Saturday, February 28, 2009

This is Elinor Peace Bailey, my houseguest last week. She is a well known doll maker, designer, and author and was here in Kissimmee with Patti Culea , another great doll maker, designer, and author, to give a lecture at the quilt store on doll making and accessories. It was an informative lecture and a grand time was had by all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lake Tohopekaliga, or Lake Toho, is an 18,800-acre lake in Osceola County known as one of the best lakes in Florida for bass fishing. Lake Toho has hosted the Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of pro tournament bass fishing. The city of Kissimmee is on the northen shore.

In 2001, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission placed it on a top 10 list of bass fishing sites in Florida. At the southern end there is a canal that leads to lakes Cypress and Kissimmee. The lake is part of the headwaters of the Everglades, with water from the Kissimme River feeding into Lake Okeechobee.The land we know today as Osceola County was once the southernmost edge of what was considered "settled." Settled areas had more than two people per square mile. In the late 1850s, everything to the south of Lake Tohopekaliga, except the settlements at Tampa Bay, was true frontier.
For years magazines like Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and Bass Fishing have called Lake Tohopekaliga one of the top ten trophy bass lakes in the United States.
This is the Marina, bait shop, and a nice place to have breakfast. I sometimes stop in when I ride my bike to the lakefront.

East Lake Toho is the big round lake that is in St. Cloud, Florida, the next town over. It is connected to Big Lake Toho by a canal that has locks to regulate the flow of water from East Lake into our's.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is an inlet to our big lake Toho. To the right is a small sandy boat ramp and I'm standing in a parking lot off the main highway. Most boaters use the big ramps down at the lakefront but this one is very quiet, and off the beaten path.. Almost makes me wish I owned a boat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our County Fair is going on right now and I should go and see it.. It's been years since I've gone. They also have the Siver Spurs Rodeo but I hate to see the animals mistreated so I've only gone once a long long time ago. This is the Ferris Wheel and it's one ride I do not like. Photo taken from the road..

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Sign of the Times?

A house in the neighborhood. When riding my bike in the area I see many for rent, for sale, and forclosure signs. This one is fairly recent. Sign has only been out for a few weeks. The house next to it has been empty for much longer and there is no longer a for rent sign. There is a sign in the window that was put up by the sheriff to evict the previous tenant. Only one vacant forclosure has been purchased and moved into and there have been a few rentals that seem to now be occupied. I hope it doesn't get much worse before it gets better.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wednesday I took my house guest to the Lake Ivanhoe area of Orlando to check out the antique and junk shops.. This mannequin sits in front of a vintage clothing store and is so real she startles me everytime I see her. We had a fun day and Elinor found a few special items to use in her journal and collages.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This mural is painted on the side of the old power plant. It pictures a paddle wheel boat like the ones that used to travel on our Lake Toho many years ago. The power plant is empty and the city cannot seem to decide what to do with it. There was talk a few years ago of opening a brewery/restaurant but that hasn't happened and there hasn't been any new ideas publicized lately. It's a nice old brick building that should be preserved.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Here is a view of another building on the same street.. I think you can see a bit of my first mural post on the left side. This photo shows the whole mural. There's are just two others in town that are worth posting. I have a photo of one but need to find a day when no cars are parked in front of the other one. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My blog isn't fully loading for me... I'm only getting the left side of the page and no posts so I won't post for today because of that and I have had a delightful house guest for the past few days who will be staying until Friday morning..

She is Elinor Peace Bailey,the famous doll maker.We are having a great time doing collage and running around to antique stores and museums. I enjoy going places with her because she dresses the way you see her on her web page and watching people's reaction to her is such fun.. I'll post some photos from the lecture she is doing today at the local quilt store.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is a continuation of yesterday's mural.. one of the windows in this one is real.. Same artist. They are starting to fade a bit.. wish there was a way to preserve them..

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is another of the murals painted on the back side of the buildings that front our main street. I've taken some photos of the others and will be posting them in the next few days. I've learned that the muralist is Tom Capella and that he has left Kissimmee and moved to Pennsylvania.

On this one, the street sign, the tall pole with the electrical connections on the top, the tree branches and the bush in the foreground are real.. everything else is painted.

Monday, February 16, 2009

This little waterfall is at the entrance to the Grand Floridian Hotel at Disney. The entrance is a walkway over a man-made stream with waterfalls and orchids and other flora. It's one of my favorite places to go during the holidays as it's lavishly decorated and has a full sized gingerbread house made of real gingerbread. Unfortunately it's way too pricey to stay there but fun to walk around and the Garden View Lounge , an English Tea Room, is an occasional treat for my friends and me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A few years ago we had a painter do some murals on the backs of the buildings on our Main street.. This one can be seen from the parking lot and bandstand area where our weekly Farmer's Market is held. Some of the murals depict actual residents of Kissimmee. They are well done and from a distance can be deceiving. In this one, the window is not real.. very trompe-l'oeil.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To make up for no photo yesterday I'm doing four.
I drove out to the west side of the Kissimmee Airport and took photos of the Warbird Flights & Museum operation. There is also Warbird Aventures, which takes you flying in the WWII T-6's. No photos of them because they were out flying. I'll have to go back another time. These shots are of the museum, which I hadn't seen before.. There had been a bigger one in another hangar for many years but the owner sold it.

This is in a new hangar and the people who own and run this are great pilots and loads of fun.. I've been to many parties here and the food and company are the best.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This is the front of the old Osceola County Courthouse. When I moved here 22 years ago it had a large addition to the side of it with extra courtrooms and the jail. A few years ago, the courthouse annex (another building which housed many county offices was gutted and redone and a new three story courthouse was built. They removed the addition to the old courthouse and restored it back to it's original form. Much nicer this way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is the cupola atop our county courthouse. The red brick courthouse was built in 1889 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest Florida Courthouse that is still in daily use as a courthouse.
A few years ago the Cupola was removed and sent out to Disney World for renovation by their craftspeople. It was returned looking better than new.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rainy day. These leaves were floating along the curb.. I thought they contrasted nicely with the dark green vine.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This is the children's play area at the lakefront. It was completely redone after we were hit by Hurricane Charley. So much was damaged that they just started over and the covering is to protect the children from Florida's harsh summer sun.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It stays light so late here most of the year that I'm rarely driving when it's dark but coming home after a late dinner the other night I noticed all the lights and colors. I grabbed my camera and snapped some photos. Most were very blurry but still interesting and I picked this one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wednesday evening I had dinner at Spoodles restaurant at Disney's Boardwalk. It's one of the areas that is open to the public without having to pay an admission. It is patterned on the old Atlantic City, New Jersey boardwalk. The restaurant and adjacent Ice Cream Parlor have framed photos and posters from the Miss America Pagents dating back to the 1930's...

We just ordered a few appetizers and shared them. There were funny entertainers walking around spinning plates and just clowning with the guests. I had my photo taken with one of the clowns who was wearing my jacket while I tried on his silly hat.. This is not going to be posted here but this is a photo of the boat dock and the Dance Hall end of the complex. It was a cold clear night and all the lights were just so nice.

You can walk on a path and cross a bridge to watch the nightly Epcot fireworks, too. We didn't stay for that but saw them as we were driving out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

This photo was taken just before the cold weather hit us and a few blocks from yesterday's photo. This is near the Caboose I posted and where on the weekends the picnic tables are full of families and the playground is full of children.

Our lakefront is well used by the community and there are plans afoot to make some changes.. many of us just want the city to leave it as it is.. It works well for us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We had a lot of rain the other day. I was driving past the lakefront and took this photo. This time of year is a combination of fall and winter. This year has been colder than usual and now the leaves are falling and the trees are looking bare and wintry at last. Won't be much longer and spring will arrive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Driving home from the mall yesterday, I saw this group of cattle and stopped by the roadside to get a photo. The grass has turned brown these past few weeks because of the cold but it has rained a bit lately and they found some green grass and were gathered in one spot. Usually they are spread out on a large area and recently I've seen lots of calves but not in this group.

There is one brown long horn steer in the midst of the group and he didn't look too friendly. If the ground had not been so soggy I would have walked over to the fence and gotten closer.. I may try for some calves if it dries out and isn't too cold in a day or two.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is part of a display at one of the Disney stores. There are four of them on top of a kiosk of sale items.. This one had the most devilish face and so it's the one I like the most. They represent the Siamese cats in the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp..

Here is the LINK to a Youtube video of them singing "We are Siamese if you Please."

Monday, February 2, 2009

These turkeys were hanging around the neighborhood awhile back. There was a mother and six offspring. One day one of them was separated from the rest and was just carrying on as though he were being killed.. I went out to see what the noise was and he was just flying around and making loud turkey noises. They were just around the corner and he was soon reunited with the group. They are very funny creatures.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For February 1st, the City Daily Photo theme is Passages and Paths. This is a photo from the boat that takes you on the tour of Living with the Land - a gentle 14-minute boat ride through unique indoor plant growing areas. An introduction shows tropic, desert and prairie biomes that existed before humans arrived. Your guide explains all about the four greenhouses and the aquaculture facility. It is a passage through a very interesting ride. One of my favorite. Cool and soothing.

This is a youtube video showing the Greenhouse part of the ride.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants