Sunset on Pensacola Beach

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

I have been back from my Indiana trip for a week and so much has happened.  We went to two festivals - one was the Taste of Pensacola.   Lots of fantastic seafood and craft booths.  We appreciate good crafts because we were into craft shows for approximately 10 years.  These were great booths of woodworking and art.  Mater of fact, I purchased a beautiful oak chest to use for the recyclables.   The tapestry on the top is so pretty.
The zoo has welcomed two new members!  Two beautiful white rhinos.  Now, they are not white - confusing - put they are wonderful.   I just love the zoo.

White Rhinos eating their breakfast.
Tonight we ran over to Flounders for a sandwhich.   Too much food!  But I love their 18 cents chowder.
You can't beat the price....or the taste.

After dinner we took a drive down to Fort Pickens to see the sunset.  The clouds got in the way but how fun it was to see two young musicians being recorded to put their music on YouTube.  They were great.   I was just in the right place at the right time to enjoy their music.
Two talented young ladies.  Good luck!
Tomorrow is the last day of September.  October is busy and lots of fun coming up.  Ron will be here from the 5-15,   Sandy and Tammy from the 19th - 21st,  and Betty and Kirk from the 27-31.  The time is going to fly. 
Now I understand why retired people say "How did I ever have time to work?"

Busy as a bee......

I have been have from my Indiana trip for over a week but have been so busy.  We enjoyed the Navarre sand sculpturing festival and also the Taste of Pensacola.  Good, good food and wonderful craft booths.  I purchased an oak chest at one with a beautiful tapistry of pelicans.
This is going to be used to store the cans for the recycle bin.   So pretty!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to Florida

I just spent a week in Indiana visiting my brothers, friends, school,  and doctors.  All was so fun!  (The doctors weren't fun but all went well.)  I stayed and my brother Ron's house and was treated like a house guest, not just like his big sister coming in to stay.   I don't know why you look red Ron.   We were having pizza - my first night there.  My favorite pizza!  The 2nd night I met Dave - my other brother - for supper and we drove out to the lake.  So pretty.
Fall is in the air back in Indiana.  Cool nights and days in the low 70's felt so good.  These always make me think of fall.  Don't we call them cat tails? 
Chicago had their cows, Pensacola has the pelicans, and Hobart has the Brickies.  This is Yohan, - the Hobart Brickie mascot.  He became the Hobart schools mascot many years ago Hobart is called the Brickies because 100 years ago, there was a brick factory in Hobart.  It is a cool name - different.  Well, as driving around town, I came across several of these Brickies.  Pretty cool!

I flew home and it was great.  Stop over in Atlanta was just the right length and Ron picked me up at Midway.  Now I know everyone has their flying stories but the return flights home were iffy at best.   They kept saying they might cancel the flights due to weather but finally we got on the flight to Atlanta but oh, so late.   So when I arrived at Atlanta, I had 5 minutes to get to my flight in another terminal.  I new that was not going to happen.  But they held the flight!!!!  So cool!!!  So I did get home to sleep in my own bed.

Now I am back to my Florida fun.  Navarre is having their sand sculpture contest this week-end.  We stopped by last night and I am going back later this afternoon so more pictures to come.  It is amazing what these talented people do.

Again, I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family.   Thanks much Sandy, Jim, Ron, Dave, Kelly, Betty, Kris, and Betty at Shears.  Closing down now and going to unpack my suitcase.  (Oh by the way, I bought so many new t-shirts and tops that I had to ship them to Florida instead of carry them on the plane.) 

Palm tree in twilight.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back Home Again in Indiana....

Last Wednesday I flew back up to my hometown in Indiana - Hobart.   The flight was great but my gosh, how Midway in Chicago has grown since I had been there.  I am staying with my brother Ron and having the best of times.   Some time has been given to complete some medical work but mostly visiting friends and family.
As soon as Labor Day week-end is over, the field begin to turn a beautiful golden color.  The trees have not started turning yet but you can see fall is a coming!
As I write this, I am at our friend Mike's house.  This is a special house to me.  Mom grew up here, then Grandma and Grandpa sold it to Mom and Dad and I grew up here.  This hill goes down to Lake George.  We spent our winters ice skating and sledding.  Wonderful child memories.  Now, Mike has the house and loves it as much as we did.   Beautiful view, isn't it?

One of the many things I lack in Florida is my hairdresser/friend Betty.   She owns Shears in Monticello so Friday I took off for her to color (whoops - of course I don't color my hair) and then met Dave, my other silly brother for dinner.   Had a great day.
I don't have that much time and I wanted to spend as much time with my friends as brother as possible.   Yesterday was my birthday so we went out to dinner and then to the gambling boats in Michigan City.  We are NOT big gamblers so we don't last long before our money allowance is gone.  But it was fun and we can dream of the riches we could of won, right??

Also on Saturday, I went to my friend Kelly's house for Colin's first birthday.  That was quite a birthday bash.  He took it all in stride.  I loved seeing Eric and Lisa and Kelly's sister Colleen and her cutie Maddie.  Happy real Birthday on Wednesday Colin.
This has been a fun trip.  I miss my friends so much but I know I made the right decision to retire.  I enjoy having every day to do what I want.  Now understand, I loved teaching, loved it for 36 wonderful years but now I am living  in paradise!  I will always be a hoosier and a Floridian  - both!   But what football team to cheer for now?   Hmmmmm.......

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fishing Pier Visit

Yesterday afternoon we visited the Pensacola Beach fishing pier - not to fish but to walk the pier.  The pier is 1471 feet out into the Gulf of Mexico and is a beautiful spot to walk.   Sunday was again one of those picture perfect days and I just have to get out by the water as much as possible. 
  The fishing seemed great at the end of the pier.  They were pulling in fish right and left.  Soon I would like to start doing some fishing.  The fishing in the gulf/ocean is so different than fresh water lake fishing.  Again, need to learn lots.
The beach had lots of people enjoying the day by swimming, shelling, surfing, sunning - all the S's.  What a joy to have this so close to home.
This is the view when half way out on the pier.  We could see large jelly fish floating by - but not too many. We have seen many, many dolphins while out on the pier and lots of sting rays, large fish, jelly fish, and much more. 
After eating dinner last night, we took Mom to her sleep test.  I was impressed.   The room was very nice - just like a hotel room with tv, bath and shower room, and lazy boy chair.  We dropped her off at 8:00 p.m. and Dad picked her up at 5:30 a.m. 
Finally, here is a picture of part of the family room - still a work in progress.
Every day this week is going to be picture perfect according to the weather channel - but I am flying to Indiana mid-week.  Hope it will be picture perfect there also!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fort Pickens road open again.

Last night our neighbors, several doors down, came to dinner.  They moved in two weeks before us and have the most wonderful son and daughter.  We could not pick any better friends to start out new life here.  I hope we have many other wonderful evenings together to enjoy.
This morning I read the paper and the road to Fort Pickens is open so off Mom and I went to see what it looked like after all the sand was removed from tropical storm Lee.   Today was one of those days that you remember for a long time - beautiful sunny skies and the water different shades of blue.  It even seemed more pelicans were out than usual enjoying this weather.  The road most of the way was normal but various areas had sand on the road yet.  But the areas that had the most sand blow on the road was the most interesting.  The sand would be pushed to the side of the road and was 6 to 10 feet high.  I assume eventually they will flatten that sand about so you can see the water again. The sand here in the gulf coast is a white quartz sand that was on the Appalachian Mountains thousands of years ago before it was washed down to the coast lines.

Being from northern Indiana, I am use to driving country roads in the winter and seeing snow piled up - especially in the Monticello area.  Mother Nature should did her thing!   Now, what does a kid do when he sees all this sand??

Climb it, of course!
Just a word about entering the park, if you have the senior pass, they are asking for identification now to go along with your pass.  I guess some people have been taking other's passes and using them so that they would not have to pay.  So bring your identification with you if you have the free senior pass.
Fort Pickens was busy today.  Even though it was only a few days that the roads were closed, I think people just wanted to get back down there and enjoy the beauty.   Nice to see the camp store open again.
What to do after out Fort Pickens drive - go to Peg Legs for lunch and Mom and I both ordered the shrimp salad.  Soooooo tasty.
Tomorrow night Mom is going in for a sleep test to see if she stops breathing at all while sleeping.  So we will drop her off at 8:00 p.m. and pick her up at 8:00  in the morning.  All she has to do is sleep but with wires attached all over her arms, legs, chest, and head.  Sure, now go to sleep they say.  We will have to wear her out tomorrow so she is sleepy.  No naps tomorrow Mom!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Home Pictures

I went to the zoo this morning and did my walking and talking to the animals.  Then home to continue
more unpacking of boxes and finding places to put stuff while trying to try to make the house not look like it is stuffed with stuff.   This may be an impossible job but we are trying.  Tomorrow we have new friends coming over for a BBQ and they just moved in 2 weeks before us.   I am going to guess that they are trying to find places for their "stuff" also.  Enough of that.  I took a few pictures of some of the areas of the house.
The picture above is the hallway that turns to go towards two of the bedrooms, a bathroom, and out toward the untility room.  Dad made this mirror and the table out of oak.  He makes beautiful furniture and our house is full of pieces that Dad has built.
This is one of the bathrooms. Dad made the oak cabinet above the toilet.   I love the blue paint....ocean blue.  The shower curtain is surfboards  - it came with the bathroom and my brother loves the shower curtain so we will stay with it for a time.  The blue in the curtain matches the wall perfectly.  My brothers love to boogie board at the beach - of course, this is nothing like surfing but they can dream, can't they?
The formal dinning room has turned out just as we wished.   We purchased the table up in Hobart and had it moved down with the other furniture.   The Grandmother clock and the china cabinet were made by my father.   I told you .....he is very talented.

 This is a picture of the room I talked about yesterday - the room with so many names.  Ron's room,  the guest bedroom, the craft room, and the beach room.   I love the way this room has come out also,   Oh, at the two round bedside tables were made by Dad. 
Thank goodness a recyle bin is just down the road from us.   We drop off empty boxes every day - when those trips stop, then I guess we will know we are finally unpacked.  Oh, and Dave and Ron, don't worry, we have left lots of work for you guys.!! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scrapbooking Room

Today went so quickly!  Mom and I ran to Pensacola to shop at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Lowes looking for lime green baskets for the fourth bedroom.  That room has several different names.   It is called Ron's room, the guest bedroom, and the craft room.   It is the smallest room in the house so we had to plan how to best utilize the area of the room and have it look pleasant.  Oh, it is also called the Pensacola Beach room because it is decorated in a beach theme.  I love the way the room turned out.   Hopefully, everything will be put away in the room tomorrow and I can get a picture of the room up for you to see.
We went shelling last night but did not come home with very many shells but it was soooooo pretty!  We stayed till dark enjoying the beach.

Dad is great at shelling but not last night!  Just not enough light to help us see through the water.

If you live up north this might at first look like snow in a field but it is actually the sugar white sand on the island. 

Fall is coming!  At least that is what Michaels and Hobby Lobby are telling us.  I am anxious to see what fall is like here.  Of course, in Indiana you have the incredible colors of the leaves changing and crops turning to beautiful golden hues.  So we are interested in seeing what happens to the plants and trees here in fall and winter.  Everything is new and we have lots to learn.  We have been so busy setting up the house and yard that I fall into bed exhausted....and that is a good feeling.   Good night to all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Day After the Storm

This is the first day after tropical storm Lee - the morning brought a beautiful blue sky and sunshine.  So I got my comfy shoes on and went to the Gulf Breeze Zoo to enjoy the cool morning.   We live just 2 minutes away from the zoo and I love to run over to the zoo to walk.   It takes about 45 minutes to walk  if I don't stop to talk to the animals but.......yes, I often stop to visit with the animals.  This zoo is clean and all the people that work there love to talk to you about the animals!  I learn something every time I visit the zoo.
 Now, my afternoon was spent at the beach after the storm to see if there were shells washed in from the storm.  To my surprise, I saw 6 incredibly beautiful star fish, vibrant purple with yellow around the edges.  I was so in awe of their beauty that I forgot to take their picture before I threw then back, hoping they would live.    How stupid I was though.   I am on the beach with no place to set my iphone and keys.  So I put them in my pocket and say to myself, I will not get close enough to the larger waves to get wet.  Well, there was this perfect shell......the one that you must go a bit further out to get.......and here comes that wave just aiming at me and now I am soaking wet. It is not like I am a novice to the beach.  So lesson learned.   Bring a beach bag, oh, and a towel.  
On the way home I drove down by the Gulfside Pavilion and the large equipment was clearing the sand blown up from the storm for tonight's Band on the Beach concert.  
I really would like to go to the concert tonight but we might be back on the beach looking for shells. (With a beach bag and towels.)   
Such are the decisions to make when you live in paradise!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Stay Out!

If these flags are flying and you are swimming in the gulf, you are not taking the danger seriously.   We stopped by Pensacola Beach and no one was in the water except for surfers (at least while we were there).  The lifeguards announce every way possible to stay out of the water but there is always someone who thinks that means everyone else.  (I taught middle school - I am use to not being listened too!)  No one but surfers were in the water at Pensacola Beach but we ran over to Navarre Beach after dinner and there were at least 10 people in the water.  Please do not put your life and the life of a lifeguard in danger.  
These pictures just don't show the intensity of the waves.  And the sound - the roar of the waves is so loud! The sand blowing stings the skin and you can only take it so long and then run for cover.  My neck was red from the sand burn when we returned to the car.  But I would not of missed this for anything! 

This is a shot at the pavilion where Bands At The Beach takes place but it is under sand right now.   This reminds me snow drifts in Indiana.  The road to Fort Pickens and to Navarre are closed due to sand and flooding.

I love to see the sea oats growing again all over the beach.  I know lots of work went into replanting these beautiful plants after the last hurricanes.   Besides their beauty, they help to hold the sand in place. 
I talked to my cousin Sandy tonight and she envisioned us out in the wind on the beach standing at an angle so that the wind does not cause us to fall over - just like Jim Catore does during bad storms.  Well, Sandy, except needing to wash my hair to get the bucket of sand out of it, we did not put ourselves in any danger.  I don't think the Weather Channel will be interested in my help. 

Also, Kris wanted to know what is a bushwacker.  Well, Kris, come down and visit and we will go out for a bushwacker but I looked it up and this is how it is made.....
Blend until smooth.   Must have a cherry on top!  (That is my stipulation!)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

She's Difficult To Please!

This is my Kacey.   She is difficult to please.
We moved from Portage, Indiana.  That is right off of beautiful Lake Michigan.  But it is COLD in the winter with lots of snow and ice.  She hated snow...especially when it was higher than her short body.  Her little feet hated the frozen ground.   So you would think she is happier here in Florida.   Well, maybe not. It was over 90 degrees for the first 3 1/2 weeks - too hot for Kacey.  She figures she is better off in the air conditioned house.   Now it is raining and raining.   Her little tootsies don't like to get wet.   I guess when the weather is a perfect 75 sunny day she will be happy.   Maybe, maybe not.  You might say she just is a spoiled pug.

Speaking of too much rain, we have it here!  So off to Crabs we went to dinner so we could watch the waves.   WOW are they big!   Maybe gives us a little idea of the power of an actual hurricane.
This picture does not show the extreme heighth of the waves.   But I was getting soaked standing there trying for the best picture.  Well, what does one do when the rain takes away your beach time?   You go have a bushwacker.

Now I do believe Crabs has the best bushwacker, but Peg Leg's has the best tuna dip, and Flounder's has the best flounder - of course.  This particular bushwacker was very, very thick.  You might of figured that out in my picture below.

                                          Excuse my hair.  It has been soaking wet three times today.
                                               I, unlike Kacey, am willing to go out into the rain. 
                        (While she naps in a comfy house on the lazy boy chair.   Spoiled dog!) 

Friday, September 2, 2011

The letter T

The letter T stands for trolleys, tropical storms, and turtles. 
So let's start with the trolley.  PB has trolleys that run in the summer that cover a good deal of the beach area to move people around.  Their colorful designs not only make them noticable but add to the colorful flavor of the beach.  And they are free!  Yes, free!  In this day and age, what is free anymore?  I have never ridden one but I will, I will for sure.
The next T stands for tropical storm.  Tropical storm Lee is presently moving towards Louisiana.  Yes, we are going to experience a tropical storm.   My first.  This is soooooo much better than a hurricane.  We are to get lots of rain for several days and the waves may get over 15 feet.  So we went out to the beach today to see the beginning of the storm's effects on the waves.  They were big and no one but surfers are allowed in the water.  I walked down to the shoreline and got soaking wet but the rain is so warm that it makes you feel like a little child playing out in the rain again.  You have to feel sorry for all the people with beach reservations for Labor Day Week-end and the water is off limits.  I will go back to the beach Saturday and Sunday to see the larger waves. 

My last T is for turtle.  The beaches here are known for the sea turtle's arrival to lay their eggs.  Now I can talk about this first hand.  When in Jupiter, Florida years ago, we gathered flashlights and headed to the beach and sure enough, here came one of the largest turtles that I have even seen crawling up the beach.  We stayed away and let her begin her digging and then we could move closer to watch.   Once the turtle starts laying eggs, they go into a trance and will not stop even though you are there.  It was a wonderful experience to be apart of with my uncle and aunt.  I just wish I had brought mosquitto spray!  Today on the beaches, volunteers check  for turtle nests and make sure that they are not too close to the water otherwise they can be washed away.   When the baby turtles hatch, they make sure they go to the water.  Lights on houses can confuse the hatchlings and they will crawl toward the light rather than the gulf and then die.   Hopefully the tropical storm will not cause too many problems with the hatching of sea turtle nests.
I hope all my friends and family in Indiana have a great Labor Day vacation and stay cool.   We will try to stay dry!  Love to all!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


After a good night's rest I got out of bed and looked at boxes - again - still!  Well, the weather channel is talking about a tropical storm coming in tomorrow for 2 or 3 days with lots of rain so I decided to get outside today.  Off Mom and I were off to Destin.   Shopping for stores to shop.  Now let me clarify that statement - we weren't going shopping but looking for stores to go shopping in the future.  So we found a fantastic outlet mall, and another mall that reminded me of the Lafayette Tippecanoe Mall.   While driving down highway 98 we came across the "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.", you know, from Forrest Gump.  So, so good.  That is on the list of return restaurants.  Shrimp in the gulf in fantastic and so is the fish that we so enjoyed at lunch!

The topic came up - "why do we always see large palm trees and no small ones?"  I have no idea but I can tell you, when we were only here one week, we had already purchased a palm tree.  We picked it out at a palm tree nursery that you ride around in a golf cart checking out all the trees.  Once you pick out your tree, it is tagged, delivered to your house on a large semi-truck and a large crane lowers the tree into the ground.  Ours came about 20 feet tall.  Believe me, not as much money as you would think.

Tree up with a crane.
Tree being delivered.
 Like I said, where are the baby palm trees?   I just don't know.

I would like to end this post with a thought about my fellow teachers.   Having been retired only a few weeks, I so remember the need to rest and get your thoughts together again after the first 9 days of school.  Teachers have prepared weeks during their summer break for the first two weeks of school but nothing can destroy the best of plans than a classroom of 12 year old children just off of summer break.  So each day you regroup, and you regroup again and again, until your brain  is turning to mush.   BUT then comes that beautiful Labor Day Week-end.   You breathe, you restructure your plans and expectations and come Tuesday morning, you are off and running.  You are a teacher!
                         Happy Labor Day Week-end to my teacher friends!  Miss you lots!