Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Back to Normal, Sort of…..

The wave of visitors have come and gone…..Family came and went, more family came and went, and just recently, Eldy's nephew came for one day and a night, and then it was back to normal, just Sparky and Eldo. No more wonderful pickle ball with friends over at Sun 'n' Fun. Our friends have left for cooler temperatures. Sparky is still subbing right up until she leaves for Washington, D.C. next week, to see her oldest daughter, who is being deployed overseas in June. But she sure misses pickle ball! She will have to try harder to find some outdoor places to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. There are some indoor facilities, but indoor pickle ball is not as much fun as outdoor, Sparky just likes outdoor better. But as it gets hotter, Sparky will start playing now and then indoors. Those hotter temps are coming, it's been in the mid eighties this week!

We're back to investigating garage sales and estate sales, now that most of the snowbirds have left town, we're looking for things we can't live without, or some yard tools that of course we sold when we left Indiana, thinking we wouldn't be needing anything like that! You never know what you'll see…Sparky really loved this lemonade stand, she was such a cutie, and look how professional the parents made her lemonade stand!

You never know what you might see at an estate sale/garage sale in this area. How about this Old Town antique canoe? It was very cool!

We are true Floridians now….complaining at the height of the season that parking is at a premium, fussing at having to stake a seat out for Happy Hour way before happy hour begins anywhere. We should just have our own happy hour, right? Quit complaining, Sparky!  Even the estate sales have cleared out as far as having to get a number to wait in line to get in the door. We don't do waiting in a line for 45 minutes or more in the heat in the peak of the season. We like going in the off season, it's fun to look to see what's out there. Even though we've pretty much got the house the way we want it decorated for now, there's always SOMETHING that we can find to add to it. (She's managing to add all kinds of things, folks, we're running out of room already, fusses E. And we haven't even picked up our storage shed stuff back up north yet!) Now it's the big projects that will have to wait down the road-- like replacing bathroom cabinets and sinks, and something different in the kitchen in the way of lighting, and maybe carpeting in a couple of rooms, and…..Good thing Sparky is working! We've got all kinds of stuff coming up…a family reunion this summer in Traverse City, a visit seeing Sparky's oldest daughter, and who knows what else?

So….weekends come and go….Farmer's Market in downtown Sarasota….This is Siesta John and his woodie…..heh heh heh…..Notice he's playing in his bare feet! Always great music at the Sarasota Saturday morning Farmer's Market.

And always, fabulous organic fruits and veggies, and wonderful things to sample and eat...

We visit the beach sometimes, usually Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island and the city's island pier…Sparky saw this really cool sea grape (?) leaf. She swears that's an imprint of a regular oak leaf on it, a double imprint at that. You sure don't see very many regular oak trees around, especially at the beach! As a matter of fact, Sparky hasn't seen a single oak tree at the beach.
We always like to visit the Anna Maria Island Pier. There's always LOTS going on…We've seen a dolphin lazily swim very close to shore, chasing the fish in just yards from the swimmers, we've seen a whole bunch, herd, whatever, of brown cow nosed rays---over 60 of them swim back and forth for over a half hour alongside the pier, dolphins stealing fishermen's bait, an angler accidentally hooking a ray, another hooked a pelican and today, it was another ray just swimming along by himself.
Sparky couldn't resist taking a photo of these two cute young anglers…Usually the fishermen or women are lots older and more grizzly looking, skin baked by the sun.
We like to go get pizza at the Main Street Trattoria in Lakewood Ranch and eat it outside….
There are so many places to sit outside at cafes in Sarasota and Bradenton, it would take you a year to sample them all.

Sparky rides her bike at least a couple times a week. Sparky likes these birds of paradise blooming shrubs.
She's always looking for gators, or the elusive bobcat which residents have seen quite a few times in the nature preserve on the back nine and whom we saw cross the road in our subdivision one day…Today we saw a red fox moseying around the golf course just outside our backyard!

And the days fly by…...


  1. Nice to hear from you again and glas you are keeping yourselves busy. Send some heat here please!

  2. Keep cool there Sparky. Hope your daughter gets off without any difficulty. (and comes home safe and sound again!)

  3. You definitely are keeping busy. Life in Sarasota is very relaxing :)

  4. loving your stories. . .and that you are still finding plenty to do. . .life's an adventure. . .go explore!