Saturday, October 30, 2010

Moving and Shaking

So not to complain, but honestly this east coast time thing is annoying. I need too much sleep or can't stay up late enough, but the tv shows I want to see (and there aren't many) are on too late. This was not a problem in Colorado. Oooh, a con on the list... I am falling asleep at the computer as I write, as I stayed up to see the first of the new season of The Last American Cowboy series. Sooo good, but paying the price today.  Okay, yes I know we should get a DVR for the house here. Next on the list!
We went to the beach, this time to actually stay to lay on lounge chairs, listen to the waves, and relax. Fun! And it's still very quiet which is nice. The crowds, they be acomin' though - soon - only fair, we have to share...

Baby alligator #2. This time at the southside. Nice to see the activity...  The photo of a crab is really the size of my thumbnail. They race up and down the boardwalk and hide in the cracks to avoid being squished. More birds too. This is my nature fix you know...

tiny sanderlings
tri-colored heron

Went back to the Naples Grande for their 2nd anniversary celebration of their Friday Veuve Cliequot night. Yes, Tiffany & Chris, I thought of you....  No food, but lovely champagne - $3.00 a glass! We're trying to make sure that we get out and experience the Naples thing (in an early way - we then went to an asian restaurant at the happening Mercato, to eat outside and people watch - back home before 7!) I figure the big happenings are going on when we're already asleep.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Water, sand, wet paint, and swampy stuff

How crazy is this - Crested Butte is 28 and snowing, Naples just broke a record yesterday at 90. Extremes...

Having fun here. Mark had great success fishing at the beach catching spanish mackerel and ladyfish - sounds like I know what I'm talking about - not really, just repeating his story. Played golf, which is a lot for me - twice in a week. A good time had as well. Took a photo of the foliage - not in CO anymore!

Saw a baby alligator in the canal on our morning walk. This one was 18 inches long at most. The only one so far - they have a dismal survival rate, but alligators in general have increased in numbers dramatically, causing a longer hunting season this year. Yes, I know, who wants to hunt an alligator, evidently, belts, shoes???

I am done with pears, painting them I mean. A dozen small paintings when I only needed two. Well, that's what I ended up with and art class is tomorrow. I know without a doubt my instructor is laughing behind the scenes over what we all thought was a simple assignment. HA! To be honest, I am sick of pears at the moment and can't even focus on what I did. Hopefully something not too terrible is in the big pile.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Feathered friends and pots of paint



My walk to the beach in the morning is full of nature, just a slightly different kind than Star Mt. When I hit the boardwalk it's peaceful & quiet. Still in the habit of looking at tracks & scat. Here it consists of raccoon and possum. Not nearly as exciting... but love seeing all the birds as you can tell.

osprey with breakfast
Started my art class this week. Love it and expect to learn a lot. My homework assignment is hard however. I will not bore you with the multiple wet in wet pear paintings I have already done. Need two decent ones for next week. At this rate there will be a giant surplus of bad pear renditions...
Finished two books #50 Still Life by Louise Penny - great Canadian murder mystery and #51 What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg - also really good. I've read quite a few of hers and this is an earlier one, but good writing shows even then.

Made it to the farmer's market here. They've just started their season so a little smaller than we're used to, but did buy veggies. Now if I could just find a place that had decent eggs - not in the cards as they say I think.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Adjusting to the tropics

Life is sooo different here that I find myself making a mental list of pros & cons. 
Definite pro - had my first pedicure in months at my place two minutes away. Luxury...
Con - traffic and oblivious traffic at that - remembered this from prior years - people here drive as if they were in a bubble and can blow it wherever the whim takes them.
baby ray

Pro - Mark planted his herbs & tomatoes in the pots around the pool. Awesome that Oct. is the month to do that here. And we just finished eating the rest of the small but tasty leftover tomatoes from the pitiful plants at Star Mt.
Con - Humidity - dripping sweat off the nose kind - and bugs of all kinds - no seeums and big things.

Pro - stores. wonderful stores of all kinds two minutes away even high end designer stores. (which I never even put a toe in) I don't normally care so much about this, but after 5 months of driving half an hour to the decent, but not great grocery store, and the other options (which consist of basically a Walmart and hardware store) this is manna from heaven. I'll get over it in time no doubt.
Con - noise: car, airplane, lawnmowers, etc, etc. You see we're not used to any noise other than perhaps elk bugling or coyote howling.

bananas in our yard

alligator in the canal
I'll come up with more, in the meantime adjusting quite well thank you. Played golf yesterday after 6 months of not and happily had a low score for me, and art class starts today. I may survive the Colorado transition after all...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back in the land of white sand & gentle waves

Truth be told, after 3 days on the road we should have been more than estatic to reach our Naples destination. Ummm...maybe yes, maybe no - relieved is more like it. It was hard to leave Star Mt. even as things had turned gray & brown, the preface before winter kicked in. Why are we are back in Florida then you ask? Only makes sense to use this house while we have it, and winter in CO is really long & cold... So - here we are, determined to enjoy, and that's not hard with the beautiful beach so close and weather so nice now. (hint - yes, we will be putting the house up for sale after the first of the year - we need to simplify and our hearts have decided Star Mt. is home. We'll be happy to turn over the Florida house to someone who has Naples as their home dream. It's a great place!)
After saying I never see big horn sheep - there they were, piled up by the side of the road as we left CO.

Took a couple of pictures of the mighty Mississippi while zooming over the bridge. Awesome!

So back to the Florida routine. Walked to the beach this morning. Very quiet and beautiful - the crowds of people won't be down for some weeks.
A little in shock over the manicured lawns, pretty flowers, and people in shorts & flip flops. And everything grows so fast here - first on the to do list was chopping down overgrown banana tree leaves (huge 5 feet tall ones) hanging over the sidewalk to our front door. Watch out - lady wielding sharp knife...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Goodbye Star Mt. - Hello to Florida

Last day and it's been filled with errands and to do lists.Bringing in outdoor furniture, covering the beautifully stacked firewood, clamping down all windows, etc. -20 is a norm around here in the middle of winter. Brrrr... Anyone need a slightly used 100ft snow fence? We put it up last year by the driveway where snow drifts. Of course it didn't work and may have even caused more snow to build up. Newbie mountain homeowners... Very cheap - going fast!
Raced into town for a last color & cut at my place ( a house turned into a salon) sooo quaint with hardworking women who keep us all going for a ridiculously low price. They love to decorate for holidays as my photo shows... I will definitely miss this place - my salon in Florida charges three times the amount and no homey stories, and everyone's dressed in black (what's up with that?).

The animals have been around to say goodbye - a bushy tailed red fox, lots of deer, and coyotes howling in the night. Oh, I will pine away thinking of all this...yes, yes,I know, we'll be back!

Mark spent a couple of hours for a last bit of fishing. Caught some and caught some photos of big horn sheep coming to get a drink at the river. I never see them - lucky him...

I will keep posting from Florida. Just have to switch my mindset - alligators for deer, tropical birds for fox. I can do it, no problem.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Small complications of leaving

We seem to be running around a lot these days, preparing to leave. We plan to come back in the dead of winter for a few weeks (hmmm, is that smart?) for play (snowshoeing, skiing, etc.), but will be gone quite awhile in the meantime. Thank goodness we have fabulous Walter to watch over things.
I planted daffodils bulbs - on the theory that they'll bloom long before the deer come back in the spring (which is mid-May here), Mark has strewn straw & more wild grass seed around, and I have to fling the lupine seeds that we collected wherever the urge takes me.
The blooming hanging baskets are done, having lasted weeks longer than they should have - it was warmer than normal for a couple of weeks - no freezing temps. Boy, they're here now - supposed to be 22 tonight. Mark has had a fire going in the fireplace for the last few mornings - love that.
Finished book #49 - The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce. - loved this one - post WWII English family drama with a bit of mystical stuff going on.

We are driving to Florida, a long trek, but it means that we can pile up things in the car that otherwise would be impossible to get there. My 5 foot diffenbachia plant for one (although I did actually fed-x wrapped in bubble wrap  last year and it survived the journey quite well.) This plant is of incalculable value, being 36 years old, an anniversary present from Mark. What, you say -oh, yes, this plant is older than our children. It has survived being hacked off at the roots (more than once), dumped in a trash bag with no light or water, and  dragged from place to place without regard to it's light, humidity, and water needs.

Deer are still around, but in ever smaller numbers. The elusive elk are here too - I just can't get close enough for a photo. They will all leave soon, deer lower elevations, elk higher for the winter. It's sad to be leaving, but everything around is saying bye - time for us to go to the land of white sand beaches, flip flops, lawns, & sprinklers. Talk about opposites!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Frosty white stuff on the peaks

Oooh, beautiful snow dusting on the peaks overnight (we had a lot of rain on the ground).Chillier weather has come in, but no snow at our house yet. The change in seasons is palpable everywhere you look.
On our way back to the house on our morning walk we saw a herd of 40 elk come over the hill and rush into the pines.With the chilly temps, had mittens on and camera back in my pocket, so little chance of catching a picture. Really too far away anyway. More bull elk in the group. This has been a banner fall for male sightings. Fun!
The castles

Our gates are back open and the deer have wasted no time in utilizing them. I don't think they're fond of jumping over as it turns out. This photo is one of the half grown fawns who come in with their mommies almost every day. So sweet.... Oh, it's been a month since our named doe (Flap) has been around. What happened?

We had to drive to Montrose yesterday to take the Rock (aka the jeep) to a dealer for a recall repair. Isn't everything on recall these days?  All went smoothly and took the time to run into a few stores that are not in Gunnison (national stores that will never open here - not enough population). Going by Blue Mesa Reservoir on the way is always a pretty sight, but looked odd now, all that water and no boats!

Have forgotten on multi posts to update my book list. I must admit that with all the company, my reading suffered - I had 3 half read books laying around for weeks. It's a good and bad thing that I'm cataloging my reading this year. I looked it up and had only finished one book in Sept. Eeeks... So three done finally: #46 Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White, #47 The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, and #48 The Cradle by Patrick Somerville. All good, not great (hence the 3 star rating). The Middle Place was the only non-fiction in the bunch - a memoir of her breast cancer and family relationships - quite good, done with humor, if that can be done with this subject, and I'll read others of hers.

And guess what this is? On my way to the mailbox a porcupine was on the road. After jumping out of the car,my camera caught him running away. Looks like a soft fuzzy ball right - nooo, those quills can kill, up to 6 inches long on some parts of their bodies. Evidently breeding time is now, so he was out during the day...