Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Azaleas, and our Cruiser's Potluck

 Once again it's that time of year for the big azalea bloom-out and boy, did they! The problem was that we had a spell of HOT weather shortly after they bloomed and within 2 weeks (or less) it was over; brown, spent flowers drooping then falling to litter the ground. Sad, so sad. I love seeing the bushes blanketed with the pink's, fushia's, salmon's & white's. Here's one pic of some bushes by the pool that aren't fully out yet but close.

The landscapers stop trimming the azaleas in the fall
to ensure a good bloom, that's why they look leggy.

Here's one right out front in the roadway median. There was a big uproar around here regarding a severe pruning of the common area azalea bushes. They had gotten to be 6' tall and needed to fill-out not get taller. Anyway, a severe "murdering" occurred a couple of years ago and they're looking stunning; short and stout with a ton of blooms! Good job grounds committee.

You can also see the storm security door we recently
installed which allows us to leave the front door open
for nice breezes through the house, and for
when we're sitting in our small courtyard area.

My friend Nancy is in the process of moving to a new apartment complex, so I offered her some moving boxes we had from my M-I-L's house. When she came by, we not only had a great little visit with her but she brought books! Many by my favorite mystery/thriller authors, thanks a bunch Nancy!

I generally don't keep many hardcover books, so I will 
begin whittling the pile down right away. Many are re-reads,
but I don't mind that one bit.

On the cooking front I made another beef pot pie, with Tex-Mex overtones - lots of cumin and cumin seed, california chili powder and some reconstituted dried chili's/garlic paste. So good, a big hit with the boss.

Beef pot pie with flourishes, lol.

I've also been stocking up on silk flowers (on sale) for spring/summer bouquet baskets. Surprisingly Walmart had some really gorgeous flower bunches they were selling for $1, and some full, pretty forsythia picks for $.25, I couldn't pass them up!  When I make up these baskets they go outside where they live until they are completely beat up by the brutal summer sun/heat. I toss them and make new ones using thrift store straw baskets or wreaths and silk flowers. I don't have the skill or patience for live plants anymore.

Really nice little find.

Now for the fun part. We went down to Rodman Dam to meet up with Marlene/Benno of  fame, our long-time cruising friends formerly of m/v 'Diesel Duck' and Allayne/Dennis, our good friends from Venezuelan cruising days and formerly of s/v 'Audrey Paige'. They are from the northland and winter here in FL, visiting family in the area.

From the left clockwise; Dennis, Marlene, Benno,
Allayne, Ed and Harley chilling out nearby.

 The meetup location got mixed-up but we all ended up in a nice picnic pavilion with 2 tables, ideal for a potluck situation. Just by the river there were some folks fishing and tearing it up - catching mainly mullet, which are really good smoked. They were catching them left and right, we were jealous of all the good fishing fun. 

Perfect spot to chill out and fish from.

Just down from the dam the "fishing" birds hang out; cormorants, anhinga's, ducks and whatever.

In addition, there are always a few osprey around too.

After a few hours the heat got a little too brutal
so we hugged all around and went our separate ways.

It was a shame that Nancy couldn't make it but it's on again for next year, God willing (and the creeks don't rise).

Here are a few more shots.

Marlene with her doxies Reggie and Elsa.

Everyone except Allayne who took this great shot.
There's never any lack of conversational gambits with this bunch,
every time we see each other it's like no time has gone by at all.

It was a great day out and about and has been a fun few weeks as well.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. We love comments should you feel so inclined. 😄


  1. Very cool that you were able to meet up with Marlene and Benno! We have not met them yet but God willing (and the creeks don't rise) maybe we will someday!

    1. That would be a treat for you both I'm sure. We should have gotten together earlier as everybody will start heading north pretty soon.

  2. This was such a fun day with you guys! Once a year is not enough to catch up with you and Florida has so many nice parks and areas to hang out and have a picnic. The Azaleas will bloom in my garden in May/June, so there is a second chance if you want to see them this year :-)

    1. I know, once is not enough. It just seems like time just scoots by so quickly. I would love to head up your way this summer but I'm not holding my breath. 😞

  3. How great to meet up with Marlene and Benno! Nice pictures.

  4. Your pot pie is beautiful. Everything is so green and those azaleas are fantastic!