CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Florida Sunshine!

Welcome to Florida! This post is part of the Blog Around the World series ...I actually feel a little more qualified to post about Maryland, where I lived for about 13 years or PA, where I lived for close to 30, but I'll give it a go! We moved here a few months ago and even though I've already posted this blessing, now that I have a Florida summer under my belt, I thought I'd leave a few thoughts along with it!
~ Florida Blessing~


Bless this house, oh Lord, we cry.
Please keep it cool in mid-July.



July I can handle! August and September are definitely the HOTTEST months in Florida! I have to say that living on the Gulf side of the state does provide a nice breeze most days which makes it a little more bearable!



Bless the walls where termites dine
While ants and roaches march in time.


Almost everyone down here has a "bug guy" who comes and sprays every few weeks. We even have some kind of weird pipe system in our walls to keep us bug free...and I have to say that inside the house, I really haven't seen any bugs...outside is a different story!



Bless our yard where spiders pass
Fire ant castles in the grass.



See Exhibit A and this post


and Exhibit B





Jonah got bitten the very first week of school and Evan not long after that. Most homeowner yards are treated, it's the open areas and grassy areas that you have to worry about! The mounds aren't usually as obvious as this, so it's best to just stick to walking on concrete. Once you're bitten, apparently the ants send out some kind of signal that says "DINNER TIME!" and they swarm!



Bless the garage, home to please

Carpenter beetles, tics and fleas

Fortunately the only thing I find in my garage are nosey geckos...and I'm sure even
they don't survive too long because it's about 500 degrees hotter in my garage!




Bless the love bugs, two by two,
The gnats and mosquitoes that feed on you.


AHH yes...the love bugs. They come twice a year for about two weeks and require an explanation to young children about WHY two bugs are stuck together! They usually only appear for about two weeks, twice a year so it gives me time to expand my explanation! Gnats and mosquitoes aren't so bad, as long as you aren't outside at dusk or later and you have several cans of Off!


Millions of creatures that fly or crawl,
In FLORIDA , Lord, you've put them all!
notice the miniature gecko on her shirt? they're usually ten times that size!




But this is home, and here we'll stay,

So thank you Lord, for insect spray.


We've lived here almost five months now and it IS starting to feel like home! We've always wanted to live in a warmer climate and to be near the beach, so when our four oldest children went off to college, we packed up the three youngest left at home and headed south baby...and never looked back! Being a native Northerner, Florida seems to get a bad rap! It's really not all hot weather and bugs! We're about 20 minutes from the gulf coastline, which has some of the most beautiful beaches I've seen and rival the crystal clear blue green of the Caribbean! The sand is soft and white and the abundance of sea life is always intersting! After the kids get on the bus, I'm always up for a day at the beach!


We live very near the Tropicana Orange Juice plant and if you drive a little north and roll down your windows on a cool evening, you can smell the sweet scent of oranges in the air! It amazes me that even with the abundance of orange groves here, they still sell CA oranges at the supermarket!

We're about halfway between Sarasota and the Tampa/St. Pete area, which are cities where there is always something going on! One of the biggest reasons we moved here was the weather and even though the last month has been pretty brutal, I'm sure we'll be getting calls from our friends up north looking for a winter getaway! Please! Give us a call! You're always welcome!

70 comments:

Lisa said...

I have only lived in Florida for about 1.5 years. I miss my northern Autumns and snow at Christmas. But I do love living 10 mintues from the Gulf and only 1.5 hours from Key Largo. I live much more south than you. Anyway, about the time I feel completely adjusted to living in FL we will be packing up and moving to Tennessee.

Steph said...

wow Key Largo! that's one place I'd love to visit! I'll be heading north for a long weekend in October so at least for this year, I'll see the changing leaves! thanks for visiting my blog Lisa!

Jeff said...

I love you dearly friend but you won't EVER find me wishing to call Florida "home". I am glad you're happy and settled but I sure do miss ya!

Kelly said...

I had to check out my fellow Floridian blogger today...so funny that we're both transplants from the same area up north!!

I loved that poem...is that original? So perfect. The creatures were featured in my post also...glad your adjusting and beginning to feel like you're at home!!

Lynda said...

It's definitely true about the insects, isn't it? Thank you for such a fun tour - I really enjoyed myself. Greetings from BATW and Texas :-)

HeathahLee said...

Greetings from Mississippi!

I have to say that is one freaky looking spider, which, of course, my son would think was the coolest thing since mac and cheese.

That "blessing" was too cute!

chellekay said...

I love the poem. I use to live in FL. I hated all the bugs. I loved living in an apartment because they came all the time to spray. My friend owned his own house and he had unwelcomed visiters (bugs) all the time.

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

My skin is crawling! Congrats on being featured at BATW.

Shannon said...

Hi from TN!

Oh, fire ants are the worst!!!! We have them in our backyard, too.

Gramma 2 Many said...

I spent four years in Georgia. I do not miss the bugs or the humidity. I do miss all of my great friends I made down there though.
Happy BATW day to you:}

Frizzy and Bird said...

Cool Poem and tribute to your state inhabitants. It's nice to meet you! Enjoy your day on top of the World!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Hello from Arkansas! This was a great post. Love the poem. All those bugs and critters would freak me out!

Brenda Jean said...

The lizards are cute, the birds are awesome but those spiders-- EWWWWWWWWWWWW You are one brave woman:)

Patti said...

I've visited Florida once for vacation to Disney World. We had an awesome time there! Even got to see the space shuttle take off.
Patti from Texas

Becky Welch said...

Happy BATW day! You did a great job!

Melissa B. said...

Oh, the FLA critters are something to behold, aren't they? Thanks for the tour--isn't BATW great?

Debbie said...

How clever are you! Love the poem and the coordinating pictures. You did a fabulous job, Steph....You didn't need to worry one bit. Enjoy all the lovin'!

Leslie said...

Gosh, that was AWESOME! I've actually never heard that poem before. And I've had the pleasure of living in FL for over 20 years. So cute! Making me miss home even more. I totally agree with you about August being so hot. Hope it starts cooling a bit for you in Sept. Enjoyed your post! And to respond to the maid thing... yeah mine is ironing things like sleepwear, and underwear too. Geesh, that's just weird to me!

lynn said...

Hello from Wisconsin! Happy BATW day!! Cute poem, but not so cut bugs!

Lauren W said...

That is one fierce spider!
Being in Louisiana, I totally sympathize about the bugs...
Thanks for such a fun post!

Katy Lin :) said...

wow! cross country moves scare the bejeebies out of me, lol! but florida sounds heavenly (minus all the creepy crawlies)! thanks for the tour!

Melissa Lester said...

Love your blessing of the bugs! Maybe I should take that attitude, too, instead of looking for my husband or the nearest shoe. In Alabama, we have mosquitos, lizards and fire ants. (And why do toddler feet seem to have magnets for their beds?) I guess the little creatures can't resist a warm climate, just like us!

Susie said...

Greetings from Wisconsin. Congratulations on your BATW. I hope that you are enjoying your day in the sun. Thanks for this unique view of Florida:-)

Elena said...

OH my laws...those spiders are nasty! Glad they're not poisonous, but theyare scary looking enough to keep me away. That was a really cute poem. Thanks for sharing Florida with us today.

Veggie Mom said...

Thanks so much for the tour! I've been down your way many times. I love everything but the hurricanes!

Tamie said...

that is truly amazing that you can actually "smell" the oranges in the air...i think that i would move that far south, just for that...just open your windows and let the natural potpouri come pouring int...ah!
thanks for sharing--um, yeah, all those bugs! --that would be the reason why i would NOT come a packin' :)

Kelley said...

I'd just forgotten how much I missed the gulf coast until I read your post! We didn't make it on a beach trip this year before we moved up north, and it still breaks my heart.

I'm glad you are enjoying your new home!

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

That was fantastic blending of a great blessing and your own experience!

Congratulations on the move! And as I mentioned to Debbie in the BATW post, Florida (in April) was one of the reason we came down south.

Them bugs do not really bother me though...it's the snakesssssss! Do you have a lot of them there, too?

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

btw, 7 kids! 7 kids!

How'd you do it? I think I know how they were made ...but what I meant was - did you plan for them 7? how did you manage raising them?

Awesome!

CaraBee said...

So funny! Who knew that bugs were such a big part of life down there? I love the little geckos and the prayers were hilarious!

sassy stephanie said...

How fun!

SEVEN kiddos? WOW!

Shell said...

Happy BATW day to you. It is beautiful that you can smell oranges in the air at night. All those bugs would drive me buggy indeed.

Aubrey said...

The Florida Blessing was great!! LOL

Happy BATW day!

Tara said...

Loved the post!! Stopping by from BATW. All those bugs keep me away! Thanks for letting us into you little piece of Florida!

EmmaP said...

WAY CUTE!

I had to deal with lots of differeny types of bugs when I lived in Hawaii too. There was a scorpion in my shower once (wore flips flops in the shower for about a month after that), A HUGE cockroach about the size of a half dollar, and the geckos were everywhere. Though I was greatful to the geckos...kept the mosquitos away.

Cute Blog - and thanks for hosting our visit from BATW!!!

Tracy P. said...

Yikes, that spikey spider is one scary dude!

Smart of you to move somewhere where the people you left will come and see YOU! Thanks for a fun visit!

Ronnica said...

I had just munched down on a part of my lunch when I got the first "creature" picture. Sorry, I wasn't able to make it further...maybe if I wasn't eating!

Britt said...

Ugh, I still have the shivers from that spider!! Creepster!

Back in '98 my sister requested a trip to Disney World for her Make-A-Wish trip. We loved the short time we spent there, but I could not handle the heat or the lizards! :o)

JourneytoFamily said...

Oh thank goodness you didn't post pictures of those flying roaches! I grew up in Orlando... had a ton of fire ant bites, mosquito bites, etc.

Hope you get cooler weather soon!

Greg and Jen said...

Great job! Nice post/blog. We just moved to Texas and I have to agree with you on those Fire Ants! Who knew such things existed!

Jen said...

I can't believe that that the spider was real. It is totally creeping my out. Yuck!

Ashley said...

I do love Florida! Yes - you need to visit the Keys. I was going to respond to your Caribbean comment. My husband and I have been snorkeling several times in the Keys. We went on a Caribbean cruise for our 1 year anniversary and snorkeled in the Caymans. The Caymans got nothin' on Florida, for sure. Sometimes I wish my husband still lived in Miami so I could have the beaches! (I don't miss that long distance crap though) Welcome to the South!!

Lady Dorothy said...

I love the face on your daughter in the picture with the tiny gecko! Very cute.

Don't know if I could handle all those bugs. The ones we do have freak me out!

Greetings from California!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Hi from Texas via BATW...
I grew up in South Hillsborough County. So I was right there close to your new stompin ground.
I'm married now and live in Texas.
My dad is 5th generation Floridian. Florida Cracker :)
He's still right there. You couldn't blow him out of FL with a stick of dynamite!!
Loved your post. Have you experienced flying roaches yet? Yes they do fly certain times of the year. Good luck and enjoy the beach and your new home.

Jennifer said...

Bugs. I love em. I just don't love them in my house. Thanks for the tour! You have a lovely family.

Kendra said...

Visiting from BATW...

That is one creepy looking spider. I don't know if I could handle coming across that.

I've been to the Gulf side of Florida only once - Tampa, for a few days in late December, to see Purdue play in their bowl game that year - but it was pretty nice. My husband wants to go back when the weather is more conducive to beach time...maybe one of these days...

Mamasphere said...

Excellent post! But I don't care if that spider isn't poisonous, I don't think I could live in a place that had them. Ewww!

PhatMom said...

I loved living in Florida. We had our "critters" of every kind and had to store everything in tupperware containers to keep the "water bugs" away. Cute post. You describe Florida perfectly. Congrats on your BATW.

Nichole said...

I had no idea there were such a thing as real love bugs! Not sure I'd fare very well there with all the bugs! I'm such a chicken when it comes to stuff like that :o)

Brian and Staci said...

Greetings from Ms.Oklahoma! Really great job on the post!!! Yikes...that spider is nast-ty! You're right...thank God for OFF!! My husband was born in Tampa and at age three got into a swarm of those fire ants...OUCH! Love your blog and am so impressed you have 7 children!!! YOU GO!!! Nice to meet ya!

Bobbie said...

So funny! I have bug issues too- I can so relate. and love your blog name!

~Trish~ said...

Hello from Kansas!! Everytime I have visited FL I am greeted with little geckos!!!

Mrs. X said...

I was really enjoying your poem, then I scrolled down and saw that spider! It literally gave me goose bumps!

greedygrace said...

Happy BATW day! Sweet Lord in Heaven, those are the scariest spiders I've ever seen! That would be enough to pack my bags!

~~tonya~~ said...

Stopping in from Louisiana via BATW. Thanks for a wonderful tour of all the bugs!! ;) We love Florida and esp Disney World.

Terie said...

I love the little spider at the top of the page. When I lived in the Dominican Republic, where I was born, we used to play with these because of their hard back I was never afraid of them. I'm not kidding you here, it was a pass time for us kids, we always put them back after carefully studying their colors. Great Pics.

Kathi said...

Love your post Steph!!! Sorry, I didn't get a chance to stop by yesterday.

I can't wait to meet you in real life in Oct!!

Karen said...

Cute littlw blessing !! :-)

That's one of the things that I haven't missed, living here at altitude ... fleas!!!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I don't like bugs... that's what I liked aobut living in Minnesota... bugs lived about a week...

But Florida is fun and I'm glad you're liking where you landed!

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Mekhismom said...

Loved this post! So creative. I fear fireants my friends son had a terrible reaction to bites and ended up in the hospital.

I just want to say - kudos to you MOm of 7!

illahee said...

i lived in florida for six years when i was a child. i remember fire ant hills very well!

hi from japan

Breanne said...

Thanks for the tour. Your blog design is so cute/

Urban School Teacher said...

Congrats on your BATW day! Nice blog- but too many insect in today's post!

Dawn said...

Hi from Louisiana! Great post!!

Sooz said...

Greetings from Washington State! I'd love to visit FL someday, bugs and all :).

Vicki said...

I was born in Pensacola, FL, and although I only lived there four years I still consider it home. You're right, the gulf beaches are amazing!

That spider picture is so cool. Mind you, I wouldn't have wanted to be the one taking the picture. Here in Alabama we have those killer ants. They set up their hills in the matter of a day and are brutal!

Enjoy Florida!

Tismee2 said...

I have just returned from 3 weeks in Florida. We have been going there on vacation for the last 15 years and have only been bitten by things twice - both while in St. Augustine!

Is it true that Disney keep their waterways clear of mosquitoes and nasties????

Must watch out for those fire ants. Justine (froggy bloggy) told me all about them when we met for dinner this year.

I live in the UK where we don't have many nasties that bite and poison you.

Steph said...

I haven't heard that about Disney but might be true! thanks for visiting my blog!

Julie said...

that sounds beautiful and I do miss the beach, I grew up on in VA Beach and now I am in Europe, which is nice, but no beach nearby... miss it. Thanks for sharing the poem, it was fun to hear!

Tammy said...

Hi, I'm visiting from BATW - I've been to Florida to do the Disney thing with my DD's high school band. No bugs there. :o)