Friday, May 28, 2010

Golf and more golf

Once I thought I could play golf. Paul didn't play as much as I did because he worked so that I had the financial support to spend my afternoons on the lovely course. Of course, I worked also but not enough to support my various habits. Then we moved away from my golf and then life got in the way and then I played no golf.

Then, we moved to the golf capital of the WORLD. Populated by old people who were good golfers, those who used to be golfers, those who had never been a golfer and those who could care less about being a golfer. We started playing again, we took a few lessons, we bought some clubs, we spent time at the driving range (not enough), one of us bought some cute golf clothes and we played a lot of golf. We improved and we had fun. But of course, if you are a golfer, you never, ever feel like your game is good enough. So what to do...................??
We are back to square one and have started over with new lessons. A new golf school has opened up, one not on Village property. The owner has a long and impressive resume in the golf world. AND, he grew up just down the road from us in Ct. He has worked with Tom Kite and was Nancy Lopez's swing coach. He has another PGA instructor with him, also well credentialed. We attended a free seminar for 90 min the other day and came away quite impressed and did what they wanted us to do after giving us something for free.....we signed up for a lesson. We had the lesson yesterday.
It was simple and basic and understandable and doable. He didn't make us feel stupid or hopeless. He doesn't want us to come back until we've mastered the the first step .......I think we can do this. I have hope.
And then on the course, we saw you think its a sign ????

Monday, May 24, 2010

Florida naturally

What would you do if your brother was running around on the field and your were bored with the whole thing ?????

When tourists first set eyes on Florida, one of their early comments is about the screening around outdoor living spaces. I remember when I first saw them and just couldn't believe that people put pools and such under enclosures. After all, what was the point if you couldn't sit around in the sun and enjoy the pool.

Maybe this poor picture will give you some indication of what life around a pool might be like, au naturale. Normally, we have very few bugs.....I am rarely bitten by a mosquito unless playing at one of the marshy courses. I never use insect repellent. We have nothing inside the house. (We do have a pest control service that sprays regularly.) In May and September, we have love bugs but even this month, they have been scarce around here. But we have been invaded by these tiny white pesky the gazillions. It is hard to open a door and keep them out. They are covering the birdcage. Someone called them blind mosquitos and I think I have been bitten when I walked into a cloud of them. I'm hoping this too shall pass.....but in the meantime, I'm very happy to be outside under my birdcage.

The flowers are in full bloom around TV. I especially like the masses of these in the town square.
Yesterday, we opted for a late day 9 holes on the Hibiscus course with the Scotts. It is a beautiful place with gorgeous million dollar homes. But most of it is just a
wonderful natural area and makes the golf even better. I was pleased with my 3 pars but really need to do some serious practicing.

We ended the day with a couple of these and a light meal outside at Cane Garden CC and then headed to the square for some good toe tapping music. There is LIVE entertainment 365 evenings a year on both of the Town Squares and much of it is very good.
I was going to end this with a picture of Mr Snake who surprised me this morning while pulling weeds but I didn't stick around long enough. All I know is that he was large, all coiled up and creepy. I assume it was a garden variety and probably the same one I saw a couple weeks ago in the bushes in the front of the house. I can tolerate most of nature's creatures but not snakes. Not sure what I'll do now about grubbing around in the yard. Volunteers welcome...........

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


My ability to procrastinate extends to all areas of my life. It has been a life long issue and I suspect that at my age, it is incurable. That being said, one of the results is my continual failure to contribute to this blog. Granted, I do it mostly for me. It is my way of remembering and capturing life. If it were truly personal, obviously I wouldn't publish it, so it is mostly just the trivia of our daily lives. And for all of you that follow along, I apologize for living such a mediocre existence. It is regretful that I am not writing of climbing mountains, transforming the lost and woe-be-gone souls of the world, sharing haunting poetry or delighting you with stunning photography and pithy observations. Instead...................... get an unedited pic of some guy's bald head taken at a lovely Symphony Under the Stars last week. The concert was in Ocala and was quite lovely and capped off with the 1812 Overture and glorious fireworks.

And all the tedium of covering and uncovering the mandevilla during Florida's coldest winter ever, paid off with this glorious display. I think it is the only mandevilla to survive the winter around here. Many are coming back but none are this showy and large. Paul is training it to trail along wires over the entry. Stay may just take over.
Our morning was recently "shattered" when after we heard a strange noise, we investigated and found this mess out on the lanai. Luckily the pile of glass missed the pool and we were happy the cover prevented a few stray pieces from falling in.
The table was aging but it was a good size and served us well. We found a replacement without glass.

Forty four years ago today, the cutest little guy arrived. Happy Day Jeff.

Just finished reading Anna Quinlan's latest "Every Last One" . I have read most of her books , this not one of my favorites but quite compelling and haunting.

Enough's time to go climb some mountains and help the masses so I have something to write about.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Best Laid Plans

Instead of writing this blog, we should be in sunny California with my Mother and my siblings. It was to be a short trip, leaving this morning and returning tomorrow evening. But, flying standby is always a toss of the dice and today we didn't win. I am disappointed but know that if I really have to get there, we need to buy a ticket like the rest of the flying public. Note the mixed logos on the plane. Not sure how the merger will affect Jon , if at all.

Our neighbors and friends, John and Frieda, spent the week on the southwestern coast of Florida. They found this wonderful, "let me take over the world" bougainvillea. Remind me not to plant one of those.

Here's Alex in his new shoes for the next 8 weeks. At least the pain is gone.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Of Food and Fractures

Happiness is...............................

The guest room is getting a good work out this year. Michael came from Colorado to do some work in Miami and then came up to see TV first hand. We joined friends for an evening at one of the clubs. Weather is HOT, HOT, HOT ! But it rained most of the day so a brief cool down allowed us to be outside.
My side of the family is English, from Cornwall to be exact. My grandmother made Cornish pasties that were similar in size and appearance to this. She used potatoes, onion and cubes of beef and probably some other veggies in them. I didn't like them because of all the onions and the chewy meat. But these were traditional and used by the miners in their lunch pails. She used to tell me how they put their initials in the crust to identify them.
There is a place in Michigan, called Pasty Central , that makes pasties for sale and I have sent them to Mother and also to Michael. But they are different than mine.
Also, I knew that Jon and Marybeth would be a match because HER grandmother made pasties too.
My mother adapted the old English style and changed it to hamburger and few onions and made them larger. And of course , she made her own pie crust. I loved them. They were outstanding, hot or cold.
Michael and I were the only ones in this family that would eat them. When he left home, he bastardized the recipe even more and made his own quite unorthodox looking version and called it "dough stuff'. My grandmother would be torn between being thrilled that we continue the tradition but horrified at our versions. Here is my version, just out of the oven and already sampled. I use pie crust, 80% hamburger (anything more lean makes it too dry), lots of sweet onions , potatoes, salt and pepper and an egg wash. I know they aren't pretty but they taste really good. I made them early in the morning and Mike said that he smelled them when he woke and knew right away what I had made. He took two of them home with him.
Remember this picture ???
Yesterday, the MRI results for Alex came back and he has severe stress fractures
in BOTH tibias. He will wear these boots on his legs for 8 weeks. This too is a result of lacrosse. The coaches had them run 2 miles after practice in their cleats. He complained of pain but it was attributed to shin splints and there was no let up in their brutality. Alex, being Alex, was determined to keep up and do the best he could do. His goal and future plans include playing lacrosse for a big name school.
Well, being his grandmother, I've been thinking that maybe he needs a new goal. He has been playing golf for a number of years and with a little coaching, I think he has the drive and determination and the ability to turn into a first class golfer. He has been asked to join the school golf team next year. And because he needs to keep busy, he can spend his days chipping and putting until the boots come off .
He started young and impressed us with his swing from the very beginning.

And besides, how many RICH lacrosse players can you name ??????

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A post without pictures is boring........

Still alive and well. At this age, that fact needs to be put forward when long absences occur on TWFB (the world famous blog). And indeed, I am now even older. I have pictures to prove that I received lovely tulips, huge balloons, perfect gifts and a celebration that lasted a week. Unfortunately, blogger, iPhoto, my camera and the alignment of the planets have all conspired to create hate and discontent when I try and download them to TWFB. The absolute PERFECT gift would have been a 24 hour appt at the Genius Bar so I can figure this whole thing out.

Anyway, use your imagination to see beautiful Florida sunshine and the cutest kids. . We had the g-kids for almost a week and I think they wore out the pool. Andy went from reluctance in a preserver to an underwater torpedo, capable of swimming the length, cannonballing and all sorts of underwater tricks. Mason bobbed around like an adorable cork in his preserver . But he really preferred the warm bubbling hot tub accompanied by assorted boats and squirting toys.
Weather has been perfect. No humidity, blue skies and everything in bloom. Not as pretty as a northern burst of spring colors but quite nice.

We played a round of Night Golf. Combine a very very dark night, glowing colored golf balls, glow stix on the flag and in the hole, old people, some libation and you get one wild golf game. Ability has nothing to do with it. In fact, non-golfers in the neighborhood look forward to this event. This year we were allowed to use flashlights to walk to our balls due to the fact that it is alligator mating season, there are many ponds on this course and we preferred not to have a relationship with an amorous gator. (unless of course it was Tim Tebow............who is now a BRONCO....but I digress......).

We went to The Village Concert Band spring concert the other night. I was not expecting to be impressed. It was 100 strong of very professional, versatile performers. I suspect many have a strong music background. Average age looked to be about 70+. There is also an orchestra and several smaller groups that perform.
The evening was excellent with a good variety and many crowd pleasers. They did West Side Story with an outstanding young soloist borrowed from elsewhere. We will go again. I am always amazed at the talent in this community. Who ever thinks that we slow down when we retire is in for a big surprise down here.
The Villages continues to expand without restraint. Everyday, there are about 20 open houses in the newspaper of new construction to wander through. There are also pre-owned houses for viewing, probably about the same number each day. Mostly, they are in the 2-300,000 range, a mid range of housing prices down here. Well, last week, there was a new construction house open with the price of $1.6 million !! Well, that caught the eye of thousands who wandered through. We didn't go over, mainly because I knew it would be mobbed. Someone said it was a custom that fell through. So, if you have any interest, we'll be glad to schedule an appt for you .
Enough chatter. I'll keep working on the picture thing.

One more chatter......just finished reading "Away" by Amy Bloom. Rich language, memorable characters, great story.... all my favorite ingredients. I need to find more of her work. Finished "The Help" via reading and audio book. The audio book gave an added dimension to the work with great character definition but I got impatient with the slowness so went back to reading. The voices stayed with me.
I continue to pick up "The Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. I like it's richness but sometimes need to break it up with a quicker read.