Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sarasota Trip and A Little Nature

I am so excited to see comments left by you all. I had no idea that our newly made friends and even brief acquaintances read our blog. Thank you all so much. I love it. I love it. I would love to reply to your comments, but I don’t know how. Other than posting another comment, which you probably won’t see because you would be reading a new one, I don’t know if I can.

If any of you know how, please leave a comment on the procedure (or email me).

Monday night was fun when Donna came over for dinner and brought her dulcimer. She pulled out some music sheets and she and Gary played together. I manned the computer to find out about songs that we had a question about. The dulcimer is a beautiful instrument as you can see and has a lovely sound.

Tuesday was a beautiful day and we got up early (had to set that nasty alarm thingy) and headed out to Sarasota to do some work on the house. On the way, my hairstylist called to move my appointment which turned out to be a good thing, so we carried on to storage to put some things away then drove to the Eye Dr. to get our prescriptions. We had a little lunch at Einstein Bagels downtown then headed back to storage to pick up the Little Giant Ladder (which is no small feat) and stuff it in the Jeep.
Our tenant was out washing his car when we arrived at the house, so we got right to work. Gary caulked the back window and some other little places, power washed the fascia board and porch walls, then he climbed up to the roof and proceeded to wash the roof.
I took the ladder to the back (another no small feat) and painted the fascia and windows.

I had to quickly wipe off and run to my hair salon and got a cute cut. A wash and wear model, or my summer cut, as I call it. It’s usually so humid that my hair does what it wants to and I don’t want to spend time blow drying it before it does what it wants to anyway.

When I got back, Gary was just about finished, but we painted the windows on the side of the house, too. Finally we said good bye and drove over to Jean’s house for a little visit before Debbie arrived from work. After a drinkypoo, we followed Debbie to her new digs and admired her view from the balcony. We loved her new little home. We played with her kitties, Dobie and Bella (yes, just like our coach) and then we were ready for dinner. She took us to Gecko’s Grill and Pub where we had a great meal: Gary had wings and sweet potato fries with an apple butter dip (YUM), I had the veggie pizza and Deb had the sausage and onion hoagie. Outside we gave each other hugs among the aroma of the honeysuckle in bloom. Fabulous.

We got home at 10 and immediately hit the sack. It was a hard work day.

This morning was again supposed to be sunny and warm at 85 degrees, but got a little cloudy. All of a sudden I heard two booms close together. ‘That was the sound barrier – the Discovery has entered our atmosphere’ said Gary. We flipped on the TV and watched her land for the last time. Discovery will be decommissioned over the next several months and sent to the Smithsonian Institution for display.

Gary suggested we go to Poinciana to see the Osceola School District Environmental Nature Center. It’s a 19 acre segment of the Reedy Creek eco wetland system. We missed it, turned around and noticed that the gate was half open. Hmmm. We off-roaded it and drove in. There was a car there with its trunk open. I knocked on the door, and Craig came to open it. We asked if the nature walk was open, and he said only on the weekends. But he was nice and said that we could take a walk, but he was going to leave in about 30 minutes. We grabbed the camera and binoculars and started down the boardwalk. Here’s Gary taking a look at whatever he can see.
We did see lots of vegetation, but then he spotted this huge snapping turtle. It probably was two feet long at least, not including his head or neck. Notice the ‘thorns’ around his neck?

We saw hawks and anoles (lizards) other birds and something crashing around in the underbrush (but not clearly enough to identify it) alligators and other Florida turtles out sunning. You know that little bit of mistletoe you find in stores around the holidays? Well, this is how it grows. The kind you buy is preserved, but live mistletoe is beautiful.
Of course, there were the obligatory aligators, some large and some small.
This is called an airplant because all they need is air (no soil) and moisture to grow.
Thirty minutes came and went, but Craig had a minute to talk about himself. He runs the Nature Center, and is from Maine, but attended Duke in NC. He loves his job here in Florida, wished us well on our travels, and followed us out the gate.

We had some lunch on the veranda (as Gary like to call it) and then our daughter, Michelle, called. Would we like to spend spring break with them in Hilton Head? Does it include golf? asked Gary. So we are now going to spend five days at the Palmetto Bluff Resort in Bluffton, SC (just west of Hilton Head). It won’t be as warm as here, so we’ll have to pack our cozies. Sounds like fun!

No Jeep tires yet. Bummer.

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