Monday, April 30, 2012

Some Love for Tennessee

My goodness -  it seems like ages since I last posted, and while in reality it has only been a week (not counting my quickie post on  Sat) it certainly feels like so much longer.

I feel like I have been so neglectful!  I have been blog hopping when I can so you wont feel like I've neglected your blog.  It's only MY blog that I've shown little love these past days.
I was quite ill for a couple of days last week.  That put me way behind at the office which totally stresses me out.

I am at the office for 10-1/2 hours each day Mon thru Thur and then 8 on Friday and 4 every other Saturday.  Add 30 minutes each way for driving and an hour an a half each morning to get ready and that is pretty much my day in a nutshell.
My quickie post on Saturday showed some pictures that I had taken on a sister trip in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN.  I thought I'd share a few more photos from that trip for those of you who may have never been to that neck of the woods.

Another reason I love to go to Gatlinburg, besides the obvious "Great Smoky Mountains", is the streams.  I love water.  Just about any body of water will do.

I love the sounds it makes as it races over the rocks or the trickle of slow moving water as it meanders downstream.

I love the dancing of the light as it plays on the water and dazzles like diamonds.

I know these are not the greatest photos of the streams.  They are rather old.  I cannot find my latest shots, but I will and then I will share those.  They capture the beauty of the streams so much better than these.

I love to travel and I love nature. I certainly hope you do as well and will join me on my return (through sharing the photographs) to places that I love.

THANKS so much for stopping by.....


Debbiedoo's Newbie Party

Favorite Photo Monday

More the Merrier Monday

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers on Saturday 5

Wow - I am really getting behind on my posting.  Usually I have a post waiting in the wings.  I was sick and missed two days of work this week and didn't even turn a computer on the whole time I was home in bed.  I am very behind at work so this is going to be a short one.  Without further ado.....

My Flower Shots

I wish my whole backyard looked like this.  I took this outside a candy store in Pigeon Forge TN a few years ago.  We had a sister trip and stayed for a long weekend in Gatlinburg TN.

I just love these types of flowers.  Blackeyed Susans, Cone Flowers, Daisies and all types like that.  Do I have any in my backyard - uh - that would be a no.  First I have three dogs who think they own that yard.  Second, I had to fix up the front yard first.  We did a pretty good remodel of the front yard last year.  I will try to see if I can find some before shots.  It was a disaster but it is sooo much better now.  Okay, I am at the office and MUST do some work now.

Linking with:

Flowers on Saturday

Weekend Flowers

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crackle Barrell Treasures

Hello Everyone!  I have shared my story about the seahorse that I fell in love with at Crackle Barrell.  I think I mentioned that I didn't have any idea as to where I was going to put the seahorse once I got it home.  I wanted to have it somewhere that I would be able to see it often because it does make me happy to see it.  Well.....the only place I could come up with is the mantle in the family room.  The only thing with that is it made the whole display off balance.  Rats!!  What's a girl to do?  Hmmm....if that girl is me she went back to Crackle Barrell.................

..............and bought another one...tehee....balance problem SOLVED!!!!  There were a couple of other items that I would really like to have purchased, but I really needed the second seahorse for the mantle.

Sorry these pictures aren't the best - lighting - I hate taking pictures indoors!

I did, if you remember, mention that I had had purchased another beachy item when I made the initial purchase of the first seahorse. I love it as well.  Love it, love it,  no really, I love it..hahaha.

Can you believe that I am finding these wonderfully beachy items at Crackle Barrell?  I mean, I made the purchases and I still can't get over it.  Crackle Barrell!!!!  And it was very reasonable.  It was only $20.  It is the prefect size too.  Not too big and not too small.  It's about 14 inches wide and about 6 inches tall. 

I have seen these on the beachy blogs that I love to follow.  Many of you already had something like this that you were utilizing in your beach displays.  Some of may even have the real thing.  But from the first time that I laid eyes on your photos I have wanted one...really badly.  That is why it is so surprising that I didn't even notice this until after we had eaten and I went back to take my seahorse home with me.  That's how much in love with the horsey I was.  I have priced these shells on websites and they were running in the neighborhood of $80...yikes...for a small one!!  Let me say this again - CRACKER BARRELL and $20, yes $20!!

Don't you just love it - and the coral base...sweeeet!!!!  What to put it in you ask?  Well, after several Sanibel vacations I have no shortage of lovely shells to place in there.  I bought this on a Friday and that evening I got really sick.  It was my Saturday to work ( I work every other Sat from 8:00 -12:00 ).  Needless to say I really didn't want to go in- but it's not fair to call someone out of the blue early on a Sat morning and ask them to work for you.  Just couldn't do it, so I trudged on into the office.  When I made it home my boyfriend had been hitting the neighborhood yard sales and had picked up a teeny something for me.  What, you ask?  Well, let me just show you..............

He knows what little things really make me happy!!

I normally would not buy shells because I love to collect my own right off the beach but I love them if someone else buys them for me.  And these are perfect to go inside my treasure from Cracker Barrell!

Love the colors of these shells inside the white clam shell.

So very pretty and we all know "pretty" makes me happy". LOL

Yep, I am one happy woman!!

 Another thing that makes me happy is visitors and comments.  I will always respond to your comments here and will also make every effort to visit you blog as well.  THANK YOU for stopping by!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flowers on Saturday

This will be my fourth participation in Flowers on Saturday.As much as I love writing about Sanibel Island FL and sharing my pictures with you, I also LOVE taking photographs of flowers. People would look at me funny when amongst my other pictures I would also have lots of photos of flowers.  Well, who's crazy now!!  Turns out not me! LOL

The first photo that I shared a few weeks ago was a picture of a brilliant purple Clematis.  It wasn't mine.  I was dog sitting at a coworkers house and I took tons of pictures of their flowers.They were amongst the first ones that kinda looked at me as if I were crazy for taking so many photos of their flowers.  But later they turned some of my photos into a gift of  coffee mugs for each other.

These are my Clematis.  My father gave me a small vine at the end of the season last year.  It's about 3 ft high now and full of buds that are finally starting to bloom.  The purple isn't as vibrant as the earlier flower I shared but still pretty just the same.

Look at all those buds.  I can't believe how many flowers are on this tiny vine.  I can't wait to see them all open up!

Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend.  I am in Louisville KY and tonight is "Thunder Over Louisville"  The WORLD's largest fire works show which is the kickoff of the KY Derby Festival.  All kinds of events happening in the next two weeks leading up to the KY Derby, which is the 1st Saturday in May.

Linking with these fabulous parties

Thanks Ladies for hosting another week of fabulous photos and blog posts.

Gotta love these macro shots!!

I really do love them.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I truly appreciate it!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seahorse Love

I think by now we are all aware of how much I love Sanibel Island Florida.  LOVE it.  One of the reasons I love it so much is for the shells.  I simply love walking on the beach and finding a great shell.  Large or small - broken (some of them are much more interesting broken) or intact. Just simple joy.  Well, the other day my lunch bunch (there are six of us who try to lunch together at least once a week and some of us who go everyday) ended up in Cracker Barrell.  Now when I think of Cracker Barrell the last thing I think of is the beach.  Unless it's a stop for breakfast on the way to the beach during my younger days when driving for 12 hours to get there was considered an adventure.  Well, we walked in and on the way to put our name on the list to be seated I was stopped dead in my tracks by a "pretty" in the store.  The best thing about Crackle Barrell (besides the pecan pancakes...ummm...I am getting hungry) is the "pretties" in the country store.  Like I was saying, I was stopped dead in my tracks, heart started pounding, eyes widening, mouth dropped open involuntarily, arms outstretching on their own accord to snatch snap this up before anyone else could beat me to it.........

pure beachy, ocean loving, dream inspiring lovely creature!!

Oh please, please, please don't let it be too expensive (you just never know) please.  I hesitantly turned it over very slowly...please, please don't kill my delight in this whimsically perfect little piece of happiness on a stand.  ( I had just replaced a water heater that ended up costing me 4 times what it should and had car repairs the same week so to say I am on a tight budget for a bit is somewhat of an understatement ) ...........

.....as I am still slowly turning the seahorse over to see the sticker.  $25.00  I could breathe again.  Not terribly expensive by any stretch of the imagination.  However, when I should be brown bagging it and not even going out to eat lunch, I had to sit it back on the shelf.....insert heavy sigh here....

We went to the table and ordered lunch....all I could think of was the seahorse...all I could see was the seahorse...all I could smell was the ...pancakes the waitress had brought..gotcha!  And yes, pancakes for a working girl's lunch is a perfectly acceptable menu item.  But really, I could not get that seahorse out of my head...could not.  I told myself I had no where to put it and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.....   when we finished eating and were just lollygagging around at the table I told the girls I had to go because I had some shopping to do!  As you well know by the photos, this baby came home with me.  Still don't know where she will end up exactly...all I do know is she makes me very happy everytime I glance at her.  Yep, still smiling just thinking about her....oh, and I may have brought home something else too.....will share that next.  I had to have them - spending all your hard earned money on unfun things like repairs is too depressing.  I definitely needed some cheering up and I think this has done it...LOL

But seriously have you ever seen beachy themed items in Crackle Barrell???  Especially one located no where near the beach in KY.  I only bought one more item on this visit, but am plotting how I can get the girls to return for another lunch so soon after this one........as they had many fabulous beachy items that are calling my name.

Linking with....


Fridays Unfolded

Feathered Nest Friday

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you, sweet Sharla  from The House at Bluebird Lane for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award!

The Liebster:
 An award given to blogs with fewer than 200 followers, that recognizes the blog author's creative writing and dedication.  It also helps to bring blog owners together to exchange ideas and information. 

The rules once you've been chosen (should you decide to accept):
  • Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
  • Reveal your five selections for Liebster Blog Awards
  • Inform the five other bloggers by leaving them a comment on their blog
  • Copy and paste the award to your blog
As a recipient of this award, I have the honor of passing it along to five bloggers who I think are amazing!  It was a really tough choice to choose only five blogs out of the many awesome blogs I've come to know.

Here are the five lovely people I've chosen:

Aunt Kaybe from The Essntial Beachcomber for feeding my love of Florida and shelling and Sanibel Island among the other fabulous places she share with us.

Captain Brian from Captain Brian on the Water for exactly the same things as Aunt Kaybe and his gorgeous photography and passion.  (Why did my font get so small?)

Amanda at Seeing Beauty by Amanda for her photographs and fun challenges (which I've yet to participate in) I love looking at her edits.

Stephanie from Glded Junque for her wonderful "craftiness"  I am amazed at some of the things she has done.

Loui from Mountain Mermaid for her love of Florida and stunning photography

There are so many more that I love and who I think deserve an award but the majority of them already have over 200 followers.  However, I do not think it will take these talented people above long to reach that goal.  I highly recommend a visit to each of these blogs. I believe you will find a visit to each of them quite rewarding.

Once again, thank you Sharla for nominating me.  I am extremely flattered.  So far I am loving to blog and now I know at least one person likes what they see!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jerry's on Sanibel

Good day and I thank you for stopping by.....today I want to share with you my favorite shopping complex on Sanibel Island.  Not for the stores, although they have several that are very interesting along with a grocery store that lets you drive under it to get your groceries.  Nope, it's for what is in the center of the complex.  A beautiful little oasis that is home to some gorgeous birds.

This is Jerry's on Sanibel or Jerry's on Periwinkle, oh my gosh, I am embarrassed but I can't remember the correct name.  It is the only Jerry's however.

Isn't it pretty?

I say that a lot, don't I?  "Isn't it pretty?" lol  I can't help it - pretty makes me happy!!

And the birds housed in the complex are P-R-E-T-T-Y!!!  lol  They make me happy too.

I can sit here for hours and be perfectly content....

Looking at the birds and listening to the water.....complete contentment......

I think this one has a little itch........but aren't they... oh no - here it comes again.... PRETTY!!  hahaha.....could not resist!!

Linking with...
Favorite Photo Monday
More the Merrier Monday

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flowers on Saturday III

This is my entry for Flowers on Saturday.  I did crop the photo and added a frame and matting to the photo on Picmonkey.

I took this photo at Belterra last summer.  I used this as a screensaver for awhile as that was my purpose behind taking the photo. I knew that if it turned out it would be a nice screensaver. This was a large, fresh cut arrangement that was sitting on a table in the hallway.  It was simply beautiful.  Large and real! I was amazed when I discovered the arrangement was live flowers.

This is the original photo (above).  I also did some more cropping and playing on Picmonkey. (below)

Cropped this one, played with color saturation, added the faded effect and text. You can see in the photo above this one where this flower was.

I don't especially care for the photo above and while I generally love this type of flower, I guess the colors are keeping me from loving them.  I took these at Belterra too.  Belterra is a gambling boat and hotel about an 1-1/2 outside of Louisville in Indiana.  We have a girls weekend there a couple times a year.  It is so much fun!  Of course, I just love staying in a hotel - doesn't matter where it is. I love it!  Okay, here is an edit I did of this photo

This is my entry for Tones on Tuesday.......(just found the party)

I think it turned out pretty cool.  Thank you guys so much for stopping by!  If you leave a comment (which I love) I will respond here.  My next post will be on my other favorite subject SANIBEL ISLAND!!!
Tones on Tuesday

Monday, April 9, 2012

Favorite Photo Monday

When I started blogging I really had no idea of what I would be blogging about.  I love Sanibel Island FL so that is where I started.  In looking around blogland I found a couple of link-ups that had to do with photos.  I love photos just as much as I love Sanibel so some of my posts are just about photos.  Here is my favorite photo for this week's party.

This is my beautiful niece Kenna.  We were at Virginia Beach and it was a very windy day.  We had been at the beach for several days and it had been cold and I do mean cold...brrr...  We finally had a sunny day warm enough for swimsuits and the beach so I took her out.  She started with a ponytail but as you can see that didn't last long.  But it didn't matter - we had sun and warmth and sand and fish sculptures to play on.  As you can see she was happy!!

When she is happy.....I am happy!!

She didn't know which fish she liked best...
Having so much fun!!

And this last photo is another one of my favorites.  None of these photos have been retouched they are SOOC.......(thanks Ewa..*wink*) Who needs to retouch when you have the perfect model?

Thanks for stopping by - I love blogging because I am meeting some wonderfully talented people and people who share my interests and people who are so nice,  I love getting comments.  I get so excited when I see an email that lets me know that you have stopped by and I will respond to all your comments here.  I also pop by your blog - leaving comments on my blog is the way I have found some of my favorite blogs.  THANK YOU!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More pretty pictures

Here are a few more shots that I think turned out pretty.  What you see here are the shots as I have taken them.  I did not use any software to retouch the shots.  Maybe should and they would be a little more dramatic but I want to share the Island with you in it's natural state so to speak.

More from the walkways to the beach at Ocean's Reach.  The beach is so pretty on it's own on Sanibel Island.  It is definitely a very natural beach.  I love the fact that they do not rake the beach and that they keep the natural barrier between the beach and the condo complexes.  The sea grasses and such. 

and to make the walk to the beach even prettier you have the lushness of the plants and flowers to frame your view of the ocean.

I love these trees.  The crookedness of the branches make them look so cool and interesting.

Speaking of cool trees...this last one isn't on the property of Ocean's Reach.  It is near the Chapel by the Sea on Captiva.  But I love how it's branches look.

From the shopping complex at Periwinkle....well I started this post with pretty pictures but then the tree branches got me sidetracked...but I kinda like the way it ended up so I am staying with it.  Well.. how about some more pretty shots of the ocean....ok....you talked me into it...tehee....love the shape of these branches.....

and maybe one more.......

Had to stay with the "tree" theme........sure do wish I were sitting on that bench right now.........seriously wishing I was on that bench ...sigh...

Until next time, I sure do hope you are having a great day and I thank you so much for stopping by!

I found one more cool tree - this one is outside the Island Cow.  And the little beauty striking her "top model" pose in the middle of the tree is my little ray of sunshine - Kenna!