Various events and every day happenings of our quiet life in Port Orange, FL.
Includes community events, travel, home projects, food, gardening and a lot of our pup Rufus.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Effects of a freeze

Winter is a strange season in Florida. Most winters we can be out on the beach every day, some winters we have to light the fire. This winter has brought a few good, cold freezes and our plants are there to remind us of it. Before we went out to CA, we had 2 nights below freezing and we covered all the plants. While were were out in CA, there were a couple more nights of freeze and when we got back, we had a lot of trimming to do. Below are the bananas and elephant ear a few months ago at their peak and third is a photo from last weekend. Their leaves were all wilted and brown so we had to trim them all back. Don't be sad, we're seeing green sprouting through and there's actually 1 leaf about to open up so there's still hope! A couple of the smaller ones I don't think made it, but we'll keep them in the ground for a few more weeks to be sure.

The crotons didn't survive at all. They all dried out so quickly, you wouldn't even be able to tell they were there. Our nightblooming jasmine didn't make it, but it had a fungus before the freezes. The areca palms are brown, as are the bird of paradise but I see some green on birds. The ixora and ficus trees out front were all brown and we trimmed them back last weekend. There's new green leaves coming out so they're all clear. We also modified the front flower bed so that it's not taking over the whole yard and walkway anymore and made the outline for a new flower bed with room for a tree or bush. Don't mind the dirt, it's covering transplanted grass that seems to be taking to its new home.
One plant that did well through the cold is the lily of the nile, or Agapanthus. This is great news as these are ones we love - nice big green leaves with beautiful flowers in the spring and summer. We first saw these at Epcot last year. Wonder what Disney puts on theirs to make them so big and full?
Who knows if we're past the freezing temps. Forecast for early next week show lows in the upper 30s. Usually by mid-March, the weather warms up for Spring Break, so we'll see.

We've got a nice weekend planned. DH went golfing out at LPGA today with his dad. Saturday we're doing some work around the house and yard - weather looks perfect, upper 70s. Saturday night our church is starting Saturday Night Life church and that's where we'll be. And we're also going out with DH's dad for a belated birthday dinner. Sunday our friends are playing a gig out at JB's Fish Camp so we're going to support them and eat some delicious rock shrimp! We'll have to bring our jackets as there's 40% chance rain and a high of 62! But tonight, it's a movie and Giuseppes for pizza and wings.

Oh, and side note. Partylite Summer Catalog goes into effect April 1. That's a long time to wait!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vets and candles

Just another Thrursday today. Rufus went to the vet to get his heartworm prevention meds and got weighed - at 2-1/2 years old he is 96 lbs. Not too bad considering he was 94lbs on 06/27/08 and 93lbs on 07/27/07. Our vet is building a new building and it's looking great so far. Their current building is pretty small, but the vets are so nice. After the vet, Rufus looked like he wated to go back to work with me, so here he is all jolly in the car. (don't worry, we were at a stop light when I took this pic!)
I know I mentioned the quarter auction at the Partylite meeting the other night. My mom won a beautiful Moroccan Spice Lantern with universal tealight tree (which is an awesome insert that is like a ladder for tealights and allows many levels of light, as in this photo) and a trio of glass candle holders similar to the set in the photo, but not frosted stems, more decorative stems. Oh, and we won the necklace and braclet set which isn't shown here.

Here's a display of the items I won.

So, we've got the Whispering Pines Tree Votive tree set (9inch and 12inch) which I only took 1 out of the box for the photo. I have a set of these and they're great during the fall and winter holidays, $32.95/set. Then there's ball candles (blue, box says Woodland Spice, but I don't agree $17.95/pr) and Iced Snowberries snowball candle $15.95/pr. I have a set of the smaller snowball candles and love them - such a different type of candle! The snowball's sitting on the Deco Ball Tray ($20?) and then pillar garland which there's a closeup in the next photo, so pretty, retails $12.95.

There's $91 worth of product for about $4, and that's not including the jewlery or the big ticket items my mom got which probably retailed for about $95 ($40 for trio, $45 for lantern, $10 for tealight tree).

And that's about the gist of it for today. No big news. I still don't know what we're having for dinner. Guess I should start planning out the week again, that seemed to always work out well. I'm excited to watch Lost from last night - that show intrigues me and makes me mad at the same time. The late time slot and cliffhangers from commercial to commercial have made us record it and watch it the next day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pavilion at Port Orange

Looks like our little town is moving up in the world. Construction is going strong on the new Pavilion at Port Orange. The part I'm most excited about is the 14 screen Hollywood Theatres. We have to drive about 30 minutes to go to the newest theatre in town and it's over on beachside in the heart of the tourist district. Needless to say, I think it's been over 1 year since DH and I have gone out to see a movie here in town.

I love the look of the new Pavilion, reminds me of the outdoor malls in California and even Jacksonville/St. Augustine area. Looks like they've edited the list of shoppes and restaurants coming to the new Pavilion at Port Orange in the fall (it's the new shopping center on Williamson near the Taylor Rd. Publix here in PO).
Circuit City and Barnes and Noble are off the rendering now. Although this article from just last month show Barnes and Noble signed a lease for the spot. The article also says the store will open March of 2009 which I see as impossible. They also say they'll have Starbucks which will be welcome since the only other Starbucks is in our Target.
Belk fashion department store will be the big anchor store, along with junior anchors Michaels, Marshalls and Home goods. A national pet store is also in the plan, 1 place says Petsmart , another shows Petco .

Now also on the list:
Shops: ATT store, David's Bridal, GNC, Lee Nail Spa, Rack Room Shoes, Sunglass World, and Visionworks

And food: Alfredo's Restaurant, Cold Stone Creamery, Olive Garden, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Red Brick Pizza , Red Robin Gourmet Burgers,
From their press release The Pavilion at Port Orange will offer customers a unique shopping experience with Main Street style architecture, two-story themed buildings and extensive landscaping in an open-air pedestrian-friendly environment. A focal point of the development will be a seven-acre lake surrounded by numerous upscale sit-down restaurants overlooking the water. The center will also feature a community pavilion along the lake that will serve as a gathering place for residents and tourists and a covered children’s soft play area. Curbside parking will provide customers with easy and convenient access to the shops.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Partylite product!

Last night was the reveal of Partylite's new Spring/Summer products and catalog. Although the party lasted for nearly 4 hours, we all had a great time at the Regional meeting. The new summer catalog is in addition to the current Winter/Spring catalog - I'm not sure when the new products can be bought, maybe March 1?
And of course they had Quarter Auction - my mom and I won so many things! I'll probably be having my next Partylite show in April or May - I'm excited!
So here's some snapshots from the new catalog:
New Spring/Summer Partylite products! The candles on this page are like little sorbet scoops - so cute! If you want to view the pics close up, check out my flickr page Partylite folder, and choose all sizes. New scents: Pineapple Coconut, Mango Ginger, Passion Fruit and Papaya. Yum, Yum and YUM! Love the bright colors, perfect for summer.

New Iced Tea Fragrances - Iced White Pear Tea, Iced Green Lime Tea, Iced Red Raspberry Tea - and the jars can be used as drinking glasses! And new print,
I love the linear lights set on the left page - perfect for a summer outdoor party. On the right, neutral colored candle refills in several scents - what a great idea! And mini-reed diffusers. New scent, Citrus Bloom Citronella.
This is one of my favorite pieces - the photos don't do it justice. They took down the new product display before I had a chance to check it out up close and personal, but even from a distance, it's breathtaking.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend recap

Friday was Uncle Nick's memorial service. It was a nice service full of good memories of times with Nick. The service was at my FIL's church Seventh Day Baptist Church of Daytona Beach. The church building has been around since the early 1900s, but the chuch itself started in Daytona in 1884! It's a beautiful little church with tons of character, from the wooden floors to the stained glass to the aged pews. After the service, Nick's ashes were released into the Halifax River near the Orange Ave. brige, one of his favorite old fishing holes. A reception was held at one of his brother's houses in South Daytona.

After the memorial, DH and I went home and watched The Mummy 3: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I'll call it entertaining. No where near as good as the first 2, but I stayed awake and that usually means something. Brendan Fraser was back as Rick O'Connell, but instead of the great Rachel Wiesz as his wife, a new lady was cast, Maria Bello, who was ok, but has done better work. Jet Li was the Emperor, and he was ok too.
Saturday DH and I did some work around the house, went to lunch with his mom and step-dad and then ran some errands. Rufus had a playdate at my MIL's in the afternoon and then we stopped at the new ice cream shop Neighbors for doggy day around 6pm. Ruf approves of their ice cream, but we still prefer Ritter's for dog night as Neighbors had limited outside area for all the pups.
Sunday was the finale of Winterjam with the Volkswagon show in Port Orange around the City Center lake. DH and I went over around noon and there were already a ton of people and MANY cars and vans around the lake. The weather couldn't have been better. And get this - they had food as usual, but Hooters was there! So nice to have their wings and not have to drive across town for them. We met a big black stnd poodle named Willy and I wished I had brought Rufus. But then after walking around with all the people, I was glad he had stayed home - it would have been too much for him. Here are a few photos of the day, taken from my camera phone which has pretty good photo quality in daylight.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ups and downs

Brigette's baby shower last night went well. There were probably around 30 people there! There were 2 babies under 2 months old at the shower, Michelle's boy Aiden and Kimmy's son Juan - both so adorable! We played some games including the 'baby name scramble' where you try to make as many words as you can out of the baby's name Gabriel Michael. Michelle won with 22 words! Then there was the 'baby song' game where you list as many songs as you can with the word baby in it. Brigette's dad won that one with 11 songs. I only came up with 4. Then the 'baby animal' game, listing as many baby and adult animal combos as possible, like lion-cub, cat-kitten. Brigette won that one but she cheated, so gave the gift to Elaine. We also played 'pass the paci' where we had to do sort of a relay with a pacifier passing it from person to person using only a straw in our mouths. That was interesting! Then it was food and presents and time to head home.

And now tonight is the memorial service for one of my MIL's brothers. He passed away unexpectedly last Friday at the age of 53. I didn't know him very well, but I always believe it's important to attend the services as support to the close friends and family. Rest in peace Uncle Nick.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A friend of mine just had her 2nd son on Tuesday and tonight I'm going to my SIL's baby shower; she's due April 1. Babies everywhere! I actually attended my 1st baby shower a couple of months ago for DH's cousin whose baby boy is a month old already! He is just plain adorable! Looking forward to meeting my friend's baby boy - Jackson is his name, isn't that a great name?! One day DH and I will embark on the baby experience, but until then, I can learn from my friends and family. Who knew there was such a thing as a burp cloth?

So, I've got to go to Target to get some extra baby items for the party - how fun does this baby wrap look? No straps or buckles, just swaddling cloth. I think my mom carried me in something similar. I bet she still has it!

And of course the good Johnson and Johnson products. I like this sleeptime line even for me - bet it's great for babies!

As you may recall, the last time DH and I went shopping for baby products, we got lost. There are just so many different products and at both Babies R Us and Target, nothing was where it said it was on the registry. Johnson and Johnson items are useful and always easy to find. Guess we'll go with that and a gift card that can be used toward the big ticket items since this will be SIL's first baby. They're thinking about Gabriel Michael for his name. First they were told it was a girl, then a month later, found out it was a boy - long story there. Anyway, in a couple months, I'll be an aunt again!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Day

Saturday was Valentine's Day. As usual, it falls on a race day out at the track, so couldn't go anywhere near the speedway. We went for a haircut and then to MIL's house where our beloved Clifford had just passed away. He had been given 1 month to live about 6 months ago, so I guess he was on borrowed time. He had a serious heart condition and now he's living pain free across the Rainbow Bridge. See our tribute to dear Cliff from Saturday's post.

Then we went to Sam's to get some fixings for Valentine's dinner. We started this tradition a couple years ago after fighting the crowds for dinner out. This way, we spend time together shopping, prepping and cooking the meal and we make sure to get the best quality ingredients available. Since I don't eat red meat, we usually end up with a seafood medley. We found some great fresh shrimp and crab legs from Sam's. Can you believe the size of these shrimp? 4/8 count means 4-8 shrimp make a pound. We got 2 of the big ones and it was about 1/2 pound. Here they are in a QUART size Ziploc bag. Fresh and wild caught, they were more tasty and larger than lobster. We also got HUGE Alaskan king crab legs.

So, here it was, this year's meal - Alaskan king crab legs, HUGE 4/8 count shrimp, lobster tail, baked potato and fresh steamed asparagus. Homemade cheesecake with strawberries for dessert. We couldn't even finish all the crab, so shelled it up and made great crabcakes the next night for dinner. It was all soo delicious. Then we relaxed and watched Made of Honor, and I know DH tried to fall asleep through it, but I don't think he could. Definitely a predictable chick flick. Until next Valentine's Day! For a few more photos, check out flickr

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DH's 30th birthday!

Monday was DH's 30th birthday! Can you believe it?! For the second year in a row, we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom and had dinner at Charlie's Steakhouse. Rufus stayed at my MIL's and had a great time with the pups.

AK last year was nice and quiet, even though it was on a Saturday. This year, there were crowds! It was President's day, one of the busiest times of the year. First line was to get in and park. Parking is now $12. We think they raise it by $1 every time we go.
Next line was Will Call to pick up my ticket and get DH's free birthday ticket. It's a promo Disney is doing this year, free admission on your birthday. Then the line to actually get into the park. We went back to get on the Safari, but there was a long wait, so we got the fastpass and took the train out to the Conservation Station which is where the petting area is. Here's DH petting a big sheep.

We went to a few more exhibits then it was time for the Safari. We sat in the first row. They've got these strange trees all over the exhibit. Direct from Africa.

We saw giraffe, okapi, elephants, lions, wildebeest, ostrich, hippos, rhinos, antelope and many more animals native to Africa!We rode a few more rides including the river rapids where we got soaked, ate lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and then it was time for Expedition Everest. This is a pretty cool roller coaster that is partially in the dark and sometimes goes backward. I think I did pretty good, but in the below photo, DH is posing but my scream is real. It was fun!

Then it was off to Charlie's Steakhouse for DH's birthday dinner. Charlie's is a good steakhouse, too bad the closest one is in Orlando. All of their steaks are select U.S. Choice and Prime three-year-old grain-fed beef. Steaks are aged a minimum of 4-6 weeks for tenderness and flavor, then trimmed and seasoned to be flame-broiled on their specialty built open-pit mesquite wood fire.
First is DH's King of the Bone Strips 2 ½ Inches Thick

And I had the Chef's Mixed Grill – Servings of Mahi Mahi and Salmon with Shrimp and Scallop Scampi . And yes, that lemon has a net to catch the seeds. All in all, a great day and we'll probably be back again next year! For more of the photos from our day, check out my flickr site

Monday, February 16, 2009


Well, the headaches are finally gone and I've got some blogging to catch up on! We've still got plenty of CA vacation photos to go through, so let's start with a weekend recap. Last week was speedweeks here in Daytona. The crowds weren't as big as in past years, most say due to the economy even though the Speedway reduced the 500 tickets to $55/pp, which, for the biggest race of the year, is usually a pretty good deal. They didn't reduce the tickets to the other races though, which would have been nice becuase DH and I enjoy going to the truck races. So Friday was the truck race, Camping World is now the sponsor I think. It was broadcast on Speed TV, which our cable providor Brighthouse still doesn't broadcast in HD (grr). As if being broadcast in 'regular' format wasn't bad enough, Speed TV's coverage is terrible. Let me tell you that probably around 1/3 to 1/2 of the laps weren't broadcast. They always go to commercial when green is on - why not when there's a caution, which there were 6 of that night. They've also got some strange new rule regarding pit stops for the truck series - it's tire or gas, not both. Yes, if the drivers need both, they must get one, do a lap and stop back and get the other. Why?? I don't know, it's just another way for Nascar to regulate the event. Todd Bodine, who doesn't have a major sponsor, won the race, the first repeat winner in the event’s 10-year history. Saturday was Valentine's day, and I'll do a seperate post about that later, but was also the Gatorade Duel races, 150-mile races, and serves as a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 . I didn't watch these races, but DH did. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch won the Duels this year.
Sunday brought the 51st running of the Daytona 500 (200-lap, 500 miles). I didn't watch this one either, but from Wikipedia, was called on account of rain with 48 laps remaining. The leader at the time of the red flag, Matt Kenseth, was declared named the winner, his first Daytona 500 win in his ten attempts and the first win for Roush Fenway Racing. Even though the race did not run the full 200 laps, it is a full race as NASCAR rules state that any event can be ruled a complete race once the halfway point plus one lap is reached; in this case, it is 101 laps or 265.5 miles. Next year's race is on Feb. 14.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The world has lost a great spoo

Rest in peace Cliff 06/11/98-02/14/09
You'll greatly be missed

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The power of a praying mother! (and every health antidote known to man)

Well, with the help of God, my chriopractor and Dr. Mom, I'm on the way to recovery. My head and neck have been pretty sore all day, but sore is soo much better than the throbbing pain of that headache!

My mom, who constantly prays for our family every day, made sure to pump me with all natural products to help speed up the recovery. She's so sweet. She sliced up grapefruit this morning, gulped it down so fast I forgot to get a pic, then bowls of sliced strawberries and blueberries topped with organic honey, again, so good, no pic to show. But it looked just like this and after is what's left of the blueberries.
Some of the products that have been floating in and out of my body (don't want to get too graphic!) are shown below: Left to right:
Amigo juice is a powdered mix that has acai, mangosteen, and goii - it tastes delicious!

Then there's Digest Gold which is a great digestive aid. After all that eating out and authentic Mexican food we ate during vacation, we need to get our digestive tracts back into wack.

Feverfew is just an all around good herbal supplement - good for headaches, digestion, arthritis and more.

Organic Triple Fiber - whew this stuff cleans you out! A blend of organic ground flaxseed, organic acacia fiber and organic (gluten-free) oat bran. 1 scoop 1-3x/day (I've only endured 1 scoop/day and that's enough!). It can be kind of thick, so add extra water if you want, or even try the pill form (I used powdered form).

Apple Cider Vinegar is one that's good for everyday use. For health, mix it with water and honey and drink up. Be careful to use 1 tsp at a time, it's an acquired taste.

Ginger Root - good for nausea and upset stomach, also good for motion sickness.

Mucolytic agent is an expectorant, and this is one that we had for backup, but I didn't have any congestion.

And then there's the OTC Excedrin Migraine (which has the same ingredients and amounts as regular Excedrin headache, so watch their marketing ploys folks!) - I just used 2 geltabs yesterday and that seemed to help. The bottle said only 2 tabs/24 hours which was interesting. It only has 250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg asprin and 65 mg caffeine per tablet which isn't anything too scary.

Last one I forgot in this pic is Mineral Rich plus Aloe drink. It's actually really tasty and good for you too!

And of course the trusty ice pack!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Ok, I've the ridiculuous headache for 2 days now and have been having a difficult time focusing on anything else, so lets just discuss headaches today. I'm currently on Excedrin Migraine, and Dr. Mom came over today and filled me with feverfew, ginger, acai berry and other natural remedies, so lets see how that helps. I also went to the chriopractor and she thinks it's a tension headache and re-aligned my whole backside. First reactions, feeling somewhat better, just still pretty sore.
Most of my medical knowledge comes from WebMD. I often find it interesting how little most of us know about our own bodies. is full of articles about almost everything you could ever think of. A lot of todays blog will be cut and paste from their website.

Headache pain results from signals interacting between the brain, blood vessels, and surrounding nerves. During a headache, specific nerves of the blood vessels and head muscles are activated and send pain signals to the brain. It's not clear, however, why these signals are activated in the first place.
There are several types of headaches - 150 diagnostic headache categories have been established! The exact cause of most of these headaches are unknown.
Tension headaches are most common in adults, more common in females. There is no single cause for tension headaches. This type of headache is not an inherited trait that runs in families. In some people, tension headaches are caused by tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. They say it could be from stress. I don't think I've been stressed. I can only think I was stressed last week dealing with all the crazy CA drivers, but I don't think I let that get to me.

Unlike migraine headaches, there are no associated neurological symptoms (such as muscle weakness, or blurred vision) in people with tension headaches. In addition, severe sensitivity to light or noise, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting are not symptoms usually associated with tension headaches. That would be a yes, yes, yes, no for me.

People with tension headaches commonly report these symptoms (I've got all of these):
Mild to moderate pain or pressure affecting the front, top or sides of the head
Headache occurring later in the day
Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
Chronic fatigue
Disturbed concentration
Mild sensitivity to light or noise
General muscle aching

Now on to Migraines
Again, exact cause unknown, but they are related to blood vessel contractions and other changes in the brain as well as inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain. Migraine pain is moderate to severe, often described as pounding, throbbing pain. They can last from 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur 1 to 4 times per month. Migraines are associated with symptoms such as light sensitivity; noise or odors; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and stomach upset or abdominal pain.

For many years, scientists believed that migraines were linked to expanding and constricting blood vessels on the brain's surface. However, it is now believed that migraines are caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain.
There is a migraine "pain center" or generator in the brain. A migraine begins when hyperactive nerve cells send out impulses to the blood vessels, causing them to clamp down or constrict, followed by dilation (expanding) and the release of prostaglandins, serotonin, and other inflammatory substances that cause the pulsation to be painful.
Other common types of headaches,
Mixed (Also called transformed migraines) - a combination of migraine and tension headaches.
Cluster - the pain of a cluster headache is intense and may be described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant.
Sinus headaches - deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose.
Hormone - Often associated with changing hormone levels that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.