Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We have babies!  Some house wrens built a nest behind our TV area outside and they have been busy feeding these little guys!  Everything from baby lizzards to flying bugs to worms, I have seen it all being brought to those voracious little buggars.  It's funny to listen to the momma talking to her little ones, announcing her arrival in the area with food, and her little" I'm coming" when she is close to the nest, and then softly "Who's hungry?"when she is deciding who got the last morsel and who gets this one.  They have a wary comfortablness around us, and really hate it when the cats are lounging around on the table watching them!  The babies have gotten progressively louder and I think it will be very soon that they learn to fly and are out on their own.  It will probably happen while we are away, the kids and I will be so bummed to miss it. We got to see it last year when quite possibly the same wrens built a nest in the same spot.  

Sweetie Pie has had a birthday.  She had a sleep over party, and those girls stayed up past 3am! Sweetie Pie decided she wanted to decorate her cake, and since she is very artistic, I let her.  In preparation, I had her draw out what she wanted on a piece of paper that was about the same size as the cake with the reminder that drawing on a cake is not like drawing on paper- there is no erasing( at least not easily...).  She came back with this:
After I had put the cake back together(Oh yes, it fell apart when I took it out of the pan...no worries, it was all covered up with frosting!) and put the base coat of frosting on, Sweetie Pie informed me of what colors she wanted to use and we mixed them up.  She then proceeded to decorate her cake and did a fantastic job!
We didn't have to erase one bit! She takes after her momma and Auntie D! And no-one was any wiser to the cake being a complete shambles under all that frosting! : )

Last week I was perusing my favorite blogs and came across a pattern for this cute little bag.
The next one I make will have a few moderations to it. The opening is very wide and things fall out easily, so I will probably make it taller,  also some sort of button hole or snap to help keep it closed, and maybe some interfacing between the layers to provide a bit of body to it.  You can find the pattern here. I also think it would be good to make in the larger size but I can't figure out how to make the pattern bigger and print in tiled form in Adobe Acrobat.

On a completely different note, I will leave you with a pic of a spider Sweetie Pie and I found in the garden a few days ago.  He/She is very interesting looking, and I'm glad it wasn't in my house 'cause I would have had to crush it. 

Spiders aren't welcome in my house.
We are now off to Naples, and to the Keys from there.  Hope you all are enjoying your summer, and I'll "see" you when we get back!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Panhandle happenings

St George Island
This is an island across the bay from Appalachiacola/Eastpoint.  It is home to lots of stupid-looking beach rental condos(tall, elevated, narrow, with parking underneath) and lovely old 50/60's "beach shacks" mixed with newer style "beach shacks" that no normal person could pay the insurance on!  You can tell which I prefer.  This is usually where we go to the beach when we visit, it is lovely!  On this particular day, the waves were 3-6 feet and we spent most of the day in the water.  I was making sure the kids were not getting pummelled by the breaking waves while they were trying to bodysurf.  After getting beat-up by the waves for about 3 hours, we were exhausted!
Next day, we took a drive to Cape San Blas where there is a lighthouse and you can climb to the top, which we did.
It is 131 steps to the top.  I have never been in a lighthouse before, let alone climbed to the top of one.  It is  kind of a wierd feeling climbing up a spiral staircase in an enclosed area- a bit claustrophobic.  They do have 3 windows, which were open, and a very nice breeze blowing in through them.  We made it to the top with the view as a reward...
Everyone was a bit cautious when we stepped out on the platform, however the breeze felt so good that after a bit we loosened up.  The Rocket was practically running around the lighthouse showing us how brave he was.  Looking down, it was a loooooong way down!  The views were much better to look at!
Back inside and looking up at the lens...
This is the view of the steps as you are leaving the top.  They are about 6 inces wide at the widest point, and there are 20 of them.
Then the rest of the way down inside are these, they are about 10 inches at their widest point...
It took about 15minutes or so to climb up and to come down it took about 10 minutes.  You don't want to go too fast either way because you will get dizzy, and these steps you DO NOT want to fall down!

The next day, we visited a favorite place that we always visit every time we come, The Appalachiacola nature center.  That's not the official name for it, but that's what we call it.  It is free, and there is an enclosed aquarium building that the kids LOVE. 
There are three big tanks with bigger fish and animals in them like turtles, sheepshead, redfish, grouper, flounder, stingrays, baitfish.  One of the big tanks is freshwater and has gar, bass, turtles, and frogs.  There are some littler tanks that have smaller creatures in them.
It is a filter feeder, and therefore one of the first indicators of a problem in the water(think oil/BP).  The eyes are all along the waves of the shell.  They are blue and when you go scalloping that's how you find them, because their eyes are rows of shiny blue glinting in the sun.  If they weren't so good to eat I would have a hard time harvesting them 'cause they are so beautiful!  It is a very kid friendly thing to do though, think easter egg hunt under the water.  Instead of an easter basket and dress clothes, your equipment is mask/snorkel/fins, a bag, and for the squeamish( that's me) a glove on the grabbing hand to keep the little buggers from pinching you when they close!
Mantis Shrimp
Inside classroom with lots of things to touch and learn about!
Juvenile dolphin skeleton display
Birdwatching area.  (I could sit here all day!)
There is all kinds of informative pamphlets to take with you when you can tear yourself away.  They are in the process of building a new center that looks promising by the pictures.  The new buildings will be over in Eastpoint, and it looks like the beach will be a part of the nature walk there.  I believe it will be done sometime in August and I do hope they are able to keep it free to the public.
Sweetie pie modeling the latest in beach resort fashions, we bought the hat...