Wild Kingdom

Anyone remember Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins? Well Mutual of Omaha sponsored our beach day yesterday! Saw all kinds of wildlife.

At 8:06, I was in the parking lot, ready to ride my bike. Rode 1.1 miles to the city beach, took some pix and headed back. Made it home by 8:40. So I went 2.2 miles in approx. 30 mins. I stopped for a short break on a bench. So I have already upped my game! It took me twice as long last time. Woot! So that’s like 4 miles an hour-ish.

Woke everyone up when I got back, then we headed to the beach. Water was clear and deep! The shore was up a few feet and the drop-off was steep. It’s nice because you can stay close to shore, but stand up just a few feet from the waterline. Very relaxing. The temp of the water was cool and the sun shining down was warm!

We toed around for shells. We bobbed around in the very mild waves. It hasn’t been that calm until yesterday. We giggled and relaxed. We goofed and joked around. It was amazing.

Then! We saw a freaking manatee! Sea cow! Whatever you call them. They are adorable!!! Squee!

I haven’t seen any large fish or mammals that close to shore yet. I think because the water was so deep and all the tourists have gone, we are seeing more marine life. It was unbelievable! Every time I don’t take my camera, I see something remarkable.

So, we were just sort of wading and swimming around, just a few feet from shore, and two people who were walking up and down the beach came briskly back to our position.

“There’s a manatee!” the woman shouted.

“Stay where you are, they are very docile! He’ll come right to you.” the man called.

My mouth was hanging open and I could only utter, “No way!”

All I said after that for a few minutes as the manatee passed by was, “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh.” I wanted to cry.

The water wasn’t clear enough to see the manatee just a few feet from us, but we saw his/her shadow. He wasn’t very big, but he was big. I’ve seen a full-size adult manatee and they’re about the size of a small car. This one was slightly smaller. But still. BIG! He was probably Manatee Jr. I tried to dive and watch him pass, but the water was just a bit too cloudy.

I wanted to jump on his back and hug the stuffings out of him, but I restrained myself. I wasn’t sure if I should get up by him, so I stayed back. It was hard to stay still. He was within 6 feet. EEEE! But I decided NOT to molest this harmless sea creature.

He didn’t breach by us, I wish he had, but he breached for air just a few yards away and we saw his cute, little brown snout and tail. I was stunned.

Then we saw a few rays leaping out of the water. Again, stunning! Then my husband saw a black snake on the way back to the apartment.

For those of you who didn’t read, I saw a bobcat the other morning on the same path. Dangerous little walkway that is! We were on safari yesterday! lol

Lots of little fish in the water as well. Darting around us. Plus, I want to go at night sometime because we have sea turtles on our beach. I wouldn’t touch them, disturb them or bother them, but I would love to see them.

This is a very cool place. Hope we see another manatee sometime soon. They are so majestic, magnificent, marvelous! But does that mean a shark could come that close to shore? YIKES!!


If you just relax and let the world come to you, you will see amazing things.

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Vacay

I must be in heaven

From the look of this.

White clouds, blue water,

Yellow sun and bliss.

I only love you at the beach.

I only love you by the ocean.

I only want to kiss

When you’re wearing suntan lotion.

So slather it on

And pucker up.

We’re finally on

Vacation, Buttercup!!

Hot Beach Trash

Photo credit: Guy Maggio


We recently went to Sharky’s Pier. A well-known tourist trap close to our home. Everyone goes there to look for shark teeth. It’s the shark tooth capital of the world.

It was interesting, but stinky. Dirty. Smelly. Because of all the tourists, visitors, beach-goers, fishermen, pier-walkers. It was filthy, full of cigarette butts and trash.

We arrived and walked out to the pier. The breeze way structure, where the restaurants are, is nice. Cool, shady, fountains. Boiling pots of seafood. Shops. Nice.

The beach and pier were a disaster!

First we walked on the pier. It was the end of the day so the trash bins were full! Gah. Looking down from the pier into the shallow water was cool. You could see fish and things. But it was a long way down. Me no likey looking down from any height.

Next, it was so sunny, we decided to go on the beach, check out the sand quality, look for shark teeth and see what the water was like. Cool off under the pier.

We took a picture and quickly left. Duuuurrrrty. Too busy. Old guy in a Speedo. BYE!

So, we can finally say we’ve been to Sharky’s Pier. I prefer our private beach. We can see the pier from where we are. And that’s close enough! πŸ˜€

An ode to Hot Beach Trash
(WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING OR ABOUT TO EAT!)


Dirty diaper
Rotting fish guts
Leftover hot dog on a bun of hair
Vomit
Flies
All on fire in the setting sun
Inside a hooded (wish it was sealed) trash can.

Will someone please empty me???

Oh, Beach Trash Can. I’m so sorry your life is one hot, steaming pile of mess.
If I could, I would draw wings on your sides so you could fly far from here.

Thank you for your service.

Will someone please empty HIM???

Ah, lovely day at the beach.

Beach!

Went to the beach this morning at around 8 am. Saw a bobcat!!! Beachdunegrassycat! Bobcat Beachthwait. OMG!

I’ve lived in Missouri my entire life except for the last two months and I’ve never seen a bobcat. 44 years old. And I saw one this morning on the path to the beach! Eeeeek! Freaked me out, but it was so cool. We kept our distance. My husband said he thought he saw a coyote the other morning on the way to work. We live in a densely packed neighborhood. WOW! Did not get a picture, he was too far off and I like my face where it is.

I’m a country girl, so it takes a lot to surprise me. But this morning was very cool.

Had a great time at the beach. Bobbed around in the ocean. Did not get mauled by any beach cougars and found a coupla cool shells. Got some sun, exercise and my mojo’s rising.

Have an amazing day! I know I will.

Grilled hamburgers for lunch! πŸ˜€ Yay, Saturday!

Blustery

It was a sunny, blustery day on the coast yesterday. We went to the jetty and photographed the white-capped waves (rare) breaking on the rocks. The clouds were magnificent! It was an unusual, but beautiful day! Windy!!

We saw an apathetic surfer riding the waves yesterday. They were that strong. For this area, very rare.

Β‘Tricicleta Naranja!

I went for a morning bike ride today! Felt great. (Also! Painted my toes teal with sparkles!! πŸ˜€ Yay for glitter! It covers a multitude of mistakes. lol)

Here’s my commentary while resting on the porch at 8:53 am.

My face is very red and sweaty and freckled! My freckles pop when I’m red-faced. πŸ™‚


The air was so sweet this morning. Humid, perfumed and tropical breezes. I had fresh morning flowers and swift coastal breezes to carry me back and forth from Sharky’s Pier. Glad to have that done and under my belt for the day. Great way to start the day.

It was difficult. But worth it.

I’ve been stuck for about a week or so. Just one of those things. I’ve had a larger appetite, so that may account for the stuckiness. I was down to 314-ish, but I determined that was an error. Did you know if you move your scale around on tile, it can weigh you differently?? Yeah. So I have picked a spot and I will always use that spot.

This morning before my bike ride I was over 324. Normal for morning before any liquid removal. πŸ™‚ Current weight=320.8 lbs after morning exercise, breathing hard, sweating and taking of my Furosemide. I can tell I’m getting rid of more liquids now. That’s how you lose weight. Exhalation (breathing hard, seriously), sweating, and going to the loo. That’s not bad. It ain’t great, but I haven’t gone up all week. I hope that with my vigorous exercise (for me!) this morning, my body will wake up.

Also, I ran out of my med–Synthroid. We lost insurance at the end of May, so I couldn’t get a doctor to call it in. The last script was for Synthroid only. No generic. Well, Synthroid is very expensive without insurance. So I needed the generic equivalent which is Levothyroxine. I found out at least from my PCP in Missouri that I can take Levo because they tested my numbers on both Levo and Synthroid and they were the same. Good to know.

So I finally got a script of Levo and am taking it now. Only $11.90 without insurance through CVS! Thanks, CVS!! I really needed this med. Without a thyroid any more, you have to stay on Levo for life. It really does make a difference. Helps with weight loss, hormone production, body function, avoiding headaches! LOL It does everything that your thyroid does and thank God it exists. The thyroid does a lot–tiny, little, fleshy butterfly in your neck. Controls the whole body. Heart, endocrine, weight!


Thank you, God for flowers, doctors, medicine, trikes, beach, Florida, ocean, family and my body–as hapless as it may be. Thank you! God be praised. So happy to be alive and in need of medicine. So happy to have legs to hurt after bike rides. So happy to have all the little moments that make up even the worst of days.

Sideways

There was a tentative crab
Crawling out to sun.
Dodging surf,
Sideways and unsure.

I could barely see him
Against the sea,
But once I found him,
I couldn’t lose his shiny-gray body.

My head half-buried in the sand.
Body unmoved. Just my eyes.
And the light felt silvery as the sun was falling.
And my skin felt brown and warm in the silver.

GrayCrab skittered about, back and forth,
Picking up dark blades and sea offerings.
But then, he disappeared
As quickly as the shore.

Down his hole,
Back to his underground palace
Filled with treasure, shells, spells,
Beach snail friends, and wonderful tales.

See you later.

get away

what good does it do
to live by the ocean
if you’re w-raptured in
all the other motion
of living

i haven’t been
to the beach in days
i need to go
and catch some rays
of hope

my attitude lies
in the baking sun
frying up goodness
for everyone
who has to love me

the world and all its work
fevered me delirious
salt, sand, sun, fun
brought me to my senses
finally

is it wrong to use beach as church?
if it’s wrong? i don’t wanna be right. amen.


If I could find a beach church, I’d go morning, noon and night.

Buckets of Grace

She brought me a bucket
Of calm, clear sea.
She bent down slowly
And put it at my feet.

Out of her pocket,
She withdrew a wild rose.
She placed the bright, red flower
Right between my toes.

She sat for a while
With her head upon my knee.
Our bodies warm together
Her soft cheek soothing me.

She suddenly took the sand and
Scrubbed my flaking heel.
I pushed her little hands away
And asked her not to kneel.

I don’t deserve your kindness.
I don’t deserve your service.
I should wash your feet.
Being loved makes me nervous.

Her gritty fingers reached out
And touched my trembling hand,
Then went about their washing,
Cleaning feet with sugar sand.

She poured out her water and joy
Over my polished-pinking flesh,
Then wiped away my gathering tears
Falling fast and fresh.

Undeserved grace.

Bug’d

I’ve had a rough couple of days. It all started on July 4th.

My family and I had planned to enjoy the beach and chill in the late afternoon. The whole day until that point was relaxing and fun. Just relishing time off, watching Netflix and the occasional conversation. Then, around 5 pm, we headed to the beach. *cue the Jaws theme*

We got in the water and it was warm! So wonderful. Like bath temperature. It was awesome. We let the waves rock us back and forth in the shallow shoals and we searched for offshore seashell treasures (say that 10 times, fast) underwater.

My husband got out, it was a little too warm for him after a few minutes. My daughter and I stayed.

As he sat in the cool breeze and warm sun, a stranger approached. He was the friendly sort. From a distance, they looked like brothers. Salt and pepper hair and beards. Stocky frame. Too old guys chatting.

While they were small-talking, I found, with my big toe, a beautiful, rare-colored spiral in perfect condition. Beautiful dark brown and spiky top. it looked like it had been polished out of wood. I had to show Guy.

spiral

As I approached their group of two, I overheard their Guy talk. πŸ™‚ Just weather and “Where ya from?”

I am dubious of most strangers, but I thought this extroverted chap was a bored/boring beach-goer making polite conversation. And then. The point emerges.

“Yeah, uh, are you all going to sit here for the fireworks?”

“Yeah!” Smile.

“Oh, yeah, uh, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind, I was going to use the wood as my fireworks platform.”

“Oh.” WTF? His beach-boy, native-Floridian accent (think: potsmoker) suddenly got worse and his overall minute charm evaporated like a wisp of Florida rain clouds.

We were sitting near a wooden structure that supports a pipe. It’s our favorite spot. And this yahoo wanted to use it for his own personal fireworks launch pad. Which you’re probably not supposed to do since we have sea turtles on our beach. The noise and light will frighten and disorient them. They even paint over the condo lights on the beach side so they don’t get confused. And they were having the big boomers at the jetty just about a mile away. Some people.

I have to participate in the blowing up of stuff!

The round, wood pillars on the wooden structure, where we were sitting, act as little table tops right at chair height when the sand is tall and the pipe isn’t flowing.

When we first got to our beach a month ago, we wondered what the pipe was for. It was a little foreboding and we didn’t go near it. Being a land-locked country girl, pipes were usually for smokin’ or sewer waste. But then we figured, that pipe is probably for excess water runoff from the streets. So waste water, but! Relatively clean waste water. Why would the city of Venice pollute their own ocean? They wouldn’t. I know. Tourists! Land lubbers!

So, today, the pipe was not flowing (no rain for a coupla days) and it was full of sand. The hill was high and so, our favorite spot. And now this guy! He wants us to move? On our day to relax?

“My wife told me not to ask.”

Smart wife.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s fine. We’ll move down after my husband goes to work.” Guy had to work that night. Security never sleeps.

“Oh, shit, man, you have to work?? Oh, man, I’m sorry.” At least he was apologetic. For something.

“No big deal.”

And it wasn’t a big deal. Just a minor annoyance. Shoulda known. No one is that nice for no reason. Cynical, I know. But, in this case, it was true.

Then a storm blows in from the east. Right over our shoulders. Sudden shower. No lightning, so we ride it out. It stops after a few minutes. Cool. It was fun to sit in the rain on the Gulf. Something new! It was quite refreshing.

It was finally time for Guy to go in and shower before the fireworks. He had to go straight to work after the show. So we said our temporary goodbyes. Lilli and I stayed for a little while longer and watched the setting sun. I wanted to snap a few.

NO SD CARD! Ack! I forgot my SD card for my Nikon. I remembered to haul and protect my expensive digital cam to the beach and I forget the friggin’ SD card. I’m sucha dope. Oh well. Just enjoy the sunset.

Several minutes go by and another stronger storm, first storm’s big brother, whipped up and we heard the thunder. Bye! Couldn’t see the sun any more!

We high-tailed it back and sat under the carport in our neighbors’ parking lot. It was coming down hard and we still had several hundred yards to go. Plus, we needed to hose off (we have an outside shower and hose) before coming in, even though the downpour was shower-strength. Sand goes everywhere. Everywhere. Only the hose knows.

That was also fun. Knowing we were not in danger of being struck (Were we? I guess a little) and just watching the dark sky, clouds and rain come down. Waiting patiently for it to subside. And it did.

We hosed everything off: us, the cooler, our shoes. Thank you for your discretion, Hose! Then we headed up to sit on the porch. Resolved to miss the fireworks. It was a long day and IDC about fireworks. Plus, it wasn’t clear if the storm had passed.

We met our new neighbors on the second floor. They had just arrived and were opening their condo. She introduced herself and then her husband.

“Come on down. The fireworks start at 9 pm.”

And before I could explain that I knew, that my husband was going to work and that we were tired, she was beckoning again. “Come on! 9 pm! See ya there!”

“Sure!” Bye, Crazy. LOL

Guy was done and agreed with Neighbor Lady. We could probably make it and now the clouds had moved on.

“Okay.” I could not deny my eager family their fireworks fix.

So we go down to the beach. We stay back from the water, in the dunes, near the path. I get over 10 mosquito bites that won’t get aggressive for several days. They are just now blossoming into full-on Zika zaps. 😦 (Idk why skeeter bites wait for a few days to really itch!)

I don’t have Zika. Yet.

Then, my camera won’t pick up the fireworks, but I enjoy them anyway. There were clouds, miles off the coast, competing for the light show. Bursting with strikes, lighting up inside like a brain firing synapses. It was truly awesome.

<NO PIC TO SHARE, USE YOUR IMAGINATION> lol

Then we head back, say our goodbyes for the night and Guy goes on to work. Lilli and I head upstairs, she jumps in the shower and I proceed to get sick on the kitchen floor. Too much wine and Chex Mix. Plus, a long, warm day with warm skin and too much movement. Now I have to clean my kitchen floor, take a shower and clean the rest of my house. NO! I’m done! Plus, I’d already been cleaning my house earlier in the day. This day will never end!!! But it did.

I finish with everything about 1:30 and I crash hard. A very satisfying crash where your whole body relaxes upon hitting the sheets. And you know, you’re going right to sleep. Sore, but cozy. Warm, tingly skin from the sun and sore, tired muscles from working. Good night!

Then. Yesterday. I had an interview. It was at 10 am. I thought it was for 1 pm. I called to ask if I could still make it, but as soon as I heard her voice I knew. Don’t bother. They hung up on me. I think it was an accident, but I didn’t even attempt to call back.

I really screwed that up. That would have been for a cardiologist only a few blocks from our house. I don’t even know how I did that??

I’ve been busy. That’s my only excuse. But at some point, it felt like God saying, “Let it go.” So I did.

I feel so jumbled sometimes. There’s much to be doing now. I’m still unpacking. Looking for a job. Cooking, cleaning, juggling, writing! Rearranging our whole lives. Registering Lilli for school. Tags, license, grocery shopping. I start my driving job tonight.

I was supposed to start yesterday, but he called to say I wasn’t on their insurance yet and I might not start for another week. Shoot!

Just one of those things. We need that money, too.

But then he called just a few hours later to say the insurance company took care of it, rushed it through and I can start tonight. Phew. Good deal. Bacon saved.

Oh well. I’m still here. I’m still alive. I am thankful for busy-ness and chores. I am thankful for relationships and people. I am thankful for A job, if not THE job.

Please pray for me. I need it. I don’t want to screw up this job. I want to take it seriously and help people. But also, pray that I find the right job for my graphic design skills. Soon. Thanks.


Sometimes you find a shell with your big toe.
Sometimes you get zapped.