Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Deja vu! I’m back at Paneras on the free wi-fi here in sunny Florida. We’re on a seasonal plan with the cable company and ours won’t come back on for good for about 8 weeks. So- a quick update and then I’m spending the day with my pruners and Laawrry (who now goes, officially, by the name Gigi as in gay gardener.) Although it seems hot and muggy to me, Gigi informs me that it’s cooler, relatively speaking, because, “Law, honey, y’all shoulda been har a month ago! Ah thought even ah was gonna die of heatstroke!”

It’s wonderful to be here. I’m not sure why this feels so much more like a home to me, whereas Chicago feels like a prefectly adequate brickhouse- a place where I live so I can go to the zoo, concerts, museums, visit with new friends and see the sights. What I do know is that sleeping through the night without sirens screaming in the street outside, helicopters hovering about the roof and neighborhood security lights piercing the peaceful dark of night is a blessing, pure and simple.

Grey made it, if not comfortably, at least in one piece, despite the fact that I twice accidentally rolled him onto the airport floor, carrier and all, off the top of my carry on suitcase as I was trying to juggle my way through security. He also survived a brief babysitting gig with the Enterprise car rental folks as I raced about the Tampa airport trying to recover my lost cell phone. (Miracles of miracles, I did- the snap on case on the side of my carry-on got ripped off when someone jammed a too-big bag in next to it. If you thought they no longer clean airplanes, let me tell you that they at least check into the far recesses of the overhead bins for left items. Maybe it was because of the heightened security on Tuesday, but I did get my phone back.)

Anyway, Grey is here, settling into his new home with Abby and yes, the-new-this-year roommate. (And no, Roxanne, I don’t think this is one of those situations where they are “just hanging out.”) Maybe later today the happy threesome will let me take a picture for tomorrow’s Ark but at the moment, one is at work, one is in class and one is under the bed. Grey is still recovering from a month in a tiny space at the animal hospital, all of his immunizations the day before flying, the trip here and a whole new world. He comes out to explore when they are sitting quietly studying or watching TV and last night, after 24 hours, he was busily exploring the tops of all the furniture so he’s moving up in the world. Meanwhile, I am adjusting to the notion that my daughter seems to me, for the first time, like a beautifully wholly grown young woman with a complete life of her own. It’s a stunning realization and requires a dedicated post, which I promise to write in the next couple days. Promise. Because I need to talk about it. Just as soon as I get the anxious breathing under control.

To that end, I immediately resumed yoga with my favorite teacher at the beautiful outdoor amphitheater of the Sunken Gardens. It now meets four early mornings a week and that makes me happy, happy, happy. It rained last night so this morning everything was fresh and lush and the Chilean flamingos were wandering about, along with the egrets and all the other birds. Sweet peace.

The rest of what you get today are photo updates. I’m still photo handicapped so make of them what you will; perhaps you will remember those pictures from last January- a short 9 months ago!- when things looked very different.


The orchids hanging along the fence are blooming…it amazes me that they just hang there in a few bits of bark, long aerial roots dangling and thrive.


Do you remember when I was snitching little 3 inch bits and pieces of succulents and cacti around the neighborhood and sticking them into pots? This particular start now has stems 2 and 3 feet long and this 7 inch tall bud. Will it bloom in the next two days? I’m keeping my fingers crossed…


Remember when this little brick walk-way was first going in?


Now, it looks like this.

In fact, the entire front of the house looks dramatically different.


Today’s work is getting some of this under control- and filling the feeders!


Finally this picture, a gift of slow growing seeds from a Florida neighbor have started to grow. These coontie, a pure Florida native, will grace the xeriscaped yard down here once they get just a tad bigger.


8 responses to “Home again, home again, jiggity jig

  1. Your Florida home looks so lush and beautiful. I see why it feels more like home. Maybe it is home, and Chicago is just the other place you go to spend summers.

    Glad to read that Grey is getting up and around on the top of the furniture. That’s a very good sign. I hope he loves his new home.

  2. It all looks wonderful! Are you here just for a week? You do have a time keeping up with your cell phone, don’t you.

    Your yard looks gorgeous!

  3. Oh Vicki. It all looks so fabulous and lush and cozy. *sigh* When can I come and visit and wander off to Fort Desoto to buy a brick in memory of my uncle? I understand there are a couple/few there already from my parents and his other friends and family.

    Hugs and smooches. Grey sounds like he will settle in just fine. And your girl. Yes, it is time. Mine will be making that transition soon too.

  4. I’m not even considering the possibility of my girls growing up and having boyfriends. Not gonna do it. Nope.

    Your home looks wonderful. Such green progress while you were gone.

    Your coonties look thrilled to be there!
    See? Peeling that orange goo paid off.
    Good luck to Grey EIHIAC*.

    *Even If He Is A Cat

  5. What a lovely post. Feels good. We have the tree man coming again Saturday morning to begin the work in the back yard. Desperately need to get the jungle under control. Then the renovation of the landscaping begins.

    Enjoy your visit with your wonderful daughter. We are on the verge of a new chapter around here as our son is in his senior year of high school this year. Next year leaving the nest and off to college somewhere. Yikes.

  6. Maybe it’s the weather, or the PALM TREES(I’m a huge fan), or that Abby is there. I think the peace and quiet and beauty of your Florida home calm and soothe you. You do many, many cultural activities in Chicago, and although I’m sure you enjoy them, a steady diet of that can be wearing.

  7. You made a silk purse out of a semi-sow’s ear. I am so proud of you.

  8. Vicki, your posts are decidely more cheery than when you are in the frozen north (even when it isn’t frozen). You must really love it there. How is Bud? You haven’t mentioned him lately. I look forward to the post on Abby. You always write so eloquently of your children.

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