adventure, fences, natural wonders, on closer examination, special effects, sunset, technology, travel

Armchair traveling…

Have you been on Google Earth lately? Or ever? I went looking for that application on the computer so that I could look up my grandfather’s house for a blog post, and gone was the blue marble ikon I was looking for. I thought I’d somehow deleted the application, but no, it was there, now titled Google Earth Pro, with a gray and white ikon.

The ikon might be less colorful, but I was astounded at what I found when I typed in the address I was looking for. I was essentially a drone, flying over a very clear town, and zooming in so that I was standing in front of the house! A beautiful, full color, photograph of the house that, in this case, was well past it’s prime. And yes, it took a little maneuvering, and while you are ‘walking’ yourself to the actual address you just might make yourself a little sea sick, but so worth it. Maybe not if you are trying to hide, or on the ‘lam’, but for nosy people like me it was great!  Just this morning I visited the Vatican, the Acropolis, and the school where my granddaughter teaches in Bucharest. In the more famous places there are many, many photo links to click on to see the photos that other people have taken in that place and posted on the internet.

And then it hit me while I was at work today!  The Grand Canyon!  What better place to fly over!  Or down into. I’m thinking it has to be like wearing one of those flying squirrel suits and zooming on the air currents… from the comfort of my recliner of course. The tool bar at the top of the screen seems to allow you to save images, or record your ‘tour’. As I zoomed I stopped and took quick photos of my computer screen for you to see.  And kept the tools in the photos on purpose so you’ll know what the screen looks like if you decide to fly there, or anywhere else, for yourself and check it out. It really is a small world these days.

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boats, nature, on closer examination, photography, sunset, Uncategorized

Edgewater Drive Sunset…

Edgewater Drive Park runs along the water from Dunedin to Clearwater.  It’s a nice green space with a sidewalk and benches to sit on.  In the evening people gather along it’s length to watch the sunset, and walk, some with their dogs.  There are houses lining the other side of the street, facing the park and the water, and Charley and I thought it looked like a perfect place to live.  Pricey of course, but perfect.

I went there about a month ago, actually to the Dunedin marina that I had enjoyed last year, but was I was disappointed.  The pier where I had stood to watch the sunset was closed to pedestrians, and the boats were packed so tightly into the marina that it was hard to position yourself for good photos.  But with a marina, a sunset pier, and an adjacent park it’s no wonder I had wanted to go back.

adventure, childhood, dogs, fun, memories, old dogs new tricks, simple things

“An Ode To My Dog”

My sister has suggested that I write a post about our dog, Tag. The problem with that is that almost all the images I have of him, and there are many, exist only in my head. And this will be no short story. Tag

We got him from a farm on the outskirts of our town, picking him out of a big litter of puppies. I wanted a more colorfully marked female, but my mother chose Tag, who was curled up, sleeping in the food dish. I remember the flecks of food in his fur on the drive home. I have loved all my dogs, but in the 64 years since no other dog has ever come close to Tag. Because it was the days before leash laws Tag was free as a bird, and he followed me everywhere in my younger years. My mother said she never worried about me because of that.

He quite literally jumped through hoops for me.  Hula hoops. I had a mental image of somehow creating a flaming hoop for him to jump through, but never actually attempted to implement that particular fantasy, mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to hold a flaming hula hoop. I made a rope harness for him to pull a wagon, and charged the neighborhood kids a penny for a ride. My success with Tag prompted the neighbors to hire me to train their dog, who paid absolutely no attention to me, so it was the student, not the teacher, who deserved the credit. Another plan of mine was to hitch Tag to the wagon, a kerchief around his neck with a shopping list and money tied inside, and send him to the little neighborhood market up the street. I was sure it would work. We lived with my grandfather in those days, in an Italian neighborhood, and though I didn’t speak the language, when my grandfather would slip me a couple of dollars go to the store and buy a box of dog biscuits to keep beside him for Tag, I knew what he wanted me to do.

When one of my uncles slipped me a dollar or two and I marched myself to the pet shop and bought a kitten, my mother wasn’t amused.  That that cat had kittens long before my mother thought to do anything to avoid it was quite the episode in my, and Tag’s, life.  He attended the birth, helping clean up the kittens as they were born.  My mother said he was a better mother than the cat was.  He would lay on the big cement back porch, with the kittens jumping on his slowly wagging tail.  When his tail would change directions the kittens would tumble off, only to jump back on.  I can see it so clearly, even now.

Tag would show up at school at recess to say hello. My mother said he’d be asleep on the porch and he’d suddenly leap to his feet and take off. She’d look at the clock and know where he went, and she also said that he was the only dog welcome at the school.  Or so I ‘remember’. Even I wonder about some of these memories some times.

When I got too old for Tag to follow me every day he would follow the older neighborhood handyman on his rounds. John was on foot, pulling a wagon full of his tools, and my father would see him and Tag all around the area. One day John was up on the roof of the barn-type structure behind the house next door, and Tag attempted to climb up the ladder to join him. He got halfway up and was stuck, leaving John equally stuck on the roof. My father, the fireman, had to come to their rescue. Eventually we moved across town, and Tag kept disappearing, only to be spotted by my father, back in the old neighborhood, still making the rounds with John.

In the 5th grade we were supposed to write our autobiography, my mother said that mine should have been titled, “An Ode To My Dog”. Little did she dream she’d name a blog post for me one day.


chickens, Florida wildlife, home, humor, nature, on closer examination, photography, squirrels


There it was again, the rustling in the overgrown palmetto at the edge of the yard. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. She should feel relieved,  if the dogs didn’t bark, it must be nothing, she thought to herself. Where were the dogs anyhow? She couldn’t see either one of them. She should walk around to the front of the house and see where they had gotten to, but she heard the noise again and was rooted to the spot. She had always been afraid of that overgrown tangle of Florida foliage. Always wondered what might be in there. Which partly accounted for why it was so overgrown, since she couldn’t bring herself to take even the long handled pruners out there to trim things up. She had turned toward the front to look for the dogs, but behind her she heard it again. Taking a deep breath she turned, and camouflaged so well against the tree that she could barely see it, was the intruder.chickenintruderBut there were more than just this one intruder…


Her four-legged bodyguards must have been asleep on the job… but wait!  That was written yesterday, but the bodyguards were on the ball today letting her know something was out there.  Now this really is an intruder.  armadilla

birds, Florida wildlife, healing, life, natural wonders, nature, photography, simple things, sunrise

Pastel sunrise…

Last January I took the ultimate sunrise photo.  For me I mean.   I thought I now had a photo that was probably the best sunrise photo I’d ever hope to get.  I was convinced enough that I hadn’t had the urge to go out for another sunrise since then.  Until today.  Today was a reminder that all sunrises have their beauty.  Dramatic or not, they are a daily reminder to trust that there is order to the universe, that someone is in charge.

Did I say it wasn’t dramatic?swirlycloudsunriseThe sunrise I referred to is included in my first real blog post on 5/31/2017.

fun, humor, old dogs new tricks, technology, unintended consequences

Siri says…

Living alone isn’t as ‘alone’ as it used to be. And I’m not just talking about the dogs. No, I’m talking about Siri. She inserts herself into the action just frequently enough to make me wonder about her. She is usually very dependable with her directions, but then there are moments… Like when I knew the quilt shop I was trying to find was nearby, so I said, “Hey Siri, direct me to Nana’s Quilt Shop.” And her response was, “What is your grandmother’s name?” We went back and forth with that several times before she actually gave me the directions. Funny now, but frustrating at the time. And when I repeat some of my conversations with Siri I swear my co-workers look at me funny.

Even when you aren’t talking to Siri she’ll chime in.  Ozzie was being a pest one day so I said, “Ozzie, you are SERIOUSLY driving me nuts.” And Siri responded with, “I was just trying to help, Susan.”

After that I sometimes would ask a question just to see what she’d say.  I have asked her to sing me a lullaby and she has responded that she doesn’t sing, or that if she sings it will keep me awake.  But one day she surprised me and said, “Rock a bye baby, in the tree top. Oh, oh, this one doesn’t end well.” Seems Siri has a sense of humor.

One night I was in bed and couldn’t sleep, so I asked her to sing to me and this happened. Knowing my co-workers would be skeptical I decided I needed proof, so I got my iPad out and took a photo.


What brought this all to mind was what happened at work the other day. I was packing ooey, gooey, gourmet cinnamon buns, and needed several more containers from the other side of the table, but my gloves were gooey. My coworker Sarah was right there, and if she wasn’t also elbow deep in icing I hoped she’d hand me the containers I needed.   So I said, “Hey Sarah, are your hands clean?” Siri thought I was talking to her and responded to that, and for once I had witnesses to her comments.   But she needs her hearing checked since she thought I asked her if she was handsome.  Then Brandon asked what I had said that got Siri to respond, so I repeated my ‘Hey Sarah’ statement, and Siri responded again.  I asked them how to take a screen shot!  Technology is responsible for Siri in the first place, but now I can use it to take a screen shot and prove I’m not losing my mind.



Good night Siri.alarm