Sunset on Pensacola Beach

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 - Goodbye

The last few weeks have been full of holiday activities.   Christmas concerts, baking dozens and dozens of delicious holiday cookies, purchasing gifts, sending gifts, watching Christmas specials on tv, setting up all the Christmas decorations and more.
The day before Christmas we went to the beach with our friends from down the street and took 275 pictures of each of our families.   It was a day in the low 70's and perfectly blue skies and the most beautiful colors of blues in the gulf.  We had so much fun together.
Most of the pictures were taken by me and Lamont.  Doesn't Mom look great after her eye surgery?
So we brought kites and flew them.....went for walks on the beach.   So fun!
Christmas Eve brought dinner at Flounders, church, and then home to the reading of the Night Before Christmas by Dad.    Christmas day was wonderful with a big, 20 pound turkey to gooble up.  Ron left Monday morning - he had to work on Tuesday.  Well, somebody has to make money!
Tuesday night we went to the Ice Flyers hockey game in Pensacola.   We lost.   But it was teacher's night and teachers got in for a discounted fee and a free cap. 

In a week, my friend Kathy Cox is coming to visit!  Yea!!!!  Then Sandy and I are going to Disney World in February.  Time to start taking down the Christmas decorations.  Matter of fact, Dad did the outside today.  This warm weather is going to drop 10 degrees in a couple of days but you can't compare that to January in Northwest Indiana.  January and February can be a snowy time off of Lake Michigan.  I just got a text from Dave that he has just arrived home from his flight.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years Eve tomorrow night. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas in Pensacola

Yes, I have been to the beach looking for Santa.  No chance yet!  Maybe a few men that look like him but mostly skin-boarders in wet suits having a great time with the waves.  Today it was 75 degrees,  I believe it was 35 back in Indiana.  So we went Christmas shopping in shorts, t-shirts, and sunglasses.  Seems a bit strange but everyone is so decorated for Christmas that you forget you miss the snow and nippy cold.
So I went to the beach yesterday to just sit and enjoy the view.  And who was way ahead of me on the walkway to the beach?  Just Dad.  With his net, towel, and chair......ready to get some good shells.  But that was not to be.  The waves were high enough and the water cold enough to make it uncomfortable.  The yellow flag means go enjoy the water but caution.  The lifeguards are not on duty in the winter you so swim at your own risk.

While at the beach, the seagulls were looking out into the distance.  For Santa?   I don't know but I have noticed they are like weathervaines.  They always stand facing into the wind.  I guess they don't like their feathers ruffled just like we don't like our hair messed up.
These signs are placed here and there to help people remember to take care and protect the turtles.  I just love the turtles.  Even the zoo turtles.  When I got my new plates for Florida, I got the one that helps to protect the sea turtle.
This is not my plate but their sample plate.  The money goes towards
Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct sea turtle protection, research and recovery programs.

Well, I don't see too many evergreens like we see at home.  Instead there are many tall, and I mean tall, pine trees with large pinecones.  But people here have no hesitation in decorating their palm trees.  I am leaving you today with a picture of my neighbords palm.  Isn't it gorgeous!

Well, it is Friday evening and Ron is here in 5 days - Dave in 6.  We are almost ready for a great Christmas week.  Hey!   My Christmas shopping is even done and wrapped.   I think I will try to get out to the beach tomorrow and look for Santa......

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Today is a great day.  Why?  Well, for several reasons.
1.  13 days till Ron comes down.
2.  14 days till Dave comes down.
3.  House is very Christmasy.
4.  I was part of the show planning with Kelly and Eric for the Holiday performances at school.
5.  My Mother and I have been wrapping Christmas gifts!
Speaking of my Mom - she is great.  I love to do things with her and I know I wear her out sometimes but maybe that is good for her.  I love to cook - she doesn't so much - so I think she enjoys me cooking dinner.  At least I hope so.
I mentioned wrapping gifts.  We moved her with an over - abundance of holiday gift wrap paper, bags, bows, and boxes.  In my opinion, that makes wrapping so fun!   Lots to choose from.  Organized the items and set up the dinning room table for a gift wrapping party.   I have been having a ball!
Now, we all have our places that we store or hide our gifts that we have bought before we have time to wrap them.  My place is in the corner in my bedroom.   Some people hide them in the closet.  But my Mom stores them in the whirlpool tub.   Huh??  I know, they are not hidden very good are they.
Yep.  Packages in the tub.  Who would of thought to look there?
Our family does Christmas stockings each year.   Of course Santa visits us!  Our stockings were old, and I mean old, and very sad looking.   So Mom and I ran to Michaels with a coupon, of course, and bought new stockings.   They hang above the fire place on the ship's wheel.  It really works out great.

Our house is very festive this it always is with candy canes shining, our manger scene, lights on the house, and other holiday decorations.  And when Jan 1 comes and we are ready to take them down, it will not be 10 degrees outside.   What a joy that will be.
The other night, Mom and Dad and I went to the Gulf Breeze Zoo's Christmas at the Zoo Lights.  It was wonderful!   More lite up than I ever expected.  I will go back again before the season is over. I know Mom loved it lots!

I got to play the disciplinarian that evening.  Some teenage boys were in the petting zoo area and hitting a steer (to be honest, I actually don't know what kind of animal it actually is).  I went over and threw on my teacher hat.  Told them in no uncertain terms that they would stop NOW and move on otherwise I would report them to the zoo officials.  When they did not move fast enough, I raised my voice a tad and said MOVE NOW!   Which they did.   Why do that to a beautiful animal.  Well, I had a half a cup of food pellets left and I gave the rest to the poor animal.  Do I talk to the animals.  Oh yes I do!  I love them all!
Well, tonight is a quiet night but tomorrow I am going shopping with my friend Nicole to the historic section of Pensacola.  So fun!   In the evening, Mom, Dad, and I are going to the Pensacola Beach Boat Parade.  I can't wait!  Mom and I have worked together to make this a wonderful holiday season for our family - the first one in Florida.  Thanks Mom - I am having fun and I love you! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tis The Season to be Jolly

What a great time we have been having the last few weeks.   Oh sure, there are errands like doctor appointments, getting license plates and license, and such but the weather has allowed for some beach days.  Thanksgiving was a wonderful day even though we were without Dave and Ron.  But as I write this, Ron will be here in 17 days and Dave in 18.  Dad and I (mostly Dad) put lots of decorations in the yard so we are very festive this year.  So are some of the neighbors!  Santa will not miss our neighborhood with all the light displays.
All the years I taught, the majority of the Christmas season was Christmas concerts, preparing for the concerts, stressing about the concerts, purchasing decorations for the get the idea.   So this is my first time to enjoy the season without the work responsibilities.  So Mom and I went to work.   We made our own swag for the front door.  Dad and I went for several walks over a week's time collecting pine cones.  We added these plus lights and ornaments to the swag.   It looks great!
Then I had a four foot tree that we placed next to the front door - also has lights.   I fell in love with a cute scrooge top hat from Hobby Lobby.  So (with a coupon) I picked it up to top off the tree. So cute.
Memories of Christmas always include cutting down the tree, snow, hot chocolate, fingers and toes cold.  Well, now new memories.  Dad putting lights on the palm tree!
Tonight, we ran over to the beach because the Margarittaville Hotel had artist showing some of the items off so we went to that. So much fun.  There was a steel drum performing adding to the festivities.
We had a young man take our picture at the hotel tonight.
Coming up in the next week is the lighted boat parade and the surfing santa parade.  I won't miss them!
Shopping is on the schedule.  Nicole, my wonderful friend down the street, and I are making lots of cookies and of course there are gifts to wrap. And the beach, oh, yes the beach.   Dad and I try to get there a couple times a week. 
It is beginning to feel more like home here - even thought when I talk about Indiana I say "home".  But memories help to make it feel like home and we have made so many wonderful memories in the last four months.   Tomorrow is Church, then finish making Christmas Cards and get the dinning room table clear of card scraps so we can start wrapping gifts.  

Miss the snow - don't miss shoveling.   Miss my bands but they are in good hands with Kelly.  Miss my brothers but they will both be here soon.   Miss my Indiana friends but I am coming to the realization that we can live apart and be close, wonderful friends.   Thank goodness for cell phones. is good.   Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.