Doing some catching up tonight. Some of the below will be old news if we’re friends on Facebook, but since some of you don’t do Facebook, I wanted to share what’s been happening the last week or two . . or three.
It feels SO GOOD to get up each morning lately and feel the need to pull a sweatshirt on over my pajama top and slip socks on my feet before I make it to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee. We are finally experiencing a little “cold snap” – meaning the day temps are in the low to mid-60’s (tomorrow the high is supposed to be 55), and the night temps have waivered a couple of times into the low 50’s (tomorrow night it may PLUNGE into the 40’s). WooHoo!
Ted is fussing about all this terrible weather – mainly to aggravate me. He says things like, “I didn’t move to Florida to have to wear a jacket on walks” and “Have you seen my wool cap with the earmuffs?”. I wish I had a photo of how he dresses for dog walks now – wool beanie, heavy jacket . . . . . and shorts! That guy!
On the other hand, Bear is deliriously happy with the cooler weather . . .
. . . . and is enjoying his romps on the beach so much more! I sent these two photos to our wonderful vet in Georgia who performed Bear’s knee surgery – just to show him how well he’s doing. Can’t believe that’s been a year-and-a-half ago! Also can’t believe this sweet boy turned nine on Dec. 20.
We had a little scare with Maddie a few weeks ago. She came up limping one afternoon – not putting any weight at all on one rear leg. Off to the vet we went where they immediately suspected a back issue and put her on REST for a week. One of our neighbors joked that making Maddie rest would be like nailing jello to a tree. But we did our best – toting her up and down the stairs, not letting her jump up on or down off the furniture, and giving her anti-inflammatory meds. So happy to report she is doing fine and seems to not be limping at all. I’m praying this was a simple strained muscle and not the beginnings of back issues.
Ever seen a manatee up close? This mama and her baby showed up off a neighbor’s dock a few days ago and seemed to be smiling for the camera! Her mouth is open. Then there’s her fuzzy snout (you can see her nostrils at the top of the snout, next is a wrinkle, and then her eyes. Mom and baby spent several hours feeding in our inlet before wandering on down the intracoastal.
We continue to celebrate finding our great little community, Sunset Inlet. As time goes on, you’ll get to know a lot of these folks through the blog posts, and here are three couples we spend a lot of fun time with. From left to right: Nick and Sharon, then Toney and Sue, then Ernie and Jennifer. We all spent Saturday touring the St. Augustine Wild Reserve, which rescues exotic animals from folks who mistakenly purchase these creatures (lions, tigers, wolves, cervils, bears, etc.) and then decide they can’t (or won’t) care for them. It was amazing to see the love and care they all receive now.
I’m going to write a blog post above the reserve soon, but here a little tease (both photos used with permission from the St. Augustine Wild Reserve)::
Angel – a White Tiger
Mufasa – an African Lion
After our tour we went into St. Augustine for a wonderful dinner at the Old City Inn . . .
. . . and leaving we caught a little glimpse of St. Augustine’s holiday lights, which will remain up until the end of January. So beautiful!
You first met Bart (a volunteer fireman on Mackinac) and his new puppy Chester in a blog post in September.
And here they are in December! Bart is the Front Office Manager at the Lilac Tree Suites and Spa, and Chester was helping out with the decorations for the holidays! He’s growing fast!
A Clark Bloswick photo near the top of Fort Street, after a good snowfall recently . . .
. . . and a night-time look down Fort Street from Greg Main, with a well-lit freighter in the background.
A gorgeous, almost-snow-covered Cadotte Avenue, compliments of Kaitlynn Gerdes.
A New Year’s Eve crossing on the Mighty Huron – showing just how cold it is! (Photo: Maryanke Alexander)
Another photo from Maryanke. Lots of snow for New Year’s celebrations, and it looks like there was some serious shopping going on!
Folks are finding some “ice art” here and there along the coastline, but no signs at all yet that there will be an ice bridge this year. (Photo: Patrick Conlon)
From Bobby Lee: An island Belgian watches the Mighty Huron leave the island in the fog. This was Jan. 4, and it was -2 degrees.
Blog Non-Schedule: Since everyone seemed to love the idea of “coming full circle” back to Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog, I’m going to go out on a limb here and make another administrative change.
I know you all say you don’t care when the blogs arrive, and it’s been ME, not YOU who makes a big deal of that. So, for now at least, I won’t be posting on any particular schedule. Hopefully, that will mean I’ll sit down when an idea strikes me and post right away – instead of waiting for my self-appointed time. Hopefully also, that will mean I will post more frequently – not less.
Some Personal Stuff: I’ve mentioned some health issues lately but have been waiting until I had some definite news to really explain. I now have “half” a diagnosis, and since it will be the middle of February before I see a doctor again (unless there’s a cancellation), I’ll share what’s going on at this point.
I’ve had chronic neck pain for probably 20 years. I have no idea what started it, so it could have been some accident I don’t recall or it could simply be genetic. Regardless, about 20 years ago I saw an orthopedist in Albany GA who told me I had “the neck for a 90-year-old woman” and stressed to me the importance of staying off horses and trying not to get hit from the rear in a car accident. The horse riding I’ve avoided, but I’ve been hit from the rear twice since then – and I’m still walking.
Over the years the pain has gotten worse. It’s pretty much constant to some degree, but not really bad except occasionally. This past summer on Mackinac – for whatever reason – it became really, really bad. When I got home I made an appointment with an internist, who scheduled an MRI and referred me to a neurologist. The diagnosis – one totally collapsed disc, with the two under that one partially collapsed. Degenerative disc disease (I guess that explains why I’ve lost almost two inches in height over the last twenty years).
Because the neurologist also saw some deformity in the curve of my neck (mine is straight where it should curve), he sent me for more x-rays and made a follow-up appointment for the middle of February (the first time he had an opening). Now right here is where I could get started on the state of health care in this country for “older” people, but I won’t bore you with that.
The doc did say that he would be slow to operate – opting probably to try physical therapy and injections first. I guess that could change depending on what the x-rays show. I’m FINE with that – I would just like to start said PT and injections NOW, rather than a month-and-a-half from now! I will continue to call once a week to check on cancellations.
I think that’s about all I have for now, and I’m pretty sure we’re all caught up. EXCEPT – I’m still going to share soon our visit to a CLOSED Grand Hotel. Can you say C.R.E.E.P.Y?