Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday - Sunny and Beautiful!

Ken was up early and checked the refrigerator.  It was actually colder than necessary, so he started putting some food items in it that had been in coolers.  I got up in time to watch the Morning News.  By then the frig had warmed up from the door being opened and closed.

Ken decided to join Ernie for part of his walk and I got ready to play a little pickleball.  I brought most of food over to Wilbur that was stored in Jim and Joyce's outdoor refrigerator.  I played pickleball from 8:30 to 9:15 and it wasn't "pretty".  I just couldn't get it together and felt like I had trouble moving.  This back and leg pain is a problem.  I headed back to Wilbur and felt very frustrated and discouraged.  I came to the realization that right now I should not be playing pickleball here at the CG until something changes.  It is hard for me to accept that!  It was the 1st morning I actually had to shed a few tears and I do not like that!  So, it was time to put on "my big girl panties" and realize that I am blessed in so many ways and "woe to me" is not the right path! 

We left with Ernie and Noela at 11 for a visit to Solomon's Castle about 1 hour from our CG.  They had been there before and were anxious for us to see it.  It was a nice drive and really in the middle of "no where"!  The castle is hidden in the lush Florida woodlands, basically a swamp area.  The home (castle), galleries and workshop of internationally renowned artist Howard Solomon are open to the public and decorated with more than 80 interpretive stained glass windows and countless metal sculptures all done by Howard, including the building of the castle. 

Not a lot of money is spent on advertising!

He and his family lived in the castle before his death in 2016.

These 9 stained glass windows he made are the

The ships of Christopher Columbus!

Close up of the planet windows!

Some of his sculptures and pictures, all made from recycled things -

Our tour guide showing us the sheets of metal that
were used for the construction of the castle.  Each
piece has some "news" on it because it was used
by the local newspaper company to print pages.
Lots of "history" is hanging on the outside of the

This is the foyer of the castle ......

....and this is what the people on the couch at watching!

So many unique metal sculptures made from car parts,
appliances, nuts, bolts oil cans, jacks, etc.  The picture in the
background was made from over 500 little pieces of wood!
This man had quite a talent and imagination!  I don't think
he ever had time to sleep!

Mr. Solomon named all his pieces and this turtle
shell included some of his hair.  Hence the name
the tortoise and the "hair"!

This one got away!

Rocker is totally made of beer cans!

This car is "coming and going"!  No backseat drivers!

A mousetrap made in Lititz, PA where we live!
I never realized there is the head, eyes and ears
of the mouse in the red V!

Another picture Mr. Solomon made from over 500
pieces of wood and it is a replica of one of Norman
Rockwell's paintings!  Loved it!

He made some huge sculptures too.  The elephant is now
resting on a stand from the Ringling Brothers Circus!

Another copy of a Norman Rockwell painting!

He also built the huge "Boat in the Moat" that is a family restaurant with lots of outdoor seating.  Our guide was fabulous and very quick witted when describing the sculptures and pictures of Howard Solomon.  

The Boat in the Moat!  I wonder how long it took him to
construct this huge boat?

A gorgeous stained glass on the boat!

The outdoor eating area!

After the tour, we sat at a picnic table having our snacks before leaving for the drive to Joshua Citrus.

It was now 2:00 and we were hungry and thirsty!

At Joshua Citrus, Inc. Noela and I had to have one of their orange and vanilla twist homemade ice cream cones - delicious.  This family owned orchard has been in operation for over 100 years and covers a huge area.  Amazing!!  We stopped at Ruby Tuesday near Port Charlotte for their soup and salad bar. 

Their ice cream is delicious!  

We were back to the CG by 5:15 and Ken and I headed to the CG laundry.  While our clothes were in the washer I beat him playing shuffleboard!  He went back to Wilbur while I stayed at the laundry until the clothes dried.  He returned to help me load the clothes into the car.  We watched Jeopardy and I worked on this blog and downloaded photos.

By the time we had left for the castle, I was feeling better and not so "sorry for myself"!  I know how fortunate I am to sleep well, have no pain when we are driving, and to be able to do so many other things besides pickleball and long walks.  So, I will continue to Celebrate Life Daily!  Go Girl!!!!

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