This an easy tip. For many people, it is no problem at all. Don’t drink at lunch. By drink, I mean in the alcoholic beverage genre. A glass of wine or a mixed drink adds 100+ calories to your lunch. Really, you need to keep breakfast and lunch at a minimum. (This gives me an idea for a new vacation diet tip!) Then you can go out to dinner and throw caution to the wind. Not really, but if you are following the other tips, caution is already in play. So let’s keep those fun beverages until 5 PM or later.

Tomorrow, an important corollary to Vacation Tip #5!



As I sit here in my little island paradise, I am considering the folly of worrying about the weather. I have been reading about the rains and floods in Utah. Now I am fairly sure that our house there is safe from floods. But with all the rain, I wonder if the roof and windows are tight. I hope our six legged friends (actually foes) have decided not to seek refuge from the weather. But there is nothing I can do about it. So I think I’ll just let the weather worry float away. (no pun intended)


While hunting around the internet for good definitions and derivations for paradise (originally a walled garden) and monsoon (actually the wind that changes the seasonal weather in Asia not the rain), I found something totally different.

neologism – a new word, usage, or expression (

In this website I happened upon,, there were all sorts of interesting new words and other information. I found out that the # sign which we call a pound sign actually refers to weight such as in a 5# bag of potatoes. I always thought it was because you were supposed to hit it hard.


Kretch’s, Marco Island, Florida

This restaurant which sort of looks like a 50’s motel from the outside was a pleasant surprise. Although they have several meat entrees, we were there for the fish. When we got the menu, it was like being in the Monty Python Cheese Shop. There were eight specials but four were crossed out. Our waitress, who called us “kids,” proceeded to tell us what other things they were out of. So, of the fish left there was a Cajun grilled Key’s dolphin and a batter-fried haddock. Since eating deep fried things on vacation violates Vacation Diet Tip #3, we had the dolphin. This came with a choice of caesar salad or tossed salad. John had the caesar and they asked if he wanted anchovies on top. The tossed salad was your basic Eastern salad – mostly iceberg lettuce. We also got a basket of freshly made rye bread which, while odd, was very good. And a container of whipped butter (or margarine.) Why do they do that? Is it cheaper? Give me real butter or olive oil. Anyway, when the fish came, it was a thick piece that was cooked perfectly. Not dry and overcooked. Many kudos for the fish.

So big pluses for the fish, the bread, the anchovies and the inexpensive house wine, and small minuses for the overly exuberant waitress, the lack of ambiance, the whipped butter and the Cheese Shop routine. Also bad name.

I give Kretch’s B+ (John agrees)



I’ve been thinking about how and when I worry. Obviously, when I am busy, I worry less. There are only so many mental zoobs that one can use simultaneously. When it’s the middle of the night, I worry more. What are you doing? Just laying there. It’s prime time for worrying. Sometimes I worry quietly, other times when the burden of worry gets too great, I worry aloud to John. Since he’s a guy, he usually gives me solutions to my problems or suggests that what I am worrying about is noncredible. A new and interesting insight is that my worries differ depending on how far away I am from the worry source. If I am close enough to make a difference I worry more. For instance, if Sarah, Ryan or Jon has a problem, and I am in California or Utah, I worry about it more because I think I can help. If I’m in Europe or Florida or more than 1000 miles away, I am less likely to be overly concerned. I would ask them to help each other or ask a friend. So the worry equation must be:
Of course, it would depend on the size of the problem.


This was an enervating day for us. We traveled to the east coast of Florida to visit John’s dad who is 91. Between wanting to have everything go well, to dealing with the traffic, to running into a large group of tiny, belligerent elderly women, the day definitely was draining.

enervate – To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality

Sometimes people mistakenly use enervate to mean “to invigorate” or “to excite” by assuming that this word is a close cousin of the verb energize. In fact enervate does not come from the same source as energize (Greek energos, “active”). It comes from Latin nervus, “sinew.” Thus enervate means “to cause to become ‘out of muscle’,” that is, “to weaken or deplete of strength.” (

Shelby’s Kitchen

First let it be said that no one in our family enters a restaurant with “Kitchen” in its name without trepidation. Long ago, we put down rules for eating out after many unfortunate experiences. One must NEVER eat in a restaurant whose name includes the words Captain (or, worse Cap’n), Mom (Ma or Mother), or Kitchen. Also taboo are establishments who advertise Home Cooking, Home Made or the terrifying Homade. We pronounce that ho-mad-e (long e). The funniest-ever joke in our family is when a 12 or 13 year old Jonathan made the comment that the awful meal prepared by his grandmother was good enough to be served in Captain Mom’s Kitchen. It makes me laugh just to type it.

That being said, the restaurant review is of Shelby’s Kitchen, Deerfield Beach, Florida

We were on the search for deli. Good Jewish deli. John was craving corned beef and hoping that I would order chopped liver so we could make our famous corned beef and chopped liver combo. It’s after 1:30 and we are hungry. So we start by going to Mr. Deli, a place we’ve been to on previous trips. Oh no, out of business. John’s dad suggests Bagel Dream, we try that next but now it’s after 2 and the place is closed. But three times is the charm. We go, against our better judgment, to Shelby’s Kitchen. We have a waitress who has to write everything down in long hand and has trouble dealing with our order, even though we are the only people in the restaurant. (Older people eat early.) But the corned beef is warm and not fatty and the chopped liver is wonderful. We are a family who loves chopped liver whether it’s served on crostini in Florence or made into an exquisite mousse by Sarah. But, getting back to the sandwiches, the only downside is that the rye bread is a little flabby. John and I make our combo and it’s like Jewish heaven. (John says that Jews believe in heaven more as a metaphor than a reality, but you get my drift.)

Due to the lack of ambiance, incompetent service and flabby rye bread but because of the great chopped liver and good corned beef , I give Shelby’s Kitchen a B+ (John agrees)

Vacation Rule #3

I know, I know. Given the last paragraph, who am I be giving out diet tips. Well, you can’t have tips if you haven’t enjoyed the good life.

Vacation Tip #3 – Don’t eat anything deep fried. Simple. That means no french fries, no fish and chips, no calamari fritti, or anything else that has been doing the backstroke in a bath of oil. For you dilettantes, that means no confit either. But if you are following the tips, you are having fun on vacation, getting out every day to do something, and eating well-prepared fish, chicken, seafood and vegetables. See, it’s not so hard!



I read this quote from our esteemed president this week,”I think elections will be such a incredibly hopeful experience for the Iraqi people.” Perhaps it would have been better for him to leave out the hopeful and just go with, “I think elections will be such an incredible experience for the Iraqi people.” Would you go out to the polls if you were living in Baghdad? Maybe if you had a death wish. Long ago when I was studying political science, we discussed the necessary ingredients for having a democracy work, because democracy is not an easy type of government. You need a stable economy and a stable social system. America worked at the first go, France did not. What chance is there for the Iraqis?