Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Hands Across America

Ok, who remembers Hands Across America back in 1986? I bet my daughter does!! She participated. LOL.

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom

Also, I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Wordless Wednesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! OK, enough about me. Back to Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Edmund Fitzgerald

I was going through a bunch of old pictures and happened upon these two. So, why, you ask--or maybe you didn't--would I be interested in the Edmund Fitzgerald? It's probably because I grew up in Michigan, the Great Lakes State. I lived just a few miles from Lake Huron and learned to swim there. I have vacationed on all five lakes, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan. The lakes have a fascinating history with all of the lighthouses, storms, shipwrecks, Native Americans etc. When my children were about 8 and 10, we took a trip to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and took a boat trip through the Soo Locks at Sault Saint Marie, Michigan. While going through the locks, I of course took lots of pictures. About a year later, the awful news came that the Edmund Fitzgerald had sunk in Lake Superior. At the time the name sounded familiar but I didn't know why. I was very interested because many of the men who were on the ship were from nearby Toledo, Ohio and from other Ohio towns and cities. And who can forget Gordon Lightfoot's beautiful song about the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Years later, my daughter was going through our old slides and came to me with several and said, "Does this say what I think it says?" I held it up to the light and there was a picture of the kids and me sitting on our tour boat going through the Locks and in the background was another ship----the Edmund Fitzgerald!!! There were also 3 other pictures of the ship--front, back, and the whole ship. Unfortunately, the slide of the 3 of us has disappeared but I did manage to keep the other 3 safe. For Christmas one year, I had the three pictures blown up and framed for our son who was really fascinated with the EF.

So, for no other reason than I love these pictures, I'm posting the two that I have on my computer here on my blog. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Now You See It, Now You Don't

In case you hadn't heard, last night was a total eclipse of the moon. We started the evening on the causeway at Periwinkle Park's Full Moon Potluck. This happens once a month and is a time where the sun sets on one side of the causeway and the moon rises on the other just a few minutes apart. It is pretty amazing. About 20-30 people from our trailer park meet on the causeway to enjoy the view, the company, and obviously, the food

There were lots of clouds last night so sunset was a bust and we were afraid that moonrise and the eclipse would be too. But low and behold, the moon cleared the clouds and was beautiful--for about 2 minutes.

So Mr. Snowbird and I decided to pack up and go home. By the time we got home, we noticed that the clouds were starting to clear and lo and behold, when we went out on our deck, there was the moon right there in front of us. Beautiful. So, about 8:43, we headed out with a couple of glasses and a bottle of adult beverage, sat in our new gravity chairs, and enjoyed nature's spectacular show. I decided to take some pictures. I tried a couple with my camera on night setting but wasn't too thrilled so I switched to automatic and got some great shots. Obviously I have zoom on my camera but as you can tell, not a sooper dooper zoomer. But--I was thrilled with the pictures just the same. So, I thought, for those of you that didn't get to see it because it was too cloudy, because it was too cold to go out and check, because you were feeding kids and couldn't get away, because you just plain forgot, or because you just didn't give a darn, I would share some of my pictures. Enjoy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention---later on the 11:00 news, they showed a weather map of Florida and at the time of the eclipse clouds covered most of the state except for our little corner of the world. How cool is that?

I tried to get earlier pictures but they didn't turn out too good.

I love the way you can see the rest of the moon.

Getting there.

Just a sliver.

Less than a sliver.

All gone.

Almost full again.

And there you have it, full again.

Isn't nature amazing?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FINALLY--the Remodeling is DONE

Today, Bob the Blind Guy came and installed our new living room blinds. We ordered them a looonnnggg time ago but between our vacation to San Diego and our visit from Bob, we couldn't get together with Bob the Blind Guy. So, today he was on the island and came and installed our beautiful new blinds. We were amazed that the blinds actually match the molding. We are very happy with them. So, finally, the remodeling is DONE!!!!

Wordless Wednesday-Time for a Little Lovin'

When an Egret's face is green, that means it's time to look for a mate!!

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom

Also, I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Wordless Wednesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! OK, enough about me. Back to Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Silent Sunday-Sanibel Sunset

Haven't done one of these in awhile. I think this picture pretty much explains itself. It doesn't get a whole lot better than this!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another Great Day in Paradise

As promised, here is my post on our trip to the Everglades. We left here about 8:15 hoping to avoid a lot of traffic—which we did. We went down I 75 to Naples and headed south to 41, the Tamiami Trail. On Wednesday, SW Florida got lots and lots and in some cases, LOTS of rain. Around Naples, they got 5 to 6 inches. So the Everglades had a lot more standing water than I had seen in the past.

Our first stop was Big Cypress Bend in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. This is “A 2,000-foot-long boardwalk winds through virgin cypress enabling visitors to experience the beauty of this unusual swamp”. We were introduced to the walk a few years ago when we took a guided tour of the Everglades. It is a beautiful walk with huge old cypress trees, Royal Palms,

ferns, air plants, and even an eagle nest. At the end of the boardwalk is a pond where a mama alligator and her offspring live. Apparently Papa visits every once in awhile just long enough to make new babies then she kicks him out. We did catch sight of her and 2 of the babies. We also caught a glimpse of mama or papa Eagle sitting on the nest.

From there, we drove to Monroe Station where we took the 29 mile gravel loop road through gorgeous country. Last time we took this road, it was not during “season” so we had the road to ourselves. The water wasn’t as high either and we saw tons and tons of alligators, some right up on the road. This time, there was a lot more traffic and fewer alligators but it was still beautiful.

The loop comes out right at the Miccosukee Indian Village. We decided we had seen enough alligators and didn’t need to pay to see any. So we drove about 5 miles down the road to Shark Valley. No, there aren’t any sharks in Shark Valley. It is a visitor center in the Everglades and you can ride your bike around a 15 mile loop road or take the tram which runs every hour and lasts for 2 hours. We got there at 2:45 and the 3:00 tram was already full. That meant waiting until 4:00 and not getting out until 6:00. Since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, we decided to take a short walk then head back to Everglades City for dinner. On our little walk, we happened on a ranger who was guarding a mama alligator on one side of the road and her babies on the other. I think, actually, she was guarding the stupid tourists who don’t understand alligators and would probably try to get up close and personal with the babies and get even closer and more personal with mama because of it!!

Anyway, back on 41 towards Naples to the Everglades City cutoff. Everglades City had a tornado Wednesday night but there was no sign of it whatsoever. We ate at the Everglades Seafood Depot Restaurant. We all had grouper, coconut shrimp or crabcakes. (We could have a choice of two.) We ate outside overlooking the water, the birds, and the airboats. Gorgeous view. And the food wasn’t too bad either.

Then back home to crash. We drove (rather, Mr. Snowbird drove) almost exactly 300 miles yesterday. The weather was great and we saw lots and lots of wildlife. Another great day in Paradise.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Won Something!!

A couple of weeks ago, there was a huge giveaway at Bloggy Giveaways. I entered like 700 giveaways and lo and behold I WON something!!!

I won:

1. The most scrumptious smelling shampoo, showergel, bubble bath combo ever made - smells so good you want to eat it. Philosophy's Vanilla Wafer (16 fl oz - full size)

2. A large sized pink bath pouf to use with the oh so yummy smelling product.

3. Two $15 gift cards to i-Tunes.

I won all of this from Karmyn at Dreaming What Ifs.....
Thanks Karmyn. My goodies arrived today and I can't wait to download some tunes and sit in my nice smelly bath.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Bob, our friend of 43 years is visiting us here on Sanibel for this first time. His wife and one of my oldest and dearest friends, Marilyn, passed away last summer. This is his first vacation without her. We miss her terribly but have had a great time showing Bob our little piece of Paradise.

Monday, we took the Lady Chadwick from Captiva Cruises to Cabbage Key. The Lady Chadwick and the other Captiva Cruises boats used to sail out of South Seas Island Resort on Captiva. After Hurricane Charley devastated most of South Seas, the boats were moved to McCarthy's Marina on Captiva. You can imagine my surprise when we checked in at McCarthy's and were bussed to South Seas. South Seas has been pretty much closed down since the hurricane and has opened piece by piece. Apparently Captiva Cruises moved back there about 6 months ago. Since the only way you can get into South Seas is to stay there, live there, be a guest, or go on Captiva Cruises, it was great to be able to get in and see what it looks like now.

Anyway, when you go on the Lady Chadwick you can opt to go to Cabbage Key which is the setting for Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise or to the Collier Hotel on Useppa. The only way you can get on Useppa is to be a member or go on Captiva Cruises. We've been to both places a couple of times but opted to go for the fun rather than the stately.

The trip to Cabbage Key takes about 1 1/2 hours so what better way to spend the time than sipping on their yummy Bloody Marys.

Of course along the way, we looked at the birds, the dolphins, the fish houses, and the scenery. Whenever someone spots a dolphin, the boat speeds up a bit and everyone starts yelling and making noise. The more noise, the more the dolphins perform. Unfortunately, we weren't a very loud crowd so they didn't stick with us very long.

Once we got to Cabbage Key, we were the first ones off the boat--I said I had been there before and I knew that first come first served!! And we were!! We all ordered Cheeseburgers. I know they have other things on the menu but when you are eating at Cheeseburger in Paradise, then you eat cheeseburgers, right?

After our yummy burgers, we walked a bit, visited the giftshop, then sat on the patio and enjoyed the view and the warm weather. Oh yeah, and an adult beverage!!

It was a great day. Today we took a trip to the Everglades. Another great day. I'll post about it soon--once I get the pictures downloaded to the computer, sorted out, reduced, etc etc etc.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-New Use for a Toy Box

Noah and Alex find a new use for the toy box.

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Wow!! My blog got an award! I am so new at blogging that this came as quite a surprise. I didn’t even know that there were blog awards. And who gave me this award? My beautiful daughter did! How sweet is that? I’m sure a lot of you who read my blog have jumped over and read hers too from time to time. And if you haven’t then do so now!! Or later!!

My beautiful daughter, Shama Lama Mama aka Karen, is a stay at home mom of 3 little guys. Noah is 5 and Ethan and Luka, the twins, are just two. She is married to Michael, the best son in law in the world who just happens to be a pretty darn good doctor too. I passed my love of theatre on to her and she worked as a Production Assistant and Stage Manager at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa for several years before moving back to Ohio where Michael got his residency. She also graduated with a degree in photography and as you will see from the pictures on her blog, is pretty darn good!! I love her blog because it keeps me up on the antics of my far distant grandkids—and their parents. And thanks to her great photography, I get to see lots and lots of pictures of the kids.

Apparently when you win a blog award, you are supposed to pass it on. So, I thought, and I thought, and I thought—who do I give this to. Several blogs came to mind but I decided to bestow it on Gee at Shedding the Wolf. Or as I know her on a couple of message boards—Sandpail Gail. I’ve never met Gail but she and I share a love—Sanibel Island. She is also a grandma, just like me. And she is very interested in our environment and what she can do to help save it. I really enjoy her posts on her blog as she shares what she, in her own small way, is doing to save our earth. Way to go Gail.

So Gail, I realize that this might not have the same impact as finding a Junonia but I pass this esteemed award on to you. You are a treasure.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Great Escape

My friend, Diana, and I have been planning a girl's only trip for about a year now. We had originally planned on going to Key West but when we looked at prices, we opted to go to the other end of the state to St. Augustine. I have been there twice. (The first time was when we evacuated from Hurricane Wilma and the second was when we met our son there last January.) Diana had never been there and was looking forward to seeing it and I was happy to introduce her to a most fascinating and beautiful city. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites where Mr. Snowbird and I have stayed both times before. A beautiful hotel, super friendly staff, very clean, big rooms and of course, Reggie, the little old Englishman who takes care of the big continental breakfast. Reggie has been there for years and you can just tell that he loves his job.

A look down St. George's Street

We arrived Monday afternoon, checked into the Hampton, then headed into town and meandered down St. George's street, checking out the shops. We ate at Harry's, a highly rated restaurant. We ate out in the courtyard under the twinkling lights. Delicious food, great service, and beautiful atmosphere.

Tuesday, we headed to the Red Tram and bought our tickets. You can ride for 3 days for $18.95 getting on and off all over town whenever you want and for as long as you want. Plus you can park in their lot free. What a deal!

Inside the Oldest House Museum

We went to the Oldest House which was built in the 1600's, Old Augustine Village which is a collection of old houses, the Fatio House, an old boarding house and The Spanish Quarter where Diana got to help the leather worker and got a certificate from the "church scribe" . That evening we went on one of the many ghost tours. Very informative and fun.

Diana helping the leather worker.

Yesterday, even though it was supposed to be cold and rainy, it was sunny and in the 80's. Fantastic. We took the tram shuttle to the lighthouse (only made it to the 3rd of 8 levels!) and the Alligator Farm on Anastasia Island. Then off to the Winery for a tour and Diana's first wine tasting. Yum. Love sampling those adult beverages.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Not my idea of a fun job.

Lots of Adult Beverages.

We had dinner at the Columbia Restaurant, one of the older restaurants in St. Augustine. We had--(the following taken from the menu)--"Cannelloni de Langosta “Setes Portes Catalan favorite of tender cannelloni pasta filled with Maine lobster meat, shrimp, pan seared scallops and Saute├ęd Shallots blended with a lobster sherry cream reduction, smothered with a lobster sherry Mornay cheese sauce." Oh yum!!! We had planned on taking a different ghost tour last night but given that her age 60 something legs and my age 70 legs had been tromping all over St. Augustine for two days and having a VERY full tummy, we decided to head back to the hotel, get comfy, put our feet up, and eat the outrageously good chocolate we got at Kilwin's.

We packed up the car this morning and headed home. It is about a 5 1/2 hour trip not including the lunch stop at Cracker Barrel. (Yum--fattening, fattening food just like my mom, stepmother, aunts, and grandmother used to make--but oh so good. ) It was a great escape (not sure what I was escaping when I already live in Paradise.) and we are already talking about next year's getaway!!

Some more neat shots from St. Augustine

This balcony reminded me of my deck. Same decorator?

A view in a house in Old St. Augustine Village

A fountain in Old St. Augustine Village

OK, I don't know that this is a neat picture of St. Augustine but it does show that I was there.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Gotta Brag about the Oldest Grandson

I meant to post this last week and forgot. Sorry Sam!! But, when we were wandering about the San Diego Zoo last week, I got a phone call on my cell from my son. He said that Sam, his son, had something to tell me and put Sam on the phone. After finally having to ask what he had to tell me, he told me that he had taken 3rd place in the all school spelling bee (6th-8th grade) and would be going to the all county spelling bee. If he wins there then on to state. Apparently, though, the girl who got first place is a "super speller" and will probably win. But, I am sooooo proud of my Sam. And not just for being a good speller.

I'm also proud of him because he loves his cousins.

I'm proud of him for running the steps at The Ohio State University Stadium

I'm proud of him because he can drive a big boat.

I'm proud of him because he can drive a little boat.

I'm proud of him because he has dreams.

I'm proud of him because he still finds joy in the little things--and the big things like Halo 3.

I'm proud of him because he still hugs his mom.

And---I'm proud of him because even though he won't admit it----he loves his sister!! Come on Sam, admit it. :-)