Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Since you asked:

SO...Florida drivers

Florida has been rated number six on the fifty state ranking of worst drivers by the insurance industry.  There are those who would dispute a ranking of less than number one.

Of course this is not to imply that Floridians are bad drivers.  Ask any native and you will be informed that the bad driving reputation is because of all the snowbirds arriving seasonally from the north.

When I first mentioned getting a car to keep in Florida, my brother advised me to be sure to get one that was configured so that I could not see over the steering wheel.  I don't know if it is true that old people start to shrink, but there does seem to be a tendency toward going for ever increasing size as one gets older.  I can only assume that maybe we are going for increased visibility?

Turn signals?  They tend to get disabled at the factory before shipping to Florida dealers.  Saves that constant annoying blink-blink-blinking.

Stop sign? Slow down if you are so inclined.  Red light? Hurry up before the stopped lane can get moving.  If someone is actually inclined to come to a full stop under either of these suggestions, honk your horn like crazy!  How dare anyone impede the flow?

And of course those people who go the speed limit, especially in the fast lane on the interstate highways--only asking for people to pass on the right and cut them off at every available opportunity.

I have actually seen a person I knew to be legally blind behind the wheel.  One time Mike saw a van that had "Two Blind Guys" on the side.  It took him until about five miles down the road when he started laughing and said, "Oh, window treatment business!"  I have seen the occasional turn onto the sidewalk--you know, where someone neglected to put a driveway.

I didn't make this up:
(Don't know if someone else did)
A 69 year old man in Stuart, Florida was out drinking with his wife the other night.  The couple got into a bit of an argument and he decided he was just going to leave.  He said he first noticed the banging on the roof and the screaming when he stopped at a light, but since he did not have a cell phone to call the police to report his wife for dogging him in this way, he just kept going.

But I suppose these things can happen anywhere.

BTW, I drive a little Ford Focus and so far I can still see over the steering wheel, but I do wish it had a backup camera.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Springtime Bike Ride

Saturday was my idea of a perfect day.  It was warm, about 80 degrees, but with a gently cooling breeze off the gulf.  The humidity was high without being oppressive.  My kind of weather!  The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

I went for a bike ride.

It was just one of those times when I can't help but feel grateful for the feel of the air on my skin, the scents in the air, the colors surrounding me.

I stopped by this lily pond and shared a few moments with a blue heron, an egret, and two ducks.  They all declined to sign off on a waiver allowing to post a picture though.


On Sunday morning I had the joy and the pleasure of working with the children in the religious education program on Expressive Arts Florida's Imagine project (also on Facebook here).  We were imagining world peace and what an appropriate way to celebrate this season of renewal.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lost Time

Wow...Easter weekend coming up.  That took me a bit by surprise since I was thinking of it as two weekends away, not remembering that I completely lost a week end.

When I get sick it is as though a switch is turned off.  And then it gets turned on again and I am completely okay.

I went back to my volunteer job this past Thursday. Here we are ready for a group of 45 kindergarten kids coming to tour the horse ranch.  What a hoot!  It really was a fun morning.  I am the one in green tee and brown pants.

I also did some work around the house.  Of course, I felt the need to disinfect every inch of the place.  I make most of my own cleaning supplies,  The disinfectant I like is made with rosemary branches, a cut up lemon, cinnamon sticks all boiled in some cleaning grade vinegar.  I strain it and add some essential oils then put it in a spray bottle and go to town.

I also rearranged furniture as I cleaned and I went ahead and painted the two rooms I have been wanting to paint since we bought the place.

The spare bedroom

and the TV room.

 Only had one paint spill.  But let's not talk about that now.

I hung up the punch art sampler that I had made a while ago (it's in my laundry room).

and, for some reason I have been obsessively drawing water lilies.

I am going to an art show tomorrow so I will give it up soon enough.

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Alive!


Rising from the swampy mire of sweat soaked bedsheets!

Shuffling through soggy marsh of tissues overflowing onto the bedroom floor!

Trailing vapors of menthol!

Pushing back a snarl of Medusa hair!

72 hours in bed, but this ain't no sleeping beauty, folks!

BUT!  It's Alive!

Had to have been the worst cold ever...or possibly the mildest flu (though I did have the flu shot).  Far from 100% now, but able to stand upright.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Under the beautiful weather

I don't know if I caught a cold or if I am suffering from seasonal allergies. I do know for sure that I am miserable.

My nose seems to be in training for a marathon.  My eyes and ears itch.  There is a little tickle in my throat.  I am sneezing.  My head hurts and I am wiped out.

I slept for a while this afternoon--until I had that free falling through the air feeling and woke up with a start.  I have done a couple nasal rinses with my neti pot.  I am drinking tea with honey and lemon and ginger.  I took two steamy showers after sprinkling black spruce essential oil in the tub.  So far no magic bullet.

Even though it is barely dinner time. I put on my most comfy pajamas and wrapped myself in a quilt so I can watch the news.

I am remembering a bottle of bourbon in the cupboard.  Hmmm.  May not cure anything but it surely can't hurt?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

More DIY

I came across a video about how to replace broken slats on Venetian blinds.  The blinds in my bedroom are those really cheap plastic kind.  They snap easily and I don't think the beating down Florida sun helps them much.  I had three broken slats so I was thinking of replacing the blinds altogether, but frugality won out.
I went through the process of untying the strings, rearranging the slats, then rethreading the strings--tedious but not hard.  So I will have those blinds for a little longer.

I also registered my car in Florida.  It lives here full time even if I don't.  I have my new Florida tag and I replaced the Vermont one.  Now I will have to drive like a Floridian.

The process was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be. The hard part was finding the department of motor vehicles--otherwise known as the county tax collector's office.  Well, even harder was paying the $326 initial registration fee.

I now own a little piece of Florida land and the house that sits on it and a Florida car.  Lucky me!

Monday, March 14, 2016


I feel as though I am just back from vacation myself -- even though I was at home.  I had a great time with my visitors last week doing vacationy-type things here in vacation land.

I have to admit I took a nap instead of going to yoga yesterday, but today, for sure, back to healthy eating and dedication to exercise.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Before and After

The steps leading to the front door needed to have a large crack repaired and the stucco was in terrible shape.  Actually this was meant to be the back of the house but the original owner wanted the house to be in reverse position.  This door faces the street and leads directly into the laundry room.

Here is the stoop with new stucco that Jim worked into faux bricks.  I think it looks very much better.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Waiting and Remembering.

I am waiting.

I contacted someone to replace some pieces of siding that were damaged by an overly zealous weed whacker.  As the contractor took measurements and other relevant information about manufacturer and color, I asked him about the crack in the front stoop.  He said he would refer someone who could do that job.

He remembered to do that and so today I await someone to come and do some cement work.

Having people come to do these types of service jobs makes me miss my next door neighbor, Eugene.  He would always make a point of coming over to check out the qualifications and character of anyone who came to to do some work for me--like a protective uncle making sure I was going to be safe.

He passed away just a couple of weeks ago.

One of Mike's friends had said he would never go to Florida.  He said, "Everyone who goes there, dies."