Sunday, August 26, 2007

I have a new blog!

I have decided, since i got a new computer, to create a new blog. Please join me there!

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Peaceful Peace River in Florida

This winter I visited my brother in Minnesota to go winter camping and ice fishing. I thought I would host him here in Florida for some summer camping and kayaking. Well, we had just about the best trip. We traveled down the Peace River.
What a gorgeous river.
Our trip began really early on Thursday morning. The iPOD woke me up with some Rufus Wainwright at 4AM. We had to be at the river between 7:30 and 7:45 AM. and it was a 1 hour and 45 minute drive to get there. My father picked my brother and I up at 5:00. When we were packing the Jeep, we realized that we had too much gear. So, we got to the river early and condensed as much as we could, and decided what we would be leaving with the car.

When we had finished that, we were loaded into an old school bus (giving me some fond, and not so fond, memories from my childhood). The bus will take us to Zolfo Springs, FL. This would be the start of a 43 mile, 3 day, 2 night camping trip down the river to Arcadia.

We had so much gear, that we decided to take a canoe and a tandem kayak. This made a lot of space available. Of course, as soon and the bus dropped us off in Zolfo Springs, it started raining.

While waiting for the rain to pass, we noticed that the park service had a pen of Ostriches. Since this is not normal for Florida, I had to take a picture.

Finally, the rain let up and we got under way. This is my brother and father in their canoe.

This was my view for the next few days.

This river had lots of cypress and palm trees. It was easy to feel like you were the only person on the river, ever. In fact, we did not come across another person the entire first day. That is saying something for Florida.

A cypress tree and it's "knees" for stability and "breathing" when the water is high.

Life will bloom anywhere.

The "anvil cloud" in the distance lets me know that there will be another thunderstorm pretty soon. The whole first day, we were paddling through thunderstorms. It kept it pretty cool, though. So I am not complaining.

There were certain things that caused the feeling of being the first person down this river to be shattered.

This was our first campsite. The bugs were not so bad, yet. Surprisingly, this first day was heat free, and mostly bug free. However, there were gazillions of fire ants. We had cooked hamburgers the first night. Apparently I had dropped some of our meal on the ground there. The next morning, when I started cooking breakfast, an entire new nest of ants had grown over night. Of course, having had no coffee yet, I stepped right in it. They tore me up.

the aforementioned breakfast. Kind of worth the pain.

The next day started off on a bright note. No clouds. This meant that it was going to be HOT. And boy was it. There were times I was begging for some rain and clouds.

This is another shot of my brother and father

Being somewhat harder to paddle a kayak designed for 2 people that is loaded down with gear, I kept falling behind Mark and dad. I was also trying to find some good shots. Mark got tired of waiting for me and decided to just tow me along for a while. That was fine with me!

Some more knees:

Some shots of our second night's campsite.

Mark brought his water filtering kit. So, we di not have to pack any water. We could just filter the river water. Here he is, in action, as it were.

A later afternoon visitor.

A picture of me:

Our take out point - the canoe outpost. This was a wonderful trip. We are alreayd planning another one. This time, though, we may be going down the Altamaha River in GA. This is a river that plays a lot in my family history, and it is one that all of us, my brother, father, and myself played in as kids.

It should be fun!

Friday, July 27, 2007


You would think that having my evening classes end would allow me to post on a regular basis.....Each day has been filled with errands in the afternoon.

My camping trip that I am going on has changed from the Everglades to a 3 day 2 night trip down the Peace River. I will be taking a lot of pictures, so I will have something interesting to post about.

This will be next weekend. I will try to get some doggie photos up. Maybe some of my new car.

Anyway, that is all for today.

Have a good one....


Friday, July 20, 2007

Final grade update

I made a "B". Which I am very happy with. An "A" would be nice, but I did not expect that, in any bizzaro world you can come up with.

My mother wanted me to point out that I have been getting my self into better shape. I have managed to lose 20 pounds over the last few months. Now that I am within my last SEVEN business days of work, I can start going back to yoga on a more steady basis, and exercise a lot more. Should see me lose a LOT of weight, soon.

Anyway, hope everyone has a nice day.

I will, as it is my 2nd to last Friday here at ALLTEL World.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Well, it has been a while, and Life is GOOD!!

I made it! I came through the whole semester unscathed! I am not sure what I made in Chemistry, as my final was last evening. However, I do know that I made an "A" in Early Childhood Development. I feel like I did OK, however, in Chemistry. It is, by no means, my strongest subject.
Now, I am looking at the calendar, and I only have 9 more working days left! I turned in my resignation yesterday! I could not be more excited about my future! (As if the overabundance of exclamation marks did not give that away!!!!!!)
So, in the immediate future, I am going to have to stay at my desk and attempt to focus on my actual job.

In the near future, post work, I am going to go have a rain and bug filled camping experience in the Everglades National Park. My dad, my brother, and I are driving down to the Everglades National Park Ranger Station in Everglades City, FL. Then, kayak out to one of the outer keys to do some beach camping. It will be great to be able to spend some time with both my father and brother. We have not done any travelling together in years.
Here is a link to our planned trip -,-81.434097&spn=0.082205,0.133381&t=h&z=13&om=1

Then, long term, I will be starting school full time at The University of Tampa in late August. That is what I am really excited about! I was one of those people who shunned college wanting to "live life" and get some real life experience. While I did, I missed out on a lot that College offers. Namely, an education that can get me ahead in life. I have done pretty well for myself, regardless. I have nothing to complain about in my life. I just want to make it better. So, I am.

Now, for a final bit of news. I have finally dumped the gas guzzling Mercury Mountaineer and bought a new car! I have purchased a Honda FIT. What a great little car! I went from 11-15 MPG to 38ish MPG! Now I no longer feel like a hypocrite when I rant about how we are running this planet into the ground. I can say that I am doing more of my part. Now, if I could just learn to accept the light that the energy efficient light bulbs give off, I could be just a little better.

Well, I got to work early so that I could post something. That means I have no access to my pictures. Hence all of the text. I have a lot of pictures so I will try to get some up this weekend.

Till then, have a good one!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The sky is falling! The sy is falling!

Well, not really the sky. More like the ceiling of the bathroom. One of the joys of owning a home that is twice my age (who's counting, really!), is the fact that the house requires LOTS of upkeep! Wednesday evening, I noticed, while luxuriating in a hot shower, that the ceiling was about to fall down on me. Luxuriating out, panic in. Since it was 9:00ish in the evening, Mark insisted that we climb in the attic and figure out what was going on. So, we climbed up, & realized that there was a leak coming in. Duhhh.... Since I have class, and Mark was working on Thursday and Friday, this was not something that could be addressed in the immediate future. So, we created a contraption which consisted of PVC pipe, 2 boards, duct tape, screws and one paint stirrer (to get that one bit of ceiling that the other boards did not quite get to)that would hold the ceiling until Saturday. Saturday was spent vacuuming out the insulation above the bathroom, pulling down the sections of dry wall that were wet, re-installing the new (WATER RESISTANT) dry wall, and plugging the leak (hopefully). Now, I just need to prime, texture, and paint the new ceiling.

What fun.

I will try to post a couple of pics. Mark has informed me that pictures of this escapade are off limits. I, however, am pretty proud of what we both accomplished on our own. Mark and I were both ready to remodel the entire bathroom. If we had 2 showers, I think that the rest of the room would have been torn out.

Until next time

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The $29.99 Ace Hardware Special!

So, Mark read in the paper that Ace was having a special on Adirondack Chairs. $29.95 each! They were white cedar. The only drawback? They were a kit. Being somewhat handy, that was not that big of a draw back. So, we bought 2.

First, you have to unpack and organize the chair. (In back is one of a set that we bought, completed. There is also one of the kit chairs that I have completed, before I remembered to get my camera.

SO, then you have to put the thing together. Luckily, kits have all of the parts for you. It is like putting a puzzle together, only with instructions for where each part goes.

The next step, since we were painting them, was to prime.

Then, finally, a nice Cerulean Blue color to liven up the backyard.

The finished product:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Big Visit

So, Mark's Mother, Hester, and his Niece, Brielle, came down to visit. Brielle and Pablo took an immediate liking to each other.

We all played "Adventure Golf" at Congo River

Brielle looking at the Aligators at the entrance. She was able to feed them as well. She got a pole, with string rigged with a plastick clip and a bag of hotdogs cut into 3rds. Hating hotdogs myself I figured that Aligators would have a more discriminating taste. Nope. I was wrong. They went CRAZY for the things. Climbing over each other and snapping at the food. It was fun.

Hester and myself.

We also all went to Universal Islands of Adventure!

Brielle cooling off in the spray from the Jurasic Park Ride. I was with her for a few of the sprays. One cannot get much wetter.


Well, Mark's Mother and Niece went home on Sunday. They had been house guests for 10 days. We had a really good time, and it was really nice to see them when they got off of the plane. But, man was it nice to see them get on the plane. I think that the dogs were happy that Mark and I were the only two to walk in the front door. They slept ALL DAY SUNDAY. They even slept through their 3:00 run about. (The time that Pablo gets up to torment Kylie and make her chase him through the house.) They were good sports about everything. I have some pictures that I will post later. Right now, I should be studying for a Chemistry test that I have this evening.

Have a good day!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Surprise of the week

Well, I was watering the plants the other day (refuge from my schedule) and noticed that the clematis that I thought died, was BLOOMING! I had planted this when we first moved into the house, October 2001. It grew for about 1 year, never bloomed, and then disappeared. I was so excited to see the bloom. I did not even realize what it was, when I first saw it.

What a nice surprise!
If anyone knows a good way to get rid of bugs that are terrorizing the Angels Trumpet let me know. The leaves that are in the picture are being eaten alive. I have tried a few different systemics & Malathion to no avail.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Much too busy!

So, I have been crazy busy lately. I have been working full time and taking classes at night. Generally, this has not been too bad. However, I am utilizing, for the last time, the low cost of community college to finalize some prerequisites for the Nursing Program at UT. Right now we are in the summer session. During this session, the school cuts the time, in weeks, of the class in half, and doubles the class time, in hours per day. This would, in theory, allow one to take 2 times the number of classes in the same time period. However, for someone who works full time, this is a NIGHTMARE. I will usually take 1 class during this time frame. In order to make it into the RN program, I needed to take 2 classes this time. Of course, they only offer both of these courses in the first half of the intersession. So, I have the joy of being in class Monday - Thursday until 10:00 in the evening.
Oh, did I mention that I also work 40 hours a week, and I need to be at work at 8:00 AM. Did I also mention that I have 3 dogs? One of which REFUSES to utilize the wonderful back yard that we provide for him to do his business. So, he has to go for a walk. Yep, this would be the snooty English one. So, I get up at 5:30ish AM (depending on how many times I hit the snooze button), shower, wake Mark up, we both walk the dogs, give them there meds (the Scottish one has horrendous allergies), go to work, deal with the criminals that I find, go to school, then go home. Try to unwind, eat, visit with the doggies, talk to my partner, and get in bed early enough that I am not a complete jerk the next day. Needless to say, my blogging has completely gone out of the window. I try to lurk at my favorite blogs, and leave a comment now and then. But, alas, I have no time to really post. So, tonight, I made some time.

What is getting me through this schedule from hell, is that I am planning on quiting my job (YAY!!!!!!!!!), with my last day being the 31st of July. I will be going back to school full time starting in late August at the University of Tampa.

Finnally, please forgive the total irrelevance of the picture. Other than some calming effect, I am using it because I have managed to loose my camera. I am sure that it is in some pocket, somewhere. I have a few pictures that I wanted to upload. The above one, is of an arrangement that Mark made from flowers in our yard. Hope you enjoy it!

Until next time, when I make some more time!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Of Flowers & Dogs, with a Little Red Beans and Rice for Good Measure

Well, I have finally found a few minutes to post something. As I was playing ball with Windsor and Pablo (Kylie is sleeping in this morning, as she does on Sundays):

I decided to capture some images of the plants that are blooming in the back yard, at the moment.

The first Day lillies to bloom.

Some Frangipani, or Plumeria, as I learned to call it.

Some Easter Lillies. Naturally, they don't bloom at Easter.

I found this recipe for Red Beans and Rice from Nola Cuisine:
I ahve been soaking the beans overnight. So, now I have to run to the market to find some ingredients that I thought I had, but did not. Anyway I will try to post on that later. If I can remember to take some pictures.

Finally, a little game!
Can you find the Chihuahua?