Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This was our favorite thing to do every morning.  We arrived on Monday evening so we went right down to the beach and made plans for the morning to come back.  It was so funny. London wanted to be up by 7am combing the beach.  I think we got down there at 8:00.  We had so much fun.  The first day we just found bits of shells and lots of normal little shells; nothing special.  These pictures are of our second day when we really got serious!

We were up early, bought a beach bag and were ready to go!  We turned left this time and went down the other way.  Wowzers!, did we have good shelling.  At first we were picking up everything on the edge.   We found some amazing coral bits everywhere.  There must have been lots of coral deeper in.  We didn't go far.  Remember the shark warnings?

Look at all the shells!  It was so much fun looking for treasures.  Everything we found we had to show off and ooh and aah over.  These little shells were everywhere; much more than were on the other side.

This was during reading week, our vacation in February. They were having the Food Network's food and wine fair.  I was hoping to see Guy and Rachel or maybe Martha and Emeril but I didn't see any of them!  It was neat to see all the white tents going up everywhere though.

We found this little guy...poor little thing.  It was a cool looking fish.  He had a rough night.  We also saw a huge sea slug.  I know we took pictures but I can't find them now.  It was still alive so Sean  got brave enough and threw it back in. 

I wish we could have brought this home.  I bet it would have dried well.  Isn't it amazing?!  We found some pretty amazing pieces of coral that we did haul home.  I bet our bag weighed over 20 lbs by the time we finished.

This was our first really good shell find!  We were so excited! 

We figured out that just at the edge of the surf there was a big drop off and when you looked in you could see great shells!  So we started wading into the water.  Sean went back to the hotel and got his snorkel stuff and swam for hours finding good stuff for us!  It was funny, we were planning on just going for a little walk and looking for shells but we were gone around 4 hours!  We weren't dressed for it and I didn't have sun screen on so I burnt so bad!  I was so sad I had to stay out of the sun for a few days!

Look how wet London got!  She would see a shell and in she would go bending to get it only to have a wave come in and soak her.  We started going in and taking huge handfuls of sand and then sifting it to find shells.  We found so many!  I loved this one, especially the color but it still had an occupant so we played with it for a while and then threw it back in.

Cool huh!  Don't you love the droplet?  I love the eyes too!  It creeped me out just holding it.
My feet were so sore going back from the sand we decided to walk on the board walk instead!  By now I realized I was burnt and was hurting.

Look at the cute Canadian Surf bums I found!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Seeking Miami Heat

We decided very last minute to go on a trip. I had enough air miles to have 3 free flights to the US. So we started looking. We almost went to Nashville or Georgia but ended up deciding on Miami. We would have loved to have gone to Disney World but Sam couldn't come so we decided that we better just relax on a beach somewhere. 

So after a bit of kerfuffle with Air miles we booked our trip.  We had just over a week to try to find somewhere to stay.  I looked at VRBO which we have used several times, flip key and many other vacation by owners.  It was a gong show.  It seemed to be a bunch of scam artists.  I was so stressed out.  We didn't have a place confirmed until 2 days before we went.  As it was, we had to break it up into two stays to make up the week.  The first place was at the Shelbourne Hotel.  This was our view!

It was awesome location.  Kind of crappy room.  It was really old.  That is the charming thing about places here in Miami; every thing is Art Deco from the 1960's.  We were at the top of the hotel with our room facing out to the beach.  It was kind of expensive compared with the deals we have gotten in Phoenix but really it was great.  Most rooms in the Shelborne were $450 a night but we got three nights for $530.00.

Looking off our balcony the other way.

The pool looked great and had a really cool diving board.  I am shocked to admit this but we didn't swim in it once.  With the amazing beach there we just went right by the pool.  Plus in Miami everyone smokes everywhere.  The pool seemed especially bad. 

This is our room.   Did I mention we had no maid service!  lol  Every time I was tempted to complain about the terrible beds the small, run down,...I mean run down, bathroom, I just looked outside and the view was worth every penny.  I would still go back and stay in this exact room because the location was that good.

Here is the run down bathroom I told you about.  It was so small.  They also only gave you a roll of toilet paper, no soap.  Can you say cheap?

Every time I wanted to rant and complain I would walk by our view...sigh it was worth it!  PS:  It came with a bottle of wine set up on the table, that is why it is in the picture!

The first night we were there it was so cold!!  We saw people with parkas on.  It wasn't that cold (about 12) but with the wind off the ocean it was chilly.  That same night we were watching the news when a bulletin came up saying there was a shark migration happening along the shore lines of Florida.  15000 Sharks!!!  They were small ones but they were everywhere.  That really freaked out London and I was worried she wouldn't go in the water.  She made sure her dad or I were with her, I think because she knew she could out swim us!

The water was so blue and warm.  I think London is looking for sharks.  She had us running to the window several times saying she had seen a shark.  It usually ended up being seaweed!

Our hotel had this beautiful curved staircase in it.  Everything inside was funky!  This picture really doesn't do it justice.  The guy we rented it from was a bit of a jerk too.  You could tell he was a slum lord just cashing in on his view.  He took off before we could even see the room in case we complained.  He would never answer emails or phone calls either.  The day we were checking out we went down to the beach one last time enjoying every minute.  We had to be out at noon.  We went up at noon to find the next tenants and all their luggage in our room already.  So I guess he gives out lots of keys too.  I tried to complain but again he didn't respond.  Again I remind you of the view! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Porcupine visit

We woke up the other morning to this sight.  The poor dogs got into a row with a porcupine.  This is their second time.  The first time happened about a month ago.  They each only had a couple and they were barely in the skin so London and I pulled them right out.  This time they were not so lucky.  Moses only had a dozen or so but they were in so deep that you couldn't really get to them.  He was just pouting and drooling.  Poor guy didn't even want to get up to see us.

Sean got the pliers and I came outside in my jammies ready to pull them out.  We did Cinder first as she is way too smart and if she saw what we were doing to Moses she would have taken off and not come back!   I held her head firmly but she is really strong.   It hurt her so bad and some even broke off as we started pulling.  She couldn't even open her mouth they were so bad. It kind of sewed her mouth shut.  They were both soaked from drooling.  Sean decided that there was no way we could get them out.  So I called the vet and off they went.
They hate the vehicle.  Both times we have taken them in the car they have thrown up and crapped everywhere.  So we put them in the truck.  Believe me that was no small task.  They weigh a ton, especially Moses.  Sean really had to grunt to pick him up.  Even with both of us we could barely get Moses in the truck.  He fought and fought.  Finally we got him in only to have him jump out again!!  In the mean time Cinder ran away and we had to go around and find her.  Finally they were on their way.
Both of them had to be put to sleep (anaesthetic, not "to sleep").  Cinder even had to have several stitches.  She was in bad shape and the vet said it was good we brought her in.  $330.00 later!!!  EEK  I hate all these unexpected expenses.  I am just grateful they are OK.  I just hope they have long memories and don't tackle a porcupine again!


Here it is finally done. My tea towel warp!   I put it on so long ago it is embarassing.  We had a crazy year and so I just didn't devote enough time to it. I am part of a weaving group that my friend Peggy introduced me to.  I love weaving.  It is so exciting to think that I can make my own cloth. 

I wanted really bright colors for Christmas.  I am putting another one on the loom at my house.  I think when it is at my house rather than at the college it will go much faster.  Whenever I watch TV or have 15 minutes I can work on it.  These tea towels are amazing.  I know they will last for years.  Everyone that has made them says that they are so much better than anything you can buy. 

You can't see here but they are wrinkly. That is one bad thing.  After I washed and dried them they really had wrinkles.  Sean teased me that I was going to have to iron them....I sure hope not!