Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Back at Star Mt. after an 1800 mile trip. All went smoothly- just LONG. Can't believe two and a months has gone by so quickly.
Found another great Cuban restaurant of all things in Louisville Kentucky as a food highlight. Highly recommend if you're in the area. Not sure when we will ever be back. Havana Rumba...

Lots of snow at our house and everyone is happy about the winter snowpack. We're way over 100% which bodes well for summer water levels. I have been out for the first snowshoeing trek. Heart beating fast, lungs burning, oh yes could definitely tell we are back at altitude- and I only made it part of the way through the woods.

Lots of outdoor activity in our future, cross country skiing, downhill (gulp),and snowshoeing galore. The winter will be here for quite a long time.

We have company coming in a couple weeks which is a nice surprise for January. Hope they're ready for the big minus, minus temps that will surely come.
A quiet New Year's Eve for us. Our good friends Tom and Marci had to cancel as Tom is still recovering from a nasty, nasty superbug infection. We miss you and get well soon. We'll have your room ready when warm weather arrives.
I must report thanks to our neighbor and his new Internet business we have lightening fast Internet at the house. Any of you who have been here with the snail speed, all is good now!
And for a final 2013 newsflash, our local newspaper reported with pride that outside school recess will apply unless it is colder than -10. HEARTY BUNCH HERE.
Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas in Virginia has come and gone. Piles of baking, mountains of presents, Miss Penny spreading her twinkly magic everywhere, record heat then plummeting to below freezing with a snowflake flurry here and there.

Come Granddaddy,right here. We need to PLAY.

Does everyone end up with a last minute errand, delivery package awaited with bated breath, scramble to make the ribbon/tape/paper hold out for that last package?

Gingerbread cookie making - TRADITION

Speaking of tradition the hours of putting together children's toys before Xmas morning happened here. Chris and Mark spent two hours in the garage working on the play kitchen we had sent for Penny. I'm thinking Mark is NOT missing those days...

Fun had by all, and thank goodness Heather brought the second round of PW mashed potatoes. Definitely will be scaling back on the rich food, scaling up on exercise. It will be snowy winter fun next for us. Leaving tomorrow for Star Mt.

This is how so many of us felt late yesterday.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bye bye Naples

Wow, we are done. Leaving tomorrow for Virginia. Pulling all our possessions out of every nook and cranny. I've had a lot a of goodbyes in the last few days. Tai Chi, last dinner at Escargot 41, and art class today. Great place but Penny is calling (and Star Mt. too).

Made it to some of our favourite places one more time: Nemo's and Fernandez the Bull to name a few. Also tried a new place, a "hot" fifth avenue place called Osetra. Caviar,sushi, and champagne. Wow only here. What are we going to do with the pickups, slush, our jeep, and -23?????

Little nature drama on our beach walk. These do NOT go together. Otter and alligator. Mark says, "Wonder what's going to happen when the otter runs into the alligator?"
And in the space of a blink of an eye, poof the otter mashes into the alligator causing alligator to be MAD, flailing, crashing swift retaliation. No injuries that we could tell- whoa.

Mad alligator.

Happy alligator BEFORE otter.

Who would have known there could be real expression changes on an alligator. Really, I see it even if you don't ...

Will miss the beach no lie, but anxious for Xmas with Miss Penny in Virginia and then off to the arctic Star Mt.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winding down the Naples adventure

Time is FLYING by, and happily I am mostly done with Xmas shopping. The vast majority was done online. Same with all of you? I try and catch all the sales/sites with free shipping so I'm not adding big bucks to the already ridiculous budget. And most things are showing up on Tiffany's doorstep. Keeping UPS and FedX really busy.

Friday is departure day and we are trying to cram in what we can before we leave. Star Mt is calling. Of course we have a fun Christmas happening first with the family (Tiffany and Chris's in Virginia), with Heather and Jay making the trek over. And Santa is coming for Penny!

Mark had a business trip to Dallas last week in the aftermath of the huge ice storm. Happily made it there and back without giant delays or cancellations. It was just to get him warmed up for the many months of winter we go back to. I talked to a local in CB a few days ago and it was -23 - really. Oh boy...

We made it back to Bay House, this time for lunch since it sits on the river with pretty views and these darn short days mean pitch dark by 6. A new favourite for this trip.

Got into the spirit of the holidays last night going to a free concert at the Mercato featuring a person I really like, Five for Fighting (stage name). Real name John Ondrasik with massive amount of hits to his name. His portion was short but excellent- what can you expect for free after all. Italian food in outside seating added to the fun.

Still walking to the beach every morning. Otters, alligators, even a bald eagle, never know from one day to the next. The athletic shoes are going in the far back reaches of the closet when we get home. They do not go with piles of snow. That will be snowshoes and skis.

With my video lecture and reading list required in my historical fiction class, I haven't been getting through that many books. However ,found another new author from the class : Katherine Howe. Her book assigned was The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. 1600's Witch era in Massachusetts with massive research done and a great read. Never heard of her even though it made the NY Times bestseller list. Definitely will be getting her newest.
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beachy stuff and Xmas shopping

The Christmas season is upon us, and as predicted, I'm scrambling since the time between Thanksgiving and Xmas is shortened this year. Pretty Florida version of holiday cheer, don't you think (and this shopping center is literally a mile away- good thing I am not a shopping addict).

We have 12 days before packing up and heading to Virginia. 12 DAYS! An amazing feat will be collecting all our possessions we either brought with us or felt was necessary to purchase, mainly for the kitchen here. Even though it was all nicely redone with updated appliances, granite, etc. we don't believe the owners are really cooks. I mean, as in no measuring spoons, measuring cup, dull edgeless knives.

Goal to meet before leaving: learn all 24 moves in my Tai Chi class. Probably not happening, but I'll give it the all fired attempt. No Tai Chi back at home sadly. It's an amazing 1,000 year old discipline - excellent for balance, core and quietening the mind, in my case always a good thing...

We continue to have falling snow at Star Mt., should be interesting to go back. Crested Butte is a tad giddy over the difference from last year to this. Lots of snow is normal there, and cold, reeaally cold temps, something I need to remember.

In the meantime love my walks to the beach every morning, and no lie, will miss those. See dolphins most mornings, saved a seahorse (well hoping, it was alive and I threw it back in the water), tracking down the now elusive otters (only seeing their wet paw prints on the path), saved a frog (another "maybe" had to pry his little sucky feet off the pavement), and watching those amazing sea birds.

Intense golf days have been happening for Mark. Our old club in MD has a guys golf trip down to Naples every year. Nice way to catch up.

I have two more art classes, also a great way to keep my hand in the painting. My latest, inspired by the water lilies outside. Sorry about the sideways - tech issue.

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