Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Biking on Monday and Hiking on Tuesday!

Ken and I were up at 7, did some reading, and I was on the pickleball court by 8:30.  It was another cool, windy morning with the temperature in the 50's.  It was one of those frustrating days where it felt like I had never played this game. The 1st match went fairly well, but after that it was all downhill and somehow when you start playing poorly, it is so hard to improve your game.  After 4 games I was done.  I couldn't imagine getting any worse, but I wasn't going to take that chance!

Ken spent that time reading and writing in his journal.  When I returned I worked on this blog and then got out the necessary items for making sea glass pictures, painted some unfinished wooden frames, and made one small flower picture.  

I talked to Cindy and Mom before Ernie, Noela, Ken and I left for a bike ride on the Venetian Waterway Trail that goes from downtown Venice to Caspersen Beach.  But, first things first - we biked to the Upper Crust Bakery for our 1st scone of the season.  Oh no!!!  They were sold out for the day!  So, we had to get a raspberry crumb bar - not a scone, but it was delicious!

Then the bike ride to Caspersen Beach began and what a beautiful ride it was. 

Pretty trail!

Then you get to ride along the intracoastal waterway!

You get to see some very nice boats during the ride!

The "boys" stopped to watch some commercial fisherman using a net to catch lots of fish. 

Bringing in the net!

 Quite a job!
Looks like a good catch!

Ernie tried to entice the Florida Scrub Jays with peanuts, but we didn't see any of them.

I don't think the scrub jays are hungry today!

When we got to the beach we took a short walk looking for shells and sharks teeth. 

Several years ago, Caspersen Beach was very wide.
Beach erosion has certainly changed this shoreline!

Back on our bikes to complete the 11 mile ride back to the truck.  After dinner, Ken and I went to Edgewater Church to Celebrate Recovery. On the way, I talked to Jackie, a close friend from back home, who graciously took my mother out for lunch and shopping last Wednesday.  Mom, Ken and I so appreciate her willingness to give of her time to do such a nice thing for my mother.  

At church, the lady minister that had spoken there a week ago was giving her testimony at Celebrate Recovery and we were both excited to hear her.  It was a very moving evening and she is one amazing lady.  When Ken went to his small group, I sat in the lobby and did some reading and chatted with Kaylee, the minister of social programs at the church. It was a fantastic evening.
Tuesday morning it was chilly and windy again. I decided not to play pickleball. I think I was a bit "tramatized from yesterdays poor play.  So, I spent time reading and studying the Purpose Driven Life Book.  Our 1st meeting with our Life Group from back home will be this Friday morning.  We are meeting for breakfast and then coming to Wilbur for the book study which Ken and I are leading. Amazing how many hours you spend in preparation when you are the leaders, but you learn a lot in the process.   

After breakfast, I spent the morning making 6 sea glass pictures.  Ken cleaned up including vacuuming Wilbur and set-up outside again.  We had put many of the outside things away when it was so windy.  He encourages me to work on my crafts and is more than willing to do the "chores".  After all, Ken says, I am earning gas money for Wilbur!  I had a lot of fun making the pictures.

After lunch, the 4 of us drove about 45 minutes towards Punta Gorda to the Charlotte Flatlands Preserve.  Ernie and Noela had been there recently and saw some interesting birds and found lots of apple snail shells.  Limpkins, wading birds that are brown and spotted, eat the snails and then leave all of the shells behind.  We began by picking up the empty apple snail shells and we found lots of them.  Some of them are quite large. 

The hunt for the apple snail shells has begun!

I find them very interesting!

By the time we stopped hunting for the shells, my green
bag was over 1/2 full!

There were so many!

While walking the 2 1/2 mile trail we saw limpkins, wading birds we had never seen.  After doing some research, they only go as far north as southern Georgia. Almost exclusively, they feed on apple snails. 

I like their coloring!

They are well camaflouged in these swampy areas!

herons and egrets - (Ken did a great job getting their reflections in the water)

In flight!

 a bald eagle -

The 1st photo Ken has taken of an eagle in flight!

 and an armadillo -

Don't you just love his ears and armor!!!

Thought you might enjoy the butterfly and water lily too -

This butterfly could fly well considering that part of his
wing was missing!

What an interesting walk!!!

We returned to Waldo around 5:45, showered, made salads, and then went to Ernie and Noela's for some delicious pulled pork that Noela had cooked all day in her crockpot.  We played Uno and the men won "big time"!  Lately Noela and I are having a tough time winning any of the games!  To bed by 9:30.

I did talk to Mom today and Dad seems to be doing okay.  I also talked to Nancy and Neil Savage and we made a "date" to meet and have lunch together on Pine Island when Ken and I will be doing a craft show at a local church the 2nd Saturday of February.  Looking forward to seeing them again.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Cloudy, Cooler Day!

After we got ready to go to Edgewater UM Church, I spent time downloading photos and doing some work on my blog.  We enjoyed the music was we heard an inspiring message.  From there we went to Wal-Mart for a few more needed groceries (how can that be???) and were back to Wilbur by 11:45.

I did more work on this blog and after lunch we skyped with Samantha and Katelyn.  What a fun time! Katelyn enjoyed reading to us and Samantha showed us all of the birthday presents she had received.  It was nice to hear their voices and see their smiling faces.

I spent the afternoon making jewelry, which is so enjoyable and relaxing for me. Ken did a lot of reading.  Noela and Ernie had gone on a driving adventure today having left at 9:30 and only returning around 5:30.  They had gone to the Everglades, but spent most of their time driving, as the weather was a bit cool and there was rain off and on in that area.  Here it was cloudy and a bit cool, but we had no rain after 9 AM.

Late afternoon Ken and I took a walk around the CG and then played shuffleboard.  I was the winner and mighty proud of it!!!  Ernie and Noela stopped by Wilbur when they returned and we had fun hearing about today's adventure.  After dinner we went to their RV and played Skip-Bo and Uno.  The men won both games by a large margin!  Not sure what happened.

Ken and I were back by 10 and went right to bed.  It was a very nice and relaxing day!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

1st Craft "Show" of 2017

Ken and I were up by 6:30, cooked breakfast, and by 7:30 we were setting up tables to display my sea glass pictures and jewelry for the CG yard sale.  It was only 52  degrees and a bit breezy and we were not overly optimistic about selling much of our merchandise.  The CG has a yard sale the last Saturday of every month and usually people are just selling items that they no longer want or need in their RV's.  We weren't sure if many folks would be out looking for craft items.

It started rather slowly and Ken and I were minding the cloudy, cool day.  But by 9 AM things started to change and people became interested in what we were selling.  By noon we were thrilled with our sales.  This was the 1st time I offered sea glass pictures and I sold 5 of them, almost 1/2 of my inventory - WOW!  I realize I need to make more for an actual craft show I have on Pine Island the 2nd Saturday of February.  I think a larger selection would increase my sales.  I also need to make more jewelry.  That makes me happy!!!

It was a lot less work to just set-up in front of Wilbur.  Also,
now people know where to find me if they want to buy
additional jewelry or sea glass pictures!

We cleaned up, ate lunch, and then Ken took a short nap while I made 2 pairs of earrings that were ordered by ladies here in the CG.  I also sent an e-mail to our Small Group from LCBC to let them know what we will be doing at our 1st meeting next Friday morning to discuss the beginning of the book, The Purpose Drive Life.  After downloading photos and working on the blog we walked the finished earrings to the campsite of the lady who ordered them.  We spent almost an hour chatting with them.  It was a lot of fun.  When we returned to Wilbur, it was time to leave to meet 2 couples from our Small Group and Ron and Pam who moved to Florida from our home area at a restaurant 35 minutes from the CG.

We met at the Saltwater Cafe near Venice/Nokomis and had a fun time and delicious food in a great atmosphere.  Ken and I shared their medium pizza and it was absolutely delicious.  We were there from 7:30 to 9:45 and had a wonderful time sharing life.  On the way back, I had a nice chat with my sister.  She and John are now on a military base in San Antonio, Texas and having a good time.  Today they are meeting our special friends, Chuck and Melissa, at the Alamo and they will do some touring and then have lunch together.  I am a bit jealous.  I wish we were there to spend time with the 4 of them.  Miss all of you!!!  We went right to bed when we returned to Wilbur!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Was Mostly A "Chore" Day!

Friday was a bit cooler, but a nice morning to play pickleball and it went fairly well!  But before I went, I made, with Ken's help, and baked a batch of oat bran muffins.  Ken and I are really enjoying these healthy treats compliments of Noela.  She makes these muffins quite often, since Ernie eats about 2 a day!  I was back from pickleball by 10:15 and Ken had Wilbur looking beautiful.  What a clean-up job he did!  He had left with Ernie for a 1 1/2 hour bike ride.

While on their ride, they came upon a small cemetery.  It was an interesting one.  Known as the Southland Trail Cemetery, it was called the Convict Cemetery by the locals.  From around 1910, Florida's leased convict labor system allowed the railroad and naval stores industries to lease inexpensive convict labor crews from area jails.  These laborers worked on railroad lines and turpentine camps.  Conditions at the camps were often cruel and inhuman. Convict laborers endured malnutrition, malaria, exposure, wildfires and beatings, often dying at the hands of "whipping bosses" employed to keep the workers in line.  The majority of leased convict laborers were blacks imprisoned under harsh Jim Crow laws.  The leasing of convicts continued until 1923 when Florida banned the practice.  The Southland Trail Cemetery lies near the site of a turpentine camp.  It served as the camps burial ground and as a cemetery for blacks until its last interment in 1966 when cemeteries were required to be integrated.   Hard to imagine!!!

There are tombstones but no
writing on them!

I headed to the laundry here at the CG and what a very busy place.  I had to wait a little while to get 2 washers, but I enjoyed checking out the CG library. When I got back to Wilbur, Ken and I had lunch inside, because it was a bit chilly to eat out.  I went through my jewelry and got organized for the "garage sale" here in the CG tomorrow from 8 to noon.  Ken did some reading and work on the computer.

By 3:30, we were both tired and decided to take a nap - Ken was able to sleep, but I just rested.  Then we played a game of shuffleboard with Ernie and Noela and the women beat the men by a HUGE margin.  We were good!!!!

Ernie and Noela came over to Wilbur around 6:30 and we ate together, enjoying my white chicken chili.  She provided us with homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Then the men won Skip-Bo (like usual) and the women won Racko (like usual).  It was a fun evening.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday, a Fun Day in Sarasota!

Ken and I only got up at 7:30 and called our daughter, Lanie, to sing Happy Birthday!  By 8:20 I was on the pickleball court with lots of other pickleball players.  Again, I had some very good games and some so so games, but I had a lot of fun.  Ken spent that time working on the computer.  

At 11:30 the 4 of us drove to Sweet Tomato in Sarasota for another delicious lunch at their huge salad bar.  It definitely is one of our favorite eateries, but we always leave their "stuffed"!  

From there we drove to the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsical.  Ernie and Noela had been there before but it was closed and they only got to tour the outside area.  We enjoyed the garden area 1st and then went inside to see all of the unique and fun artwork. 

These horses are made out o horseshoes as are many of the
animals throughout the museum and grounds!

Monkeys hanging from the trees! 
Not sure what flower this is growing on the tree, but it sure
was beautiful and so delicate looking!

Giraffes in Florida????? Really???

This is one tall flamingo!

Marietta Lee started a foundation about 8 years ago that purchased this very "run down" property with an old hotel, Budist Temple and an area known for prostitution and drug dealings.  What they have done with it is amazing.  The foundation buys all of the artwork from living artists to help them continue in their profession.  There were lots of painting, interesting ceramic work, pottery, shell designs, etc.

Ken finally got to wrestle an alligator! 
There were some beautiful orchids in the gardens!

A submarine metal sculphure!

Ken enjoyed the "meter" that was in the men's room -

That is Ken's knee and foot at the bottom
of the picture!  Honest!!!

We stopped at Costco on the way back to the CG.  I downloaded photos and worked on my blog.  We spent the evening at Ernie and Noela's where the men won Skip-Bo.  We had a long talk with Jamie today while she drove to meet her sister for lunch to celebrate her birthday.  It warms our hearts when the 2 of them spend special time together!