Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040, 904-557-1195 cell
Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
Knee Report is at the bottom for those who want to know "how it went".]
weeks leading up to the knee surgery were non-stop with too many things
to get finished while I could still walk. The timing worked
perfectly for the surgery and to be able to do, so much.
fact I started looking forward to the surgery as a good
sleep for a few days. With all the pain pills
that was almost the case.
I am a little bit obsessive compulsive when I get an idea in
head of something I feel I want or need to do. I
concerned with the cleanliness of the house since the plan was for me
to come home, instead of the rehab center, and risk of infection is one
of the top hindrances to recovery. What worried me most was
10 year old carpet with 10 years worth of dirt in it.
I knew Red Oak flooring was lurking underneath. I
gotten the idea to rip out the carpet where I would mostly be hanging
out and had started the project earlier tearing up, cleaning and
staining about a 1/4 of my office. With some much needed help, I seized
opportunity for a strong backed worker to take it all up.
Needless to say there were many horrifying surprises
with 10 year old sheetrock dust, and paint splatters left by workers
who worked without drop cloths because it would be covered
up, and someone who was glue gun happy and wanted to be sure not an
edge of the padding escaped being stuck in place. With a bit more help, I managed
dissolve and remove it all, and scrape up almost every paint splatter in every
room but one, then re-stained it. I
just wanted them clean and sweepable, I look back now and
imagine I actually did all that, but when you look at a big
a square foot at a time, what seems impossible becomes
Like the ant who moved the rubber tree plant, I had High Hopes,
high apple pie in the sky hopes, and, -oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.
In the middle of the floor project and family reunion came the yearly
Sea Turtle Training.
The yearly, statewide
Florida Marine Turtle Permit Holders Meeting which works out to be the
FMTPHM for short. It was a meeting of lots of alphabet soup
participants, FWC, Sea Turtle Conservancy, and what seemed like an
endless list of other organizations known by their shorter acronyms
until in your head they all began to spin around. Sea World
generously extended an invitation to the Sea Turtle
Conservancy & FWC to
have the conference at their facility near their new Turtle Trek
As with all the theme parks everything is first rate especially the
World takes care of a lot of Florida's Sea Turtle Strandings, injured
or sick sea turtles. We were given a back stage tour of their
facility. Since we were not to take photos my camera
got one blurry image of one of the 20 Ridley Sea Turtles, a
endangered turtle, which had been air lifted in December by the Coast
Guard from the Northeast. Warmer than usual Fall waters had
them into staying too long in the Cape Cod Bay, when a sudden drop in
water temperatures caused them to go into "Cold Stun" and washed ashore
needing rescuing. Their rescue was on the National
News at the time. The Ridleys are our
smallest and rarest of the Sea Turtles. There are two kinds,
Olive Ridleys and the Kemps Ridleys. They are recognized by
their very round caparace. While we were there they brought
two more large Loggerheads for treatment, one of which we were able to
see. It was all draped in wet towels and not in
because of it was not able at that point to float on its own, but we
were assured that it was stabilized.
was a party afterward on a large patio overlooking what was the top
side of an
underwater viewing area inhabitated with a variety of sea
creatures which included some Sea
Turtles which cannot be released because of their disabilities, along
with Manatees, and fish. With a group of turtle enthusiasts
will find most everything in the form of jewelry, t-shirts, and
anything which has turtles on it. These were very
cute back packs. We were given 2 drink tickets which the
bartenders were ignoring collecting so the Sea Turtle Conservancy may
have blown their whole next year's budget on a big bar bill that
We watched the Manatees as they slept on a shallow ledge above the
deeper part of the aquarium exhibit.
Every once in a while one would float up for a breath of air since
these are mammals they can only stay submerged so long.
week away from surgery I had to do more walking than I planned on
doing. By now along with the Flamingos, I was ready to close
They all seemed to be getting their evening bath and
for beddy bye, ready for that chattering group of humans to turn the
Of course there is always a show off in every crowd.
The flag and the SeaWorld Lighthouse bid us a goodnight.
morning everyone was ready to get down to the serious business of
learning the new stuff about Sea Turtles, from new rules, lighting,
studies, data, and the list goes on. This
is what 400+ sea turtle volunteers look like, all wearing their own
area T-shirts, chattering and comparing notes about their last turtle
season, which, as it happens was a huge success statewide from the
Panhandle all around the state's coast line all the way
to our Northeast corner of the state. Lots
about the Southern
part of the state and not so much about us on the NE coast We
need to apply for more grants for studies up here I guess.
I thought these light fixtures in our meeting room were very
interesting and carried the Sea World nautical theme into the room.
World and other sponsors of the meeting provided much food to be shared
at the morning and afternoon breaks as well as a great build your own
taco lunch. More colorful turtle shirts.
More Sea Turtle jewelry and shirts.
....tote bags and Sea Turtle Volunteer shirts to show off...
...a great embrodrary job with three of the five sea turtles we have on
our Florida Beaches.
Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, Inc. was well represented with a good
group of my fellow local turtle buddies. I even see a couple
my T-Shirts on the Hertiage faction, Charlie and Dottie, of the group.
I shared a table with this fellow who had a rather interesting shirt.
morning session found our large duck pond busy with different duck
action. This group seemed to be listening to the Duck on the
relate some long winded story from the night before.
goal had been to lose 5 pounds prior to surgery but I fear with a
family reunion and this meeting that was not to be. Morning,
noon, and afternoon we were stuffed with lovely goodies to fill our
tummies. There were always healthy alternatives but with
chocolate around one can't resist a chocolate fix.
was also snack time for the duck buddies and I think I got a life time
supply of duck photos in those two days. Loved the patterns
the water on the left side of the photo.
interesting bit of landscaping was done with a large piece of driftwood
and various "Air Plants" growing on it and Bromelaids below for a
consistent look and easy to care for garden area.
think this was my favorite duck. His pretty blue beak and
stiff tail feathers suited his energetic personality. I even
a video of him taking a very lengthy bath.
course nothing has more beautiful colors and patterns than our
Wood Ducks. They are one of the few ducks with claws strong
enough to allow them to perch on tree limbs and nest in
fellow was pretty interesting also. There was signage with
pages identifying each duck and it country of origin but I had enough
absorb just learning about turtles to worry about anything except
getting some interesting photos of pretty birds.
thought this duck with the rich burnt sienna
head and the tiny pattern in the gray feathers that resembled a Guinea
Fowl was unusual and would make a great duck painting. It's
looks like it has been carved out of wood and polished to a fine finish.
the meetings we heard reports from many different groups working with
Sea Turtles on the work they were doing. We saw many before
after photos with this one obviously being one of the befores of one
sickly sea turtle which had been rescued.
Sea Turtle License plates are a big part of what pays for the studies,
and work efforts put forth by these many organizations. If
don't have a Sea Turtle on your tag please think about getting one.
It goes for a good cause. Georgia and Florida both
learned about some of the high tech things being used to find out more
about Sea Turtles and how they live, where they go, and patterns in
their life cycles. This device tracks the depths to which
to forage, the one draw back is that they have to retrieve the device
to extract the information on the chip. It was interesting to
listen to them talk about trying to solve the problem of how
to adhere this tracking device to a
green Sea Turtle whose Carapace has an unusually slick, almost oily
surface. It was a lot of trial and error before they came up
with an aquatic glue that would stay and not damage the turtle.
of the plants which I don't see growing up here much is the White Bird
of Paradise. It grows much taller than the prettier (to me)
more tree like. It may not be cold hardy enough for our
but I have an orange one outside that has survived several winters.
a place like Sea World one never know when they will encounter some odd
critters. This Aardvark and its handler came back and forth
several times. Part of something going on in the next area
the Sunday before surgery which had been postponed until Tuesday I was
able to put some more time in on the hotel mural. I added
more critters, added more colorful pillows, a pelican, a Gopher
Tortoise, and a replacement for the big basket of grapes with one
filled with shells, coral and driftwood to add to our local feel, and
even a larger Sea Turtle swimming in the pool. My thanks to
Amelia Hotel at the Beach for providing me with the room at the Hilton
Suites at Sea World, in Orlando, making it possible to attend
Sea Turtle Meeting... so a reward for some of the work I have put in
has now been a little over 4 weeks since the surgery and I am still
recouping. This is not a surgery for sissies, although it is
harder for some than others. My biggest problem is that I was
allergic to the good drugs and had to take a very expensive, (and not
covered by insurance), alternative one which cost over $230 for one
prescription so I was determined to not have to refill it.
Without the better pain killers my progress was slower than
should have been. You must take pain meds before each therapy
session. With lots of work I progressed to the point that I
bend my knee 120 degrees yesterday, meaning I could be released from
therapy. I still have lots of work to do and lots of therapy
do on my own but I am on the way to being recovered. I
would be out of bed and back to work in a couple of weeks.
was certainly not to be. I know Bruce has felt like an
slave, keeping the gallery open then coming home do the home chores,
like washing clothes and preparing dinner. I am
getting to the point where I can be of help. I had a group of
ladies, my angels of mercy, who kept the gallery open some days while
the surgery day and my exodus from the hospital, and also took turns
staying with me during the first week and a half when I was not
supposed to be left alone.
continue to progress after the surgery but it has been tougher than I
imagined it would be. I think it is different for different
Some have less some have more pain involved. I had
meniscus as well as a cyst to remove in addition to the knee
replacement. I was not as strong as I should have been, you
to busy to excercise. It is hard
work with lots of therapy each day for a long time. The
says I will know when to quit. I will be going to the YMCA to
their stationary bike several times a week, in addition to my
daily regimen. I am going to try to get back to the gallery
next week on a part time basis (hopefully). We will see.
Everyone asks me what I am going to do for my
birthday Friday (one of those big ones with a "0" on the end).
Except for going to eat lunch with my sis and a couple of
friends I won't do much except hibernate. I have become
the hermit. I have taken some back yard photos I will be
in my next story and Bruce even took me for a walk on our anniversary,
Tuesday, on The Greenway. I was unable to walk far enough to
photos of the baby alligators but maybe next time.
So, you see, I have not forgotten you guys but sitting too long on the
computer makes one get very, very stiff.
(Please take a
moment to consider:
These photo-stories have
always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of
nature. Thousands of hours have been
poured into them and it has even become necessary to enlist the
services of a paid email service to send out the large numbers who now
receive them. So, with the current economic situation if you are able
make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it
would be greatly appreciated.)