Sunday, October 16, 2016

Florida Life and Visitors!

We've managed to get a few things accomplished this month. We were finally able to get the fence up in the backyard. The fence guys did a great job and it gives me lots of comfort when I take the dogs out that last time before bed to know they are in and other things I cannot see are out! Most anyway! That, with the added solar lights, helps me feel much braver!
Howard added a nice step down so the dogs (and mostly me) don't have to jump down from the flower bed to the grass.
As usual, he does great work! It looked like a professional job when he was done.
We had visitors this month! Our second hurricane since we moved here, Hurricane Matthew, and Amber and the girls arrived about the same time! It was still warm enough to swim in the pool and we only got rain and clouds, thankfully. The east coast got hit much harder. Thursday and Friday were rainy days spent around the house.
They brought us the cutest "housewarming" gift! We love it and have it hung where we can see it every day!
On Saturday the weather finally cleared up and we headed for the much anticipated destination of Weeki Wachee, Spring of the Life Mermaids!
The peacocks were a hit!
Waiting for the show!
The girls decided they now both want to be mermaids when they grow up. Quinn came home and spent the afternoon practicing her mermaid moves in the pool, complete with a "show" when she was finished! Quite impressive! She even managed to use a pool noodle as her "air hose"! Genius!
Weeki Wachee has been around since the 1940's, changing hands many times. I can remember going there when I was younger and also taking Amber when she was little. It's now owned by Florida Parks and is run in their laid back Florida style. No hurry, no worry! The girls enjoyed it and it was a nice trip down memory lane. If you're ever in Florida, you should see this piece of Florida history!
All too soon their visit was over! I wish the weather had been better! Of course, as soon as they left it's been gorgeous ever since and not even any rain! We have had a few chilly nights though and the pool temp has dropped. Too chilly for me when it's under 80 but Howard still jumps in when he gets hot and sweaty working in the yard!
So the other day I was in the backyard when I heard this clip-clop sound out front. I ran down the side walk just in time to see a guy on the back of a beautiful dapple gray, galloping down the street. I was ready for him on his way back but much to my dismay, my brand new iPhone couldn't upload the video!!! He even waved to me! So bummed! But then this morning Howard ran back in the house and said a woman on a horse was riding down the street! She was almost out of sight but I managed to snap one picture before she went over the hill! Twice in one week! Such excitement on our quiet, secluded street!
Well, there was this the other day! We were out for our morning walk and when we passed a man and his two dogs he said "there's some interesting road kill down there", tipping his head back to where he had come from. He said it was a Diamondback Rattle snake! Thankfully squished as he was crossing the road. Later that day I saw a turkey vulture snacking on him! Next time I go by I'm gonna see if the rattle is still attached! Great Florida souvenir!
We have begun painting! Man, it's harder than I remember and I'm not even doing most of it! I told Howard the next house we buy we probably won't be able to paint ourselves. My knee was killing me and his back was hurting! It's starting to look beautiful though, just like butta! Good bye lavender kitchen! Next time I'll post the "after" pics!
Here's your laugh for the day/month! Love these two more than all the stars in the sky!
Love from Florida! If you're reading this, know that I miss you! xoxoxoxo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Updates and other compelling news...

So, even though the last post was dated September, it was far from current. Here's the update: the house in Michigan sold in mid-July. Before the ink was dry on the contract we were on our way south. First stop was a quick visit with my dear, sweet Auntie and Uncle. It's never long but it's always sweet. Here we are at dinner on the beautiful Dale Hollow Lake.
Second stop was a long overdue (can you believe 15 years) Mitchell (and others) family reunion down in Tennessee. Howard's brother, Bo, arranged for us all to gather where his wife's (Kim) family has been gathering for many years. It's called Monteagle and is in the heart of the mountains in Tennessee, southeast of Nashville. Howard's brothers and sisters were there and Amber and her family were there too. We all stayed in a house down the road from "the big house" where Bo and the rest of Kim's family stayed. This was our little place called Ways Meet. Quirky place, built in the 1800's but perfect for us.
Shamar, Sharon, me and Cheryl posing on the porch.
Grandpa and Beri chilling on the big front porch.
Amber & Beri on the porch. That porch was very popular even though it was sooooo hot!!
Beautiful Monteagle sunset. You know you're getting old when your younger brother-in-law (Bo) says it's just a short hike to see the sunset and 2+ miles later you almost missed it!!
This was before the canoe trip. Another sign of old age, the 1-1/2 hour canoe trip turns out to be 3+ hours and it almost kills you. Seriously, I could barely walk at the end! Andy looks particularly excited here!! xo
On the Duck River.
We stopped here, a little past half way, to stretch our legs and eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
And also to have an old fashioned baptism. Lilly had been wanting to be baptized at church but the timing was never right so Bo and Kim decided to surprise her with a baptism with her whole family, both sides, there. She was overcome with emotion.
The 5 siblings at sunset (Shamar, Bo, Sharon, Howard & Dan).
We had to leave a couple days early so that we could get to Florida and find our new home. It was a whirlwind trip. We lookekd at 9 houses in one day, ended up making an offer on the first one we saw, it was accepted, then drove back to Michigan to start packing!
Just a few days after returning home, our favorite girls came for their last visit to Michigan. Amber is amazing. She does the drive, with two little girls, all by herself in under 10 hours! Amazing! We had some fun while they were there. Not sure if this will work or not. It's a video of Quinn who had just learned to dive!! She was amazing!
If it doesn't work you'll just have to take my word, she did a great job in one short afternoon. No if she can only let go of her nose!!
We also spent a little time at Depot Park, feeding the ducks!
And a little time on the deck where everyone was fascinated that Grandpa would actually eat a dog cookie!!
When the girls left, a few days later, it was time for the Bunco girls to go up north to Pam's house for our annual get-to-gether! I asked the girls if we could go visit The Walloon Lake Inn, where Scott and Emily are getting married next year. They graciously agreed. Here we are, after walking around, eating lunch and finally finding the place!
Dinner at Pam's club
With a beautiful view of the lake. Always have a great time with these ladies!
We closed on the Michigan house on August 26. The loaders came the day before and somehow got all our stuff packed into the truck. After the closing we came home, packed up the few little things left, and got on the road around 2:00 in the afternoon. We didn't get too far. It wasn't as easy to find a hotel that accepts dogs as I had thought, even though I did do my research. But we managed. That first night we stayed at a Motel 6. It was the worst. From there we compared all other dog hotels to that one and they got exponentially better.
We arrived in Florida just in time for Hurricane Hermine. We even pushed up our closing a day because of the threat of heavy rain and flooding but it wasn't really that bad. The hurricane made landfall north of us and most of the rain was south of us though Crystal River which is due west of us did get heavy flooding because of the tidal surge. Our new home was none the worse for wear and we were holed up in a hotel because our furniture wasn't scheduled to be unloaded until the day after the hurricane!
Home at last!
I took these today, after Howard called me outside to see "Fred". He saw "Fred" the first day we moved in. I hadn't seen him yet. Fred is a 3 foot long black snake who likes to hide in the bushes and wait for lizards. Thankfully he is about as scared of me as I am of him. I always wondered what the dogs were smelling in that bush! Now I know!
The pool and lanai where we start the morning in our pj's (well me anyway) drinking coffee.
The view to the back of the lot.
Looking the other way, toward the front and the driveway.
To the east, nothing but trees and bushes!
When we're outside, Charlie follows from window to window or door to door to keep track of us!
One of our first purchases, or mine anyway, solar lights! It is pitch dark out here at night! Next purchase, a flood light or two!
My "garden". Basil, rosemary and a geranium I brought from Michigan.
Now to the inside. This is the family room, looking from the kitchen area. We need a rug.
The other side of the family room.
Looking into the kitchen. Howard just installed my under counter lights which will be really helpful because the florescent lights don't work half of the time. Only when they're in the mood.
The guest room
And the view from the guest room!
The master. Still some boxes left and no bed yet. We're working on it!
The living room.
The "office".
Our days are spent shopping, installing, unpacking, organizing and we haven't even begun to think about painting yet. Someday. So far we've had a new fridge delivered and the dishwasher, which I hadn't planned to get but found I needed, will be delivered and installed tomorrow. The fence will hopefully be in later this week or next. The solar floodlights will be here tomorrow too. It's gosh durn dark out here!!! We are adjusting. Some (me) slower than others. I miss my boys, my friends, my old home. I know it takes time. We've had one visitor, our friend of 30+ years, Mike, who lives down near Tampa. The girls are coming in a few weeks, can't wait for that!
Hopefully the next post won't be so long. Now that I'm retired I have no excuses, right?? Also, taking suggestions for new blog name now that the Mitchells have left Michigan!!