You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Friday, January 23, 2015

This 'n That

So here it is, January 2015.  So far, this has been a quite year.  All 23 days of it ;)  We drove down to Florida for Christmas and came back in time to jump in the Yough on January 1st (once again, Aidan chickened out).

Christmas was great, though the kids had conflicting schedules and didn't get to see each other except for a few minutes at the Starbucks where Sam works.  I'll have to make sure that doesn't happen again as I know both were not too happy about that.

Before heading to Lake Placid, I wanted to stop once again in Hatchbend to look for my Great Great Grandpa's grave.  With the help of Google Earth and another website, I FINALLY FOUND IT!  I am still quite perplexed as to why he's buried in a cemetery with no other relatives, when there are at least 3 in the town that have some kin planted in them.  Anyway, so happy to have finally found your final resting place, Grandpa!



Goofus tried to climb over the fence and got stuck
We also found 3 new Springs for our list:

Branford Springs (I'd obviously seen this one before).  Pretty, but you can tell not the healthiest of springs.



Troy Springs is probably a much prettier place when there aren't thunderstorms and rain.

Divers getting ready to do the caves

Ruth Springs was unexpected.  A little tricky to get to, no signs or anything.  Again, I think if the weather had been nicer, the spring itself would've looked nicer.


The weather was warm. George went fishing with Rusty.  He didn't catch a fish and managed to lose one of his Croc's.  I didn't shed a tear over the loss, but I think George did.  He also managed to take the kayak out at the end of our street and paddle around Lake Francis for a while.

We saw downtown Sebring decked out in it's usual Christmas decorations.








We got to spend a little time with a good friend.

And we met up with my sister and her husband for lunch at Don Jose's (VERY good place!).



We also got to finally meet my cousin, Rob for the first time.  He's a super nice guy and funny, too!  He told us tales of living in Australia and different things about his job.  So, so glad to finally meet him in person.  And he's a real cousin, too!  Not a second or a third, but a first cousin, so it was very special getting to know him a bit.
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A few random pics from our trip...



























As we headed home, I got a text from a friend who asked about camping places in Highlands County.  They were going to be up there for a few days doing some hiking and canoeing (or was it kayaking?).  I offered them our place if they couldn't find any camping spots.  Well, they camped one night at Fisheating Creek, but it was a bit noisy for them, so they ended up camping out in our front yard.  I'm sure that put some weird thoughts in our neighbor's heads, but ya know what?  WHO CARES?!?!

So Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finished Summer Project

Well, now I'm back in Bethel Park after spending over a month in Lake Placid.  We had a great summer filled with family, friends, swimming and exploring.  It was also a sad summer.  One of my dear friends passed away in July and I can say that I'm glad I was there for his wife.  If I helped her in any way, I'm glad. Sue, I love you and am always a phone call away!

I finished the tiling project.  I think I did an ok job.  Not perfect, but 1000 times better than the old floor.


And I also replaced the cushions on my old handmade couch.  It looks SO much better now!


But, let's got back the the beginning of this summer's adventure.  Aidan and I left PA and headed to Tennessee to meet up with Lois, who was going to drive with us down to Florida.  We spent a couple days in Spring City, TN...a town with few redeeming qualities.

 We did get a few caches...

 ...and Aidan got to go swimming in a lake near the power plant where Lois works (for now).

Once we hit Florida, my first order of business was to repair my great grandfather's tombstone, which I was told by a distant cousin had a few pieces broken off.  With Lois's help, I think it should hold us for at least a few more years.


After Hatchbend, we headed to DeLeon Springs, where Lois has a house with her brother and his wife.  We went to the Reptile Discovery Center in Deland and had a great time watching them milk several venomous snakes.


Then we went to the Naval Air Museum at the airport in Deland.  It was fun and interesting!


Next stop was Lake Placid!

Sunset on Lake Persimmon

Istokpoga canal

Aidan, Sam and Britt at Highlands Hammock SP

Storm moving in over the orange groves near Lake Apthorpe

Eva surprised Mom with a visit!

Little black racer on the porch

Highlands Gun Club. Shooting with my sister and her husband

Love this beautiful cow!  South of 70 near Archbold Biological Station

Gatorama with Aidan and BG

Swimming at Lake June


Caching with Sue and Lois

Another sunset.  This one was out at the Royce Unit of the Lake Wales Ridge

Baby cardinal.  Sadly, he didn't make it :(

Fort Meade with Sam

In search of the bird circles in Lake Placid

My home away from home.  It's actually going to be ours soon!  My sister finally decided to sign it over to us.  Yay!!!

George at Lake Francis

Big old battle scarred gator at Highlands Hammock

We did it!  We tubed on the Ichetucknee River!!!

All in all, I'd say we had a pretty good summer!