Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Change of Plans

Our neighborhood hosts are sick, so the big get-together was cancelled. But since Larry had already started his lasagne when we got the word, we went there for dinner and helped him and Carol eat it. We had a very nice visit. It is wonderful to have such great neighbors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Walking on Water

Temps got into the 20's today and we went out for a walk on the lake - love being able to say that. We stay close to shore since there is a river running through the middle, even if it looks frozen all the way across. Then this evening we went to a reception and presentation at the Wild Center. One of the naturalists previewed a neat new program using some of their live animals. Tomorrow there is a neighborhood potluck dinner.

The news from NJ is that snow removal is progressing very slowly. They didn't even start the work at the condo complex until this morning. Sure hope we can get into our garage when we go back.

Monday, December 27, 2010

At Camp

We made a hasty decision yesterday that if we were to get out of NJ this week, we'd better leave before the snow hit. So we quickly packed and got out before the storm. It's a good thing since it dumped about 2 feet of blowing snow yesterday, leading to a state of emergency being declared. There are at least 8 inches of snow here and very cold temperatures, but they are due to moderate later in the week. And no more snow is forecast, so it looks as though Big Tupper won't be open while we are here. We'll enjoy our New Year's festivities with neighbors and friends and probably head back to NJ next weekend.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quilt Gift

J finally got his quilt for Christmas.Many of the birds were from the book "Backyard Bird Quilts". But once I learned the technique, I designed several more. I particularly like the mallard.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Sunshine

And high winds. But we still had a very nice walk on the beach this morning. And we saw a magnificent frigate bird hovering over the beach. Then lunch at Over Easy Cafe, a drive up to Captiva just to see what is there, then relaxing in the room. We fly home tomorrow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The sun finally came out this afternoon and we took a nice walk down the beach. We saw several dolphins and watched an osprey grab a fish and fly off with it.

We walked by Case Ybel and noted again that there are stairs from the balconies of the second floor units directly down to the beach. But there don't seem to be outside stairs from the third floor units, so we'll be sure to request second floor units if we go there.

Ding Darling Wildlife Drive

We woke this morning to dense fog, but took the wildlife drive around Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge anyway. Since the tide was low we got to see the usual birds. We added roseate spoonbills, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, pied-billed grebe to our list of sightings for this trip. And I got some good photos:

A white ibis
A snowy egret just after it shook out its feathers
A reddish egret that was prancing around

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pedaling and Paddling

What a glorious day. The sun came out and the temperature rose to 70 degrees so we had a great day outdoors. This morning we rented bikes at Billy's Bikes and road on Sanibel's marvelous bike paths for a couple of hours. Along the way we stopped in at Casa Ybel Resort to see if we might want to stay there the next time we come. We've been disappointed that Sundial has gotten quite run down. We were very impressed by Casa Ybel and while it costs about $100 more per night, it seems worth it.

We lunched at Island Cow. I had forgotten that it is the place with the following sign:
Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.

This afternoon we took the guided paddle of Tarpon Bay, out to the mangrove islands that serve as bird rookeries. We saw osprey, brown pelicans, white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, oyster catchers, great blue herons, tricolor herons, little blue herons, reddish egrets, snowy egrets, white ibis, anhingas, belted kingfishers.
Our paddling companions were Lynn and Terral and we enjoyed each other's company so much we went out to dinner together and had a marvelous time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love Those Royal Terns

We woke to rain and temperatures in the 40's. So I went shopping, at a quilt store of course. Got lots more cool fabrics.

We had a yummy lunch at the Over Easy Cafe. The weather cleared this afternoon so we took a long walk on the beach. And I just couldn't resist taking more photos of the royal terns.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sanibel Island

We flew to Sanibel Island, Florida today for some R&R. It has been quite cold in Florida and was only in the low 60's when we got here, but is supposed to be over 70 on the weekend. We'll take what we can get since it has been in the 20's in New Jersey.

We are staying at Sundial Resort again and had dinner at Island Cow, one of our favorite spots. We took a short walk on the beach at sundown and saw the usual sandwich and royal terns.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Still Here

I figured it has been so long since I logged in, I should post something to say what I've been up to recently. In addition to doing various chores that have accumulated, I've been QUILTING! I finished a project that will be a Christmas gift, so I won't be posting a photo until after the holidays. Then I found this RaNae Merrill design in a quilting magazine, and just had to try it. Plus of course I wanted to try out my new sewing machine, which I love. I ended up getting the new Janome 7700 and am enjoying the few features that I've used so far. I'm taking a class next week at the place where I bought it to learn more about how to use it. I've also pieced a baby quilt for my nephew and his wife; well actually, for the baby that is due next month. I need to buy some thread before I can quilt it so I'll post a photo once it is done. And whenever I get a chance, I work on the Karen Stone quilt. I never seem to have enough different fabrics for it, though you might think otherwise if you saw the top of my sewing table when I'm trying to select which ones to use for the next block.So of course I've been making the rounds of all the quilt stores in the area, which is always a fun thing to do. And now it is time for Christmas shopping, plus we are going to Sanibel Island, Florida next week for some real R&R. Never a dull moment.