Thursday, November 25, 2010

San Marco Terrace

Rehab & Care Center. Today was my first day doing a therapy dog visit with Bindi. Three other women with their dogs were there, along with three organizers since three of us were first-timers. There was Bindi, the chi mix, Bella, a small bulldog, Mandy, a wiry haired white terrier something, and BARNEY, THE BIGGEST CHOCOLATE NEWFOUNDLAND I have ever seen! He was hysterical. He would splay his legs out on the ground and look like an enormous plush rug. I was nervous and so was Bindi, but we did very well. Bindi was shy and submissive, which was just fine given the folks we visited. I was outgoing and cheerful. Two residents commented on how beautiful her eyes are, and others talked about their own dogs. We stayed about 45 minutes. It was joyful, and sad, interesting and heartbreaking. After we left I felt absolutely drained and tearful. I was exhausted and I think Bindi was too.

I was late for my chiropractor appt. cause I remembered the time wrong. Ran into the woman who sold me my house in the office who said, "What are you doing at the best chiropractor in town?" That was encouraging. It was so nice to see her and we shared a big hug.

Came home where three people again were working on my future art studio. The ceiling has now been insulated, sheetrocked, and painted, and I have an impressive
6' x 6' wall of windows on the back wall where just yesterday there was just a wall. I'm very excited that progress is being made, but now with the holidays and my going away, there will be another halt. Still, progress. The shed was torn down and hauled away. The woman who was painting may turn out to be a housecleaner for me. That will be a relief.

This afternoon the gurlz and I all took a long nap then I watched "Hancock" with Will Smith and Charlize Theron. Liked it a lot. They are both such great actors.

Tomorrow I have three Thanksgiving invitations, and hope to get to all of them.

Photo of a stray cat who used to come around. No longer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TSA or Take Some Ativan

Suddenly after reading a Facebook post by one of my friends on the new pat-down procedures at airports, I'm freaked. I mean they pat me down anyway because of my prosthetic knees, but now they're doing breasts and buttocks and groin? This is not going to be good for me. I hope I don't break down crying, but I just might.

I don't seem to be getting anything done inside the house. It's still a mess. Although three workers showed up today to paint the ceiling in the studio, tear down the rotten metal shed, and access what kind of windows and where to put them. Had a chiropractor appt. this morning. Then some grocery shopping. Then came home and realized I needed to get Bindi's nails cut and filed for our first nursing home visit tomorrow. Then make myself supper.

A minor wine miracle at the market. I had my items on the belt and when the woman moved the belt forward, the bottle of wine I was about to purchase fell to the floor. It DID NOT BREAK. We were all astonished. I could only attribute it to the guardian angel candle I also had on the belt. The checkout woman muttered something in Portuguese, which meant spirits or saints.

Been watching dvd's borrowed from JG: Life as a House, The Painted Veil, Sherlock Holmes, Savages. All held my interest.

I got four vitex agnes-castus variegata plants for free from the nursery. They have a give away section, and I've been checking it out. How will I ever get the plants into the ground before next week? Someone is coming on Monday to take a look at the platform bed job. Then when I get back from Michigan I must SERIOUSLY get a new mattress.

Had a massage last Sunday then went over to SM's mom's house and had dinner with the gang. JM made grits polenta with fake ground beef and vegetables. Wasn't half bad with a bit of hot sauce on top.

Got to read some of the Sunday New York Times. I cannot subscribe to it, even just Sundays, until I get more settled.

Blogging seems important. How else can I remember what I've done? I'll just feel like I'm free floating. I guess the cat sitter won't mind if my house is a mess while I'm gone, so I should probably take the pressure off to clean it up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour

Amazing sights here at every turn. Saw this on the beach yesterday while sitting with my friend. I let Bindi off leash for a bit and she ran into the water and flipped over, got wet, and ran some more. Dog heaven.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hidden Beauty

When I would drive down the coast to Washington Oaks State Park where my watercolor class was held, I would pass an empty restaurant/inn which I found completely intriguing. There was a for sale sign in front, and although the place was small by some standards, it's architecture was charming and I would always say to myself, I must stop and explore that place one of these trips.

On Sunday, I went to the Park for a fundraiser and a showing off of the work we produced in the class. I had plenty of time and decided to stop at that inn. There was no one around. The sign on the gate to the back said "Private Property Keep Out," but in the words of Woody Guthrie, on the other side it didn't say nothin', and the gate was unlocked, so I went into the back. This is what I found.


The staircase leading down to the labyrinth.

The balcony off one side of the building.
On the back landing were two hot tubs still filled with water, and a long boardwalk which led to the Mantanzas River. What a glorious place it must have been when it was in operation. I hope someone buys it and returns it to its original glory before it falls too badly into disrepair.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The photos are from a friend's dermatologist's office. I went with her one day and his office was filled with old movie posters, magazine covers, and endless items of graphic interest. I am often pleasantly surprised by what I happen to come across down here. It's truly an eclectic atmosphere.

Yesterday a woman who works with the cats-only clinic near me came over to meet Camilla and Misty, as she will tend to them when I am away in December. I don't know why everyone says living in Florida is cheaper. She charges more than my catsitter/dogwalker in CT. But she is a vet tech so I guess that accounts for the higher rate. Her name is Hope. Housing costs down here for places not on the water are very inexpensive these days, but other than that, everything else is just as pricey as CT.

I've begun to let Misty out into the yard when I am at home. I kept her inside for over two months, and when I finally let her out, she stayed around the house and came back in easily. She likes to chase the little anole lizards that are everywhere. Hope said to be on the lookout for blue skinks, as they are toxic if eaten.

Insulation and sheetrocking of the ceiling of the art studio is nearly complete. I'm trying to get my young handsome carpenter to come back next week and put in the windows. He's got some big job on hold and thought he might be able to do it.

Was tempted by some inexpensive plants at Home Depot so bought a couple to put on my screened front porch. Planted some pink/purple muhly grass in a big hole Bindi had dug hoping it will deter her. Found a big resin urn to plant a colorful croton in, and a purplish shrub that is cold resistant. I've got a huge tomato plant that is flowering but I'm sure will be frozen out before it produces any fruit. But as an experiment of planting a spindly thing that a friend gave me, I'll plant another in that spot in the spring and I'm sure it will do well.

I think I may have made a connection for Bindi to get into a therapy dog program, to go with me visiting to hospitals/nursing homes, etc. I'm meeting with someone next week. It's an organization called Canines for Christ. Someone called me after I sent an email to someone else who was listed in the paper, and although this woman said I didn't have to be a "member of their church" for me and Bindi to participate, upon looking at their website, I may not be their preferred candidate. All Bindi needs is her Canine Good Citizen certificate, which she has. Now we will meet and get checked out by the organizer.

Speaking of Home Depot, while i was in there I was approached by three different salesmen trying to sell me various home improvement services. I did not like that at all. It's bad enough being in that place, let alone having my time extended with having to listen to their crap. The job situation is bad here, I get that, but leave me the heck alone when I'm shopping.

Watched "The Last Station" with Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, the story of Tolstoy and his wife. Very good. Also watched "Twilight" to see what the fuss is with all the teenagers being into it. I did not like it much. Also watched "Sudie and Simpson" on Hulu, which, altho quite old, was excellent. A young Sarah Gilbert played Sudie.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Anastasia State Park

Yesterday being veteran's day, all the Florida state parks were open for free. I drove over the Bridge of Lions to Anastasia State Park, right in the city, as I had never been there. There was a good snack bar at the beach where I ate a yummy spicy black bean veggie burger with provolone cheese and lettuce, tomatoe, and mustard. Nicely done. I walked across the dunes, very white sand, and saw this:

I had no blanket or chair, but I just lay down on the sand in my clothes and basked in the warm sun and breeze. The water temperature was 69 degrees, much to cold for me but some brave soul was out there swimming laps for quite a while:

A sweet little girl was hunting for shells with her mom:

And when I left I saw this "landscape" on the dunes:

Tuesday was the last day of my six week watercolor painting class. We are hoping to meet on our own once in a while, and the instructor has said she will do the class again in the spring. That day we were painting right next to this exquisite pond with koi swimming about.

I saw the chiropractor again yesterday, and she had my xray results. My neck is badly misaligned, and I have degenerating discs in my neck. Those of you who know chiropractic know that this squishes nerves and can cause all sorts of dis-ease in the body. I didn't have any specific neck pain, but I do get headaches quite often, and these squished nerves could be exacerbating my mood issues. I look forward to working with Dr. Sage to see if she can help me feel better.

I also met with a new psychiatrist who I think will work out. She was definitely warmer than the shrink I had been seeing for years in CT, and had some interesting takes of my medications and diagnoses. She totally gets PTSD. AND she is covered by my insurance policy!

New carpenter working on the art studio. I lost my great guy to more lucrative jobs, after I pushed him a bit on getting a deadline to finish the building. He recommended this new person, but he's not nearly as good as the one I lost. Oh well, it will get done and that's what I want.

Off to home depot to buy a new mailbox post and some plant pots.
Love to everyone who reads this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Interesting. I just wrote several paragraphs and accidentally deleted them. Don't know how to undelete, so this is all you get for right now.