Christmas & beyond hot!

Dec. 25:  Merry Christmas everyone!  Last night we watched “Scrooge” with Alastair Sim – our favourite.  Puts us right in the spirit of the season (despite the heat).  I still get weepy several times, even though I’ve seen it so many times (maybe more than “To Sir with Love”?).

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We had a special appetizer on the 24th – shrimp cocktail with a tiny “shot” of white wine.  Had fish for dinner, but didn’t take a photo – nothing special.
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Our breakfast on Xmas day is usually biscuits, bacon & syrup for Bill – eggs Benedict for me – but I’ve decided that’s too much work for one morning, so deleted the Bennie (Bill doesn’t like it).  Also had fruit  beforehand & tiny bottles of Calif. sparkling wine (ie. champagne).

We decided we needed to get out, since we’re going so stir crazy, so we headed almost an hour back to the mainland to Long Key State Park.  It was 26C when we got up, but quite windy.  A couple of sprinkles of rain on the windshield as we drove, but dry when we walked.  Was 30C when we got back to the truck. Yuck!

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There is a nature trail through mangroves, etc. so we hoped we’d find a few birds.  These mangroves surround all the keys & sometimes form rather large islands offshore – but not habitable.

NOT A BIRD WAS HEARD (well, except for a Red-shouldered Hawk) & only a couple of sea birds flew over (pelican, cormorant).  We now GIVE UP on birding in the keys.

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We did however, find a gray nickerbean which come 2 or 3 to a pod.  The pod is large, green (when immature), turns brown & splits, ejecting its wealth.  They are covered with short, sharp spikes (the pods). Apparently these are highly prized for making jewellery.

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Along with this cool hermit crab, little holes dotted the sandy path – home of blue land crabs – which have a large pink claw on one side (for protection).

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A beautiful mangrove skipper perched on a dayflower (two petals!).  Can you see the size of its proboscis?!  This butterfly has irredescent blue marks on its swallowtail & lots of white on its underbody (is that a word?).

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Once again we saw some of these flowers with the peach leaves.  This one seemed to be in full flower – though those are rather small & not too showy.

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We circled the Airport & Sombrero Golf Course looking for Burrowing Owls, but struck out.  The only life we saw were large green iguanas on the golf course.  The orange one is in breeding mode.

The book we’re using to guide us on this trip, was published in 2007, so things could definitely have changed over the past 8 years.  Or perhaps some of the flora has grown up since then.

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For dinner it was BBQ cornish game hens, cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts & jellied cranberry (which comes in a half-sized can).  No spiced grape for us.  I’m trying to remember is if spiced grape came from the Larson side or the Bleakleys?

Dec. 26: Boxing Day.  Time to share the primos Xmas weather.  Dear cousin Steven Usher once again prompted us all to send photos of our Xmas.  Some were a day late, but here’s what we got.

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From Steven & Fran:  “Well it was 17 degrees here yesterday but only 10 degrees above normal at + 5 today, Christmas Day in Ashburn Ontario, Canada.”

(& doesn’t their beautiful heritage home look festive with the xmas lights!?)

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From Erling & Anne Larson in Nanoose Bay, BC (Vancouver Island):

“Today is about 8 above and sunny. Here are our roses still in bloom. Hah! Beat that…..”

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From Lorne & Nancy Larson in Cambridge, England:  “These were taken at 0915 on Boxing Day when it was 15 degrees. Sorry, no roses, just a few lonely snowdrops.  Highly unseasonal, unsettled weather. Extensive flooding in Cumbria.  I believe there is such a thing called a sun!”

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From Jane Usher & Robyn & Arnie Palmer – Cochrane, AB: “Boxing Day shot, backyard, Cochrane: minus 27 C, not factoring the windchill! Now if I could just get my car to start…”

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(Note from Lois – trees are red due to early morning sunlight!)

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From Lois & Bill Lang, Cudjoe Key, FL:  “It is still sweltering – with temps around 30C every day (lows overnight only about 25 or 26). After 2+ months of this, we’d welcome snow! It may look idyllic, but it is NOT for us!”

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From Karen & Harold Mickelson – on their farm near Hazlet, SK:  “………I like your ‘no snow’ photo better. Note Harolds duel patriotism.
I prefer the Union Jack, actually. And I love your Christmas lights. Harold
says it looks just like our house…..only prettier!
Enjoy the Season! Love & hugs to all!!!”

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Kirk Larson & Joy Paul (who live in Saskatoon) are in Palm Springs.  As Kirk’s twin, Karen says: this one should win the prize!”

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We heard from:  Ontario, Alberta, BC, California, Florida & England!

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Dec. 26, 27, 28 & 29:  Stayed in – too hot.  Bill got sick on the 28th & has been coughing & staying in bed most of the time.  Oh, woe is he!  Nothing like a sick man, I say!  I am pampering him & giving him milk toast (which is what he craves when sick).

We have been trying to get our AC fixed.  We have 2 zones & each has a slight problem.  One is dripping water – & one is not keeping cool enough.  They do balance each other out.  We also need our furnace fixed – it doesn’t stay on –  we definitely need it to get home!  We’re desperately trying to get out of here as soon as we can & head for AZ where it’s nice & cool.  Will let you know!

Bill has been in bed with a terrible cough (coughing wakes him up at night & while he sleeps during the day).  Today (29th) I called the paramedics to check him out.  He just wasn’t himself, let the sewer water run over to flood our trailer, couldn’t hold his water bottle & drink from it, saw things which weren’t there, & was shaking.  The EMT’s said everything checked out & to give him some food & liquids & see how he is in the morning.  Fingers crossed!

Dec. 30:  Billy Boy is coming back!  We indeed made it back to Miami & a visit from the RV repair folks who solved our AC problems!  (Still need to fix the furnace.)

Dec. 31:  New Year’s Eve day.  Bill coughed through the day & I did laundry.  However, we are pretty sure we saw a Bahama Mockingbird outside out trailer (eating an avocado someone had thrown out).  This would indeed be a Lifer, but we’re going to check again tomorrow & see if we vcan get a photo.  Billy watched his Oklahoma Sooners get beat by a much better team this aft. So when we drank champagne at 7:30, we were drowing our sorrows.  We toasted to a cooler 2016.

Enough of my crotchety talk – apparently no one has any sympathy for us. As you can see, I’m relegated to taking iPhone pictures of food & using other people’s photos.  It’s a sad life!

Happy New Year everyone!

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