Saturday, January 30, 2010

Edison and a past life

We went on a field trip this week to Edison /Ford Winter Homes in Ft. Myers. Never been but had heard good things & they recently had a 10 million renovation. It's beautiful and more Edison concentrated since he bought the property first & then Ford came after. The museum had lots of Edison's inventions. A genuis with hardly any education at all.

Smart man who definitely knew where to come in the winter time. He built on property overlooking a river, had a plethora of exotic plants & trees (a lot are still there), and built a swimming pool ( a big deal in the 20's). The buildings are in the "low country" kind of style if you're familiar. The banyon trees there are immense. That's one in the photo. Some crazy kind of roots!
I have started the "star" rating system for the book list. I didn't expect so many comments on the book section! The latest book I've finished (Soul Survivor) was lent to me by a friend and is amazing. True story about past lives. A couple with a two year old child and how they find out he was a World War II pilot killed in action. I'm totally a believer after reading this...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LIfe on the beach

All about beach today. The conch shells were strewn everywhere. As newbies, we picked these up in the early years. Big mistake - they are almost always alive. A shell guidebook we have talks about the best shelling place in Florida - a rest stop off the highway where dead (translate smelly)shells were discarded on their way back home north. Hmmm. The live shot I took looks like a tongue to me - yes?

The starfish is a nine-pointed one, if you touch it the leg falls off. They do grow back. Okay, this one had definitely been having issues. I had my own starfish issue last year (thought it dead, was not) so did not even think about keeping it. Karma you know.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eating & Reading

We have just discovered quinoa (keen-wa) and wanted to share. You probably already know about this superfood, but we didn't. It's 6,000 years old, used by the Incas, and has super protein, amino acids, calcium, & a bunch of other stuff. You can eat it for breakfast, dinner, whenever. Ours came from Bolivia, and we really enjoyed it as a side dish for dinner. Soaked it according to directions, added nuts & cranberries, cooked it, and voila.

You may have noticed a different sidebar on the top. I started looking at reading blogs and was impressed with the dedication and competition they all seem to have. What I got out it was the desire to write down what I read during the year. I'm a HUGE reader, but have no idea what I have read in any given year. Mark suggested I put some kind of scoring on the list, but I'm not that great on mechanics. If I figure out how, I'll put something up!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Florida sweetness

Enjoying life here while the snow continues in CO. Isn't this a great sand sculpture! I would love to claim credit, but it's a mystery - some great young/old artist did this.

This is my nature fix, walking to the beach every morning. Wasn't aware I had this need, but apparently it's increased since the Star Mt summer adventure. Bring on all the creatures! The pink bird is a favorite, called Rosy spoonbill. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a flamingo from a distance.

Shelling has been mediocre at best, but we're spoiled. We have amassed a big collection at the house over time. We've learned it comes in cycles, but I will always keep a sand dollar even if it's not perfect. Good luck for me I hope!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dancing through the day

80 degrees today! Now that's what south Florida is supposed to be about. Sorry for those who do not have good weather - come visit!

The animals are all back out, including our large alligator we see on our morning beach walk. He/she is out on the grass on the other side of the lake in the photo. Pam, that's our big one!
Our conservancy here has been very busy trying to save & heal all the animals who seemed to be having big issues with the crazy cold weather.
Unfortunately didn't get to see, only read about, the saving, recovery, and reintro into the gulf of a dozen sea turtles yesterday. They nearly died from the cold but hurray for them now.

Golf, dinners out, and general fun is happening here for us. We ate outside at the new asian place (AZN) on our side of town. Good food, along with hot, as in spicy, edamame. Lips were burning, but I'll have it again.

We do miss CO & check in regularly. They have snow happening as we speak, not a big storm just a few inches each day. I'm sure the coyote & fox miss our snowshoe tracks...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun for everyone, except those in a cage

We are trying to fully appreciate the Naples area back to normal now. Wow, what a gift! We went to the farmer's market yesterday and it was much expanded. Heather, the chickens are for you. Not sure what their point was - no sign or anything.... Bought Myers lemons among other things. They are special wonderful tasting lemons only available here for a short time. Every area seems to have those secret things that only locals know.

We were kicked out of the house twice today (Sunday) for house showings. Second time we went down to the beach - absolutely gorgeous!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things going back to normal

Things are starting to warm back up here, as it sounds like normal temps are beginning to happen in other parts of the country. Whoo- this was odd weather for here. Big fish kill everywhere, I saw some on our beach, and a lot of plants just couldn't handle the unusual long cold spell. The flowers I covered are fine, but the banana trees had some frost damage. Yeah, banana and frost doesn't even sound right...

The strange looking birds are woodstorks. They are endangered so it's always nice to see some, and they were having a field day with the unexpected easy fish pickings.

"Season" appears to be moving into full mode. Lots more traffic on the roads and everywhere I go I hear French, Italian, German, and British accents. Europe has had their own cold weather issues - they're probably very glad to be here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ooops, didn't bring enough warm clothes

Well, we are back in sunny, warm Florida. Hmmm...sunny yes, warm no. The arctic cold front that has a lot of the country insanely cold made it down here as we flew in. Sub freezing temps in south Florida have had everyone scrambling to cover tender plants and turning on heat in the house. Someone was having a big laugh at our expense. Right, let's leave the severe winter cold of CO and enjoy some balmy Florida weather. HA. The worst is over though and the temps will slowly go back up this week. These are some cold birds on our walk to the beach. And look at our beach - we were the only crazy people out that morning. Looks pretty, but boy was it cold!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goodbye for now, but we'll be back!

Getting ready to leave time. I snapped a few photos while we were running around doing last errands. The photo of the miner's cabin at Star Mt. shows one that is still standing. Sadly, a lot of them are slowly collapsing and it's accelerated with the winter snow. Cannot imagine life for the miners & families in those cabins...
Last snowshoeing of the season today. After this, coyote & fox, you're on your own! Much warmer than normal today (30 & Gunnison got above freezing) Really crazy considering the newest burst of arctic cold is racing across the state headed east. Denver is 7 degrees.
We tried one last time to buy a fireplace screen. We were told "coming on the truck, coming on the truck" - whoops truck came and no screens. Maybe we'll find one when we're back in the spring. If you're wondering why we would need a screen when we have glass doors - well, we've decided that the new special state code very expensive firebox that you HAVE to buy if you want a woodburning fireplace now, is baloney pure & simple. The purpose is to make the releasing smoke out of the chimney non- polluting. Admirable, however we were getting about 50% of the heat into the house with those doors closed.
All the open barns in the area are still full of hay. We have watched the ranchers dump hay daily in the snow for the horses & cows. It'll be interesting to see if their stock of hay is all gone by the time we come back. There are a lot of months left of big winter here!
It has been magical to be here,but enough cold I think. We'll take a break and be back for the start of spring.
I've been asked to continue the blog even when we are not here on Star Mountain, and I 've decided to try. It could be life on star mountain on a beach vacation??

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Special places

We went back into Crested Butte for what is probably the last time for a long while. It was 10 degrees and felt balmy. Crazy I know! Had lunch there and tried to buy a 2010 calendar - no luck. No one seems to care about dates around here. Actually sounds kind of smart...
Had to take a picture of Donita's even though we didn't make it there this trip. It seems like a summer place for us.
Some people are hard working - notice the artist painting in the street. Gotta sell some art to the tourists. (I've seen him doing scenes in the street in the summer as well).
We have a mob of people showing up Thurs morning to blow out water pipes and shut down the house. Walter is one of them, as he will be watching after the house while we're gone. Hate to leave it, but bound for a warmer climate. We'll be back in time for thaw...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Forging ahead

Snowshoeing has become our daily exercise. It burns up masses of calories and is a great aerobic workout. We finally figured out the most efficient way to put on the shoes and trek our way around. I have fallen twice: once tripping over a tree trunk and the second, Mark brushed by me (not on purpose really) and down I went. No big deal except to get back up. The powdery snow is DEEP. The ravine photo is where family saw bear claw marks in aspen trees this summer. Remember Krissy, Katie, & James? Wonder where the bear are taking their big winter sleep...
The coyote and/or fox continue to walk in our tracks every day. They've even taken to marking their territory. Little pee dribbles are happening at spots all along the way. When we leave, the animals are in for a shock as the Adams highway disappears...
Went in town today and have had snow showers all over the place. Saw two car accidents - one in town across from WalMart which knocked an electric pole askew and the other a car going off the road down into a ditch on Ohio Creek Rd. It doesn't take a lot before the roads are tricky it seems. Saw a stream of cars headed to Gunnison from Crested Butte. Think it's the holiday crowd leaving town today. The holidays sure came & went in a whirlwind!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Can't believe it's a brand new year - hope it's a good one for everyone...
We had a wonderful time last night. The predicted snow did not happen and the torchlight parade was beautiful - I don't know that my pictures do it justice. There was a big fireworks show along with the skiers coming down the mountain. Didn't know that part was happening! The skiers came down International (a black "expert" run).
We watched the "blue moon" come up as well. This landscape sure makes for a spectacular surrounding.
Our dinner at Le Bosquet was terrific and very festive. Lots of people everywhere all celebrating. We made it back early (of course) and as usual, did not stay up to see the new year in. We leave that for everyone else to do :-)
Time to take down the xmas decorations. This is the first year I can remember that I don't really want to put them away. It still feels holidayish!