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Wish for the New Millennium:
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy, and enough money to buy gifts!!

Thought for 2011:  
"We dance around in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows."
                                                                     - Robert Frost

Sandie & Mister Knightly's Christmas Letter 2011

This year has been a year of withdrawal for me - I felt the need for a reality check on my ego (though I doubt anyone but me would have noticed any withdrawal there), my eyes turned more inward this year and I made a conscious effort not to offer so many of my opinions to others (though I doubt anyone but me noticed that effort either).  I took the whole year off politically - and to do this, I quit watching the TV news and News programs.  I read the world news and caught snatches of it on NPR for 10 minutes in the morning, I read the financial news and I paid a bit more attention to pop culture news - I heard enough sports news at the gym to keep up to date on anything big... But for political news I relied entirely on comedians: Stewart, Colbert, Leno, etc. (with a few right leaning wits as well)..  I knew in 2012 I'd need to pay more attention, so I gave myself a break this year.  It was a fun idea.

Part of my withdrawal also included backing off a bit from the social network (except as a repository for photos - a parallel universe of my own website)  I felt I was not the only one who took this path this year, by the way...more and more I see mostly marketing - on all topics including political advice (should you want it) and a variety of other products and ideas.  Not that there aren't nice themes out there too, like Tim's flowers with quotes or my favorite for the year, posted by Susan, my niece:

You don't have a soul
You are a soul
You have a body.

This provided me with hours of thought on epistemology... So I am not down on the social network, I'm just wary of a lot of its content and that it seems to occupy a fair amount of time to keep up with, which is a concern in itself.

This being my 64th year, I have been inundated with Medicare literature.  It also provides hours of reflection on where you are "at" in life.  I mean, when we are young, we are "little snowflakes" no two alike - but by 64 you find yourself moving, more like a cow in a shoot, being directed in one direction... but for now the shoot just brings you to a maze where you face lots of choices but all still eventually leading to the way out.  Along those choices you can find others, more like yourself than not, and you can find that you don't so much celebrate the uniqueness of people any more as you do the areas in which you are the same.  Sometimes (as a result?) our opinions, like our bones, calcify.  This, of course, is something to guard against.  Any way, I am in the Medicare shoot this year - if nothing else it's a wake up call.

Back in the spring I also forced another kind of withdrawal on myself in the form of financial austerity.  As you contemplate the concept of retirement, it usually does lead to austerity of some sort, and while I don't really ever want to entirely retire, I can envision some withdrawal from the full time labor market in the future.  Turns out, austerity is really easy for someone who loves planning like I do so I haven't found it to be a serious burden yet.

So now this year of withdrawal is concluding and I am reaching out to you all with the Christmas Letter to let you know that I am well and happy.  And since these days I feel I am a part of a team with Mister Knightly, I now must write in the plural... we are open to all contact:  to phone calls and visits most any time and emails on any day - to FaceBook posts (unless I unsubscribed from yours...don't ask and I won't tell) and please feel free to suggest good books you have read to us as well.  We hope you are enjoying your life in as many of its aspects as you can.  And while it really isn't Christmas-y to say it, as we re-enter the world of paying attention to politics for the 2012 election, we are going to share with you one of our favorite aphorisms:

Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one.

We agree with this (and Mister Knightly really has a nose to bear this out) feel free to think otherwise.

We hope you are finding joy in small, unexpected places.  We hope you are looking for the good in everyone and are able to see it through the many faults we all possess, especially in the coming year.  We send you our love and our sincerest withes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Sandie & Mister Knightly

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December - Always a fun month but this year made even better by the visit of my lovely niece, Susan  IMG_1667.JPG (2178980 bytes) IMG_1674.JPG (1734354 bytes) IMG_1706a.jpg (1166963 bytes) IMG_1707.JPG (2605763 bytes) IMG_1713.JPG (2014241 bytes)

November - Another lovely Florida month - great weather and slightly cooler temperatures - lots of sun and balmy breezes.  This month I went to the Blueberry Patch for the celebration of 11/11/11 as the owner of that site is into numerology.  It was a fun night in a 60's time warp ;-)  The very next night was a music party at Bill & Marcia's house which was a lot of fun!

On the 20th I had Jack & his cousin Terry and my neighbor Kelli over for dinner and a small bonfire outdoors.  I thought it was a very interesting evening with some surprising conversation.  And then 4 days later was Thanksgiving - an orgy of eating!  WE were 10 this year and the food was great.

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I worked on some photo books the next day... and on Sunday I got up early for an attempt at a sunrise photo for the Christmas photo. This year Mari took the photos and I must say that Mister Knightly was pretty wonderful at posing, even though he would rather have slept in.  On the 29th I had lunch with Betty at the yacht club and did the last of my Christmas shopping - it feels very good to have it all done before December arrives!


October - I began this month in San Francisco - working the Oracle OpenWorld show and visiting Dion.  I had a really great time eating good food, hanging with Diane and then with Dion.  Saw a great concert with Sting and Tom Petty and the Air Show at Fisherman's wharf.  Met a lot of Dion's friends and then flew home only to catch a bug on the plane and spent the next two and a half weeks sick and miserable and working extremely hard on a new project.  No good time goes unpunished it would seem...IMG_1509.JPG (2019497 bytes) IMG_1533.JPG (1665838 bytes)

Once I got to feeling better the month was practically over.  But because it is October and the Florida weather is at its nicest, I still could enjoy Circus McGirkis and Halloween.  I went to the circus with Tim and Randy and we had a delicious breakfast first so we got to talk about stuff.  I spent too much money at the circus, but I have been being frugal for so long that I guess I just had to break loose. Circus McGirkis.jpg (381381 bytes)   halloween 2011.jpg (94261 bytes)  And so now that Halloween is past, it is a road race to the Holidays!  Yiikes! 


September - a month that slipped by without much notice.  I celebrated the 11th birthday for Jaeden (Mister Knightly's favorite pool ball player).  September 2011 071.jpg (99027 bytes) as well as his Godfather Doug's birthday - all in the same evening September 2011 087.jpg (124049 bytes) There was also a celebration of my Mom's 100 centennial which was pretty special to me  scan0022.jpg (166491 bytes)   I had a herd of Divas (or is that bevy?) come over for a photo shoot in the pool which is going to be part of a photo book - it was a fun day and the photos looked very interesting.  Sheri wanted me to pose but I think my Diva days (if I ever had them) are now behind me.  Saw Moneyball which I liked and ate oysters (now that the month has an R) with Jack and saw the beautiful sunrise here with Mister Knightly... September 2011 022.jpg (90223 bytes) 
Then it was time to plan and pack for my San Francisco trip ... but that will be in the October post.


August - The month of many birthdays!  Let me try to count them all... Marcia, Geri, Brenna, Susan, Sandra B, Mary and Mister Knightly...I have probably forgotten someone but I attempted to celebrate them all.   There was a lovely picnic at the beach to say good-bye to Victor (returning to France) with Aleth and Paul...August 2011 024.jpg (419112 bytes) the Elys and their kids...August 2011 046.jpg (620463 bytes) and meAugust 2011 030a.jpg (241783 bytes) looking as trim as I have in 20 years or more.  This beach party was closely followed by another to celebrate Marcia August 2011 049.jpg (114737 bytes) August 2011 058.jpg (72193 bytes) Meanwhile managed to get in a bunch of yard work on both my houses and take care of the many problems that face a landlady.  My job seemed to go well in August and I ended the month with a successful record of good candidates and many interviews...after that it is not up to me any longer.  As the end of the month neared I became excited for my planned pool party for Mister Knightly who turned 5 years old.  I hate it that he is growing up!  I love our life together so much I wish I could stop time for him and keep him with me always.  August 2011 076.jpg (145610 bytes) He got a new sheep (Sunshine) and a new pool ball as gifts and he was so happy - then the gang arrived to play with him.  I baked him a liver cake (a big hit) and Bill brought him a hand made stepping stone to mark the occasion.  It was a very mellow pool party with only  17 people - a nice number - enough to be festive but not so many as to be overwhelming.  We all had fun, even me...which is my criteria for a good party!   August 2011 086.jpg (173348 bytes).  The Hurricane, Irene, didn't hit here but her winds did kill my patio umbrella alas - it didn't even make it through one summer!  And with its passing so too passed the summer of 2011.  It was a good summer.  Full of fun and several personal insights on my part... I am ready to think about the autumn now!

JULY - My vacation this year was to travel to Rochester NY and visit my darling friend Conan, his house-mate, Miguel and of course the handsome Auggie-doggie!  July 2011 037.jpg (184378 bytes)  Might not sound very exciting, but in fact, it turned out to be totally enjoyable and really a ton of fun!  We saw stuff around town and took trips to one of the finger lakes for a boat ride and dinner with friends of Conan's, and to Niagara Falls - we spent hours walking and talking, laughing and just being good friends.  I was so comfortable staying with them that it took me three nights to realize I wasn't at their house once I returned... I would wake in the night and wonder where I was ;-)...strange.  The weather was beautiful and for my money so was Rochester!  Conan Miguel, and I got on well and didn't seem to get on each other's nerves too bad! IMG_1228.JPG (1600091 bytes) IMG_1127.JPG (2273247 bytes)
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Back home the rest of the month was uneventful - living the Vida Loca - thank goodness for Mister Knightly, the gang at the dog park, the gang at the gym and The Herd - they all keep me quite sane.  Caught a beautiful sunset at the beach, had a great brunch with Russ, Jim, Tim and Randy and went to the Cool Art Show and will close the month out with a Tyler Bryant blues concert... much like any other July.  On a sad note, Aleth's Dad, Michel, passed in his sleep in France... 

June -  Not that much to say about June... I have been doing some work on the new house which is simply named Yellow House.  Tree pruning and landscaping are really the only things I got them done!  Went to the movies and saw Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen film which I loved and predict great things for...june2011 012.jpg (80497 bytes) Went to visit the Kails at Bella Maria and took Mister Knightly to the beach, which he loved!  Went to dinner and to see Man of La Mancha with Marcia & Bill got to see their wonderful dog, Ezee.  Played in the pool with Mister K and went through my normal routine of gym, work, dog park and TV or reading.  Now I am getting ready to visit Conan in Rochester - it will be good to get out of town!


May - The big birthdays month - all my adopted brothers are born this month...and a fair number of my other friends as well.  It began with Bill's birthday at the beach...moved quickly on to Tim's, which was his 55th.  He took the role of the corpse in Johnny Schicchi a comic opera by Puccini on the Wednesday night which was his actual birth day...then I took him to see Shrek the Musical on Thursday as a gift and then on Saturday, Randy took him to see Jeff Beck as a gift and I took Randy as my birthday gift to him...and Jeff Beck closed his show with a piece by Puccini...bringing the entire weekend full circle.  I love it when things like that happen and I can see them... I'll bet they happen a lot more than I am able to catch too. 

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Tim in costume at the play                                            Us on our way to Shrek the following night.

 May 2011 Beck.jpg (56107 bytes) the legendary Jeff Beck!!!

 Celebrating Ed's birthday one the 17th was fun tooMay2011 008.jpg (166273 bytes) and then on to Taste of Pinellas to see Bonnie Raitt in the park May Bonnie.jpg (66527 bytes).  

Some how I found time to close on the house next door and elevate myself to "mini mogal", attend a boat launch party at Lippencott's  and to throw a Memorial Weekend Pool Party for the herd...May2011 022.jpg (174105 bytes)  All in all an eventful month, as May usually is... and I even skipped a couple of events!

April - is always a strange month - it can be hot as hell and then again it can be lovely like Spring is supposed to be - it can be calm or windy and it can be wet or dry - this year it was half of each - early April was Spring-like with breezes and some rain - but after the 10th it got hot and stayed that way and forgot to rain...oh well.  I went to Orlando and worked an Oracle show which gave me a chance to see Diane - and here I should mention that April can be a gay month or a sad one and again we had half of each - Three friends lost family members:  Diane, Tim and Ed (mother, father and brother respectively) so there was sadness.  But there was the fun of partying with Diane and of course the Easter egg coloring... and here they are - my eggs: April2011.jpg (178936 bytes) and there was the Mainsail Art show which gave me a chance to wear the dress I bought in Orlando as a skirt - it worked!  The NCAA basketball tournament yielded a real treat for me in that it provided impetus for me to find my college friend Ellie - who I hadn't seen or spoken to in 40 years!  April2011 002.jpg (68559 bytes) She came up and spent a weekend and we walked and talked the entire time - walking around Tampa Bay and walking on the Gulf of Mexico...talking and taking photos April2011 020.jpg (78815 bytes) April2011 016.jpg (100553 bytes)   

The month ended with the opening of swimming season...I officially got in the water - refreshing but cool!  But it is HOT and soon the water will warm up.  Mister Knightly was thrilled that the "pool ball" season was officially open.  And I saw the film Jane Eyre - very good...

March - This was a BIG month - spring is so nice here, so many things to do and great places in which to do them.  The Work was a real bitch with lots going on and lots going in my mind about "my situation" vis-a-vis work.  But that is the stuff of personal journals and not the www.  Meanwhile, just get on with the personal stuff that takes place on the weekend. And that was plentiful... the first weekend in March was the party for Julie's 50th at Caddy's.  I had taken it upon myself to see that it was memorable and I succeeded. IMG_1003.JPG (1125125 bytes) IMG_1036.JPG (1402298 bytes) it was also a celebration of Doug's birthday, a very fun gathering.  The following weekend I had a date with Randy to see YES!  They were great, surprisingly great...and Randy is a fun date (Tim is good about letting me borrow him) good conversation and a wicked sense of humor.  We went to Bella Brave before the concert for a bite and Civichi after for a drink and I snagged a salsa dance with a man who could definition of a perfect evening.  That Sunday Jack and I had our monthly dinner at Oyster Bar - the VCU/ODU basketball game was on and that led to my decision to back them against Georgetown when they got into the round of 64 - but courage failed me after that and I didn't back them to go farther...

The house next door finally heard from the bank as to what it would take to close an offer -  and so now I am in a contract to buy it.  I feel this will give me an exit strategy for retirement.  and a garage with an apartment over is a risk still, I feel it is more practical for me than stock investing...but I am nervous about it.  

The next weekend was one I had looked forward to - a party at Richard & Sue Apelt's where I hoped to hear about their adventures...but some things said prior to the party put a devil in my mind that was then whipped on by a beautiful but nasty full the point where I wasn't able to enjoy myself...too bad for me.  This moon also was felt the next day at The Renaissance Fair where Julie's kids were pissy all day for no reason (except that they are teenagers) and tried to rain on the fun of one ever wants to stay as long at that fair as I do either... that happens every year.  I should take a hotel and just go for as long as I like, but I don't - silly me.  And I am sure the full moon contributed to the depression that overwhelmed Ed's brother and drove him to take his own life.  If the Yes concert  weekend was the best of the month the full moon weekend was the worst!  Tim's father also passed this month, right before the Yes weekend but Tim looked upon that as a release and not a tragedy.

I spent too much money in March redoing the front landscape and revamping the irrigation - April I will spend too much too, installing new lighting for the yard and adding new irrigation, of a sort, to the side yard - I want to be ready to grow veggies by fall.  But once this spree passes the results will last for many years... I put in an herb garden where the fish pond used to be... March2011 001.jpg (229969 bytes) fenced so that Mister Knightly will stay out March2011 010.jpg (254323 bytes) and on the whole I am rather pleased with the clean look - maybe later I will put in some sort of self contained water feature.  I like the sound of water falling... So the month passed - I saw the animated film Rango, too and loved it - and spring began in earnest - the citrus blossom smell soon to be replaced by airs full of jasmine.

February - This is always an interesting month as one never knows what the weather will be and there is little going on.  The SuperBowl has spilled from January to February now and this year there was a big party, The HerdBowl, at Marcia's house complete with a pool (I won the 3rd quarter) and a really great game between the Steelers & the Packers - of course having been to Lambeau Field in the fall, I was 100% for the Packers and won a $5 bet at the gym as well.  It was also the time for pruning the bougainvilleas in the front and I saved that labor of love for Valentine's Day - a day when single women who aren't dating do well to stay at home and leave the world room for lovers!  Still it needed doing and I was glad to spend the time on it.  On the 19th early in the morning, my heart leapt up to see thousands of Robins flying over the was just luck that I saw them...or was it?  All I know is I look for them every year and some years in vain.  That night I went with Doug & Kevin to see The Frogs - the updated version of the Greek play by Aristophanes.  Cute first act but the combination of "message" and comedy in the second act wasn't well done and so was not as thought provoking as needed nor as funny as hoped. It is spring and the leaves are falling... Jan 2011 062.jpg (94289 bytes) straight up! The rest of the month was spent doing the usual things... made it out to the beach for sunset with the Herd though there were only 9 of us that day... and started work on redesigning the front yard...I have eliminated the fish pond and need to find some use for the many large river rocks I now own......had Doug & Kevin over to give me some ideas which I will implement in irrigation and new lighting (dog proof I hope) will finish off the project.  Tim, Randy and Ed came over for a dinner and evening hot tub for them but I enjoyed it after they left...almost fell asleep in it.  The Oscars were a dud except for Maxine...the charming bulldog who came over to watch the show with her Mom, Carolyn.  Maxine and Mister Knightly played the night away to our delight. IMG_0962.JPG (624228 bytes) And so the month came to an end...and just as it ended I saw robins - a huge flock of them flew through the yard and stopped in the oak trees out back... it was so great to see them - and then they pooped all over my car!

January - The new year began well, in the company of friends.  Now let's see what the year brings.

Welcomed in the New Year with Tim, Randy, Ed, Kevin Doug and a couple of other guys - left them after the 9 PM fireworks to visit Taste for Wine and say hi to Aleth, Paul and Rochelle - then ran into Savni on the way back to the park...a lovely New Year's Eve Kevin and I look pretty happy here!  The next big event was my birthday which I celebrated at Caddys with the gang and at Casis with Julie Birthday 2011 me.jpg (56856 bytes) .  Then Lauren & I went to see Beauty & the Beast at the Performing Arts Center...Lauren got all dressed up and was so cute walking in her heelsJan 2011 013.jpg (97990 bytes)  This was followed immediately by Rigoletto with Jack and Sydni & Bill and John & Henrietta!  So you can see there was some celebrating going on.  Next was a Trade Show in Orlando where I was charmed beyond belief by the guy in this photo Andy_ABeam-CONDEX-2011_004.jpg (1718923 bytes) who made me feel quite attractive and sexy... who knew?  Then off to stay for a weekend with the Kails at Bella Marea... What a wonderful month!




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Photo Album

 If you haven't already seen the photos of my Trip to Sweden at Mid summer 07 or Amsterdam 06 or the wine country of France 05 or my Millennium trip to Sweden or my 2002 trip to Scotland, you can see most of them in Places We Like.  

For a look back at 2010  click here

For a look back at 2009  click here

For a look back at 2008  click here

For a look back at 2007  click here

For a look back at 2006  click here

For a look back at 2005 click here

For a look back at 2004 Click Here

For a look back at  2003 Click here

For a look back at 2002 click here

         me at 63-a.jpg (68520 bytes)                                               Misc 2010 008.jpg (241102 bytes)
         Sandie @ 63                                                Mister Knightly @ 3 years

Las Tres Amigas - The Thompson Street Tootsies
Want to see the ravages of time?  Here are Dion, Mary and I at Christmas (1998) and Easter(1974)!

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Sandie, Chris & Susan in Las Vegas                                                Randy, Tim & Ed
   ICOE - In Case of Emergency


Hello -

So you were out browsing the net and decided to stop in at our site...Welcome

As you can see it is about a girl and her dog.  We live in Florida.  The dog is a puppy and the girl is almost 9 in animal years.  You can contact us at this address:  Click

Here are some data:

    Travel (including camping)
    Books (except Best Sellers)
    Films (mostly classics)

    Dancing (Swing )
    Swimming (both kinds)
    Fishing (especially at night)


Life is Grand!

Mister Knightly and I wake each day with smiles on our faces. We strive to be happy without doing harm to anyone else in the process. This isn't very deep stuff, I know, but that's our philosophy and we're sticking to it! We hope you are enjoying your life. Send us an email and let us know what you think. As my dear friend Richard likes to quote,

"May the long-time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you
and the clear light within you, guide your way home"

                                          - The Incredible String Band


Vintage interiors