Sunday, March 12, 2017

Second Seminole War Skirmish Reenactment ~ Sunday 3/12/17

I went to bed well past midnight last night, the kitten being wild and making lots of noise. I brought my library book with me in the hope that they might let me read a while since they were so busy chasing each other. No such luck, as the two males started fighting in the space behind my headboard and knocking each other against the walls, so I turned off the light and put on the white noise machine, hoping it would encourage them to leave my room to go have their fun somewhere else.

Only I fell asleep and Explorer crawled into bed with me. A little while later, Princess crawled into bed with me too, and I spent the night with my head cradled by a kitten on each side, dreaming of D&D and of being the "hall monitor" of the U.S. Senate (?!)!

I had changed the clocks before going to bed last night and the kittens woke me up at 7:30 a.m. (so really, 6:30 a.m.).  I weighed myself (up 1.4 lbs!!! arrgh) and went to feed the cats.  The weather is very cloudy but cool so I opened the windows.

Today's plans include driving to Fort Cooper State Park in Inverness to watch the Second Seminole War skirmish reenactment.  We're taking Youngest Son with us so I don't know how much hiking we'll do.

Once again, no To Do List posted today. Yay!

  • Well, no surprise, I weighed myself and I had put on weight. Arrgh but entirely my fault. Well, maybe not entirely. I either skipped my cycle this month or it's really late. I'm vaguely crampy and I'm hungry all the damn time, but I also don't drink nearly enough water. It's one thing to recap this on the blog, though, and another to take steps to remedy the situation!  I'm so annoyed with myself, and yet part of me is like "heh".  Maybe if the legislature that's supposedly in the works to make all employers able to charge really high fees for health insurance if (presumably not just) employees refuse to submit to genetic testing passes, that will be an incentive for me to be more motivated?  Sigh. For people who claim to want less government intervention, the idiots in charge at the moment sure seem to be adding a lot more of it, in every sector of our lives.  Going back to my original point: I put on weight and so I started my day with a big failure.

  • The newspaper was in the driveway and contained 3 inserts of manufacturer coupons and 2 Publix store coupon inserts.  I put the plastic sleeve away as I will reuse it to clean the upstairs litter box.

  • I remembered not to brew regular coffee since we're leaving earlier than we usually do!  I used the electric kettle (bought at a thrift store, I love it!) to heat up water for a cup of instant decaf coffee. Hopefully this will prevent me from having to pee every 5 minutes during the reenactment.

  • I opened the windows and turned off the AC. It's all cloudy today and our high should be in the high 70s. I'll close them and turn the AC back on, just in case, right before we leave.

  • I forgot to mention, yesterday, that I received a full-size bottle of Dove Men+Care spray dry deodorant in the mail from Walmart. I had ordered that "sample" a couple of weeks ago.  

  • Speaking of Walmart, their supercenters are giving away free cupcakes this afternoon to celebrate everyone's birthday, apparently, but I'm not driving 20 minutes to go visit a crowded SuperWalmart to get a free cupcake :)

  • Pantry moths have reappeared, I've seen a couple. Luckily, I still had one pheromone trap so I set it in the pantry and put it on my list of things to get at Ace Hardware. I'll probably order it online, earn the SB and pick it up in-store.

  • As usual, someone on Slickdeals posted an advance alert that there will be a new 30% off code available for Kohl's charge card holders March 17-25 (LUCKY30) and promised to post the new free shipping code when it becomes available. I emailed that post to myself as a reminder and will wait until then to place an order with the $20 in free Kohl's cash from Discover Deals.  Now I only need to figure out what to buy :)

  • We left our house at about 9:30 a.m. and picked the non-toll way to get to Fort Cooper State Park.  Unfortunately, due to the Special Event, our annual pass wasn't accepted at the gate so we had to pay $18 to attend the reenactment.

  • We ended up not hiking after the reenactment because Greg's right hip had started to hurt pretty badly for an unknown reason :(

  • On the way home, we stopped by McDonald's to get lunch. My coupons were different from when I was at home, I guess they change with your location.  So I used a coupon to get a free extra medium fries for my teen :) I didn't feel like sitting in the restaurant to eat fast food, so we just ate in the car on the way home.

  • I earned 25 KFR points by entering this bonus code below into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • We got home at about 1:45 p.m., just in time for me to put my patio furniture cushions away and it started raining right away!  So I reopened the windows to let the kittens enjoy it.  They spotted cardinals at our feeders so they were quite content.  After that, the rain strengthened. Hooray!  I'm hoping to get some water in my rain barrel :)

  • Greg had mentioned wanting to get the kayaks next weekend but since it's Spring Break, I was thinking about taking Youngest Son kayaking this week.  We thought we'd stop by Tractor Supply Co. to buy the kayaks today but by the time we got back in town, all of us were tired from the change of time and just wanted to be home, hahaha. So we skipped buying the kayaks, again.  We should have just bought them that first day we saw them!

  • Nan (a commenter here from St Augustine, FL) will be heading to Walt Disney World this week to spend some time with her family there.  Well, I couldn't let an imbalance happen so Youngest Son and I will be headed to St Augustine this week to visit a couple of stores that interest us and possibly even stop by a state park at some point during the day.

  • My brother from Marseille emailed me that he and his GF have finally found "their" house, about 2.5 hours from Marseille, close to mountains, in the heart of a regional natural park. They've negotiated the price with the owners and are waiting to hear back from the bank.  I'm excited for them and I hope it goes through!

  • Middle Son texted me that he might not be able to come along on the summer trip with my Daughter and me because he's being interviewed for a seasonal Sports Photography job at Disney's Wide Worlds of Sports next weekend and if he gets it, he needs to be fully available.  That really would be awesome for him!

  • I finished "Heartbreak Hotel" by Jonathan Kellerman, which I liked well enough, and now I can cross off a March goal (among a sea of goals that I have already failed at!).  I'll return the book to the library tomorrow via Youngest Son.  On to continuing to read the other library books that I had already started, a spy novel entitled "Red Sparrow" by Jason Mathews.

  • Arrgh, I went to check on my rain barrel and the small tube that goes from the downspout to the rain barrel had fallen off so no rain actually made it into the rain barrel!

  • Also, double arrgh, I asked Greg whether he had succeeded in unscrewing the hose from the outdoor faucet for me and he forgot to do it!

  • And triple arrgh, neither of us gave Youngest Son a lesson on the stick shift even though we talked about doing it.

  • And quadruple arrgh, it's time for me to cook dinner and I have zero, zero, motivation to do so. I'm not even hungry because I drank (real) coffee all afternoon, I had an egg salad sandwich as a snack because I was hungry, and I finished the way-too-sweet sweet tea that I had gotten from McDonald's last night.  I find that I have to be somewhat hungry for me to muster any enthusiasm for cooking. Also, I wouldn't find cooking burgers but I didn't defrost any ground beef since I have all those chicken thighs that I defrosted and that I need to cook.  They're supposed to be grilled outdoors but even though it's now bright outside at dinnertime, I have zero interest in grilling since I haven't cleaned the BBQ in a while...

  • I printed exactly 6 coupons via Swagbucks (twice), and uploaded digital coupons to my CVS and Publix apps. Then I clipped the coupons that interested me from this morning's inserts.  I set aside the pet coupons to donate to the South Lake Animal League's thrift store.

  • My family is awesome. I told Greg I didn't feel like cooking and he said he could make himself a sandwich.  How sweet!  That didn't solve the problem of feeding the kids (I know they could make themselves a sandwich too, or something else, but I do see it as my job to feed them at dinnertime!) so I offered to make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. My daughter prefered chicken nuggets. So in the end, my son had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (he didn't want anything else), my daughter had only chicken nuggets (she said she wasn't hungry so she didn't have anything else), Greg and I each had a big bowl of black bean soup and he had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich while I was chicken nuggets with Asian Sweet Chili dipping sauce. And a banana. So much for not being hungry!

  • My daughter drove to her dad's after dinner. The tolls were deducted from the family car's Sunpass account.

  • So it looks like there is a weekly Dungeons & Dragons game being played at a comic book store in Clermont after all!  It's on Saturday afternoons so I could either get my daughter to drop him off and we could take turns picking him up, or I could drop him off, go do my grocery shopping (on a Saturday afternoon, groan!), or he might even be able to take the local bus with my bike, get dropped off close by and possibly bike the rest of the way. I'm not sure.  So we're going to look into it.  That would save a lot of time and money not to have to drive to East Orlando to continue playing at the same store where we were on Saturday.

  • I went ahead and place an order for 2 more moth pantry traps on Ace Hardware's website via Swagbucks. I will earn 2 SB per dollar spent, got free shipping since I'll pick them up in store, earned about 172 Ace Rewards points, charged it to Paypal, which used up the $2.00 credit that I had earned, 10 cents at a time, from MobiSave, and automatically charged the rest to one of my credit cards, on which I will earn 1% in Rewards. I had checked Amazon and the traps were more expensive on Amazon :)

  • Despite the weight gain, I still earned 20 BR points by entering my new weight into Walgreens' BRHC.

  • Well, I'm giving up on yet another book: "Red Sparrow" just isn't the kind of spy novel I do enjoy. I'm now moving on to "A Delicate Truth" by John Le CarrĂ©. Maybe I'll stop by the library myself tomorrow to see what else I might want to borrow because who knows if I'll like this one!

  • In the meantime, I referred back to the list of books that I wanted to read that I had drawn back in April 2016 and put several of those books on hold via the library system's website. One I should be able to get tomorrow since it is available at my local branch. These are the books I have on hold right now. It'll be a long time before I get to read "Golden Prey" by John Sandford, my favorite author!

  • $18 for admission into the reenactment
  • $24.26 at McDonald's for lunch
  • Tolls for my daughter to drive to her dad's
  • $18.39 from Ace Hardware for moth pantry traps

  • A free medium fries at McDonald's with a coupon

  • Weighed myself
  • Fed the cats
  • Retrieved the paper from the driveway
  • Aired the house
  • Caught up on blogs, email and the news
  • Went to the reenactment with Greg and our son
  • Researched new events and parks to add to our calendar
  • Researched Spring Break possible outings
  • Talked with my brother via email
  • Finished my library book
  • Texted with Middle Son
  • Fed the kittens
  • Cooked dinner
  • Continued reading another library book
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on blogs
  • Placed an online order
  • Put books on hold at the library

  • For a nice time at the re-enactment with my family
  • For friendly and knowledgeable re-enactors that made the show very interesting
  • For rain!
  • For my family being easy-going at dinnertime when I didn't feel like cooking "complicated" things
  • For my daughter having a safe driving trip to her dad's tonight


Source: Florida State Parks
Fort Cooper State Park was the first state park Greg and I had visited after we bought our annual state parks pass. It's a fine park with a small lake and a stockage re-construction of Fort Cooper, which was an outpost where Major Cooper and his troop of wounded and sick men held the Seminoles at bay for more than 2 weeks, back in April 1836, while waiting for reinforcements to arrive.  The original Fort Cooper was located in the same spot.  We were told that this is the 38th year that the skirmish re-enactment is presented.

The event takes place over 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, with skirmishes twice a day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  I had looked  at the weather forecast and seen that rain was likely in the afternoon so we went to the 11 a.m. "show".

This is a much smaller event than the Civil War battle re-enactment that we usually attend, and even smaller than the small WWII skirmish re-enactment at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, but it was very well organized.

On the beach near the pavilions, there were several small "sutler" tents and a couple of food vendors.  From there, guests could hop on a free shuttle to the nearby battleground.  We decided to just walk on the Withlacoochee State Trail to get there. I didn't bother turning on my RunMeter app because it was a short walk. We probably walked 1.5 miles at the very most, total.

Near the battleground, there was a small Seminole military encampment that we visited, where we chatted with a couple of the re-enactors, including the gentlemen who ended up being the chief of the Seminoles during the battle, whose grandfather was full-blooded Native American, and who speaks several native dialects himself. He told us about growing up on a reptile preserve and how he caught his first alligator when we was 12 and milked his first rattlesnake when he was 14!  He said that to catch a large alligator you "simply" have to step in front of it, smack him on its nose, which causes it to open its jaws. But the alligators have their eyes on top of their head so when they're large and they open their jaws, they can't see anything underneath their open jaw.  So then you swoop in and bring their bottom jaw back up and hold their jaw shut and up in the air and the alligator won't move because it can't see what's holding its jaws closed. Hmm, I don't think I'll try it, though.  And he never explained what happened after that :)

We didn't have much time to chat with them as it was close to 11 a.m. so we went to the battleground. They did have some bleachers and we were fortunate to find room to sit.

The gentleman we had just talked to came to tell us about the story of the Seminoles, which wasn't a tribe to start with but a collection of all the tribes that the Americans and British had chased down from Alabama, Georgia, and other parts of the country, to steal their lands and "make it safer for expansion and homesteading".  In Florida, they formed what became known as the Seminole Tribe. He talked from the point of view of the Seminoles involved in this particular skimirsh.  They had found this secluded spot on the other side of the lake and established a village there.

Unfortunately for them, the military road ran nearby and this is where Major Cooper had been left with his sick and wounded men by the rest of their battalion that was in charge of pursuing more Indians, until reinforcements could arrive.

Then one of the American militia men spoke and gave us the background of the story from the American point of view. The American Militia was, back then, composed of volunteers from Georgia.  Both the American and the Native American speaker were excellent, very knowledgeable about their history and really proficient at sharing it.

Greg was fascinated by this guy's hat!
The skirmish ensued, which was short and quite uneventful, but they had a canon that they fired several times and that always makes my own men giddy, lol.

The American encampment behind the stockade. They look like they're playing hide and seek, don't they?  

After the skirmish, we went to visit the American military encampment and chatted with one reenactor who answered questions that Greg had about the background of the conflict.

Walking back to the parking area, I spotted an owl!  Woo-hoo (like the owl!).  I actually made "hoo hoo" noises, which incredibly did have an effect on it as it kept turning its head to figure out what was going on, hahaha.



"Hoo" said that?!

We ventured on the beach for a short while and my son and Greg had their fun with the merry go round, while I took some pictures of flora and fauna on the lake.  The pictures didn't turn out great, not because of the camera, but because the day was very overcast.

Sandhill crane

Wait, don't walk away from me!  I want to see you catch a frog or a fish or something!

Limpkin, possibly eating snails?  

There were a bunch of those snail shells discarded on the shore not too far from the limpkin...

Proof that there are deer in the park and maybe one day we'll spot one!

Anhinga drying itself after fishing.

Fragrant Water Lily
Greg's hip was hurting so we decided to come home instead of walking more.  It was a nice and low-key outing that ended up being quite interesting.  I'm glad we went!

I forgot to mention that on the way to to the state park, we suddenly saw a strange animal dash in between the cars in front of us, across a small country road.  Greg swore it was just a squirrel, but I had clearly seen a black head and a far larger and bushier tail than our gray squirrels get down here so I googled it as soon as I was able to regain some bars on my phone, and I'm 99.9% sure that what we saw was a ...

A Sherman's Fox Squirrel!
I really wish I could have taken a picture of it.  They're actually not seen very often and they are protected in Florida.  We also spotted a dead wild pig on the side of the road, but it'd been dead for a while.  There, all the excitement for today!

How was your Sunday? Anything exciting going on this coming week?


  1. You got some great bird pictures on your outing -especially the owl.

    1. Thanks! The owl was very easy to photograph as it was just off the ground, just a few feet ahead of us off the trail, and was just sitting there :) I love owls. I'm glad I spotted it because it was actually pretty well camouflaged against all the branches. Greg would have completely missed it!

  2. Sounds like you had a good day, Nathalie. So happy the family was willing to have a snack dinner so you didn't have to cook. Now that is a very interesting looking squirrel!

    1. That picture makes it look like some kind of mangy squirrel but the glimpse that I caught of the live one showed me a beautiful squirrel with a completely black head and a gorgeous and large bushy tail. We took the same road yesterday and were hoping to maybe see another one of those but it was later in the day and we didn't see anything :(

  3. Well that creature is cute. The re-enactment is very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    1. I hope I see another one at some point that I can photograph myself, but since they apparently spend most of their days in fields, it's pretty unlikely :(

  4. I really really really dislike that the change of time happens on a Saturday night. It would make so much more sense to "spring forward" on...oh, let's say Friday at 4:00 p.m.

    LOL on the simpleness of catching an alligator. I'll have to remember that, in case of a close encounter with one at Circle B Bar.

    I'm so jealous you got such great photos of an owl. I've never seen one so that I could take a picture of it (only once, at night, far away, and only had my cell phone with me).

    1. Friday at 4 p.m., hahaha. Yeah, for the Spring time change, definitely a great idea!

      I've been lucky with owls, apparently. Last May, Greg and I spotted a couple of fledglings off the Van Fleet Trail.

      Until then, I thought I wouldn't be able to see any unless I went out at night!


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