Exciting Stuff, at least Most of It Is!

This morning we were chatting about what excursion we might take today with several ideas in the mix. Because I get up when it is dark and generally don't turn on the bathroom light, it was a big shock when I went in there to brush my hair and discovered some gunk in my bathroom sink. "Honey, come take a look at this please." Hmmmm......

By now, there is no doubt that you've heard about the shortage of available tradespeople and we discovered it for ourselves when Bruce began making calls after taking the drains apart and snaking them to no avail. What is so weird is that it happened overnight. It seems as if there is a problem with the pipe coming into our place, but I guess we will find out when Emerald Plumbing comes tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, Bruce has asked our upstairs neighbors to please not use their sink above for fear ours will flood. 

All that to say that we went nowhere as it took all morning long to sort it out. As is always the case, there was a silver lining if you count cleaning as a good thing. Of course I'd been putting off cleaning the floors and other miserable tasks, but with time on my hands, I got it done! 

Onward to the exciting stuff, some of which I held off on posting because my last post was so darn long. 

Above, my dear readers, are a pair of Hooded Mergansers, ducks that we only have the pleasure of seeing once a year. Early last week I spotted a pair on our lake but since that time they have gone AWOL, so it was with great joy that I found some in a retention pond behind Publix.

Isn't it so interesting how different the males and females look? What I really love is when the male puts up his hood. They are easy to spot from afar with that bright white!

If that were not enough, last week I watched my first satellite launch from the shoreline. Normally I don't follow space stuff, but somehow I saw the launch count on my computer, setting my phone alarm to alert me when to go out back. I must say it was pretty cool.

I know, it doesn't look like much, but it should be remembered that it is 55 miles away. When the trail began it really looked neat.

As you can see, it was a perfect afternoon for a launch. 

Even more exciting was the news Bill gave us last weekend that new dedicated pickleball courts were soon to open in nearby Dover Shores! Not that they will replace what we do here, but it will be nice to play on the small courts with no running after balls. We immediately drove over to check them out after he'd done so and said that they were beautiful. He was not kidding!

Taken through the fence, it shows just how small a pickleball court is compared to a tennis court. No doubt they will soon be crowded with players daily. What we have learned since is that the neighborhood center was slated to replace their badly worn tennis courts, but shifted to pb instead because the demand is so high. Smart move. Walking around the whole property because it had been a long time since we visited the area, we came across some young men playing handball.

They travel some distance to play at these courts as public handball courts are few and far between.

Driving home we were just in time for the sun to drop below the horizon over Lake Underhill.

Winter sunsets are the best!

As promised, my new and cool pole lamp.

The rug, meant to a place holder until I found something larger, is not going anywhere because Mr. Peck loves it, no matter the size!

It must have been last Thursday that Bruce invited Clinton and son James over for more pickleball, with our neighbor John making up the foursome. 

It took no time before their prior racket skills kicked in, making for some fun, competitive matches. 

Don't you just love a crescent moon in the daytime?

I've marked the full moons for the entire year on my wall calendar in order to plan camping trips accordingly. Of course it has been awhile since last we went camping, but when we do go again, I'll know the best nights for stargazing.

For the most part we are avoiding people when we can because Omicron is raging. Two friends tested positive late last week in spite of being vaccinated. While it has been reported that the symptoms are mild, what is mild anyway? Who, amongst you, likes having a sore throat? Not me. Both David and Michelle are scheduled for surgery and they, too, are laying low in order to avoid being rescheduled. Most everyone I know is just plain sick of the whole thing as am I. Then I remind myself that it isn't WWII when people suffered for years on end.

Speaking of WWII, I finished The Girl From the Channel Islands and it was excellent. With Christmas fun out of the way, I'm diving into novels once again. The Wonder Test was another winner, this one about the lengths people in Silicon Valley will go in order for their children to succeed. And now I am nearly finished with Five Tuesdays in Winter, an excellent short story collection by Lily King. Once I finish all of my library books I'll move onto a Japanese mystery, first published in 1973 called The Honjin Murders, a Christmas gift from our Austin family. So, while I may not physically be going anywhere, when you have wonderful books to read, you can go places from the comfort of your home. 

After church yesterday I made my first olive oil cake, adding poppy seeds because I like them. It could use some glaze, but otherwise it is pretty good. I tasted one for the first time during a visit to Prato and have been imagining it ever since. 

A first time for me using a recipe from a website called, Bake From Scratch. I'm thinking it won't be my last use of their collection. 

Sunday's blessing came in the form of the gorgeous Tabebuia tree blooming in the courtyard. 

Such a shocking pink color that begs to be admired. 

Earlier today, before I found the drain problem, I'd been rummaging around in my blog for posts about St. Augustine. I love going back in time and perhaps you might like it as well? I'm thinking two things---I intend to blog more often allowing the posts to be shorter and two, I'm going to begin posting an old post from the same date years in the past. Sound good? 

A post from January 7, 2009. We were most definitely living an entirely different life back then. 

your friend,