July 25, 2021

The Latest

Hello friends, how are things in your corner of the world?

We have reached the time of year here where it's sweltering hot. Highs are in the 90s but our heat index reaches 110-115 every afternoon. I have to keep all our blinds closed during the day now to help keep the house a little cooler, otherwise by afternoon our AC has a hard time keeping up. 

We still have red tide here too, and to make things that much worse we now have some kind of flesh eating bacteria in the water as well. Living the beach life isn't so great right now. I'm staying as far away as I can get.

On to more pleasant things...

We celebrated my oldest son's birthday this past Thursday evening. Having the whole family together again is always so nice. It makes me so happy that we all live in the same area. Between birthdays, holidays and other special occasions we all get together at least once a month. There's nothing better in my book!

For my son's birthday I got the big 120 chicken nugget platter from Chick-fil-A and we each brought two specialty sauces to add to our growing hot sauce bar. I made coleslaw and a big bowl of cut up watermelon to help ease the pain - the kids always bring super crazy hot sauces. My daughter brought a nice big pan of her delicious family famous mac and cheese, and my youngest son brought some Truly seltzers, and peanut butter whiskey and Godiva chocolate liqueur to make peanut butter cup shots. I also got a nice cheesecake for dessert.

We had such a fun evening just spending time together and playing some games. The kids all left at 9pm to go to karaoke night at our local brewery. It always really warms my heart to know my kids all still hang out together from time to time, and are still enjoying each others company as adults. They all had a fantastic time.

I'm still not doing menu plans here, and sticking with cool foods for now. We are having lots of main dish salads and lots of grazing boards. Speaking of grazing boards again, I wanted to feature another beautiful board by the queen of boards, Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer. Check out her blog if you didn't last week.


I'm creating one similar to this one for us tonight. You can't go wrong with some homemade tomato bruschetta surrounded by fresh fruits, cheeses, toasty bakery bread, and whatever other goodies I decide to add to the mix.

The upcoming week will be my last week working in the storage room. It will be about as finished as it can get until my son's house is done and he can get the furniture and everything else he has stored here moved out. I've given up on my hubs not letting go of things. I'm just organizing his stuff and trying to make room for most of it in the big closet I have out there.

I have no other plans on the schedule for next week, just staying inside and out of the heat. How about you? Here's to a great week - cheers!

134 comments:

  1. Sounds like the birthday celebration was a big hit. Being with family is nice.
    Flesh eating bacteria in the water? Good grief, no that sound awful . Yes, stay away from the beach.

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    1. Thanks Mary, the birthday celebration was very nice. Yep flesh eating bacteria, it's been happening in the gulf waters during the summers for several years now. Believe me, I'll stay far away!

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  2. Glad you had a wonderful birthday celebration for your son. The weather sounds hellish and the beach sounds unreal. Good to stay in until things improve. Hope your week has better results.

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    1. Thanks Bill. Between the heat, humidity and all the other scary things out there I'll gladly stay inside in the air conditioning!

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  3. You are so blessed to have your family close. I think that is so important. July through September was not my favorite time of year there. I remember one year the flesh eating bacteria was in Ft. Myers. Good to stay clear. Your meals sound wonderful. We have been eating about the same way. Between the garden and the farmers market, I am in heaven right now. Have a great week and good job on the storage room. I know you'll be glad to have it done.

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    1. Thanks Lori. I feel so blessed that all the kids have stayed in the area and I hope it stays that way. I agree with you, it is a heavenly time for good fresh foods! The flesh eating bacteria is in Fort Meyers again now too, scary stuff!

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  4. Bob just came in from the backyard and said our thermometer says 98 and it's so hot outside we can barely breathe there is a breeze coming off the golf but it's not helping very much the humidity is killing me when I walk Bo. I did not hear about the flesh-eating thing being back again I know it was here last year and the year before. Always something tomorrow the beauty. The birthday party sounds like great fun and delicious food I do love those chicken nuggets I also love Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

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    1. The heat and humidity is unbearable right now. I'm going to hate to see our electric bill next month! I just saw about the flesh eating bacteria being back this morning on the weather channel app. All my kids love Chick-fil-A so I knew it was something they would really enjoy and I didn't have to heat up the house cooking - bonus! :)

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  5. Me too. So far no red tide here, but there were reports of flesh eating bacteria. Too hot to do much, same as you. But, I go shopping ...lol

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    1. At least shopping gives you something to do. I wish I enjoyed shopping, but I hate it. My idea of shopping is clicking on Amazon and I only do that when there's something I really need. Stay nice and cool!

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  6. That grazing platter looks GOOD. Something for everyone - so long as they leave the cheese and fruit for me.
    It is lovely that your family enjoys spending time together. My supposedly adult brothers do not. I am the family conduit for information and it has got old. Very old.

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    1. That does have to get old very fast! I'm very lucky that I have all three of my children close by and so glad they all get along and enjoy spending time together!

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  7. That bruschetta board looks so delicious! Perfect for too-hot-to-cook weather too!

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    1. I'm sure looking forward to it for dinner this evening!

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  8. We're about the same here -- 93* and (feels like) 90% humidity. I've quit checking. That's pretty neat, your adult children enjoying time together. Tom's son and daughter (back in Phoenix) would probably rather undergo a root canal. This board looks amazing, but moreso, peanut butter whiskey. Be still my heart, LOL!

    Flesh-eating bacteria, seriously?

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    1. Not just peanut butter whiskey but Godiva chocolate liqueur too, what a combo! They were doing shots but I thought it was much nicer as a drink to sip, it's too good to down it all at once.

      Yep flesh eating bacteria is here and has been for the last few summers, it's really scary but people still go in the water.

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  9. Glad you had some quality family and birthday time. Always fun.

    We're hot here too and spend our time indoors as well. We have another heatwave coming next weekend. Not looking forward to that.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥

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    1. Thanks Sandee. I hope your heatwave isn't too bad, it's never fun. I hope you have a fabulous day and week too! :)

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  10. The way you display the food looks so nice! Very nice you all we're together :) It's HOT here. Taking walks has to wait till like 5:30ish when its at least a little shady. Nothing to much this week for me - read, worked, watched for sometime. Nothing to much. Have a great rest of your week!

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    1. Thanks Aishu. I can't take credit for the photo, it's from the blog I featured. Sorry to hear it's really hot there too. I hope you have a great week too. :)

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  11. After 3 mornings of 50's, today it is back to heat and high humidity. Going to be the
    rest of the week. I'll be biking at 7 am tomorrow if possible. I did on the cold mornings too, just dressed for it. Now I'll undress for it, lol. What a wonderful birthday party for your son and the rest of the family. Love the foods listed. Bet little went to waste, more like went home with some of the clan. Stay out of the water! What things to think we have at a shore, I never knew. Sounds like the storage area is shrinking, just like in "Honey, you shrank the kids" right. Have a wonderful week ahead and think cool thoughts. I've read that helps us keep cooler, but it never worked for me. Lynn and Precious

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    1. Thanks Lynn. You're right, everyone had a nice pack of leftovers to take home. I only kept enough for us to make chicken Caesar salads for the next night. Believe me, I'll be staying far from the beach between the red tide and the bacteria out there! Once my son gets his stuff moved out I might actually be able to make that room my own special woman cave! :)

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  12. How lovely that the whole family can get-together, especially nice when it's a birthday celebration.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, it was definitely nice. :)

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  13. We have a super-busy week this week. I'm trying hard to have everything organized, because you KNOW when your schedule is packed, SOMETHING will throw a monkey-wrench into the plan.

    Hope the beach clears up soon so that you can get back out there and enjoy the sands.

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    1. Of course Dee, I hope all goes well!

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  14. What a nice get together with the family, Martha. Such a wonderful assortment of foods, sounds delicious, especially the mac and cheese. That's always a popular dish any time. Oh my, flesh eating bacteria, that sounds scary. Be careful. And 110-115 degrees! That is a hot blazing Summer. It gets to the low 100's here, but supposed to col down to the low 90's this week. Try to stay cool, and smart idea to close all the blinds during the day. It sounds like your organizing is going well. Good for you, Martha. It takes a lot of perseverance t get it all done. : )

    ~Sheri

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    1. Thanks Sheri, everything was great! I'm fine just staying in the house with the blinds closed and staying nice and cool - between red tide, flesh eating bacteria, the heat and humidity, and covid who wants to be out there?! I hope you have a great week. :)

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  15. The heat index tells me that it feels like it is 99ºF here. I believe it. My energy is sapped just thinking about it. No plans for the week, except keeping cool and staying inside. Good thing I like to read.

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    1. Doesn't the heat and humidity just wear you out?! I could withstand it when I was younger, but these days I feel like I'm going to pass out if I get out there in it. Like you, I'm staying in where it's nice and cool too! Have a great week Ally :)

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  16. Florida summers (I endured two of them when I lived in Florida almost 50 years go)are about as dreadful as our winters but at least winter doesn't bring us red tide (or any kind of tide, sigh...) We got up to 87 today, which is quite warm for us, and we are lazing in the A/C right now. No ambition. Back to work tomorrow, while hubby preps for his Tuesday colonoscopy.

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    1. The summers have gotten much hotter here over the years. I always say we are inside in Florida all summer like people up north are in the winters. Have a great week and don't work too hard!

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  17. Happy birthday to you son! Sounds like a really fun party with some awesome food to eat also. Sorry about the temps and the red tide still going on. Take care and God Bless.

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    1. Thanks Debby, have a great week! :)

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  18. Happy Birthday to your son, well celebrated!

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    1. Thanks Christine, it was definitely fun! Have a fantastic week. :)

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  19. What a delightful birthday celebration! I would probably eschew the peanut butter whisky but would definitely sample the mac and cheese. That IS frustrating and discouraging about the weather, the red tide and the flesh eating bacteria. Ugh.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. The shots tasted like a Reese's peanut butter cup! The weather is horrible, the red tide is horrible, but really, now we have flesh eating bacteria too?! Between all that and covid I'm just locking myself in the house for a while!

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  20. Sounds like you had a great time! Just as ot here, too, and don't dare open the curtains.

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    1. Sorry to hear you are having the same intense heat there too Ginny. Stay in and stay cool!

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  21. I happened to pass through your blog by chance and how do you ask how everything is going around here I tell you that well, within the restrictions due to the covid. Here it is winter and the temperatures are low, ideal to be with the heating on.
    A warm greeting from Argentina

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    1. Sorry about the restrictions but better safe than sorry, at least it's winter and the perfect time to stay indoors. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today! :)

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  22. Oh how fun and I agree that all being together AND all your kids still having fun together is the BEST! So, is the order of your kids Boy/Girl/Boy? Mine is Girl/Girl/Boy.

    We have not all been together since last Labor Day because of Covid. My son and his wife were here this weekend, but they still haven’t seen my oldest daughter because she is pregnant and unvaccinated and paranoid about Covid. She’s being induced in a week and getting the vax a few days after. I’m on call to babysit her other two kids, so I’ll be getting ready this week by packing clothes and my food to stay there for 3 days.

    Hope your week is a good one!

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    1. It's so true Bijoux, nothing like having them all together! My daughter is the oldest in our family, the boys came along after. I'm so sorry you haven't all been able to be together for so long, but I'd sure be worried about covid as far as your daughter goes too. I'm so glad she will be getting the vaccine soon and you can all be together again. Have a great time with the grands next week and congrats in advance on the new grandbaby! I hope you have a great week too. :)

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  23. Sounds like you all had a marvelous birthday celebration, Martha. I agree, it's hard to go wrong with Chick-fil-A! Your grazing board looks so inviting, too. I'm going to suggest that Danny and I do one of those for dinner. Easy, quick and refreshing, that's for sure.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thanks Martha, it was great! All the kids love Chick-fil-A so I knew they would really enjoy it, especially with the hot sauce bar. The grazing boards are so nice in the summer. Be sure to check out the link to Sandy's blog, she has some fantastic grazing board ideas!

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  24. Great family celebration and get-together! Simply lovely! And _super_ that your kids hang out together, even not at your house. -smile-

    And on another topic....

    With heat index that high, how would people survive in FL, without A/C???

    And red tide + flesh eating bacteria!

    Not supposed to say it but... How can people continue to live there?

    -head desk-

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    1. Thanks, I love that my kids hang out together, especially since they are each years apart. Believe me, this kind of heat is what we fear most about hurricanes - it's not as much the damage they may cause then the possibility of having to try to survive in this kind of weather for days or longer with no electricity! I stay in Florida because my kids are all right here in the same area. If the whole family could pick up and move I'd do it in a heartbeat!

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  25. What a great time with family! Your menu sounds so good, I love the chicken nugget idea. And that grazing traylooks lovely.

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    1. Thanks Mari, Have a fantastic week! :)

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    1. Why did the author remove this comment LOL?!

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  27. "I have to keep all our blinds closed during the day now to help keep the house a little cooler, otherwise by afternoon our AC has a hard time keeping up. "

    Yes, and I do that very same thing. And it's something I learned from living in Florida. Keeping your blinds closed is so helpful in keeping the heat down.

    Congrats on your son's birthday. I don't eat meat anymore but when I did, Chick-fil-A was my very favorite place for a chicken sandwich. I would get the special (sandwich, waffle fries, and coleslaw). Yum-my!

    And you're gonna love this -- I used to work for Godiva when I was still living in Orlando. To me, their chocolate is the best!

    The board you featured is AMAZING! That photo makes me want to dive right into that plate. LOL! And is there anything more delicious than tomato bruschetta and fresh basil? I don't make it from scratch, but Trader Joe's has one that is incredible. Check it out, it's really, really good!

    Sounds like you had a great week! Thanks for sharing, Martha!

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    1. Thanks Ron. Keeping the blinds closed really helps. Not that I like sitting around in a dark house, but it is what it is.

      Godiva chocolate is definitely delicious. Did you ever try their liqueur? I never even knew there was such a thing until my son brought it over Thursday evening.

      The board does look amazing and my copycat board was so good tonight too, although not quite so big lol. I've never tried store bought tomato bruschetta, I've always made it fresh, but will definitely give it a try the next time I make it to Trader Joe's!

      Have a fantastic week!

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  28. Sounds like a wonderful get together. Glad you get to spend time with them.

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    1. Thanks Ann, it was so nice! Have a great week. :)

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  29. The birthday sounds like a fun family time and I'll bet karaoke night was fun too. Cool foods sounds terrific to us!

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    1. Thanks! If this whole time of covid didn't turn my hubs and I into such old people we would have been heading out to the brewery for karaoke night with the kids too, but now we go to bed at 10 instead, no fun at all!

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  30. Your family birthday celebration sounds like a lot of fun. And the food must have been delicious. We're in for another very warm week. The heat really drains my energy. Good thing there's not a whole lot that I HAVE to do.

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    1. Thanks GM. The celebration was a lot of fun and the food was good too. I don't normally do any kind of fast food but have to admit the Chick-fil-A nuggets were pretty good, and I didn't have to heat up the house cooking, just put together the cold sides.

      This heat really drains my energy too and I'm glad I can stay inside where it's nice and cool and also with not too much that I have to do!

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  31. Belated Happy Birthday to your son. That sounds like a fun party and great foods.
    So sorry though about the flesh eating bacteria. Mercy, you all are getting picked on.

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    1. Thanks Patti! We did have a good time. I can't even say we are getting picked on here in Florida considering some of the conditions in the rest of the country, and world. At least we have the option of just staying inside and not going near the beach. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the hurricanes stay away!

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  32. Peanut butter cup shots almost tempt me to take up drinking. Almost.

    Stay away from the beach. Yikes. Congrats on the storage room. Sometimes it's good to just organize what you have to keep.

    As for my next week, I have a date with the mechanic. My car decided to not start yesterday. *rolls eyes*

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    1. I'm still mad at my husband, he will never use all the stuff I'm packing away for no good reason. Believe me, I won't be going anywhere near the beach! Sorry about your car, maybe you'll get a real date out of the deal?! ;)

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  33. Red tide and a bacteria...wow
    that is no fun at all! Hope things improve! That plate looks great! :)

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    1. Thanks Connie. I sure hope so too, things aren't looking so good in our world these days.

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  34. Sounds like that you guys had a great celebration! That grazing board does look very beautiful and appetizing. I look forward to see yours :-)) Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Thanks Angie! My home is too dark to do any decent food photography, and as I'm sure you know flash just doesn't work well for food photos.

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  35. What a great celebration!
    I had never seen the grazing boards she blogs about before you shared the link. I have been looking through it bit at a time. She has some great ideas!

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    1. Thanks Anne. I agree, Sandy definitely has some fantastic ideas!

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  36. That is so sad about your beach. I do understand how great it is to be a parents and your kids get along well. We are getting together with extended family next weekend and so my siblings will be there with their kids and grandkids. I am thankful we can get together because we didn't for over a year because of Covid. That grazing board looks so good! Currently I am watching the Olympics and all 4 of my grands are asleep in the guestrooms. Have a great week!

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    1. That is so nice to be able to get all the different generations together. Hopefully some day we will be bale to do the same, but my kids need to get moving on it already! Enjoy the Olympics and having your grands over. :)

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  37. Sorry your beach is still out of bounds for you, hope you can soon go there again. The heat there sounds enormous. Glad you have your tricks to keep as cool as possible. Great that your family sticks together so well and that you all come together for fun times and great food.My family was always the opposite, and we have no contact to each other any more, sad! Well done on getting your storage room cleared out, I am not good of getting rid of things either! Have a great week, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thanks Valerie. That is so sad that your family doesn't stay in contact. Was there a falling out or just never stayed close once you were grown?

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  38. Hello,
    It is sad to hear about the red tide and the bacteria. It would be hard to have a beach so close and not be able to visit. Your son's birthday party sounds like fun, family times and good food. Our weather has been hot and humid too, pop up thunderstorms cool off the evening some. The grazing board looks yummy, it is a great idea. Take care, have a great new week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen. I hope the weather cools down a bit for you soon. We are just now getting to the hottest time of year with a long way to go, more than likely the troubles at the beaches will remain until after the summer unfortunately. I hope you have a great week too! :)

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  39. The platter looks nice and Happy belated Birthday to your son, nice to get together when you can.
    Gosh, not good the flesh eating bacteria in the water and that red tide still about...you take care and keep cool.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. I'm staying inside where it's cool and far from the beach too!

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  40. Those are high temperatures when combined with the humidity! Stay cool! Your son's birthday celebration dinner sounds wonderful! How lovely to be able to get together with family as often and to have the children still have fun hanging out together. I think I've done a wonderful job with your storage room. I think I might start on mine, next month!

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    1. Thanks Bless, nothing better than having the family together and knowing the kids are all still so close. If it was up to me the storage room would be completely empty, but I have the hoarder over here to deal with!

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  41. Your family gathering sounds wonderful. That heat and the condition of the water do not. Take care! I hope conditions improve soon.

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    1. Thanks Marie, I sure hope so too! Have a great week. :)

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  42. It's the best when the whole family is together! Both of my sons were here yesterday and it was great! The rumor has it that a Chick-fil-A is going in not too far from where we live. I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. It really is the best! I'm glad you were able to spend time with both of your sons yesterday and hope you get to do that often. I don't usually eat fast food, but the kids all love Chick-fil-A so I knew they would enjoy it. They do have some tasty chicken! :)

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  43. Morning Martha
    Oh do I hear you on the feels like temperature. This is gonna be a really hot week north of you too. Tstorms etc today then the temps start to soar. W,Th Fri feels like temps of 103ish. However after reading your feels like you win the hot as blue blazes award.
    Our a/c is only about 5 years old but it too struggles. The folks told us if the a/c can keep your home 20 degrees cooler than the outside be thankful. It does but dang it is still kinda warm at bedtime.
    Cool hugs and best wishes..love that plate of yummy too
    Cecilia

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    1. Thanks Cecilia. So sorry you are having such hot temps there too, it's miserable. Our AC is newish too, probably about the same. Sometimes by afternoon the coolest it will get in the house is 79-80 no matter how low I have it set. It stays hot here at night too.

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  44. happy birthday to your son!! we have hot weather but not nearly as hot as you!! I am ready for fall but I know it's too early to be wishing for that.

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    1. Thanks Karen. I'm sure ready for fall too although more years it's almost just as hot as the summer is here.

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  45. The heat wave is upon us and it is sweltering hot and humid. Always feeling sweaty and sticky. We need the air con to sleep comfortably. What a wonderful birthday celebration for your son.

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    1. Thanks Nancy. It always seems you have about the same weather we do.

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  46. I feel less crabby about our weather now, thank you very much! It's still too hot and humid, but not as bad as your situation down there.

    Our two sons are also very close and consider themselves best friends. Their GFs also get along incredibly well, and we are so grateful for that. I completely understand your Joy in celebrating those relationships. Having family gatherings that truly feel like Family and seeing the love and affection among all the members is so gratifying and affirming. It makes us feel truly complete as mothers, doesn't it?

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    1. Sorry your weather is still so hot Nance, I hope it cools down soon.

      I'm so glad your boys are so close too. You nailed it with gratifying, affirming and feeling complete as mothers. I feel the exact same way!

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  47. I agree when it's that hot out, we don't need to cook and that grazing board looks wonderful and full of good things to eat. I still do a menu in the summer but try to keep it to a lighter fare than the wintertime. We''re not as hot as you are there. You are definitely blessed to have all your family close by and to get together to celebrate! Happy Birthday to your son!

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    1. Thanks Ma. I know how much you would love having all your family close by, but with such a large family it would be difficult I'm sure. I just hope my kids will all stay put permanently.

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  48. That's scary about the flesh eating bacteria! I don't blame you for staying away from the beach.

    That board does look beautiful. I keep saying I'm going to try something like that, but don't seem to get around to it. Maybe this week. The only two days without rain are the hottest two days this week, which means we'll be cutting grass after work on one of those days. That kind of dinner sounds perfect for that.

    The hot sauce bar sounds like a fun idea. I'd have to bring some milder ones, though.
    I'm glad you were all able to celebrate together.

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    1. You couldn't get me anywhere near the beach right now! The boards are so easy to put together, you should definitely make them for yourself too. They are so perfect in hot weather, no heating up the house to cook and the foods are all cool and refreshing. When we do the hot sauce bar I always bring mild or even sweet ones. I can't do all that super hot stuff the kids like. This time I brought a Polynesian sauce and a garlic aioli, they were both yummy! Have a great week Danielle. :)

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  49. A lovely grazing platter, I can almost taste the fruit and cheese. Perfect meals for the hot weather you are having.
    Not fond of hot sauces, but family members are.
    Have not seen any red tide, and do not intend to if it can be avoided, don't blame you for keeping away from the beach.
    Keep cool.

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    1. Thanks Patricia. I can't do the really hot sauces either, I always bring mild or sweet sauces instead. My kids are crazy, they do things like ghost pepper hot sauce. No way for me on that! Have a great week. :)

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  50. Even though my son is far away, when he's here, I too love that the kids spend time together. For Christmas 2018 and 2019, I relived our family vacations with treats we had on travels. That bruschetta board looks marvellous.

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    1. I'm so glad your kids are close too Sam. My board didn't look as pretty but it sure was delicious!

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  51. How nice to have such a loving family like yours! Enjoy family time. I love that board. It looks magnificent, so many wonderful things to nibble.

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    1. Thanks Gigi! I love having simple board meals when it's so hot out.

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  52. Yikes on the red tide and bad bacteria; as far as I know, we're not having any of that happening down in Naples. *crosses fingers*

    Happy birthday to your son; your family celebration sounds just perfect. I love the idea of ordering from ChicFilet. YUM. Peanut butter shots? WOW, you know how to go all out.

    That board is lovely!!

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    1. Suz, I don't know about red tide but I did hear the bacteria is as far down as Fort Meyers. Just be sure to check before going anywhere near the beaches!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes for my son. Catering from Chick-fil-A worked out perfectly and those peanut butter cup shots were really yummy!

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  53. It sounds like you had a lovely time with your family, I love that.

    I almost passed out when I saw that grazing board. I need to make a version of that a part of my life.

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    1. Thanks J. I knew you would love the board. Be sure to check out Sandy's blog that I linked to, she has tons of great ideas for board meals!

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    2. What a small world…I went and checked out Sandy’s blog, and the board I looked at was stone fruit and cheese…and she mentioned a farm run by a woman I went to high school with! Crazy and very cool.

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  54. Happy Birthday to your son, Martha, and many many more! Your menu sounds absolutely perfect. I wish we had a Chick-Fil-A around us but we don't. I wonder if any other fast food place sells nuggets in bulk like that?! I could probably buy the frozen ones & bake them up. I have two stoves so I could probably handle baking a hundred nuggets or so, at one time. I'm going to start doing more "board" meals too, as that has started to interest me. By the way, I made your pasta salad yet again, for the pool party my daughter had last weekend. It was a hit. You are my SOURCE for new recipes now, my friend. Thank you for that!!! Stay cool and safe! ~Andrea xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I bet you can even order chicken nuggets them from your grocery store if they have a hot food deli section. The board meals are fantastic, especially in the hot weather. I'm so glad to hear you made the pasta salad again and so glad everyone liked it!

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  55. Oh that sounds hot and flesh eating bacteria hanging around too?! Extra great care must be taken right now to stay safe and healthy. It sounds like your son's birthday was perfect! That is fantastic that the kids hang out together.

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    1. Thanks Miss Val. Between red tide, flesh eating bacteria, and covid I don't even want to leave the house!

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  56. Hi Martha!! :) Sounds like a fun party! I wish I had some warm weather...it's been cold and rainy a lot this summer sigh. I LOVE "grazing boards"!!! I never heard that term before! I really like making cold dishes as well in the summer, hate putting the oven on, mainly because the house gets too hot.

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    1. Sorry it's been cold and rainy there this summer Rain. I hope it will warm up a bit soon. Grazing board is a perfect term isn't it?! My AC struggles in the afternoon as it is with the heat we have here, I definitely don't want to turn the oven on unless absolutely necessary. Have a great week! :)

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  57. I haven't opened teh curtains or blinds for several weeks and it does help. Afternoons are still a little warm here in the house but my a/c I got in February is making a difference in the temperature - hate to think of the bill! A Florid aummer!

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    1. I had been keeping them cracked a tiny bit, just enough to let light in, but not anymore, they are closed up tight now. I too dread seeing our electric bill, It's going to be way up there!

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  58. The board from Sandy is beautiful! I love that your children still hand out as adults too, it’s great that you all live close together to be able to do that.

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    1. Thanks so much Belinda. Have a great week. :)

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  59. It's been hot and humid here also although we can't compete with Florida's humidity! Gives a whole new meaning to the word! My kids hang out together too when my son is in town!

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    1. Sorry it's been really hot there too. I hope it cools down a bit soon. I'm so glad your kids are close too. It makes you feel so god doesn't it?!

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  60. Sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration! Belated happy birthday wishes to your son.
    I love all things peanut butter and chocolate, but peanut butter shots is something I have never heard of.
    Sorry about the heat, red tide and flesh eating bacteria.Yikes! I was hoping to plan a vacation if the virus isn't raging this fall, but think we will avoid the gulf shore beaches and florida.
    Hope you have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I had never heard of peanut butter cup shots either, leave it to the young crowd lol. The red tide and bacteria will hopefully be gone before the fall, but definitely check first if you decided to come to the SW side of Florida. I hope you have a great week too! :)

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  61. Happy birthday to your oldest son! Sounds like a wonderful spread! Can't beat time with family. Stay cool! We're getting the same weather here. And what a bummer about the beach!

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    1. Thanks so much Kim. Sorry you're getting the heat there too. I hope it cools down soon. We're stuck with it for months to come unfortunately. Have a great week! :)

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  62. That IS hot!! 91 F here in Ohio today and expected to be the same the next few days!

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  63. A dinner platter centered around homemade tomato bruschetta sounds absolutely heavenly right now! I am so thankful you were able to have the whole family over, those really are the best memories we can make!

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  64. The heat and the beaches sound awful right now. I hope it won’t be long before everything is healthy again and you can enjoy going down to the water. Wonderful that your family lives not too far away, and a happy belated birthday to your son. That sounded like quite a feast for you all to enjoy. The grazing board from Sandy looks tasty and looks very pretty! It would certainly brighten up any buffet table. I hope you will share yours. I would love to see it, always looking for ideas here and you give me so many :) I have been pottering around trying to get rid of things and also tidy the house up. That’s about all I did over the weekend. Our weather is too hot for me too but we had a nice cooling downpour this evening. I hope you are able to stay cool and enjoy the rest of your week.

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  65. That platter looks absolutely wonderful, I'd happily eat that right now.
    Happy Birthday to your son. xxx

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  66. Grazing boards are so perfect for summer, and you can't go wrong with a Chick Fil-A nugget platter! Sorry about the heat and the red tide, not fun. It's hot in Alabama now too, but we have had occasional showers that help. Glad you've been having fun with your family...
    Jenna

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  67. It sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration, especially being able to be with family and to feel comfortable with it all! I love a board like that anytime but especially in the summer when the last thing you want to do is spend time over a stove. I hope that red tide dissipates soon.

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  68. That's too bad about the beach. Love the menu for your son's birthday celebration, sounds wonderful. Hope it cools down a bit for you soon.

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  69. So sad about the beach. The birthday menu is a great idea for casual entertaining and I love the idea of grazing when it's so hot. At our Florida resort we have a wine-tasting club (or did have, and hope we do again). Everyone brings "finger food" for a potluck -- we make it our dinner on those days and I always think I could eat like that every night!

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  70. I love reading about your family still getting together and having a good time. I hope my kiddos are nearby when they grow up so we can see them on a regular basis. Sorry to hear about the weather. We are hot and smoky. No flesh eating bacteria but we still have lots of summer left. Take care and have a great rest of your week.

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  71. peanut butter cup shots? you must let us know how to make these :-) How lovely to have a family get-together.

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  72. The heat is not something to ignore. It is dangerous. Stay inside where it is cooler. It isn't fun, but it is wiser. Be careful.

    I only go to the garden at sunrise to harvest now. As soon as the sun hits, not matter what needs to be done, I go inside. I have learned to not push it.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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