Sunday, June 30, 2013

Biking around my town

I have been biking rather than walking the past few mornings for a variety of reasons: less stress for some reason on my knee, can create my own breeze and I can get out of sudden downpours faster.  I've been building up my distance and am now up to about 6 miles.  It would not take me so long but I stop and take pictures of my town.  There is so much going on here that I 'almost' hate to leave for our 3 wks at the beach...

Our city is in the process of adding an outdoor fitness area and upgrading the dog park just across the street.  There will be access from the Pinellas Trail and the how cool is that?

 The Trail is being improved almost daily.  Trees have been planted, benches and attractive trash bins, pots for flowers and retaining very nice.

Two cool shops are right on the Trail (and I am not just saying that because they carry my Bottle Works wares), Pistachios and Off the Beaten them on facebook and tell them Jules sent you!

While we have lost a couple of businesses, the amount of new ones is amazing.  These merchants have taken a leap of faith that our town is on the upward trend.  Even our home prices are rising! In my development alone, we are down to one home for sale and one in short sale out of about 60 some homes..pretty good, huh? 

The cover on the patio at Tarpon Tavern is done and it is wonderful.  There are fans over head and the temp is lovely as we found out last Friday when we met friends for drinks and dinner.
 Mad Hatter is moving across from the Sun Trust building on Tarpon Ave. across the street to where the book store use to be and I can't wait for the Grand Opening.  My friend, Alice, has her amazing mini books for sale there!

I love how the various merchants here in town help each other and work together to keep our town upbeat.  Josh White, Tampa Bay Salvage is building the dressing rooms for the Mad Hatter out of salvaged vintage wood from his store.
I took a peek in the shop today and they are so beautiful!

Zante has opened a clothing and accessory store recently on Tarpon Ave and the corner of stuff.

And, speaking of Hibiscus...two more shops just up from Sarah Hoopers, Tipsy Candle Factory, are getting ready to open too.

Look what the city has done to draw traffic down this darling little street...

And that is just our downtown area and not all that is to be seen and shopped.  Since next month is my last column in the Tarpon Life mag (it is being discontinued), I thought perhaps I would do one article a month here on my blog.  This is my town and I lOVE it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Scrap Happy

The last couple of crops with the Women Who Do Lunch bunch have been quite productive for me.  In addition to the ones on my Altered Art blog, I've done these.  Most are of Akaroa, New Zealand and Sydney, Aus. but a couple are of the Grands.  I am trying to fill in some missing months from their albums as well. 

 Before anyone emails me and says "harbar' is not spelled correctly, that is how the cafe spelled it. lol
 This funny little sign made it abundantly clear that this town was settled by the French.

I'll be posting all my layouts here from now on.  Continuous thanks for looking!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to my summer vacation

With Kristen off at her required workshop all last week and Chris working and going to school, we had a fun time with the Grands.  On Thursday, we got out the second sprinkler the Twins got for their birthday and let them go to town.

Friday started our official summer vacation and, to celebrate, we headed into town to Tarpon Tavern to see the progress on the new cover for the patio.  It is almost done!  This is what it looked like last Tues.

It was done all but the installation of the fans on Friday and is looking great!  We had Susie over for dinner and were later joined by Justin and Curt for some pool fun.  Nice evening with friends.

Sat. morning, I headed over to Cynthia's and joined her and Diane for some weekend cropping .  While I got lots of scrapping done (2 pages finished from a previous crop and 9 more done), I think we did more laughing than anything else.  Sunday, Baby Di joined us and we cropped some more.

I dropped off some consignment bottles and glasses at Pistachios and one of the owners of  Off the Beaten Path, Stephanie Strope, requested 2 of the mermaid bottles for that store as well. 

We leave for our 3 wks. at the beach in a couple of weeks and have been sorting and getting ready for that adventure.  We have our housekeeper in place and have been making dates with our south Florida friends for lunches and dinners and walks on the beach. 

I'm shifting my layouts back to this blog from the Altered Art Blog starting today.  I hope to be able to put up the most recent ones sometime this afternoon.  I am making good progress on the Aus/NZ album!

Til later....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Been a busy week and it is only Tuesday

We had the Grands for half a day on Monday.  Poor Landon has another ear infection and was not his usual chipper self.  We read Pete the Cat books (I LOVE my Blue shoes), played with the wooden train set and did cross word puzzles with Papa.

 Some days a little guy just doesn't want to get out of his jammie top.

 What is a six letter word for adorable...Grands
 Landon has taken to asking me to read him the car ads...a portent of things to come?
When the kids' daddy got back from school, we rushed home so I could shower and change and meet up with two of the Women Who Do Lunch bunch who treated me to lunch for my birthday at Sea Sea Riders in Dunedin, Fl.  We spent half our time solving the world's problems and the other half laughing ourselves silly.  I adore these women...

 I had the day's special: cilantro mayo roasted chicken with avacado on half a roll and a side  of their house coleslaw with peanuts!
We shopped our way through several stores, dropped more than a few pennies at the.Dunedin Bead Store and then it was on to Layayette and Rushford happy place. 

Then, when I got home, there in the day's mail was the Tarpon Springs Life magazine with my article on a FULL page.  I had been told it would be on a half page with my photos on the opposing page.  Instead, there I am, bigger than life.  I have one more article coming out next month before the magazine becomes history.  I was glad to be a part of it while it lasted.

Today, I met Chris at Music with Mar at St. Ignatius Church on Tarpon Ave here in town.  The kids love this class and it give Chris a break in his day as well.  We have the kids for the next two days while daddy works and mama attends a mandatory workshop.  Thinking about bringing the kids back here one of the days...we'll see.  It has been a loooooooooong time since we had all 3 all day so all prayers are gratefully

Monday, June 10, 2013

A shared birthday is a good birthday

My day started with breakfast out with my honey at Cloe's on Alt 19 here in Tarpon Springs.  We had never been and had heard nothing but good things about the restaurant so off we went. The prices were great, the portions generous, the service friendly and the food...oh my! Wonderous.

We no sooner got home than we got a call from Mitch and Kim Day on their way home from a one year anniversary weekend on Longboat Key.  Would we like to go out to lunch? And they were missing us and Tarpon Springs.  Of course and I had a couple of new places to show them like Off the Beaten Path and Tampa Bay Salvage before we had a salad and flatbread (we shared) at Tarpon Tavern.

Then it was time to head on over the kids for the Twins 3rd. b'day party.  Here ya go...
 The theme this year was Pete the Cat and K and C did an amazing job with the decorations.  The darling, and yummy, cake was from Sweet Carolines on Tampa Road just a ways from their house.
 Leighton loved the balloons best of all.

The kids gave me a charm for my Pandora Nana bracelet and we headed home after a while.  It was a lovely day with lots of warm wishes and a lovely phone call from my sister. 

Today, Rob is here for a couple of days and will be working on all the techno devices I've managed to screw up since his last visit.  The Grands and their folks are coming by in a bit for some swim time and dinner.  Today is their actual birthday and they have one more gift to open from their Uncle Rob.

Hope your week will be a good one.