Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Star Is Born

While my family was in town, it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some more of our family ties by visiting my cousin Chuck and his wife JoAnn's blueberry farm in Galway. Their property is the perfect place for this venture that began about five years ago. That's when they received over 2800 blueberry bushes that they planted. Since then they have removed the berries early, so that the strength goes towards making the plants bigger. This year will be their first year of letting them totally ripen and they will be ready for picking.

X marks the spot in the sky over Star Farm Blueberries!
L to R, that's me, Dave, Eva, Rick, Chuck, Sue, & Len

Not only will you be able to pick your own berries, but they are also planting a huge field of flowers for the picking. Plus they are in the process of building a store with all sorts of big plans for the future.

Best of luck to both of them and check out Star Farm Blueberries' website and Facebook page. Then you'll know when it's time to go visit there and see all they have to offer!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Family Reunion

We laid my mother to rest next to my father this past weekend. Although it was a sad time, it was also wonderful to see so many of our relatives and close family friends. At the luncheon after the brief gravesite service (in the rain), it was all about reminiscing. My sister Sue brought many of the photo albums that my mother had put together throughout our lives and everyone had such a good time looking through them.

You could hear comments like,"there's my wedding picture," or "I can't believe she saved my prom photo!" Here is my cousin Debbie, from my mother's side of the family (seated on the right), along with my sister Sue, brother Rick, and me.

With most of my siblings and their families in town, we were able to spend some quality time together. Sue also brought gifts for those of us with repaired broken bones. It is ironic that first Dave broke his femur and wrist 5 years ago, then Rick broke his ankle 1 1/2 years ago, followed by my nephew Mark who broke his ankle last summer and almost lost his foot, and of course my ankle fracture last fall. Each of us was featured on our own placque with the other xrays surrounding it. It really brought some humor to the weekend, but the saying is so true...broken bones knit families!

Monday, May 7, 2018

22 Hours

We had a narrow band of very intense thunderstorms come through on Friday evening. Talk about the calm before the storm? It was silent until it sounded like an Air National Guard C -130 was landing at the airport. It was the straight line wind approaching through the trees, along with the black sky that produced torrential rain. I knew we would lose power with this storm and as Dave and I grabbed flashlights, the lights went out. The storm only lasted for 15 minutes but caused huge power outages throughout the area. We went to bed thinking it would come back on, but at 6 AM, no luck. Dave got our portable generator going and it ran for another 7 hours, off for 5 hours and back on for a couple more before service was restored 22 hours later (we had just restocked the empty fridge and needed the well pump to go on too). My cousin Chuck was without power for at least 36 hours and I read that there are still 5000 homes without service in NY. Gee, I feel like we are back in the Bahamas. At least Bahamas Power and Light apologizes and thanks us for our patience. Here on the Grid's website they give you a map of outages and say assessing condition with no assisgned crew...for 20 of those 22 hours. This must be what it is like after a hurricane though, with so many different places to check out with tree damage to lines. It's probably our fault for bringing the power issues with us from the Bahamas.😉 At least we brought warmer weather too!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Good To Be Home

We are back home and settling in again. We had a good first day of traveling up I 95 but day 2 was slow with lots of stop and go traffic. Then we arrived in NY and were greeted by snow! However we seemed to have brought the warm weather up north with us because the past few days have been in the 80s. We'll take it!

Both home and Ti's houses are fine, although home has a couple of water leaks outside. Not bad considering the faucets were frozen before we departed. We did have a scare with the furnace not coming on and wow, was the house cold when we got here. As Dave accidentally slammed the door on his way out to find his tools, it started running...just what we like, it healed itself!

We always seem to want to get everything done at once and thanks to Dave's hard work of raking last fall, very little needs to be done in the yard. Now we await all the trees and bushes to bloom. This warmer weather will really help. My forsythia exploded in blooms since we arrived. More to follow...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Good-Bye and Hello!

Farewell to the Abacos!
Looking back from our plane towards Marsh Harbour and Hope Town in the distance. 

Passing over Green Turtle Cay where we use to store New Horizon. After that we headed over the ocean, which was really calm.

Hello Daytona and the Land O' Plenty...plenty of people, traffic, supplies, food, and restaurants!

We flew right over Halifax Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway which looked like it had plenty o' boats.

After installing a new battery in the Buick (apparently we were away a bit too long, lol), recharging the air conditioning unit in the car, taking care of some business, and a couple of trips to the real land o' plenty...Walmart, today we headed west to Blue Springs State Park. It was a gorgeous afternoon there with very few people. Dave went snorkeling up to the head of the spring while I walked the boardwalk (boy, did that feel good!). 

At the entrance to the 'stream' as we heard one lady call it, Dave was swimming with a whole bunch of 3-4ft. Florida and long-nose gars, that you can barely see in the bottom of this photo. One of the fish had a chunk taken out of its side, and another one had its tailed chewed off. 

Luckily Dave didn't run into any alligators today. Better yet, they didn't run into him!

This little girl and her mother were kayaking down towards the St. John's River and saw this turtle. I have never seen anyone get this close to a turtle without it jumping in the water. It must be used to people or maybe it knew it was in a wildlife protection area. At least when the girl said that she wanted to pet it, the mother voiced an emphatic no, and they paddled on.

Tomorrow is Flea Market Day and then Sunday it is road trip time, heading north to home, hitting all the fast food joints we haven't been to in three months along the way. 😉 We are ready to continue our endless summer...if the snow is melted! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Two More Days

In two days we'll be flying back to Florida. In those two days we still have lots of last minute preparations to do. However, Mother Nature isn't cooperating. Since my last post it has been stormy and very windy and we can barely get out onto the front porch. It whistles through the jalousie windows and howls through the masts on the sailboats at the dock, making everyone wind fatigued. This morning it is raining again with thunder in the distance (would I like a little cheese with my whine?!), so last minute really will be last second. At least on the day we fly in the seven seat plane, conditions are predicted to be better. Plus, it isn't snowing! More from the "Land O' Plenty"...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Last Hurrah

Our season in Hope Town is rapidly drawing to a close. We've had our last sail and both the Abaco Dinghy Dandy and the Daysailer Suja are stored away for the summer. Yesterday we took our last kayak adventure and went down to the north end of Tilloo Cay. Transporting the yaks in the skiff is easy and a quick way to get to our destination.
Gotta love my new sun protective mermaid outfit. The pants have scales imprinted on them. That is the wood charter sailboat Barcelona Explorer way in the background.

We paddled around the bay north of the Castle which is also known as Scare Air (I don't think they have a sea plane anymore) and the Farside. This property has at least four houses on it and looks more like a resort. 

We also took our last Walkabout trip over to Man-O-War. Yesterday afternoon it was hauled out with the forklift and left for Dave to "summer-ize" it this weekend. He has already cleaned the bottom back to original condition and we flushed the engine with fresh water. Now all the mechanical systems will be checked and lubed and it will be ready for next season. 

After checking the weather at dinner time, the prediction was still for windy and wet weather until the day we leave! Since it was so calm last night that there were no-see-ums out, and with it being lighter later, we decided to haul the kayaks from the back dock, up onto the porch where we store them for the hurricane season. Since they were dry, we even put them in their protective sleeves and secured them. Sure enough, we woke this morning to wind and thunderstorms.

I have to say, we are feeling a bit smug again.