Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Am I The Only One Who Sees A Resemblence?

When I took this picture of Panda earlier this week, there was something familiar about her look.  
It's took me a little while, but I finally hit on who she reminded me of...

...Dancing Bear from Captain Kangaroo!

The eyes, the nose, the expression! 

Captain Kangaroo was a TV favorite for me while growing up...

Mr. Green Jeans

The Moose! Bunny Rabbit! And the clock! I just remembered all of those when I searched for these pictures.
Guess the rain here finally got to me folks...

I can't believe I remember some of these characters.

Growing up in Canada I had another favorite called "Chez Helene" - I think that's what it was called with Miss Suzy the mouse - or am I imagining this?  No, because here it is, showed up on Google Search:

Canadian readers, do you remember this show?

"The Friendly Giant" - I can still hear the opening music and picture the giant setting up the little chairs for us to sit down on and listen to his stories.

Yep, too much rain makes you think a lot.

  What were some of your favorite shows to watch when you were young (er)?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Debby Tried... But They Still Came - Well, A Few Did!

We have had quite the rain and wind the last several days, because of  HER:

Our first weekend to show the house and it rained Bostons and Tabby Cats.

Lots of flyers have been picked up (now they are soggy and we have to wait for drier weather to replace them - rain predicted for next several days - but about 30 have been taken from "take one") and that gives us hope that maybe potential buyers are waiting for better weather to come see Boston Manor.

Three separate hardy parties showed up to look at the house nevertheless.  Super nervous (well, I was, not Mr. T aka, "Nerves of Steel") for first one, but once that one was under our belt, we knew what we had to do (shuttle Bostons, in rain in this case, across street to kind neighbor's bathroom. Check all mirrors and faucets and shine if necessary.  Straighten beds, pillows on couches. Keep counters clutter-free. Last look at floors for dirt. Accent lights on, if dark, which it was day and night. Scoop litter. Scoop the backyard. Put smiles on faces.) and it worked like clockwork three times.

Our viewers were very kind in their comments - we couldn't go outside, so we tried to remain available but invisible in the family room.  All really liked the backyard (which they couldn't go out in because of rain, but said they would come back for second look), open floor plan, bonus office/laundry area and even complimented our decor.

So, I call it a successful first run
. Will they call back?  Will we get more traffic next weekend?  Will Debby go away?
Stay tuned.

Oh, and this turned up in one of our next door neighbor's yards on Saturday.

Working our signage.
And that's all I'll say about that!

Here's to a good week for everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Can't Paint It!

This is the one thing I couldn't paint in preparation for selling the house.  Just couldn't do it!

Too many memories attached and maybe the potential buyers will find it charming but insist it be painted.  I would do it then.

But not before.

Had some potential buyers come and look last night.  Young couple, no kids yet.  IF they are THE ONES, maybe it will inspire them to keep track of the years as we have.

Joining Elaine for Sunny Simple Sundays.

Thanks Elaine for hosting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Protected Wetlands..... They Aren't Necessarily Wet! Or Full of Gators!

This post is dedicated to my mother.  Her birthday is June 21st and this is our tenth year without her lovely presence.  The roses below are from the rose bush a dear friend gave me in memory of my father - our mother loved roses and flowers in general.  She also loved nature, gardening, birds, wildlife, wildflowers, travelling, dogs, cats, her grandchildren, her children and visiting us here at our home.  Which was also her home because anywhere she went, she made everyone feel like they were at home.

In an earlier post I showed a picture of my backyard and mentioned that one of the key selling points for our home is its location next to a protected wetland.

This may conjure up images of alligators and other swamp creatures climbing the fences to our yard and swarming all over it. Just as I might imagine wolves circling houses in Wyoming. 

Not so.  This is what climbs the fence.
Vines. Lots and lots of vines.  Some are called Potato Vines because they have "fruit" hanging from them that resemble potatoes. 

There's a bunch of other species of vines back there that my good friend CG could probably name, but all I know is they are hard to tame!

And believe me, we and our neighbors, have waged a war against them to keep them at bay.  See how it is moving onto the roof of our lovely shed? (Or shall I call it our "vintage" shed? LOL)

Here's the back side view of the invasion, way down there in this photo.

"Protected Wetland" does not necessarily mean that the ground is wet or swampy. 

It is a term used by environmentalists, attorneys and legislators to protect property,
 rich with wildlife and native plants,  from development.

Other than lots of birds, some snakes (every yard has those), some interesting turtle encounters and some exotic plant life, the scariest thing we usually find in our yard are these strange wild cows that like to graze back there...

...or roll around in a fit of bovine delight.

Sometimes we spot a Darcy slinking amongst the palms...

You can see how we have cleared about ten feet back from the fence.  By doing that the "jungle" is kept more easily at bay.  It took us several years to figure this out, but it finally sunk in and now instead of fighting the "jungle", we enjoy it more.

Look at these strange plants growing back there. 

 After the hurricanes in 2004 many different plants/weeds started showing up in our yards and back in our jungle.  I even had a stalk of corn for some reason!

The most wonderful thing about this protected wetland area is that no building will ever be allowed back there. And that makes for a very private space and makes our yard seem bigger.

I've seen Bald Eagles perched on some of the naked trees and lately there has been a family of hawks or eagles circling the woods and perching on these bare branches.  

Of course the day I took my pictures they were no where in sight, you will just have to take my word and the word of about 20 neighbors who hear the screeches all day just as I have recently.

These Live Oaks hang over our house and provide a wonderful playground for the squirrels.  Piliated woodpeckers and smaller woodpeckers love to work on the trunks of these trees.

One night while sitting out back we were treated to the almost silent whoosh of two Barred Owls flying from the woods to perch in the oak above our patio.

So, no gator sightings in 23 years unless you count Mr. T, Me and The Writer who all graduated from UF, home of the Florida Gators!

Now, I have two questions.

First, is there a friend or family member in the area who would like to adopt my Stag Horn Fern?

Her name is Bananas (the peels are good for them) and she has her own stand - just requires shade and water if it doesn't rain.  Bananas started from a small "horn" a friend gave me about ten years ago and has flourished under the oak trees.

Second, tell me about your "backyard" and what impressions people from other areas may have of where you live!

Darcy, Grandkitty, out!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I've been cleaning my fool head off getting this house up to snuff for the sale.  Sometimes I apparently become violent and something goes flying and gets broken.

The globe on this little light was a victim of my crazy dusting this weekend and at first I was upset because I really like little accent lights.

Hmmmmm, I thought, perhaps all is not lost.
Perhaps I can use one of my favorite things to replace the globe and create an even nicer accent light.

It was the perfect fit!  
My pictures don't do it justice because I can't capture the true color of the Ball jar and how nice it looks lit up next to my swivel chalkboard.

But I like it! 
 So much so that I tried it on an older victim that I had put away awhile ago.

It too looks really great in my old hutch.

Now, on to the ugly.... (avert your eyes, if you must.)

I hate to even make you look at this, but I am out of ideas on how to clean it.
I've bleached it, put it in the dishwasher, scrubbed it with comet and scrubbies, tried the "magic" sponges, various cleaners, vinegar, lemon juice....

Any ideas?

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Mr. Tennis....

...and to all the other father's, dads, bonus dads and to the memory of the dads who are no longer with us.

With The Maven, 1990

With The Writer, 1987

Mr. Tennis, you are an amazing man who was there every step of the way for our two children.  And for a lot of other children too!  I know how much our kids love you and appreciate all you did and continue to do for them, and so do I!

Cades Cove, Smoky Mountain National Park, 1996

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Get Outta My Shot!!!

Today we listed our house.
We are trying to sell it by owner to begin with, and then if necessary, list with a real estate agent.
We will have good coverage through an online websites and other online search engines.

Our For Sale sign will arrive later this week. Then I feel it will be official.

I am cleaning the oven as we speak (thank goodness it's self cleaning - a selling point!)

I'm to put some pictures up online and put together a flyer for the "Take One" tube that will hang below the
For Sale sign.

This afternoon was spent nervously cleaning, walking in circles and re-arranging some things for the pictures I will take.

Some things, or somebodies will NOT be re-arranged. 

Exhibit A and B:

Sadie trying to enhance the "master suite" with her good looks.
This is a cozy space and I've made it as open and bright as possible.
Needs more straightening though I can see - Sadie, why didn't you say something?

The cows, er, excuse me, The Bostons grazing in our backyard. 
Which backs up to a wooded estate that is a protected wetland.
(Insert sing-song voice) "Another Selling Point!"

I think I will leave them in a couple of the pictures to add "charm" and let prospective buyers know that the neighborhood is dog/cat/pet friendly. 

Now if I could only get them to scoop their own, you-know-what, pick up their toys, and learn how to point out great selling points to anyone who happens to show up and consider our house. 

 Actually, that's a great idea. Mr. Tennis and I will take a walk while The Bostons and Bumby show people around the house, instead of the other way around.

It is THEIR house after all.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Sadie Has to Wear a Thundershirt...

Every Summer for the past two years we have had a solution to Sadie's terrible fear of thunderstorms.

The Thundershirt.

Ever vigilant during the storms, Sadie watches the sky.

It was a fellow Boston Terrier blogger who brought the Thundershirt to our attention. Joe Stains, who sadly is no longer with us.  While the Thundershirt can only overcome so much, it has helped Sadie tremendously, especially when storms like this crop up:

(Kind of long, best action starts about 1:20 - I will have you know I risked life and limb on the front porch Sunday night for this video)

I have been filming things around Boston Manor and our area so we will remember some of the more unique aspects of being Florida residents.  If I had been braver, or less intelligent, I would have stepped out from the porch so the sky could be more visible.  However, since I like to live to tell my tales, I had to settle for watching from the porch.

These storms will be missed by some of us, but Miss Sadie will not be included in that group.

For a post I did specifically on Thundershirts when we first got ours,  click right here!

And thank goodness for our new roof!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Never have liked them, have at times been terrified of them, but have always appreciated the amazing intricacy of their webs (Unless I happen to walk through them by accident.  Then it is panic-time).

Hope to have some blog-worthy material this week.  Should have lots to say considering our house is going up for sale, but I find myself wordless sometimes.  I guess you could call that being overwhelmed and slightly panicked with all this entails...

Kind of how I feel when I walk through one of those spider webs...

Have a good week!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Will Be a Month of Changes and Challenges for Boston Manor

Well, it's here, June.  Sort of a deadline that's been floating in my head.
June is the month we've been shooting for to finish all our decluttering, attic cleaning, repairs, fluffing things up around here.
June is the month we are going to list our house for sale.

Whoa! I actually said it and now will put it out there on the blog.

This is a huge step for us.  We've lived in this house for 23 years.  This is the only house The Maven has ever lived in.  A lot has happened in this house.

My parents were still alive when we moved here and died while we lived here.

We've lived 7 minutes from my mother-in-law for those 23 years.  She was always close by if we needed her.
And vice-versa. Orlando Grandma knows she always has a place with us.

My kids learned to ride their bikes on the sidewalk in front, play basketball in the driveway, draw chalk drawings all over and run through the sprinklers in the summer months.

My children were able to grow up with the same group of friends, go to boy scouts and girl scouts.  Have countless sleepovers.

We've even had some movies filmed here during The Writer's college years.

My son and his wife asked that we host their wedding reception here. Here in this small little, ordinary house. I was astounded, but then honored to share that special time here at our house.

We have very good neighbors.  The best. That's going to be hard - to find good neighbors again.

We have such good friends here, many we met through our children as many of us do.  
Some from just seeing each other in the same place over the years and eventually taking the step of actually socializing.

Mr. Tennis has his tennis league buddies.  They have been playing together, well, forever, it seems.

Our family lives here. That's really hard. But not all of them live here. 

And when your children find happiness and success on the other side of the country and you only get to see them in snippets, that's even harder.

The Fantastic Four have always been a tight unit.  That's what we would call ourselves during our many camping vacations. We always knew we all had each other's back.  We have added a Fabulous fifth to that tight little unit, our DIL, Sammy.

The Maven is excited about spreading her wings and heading to the SoCal area to start her post-college life and career. 
 She has a safe place to land with her brother and sister-in-law for a few months.

Mr. Tennis and I will also spread our, quite a bit older, wings and head in the same direction sometime within the next few months.  And yes, of course, The Bostons and Bumby will be joining what should be a very interesting drive across the country.

This is a scary, exciting, sad, wonderful time in our lives.  We always knew that we would move from Florida after our last bird flew the nest, but weren't sure where we would head.

As we have told our kids, especially the newlyweds when they announced they would be heading that way that this is the time of their lives to take chances, to chase their dreams and to make those dreams a reality.

At our stage in life, many people would stay put. It's less stressful and more comfortable, but we are going to take our own advice and spread our wings a bit.

Thanks for reading this long post.  I didn't know how to really express all of these feelings I have so I just let it flow, however disjointedly it may have flowed.

So, Boston Manor is relocating. 
To California.
Exactly where in California remains to be seen, but you know me.
I'll be blogging about it all.