Last Sunday of 2014……

So 2014 has been a blur and now we are into the last week of the year.  Have a mile long list of things to accomplish today and hope that I haven’t been over ambitious as I normally tend to be when making my to do list.  Unfortunately New Years will not be spent on the beach this year either but many dreams of the tide, and the fresh clean smell as well as the lifeguard tower, sun, sand, and fun times spent there will be on my mind throughout the evening.  The countdown has begun to get through this week and accomplish as much as physically possible for a fresh start in 2015.  The list of accomplishments also includes preparing for the traditional favorites to be served on New Years Day and this year in addition to the good luck black-eyed peas and greens, I hope to add another treat.

New year 2015 is coming on the beach

So as usual we will have black eyed peas cooked the southern way but I also like to make rice which is a southern classic called Hoppin’ John. Let me just give a bit of info regarding the history behind this dish….

Hoppin’ John is found in most states of the South, but it is mainly associated with the Carolinas. Gullah or Low Country cuisine reflects the cooking of the Carolinas, especially the Sea islands (a cluster of islands stretching along the coats of south Carolina and northern Georgia). Hoppin’ John is a rich bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with spicy sausages, ham hocks, or fat pork, and rice.

There are many variations to traditional Hoppin’ John. Some cook the black-eyed peas and rice in one pot, while others insist on simmering them separately. Some also like to add the collard greens in the pot. One way to eat a Hoppin’ John meal is with collard greens and corn bread. Each item on the plate has symbolic meaning for the New Year. Black-eyed Peas represent “coins,” collard greens represent money or “green backs”, corn bread represents “gold,” and if tomatoes are added to Hoppin’ John it symbolizes “health”.

Southern Superstitions about Hoppin’ John:

This African-American dish is traditionally a high point of New Year’s Day, when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving.

Whoever gets the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin’ John. If it is served with collard greens you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year.  If you eat leftover Hoppin’ John the day after New Year’s Day, then the name changes to Skippin’ Jenny since one is demonstrating their determination of frugality.  Eating a bowl of Skippin’ Jenny is believed to even better your chances for a prosperous New Year! – Source: Beyond Black-Eyed Pease: New Year’s good-luck foods, by Mick Bann, Dec. 26,2008, Austin Chonicle.

There is also another tradition in some parts of the South that you should count the number of peas in your serving to predict the amount of luck or wealth you will have for the coming year.  If you leave three (3) peas on your plate when you are finished eating, then your New Year ahead will be filled with luck, good foturne, and romance.”

I hope to add a nice jello shooter to the mix on New Years Eve to get the party started in a festive spicy way.  Hello Fireball Jello Shooters!!!!

Fireball Cupcake Shots

Santa Baby

CupCake was a good girl and I am very thankful for the Christmas wishes being granted.  I really want a couple of items in this song, thought it would be fitting to post even though it is a day after Christmas.  While I didn’t get them this year I plan on being an extra good CupCake this coming year.

Still dreaming of a sand and seashell filled stocking, with a lifeguard tower in the background of my beach house overlooking the YACHT that Santa will drop off!!!  Oh, Santa Baby, please grant my Beach Bum Dream!!!!

Snowmen on the beach

So a close friend of mine sent me the following snapshot and I thought it very fitting to post here!

I think this snowman is the beginning of a trend…………I had to post the following because I think that is the boat that Santa is bringing me in the background in this shot!  Thank you, thank you SANTA!!!!!!

Wow – A snowman that won’t melt!!!

Happy Holidaze!

So this year has sped by quicker than one could imagine.  While much was accomplished I still have the feeling that so much more could have been done.  The old adage “don’t put off until tomorrow what one can do today” by Benjamin Franklin is so true.  Where I work hasn’t really assisted in putting me in the holiday spirit these past few weeks but I am still maintaining that positive attitude, at least as much as I can…..

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve, I still have so much that I wanted to accomplish and so little time.  Recently (for some reason or another) I have actually begun to sleep a bit more, guess my body was trying to tell me something.  So all that time that I had in the middle of the night I am actually getting some shut eye, finally!  So the ornament project never came to fruition, but if I start now I may have made enough for next year.  (A little procrastinator humor)  I took the simple approach to the holidays this year with no full days of vacation (still have 56 hours on the books but oh well) and family spread all over the entire country I will be enjoying the technology version of celebration with many loved ones.  The beach escapes me this year for the holiday celebration but that will make my arrival to the surf and sand all the more sweeter once I finally arrive.

Santa Bikini

This my friends is how I dream of Christmas Eve!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!!!

Evening Photography: The Surfer Returns to Shore

“Most of the surfers [seen] on this evening shoot were there at the ocean as long or longer….which meant at least two hours. imagine most if not all felt when leaving the ocean: a sense of peace, a sense of unexplained joy, and a sense that now, having communed properly with the ocean, the day was truly done.” – These words truly capture my feelings about having a sense of peace after becoming one with the ocean. It is the realization of how small we are in the grand scheme of things but yet at the same time understanding you belong.

Challenges in Life

Trying to get to a better place in my head.  It is hard at the moment…..received a picture today from 2005 brought back a flood of memories of good times and a sadness all at the same time.  Life does not stop, no matter how much you wish for time to stand still.  Use what you have today to make yourself a better person.  Take the challenges that life throws at you to become stronger.  Look fear in the face and let it know you are the boss of you and no one else will rule your world.

This was said best to me by my grandmother, don’t worry about what you have no control over because you can not change it.  Don’t worry about what you can control, do something about it.  I like to think of this in my terms….when life gives you lemons make a vodka tonic with a twist!