A Retired Professor

Cabin Fever Comfort

 

I am so sick of this constant rain!  Cabin fever!  Fooling around with the Boomerang app so you know I am bored!  How did Noah’s wife survive all of those days on the ark?   Comfy stay inside clothes from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale but probably full price now.

        Links:                                          Nordstrom Top                                        Nordstrom Pants

Rain, Life and Fashion

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast last night and I feel for those residents!  It’s been many years since southwest Florida has taken a direct hit but I remember the experience well.  Boarding up the house, deciding to leave or stay, listening to the howling wind, days without electricity and living with hot humid weather!  It was a joy to go to work just to cool off!

We have had days and days of non-stop rain around here.  A nasty system has been hanging over our area dumping rain and sogginess around.  It’s not a chilling rain in Florida but it makes one want to stay inside and read and cook!

We were to leave for Key West on Thursday and all reservations and adventures were booked!  Then on Wednesday the Colonel got a call that meant we had to cancel our plans!  I was bummed since it was all planned about 2 months ago but flexibility prevailed and all reservations were moved to the end of September.  I’ve got something to look forward to as the days go by.

It seemed so odd to have nothing planned and a blank calendar for 4 days.  Add the rain into the mix and you would think I would have accomplished much on the home front.  Not so but a few other things filled the past two days including sharing some cute outfits with you below.

Some dear friends invited the Colonel and me to their club for happy hour followed by dinner to celebrate the Colonel’s birthday last night.  The man shies away from all celebrations but he went and had a fine time.  I had gotten the blue dress below for Key West so I was glad to have an excuse to wear it last night.  The dress was a steal at White House Black Market during their summer sale.  The navy lace jacket came from my favorite local boutique, Jennifer’s.  The store has been in Fort Myers for over 30 years and caters to women ages 35+.  The staff is wonderful and the pieces in the store are unique and practical.

White House Dress

The girls in the store suggested that I also wear the navy lace with dark jeans and a black tee.  It worked!  I’m also wearing Vaneli kitten heels I had purchased at Jennifer’s last spring.  They dress up many outfits.

Jennifer’s

This casual “athleisure” outfit is from Jennifer’s too.  It’s light weight for our Florida weather and perfect for this rainy day.  She has similar outfits in the store now too.

Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow.  Hopefully there’s a good Hallmark movie on tonight!  Wishing all of you sunshine…and happy shopping!

A Retired Professor Has A New Theme

Hello, dear friends!  What do you think of the new blog look?  I thought that the site need a brighter look and I like the happy feel I get when I see the blue and green colors!  I posted a new welcome picture taken this summer when I visited Boca Grande.  I think the new look will motivate me to share some stories about travel, my addiction to fashion and some good reads.  I’ll be back soon with more news.

Run to Talbot’s for Summer Fun

RUN, don’t walk to Talbots this week before all of their new cute summer line is gone!  It has a tropical feel that will be just right for my upcoming trip to my happy place for my birthday, South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island.  I am also going on a family cruise later this summer on Harmony of the Seas.  So, I couldn’t resist these tropical cuties.  No time to take selfies of the outfits but trust me on this one.  Nice discount now too.  Happy shopping my friends!

Outfit #1.  Loved this white embroidered top.  It can also be worn off the shoulders but I will probably pass on that option because it would involve a strapless bra and continual tugging and checking to make sure the top stays in place.  The orange slacks are ankle length.

        

Embroidered top:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/new-arrivals/_/N-3321363485?intcmp=20170424_home_row1_newarrivals

Orange pants:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/new-arrivals/_/N-3321363485?intcmp=20170424_home_row1_newarrivals

Outfits # 2 & #3.  This darling tropical skirt can be dressed up or down.  The yellow top is a dressier version for a nice dinner out and the tee makes it casual with flip flops.  At first I thought the embroidery on the tee was a bit busy for the skirt but it looks great and brings out the colors in the skirt.  Love this!

           

Tropical skirt:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/skirts/_/N-10434

Yellow top:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/new-arrivals/_/N-3321363485?intcmp=20170424_home_row1_newarrivals

Indigo top:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/tees-and-knits/_/N-10537

Outfit #4.  I love white and navy together.  This is a trendy top but not so full that it is reminiscent of my maternity tops from way back when!  I will pair this with white shorts, white capris and white jeans.

Navy top:  https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/blouses-and-shirts/_/N-10157

What do you think of my choices?  Have you purchased any of the new line?  Leave me a comment.  Sign up on the right to get e-mail updates.  Promise there aren’t many.

 

New Reads in 2017

I belong to two different book clubs and this New Year my reading has been limited to the books chosen by those two groups.

The first book I read was The Nix by Nathan Hill.  This seems to be a book you either love or hate.  I have spoken to no one who is in the middle.  I took it on my Caribbean cruise and several passengers asked me what I thought of it.  Well, I’m in the group who would probably not read it again and really had to plow through it!  I found it hard to relate to the gaming sections of the book but that would appeal to a younger reader.  I found all of the information about the 1968 riots in Chicago upsetting and I had very little memory of them because I was busy finishing college and attended a very conservative campus!  With that said, the author is a master of mixing current day events and those of years ago to tell the story of Samuel and his mother and the events that shaped them.  The line that sticks with me is “That which you love the most will hurt you the most” or something like that.  The author does bring the events to conclusion and in a most interesting way but I do think he could have done it in fewer pages.

I recently finished The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce.  Queenie is living in a hospice facility run by nuns.  Her neighbors in the facility are a bunch of interesting characters and they are all waiting for Queenie’s friend from her youth to walk across England to visit her.  The expectation of that visit keeps Queenie alive as she waits for his arrival and causes her to reflect on her life.  I must admit I really didn’t understand the letter writing thread in the book until the end!  Honestly, it was so obvious and the author had sprinkled the story with so many hints but I missed it.  Actually I’m glad I did because that added to the wonderful realization at the end of the book.  Nice light reading.  Touching story.  Loved this book.

Have you read either one?  Curious to know what you thought about The Nix.  Include a comment below.

Did you know you can subscribe to my blog and get an e-mail when there is a new post?  I promise it’s not that often!  Fill out the form on the side bar on the right side.

Spring Shopping at the Loft and Talbot’s

Our few days of winter Florida weather are finally over.  I got to wear sweaters two days in a row and put on sweats and socks in the evening to watch TV.  As a Floridian, I can say good riddance!  The sun is shining and it’s 80 degrees outside.  The sunshine and a sale announcement from Talbot’s lured me out of the house today and I must say I fell off the no shopping wagon and found a few things that will lead right into spring.

The Loft is hit or miss for me.  I walked past the Loft on my way to Talbot’s and the signage drew me inside.  The sale rack in the back of the store had this cute top calling my name.

Red floral henley blouse

I was able to get 25% off the marked down price.

http://www.loft.com/floral-border-henley-blouse/415913?skuId=22173522&defaultColor=3991&colorExplode=false&catid=catl000011

Talbot’s was offering 25% off all full-priced items through February 8.  So, not much time to get there, ladies.  The two items I found at Talbot’s speak spring to me and I can wear them right now.  Here they are with links to their online catalog.

Navy and white peplum top which also comes in red and white

https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi41523&defaultColor=1976&N=10537&selectedConcept=

Striped shift dress in green

The link only shows it in navy but my store had it in this lovely spring green.

https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi41338&defaultColor=5960&N=2069989720&selectedConcept=

 

Happy springtime shopping!  What have you bought lately?  Leave me a comment.

Windstar Cruises: Retirement Trip

As most of you know, I retired the end of April, 2016 and had wanted to take a retirement vacation.  After searching, comparing and convincing the Colonel that a small, boutique cruise ship would be perfect, we were off on January 5, 2017.  I love cruises and have been on several big ships but the Colonel didn’t want to be on a huge floating hotel with lots of people.  Some very good friends spoke highly of the Windstar fleet of smaller yachts and sailing ships so we decided to give them a go.  We were booked on the Windstar that sailed the Windward Islands from Barbados.  It was nothing short of wonderful.

We flew to Barbados from Fort Lauderdale, the day before the shooting there.  I swear, this was divine intervention.  We spent 2 days at the Accra resort before boarding the ship on Saturday.  Embarkation was easy and the ship was very easy to navigate.  The staff was excellent and we met so many interesting people.

Windstar Cruises are for those who just want luxury, 5 star food, time to relax and read and yes, take advantage of the daily drink specials with only 148 other passengers and 95 crew members.  No evening shows, tiny casino, one lounge, one dining room….all quietly elegant.  Best of all, when the wind was just right, the captain put up the sails and we glided through the water with little engine noise.

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ports of call included smaller islands that the big cruise ships could not visit.  Few shops in port but the scenery was breath-taking and the water was crystal clear turquoise.  We were each issued snorkeling gear to keep for the entire cruise.  Paddle boards, kayaks and other water toys were there for our use too.  While anchored in port, the back of the ship would be open and huge floats were in the water, tied to the ship, to sun upon.

      

The Piton Mountains near St. Lucia                                 Sunset at Sea

The pool deck was turned into the Candles Restaurant most evenings.  You could dine there once during the voyage under the stars.  The food was grilled on deck and the smell mingled with the salt air.  No upcharge for this experience.  We took advantage of this during our day at sea and found the steaks to be as good as or better than Chops or Ruth Chris.

We went zip lining in St. Lucia and after the first few runs, my heart slowed down and I enjoyed the ride rather than trying to slow myself down.  So glad we did that excursion!  I would try that sport again.

I came home relaxed, refreshed, happy and ready to face 2017.  I would go again on one of their ships because of the unstructured time, beautiful destinations and time to relax.  However, be forewarned that you will overly indulge and pay the price when you return.  I’m back at Orange Theory Fitness 3 mornings per week, walking at least 3 other mornings, wearing my Fitbit and paying attention to my steps, abstaining from adult beverages for a while and eating less!  My body is not happy!  Oh, but the payback is so worth it.

Here is the Windstar website.  Click on the word Windstar. Visit, dream and book a cruise with them!

 

Brie in Bread: Pure Heaven

Happy New Year 2017!  Wishing you a year of health and happiness but first a little brie and French bread!  My friend, Carol, shared this recipe with me and Carol and I made it last night.  She told me folks inhale this gooey, cheesy appetizer the minute it comes out of the oven and we sure did!  What can be better than Brie, bread, butter, sugar and nuts!  I was in heaven and the diet starts tomorrow because there’s a little bit left to eat today!

Here’s the recipe with pictures to guide you.  Heck, make this today while watching football!

1 round of Brie (Costco size, don’t skimp on this)

1 Pillsbury French loaf (found in dairy case near crescent rolls)

1 stick of butter, melted (use the real kind, I used salted)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 handful of nuts (I used walnuts but pecans would be yummy too)

Surround the brie with the bread in a Pyrex pie plate.  Pinch ends of bread together.  No need to take the rind off the brie.  Combine the sugar and melted butter and pour over the brie.  Sprinkle nuts on top.  The picture above is ready to bake.

Place pie plate on a cookie sheet in case the goodness oozes over while baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The picture above is the masterpiece out of the oven.

 

Ready for the first bite!  Yum!!!!

Christmas Music

This is a bittersweet Christmas and some Christmas songs bring it to the surface.  My Dad passed away 7 years ago and after that I missed him but Mom was still around even though her health continued to deteriorate over the years.  The Christmas years after Dad passed were happy ones but this one is so different since Mom passed in April.  I think about them often and how they established so many traditions during the holiday season for my sister and me.

When I hear certain Christmas songs, I immediately remember connections to Mom and Dad.  Mom loved to sing and I can still hear her harmonizing to Silver Bells and White Christmas with the car radio.  Dad thought the Chipmunk Song was the funniest thing he had ever heard.  As a child he had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and would let my sister and I talk and then he would play it back at a fast speed so that we sounded like the Chipmunks. Click on the song titles above to hear the original versions that my parents loved.

We lived in Pennsylvania so our tree went up Christmas Eve because trees dry out so quickly in a heated house.  Dad would buy it on his way home from work and we would decorate it that evening.  Often it was not the perfect tree but we were happy with the results.  It was usually a blue spruce, my Dad’s favorite.  Those were the days of glass ornaments, bubble lights and lots of tinsel.

The little cutie below is ME!  Notice the tinsel-laden tree in the background.

Today I made my Mom’s cheese ball and did it her way.  Mixed it with my hands, spread the walnuts on aluminum foil and folded it up to make the walnuts stick.  Getting my hands in the cheesy mess was an excellent idea, so much easier to mix than with a spoon.  You were right Mom.

 

 

Our family will miss both of you this year and I pray that you are together and happy with the angels.  Memories and traditions make Christmas special.  As I hear your favorite Christmas songs on my car radio I remember those long ago years that seem like yesterday. Thanks for the memories.

 

 

May your Christmas be white with silver bells ringing and the Chipmunks singing along!

Merry Christmas 2016

 

What are your favorite childhood memories?  What triggers those memories?  Send me a comment.

Cinnamon Rolls Deluxe

Baking is a skill that if you don’t use it, you lose it!  My Mom and Grandmother were excellent bakers and I could hold my own when I was younger and baking for my family.  Lately, not so much!  Yeast breads and I have never had a happy relationship and there have been many failures over the years.  But today I found success.  I saw a recipe for cinnamon rolls posted by The Pioneer Woman with many pictures to go with the process.  They turned out wonderful!  I cut the recipe in half and made the dough yesterday and put it in the refrigerator over night, like Ree recommended.  Give them a try but be forewarned, they are oozing with butter and I’m sure that’s the secret ingredient that makes them yummy.  There’s still time to make them for Christmas morning, so get started!

                         

             Ready for the oven!                                     Baked, iced and ready to eat!

Here’s the link to the recipe.  Just click:  The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Enjoy and don’t think about all of the calories!  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Scroll To Top