed to make driving easier, but I’m not sure that’s always the case. In this age of multi-tasking, it’s difficult to concentrate on a single task, even one as important as driving a car.

For the sake of all the motorcyclists, bike riders, pedestrians as well as the other drivers on the road and your own safety, please avoid these distractions.

I can’t tell you how thankful I was to be fully alert last week driving on the Florida Turnpike when I encountered a ten foot ladder fully open in the middle of the lane in which I was traveling. No drink in hand. Not on the phone. Both hands on the wheel instead of on the radio. Just driving. Able to assess the situation, slow down then move gradually to another lane and avoid hitting an object that could have caused an accident or at the very least damaged to my car.

Message from NMSU

And whatever you do…don’t text, tweet or check Facebook while you drive! Be a safe driver and avoid distractions.








7 Pretzel Recipes for National Pretzel Day

A warm, soft pretzel while at a baseball game. Pretzels with onion dip. That’s how I usually eat pretzels. But when I realized today’s National Pretzel Day, I decided to look for pretzel recipes and was surprised to find so many.

IMG_8512Salted Caramel Pretzel Snaps – a Chocolate Turtle imitator, but without the nuts. Even better than the original for those of us with nut allergies. Click here for recipe from Oh Sweet Basil.

Recipe from Oh Sweet Basil

I’m going to be honest, I can’t imagine making my own pretzels, but this recipe may be worth a try on a rainy day or during a football marathon. Click here for the Homemade Pretzel recipe from Lee Cooks, Margy Eats.

Recipe from Lee Cooks, Margy Eats at leecooks.com

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels look super simple. Click here for My Life Well Loved’s recipe.

From My Life Well Lived

Another easy recipe to create a little pretzel pizazz: Zesty Ranch Pretzels. Click here for the recipe from Spiced, One Dash at a Time.

Zesty Ranch Pretzels by Spiced, One Dash at a TimeWhy not try pretzels in chocolate chip cookies.  Averie Cooks recipe for this treat can be found by clicking here.

White chocolate and sprinkles spell pretzel fun. Try making these White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels from PBS by clicking here.

PBS.org: Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

What could be easier than adding pretzels to chocolate chip cookies? That’s what this recipe from Averie Cooks does. Click here to see how to make Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies from Averie Cooks

Does this count as a pretzel recipe or is it really a strawberry recipe? Click here to see how to prepare Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad.

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad by Chef in Training

Of course, those pretzels at the ballpark are hard to beat.


It’s Blueberry Season…Time for Muffins

Several years ago a neighbor of my parents brought my mom a bowl of freshly picked blueberries and a recipe for blueberry muffins. That recipe has become a favorite and one we look forward to making every year during blueberry season.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (approximately)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries



  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium-size bowl.
  • Pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 1 cup measure; add the egg; and enough milk to fill the cup.
  • Mix this with the flour mixture and continue to stir just until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Fold in blueberries.

Batter will be very thick. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and mix together with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.



These muffins aren’t good for a quick breakfast, but worth the time on a weekend morning when you have a little more time. And really, how could they not be delicious with a butter, sugar and cinnamon crumb topping?

It’s time to pick some blueberries and make some muffins and maybe even a Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake!

TBT Lesson #47

Finally, when I was 14, girls’ softball teams were organized, and I signed up immediately. I’d been asking for years, why there were no teams for girls.

Pompano Sport, a slow pitch softball team that played at the complex near the stadium used by the Washington Senators during Spring Training, was the team I enjoyed the most.

Don’t we look sharp in our matching over-sized T-shirts? No pants, no hats or visors, no socks or those fancy stirrup socks…just T-shirts. And look at those basketball shoes most of us are wearing. Perfect shoes for softball. Even the T-ball teams rated better uniforms than the girls.

But no matter, we finally got to play. And while this is my favorite team and favorite group of girls to play with, I can only remember the names of three teammates. Ruthie, Joyce and Corinne.

I wonder if that means we didn’t win as many games as I remember?

FullSizeRender_2TBT Lesson #47: Write the names of everybody in the picture on the back of the photo.


Happy Two Monthiversary


In celebration of the two monthiversary…pre-wedding pictures

ceremony photos

groups pictures with family and friends

and post wedding celebration at #PattyParty2015

Happy Two Monthiversary!

sd21Sorry I’m a week late.

Find Your Park

It’s National Park Week! And while last weekend park admission was free, it’ still a good time to visit one of our country’s more than 400 national parks.

In the past year, we’ve enjoyed these treasures with a trip to the National Mall and the monuments and memorials of our nation’s capital.

IMG_7421Trips to Chickamauga, Appomattox and Ford’s Theater have been a good way to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Adventures in the Big Cypress Swamp, the Everglades, the Great Smoky Mountains,  Gulf Islands and Canaveral Seashores, Shenandoah and Ocala National Forest.

It’s time to plan for summer visits to more parks…Olympic, San Juan Island, Lewis and Clark and Crater Lake…a good start.

And maybe we can squeeze in a quick trip to one of the National Parks in South Florida. Everglades, Big Cypress Swamp, Biscayne, and the Dry Tortugas are perfect places to spend a spring day in the Florida sunshine. I hear them calling my name.

Find your park and share your story at #FindYourPark.

Take a Deep Breath…and Bring Headphones

Traveling brings great joy, but also many headaches, especially when it comes to airline travel. With delayed flights, lost luggage, TSA security checks and cramped space you can’t help but wonder if it’s really worth it.

To make matters worse, just last week on our flight to Richmond, I felt like my seat was in a playpen. I was completely surrounded by babies. A crying baby in front of me. A crying baby behind me. A crying baby across the aisle from me. Not exactly the way to start a vacation.

Fortunately, the crying chorus didn’t last long; and with earbuds in place listening to the podcast I’d downloading for the flight, the noises in the plane, even those from the babies were muffled and not a problem.

If you want to travel, focus on the what lies ahead when you get off the plane. Be thankful you’re surrounding by crying babies instead of traveling with them.

Airplane survival kit
Airplane survival kit

Take a deep breath…plug in your headphones.