Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'll tell you what I'm not missing.....the Lawn Guy

The crisp morning light in the living room
I'm completely smitten with St. Petersburg Florida.  In just a few months of owning a property there, I am dying to spend the entire Winter there one day.  However, work beckons at home and our life is really in Ontario, so we will continue to plan as many visits as we can over the next few years until we can actually Winter down there. Ontario is beautifully hot in the summer with bright sunny days, but Winter brings extremes.  Minus 20 Celsius one day and then 4 degrees and raining the next.  And lots of grey skies. I am missing the sunshine spilling gorgeous light into my living room and ever present greenery on the palm trees.

The colours pick me up....
What I don't miss is the Lawn Guy.  We hire a lawn service because we are absent and someone has to maintain control of the jungle (see below).  So I hired a guy.(guys actually)  Once a week 3 men descend on the garden and we get 15 minute of clipping, mowing, raking etc. For $20.00.  A bargain in my eyes.  The guy never sends me a bill.  I have to try and catch him when we are staying at the house.  Last week I sent the Raz Man outside to pay him.  Lawn Guy asked Raz Man if he was "the son".  Raz Man chuckled and I just about SPIT.  Now Raz Man is not a tall man and often people think shorter people are younger people, but GOOD GRIEF.  Would he not have to look about 25 to make me look like his mother?  Or would I have to look 70 for him to look like my son? To say this threw me is an understatement.  I was horrified and immediately retreated to my bathroom to examine my wrinkles, hair style and attire....

The Jungle and the now MISSING elephant
And then I did what any sensible, confident woman of 50 would do.  I starting asking everyone how old they thought the Raz Man looked. Followed by how old do they think I look.  A very loaded question.  A delicate and tricky question that really shouldn't be asked, but I did.  And often. Of course the responses were carefully chosen and delicately worded.  And the results were obvious.  No one dared state I looked older....oh the wrath if they did.
The City Beach, St. Petersburg.
I moved on.  To dinner the next evening with some new Floridian friends and work colleagues of the Raz Man.  The Wife commented that she liked my new hair style.  Now I haven't changed my hair in 5 years. Wild, messy, blonde....the Bed Head look. Easy as pie and I am maintaining this for life. Despite insisting my hair had not changed she insisted it had,  and stated it made me look "MUCH YOUNGER" than I did the last time she met me.  So of course the 50 year old woman brain starts thinking...."how old did I look last time?" "how old does she think I look?"  It doesn't stop...a woman's brain with a seed of doubt.....

I once called a woman the mother when I worked in a retail shop.  She was the wife and she walked out and the shop lost a HUGE sale.  Have you ever mistaken someone's age.  Or had your's mistaken. Plus or minus.?
Snell Isle
The best thing about St. Petersburg is the architecture.  House from the late 1800's and gorgeous mid Century homes, cottages, Spanish Villas.  A walk along Coffee Pot Bayou is the perfect start to the day with views to the mansions on Snell Isle.

St. Petersburg home.
Hands down my favorites are the Spanish Inspired villas with the Clay tiled roofs.Stucco and arches...lovely.
The neighborhood is sprinkled with renovated cottages..all cute as can be.

Pretty Cottge


  1. Oohhhh I cannot stand those comments!I don't get age comments (yet) but I do get the occasional 'When are you due?' question, (I'm not) or the dreaded 'Oh, you have lost so much wieght!' No, I haven't, so that's not a compliment. Shut up!
    Hope you fired that lawn guy, beautiful lady.

  2. Oh, you are SO lucky to have a home in St. Petersburg! Looking out at the snow falling and thinking about the freezing rain that's in its way and the deep-freeze that's coming tomorrow.... to be able escape all this would be heaven!

    But onto happier things.... your living room is so pretty :-) I love the fresh colours and the wonderful sunlight coming through the window. That must be your favourite room in the house :-)

    I've been starting to feel pretty old lately - between all the aches and pains and thinking about the fact that high school was 30 years ago.... ACK! I'm not very good about guessing other people's ages - I usually underestimate, which I guess is a good thing :-) I can't think of being insulted by anyone guessing my age wrong, but I remember when I was a kid and I accidentally rode my bike into a car and the car's owner came running over yelling "Hey, boy!" WHAT?! I'm NOT a boy!

  3. Back in Atlanta after magical weekend in Panama City Beach ... where I could easily live. Oh, yes I've had folks be wildly off regarding my age ... now that I am a natural white haired woman it's a little easier to guess. I've thought so often about coloring it again, back to my natural blonde ... then someone stops me and exclaims how great the color is. What's a gal to do? your photos are enchanting ...........

  4. I don't get the age comment. But when I tell people I have a son who is 27 they look somewhat surprised. (Or they are just saying that to be nice). Either way, I accept it with grace. ;-)
    Anyway, I think you are as old as you feel inside. The outer shell is just a vessel for all that wisdom beauty and love that radiates from inside you. THAT'S what makes you look beautiful and young on the outside.
    And I would never mistake you for older than your age. (I actually thought you were younger!)

  5. Your living room looks beautiful, young Chania (may I call you 'young Chania' from now on?) - so fresh and pretty with those white sofas and the lovely light from the window.

    My doctor asked me lately how I manage to look so young. But I AM young, I told her severely.

  6. Chania, your Florida house is so inviting, I love all of the soft and airy colors. And don't worry about the yard man, maybe he needs glasses! When I was 23 and pregnant with our daughter, Mr. Tide and I went to a maternity store to get some clothes for me. The next day a friend said she had heard from the woman that worked there that I had come in with my son! What?! I was 23, so that would have meant that she thought Mr. Tide was what age, or I was what age?! He is a baby face, but not an infant face, lol. Funny how I still remember that. Just a few years ago I went with my daughter to a party for British expats. A couple and a younger man in his 20's asked if we were sisters. It made me feel great, but I wondered how it made my poor daughter feel! I think some people are just not good at gauging age. Of course we never question it when they screw up in our favor, just when it goes against us! ;-)

    Kat :)

  7. St. Pete's sounds wonderful - I'd love to visit that area someday. As for the age thing, don't take it personally. Lawn Guy was probably trying to make Raz Man feel young by asking him that, just like how people will ask mother and daughter if they are sisters!xo

  8. Firstly, thanks for the Google Chrome tip - it seems to be working!
    You look EXACTLY like one of my closest friends - and she is 48. I just showed your photo to my daughter and asked her who you looked like and straight away she said Jayne. So there's your proof!
    I actually get the opposite - I'm 45 and no-one ever believes I'm more than my mid thirties. I even had two people recently think I was 28! It's not as flattering as it may sound. I've never felt like a 'grown up' because of my baby face and freckles and it's embarrassing to be asked your age walking into a casino (in Niagara Falls to exchange some travellers cheques) when you are 37!! On the plus side I worked in London from my mid-twenties to early thirties and used to get on the bus for 'half' (kids price!). In all honestly I never think of people by age and neither do most of my friends who vary in age a lot. We all just tend to say "oh, they're our age..." when our ages vary by as much as 10 years!
    We're never happy :)

  9. Well if I had the house in Florida to live in, I'd forgive a lot, maybe. How old was this lawn care guy? Three? I'd kill him.

  10. Chania, the living room and garden are wonderful. I could spend winter there and I live in the Deep South already. I would not worry for a minute about the lawn guy. He was probably vying for a tip from Mr. Raz. I had someone once think I was my dads young mistress which was horrible but I since do not much care what people think. olive

  11. I find that (rude) people who speak of your age, are just clods with no social graces and need to be culled from the list of people you socialize with.
    I am over that. although I have not had any insulting experiences, I hate it when someone who is not a close friend , starts talking about personal things ..
    People need to learn some manners.
    Now about the Lawn Guy, he might need killing for other reasons too ..

  12. Chania....The damn Lawn Man. When we were in Winter Park, FL last winter, we went out to dinner at my sister in law and brother's favorite Chinese restaurant. They frequent there often and the owner is familiar with them. When we finished dinner and my brother went up to pay bill, the owner looked over at us and asked my brother, "Mummy and Daddy? "
    I am only two yearsolder than my brother! Talk about disgusted!

    Your home looks so peaceful and serene! You have excellent decorating skills.

    To St. Petersburg soon.

  13. Okay, I have to tell you...I have been laughing so hard reading this post. Thank you. I mean, really, I had to laugh because these comments about looking younger etc. due to hairstyles and the like really get me going. A colleague at work told me one week that she loved the fact that my hair had grown longer and "oh you look so much younger with long hair" but shortly after when she saw my blog photo profile she raved about how I should cut my hair short and I would loo younger. I mean, really, what is the message here? Anyway, thanks for that laugh.

  14. That is soooo funny! Life looks pretty good down in Florida. I sooo miss living in Virginia - how I love the south!


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania