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paradise west A few of  the westwood paradisians took a roadtrip to Eskridge, KS a few weekends ago.

There was sunshine, foliage, summer brew and plenty of smooth tunes to keep us happy and content.

A very smooth time led us to name Eskridge as “Paradise West”.

Be there next time, you can’t miss it!

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The Butt

And so, David took charge of the Weber and smoked a pork loin carolina style.  There was meat abound; as vast as the sea.  Smoked to perfection, we feasted in Paradise.

dscf3891The cold seems to be subsiding.  Is it a farse?  Apparently the groundhog says so, but in paradise, we don’t want to believe it.  We’re itching for warm spring days and mild spring nights in the front yard, table or not.  (Sad to report that our $2.50 replacement table was stolen… or blew away… or both.)

Maybe we’ll have to wait 6 more weeks, but i hoping the blossoming trees and cool breezes come sooner, and so does the newest resident of Westwood Paradise — Our new doggie, Oates!

Oates?  Or maybe it’s JD Raznar, or Brady Novak, or… who knows?  We need to finalize his name, and it’s a tough call!  What do you name something that is so cute, but so kick butt at the same time?  Look at that face!  Is he the Hard Piece? Voice your ideas and opinions!

Lighting Ceremony:  Complete!  It was a magical night; felt just like the tropics on this crisp November night.  Check out the before and afters below.

Before the Lighting

Before the Lighting

After!

After!

palm-tree Holidays in paradise approach!  Soon the stockings for Loggins, Messina and Poko will be hung with care, but first, the inaugural Night of Lights in Paradise!  Mark your calendars; Friday November 28th will be the first annual lighting ceremony down in Westwood Paradise.  Follow the Mist to find your way.  Get dressed in your 80s best.  We’ll be sipping on some sexy Canadian Mist drinks.  “So light tasting, smooth and mixable, there’s no limit” to the shennanigans it will induce.   Only Canadian-born beverages are welcome.  Why 80s and Canada you ask?  Well, why not!?  A guaranteed appearance from the Mayor of Paradise, Headhoncho, as well as a possible special appearance from the Mayor of Westwood for the official lighting.  See you down in Paradise!  Lights come on at 6pm, party lasts allll night.

As we all take our own time to get over the front yard tragedy of recent, I encourage you to find hope in the future.  As the blustery winter wind begins to move in, and the leaves have only 1 or 2 team raking sessions to go, there will be peace in paradise.  Mr. Frost will soon be here, and with it, the paradise we all know and love will shift into the porch of dreams… the captains quarters.  The warmth of the 1500 watt space heater… the sparkle of the warm white LED lighting, and soon to be fully festive with Christmas wonderment… A cozy (but sometimes smokey) place to call winter utopia!  And with the winter housing of Mickey and Kate’s porch furniture, you’ll never want to leave!  Come all ye faithful Paradisians!

Smooth sailing - Autumn Sytle

Did you think that a little chill in the air and leaves on the ground would stop paradise from rolling smooth?  Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Westwood Paradise is still in full swing as the crisp weather of Fall sets in.  Come on by and give Poko Pumpkin a little hello, he would love to see you!

Paradise is also glad to report that Happy Hour at the Yacht Club was a big success!  Thanks to all you cool cats that came by.  The drinks were strong, the fire was blazing and the sailing was smooth.

Before the artic blast hits the oceans of the front yard, make sure to keep keep an eye out for spooky pumpkins carved up outside.  We’ll be carving and painting on Thursday the 30th.  They are bound to be spooktastic.

In other news, as soon as pumpkins showed up, so did a strange looking new insect.  After some in depth searching at bugguide.net, I’ve discovered that it’s a baby ladybug!  Harmonia Axyridis to be exact.  I’ve seen them around in the larva stage (my photo) and also in the pupa stage making their home on the underside of our paradise umbrella.

Check out the stages of this little lady!

larva …………………………..pupa………………………………adult

It was a standard evening in paradise… sometime last week.  The Hard Piece and David were most likely in the front yard, kickin it with some brew and tunes.  The weather has been changing a little lately, so the front door seems to make its way wide open on occasion… gotta let a little paradise in ya know.  This particular night we happened to let a little more than paradise in….

The next night, I was alone while David was boozing it up at the Keyhole.  I decided to put away some great new items that I had bought at Crate and Barrel, but something was amiss.  I was about to grab the bag by the handle and saw a new friend looking back at me. 

It seems that Westwood Paradise is not only a haven for Smooth, but also a haven for wildlife!  I tried to find what species this little fella (or lady) is, but didn’t have much luck.  I did however, brush up on my wildlife photography skills.

Sad to say that the friendly little grasshopper hung around a few days, but has since dissappeared.  According to David, “He was pretty quiet for a grasshopper, never gave us any trouble.”  Perhaps he was nearing the end of a long life and wanted to spend his final days in a utopia.
It may never be known what drew the creature inside, but it’s quiet possible that he was captivated by smooth.  Was he just curious?  Is he hiding in a crack awaiting the perfect moment to grasshop?  Did he escape back into the front yard?  We may never know.

“Hungrily and greedily, it devours its prey…”
Witnessed first hand last night at westwood paradise, this praying mantis made itself at home on our front stoop and decided to eat dinner with us.

The word mantis derives from the Greek word mantis for prophet or fortune teller.  Unfortunately, this particular mantis was so caught up in its dinner, that it wasn’t able to tell me much about my future.

Discussion about The Mantis consumed the front yard and even lead to a discussion of how lizards will camouflage themselves when they’re near any substance.  Even feces.  Mantises are masters of camouflage and most species make use of protective coloration to blend in with the foliage or substrate, both to avoid predators themselves, and to better snare their victims.  Our Mantis was definitely in Stone Mode, and did so to snare a cricket.

To debunk Thad’s theory about how dangerous a mantis can be, let it be known that mantises can bite, but they have no venom, and are not dangerous to humans. They do not appear to be chemically protected; nearly any large predatory animal will eat a mantis if it is able to detect it.  David however, the large predatory animal that he is, did not try to hunt The Mantis.  Was he frightened by the Mantises generally aggressive nature towards one another?  Most species are readily cannibalistic when given the opportunity.  Our Westwood Paradise Mantis was indeed chowing on a cricket, and not one of his own.

Find out more about The Mantis at the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praying_mantis
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/30293/is_it_illegal_to_kill_a_praying_mantis.html

Today’s reason to hang out in the front yard:

One of our dearest companions of Westwood Paradise turns 31 today! Tonight there will be pork tenderloin sizzlin’ on the grill, so come on over and let’s raise a glass to David!

The Days

November 2017
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