Monday, March 28, 2016

A great Easter Weekend

One of my very favorite things to do on most any Holiday is to cook a big dinner, and it's even more fun when we have company!  Rich is not a big fan of a house full of people, but doesn't mind a few couples.  So..........On Saturday we invited our friends Nathan and Krystal, and Buddy and Diane to join us for a late afternoon dinner.

Traditionally, Ham has always been our favorite choice for the Easter Dinner.  So when both couples asked what they could bring, I told them my menu for the day was ham and all the fixin's.............Buddy got back to say that Diane could not eat Ham- so he would bring some chicken for her.  No way - I told him we would do a Turkey instead, and said he'd bring the sweet potato casserole.  Krystal brought the dessert.  And............they also brought our favorite little canine companion, Miss Ava!

Dinner was excellent! I did both a Turkey AND a Ham, mashed potato and gravy, sweet potato casserole (Buddy), stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots, cranberry sauce and biscuits.  Cookies for dessert. And while Nathan and Rich opted for the beer, and Krystal the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Buddy and Diane and I enjoyed a glass of White Zin.   We enjoyed the food and laughter and the company of good friends made the day extra special.

Easter morning we slept in until about 8:00, which gave the Easter Bunny plenty of time to leave his treats!  Rich got a basket with  2 Godiva Chocolate bunnies, a candy bar,  chocolate covered cherries, jelly beans and peanut butter cups.  I got a homemade card ( precious and special!) and a box of chocolate/nuts.

We had dinner plans with our friends Nick and Tonyia in the afternoon.  We arrived at their place just after 1:00, and just sat and talked and caught up on what's been going on.  Rich checked out the car that Nick is restoring, and we both checked out the completed room with the Hot Tub and the finished Tiki Bar.  They have done so much with their yard........It's almost like being in the Florida Keys! Even have the beach!  Only thing missing is the water.

Tonyia had some RumChada cooled - and I enjoyed my very first glass!  Loved it!  And thank you Tonyia for the bottle to take home!  Another friend told me to mix it with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey - so one of these days soon, I'll give that a try!

Dinner Reservations were for 2:30 at the Palm Diner in Sebring.  The place was packed!  So glad we had reservations, as we were immediately seated at our table.  They did not have their full menu - but had a great selection of dinner choices!

 Rich opted for the soup, while the rest of us had a salad. Having had Turkey and Ham the day before, both Rich and I chose the Chicken Cordon Bleu, as did Tonyia, each selecting our potato and veggie of choice. But Nick stuck with the Turkey and stuffing! Biscuits and cornbread completed the meal.  Dessert was also included, and we all opted to get it "to go"!   The food was very good, and the service was excellent.

Back at Nick and Tonyia's the guys turned on the TV ( and I think they both almost fell asleep!!!).. Tonyia and I played a little Mexican Train before we called it a day!  It's been a while - but it was nice to spend the day with good friends.  Thanks you guys!  The Palm Diner was a perfect choice!. And thanks again for the Rum Chada!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cold and Flu, Doctors and Friends heading back north!

It's been better than 10 days since I've updated here.  Rich is well into week 6 with his cold/flu.  Had the flu shot - but can't remember anytime that the congestion and cough has lasted this long for him.  He feels pretty good, but the congestion comes and goes, and cough just hangs on.  Last weekend I thought I was coming down with it.  Real congested, achey all over, tired, fever.........but it only lasted 2 or 3 days.  Never did get the bad cough!

Rich had his appointment with the Gastroenteroligst.  Check on what our family doctor thought might be GERD,  and said it was nothing to be worried about unless it was happening consistently 3-4 times/week.  Told him to use Zantac as needed.   He also checked the results of his Cologuard Test and set him up for a endoscopic procedure (colonoscopy).  That was scheduled for this past Tuesday.

 As everyone knows the prep is worse than the procedure.

So Saturday was the last day he could normally! And aren't you always more hungry when you know you can't eat?

 The last thing he ate was the last four chocolate donuts in the bag, covered with the remaining whipped cream in the fridge.

Sunday was a limited diet, no milk or milk products. only whole grain bread, nothing fried etc....  So it was egg salad on whole grain bread for lunch, and chicken, rice and carrots for dinner.  Snacks were tough - He settled for a grape Popsicle.  Monday was prep day, so anyone who has gone through this procedure knows what that means.   We prepared the prep mix the night before. 4 Liters!  Mixed about 5 packets of Crystal Light Lemonade in with the mix and put it in the fridge to chill overnight. At 8:00 am Monday morning the liquid diet started. All day long it was the prep mix, coffee, Gatorade, apple juice, jello, Popsicles, and 1001 trips to the bathroom!  On Tuesday morning we headed for Florida Hospital/Heartland in Sebring.

 He did his share of complaining - but not as much as I had anticipated!  About 3 hours in the hospital, about 20 minutes for the procedure.  Doctor came by in recovery and said they found a couple of polyps and did a biopsy, but said he was pretty sure they were benign and that all looked well.   Of course the first thing he asked for was his cup of coffee!  Told to still watch what he ate the rest of the day - so he opted for chicken noodle soup for dinner and jello  We were up late watching the results of the GOP Primary. And he decided before we went to bed that he was going to Golden Corral on Wednesday - and we did!  Two plates of food and a hot fudge sundae!

Friday, I did some grocery shopping, did up a potato salad and fruit dish for
Saturday - as we expected company for the day.
 Rich made his pizza for dinner and we watched a few of our TV programs.

Dieter and Helen arrive late morning from Northport, FL.  We chatted for a while and then had some lunch.  Roast beef/turkey/ham/cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit, potato salad, and cupcakes for dessert.  It rained most of the day, but we did get outside, went down by the dock and sat out on the lanai. Wind came up and the rain was blowing in - so headed back inside.  Just had a really great visit with them for most of the day.  They will be heading back to Columbia Crossroads, PA on April 2nd, so this will be the last time we see them down here this year.  We hope to hook up with them sometime this summer when we head north for a while.  Thanks for a great day Dieter and Helen!  God Bless, Safe Travels!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spending the Day with Highschool Friends

Friends, Cliff and Carlene Freeman have not been down this way since about 2012.  It was a few years before that, when Rich and I were RV'ing and we were staying at the Thousand Trails RV Park in Wauchula, FL, that we were surprised to run into them.  We always had wooden sign in the front of our RV site that with our names and where we were from.  One day while we were inside, we heard this voice of someone walking by say " Rich Donald?  I know Rich Donald!

Rich (inside) immediately says " That sounds like Carlene Freeman!"    And that was the first time I was introduced to Cliff and Carlene Freeman.  Rich knew Cliff, and had gone to school at South Side High School in Elmira, NY with Carlene.  They had not seen each other since highschool.  For the next couple of years we'd see them at least once.  And then they had some pretty serious medical issues that kept them from their travels.  This is their first year back in Florda - and we were so surprised when we got the phone call that they wanted to visit.

They arrived early afternnon with their beautiful canine companion, Buster.
Carlene is almost as bad as me when it comes to taking pictures!  And we spent a good part of the day, when not talking, either taking pictures, or coming very very close to finishing off the bottle of Moscato!

Rich and Cliff had "dog duty".    Buster liked spending time in the yard and down by the water with Cliff.  Inside he and Rich became best buddies. Rich was glad to get his "dog fix"!   Only 14 months old, Buster is still growing - but he is definitely very well behaved for his age.  Cliff and Carlene were a little hesitant to bring him along - but we insisted.  And we're glad they did.   Only thing I had to do the next day, was remove a few nose prints from the sliders!

Rich cooked up some burgers on the grill, with dill pickles and all the fixins, red potato salad and coleslaw, we enjoyed a great meal.    After dinner Miss Carlene took over my kitchen and in whipped up a cake.  Baked it in the microwave oven for seven minutes, let it sit for 2 more, and then we let it cool for about 15 minutes or so.  Really cool, how she puts the icing for the cake in the very center of the batter before cooking.  After removing the cake from the oven, she covers the top of the cake with a platter and flips the cake onto the platter. And when she pulls off the cake pan, the icing drizzles down all side. Slice the cake while it's still warm. plate it with a some whipped cream and you have one great dessert!

We were having such a great time - I don't think anyone wanted the day to end. But it 7:00 or after by the time they left.  Hopefully they will be home in NC and we can make a stop to visit with them on our way to or from NY this summer.   If no - we hope to see here in FL again next year.    Thank you Cliff and Carlene for a wonderful day, God bless you and keep you safe and in good health.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Fun Fun Fun ---- Great Day with Friends

Beautiful day today!  We were on the road just after 9:00 am headed for Northport, Fl, about an hour and a half ride.  Arrived at the home of our very good friends Dieter and Helen, snowbirds from Columbia Crossroads, PA.  Don't get to see them very often; once or twice while they are here in FL, and we always stop to see them on the few times we are in NY or PA.  

Had a great time, just catching up, and of course a lot of laughing as we got into the "political" conversations - they being a bit more liberal than we are.  Just so nice to have fun and laugh when you disagree.  I guess that's called respect.  Helen's brother stopped by on the way back to Ft. Myers from the Strawberry Festival, with a flat  of about 12 quarts of berries for them! Enjoyed meeting them.. We had a simple, but delicious lunch with sandwich and Helen's homemade potato salad.  And they always make sure Rich has his dessert.  Today was cream horns.

We said our farewell just after 4:00 pm and headed into Port Charlotte where we were meeting up with other friends Nathan and Krystal, for dinner and show.   It was back in October, after we all visited the Broadway Palm in Ft. Myers that we booked this visit to the Visani Comedy Theater.  

Dinner was absolutely excellent!  After ordering our beverage of choice, Nathan and Krystal opted for the fried mozzarella, and Rich and I the Cesar Salad.   Entrees included, Chicken Parmigiana (Krystal), Grill Tuna (Nathan), Sausage Carbonara (Me), and Spaghetti Pie with Meat Balls (Rich). We had a great table just one back from the stage.  Greg Hahn has to be one of the very best comedians we ever heard, and this was our second time coming here to see him. Absolutely non stop side splitting funny from the time he steps on the stage

  Only an hour ride back home, where we arrived about 8:45 pm. Checked out the results of the Republican Caucus' and LA Primary and saw that our candidate was having a pretty good night.   Called it a day - An absolutely great day it was!

Tomorrow will be a day of rest ( and grocery shopping) and preparing for a visit  from Rich's High School friends, Cliff and Carlene.