Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year's Eve!

Well, it's been back to painting the last couple of days.  Rich has been down on the dock, and has everything painted that needed to be done by "brush". By this time next week, the new wood that he put down, should be dry and he'll do that with the sprayer.  I finished up the back deck - with the exception of putting one more coat on the floor.

Took a trip into Sebring this afternoon.  Rich needed some clamps, a new shop vac and we were looking for some post top solar lights to replace the ones that don't work down on the dock.......but didn't find what we wanted.   Stopped for gas and a dozen minnows, in hopes of getting out fishing sometime over the next couple of days.

Found the fans/lights we want for the sun room and a chandelier for over the dining room table.  Saw them on-line at Lowe's - but they did not have them in stock at the store - so going to order them on-line.

We were hoping to find the "palm fan" type blades- but the only sizes we could find were just too big for the room............These should work fine.

We're about ready to book a cottage/house on the Mississippi River in Iowa - just
a couple of hours from our son's house.  Probably stay at least two weeks.   Grand-daughter will be graduating from high school. Sits right on the river bank, and sleeps 12-14.  Enough room for the family and the kids boyfriend/girlfriends, if they want to come as well for a few days.  Three kayaks, a canoe and a john boat!   Just waiting for  the exact date of graduation, before we book.   Hope it all works out.

 Not sure if we'll make it until midnight tonight to ring in the new year.........but
it's almost 11:00 pm now - and I'm still up........and the light is still on in the bedroom - which means  Rich still has the TV on!   Earlier today, we had a great New Year's Eve dinner.  Steaks on the grill, baked potato and asparagus..........and a small glass of Rum Chada!    Nothing special for dessert - still finishing up the Christmas goodies.

And so - to all our family and friends.........we wish you a happy, healthy, joyful, and blessed 2017!   HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas is over..............

I love the Christmas season.........yet the older I get the more I miss the way it used to be.  Family get together's at my parents home..... with my 7 brothers and sisters and their families, me and Rich and my younger brother Dave.   And Christmas Day was the same, but we split our time between my family and Rich's Mom's place.  But it was just so much fun with music and laughter and  singing and presents and midnight mass..........

But - despite all that reminiscing........ it was still a good Christmas.

On Monday, Rich and I finally got out in the boat for the first time since we returned from NY in August!  It was an absolutely beautiful day.......but a bit too windy for staying on the lake too long.  We enjoyed the leisurely ride along the canals, and we got to fish for a little while ( no luck catching anything!), until the water got pretty rough.

On Tuesday, while Rich was back on the stock market, and taking time out during the day to cut more palm branches.... AND FINISH his LAST piece of Pumpkin Pie!!!!........I took down all the Christmas decorations.  I generally leave everything up until after New Years............but since we decided not to have our New Year's Day gathering - I decided to get things put away early.   So everything is packed away in it's designated spot until next year........and the living room looks  so empty with the tree gone.

Grocery shopping today.....and got everything for our New Year's Eve  and New  Year's Day Dinners.... We got some Omaha Steaks for Christmas - so that will be for New Year's Eve.

AND..................Good news from Dennis......... about University of Iowa and the grandkids!

Kiddos UI college update: Dalton (Freshman) made the Dean's list for fall semester with a 3.72 GPA for 15 hrs :) . Chauna was awarded the Iowa Scholars Award scholarship $ for her HS academics​ GPA & ACT score. 👍🙏😀💟

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas.........

It was a wonderful Christmas Day.   Started like any other day - COFFEE!!  
Santa did a good job this year, for both of us.   Stockings were stuffed with goodies, like candy, and toothbrushes, and our favorite soaps......  and our gifts from each other, friends, and family....and Santa were opened next!    And before noon we got our phone call from Dennis, - always the highlight of the day. 

And then it was time to start preparing our Christmas Dinner.  We have chatted a few times in the back yard with our new neighbors Jim and Patty, and  today we got to sit and relax and talk, and get to know each other  better, as they joined us for our holiday dinner. 

The turkey was perfect as were the mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing green beans, and sweet potatoes.  Dessert was an assortment of cookies and fudge, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream!  We enjoyed their company, and hope to make plans to get together again soon.  And before we knew it -------------the table was cleared, the dishes done, the movie was over .........and it was time to call it a day!  A very memorable one. 

Off to bed........plans are to head out fishing in the morning. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve!

 Actually it is almost 11:00 PM........

So it's almost Christmas Day.......

I hope that all of you reading this were able to spend your Christmas Eve, in the company of family, or friends or loved ones.   For us, Christmas is generally pretty quiet, with  all our family living in other states.   But we have each other, and for that we are most grateful..........and the holidays are always the best when spent with the one(s) you love.

The last couple of days have been back to baking.  Friday evening, Rich was baking his pumpkin pies!  Yes - it is only Saturday and he's already into the second one!   Today I was back to baking!  I had made a couple dozen no-bake cookies a few days ago - but they are gone!  So today, I  made a couple dozen more, along with a batch of peanut butter fudge.  And I took a bag of oatmeal raisin and peanut butter/chocolate chip out of the freezer, along with a bag of snicker-doodles.   Tomorrow, I'll do up a dish of cookies, and that along with the pumpkin pie will be our dessert for Christmas Dinner.

Got a huge package yesterday from Dennis and the family....The box was from Omaha Steaks and included Sirloin Steaks, Sirloin Chops, Chicken Breasts, Kielbasa, Italian Meatballs, Au Gratin Potatoes and Caramel Apple Tarts!  And today the T-shirts that I ordered on-line for Rich arrived!  Surprised - because I ordered them late - and delivery was scheduled for 12/26 - to 12/30.

And so.........all the gifts are under the tree...... Tomorrow I'll be up early getting the stuffing made and the turkey in the oven.  Our new neighbors, Jim and Patty will be joining us for dinner.  So I best get myself to bed......before Santa arrives!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Clowning Around~

Busy day today.  Headed into Sebring to finish up the last of my Christmas Shopping.  Did my grocery shopping on the way back home.  Wanted to make sure that the Turkey thaws by Christmas!   Plans are for Pasta and meatballs for Christmas Eve, Turkey for Christmas Day, Shrimp Scampi for New Years Eve, ..... and New Years Day is still up in the air......... We're considering our annual New Year's day get together.........and need to make up our minds soon, so we can let people know!!!  

Wrapped presents and put them under the tree!

Buddy and Diane had been wanting to meet up at Golden Corral - but we've put it off for several months, since it's such a long drive for Nathan and Krystal.  Since they had just returned from their cruise, they would not be joining us this month, so we set tonight to meet up here in Lake Placid.

  When I saw that Bob and Lavern were back in Lake Placid, I called them and asked them to join us.   And they did!!

Buddy and Diane arrived in their holiday attire!!

And, needless to say, the rest of the evening was laughter and entertainment!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Another Busy, but fun, week

Well, today is Ava's last day with us, this month.  Her dad and mom will be back in Miami tomorrow morning, and back here to pick her up some time in the afternoon.

In the mean time, Rich has continued working out in the yard most every day, and actually just finished the last of the power washing today.  He's done so much work down on the dock/boathouse, doing some final repairs on the storage bin, and then power washing everything.  We just need to let the new wood stand for a few more weeks, and then it will be painted.    We've continued to clean the flower beds, spread more river rock, and he's cut back more of the palms, and power washed all the walks and much of the house.  It's really looking quite good.

And of course Miss Ava has been out their much of the time, helping him out!  That is, when she not looking for her friends Augie and Zolfo!

And then there were days when she just relaxed or played in the yard.  She's been such a pleasure to have around..........and she makes me get out for a walk a couple of times a day.

On Monday night we had our annual Placid Lakes membership meeting and Christmas dinner at the country club.  There was well over 100 of us there.  Buffet included ham, chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter and a variety of cookies for dessert.  For the number of people they had to serve, the food was really pretty good.   Got to  talking with some people we had not met before.........and forgot about taking my pictures.....

I did make a trip into Sebring to try and finish up my Christmas shopping and I managed to finish up everything for the family and get that shipped out to NY and IA.  A couple of things I ordered on-line, after not being able to find anything in the store will not arrive until after Christmas.    Rich did the Sebring trip today to do his shopping and to pick up a couple more gallons of paint for the dock.    Today I did some Christmas baking, including chocolate no bake cookies, as well as oatmeal and peanut butter/chocolate chip.  Tried a new recipe for snicker doodles that Rich said was very good.  He will be doing his pumpkin pies later in the week, and I still want to do up a batch of chocolate and peanut butter fudge and then plan our Christmas Day and Christmas Eve dinners.  And then it will be New Years!  I'm thinking again of doing our New Year's Day get together!  Hard to believe the year is almost over.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Getting our Dog Fix!

Miss Ava arrived just after dinner on Friday evening.  She'll be with us for the week while her mom and dad are cruising the Western Caribbean.  I think it's been about a year since she's been she was a little nervous the first night.  But she seems to have settled in.

Saturday was a beautiful day; nice enough to leave the windows and doors open.  Nice for Ava too.  She could go in and out to the lanai, to her favorite chair, any time she wanted.    And she got to see her two friends next door, Zolfo and Augie.

Sunday morning, Rich painted the block in the back yard and a portion of the walk on the side of the walk with a concrete sealer.  Both of those areas tend to get pretty dirty and moldy, so that should help.   But we made our way to the dock, walking around the side yard..................and it was a hoot, watching her help Rich while he finished up some repair on the storage bin.    She was pretty tired out when she came inside........headed for her favorite spot atop the sofa pillows in front of the window.

Hope to get some more power washing done tomorrow, most importantly, finishing up everything on the dock/boathouse, so it will be ready for painting.    I have an appointment with the dermatologist in the  late morning, and then hope to finish up most of my Xmas shopping - so that I can get the family gifts in the mail.  Tomorrow evening is the Placid Lakes, members annual meeting and Christmas dinner at the Country Club, and it's just Phil and Doreen going this year, as Al and Barb are still in Indiana, and Dianne, next door is going in for knee surgery tomorrow.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Another busy busy week.......

It has been another week or so of constant WORK...... and it seems like the more we do, the more we find to do.   As for leaving the house, it's either to make a trip to Home Depot for wood, ( and we even grabbed dinner at Hibachi on one of those trips!), to the local hardware store for plastic wood, top soil, peat, nails, river rock, or a drill bit..............( and of course you never need them all at the same time!), a trip into town to pick up Chinese takeout, or Subway, or ordering Pizza from Pizza Hut - because I'm too tired to cook,  to the grocery store because we're out of coffee or goodies, or another trip to the doctor's office. (And since I finished the medication, the Rosacea seems to be getting worse, so I'll need to schedule another visit soon.  And I gave Rich the telephone number for the Chiropractor just the other day.

As for the Rosacea - I am trying to see if there are certain foods that trigger it. I know that alcohol. spicy food, hot drinks and hot (temperature) food, sun, humidity, cold, wind, as do stress and heavy exercise.  Obviously not all of them for all people - but I have not figured out mine yet.  I've cut back on coffee, and what I do drink, I let cool down before I drink.  Except for two glass of wine on Thanksgiving Day, I have had NO alcohol since a couple of shots of Cinnamon Whiskey at Nick and Tonyia's back the end of October. I try to work outside when it's not the hottest time of day, and wear my hat, and try not to get to winded helping carry wood and supplies up and down the hill out back. As for food?   With the exception of fruit or salad or a sandwich.............what do you eat for dinner that is not HOT.........either spicy or in temperature????  Not enjoying this at all!

Anyway,  I have managed to get the first coat of pain on the deck, before it rained!  Yes, we finally had one day of good rain........the first we've had since the end of October!  Now that it's all painted the same color - it looks so much better.

Rich continues to be busy, either power washing or working on the boat house.   He had to remove and replace all of the supports along the seawall before he could replace the floor boards. (I was so nervous with him standing in the water using the saw or drill!!). He still wants to do something with the top of the storage bin out there........but other than that, he just has a little more power washing to do, and then it has to set for 30 days before he can paint.  Almost  got the power washing done today - but he ran out of gas before he could finish.  He did get the concrete blocks in the back power washed again, along with some along the front/side, today, and as long as it does not rain tomorrow, he'll plan on putting the sealer down this weekend. The dock is really looking good.

And while on one of the trips to Home Depot for wood....I hustled to the other side of the store to pick up a couple of bags of River rock, and a couple poinsettias for Christmas decorating........while he was getting his wood!  So yesterday I got the tree up, and a few decorations in the kitchen, family room, dining room, bath and front porch.

Tomorrow, Friday, Miss Ava will be coming for a visit.  Nathan and Krystal are taking a 7 day cruise - so we will have her until next Saturday.  We are so looking forward a week long "dog fix"!  

We will have her back again for a week or so in January while Krystal is in the hospital for surgery.

 A recent e-mail from her:  Hi all.  After a year of seeing specialists and ruling out many scary diseases like ALS, Muscular Dystrophy and Multifocal Motor Neuropathy, I am at the place that the doctors feel confident they know what is going on.  Fortunately, they are confident that some of the medical issues I have can be resolved.  Unfortunately that means I need to have surgery on January 6th.  I have Chiari Malformation and they will be doing surgery on my head/skull/brain so they can open up space for my brain.  I will be in the hospital for a minimum of 1 week in Orlando and then recovery time of 6-8 weeks...................................................... I am hoping Miss Ava can stay with you and Rich during the surgery time.  I would also love all the positive energy, prayers and light and love that you all can send me.  I feel a peace overall about the surgery and I am excited that this should have me feeling so much better in a few months."

So - while we enjoy having Ava - we wish it were under better circumstances.  But we are happy that we can help in some small way. We will keep her in our prayers, and hope that anyone reading this will do the same.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving with good friends........and MORE work!

Again this year, we made plans to share Thanksgiving Dinner with our friends the Showalters and the Douglas'.  At our October dinner in Sebring, we started making plans, but were not quite sure what day we would celebrate!  Family always comes first .....but this year Buddy and Diane were doing Thanksgiving on Wednesday in Orlando, and Nathan and Krystal were doing their family get together on this year we would do Thanksgiving Day.  Once again we opted to do it at our place.

Everyone arrived around 3:00, and dinner was ready just before 5:00.  Buddy brought a homemade coconut cream pie, and Nathan and Krystal brought some mixed veggies for the meal, and two bottles of wine.  But Krystal decided to have a small glass of Rum Chada........and a second one with a shot of Cinnamon Whiskey!  For the rest of us it was beer or wine or water!!!

Dinner was perfect!  Turkey, Ham, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed veggies, bread and rolls, and cranberry sauce, with Buddy coconut and Rich's pumpkin pies for dessert. Before leaving, we made our plans to get together in December and January.  Nathan and Krystal are doing a cruise in December -so we'll be watching Miss Ava........and Buddy and Diane want to come to Golden Corral.   January is at Nathan and Krystal's for Pizza on the Grill and target practise. 

Since Thursday it's been work, work, work!!!   I'm not sure which one of us moans the loudest!  The back and leg muscles are in panic mode!  (Although, Rich is considering a chiropractor)  A few days ago, while Rich was cutting lumber in the garage, he had a little visitor.  This turtle had made his way up the driveway, and was ready to enter the garage!

On  Sunday, Rich took a break from working on the dock, to help me plant the nine new azalea bushes, re stack the border stone and pour the lava rock.  Real pleased with how it turned out!   Rich has made a lot of progress on the dock/boathouse, but when taking out the board on the "land side" of the dock, he found the support boards attached to the seawall were all rotted.  He could literally pull them off the wall by hand.  Amazing that it had not given way a long time ago.  So that is on temporary hold until we make another trip to Home Depot.  In the meanwhile, we had a little sinkhole next to the dock, where the sprinkler had previously broken - so he dug that up and filled it with two bags of top soil to level it out.   And today I started the painting of the back deck.  That's a lot of fun trying to paint the front side through the trees!!!

Tomorrow is grocery shopping.........and I'm way behind on Xmas shopping, and have not even started any Xmas decorating!  Time flies when you're having fun?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Memory Lapse - or getting OLD? Cooking, Baking and Lots of Yard Work

 Funny story........ 😟  Looked at my blog this morning, and thought that Google had made some kind of changes that had erased everything that I had posted since the beginning of November!  Could not understand, tried to do some research to see if I missed some kind of upgrade or something.........then I got a call from my friend Tonyia today...........and she assured me that there was no problem with Google.......... and as much as I begged to differ......I had not posted one thing since the beginning of the month! I really losing my memory, getting too old?  Has it been three weeks, and I have had nothing remotely interesting to share?

Well, actually.............there has not been a whole lot to share.

Have done a little baking and trying out some new recipes that I've found either on face book or on the Internet.    Made a really good ham and potato bake, some awesome Blackened Shrimp Pasta, which I failed to get a picture of, but here's the Boston Cream Poke Cake, and the Baked Ziti with Sausage that was one of our favorites.   Delicious - but way too much for the two of us - so I fixed a big plate and took it next door for John and Diane.

Rich and I have been doing a lot of yard work, (actually Rich a whole lot more than me!) 😅   Travelled into Sebring a week ago, dinner at Hibachi, and then a stop at Home Depot, where Rich managed to get ELEVEN 2X8X8ft treated boards into our Toyota Camry!  And I had to squeeze in the back seat for the ride home!  

So he is on his way to replacing most all the boards down on the boathouse.  And I've been cleaning up the mess in the garage where he's been doing all the sawing!  Looking so much better already - but then it will need painting!

Tomorrow we will head back to Sebring to pick up nine 2x8x8ft, and two 2x8x10ft pieces of lumber - and once again, I'll enjoy the ride home in the back seat!

Both of us have, for the last couple of weeks been trying to get the yard cleaned up.  Rich has done 99.9% of the power washing, completing the driveway, and concrete pad in the back yard, as well as the back deck, which is now reading for painting.  I've spent a lot of time pulling weeks, and cleaning up the flower beds around the house.  We've got the old wood from the dock ready to go out front for the garbage pick up Friday, and on Monday this week we had 9 new azalea plants delivered, which need to be planted!

Back in October - at our monthly get together with friends the Showalters, and the Douglas's.....we made plans to get together again this year for Thanksgiving.  Originally it was planned for Friday or Saturday, assuming family get togethers on Thursday...........but last weekend we realized none of us had plans for Thanksgiving we're doing a late afternoon dinner here at our place.  Everyone sharing in the food preparation.   And - we're hoping that Nate and Krystal bring Miss Ava - so we can get our "dog fix"!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Last Day in Cocoa Beach

Hard to believe that the week is just about over.  Really just kind of lazy today.... Rich was busy on the market.  But the weather again today was beautiful, and lots of activity on the beach.  Great people watching and bird watching today.

Once again the morning started with a beautiful of the week.

Got most everything pack away, so we can head out without a lot of last minute packing in the morning.  Refrigerator empty with t exception of some wine, Rum Chata, and 1/2 an onion, peanut butter and jelly..........but no bread.  So we drank our coffee, Rich finished his donuts and what was left of his chocolate bar, and I nibbled on a couple of week old chocolate chip cookies!!!  Just went across the street to McDonald for dinner and then a nice walk on the beach.

Beautiful night.......great waves......

Lots of activity on the beach.....

Sitting on the balcony and looking across the beach and ocean is awesome.  I could take living here with this view every single day.

Back home tomorrow.........and have to admit, I'm looking forward to that as well.  Ready to plan for Thanksgiving, Christmas and spending time with family and friends.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sunrise, Cocoa Pier, Anacapri...........and more.

So like every other morning, we begin with a beautiful sunrise.........and today was a beautiful one..........

Later in the afternoon, we decided to wander on over to Cocoa Beach Pier.  We have not been there in several years.  Actually the last time was probably 2011 or 2012, when our friends Nathan and Krystal came and stayed with us a couple of days.     On the way there Trump Supporters were out and about cheering.  Drivers were honking horns , yelling Go Trump, and giving the Thumbs UP!!  

Pier has really changed so much, and the Rikki Tikki Hut at the end of the pier obviously was damaged in the Hurricane, so we could not walk all the way out.   Parking is $10 (what a rip off).......but as we were getting ready to pay, people in a car that was leaving told us to wait and use their spot it still had several hours left....THEN another couple stopped us, and gave us a pass to walk out on the pier and not have to pay $2 per person.  Really are some considerate people out there.........

Here are some pictures from the day. 

Trump Supporters

Arriving at Cocoa Beach Pier

Tons of places to sit along the pier, both on the peir and under cover ......

Lots of people outside on the pier enjoying a drink......lots of people fishing off the dock.  Can rent poles for fishing.......and the keep track of the fish caught each day.  This picture show the roof of the bar at the end of the dock - serious damage!!!  Unfortunately we could no walk to the end..........

There are some great views from the pier.  If you look off to the south there was a really nice beach - and lots of people were out enjoying the waves......

As we looked north from the pier we saw two cruise ships that were pulling out from Port Canavaral;  Regents Cruise Lines ( which I've not hear of before) and Carnival Cruise.

From there we headed out for dinner and decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants here in Cocoa Beach.  Anacapri.   Rich ordered Linguine and meatballs, and I ordered the Shrimp Scampi.  We have eaten here every time we come to the beach and everything has been delicious.  But my Shrimp Scampi was terrible......linguine tastted like it had just been pulled from a pot of warm water, and butter or oil was poured over it.  Even the shrimp was tough.   Rich's meal was very good, but mine was very disappointing.

Went back to the room................and a couple of hours later decided to walk across the street to Denny's for dessert!   WOW!  Rich opted for the Banana Split and I ordered the apple carmel crunch with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  As you can see they were HUGE!!  OMG.............I'll never get to sleep tonight after all this!

Anyway - Fun day.  One more day left before we head for home on Saturday.    Really enjoying this ocean front unit.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Chillin......and enjoying the weather

Been up every morning in time to catch the sunrise.  Amazing how each day is so different.  Sunrise, perfect weather, people watching............and just chillin'

Tuesday morning sunrise.......Lot's of people taking pictures.

 Tuesday evening we headed over to Merritt Island for Chinese Buffet.  Nothing as good as Hibachi at home..........but it was good, and we left very very full. 

Wednesday morning sunrise was probably my favorite so far........even managed to capture some of the birds flying across the sun.......

Lot's of fishing boats out in the morning - but a little too far away to get a good picture........and this guy spent quite a while along the shore in front of us.  Looks like he's trying to catch himself some bait. 

Wednesday night Rich cooked cheeseburgers  down in the picnic pavilion.....while I fried some taters, and warmed up some beans.   Mmmmm.  good!

Rich headed to bed normal time.........I stayed up and watched game 7 of the World Series.  Great Game #7........and Chicago Cubs was the series winner!  Great game - 10 innings, neck and neck, nail biting good, but was after 1:00 am when I finally went to bed!