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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Washington Oaks Gardens ~ A Little Piece of Paradise

I really enjoyed my walk through this park, but would recommend going in the spring, fall, or a nice winter day. NOT in the middle of a hot humid Florida summer! At least the gardens area...there was a nice breeze on the beach, and there's enough beach to set up a canopy. I will take one of my sun shades next time.

I'm only going to give you a glimpse of the gardens, as I didn't take photos of every copse of trees, or every grouping of plants....or the rose garden.

The entrance and property was once the private winter residence of The Young's, and was along the original A1A.

I love when natural elements are used in landscaping and building(s).

These came from the nearby beach.

Unfortunately I cut off some of the words.

One of my favorite things was this staghorn fern.


There were several around the park just like this!

These are the feet. This plant propagates by growing a new one, called a pup. I would love to have a big staghorn!

Another thing that made me say WOW, was this palm growing in an old oak tree.


The Koi Pond was another favorite~

These fish are big! There were a few big catfish in here, too.

Bamboo, many types of ferns & palms, tropical plants, and flowers are everywhere.


This is Plumbago in front, and some type of Ginger or Canna's behind. Guess I need to go back and see for sure lol.

When you reach the end of the pathway, you are at the river/inlet.

I wanted to get down there, but it was blocked off. There were rocks covered with shells!

Probably would have hurt myself anyway, rofl!

Down the other side, people were fishing, and boats would go by.

We left from here, and made a beeline to the beach!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beach Days and Recovery Mode

Wow, it's been a long time since I was here! I'm sorry. Sometimes, I have no control over my health, or lack of it. Lupus truly sucks. I'm still not 100%, but feeling a tad better most days. Blah! I would do so much better if I just stayed my ass home, and didn't go anywhere. But who can do that 24/7??? I do like to get out once in a while, lol.

I did have some fun beach days before I went into recovery mode ;) but I was gluten poisoned on a Gulf beach by a fake hamburger patty, and have been sick ever since. I won't be eating from the beach food trucks again. ugh! It's a good thing the Gulf was the last outing we did during that weekend, lol.

I didn't find great shells, but I did find some neat pieces and small shells, and regular ole clams, arks, a couple of augers, and ceriths and such.

We visited Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, but that's another post on it's own. Part of this park is across the road from the gardens, and is the Atlantic Ocean! Which is one of the reasons I chose this park to visit!

It was a beautiful day to be on the beach!

And this is what drew me to this park, besides that it has a beach. The Coquina rocks are amazing!

I'd like to go back in the fall when it's not quite so hot & humid. I want to explore some more, and this is where I found all the very smooth pieces of shell.

Our Goddaughter was visiting at this time with her father, who is a good friend of ours from Idaho.
She turned 15 in Florida, and had the vacation of a lifetime. Her daddy spoils her big time ;)

She's such a cutie, and a sweetie too! Love this girl!
She loved Florida, and will most definitely be back! This was her first time seeing the ocean, so we made sure she saw the Atlantic, and the Gulf! I just wish there had been better shells to find. There's always next time, right?!

We also visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse while on the east coast, and so close to it. I made a photo into a watercolor with my app.

One of these days I will find a perfect spot to stand to get the entire lighthouse. I wanted the top of it for sure, so cut the bottom off. I still love it though! I took a lot of pictures at the lighthouse, again, lol I always do. This is one of my favorite lighthouses! If you are in the area, you  must visit!

There is so much to see and do in Florida, and I hope to cram in as much as I can! Even if it means days or weeks of recovery.

The actual gardens in the park (across the road from the beach) was a real delight. I did take several pictures, and could have taken more. There was so much beauty!

That is my next post...

and my raised garden beds, and sea themed gazing ball. That ball has been a long, slow process. I can't wait to move on to the next project!

I did make some Etsy purchases recently, and they are stellar! I also received a very cool & special gift, and I must share that with you too!

What are your must do's for this summer?

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?

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