Tag Archives: fl

Oma’s Matzo Ball Soup!

9 Nov

P.S. on the Matzo thing…(my apologies for my wacky punctuation and grammar… I’m hiding right now. I don’t know why I can’t hide and use proper grammar, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it….)


Here, have a picture that has maybe just a wee bit to do with the rest of this post… It’s Alex (a very little Alex as I was holding him up while this picture was being taken and I haven’t been able to do that for a long long long time) and me at Oktoberfest here in Cape Coral at the German-American Social Club.  Only in the south would you find this wooden picture thing with the cleavage this covered up!  The hat is Alex’s.  It’s his first traditional German wool hat.  We try to add a pin to it every year, but we did not go to Oktoberfest this year due to scheduling and me being so damn sick.  I did find a little charm that says “Kunzelsau” which is where my grandparents lived and where I used to visit them when they were alive.  I found it on ebay and I have it in my pile of stuff to fix and make… I’m going to modify it into a small pin for his hat.  He does need a bigger hat now, but as it’s so hot here, I think we’ll just keep decorating the one he’s had since he was 2….


The recipe I started out with was this one:  Oma’s Fabulous Matzo Ball Soup.  I chose this one because I had nearly all of the ingredients and the “Oma” in the title gave me the warm fuzzies.  My mom is from Germany and Alex calls her “Oma” (my dad is Popi pronounced “pop E”… My mom claims she never spelled it this way.  Every time we see them we have the “Pope I” or “Pope Eye” discussion. Every. Single. Time.  I called my dad’s dad “Popi” when I was growing up and it is spelled “Popi” in the funny little captions my mom put in all of my baby albums.)… I called her parents “Oma and Opa” and my dad’s dad (my grandmother died the year before I was born) “Popi”.  So anyway.  The word Oma gives me warm fuzzies and makes me remember some of the foods my Oma made for me during summer visits to her house on the Kocher river in Kunzelsau, Germany.  She never made Matzo ball soup.  But she did make tasty treats like Pflaum kuchen served with Kartofle Suppe (potato soup)… Please don’t mind my spelling… I’m blogging in secret right now as if kiddo discovers I’m out of the shower I’m going to be his captive video game audience before I make him some dinner.    Oooh and she would make baked apples for my grandfather and a pitcher of cool vanilla sauce to drizzle over them.  She would give me a glass of the vanilla sauce to drink (it was like a thick but not frothy vanilla shake…and not too cold.. perfection)… Summer was one of the few times I was allowed to have such sweets and treats…. Ok… I’ll post how I modified the recipe in a little bit…  I’m also baking a cake tonight as a surprise for a belated 70th birthday for my dad, 8th birthday for Alex, and 36th birthday for me.  We haven’t been together as a family, with me feeling up to baking anything, in the past few months, so I figured that I’d make a baked cake inspired by icebox cake (Dad’s favorite)…  Ok. Off and running!




Autism & Testing 1-2-3…

21 Oct

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

This is from our local Autism Speaks’ Facebook page:
***Please note that the Care Mobile will also be at the Autism Speaks SWFL Walk Now for Autism on November 7 at Estero Community Park*****

The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, will offer free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to 36 months of age.

The first screening will be held Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, located in the Cape Coral Hospital parking lot. Additional screenings will be conducted monthly at different locations across Lee County.

It is estimated that one in every 150 children is diagnosed with some form of ASD, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

That’s why parents are encouraged to bring their toddlers to the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile for a free screening. Clinicians will use the M-CHAT, with Denver Developmental Screening Tool to assess the toddlers. The screening is not intended to make a definitive ASD diagnosis, but rather to determine whether your child may be at risk and needs further evaluation.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention, or EIBI, can make an immense difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Neurosciences Center at TCH, under the guidance of pediatric neurologist Jose Colon, MD, MPH, and pediatric psychiatrist Marianne Krouk, DO. The onsite screenings will be administered by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-985-3608.”

If you have any concerns, I’d make an appointment. For those who think that a pediatrician would have mentioned something during the annual checkup, I wouldn’t put all of my trust in that, though it is getting better. Remember, getting clarification and help for you and your child, is the best thing for your kid and their future, and the earlier, the better.

Just wanted to share….Hope this helps someone…


28 Oct


Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

This is my absentee ballot return envelope return address. I saw on the news that some have lines for you to fill in your name and address…Ours are pre-printed and include such helpful information as:

My voting precinct, my full name, and of course my return address.

I was curious, though as to what the “non” meant… I had an idea, so I called our supervisor of election’s office today and spoke to a very nice lady who looked up my file and confirmed that my envelope does have my party affiliation on it… She added that many envelopes are turning up with “non” on them because it is a general election…

It takes me awhile to process information these days so I thanked her and got off the phone…I’m scratching my head over why they would put “non” instead of “NPA” which is the terminology used on the ballot…

Anyway, She sounded so reassuring, but at the same time, in the three years that I have lived here (in Florida) I have learned through experience that most rules, regulations, and general information are processed through some sort of a series of filters in a game of “telephone” like we played at the birthday parties of our youth…

Nobody actually reads the rules and regulations, and I think folks take for granted that things such as the idea of a secret ballot and keeping the system pure (I know, I know… but isn’t it up to every one of us to try?!?!?) so we get a real, true count.

So I’m blogging about this, and if you are in a place with preprinted addresses on your absentee ballot return envelope- is your party affiliation printed somewhere in there? What are you doing about it?
If you are in Lee County does it say anything other than “non” next to your precinct?

Broward County here in Florida is having this issue and people have spoken up…

From what I have been reading on other places that have this sort of thing, is that we, the citizens, are expected to trust our postal service and our postal workers, and anyone involved in the chain of getting the ballot to the point when and where it is counted…. I trust the postal worker who services our neighborhood, but honestly with the amount of corruption and the amount of passion people have about our government and the state of the union and how deeply they have been impacted just within the past year, I don’t trust anyone to handle this precious envelope and it’s contents if there is a party identifier on the outside.

It would be nice to see a Florida where things like this wouldn’t even need to be addressed. Maybe then our great nation would trust us again….

I would be more concerned if I had a specific party affiliation…But still, any such information on the outside of the envelope regarding party, just invites tampering and fraud…

What are your thoughts?

MangoMania! 2008

14 Jul


Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Ahhhh MangoMania 2008…
What can I say? There were mangoes.
Mangoes for sale…Treats incorporating mangoes…Mango preserves… T-shirts aimed at mango humor… Ahhhh yes.

We went. We wandered. We purchased some mangoes and a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree for the lanai (I have always longed for my own fruit tree… more on the new leafy addition to our home later)….

We did a ton of wandering around looking for the Mr. MangoHead competition which promised a mango decorating opportunity for the pee-wee set. Alas, nobody(not even the supposed Mr. MangoHead sponsors) had any clue where or what it was. But that is life in SW Florida…If information about a local event can be gleaned from the internet it is always a year out of date (minimum) or just completely inaccurate…

The only folks who were able to help were the kind librarians from the Pine Island branch…

And boyo got his first library card and is so excited to swipe it through the machine on his next visit…

Turns out we missed the competition entirely by wasting all the time looking for it. They had 3 prizes (great ones, according to one of the librarians) and nobody entered. Probably because nobody knew they were supposed to decorate their mango at home and bring it to enter it in the competition… Oh well. Maybe next year our strategy will be much improved.

Anyway- it was a nice morning out for us… We returned home after 2 hours dodging some of the pushier vendors (of various services and “event only exclusive offers” blech) with 6 mangoes, a meyer lemon tree, and we bought 3 jars of preserves but the gentleman packing them for us goofed and instead of a variety we have 2 jars of mango raspberry and 1 of mango strawberry (and none of the tropical ginger which sounded so freaking tasty)….

Next year, I hope they don’t have such a vendor free for all and they make better use of the German American Social Club’s sprawling grounds…It was a little suffocating and not as tropical fruit festival feeling as it was even last year…

Also, there was a rash of brutish boys terrorizing the little guys. These were kids that should have been taught manners at some point and probably denied entrance to the bounce houses, where they terrorized the younger kids and annoyed their parents.

Also, note to mangomania 2009 vendors: yes, water pistols are fun. It is however unwise to spray strangers with water pistols from your booth if they are not interacting with you at the time. It will not gain you business and you might just shoot the wrong person. People carry all sorts of electronic devices- from medical related things to shmancy iphones. I would not want to short out someone’s gadget or spook the wrong person in this firearm toting, quick tempered region of the world…. It is not refreshing. It is rude. Even the rudest of the brutish wild boys wouldn’t stoop to zapping strangers with water. Even they know better.

Sorry to come off as cranky, dear reader…But for the love of pete those two elements were *that* irritating…

A Twister!

17 Sep

more rainbow and tornado….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Since our “faux”-nado I’ve been a little on edge… I pace the floors like a nervous dog from one end of the apartment to the other checking the sky. We are lucky, at least in the way of having a bird’s eye view, that we can see all of Cape Coral, the river, and Ft. Myers out of one window and toward Pine Island and the Gulf of Mexico from the other…Being a little higher up I think I tend to bite my nails a bit more as everything looks so magnified in intensity…

Well, yesterday we had the real thing.

It was around a mile away from us and there were at least 2 funnels that I could see at one point…And there was a rainbow.

It was beautiful and scary all at once…

The twister threw whirls of sparkling fairy dust where it touched the ground. We now know that the sparkles were window glass.

So far reports are that around 49 houses were damaged, a bunch of cars (it was strong enough to flip a car and move it down the street) were smashed but no fatalities.

Except for perhaps some underwear.

It’s weird though- I didn’t even know that there was a warning in effect when I heard thunder that just hit me in the chest in a primal way, I guess. I logged on to our local weather resource http://www.capeweather.com and didn’t see anything… I opened the front door and voila: a tornado. There are more images on Flickr (there should be a box to your right, you can click there if you’d like… or google “Cape Coral Tornado” a few of the news stations have aftermath photos up…That particular block was hit hard by a tornado during Hurricane Charley, from what I am hearing, and the residents say Charley didn’t do this much damage…It’s mind blowing how pinpoint these things can be though…

Hope everyone is safe…..I hope everyone is healthy….



ps. While we were out and about and then waiting patiently for comcast to get our internet up and running again (funny that it was on right after the tornado and then went down. Ugh. Just when I needed it. Comcast logic…*shakes head* ) guess what? My Eye of The Storm pendant (inspired by the experience of the faux-nado a couple of months ago) sold! Yay! And to a sweetheart of a person who had been watching it for awhile and then had to jump on it… Perfect timing! :-)


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