Sunday

I've been away much too long!



 After being away from my blog for quite some time I thought I needed to get back into it because I've missed it and all of my blog friends.  Hopefully those of you who have been my loyal readers will comment and say "Hi".

I guess you could say "Life has given me lemons these past months and I finally decided to make
some Lemon Aid and get myself back together.... but, I went to look at my Lemon Tree and several new Lemons were missing!  The critters have taken them and all I have is one green Lemon left!



 As I wandered through my soaked back yard I noticed the Hummer Feeder was still full, "Where did they go?"  I have not seen any this year?


 My home is one of may Town Houses on this block and it's being painted now for three weeks so I've had to move so many potted plants but this one hanging basket with a succulent  I found in a garage sale over a year ago has a bud poking out,,, I had no idea it would flower!!
If anyone can tell me the name of this beauty I'd be ever grateful!  I'll do my best to not let anyone bother it until I can get a photo of the actual flower in bloom.
While searching I found the same plant, in bloom.  How pretty!



 The butterflies have been flittering around the Pony Tail plant for weeks now and that is due to the many flowers growing all around it.   Look how tall this Pony has gotten.  It was about 12" tall in a little pot when I first planted it out in the yard.  Taller than me now!


 Of course the Black Eyed Susan's are blooming... for some reason they normally thrive in  my garden but this year not too many came back?  Rainy season here in South Florida reeks havoc on my garden each year and we have been into the third week of daily Thunder Storms and heavy rain that knocks all the plants down. Some days you can find me out there while the rain falls with sticks and wire trying to save some.. it's rather funny to see really but I'm so afraid the lightening will get me one day!


I  have missed blogging and will do my best to keep it up when I can.
I'm sure it will not be as often as in the past but I've missed my friends here and today will be reading all your blogs and hopefully leaving a comment on each.

"Happy July"


Monday

There's no place like home.....

 When I woke on my final day in Juneau I looked out of the bedroom window in my sons home and was greeted with the most glorious sunrise coming over the mountain top.  The only sounds were the birds and the horns from the ships in the channel. Today was my last day here and I had several flights ahead of me. I was so happy to see the clear sky as it's not an every day thing.  I so wanted to see the mountains as I lifted up in the plane.  I remember my flight coming in three weeks ago,  all I could see were the white clouds that covered the entire area all the way to the roof tops and this seemed to be an every day thing for the next three weeks.
(downtown Juneau, Alaska)
As I lifted off on my flight to Seattle, the sights  below were spectacular.
There was the "Mendenhall Glacier" in all it's glory.  Although I was able to stand on the observation deck my second day there I was a bit sad to not have gotten closer.  I wanted to feel the cold of the ice... such a beautiful area.  I also wanted to see "Nikki and her cubs" but she did not come near.  (the resident black bear that everyone said was a local and seemed to call the area home)
During my three weeks I was able to go and see all there was in this beautiful area but amazingly enough the one thing that stuck in my mind was not mountains or the Christmas trees that grew on every hill but one tiny flower that seemed to grace every flower pot on every deck and window sill in every home, the "Nasturtium".  It must have something to do with the weather but they seemed to grow into beautiful bushy trailing vines.  
Funny thing but today, my first day home I had to run to the HD garden center and get some seeds.  I need to grow this flower, and I could not believe my eyes,  the package said they were "Alaska Mix"  There is something to this and now I'm wondering if they will grow in our heat?  This remains to be seen as I potted them this afternoon before I did anything else.
While at the HD I also had to pick up a large plastic flower pot.  Seems while I was away my terracotta pot with my climbing rose seemed to burst from the elements.  I did manage to save the rose bush but had to clip the plant down to get it repotted.
My heart is happy.  
I was able to spend some quality time with my son Tom. 
And his beautiful family.
Funny thing my first night home I slept 12 hours something I never do.  The last 48 hours were busy and long.  My second flight from Seattle to Orlando turned out to be a party flight.  All my seat mates turned the almost 6 hr flight into fun.  Really.  We were scheduled to land at 5:55am and the the flight attendants had to tell us all to start cleaning up around 4am... the drinks and snacks flowed all night long.. it was fun indeed!

Today as I drove my car to the store to restock my fridge I found myself flying down the highway with the windows open,  music blaring and my hair flying in the wind... singing.
"Thank You Lord for the wonderful trip to see my kids and for getting me home safe.  Thank you for the large open roads and the warm sunshine, Thank you for the heat because my back is so happy today and Thank you for this crazy busy place that I live in
Now I remember why I moved here and why the almost one thousand people move to Florida each day, it might sink soon but who cares, it's paradise indeed!
I could write a song with my words and had to stop myself there for a minute and erase the smile off my face because those around me might think I'm looney.

It's true
"There's no place like home"








1942 Coast Guard Dinner Plate

While digging around my sons house I came across this really nice dinner plate.  It's just one from what I'm sure was a set.  My mind takes me to this wonderful set of dinner china gracing the table of an Admiral or Officers fancy dinner party or on the great ship "Barque Eagle"
 (me with the Moms right in front of the Eagle)
  The date on the back of the plate is from 1942 and it's China, no not made in China but made OF china from a company in PA.
At the moment this 9" plate is valued at $129.00 when looked into google. Wonder where I can find more because my son paid all of $5.00 for his at a tag sale about 15 years ago so you know there are more.
 At the moment this really nice plate graces the window sill in my sons kitchen.  A nice addition to his CG life don't you think?
 



Sunday

Come out, come out where ever you are... that would be Bear!


 I've been totally out of my element this past two weeks.
I'm in Alaska and everything is so different than I'm used to.  
No sun, no beaches, no heat in the air, no stores, no chain restaurants  and mostly no flat land.  
The Mountains are amazing!  
There are days when the cloud's sit right on the mountains and they seem to disappear.  The amazing thing only one airline fly's into Juneau.  Alaska Air.  Their pilots are trained to navagate these mountains on radar and instinct when their totally hidden from view. 

The photo that I've posted is a sculpture that sits in someones front yard here in Juneau, (please excuse it's blurynes but I was in a moving car) it was  once a large rock and a native artisan  chipped and smoothed it into this wonderful Walrus.  If I could have one of a suitcase stashing size I'd bring it home.  
I'll have to admit there are many things that please me here in the local shops and I'd have to get a few more suit cases to bring them back home with me but then it would cost a pretty penny to pay for extra baggage.... so I'll just have to do with my few small souvenirs and Tee's.  But then the memories will last a lifetime.  This place has to much to look at and places to hike and wander.  Am in the process of trying to figure out how to get some rocks in my suitcase.   I remember flying out of the UP of Michigan and the baggage handlers had to put "Heavy" stickers on my cases due to rocks.... (that is another story).
 
Yesterday in the early morning hours my son took me on a sunrise drive looking for bear... but to our dismay none were to be seen.  I had a thought, why not bring a chicken and lay it on the side of the road and sit in the car and wait, after all in the past two weeks this was the third time we went on the bear hunting expedition,  but then Tom told me it would be frowned upon so that did not happen...  

  But we did come upon this wonderful glacier.   
The Mendenhall Glacier  
 It sits in an area designated "The Tongauss Natural Forest"
My photo does not do the area justice and the ice is so cold it has a blue hue to it.  From what I've been told the entire area was totally enraped in the glacier but in the past 100 years it's melting back and now so much of the area has turned in to forest.
I have this wonderous facination with "What is in this ice", really.... animals, humans who died there.. imagine what could be entrapped in the ice?  Guess we will never know.

It's Sunday and another day to explore.  I have 5 more days in this amazing area.  Being with my Son and his family is the best part but I'll tell you I hate living so far from them.
Will be back with more info and photos.
"Have a great week everyone"  
Life is good!  
 

Tuesday

My Alaskin adventure has begun.....



 My trek from Tampa to the Orlando a/p had me standing at the concourse windows looking at my plane while they were getting it ready for the flight to Seattle.  After 6 1/2 hrs I then boarded another 2 1/2 hr flight to Juneau.
I logged in about 9 1/2 hrs flying time.   Happy to say it was a very uneventful event and smooth sailing thanks to the many fine folks of Alaska Airlines.
Once I settled in for the flights my hopes were to get some great shots from the cabin window but no such luck.. there were just too many clouds out there and seeing below at such an altitude was not to be.
 
I arrived in Juneau around noon (their time) and once at my kids home I stepped out on their front deck to see the view... but there was no mountain. "It's there", they said. Give it a few hours and you'll see.
Yep, they were right.  Over the course of the day the many faces of this mountain changed.  The cloud cover gave it a different look with each passing hour.  
The sun, well that is something not seen too often here.  Rain, cloudy and damp is the norm.
Throughout the day I stepped out the front door and took a photo about every two hours.  
Quite a view to have each day, don't you think?   
I'm so happy to be here with my Son and his family.  Seeing my grand daughter again is very special.  The distance keeps us apart and she is now 15 and such a young lady... I'm saddened by missing so much of her life  but we hope to do a few quality things together in the next few weeks... She is such a beautiful young woman and makes me smile.
This is Eve and her mom, my DIL Michelle... they both made fun of me showing up with my flowing, flat ironed hair... it's a Florida thing mind you.  They told me no need for a hair dryer or such things.  They live in benies, hats, jackets and boots because of the damp weather.  Ok, I give up on hair. Talk about making life easier!

I hope to post some more photos... hopefully a few bears will come my way...haha

When I left Florida it was hot and sticky and today I'm wearing sweaters, socks and trying to stay warm.. such a difference in temps and "I'm so happy right now".


Saturday

The perfect sewing kit for a special grand daughter...

These past weeks have flown by for me.. busy doing all sorts of things and I realized I've not posted in this blog for quite some time... Where has the time gone?
I also need to get into a few friends blogs and let them know I'm still alive.
Next week I'm flying to visit with my kids up in the wilderness of Alaska and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my 15yr old grand daughter, Eve.   She asked if I would teach her how to sew, with her new sewing machine.  I'd love to and thought of making her first sewing kit. 
 I had some nice quilting fabric in the stash with some French wording and a bit of glitter. Perfect for a young lady who is so into languages and places far away.
 The kit will hold all the supplies needed for some light weight sewing.  Threads, needles, pins and a few bobbins for her new machine.



 Just open it up to find all you will need then when finished,, re roll it and tie with the silk ribbon.
 And of course,  "Grandma Made it"

I've started collecting a few gifts to bring along.  
Knitted some new hats and scarves for their severe winters.

Made this beauty for myself.  I must remember to not toss it into the washing machine.. The yarn is "Irish Wool" and you know what will happen to that!

 
It's been hot in my area of Florida, so hot and humid from the rainy seasons daily storms you can feel the air dripping. So I've been indoors mostly.  Best time of the year to knit and sew inside with the a/c on....  
Ok.. time to get my mind on what to pack for cold country. Will be a treat to get out of this heat.  From what I understand I need to get some hiking boots but no one sells Timberlands here, this time of year so I guess I'll wait till I get to Juneau for that.  
I'll be sure to post loads of photos and when I see my first bear,, I'll have to lay and play dead so I'll get a photo of that for sure....My DIL said they carry 'Bear Spray' when they walk into town. 
Oh Boy!
"Say a prayer for me"



Wednesday

"God Bless America" Land that I love......

Along with our 5 Military Units I would like to remember all those in ou
"Police and Fire Departments"
that give their time, energy and lives to keep us in America safe and secure.

 Wishing everyone a safe and happy 

"Fourth of July"



Monday

Rainy Days, Lilly's and a Snail?

South Florida rainy season is here and it's been here for the past 5 days... non stop rain and it's really funny how it rains.  I lived up north and in the midwest and when it rains there the sky is dreary and cloudy every where you look... but here when it rains and storms we might see clouds to the left and sunny blue skies to the right. It literally will rain across the street and not on my yard....  Sun showers they call it.  So all day long we go through spurts of heavy down pour or sunny drizzle.
I for one just love it.
I wanted to get a photo of my Lilly's that bloomed this past week so I ran out between drops with my camera.  
My niece sent me some really nice bulbs for my birthday and I put 12 in the front of the house and 12 out back.  You might be able to see them in the photo below, to the right of the Cannas.
 It's so wonderful when it rains here, the air  feels like a Tropical Rainforest and the landscape is so green.



 

 While planting bulbs I put a few in a glass bowl and they also sprouted and are blooming.  I love the look and keep them out on the back deck for the sun.
 


 The roots don't have enough room in the bowl but they are doing just fine.
I like to experiment with my gardening.
 I had to show you this little guy/girl.
There are loads of snails when the rain comes and I've only seen little round brown ones but this beauty was a first.  
Not sure where it came from and it had no friends with it but it stayed for a few days and was gone this morning.  Isn't she pretty and yes she was pretty large for a snail.
 Rainy season is here and should stay for the month or two.  That's ok with me but only one problem, the weeds and bushes are going to be twice as big in a week or so.  Wonder if I can get a goat to take care of that?
"Enjoy your week everyone"








Thursday

A big decision has been made,, finally!

Over the years I've been limited to where and how I travel due to my health. It's always been to a well established town with a Hospital that had Cardio care,  and this past year my son has asked me several times to come see where he and his family live.  Although I have wanted to go to them the little town they live in does not have proper health care for me and if I was to need medical help I'd have to take a 2 hour life flight to Seattle or Anchorage.... so I've avoided going to Juneau.
This past two weeks I've had several conversations with my Cardio Doctor and after he put me through several tests he finally said "GO"!   In fact he gave me a lecture on how to not worry and how my new High Tec  pacer/defibulator will do it's job if I have any kind of problems.  I will have time to get to the help I need.  
 Juneau does have a Hospital and many Doctors but not one Cardiologist who can read my pacer and act accordingly.  I've always been afraid to put my trust in a Family Practice doctor and for the past 10 years  I've avoided going to this tiny town because all they will do with me is put me on a plane to fly out.
 The red pushpin is where my son lives (literally over his house) and the blue pin is Downtown Juneau... and that is all of it, nothing beyond except a home scattered here and there.  In fact the Federal Building  (Juneau  is the Capitol of Alaska) is the only building of any great size.  Beyond those beautiful mountains is wilderness for hundreds of miles.
 
Well, I'm going, finally!

I've been thinking of my knitting coming with me.  No matter where I go I need my needlework. These hands must stay busy and 6 hrs on one flight then three on another, I may go nuts with nothing to do.  
I found a little canvas bag that would be perfect to carry knitting and not wanting to spend a lot of money on the fancy knitting bags and only $5.00 at Michaels,  but it needed a long shoulder strap and snaps to keep it closed.  
  That was easy enough.  I bought a yard of flat cording and stitched it to the top of the bag then added two snaps on the
inside of the top and now if I manage to drop it, all the contents will not fall out. 

 Then I thought about all the black bags I might see in the airports and I needed to add something to distinguish it as mine, in a flash... I crochet some little flowers and stitched them to the front pocket.  Who else with have these exact flowers?


 Turns out this little bag holds more than I was hoping for.. my knitting book with the instructions has plenty of room.


I'll be sure to do a post in a few months... (might take me that long to finish my sweater)  Hopefully it will look as good as the photo.
 Below is a photo my son took from his front porch.


I'll be there for about 3 weeks and I can see me  sitting on an easy chair with a hot cup of coffee  doing my knitting when were not out hiking or finding something wonderful to do.  It may be July in a few days but that mountain will have snow on the top all summer long.
 I'm a bit excited to finally visit with my son and family.  I know they are going to be happy to have me there..  I don't get to see them too often since the Coast Guard took Tom to Alaska but knowing how happy he is with his job and his life it makes this mom smile.


Spending some quality time with Michelle, his wife and their daughter, Eve will surly be good for me.  
I need to go shopping for gifts, can't arrive without any and I hope none of them say Florida.
(big smile here)

I'll be linking this post to
Fun in the Sun 
Thrifty Knitting Bag