I would have blogged more often this week, as I know you are just chomping at the bit to read my scintillating travelogue.  The internet, alas, as been only intermittent…to put it nicely.  Very frustrating…so I am now using my mobile hotspot and must keep an eye on my data usage.

The morning before we left Perry, Casey discovered a large lump on the driver front tire of our Expedition.  Luckily, we had only a 3-hour drive to St. Augustine Beach KOA.  This KOA is a nice one, 3/4 mile from the beach and just 3 miles from the Historic City of St. Augustine.

After setting up camp, we inquired as to a Tire Shop and got lucky…The Firestone Tire Center was smack-dab in the Historic City, so we dropped the car off for a new tire and walked around town.  Nice $135 free parking, eh?

We have been to St. Augustine Historic spots before.  There are reallyreally old buildings, forts, churches, the perfunctory tourist shops, decent restaurants, and the Fountain of Youth, of course…   We ate lunch and wandered around.

Our entire stay at St. Augustine Beach was sunny, highs lower 80s and breezy…in my mind perfect…  The beach had a nice pier and was just crowded enough with happy sun worshippers…

Saint Augustine Beach FL

Anastasia State Park was about a mile down the road, so we walked its dunes and hiked a short trail…

It’s only 123 miles from our St. Augustine Beach campsite to our current spot in Wickham Park, Melbourne, but since we made the trip and got set up, we haven’t seen the sun…  I am accustomed to everyday rain in Florida, and I remember a day where it actually rained all day, but this is running to 4 days in a row, with highs only up to mid-60’s.

And isn’t that perfect when you need to spend a couple of days indoors…?! I have already been to visit my Aunt Shirley and I’ll go back and spend another afternoon (doing laundry, too).  We are hanging out over at Cousin Kim’s house this afternoon, letting her feed us… I deliberately waited to shop for clothes until I got here and am thrilled to have a SteinMart and Bealls nearby, so shopping is a nice indoor activity.  Oh, and I need to get the witch nails cut back again, so there’s that.   By the time I get myself all prettied and cleaned, the Sun Will Return and we can head back to the beaches.

Uncle Junior died last Tuesday morning at 2am in the Linda White Hospice. He was a sweet man and I will miss our visits.   Aunt Shirley is the last of Mom’s brothers and sisters, 83-years-old and doing okay.  >sigh<

When the sun comes back, we’ll get out and Wow you with more photos…  Till then…






Wrapping it All Up

It’s been a fun week of daily blogging here at The News.  I’m ready now to get back over to my ancestry blog and write about some of the research I’ve been doing, but I want to share one more ghost-post…

First posted February 24, 2014…

Or so it seems…

We had a great birthday week-end.  Thanks for your kind wishes.  Many of you are like me, scratching your head and asking, “where have the years gone?”  This poem says it better than I can…

Time Enough

The tally of years
added up so rapidly
it appeared I had
been short-changed,
tricked by sleight
of hand, fallen victim
to false bookkeeping.

Yet when I checked
my records, each
and every year had
been accounted for,
down to the last day,
and could be audited
against old diary entries
(client briefings,
dental check-ups,
parent-teacher meetings,
wedding anniversaries),
verified with credit
card statements
(multi-trip insurance,
antibiotics, concert bookings,
mobile top-ups).

And, although
nagging doubts
inkling that I had
been ripped off
in some way,
given short shrift,
made to live at an
accelerated pace,
rushed through
my routines with
unseemly haste—
nothing could be proved,
no hard and fast
statistics adduced.

I had, it seems,
unknown to me,
been living my
life to the full.

“Time Enough” by Dennis O’Driscoll, from Dear Life. © Copper Canyon Press. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Onward to’s only 24 days away!!


We’re going to uncover the travel trailer, aka Sonnystone2, this week.  Current plans are to leave for Florida in two weeks, which seems pretty soon, don’t you think?  On the other hand, it doesn’t seem soon enough to escape the dreary cold we’ve been experiencing.

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes!



Weekly Update

It’s been a busy week here at the Acres.  Casey has taken on a painting project and I’m tripping over him as I meander through the house.  He’s painting all of the trim, the same color but semi-gloss instead of satin, showcasing the filth just before he covers it.

The Camp Sonnystone Height Chart will Never be covered…

As for me, I’m walking on air, so excited about my new winter projects…

I came this close to buying a new Nikon.  Before I hit the checkout button, I got out my old D60 and made sure that it was still working like crap.  It was, but I felt such a nostalgia for the old girl.  We had so many adventures together, and I have neglected her for years? now.  Feeling guilty, I got out the q-tips and cleaned, pulling out veritable furballs.  I reset it, bought it a new battery and lens covers and it’s working like a charm now, though that didn’t add the pixels that make the phone camera pictures look so lush.  What it’s got going for it is its superiority at long shots, especially birds…

So it was, that I took on a Photo Project:  a picture a day using a list of prompts…  I will use whichever camera works best for the subject, just get back into the picture-taking groove…   You can follow me over at Photo Synthesis — clever, eh? — and I may occasionally publicize that blog, as well.

Right after I cleaned up the camera and started the blog, I Finally bought into Ancestry dot com and damn!  I’m glad I waited until I had Time on my hands, because I am now Obsessed with it!  I am so excited to share what I have learned already, but let’s just say that you should probably be calling me Lady Jo…no curtsying, but all men should bow…oh, wait, that’s the way it’s always been.

That project will be yet Another Blog,  All My Grandparents, and I will keep you informed regarding its launch.  Currently I am organizing the individual trees and double-checking the info.  I got too many branches going at one time and it’s become a little confusing.

I love it, though I’m just sitting here growing my ass in front of this computer screen and I need to get up and Move Around…  I really wish Casey hadn’t bought me that bath scale.  If you put it on a certain spot inside my closet it will shave 10 lbs off the number it shows when it’s sitting on the bathroom floor…  Where would you keep it?  I’m thinking he should just hide it from me…




A Loss of Words

The unthinkable happened, the thing that I even stopped fearing could happen —  the draft of my Grandmother book is gone…  I know, you think because nothing dies in the internet that it is out there somewhere, but it never left this computer, and in particular WordPress, and it is not in either of those places.  I Know that I saved the draft… I KNOW that I did…but I guess I didn’t.  That was about 3200 + words—three thousand two hundred plus — it made me kinda sick when I made the discovery.  I guess I have to start over, but I really liked what I wrote.  New Beginnings…

While I’m complaining, I must say that last week was very disorienting…with New Years Eve on a Monday, holiday on Tuesday, it felt to me like Wednesday was really Monday and if it hadn’t been for Olivia’s piano lesson on the usual Saturday, I’d still be thinking it’s Friday…  And the weather didn’t help — we didn’t see the sun for a couple of those days, whichever they were.  I never thought I would look forward to a Real Monday so I can pass the dementia quiz.

Today definitely feels like Sunday, though, and the sunshine is beckoning me to bundle up and go outside.  I will get to the words later…



Weekly Wrap-up

Here’s a quick wrap-up of the Porch Project that morphed into the Porch-and-Patio-and-Gate Project.  I think it’s pretty impressive, even though the 6 weeks it took was 2 longer than the 4 I had allotted.

I learned peaceful patience, but that’s a project that never ends…

The garden is transforming from summer to fall.  I brought in the last of the tomatoes and made a big greek salad.  Today I’ll bring in the last of the bell peppers and chop them for freezing.  Meanwhile, the broccoli is burley and the cauliflower is,um, climbing? calling? where’s my alliterative skill?  It’s all growing…

Watching the hurricane slowly wreak havoc on the east coast, I feel very grateful to have a beautiful week ahead to finish up summer.


What’s Happening…

Lots of changes here at the Acres last week…

Remember last year when I moved my “office” upstairs and was so happy to have a room of my own?  Remember how just as I finished dragging all my books and such up there, I re-injured my piriformis and went through weeks of incapacitating pain, necessitating no stairs?  Then Winter came and we hunkered down in front of the fireplace so we moved the “office” stuff back downstairs?  So I tired of that and moved everything around again and didn’t like it?  Well, I fixed the whole problem with a sweet little desk from the consignment shop.  When I first looked at it, I thought it seemed shabby, then realized it would match my decor completely.

In the meantime, I was still struggling with the computer connection.

I bought (and returned) 2 modems before I picked up one from WOW so that if it went wrong they couldn’t blame that for the problem, which I was now convinced was outside on the line.  Sure enough, their modem was in and out, also, so within a week, a service dude came out.  He replaced an old piece of equipment on the line that they no longer used, fixed something that was cracked, put in a new splitter, and arranged for another guy to come out Tuesday just to check the tippy-top of the poles so make sure no squirrels have been chewing on them.   After months -months!- of frustration, thinking it was something I did, I’m so relieved to have the problem diagnosed as not-me, and especially that it is fixed..!

Did you watch the funerals of Aretha and John McCain?

Both were such Great Church…wonderful sermons and liturgies, Fantastic music.  I hope that the message underlying the ceremonies, especially of Senator McCain’s, is resonating in the hearts of All.  It was such a contrast to the Circus that came to town with the person who was absent from the funerals…

Seriously, thousands of people follow these rallies,  setting up their wares out front like the fall festival.  Only the lovers are allowed near, and carrying a sign or wearing a tee shirt or hat with a message that disagrees with him or his policies is all it takes for you to be denied access and relegated to a spot a couple of blocks away. If you were carrying my sign, “We are All One” you would have to go to the protester section, even though the message is not Anti- and you Definitely weren’t allowed inside…  So the advance people (like the one that did not allow a reporter to take pictures of the police dragging away a peaceful protester), the groupies, and the local (and state) pols are the only ones allowed up close.  This is despite the fact that when he visited before as a candidate, there was only one arrest…after this lady was asked to go the protester section and she mooned the cops as she left…

picture from 2016

While she doesn’t express my exact sentiments either, I was appalled to see that people right here in my hometown chanted “lock her up” — geez, did you get the memo that she lost?   Even worse, national news outlets asked many of the people who were allowed to be around the venue about John McCain and many of them responded that he was no hero !!   This is why I am a recluse…

Recently we had a lady from our homeowners insurance come out and do some sort of inspection of our property.  On Friday a letter arrived informing us that we have to 1) get a locking ladder for our un-fenced pool; 2) have our fireplace insert inspected.

We were planning on waiting until Spring to put up the rest of the fencing around the pool, but decided to go ahead and finish it now since the locking ladder is dumb and expensive.  We made an appointment for the chimney sweep, but Burt and the boys can’t be here for a couple of weeks…

I’m excited about the gate, of course, but we had planned to run off in the trailer next week and now that’s on hold.  Probably okay, as the hothot days continue to demand constant attention to my plants…

Tomorrow is my son’s 37th birthday and I’m going to bake some cupcakes tonight for frosting tomorrow when his girls spend the day with us.  Shh…it’s a surprise.




The Garden is Back !!

I was only going to put out some more green beans, but I didn’t have very many left, so I set out for the co-op to purchase some.  Whilst there, I was romanced by the green growing in 6-packs out front…enticed by the oregon sugar pod pea-seeds inside and gave up without a fight.  I bought a half-pound of blue lake bush beans, an 1/8 lb of the peas, 6 each of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, along with 6 swiss chard for pretty.  I put the peas around cages, something new for me, and planted 3 12-foot rows of beans along with a small bed of beets and radishes.  I’ll get the spinach in later, maybe…



I got them all in the ground just in time for a full day of rain !!   Yes, you read that correctly:  it rained All Day on Thursday!!  What treat it was to have the high temperature only 69 and enough water to green everything up again.  We are back to summer now and the moisture is all sweat, but I’m okay with that, too.  So are the plants.

Speaking of treats, Trump is visiting our burg this week.  I am in a quandary…should I leave town and put up the force-field around the Acres so no residual cooties can seep in?  Should I get out my Great sign and join the local protesters?  Should I get some press credentials for The News and try to meet Bob Acosta?  I’m kinda leaning toward the latter, but still considering options…   Ideas?  I have heard that there are “outside” groups that will be protesting, and I admit I’m a little scared that our local Trumpers will get nasty with them.  This area is Wayyy Trumpy, I must tell you, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the local churches have their services there so they can get close to their Idol.  However, our local felons love him also, and much prefer the 2nd amendment to the first…  Still, Bob Acosta…

We took a walk down the path to the Thoughtful spot this morning.  It’s always changing down there…trees and limbs fall willy-nilly, landing where they will, and each morning the sunshine dapples the leaves…

The Thoughtful Spot




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