About Us

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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

and the Sun did return......

Been over a week now since we've seen any sunshine, so this mornings rays, peaking up over the eastern skyline,  was a welcome sight. It's return did come with a price though, 5 degree outside temps...yikes! In the last week  we've had blizzard and winter storm warnings, both of which seemed over hyped to me. After it was all said and done we ended up with about 6 inches of snow, not bad considering. The endless gray days do wear on you.
I could tell by the way things looked outside that there was a decent coating of hoar frost on and having been cloistered inside for a number of days I decided to bundle up and take a morning sunrise walk to see it all.

One of the interesting things about a fresh coat of snow is that it records the travels of different wild things that one normally can't see. As I stepped off the front porch I saw how the deer had been busy in our front yard. I followed their meanderings and it lead me to a group of hawthorn trees I planted nearly 17 years ago. When we bought the property we planted over 500 trees that first year, not all hawthorn but all kinds of nut and fruit bearing trees, along with fair share of evergreen. The deer seem to particularly like the hawthorn berries, evidenced by the lack of fruit up to about 6' off the ground. A picture of one of the tree is below:

The rest of the tree is loaded with brilliant red berries which the birds and squirrels will end up finishing off.

The hoarfrost turns our fields into a sea of crystal and catching it in the first mornings light always seems to conjure  up the wonderment we all lose in chasing that ghost we call life.

I took a number of shots but it's so difficult to capture how delicate and amazing the ice crystals are. Delicate in their patterns and also in their lifespan. I knew that within an hour  most of it would be gone, burnt off by the sun we had been so missing. So here's my feeble attempt to capture some  of it:


Another reason for my morning  walk was to make my way over to the cabin to check on the inside temperature. I 've been trying to get the thermostat on the heater figured out. It has low, medium and high marked on the knob, with large spaces between. I've been taking an ink pen to mark different temperatures on the knob in an effort to "fine tune" it. My goal was to keep the place around 50 degrees throughout the winter months.

 Took a shot of the deck when I got over there.
I didn't even go into the cabin. I just peeked in through  the siding glass doors and I could see the inside temperature was 51 degrees, not bad.

In four weeks I should be watching the sunrise in temperatures about 70 degrees warmer, can't wait.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why we all love children....

Given the tragedy  that's happened I thought I would be nice to remember  a few of the reasons why we love children so much:

 1. A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead. 'How did you know that the cat was dead?' she asked her pupil. 'Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move,' answered the child innocently. You did WHAT ? ! ?' the teacher exclaimed in surprise. 'You know,'explained the boy, 'I leaned over and went 'Pssst!' and it didn't move.'

2. A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later....'Da-ad....' 'What?' 'I'm thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?' 'No, You had your chance. Lights out..' Five minutes later: 'Da-aaaad.....' 'WHAT?' 'I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??' I told you NO! If you ask again, I'll have to spank you!!' Five minutes later......'Daaaa-aaaad.....' 'WHAT!' 'When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?'

3. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him 'How do you expect to get into Heaven?' The boy thought it over and said, 'Well, I'll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!''

4. One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, 'Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?' The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. 'I can't dear,' she said. 'I have to sleep in Daddy's room' A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: 'The big sissy'

5. It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's sermon. All the children were invited to come forward. One little girl was wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat down, the pastor leaned over and said, 'That is a very pretty dress. Is it your Easter Dress?' The little girl replied, directly into the pastor's clip-on microphone, 'Yes, and my Mom says it's a bitch to iron.'

6 When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, 'Mommy, you are getting fat!' I replied, 'Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy.' 'I know,' she replied, but what's growing in your butt?'

7 A little boy was doing his math homework. He said to himself, 'Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven. Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine....' His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, 'What are you doing?' The little boy answered, 'I'm doing my math homework, Mom.' 'And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?' the mother asked. 'Yes,' he answered. Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day, 'What are you teaching my son in math?' The teacher replied, 'Right now, we are learning addition.' The mother asked, 'And are you teaching them to say two plus two, that son of a bitch is four?' After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered, 'What I taught them was, two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four.'

8. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, '.... And so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling!' The teacher paused then asked the class, 'And what do you think that farmer said?' One little girl raised her hand and said, 'I think he said: 'Holy Shit! A talking chicken!'' The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

9. A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, 'I'm Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter.' Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, 'I'm Jane Sugarbrown.' The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, 'Aren't you Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter?' She replied, 'I thought I was, but mother says I'm not.'

10 A little girl asked her mother, 'Can I go outside and play with the boys?' Her mother replied, 'No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough.' The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, 'If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?'

11. A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father. She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a snack cake The barber says to her, 'Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your Twinkie.' She says, 'Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too.'

Now keep that smile on your face !!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Unintended consequences, part 2.....

We had noticed a few days ago that one of the propane cylinders at the cabin had run out. I decided to take the cylinder to get it filled up this afternoon. When I made my way back to the cabin, cylinder in tow via a dolly, I noticed something on the front deck that I hated to see. It was a male cardinal, laying dead in nearly the same place I had found a female tanger late this summer:

I hate the fact that this happened and it bothers me even more that this is the second time in as little as 4 months. I know it has to do with all the windows in the cabin and the vistas we tried to create. It never dawned on us that we could harm the birds we love so much in the process, they are such magnificent little things. I had even thought of putting a feeder out near the cabin, after tonight I know that would not be a good idea.

There has to be a way to avoid or at least mitigate this from happening in the future.


Wet Suits....

There's a current thread on the Trip Advisor board about water temps and if December water is warm enough to swim. We had noticed the water temperature dropping when we were there this past November, experiencing a considerable change in the two week stay. Maybe this had something to do with Sandy since it had passed, albeit to the west, just prior to our arrival. At any rate we do know there's a  difference in the water temps from Nov to Feb and that brings us to the point of this post.

We've just received our wet suits we ordered from Amazon. After reading about what suit is right for each activity and water temp we decided on what is called "shorty" suits. The last few years we've noticed the need, in Feb,  to wear our rash guards when  doing  long extended snorkel excursions. I'm sure many from the east coast would say "what a bunch of sissy's", seeing how Vieques averages  80 degree water in Feb, but for us it just makes things much more comfortable. What we've gleaned from our limited wet suit purchases is that you need to order a larger size than what you think would fit. I've had to send mine back for the next larger size. Lorries was a full 2 sizes larger than what she would normally wear in pants. Mine fit fine in the legs but was way too small in the chest and arms. One of the beautiful things about Amazon  though is it's return policy. Just print out the return sheet, put it in the box and leave the package outside your door. The UPS guy picks it up the next day with a prepaid label. Just about as painless as it gets.
Gray weather and cold temps here in Indiana make us more than ready for the next 8 weeks to pass so we can get back to Vieques.