Friday, November 30, 2012

Visiting with the MP Picklers!

We have been working so hard here at the house.  Tomorrow is our garage sale; the final attempt to get rid of a lot of "stuff".   What does not sell will go to the Good Will, Salvation Army or local thrift stores.   Packing is very close to being finished and we contacted the storage places today.  We're hoping to be able to head back to Wauchula by Wednesday at the latest.  Fingers are crossed!!!!

In the meantime we needed a break, so we headed down to the Meadow Point II courts to meet up with our fellow picklers.  It's hard to believe that it was almost five years ago when we introduced pickleball to folks here in the  community.   There was a pretty good group out tonight, maybe 12-14 and two of them were new to the game.   But before the night was over - we had to get one more group shot.

Frequently on Friday nights some of the group heads out for pizza after their done playing.  Nine of us headed for Pizza Mania.  The food was excellent.  Linda and I opted for salads tonight while everyone else chose pizza.  Seated with us at the table from left to right is Linda and Don, Mark and Renee and their son Gary, and pickleball newbies Sharon and David.

It's always nice to come back and visit with these folks.... We'll need to make a point to come and visit whenever we can.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back Home - Getting Ready for the Sale....

The market closed early on Black Friday - so we headed back to our home in Wesley Chapel.  I drove the car and Rich the truck.  Since we would be putting a lot of our stuff in storage - Rich decided it'd be easier to transport everything in the truck!

Friday evening we did a quick dinner at Arby's and we were going to play pickleball with the group here - but being the holidays - there were not playing that night.

On Saturday morning we began our task of getting the house ready for the new owners.  The buyers were purchasing most of our furniture - so our goal was to take everything left and sort into - keep/store, keep/take to RV, sell/give away or throw away.  First it was a trip to Home Depot to buy screen to replace a few panels on the lanai and a trip to the grocery store for food for the next few days.  We got a pretty good start and called it a day when our friends Don and Linda called and invited  us to dinner.

Dinner was spaghetti and sausage, salad and Italian bread.  Dessert was pumpkin or pecan pie.

Don and Linda have been two of our best friends for a long time.  Don is also a Realtor and we can't thank him enough for the great job he did getting a contract on the house in less than two weeks.  If you need a good Realtor.........give us a call!

Sunday was another day of hard work and sorting. We had posted a few items on Craig s List and were able to get a few dollars for our power washer, ladder, chess table, and we gave away our old computers and printers.   And I managed to get everything out of the guest bath and bedroom and the living room/dining room packed away.  

It was leftovers that we brought from Wauchula for dinner tonight, but Rich still had enough energy to bake some pumpkin pies.  So we ate, did dishes and began to bake.  It's now 8:30pm and Rich has finished the first pie.   It will be pumpkin pie and whipped cream for him for breakfast tomorrow - and by mid afternoon I expect that pie #2 will be gone.

Talked to Nick and Tonyia today................and found out that we were missing Happy Hour #3!   Hope you guys all had a great time!

Thanksgiving at Peace River

We were invited to our friends home in Wesley Chapel again this year, but decided to stay at Peace River  for Thanksgiving Dinner since it would be just a few more days before we had to go back to the house.

RV'ers are great cooks - and the food prepared for the Thanksgiving Day feast was excellent.   There was no where near the number of people that attended last year - which made the food line much faster, but the way it was managed this was a little bit disappointing.   The park supplied the Turkey and Ham and Gravy - and that was excellent.  But the food tables were set up OUTSIDE.. with a tacky blue swimming pool filled with ice set on top of the table to keep the cold food cold.

 It was a very windy and chilly day - and nothing was done to keep the hot food hot - like the mashed potatoes....and people were asked to bring the food 1/2 hour early.  No one was allowed in the hall to sit until 2:00.  There is no minister in the park - and the park Manager never even joined the group at all. It was the activities director who stopped in the middle of the parking lot and gave a quick blessing - which most of us missed completely!

But it was a day to give thanks ............ and we were thankful to be able to spend the day with good friends.

After dinner we joined John and Shelly over at Nick and Tonyia place.  The guys sat and talked and enjoyed their beverage of choice, while Tonyia and Shelly introduced me to Mexican Train.  Lots of fun..........we'll have to do that again.   All in all it was a good day ...........which ended perfectly with a phone call from our son Dennis.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A night of Pure Magic...

On Sunday morning it was pickleball from about 8:30 to 10:30 in the morning.

 At noon Barbara and I joined Tonyia and Hedy and Judy for Pokeno. Buying a couple of dollars of pennies from those of us who play regulary - Barbara was all set. She went home the big winner today! We had originally talked about going back to Torrey Oaks for Card Bingo on Sunday night - but I decided I needed to go home and fix some dinner for Rich and I.   About 5:30 we gave Barb a call and asked if she could be ready by 6:30 for a trip to Pure Magic for some ice cream.

She and Rich opted for the Peanut Butter Fudge..........while I had my usual: Butter Pecan.

I think she enjoyed it!
She looks like she's being rewarded  for being a good girl!

Happy Hour #2

I guess this month has been one for seeing pickleball friends that we've not seen in a long time.  What better reason than that to have a get together.     On Saturday Keith and Marie had everone over to their place for  barbeque.....and everyone else brought a dish to pass.  

Below (from top left, clockwise) Our host and hostess:  Marie and Keith.   Jim and Jane ( Princess Jane to most of us).  They were regulars to the park for several years, but two years ago, sold their RV and returned to their home in England.   Barbara- leaving California to visit with old friends for a few weeks.  Chris and Mark.  Hasn't been quite as long since we've seen these two - but this year they are spending the winter at Tanglewood in Sebring. Chances are pretty good we'll see them again this winter. 

Below (from top left, clockwise) is the rest of the crew.  And with the exception of just a couple - it's our pickleball crew!  Art and Hedy, Buddy and Diane and Dee  and Chuck.  The next couple ( can't remember their names - even though I asked twice!) were friends of Keith and Marie, Bob and Janet ( just arrived at the park today), Nate (Krystal was a little under the weather - so we missed her) , Sally and Stan, Laurie and Charlie and his wife. 
It was really nice to see these folks again.  Enjoyed the evening and the food was delicious.

It was dark by the time we headed for home, but we saw that Nick and Tonyia were sitting out.  It was still early and the campfire looked very inviting so we decided to take a walk over.  Bill and Marie ( also not staying in the park this year) had come over to visit for the day and we learned that they would be coming back for our New Year's eve party! GREAT!  We had not been there long when Todd and Theresa pulled up and joined the group.  There was a little wine and whiskey Todd shared some Chocolate Wine and some Sambuka (anise flavoured liquor). We both passed................but I could not turn down a shot of my favorite Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey! 
And then we called it a night!

A trip to Torrey Oaks

On Friday Sally and Stan invited us for a little cookout and am sked us to bring Barbara with us. Barbara, let hubby Dennis at home with Roxy(their dog) and flew out to visit some friends she hasn't seen in a couple of years. Rich and I are going to try and show her a great time......and try to convince her that coming back to Florida for the winter is a GOOD thing.

Without an RV - Barbara is staying in one of the cabins, so we picked her up and headed to Torrey Oaks  for a 4:00 pm dinner date.

It was burgers on the grill with potato salad, slaw and beans!  And we got to see their brand new 5th wheel.  Absolutely beautiful!  It was a little cool, so after dinner we moved inside to talk for a while.  It was our intention to stop in downtown Wauchula for Friday Nite Live.....and then to Pure Majic for ice cream on the way home.  BUT - Sally mentioned BUNCO  7:00 and asked if we'd stay.   So Rich headed back to Wauchula and the girls went to play. Barbara got a DOUBLE WIPEOUT,  I lost $1, and Sally came home a winner.   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Nite out with friends...........

We had originally made plans to meet up with Nate and Krystal for dinner tonight. Unfortunately, Krystal was not feeling well so the dinner date was postponed... I had not taken anything out of the freezer for dinner, so it only made sense that we go somewhere! Barb Johnson came into the park yesterday. She left Dennis and Roxy back in California to come here to Peace River for a couple of weeks. It's been a couple of years since we've seen Barbara so we gave her a call to see if she would like to have dinner with us. She wanted to go to Paul's.

First we all met at the pickleball courts at 4:00, left for showers about 5:20 and met at Paul's Kitchen at 6:00.  For those of you not familiar with Paul's Kitchen , the dinners you get are huge!   So Marie and I both got our camera's out to snap some pictures.   Pictured below, starting top left and going clockwise:  Chicken Parmesian with garlic toast ( Rich and Barbara), Sirloin (it was supposed to be Sirloin Tips, Donna),  Steak Stir Fry ( Margie) Chicken Tenders/Fries (Tom), Chicken Salad Platter (Marie) and the next three dishes are all for Keith! ( Catfish Tenders and Beef Medalions, Sweet Potato, Rice, Cabbage.....

A a group picture - (bottom left - clockwise)  Barbara, Marie, Keith, Donna, Rich, Margie and Tom
It was a fun evening - thewas new ( I think we were the first table she waited on) they got a new computer system ( the line to pay our bill was VERY long)  But the food was good and company was perfect!  It was a nice evening out..... and everyone went home with their doggie bags.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

We would like to extend our gratitude and respect for all the men and women who have valiantly served in our military through the years.  Thank you for your patriotism, your willingness to serve, and the sacrifices you made for our country.

On Sunday evening here at Peace River, Mike Thomas did a short show for Veteran's Day.

 Normally , Mike entertainst us  with music, playing either the keyboard or his guitar and singing songs.  But tonight was a tribute to the men and woman of the armed forces..... a lesson in  history  and trivia to see how much of our American History we remembered.

The crowd was not real large, but the tribute spoke volumes.    Pictured are a few of  our friends:  Marie and Keith  (top left) and that's Mike Thomas next to them.  Bottom (left) is Rich and Joy.  Rich used to be a ranger here at the park, but his health no longer allows him to work, and next to them is Bill and Jan.  They'll be leaving the park soon, but I enjoyed playing Pokeno with Jan and the rest of the ladies each afternoon.   As each of the armed forces were recognized  with their "offical" songs, retired military standed and were applauded.........including our friend Keith - retired Navy.

The night was not without a little humor as we laughed at what we should have known - and listed to Abbot and Costello's " Who's on First"  But one of the best moments of the night was listening to that all familiar and well remembered speach from Red Skelton,.when he interpreted for everyone the Pledge of Allegience to Flag.  

The video is below............If you've never heard it - you will love it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Peace River and Capone Crime Families

The Peace River Crime Family headed for Orlando this past weekend. Nick Cartos - the Don of this organized crime family out of  Wauchula,  assured everyone that a truce had been made with the widely known and feared Capone Family of Kissimmee, Fl.

Cartos and his " capo bastone" (underboss) , Rich the Pickler, Donald  travelled together to Orlando with their wives, Tonyia and Donna.

Anyway - Nick and Tonya organized the weekend of fun for 14 of us.  The plan was to all meet at the hotel - The Quality in - Kissimmee at 3:00 pm.  We got on the road early with the idea of stopping for a quick lunch along the way.   Just a few miles from the hotel we decided to stop at Checkers......... It just so happened that this particular checkers was in Old Town........

If you check their website it will tell you  that Old Town is "a shopping emporium with 75 specialty stores, 8 restaurants and 18 amusement rides.  Saturday and Friday Nite cruises with hundreds of classic cars.  Saturday Nite Car Cruise is the oldest weekly car cruise in the country!"

Rich and I had never been here before - so we took a walk and looked around.  There are some pretty neat rides there including a rock climbing wall, zip lines, roller coaster, Ferris wheel .  But this ride below made all of us stop to watch. The Super Shot takes up slowly up to 150 feet and then you are dropped suddenly!

We walked around and checked out a lot of the old cars that were coming in for the Saturday night cruise......and stopped at a few specialty shops.  Our favorite was the leather shop........... Even the guys enjoyed it..........And gave me a great photo op!

After lunch it was on to the Hotel.  We checked in at the Quality Inn and it was long after we got there that everyone else had arrived.  We were all very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the hotel - very nice room.   At 6:00 pm we all met in the parking lot where the shuttle would take the 14 of us to Capone's, a 1930's speak easy, for dinner and a show.

The shuttle bus arrived at Capone's, just about a mile down the road, and we all piled out - picked up our pre-paid tickets, and got the password to get in the door.

Once we got inside - we headed upstairs to the lounge where we got our beverage of choice and sat to chat for a while and just take in the "gangster" atmosphere.  About 6:30 we were escorted to our table ; perfect location right in front of the stage. 

Once at the table your drinks are free - all you want, for the rest of the night!  You could have beer, wine, selected mixed drinks, or soda.......  The dinner is a buffet complete with various kinds of pasta, pizza, mashed potato's and gravy, turkey/stuffing, ham, roast beef, veggies and much much more!  Once dinner was finished it was time for the show.  The show was excellent; music, dance, comedy  and a lot of audience interaction.  If you check out the picture below , you'll see a picture of the main characters.  And you'll see a few people from the audience on stage with the cast (left).  That's Todd  ( another of our Peace River Crime Family)- center stage with Miss Jewel, attempting to do the Charleston!  He was great!

Thanks to Nick and Tonyia , for doing all the planning for the group.  We had a wonderful time.  We headed back to the hotel and soon after called it a night.  In the morning we all enjoyed the continental breakfast at the hotel before heading back to Wauchula. 

Let me introduce you to the  Peace River Crime Family - pictured below.  From left to right:  Todd and Theresa, Bill and Marie, Rich and Donna, Hedy and Art, Jim and Judy and Nate and Krystal.  Kneeling is Tonyia and Nick.

Friday, November 2, 2012

So What's Going On?

I know it's been a while since I've been out here with an update - Several of you have contacted me to see how I'm doing - since one of my last posts indicated that I was going in for surgery..........

Well, first of all we have put our house in Wesley Chapel on the Market!!!!   That's right it's up for sale.  Now if any of you know anyone who might be looking for a great house in a great location with a great view from the back lanai please pass along this link:
If you forget it and need it later - it's right over there on the right side of this page!!!

It was great seeing Jack and Diane, and Rich and Dee and John and Carla and my good friend Karen and Tom.. but most of them have already left.............and since then it's been pretty quiet.    But Keith and Marie got in yesterday!  YEAH!  Hurricane Sandy gave us some pretty wicked winds - but other than that the weather has been great.  Starting to cool down, not quite so humid.

We've been out to dinner a couple of times with Nick and Tonya.  We missed a great get together at Paul's the other night with the pickleball crew,  but I just was not feeling up to going out.

There's a new restaurant in town and we went there a few days ago .......   For those of you who have been here before - the WILDCAT GRILL is the former Breadboard.  And believe me the menu is MUCH better.  I had the chicken Quesedias while  Rich and Nick and Tonyia  enjoyed some great PIZZA!  We'll definately go back again.  

And we've been back to Pure Magic Ice Cream - acutally we went there after  we filled our take home boxes at the Wild Cat Grill........

OK - so for those of you  wondering how I am.......I am doing fine.  The results from my mammogram resulted in a Biopsy, which showed some abnormal tissue.  I had surgery to remove the tissue and  unfortunately they did find cancer.  The good news is that the cancer is very small and was found very early.  Last Wednesday I went back in for a second surgery and I've been just a little uncomfortable since then.  (Most of the discomfort comes from not being able to get out on the pickleball courts!!)   I have another appointment with the surgeon at the Cancer Moffitt Center in Tampa next week, and as long as everything looks good, I will then have to  undergo daily radiation treatments for  six weeks!    Since the house is on the market, I've decided I wanted to stay at Peace River and make the daily trip to Sebring for the treatments.   I have heard from so many of you ..........and I thank you for your prayers!  Love you ALL!!

Tomorrow we are headed to Orlando with Nate and Krystal, and Nick and Tonya, and Art and Hedy  and three other couples for the dinner and show at Capone's.  We'll be spending the night there after the show and heading back on Sunday !  Watch for pictures!!