Monday, December 31, 2018

Getting ready to Ring in the New Year with family and friends...

Not a whole lot going on since Christmas Day......... Just the same old house cleaning, Rich on the Stock Market, fixing dinner, watching a few TV programs, and starting to take down Christmas decorations.

It's been four weeks now since Rich had the surgery on his arm. The stitches have dissolved and you can barely even see where the incision or stitches were! How often have you had your doctor call to see how you were doing?  Rich was very surprised when he received a call today from Dr. Patel, who did his surgery.  We had left a very complimentary  write up on Google, and his face book page etc. regarding visits, the staff, the surgery etc.  He gave Rich his personal e-mail address, thanked Rich for the reviews, and said if we were in need of any reconstructive or plastic surgery - to e-mail him directly!!!!  Quite impressive!!

So anyway - Dennis and the kiddos arrived about 2:30AM Sunday morning after an 19+ hour drive from Iowa. All five of them rode in the truck... and he said that traffic was bumper to bumper/stop and go - from Chattanooga to Atlanta.  And Dennis is one who does NOT like to stop ---- just get in the truck and go!

Below is the group just before they left home - dressed in their Iowa winter clothes........ and a few pictures taken of them enjoying the warm weather at Dennis' step dad's house in Land O'Lakes. 

While they were enjoying the pool I was making salads for our New Year's Eve get together.  We will be leaving late morning on Monday for Dallas and Kim's house (Dennis' step-sister)  in Wesley Chapel, where somewhere between 15 - 17 of us will be ringing in the New Year!   And on Tuesday we'll all be heading to the Outback Bowl!  Go Hawkeyes!!

It was leftover meatloaf for dinner tonight, and a couple of movies - but not before I caught a picture of our favorite Blue Heron in the nest.......and the Whistling Ducks in the neighbor's back yard. 

Next time I write - it will be 2019!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Well we slept in until about 8:30 Christmas morning.......... and it appeared that Santa had stopped by.  The stockings were filled with goodies, and the presents waiting to be opened! And so, with coffee in hand,,,,, we headed in to see what surprises awaited!

I was extremely happy to see the bottle of Chivas Regal AND the Rum Chata!! And Rich carried his new book on Options Trading to the back lanai to read while drinking his coffee!!   Not long after having his Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream for breakfast we got our Christmas call from Dennis and family!  We are all looking forward to our trip to visit with them in Tampa/Wesley Chapel for the New Year

Our original plans for Christmas dinner were with Nathan and Krystal.  Unfortunately, Krystal had a serious spell, losing all feeling on her left side - so she will be down for a few days.  So glad we got to spend time with them for a few hours, just a few days ago.

But........we were very surprised when we saw our neighbors, Jim and Patty pull into their driveway about 2:00 o'clock this afternoon.  I had prepared a Christmas tin of homemade cookies and candy for them, and quickly pulled it from the freezer.  While exchanging gifts, we learned they had no special plans for Christmas dinner we asked them to come and join us!   I was quite impressed with how dinner turned out!  Everything was delicious - which I seldom say about what I fix myself!  We  had Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, and Biscuits.

We watched a movie and called it a day..............

A Quiet Christmas

Christmas Eve 2018

Just Rich and I this year to celebrate the Holidays.  The Stock Market was open till noon............ so Rich was doing his "thing", and I spent the morning doing the laundry - and making ONE MORE trip to the grocery store!  (We really did need more eggnog!)  We both wrapped gifts that Santa would bring, and prepared our stockings..... all the while enjoying another festive beverage:  Fireball and Eggnog!  A few of the neighbors stopped by - Phil and Dorene left us a package, and about 9:00 PM - Diane called to say she had just taken Banana Bread out of the oven..............and hand delivered a freshly made loaf............which Rich decided to try immediately!

Christmas Eve in the past has generally been Pasta, or Shrimp Scampi......... but tonight we decided to have Chicken Fajitas, with Rice and Re-fried Beans.  We watched a couple of movies before calling it a night, headed for bed and waited for Santa's arrival!  And the full moon tonight was lovely!


Monday, December 24, 2018

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Well today the last of the holiday baking was completed.  We made up four trays of cookies and candy and fudge for our neighbors, and delivered them to each.  And Rich made his traditional Christmas Pumpkin Pies today - and one is just about gone!

Did my grocery shopping yesterday making sure I had everything I needed for
Christmas Dinner..........and of course there are a half dozen items that I forgot - so it's back to Publix in the morning. Plans are for Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, and Coleslaw, and probably a shrimp cocktail for an appetizer~  I think the carton of Eggnog is just about empty - so that's on the list as well, as we've been enjoying our holiday beverage of Eggnog and Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey!

Again - over the past few days we've enjoyed the visits from our Blue Heron, the flocks of white Ibis, and a new visitor - the Raccoon, making his way quickly across the back yard, near the water's edge.......and then on to the neighbor's yard.

And today we watched TWO Blue Heron........One perched in the nest in the Pine Tree - the same tree where they nested two years ago.  The second one was watching the first from the yard, down near the boat dock.

And yesterday, we finally were able to meet up with friends for dinner.  Everyone's been busy with one thing or the other, but the six of us met for our December/Xmas dinner at the Outback Steakhouse.  It was a fun evening.........but we're still not that impressed with their food!  Rich ordered the prime rib - which was about , asked for a baked potato with just butter, but got sour cream ( which he does not like at all!),  I ordered the 6 oz filet - which was OK, and a Sweet Potato, but they gave me a baked potato!! Probably will not go back there any time soon.........But everyone else's meal was fine and we enjoyed the company!

Just a few small gifts to wrap tomorrow.  Just one or two gifts for under the tree and some stocking stuffers for Santa to take care of.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Splints and Bandages Removed!!! Our resident Great Blue Heron

Hopefully the LAST doctor visit for either of us this year!  Today we had the follow-up visit for Rich back in Orlando.   We arrived about 11:20 AM - and we were back on the road home about 15 to 20 minutes later!!  Dr Patel saw him right away, and was very pleased with the healing process, saying that it looked very good, he was good to go with no restrictions.........and that the stitches would dissolve.   It was the first time we actually saw how long the incision was - about 5 1/2 inches!

Anyone looking for a surgeon - we recommend Dr. Anut Patel.  He is a Specialist in Plastic Surgery, but is also exceptionally skilled with hand/arm/wrist surgery.  He got us in to see him quickly, identified Rich's problem as in need of emergency surgery, and had the surgery completed within 24 hours!  Rich had absolutely NO pain following the surgery, and it appears to be healing beautifully.

Meanwhile back home this week our resident Great Blue Heron visited us, relaxing on the railing of our back deck.  I think he has also started to build his nest in the pine tree the other side of our neighbor.....Have to keep an eye on that.

And so tomorrow the forecast does not look too good for the whole state of Florida........  I don't mind the storms - as long as we don't lose power!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

 This last week I finished most of my Christmas shopping.

Everything that I ordered on line arrived.  And those being sent out of state were wrapped.  And all the names on the Christmas List were checked off as Cards with Holiday Greetings were completed.

A trip to the post office on Friday for stamps and all the cards and packages were on their way to final destinations.

Last stop at the grocery store to make sure I had everything to start my holiday baking!

And so this weekend I got most of my baking completed.  I still need to do the no-bake cookies and the peanut butter cookies, and then Rich will make his Pumpkin pies a few days before Christmas.

But I made a couple dozen Chocolate Chip cookies, and a couple of dozen White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies, along with a batch of Chocolate Walnut and Peanut Butter Fudge.

I tried a new recipe on Friday and it was delicious. Crock Pot Pork Roast with carrots and baby red potatoes.  Recipe calls for Lipton onion soup, water, red wind, minced onion, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Cooked for about 5 hours and it was fork tender.

On Wednesday we'll make the trip back to Orlando to see the surgeon, and to have the splints and bandage removed from Rich's arm. He's still doing well - with absolutely no pain at all..... Dinner plans with friends on Saturday, and then we'll visit with neighbors to exchange Christmas gifts over he weekend.  Getting excited about our trip to Tampa for New Year's Ever Party and Outback Bowl!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Change of weather...

Well it's been a bit cooler......... sweat shirt or jacket weather!  And along with the cooler weather has been a bit of rain.  With the arm all bandaged up, Rich really can't wear anything with long sleeves - just won't fit over the splints and bandage!  But he only has one more week before his follow-up, and hopefully they will remove it, at least the splints!  All in all, he's doing very well and while the doctor prescribed pain pills - he has had absolutely no pain at all.  Trying to take a shower on the other hand.......has been a bit of a challenge.

Speaking of rainy days, caught this fellow in the back yard. When we first saw him, it was just after heavy rain and thunderstorm, so he was dripping wet........ but by the time he started to wander off, his feathers were blowing in the wind.

Not a whole lot going on.  Just the everyday routine of cleaning and cooking and baking..... We did finally get our insurance changed before the December 7th deadline............switching from the Medicare Advantage to the Supplemental. Costs a bit more, but we like being able to go to our doctor of choice.  Everything approved, papers signed and we're good to go on January 1.

Now that it's getting closer to the holidays, most of my Christmas shopping is done.  Everything that I ordered on-line has been received with the exception of the gift for my brother........ It's been more than 3 weeks, and tracking shows it's going all over the place.  Even made it right here in town - then left for Orlando!!  All the other gifts and wrapped and mailed.

Not much baking - but the cookies and Christmas goodies will begin in just a few days. And of course - Rich will need his Pumpkin Pies!  We've had a few new
entree's recently, like Manicotti and Sausage, Honey Mustard and Beer Chicken,  and then a few regulars - Shepherds Pie, and Pot Roast.   Back in NY we always went to a place called M & M's for the best hot dogs in town.  I got the recipe for their meat sauce and gave it a try yesterday!  It was excellent!

And of course this past weekend was the Army/Navy game...........Pictures of the family rooting for the Army WIN...........Dennis and Dalton, Crystal and Chauna!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Holiday Decorating, Surgery, New Year's Day Football!

Still not a whole lot going on.  With Rich's injury to his arm, it's been pretty hard to do much, or make plans to do much.  I've done some of my Holiday Christmas Shopping - but still nowhere near done.  We've both spent so much of our time seeing doctors or not feeling well........that it's been hard to get in the Holiday Spirit at all.  With all the aches and pains - I refused to put up that big Christmas Tree....... I went and bought a 3 ft lighted tree, put it on the end stand in the family room and decorated!  Plenty big enough for the two of us.  A little more decorating around the house and on the front porch.......Would like to pick up a couple of Poinsettias...........and that should do it!

So finally Rich was able to get an appointment scheduled with a surgeon who actually knew how to take care of his arm.  After several failed attempts here in Sebring and Lake Placid, and doctors who had no idea what needed to be done, I contacted our Insurance Company and asked for help.  They suggested Orlando Hand Surgical Associates.  And as the name suggests, they are located in Orlando! An appointment was scheduled for Tuesday 12/4........and we made the  200+ mile round trip. Dr Patel knew immediately that surgery was necessary, and needed to be done as emergency surgery...He put Rich back on 500mg antibiotics for 10 days, and said we would be getting a call to schedule the surgery sometime later in the day.    We actually got the call about 1/2 way home... and they scheduled him for the next day - Thursday 12/5 asking us to stop on our way home to have some lab work done STAT at Florida Hospital in Lake Placid.

Nothing to eat or drink after 9:00 am on Wednesday.  Headed back to Orlando and they took him right in,  and began prepping for surgery within 5 minutes of our arrival!   The surgery was much more invasive than we had expected.  They put him under, but also did a "long block", which pretty much numbs the entire arm.  Dr Patel said the surgery was successful, he pulled out a one inch or bigger piece of bark from his arm, and he told Rich that he was very lucky,  he could have easily lost his hand.  It's about 11:00 PM and Rich still has no feeling in the arm.  The block will pretty much keep it numb for up to 24 hours............the the tingling and pain will begin. ( Yes we will pick up the pills in the morning!).. The splint and bandage will stay on for two weeks, at which time he has a follow-up.

Dennis called on Saturday after learning that the Ohio Buckeyes might possibly be playing either in Orlando or Tampa on New Years Day...........   (Both of the grand kids attend the University of Iowa....It turns out they will be playing Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.........and so Dennis and the kids, and three others will be making the road trip on Thursday, His Step-Sister, Kim, and Step-Father Jack will be hosting a New Years Eve Cookout in Tampa for all of us, and we'll all attend the game on New Year's Day!  Getting excited about seeing Dennis and the kids!