Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pictures or it didn't happen.

It's amazing how attached I am to the idea of taking copious amounts of photos everywhere I go, and how utterly despondent I feel when I lose said photos. Normally I use my DSLR for important things (like, say, my birthday). However, since I knew my birthday adventures this weekend would involve water, I decided to use my much less valuable point-n-shoot instead. When it crapped out pretty much right at the get go, I switched to my phone. My phone takes pretty excellent pictures, so why not, right? Well, after photographing a perfect day out on the Gulf in Frank's boat, horseshoe crab sex, my mother kayaking on reflective water under a gorgeous sky, and our very fancy dinner at a fabulously swanky restaurant with an amazing chef located inside a restored old lodge, seeing this lovely message appear as I was in the process of copying the photos from my phone to my laptop pretty much ruined my day:

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I mean, "catastrophic failure"? Well, I guess that's another way of saying "Haha, no matter what you do, your photos are completely non-recoverable." And after wasting about two hours trying everything I could find (and that Google could suggest) for how to recover them, I have come to the conclusion that all my photos are simply lost. This post won't be nearly the same without them. I have a couple of photos that I uploaded to facebook during the course of the day, and the one decent pic I snapped on the point-n-shoot, and that's it. Ahh well.

I met my mom and Frank at Dekle Beach in the early afternoon, and we decided to take Frank's boat out into the gulf. We rode out from Dekle, past Keaton Beach and over to Dark Island before heading back in to shore. 

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Mom on the boat

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Crazy boat-hair selfie

Then we discovered that it must be horseshoe crab mating season, because there were a couple of them going at it by the boat ramp, completely oblivious to the humans tramping around and doing things like backing a ramp into the water and hauling a boat out. I was thoroughly fascinated by this. Later in the afternoon, when we went for a bike ride, we came across a legitimate horseshoe crab orgy. I kid not - I counted 17 of the beasts, all getting busy.

My mom took her kayak out in the canal behind Frank's house, and I got some really great pictures, which sadly no longer exist. Arrrgh! I do, however, have this rather mundane shot of my feet in a hammock, taken while my mom was out paddling. 

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After our various water adventures, it was time for dinner. During my trips to Dekle Beach since Frank bought a house there, I'd driven past an old historical building on the outskirts of Cross City. Last year, it had been closed up, seemingly abandoned. However, this summer, when driving to Dekle, I noticed that it had been fixed up and opened as a hotel and restaurant. I'd wanted to eat there ever since I realized it was open for business, so my mom and Frank decided to take me there for my birthday. The place is called the Putnam Lodge, and it is most definitely worth the drive to the middle of nowhere in Dixie County, Florida. The food there was incredible - some of the best food I have ever eaten in the United States. It not only tasted unbelievably scrumptious, but it was quite beautifully arranged so that it made for some great pictures... which of course I no longer have. And the fully restored 1920s lodge (built for the executives of the Putnam Lumber Company) provides a wonderful ambiance for such a tasty dinner. Plus, it wasn't overly expensive; the price was pretty comparable to eating at any chain restaurant like Applebee's or Olive Garden, only the food was exponentially better. I uploaded a selfie at dinner, and sadly, that's the only photo of the place I've got.

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However, the Putnam Lodge's website ( and facebook page have some great pictures of both the lodge itself and the food that they serve. It is most definitely worth the drive, and I very much want to go back.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

To blog or not to blog?

So I've been pretty shitty at keeping up with the whole blogging thing of late. It's been nearly two months since my last post. I go through phases when I wonder what the point is - especially when I'm living here in the US - when I feel like blogging is somewhat of a useless endeavor. I mean, everything I'm going to post here now has been posted on Facebook during the course of the past two months, and I doubt there's anyone reading this who wasn't referred from a link on my Facebook page. I'm going to post today, but as to whether or not I'll keep up the practice, that remains to be seen. 

I had nearly all of the entire month of August off, which in many ways was great. Who doesn't like having nearly an entire month off? Well, as someone who hadn't saved any money over the summer (new house expenses and all that) and who had been told she would only be teaching part time in the fall (luckily that turned out not to be the case; I'm teaching full time), going on the sort of grand adventure that you all know I love was simply not an option. So I stayed here. I worked on my house. I got more animals. I helped my mom move out to her nearly completed 1906 restoration house. Several of her animals didn't survive the move, something which is so unbearably depressing that I cannot bring myself to blog about it. Some of my animals got loose and were headed out of town before I caught up with them. I need a new roof but can't really afford one. Fall classes start in two days, and for the next two weeks I probably won't have time to breathe, much less blog.  I may hold off on blogging until my next bit of traveling, whenever that happens. Or I might keep at it. We'll see how it goes, although I'm really not feeling the whole blog-vibe at the moment. 

I mentioned that I got more animals. I am now up to eight - four dogs and four cats. When last I posted, I had added Wolfie and Chappie to the menagerie, and Helena had shown up and added herself. Since then I've added Nadya (another of my mom's dogs) and Castor, a puppy that was dumped out near my mom's land. Amazingly, everyone gets along, although Nadya will chase cats if unsupervised. She's also the one who tunneled out from under my fence and led Wolfie on a trek across town. Naughty Nadya's my problem child.

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Nadya is on the left, Wolfie's on the right. Now, whenever Nadya is outside unsupervised, she must be on a cable tie-out and in a harness (she's quite skilled at getting out of a collar, and left hers behind when she and the Wolfman went on their grand adventure)

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Castor Bean!! Isn't he adorable? How could someone dump something this cute? He's older than he looks (4-5 months, judging from his teeth) so he's probably going to stay pretty small.

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Chappie, on the other hand, is turning into a big boy - you'd hardly recognize him as my 'housewarming kitten'! I swear he's going to be as big as Charlie (in the background) in no time - and that's no small feat.

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Helena has settled in as well, although she has perfected the art of the dirty look, which she gives to pretty much everyone (four legs or two) all the time.

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Mochi *loves* the house and the yard.

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Bagira's pretty chill about everything.