Sunday, 2 March 2014

The best of Februarys

As my last post said, February 1st saw the arrival of our grandchild number two.  That must be a pretty good way to start any month.  Matilda is now thirty days old and a happy and thriving tot.  Her big sister, Lucy - all of three and a half - is already mothering her nicely.

The family had another piece of lovely news this month, but like mushrooms on my breakfast plate, I'll save the best until last.

Just in passing...  do we have machines like this at home?  Seriously, I never go to a main post office in the UK so I wouldn't know.........  if not, isn't this just a great idea?  They are always open even when the post office is closed and you can mail anything from them - just answer all the questions and slide your credit card and Bob's your whatnot.

Oh yes, the other joy is 'free' boxes and envelopes if you use Priority shipping - just pack and go.

Did I mention the alternative leg therapy last month? - that's alternative to usual medicine therapy not therapy on my alternative leg.  As you might know I got whacked in the leg last October and I am still suffering from it even after seeing every doctor under the sun in the UK and here.  Someone I met in the walk-in clinic over here suggested a lady who had done wonders for her... I saw her at the end of last month and again, a week or so later, this month and I must admit in two one-hour sessions she made a huge difference.  She uses a TENS machine, heat treatment lasers, massage, vibrating bed and essential oils.  I am especially fond of the essential oils (this was a mix of lavender, rosemary, helichrysum and frankincense).  As someone who had eschewed such stuff before I can only say, don't knock it until you've tried it.

On the second of the month our usual February guests arrived for a four week (less one week?) stay with us.  They are always in Florida for six weeks in the winter and we usually spend five of them together, but this year was slightly different.  We went away a for three days and they went away for a few days on a cruise.  Also, we didn't do our usual trip up to Orlando with them at the end of their stay, so we ended up with something like three weeks together this year.  It is always nice to have company. P & S have been 'here' as long as we have so, like us, they just 'live here' when they visit and we don't do much touristy stuff.  It does seem to involve a lot of meals out and shopping though, which isn't a great hardship on our part!  We did squeeze in a concert in the park, a dinner and movie deal at our 'posh' cinema (Silverspot) and a trip round the bay on the Naples Princess to see how the other half live.

In true old person style, for something to do one day, we even opted for a barrage of heart tests.....  Ken and I thought it was a company that had 'done' us five years before and it was interesting to get thoroughly checked over and have a stack of results to confirm we were still alive.  It turned out not to be the same company and I am still waiting for the results (three weeks later).  It does put a terrible strain on the old ticker all this suspense.

Middle of the month - Valentine's Day, in fact - Ken and I took off for a couple of nights in Orlando for the usual Molly Cromwell Dolls House Show.  We had added in an extra day this time as I wanted to do my first workshop.  As always, if you want to know all about my mini-nuttery, you can follow this part of it here:  Dolls House Shows blog.

For our Orlando trip Ken decided to hire a Mustang rather than just using our (wonderfully comfortable all-singing, all-dancing, Lincoln Continental) car ....  what can I say?.... other than I spent three days trying to convince him that cars having evolved into vehicles with climate controlled interiors and utterly wind-free, seemed, to me, a huge improvement on the open buggy .

We had some hours to kill on Saturday before the show so we decided to bomb over to the East Coast and Cocoa Beach.  Thirteen years ago (last time we did it)  'bombing over' might have been possible, now it is a good deal heavier on the traffic.  Still better than driving in the UK though.

The beach was pretty much deserted which seemed very odd for such a nice day.

Mind you, the three notices tacked on the boardwalk didn't instill confidence.

What idiot needs to be told to "Run!"?

Might be wise to check for rocks anytime you fancy diving in the sea?  What were they doing being submerged - its just not cricket!

Our drive home on Sunday was as entertaining as it always is when off the beaten track in Florida.  Just to share a couple of signs with you...

  • Ring Crime Line!  We pay cash for crooks.   If only I had one I didn't need I could EBay it.
  • Huge shop labelled: Discount Bakery Store - what in heavens name is discounted bakery goods - three-day-old bread?
  • There are many gun shops pretty much everywhere but, on this occasion, we passed a massive supermarket-size store with an armoured vehicle parked outside.  Decidedly more terrifying than it was impressive.  Incidentally it was incongruously next door to the 'Pets and Farm Animals' shop.
When my daughter's partner was visiting, he was amused by stores just simply saying what they did rather than having fancy names - note:  Gun Shop/Discount bakery Store/Pets and Farm Animals....  wonder what they all sell...

If you wonder how so many gun shops thrive here - don't.  Right now they are in the process of changing the law to allow people to get their concealed weapon permit from their local tax office.  Apparently there is such a demand for them that the Division of Licensing offices can't cope.  Scary country.

To top it all, as we drove home, we watched this take shape in the sky:

This is how you know it is Sunday and you are in Florida - someone in a plane, sky-writes: U +  GOD = smiley face!

While we were away, our friends had run away to sea so we were without them a few days until eventually they jumped ship in Lauderdale and arrived home (via Jamaica). Then, in what seemed like a blink of the eye, the end of the month rushed in and it was time for them to go.

I started February's tale with a huge family announcement and promised you a similar ending..... 

My daughter Sally got engaged this month.  We are so pleased for them both.  They are house-hunting right now and want to settle that before setting a date for their (quiet) wedding.  Watch this space.

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