Friday, April 11, 2014

Some things must end!

This winter has been a memorable one in so many ways, for some who live in the northern States it was the winter that never wanted to end. But for Sweetman and I it was an enjoyable time for us both. We explored many different parks, both locally and a few we had to travel a days ride to get to, which was well worth the trips. We walked trails through mangroves, cedar trees, swamps, along rivers and on the gulf of Mexico. We wiggled our toes in fine white sugar sand while waiting for a magnificent sunset painted only by God.  We've fished in Tarpon lake which was only a short walk from where we lived for the past three months plus two weeks. And caught some of the biggest blue gills I have ever seen, using chicken hot dogs for bait.  We've ridden our golden chariot ( trike motorcycle) on just about every major road in this area, plus found lots of quaint narrow red brick streets in the older historic sections of nearby towns. We've met several other GWRRA members in this area, and enjoyed attending a local district rally with vendors, food, and a mostly funny talent show put on by the local chapters, with the theme right out of the days of Robin Hood. We met up with friends from home who were also enjoying the freedom from the frigid winter that continued to rage and dump huge piles of snow up north.
I finally got my first lesson in driving the trike, something I've wanted to do for months but the opportunity just hadn't arisen, but here there was a huge empty parking lot that was just the right spot for Sweetman to give me a chance to learn the basics of trike driving.
Most everyday we take a walk either before breakfast or after, which ever floats our boat that day. Thats part of the beauty of retirement, no structured schedules. In fact we have become a bit lazy, sleeping in some mornings, enjoying coffee, while deciding on what to fix for breakfast. Which often isn't until 9:30 or later. Oh, there were days we got up at dark thirty and traveled to the flea market to sell vintage (junk) items found at local garage sales. Which also helped to support a small part of this adventure we are on. Plus there was a community sale right here that we took advantage of selling in our own drive way. So some work and not all play was had.
I spent early mornings reading devotions in a sun filled room and lazy afternoons lounging by the huge pool where the temperature of the water is kept at 84 degrees and sliding into the aqua water is not a shock to the system. The little church we found to attend was welcoming with true bible teaching messages. And great coffee in their little cafe. I was able to keep up on the ladies bible study via internet with is always a huge blessing just to stay connected so to speak.
Sweetman has eaten numerous fresh strawberry short cakes, something he loves. And I have enjoyed the fresh citrus fruits, salads, and huge avocados that are so abundant. On the down side of all this eating we both have added a few inches to our girth. Hopefully we can whittle that down soon.
The wildlife is different here, with so many birds, snowy egrets, great blue herons, pelicans that will steal the fish right off the fisherman's line as he is reeling it in. Which is frustrating for the avid\novice. We've seen large tortoise that live in holes in the ground, and the usual kind sunning themselves on the banks of lakes and rivers with shells all green from the algae. We even had a rare wood stork visit us one day right out in the drive way and I fed him some crackers which it seemed to enjoy.  Lots of gators large and small, they are everywhere in fresh water lakes here. One doesn't swim in the lakes much because of them.
But now its time to pack up and head home, both of us are ready to see family that we have missed and to reconnect with our back home friends, besides we here the snow is gone and the weather has improved. Maybe just maybe winter is really gone for good. :-)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring and other pressing issues!


I'm  thinking spring and I found these pictures somewhere in my archives. Plus I finally figured how to get the pictures on my blog from my tablet. Big accomplishment for this rusty blogger.
I know all my northern friends are longing for some warmth andI'vens of better weather, while hopefullyit here soaking up sunshine and warm breezy days in the sunshine state, I do fee somewhat guilty but then again if we were home I know for a fact you would not have seen Sweetman or myself out in the elements that Michigan has been putting on display since last December.
I do have mixed feelings about being gone this winter, with daughter #2 dealing witJoe'sxtremely challenging health issues, with many emergency visits and hospital stays. And other family members and close friends steping in to support her in our absence. It has been hard to totally enjoy our time here. She has been constantly on our hearts, and the only thing that has sustained us is our trust in knowing God has a plan in her life as well as ours. And we are all in the plan that has been laid out for us by His devine grace. I think of the verse in Psalm 139:5 " you have enclosed me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me" Like being wrapped in a cocoon of the Lords hands.
He has given us a peace knowing He is beside this sick girl all the time. She was His child before she was mine , I have to remember He loves her far more than I ever could. She has only been gifted to me. That being said, we also covet any prayers directed to her wellbeing.
We have had our share of good times though, riding the trike, visiting a number of wild life preserves, viewing the manatees, meeting up with friends for lunch or dinner ,meeting new friends and spending alot of time with each other. Not all couples can truly say they enjoy being with each other rather than other people?.  Just being able go wake up to mild temps,throw on some shorts and light shirt, sandals and take a brisk walk, or a quick bike ride before breakfast. Or eat first then take a walk, whatever happens to be our fancy. Thats the beauty of retirement.
Theres a fantastic pool here that is kept at 82-84 degrees for all of us snowbirds of delicate systems to enjoy as well. Not to mention any number of activities that you can busy yourself with. We haven't involved ourselves with alot of these but the choice is ours if we choose.  While we do miss everyone back home, we really dont want to return before that nasty weather has decided to move on. All of this to say there will come a day soon when we will be packing up and heading northward. We have been blessed to be able to spend time in a much milder climate.
Today we are having rain showers so we decided to take a road trip to Traders Joe's. I have wanted to visit this store for along time but there isnt one near us at home. I wasn't disappointed, and we managed to find some good deals. Now I can finally say i've been to Traders Joe's, and hopefully it wont be the last.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

SOME FUN FACTS

Who knew???
A buffalo can jump as high as 6 feet!
In the year 2000, Tiger Woods caddy made 1 million.
Detroit has more registered bowlers than any other American city.
It takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to own a cat.
A pineapple is actually a very big berry.
A potatoe's closest edible relative is an eggplant.
The Great Salt Lake is six times saltier than seawater.
The worlds largest consumer of sugar is Coca-Cola.
Most lipstick contains fish scales.
The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the english language.
The first St. Patricks day celebration in the United States was held in Boston in 1737
President Lyndon Johnson had an aunt named Frank.
According to the Guinness world book of records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14.
One cord of wood (14ft x 8ft) will make 75 million toothpicks.

Just some little bits of highly saught after information is now yours!!
Have fun surprising your friends with all this knowledge..

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Some things I don't like

As much as I like it in the sunshine state there are a few things I don't like. For example at home we live in the country on a dirt road, which I detest. But whenever I rumble down that road to the nearest intersection I merely have to look both ways and pull out. Oh, there may be a car or three I have to wait for but that only takes a minute. You get the picture, not much traffic. Here getting out onto a main road is like watching four lanes of cars sprinting out of the gate, rushing each other to get to the next stop light. And of course the guy on the right wants to get to the left lane and the one one the left is headed for the right lane, the one in the middle is racing the other two. Its not a pretty picture, plus it takes plenty of patience. The stop lights last about 5 minutes so, you could probably walk the five miles faster than driving it. A true Floridian told us its the fault of all the old people who are snowbirds that cause the traffic.. hum!!
We've learned that going anywhere will take twice as long as you think and we have found some alternate ways of getting around but this is time consuming as well.  Enough about traffic.
There is another thing I don't like so much and this will be a shock to many who know me, because I like bugs of most kinds, I like spiders and I'm not afraid of snakes. But I don't like palmetto bugs!! I'm convinced they are pre historic and cant figure why God created them they rate about as low on the scale as flies and mosquito's. We have found 4-5 of them in various stages of dying but still wiggling. They do spray here for such things so I guess that's why the critters are not fully viable. But just to make sure we bought some extra spray and have saturated every nick and cranny.
This laid back lifestyle has added a bulge or two that I have no use for either. We have enjoyed many good meals with friends, not to mention the snacks in between. We walk daily and ride the peddle bikes but it must not be enough to keep up with the intake that is being ingested. Well, after all we are snowbirds who are contributing to the traffic, why not a bulge or two for good measure.??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Many moons have passed

Hey its been a long time and soo much has happened I don't know where to begin. So maybe I'll start with today.
I'm sort of retired now, from a more than 30+ years of working in the nursing field, mostly with the geriatric generation, of which I have somehow moved into that category. I say that with tongue in cheek because I don't truly feel my life fully reflects seniorhood. At least not in the manor that most people think of as senior living.
Were currently spending our winter in a much better climate than where our lives originated from. And to be honest with you I can't see us spending the winter months ever again in the freezing cold snow covered streets of the northern States.
Sweetman (my pet name for my loving husband) and I have enjoyed the laid back life of arising most mornings when we wake up naturally without alarms. We don't have to rush around to shower, dress, and fly out the door to punch a time clock. Oh, it took some time to settle into a less hectic routine but we have acclimated ourselves fairly well.  We can choose to enjoy a cup of coffee, take a walk, and then eat or eat and then take a walk or maybe just pick up a good book to indulge in a chapter or two before deciding what we will fill the rest of the day with. Of course reading devotions and giving the Lord thanks for a new day is always at the top of the day.
Smelling the sweet moist air of a warmer climate each day is a blessing, not to mention listening to the different sounds of tropical birds. Sitting on the patio today I was surrounded by little geckos scurrying around me. They never seem to interested in the human sitting watching them but stay very busy doing whatever they are doing.
With the weather so mild we called some friends and jumped on the trikes and took a ride to explore another park.  The sun warming our backs and the breezes blowing in our faces, we can look out over the blue green water and see snowy egrets slowly stalking small crabs or little fish in the shallow waters along the shores, or watch the pelicans fly and suddenly dive into the water. Coming up with their bills filled with water and small fish.
Its hard to believe that it is still winter when the flowering trees and shrubs are popping with blooms, and the buzz of a bee flies near.
Since Sweetman has had a quadruple bypass we walk daily, sometimes long walks, sometimes short, but we walk. And I thank God each day that he is able to do all the things he enjoys. If his heart would have stopped he wouldn't be doing any of this.
My heart is torn to be away from the rest of the family but they have their own busy lives, with work, children and activities of their interest. Our children are not young and our grand children's lives are filled with college, boyfriends, girlfriends, church and experiencing life in the work fields making their own money. Some are young married with babies, which means we have great grand children. Yikes!!!
My middle child who is fifty struggles with breathing difficulties, since last November. It all started so unexpectedly with sinus and cold symptoms but has developed into severe breathing issues that has yet to be diagnosed. She hasn't been well enough to go through some of the tests to determine just what she has.  This child is constantly on my mind and in our prayers daily. She didn't want us to cancel our trip south because of her. I have to remind my self that God loves her more than I ever could and this is not a surprise for Him. I'm ever thankful to other members of the family, friends and our small group who have come along side of her in our absence. Not to mention Drs. nurses and miracle drugs to sustain and ease some of her symptoms. Its a helpless feeling when there is nothing you can do to help but pray and wait.
As much as I like this warm weather it does have some draw backs. For one thing with all the snowbirds here the traffic is horrible and it doesn't seem to matter if its a main road or one less traveled its bumper to bumper at certain times of the day. We have learned when to travel in between the busy times. I love the humidity too, not everyone agrees with me on this one, especially my hair. Its been a constant battle with the frizzies. It seems I have this natural wave, curl, whatever you want to call it that doesn't respond to any hair product that I have tried so far. The bathroom shelf is lined with several products that have failed the test on my mop head. But I am grateful that I have hair, so I had better not complain to much. It is what it is!!! Something a friend always says..
This has turned into one long post, I hope who ever reads it hasn't been bored to much. The words have spilled out and run forth, I better save a few for next time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Been away for so long!!!

Wow!!! Its almost Christmas 2013, and I have not written on this blog for a year!!! I will have to get back into this, I wasn't even sure my blog would still be here. But, yes it was just waiting for me to put some words out there. 
Everyone is busy with holiday parties, shopping, and church functions, just to mention a few, so I'm just going to say hello, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!
Enjoy all the family gatherings, gifts and food, but don't forget whose birthday we are really celebrating. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ~~~~

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new page, a new year

I don't know about you but I love a new fresh page of paper, all clean, crisp, and just waiting for some marks to placed on it.
At work we have brand new med sheets with little boxes to fill in with our initials for each medication that is given and at what time it was given. These pages start out so clean with no smudges and my initials look so clear and bright. But just like a fresh clean piece of paper as soon as it is written on its not so clean any more.
That's what happens to the new year each time. We start out with big plans, (our) plans to loose weight, write more letters, visit our elderly family members more often, exercise more, get healthy, keep the budget on target. All sorts of things and we resolve to do it with all sincerity.
But, in reality our plans are not always what God has in store for us. His plans always trump ours... and His are the best plans to help us grow not fatter or thinner, His plans may not keep us within the budget either, or give us the extra time to do all the things we said we would do.
But, His plans just may draw us closer to those we really didn't want to be close to, or bring us out of our comfort zones with health concerns either for ourselves or our loved ones. His plans want us to focus on Him, spend more time reading the love book He left us so we can be closer to Him and be come more like Him. Maybe even quiet our busy schedules so we have to focus not on our agenda but His.
 Our slate has been wiped clean by the blood that was shed on the tree, just like the clean piece of paper, so instead of making new year resolutions I think I will just do my best to remember who I belong to and who I need to follow.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55.8

5You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Psalm 139:5-6
 
16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
John 15:16
 
Great verses with so much meat to chew on, there are so many more wonderful passages, so much to learn from our heavenly Lord.
May your new year give you a clean slate and draw you nearer to the One who calls your name everyday to come and fellowship with HIM because He loves you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

Remember whose birthday it is

Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

Thank you for coming...