Serenity Sometimes

Embracing the chaos one day at a time. A blog about my adventures in food, photography, fitness and fun.


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The US Open Post

I know, I know – sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a couple weeks.  But I’m back and I’ve sorted through the 800 (!) pictures my husband took during his week volunteering at the US Open at Merion Golf Club. He came home with a nice tan, sleep deprived and as happy as a pig in you know what. I’m so glad he was fortunate enough to have this experience. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights!

Welcome to the US Open!

Practice at the driving range.

Tiger sporting a rare smile.

Tiger and Arnold Palmer having a chat… No big deal!

Teeing off.

Rory McIlroy texting someone at the cocktail reception on the first night. I wonder if it’s Caroline Wozniacki.

Rory and Tiger probably laughing about how much money they got from Nike on their most recent endorsement deals.

One of the fairways during a rare sunny day.

Angel Cabrera

Tiger’s extremely stylish swing coach.

Gotta love the Tiger club cover!

Sharing a laugh.

Grounds crew preparing the green.

The players walk down these steps as they wind through the remnants of an old limestone quarry.

The famous red wicker tee baskets on the East Course.

My husband sat on the 18th hole all day on the last day of the tournament. Here is a beautiful panoramic view with the sun just beginning to set. A spectacular ending to an unforgettable week.


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Fore!

Golf is a really hard game. I’ll admit, I have absolutely no patience for it. I am an instant gratification kind of girl, and the only thing I can imagine doing for 4 hours straight is sleeping. The fact that these athletes can get a tiny ball into a tiny hole 350 yards away in just a few swings of the club is pretty remarkable.

Granted, I will hit some balls at the driving range from time to time, and if I practiced more I might not even suck that badly. One time I even beat my husband at mini golf, and I will NEVER let him forget it. But practicing my swing is just not something I have the desire to spend my time doing, so I guess that’s where it all falls down, right?

This week my husband is down in Merion, PA for the U.S. Open. My brother-in-law is a golf pro at Merion, and that means backstage passes for my husband. He has been like a little kid on Christmas about it for quite a while now. He signed up to volunteer and has been spending the past few days doing everything from helping the grounds crew clean up and dry out the course, to working at the practice range. For the rest of the week he gets to stalk players, and walk the beautiful course as the tournament unfolds.

usopen

 

He’s been texting me pictures of the course, and on Sunday I let him take my precious camera so I will be without it all week.

All I can say is that he better get some good pictures. I want close ups of that adorable little Irish freckle faced Rory McIlroy. CLOSE UPS!

I’ll leave you with a few cell phone snaps of the course, these were taken by my husband this past weekend while things were still relatively quiet.

Do you play golf? Do you enjoy watching others play?

 

A Trip to the Farmer’s Market and a Recipe

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cornkalefritters

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe post for a while now. It always seemed like a relatively large undertaking. I mean, I love to cook and I love to take pictures, but both things at once? Just a little daunting. I have to say it was a lot of fun but pretty time consuming. I have a deep respect for all of those food bloggers out there, I can tell you that much.

I stopped at the farmer’s market on my way home from work today and I was inspired by all the fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Beautiful berries.

Towers of tomatoes.

Let me tell you… There are few sweeter pleasures in life than a ripe Lancaster tomato. Okay maybe there are, but just go with it. I’m trying to set a mood here, people.

I ended up selecting some kale and local sweet corn to be my star ingredients.

Here is the cast of characters:

First combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Flour, cornmeal, paprika and salt.

This isn’t just any paprika, it’s smoked paprika. If you haven’t tried it, you must. Believe me when I tell you that it’s amazing.

Oh how I love thee.

Cut some corn off the cob or use frozen corn if you are in a hurry, I won’t judge.

Chop up some kale.

Now mix the kale and corn in with the dry ingredients and set aside.

Next, melt some butter. Here I am using homemade butter from a local Amish farm.

To. Die. For.

Melt up a couple of table spoons, and mix into the eggs and milk.

If you are anything like me when you cook, this is where you take a break to clean up the huge mess you made on the counter.

OK, all cleaned up. Now heat up a pan with a little olive oil and throw in some onion and garlic.

Let them get nice and golden.

Now fold those into the dry ingredients.

Add the liquid ingredients and stir up everything together.

You should be smiling at this point because you are so close to being able to eat them!

Heat up a little more olive oil in your pan on medium heat and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out your fritter mixture.

They won’t take long, maybe two minutes on each side.

Serve them with some sour cream and smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce, or find your own favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

Sweet Corn & Potato Fritters

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 cups firmly packed finely chopped kale
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups milk
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped onion

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, and mix in melted butter and milk.In a large sautée pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sautée about 3 minutes or until golden. Combine onion and garlic with the other dry ingredients. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together. Heat your pan to medium to medium high and coat it with a thin layer of oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the batter. Fry about 2 minutes on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to soak up extra oil.


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I’ve Been Tagged

Well, word on the street is that someone must be checking out this little blog of mine, because the lovely Kim from Tranquil Dreams tagged me to participate in some fun.

THE RULES
1. Post these rules. 
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. 
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post. 
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.

5. Go to their blog/Twitter and let them know they’ve been tagged.

1. Post these rules.  Done.

2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you.

1. Seriously – what is up with my hair in this picture? I look like Alfalfa from The Little Rascals.

2. I am obsessed with Owls. I have owl decorations all over my house. My husband has banned me from buying anything else owl themed, but everybody buys me owl gifts, so the joke’s on him. HAHA!

3. I speak fluent Spanish, pretty decent French, and a little Italian. This is not as impressive as it seems, since they are basically all the same language with different accents.

4. My parents got divorced when I was 4 and I grew up with my Mom. She’s the best mom ever by the way! (In case she’s reading this) :D

5. In high school I worked as a tour guide at a living historical farm.

6. My senior year, I played Maria in our high school musical, The Sound of Music.

7. I started my first year of college as a Vocal Performance major, and eventually changed to International Business when I realized that auditions made me so nervous I almost barfed every time.

8. I’d like to get back into doing community theater but I’m scared. (See #7 re: Auditions).

9. I’ve done a TON of waitressing and bartending in my day. I actually liked it.  Please tip your servers, they work hard and remember, they handle your food. ;)

10. I’m planning a diving trip to Roatan, Honduras in November!

11. I try, but I’m not very good with children. Luckily for them, I don’t have any of my own.

 

3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post. 

1. What’s your favorite childhood show? Reading Rainbow

2. Pokemon or Digimon? Pikachu is from Pokemon right? Ok then – Pokemon. Can you tell I’m not an expert?

3. Disney or Studio Ghibli? I am going to go with Disney considering I had to Google Studio Ghibli!  haha

4. Vin Diesel or The Rock/Dwayne Johnson (whichever you prefer to call him?) Vin Diesel

5. Yes or no to True Blood? Yes

6. Vampires or Werewolves? Vampires. I have an aversion to excessive body hair.

7. What’s the most awesome Disney Princess? Ariel

8. What’s your favorite dessert? Homemade Rice Krispies Treats

9. Do you have the habit of checking out the source material before or after a movie adaptation? Or maybe even never check it out? Why? I try to always read the book first, but I don’t know why since I am usually always disappointed by the movie adaptation. Maybe I will try it the other way around next time.

10. Do you like to watch trailers or avoid them? I watch them.

11. Are you happy that these questions are over? No because now I have to make up 11 new ones!

4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.

1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

2. Name 3 places you have never been that you want to visit.

3. What is the first album/tape/cd you ever purchased?

4. Do you eat raw oysters?

5. What is your favorite outdoor sport or activity? (Not to watch but to participate in)

6. Name one thing you are afraid of.

7. Name one thing that you are pretty awesome at.

8. Do you get road rage?

9. Name the first song that pops into your head.

10. Sweet or salty?

11. Name one movie you could watch over and over again and never get tired of it.

5. Go to their blog/Twitter and let them know they’ve been tagged.

No pressure if you don’t have time or don’t participate in this type of thing. I totally understand. But in any case – here a few bloggers I would love to learn more about:

Janaline’s World Journey

SPANNERR

Fitness & Feta

The Moderately Extreme

NYC Fit Food and Fashion!

So,…hear me

Feel free to give your answers in the comments if you’re not tagged above.


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A Hike Amongst Waterfalls

This past Saturday I went hiking with a group of friends in Lehigh Gorge State Park, near Jim Thorpe, PA. We followed the Glen Onoko Falls trail to the top, and along the way enjoyed the sights, including numerous waterfalls, gorgeous plant life and rock formations, all culminating in a spectacular view of the valley below.

Warning at the start of the hike.

I think the sign is a little bit of an exaggeration. I had a great time trying to climb up and over rock formations but never once felt overwhelmed or overly exerted. I would not recommend wearing flip flops and stopping to smoke every 10 minutes, which I observed with some of the other hikers that day… FLIP FLOPS! Really? We did take a lot of breaks to stop and take pictures though, so maybe if I would have done it without stopping I would have been more fatigued.

One of the smaller “waterfalls” at the start of the hike

I love hiking and being in the woods. Even on a hot day, which this was, it stays cool and shaded underneath the trees.

So up and up we climbed until we came to our first substantial waterfall.

Do you see that rope hanging down the right side of the falls? That’s because there were some people rappelling!

This makes me want to learn how to rock climb. Granted, I have a crippling fear of heights, but that’s how we conquer our fears, right? Maybe I could try it first in a controlled environment like a rock climbing gym. Let’s put that on the bucket list.

Onward and upward to the next waterfall!

“Chameleon Falls”

I found a very cool looking, and also cool temperature spot underneath an overcrop of rock that was just spritzing water down over moss covered rocks. Underneath in the shade, a nice crop of ferns grew. I just love ferns.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good spot.

And here we have it, the view that you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for!

Behind this overlook, there was water running over giant stones, and a shaded spot where you could sit and dip your hands and feet (and whatever else I guess) into the crystal clear water.

The next waterfall was fun. There was a path that led behind the falls so you could stand behind and feel the mist. I so wanted to go behind and take a picture looking out but it was slippery and wet and I only have one camera… my precious… and if anything happened to her I would cry many tears. But it would have been a cool shot.

I think my favorite picture might be this one I took of a fallen log left to grow moss, and bathe in the stream until it breaks apart and drifts down the mountain some day.

A wonderful day to be active, take pictures, enjoy nature and spend time with friends.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?

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