Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Bikes! May 27, 2010

I got back from a quick trip to visit the In-Laws up in Fernandina Beach yesterday and Rod hadn't gotten off work yet.  So I unloaded and was really pleased to find out he would be off on Friday!  When I left to go up North on Tuesday, it had been planned the other way around, but, one of Rod's co-workers had a death in the it all worked out. 

Rod's Dad is doing great!  He is much more mobile than he was the last time I saw him which is both good and bad for Cody.  She worries, of course, about him doing too much and then getting hurt or sick again.  I got to see Deb and Jan...and Pam and George.  Pam's new garage apartment near Deb's house is cute and will work out nice for their trips to Fern from Alabama.

So anyway, when I got home Rod mentioned taking the new $10 bikes out for a spin.  I thought about going through the tennis center, but, he had another trip in mind--out to Universal Studios to have a cocktail and an appetizer at Margaritaville!  Getting there was interesting--we didn't have any bike cables yet, so, we ended up leaving the bikes in a rack in one of the garages before walking over to the bar. 

The Margaritaville Kid was playing and we enjoyed his music, a rum runner, a glass of tea and some nachos before braving the heavy afternoon traffic to get back to the house.  The only problem was when my Cubs Croc came off in the middle of an intersection.  Luckily the light stayed red long enough to rescue it and get across the intersection! 

Note to self:  Use the straps the next time you are riding!!!

The Great Cherry Laurel Massacre, May 29, 2010

Rod has an unexpected day off--he ended up working Thursday and not Friday as earlier planned.  So, we had a day off together, which turned into a work day.  It is too hot down here for a work day.  But, since I maybe leaving for Illinois as early as Tuesday--we better do it while we can!

This Cherry Laurel should have died in the hurricanes of 2004, but, it sprouted new growth which was over 20 feet high.  I envisioned it cut down completely, but, Rod likes that it blocks our view of the neighbors dead yard.  So, the mission was to get it cut down to shrub size and hope it grows out. 

It took up the whole driveway and part of the yard.  We of course ran out of twine and had to clear a path to get the van out to head to the store.  I said if we were "tacky people" we would just leave it like this:

It took about 15 bundles of 3-4 foot long lengths of branches, which will give us plenty to put out on yard waste Wednesday.  That will make the trash removal guys happy, happy, happy.   What was really nice was jumping in the pool after we were done.  The water is still at the refreshing stage, which makes it perfect! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Roger and Richele, May 16 - May 22, 2010


Roger and Richele came to visit us last week and we had a great time!  We spent one day out at EPCOT--mainly to celebrate Rog's 21st birthday.  So, a few beers were enjoyed!

Check out his cool "Coyote" sunglasses!  Found them at Property Control along with two $10 Schwinn bikes for Rod and I!

Another day we went out to the Animal Kingdom.  The animals on the safari were plentiful--I think more than I have ever seen before!  That bison type guy with the big horns--I have never seen him before and there were three of them wandering around.  These few pics do no justice to what we saw that day.

We found a great place to eat out there.  Using our 50% off Christmas "coupon", we enjoyed the buffet at the restaurant at Africa.  The food was great--nice salads, cheeses and chutneys as well as things to keep two young people full.  Rog must have eaten a 1/2 salmon fillet!  I enjoyed a bit of EVERYTHING!!

On beach day we headed over to Jetty Park at Cocoa Beach and had great weather--a bit overcast but not too hot.  Rog and Richele had fun finding "things" at the jetty.  Rod and I enjoyed the beach and the walk up the pier to see the turtles and a ray.

That's the kids in front of our favorite beach restuarant.  Had a great meal at Rusty's once again.

Maybe Roger would like to explain what he is doing by the side of the road on the drive back from the beach???

Roger introduced Richele to the lizards once again...I think she was kind of squeamish about them.  But, she got over it quick!  We had chips, salsa and guacamole a couple times too!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Illinois Summer Trip No. 1, May 6 - May17, 2010

Let the games BEGIN!  The summer travel season started a bit early for me.  Let's face it--when it gets to be 97 degrees, it is TOO HOT to do shows in Florida.  So, I made a quick trip up for two shows on Thursday the 6th.  Bonnie Dog once again helped with the driving, with the staying awake and with the trying not to run away even when her Mommie put her down at the rest areas WITHOUT her leash attached.  Eek!

The drive up was fine, even coming up through the flood ravaged city of  Nashville.  A few days before I decided to make the trip, a severe flood hit the Cumberland River which cuts right through the center of town.  The route I take had the last of the interstate road problems, but, going north it was already cleared up before I hit town.  You could tell there water still standing everywhere and a fishy smell was in the air.  It is odd that no one I talked to up North had much knowledge of the extent of the devastion in Nashville. 

First up was a show in Park Ridge, Illinois.  For those of you kind of familiar with Chicago Land, that is north and a bit east of Ohare.  It was a one day show in a little city park surrounded by a nice shopping district.  It took a bit to find since my mapquest map's ink was lacking and I refuse to give into the GPS thing.  A funny thing happened with the weather on this one.  It was 41 degrees.  No kidding--from hot and humid to cold.  It was also very cloudy and WINDY--I guess it is Chicago after all.  AND then it rained!  LOL  So, the first show of the season was not one for the record books--but I met some awesome crafters and also a great promotor--Nancy--who made sure I was not isolated in the park alone. 

Next up was a brief interlude in Rockford involving my Dad's MRI to check into his back pain.  Looks like he has a steroid injection in his future which will hopefully stave off any additional surgery for a couple years.  Cross fingers, please!  I also was able to help Mom work on the setup for a funeral at the church for one of their friends.  During all of this--it was cold.  I don't think it got into the sixties until the end of the week. 

On the soap front, I managed to repaint my two wood "SOAP" signs and make a really cool decoupaged wig head for my eye pillow display.  I can't wait for you all to check it out at the upcoming shows.  It is neat and it makes me want to do more of that decoupaging!

I was also lucky enough to be up there for Mother's Day--we all got together and went out for a buffet.  AND, nephew Roger turned 21 so I got to take him out for his first legal beer...and make him a cheesecake for his birthday.

I also managed to put a freeze lock on Mom's just would not wake up one day so now I am thinking I may need to bring my backup computer with me on the next trip.  I am thinking I may need to bring all my soap stuff with me to just make soap up there and forget trying to make as many trip home this summer.  The main downside of this is that I won't get to see Rod as much!  Which is a MAJOR downside.

On Saturday the 15th, I got into a one day show in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  It was held around the town square and was really a great show to shop.  I really wanted to check out the area since I hadn't been up there since college.  We spent many nights camping at Devil's Lake and some other campground up there when I was growing up.  I absolutely love the terrain--it is so beautiful.  The weather finally cooperated for the show and while the crowds were not record setting, they were not  bad, so, I made some money!

The drive home was not bad--I even got to hear the benefit concert the Country Music Television channel put on for Nashville--they simulcasted on the radio.  We left on Sunday to get back to Orlando quick since Roger and Richele had arrived late on Saturday.  Rod was getting the house ready down there and had a bit of trouble with getting the Honda ready for the kids to drive.  I made it home early Monday...and the fun times started up right away. 

Rabbits: 3
Bonnie: 0
Jackie Letting Bonnie out of the car before putting the leash on: 2

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Steve's 55th Birthday, May 3, 2010

What a great time we had with our friend Steve and some of his friends at the Wine Room in Winter Park last night!  Steve and Rod were house mates at University of Florida in Gainesville.  The Wine Shop is located on Park Ave.  in an old bank building that has been redone--and the wine choices are amazing.  To get started we loaded some money onto one of their Smart Cards.  Then we started hunting for ones we might like.  They have maybe 100 bottles that are plugged into dispensers where you can dole out 1 ounce for a little taste, up to a 5 ounce glassful.  It was excellent.  One of Steve's title company friends has a good knowledge of wines and he had several bottles selected for our tasting pleasure.  Yummy! 

The SNAKE...eek!

Bonnie discovered this guy sitting under a chaise lounge out back.  I don't know snakes, so, I was worried that it was poisonous.   And, I had seen Bonnie dart at the snake, so, I wasn't sure if she had been bit or not.  Eeek!

He looked pretty grumpy--Rod got these shots after Bonnie had been out of the picture for a while.  he was able to see the snake's round eyes which I have since learned is usually a non-poisonous snake.  The only round eye snake that you have to worry about is the coral snake--red and yellow warn a fellow!

About a half hour after we started taking pictures, this guy was ready to move on.  Unfortunately...

He took off under the fence on Susan and Jim's side...and I know Susan HATES snakes.  Hopefully he went right on through the yard and onto the next one! 

Emily was more interested in my sunglasses than the snake.  Smart girl!!!

Winthrop Festival of the Arts, May 1-2, 2010

Like the Port Orange Art Festival this show is relatively new--only two years in the making.  It was recommended by a fellow artist though, so, I gave it a try.  I got up at 4:30, got in the shower and took off for Brandon arriving a bit after 6:30.  Gina, the Rotary member in charge of artists was already there along with two other artists ready to set up.  She walked us to the remaining spots and we all found spots we liked to begin setup.

By the time I was done setting up, my neighbors who had set up the day before had both arrived.  Polly's tent above with the oils and pastels was a new to me artists who has been doing shows about the same time I have.  On the other side, my friend Linda from We're Wired was set up--let the party begin!

The party would out to be a "beach" party as temperatures both days neared 100 degrees.  We were kept well hydrated by the Rotary members who brought ice cold bottles of water every couple of hours.  The artists were all a little perturbed by our location for this second year show.  We were setup in the back of a town center with a Publix, several nice restaurants and lots of businesses.  The year before, the show had been on the front side of the same shopping center. 

The show was combined with a Jazz Festival on Saturday night.  We did get light traffic but I did ok--several artists complained about no sales at all.  One said she didn't think the location change hurt as much as the really hot weather.  I think she was probably right.  Another artist, Terry, cracked a joke--what's the difference between a puppy and an artist?  A puppy quits whining after a couple years.  :)

I talked to some residents who had moved from Orlando about 8 years ago.  They said only in the last couple of years had development taken off.  Where the town center was located was an old cow pasture.  Now they were within walking distance to the Publix with a Target and a Home Depot down the road.  The shopping center included some really nice condos with balconies overlooking a pond. 

All in all, I think I will give this one another try next year and just hope for better weather.