Sunday, January 31, 2010

Catching Up on the Last Week !

It's been a while since we updated our blog. Why? Well, about nine days ago, I turned on the computer only to find that .......something was wrong The screen kept going blank. Took the computer to a local repair shop where we learned that the screen needed to be replaced. The cost of the screen and labor would run us near $300, and the computer would still need to be replaced within the next 6 months or so. So......we headed for Sebring to find a computer. Checking several places - none had any of the computers in stock that we wanted, so we had to settle for 1-3 day shipping. This was on a Saturday - and to make a long story short the three day deliverylasted for SIX DAYS!

During that time, I,(Donna) came down with the bug which lasted for about 3 or 4 days. In the meantime Rich did another Pickleball Skills Clinic for the players here at Peace River. Only about 7 or 8 people had signed up, but 14 showed up for the class and several others came to watch. Unfortunately that was one of my "sick" days so the photographer never showed up. But at the courts the next day, everyone was very complimentary of what they had learned.

Moday is always bowling day. RV'ers from Peace River and Torrey Oaks meet at the local bowling lanes in Wauchula at 1:30 each week. Rich decided it was time to try his hand again on the lanes. It's been 42 years since Rich has bowled.........but he rented a pair of shoes and found a ball that (almost) fit his very large hands and took to the lanes.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: Stan, Frank, Ken, Arlene and Faye from Torrey Oaks played on the two lanes with Rich. The pictures above were taken after the players threw a STRIKE! Yes - Rich had more than just one. While the scores were not where Rich thought they should be - everyone, including me thought he looked pretty good out there - and he certainly should do it again. A nice group shows up every week.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: On Wednesday, Rich and I along with John and Carla headed over to Torrey Oaks to meet up with Stan and Sally and Richard to play on their courts. Carla and Sally and I only got to play a couple of games. While Sally took Carla on a tour of the park the guys played three or four games. That's John and Richard playing against Rich and Stan. Rich and Stan are practicing together, since they will be partnering for the Heartland Senior Games the first week in March.

This is Carla and John Foard. Wished we had more time to get to know them better, but we enjoyed the time we were able to spend with them. We have mutual friends, Dave and Nancy Jordan out in AZ. These two are both very good pickleball players and super nice people - hope our paths cross again soon. John and Carla were leaving on Thursday, had a lot of work to do to be ready to leave so were not able to join us for lunch. We took Stan and Sally out for lunch at the Chinese Buffett to celebrate the purchase of their new site at Torrey Oaks. Their site looks great and they are settling in very nicely.

Faye and Sally invited me over to Torrey Oaks for line dancing on Thursday while Rich took off for Sebring to get some practice in with his mixed doubles pickleball partner. Since his plans were cancelled I headed up to the meeting house for line dancing here at Peace River and it was a Lot Of Fun . Karen was filling in that morning and did a great job. So we danced from 9:30 until 11:00 and then I headed over to the pickleball courts where I met up with Rich - who was already playing. There were some new people who wanted to learn how to play so we had made plans to meet at the courts around 11:00 or 11:30 for some "newbie" training.

Here are four of our newest pickleball players. That's Dwayne, Heidi, Ken and Sylvia. (Ken and Sylvia - were also at the line dancing that morning). Ken picked up realy quickly and will probably be out in the mornings playing with the group very soon. The next day while Rich was packing up the RV - I went back down and taught two more new people Gerry and Donnalee. One of the regular players was training two other people a few days earlier- so in just a few days eight new people were introduced to the game. Posted by Picasa

Dalton - Academic Excellence

Our grandson, Dalton, receives a certificate for academic excellence for the semister, receiving a 4.0 grade average! GREAT JOB - DALTON! We are so proud of you!!!Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catching up with the Family......

We spoke with Dennis and the family over the Holidays - and everyone is doing great. Everyone keeping busy with sports or other activities and trying to stay warm with the frigid weather. Got and e-mail from Chauna a few days ago and it's that time of year again when she's out selling Girl Scout Cookies. We received new school pictures of the grandkids for Christmas - and loved them! Dennis is always putting pictures out on FaceBook - so I knew if I went there I'd find some pictures we hadn't seen yet.

This is Dennis with our grandson Dalton - taken while attending a Braves/Cardinals game. Obviously - this was taken before winter ............but love this picture of the two of them. A little more recent picture - before the snow began to fall!!! This is a picture of the football team, that Dennis coaches. They call themselves the Lil Red Team.......That's Dennis in the center in the back row, and Dalton is in the second row, second from the left. Dennis loves coaching - so winter is football with the kids, and summer is baseball.

Like most places this winter the weather seems to be a regular topic of discussion. These pictures were taken at home or close to home in Davenport Iowa. Check out the temperature on the thermometer!! One degree.............This was a day to celebrate after all the below zero days!! Denny you need to transfer that job to Florida!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pickleball at MeadowPointe

We had a call last weekend from Tim Hatzenbeler, who resides and playes pickleball out in the state of Washington. He would be in Tampa, on business , for a week and was looking for a place to play pickleball while he was here. We put him in touch with our players at home in Meadow Pointe in Wesley Chapel, which is just north of Tampa. After talking with him, we did a little checking and found out that he was a 5.0 USAPA rated player. They don't come much better than that. Little did we know that he was probably one of the best players in the country, and very successful and the USAPA National Open Tournament this past October in Surprise, AZ

Rich wanted to meet Tim and get a chance to play a few games with him so we went up to play with the group on Wednesday evening and Rich called Gary Ball, down in Sun City Center and invited him to come over and play.

Here is Rich partnering with Chris from MeadowPointe playing Tim (left) and Gary. These four made plans to arrive early at the courts to get in some competitve play before the rest of the players arrived.

Here is Chris (left) partnering with Tim.
Rich and Gary, both in the ready position - waiting for the ball!

Resting between games is Rich, Renee, Gary and Tim

Back out on the courts. The rest of the crew has all arrived. That's Rich with Pat (far court) playing against Gary and Bill.

Couldn't resist posting this picture. "No Problem, Don..........I got it!!!

Some of the other players had already left but this is some of the group that played tonight. Back row: Tim, Bill, Steve and Renee. Front row: Judy and Chris.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How Cold Was It Last Night!

Rv'ers from the North are beginning to wonder if they made a wrong turn! I mean this is Florida, the Sunshine State, where snowbirds flock to enjoy their winters. Well, last night came with more freeze warnings and the temperatures once again plunged into the 20's. Posted by Picasa

This picture was taken at about 9:20 this morning after temperatures had warmed up to the 40's. The motor home parked directly across from us ran out of propane during the night. Without an electric heater in the rig the only warmth was from the electric blanket cranked to HIGH! The owner was SURE he had enough propane to last the night. This morning he unhooked to go get the propane, when his slide would not come in. On the roof he went and proceeded to remove this ice from the top of the slider. Some of these pieces were better than an inch thick!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bowling and China Buffet

Every Monday afternoon the folks from Torrey Oaks and Peace River get together for bowling at the local alley. Today there was a group of about 19 that joined in for the fun. Rich and I were invited, but had declined. We figured it's been somewhere between 28 and 30 years since either of as had bowling ball in our hand. My thumb continues to give me problems, so I'm not able to play even if I wanted. We decided to go down and watch the games and cheer them on.

This picture alone should tell you how long it's been since we've seen the inside of a bowling alley. We had as much fun watching the automated score keeper as we did watching the folks bowl. (Well - almost anyway!)
Here are the ladies. Each picture was taken after they had bowled a STRIKE!!!!
Same for the guys. Smiling faces and clapping all around after the perfect 10!
Following the games, most of the group were headed for the China Buffet for a late lunch/early dinner. If you arrive before 4:00 you get the Lunch Price PLUS the Senior Discount. By this time, my batteries were running low - so this picture didn't come out that great. But we still had a great time, lots of laughter, and lots of good food.
Left to Right. Austin, Rich, Faye, Ken, Stan, Sally, Joe, Cis and Carol (?)
By the way - Rich said he was bowling next Monday!!
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Night Happy Hour at Torrey Oaks

Tonitght Rich and I along with Jack and Diane, Jim and Tracy, Abe and Sherry and Lee and Judy were invited over to Torrey Oaks to join, Stan and Sally, Ken and Faye and Joe and Cis for their Friday night happy hour.
What a really gret evening. Jim and Tracy have only been back in Peace River for a few days and Lee and Judy just pulled in today. Unfortunately Abe and Sherry are leaving in the mornign to go back to PA. We just met them this year and have really enjoyed their company. Hopefully we'll catch up with them in PA this summer.
Happy Hour started at 5:30, but most of us had arrived before then. Everyone brought a dish/snack to pass along with their own drinks for the evening. The music was good tonight and everyone enjoyed the company, the conversation, the food and the dancing. .
We missed Buddy and Brenda and Nathan, Crystal and Austin tonigh!!!!
Click on the pictures below to enlarge and enjoy the evening with all of us!
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Early in the evening - A lot of group pictures.
Everyone is starting to loosen up - sing with th music and take to the dance floor.
We are all really getting into the music!!! It was a great evening and 9:00 PM when we arrived back home. Time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pickleball-Hot Dogs and Line Dancing at Torrey Oaks

It has been sooooooooooo cold here in Florida for the past week with temperatures running better than 20 degrees colder than normal. Last night the temperature dropped to about 28 degrees here in Wauchula. Oh - how we wish there was someplace to play pickleball inside!!

But Jean and Stan and Sally had invited all the players from Peace River over to Torrey Oaks today. They could not have picked a better day. The temperature was actually supposed to reach 60 before the day was over, but we've already been warned to prepare for the next artic blast.

We arrived just after 9:30 and there were a few people already out on the courts playing.

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Here are some pictures of some of the group playing. We were introduced to everyone at Torrey Oaks, but we'll need that introduction a few more times before we remember all the names. Top: (Torrey Oaks player with Rich), Jean and Tracy. Center: Jean and Austin, Rich and Buddy. Bottom: Torrey Oaks player with Buddy, Ken and Stan.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: Top: Cis and Sally, Torrey Oaks player with Buddy and Cis and Rich on far court, with Jean and Tracy on front court. Center: Sally and Sally!!!!, Nathan and Krystal. Bottom:Rich and Torrey Oaks player, Buddy and Jean.
When we first arrived we had eight people on the courts playing and seven paddles lined up to play. As you can see - several more people arrived to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and good friends and we now had eight people on the courts and 14 people waiting to play.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: Here we are waiting to paly. Let me tell you - the sun was shining, and everyone eventually shed some of the outer layers of clothing, but those stone seats were COLD!!!!! As you can see, a few people were smart enough to bring along a blanket to sit on. Probably the most surprising of the day was to see Rich out! He got a lot of ribbing about his recent hibernation, and even more when he shed the sweat pants and showed up in shorts.

The management at Torrey Oaks always treats their guests well. Following the pickelball play we all met in the courtyard where Garrett had just finished grilling hot dogs for everyone. Onion, relish, cheese and chili along with the regular condiments for the dogs, along with chips. Sally passed around a large dish of cookes for dessert.

The day was not over yet. Faye was having a line dancing class this afternoon, so Krystal, Sherry, Tracy and her daughter and I told Faye we'd be back for her class this afternoon.

Posted by PicasaWhat a Hoot!!! We had a great time. Sherry and Krystal had not done line dancing before, but you would never have known. They were picking it up quickly and really doing great. That's Sherry in the grey t-shirt and sweat pants, and Krystal is the little one in the back row with the orange top. That's Tracy in the shorts next to Sherry and Sally in the back row. Cis is in the bottom picture to the far left. Faye is an excellent instructor. We had a great time.
A quick stop at Walmat to make sure we had everything we needed for tomorrow's happy hour and we were back in time for dinner.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Braving the Cold - For another Happy Hour!

Only about a dozen of us brave souls ventured out on this cold winter night for happy hour with Jack and Diane. Diane, definately the queen of happy hours - would not miss one, or miss planning one despite the weather. Tonight Jack Frost was definately nipping at our noses!

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Everyone was dressed for the weather, sweatshirts, hats, gloves and even blankets. People started arriving by 4:00. Jack already had the campfire going, but most everyone stopped to catch the video playing on the PC. Buddy had set up his video camera the day of the tournament and had downloaded it to his PC. We were able to watch the whole tournament; he didn't miss one game. We would let each other know when they were "on camera" so they could make their way over to watch. Great Idea Buddy - Great Entertainment for this Chilly Night! Before the night was over though, everyone had made their way to the campfire to get warm.
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Top row: Jack, Abe and Buddy, Rich and Diane (definately making a fashion statement here! But it was a tie for color coordination between Diane and Buddy), Rich, Nathan, Crystal, Austin and Sherrie with her back to the camera. (Yes - Austin is wearing SHORTS!!). Bottom row:
Crystal and Rich ( have you noticed that Rich is in almost every picture where there is fire??), Tom and Karen, (they're leaving in the morning - but we'll see them again in about 3 weeks.) and Sherrie, Abe and Diane (Yes - Sherrie is wrapping herself in the blanket for warmth!
The temperature was dropping fast. Supposed to get down to the low 30's tonight. It was well on it's way there when we headed for home...........and heat!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rich does his first 2010 Skills Clinic

Despite the record low temperatures here in Florida the pickleball players are on the courts every morning between 8:30 and 9:00. Today was no exception. Everyone was dressed warmly in their long pants and sweat shirts - but the sun came out and we played until after 11:00 am. Rich had scheduled a skills clinic for today at 1:30 PM (since the 50 degree weather today was the warmest forecast for the next week!!!) So everyone took a quick break from the courts to grab a bite to eat before returning to see what they could learn to improve their game.

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Top: Rich addresses the group and demonstrates how to properly hold the paddle. Center: The group practices their soft game with dinks and offensive lobs from the non volley line. Bottom: Rich works with the group on the ready position at the net, before they practice the volley.

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Top Row: Karen , Jack and Eddy. Center: Crystal, Dave and Sherrie. Bottom: Barbara and Abe. The gengleman in the last picture was new to to park today - and I can't remember his name.

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Top row: Nathan, Jack (again) and Christie. Bottom: Sherrie, Faye and Diane.

Posing for a group shot: Behind Rich in the front row: Diane, Sherrie, Barbara, Kim, Christie, Karen, Crystal and Faye. In the back row: Jack, Abe, Eddie, Mike, (new guy), Nathan and Dave.

After the clinic everyone stuck around to play a few games. Except for a lunch break, most of this group were on the courts at 8:30 this morning. This clinic ended about 3:15. Rich and I had retuned to the RV by a little after four - and some were still out playing!

Happy Hour Sunday at Jack and Diane's!!Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve 2009

What a Great New Year's Eve. The morning started out with our Pickleball Round Robin, and it was after 11:00 when we finished and headed back to the RV. We knew we were in store for a late night so we planned an afternoon "nap". We finished showers and a few chores, but as much as we tried, neither of us could manage manage to doze off for a little shut eye. Oh' well........
To celebrate New Year's Eve, they roped off a large section of the parking lot, set up tables and chairs and had Bobby Mack as the entertainment for the evening. He plays a variety of music, sings and does a great job of getting the crowd out of their chairs and enjoying themselves on the dance floor. Festivities were to begin at 8:00. After the tournament this morning, we all said we'd look for each other and the celebration tonight.
Buddy called a little later in the afternoon, and invited everyone to park their chairs at his place. Buddy's site is adjacent to and in perfect view of the parking lot where the entertainment and dancing would be taking place. So a bunch of us met up there. Rich and I have not stayed awake until midnight in several years, so when we took off for Buddy's around 7:30, without a nap, we were certain, that by no later than 10:00 we would be back home ready to call it a night.
Everyone brought along some snacks or goodies for the night. Here's Jack and Diane dropping off their egg rolls and dips and Diane mixing her first drink of the evening. There was a great variety of food - mini-franks, meatballs, spinich dip, chili bean dip and chips, crackers and cheese, cookies, candy, cake - and more that I'm sure I've forgotten. Everyone brought their beverage of choice.

Like any evening get together - everyone mixes and mingles. That's our host, Brenda in the center , making the rounds and stopping to chat with friends.

It was an absolutely beautiful evening to celebrate outside. The weather was comfortable. But if you got a bit of a chill, you cold meet up with friends by the campfire. Here's Travis, Dave and Rich doing just that.

While most everyone was in long pants and jackets - it's obvious Buddy was not ready for the warmth of the campfire yet! Which is hard to believe - because he's even worse than Rich. I'm surprised that the two of them don't have the long pants and hooded sweatshirts on!

Here is Travis and Deedy, along with her grandson. Travis was pacing earlier in the evening, as Deedy was late in arriving - But waring their New Year's attire they are ready to ring in the new year.
Tom and Karen also stopped by, but unfortunately Tom's knees were bothering him a lot and they only stayed for a short while. But it was the anniversary and Karen wanted us to help celebrate. She broght along a huge bottle of champaigne and cups for everyone. (Sorry - I can't believe I didn't get their picture)

Now - remember I said earlier that we would probably be calling it a night by 10:00? Well - time sure does fly when you're having fun. It must be after 10:00 now - and all eyes have taken to the sky. Did ya'll see that moon tonight? There was a huge white ring around it. And here is Dick holding Dot tightly as she bends backward to snap a picture of the sight.....

Posted by Picasa's not a bird, or superman or even fireworks!! Eveyone else looks up to catch a glimps of the moon.

As the evening moved on the music got better and better. Bobby Mack got the crowd on the floor several times doing the "chicken dance" the electric slide or the macarana and the one that goes something like -"you put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. You do the Hokey Pokey!!!!!
An when we didn't feel like walking over to the dance floor - we just danced around the campfire! There's Barbara, keeping to the beat! Susan, and husband Dave are enjoying the dance. Rich - well he appears to still be looking at the moon!!!
And for those of you who don't know Diane - The lady NEVER stops moving to the music!!!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 !!!!!
Yes - we made it!!
Happy New Year