Archive for the ‘FLORIDA’ Category

Signs of May 2022   Leave a comment

First sign of May at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are the Queen Myrtle Trees start to bloom! We used to have dozens of them but many were taken out not to mention other signs of May that I miss like the blooming hibiscus that were all around the property.

Of course another sign are the weather predictions when temperatures in the 90s start appearing but considering we have been in the high 80s since February it isn’t a surprise.

What would May be without Cinco De Mayo which is celebrated more in the USA than in Mexico where it is acknowledged as the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the battle of Puebla in 1862. I believe it is also celebrated more in the South then in the North but then we have so many Mexican restaurants in this area not to mention any excuse to drink Margaritas!!

We went to the Tequila Sunrise restaurant where they were preparing for a big party outside and it was busy, as always inside! We had a Chicken Chimichanga which is a tortilla filled with meat and then fried. It is always served with refried beans and brown rice and is delicious, not to forget filling!

Also—I think it got mixed up–my Christmas cactus bloomed  to help Mexico celebrate!!
And who are the building C cat, and me, to not enjoy the sun, warm weather, he looking out the window and me strolling along the walkway to my apartment?!

Welcome to May, 2022!

Posted May 7, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, GATEWAY, SEASONS

WELCOME TO MAY 2022   Leave a comment

April went out and May came in with   but I have a feeling it was cut back because a) I didn’t hear the continuous barrage of noise over our buildings and b) there was on and off rain though none really that heavy.

#2 pictures–I walked around Gateway along the canals and down to The Point and even though it was Spring since we had mainly temperatures in the 80s since February it was like a summer day–the grounds were wet but not a drop of rain all afternoon and the sunny was out and bright!

#3 pictures–Spring or not the plant on my kitchen ledge consisting of the yellow Cuban flowers and the pink Geraniums were blooming! All from little snips of older plants and just stuck in a pot of dirt and left alone to do their thing!

#4 pictures–talking of blooming and Spring my 5 pots of pepper plants started showing flowers towards the end of April and on the first of May I had a few peppers to use in my dinner tonight. I don’t know why out of 15-20 blooms I only get about 6-7 peppers and they are very small (but enough to flavor a recipe!) I suppose I should cut them back, have less branches and the results would be better and bigger but I love seeing the blossoms and since each plant seems to rotate in producing peppers I am not really complaining!

Do I really have to explain the two unnumbered pictures? I didn’t think so!Here’s to May 2022 on the way to summer.


I was really looking forward to seeing “The Duke” for many reasons from the fact that it starred one of my favorite actresses, Helen Mirren, and her co-star, Jim Broadbent, always gives a good, sometimes great, performance. They were the leads in this film based on a true story and was being billed as a British comedy which is always a plus when it comes to movies! Also, in its favor it was only 1 hour and 36 minutes which meant it had to move fast. Last, but not least, there was included a story about one man fighting against the system with social overtones and, to a certain degree, showed how the British government did, or didn’t, work.

I was ready to relax and enjoy all the above.

The true story is interesting but not worth 96 minutes! Oh yes, that 96 minutes seemed like 4 hours. There was only one time I, or anyone else, laughed but I won’t tell you because might as well leave you something to look forward to. There is a twist that unless you know the story you won’t see it coming and might not believe.

Mirren and Broadbent are good but there is a whole story between them that is only touched on and could have made for a more powerful story.The trial section is entertaining to a point but not as funny as the spectators, the lawyers, judges, court personal and the prisoner to to think it is.

“The Duke” is really slow moving, not funny, not dramatic and not really a movie worth seeing on TV as it certainly is not worth paying admission to see it in a movie house!


I LOVE #6–don’t remember where I first saw it or who originally posted it and where but I have never forgotten it!

#2 I have been going to the Gateway Theatre for so many years I have forgotten how many! We used to drive up from Miami Beach for a day in the ‘country’ also known as Fort Lauderdale. We did come up to see the opening of the movie “Where The Boys Are” and that was in 1960—OMG! 62 years ago–and I have been coming at least once a week since I moved back to South Florida in 1979 (43 years ago doesn’t sound any better!)

In any case new owners took over recently and I donated to their GOFUNDME campaign plus got a membership. They are a nonprofit organization and I was taken aback when I saw they raised their prices, even for matinees, including for seniors. I know COVID has really hurt the movie-going business but raising prices in not the answer nor is only showing Marvel movies as they are made for the BIG screen showings not for an intimate theatre like The Gateway. On the other hand the movies they are showing don’t attract people to matinees so why raise prices for those shows?

I will NEVER stop going to movie theatres to see movies but why should I pay over $9 for one movie when I can pay $8.99 for Netflix and see 100 movies? Theatres charged higher prices for the new Batman so why not charge lower prices for ‘art’ movies? I’m afraid—and hope I am very wrong—The Gateway won’t be in business too much longer.

#s 4, 7, 11, 12 are just a few pictures I have taken of The Point on Karen Bay. I think I have taken more pictures of The Point than I have taken selfies!! Really! It is just an ever changing great sight to see any time of night and day!

#s 1, 8, 9, 10 Ah yes, my indoor Cuban and Geranium plants are always a joy to see and how can you not smile when you are walking around and see a bird #3 just standing around and looking at the same view you are?

Posted April 17, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

The Cactus, The Point, Food and Me!!   Leave a comment

Whether it is my birthday or not  my “Christmas” Cactus doesn’t forget me and always blooms in February and March!

The weather has been so perfect I have started to go to The Point more often which is always a pleasant (if now slower) walk with an ever changing seascape.  From canoes to million dollar yachts, kids in tires being towed all over Karen Bay until, at least, one falls into the water to catamarans which are docked all along the canal it is always a delight!

Oh, yes, after those l-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-n-g walks one does have to refuel! Not really as these meals are/were being eaten on Thursdays and Fridays when we go out food shopping, run errands and now, occasionally, a Friday movie. 

We hadn’t been to The Outback since the COVID virus started so we decided to go there. Allen had a Filet Mignon and I, was torn between 3 items and after asking the waiter I ordered the shrimp and chicken on a bed of fettuccine, which was good but steak should be ordered in a steakhouse! Oh well, next time and there will be a next time as we are very seldom disappointed when we go there.

On the left is a picture of the shrimp, beans and rice plate with a salsa topping I had at the Tequila Sunrise restaurant, a place I have been going to for over 30+ years and that was before I moved into Gateway where the mother of the owner lived! It’s a tie between Jalisco and Tequila Sunrise which is the better neighborhood Mexican restaurant though to be honest there are many I haven’t tried in Fort Lauderdale. There are a lot more now than there was when I first moved here.

All is good and tomorrow I will be going back to my former cardiologist and even though I know he won’t/can’t answer them all I have a list of questions for him because I have been in a fog since last November when I had an operation and then in December when I fell and got a ‘infected blood’ diagnosis and still don’t know if that is what is changing my whole body with itching, very dry and rashes plus new meds in addition to the 12+ I am already taking!

Looking out at the sunset and just feeling good!

Posted March 8, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

Ah, Mother Nature!!   1 comment

Whether (no pun intended) I have no energy and/or feel bad and it is cold outside for a day or two or whatever happens in my world, your world or the outside world the weather always makes a come back and brightens up everything

In the last weekend of January we had temperatures in the 30s overnight and days with a high in the 60s but so far in February and March we have had highs in the 80s during the day and low in the high 60s or low 70s overnight and now it is predicted to hit 90 by next weekend.

This week we had one light rainy afternoon and one very windy day but otherwise it has been sunny, not humid, a pleasant breeze, cool, not cold evenings, in other words “Tourist Weather” which has a negative aspect!

With all the snow storms, frigid temperatures and tornadoes across most of the USA everyone wants to move HERE!This week has started Spring Break and it is already getting crowded on the beach and as each day goes by there is heavier traffic, lines in restaurants and crowds, crowds and more crowds! (Well, we do need their money and it will be over by May)

I don’t like wishing any part of my life away I still can’t wait til March 13 when we get extra fantastic hours of evening light!

Posted March 6, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

LAST DAY OF NOVEMBER 2021   1 comment

Who says we don’t have winter in Fort Lauderdale-went all the way down to 54 degrees this morning (or so I heard) which means I might get a chance to wear my winter sweatshirt before the year is over!

Michael’s mother gave me the shirt 20 years ago and I do get a chance to wear it 4-5 times a year.Too late to wear it today as it is now in the high 70s–still shorts and short sleeved shirt weather. As soon as I hear (or see) about the frozen iguanas—no, they don’t die–which usually happens when the temperatures get below 50 degrees.Meanwhile there are the Birds of Paradise outside, the Cuban blooms inside and iguanas walking about while squirrels climb trees.

I LOVE Mother Nature!

Posted November 30, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Dogs, a baby, weather & Mother nature October 2021   Leave a comment

1) Dark clouds are the warning we will be getting our daily rain–for 10 minutes or, maybe, longer!

2) My October Calendar dogs

3) Gateway’s latest charmer–Payton’s baby brother

4) Bette Davis changes her outfits as much as Mother nature changes the weather—and both are right!

5) Jeff, who is legally blind. is in the process of having his guide dog trained–she is a beauty but, I think, a little too big for a studio apartment–hopefully he will be able to move to  a larger bedroom though it might be easier for him to handle a smaller space–right now she is too friendly with all the neighbors so I guess that will be part of her training–it is an interesting process to observe.

6) The purple and white orchids are really a standout on the tree–hope no one picks!October is starting off beautifully and hope it continues that way but until ‘hurricane’ season is over we don’t know.

Posted October 4, 2021 by greatmartin in animals, FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, GATEWAY, MOTHER NATURE

Fred, Grace and Henri   Leave a comment

It is a combination of rainy and hurricane seasons which means hot, humid and wet days.  For a week Fred, first a storm, then a tropical storm and maybe when it gets to Florida a hurricane. It was supposed to hit sometime over the weekend and everyone got prepared. Friday came and a little shower in the morning (well, someone told me as I sleep in the mornings!), Saturday came and went and on Sunday there was talk of another system in the Atlantic and it would be called Grace and possibly head to Florida.

On Monday it seems that Hurricane and/or Tropical storm Fred decided that they didn’t want to stop in Fort Lauderdale and went into the gulf and turned north heading for the northwest coast of Florida and going through Louisiana up through the Carolinas. Instead we were presented with Grace and Henri with the latter going towards Bermuda and then north over water but Grace might be a threat to Fort Lauderdale.

On the 6 PM news Bette Davis shows Grace going south of us and I looked out the window, the sun was shining a group of gliders and canoes was going by so, even though I know the weather here from now until November can change on a dime, I decided to just sit back, relax and maybe, just maybe, plan a walk tomorrow!

Posted August 16, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Wind gusts, breezes, temperatures, the canal and, YES! BETTE DAVIS!!   1 comment

1, 2 & 3) Bette Davis (yes, that’s her name!) is our ABC evening weather forecaster and she is great! She smiles, laughs, feels empathy and sympathy and looks great. Okay on another note she is very accurate. We have been having 3 great weeks of what we call ‘tourist weather’–yes it seems that with temperatures in the high 80s it would be warm, even hot and, maybe, uncomfortable but that is far from the case. The dew point and humidity is VERY low, especially for this time of the year, plus we are having ocean wind gusts sometimes going in the high 29 or low30s miles per hour which makes sitting directly in the sun, with that breeze, very comfortable!

4) I will have to take another picture in a month–this is an orchid that blooms every year since Irene put it on what I call our Wilma tree!! When hurricane Wilma in 2005 hit us it almost demolished the tree and though it took a year or two it came back fully. In fact, they have to trim it every hurricane season as it has grown so much.
Back to the orchid–a few years ago Irene put it in the tree and it bloomed beautifully and then the plant disappeared but the following Spring and every Spring since it comes back and blooms beautifully! More pictures to come!

5) It is pretty hard to see but on the left is a guy working/cleaning the yacht and they have a full-time crew cleaning, it seems, 24/7!! One of the guys said since it is so open to the elements you have to keep at it–worse than owning a home!

6) The house across from me is getting ready for Memorial/Decoration Day and their annual BBQ! Those are 2 inflated Uncle Sams!

The rest of the pictures are sights I see looking out my window. This time of the year, with the great weather, people are out on the water on all sorts of crafts plus the big boats coming and going from and to the islands.

Life is good!

Posted May 25, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, WEATHER

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