Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And The Lights Went Our

We were warned that the lights would go out. Yesterday the 4 trucks were here at 9:30am and started changing the electric lines to the new pole. The pole was put up before the hurricane season because the old one was roting.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Making A Silk Purse Out Of A Pigs Ear

This house is in a very nice area of Coral Gables, but it was very plain. The front of the house is getting a remake. Most of the work that you see in this picture will be a large water feature, with fountains. I will keep an eye on the progress and take pictures is it changes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bc. Mt. Hood 'Mary' AM/AOS

'Mary' bloomed for Christmas this year. This orchid blooms in the fall and winter. It grows hanging from a mango tree, enjoying the weather of South Florida. Today it has 5 flowers and they are the largest flowers of this type that I have.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Classic One

The fountain is a real beauty, unfortunately it's classic and the house is modern.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

VJ Is The Best Present That DJ Received

He was born on the 12 26 08 and the picture was taken 20 hours after delivery. He is tall enough to walk to the car when they leave to go home in the Florida Keys. His brother and all of the rest of us are as pleased as we can be. Now the world has seen our new grandson.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

We don't celebrate Boxing Day. but our grandson thinks we should. He has more then enough toys, but the boxes are still very important to him. Of all of the pictures, this picture of D.J. in a basket was the best. There were no laughs, but there were gentle smiles all around the room.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Most Important Birthday Cake Of All

Tomorrow I will have time to tell you why it is so important.
Dec. 26 08 - It was a beautiful birthday party. The birthday cake is a family thing. When I was youngster we could have any kind of cake that we wanted. I always ask for the hazel nut cake that my aunt made. And this was the only one that I ever asked for. No one else in the family knew how to make the cake. When my aunt was in her 80's we ask for a recipe. She had never used a recipe. But she worked on it and came up the perfect recipe. Before the recipe was written she would sometimes have failures, not any more. Now my wife, daughter and I can make this cake for all of our birthday celebrations. Thus it is the most import cake at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Last Minute Repair

The manager of the building knew that the water system on the Christmas tree was faulty. They decided to save money and hope for rain. Now they have to replace the top half of the poinsettia tree. There are 1200 plants on the tree when it is complete, but they ran out and are missing about 10 pots of poinsettias. Oh well, have a Merry Christmas.

I was just told that the last plants have been placed on the tree (last night). Now the Jr. Orange Bowl Parade can strut down the street knowing that everything is just right.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From Our House To Yours

The eve of Christmas Eve and we are working as fast as we can to get ready for the big day. The poinsettia has been on the front door step for the last 5 weeks and will stay till the last of March. We've been very lucky with the fantastic weather, 60's at night and 70's for the days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Early In The Morning

This house looks as comfortable as a building can be. And the temperatures are also comfortable (two weeks of 60's at night and 70's in the day).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Red Tailed Hawk Is Back

The yard was full of all kinds of birds in November and then the hawk came along. The little birds flew away or were eaten by the hawk. Now there is no food for the hawk and it's time for it to fly away. The cycle will begin again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa Is Serious Business

The boy on the side is going to get it right. You don't mess up with Santa. Santa is busy writing in his little book, allll... of the children's names and allll... of the toys that they want. I know, I had to get it right.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Roundabout For Christmas

This five point roundabout was promised for Christmas. It started in September with the signs in our neighborhood. The road to the right is a one way street that goes by our church. If the roundabout clogs up that street will be totally blocked. It was promised for Dec. 25, but it was opened Sunday Dec 21. It works, I tried it, and I like it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sick Ficus

This Ficus tree should have dark green leaves that cover the entire canopy. These trees have lost 60% of its leaves and the leaves that still hang on are sickly yellow green color. A new (to Florida) white fly is killing large Ficus trees all over the city. I will be showing more pictures of these large trees. I will miss there every day beauty.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

City Beautiful

'City Beautiful' was the slogan for the city from it's beginning. But now you don't hear that slogan very often. But the beautiful old homes still catch our eyes everywhere we look.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy Lizzy or Iimpatiens, Iimpatiens, Iimpatiens, Iimpatiens

This little flower covers Coral Gables from October to May. Iimpatiens can live through our warm summers, but they look best in cool weather.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coral Gables Merrick House In Gingerbread

I saw this at the 1st Coral Gables Gingerbread House contest yesterday. An artist would call this a cartoon of the real thing (here's the real thing). And here is a movie clip of some of the entries.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coral Gables Had A Party

Saturday the city had a party at the Merrick House. This little boy came to the party with Santa in a fire engine. But this was as close as he would get to his grandfather.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One More Door

Our church has many open doors. This one is for the school. In this area it is common for a church to have a school. Some of them go up to the 6th grade. Our school has a waiting list.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It Happened Again

Lan had the same problem this week. Yesterday as I took this picture someone from the house came running to me. He said that he was the owner and it was illegal for me to take a picture of his house. Then he asked if I had a permit to take the picture. I said that he could call the police but it would sound silly. In the city of Coral Gables if you are taking pictures or movies for a profit you need a permit. I didn't stay to take a better picture. He was younger then me and looked much stronger, plus he didn't look like the owner. I have known the owner for more the 25 years. In the last few weeks the work crew was very large as you saw last week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Simple Little Flower

Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea or Purple Shamrock seems too fancy for this plain little flower. But it sure takes a good picture.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Clerodendrum quadriloculare (Starburst, Shooting Star or Glorybower)

It is a beautiful exotic plant, but it has it's problems. The burgundy leaves and the white flowers are spectacular. The down side is that it has stolons just like a strawberry, the little plants pop up all over. A root of this plant can go under the side walk and that root will produce a new plant. Notice the little plants popping up in the grass.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hibiscus acetosella

The flowers, which are open only a day, are used in salads. Young leaves can be added to salads or chopped and used in stir fries. Note the leaves are not sweet. A close relative Hibiscus sabdariffa (the true Roselle) is also called the Cranberry Hibiscus. It's fat calyces are used from Florida to South America to make a tart cranberry-like flavored drink.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Condo?

No, it's just one very large house. Large families are not common but large houses continue to be built.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sleeping Beauty.

The garden is a beautiful forest of palms. But it looks like the princess doesn't want a Prince Charming to jump into her house.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Built Before Air Conditioning

The house has cross ventilation, notice the open door.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is It Spanish?

In our city you can not build a copy of a house within one mile of the original house. My parents house had a twin about two miles from our house. It was about 66% of our house, and very strange to see the small version.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Rose Garden

A rose garden in Coral Gables is a rarity. The roses are in the front of the house, but the hedge and wall limit the view for the passerby. Oh well, it's nice house.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Tree Grows In Coral Gables

If a tree could grow in Brooklyn, one can grow in Coral Gables. It is amazing how many Christmas trees are up as soon a Thanksgiving is over.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The First Circles

I looked at a lot of circles but I couldn't find one that I liked more then the one I posted on August 18 08.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The First Door Of Our Church

This is the original sanctuary from the 20's. When I was young it was enlarged twice. But it only had one door to the street. Now this is Founders Hall. The contemporary service, and most dinners are held in this hall. I cooked many a dinner for a full house in this building. I still think of it as my sanctuary.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

12 Cars And Trucks

A large crew of construction workers for building a new wing on this house. They come early and stay late 6 days a week.

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Of The Things I Was Thankfull For

But more important then good food were the people around the table. Four of our visitors were from other countries. It was nice to talk about the positives of life.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

13 Pounds Of Thanks

All of the bones were removed and the skin left to keep the meat and stuffing together.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Garden Gate

A beautiful gate but no garden. The owner is allergic to plants and she has taken out all the plants except the grass.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cassia roxburghii (Red cassia)

Red cassia is native to Sri Lanka and southern India. It is uncommon in cultivation, especially in the West. But Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has a large tree of this cassia, Cassia roxburghii.

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Old Spanish Home For Sale

Two generations of Realtors have lived in this house. They knew a usable house when they saw one. I know of only one addition on this house. Many old houses have been reworked to the point of lousing their simple beauty.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Welcome Center

This is our churches fifth external door to our sanctuary. We have a lot of them, we want to be sure everyone finds their way in to our services.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Purple, Green And Gold

The color of Mardi Gras in the back yard with purple orchids, and gold from a daisy tree and plenty green leaves.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Strangler Fig Lives On

This tree died due to a thunder bolt or the white flies that are now killing some species of Ficus. The branches are falling and the city has not tried to remove this dangerous tree. That's because there is one branch that has a thriving Strangler Fig. This fig started half way up the branch and the tree sent the roots down 20 feet to reach the ground. Enlarge the picture and you will see the roots strangling the branch. The strangler would not kill this tree, but when it's in a palm it will kill the palm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From A Sow's Ear To A Silk Purse

Since I was young I thought that this was a very poor looking house. But in the last few years the new owners have worked magic. The tile roof and the new fence has done the job. I think that it finely looks very good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Little Big For Your Back Yard

These Ficus trees are at there best on the golf course.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foxfire Water Lily

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has this lily in a large pond. I have the same kind in my backyard pond but my flowers don't get that big. It's a tropical water lily and it booms all year around. I usually call it Firefox (as in Mozilla). Take a look at my Foxfire.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coral Gables Water Tower

The city hasn't used the tower for water storage for as long as I can remember. The locals cherish the beauty and the city pays to keep it in good repair.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Forth Door

This isn't the last of the doors.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

B. Little Stars

This orchid is growing on an avocado tree. The fruit is now ripe and will be for at least 3 months more. The orchid has a fragrance in the evening and major eye candy for at least a month.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Walkway vs. Tree

The city gave the tree 4 more inches, but that will not be enough for that Ficus. The tree can cover the cement in due time.