Monday, March 31, 2008

Hangin' With the Kid and Grandkids Part 2

The kid and grandkids seemed to enjoy the play at the Schoolhouse Theatre the other night. It was probably the first actual play the grandkids have been to so I was skeptical. The play was Lucky Stiff, a musical farce. They both said they enjoyed it so I guess they did. Their dad and I also told them a lot about when we did theatre--back in the day. Dave and Karen grew up at the Fort Findlay Playhouse where I directed, acted, did tech etc. The kids both were in plays and worked tech on many, many shows. Anyway, it was fun reminiscing.

Yesterday was pretty much spent just chilling. We spent a lot of time on the deck reading. Mr. Snowbird, Dave and I are all reading Randy Wayne White books. And today, Sam caught the bug and he is now hooked also.

Last night Dave, the grandkids and I went to play miniature golf. I hadn't played in years but didn't do too badly. We really had a lot of fun and hit Schnappers afterwards for ice cream. Yum.

As evidenced by the pictures, we have been eating most of our meals out on the deck. The weather has been perfect this week. In the 70's and 80's. We have been grilling on the grill. Steaks the other night and brats and burgers last night. Again, yum!

Today, we will probably head to the beach. And tonight we will go out to eat.

Oh, and by the way, today is Mr. Snowbird's and my 46th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary to us.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hangin' With the Kid and Grandkids

Wednesday night we drove to Punta Gorda to pick up our son, oldest grandson, and ONLY (and she doesn't let me forget it) granddaughter. They flew down here via Skybus, a fairly new airline which flies out of Columbus, Ohio. Way last December, our daughter in law heard about this airline and started searching. Apparently the first 10 seats sold for each flight go for $10 one way! She got them round trip tickets for a total of $60 plus tax!! Anyway, we left here two hours in advance not knowing what the traffic would be like as you never know when I 75 is going to be closed down here because of an accident. No traffic or accidents so we get there an hour early. It has to be the tiniest airport you would ever hope to see. One counter, a small glassed in room for security check, a room with one luggage carousel and a few chairs around the perimeter. The passengers have to disembark onto the tarmac then walk through a doorway where all of the people meeting them are standing. I haven't been able to meet someone coming straight off of the plane since 9-11. Anyway, as I said, we got there early so went into the restaurant. It is practically bigger than the whole airport! We had already had dinner so Mr. Snowbird ordered a hot fudge sundae and I splurged on onion rings. Both very good. There were a few others eating there too. One of the airport workers came in and asked if anyone was flying to Greensboro because if they were, they better get over to the airport now! Apparently, since Skybus is the only airline coming in here, they kind of do their own thing. I thought maybe we should head over to the waiting area. Good thing we did because they landed almost 20 minutes early. It kind of sounds like they leave early too if everyone is there. Anyway, we met them then headed back home. The kids were hungry so we stopped at Bahama Breeze for some appetizers and some adult beverages (for the adults). They have a great outside area with a fire pit in the middle. It quickly got their mind off of the snow and cold they had just left.

Thursday was spent just kind of chilling out, some serious R & R, and in the evening going to the Back To The Wild premier.

David had asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could get tickets to a Minnesota Twins pre season game. (Both the Twins and Red Sox have spring training in Ft. Myers). The last day of spring training was yesterday and I managed to get tickets. We were lucky enough to be up high enough so we were in the shade the whole time. Dave hadn't told the kids but kept it as a surprise. They spent most of the morning trying to guess where we were going but had no clue until we turned into the parking lot.

I have to work at CROW this afternoon. Since baby bird season has begun, that will be my primary job. Dave and the kids are taking me to work and then will head to West Gulf to enjoy a day on the beach. You have to be a Sanibel resident with an A parking pass to be able to park on West Gulf. This is the area where there are just homes so the crowds are minimal. MUCH better than the beach near us which for the past few weeks looks like pictures I've seen of Coney Island with wall to wall people. Then this evening we are going to go to the Schoolhouse Theatre to see a play-Lucky Stiff. Several weeks ago at the CROW Art Auction, I bid for and won gift certificates to the Schoolhouse so we are using some of them tonight.

They leave from the same tiny terminal Tuesday night and I think we should probably be there a bit early--just in case. Until then we have no plans for the rest of the time they are here. I guess we will just hangin' and chillin' and playin' it by ear.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Back To The Wild

Picture taken from video, Back to the Wild, by David E. Carter

We attended the Premier last night of "Back to the Wild". It is a documentary about CROW filmed and written by David E. Carter. Last summer, David approached Dr. PJ and said that he wanted to make a documentary about CROW. And so he did!

A picture of David E. Kelly taken from his website for Sanibel Films.

The documentary was 56 minutes long and was wonderful. David had filmed about 37 hours which he condensed down to what we saw last night. It started out with a release and then a VERY dramatic rescue of a Fish Crow which involved CAT Turner, one of our rehabbers, climbing a tree. The film also followed several patients from their admittance to their release. And of course, it did show a few of the patients who didn't make it--which is part of daily life at CROW--something you never get used to but learn to accept and move on. The documentary was narrated by Nick Clooney--whose son, George, is pretty popular also.

A picture of Nick Clooney borrowed from his Wikipedia site.

As a surprise to everyone, Dr. PJ and David dedicated the film to Shirley Walter, the founder of CROW. She was as surprised as everyone. There was a Q and A afterwards and Shirley did talk a bit about how she started CROW. She found a Royal Tern on the causeway, picked it up, and took it to the preserve headquarters which was at the lighthouse at the time. They wouldn't take the bird and neither would anyone else. So, she took it home and with no experience at all, nursed it back to health. This led to other birds and animals which she treated--all at her own expense. Finally she incorporated as Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife so that people could donate money to help her out. And it grew from there. It is pretty amazing that this hospital, now called Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, grew from such a humble beginning.

The DVD will be available in a couple of weeks at the CROW giftshop. You may be able to order it online through the CROW website in the future. I have no idea how much it will cost. They did have a few very special copies there last night for $100. These had interviews with PJ and Shirley which the regular one will not have. I'm guessing that the DVD will be somewhere in the $20-$25 neighborhood--but that is just a guess. Also, keep an eye out for it on PBS. They are working on getting it on there also.

It was a very festive evening and an important one for CROW. In the past, the Martha Stewart crew came to CROW to film for one day. CROW has also been featured on Animal Planet but this is probably by far the most important (in my humble opinion) film done about CROW.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Red Leaf

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.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter to All

This little bunny--actually a Marsh Rabbit--hopped out from under our deck one evening last year. I thought that this was an appropriate picture to wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Easter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Four Things

Ok, so I temporarily ran out of things to write about. I've seen lists like this (memes) on other blogs when they can't think of anything to write about either. So, I'm being lazy but hey--you are still learning a little bit about me.

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Waitress
2. Aquatics Instructor
3. Hearing Impaired Teacher
4. Receptionist

Four Places I've Lived
1. Standish, Michigan
2. Trenton, Michigan
3. Findlay, Ohio
4. Sanibel, Florida

Four TV Shows I Watch
1. Monk
2. Lost
3. General Hospital
4. Dancing With the Stars

Four Places I've Vacationed
1. Canadian Rockies
2. Scotland
3. Nova Scotia
4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Four of My Favorite Foods
1. Turkey and Dressing
2. Pizza
3. Cranberry Relish
4. Chocolate

Four Sites I Visit Daily
1. Best of Sanibel Captiva Message Board
2. Ay Ziggy Zoomba Message Board
3. Shama Lama Mama
4. Findlay Courier

Four Things I Really Like to Do
1. Shelling
2. Genealogy
3. Attending Scottish Highland Games
4. Visiting with my kids and grandkids

Four of My Favorite Musical Artists
1. Alex Beaton
2. Simon and Garfunkel
3. Alasdair Fraser
4. Harry Belafonte

Four of My Favorite Patients at CROW
1. Pelicans
2. Baby Raccoons
3. Baby Birds
4. Woodstorks

Four Things I Used to Like But Don't Do Anymore
1. Skiing
2. Traveling in our motorhome
3. Swimming
4. Hiking in the mountains

Four Things I Really Don't Like
1. Horror movies
2. Snakes
3. Jazz
4. Confrontation

So, why don't you pick one of these and leave me a comment with four things about you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Harp Hands

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, March 17, 2008

A Very Loooonnnggg Book Signing

Mr. Snowbird with a copy of the new book.

This year, Mr. Snowbird and I got hooked on a local author, Randy Wayne White. Randy used to be a fishing guide on Sanibel at Tarpon Bay Marina. When the government took over Tarpon Bay Marina to become part of Ding Darling, he became an author of the Doc Ford series. Doc is a marine biologist who lives at Dinkins Bay on Sanibel. Dinkins Bay just happens to be where Tarpon Bay Marina was. Randy chose today, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, busiest week of the year on Sanibel for his book signing of his latest book, Black Widow. If you check out his site (which I linked above) it states that national publication date of his 15th book is March 18th,2008 and that it is illegal to sell the book before that time. Soooo, I guess my book and hundreds of others sold today are illegal!

The book signing was held at--where else--Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille on Sanibel. Randy is a part owner and apparently does a lot of his writing in one of the booths at Doc Fords. Anyway, the signing was supposed to be from 2-5 and from 9-? today. We got there right at 2:00 and couldn't even find a parking place. Many cars were even parked across the street in the church parking lot. Luckily someone was pulling out as we pulled in. Then when we walked into the restaurant, it was nuts!!! First of all we were to take a number but couldn't find the gal who was handing out numbers! Finally found her then we had to go to the bar to buy the book. (No one told us we could buy it in the other building where the signing was). They obviously had NO idea that there were going to be hundreds of people showing up not only to eat but for the signing. So, the poor gal at the bar selling books was also making drinks, taking orders etc. After we finally got out number--#105--we went out to stand on the walkway between the restaurant and the Rum Bar. And we stood and we stood and we stood. It seems that Randy was flying in and then had to drive from the airport to the island. Doc Ford's is pretty much in the center of the island and today what usually takes about 10 minutes was taking 45 minutes!! Did I mention it is the busiest week of the year? So Randy was about 45 minutes late. So, we stood and stood and stood some more. We stood in line from another volunteer from CROW who had been to all of his book signings and she said she had never experienced anything like this.

We finally got through the door of the Rum Bar at about 4:35 and managed to get up to the table at 5:00.

Here we are inside, finally. Look at all those people eating, drinking and enjoying the atmosphere while we stood and stood and stood!! Either they had lower numbers than we did or they didn't buy the book.

Of course they had all kinds of Doc Ford stuff for sale while we were in there waiting. Books, T shirts (which I had to get), coffee cups, shot glasses, etc.

Here are some of the Doc Ford goodies tempting everyone.

Joy was in front of us so I got to get a picture of Randy signing her shirt.

Once we got to the table, we handed him a piece of paper (actually our #105) with what we wanted him to sign in the book. He actually wrote To Dear Chuck and Nancy, Randy Wayne White 3 17 8. So now everyone who ever sees my book will know it was purchased on the day before it was supposed to. :) Randy was very personable and took time to sign books, shirts (mine included) and to take pictures with people. I'm sure glad we had #105. I feel sorry for the person who had #192.

So, after we stood and stood and stood, I finally got to stand next to Randy Wayne White. Doesn't he look thrilled??? LOL

We decided that after waiting for 3 hours to get our book signed, we would sit down and enjoy a meal at Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille. So, we headed to the front desk and were told that it would be an hour wait!! Guess what? We ate at Matzaluna tonight instead.

Happy Birthday Karen

My baby girl turned 42 yesterday. OK, so I missed posting this ON her birthday but heck, she is in Hawaii and probably didn't get a chance to check her mother's blog anyway. :)

Here she is on her first day of school. She will tell you she could kill me for cutting her hair that short. But she sure was adorable. I think that's the last time her hair was ever that short.

See what I mean by the hair? She is 11 here. I should tell you that Karen was "born in a trunk". That is an old theatre expression. I was VERY involved in the Fort Findlay Playhouse when she and her brother were growing up. As a baby, she would play in her playpen while I helped build set, act, direct, what have you. She soon became involved herself helping to build set, run lights, act, run props, what have you. This turned into a career when she got older when she became a Technical Assistant/Stage Manager for the South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, California.

She graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University with a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in photography. If you ever check out her blog, you will see that she is putting that degree to good use.

Here she is when she married Michael in San Juan Capistrano in August of 2000. (No not at the mission but in the city of SJC). You can read all about how she met him here. It is a beautiful love story. And didn't she make a beautiful bride?

A couple of years later her first son, Noah was born. And just a little over 3 years later, along came Ethan and Luka. The idea of twins was a bit overwhelming to both Karen and Michael--as well as to the grandparents!

I am soooo proud of my beautiful daughter. She is the best mom in the world. She is the most patient (even though she will tell you she isn't), loving, nurturing mom there is.

You can see what kind of a mom she is by just looking at these two pictures of here spending time with her kids.

She is a traveler.

She is a dreamer.

She is daring.

She is a hippie.

She loves her Pepsi.

And she has the best husband in the world. She always said when she was growing up that she was going to marry either a doctor or a cook. Well, believe it or not, he is both. And the greatest daddy going. A parent couldn't ask for a better husband for their daughter. But wait, this blog is about her right? Anyway, Karen, sorry this is a day late. But just know that your dad and I are so proud of what you have done and who you have become. I want to be just like you when I grow up!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Just Hangin' Out

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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


On the Best of Sanibel Captiva (BOSC) Message Board, we do what we have named "Cybershelling". For those who are stuck in the ice and snow, those of us who are fortunate enough to be on Sanibel post pictures of shells. Shells on the beach, shells we have collected, shells, shells, and more shells. And strange as it may sound, those of us who are fortunate to be on Sanibel LOVE it when a storm hits and we get a wind out of the Northwest because that means shells, shells, and LOTS more shells!!!

This past week we had a storm. Two days of winds, high surf, and you guessed it--shells, shells, and more shells. I went out Sunday and Monday. The first day mostly what I did was open up about 20 crab traps which had been washed up on shore and release the poor Stone Crabs who were stuck in said traps. I sincerely doubt that the trappers were going to seek out their traps up on the shore and claim their Stone Crabs even though one lady questioned if what I was doing was legal. There were lots of shells but not the kind I generally collect. There were lots of Sea Urchins, Scallops, Giant Cockles, Pen Shells, and Star Fish (I don't think I need to link this since you should all know what a star fish is).

But Monday was a different story! Ok, maybe I was greedy but this is the first time in 15 years of shelling on Sanibel that I filled my bag, went to the car and emptied it and returned to the beach for more. And I didn't even make a dent in the shells out there!!! I can't tell you how many Alphabet Cones, Horse Conchs (my favorites), and Lightning Whelks I had to put back in the water because they were alive. (We have a no live shelling law on Sanibel.)But as you can see by the picture above, I managed to find a lot that weren't alive. I found lost of Lightning Whelks, Tulips, Apple Murex, Lace Murex, Shark's Eyes (the shell not the real thing) , and Olives (again, the shell, not the real thing). And of course there were the usual assortment of scallops, Florida Fighting Conchs etc.

So, today, after I had rinsed them all, I laid them out nicely and took a bunch of pictures and posted them at BOSC for all to cybershell. Then I decided that maybe some of you would like to learn a bit about shells and do your own cybershelling. So, go check out all the links, look at all my pictures and see what you can find. It should help while away the time waiting for the snow and ice to melt!!

Can you spot the broken piece of Junonia? This is the prize shell to find on Sanibel.

Can you name these shells?

Friday, March 07, 2008


Yup, that's me with my big brother, Bill

I am and have been for 40 years a genealogist. I'm addicted to finding my roots. It all started over 50 years ago when my Dad's cousin, Eliza, introduced me to my Brooks/Dye/Sayers ancestors. She gave me pictures. She gave me heirlooms. She gave me jewelry. And, she set in motion what would become a hobby, a passion, and a wonderful way to relate to history. Years later, soon after my dad died, I went to visit his brother and sister in law, my Uncle Earl and Aunt Geneva. Aunt Geneva had been tracing her genealogy and took me to the local library in San Angelo, Texas where they lived. I had very little to go on but found an article in a DAR magazine tracing the John Dye family back to the 1600's to a man named Laurens Duyts. This was my line. John Dye was my great great grandfather. And so it began.

My grandfather, my Aunt Maxine, my mother, and my grandmother.

I dragged Mr. Snowbird through more courthouses, libraries, and cemeteries than he cares to remember. I spent what seemed like a thousand dollars in dimes photocopying articles, books, court records, pictures etc. I traveled to Salt Lake City twice to their HUGE genealogy library. I wrote letter after letter after letter. I spent hours and hours and hours nearly going blind looking at old, faded, hard to read reels of census tapes. Now, mind you this was 40 years ago. Not too many personal computers then, right? No, hopping on line, plugging in a name, and getting all kinds of records and information. Nope, this all had to be done by hand--or on foot. I began to collect a massive amount of photocopies, letters, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, service records from the Civil War etc, etc, etc. This meant piles and piles of papers and row upon row of big brown envelopes and shelf after shelf of genealogy books.

Finally, we got a computer and I bought a genealogy program to finally keep track of what I had done and where I needed to go. I got in contact with the guy in Salt Lake City who had written this program and he asked me for input and eventually let me pilot his upgrades. How cool is that? His program finally became so outdated I had to move on to Family Tree Maker. Then and came into being and I bought everything they had to offer so I can now go on line and sit in front of my computer and find all that stuff I used to have to go to the library, or courthouse, or cemetery to find. Mind you, I still take these little trips periodically, just for old times sake.

What is really neat is because of this passion of mine, I was able to find my husband's birth family. He is adopted and I chose to trace his adopted line first. He then gave me some papers his adopted mom had given him and in there was his birth mother's full name and his birth father's first name plus their siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, country of birth etc. Wow! So I went to work. I was able to find a little on his birth mom but not having his birth dad's last name, not much luck there. Soooo--I wrote to Lansing, Michigan for his birth certificate. Back came his adopted certificate but on there it stated that he had been born in Ohio, not in Michigan as we thought. Soooo--I wrote to Columbus, Ohio asking just to take a peek at his birth certificate. In a week, back came his original birth certificate with both birth parent's full names. Wow!! I was off and running!! To make a long story short, we found he had an aunt and cousins in Israel, an aunt in Detroit, and a half sister in Indiana. We have met most of these people and are in contact with all of them. Talk about lucking out. His ancestors go back to Wales and Russia/Poland. That was really refreshing to be able to look in foreign countries for ancestors. You see, some of my ancestors met the first people to come over to Jamestown. No lie! Or some of my ancestors lived near Jamestown. Most of my families go way, way, way back in America.

Both of my kids have taken an interest in genealogy. Karen traced her husbands line in Austria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary. Dave has helped his kids with numerous reports for school by looking up some of our ancestors. Parkersburg, Illinois was named for my ggg grandfather. Finneytown, Ohio was named for another ggg grandfather. President John Adams and I share ancestors. His grandfather, Henry Adams, was my whatever grandfather (way to far back to even count). And remember, Laurens Duyts, who I mentioned earlier? I love this guy. Talk about your skeleton in the closet. Well, first of all, to pay for his passage over to New Amsterdam, he cleared a bunch of land for a man named Jonas Bronk. Sound familiar? The Bronx? But, that's not all. He then sold his wife into adultery. Nice huh? For that, he had his ear cut off and was banished from New Amsterdam by Peter Stuyvesant himself. Good old Laurens got banished to New Jersey of all places. :-) But, he didn't go alone. He took his wife's sister with him and married her. You gotta love this guy.

And I leave you with Uncle Delbert Brooks. He was my dad's brother. I guess Uncle Del was always kind of a loner. He took off for parts unknown and no one heard from him for years and years. My cousin had a career in the Navy and had to have a security check done. Apparently during this check, they found that good old Uncle Del had joined Pancho Villa and became one of his lieutenants. After that was done, he worked on the railroads for awhile then ended up in Utah. One day, he went to the post office to get his retirement check. The postmaster said it wasn't there. Well, he thought that the postmaster just wasn't giving it to him so--yup--he got a gun and shot up the post office. Thank goodness, no one was injured, but that was my Uncle Del.

Ok, I know this is long and boring and I could go on and on but I won't. But--if anyone out there would like me to do a little bit of online research on their family, let me know. I LOVE doing research and I've gone about as far as I'm able for now on mine.

OK, now I'm going to bore you with some family pictures. Hee, hee.

The infamous Uncle Delbert himself. Doesn't this look like someone who would ride with Pancho Villa?

My great grandfather, Nicholas Brooks, Jr. and his wife Eliza Rebecca Dye Brooks. Don't you love the fact that she is pregnant, probably with my grandfather? And you have to love the fact that his father, Nicholas Brooks, Sr. had 4 wives, God knows how many kids, had his last kid when he was 99 and lived to be 110? What a guy!!

I call this Beauty and the Beast. On the left is beautiful Lucinda Montgomery Roberts Muncey McGuire. She was my g.g.grandmother.On the right is the very plain (possibly even homely) Mary Eliza Preston Morgan, another g.g.grandmother. (I know, the picture says g.g.g.grandmother. I goofed!!)

Between them, they produced my great grandparents, Laura Belle Roberts and Calvin Douglas Morgan.

Is this not the most handsome guy you would ever hope to meet?? This was my dad's Uncle Ben Brooks. Gotta love those Brookses. They were all such handsome men!! At least my Daddy was!!Meet my dad, George Edwin Brooks. Handsome devil!!

And my beautiful mother.

And last but not least, I am also a descendant of this guy--Edwyn Sandys, Archbishop of York. Hey, you never know who you will find on your family tree if you go back far enough.