Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Furry Theme (Mayport NS, FL)

I am going to miss my walks on the beach here.  Our stay here at Mayport Naval Station FamCamp has been great.  Even the threat of rain in the afternoons has not bothered me.  Usually, the thunderstorms do not make it to this area because of the air pressure from the ocean so we often hear the thunder and can see the clouds hanging over Jacksonville.  You can bet I keep an eye on the clouds while walking on the beach.
I love watching these birds.  A friend calls them Groucho Marx and they do look like him!  All they need to do is wag their eyebrows while wiggling their
 But watching what they do....well, that reminds me of the Three Stooges....
look Moe!  I got a fish!
yea?  well, give me some!  NO! Yuk! Yuk!
hey!  I want some....whoop! whoop! whoop!
Now, here's a view I don't see very often except on this beach.  It is strange to look up from watching where I am walking to seeing a ship pass by people on the beach on its way to Jacksonville's port.  We did not see a single Navy ship pass by this time.  Maybe next time.
We have been helping out the feral cats with food and water.  Most are skittish, but a few have been friendly.
This little gal is scared of us and the other cats.  Often running away if another cat goes near him.  I have been making extra sure she has been getting her fair share of food.  She is so tiny compared to all the others and it looks like she has been getting beat up quite a bit.  She tends to look a little frazzled for a cat...
Mugsy? or Fuzzy?
Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis

Corny sounding, I know!  And it sounded even worse when I read the description of the story's location of the pet lodge being on Wagtail Mountain.  BUT, I love the whole theme.  What pet lover wouldn't?  It was funny and an easy read that had me laughing and missing our first dog so much.  Krista has a great gift for describing a dog's antics and attitudes.  The whole town has gone fur crazy by catering to pets and their owners.  They even have a 'Yappy Hour'.  Where all can socialize, walk paths, stop for a meal, or shop.

The town looks quaint and calm to the visitor, but under the calm surface there have been some strange robberies, car theft, and a murder.  In the center of all this fur-flying mystery is Holly Miller, who has recently been adopted by a very smart Jack Russell Terrier and a very cute kitten named Twinkletoes (no, the animals do not talk).  She has recently lost her job and is returning to Wagtail Mountain after receiving an emergency call that her grandmother (Oma) was not doing very well.  Fearing the worse, she drops everything, borrows her boyfriend's car and drives all night through a thunderstorm to be by her Oma's side.

Holly plans to help out, temporarily of course, until Oma recovers.  Oma owns and manages the Sugar Maple Inn - a popular pet spa and hotel for both the pets and their owners.  I would love to go there!  The rooms sound like furbaby heaven and talk about being pampered!  What pet would want to leave after being fed gourmet meals, receiving welcome baskets filled with enticing toys and treats, sleeping in the best beds, and enjoying great pet walks.  Even the cats have it made with cat walks inside their rooms and bird aviaries setup outside their balconies with pet doors.  Now, that's a cat's Meow!

This book had me from the first chapter and right up to the end.  I'm happy to say that Krista has already published a second book that I plan to start reading soon.
 The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer - I love this title!  I can't wait to see what the next one will be called.

On The Cutting Board
I finished all of the mug rugs!  Yep, including all 14 snowmen!
 I'm getting them ready in two-by-two packages for a customer's request.
The rest will be listed on Etsy.
One last sunrise before we go.....
Travel day tomorrow (Friday).  We are moving to central Florida near Orlando.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

From Gulf to Ocean (Mayport NAS, FL)

In less than two weeks, we went from the Gulf coast to the Atlantic.  During our travel east, we spent four wonderful days in the Suwannee River State Park.  The campground had good shade and plenty of space to spread out.  No complaints from the kitties!
We would have stayed longer, but this place is so popular that it is booked almost solid.  Dan was lucky to find four days in a spacious site, so we were happy to have that time.
We did a lot of walking along the park's trails.  Our favorite trail was along the Lime Sink Run that runs into the Suwannee river.  Not a very pretty name for such a beautiful spring fed river.
just hanging around getting some sun
There were plenty of turtles and squirrels to watch along trails with a few small deer.  Tall trees for deep cool shade and the trails were well marked.  
Birds were singing, but it hard to see thanks to the tall trees.  I was glimpses of a few that I have not seen before.
The Lime Sink Run is seasonal so we came at a good time.  Sunshine the whole time we were there and the spring was still running.  I could not get over how crystal clear the water looked.  
We could see the bottom most of the time unless it was too deep and in shadows.
It is too bad that it runs into the Suwanee River.  The river is almost black from decomposing vegetation.  This photo was taken at the Big Shoals State Park while walking one of the river's trails.
Largest whitewater rapids in Florida
I love my gnarly trees!  This one is more twisted than gnarly.  It leans way over the Suwannee River. I wonder how many kids wish this tree was leaning over their favorite swimming hole.  It would be perfect for tying a rope to it for swinging from this tree and into the water.
We also visited the Stephen Foster Folk Center Culture State Park.  He is the songwriter that made Suwannee River famous.  Surprise!  The man never saw the river!  The park itself was interesting with folk crafts such as jewelry, needlework, blacksmith, and wood work.  Each one had their own craft shop where they can demonstrate and show off their crafts.  There was also a small gift shop that sold a wide variety of art work.
State Park's Museum
We attracted another stray while we were staying in the park.  This guy has begging down.  I dubbed him - Oliver Twist.  He stayed outside the campsites and cried.  We watched him walk over to a recently vacated site...Meow!..they left me with no food!.....walk across the street....Meow!...oops!  dogs...onto the next site...Meow!  The camping area is a small circle so we could still hear him every once in awhile.
 "Please sir.  Can I have some more?"
About a half hour later while we were outside with our cats, he showed back up.  Giving us a pitiful meow and looking half starved.  Of course, his begging worked.  We fed him for the next few days.  We found out that he could put a lot of food away and still act hungry.  He was not happy to see us go, but we are sure he will talk another camper with a soft heart into helping him out.
Back to sea and sun!  We are staying on Mayport NAS.  This view is only a five minute walk from our site.  I love it!  I have walked barefoot on this beach everyday since we have arrived.  We are expecting some thunderstorms this weekend so I am taking advantage of the sunny days with walks and sitting outside with the cats.  I'm not getting a whole lot of sewing done right now.  Maybe while it is raining?
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Feeling Beachy (Ft. Walton Beach, FL)

I'm beginning to think that I feel most at home when we are near a beach.  It is the sea life...well, more like the beach life for me.  I feel more relaxed and I just want to spend more time outdoors.  There is just something about the salty air, the sand between the toes, and the sound of the ocean that calls to me more than mountains or desert.  Or maybe it is just the warmer weather.  It has re-energized me to where I am walking 10,000 steps a day or 5 miles if you want to know the distance.  I'm not sure how long I will keep this up, but I plan to take advantage of this energized me while I have it.  Even the humidity has not bothered me as much.  Which is odd since I remember disliking the humidity a lot when we lived here before.  I would swear mold would grow on a person if you stood still long enough.  eh, another good reason to keep moving, right?
We were stationed at Eglin and Tyndall AFB in the 80s.  Between the two assignments, we were here for nine years.  I was thrilled to learn we were going to Germany with cooler temperatures and mountains.  By the time we left, I had become quite tired of Florida's afternoon thunderstorms with heat and humidity.  Now, the penetrating heat feels so good on the ol' bones!
We spent a couple of days exploring the beach areas of Okaloosa Island, Panama City Beach, and Destin's beach areas.  Our favorite boardwalk was in Destin.  Below is a photo of a 170 year old Magnolia tree.  According to the sign, this tree was a prominent landmark for the local fishermen and boaters. This tree was so strong that Capt. Destin would tie his boat to it during hurricanes.
170 year old Magnolia
I love the way the tree has been preserved for all to enjoy.  All the carvings represent the sea that I am sure the tree has witnessed during its life time including the swimmer.

It must have been an amazing sight to see when it was alive and in bloom.

Destin had a boardwalk carnival feel to it with more class.  People were zipping over our heads on ziplines while others passed us dressed for an evening of fine dining.  There was music playing, huge screen TVs with sports playing (in a different area), stores, all sorts of restaurants including Margaritaville and food trucks.  Not to mention, the choices of sea sports from paddle boarding to deep sea fishing.  I'm sure I missed a few activities so you will just have to check it out for yourself.
1452Even the birds hung out at the boardwalk4
...I wonder if they are people watchers like me.  Probably not.  Just hoping for some leftover fish...

We spent a little over a week at Eglin AFB FamCamp which is located on the Choctawhatchee Bay across from Destin and Ft Walton Beach.  Our campsite was within walking distance to the bay's shore and a small base marina.  From the shore I could see across the bay to Destin and Okaloosa Island.  We walked down to the bay every day just for the view!
Sail boat ride at Destin
One thing I never tired of was the white sands and the blue-green waters of the Gulf.  So gorgeous!  The sand is so fine that it is almost like a powder.  It is soft on our bare feet and it squeaks when I drag my feet while walking.  Love it!
Okaloosa Island open beach area
We also did a quick visit to St. Andrew's State Park in Panama City Beach.  It was a little more hazy along the beach, but the birds did not mind it.
That one in the middle looks a little wind blown..

We moved to Suwannee State Park yesterday.  We are here for four days before moving farther East towards Mayport NAS.  I'm sure I will have a few photos to share of Suwanne River and the local area as well.

I have nothing new to show for my Cutting Board this time. I'm still working on all those mug rugs!  Maybe next time.
Happy Quilting!

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