So it has been a while. We have kept pretty busy, had quite a few visitors and a few exciting adventures! First, the first week in December, Tyler and Jessie came to Florida. They flew in to Tampa, spent the first night in St. Pete Beach, GOT ENGAGED, and then drove up the next day to see us and spent some time together! You can't see it too well in this picture but that's a beautiful engagement ring Jessie's wearing!
We didn't have time to do much. We did go to the Homosassa Naure Center where we saw many beautiful birds and other native Florida animals. Too soon, it was time for them to go home where they retuned to a blizzard! It was so bad it took them 3 times the normal time to get home from the airport and Jessie even got a snow day the next day!
Here's Charlie enjoying his new rug. Usually you can find him laying right in the middle of it!!
A few days after Tyler and Jessie left, Howard's brother Dan and his wife Cheryl came to visit. We went over to see Howard and Dan's Uncle George and Aunt Dora and caught up with them. Dan and Cheryl stayed for about 5 days and we enjoyed the visit.
We also took them to the Nature Center and got a chance to see their resident celebrity, a hippo! I think his name is Leo but at this particular moment I can't remember it!! GAH!!!
Here are Charlie and Zoe resting up on their rug for our Christmas visitors!!
Here's one of them! The girls were so disappointed that the pool was too cold to swim in!! They arrived Christmas evening and I think this was the next morning. Beri didn't wait long to stick her toes in!
Bet you'll never guess where we took them the next day!! YES, the nature center! This is us on the boat on the way over! Love this picture!
Looking for gators!! None seen this day.
Grandpa giving Beri a lift. There was a lot of walking and it was a pretty hot day, for December!
Mimi and Grandpa with their little sweeties!
The next day we took them to our nearest beach. Again, too cold to swim but it was sunny and warm and the girls enjoyed sitting in the sand and getting their toes wet. Here's me and my little girl enjoying our favorite thing, SUN!!
But the fun was only beginning! The next morning we got up really early and drove to Orlando to the happiest place on earth!! Our first stop was at the back of the park to go on The Great Thunder Mountain Railroad! Even that early and going to the back first, the wait was looooooong! Quinn rode with me and she was really scared!! She survived though and admitted she liked it at the end!
Love the Carousel! Love Andy too!
Amber and Beri getting excited about Cinderella's Castle!!
Daddy and his girls. Grandpa is in there too!
One of many, many, many visits to see a Princess! This one was one of Berit's favorites apparently. Tiana? From the Princess and the Frog? I'm a little rusty on my princesses!
Me with Grandpa and Cinderella's castle. Look at that blue sky!!
The girls with Ariel. She was asking Berit if she wanted to borrow her dinglehopper!!
Me, with Goofy Quinn! Love that face. I think we were riding Aladdin's Magic Carpet.
Grandpa and Berit were right in front of us!
Last ride of the night! Quinn really wanted to go on It's a Small World. It had a pretty long wait but we finally made it on and she was thrilled!
Cinderella's castle at night! So beautiful. So were the fireworks! It was a super long day, we didn't leave until 10:30 at night and then it was an hour and a half drive! Thankfully the girls slept all the way home and the rest of us were just thankful to sit down!!!
After all our company left Howard and I did some exploring. This is at a beach north of us. Small bu pretty!
Right after New Year I had a visit from my friend Ann and her girls who were visiting her Dad in Ocala. We had lunch and then hung out in the backyard. It was so good to see her again and spend some time together, even if it was only a couple hours.
In March I joined the Citrus County Newcomers Club and went to a luncheon and then an activity. I was so excited to visit this place. It was the Gypsy Gold Gypsy Vanner Horse Farm. The horses were amazing. This is their stallion, William. He was gorgeous and well mannered.
This is one of the brood mares. The horse, not me!
They also had quite the collection of parrots. Gorgeous!!
Later in March Howard and I took a kayaking lesson. I wanted to kayak with the Newcomers but they said I had to know what I was doing so I figured the lesson couldn't hurt. It was a lot easier than we both thought it would be.
This is my lemon tree. Right now the lemons are green but I have hope for them. I guess they are a little hard to see in this picture. I also have a lime tree but it's growing a little slower.
Here's my little herb garden. Parsley, purple basil and thyme!
Cucumber and zucchini plants. So far two cucumbers that are several inches long and several zucchini that are only a couple inches long right now.
My girl lounging by the pool!
Beautiful butterfly. So many different kinds visit my garden every day. This one was particularly beautiful.
This is Tyler and Jessie's new dog, Kona. She's not quite a year old and a rescue. They say she's very quiet so far and a bit shy. I'm sure she'll come out of her shell soon!! They moved in to their new "farm" (10 acres) a couple months ago. So exciting! This summer they'll be working on a barn and fencing so Jessie can bring her horses there. Can't wait to see it later this summer!
Charlie, watching for trouble. He loves the new fenced yard and patrols faithfully! He loves to just lay out there and sniff the air.
We finally made it to Tiger's spring training!! It was the last day but we made it!
We even got to see Verlander pitch!!
The beautiful drive through Floral City on our way home from the game.
Zoe, guarding the zucchini!
In April Dan and Cheryl came back for another visit. Howard's sister Sharon drove up and spent the afternoon with us. I think this picture was taken after we ate!!
Also in April, yard protector Charlie got skunked! It was late, I was tired, I forgot to check the yard! Just 10 feet away was our black and white friend and Charlie didn't hesitate! He seemed to get it mostly in the face, at one point foaming at the mouth. Even after trying all the home remedies, there is a lingering order that we'll all just have to live with. We really couldn't fault him for doing his job and keeping critters out of the yard! You better believe I won't make that mistake again!!!
Big news! Amber and Andy are moving! This picture was taken while they were visiting their new city, St. Louis!! Andy had already started his new job, the house is under contract, they are searching for a new house and they spent Easter together enjoying their new city!
More big news! Scott and Emily are also buying a house! They should be moved in before the wedding in June! Scott is going to put his handyman training to work as he has a few projects. Can't wait to see their new place in June also!!
So much happening with the family this year. Within 12 months time we will have all moved into new homes! Guess we started a trend!!
Another things that's been happening since the first of the year is that Howard has gone into the consulting business. He emailed a solar company in Ocala and offered his services and they took him up on it! He's been pretty busy for the last few months. I'm his "assistant" keeping his calendar and files organized. Obviously being in Florida taking advantage of the sun is the smart thing to do!
I think that's it! At least the highlights. I really try not to go so long but then I wonder, why even bother. I don't think anyone even reads this blog anymore. Even my most loyal readers seem to have lost interest! It's like the tree that falls in the forest. If a blog is updated and no one bothers to read it, has it really been updated?