Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting Ready to Head to Houston!

Because Sparky's daughter, Kerry, wasn't able to make the family reunion, she graciously bought her mom a ticket for Sparky to come to Houston! Woo hoo! Sparky is headed there in just a few days to see her daughter and grandson, whom she hasn't seen since he was born. He's now just a shade over two years old.

In the meantime....Sparky is crafting up a storm. Head over to Millie's Girls to see what she's been making.

It's been too hot to bike ride for Sparky, but Eldo, now that's another story! Eldy has been upset about a recent uptick in blood pressure and a few extra pounds put on this summer, so he's on a roll, let me tell you, folks! He is riding his bike every day, even tho it's in the high nineties...out early in the morning before it gets REALLY hot! He's really watching what he eats...No more stick and a half of butter on a BIG bucket of homemade popcorn. And no salt this time....Sparky is impressed! He's making healthy smoothies in the morning, started eating oatmeal for breakfast, and watching meat intake. Way to go, Eldy? Is Sparky doing all that? No-o-o-o-o-o....but she's working on that Coke a day habit, cutting down. Sparky gets in the pool a few times a week and does some exercise and jogging in the water....That's all she can handle for now.....
Gulf Gate Cafe
So-o-o-o-o....we do some of our regular head to Anna Maria Island once a week to eat breakfast at Gulf Gate Cafe, check out the banana tree, which is growing right outside the restaurant, then we head over to the city pier see what's up.....

Today, there's a little boy fishing....He seems to know exactly what he's doing...We asked him if he had caught anything. He said, "Not yet. But I'm working on it."  A few minutes later, Sparky watched his line take a big curving dip, and she heard him say, "WHAT THE HECK?"  He caught a little fish, no idea what kind. You never know what people are going to catch at the pier. We've seen a ray get caught by accident, a pelican, and an egret tangle with the fishermen's lines.

We've heard people sometimes land a shark!

"What the heck!??!!!!

Sparky is always looking at the birds... A snowy egret getting ready to grab a fish....Not the best photo (iPhone) but look at those legs at perfect right angles!
Another egret that caught a fish.....

We saw a family looking very closely at this small turtle near the boardwalk...They were holding it and handling it gently, but Sparky wished they would place it back in the cover of the shrubs where we think it came from. People have been very informed about sea turtle nesting and turning around baby turtles towards the ocean if they find them in the parking lot but outsiders don't always know the rules. However, Sparky thinks this is a young gopher tortoise. (?)

And we always like to people watch....There are lots of old codgers at the pier, weatherbeaten, leathery, and burnt to a crisp. There's lots to see at the pier......

We've seen fishermen fishing with just a reel of line, no rod....We've had some great conversations with foreigners who speak a little English.... We saw a BIG manatee pass under the pier last weekend and much to the excitement of a French family who had two young children, we called it to their attention. First one they had ever seen, so they were thrilled to see it and thanked us. It had a huge wide scar on its back, so sad.....But it seemed to be doing ok....

Time to head home....Sparky might start subbing this week...She's been having fun volunteering over the lunch hour at the local elementary school, helping the little kindergartners navigate their way through the lunch line and learn how to punch their student number into the code machine to register that they bought a lunch. Some can't even match number to number from a card they have around their neck. But they are so cute! "I don't like that," "I don't eat that," said one little boy who said no to everything the lunch lady suggested. His teacher finally just plopped some food on his tray and told him he had to eat SOMETHING! One cute little blond boy asked Sparky, "Hey, wanna come to my party?" Sparky said, "Oh, are you having a birthday?" He answered, "No, I'm just having a party."  Sparky said thank you, but she had a lot of things to do that day.......One little boy remembered Sparky from last spring! "Hi, Mrs. Sparks! Do you remember me?"  "Uh, no, dear, I'm sorry I don't remember your name."  "Nathan!"   Oh, to have a memory like that once again!

See you later......


  1. You trip to Houston will be a lots of fun, and a bit cooler too.

  2. I know you will enjoy that Grand. ..lot of xoxoxo. . .

  3. Can't believe you haven't seen them in two years. Wow, I'll bet you are really excited. Great gift from your daughter. And way to go Eldy!! Great changes being made. Keep it up. I can't believe you aren't joining him all the way Jeannie.