Saturday, July 31, 2010 the Hockley Valley

I can more than understand volunteering for something and then wondering where my brain was afterwards. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Reality is always worse than my imagination and my sensible side of my brain. But, Sara, when you get your costumes finished, without having a nervous breakdown over it, please make sure we see Peter Pan, Wendy and chorus.

Marion, what a huge mound of blankets that were collected last year. I hope this year is as good. I loved your photo. It spoke reams of work, words and kindness.

Today it was supposed to be sunny all day and son Michael and his family, two step-sons, one young and very determined energetic two and a half year old daughter, one friend of the boys and two parents are here for the day enjoying the pool and Grandpa Jock's Blue Ray thing-a-mabob on his new television. The pool has had a good workout, the pingpong table downstairs has been in use, including the Royal and Ancient two-holer (golf-tee) in the front of the property and including the consumption of one two-layer chocolate cake. It's wonderful to hear noise and have company. But, Marion, there are times when visiting in our kids houses that it's good to have an escape home.

Fran, you certainly have a traveling family. You wonder where they'll all end up.


The heat has affected my mind

I truly must have lost my mind. I volunteered last week to make costumes for the play Peter Pan, that our church music director is putting on. I didn't know there would be so many costumes. Wood faries, pirates, lost boys, Wendy, John and Michael, and so on.
Hopefully I can recruit some help this coming week. Am meeting with Mr. music director on Monday to go over his/my ideas, and the pictures I got off of the internet.
Yesterday I went to Jo-Ann's and spent 2 hrs. getting some swatches and looking at patterns. Not that it is a burden, I love spending time there.
The temp reached 102 at our airport yesterday! I think this is a record for our part of Florida.
I'll keep everyone posted on the progress of the meeting.
Sara in Fla.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


MARION: Your organisation should be very proud of the work that you do - what a great pile of blankets, and some beautifully crocheted ones in there, I see. I hope you can get up to Auckland soon and have a family fix.

BEE: I hope your computer and internet connection start to work properly soon!

All my boys are on home soil again, although DS#3 and DDIL are a further 9-10 hours' drive away than before, in Melbourne. They are loving it, and planning what to do when DH and I visit them in September, plus a possible family get-together over Christmas! DS#1 is safely home from his 5 months studying in Prague and 3 weeks travelling around Asia. DS#2 had 10 days in LA and Las Vegas through work and enjoyed it immensely. I just wish I was close enough to spend an evening with them hearing about their adventures, instead of a half hour chat over the phone.......

My brother from Darwin (the other side of the continent) visited for 2 nights this week, with his DW. He's very into genealogy and introduced me to a couple of programs and internet sites where we found some family information he wasn't familiar with. It's very 'moreish' and I think I will be doing a lot more once I retire (in 5 months time!)

Off to get warm in front of the heater.
Hugs to all........sending cooling breezes to those who need them!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Packing day !

This was taken last year, when we were packing the blankets . We had the use of a warehouse for the day. Can't remember the numbers but I will make a note of them this year, they are always impressive.
My day improved ! The sun came out and I even spotted a solitary yellow crocus out in my garden ! Off out tonight to a local production of "Faulty Towers" ! That will be interesting!

What's going on in my life ???

Not a lot, to be honest !! It IS winter time, I keep reminding myself, but I am impatient for the warm and fine weather and am missing my days in the garden and walking along the beach...sigh...

We should be planning a trip up to Auckland to see the family, but they seem to be dealing with "issues" at the moment and it's probably better for us to leave them to it !! Nothing too serious but issues with the children and "I wants.." I don't need to be drawn into that !

I've been spinning wool and knitting up little jerseys for sending overseas to orphans in Eastern Europe ! There is an organisation called "Operation Cover- up" that I support. Every year we gather literally hundreds of peggy square blankets, and other knitted goods, to send over. We have a great team who inspire many people to knit these squares for the blankets. Our oldest supporter is well into her nineties. Other people crochet them together to make beautiful blankets, yet others unpick woolens from the Op. shops to maintain our source of the raw product ! We involve the mentally handicapped, the elderly and infirm and anybody who is able and willing to help.. It's coming up for packing day, so I will take some photos. We pack them into wool packs and ship them over. It costs $4 for a blanket to be shipped over, well worth the money for such colourful and warm blankets for the children. We have had videos of the arrival of these packs and it is lovely to see the excitement on the childrens faces and the transformation of their crowded bedrooms.. Apart from that, I have been spasmodically working on a wall-hanging, not that enthusiastically, it's too cold in the sewing room !

Lots of coughs and colds doing the rounds. So far we have got by without any . DH is still enjoying his golf, he bought a little fun and inexpensive trophy , so the three guys play for that each week. He brought it home this week with a big grin and, as they can't play for the next three weeks, it will be sitting on our mantle-piece for awhile !

Time to go. I have to be at a meeting in half an hour and there is frost on the road so I need to be careful.

Have a good day.

Florida Springs

Oh, gosh, now I'm supposed to be some type of expert. Yes, the springs are all fresh water. I suppose that years ago the indians found them and lived around them for the fresh, cold water.
Although I have only visited a few, they are all supposed to be 72 degrees year round. Most of them have indian names. We have a State of Florida State Park guide ( which lists all the parks devided in regions. Not all the parks are springs, and not all the springs are state parks, some are privately owned. Silver Springs is probably the most famous spring, because years ago the Tarzan movies were filmed there. The land around the Silver Spring is privately owned, there are the glass bottom boats there. The river that runs out of the spring is called the Silver River, which is a beautiful place, and open to the public. I have have seen 1 or two small gators there (we were in our kayaks) they are mostly hiding in the weeds, and fallen logs and don't bother anyone. I wouldn't take my small dog there, or swim there.(This is located in the Ocala, Fla. region, which is famous for horse farms, and is also a big retirement area for snow birds.)

The northwest, northeast, and central regions of Fla. have the most springs, as far as I can tell.
There is even a Ponce de Leon Spring, named after Juan Ponce de Leon who led the first Spanish expedition to Fla. in 1513. This was thought to be his "fountain of youth". This is located a long way from St. Augustine, on US hwy. 10 between Marianna and Pensacola.
Some of the springs are thought to be connected underground, and most all of them in the North part of the state feed into Suwannee River. We were so disapointed when we found the river is the color of strong tea, due to the leaves and fallen trees.

We have also been to Blue Springs, Manatee Blue Springs (in a different area) and Rainbow Springs. Since we have only taken up kayaking in the last few years, we are still exploring.
To make things even more confusing, some of the names of the springs are similar. Thee is a De Leon Spring, not to be confused with the Ponce De Leon Spring, in another area.

That is about the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I believe all the rivers in Fla. come from the springs and flow either into the Gulf of Mexico, or a lake, or some to the Atlantic ocean.
Fishermen love the rivers and lakes.
I'm going to post on the other board about costumes I volunteered to make for the "Peter Pan" play at our church, and need advice.
Sara in Fla. ---who in no way is any kind of expert on the subject

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Sara, thanks for the ongoing history lesson about Florida. I am not familiar with this area at all and it's been fun reading up about the river on the internet. A long ago Spanish/Native American settlement, I assumed from the word 'springs' that it was not a salt water river, unusual, I think, in Florida? I wondered why people would go tubing down a river in Florida because of the alligators nipping at their bottoms but they must not exist in spring fed waters or do they?

The board here is lagging behind again with few postings and I'm hoping this won't mean the disappearance of the Chat Board eventually. I enjoy 'tuning' in first thing in the morning and it's always a pleasure to read about the different parts of the world from our participants here. In Canada, for example, a salt water river would be an anomaly. I'm not entirely up on my geography, so if any Canadians know of a salt water river here, please let me know. Spring fed rivers and lakes are the norm up here. I wondered when Sara mentioned that the water was cold, especially in Florida and in the summertime, so that was another clue for me aside from the name springs...which also could mean salt water springs.

Bee, keep trying to least we know you're still alive and kicking.

Thunderstorms called for here later in the day but right now, the air is deliciously fresh with softly blowing winds but the incoming rain can be felt. This is the kind of weather I could live in year round. The sun is bright, it's not too warm, not too cool, the grass is green, the goldfinches and chickadees are at my bird feeding station and Wednesday mornings friends, Beckie & Joan faithfully meet with me to sit and quilt. Well....sit and talk, sit and drink herbal tea...sit and read quilting magazines...we do pick up a needle and thread once in awhile.

So now how about some more posts, you folks out there in various parts of the world. What is going on in your lives?


Monday, July 26, 2010

love it

Love the name . It must be a pretty place to have a name like that. Hugs Bee in NZ

Sunday, July 25, 2010

doing dumb things

We didn't know it would be dumb when we started out.
Another couple and a single gal and DH and I went to the Ichetucknee Springs state park and river to kayak. We planned 2 weeks in advance to stay overnight Fri. knowing that Sat. in the summer is busy on the river. OK, spent the night, got to the entrance of the park at 7:55, they opened at 8:00. Already about 8 cars ahead of us with tubes tied to the back.
What was I thinking? Dumb me. Kayaking in a tubing river! First we had to unload them, the the driver of the vehicle had to park in another area, take the tram back. This took about 1 hr. One of the girls and I took one kayak at a time to the river entrance area. About a 1/4 mile, but each kayak is about 60 lbs.
When the guys came back they took the double kayak (about 75 or 80 lbs.) down.
While we were waiting for the 2 guys to return, spoke to a park ranger who said this was the busiest day in history. 750 people using the entrance here, they started turning people away at 8:30 AM.
That's enough detail, sort of like driving on the interstate in rush hour. Only pretty.
The river was beautiful, the water grand, cold, but the day was 95 so it felt good. Some shade.
I guess you don't know until you try. We have a good story to tell about this "adventure".
DH even had me drive home, which he wouldn't do if he was feeling good. He rested today, and is OK now.
Sara in Fla.

Sort of back ....I think

I thought I had fixed this thing and wrote a long letter then lost it before I could post it. I am not going to write it again but know I am thinking of all of you and will post little notes more often then if it throws a wobbly it won't matter. Hugs from a still wet and cool NZ, it must be getting better as the birds are all starting to sing and if that blackbird right outside my bedroom window doesn't set his alarm to a more decent hour he will be in big trouble.Hugs Bee in NZ