Dec 30 2022

Gulfport @ St. Pete


This little lazy city of 12,029 population (2010 census) is on the southern tip of St. Pete. Small as it is, it has a casino!  Beaches, quiet paths, chess playing, kayaking, sleepy but full of activities. Sleepy & activities doesn’t mix but they fit well together here.

Dec 28 2022

EG Simmons Regional Park

2401 19th Ave NW
Ruskin, FL 33570

… more pix and videos on Google Maps

A very quiet park on the Tampa Bay. It looks out to the St. Petersburg and Tampa, with overnight camping sites and beach for swimming, many nooks, corners and decks for fishing, sunbathing; and excellent for kayakers.

The sand is super fine – haven’t seen this for a long while.

Looking out to TECO manatee park

… some of my visits there:

Dec 28 2022

TECO manatee viewing center 海牛

6990 Dickman Rd,
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
(813) 228-4289

We went on December 28 and it was overly crowded. The surrounding of the park is so so – very industrial, and the crowd makes it much less enjoyable. It’s the holiday period and we just had a few cold days. Guess the crowd is expected. Oh well …

Marge … Elsie … Desoto


… a few photos 


Dec 27 2022

The nook

The transformation of this little corner is long and in stages.

I declared the completion of the nook in December 2022, after the installation of the light. Looking back, it was just the beginning.

The last piece to the cozy nook on December 27, 2022 – is the installation of the light, which making it the first area to finish, after two months, almost to the date, of diligent efforts.

This corner was the only area that had furniture when we moved in, in late October. However, we didn’t like the dining set at all to begin with, unfortunately, it was forced on us. Aside from my initial objection, we found the chairs are just too heavy.

The 45″ set is still being sold at this writing for $1,886.99. We paid $600 for it but couldn’t sell it for $300 a week later. For whatever it worth, it provided us a place to take our meals, and do some paperwork, although our kitchen counter could step in too.

In term of resale market, there is seem non at the moment – for I couldn’t sell my brand new gas range.

We switched to our 48″ table the following day when the mover came to unload. Taking a wine and cheese break after the movers are gone.

Today, the handyman n wife team came to install the light. Ta da … we’ve a completed area in the house, however simple it’s. A done is a done. So I’m happy. 要求不高常快乐.

At night

Adding color to the walls

I feel a little color is needed. So there we go: shopping for paints. Narrowing it down to brand and color is easy: Behr @ Home Depot, and green. But what shade of green is a big problem: there are SO MANY. The few greens we considered are

We were so sure about Modern zen, then changed to Brook green after seeing it in their catalogue. However, it looks gray in my home. The natural light plays trick on every color. Eventually, we settled on Feng Shui. Not that we believe in it, but the color turned out to be spectacularly beautiful: crispy yet warm, and urbane.  

The window treatments

After the plantation shutters and the paint, the five windows look rather naked – initially, I opted not to have any dressing/treatment. Plantation shutters will make the room too busy, which left me with simple shade option: solar vs roller shades.

We shopped at

  • Lowe’s
  • Home Depot
  • 3Day Blind
  • Budget Blind
  • Nancy

The two big retailers have samples on hand, so they charge a measuring fee which can be deducted when purchasing the curtains. The last two all sent their local sales persons, both were female


Adding window shades, to block out afternoon sunshine. There are blinds, roller shades, shutters, etc. to treat windows. I think roller shades are suitable here, with square cassette and easy lift.

We shopped at Lowe’s, Home Depot and on a referral, a private company.

Bali seems a big enough brand that both Lowe’s and HD carry it. HD also offers Levolor. The private co lady who came, brought with her Inspired Shades, and I like their off white Viva Alpine very much, which goes well with my baseboard. The Blossom Spring is pretty but it’s bit too busy.


… with Sierra‘s Snow, and 3Day’s Cotton / Snow / White / Birch.

… ultimately, I went with HD. This is really my own project because no one cares if we’ve a shade or not.

Dec 22 2022

Asian Fusion Buffet

117 Harbor Village Ln
Apollo Beach, FL 33572

An average Chinese buffet restaurant. Spacious and clean. Plastic plates piled high in a cart. They’ve sushi too.

Food is ok. The lightly fried shrimps with mayo and beef with onion are decent. The crabs are watery and salty.

Today (December 22) is the beginning of winter 立冬 or 入冬 on lunar calendar. People in the northern part of China that’s incl Beijing, usually to have dumplings . So I’ve to try theirs: The filling is surprisingly good but the skin/wrapper is machine made, very thin and lifeless.

Dec 19 2022

My first furniture: a console table

Console table by the entrance (30″ h, 39″ w, 5.5″ deep).

Getting the legs are a small journey: the first order came in on December 6. I excitedly opened it … found the chipped legs and the four feet are not as pictured. I reordered 30″ hairpin leg and the second time, the products are in good condition and as described.

My other wood projects

Dec 6, Home Depot getting the table top, a beautiful 0.75″x5.5″ oak board.

… stain with the 2″ brush, done by December 19.


Materials I used:

Dec 9 2022

A Xmas party by the pool


Dec 9 2022

The future of the bank?

11030 FL-64
Brandenton, FL 34212

Jamie Dimon