Magic of the Everyday, Moving, Personal Life, Writing


Well, the transition is over. We are moved out of our previous home, and all our things–both those we stashed in a Pod for showing, and the stuff from the mover’s truck–are in our new house, albeit much still in boxes stacked haphazardly in various spaces. We’re updating the lighting and fans and such things even as we attempt to unpack and put things away, which means everything is going more slowly than we’d like. But it’s going, it’s getting done, and everything we’re updating is delighting us that much more.

And of course, let’s not forget that we have to find various types of doctors, a vet, a chiropractor (sooner rather than later after that Pod!), the good stores to shop at, banks, and two types of pharmacy, and also explore parks and dog parks, cook, clean, cut grass, figure out trash days–basically, live a normal life. Or, well, whatever passes for “normal” in this house, at least.

The Pod got delivered yesterday, and though my back is aching today, the whole thing is cleaned out, ready to be picked up again and carried away. Dasher the dog is in dog-heaven, because he just got a delivery of all the toys that went away before the showing. He’s been carrying around his lemon-head toy, leapt into the pool yesterday again and again for his favorite old frisbee, and fell asleep last night still holding his long squeaky snake toy, which he’d been dragging around like a true prize. All is well on the canine front!

And on the orchid front, as well. My oh my, who knew that just a wee bit south, the orchids just don’t need me to do anything–other than not thoroughly abuse them–in order to flourish. They are thriving on this new location, growing like literal weeds and looking lush and gorgeous. A few are newly in spike, and one that was spiking as we moved (and oh, didn’t that make me nervous, moving that big, spiked orchid; I was so afraid I’d break off that flower spike!) is about ready to burst open. I promise I’ll post pics soon, although they might hit Twitter first.

My new office is wonderful, and after the bedroom where we sleep, it was the first room set up. My novel is up on the wall, 3×5 cards showing the scenes left to write. And I’ve been writing here. It’s a perfect space, and I love it. Let’s hope my writing loves it, too!

And with that, I gotta run. More writing to be written, more packed things to unpack, and  yes, a vet appointment for Dasher to meet his new doctors.

Happy Summer!

Moving, Nature, Personal Life, the dog

Moving Blues

Oh my word! The stresses of trying to make your house look like a hotel where no one permanently lives, kept clean by an entire staff, while you actually live there and have no staff but yourself.  While also trying to manage a dog with seizures who is undergoing yet another medical procedure. And, oh yeah–write a book!

As you might have guessed, we’re moving. Again.

Southward, once more. To the Orlando area. I’m excited about some new opportunities, but I’ll be very sad to see the end of many things I’ve loved here. Not only the yard that I’ve transformed into a veritable paradise (to me, at least), filled with fruit and scent and bloom, but the neighbors we have here, and the places we’ve come to love, our beloved solar panels, and the wildlife in this area, too.

Just last evening, we discovered that the owlet on the esplanade is actually one of a pair of owlets! We heard, then saw, them both, cree-ing piteously as dusk settled in under the laurel and live oaks, bobbing their heads and craning their necks as they flapped vigorously, strengthening those wings for the glories of future flights. And the hummingbirds are returning in force to the feeders here, and starting to battle for the feeder territory.

We’re in contract on both ends–selling this home, and buying the new one. But oh my word! (yes, I’m repeating myself. but it deserves repetition; these last few days have been stressful!) Realtors, and unrealistic clauses, and inspections, and deadlines, and so very many phone calls, texts, emails, and voice-messages! It’s like a horror novel that never really took off, but merely devolved into a more ridiculous angsty dread with every passing moment, and no real plot to speak of because things move at both a snail’s pace and with ever-increasing speed at the same time.

All this is to say: well, don’t expect to see much of me around these parts until after June begins. At that time, I’ll be coming to you–with any luck and with the appropriate sacrifices to the various gods of moving, whomever they may be–from the Orlando area. Ensconced in a new office. And with a dog fully recovered from his latest batch of medical stuff.

Wish me luck!

Moving, Personal Life

An Anniversary

IMG_0369One year ago today, I walked into my current home as an owner. My husband and I had traveled a day and three-quarters from New Jersey, packed into a rental van with everything that the movers wouldn’t carry. While I’d technically become a “homeowner” about five days earlier, this is the day I actually moved in.

It was a glorious day. Suddenly, I owned palm trees! (By the end of the week, when our furniture arrived, it was nearly equally as glorious. We were so tired of sitting on hard tile floors! Who’d have thought a chair could look so precious?)

Mostly, it’s been a good year. In our personal lives some terrible things have happened, but through it all, we’ve enjoyed living here. I’ve discovered how much there is to learn about northern Florida gardening, and plants. I’ve discovered new kinds of snakes and mushrooms, and the perils of wasps and ants and armadillos. I walked around in “winter” wearing long pants and short sleeves, and been warm enough. We adopted a wonderful, joyful dog, and guested friends and family from the north, while meeting new neighbors and making new friends who live nearby.

Thanks, Gainesville! We’re looking forward to another year.

Magic of the Everyday, Moving, Nature, Personal Life

New Home, New Photos: A Gallery

So, we moved from the north to the Deep North, as this area of north central Florida is known. Getting to know the place will take time, but here are some pics from around the area. It really is beautiful, in a very different way than I’m used to.

I’ll be gone for over the weekend. Husband’s birthday and our anniversary. When I come back, I’ll have some good news to share. Happy holiday weekend to those in the US. To everyone else, just “Happy Weekend.” Hope you all enjoy the photos below.

Turtles share the pond with tiny fishes, who all keep the mosquitos controlled.
Turtles share the pond with tiny fishes, who all keep the mosquitos controlled.
I'm absolutely fascinated by the Spanish moss covering the oaks. It looks so...ancient, and yet timeless.
I’m absolutely fascinated by the Spanish moss covering the oaks. It looks so…ancient, and yet timeless.
Welcoming committee member on my car tire.
Welcoming committee member on my car tire. I shooed it away before I drove.
This is great advertising!
This is great advertising! We went for the cupcakes.
Don't hate me--I don't know what this butterfly's name is...yet. I promise I'll learn it soon.
Don’t hate me–I don’t know what this butterfly’s name is…yet. I promise I’ll learn it soon. It’s on the Lady Palm in my front yard. How amazing is that!
Isn't this too gorgeous? Just don't ask how hot and humid it was...
Isn’t this too gorgeous? Just don’t ask how hot and humid it was…. The answer is “very.”
This is why I'm outside taking photos instead of inside writing!
This is why I’m outside taking photos instead of inside writing! Except today I opened and emptied the last box. Hurray!
Saw this while driving, and nearly laughed myself off the road. (No, I didn't take the photo then, but later when they were in my neighborhood.)
Saw this while driving, and nearly laughed myself off the road. (No, I didn’t take the photo then, but later when they were in my neighborhood. Insane I am not.)
My new "pets" in the garden. They can eat all the bugs they like!
My new “pets” in the garden. They can eat all the bugs they like. I call them all “Lizzie,” except for the huge one that lives by the garage door. That’s T-Rex, or Rex.
Moving, Nature, Personal Life

What a Strange Place for a Waterfall!

Last evening, a real drencher of a storm came through. It poured like you see maybe once or twice a year in Ohio, but apparently is fairly common this time of year in Florida. But that only makes the rest of this more strange.

We rested on our front porch, watching the water cascade from the sky, and off the metal roof (gutters aren’t popular here, either) to the ground. But, what was this? Our front door becomes inaccessible during rainstorms due to the incredible waterfall directly over the  front steps onto the sidewalk.



We laughed like crazy, then realized that, yes, a gutter is definitely needed here. Guess what we’re doing this weekend, weather permitting?

Moving, Today's Desk, Writing

Writer’s Desk, 8/14

Okay, so I’ve moved, and boxes are piled all around me. But I’ve managed to clear my desk and get it set up–and actually write in my new space.

Out the window: A completely new view! I’m so not used to this. Some kind of palm-y shrub is tapping at the window (note to self: prune that thing back later), and I can see the porch swing out the other window. A young live oak blocks most of the sky, but I can tell you it’s currently mostly overcast, and will likely rain (again) as soon as I walk outside. ETA: of course, the sun just peeked out from behind a cloud, making me a big old liar!

On the desktop: Almost entirely clear. Well, except for the bill that came in today’s mail. And my list of markets for a short-story submission earlier today. And a pen and small notebook. But hey, no boxes! That’s progress.

Today’s Work-in-Progess: The novel. I just got my 1,000 words in for the day, finishing up that scene and chapter. I’m behind, of course, and I’ll have to do much better than that to catch up. But today, returning to the pool and getting back into the swim of things was my main goal. The marathon can start tomorrow, since I’ve warmed up my muscles today.

Also, I submitted one short story for the very first time, and re-subbed another. It feels good to be getting stories out there!

And Another Thing: Just in case anyone is wondering, three baby fish found a home with a neighbor back in New Jersey, and the rest survived the trip to Florida just fine. And no, she had not had any new babies–for which I am entirely thankful!

Magic of the Everyday, Moving, Nature, Personal Life

And Hello, North-Central Florida!


Look what’s growing in my yard. Can you believe it? A palm tree, an actual palm tree! I’m having a hard time believing that I’m living where palm trees live year-round outside, in the ground. I think I’ll rather get used to it, even if I giggle like a maniac at times for “no apparent reason” when I consider my good fortune! Especially come January.

I’m here, hubby-dearest is here, but our stuff is still en-route. So I’m just making a quick, fly-by posting to let everyone know that a) I’m alive and well, and b) I’ll get back to my version of “normal” at some point, I promise. Just not quite yet.

But first…

As I went outside to take the palm tree photo, what should be lying on my sidewalk? This gorgeous black snake. It slide away–fast–before I could lift the camera and snap a pic, so here’s all you get as proof:


Still, proof enough to me that this place will like me! I mean, a snake in my yard already! It’s like finding a four-leaf clover, IMO. Hurray!

I’ve yet to see an alligator, or a bat, but this is a great start, don’t you think? And if you’ve got a favorite move-shock story, feel free to share.

Magic of the Everyday, Moving, Personal Life

Goodbye, NJ


Soon the movers arrive and we’ll be packed up and on the road. I’ll be a bit preoccupied for a little while with unpacking, and finding my way to and from my new home. I’ll be back here once things settle a bit and I can see over the cardboard boxes once again. Until then, enjoy this sunset that I shot from my balcony last fall.