Monday, February 28, 2011

Wildlife, Oh Yeah!

I have failed miserably at taking photos of the wild animals we have seen this winter.  That's because, when I carry the camera, we don't see any and when I leave it in the car, we see lots of them.  I guess they are camera shy.

Anyway,  here's the count...

While I was getting my hair done, Mr. Bill took Sir Titan for a walk and saw an alligator.  He got sooooo excited (Mr. Bill, that is) that try as he might, he couldn't get the camera in his phone to work properly...alas, there is no picture.

Several weeks ago, while walking by the river, we watched a couple of dolphins playing in the harbor.  They would throw a fish into the air then jump after it.  They were quite close to the edge so we could see them clearly.  Unfortunately, it started pouring, which soaked all three of us and ended our little nature lover's moment.  Ironically, that's the only time we have been caught in the rain this winter.

Today, again on our walk, we saw three manatees.  They were about 100 yards away but easily visible.  At one point, something apparently frightened them because there were three large, difficult to describe, foamy disturbances in the water and they swam rapidly away.  It was the coolest thing, EVA!

This does not count the numerous different birds we have seen or the handful of snakes and lizards.

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update..."bungalow" & mural, article 2

The mural is coming along very nicely.  I don't know how the artist gets the perspective right working so close or how he paints when it is so sunny, without the paint drying out too quickly.

The "bungalow" doesn't show much progress, apparently they are working on the inside. 
Some of the roofing is complete and there is strapping on the front.  We assume this is for the siding.  At this rate, it will never be ready by the end of March.

Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunny & Warm


The weather has been nothing but spectacular for the past 10 days or so and promises to continue into the 80's through next weekend.  

Our winter tans are coming along nicely.

Thanks for stopping by...

I Am Titan - I am a Hunter

My mama and papa tell me that I am an American Pit Bull Terrier!  I don't know what that really means but they say it is a good thing, so that makes me happy and proud.  I went online and found out what a terrier is... any of various usually small (I'm not very small) energetic (I am very energetic) dogs originally used by hunters to dig for small game and engage the quarry underground or drive it out.  Now, that's what I'm talkin' about in this blog.  

I have a nice, although limited, kingdom in our back yard here in Flor-i-duh.  It's boundary is marked, not by a moat filled with ally-gate-ers, but by these annoying, shockingly efficient, white flags, which I admit kind of scare me, so I stay away from them.
The yard is technically much bigger than my kingdom but I am doing my very best to protect my kingdom from small game, known here in Flor-i-duh as...get-goes.
Flor-i-duh get-go trying to attract me
These get-goes are very fast and can hide almost everywhere, so they could hide anywhere in the yard without entering my kingdom.  However, where they choose to hide is smack in the middle of my kingdom in the planter that surrounds the tree.  They hide there because they have heard my mama and papa say "Titan, OFF!" or "Titan, get out of there!" so they figure they are safe.

Listening intently to the get-goes tease me...nah, nah, nah,nah, na,na
They even make noises that my mama and papa can't hear, purposely taunting me ;o( 

Not.So.Fast get-goes! 

Sooo, I have been hunting them, hiding my head near the plants in the planter, so they can't see me hunting them.
Can't see me, can you?
Proof that I am a good "hider"
Unfortunately, no matter how well I hide, I can't catch those darn get-goes. I think they got their name because they "get up and go" really fast!  Plus, when they aren't going really fast, they don't move at all but hide better than I can.  I have occasionally frightened them onto the tree, which causes me to jump straight up and into the planter, which causes my mama or papa to talk loudly to me and I know I am in trouble.  I hear the get-goes softly laughing as I am unceremoniously dragged out of the planter.  But I am not deterred and continue to hunt (and get into trouble) until I am removed from my kingdom and relegated to the house.

Tomorrow is another day and I will try again!

Woof, Woof

Sunday, February 20, 2011


You might ask yourself...what exactly does that mean.  That's what I was asking after spending yesterday afternoon at the Greek Festival.  According to doesn't really 'mean' anything. It's an exclamation of joy, like "whoopee" or "hooray."

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the festival.  We passed up the Wine and Jazz Festival; neither of us likes jazz and I only like wine that isn't really wine.  So instead, we decided to spend some time with others enjoying good food and fun dancing.

Lunch was very tasty, although I didn't know what the ingredients were or how to pronounce it.  They were very helpful and provided nice photos and a description of what was available. 
Lower left...spanakopita (spinach pie)  REALLY GOOD!
Upper left...souvlaki (pork kabob in a pita roll) not that good ;o(
Upper right...greek salad (kind of speaks for itself, huh?)  good
Lower right...dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)  REALLY GOOD except they are served cold and I expected them to be hot, so it was a surprise in my mouth ;o)

I had tasted the spanakopita before but it was frozen and this was fresh.  Fresh is better!  I had always wanted to taste stuffed grape leaves and they were really tasty.  These were filled with rice and must have been sitting in a kind of marinade.
Stuffed grape leaves and a tasty beverage 
Greek salad, spinach pie and stuffed grape leaves
For dessert we had Kourabiedes (butter cookies covered with powdered sugar).  We didn't get a picture of these but they were also very good.  However, a word to the wise, don't take a big bite of a kouradiedes because there is so much powdered sugar floating around in your mouth, you can't breathe and IF you breathe, you suck all that sugar down your throat and it's really hard to make enough saliva to wet all that damn sugar.  Take small bites ;o)

They also had Greek music and dancing, which was lots of fun to watch and everyone was having a good time.
Father Ian welcomed those that were interested into the church and gave an interesting presentation about the history of the church, the three sections of the church and the icons. 

From there we headed to Fishermen's Village and had our cup of coffee on the swing by the river.
Our second favorite swing (the marina is to the left)
Our least favorite swing but sometimes it's the only choice
The weather has been picture perfect for the past week and promises to continue through next weekend.  The skies are clear, the sun is warm and bright and the temps are in the low 80's.

Thanks for stopping by...

PS...if anyone knows why the videos aren't coming up with the picture and the play arrow, please let me know.  They are correct on the draft ;o(

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Am Titan - I Speak My Mind

My mama says she ah-pawl-i-gizes that you can't see me very well...

but she said she has to "sees" the moment because I'm not very kew-op-er-a-tiv.  She doesn't use her happy voice when she says that so I don't think it's a comp-li-ment like when she calls me handsome or says I'm a good boy.

Woof, Woof

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Red, White and Blue

Toenails painted RED resting on a bed of sand, bleached nearly WHITE by the sun,
 disappearing into a sea of BLUE

under a cloudless sky.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

What did you do to celebrate today?

For 12 to 15 years I worked for a florist and delivered flowers on Valentine's Day.  I always loved that job because, for the most part, everyone loves getting flowers and they were happy to see me at their door.  I filled my car with as many deliveries as possible and got to enjoy the arrangements until the car was empty. Having my car filled with the fragrance of dozens of flowers was awesome.

For the past couple of years, Mr. Bill and I decided we weren't going to buy gifts for each other but we would go out for a nice dinner.  There is a  restaurant not far away that offers a Valentine special for dinner and we talked about going there; however, I didn't exactly jump up and call.  Sooo, by the time I called last week they had availability for reservations at 3:00 (IN THE AFTERNOON) OR 9:00 (NEARLY MY BEDTIME).  Thanks, anyway.  We stopped at our favorite butcher shop over the weekend and they had a wonderful Valentine special, which Mr. Bill thought sounded good.  Well, he was right.  We had two beautiful fillets, two twice baked potatoes and some baby asparagus. 
All for about half of what we would have paid someone else to cook it and serve it up.  Mr. Bill cooked the fillets to perfection, of course!

That's not all...we shared a superb cupcake for dessert, which we picked up at the farmer's market over the weekend.

Chocolate, chocolate chip with chocolate frosting and red sprinkles
These cupcakes are about half again as big as a regular cupcake.  They are not only delicious but are filled with a chocolate mousse.
It was a very nice Valentine dinner.  Thank you Mr. Bill. 

At the risk of freaking everyone out, we spent the morning doing something that neither of us has ever done before.   Rest assured...all is well.  We spent 3 1/2 hours in the emergency room at a local hospital.  I have been having some lower rib pain almost since we got here.  I figured I pulled a muscle, or dislocated a rib, or something else that I couldn't explain.  It was better for awhile but has been bothering me the last couple of weeks and wasn't getting better.  I spoke to the insurance "Nurse Line" last night to ask whether or not it was something to be concerned about or if it could wait until we got home.  I was a little disconcerted when she said I should visit an Urgent Care Clinic or the ER since it had been going on so long.  Soooo, that's where we headed this morning.  They were very nice and efficient, took several xrays and didn't find anything.  My diagnosis was musculoskeletal chest pain (a pulled or strained muscle) and they gave me a couple of prescriptions. 

I didn't call any family or friends because it makes everyone worry and I didn't see any point in people worrying until I knew what was going on, so hopefully I'm not in trouble with anyone.  I already have an appointment with my PCP in April when we return so I can follow up then, if necessary.  While speaking with the insurance company, I discovered that I can sign up for a program that allows me to have a PCP in Florida as well as Maine and it doesn't cost anything extra.  I had no idea that was an option but I'm excited to start the paperwork so I can have a Dr. next year when we come down.  Just.In.Case.

And that's what we did today.

Generally, for Valentine's Day, I send cards to my children and my girlfriends, letting them know that I think they are special and I'm glad they are in my life.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that this year.  I do have a new idea for next year; however, for all my friends that usually get a card and a few new ones, let this be your Valentine card.

"I think you are special.  Thanks for being part of my life.  Happy Valentine's Day"

Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, February 12, 2011


If you see photos of the sunrise on this blog, it's very likely that my blog has been taken over by aliens.  I always enjoyed the sunrise when I was working and we had an early call.  "So this is what it looks like" was my usual comment.  I would watch them all the time if they just came later in the day.

This was my view out the back door during dinner tonight.

Not too shabby, huh?

I'm sure there's a way to take out those electrical wires but I don't have a clue how to do it.

Thanks for stopping by...

BBRRRRRRR, Again ;o(

Granted, there wasn't any frost on the pumpkin, not on the blades of grass, didn't have to scrape the car windows (actually, the car was in the garage, but I digress) but it was pretty darn cold this morning when I took Sir Titan for his morning walk to take care of business.  The wind was blowing a gale and the temp was in the LOW 40's!  It warmed up to 67* by late in the afternoon; however, this was my apparel for the day.
Natural cotton sunscreen
Yeah, that's right, a long sleeve t-shirt, winter jacket, jeans, shoes and socks.  My mittens and earmuffs are in my pocket, along with residue from the dog treats that Sir Titan loves and doggie "litter" (aka poop) bags (empty of course).  I didn't need the earmuffs or mittens but my motto is..."if you think about it, you should do it".  It's kind of the Universe's way of talking to you.

Although I have listened long and hard, I don't hear any sympathetic awwwws from anyone but that's okay; just keeping you updated.  Tonight is supposed to be "the last cold night until fall".  Yeah, right; I think I may have heard that one before. 

The upcoming week promises to be "the best week of the year, so far".
That's what I'm talkin' about!
Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Am Titan - I Am Sad

I was happy today when I got into the car for my ride to "the walk" and I wasn't in the waaaaaay back!  But wait, where is my backseat buddy?  huh?  What have you two done with her?  NOOOOOO, tell me it's not true, tell me she didn't go home to May-n!  UGH!

Now I'm sad and lonesome...

I'll just wait here on her rug till she comes back.
Thanks for visiting Wen-D; I miss you.  I'll see you in the spring (or so I'm told).

Woof, Woof

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Time Flies

when you're having fun.  Wendy came to visit, we had fun, time flew by, Wendy left.  ;o(  It was so nice to have my daughter visit for a long weekend; she didn't come down at all last year and I missed her.  She arrived on Saturday around 2, actually landed a few minutes early.  By the time she reached Bill and me, we were both crying (me and Wendy...not me and Bill).

We wanted to fit in as much as possible during her short stay; where we live, where we spend our time, why we love it here, without spending a lot of time in the car.  We don't really do much except walk the dog, have coffee, sit by the river...blah, blah, blah.  She was up for anything; just wanted to relax.  Yeah, we do that a lot, too. 

Since it was only 15 minutes from the airport, we stopped at the Manatee Park to see the manatees, or not.  We read in the paper that the manatees don't like the cold water in the gulf (colder than 68*) and they hang out in the park, near a warm water discharge from the Florida Power & Light company.  It's the best place to see them between November and March, but NOT when the air temperature has been in the 80's for the past couple of days and the gulf water has warmed to more than 68*.  We looked and looked, moved from one spot to another to get a really good look and looked some more.  Not.A.Single.Manatee.In.The.Park! Luckily there was a nice volunteer that informed us not to hurt ourselves looking because there was Not.A.Single (or married for that matter) Manatee.In.The.Park.  The gulf waters were too warm and they weren't traveling down the Orange River to the park.  Apparently they didn't get the memo that Wendy was here and we wanted to see manatees.

Can you tell it was windy?
Manatee Park on the Orange River
No manatees  ;o(   No alligators  ;o)
Two chicks and  a "sea cow"
Too bad we didn't know about this park last year when the gulf was in the 50's and so was the air temp.

On Sunday,Wendy and I went to the farmer's market at History Park.  We did a little sightseeing and saw some amazing condo at Maria Manor, the Animal Welfare League and Ponce de Leon Park.  I know, very exciting!  After picking up Mr. Bill and Sir Titan, we went for a walk along the river, then lunch at Arby's.  We took another short road trip to show Wendy the Tampa Bay Rays spring training stadium and Charlotte Harbor Beach Park. You can determine from our attire and very little detective work that it wasn't the warmest day on record; overcast and breezy.

Fishing Pier along our walk on the Peace River
Pier at Charlotte Harbor Beach Park
Monday started out quite foggy but the wind was nice enough to blow it all away and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  We left the house early (for us) and walked Sir Titan, then returned home to give him some alone time in his crate.  We had lunch at Cubby's, a little sandwich/ice cream shop, then proceeded to Fishermen's Village where we enjoyed a coffee on the swing by the river.  We even collaborated on a haiku...
     Pelicans diving
     Fish jump in the air briefly
     Geckos in the tree
Wendy and I left Mr. Bill to enjoy some alone time in the sun with a good cigar while we did some shopping, after which we returned to Cubby's for some of their awesome, homemade ice cream.  Yum!

We picked up pizza for dinner as Mr. Bill wasn't feeling very well.

After an early walk with Sir Titan along Tamiami Trail, we tried some coffee from the Hava Java Coffee Shop and learned a valuable lesson. If you are going to sit outside in the sun and enjoy your coffee, look before you sit...
We had a pretty good rain the night before and one of the chairs wasn't quite dry.  Thank you Mr. Bill for being such a good sport.  We returned home for a change of clothes, picked up Wendy's luggage and headed to Ft. Myers and the airport so Wendy could catch her flight home.

As I watched her walk away, I realized that she is no longer my little girl.  She has grown into a beautiful, responsible, compassionate young woman and I couldn't be more proud to call her my daughter.  I was sad to see her leave so quickly but thoroughly enjoyed her visit; she is easy company and her visit made me very happy.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things You Won't See in Maine (TYWSIM) Vol. 1 Article 2

And I thought we were lazy going to Dunkin Donuts for coffee...

Granted, this wouldn't be fun if the weather was less than great, so there is another one in town that allows you to drive through the building and select your beverage and tobacco choices.  Because, everyone knows, you don't want to get any exercise by getting out of your car and actually walking to make your purchases.

These are mangrove trees that grow along the bank of the river.  You can find more information here "These trees have a unique relationship with salt water and poor soil that allow them to thrive.  Large roots holding the trees above the ground or water are characteristic of mangrove trees.  Mangrove trees survive salt water inundation by excreting it at the root level and by storing excess salt in leaves that later fall off."
These are located on a small island in the river near our "coffee swing."  "Mangrove trees are found all over the world in tropical and subtropical climates*. They are found in tidal zones, swamps and shorelines."

*This would explain why You Won't See Them In Maine.

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Am Titan - I Have a Backseat Buddy ;o)

Hi everyone!

I'm taking a couple of minutes during half-time of the big football game to let you know that my Auntie Wen-D came to visit my mama and papa here in Flor-i-duh.  I really like her because she likes me and likes to hear me talk and sing. 

One of the best things about having her here is that I have someone to sit with when we go places in the car.  I usually have to ride alone behind my mama and papa but can lean over and smell them or give them kisses whenever I want.  (Well, not really when I want because they tell me to "get back", but sometimes.)  Big surprise today when we went for a ride...the backseat was not laying down like it usually does, it was sitting up and I was supposed to ride in the waaaaaay back part of the car.  I don't like being in the waaaaaay back, it's very far away from my mama and papa.  However, I was close to my Auntie Wen-D, which I did like. 

I behaved myself nicely when we rode in the car to get to our walk, which was very fast today because everyone was keeping up with Auntie Wen-D and she walks really, really fast.  I behaved myself nicely after our walk when we took another ride to show Auntie Wen-D the Tampa Bay Rays spring training stadium and the Charlotte Harbor Beach Park.  Auntie Wen-D behaved very well too by snuggling up under her sweatshirt and taking a little nap.  (Don't worry, Auntie Wen-D, it's our little secret; riding in the car puts me to sleep, too.)

I finally had enough of being alone in the waaaaaay back...

I'm making a break for it.

I kind of figured that if I didn't make eye contact with anyone, they wouldn't notice me.  I didn't figure that out quite right but Auntie Wen-D said it was okay and I could stay.  YAY! I love her for letting me out of the waaaaaay back and I rewarded her with one of my special kisses.

At first she played hard to get   ;o(
Then she gave in to my charm   ;o)

I love sharing the backseat with my buddy, Auntie Wen-D.

Woof, Woof

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I am Titan - I Have a New Toy

Yeah, that's right, my papa brought out a new toy for me today.  Come to find out, it was in the car, right under my nose for a couple of weeks.  I heard they were going to save it and let me play with it when we go to the doggie park.  However, it appears we are NEVER going to the doggie park because there are always too many dogs there and I get way too excited.  Sometimes when I'm excited I don't behave myself very well.  Sometimes just walking past the doggie park gets me excited but that's mostly when the dogs behind the fence are not behaving themselves and making lots of growly noises.  My mama and papa think that because the "others" are behind the fence, and I can't see them, I don't know they are there.  DUH!  They forget that my ears and my nose are like a gazillion times better than their's.  So much for making new friends at the doggie park.

I have a toy kind of like my new one but we left it in May-n.

This is the coolest toy (next to my rubber duck) ever!  It's hard to tell from this picture my mama took but it has three tails, kind of like me but I only have one ;o)  When my mama or papa throw this toy, it flies through the air and I run as fast as I can to catch it.  The one at home doesn't have tails any more.  That's because when I get tired of chasing it I like to chew on it and come to find out, these tails are NOT in-d-stuck-ta-bull.  AND, this one s.q.u.e.e.k.s!  I love toys that squeek.

Today I was a little off my game because I got really tired on our walk.  It was warm today, I heard my mama say 84*, whatever that means.  I know she was smiling when she said it so it must be good.  
Even though we stopped several times and they gave me bowls of nice cold water, I still got tired.  Soooo, when my papa brought out this new toy, I was happy and excited, but I just didn't have the get-up-and-go that I usually do.  Even so, my papa was excited for me and throw the toy nice and high.

um, excuse me, I know I run fast and jump high but how, exactly, am I supposed to get that?

Yeah, that's right, papa threw my toy right into the gutter!  Luckily, he knows where the little ladder is and was able to get it down for me.

Woof, Woof

Update...traffic cones & mural

Although we thought maybe they were planting more trees, it turns out that was not the case.

The traffic cones marked the spot for new signage, actually kind of nice.

The "Hotel Port Charlotte" mural is coming along quickly.
I have no idea how much time the artist puts in every day but I don't think he works in the morning when the sun is hitting the building.

It was beautiful today, it was partly sunny and the temperature reached 84*.  We shortened our walk a little so that Sir Titan didn't get overheated.

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Am Blue

No matter how you look at it, I think the title sums it up...

Thanks for stopping by...