Wow! I really can't believe how much time has slipped away from me since I was last here. For a person who is a real :homebody, I haven't spent much time at home recently.
Our first trip was just an hour away for Thanksgiving where all of the family gathered for our celebration at the home of my brother and sister-in-law. It was so much fun apparently that we couldn't pull ourselves away and ended up back at the home of our middle daughter and her family...where we stayed until Saturday afternoon. We all enjoyed it so much-just simple quiet visiting filled with family and fun-walks, sitting around a fire at night, watching movies, gabbing and eating. Nothing really planned and only things that we really wanted to do! The kind of mind, body and soul nourishment everyone needs from time to time.
We arrived home in time for babysitting duty for our grand children while parents went to the last game of the year...our biggest rival in our own "Swamp"...and still we lost. This was a rough year for our Gators but we will be back!!
Then, on Sunday morning as soon as the little ones were delivered safely back to their parents, we were off to my husband's yearly tax seminar in Tampa. This is usually my time to finish up my Christmas shopping but since I hadn't even really started this year, it was mostly a time to get my list going and just take in all of the sights and sounds if the season. The weather was picture perfect while I was at a beautiful outdoor mall and I could hardly pull myself off of the bench as I was so enjoying watching all of the hustle and bustle. My favorite is always watching all of the little ones visit Santa. I could do that all day long...and I must have judging from the lack of gifts in the trunk of my car!
I had 2 days when I got home to start some decorating and we finally got out to buy our tree. This year our tree shopping went without the usual "drama"-which is really only me wanting the tree guy to open a number of trees and my husband wanting to buy whatever one is already open & sitting there. Never mind that it is still sitting there because everyone else has already nixed it! That never dawns on him...but I digress. We got the most gorgeous tree ever-if we had 10' ceilings-which we don't. We always buy an 8-9' tree and this one was marked very generously. It is so fresh and full but of course, by the time the tree guy took 5" off the bottom and my son-in-law took another 9'' off plus another 6" off the top branch just to get it to stand up straight in our family room, it is still gorgeous but no where near as much as it was grown to be! And, let's just say that I have MUCH greenery to use in the rest of the house. Truth be told, I probably have enough greenery to make another tree. Any way, it has been sitting majestically in its stand since Thurs.-un-adorned. I am hoping today is the day I can finally get to it but we will see!
On Saturday, we were off to Crystal River to celebrate a son-in-law's 40th birthday. We had a wonderful bar-b-que under a pavilion right on the water. Then, after most people had headed home, those of us spending the night got into a hot & heavy game of "Catch Phrase". It was fun because it incorporated 3 generations...and it didn't hurt that we were sitting next to the water with all of its night time glory under the most gorgeous starry sky and right next door to a restaurant bar that featured a really good live band. It was perfect.
The next day the family that was left climbed on the boat and we were greeted with this....
a PICTURE PERFECT day! In the 70s, bright blue sky and hardly anyone else out on the river.
And yes, we were in search of manatees. They were all over! I promise. But....
this is the best proof that I have. If you look CLOSELY, you will see a tail heading under our boat. I am so enthralled by these wonderful creatures that I get giddy when one comes near and truly forget to snap a picture. My son-in-law has much better ones on his phone..some day I must show them to you.
I am hoping to use today to tie up some loose ends and do some tweaking and I will be back soon with my holiday decorating. Stay tuned.