Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is Important

I have been tired the last couple of weeks. I got my Remicade infusion last week so should be feeling good. This has just been a busy month. I complained again to my doctor that I feel tired all the time. I know of course that this is a byproduct of RA and the always present inflamation in my system. Plus "the dumb back thing" which never goes away. Unfortunately the Remicade cannot help with that, a fact which I find irritating since the RA seems to be controlled fairly well at the moment. So I have to pace myself which is hard when I want to do normal things and especially play with the grandkids. Being with the grandkids is such fun and restores an emotional balance. It makes me happy. Knitting makes me happy. Fortunately I am still able to do that and have been knitting like crazy for the future grandbaby and trying to figure out a lace shawl pattern. Sometimes in all the "stuff" going on within us and around us we need to stop and read the grandkids a story, watch them swim, nuzzle a baby's neck so that they laugh out loud, and know that this is what is important.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Bibs

When you are a five month old it seems you have a lot of extra drool. Scout needs a bib all the time or her shirt looks like she has been swimming in it. While I was in Florida I found a cute bib pattern that required no ties. This pattern came from Creative Knitting January 2009. It is super easy and made with Sugar and Cream cotton. It fit her so well that I made two more. I did knit them on size 8's instead of the called for 10's. I thought this would make the bib a little more compact and absorb the drool more. Seems to work great.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun in Florida 4

The last day of vacation in Florida was to the Everglades. Everglades City is not very far from Naples, just approximately 45 minutes. The first picture is the end of the road. This is the beginning of the Everglades. The road ended here and you go no further without a boat and a guide. We ate lunch at City Seafood. They catch their fish daily and fry it up. My taste test for fish the first time I eat at a new restaurant is the grouper. Their's was crisp and tender. I could have had the fried whole crab, yes, shell and all. They fry it and put it on a bun. The cook said it was good but I just could not get into eating the shell. I really did not want those little crab eyes looking up at me whether they could see me or not. Everglades City is a step back in time. I loved it. It is the Florida that I thought of when I was growing up. It is a very small town but back at the turn of the century was very important during the building of the Tamiami Trail. This road runs from Miami to Tampa. When you think of the heat, swampland and mosquitoes that these people had to endure in the building of this road it is a true marvel. This is still a major highway used today. The pink building is now a museum but was the original laundry building for the workers. The blue building is the bank. I love the old look of these buildings with the palm trees everywhere. Everglades city is also the last city in the US that has it's school system K-12 all in one school. I loved visiting here. It was very peace and quietful (haha JE). We drove to Chokoloskee. As my t-shirt says Chokoloskee is a "reel" place. It is just down the road from Everglades City. It is a fishing town but is also an island. During Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 Chokoloskee sustained a lot of damage. The federal government refuse them aid because it said they were not a real place. So the t-shirts were printed up. Yes, it is a real place and a lovely little fishing town. Lastly we went to the post office. I love this picture. It is the Ochopee post office, the smallest in the US. Of course not only did I get JE to take a picture of me in front of it but I mailed myself an Everglades postcard saying "I was here and so were you", a little psychological humor there. So now I am back home. The trip was so much fun. Now it is back to knitting more and trying to get back in a routine of exercise therapy for my RA.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fun in Florida 3

While in Naples I went by Gabriella's Yarn Shop. I knew that Gabriella was in Europe but wanted to run by the shop and see where it was. Though I only got to peek in the window, that was full of colorful socks, it looked like a great shop. Gabriella was on vacation and it was just a fluke that I was in Florida at this time. Hopefully next time I will get to add some yarn to my stash. We headed to the Naples Pier. I have been there before and seen some beautiful sunsets. We walked on the pier and then went to Delanor Wiggins State Park and had a picnic lunch. This is one of my favorite places. It has sustained some hurricane damage in the past but is recovering and is lovely to visit. Unfortunately one of our favorite places, the Chickee Bar at the old Vanderbuilt Inn is no longer in existance. Sadly it has been replaced by a giant condo building. The food at the Chickee Bar was great and you could have dinner right on the sandy beach and watch the sunset. I am not sure I think that a giant condo is progress. Lastly we headed to my favorite place to get the best clam chowder I have ever had. I love Steamers. It is just a cute little restaurant but their food is fantastic. They have grouper that is very good. I still have to order the clam chowder with it because it is so creamy and delicious. I do have to say that my sister shows me a good time when I come to visit her. I was also lucky in that the only thing Jo asked me to bring her was a "glow shirt". Yeah, right. Well I found a shirt that when worn in the sun causes butterfies to appear and when it is worn inside they go away. I thought that was pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun in Florida 2

One of my favorite places to visit in Florida is a swamp. This is not just any swamp it is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Corkscrew is under the protection of the Audubon Society in Southwest Florida. I absolutely love this place. It is wild and pure and just plain wonderful. You follow the boardwalk through approximately two and a half miles of pure wilderness. Unfortunately this area is currently in a drought and I could see the affects of this since the last time I was there. Areas that had been under water were not this year and this caused major differences in the eco-system. Still it was absolutely wonderful. While we were there it was very hot and we did not see the animals we have before, alligators, deer, and birds to numerous to list. But it was a wonderful trip and I love the wildness of the area. The seventh picture is of the Ghost Orchid that is currently blooming. This flower usually blooms about once or twice in twenty years. This year is the third year of blooming which is very unusual. It is hard to see but is in the middle branch of the three branched tree. The last picture is of our picnic lunch on the patio of the visitor's center. If you are in Southwest Florida go to Corkscrew. You will not be disappointed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun in Florida

I was looking back over the trip to Florida and trying to decide what to share from my trip there. I decided to split the trip up over a few days simply because the things we did. Our first excursion was to Ave Maria which is a community built around the Ave Maria University. Apparently the owner of Dominos Pizza, sorry I cannot remember his name, gave a large donation to help build the university. Now they are building a town around the university. They have a golf course, town square with dozens of cute shops, grocery store and houses that are being built. It is about 15 minutes from Naples. We ate at a shop called The Bean. I had an absolutely yummy Cuban sandwich. We then went to The Oratory. I am not familiar with the various types of "church levels" in the Catholic Church but apparently The Oratory is one of the few in the country and of great importance. The outside is beautiful. The inside while also being beautiful was wonderful. JE and I went in and just sat. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle and noise of the world just sitting in the quiet is balm to the soul. We headed back to Naples. Since I have been there several times we just decided to pick up a few things, like visiting a yarn shop and then we went to old downtown Naples. There we visited a Wine/Cigar Bar that Joseph had enjoyed while he was there. We just stopped by to tell the owner Colin hi. When you walk in the smell of tobacco is faint but pleasant. I am partial to the smell of cigars because my grandpa smoked cigars so this might bother other people but I liked it. You cannot actually smoke in the building but can sit outside with a glass of beer or wine and enjoy the day. (When I was little after we moved to Texas we used to bring my grandpa Lovera cigars. Anyone else remember those? But the cigars at the bar were a little more pricey). Later we ate at The Dock a great seafood restaurant. It is right on the water and there are even pelicans that sit on the deck. They have great grouper. I ate fish almost every day and grouper is very tasty. Also since it is the rainy season in Florida we had some rain every day. That was a first for me since I usually visit later in the fall. Tomorrow...Corkscrew.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lewisville Run

Today was the opening of the new tollroad over Lewisville Lake. There was supposed to be a 5K run to open the road. Matthew and his neighbor Mitchell were running in it. Unfortunately due to rain the run was first postponed and then cancelled. Matthew's puzzled look was when they had first announced the delay. We all are cautious of the weather especially over water, but, by 11:00am the sun was out and the sky was blue. We all felt that it was cancelled too early. There is a run for the Shriners Children's Hospital in September. Hopefully that will turn out better.