Shells!

I love shells.

I watch Portlandia and on that series, one of the first sketches, Fred Armisen is playing a character named Spike. He’s a hipster who wants to be first in everything and no one is allowed to follow. There’s another guy, in a bar, metro millennial who wants to appropriate Spike’s behavior and lifestyle.

Whenever the yuppie starts mimicking Spike, Spike realizes what he’s doing and immediately declares the activity “OVER!”

Then, in one instance, Spike is producing some tasty shell art. Very intricate. Then mod guy copies and Spike throws his art off-camera (more than likely a cat shrieks with trash cans clanging) and he screams, “Shell Art is OVER!” LOL I love that. And I love shell art. I can’t help it.

I know it’s such a cliche, but shells are so cool. I pick up at least a handful of unique, even broken, shells every time we head to the beach. I will post some pics of some of the cooler ones soon.

I washed and dried a bunch the other day. Then I made this holiday centerpiece. Some old espresso cups I don’t use. Saucers. Tea lights. And SHELLS! All inside an old tray I don’t use. Now, it’s something I really like and will use for candles during the holidays.

tray 2.jpg

What do you think?

Shell art is definitely NOT over. 🙂 It’s just starting for me.

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Mini Canvas Shell Art

So, on my medical courier route, I met this really nice young woman. She’s a lab tech/nurse. She has a family, husband, young daughter, possibly more than one child. I don’t know her that well, but she’s been one of the kindest people I’ve met in Florida. Her birthday was earlier this month, but I just found out. She mentioned it in passing on another topic.

So. I made this for her.

mini canvas shell art.jpg

Do you think she’ll like it?

The size is only like 2″ x 2″. So those are tiny little shells.

I bought the frame for under $5? Possibly even $1. I don’t remember. Had it forever. And I found the shells on our beach. Painted the picture black (because it was hideous little, weird cacti in orange and green and brown, and not the good kind, gag!), epoxy’d shells to the canvas/cardboard insert backing thingie, and made a button hanger for the top. So this project was $5 or less. Crafty Beaver on the loose!

I hope my new acquaintance likes this small gesture and I hope I make a new friend! 🙂

Even if she is just my nicest route client (and we are never friend-friends), it’s nice to be nice to nice people.

How could you not want me as a friend? When I make cool stuff and give it to you? LOL 😉

Hope everyone has a great day and a great weekend!! Love you, Friends!

Bone Digger

My daughter, Lilli, had a brilliant, funny idea the other day while sunbathing at the beach. We sketched our own versions of her light bulb moment. I think hers turned out perfectly! Love her sketch and illustration abilities! Such a funny thought, Pencil Princess. And your art skills are exploding!

So the idea is based on the fact that we love to pick up shells. And she thought, “We are basically picking up old parts of sea creatures, their exoskeletons, and we don’t even think anything about it. What if there was a shell, walking around the beach, picking up human bones. That would seem weird!” LOL So Far Side of her to think of. She’s funny, talented and really smart.

Love you, Girl.

Here’s mine:

shell.JPG

Here’s Lil’s:

shell lilli.JPG

Hilarious! Love the beach bag with huge flowers on it. Nice detail!

YuleTIDE: A Very Beachy Christmas

We found this when we arrived at the beach yesterday! Love it.

beach christmas.jpg

Some vacationers must have found this washed up drift wood and fashioned this temporary art. So funny! Love the shell ornaments. It’s even got pine cones! LOL

No presents under the tree though. This beach offering is present enough, I say! What a great Christmas Labor Day on the coast.

This is what Florida Xmas looks like, I guess! LOL

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! 😀 Yay, Saturday!

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. 🙂 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.

Siesta Key

SANDALS SAYING


My family and I took a much needed vacation. We haven’t been anywhere for 7 years. We’ve been sick, poor, bankrupt and moving for the past 7 years. So, it was nice to finally get away for 1 week in our favorite spot-Sarasota, Florida.

Great beaches: Venice, Turtle, Siesta Key. Great food: Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar (try the Seafood Stuffing). Great people. It’s so laid back and fun there. We had a great time. Finding a cheap hotel on spring break was challenging, but we found a great hotel down south in Port Charlotte. A drive, no doubt, but clean and affordable. It doesn’t matter where you stay as long as your in driving distance of Siesta Key Beach. Voted best beach in the USA, that is not an exaggeration. Powdery white sand, clear water and shells to scavenge. Also! the best sunsets the Gulf has to offer. Although, Turtle Beach, just down the key, is Shell Central. We found so many. I stepped on a very large fish scale the first morning we went shell hunting. Totally intact.

Great to be back though. We stopped at Fantastic Caverns on the way home to KC. Here’s all our pics. Plus, some pics of our 2009 getaway. Those are the best sunsets.

bird friend 2.jpgMy bird friend who just had to fly over and get his pic taken. He was so close! 2017
Turtle Beach

bird in flight.jpgBird in flight 2017
Turtle Beach

hermie.jpgMy husband’s hand. Baby hermit crab. My daughter found him in the surf. She thought it was a shell, then he poked his head out! So cute. We put him back to live and swim another day!! You can call him Hermie. 2017
Siesta Key Beach

parasail 2.jpgParasailing (not us!) 2009
Siesta Key Beach

sunset 11.jpgBoat, birds and sunset 2009
Siesta Key Beach

lilli beach.jpgLilli, our daughter (6 years old), on Siesta Key Beach in 2009.

fantastic 10.jpgMy favorite shot. Fantastic Caverns 2017

giants.jpgGiants, Fantastic Caverns 2017

fantastic 1.jpgFantastic Caverns 2017

stage.jpgThe Stage in the Auditorium. Performers used to sing and play in the cave. This was the stage they built so long ago. They wouldn’t let me get up there and perform??! Why not? LOL
Fantastic Caverns 2017

fantastic 6.jpgSoda Straws, Fantastic Caverns 2017

Great vacation, lots of fun times. No speeding tickets, no accidents. Road trip to end all road trips. A few bruised egos along the way, but no permanent damage. Visited many places, saw many things. Had such a great time.

Glad to be back in my own bed though. 😉