Friday, December 31, 2021

New Years Eve Swim

Some of my masters swim group headed out into the Gulf of Mexico for an open water swim this morning. 

They haven't quite mastered posing for underwater photos, yet. 


Saturday, December 25, 2021

McBride Christmas

It wouldn't be a holiday with the McBrides (any McBride anywhere) without a bonfire. And that is how we spent Christmas Eve, gathering firewood then savoring a massive conflagration. 

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Cool and Rainy

We sipped hot chocolate in front of the fire as we wrapped Christmas gifts this cool and rainy morning. Life is good.


Monday, December 13, 2021

Holiday Spirit

Foggy mornings burn off for sunny, warm daytimes at our early December Florida home. 

The beaches are festive, but not too crowded. We are loving our new home, although we miss our Maui friends. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Together Into the Wilderness

I took Doug out into the Starkey Wilderness area only a few miles from our house this morning. I love being out in the middle of nowhere so close to busy civilization, and was happy that he enjoyed the hike as much as I did.


Monday, December 6, 2021

Wally and Me

Wally, our neighborhood alligator reappeared today after an extended absence. I hope we get to see lots more of each other.


and Dolphin Too

We went to a beach on a nearby island for sunset yesterday, and are so happy we did. The sunset was spectacular, but became better and better the later it got.

Just as we were turning to leave, a dolphin swam by only a few yards offshore. Perfection.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Big Springs

For the first time ever, Doug and I went kayaking together in the swamp surrounding our home. We had been out individually before, but going out in the same kayak allowed me to coast along while Doug did all the work.

In addition to watching all kinds of birds, mostly ibises and blue herons, we discovered two huge springs. The only water springs I've ever seen before were small trickles. These were immense, gushing at least hundreds of gallons per minute. Pretty cool. 

But the best sight of all was seeing our dock and knowing we were home.


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Jesus and Coffee

We drove Doug's mom back to her house after Thanksgiving and have been busy doing chores, including raking and burning huge quantities of leaves. 

Being a good Southern Christian woman, she has her priorities straight, as seen on her coffee mugs. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Cold Water Swim

Brrr. The water was a brisk 69.6 degrees fahrenheit for my swim in the Gulf yesterday morning. According to the internet: Statistics for 21 Nov (1981–2005) – mean: 75 °F, range: 73 °F to 78 °F

So, not only was it chilly, it was record setting chilly.

When we told our Florida neighbors that we were bringing our hot tub, they said they couldn't imagine ever using a hot tub in this climate. I am here to testify that there is no better way to stop shivering after a cold swim than to soak in our hot tub.


Monday, November 8, 2021


Our first-ever visit to IKEA saw us purchasing a bedroom suite of furniture. Daunting though it was, we persevered and are quite pleased with the results. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Werner Boyce Salt Springs

It turns out our backyard is criss-crossed with paths, as well as the canals of which we were aware.

Doug's favorite line in the signs scattered through the park is: "Do not swim with alligators." He seems to think that warning is rather obvious. I think that it impedes on my right to swim; but I will obey the signs, for now.


Sunday, October 31, 2021


Doug and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg this morning. The collection was well balanced, although it seemed to have more works from his earlier and later years than from the period most of us are familiar with. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Costume Swim

Clearwater's Open Water swimmers gathered on the beach this morning to celebrate Halloween with costumes and, despite the rain and cold, a swim. Thankfully, the sun broke through the clouds as the swim wound down.

It was also an opportunity to remember those we had lost over the past year.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

I Will Be Back

I discovered the Starkey Wilderness only five miles from my house. It felt great being away from civilization, and I only saw one other person in the two hours I spent hiking there. I will be back - and soon.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Back in the Water

Finally! I have settled into our Florida home enough to get out into the Gulf for an open water swim. About time!

The water is not quite as clear as it was off Maui, but I'll try a different venue Thursday and see how it is there.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Big Easy

After re-unioning with another of the McBride clan, we made the truly harrowing drive to New Orleans. I don't ever want to make that drive again!

The Big Easy has been a treat. I could definitely see living here. Not Bourbon Street, of course, but the French Quarter for sure. 

Now we're off to Alabama. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Weber Gang

I finally got to meet two great nieces from the Weber side of the family. What a treat. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Up and Down

This afternoon we scrambled up, then down Enchanted Rock, somewhere in the middle of Texas. It is an immense granite rock dropped in the middle of a valley in hill country. 

If you look closely, the tiny spots on the hill are other hikers.