dogs, home, life, life goes on, losing battles, photography

Who’s in charge here…

For a dog who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body, Ozzie sure can boss me around. I once read something written by Caesar Milan, that said that any time your dog tells you what to do, like wants to go out when it wasn’t your idea to go out, then that’s aggression. And it shouldn’t be tolerated. Maybe allowed would be a better word. I remember thinking that if I ever had a big dog I wanted to be sure that they were trained perfectly, and incredibly well behaved. Okay, so now I have two big dogs that do nothing I say, unless I ask them if it’s cookie time, which will bring them galloping to the back door.
And the throw on the bed? That’s my side. I’ve always slept on that much of the bed, a little sliver on the side, so Ozzie really isn’t taking the bed over, that’s just his (now) side of the bed. I’ve had to resort to an extra throw these last few nights since it’s gotten cold, and seeing that makes me see how little of the king-sized bed I actually use. I took a picture because Ozzie was hiding his eyes since I came in and turned the light on to get ready to go to bed. Poor thing, I was disturbing him. I should do the same thing when he gets me up at 1:30, and 3:30 every night. I wonder what Caesar Milan would say about that?

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, home, moon, natural wonders, nature, photography, the easy way out

Taking it easy…

Sometimes you run out of energy and have to take it easy after you get home from work, and after swimming laps.  It helps that the Sandhill Cranes were out back, sounding off as only they can.  They must not be the same pair that was here last year because last year’s birds ignored the dogs.  These cranes were all the way across the lake and yet they objected to Ozzie and Zoe wading and drinking out of the lake.  Last year, at the end of December, I took a picture of two Sandhill Cranes nesting on the island out in the lake.  I’m not sure that I realized that they were nesting at that moment.  Now I have to hope we’ll have a new set of babies this year.  They seem to be feeling their oats.  Love the new lens in this situation.  It’s quite big and heavy though, I’ll have to pick and choose when to bring it with me.


I took the featured photo at about 5:30, just about the same time as the sunset out front.  I  had a feeling that once it got dark I wouldn’t be able to capture the detail in the moon, not as clearly as it was in this photo.  Plus ducks, and what Merlin says is an immature Little Blue Heron.  And it’s time to snooze…



food, home, life goes on, memories, Yummy

You gotta eat…

It was a long, hard day at work today, too long and too hard to go out for the sunset.  So I checked the yard for photo ops, but the squirrel out there ran away and then yelled at me from a tree branch.  Which left dinner as my only option for a post for tomorrow.  Not too long ago someone told me he didn’t drink his calories, and ate mostly salads, on the advice of his physician assistant daughter.  Since I heard that I’ve been eating that way, and not only have I lost a significant amount of weight, but I feel terrific.  I think that’s why I stuck with it, besides it being so easy.  No muss no fuss.  Steamed spiced shrimp has been my choice to add some protein a couple of times since I started, and that’s what I felt like fixing today.  I always have shrimp in the freezer because Publix puts it on BOGO a lot so I stay stocked up.  And I confess that just like I kept checking the sunset as I was trying to leave Pine Island last night, as I cooked I kept checking the front windows to see what the sunset looked like.  I even picked up the camera and almost headed out the door once.  But no, I stuck with the plan.  Shrimp and BOGO fresh pineapple chunks.   Yum.

I think this is Charley’s recipe, which he had passed along to my son when he needed to make it for a party,  So Mike had to pass it back to me.  Charley did a lot of the cooking, and I regret not making him write down his recipes.  Several favorite recipes are just gone.  A word to the wise.

Steamed Spiced Shrimp, Baltimore style…

Put 2 inches of water in the pot, add 12 ounces of beer and 4 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning.  Place your shrimp in a steamer basket and douse liberally with more Old Bay.  Definitely a time when more is merrier.  Steam the shrimp, but don’t over cook.

Charley’s not-so-secret cocktail sauce has two ingredients, catsup and horseradish.  The proportions are up to you.  His version would clear your sinuses.  Mine?  Not so much.

Don’t tell my Uncle Ray about this post, that was his beer in my refrigerator!

blessings, coping, courage, eavesdropping, faith, family, healing, home, memories, photography, Pine Island, sunset


Low tide let me down.  I was sure that low tide was always going to be the secret to a great sunset with lots of photo ops.  But not tonight.  All the sea gulls were too far out at the water’s edge to photograph, and no cute families playing either.  But the sunset itself was pretty…


And an interesting conversation between some women who were sitting in beach chairs behind me.  Turns out they are sisters, but they only found each other last year.  One had come from California to visit the other one who lives here in Florida.  In the year since they have found each other they each have found new family members they didn’t know, or at the very least had never met.  They had the same father but different mothers, and didn’t grow up together, but they had similar mannerisms and sounded alike.  They were so happy to be in each other’s lives, it was heartwarming to listen to.  But probably still rude to eavesdropping.

My mother had eight siblings, and after the war they scattered to the four winds.  I had met all of them here and there when I was very young, so we weren’t lost to each other.  But in moving to Florida, and choosing the Nature Coast because of the proximity to my son when he lived here, I discovered family.  It seems that my mother’s sisters who had moved to Florida were right in this area.  Along with a cousin and his extended family, plus two more of the siblings who spend winters here.  For many reasons I have felt as if I was ‘supposed’ to land here at this stage of life.  Finding family here was an unexpected surprise, and another reason to feel as if being here was meant to be…



birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, home, nature, photography

Meanwhile, back on the lake…

It was a Blue Jay in the grass that got me out back with my camera on Saturday afternoon.   I’ve seen Blue Jays all along since I’ve lived here, but not often.  And they usually fly through my field of vision, but never stop for a photo op.  So why they were out there was a mystery, but they stuck around while I got my camera and tripod and got myself (sans dogs) outside.



While concentrating on the Blue Jays I couldn’t help but notice the cute little Palm Warblers, there were many, and they flitted merrily all over the yard.



If that wasn’t enough a Red-bellied Woodpecker decided to join the fun.

Overseeing all were the ever present Little Blue Herons.  Two live on the lake, they are here all day every day, in the grasses at the edge of the lake, and commonly on the post that measures the water levels.  Without the Sandhill Cranes to compete with they are the noisiest birds out there.  One calling to the other across the lake, like a loud conversation.  Today the Little Blue Heron and the Great Egret took turns on the post, but one of them was on it at all times.


And, of course, the ducks.  Merlin, the app that has helped me identify all these birds, says they are Mottled Ducks.  I love that app.  Without it I’d have to ask for the ID of most of the birds out there no matter how common they may be.  I read that you should learn to ID the birds on your own and not rely on Merlin.  I should do a lot of things…


childhood, coping, faith, growing old, home, live and learn, lizards, memories, moments, nature, photography

Lovely woods…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

From Robert Frost’s Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening

This favorite poem came to mind as soon as I saw the above image in my camera. But the thoughts that followed involve the only other Frost poem that I know (and love)…

From the Road not Taken…

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It is way too easy to dwell on the notion that if only you’d chosen that other path then everything would have been perfect. The assumption that if one choice hasn’t been perfect, then the other choice would have been perfect.  It took me longer than it should have to figure out that I was still looking for happily ever after even at this late date.  And when you look at the lead up to the words we all remember, that he would be telling this in ages and ages hence, perhaps it has always been tempting to look back on your life to look for places where a different choice might have made a difference.  I wonder what life might have been like had I not left home at such a young age. I’ve never felt connected to any of the places I’ve lived, and never fail to have that feeling of being home when I’m back in Massachusetts.  But there isn’t any point in wondering such things.  That ship has sailed.

I need to think of a saying that is framed on the wall at my daughter’s house…

Heather's sign

Or something I saw on her Facebook page…


When did my daughter get so wise?