Red Tide in the Gulf

beach

Florida is having a crisis. For weeks Red Tide has been in the gulf, from Ft. Myers to Clearwater. Since we are new to Florida seeing the results of Red Tide effects on the marine life has been horrible. I know a little about Red Tide, that it comes and goes. However, this time it is just sitting in the gulf and moving very slow if at all.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s.”

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on the beach is heartbreaking. Now dolphins, turtles, manatees, and even a whale shark have been killed by this toxic algae bloom. While there is never a good timing for this to come near shore, this is the height of baby turtles hatching and making a run towards the water.  For humans, if you go to the beach, the toxins get up in the air, which you will breathe in, can cause respiratory problems.

So, if you were planning to visit Florida, you might want to go to the Atlantic Side.

 

 

 

Florida’s Thunderstorms

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Summer is Florida rainy seasons. We have had to learn to plan our activities around the time when the storms come. I thought AR had bad thunderstorms. I was use to the tornados that would often developed.  When we first had our storm, I noticed there isn’t any tornado sirens. I asked a weather person and was told that there are none. Florida does have tornadoes.

While the storms are pretty powerful, it’s the lightning that is downright scary.  Cloud to ground lighting.  Not just once but several right after each one.  Of course the TV warns everyone to be inside but even then it makes you wonder if you are really safe.  Another thing we have noticed with Florida being flat, you can see lightning far off in the distance.   Last night the stars were out but somewhere you could still see lightning.

I think we are getting it down and taking the storms in stride. Just a couple more months before weather starts to become cooler. While it’s still hurricane season, so far so good. The Atlantic Ocean is still cool which helps deferr the hurricanes. The season is still young and as reported that can change at any time.


 

Learning about Florida

DSC00776 Assume every ponds, lake and even beaches (at times) has gators. While I already knew that, having them in your backyard was something to get used to.  I have watched them leave the water and go across the golf path, in an area most people wouldn’t think to look. I always look several times before going out in the backyard.  Several facts I’ve learned, gators don’t eat all the time but who knows when was the last time? Gators don’t like the hot summers and will stay in the water, most of the time. Gators aren’t fond of rain and wind and will stay in the water. Fortunately, summertime is the rainy seasons.  Gators mate and build nests in May and June and are aggressive during this time. While the one in our pond isn’t as big as this fellow above is, I have no problems keeping my distance.   This big guy was at a state park and one of my grandsons got to see him/her, who knows? 🙂

DSC08220 This giant gopher tortoise also shares our backyard pond with the Gators.  I’ve never seen one this large roaming around freely. Another reason to keep a lookout before you leave the safety of your lanai.   While the pond isn’t huge there are several of these around. I have watched several come out and lay their eggs this early summer. Unfortunately, several crows were watching too and when the tortoise left, the crows flew down and dug up the eggs for a meal. Part of the life cycle I remind myself.

 

A Year Later

Golly, I hope I remember how to use this forum. 🙂

We have moved and loving our new place. It’s so wonderful to be near the ocean. No more 10-12 hours drive.  We are learning our way around and seeing so many interesting things.

I’ve joined several different art groups and keeping busy with things I enjoy.

We have a nice wooded view with a pond and have seen a lot of wildlife.

Well this will be short as I need to see if I can remember how to do this. C8EC2512-3469-4331-8AA6-E752FD3BCF43

A New Path

Curves on Curves

We continue to wait for our house to sell. While it’s only been a month on the market, it seems like forever. Maybe this is an American trait, we want it yesterday to sell. Our realtor suggested start packing like you will be moving soon.  Which I have, only leaving out what we need to get by on.

We are excited about the new path our lives is about to take. Once our house sells we will drive to our new state, find a place to stay while we look for our new home. We have three areas we are interested in and since we were there last fall, we drove all over and have a good idea of the area.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a lot from The Minimalist. One of the things they had suggested was to box everything you have. One box to keep, one box to donate, and the third box if you’re not sure if you want or not. That was helpful and I was able to donate a lot of items.

As we wait to move, I have noticed that the items I have boxed to take with us, I’m not sure if I need those items.  Fortunately, I have label my boxes because now, I don’t even know what are in the boxes. So, I’m wondering if I even need these items. While waiting, I am considering going back through some of the boxes to see if I really need the items in there. My new motto, less is best.

 

How to Minimalizing Art Work?

I’m at a standstill. As I had mentioned before, we are moving. Watching the documentary on The Minimalist, I have been able to get rid of a lot of items. I now have the majority of our things packed and ready to move. Being a photographer, I have a lot of photographs that are framed and at one time or another were in different art shows. These photos are the ones that didn’t sell. Since the place we will be buying is smaller than the house we live in, I don’t have room to take all of these photos.

My problem is, I don’t know what to do with them. My family or friends don’t want them. I am having a moving sale and hopefully, some will sell. I don’t want to trash them. I have thought about donating them to GoodWill as my last resort.

If anyone has some ideas on what I can do with these photos, please let me know.

The Begining-Day One

Curves on Curves

A quote from The Minimalist, “One day or day one. You decide.” Think about that. What power that quote has? I have chosen day one. What power that gives me. What happens today could be the choices I make. Of course, I realized ‘Life’ can add surprises to a day. However, how I chose to respond is still up to me.

I’m am still reading their book, “Everything That Remains”, and one section talked about goals. Not setting goals. I have to admit this idea is hard for me. Most of my life I have felt program to have goals. For me, not having a goal means that  I’m wasting my life. I’ve always felt that every minute needed to count and in order for that to happen, I needed goals.

This doesn’t mean that I become irresponsible.  Today I had several things that needed to be done and I did complete them. Now, I’m at a lull and my mind automatically goes to what other goals do you have for today and there are none and that is okay. I think. 🙂

I can sit here and write, read, or watch the fire, and there is no pressure to fulfill any goals. I have to admit, this new idea may take me a time to get used to.

Crossing the Bridge

Today is the last day of 2016.  Usually, I feel sad to see the year end. Mostly because it’s a reminder of me getting older, like everyone else.  But, this day is different. I’m looking forward to the new year. A lot of changes will be happening to me.

It started last fall. We decided to put our house up for sale and plan to move to the gulf of Mexico.  We had a buyer in two days, but that failed through. As I mention in my last post, we are still waiting for a new prospect.

What I wasn’t aware of, the other changes going on with me. Since we are downsizing, big time, I had to go through and donate, sell, give away a lot of our things.  For example,  my couch from my grandparents that I thought I could never part with, is gone. My mind was made up. If I couldn’t use it, it was gone.

In the last few weeks, I watched a documentary called “The Minimalist”.  It struck a nerve. That’s what I was doing, minimalizing my life. Yes, it did feel freeing.  The saying, “less is best” is fitting for me.

Most of our items are packed up and waiting. This is the hard part. I’m ready to go, now. It’s getting cold here and I want to be where it is warm. I’m ready to make new changes in my life. I want to try and see new things. The waiting is creating a lot of anxiety for me. I know to calm that anxiety is to focus on the present.  I read an article this morning which touched me.  I quote, “big life changes don’t happen overnight. Give yourself some time. Put in the effort. You will be surprised what can happen in a year.” (The Minimalist)

So, I leave you with hoping everyone has a happy new year and be surprised what comes your way.

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The Waiting Game

Yesterday, we had several people to come and look at our house. We did get an offer but we made a counter offer. I think too many people are watching HGTV and think they can give the lowest offer ever.:) It may work in some cases. Now we wait for their response.

The different feelings one goes through while waiting amazes me. I am really trying to focus on the present. Right now. However, my mind is jumping all over the place. Get more boxes, pack more items, or go through the closets, again. Whew!

If this offer goes through, we will have to find a place to rent until we buy our new house. I will be looking at places while we are waiting.  Making decisions on what to pack and what to pack in the POD will need to be made.

I continue to listen to different podcasts from The Minimalist and that is helping me on deciding what to let go. One thing that was mention was letting go of objects that one has kept for the memories. Memories are not these objects. Memories are events that were created with others. I know I have several boxes of “memories” that I saved that are related to my grandchildren. Listening to this podcast, for me, I realized my fear of letting these go is because I think I won’t ever get something from them and at least I have these items.  Hmm, looks like I need to work on that.

If my true desire is to be free of all, I need to remember this photo of this bird who is able to soar high without any attachments.

wings open

 

Out of Touch for Three Years? Wow!

I gave up blog writing. Why? I don’t know.  Maybe I thought my writing was boring. Lazy? Probably.  In a rut? For sure.  Today, this moment, I decided to return. Why? New changes are happening. We are taking big risks and I want to share these risks with anyone who wants to read.

We are moving. My husband and I always enjoyed the beach and one day, last fall, we asked our self why we aren’t living near the beach?  We took a two-week trip to the gulf and looked at several places to live. We found a place we liked, came home and put our house up for sale.sunset

We are retired Seniors. With that being said, it has been a hard decision to make. Our grandchildren are pretty much grown. We aren’t needed to babysit anymore. The kids are doing their own things. So, we decided we should do the same. Our main feeling is, if we don’t do this now, it will be too late.

Thousands of different thoughts and emotions came crashing on me: “Are you crazy?”, “You’re too old to make a long distant move”, “Who’s going take care of you?”, to mention a few.

Our house sold in two days. Excitement and panic overflowed. Now we really did it.  The packing of 23 years started. Since we are downsizing, we had to let go of a lot of stuff. Fortunately, my son wanted most of the furniture.  Goodwill and I became good friends after making several trips to donate.  During this period of getting rid of stuff, I noticed that I was feeling pretty good about it. I thought that was a bit odd for me as I can become attach to objects.

We separated what we want to keep and was waiting on our POD to arrive when the bad news came. Our buyer had to back out due to his buyer backing out. You know; the domino effect.  Our house is back on the market, and we are surrounded by boxes. How can potential buyers navigate around hundreds of boxes?  We had to make the main room presentable. All the boxes went downstairs. Now we are limbo. A waiting game. thumb_img_0549_1024

Last week we watched the documentary called “The Minimalist”. I’ve never heard this word before and what these guys were saying was making sense of the feelings I was having. I’ve always loved our house. It’s in the woods, but we are in the city limits. Surrounded by wildlife. It is a perfect place to have the grandchildren over to enjoy nature and all that goes with it. I realized our desires had changed. We enjoying traveling but wouldn’t stay gone very long for afraid something would happen to our house. In reality, we are tied to the house. This show helped me to see this clearly.

So, I would like to blog about how becoming a “Minimalist” is affecting my life as we prepared for our new chapter in life- living with less.