Monday, February 20, 2017

NFJG Tournament at Hidden Hills and Oak Bridge - President's Day

This holiday weekend is a two day tournament. Our girl stays busy!! The first day was at Hidden Hills. Lynne Kirkpatrick was sweet to speak to AA before and ask about AA's best score there, we think it was high 40's. Lynne said that this will be the day she conquers Hidden Hills. After round one, AA left the scoring table and Lynne ran up to AA and said you conquered the Hills!! AA had her best round at Hidden Hills with a birdie and a few pars! She tied her best score at all courses from the ladies tees.

Playing with all Foundation Kids - boys and girls, from the ladies red tees.
Round 2 was held at Oak Bridge Club. The Oak Bridge Club has been a part of the Ponte Vedra Beach community since 1973 when the golf course originally opened. Designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member Arnold Palmer and renowned architect Ed Seay, this fun and challenging 18 hole 6413 yard course remains whole.
AA won with another great score! A well deserved first place. She works with Coach Kathy who has recently corrected a few minor issues with her swing. Not much, but has given AA an even better short game. Congrats to our sweet golfer!
I wanted to save these notes about Hidden Hills, a very difficult course, an Arnold Palmer design:
No. 1 – 380 yards, Par-4 – “It's really hard to tell what state you are in from the first tee,” says Libby. Stately pine trees -- many planted back in the 1960s -- run down the right side of the course. Try to favor the left side as the best approach to a green that slopes right to left.
No. 2 – 415 yards, Par-4 – You're going to think about Donald Ross on this dogleg left with its tabletop fairway with drop-offs left and right. You'll be hitting between trees on both sides to an elevated green. While this is a hole where you can run your ball up to the green, you cannot miss left because it is almost impossible to get up and down. Most greens at Hidden Hills have plenty of undulation, and this is one of them.
No. 3 – 435 yards, Par-4 – Watch out for the water down the left side;that could make this a tough driving hole. Hook left and you are wet; if you go too far right, you'll be out of bounds. Accuracy down the middle is a premium on this hole. There is only a single grass bunker near the green on the right, and you are encouraged to stay left.
No. 4 – 541 yards, Par-5 – On this 90-degree dogleg left, most players hit an iron off the deck without a tee. “No matter what you hit, it's always the same distance – 250-280 yards – coming into the hole,” says Libby. There are two lakes on this hole, one to the left and one on the right that comes into play on the second shot. Long hitters can sometimes make it in two. If you lay up, it's like having to hit a par-4 green in two shots. Watch out for the greenside bunker front left.
No. 5 – 184 yards, Par-3 – When you reach this very elevated green here,you'll be at one of the highest points in Duval County. The green also slopes severely (a 15-foot break) so that the pin is never placed on the left side. Club selection here is very important and you should stay below the hole to give you the best chance with an uphill putt.
No. 6 – 499 yards, Par-5 – This is another sharp dogleg right, but that means it's possible for a long hitter to reach the green in two. But watch out for fairway bunkers that line the left side; the bunker farthest down the line has a pine tree in the middle that foils those who try to cut the corner. Pine trees and water guard the right side. A narrow landing area makes it tough to run this ball up on the green. Most players will lay up in two and hit a short iron for their third shot.
No. 7 – 181 yards, Par-3 – This is the most exciting par-3 on the course with water all the way. If you miss short, right or left, you are in the water.
No. 8 – 349 yards, Par-4 – On this, the most picturesque hole at Hidden Hills, you'll be hitting off the tee through a narrow slot through pines and oaks. There is a lot of Carolina feeling to this hole. Your second shot to a green with a bulkhead in front, is not for the faint of heart, especially if the pin is near that bulkhead. Keep an eye out here for wandering gators, although the staff works hard to keep them away. No. 9 – 388 yards, Par-4 – Fairway bunkers come into play as you head for the clubhouse turn, although most long hitters can carry them. Although tight, this is a driving hole for golfers of all levels. You'll be hitting to an elevated green guarded by a bunker on the left. If you come up short, a chip shot is out of the question and you'll have to hit a lofted wedge onto the green. As you've probably figured out by now,the lob wedge and the flop shot are weapons you want in your arsenal when playing Hidden Hills.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday - Fun with Noah (President's Day Weekend)

After the early dismissal from school on Friday, AA had a golf lesson with Coach Kathy; they worked on her chipping, one thing, keeping the club in plane, now sweeping out of plane. Then she had her Chinese language lesson with Miss Nancy L. And we treated ourselves to the River House as it was another BEAUTIFUL day! {a bit chilly, but sunny and perfect winter day}.
Saturday has become a standing date with AA's friend Noah W. {Noah is 11 months younger than AA. He made the school deadline date for kindergarten, and AA had missed it the year before. He's the youngest in her grade; she is one of the oldest.} They play Minecraft remotely and enjoy bantering about who did what wrong, or who deleted something or where to build next, etc. All beyond us! Since I planned to take AA to see the ASCE movie Dream Big at the IMAX at noon, I asked Noah if he would come. I assumed the movie would be fairly boring so a friend would at least ease the pain! Turned out to be enjoyable and about a third of the audience were preteens and teens. AA was surprised (as we all were) about the Great Wall of China having sticky rice in the mortar; allowed for slight expansion/movement being build on the mountain knife edge. AA said the entire day was fun, loved having someone to run around in the Hall of Fame together.
I really enjoyed the movie, it was 3D so had some wild dizzy moments. Great stories describing amazing engineering feats, buildings, space stations, bridges, transportation, preventing earthquake building damages through new soil analysis and building designs; also how youth (and college age) are involved in engineering team challenges to create and innovate; highlighting several mentors who make learning fun. When I was in college, we only had one team competition - the concrete canoe race! Kids now have technology and mentors who coach them through difficult problem solving. Good movie for everyone - and only 45 minutes long.

Heading into the IMAX theater:
In front of movie poster:
I loved the music "One Day" by Matisyahu. Great bouncy reggae music and the words reminded me of the message in John Lennon's Imagine.
After the movie, no one was hungry so we headed into the Golf Hall of Fame museum. They completed a fun scavenger hunt (Q&A), some putting and then lunch at the cafe. They both ordered a Caesar salad - two peas in a pod! Beginning of Hall of Fame:
Fun leaderboard - put your name up on the board:
You can electronically put your name on a trophy and have it sent to you by email:
The winners' podium similar to Olympics Rio (a new exhibit with Olympic theme):
They enjoyed a Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt on Fleming Island right before meeting back up with Noah's parents. AA ate every drop!
Fun day for me - hope it was fun for both kids!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

More of Mid-February

On Saturday, the 11th, we fired up the backyard fire-pit and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows (after going to the RH and enjoying the river views). The weather has been beautiful, so with a slight chill (okay, 70 degrees), the fire-pit was perfect.

Dinner outside!
We have been enjoying Ford's grapefruitcello (made from Justin's fruit); mixed with grapefruit seltzer water, grapefruit soda, champagne and alone on the rocks! Carolyn gifted us two bottles of Champagne so we enjoyed this one. Love champagne!
On Monday the 13th, AA continued with her Robotics Club after school then went to the golf course (EH) and played for an hour. On Wednesday, the 15th, she played golf with Lauren W. She is a senior at FIHS and is a great kid. AA enjoyed going out with her while Daddy-Ford stayed behind. After that, we went to the River House as AA's school friend's Dad, Shane Myers, plays music there occasionally so she and Liam can visit together. Ford made homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner - delicious!
From Facebook: Super windy practice/fun round with Lauren today. Lauren recently signed to play for the Florida Gators next season!
Music at the River House:
Shane's son Liam:
On Thursday, 16th, AA gets to play with Ms. Penny again. Thankful for her guidance and time she spends with AA!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

I did a little table decorating, printed out AA's school Valentine's plus sent off several Valentine's Day cards (mainly relatives, plus with a few pictures to Great-Grands: Ann, Joy, Lester, Barbara and Ginny).
We took some candy to the Grand's on the 31st and had Valentine's Day dinner with them on the 14th which included chicken tenders, sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese - PLUS homemade chocolate dipping sauce for fruit and brownie bites (plus one of AA's candies she gave to classmates). And AA "re-started" music lessons with Jesse; it has been a few years since her last one!
AA received Valentine cards in the mail (with a little cash too) from Nana Ann and her Great-Auntie Jean; plus a dozen or so cards/candy from classmates (it was optional for 4th graders) along with a sweet note from Jane W. and lots of stuff from us!
Ford bought me candy and a balloon (we made a pack 30+ years ago - no flowers!) and AA gave me chocolate truffles (really yummy good!) and a card. A sweet day for us!

At Leaa's for dinner, Dylan and AA watched a movie and AA's first music lesson:
AA's Valentine card said "Join the HEART side" with a LEGO style Darth Vader on it. After Valentine's Day - candy from school and us, plus cards:

Monday, February 13, 2017

NFJG North Hampton (Amelia Island) Tournament 02/12/17

AA had four other girls this time in her Foundation Group, for a total of five. From Facebook: Another #NFJG tournament finished - AA earned first place (Foundation Girls - 12 and under). The two smallest girls placed 1st and 2nd, then there were three girls a bit taller :)! Proud of AA (and her knees are about healed - thankful!). #AlyzabethMorganGolf
So happy for AA's playing, comparing to the Foundation Boys (both groups play from the red tees), she would have placed third!
From Tour Director Jack:
In the Foundation Girls and no stranger to the winners circle Alyzabeth Morgan carded a champion score of 48 to take the Gold. Jenna Leonard was just one stroke back with 49 to accept the Silver Medal and Leah Shatley (54) would be presented the Bronze medal for her fantastic third place finish.
Truthfully, it was a long day and play was slower than most events. This mainly due to the difficulty of the course and a majority of our players not having course knowledge. But none the less it was a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 4th - February 10th

Our weeks have flown by, mostly because we are having GREAT weather. Only a few chilly days and the rest are "open doors" and sit outside weather! We had one bad "north'easter" that toppled a tree in our neighborhood, thankfully no damage.
At OPE, parents are allowed to take their child plus two friends/guest "out to lunch" which means bringing a treat and eating lunch on the school grounds outside. Jane and her Mom Jill selected AA to eat lunch together. So cute and fun to do something different.

02/04/17: We went with the Weigand's to the MOSH to see the traveling exhibit of Anne Frank's life. It was a sponsored event so was free for two weeks. It showed mainly the timeline of her life. I was shocked to read that the USA would not bring in immigrants that were being persecuted over religious belief! This child would be 77 years old, hopefully safe in USA if our policy was open and accepting. I will have to do more research to answer the question Why? {some research showed that Anne's father applied in 1941 which was very late, already 300,000+ waiting to get into USA, by then he had moved his family to Netherlands, thinking they were safe there, lots to this story, not simple; but USA did change immigration rules to slow down the influx}

AA, Jane and Dax (OPE school mates and closest family that lives near us):
February 5th was the Super Bowl and we made chicken wings (described in a different "food" post). Patriots won in an amazing come-back-from-behind! Atlanta Falcon fans were truly disappointed, so reviewing two of the Patriots touchdowns over and over, from what we can tell, were touchdowns, so Patriots won fair and square (I know, we suspect them of not following rules too).
We have been playing Rummikub a lot, AA likes it, but now that I have won just about every game, she's not too keen on it. Also, on Monday the 6th, AA began the OPE Robotics Club/Team. It is two hours right after school, so no more horse riding lessons on Monday's. We have suspended her riding as we don't have another day available and can't have it start any later on a school night with the hour drive home.
Ford took AA and two friends, Jane W. and Noah W. "out to lunch" on Tuesday the 7th at OPE, he brought them each a huge cookie as a treat; we looked at the weather and selected the best day to sit outside. Have I said enough that our weather has been gorgeous? Ginger loves it too as I can leave the back door open and she can play in the yard whenever she wants to (less walking her for us too!). Jane was excited over the cookie!
Noah is a good friend, AA plays Minecraft with him remotely on the weekends.
My Mom's birthday was the 7th, (along with Pam Davis and Werner H.). We met Pam at the River House for a drink, she had not had anything to drink while she was battling bronchitis and pneumonia since New Year's Day. We sent Mom some flowers from the Lady Slipper Florist and coffee gift cards.
Next, we had the storm go through our town on the 8th, most of it did go north of us, but one water oak toppled in a neighbors yard. Several owners took to the street and cleaned it up in just an hour! The Owners still need to remove the trunk, but nice to see everyone helping out.
Just missed the house:
Missed the car too!
Paul, Marc and Scott removing the tree:
AA continued having a golf lesson with Coach Kathy and playing with Ms. Penny each week. So good to have a new routine, close to home and less stressful!
We attended Jim Hill's 70th birthday party at the RH on Friday, we leave before 7 pm so didn't really join in, just have a drink and relax. The weekend is here!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

January - February Food

With Chinese New Year upon us, I cooked homemade dumplings, plus tried a new recipe called corned beef and cabbage soup (it was just "okay").
For the Super Bowl (02/05/17), we made two batches of chicken wings, mine were Asian and Ford's were the traditional hot sauce.
Homemade pork dumplings - so yummy, we ate every one!

The new slow cooker recipe for corned beef soup:
A double batch of our favorite sloppy joe!
My new biscuit recipe was a hit! Ford said they were my best yet. Made with buttermilk, frozen grated butter in a cast iron skillet.

My New Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Adapted from
Makes 6 large biscuits (I made seven)

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda     (I added a teaspoon of Bakewell)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen (use box grater to grate butter)
1 cup buttermilk

3-inch round or biscuit cutter (I used 2.5”)
Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F.
Mix the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Grate the butter: Place a box grater over a small piece of parchment paper. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater. When you get down to a small nub of butter, chop that nub into 5 to 6 small pieces.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients: Use the piece of parchment paper to transfer the butter to the dry ingredients (I grated over bowl of flour, directly). Use your fingers to sift the butter into the flour and break up any clumps of grated butter.
Mix in the buttermilk: Pour in the buttermilk and beat it in with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Fold the biscuits: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cutting board. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rough rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour, if needed. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then pat it back down into its original shape. Repeat with the folding and patting, alternating folding from each side, the bottom, and the top until you have completed a total of 8 folds. At the end, the dough should be a little springy to the touch.
Cut the biscuits: Pat the dough into a 1-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut the dough into 6 biscuits. If you don't get 6 the first time around, refold and pat down the excess dough and cut more as needed. Discard the scraps of leftover dough.
Bake: Arrange the biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron skillet so that the biscuits touch each other, but not the sides of the pan. Put the skillet in the oven and increase the oven temperature to 500°F. Bake until the biscuits are golden-brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
Serve: Remove the skillet from the oven and immediately remove the biscuits from the pan to a clean tea towel.

Super Bowl Patriots vs Falcons. From Facebook: The chicken wing challenge has begun!! Mine are fried then baked with Asian Hot sauce; Ford's are baked then fried, with southern style hot sauce. We are always the opposites. May they all be tasty for the Super Bowl game! AA will eat them both, she loves chicken wings!
Asian wings (a bit stickier as they have some sugar in the recipe):
Hot wings:

01/26/17: Ford loves Pad Thai so he joined this cooking class at EH Talons:
 I stayed home with AA, so Ford was assigned a partner:
He can make sushi and Pad Thai for us now!
Cooking class group photo: