Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Three Gallons Later....

 and I'm nearly done. As in, like 90% done. Which feels fantastic, and I might add, looks pretty good as well. Although I've painted both entry ways beside the french doors, and one set on the living room side, the other set remains as does the sun room side of both, so there's that to finish.

But first, when last we met, we were taking the day off to go to the beach, and so we did. Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach to be exact. It is a pretty popular place, as it turns out, with loads of folks enjoying the surf, sun, and sand. The ocean water is warming up, 84 degrees last Friday, although still cooler than our pool which I noticed was 92 degrees the other day!!
Could this little boy have any more buckets???

Then there were these little guys, trying to act all cool carrying their surfboards on their heads.
It took them a few tries to hoist them up, which is no surprise, as they are longer than the boys are tall! For a little bit, some clouds rolled in, covering the sun, which at this time of the year is a blessing!
Aside from swimming, or make that, playing in the waves, we both stayed under our umbrellas. I mentioned to Bruce that it did not seem as if people used them so much when we were younger and he reminded me that beach equipment used to be expensive before everything was made in China. I had not thought about that. Makes sense to me. Plus, people are paranoid about the sun these days. I heard a piece on NPR which said the end result of the sun screen bonanza is many folks are experiencing vitamin D deficiencies. Moderation in everything!

We made it home before a major rainstorm, however, there were the gorgeous cobalt blue skies which precede one. As we were driving on the Beachline, close to the power plant, I told Bruce I'd always wanted to photograph the stacks. Well, we found a way, or make that Bruce gave me the courage!
You can't really get very close, but, you get the idea.

Before I go further, on a contest note, I was not selected for the City calendar this year. Better luck next time! As well, I heard back from my Winter Park Autumn Art Festival application and the news was slightly better than last years. I'm on the wait list, and not holding my breath. :)

Around this household we are big fans of the Lowe's tagline--Never Stop Improving. I told you it was six years ago that I painted the living room, however after some sleuthing I discovered it was February 2010 when the brick wall became blue. I told Bruce how difficult it was to paint, and after painting a bit of it, he agreed. So, he bought a paint sprayer. My goodness me! The first pass we covered the floor and the furniture like this:
Not even close to enough! We found the fine spray all over everything, which fortunately wiped right up. Filling the sprayer for round two, you can see the hanging plastic which made a huge difference.
What took me nearly three days in 2010 was accomplished in about twenty minutes!!! So, if you think about using a brush,
compared to a roller, multiply that by about twenty times and you'll get an idea on how fast it is to spray! It was nothing short of fantastic. He'll be using the sprayer on jobs, both here, and for other folks. Woo hoo!

The above cup is paint for the hall ceiling. Yup, that's fresh and new too. What began as a project because I was looking for a change, became one of necessity after closer inspection of the walls. The french doors mentioned above--never, in 18 years have I painted them. The baseboards--mostly the same. The crown mold was a flat beigey color, and now it is extra white semi-gloss. And in some really exciting news, Bruce put new crown mold in the foyer! Probably 18 years ago, give or take a year, he changed all of the living room crown mold, and either we ran out of money,( most likely), or he ran out of steam. Well, he finally found the steam, and as it turns out, it did not cost all that much. He gave himself an A for the job, not an A+ which he would have preferred, however, you and I both know he is a hard man to please. To me it looks better than an A+!

Remember how I mentioned the birds were plentiful? Well, my friends, I was not kidding, and I'm here to let you see for yourself. Perhaps, I'll get a little carried away as I am often apt to do!
I'm thinking that is youngster blue jay on the left side of the fence with the open wide beak. On the perches, from left to right, female red winged blackbird, male cardinal, and I'm not entirely sure about the one on the right. They were just going crazy yesterday morning! Flying in and out...
Never, in all my years of obsessive picture taking have I EVER gotten four birds in flight at once! I'm still in shock over it. I don't know what it is with the blue jays because generally they are pretty solitary, but not yesterday--five in one shot.
There's that one on the fence again--cawing like crazy. One reason they were all in the back yard is because my super-duper fancy Yankee Flipper is, or so I hope, temporarily out of commission. It was the strangest thing seeing the battery part on the ground below the feeder. It didn't appear to be broken; we've no clue how it happened. Perhaps a gigantic squirrel? Anyway, after charging it overnight, after re-installing, it refused to spin. Because the feeders have a life time warranty, I called the company. In doing so I learned that our charge was inadequate, 24 hours is more like it. Well then....back to the plug! This morning we shall see if that did the trick.

Just finished my breakfast, seated at the little table in the sunroom, facing the feeders. Another wild morning with doves, tufted tit mouse, finches, blue jays, crows, three female cardinals, who are beginning to get those new feathers, and of course, multiple squirrels on the ground eating the leftovers.

It's a good life...


Friday, July 25, 2014

So Long Windy Blue....

....thanks for the memories! Although it does not seem so long ago that I came up with this title, De-Tauping, according to my handy, long running blog, it has been more than six years since that last I painted our living room. Well, now I am doing so again, and have been for days, this time doing all the woodwork which is taking a long time. Because we are heading to the beach shortly for a much needed respite from painting, I wanted to say hello and share a few photos I've taken in the last week that I hope will make you smile. I am, however, sneaking in just this one of the painting in progress.
In case you are wondering, the new color passes the excellent name test...Sweet Caroline. I dare you not to begin singing that song in your head!!

The other morning, after yet another monster rainstorm, I came across this pretty kitty during my bike ride.
It may have been that very same day that I stopped by Cheryl's house, only to find her not home, but I did find a lovely swallowtail busy on her Jatropha tree.
Although we have a gazillion Jatropha plants, as well as a tree, ours attract more bees than butterflies. I hear a lot of talk about a shortage of bees, however, we are not lacking in that department. 

I don't know why it is that I find toads interesting, but I do. Frogs, not so much. I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but I've been asked before how you tell the difference between the two, so perhaps you fall into that camp? Toads have rough, bumpy skin, whereas frogs are gross, and slimy-like.
Plus, toads are more likely to be out and about in the daytime, as this little one was found by me on our pool deck during the afternoon.

Just as we have no shortage of bees, the same goes for birds. My word, they are visiting the feeders in abundance, sometimes sharing, sometimes, particularly the blue jays, claiming the perches for their own. The cardinals are acting all crazy, and who could blame them? I'd be acting crazy too if I were molting!
I can't decide which sex looks worse during molting....
And with that exciting picture, I'm flying off myself to enjoy a much needed day of rest!! Where shall we go today? 

p.s. while doing a search of my blog about the painting, I came across this bit from June of 2008 when I'd written a post entitled, De-Tauping Part Two. Reading it, six years later, made me just a little teary-eyed.

Congratulations to our son Bill! Last evening while driving to what he thought was a bank get together, he called me complaining bitterly about the traffic he was stuck in, among other things. I was optimistic, trying to convince him life was not so bad. About two hours later he called back to tell me the gathering was an awards ceremony and he was the recipient of "Rookie of the Year" award for Wachovia in Seminole County, the location of his branch. How about that? He is a hard worker; this is a wonderful recognition of his efforts. Aren't we lucky parents? Our children have turned out so well. I apologize if that sounds like bragging. Today people wait so long to have children hoping that they can provide them with all the advantages money can buy. We, on the other hand, started our family when we were 23. By the time I was 29 we had four children. I'm not saying that they couldn't have had more material things but somehow our provisions and love brought them to this place in life. I am so grateful for what they have become. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Paradise Beach

While the beach was pretty, it seemed to me that the namers of this particular stretch of Atlantic coastline were slightly ambitious when they called it Paradise Beach. Located just North of Melbourne Beach, the sand, unlike our last visit to the beach, was light gray.
I was feeling slightly nostalgic, thus the visit to Melbourne. That said it is not the Melbourne, Florida, we moved to in 1968, or I think it was 1968. I graduated from Melbourne High School in 1971, having been yanked from both my boyfriend, Bruce, and all of my friends after finishing 10th grade. Actually, I don't know how my father made that commute for nine years, so I suppose I'm lucky we didn't have to move there earlier!

In those days there was pretty much nothing near the house our Dad bought without my Mother even seeing it. Minton Road, in West Melbourne, was pretty much all countryside. Some of it still is, however, everything is so built up around it, I can scarcely believe it. On our drive home, we went in search of our old house on Sharon Drive, where, sadly my Father died two years after he retired from Harris Corporation. The neighborhood still has empty lots, and what we thought at the time as such a luxurious home, is not so much these days.
It's not terrible or anything, just slightly weary. To us, though, when we moved there, we had central air conditioning, an unimaginable luxury. Prior to that move, we had no cold air in our home, not even a window, or wall unit. Is it any wonder our parents were mostly grumpy? No longer is the lot next door empty, a house now stands in place of the sea of grass which I mowed on many occasions using the Snapper riding mower.

Then too, it was here that Bruce asked my Dad if he could marry me.

Well I could go on and on, but they are my memories, not yours, so perhaps it sounds silly, so I'll stop.

Back to Paradise Beach...arriving around 9:30, the beach was fairly empty of crowds, which changed dramatically in the next three hours. Still not crazy, but enough to keep us amused with some people watching. I saw these two women walking towards us, with the lady in red, holding the front of her bathing suit close to her breasts. Seemed slightly odd to me, however, once they got past I discovered just why she held that suit so tightly!
The waves, or what there were of them, were what I think is called glassy. The water temperature? Perfect. Shells on the beach as a bonus.
It always interests me, when taking beach photographs, how you can really see the slight curve of the horizon. See what I mean? This week we brought two umbrellas, his and hers, which worked beautifully to keep both of us from getting scorched from that cloudless sky, and hot summer sun.

After taking the previous Saturday off, we returned to Bill's house to finish what is not a sexy project, but a necessary one--the drain! I was mostly a cheerleader, but I did get into the game later in the day when the sun was beating the living daylights out of us. The ditch, or trench, Bruce began was completed by both Bill and Bruce digging to reach each other in the middle.
There were sixty years worth of roots to get through, which, as you can imagine, no easy feat. I scooted back home to get the ax which coincidentally was one of the tools Bruce kept after cleaning out our Dad's garage. That is another story entirely. Eventually, after some seriously red faces, along with sweating bodies, the drain was laid.
As was a conduit for electricity to make outdoor lighting possible. Asking Bruce what I could do to help, he instructed me on back-filling the trench, along with tamping the dirt, two tasks I could easily never do again, and be happy.

Bill told me about it last week, however, I'd not been to the house since Bill and Fallon cleaned out all the stuff resting in the dining room, moving his current table into position.
Still lots to do, but it most definitely beginning to look like a home! Eventually, I convinced Bruce to quit working because I did not want him to perish from a heat stroke; that was a project that got too late a start on a July day.

Sunday was also blistering hot at the market, however, there were people willing to brave the heat, and visit my tent, one of which was the daughter of one of my best friend's when I was a girl!! The young woman saw my name and asked if I'd grown up in Orlando to which I replied in the affirmative. She told me her mother was Mickey Craver, a name I'd not heard in years. Apparently, she'd heard my name from her mother about the good times we had together!! Asking her if I might take her photograph she agreed.
My goodness, I can see such the resemblance to her Mother! Behind her you can see one of the latest--a super bright orange frame!!

So, while I was making those two pies, (see previous post), during a rainy, thunderstormy Wednesday afternoon, our darling neighbor Regina was being robbed!!! Yes, you read that right, in the middle of the afternoon! For those of you new to my blog, Regina lives about three doors down on the other side of the street. She is also a very, very feisty 76 year old, who, in an act of bravery or craziness, grabbed ahold of the young woman who was in the midst of stealing her gold jewelry! Yep, she came in the front door, saw the girl, and tried to keep her from escaping!! I know, lots of exclamation points, but if ever there were a time to use them, this would be it. Regina said she was not afraid, only MAD. Chasing her out the front door, and down the street, once the younger, and faster, robber crossed Summerlin, Regina decided it was time to call the police. Can you believe the nerve? Fortunately Regina is physically okay, but still mad as hell, and who can blame her?

Speaking of storms, we had a whomper yesterday afternoon. Seriously loud thunder and lightening, with 3 inches of rain falling in a matter of hours. So much so, it put that new, unfinished drain to the test, which it failed, so, as I type, Bruce is at the hardware store picking up some supplies. Yes, the hardware store does open at 6 AM! That said, we were in bed by 9 last night, thus the early morning. Gotta get over there before it heats up because just as the sun rises in the East, we know that, both heat and thunderstorms are inevitable this time of the year.

Stay cool my friends....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Skies

It's been raining a lot this week, Tuesday a bunch, then on Wednesday the skies had the nerve to open up at 11:30 in the morning! Rain is not unusual this time of year, but that early certainly is. As we discussed in my last post, all this storming makes for great entertainment if you just look up, or out in some cases. Which is what happened to me on Tuesday evening.

Changing into my nightgown pretty early, we were watching a re-run of Antiques Roadshow when I noticed that all of a sudden our living room was bathed in a strange yellow light. Unlocking the door, with camera in tow, I wanted to see what was happening. Never, did I expect what I saw. Looking West, not so much,
however, when I turned around, which by now I'm standing in the middle of Appleton, as you already know, in my nightgown, my eyes, heart, and mind was treated to this sight.
Spectacular is a very good descriptive word, but it is not enough to describe the glory of this double rainbow in a pink sky. It is all well and good to have massive trees, but when you hope to see the whole arc, they are highly uncooperative. That said, about a gazillion folks in our area posted a version of this on facebook, with many having an unobstructed view. Good grief, was it ever glorious!

So, here we go again, another sunset on this very same night, about twenty minutes later. An unadulterated look at God's handiwork, or as I see it, rewards for making it through the hot summer!
It almost hurts your eyes, doesn't it? After all these years, someone has been smart enough to place a bench along the shore line. So that was Tuesday night...and let me remind you I've already given you fair warning that there WILL be lots of sunset pictures this summer, so don't go getting bored with me!

Of course, the same could be said regarding beach photos...

After checking the weather forecast, I asked Bruce how he felt about switching it up; yard on Thursday, and beach on Friday. He was all for it. It did rain a little this morning while we were working, however, nothing like yesterday when about an inch fell before 2 in the afternoon.

The last time we were at the lumbar yard, Bruce bought enough wood to make multiple frames, which goes to show you that my optimistic ways are rubbing off a little! He cut most of them then, so now, with this order, all he had to do was put them together. Sanding, one of my least favorite tasks is second nature to him.
During the rainy Tuesday, while Bruce was working down at Church Street, I made two pies, one sweet, and one savory.
I figured as long as I was making the crust, why not make two? Peaches that I bought at Sunday's market made up the bulk of the sweet, with raspberries included for a bit of tartness. The recipe from my Agnes & Muriel cookbook had a little header...."if you bake it they will rave." I'm not quite sure I agree. The super juicy Georgia peaches caused that topping to turn to mush after a day. :( The savory, on the other hand, with caramelized onions, as well as fresh spinach, was yummy.

Blind baking. Does that mean anything to you? Recently so many pie recipes I've encountered insist on having you pre-bake, or blind bake, the crust. Generally this just seems like more work than is necessary, however, in this instance, with those aforementioned juicy peaches, I figured having a super solid bottom might be a good idea, and I was right. At least about that. The topping? Don't know what I could have done to improve that.

Notice the Black Box in the photo? BOX WINE is not half bad! Frugality is reigning in the Peck household.

Cheryl waved me down on in front of my houseTuesday morning as I was returning from my five mile bike ride. "Please put that bike away and walk with me...I need the exercise." And so I did. We walked and talked. The minute I typed that it brought me back so many years when I was reading to my wee ones...."Big Dog.... Little Dog" was such a favorite, and if you too were fortunate enough to read it, you will recognize that line. If you are a fan, I'm certain that link which gives a little author bio will interest you.

Anyway, being, what I hope is a good friend, I asked her if she wanted to walk Wednesday morning, and she did. We went to Cypress Grove Park, hoping for shade, and it delivered. Cheryl, being fairly new to the area, had never walked around the park, so that was good. Leaving, I showed her a nearby hidden neighborhood, followed by a hidden neighborhood to me. I was going crazy for this tree canopy on an empty Lake Jessamine lot.
So moody in black and white.

I cannot tell you how sick I am that our Nordstrom is closing in about a month. I love bargain shopping, don't get me wrong, but when I really NEED something, Nordstrom is my go-to spot. Or was. Everyone's favorite grocery store, Publix, has the tag line--"Where Shopping is a Pleasure," and that is oh so true. If Publix hadn't already claimed it, Nordstrom could have used it because it was such a pleasure going into the beautiful store with such accommodating help. Boo hoo!

Most every day, one of the artists in our online group posts some helpful article about selling art. As you can imagine there is a lot of emphasis on online stuff, particularly mobile, which led me to wonder how this blog looks on an iPad. Using Bruce's I decided to click on July of some year, out of the seven I've been writing this blog. I landed on July 2010. Reading through some of those posts was such a treat for me because I was able to see how much things have changed, as well as stayed the same. This post details Matt buying his first flat in London. Now he, and his husband, have another new flat!! And this one was particularly funny because later on yesterday, while I was at Nordstrom doing the very same thing, Bill called, and while our conversation followed some of the same lines, the good news is, when I wrote that post, Bill was unemployed, with, what he thought at the time, horrible prospects for the future. This one, with a video by a darling girl named Stephanie, made me so happy. That summer, I might add, was unusually low on rain. :)

So there was not an onslaught of sunset photos that year because of the drier weather. Honestly, I tried not to notice, I really did, but I can see the sunset out of all those big windows on the West side of our home. For this shot Wednesday night, at least I still had on my daytime clothes...
Seriously, what photographer could just ignore SUNRAYS??? Not this one.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Important Discoveries!

Because this blog is a space where anything goes, I feel at liberty to share a few exciting discoveries I've made of late. While there is no photographic evidence to back up my claims, you've never had a reason to doubt me in the past, so why start now?

I am a huge hot tea drinker, as in like three cups in the morning if I have time. I'm also kind of fussy about what sort of mug I use, preferring bone china if possible, and barring that, at the very least, I'm happy enough if there is some cute bird design to brighten the morning. Which means, mostly the insides are light colored, and stain badly. As I recall, my mother made a little baking soda paste to remove tea stains, and that's a good method, don't get me wrong, just slightly laborious. So, I'd taken to putting bleach in the water. This proved not to be the best idea. NOW, however, I've learned that that (can I write that?) miracle kitchen worker, white vinegar, works like a CHARM. My spray bottle with vinegar that I use to clean the granite is under the sink, but those sprayers never seem to last very long, so I just dump a little in with water, give it a wipe with the sponge, and the cup looks good as new.

So there's that.

Even better, as this may apply to more of you....drumroll please.....if you have a glass topped stove, you might have purchased a special product to clean it, including a little scrubby type pad. Mine is called "Cerama Bryte." One thing you absolutely know about me is that I'd rather do most anything than clean the house. I like a neat house, but as to clean, I squeak by. We have a minuscule shower in our bathroom, super small, with not great lighting, so it is easy for me to ignore the soap scum covered walls. WELL, no longer! The other day, when I finally looked at it in the daylight, I knew something had to be done. Of course, as far as I know, soap scum has never caused any human harm, but it is pretty ugly if I'm honest with myself. I've tried a gazillion different sprays, each one claiming to be a miracle cleaner, however, those claims are generally all hype. Not this trick--no hype from yours truly. Grab your cleaner and scrubby, putting a small amount on the shower walls in a circular fashion. Don't really know about the circular, but it sounds good doesn't it? Anyway, let it dry a bit, wipe with  a microfiber cloth, and be prepared to be amazed.

Let's throw in a little cloud picture....
Nice, huh?

In spite of what I learned at the agricultural center about it being too late for tomatoes, we have about six medium sized ones on our vines. If you are lucky enough to be successful growing tomatoes, by all means do it!! I hadn't had a home grown one in ages, mostly because I've discovered I was planting them where they did not receive enough sunshine. Guess which ones pictured below came from our back yard?
If you guessed those in the foreground, you guessed right. I had to cut off a bit where the skin split, but let me tell you what--those little babies were wonderful. As in, well I hardly know how to describe it, except it took me back about 45 years to a time we visited my Mom's father at his farm in Missouri. He grew tomatoes that I've never forgotten.

Let's throw in a bird picture because I was lucky enough to take it.
That is Lake Gem Mary taken the other morning, the lake we see when we are in our front yard.

I've also discovered, and by the end of the summer you will be thoroughly sick of it, but our big storms bring big sunsets. Lake Jennie Jewel, the one we see from our side yard, is a summer magnet for me.
Speaking of light, am I ever glad I took this photo to remind me of how awesome this globe looked when lit.  Looked? It is dark now.
Sadly, the bulbs are not readily available, so the days of this awesomeness are over. Probably my fault, as I left in on constantly.

Another important discovery, well it's not totally new to me as I'm not shy, but if there are no seats available somewhere, ask a stranger if you can share a table. When we went to the local sports bar to watch the USA/Belgium match, there was not an open table to be found. So, I approached a man who said he was waiting on his wife, but he was more than willing to share the other two seats. He mentioned that he was a huge soccer fan, so don't expect him to engage in conversation. Okay. Well, here he is after his wife arrived.
He did do a little talking, explaining various plays to us, but what he did at half time was the most remarkable thing, something so crazy it sounds made up. Ready? He got up and began doing JUMPING JACKS beside his seat!! And why did he do that, you ask? To relieve the tension he'd built up during the first half! Call us amused. Both he and his wife were very nice btw.

I continue to discover that there are interesting photographs to be made wherever I go.
Then too, sometimes mistakes, or unplanned shots, turn out to be ones that make me happy.
Now here's a discovery that will come as no surprise-- I'm not much of a website builder. Our son David is making a website for his wrestling card collection, inspiring me to re-think mine. I made it on the Mac several years ago with software that is a little out of date, or so I thought. So, after contacting the folks at Green Geeks who host my site, the helper suggested I make one using WordPress. After finding a video on YouTube, the dullest thing ever, I spent far too much time trying to make it happen, or not. In my case, not. In spite of my best efforts, I'm not even close.

The famous videographer, AKA Flicky Rich, came to the market yesterday with his adorable wife Jenn, and darling two sons, the youngest of whom is petting Mr. Roger's dogs.
I've discovered that having a video go viral is not something you really want to happen! The girl in the blue shirt  behind them is the terrific singer I told you about. I can't say enough about her voice, and how when she and her husband are the performers at the market, how fantastic it is. Speaking of which, we made it through until the end yesterday. And, although slow for me for most of the day, I had a super sweet girl not only take home one of the canvases and frames, but she ordered three more!! Awesome, right?

Finally, I've discovered that if you want to paint your doors bright blue, you should.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Apollo Beach Equals Awesome

According to the brochure we were given at the Ranger's station, Canaveral National Seashore was set aside in the 1950s to buffer activities of nearby NASA.  You may recall that on our last trip to the beach, we went to Playalinda, which is on the South end of the barrier island. Reading somewhere that people rode horses on the North end, I decided that was the place to go! Except, I did not read far enough because it is only in the winter months that that activity is allowed. My handy brochure pointed this out.

Nonetheless, this time we drove North to New Smyrna Beach, home to the now infamous video!, following A1A South to the park entrance. Oh my, was it beautiful! Unlike Playalinda where there are I think 13 parking areas with boardwalks, Apollo has just five. We drove the entire distance, but not before I got out at Number One to see what I could see.
New Smyrna is in the distance...

One of the things that I most like seeing is the different colors of the sand. I've no idea why this stretch has such an orange tint, similar to Flagler Beach which is about 50 miles North. Surprising, because the sand at NSB is grayish white, as is the sand on Playalinda, both of which flank this stretch of coastline.

Might I just say it was paradise? Why, yes I might, and I think I will!
The water temperature was perfect, with just enough waves to make it fun, unlike the previous week when they were pretty much downright dangerous. Within eyesight there were about six people making it very peaceful indeed. Not to mention the low humidity and lovely sea breeze.

Some folks head to the beach to relax, however, that has never been my strong suit. Bruce, on the other hand, swam some, read some, and slept some. I roam all over the place when I'm not in the water, amusing myself with the likes of this:
During the few hours we were there I took more photographs than was necessary, including a few I wanted to share of the cloud formations throughout our visit. Over the Atlantic the clouds were few, however, back towards the mainland, it was interesting to watch a storm come in. Early on it looked like this:
As the day progressed there were more....
The water was exceptionally clear and clean, with not a trace of seaweed. which can be such a bother, don't you agree?

Ready--a big fat Florida rainstorm!
That was facing North, but turning South it looked like this:
Ha ha--they ended up doing just the same on our drive home--a monsoon began, forcing me off the road for a bit, before I could see where I was going...but that's later, because there is even MORE to report!

I mentioned there were just a few folks, including a man and woman with a canopy set up adjacent to the boardwalk. He was fishing, she was roaming, in the water, and generally leaving her tent unoccupied. Bruce said he ought to go ask the fishing man if he'd seen the video, however, he ended up thinking maybe not. Well, you know me, I've never met a stranger, so of course I asked the woman.
Their tent is poorly seen, but look hard. Well, wouldn't you know it, she HAD seen the video, having been sent the link by her son, WHO, it just so happens, went to Edgewater High School with Rich!! We got a laugh over the coincidence. Soon thereafter, she and her husband began packing their things. Playing in the waves, I did not see what happened next, but Bruce did. Returning to our little set up, he told me that when the folks were taking their first trip to the car, loaded with what they could carry, a family PARKED THEMSELVES under the tent!! Now, they did not try claiming it as theirs, leaving immediately once the error was pointed out, however, it gave us all a good laugh!

Stopping at the visitor center on our way out, we walked out onto the dock jutting out into the lagoon. Oh wait--I almost forgot--before leaving, we saw dolphins out in the water!! I'd only just mentioned how I'd love to see some, and by golly, they appeared!! A little school of them. Of course, we only saw their fins, along with a bit of their backs, but it was good. So, if that weren't enough, as we stood there, gazing into the water, seeing this weird fish, which a man told us were called pin fish,
what should Bruce spot but a manatee!!!
Here's what he/she was doing under the dock...
Yes, indeed, eating the barnacles!! I'm wondering about what type of manatee this is as I've only seen gray ones before. Outstanding, really, to see nature in action! Plus, I bet we saw at least seven big gopher turtles along the beach road. Speaking of which, I mentioned we went as far as the road goes, however, there is yet more beach connecting Playalinda and Apollo, called Klondike Beach, reachable only on foot, or bicycle. That stretch is about as long as the other two put together.

Because it was after 2, we stopped for lunch at JB's Fish Camp, where we enjoyed some yummy fried shrimp. As is typical with those kind of places, it was decorated with all manner of oddities. Outside, though, there was something I wouldn't call odd so much as sad.
Just above the Grab some Buds sign, you can just see that it is a Cuban Refugee raft, discovered twenty years ago. Small, and built with aluminum and boards, there is no telling how many folks risked their lives to come to Florida.

All in all, it was just a wonderful day, then of course, the gigantic rainstorm gave me pause on the drive home. If you've ever driven in a Florida rainstorm you will know just what I mean. At our end of town there had not been a drop, that is, until we were just getting out of the car, then all hell broke loose. Or I guess I should make that all heaven broke loose! Looking out the kitchen window I saw water gushing up alongside the house, never a good sign. Heading out with an umbrella, getting soaked just the same, Bruce discovered that a big drain he'd installed about 17 years ago was not working. Why, a drain you ask? Over time the yard has gotten higher than the house foundation, making large amounts of water a hazard, as in, it will run into the garage!

There was not a thing he could do about it then, however, up super early today, he discovered the cause.
Those are roots which grew through the pipe, taking it's shape as they grew, and grew. You might just note that Bruce's shirt is wet. and that is not from water. Hot and humid as the dickens for digging in the dirt. Not just any dirt mind you, but dirt filled with just that type of root. I told you those Lady Palms were a nuisance!! It is times like these when we think this big yard is far too much for the two of us!

It's all repaired now, and time for me to get out there myself to mow the lawn--that is if I make it before the rains come.

You Just Never Know