Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Use the creative process - singing, writing, art, dance, whatever - to get to know yourself better." ~ Catie Curtis

I have posted here many times about the process of creating things. I can remember watching Mister Rogers with my little sisters, and later again with my son, and always being intrigued by the segments that showed how things were made. That interest has never changed. Below is a video capturing yet another gorgeous example of creation. I just love it!

For more examples of this, and other types of clay pottery, the book below is offered by Amazon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

“Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.” ~ Anaïs Nin

So, I did manage to get some closer shots of one of our visiting hawks. He (she?) had just captured something (upon zooming in on one photo, fuzzy though it was, it appeared to be a mole or a mouse). One thing that happens to me as I am shooting pictures, is that I often times get caught up in the excitement of what I'm shooting, and neglect to adjust the setting on my camera. Such was the case this time, and what would have been wonderful motion shots came out as a blur. Such is life. In any case, I think that I still got some pretty great shots - hard to mess up with such a magnificent subject!

Very cool...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"What tumbling cloud did you cleave, Yellow-eyed hawk of the mind, ..." ~ William Butler Yeats

By the time we had returned home from Florida, we had been gone a little over two weeks. When I opened the door to our deck for the first time since we were back, I could tell that our summer hawks had returned in our absence! The raucous screeching was quite something! To-date, I have only seen them at a distance, with the closest being our next-door-neighbor's yard.

I believe that the three pictured below are juveniles - and it was a treat to see all three at the same time!

I hope to get some closer (sharper) photos in the future. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." ~ John Lubbock

Well, we arrived back home in Central New York safely last night. We had a busy two weeks in Florida, but have returned home feeling satisfied with our decisions; from tiles to bathroom cabinets to contractors. That's a good feeling! Things like pulling out old kitchen cabinets, etc., will not begin till the latter half of August, at which point Bruce will head back down to oversee things, with the plan that I will join him toward the end to help with painting, etc. As with most renovation projects, it's all costing a bit more than we had anticipated, but we are looking forward to having a winter spot that we (and our family we hope!) will really enjoy in the years to come.

One of the really delightful things about where our condo is located is that the complex sits right on the St. Lucie River, with its own pier stretching out into the water (our condo is at the far end, and almost right on the road - but hey - the complex is on the water!) The St. Lucie River consists of brackish water, a mix of fresh water and salt. As a result, we are able to see signs of sea-life. Pelicans are regulars, and we have seen jellyfish on a number of occasions. Two winters ago we saw dolphins at a distance. One of our last nights there this week, we sat out on the pier and were treated to seeing three dolphins up relatively close as they followed a kayak. It was at sunset, and I didn't have my camera with me (though I think that decent pictures would have been difficult), but it was such a delight to be able to sit in the quiet breeze and watch this sight. Here are some shots of our final trip to the pier this visit.

Now for some bathroom decisions. The cabinet below is what we have selected for the half bath. A nice ocean shade! Otherwise, the half bath will just be simple bathroom fixtures - nothing worth picturing here.

The floor tiles for both bathrooms are what we also have planned (and pictured in the previous post) for the kitchen.

On to the full-bath, with a bit more space to work with, the following cabinet is what we have selected, though with a somewhat lighter top.

The tiles pictured below are for the shower area:

That's it for now!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~ Proverb

Bathtub Beach

OK - I think that I am ready to share some of our renovation choices! 

In the kitchen - after much consideration and exploration, we decided that it would be best in the long run to redo the whole thing. The current cabinets are in pretty tough shape, the counter-top is warped, and the appliances are beyond bad (I won't share any pictures of the inside of the refrigerator!). I don't have pictures of our appliance choices yet, but here is what I do have for the kitchen! I'll share the minimal bathroom information on Saturday.

Cabinets (not a great picture - but it's what I have)

Counter-top called "Wild Sea"! This is natural quartz and much less expensive than man-made quartz, and many other man-made surfaces - go figure! The top picture is in the kitchen store and the one below it is the actual slab that will go in our kitchen.

Back-splash (which we plan to run vertically)


OK - that's it for renovation sharing for today! I hope to have more for you on Saturday!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Good luck has its storms." ~ George Lucas

In my previous post, I mentioned how powerful storms roll in off of the ocean very unexpectedly - the picture below, taken with my phone, is one such storm. It hit while we were in a kitchen and bathroom store yesterday. It honestly looked like something on the Weather Channel!

Then today, for the first time since we have been here - blue skies and sunshine!

Each day we find  we are closer to completing all of our renovation choices. I am going to hold off showing you some of our decisions. Instead, below you will see some shots of our kitchen as it stands right now.

A wall - which we plan to remove - with the hole that Bruce made to make sure that there is nothing inside that would prevent us from doing that!

Bruce found this magnet behind the refrigerator, which leads us to believe that our condo choice was pre-ordained!

All of the cabinets have pulls smack-dab in the middle of the doors. I can tell you that it makes them all but impossible to open. Not sure who thought this up as a design style, but we have seen them in other kitchens in our complex, so it must have been "in" once upon a time!
Lastly, here are some photos of one of the millions of geckos that inhabit Florida. These shots are out of our living-room window. Bruce says if we let him in, he will try to sell us insurance.....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"True life is lived when tiny changes occur." ~ Leo Tolstoy

Our first renovation! (and I do mean the doormat!)

We have been in Florida for about a week now, and what a busy week it has been! We have looked at cabinets; tiles; countertops; refrigerators, etc. for our recently purchased condo. Different brands, different stores - all expensive! Yikes! Our dreams have been tempered by our realities, and we have some decisions to make. Make no mistake however, we know that we are very fortunate to be faced with such a dilemma!

In the meantime, we are getting to know the area a little better, and enjoying it even more! The weather has been quite turbulent - blue skies one moment and thunder and lightning the next. It seems that this will be the case for the remainder of the time we are here (another week maybe?). Summer storms roll in off of the ocean so quickly that we are easily caught off guard. They are quite spectacular!

I hope that by Saturday's post I will have something more concrete to share in terms of renovation plans - in the meantime, the doormat will have to suffice!