Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Favorite Day in Cozumel

 An Impromptu Stop 

We had rented a taxi while in Cozumel last year to take us around just so we could stop when 
we spotted a place we would like to explore

The color of the water in the Caribbean is just exquisite  

 Standing at that beautiful cement wall we could see across the inlet

 We then walked along the wall to see what lay beyond.

 We spotted our ship!  

Also we found iguanas the size of possums!

The shadows in these pictures are perfect to send to Shadow Shot Sunday 2 
Take a moment to click on the link and see featured photos from all over the world.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Miniature Village to Enjoy

 At the Spring Hill Botanical Gardens, one area is devoted to a darling little village.  It's all set upon a hill looking like a time has forgotten it.

Here you can see smaller houses tucked here and there.  The train was not running today but as with any small town, daily service is not always available!

The back side of the hill has a lovely waterfall

 Pink foliage watered by the spray of the falls 
says SPRING!

 Also next to the falls these pink beauties reside.  Isn't it the sweetest little blossom?

 I enjoy finding new flowers like this one above.  
Especially when they are pink! 

Sharing at Pink Saturday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Hill Botanical Garden Part II

I barely touched the surface with my photographs and the photographs hit the highlights mostly.  The garden is located in a what appeared to be a small area on the map but with so many meandering pathways they have made good use of the land and created quite an extensive garden.  

Here are photos from just the area that they located all the cactus and succulents.

 I enjoyed the little sculptures which is one of the features of this place, everywhere you find little whimsical items tucked here and there, hidden until you turn a corner.  

This was huge cactus was twice as tall as I was and was huge over all.  It seems that the yellow stems come out a bit further then the bloom dies and falls off.   The path was littered with them and there were still hundreds all over the bush.

 As with any desert, you will find bleached bones among the cactus!

 Potted cactus had so many varieties, you can see larger versions
of  all the photos by clicking on them.

 Just to the right was a lovely bench where I could view the entire cactus garden.  The day was cool and there was a cool breeze so sitting on the bench in the sun was nice!  It's not often in Florida that you can enjoy sitting in the sun.

 A little Zen going down with all the rocks placed just so.

 Moving along to the next garden.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Botanical Gardens in Spring Hill Florida

In the late winter the trees are still leafing out, leaving dappled shadows on the path.

It was a great surprise to me to read, in an advertising newsletter that came in the mail, that there was a botanical garden very close to home.  The newsletter listed events coming up in the area and mentioned a garden club in Spring Hill that was going to have an upcoming lecture on backyard gardening exclusively with natural Florida plants. When I looked up the club it mentioned that they owned and operated this botanical garden.  I decided that I would not delay going, I would go today.

It was far nicer than I expected and much larger

The photo above and below is part of the fantasy garden.

The lattice makes a pretty shadow!

 Then you follow pathways under twisting branches and through lush greens

The Oriental Garden was charming

 It led to a lovely pond

 This beautiful plant, placed in memory of someones beloved, was in full bloom

 Lily pads didn't hold any frogs today

 There were lots of benches to sit quietly and listen to the wind brushing past casting shadows over me from the overhead trees.

 A tiny magnolia tree was in full bloom by the gazebo.

The blooms were exquisite!  I thought about the Pink Saturday blog.  I haven't posted there in quite some time but will now.

 While I was sitting in the gazebo I welcomed another lone visitor, Joyce.  She is traveling and stopped here in the midst of her trip.  She and I had a delightful visit.  Two kindred spirits who connected immediately.  We discovered we had at one time lived pretty close together in Michigan, so had much to talk over.  It was a happy coincidence we met and are now Facebook friends.

Before leaving we both photographed this rose, one of the few left in the rose garden.  

There is much more to this garden, which I will share in the next post.  

It's a joy to know I can visit from dawn to dusk any day of the week and it's just down the road.

Shared on
Pink Saturday
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, March 6, 2015

Identifying an Antique Photo

This is a photo of my Great Grandmother Elizabeth Jane and her husband William McDougall

It was not marked and was just an unidentified photo in a book.  

Since I have been doing genealogy I have studied these people in the known photographs and when I came across this one, I knew who they were.  I knew almost immediately as Elizabeth looks so much like my mother, at that age.  

I have an older photo of William out in front of their sod house with my grandmother, their oldest daughter.  He is hard to see as he is wearing a derby hat but just putting two and two together, plus the mustache which he wore in his Civil War Uniform photo is the same.  He looks kind here, not as rough as the later photo, not quite as handsome as the earlier one.  But it's definitely him.  

As soon as I can locate those other photos.....I'll post them. 

Found this one of him - the rough one!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jobs I've Held Over the Years

Writing my Memoirs

With Memory Monday

When we first retired here in Florida

I tell people I'm retired, it's easier than explaining I'm just living like I've always have.  Family first and small jobs here and there.  I always felt fortunate that I didn't have to be the responsible one to earn the living for the family as I am too flighty to stay in one job very long.  I would just quit when I felt like it, since my income was extra and not required for monthly bills.  We also moved seventeen times, most often due to my husbands job.

 I often frustrated my husband who was so solidly employed he worked for the same company all his working life, with just a stint in the Navy during his youth.  He started at Sears, then after the Navy he got a job in Kmart management and worked for them until he retired.  Kmart Corp bought Sears a few years ago and renamed the company Sears Holding, Inc.  But I digress and that was him, loyal to a fault.

I did have to work for time, when I did the portrait studio job to make ends meet, and it was the only job I actively disliked.  When you are good at sales, they push you to do better.  At one time I had the 16th best sales nationwide out of about 600 stores.  I didn't like the pressure to beat last weeks numbers and I didn't like how parents behaved when they wanted their children to smile. I was stuck in that job for five years.

My favorite job was running the large library at a Christian school.  I had student helpers but I had the full charge of the library.  I held classes to learn the Dewey Decimal System and all about each category.  I read my favorite books to all the classes through 7th grade during their library time.

Here is my list as I remember from age 16, each job has a good story behind it:

1.  Copper Kettle Cafe - Waitress
2. Dairy Belle - Counter
3.  Theater Concession sales
4. Jolly Burgers -counter
5. Sales Clerk,  Hancock Fabric's
6. Gal Friday in a small office where I commuted to the city
Credit Bureau Reporter
Home Child Care
Certified Home Day Care
Baker at Bintz's Apple Farm
Librarian, Christian School
Word Processing Lab Assistant
Word Processing Clerk
Telephone Solicitor
Portrait Photographer
Portrait Studio Manager
Front Desk Receptionist, Home Mortgage, Inc.
Front Desk Receptionist  Realty office
Personal Assistant to the Broker at the Realty office
Baker, Amish cakes & noodles
Clerk, Dress shop
Relay Operator for the Deaf
eBay business owner (Shooting Star Seller)
Mystery Shopper
Customer Service Operator, Nursery Catalog
Freelance Writer

From 16 to 56, forty years of working at interesting jobs!

Sharing here at:
Memory Monday
Ivy & Elephants

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Managing a New Life

These days I am quietly navigating my way through my days and settling into a new routine. I want to change many things but haven't done much about it.  The house is still the same, I haven't changed anything to speak of except clean out the desk so I can use it, and re-file things so I can find them.  Bill and I had very different ideas about how to file.

The days are blending into weeks now.  I'm surprised to find it is again Sunday already.  I have more than enough to keep me busy.  I have church events, events through my art guild, and family time with my mother and sisters.

My sister Karan and my mom and I went on an impromptu cruise in January, taking advantage of the low, low prices.  We were upgraded at the last minute to a suite and I must say I felt quite grand!

We went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. This trip was a breeze as we had a wheelchair for mom to get from place to place without tiring her out.

And her cane was fine while in the shops or wandering as we explored! 

In Grand Cayman we had a lovely tour, my first time on the island, but the wind whipped up and a storm came in.  It was all quite exciting until the heavens opened and we got completely drenched just as we were getting back on the ship!  A lot of laughter at ourselves as we dripped all the way to our cabin! 

Once home it was back to work at the West Pasco Art Guild.  Karan and I paint on Tuesdays and once a month attend the general meeting which was on Friday of this week.  A visiting artist came and did a demonstration of watercolor landscapes.

Lynn Ferris  

After the meeting Karan and I went thrifting and then on to Michael's to pick up new brushes this particular artist uses and some other supplies. 

We finished up at Applebee's for a nice dinner.  
A broken (or more likely sprained) little toe rounded out the week, which was easy to cope with by elevating it for a day or two in my easy chair with my laptop in my lap!  It turned a lovely shade of deep purple which I have to live with for a while.  
A quiet Saturday went by and I rented the movie Boyhood, only the second Oscar nominated film I've seen.  I really loved watching everyone age and the dynamics of a mom trying to raise children though disastrous marriages.  It reinforced the good decision I made to always stay married to the imperfect but good man I had who always treated me well.  

The movie itself is actually quite dull and I can't imagine why Patricia Arquette is nominated and receiving such attention. I did not find her extraordinary but Ethan Hawke surely should win.  He brought the whole film to life.  
Today I have a family day going, After church I will be taking Mom over to Karan's for an early dinner.  I plan to spend Sunday afternoons with Mom, taking her out and running errands with her.  Karan is doing that on Wednesdays and my youngest sister Janet when she can.


So that is where I'm at right now.  Busy, Adjusting, Surrounded by love, 
I'm very fortunate.