Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Spring In Georgia

We take the humidity down here for granted.  When Ron decided it was time to burn our burn pile of fallen branches, weeds, etc. before we head out, I called to get a burn permit and neither one of us thought much more about it.  Ron set the pile on fire and then started work staining the garage.
I washed all the cars and puttered around cleaning, organizing, and sorting and packing for our trip to Florida next week.
While we worked on the road side of the houses, the fire was spreading on the lake side.  By the time we looked out that way, the wind had come up and there was a 5' wall of fire all across the front of both houses.  We spent the next two hours fighting fire until we both thought we might have a heart attack from over exertion.  We did manage to save the dock and the lake irrigation system, but we were up again at midnight fighting new hot spots.  Finally, the fire was out, but I am sure we both have a few more gray hairs.
The fig tree is just loaded with figs this year.

The iris are really blooming now.

Mom's planter boxes are really looking good.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting the Roof Repaired

My folks roof shingles had buckled from settling after we built these houses five years ago, so today, we had a local contractor out to fix it.
They first tore off all the old shingles

Then swept it good and added new tar paper. 

 Then they replaced all the shingles, and cleaned up all the mess.  Definitely a satisfactory job!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Blooms in Georgia

We were gone only a week to Florida, and we thought most of the spring blooms had come in Georgia before we left.  Then on our way home, we started seeing the Wisteria.  When you see it down here draping over whole properties, it is possible to see where it might be an invasive weed.  However, it smells heavenly, and is so beautiful, that it just becomes one of the things we associate with the South.
 There are a couple of other plants that will always scream "Georgia" to me:
Clover along the roadways
 And Pecan trees.  They are the last to leaf out and are just now beginning to get their new leaves.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fleamaster Fleamarket, Fort Myers, FL

If you ever get to Fort Myers, the flea markets are something to see.  I think the Fleamaster Market is the largest, selling everything from golf carts and cars to underwear and vegetables.  I found a watch with a copper band, Ron got some swim trunks, I got my eyebrows waxed, and we got great bargains on oranges, green beans, and tomatoes.  Here are a few pictures:

Sights around the new neighborhood

Every morning I walked a mile or two.  We are in the middle of a bird sanctuary, with canals to the intercoastal waterway, Lemon Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico on nearly every street.  It makes it hard to go anywhere in a straight line, as the canals form a maze where many streets dead end at the water.

We need to figure out how to find our dock in the maze when we bring it to Florida next week.  There are many miles of canals, but we do have a GPS, so hopefully that will help.
I saw a flock of Ibis every morning, and walked through a group feeding every day except the day when I took the camera with me. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Englewood, FL

Our latest venture is a vacation home in Florida.  It might seem like a strange time to buy in Florida - there are hundreds of homes and condos either in foreclosure, bank owned, or offered on short sale basis.  However, after 25 years of real estate, the time feels right to us.  Selection is great, prices are below replacement costs, and most property is selling for about half of what it sold for 5 years ago.  So we took a mighty leap of faith and purchased a home in Englewood.

We took my folks with us when we went to close on the house on Monday, March 14.  They had tickets to head back to Alaska from Tallahassee, but that was a puddle jumper flight to Tampa where their real trip started.  So we decided to close a few days early so we could make it easier on them heading home on the long trip back to Alaska.  Here they are just before we got to the sky bridge in Tampa on Thursday:

Sitting by the dock on the bay - having a nice dinner the night before my folks left for Alaska.