Friday, November 25, 2011

ThanksGiving Day..............

Rich and I always look forward to having dinner with our friends here at the park on Thanks Giving Day and this year was no different.  But, with me working here this year, by the time I was able to sit down and enjoy my meal, I felt like I had been working for days!!!  

On Wednesday, we set up all the tables and chairs in the meeting hall........ready for the finishing touches on Thursday.   Judy is our new recreation director here at the park and she is one of the most creative individuals I have met.  Her ideas for decorating the meeting hall were appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. 

Below are some pictures taken after we  finished the decorating...........

That's Judy in the upper left corner, and the fruit/vegetable baskets that we prepared as a center piece on each table.  The tables were decorated with the usual festive colors and enough tables to seat about 128 people.  The Wauchula Family Restaurant had cooked the turkeys and made the gravy.  When not setting up - I spent most of the morning cooking and cutting the hams, heating and cutting the five turkey and preparing the serving trays.

Below is a picture of the room filled with Peace River family and friends.

While we missed being with our families today - we are so thankful to have such wonderful friends to share the day with.    The array of food that day was unbelievable, with just about every vegetable and fruit dish imaginable, breads, potatoes, stuffing, casseroles and all the typical Thanksgiving day desserts and then some. 

I wish I had found time to take more pictures, but I did manage to get a few shots of some of our pickleball playing friends sitting close by.

Pictured below top left is Joan with Travis on her left and her son on the right.   And that's Shelly with her son and grandson..  I missed Dick and John who were sitting at the end of the table.

At our table (center picture) from the left and going around the table  was  Karen and Tom,  our very good friends Don and Linda and Rich.  Bottom left is Austin sitting with my co-workers, Patti and Jim.  Me and Nathan bottom right.   Krystal - I know you're reading this, and want you to know how much you were missed.  But we are "thankful" that your nasty sprain is healing and we hope you enjoyed the "Thanksgiving day take out dish" prepared with love by your hubby!!

Despite the full bellies five of us made our way to the pickleball courts about 4:30.   After about 3 games - my body was begging for a hot shower and a little relaxing - but Don, Karen, Art and Nate continued on.   

Did I say the "five of us?"......Let's not forget our pickleball mascot: Miss Ava!

 And...........I just could not pass up sharing this last picture............

" Hey gonna get this one?.......   "I don't know Don - where is it?"

Thanks for letting me share a little laughter!!

Hope that everyone had the chance to share the day with loved ones.  Our day had a perfect ending - a phone call with our son Dennis. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tha Bass Family visits

Our very good friends from Wesley Chapel arrived in the park on Wednesday and will stay in one of the cabins for a few days.  They didn't arrive quite early enough for morning pickleball, and the brief shower in the early afternoon almost cancelled the afternoon play.  But by 4:30 the courts were dry and we had 5 or 6 of us out playing, with probably just as many spectators.   

With play time finished we headed down to our place where Rich was cooking a pork loin on the grill.    Seated below is Don, Linda, Dakota and Cheyanne.  For all our dog lovers - keep Cheyanne in your prayers. He's getting old, losing weight and his health is declining. 

Dinner was delicious - the pork roast seasoned and grilled perfectly. Potatos and asparagus and Italian Bread accompanied the meat.  Don and Linda topped off the evening with their pumpkin pie and homemade brownies.

The beverage of choice tonight was Marguaritas!
They'll be joining us again today for ThanksGiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paul's Kitchen with Keith and Marie and....................

It has been so wonderful to see our friends Keith and Marie back in Peace River.  Everyone will be glad to hear that Keith looks great and is doing very very well.

They are pulling out tomorrow and we won't see them again until after the 1st of the year, so we made plans to have dinner with them at Paul's tonight.

It started out just the four of us - but as you all know - this is a very popular , well liked couple so......................


It was difficult to get everyone in the picture, so our server took a picture from both ends of the table. 

Top photo on the left......Austin, Buddy, Diane, Krystal and Nate's head!!!  And on the right - Marie Keith, Tom, Karen, Donna, Rich, Art, and Joan....
Those you missed are in the bottom photo.  Dick ( well at least part of him!) and his wife Joan on the left.   And on the right, John, Shelly and Hedy and a much better shot of Nate!

Kudos to the staff at Paul's.  The service was excellent.  The food was delicious and topped of with a small piece of Carrot Cake for everyone. . If you are familiar with the portions at this restaurant, then you know that most all of us went home with enough for another meal.   And most were headed to the pickleball courts.......... 

It was a great evening with friends.................... 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday at Peace River - and Friday Night Live!!

It was off to work this morning for both of at the store, Rich at the computer................but when work was done it was an evening of fun!!!

At 4:30 we all met at the pickleball courts for some really good games under the lights...........  The first match was Rich and Paul against me and Buddy - a great game!  Then it was Nathan and Krystal against Buddy and Karen.....

A jump shot for Nathan......................
Looks like the shot was just too good for the team of Buddy and Karen....

Another great shot by the Showalter family!!!!.....

And it was into the net.......................UGH!
But the team of Buddy and Karen came back on the next shot!! 

And then it was Krystal and Buddy - and  that's Paul on the far court!
Krystal is locked in on this shot as Buddy waits patiently..........And that's Art in the far court waiting for the serve.  Some great action from Krystal and Buddy in the far court, and Karen, with Rich returning a great shot to Art and Paul.

And that is Hedy and Nathan planning their strategy!
We stopped playing about 5:45, headed for home, cleaned up and headed for Friday Night Live in downtown Wauchula.    We had just parked the truck when we saw Keith and Marie across the road........and  the four of us headed down Main Street to catch the action.......On the way we found Buddy and Diane  taking a break and seated on the park bench..........
It was the first time that Keith and Marie had been here - so we wandered around checking out the  Wauchuls talent participating in the local talent show, and stopping at many of the vendor stations.  No pizza slices available at Giovianni Restaurant, so it was hot dogs at the next station.  Rich and I had already stopped for a quick McDonald's meal.  But this station caught our eye!  It was a large array of baked goods.............and we hoped to stop there before we left to make a donation and take home some baked goods. 

Tonight  - Buddy's was taking folks on a tour of Wauchula.............

But these three opted for the "Funnel Cake" Wagon.... These guys will get back at me for sure for posting this picture.....................but Rich is enjoying his HUGE funnel cake with powdered sugar coating, as Keith and Marie share theirs - coated with Chocolate Powdered Sugar and Cinnamon.
This seems like a perfect time to end the night.............although I think that Keith and Marie were going to stop and the local Ice Cream Parlor for their final "treat" of the night.

For those of you staying at Peace River - you really should make Friday Night Live in Downtown Wauchula #`\1 n your agenda, on the Third Friday of each month............It's always a great night out on the town.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Celebrating 25 Years with the Shaak's

Harry and Karen drove down from The Villages on Sunday, played a little pickleball, went out for dinner, spent the night with Keith and Marie, went out for breakfast, played a little more pickleball..................

But today was also Harry and Karen's 25th Wedding Anniversary.  So Keith and Marie arranged for a group of us to meet at Paul's Kitchen for an early dinner to celebrate! 

Here is the smiling couple of 25 years!
The food was excellent.........Beef Barley soup  and warm bread to start of the meal.  Lots of diversity at the table today - we had Grilled Chicken Salads, Steak, Fish & Chips,  Burgers, Reubens...... and all the fixins.....
Below is a picture of our group: (starting at the head of the table)  Harry, Karen, Donna, Rich, Julie, Bob, Rich, Tina, Marie and Keith. 
Up to this point, no-one had mentioned the anniversary - and then Keith held up his glass ( just water folks)  and we all sang "Happy Anniversary"  About 30 seconds later the waitress came out with this huge dessert for Harry and Karen.
I think that most EVERYONE indulged.........

We had a great time.

Happy Anniversary Harry and Karen!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Morning at the Pickleball Courts

Back on the courts this morning and caught some pictures of some new folks in the park..........

Lou and Paul - totaly unaware of the folks out for a Sunday morning walk!

Carol and Marie - Great Form Marie!!!
 A duo of  ages - the youngest of the group -Julie and the oldest of the group Art!

Waiting to play is Linda with hubby Bill.

Hedy and Keith - Was it a bad shot or what? What's your problem?
Lou, Paul, Hedy, Julie and Art!
Looks like Hedy and Keith are back on "playing terms!"  Hedy, Keith, Marie and Carol (left) .  But Julie makes a great stretch for a great shot!
Good Game .............Linda, Keith, Paul and Julie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Hour at our Place ........

I guess that tonight I spent a lot more time walking, talking or eating all the great food then taking my pictures.....But I  did manage to grab a few more faces of those that arrived or were not at the last one at Nate and Krystal's.

Bob and Julie have been here for about a week. We haven't seen these two for almost three years so it has been great seeing them and spending time here and on the pickleball court. 

And this is Nick........without his wife Tanya!!!  But I did catch her in a group picture later..

 Paul and Carla just came in last yesterday, so I missed Paul at the pickleball courts.   so glad that someone remembered to invite them.

And Hedy - who made the awesome sausage/onions/peppers!  But once again I missed hubby Art..

And the reason that we set up the Happy Hour  -  for Tony and Louann. Lou always organizes a couple of pickleball events during the year, and several of us from the park make a point of going to Sun City Center to play.  We've been trying for a couple of years to get these two to come over with their RV and spend some time with us.  They came in on Tuesday, and leaving on Thursday - so we made sure they got to experience the good times that we always have. 
This is Tony and Louann pictured below.

Also joining the group tonight and probably in the group pictures below were Keith and Marie,  Stan and Sally, Nate and Krystal and Woody and Pat.  And I did manage to get a picture of Diane and Buddy - They were heading out to entertain tonight at one of the nearby parks but stopped long enough to say HI and have a bite to eat!

The food was absolutely excellent tonight!  Goulash, Sausage with peppers/onions, Macaroni Salad, Waldorf Salad, Spinach Salad, Roll-ups, Chips and Dips and Crackers..............  And I did manage to find Tanya (blue shirt) and Art (with Hedy) at the table.
And the array of desserts were so inviting, that many (like Rich)  made a stop on their way to the food table.

There were homemade cookies, apple and lemon meringue pie, brownies, lemon cake and Carmel/chocolate dipped apple slices.  And probably even more that I can't remember. 

With our ThermaCell Repellent, and the Citronella Candle that Tony brought along - the mosquitoes were kept at bay.........and we had a great evening.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dinner with Pickleball Friends

Tonight a group of us headed over to Nicholas Restaurant in downtown Wauchula for dinner.

Great variety of specials tonight in addition to their regular menu.  Add the soup and salad bar and warm solf rolls and everyone went home full and happy! 

It was the first visit to this restaurant for many of us..........and chances are we'll go back again.
Seated above on the left:  Julie, Keith, Marie, Buddy and Diane.  And on the right: Bob, Rich, Donna, Carla and John.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Showalters Host our First Happy Hour

Winter in Peace River is now "officially" underway.  On Tuesday evening Nate and Krystal invited the pickleball group over for and evening of great food and conversation.  We gathered at their site for our first happy hour - and for a while shared much of the space with those pesty misquitos!  

Below are our great hosts for the happy hour - Nate and Krystal.  Thanks for the bags of Halloween Candy you shared with all of us!!

Pat and Woody!

Stan and Sally came over from Torrey Oaks to join in....
Diane and Buddy

Austin, Arik and Lee - Lee is the new park manager.
Carla, Marie, Keith and John.  It was especially nice to see Keith and Marie. Keith is doing great and looking great.  We all know it's been a tough year for him.......and he's just getting over having Shingles!

And Me and Rich!

And before the night was over - Little Miss AVA came out to say hello.  What a sweetheart!  She made the rounds and made new friends.
Thanks Nate and Krystal for a very enjoyable evening.  Let's do it again real soon.