I've been collecting seashells for as long as I can remember. From east to west, coast to coast, and shore to shore, I always find a treasure to keep, and adore.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Returning to Paradise

This can actually be taken as a double entendre. Returning to Paradise...

My hubs David, and I, recently took a trip out west.

Was going out West returning to paradise? Or was coming Home returning to paradise?

We drove out West for a reason. We towed a cute charcoal grey 2006 VW Bug to our granddaughter, for her 16th birthday! We are so thankful we could do it!

Photo credit Ali Ann Teuscher

I'm sure some people see that part of the country as their idea of Paradise. It is beautiful, at this time of year, from one side of our great country to the other. Everything is lush and green, where it is normally dry and brown for most of the year. Many places across the Mid West and Plains were at flood stage. Rivers were spilling over their banks, and at many bridges, were running close to the bridge. The construction zones were endless, as always. The price we pay for decent roads!

But as I watched the landscape pass by on that 5000 mile round trip, I knew it would be the last time I saw that part of the country from this perspective. Never again will I see the majestic beauty of the mountains, and enormous rock formations up close and personal. I will fly next time! We have made 12 trips from one side of the US to the other over the last 34 years. That doesn't include miles upon miles of vacations with the kids, or trips north to see my family.

We pushed too hard, drove too many miles a day, to get there in 3 days. The end of day 2, my Lupus was flaring. Running a fever, nauseous, throwing up, unable to eat, and in severe pain....and I was already in pain before setting out for this long journey. (but it was so worth it!)

It was a great trip aside from the fact that I didn't feel well, lol.

Three weeks into June, and there was STILL snow on the mountains!

So very beautiful!

But being out West, at a higher altitude, where the air is thin, and it's closer to the sun, is not my idea of Paradise. I NEED my humidity!

While we were out there, we also visited family in Idaho. While we were in Idaho, we bought more Idaho Flagstone, to finish my pathway. What I had, was what we brought with us when we first moved back to Florida.

Now my side yard project can be worked on/completed! I just wish I felt a wee bit better. I do have a few plants and flowers to replace after being gone, and after having the AC guys here...but that's another story.

We had a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs on our trip. But I am so glad to be home.

Friday, June 12, 2015

When it's Cold in Paradise

I know it's June, and we've been in the 90's....but,

Donna was asking about where I live that we see frost. I hate to even think of winter, ever! I don't like it at all! But, on occasion, we have it, here in north central Florida.

This was November 20, 2014 at around 6am.
I get shivers just looking at this!

Fortunately, it doesn't stay bitter cold for very long. We have little cold snaps, and then we have 80-90 degree days in the middle of winter. It's really a wonderful place to live!

I could do without the cold snaps.

I live for the warm sunny days!

My screen room plants made it quite well this past cold season. Hubby put them in the center of the room, under and around the table, with sheets and blankets surrounding them, hung from the ceiling fan...with the lights on to provide a little warmth.

I have had this plant for years. It froze really bad in 2009. I thought I was going to lose it. I'm so glad it recovered! It's a Money Tree (photo above), and started as just baby, under a foot tall. It has to be cut back every year, to keep it short enough to stay in this room.

This is one of my favorite rooms. I love the greenery!

I wouldn't say that I have a green thumb. I recently lost killed a beautiful topiary Gardenia. I may have over fertilized it? I will get another one, and I hope to keep the next one. I love the scent of them!

I'm also terrible with orchids :(  I'm going to give it another shot! I've been watching YouTube videos on orchid care. There is hope ;)

Do you have any Gardenia or Orchid care tips  for me?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Creating My Own Paradise, In Paradise

A direct quote from Wikipedia, "In paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but is not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness." I really like this statement. I think it speaks volumes.

In my quest to create tropical surroundings, I feel as if we have finally developed our own little paradise. In my home, and on my grounds, I truly feel at peace, content, happy, and prosperous in many ways.

This area grows more beautiful every day! We are always adding little touches, like the pavers in the center under the table...done! Mulch around the bananas, pineapples, and tomatoes, and my how they have grown since I took this pic a couple of weeks or so ago! It has been a work in progress for years, but really started coming together when the chain link came down, and the white vinyl fence went up.

We are currently working on a pathway from the front gate, thru the side yard between 2 garden areas, with 3 raised beds that hubby made for me. It's not quite finished, but a far cry from where it was, and certainly far better than the blank slate of a yard we started with. We barely had grass, and zero plants.

This area has a looooooong way to go, but progress is being made. I'm guessing maybe a couple more years til it's finished to what we are planning? It's still my Paradise. I'm at peace here playing in my gardens.

This little picket fence area is where my blueberry shrubs are growing! This area is now mulched in also, and looks so cute. The little fence was intended to keeps my furkids out of here...but the mulch and stone pathway is doing it, lol they hate it...or consider it off limits. Which is fine by me :)

The fish pond was moved when the fence changed....It's bigger than it looks, and we've done a little more with it. This was on the other side of the yard, but I still have my pond with waterfall by the front door.

Changes have been made in the front yard, too.

You can tell by these two photos that this was done around the end of January/beginning of Feb. Well, I can lol hubs is wearing long sleeves. Here in Paradise, we enjoy the cooler days as well :)

Hubby does the heavy lifting, and big jobs. I'm the designer, creator of art, and supervisor. I do get my hands in the dirt, I love to plant, and weeding isn't even so bad now that we've about got them under control (a layer of cardboard under the mulch. We tried landscape fabric, and Florida grew right through it!)

I am currently working on garden art. One piece at a time. And you know it's all going to be beachy, tropical, coastal, nautical, with seashells included here and there.

The only change directly in front of the house, and the front door area, was replacing the plants that did freeze, or got frostbitten. They looked terrible!

So, I'm starting over again, and will try to better protect these the next cold season. The others had gotten so big, and were just beautiful. And yes, we did plant the same plants!

I added this beautiful hibiscus about a month ago.

Check out the size of these flowers! And ignore the dog pee by the plant. That's why it was still wrapped in plastic. I know my boys...it was something new, out of place in the screen room. Boys will be boys! Even in Paradise lol.

Now it has a spot to call it's own. and a prettier pot to boot! And....the boys will leave it alone.

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time, like over a year, was to get the Waterlogue app for my Iphone. A couple of months ago I did!

I've had some fun with this!

I took this at the beach last year, when we were glamping in Crystal River. I used this to make my blog header, using the Waterlogue app.

Unfortunately for me, this Kings Crown was alive, so back he went in the water.
It was a really nice one too, look at the crown on it!!! One day I will find more :) I believe in good Karma. And it sure made a pretty blog header!

I'll try to keep a hold on my blogger cap this time. I have another laptop, so it should be better for me. I've been lost without my laptop, and the desktop computer just doesn't do it for me.

I do have a few choices, after all, and this is just a few of the hats I wear...errrr except the first one lol I left it there.

Welcome back to Paradise....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Home Away From Home

First, I want to thank you all for stopping by! I meant to do it in my last post, but you know how absent minded I can be. Sorry, but I think it's getting worse lol. Old age I guess :)

Hubby and I have been talking about having a motor home for a few years. We always try to find a room with a kitchenette at the beach, so a motor home is perfect for us. We actually thought we wanted a Class C, but after looking at them, and the lack of space, we ended up getting a Class A Coach. It's not brand new, but is in great shape, with low miles. There's room for us, and our 3 fur kids! Which is one of the  reasons we got it :)

Can ya tell I took these from Hubby's Facebook? LOL

It's 34 ft long, not too big, not too small.

Sometimes we have an amazing view of the ocean! This is just a little way above Flagler, in Beverly Beach. 

This is a really nice spot in Crystal River. It's 4 miles to the beach from here. We will be using the canal that runs through the park to take us to the bay for scalloping this summer. We've reserved our spot for the entire season (for the weekends). We are so excited! 

Of course, men LOVE gadgets, so hubby bought this fancy navigation, full color back up camera (besides the black & white it came with) radio, CD/DVD player. And whatever else it does. Oh yeah! It's blue tooth and plays our iPods and iPhones. Our son in law came over and installed it. 

You know I had to put my personal beachy touch to it to make it really feel like home!

This comforter covered in coral and shells makes me very happy! And it's white! Which means when we have the fur kids with us, we keep the bedroom door closed to keep them off the bed. A set of Egyptian cotton sheets make us feel right at home :)
I've already done away with the black pillows. They had some red on the other side. They did not make me happy. I'm looking for accent pillows, and I'm still looking for something to hang in the big blank space over the bed. Finding these will make me happy, too :)

I've hung some starfish, and put some shells and things on little shelves, but I'll have to show you the rest of the inside after I take more pictures. Hubby is getting ready to lay some cool wood looking flooring. It's what they are using in motor homes these days, and we do so hate carpet. It's on order and should be here any day. I know he's excited to play with that and get it done! I'm pretty excited to see it, too!

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