Wintering in Florida

Azaleas blooming in January

Azaleas blooming in January

I am still in a bit of shock that we are really spending the whole winter down here.  I used to think that was only for well-to-do snowbirds from way up north — never me!

There was a group of 4 peacocks today, but I couldn't catch them close enough together to get them all in one picture.

There was a group of 4 peacocks today, but I couldn’t catch them close enough together to get them all in one picture.

The affordableness of it is what staggers me!   Just by making it a top priority, the finances just kind of fall into place.

We had both dogs groomed yesterday — a full grooming for Sunny, and a mini groom for Sheba.  Sunny looked so bad, I was ashamed for anyone to see him.  I kept putting the grooming off for him due to his anxiety attacks.  But finally there was no putting it off any more.

Another leaning tree (besides the one I photographed yesterday).

Another leaning tree (besides the one I photographed yesterday).

Also I wanted to get Sheba a sanitary trim so she would be easier to keep clean (and smell better).

While we were in Ocoee doing laundry yesterday, we noticed a dog groomer in the same shopping center.  I asked if they accepted walk-ins and they did.  So I got Sunny and Sheba off the truck and left them at the groomer.

Sunny was already having an anxiety attack from the truck ride.  I give him a Benedryl when he is really out of control and it does calm him down — a little.  But it didn’t do much for him yesterday.

Base of the leaning tree.  Looks like it's not going to be able to support itself too much longer.

Base of the leaning tree. Looks like it’s not going to be able to support itself too much longer.

Sunny apparently was yipping, pacing and shaking during the entire grooming… and got so upset that he wet on the table.  The groomer said he really went ballistic when she tried to trim his face.  This is so unlike the little dog who used to stand statue still for grooming.  Everyone always told me what a good boy he was.  But he even does that now when I try to brush his ears or tail or wash his face.  And he gets aggressive if I keep trying.

Resurrection ferns on the leaning tree.

Resurrection ferns on the leaning tree.

So I think that might have been his last grooming.  I will try to keep his hair from getting too bad myself.

Sheba, on the other hand had ticks that I had missed in her thick fur.  So the groomer hand picked them off and gave her a dip.  She also got a haircut and it is amazing how much neater and cleaner she looks (and smells).

So the bill for having my two difficult dogs groomed was $115 plus tip! But it was worth every penny to us.

Sunny's haircut

Sunny’s haircut

There is another couple in a Casita here.  They parked next to us for a couple of days, but had to move today as another person had a reservation for the site they were in.  So they moved across the loop from us.

Ron has spoken to the man, but I haven’t had a chance to speak to his wife except for a few words.  They are constantly going and doing.  They did ask Ron if he would close their windows (from the outside) if it rained today.  But we lucked out with no rain.



We are an odd sort of snowbird, I guess.  We aren’t much for going and sightseeing.  Instead we love to choose beautiful places to camp, then spend our time there observing the marvelous details of nature around us.

What matters is that Ron and I are content and are loving our lives as they happen day by day.

Sheba showing off her haircut

Sheba showing off her haircut


Camping, Fun, Beauty, this Blog & the Bathroom

My blog was designed to be a fun place.  A place where I could escape the mundane and boring, and share things I found fun and intriguing.  Not only for my treasured visitors’ sakes, but also for my own.  A happy place that highlights things I want to remember forever.

The camp host told us that this was a beach rat

The camp host told us that this was a beach rat

Like the adorable face of an otherwise disgusting beach rat at Ft. Pickens. 

Gorgeous pink and yellow Florida lantana flowers. 

Sunny and Sheba enjoying the outdoors.

The Aliner (years ago) perched high on a cliff on a spot that challenged my trailer backing up skills to the limit.

And even the Casita mods and fixes that I find so rewarding.

All this is to say is that my blog is veering off into a direction I don’t want it to go.  Like the bathroom remodel.

Aliner at R. Shaeffer Heard COE

Aliner at R. Shaeffer Heard COE

I am not in great health.  And the constant cloudy weather this year is taking its toll.  My doctor told me yesterday that I’m suffering from depression.  I guess that’s why the bathroom project holds no joy for me and is something I simply must get done.

I declined antidepressants this time.  I’ll see if getting exercise and getting outside and photographing the mushrooms, nature shots and such that I love can help snap me out of it.  If not, I’ll accept them the next time I see her in a couple of months.

The dunes at Hunting Island

The dunes at Hunting Island

In the meantime, I will continue to plod away on the bathroom remodel and repair because it is something that must be done.  But I’m not going to post about it.  It’s like a 9-5 job that you must do but the time away from it is the time you really live and enjoy life.

And I want this blog to be a permanent reminder of my good times and the beauty that takes my breath away.  🙂

Wild lantana at our campground

Wild lantana at our campground





Colors of Late Autumn

late fall color

Our back yard November 14

I took this photo of my back yard a few minutes ago.    We did not have brilliant red and gold fall colors here this year.  But the stunning beauty in the infinite variety of rich browns made me gasp.  What a gift!

I am still not well, but am not feeling awful anymore.  Ron is antsy to head south, so we plan to leave tomorrow.  We’ll just drive a little way and hole up at a pretty campsite for a couple of days, then meander on down to Florida.

We will probably camp in campgrounds for a few more days until my symptoms are gone then go to Mom’s house for a few days.  I definitely don’t want to pass these germs on to my family!

My brother in law is going in for surgery Tuesday.  I do so regret that I can’t visit with him before he goes into the hospital.  I may not be able to visit him while he’s there.  I will just have to wait and see how fast I make a full recovery.


Hiking the Trails at F. D. Roosevelt State Park, GA

Entrance to the campground office

We are still wondering at the beauty all around us here.  And the peace.  It is Saturday evening and one would expect the weekend campers to be partying.  Instead the campground is quiet.  Outside, campfires are burning and one can hear distant, muted conversation, but that only adds to the ambiance tonight.  There is no feeling of being crowded.  The sites were really designed well.

Last night and tonight there were free hayrides for all who were interested.  We preferred to stay by our campfire.

Stone building built by the CCC

As usual, we were asked for tours of the Aliner.  It’s a fun way to meet people.  Everyone always comments on how much bigger it is inside than they expected.

View behind the office. Unfortunately my camera flattened it out.

Yesterday we decided to hike a bit.  The woods are hilly with constant climbs and descents. It was a reality check of how out of shape I am.  It really wore me out!  We finally came to a road and decided to road walk back to camp.  We ended up walking a lot longer than we had planned, and I was stiff and sore last night.  But I slept really well!

While we were on the trail, I bumped my camera settings, so the following are poor photos.  They should still give you an idea of what it is like, though.

Road walk

This is the drive to the little lake near our site.

Ron and Sunny on the trail

Another trail view

Forest floor where we stopped to rest. Lots of half-chewed acorns.

Some areas are pretty rugged.

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