Sunday, December 30, 2012

Picking Strawberries Today...

We certainly could have picked a better day..... but it would not have been any where near as fun.

The original plans for today was to play pickleball.  With the colder weather, everyone has waited until 9:00 or so to play.  Just about the time I was ready to head for the courts it started to rain.    About 5 minutes later, Judy comes by on her bicycle  (she had already been to the courts ..) and said to meet in about 10 minutes at Tonyia's - we were going to pick strawberries.

Mo(nique) was driving so we all loaded into the pick up and headed for Center Hill Farm in Bowling Green, maybe 10 miles up the road.   The rain had stopped, but when we made our last turn off of SR 62 onto Center Hill began to sprinkle.  We got our buckets and were directed to the fields for picking and it POURED!!!!!  ( Which didn't help at all, trying to take pictures).

The buckets hold about 5 lbs of berries.......Tonyia and I took home about 3 quarts, and Mo and Judy both took 5lbs or better...    Judy's making strawberry Jam!!   Beautiful berries for $1/lb.

Center Hill Farm also has some of the best fresh vegatables,  white and sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini  romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and small farm fresh eggs - white and brown.
With our bags full and soaking wet ----we piled back into the truck and headed back to Wauchula!   Who said that you can't have fun in the rain?

In the meantime - Rich has come down with a really bad case of the flu.  The past three days have not been pleasant for him at all.  He's getting lots of fluids and lots of rest, and we hoping that he'll be feeling better for our upcoming New Year's Eve party.  And I have my fingers crossed that I can get through the next few days without catching it from him!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day........

And then Santa came...............

It was the aroma of coffee that woke us this morning....and sure that Santa had worked his magic we wandered out to take a peek.     Sure enough......we poured our coffee and opened our gifts.  Now I know that it's hard to find the tree in the picture,it's soooooo small.  So just imagine the time that Santa had trying to fit all those gifts underneath!

Not long after, the phone rang and it was our son Dennis calling with Holiday Greetings from the family. The hardest part of the holiday season is not being able to spend it with family, so the phone call was the best gift of all!  We hope that Dennis and Crystal and the kids are enjoying their Christmas in Iowa......and the cold, and the snow......  We love you guys!

Before we knew it, it was time to head up to the meetin' house where the park was hosting our Holiday Dinner.   The park supplied the Ham and Turkey and gravy, which was excellent! The room was festive, beautifully decorated and filled up fast as everyone brought their dish to play.   Twelve tables that seated 10 filled up quickly.   Each table had a number, representing the 12 days of Christmas - and you had to know what your number represented in order to make your way to the food table.  We were EIGHT - maids a milking.....

Below among a few new faces were several of our friends from Christmas Eve!
Dick and Lou, Crystal and Nate, Larry and Mo in the Santa hats, and Chuck and Dee walking, Nick and Tonyia, Hedy and Art, Archie and Janet and Julia and Jim.


And  too all of our friends and family,  here, at home or travelling......

Rich and I send our very best wishes for a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a Safe, Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Christmas Eve Fun with Friends.........

What a great Christmas Eve this year.  Art and Hedy have a modular home here at Peace River Park, and just a few short weeks ago their brand new huge deck was completed.  So tonight we all christened the new deck with it's First Happy Hour.  That's our Host and Hostess below and their new deck!

And here are some of our friends enjoying the evening..... and each other!!
Diane and Buddy, Dee and Chuck, Joe and Cindy, and Janet and Archie.  (By the way compliments to Archie - the one who built this beautiful deck!)

Below everyone just having a good time!

Here's Karen with Rich and Tom, Justin ( or Bubbles to his friends),  John and Rosa and Krystal and Nate.

A few folks shared the picnic table before lighting the campfire....  Tonyia, Jim, Nick, John and Judy.  Also pictured is Julia and Jim, Larry and Mo(nique), and Judy holding Art and Hedy's newest family addition - Beau!
A few folks left for home, a few stayed and sat by the campfire and a few of us took advantage of the lights on the pickleball courts!  One the court is Karen, Julia, Nate and Krystal, while Bubbles and I wait to take on the winners!

And then it was home to wait for Santa!

Monday, December 24, 2012

In the Holiday Spirit

Saturday morning Rich and I decided to go out for breakfast, so it was the "breakfast special" at Paul's Kitchen.  Where else can you go for 2 eggs, bacon or sausage, grits or home fries and toast for $2.50?   From there it was grocery shopping and Xmas shopping.

Saturday evening featured Mike Thomas at the meeting house.  We seldom miss any of Mike's shows; he's one of our very favorite entertainers.
Being the Christmas Season, Mike , either on keyboard or with his guitar performed his Holiday Show with several medleys of holiday songs that everyone could sing along to.   Sprinkled between the Christmas Caroling was some of our favorite Neil Diamond, John Denver songs and his ever popular patriotic medley.  A very entertaining evening!

On Sunday - I finished up my Christmas Shopping ( Well, except for one or two things!)  Rich, keeping with tradition, will finish his on Christmas Eve day, after the stock market closes at noon!

The days have been a lot colder so the pickleball courts have been neglected a little too much.  Karen sent an e-mail to everyone that she needed to play - so about 10 of us met at the courts at 4:00 to get our "pickleball fix!"

We had picked up a couple of steaks on Saturday, so after pickleball Rich fired up the grill.   But the day was not yet over, there was still the matter of making our traditional potato candy to share with friends.
Actually - Rich makes the candy........ AND the MESS!!!  And I get to clean it up!
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve - and we look forward to spending it with all of our friends at Art and Hedy's place , as we christen their brand new deck!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Village of Christmas Lights

We recently made a trip with our friends Nick and Tonyia to Sebring.   It was Nick's idea!   Last year about this time we made the same trip to have dinner at Homers Restaurant, and then went on to Sebring Village to see the display of Christmas Lights.
 It was so nice last year we decided to do it again.   Dinner at Homers Smorgasboard is always a treat.  They always have such  a great selection of meals and desserts!

Sebring Village is less than a mile up the road from the restaurant.  And just like last year the entrance was beautifully decorated and very welcoming.  So our tour of the community was officially underway!  It was a bit nippy outside - but to make sure we had the best view, Nick put the top down on the car!

It's amazing how much time people put in to decorating in this community.    Here are some pictures of the ones we liked the most. 

This little alien was new this year...... 

And this was typical of most of the homes. 
There is also a small pond in the middle of the community which is also decorated, but unlike last year, we could not find a way to get close enough to enjoy it.    So the top went back up and we headed back to Wauchula.   A great way to enjoy the Christmas Holiday.  Thanks Nick and Tonyia. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


As of December 12, 2012, 29542 Forest Glen Drive in Wesley Chapel, Fl is no longer our home!  It's really kind of hard to believe.  Our plans were to sell our home back in 2006 when we retired, but it was about that time that the housing market died.........foreclosures and short sales were flooding the housing market and the value of  homes declined significantly.    So we waited, and waited until the recovery began............and now we feel so fortunate to have sold it before we suffer even more from four more years of OBAMANATIOM!

So at 10:40 AM in Tampa, Florida we signed the closing papers and this beautiful home was sold to a happy couple from New York State.

If every you need a Realtor in the TampaBay area , we highly recommend Don Bass of Future Home Realty.   Amidst short sales and foreclosures we got an excellent price for the house, and we had a contract signed in less that two weeks.    We can't thank him enough for his hard work.   Don is not only a Realtor, but a good friend of ours, so we asked him to bring his wife Linda along so we could have lunch after the closing to celebrate.

They suggested the Cheescake Factory, which is located at the International Plaza in Tampa.

What a great place to eat, a fabulous menu, a great atmoshpere, and more than 30 flavors of cheescake to choose from.

Here are the four of us enjoying a great lunch.........I had Pecan, Turtle Cheesecake (or something like that), Rich, plain with  Strawberry Topping, Linda had Pumpkin, and Don some crazy chocolate........... And they are SOOO Big.

Our plans are to spend the winter at Peace River...........and "perhaps" start to look for a home in The Villages this summer.

But for now...........we will enjoy the winter withe some of our very best friends!  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back to the Good Life!

Nick and Tonyia did not give us a day to rest. Well - actually they did - until about 4:30 the next afternoon.   We were invited over for a small happy hour - just drinks and snacks.   Have to share this sign................. Nick got one for himself and all of his friends in the park........Each a little different, for each couple

We stayed and chatted for about an hour with John and Shelly//

Harley -- who had just finished laying carpet and tile in Nick and Tonyia's Bus

And with our friends Jim and Judy - who will be hosting our New Year's Eve Party this year. 

Nick must have had a couple of drinks before we arrived.... so it was easy to get him to pose for the camera by his new Holiday Sign....
We left for dinner and ran into Lee and Jerry so sat and joined them for our meal.     Tonight was Beef Fritter ( Country fried steak) and Smothered Chicken for me.  We headed back and a few more people had stopped by - Mo and Larry and another couple that we had not met before.  We sat around the fire for about an hour and then called it a night.

Been catching up, and calling or e-mailing everyone with our new mailing address!  Wow are there a lot of changes to make!

It's been pickleball or pokeno or bingo most every day.

On Monday I went to Sebring to see the Radiation Oncologist, got maked and tatoo'd in preparation for my radiation treatments.  They will start on the 17th and I'll be going daily for seven weeks.  Not looking forward to this at all - but after seven weeks it will be ALL over!

On Wednesday we had dinner with Krystal and Nate.   We did a trip to Paul's were everyone enjoyed their meal.  Good food, Good Price!!  But we decided to take home some leftovers and leave a little room ice cream.  So we stopped at Pure Magic, ordered our favorite combination, and sat and enjoyed the ice cream and conversation.  
 WOW - Time flies when you're having fun!

Countdown - 2 more days before we are houseless!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Last Trip Home.....

It's been so long since I've updated this - I forget what's been going on.

We were at home for about a week.  Played a little more pickleball, but really spent most of the time packing away stuff we needed to put in storage, selling the remaining furniture.   Below are a few of the pictures we got from the lanai out back while having our morning coffee - before we started work each day.


On Saturday December 1st we had a big garage sale, and we sold almost everything.  What was left we packed up and took to the Salvation Army.  On Sunday Nick and Tonyia came up so that Nick could help Rich pack up the truck and transport all of our stuff to storage.   What a great help they were.... It was done in no time at all.  Nick and Tonyia headed back to Wauchula, and we finished cleaning up, and paced up the car.  And we took a look at the house for the very last time.  The closing should take place in about 10 days.

By the time we got back to Peace River it was after 10:00 pm.  But we did not miss the welcoming sign that Nick and Tonyia had left for us in the front yard.   No happy hour tonight folks - just a lot of sleep........
But tomorrow is another day!