Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Days of Our Lives

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

We're cooking in the 100-degree heat of North Central Florida this week, but this was our choice and we are thankful to be here! The early pioneers of this land were of hardy stock to survive without air conditioning, shorts, and flip flops!

Beloved wears his solar ray blocking shirt at the pool 
since he fries like bacon in the sun

We spent yesterday afternoon at the pool, which was glorious, except that even the pool water was hot! Getting out of the water and walking in the breeze felt very good while our suits were still wet.

me with my movie-star-style big floppy hat and 
a pool noodle to keep me afloat

The days are flying by -- it's hard to believe we've been in our house for slightly over 3 months now. We have met a lot of good people and made some friends we walk with several nights a week after supper.

collage from neighborhood luncheon
Center photo left to right: Jersey, Sport's mom and Popcorn's mom

photo taken at Trilogy, another gated community in Ocala

The ladies here on the circle where we live have a monthly luncheon. I've been able to attend two of those, finding that a good way to get better acquainted. There are 70 lots on our circle, with about sixty-five of them occupied and about 20 ladies come to the luncheons. The collage (above) is made up of pictures taken at our luncheon last Thursday. We dine at a different place every month. This time it was in a different retirement community some miles north of us.

a good movie with no violence or unsavory language
Last Friday we enjoyed Movie Night at our church. The seniors ministry hosts this monthly event providing dinner, dessert, popcorn and a movie for only $5 per person. This was our first time to attend. We had a great time!

old southern charm created with Live Oak trees
On Saturday we had homemade waffles on the back porch and then drove about 40 miles north of here to historic Micanopy, described by The New York Times as "Florida the way it used to be." 

one of the lovely old homes on the main street

With a population of just over 600, this historic town oozes with charm and a feeling of the gentle Old South.

there are many antique shops 

We wandered in and out of the antique shops, noting the amount of old china dishes for sale. One could fully furnish a beautiful tea room with those things (although I don't see as many of those as we did ten years ago). Looking was fun, but I don't buy much these days (and nothing that day except lunch). After disposing of so much with our recent moves in 2013, 2017 and 2019, collecting stuff all over again holds no appeal for me.

entry gate to one of the properties

But just looking at everything was pleasant. I felt like we were visiting Country Sampler magazine!

bottle tree
The Cook on Fifth Street (aka my mother) has a fascination with bottle trees and years ago bought one for her outdoor deck. Hers was smaller than this one; but now I have to admit they are pretty neat!

outside one of the cafe's
We had our choice of about three eateries for lunch. Due to the heat of the day, we chose to dine indoors. A hearty BLT sandwich was satisfying and carried us through till dinner that night.

a two-sided horse in downtown Ocala
On our way home, we stopped at the historic square in downtown Ocala. The size and layout reminded us a lot of a very similar square in Monroe, Wisconsin (another place we visit from time). Lined with eateries and antique shops, we might have stayed longer had the weather not been so warm and we were not hungry. 

But I did take this snapshot of a horse statue (above). This is the same horse in both pictures. He's just painted differently on each side. These horses are all over Ocala since it is dubbed The Horse Capital of the World

Speaking of, recently we heard a very loud aircraft flying over our house, unusually loud and long.  It was early morning so we did not rush outside to look, but later we learned it was a Boeing 727 departing our nearby airport with horses in the cargo bay. The story is that twice a year there is a big event here with the buying and selling of horses and then they are transported all over the world, some as far away as Saudi Arabia.  One of those events had just culminated and what we heard was 'flying horses'!

possibly a Blue Heron on our neighbor's roof?
I mentioned earlier that several nights a week we walk around our circle with neighbors. We don't break any speed records but if we walk in its entirety two times, it's a mile -- a pleasant way to digest dinner.

We meet other walkers who are out with their dogs and Jersey, my most faithful walking partner, always carries doggie treats. Most of the dogs know her for that and so I've met many pups along the way. Some come to us by foot while others are in golf carts with their folks en route to the community dog park. 

Last night during our walk we saw a large bird on the roof of one of the houses that back up to the lake. I don't know much about birding, so I snapped this picture for Diane, my blogging friend who also lives in North Central Florida and is my local bird expert. (you can see her blog posts at Lavender Dreams)

She couldn't say for sure since the picture is kind of dark, but thought it might be a Blue Heron.  There are a lot of birds that frequent this lake, in particular, in our neighborhood. 

cross stitch and floss tube with Holly and Anita
I've not said much about my cross stitching in a while, but I've been busy with it as time allows. I'm working on something for July with a sail boat. I intend to share the finished piece when the new month arrives. 

For the past month I have not used an embroidery hoop at all to stitch and to my absolute amazement, I love to sew this way! I start stitching in the top left corner of the designs, and have to roll up the excess fabric on the right, which makes it bothersome for this right-hander to work with all that bulk.  

My solution has been to stitch the design upside down, which necessitates more concentration (not a bad thing, actually) to get the counting of the stitches right. 

Mount Rainier in Washington State
photo by Gray Beard

I close this out with a tip of my hat to Gray Beard, my eldest son. Today is his birthday. He took this beautiful picture of Mount Rainier on one of his recent trips.

We lived in Seattle when he was a little boy but due to the clouds and rain, we didn't get to see this mountaintop as much as we would have liked.

So this brings you up-to-date on what's been going on here. 

Until next time ...


  1. Glad you can enjoy that pool. 3 months already. Yikes, time sure flies! Glad you are getting settled in well. Fun shot of the heron on the roof. Great shot of Rainier by your son!

  2. So nice to catch up with all you have been doing! Your pool looks great! Joe and I keep talking about going up to Micanopy on a day trip. It is where the movie Doc Hollywood was filmed. We also have a friend who lives there, who keeps asking us to come up. It does look like "old" Florida! We are looking forward to your day trip on Friday!!

  3. Staying busy, enjoying life, meeting friends, it all sounds great!

  4. I am so glad that you are settling in to your community as well as your home! How wonderful that you are getting acquainted with your neighbors, both the 2 legged as well as the 4 legged!! Love also that you went to Micanopy. We did that last year, and loved it so much. Maybe when it is cooler we could meet there sometime and have lunch.I see above that Terri D. also wants to go there. Maybe we could all meet there! The bird on the roof looks like some type of heron, but it really is too far away to tell for sure. I can't see how long his neck is, and that helps to identify them. Thank you for this wonderful update on your new adventures in living in our area. I know we will all be happy when the weather cools down a little! You are blessed to have a pool nearby! Have a blessed week.

  5. Sounds like you are living large this week!! Loved all the photos especially those of the old Flordia town. I love to meander through downtown areas of cute little towns. Our daughter Amelia has a birthday on July 2 but we are celebrating this weekend. She requested Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Caramel Cake so I need to get busy. Cant wait to see your stitching!! I just cannot see well enough to even try the in hand method. Stitching upside down is interesting to me also. Enjoy that pool on these hot days.:)

  6. Thank you for the pleasant memories. I am glad to see Micanopy hasn't changed. I highly doubt my folks enjoy Ocala as much as you do (my dad,"45 years we have lived here..." I see downtown looks pretty good smiles...I use to spend my summer days riding my bike to the public library. Fond memories, smiles.

    Waving to Tom.

  7. Enjoyed your pictures and text from your post. I have a stitching friend who lives in Micanopy so I enjoyed those pictures a lot. It sounds like you and your husband are settling in to your new home and community very well. Love the picture your son took of Mt. Rainier.

  8. I am happy that y'all are enjoying your new abode. Water is the only way to survive the heat of summer. There is no way I could stitch upside down. I applaud you!
    I agree that it is a heron. We have a regular who has been our bayou forever. My son named him Hank a long time ago. It is a play on Hank Aaron. Hank Heron (ha!) I look forward to his appearance each day.
    Good to hear from you:)

  9. Happy Birthday to your son! I have four boys so I'm partial to 'boys'! heehee! Thanks for mentioning me...I hope you get to see that bird again and see some more details. I saw several Egrets and Ibis when I was out and about today. We are blessed with so many neat birds in this area. And we love driving up to Micanopy too! Love your stitching...but upside down? You are brave my friend! heehee! Hugs!

  10. PS Have you watched the old movie Cross Creek? It was filmed in Micanopy too. We love seeing the scenery in that movie!

  11. Well, that was so enjoyable and sounds as though you and Tom have definitely found your way there in Central Florida and are having a great time. Cross stitching upside down, how clever. Have a great rest of the week!

  12. You are settling in well in your new home. Your monthly luncheons sound like a lot of fun. I have been to Micanopy, it's a lovely town. Have you eaten at the Yearling Restaurant by chance? I think it's in the same area, near were Marjorie Rawlings wrote Cross Creek. Stay cool!!!

  13. Barbara, you are enjoying central Florida so much. You are settling into your new community perfectly. Love the sound of your monthly luncheons and meeting your new neighbors. I love Micanopy but have not been there in several years. It is truly a lovely southern town with alot of charm.

    Just got back home from a nice week at the beach and was so happy to see a new post from you. I always enjoy what you have been up to. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever