Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still busy, busy, busy

Just a quick note to let you know I haven't forgotten about you all. I have still been busy, busy, busy. As you know it was Thanksgiving in the woods on Thursday, meeting "old" friends for the first time on Friday and then Saturday, my wonderful nephew L.D. (yep that's his real name) stopped by with his beautiful little girl Skylee. Then today (Sunday) I had to work. Then it was off to do some shopping. Plus Hut dug out my Christmas stuff for me today, so now I have to put all that out. So bear with me good friends. I shall have a good blog and some pictures for you soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Busy, Busy......

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had one of the best every. Will share lots with you later. Today I am going to lunch with my wonderful sis in law, Missy, our friend, Andi and blogging buddy, Cecile and her mom, Martha. We have never met Cecile or Martha before, so we are very excited and have been looking forward to this for weeks. Everyone have a wonderful, safe day. Hopefully the crowds won't be too bad if your shopping. Me, I'm staying away from the craziness if I can.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am thankful for many things. First and foremost is my wonderful family. My loving husband and two handsome, thoughtful sons. My sister-in-law Missy and her husband, Mike and of course, little Griffin. I am thankful that I get along with my ex-husband and his family and that we will be sharing Thanksgiving together. I am thankful that I will be able to give my boys their whole family together, if only for one day. I am thankful that I have a job and that my husband has a job, for many do not. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and the luxury of buying foolish things. For that I am thankful. I am thankful for my loving pets....both the ones that I have now and those that I have lost. I am thankful for all my wonderful fellow bloggers who I would never have met if not for Missy pestering me to blog. I have met many wonderful, thoughtful people through blogs and I'm meeting more everyday. I am thankful for the opportunity to meet one of my best blogging buddies, Cecile and her family this week coming up. I am thankful for all the wonderful people who give their lives everyday to make us safe, our military. If not for them, we may not have the freedom to celebrate this wonderful holiday. I am thankful for each and everyone of you out there. Have a safe, happy, joyeous Thanksgiving. God Bless!

Scrapper's Delight

My wonderful, thoughtful friend Cecile is having another RAK (random act of kindness)giveaway. Those are all the wonderful things she is giving away. So head on over to her blog and check it out. The contest ends Saturday, November 29. This is better than waiting in line at 4 am to get the really good deals on Friday. So hurry on over. Well, what are you waiting for.....go on, get going.

Another Great Giveaway

Wow, I have found another fantastic giveaway. This one is at It's also on my sidebar. Her name is Suzanne. And I have to tell you that with all these giveaways, even if I don't win a gift, I have been given many gifts by finding new friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chocolate Giveaway

Tis the season.......for giveaways. Check out Peas chocolate giveaway on my sidebar or visit Her chocolates are homemade and they look soooooooo yummy. So stop by and check her out.

Christmas Music Giveaway

I just found a great music giveaway for Christmas via Granny Annie. It's a Nonna's News Blog.
She is giving away 3 awesome Christmas cds. So head on over to her blog and check it out. Or click on the image on my side bar. Good Luck!

Cypress Gardens..........Page 4....the final day

Okay the first 3 days pretty much covered the "old" part of the gardens. We have now made it to the village which is all shops and restaurants and I don't know what I was thinking that I didn't take any pictures of the shops. Anyways, to start off with, they have had a really awesome train museum that has been at Cypress Gardens forever. A group of 7 volunteers have maintained the awesome train layout for many years. Unfortunately it was closed the day we went but since I really wanted all of you to see it, I "borrowed" photos off the web.

These photos show all the detail that went into this display. There were bits and pieces of all of the United States spread in no particular order in this very huge display.

These were some of the Santas they had on display at the Christmas shop. They also explained the different Santas but where my head was that day, I just don't know. I didn't photograph any explanations.
This is the butterfly observatory. The day we went there were no butterflies. But in a previous post of mine (Sunday, July 20) I have some great pictures of the butterflies that were there. They did however have some birds.
The rides were nearly impossible to get on. I did get more pictures but they are not that great. The previous owner had added rides hoping to bring in more business. The new owners are getting rid of the rides and reverting back to the old gardens (hopefully). This is a picture of Scott and Elaine in front of the Triple Hurricane Rollercoaster (so named for the 3 back to back hurricanes that hit us in 2004)
Last but not least is a firetruck that has been on display at Cypress Gardens since 1975. It is driveable and has been on sale on ebay off and on for years. Hopefully they will keep this piece of history. Thank you all for joining me on this final tour of the gardens.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting To Know You Christmas Tag

Thank you Andi, for tagging me. Since I spent all day yesterday visiting my wonderful sister in law, Missy and her family, I didn't have time for a blog. So I got tagged by Andi on her blog and ya'll are gonna get to know my "True" Christmas feelings.

~ Christmas Getting to Know You Tag ~

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your blog friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do. Just copy this entire post and paste into a new post on your blog. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then tag 5 people to post this on their blog. How simple can it get!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Some of both but mostly wrapping paper!

2. Real tree or artificial? Fake, but this year I'm thinking about traipsing through the woods to cut down a real one. Or maybe buy a real one in a bucket and then plant it after the holidays.

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving day night, but if we get a real tree, then that will change.

4. When do you take the tree down? Always by January 6.

5. Do you like eggnog? No.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Candyland board game. I still play it with my 23 year old.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My youngest son.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My oldest son.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. And I made sure both of my sons will have one,too, when they settle down.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail cards, I think it's more personal that way.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A membership to Elaine Powers gym from my first husband, because I was "too fat"

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? All three "Santa Clause" movies, although Jack Frost ticks me off in the 3rd movie.

13. Better to give or receive? I like to recieve, but giving and then seeing someone's face light up because they love their gift is the best gift to recieve.

14. Favorite Christmas Food? Petite fours from Publix

15. Favorite Christmas tradition? Driving around with family, checking out all the Christmas decorations and lights.

16. Colored lights on the tree or all clear? Colored. Goes back to my childhood. I like the big colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus (because I do, lol)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Used to be, stay at home. Not sure about this year.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? All 9 of the famous ones and then some. I have to know this, my being married to the man in red.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People trying to change things. I'm so tired of people complaining about cities putting up Nativities or why do I have to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." I'm still saying "Merry Christmas!", that's my right.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? I collect blue Santa's. I also keep them out all year long. My mother bought my first one for me about 10 years ago. And now it seems that I am also starting to collect Santa & Mrs. Claus couples. Don't know how that happened, lol.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Spiral cut honey ham from Publix, mashed taters and gravy, green beans ( I love the casserole, but hubby don't) and heat n' serve dinner rolls.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I always want for everything to be right in this world. But closer to home, I just want family and friends to have a safe wonderful, holiday.

Now I would like to tag 5 of you to post this with your answers on your blog. I tag Trina, Cecile, Brenda, April and Sue.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cypress Gardens.............Page 3

Okay here's the long awaited 3rd post on Cypress Gardens. But first I have to say, as we speak, my wonderful SIL, Missy and her family are on their way here, YIPPPEEEEEE! I can't wait to see them.
There, got that out of my system. Oh no, wait, I feel another coming dear, sweet, thoughtful, blogging friend Cecile and her mom will be here next Friday for a lunch visit, YIPPPEEEEEEE! So much excitement this week. Whew, now I think that's it, couldn't stand much more. On to Cypress Gardens.
Today we will take a short journey through the Topiary Gardens and check out some of those belles. I have to be honest with you......the day we were there, we did not see one I had to borrow photos from Audrey.....thanks Audrey, your the best. Plus, in my eyes, Audrey was the most beautiful belle out there, ooops sorry Chelsea, you're a close second.

It is a little chilly this morning, so as you can see, Audrey is wearing her winter covering.

The first thing you see as you leave the ski stadium and head to the Topiary gardens, is the waterfall. This is probably the second most photographed spot in the park. It's usually brimming with colors from flowers but we weren't so lucky today. It's still a beautiful spot.

Oh, look, Audrey thinks it's warm enough to remove her wrap (I think she's nuts,lol). She wants us to hurry so we can see the beautiful topiaries.

Oh look, it's a duck, all nestled in her nest.

Oh look at that amazing peacock.....isn't he spectacular!

Well look who has joined us....Chelsea. And not to be outdone by the topiaries, Audrey has changed to another beautiful belle dress. You ladies are absolutely gorgeous.

Here's a really slllloooowwwww moving snail. I have to say, while the topiaries are really nice, I wish they would have waited to remove all the beautiful flowers that surround them.

Well here's some beautiful flowers.....Audrey got some of her friends together to give us some vibrant colors on our tour......thanks, ladies

Here's our tour guide patiently waiting to take us on walk.

Come on ya'll times awastin'.......

Look, there's Peter Rabbit....well maybe not Peter, but a close relative.Audrey, you really don't need to keep changing, but we are enjoying all the different belle dresses. What's that? Only one more animal....well let's go.It's a seal! And the ball on his nose is really spinning. How magnificent. What's more topiaries???!!. Well then, lets head up to the village or maybe to the rides? Well lets think about the next place we want to visit.

Thanks, Audrey, for taking us through the Topiary gardens and showing us all the wonderful outfits you ladies have to choose from. Thank your friends too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Belle's coming soon......

Sorry I missed Cypress Gardens post yesterday. It was my day to run to the bank and since son #1 just started a job, he of course needed some mulah to get him through to payday. So BOM(bank of Mom) had to bail him out. Of course we had to drive over to him ( an hour each way) and I was just plum tuckered out when I got home. The weekend is almost here so I PROMISE some belles tonight. I did post one for Gary, just as a teaser. By the way, the Belle in this photo and most of the others I will post is my friend Audrey. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cypress Gardens.........Page 2

Todays visit is along the water front. We will start at the botanical gardens where we left off and work our way to the waterski show.
Not a great shot, but I borrowed this from some photos on the web. Years ago, they had a boat ride through canals in the botanical gardens. This is one thing I hope they bring back. You just leisurely rode a boat through the gardens and the driver would talk about the different plants and you would see Southern Belles throughout the ride.
These are Cypress trees. They are all over the lake fronts here. Hence the name "Cypress" Gardens.

Shots of the Cypress Belle. She is an actual paddleboat. I remember when she came to the gardens, she was on a HUGE flatbed trailer and she wasn't able to be put in the lake by a boat ramp. They actually had to get a crane and pick her up off the flatbed and lower her into the lake. She has survived 2 Cypress Gardens closings. She cruises around Lake Eloise when the water level is up. She has been the location for weddings and receptions. I was fortunate enough to take a dinner cruise on her around Christmas of 2006. It was beautiful. Cypress Gardens and the houses on the lake were all decked out in holiday lights....and me with no camera. We had a bad drought here the past year and 1/2 and she actually sat on the bottom of the lake it was so shallow.
Here are the world famous Cypress Gardens water skiers.
Here we have a wakeboarder, a triple jump and barefooting. These photos were taken from the Cypress Gardens website also.Not so great shot of the World Famous Aquamaids.
This is the Cypress Gardens kite. Dragged behind a speedboat until there is enough speed to lift him, this person rises through the air until he is high enough, then lets the tow rope go. He then controls the kite and does a slow circle over the lake and the park and makes a perfect landing right back at the water ski stadium. A friend of the family, Mark Voissard, has been doing this for close to 40 years.

This is a shot across the Ski stadium to the Snively Mansion. This is a beautiful Southern Mansion that sits on a hill overlooking Lake Eloise. It is part of Cypress Gardens. It has been renovated after sitting vacant for 4 years. It suffered horrible damage from the hurricanes of 2004. It was and is now again (or will be again) used for many weddings. The inside has a beautiful spiral staircase that is perfect for a bride to descend. Hopefully I can find some pics of that from the old days. That concludes todays tour. Tomorrow let's plan on a leisurely stroll through the Topiary Gardens and hopefully we'll see some Southern Belles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cypress Gardens.........Page 1

Well here is the first of my blogs on beautiful Cypress Gardens, also known as Florida's 1st theme park. I "borrowed" some history from Cypress Gardens' website:
Founded in 1936 by Dick and Julie Pope, Cypress Gardens was a showcase for Central Florida and paved the way for other parks such as Disney and Universal to follow. Under his guidance, the beautiful botanical gardens became the backdrop for beautiful belles and peaceful boat rides, as well as many movies and thousands of advertising campaigns over the years. Familiar Starlets who have walked our paths include: Betty Davis, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Esther Williams and Elvis to name just a few. Proclaimed the Water Ski Capitol of the World, Cypress Gardens became the birthplace of performance water skiing in 1941. In 1962, Dick Pope turned the reins of the park over to his son, Dick Pope, Jr., and then committed himself to promoting tourism and the development of Florida. This is a photo of Dick and Julie Pope and their children. Cypress Gardens has been a part of Polk County for more than 72 years.
My first two photos are for you, Gary. They are not the best shots, but there was no way to get a full photo. This is the world famous Florida pool, so named because it is in the shape of Florida. This pool was featured in a film with Esther Williams called "Easy To Love". Just a side note about the movie, Missy and Hut's cousin Lindy was an extra in the movie. She is one of the many girls around the pool. Wish I could tell you which one, lol. The first shot is of the pool looking down the length of Florida from the panhandle. The second shot would be from Jacksonville towards the panhandle. I went online and found some older shots of the pool, showing the whole pool.

This next shot really should have been first. It is the bridge that actually leads from the main part of the park to the botanical gardens. Also, the next picture is of an eagle who has been at the entrance of the botanicals for many, many years. It is made out of steel and weighs over 200 lbs. This next photo is of the Banyan tree. This tree was planted in 1936 and it came to the gardens in a 5 gallon bucket. I wish I could remember where it was from. This tree is truly amazing and the photo just doesn't do it justice. This tree withstood 3 back to back hurricanes that hit this area in 2004.
Another unusual tree that stood up to the hurricanes in the Sausage Tree. Not sure exactly what the "sausages" are, but it's a very unique tree.
I have no idea what the next tree is.....I just know that right now it is covered with beautiful pink flowers.
The following photos are just some shots of some of the different plants and flowers they have in the botanical gardens.

The next photo is of the Wedding Gazebo. This is actually made out of a Russian satellite. It was constructed in December 1969 and is the most photographed spot in Cypress Gardens. Hut and I renewed our vows there this past February. My youngest son Scott and his girlfriend Elaine are pictured here in it.
Last but not least on today's tour is the Kodak Moment Mirror. It used to have a backwards sign behind it that said Cypress Gardens. You can see me taking the picture (not one of my best) with Elaine pointing to the Wedding Gazebo in the background.

This concludes today's tour of Cypress Gardens. Stayed tuned for more adventures tomorrow. And remember to wear comforable walking shoes