'scene' along the way, a second look, home, home improvements, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Happy St. Paddy’s Day…

There is nothing Irish about these photos, except that they were taken this morning from a bridge on Rt. 19 in Port Richey, FL.  I still haven’t scouted for new and different spots to shoot the sunrise and/or sunset from my new and different home base.  I’m too busy having brainstorm after brainstorm concerning decorating my new home.  And each new idea seems to require turning the entire house upside down to accomplish them.  That’s not new for me, my kids can attest to that, but once I’m ‘done’ that’ll be it.  It’s the getting there… 03-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise403-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise303-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise203-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise

'scene' along the way, home, home improvements, live and learn, perseverance, photography, sunset

Hurrying home…

I was in a hurry to get home.  I had done enough chores earlier in the day that I had earned my trip out for a bite to eat and some shopping.  That’s how my mind works.  And the shopping had been successful.  The success of a trip depends on whether I had gotten a bargain or not, and I had.  So I was looking forward to seeing my purchases in my new/old house, to see if they would work as I thought they would.  That I was seeing a pretty sunset developing as I drove home put me in a quandary.  Stop on the way home or go home and head to the pond in the back for a photo?  And that’s what I did, headed home, and stopped for a quick iPhone photo at the pond, then drove the block or two home.  And that’s when I discovered that I’d locked myself out.  I’ve been almost doing that for several weeks now, and last night I succeeded.  I was lucky because my aunt and uncle are my neighbors and they have a key, but they also weren’t home.  And as I waited I noticed that the sky was now on fire, I shouldn’t have given up on it so early.  Or better yet even, I could have stopped on the way home after all.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Isn’t that always the way?03-09-19hurryhome

a second look, family, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, growing old, home, home improvements, life goes on, nesting, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, travel, weather

Home Sweet Home…

For someone who spent most of her life preoccupying herself with thoughts of the dream house she may or may not have one day, I have to wonder how it is that I’m so pleased to call this little place home.  While I’ve been freezing up here, and yes, I’m up north again, I found myself wanting to get back there to my little place and fix it up.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent ‘fixing up’ my house over the years.  It doesn’t matter which house because I wallpapered and painted, sewed window treatments, and took down wallpaper and redecorated, all of them.  It was my stress relief when there were worries with the business, or the angst of surviving my teenagers.  (Turns out that I needn’t have worried, but there were no guarantees.). And over those years houses became mansions.  Not my house, but the new houses I’d see being built were palaces that I couldn’t imagine living in.  Or calling home.  When the kids came home from school to one of those houses was there a mom in there greeting them with fresh baked cookies?  They were anything but cosy.  So I guess the answer seems like it should be no, I never got my dream home.  But if that’s what you think then you’d be wrong, because that dream house in my mind kept evolving with time, and for this exact moment, at this exact time of my life, this really is my dream house.  Not too big, not to small, it’s just right.  Call me Goldilocks…02-23-19senatemanor102-23-19senatemanor2Not my view unfortunately, but just down the street.  And I thought a sunrise picture yesterday would be just the thing to finish this posting, but the sun wasn’t cooperating.  Neither were the bluebirds that are nesting in the little birdhouses across the street, but I’m leaving today, heading their way…02-23-19senatemanor3

backyard visitors, dogs, fences, friends, home, home improvements, live and learn, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, squirrels, unintended consequences

Good fences…

If good fences make good neighbors then how is it that I just love my neighbors on both sides, one on the side without a fence, and the other with whom I shared a length of fence that my uncle remarked was more holes than fence?  He was right, it was pretty hole-y.  But my neighbor’s entire yard was surrounded by fence that was long past it’s prime, and so when some used fencing came her way she started patching the worst areas.  Which gave me an idea, a true light bulb moment.  Since they were putting up fencing anyhow, how about I buy new fencing for the section that we share, and they put it up.  I really am a genius sometimes, ask Ozzie if you don’t believe me.

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was nice and clean.  Already it has acquired a coating of sand where the grass hasn’t filled in.  Or the chickens flung sand at it, they’ve been visiting lately.  I certainly admired it… at first.  But I’m over the novelty of it and now it just looks… boring.  There used to be more to look at.2-10fencetextureI went looking through my photos to see if the fence showed up in any of them.  I took this picture because I was trying to take photos of the wood texture.  You see it was a bit see-through.  Zoe liked that aspect of it because she could keep an eye on what was going on over there in case she was missing something.2-10fencesquirrelThe squirrels took to the top of the fence whenever Zoe came zooming out the back door.  Chasing them is her favorite thing to do.  Ozzie, not so much.2-10fencesquirrel2I was able to capture this image because that squirrel likes having his picture taken.  I’d see birds sitting there also, but they weren’t as cooperative so I don’t have a photo of them.  Not that I didn’t try.2-10fencedieselThen there is Diesel.  He has a girlfriend a few blocks away, and he discovered that those boards didn’t really offer much resistance, so every so often he’d make a break for it and they’d have to hunt him down.  Now they know where to look for him however.

So, a new fence.  A home improvement.  Charley was a coin collector, old, rare coins, and patients would bring their old coins in for him to see in hopes they would have a rare one worth lots of money.  He’d tell them whatever they did, don’t clean them.  The color that develops on the old coins is called toning, and the coins are more valuable if the toning isn’t disturbed.  It didn’t matter, they always cleaned the coins.  One did it with a pencil eraser.  Maybe he thought Charley wouldn’t notice.  I never understood the value of the toning, I just took Charley’s word for it.  But it has occurred to me that that’s what is missing from the new fence.  Toning!  A little something extra to look at…

dragonflies, home, home improvements, nature, photography, sunset, weather

The calm before the storm…

It was such a pretty day. Blue skies and puffy clouds. No hint of the weather system that has us in it’s sights. It may not have been the best timing, but today I had my jungle out front whipped into shape by a local company, True Family Lawn Care & Landscaping. They did a great job and I thought the price was very fair. I’m a DIYer and it really bothers me to have to cry uncle and pay to have work done that I could, in theory, do myself. But the daily rains all summer had caused the weeds to grow like crazy, and they assured me that many people had also not been able to keep up. So for a few brief moments it looks great, photo worthy even, but we’ll see what the hurricane does to it.


The flip side of the sunset out back was very pretty also, prettier than the sunset out front. There could be no driving to my favorite sunset observation spots because they are all under mandatory evacuation orders at the moment, and I wouldn’t be allowed into the area unless I was resident with ID.


I was surprised to see a dragonfly who was determined to investigate the newly trimmed Crepe Myrtle branch. What will he do when Irma gets there? What will all the little creatures do? And what about us, how will we do?purpledragonfly2

dogs, home, home improvements, humor, silliness

The man of my dreams…

I know I already ranted over the idea of ‘dream’ houses, and ‘dream’ kitchens, mostly because the young gals I see on HGTV annoy the heck out of me by expecting to have these things without earning them first. Drives me nuts. But I also wonder if they realize that what constitutes your dream house, or your dream kitchen, won’t be the same your whole life.

Kind of like your dream man. Early on in my first marriage I realized that I wasn’t married to my dream man. No, my kids were little and I decided that it would be fantastic if I was married to a pediatrician. I have an aversion to going to the doctor whenever you are a little bit sick. I have a lot of respect for the body’s ability to fight off germ-y invaders, and a little temperature elevation is just your body doing it’s job. Which is okay when I’m talking about me, but I did feel slightly guilty over making these sorts of choices for my kids. But I did and guess what, they survived. But having a pediatrician in the family would have saved me a lot of angst along the way.

Once I got over my pediatrician phase the man of my dreams became a handy man. A jack of all trades Bob Vila type. I drove two not-particularly-handy husbands nuts by finishing a home improvement project and immediately announcing the next item on my wish list. “You’re never satisfied” was a phrase that I believe both husbands used. I did most of these projects myself, putting up wallpaper, painting, stenciling, taking down wallpaper. But my talents have limits. So when this sort of thing happens I’m up a creek.brokendoor

Charley wasn’t much of handyman but he would have jumped right on this particular repair and taken care of it. Probably with a lot of cussing, but at least it would be done. Or he would have called someone to do it for him.  He wanted this place locked up like Fort Knox at all times, so this would have driven him crazy.  I’m contemplating whether I ought to even attempt to change out the door lever or just call someone. As long as the door is locked I’m okay. The other French door is also stuck from humidity and I’m now afraid to yank on that handle for fear that it too will just come off in my hand.  I still have access to the back yard through my master bathroom. (It’s a Florida thing I think.)  But convincing Ozzie, the uncoordinated mastiff, that he ought to walk across the bathroom floor to go out that door took some doing. Roughly five feet of bathroom tile to traverse and the first time he attempted it his legs went right out from under him. But it leads to the same back yard the dogs always use, or I can let them out the front door also, but as soon as they come back in they stand at this door, ‘their’ door, and wait for me to let them out. Do they even pee out front, or are they determined to wait to use this door to go out and take care of business? Kind of like preferring to go home and use your own bathroom.

Several days of this brought me to the enough is enough stage. I picked up the lever and stuck it back on the remnants of the knob, and it worked! Opened the latch at least.  Allowed me let the dogs out ‘their’ door and make them happy.  Turn the latch and slam the door hard enough and it will close tightly enough that the lock will engage. Ha! And I thought I couldn’t fix it myself.


I see that the next man of my dreams ought to be a woodworker, that door looks terrible.  And the screens on the lanai need to be redone.  And if it ever stops raining the sprinklers need work…