Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello 2010!

Pizza, prosecco, chocolate fondue, noisemakers, and a rousing game of ants in your pants before midnight. The last of the Christmas cookies for breakfast, along with my Keurig coffee. Can you think of a better way to welcome in a new year?

A new year

I found this odd looking citron at the grocery store, and learned that it is called Buddha's Hand. It has a lemony odor and it is supposed to be lucky to have one in your home around the new year. I used it to make marmalade, so that the good fortune could be shared. It's funny, I don't like jellies and I especially don't like marmalade, but I am addicted to this -- I scraped out the foam from the pan to use on toast. If eating Buddha's Hand jam brings good fortune, 2010 should be a very good year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


An empty lamp was one of my Christmas presents. Now that I've made it my own, it is also one of my favorites.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Another version of the Christmas story? "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." [Bradley Millar]

Wishing you a peaceful holiday, where nobody steps on you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What a wonderful finish!

Good-bye beach. Good-bye sun. Good-bye shells.

Hello cold. Hello dreary. Hello ice.

My last morning on Sanibel - the morning walk was really glorious. Not much in the way of shells, of course, because there was a wonderful very low tide, so I got to see the usual huge live whelks and tulips that live off the lighthouse beach, and the beds of live sand dollars (I always want to set up barriers to protect them. People are so careless and often step on them or pull the living shells out of the sand.)

But the coolest things: one of the ospreys caught a fish that was a few inches longer than he was, and he sat on top of a light post to scream at the would-be robbers and eat. I would have loved to see the catch itself, but he was landing on the post when I noticed him. I love the ospreys, with their amazing skill and vaguely x-rated cry.

And most amazing of all, something I've never seen and don't know what was. When I stopped for a minute to scan the horizon, a couple inches of a snapping head suddenly popped out of the sand in front of me, it looked like the first couple inches of a small snake, hinged jaws snapping as it emerged. I watched it go in and out of the sand for several minutes -- reminded me of the scene in one of the star wars movies where the sand worm lunges out (only smaller, thank goodness!) And OF COURSE I didn't have a camera! Can you tell me what it was, coastal friends?

And now, home to the cold and snow that I hate and the family that I love. Life is so full of mixed messages.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My days on Sanibel are drawing to an end. The weather has been perfect. The trade-off is that the shelling isn't good. Today I went out at low tide, before dawn, to the mudflats. I saw someone leaving just as I arrived, with a bag full of shells. Either I didn't go to the right place, or I am ignoring shells that the other sheller wanted, or Blind Pass makes me blind, but all I collected were mosquito and no-see-em bites. I picked up a couple of gnarly oyster shells on my way back to the car, not exactly specimens but cool looking, and maybe better than going home empty handed. Still, I love my morning walks on the beach. It was warm and beautiful, the pelicans put on their usual show, and I stopped at Jerry's for a donut on my way back. It's all good.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Head over heels

It was a good news/bad news morning. The good: I had some better-than-it's-been luck shelling at Blind Pass this morning -- I think it will be fabulous shelling at low tide, but I shell by time and not by tide (sigh). Still, there were enough large shells to bruise my ankles and feet, and I even managed to catch a lace murex and a few odds and ends, nothing spectacular, but fun. The bad: I had my camera and phone zipped into my pocket when one of the big waves knocked me over and down flat. I am not happy about being camera and phone-less, but I do love the embrace of a big, warm wave!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Natural wonders

Is there anything nicer than a Sanibel Sunset?

White stuff

Things were covered with the white stuff here this morning. It was just like being in the north. I could barely see after I'd been out a while - my glasses were covered with a thin film of salt from the warm mist. It was hard for me to find my way home, because the details of the landscape were obliterated by the weather. Yeah, we suffer here, too.

And no snow days for the people here -- they were working hard. I passed one woman who was shelling with tweezers, and she was still stooped in the same spot when I passed again, an hour and a half later, carefully picking up tiny shells.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Friends, new and old

What a fun evening, I had a great time with Nancy, Barb and Tootie, and then ran into island Santa on the way "home" to the time share. While we were in the restaurant (the Island Cow), the television news said there would be 12 to 15 inches of snow at home in Saginaw . . . my poor family, but lucky, lucky me!

Dodging the storms

As winter prepares to hit Michigan, I am hiding in Florida, on Sanibel Island. It amazes me how quickly I can forget things, and it is hard for me now to remember that it was cold, and will be cold again. I am pretty sure that no one I know thinks of me as an optimist, but I see my selective memory as a form of optimism, always forgetting until it is too late, who has hurt me, whose emotions cannot be trusted, and how cold the world can be. In the interim, I walk the beach and marvel.