Saturday, 18 November 2017

Our hero Jack Chrisman, and a day in the country

My good brother Andy, visiting from England was running short of his essential Warfarin medicine.  I remembered that my friend and colleague the Revd John Chrisman (Capt. U.S. Navy Ret.)

Jack was good enough to give Andy enough Warfarin to use for the next few days before he (Andy) returns to the U.K.

Many thanks Jack, we are sorry that Donna was not at home when we visited this morning.

Donna and Jack Chrisman


We left the Chrisman's home to travel out to Arcadia, FL. for a visit to the Oak Grove Town Cemetery.  That's where Twenty three R.A.F cadets are buried in a section maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission.  They had come to Florida to learn how to fly in WWII, but they crashed in training.  Some were but 19 years old.  I take all my U.K. visitors there.


Then I took Andy and his wife Izzy to downtown Arcadia, the County seat of DeSoto County.

I had told them that Arcadia is a town that time forgot.  There are so many vacant lots where homes destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004 were razed to the ground and never rebuilt.

The main street has some attractive old buildings (it looks like a T.V. "Western" town) but it is all but dead.

What business is there is devoted to Antique and chachki stores.

Inside an Arcadia shop.

I understand that every once in a while these stores attract many antique and chachki aficionados from many parts of Florida, and thus add a little wealth to a very (financially) poor part of Florida.

Mostly I take my U.K. visitors to Arcadia so that they can see a bit of Florida  which does not share in the relative prosperity of places like Sarasota.

Here are some facts and figures

Median Family Income

Sarasota County $62, 326
De Soto County $38,996
Arcadia $29.593

Per Capita Income

Sarasota County $33,045

DeSoto County $15, 989

Poverty Rate

Sarasota County 12.2 %

DeSoto County 29.6%


On our way home, hungry as we were,  we stopped for a late lunch at "Geckos",  a  Sports Bar and Restaurant at Frutville  and Cattlemen.

A "Sports Bar"?  Yes indeed , with an enormous  Flat Screen T.V. showing American Football, complete with "fans" who were wearing their favoured team shirts,

Izzy,Andy and I escaped the ra-ra-ra noise by eating outside on a deck which overlooked a pretty retention  pond.

We each were well pleased with the food we chose and ate.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

More Fun and Games in Sarasota

Andy and Izzy took a Le Barge Boat Tour out to Sarasota Bay.

La Barge Boat coming into Dock this afternoon, complete with Palms in the top deck.

They saw some "ginormous" houses some of which which are owned by the idle rich, and some by retirees who worked and saved well to fund their retirements.

Izzy and Andy were more impressed with the marine life. They were lucky enough to see some Manatees and many Dolphins.  Wow!

The next two pictures are from Sarasota Bay but they were found on Google images, i.e. Izzy did not take them

We treasure the Manatees  in Sarasota Bay

\And we adore the Sarasota Bay pod of Dolphins.

I hooked up with my brother and sister in law after their boat trip and took them to the always reliable "Captain Brian's" on Route 41 at the back end of the airport.  

We were each more than well pleased with the food we chose for lunch.

Captain Brian's is as unpretentious as it could be.  I have taken many of my family visitors from the U.K. there.  Each and every one of them has been pleased with the grub.

Captain Brian's also has a fabulous array of fresh fish to buy and  take home.  I am not planning to cook in the next few days, otherwise I would have gone home with some good haddock, or grouper, or salmon

I so much enjoy the visits by my U.K. family members.  Their visits boost my spirits, and they seem to enjoy Sarasota.  Who wouldn't?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

My family members from Bristol U.K. are enchanted with Siesta Key, FL

Andy  (my brother) and Izzy (his wife, my sister in law) are delighted to be in Sarasota, and on Siesta Key.  I am so glad that they are here.

They are staying at Island Beach Resort, Siesta Key, Sarasota on the Gulf side of Midnight Pass Road.  They are in view of the the Beach, a two minute walk away.

It's been their pleasure to join other residents and renters at the Island Beach Resort at 5:00 p.m. and sit on beach side deck-chairs, there to nurse a glass of wine (or Guinness Stout for Andy) as they  rejoice in our lovely Gulf of Mexico sunsets.

Izzy took these pics.

Who could ask for anything more!


Andy, Izzy and I went to the Humane Society of Sarasota this afternoon as I continued my search for a dog.

I was very much taken with this beauty,  a Catahoula Leopard Mix,


She is so bright, full of energy and well trained. I declined to put a $10 holder on her, 'cause it makes more sense to adopt after the human Izzy and Andy return to the U.K.

Let's hope that the Canine Izzy is still waiting for adoption after Nov 24th when my brother and his wife go back to the U.K.

In the meantime I will bask every day in the joy of having brother Andy and his wife Izzy nearby.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Family visiting me from the U.K. (and other good things) (not in chronological order)

Brother Andy rounded off his breakfast at Der Dutchman with a custard filled and iced (frosted) pastry.  He liked it!  'photo by Izzy 

I had a veggie filled omelet with excellent home fries.
Mennonite/ Amish Restaurant on Bahia Vista St., Sarasota,.  Our venue for breakfast today.

Early morning  Nov 14th '17 with pink tinged cloud

Late afternoon at Glen Oaks Ridge, bathed in the dying light.(1)

Late afternoon at Glen Oaks Ridge, bathed in the dying light.(2)

My City Sarasota FL is a lovely place.  I am so pleased that many of my U.K. family members have visited me here. Maureen/Bern, Jean/John, Martyn/Sam, Ruth/Dennis, Beth/ Jordan, and now Andy/Izzy.

It's a "cool" City, but not a place to go overboard with admiration.  There are also some mean people  here!  No names, no pack drill!

Every place has its flaws, 'cause every place has human inhabitants.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Pins and Needles (and a good family visit)

Darn it all, I am getting Pins and Needles in my right leg when I drive my brand new Kia Forte Car.

So much so that my leg goes numb - with possibly dangerous results.

Driving north on Beneva St (Sarasota)  last Saturday evening I lost all sense in that leg.  I came to the Amish Road Crossing just a wee bit south of Bahia Vista,but as an Amish woman tried to cross I pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.  I zoomed past her, and no-one was hurt.  But it was a close call.

Today I bought a seat cushion for the car to raise me up a bit.

It seems to be helping.


My good brother Andy and his wife Izzy are here from the U.K..  It is so good to see them.

They are staying at  on Siesta Key

Izzy and I had lunch at Panera Bread today (Andy was sleeping off his jet lag).

After lunch I drive them up to the big parking lot on Siesta Key so that they could enjoy the  which they did.

Then they walked on the beach the mile back to the Island Beach Resort.


Tomorrow (Tues 14th)  I will treat Izzy and Andy to a calorific-intense  breakfast at

so that they can savour some of the Amish/Mennonite heritage in SRQ,'

After breakfast they will come to my home to pay the obligatory obeisance to my cat Adelaide  She expects nothing less.


\Then we will head down to the

to see if I can find a replacement  for the irreplaceable  PENNE

Goodness gracious, how I miss her.

Ear Worm - two nights in a row. Aargh

Now I pass it on to you

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Well lookee here

Colourful birds, Tampa Bay (North Pier Rest Area  I  275)

As tired as can be.  Brother Andy and sister in law Izzy after a l..o...n...g trip from Bristol U.K. to Siesta Key FL.  I met them at TPA and drove them to their rental. Andy is holding a Bristol Rovers Football Club towel just to annoy me!  (I support the best team in our home city -  Bristol City Football Club).

Island House Beach Resort, Siesta Key.  Their home for the next two weeks.