Sights you won’t see in Florida

Having been a southern girl for most of my life, there are some things that I haven’t seen much. I also have not traveled the country extensively as many of my peers have done. So I find certain sights quite noteworthy or at least worthy of a second glance. Chipmunks are one little creature that do not naturally inhabit the state of Florida.(okay they are in the panhandle but that’s really southern Alabama) So they are a treat to the eyes as they quickly scurry about. I was happy to find one open to being photographed at the Anderson Japanese Gardens. They are accustomed to having folks around their trees I guess.

Chipmunks,always adorable, but more so when you don’t see them often.

Another would be that fire hydrants here are designated with a flag. Now if I had only been in Illinois in the summer,  I would be completely befuddled as to why the firemen wouldn’t be able to see a big yellow fire hydrant on the side of the road and would need a flag to find it. I know that old people tape a flower to their antenna occasionally to find their car in the parking lot but firemen on duty, hunting down a fire hydrant? Ah but since I was here in the winter months and snow season and saw many mishaps and misjudging as to where streets and driveways had gone, I know that flag is to indicate the presence of a fire hydrant.

“Here lies a fire hydrant.”

Another picture that you won’t find in a Florida photo is one of lilacs. The fragrance of lilacs brings back memories of being a little girl in western Pennsylvania. We had them in our yard and when we would play Red Rover and run to the end of the yard, we would run right into the fragrant, colorful lilac bushes. I don’t recall seeing them blooming since then until my extended visit to Illinois. They are in fact, so prevalent here that they trim them up and toss away the blooms with little regard for their value, to us, at least.
Now, let’s talk about food. The Midwest isn’t called America’s Breadbasket for nothing. The opportunities for eating scrumptious food are endless. The downside is that Rockford has been given the dubious title of 4th most obese metropolitan area in the U.S. But let’s not talk about that right now. I know that we have bakeries and eateries in the south that conjure up mouth watering memories but none that compare to what I have seen here. (except for my LaMarrs Donuts in Oxford, Alabama!) Bread, rolls, danish, Swedish pancakes and let’s not forget world famous Chicago Pizza! I’ve used tremendous restraint in limiting my indulgences but I had to have a photo to take home with me. Yes, I DO love my carbs!  So thank you Midwest for making my sweet roll dreams come true.

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Bnkrupt 5

I don’t know about you but if I had declared bankruptcy five times I don’t think I would choose that description for my vanity tag. Maybe N33d Mny or 2Broke4Bills or something less disparaging but I did see that on a car yesterday at a local breakfast spot.  But then, I have seen many noteworthy things during my 54 days in northern Illinois.

One shocking thing that I saw, and took pictures of, but won’t publish here, was several possibly inebriated gentlemen running and cavorting  across a frozen lake last Saturday.  True, the temperatures have been low enough to freeze the surface of the lake but just how deep might that ice be? These guys were 6 ft tall and 180 pounds or so.  But then I’m a Florida gal and just looking at somebody walking on what was WATER not long ago, was worthy of a few clicks on my phone camera

Doesn't everybody need a vacuum cleaner buddy?

An interesting thrift store find.

I also spotted this little treasure while working at the thrift shop yesterday.  Now here’s a find for sure.  We all need one of these little cuties to hide our ugly vacuum cleaner. I’m surprised that the original owner was willing to part with it. If they spot this blog, they could hurry on in to Share Stuff and buy it back. After all, the proceeds go to a very worthy cause.

Now I would never want to be a geographic snob because I bet if my Illinois friends take a trip to central Florida where I live, they will see some blog worthy sights too.  In fact, I’m positive!

Traveling Nurses

There are many occupations that travel around the country. Nurses have taken advantage of this way of life for many years. Often in these cases, it is the husband who is the biz spouse. I actually know of two couples who have done this routinely. One couple travels full time in a travel trailer and the other couple does the “snow bird” nursing. They travel to Florida in the winter where the need is greater due to the migration of so many to to the south and warmer climates. They go home then to Minnesota in the summer, where the need is again greater there. It’s a great way to see the country. Life is short so see what you can BEFORE you retire. Here is a website that answers many of the questions you may have about contract nursing opportunities.

http://www.nursezone.com/Explore-Travel-Nursing/traveler-stories.aspx