coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween, Florida style

Please tell me I am not the only person who has already consumed an entire bag of Halloween candy that was (foolishly) purchased weeks ago?

I am not looking forward to cleaning out two large pumpkins today. However, I am looking forward to lighting them up this evening. October is warm here. We sit outside on the front porch and wait for the neighbor kids to arrive for treats. They are cute, and I enjoy talking to them. And I'm probably one of the few people who enjoys teenagers who show up in packs. Yeah, I know they are too old, but so what? Halloween is a neighborhood event, and I like the idea of teenagers still wanting to be children who are a part of this fun community ritual. I'm glad they are begging for treats instead of wreaking havoc throughout the neighborhood.  Honestly, I wish I could still dress up and trick-or-treat, too.

Halloween Florida style

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Better than an action movie

I'm sure you are all sick to death of my political posts. Hang in, please. The mid-term elections are less than two weeks away and then I promise to go back to Colette's World style posts. For now, though, I am having the most fun of my adult life with this Florida gubernatorial race. Like so many political battles in this 2018 mid-term election year, this represents the divide that exists in this great country, and it delivers the best hope for breaching that divide and returning us to a healthy democracy.  

Last night I watched the final debate between the progressive Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and his Trumpite opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis. The first debate had more quotable quotes, but this second one was absolutely epic. I spent that hour on the couch whooping it up, pointing, snapping, and feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time. It was more exciting than watching the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series last year, but oddly similar in spirit. And yes, Andrew knocked it out of the park. 

and here's a video of it in case you are as obsessed as me:

Friday, October 19, 2018

If you are in it for the long haul

If you are in it for the long haul, you have to pace yourself. 

It is important to know when to rest, when to breathe deep, and when to look away. From time to time we must step back in order to come back swinging. Not only is that okay, it is essential.

And don't forget pleasure! Pleasure and joy play a role in sustaining a long struggle. Those are the moments that remind us life is worth living. Balance requires joy.

What is life but a series of obstacles that must be overcome? One can always surrender, it's true. But where is the fun in that? What is more important in your life than fighting the good fight? 

Struggle is the great work. If you can maintain hard work and committed living for the long run, in spite of the pain, you will have lived a heroic life. I guess there are some who don't particularly want to be heroic. I don't really understand that mindset, but I know it is a valid choice. Lots of good people live quiet lives. Do I envy them? Yes, some days I do. They remind us of what life could be like if life was normal.

For many of us, for whatever reason, life will never be normal. You are the people I'm talking to right now. Pace yourself. 

Being normal is overrated

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weed 'em out

It's hard to keep up with the weeds in my perennial beds. The summers in Central Florida are long, hot and oppressively sunny. It is impossible for us to get out there between June 15 and October 15 and weed. Instead, we mulch heavily in spring and hope for the best until Halloween approaches. 

We've been trying to use pine straw mulch because it is natural, native, and good for our acid-loving plants. Okay, we do it because we're trying to be politically right-on. However, I'm finding it similar to using herbal meds for physical issues. It sounds good but just doesn't work. Getting rid of weeds may require a sturdier mulch, and more of it. I'm sorry to say this. I really wanted to be kind and gentle, but those weeds must go. Time to get serious.

We've had a ridiculous amount of rain in the past few months so our hopeful, once thick and massive cover of pine straw has broken down quickly. Weeds are not smothered, they poke through the straw. They seem to benefit from the pine straw as much as our azaleas do. They grow and multiply. We're going to have to dig out an entire bed of Louisiana iris to get to the weeds and start again. This time I'm going to spray the tubers with water to try and wash out the weed seeds before replanting. That'll show 'em, right? 

Weeding is a fight that may never be won, but must always be fought. 

Reminds me of politics. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

October in Central Florida

I'm too stressed and overwhelmed over the upcoming elections to write much these days.  However, I am enjoying October in Central Florida so I thought I'd share some photos from our farmer's market and Lake Apopka.  Later today we're going to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival at Disney World with our daughter and granddaughter. I may have more photos for you later this week. 

Pumpkins for sale at the farmer's market

The fishmonger at the market

Hot dog stand

Awapuhi Ginger for sale
Heron on the loop (bike) trail alongside Lake Apopka
egrets hanging out in a tree, spider lilies at the bottom

plant crud, looking down from a bridge

A small alligator, moving fast
I should know what this is, but I don't. It is a water plant.  Do you know the name?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Check yourself

Here's a great site to check voter registration deadlines, your voting status, and find your voting location regardless of state:

Voter registrations deadlines are early this week in most states.  If you haven't registered, please go online and do so ASAP.   It has never been more important to vote.  Go high. Vote as if your rights depended on it.