Tax prep for seniors

For the past few years my mother has been going to her local library for free tax preparation but this service has become another casualty of the Covid-19 epidemic.

She set me the task of finding an alternative and I am pleased to announce that the Gulfport FL Senior Center is offering tax prep by appointment starting February 15. When my mother called 727 851-6591 to make an appointment she was disappointed to reach a recorded message with instructions to leave name and phone number. Will keep you posted if they call her back.

For seniors with computer skills, I recommend TurboTax. It took me about an hour and a fee of $40 to secure my Early bird spot in the refund queue; the IRS starts processing refunds on February 12!

Apps: Camping , RV Camp Sites, Hiking….

Enjoy the outdoors? Looking for campsites or maybe just nearby options for a walk?

Check out “AllTrails” for nearby walking, biking, running, backpacking … trails. “AllTrails” will provide pictures, maps, whether you can take your dog and lots of other useful information. We were excited to find 362 trails near us when we browsed by the activity “birdwatching ” and 75 trails for bicycling.

For an overview area map of where to find campsites, water, coin operated laundry … check out “iOverlander”.

Have an RV, check out “RV Life” and “Harvest Host.”

Window Garden

Tomato plant sprouted from seeds of a store bought tomato

Appreciating the inherent life which is within seeds, what am I to do when I cut open a tomato for lunch finding seeds starting to sprout? Of course the seeds must be planted even though I have no access to outdoor soil.

I planted the tomato seeds the week before the new year, placing them on the window sill along with some additional planted packaged herb seeds. All sprouted by New Year’s day expressing this was going to be a great year of joyful growth.

Purple Basil – sprouted Jan. 1
https://www.thespruce.com/companion-plants-for-tomatoes-1403289

Certain plants can have toxic effects on one another (stunting growth, inhibiting fruit…) when grown together. Since a tomato plant can not sit on a window sill forever, it will be necessary to find a way in a small condo apartment to make a pretty, yet still practical, indoor plant arrangement. What do you think—is basil my answer? Should I include chives as well?

A lazy Sunday afternoon in Paris

We just discovered a fun streaming channel with live hosts. The ones we’ve seen so far have been walking tours of interesting parts of Paris, a walk down the Seine toward the Eiffel tower and a walk around the Isle de Louis in the Seine. It was evening in Paris and a light snow was falling. Of note, the roadways along the Seine were flooded making it difficult for the residents of the houseboats to get home. Very few people were out because the curfew starts at 6:30pm; just a few people walking their dogs. I guess dogs are exempt.

The 16th and 17th century buildings were built so solidly that they seem largely unchanged and the guide describes them in detail and how they are used today. For example, the Louvre was the king’s palace and the residences on the Isle de Louis were for the noblemen to be close to the king. The light reflecting off on the water adds to the beauty, see screen shot below.

These livestream events are free, usually last about 30 minutes, and they ask that you tip the host a small amount. I recommend https://www.beamz.live/live_shows

What’s for dinner-Spaghetti squash

Another simple quick meal made easier that the squash was roasted earlier. I browned some vegan Italian sausage in olive oil and added Whole Foods brand Italian spaghetti sauce with a bit of fresh tomato. A simple salad with lots of avocado makes it complete. Pop quiz: what are my must have elements? You are correct! Protein, fat and something raw from Mother Earth. Lots of color is stimulating to the brain and ensures you have your antioxidants.

A Winter Day in Florida

Don’t be fooled by the warmth at 4pm, you will want a sweatshirt and a windbreaker for sunset at the beach. Also, if you bring a grocery bag to pick up straws and bottle caps, put a rock in it so it doesn’t blow inside out. It was a blustery winter day, but we braved the elements to share some bits with you.

Treasure Island Beach at sunset
Trash picker
A tad windy