Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cool, Grey Day ..Great for Reading!

Today is a little bit unsettled after a huge thunder and lightning storm last evening...We had an interesting light display out the windows and this morning the beach was wiped clean of the shell line that had been there the morning of my last post. 

Today I am browsing through The Coastal Living Cookbook.   I liked their Gumbo recipe so much I thought I might like to get a cookbook just for Gumbo and found the Louisiana Gumbo Cookbook...looks good!

Richard is reading the Knot Craft book by Des Pawson and is getting really good at all kinds of knot tying... Nice hobby you can take anywhere!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Morning is Breathtaking on the Gulf

This morning I ran down to the beach to catch the sunrise. The vista view portlights in the Airstream were signalling that it was going to be absolutely lovely! The pictures speak for themselves but there were definitely several thoughts emerging as I walked by the shore. I am...
  • my Father's daughter because I love the early morning and enjoy the beauty of nature with a spirit that wants to protect it
  • my Mother's daughter because I love to walk along the beach, breathe in the fresh air and listen to the bird song and the sound of the sea

Being by the Gulf, feeling the warmth, taking in the beauty and discovering the little treasures that the sea surrenders after every storm just makes me smile!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today Was Florida!

Today we had a wonderful day. I did a load of laundry and hung it out to dry in the Florida environmentally friendly choice I would say. I chatted with one daughter and instant messaged the other. We surfed the Internet for a while and then enjoyed the patio with friends and with more friends dropping by to chat as we soaked up the sunshine. The beach walk was about 3 km today, no shelling, just chatting and listening to the waves as we walked. Near the Crab Trap restaurant, that is adjacent to the beach, we sat on a large driftwood log and searched the aquatic horizon for sea life....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shells From The Beach Walks

I was asked to post some pictures of my shells and choral samples so here they are. In this picture are my "miniatures" - perfect little examples of shells for which we have much larger versions as well. In this photo the white one in the top left is called a Baby's ear - it is a flat shell that looks like a little ear when you turn it over. Next to it is a Sharks Eye on the right and a Spiny Jewel Box on it's left and below it. Beside the Spiny is another Baby's ear that has some colour to it. Next to it is a Calico Scallop shell. Next to the quarter is a Lettered Olive on the left and on the right a Pear Whelk. At the bottom, left to right, a Lightning Whelk, a Calico Scallop and another Sharks Eye. All tiny! This grouping (in the next two photos) are larger: at the top is a rare Scotch Bonnet. Clockwise from the Scotch Bonnet is a Lettered Olive, a Sharks Eye, and a Florida Rock Shell.

These are samples of Choral that have drifted up on the beach. These are my largest pieces. Using the quarter for scale you can see they are fairly substantial. Usually the pieces of choral I find are small, single branch segments.

Beach Walks - 5 KM Most Days....

On our walk yesterday in the absolutely beautiful sunshine and 72 F (22 C), we passed the old Beach house again. This one has lots of character and seems to have weathered many storms. It looks very humble from the outside but it is about 4000 square feet of living space and the land it is on is very costly. Inside, I imagine it to be decorated like pages out of the Coastal Living magazine in cool blue and green shades, punctuated by white wicker and sandstone tiles. Ahhh beach living at it's best!
The waves were high and the first signs of the blue green waters we had last year are appearing here as the Gulf gets warmer. The sun glinted off the water giving us a moving backdrop of silver studded waves to chat by as we walked along the beach.

The condos are beginning to open up with more and more visitors coming south from colder northern climes both in Canada and the US. We met a couple enjoying the beach who were from Minnesota and reflected on the beauty of this, as yet, undiscovered winter location. We mused about how lucky we were to have this natural beauty all to ourselves; at least for a while....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Many Skype Conversations Did You Have Today?

Skype is wonderful! I spoke with two of my brothers today, one computer to computer, and one computer to land line. It was really great to connect. The brother without the computer complains that I sound like I am in a barrel but he could hear me and I him so all was well! My airstreaming friends from Arizona, Dean and Sheri, also called me this morning to talk about Quartzsite and what they are up to there. It was great to see them both and the video call was absolutely free! Our friend Suzy just instant messaged me from Skype to say that she would be back in the park tomorrow after her trip to Fort Myers, Florida for a week. Connecting with friends and family via Skype is a gift! Sign up won't be sorry.
The picture is one of my two granddaughters skyping and colouring with Grandpa who was in Florida while they were with Grandma in Ottawa!

Corn Bread for Richard!

Richard has always loved corn that I know how the convection microwave works I can make it...a little less sugar and skim milk, no salt...Richard says it is excellent! I will post the recipe tonight on

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perdido Key Weather...

They say "wait two hours and it will change.." and it is true! We started the day with our usual 5K walk on the beach and it was quite nice, warm and 70 F (20 C or so). Now it is raining again and we are using the time to catch up on the inside chores of retiree.s..wash vegetables and fruit; check e-mail; blog a little; read and relax. I do have some work to do, putting together a proposal, but the inspiration must also be there for that kind of activity. Maybe later! :-)

We had a nice visit this morning with Bob and Jo who are from California. They have two adorable pugs and run a business with their family, centered on Volkswagons. Check out for details... They are off further south in Florida tomorrow to Riverside RV Resort and Campground in Arcadia ( ) near Sarasota.

Monday, January 18, 2010

5050 BMX Rolls into Playa...

A group of pro BMX riders rolled into the park yesterday with their rig and trailer in tow. They were very cool and seemed to enjoy the great Florida weather. I did not see them doing any fancy stuff on their bikes but check out their blog at there is some great video there of them doing their thing! They are almost as cool as the Airstream... :-)
In this shot we have the BMX team members, and Richard, John and Glenna (from Australia) and Scott! What a great day it was lots of sunshine!

Love the shadows in this shot...and the poses...

Stormy Saturday Jan 16th Shots..

The weather was stormy over the gulf with lots of heavy rain and we did take a walk by the beach. The surf was very high on the beach, almost up to the protected sand dunes. And the waves were reported to be 7 to 10 feet at times... Very noisy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rainy Day in Perdido Key

Today the truck is getting a great bath with the heavy rain outside! We have had a few beautiful days of sunshine and warmth. It went up to 70 F yesterday ( that is 21 C) and we walked on the beach in the morning for about 4 km. The beach was deserted! Once the spring breaks start at the colleges and universities in Feb and March the beach will experience a metamorphosis. There will be beach chairs set up, people playing volleyball and swimming and lots of beachcombers.
Oh, last evening a 25 foot Class C motorhome pulled in with a young family on board. First one child was spotted, then two...wait a minute there are two more, and, what on earth, another three !!! For a total of seven children with their two parents. The story, on the road for a year, home schooling the kids...Can you imagine what that would be like on a rainy day. There were three under 3 among them...Wow...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading More Dan Brown!

DAN BROWN.........Lost Symbol...

There are days when I am just into reading and Dan Brown is a favourite author of mine...I enjoy reading Dan Brown's work but am thinking that this one seems to be starting in much the same way as the Da Vinci Code, with the gruesome demise of a friend of the lead character....

What is interesting to me, with my background in science, is the discussion of Noetic "Science" and the links to mysticism and the Free Masons. I know there will be a movie...I always like to read the book first... I havn't finished it yet. When I do I will update the post to give my take on it...

Walk to Eden Condominiums 5Km round trip...

We got up very early this morning to see the sunrise on the beach! The sky becomes the most brilliant shades of pink, blue and purple...
The sun is just about to rise over the water ... it is a bit cloudy so we won't really see it up for a while. this morning we are walking about 5 kilometers round trip so no worries...we shall witness it all...

When it finally breaks past the clouds the colours change from misty, and muted tones to bright and vibrant ones. The sea is shimmering and there is the promise of warm weather ahead. As we walk we have our hoodies zipped up to the neck and hoods up ...

Richard picked up on these footprints and said well these are the footprints of a true beachcomber... I thought ' why is that ? '... he said "look closely" and sure enough the perfect footprints are of two different shoes, worn by the same person! Was it too dark when he ventured out...

Our destination...the EDEN Condominiums...get it? Eden in Paradise on the lost key....
This morning another thing happened as we walked. I had spotted a large Shark's eye shell protruding from the wet sand, just 'asking' me to come and pick it up. I ran over to get it and turned around to show Richard. Just then another beachcomber, who seemed to appear out of nowhere, came walking up to me quickly with his hand outstretched. He was tall and had a ruddy complexion, like he lived here by the sea, and his clothes were warm but worn around the edges. His outstretched hand was covered with fingerless gloves so that he could shell without getting them wet. As he approached me he said "here these are for you, they are just like that one you found" and he gave me three amazingly large and perfect samples of Shark's eye shells.
As quickly as he had approached me he was gone again in the opposite direction to us down the beach. I couldn't find his footsteps in the sand as we moved away from him nor as we returned on our walk back to our familiar surf...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beach Today Warm and Sunny!

Today was a gorgeous day in Florida with great weather finally...after several days of really cold weather, below 0 C overnight! We welcomed the warmth with a walk on the deserted beach! Beautiful white sand and deep blue sea...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mist off the Gulf of Mexico...

This morning Richard ventured out in the weather in 22F (- 5.5 C) to see how the beach was and he saw "steam" coming off the water. The water is warmer than the air! He also saw fish jumping out of the water and birds feeding on them...Neat!

Arizona is looking better and better!!! :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Florida is Cold ...STILL!

Hey there...I told you that I figured out the convection microwave and I managed to bake a banana bread that was rather good the other day. Check out the picture...:-)
We have been wishing we had packed more warm clothes this year since it has been hovering below zero Celsius in the overnight and around 5 or 6 C during the days. We did get up to 18 C (65F) yesterday during the day with sunshine and we all came out of our mobile houses to get some air. We did a thorough cleaning in the Airstream and actually did several loads of laundry. We soaked up the sunshine bracing ourselves for the sub zero Celsius weather overnight!

We heard that there was a bad car pile-up in Atlanta because of the snow and even though they were threatening snow for this area yesterday we only got rain. Hopefully this will break over the weekend..I will keep you posted. This is a great time for me to do some of the research I have to do for my projects and I am taking advantage of the desire to hibernate to do just that!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Orange Beach Alabama Weather - Snow Thursday....

Well, well, well! Snow here???? I will believe it when I see it but it has been cold! Today was sunny but the temp dipped below 0C overnight so we unplugged the water and plugged in the heater! The report on Weather Underground says 30% chance of snow Thursday! Okay I know we should be saying it is not as cold as Ottawa, but really! This is toooooo much! We had a great day today cleaning around the RV and finding our long underwear...just kidding!
Rudy did not want to get out of bed and frankly who can blame him when cozy beneath a down comforter?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In Ottawa ...De-Iceing the plane - The Weather Network

Your Weather: De-Iceing the plane - The Weather Network I saw this while checking the weather in Ottawa this morning and it left me feeling a little more chilly! We have had cool and sunny weather here on the panhandle with the next couple of nights dipping below freezing...but the Airstream is nice and warm and so are we. This little de-icing clip is chilling and it made me think about why air travel in the winter scares me a bit! I was thinking of another trip home to see the family in February but now ... not so sure...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Inspired to Use the Convection Microwave today!

Well after the nice restful day we had yesterday reflecting on the year behind us and the year ahead I decided it would be fun to try the Convection Microwave again.  I didn't want to forget how to use it!  I pulled out the Coastal Living Cookbook and made Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes with  Fresh Field Greens (plus Cranberry and Almond) Salad, and Rosemary Shortbread for dessert with fresh ground coffee.  What a treat... The recipes in the Coastal Living Cookbook are truly wonderful, easy to make and have been a hit with us both.   Richard, being from the maritimes, knows a great crab cake and so I was hoping these would be as good as any he had had before and he was very impressed. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Oh My It Is 2010!!!!

Well folks, as we ring in a new year, Richard and I are so thankful for wonderful family, good friends, enchanting pets, and a lifestyle that is both comfortable and relaxing.  When I remember the turn of the last decade from 1999 to 2000 all I can think of is the craziness around Y2K and how that decade ended sadly with the loss of my Father.  For us, 2009 brought a new baby to the family in little Madison Christina. She joins her sisters Payton and Brooklyn (all children of the last decade)!  The last decade brought great jobs and then retirement for both Richard and I, as well as two Airstreams and a boat (:-)); it brought Louise back to Ottawa from British Columbia to study and she rekindled her passion with Yoga and horses, making it her life's work, and she also bought her own Airstream...good stuff!  The past decade also saw Lisa finishing her university degree, beginning a great career, getting married, having children and moving into her dream home. 

Our family lost a wonderful young woman in the past decade to cancer.  Johanne was my nephew Scott's wife, and mother to two wonderful little girls, Leah and Sarah. She has been sadly missed by all who knew her.  Things somehow have a way of working out and Scott found new love and married Patty, my new niece.  Scott's sister Christine finished her Nurse Practitioner's education and now we can all hope for great care (should we need it!) The amazing thing is that she did it while adding to her family of 4 children! My nephew Paul married his Victoria in a beautiful wedding in Niagara on the Lake so the new niece count went up. :-) Welcome to the family to both Patty and Victoria.  This past year my nephew Nathan proposed to his girlfriend Carrie (a childhood friend of my daughter Lisa) and so we are sure to see more weddings and children this next decade!  The last decade saw Rachel, my niece in Ottawa, completing her degree and landing a great job. Deanna, my niece from Guelph, branched out to a new job and bought her first home - a major life event.

A decade like that is hard to follow but we are sure hopeful for lots of fun, some hard work (we have a project or two ahead of us) and good times as the year progresses!