Sunday, March 26, 2023

Scribbles From My Daytimer


status of our back yard project

According to my personal calendar, which I call a Daytimer, Spring arrived officially last Monday, but Summer is here today, at least in my neighborhood. I'm sitting on the lanai with the windows open wide and the ceiling fan whirring above my head, gently blowing my hair. It feels good. The current temperature is 87 degrees.

silver and white glitzy flip flops

On Friday I was dressing for a big luncheon with the girls when I decided to pull out this white pair of flip flop sandals that I have worn only once, and that was last year. 

As soon as I slipped them on, I remembered why I've not worn them in so long. They are higher than any of my other shoes, kinda like high-heeled sneakers. I thought for the sake of fashion I could stand to wear them for a few hours but after maybe twenty minutes that nutty idea led me to change the footwear to true comfort, at the sacrifice of glitzy glam. Nobody was going to be looking at my feet anyway in the crowded restaurant. A closer look at practicality probably saved me from a twisted ankle, or worse.

door prize and someone's take-home box

At the close of the event, I walked away (in my sensible shoes) with one of the three door prizes: an ice bucket holding a large bottle of Moscato white wine and Ferrero Rocher Chocolates (my favorite!).

gray Sketcher shoes

Before I leave the subject of footwear, I want to share what I call my Lucky Shoes. I wear them when we play bocce (with varying degrees of success). We have a standing joke that I must wear my Lucky Shoes if I have any hope to beat Gary at the game. Yesterday I actually won two or three times!!

Truth be told, I wear any of a number of shoes when we play, but it's wise to wear something with a closed toe in case one of the heavy balls rolls hard against the foot.

"The Spinners"

Looking at more notes in my Daytimer, we have been to two music concerts in less than a week at the concert hall in a neighboring +55 retirement community. Last weekend we saw a group imitating The Spinners singing music from my teen days. They were great and I was familiar with most of their pieces.

drums for Gary Lewis and the Playboys

Then on Thursday night we went to see what we thought would be imitators of Gary Lewis and the Playboys. But the real Gary Lewis was the main entertainer, the only original from days gone by. He was great! He still has a strong voice, skilled showmanship and star appeal.

photo taken of one of the large screens

Yes, he was showing age, but he was in good company with us in the audience of retirees. It was a great evening.

Gary unpacks the fowl(s)

This week we went to the birds (NOT the rock group). Months ago, in anticipation of our back yard renovation project, Gary bought some gorgeous metal birds, a pair of them, to display in what will soon be an area of shredded red bark mulch. 

giving wings to his new decor

You may have to live in or visit Florida to understand this but stationing long-legged metal birds in the yards is very common. The real birds are seen every day, and of many varieties, so decorating with them is as common here as using bears and moose to embellish yards in my former home of Colorado.

a possible illustration of the term,
"feet of clay"

Since we are in hurricane country (although tornadoes are more of a probability where we are), these birds' feet are submerged in concrete. Then when a really bad storm threatens, the body can be slipped off the legs that are embedded in the cement. 

To do this, Gary dug a hole. I held the bird legs upright and steady while he poured in both water and bagged concrete powder, and then mixed it up like a cake. The mixture set up quickly. He slipped each bird body onto its legs, and the project was done.

birds standing in the dead grass

There you have it -- I've taught you a new life skill! (ha!)

For the time being the birds are standing in dead grass. Vegetation killer has been applied liberally in preparation for a thick layer of shredded bark mulch that will reduce the amount of yard we have to water. Yes, even Florida has drought conditions, so water conservation is an issue. Our water company strongly encourages us to reduce the need for water.

an eagle sighting --
look at the house roof lines

Before I leave the subject of birds, here is a snapshot taken during one of our morning bicycle rides. 

same bird

Here he is from another perspective as he continues to overlook the lake, presumably in search of a meal. He is not a stranger to our area.

Last week I shared my hobby of colored pencils. I'm infatuated with this pleasant pastime because it's inexpensive, portable, and can be enjoyed in total silence, while watching TV, or when visiting with people (remembering to look up from time to time for appropriate eye contact).

"Contrasting Pastels in Yellow-Orange, Cotton Candy Blue, Yellow and White"

I finished this one yesterday. It's the size of a large post card and very intricate, as you can see. Filling in these designs is so relaxing to me, but I've also begun to do some sketching -- free-hand copying of illustrations in books. 

embellishments on page 166 of 
a book by Charles Swindoll,
Life is 10% What Happens to You and 
90% How You React

For many years it's been my habit to underline and hi-lite notes in books I read (my own personal copies, of course). Then it became natural to add occasional illustrations, too.

same book, pages 164-165

I can ponder the printed words while scribbling. It is an enjoyable way to meditate.

my Daytimer calendar

In the mornings, at the start of my days, I check my calendar for appointments and must-do tasks and read some scripture alongside a devotional magazine. Again, with the desire to document and hi-lite important points, I make notes in colors and sometimes scribble a design in the margins of the calendar. With that done, at the end of the month I can throw away the devotional magazine but retain the special notations on the days they were significant to me. 

For many years I've kept a calendar similar to this. It's interesting to go back much later to see what I was up to on a particular day, often making note of the progress (or lack thereof) I've made in my more challenging seasons.

Teach us to realize 
the brevity of life,
so that we may grow
in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. Such a lovely post. I found some solar flamingos, I might have to get them, grin. Always joy to visit here, have a great week, Barbara. smiles

  2. What a lovely post, filled with fun and joy and much inspiration. I love your yard birds. (I think there was a group named that too, or was it the "Yarbirds") LOL. I like the idea of eliminating the need for a lot of water on the yard. We have acorns and oak leaves covering ours. LOL. Large oak trees can be a bit of a nuisance, but I love the shade they provide. I love your calendars/study scribbles, etc. Makes for an interesting journal of sorts. I'm glad you went with the sensible shoes. At our great age we need to be more sensible in all things! LOL.
    I enjoyed this post and hope you have a blessed rest of your week.

  3. Gary and Tommy would be "two peas in a pod" as they think a whole lot alike. Tommy would do that exact same thing to the birds to secure them. They are just beautiful as is the entire back yard. Lovely! I keep a large wall calendar with all of our activities on it and generally keep them from year to year as I often need/want to refer back to them. I do like the idea of a Daytimer too. Have a great week!

  4. Well, you've been busy. Practical comfortable shoes are so important. Glad you decided on comfort. Love those birds. A wonderful addition to your outdoor space. My doodles are not as refined as yours are...:)

  5. I love the drawings and notes in your books. The underlining really helps important lessons to stand out. They look great! Your weather sounds summery and pleasant. I appreciate seeing the sights in your area. God bless!

  6. You had a good week! The concert sounds like fun, I like the birds, you beat Gary :) and won something. I was also a winner at a fun night at church Friday night. I'm working on a post to go tonight about that.
    Also, guess what book I'm reading? The Women of the Bible Speak! After you posted about it, I looked it up and ordered it. I'm enjoying it, thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. I enjoyed my visit here so much, Barb!! The new birds standing guard in your new backyard layout are beautiful!! The Eagle on the rooftop is even more beautiful!! Aren't they so majestic! I am so glad you have found a new craft to work on. The coloring is similar to your stitching, albeit much more portable and still so pretty! Give my regards to your Gary and I wish you both a blessed week ahead!! xo

  8. Oh my, I love those birds. They are just perfect. I enjoyed reading about the week. I keep my little calendar full of notes too. It can be quite helpful looking back.

  9. Love the birds statues (or figures) in the yard. It makes sense to me to embed them in concrete instead of having to it all down during storms. The layout of the backyard looks amazing. What an impressive sight of the bald eagle. I keep a paper planner along with a paper wall calendar. Have an amazing week, Barbara!

  10. Another fun and relaxing week, Barbara! I'm with you on comfortable shoes--if I have to dress up for an occasion I just shudder thinking about wearing heels of any height :)

    Interesting about the birds in the concrete--that makes so much sense, but it's not something I would have thought of. Your new pair look right at home and quite elegant. Glad you have found coloring--anything creative whether it be stitching, knitting, quilting, coloring, painting, etc. is truly good for the soul, isn't it? Have a wonderful day ♥

  11. LOVING those SWEET flipflops! Yes, love me a little bling! Oh my goodness Barbara, the years I wore high heels! Now my feet have paid the price! Then I graduated down to low wedge heels. Which I have always loved as I am so dang short I need all the help I can get. However, since I have gotten older and now retired...boy has a lot changed! LOL! I just bought me a new pair of Clarks flipflops recently since warm weather is here! They might not be the prettiest things but sure are dang comfortable! I am all about comfort now! LOL! Enjoy your week friend. Hugs and blessings, Cindy