Monday, December 31, 2007


I no longer make New Year's resolutions. My success rate is pretty low - good intentions are usually forgotten halfway through January.

Reading some of my favorite bloggers lately, I noticed a trend; instead of making resolutions, people adopt words they will focus on throughout the year. Words like: forgiveness, compassion, risk, health, understanding, adventure, love, acceptance, spirituality...

So I pick the word "Cherish" for 2008. To be aware and appreciative of the people in my life, the places I hold dear and simple moments like this one - curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and Truffles gently snoring on top of my head...

What's your word?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Neapolitan Christmas

I just realized that I have not posted any Christmas themed photos this year. But it is so hard to get into the proper spirit when the beach calls your name...

Lest you call me Scrooge, here are some holiday takes from around town: a rooftop Santa from the Palm Cottage, a disco boat from the Christmas Boat Parade on the Imperial River, a Christmas Tree from the Venetian Village, a couple of lawn decorations from my community and yes, a self-portrait ;-)

Whew! Glad to get it out in one big swoop. Now, back to the beach...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The aftermath

The Village on Venetian Bay, Naples

After the recent days of continuous feasting and overall Christmas merriment, I feel like "The Pie Lady" ;-)

Luckily, right behind her is a clothing boutique selling Tummy Tuck Jeans. They promise to: lift your butt, flatten your tummy and make you look a size smaller!

If I buy a few pairs, will I drop several sizes?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


"The time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door
Were shut between me and the sound:
Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate, and now decrease,

Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill, to all mankind."

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson Voices in the Mist

Warm and wonderful Christmas wishes to all my Blogger friends!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Letter

Fifth Ave South, downtown Naples

Dear Santa,

This year I wish for World Peace, a Cure for all Disease, the End of Global Hunger, and - since I've been a very good girl - a little red sports car (preferably a hybrid)!

Merry Christmas!

What's on your wish list?

Friday, December 21, 2007


Holiday visitors arrive in Naples and the first order of business is to test the waters...

Yep, it's warm enough to swim.

“A real friend is someone who takes a winter vacation on a sun-drenched beach and does not send a card.”
~Farmer’s Almanac

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

After the rain

Typically, the rain did not last long. The sun came out, the birds returned and life is back to normal...

" I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes."
~Charles Lindberg

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let it snow rain!

photo taken through the screen of the lanai

Finally! Thank you Olga!

Woke up Sunday morning to the sound of the rain - a rare occurrence here in the wintertime but very welcome! Like most of the South this year, Florida is suffering from extreme drought. I will expand on it in a later post.

I love rain...In the rain, no one can tell that you are crying...

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Brown deck, brown leaves, brown lizard. Boring and dull...but safe.

We are all trying to fit in, not to stir the waters. Have the days of hippies, counterculturists and nonconformists gone the way of disco?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Thursday, December 13, 2007

High anxiety

Just an ordinary afternoon in my community...or is it?

If you lived in one of those houses, would you be worried?

No? Well, obviously you have not seen the following:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Smell the flowers

Truffles and hibiscus

"Don't hurry and don't worry,
Life's too precious to be rushed,
Take time to hear the blackbird sing
When the evening's hushed.

Don't stumble and don't grumble,
We're only here a while,
So smell the flowers on your way,
Enjoying every mile.

Don't groan a lot, or moan a lot,
Or dwell on stress and strife,
But see the wonders of the world
And all the gifts of life.

Don't hurry and don't worry,
Enjoy the sun and showers,
We're here for such a little while -
Take the time to smell the flowers."

~Iris HESSELDEN Smell the Flowers

Just a friendly reminder, during this stressful holiday season ;-)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I only have eyes for you...

Well, guess who kept me company during this morning's walk - Al, the alligator!

Some of you've asked if I fear Al. Not really. If left alone, an alligator would much rather stay away from humans than attack them. In the State of Florida it is illegal to feed a wild alligator, as doing so tends to make the animal associate humans with food and it loses its natural fear of man.

However, attacks on humans do occur, and there have been several fatal alligator attacks in Florida. Many of these involve small children or swimmers, however most of them can be attributed to human error. One of the most important rules is, should you see an alligator in the wild...Leave It Alone.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Coconut Point Mall, Estero

It's the weekend, people - I need my Grape!

The Grape is a wine bar, where you can taste over 120 unique wines by the bottle or a glass, all the while munching on some gourmet treats.

It is also a wine merchant, so if you find your perfect wine, you can bring a case home ;-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pod invasion

La Florida - "the land of flowers" in Spanish - is also the land of mighty strange looking pods, like this one

and this one.

Don't ask me what they are - I have no idea! But if it seems like I've been replaced by an alien being, you'll know how it happened...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Smooth sailing

“Jolly boating weather,
And a hay harvest breeze,
Blade on the feather,
Shade off the trees.”
William Johnson Cory

And how was your weekend?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Theme day - bridges

Don't get me wrong - Southwest Florida has plenty of impressive bridges, linking the mainland with our famous islands like Sanibel, Captiva or Marco.

But truthfully, we cannot compete with the Golden Gate, Sydney Harbor, Le pont de Normandie or Tsing ma.

So I will keep it humble - this is a footbridge over a small lake in my community. Most of my nature photos - flowers, plants, birds, alligators, turtles - were taken from this spot.

It's my private Giverny ;-)

More than a 120 City Daily Photo blogs are currently participating in this theme day. Please visit them here:
Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USAChateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA