It was a rainy Saturday here in Florida, the results of a tropical depression on the other side of the Gulf. With all the craziness going on I think we have forgotten that we are still in the middle of hurricane season. Idunn kept me company while I worked on an assignment that I have due on Monday. It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow and most of the week. The upside is that it should be cooler.
I love taking sunrise photos over our stadium. Most of the time they are pink and orange but this has been a favorite recently. I took this the morning after an overnight rainstorm.
We finally had a beautiful day here on the west coast of Florida yesterday. Amanda and I took advantage and went to the local Dia de los Muertos Festival in the Village of the Arts. Their huge shrine this year was dedicated to the the 2000 tons of sea life that has died along our coast due to red tide this year. We also took a little tour of the galleries and in one area got mother/daughter henna, picked up some local honey from Myakka Gold Apiary (ooh, and sampled and purchased some creamed honey…so good!).
I have been itching to get to my ‘local’ yarn store, A Good Yarn, and by local, meaning a nearly 40 minutes drive in Sunday traffic.I did buy some pretty yarn for a scarf for my mother in law, but I’m not showing the yarn or the color, even though she knows I’m knitting her one, some yarn that reminded me of fall. NO clue when or if I will get to knit it, but I liked it, so it came home with me.I then spent some time browsing Barnes and Noble, but shocker, didn’t buy a single thing! I did get some new ideas for magazines that I’d like to try. I should have purchased them while I was there, but maybe that is the excuse I need to go back. My nearest bookstore is a Books a Million and it just doesn’t have the same feel as a Barnes and Noble. Is that weird? Does anyone else feel that way? Of course, my preferred bookstore would be an independent one, but those are few and far between here, which is just shocking to me. I could go to Tampa, but that is just as far as driving into Sarasota! While on my way home, I took a detour to St. Armands Circle and picked up hubby some macarons. He loves them and it’s been months since I’ve picked him up any as I don’t get to our local mall to get any. I’ve noticed that if I can’t get it delivered or I can just pick it up, I don’t get out much. There are some benefits to that, but I think that I would risk missing out on some lovely local shops if I continue to do that
Oh! I’m knitting on the Weigh it Yowza 4 by Susan B. Anderson. I’ve been knitting on this for over a year…well, actually, NOT knitting, but I’ve picked it back up and am determined to finish it up so I can wear it next month when we do get some cooler weather and I can wear it. Tomorrow is back to work, but I also have a board meeting to attend in Orlando on Friday and puppy raiser day to photograph on Saturday. Good thing we have the following Monday off in honor of Veteran’s Day.
How was your weekend?
Way back in 2004, this blog started out as a knitting blog and as a way to keep my family back in Louisiana and Georgia updated. I started out on Blogger, then moved to Typepad, and then finally to a hosted website. I’ve got versions of this blog saved on my server, but some content was lost in the migration from Typepad years ago. Actually, I should see if my Typepad account is still active..or even if they still exist. Anyway, it was through Hurricane Knitters (do they still exist?) on the internet that I met up with who would turn out to be my first friends in Florida, Linda and Kathleen. (the blog came later). Funny story, that was just so Linda, The first time we met up (for the life of me, I can’t remember where that was, but maybe a Starbucks, but for some reason, Troyer’s Dutch Kitchen is sticking in my head, but that can’t be right) Linda took one look at this hat I was knitting for my then toddler niece and declared that I was knitting wrong. She was absolutely right, I WAS! I had taught myself to knit from the internet and books and I was knitting through the back loop! Everything was twisted! Linda was very direct…she was a native of New Jersey after all, but she was such a great resource and willing to share her vast knowledge with us. She had a stash ROOM in her house that would make a yarn store envious and when she traveled to South America, she brought me back some beautiful green yarn that I can’t bear to knit or part with. You see, Linda died of lung cancer in 2011 and no matter how many times I clean out my bins of yarn, that yarn goes back in the bin. One day I’ll make something from it and think of Linda every time I do. I also have some yarn that was dyed in her honor by Three Irish Girls for A Good Yarn in Sarasota, and one day, I’ll knit some socks, because Linda was the one that talked me into taking the plunge into sock knitting.
I miss my friend Kathleen, who up and moved to Colorado where she can actually wear what she knits! I am so envious of all of her photos of real fall and snow in the winter. (And her chickens!) I don’t know how I would fare with the snow, but I’d like to at least knit more than socks and the occasional wrap that I can use maybe two months out of the year. She was and still is a great source of inspiration to me and one of my greatest cheerleaders when I decided to go crazy and host a swap called the Hurricane Sock Party Anyone who reads this remember that? I believe that had to be 2005 or 2006 and that got written up in Southern Living. (PS, she’s from New Jersey too!) . Linda, Kathleen and I used to have the best time together and I hope to get out an visit her some day.
I mention Linda and Kathleen specifically because they were my my first knitter friends, and who were the first ones who encouraged my knitting and taught me really how to knit. I made some awesome friends through knitting and through the internet. Some I’m still friends with to this day, and some we are no longer in touch, which makes me sad for many reasons.
I think what I’m missing most is the knitting community as it used to be on the internet. Maybe it’s still there, I don’t know. I know the days of blogs have seemed to have waned, but I think it might be making a comeback. Maybe I’ve been away too long, and it’s still there, I’m just not as into as I was before I had a full time job. I know Ravelry was a game changer for the knitting community. I don’t know what I’m looking for or why I’m out of sorts. Maybe I’m looking to simplify things, maybe I want to go back to life when I blogged, knit, and read books. I don’t know, maybe I have way too much on my plate right now and I just want things to be like they used to. Maybe I just need to reassess my life, and figure out what it is important. (Don’t we all?! lol) Anyway, enough with me thinking out loud, if you have any knitting blogs that are worth following, leave a comment. I’d love to be inspired again.
I was remiss in posting yesterday, but hopefully this will make up for it. I shot Puppy Raiser Day at Southeastern Guide Dogs yesterday. Puppy Raiser day happens with a dog is matched with a handler and the people that raised the dog gets to come meet the new handler and see the pup that they raised. Here Mendy (on the right) is looking down at Wrigley, a Golden Retriever, that she raised. To the left is Wrigley’s new handler. They became fast friends and I know they will continue to stay in contact.
Today, I met up with Chip and Chris and Irwin to take some photos of Irwin before he goes back for formal training in a couple of week. We headed up to Tampa to the Riverwalk area and explored Armature Works and had lunch at Ulele.
The guy up top is real and is pedaling his bike to make gin.
While we were waiting for our table at Ulele, Irwin made a friend and showed off his cuteness.
My lunch, Chip’s lunch and Chip’s Frose’
Dog sculptures and a Humpty Dumpty sits atop Ulele…hope he doesn’t have a great fall!
Around Ulele, there are these vintage storybook characters. The owner of the restaurant spent $100,000 restoring them after he bought the characters from the now closed Fairyland area at Lowry Park Zoo. I loved seeing these decorating the area. In addition to Humpty Dumpty, there’s the Three Little Pigs, Jack and Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland. I highly suggest that you get to Ulele a little earlier than you plan to eat and explore. It’s so pretty and peaceful. You forget that you are in the middle of Tampa.
Well, that was my weekend. I have a guest blogger post going up on another blog soon. I’ll let you know when that’s up and you can check that out. Hope everyone had a great weekend and I’ll see you tomorrow!
I love Fall. I love the idea of Fall. I love the crunchy leaves, I love the long sleeve shirts, I love the boots, and the scarves and the wood smoke, and the bonfires..and record scratch…..I live in Florida. Southwest Florida to be exact—where Mother Nature is having a hot flash and thinks we all need Summer to continue.
My idea of what Fall should look like.
What Florida looks like for the next week…well, the next two weeks.
There’s so much wrong with this picture. Ninety! Ninety degrees in OCTOBER! This is ridiculous. This is July and August weather. We should be in the 80s by now. Alas, this is what I get for living in the tropics, or this year, an extra bonus– red tide that prevents us from going near the beaches. So, what’s a Fall-loving gal to do?
She decorates the outside of her classroom.
Voila! Instant Fall. My students thought I was nuts, but my coworkers love it.
On a positive note, I am headed to Washington D.C. next weekend for a conference and maybe I’ll get a little bit of Fall weather. I won’t have much time to sightsee, but I’m going to try and get to the National Archives and maybe the Mall. For all of you who live in areas that don’t get much Fall weather, what do you do to make it feel like Fall?
Last week, my inlaws came into town from Atlanta and not wanting to sit around and stare at each other all day, we took a short, 25 minute trip over the Skyway into downtown St. Petersburg to the recently opened Chihuly Collection on Central Avenue.
I have loved the work of Chihuly for years and it is such a joy to be able to see some of his pieces up close. The original Chihuly Collection was located a little farther south on Beach Drive, but October saw a new, dedicated building open. The space is open and airy, and the rooms where the sculptures are located are kept dim with specialized lighting illuminating each piece.
This one is probably my two favorite shots of the day. (All of these photos were taken with my iPhone 7plus…I didn’t want to take my Canon 6d..fear of banging it into something…lol)
Joel said this one reminded him of a balloon animal!
After our trip through the Collection, we walked across the street to the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio and Hot Shop. Your ticket to the Chihuly Collection also includes the glass blowing demonstration at the Hot Shop. You MUST go. This is a wonderful 30 minutes demonstration where a piece of art glass is made from start to finish. The two gentlemen who gave the demonstration were so entertaining and spent time afterwards answering all of our questions. My husband enjoyed it so much that he wants to go and take one of the glassblowing classes. I took a ton of photos, so I put them in a couple of collages plus two of my favorites.
Paulie clearly loves what he does.
After the twirling, he ended up with this:
Tools of the trade.
And finally, after all that, we had lunch then headed back home, but first we had to stop at our favorite dessert bar, Swah-rey. Hands down, Swah-rey has the best cake, minis, tea, coffee and best of all…Pupcakes for the pooches. We almost always make a stop on our way out of St. Pete, and as you can see, Swah-rey minis make Amanda a happy girl.
If you are in the St. Pete area, give these places a visit. Click the links for more info.
If you’d like to see more of my day to day photos, please follow me on Social Media. I’m fairly active on Instagram! You can click on the icons at the top of the page.
(Not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share things that I love.)
Several months ago, my friend Chip at Oceans and Lands Custom Travel Planners let me know that he was headed to my neck of the woods to explore the Village of the Arts in the middle of Bradenton. Since it had been years since I’ve explored that area and a west vancouver realtor recommend us this was an area with great value, my husband and I decided to join him and Chris for the afternoon. The VOTA website describes the area like this: “The Village is an eclectic mix of early 20th century residential bungalows, Florida Cracker homes, and later additions. The neighborhood features a legal commercial overlay, which enables a rare live/work/play mix. Village boundaries stretch from 9th Ave West to 17th Ave West between 9th St West and 14th St West. Over 275 individual properties are within the Village. McKechnie Field, voted Florida’s best minor league ballpark is a block away, and downtown Bradenton and the Riverwalk, are within easy walking distance?.”
As the VOTA covers a large area, take a tip from my husband and snap a photo on your phone for easier reference. Thank goodness we did, because you can get turned around if you are too busy chatting with your friend. (cough…me….cough).
First things first, we were there for lunch and Chip had done some research and wanted to eat at Ortygia, a Sicilian restaurant owned by Chef Gaetano.
We were a little on the late side for lunch, it was nearly two, so we were a little concerned when no one was inside. Chef Gaetano popped his head of of the kitchen and welcomed us with open arms. Everything looked so good that we had a hard time deciding, so the chef sat down at our table (he also personally took our order and served us) and suggested options to each of us. He was so fun to talk to and we all said that we would go back. From what I have heard, his tiny restaurant can be difficult to get into on the weekends, especially during snowbird season.
Don’t let the tiny yellow house deceive you. Chef Gaetano served up some of the best Sicilian food that I have ever had. He even managed to please my super picky husband, who lived in Sicily and is very particular about food that claims to be true Italian.
Everything was so delicious that Scout, a guide dog puppy in training, wanted to see what Chris was eating. If you have a puppy I recommend getting the best bedding for outdoor dog house there is.
As we were leaving, we ‘lost’ Chip. We wandered on down the street before we realized that he wasn’t with it. Turns out, he snuck in the kitchen to talk to the chef who was prepping for dinner.
If I remember correctly, this was a lamb dish. It smelled heavenly. (We also had dessert, but we all forgot to take a photo.)
Afterwards, in an effort to walk off lunch, we took a stroll through the village to check out the sites. As you can see, there are lots of colorful galleries and yard art. Sadly, lots of the galleries had closed for the day, but we all agreed that we would like to come back when it was cooler and participate in one of the many Art Walks that they stage. I think we managed to wear Chris and Scout out. I would highly recommend having lunch or dinner at Ortygia, it is worth the drive. Check out the Village of the Arts website for a calendar of upcoming events.
Thirty years ago, I was a in eighth grade at Dry Prong Jr. HIgh. As it happened, I was home sick on a cold January day. Mom told me to lie down on the couch with my book. (something by John Jakes I think) The television was on and it was airing the live broadcast of the Space Shuttle Challenger lift-off. Mom went off to do something and I went back to my book. The announcers counted down, the lift-off happened and I glanced at the television. A minute later, I heard the announcers say that something was wrong. I yelled for Mom, she came in and we watched as bits and pieces of shuttle floated back to earth. This was WAY before the internet and we didn’t have twenty-four hour news in Dry Prong yet, so we stayed glued to NBC. Mom went to the kitchen to call dad and tell him and we continued to watch to get any news that we could. It was such an awful feeling knowing that you just watched seven people die on live television. The image of those solid rocket boosters going in opposite directions and debris floating in the clear blue sky, is something that sticks with you and for every launch after that, I would always wait for Mission Control to give the command “Go at throttle up” and breathe a sigh of relief once that moment passed. I can’t believe that it’s been 30 years, but I can remember like it was yesterday. I don’t think I will ever forget President Reagan’s touching tribute to the astronauts and his eloquence at trying to put into words what many felt. I still get chills and a lump in my throat when I listen to it. Every one of these astronauts, as well as the ones who came before, and the ones who came after are heroes and should be remembered.
Francis R. Scobee – Mission Commander
Michael J. Smith – Pilot
Ellison S. Onizuka – Mission Specialist 1
Judith A. Resnik – Mission Specialist 2
Ronald E. McNair – Mission Specialist 3
Christa McAuliffe – Payload Specialist 1, Teacher in space
Gregory B. Jarvis – Payload Specialist 2