Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FL-Delightful Visit with Megan

To my delight, Megan made a return visit to Florida!  We had a great time…almost a week!!!  The weather was very sporadic and Sanibel Island was a tad disappointing, but nonetheless, it was a wonderful visit together!  Enjoy the pics. In between trips to the beach, a road trip with Van-Go and a craft fair, Megan helped me get all my ‘stuff’ into the van before she left!  I was scheduled to get back on the road 3 days after she went home.  What a blessing she was!!! 
We both got turtle tattoos
at the craft cute!

A full rainbow coming right up out of the Gulf

Good morning!

Look at that hairdo!!!

Still swollen...woe is me

Megan-It was shallow, it got deep, it got shallow again!

So peaceful

Critters at the campground at
Sanibel Island

Zoom's a beaut!

Got beaks???

 A Dolphin sighting

My very first key lime pie...Megan and I
shared a slice

Crane crossing

Awesome reflection

Awesome roots

Awesome view

Crab escape

Awesome palm tree...albino


Actual working

At the entrance of the
campground at Sanibel

Awww!  Bless her little
heart.  I couldn't have gone
to the beach without her!

Bathing Gimp Extraordinaire...LOL

Smoothies in Nirvana...Rosie makes the

So creative...recycled sports equipment
made into it!

Plants with exposed fun
I wonder how you water them?

Handcrafted plaster wine set

Also handcrafted...the detail was
magnificent don't need glasses...
This sign is upside down!!!

The morning Megan left, I had my last appointment with the physical therapist.  While I was there, a client working on his shoulder overheard me telling TJ about my plans to visit Alaska next year.
Bright Spot-He chimed in and he told me about his time in Alaska…he was stationed in Anchorage where the power lines are intentionally thicker so the enormous number of BALD EAGLES can hold on better AND so the cables don’t sag!  He told me that Alaska has eagles like we have pigeons.  Eagle Lake is just one of the regions where you can see dozens just hanging around.  Google has some awesome shots.  This information solidified my desire to visit Alaska.  Another secret of Alaska came to light when Danny explained how surreal the winters are…absolutely freezing!  Bars are open until 4:00am and often packed with crazy party people.  Bonfires back into the woods a few miles is not uncommon.  Sounds like creative problem-solving in order to stay warm…lol.


Danny served in the Army from 2004-2011.  He traveled to Germany, Bulgaria and Romania to mention only a few.  Then in 2014 while he was in Afghanistan, he injured his shoulder when a 100lb. door of an armored vehicle swung open.  At that time, he was doing government work as part of a protection team for the U.S. Ambassador. He is currently rehabilitating his shoulder.  Danny is hoping to go back to school after he is completely healed and eventually work as an EMT firefighter.  Thank you, Danny, from myself and everyone for your service to this country and may God bless you in your future endeavors.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

FL-Fourth of July Weekend Brought 2 Firecrackers Extraordinaire

      Fourth of July - hot dogs, beach parties, baseball games, fireworks.... Well, that is what it has come to mean for many and that's great!  Originally, the reason for celebration was because a nation declared independence...broke away courageously from "the way things were done' traditionally.
     This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of a brief encounter with two women who I believe exemplify the true meaning of independence...daring to do things differently than most...breaking the mold and taking a giant leap of faith to create something that you believe in!
Bright Spot - On Friday, July 3rd, I went to an Office Depot.  The last 2 times I needed copies and binding, I went to Staples.  That morning I discovered there was an Office Depot was much closer.  I hobbled in and explained what I needed done to the clerk, who was unbelievably helpful, by the way. It was going to take a little while.  A beautiful woman approached the counter to place her order and she asked about by foot.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, she asked if I knew anything about the local opera company.  I said that I didn't because I was from out of town.  As fate would have it, we got to talking.  This delightful woman proceeded to share a little and then I couldn't help but inquire further.  Her name is Marilyn Ward, the president of the St. Petersburg Opera Guild which is celebrating its 50th anniversary and who has over 200 members.  She wears many hats in her role.  She organizes fund raisers to support the educational program for the young Opera Company (celebrating its 10th year).  The annual Silver Bells Fund Raiser along with membership dues are able to contribute over $15,000 to these aspiring opera singers annually.  There are high school and college level competitions that are professionally judged and acceptance to the Company is highly regarded and sought after.  Marilyn is also responsible for providing refreshments to the opera cast members during performances.
Madame President,
     Her mission at Office Depot was to place an order for the Maestro, Mark Sforzini.   She adores him as do many others and referred to him as a genius.  He is also considered a modern day Renaissance Man and the visionary leader that was instrumental in the birth of the St. Petersburg Opera Company.  Maestro addresses Marilyn affectionately as Madame President and it brings to light the dedication and love she has for the company and for him through the twinkle in her eye and her unforgettable smile.  What an amazing woman, 77 years young...looking at a typical slow down, chill out retirement right in the face and saying, "No thank you!"  Independence with a capital "I."   Marilyn, thank you for sharing such a lovely slice of your life with me.
Bright Spot - Monday, July 6th, I went to the post office to send a package and instead of going right back to the house, I decided to "practice walking" as prescribed by the physical therapist.  There is a small strip of shops, most of which are closed on Mondays, so I began my window shopping adventure...LOL  There was one storefront that caught my eye...a cafe called NIRVANA.

 To my delight, it was open!  I walked in with only one crutch...go me...and looked around at the colorful array of items for sale and the fun menu boards.  Moments later, I was welcomed by a pleasant voice that I soon discovered belonged to Rosie!  After we covered the "foot" saga and I ordered a scrumptious all fruit beverage, Rosie and I got to talking about her cafe.  Rosie's father, Charlie, raised her on healthy foods and an enlightened attitude about self care.  She attributes her adult lifestyle choices to him.
Rosie in her cafe and juice bar
     In 1978, she opened her first cafe in Connecticut.  She moved a couple of times, opening similar cafes.  Rosie shared that the reason for the cafes is multi-fold.  Her main goal is to provide a welcoming atmosphere for ALL people regardless of what "step" they are on in their life.  In addition, she wants to expose people to alternative and healthier drinks and snacks than can be found most 'convenient' places.  She strives to live a Buddha Life.  It is not a religion as its name might is a way of life.  A life where one chooses to live in the present moment without attachments.  Making choices in moderation.  Connecting with others in encouraging, non-judgmental ways.  Rosie is the kind of person everybody needs at least ONE of in their life!!!  She is also working on saving $25 each week to support her dream to do some traveling, especially to France!  Go for it, Rosie!!!  Thank you for sharing your vision AND for the complimentary gluten-free cookies!
     Rosie and her son are nearly finished creating a website that exemplifies their philosophy. is great.  You will find inspirational quotes, products, an invitation to share your story, etc.  Check it out!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

FL-Quiet Weeks of Healing

A couple of egrets on an afternoon stroll

Bright Spot-  My friend, Andrea became
a grandmother!!!  Welcome to the world,

Thought for the Day

     My last three weeks have been spent reading, writing, appreciating the beauty around me and just 'being' much of the time.  I made a few trips to the end of the peninsula here to a beach called Passe a Grille.  It is situated at the tip of the stretch of land and you can watch the sun rise and set from the beach.  YES...THE EASTERN AND WESTERN HORIZON ARE BOTH VISIBLE!   It's pretty awesome!
My FUZZY pelican friend

Check out the dangling
Just like a asleep...limbs
just flop!!!

The one in the middle with his wings
out had just landed

Just lovely


Fun-painted boat
    I am in the home stretch with my foot rehabilitation.  No more boot as of today!  I can walk barefoot with one crutch indoors through next Wednesday, then a sneaker with one crutch a few days until my confidence and balance is stronger, then.....two feet, two sneakers and no crutch!  I will be on the road again by the 19th of this month.  First stop...Orange Grove Campground in Kissimmee, FL.
I have planned on at least a week's stay at various campgrounds on my travels through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and then into Maryland for my son's wedding October 17th!!!  My off-campground excursions will be minimal during this leg of my adventure as my foot continues to regain its strength and range of motion.  The patience and commitment to full healing now will pay off I'm told!  Since walking, hiking, bicycling and scootering are major aspects of my chosen least for the next several is important that I do what is best for my
'healing process' torturous as it might seem for awhile.
    The adventure IS continuing and there will be Bright Spots and stories and pictures many many things to be grateful for and excited about upcoming!!!
Another recent lander

OK, put down landing gear...
almost to the pole!

Zoom in and you'll sorta see a hamburger sun...
Thin slice of cloud right through the center!

Good morning, sun!

Shadow of high flying pelican

Nature's picture frame of clouds!!!

West side...the beach

I love the golden exclamation point!

OH, and by the way...I had alligator
Pretty darn tasty!!!

Sunset draws in a nice crowd!
Attendance higher than sunrise...
folks are already up...LOL

Sweet dreams, Sun!

so peaceful

Evening snacks provided by the sunset
seekers...happy pigeons scoop up and
chow down!!!