Banana Hammock Escapades

…Your reality is what you make it.

—>> Holiday Delights

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Hello, everyone!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  Well, this week has been pretty relaxing and just plain fun.  I have been enjoying the holiday with all of my family in the Lone Star state, in the great city of Austin.  This holiday season has been a bit different from most of my past winter holidays because I am not in Mississippi for it.  I have always visited my family during the spring and summer, so this has been awesome.  I am not used to seeing Texas decked out with Christmas lights for the holidays or being cold in Texas, for that matter!  I am currently enjoying being unemployed – hoping it won’t be too long until I land my first teaching job though.  So, these last few weeks have been the calmest I have seen in quite some time.  So, that being said – I have been making the most of it – I have spent a lot of time exploring Austin.  I love that it is so easy to be healthy here!  I have no problems locating great spots to indulge myself in wonderfully healthy treats.  I spent the entire day yesterday just riding the bus all over town and walking up and down the streets downtown.  I just recently bought myself my first professional camera and laptop bag, it is the Libby bag from Kelly Moore.  It was designed for women, so it looks very stylish and is perfect for everyday use.  This bag is awesome, not only is it able to carry my 17-inch MacBook Pro; but it can also carry both of my cameras, my multiple lenses, and all of my other miscellaneous camera equipment that I have accumulated.  Plus there is room for my everyday items that I need on a day-to-day basis.  This bag is going to make the perfect travel companion for my upcoming adventure, which is set to start in less than one week.  Sara, my kitty, Briley and I are set to fly out on Tuesday afternoon.  We will be landing in Costa Rica just in time to celebrate the new year.  I haven’t decided on my New Year’s resolution yet, perhaps I may be cliché and start my long-intended plan to start working out.  Have you all decided what it is that you are going to different in the new year, if anything?

Sunset view of South Congress street from Capitol hill.

Sunset view of South Congress street from Capitol hill.

Taking time to take a stroll along Guadeloupe street and have a lunch date with my wonderful boyfriend, Daniel.

Street vendor on Guadeloupe.

Street vendor on Guadeloupe.

Wedded bliss at Capitol hill.

Wedded bliss at Capitol hill.

Vintage parking sign.

Vintage parking sign.

Welcome to Austin!

Welcome to Austin!

The Lone Star state's Capitol building.

The Lone Star state’s Capitol building.

The Wikileaks van spotted in my storage facility!

The Wikileaks van spotted in my storage facility!

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Afternoon Read

In light of the recent school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary; I think it is appropriate to repost a respected view on the subject of school shootings, Michael Moore. I enjoy watching and reading stories posted on Democracy Now!, so this is a short, but worthy share.  This is the link to Amy Goodman’s short interview with the famous filmmaker.  My condolences go out to the families and friends affected by the horrific tragedy.

 


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Pond Scum is Yum.

_DSC0005Hello, lovely readers!

I hope your day has been as calm and lovely as mine has been, even though I had to work the entire day.  On a typical day, I probably would not describe my shift using calm or any other like adjective.  My job isn’t typically all that calm and often is quite frustrating and hectic, but anyone who works within the service industry can attest to this.  The last couple of years I have tended bar and waited tables at an awesome musical venue that doubles as a bar and restaurant, Government Street Grocery.  If you are ever on the coast of Mississippi and anywhere near Ocean Springs – check the place out, its stellar – it is in the heart of the historical downtown area.  Being a bartender is usually typically quite entertaining and the people who you get to know along the way make it that much better.  Today was one of those days when being stuck at work is not so disheartening.  Upon walking into work; I was presented with a lovely “going away present” from Rachel and, of course, I had to immediately open it.  She bought me some 10+ kiwi fruits (she knows how much I love my fruit!)  This week has been especially hard because it is my last week working at the Grocery.  My co-workers and all of the regulars who I have met over the last couple of years and made my job that much better, thus making it that much harder to move, but all good things must come to an end as they say.  Saturday is my final day…strange to say that.  I have worked within the service industry for over ten years now and I have dreamt about this day for so long now — now that it is here, I cannot quite believe it.  So, since today was a rather slow day, I decided to put my new present to use and concoct a delectable drink for myself – hence the reference to pond scum in this post’s title.  The kiwi seeds remind me of tadpole eggs and the green color of the drink reminds me of the ponds I played in frequently throughout my childhood.  There wasn’t a known drink name or recipe before I concocted this delicious medley, so don’t let the name fool you, it’s amazingly tasty and good for you too!  I did not put any alcohol in this drink, but a good vodka such as; Greygoose, Kettle One, or whatever your preference will blend perfectly.

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POND SCUM

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: One kiwi fruit, two to four slices of cucumber, orange juice, pineapple juice, soda water and a mortar and pestle ( two ounces of vodka, optional.)

This drink is rather simple to make and quite fun, especially if you like muddling as much as I do.   First, you are going to need to remove the skin from the kiwi and slice (or if you’re one to eat your kiwi with the skin still on, then by all means, skip this step.)  Once you have completed this, place the whole kiwi fruit and two to three slices of cucumber in your mortar and using your pestle, completely muddle all the contents in the mortar.  Now you’re finished with the most time-consuming part of this entire process.  Now, pour the muddled contents from your mortar into a tumbler or glass – whatever you have handy – and then add two to three ounces of both orange and pineapple juice and a splash of soda water.    I prefer this drink without much ice (I think it makes the drink a bit easier to drink but this is your preference.)  Shake vigorously and then pour, garnish with a cucumber and enjoy!  

Allan knows that is pays off to be the taste-tester.