Living Small is beautiful ~ in its own way

A Mantell

Pondering: small as a lifestyle…

In my widowhood, after I had moved to northeast coastal Florida with Sophie the Wonder Dog and my mischievous cats, I rented a small, two-bedroom house while I searched for a permanent place.

A Green Tree Xmas 12.20

Then I found a two bedroom condo I’m extremely fond of where I’m truly blessed and happy. It’s small and cozy. My living room has a nonworking fireplace. When I put up my two Christmas trees, it was remarked that it looked like a doll house. I enjoy my doll house. My faux green tree has all the traditional ornaments I brought down with me from Brooklyn (NYC).  That’s my 14 year-old cat Scooter under the tree. Scooter had a stroke right before Christmas and walks with his hind quarters swaying, but he’s doing fine, living his life.

Bookcase Wht Tree Xmas FL 12.20

It’s my firm belief that every Florida home must have either a white, pink, or blue Christmas tree. That’s simply part of Florida culture, in my opinion and it’s so fun. I chose a small white tree, and it has all of my pet and animal ornaments on it.

Yes, I ‘went small’ after my husband passed, and I came to Florida. I moved my furniture south by truck because I knew my budget would not allow for me to buy all new furniture.

She watches over the activities of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. ~ Proverbs 31:27, New American Standard Bible [NASB]

wodd tiny house

Since I relocating to Florida, I’ve become fascinated with videos, pictures, and stories about people who have chosen to leave their apartments and/or big houses behind and move into tiny houses. They’re kind of a new pioneer breed, and they are interesting. I enjoy looking at their tiny homes. This eclectic wooden planked tiny house is so cheerful and fitting to its forest environment. Instead of a foundation, it’s on wheels. So cute.

A tiny house inter

I’m not talking about a tiny vacation home, but of people who have chosen to live their lives full-time in a tiny house. It’s a new way of thinking as well as living. I imagine, they would first have to change their mind-set from living large to living small. That was something I did quickly. Where do I want to live? Florida. How do I want to live? In a space that requires a lot less maintenance than my house in Brooklyn. That had a lot to do with the fact that I’m a senior citizen. This was the main reason I chose to live in a condo, where the ‘association’ maintains the outside of the buildings and does the landscaping. In terms of a tiny house, it would also take a lot less energy and effort to maintain than a regular sized house. ~ Here is the interior of a rustic yet modern tiny house.

 

A blue tiny house

 

I’m not advocating for tiny house living, not even for small or scaled down living. Each person has their own needs. Each season of life has its own needs. And I’m not even sure why tiny houses fascinate me, but they do.

ribbon blue

Harmful Intent 400 P Private Detective Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels escapes Brooklyn (NYC) and her cheating husband. She finds herself in a small town in Texas suspected of murder where she is living in a small room above a small diner. HARMFUL INTENT.

wodd tiny house

 

The Broom ~ did she fly in on it?

The Broom

The broom as a ninja weapon

Every morning like clock-work, I feed my little colony of eight stray cats. A vet tech used to live in one of the condo units near mine and many of them were “trap and release neutered” (T&R). The females have an ear clipped, so that if they’re caught again the rescuers and the vet will know they’ve already been spayed. Our condo is also home to wild Muscovy ducks who are very “food aggressive.” So, I bring “the broom” out with me to ward off the ducks. Trust me, the ducks do not like the broom. When I point it or wave it at them slightly, they waddle away as fast as they can. Hilarious.

My neighbors must think I’m a crazy woman. “Did she fly in on it?”

This morning it was 40 degrees out with the wind coming in off the St. John’s River at about 25 miles per hour. That’s cold in Florida. We think water freezes at 40. It does, doesn’t it? The cats were freaked by the wind, and in a feeding frenzy due to the cold. They know they have to eat up an get some fat on them. I feed them breakfast and a woman in a unit two down from mine feeds them dinner. When they sit, they have that plump shape well-fed house cats have…and that makes my heart happy.

 

hawk

We also have two hawks in the area. I live in a city, not a small one either. Yet, my condo is nestled inside of a wooded area and it sits on a natural pond that is fed and emptied by a creek. There are many natural lakes, ponds, and creeks in Florida…not to mention swampland. Floridians who live in major cities know an alligator may not be far away, or a water moccasin. Florida is pristine beaches, shining resort hotels, surfers, and it’s also untameable. Something I love about the state.

Perhaps due to the cold, the two hawks who hunt the forest area near the pond were circling overhead, above my condo unit. Well, of course…there were eight fat cats eating breakfast right there. And it was cold, so why not snatch an easy meal. Except there’s that crazy woman standing there…and now she’s waving “the broom” in the air in a fighting stance.

Oh, what the neighbors must’ve thought. “Well, in Florida you get all types. You know she writes murder mysteries and writers are strange people anyway.”

 

The Duck War ~ and I win, barely

 

Muscovy Duck 10.19
Unaltered photo taken with my phone. He got close to me!

This is the most aggressive duck I’ve ever encountered!

We have Muscovy wild ducks living in and around the natural pond behind my condo complex (in NE Florida) and the creek that feeds into the pond. Wild ducks are aggressive creatures. The red markings on this gentleman’s face (and I use the term ‘gentleman’ as sarcasm) are meant to intimidate. Yes, ducks can be cute, or beautiful, or striking in appearance…and wild ducks are also extremely aggressive.

Mostly they are aggressive with each other and it can be hilarious when they form a circle and chase each other around and around. They rarely actually harm each other, but they threaten each other continually. In this photo, this is how close this guy was willing to get to me, a human who towers over him. Why did he do that? What did he want

Cat food! Every morning, when it’s still a little dark and the ducks are still sleeping at the pond and not roaming for food…I feed 7-8 stray cats. If I feed when the sun is up, the ducks will also be up and looking to eat, and they will boldly chase the cats away from the food I put out. I stand there every morning so I can shoo ducks away in case any get there early. However, they are cagey. Two will come from one side and when I chase them, another two will come and get the food from the other side, and the cats will go hungry. The ducks don’t need the food. They get fat eating insects and choice pieces of grass, buds, and seeds. That’s why I feed when it’s a little dark.

This morning this gentleman must have not slept at the pond but rather on the grass just beyond my condo. After I’d put the food out, he aggressively came toward me and flapped his wings effectively chasing the cats away. The felines would try to come back and he’s frighten them again. So, I went inside the house for about 45 seconds to get my broom to chase the duck. When I got out my stoop was a mess with cat food scattered all over and the cats were running in all directions.

I was so mad I started chasing this duck with the broom like a wild woman. Honestly, a few times I nearly swatted hm in the tail feathers with the broom. A good thing my neighbors were not yet leaving their houses to go to work. They would’ve had a good laugh. I must’ve looked like a lunatic. LOL