Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Fourth on the Beach

We walked down to the beach on the 4th to take in the Fireworks display on the water. Luckily we live a few blocks from the beach, so we just walked down with our chairs and not have to worry about parking. The beach was crowded and groups of people along the beach were firing off their own fireworks, so the air was sulfurous. Nevertheless the actual fireworks show was excellent, PCB shot off fireworks off both of the large piers in town simultaneously.  It was our first year seeing them. One thing we noticed with the beach fireworks are quieter than other ones we have seen. The sounds just goes out over the water, not bouncing off the buildings as much.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


In mid June we went on vacation with our friends Ben and Amanda in Cape Coral. We had a wonderful time, very relaxing. A lot of time in the pool, relaxing by the pool, playing card games by the pool. A great way to spend a few days away.

We did go on a kayak outing, in the mangroves. Our seasoned guide took us out into the mangroves, telling us about the ecology of the mangroves. It was fascinating.

Practicing our paddling techniques
Outdoor floating classroom

Male crabs showing off their big claws to the females
Black crab

Mangrove tunnel, snake alert on high

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hot Night

We check our weather from often and a few weeks ago I had to screen capture the webpage, as the current conditions forecast was rather ridiculous and funny. 163F at night, 129F heat index, but thank goodness only 3% humidity. At least it was a dry heat. :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Holmes Creek

In early June, Zachary and I rented a canoe in Vernon from Old Cypress Canoe Rentals to check out Holmes Creek and Cypress Spring. Vernon is about 45 minutes from PCB. Late May/early June was pretty wet for NW Florida, so the creek was quite a bit higher than normal and muddy. Nevertheless we were pretty excited to get in a canoe again, we hadn't been in one since moving to FL. The creek is typically fairly clear under normal weather conditions.

Besides seeing saw palmettos in the undergrowth in the woods, you would think we were on a river in WI.

Padding upstream on a tributary to Holmes Creek, the dark muddy water suddenly went crystal clear. We found Cypress Spring. Beautiful shades of turquoise blues and greens.

The spring itself is quite deep, about 75 feet at its opening. It is only accessible by boat, but it is still quite popular with the locals, boating in to swim, dive and just experience a natural treasure.

Even though these pictures don't show it well, it was surreal to see all the cypress roots crystal clear underwater, along with the plant life and fish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Family Visit

In May, Zachary's Mom and Dad came to Florida for a visit. His Mom stayed about a week and then his Dad stayed with us for about another 2 weeks before heading back home. 

We have a great time together, catching up and seeing some of the local sights. Having the snowy and cold winter they had in IL, they soaked up the sun as much as possible.

We took Rodger on a photo safari at Wakulla Springs, to see a little of wild Florida.

Hello Hello?

Hello Internet. It has been a few months, hasn't it? It was never an intended blogging break, but it sort of turned out that way. I'll try to do better for you in the future, I mean well.

So... where were we? Nearly 4 months have past in the Nielsen household and a lot has happened in our lives, and we have a lot to catch up on... I'm going to make a series of posts to catch up on the happenings around here.

One thing I want to touch on first, that was a big part of our lack of blogging, was a loss in our lives. March and April were difficult months. Queequeg began acting not her normal self in beginning of March. Thus began multiple trips to the vet every week, trying to pinpoint the cause. After working with our local vet and getting a lead on a possible cause (that they weren't equipped for), we traveled to the University of Florida twice for exams and testing. After 4 weeks of searching, we got our cold hard truth. Queequeg had advanced cancer in both of her middle ears. We ended up with almost 2 more weeks with her before she let us know when it was time to let go... Of course we took it very hard. She wasn't a old cat, as she was middle aged and still had half a lifetime in her. Most of all, she was our friend. A constant companion for nearly our entire marriage. Hell, I think she is in a 1/3 of the pictures on this blog. She was always close.

Our Quee
I was in no mood to write during and after that, as we were both coming to terms with Quee.

After a while, we thought maybe we should get a new distraction in our life. A random stop at PetSmart, to browse fish aquariums. We left the store deciding to adopt a cat from the shelter. A few local animal shelters house available cats for adoption at the store and while passing the cages, one cat melted our hearts instantly. She picked us alright, not the other way around. We applied for adoption and in about a week and half, we brought home our new distraction.

Little One
She is 7 months old and full of energy. She is the perfect distraction for us. She is a very interactive cat like Quee was, but in a whole other way, which is perfect for us. It makes us remember Queequeg as her healthy self more, not the dark last weeks of her life.

We call her "little one" most of the time, but she is rapidly outgrowing that handle. We thought we decided on a name for her after a few weeks, but both of us aren't too crazy for it anymore, so that is TBD yet. Her and Diogenes are getting along, in the annoying little sister sense. She is always trying to get him to play. They will lay or sit near each other but she just can't resist the urge to tackle him when he isn't looking.

Our May and June have been busy months for us with family visiting, going on a vacation, work overload and projects around the house but I'll post more about that later. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rummage Sale

We held a rummage sale at our house last Saturday. I don't think they call them rummage sales down here, more garage or yard sales according to Craigslist.

 The weather could not be nicer that day. Low 70s and sunny, with a mild breeze. We did most of the set up Friday afternoon so not much had to be done Saturday morning. My parents brought a bunch of items down from WI this winter for the sale and collected some more from yard sales around here this winter. Zachary and I ended up having more than we expected to sell. Zachary also made some birdhouses from the scrap cedar boards (that were on our living room walls before we remodeled)

Rummage sales down here are a little different than they are back in WI. Even though we were ready by 7 to be open, we had people showing up ready to browse beforehand. Once we were open, we did most of our sales between 7 and 10, we were swamped most of the time. By 1 pm, the crowd dwindled and so did most of our goods, so we closed up for the day. Quite nice to have just a one day sale. It was fun to meet people in our neighborhood. We also met a bunch of friendly snowbird friends of my parents. We were happy to sell most of our clutter and make a little extra money. Being so successful, we are already talking about plans of doing it again next winter.