In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


Leave a comment

The Nursery

Nope.  I’m not pregnant. 

My parents have always been pretty savy business people.  Even after the closing of thier livelihood they are still thinking of ways to rake in some cash, and have a good time while doing so.  The yard here is full of interesting plant life.  If I’m right, I think the people that owned the home before them actually owned a nursery.  My parents bought this house in 1990 and have since added interesting items to the yard as well.  I know that some of you guys from yoga have enjoyed the bionic fruit they’ve brought to Missouri.  They have Ponderosa Lemons and Plumello Grapefruit.  Both trees produce gigantic pieces of fruit.

One of the special trees in the yard is the Calomundin.  That’s the one that bears the tiny orange-like fruit that are a pain in the tail to process but very worth the effort.  My mom has made jars and jars of Calomundin marmalade.  She’s also been mixing strawberries with them and it’s really, really good.  They threw some jars of it in their garage sale and sold it like mad.  So much that my mom puts a sign out front at the end of the drive way (next to the Take Our  Country Back signs) I’m guessing.  Who could miss those?  There’s two of them out there as well as a gigantic flag flapping in the wind.

When you process Calomundins you end up with a lot of seeds.  So they tossed some in a pot and guess what?  They have a bunch of Calomundin trees started.  In the garage sale you can get a jar of marmalade and a tree to bear your own fruit.  Not only do they have Calomundin trees growing out back in their make-shift nursery, they also have a bunch of Lilies, Bromeliads, a wide variety of ferns, some palms and other assorted exotic flowers. 

Here’s my mom showing me around the nursery.  It’s by the pool.  Sorry mom.  I know that’s not a very flattering photo of you.  My dad built that table (and others) that the plants are on.  I think I had a photo of Lauren and Mady painting one posted earlier on in my blog. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are cool plants.  They get these tiny little leaves all over the edges.  Like little droplets.  They actually drop off and reproduce.  She’s brought me two, and both times, I didn’t dig the plant up and bring it in the house before it got too cold.  It basically disentegrated in Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I realize right now that this looks a little pathetic but it’s really hot here right now.  This is my dad’s hydroponic set up.  Tomatoes and peppers, good stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe they should just go for it and open a nursery.  But that would mean filing for a business license, paying rent, a dreaded 941, W-2 forms, payroll and employees.  Ugh!


Leave a comment

Girls Day Out

I am supposed to be at a yoga class in Punta Gorda.  Why aren’t I?  Because I drove to St. Pete and back to take my husband and son to the airport so they can fly home and frankly, driving 37 miles anywhere just isn’t me right now.  If you’re thinking about breaking into our house in the burg, you’ve got  exactly 15 minutes to do it before they hit the door.

Sunday we were pretty exhausted from our celebration.  The parents didn’t spend the night on Saturday.  Five extra people were plenty.  The guys decided to fish again, so we took Mady to the other end of the island where my sister got married in 2001.  This end of the island is called Bokeelia and it looks out over Charlotte Harbor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a public pier.  Be careful though, most of the property in this area is private.  No parking, no gawking.  It is really beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ava, Mady and Lauren on Bokeelia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bokeelia public pier.  You can’t go past the gate unless you pay a little, we didn’t.  We had shopping in Ft. Myers to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at my sister’s I got a photo of this little Anole puffing up.  Wish I could’ve captured the orange in the cushion he was resting on, but my flash went off.  The orange really did compliment him nicely.

After a hard day of shopping, we hung out.  I love Jeanine’s art wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mady and Petunia.

 

Lauren with her new Webkinz and her eraser collection.


1 Comment

Celebration On Pine Island

My sister has one of the most adorable homes on Pine Island.  It’s small, but she’s utilized the space well.  Though our home is much larger, at times, her house has a bigger feel. 

Around 1:00 in the afternoon, the guys fired up the grill.  We were having clams first followed by london broil, hamburgers and hotdogs, ears of roasted corn and deviled eggs.  Those clams were really good by the way.  That’s Uncle Darryl working hard at the grill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even invited a neighbor lady whose husband recently passed away.  She has no kids at all and no family close by.  Check out that clam action!   It didn’t take long to rip through 100 that’s for sure.  After the appetizers were downed, the real food was ready right on time.  And of course, since July 3rd was mom’s birthday and we were all out of town for Father’s Day (mom was in D.C. visiting a friend) we concluded our day with a vanilla bean bundt cake accompanied by salted caramel gelato.   Both dessert items were a boxed mixture and they were amazing.  We added some dark chocolate pieces to the gelato and it was heavenly.  I hope there’s still some left when I return to the island on Friday, but I’m not betting on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this awesome piece of Brain Coral that Darryl brought back from the beach in the Bahamas.  This is perfect, it weighs a ton and it resonates a helmet.  Totally cool.


1 Comment

Adventures In Boating

First we were going to go fishing.  Then, we weren’t.  The weather didn’t look great out in the Gulf, but it looked decent here at the house.  Storms materialize out over the water and then move inward and vice versa.  We waited for a bit.  I walked to the beach to find a bunch of nasty stuff.  I like fishing, but we also fish responsibly.  Someone had fished last night on the beach and chucked all of their fish carcasses for beach goers to enjoy this morning.  I saw a huge Grouper head, two Stingrays missing their tails and some other stuff that had been picked apart by birds.

I walked home, the stench was awful and the sight disheartening.  The guys had returned from purchasing their fishing license, and we checked the weather once again.  We loaded the boat and left.  We headed out in the Intracoastal to Venice and entered the Gulf through the jetties there.  It’s a really scenic boat ride.  We went out eleven miles.  From that distance, the shoreline is hard to make out.  The water wasn’t really rough, no white caps, but the swells were large.  I didn’t fish much at all.  I manned the sandwiches, the sunscreen and the beverages and enjoyed the sunshine.  It was hard to maneuver around in the boat with the big waves, but we did it for awhile.

We didn’t boat any fish, but Frank and Bob both had a nice one on at one time.  Check out the end of Frank’s pole.  He just barely got his line on the bottom and something hit it.  He was using  way too small of a pole for the fish that latched on.  He hung out with this bent rod (and passed it around to all of us) for awhile.  Bob dropped down an entire bait fish on his huge pole next thing.  He had something on it right away.  It got off, but when he reeled in, the bait was pretty much mangled and the huge circle hook he had on was bent.  Unbelieveable.  We think Frank had a giant Grouper on, they don’t fight, they just hang out.  They’re sort of like bringing up a car hood.  Bob may’ve had a big Shark.  Definitely something with powerful jaws for sure.

  

The sky started looking kind of scary.  This is when you’re not sure if you should stay out in the Gulf, or head to shore.  We usually think closer to home is better, we were starting to see some lightning.

 

As I mentioned earlier, this is a real scenic boat ride.  Lots of beautiful homes and sail boats are anchored in this area.  It’s also home to a real good seafood eatery called the Crow’s Nest.  Check out my new house and boat.  There’s room for each and every one of you that read this blog, so let me know if you’re interested in visiting me.  The yoga teaching business is really good. 

Right about now, the rain started to hit.  It was painful.  Not just because we had to cut our outing short, but because it stung like hell when we were going fast.

Halfway back on the intracoastal, we decided to stop and park at the boat ramp by a school there in Venice.  There was some shelter there, but the wind was blowing and we were soaked anyways, so what in the hell did it matter?  We did get in the water there.  Why?  Because it was warm.  After wasting some time, the rain didn’t let up, so we headed out.  Just passed the marina there in Venice, one boat engine quit.  Then the other one too.  Uh oh.  Does anyone have their cell phone?  Whhaat?  Four people with 5 cell phones between them and no one thought to toss one on the boat.  What in the hell were we thinking? 

We floated around in the intracoastal and didn’t see a soul.  I mean really, who would be out in this crap?  Us, that’s who.  After some messing around with the boat engines, one started up.  ONE.  That meant we could move, but not really fast.  That was fine with me, I was tired of being pelted by the stinging rain.  Did I mention that it takes about 45 minutes (when you’re going fast) to get out into the Gulf?  It took twice as long to get in.  I’ve never been so happy to see the bridge at Englewood in my whole life.  We were freezing, literally freezing.  It’s amazing how cold you can get in the wind and the rain when the temperature outside is still rather balmy.

We made it home.  We jumped in the solar heated pool here at the house and it felt like a hot tub.  We ate diner and then I headed out to the camper alone and took a 2 hour nap.  Maybe we’ll try boating again tomorrow, who knows?  For now, we’re safe, warm and dry.  And I’m still on vacation and that’s a good thing.


Leave a comment

Ryan the Yogi Cat

The morning after our arrival, my body was feeling it.  We spent hours stuck in the airport, two and a half hours on an airplane, then almost two more hours in the car.  I dropped down into pose of a child, Balasana in the front room the next morning.  My parents have a very eclectic style, check out their living room. 

 My mom really likes red.  They also had a hard time giving up the movie business as you can plainly see.   The movies that you see here, only go to the letter F.  I know, insane.  My dad built that movie wall shelf with some of the oak movie shelving from my video store when I closed it.

Back to childs pose the morning after.  I dropped down and stretched out.  Their cat Ryan climbed on my back.  He buried his head in my back, it was funny and it felt pretty good.

I stayed like this for quite awhile and Ryan really got into it.

I love cats.  Especially when they help me with my yoga.


Leave a comment

Myakka Gator Sighting

While I was busy enjoying my day in a bathing suit, the girls were with my mom and dad checking out the alligators at Myakka State Park.

Mady and Lauren.  They took a boat ride and saw a few gators.

They also stayed busy painting some plant tables the other day.

After their work was half way through, they took a dip in the pool.  There’s that bird again!


1 Comment

Bird Booty

I’m back in Englewood until Friday when we all head to Pine Island for the 4th of July.  My husband and my son arrive later this evening and the boat’s ready to go.  Tomorrow we will head out into the Gulf to fish once again.  Today, my mom and dad took Lauren and Mady to Myakka State Park.  I’ve never been there.  I felt like beaching it and being lazy today, so I did.  I was up at 7:00 a.m. and took my yoga mat out to the pool.  Today was the first day that I’ve used it.  Needless to say, my body knew it too.  I was sore in my legs and back from being barefoot on tile floors and sleeping in strange beds.  The warm, humid air felt good to my practice and I was thankful to be outside where I could hear a wide variety of birds chirping.  I practiced for one hour, ate breakfast then donned the sunscreen and walked to the beach with a small plastic bag.

The beach here is notorious for prehistoric sharks teeth and I’ve found a few in my visits here.  I walked the beach for two hours today and found a nice batch of smaller shells and some smaller teeth.  I like to find a massive shell bar and stand in the surf and let the good stuff wash up to me.  You have to be fast though.  The ocean gives and the ocean takes pretty quickly.

My parents have found thousands of these teeth and lots of neat bones in their time here.  Cool stuff like bones from Mastadons, prehistoric horses and Two Toed Sloths.   That jar you see is huge and it used to be completely full of sharks teeth.  They’ve given lots of these teeth away to the weary travelers (like us) and others that come to visit.  They also sell some in the garage sales that they have from time to time.

I’ve found some pretty decent teeth in my day.  Decent like perfect in condition and decent in size.  But never anything like this.  My dad found this big tooth diving.  That’s my hand holding it.  This tooth is one of the largest ones that he’s ever brought up.  When you dive for these, they look like a black lump of coal and have stuff growing on them.  Sometimes, you can’t be sure it’s even a tooth.  We bring them home and put them in 5 gallon buckets full of vinegar for a few days.  It’s amazing what might be revealed after a day or two!  One year, we went to a flea market and had this lady wrap that tooth in the background.  Nice bling eh?

After I walked home from the beach I spent 4 hours in the pool.   I also spent some time in a pool recliner deckside.   I was almost asleep when I heard a weird noise.  Right above my head I saw this.  Yep, bird butt.  I know you’re dying to know.  No, he didn’t poop on me.

This Great Egret hangs out in the drive way and we do feed him bait fish after we get in from fishing.  It’s at least a two hour ordeal to clean the boat after it’s been out so the bird usually hangs out for quite awhile.  But today, I was totally surprised to see him land on the pool cage.  Times like these I’m glad I have my camera close by.  My dad says sometimes a stork will land as well, but they’re much heavier than this egret.  I hope I’m not asleep poolside when one of those big birds decides to come crashing through the screen.