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Archive for December, 2010

December 31st, 2010

New Year’s Eve, Traditions, Resolutions….Expectations



I have been thinking about my New Year’s resolutions.  There are so many I would like to make and keep.  I know that is not going to happen.  I will try, though.  You know, be a better person, a better parent, a better friend, a better wife, exercise more, eat less.  Oh my, the list is so long, I am already tired and afraid I won’t be able to keep them up.  There is always next year.

Growing up in the Island of Puerto Rico, well, what can I say that after Thanksgiving you might as well not go to work.  The Holidays last so long, the “parrandas”, “asaltos”, “aguinaldos”, lechon, morzillas, pasteles, coquito, arroz con gandules; really, they are endless.

I found out that in Puerto Rico there is the tradition of throwing a bucket of water out into the streets; getting rid of the bad things, shall we say; preparing for all the good things to come. 

Another one is throwing sugar around and outside the house; warding off bad luck and bringing good luck into your lives.

I don’t know but I dont remember any of that.  I never saw my mother or grandmother throwing anything around to ward off this or that. 

But, the celebrations of the Ano Viejo and the welcoming of the Ano Nuevo, church and wearing something yellow the first day of the year for good luck; I do remember that.

And, how can anyone that has lived there forget the fireworks, some with real guns, and honking the horns at midnight.  You know it’s true.

If you speak Spanish then visit  This is called El Brindis del Bohemio or the Bohemian’s Toast.  It has always been a tradition at parties in Puerto Rico to first read this toast, which is so beautiful at this time of the year.

I usually don’t do much on New Year’s Eve.  Almost like been there and done that.  Everything is usually so expensive, the service is bad and the food is atrocious.  No thanks.  I am having lobster tonight, at home.

Two New Year’s come to mind.  Years ago I spent New Year’s in Spain.  A tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock chimes to the New Year started in Spain.  During a big grape harvest the King of Spain decided to give grapes for everyone to eat at New Year’s.  Latin American countries observe this tradition; Puerto Rico being one of them.  I had such a good time in Madrid trying to make it in time for New Year’s when by mistake I took the wrong train. I made it just in time to eat my first grape.

The other one was in Bethany Beach, Delaware when friends hosted a Murder Mystery Party.  Everyone was in character until the end. 

Most other years, I pretty much have friends over.  This year it will be my husband and I, which reminds me.  I better go downstairs and start cooking….


See you, Happy New Year!!!  Have a great evening…

December 31st, 2010

Toot the Horn, Lightship Overfalls, New Year’s Eve, Event, Historic Lewes, Delaware Beaches



In the information available on the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s website I found out about “Toot the Horn”.  It is a celebration in Historic Lewes; New Year’s Eve, at the Overfalls Maritime Museum on Front Street.  It will take place at midnight so be there before that time because it will be just  “Toot the Horn” as we welcome 2011!!

One of the advantages of having a blog or passing information along is that at the same time I am learning about my own backyard.  I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know what the Lightship Overfalls was.  So, I took a little drive to where it is located.  I had seen it before but, once again, have passed it by without giving it another thought.

And there it was.  Bright red and white; the snow covered ground made the whole area so pretty. 


The following information came from the Delaware Public Archives, 2003, SC-175 and is also in the marker explaining its history.

“The Lightship Overfalls was built in 1938 at the Rice Brothers shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine.  It was one of the last lightships constructed.  Duty stations included Boston Harbor and two locations near Long Island, New York.  After retirement from active service it was given to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973.  The ship was renamed to recognize the lightship station on Overfalls Shoals that marked the southern entrance to the Delaware Bay.  On December 2001, ownership of the ship was transferred to the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation.  The Lightship Overfalls is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”

“The United States government initiated the use of manned lightships or “floating lighthouses” in 1820.  These vessels, like Lightship Overfalls, addressed many needs.  The beacon on the lightship’s mast and the sound of its foghorn contributed greatly to the safe passage of ships in various weather conditions.  My the mid 20th century the increasing use of automated lights and radio signals made these vessels obsolete.”

It is so easy to get to where it is located.  If you are on Savannah Rd. by the bridge, you will take a right or left, depending where you are coming from, on Front Street.  Right past the tennis courts on the right you will see it.  Plenty of parking is available.

Lightship Overfalls is one of ony 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820 to 1952; also one of 7 lightships in this country still open to the public.

At the present time group tours and off season tours can be arranged by request.  There are a few telephones:  302-645-7377, 302-645-5071 or 302-645-4773.

The website is very complete and informative.  Please visit  You can even take a virtual tour.

But please remember to be there tomorrow, New Year’s Eve; the beautiful town of Historic Lewes at 11:59 p.m.!!


Have a great time………

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December 30th, 2010

The Secret in Their Eyes, Monthly Screening, Movies at Midway, Rehoboth Beach Film Society, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Beaches, Thursday, December 30th


Need a little time to unwind, before the New Year’s Eve celebration?  Well, if you like film events, have experienced the Independent Film Festival or movies in general, then tonight’s monthly screening at Movies at Midway at Rt. 1 in Rehoboth will be The Secret in Their Eyes.

It starts at 7:00 p.m., upstairs at the Screening room, at Movies at Midway.  $2 for members (card required) and $4 for the general public.

Best Foreign Language Film and 2010 Oscar winner.  It tells the story of newly retired Benjamin Esposito.  With time on his hands, he decides to write a novel, drawing on his forme life as a criminal court employee for inspiration.  He selects one case in particular, from 1974, when his court was assigned an investigation into the rape and murder of a beautiful young woman.  Moved by the grief of the woman’s new husband, Esposito tried to help find the culprit despite having to contend with the apathy and ineptitude of the police and legal system.  But the search for the murderer was anything but simple.  Esposito’s investigation took him deep into a world of terrible violence where he was exposed to great danger, which unfortunately persists to the present day.  By choosing to relive his memories, he revives that danger.

It is in Spanish with English subtitles.  Rated R and it runs from 129 minutes.

This screening is brought to our community by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society.  For more information on them, please visit  You will find info. on film events, membership, festival, sponsors, volunteers, contributions, and basically, what makes them tick.


Have a good day……

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December 29th, 2010

Sunset, Twilight, Dusk, Kent Narrows, Maryland, A Relaxing Moment during a hectic time of the Year


One more trip to the airport.  Then, I found myself sitting on the enclosed balcony of one of those restaurants that I visit when I am traveling on Rt. 50 coming from or going to Baltimore.  The attraction besides the food is the location.  Water all around you; beautiful scenery.

Kent Narrows is a waterway that separates Kent Island from the Delmarva Peninsula where I live.  The area has traditionally been a location for seafood packing and restaurants.

If you are traveling that route it would be a great place to stop to relax, eat and enjoy the moment.  I did that today.

I looked at my watch and it was 4:30 p.m.  Wow, I cannot believe I am such an early bird.  I am not sure if that time of the day is considered sunset, twilight or even dusk. 

A few drinks were brought to us and an order of Oysters Rockefeller and a Fried Oyster Caesar Salad hit the spot.



After sunset, there is twilight and finally dusk; it will also vary according to your latitude.



So, the following pictures reflect those 3.  And, it only took a few minutes to change from one to the others. 





It was so peaceful, cozy and relaxing.  It is nice to feel that way towards the end of another year.


Have a good one…talk to you later…

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December 29th, 2010

Tortilla Soup, Recipe, Quick, Easy, One Dish Meal


Still with no oven, probably for a couple more days; I am turning to soups.  I love them all.  No barbecuing in the past few days.  No way; it has been bitter cold.

Soups are simply satisfying one dish meals.  In the summer I make gazpacho, vichyssoise, or a fruit soup.  But during the winter the chowders, bean soups, onion soups are the ones that warm you up in a very special way. 

I have made a different type of tortilla soup before; tonight’s tortilla soup is just that; Tortilla Soup.  I hope you try it because I think you will find that it is so easy to prepare; probably the ingredients are in your kitchen already.



Tortilla Soup


8 1/2 cups of chicken broth (I used organic low sodium)

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Cajun-style stewed tomatoes.  I could not find any so I used the Italian style ones.

4 or 5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 teaspoons chili powder (more if you want to)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 cups chopped cooked chicken ( I bought chicken tenders and sauteed them in a frying pan) 

1 can of corn, drained

2 cans of black beans, drained

1 small can of chopped green chiles

4 tablespoons half and half

2 cups shredded Chipotle Cheddar Cheese (I bought the Cabot brand and shredded it myself)

Tortilla Chips (I bought blue corn tortilla chips)


It might look like a long list but you will see how easily it is all assembled.

The first thing to do is to get a large soup pot and bring the first 7 ingredients to a boiling point. 

Reduce heat.

If you have not yet cooked the chicken then quickly sautee in a frying pan with a little bit of oil and a pat of butter, and cut to bite size pieces.

If you had your chicken already cooked then add it with the rest of the ingredients, using  just 1 cup of the cheese (the other cup for garnish), and hold the tortilla chips for garnish, as well.

Make sure the soup is nice and hot; serve it garnished with crumbled tortilla chips and cheese.

Serves about 6 people.


Hope you like it.  Remember to make it your own by adding a little more of this or a little less of that.

Talk to you later….

December 27th, 2010

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, Delray Beach, Florida, Mystery Books, Entertainment, Booksignings, Palm Beach County



“A good book should leave you…..slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading it.”    william styron

I arrived at the Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore because it had been some time since I paid them a visit.  From time to time I put what’s going on in Delray and usually include this unique mystery bookstore’s events.  I wanted to also take some pictures.  There is nothing better than to have a visual idea of what I am talking about.  I think it creates interest; I hope so, anyway.

They are located at 273 NE 2nd Ave., Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach, FL 33444.  Tel. 561-279-7790, toll free 800-956-7770.  Website is Winter hours are Mon – Sat from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sun from 12 until 5 p.m.  Please note they will be closed New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Pineapple Grove is pretty much an extension of Atlantic Ave., known as the Arts District.  It looked so good; the stores have been leased, the condominiums are full of people and those outdoor seatings are there to be enjoyed, if you like to dine al fresco, as much as I do.

Murder on the Beach is such a quaint and delightful bookstore.  You feel like you are in a library; in the comfort of your own home.  Chairs to sit and review books, a counter with all kinds of information and schedule of events.



Joanne is the owner and I hope that Jean is the other person working the store that helped me so much on that day.  She was so gracious and I bought 2 of her suggestions, which I have not read yet but dying to start.


Murder on the Beach is definitely a mystery bookstore, specializing in Florida authors, but they also have romance, true crime, thrillers, horror and children’s books.

The State of Florida, I believe, is one of the states with the most mystery writers in residence.

I introduced myself to Joanne and requested to see the “board of bloody prints”.  An author who is signing at Murder on the Beach is asked to leave a bloody palm print, his or her signature, and a quote. 



Joanne is also the Director of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA).  It is known as an organization of mystery booksellers who together have common interests and issues.  For more information, please visit and check out what they are all about.  They “connect criminally inclined readers with arresting mysteries”.


Murder on the Beach can ship books all over the world and if by chance you are not able to attend an event and have a specific book in mind, please do give them a call because they would be most happy to help you.

On Friday, January 7th, Tami Hoag will be signing her newest book, Secrets to the Grave at 7 p.m.  

Entertainment?  What is it?  A Murder Mystery Party in your home, hotel, restaurant, condo or you pick your favorite place.  Size?  Well, you decide but they have done conferences and conventions for up to 500 peoople.  Also small parties for a few.


It is an audience interactive murder mystery party.  The actors are professionals; performances will be tailored to your group.  For more info., please get in touch with Joanne at the above mentioned telephone number.

I always carry a book in my bag.  I guess is part of a habit acquired as I waited in pick up lines at schools for so many years; a companion of sorts.

I love it…talk to you later….you know I will…


December 26th, 2010

Putt’n Around Delray Beach, Miniature Golf, Putt Putt, Delray Beach, Activities, Florida, Palm Beach County



Hello to all of you from the snow covered Delaware Beaches on the East Coast.  As I sat down to write this post all I could see all day long was snow, wind and more snow.  I kept taking pictures and uploading them on Facebook.  I wondered if anyone really cared.  I hope this is not the beginning of a long snowy winter; last year’s was long enough.



If you were here, there was not much to do today.  Walk, enjoy the scenery, eat and watch some of the neighborhood kids use one of the few hills at the beach and snowboard.

When I was in Florida last week, I could not believe I was complaining about the weather there.  I still have a few posts not written from Delray so that’s what I am doing tonight. 

Christmas is over, so what do we do now?  The kids are already bored and still there are about 7 more days left before they go back to school.  If you are visiting Delray Beach or its nearby towns, the following post might be of interest to you because young and old can enjoy the pastime of miniature golf.


Last August I noticed that Putt’n Around was opening in Delray Beach.  To tell you the truth I have never noticed putt putts in Florida.  Maybe I have not been in the right areas but no, I never have seen any.  It interested me because, here at the Delaware and Maryland beaches, there are so many of them; some more sophisticated than others, as well.  It is something we all love to do when the weather permits.


“The first minigolf course in the world is the Ladies Putting Club of St. Andrews in Scotland”, which was founded in 1867; it is still in operation today.  It is called “the Himalayas”.  Apparently, the conservative norms of the era, shall we say, made it unacceptable for women to publicly perform such “violent” movements that a golf swing requires.  Oh my, we have come a long way!

The Putt’N Around Delray Beach course is located at 350 NE 5th Avenue (Federal Highway).  Three blocks from Atlantic Avenue.  Telephone is 561-450-6162.  Website is E-mail is  The website is a very good one with all kinds of information and directions coming from north or south.


When I think of putt putts what immediately comes to mind is the one that for many years existed in the town of Bethany Beach, one of my favorite Delaware beach towns, and my home for many years.  It was simple, small and we all loved it.  It brings back so many memories of Mr. Fisk sitting there with his dog and later his grandchildren and all the kids that worked there that we knew; coastal living at its best and priceless.


I wanted to stop and check this putt putt course because when you think about it there times that you have had enough of the beach, or maybe shopping and want to try something else.  It really is a family past time.

I was so surprised to find this beautiful building which is the “club house” and state of the art courses.  There were tables and a counter where you pay for the rounds; 18 or 36 holes.  They have simple snacks, ice cream, beer, wine and soft drinks.


Souvenirs like t-shirts, hats, and beach towels are available, as well.

There are 2 miniature golf courses; “The Everglades” and “The Ocean”.  One with alligators and other animals from that kingdom and the other with dolphins and maybe a sailfish from the ocean and the beach.







Palm trees, obstacles, water, bridges are part of the fun of playing on a miniature golf course.  On this particular day only adults were playing.



Putt’n Around is open daily; $9.95 per person for 16 holes, $15 for 36 holes, including tax.

They will be more than happy to host and help set up a group event, fundraising event, birthday party, or just a party in general.  You can rent one of the 18 hole courses for such event.  For $50 you can reserve the porch or inside space for 2 hours.  The event space will be decorated for your special occasion.  Just call them for more info.


It is funny because I still remember the person that wrote me stating that Delray Beach was so boring.  What was she thinking?  Beaches, restaurants, shops, activities, entertainment, the arts, bookstores, beautiful weather… I don’t get bored there….



Talk to you later…..

Note:  Some info. for my post was taken from

December 24th, 2010

Christmas Wishes from Me to You, Delaware Beaches, Delray Beach, Florida, Ocean City, Maryland, Puerto Rico


It was cold today in Rehoboth. It is so nice to have the town to yourself.  I stopped at Silver Lake to see the ducks.  Silver Lake is a waterfowl refuge.  They were there pretty much taking a break during their yearly migration; such a long journey.


My Christmas dinner turned out easier than I thought.  The oven decided to stop working.  Well, on with the charcoal and barbecuing is what we did.  It was different but we enjoyed it just as much.  Probably even better. 

Have a wonderful Christmas. 

And to all a good night…..



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