Sunlight Map

I just love maps. Maps for driving, maps for finding fun places to go, maps of the world. Old maps, new maps, all are interesting. Recently Trav’s brother gave us a hurricane tracking map (thanks, Mike!) but I hope that’s one gift we don’t get much use out of. Anyway, I found this really neat web page – World Sunlight Map. It shows the parts of the earth currently in shadow, in near-real time. Neat!

Fun personality test

Here’s a fun way to kill half an hour – take a personality test at PersonalDNA. Click here to view my results… it turns out I’m a concerned leader personality type. Hmm! I wouldn’t have expected that! How did you test turn out? Email me or post a comment!

Go, Bunny!!

Trav found a really neat video today (link removed in 2020, as it was broken)! It’s so true how bunnies are sproingy. And it goes to show how you can never be sure of the outcome of a fight… just like Matt Serra taking the belt from Georges St. Pierre… and Randy Couture taking the belt from Tim Sylvia. I’m definitely hooked on the UFC… can you tell? :)

Surprise Visitors!!

Last night Trav’s brother called and said he would be down for the weekend because he had work in Tampa on Monday morning. Yay!! They’re staying with us. Today we went to Howard Beach in Tarpon Springs. I’m pretty sure I got sunburned, I feel kinda crispy. Here’s the entrance to the beach:

Howard Park Beach

This is a good beach for kids… not too many waves and nice, soft sand. There’s grass just a ways out into the water, which I don’t like to put my feet in… it feels all mucky and nasty between my toes in that mud. Plus who knows what’s lurking in there. I got to use my snorkel mask to explore a bit today – it was nice because the water wasn’t crowded. I saw some snook and other little fish, plus a few crabs and this really strange ropy snakelike slimy thing. I hope I can figure out what that was – I just got some books about seashore life so maybe it’s in there.

While I was exploring, everybody else was busy building a sand castle which got stomped down before we left!

Storming the Castle

After the beach we had a wonderful dinner at Carrabba’s – thanks Mike and Tiff! I had one of the daily special dishes – a giant bowl of pasta with Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, sauce and caprino cheese. It was tasty which is a good thing because I brought quite a bit of it home. Trav had some of his Chicken Bryan left, too. Doh!! I just realized I didn’t collect the bread. I don’t like anything to go to waste if I can help it. Recycling at its finest!

So that was a nice day. Tomorrow everybody is coming over here for rotisserie chicken dinner with tiramisu for dessert. Mmmmmm!

Grappling can be fun!

Lately, Trav and I have gotten into watching Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts, and it made us want to take Jiu Jitsu classes. I found what looks to be a great place nearby called Gracie Tampa. Hopefully the classes won’t be too expensive. If we get to take them, I’ll be sure to report back!!

Unpleasant but necessary to say

I had an experience today that made me think about my wishes in the case of permanent, irreversible damage to my brain. If I’m not “me” anymore – can’t talk, can’t communicate or take care of myself, please let me go. Don’t place the burden of decision on my caregivers – it’s MY choice to exit gracefully when there’s no hope of recovery.

OK? Thank you.


Finally made it up to Crystal River!

Crystal River State Archaeological SiteAunt Susie and I took a trip up to the Crystal River area to check out the Archaeological Site and Fort Island beach. The Indian site was very interesting, I would like to go back there and explore the entire thing — who wants to go with me? :) The picture to the left is the way to the top of the ceremonial mound which is built entirely of shells. It’s quite steep and pretty tall (that’s a guy standing at the top of the stairs). It’s fun to think about how the Indians lived and wonder why did they do this or that and to notice the similarities as well. Even then, people liked to be buried with their favorite stuff.

The second stop of the day was lunch. We ended up at Applebee’s after picking a random place called Oyster’s. When we walked in to the first place, it smelled of seafood really bad and now that I think back on it, the people at the tables didn’t really look very happy. We looked at the menu and decided it was too expensive and smelly, so we shucked on outta Oyster’s and found Applebee’s instead. Aunt Susie says they have the best raspberry lemonade of anywhere. I’m glad we went there because we had a delicious lunch of shrimp & spinach salad and half a turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread. It was yummy!! Both dishes had bacon, mmmmmm :p~

Next stop was the beach, where there was not one good shell to be found. So instead of picking up shells, I picked up two loads of trash! It’s an OK beach if you just want to lay in the sun or something boring. You have to go south of where we live to have a good beach. Next week, Honeymoon Island!

On the way home, we stopped at a bargain outlet mall place that we’ve been meaning to check out. That was a really good part of the day! Aunt Susie found some nice yarn for cheap, and I found a place to buy a guitar when I’m ready. Plus the guy can get my flute repadded, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I like to get out the flute and play along with my favorite songs, hey it’s instrumental karaoke! hehe

Then we took the extra scenic route home, via Aripeka… Aunt Susie noticed how it’s like stepping back in time when you pass through. It’s just a sleepy little town on the shore with tiny houses tucked amid sawgrass marshes, with lots of sabal palms and bear crossing signs. It’s not a shortcut home, but it sure is a lot prettier than strip malls and endless traffic.

So we had a good day of exploration, can’t wait for next week’s trip!

Yankee or Dixie?

Here’s a fun little test you can take to see what your influences have been, dialect-wise. I scored 42, which means I’m pretty close to the middle of the scale… 0 being Yankee, 100 being Dixie. Neat!

Yankee or Dixie quiz

Thanks again, Trav (who scored 31), for a fun way to spend a few minutes! Love ya.

Speaking of Easter candy…

The peeps are almost hard enough now, and there’s still one row left! Cool.

Bleys got something in his basket this year which reminded me of some really neat confections we used to get as kids… candy eggshells with the side cut out and pictures inside. The outside had fancy, hard icing – the kind that dissolves almost instantly. In fact, the whole shell was made out of that stuff. I wish I could remember what those were called. I looked on google but couldn’t get the right keywords.

Our family got all kinds of interesting Easter candy… big chocolate eggs with filling inside which we would put on a plate and slice into slabs of gooey chocolaty goodness. And our baskets were hidden by the Easter Bunny, all over the house! One of my favorite things was to dig around in the grass to see if I could find a stray jelly bean or some other bonus stuck down at the bottom. It kinda felt like I won something when I found candy hidden away in the grass. :)


It turns out I did have the right keywords, I just didn’t look far enough! I found out those eggs are called Panoramic Easter Egg. I also found a recipe for them, which I might try some time! I’m sure it would take some practice to get them so beautiful. I also found a fun site featuring old-time candy.

Hoppy Easter

Bleys cutting pieFor Easter, we went over to Gramma’s house and had quite a feast. Here’s Bleys, carefully cutting the picture-perfect lemon meringue pie Aunt Susie made. I really like this picture of him because it represents much of what he is… careful, thoughtful and fully paying attention to what he’s doing at the moment.

I always love the days after Easter, too, because you can get the best candy of the year at half price or better! Today’s find was peeps – I’ve torn open the wrapping so they’ll get nice and stale (it takes 4 or 5 days). Mmmmmm! Crunchy peeps.

New Smyrna Beach

Emmy at New Smyrna BeachLast weekend we went to New Smyrna Beach to visit Trav’s grandma. After a delicious meal of roast beast, potatoes, green bean casserole and rolls, we took a little trip to the beach (it’s only a couple of miles away). It’s very strange there – you can drive right down onto the beach. It’s weird to have to look both ways before going to the water. I don’t care for it at all.

There were lots of critters washed up on the beach that day… portugese man o’ war with their long, stinging tentacles, and these little disks called blue buttons.

The beach is my favorite place to go. We often wonder, if we lived that close to the beach, how much work we would get done! I suppose one might tire of it after a while, but I don’t think I would. I could make a new business… doing something with shells… or something. :)


I love going to the beach to look for shells and other interesting things. Today I found a list on CNN which tells what beaches are best for finding good stuff:

CNN’s list of best beaches for shelling

Sanibel (#1 on the list) is a 5-6 hour drive from us. Cumberland Island in Georgia is probably about the same, so when I can find someone to go with me, yeah baby!! It would have to be an overnight trip for sure. Who wants to go? :)

Exploring Crystal River, FL

I’m planning a trip with Aunt Susie for Thursday. We’re going up to Crystal River to see an ancient Indian site and to check out a new beach – Fort Island Gulf Beach. Plus we can stop at the Yulee Sugar Mill ruins. To get to the furthest destination, it’s a little over an hour drive from our house, so it ought to be a good, full day of sightseeing!

Embroidery Project Completed!

Here’s a picture of my first completed project – it’s counted cross-stitch. I saw this at the craft store and really liked it. Plus, it said “Great for beginners!” so I thought what the heck… I’m make it for my brother-in-law and his family for Christmas. That was in October of 2006! It took me until January 2007 to complete it. I had no idea how much time it would take and I tell ya… I have a new appreciation for people who do needlework. My mom made a koala bear for me, and my sister made a beautiful wall hanging and now I know the kind of effort required to create a gift like that, so thanks again, Mom and Kelly!!

Embroidery - Family is a Circle of Love

Jury Duty

Yesterday I had to show up for a jury summons, and I got picked! I’m very happy to be doing my civic duty. It’s a criminal trial and it’s very interesting… I’m learning a lot about our legal system. For example, the number of jurors for a trial is determined by the state. In Florida, only three kinds of trials get a 12-person jury… murder, fraud and one other thing I can’t remember. All other trials only have a 6-person jury. Now I can see why our justice system is so backed up – not a whole lot of people get moved through the courts. It’s sad that one person’s alleged bad acts can make extra work for so many others. Think of what great things we could do with all that money we pour into the correctional system.

The sad part of the whole thing is how people complain about having to be there. I understand they have other things to do but we have to take the bad along with the good in this country. We have the greatest place in the world to live because people take the time to make sure justice is done.

Hello World!

Hi there. I’m Emily and this is my place to store and share the random bits of life I want to capture… things I find interesting, amusing, useful, etc. I’ll probably share some stories of life from time to time as well. I’ll try to be interesting but can’t make any guarantees. :)