Sunday, July 30, 2006


This is one of my favorites of all the pictures I took this past ten days. I have an affinity for boats and water and once even owned a ten foot sail boat for two years. Don't be too never left my garage and I sold it to another teacher. I think it was more the idea that I had it than all the work it took to have fun with it.

Today is laundry day here in Paradise. I have little else planned besides some major scrapping. It has been ten days since I've done anything besides take pics so I need to do some creative things today to get the juices flowing again.

A bunch of orders of some of the new papers came in while I was at the beach. Of course, I had to take them all out of their wrappers and touch I am loving the new trend towards thicker papers that are not only coordinated but that are double sided as well.

Not being terribly talented with free hand art work, I bought some stencils as Scrapbook Answers Magazine suggested and, with my new tropical colored Sharpies have become a doodling fool. I have an idea brewing for a layout of my great niece with this concept but have to find the perfect picture first.

Enjoy your day all. I'll be scrapping! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Our last day (sigh!)

We floated in the pool, walked the beach and then went to Mantanza's for lunch. This place has the best crunchy grouper sandwiches and fried clams like I use to get at the old Howard Johnson's restaurants. As you can tell by Jill's sandwich, the portions are quite generous.

Jill was my student teacher a couple of years before I retired. It is a running joke about her taking pictures as she still has a roll of film in her camera, we say, from her high school graduation! She thought she and I should have a self portrait and this is the result. Too funny.
This next shot is of my Smoochie Girl, Kim and I. She and Jerry live in Titusville, just a hop, skip and 4 hours jump away from us. Jerry and I coached together in St. Louis and Kim's daughter, Jaimie who was down visiting here earlier in the week, was one of my first cheerleaders. It is almost

The sunset our last night was incredible...streaks of smokey gray against a sky on fire. We sat outside laughing, telling our old war stories over and over and missing each other before any of us have left. Jerry and Kim dropped our pals Kelly, Jill and Mary Beth off at the airport around six and the remaining ten of us talked til the silences between the words reminded us that Chuck and Linda and their friends have a long road trip back to St. Louis ahead of them. We all hugged, kissed, made promises about getting together more often that we will probably be unable to keep and toasted our special times of Week 29.

E is packing up the is Sat. morning now and lovely clouds and blue skies greeted me when I woke. This is the saddest time of all as we have to wish each other goodbye one last time . I will miss them all. Safe journey my friends. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 28, 2006

Jerry and the gals from Collinsville

When Kim, Jerry, e and I went dancing last Sunday, we started chatting with the gals behind us...Low and behold! they were from Jerry's old haunting grounds, C'ville, Ill....It's a small world after all(everyone sing along) Posted by Picasa

Thurs. Pasta Dinner

E and I have so few pictures of us...maybe 3 a year taken by a waitress when we go out for a special meal, that one of our friends insisted on snapping this for me.

The sunset Thurs. after our Pasta Supper was so beautiful. Our friend Chuck, is an incredible photographer and he helped me line up a couple of wonderous shots. In exchange, I showed him the wonders of Picasa and clinched the deal when I told him how the download was free.

And here we all are, in communion and celebration of our friendships both old and new....long live Week 29. Posted by Picasa

Day 8 Wed.

While the guys threw their money at the grayhounds at the track (with very few wins), the gals headed out to Sanibel/Captiva Islands. We started at the lighthouse for some quick pics, headed down Perriwinkle Road for some shopping (I found some cute shorts, a skirt, a couple of tops and some pjs all on sale) and then on to Captiva for lunch. We had fresh, yummy food at my favorite, Key Lime Bistro and then to the beach for shelling and sun. We followed this up with more shopping then home and the pool.

We ususally have our communal supper on Thursday but Jamie, Mike, Baby Micheal and their friend, Jen, had to head back to Titusville early Thurs so we switched the supper to Wed. instead. The pic of the food should give you a good idea of the variety that everyone contributes. We sat around and watched the sunset and most hit the beds early Wed. night.


Most of the day was spent pool side or floating on rafts in the pretty blue pool itself. There was a huge storm that moved through and we all scattered. Jill and Kelly, e and I braved the storm and rode it out at Smokin' Oyster Bar with beach bread and coconut shrimp. We all gathered together for a pasta supper with e and I supplying the salad. We all took nice long walks on the beach at the end of this day with a spectacular sunset (pic to follow later today). Good time is being held by all!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kayaking the Estero River/day 7

We left the resort around 8 am yesterday to get an early start on the river. Our friend, Chuck, got a single and E and I rented a double seater kayak for our adventure.

I love this river. It is shaded by trees on both sides, is not very deep and the current does most of the work. The river winds past the old Koreshan settlement, a couple of mobile home parks, a few large homes (one of which I call Tara) and down miles and miles of lovely bamboo, mangroves and live oaks. Got a great shot of a turtle sunning himself on a huge limb out over the river; I just need to down load that one from my camera.

Today(Wed./day 8) is Grayhound racing day at the track for the guys and the day trip to Sanibel and Captiva for the gals. Three of the guys went shark hunting last night for four hours but no one is up and about yet for me to get the fish stories from them.

My honey says breakfast is almost ready so off I go....we are having so much fun!

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Sunday in the Tropics (Day 5)

We spent most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing...floating in the pool, chatting with our pals, reading, eating, dozing and keeping "hydrated"! lol
Around 5 we all met at The Bridge restaurant which sits on the Back Bay. It has a great view of the skyway bridge which spans the back bay to Estero Island and of the shrimp boats on San Carlos Island. We danced, enjoyed each other's company, loved the reagee (sp?) music and had fun. Many of our crew of fourteen headed back to the resort while the "oldies but goodies"(E, me and our friends Kim and Jerry) danced the night away. We headed to Barnacle Bill's which is also on the Back Bay and moved on down the road to Parrot Key where Al someone from The Platters was playing great dancing music.

I love this picture of our youngest member, Baby Micheal and his daddy, Big Mike. This little fella is just a bundle of energy and loves the beach.
All in all, we are having a wonderful time...wish you were here!

The last couple, Jill and Kelly, arrive early evening from St. Louis. Jill was my student teacher a few years back and now she has had student teachers of her own! Time sure passes fast when you are having fun!

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Day 4, Day 5 and most of Day 6

Day 4 was spent with E and I lounging on the patio here watching the birds soar, the waves crash and the breezes blow. It's a rough job, but someone has to do it. We headed back into town to wait for our friends arrival. We met them at Buffalo Chips (yes, it is a restaurant with great wings)and then headed home. Sat. morning (day 5), after a great breakfast courtesy of Mr. E himself, the girls headed off to the outlet mall and the guys watched golf on tv until everyone else's units were ready.

Kristen and Chris got in around four and Jamie, Mike and baby Michael got in not much later. These kids of ours are the second generation and baby Michael is the third of Week 29ers...long live this wonderful tradition of friends reuniting at the beach. Chuck and Linda, our resident newly weds were already in their unit when we arrived. My sister made us all pulled pork for sandwiches and my niece an nephew joined us with my great niece Kaela for a fun filled evening. Great light show later in the evening with a big storm moving through.

Coffee this morning with Linda and Chuck followed by a day filled with lots of R and R...float in the pool, pop a beer, turn over, repeat same! We are all now preparing to head out to the Bridge, a restaurant/bar on the Back Bay for our traditional Reagge Night of wonderful music and great tropical views. Day 6 will draw to a close when we return with our ritual evening star does not get much better than this.

Kristen and Chris both have to work tomorrow so they headed home a couple of hours ago.

The picture on today's blog is of a huge stingray that had beached itself. We are assuming it was affected by the red tide that is moving down the Gulf. The guys tried to float the ray back out into the Gulf but we do not hold out much hope it survived.

More tomorrow or the next day or....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Day 2 and morning of Day 3

We had the most wonderful day yesterday. We did absolutely nothing. I took a couple of mile walk in the morning and we read, snacked and sipped G & Ts in the afternoon while we watched a summer storm move through. We only got a few drops of rain but the lightening show down the coast a bit was magnificient.

This morning brought this beautiful sunrise, tinting the clouds with shades of peach and tangerine. We head back to the house later this afternoon and wait for our friends to all get into town. Their units here at the resort will not be ready until around two pm tomorrow. Tonight 7 of them will be staying at our house. Our newly weds, Chuck and Linda, arrive from St. Louis tomorrow and Jill and Kelly don't get in until Monday. Kristen and Chris will only be able to stay the weekend as her school starts soon and she needs to get her classroom ready.

I am looking forward today to more of yesterday, reading beside the Gulf, another nice stroll and a yummy lunch somewhere. Enjoy your day all and know someone here in Paradise is thinking of you! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Courting Dolphins

These are not the best pictures in the world but they do give you a hint at the size of the dolphins last night and how close to shore they were. At one point, the larger of the two came so close to me, I could have probably touched him but I was too busy backtracking out of his way. These are such amazing creatures and they come past our beach in the mornings heading toward Sanibel and in the evening heading the other way in the direction of Lover's Key Ahhhhhhhh bliss!
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the courting dance

Posting from Paradise

About a half hour ago e and I were sitting outside waiting for the sunset when he said, "Dolphin" and i ran w/my camera. I swear to you that the biggest boy i've ever seen was no more than 40ft. from me in the surf and his lady fair was as close...I actually got to watch 'courting dance' of the dolphin does not get a whole lot better, let me tell you!

Day One

I had been assured that I would have internet service at our resort for our two weeks...and that is true if I sit in the lobby of the resort or ...

if I sit out here on our lanai. The lanai,as you can see from the previous post, faces the Gulf. We have a fantastic view of the beach and beyond. The tide is coming in as I type and the sounds....ah, the sounds of the surf upon the shore..there is no better seditive known to mankind. We've had storms pass us by all afternoon and no rain. The black clouds sit like an umbrella just off shore and the change in the weather has cood us and brought lovely tropical breezes. Believe me, having to go out to the lanai to post is not a hardship at all.

E and I fulfilled our two traditions upon our arrival at the beach: our trek to the Cottage and our private celebration of our relationship. This is our 11th. year hear at Estero Island Beach Club together and my 20th year of uninterrupted summer stays. I bought 3 wks. in 1986, getting one week for 800.00 as my step papa, Joe, bid on a foreclosure on the court house steps for me . Now each of my children own a week as do most of our friends...

We are blessed!

Reporting live from the Gulf of Mexico

Beach side

This will be us in just a few short hours. Our unit should be ready a bit after noon, the cat sitter arrives a bit before noon. We are all packed and have just a bit more clean up around here before we head on out.
After we get to the resort, we unpack, put everything away, change clothes and head to the beach as is our tradition. We walk about ten minutes or more down the beach to The Cottage, one of the oldest structures on Estero Island. The beer is cold, the food yummy and the view is wonderous. We always split an order of beach bread and the house specialty, broiled shrimp in a honey sauce that is to die for! This is our routine, our celebration of our yearly stay. Will update the blog when time and internet access allows. Til then, posting from Paradise, Jules Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A few words about the cable company

Posting from Paradise

RATS and @%&#@** . We have been without network connection for the third time this week. Sometimes it has been an hour or two and sometimes I get ten minutes here and there of on-line connection. I am so tired of this. The cable guy is due 'sometime' today. I have been told that if I file a report I can get compensated for the down time...we'll see. If no one hears from me in days, you'll know that cable is out AGAIN!

Monday, July 17, 2006

There's a cat in my closet!

Meet Goofy. This is Just Jack's litter (not little)brother. Goof can most often be found sleeping on my clothes in the closet or curled up on the end of our bed. He is very territorial and doesn't like his brother entering his domain. Goof "ownes" the bed and, if Jack comes up for an early morning petting, Goof either chases him off or gets down and cries til Jack leaves. I read somewhere the other day that owning and or petting a cat will lower one's blood pressure. If that is the case, E's should be at zero. Jack demands almost non stop petting when E is at home. He hops up onto the chair at the table next to E's and pats on him until E does exactly what Jack want him to. Makes you wonder who owns who around here, doesn't it? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Things I'm Going to do at the Beach

We head on out to the beach in just a few days. The cat sitter is ready, I'm not! But, all I need to do is throw some clothes in a suitcase and a couple of swim suits and I am good to go.

Things I plan on doing at the beach this year: long morning walks in the sand, take myself out to breakfast at the Greek place in Time's Square. Walk some of the back streets and take a few shots of doors for my album, watch the dolphins move across the Gulf in the early morn, coffee on the lanai, float in the pool with a beer in one hand and try hard not to burn my lips off (again). The reflection from the can can be a Catch up on our friends' lives. Things I do not want to do: I want to not answer the phone, not think about our house not being sold yet, not worry about classes filling, or getting albums done, not worry about Hurricane Season.

Sometimes our lives fill up with the have tos and the shoulds. Everyone needs at least ten days (even if they are not all together) to relax and just not think, to rejuvinate and not be responsible, to have endless day after day filled with nothing but what that person wants to do and mine starts Wed.! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 14, 2006

Life is just a bowl of cherries...

E brought these home from work today and they are almost too pretty to eat. But, I did anyway...and soooo very good.

He also brought us fresh pineapple and some Georgia peaches that he is going to halve, grill and pour in white chocolate and basalmic. These are to die for. And I wonder why I can't lose weight!

A week from today we will be on the beach, floating in the pool, taking nice long shelling walks in the mornings and watching for the dolphins. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Movie Challenge for Bloggers

Posting from Paradise

Your top 5 Chick Flicks
Your top 5 Scary Movies
Your top 5 Classic Movies
Your top 5 Kid movies.
Your top 5 comedies
Others you love

Top 5 Chick Flicks: Fried Green Tomatoes, When Harry Met Sally, Steel Magnolias, Hope Floats, Under the Tuscan Sun (color me a romantic)

Top 5 Scary Movies: (an oldie here or two) The Blob, War of the Worlds (original version), Amyteville Horror, Salem's Lot, Stepford Wives (original).

Top 5 Classics: In Harm's Way, Casablanca, Key Largo, White Christmas, An Affair to Remember and African Queen.

Top 5 Kid Movies: Muppet Movie, Muppet Christmas, Bambi, Finding Nemo, Pete's Dragon

Top 5 Comedies: Mr. Mom, Big, The Long Red Trailer (Lucy and Ricky), Houseboat, Christmas Vacation (or any Chevy Chase movie)

My top 5 picks: Animal House, any of the Die Hard, Beverly Hill cops, or the Mel Gibson/Lethal Wepons ones, Indiana Jones, and the Jewel of the Nile series.

What are yours?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sights, sounds and reflections from a bike ride

Posting from Paradise

I only did a bit over 3 miles today as I had not been riding much lately and didn't want to overdo it. I always feel so much better when I have done some form of exercise every day.

Sights: foam floating out the canal on the tide, those crazy mullet fish skipping themselves like rocks across the water, a rose garden even bigger than mine, an old home being rehabed, two friendly walkers and a crazed driver whom I swear was using me for taget practice, an elderly lady staring at her mailbox like she could not remember why she was there (sad and it could be me someday).

Sounds: the rat a tat tat of a silly woodpecker attacking a tin roof, the gentle whoosh of the current from the canal into the creek, an edger cleaning a lawn, the crunch of my bike tires on gravel,kids playing in a pool, me yelling at the car driver who tried to see how close he could get to me while I biked.

Smells: the musty smell of the water overflo, the fresh, inticing aroma of freshly cut grass, my honeysuckle subtley tickling my nose, and the jasmine that welcomed me home.

Reflections: I need to do this more often.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Living in Limbo in Paradise

Posting from Paradise
We've had 3 people looking at the house in the past week. This is really good news for us and is one more than looked then entire 3 months the other realtor had the listing. One guy is a walk in from the street and E gave him the grand tour, one is a realtor looking for his client who travels lots and one guy came with a realtor and loved the place. All three are due back later this week or early next (the two lookers with their wives) so keep those body parts crossed.It is like we are living in Limbo lately. Everything is taking place north from us (or near where we are moving). When this house was being built we came by every day to watch the progress. Now, with this new house, we get by once every six weeks or so. There are activities we are having to miss and being able to spend lots of time with our friends and family. I got an e-mail this morning from a friend of mine asking if I was going to the Scrapbook Answers Retreat in AZ...boy, I sure wish I was. My pal, Jen, is going to be there and I'd love to crop with her. She has the cutest little dog and I know she has an on-going album. I also think a couple of other friends are planning on attending too but it is out of the question for this year. If I knew we had a contract on this house, I'd book it so fast!I am looking forward to the retreat in Aug to the Paradise Found and the swim with the manatee...I need to find a face mask and take the bows off an old pair of glasses so I can see when I do this. (thanks for the idea Ginni). Kip is going so this will really be fun.I'll post some pics of my grandpuppies that I took this past weekend later today. These babies now both weigh 50lbs each!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

New House Update

This is the house from the back. The french doors lead into the great room and our master bedroom is to the left (two windows). The concrete shell for the pool and hot tub have been poured and the support wallin the back has been built as well. This is a view from the kitchen with my dd, Kristen out on the to-be lanai. The last view is of the lanai and the back of our house. The window seat in the kitchen is framed, all electric, video and cable are in and we have to make our appointment for the preframe. The neighbors were friendly and waved (they don't know us I have decided to go with the second guest room for my work room and forgo the front room that has one solid wall of windows to the front. We'll be putting in a Murphey bed on one wall in the second guest room and that still leaves me plenty of wall space and a huge closet for all my stuff!
A friend has also suggested we offer a bonus at contract signing to the agent who gets us a contract within two months, a bit less for 3 etc. and our realtor is working up a plan. Don't uncross your fingers yet, Crossed Body Parts Brigade!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

An Afternoon of Fun

Kristen found this really cute restaurant near her home for us to have lunch. She and Chris have been there a few times and said the food was good. Kip joined us for a relaxing lunch and it even came with its own entertainment dock side. This baby gator had
obviously been feed by some of the diners which, of course, is against the law, as he cruised up and down the dock waiting for his hand out.

The restaurant had a cute tiki bar and Kristen told us there is live music on the weekneds. The place is about 25 years old with initial carved in the picnic style tables. This is my kind of place.

We're off to see the progress on the new house today and to take the kids out to lunch at that cute restaurant we found last time we headed to Land O Lakes. Then we will head over to Titusville to the b'day party. This is has been such a fun weekend so far. Will post updates when I can. Til then, have a great weekend.