Wednesday, February 27, 2013

“ Look closely. The beautiful may be small” ~ Immanuel Kant

This quote is our challenge from Lynne. It's amazing, when I was trying to find some 'small' items to photograph, everything kept running or flying away! LOL

I did manage in the last two days to get something. Yesterday was a windy, grey day and there wasn't much going on outside because of that. Today the sun was back which helped.

Anyone who has been to Florida knows we have oodles of lizards. I was trying to catch a photo or two of some of the smaller ones but they wouldn't cooperate with me. I did manage to get two bigger ones (which are still small). The big lizard eating the elephant ear is really an iguana from a farm we went to in Roatan. The colorful lizards are made of metal and are hanging on one of our outside walls. LOL Couldn't resist!

This is a little grey squirrel which is also abundant in Florida. There hasn't been a bird feeder made that they can't get in to. I think this is a pretty young one as he/she isn't very big. They can get quite chubby from eating all of the poor birds food. We gave up trying to ever feed the birds anymore. 

I will have to think more on what else I can take pictures of. I hope everyone is well.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A little rest

I spent the day resting up after a super busy week and weekend. I will post a picture tomorrow for our Lucky Snapping challenge from Lynne. I hope everyone is well. xxx

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Righteous Brothers-Unchained Melody

This is the song but I couldn't get it to load into my other post. Enjoy xxx

BFF's and Love Songs

As I have mentioned in some of my comments on other's posts, I have never had a lot of BFF's though I have had a lot of friends. I had girl friends that I played dolls with when I was young, girl friends that I had sleep overs with in high school where we would go to dances earlier in the evening and then stay up half of the night talking about the boys we danced with, and girl friends over the years in the different states I lived in. Most of them I have lost touch with or they have passed away. I do have one friend that I have had since I was about eight years old but we haven't seen each other in years. We exchange Christmas cards every year and pass messages back and forth on FaceBook admiring each other kids and grandkids. She is my oldest friend and I guess at one time I would have considered her my BFF (but we didn't have BFF's back then). I can say without hesitation though if she called me tomorrow and said she needed me, I would be there in a heartbeat. Truly, my husband has been my BFF for many years now. So much of the time that we have been together we have moved so many times that I couldn't really make long lasting friends. He has always been there for me. I can talk to him about anything and for the most part (he is a man and they don't think like women do) he gives me the most sound advice and truly cares about whatever it is I am carrying on about. He is always honest with me even if it is not what I want to hear (yes, those pants to make you look bigger LOL).

I am a big music lover and I have had different songs that I could relate to events in my life at just about any given time. Like Lynne said about her song IF that the group Bread sang, I used to love Air Supply. So many of their songs soothed me through heartache from my failed first marriage to my often short lived boyfriends. Then there was Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" that I thought would be my theme song for the rest of my life until I met Thadd.

We do have 'our' song. It is by the Righteous Brothers and it is called 'Unchained Melody'. When he first moved to New Jersey and I was left behind here in Florida, I would call the local radio station where he lived and ask them to play the song and dedicate it to him (only first names were used) but if he heard it, he would know I was thinking and missing him. To this day we still dance to this song when we hear it (if we are someplace where we can). I tried to put the song here in my blog but I can't get it to work right. Sorry.

I will have to go through some of my old pictures to see if I can find some 'nostalgic' ones to scan and share with you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nostalgia Challenge - Affairs of the Heart

Nostalgia Challenge - Affairs of the Heart is the challenge this week...........
Before I get into the story of how I got married (the second time around), I will share some pictures of some Valentine gifts I have received. My husband, Thadd is not a very romantic person, though I have to say, he has gotten better over the years. He has tried to surprise me a few times but usually things just don't work out very well. Something always goes wrong (I live under Murphy's Law, remember?). But, I love him for him, so it doesn't really matter that much to me, especially on Valentine's Day. He does such much for me all year long that anything he does for Valentine's Day is just icing on the cake! It used to be I never got a card or anything from him because he never seemed to remember the day. That has changed. He usually gets me a card and some sort of flowers, etc. now. The cards he gets me are always funny. The cards I get him are always serious. LOL They say opposites attract.  Here are some pictures from past Valentines Days plus this year. In 2011, he got me roses. In 2012 he did totally surprise me with an edible flower arrangement made entirely from fruit. It also had a balloon attached. This year, he got me a bouquet of mixed flowers. He does try, but there is no romance involved. No romantic dinners or candles, just a 'here honey, I got these for you'. But I'm okay with it and he never wants me to get him anything but a card.

Okay, so how did we go about getting married? We had been dating for a while when Thadd got promoted and transferred to Cherry Hill, New Jersey. After he had been gone about six months, we decided I should move there as well. So, I quit my job in Florida, sold just about everything I had and moved there to be with him. I left my family behind and moved to a state I had only visited once and knew nothing about. My kids were living with their father (I was still trying to work through that loss) but at least I did not have to worry about uprooting them. We lived together in New Jersey for about two years when Thadd was transferred to Baltimore, Maryland. I was doing temp work at the time so at least I wasn't having to quit another job. 
We were only in Baltimore about four months before he got transferred again, this time to Pittsburgh, PA. Luckily, his company was packing us and moving us each of these times or I think I would have refused to go. While I looked upon the moves as adventures, enough was enough! While in Pittsburgh, I was approaching my 40th birthday. I wanted to get married again but Thadd didn't seem to be in any rush. I finally told him I wanted to be married by my birthday or I was packing up and moving back to Florida. Guess, he decided I was worth keeping (how many women will give up a good job and move all over the place with no complaints?) though he pushed it to the last minute. We got married on November 19, 1990 (my birthday is December 2). We actually got married in Marion, Ohio (his hometown) at the courthouse with his brother and his wife as our witnesses. Nothing romantic or fancy. We didn't even have a honeymoon because at the time, we couldn't afford one. We will be married 23 years this year and I wouldn't trade one minute of it. We have been through a lot 'together' (that is the key word). More later...........

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Internet problems

I am sorry I did not get to post more this week but we have been having some internet problems off and on all week. I did plan on typing some early today (Sunday), but it was down all day until now really. So, it's Monday! LOL

At this point I do not scrapbook but I do love looking at everyone's layouts. We do have a group here where I live but since I am still early into my retirement, I haven't been able to check into it. I have committed myself to do some things around the house first (like clean out my closet and dresser drawers) before I let myself really enjoy doing what I want. You know, work first, play later.

I have enjoyed reading everyone's blog on Impossible this past week. Thank you all for sharing and for your kind comments on my 'impossible' time. xxx

Friday, February 15, 2013

Let's Reflect - February

Our word for February is 'impossible'. I have thought long and hard about this word and any positive outcomes that I may have experienced. I have had a lot of things happen to me over the years that weren't good. My mom used to say to me, "Joyce, if you didn't have bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all". She didn't say it to be mean, she said it because it was true. Bad things were always happening to me for some reason. It was almost like Murphy's Law had been written specifically for me. If something bad could happen, it would. It's funny how you learn to adapt to your circumstances. I won't bore you with all of mundane facts about my life, but at one point I actually didn't care whether I lived or not.

It was a little while after my divorce and my children had gone to Louisiana to visit their father. My son was 15 and my daughter was 8. While there, my ex-husband convinced both of my them to stay and live with him and his new wife. He made more money than me and I was convinced he had brain washed them into believing he would buy them everything they wanted. I couldn't compete. Though we had joint custody, I felt my life was over. My kids were my life. What was I going to do all on my own? At that point everything in my life seemed impossible. I was so depressed. I had trouble going to work everyday. I couldn't function. I just wanted to hide away. I think I cried every single day for a whole year. I was a mess.

Then I changed jobs and met Thadd, my current husband. He helped me dig myself out of the hole I had buried myself in. He gave me strength and support. He is the one who showed me that by letting my kids go live with their dad without guilt, I was the better person. I was the one who was proving my unconditional love for them by stepping back and supporting their decision. I was doing what was best for them, not what was best for me. At the time all of this was happening, I thought it was impossible for me to ever be really happy again. Thanks to Thadd, I was wrong.

This was a life changing event that ended up making me stronger than I ever thought I could be. With Thadd's help I was able to rebuild confidence in myself. I learned that life does go on. After this tragedy (and to me that is exactly what it was) I was more prepared to be able to handle all of life's other little bombs that have come my way, especially my mother's illness and passing. It was only four months that I was diagnosed with Non-hodgkins Lymphoma (a non-curable blood cancer).

Thadd and I will have been married 23 years in November but we have been together for 26. He is not only my husband but my best friend.

So, I say, nothing is impossible if you have the support and love of your family and friends. Here is a picture of the family (minus my sister and brother and their spouses) taken in 2011.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Some views of the golf course

Yesterday I drove the golf cart while Thadd golfed and took a few pictures of views on the course. I was hoping to run into some interesting wild life but only saw our routine ducks, turtles, sand cranes, ibis. The exception was these other two birds that I have no idea about. I did see a couple of Robins for the first time this year but I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of them. It was a beautiful day, about 73 degree F, and breezy. To me the wind was a little chilly so I was glad I had brought along a jacket.


The top picture is of a bunch of Spanish moss in a tree and the one underneath is a plant that grows here year round but I have never known the name of. It has pretty purple flowers. The next two pictures are of some roses I found blooming, and the last two are of some of the Ibis and the birds I am not familiar with. These aren't the best pictures because I was using my phone.

As the pictures show, I can see more outside than I can from the windows in my house, especially my kitchen window. Looking down my street isn't much better. All you see are other houses for the most part. Everyone else seem to live in more photogenic neighborhoods than I do with some beautiful scenery. Everyone have a nice evening. xxx

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Friday and Some More Views

Fridays used to be my favorite day of the week because it signaled the end of a work week. Now that I am retired...well, I wish Happy Friday to everyone who is still in the work force. It has only been a week since my retirement but I already have a new perspective on life. It it so much better now. I wake up every morning and thank God that I was able to quit working.

I am going to add a couple of new pictures of some views that I can see from my house. Again, not from a window, but from the doorway that leads out of my laundry room and a view of what I see from my patio where I am sitting right now as I type this. It is about 82 degrees F and breezy today so just a beautiful day to be sitting outside. My ever faithful Toby (my Chihuahua) is out here with me. I think he enjoys it more than I do!

This is what I see out the door of my laundry room. The sun is very bright so the picture came out a little dark. A few of the plants on that old bakers rack are two cacti and a spider plant. I don't know what the other one is called.

This is what I see when I look out of the patio at a distance. A parking lot and blue umbrellas over at the main pool.

I don't know if you are familiar with the term 'snow bird' but that is what we call people who come to Florida for the winter months. They usually start showing up in January and will stay here until April or May when they leave and head back up to the northern states to their permanent residences. The snow birds flock to the pool everyday to bake themselves in the sun. Not very healthy but I guess they like going back north with dark tans. LOL

That's all for today. I am just taking it easy today and enjoying life. Everyone have a good evening and take care. xxx

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another View

I have been encouraged to add another view of something outside that will change over the months. While I will be sticking with my original choice of Henry for my main view, I did find a few things to take pictures of today. They aren't from any of my windows since there is not much to see from them. I walked around in the yard and found two of our Crepe Myrtles that have dropped their leaves and have bare branches now. I hope they are not dead! LOL! They normally do not bloom until May or June but we have had such unseasonable warm weather that all of the plants are confused. Our Amaryllis have started to bloom too early. So, here are my pictures. Not much, but something different.

If I run across anything else as the month progresses, I will make sure to take a picture. Henry will be over this weekend with his mommy and daddy so hopefully I can get some new pictures of him. Erik and Reidar (my step grandsons) will be here as well and hopefully I can catch a good one of them too.  Being a grandparent is great because you can spoil them and then give them back to their parents. I do love seeing them and hope when Henry gets older (before he starts school) I can have him over for the day like Lynne does with Xanthe. I would love that.
Everyone have a good evening. xxx

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lucky Snapping February View

As you know, I chose to do my view of my grandson. We just don't get enough weather differences here for me to follow the poem. My choice is rain or sun, with sun winning out most of the time (not that I am complaining).

So, I am putting pictures of Henry's first haircut that he recently got. He wasn't too sure at first about it all but it seems to have ended well. Not a whole lot was cut off really. Just some longish hairs around his ears, face and in the very back. Hard to tell from these pictures but when he was born his hair was very dark and abundant.

I don't think I will be putting anymore pictures looking out my kitchen window because that view is not going to change. Maybe we will be asked to give a view from another window or somewhere else in the house. I hope everyone has a good day. xxx

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The last day...

Today is the last day of our colors of the rainbow challenge. It has been a fun trying to find objects in all of the colors. I am sure we all could have come up with hundreds of different things (except maybe for Indigo), but had to choose a few. I have enjoyed looking at everyone's pictures and reading their blogs. Here is a collage of some violet (purple) images I came up with.

Top left is a silly purple frog my husband brought me home from work one day. Top and bottom right are some of the purple flowers in the bouquet they gave me at work at my retirement party. I also added a lavender sweater and my lavender bathroom (hanging on the back of the door). Last but not least, center left, are some late blooming Periwinkles that are a purplish pink.
I look forward to our next challenge and hope I can do as well with it. I am becoming more comfortable with the blogging though I am no where near as good with my words as most of you are. Sometimes when I read a blog, a whole new world opens up before my very eyes and I feel as though I am actually there. I love the pictures of your families and where you live. Thank you for all for sharing your lives with me.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I have looked up 'indigo' but I am not sure I have anything that can really be considered a proper color but I will put what I think can pass for it.

This is a picture of the north shore of Cozumel, Mexico. The sea is so many different colors of blue that the darker ones fit my take on what Indigo looks like.

Next is a picture of my grandson Zach (the karate kid) at the lake on his daddy's boat. Zach has always loved the water. The water in the background comes across as a deep blue which reminds me of Indigo.

And last but not least are some cupcakes my daughter was practicing her decorating skills on. They seemed to be a cross between a blue and a purple.

So, that is it for me tonight. Not very interesting pictures but I hope you enjoy them. Tomorrow will be easier for me since violet (purple) is my favorite color and I have more things I can photograph.

Just an aside...I have been watching some reruns of Keeping Up Appearances this evening. "Our Hyacinth" keeps me laughing. I don't know how her poor husband Richard kept from clobbering her LOL! Such a funny show.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh, so blue...

We are at the color blue now in our rainbow challenge. There are so many shades of blue. Wow. I had difficulty finding what I wanted to post pictures of. There is not a lot of blue that I see on an everyday basis except for the sky. My car is blue but it is a dark, navy blue that looks more like black in pictures. So, I mostly fell back on pictures I already had except for this first one.

This is a picture of the sky with white leftover jet plane trails running across it. I took this outside of my house.

Next are pictures that I took at a tourist attraction called Gatorland. We took the grandsons there last year. They have just about every size of alligator you can imagine along with birds and a nature trail. The top one is a peacock that I was hoping would spread its tail feathers but it never did. The next one is of these little parakeets that are in an area where you can buy sticks that are covered in bird seed. The birds will land on your hand so you can feed them. The boys were afraid of the birds so this is my hand.

Last is a picture I took in Venice of the gondolas covered to keep the rain out.

I  hope you enjoy my pictures. In case you are curious, I spent my first day of retirement doing a little house work, reading and fixing my husband a delicious spaghetti dinner. Here you can buy spaghetti sauce in a jar basically ready to eat but he will not eat the jarred sauce so I always make mine from scratch. While working this was hard to do unless it was on the weekend. I love to cook when I have time like I did today. It has only been one day and I love retirement! xxx


Sorry, I am a little behind. I will catch up today. I will do my green now and then come back later for the next color.   I want to thank you all for your well wishes and congratulations on my retirement yesterday. The office gave me a very nice retirement party with lots of good food and cheer. This is my first day as a 'retiree'. I am looking forward to it.

For my first green picture I thought I would post a shot of grass in our front yard. Our grass is St. Augustine which for the most part retains its color during the winter months. It doesn't stay as green as it does in the summer but it still looks nice. St. Augustine grass is very thick and dense.

My next green is a cupcake alligator my daughter made for one of the grandsons birthday. When she asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said an alligator. So these are cupcakes all put together to make the alligator. She is very talented when it comes to cupcakes and cakes.

This is a wooden frog that sits at our back door to welcome guests. Whereas I have done a lot of this kind of woodworking myself, this frog was given to me by the friend who got me interested in making wooden decorations.

My final photo for green today is a picture I took when we were on a cruise (where we met Lynne and Peter) and had stopped in Corfu. We walked into the town and there was a produce market there with all of these wonderful fresh vegetables. We all know green, leafy veggies are good for us to eat and they had plenty there. I wanted to buy some and take them back to the ship but I don't think they would have let me keep them and I had no way to cook them. :(

That's all for now. I believe our next color is blue. I will be back later to post again. Everyone have a good day. xxx