A Rose’s Rarest Essence Lives in the Thorn….Rumi Day 9 of #21daysofgrateful

So, yesterday.  I’m still sick and don’t feel one bit better; maybe worse!  Mikey goes off to town to find me some lasagna noodles (yeah, I know…I went to Costco and didn’t get enough noodles???); I was one box short.  In my defence, the packaging is a different size here in the good ol’ U. S. of A.  I head into the bath, as it’s the one place that ALWAYS makes me feel better and it didn’t disappoint.  While I’m in there soaking my bones, Mikey returns and announces he’s home.  I tell him it’s ok for him to come into the bathroom while I’m taking a bath…we’re married now.  And what to my wondrous eyes should appear; but a single long stem rose in the hand of my love.  I know, right? Melt your heart – that’s what he does to me.  Then he tells me this story:-

Nice Store Clerk Lady – “A Rose.  How Nice”.

Mikey – “It’s for my wife.  She’s not feeling well”

Nice store Clerk Lady – “What a lovely thing to do”

Mikey – “Yes, I gave it to her – the germ”

Nice Store Clerk Lady – “Good call”

Although anxiously awaiting our Furever Friends Phil & Christine and their pup, Olive, to arrive and greet them at our (pretty much nightly event) “Wine O’clock”, I thought better of spreading my germs, so sent Mikey to the meet and greet.

Fast forward to today and I’m feeling better and can’t wait to see my buddies again! We all met at our very most favourite spot…The Beach!!

To the Beach, To The Beach, To The Beach, Beach, Beach!!
And she’s down…Rolling in something disgusting and her buds want to get in on the action!
Hey Phil!!! I love these new shades…I’m going to be taking a lot of pic in them!
Our Body is the very LOOOOONGEST Pee’r in the world. Sometimes he doesn’t lift his leg, as he knows he’ll be there for a while!
See. I told ya! And you say there are no pictures of me….pffft

Hey Christine and Nancy. This looks like a pensive conversation…

Brody and Tam Tam frolicking in the ocean once again. Welcome Olive!
Journey with her tunew friend, Tuna
Brody checking on his second dad

Pretty Lady, Nancy
And her pretty dog, Journey
Brody’s bestie, Tam Tam (don’t tell Olive)
I can’t forget my birdies

Well, it’s almost time for our Furever Friends Reunion Dinner! We’re expecting our last arrivals, Pete & Catherine, along with their furbabies, River, Echo and Tonka!

I’m outta here folks…It’s wine o’clock!

I’ll leave you with this…

Life Is Good…..

Our England Adventures Continue…. Part II

THE GEORGE

After over 20,000 steps (and a bum knee) from the day before, we decided to spend the day in Staines-On-The-Thames and go to The George (https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/surrey/the-george-staines) for brunch…You guessed it..Fish & Chips and they did not disappoint!

The George
Great pub…and always busy!
This Wetherspoon freehouse stands on the site of an indoor market that burnt down in 1990. It had been a Tesco store for nearly thirty years before that.
At the beginning of the century two shops occupied the site. Perkins, a fruiterer, and Goring & Sons, butchers. Goring’s were butchers in Staines until the arrival of Tesco.
Much earlier, from the 15th century at least, the George Inn stood on this site. It ceased trading in the late 18th century, and the building was demolished later in the 19th.
From around 1600 until his death in 1625, the George was run by Mr William Gillet. Like many landlords he brewed his own beer, and became fairly well-to-do.
In his will he became the first Staines resident to leave a charitable bequest. He left “Mr Richard Halfaker four pounds a year for life to teach four poor children the Psalter and Testament.”

THE BRANTON’S

After noodling around the town, we headed back for a quiet afternoon awaiting George & Brenda to arrive and take us to dinner and then to meet their family. Brenda and George are loooooooong time friends of Mike’s…..Here’s a shot of Brenda and Mike way back when:-

Brenda & Mike….I may ask him to grow his hair back…..HOT!
This is Brenda & George ‘s Wedding…can you pick out Mikey??? Yes, 2nd from the left from that pretty young lady that he says he cannot remember…..

George and Brenda took us to one of their favorite places to dine, The Thames Court and it was magnificent! Lots of charm and culture – cozy and amazing food. (we refrained from the fish & chips as we had them for lunch!) Although it was dark outside, you still knew the River Thames was across the small road in plain view. What a lovely setting.

Psst….I took this pic from their website and can’t take credit for it!
https://www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/south-east/thethamescourtshepperton/gallery
Originally a private residence for the Dutch Ambassador, The Thames Court is still adorned with hand painted Delft tiling and oak panelling, together with a set of beautiful fireplaces. In the 50s The Thames Court became a select private members club, today we welcome guests from all over country to enjoy our riverside setting.

We also had a “trainee” waitress that was about 5 years old that did a wonderful job. She was overjoyed to get a “tip” from us for a job well done! The conversation consisted of a lot of reminiscing of old times, which was very interesting to hear how George and Brenda met Mike (through an old flame!) Thank you Brenda & George again for the lovely meal!

Now off to meet the rest of the family at their lovely home. The home reminded me of a warm, English cottage that you read about in those romantic novels…with the fireplace and the large planked wood floors. It was complemented by a huge garden out back. I wish I had taken some shots of it, as it was done up so nice. It was large and many different areas to sit and enjoy the fish pond as well as, numerous beautiful English gardens.

The Branton family was so warm and friendly. The grandchildren were there and it was a perfect evening and ending to our day.

MIKE’S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY WITH A PUB CRAWL & A SURPRISE DINNER THEATRE DOWNTOWN LONDON – FAWLTY TOWERS!

In keeping with 2019 – everyone on the train is on their phones…well, except Sandra and I! I guess I can’t say that, as I was taking the photos…on my phone!

Nice talking to you boys!
Birthday boy reading all his online birthday wishes!
Anyone that knows Rob, knows that either he’s on his phone OR if he’s actually idle, he asleep!

Our first stop in London is The Nell GWYNNE. A quaint pub that was so small you had to go outside to change your mind. That only added to the ambiance of the charming London pub. Just don’t go to the bathroom if you’ve had too many pints, as when you fall down the steep stairs, you’ll land right in the ladies toilet!

The Nell Gwynne
Built on the site of the Old Bull Inn, the Nell Gwynne Tavern was named after the infamous mistress of Charles II. Nell, born and raised in the locality at St Martin in the Fields, sold fruit in the nearby Covent Garden market before gaining fame as an actress on the Drury Lane stage. Samuel Pepys describes seeing “the mighty pretty Nell” on his way to the Strand in 1667. 
Barnabas Blessed, great-great-grandfather of the actor Brian, was a bookbinder and stationer in the court at the beginning of the 19th Century. And in 1897, William Terris, a well-known actor of the day, was murdered yards from the pub by a stage hand from the neighbouring Adelphi Theatre. 
Today, ‘the Nell’ is one of London’s most charming and historic hidden treasures, offering a great selection of local beers, wines and spirits and a lively but cosy setting just yards from the hustle and bustle of the Strand. It also boasts one of London’s best jukeboxes packed with classic old 45 records – come along and see if we’ve got your favourite track!
 

Then off to our next stop –

Had to re-create this picture in from of Hardy’s Sweet Shop for my Sis, Lea Ann and Bro – Don

Next up – The Old Crown Public House!

Sandra!
Brothers! And as Rob so often says..”Only Our Mother Can Tell Us Apart”!
Rob and son, Sean

Well, they’re all looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. They kept our next stop, “the” birthday dinner, a surprise. It wasn’t until we walked into this grand hotel that we saw the Fawlty Towers billboard!

Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury 
Our table with the Fawlty Towers Crew!
Yes! Those are someone’s underwear that were retrieve by Manuel from under the table!

What a perfect surprise for Mike’s actual birthday! My cheeks hurt so bad from laughing all night long…and the food was also excellent. Thank you Rob & Sandra for an amazing surprise birthday dinner!

Another couple of days in England, spent with family and friends – done and dusted.

Stay tuned……….

And We’re Off! – Day 1 – Our Arrival and Day 2 – British Museum, Bandaged Big Ben, The London Eye and the Majestic Westminster Abbey…And Dinner With Rosie!

We’re off! Well, let’s back up a moment……We were trying to get to the airport for our 6:30pm flight when “Durham’s Finest” (and I mean that in the utmost respect) pulled us over on the 115 Hwy, right where the speed limit changes from 100 to 90 kms. Caught us going 120 in a 90 – GULP, but reduced it down to 104 in a 90 and saved us the demerit points and a lot of $$. Not a great start, but we tucked that behind us and “kept calm and carried on”..

All ready to go!

After a great flight (Thank you British Airways!) and upon our 6:30am arrival London time ( 1:30am “our” Toronto time) we gave into a quick two hour nap. Our gracious hosts, Rob (Mike’s brother) and Sandra (Sis-In-Law) live in Egham, just outside of Staines-On-The-Thames. We decided to stretch our legs and went off on a 5 mile dog walk..(and no, I’m not complaining!) with Rob and his two white Alsatians (German Shepherds), Rocky and Barney, who would scare the poop out of you if you arrived unannounced. Good thing they can smell good “dog” people; luckily we were pardoned.

Later that evening, we headed to the High Street in Staines-On-The-Thames anxious for a pub dinner and at Sandra’s recommendation, arrived at Nostrano’s Lounge (https://thelounges.co.uk/nostrano/). Although the food was excellent, they already had me at “Dog Friendly”

Our first full day starts with a walk to Staines train station, where we come upon a sculpture called “The Five Swimmers” built by British artist David Wynne in 1980. It’s located in the Memorial Gardens in Staines-On-The-Thames. It was vandalized and repaired after one of the five swimmers was ripped off. Who does that? Happy to see it back together and beautiful as ever.

The Five Swimmers

Another awesome monument is The Swan Master

The crown still carries on with an annual ceremony it started 800 years ago; Swan Upping. Every July, the Swan Master and his team of Swan Uppers row along the Thames for five whole days. When they see a brood of cygnets, they stop to count and measure them. It’s a way of monitoring the mute swan population. A cygnet census. Maybe once upon a time the census was carried out so the king would know how many swans he could have for his dinner. But now, it provides a good opportunity to give the swans a health check.

On the High Street in Staines, there is a very cool monument depicting men who worked on the “Lino”.

The Lino
Linoleum was invented by Surrey’s Frederick Walton in 1860. Walton then took over a mustard mill in Staines in 1867 to manufacture this highly durable floor covering made from combined renewable materials. Staines Linoleum Company, became an industry which achieved worldwide success over many years. Maybe that’s why Mike’s father started his flooring company, which Rob, still runs to this day.
Yes, that’s a roll of linoleum!

After arriving in Waterloo “Tube” Station, we decided to grab a quick bite and a coffee. We hadn’t as yet had our morning coffee, so we were anxious to have some java! “Coffee, please…cream, no sugar”…um, that didn’t happen as apparently the shop keeper had decided that “cream” was unhealthy and they only served “healthy” food and drink there. For me, it’s one or the other….”Coffee, please – black”. Off to the British Museum!

Armed with my trusty Nikon!

So, this is my first visit to the museum; Mike’s original visit was years ago and like most things London, it’s presence is over the top! AND IT’S FREE! Now I could add about a bazillion pictures here, but I’ll limit it to the really interesting one’s…hang on…that won’t work, so I’ll limit them to the most famous ones….gawd, as most of you know, I’m not good at culling.

One of the most famous attractions is the Rosetta Stone .

In the 19th century, the Rosetta Stone helped scholars at long last crack the code of hieroglyphics, the ancient Egyptian writing system. French army engineers who were part of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egypt campaign discovered the stone slab in 1799 while making repairs to a fort near the town of Rashid (Rosetta). The artifact, which is made of granodiorite, came into the possession of the British after they defeated the French in Egypt in 1801.

The stone features a decree issued in 196 B.C. by a group of Egyptian clergy and Egypt’s ruler, Ptolemy V, attesting to his generosity and devoutness. It originally was displayed in a temple, possibly near the ancient town of Sais, then centuries later moved to Rosetta and used in the construction of Fort Julien, where it was eventually uncovered by the French. The decree on the stone is written three times, in hieroglyphics, which was used mainly by priests; in ancient Egyptian demotic, used for everyday purposes; and in ancient Greek. The use of hieroglyphics died out after the 4th century and the writing system became an enigma to scholars.
British scientist Thomas Young, who began studying the Rosetta Stone’s texts in 1814, made some initial progress in analyzing its hieroglyphic inscription. Young surmised that the cartouches— hieroglyphs enclosed in ovals—contained the phonetic spellings of royal names, including Ptolemy, who was referenced in the Greek inscription. Ultimately, it was French linguist Jean-Francois Champollion who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and cracked the hieroglyphic code. Between 1822 and 1824, Champollion showed that hieroglyphics were a combination of phonetic and ideographic signs rather than just symbolic picture writing that didn’t also represent sounds of language, as earlier scholars had suspected. For his discoveries, Champollion is heralded as the founding father of Egyptology.

Today, the Rosetta Stone, which measures about 44 inches tall and 30 inches wide, is housed in the British Museum in London, where it’s been since 1802, except for a temporary re-location for safekeeping during World War I to an off-site, underground spot.

And the Portland Vase, which was the inspiration for Wedge-wood China

The Portland Vase is a Roman two-handled glass amphora dating to between the second half of the 1st century BCE and the early 1st century CE. The vase has a cameo-like effect decoration which perhaps depicts the marriage of Peleus and Thetis from Greek Mythology. After a long history of changes in ownership, disaster struck in 1845 CE when the vase was smashed to pieces in the British Museum. Fortunately, it has since been painstakingly restored so that it can once more take its rightful place amongst the very finest masterpieces of Roman art.

Of course, a museum isn’t a museum without mummies….

And then there’s the Elgin Marbles, (which by the way, the Greek want back. They are safe here in the British Museum, where hopefully they will stay!

The half not removed by Elgin is now displayed in the Acropolis Museum, aligned in orientation and within sight of the Parthenon, with the position of the missing elements clearly marked and space left should they be returned to Athens. – NOT) 
The Elgin Marbles are a collection of  Classical Greek marble sculptures made under the supervision of the architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants. They were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.[2][3]From 1801 to 1812, agents of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum.[4] The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. Elgin later claimed to have obtained in 1801 an official decree (a firman)[5] from the Sublime Porte, the central government of the Ottoman Empire which were then the rulers of Greece. This firman has not been found in the Ottoman archives despite its wealth of documents from the same period and its veracity is disputed.

Now off to my favorite…..Central London!

I love London. I’m obsessed with London. Especially Big Ben. And poor Ben is under major renovation! Well, all but the actual clock on one side, so we’ll take that. What I recently found out is “Big Ben” is actually the nickname for the BELL and not the clock. Oh well, the whole package of that historical Tower is breathtaking, even all bandaged up.

You’re still beautiful, Ben!
This statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, a bronze sculpture of the former prime minister, was created by Ivor Roberts-Jones. It is located on the spot referred to in the 1950’s by Churchill as “where my statue will go”... — in London, United Kingdom.

The majestic, beautiful Westminster Abbey is our next stop. One important caveat here is that Mike actually sang in the Abbey, as well as, St. Paul’s Cathedral as a choir boy in his youth! How awesome is that?!

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, Britishmonarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar“—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.
According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.[4]
Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey.[4][5] There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100.[6] As the burial site of more than 3,300 persons, usually of predominant prominence in British history (including at least sixteen monarchs, eight Prime Ministers, poets laureate, actors, scientists, and military leaders, and the Unknown Warrior), Westminster Abbey is sometimes described as ‘Britain’s Valhalla‘, after the iconic burial hall of Norse mythology.[7]

Above the Abbey’s Great West Door stand ten statues to modern martyrs – Christians who gave up their lives for their beliefs.
The martyrs are drawn from every continent and many Christian denominations and represent all who have been oppressed or persecuted for their faith. Among them are victims of Nazism, communism and religious prejudice in the 20th century. They include civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr and St Oscar Romero, Archbishop in El Salvador, both of whom were assassinated; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, killed by the Nazis in 1945; and Wang Zhiming, a pastor killed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Mike is obsessed with taking pictures of me taking pictures…this time shooting a video with my trusted iPhone!

Now off to Westminster Bridge to shoot the London Eye!

The London Eye was formally opened by the Prime Minister Tony Blair on 31 December 1999, but did not open to the paying public until 9 March 2000 because of a capsule clutch problem. The London Eye was originally intended as a temporary attraction, with a five-year lease.
Houses of Parliament (also currently under construction
The Houses of Parliament, otherwise known as the Palace of Westminster, symbolises Great Britain. Its image adorns everything from souvenirs to sauce bottles. And the decisions made in its corridors of power have shaped Britain, past and present.
The building that sits proudly on the banks of the Thames is the New Palace, built between 1840 and 1870. But within its walls is the Great Hall (or Westminster Hall), all that remains of the medieval Old Palace.
Built by William II between 1097 and 1099, it was the largest hall in England at the time, its sheer scale designed to fill his subjects with awe.

And who couldn’t resist a shot off the bridge showing the ongoing rebuilding of London?

On the other side of the Bridge, close to the Eye, we drop into a Chippy for a pint. Well no pints here, just bottles, so we had a couple. AND, we refrained from the fish & chips (although to fragrance was almost too much to bear) as we were headed next to meet Rosie, our Niece for dinner at the Duke of Sussex Pub! (http://Duke of Sussex Pub)

They didn’t even touch the sides!
Rosie waited patiently for us to arrive at The Duke Of Sussex, while we got lost
This is the result of two beers, a glass of wine and unsteady hand

…where we finally had our beloved Fish & Chips! https://www.dukeofsussex.co.uk/

Next, on our way back to Waterloo Station, we come across an authorized graffiti area known as the hidden Waterloo Station street art tunnel.

Under Waterloo station’s crowded platform and rumbling tracks is a street artist’s playground. A five-minute walk from the main station exit is Leake Street (just off York Street), which will bring you to an authorized graffiti area known as the hidden Waterloo Station street art tunnel.
It’s a hidden art space stumbled upon by locals and spread through word of mouth. It’s a permanent fixture hidden from view and casually bypassed by those eagerly seeking the beauty of the Southbank and the London Eye. It’s a space where the creatives come to express themselves with relative freedom. 

After a full and wonderful day in London, we arrive home with 20,132 steps under our belts!

Stay tuned for more adventures….Reunion with old friends and Fawlty Towers!!!

The Forgotten Coast…Mexico Beach 3.5 Months After Hurricane Michael….

Hey Peeps! It’s been a while since I blogged. Here’s one of the reasons….You can’t just un-see the unbelievable disaster that is now Mexico Beach, once a prime tourist spot for us Snowbirds to get away from the cold and enjoy a little bit of paradise.

My husband Mike and I went to photograph the devastation there in order to continue to get the word out. We were hesitant at first, as we did not want to disrespect the suffering people of Mexico Beach. However, we do not want to become oblivious to the despair just North West of us. It’s gobsmacking awful to see. It is vast. It is sad. It is mean. It’s simply difficult to process. I’m trying to figure out what my message is here.

….So. I’ll do my best. And you tell me what the message is. Is it “C’mon folks who have plenty; share the wealth”? Or, is it “Boots on the ground, folks-let’s help re-build”? Or is it all of the above and more?

Here’s what I do know. The people that remain there, who are not part of the affluent who may have left and sold to developers, are in need. Members of Facebook pages are pleading for enough gas money to get to work. Mothers are asking for diapers for their babies. Parents are asking for clothing for their children. I read about one individual who told a story of driving a single mother of two small children to the “Group Home For Children”, as she did not have enough food and shelter for her babies. She writes that “they all cried on the way to the shelter” and once they arrived, this sweet soul could not bear to watch the gut wrenching emotional good-bye. She packed all three up and took them to her home that she already shares with three other homeless families.

I will never be able to “un-see” the rubble that once was a home that perhaps a baby was brought home in; that Sunday dinners were once cooked in; that holidays were celebrated – that are no more……

Yes. This group of homes are leaning toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The well-to-do have already moved on. Sold their lots. Settled with their Insurers…But what about the ordinary people? The locals who have lived in Mexico Beach all their lives; who need the tourists to make a living; who want nothing more than their beloved town back. What about them? What is being done? Here is a link to a great article forwarded to me by one of my furever friends:-

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/24/687729891/struggling-here-with-just-living-in-the-aftermath-of-hurricane-michael?fbclid=IwAR1Cs_JSJfMBbAuAuv8n0OTVNCUXSmeIWgIKxNaXD-ooLIoawa0j6SWqc9E

The landscape is different now and will take years to become what was once the beauty of this sweet little vacation town in which the locals were able to raise their families, find jobs and thrive….

Perhaps this once was an entrance way to someone’s paradise
“850 Strong” . That’s the mantra of these strong people. 850 STRONG

And through it all, there is hope
Trees, snapped like match sticks

While Mexico Beach fared the worse by far, our little town of Port St. Joe was also hit by this terrible storm.

Oceanis is now out of her depth

So here’s my message…For the people of this “Forgotten Coast” who have now slid off the grid, all the while we, here at The Cape, watch our beloved ‘dunes” be reconstructed. Please remember, 20.1 miles away, the residence of Mexico Beach are wondering where their next meal will come from. C’mon friends, Snowbirds and Residents – dig deep…and “give a little bit” of your time and/or wallet to those in need.

Please click on the below video, which provides in detail, the needs of Mexico Beach.

Please be diligent as to where you donate to ensure all your hard earned dollars go directly to relief.

I’ll leave you with this….

“Keep Calm & Donate On”……Life is Good

Christmas Dinner in January?! Day 15 of #21daysofgrateful

What’s so weird about Christmas in January? Not a thing. Each year, we celebrate Christmas dinner with our Furever Friends here at The Cape! It’s the full monty, people! Turkey (a 17lb turkey here in the Panhandle is just over $12.00 U.S.!!), stuffing, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts (Jann says, “YUK”), roast potato, Yorkshires (Jann says “YUM”), gravy, not to forget the yummy appetizers and Pecan pie for desert!…..And I wonder why my shorts are getting snug!

Even a cool new table cloth for our special dinner!
Yorkies!
Turkey was done to perfection! (photo by Shand Photography)
Nancy’s appy!
The Turkey Chef!
The (almost) whole gang!
(Shand Photography)
OKAY, gang is now complete!
And what would Christmas Dinner be without our NINE pups? How perfect are they!?
Baby Tonka..not so little anymore!
And, who could forget the Christmas Lights?

Three things I’m grateful for today:-

  • I’m grateful that I have friends here that are as “off beat” as I am – e.g., Christmas In January!
  • I’m grateful that Catherine captured the Blood Moon tonight!
  • I’m grateful that my sweet husband, Mikey and our bestie, Trevor, are shopping at Walmart to gather needed items for the people with homes destroyed and left with virtually nothing (Hello FEMA WHERE ARE YOU?) Our amazing Furever Friends all contributed to this special cause. Mike and Trev will drop off the goods in Mexico Beach today.

I’ll leave you with this…..

Life Is Good…….

Apalachicola Oysterfest..and some suckin’ up to do…Day 13 of #21daysofgrateful

Yay!  Apalachicola Oysterfest is here!  But, the day is suppose to be cloudy with thunderstorms.  So, we decide we’ll get over to the Oysterfest BEFORE the rain is to start, around 2pm.

Off we all go, with the exception of two of our pack, as one is under the weather 😦

I didn’t bring along my camera, as I had loads of pics from last year, so I’ll add a couple here….

Yep, there’s shrimp too!
Working hard!
Yummy Oysters!

That was last year. This year, although it was suppose to be a cloudy, rainy day, the sun came out and we indulged in Oysters and Oyster Stew…YUM!! Then it was time to go shopping, so Mikey and Trevor headed over to their favourite drinking spot with the pups…Oyster City Brewing Company. It’s an amazing place to have a pint and bring your pups. We end up meeting the rest of our gang there, who are also enjoying a brew. AND, dum..ta…da…dum….We find out it is Pete and Catherine’s 17th wedding anniversary! Wonderful? Yes! But not for PETE! Oh no… He forgot the day..got it mixed up actually and man did he have a lot of “suckin’ up to do”. So, we’re all sitting there – brewski’s all around (well except for Suz and I as one of us will no doubt be driving our men home!)

That smile is “Dirty Blonde Brew”
Just enjoying this amazing town. Our absolute favorite town in Florida! Apalachicola (say that fast!)
Most friendly fella promoting the Pet Mardi Gras coming soon! Check out the beads…
Catherine – part I of part II that forgot the day..gulp! And..more beads
OKAY, I lied…Suz had a drop
Did I say the pups were all welcome? So welcoming!

So Catherine, what are you looking at off in the distance?

Redemption!!! Check out River with the envelope in his mouth.

Lookie what she got!

Pete, I think you’re forgiven!

Pete, please put this date in your diary for next year! JANUARY 19! K? HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU BOTH!

Before I forget, here are the three things I’m grateful for:

  • I’m grateful the weather held and we were able to enjoy an amazing day at the Apalachicola’s Oyster Fest again this year
  • I’m grateful the most amazing and dog friendly town that Apalachicola brings
  • I’m grateful the “Tornado Watch” didn’t turn into a “Tornado Warning” last night, although many of us didn’t get much sleep listening to the winds!
Calm before the storm – Sunset from the night before
Sunset from night before

I’ll leave you with this….

Brody

Life is Good….

1st 2019 Furever Friends Movie Night..Day 13 of #21daysofgrateful & Celebrating our Beautiful Granddaughter Hannah’s 7th Birthday!

Are these blogs becoming boring, mo·not·o·nous (I had to look up the spelling) and uninteresting?  Well, here it is.  Some days, that is my life – therefore, although I’ll keep on going with the 21 Days of Grateful, it just may not be consecutive days.  I mean after all, a gal needs some downtime!

We did have the very first Furever Friends movie night of 2019.  We watched “The Green Book”  Check out the trailer here.  If you haven’t seen this movie, It’s worth a watch.   I’d give it a 5 star!  It’s nominated for best picture and although I haven’t seen any others (yet), so far this is my front runner.  Oh please, “Academy” don’t do what you did last year and vote another “fish” movie as winner!

movie night

Mikey preparing the couch covers for our furry “guests”

 

movie night-2

Catherine and River

movie night-3

OKAY, we’ve got our wine..let the movie roll!

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Jann trying to make herself look small so she doesn’t get run over by the pups…..again!

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Just a little “Magic” for Christine

 

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OOOOPS, someone is trying to take the shortcut!

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Phil with his Boston Bruins jersey, hoping for a win tonight!

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Red Rover, Red Rover, Let Tonka Come Over???  Hang on there, Christine!

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What’s a good movie night without the pups?  (missing, Journey & Clover..Tonka is here somewhere!)

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Brody and Tam Tam having their daily wrestle

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Our sweet Nancy

Fast forward to today, a VERY SPECIAL day, as it’s our granddaughter, Hannah’s 7th birthday!  What a joy this little girl is.  She is Smart, Sweet & Sassy…oh yeah!  Love you Hannah Banana to the moon and back!

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Grampa’s girl.  We both had the honour of attending the birth of Hannah Elisabeth Eden Robertson

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Those eyes

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Happy 7th Birthday Hannah!

I’ll leave you with this…..

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Life Is Good…

Today Is For The Birds….Day 12 of #21daysofgrateful

So yesterday was a bit of a quiet day.  Mikey went off to golf for the day, so Brody and I hung out.  After a good soak in the tub, we headed out for a walk.  Down to the beach, nothing happening there (and it’s still a little on the chilly side; sun or no sun) so we headed out through the Barrier Dune’s gates (that are now working since Michael tore them off!) and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but two BEAUTIFUL bald eagles, flying in synchronized wonder.  Did I have my camera?  Noooooo…but the iphone was in my pocket and was better than nothing.  Now in defense of the iPhone’s camera, these birds were pretty far away!

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I bump into Catherine, who is returning from a long bike ride and excitedly tell her about the Eagles.  Catherine and I spent hours on a beach last year, close to our favorite Indian Pass Raw Bar, on our bellies waiting for a majestic Eagle to lite.  (see below)

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As we’re talking, she looks up and there they are!  So beautiful.  Flying together and enjoying the sunshine.  We start to walk back, chatting about how cool it was to see the Eagles, and we see Jann and Nancy sitting outside reading with their pups.  We go and tell them about the Eagles….And they appear again.  After watching them for about 20 minutes, Jann insists that I run home and get my camera. I have never seen two eagles flying together…Usually just one, so I looked up the mean of two eagles flying together and this is what Google found:

Hello! Two eagles flying over your house is a good sign indeed! Native Americans use signs from Nature for guidance and direction from the Great Spirit. Eagle as a “power animal” or “Totem animal” is significant in its spiritual meaning. You can google “totem animals” and get some really great information or go to the library and check out books on totem animals or power animals as described by Native American authors. An example of eagle as power animal would be: Exerpted from Sayahda.com: Sacred Messenger carrying prayers to Creator and returning with visions and gifts for the people. Eagle feathers are sacred to the native Americans as their energy brings in spirit for healing. Gift of clarity and inner vision to use for the good of all people to bring light out of darkness.

On the way back, toting my camera, our friend the Blue Heron, who has a name which escapes me (if you know it, kindly let me know!) was waiting for his photo shoot, so I complied…

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Unfortunately, when I finally got back to Jann and Nancy’s the “eagles had landed”….No worries, I’m sure to see them again and this time hopefully packing my camera!

Here’s shot from the top porch (one of many, many porches they have!  I actually got LOST trying to find my way up to the top floor..that’s how large this house is!) capturing the lighthouse from Port St. Joe.  See it waaaaaayyyy of in the distance between the branches?  Oh, if only I had a 400 lens…ahem.

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The day ended with Catherine and Pete coming over, as they were having trouble with their internet.  Catherine is an amazing photographer and a dog trainer!  So to my delight, she worked with Brody and I so that he may eventually learn not to hoover everything off the beach.  My day didn’t start so well and I ended our beach walk early due to frustration!  So Thank You, Catherine, for your help!

My three grateful’s today are:

  1. I’m so grateful to be able to watch the beauty of the Eagles
  2. I’m grateful that after a frustrating walk first thing in the morning, I was able to turn around  my day into a positive one
  3. I’m so grateful to Catherine for coming to my aid and helping me to understand “dog speak” so Brody and I can enjoy our beach walks once again

I’ll leave you with this….

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Life Is Good…

A little chilly, but who’s complaining? Day 11 of #21daysofgrateful

Okay ladies…check out this link!  Yes Robin, there really is a Santa Claus..

Whaaat! Yes! Finally some good news for a change…Eating Chocolate and Drinking Wine will keep us looking young!

Brrrr….it’s a bit chilly today, but the sun was shining during our walk (which later went in and hid).  We had a wonderful walk with the entire gang!

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Jann & Magic heading to the beach!

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Last one in’s a dirty, rotten egg!

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Hey, Ma…I won!

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Set those puppies FREEEEEE!  

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Here’s Journey that doesn’t like to go in too deep…each day, she goes just a little bit further!

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It’s not just the pups that love this beach!

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Olive

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The whole gang, well with the exception of the photographer!

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There’s nothing like a good stick between friends

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Besties with Magical

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Treat?  Did I hear Treat?

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Tammi on a mission

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Ok..I finally got the stick..now what do I do with is?

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One proud of herself pup!

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Tammi

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Love this girl.  Our newest addition, 14 month old Tonka…no fear!

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A leisurely Stroll

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Echo

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Beautiful boy

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Our Brody is lovin life and feeling much better!

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A race to the finish!

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Like I said…No Fear!

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This pup enjoys every minute of her life!

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Nothing like a good shake!

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Guys…Wait for MEEEE!

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This pup is on top of the world!

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Pete and his girl!

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Mikey and his boy!

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We ended the day at our favorite restaurant Indian Pass Uptown Raw Bar

My 3 grateful things today:-

  1. Grateful that I could put my two feet on the ground and look forward to the wonderful day ahead
  2. Grateful that I can walk the beach with my camera and shoot to my hearts delight!
  3. Grateful for my youngest daughter, Melissa, who is turning 37 years young today. So grateful.  Love you baby girl.

I’ll leave you with this….

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Life Is Good…..

The Sun Is Shining Once Again! Day 10 of #21daysofgrateful

..Except in yesterday’s (ok, I still had a head full of snot) blog, I forgot my 3 grateful things. Now do I have to do 6? Oh dear…

It’s really tough. I mean, it’s not tough to be grateful, but it’s actually tough to write 3 things down each day. Which, I guess, is why it’s a “challenge” . So, I’ll do my grateful’s first.

1.  I am SO grateful that I’m feeling better and could join my buds on our morning beach walk! I can breathe once again and I certainly don’t miss the constant drip of my schnoz.

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2.  I am grateful that, after an 11 hour drive, Catherine, Peter and their pups arrived safely and in time for dinner!

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3.  I am so grateful that Brody continues to improve on his new diet..oh yes. I am so grateful.

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4.  I am grateful for the amazing friends we have found here. I know, I said that one before, but I can stress enough how much I enjoy their friendship.

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5.  I am grateful for the sunshine and time spent reading and relaxing on the beach today with friends and furbabies

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6.  I am grateful for the relaxing evening with my hubby bingewatching netflix tonight!  Oh Yeah!

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So, what a fun walk this morning.  If you know me well, you know my go to is a bubble bath.  Oh, I do love a good soak.  Well, the sea this morning provided it’s own…bubbles and frolick they did!

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Bubblemania!

Here’s some pics of the wonderful dinner that Jann and Nancy hosted for us last night…

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So that’s all for now.

I’ll leave you with this…

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Life Is Good……