December 20, 2015 – Year in Review

I was inspired by oy30’s drawing Summary of the Year on oy30’s Blog – A Mexican Boy’s Site

I can’t draw that well, so I went to the pictures folder and picked one out for each month.  It was really hard to do! There are so many to choose from and just one does not represent a whole month. Then, there are eleven more days in December.  What if something earth shaking happens and is left out of the Review?  Oh well, here goes:

We were here in Marathon, Florida for the month of January. This is our view of the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the road in our RV park. Those yellow things floating on the water are designed to keep sea grass from floating into the canal.  There are bubblers under the water to make little waves to keep the grass from floating in the smaller entrance. It works well.

2015 01
Atlantic Ocean from Key RV, Marathon, Florida

This was my favorite picture in the February folder.  It is of red mangrove blossoms. Red mangroves are the ones that grow in the water and have those gnarly prop roots that make a mangrove forest impassable. The blossoms are small and not usually noticeable.

2015 02
Red Mangrove Blossoms

One memorable thing that represents March 2015 was inviting a number of friends to the Marathon Yacht Club to eat French dip sandwiches for lunch about once a week. We called ourselves The French Dippers and it was always a good time.

2015 03

We hit the road for our summer trip in April.  Here is Sao, our motorhome, parked for the night in a vineyard in Fort Pierce, Florida.  That was our first night out.

2015 04
Endless Summer Vineyard, Fort Pierce, Florida

May was our first month in Big Creek in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the swimming hole in the picnic area.  We walked out onto that pedestrian bridge several times a day to look at the creek and to watch picnickers, campers, and hikers cooling off in Big Creek. We also regularly saw fish in the pool under the bridge.

2015 05
Big Creek Picnic Area Swimming Hole

We were in Big Creek for June as well. This view is up the creek from the pedestrian bridge.

2015 06
Big Creek

We moved on to Maryland in July and parked in my sister Barbara’s driveway.  I only got one picture of the three grandchildren, but their beautiful faces are not showing.  I still like the picture. We took them for a hike on Sugarloaf Mountain, about an hour northwest of Washington, DC

2015 07
Andrew, Elizabeth, and George Misovec on Sugarloaf Mountain

In July, we moved on to Mequon, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee. That’s grandma heaven.  Owen and Cam have just turned four and two in November and December. They would come out to the motorhome every morning to wake me up and push me out of bed. I took so many pictures of them, it was tough to choose. They call me Baba Yaga because my house moves, though not on chicken feet.

2015 08
Owen and Cam with Baba Yaga

September was full of sights with visits to seven national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase Escalante, Bryce Canyon, Zion.  It could be overwhelming to pick a picture from there, but this one is of me with my son Christopher on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

2015 09
Dinata and Christopher at the Grand Canyon North Rim

We headed back home in October, stopping to visit friends Paul and Sheri Brindle in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. We visited the beautiful beaches of the Florida panhandle. We also visited friends: Cissy Betz in Palm Harbor, Bill and Pam in The Villages, and Joe and Linda Coffey in Port Charlotte, Florida. I can’t leave out our stop at Alliance Coach, the RV repair shop in Wildwood, Florida. We seem to spend a lot of time there.

2015 10
Andy on beach in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

We were back on our RV site in Key RV in Marathon in November. We set up our screen room and I planted my garden.  Then I got to work on my book about Big Creek.

2015 11
Sao in Key RV, Marathon, Florida

Andy has been busy straightening up the space behind our storage shed in December.  We had “stuff” piled up back there.  He put the kayaks up against the shed, got a bike rack for the bikes (in the lower right corner) and set up a table and two chairs overlooking our little mangrove forest.  We like to sit out there with our coffee and gaze into the swamp when the no-see-ums are not biting.

20150 12
Behind the Shed
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December 6, 2015 – Snowman in the Keys

Two years ago, we went to Wisconsin in December for my exceptional grandson Cam’s birth. While there, we went to Discovery World Science and Technology Center.  Just inside the door was a snowman made of plastic cups. Here is Daughter Jennifer holding newborn Cam and admiring the snowman.  I was charmed.

 

Log Plastic Cup Snowman

I vowed to make a snowman for myself, even though I think it is silly to have a snowman in the Florida keys.  We came here to get away from cold and snow, after all. This is the year.  We drove to Key West, to the restaurant food store, and bought some plastic cups.  Then I started stapling them together until I got a cramp in my hand.

I am not a craft person!  My snowman is uneven and crooked.  He tilts forward. Some of the cups stick out uneven with the ones around it. The three sections don’t match up very well. He was pathetic. But after I painted the bottoms of some small cups with Magic Markers to make eyes, nose, and buttons and then put a scarf around his neck.  He looked great!

b Snowman Day

We stuck a rope of lights in the top of his head and this is what he looks like at night.

b Snowman Night

Andy named him Cuppy. He is about 40 inches tall, bigger than I expected him to be.

It has been raining for days and days.  My garden is growing.

b Garden

We have a large crop of tiny green tomatoes. I just hope they make it to harvest.  The iguanas are a problem here.

b Green Tomato

November 22, 2015 – Mickey Belin’s 98th Birthday

Today was Andy’s 79-3/12 birthday, but he didn’t get a cake. The oven has not been repaired yet. The man came to look at it and said he needed to order a part.  We haven’t heard from him since.

It was our neighbor Mickey’s 98th birthday yesterday.  They had a party for him over at the Dockside Bar.  Sunday night is open mic night and Mickey is a regular over there with his trumpet. He was a professional trumpet player with the big bands back in the day. He is also a World War II veteran. A big crowd turned out for his birthday and he was greeted like a big-time celebrity when he arrived.

Everyone wanted to take his picture and to have their picture taken with him.  Eventually he got up to play and sing.  And, as is his custom, he told a few raunchy jokes before he started.

b Band at Dockside

b Mickey Belin Playing Trumpet

He’s still got it folks.  Everyone in the place was hoping for his longevity and vitality.

Happy Birthday Mickey!

 

 

November 19, 2015 – Sombrero Beach

I spent four hours working on THE BOOK in the morning and then we went to Sombrero Beach for lunch and a walk.  We invited a man and woman to sit at our picnic table with us and ended up having a great visit. Joe and Tina Moore from Savannah, Georgia are here for a two-week family Thanksgiving vacation and had just arrived today by boat. They have rented a house and the rest of the extended family will be arriving over the coming week.

Sombrero Beach is a city park used by tourists and locals alike. For some reason, I did’t take many pictures and the ones I did take were not all that good. We’ll be back there often enough to get more before the season is over.

This is a Little Blue Heron, but was very red.  I spent a lot of time Googling images comparing it to the Reddish Egret, but couldn’t decide.  So, I decided the default is Little Blue Heron.

b Little Blue Heron

The tide was high for our walk again today.  I must have seen this before, but today noticed that a sea grape is growing out of the base of this palm tree.

b Sea Grape Growing on Base of Palm Tree

I worked four more hours on THE BOOK after our walk.