... or should I say California? While Florida may be The Sunshine State, you can't prove it by the monsoon-like weather (can you tell I lived in Arizona for awhile?) we've been having since I got here last week. I have been here officially for a week now, and while the weather is leaving my never-ever-frizzy straight, fine hair, oh-so-frizzy, I have to admit that I love my house, the fact that I can get fresh-brewed iced tea ANYWHERE and that everything outside is so dang GREEN! After living in the "green desert" of California and the "desert" desert of Arizona for so long, it is so much fun to see green grass, trees, plants, etc. I am enjoying the wildlife. I lived in Texas for about five years of my childhood and it's great to see armadillos again. Although, all but one I have seen have been roadkill. I am also enjoying the tropical plants available to me, including these houseplants at Wal-mart here that have modified blooms or leaves - can't tell which that form little buckets. Way cool. I already told the DH that I just HAVE to have one!
It has been incredibly busy for me since my last post. We celebrated 4th of July country-style: On grandpa's creek property with hot dogs roasted over an open fire, where my sister-in-law, Jill and the family nurse, Aunt Sam, lit off the fireworks for a crowd of about 60 family members and friends.
I helped get the $500 worth of fireworks ready for the big display - we always seem to end up with way more fireworks than expected, since everyone pitches in money or their own purchases for the good of the show. A softball game was started and played until you couldn't see the ball any more in the darkness. Cousin Amy brought a patriotic pinata for the kids, so they could celebrate Cuatro de Julio in style!
I brought in some star-shaped sunglasses for the kids for a "Starry-Eyed Surprise" (remember THAT song, LOL)... they were a hit for about 15 minutes... gotta love the Target dollar aisle!
The BIG surprise of the day: One of Grandpa's cows had a set of twins the day before, a heifer and a bull,
both looking very strong and healthy. More often than not, one or both twins are lost. Mama looked tired, but wasn't too tired to reach out to try and sniff the Kubota "pumpkin truck" we were riding in! I am so glad I made Aunt Brenda stop at my car for the camera before we headed out to the pasture!
We also took to opportunity to get photos of the entire family together: How often do both Rodney and I have all of our immediate family in one location? Grandparents, parents, siblings, the works? Once for our wedding in 2000, one for our reception in Illinois in January 2001 and now. So, of course, everyon grumbled about having to take their photos, but now everyone wants copies ... that's a scrapbooker' life in a nutshell!
Xan took a HUGE liking to Aunt Sam's Gator and announced, "My drive! My drive!" every time he saw it. While the keys are usually kept in it, they had to be taken out whenever Xan was around because he was quick to try and turn the key - fortunately he still doesn't have the strength, but still a safety concern. I swear I am going to find that little daredevil on the roof one day, grinning down at me...
As a thank you to Rodney's family, my SIL Gina cooked up some very tasty Korean BBQ, a dish that was new to most of the family.
"Lettuce tacos," tiny "bowl" mushrooms and tender, tasty beef and prk were on the menu, along with sticky rice, which explained how asian people can eat rice with chopsticks - it sticks together in easy-to-grab clumps!
Grandpa wasn't the only one with new baby cows, Aunt Sam also has a little black beauty bull, with looooong eyelashes that this picture just doesn't do justice for!
Sunday after the 4th, my family left Pike County, headed back to California and I started heading south with the dogs and trailer. I stayed the night in Jackson, Mississippi, arriving in Pensacola at around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Everything went as smoothly as one could hope, really, although the furniture did arrive a day later than planned. It turned out to be OK, as I replanned and decided to paint the Florida room and my new studio/office
the calming shade of Pastel Sage I had had my eye on at Home Depot. Excuse the scrapstudio mess... it will be in order one of these days. Maybe ...
Since then, DH Rodney has driven across the southern part of our country, in three days, to join me in Pensacola. The dogs have discovered they hate thunderstorms, no matter how many days in a row we get them
(Marble is cowering in her crate, desperately trying to hide under her bed mat), but they love the big backyard they can run around in - evn Slade, who is now off of "emergency" medication and now on to stabilizing medication he will remain on. But he is quite perky, gaining some weight back and managing to jump on the sliding glass door between the Florida room and the house when thunder cracks. Thank you to everyone who has inquired about his health ... I really appreciate it! Rodney is running around from one home improvement project to another and I am trying to empty cardboard boxes as quickly as possible so I am no longer living in a sea of them!
And thank you to you all for your patience, understanding and support during this huge transition for me and my family - I truly appreciate it!