Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday - Craft Show and Italian Dinner

Ken and I got up by 6:30 and got ready to go to our craft show at the Englewood Sports Complex.  We ate breakfast, packed some snacks and a light lunch and were on our way by 8:20, about a 20 minute drive.  It was a cool morning, but by early afternoon it was in the upper 70's with plenty of sunshine.

I really enjoy doing indoor craft show with NO wind, cold, or heat and humidity.  There was a good crowd that came to buy and we had a steady flow of people till about 12:30.  I had really reduced the price of all of my jewelry and I was thrilled at how much of it we sold.  Also, the sea glass pictures sold well too and one lady bought 9 of them as gifts for her staff back home - wow!  It was the best show I had this winter and I was very thankful.  Ernie and Noela and fellow campers at Harbor Lakes, Jim and Joyce, stopped by.  

Ken and I were loaded and on our way back to the CG by 2:30.  We unloaded the car and put some of the things in their proper place in Wilbur.  The rest of the "stuff" will be loaded in the outside bins as we get closer to our departure time and Ken starts organizing those areas!  For now the living room area is a bit "messy"!

We picked up Ernie and Noela at 3:15 and drove to Briandi's Italian Restaurant in Nokomis for a delicious dinner.  Their bread, minestrone soup, and lasagna are amazing!  Ken and Ernie each enjoyed a fish entree served over pasta.

On our way back, we stopped at Detwiler's Market for some fruits and veggies and then enjoyed a visit to The Rookery outside of Venice.  There were so many herons nesting there.

Lots of birds come to The Rookery each night to sleep!

Great Heron with her 2 babies!  These were very young!

Blue Heron mama and babies!

These Great Heron babies are a bit older!


These 2 babies were constantly "picking" on each other, especially
the one on the right.  He/she was definitely the dominate one!
It was so interesting watching them feeding their babies!  "Mama's" head appears to go all the way down her baby's throat when she is feeding he/she!  Also, 1 baby appeared to be the dominate one, rarely allowing the other one to get any food.  I think mama needs to be more of a disciplinarian or the weaker one is going to have trouble surviving!

Begging to be fed!

Where is mama's beak and head????

One pair of the great heron's decided it was time to "get together" -

Time to move on!!!!

Now time to tidy up and shake a few tail feathers!!!

We were back to the CG around 6:30 and we played Hand and Foot at Ernie and Noela's till 8:45.  The men were so excited to finally win a game.  Now they think it is a skill game, not a luck one!  Really??????

Back at Wilbur, Ken did the dishes while I downloaded photos and then did this blog.  We were tired, but what a great day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday - Cool Start to Beautiful Sunny Day!

Ken was up early to do his reading, but I only showed my face at 7:10.  It was only 42 degrees and the warm covers felt great!  Ken went for a walk with Ernie while I did my stretches, showered, and got ready for the day.

I made a batch of oat bran muffins and ate breakfast while they baked.  Ken went outside to begin organizing the bins in preparation for our departure next week and to load the CRV with all we need for tomorrow's craft show at Englewood Sports Complex.  I did some clean-up inside and then Noela stopped by and we enjoyed a cup of chai.  

Ken loaded up Deb's bike that she had brought to us yesterday to donate to the Bike Ministry at Edgewater Church.  So, Ken went to the church to drop it off and they were so thankful for such a nice bike.  We appreciate your donation, Deb, and it will definitely go to a person in need!

When he returned he decided to read and rest while I recorded our expenses on our budget program and worked on this blog.

After lunch, Ken and I went to the Englewood Sport Complex to set-up for tomorrow's craft show.  We are so thankful we can do that the day before and not have to arrive early on Saturday!  It took a bit longer than anticipated, about 2 hours, but I think we did a good job!  We stopped at Dollar Tree to get some bags and tissue paper to wrap the sea glass pictures when they are purchased - we are hopeful!

Ken did a bit more loading outside and then at 4:30 Ernie, Noela, Ken and I headed to the shuffleboard courts for one of those challenging men vs women games.  We played 2 games and we each won one (the women won the 2nd game which is probably the most important!).

Ken grilled chicken, steak and potatoes while I made us salads and did lots of dishes.  It was a delicious dinner.  Ernie and Noela came over at 7:15 and we played a game of Hand and Foot and also had another treat of Key Lime Pie.  (That will be the end of that extravagance with so many calories!)  It was another winning night for the ladies and we won "big time"!  They left at 9:30 and we headed to bed - off to the craft show tomorrow morning!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday - Day Spent with Barry and Deb!

Ken and I only got up at 6:45 and after watching the morning news headlines, he went to Publix to get another Key Lime Pie to serve to Barry and Deb today!  I spent time stretching and then catching up on my blog!

After breakfast, we walked over to spend some time chatting with Ernie and Noela.  Jamie called and we had a nice time talking.  At 10:15, Barry and Deb, our friends from Canada who spend the winter RVing in Naples, arrived to spend the day with us.  We hadn't seen them since last March, so it was a great reunion.  We 1st met Barry and Deb when we were both camping on Pine Island about 8 or 9 years ago and until last year when we started spending our entire winter stay at Harbor Lakes, we would camp near them at Naples for our 1st week in Florida.  Last year they stayed at Harbor Lakes for 3 nights on their way back home, but this year we only had 1 day to spent together. 

We sat inside Wilbur visiting before leaving to go to Farlow's on the Water for lunch at 1.  We had delicious food on their outdoor patio that was heated.  Back to Wilbur for more sharing of life and then at 5:15 they left to return to Naples.  We certainly enjoyed our time with them.

Enjoying our time with Barry and Deb at Farlow's! 

I worked on this blog and Ken did some reading.  I did go over to see Ernie and Noela and invite them to play games in Wilbur this evening.  They arrived at 7:15 and we played a game of Hand and Foot with the women winning "big time"!  We had delicious Key Lime Pie as a treat!  Barry and Deb had brought Ken some ground coffee from Tim Horton's in Canada, so he made a cup for himself and Ernie.  Thanks, Barry and Deb for the tasty Java and thanks to Ernie and Noela for a fun evening!

I finished this blog and Ken and I were in bed by 10:15.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday - What a Special Day!

Well, we awoke to another morning in the 40's and very windy - I thought this was Florida!  What is going on considering it is March!!!!

Ken met Ernie for their morning walk while I did my normal morning "routine"!  After breakfast, Ken went to Wal-Mart and Publix for a few groceries for our small group gathering later today!  I vacuumed and dusted Wilbur and did some reorganizing.  Ken spent most of the morning setting up outside, because we had put everything in a safe place and taken in the awning because of high winds starting last Friday.  Today it was windy, but okay for the awning!

Somehow we were busy the entire time until Eddie and Lori arrived at 1:15 to have us ride with them to Levenrock Restaurant where we would get on the water taxi for the ride to Palm Island.  Rick and Joyce met us there so the 6 of us from our Life Group at home could spend the rest of the day together.  The 15 minute water taxi ride only cost $6.00 per person and that is a round trip ticket.  They take you to Palm Island, a rather exclusive place to reside, where you can enjoy a meal at Rum Bay Restaurant, but you are not allowed to leave that property to check out the island.  It is a private island and they do not want strangers roaming around.  The restaurant has very good food and from 2:30 to 5 they have a special menu where you get a choice of about 10 entrees for 2 for $22.00.  The meal includes the meat, salad, veggie, and delicious coconut pineapple bread with orange marmalade butter.  What a feast for $11.00!  The restaurant was not very busy, probably because of the cooler, windy weather, so we were able to sit and chat there for a long time.  

Do you think it is a bit windy?

The Red Tide is killing lots of fish!  These are mullets!

Walking on the dock from the water taxi
to the restaurant!

Palm Island is quite an exclusive place.  The residents can
only get there by boat or on the barge that brings their
cars too!

Enjoying time with friends and our special "hubbies"!

What a happy group!

I really like how they display the shells.  I
would like to do this for our home!

Our bellies are "full" and we are ready for the boat ride
back to our cars!

On the "taxi" ride back, Ken joked with the captain and asked if he had planned the dancing dolphin viewing!  No sooner did Ken ask, then a dolphin decided to frolic in the wake of the boat and what a show we viewed.  The boat captain did a wonderful job of creating the kind of wake where the dolphin enjoyed "performing"!  It was positively amazing.

Can you tell it is windy and rather "cold"!

Let the dolphin show begin......

This dolphin loved performing for the boaters!

What a fantastic ride!

The barge for cars and people who are leaving or going
to Palm Island!

Birds on the sandbar when we returned!

The 6 of us spent the evening in Wilbur playing 2 games (8 rounds) of Hand and Foot.  The men had won a game we played several weeks ago and the ladies won the 1st game tonight by a huge margin.  So, it was time for a tie breaker, which the women won again.  Ken and I provided some snacks and then we all enjoyed a piece of Key Lime Pie!  What a phenomenal day with special friends.  If you have never gone to Palm Island via the water taxi, I would highly recommend it.  

The group left around 10 and Ken and I headed to bed.  This was definitely a day to Celebrate Life!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday - Cool, Breezy Day, But Sunny!

It was in the upper 40's when we got up - Ken at 5:30 and me around 6:45.  After doing his reading, Ken loaded our bikes on Ernie's truck for today's adventure!  Then he met Ernie for their morning walk.

I got ready, did my stretches, reading, and then prepped for breakfast.  I also talked to my sister, mother, and dad.  At 9:30 Ernie, Noela, Ken and I left for a trip to Myakka State Park about a 35 minute drive from the CG.  It is a great place to ride bike and do some hiking, but today it was a bit chilly.  We did see lots of alligators and birds while biking and hiking in the park. 

Myakka State Park is a great place to ride bike!

Love the canopy of trees and the Spanish moss!

1st alligator spotting at the Park!  Looks like tire tread!

Just got ready to soak up some sun....

,,,,,and take a nap!

So quiet and peaceful!

Limpkin - the one that eats apple snails!

We had packed our lunches and found a picnic table in the sun to eat.  The canopy trail is a great one where you climb a tower and go over a swinging bridge.  We had also walked out to a viewing area where we saw about 18 alligators lined up on the shore warming themselves in the sunshine.  Nearby were lots of limpkins, buzzards and a hawk!  One of our rare sightings was the beautiful glossy ibis!

A flock of limpkins!

All lined up for sunning!

The buzzards are checking out the situation!

So many colors on the glossy ibis!

Okay, he may not be beautiful but he sure is unique!

Quite a gathering!

Nice paths to walk in the Park!

I love seeing all the palm trees, live oaks, and Spanish moss!

The very Happy Snowbirds!

Crossing the suspension bridge!

The last alligator we saw before leaving the park.  He looks
like he is smiling.  Must be a happy dream!

We loaded our bikes and were on our way back to the CG by 2:30.  Ken and I changed and by 4:15 we were on our way to have pizza with Burt and Pat, church friends and fellow workers at the Food Bank, at Bocca Lupo in Port Charlotte.  We had a great time visiting and enjoying the delicious pizza made in their coal oven.  Then we went to their nearby condo to teach them Hand and Foot, a game they have been wanting to learn.  They were a fast "study" and we had a fun time together.  She treated us to fresh fruit and brownies.  Unfortunately, the men were the winners.  We are hoping to visit Burt and Pat at their home in Kennebunk, Maine this summer or fall.

This sign gets updated daily!

Playing Hand and Foot in Burt and Pat's Condo!  They
are such a wonderful couple!

Back to Wilbur by 10:30 and it was off to bed after a fun-filled day.  I had spent a lot of time talking with my mother and father and the staff at Masonic Village where they live trying to arrange transportation for my dad to his great-granddaughter's wedding reception on March 25th.  He is on an electric wheelchair and has no strength in his legs, so we can't take him in a car.  Hopefully the home will be able to transport him on a regular wheelchair so he can be a part of the festivities!