The Retreat in Progress

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday

While in Toronto, Canada I was fortunate enough to get two good shots of this beautiful Robin perched on a planter and a mossy rock. 



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hide and Seek

The standoff between the cat and the squirrel has turned into a game of hide and seek.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Backyard Wonders

I enjoy sitting on the deck in the backyard and anticipating what wonders of the day I will see.  Will it be a lizard, a hummingbird, a cardinal, or something new?  The cardinals and hummingbirds were out in full force today, but I was only able to catch a decent photo of the cardinal.  Those little hummingbirds are way too quick for me.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Peacock Feathers

Took a hike around Mayfield Park today off West 35th street.  My hiking partner saved me from a large rat snake that slithered across the path. Eeek!  Don't care for snakes of any kind.  Now the peacocks were plentiful and beautiful.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For the Love of Roses

Roses are quickly becoming one of my favorite flowers in the garden.  These beauties are carefree and easygoing and don't require much attention from me, other than to take a stroll through the yard to admire their beauty. 

I have several varieties that are repeat bloomers, a few that are abundant bloomers, and a couple that are fragrant.  Could I possibly find one rose that embodies all these characteristics?  Sounds like a challenge worth taking.  Meanwhile, I've posted photos of some of the roses in my yard.  I wish I knew all their names.

Madame Alfred Carrier Climbing Rose is a fragrant, repeat bloomer.

Lady Banks Rose is an abundant bloomer.

Knockout Rose is an abundant, repeat bloomer.

Peggy Martin is an abundant, repeat bloomer.

This rose bush looks similar to Peggy Martin and is an abundant, repeat bloomer, but I don't know the name. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Easter started out drizzly and lazy this morning with Rusty contemplating getting up and barking at the birds in the backyard and Maya thinking profoundly about darting through the wet grass for some reason only known to her.  As for me, I contemplated whether I should let the perfumed aroma of the Madame Alfred Carrier Climbing Rose coax me into taking photos before my second cup of coffee. 

But we couldn't hang out in the backyard all day, one of us had to play golf and take photos of the bluebonnets along the way.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sundays in March are made for grilling.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wisteria Wafting

The fragrant smell of Wisteria wafting in the air brings me to linger on the front porch, sit back in one of the white wicker chairs, kick up my heels, and browse through a Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens magazine to get the creative home and gardening juices flowing.

I love the color, the shape, and the smell of Wisteria.  It is my favorite flower.  I despise that it only blooms once a year and only for a short while during the spring.  So, during this bloom time, I neglect the backyard deck with it's peace, quiet, and wildlife antics give my attention to the beauty cascading from the front porch pergola.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Be My Valentine: Naples, Florida

It finally happened.  I'm in love.  I have fallen in love with Naples, Florida.
My sister and I recently took a trip to Naples in January where the weather was warm and dry, the air crisp and clean, the beach soft with white sand, and the ocean bluer than a Texas Bluebonnet.  Although Naples didn't have Bluebonnets, it was filled with palm trees, brightly colored flowering trees, and foliage and plants I had never seen before.
We stayed at the Naples Beach and Golf Resort situated on seven miles of white sand beach.  In between playing golf at the Resort golf course, getting massages, shopping, drinking French champagne in Old Naples, and playing more golf at the Tiburon golf course at the Ritz Carlton, we enjoyed taking in the beautiful sites Naples had to offer.

Views from our balcony at the Naples Beach and Golf Resort
The birds almost blend in with the white sand beach
Walking down the street to breakfast at First Watch, I couldn't help but take a photograph of these lively blue shutters surrounded by the tropical palm trees.
Vibrant pink flowering trees were around every corner
Colorful plants lined the streets
This friendly rascal greeted us while shopping in Old Naples. 

The vibe in Naples is one of happiness, relaxation, and healthiness. 
 People walk and bike all around town. 

Sidewalks in Old Naples are absolutely beautiful filled with colorful plants, foliage, fountains, and  sculptures.  There's a bit of old world charm that makes you feel like you are not in Florida, but possibly in a small European town.


Restaurants offering a variety of different types of cuisine abound in Old Naples and almost all of them have outdoor patios so you can continue to take in the perfect weather.
While eating dinner at one of the restaurants in Old Naples, we struck up a conversation with a local couple.  They recommended we go to First Watch for breakfast.  We loved it so much, we had breakfast there twice.  The first day I splurged and had eggs, bacon and a Belgian waffle.  The second day I redeemed myself and had the Power Quinoa Breakfast. 
Naples caters to the healthy and fit at heart, so you can find great healthy and organic alternatives at many of the restaurants.

The view from the back patio at First Watch

On our last day in Naples we took a relaxing stroll through the botanical garden.
This was called the Dancing Tree. Must be because if anything tried getting up this thing they would be doing some kind of dance trying not to get poked with these wild things growing out of it.
Hong Kong Orchid Tree



And now you know why I am in love with Naples, Florida.