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Alligators In Our Yard!


You have to look real close, but the gator is resting behind the sago palm and the water’s edge.  Needless to say, I too these photos from inside the house and did not go out to get a closer inspection.

The Alligator Trapper caught “the big one” which was 12 foot plus.  Here he is taking him away in his little boat.  Hooray!


Ahhhh, the joys of living on the river, or is there danger lurking in the shallows?  Just thought ya’ll would find the attached photos interesting of our alligator visitors, yes, plural alligators.

There have always been gators floating and swimming past our yard and dock since we have been here, but they typically don’t bother anything or anyone.  However, recently a couple of our neighbor’s dogs were playing in the shallows off of our yard (our yard is not bulk headed like the ones on either side of us) as we were sitting down to watch the evening news when Bob spotted one of the gators (the large one) making a bee-line for the dogs and moving at a very past pace.  I ran out the back door and called to Missy, one of the dogs.  Luckily she is very obedient and came out of the water immediately and ran up on the yard.  The black dog from one street over followed her.  The gator came to a dead stop in the water, about 6 feet from where the dogs were playing.  We figure they had about a few seconds left before attack.

After contacting the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (on the Alligator Hotline), they issued us a case number then issued a permit to the alligator trapper assigned to our area.  He came out the next night and chased “the big one” from the end of our dock, across the river, and into the forest preserve, but couldn’t catch him.  We had gone to Jacksonville or Saturday for our anniversary and to do some shopping.  It just so happened that just as we arrived home, the gator trapper called to see if we had seen any sight of the gator.  As I was telling him that we had not seen him for a couple of days I looked out the window and lo and behold, a gator was sunning himself on our back lawn.  YIKES!

The trapper came about 30 minutes later but by then the gator had gone into the water.  He set a bait hook at the end of our dock and told me to keep an eye on it and call me when the bait had been taken.  YIKES again!  It is very interesting that they put a big hunk of chicken or turkey on a big hook suspended by a long metal pole off the dock.  Attached to the hook is a rope with plastic floaters, like a bait jug and liter bottles from soft drinks at intervals along the rope.  That way when the gator takes the bait and swims off, they just follow where the line of bottles are.  Think of the scene from “Jaws” where they attach the large yellow barrels to the harpoon that they try to catch the shark with.

The bait was still there at 9:00 that night from what I could see from the patio deck, but the trapper said not to come out at night with flashlights to check the trap, just in case the gator was lurking near by.  You think I would go out there at night?  NOOOOOOO!

But at early light at 6:30 the next morning I could see that the bait was gone and I called the trapper.  He came out ASAP and scoured the shoreline of the river in his boat then finally found the gator across the river deep in a cedar creek shoal.  He had to call in reinforcements as his boat was too small to drag him out.  I spoke to him by cell phone and he said the gator was already dead, apparently they swallow the hook and that’s all I will say about that.

The trapper was kind enough to bring the gator across the river so that I could get photos of it, but he had to hurry and get it to shore once it gets out in the sunlight.  The trapper said this was a 12 foot plus gator, and that this was “the big one” that he chased the other night, and the one that most probably came after the neighbor’s dogs.

Page 2 of the story:  The gator you see in the yard he said was only a 7 to 9 footer, based on the photos I took, but was feeling at home enough to come up on shore to relax and sun himself, so he would need to go as well.  I called the Alligator Hotline again and added one more gator to the permit, as the trapper said he was only allowed to catch the one gator on the permit.  So we will be gator hunting again very soon!

Well, so much for excitement in sunny Florida!

Back Again After a Short Break

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors,

I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, photos, and a whole new array of projects in 2012.  I took  a short hiatus to work over at my Church, tend to our business of forensic work, went through the holidays, preparing the taxes for the IRS submission, etc.

Featured on my blog will be some of the projects I worked on at the Church which can be applied to all other situations & locations, including your home.  My husband and I also put together a website for the church which I think is pretty phenomenal, if I do say so myself.  It’s a tiny little church, about 80 members, but you just can’t imagine all the things that this little congregation does and gets accomplished.  If you would like, please go to the site:  www.sanmateopresbyterianchurch.com and see all the events, activities, projects, and everything that this church does.  The previous church that we were members of has over 1,200 members, and they don’t do or accomplish anywhere near what our little San Mateo church accomplishes.  Hope you enjoy seeing our “little” church.

I thank you for your patience and understanding while I was away, and really appreciate you keeping up with my blog.  So get ready for a New Year, 2012 will be an fun, exciting, & beautiful time for us all!

Yours very truly,


Shepherd in a Manger

Shepherd Dog in a Manger

Shepherd Dog in a Manger


Found on the Internet / Facebook:

A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.
During the night, someone came across this.
An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort.
No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night.
We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus’ lap from time to time.
This is too sweet not to share.
No one mentioned that the dog breed is a “shepherd!”


November 11, 2011 News of the Day No Comments



Veterans Day is a time to honor all those who have sacrificed

for something bigger than themselves:

the safety and freedom of America.


Holy Smoke, You’re Awesome Day!

From one gorgeous gal to another ……. Today is National ‘HOLY SMOKE, YOU’RE AWESOME’ Day!  Just thought you would enjoy some cute signs sent to me via email from a friend of ours.  It’s GREAT to be a woman, lady, and especially a “La-Di-Da Lady”!











Bar Code

Bar Code

Let’s go for Made in America!!  ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY–NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK–CAREFULLY!  With all the food and pet products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read label at the grocery store and especially Walmart when buying food products.  Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located.  It is important to read the bar code to track it’s origin.

How to read Bar Codes …. interesting!  This may be useful to know when grocery shopping, if it’s a concern to you. GREAT WAY TO “BUY USA & CANADA ” AND NOT FROM CHINA!!  The whole world is concerned about China-made “black hearted goods”.  Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China?

If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691, or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA.  471 is made in Taiwan.  This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to educate ourselves.

Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “Made In China” so they don’t show from which country it is made.  However, you may now refer to the bar code  — remember if the first 3 digits are:

690, 691, 692 — Made In China

00 – 09 — Made in the USA & Canada

30 – 37 — Made in France

40 – 44  — Made in Germany

471 — Made in Taiwan

49 — Made in Japan

50 — Made in the UK

Please buy USA and Canadian made by watching for “0” at the beginning of the number.  We need every boost we can get!  If the government won’t help us, we must help ourselves.


Can’t Afford a Porsche? Buy the $900 Jeans Instead

My husband is a big car buff, and for the past 45 + years he has worked in the automotive field in one way or another.  So he thought this would be an interesting article to pass along to my readers that I am reprinting from the internet that was written for USA Today by Chris Woodyard.  Enjoy!
Sep 08, 2011
By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY 

Always dream of owning a pair of Porsches? If that goal is a little out of your price range, than considering own a pair of the jeans instead.

Porsche Design specializes in jackets and jeans — but they don’t come cheap
Porsche Design is showing off its latest styles tonight at a swanky, invitation-only event at its boutique in Beverly Hills. A pair of Porsche jeans will run you $390 to $590 unless you want the “celebrity edition.” That will cost $900.

Of course, “Fashion’s Night Out” wouldn’t be complete without at least one celebrity. In this case, it’s Kaley Cuoco from TV’s Big Bang Theory.

Porsche Design’s fashion collection includes a new denim line. The label, which apparently has a dotted-line relationship to the famous German automaker, says its autumn/winter season 2011 is its most extensive ever as it expands into women’s wear, especially jeans. At $900 a copy, we’d expand, too.

Still, it’s cheaper than a Panamera.

End of an Era – Final Space Shuttle Flights

Night Space-Shuttle-Launch Photo from the Internet

Night Space-Shuttle-Launch Photo from the Internet

As you all know by now, the Space Shuttle has had its last flight, that is unless something changes in the future.  Thousands of people have lost their jobs, and business that supported the space program have had to close down.  And an era that most of us grew up with is now over.  I grew up in Houston, and when I was older I lived for several years in a neighborhood directly across from the main entrance of the Johnson Space Center in TX.  In high school, many of my classmates’ parents worked for NASA, since we were located in the south part of Houston, not far from the Space Center.  Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing when the astronauts landed on the moon, just as we can remember where we were and what we were doing with John F. Kennedy was shot.

Now living in FL for the past 25 years, we were fortunate to see several of the shuttle launches, one at night from the Kennedy Space Center itself, a once in a lifetime experience.  Later on, we lived about 40 miles from the Space Center, and could see the launches from our home after the Shuttle cleared the tree line, then it flew towards our home’s direction, and on a clear day we could actually see the solid rocket boosters separate.  Last year, we moved a bit further north, so the drive down to the Space Center area was about 1 1/2 hours, but it was worth it.  The 2nd to the last Shuttle launch, Endeavor, we actually were in Titusville, sitting on the shore of the bay directly across from the launch pads.  Unfortunately due to the cloud cover rolling in, you could only see the launch for 22 seconds, but what a magnificent 22 seconds it was.

Endeavor Final Launch 05 16 11

Endeavor Final Launch 05 16 11

We braved the crowds for the last Atlantis launch, but this time we did not go as far as Titusville, due to the constant local news coverage telling us what a gridlock situation it was there.  Instead we opted for a small town just to the north that had a lovely park right on the waterway that goes past the Kennedy Space Center.  So we had a great view, although from a bit of a distance, but it meant so much to us to see history being made.  The Shuttle cleared the tower, and we could see the flame trail once it cleared the rooftops.  Again, the cloud cover cut our viewing time short, but just to know that we saw that magnificent sight one more time was awe inspiring.

I have included some photos here, some that we took ourselves and some that came off the internet.  Also, here is a link to the LA Times that had an article with a fantastic photo of re-entry taken from the International Space Station http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/07/atlantis-return-from-space-nasa-rick-perry-.html .  Also in this article from the LA Times, be sure and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to a YouTube video that someone took from Cancun in the early morning darkness of the Shuttle streaking across the sky heading home one last time.

If you have an interest in the Space Program, NASA, and the Space Shuttle program, you will want to visit the NASA website at www.nasa.orgwhere you will find a wealth of information, amazing photos and videos for you and your children to see and learn about.  Also, if you are ever in FL you may want to take a side trip to the Kennedy Space Center for the tour.  However, now that the Shuttle program is over, I’m not sure how it will affect the visitor tours, so you best check their website or call ahead.  We had been out there several times, and it truly is a wonderful and informational trip for young and old alike.

Atlantis Final Launch 07 08 11

Atlantis Final Launch 07 08 11

Now you can visit the Shuttle at museums around the country.  The most impressive air museum we have been to is the Smithsonian Air Museum located at Dulles airport just outside of Washington, D.C. 

So we bid farewell to the Space Shuttle program and wonder what will the future hold.  Will America step up to the plate to be the best in the quest for space exploration?  Where will future generations take us?  To galaxies beyond our current comprehension?  Will space travel one day be as common for the every day citizen like traveling across the US or across the globe to foreign countries that we do today?  Whatever the future holds for us, I don’t think it could ever be replace by those first trips in a rocket:  Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle program and the first 7 astronauts that had the “Right Stuff” to be brave enough to be those first pioneers to venture into space, a place that once was only in our dreams and fantasies.

Travolta Flies Relief Supplies to Haiti

January 26, 2010 News of the Day No Comments

AirplaneActor John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston have flown their personal Boeing 707 to Haiti loaded with supplies and doctors for relief efforts.  On the return trip, they brought back several Haitian-Americans to be reunited with their families in Miami.  Below are two links on articles and videos that document the story.  As you will read in the first link report from the Earth Times, according to The Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee and the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C. reported in the article:  “The plane carried 7,000 pounds of medical supplies, all of which were purchased with funds provided by Travolta as a donation to the relief efforts.  The plane also carried much needed food and water including 4,500 meals-ready-to-eat.  Also onboard were 50 doctors, including surgeons, plastic surgeons, trauma specialists, and cardiologists.”

Operation Phenomenon Takes Off From Tampa – John Travolta Pilots Late Night Flight To Take Doctors and Medical Supplies to Haiti:  http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/operation-phenomenon-takes-off-from,1135990.shtml

Travolta Flies Jetload of Relief Supplies to Haiti:   http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100126/ap_on_en_mo/cb_haiti_travolta

Video Clip:  http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/17814199

Now I know there will be naysayers out there that will comment that they also took Scientology Ministers as well, and these naysayers will comment that it was for recruitment or publicity (these are some comments I saw in some other websites).  Well, the way I see it, and I am not a Scientologist, but the last time I looked, the United States is still a free country, that was his plane, his money and resources, and if he wants to bring more people over there to help, I think that is just great.  And it was the Church of Scientology that coordinated all the logistics of the trip, and that took a lot of effort and manpower.  At least he is doing something to help, and it usually turns out that the naysayers are those who do not help, but only complain.

A few years back, I had the great pleasure to meet Mr. Travolta and shake his hand.  It was only for a few seconds, but he is so sincere, he has a firm handshake, looks you straight in your eyes (with his beautiful eyes) when he shakes your hand and greets you with a pleasant “Hello”, and you can only feel good thoughts about that type of special person.

I say, God speed John and Kelly, and thank you for all your humanitarian deeds.

Oprah’s “No Phone Zone”, Take the Pledge

January 19, 2010 News of the Day No Comments

Oprah's No Phone ZoneMonday’s Oprah show (Jan. 18, 2010) had a great message for all of us to heed, distracted driving while using your cell phone and/or texting can kill.  On the show were family members who had lost loved ones, and one young man who was responsible for killing 2 men, both of them loving fathers and husbands.  One shocking thing the young man said was that in his Driver’s Ed class in high school, the instructor never mentioned that using a cell phone or texting while driving could be dangerous (or so he stated).  This show should be shown in every Driver’s Ed class.  Photos of the crashes were shown, and family members spoke of the pain now in their lives with the loss of a loved one.  Oprah has a pledge form you can sign on her website www.Oprah.com, and the link to the particular show script is http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/End-Distracted-Driving.

I personally do not use my cell when driving, actually, I am one of the few people that just keep my phone in my purse for emergencies, and usually don’t even have it turned on.  But I do get infuriated when I’m on the road and other people pull out in front of me, swerve into my lane, etc. and when I see the driver, nine times out of ten, they are talking on a cell phone, and even more infuriating, they continue on their merry way as if unaware that they almost killed or severely injured another human being.

If you use your cell phone or text when driving, or if your son, daughter, family member, or friend uses their phone or texts while driving, urge them to go to Oprah’s site at the link http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/End-Distracted-Driving and, if you can, sit down with them and watch/read it together.  There are photos and short videos of the show as well on that link.  If we can just save one person’s life by doing this, think how many lives will be affected.

Other important links to get more information on the topic that are listed on Oprah’s site are:  Distraction.gov and FocusDriven.org

Please read the article on Oprah.com and save a life.

Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Critter Corner

Alligators In Our Yard!

July 17, 2012

  You have to look real close, but the gator is resting behind the sago palm and the water’s edge.  Needless to say, I too these photos from inside the house and did not go out to get a closer inspection. The Alligator Trapper caught “the big one” which was 12 foot plus.  Here he […]

Back Again After a Short Break

February 2, 2012

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors, I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, […]

Shepherd in a Manger

November 20, 2011

  Found on the Internet / Facebook: A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night, someone came across this. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there […]

Tale of the Missing Socks

September 17, 2011

My cat Penelope wears socks.  Yes, you heard correctly, socks.  She’s a little over 15 years old now and has arthritis in her back legs.  This causes her to be a little unsteady when using the litter box.  Sometimes, not always, but sometimes after she tinkles she looses her balance and steps in the clump of […]

Pets and the Joy They Bring

September 16, 2011

Having a pet, be it a cat, dog, bird, fish, horse, pig, or whatever furry creature you relate to, is a positive and healthy experience.  Studies have proven that they can extend our lives, lower our blood pressure, and pretty much make us feel good all over because they give us unconditional love. You may […]