Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Miss Minion

I've written about the manatee mailbox before and you can see some of her other outfits here.  The is a new one that we haven't seen before.

She's so cute.  I'm not sure why I think of it as "her" except that sometimes it's dressed in a grass skirt.  However, it's also been dressed as The Grinch, and I think of that character as a "he".  Anyway, you can't tell from the photo but there are several "sprigs" of hair sprouting out of the top of her head.  Very clever!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Catching Up

We met Archer and Karen Ann through the AWS.  They were both volunteers and Archer was a member of the Board of Directors.  Over the course of my three years as the Volunteer Coordinator, we became friends.  Generally, we try to get together once a month or so, when we share a dessert and play cribbage.  

They are snowbirds, like us but unlike us, they own property and are residents of Florida.  Up until this year, they owned a house in Destin, which is way too far to travel to get together.  However, this fall they moved into their own "apartment" within an adult community in Sarasota, which is only an hour away.  So now, we can see one another during the winter months, too.

We agreed to travel to Sarasota first so that we could see their new place and then go to lunch.  They are living at The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods, which is a community that residents buy into and includes independent living through skilled nursing care.  They bought a small (800 sq. ft.) apartment which has high ceilings and two large windows overlooking the pond, making it appear larger than it is.  The grounds are lovely and the amenities include several eating areas, a pool, movie theatre, library and much more.  This is the kind of place Bill and I will NEVER be living in...way too expensive for us.  Karen Ann did reveal that their monthly fee is based on the square footage and for the two of them it's $2400 A MONTH!  That's nearly $30,000 a year, nearly as much as my annual income.  

Well, I digress.  They gave us a nice tour of the facilities, we loved on their two dogs while we chatted about what has been happening in our lives since we last saw one another (Oct/Nov) and we headed out to lunch in their brand spanking new hybrid Lexus, which is so damn clean it looks like they just drove it off the lot.  

They had selected a nice little cafe on Casey Key, an island near Sarasota.  Within 20 minutes we arrived at The Casey Key Fish House.

It sits right on the water and although it was cool, the sun was out and it wasn't terribly windy so we opted to sit on the outside deck.  It was really nice being outside in the company of good friends.

Obviously, it is located next to/in the marina but it was very quiet.

The food was very good...crab cakes, fish tacos and blackened grouper sandwich.  The only down side was our tab was $51 for lunch!  for two of us!  Yikes!  Luckily, it was mid afternoon when we ate so we didn't need to eat dinner.

There was a Great Blue Heron that stopped by and perched on a nearby boat and we noticed this group of pelicans perched in the trees.

Trust me, there's a lot of pelicans there.

From here, we went back to their place briefly before heading home.  Next month, they are coming to visit us.  The "tour" of our place will take five minutes but we will need to spend a lot more than five minutes cleaning the car because ours looks lived in, not just purchased.  

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ahhhhhh, Finally!

It took us 16 days to get nice enough weather to hit the beach; however, today was the perfect beach day!  The temp was 77*, there was a slight breeze, almost no clouds and there weren't a lot of people on the beach.  It was heaven!
I know, I need a pedicure.  I'll get around to it...one of these days!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Nasty Weather

I am NOT a fan of strong/severe weather warnings down here!  While I feel quite comfortable handling the crappy weather we might get in Maine...heavy rain, high winds, blizzard conditions...I find it very unsettling while we are in FL.  First of all, I'm in my own element, with my own things in Maine and I've grown accustomed to what the weather will bring.  Here, it's another story.  We aren't in our own place, we don't know anyone if anything happens and we have no where to go in the event of an emergency.  We generally get a lot of advance warning for severe conditions in Maine but this whole tornado stuff only gives one a few minutes warning!  On top of that, we are renting a manufactured home ;o(

They started issuing strong weather warnings LAST NIGHT!  Ugh!  It was pouring rain when we got up this morning, slowed a little when I took Titan out to pee, then really picked up with lots of wind.  Punta Gorda received 4.47 inches of rain!  Thankfully, our area did not received a tornado watch but areas to the south of us did...for the second time in two weeks! Each time, a tornado did touch down, one an EF2 and the one today an EF1.  No.Thank.You!  Today there was a slight chance of severe weather, less than 5% and there was a tornado.  They are already talking about another storm on Sunday with a low chance of severe weather, less than 15%.  Good grief!

What do they suggest you do?  First, go to the lowest place in your home.  None of the homes in FL have cellars, so we are already in the lowest place.  Second, go into a bathroom with no windows.  Check, we have one of those.  Third, get into the tub.  Seriously?  Bill, me and Titan in the tub?  I don't see that happening; we would be lucky to all fit in the tiny bathroom, which we would definitely do.  Lastly, cover yourself with a mattress.  HA!  There is No way we could fit a double bed mattress in this bathroom.  Of course, I would need to have all the electronic equipment, purse, important personal information, some food and a chance of clothes for when I shit.my.pants!

We made the decision that if there is a weather warning, we will not leave Titan home alone, we will all wait it out together.  We were out to dinner last week when there was a tornado about 30 miles south of us.  I cannot imagine how frightened Titan would be if he were home alone and anything happened.

Well, I'm keeping positive thoughts that our area will not be in the blinking yellow/red boxes on Sunday.

The water table is so close to the surface down here, when there is heavy rain, there is also flooding. 
Our house is raised off the ground so we don't need to worry, but the water in the canal was as high as we have seen it in the three years we have been here.  It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon but by 3:00 the water was over the dock on the far side of the canal.

By 5:00 the water was over our dock.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A WOD in the Park

Thankfully, Wendy & Dan convinced us to sign up for a 2 week free trial at their gym when we returned home from Florida last spring.  We are in love with The Brickhouse Gym and Hot Yoga Studio!  Since we are away for the winter, we are missing our gym family and the daily WOD's that kick our butts.  However, we are able to continue to pay a small monthly fee in order to access the Wodify app, which gives us the ability to see the daily WOD's.  YAY!

We won't be able to follow them faithfully because the gym here doesn't have the same equipment and they don't allow you to bring in any equipment.  No problem, we can modify them to suit our needs and we also have access to the web, where we can find thousands of "traveling WOD's".  We worked out in an area along the Linear Park Pathway near Fisherman's Village that has been outfitted with several different pieces of exercise equipment.
We won't use all of these pieces but we can use some of them for warming up, stretching, rack rows, narrow grip push-ups and step-ups.  

Since we haven't been to the gym in over a week, we decided to start with a fairly easy WOD that Bill created using one of the traveling WOD sites:

   10 rounds:
      6 push-ups
      6 McGill crunches
      6 step-ups
      6 air squats
   Cash out:
      Tabata planks

Of course, as soon as we started everyone in town came to "workout".  It felt good to move and we both worked up a sweat.
We can use this section to do toes-to-bar and pull-ups using the new bands Bill bought.  The "grass" is like astro turf and is cushioned so we should be able to jog on it!  We brought along towels today to protect our skin but we might invest in yoga mats.  We'll see how it goes.

Hopefully, we will fit right back in with our 5:30 peeps when we return to our favorite gym in the spring!

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