Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Dolphin!

We went to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge today to do a little hiking and see the manatees. This was the first time we had set out to do any trail hikes walks since at least two surgeries ago. We stuck to a couple of easy trails and I did quite well. Next time we'll try something a little longer.

After our walks we went to the bridge over the Haulover Canal to see the manatees. We knew from our trips to Blue Springs that we'd be better off going on a cool day. WRONG! The water in the canal was too cool for them today. I'm not sure how well you'd be able to see them anyway, the water wasn't very clear. No matter, it was a beautiful day and we had brought along a picnic lunch. While we were sitting there eating, John asked if I could see the dolphin? Dolphin! Here?
Look, I got a picture and you can kind-of, sort-of tell what it is!

Here are a few other pics from our day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I decided to push myself a bit on my my daily walk. I chose a route where I knew I have a place to sit if I needed to.

I passed on the opportunity to sit. As uninviting as this gazebo is I doubt anyone makes much use of it.

I've been through most of the development either in the car or the golf cart but today I walked a couple of blocks I'd never been down before. There was another opportunity to sit a spell I didn't know about.
I guess if you like to watch the golfers this would be an ok spot but some plants would go a long way towards making it more inviting. As I was passing the water hazard I watched a guy tee off but was still surprised at the sound of the splash next to me!

This view of the main club house was a bit more interesting.

I walked almost two miles at a fast pace, for me anyway. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain that distance and gradually push a little further.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dolphin Encounter

We went back to Kennedy Space Center today. On the drive over the draw bridge was up.

Of course I wanted to see what type of boat was going through and holding us up.

But wait! Did I just see a dolphin swimming by the boat? Yes, yes it was a dolphin!

I hope you didn't strain your eyes too much looking for it. I had to blow the photo up lots of times to be able to see the fin and I knew where to look. Ah, well. I have the memory.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter Has Arrived

The cold last night claimed most of the azalea blossoms. We're expecting it to be even colder tonight so I expect the rest will be gone tomorrow.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hello 2012

We saw the new year in at the main club house with Marie, Hugh and many of our neighbors. The band was the best we've seen here so far and we spent a little time on the dance floor. I was having such a good time that I talked about joining the weekly line dancing group. Obviously that must have been the wine talking. I was hurting by the time we got home but every time we go out I dance a little more and hurt a little less. Driving home in the cart we were treated to fireworks being set off all over the park.

I was regretting the amount of wine I consumed when I got up this morning. We had another sunny and warm day which made my walk less miserable. When I got home I started packing away the Christmas decorations until my back demanded a break.

The hot tub is my remedy for my aches and pains so went down for a soak. I am still amazed that we usually have the whole place to ourselves.

We had a very nice New Years dinner at Marie and Hugh's. After we got home I enjoyed another pretty sunset. Can't seem to capture just how pretty it was with my camera.
2012 is off to a very good start!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

I have had worse years but this one ranks up near the top of bad years. We were so looking forward to retirement and we did finally get to Florida but it was for the most part not a happy year. I stopped blogging back in August right about the time that I learned I'd have to have more surgery on my foot. After that I simply got out of the habit of blogging and found myself updating my life on Facebook. If you only follow me here you missed out on whiny posts about pain, leaky roofs, ceiling repairs and weeks of painting.

Yesterday was my 6th blogiversary but having neglected all of my blogs in 2011 I didn't feel much like celebrating. I'm hoping with a new year will come a new direction for this blog and more consistency for the others.

Here's hoping for a happy and productive 2012!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Morning Walk

The weather is beautiful here! It is getting a bit too warm for an afternoon walk so I'm trying to get out earlier in the day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Snail Kite

I was sitting out in the screen room today and saw a large bird on the roof across the street. It had a red beak and red legs which I found unusual so I came in to grab the camera and of course while I was inside it flew away. I came back in and grabbed my bird book and think it had to be a Snail Kite. I told John what I'd seen and said he'd seen a pair of large black birds earlier.

It came back and this time I had the camera handy but he really didn't want his picture taken. This was the best I could get.

The Snail Kite is on the Federal Endangered Species list so I am pleased to see them here. I don't know if they are attracted to the golf ponds or the Econlockhatchee River. Perhaps they'll be back tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dining Room - Before and After

 A small room that took too long! I still have some trim left that I'll catch when I start on the hall.

We took down the chain that pulled the light off center, changed the door and drawer pulls, cleaned the blinds and added an "etching" to the mirror. Another room with white on white that doesn't show up in photos well.

1984 Twin Homes of Merit

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ceiling

My nephew was certain that we could find replacement ceiling sections. The ceilings here were installed differently than the ceiling in our other house. Here the ceiling is a 4' wide panel and was put up before the walls. There are "decorative" strips where two panels meet and also every 16" to hide the staples that hold it up. Because the ceiling went up before the walls the panels on each end of the room extend into the next room. So we couldn't take down these end strips without messing up the ceiling in the closet (which wasn't too big a deal) and the bathroom (which was a big problem.)

Since I couldn't find ceiling like what we have I looked for alternatives. We could sheetrock the ceiling but they panels are awfully heavy for me to help with. The ideal solution seemed to be a dropped ceiling but the cost was high and by the time we dropped it enough to be able to slide the panels in it would have been down to just over 7' and we felt that was too low.

Finally I found lightweight 16" tiles that looked like something we could manage. I ordered them and moved on to other things. When they came in we picked them and looked them over but I didn't want to start on the ceiling before I finished the kitchen. They looked nothing like the strips of ceiling we had left and we were stuck on how to make the two types of ceiling work together.

It finally came to me that we could simply lower the entire ceiling 1/2". John and I have been married 27 years so you'd think we'd communicate well. We don't process information in the same way and I could not explain to him what I wanted to do in a way that made sense to him. After much frustration with each other we were both envisioning how we might make the tiles work. My idea to cover the old ceiling would work but John had to revise my plan for leveling out the rest of the ceiling.

John did the work. I passed him tiles and tools. We worked together to cut tiles as needed. We made a few mistakes and dinged a few tiles but in the end we got it done with a few tiles to spare.

John had spray painted the ceiling register. He put up the old fan and we agreed that it didn't look great with the new bright white ceiling.

We had just a little more work to do. We put up molding and a new fan. Add new curtains and a bed and we finally have a guest room!

It still needs decorating and new carpet but the hard work is done!

1984 Twin, Homes of Merit

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Learning New Skills

We bought this place based on digital photos and a walk through by my sister-in-law. This is the only picture we received of the guest room.

We were told that there was a stain on the ceiling. So I figured some primer a little paint - no problem.

When we finally got down here back in July this is what we saw.

Sure, we can paint that. But wait....... here is the view from the other side of the room.
It was worse than it appears in the picture. We knew that replacing a section of ceiling was in our future. In our other house John had to replace a floor and we worked on some walls but we'd never tackled a ceiling.

When we finally got down here at the end of January we looked it over again. The ceiling was resting on the shelving unit so it would have to come down. While we were puzzling out how to take it apart we noticed some water damage near the floor on the shelving unit. We also discovered that the shelves were glued to the wall. So we decided to put off repairs and figure on hiring someone to do the repairs for us.

Our nephew came down on vacation and had a day to come and look things over. He didn't hesitate on how to take down the shelving. A few good swings of the hammer and down they came, along with a section of wall board.

It was obvious that the wall board on both sides of the window would need to be removed too. We had gone from a ceiling in need of paint to a wall that needed to be rebuilt, something else we hadn't done before. By the time our nephew was done ripping things apart, this is what we were left with.

He made us a list of lumber on other supplies we'd need and promised to be back in a week to help us put it back together.

I called around and couldn't find replacement ceiling sections. The lumber we could get in the car but not the wall board so we rented a truck. As long as we had a truck we also picked up a couple of other things we couldn't get home in the car. We cleaned out the room, cut the wall board that he had cut zigzag and waited for his return.

He and John sistered in the lumber and the structure was repaired surprisingly quickly. He was flying out the next day so we were on our own.

We got the wall board up and without anything to put on the ceiling I went ahead and painted.

Tomorrow, The Ceiling

1984 Twin, Homes of Merit

Friday, April 08, 2011

Sugar! Sugar! Fudge!

My mother taught me to use sugar and fudge in place of swear words and boy have I been saying them alot! I'm still working on the dining room. Somehow I managed to wrench my back. I think I must have twisted when I was trying to reach the highest part of the wall. It's a bit better today and I know from experience that it should be fine in a day or two.

I mentioned before that I bought the wrong color paint for around the mirror. Here's that photo.

It's a pretty pastel green but I wanted sage and the pastel just wasn't working for me. So off to Home Depot and Holy Cow - the line in the paint department snaked all the way around. One of the men in line told me not to despair, the folks at the front were waiting for the paint shaker to finish and they had several people working so the line was moving fairly quickly. I stood in line and John went off to pick up some caulk. My turn finally came and the clerk went to find the base she needed to mix my paint. Meanwhile John had been checking out the paint returns that were marked down and found a color he thought was close and brought it over. The clerk and I looked at it and agreed it was darker than the color I'd picked and it was semi-gloss, while I wanted satin, so I told John to forget it, I was not buying the wrong color again! It was then that the clerk informed me that they did not have the base I needed. Sugar!!!! She said that for $1.00 I might want to try the can John was now returning to the shelf. A DOLLAR? You bet I'll try it for that price. John retrieved it and we actually spent less than $3.00 - a first for a trip to a home improvement store.

I put it on the wall and it didn't look too bad - until it dried. Sugar!!!! It said dark army green man cave to me and I certainly wasn't having that!

So I dumped some of it into a jar and tried adding white to lighten it. When that didn't work I poured some white and started adding the dark green to it until it seemed right. I got it on the wall, it took in one coat and while it was a bit darker than the color I'd picked I liked it and was happy to have that done. It took five coats of white paint to cover the molding around the mirror. When it was done I was excited to remove the masking tape and see how it looked.


The back of the molding now shows up like a sore thumb. It better not take five coats! And I suspect I'll have another place to use that caulk we just bought.

I'm nowhere near done with the dining room that I was certain would only take 3 or 4 days.

So back to work I go.........