Thursday, August 29, 2013

Photography Ideas....

I've seen this a couple of places lately....taking pictures of your feet in different locations as a way to document what's going on in your life at the moment, or where you are spending your summer vacation, holiday vacation, or full timing in an RV as some of our friends are doing...I wish I had thought of this three years ago! It would have been fun to document the different pairs of shoes or lack of foot adornment we happened to be wearing on our travels---Tevas, hiking shoes, hiking boots,  and bare feet.

I've decided to still do that I'm being more domestic, or at least trying to, (the inner me is screaming in protest :-) I can at least take photos of my feet in different places in Florida, if I can only remember to do that!

This week we haven't traveled around much in the city....other than to visit a couple of estate sales, where I got this cool wooden motorcycle to try and sell on Ebay....I used to have great success in picking up unique items and turning around and selling them for a little or a lot more than what I paid for them. I might have lost my touch. Picked up a Hallmark Barbie doll ornament, first one in the serious, 1959 Barbie, with original packaging, got all excited, and Eldy says, "If there was anything of value, I'm sure the sales people would have researched that already with their tablets, iPhones, whatever." Yep, they did. I paid 3.00 for my ornament, checked the phone on the way home in the car on my mobile Ebay app, (should have done that at the sale discreetly before I picked it up) and nobody wants those ornaments for 3.00 on Ebay either! The ornament was actually made in the 1990's, but I still thought it was cool! I'll just save it for my holiday tree this season.  I think I have been watching too many shows and reading too many magazines about how SOME people are making quite a bit of money selling on ebay from buying stuff at garage sales and estate sales.'s my first foot photo shoot for fun...(say THAT ten times really fast!) I'm sure most people aren't enamored enough with their feet to take photos of their tootsies, but it's a unique way to show another angle (haha) of what you are doing with your life each day....Here's a hint of what I did today...
It's actually not a very good hint. I'm on a step stool, priming the walls of the bathroom! I think it would be really fun to see where everybody's feet are on a certain day in time...We should have a Foot Foto Fun Day on Facebook! Show where you stand today! Or tomorrow....Or next week....

Time to get back to work.....One last foot photo for today....My OTHER home improvement job that is going slowly but well....Cleaning the grout and tile....I should hire myself out! Showing up with a little toothbrush with bottles of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and that's it, probably wouldn't go over too well.
I found a little gadget on sale at Target for 12.99. It's a Rubbermaid "Reveal" giant battery powered toothbrush especially for cleaning tile and grout. EUREKA! That will shorten up my time on the floor. Or not....Bought it, tried it, and really, the small, regular old toothbrush works better. But I can still use it for gritty, dirty little jobs around faucets, and other little scrub situations. The more cleaning gadgets, the better I say! But I think I will steer clear of some of those infomercials on TV. Saw one the other day for the H 2 0 steam mop. They had all kinds of little gadgets that came with it, and it appeared to do a remarkable job on anything and everything they tried it on. Of COURSE it did! Bought one at Best Buy, and the off/on knob broke off the first time I tried it. Luckily, I was able to return it to Best Buy with the 14 day trial period and get my money back. Whew! Got a Sharp steam mop instead, and have tried all the different attachments and really feel, that although steam is the best sanitizer and cleaner going and chemical free, those steam mops push dirt around and don't really pick it up. Sometimes, the old fashioned ways work best. Went out and got a fancy sponge mop instead.

I like gimmicky things, and I really don't mind cleaning as long as I have an arsenal of supplies to work with....  :-) Better get back at that tile...Got about half the great room floor done, and 1/2 of the master bath done......

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Domestic Diva--HA! or NOT!

I'm trying.....I learned a LOT of things from my dad when I was young. He worked me and my older sister, Lyle, as if we were guys, along with our brothers....Every weekend we were working--on the car, washing and waxing, changing the tires, repairing stuff, learning how to spackle, paint, take care of your brushes, rake leaves, mow the grass, sweep the lawn clean of the leaves with a big ole, hard to push lawn sweeper, washing window screens, changing out storm windows, varnish this, varnish that, and lots of other stuff to do...We'd want to go play, but we had to work around the house, doing chore after chore after chore.  If we weren't doing chores, we had to stand around and wait for him to bark orders what to do next, or we were to watch and be silent as he did his work around the house as we followed him around listening to instructions and handing him what he needed for various jobs. Yard work was one of the biggest time consumers we had to do as kids. We had a big yard that ALWAYS needed dandelions dug out by hand, one at a time with Dad's dandelion tool, and it needed to be mowed and fertilized, etc., etc. We missed a lot of fun with our friends while growing up. But we came away from our childhood with a lot of useful knowledge that got put to use later in life.

Every once in awhile, even though my childhood was difficult and unhappy because of my dad's problems with alcohol, I appreciate my dad in his efforts to teach us how to take care of things...I learned a lot of things from him that enabled me to be single and take care of myself and my home for many years. Every once in awhile, Eldy (my significant other) asks me, "Where did you learn how to do that?" and it's because of my dad.

Today, I worked on stripping the wallpaper from the bathroom, and finished that job up after three days of annoying wheat paste and brown paper that came off in shreds instead of nice big sectional pieces. I didn't learn that from my dad, but I did learn how to spackle holes in the wall and caulk, so that's what I did do in the guest bathroom and a few other places. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself! And all I need now, is a shower curtain and hooks and the guest bathroom is complete.
I like the way the towel border and colors....
....accents the pineapple motif in the artwork frame....

Then, I decided that I better cook something for us for dinner. Hopped down to Publix, which has a lady cooking just about every day of the week all afternoon, with easy recipes and samples. They are usually very easy to prepare. Now, healthy? Not so much..... Today it was steak and potato flatbread with a green "snap" salad....Vegans, AVERT YOUR EYES! I like my beef extra rare, so that's the way I made it, and this turned out delicious! The potato part is actually baked potato salad from the deli. 1.) Grill your favorite grilling steak. 2.) Heat the flatbread. 3.) Spread a thin layer of light sour cream on the warm flatbread, 4.) warm the potato salad in the microwave, 5.) spread the potato salad on top of the flatbread, too, then 6.) top the flatbreads with chopped bacon bits, the thin slices of steak that you have grilled and lastly, 7.) drizzle some Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce (optional) over the steak flatbreads to give it a little kick. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Then, I outdid myself. I made a salad from scratch--no prepackaged mix! It was butter lettuce, chopped green onions, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and a light Asian sesame dressing. You're supposed to sprinkle the salad with fried wonton strips, but I left those out.
And then, you need dessert....or not! The chef chose not to worry about dessert this evening. However, gotta have a photo of a nice dessert to round things out here. This is a photo of our dessert that we had on a DIFFERENT night when we tried a new restaurant in the Lakewood Ranch area, the Lakewood Ranch Grill. We split a meatloaf dinner that was a HUGE portion, way too much for one person--good thing we split it--very delicious with mashed potatoes and gravy and my favorite vegetables--steamed yellow squash and zucchini slices with some carrots thrown in. And here's the dessert I just had to have. It was a toss between two of my favorites--creme brûlée or cheesecake...I went for the cheesecake to share with Eldy....

I'm practicing taking food photos with my iPhone. Too bad the cheesecake from the restaurant didn't taste as good as it looks--even though they said it was homemade! Bland, no flavor to speak of and on the dry side....And too expensive! But they sure knew how to present it. WOW! No wonder I have so much trouble watching my weight--I really really love good food! :-) I just have to learn to leave the bad stuff alone....sigh.....Or, try, as my mother Millie, used to say, "Anything in moderation."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Places I'd Like to See....

I'm starting a list...Places I'd like to see if we ever get back out on the road. It's been quite an adjustment, coming off the road after three years, staying in one spot and owning a home again. We did get used to staying in one place, but "hitch itch" always set in after a couple to three weeks. And then, when we hit Sarasota, FL, and didn't want to leave after four months, we bought a house, not realizing that the heat and the relentless humidity for months at a time in the summer, might make us wish we could escape for awhile....Not possible at the moment, and not affordable, so I am going to DREAM about places I'd like to head out and see in the future....(photos today are courtesy of the internet)

Roxi, of The Good Luck Duck blog, wrote about one such place...a chapel in New Mexico--the Loretto Chapel with an amazing staircase built with no nails. 

Not that I'd want to visit New Mexico in the summer, no, siree....But it would be on my bucket list of places to visit. Here's another cool chapel--the Thorncrown Chapel in the woods near the Ozarks in Arkansas. I keep going back to the website just to see the beautiful photos of it! Here it is at dusk....

I'd like to go to southern Utah and visit the places we missed the two times we were there...Some of the geological rock formations are among the most amazing sights in the U.S., like the "Wave" formations in Utah and Arizona. We went to Zion, but missed Bryce Canyon.
Gee, I keep picking HOT places....But we could always go in the fall, or early spring. I'd like to go to Alaska to see more bears and moose....But gosh, they've had record numbers of days of temps in the eighties in Fairbanks, AL this summer, of all places! 

Mike Wendland, the journalist of, whetted my appetite and interest for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. It's not for class A motorhomes to head to, at least not where he was, but it would be a great location for a class C! Here's a link to his great post on this destination..Black Canyon....

I'd love to do more whale watching on both sides of the coast. I NEVER get tired of seeing the whales....
I know there are a lot more places in the U.S. that are really really interesting, and not your usual touristy spots to visit. I'm going to keep adding to my travel bucket list by continuing to read the great RVing blogs that are out there, that were and still are my favorite kind of reading to do every day besides my craft blogs. They are full of great ideas of cool places and things to see. And I'll keep dreamin' about traveling once again. And hiking.....and biking the Rails to Trails.....

I'll keep hoping that we can get back out on the road one of these days in a smaller rig and see a few more places that are cooler (in more ways than one!) to avoid some of the Florida summer heat and humidity that lasts for months. It won't be till October, they say, until it cools down to temps in the 70's and 80's.

Where would you like to go that you haven't been?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I Wanna ROW!

After seeing the masters' rowing competition today in Sarasota, at Benderson Park, I've decided I'm definitely going to looking into rowing! Thousands of rowers have descended upon Sarasota for the 2013 US Rowing Masters National Championships. Sarasota is grooming and on the fast track for  developing and finishing Nathan Benderson Park, where the nationals are being held, in a bid for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, one of the biggest events after the Olympics. The park is not quite completed, but it's well on its way to being a top notch facility for such events. For the next four days, the events start at 8:00 AM and are done by the heat of the afternoon, 2:00 PM.

The park is absolutely gorgeous. They've done a fantastic job of getting mature palms in there, along with beautiful flowering bushes and plantings. There are little tiki umbrella/chair setups on a little beach in front of the raceway for a few lucky ones who manage to claim them early in the day.
They had a huge airconditioned tent if you got too hot. There were plenty of places to sit under shaded awning and tents. They even had misters going in the corners of the shaded bleacher stands to help with the heat. Lots of concessions available along with ice cream! Lots of specialty booths about rowing and one about Sarasota tourism. I could have easily volunteered at that one! A win-win situation for everybody there today, spectators and race participants alike.

The governor of Florida was there, Governor Scott, to promote Nathan Benderson Park, tourism, and the great city of Sarasota and all it has to offer.

They even had a camera attached to the top of a Smart car to show close up shots of the rowers on a Jumbotron. The little car followed the racers for the beginning to the middle of the race, then it would make a quick little turnaround halfway through the race and head back to the starting line.

Rowing really fascinates me....It's fantastic exercise....
And it looks like fun! I like to kayak, I like to be on the water, I love to paddle, so this is right up my alley.....
The boats are so lo-o-o-o-n-g! And so close to the water!

Stopped by the Sarasota Rowing Club stand, talked to a young lady, and she's going to contact me about coming out to their practices at Casey Key to find out what it's all about. I LOVE to row! Granted, this kind of rowing is totally different, but I'm still wanting to check it out. Especially after hearing about the 81 year young retired teacher who started rowing at age 62. If she can do it, I can do it!      Maybe....  :-)

The next event scheduled is coming up next weekend. Stand up paddleboarding races at Nathan Benderson Park! That's something else I want to try.....I think I'm going to have a more active retirement than I thought I would!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Lazy Day....

Still in the nineties...Still high humidity...nothing new in the weather...Been doing a lot of reading lately...Bits and pieces...Some alarming, some funny, some serious...Been checking out the hurricane preparedness sites, JUST IN CASE something serious comes our way...A great NOAA (weather) site..This one shows up to date storm potential in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Kinda glad we are a little further north of Sarasota, and are just a little further inland in our new home to where we are not in a low lying area, and the chances of a hurricane passing through Bradenton, is much less likely than the coastal areas of Sarasota that are on the gulf. I'm NOT a nervous Nellie type of gal at all. A big storm is kind of exciting to me. We are in a concrete block house, we aren't in a flood plain or low lying area, and we aren't going to be experiencing tornadoes and frequent tornado warnings like I did when living in northeast Indiana in a mobile home, so the thought of a humongous rainstorm with winds and rain doesn't worry me. We will be sure to be prepared with food and batteries and alternative lighting. :-)

The biggest months for hurricane activity here in SW Florida are August and September, although the season runs from June 1 to November 30. The forecasters are saying June and July were quiet months because of a stalled system over our area and out in the ocean, holding down air flow, or something like that! The Atlantic Ocean is warmer than normal, which contributes to the formation of tropical storms and hurricanes. That coupled with a stronger than normal rainy season in West Africa, which contributes wind patterns to stir up the Atlantic, makes for an interesting next couple of months for us!

Read something new about strokes...A new check added to the usual STR--Smile, Talk, Raise your arms-- list of how to tell if a person might be having a stroke:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. Chicken Soup)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is
'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

As my mother suffered from a couple of strokes but not till her nineties, I'm more conscious these days of having that in my family medical history.  Good to know, and good to review every now and then....

Something funny.....According to various news sources, Florida is home to the weird and wacky. Packing all those tourists in with the seniors, boomers, artist colonies and surfer dudes, makes for an interesting mix. It started getting weird in 1880's, when the FL government gave away land tracts of swamp land to anybody willing to drain it or fill it. Problem is, they gave away deeds to 17.5 million acres of land even though they only owned 14.7 million acres. And now we have all these sinkholes, (but not in Bradenton).  No wonder there are so many sinkholes throughout the state!

It's the #1 state for mortgage fraud and identity fraud--I can attest to that, having been hacked twice while traveling in Florida.

Here's the latest weird and wacky news and it's true--"Florida man flashes women on the beach, and leaves a note offering 200.00 in exchange for butt kisses."  UGH! And no, it wasn't a dirty old man, it was some 35 year old guy! Florida is so wacky, there's a Twitter account called "Florida Man"--"Real life stories of the World's Worst Superhero." A lot of the entries are very funny, some are disgusting, and some are rather offensive, but it just goes to show that Florida has more than its share of crazy and weird happenings. There's even a special news column/blog, called "FloriDUH", from the Sun Sentinal, "the weird and wacky news from the sunshine state", written by Barbara Hijek.

Retirement is definitely NOT boring, if you know where to look and can find things to do...We're going estate sale shopping in a day or two...Love looking for bargains. I'm all fired up after reading an article in a woman's magazine about women making money on Ebay. Now all I need is some capital to work with! :-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What WAS I Thinking!????

This is not a big job, right? A small bathroom, 5.5 ft. X 8 ft. with old vinyl wallpaper....Just have to strip the old paper off without using chemical strippers, my personal preference.

The older I get, the more I think illnesses such as cancer, kids' short attention spans, impulsivity, and other health problems are due to overuse of plastics in cooking and bottling, preservatives, chemicals in the environment, fertilization of lawns, pesticides, pollution and breathing in all that stuff. I used to think I had very good genes from both my mom and dad for longevity, but they didn't use all the plastics we use today, microwave everything in plastic, cover it with plastic, and eat all the convenience foods that are so filled with chemicals and preservatives and genetically modified ingredients. They didn't breathe all the crap we breathe today. It's a wonder we aren't all succumbing to cancers and diseases, the human body is so overworked trying to cleanse itself.

I can't blame my ADD on chemicals, unless you count breathing in DDT in the fifties, when they use to come around and spray the Dutch elms in our neighborhood with the big tanker trucks and humongous hoses, shooting the chemicals up in the air towards the canopies of the trees, only to have the pesticide mist come raining down in our backyards on us, if we were unlucky enough to be outside when they came. We were warned to stay indoors when they came spraying, but not everybody would remember. My dad dutifully fertilized our lawn in hopes of having one of the greener, plusher lawns in the neighborhood. I remember filling the little Scott's spreader, and breathing in that stuff. I actually liked the smell of it at the time. Hm-m-m-m...maybe that's got something to do with my learning problems I had! I was a "huffer" and didn't know it! Add magic markers to the list. Liked the smell of those, too. However, I think I'm just one of those kids in the fifties born that way, who never knew why she couldn't focus and pay attention in class, why she bombed math class year after year, and why she has so much trouble finding her way around places. BUT--I'm quite creative and inventive and good at finding solutions to problems, working with my hand making cool stuff, so that's a nice foil to not being able to focus and pay attention for very long.

Back to the bathroom....little space, but a BIG, dirty job. The wallpaper is so old, that it was on the walls before they hung the big mirror and the medicine cabinet. I can't remove the mirror, but I did take out the medicine cabinet so I could get at the paper better.
There's gotta be a better way to strip vinyl wallpaper than how I'm doing it! Without commercial strippers, that is. I'm steaming the top vinyl layer after scoring it with a little blue wallpaper scoring tool I got at Lowe's for about 7.00. The scoring tool doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference whether I get the little holes in the paper or not, but I keep thinking it's supposed to help, so I'm using it first. Then I peel a little corner of the vinyl paper off, and sometimes it comes off in a nice wide strip of a piece, and sometimes it comes off in little shreds. Steam some more, peel some more. Steam and peel, steam and peel. Reminds me of a peeling sunburn and how we used to peel our burnt skin off in sheets as it healed when we were kids. Geesh! Some kind of weird fascination that was. What a memory!  (My mom wanted us to wear sunscreen, but back in those days, not too many people did, and we were out the door and headed to the beach before she could do anything about it.)

Once the brown paper is visible, I'm spraying it and saturating it thoroughly with water and then scraping it off with a putty knife. That part goes pretty quickly, thank goodness! What a gummy, gooey mess when it does come off. It's sticking to my shoes, it's sticking to the ladder, it's sticking to everything, so I see I'm going to have to wash my walls and get the gummy residue off before I paint.  Sigh......

Hope I can do about a wall a day....half way there.....

I need a break....Think I'll ride my bike for awhile and look at the pretty scenery in our neighborhood...Wish I knew the name of this beautiful deep rose pink shrub that's doing so well in this hot, hot broiling summer climate in this area. I need to visit a nursery soon and learn the names of some Florida plants. Landscaping plans are in the future for winter projects. Winter projects? There is no winter in Bradenton/Sarasota! Lows will be in the seventies then.....Can't wait!

Geez...Blogger makes it hard to make changes without being annoying! I lost my "followers" button somehow, and when I went to get it back by "adding a gadget", now you can only pick Google + Followers, which means anybody who wants to follow has to have a Google I.D.  Phooey! I find that really annoying, I'm not crazy about Google + and don't really want to have that as the only choice on my blog to annoy anybody else if they don't have a Google profile, so for now, guess I won't know who's following!  Darn Google and darn Blogger! Technology is starting to pass me by....

Monday, August 12, 2013

Road Trip--A Sunday Drive....

Starting to feel a little housebound....Sort of a letdown from no more traveling or having any travel plans since we bought the house....decided to get out and see our local beaches today...They sure are beautiful!  We stopped at this little bay park to sit under the tiki hut for awhile....Watched the boats come to the sand bar and throw down anchors to visit with each other...A whole other lifestyle, to be sure, to be an owner of a power boat and cruise out on the waterways on the weekends....
There was an interesting tree off to the side of the tiki shelter. It was called a clusia rosea--the "autograph tree", or pitch apple tree. I thought maybe people had scratched their name into the bark, so the botanical society that planted it gave up with the sign and basically said, "Here you go, folks, have at it!" Nope--it really is known for being able to scratch your name in a LEAF and it will remain on the leaf for YEARS! Had I known that, I MIGHT have been tempted to scratch out, "Where's Eldo?", the name of our travel blog on one of them. :-)

Stopped at Marina Jack's for a snack....We split a sandwich which wasn't much to write home about, but we have heard that Marina Jack's has a nice dinner sunset cruise..There are two restaurants down on the harbor front. One is Marina Jack's and then there is O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill. Of the two, Marina Jacks is more expensive, we think. We might do the sunset boat cruise some time with Marina Jacks. We've heard it's very nice...This little guy, at the restaurant, had fiery red hair that was in such contrast to the ocean blues and blue of his shirt, I just had to snap a photo! Rare to see a redhead these days....
We visited Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island, one of the prettiest beaches in the area in my opinion. We didn't bring our beach supplies or suits today. We were just looking... It was 94 degrees out, and the only way you'd get me to come back to the beach on a day like today, would be if I was well protected from the sun....The temperature of the Gulf of Mexico right now here is 86-87 degrees....almost like bath water! We're going to do a beach day soon, today we were just wondering how crowded it would be on the weekend. Actually, quite crowded!
I love seeing little kids having fun at the beach. This little guy was having a ball, running towards the water, then falling down either intentionally, or unintentionally. He was laughing the whole time. He sure was tan! I always worry about kids wearing sunscreen and hats everywhere I go. As I get older, it's so hard for me NOT to say something when I see little babies with no hats, and hot, and getting sunburned. No wonder there are fussy babies out and about in the summertime!
We love Coquina Beach for the shady, wide boardwalk and lovely multiple picnic areas. Plenty of shade to escape from the oppressive summer heat, and then, you've got the ocean calling you for a swim right across the way.

Down to the Sarasota Bayfront Park we went.....Love this entrance to the harbor, to the park--fountains, yachts, to TWO restaurants-- O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill, and Marina Jacks. Bayfront Park is on an island peninsula right on the waters of Sarasota Bay. There is a huge playground area for kids, benches and swings, the harbor is filled with all sizes of yachts and boats, there are sidewalks that traverse all the way around the park.  It's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. You can also rent all kinds of boats there to go exploring Lido Key and Longboat Key. And hey---FREE parking while you're exploring! That's always a plus.

Time to come back home and enjoy the rest of the day in the COOL of blessed air conditioning!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Whooo-eeeee, I'm Behind!

Gosh, wish we could get used to the heat and humidity here in Sarasota, FL.   It's 90 or higher every day....only in the seventies at night. THAT feels pretty darn good, a little bit of cool down at least, in the evening. Too hot to ride my bike, darn it! Guess I better start getting in the swim of things...we do have a small pool on our patio, and it's six feet deep at one end, so I have no excuses for not getting my foam barbells out and doing some water aerobics! I'm the kind of person that needs somebody pushing me, and it's probably not going to be Eldy, because he knows I have to do this on my own and you can't tell me what to do, I'm so stubborn and independent, I don't listen well...I mean I need a little bit of a group behind me, pushing me, like a class or something...We'll have to see what I can find in the Bradenton area.

I'm seriously thinking about finding out about senior rowing! I love to row, and have always loved to use the rowing machine in exercise facilities. There should be a LOT of rowing opportunities in Sarasota with the new Nathan Benderson Park, a new park being developed with the idea of it being the site of many rowing competitions now and in the future.

I am looking around for a part time job...Guess retirement without the travel stimulation to my senses is going to mean I need to find something to help me feel useful and productive. Looking into volunteer positions, too, but it's gonna have to be INDOORS until there's some relief from the 90's and humidity. I'm working on a resume for job applications. Boy, has it been a LONG time since I've done one of those. Lots of cool sites online for free resume templates, but I've forgotten some job history dates of start and finish, so hope I can figure out the exact information! I am NOT very good about keeping records, especially my former employment positions of many years ago. I'll have to contact my previous school corporations for a little help on that.

Love our house on the golf course....We're seeing many of the typical Florida birds around here--ibis, brown ibis, an occasional roseate spoonbill flying overhead, and a resident golf course sandhill crane. (Our house is on the golf course.) When this crane saw me come around the corner, he nonchalantly strolled right up to me, walking up just as close as close can be, expecting some kind of food handout. He stopped about a foot away from me. When I didn't give him anything, he just stood there and tried to wait me out. (Gee, didn't I just read this over on Where's Eldo? asks Eldo). Yep, it's called overlap. I'm into my own voice now, and just wanted to transition from our travel blog over to this one, just in case anybody checks over here.....

After seeing he wasn't going to get anything, off he meandered.....It was VERY tempting to get a cracker or a piece of bread, but that is a BIG NO-NO--You are NEVER supposed to feed wildlife.

I wish I would see some more songbirds or hummingbirds in our neighborhood--nothing, just nondescript brown and tan birds. Still trying to figure out what they are, but there are many, many of them, and that's all the variety I can see so far....

We do see lots of bugs, quite the variety. I just learned yesterday, that because the golf course is treated for insects and bugs, that makes them HEAD FOR THE HILLS which means "HEAD FOR THE HOUSES AT THE SIDE OF THE COURSE, FELLAS!" So we have palmetto bugs, which are just a fancy name for giant Florida cockroaches, and spiders, and ants, and sod webworms, mud daubers, and some kind of little moths that fly up in a cloud when you walk through the grass (oh! just found out that those are related to the sod webworm problem) and....etc., etc., etc......And they are here all year round because of the nice weather and lots of rain in the summers...Oh, joy.....

One of the things about being a new homeowner in SW Florida, is you have to learn about new flora and fauna (bugs and plants) that are here and how differently these things are handled as opposed to up north, like landscaping and pest control. We have an irrigation system for the first time, and no clue how often it should run in the rainy season, how to program it, how often you need the perimeter of your house treated for insects and other pests (once every three months) and how often to treat the inside for pests (once a year). There are special Florida regulations about fertilizing your lawn, when and what types you can use. Certain times of the year require certain applications like only granular or only sprays. Then you have to call and compare prices and try and figure out who is the best company to come out, especially when they all seem to be about the same and have mediocre ratings!  I'm not crazy about chemicals AT ALL and would rather NOT use anything like that, but living in a golfing community, you can't let those things go...and the bugs would overrun your lovely home in no time, if you didn't have your home treated! I'm definitely going to look into natural remedies to repel bugs and insects, like borax powder for the inside. I've heard sage is a deterrent, too ?)....Time to go looking for some ideas.....

But before I go, just to let anybody know, my sister, Lyle, is coming back to the blog to contribute! Yay! We're still figuring out how to share a blog, so we'll BOTH be contributing to the posts. I'm excited about that...My sister is VERY creative, has an eye for colors and decorating, and it's always great to see what she is making up in Pleasant Ridge, Detroit area.....She might even share her travels when she comes to Florida next winter!