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All Things EARTH... part 2


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Melody...your patio looks wonderful! You're going to have so many wonderful days there! Les looks very proud of himself...as he should. Landscaping is hard work...OMG...I know you said you were sore too from all the rock moving around that you did. We have been doing landscaping ourselves and so I know exactly what you are talking about.

 

We've been trying to move forward with the natural pool idea and we've run into a bit of a snag in the whole design...the dreaded pool safety statutes. It's a major problem really because the whole idea of what we are trying to do is basically have the swimming "pool" be more pond-like in appearance and in fact, the appropriate builders for it are pond builders more than pool builders because the construction process is basically a modified pond more than anything...and figuring out how to have the pool safety measures in place is challenging.

 

We figure we need to tackle the backyard as a whole...because the pool design will need to address the grading of the yard and the removal of so much earth could mean a redistribution of it or full removal...it all depends and so...the backyard is still just a mess.

 

Meanwhile...the front yard fruit guild is finally all planted and mulched. The trees and bushes are on drip irrigation. All that remains is for me to plant the spots where we incorporated some compost/manure where I plan to plant squashes and melons...and let the vines sprawl all around. I'm planning on starting some other plants from seed...by common name, lavender, black-eyed susans, coneflowers, cosmos...and then once they are ready...to plant them in the butterfly mailbox garden and in the fruit guild.

 

The cinder block gardens are going strong...here's our Grace kitty...

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You can see the drip lines in the beds and in the "pots". The beds are all mixed beds with my first attempts at interplanting. The nearest bed has tomatoes, calendula, french marigolds and basil in the bed...all started from seed. The flowers are nasturtiums...and there's herbs and other things in the pots. The larger bushy green in the far pots are cilantro. And at the bottom of the photo are blueberries...which are in the fruit guild.

 

I've been having so much fun with the gardening...it's a lot of work...but it is very rewarding. I have fun photographing everything too...just to share...

 

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I especially love the blueberries!! Fascinating to see them develop...

 

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On 4/1/2021 at 7:13 PM, PurpleHays said:

I lived in Norco/Corona in Riverside County in the 80s with the ex and when the oldest was a toddler, then in Merced/Atwater in the ?Central/San Juaquin? Valley (also in the 80s) while I was active in the Air Force. Castle AFB is closed now.  My older daughter lived in Irvine and lives in Sonoma County now. She's in law, so she spends some time in Sacramento.  She loves it there--other than the cost of living. I am somewhat familiar with both those area.

 

My BFF lives in the greater STL area, so I get friends living far away. At least it's easier to keep in touch now that when we had to write letters.

 

My Great Grandma lived in Lake Elsinore...and in the 80s I would go visit her every summer. I would fly alone to the Orange County airport. I'm pretty sure that we drove through your area on the way. What I remember most is that there was a road that Grandma and I called the PEU road...as in Peeeeeeyouuuu...because it stank so bad with all the cow fields on either side. Grandma took the country roads and avoided the freeways if she could. She also was leery of the air conditioning causing the car to overheat so she didn't use it much...and we would have the windows down and would take turns playing out taking deep breaths and saying....pppppeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuu.

 

I left CA when I went to TX for college and basically determined that I didn't want the CA lifestyle of the high cost of living and the hours of commuting in the traffic and haven't lived in CA since then.

 

We have extended family in STL. My Grandmother on my Dad's side and her sisters were all born there and many of my cousins are still there, but I haven't been in touch with them for years. 

 

It is much easier to keep in touch with friends living far away. I don't do FB or other social media but I find that texting is the best. Especially across time zones...having a rolling conversation is usually a happy part of my day.

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Anita, fabulous garden...you’re going to need to have a farmer’s stand to help you get use of everything!!!  How I envy you your growing season!!  My salvia is just showing a tiny bit of green!!!  Nasturtiums are great eating!

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Anita, your gardening skills are amazing! Melody is right, you will need a farm stand or neighbors who don’t have the green thumb that you do! 
 

Grace kitty is so pretty! It looks like she’s making sure everything meets with her approval.

 

BTW, thej Raman recipe sounds good and it must have been lots of fun sharing the prep with DS.  Your birthday pics are great-looks like a very enjoyable celebration.

 

Since I’m just catching up here-Margaret, great zoo pictures.. You always take the best pics.

Sharon

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Melody and Sharon...so funny! I am planning on sharing with my neighbors. I even daydream a bit about putting a little sign at our neighborhood entrance but idk if I will actually have that much extra. I have already shared radishes.

 

In 2019 I think, the Florida senate passed a bill that says that no local authority can restrict any homeowners rights to grow food for personal sustenance in their front yard. That’s kind of a typical HOA thing...and some cities....but now those restrictions are unlawful. It doesn’t seem to be a well known bill...I think it’s a bill...Senate 86 or something...maybe a statute? Is there a difference? Whatever. 
 

At the very latest, this weekend I’m going to start my 3 sisters garden. Melody, the Florida growing season is blowing my mind. My garden is actually way behind...I didn’t know that I could have started all the cold weather vegetables in late December, early January....and I didn’t get started until February! 
 

Grace kitty is loving the new house. We’ve been trying to train her as to what her territory is. There are some outside cats that live in the cul de sac...some feed them and someone got them fixed? And anyway, it’s very funny to us because we have Alpha kitty and she’s wants friends and to be with the other cats so badly but they are defensive and so Grace is looking like a bully because she’s just not scared. 😂 She stays around our house and doesn’t wander too much....I had to yell for her yesterday evening and she came running! And walked into the house so it’s all going well. She was a rescue and is very at home outside. Our previous kitty, Toby, never was a real outside cat...but we let him out in the backyard when he was older and funny enough, he would still come back into the house to use his litter box 😂 

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:42 AM, Anita Latte said:

 

My Great Grandma lived in Lake Elsinore...and in the 80s I would go visit her every summer. I would fly alone to the Orange County airport. I'm pretty sure that we drove through your area on the way. What I remember most is that there was a road that Grandma and I called the PEU road...as in Peeeeeeyouuuu...because it stank so bad with all the cow fields on either side. Grandma took the country roads and avoided the freeways if she could. She also was leery of the air conditioning causing the car to overheat so she didn't use it much...and we would have the windows down and would take turns playing out taking deep breaths and saying....pppppeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuu.

 

I left CA when I went to TX for college and basically determined that I didn't want the CA lifestyle of the high cost of living and the hours of commuting in the traffic and haven't lived in CA since then.

 

We have extended family in STL. My Grandmother on my Dad's side and her sisters were all born there and many of my cousins are still there, but I haven't been in touch with them for years. 

 

It is much easier to keep in touch with friends living far away. I don't do FB or other social media but I find that texting is the best. Especially across time zones...having a rolling conversation is usually a happy part of my day.

My Dad's family is from Missouri, mostly down near Dexter/Sikeston. We lived in Jefferson County when I was a teen and my parents live in Howell County now. I've been in NC since 1987 and am pretty much settled here. I debated moving to STL or Denver when the ex and I split, but decided I had enough friends and one daughter here, so I didn't move.

 

CA is very expensive. My daughter isn't sure she'll ever own her own home. The one thing I miss is the abundant produce. Nothing else.

 

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Our 600 lb steel topped gazebo was delivered yesterday, the guys put it right in our garage. We were going to install Sat (& celebrate Les’s bday with the kids). Well, there’s going to be too much snow. We’ve postponed the install (& bbq & party) to next weekend.  Our granddaughter is happy as she’s at her dad’s this weekend & was going to miss out. Now I have to make 2 bday cakes...Melody 

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Margaret, I always love when you post fashion photos.  It is fun to see what is out there.  I do tend to like Michael Kors quite a bit, and I often find brown, olive, and this murky in between color.  I don't really buy designer clothes, but sometimes I get some good deals.  One thing I have noticed is that I have had my Michael Kors dresses a long time.

 

It is always fun to see different things, and to ask myself where I might wear something like that.  One thing I love about cruising is to make each day feel like it is a day I am embracing.  So it may be wearing the swimsuit I love, or the dress the dinner that I've been excited to wear.  Cruising is when I feel...special.

 

Anita, Grace Kitty is so cute.  I had cats for the longest time.  Sadly, they really set off my asthma.  My daughter and grandson have a cat, and when I was helping her get settled in her apartment, her cat really took a liking to me.  I very much enjoyed petting Lucifer, as he loves lots of attention.  My breathing didn't like it too much so I need to limit my time with him going forward.

 

I love all the veggies!  Except cilantro.  Lol.  We get a really big laugh out of it, but there isn't much I don't like.  I'm just not a fussy eater.  I eat everything.  Except cilantro.    Seriously though, I would live to grow lots of vegetables and herbs.  I would never have to doubt if it is a good idea or not because I eat a ton of vegetables, and I live adding spices and herbs when I cook.  

 

Our growing season is fairly short, and we have a lot of deer and groundhogs.  At my old house, we went to great lengths to not only fence in the garden, but to dig down into the ground all the way around it, and add large stones and chicken wire.  The deer jumped over it, and the groundhogs kept digging until they were past the obstacles.  They are so determined!

 

There are more animals here than my old house, so I haven't bothered to try a garden.  They eat a lot of my flowers but they leave my shrubs alone.  Do you have many animals to get into your garden, Anita?

 

Melody, your backyard will be the place to be this summer!  While we are currently focused on other things, we have started to save again for putting in a deck.  The dream deck is very large, with a covered section closer to the house with a hot tub.  then there is the open area.  You step off onto a stone path that leads to a fire pit with built in seating. 

 

The real deck will be a more moderate size and we likely won't have a fire pit.  The main reason is that our dogs want to be wherever we are, and they are terrified when we have a fire going.  We have found that we just don't do it anymore.  I would love to have a section that is covered though, and a modest hot tub.   

 

We have talked a lot about a patio but my yard is not flat.  I can put in a low level deck with one step to get to the ground, but one side will be higher off the ground so we likely will have a rail on that side.  Someday!

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Melody, the snow missed us.  We had temps in the upper 40s and rain.  I hope your snow melts soon!

 

I recall you stating you are using the Arlo security system.  I love how easy it was to install, and how you can buy what you need.  I have the panoramic camera for the back yard, which we haven't installed yet.  We are going to place a camera on the port as well.  We have three other cameras set up inside right now.  Two are just setting on shelves and work amazingly well.  We have one in the corner of the mudroom at the ceiling, and that too is working great.

 

My question is this: charging.  While the ones on the shelf are easy to attach to the charger and plug in, the ceiling level one isn't that convenient, and the other two will not be convenient either.  Do you use the solar charger?  How many cameras can the solar panel charge?  I just started looking at the website, but so far it doesn't give a ton of detail.  I also have concerns on how well it will work in the colder temps.  Any suggestions you can give will be great.

 

I have to tell you, it has been so funny to watch my dogs during the day.  Mason wanders aimlessly.  He's kind of nosy, and we now know why the mudroom closet door is sometimes open when we get home.  What is really funny is that since we put up the camera, he often opens it up a lot, so that it blocks the camera.  Almost like he knows he is being spied on.  🙂

 

I have been much more focused at the gym lately.  It isn't producing results as far as my weight goes, but I do feel better, and my shoulders and back have much better muscle tone.  I am starting to think more about my midriff section, which really resists firming up.  I'm looking at the exercise choices I make so that  I can improve that.

 

I am excited to see progress around the house, and I guess I want progress for me personally too.  

 

Since I stopped coloring my hair last fall, and I am trying to adjust to this new color and gray mix I have.  This isn't a color I have ever had before.  I know they say your color can change over time, especially when you start to go gray, but wow.  I don't love it, but at the same time, I embrace that it is mine.  My skin tone is the same, my eyes are still a strong olive green.  I don't plan to make any changes to what I buy color wise in clothing.  As soon as I get another cut and it continues to grow, I will post a picture.  I really wish the gray was more prominent.  I know a lot of people wouldn't say that, but I would love to have a section in the very front with a stronger presence.  I think it will get there on its own eventually.

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Laurie, we don’t have a ceiling camera, not sure I’ve seen that. The solar charger is great. We have it on one camera that is in the peak of our garage with the floodlight (sorry that’s a Ring not an Arlo). We have 2 Ring & 4 Arlo.  Our other outdoor cameras are mounted on trees within reach of Les’s ladder. The charges last 6-8 weeks, closer to 6 weeks in cold weather

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Got too cold & windy to finish the gazebo yesterday. We’ll finish it next weekend. Meanwhile we’re battening down the hatches for another snowstorm & single digits. Spent the morning covering rose bushes that are just greening up Melody

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I saw your post on the other thread Melody...that looks like a wonderful set up! I love outdoor rooms. That will be a great room.

 

I just got a new piece off Craigslist. I'm so excited because my stereo is finally behind glass again. I prefer storage like a barrister bookcase with the glass doors that keep all the kitty hair out LOL. I think my new media storage will look great in the same room with my library wall...whenever I can get that back from my friend that is using it in GA.

 

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So the big news is that I decided to dye my hair purple again...and this time I decided to go for it and do my whole head of hair.

 

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There's been some rubbing off on my pillow at night but I was pleasantly surprised by how the purple didn't affect my shower...I think it was easier to rinse the purple dye this time with shorter hair too.

 

And this past weekend, we went to a boat show up in Jacksonville. COVID has not been kind to my physique but here I am on a pontoon at the show...I'm wearing one of my rash guards and my Athleta skort because there was a change of rain...

 

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I'm like all into the purple thing...so wearing purple ISH shoes...my purple polarized sunglasses...you can't see my hoop earrings with the purple glass beads on them. There was a jewelry vender at the boat show, selling jewelry that was made in Scotland from heather gems which is a way to take the heather wood and dye it and put it together to form a "gem." No purple heather gems...but I did get this one...I'll show both sides of the pendant...

 

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Because of the whole "soft autumn" situation, silver jewelry is okay on me. I like the tree symbol...and I really appreciate the uniqueness of the heather gems.

 

I'm skimming through a book about what kind of organizer people tend to be. The author is an organizer and has been a "messy" person for most of their lives, unable to deal with traditional organization methods, and yet, this person is an organizer consultant...and anyway, the gist of the book is that there are 4 archetypes for the way that people like to have their stuff. It depends on your combination of visual vs hidden and simple vs detailed. A hidden detailed organization system is like a traditional filing cabinet or similar hidden storage system where things are broken down in more specific categories...so that filing system wouldn't just have "bills", like a simple system would. The detailed system will break down the bills into different categories.

 

The idea is that if you tend to appear to be "messy" and say, have a bunch of piles all over your desk, and generally you know what is in all your piles...you aren't necessarily messy, per se, you are what she calls a visual organizer and you want to see everything. You don't want things hidden, maybe because you think you'll forget about them. Another indication of whether you are visual or hidden is whether or not you prefer a calendar hanging somewhere and you put dates and things on that vs using software or a day planner.

 

Anyway...I'm sure Laurie that you would guess that I'm more visual. But I would say that I don't mind some things being hidden so long as it's only one layer of hiding. For instance, I can deal with my kitchen cabinets because open shelves get nasty if they are anywhere near a stove in the kitchen...so I don't fight that fact, but I want to be able to open the doors and see everything in the cabinet. I now am understanding why I don't have any problems with my bifold doors on the closets and why I'm kind of irritated that the sellers replaced the bifold doors in two bedrooms with the sliders so that only one side is revealed at a time. So buggin'.

 

We've been outfitting the house. Settling in more and more from all the moving...all the downsizing of furniture...finding pieces that will work specifically for this home and the functionality here. I mean, you hope that things might work elsewhere too...but you get what I'm saying. We ordered two swivel recliners from Wayfair. They are more streamlined than your typical recliner. And I'm excited about the swivel, which is what I wanted to flank the fireplace. Now I'm searching for what I am calling "day tables" which are kind of like nightstands for DH and I, one each for next to our recliners where we can keep stuff we often use...homes for things like iPads, current reading material, current projects, tools we may use a lot like certain pens, etc. I'll put cuticle cream in mine, maybe some other nail tools. That sort of thing. I have found what I want for my day table and it's called a Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet. It resembles my sideboard buffet and so I think it will also work really well in the room. I found one that's in my budget too but I'm not thrilled about going out in the rain. And it's finally raining!

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Anita, love the purple & your shorter hair, very becoming

 

I'm hoping Sally is ok, I miss chatting with her on the boards

 

Gazebo frame is covered with snow this morning. 17 degrees, it is the end of April, isn’t it???  Melody

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Melody, we are expected to just get a few inches of snow here.  Just when we get excited for warm weather, it seems winter comes back for a day or two.  

 

Anita, just think....my hair is going gray and yours is going purple.  🙂  I like the length of hair on you.  It must be easier for you to care for.  The nice thing about hair cuts is, if you don't love it, it grows out and you try something new.  Unless you're me.  Even when I tell my hairdresser I want something different, I end up with the same thing, lol.  She will, however go shorter if I ask her too.  And sometimes when  I don't ask her too.

 

Always hard to break up with your hairdresser.

 

That is a really pretty necklace.  

 

Great score on the stereo setup!  I know what you mean about the cat hair.  I had cats for years, and now I have the two dogs.   In my family room, I have the built ins and behind a few sets of doors I have pull out DVD storage, which I love.  They are convenient, dust free and hidden.

 

Is anyone else here having trouble find clothes they like this year?  For me, I need some pants/jeans and other bottoms, but everything seems to be high waisted, and that is just the worst fit for me.  

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On 4/20/2021 at 4:58 PM, laurspag said:

Melody, we are expected to just get a few inches of snow here.  Just when we get excited for warm weather, it seems winter comes back for a day or two.  

 

Anita, just think....my hair is going gray and yours is going purple.  🙂  I like the length of hair on you.  It must be easier for you to care for.  The nice thing about hair cuts is, if you don't love it, it grows out and you try something new.  Unless you're me.  Even when I tell my hairdresser I want something different, I end up with the same thing, lol.  She will, however go shorter if I ask her too.  And sometimes when  I don't ask her too.

 

Always hard to break up with your hairdresser.

 

That is a really pretty necklace.  

 

Great score on the stereo setup!  I know what you mean about the cat hair.  I had cats for years, and now I have the two dogs.   In my family room, I have the built ins and behind a few sets of doors I have pull out DVD storage, which I love.  They are convenient, dust free and hidden.

 

Is anyone else here having trouble find clothes they like this year?  For me, I need some pants/jeans and other bottoms, but everything seems to be high waisted, and that is just the worst fit for me.  

Try Chicos for their jeans Laurie. They’re the only ones I wear

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I will have to check out Chicos, and see what I think.  The store in the local mall closed, so I need to see if they have a free return policy, just in case.  

 

Another thought that I had is that Levi's tend to fit me well, and Kohls has them on sale all the time.  So I am going to check them out online today.  That will help me with a few basics.  One thing I tend to do is hold on to things I don't wear, because "they're still good".  If I put aside the jeans I never wear, I will only have a few pair left.  So that is the planning process - how many do I realistically need, and what styles, based on what I would have left?

 

I find that I get rid of more than what I buy new, and I'm left with what I will actually wear.  I have to get out of the rut, you know?

 

One thing I treat a little differently is what I call "special" clothes.  These are things I wear on a cruise, when we go out, or just when I want to feel good.  I try to make sure they are long term pieces, but they may not be worn a lot, yet will stay in my closet.  Those things there are usually things that I absolutely love, so much so that I will try them on in between, just because.  If I don't wear it when I can though, then I need to ask myself why I keep it. 

 

I think we all go through this, don't we?  I am getting so much better though.

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Melody, it looks like you all had fun!

 

I saw some jeans online at JJill that I liked.  Like Chico's, I wasn't too keen on the cost but they were cheaper, and then had 30% off.   Both the Chico's and JJill at the mall closed.  Not COVID related - they closed before that.  so either way, I will have to deal with the returns by shipping them back and dealing with paying for the return.

 

I also saw some in Kohls as well to try.

 

I forgot to mention it, but Target carries a brand called Universal Thread.  They have some nice tshirt dresses that have a decent weight to them and some really nice earth colors.  I bought one last week, and I've been looking forward to wearing it.  I really like wearing things like that during the summer.  I went online today, and they had a distinct cream color I am going to try.  Hopefully, it is heavy enough for the light color.  We will see how it does.  For $20, it is a great deal if the dress is opaque enough.  They also have these in a short version for $12.00 as well.  I didn't see cream, but I did see other earth colors.

 

I don't know about all of you, but I love to read up on decor.  One thing that has been challenging to me has been arranging the built in shelves we have.  While I could go to a store and buy some nice things and arrange them just so, it is much more challenging to use what you already have.  Style Statement taught me so much - the word harmony is such a key clarifier for me these days.  I often confused matching and harmony, and then wondered why I wasn't happy.  I would take a theme too far, or line up a bunch of stuff that was very much the same.  

 

I am finally making some real progress in the family room,  I am realizing that I created a bit of an homage to some very special people that are no longer with us.  My mom, my dad, my sister.  Brian's mom too, although his family's presence is much stronger in the living room shelving decor.  I take the idea of a family room to heart, and really want it to feel like a comfortable room we can relate to, so I feel I have accomplished that.

 

The right still needs some fine tuning on the top two shelves, but it is getting close.  

 

My sister had those beer steins made.  She gave my dad a set for Father's Day, and after he passed away, there was exactly one for each of us kids.  I didn't realize until she passed away that she had a set of her own.  

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Laurie, I always forget about Target since I go to Costco so often. I could use a new coverup dress. We just rejoined our gym, so I’m looking forward to being more active, I’ve missed my water aerobics. Melody

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Thanks on all the hair complements! I'm still working on shaping it...because this is just me hacking away at my own hair. Sometimes it feels a little like a triangle with the bottom flaring out, I haven't sorted how to deal with that. I still don't have a hair dresser...but I'm not actively looking for one yet. It is a lot easier to care for than the longer hair for sure.

 

Super fun pics Melody! Y'all are goofy! LOL I think it's so funny that you put up that fab pagoda thing and all of you are sitting out in the sun. Little bit chilly still?

 

@SallyDH and I were in your neck of the woods this past Friday! We went to the big boat show there in Sarasota. Downtown Sarasota is so quaint. We didn't spend too much time downtown...just driving through it really for parking in a garage and then walking to Marina Jack where the boat show was. So much fun to see all those boats. DH and I were joking because the boatshow we went to in Jacksonville...I think that might have been the first year for that boat show? You could definitely tell that the Jacksonville boatshow and the Sarasota boatshow had different target markets...or at least the venders had that perception. A lot of smaller boats at the Jacksonville show...the Sarasota show had many, many TONS more boats actually in boat slips and on the water...and the prices...OMG...these were all fabulous boats for those that want to be able to live on their boat for at least a weekend. So we were joking that we went to the Redneck show in Jacksonville and the Country Club show in Sarasota. LOL.

 

We are seriously looking at boats. I think we have landed on the one that we want. There happens to be one that hits all the buttons here in Cape Canaveral...we're going to try to see it this week I think.

 

Anyone else see Nomadland? I loved that movie. I only recently found in on Hulu and have watched it twice. It's a thought provoking movie for me in many ways...I really enjoy it. I also watched Nostalgia recently...anyone else see it? The story weaves through several different characters continuing with on with a new character when the one we are currently following crosses paths with the new one and it switches a few times. The whole is a commentary on people and their stuff and how people think about stuff in general and their own stuff in particular. I really feel like I'm loosening my grip on my stuff and will be able to get my household in order in the way that I have been hoping to have it for so long.

 

My garden continues to grow LOL...my meyer lemon is having a second blooming which is really exciting...blooms next to small maturing green lemons. Oh Melody! We did finally eat some nasturtiums...they are blooming like crazy now...kind of a weird thing, eating a flower like that. It tasted exactly like you'd expect...it was flowery but also kind of fruity...very interesting. We just had one each and kind of on the side so that we could really taste it. I think it would be wonderful in a salad...and some salad greens should be ready to go within a week or two so may make a truly colorful salad with some fruity flowery bites in it.

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