Our Winter Vacation – In Florida

Where do people who live in Florida go for winter vacation? To another city in Florida, of course. If you have read any of our Discover Florida series you know that we are passionate about life in Florida and have made it a mission to explore all of its ten coastal regions.

We wrote about the Gold Coast, the Space Coast the Forgotten Coast and the First Coast along with many other ‘Florida specific’ stories, that you will find under the Discover Florida tab above. From posh to rugged, each coast in Florida has a unique identity and is beautiful in its own way. It is hard to pick a favorite, (other than where we live), but the coast that makes us want to linger a little longer is the Emerald Coast. Read this post about our 2017 three day road trip to understand why we love it here. At the completion of that trip, we vowed to return for a longer stay. It took us nearly three years to return, but for the next two weeks we are finally honoring that vow.

It is mid-February and the temperature in South Florida (where we live) is already topping 80 degrees. Why not head North for a little winter escape?

Miles of Smiles

What made me smile this week is holding hands with my sweetie for a slow walk on the beach, a cool ocean breeze, and being completely relaxed in this secluded environment. It is off season in this part of Florida and we have the place mostly to ourselves. What could be better than this?

Well, more birds of course!

reflection is good for the soul
standing tall
camera shy?

I am sharing this post at Trent’s World Weekly Smile Challenge, where positive energy is contagious. Please stop by and share yours!

I will be back with more about our time at Miramar Beach and other points of interest along the Emerald Coast during the next few weeks, so please stay tuned as life unfolds.

Posted in florida, florida's coasts, photography, travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Bird Watching

Have you ever watched a bird, just being a bird? They seem to be very busy almost all the time. Flitting from here to there, building a nest, looking for food, getting acquainted with other birds, checking in on the chicks. Imagine trying to capture just one clear image during all that busyness.

I use a mirrorless camera, which is significantly lighter than most DSLRs, but it is still pretty heavy when I attach a telephoto lens. A lot of photographers use mono pods (the single leg version of a tri-pod) which helps take the weight off and add stability to the camera, but I can’t adjust to the restricted mobility and shoot hand held most of the time. That is silly and amateurish, but that’s how I like it. So when I am lucky enough to get shots like these, I like to share. They are not tack sharp, but they make me smile and I hope you will also.

Continue reading
Posted in Captured Moments, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Celebrating Simple Pleasures

My life is filled with joy moments and I share a lot of them here, on our retirement lifestyle blog. Joy moments don’t have to be celebrations of monumental accomplishments, goals attained or milestones in life, they can be simple and ordinary, like the beauty of a sunset, a child’s laughter, a fragrance that evokes a special memory, or the way a balmy breeze makes you feel -anything really, that makes you smile.

Trent, over at Trent’s World has devoted a post each week to sharing moments that make him smile. Along with his original post, he invites others to participate by sharing a link to their joy moment.

Continue reading
Posted in Captured Moments, On My Mind, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Are You Blog Bragging?

I have always considered this blog to be an accurate reflection of our retirement life and I don’t censor or white wash it in any way. We are who we are. Who we are is two happily married, proud of our kid parents, who happened to have retired early and are now living the life we worked and planned for. We share our joy in pictures and words and invite others to picture retirement through your own lens. We cannot control perceptions and the myriad of filters that distort the opinions of others. Presenting ourselves truthfully is the best we can do.

A fellow blogger recently shared a post about humility and it got me thinking. She was concerned that her readers saw her as boastful. That notion doesn’t come across at all when you read her blog and she seems like a very thoughtful, enlightened individual. But, I certainly understand her concern.

Writing a blog and communicating with an audience made up of people from all walks of life exposes us to criticism of all sorts, but I don’t think lack of humility or accusations of bragging should be one of them. In fact, I think it is quite the opposite. Putting our words out there reflects both courage and humility.

Let’s face it, blogs are self promotional to some degree and wanting to paint yourself in the best light is natural. I truly believe that most of us come from a good place, with the intent of helping, not hurting others. Most of us are not professionals and we don’t rely on our blogs for an income. We are simply people with something to say and we try to say it as responsibly as we can without compromising who we really are.

What is distasteful and can clearly be labeled as ‘bragging’ or possessing a lack of humility is when we talk about our accomplishments with the express intent of making others feel small or inadequate. That type of behavior is a defensive and misguided attempt to deflect pain or hide our own insecurities. We all know that person and occasionally, we may even BE that person.

Without a doubt, we could all use a good dose of humility from time to time, and being more humble is an admirable trait to aspire to. I personally believe that when we come from a place of confidence, kindness and authenticity, humility becomes less of an issue. Honestly, I worry more about being judged for my grammatical errors, misplaced commas and spelling mistakes than the appearance of bragging.

How about you? Are you concerned that people judge you through your blog as being less than humble? Is it something you have ever thought about?

Posted in On My Mind, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Easy Entree for Date Night or Company Meal

I read something recently about the many ways in which we express love. Without a doubt, FOOD is the number one love language in our home.We talk a lot about ‘joy moments’ and share tons of pretty pictures on our blog, like here and here, but cooking, which always brings big smiles to us and our guests gets left on the back burner – pun intended. Last week I had a very satisfying personal experience in the kitchen and am still smiling about it, so why not share it with you. After all, celebrating the little things is one of the basic tenants of happiness, right?

Cooking is a hobby that we cultivated together during retirement and our roles are very well defined at this point. We plan the menu together, he shops, I set the table and arrange the flowers and we divide the kitchen duties. He does most of the cooking and I keep the kitchen tidy. It is a system that works well for us and we enjoy this creative time together.

It is rare for me to take the lead in the kitchen for a company meal, but with Malcolm’s birthday coming up and wanting to celebrate with a few friends without asking him to pitch in, I did just that; how hard could it be?

The short answer is, “Hard”! and it made me appreciate him all the more for his culinary talents and organizational skills. I missed working side by side with him in the kitchen but, I have to say I did a credible job overall and I never felt stressed. Granted, the meal itself is fairly basic, but there was shopping and prep work, and table setting, and flower arranging, and clean up, and, and….still smiling??

Continue reading
Posted in Food, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments