Florida Pictures!

We’re just renting for a year while we look for a place to buy so it’s not really “our” new home but it sure feels like it after just three weeks! We’re in a very quiet neighborhood that is only 10 minutes from the grocery store but about 25 minutes from the mall area…so, according to the post office, we’re considered “rural.” The Internet connection isn’t as fast as we were led to believe by the only company that offers Internet services out here but we’re doing just fine, even streaming our favorite shows online now instead of getting cable TV (a huge savings for us, let me tell you!).

Living in Maine for 11 years and 5 days, and having 5 growing children, means we’d accumulated WAY too much stuff over the years. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that we sold and/or tossed 75% of our belongings before moving south. And, we are determined to NOT allow ourselves to get mired down by so many material objects ever again.

The new house is very open and airy, with vaulted ceilings in every room. The front entryway, formal dining room, breakfast room, main living room, and another living area are all connected, almost like one large, carpeted area with a tile walkway to separate them. It kinda reminds me of the yellow brick road…but the tile is white. The kitchen has an open bar area and looks out over the large living areas as well as the pool and canal.

The formal dining room is now Max and Mason’s school room (we homeschool them). Max is about to start fifth grade while Mason (who just turned five and can already read simple words) is starting first grade.

Our bedroom is quite large so the “home office” is in there. Our room and all the living areas mentioned in the previous paragraph overlook the pool and canal. Our bathroom is awesome, and a total waste of space. You could fit a king size bed in there! We have far too much house and not nearly enough furniture to fill it and we plan to keep it that way. When you walk in, it kinda looks like we’re still moving in because there’s just not much there. But, we don’t need much. The two large easy chairs in the living room hold two people each and that’s plenty. There are two lamps and two end tables and the TV. That’s it. Our room has our bed, an end table, a chest and the china cabinet that houses my horror doll collection. Even the boys’ rooms are open and what I’ve noticed is, while it looks like we’re still moving in to other people, to me it simply looks open, and quite clean! Yes, it is SO easy to clean the house without needing to dust and vacuum around a bunch of knickknacks and stuff! Whoop!

The only thing that I’m not particularly fond of about the house is the color scheme. The owner really, REALLY likes green – lots of green and all different shades of green. The master bedroom has dark green carpet and institutional green walls. There’s more green in the rest of the house except for Zach’s room, which is blue. The boys’ bathroom is something of an odd color that could be peach but could also be orange. I’m still not sure which one it is.

Everybody’s favorite spot is the pool and the lanai (the screened room built around the pool that saves us from being feasted on by mosquitoes). The boys swim every single day, all day long, except when the daily afternoon thunderstorms erupt. They then run inside for an hour or so, and go back out when the sun returns.

The pets have finally given up on getting out and running free. They must now be indoor pets only because of the alligators, wild pigs, and panthers. They seem to enjoy the central air conditioning quite a bit, and are happy playing with each other and the children. Percy pants pretty violently whenever we take him out on his leash. That Maine doggie is NOT acclimated to this heat and humidity!

Here’s an interesting tidbit. Because the Florida real estate market is so depressed, we were able to rent this house for FAR less than we’d be paying for a regular house payment, insurance and property taxes. We almost (but not quite) feel guilty getting to live here so cheap! We spent some of the money we’re saving on a brand spanking new generator since we’re very close to the coast, and at risk of a tropical storm or hurricane. Heck, we’ve already lost power twice (in just three weeks!) from the afternoon thunder bumpers!

Here are some pictures we’ve taken since we arrived.

We had a family fishing contest and Mason won. (Heh… Yes, that is a fake shark!)

Mason loves to vacuum the miles of green carpet. I’m hoping he likes washing windows, too, because we have three sets of sliding glass doors!

We enjoyed this nuclear sunset from our backyard last week.

We were humming the Beach Boys’ tune Kokomo while these tropical drinks were melting in our hands.

Max, Mason and Frank just before thunder forced them out of the pool. Look at the sky in the background.

Max’s kitty is now an indoor cat because of alligators, wild pigs, and panthers. He doesn’t mind.

This was taken before we moved in, and shows the institutional green master bedroom walls.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This week’s Masonism –

While we don’t let the pets run free outside, we do allow them out on the lanai and Max’s kitty caught a gecko the other day. It was still alive when we rescued it…but barely. Mason smiled and said, “It’s okay. We’ll put a Band-aid on it.”

Hugs to all,


Using Angela’s MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years, and record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook. Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography! **Also works for biographies and memoirs.**