Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Insurance. That is what he called it. When taking pictures he got more than one picture of the same scene so that if for some reason one picture didn’t turn out then perhaps the second picture would. He would also “bracket” his pictures. Take one picture at the correct exposure, then a picture at one setting lighter and one setting darker. Then he would select the best picture. The young man worked in the darkroom of our x-ray department developing our x-ray films. He was pursuing a career as a professional photographer and so I figured that he knew what he was talking about. I also started practicing “insurance” in picture taking once I had got a digital camera because the pictures are in essence “free” since there is no film to buy and no expensive developing. When I take a picture like the one above, I always take a second one “just in case”. On my “insurance” picture there was a bee gathering pollen.

What a pleasant surprise. The “insurance” picture was even better than the first picture because of the presence of the bee.

There wasn’t time to get an insurance picture of the bee because it flew away so I had to settle for a slightly blurred bee. But I can still see the pouches on his legs filled with pollen. I guess that he has been a busy little bee. LOL. I enjoy my picture taking and I am just having so much fun at it. At times the detail is just incredible and when I magnify the pictures I can see things that I couldn’t see with the naked eye. I always like to magnify pictures on my laptop to see what I can see. Sometimes I see a scrap of paper near a rose bush or sometimes a bald eagle flying near a communications tower and then sometimes a close-up look at a bee.

It is time to go. The sun is up, Tammy and Alex (cats) has been fed, I have had my toast, and Mary is up. This morning we will have fresh strawberries on our cereal. We were at Wal-Mart yesterday and they were selling for $1.50 for a large container of them. I guess that they must be in season. At those prices we will enjoy strawberries while we can. Have a great day. Lew

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sunflowers arrive

Just look at what is popping up through the soil in my sunflower pot. Two of the three sunflower seeds have sprouted already. I am rapidly catching up to Seaside and her new sunflower plants. I have big plans for mine such as lots of Miracle-Gro plant food, sunshine and TLC. I was amazed at how quickly the seeds sprouted. What is seen in the picture is a new life starting. It is a living thing which I think that sometimes we forget when it comes to plants. I told Mary how amazed I was at the power of motion that the hibiscus plant by the back of the house has. Each morning it unfurls its petals in a large beautiful peach-colored blossom, come evening and it wraps its petals back up into a tight ball to await the morning sun. It repeats this every day. Amazing.

Tonight we had a great supper. Mary fried pork chops. They were boneless, thick and juicy, and all of the fat had been trimmed off by the store. After they had fried and were still in the pan, Mary deglazed the pan with teriyaki sauce and then finished up by frying some minced fresh onion with the pork chops. On the side were crinkle-cut carrots and a microwave potato with both margarine and sour cream. All of this was topped off with a special beehive blueberry pie. The blueberry pie was special because it had at least twice the amount of blueberries as a normal blueberry pie. The filling was very thick. Of course it cost a bit more than a regular blueberry pie but it was worth it.

No movies this week. There isn't anything playing that seems interesting. Fortunately, we have been pretty lucky lately on the DVD's that we check out at the library in that we have gotten quite a few really good movies. Since they are free, getting the movie DVD's from the library is a pretty good deal. Have a nice day and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts (which won't be for very long). Lew

strawberries (fresh grown)

Here are a couple of the strawberries that we are getting from our strawberry plant. There are lots more of small ones growing. We went ahead and harvested the strawberries because we were afraid some animal like a squirrel or birds might get to the strawberries first.

The strawberries were good and Mary had one and I had one. There were only two ripe strawberries on the plant right now. Maybe with a little extra fertilizer they will produce the strawberries in greater abundance. I think that strawberries are annuals and keep growing year after year producing strawberries. When I was young I found a very small patch of wild strawberries. The wild strawberries were very small but very sweet and flavorful. I guess that all of the goodness was there but just in a smaller package (the strawberry). I kept this small patch a secret and would keep going back to it from time to time all summer long to pick the strawberries that had ripened. The plant was in the same spot year-after-year and I showed up year-after-year to harvest the flavorful strawberries. Growing up in a small farming town has its advantages with all of the fruits to eat. Correction, my town is too small to be classified as a town and is officially classified as a hamlet. So let me rephrase, "Growing up in a hamlet has it's advantage with all of the fruits to eat." Growing up in a hamlet.................. sounds like I grew up with Bilbo Baggins and the rest of the Hobbits like in the tale Lord of the Rings. Have an absolutely spectacular day. Lew

Monday, March 29, 2010

take time to smell the flowers

Tammy the cat is taking time to smell the flowers. She has an appreciation of the beauty and sweet fragrance of flowers. I must admit that the marigolds have a pleasant and strong smell to them. That is her rabies vaccination tag hanging down from her collar. She has first class (and expensive) veterinary care to ensure a long life for her. She also gets the best of food (Fancy Feast), the best living quarters (run of the whole house), and a big play area (a very large front and backyard).

Pardon the pun, but she definitely has the curiosity of a cat. Anything new and she has to explore it. Here she is getting ready to see what two small blades of grass feel like with her paw. She spends her days patrolling the front and back yards having fun. What a life.

It is early morning and the rain is coming down which means that the grass will start growing with vigor. My sunflower seed is in its pot sitting outside in the rain and should start growing also.

There are three seeds planted just beneath the dirt. I sometimes worry that the dark plastic pots get too hot from the sun shining on them and may overheat the roots inside. We have some clay pots in the shed and when it is time to move the sunflower to a larger pot, I will probably use one of the clay pots. This year will be the year of container gardening with vegetables. Have a good day and I will try to stay dry. Lew

Sunday, March 28, 2010


These have to be the world’s smallest flowers. I had quite a time trying to get a picture of them. I had to put a magnifying glass in front of the lens of my camera to get an extreme close-up because they are extremely small. They are on the juniper bush in the back yard.

If you look closely at the juniper bush you can see little tiny white specks. These are the flowers. I have walked by the bush so many times and never took a really close look at the flowers. It took the camera with magnifying lens to see what was really there. The small almost microscopic world is like another whole world in itself. I also saw several lady bugs on a branch of the bush. I suppose to them the juniper flowers probably seem quite large. I must admit that the flowers are a little strange looking but then they say that each day you should learn one new thing and I guess that this was my new thing for the day. The cat house sits in the shade of the juniper bush and is quite comfy but the cat won't have anything to do with it. She prefers the air conditioned big house instead. A very fussy cat. But spring is here and flowers are blooming everywhere in the yard making the honey bees quite happy. Lots of picture opportunities. If only I could get a hummingbird or two to start hanging around. Have a nice day and try to stay dry today if you live in Florida (heavy rains are predicted for today). Lew

Friday, March 26, 2010

This tree is in a vacant lot across the street. There was a house on the lot at one time but the house was bulldozed down. I watched as they destroyed the house. The house was made out of wood. They just drove the bulldozer into the side of the house and down it went all at once. That was about a year ago and the lot has been vacant since then. Except for the well still being on the property, there would be no way to tell that a house was ever there. The tree produces a large seed pod that is shaped like a kidney.

The seed pod contains around 6 to 8 seeds like the ones in the picture. The seed pods are very hard and extremely difficult to open. I don’t know the name of the tree but I found the seed pods interesting. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of these unique seed pods on the ground. Right now the weather and temperature for taking walks of discovery around the neighborhoods. Have a nice day and take time to explore nature. Lew

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Orlando "snow"

This is a picture for all of the snowbirds to show the "snow" on the ground here in Orlando. Actually it is just sugar sand in a vacant lot across the street. The sugar sand is so white that it looks like sugar and thus the name sugar sand. But I think that it can also look like snow in photographs. This sand would make absolutely wonderful beach sand. While others were shoveling snow, we are having to mow the grass and pick fresh ripe tomatoes to eat off of our tomato vine. We seem to be getting a “bumper crop” and they are pretty tasty. Tonight Mary made stir-fry chicken. I added some terriyaki sauce to mine to make mine terriyaki chicken stir fry. It was pretty good. For desert, Mary had made some apple dumplings. It was like eating an apple pie but only better. Tomorrow she is going to get some giant Alaskan King crab legs from Publix for a cooked crab feast. Have a good day and take in a movie at a mall near where you live. Movies are so much better on the big screen. Lew

rites of passage

I went out for a walk to Vignetti park which is a public park nearby. I saw the sneakers with their laces tied together and hanging from the electric line. I know that this is typically done on the last day of school. I guess that it must be a rite of passage of having finished a year of schooling. It may also be a sign of affluence.

I remember when I was young, if I had a pair of sneakers, I did not throw them up onto some electric lines because then I wouldn’t have a pair of sneakers any more. But now I guess that mom will go out and buy them a new pair.

The kids now seem to have more money to spend and material things than when I was young. Unfortunately, with the worsening inflation, I think that times are going to become a bit harder and seeing sneakers being tossed onto power lines will probably become less frequent. Vignetti park is a nice park and has a lighted baseball field as well as a soccer field, picnic area, basketball court, handball court, indoor gymnasium, and on and on. It makes for a pleasant walk. I am always thankful that I can go for a pleasant walk in a park year round' (no snow). One of the perks of living in Florida.

Nothing is planned for me for today and so it should be a leisurely day spent outside doing little things around the yard. I will also be working with some new computer software and hardware that I got that allows me to transfer music from audio tapes to my computer. Then I am able to transfer the songs onto my MP3 player for listening. Gone are the days of my Walkman portable tape player and "hello" to the small size and convenience of my MP3 player. And it holds an incredible number of songs. Plus it plays for hours on its rechargeable lithium ion battery. I use my MP3 player on a daily basis and I get a lot of pleasurable listening from it. Gotta go. Have a nice day. Lew

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today is Tuesday and so today is movie day at the West Oaks mall. We are going to see the movie Repo Men which is an action movie. This particular theater is a really nice theater and all of the seating is stadium seating which makes it nice because no one in front will block the view of the screen. We also get coupons each week for a bag of free popcorn which we share and we still bring home about half of the bag because there is so much popcorn. In the “old days” the size of the bag would have been considered “large” but now it is considered “small”. But the price isn’t small if I had to pay for it. Like the old expression “For free I take but for pay I think over”. Free is good.

The theater sits right in a food court. Sometimes we will have lunch at the food court. My favorite restaurant at the food court is Panda Panda. I like their orange chicken. They use to have sesame chicken but it was very “heavy” because of all of the sesame oil. Their sweet and sour chicken has changed. Gone is the heavy coating of batter on the chicken and gone too is the red sauce. The pieces of chicken now has more of a thin light sweet coating with a slight crunch. It is hard to describe but is very different from the traditional sweet and sour chicken. They do have a “thing” of the red sweet and sour sauce on the steam table and they will pour some of the red sauce over the chicken if you ask them. The food court is very well lit because of the skylights in the ceiling which makes it bright and cheerful. Try the sweet and sour chicken at a nearby mall food court and let me know if it has changed. I am curious if this change in the sweet and sour chicken is just a local phenomenon. Besides, doing a taste test for Lew is a good excuse to go to the mall and have some chinese food. Have a great day and enjoy the weather before it turns hot. Lew

chocolate pancakes

On Sunday, Mary made some chocolate pancakes for breakfast. They were good and were a chocoholic’s delight. She took some of the pancake batter and mixed Hershey’s chocolate syrup into the batter.

She then poured the chocolate batter into the center of the regular batter on the grill. And voila’, chocolate pancakes. Mary has a large electric grill which she likes because all of the pancakes can be cooked at once. Mary keeps trying different recipes for meals to keep a variety of “eats”. The chocolate pancakes turned out good and I could taste the chocolate, but the chocolate wasn’t overpowering. During the week we are "good" and have cereal but on the weekends we splurge and have big breakfasts. A question. When standing in line at the check-out at the grocery store, do you ever look at those little booklets with the recipes in them? Each booklet has a theme of food to it whether it is barbeque, slow-cooking, desserts, etc. I like to look at the pictures because the food in the pictures look so good. And of course the best picture of all is on the cover to catch my eye. I don’t know if the food really tastes as good as they look in the picture on the cover but they are fun to look at. Have an epicurean adventure today with something new. Lew

Monday, March 22, 2010

x-ray markers

The items above are called x-ray markers. They consist of lead letters encased in epoxy. The lead letters “L” and “R” show up on the x-rays and identify the left and right side of the body. The letters of the x-ray technician taking the x-rays are added. The “LD” letters are my initials. These are my personal x-ray markers and were used when I worked in the medical field taking x-rays. How many times have I said “Take in a deep breath and hold it”. X-ray is a very rewarding profession because you are helping people who really need help. I enjoyed working in x-ray and the field of x-ray was good to me also. I feel myself fortunate to have worked at something that I enjoyed doing. Not everyone is so lucky. Oh, by the way “You can breathe now.” Lew

Sunday, March 21, 2010

bug, computer bugs

I am finally back on-line. I have been off-line for almost a week. The computer monitor failed. Plus my computer had slowed down to a crawl. I mean really really slow. I checked about installing more RAM memory to speed things up but they said that more memory couldn't be installed because all of the memory card slots inside the computer had been used up. The computer had 1 gigabyte of RAM. So it was time to get a new computer with lots of RAM memory and speed. I checked all of the stores and found the best deal at Office Depot. The new computer has 8 gigabytes of RAM memory and is expandable to 16 gigabytes of RAM memory. The hard drive is 1000 gigabytes of memory. The computer processor is a 64 bit quad core processor. To make a long story short, this computer is at the cutting edge of the high-end computers and is extremely fast. The only drawback is that the operating system is Windows 7 which is causing me to tear my hair out. I liked my old Windows XP software much better. We had a technician from Brighthouse come out and connect the computer up to the Brighthouse internet late this afternoon and so I am back on-line and can start doing my blogs again. But I am unable to send email with the Microsoft Outlook. I can receive email, I just can't send or reply. These are the kind of "bugs" that you always get with a new computer. They will get worked out in time. The monitor is bigger than what I normally like and I have to turn my head from left to right and back again to view the whole screen. I think that it is a 20" monitor. But I do like the speed of the computer though. Take care and enjoy all that life has to offer. Lew

Rider Mower

Here is a picture of Mary on the new mower that we got. This was the first time that she used it. She really seems to like it. She is giving a nice wave of the hand for the camera. She liked it so much that she mowed both the front yard and the back yard without stopping. She really zips around the yard on it. There is a large sand pit of sugar sand in the back yard. Nothing really seems to want to grow on it. The self-propelled hand mower would sink in the sand and it had to be dragged through the sand pit with great effort. Because of the larger size tires of the riding mower, Mary said that she just zipped across it with ease and no sinking. This is great because the sand pit had been a real “pain” to try to mow.

You can see that Mary has a big grin in the picture above. The mower fits her like a glove and she can operate it with ease. The only problem was when she put the mower in reverse to back up, the engine would die. She discovered that this was a safety feature and that the blade had to be disengaged before backing up. If you don’t, the safety feature will shut the engine down. That is the brake pedal that she has her left foot on. It is a nice mower and we are both glad to have gotten it. Have a good day. Lew

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"sign" of the times

I was out for a walk late one afternoon when I came across this sign. I was stunned to see that a house could be bought for only $ 100 down. Can you buy a car for only $100 down? I mean $100 down just seems unbelievable. And the houses in this particular neighborhood are nice block homes. I guess that it is just a sign of the hard economic times. I would have to assume that this must be a foreclosure and the original owners put a lot more than $100 down when they bought the house. I wonder how they must feel seeing their former being house sold in this manner. I turned on that street that the sign was on to see what the house looked like. I walked for a couple of blocks but didn’t come to it so I turned around and returned to the sign. It will be good when the economy returns to normal and it will be “business as usual”. Have a good day. Lew

Friday, March 19, 2010

mean green monster

This is our new mean green monster of a mower. Weeds and grass beware. It was delivered on a pallet tied down with straps. They didn’t even take the pallet away. Look at the front wheel. It is right on the edge of the pallet. We haven’t fired up the monster yet, we want to read the instruction manual first so that we know how to control this beast. Is there someone out there in “blogger land” snickering at my colorful description of our Weedeater mower? After all it is green like a John Deere mower.

I just hope it can also conquer the soft sugar sand in the backyard.
My monitor went out on my computer. I have been having trouble with it for about a week. The problem just kept getting worse and worse until finally it wouldn’t come on at all no matter how many times I pushed on the power button on the front of the monitor. The computer comes on but not the monitor. The computer needs to be replaced also. It needs a lot more RAM memory but it can’t be increased so it is time for a new computer. I want to get an HP computer with 8 gigabytes of Ram and upgrade it to 16 megabytes of RAM. A 1 terabyte hard drive would be nice but not necessary. My main concern is the RAM for speed. But with a new computer I will have to learn a whole new Microsoft windows operating system. I will be checking Best Buy for the computer because they have the Geek Squad onsite who can install the extra memory for me right away.
Have a good day. Lew

Monday, March 15, 2010


This jigsaw puzzle is over 25 years old. It is my favorite because it is of the Pacific coast and reminds of the beach in California. There was one particular beach which I liked the best in San Diego which was called the Silver Strand. It was never crowded (unlike most California beaches) because they charged an admission fee for the beach and most people preferred to go to the free beaches rather than pay the admission fee. The sparse numbers of people made it very pleasant to go there. No crowding. No loud din of noise from a large mass of people. No litter. But most of all the quietness. Just the sound of the pounding surf as it crashed on the shore and the waves as they rushed up onto the sand. I reveled in walking very close to where the waves forward rush would end as if teasing the ocean to try and get my feet wet when I was walking along just barely out of its reach. But sometimes I would get too complacent about the water and there would come along one of those one-in-ten waves that was larger than the others and it would come up further onto shore and get my feet wet when I wasn’t looking. I guess in the long run of things, the ocean would have the last laugh as I felt the chill of the cold Pacific water on my feet. I enjoyed walking along the shore in the daytime but I liked it even more at night. Without the daytime distractions, the roar and pounding of the surf seemed even louder. And sometimes at night there would be the grunions, little fish that would wash up with the waves, wiggle down in the wet sand to lay their eggs, and then wiggle back out to sea. It was an amazing site to see hundreds and hundreds of these grunions at the same time with the top half of their bodies sticking straight up out of the sand. But then I moved to Florida and I missed the pounding of the waves as they crashed on-shore. And so I found this puzzle which reminded me of the California beaches. And so I would sit in the living room in Miami putting the puzzle together on a card table while remembering the pleasant times in Southern California, where it never rains just like in the song. It would take me several evenings to complete the puzzle. Once I had completed the puzzle, I would take a long look at it and then break up the pieces and put them back into the box. Every so often I would get out the puzzle and assemble it once again, take a long look, and then put it back into the box. I would make a conservative estimate that over the last 25 years that I have put the puzzle together at least a dozen times. I got to where I didn’t have to look at the picture on the box because I remembered the picture in detail what it looked like from having done the puzzle so many times. The amazing thing is that I never got bored doing the same puzzle again and again and also, I never lost a piece of the puzzle. It is still complete. I recently did it one more time. But this time I took pictures of the completed puzzle in addition to taking a long before breaking it up for the last time and putting it back into the box. The pieces of the puzzle have become too worn over time and they no longer have a tight fit. This results in pieces seemingly to fit in a spot where they really don’t belong which caused me difficulty in putting it together. I asked Mary to take the puzzle to the thrift store which she did along with some other items for donation. Hopefully someone else will have the pleasure of putting the puzzle together as I always have. But in a way it was sad for me to give up that old puzzle. I know that it sounds silly but it had become like an old friend to me. Whenever I got bored, I would just get out the box and put the puzzle together. Over the years I have spent countless hours with that puzzle and I derived a lot of quiet contemplative pleasure from it. The puzzle had become like the Old Barn in the poem of the same name. My only consolation is that it didn’t go into the trash can but is getting recycled at the thrift store so it still lives and has purpose. And that is my story for today. Here’s hoping that sometime today you will see something amazing that will make you say ‘Wow, that is neat’. And so, Villager go forth and have a “Wow!” day on this your special day. Happy Birthday! Lew

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a mean green machine

Mary and I decided to get a riding mower. I have spent over a week going to sites on the internet for information on the different brands of lawn tractors. We also went to Sears, Loews, and Home Depot looking at tractors, asking questions, and sitting on them. We finally decided on this one because of its simplicity. A pretty green color. It is called Weed Eater One. Yep, made by the Weed Eater Company. I think that it is new on the market. We bought it on Saturday and it will be delivered to the house on Wednesday. I think that it will work just fine because the yard isn’t super big and there are no inclines or hills that it has to go up. However, there is lots of sugar sand and I hope that it will perform well in the sand because of the size of the tires. The self-propelled hand mower that we have would just sink into the sugar sand in the yard.

Today has been a busy day for both Mary and I with all kinds of odd jobs that needed to be done around the house. We were both tired at the end of the day but Mary still had enough energy left to make chicken wrap-ups for supper which is filet chicken breasts wrapped around dressing. Naturally it was good because what goes better than chicken and stuffing. She used toothpicks to hold the wraps together and baked them in the oven. Buttered whole kernel corn was on the side as well as buttered potato bread and fruit Jell-O with whip cream topping for dessert. I was stuffed by the end of the meal. Hope that your supper was as good. Have a good day and be happy. Lew

Friday, March 12, 2010

Scapular medal

This is my scapular medal that Mary got for me. We were together at a gift shop at a Shrine of Mary. The gift shop was next to a church and very large and we were there specifically to get a scapular medal which I had told Mary that I wanted. This particular medal is my favorite design for the scapular medal. Mary wanted to get the one which was solid gold but that was way over $ 200. I told her that I would feel bad if I got such an expensive medal and then lost it, so I opted for a medal made with gold plated over silver. I noticed that the medal is appearing as though it is oxidizing which gold shouldn’t do. I see the peacock colored patina to the medal and some places where the gold coating has come off probably due to abrasion.

The reverse side of the medal below shows places where the gold is missing and exposing the silver underneath. I guess that I must be a little rough on medals.

The detail of the medal doesn’t show very well because of the reflection of the flash off from the gold but in actuality, the detail is quite nice. Mary was right and we should have gotten the solid gold, I was penny wise and pound foolish as they say.

Mary also has a scapular medal but of a different design. I got Mary’s medal at a Catholic gift shop called The Abbey. It is solid gold and is doing just fine. Perhaps I should have gotten a silver medal. Silver will oxidize but can be easily cleaned. I like the scapular medal and it is my favorite.
Today is Friday and that means we eat fish for supper. Tomorrow is big breakfast Saturday and we are returning to the flea market in Sanford to exchange a sweater that we got for the Chihuahua last week. The sweater is too small and so we need to go up one size. It should be a lot of fun at the flea market as it always is and a nice drive there because the weather is suppose to be nice tomorrow. There is just so much to see at the flea markets and the prices are really good also. Have a good week-end and enjoy yourself. Lew

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

new marigolds

Mary got me some new marigolds for my tree stump planter. There are two plants. The dark red flowers have a much stronger aroma to them than the other flowers. I dug out the old soil and replaced it with everglades dirt which is very dark and full of decaying organic matter. The plants should do real good in that soil.

This old tree stump makes an excellent planter. I don’t think that I have to worry about freezing weather any more. Mary made stir fried chicken and vegetables tonight and it was very good. She also made some biscuits also which were exceptional. We had a busy day with doctor’s appointments. We had an appointment for 1:15 and had to wait and wait. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to wait and were told upon arrival “Come right in, the doctor is ready for you.” Just like on Marcus Welby on television. Boy, what a fantasy that is. I know, too much television again.
Tomorrow is another day and we will see what adventures await us. Have a great day and plant some flowers except for those living in snow country. Don’t forget to change the clocks this week-end. Thanks for the reminder from “seaside” I will be sure to do mine and change the batteries in the smoke detectors as well. Be gentle. Lew

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Senator

Mary and I went to Big Tree Park in Seminole County to see “The Senator”, which is an absolutely huge cypress tree. It is a pleasant walk on a board walk of 600 yards to get to the tree through a jungle. There are places along the way where you can sit on wooden benches and rest if you want to and take in all the foliage. The weather was perfect for this type of walk. It was 70 degrees and clear skies. Plus there weren’t any mosquitoes at all.

The jungle was like from the movie Jurassic Park and it seemed as if a tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur might be lunging out of the jungle at any moment. Maybe I have been seeing too many movies, what do you think (be kind in your answer).

We finally made it to the tree called The Senator. It is called the Senator because the person who donated the tree and surrounding property was a senator. Its height was impressive but the leaves were all gone because of this being the winter season. It is 70 degrees and it is the winter season. Read it and weep snowbirds.

The girth of the tree was equally impressive. It reminded of the giant sequoia redwoods in California. There was a second very large cypress tree which is called Lady Liberty. It is not quite as big as the senator but impressive none-the-less. We had a good time taking a nice leisurely walk through a tropical forest. How much was the admission to the Big Tree Park? Free.

They also had a pavilion with a bunch of picnic tables for barbequing and a nice children’s play area as you can see in the area behind Mary. It seems like a pretty nice attraction for the price. Have a nice day and enjoy the very pleasant weather. Lew

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Sunday morning and the weatherman never predicted frost. No freeze warnings, no temperatures even close to freezing, supposedly. But it must have gotten down to freezing during the night in order for the frost to form on the roof of the car. No big deal though. Right? That is true but it is a big deal for our temperature sensitive tomato plants which we have been nurturing through these winter months. Mary suggested that we try some “container gardening” whereby all of our plants will be in pots instead of in the ground. We have had such good luck with the topsy turvy tomato plant that we are hopeful for more “bumper” crops. Anyone have any helpful tips on container gardening? What are some good things to do and pitfalls to be avoided?

Today right after a breakfast of fresh made biscuits and Jimmy Dean sausage along with grits, we will be leaving for the Flea World flea market in Sanford. After the flea market we are going to go to see a huge cypress tree called the Senator tree in Big Tree park in Sanford. Have a good day and those folks in Florida enjoy the nice weather. Everyone else, keep your spirits up. Eventually the snow will melt which is the good news. The bad news is that the melting snow will turn the ground to mud which will stick to your shoes and get tracked into the house. Other than that, keep a happy face on. Lew

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My name is "Lucky"

My owners dropped me off in the farm fields
I don't have a collar
I got no food
I don't have a nice cozy bed anymore
The alligators chase me all day
The racoons harass me all night
The mosquitoes won't leave me alone
When it rains I get wet
I just want to go home
My name is Lucky

Today someone gave me a large piece of Kentucky fried chicken and half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Today was a good day
My name is lucky

Enjoying a large piece of Kentucky fried chicken

Just finished eating half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

May I have more?

My name is Lucky

This dog was probably left in the farm area by its owners. I see them all the time. I don't normally feed them because it only prolongs the inevitable. But this dog posed so nice for me that I gave him a large piece of Kentucky fried chicken and half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ( I had already eaten the other half ). Take Care, Lew

love is in the air

It’s springtime and love is in the air as the expression goes and we evidently have a woodpecker who is in love. He has made a hole in the side of the oak tree looking for a meal but removed the bark in a heart shaped pattern. Very romantic.

Mary and I went to Denny’s for our free hamburger and fries. We had each gotten a coupon through the email from Denny’s for this offer. I was just a little bit skeptical and was waiting for there to be a catch when we went to pay. There wasn’t any. They took $ 16 off of our meal ($8 each). The whole meal for the two of us came to less than $ 5 because we had to pay for our drinks and we upgraded the hamburgers a little. Mary had a mushroom swiss hamburger and I had a barbeque hamburger (naturally). Plus the french fries were good. And endless. They also have a special that you can have all of the french fries that you want when you have a meal. They call it “endless fries”. It was good but it was a lot of food and we both went away stuffed. And we didn’t take them up on their “endless fries” offer. To top it off, the waiter gave us refills of our drinks in a large styrofoam to-go glass. So we made out pretty good.

Yesterday we went to the library and got some more DVD’s. The expression that “you can’t tell a book by its cover” is true and applies to DVD’s as well. You really can’t tell how good a movie is by the picture on the cover or the brief description on the cover which always says that it is a wonderful movie (naturally). We have gotten some real “stinkers” but then we have gotten some really good movies. For the price (free), I guess that I can’t complain.

Oh, the agony of modern technology. I have gotten this device that gets plugged into a tape player on one end and the computer on the other end. It feeds the sound from the tape player into the computer converting the data from analog to digital in the process. A great idea since I have a lot of audio tapes (analog format) and I would like to put them on CD (digital format). Of course it comes with a software CD and a 40 page instruction book. I have not yet gotten it to work properly and am tearing my hair out (not literally, only figuratively) trying to get the whole thing to work correctly. I get to a point of frustration where I have to take a break from the attempt for several hours to de-stress and then back at it again.

I am working on a jigsaw puzzle which I have had for about 25 years. It is my favorite and every so often I put it together. It is a beach scene of the pacific ocean in Oregon but it reminds me of the beaches in California which is why I like it so much. Even though it is a 1000 piece puzzle, I usually zip it together in a few evenings. But not this time. It is taking me a long time but then that just extends the joy of putting it together even though at times it may seem just a little frustrating, but it really isn’t. The pieces are becoming worn and so this will be the last time that I will put it together.

Today is lawn day and I plan on doing some grass mowing of the yard. Time for some “spring cleaning” of the yard. I remember my mom doing the spring cleaning of the house. The entire house got cleaned, upstairs and downstairs, and all of the doors and windows were open to let the stiff breeze to blow through the house to air it out after being closed up all winter. We had a coal burning furnace in the basement and the hot air would just rise through a grate in the floor. It was really just a giant pot belly stove in a way. We would just shovel coal in through the door on the front of the furnace like they did on the old steam locomotives and the old steamships. I would imagine myself as a stoker in the bowels of a great ship shoveling the coal into the boilers. Imagination made the job more of putting coal into the furnace less of a chore and more of an adventure. And yes, the fire would burn down during the night and we always awoke to a cold house until the furnace was fed more coal. Living in Florida is much nicer and warmer.

And to all of you blue-bellied yankee’s up north I have only one question, What are you still doing in that freezing cold icicle weather when you could be basking in the sunshine and warmth of Florida? And to put the icing on the cake, we have Disney as well. Disney is such a fantasy world where all of your cares just melt away. A great place to relax. Have a magical day. Lew

Monday, March 1, 2010

topsy turvy revisited

When I was young I grew up in a rural area of New York. A farming area. Apples. McIntosh apples. Lots and lots of apple trees. The soil was very rich and the trees always had lots and lots of apples on them. So many apples that the limbs became hung heavy with their plentiful bounty of apples. The limbs were so heavy with apples that they would sag and would have broken under the weight of all those aqpples if they had not been propped up with long poles. The apples were nice and red and if I rubbed them on my shirt they would become shiny. On a hot summer day when I would be out walking and get thirsty, it was nice to walk into an apple orchard and pick a nice big McIntosh apple off of a tree and bite into it. The juice from the apple would take care of my thirst. Of course whenever I got thirsty when I was out walking my preference was a bubbly stream with clear cool water in it. Just lay down on the ground next to the stream, put my face into the spring fed water and drink my fill. Now in our modern polluted world, drinking from a stream would probably not be a good thing to do. But I am getting away from what I really wanted to talk about which is the propping up of the limbs of the apple trees so that they wouldn’t break from the weight of the apples. I think that I am having a similar phenomenon with my topsy turvy tomatoes. The amount of fruit is quite bountiful and large but the weight of the tomatoes seems to be causing the vine to split in various places.

The plant seems to be getting by but I worry as to how much damage the vine can suffer and still survive.

Mary put the end of the vine onto the table so as to decrease the hanging weight of the vine.

Has anyone had a similar experience with the topsy turvy tomato plant system? We have already eaten some of the tomatoes that have ripened and they are good. In fact we had some on our sandwiches for lunch. Gotta go. Lew