Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I have been down with strep throat for the past week, so I missed the dinner at the park.  Luckily, Ambir invited us all down to her place the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I was able to celebrate still.  All the kids, minus Ashleigh, were there.  My Mom and my niece and nephew were there.  Austin brought Brittany, so the family was able to meet her.

We did our traditional dinner, cooked by my Mom, the first day.  The second day we celebrated as true Floridians do.  We spent time in the water by spending the day jet skiing.

  I was still recovering, so I opted out.  Which meant I got to take pictures all day long.
I was very happy with this arrangement!
Ava was not so happy with not being able to jet ski.
 Still, she seemed to enjoy being able to watch the action.  It kept her and I entertained all day long!
Hoping everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving also!  We had much to be thankful for this year, most of which was with us this weekend: our family!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter is Finally Here!

Since about April of last year, Nathan and I have counted down the days together of when "winter" was back again.  Not that we cared so much about winter, but we did care about our pickleball friends making their way back to us and not having an empty park.

So when I see the first Happy Hours taking place, I had to high five Nathan that "we did it" meaning we lasted here through the summer until the park was back in full swing again.  I did not make it to this Happy Hour, so the pictures are all courtesy of Donna.
I did manage to snap these shots, which shows again how lovely the weather has been here!
Living the life in lovely FL!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gearing Up for the Holidays

Every year when it hits November, I kind of hold my breath a bit, bracing myself for the coming holidays.  I love the holidays.  I am really geeky about holidays in fact.  But they are also tiring because of all of the "extra" they add to life.

Adding to the holiday busy-ness is the reality that work is going to get much busier.  It will get downright crazy in fact.  We will also have more people around us that we want to spend time with.  Pickleball will be in full force.  And I will love it all.  And I will be ready to crash when it ends because it really is exhausting to juggle so much in such a short time.  So on days like today, where I spent most of the day at Sixteen Hands...I soak up the peace and quiet while I can.

I enjoy the pace of the horses.  I pay attention to the small details, like Dancer's jingle bells.
I laugh at the silly faces Patriot makes while he camera hogs my view.
I marvel at Gracie, who is one of the wild mustangs here.  I appreciate her patient and gentle spirit with us as we try to attend to so many horses needs.
And I spend as much time as necessary to see that Cherokee gets as much food into him as he can handle today.
I get down to the basics when I am here.  All the things that nourish living souls.  Nothing more.  And it is exactly what I need to keep me grounded.
Living the life in FL!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Trip with Friends

This weekend we took a trip to the Orlando area so we could visit Capone's.  We visited this place once before with a group of pickleball friends.  The time Nick and Tonyia organized the trip, and they did a great job.  We got a package deal with dinner, the show, a hotel and a shuttle bus there and back.

We were able to ride up with one of our favorite couples, Art and Hedy.  We got up there in plenty of time to sit and visit some beforehand.  Here we all are waiting for the shuttle bus.
At Capone's, we ordered drinks and visited for a bit and then headed down to eat.  They offer a buffet of Italian foods and the food is very good.
Here's Art and Hedy with "Fingers"!
The best part of this place is definitely the show.  The show is a lot of dancing and singing and some improv and audience participation.  For example, Nick was able to participate by lending a seat to one of the actresses.
My favorite part was when Todd was persuaded to participate.  He was a bit reluctant to begin with.  I think he was taught that women are like animals, if you don't make eye contact then they'll leave you alone.
He was such a trooper though.  He not only went on stage, he danced the Charleston for us!
We had so much fun laughing and talking with our friends and enjoying the show together!
I am hoping we have more trips like this during the winter months here together!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

One wonderful thing about being in the park, is that we can celebrate the "kid" holidays even though we have no kids left in our house.  Since I work at the park, I have no choice but to be there when the park is celebrating.  Which is fine by me.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween wherever you are!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Favorite Kind of Day

Since we spent all summer in Florida, and Florida in the summer is a dreadful experience temperature and humidity-wise, we are really enjoying the cooler days.  We went out to Sixteen Hands and spent the day there alone because everyone else went to an event.  It was just a lazy kind of a day.
  The horses are starting to really know Nathan now.  They greet him and then go and do their thing.  Well, except Patriot who believes "we" are his thing.
Gypsy girl shows us how she multi-tasks by drinking and bathing at the same time.
And Chevy bravely walks over to me, rather than running away from me.
It was a good day!  Hoping for more of them over the next few months!

Living the life in FL!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Horse is a Horse...or Not

Nathan has decided if you can't beat them, join them, and now goes out with me on the weekends to Sixteen Hands.  Today I grabbed my real camera and grabbed some shots and we discussed how different the horses are from each other.  I didn't know how distinct the "horsenalities" of horses were until I spent time here.  They are all unique and all bring their own flavor to the sanctuary.  As someone who had a lot of kids, I love this about the sanctuary.

For example, Willow is a deep thinker.  She watches what is going on and seems pretty mellow, but she is as strong willed as they come when pressed by something she does not like.
 Dakota is Mr Personality, winning over the visitors with his stunning looks and friendliness.  I call him Mr Hollywood because I have to fight to get a shot of anyone else when he is around.  He is ALL about the camera and will circle around with me to be sure I am taking pictures of only him.
Cherokee is our wise and gentle soul.  He is pure, unadulterated love.  If I am feeling down for any reason, five seconds with Cherokee is my favorite cure. 
Dallas is one half of what I call the Dynamic Duo.  He is energy, fun and joy all rolled up into one.  Just watching him race down the track makes me smile.  He is not really afraid of people so he can be quite pushy at times.  He is smart as a whip and curious about everything!
 Nova is a classy lady.  She is above most of the foolishness that the guys engage in, but can hold her own against them if she needs to.  I always imagine after she kicks the guys with all her might, scaring the living daylights out of them, that she walks away disgusted that she had to break a sweat in order to do it.
Most of the horses here have unique "issues", being rescued from abusive or neglectful situations.  So they have baggage, just as most of us humans do.  They are also able to still show us who they are, when they get to the point where they feel safe and trust us.  Again, like most humans.  It's a really interesting thing to be a part of that process and I am grateful each day I spend time there and learn more about it.

Living the life in FL!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cozumel Cruise~Day at Cozumel

Our day trip to Cozumel was a blast!  We were able to join Rich and Dee and Dean and Margie and some of Dee's family for an island tour with tour guide.  It was really neat to see the island this way!
The island was as pretty as I thought it would be.  The people were incredibly friendly.  The water was that same clear water that we experienced on our last cruise.
We stopped at a little village, where there were tons of goodies to buy. 
We made friends with some of the local critters.
Rich and Dean visited jail, we soaked up some of the beauty and we enjoyed the air conditioned van.
We enjoyed "real" Mexican food and ended the day with a tour of a Tequila factory. 
It was a great day full of wonderful memories! 

Living the life in Cozumel!