Sunday, August 27, 2017

Screens for the lanai

First..............a visitor on the back slider!  This has to be one of the largest grasshoppers I've ever seen!

He spent a good amount of time on the window.... have not seen him since!

We have been putting off getting blinds for the back lanai, ever since we had someone come and measure and then try to install...............and we sent them back!  Whoever built the attached screened lanai did one really bad job.  There are NO square corners - and nothing is a "normal" size.  So about a week and a half ago, I got on  After Rich talked with them for a couple of minutes to make sure he understood how they would be cut............he did his measurements and we ordered to blinds..

Before they arrived he bought and installed  a couple one inch pieces of the white frame on each side, and lowered the horizontal one at the top.    He installed the blinds on Friday........... I am very very pleased with the way they look.  Given the frame that he had to work with - I think he did an awesome job!

What I like is that they do a great job keeping the sun out.....and you can still see out them.

The last couple of days I've been doing some research on lakefront cabins in both Wisconsin and Minnesota............. We are considering an extended stay there next summer, as it is closer to Dennis and the kids.     We still have a two or three options at Black Lake too.............But it WOULD be a nice change..........

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Grand-Kids are both off to college..........

Last Tuesday was the first trip for Dennis and Crystal to the University of Iowa.  This trip was to get Dalton settled in his new dorm.....for his Sophomore year.  Dalton's girlfriend Sara ( we call her extended family).... was also back for her Sophomore year!   Here's the group photo before Mom and Dad head back home.

(Picture:  Dennis, Dalton, Crystal, Chauna, and Sara in the front)

On Thursday they were back in Iowa City to get Miss Chauna settled into her dorm, as she starts her Freshman year.  Lots of stuff to move in........and a little grocery shopping too.  There's Sara again!

Back home at the "empty nest"  Dennis and Crystal toast to Success!

Dennis: "  Very rarely do this but gonna toot the horn.  Did a success toast.  The kiddos Dalton and Chauna have fledged the nest (but will drop in)! Think we did pretty "daum" good!  W couldn't be more proud that they have went out and on to adulthood!  I'm not gonna list their success bcuz it would take a lot of time bcuz they are that good!  Our guidance, their accomplishments!  We Miss & Love YOU dearly but also know that you will continue to Succeed!"💕

Great Parents!  Great Kids!  (Well, young adults!)

 It's been less that a week.................and Dennis is showing how much he misses the "kiddos"!    This is what he posted on the kids face book page today!😄😄

As for Rich and I...........not much going on. Ordered some new smoke detectors for the house, ordered new shades for the lanai ( they should arrive tomorrow!).  Yard work is about done......but the walks still need to be power washed!

Originally planned dinner with Nathan and Krystal for tonight - but Krystal is not doing real well........and has had a couple pretty bad days.  We'll try again next week.  Rich wanted to pick up a few things at Lowes to have what he needs to hang the outdoor shades, so as long as we were making the trip into Sebring, we stopped at Hibachi Grill.  First time back to our favorite place to eat since we got back from NY!  And we'll probably be here again next week!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fun night out.........

Rich and I have been cooped up in the house ( too hot outside) or working our butts off outside ( too hot to work) since we got home from NY.   Time to get away!!!

So we headed to Sebring for  Movie and Dinner.  First stop was a late afternoon movie at the AMC Theater at Lakeshore Mall.   Decided to see Kidnap, with Halle Barry!  Very enjoyable picture........lots of action and suspense!  We enjoyed it.

With all the travel over the past couple of months, we earned a few extra perks/points when we stayed a Choice Hotels.   For every two stays before July 31st, you earned a free gift card.  Because we enjoy eating out, we opted for the gift cards for restaurants near home.  We got $200  (4  $50 cards) for Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Outback Steakhouse.

So after the movie we headed for Olive Garden.  Rich had the Pasta fagioli, and Shrimp Scampi, and I had the Salad and Shrimp Carbonara.  Add the bread sticks and a glass of wine..................and dinner was excellent.

As we were finishing up our meal, our neighbors Phil and Dorene, who live across the canal from us, stopped by the table.  Chatted for a while and then stood outside for quite a bit longer just catching up on what we've all been up to.  Dorene and I promised to get together for bingo this week or next.  Sounds like a good plan............haven't been in quite a while.

A couple of stops before heading home, Home Depot and Lowes looking for some blinds, and a replacement Smoke Alarm for the hallway.  No sweets at home, so a quick stop at Publix  to take some cookies home.

Fun night out...........and nice to see friends.

Oh yeah!    I new drink I've got to try!  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Just getting work done............and trying to stay cool!

OK - so another week has gone by since we got home from up north.  And I still don't understand WHY we come back so early.  Trying to get anything done outside is almost impossible, when both the temperature AND the humidity are in the 90's!

But it was nice yesterday getting a nice rain shower.........actually a pretty awesome thunderstorm.  It was raining so hard and the wind was blowing so fast that the water coming of the roof  looked both like really thick fog in some places, and like a waterfall in others!    Look at the rain running off the neighbors roof!

  And .......... late afternoon on Thursday, our neighbor Jim knocked on the back slider and motioned for us to come out.  Patti almost caught an alligator, when it tried to take her bait while she was fishing off the dock!!  It was only a small one, about 3 1/2ft to 4 ft. long.   Pretty sure that someone has been feeding this fella.... he was  a bit too friendly.

Today I'm just back is pretty sore after the vacuuming and moving of furniture yesterday!    Rich is making pizza for dinner!  Tomorrow - maybe dinner and a movie!

And........... Sending off Happy Anniversary Wishes to our friends Nathan and Krystal.  Hope you're having an awesome day!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back Home............

We left Black Lake on Saturday July 29th 😢 at 7:39AM.

Decided, especially with Rich's back bothering him, that we would take our time going home.  So our first leg of the trip took us to Falling Waters, West Virginia  Had to make a few stops!  First to fill up the gas tank, then drop off the change of address at the post office, and at about 10:30 we stopped for breakfast at Denny's!  ( Love getting the 15% AARP discount)!

PA State line by noon, Gas in PA ( $2. 53/gallon at Pilot!), about a 15 minute delay with road work,  and McDonald's for a milkshake for the road.  Maryland State Line about 3:20 and arrived at the Quality Inn-Spring Mills about 3:30, ordered a Pizza delivery and called it a night!  Great Hotel!

Sunday morning we were back on the road about 8:27, to the Virginia state line before 8:45.  Stopped at Denny's again for breakfast about 11:30 and gas again about 1:00pm.  We were only about 20 miles from the hotel when  we encountered our second traffic jam...... but fortunately it didn't last REAL long.   Finally checked in to the Rodeway Inn, in Charlotte, NC.   Do NOT recommend this hotel at all!  The building is fine, the rooms are very nice, but no coffee, no hairdryer in the room and a  very very uncomfortable part of town.  It was Subway for dinner.

Love the hills of Virginia!..And that's Lake Norman in N. Carolina.

Back on the road about 8:45 on Monday morning Hit a little bit of traffic around Charlotte, but no too bad. Gas at the Pilot station in Orangeburg ( $1..97/gallon). About 1.7 miles from our exit on to I-95 south, we hit yet another traffic jam.  An accident just past our exit.  It took us 43 minutes to go 1.7 miles!!!   A quick lunch and McDonalds, and arrived at the Econo Lodge in Brunswick, GA.  We had stopped here a couple of years ago on our way home.  Excellent hotel, and great hot breakfast.  ( But no coffee in the room!)  And Denny's was just across the street, so it was pasta for Rich and the Bourbon Chicken Skillet for me!

Tuesday, our last leg........On the road about 8:30, and hit the Florida State Line about 20 minutes later.  Back in the home state, so the sky was getting dark ( as you can see in the above picture, taken near Jacksonville. Last stop for gas, breakfast at Bob Evans, near Orlando, and home around 2:00 in the afternoon! The rest of the day - unpacking, unpacking, unpacking...........Chinese Takeout (no food in the house) and to bed early!

Wednesday and Thursday was grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning the back lanai and putting the furniture back out. Cleaning the front porch ( O my God!!!!  it was soooooooooooo dirty!). Friday, Saturday and  again tomorrow  ----- working in the yard!    (Haircut for Rich~~~)  Grass was mowed on Wednesday, and the Pest Control Guy came and sprayed on Thursday..........  The weeds were a foot high, I swear!  The palm trees had tons of new growth that needed to be cut, and the topiary in the front yard looked like a wild ugly bush!    And so after a hard day's work, we treated our selves to some delicious Strawberry Shortcake!

Nice to be home.  Well, kind of, anyway.  Love the comforts of home, but can't say much for this rainy, HOT weather!  We're already starting to plan for next year's trip..........and  while we've got three options for an extended stay at Black Lake - we are looking at other alternatives ( N. Carolina, Virginia, Main - or out Denny's way again).. But for right now, I need to contact our friends.....for a dinner date, and check out what's going on around town,  at the Show Palace, or down in Ft. Myers...................