Friday, January 23, 2009


As my sister pointed out on FaceBook, I have not done a blog entry in several days and need to catch up. I've also been lax in my mission to get acquainted with the dogs here in Parker Lakes. I have lots of excuses: first we had company; second, I had bad experiences with the last two dogs I encountered; and third, Bill has decided he wants to look for a house in Cape Coral so we have been on the road.

This is an especially cute picture of Gabriel playing on the beach at Bowditch Point. It was not as warm as it had been, but he was still able to play in the water, go out to the sand bar with his father and collect shells with me.

Back at the house, Orlando helped Gabriel look up the shells he collected. Orlando is a wonderful father and spends a lot of time with his boys. Gabriel is a very busy child and can wear you out quickly. Mom and dad both have amazing patience. I am very proud of the woman my beautiful daughter has become.

On their last full day here, Bill and I watched Sebastian while Pamela, Orlando and Gabriel headed to the Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel. It was a beautiful warm day and they had a wonderful time - and boy did we enjoy having Sebastian all to ourselves!

They left on Tuesday - back to Baltimore. They were in the air when our 44th President, Barack Obama, was sworn in (the first time). I watched it on a television in a bar on Siesta Key.

It's not that we needed to head to a bar immediately after their departure - we drove to Sarasota to meet Bill's cousin, Becky for lunch. Becky lives in Maine so we do not see much of her.

This is Fritz. Bill and I stopped at a garage sale here in Parker Lakes and Fritz came bounding out to greet me - much to my horror. Now he probably just wanted to lick me to death - but I wasn't having any part of it and sat in the car until his owners held him.

Fritz is a Labra-Poodle, one of the designer breeds that the first family is considering getting. Apparently they have the mild temperament of a Lab and the non-shedding coat of a Poodle.

The other breed the Obamas are considering is a Portuguese Water Hound. (See my blog entry 11/6/2008) They have wonderful dispositions, do not shed and are hypo-allergenic.

This is a Glossy Ibis. Most of the Ibis we see are white and I was excited to see this one with several of his friends in front of the coffee shop.

While we were touring Cape Coral I spotted this Turkey Vulture. Turkey Vultures are everywhere - but not usually on the ground or this close so I was pleased that Bill humored me by turning the car around so I could get this shot.

Further up the road near Punta Gorda, I spotted a couple of larger birds that I did not recognize - and, once again, Bill had to turn around. It wasn't until I got home and looked at the pictures close up that I was able to identify this as a juvenile Wood Stork.

Cape Coral is having a really hard time in this depressed economy. There are over 8,000 homes on the market at fire-sale prices. Many are short sales or bank owned properties.

Houses were cropping up like daises in a pasture on Cape Coral during the real estate boom just a few years ago. Now the area has entire neighborhoods with abondoned brand new cookie-cutter homes.

Bill misses having a yard to plant, a garage to putter in and an outdoor grill to cook on - so he is exploring the option of buying a single-family home. I'm trying to be supportive and keep an open mind - but I sure do love this community - the people, the privacy and the pool.

Maybe we can find a nice place that needs some TLC in an established part of town near water. Maybe we'll win the Florida Lottery.

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