Sunday, July 15, 2012

Diamond's Day

 Happy Birthday to my sweet, silly speckled girl. I love you very much. 
You make me laugh every day!

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Scallop harvest 2011

Here's my entry for Foto Finish
 The theme is "Summer's Here"

 This was taken last year on our first scalloping trip. Looks like it should be a Coca-Cola ad. We had so much fun. The scallops are about 8 - 10 feet down and the water is fairly clear. We snorkel along until we see one (or two or three) and then dive down, grab them up and stuff them in a bag. Regulations allow 2 gallons (in shell) per person, with a 10 gallon limit per boat. We got our limit and then almost no one wanted their share, so Bruce and I ended up cleaning 8 gallons of scallops! We went two separate weekends, so we had scallops to last all winter.  Thank goodness for those vacuum sealing bag systems! 

Here's me, with a scallop. We had one of those disposable underwater cameras. The pictures weren't great, but this year I have my new fancy camera, so I'm excited and looking forward to when we go this year.

Here's half of a scallop shell, after it's been all cleaned up. Only a few were this pretty. I kept a few of these and sent some up to my friend in Maine, for her shell collection. You can't really see the edge well here, but those little suckers are sharp. They cut right through two layers of thick trash bags.

 This was my other choice for the Foto finish. Must have the dive flag out if you're diving or snorkeling. Safety first!

Our friend, Mark, with his haul. He was a scallop gathering machine!
 Looking at all these makes me want to go again. Bruce has been getting the "new" boat all geared up. Just has to figure out the Bimini top, so we don't get fried and we'll be ready!  For now, I have some sewing and laundry to do and a lawn to mow. I have to get some items finished for the rescue's 3rd annual wine social and auction next Saturday. 

I did finally get the blue chalk out of my niece's quilt, so I'll be posting pictures of that next. 

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday stuff

 This weekend was less productive than I had hoped.  I did finish the ends of the quilting on my niece's quilt yesterday.  I am currently trying to get the blue chalk lines out. Keep your fingers crossed....

Late yesterday afternoon our air conditioning quit working, which kind of sucked what little energy I had out of me. Thankfully, Bruce had a small window unit that we used to get through the night. The thermostat said it was 85 in the rest of the house and man was it sticky! Thankfully, we know an A/C guy and he came out this morning, a Sunday, and fixed the problem. And it was relatively inexpensive and easy. I don't think he was here 15 minutes.

Last Sunday, when I was mowing the lawn, I came across this a few feet out from my neighbors tree. I guess it was blown out of the tree by Debby. It doesn't look like it even got to be used. I thought it was extra cute with the blue plastic embellishment. Sad after all the obvious work some poor bird made, that they never got to use it. I'm thinking it was Mockingbirds, because there is a family that has been nesting in that tree for years. 

I did manage to get some laundry done and gave Diamond a bath. She's a Dalmatian mix, and spots are a given. When she's dry you can see some through her relatively thin coat. 

When she's wet, you can see a lot more tiny spots! 

Oliver decided that since I wasn't using the chair, he would hold it down for me, so it didn't float away.  Isn't he thoughtful?

When Diamond was dry enough, we went outside for a little while. I noticed a large, bright pink, bulb on my neighbor's plant just above the fence. Being the nosy neighbor I am (several of them appreciate my attention and for watching over them and their property), I had to get a closer look. It's about the size of a grapefruit.  Next time they are out, I will try and ask them what it is. I'm also curious to see if it opens up or not. Either way, it's neat looking.  

I see a lot of people post recipes on their blogs. I'll be honest, I don't cook. Not that I can't cook; I used to cook for myself all the time, but now that Bruce is here, he does it.  Here's one of my favorite, easy snacks. Cheese Nachos..  Just need a bag of cheese, or if we have the blocks, I grate it myself. I prefer the Mexican mix. I just sprinkle some on tortilla chips, and put in the microwave for 25 - 30 seconds. Voila!


 Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Here's my first entry for Foto finish.  The theme is "travel"  I haven't traveled much, so this is from the trip we took to Ellis Island. This eagle is over the entrance to one of the main  buildings that immigrants were shuffled through when they arrived here. My Great Grandmother went through this very building and I had goosebumps and teary eyes as I walked up the steps and through the building. She traveled here alone when she was 20 in 1911. She came to find work as a seamstress and to send money back to Italy to her ill mother and to bring her sister over as well.

This is me pointing to my Great Grandmother's name that is engraved on the memorial wall at Ellis Island. 

I never knew my Great Grandmother, but I'm close with my Grandmother and grew up with stories of what a strong woman my Great Grandma was.  I called my Grandma from this spot, looking at her mother's name, looking out at New York and the Statue of Liberty. I was teary eyed and touched as I thought of this strong, young woman traveling alone to a strange country, with God knows what awaiting her. She did not have an easy life. She worked as a seamstress and did marry, but her husband was abusive, so she took her five children and started a new life on her own.  My grandmother learned to sew from her and while I taught myself to sew, I know that some of that comes from them.

Monday, July 2, 2012

After the storm

We saw quite a bit of wind and rain with Debby, but our area as a whole was spared too much damage. Some flooding in areas nearby, but thankfully it's all gone now and everything is pretty much back to normal. My heart is breaking for those people suffering through the wildfires in Colorado and the storms in the Midwest. 

The winds were pretty crazy and this was a customer's tent that we built and installed a few years ago. It's pretty much toast. Thankfully, none of our rental tents were damaged. Sorry for the black blur on the side. I took this with Bruce's phone and I didn't know I had to turn the clip out of the way.

Despite getting knocked over by wind daily, my Plumeria finally bloomed! I've had this one a few years and this is the first time it's produced flowers.
Bruce made some adjustments to the boat. He's still getting all the little "bugs" worked out so it is set up to his preferences.  We took it for a test drive on Lake Tarpon. We had learned that two Manatees are trapped in the lake after wandering in through a flood gate that was opened during Debby, so we tried to see if we could find them. No luck on that front, but the lake is almost 5 square miles. Here are a few photos of our beautiful weather and the lake. 
Nessie? Is that you?  Ha Ha!! It's just a Cormorant. He was a little far away, even with the zoom.

 An Osprey nest. I thought the tree was interesting.

I love this new camera! It can get wet up to 30ft! Bruce got in the water  for a few minutes and took this shot of the boat. That' s me, trying to avoid having my picture taken.

I was playing with some features on the camera. It can take a black and white photo and highlight only the color you select. Pretty neat! It is funny with Diamond, since she's already black and white, but the carpet is green and there's that hideous yellow and brown linoleum. 

I still have so many features to figure out, but I'm liking this camera more and more!  I've had this camera since my birthday - June 13th and I got the memory card for it on the 15th. So I've been able to take pictures for 17 days and I've already taken 363 pictures..... And several videos. 

One last picture of cute and goofy Riley. He's irresistible!
His expression's and posture crack me up.