sand castle in florida

by grace on March 13, 2019

here are a couple more photos of the elaborate castle complex that somebody had created down on the beach in front of our condo.

can you see the feather at the very top of the tower?

such attention to detail!

i tried not to go completely crazy taking photos of birds, but i do like this one.

here we are, about to climb the steps to Seaside. the funny thing is, because it’s such an exclusive community, there was a locked gate up at the top of the stairs. so we climbed back down and headed for another gate…but this one also had a gate. it’s not a very welcoming place, really…if you aren’t staying there, they only allow you to access the beach or the town from a limited amount of entrances.

i said that i’d climb over the gate because i didn’t want to keep climbing up and down the steps, but luckily the gate was open and we could get into the town.

i’ve already posted that annoyingly vertical video of the town center, and maybe i’ll post more of them.

meanwhile…it’s unseasonably warm here today, supposed to get up into the 60s, so we’re going to take a nice walk. as nice as it can be, with the bron grass and no ocean waves crashing next to us as we go…

ok then,



more about florida

by grace on March 12, 2019

today, people keep saying stuff like “it’s so warm!” but it’s not, not when you’ve spent a lovely week in 60s to 70s degree weather and bright sunshine and even when it rained in florida, who cared, because it was so, so much better than the weather around here.

at least spring is grudgingly, haltingly starting to try to make an effort. yesterday i sprayed deer spray on the delicate tiny shoots coming out of the ground in front, because i know that otherwise the deer will just chomp them to the ground.

anyway, back to florida (and yes, i could get my bags packed in about 15 minutes if we were going back right now)….i took this picture from our balcony the same time that i posted the video where i said “comma” and “exclamation point” out loud. this was right when we got there, at around four in the afternoon on saturday, feb. 23rd. we didn’t see the sun set that night because it was cloudy.

the place is identical to the one we stayed in last year, and only the furnishings are different.

you know i love pelicans, so i was happy to see this guy on the kitchen counter.

here’s kevin, trying to relax on sunday morning.

we frequently saw people walking their cute dogs on the beach despite the many NO DOGS ON BEACH signs that were posted everywhere.

little birds visited me on our balcony all the time we were there and of course i gave them little crumbs so of course they kept coming back.

another example of how tired i was when we arrived on saturday – i kept opening all the cabinets looking for a wine glass because i was, of course, desperate for a glass of wine. i opened every single cabinet, even the really high ones over the fridge, but all i could find were a bunch of different plastic glasses. i don’t want to drink wine out of a plastic glass!

i texted this to amy on saturday night, and told her that i’d broken a wine glass when we’d stayed at the other condo last year, and she said that maybe that was the reason they only had plastic ones.

and then, sunday morning, how had i completely missed the cabinet that was right next to the other cabinets? fully stocked with a variety of glasses.

overly tired.

We finally set out for a nice walk down the beach at the crack of 10:52 a.m. sunday morning.

somebody had constructed this elaborate sand world, and it remained on the beach almost til the time we left; i think the rain finally washed most of it away.

we walked to the little town of Seaside, where we’d been last year – it’s where they shot “the truman show,” and it’s a nice place. i started taking lots of videos because i decided they would make you feel like you were there a lot more than just taking pictures.

but i guess i always do that, don’t I? mostly.

anyway, i don’t know why i shot this in a vertical format; it annoys me a lot now watching it. maybe some of my crazy from the night before was lingering…

i have more videos of walking around in seaside, but maybe i won’t put them up here because i’m so annoyed with the format. we did a whole lot of walking that day; we walked through the town of seaside back to the road and then way up the road back to the Publix, because i hadn’t brought a hair dryer because i thought they’d supply one. and then we walked back to our place, and i think we walked almost six miles that day. i remember that we got pretty warm, because it’s florida and i love it.

ok then,

mrs. h.


first video of florida

by grace on March 11, 2019

gee, that was fast! i shot this first video after we finally made it to our condo overlooking the ocean in Seagrove Beach, FL. we’d driven a long time that day; we left on friday feb. 22nd and after we’d driven about six hours and made it to the north of nashville, it started to rain and get dark and the traffic was awful, so we decided to not deal with the traffic around the city and just pull over.

we found a little motel that was just fine, plus kevin said it was the very best in-room coffee he’d ever had anywhere. gee whiz!

the only problem is that we had a very long drive on saturday feb. 23rd. we got up at 5:30! and left by 6:30, arriving in seagrove beach at 2:45 in the afternoon.

our first stop was the UPS store because i’d remembered that i left every one of my chargers for all my electronics at home on the kitchen counter. you’d think i’d have remembered such basic things, but because they weren’t on my list i didn’t remember them. i especially needed my fitbit charger, so mom was super nice to mail them all down to seagrove beach to the UPS store, which was closing at 4:00, so we had to arrive before then.

which is why we made such good time. we then walked over to the Publix, where they were having some kind of mardi gras celebration with many, many delicious samples of deliciousness, plus they gave us a free mardi gras reusable shopping bag. plus we bought some fresh shrimp and they cooked it for us, a nice first-night meal at our condo.

when we finally got to our condo before 4:00, i realized how tired i was, because as you know i’m not a morning person and 5:30 is way before my getting-up time.

i made this short video, and in it, i say “comma” and “exclamation point,” because i was obviously beyond tired, so somehow my addled brain thought i was talking to text.

ok then,




by grace on March 11, 2019

it was just so warm and sunny there and i wasn’t thrilled about driving back to the cold and snow.

but i’m getting ahead of myself…before florida, there was the beginning of february, with sweet riley hanging outside as much as possible.

and then, bev and i took a short and fun trip up to chicago to see the Blue Man Group. i’d been dying to see them in their original habitat, the venue where it all began.

here we are before the show started.

it was a pretty good show…but the problem is that i’d built it up in my own mind so much that i was disappointed. when kevin and i saw it a few years ago here at sangamon auditorium, i felt it was the funniest, most wonderful performance i’d ever seen.

yeah, expectations too high.

this time it just wasn’t as funny. could it be because i’d seen it, i knew what to expect? but i feel that they did funnier things back then.

my biggest complaint with the chicago iteration is that it was deafeningly loud. when we first got to our seats, bev noticed that the kid next to her had a pair of earplugs in his lap. he told her they were free, and they were giving them out. he graciously scrabbled past the tightly-packed row of seats to get us some pairs, and he certainly saved my hearing quite a bit that night.

i know it wasn’t that loud when we saw the show here – maybe when they take the show on the road they think the small-town older crowd won’t appreciate the ear-shattering noise? or maybe sangamon auditorium is so big that they couldn’t crank it up full volume.

kevin suggested that maybe their sound people have been doing the show so long that they’re going deaf and so the show keeps increasing in volume over the years.

whatever the reason, it was annoyingly loud to me even with earplugs. at the end of the show i took them out and was amazed at how much louder it was.

we enjoyed ourselves despite this, and stayed at a lovely downtown chicago hotel. bev, because she’s a saint, drove us into the city, braving the crazy traffic, and then she decided she’d drive all the way home. nice.

so i guess this post isn’t really about florida yet…except here’s poor lester, who knew we were going to be gone and was desperate to go with us.

i love how riley looks like he’s praying here…please don’t leave us!

ok, soon, many photos and videos of florida.


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Helping Hands of Springfield

March 6, 2019

My friend Erica is the Executive Director of the Helping Hands of Springfield, a homeless shelter. They are lucky to have her, because she’s awesome at whatever she does, she cares, and she’s making a huge difference. they have a website, and she just started a blog on it. Here’s the link: I have […]

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as february wraps up…

February 27, 2019

well, the month is almost gone. kind of a shitty month, in some regards. part-time-job-wise. but things are really looking up now and i have high hopes for good, creative things for myself. i feel highly motivated, and maybe that’ll last. if not, maybe i’ll at least clean out the pool table room in the […]

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February 3, 2019

at least we’re having a little break from the bitterly cold weather; last week was record-breaking cold temperatures and even though it’s 58 degrees right now, the lake is still mostly frozen. but hey, it’s february, it’s possible to squint into the distance and see spring. i sat out on the swing this afternoon and […]

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more winnie…

January 30, 2019

i feel like i haven’t written anything about him for so long even though it’s only been a few days i guess. i just found a few photos from 2006, when we still lived in westchester. here’s Winnie eyeing a squirrel way up high. That comfy chair… so many animals spent so many happy times […]

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more photos from that big snow…

January 27, 2019

whew. these were all taken right after it snowed, the week before winnie died. Saturday morning, Jan. 12th, Riley was determined to play in the snow even though it was piled mighty high. Shortly thereafter i shoveled the back deck off the bedroom and a path to the kitty house. les immediately had to march […]

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winnie winnie winnie

January 26, 2019

Winnie looks so regal here on the only new couch i’ve ever bought. This is before we got married and moved into Kevin’s house in Westchester. Winnie and Honey on the swing on the old front porch. where is this swing now? did it rust away? why don’t i remember what happened to it? No […]

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