Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like eveywhere else in Florida we are experiencing the rain and wind from tropical storm Debby.  Nick and Tonyia and Nate and Krystal have stayed in touch with us from TT Peace River.   Here is a picture of the Peace River , pretty much from the side of our rig.  We've gotten pictures from Nick and Tonyia and a call from Nate saying that the rising water forced them to move their RV.  The manager of the park  called us to let us know the status.  Seems, much like last year that the river should crest at about 17ft.     Glad we are not there right now.......but sure do hope that our good friends stay safe and dry!

 Meanwhile, here at The Villages, tropical storm Debby has kept all of us off the pickleball courts for way too long!  But right now the sun is shining and the forecast for rain is decreasing by the hour.  For Tim and Marlene, and Cindy and Nancy it's been a rough go.  They only have a few more days left before they all head back to their homes in Kissimmee or Ft. Myers.  

Last night we all got together for a cookout.  Below is (l-f) Nancy, Cindy and Marlene, and seated is Tim and Rich.  Nancy and Cindy rented this house, complete with swimming pool and great yard for the month.  Very nice!

It was burgers off the grill with all the fixings, slaw and beans.  We added the potato salad and Marlene and Tim the chocolate cake with butter cream icing!

And we can't forget the GIRLS!!  BJ and Lucy were just really great hosts!!

It was a very enjoyable evening of laughter, good food and great conversation with some pretty special people.  We really wish they wouldn't leave!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A little competition at The Villages

With Nancy and Cindy here at The Villages - it's pickleball, pickleball, pickleball during every waking hour!!! Rich and Nancy pretty much go with the higher skill level players in the mornings, and Rich with the guys a couple of afternoons. Cindy and I are preparing for our tournament play in Louisiana next month and Nancy has been working to help us both improve our game...... MOSTLY ME!

On Monday morning Cindy and I competed in a 3.0 - 3.5 Skill Level tournament.    We both played our best - but we didn't make it to the final rounds.  Our opponent in the first match found my weakness - putting lob after lob over my head or to Cindy's backhand side. They were tough!

On Thursday Cindy played with Tim in the mixed doubles and I caught a couple of pictures of them during their match.  They played awesome!  But alas, they did not make it to the finals.

On Thursday afternoon Nancy brought out the ball machine and  dozens and dozens of balsl.  I went home with every muscle in my body aching after hitting HUNDREDS of balls trying to improve my ground strokes and back hand shots.   I thought I did pretty well - but it sure didn't show on the courts today!!!! PRACTICE...PRACTICE... PRACTICE

More pickleball playing friends, Marsha and Byron are coming to stay with Nancy and Cindy on Sunday..........  so it will be more pickleball, and a few more dinners together with the group before they all take off at the end of the month. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Just want to wish  Rich and Dennis a Happy Father's Day! The best gift would have been for the two of them to be together - but distance just  does not make that possible.  But family ties are strong and Dad and Son talked for a long time on the phone today.

I reminded Rich how proud I was of him with a few of his favorites, chocolate and cookies!!

But I got to reminiscing about all those times I was so proud to be part of this family, and especially remembering what a great job they both do being Dad's..... and for Rich even a Grand Dad ( Pa Pa!)! Here are three generations of Dads.........

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God;
I call him Dad!
(Author Unknown)

And I  also remember my own Dad, who I lost when I was only 8 years old.  

My brother Dave has this picture of Dad on his face book page with a caption that describes pretty well the short time we had with our Dad.  

Never knew my father well.  He passed away when I was young.  I do remember some things.  

Fishing at the lake.  Potato Pancakes.  Building me a go cart.  The boat he built in our cellar.  Our back yard that looked like a picture out of Better Homes and Gardens. 

And I remember sitting on his lap and telling him how much I loved him. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Evening With Friends

Thursday evening we visited with Nancy and Cindy. They are renting a beautiful home, complete with three bedrooms and a Pool here at The Villages.

Tonight they invited us over for burgers on the grill with all the fixins' and beans and slaw.   We see these two at pickleball tournaments all the time, but because they are the tournament organizers - we seldom get to talk for long.

Tonight we got a chance to just sit, relax and enjoy the food and conversation.  Unfortunately - their picture did not come out real great.  MY FAULT - First I dropped the camera and then tried to take a picture in the dark with the glare of the window behind them.  
And we got to meet their two other family members.   Below is BJ an 8 year old Dorky (definately the boss of the two) and 1 year old Lucy, also a Dorky.   We are both big dog lovers, so they loved us right away (even if we did bring them treats!)  But I think they liked Rich best. :(

The time seemed to fly by and before we knew it, it was nearly 10:00 pm!!  Realizing that we all had to be at the courts at 8:00 in the morning, we quickly said our good-byes and headed for home.  It was indeed a very enjoyable evening.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


On Tuesday it was a trip to Orlando, more specifically to Universal City Walk - where we would be celebrating my birthday with the Blue Man Group.

For as long as we've lived in Florida - we seldom do the "park" scene.  I probably would go more often, but I know it's not one of Rich's favorite things to do.  So having him take me anywhere near Orlando is a very special treat!

We found our way to the parking garage - and then made the mile long trek to City Walk. Comfortable shoes are a must!   Lots of things to do here if you like eating, drinking and partying.    I understand that they consider City Walk Orlando's Entertainment Hotspot.  Everyone is probably the most familiar with the Hard Rock Cafe but there is also lots of unique shops, an IMAX theater,  live music,  restaurants and nightclubs.  

If we were to come again - we probably would come a little earlier, enjoy a meal at Bubba Gump's and maybe take in some Karaoke at the Rising Star.

As we made our way along the walk - we saw the street sign that lead us to our destination  - The Blue Man Group Theater, located between the Hard Rock Cafe and the entrance to Universal Studios. 

 The theater appeared much smaller than I had expected, but the entertainment was larger than life.  Now More Wow was the name of the performance this evening.  You can't take pictures during the performance so below is a video that shows a lot of what we got to experience.  This is definitely entertainment for the entire family - a  lot of audience participation, and a unique musical experience.


And of course - you can't go to Universal without getting your picture taken!  
Thanks Rich, for another great birthday !

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dinner with More Pickleball Friends..........

It's been pretty much pickleball and rain the last couple of days.  But on Thursday evening we made plans to meet for dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant on Lake Sumter Landing.   This is definitely one of our favourite places to eat and tonight was no different.  It had rained most of the day and was still raining when we arrived, so we had to take a table inside.  Even from the inside you get a great view of Lake Sumter. And with this group it really didn't matter.   We arrived about 6:00 and it was after 8:30 when we got back home.

Seated around the table from the left is Tim and Marlene Diffenderfer and Kathy Miller from the Solivita Community over near Kissimmee, Cindy Eddleman from Ft. Myers, me, Nancy Meyer from Ft. Myers and Rich.  All of them are renting here in The Villages for the month and taking advantage of all the pickleball training clinics, drills and just all around good pickleball play.........

What do you talk about when you get seven pickleball players around the table?   That's right!  And Nancy announced that she had signed Cindy and I up as partner to play next week in a 3.5 Skill Level tournament!   Kathy and Marlene are going to do the same, so it should be fun.  It will be good practice for Cindy and I, as we are partnering next month in Louisiana in the Mid South Regional Tournament, and I am playing with Kathy's husband in the mixed doubles.

Tomorrow is back to the oral surgeon for me! YUK!!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So we arrived here at The Villages early afternoon on June 1st. Here's a peak at the Villa that we stay in. It's a cute 2 bedroom/2 bath villa, completely furnished. Flat screen TV's with Dish network in both the living room and master bedroom, and also includes a golf cart for our daily use.

 The front entrance area is enclosed with screen as well as sliding glass panes, which I'm sure is very comfortable in the cooler weather.  Very nice, but a little warm, even with the ceiling fan this time of year.

The inside is comfortably furnished - definately nothing fancy, but everything is there that you need.

 The kitchen is pretty well equipped with most anything you need for cooking or entertaining.

The first thing we always need to do when we arrive is to go to the Sales Office in Sumter Landing and pickup our "resident" passes.  This allows us to make use of all the facilities including the pickleball courts and activities at the various recreation centers.     So before getting everything unpacked we left to pick up the passes - and returned to find that we had locked ourselves out!!  We NEVER lock the door from the garage into the kitchen - since the garage door is always closed when we are gone.  So we left without taking any keys!  And yes  - we had to call the landlord to let us back in.

We've both been out to the pickleball courts every morning somewhere between 7:15 and 7:45 AM.   It's been very very warm - but we've stayed on gotten in come pretty good games.  Friends of ours from over near Kissimmee are renting here for the month, and other friends of ours from Ft.Myers are also renting for the month - so we've met up with them most everyday at the courts.  

On Monday I played from 7:15am to about 10:15.  Rich was doing a clinic with Coach Mo at 3:00 and so I joined him and all of our friends at the courts for a couple more hours.  That night Nancy and Cindy were heading to another rec center to play pickleball from 6:00 - 8:00, so I joined them again!

Last night - Tuesday we were invited over to Coach Mo and Jeannie's home for dinner.    In this photo, from left to right is Dennis and Sue along with Mo and Jeannie.

We had a very delicious meal: Pot Roast, Red Potatoes, Salad, Assorted hot vegetables and Breads.

Mo told us of a great way to fix corn on the cob in the microwave!  Place one ear of corn, in the husk in the microwave for four minutes.  Remove and with a sharp knife cut off the flat end of the ear.  Holding the pointed end - you can just slide the husk off the ear and enjoy!

In this picture from left to right is Rich and our friends from Poinciana who are staying for the month, Maurene, Tim and Cathy

As you can see from the table, we are now all enjoying our freshly made strawberry shortcake!!

It was a great evening - great food and lots of laughter!

Posted by Picasa ItH

Families can enjoy a barbeque buffet on the Sky Deck at the River Bandits game Sunday, June 17

This is a picture of our son Dennis, and our grandson, Dalton that appeared recently on 

Dennis and the family enjoy their baseball  and spend a lot of timeat Modern Woodmen Park watching the River Bandits - Class A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.  And as long as Dennis is not on the road, I'm sure these two will be back for the Father's Day Barbeque. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Our Last Day in Peace River

Thursday, May 31st........... It was a long day..... lots of packing and cleaning and checking the list twice to make sure we remembered everything and making sure we didn't pack more than we could fit in the car. 

We made plans to meet with Nick and Tonyia for dinner, so we picked them up just before 5:00 and headed for Paul's Kitchen.  Thursday night is Buy One Get One Free, either Steak Tips or Catfish Fingers for $12.99.  Great meal complete with  soup, salad, bread, potato and veggie..  Our plans were to get back before dark, and allow Rich time to watch Jim Cramer on TV before we broke down the dish and shut down Direct TV.    


But we made one last detour before we got back to the park at the Pure Magic Ice Cream parlor........... 

We indulged in our final dish of  Chocolate Peanut Butter/ Butter Pecan ice cream and got  Tonyia and Nick to smile one more time for the camera. 

 We worked pretty hard all day so it was an early night.  It would be a long day again tomorrow. 

It started at 7:00 this morning............We worked the better park of the morning getting the RV closed for the summer.  The bikes were under cover, the boat tied down, the tanks were empty, the cupboards were bare, the dryers sheets were out and we sprayed for bugs.  We cleaned up quickly at the bath house and by 11:15 we were on the road.   We said our goodbye's - saw Nate, but it was too early for Krystal to be out an around.... 

The forecast called for rain and we were fortunate that it held off until we got on the road.  We had pretty heavy rain until we got almost to Leesburg.  It was a quick lunch at McDonald's............and we arrived at our villa in The Villages before 3:00.   It was unpacking - locking ourselves out and having to call the owner to let us in..............unpacking some more, fixing a little dinner, taking our showers and after 8:00 before we finally got to relax.  Another early night tonight for sure. 

Out to the pickleball courts at 7:00 am tomorrow morning...........