The week began with an unusually ambitious agenda, so I made a list. I'm good with lists. I like lists. I especially like checking things off! The first thing I tackled was scraping and sanding the outdoor furniture, then getting two new coats of Helmsman urethane on everything. That was the first easy item on the list. Another relatively easy task was to check out the possibility of moving back into the larger storage unit I had before, and when the answer was yes, that morphed into filling out the paperwork and actually moving everything from one end of the facility to the other. But since I was at it, I put away my winter gear and got out my summer stuff which is a plus. I even found my Easter Basket - just in case the bunny decides to visit my place, and came across a photo of my brother and I when we were toddlers to add to my family gallery. Next up: Last week I bought two new bougainvillea plants and three hibiscus. They were still sitting on the deck in the plastic pots they came in so I took pity on them and transplanted them into bigger pots with some room for their roots to spread out. The weather was so nice this week, it was a great excuse to be out of doors. But eventually I managed to burn through all the "easy" tasks and had to sit myself down at the computer to deal with the more problematic ones.
My writer's chapter voted to set up a PayPal account and since I'm the treasurer, getting it done fell under my job description. Reading through the initial information, this seemed pretty easy so I dove into that one thinking maybe an hour or so. Three hours later, having spoken to two helpdesks and having to conference the president in so they could actually talk to me, that job was done. The gorgeous weather and the beach called and I scrambled out of here for a walk by the sea. Balancing the chapter checkbook and writing up the monthly report came next. Fortunately no problems popped up and that was dispatched in good time. Our Annual conference in the fall had four registrations already - a good sign, but I had to take time out to wrestle with WORD (which is NOT my favorite program) to start the attendee list. And all this time the really big job loomed and I did my best to ignore it, or subconsciously find excuses to put it off. Time for another walk on the beach??
TAXES! I get through January and February reassuring myself that I can't do them yet because the company I used to work for gets until March to spit out their limited partnership reports. But the K-1 came last week, which is why taxes were on my to-do list this week. Not my favorite task as you might have guessed by the sheer volume of projects I put between me and the tax return. But Friday morning comes and I haven't even started. As I savored my morning cup of tea I decided I'd download Turbotax and that would fulfill my tax obligation for the week. Just download it, perhaps take a look at it, but I wouldn't actually DO the taxes until NEXT week! I am happy to say, once started, it was hard to decide where to stop. I got further and further into the thing and ended up opting to connect with my bank and brokerage and download all that information automatically! And as I said, one thing led to another and I am thankful and relieved to report that I just put the whole paper file away with all my previous year's tax returns. The return has been electronically filed. AND I DON'T OWE ANY TAXES!
And so my ambitious To-Do list has everything checked off. Isn't that fantastic?
Anyone who loves history, pageantry and just plain fun will love St Augustine. I've never been in a city that celebrates so often or with so much enjoyment. This past weekend was no different. St Patrick's Day is still a week away, but the festivities have begun. For two days there was a Celtic Festival going on at Francis Field with bagpipers, Irish dancers, musicians, Scottish games, and lots more - even haggis for the brave folks who'll try anything once. Saturday morning began with a parade through town, and I know now I should have taken a lot more photos because I remember seeing a lot of really fun stuff. Ever seen storm troopers in kilts? Check this out!!
Last week St Augustine was visited by re-enactors from as far away as Ohio that I know of - perhaps further. They set up camp at the Fountain of Youth and represented a colony in the 1600s. On Saturday evening, we were treated to the re-enactment of Searle's Raid on St Augustine in 1668. Women were kidnapped from houses along St George Street as the raiders forced the defending Spaniards back until they retreated into their wood fort.
Just the week before that was the 493rd birthday of Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder of our nation's oldest city. That was celebrated by a parade down St George Street complete with courtiers, a 17th century pope, Big Head puppets and so many more.
Back in December we had British Watch night - honoring the 21 years of British rule in St Augustine and soon, we will have La Guardia de Noche (Spanish Watch night) complete with a military torchlight parade.
I fell in love with this city the very first time I visited and every week, month and year since I moved here has been filled with more reasons to love it. From our Spanish beginnings and the Native American and African (slave and free) influence to our present day, flavored along the way with Irish, Minorcan, Greek, Scots and British, there is so much diversity to celebrate and we celebrate it all with flair and pride.