The other morning The Colonel was again making his way to the garage and when he came back in the house said he just saw the strangest thing...a hornet wrestling a piece of cat food. I had to see this.Upon closer (as close as I dared) inspection, I saw that the hornet was actually eating the cat food. He would flit from the food on the porch to the food on the plate.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
The common area. The girl in the blue shirt is Yam's friend and R.A./roomie. The girl in the purple shirt in Yam's friend and roomie. The tall guy is a friend of Yam and her roomies and the others in the room are Yam's grandparents and The Colonel.
The kitchen (sorry about the poor quality photo). The kitchen has a full size fridge, an electric stove and dishwasher.The two bathrooms. There is a tub in one room and a shower in the other.
When we got back home I called Yam to let her know we got home safely.
She was still unpacking.Here's to wishing you all the best in your sophomore year Yam!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
So, I gave Yam my camera and she captured "Pi in the sky".
Mr. George W. Jenkins. (Maybe the "W" stands for Walt, a family name?)
Mr. Walt Disney.
If they are long lost brothers, what explains the name difference? Perhaps they were separated when very young, and a kind, childless couple (Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins of Winter Haven, FL) adopted little George. Winter Haven is southwest of Orlando, where Walt would one day build Disney World.
You never know what you'll see and what may become a blog post when you are running some errands...don't forget your camera!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Spud and Yam went to John's house to help him hook up some electronic equipment. He wanted to pay them in cash but they said that was not necessary, they were just glad to help (The Colonel and I must be doing something right). John said he could not have them leave empty handed, so he had Spud cut one of the pineapples in his front yard to take home as payment.
The kitchen smelled fruity and sweet as The Colonel and I came back from our Home Depot trip and it was all due to John's little pineapple sitting on the counter.
The smell of the pineapple told us that it would be nothing short of Ambrosia.After we ate our dinner The Colonel cut the pineapple and handed out pieces of the golden fruit.
That first bite (as well as all those that followed) was indeed worthy of the palates of the Greek Gods.
John's pineapple was many times more sweet and delicious than any fresh pineapple I have ever purchased from the grocery store.
I called John after we ate the pineapple to let him know that it was the best pineapple we had ever eaten.
He said our pineapple was a descendant of a pineapple that he bought two years ago from the grocery. After he ate the grocery pineapple, he cut the top off (along with 1 to 2 inches of the pineapple attached) and planted it. He told me to do the same with our pineapple and in about two years we should have another delicious one. So I did.
John and I agreed what made this pineapple better than the grocery ones was that this was ripe at the time Spud harvested it and the ones at the grocery are picked when they are still unripe. They have to be picked early for shipping purposes.John said he didn't give his growing pineapples any special treatment, as a matter of fact, he said he doesn't have a green thumb. I was thrilled to hear that, because I don't either and if John can grow a pineapple worthy of Greek Gods and their palates then I have a decent chance at doing the same.
I am counting down the two years until I have another one of these on my counter top.
Maybe we don't have to wait two years...John did say he had two more growing...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
MY BABY IS A SENIOR!!
I know this year will fly by. I can already see him in his cap and gown, walking across the stage and taking his diploma in hand.
Yam's walk across the stage is still very fresh in my mind and she will start her second year of college in two weeks.
It is our tradition to take pictures of the kids on their first day of school (college excluded).
This year's picture of Spud.
I am thinking back to the days when my siblings and I would get ready for our first day of the new school year.
When we were in grade school we did not have to agonize (mainly my sisters and I, it's a girl thing) over what to wear on that first day. We went to a Catholic school and therefore had a uniform to wear (except the boys, which I thought wasn't fair and still don't). You had to pick out your book bag or back pack and lunch box and that was cause for some excitement and maybe some angst. I remember my aqua colored book bag and H.R. Puff 'n' Stuff lunchbox.
After grade school we went to a public Jr. High and high school. No uniforms.
Now came the time to worry about and pre-plan our first-day-of-school outfits. It was crucial what outfit you put together...you know, first impressions and all. The current fashions played a big part in what you would decide to wear. Bell Bottoms, Gaucho Pants, cowl neck sweaters, etc.
Your hair and makeup had to be flawless (I never seemed to be able to achieve perfection in either).
Once you had on the perfect first-day-of-school outfit with perfect hair and makeup, it was time to wait for the school bus to arrive.
There were always butterflies in our stomachs as we waited. I had one sister in particular whose gag reflex was set on hair-trigger that day due to her nerves. Many of my siblings, me included, have sensitive gag-reflexes. Just the mere mention of, let's say, a hair being found in one's dinner can bring on a strong gag. I am trying not to gag as I type this.
The first day of Jr. High and high school was usually great fun. It was good to see your friends again, met your teachers, become familiar with your schedule, your route through the hallways and your new locker (which would later feature in many inadequacy dreams for everyone...not finding your locker and when/if you do, not remembering the combination).
Spud said the first day of his Senior Year was a good one.
My wish is that the rest of his Senior Year will be too.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I have visited Weeki Watchee Springs and watched the Mermaid shows there. Loved it! (See previous blog entry).
Roughly two years ago I visited another old roadside attraction...Gatorama. This roadside attraction has been around for 52 years.
DSIL was in town for a visit. We wanted to do something fun and different while she was here. Gatorama sounded like the perfect thing.
Our visit to Gatorama would coincide with the roadside attraction's Hatching Festival. Excellent!
For $10 (plus the price of admission) you could reserve a spot, when the time came, to help hatch a baby alligator by hand. That had my name all over it.
We had time to tour Gatorama and watch the feedings before the Hatching Festival began. The 15 acre attraction is nestled in a natural Florida setting. There are palm trees and giant oak trees along the water's edge, the 1000 foot covered walkway and the wooden bridge.
Ambling down the walkway and bridge we saw many animals. We saw alligators (naturally), crocodiles, panthers, bobcats, raccoons, peacocks, ducks and geese.
From the bridge we watched as the alligators in the lake were being fed. A man would dangle raw chicken parts, by hand, over the water and huge alligators would almost leap completely out of the water to snap the chicken out of his hand.
It was nearing time to hatch my baby gator and I was beginning to get nervous. Before we could hatch our babies we were given a little tutorial, what to do, what not to do, what to be careful of (like the baby gator's yolk sack that would still be attached to the baby gator, that was what made me most nervous).
I began to doubt my gator "birthing" ability. Then I thought to myself, I've given birth to two babies (without the aid of epidurals), I can do this...I was still nervous...it was that yolk sack that worried me.
Those of us who paid to participate in the Hatching Festival were asked to approach a kiddie swimming pool filled with peat moss. We were given disposable gloves to wear and once they were donned, we were handed an egg. Que even more nerves.
The egg was a little larger than a chicken's egg and slightly oblong. The shell of the egg felt a little soft and leathery. I could feel the baby gator move inside the egg and hear it make little grunting noises. Baby alligators have an egg tooth on the end of their snouts and they use it to help tear out of the shell. I could see a tiny hole in the egg that was handed to me and my job was to gently tear away some of the shell to make the hole larger so that the baby alligator could emerge. I have nerves with nerves of their own by now. I am edgier hatching my baby gator than I ever was giving birth to my two children.
I start to make the hole larger and I can see the tip of the baby alligator's nose. I keep making the hole larger, slowly, gently. I see a little blood on the shell....
Oh my God, I've killed my baby gator! I was careless and ruptured the yolk sack for sure. I alert the Gatorama people.
"No, Ma'am that's normal, you're doing fine."
I breathe a little easier, but still worry about watching out for the yolk sack.
A few more little tears of the shell and my baby gator slides out of it's shell, into my hand (yolk sack in tact) and into the world.
She was about 8 inches long.
I say "she" because the owner of Gatorama said this clutch of eggs more than likely produced females due to the temperature of the eggs while they were incubating.
A proud new "Hornback" (the name given one who has hatched an alligator).
After the newborn photo op, I said my goodbyes and placed my hatchling in the moss-filled kiddie pool along with the other hatchlings.
Those of us who participated in the hatching were given a scoot and alligator teeth to take home with us. A scoot is a bony plate on an alligator's back.
(If you visit the Gatorama website you will see pictures of me on their Hatching Festival and Photo Gallery links)