Monday, February 28, 2011

spring things

yea!  it's almost here.
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
the weather in north florida is warming up...
into the 80's during the day!
it's still nice and cool at enough
to open the windows and get some fresh air. good sleeping weather!

one sign of spring are the Redbud trees...
beautiful bright dark pink buds

and the Flat woods or Chickasaw Plum trees...

...AND the POLLEN!
giving everything a fine's my car window...
(i thought i'd be more creative than the usual 'wash me')

i've been working a lot in the yard....
raking all the fallen leaves out of the flower beds...
and planting a few new plants...begonias, pansies, mums...
and some sunflower seeds!
it's so nice to see a little COLOR!!

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."  
~Margaret Atwood

spring. time to find a mate.
well, not me. i have a mate.
the other evening, just before dusk...
we could hear the familiar cries
coming from the back woods.  screams actually.
pretty scary sounding. like a baby screaming its lungs out. we'd heard this sound before...
last year...and the year before...and when you hear it,
it makes your heart race. it sounds like someone's in trouble.
so we looked it up...thinking it might be an animal...hoping so, anyway. it was.
 the female fox, the vixen. mating. wow!  what a screamer!
after about 5 minutes of listening to her howls...
here she comes...out of the woods and into the backyard.
her tail held high.  yikes!  (i'm surprised she could even walk!)
anyway, she started wandering...and i ran to get the camera.
it's a little dark...already dusk...

and now...for more
(an older picture...but thought it fit nicely here...)  :)
two florida anoles.

well, we found a newly built nest in the weirdest of places!
sam was going to change the oil in my car. he popped the hood.
and there was a...mouse...staring at him...with a surprised look on her face.  
she had built a nest under there...out of  the fire wall  insulation STUFF.
she had piles of crushed up acorns in various locations.
she went into hiding...under the motor soon as she saw sam.
well, at least none of the hoses or wires showed signs of being chewed.
we removed the nest, vacuumed  up the acorn pieces...
and i sprinkled cayenne pepper under there. 
(at least i heard this works to keep squirrels away) sam said...he hopes my car doesn't run HOT now! :)
of course, i couldn't help thinking...uh-oh...what if that little rodent
decides to come visit me INSIDE the car while i'm driving!
forget it...i don't even wanna think about that!

spring also brings out the BIRDS!  they're baaaaack...
 flocks of Robins pecking around the yard all day.

and the Cardinals!

and the Mockingbirds...florida's state bird.
we have a planter dish sitting on top of a tree stump,
that we keep filled with water for the squirrels and birds.
...and just before take off...

this little guy...hmmmm...not exactly sure what he is.
i've looked in my bird book, and online...
i think he's either a Gnat Catcher or a Kinglet.  cute little guy either way.

spring...also means BUTTERFLIES! yeah!
i've been seeing them flutter through the yard...but there's not too much
blooming right, unfortunately i haven't been able to get pictures yet!
BUT i took LOTS of pictures last year...
and if you need a butterfly can search my older posts...  :)

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"  
~Robin Williams

sam spotted this grasshopper. so i ran for the camera...luckily it was still there.
i'm pretty sure it's a Slant Faced Grasshopper...
those big eyes, the slanted face, and the antennae, kind of front & forward on the head.
((added 3-29-11. thanks to Shawn...of...Stokes Animal Library  .
for letting me know that this little guy is a southern green-striped grasshopper.
he may not look green...and he may not look striped...
but they look a lot like the 'slant faced', and they can be solid tan like this one!))

i mentioned in my last post...or maybe the one before that...
the nocturnal Orb Weaver has come out of hibernation...
or suspended animation...or just plain thawed out...
and has started weaving its web just after dusk.
they catch other insects and eat all night long...
only to take down their webs before dawn.  
then they do it all over again the next night.
this Orb Weaver lives in a bell 
on a wind chime 
on the front day.
the other day, he/she didn't take down the whole web.
i'm still  practicing with my night shots. this one's not too bad.
the Orb Weaver.
(i know, they're kinda creepy to many of you...
but just LOOK at those markings! wow!! so cool! he's beautiful!)
(sorry JP! :) )

well...on a more personal note...
i MIGHT have about 4 new clients! yay!
every monday, i drive to palatka...about 50 min see a few clients
who i used to see when massage was part of the Developmental Disabilities waiver.
but...due to cutbacks...a few years ago, 
massage was just ONE of the services eliminated from this waiver!
to make a long story short...because believe me, i can go on and on about this...
as massage is SO beneficial to these people...
with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Autism...and so on.
anyway...due to the eliminations...IF my clients could afford it...
they continued with their massage therapy...but now had to pay out of pocket.
soooo, i still see some of my clients from the waiver...but now they're private pay.
most live in Group Homes or assisted living in apartments.
the owner of one of the Group Homes i travel to...wants me to see
4...maybe 6 new clients, next time i go to monday!
again, YAY!
so things are starting to look up...for me.
sam's still job hunting 
and it's dwiving him cwazy! (no typo...i just felt like elmer fudd for a sec...)

this week, though, is a little i'll start to work on those deer jawbones.
i was thinking of maybe painting...drawing...on them rather than the pressed flowers.
maybe next time i get on here...i'll have something NEW to show...

in the last picture. one of the Barred Owls.
they have stayed with us all winter.
this is the He-Owl i think!

take it easy. stay cool.
have a safe journey.
laura  :]

"You don't really suppose, do you, 
that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, 
just for your sole benefit."   
~Gandalf to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

lazing at the lake, whining and smiling...

last week...
at the last minute...
sam and i decided to load up milo 
and go camping.
we were both a little stressed out...
and thought if we took a drive to lake lochloosa...
only 45 minutes away...
did some fishing, camping, relaxing...
it would clear our heads.
it did. (for a little while).

so we headed to Lochloosa Harbor Fish Camp.
sometimes we go there just for the day...
and sometimes to camp overnight.
(we needed to forget that i don't have enough clients anymore...
and sam is not working...)

(UH-OH! i just noticed when i put the Lochloosa link in there...
'convenience' is spelled wrong on their website!)

(what is it with me and spelling?! can't i ever NOT notice misspellings or typos...)

anyway...maybe they'll see this...and fix it.

Lochloosa's the coolest...most rustic...
nature filled...local get-a-way.
so, hang out for a few minutes...and wander with me...
(great blue heron)

(bald eagle)
(all the bird pic's i took from the boat)


All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.   
~Friedrich Nietzsche


(snowy egret)

(pair of bald eagles)

(sam's mudfish. not a keeper. they've got a mouthful of teeth.
they put up a good fight when you hook one. this one twisted himself up...
round and round he goes...took a while for sam to get him untangled and back in the water!)

(no. don't even think that!   these cobwebs are NOT in the camper!)

(wood stork)

this lake used to be loaded with alligators! i didn't get one picture this time.
we only saw...maybe two...but they were too far away...
and only there heads were on top of the water.
(bald eagle)

(pair of eagles landing)
here's a great link if you want to know about Florida birds!

(it's a's a's...yeah, a plane. 
flying back and forth over the lake.  at least it wasn't a crop duster!)

(great egret)

(nearing sunset...on the lake.
 i think that beer coolie is glued to sam's hand.)
(sorry. just kidding.)

(sunset. takes your breath away. time to get off the water.)

(just getting our little 'ghenoe' up to the ramp...
time to go listen to music...and play cards or scrabble or something...)

(full moon (facing east) at night)

(full moon (facing west) over the lake in the morning!)

(our catch. keepers. catfish. bass. crappie. shell cracker.)

so, here i am. just about a week later. it's wednesday...
which is usually a slow day for me. 
sometimes the only appointment i have on wednesday is my weekly 4pm.   
since my body clock gets me up by 5am...
by the time 4:00 rolls around...i'm ready for a nap!


yesterday i ordered a couple of car promote my massage business.
i'm always a little leery about doing that (advertising),
 because all i do  is in-home visits. 
and i've learned that the best way to get clients is word of mouth.
that way, at least you know that your new client is someone 
who knows someone else...

BUT i need to do more...i need to earn more. i need to stay busy.
(yeah, i also sell a little of my art stuff...but not enough...)

when you advertise...
ANYONE can call! 
and since i go into their home...i'm at their mercy...their terms...their turf!
over the years though, i've learned to judge people pretty quickly over the phone.
if they sound weird...even just a little...if i get that vibe...i send them on down the road.

i've only gotten into a few uncomfortable situations over the past 14 years.
nothing 'life-threatening'...just made my adrenaline pump a little harder...
almost kicking in that 'fight or flight'...but not quite.

so, like i i am. almost a week later. nothing's changed.
sam's still looking for work.  i'm not as busy as i'd like. 
well, what i'd REALLY like is to quit work. retire. 
i've been working since i was 15. over 40 years. 
i'd like to make $$ selling my art. i'd like to spend my time being creative...
going on adventures every day...collecting bones...

i'm whining.

sam walked out of his job around christmas. 
he got pissed at his fellow employees...
for standing around & not working!
which is understandable...which wasn't anything new.
the guys he worked with 'milked' money from the boss any chance they got.
the boss was just too nice a guy. or too stupid to see...or care...
it had been building up and festering in sam...twisting in his gut...over the past few years.
so he walked out.
but with nothing else in the works. no replacement job. 
with the economy the way it is...I GOT A TWISTING IN MY GUT!

i'm still whining.

i bring home probably slightly more than he makes on unemployment.
i shouldn't complain. some people aren't even getting that. 
some people have lost everything.

i guess maybe i'm a little pissed. a little envious...
HEY...i'm five years older than he...
have been working longer than he...
i'm the one who should be standing in the front my robe...
waving goodbye in the morning...not he.
who walks out of a job nowadays?!

why does it bother me? 
if you love someone, shouldn't you be supportive all the time
no matter what...
but lately i've been distant...frustrated...more uncaring...inpatient...

(oh, laura...quit it!  STOP whining!  
it's not like you have a regular 9 to 5 job anyway.
you shouldn't be complaining. you should be thankful.)

"You have your way. I have my way. 
As for the right way, 
the correct way, 
and the only way, 
it does not exist." 

~Friedrich Nietzsche

anyway...time to change the subject.  something that makes me smile...
makes me shake my head...and smile in disbelief...
(not that i'm the Master Speller. i'm NOT. but if you're painting a sign.
putting out a sign that advertises your business...
USE the dictionary...or spell check!)

don't you think they meant EXHAUST?
maybe it's a play on words...i could be way off here.
maybe EXHOST is a brand name for mufflers?


remember all the skulls we found in the field...a few weeks ago.
here's a picture of all the deer jawbones from that pile o' bones.
i've cleaned and sanitized i let them sit in the sun...dry...bake...
then i'll start decorating them.

well...if you've made it this the end...
thanks for listening. 
sometimes i just have to get it out. 
whether the feelings are justified or not...
it makes me feel better just putting it down...into words.
even if nobody hears me.
the writing is therapy...

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.  
~JRR Tolkien

take it easy.  stay cool.
thanks for wandering...

:] laura

Sunday, February 20, 2011

all that...and more...

so much has been going on since i was here last.
yikes! that was only FOUR days ago! seems like two weeks ago!
(...i feel like i've been running around like crazy...
trying to get a million things done...yet accomplishing zilch!
nada. zero. zip. am i being clear?!)
it's been a slow one for far as work.
appointments cancelled...rescheduled...
one elderly client passed away...and another is in the hospital.

so, with sam and i both free one day, we hiked the
the prairie basin is home to wild spanish horses and bison. 
we've been there so many times 
and have only seen evidence of these their piles of POOP!

this time we got lucky!
no bison sightings yet. maybe next time.

"All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking."   
~Friedrich Nietzsche
= = =

earlier last i was heading to a client...
i spotted another misspelled sign - on a church's front lawn.
doesn't anyone in their congregation know how to spell?
maybe they just don't care? maybe they're just too lazy to correct it?

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." 
-- Mark Twain

then...on another day...another misspelled sign...
they now have a working KITCHEN - oh! i mean...KITSHEN! 
= = =

one day i was lucky enough  to get a picture of an eastern bluebird.
lucky enough, because they don't sit still. 
jumping from branch to branch...i had to anticipate where he'd land next.
think like the bluebird...
i've never seen these bluebirds in our yard before.
guess i was also lucky enough to have been out back at the same time he was...
= = =
in my previous posted a picture of the little daffodils blooming right now!
i wanted to mention that the purple lantana has been blooming all winter long!

and here's another plant that has a flower right now...
not sure what it is...but i have them growing all over the place. 
this is the only one with flowers right now.

"Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; 
they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."  
~Luther Burbank
= = =

the University of Florida has agriculture fields 
scattered all over town and the surrounding area.
while driving past one of their cattle fields last week...
i saw there were hundreds of Sandhill Cranes hanging out...
making a stop where ever they were headed...
= = =
i also found another owl pellet last week...
(see the tiny bones sticking out of it??!!)

and i  have 2 skulls - a deer and that cat skull we found in the field...
along with a partial deer lower jawbone - 
sun drying after being cleaned & sanitized.
next step...decorating!
= = =
a gift from sam to me...this past week...
yep...a little dead frog! 
rotting away. 
(guess that's not a word...sounds good though)
sam found it in the shed...and thought of me!
and it wasn't even my birthday...or valentine's day! :))

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see." 
~David Thoreau
= = =
...the warmer weather...
is starting to bring some of the critters out from hiding...
like this (nocturnal) orb weaver on the front porch!
(sorry...i'm just not good at night pic's...i have to practice...)
= = =

then...finally...with hump day behind us...
we decided to take off and go camping thursday & friday night.

all this NOT working ...having such a slow work week was stressing me out.
so we quickly packed up...grabbed milo...
and headed to lake lochloosa. only 45 min away. 
de-stress.  fish.  relax.  unwind. 

i took some really cool pictures of sunsets, full moon, bald eagles,
herons, seagulls, wood storks...
next time.
stay cool. take it easy. be safe.

:] laura

We are what we believe we are.   
~C.S. Lewis