Monday, March 19, 2018
Up Close and Personal; Odds and Ends; Hammocks and Philodendron; Snakes; Pole Dancers? Prezzies!
The Up Close and Personal workshop just finished here in The Villages, Florida, and about 180 very excited attendees were treated to an exciting two days with two fabulous mediums, My Lovely Bride Suzanne and Susanne Wilson, the Carefree Medium (she resides in Carefree, Arizona, near Scottsdale and Phoenix). Suzanne and Susanne met in Cave Creek, AZ, a couple of years ago, and found that they had a lot in common, both spiritually and personally. They will be giving their Up Close and Personal Workshop again on May 19 and 20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. See www.suzannegiesemann.com/events/ for more info.
Bev Garlipp, Suzanne's assistant, did most of the advance planning for the event. Diane Calderon, Susanne's assistant, flew in from AZ, and with Bev did all of the shopping for food and beverages, manned the registration table, etc. The weekend would not have been successful without their hard work. Thanks also to Meri Lynn for ensuring refreshments were always ready for the attendees and to Bob Vance for helping me with book and CD sales. (Regrets for not having gotten their photos...)
We enjoyed a delightful dinner with Bev, Susanne and Diane one evening. Susanne provided fresh shrimp from the Spanish Springs farmers' market - she lived in South Florida for 18 years, and finds the seafood here much more fresh and tasty than back in Arizona.
Suzanne's Lovely Mom Ruthie (aged 90!) joined the workshop for awhile and was a hit with the attendees, so many of whom have met her over the years Suzanne has been speaking at events here in The Villages!
It hasn't been all work - recently we went for a local hike at the Flat Island Preserve in Leesburg, FL. Surrounded by the Okahumpka Marsh, Flat Island (named because of the lack of 5,000 ft peaks?) provides a pleasant 4 mile loop trail and several side trails through lush hardwood hammocks. The term hammock describes slightly elevated land, often surrounded by marshes, that has humus-rich soil and hardwood trees such as live oaks, sweetgums, and hickories, as well as varieties of palms.
On a spur off the main trail, a boardwalk wound through the marsh/swamp. This reflection in the water of the trees and sky above was worth several minutes of study... fortunately, there were no mosquitoes or no-see-ums around to bother us.
For those readers living in the desert, look at what you're missing. This is a real Florida cypress swamp. Think of the neat creepy-crawlies living here... alligators, water moccasins, copperheads, snapping turtles, zillions of biting bugs, armadillos, raccoons, opossums, even black bears and Florida panthers. And often you don't see them until you step on them! What great fun!!!!
The frost damage I mentioned was the result of a February cold snap that brought 24F temps. One of the most damaged plants was this philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) - what a cool name! With some careful pruning and TLC, it is recovering, and the second photo looks much better than the first. (Yes, I do talk to plants!)
Our back yard is adjacent to a golf course. Recently we took a sunset stroll along the golf cart path. We always keep Rudy and Gretchen on very short leads -they are always looking for squirrels, but the pesky rodents must have been out at the acorn bar.
As the last rays of the setting sun were splashing through the massive live oak grove, Suzanne again displayed her enSuzyasm, saying with great glee, "We live here!" I echoed her happiness with a quiet, "Yes, and it's gotta be better than Boston with three feet of snow this week..."
My Lovely Bride recently called me up while she was shopping, and asked if I minded if she got a rather large angel statue for the garden. Being a sensitive, New Age-kinda guy, I thought about it for a moment and said gently, "Of course, My Sweet, you can get an angel statue... as long as I can get a statue of a pole dancer." There was a silence on the line, and then I heard, "We'll talk about it when I get home..." In any case, Angela now resides near the philodendron I mentioned previously.
Shortly thereafter, this cartoon appeared in our local newspaper... and I reminded MLB that I was still looking for just the right statue for my part of the yard, but when I found her, she would be called Angelique. I think that's a very tasteful name...
Finally, lest some women think that I am a total misogynist Neanderthal, I will have you know that I often get Suzanne surprise gifts (affectionately called "prezzies"). Why, just recently, I ordered her 40 of her favorite Pilot G-2 07 pens. (Hey, the diamond and sapphire bracelet I wanted to get her from Neiman Marcus was sold out.) Even I was amazed how grateful and excited she can get when I am truly thoughtful...
Posted by Ty and Suzanne Giesemann at 11:31 AM