Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bubba's beater is sentenced & other goings on

I scoured the Internet yesterday through the day seeking information on the sentencing of Noah Mitchell, but couldn't find anything at all. Even this morning I searched & searched to no avail.  When I opened up my local paper, I found a very tiny blurb informing me of the following.  Noah Mitchell, the individual who was accused and found guilty by a jury of his peers, of brutally beating a 9 month old Labrador retriever in the Upper Keys about 10 months ago has been sentenced to 9 months in jail and 5 years probation.  Maximum sentence would have been 12 months in jail.  He is free on bail as he appeals his case.  Noah Mitchell doesn't dispute that Bubba was injured, however he disputes how it happened.  He says it was an accident.  Eye witness testimony is contrary, offering up a version of Noah Mitchell brutalizing Bubba to the point of near death, along with testimony of doctors who cared for Bubba saying the violent and extensive injuries Bubba sustained are inconsistent with the abuser's version.

I am among those who feel a maximum sentence would have been appropriate and am sorry to see 12 months was not imposed. However, in the scheme of things from a judicial perspective I suppose the 9 month sentence is on the higher end of the scale, and it seems to me the judge in this matter probably took many things into consideration that I am unaware of.  I wrote a letter to the judge voicing my perspective on this matter, not that it matters, but at least I felt I was doing something to lobby for justice for a voiceless victim. I have feelings that often times victims are victimized twice... once when a crime is committed against them, and again when the "system" gets involved. I am thankful that in this case there were people who stepped up to help Bubba, stepped up to testify, and stepped up to take this matter through the court process.

Now as the judicial process drags on, the convicted abuser Noah Mitchell is out on bail.  I will keep you informed when there are updates, but expect that it will take awhile.

As far as other goings on around here, its been pretty good.  The biggest other news on the home front is that we have our first turtle nest, which was found by a "freshman" walker.  I am so happy a new walker has found a nest, it really is a huge morale booster.... believe me I know!  All the trash collecting and walking in the heat, humidity or rain can take a toll.  But, finding a nest erases the toll and completely re-energizes the effort.  So, there's a loggerhead nest out there with little turtles percolating in there.  I promise to keep you posted on this nest, and others as they occur.

Also as I recently posted about, it is fawning season. We've got 2 in our herd so far.  Look!

Innocence defined.

Mommy gives her baby a lesson in eating the tree trimmings at the buffet station.

It's probably good for me to mention that I have a pretty decent telephoto lens, so when I took these pictures I was not as close as you  may think I am.  Staying away from the babies is important. I cannot stress enough how easy it is for these wild animals to imprint with abnormal behavior when humans intervene.  I was screamed and cursed at once again last week by visitors on my street who took it upon themselves to stop their car in the middle of the street to feed and take pictures of deer.  I always start out nicely asking people to move along, but virtually without fail I am verbally attacked for my intervention. I hope they enjoy the "gift" that is coming in the mail from the authorities when they get home based upon their illegal acts.  We work hard to insure the safety of these beautiful, yet endangered species.

We happy vegans recently took a few much needed days off.  We got out on the boat for 2 days straight.  It was spectacular being on the water.  I saw a school of very big sharks, an iguana swimming in a canal (looking freakish but really cool all the same), way too many jellyfish in the back canals (probably connected to the dwindling numbers of sea turtles who eat said jellies), rays, and other marine creatures.  While tooling in the back canals I also saw 2 large schools of medium size fish taking refuge under large mangrove roots.  None of these happenings were captured by my camera, of course I was far too slow on the uptake to do so.  We anchored at a different spot each day, and I am proud to announce that I came away from 2 solid days on the water with barely any visible evidence on my skin of the long days on the water.  Sunblock, my friends, is my constant companion these days.  I claim victory for no tan, no sunburn, and certainly no sun poisoning.  I also spent quite a bit of time floating in the ocean.  Lucky for me this time the tether did not come undone and my feet landed back safely on solid land with nary a panic attack.

Deer Run, as we pull away from the shore.

On the way around to the other side of Big Pine.

Here's some homes on the other (non-Atlantic) side of beautiful Big Pine Key. We headed out this way hoping to see some manatees.  Didn't see any manatees, but had a great day anyway.

We both did some beach cleaning over the holiday, and also observed Memorial Day much like many others around the country did, reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice that the fallen have paid.

I tried a few new recipes on my days off, and out of all that I came away with a new gluten free, soy free coconut bar that needed a few tweaks and tries to get it "right."  Success comes with lots of composting in the baking department.

I suppose that essentially brings you current on what's what in our neck of the woods.  We're moving along quickly into the summer months, hard to believe considering it seems like yesterday I was hearing tales of snow and woe.

Keep channeling the good thoughts for the wildlife!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Do You Remember Bubba?

Quite a while ago, I put up a post about a dog named "Bubba." Bubba is a Labrador retriever who lived in the Upper Florida Keys. He became an abuse case at the hands of a man named Noah Mitchell. Today's post is, as a famous broadcaster used to say, "the rest of the story."

When I originally posted this story, I was somewhat ambiguous because Noah Mitchell was only accused at that point. Even those accused of violent abuse against animals, children or the elderly, deserve their day in court.  Yesterday was that day for the accused, Noah Mitchell.

Mitchell's side of the story went something like this.  On the day of the occurrence, Mitchell had just moved into his new apartment. Two friends had helped him.  Mitchell alleges he left a steak on his counter because he was going to have a barbecue.  At some point, allegedly Bubba, a 9 month old lab, grabbed the steak off the counter and ran with it.  Mitchell became angry and chased the dog. Eventually the dog went in between a washing machine and a hot water heater. Mitchell grabbed Bubba by the collar, and began to drag him out.  As Bubba was yelping, at some point he also bit Mitchell, leaving a 1/2 inch wound on one of his fingers.  This, Noah Mitchell alleges, resulted in he and Bubba going into a "free fall" to the floor.  This, Noah Mitchell contends, is how Bubba was injured.

Mitchell's version continues on that Bubba went to lie down on the floor, and eventually went to his kennel.  Supposedly Mitchell noted at some point how badly Bubba was injured and called a friend. That friend called police, and from that point on law enforcement took over. Bubba was evaluated in the middle off the night by an Upper Keys veterinary doctor by the name of Dr. George Bailey who determined Bubba's injuries were so severe he needed immediate transport to a Miami regional animal trauma center.

Bubba was diagnosed with bilateral collapsed lungs, a damaged larynx and six fractured ribs.  Bubba almost died; he was on a ventilator for 2 days, just the beginning of a long term recovery and rehabilitation.

The other side of the story was put on by the prosecution.  One eye witness testified; one of Noah Mitchell's friends who was there to help him move... who testified that he saw the entire scenario of abuse and Bubba's resultant injuries.  One veterinarian who observed Bubba at a Miami Dade County animal clinic testified that Bubba's injuries were consistent with those that an animal that size would sustain after falling from a TWO TO THREE STORY BUILDING, or after being hit by a car.  This is how severe Bubba's injuries were. Dragging Bubba out by his collar and a "free fall" from a standing position apparently doesn't explain away near death injuries.

This case went to a jury.  That jury deliberated several hours, and found Noah Mitchell guilty of felony animal abuse.  A conviction of this degree could result in up to 5 years prison time HOWEVER because this is animal abuse, the maximum for some bizarre reason is reduced to only 1 year prison and 4 years probation possible.  That's the maximum.

Would I say this is justice for Bubba?  To some degree, yes. My own opinion is this is justice for Bubba because this case went through the courts and there was a guilty finding.  Do I think the punishment that is possible is enough? No.  However.... I also believe that convicted criminals such as Noah Mitchell are likely to harm again.  Especially one as dangerous as Noah Mitchell... he who feels no responsibility for his actions and resultant near death injuries to Bubba. Noah Mitchell will probably appeal.  He denies the abuse, he feels he is not guilty as charged and adjudged.

There are those who feel that Bubba is "only" a dog, and that these cases are "wasting" the court's time when there are "real" criminals who need to be adjudged.  I don't see it that way, not at all.  I believe that people like Noah Mitchell are just time bombs waiting to go off; that Bubba was just the victim this time because Bubba was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  I believe that the recipient of Mitchell's rage could just have easily been any "weaker" victim, including a person.

I don't know Noah Mitchell, but I have seen and known others like him in the past.  Unless he receives treatment, I believe he will offend again.  Maybe he'll be caught, maybe not.  Its not likely this instance with Bubba was his first act of misplaced anger either.  I do know that Bubba is removed from the home, and where he lives now is not known to me.  I am certain he lives in a loving home, a home that is well deserved.  I would like to see a sentence for Noah Mitchell at the maximum allowable by the law. I also feel there is some level of justice because if when Noah Mitchell offends again, he will have this felony animal abuse conviction on his record. This will take his next abuse case to a different level, I would think.

Prove me wrong Noah Mitchell.  Live the rest of your life without beating or killing those who are weaker than you... those who cannot speak to tell the tales of abuse.  Prove me wrong Noah Mitchell. Please, prove me wrong.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Wedding!

First and foremost, let me say I asked, and received, permission to publish the following photos.  Now, let's move on.

Where I live is a dreamy and magical place.  The pull was enough for me to go from "guest," to "frequent guest" and finally to "owner and co-chief bottle washer."  I don't mean just the Florida Keys, nope, I mean Deer Run.  This place, the land that my home and business dwell upon is sacred.  I feel it, and I'm not the only one.  This land here provides all that is needed to sustain life, and more.  It provides what is needed to thrive.  Included in the list is air, water, and shelter for more animal and insect life than I'll ever see or understand, from the tiniest ant and lizard, to the Key deer, birds, Peri (of course!) and even humans.  I have been "visited" on occasion by animal spirits (scoff if you want, I would've too... until it happened to me), and I'm also not the only one.  I've had more than 1 animal communicator here who tells me the grounds are full of animal spirits, in a good way.

So, when I say its dreamy and magical, even for humans, I mean it. And, every now and again, people will come here to celebrate their own lives and commit to each other.  Such was it this weekend when two fabulous guests, E and T, arrived to get married.

I don't get misty too often over these types of events, despite the fact I agree commitments are beautiful.  But, I did get misty this weekend with E and T. Effervescent youth and limitless hope seemed to pour forth from them. That seemingly fleeting moment in time when anything is possible was captured within them, and I watched it all happen.  I practically had to leave the premises when I learned that E's bouquet was handcrafted by her; made of fabric (so the Key deer wouldn't eat the flowers, which would be harmful to them, thank you again E!) at the center of every lovingly created hand crafted flower was an antique button from her grandmother's collection. Seems Grammy has passed, and E wanted her at, and part of, the ceremony. Mission accomplished!

I understood all too well how she felt about her Grammy.  The point I am now at in my life.... wherein I've lost both parents, a sibling, all grandparents, some extended family and a couple of precious best friends.... makes me acutely aware of an empty feeling that can never be filled, the longing for them to return, yet they never do. There's a constant unrequited need for them to be remembered; then again how could they ever be forgotten?

Here is E's bouquet:

Probably the most beautiful and thoughtful bouquet I have ever seen!
So, these 2 young and in love people came to this dreamy and magical place called Deer Run to get married.  Standing in front of their loved ones, they recited vows and made promises to one another.  They did this to the backdrop of the Atlantic ocean, palm trees in a breeze, and lots of animals (alive and in spirit) too.

Look how beautiful they are!

I believe that both baby animals and weddings were created to keep hope alive.

Of course, Peri stopped by....

Peri, sweet Peri. He really hated that bow I put on him, he said a bow tie was not proper Keys attire.
After the ceremony, they drank champagne in our garden of Eden:

Champagne kisses and newlywed dreams in the garden!

I've been saying "this is the best time" a lot for the last 10 days or so. This IS the best time here, not quite the rainy season (I know, I know, we can get rain this time of year, but not like high summer) and not quite super hot either.  Animals are everywhere, the babies are being born (indeed, the first fawn in our herd is making herself known daily, photos to come soon), the turtles are coming to shore to nest, the end of the finch migration is still in progress, white crowned pigeons are back (yup!), roseate spoonbills have been in the Bight (holy un-cow!) and I saw those blue buntings just a couple weeks ago. This is the best time, the absolute best time. And, capping Spring at Deer Run is a wedding with lovely people who smile constantly and are living in gratitude for all that they have been blessed with.

Congratulations E and T.  We celebrate your wedding and all that it represents.  May your life together be healthy, happy and peaceful. Thank you for allowing your "moment" to be frozen in time here in our airspace.  Blessed be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Innkeeping 101(b)

I had a better post written in my mind, but it will wait another day. Instead, be treated to another day in the life of this innkeeper.

A while ago, I posted some advice for any wanna-be innkeeper out there, essentially saying keep a first aid kit in the kitchen. I should have added a post script to that:

Innkeeping 101(b).  Keep a tool kit in there as well.

It has been a wild ride of baking in my kitchen lately.  I've experimented with several new recipes (some ok, some not so ok), and done huge volumes of old tried and trues.  Tossed here and there I've brought out a couple of "old friends" one of which is my red velvet cake recipe.  Good Food Conspiracy here on Big Pine Key has organic USA grown beets in stock, so I grabbed a few.  It's been far too long since I've played with red velvet anything (oh no, I never perfected those red velvet brownies by the way.... still hanging my head in shame on all those efforts), but my red velvet cake recipe is perfection.  After making several dozen cookies, I whipped up a batch of red velvet cupcakes.  Into the oven they went. When the timer went off, I opened the oven to spin the pan around (always remember good baking habits kids.... turn your pans to insure even cooking), I looked at the thermometer and saw the temperature had plummeted to below 200.  At first I thought we had run out of propane (nope), and then I tried a few times to turn the oven off and on (sometimes works, this time not).  I knew what was wrong, the igniter in the oven had once again gone bad.  We have a lousy oven, one that we spent a lot of money for, yet is imperfect in its design.  I believe what happens with this particular model is it gets so hot, it actually blows a hole through the igniter.  In the few years we have had this oven, we have gone through on average 4 igniters a year.  What is the company's solution to this defect?  Simply to ship us new parts.

Enter tool kit.

I am thankful I live with someone who is able to fix things.  Around here, things constantly are breaking.  Part of it is simply living in such a harsh oceanfront environment.  Other times, its things like the oven.... poor design and manufacture quality.  At least this time the igniter didn't crap out on me during breakfast, or when I'm doing a custom baking order (known to happen on multiple occasions).  I'm sure it would be interesting to be an outsider and watch me during one of those moments.

If you ever want to know what type of oven NOT to buy, email me.

My little red velvet cupcakes sat half baked in their pans.  I ran down the back steps and summoned the other happy vegan upstairs to install a new igniter.  Within 15 minutes the job was done. That other happy vegan well he's got this igniter thing down to a science like a race car pit crew.  I'm not sure my (organic! vegan) red velvet cupcakes can be salvaged.... they began to sink by the time I got them back in their happy hot home, and they're still in there now as I write.

Trust me on this.  I'm giving all you future innkeepers very sage advice.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012!

Today brings into the dawn another Mother's Day.  Here in our country, we set aside one day a year to honor our mothers.  The other 364 days a year I suppose are when moms are doing what they do every day, 24/7... being on mom duty.  Just because your children grow up doesn't mean you don't still have those little pangs of constant worry and hope for your child.  There's a great commercial running presently for a certain car company.  It shows a dad (could just as easily be a mom) outside the car handing the keys inside to the unseen driver.  As he holds the keys, he is giving constant advice. Then the scene flashes to the inside of the car, and there's a little girl at the driver's seat. Sure, we all know where this is going, but the first time I saw the commercial I thought "wow, how come nobody has ever done a commercial for ANYTHING like that before." As the dad gives the constant advice, the little girl is listening and agreeing. Flash back to the advising dad... then flash again to the driver who is now a young woman behind the wheel.  You get the point, right?

I think that must be how most good parents must feel about their children, forever.

For anyone, anywhere who is observing today as Mother's Day, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  For those of us who have lost our moms, or for anyone who has lost a child, today can bring an incredible sense of sadness as well.  So, for you I wish a day full of peaceful memories.

And, for everyone, everywhere let's all wish our Mother Earth a Happy Mother's Day!  Yes, without our glorious and beautiful Mother Earth, none of us would be here, none of anything would be possible. Take a moment today to honor this exceptionally special mom as well.  Plant a tree. Clean a park. Visit the ocean. Offer gratitude. Do something, anything, to honor this very special Mother that nurtures and gives more than any mother ever could.

Friday, May 11, 2012

More Super Moon Photos & a little misc. just because

By 7:42am, my morning had completely spiraled out of control.  I knew it, the other happy vegan knew it.  I think the cats even knew it... they chose to sleep in.  This matters not because when things have to get done, you find a way to get them done.  So I did, and now here I am smack dab in the middle of the afternoon on a picture perfect day.  I think the temperature outside is hovering about 87 right now and the tide is high.  My kitchen is almost back together from all that went wrong in the last few hours (fear not, nothing caught fire which is possibly one of the only things I would classify as a real problem) and I'm staring at a small patch of perfectly blue cloudless sky as I type.

After utter chaos, I have decided to spend my afternoon and evening doing exactly as I please. The other happy vegan is completely on board with this.  Although we are both still working, he said the magic words just a few short minutes ago that change everything... "let's put the boat in the water."

So, with those few words everything changes.  And, to make you feel possibly as happy as I do right now, I've decided to post a few more of my Super Full Flower Moon photos.  I was looking through them and was surprised at how beautiful some of them really are. I know there's a tinge of blurriness on some, its the camera.  I shoot with a non-professional camera and I just have to accept this is the best I can do with the shutter issues. One of my favorite photos needs serious photoshop work so I cannot publish it. I took my camera off the tripod, set the tripod so the moonbeams reflected off it, backed up then took the shot of the tripod awash in moonbeams.  Not sure why that photo is so cool, but it IS so cool; close your eyes and imagine is all I can say.

Our little mangrove taking a moonbeam bath.

This is one of my thinking spots, also bathing in moonbeams.

Blurry or not, I just love how the moon sits atop the palm, just like a Christmas tree star.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stuck on the Bridge & Photos

People out there like to film things on the 7 Mile Bridge.  Movies. Commercials. Personal videos.  Can't blame them, its an incredible engineering feat, the bridge I mean, and the view is never anything less than stunning.  However, for many of us who drive that bridge as a matter of routine for work or other reasons (like taking a 103 year old man to Marathon every Tuesday for his golf plans...), those film shoots can be annoying, unwelcome and the cause of great anxiety in some people (i.e.: me).

The latest cause of my bridge anxiety is Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes Benz shot a commercial yesterday on the bridge.  It was all over the news reports, the filming plans, because of course it meant bridge closures & delays.  Well, I had to drive Pop, because it was Tuesday, and that's one of the laundry list of things I do on Tuesdays; drive Pop.  I explained to him that I would pick him up a tad earlier than usual so we wouldn't get stuck on the bridge on the way up, the timing of the shoot was well publicized.  I knew that most likely I would get stuck on the bridge on the way back, but I wasn't too concerned about that because it was just me.  Sitting in a car in a traffic jam with someone who is 103 years old is not something I want to plan on doing.  I like to be mobile when I'm with Pop, just in case we have to make a sudden pit stop or something. So, we headed out about 45 minutes earlier than I usually pick him up, and by the time we got to the bridge I was about 25 minutes ahead of the published scheduled start time for any closures and/or delays.

Yeah, right.

As we were crossing the bridge, I began to see dreaded orange cones.  Scanning ahead I saw brake lights. Then more cones, and people wearing safety vests.  This was not in my plan.

They didn't start shooting any commercial, instead things were being readied.  It looked like the bridge was being cleaned (heaven forbid the bridge gets cleaned simply because its Tuesday, no, something like Mercedes Benz has to shoot a commercial for the bridge to be cleaned) and there was a cone lane set up so there was only 1 lane open, alternating.  We were stuck in the oncoming traffic lane.  The closed lane.

We stopped in the line of traffic and waited.  And, then my imagination took over.  How deep was the water in that spot?  How high up were we over the water?  Would I survive if the bridge collapsed? Would the impact from the fall be my demise, or would I be sucked under the water in a vortex of swirling concrete, rebar, automobiles, and other stuff?  Oh, yes, I'm such a joy to be around stuck on a bridge.

The bridge was vibrating.  This is normal.  This is what I guess all bridges do.  They sway.  They bend to the forces of wind and water. Wind. Water. And me stuck on a bridge; a 7 mile long bridge that feels like it is breathing.

Pop knows I am phobic about bridges.  Together we sat in the car in silence for a short bit of time.  And, then he said as he laughed out loud "whoo-ee, feel that bridge moving!!!" Laughing. Laughing. Laughing.  Pop, not me. It's got to be an incredible feeling to be 103 years old and simply be free of the confines of any worries of not being politically correct in certain situations. Like when you're stuck on a bridge with a gal who's terrified of water, bridges and worse yet cannot swim. Yup, being 103 years old in many ways must be completely and totally liberating. Which matters not when I'm the target of any such liberation.


So, I got stuck in traffic on the way home after doing Pop's marketing as well, but it was all clear when I went to pick him up in the early evening.  At least I can say that.

And, to entertain you, here are some photos of my moments on the bridge.  Moments where I counted silently in my head to keep calm; focused on breathing, and tried not to imagine too much how deep is the water, and why didn't I ever pack one of those emergency kits that you can break auto glass with under water into Pop's car.

Finally beginning to move.  That's the old bridge to the right.

Oncoming Peterbilt.  Never a fun moment for me on this bridge with large trucks.
Extra vibrations.  'Nuff said.

When I'm not stuck in traffic I appreciate the view more.
Here is a shot of the old 7 Mile Bridge.
 See that missing piece? It's been purposefully removed so no idiot will attempt to drive over the old bridge.
If a piece of the old bridge can be purposefully removed, then can't a piece of the new bridge simply fall from the sky into the water?  While I'm on the bridge?
Feel my pain.

I can never be prepared to stop on any bridge, anywhere, at any time.
It simply goes against my nature.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Full Flower Moon Photos

Super Full Flower Moon in full effect as I write.  Spent time on the beach tonight.  I am not very skilled at taking photos, but I do enjoy trying. Shot over 400 photos tonight, here's a few for you I hope you enjoy.

The sun sets.
The Super Full Moon has risen, balancing in the fingers of the osprey's ocean hunting tree.
From the roof.

Through the slats.
Blue Velvet.

The frond tickles the mangrove.

Ocean shimmers.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Waiting for a Nest...

We're waiting for our first turtle nest of the season here.  We've heard word that last night the first nest in Key West occurred.  Great news indeed, now let's get going here on Long Beach.  I'm ready!

I went out today for the turtle walk, and picked up a giant bag of trash.  I covered a lot of territory and was actually pleasantly surprised how clear a large portion of the beaches were... seems like there's been a few other trash angels out lately too.  It's making a difference.

There's a Super Full Moon set to occur tomorrow.  I just came in from the beach right now. The moon is up, it already looks full.  The sky is crystal clear, although the moon light obscures many stars, two planets are visible (Mars? Venus? What ARE they?!) and its a perfect night for turtles.  I called to them and invited them ashore.  I hope I have good news for you tomorrow.

Walkers will be out early tomorrow morning searching, searching, searching for nests.  Keep those fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

First Fawn!

I saw her tonight on my way to the gym.  The first fawn of the season.

Funny thing, as I was speaking with someone just yesterday or today, I said something along the lines "if you were going to be here in 2 weeks, you would probably see a fawn."  I said this because at that moment in time I somehow forgot it was May; I thought it was mid-April. And, in my thinking that it was mid-April, I was telling them to look for fawns beginning in May.

I have seen my first spotted fawn.  She is not in our herd, I saw her behind the deer fence on US 1 (please, please, PLEASE drive with caution through Big Pine) and thought "wow how beautiful." Her fur was such a dark brown, her spots so vivid white. Mom was right next to her, keeping a watchful eye.  The little fawn was so small, so very small.

"Be Kind to the Animals. Especially the Small Ones. They're Very Delicate."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time Marches On, Rain or Shine

It rained for 5 days straight down here, almost unheard of for April which tends to be one of the driest months, if not THE driest month traditionally.  Not just a little rain, but continual windswept downpours which had little mercy on any of us whether we live here or were visiting here. My runs continued for the most part, dashing through the drops.  Life goes on, whether there's rain or not. One of the really good things that came from this rain is fresh water for the wildlife.  Lots of little birds and the Key deer seem to be frolicking in the aftermath of the rain.

Since my last post, not much has happened, so don't feel you've missed too much. We had a giant rainbow this morning which seemed to herald the end of the rain and welcomed back the sunshine that I longed for.

So, we're drying out. During the rainy days, I experimented with a few new recipes, none of which I really liked. It wasn't a matter of even tweaking things a little, I think the recipes were just bad. Not bad enough to do the compost walk of shame, but bad enough that I'd never serve any of it to guests or company. The other happy vegan and I, well, what can I say, we ate what I cooked because that comes with the territory, especially when dealing with organic and fair trade ingredients.

Now that the sun is shining I don't feel like experimenting in the kitchen for a while.  I'm still pretty much off sugar for the most part (torture, sheer torture I tell you) but after this many days, the cravings are finally diminishing, and the headaches are (mostly) past.

Things are slowly beginning to shift into "summer" mode here in the Keys.  The roads aren't as busy, the shops aren't as busy, and some restaurants are already converting to their "summer hours" schedules.  It's really hard to believe that we're headstrong into May, but here we are. With each passing day, we creep closer and closer to the summer solstice and my favorite season.  Even in the Keys I still embrace summer in all its glory. The turtle nesting activity becomes busier as the summer wears on (walks are going on daily, but no nests here on Long Beach... yet) which is something that never gets old.

Peri gets longer in the summer time too, he and I are still thick as thieves.  Tonight when I got home from boot camp, he was trotting down my driveway to greet me.  We spent some quality time together, and then parted ways; he to have his evening adventures, while I had a handful of chores to do before settling in with my own feline family.

I'll see you tomorrow out on the street for sprints and jumps in my finally-broken-in Brooks. The forecast calls for 80 and sunny. I think I'm going to like tomorrow, like it a lot.  See you later!