Drinks of Bermuda

Drinks of Bermuda

This is not my first blog piece for today, but I guess I am just not ready to post what I wrote earlier. Now, it is late in the day and I am do not feel like posting a heavy piece of writing (>1,000 words).

So, in celebration of 5 o’clock on a Friday, I will post about cocktails. I just got back from Menards which is a home improvement store in the mid-west. There I found, by total accident, Ginger Beer made by Goslings.  I laughed as I scooped the six-pack up into my already full arms.

Ginger Beer is an ingredient in a Dark n Stormy, Bermuda’s national cocktail. I am not a huge rum fan but I do have Gosling’s Dark Rum in my cupboard which is a Bermuda staple. I cannot remember ever having a Dark and Stormy, even once during my three trips to Bermuda, including this past August. But, in the comfort of my own home, knowing I can potentially dump it down the drain after sipping the cocktail without wasting a ton of money (Remember, everything is expensive in Bermuda – wine, beer, and cocktails are no exception), allows me to feel adventuresome in trying this cocktail.

I looked up the recipe online from Epicurious – Yup, the ingredients are Dark Rum, Ginger Beer, and a lime wedge.

So, recognizing the Goslings label on the Ginger Beer (isn’t beer the same as ale, as in Ginger Ale?) I thought the soda was Bermudian, and what was referred to in recipes for a Dark and Stormy, the national cocktail of the Island of Bermuda.


Of course, I was disappointed when I realized that the Ginger Beer is not from Bermuda at all. I am sure it is just Ginger Ale, just like the Schweppes, Seagrams, or Canada Dry brands.  Just because it has a cute seal on the front, aptly named “Stormy”, does not mean it is better, or from Bermuda, or will make a more tasty rum concoction.

After all my excitement, I decided on waiting to try a Dark and Stormy for another day and instead reverted back to my heart helping glass of red wine – something Thorny, instead of Stormy.



Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

November Sunrise over the Coulee, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Alone on the Lake, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015
Cabin Dock at Sunset on Hultman Lake,  © Carol Labuzzetta
Summer Seat, ©  Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Summer Seat at the Cabin,  © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015
Na Pali Coast Beach on Kauai, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013
HorseshoeBayBeach Bermuda17wm
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Resting in Peace, Long Coulee Cemetary, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015
New Amsterdam Grasslands, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Sunset on Hultman Lake, © Carol Labuzzetta
Taro Fields on Kauai, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013
Basking Monk Seal, Kauai, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013
Pink Sunset, Kauai, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013

Inspired by the Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene


A Lifetime of Collecting License Plates: A Written Sunday Post Because I Am a Little Bit Off

A Lifetime of Collecting License Plates: A Written Sunday Post Because I Am a Little Bit Off

When I went to grab my computer this morning, naturally my mind went to my blog as when I am having “normal” days, writing my blog is one of the first things I do after I get up each day.  However, today I realized that I am really off……I posted my Silent Sunday post a day early – yesterday!  Being “off” is the result of traveling, a holiday with the kids home on break, and a visiting relative. I am really not sure of the date, or I guess, given the circumstances, the day!

So, after I realized this I thought I would expound on one or two of the photographs featured in my post yesterday, Scenes from a Visit Home.  There are two photos of license plates. Most countries in the world have plates that identify vehicles in which the associated human drives.  My Dad has collected plates from across the U.S. and Canada for as long as I can remember.  Right now he estimates that he has about 1,000 different plates. This number has recently been reduced down from 2,000, which in truth, had probably been reduced from a larger number years before.


He found plates at garage sales and flea markets such the one outside Antique World in Clarence, New York. He received plates as gifts, such as some of the ones we found in Wisconsin after we moved here. Those plates were found in similar spots like the Antique Center of La Crosse or Caledonia Street Antique Market.  We also visited a large Flea Market in Oronoco, Minnesota called Gold Rush Days where we found many plates.

Many years ago, when we lived in Maryland and travelled North and South to visit family, there were many places to find used license plates along the old Rt. 15 that traversed through the area between Lewisburg and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Now that area has been circumvented by a highway to make traveling faster for busy commuters.

My husband remembers buying a bushel of plates somewhere in Maryland or Pennsylvania that had a whole series of Maryland plates encompassing twenty years. We bought the whole bushel. It was fun for all of us to hunt for the plates that were usually inexpensive, but have become more costly in recent years.

There are license plate collector groups that I know my Dad has joined and belonged to over the years. He found these on his own and I know he has been able to buy and/or exchange plates in these groups with other collectors. There is even a license plate collector convention!


It has been a great hobby and even better conversation piece. My Dad has recently organized the plates he has decided to keep in categories in which he displays them in the utility room of their house. He has grouped vanity plates, all 50 U.S. States, all Canadian provinces, and then some specialty plates – such as one used on a vehicle that belonged to a worker when the Panama Canal was being built. Plates have been made to commemorate Presidential Inaugurations, charitable causes, and specific events such as the Challenger disaster.

Older plates sometimes have porcelain coatings or were stamped out of leather.  I know my Dad has enjoyed this hobby and it is always fun to see a new addition to his collection. When I see license plates, whether it is out at a flea market, or even a specialty plate on a new vehicle, I always think of my Dad.

Silent Sunday: Scenes From a Visit Home

Silent Sunday: Scenes From a Visit Home

Great Grandma’s Violet Still Around
A Fascination with Ramshackle Barns
Not Home Anymore
old licenseplates
Special License Plates – Panama Canal Plate is Cool!
Only Part of a Collection
Cabbages are grown here.
Christmas Cactus in Bloom —- Thanksgiving Cactus, I mean.  A lesson on photoperiod.
Back to Western New York: the First Few Hours

Back to Western New York: the First Few Hours

I grew up in Western New York, but have lived in the Mid-west now for almost 20 years.

These were my first observations:

  • Seven lanes of road.
  • Crazy drivers who will cut you off before they let you merge.
  • Suburban spread into the rural areas.
  • From the air Western New York looks like Wisconsin,
  • The comfort of recognizing landmarks still there.
  • Roads are known by their names, not letters or numbers.
  • Fields of cabbages not soybeans, slightly more smelly.
  • First stop: Wegmans Supermarket,
  • Oh, yeah – you cannot buy wine in the grocery store here!
  • New York State Aged Cheddar Cheese – Delicious!
  • Best dinner choice: Beef on Weck. Yum! (only in Western New York)
  • Lake Ontario is still huge

Home, and not home, all at the same time.




Directions to Home, Please

Directions to Home, Please

Next week, I will travel 900 miles by air to spend a few days with my parents at their home. It is something I have never done alone, since having a family of my own. For some, this might seem strange. I have friends who see their parents several times a week, and might even talk to them each day.  I also have a friend who has not seen her mother in over ten years.  I am somewhere in between. For anyone who is honest about families, there is a wide variation of normalcy.

Over the last few years my husband starting going back to where he grew up, to see his parents. He went alone. We are at a time in our lives that our boys are busy and cannot just take off for a lengthy stretch. This, of course, is complicated by not living near our parents.  You have to plan for a trip cross-country, as opposed to dropping in to see grandma and grandpa on a Friday night.

So, our visits started out as being yearly. One year, we went to visit them, and the following year, they came to visit us.  This has become much more infrequent in the last five years.  My husband’s parents were about ten years older than mine and started to fail in health several years ago. Since their last visit here, seven and a half years ago, they have both passed away. But, before that happened, my husband started going back to visit them a couple of times a year.  It was a good thing to do. After his Dad passed away, he continued to go, somewhat more frequently. This amounted to a few times a year to see his mom and try to help his sister with moving their mom from her home of over 65 years. She passed away this past spring, a little more than a year after his dad.

As I have aged and watched my own boys grow up in what seems to be the  blink of an eye, I have realized that life is short.  We had two of our three boys here in the mid-west.  We have been here for eighteen and a half years. We have built a life here with homes, a cabin, a barn, pets, jobs, schools, hobbies and fruit orchards. We have been active community members – not in the sense that we have joined formal organizations like Rotary or the Hunger Task Force, but have made other, solid and continuous volunteer contributions – mostly to our school system and the environment.

We never got in the habit of going back to New York for the holidays. This, I suppose, was mostly my decision. I wanted my boys to wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning. I was selfish enough to want to try to establish our own traditions.  However, this decision was complicated by my husband’s job that demanded he work during holidays – many of which the boys had off. Could I have travelled alone with the boys? Certainly. I chose not too. And, let’s face it, traveling at any time when your family is young, is stressful.

So, my husband asked me this past summer when I was going to start going back to see my parents.  Sadly, I think it is something we should have been doing all along – all during these eighteen years while we have been busy building a life in the mid-west. I did not argue with him. I just made the plans to go.

And, so I will. Go. This next week, I will travel to see my parents. Luckily, they are both still in fairly good health. I know they are looking forward to my visit, and honestly, so am I.  My boys seem excited to know that I can and will go on this trip to see their grandma and grandpa.  For despite having busy teenage lives, they know they have family who loves them, even if they do not see them a lot.

But, I realized yesterday, that I will be going to a house in which I did not grow up. I realized that I might need a little help with directions to that house.  I realized that as long as my mom and dad are there, I will be going home. I am pretty sure I can find the way.

Silent Sunday: Memories of Hiking at Effigy Mounds National Monument

Silent Sunday: Memories of Hiking at Effigy Mounds National Monument









To learn more, go to: The National Park Service on Effigy Mounds National Monument Iowa