Thursday, January 29, 2015

A little down time..........a little yard grooming

Earlier this week, Rich took a break from working and spent a little time down on the dock using up the last of the minnows.  No fish today, but Mr. White Ibis returned once again to share the dock with Rich.  Today Rich rewarded his new found friend with a couple of minnows.  They were not going to live much longer......and Mr Ibis was very very happy!

We had been talking about sprucing up the yard a little bit so today we had the Indian Hawthorn that had surrounded the one palm tree at the front of the house removed.   We had tried everything to keep it from dying but were not successful.  So today Cindy (the lady who does our lawn) and her crew pulled out the dead Hawthorn and replaced them with 14 new plants; a combination of   Varigated Arboricola and Crotons.  Once they start growing in  - it will look even better, and it will provide some very needed  color in the front yard.  She also pulled some dying azaleas and continued the row of  Indian Hawthorn along the side of the house.  And lastly - she sprayed the carpet grass that is invading our yard!    They did a great job!  Withing in the next couple of weeks she will be bringing in a load of the red river rock which will enhance the looks of the yard a little more. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Some good news and some bad news..........

Well, the owner of The Decor Store arrived late on Thursday to see what the problem was with the installation of the shades on the lanai.  Once they figured out how to get the one on the left installed, I was a little disappointed. There was about an inch gap on one side of the shade which allowed a lot of light/sun to get in.  The purpose of the blinds was for both shade and privacy, thus the 3% openness of the material.  Then, the one for the right side had not been measured correctly, as it did not fit without putting in a spacer..........which would result in even a bigger gap!

After conversation with the owner - we had them take the shades down and refund our money.  We were a little disappointed that they did not at least offer to order a new one  to replace the one that was definitely  measured wrong.   Money returned and now looking for another alternative.

The window tinters returned on Friday afternoon to complete the tinting on the last sliding door.  Long story here too..................This young man really is particular and does a nice job, but we were not satisfied with a couple of the windows and as Rich and I were looking closely at them to determine if we needed/wanted them to replace one or more of the tints, they had picked up all their stuff and were heading out the front door!!!!     When I stopped them and asked if they were going to finish....they kept on walking and he said: " I'm not charging you; you got a free job!"  

The imperfections are not HUGE - there are some runs on a couple of the windows at the very top, and what looks like a small slit/wrinkle in one corner. 

Are you seeing a pattern here???   Send my husband to Lowe's or Home Depot - buy the materials and make me what I want  and I'm smiles from ear to ear.  Looks like Rich is going to be pretty busy!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Project Update..........

All day Wednesday seemed like workers were in and out and making a bigger mess of everything!!!  Not really - it was just a hectic day  with everyone working hard to get our house looking even better.

Rich was up early and found time to sneak away several times during the day and work on the end table for the sun room.  The tinting people arrived around 11:00 to begin his project on the sliding glass doors in the sun room.  The two main sliders face south, so this time of year we get pounded by the sun all day long.  So to help keep the windows from baking - thus making it harder to apply the tint film - they made one trip back to town to get a large table umbrella to shade the windows.  We are very pleased with the professional work that he is doing.  By mid afternoon two of the three sliders were completed.  They will be back on Friday to finish the third window.  What a difference. It really looks great!

It was close to 4:00 when the two guys from The Decor Store arrived to install the shades we ordered for the screened lanai.  Unfortunately, it seems that there was some mistake.  When the windows were measured, we were instructed, because of the angle of the roof - to install a beam that would be level, and onto which the shades would be mounted.  We did as instructed.......but as you can see from the hands on the hips - they were not able to figure out HOW to install them.  So as of this morning the shades are still on the table and we are waiting to hear from the Decor Store.  ( I'm sure that what I said is not the correct "technical " terms - but I think you get the idea)

And while all this was going on................Rich finished the end table AND found time to fish off the dock for a little bit before dinner.  One small bass today.  The table is beautiful.  I LOVE IT.  This is just the finished table - no paint/stain yet. 

And while Rich was fishing I whipped up some Homemade Shepherd's Pie for dinner......... we watched a couple of our favorite programs we had recorded and called it a day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Little Work...... A Little Play

Rich had a very busy day today .  He was back and forth between his office, checking his stocks, and the garage, working on my stand.... Lots of intricate STUFF today, notching the wood for the legs.

BUT....It was not ALL work today.  He also managed to take some time and do a little fishing off the dock,  He had a friendly visitor today; this beautiful white Ibis.  The bird was flying around the dock when he just yelled at the bird "Here Bird"....and the Ibis perched on the pole along side of where he was fishing.  He stayed there for the longest time......even allowing me to come from the house to the dock with my camera!  Never moved!  Well, that is until Rich was removing the minnows from the hook when he finished fishing, and was putting them back in the minnow bucket.  The bird followed him around to the other side of the dock - stretching to get a good look, and hoping that Rich would throw him a minnow for dinner!     Unfortunately, there is a guy a couple houses down from us on the canal that feeds all the birds almost every day................that's why this one was not afraid of us.  They are beautiful though!

OH for the fishing???  Well - got a few nibbles but only one he caught was a small Bass,  about 14 inches or so.  Not big enough to keep.  But it was a beautiful day to be outside enjoying the weather.......................AND the birds.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I'm keeping Rich BUSY!!

This is a three day weekend for Rich, with Monday being Martin Luther King Day.  That means the stock market is closed, so it's important that I find things to keep him busy!  

On Friday we made a trip to the Decor Store to check on what kind of cornices they had that might work on our sliders.  We actually brought one home with us to see if the size was right......but unfortunately it was NOT.  What they sell is only about 6-7 inches wide which on those sliders with the large moulding - just did nothing to improve the look.  SO................. 

 Below is a picture of the three sliders in our sun room; the two that face the water in the back and one that faces our neighbor.  Since, given the way the addition was built on the house does not allow us to do vertical sliders, we'll do the tinted windows with the cornice topper.  The cornice in the top left of the picture is similar to what I am having Rich build.  It will be somewhere between 11 and 15 inches ( a little wider board) and the color will be a much lighter blend of black/brown.  The picture on the top right shows a V shaped design and we will do that in a black or brown between the two windows in the back and probably in the middle of the other slider.  I know - hard to picture - but I can see it perfectly!!!

The guy is coming on Wednesday, this week to tint the windows (as long as the price is right!) and then Rich can begin to build the cornice.  The shades on the screens that face the neighbors should also be installed one day this week. the meantime.........

On Friday Rich took a trip in to town to buy some minnows for fishing. ( I mean - the guys needs to have a little fun before I give him a dozen projects... Right)?   

 He did so a little fishing off the dock on Friday afternoon, but NO luck.  He went out again on Saturday afternoon and  caught a nice bass about 15 inches. 

That evening we met up with Nick and Tonyia at the Olive Garden for dinner. These two are keeping very very busy with their new home too - so it's been since New Year's day that we've seen them.  Everyone enjoyed their meal......except ME.  My past Primavera was terrible.  It was so smothered in sauce and the veggies were very  very mushy.  I filled up on bread sticks and salad, and sent most of the meal back.  Everyone else was very satisfied and enjoyed their meal!

After dinner we made a trip to Lowes to pick up some lumber.  Yes - one more project for Rich while we wait to get the windows done.  And the project was started on Sunday........this is a side table that will replace the plastic table (those of you who are RV'ers - will recognize the little table I am currently using!!) that now sits between my two wicker/rattan rockers in the sun room.  As you can see from the picture below all the wood is cut an ready to be assembles.  The finish on this end stand will be the same as the cornice that we put over the sliders!  Rich is doing a great job!

Still on the to-do list for this month is to replace some boards out on the boathouse and get that painted the same color as the deck.   And to either build a railing or pergola on the back deck.....And, Cindy - the lady who does our lawn is coming in two weeks an pulling my Indian Hawthorn from the front yard and replacing it with some new plants.  I'm not good at names, but there will be five bushes that are  a two tone green, and four crotons.  At some point we will also replace the azalea bushes in back - they just don't seem to be doing well at all.    AND........... we are also seriously talking about widening the driveway.  This way, we can remove the boat trailer that is currently housed in the second garage bay!   Lots to's exciting!   Hope we can get most of this done before we leave for NY in June!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Painting Day

Rich has spent a lot of time replacing old boards on the deck on the back of the house, just outside the sliders in our Sun room.  Got everything done, got it power washed.  Finally had a few days of sunshine and no rain, so everything was finally dry and ready to paint.  We both worked hard today - and we're really pleased with the color (Timberline).

Not done yet.  We had Sun setter Awning people come - but we've decided against that.  Still pondering the pergola - but hard to find anyone in the area that will build........ so.   We're now considering a railing and rich is laying out a fire pit/grilling area that would would be built into/on the deck itself.......................As often as we change our minds........who knows how it will end up?

Next week the guy is coming to tint the slider windows, so we don't feel like we're living in a glass house!!!    And we go the the Decor Store tomorrow to check out having a couple of cornice built for over the sliders on the inside.

Little by little we will get things done........Not in any hurry!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

It sure makes us think about how old we are and how quickly times passes when one year ends and another one begins.   Every year there's a countdown to Christmas Day, and before you know it, it's come and gone.  You sit back and think about everything you accomplished, the good times you had, and then you start planning for another year.

Between Christmas and New Year's Day, I was very excited.  I enjoy entertaining in our home, and this year we were continuing our tradition of a New Year's Day Gathering of Friends.  This tradition started in 1994 when we first moved to Florida.  Our families were back north, as were our friends, so we invited our "new friends and neighbors"..........and it has continued each year with the exception of the time we were full time RV'ing.  This would be our second in our new home here in Lake Placid.  WOW!  We've been here for two Christmas/New Year's Holidays ALREADY?

Friends started arriving around 1:00 pm and soon the house was full of chatter and the aroma of good food!   Joining us this year was: Our neighbors Al and Barb, Phil and Doreen and Jack and Diane.      ( Oops!  John was coming down with something and stayed home to rest.  Hope you're feeling better!!).  There was our good friends Nick and Tonyia, and Nathan and Krystal.   Speaking of time!  With Nathan and Krystal buying a home WAY over in Myakka City - this is the first we have seen them in more than a year!  It was very special visiting with them again.  AND........a week or so ago we learned that our friends Bob and LaVern (aka Silly Willy and Fluffy) were staying right here in Lake Placid and teaching at the Clown Museum!   Another special treat for us to be able to have them join us.

Isn't it always the way........that the men seem to gather and talk "man talk" while the women do their " girl talk" in another room?  Here are the guys!  Below: The guys in the "food line" filling their plates. (Yes - they were the first in line, with Rich leading the pack!)  That's Phil, Rich, Nick and Bob in the top two photos, along with Al and Nathan in the bottom photo.

And here are the ladies...........(left to right) LaVern, Doreen, Krystal and on the stool, Diane.  Funny story!!!!  Diane called about 2:30 to say that John was not feeling well, but that she had made here salad and would be over by 3:00.  She had told John she would only be stay for a few minutes.  I think it was after 6:00 when she left!!!

Top right - that's Tonyia with Krystal at the table, and bottom right is Barb.

About 4:00 we gave thanks and headed for the food line!  Our holiday feast included, Ham, Party Meatballs, Smoked Sausage and Veggies (Tonyia),  Macaroni Salad (Krystal), Potato Salad (Diane), Fruit Salad, Hungarian Scalloped Potatoes (Lavern), Macaroni and Cheese (Barb), Dinner Rolls and Broccoli Cornbread (Doreen).  Appetizers: crackers, cheese, sausage, cream cheese and ham roll ups, yogurt covered pretzels and chips. For dessert: chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookie sandwiches with whipped cream filling (Nick and Tonyia), peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter fudge, rice crispy Santa treats ( Nathan and Krystal) and our New Year's Cake.  Beverages of choice included: iced tea, lemonade, bottled water, beer, wine ( Al and Barb and Bob and LaVern) and Eggnog with Cinnamon Whiskey ( Nick and Tonyia) and coffee.

It was about 7:00 or maybe a little after by the time everyone had left. But not before we had promised to visit Nathan and Krystal one weekend, and talk about a trip to the Broadway Palm for dinner and show.  And not before we were invited to join the folks from TT Peace River on January 10th for a show at the Lake Placid Clown Museum.........and not before Diane promised to share the star fruit she picks from neighbor Tom's yard........and not before the guys had shared their fish tales, stock market forecasts and solved the problems of the world!  And thank you Doreen for the Broccoli Cornbread recipe (awesome!) and LaVerne for what she says is the "Very Best" macaroni and cheese!   Here they are if you want to try them!

Thank you to all of our friends who made this day very special.  We hope that they are all blessed with a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2015 ( Live Well and Prosper - as Rich would say) .  We are truly blessed with good friends and are so fortunate to have them to bring in the New Year. 

Here's our Cake!