Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aching for Spring

(Taken from the living room window on Thursday morning.)

Enough already!

I'd be grumbling SOMETHING FIERCE if I hadn't cheated and gone south.

Here are the final shots of Island Hopping with Ms. Leah.

We spent the last two days in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Still standing is the old Spanish fortress - El Morro.

Some of the bastion walls are 18 ft. thick.

The fortress-building project began in 1539.

In other words, these cannon balls are really, really old.

Old San Juan is home to about ten thousand pigeons.

See these feathered darlings playing beneath an ancient tree?

Don't these trees have amaaaaazing CHARACTER?!

Can you just imagine how many hurricanes they've endured?

And yet they LIVE. And stay GREEN.


Well, I suppose it would get boring to have summer all year long.

But I could sure use a few crocuses followed by a chorus of daffodils.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Underwater Camera Developed

Snorkeling is simply MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE SPORT.
This shot is ME with hair in my face and an old-lady swimsuit,
taken two weeks ago.

(I will not apologize for the hair nor the swimming attire.)

When you snorkel, you simply bob along just below the surface of the ocean

and, at the same time,

you get to watch all this National Geographic quality marine life.

You don't have to be athletic to snorkel.

In fact, you can manage just fine with a spine that's more metal than bone - like moi -
or have a few extra pounds or even be an 80-year-old with poor muscle tone.

Practically ANYONE can do it.

Scuba diving is a little more complicated and I can live without it.

However, I like snapping photos of the divers,

especially when they are being followed by a school of fish, as in the shot above.

Scootering around in the sea is a novel way to experience the underwater world.

This Mom + Daughter shot makes Leah and I look like
we have really tiny heads and fluorescent blue-ish legs.

It's always cool when you spot an amazing creature like this magnificent sea turtle.

Actually, we saw (and photographed) two of them.

They can live up to 80 years of age and weigh a hefty 700 pounds.

Our turtles were on the young side.

Notice how several tropical fish are CHECKING US OUT?

My disposable underwater camera produced photos that are low quality,
and you'll see far better above-water shots on my Island Hopping post.

Just wanted to share my PASSION for experiencing the Underwater World.

Perhaps you'll decide to pick up some snorkel gear and come along . . . next winter.

The Caribbean.

Think about it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Reinvented


I didn't do a humongous Valentine Cookie Decorating Extravaganza today.

After twenty-five years, I'm (mostly) out of that business!

Just a small-ish affair with my lovely lassies.

We crafted personalized cards . . .

and decorated modest-sized cookies.

But - HEY - my gals loved them,

especially since they never got acquainted the Monster Hearts of past years.

The elderly folks in our neighborhood got . . .


paper cut-out hearts
sweet hand-made cards

squeals of delight
attempts to escape before getting caught.

Sometimes, we actually WERE caught so we had to stop for

The lassies were determined to give all their cookies away.

But some my darlins' were tempted beyond their limits!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Island Hopping

While Leah and I were island hopping in the Caribbean,

we managed to SOAK UP a variety of first-class adventures.

Here's an island native: Boa Constrictor Nebulosus.

Very friendly.

Gives a good strong HUG.

This local guide (a Rastafarian) took very good care of us

as we tubed down a river on the island of Grenada.

It was quite a ROCKY river.

Leah was deeply concerned about my (twelve) spinal fusions,

because the ride was far more WILD than we had anticipated.

But I made downstream with my hardware intact. Hooray!

We discovered that island people like to give sage advice.

This woman counseled Leah on her Parent Planning. It was done with a caring heart.


Our most unique adventure was riding underwater scooters

near the shores of St. Thomas.

The highlight was seeing BABY SEA TURTLES crawling along on the ocean floor.

(Hats off to my dear niece Sarah who is diligently working to protect these creatures through her NGO Paso Pacifico.)

Shot taken before descending:

These scooters are a cool way to travel under the sea.

The photo BELOW gives you an idea of how they look and operate.

(That's NOT us, but you get the idea.)

We also got in some snorkeling on St. Thomas, Bonaire and Aruba.

I brought my gear and really used it.

BTW, Bonaire was our fave.

Here's Leah, ready to plunge!

Hiking on the island of Dominica was the bomb.

My pain levels were down and I could fully enjoy it

. . . and keep up with with my extremely FIT daughter.

Well, I MOSTLY kept up with her.

She scrambled around the slippery rocks at the base of a waterfall

. . . while I prudently applauded her from the trailhead.

Dominica is still being formed by geothermal volcanic activity
which bubbles to the surface, here and there.

This translates into heavenly natural hot springs.

We could have stayed in the thermal water ALL DAY! So relaxing.

My parting shot highlights an island bathroom, covered with tropical greenery.

Leah, my dearest travel companion, found the convenient window hole to be quite

an innovative feature not available in the northern climes.

See her chuckling from the window after her Potty Break?

While Daddy Cody cared for the three little gals at home,
using up his 'vacation days',

my Leah Robin entertained me with her over-the-top sense of humor
which kept me in stitches and added a delightful dimension to our adventures.

So great to have that gal ALL to myself !

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sharp Machete

If you crave fresh coconut water,

be sure to use a SHARP MACHETE for the necessary chopping.

There's nothing quite so refreshing!

Mind you, the coconut has to be a young 'un.

Before a it matures, there's a gel-like substance instead of coconut meat.

A piece of the shell provides a great scooper and then you easily can slurp it up!

My daughter Leah and I learned these tidbits of practical info

. . . and many other things.

Thanks, dear girl, for coming along and sharing the adventures!

More to come.

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