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Sunday, June 19, 2011

"I Hope Your are Not French!"

Outside my kitchen window last year - hoping I'm not French

Many of my readers and customers who send me emails know that I have a terrible sleeping problem which stems from a fall I took a couple of years back while showing a bank owned property in Key West. I ended up in the Lower Keys Hospital with a concussion. I'm okay, now, but I did take a big spill. Damned cheap banks that don't take care of their bank owned homes!

Anyway, if you have ever suffered a concussion you know that one of many symptoms can be a sleeping disorder. That is my long term and seemingly ever-lasting legacy of the tumble. For a while a would go to sleep around 6:00 to 7:00 PM and then wake up at midnight or shortly thereafter. Now my sleep is finally getting back to normal but I continue to have regressions to early evening beddy-bye. But I guess I am doomed to be an early riser forever.

Last year I awoke way too early. I had already had coffee and decided to make breakfast at a time some Key Westers were probably getting ready to go to bed. I went back into the kitchen and saw the frog shown above. He was clinging to the outsideof the kitchen window watching me. I found my camera and took his pic so that I would not forget him.

A few days ago I was again awake way too early for any sane person. I had left the kitchen door open and a frog had found its way inside the kitchen. He saw me and jumped onto my stove. He was a bit too eager to be eaten in my opinion. Were I French, he would be history. Instead, I decided to ignore him. I poured another cup of coffee, turned out the lights and left him. The next time I returned, the frog was gone and all I had were memories of the tiny creature.

Frogs are strange creatures. I guess they are always here, but unless you have a murky pond or needy pool, you just don't see them and certainly don't hear them. But they reappear annually in late Spring. If you are an early riser like me you can hear them croaking come May. I don't recall how long they stay because they just stop their noise and disappear into the flora and fauna only to reappear the following year.

An iguana inspecting my pool

I don't want to scare any potential buyers by reporting on the little animals that live here. My experience have been harmless. A few years ago I was having some work done at my house. Two of the workers were from Nicaragua. They saw a 3 foot iguana walking around in the backyard where we were working. They tried to catch it. They couldn't. The lead carpenter was from England. He picked up a large 6" x 6" post and hit the beast on the head, killing him instantly. The time was 11:45 AM. He took the Iguana home at noon. He returned at 12:30 and announced he had thrown the Iguana into a pot and was making Iguana Soup. I wasn't home at the time and would not have allowed that to happen. Later that day after everyone had left I saw a baby Iguana about 12 inches long walking by my pool. He wasn't even afraid. I thought buddy, you better move or you could get thrown into the pot with your dad. The next day the carpenter retold the story of his slaying the Iguana and reported on what a tasty tail the beast had. "Best Iguana I ever ate", he said.

I live in the Casa Marina area of Key West. My house is four or five blocks from the beach. It's an easy walk or bike ride for me. One Saturday afternoon several years ago I found a large blue crab swimming in my pool. I found an old five gallon bucket and scooped the crab out of the pool and thought the poor thing was lost. So I rode my bike with the bucket-o-crab back to the ocean where I returned him to the sea. Later someone told me the crab was probably horny and was walking around looking for a mate. He said that crabs leave the ocean and move inland when they want to do it. Little did I know I was messing with the crab's sex life.

One Saturday afternoon I was taking a nap. We had left two packages of baby back ribs on the kitchen counter to defrost. I got up and decided to get them into the oven for a long slow bake. But when I went into the kitchen there was just one package. I looked everywhere. I remember havin g seen two packages on the counter. I looked in the freezer and the refrigerator. I looked in the oven. I looked high and low throughout the kitchen. I even went outside trying to figure out where the second package could have gone. I could not find it. Our baby back rib night was less filling than planned. Maybe a week later I found the opened cryopack in the back yard. Something had made its way into the kitchen and stole the package and took it outside where it opened the package (tain't easy-either). The meat was 'all gone'. Nothing left inside the package. The store label identified the package as my stolen dinner. I don't have a dog or a cat. The carpenter that ate the iguana and the Nicaraguans were no longer working at my house. We do have some homeless people that walk the streets from time to time, but they don't come inside my property and surely none of them eat raw pork. I did see a raccoon in my yard once. Maybe he was the culprit. No way to know for sure.

I have a small apartment at the side of my house. A few years ago a really sweet young couple (Sean and Jen) lived there for narly five years. There was a fish pond near their entrance and that had some creepy fish that lived inside. I decided to clean up the pond, buy a new pump, and make the pond look even better by adding some large koi. I went to the pet store and bought three good sized koi and some small feeder fish. I introduced them to the newly cleaned pond and felt proud of myself. Note to self: don't feel proud of yourself because vanity will do you in.

The next day I was driving home from work and saw this big egret walking around at the corner. I never see egrets walking around my house. I got worried and ran over to Jen's apartment. She came out and said "Gary, they ate the fish!" My three koi were gone. I had not created a place for them to hide. Little did I now that egrets had such good sense of sight or smell or whatever it was to find fish in one day.

If you are looking for a place in Key West and are up for a little backyard adventure or two, CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls database. See if you find a place that interests you. If you do, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or, for more information. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. I am not French, and I don't eat frog legs or other living creatures that I have found in my yard.


Anonymous said...

You are welcome to have any and all of the iguanas that keep eating all my "salad," a.k.a. landscaping.

FloridaAG said...

And pooping all over my deck.

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same sleep pattern or problem and i have not had a concussion or any other head injury.

My doctor said it was age. And told me no caffeine past noon. And no exercise at least four hours before bedtime.

Plain and simple we are getting old. Senior citizens. Elderly gents. Baby boomers may not believe it but we are all slowing down and are bodies are telling us we are old farts who need to slow down.


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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.