Monday, November 5, 2012

Palm Trees and Party Animals

Thought for the day:  Always be kind to your dentist. After all, he has fillings, too.

Looooosy, I'm hooooome!

Okay, if you wanta be technical about it, we've been back in town for more than a week, but lots of things had to be done. No sense posting on my blog if I don't have time to visit your blogs, right? Anyhow, I'm caught up now, and ready to dive back into the good ol' blogosphere again.

Yep, we're home. (sigh) No grandchildren scrambling to sit on our laps. (But the cats are all over us.) No palm trees swaying in the breeze. (But I did go outside and rake a boatload of leaves... twice.)

Those palm trees in the picture are at the resort where we stayed in Florida. To me, there's something exotic and romantic about them, and I love the way they looked against the sky. To our son, who lives in Florida and sees them day in and day out, those same trees are ugly. Go figure.

But I reckon that's true about a lot of things. Stone Mountain is a totally cool-looking carved mountain here in Georgia, but it's probably safe to say that most people who see it every day take it for granite. (Sorry.)

No matter how many times we drive south, I always get excited about a bunch of things that other people probably think of as ugly or ordinary. I look forward to seeing them, and get all excited when they come into view. Like the palm trees. And like this. You could say I cotton to this stuff.

Yep, fields and fields of fluffy cotton. If you've never seen these plants before, they aren't very tall. In fact, they're really short, like maybe knee-high, if that, and looking at them, it's easy to imagine what hard work it must have been to pick by hand... bending over all day in the hot Georgia sunshine. Makes my back hurt just to think about it.

Smarticus insists these critters are nothing more than rats on the half-shell, but I love 'em. Armadillos look like prehistoric creatures to me, and I'm always on the look-out for them when we hit south Georgia and Florida. All I can say is they must have been doing some pretty serious partying recently, because every single one I saw was sleeping it off on the side of the road. (Shut up! They were taking a NAP, I tell you!)
Oh, and how about those trees dripping with Spanish moss? Even if it weren't getting close to Halloween, these big ol' trees provide a certain spooky atmosphere. Especially at night.

I'm a huge fan of egrets, too. (And herons.) For some reason, I didn't see any on the ride down this year. Made me wonder if they'd been partying with the armadillos and were off in the woods somewhere nursing a hangover. But they must have bounced back quickly, because we saw plenty of them while we were in Florida.

And of course, all around the Orlando area, there are scads of orange groves. It's amazing how short most of those trees are, but yet, still bulging with fruit. I guess the farmers must keep them trimmed that way for easy harvesting, but it's still surprising to see trees shorter than I am with all that fruit on them. I've never been there to experience it, but when all those trees are covered with blossoms, the scent must be absolutely heavenly. Better than any perfume.

Of course, the very BEST thing for me to see in Florida is always our family. Here's three of our granddaughters. Ella, in the blue shirt, is five, and she had the audacity to ask her grandfather if he ever had hair on the top of his head. (HA!) Persephone is six, and she's a self-taught gymnast. Does cartwheels, back flips, and hand stands. (Even on one hand!) Just watching her aged us ten years. Olivia is two, and I really must teach her how to spell. She has an aversion to, and a serious melt-down, every time she hears the word NO... or KNOW...

Anyhow, it's good to be home. In the next few posts, I'll tell you about some really neat places to visit in the Sunshine State. (And I'm not talking Mickey Mouse!)

In the meantime, what do you look for when you travel? Armadillos? Spanish moss? What? Do tell.

                                  Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

By the way, you guys rock. Thank you so much for all your terrific comments on my last post. I read every one of them, and appreciate them all, but I'm not gonna respond to them at this late date. (Does anybody ever go back to look for a response, I wonder...?) (Um, I mean, besides ME...)

Anyhow, THANKS!


  1. We drove down to Florida every summer (yeah, because it was cheaper during the months you sweat) for 10 years when my four children were growing up. One of the ways to keep the kids entertained (and their minds off of fighting with each other) was to have them count and read the signs on '95 for South of the Border. Jose says.......

    I did love the moss on the trees when we got to Georgia and couldn't wait to see our first palm when we got to Florida. Of course, that palm tree meant our road trip was almost over and the noise from the back seats would soon cease.

  2. Welcome back Susan! Sounds like you had a great time with your grandchildren! Your granddaughters are beautiful! I also loved seeing your other photos. You're right about how the armadillo looks prehistoric. Looking forward to part two! Julie

  3. It's good to have you back, and I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.
    When you mentioned armadillos and cotton, all I could think of is Texas. There's a cotton field only a few blocks from my house.

    As for palm trees, I was used to them in California. My best palm tree memory:
    I was walking to church and, as I passed under a palm tree, a pigeon crapped on my head. True story!

  4. Welcome back...... Sounds like you had a great time.

  5. The last time I was in Florida, it felt as if I was in Spain. Is English their second language down there?

  6. "take it for granite"
    "rats on the half shell"

    Susan, I'm so glad you're back. We've missed you!

  7. Your granddaughters are adorable, you lucky lady. I love everything about travel. We're about to go to Guatemala for a family wedding.

  8. I actually chuckled at that dentist joke...

    Glad you had such a nice time! wish I was there!!

  9. Aw, glad you had a good visit with the grandkids.

    I've been to Florida a few times, and it's a different world entirely from Colorado. I find palm trees and bougainvillea very exotic. :P

    And I always thought that with all those groves the orange juice would flow freely down there, but, no, it still cost $4 a glass. Hrmph.

  10. Awww, your granddaughters are adorable. My DD used to have a meltdown every time she heard "no" or "know," too, when she was that age.

    Glad you had such a marvelous time, and welcome back! I missed you. :)

  11. BTW, your grandchildren are beautiful.

    Glad to have you back. We missed you.

  12. Love your sense of humor. And, yes, I do go back and read responses to comments...but not always faithfully. :)

  13. Welcome home!

    What gorgeous, gorgeous names your granddaughters have. I'm glad you were able to enjoy such a lovely time with family and to snap so many great pictures. You're right trees hung that densely with moss *do* have a spookiness about them!

  14. Hooray you're back! Glad you had a great time in the Sunshine State. Your granddaughters are adorable! And yes, I like the armadilloes, I'm a big fan of Tarkus, after all. :)

  15. Hey Susan, It is good to have you back, what wonderful pictures especially those of the Grand babies, you just have to love being around them :)

  16. The next time you visit Florida I hope you stop by Jacksonville to say hello in person. I sure missed your blog.


  17. Welcome back!

    I, too, LOVE the names of your three granddaughters. I know an Ella and an Olivia, but have never heard of Persephone. Very cool!

    I'm still new enough to this state to get excited about the orange groves and all the cool birds. And you need to come back in March, that's when the orange blossoms bloom and the smell alone can get you intoxicated!

    Of course I go back and read responses to comments... :-)

  18. Arleen- We don't usually go down via 95, so it's been a while since we saw those South of the Border signs, but I sure remember doing that sort of stuff to entertain our back-seat noise-makers, too. Kinda like when we were kids, and looked out for Stuckey and Burma-Shave signs, right?

    Julie- Hi-ya! Thanks. We did have a fabulous time with the kids, but it's good to be back to "normal" again. (Or as close to normal as I get...)

    Jon- Thanks. It's good to be back. Huh, I didn't realize Texas was a big cotton-grower, too. With your killer heat, harvesting it there had to have been even worse than it was in Georgia. Sorry, but I had to laugh about you getting christened by the pigeon on the way to church. Look on the bright side. A friend of mine was bombed by a seagull, and their, uh, "output" is a lot more copious than a pigeon's. (Or maybe it was just a reeeeeeally big seagull.)

    Delores- Thanks. We sure did.

    Geo- Thanks.

    Cro- Not yet, but I think in some places, like Miami, it's darned close.

    Dianne- Thanks. Sweet of you to say.

    Karen- Thanks. I realize how lucky I am to have so many happy healthy grandchildren. Wow, Guatemala, huh? That sounds wonderful. Don't forget to take pictures!

    Jennifer- It's good to know I'm not the only one who cracks up at my cornball puns. (My family mostly groans...)

    L.G.- Funny, with all those orange trees all over the place, it never even occurred to me to price oranges or orange juice while we were down there. Sure seems like it oughta be reasonable, though, doesn't it? Kinda like pineapple in Hawaii. Pineapple as a garnish in EVERYTHING. (Even a long spear of it in a glass of iced tea.)

    Linda- Thanks. I really appreciate you saying that. I missed you and the rest of the blogger gang while I was away, too.

    Arleen- Thanks. Golly, you guys have me grinning like a Cheshire cat. I missed you guys, too.

    Linda- Ah, so you have a weird sense of humor too, huh? HA!

    Suze- Thanks. (Your new avatar is freaking me out... I want my red shoes back!) All our grands have unusual names, but I guess Persephone's is the most unusual. Chloe's middle name is Mercury, so I guess that one's right up there, too.

    Laura- Thanks! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with a "thing" for armadillos.

    Jimmy- Thanks. It's good to be back, and yes, it's wonderful to be around the grandchildren. (They still think we're superheroes.)

    Janie- It sure is nice to know a few of you guys missed me. Cool. Good to be back with y'all again.

    Pixel- Glad you like their names. At first, we thought Persephone was a really strange name to hang on a little girl, but it kinda suits her. When anyone asks what her name is, she says the whole thing, but her brothers and sisters call her "Sephie". March, huh? Hmmm, I can just imagine how intoxicating those orange blossoms must be.

  19. Beach Bum- Thank you, dear sir. It's great to be back.

  20. welcome back!! loved looking at your photos..your granddaughters are beautiful...good for you!! I would like to go to Florida now!!

  21. Annmarie- Thanks. Oh, this is definitely a great time to be in Florida. Even here in Georgia, it's a cool drizzly day today, so I already miss the warm sunshine.

  22. Great photo of the grandkids!!

    I love Spanish moss too. So romantic and creepy at the same time.

    And egrets--they're amazing. We have them here in Chattanooga. When I'm driving and crane my neck to see them, my kids always think I'm going to drive into a ditch.

  23. Connie- Oh, I didn't realize you had egrets in the Chattanooga area. They're such graceful looking birds, aren't they? If there's any living here in Atlanta, they must be undercover operators posing as cardinals and woodpeckers.

  24. Beautiful photos! We are just a little too far north for Spanish moss, but dip down one state and it's everywhere, which I love. We do get the cotton here thought. Cotton picking season is rough for me - we finally figured out my allergies go crazy from the defoliant they spray before harvesting.

  25. I go back to look for responses.

    When I travel I am always on the look out for things to point a lens at.

    And watching for kangaroos and wombats. Hitting either of those can put your car of the road ;-(

  26. Wow I have never been to Florida since now we need a passport I guess I will not be there anytime soon. I love your photos and would love to see cotton bushes, Spanish moss, armadillos I love them too, and oranges on a tree not at the grocery store.
    The best had to be see your beautiful adorable family. Sounds like a great trip. B

  27. Diane- Yeah, I guess your outlook as to the "enchantment" of cotton-picking time would be a lot less favorable than mine if it kicks up your allergies. Bummer.

    Al- And I hope you keep right on looking for things to point your camera at when you travel. Most of us will never see Australia in person, but thanks to you, we can kinda "see" it through your pictures. Oooh, hitting a deer can do quite enough damage to a car; I can just imagine how much damage a kangaroo can do!

    Buttons- Glad you like the pics, and thanks so much for stopping by. We did, indeed, have a lovely time.

  28. You have the three cutest granddaughters ever!

    We live in San Antonio. When we go east, I look for pine trees. When I see the first one, I know I'm out of my home area. West, I look for no trees. To the coast, humidity :)

    Love your blog!

  29. Carol- Thanks. We're kinda partial to our girls... and our boys. (We have twelve altogether!) Thanks for stopping by and for signing on. Welcome aboard!

  30. ha, I've never seen cotton 'in the wild'. Love the photos! You make me want to travel again!!

    1. Glad you like the pics. I think cotton fields look amazing. I hope you get to see them sometime.

  31. Hi Susan! What a great blog! Thanks so much for stopping by mine and becoming my newest follower! I have reciprocated! I love your enthusiasm and optimistic ways. I'm a lot like that, too. I believe in Dreams and Success and Never Giving any age. If you read my profile, I didn't begin writing until I was almost 50, and from your photo, you don't look at an (ahem) "advanced age" to me!

    1. Hi, Becky! Thank you. Glad ya like it. Welcome aboard, dear lady. Thanks for the comment about the "advanced age" stuff. I'm just very fortunate in that I've always looked younger than I am. Not too much fun years ago when people used to think I was my husband's daughter, but it's pretty cool now.

  32. If I say anything I think may warrant a response then yes! I do check back!

    My mom lives in Florida and I find the palm trees exotic, too, as you may have noticed from some of my piccies. I look forward to seeing yours. Glad you're back!

    1. I don't reckon you see too many palm trees in your neck of the woods, huh? My pics aren't anywhere near as good as yours, but they'll do to give ya'll... the, uh, picture.

  33. Looking forward to "what I did on my vacation." Hopefully with plenty of photos. Also, interesting places in Florida. I know I have also been to a lot of them.

    1. I'll bet you could tell us about a LOT of Florida places that are off the beaten path. I don't think I'll be showing anyplace that's new to you, but maybe you'll get inspired to show some of your awesome pics about the same locations on your blog.

  34. Hi Susan .. great grandkids - and I love the photos you've selected .. excellent cotton one ... so pleased you had a good time ... have fun now you're home -

    Love armadilloes ... and oranges - our apple orchards are similar now ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi, Hilary. Glad you like the pics, and glad to hear I'm not the only one who has a thing for armadillos. (HA!)