Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home Early...Return of the Cookie Sheet...AND Barbara Manatee....

We are back.... a day early, but it was a nice 2 day getaway.  Our minds are basically overcome with all that is "Mary" at this time and we got a phone call while we were away that just added to the mixing pot.

Dementia is an ugly thing, and Mary's mental state is deteriorating steadily day by day.

Although we still can't see the whole puzzle, we are trying to figure out what piece we play, what our role is in Mary's life.  If it wasn't to bring her here (as originally intended) and care for her during her last years of life, what is it???

Perhaps our job is to protect her from those who are more than willing to take what she will give them, (even when she doesn't realize she needs that protection).  We didn't get into this to fight a battle, just to love someone in need.  But perhaps that's exactly what we are supposed to do.  It's really hard to tell at this point.  Doors open, doors close, paths look clear, then cloudy...

I'll admit that we are both overwhelmed, we aren't sure who to trust, what family members, what "old friends", what employees at the nursing home, who is honest, who is out to get for themselves?  We'll keep on keeping on, and see how it goes.  God knows what He's doing...that I am certain of.

On to something a bit brighter, because I canNOT let my entire day be absorbed by these thoughts or I'll go nutty.  :)

Have you ever been to a natural spring in Florida?  There are over 700 natural springs in Florida.  Did you know this means Florida has one of the largest concentration of springs on the earth??  Of these springs, 18 are Florida State parks, and a few days ago we visited one of them...Blue Spring State Park.

There wasn't a LOT to do at the park itself, but since it was a short getaway for us, it worked out nicely.  We got there on Sunday afternoon and decided to park the RV near the spring and take a dip in the water.  We changed into our suits and headed down the boardwalk. 

Right off, I knew the place was TOO crowded for our tastes.  There were a lot of people, loud music, etc...  We continued down the boardwalk to the last "entrance" before the spring head, walked down the steps and stuck our toes in the water.

Then we stopped.  It was COLD!!!!  I got in to my waist and it was COLDDDDDDD!!!!  Mike toe dipped, lol.  We then decided that we would come back the next day at high noon when the sun would help out, lol...late afternoon in 72 degree water was not workin' for this girl.

We found our campsite and set up camp.  That evening we took a bike ride around the campground, most of the "day visitors" had gone home by now and it was serene and calm....just our style. 

Have you ever seen a Luv Bug?  yuck.  We have one Luv Bug season...apparently Blue Spring's area has TWO...cause they were EVERYWHERE!
Hmmm, a BBQ sounds appetizing... ?
There were a lot of large old Oaks...they were beautiful with the moss hanging down.  This is Mikey looking out over the St. Johns river....we didn't see any, but that place is known to be teaming with gators...ewwwww
Cool reflection on calm waters...just so you know, this is NOT the part where you swim...unless you want to get eaten...

If you want to take a boat ride, you can pay $22 bucks and go for a tour...we didn't.

We just relaxed for the rest of the evening and had a nice dinner of chicken Ceaser Lasagne and Spring Green Salad... yum.

Monday we slept in,...nice. :)  Then we suited up and rode our bikes to the spring area. 

Guess who we saw there?  Barbara!

You know...
Barbara Manatee, manatee, manatee...
You are the one for me, one for me, one for me...
Sent from up above, up above, up above...
You are the one I love, one I love, one I love...

(Yes, I watched WAY too many Veggie Tales at one time)

No Moleste! 
You are not to touch or feed manatees, but there is nothing you can do if they swim right up to you and sit there...neat.
That's my honey!  Look how beautifully clear the water is.
This is the spring head...tons of water pours out from the earth every day through this hole in the cool.  If you are a scuba diver, you can go down there (with a buddy).  Sounds scary to me...
Mikey posing above the "cave"...
Awe!  :)  That's me and my honey bunches... :)
There I am...gator bait!  :)  Kidding...I don't think gators come near the cold spring least not often...yikes.
There were a lot of fish in the shallower waters...
The "jumping" platform...
...and for your viewing pleasure...this is what I look like to a fish while I'm snorkelling... :)
Here is Barbara from above the water..isn't she cute?
She was a little overly friendly, just joining in the fun...
What a lovely view...
The trees are majestic and the water so clear...

Monday afternoon we recieved the phone call (mentioned above) and decided that we would leave the next day instead of staying 3 nights. 

So we decided to have a picnic lunch...

This is the original house of the Thursby family who lived right next to the spring...that would have been so fun...
The spring way back when...
The house way back when...
Mrs. Thursby's kitchen...looks big and pretty, but it looks like a lot of work ahead of her just to make dinner!

Not sure what these were, maybe boysenberries???  They were really pretty though.

We just hung out at the campsite and enjoyed homemade pizza for dinner (yeah, we don't eat like campers, lol).

Hey, do you remember my "lost" cookie sheet????  Well, guess what?????  I found it!!! Yea!

As I was preparing to make pizza, I stood in my little RV kitchen...

Opened the cabinet below the stove to get my pizza pan...

And what did I find??? 

I guess I must have put it in there to take on our camping trip to the Keys a couple months remember that "attempt" at a vacation, right?  :)  Well, there it was, I can rest knowing it is safe, lol.

Today I am going to my best girlfriend Kim's house and we are gonna do girly stuff...'cause that's what we do.  We are going to do a sewing project together...I love that!  Can't wait! :)
We shall show you soon what we made! :)


  1. SO GLAD to know that the cookie sheet is safe - LOL!! I was really wishing I could find it for you! :)

    Will keep on praying about the Mary situation and that God will continue to lead you and show you what He wants you to do.

    Your camping trip looks fun!! What a neat place to go - beautiful pics!! Hugs!

  2. Welcome Home !! Looks like a wonderful time and HEY when you find something you have been messing that just makes it all the better right!!??

    So sorry about this Mary situation! I will be praying that you know EXACTLY what it is the Lord wants you to do and for discernment on all the people that play a role in this!!

    Your pics are awesome! We took a manatee tour a few years ago there in florida and WOW it was awesome! We were told the same thing ~ no touchy but hey they came right up to you and well, you just gotta love on them!! Those precious things! It was an experience I will never forget!

    Love you!!

  3. Drama, fun, food, missing cookie sheets found. I just don't think I can keep up! LOL!
    You know I love you my friend and we are praying so hard for you guys.
    Today was fun. I can't wait to finish our projects and start filming!
    Love you my bestest!

  4. Hey! We used to spend a couple days every December in a Blue Springs cabin! When we lived in OC, we tried swimming in the spring during the summer. The COLD water, in contrast with the HOT air... first time in my life my lips actually tuned BLUE! The cave scared me, so I stayed clear.

    We continue to pray for y'all and Mary. It's so sad to know we live in a world where greed has suffocated compassion in too many people.

    Love ya loads, snorkel snooks!
    Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

  5. Oh, yeah... your berries are Beautyberries. Birds love them!

  6. We loooove blue springs. My kids even love it. We didn't go this summer. Maybe next weekend. We always bring tubes though, It's so darn cold...even midday. Glad you had fun. Maybe we can all plan to camp there one day.

  7. What awesome pics! Looks like an amazing time.

    Will be praying for you about Mary...such a hard time. Praying for wisdom and strength.

  8. Hey there!
    oh my.. you were literally about 10 minutes from my house!! We go to Blue Springs all the time.. I don't get in much.. too cold.. but it is beautiful!!

    Glad you had a great time.

  9. Looks like you had a wonderful time. NO WAY, however, would I set foot in potential gator-filled water. No way...nope.
    Peace and blessings to your day!

  10. So glad you got away and so glad you are back!! Love all the pictures at the Spring and that old house is super cool. I just love places like that. When we camp, we don't eat camp food either!! Love you dinners!!

    So sorry you are really going through it with Mary!! Dementia is awful, we went through that with my Nanny!! So sad.

    Yay for the found cookie sheet!!

    I am having a giveaway on my blog, if you have a chance, come by

    Love you!

  11. What a lovely time away!! Most of the things you said and show are SO FOREIGN to us here. lol. I think I would have a small cow if one of these came up to me and just sat there.

    Us, from the NE like our animals either domesticated or in the zoo. We don't do well with nature. lol. And the natural springs thing??? WHOA, that is super cool!!!

    I will be in prayer wit you about Mary. I know that is so hard, but I also know it is hard because she has been firmly planted in your heart by our Lord. Thank you for your obedience. It is a beautiful example.