Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tampa Bay Blues Fest

Here we are yesterday having a fantastic time at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest at Vinoy Park in St. Pete. The weather was great - probably 80 degrees and sunny until mid-afternoon, just about the time it was getting too hot - then the cloud cover came in and cooled us back off.

We saw Theresa James, Eric Lindell, and Ruthie Foster, stayed for a bit of Tommy Castro, but then left to make the drive home. We liked them all - (not so much the Tommy Castro revue thing - too much just jamming which gets boring for me) One of the highlights was walking over and sitting on the seawall watching the boats that were moored there for a 'free' listen. All of a sudden a school of fish swam by at our feet followed by a dolphin... he(or she?) chased dinner right in front of us for 10 or 15 minutes... very close up. What is it about dolphins that I love so much?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paws for Healing

Have I talked about this before? My friend Yvonne has managed to talk me into making dog dresses for this group in CA to sell to raise money... it's a great cause. They are a group who uses their animals (not sure if it's only dogs) to help people. They take them to the hospital to visit patients, and they take them to school in something called the Reading Dog program. The dog's 'listen' to the kids read. Dogs don't criticize! so they are encouraged to keep trying...

Here are a couple of the dresses - Now I've got to work on something called a 'Read' quilt, which Yvonne is going to have kids sign after they read to the dogs... hmmmm..

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My 'Randy Wayne White' challenge!

We went to our third Randy Wayne White book signing at the Sanibel Book Store last Thursday (whoa!! that was a week ago already) Anyway, he was late (as always) and told funny stories (as always) but this year he talked about how all readers are writers and how anyone who has lived to be 50 has at least a couple of novels in him or her... That got me thinking, why haven't I published a novel yet? So while I was waiting in line I was mulling that over.
When I got to the front of the line I told Mr. White, Randy that I should be signing my book for him! We talked about writing for a few minutes, and he wrote 'Keep Writing' in my book -
Since Sanibel Book Store said that they would sell my book, they like having local authors, there's really not much excuse for not doing it - so I have set myself the challenge of having my book in the store before I go to another book signing. I thought I might write a whole other book, but then decided to use the one I have - People like it, even if it's not exactly 'art'. So I am cleaning it up, getting it an ISBN number, a new cover, probably a new title... fun!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do a good deed daily...

Last night I went to the movie 'A Powerful Noise'. As I suspected, it reminded me that here in the United States, most of us have way too much stuff, most of us live in mansions and even in this economy, are doing better than other people can imagine.

The point of the movie was that the greatest untapped resource in the world is the power of women and girls. The movie featured 3 very different women who were changing their environments in very grass roots ways.

Something like 2/3 of the illiterate people in the world are female. There was talk of how each year of education increases a girl's earning power by 20%, it also puts off marriage and pregnancy which prevents death and injury when girls give birth too young. Women produce 50% of the world's food and own 1% of the worlds land.

The movie showing was sponsored by the organization CARE, whose website is They are focused on empowering women and reducing poverty world-wide. There was discussion of how women spend their income on their families, while men do not necessarily do so. Micro-loans change the world. So we come back to Kiva.... if you read this, see if you can't find $25 to loan and go to isn't there an old saying? Do a good deed daily...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Treading Water (a whine...)

OK - I admit, I am not a patient person... I like things to move, to change, I like to have my options open. Consequently, this economy is killing me!! We'd like to move back to St. Pete Beach, but we can't because we no longer have any equity in the house. I'm not crazy about my job, but I need to keep it because there aren't any other jobs and I'm damn lucky to have this one. I'd like to travel, but I won't have any vacation days for a whole year! Let me repeat that, A WHOLE YEAR! I feel like I can't move ... I'm stuck, not good for 'explorer's' like me.... whine, whine,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doc Ford

One day shortly after we moved here we were driving back from Bowman Beach on Sanibel and spotted a restaurant called Doc Ford's. It rang a bell with me, because somewhere I had picked up a book with a main character named Doc Ford. Sure enough, the restaurant was partly owned by Randy Wayne White the author of the Doc Ford Series. The restaurant quickly became one of our favorites... Dale likes the strong rum drinks, and I liked a restaurant where you could buy a novel! The food is great - it's a fun beach-type sports bar. And now they're opening another one at Fort Myers Beach!

We stopped in Saturday after our time at the beach and enjoyed ourselves as much as ever. I had two Sanibel Sunsets, and Dale had the Havana Rum Punch. We had the calamari - Dale claims it is the best he's ever had... the sauce was spicy cocktail with a horseradish kick.. yum.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A never-ending treasure hunt...

Yesterday was finally beach day! Dale and I went out to Sanibel mid-morning and got a 2 1/2 hour dose of vitamin D and a few too many UV rays. A funny lady said there was no use in looking for 'good' shells, as she had already picked them all up, but of course that's the thing about Sanibel, the beaches hold a never-ending supply of beautiful or interesting shells. Dale likes to pick up the ones with barnacles stuck to them. I hold out for unusual colors of textures. No matter how many shells I have, I still can't stop myself from bringing home just a few more!

Now if only I had something great to use them on, but I don't so they sit in baskets and boxes. I once had a pair of glass lamps whose bases I filled with shells, but they are gone now. I COULD make a mural on the wall, but I'm pretty sure Dale wouldn't go for that. Next weekend is the annual shell show on Sanibel, 3 1/2 years and I've never made it out to the island for that - I'm putting it on the calendar, maybe this is the year...