Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dad Turbot's Birthday in Fernandina Beach, March 18 - 20th, 2010

Rod's Dad had his birthday on Friday March 19th last week.  Pam and George III's family came in town from Monday to Wednesday--Rod missed that part.  But, he did get a chance to spend some time with his parents to celebrate the big 91st birthday.

The weather was great for a change!  But as you can see, Cody's wild flowers really took a hit with all the cold weather.  Rod helped out a bit with some weed pulling, flower planting and such.  But mostly everyone took advantage of the weather--some high schoolers were playing a game of football on the beach. 


Rod found his Dad a flying book he hadn't seen before!   Hopefully between that and the loaf of banana bread he had a good day!  LOL  He is really hard to buy for, but, if you can find something with planes, you generally have found a winner. 

Rod took 9A and the bridge back to I-95 to get home.  He made a quick stop in Ponce Inlet to drop off some mail for my parents too.  He had to rescue Bonnie from Puppy Jail...which of course she loves.  The cats took care of themselves this time!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Ponce Inlet, March 2010

I wanted to upload Rod's camera pictures from his Dad's birthday party in Fernandina, but, I couldn't find the right memory card or maybe the right camera.  But, anyway, here are some more of our pictures from the weekend trip to Ponce Inlet the first weekend in March. 

Rod must have been up early getting these!

Anyway, we will post the birthday pictures soon!

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville FL, March 20 and 21, 2010

I love coming up to Gainesville.  I have customers who have been buying soap from me for 10 years up here...and it is so nice to see them every year.  Especially out here at the botanical gardens.  This year the entry fee went up to $7, but, I can't say that it really impacted people coming out.  If it did for you, please let me know so I can pass it on to the gal running the show. 

After cleaning up my yard last week, I knew what plants I would need to replace.  So, I ended up with just enough to fit in the van after all the soap stuff was packed up.  The tall one to the back is a Tea Olive, which is a scent that has been requested by customers over the years.  I had never smelled it for real, so, now if I do end up adding it to my mix of scents, I know what the real thing smells like!  The deep pink bouganvilla to the front is actually my neighbor Steph's plant.  The others will go in around the pool pump.  The nice Eucalyptus tree below was being sold by the Taylor Nursery who set up behind me.  I have never seen an actual growing Eucalyptus, so, this was a real treat!

We had an absolutely gorgeous day on Saturday.  I really think it is the first warm day we have had in ages.  On Sunday we weren't so lucky. The front we were hoping would come through later in the day, came through early, so the whole day was wet and gray.  We were lucky to have any customers, but, sure enough they came out.  I was very lucky that many of them came to get soap, so, I ended up doing ok for such a rotten day. 

Rod's Gators got eliminated from the basketball tourney early, so, we didn't have to compete with a game this year.  I watched some of the games while picking up dinner Saturday night at Ale House.  Unfortunately, I saw way too much of the games--my order seemed to get lost--or half of the order got lost.  I waited FOREVER and when they found the error apparently they rushed the second half and it was burned.  To complete the fiasco, the first part was cold by the time they got both parts together.  So, next year, I will just go to TGIF where I had an excellent salad (something like a Sante Fe Chopped Salad) on Friday night. Or maybe I can find that Carrabbas down the way next time!!! 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mid March Blues, 2010

I am kind of bummed this week, I got two rejections for craft shows.  First, the dreaded Fernandina Shrimp Festival rejection came.  That is my LAST time applying to that one...I just can't figure out who I have to sleep with to get in to that show, so, they will have to do without my jury fee in the future.  BAH!  Then I had applied late to the Spring Green show up near Madison, Wisconsin...and I didn't get into that one either.  So, I will apply to that one again on time next year and see if my chances are any better.  I am starting to wonder about my jury pictures.  Maybe it's time to upgrade them.  BUT, as a good friend reminded me--when one door closes, another opens!

SO, with that in mind I have started booking shows for the summer.  It looks like my summer Midwest shows may start a bit early this year in May (thank you Shrimp Fest...BAH again to you!)  :)  I met up with some really nice crafters this summer--Jeff and Deb Foernssler of LB's Wood Shoppe---and they have been turning me onto some shows that I will be checking out this summer. 

I am still looking into shows in May, but, I have already applied to several in June--Libertyville, IL and Tooele, Utah.  That one is near Salt Lake City and I honestly would not be making the trip--except that this is the last year my Aunt Susan will be running the show.  So, along with my parents we will be making that drive out the end of June. 

I also had some time to clean up the backyard freeze damage and get some weeding down.  The area above was covered with about 6 inches of dead leaves from my 30 foot tall Schefflera.   I got FIVE cans full of dead stuff!  I guess it's a good thing I am going to a plant show this weekend!  LOL  I cut back the shrubs along the east fence line (the first pic in the blog), tore out all the dead ones (alamandas, white ginger, heliconia and a purple spiky plant I don't know the name of??)  and replanted the Lemongrass to a sunnier spot by the new $500 pool pump. 

To the left of the pump is where the heliconia and white ginger were...I am hoping they come back.  They grow like a weed  during the summer which shields the pump and pool equipment nicely!  So does anyone know the name of the plant below?  My friend Warren gave them to me, and I am sure they will come back eventually!

Now if my yard guy will ever show up again, maybe we can get a quote on the resodding of the backyard!  And after I get a few plants to fill in for the dead ones, it will look lush and tropical once again.  LOL  Not that it ever really looked that lush and tropical to start with!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend in Ponce Inlet, March 4 and 5, 2010

It was Dad Cumming's birthday on March 4th, and Rod had his usual Thursday and Friday days off, so we headed over to Ponce Inlet to spend the weekend.  Bonnie went to Puppy Jail, the cats fended for themselves and we were on a mini vacation!

It was cold but beautiful, so, when we walked on the beach we were covered up.  But, it was just nice being outside with the beautiful waves crashing on the sand.  Mom had found an intact sand dollar the day before, so, we were hoping to find more.  Rod found one full of barnacles--he had never seen one like that before!


That's Annie's condo building in the back.  Annie rents her second floor condo out and Mom and Dad have been staying there the last five years or so.  It's really nice inside, very homey!  The pool is on the west side of the building, so, the residents can enjoy a full day of sun.  But, not so much of that going on this year!

Dad, is SO happy it's his birthday, can't you tell?  Actually, I think this was his response when I asked him how he was enjoying the walk on the beach!  We have been going to Red Lobster for a NICE meal on his birthday since they started coming to Snowbird with us.  We were happy to see that there was a Red Lobster up in Daytona Beach Shores.  We went by the lighthouse, then drove up to check out the bike week crowds, before hitting the restaurant for dinner.  Again this year, we had about $90 worth of giftcards thanks to the My Points BonusMail program.  Yea, I love freebies! 

For those of you who have never experienced a bike week, this is a car window view of MECCA!  LOL  This is the intersection of Main Street and A1A the heart of the Daytona activities.  My friend Eve and her boyfriend were somewhere in this mess that day...but sans bikes. They decided to drive in since it was cold.  I can say that most of the bikers didn't let that hold them back--I am guessing those were the bikers from up North--as the roads were full of bikers.  There were a couple groups of them at the condo too!

Rod's favorite activity is taking photos...and with his new lens on the Nikon he was in heaven.  I will try to post some of his pics one of these days when he uploads the pics.  We really enjoyed both is always nice to be away without the furry kids.   But, we did have to make it back to the kennel to pick up Bonnie Dog before they closed on Friday.  

Our favorite place in Ponce Inlet--the lighthouse!  This little giftshop has the best prices on souveniers!  Here's an example--someone is selling those jellyfish in glass globes at craft shows claiming they make them and that they are REAL jellyfish!  Now that is funny in and of itself, but, at the craftshow this little guy was selling for $39 but at the Lighthouse Giftshop you can get him for only $19!

St Augustine Seafood Festival, March 13 & 14, 2010

Well, the week leading up to St. Augustine this year was FULL of soapmaking.  I had taken a bit of a break while Mom and Dad were here with us, so, I had some catching up to do.  Rod and I also slowed the house projects down just a bit!  Whew...nice having a break.

On the Thursday before the show the weather went berserk.  About 10:30 a.m. the local NBC station weather guy and gal cut in on the regular programming.  They were on ALL day.  It drives me nuts when they do this during hurricane season, but, for a thunderstorm too?!?!  I don't get it, the weather is bad--keep an ear to your weather radio and an eye to the sky.  If I wanted to watch The Weather Channel, I would switch myself!

SO, the good news is that I had no other outdoor things to work on while I was finishing up getting ready for the show.  AND, St. Augustine didn't get any of the rain on Thursday!  After getting an email at midnight and then another one at 6 a.m. from the show organizer, I decided to leave early for St. Augustine to hopefully get set up between the worse of the rain bands.  It was raining a bit when I got there at noon, but, not too bad. 

We were told we could open up Friday, or not, deciding on what we wanted to do.  I had made the decision not to open, but, then after doing some fabric shopping, I changed my mind.  The sky was brightening, the sun started to peek out--and I was set up--so I opened!!  I did a little business from 3-6 p.m. so it was worth it.

Saturday and Sunday were both bright and sunny for the most part.  Not warm, but, sunny!  BUT the wind was blowing at a steady 15 -25 mph and I of course was on the windward side of things.  When I set up, I expect the worst.  So I was ready for just about anything.  LOL  I trust my gear to keep my tent and products safe, but, if Mother Nature decides to throw a hissy fit, there is nothing you can do to be 100% safe. 

By the end of the weekend, I was really sick of the wind.  Even though I was on the first row, I kept expecting to turn around and find something blowing into me.  It is oddly disconcerting.  I think there must be an equivalent of  "cabin fever" for places that are windy all the time--I don't know what's its called, but I am sure someone will tell me!

We had the usual contingent of three soapers here this weekend.  Blue Dolphin's Mary Anne, and a new to me company of melt and pour soapers, Donna and Terri from The Soap Detail.  All were really nice and I traded for some spray lotion for soap! 

The most memorable thing that happened was late in the show on Sunday.  All of a sudden you could hear a lady yelling, "Catch the dog, catch the dog!!!"  And here comes a little weiner dog dragging a leash while evading every single person who tried to get him.  He made it the whole back side of the Events Field (where the RVs are parked), past the basketball court to the playground before he looped back around.  On the return trip he must have been getting winded, because his older owner squatted down and spread her arms and he came running right back to her.  I am so happy the little guy had a good run and didn't get out onto US 1! 

Hm, I can't find my camera, so no pictures yet!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bedrooms--Part 3! March 2010

This is the smallest bedroom and was actually the room that looked like a warehouse with metal racks full of curing soap and boxes of packaging materials.  This was the hardest room to clear out.  It is also my favorite of the redos on the bedroom end of the house.  I painted it a light yellow and put the cute antique dresser in with a single bed.  It would be a great room for a baby or a small child...or an office perhaps. 

And, just so you know where all the soaping stuff is, I will open the closet and show you my molds and such.  I have a large metal rolling cart where the rest of the stuff wheels out to the kitchen on soaping day. 
It's hard to tell with all the soap stuff, but, it's a nice size closet for a small room. 


The Bedrooms--Part 2! March 2010

Next up is the middle bedroom, which is actually about the same size as the master.  It is commonly called "Mom and Dad's room" because it's where they stay when they come from Illinois.  This is the room that had bookcases and metal racks full of wrapped soap.  So without further ado...

Behind the screen is the next round of garage sale things and some boxes to move up North. 

A nice view of the backyard with the south facing windows and the late afternoon sun streaming in...this is also Emily's favorite spot (on the bed in the sun) when there are no guests.  The bed is a queen, but, you could easily put a king in here too.  We love the size of this room--very generous for guests.

We aren't quite sure why the previous owners paneled this wall, but, I bet it had to do with having preteens or teenagers who put up posters.  It has lots of pin holes, so that's my best guess.  They also had a bracket and standard shelf system there, which we took down.  BUT, I like the look of wood, so we left it there. 

Nice closet with smooth working doors.  You can get a good view of the terrazzo floor from this picture too!  It's a great floor for humid Florida weather and pets. 

The Bedrooms--Part 1! March 2010

The Bedrooms have been repainted and de-soaped, so I actually have a three bedroom house back!  Some of you have asked for pictures--I don't think you believe I actually was able to move all the soap stuff out.  SO, to prove it...drum roll, please...the master bedroom and bath.  Of course, this was a room that didn't have any soap.  BUT, it did require lots of books being boxed up and we painted.

One of the first rooms we added color to was the bathroom.  It is a sea blue, with lots of sea turtle accents acquired from various artists.  The original 50's art deco pink sink and toilet are still being used in here.  The floors are linoleum tiles.   One of the major reasons for buying the house are in the master bath--a huge five foot tiled shower with a seat--great for shaving legs...and other things which shall remain nameless!!!   LOL

All the bones are new in here--newly plumbed toilet and sink, new faucet, newish shower drain pan.  It's a small but very functional bath!