Normally in early February we spend a week to ten days in Key West. By that time, we're weary of the drudgery of winter, the gray days and lack of color, and we're more than ready for sun, sand and ocean waves. Here are a few shots of what it was like last year.
|Mornings can be a little chilly, but the flora is still tropical.|
|Everywhere you look you find something, often exotic, in bloom.|
|Every morning we start our day with a bicycle ride around the island, choosing a new place for |
breakfast each time, then head to the beach for the rest of the day.
|Once Big Daddy returns from another bike ride to our favorite Cuban restaurant to pick up grouper sandwiches for |
our lunch, the wildlife gathers on the beach to wait patiently for the bread pieces we toss them.
This year we decided to forego Key West and take a "stay-cation" at Le Rustique. There were a whole lot of reasons it made sense:
- Our winter has been mild and not as miserably cold as usual.
- We've had more sunny days than normal for this time of year, and we planned to sit on the deck and get a Rocky Mountain tan. (In case you're wondering, I made up that term when I lived in Colorado and Wyoming. It's where you put on your bathing suit and warm boots, recline in the sun on a lounge chair and cover yourself with a couple down comforters. Then you peel back the comforters as the heat of the sun allows. When you get too cold, you cover up again until you're warm, and you repeat the process. It works better in the Rockies, because you're at least a mile closer to the sun and the air is dry. But hey, we're game.)
- We added insulated siding to the farm house, replaced an old wood stove, added energy-efficient wood windows throughout - and it seemed like a good time to test how much cozier those things would make the old house.
- And most importantly, it would give us a chance to see how we'll manage living there together full-time.
Well, you know what they say about best-laid plans.
While all those vacationers in Key West were enjoying beautiful warm days and calm waters, mid-Missouri was getting rain, snow, and more rain. I gotta tell ya, the weather was miserable, but we had no trouble co-existing or finding ways to stay entertained.
And how do you keep a man entertained? No, you're wrong. I'm talking about a man our age. You take him to as many toy stores as you can. We started out at this one.
|You can't tell it's raining, but I assure you I'm using my backside to dry off this seat.|
|Big Daddy opts to forego the seat I dried off in order to try out the fit of a bigger one. Naturally.|
From here we were off to the Kubota store, because we're not just kicking tires. We're in the market for a tractor so we can get more jobs done at Le Rustique. We decided to skip the John Deere store once we found out that you pay a considerable premium for all that pretty green paint.
We've been hiring local experts to do our brush hogging, food plot planting and mowing, but they have full-time jobs or their own farm obligations before they can come help us out. If we have our own tractor, we can get most of our chores done in a timely manner as weather permits. And we can still hire the experts for the bigger jobs. This video shows our go-to guy for the big jobs the first time he came to help us expand the size of our back yard. He's got the big-boy toy and is a green-paint guy all the way.
Do you have a favorite brand of tractor? Do you want to give us any advice? We're listening!
Linking up with Rural Thursday.
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