Saturday, September 17, 2011

FAMILY UPDATE.............

It's been  a while since I've updated this with some pictures of Dennis and the family.  We always wish that they'd move closer, and if Dennis could get a transfer this way, I know he'd take it.  Work keeps both of them busy, but even when they're not working they stay very very busy..........and mostly with the kids.

Dennis works as a Criminal Investigatr for the Department of the Army/Civilian out of Rock Island, IL, and the job sends hims to all parts of the US and beyond.  Over the last two or three months he's been to Alabama, Pennsylvania and most recently returned from a trip to Camp Dary in Italy.  But when he's not working he's a HUGE Bandits Fan and drags the family to all the games.  And he loves his Spyder.  The picture above was taken in August during the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association Ride.  They rode 12 hours/175 miles and raised over $1400. ........" great company, awesome bikes, fabulous routes and for a great cause!" 

"TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME"  and the family did just that, and Dennis set it up for her to throw out the first pitch on her birthday!!!!
During the summer both of the kids played baseball......Above Dalton playes with the  West Davenport IA., Pony League ALL STARS.   ......"he went 7-7 hits, few scores and pitched four innings not allowing a run, with 5K's. Wow and Woohoo!"

And aren't they growing up so fast...................... Chauna and Dalton head out for their first day back to school. 

And now that school has started, our Chauna tried out an made the school's Volleyball A Team.

Denny will continue to travel and his next trip is to ISREAL in October


Friday, September 16, 2011

No Pictures Today!

Yesterday was the last day here for our Louisiana friends.  We all went for lunch at TooJays and had a really nice time.  Really going to miss dining out with Prissy - yesterday it was all about the Beef Brisket. Is it sliced or shredded? ( No stringy today).  It was very important that our waiter understand that it should be ONLY bread and meat!  Marty and I went for the Reuben, Rich the Chicken Pot Pie and Sharon the Chicken Quesadillas.  I have never seen such large Quesadillas before.  Sharon gave me one to take home and it was delicious.  After the meal, Sharon ordered a chocolate cake and cheese cake that was shared around the table.

It was another of those days - where the camera was in the pocketbook, but I never thought to bring it out!!!

That evening we had our last girls night out going to Bunco at the Sterling Heights Rec. Center.  I had my first big win, taking home $56 since I had 23 wins out of 30 for the night.

But then it was the real goodbye.  They took off for home early this morning.
Rich and I enjoyed their company so much while they were here, and we hope that we can make it to LA again this year for the Mid South Regional and meet up with the three of them again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pickleball at the Kissimmee-St. Cloud Senior Games.....

The season began on Monday for the Florida Senior Games, with the first of many being held at the Solivita community in Poinciana, Fl.  Poinciana is located near Kissimme and not far from the Disney area. 

Neither Rich nor I registered to play in these games.  That's not unusual for me, but since it was just a single elimination event, Rich decided to pass on this one.  Our friends from Louisiana however, knowing they would be here registerd to play in doubles, mixed doubles and singles competition.  On Monday they held the doubles and singles.  They graciously picked me up at about 6:00am, and I rode along with them to watch and to see some of the players/friends we hadn't seen since the season ended back in March. 
Solivita is an over 55 active adult community and is absolutely beautiful.  They have seven lighted pickleball courts in Freedom Park where the tournament was held.

Below is Gloria and Gail (back court) friends of ours from Tanglewood down in Sebring.

Margie Diaz - always the clown and always making everyone laugh, poses for the camera!!! Actually - this gentleman provided rides to and from the restroom which were past the adjoining tennis courts. Everyone appreciated it.
On the back court is Linda (left) and Diane, also from Tanglewood playing against a couple of players from Solivita.

Below, the Louisiana crew, Prissy, Mary and Sharon wait to be called for their first game.

Mark, with little Jimmy makes the overhead shot without a problem.  These guys are also from Tanglewood.

The return is low to the feet, but Mary gets to the ball as he partners up with a guy from Solivita.

On the far court is our good friend Nancy, from Ft. Myers, and her partner Jan who flew in from Michigan to play with Nancy.  She does spend most of her summer here in Florida and teams up regularly with Nancy.  They are playing a team from The Villages.  
Below (back court) Prissy (left) and Sharon play in the Gold/Silver Medal Match with friends of ours from Solivita, Margie and Kathy.  Kathy stretches for a great return.
Jimmy and Mark take a break.............and watch the games for a while.
Jimmy joins the Tanglewood Ladies.... Suzanne, Gloria and Linda..........Diane must already be on the court.  Linda was on her way and stopped for the photo.

A Rose among all those Thorns............Prissy shares the shade with a group of guys from The Villages. 

Below - Sharon readies her paddle to return the ball.  Coach Mo would be proud!
Marty, in his singles match.  Paddle ready and eys on the ball! 

Is it the Sun?'s the ball.  Great form Prissy!
And it ended up a successful day for everyone.  
Gloria and Gail pictures with the Silver Medal winners, took home the Gold!   Jan and Nancy played well, and settled for the Silver.  Both of them also medaled in the Singles.   Linda and Diane took the Gold!!  Prissy and Sharon, played a really tough match against the Solivita pair and took home the Silver,  They both took bronze in the Singles.  Mark and Jimmy came out on top in their age group and took home the gold.  And Marty took the Bronze in the Singles.

Stringy Roast Beef

On Sunday we invited Marty, Prissy and Sharon to our place for dinner.  Now, let me tell you, that planning a meal to share with friends is generally not a difficult task.  But Miss Prissy is such a pickly eater that I had to go through a dozen choices before we were able to settle on the menu.  She finally said "yes" to "Do you like Roast Beef."  However it had to be "stringy", which I interpreted to mean very very well done and falling apart.  So I figured that all day in the crock pot should do the trick.   I generally do a chuck roast with lipton onion soup mix and cover it with water and let it cook all day long........

We added mashed potatos and gravy, corn , green bean casserole and biscuits and sat down for a delightful dinner with our friends.   Everything was delicious - if I must say so myself.  But more important, the guests were satisfied.

We finished off the meal with a Key Lime Pie!
And Prissy and I almost finished off that bottle of Marguaritas that we started last week!!! 
We have enjoyed the company of these three sooooooooo much.  It's going to be hard to say good bye. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to the SunRise.............

Saturday morning like most others was back to the pickleball courts.  Got there about 7:30 today and not long after,  Marty and Prissy and Sharon all showed up.  It was a little overcast today, which made for a little more comfort on the courts.  Good crowd out playing today.   They were still playing when I headed for home about 9:40. 

It was shower and change and head on over to the SunRise Cafe for breakfast.  Today the Louisianna crew would be joining us.  Jeanne was at the court today and Prissy convinced her and Mo to join us.

As we waited for the rest of the group to show up .................Marty smiles nicely for the camera, but Prissy...........well Prissy is just being Prissy!!!! 

And Sharon makes the rounds talking with everyone at the table.  I switched seatsrs with her so she could sit in the center of the table and talk with the rest of the group. ( Nothing like getting the waitress confused when there is a big group!!)  From the left that's Ray, Charlie and Joe...............and our very patient waitress in the back.  She did have to put up with a bit of a rowdy group this morning.

And below is the whole group.........

Men: Ray, Charlie(hidden), Joe, Rich, Mo, Ray and Marty. The women: Lorraine, Joan, Jeanie(standing), Louise, Sharon, Jeannie(of Moe and Jeannie), Donna and Prissy.   Breakfast is always pretty good there........but it's the people that make it so great!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Girls Day Out...........

Our friend Sharon Richard arrived back here in The Villages last night, and will be spending the week with Marty and Prissy.  The Villages shuttle dropped her off down near Sumter Landing last night about 9:45.  I think that the three of them must have spent half the night eating and chatting!  The plan was that we would meet this morning for pickleball; Prissy was to call me and let me know where they would be playing.

 Rich and I were both up early and Rich headed out to play not long after 7:00.  I expected to hear from them by 8:00 at the latest.  I mean they've been out on the courts not long after that each morning all ready!  About 8:25 I decided to give them a call.  Marty informed me that the ladies were not yet out of bed!!!!  Oh well.............. I left them to get up and around and headed to Churchill for a few games.  New plan was that they would pick me up about 11:00

And they DID!!!!!  We headed to the Cane Garden Country Club for lunch. (Sharon on the left, Prissy on the right)   Absolutely beautiful place, and right on the golf course.  We sat outside and watched all the golfers either arriving via golf cart, or already out playing.    An absolutely beautiful day for dining out.  The meal was excellent , and very very reasonably priced!  The waiter was such a nice young man.............and was kind enough to take the picture of the three of us.

We left Cane Garden and headed less than 10 minutes away to the Bacall Recreation Center for Bunco.  Back in June when the two of them were also visiting here, this was the place where we first learned to play.  It brought back memories of Cay - the lady who taught us to play, and the lady who was warmly deemed  by Prissy as an Honorary CoonAss!  Don't even ask.........I'm not sure I understand yet, but I do know that it means "You're OK!"   Unfortunately Cay was not there today............but Prissy shared the pot for the 15/15 today. (Yes, you win if at the end of 30 games, you have won 15 and lost 15). Sharon came close and I ended up with 16 wins/14 losses - which means we won absolutely nothing..............But we laughed a lot and had a great time.

Before leaving, Prissy insisted that we all have our picture taken with "Humphrey Bogart" who in his white tux and sunglasses greets everyone who comes to Bacall.
Thanks Sharon and Prissy for a great girls day out.

See you at Churchill in the morning.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dining - Louisiana Style

Saturday evening we were invited to join Marty and Prissy for dinner at their Villa.  We arrived just after 5:30 and the evening got progressively better by the minute.  There is seldom a time when Prissy does not have a smile on her face or isn't telling a story that makes you laugh till you can 't stop!  She's definitely one in a million........God Bless you Marty!!!!

Also visiting for a few days was Prissy's sister-in-law, Susan (sitting at the bar) In the top photo,  Prissy is shucking her eggs for the potato salad and below, dinner is just about ready and Rich lends a hand slicing the bread.   And did you noticed that the bottle of Margarita's sitting on the counter in the first picture has been replaced by a Margarita in my glass.....

In the meantime - Marty is finishing up the sausage on the barbecue grill....

The guys had already had one bottle of beer...........but Marty brought out the good stuff for dinner; the Mississippi Mud!  We laughed even more when Marty told us he actually found this in the Publix Supermarket right here in Florida................and reading the label we learned that Mississippi Mud is actually made in Utica, NY!!!   

But before dinner was served - Marty and Prissy presented us with this lovely gift.  She and Marty had personally selected a variety of "Louisiana's" favorite food selections for us.   It was amazing.

In addition to the Creole Jambalaya, Gumbo Mix, New Orleans Fish Fry, Etouffee Mix and Gourmet Pralines, was a huge bag of LSU Tiger Tators,  Hot Sauce, Barbecue Sauce and Pepper Jelly.............and of course the BEADS!!!   And this was not presented without some additional laughter! First were the two cups; one a lobster the other a CRAB.   Given his morning "attitude" it was unanimous that the Crab cup belonged to Rich.    AND...we needed the hot sauce that was in the basket for the dinner table!!!

Is this an amazing feast or what!  Shrimp and Crab Gumbo, Sausage, Potato Salad.  Absolutely Delicious.  Neither Rich nor I had ever had Gumbo before and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The potato salad was so much different than we had ever had as well, with the potatoes mashed smoothly with eggs, mayonnaise, mustard and sweet pickle salad chips........a great variation. 

And then she brought out the dessert. Again, it was important for us to understand that if we liked it, it was HER family recipe, and if it was bad - it was Marty's family recipe.   They didn't have a name for it - but it really did remind us of a dessert that we had many years ago at one of our favorite Greek Restaurants in Connecticut- where they called it "Sex in a Pan"!!!! 
Does that help in describing how good it was?

It definitely brought a smile from this rowdy group!!!! 

Thanks Marty and Prissy for a fabulous evening, the left overs, the laughter the great food, and the beautiful gift.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Those Louisiana Folks are Back............

What's so amazing here is that, when you say good-bye to one person , you say hello to another.   The Villages is just one of those places that once you come here, you just keep coming back.  And yesterday - our good friends ( are you reading this Pirssy - yes you're a good friend!)  Marty and Prissy from Louisiana came back for another two week visit.   They were here for two weeks back in June.......  I don't know whether it's The Villages, or just Rich and I they really wanted to see.   Anyway - they called after their arrival last night at about 7:30............

And this morning they joined our group at the Churchill Recreation Center for pickleball.  That's Marty in the Yellow Shirt, playing with Prissy.    I noticed that I also caught a picture of Jeanne, (of Mo and Jeanne) in the same picture.   She's the one in the far court with that red paddle.    In the picture in the center/right is one of my very favorite people here in The Villages.  Diane Bromstad.  Those of you who may watch HGTV may be familiar with her son, David Bromstad - a Designer on the program and the host of Color Splash.   Also in that center right photo  on the far court is a couple from Baltimore visiting their mom here in The Villages.   Prissy and I met up with her and her mom this afternoon at the Bacal Recreation Center where we played Bunco for about three hours!!

Prissy's sister-in-law is arriving tomorrow and plans are to have dinner with them.  Prissy made some Louisiana Gumbo and  salad......and Rich and I will take the bread and the Marguaritas! 

Back to the US Open Tennis .... where they are switching back and forth between the Murray and Nadal matches.  Maria Sharapova lost today. YEAH!!!  And we are watching the weather channel closely as the Louisiana area, where Marty and Prissy live is expecting a lot of rain  which could cause some local flooding...............Cross your fingers and say a prayer for them tonight please.