Here’s a funny looking word that John came across when reading “Jacquard’s Web.” It looks like one of those made up words like “spork.”

swarf – Fine metallic filings or shavings removed by a cutting tool. (Dictionary.com)

So kind of like metal sawdust. I have yet to find a way to work it into my daily speech.

Vacation Rule #2

Vacation Rule #2 – Don’t eat red meat. Or to put it more positively, do eat vegetables, tofu, chicken, fish and shellfish; veal if you must. Also do not kid yourself that the pork you get in a restaurant is “the other white meat.” Why do you think it tastes so much better than the dried out pork loin you get at home? Fat! These were happy, well-fed pigs before they became the giant, succulent chops on your plate. Also, just in case your entree comes with a sauce, it’s so much better calorie-wise poured on top of shrimp than steak.


We’ve arrived in Marco Island, FL and got all of our connections. So I am back to blogging.


It’s hard to imagine what to worry about while sitting next to the pool in 80 degree weather. Do we have enough wine? Shall we take a bike ride, play tennis or just laze about today? Yes, there are the crazy old people drivers on the road and a strange black accumulation under the refrigerator. But, on this first day of blogging on vacation, I think I will just say, “no worries today.” There ‘s always tomorrow.


Here’s a word I ran across in the Saturday puzzle.

sidereal – Of, relating to, or concerned with the stars or constellations; stellar. (Dictionary.com)

Try using this word during a romantic walk in the evening. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how it’s pronounced.

Snook’s Inn


Since we like to eat out (but not in Utah), and we get to do so in lots of different places, I thought I’d occasionally include a restaurant review.

Snook’s Inn, Marco Island, FL – We went to this place for lunch the first day we got here. We wanted some Florida island ambiance. Snook’s has plenty of ambiance. You can eat outside or inside right next to the water. People tie up their boats and come in for a meal. So, it definitely filled the bill for the island experience. We both ordered the Snook’s Inn luncheon specialty, grouper sandwich. It comes with salad bar and fries. You don’t see many salad bars anymore. It was typical except for a vat of large, half sour pickle pieces. Since I still I have to write my diet tip, let’s say I merely sampled a french fry or two in the interest of reporting. They tasted as if they had not been double fried. Not creamy enough on the inside and crispy on the outside. The grouper, however, was great – broiled so that it was just cooked through. The bun, however, was flabby and uninspired. Grade for Snook’s Inn – C+ (John says B-)

Vacation Rule #1

When I was a Weight Watchers leader, I made up five rules for not gaining weight on vacation. Here’s number 1.

Do something every day!

You’re some place new and different so go outside and do something! Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a swim, play golf, tennis, ski, anything. Every extra calorie you burn means something extra you can eat. In fact, and you know this, it’s true every day, vacation or not.


My blog is going to have a short hiatus while we get to our vacation site and have high speed internet hooked up.


A lot of people are afraid of flying. I used to be one of them. And while I’ll never be absolutely serene during a flight, I’ve come a long way. I needed to understand what was happening when planes fly. I learned about air foils and what acceleration and de-acceleration do to altitude. One thing that always freaked me out was how the pilot seemed to cut power shortly after takeoff. I guess I figured the pilot would just keep zooming up. It didn’t occur to me that the plane is told by the ground control where it is supposed to be. Understanding what is going on has made a big difference to me.

Just to show that I am not entirely fearless, though, in order to have a safe flight, before we leave someone has to say our family’s mantra, “Tell the pilot to drive safely.”


The other night we had dinner with our friends, Karen and George. There were so many delicious things to eat and drink. Cape Cod potato chips, guacamole, a lovely mushroom dip, and cheeses. Dinner followed with salad, ribs, roasted root vegetables, and mashed potatoes. Karen makes the best mashed potatoes ever! Later there was lemon cake. All this was washed down with bottles of wine. We brought along a 1991 Murietta’s Well Zinfandel.

So obviously the above is not a diet tip except maybe if you are going to splurge, splurge well. What I really wanted to write about was having a “go to” meal after a splurge. The next morning I had a piece of whole wheat toast with 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter. When I was on my long diet, I ate this combination a lot for breakfast. It’s a signal that party time is over and let’s get back on the straight and narrow. Do you have a “go to” meal?



Yesterday, I treated myself to a manicure and a pedicure. It made me think about the roots of those words. Obviously, the “man-” and “ped-” come from the Latin for hand and foot. But what about “cure?” It’s also from a Latin root meaning care.

Words are so interesting. Here’s a word about words.

etymology – The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.
(from Dictionary.com)



Do you worry about your health? I do. In my mind, I blow every little ache and pain into life-threatening diseases. I try not to burden those around me with this but, I would say that after worrying about children, it’s next in line. Of course, I know this is bad because worrying raises your stress level and so leaves you more prone to disease. This is a kind of no-win situation.

A magazine I get, “Vegetarian Times” (thank you for the subscription, Sarah) has listed seven super foods that can help one stay healthy and mentally acute. These are spinach, blueberries, tea, broccoli, tomatoes, soy and oats. Runners-up include olive oil, onions, garlic, walnuts, avocados and oranges. Of course, the amounts that they suggest eating would preclude having enough room to stuff anything else in. I also heard that curry is good for you, too. So my resolution #2 is to try to include these foods in my diet. To this end, we have already had a chickpea and tofu curry sauteed in olive oil with garlic, onions, carrots and cauliflower. It was quite good especially if you put in enough salt and tabasco.


In my years of working for Weight Watchers, we were given many tips to pass on to the members to help in their struggles. Things like drink wine spritzers instead of the real thing. How many people actually ever did that? Not me for sure. Most of the things that I am passing along are more what real people do in food laden situations.

Last night we went to a lovely party that was catered and had many yummy things to eat. I picked a table as far away from the food as possible. After getting the initial plateful, it was just too difficult to get back to the serving area.

Today’s tip? Don’t stand or sit next to the food at a party. There is no reason to make eating moderately more difficult than it has to be.


I had trouble with the Saturday “New York Times” crossword. I had to consult John to solve the northeast corner. This is a heinous crime in my book, worse than looking stuff up in the crossword puzzle dictionary but maybe not as bad as using the internet. Now, I am struggling with the Sunday puzzle. Obviously, I need more super foods. Or perhaps I need to keep an atlas in the bathroom so I could become more familiar with the lakes and rivers of Asia.

Here’s a word that John knew that I did not.

abri – a rock shelter formed by an overhang.

So I guess the next time we are hiking in Utah and the weather looks threatening, I’ll say, “Quick, let’s find an abri and stay out of this bad weather.” Sure I will.