Things I've Seen. . .
Things I've Seen . . .

Spring has sprung.....!

Hope you're feeling less guilty about missing the gym after reading my last blog.  I know I am.


Yes, we're still alive and well down here in Florida.
Our crazy weather is cold for a couple of days, then warm and we're beck to cold again.
30's at night plus a windchill of 15 - 30 wind gusts.  Feels really cold.  But we still have the blue sky. 

But it was so beautiful yesterday that I just couldn't help taking phone pix as I walked my little black dog.  
Many of or flowers are in full bloom: hibiscus, azaleas, African iris, tulips, daisies and the dogwoods are just starting.

Even the large, lazy palm trees are sending out their pollen in the form of a huge golden tassel.
I'm heading to Houston, Texas this afternoon to visit my cuz and brother and see what Linda
labelled the triple play: Rodeo (I've never been), bluebonnet fields (cute stalks of bell like blue flowers)
Cirque Du Soleil and there might have been something else.

I still haven't been able to figure out what this plant is...any helpers?

I'll report when I return.  Hope to see some fancy bull ridin' at that there rodeo.

PHOTOTIPS for Moms & everyone else:  Flowers make a great background for portraits.  Have your favorite subjects smell a single flower for a sweet look.  Stand them in front of a profusely flowering bush for a lovely background.  Remember to look for open shade, not direct sunlight.

LUKE 12:27
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12 little known reasons not to go the Gym

GREETINGS!  We're experiencing some very cold weather and then very warm weather again. Many of our flowers are blooming---kinda halfway blooming.  Usually that means we'll have a night or two of cold that kills them off.   

So I find it hard to climb out from under the covers & delicately place my bare foot onto the cold faux wood floor.  Getting dressed is definitely easier if I pick out the clothes out ahead of time & don't have to think.

 1. Wear & tear on the car - 5 miles away
 2. Rising gas prices - 3 x wk = 1 gallon of gas x 4 = $15
 3. More washing - gym clothes can't be worn all day
 4. Expense - new exercise appropriate shoes costing at least $50, elastic clothing
 5. Your Mom - Did she ever worn you that your face might "get stuck like that" when you made an ugly face as a kid?  What if it does?  What if she was right???  You know the look, you can feel it . . . when your face is all scrunched up, eyes closed, teeth gritting together as you lift that weight over your head?
 6. Higher dental bills - related to the reason above, when you're gnashing your teeth . . . you
just might chip something.
 7. Breathing used air - it's a giant room filled with people who are stressing their bodies and breathing deeply, then quickly expelling their air.  Some of them, like the guy on an elliptical right next to me recently, are even sneezing.  (You know the kind where it sprays in a wide arc.)
 8. Doctor bills - You could get a cold, or even the dreaded flu.  You could also strain or sprain something when you try a little too hard cause there's a cute member of the opposite sex you can clearly see in the mirror.
 9. Germs - obviously, lots of people use the same equipment and many of them don't wipe it off.
10. Time -  an hour and a half of my life disappears (between the travel time & actual workout). 
11. Unpleasant images in your brain - having to look at other sweaty, grunting out of shape people. 

12. Membership Fees - they've come down, but since I signed a two year contract, I don't get to enjoy the cheaper rates offered now.

So, on the days I don't make it all the expensive way to the gym, I try to walk in my neighborhood.   Sometimes I even take the dog.  I don't feel quite as guilty now that I know I'm actually saving money when I don't make it to the gym. 

But, in the long run, I have to admit...going there is probably the only way to get rid of the bags of fat I seem to be carrying around with me these days.   Only 12 more months to go on the contract....

PHOTOTIP: Never take your camera to the gym.

Ecclesiastes 9
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Merry Christmas from Florida !

GREETINGS!  Wow!  I can't believe it's already Christmas and I haven't talked with you since Thanksgiving.  You know what they say...time flies when you're having fun....or is that when you're really busy.... Just wanted to share a few images showing how we celebrate in spite of the sun, sand, warm weather and the beach.

Lots of people decorate at night, so tonight I enjoyed a bike ride with my two grand daughters.  We have little traffic on the street and we tried to strap a flashlight onto our bikes with marginal success.  The important thing is, no one was harmed in the viewing of  the lights.

These fund decorations, and lots more are in Town Center between Atlantic Beach & Neptune Beach in a fun walking/shopping area.  Makes a great location for pictures.  They decorate with traditional and non-traditional motifs, as you can see.  There were also giant gifts, light bulbs, balls, tree and lifeguard stands.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas, get to eat lots of good food without the calories sticking, visit fun friends & family, give & receive good gifts and make great memories.

PHOTOTIP:  Take lots of pictures and start the new year by creating a folder on your desktop for copies of the very best of the pictures next year.

John 3:16, Luke 2
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Giving Thanks!

GREETINGS!  We are freezing down here in north east Florida, Jacksonville Beach, to be exact.  We had to turn off the air conditioning almost a week ago and now it's dipping down into the 50's at night with a bit of misty cold rain and lots of wind to make you feel like it's the middle of February.  We've had to find the electric blankets, sleep in socks and search out the sweaters & long johns.  I even bought my dog a sweater.


Of course that's nothing compared to what some of the people up in New York are living through without power.  I just wanted to list all the numbers and sites for people to get help if they need it. 1-800-RED CROSS or the site if you need help with finding someone. for any thing from Sandy or a bad storm, and if you need housing because of the disaster.  Please pass that information on to anyone who might need it.


I could use a splash of cold water in the face right about now.
Yesterday, I sat through part of a 24 HOUR PHOTOSHOP SESSION that was free.  It began at 5:00 pm EST on Wednesday night and kept going until Thursday at  5:00pm.  I was in on a couple of hours on Wednesday night & from about 8 am to the end on Thursday.  At least 10 hours of mostly sitting, with very few breaks.  I really like webinars, especially free ones.  They're great because you don't have to get dressed up and you can keep getting more coffee, pet your dog, stretch you legs, multitask, feed your dog, eat a sandwich, check your phone, lift hand weights, etc.  (It was a lot of hours in front of the computer!)  

There were several tracks with some information overlapping.  Different experts presented information to Photographers, Videographers, Graphic Designers, people interested in Animation, portraits, lighting, editing,  Lightroom, creativity or Photoshop and CS6 in all its glory. 

Lots of the presenters had products to sell, had freebies to give away.  They got great exposure.  We got great information.  You could have all that on a set of cd's for a mere $199.  I passed on that.  I gained a lot of insight into Lightroom. It was very helpful to me THANKS, Adobe!


Remember to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with your family and/or friends, pets, internet pals.  Remember to eat lots of yummy food.  Remember not feel guilty about it.  Remember to give thanks for all you have.  Remember to bless someone else.  We are very blessed in this country, in so many ways.  Maybe not presidentially, but we enjoy some awesome freedoms here.  If you can help someone who has less, do it.

PHOTOTIP:  Take pictures at the family gatherings, you just don't know what the future holds.  You might not have another chance to take that picture next year.

1 Chronicles 16:34
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Life after Hurricane Sandy...and some help

Is there life after a hurricane?  I'm here to assure you the answer is YES.  But, it will most certainly take a while for things to return to "normal" even if you didn't lose your home.  If you are trying to find some, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to

We lived through Hurricane Hugo in 1989.  (For all the details, see the blog immediately before this one.)  It was the worst storm on record at the time.  Water pounded our barrier islands, crossed them and wiped out many historic homes along with boats, cars and bridges. Dead fish, birds, trash and parts of other houses were left in our yard after the water receded. 

My advice to you is to stay with some relatives if possible for a week or so, and let the city take care of any clean up which will make it safer for you to return to your home.  Plan your Christmas shopping in another city and on line. Your local shops will take time to recover.

I found a great website which can really help anyone effected by Hurricane Sandy:

It covers every type of disaster and how to prepare for it, build an emergency kit, plan for evacuation, a place to meet up with family and suggestions for what to do afterwords when you return home, including how to deal with your water & food to keep them safe.

Look under for some valuable information. They list the steps to take before entering your home such as: watch for wires, wild animals, anything unstable, gas leaks & take pictures. has information if you need help with housing after the storm or money to help fix your home up. 

Try to remember that worrying will not accomplish anything, it will just cause you stress. 
Use the time to get organized and devise a plan of attack to execute when you return.  You might need to call your bank, your insurance company & your credit card companies to let them know you were in the path of the Hurricane Sandy.  We had checks bounce because the banks were closed.

Try to take some time to force your self to relax and reflect on what is most important.  Do the possessions that might be damaged really matter in the great scheme of life?  Do you have your family?  Your health?  Your friends?  God's love?

Buy your food, water, fuel, lanterns, camp stove, ice chests, dry ice, manual can openers, a camera, extra clothes & supplies before you return.  Even a generator or chain saw, if you will need that.  Lots of people who came after the storm jacked up prices and made a killing.  Beware of roofers & other repairmen who have come from out of town.  Get references, use people you know something about or that you can do a search on.  Use the internet when you can.  

The debris clean up took about two months.  You just have to be content to see the progress in small steps.  Have faith that American resilience will prevail.  It was definitely a time when neighbors helped each other and we came to know the precious people who lived around us.

Take time to see how you can help others like the single parents, those with loved ones that are gone for some reason & the older folks.  Offer to babysit, take over some food, listen to them, help them clean up something.  Somehow, when we focus on others, we really help ourselves.  Then things don't seem so bad. 

PHOTOTIP:  Take pictures of everything before & after you move it.  Do wide, medium and close ups.

Your normal will probably be a little different, but not all change is bad.  Be
content with baby steps.  If you can teach others how to do that, you will make the world a better place.

Romans 8:28
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HURRICANE Hugo remembered

GREETINGS!  It’s hot as usual, but slightly cooler & wetter than usual, thanks to the approaching Hurricane Irene.   We definitely were suffering from HURRICANE ANXIETY on Monday. Why? You might ask. . . It’s because we lived in the Charleston, South Carolina area on 09/21/1989 when the dreaded Hurricane HUGO decided to stop by. The idea of reliving that is cause for the eyes to open wide in horror, ... << MORE >>

Autumn colors


Horses enjoying life in Buckhead, Georgia at Lake Oconee.

Our weather is just awesome right now---still the blue skies, palm trees blowing gently in the breeze and dots of colorful flowers on every street. This is definitely the best time to be visiting north Florida! 

Last week I showed you the colors, mostly pink, we have right now. But, the cooler fall weather made me want to see some real autumn color. I decided to ...

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Fall colors . . . at the beach

Wow!!! We've had such beautiful weather this week------blue skies with a few soft, fluffy clouds and a morning temperature around 70º with a slight breeze---perfection!  This is when you love living near the beach. We seem to get better breezes than the rest of Jacksonville. Tomorrow I'm heading over to Jax Beach for my walk.


I've been taking a blogging course with Minette Riordan to help re-energize my writing ---- it's not ...

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Old Can Be Beautiful

GREETINGS!  It's still warm and sunny down here in Florida--- 83º today! Our Jaguars are doing badly, which is sad....considering all the excitement with the new owner, new coach & new optimistic attitude we started out with. Moving on to happier thoughts...


I recently attended a free car show sponsored by the Beaches Chamber of Commerce. There were some very old models, but a lot of the cars were driven by my teenage friends. ...

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Rock on!

GREETINGS!   I'm back.....

Well, it's been quite weekly pressure to come up another fantastic piece of late nights of frustration, sitting in front of my computer for hours, only to have the whole lovely blog self destruct before being published....    This has happened more than once and of course, Go Daddy claims no responsibility. Still, if it's automatically being saved every 5 minutes, how could a browser ...

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