Friday, March 20, 2015

The Bikes of Tarpon Springs

As many of you know, I am a morning walker and, lately, during the course of my walks through my town of Tarpon Springs, I have noticed a phenomena occurring...whimsically decorated bikes all around town!

The first one I saw was down on the Sponge Docks outside of the Sponge Diver tee shirt store.  I had just gotten off the sponge diver boat with my 4 year old grandson, Landon and we both noticed this fun bike all "sponged" up.
 I assumed this unique repurposing had been done by the shop as they also sell sponges along with their clothing and wonderful tee shirts. 

A couple of weeks later, walking through town with my friend, Jo, we spotted the "computerized" bike outside a computer repair shop on Tarpon Ave.  This one has a small plaque that read, Tarpon Tom, which is a wonderful resale and bike repair shop in town on Alt. 19.  This is where I take my bike.  (pardon my partial thumb obliterating the handle bars which were key boards!)


A few days later, Jo and I spotted these on Tarpon Ave. during our morning walk.

Today, my husband dropped me off at Meres for my morning walk and, as I went up Tarpon Ave off the Trail, I spotted this one with a small sign reading Neptune Cyclery Shop which is located next to Toula's Trail Side Cafe on Safford. 

I don't know who started these but they are truly a wonderful addition to our already whimsical little town.  So kudos to those creating these wonders and keep up the good work, please.

Monday, February 23, 2015

If I were the Pres....

Some one recently posted on Facebook, what would one do if he/she were the President of the U.S. and I thought about it long and hard

And if I were the President, this is what I would do

1.  no child or elderly person would be without food, shelter or medical treatment and care (this is a humanitarian and (for those who keep posting how "Christian" they are, what Christ proclaimed!

2. I would bring our fighting troops home and put them to work (at a higher wage, btw) rebuilding our infrastructures that need refrubishing.

(side bar here: who do we think we are that we can impose our democratic beliefs on nations that have existed eons before ours...let them deal with their problems and let us divert our money to ours)

3.  Pay our educators more than a babysitter and establish boards of teachers who regulate their peers.  Stop letting legislators regulate what they know nothing about.

4.  Workfare, not Welfare...educate and provide a cushion while it is happening.  How can we expect anyone to rise above their standards when we provide money but no training or training but no child care or any of the above.  Want to live in subsidized housing,  sign up for classes to move out!

5.  I would not give money or subsidies or tax breaks to any company that out sources...I would double their taxes and watch how our economy flourishes

6.  I would limit the amount of money that could be spent on any political campaign.  It would be begin at local and, of course (because I am not stupid) accelerate to presidential).   BUT,  for every dollar ANY donation, any expense, any anything went over that amount, no matter who it came from or how it was justified, the candidate had to contribute 2x that amount to education (and no charter schools!)

7.  NO privation of public education...these tax dollars are paid by the residents and, if they don't go to the local schools, but go to privately owned charter schools, the residents loose

8.  If politicians are not doing their jobs, they need to be remanded.
9.  Federal and state senators and reps need to be in the same health plan that they "approve"  for their constituents, and nothing better  (what's good for the goose is good for the gander)

10.  If I want it to be, I'll live it

So, perhaps I should be Queen rather than just the Pres...ya think?
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winter Doldrums

I should not complain as our weather here has been chilly but no SN*W (that is a four letter word, you know!).  It has been hard to get out and walk lately as even the winds and rain have been conniving to keep me from my daily stroll. 

Several other events have assisted in my recent doldrums.  The death of friend who was only a year older than I am was a reminder of how fragile life actually is.  My sister's on going battle with lung cancer which apparently runs in our family as my dad had this as well...and our smoking doesn't help.  (I quit right before I turned 50...thanks to the kick in the butt from my dear friend, Chuck Adams who also is no longer with us).  The Grands have been sick off and on, one or the other or all 3 since right after Christmas and I've seemed to catch a milder dose of whatever they have shared ever so nicely.

I do know that this will pass.  The sun will shine, the winds will die down and I'll be out walking and biking again soon.  Meanwhile, I do have a couple of events to look forward to.  This weekend I am heading to St. Pete's to crop at Whim's with Jacque, Sonia and my pal, Janet M.  Landon has his turn at a sleep over the following weekend and I'll be visiting with Janet on Anna Maria in March. 

I have a ton of pics on my phone of the Grands that I need to upload and share here.  Please be patient...I am a work in progress even at 67.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Reflections

Our friends, Jo and Bill, are closing soon on their condo here.  They have been snowbird renters for the past four years and this is their Starter Home here in Paradise.  I am so excited for them as now we'll get to spend even more time with them.

Their purchase of a winter abode got me thinking back to the very first place I could call all my own.  I had graduated from college, had a teaching job all lined up in a small town near Kansas City, a few hundred miles from my parents in St. Louis.  I had found the perfect, and almost affordable, place to call my own.

I rented an apartment in an old home.  There were two apartments on the ground floor, two on the second story and my first home of my own in the attic.  It came furnished which was a good thing since all I had to my name (and these things mostly thanks to my parents) were a t.v with rabbit ears, 2 sets of sheets, a couple of towels, a cookie tray and one pot and one pan.  I bought a set of plastic dishes and called my apartment furnished.

I loved the tiny space I could call my own.  I graded papers at the tiny kitchen table, cooked pizza for girlfriends in my small oven on my one cookie tray and stared off into the tree tops from my bed.  It was my own private tree house and I was very happy.

I only lived in my starter home for four months.  My boyfriend proposed, we married and moved back to the college town where he was still taking classes.  Many homes followed and 1 husband (but that is another story entirely) but I've never forgotten the first place I could call my own.

What was your first home like?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Another year over...(to loosely quote John Lennon)

and what have we got

1,  fought off some health issues
2.  had some great sleep overs with the Grands...Baby Girl gets to participate next Spring
3.   traded our trip to the British Isles to cavort with our besties, Bill and Jo on a ten day to the Caribbean (sing it Jimmy Buffett)
4.  had another fun Christmas party
5.  spent time with our year round pals and our "snow birdies"
6.  kept in touch with our friends of 25, 30 years and longer back home.
7.  saluted a fallen Tarpon Springs police officer.
8.  celebrated Baby Girl's 3rd b'day and the twins' 4th.  (they all are getting older far too fast for this Nana)
9.  set a goal to walk &/or bike 500 miles this coming year *me*
10. thinking seriously of giving up my Hot Mama Transformer convertible...E is struggling to get in and out of it and I've had my fun for almost  8 years now.  It's time.
 11.  working out tons of details in the writing of a will...much needed for us as we get along in years.

AND PAY ATTENTION HERE:  (E does not read my blog or Facebook)
I want to throw him a surprise 70th. b'day party on Sept 14, 2015.  I want to invite everyone who has known him personally and has/does love(d)him.  If you think you can make this work, I'll try to find accommodations nearby at discount prices.  I want this to be a special time for him...if you even think you can make it, please email me at BuckFifty07@gmail.com (he does not ever check this one).  I have 9 mo to make this a very special time for him, the love of my life.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

and the busiest.  We've been running like crazy people and enjoying every moment of it. 

Last week, in addition to attending my first Tai Chi class, Papa and I took Leighton to her mama's school to see her brothers get awards at the school's award ceremony.  Colvin got an award for Responsibility and Landon for On Task.


Jo and I have been walking almost every morning.  I've taken to posting those daily on Facebook.  If you are in my Friends list, you have seen those.  Our little town goes all out for decorating:  the Sponge docks are festive with a tree and the sponge boats festooned as well.  We have new "old" lights and those and palm trees have been wrapped along with shrubs in lights.  The down town has not one but two trees and lamp lights decorated as well. 

Friday night, we headed to Tarpon Tavern, as is our tradition, and had an early dinner.  We walked a bit waiting for the Grands and their parents to meet us.  This is our town's "Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs" and there truly is not anything like it.  There were vendors of all sorts, snow and a snow slide, two Santas (the kids finally got to visit with the Jolly Old Man) and wonderful entertainers. 








Papa and I had a great time with the Grands and their folks.  We headed home and watched our traditional holiday movie (we actually have a couple), White Christmas and then headed to bed.

Sat. morning I walked into town to Spring Bayou and met Kristen, her friend, Lisa and the three Grands for the yearly Christmas parade.  I think my favorite entry, besides the Santa float, is our town's award winning marching band.  They are simply amazing. 















Last night we hosted our Christmas party to about twenty five or so friends.  It is hard to believe that just seven years ago first arrived from Ft. Myers, we knew only the kids and their friends .  As avid a photographer and recorder of events in our life, I didn't take a single picture of our gathering.  I must have been having a really good time...lol.  We even had a visit from Tarpon Spring's finest.  Some of our guests had parked on the restricted side of our street and a very sweet police woman very politely asked could we move the cars.  She was a delight and I wish I had gotten her name so I could call and tell the powers that be what a wonderful job she did. 

Today is reclaim the house day and get some ironing done.  I have a luncheon date with Jo and some friends tomorrow plus Tai Chi at 2pm.  Tues., The Women Who Do Lunch bunch are having our Christmas lunch at Bon Appetite in Dunedin.  Wed. we are back on Leighton's Limo service and I have Tai Chi at two again.  It is held at the public library right across from her school so it works out great.  Friday she has a half day and we don't resume her limo service til next year. 

Hoping your holiday are merry and bright!

Monday, December 08, 2014

From our house to yours...

                        Happy Holidays 
We've had a busy week or two since Thanksgiving.  We usually have the whole house decorated and turn on everything Thanksgiving night.  We were a bit behind this year due to a few (now resolved) health issues and are finally done.  We got a new tree after the holidays last year and love it.  It is frosted one and we sure have a lot of glitter everywhere!

 And here are a few of our glass blown "vintage" Santas...we add a new St. Nick every year.



                                                     and Santa has to have reindeer, right?



 Our outside front and back are done.  We did order some blue laser lights for the front but they are not in yet.  But the lanai is finished and we are starting to set up for our annual Christmas Party.
                                                  Our Tiki god of Beer is showing his age.
                                                                  The Grands' tree
               Come Sat., I'll put on the pretty table cloths, set out the centerpieces and wait for our guests    to arrive.  E has been cooking up a storm .
 I'll take a few more shots the day of the party.  We have the Snow Place like Tarpon Springs event the night before and our little town's annual Christmas parade that morning ...so much fun!

                                                     Our Christmas Island village







None of our house pieces are taller than 3 inches and this village has been growing since 1987, started by my kids, Rob and Kristen on a Christmas long ago.

Each room in our house has its own festivities.
Our room
                                  My snow globes go above the cabinet across from our bed.
Our guest room is done in deer and moose with lights around the window and one "guy" who welcomes visitors.  This guy below is new and hand selected by grandson, Colvin.  The Grands love the guest room as there is nothing they can break or harm...it is all theirs.

      My workroom has my retro Christmas tree, Lucy (Lucille bit the dust year before last), and topped with one of my favorite Santas from our friend, Clare in New Zealand.

The guest bath is all snow people, the kitchen cheerful and kitchy, the entry way has the Nativity set and an angel given to me by a friend we all call Lady Di.
More pictures when I get a chance and thanks to all of you who read and follow my blog.  Happiest of holidays to you, no matter which one you celebrate.