Sunday, December 30, 2012

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. ~ G.K. Chesterton

 Happy almost-New Year to all my Shell Sistahs, Brothas and beach combing friends.  After you have written down all your resolutions for the New Year make sure you determine to have some fun in 2013 and get to at least one shell show this year.  It's so much fun to be in a bustling room filled with kindred spirits where the air is filled with excited chatter about the shells we love punctuated with "Look at this", "Did you see that?" & "I could make that".  

May your New Year be filled with salt, sand, & shells.  I hope you get to dive with wild abandon into the surf with your clothes on after the treasure you've been searching for.  May you experience the bliss of the sea-sprayed wind blowing against your face and the luminous sunset blinding your eyes with it's beauty. I wish for you in 2013 that all your beachy dreams come true.

Jan. 12 - 13, 2013
, Melbourne, FL (Sponsored by the Astronaut Trail Shell Club)

Jan. 19 - 20, 2013
, Pompano Beach, FL (Sponsored by the Broward Shell Club)

Feb. 1 - 3, 2013
, Palmetto, FL (Sponsored by the Sarasota Shell Club)

Feb. 23 - 24, 2013
, Seminole, FL (Sponsored by the St. Pete Shell Club)

Mar. 7 - 9, 2013
, Sanibel, FL (Sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club)

Mar. 14 - 16, 2013
, Marco Island, FL  (Sponsored by the Marco Island Shell Club)

 Jun. 14 - 16, 2013
, Jacksonville, FL  (Sponsored by the Jacksonville Shell Club)

Jun. 21 - 23, 2013
, Panama City Beach, FL (Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Shell Club)

Jul. 16 - 21, 2013
, Being held this year in Sarasota, FL. You do not have to be a member to attend this convention.  This is not a show but a week of shell related seminars & field trips. (Sponsored by the Sarasota Shell Club)

Jul. 20 - 21, 2013

Townsville, Queensland, Australia
(Hay, a girl can dream

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

2012 Has been an awesome beach combing year.  To follow my shelling jaunts click on any map marker > then click on marker description to see my trip to that location.  I hope you find yourself at one of these spectacular beaches yourself one day soon.

Monday, December 24, 2012


The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped, the strudel & rum cakes are baked - it's all over but the returning.  I love the holidays but Christmas is always a challenge when you are, as I am the caretaker for other people.  The parties, shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, $$ can all come crashing in on me if I don't watch out.  I've learned to keep it simple and to pick my snowball fights carefully.  

Tonight, we'll head to church for our Christmas Eve candlelight service.  Christmas Day will start out with coffee & the Christmas Parade from Disney World.  My alma mater high school band was picked to march in it this year. Go Dunedin Highlanders!  But sometime on Christmas Day I will make my way to the beach.  Not just to have some bragging material during those Christmas calls from relatives in frosty Ohio and Pennsylvania but to breath in the salt air and walk and reflect.  Maybe I'll find a shell or two.  Most likely, I'll gather a pocketful of shark's teeth.  But I'll definitely return home with a grateful heart for all the Lord has blessed me with this last year - family, friends, and His peace no matter what life throws my way

Blessings with/on/in you & yours and have a 
wonder-filled Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

“The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; I heard a voice; it said `Drink, pretty creature, drink!'” - William Wordsworth

The Geminids Are Out
(Credit:  Pandadumpster @ Flickr)

This picture looks exactly like the sky we were viewing.  

It's the most wonderful time of the year - for viewing the Geminid meteor showers.  In years past the showers have coincided with a bright full moon.  This December the annual event peaks on the new moon insuring a dark background of a sky for optimum observing with the naked eye.  After a few shout-outs on social media I had myself a little Geminid party heading for the beach - the darkest place in our area to observe the cosmic fireworks show. 

 I suggested any stargazers bundle up because our Florida temperature had taken a serious dip in the mercury. Shortly after sundown we arrived on the beach armed with blankets, pillows, & thermoses of hot chocolate. We settled in on the cold damp sand with our eyes scoping out the darkening horizon for meteors.  With the help of our smart phones and various sky watching apps, we were able to watch Orion rise above the horizon first.  Our eyes were trained on the sky to the east where the constellation Gemini was to the left of Orion.  The meteors were supposed to originate from that vicinity. 

 The inky night sky echoed with our shrieks of oh's and ahh's as a first meteor blasted over head leaving a blazing  trail behind it.  We were all meteorite-newbies so it was like seeing a first dolphin in the wild or a first double-rainbow.  The excitement-and-wonder-meter was on overload. We stopped counting after 80 or so meteors. Meteors shot across the sky about every 5 minutes or so.  The awe of seeing each one never dimmed.  The last one was just as amazing as the first one.  The sea fog rolled in like a misty curtain signaling the end to the show around 11 pm. The flashes from our camera phones and loud laughter had drawn the attention of law enforcement who walked out to our little star-gazing camp on the beach to see what all the fuss was about.  As they shined their flashlights on us they seemed amused to find only a group of friends drinking hot chocolate and watching the meteor shower. 

The Geminid meteor shower is an annual event - look for it next December.  Here's some good tips for watching.

Geminids 2012 - Winter Hexagon
(Credit:  Reonides @ Flickr)

It takes skill and expensive camera equipment to catch a shot like this - both of which I am deficient in.  The sky we were laying under looked just like this.

Laying on your back is the best position for viewing.

(L to R) Wade-ster, Gee-man, & Momma Gee are always ready for some outdoor fun. 

Oh the weather outside is frightful - but the sky is so delightful!

Terri & Dana enjoying the show.

Balancing precariously on the back chairs legs
 enabled me to view the sky without  having to  crane my neck.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No words.....

A Prayer Tribute to the Victims of The Newtown School Shooting from sharethemessage on GodTube.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 
  2 Corinthians 1:3-4  (NIV) 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I was so happy to see at Hobby Lobby that the need for animal print Christmas items had been filled. 

Keeping with my previous post on a low-stress Christmas - I am not freaking out over my technical challenges at home. My Internet & land line have decided to be uncooperative. My techno-geek hubby has done his best but now the big guns are coming out.

Hope everyone is enjoying the process of the holidays - shopping, watching Elf & A Christmas Story repeatedly, & totally ignoring the looming end to the Mayan calendar & the fiscal cliff. Like Buddy the Elf says "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear!" or my version "I'm too blessed to be stressed!".

 Sent from my iPhone.