Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

David is in a hotel room. What do I do while he is gone?

Thursday November 20 and Friday November 21, 2014
Fort Clinch Campground
Fernandina Beach, Florida



I’m writing this post on Saturday morning.  One of my morning rituals to make myself smile is to check on the weather at the farm and at my daughter’s house in Laurel Maryland.  This morning it is 20 degrees at the farm, 18 degrees at Carrie’s and 69 degrees and breezy here at 8am.   I am feeling really lucky to be out of this serious cold snap  

But this post is about the past two days.  David was forced into an overnight to get his infusions 105 miles south of where we are now.  That’s the longest distance he will have to drive for them during our winter in Florida and it seemed silly to make that round trip twice so he arranges to luxuriate in a hotel room in Palm Coast.  And eat whatever he chooses I suspect.  He left at just after 8am on Thursday.  What did I do while he was gone?





After he leaves I head down to the beach.  I am always so surprised to see cactus in the sands of the dunes area.  I can’t get it out of my head that cactus are dry hot desert plants.   But I’m working on it.




The beach is beautifully deserted this morning.  There are long stretches of water ridges filled with shells.  It’s really lovely.









I can tell the sand dunes here have been protected for a long time.  They are nearly covered by the low maritime forest which is the natural vegetation of this area and protects the shore from erosion and the things behind them from storm damage.





The winds are a bit brisk this morning so I’m fleeced and sweatshirted up.  By the time I return, the sweatshirt is tied around my waist.





I’ve walked a couple of miles when I see two large birds at the water’s edge.  They look like buzzards from this distance.  I get out my trusty camera and take a picture before they fly off.  Later when I crop it, I find a bird that isn’t a buzzard or an osprey.  I send my picture to Judy who promptly writes back to tell me that I have seen an immature bald eagle.  WOW!  Later Nancy tells me she’s seen them here too.  So I’ll be on the look out for them now.   How wonderful that this place is home for them too.




I’ve actually been walking along the Cumberland Sound as I head north, the Atlantic ocean is South of the campground.  As I approach the tip of the island I can see the fort right across from the tip of Cumberland Island.  The Dungeness Ruins are there beyond the trees but out of sight.  It seems on a calm day we could just kayak right over there.  Of course the catch is, would it still be calm on our way back?







The fort is a 19th century masonry coastal fortification.  The site was first fortified by the Spanish in 1736 when they held colonies in Florida.  From that point on various nations have had troops here to protect the the entrance to the St. Mary’s River in Georgia and the Cumberland Sound.  The current fort was built at the end of the Second Seminole War in 1847.  It’s pentagonal in shape.  Confederate forces seized the fort in early 1861.  I don’t go into the fort, that’s for another day.  But as I walk by on all sides, the canons are facing out to sea.










As I walk along the shore, I find this interesting portion of old tabby construction and very old bricks.  Not sure what it is but I imagine the tour of the fort would tell me.   A question to be answered. 









I round the point and begin walking down the shore of Sound heading for the Amelia River.  It’s about time to turn around and head back but I want to take a walk through the other park Campground which is here in the maritime forest.   There are 40 sites here and they are roomy, nicely spaced and of course very shady as compared with the “Ocean” campground we are in.

I find some interesting rigs including this bus with solar panels.








Rather than walk back up the road to our campground, I just turn around and go back along the shore.  I only see two fishermen on the beach.  This one.





Love the eye.    





Here’s the second fisherman.  He is keeping track of two poles.



Check out this custom fishing cart.  The plans might be for sale.





I head back in to whip up an early dinner and when I look back I see that Nancy has joined Bill.  Don’t they look totally relaxed there by the water.






Sunset is 5:25 so it makes the days seem very short and the nights long.  I guess that’s because they are.








I get up to see the sunrise, no fear of waking up someone who has great difficulty sleeping. I walk around the shore of the sound beyond the fishing pier to the Atlantic.  There is something just so lovely and peaceful at this time of the morning.  I don’t see another soul other than the birds flying by in groups.








I’m feeling particularly tall as the sun has risen to my back.  I enjoy the warmth and look at the shells along the way.





As it turns out, this is the best part of the day.


David has been wanting to try making popcorn without oil.  Last night I read on line and watched a Utube video about how to do this.  I follow the directions exactly and here is what I get, one burned pan and a 1/4 cup of burned and partially popped kernels.





So today it is time to clean my poor pan.  I read on line and watch a utube video where a woman who has a pot totally blackened all over the bottom and up the sides from boiling something dry, puts equal parts vinegar water in the pot and boils it for 8 minutes. 

I then watch her use a wooden spoon to scrape out all the black.   I try this.  Does it work for me?  NOPE. 

About this time Nancy Mills drops by and joins me in the vinegar spa where the temperature is 81 degrees inside and the windows are fogged up with vinegar.  She actually sits down, says she loves the smell of vinegar and chats a while.  Now that’s a real friend.





When she leaves, I try the next idea I find.  Make a baking soda paste, let it sit and then scrub.   Does it work for me?  NOPE.  

At this point, I put this problem aside for a while and go on to the next thing on my list, making reservations for a few days at Disneyworld in early December.  

Everything is going fine with this.  I have booked both the campsite and the tickets.  I click the final purchase button and the phone rings.   It’s mastercard calling about a fraud.  I think they are calling about what I’ve just done. 

But no, they are calling about charges just made in California.  They have blocked my card.  The young hispanic girl asks if this Rite Aid charge is mine?  

NOPE, I’m in Florida, not California. 
Well what about this one from Lowe’s. 
Nope, is it from California?
But I just told you I am in Florida.
Well what about this one?
Nope, is it from California?

OK so what about the charges I really did just make at the same time here in Florida?

Well one went through and one didn’t.   I go back on line to try to redo the campsite but it’s no longer available of course.  So I call Disney and then I have to call Mastercard back.  This goes on back and forth Disney/Mastercard for the next NINETY minutes on the phone trying to get two charges paid for before they cancel the card and send me a new one.

I am just on the final phone call when David returns from Palm Coast.  I think I have gotten it all taken care of.  But when I check the account on line, I find I have 3 charges to WDW not just two.  The $400+ charge is in there twice.   My phone minutes are down to 52 out of the 700 a month on our plan.  We cannot call anyone else between Monday and Friday until December 3rd.  This will have to wait until tomorrow, the week-end, when calls are free.

Who could have imagined that David could have had a better day than I did?

But there’s always tomorrow.



The nature of our future will depend on the future of nature.


  1. You got me on the part of "David eating what he wants!" :) I'm kind of wondering if that isn't Tinycamper in that Casita?! No luck on vinegar or baking soda...we'll darn. Have you tried popping in a paper bag in a microwave or maybe it was a glass bowl. Credit card fraud....grrrrrrr!

  2. Yup, the walk full of shells was the very best part of your day.. So sorry for the crappy end to your day. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

  3. Oh Sherry! I was so jealous of you being able to get WDW reservations at Fort W and then have the hassle of your credit card messing everything up! I hope that everything gets straightened out for you, it's hard enough to get Fort W reservations at this time of year on such short notice.

    That is an AMAZING picture of the immature bald eagle, I've never seen one in real life. I'm hoping to be lucky one day.

    I was shocked at how hard Bill was working at fishing. Looks like he had quite a "struggle" on his hands... ;c)

  4. I ruined my favorite pot last year. I tried everything to clean it...everything. Nothing worked. I tried to replace it, but couldn't find the same one anywhere. I finally found another pot, but every time I use it, I think of the old one. I still have it--couldn't part with it so if you have success, I'll try your method. Mine, however, was in much worse shape.

    Glad you're warm. Wonderful pictures, as always. Betcha David had some good food!

  5. You were a brave woman letting David go alone for treatment. Glad he was able to drive home without any problems.

    Thank goodness they catch the credit card fraud but changing card numbers is such a pain. We just went through that ourselves but we were in Canada. Thank goodness the Postal Service there is very friendly and understanding. Hope you get everything straightened out. Totally understand about the minute thing.

    Meanwhile, your photos of the beach are so pretty! I love the sunrise and sunset photos. Those two photos with the wavy sand are wonderful. Thanks for taking me back to the ocean. We arrive at the Pacific on Dec 15.

  6. you are so ambitious. . .when my Dave is gone, I just cocoon. I can go days without even sticking my nose outside. . .your plan is better!

  7. Quite a hassle!

    The eagle's quite distinctive... but it's that shot of driftwood on the beach that stays with me.

  8. Great photo of the juvenile eagle!!! Yea, I enjoyed the Vinegar Spa;o)) Glad things ended well with WDW and Mastercard...that was a big hassle!!

  9. Well you do take advantage of being alone. Wow, see an eagle at the beach. That seems as unusual as a cactus. Maybe the pan 'becomes' the popcorn pan. ;) Drag with Mastercard. Hope you got that and the reservations settled.

  10. I'd pitch the pan and go back to using oil. ;)

  11. I've burned oil to the pan a few times and SOS pads and a vigorous scrubbing usually gets it all off. Hard on the fingernails though, they end up getting an unintentional "filing"!

  12. Looked like a nice walk based on your beautiful photos.

    Events like your credit card fiasco really bother me when they happen. I hate credit card fiascos more than anything. I am sure yours will be resolved in the end; but, I can't believe you are so calm about it.

    As for the pan, I would just ignore the burns. I thought all pans were black bottomed.

  13. Great post. Lucky on getting into WDW, unlucky on the charge card. I like the Sam Eagle pic.

  14. That is one impressive multipurpose fishing cart there! I saw this creation of Bill's today and it is truly impressive, a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. There are easily 200 pieces of PVC pipe & fittings in there, each carefully measured, cut and assembled in a design that allows Bill to use his kayak cart wheels for this cart when fishing and of course with the wheels off, it fits perfectly in the space allotted in the back of the Tahoe where it also secures the beach chairs so they do not move around during a drive. Every detail was thought through in the design. I has other unique design feature too numerous to mention here, but need I say more? I'm impressed.
    That said, I love too the sand pattern shots, the sunset, the pelican's eye and the closing quotation - lots of goodness here. Glad you had some good times in my absence!

  15. Beautiful shells and sunrise. What a great way to start the day! I'm glad Mastercard caught the fraud!!! I know how you enjoy Disney :) Hi Nancy! Hi Bill! I hope everything worked out with the popcorn pan!! An eagle...I thought so, but wouldn't have guessed it was a bald!!

  16. A range of emotions while reading your post. Sadness that David is so far away, happiness at your lovely beach photos, anger that there are such nasty people out there who will attempt to defraud us, joy that you did get your WDW reservation. I laughed out loud at your vinegar spa. Thanks for a great post!

  17. I'm not a big fan of sand, but I love the patterns in the dunes, in your photos. Sometimes I get aggravated by my credit union because they'e been known to deny a purchase when I'm traveling. I now phone them and let them know when I'm going to be out of state and when I plan to be back. Then everything is A-OK. I'm lucky they watch out for their members.

  18. I'm loving your beach walks -- wish we were there strolling those gorgeous Florida beaches too. Sounds soooo appealing right now! I wish the people who engage in credit card fraud would use their energy and ingenuity for more constructive pursuits.

  19. Funny (as you know) I'm enjoying a couple of days while Bill is out of town and glad I made the decision not to go. Had a wonderful hike yesterday something I likely would've never done on a Saturday had he been home. And I've just endured a snafu with our early January Florida reservation that has hopefully turned out for the better, but it was a headache while in the midst of it. Thankfully, did not involve credit card just working with the owner of a cottage we were reserving that screwed up. All is well now - different cottage, but better! Had any ice cream yet?

  20. Second blog this week with credit card fraud, being a former banker this was something I helped with at least once a week, hope all things work out as they should. Great shot of the young bald eagle, we're trying to enjoy beach time in between the bad weather. Nice cart, I keep telling Dave he needs to make one for himself.

  21. An immature eagle on the beach? Never would expect that but Beek saw one once when he was kayaking neat Kitty Hawk. Very cool! And I love pelicans! The calls back and forth to Mastercard and Disney must've made your hair stand straight up. How in the world did your card get compromised so that someone in CA. could go shopping? Seems like these credit card problems are happening more and more frequently. Glad you had a good time walking the beach before the annoying repeat phone calls! XXXOOO

  22. Very cool shot of the immature eagle! I think I'm going to buy your same camera with our Amazon money as my reward :) Sorry to hear about your cc fraud issues. What a pain! The one we use is very good about calling us, especially when we were both in opposite ends of the country using it. Guess they're good at what they do!

  23. Florida sure has some amazing beaches, love all those shells. Alone time is special when you are with your spouse 24/7!

    I hope you're able to fix the camping/Disney fiasco!

  24. I am with Judy on the pan. That is a great picture of the eagle. There is a stone crab claw in your shells. Maybe Bill should throw out a couple of traps?

  25. Looks like you've had a bit of a "ride" yourself :-) Your cactus reminded me of a trip the boys and I took through ten states. I kept looking for a Yucca in bloom while in AZ as I knew I wouldn't see one elsewhere. A week later we're in Kansas and there are lots of Yuccas in bloom. In Kansas? It's still weird to me. Also weird to see cannons "aimed" out to sea, but I'm looking forward to your exploration of the fort too! Love the early morning shots, the sea grass is lovely. So someone in CA can use your credit card but you can't get black spots off the pan in your kitchen......these are the things that cause gray hair, and ice cream abuse! David may doubt the wisdom of leaving you unsupervised in the future........

  26. oh, wow, Sherry …. getting caught up ~ great picture of the pelican! love those guys … I also love the early morning beauty of a sunrise over the water .. or well, anywhere for that matter but it is so gorgeous over water … ahhhh

    I have a microwave corn popper … buy just the packages of popcorn ~ no oil or salt ~ just corn and it pops beautiful and tastes wonderful….

    poor Winona … but she’ll be good as new again … have I been to Charlottesville? jeeeez that’s a pretty area

    Amazing the energy that David has …. just reading the test results post … and his brother helping out…

    Great seeing Carrie and Matthew … your farm is just gorgeous and I like your long hair!

    I do believe I’m caught up with you and yours … what happy, productive creatures you and yours are …

  27. What a beautiful walk along that beach. It made me sigh! And then followed by a laugh over "I love the smell of vinegar!" You are nothing if not tenacious! I would have given up and used the pot for a cleaning bucket!

  28. I love the pelican and the drift wood as well
    Love to Dave.


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