Friday, June 4, 2021

And We Arrived at our Destination.....Black Lake/Log Cabins/ Hammond, NY

 And on Monday, Memorial Day, we left the Quality Inn, in Dunmore, PA for the last leg of our trip.  Since our route would take us less than 5 minutes from my brother David's house in Kirkwood, NY, we had made plans to stop by on our way to to the cabin.  I had not seen my brother in a couple of years, so this was an absolutely great visit.  Like me - we are both aging, but to me he looked great.  We didn't stay for a long time, but Rich & I had a very very nice visit with him and his dog, Jake!   Rich took a picture of me and Dave (below)....... I LOVE IT!  Dave is very much into photography, especially outdoor sceens, winter and summer, and I think his favorite is "water falls'!  All the pictures on the wall were taken by him.  Dave is coming up to the Lake  and spending a day or so with us...Looking forward to his visit. 



We had less than a 2 hour drive to get to the cabin, and we arrived about 2:00 in the afternoon.  Got checked in and started the unpacking! (UGH!).   Rich's back was really bothering him.......so it was really a good thing the it was much to windy to head out fishing.  We ordered a pizza from the store about 1/2 mile up the road and settled in for the day.  The cabin is not real big, but plenty big enough for the two of us.  The kitchen is well stocked.....There is also a second bedroom, with two single beds.  The livingroom has nothing more than what you see.  Two recliners, heat/airconditioner, small stand and a very nice wide screen TV!  What we like the best is the huge front porch with picnic table.  That's where we spend most of the time.  And we have the grill right out in front of the house.  Severa places where we can have a campfire, if we want.    

 

Tuesday, the weather was no accomodating at all, so we still did not get a chance to get out fishing. But both Wednesday and Thursday we were able to get out in the evening.  Caught a few small fish, and a good number of crappie - but not all were keepers.  I (Donna) have the lead with fish count.  I'm ahead by THREE!
Beautiful view of the lake from our cabin. 


And today I was able to get a picture of the Geese..........There are so many of them, that hand around the camp and along the shore, in front of the cabin. 

Wind is supposed to die down around six o'clock tonight...........So maybe we can get back out there.  A little chilly up here right now - but the forecast says it's going to get up in the 80's in a few days.

And Where did the Month of May Go???

Hard to believe that the month of May has come and gone....... It was definitely a busy busy month!  As you can see I didn't even take time to take pictures in the kitchen!!   But I did get TWO! Country Fried Steak ( a favorite of ours, and Peanut Butter Pie)  



May meant Mother's Day, and Dennis always remembers me, usually with flowers.  And this year I received a beautiful floral arrangement.  Rich and I enjoyed an excellent dinner at Red Lobster as well. 


Our plans were made, and hotel rooms secured for our trip north, so  the last few weeks were spent packing..... and packing..... and packing!😃  Had to make sure we had summer clothes, winter clothes and all our fishing gear!



And then we were on the road - heading north!!  It was the memorial day weekend that we would be traveling.  We would be on the road for four days.  Traffic was pretty heavy on day one... the  remainder of days we had no problems at all with traffic. First night's stay was in South Carolina.  Day two we were on the road about 7:45 AM.  Ran into some very very heavy rain and Fog in Virginia.  (I love the hills in Virginia!) .  Cracker Barrel was right nextdoor - so that's where we had dinner.  Day three,,,, again LOTSf of rain and fog especially in Pennsylvania.  Stopped in Dunmore, PA.  We ordered dinner from Joeys Pizzeria - (we always order dinner here!)  I had a chicken ceaser salad, and Rich had the Stromboli!  DELICIOUS!

Pictures below - show rainy, foggy days, the beautiful hills in Virginia, my favorite bridge in Jacksonville, The Florida/Georgia Line.... and our dinner from Joey's!




The worst part of the trimp, other than the weather, was stopping to eat - Can not believe that so many restaurants, and even McDonald's do not allow inside dining!!  That and the price of gas.....  And when we arrive in NY - it will probably be even worse!  Already missing Florida!

And then the Month of May was gone!!!!



Saturday, April 24, 2021

And April is coming to an end!

 And so..... a little bit more of the same ol', same ol',,,,,,,,,,,

East Sunday was here and gone before we knew it!   Again... this is one of those occassions that we would normally share/enjoy with friends or family.  But our friends Nathan & Krystal - still had their second Covid shot to get, so we knew they were not yet ready to venture out.  

Cooking and Baking, as most everyone know by now, is one of our favorite things to do.  So yes we did fix  an Easter dinner, along with a few more goodies.    Below: Goodies! Peanut Butter cups, and Rich's home made creampuffs ( vanilla pudding & whipcream fillings, and chocolate frosting),   Easter Dinner, was Ham, Au-gratin potatoes and green bean casserole.  And a few of our other favorites later in the month was the meatball subs, and, of course, another batch of yeast risen bread!


Of course we are making our lists and checking them twice........as we prepare for oOur annual trip north to Blake Lake, NY.  Hotels are booked for the journey...visits with family/friends are scheduled.  Lots of packing to do - but that's always saved for last.   Still need to set up mail forwarding, pay ahead things like water bills, yard mowing and service etc.... AND so we are working now to make sure bushes and trees are trimmed, repairing/replacing a few sprinkler heads, cleaning the gutters. Picture below is of just a few of the bushes that we've trimmed, the resident woodpecker and...an unplanned job!  Our neighbor, next door has a HUGE tree in their front yard, adjacent to our house.  The roots from this tree  are monstrous!  Some of those roots have worked their way under our sidewalk along the side of the house........Rich, below working to remove the concrete pad, and then use his saw to cut out the tree limbs. 



And THE RAIN!  The weather this month has reminded me so much of living up north!  "APRIL showers bring May Flowers". And while all the flowers or azalias have not yet fully bloomed....we have certainly had our share of heavy rains and winds.  Some really dark and dreary days.  And would ya look at that rain barrelling off the roof top?


 Heath issues continue.  While the upper back is 95% better, it seems that the arthritis in the mid and lower back  especially are really flaring up.   It is getting pretty painfull, and I'm finding it much harder to do a lot around the house.  Just standing to do dishes bothers me.  Have to get some blood work done before we leave town.........and I am going to ask about possibly getting some cortasone shots.  I need something for sure!

And this month we celebrated three birthdays!  April 8th - was Bob Donald's B-day!!!    April 9th was our grand-daughter, Chauna's Birthday!     And on the 14th, was my sister-in-laws birthday - Diane Burger!  We celebrated over the phone!

Here is a picture of the family celebrating Chauna's Birthday... Mom and Dad (Dennis & Crystal), her brother Dalton, and her fiance' Ryan celebrating at Applebees Grill in Iowa!



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Time sure does fly by! Can't believe it's April already!

 Nothing real exciting been going on.  Just a whole lot more of the same old same old...........

And yes - always back in the kitchen...........lots of really good meals the past couple of weeks.  A couple of cooler days, so that called for another crock pot filled with potato soup!  Always enough for another day.   We also enjoyed our baked burritos, Chicken Parmesan, Oven baked barbequed homesyle ribs (no left overs here!)  and in the pan is M&M meatsause.  We used to get this at the M&M hot dog stand when we lived in NY ---- Best sauce for hotdogs!  Always enough for a few more meals!

Back w aorking in the yard but spent pretty much one full day just cleaning and reorganizing the back storage shed! Everything's back in place..........and we still have lots of room left for more.  


And the last week of March we spent a couple of days trimming the palm trees. We just put this off for so long.......and sometimes, just because of the weather.  We have six palm trees, 3 in the back yard and 3 in the front yard. Does not take a real long time to trim.   Our garbage is picked up every week, but yard waste is only  picked up every other week. And they will only take them away as long as the branches are no longer than 6 ft, and the bundles can't be too heavy, and they need to be tied, and you are limited to a minimum number of bundles and a limited number of anything in trash bags!  THAT is what takes the time.........and with both of us having back problems, that means we take quite a few breaks!  We had so much this time, that our neighbors let us bring a couple of bundles over to their yard to be picked up! 

Glad that some of my favortie programs are back on .................It seemed like I was spending most of my time watching THE NEWS!..............Oh I still keep up pretty much with what's going on......but I am really enjoying The Voice, American Idol..........and watching my Tampa Bay Rays!!

Did my grocery shopping today.  I'm just about ready to schedule an appointment for my one hour massage.......(Christmas Gift) now that I have gotten both of my Corona Virus shots!  Calling tomorrow for a hair appointment ( it is down to my butt right now - so she's got a LOT to cut off)  But tomorrow we are heading back to Hibachi for dinner after making a few stops in Sebring.  And our friends Nathan & Krystal have had both of their Covit shots - so  within the next week we will finally get to spend some time with them...........It's been more than a year!!!  Can't wait!!



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Just cookin' and bakin', an makin' plans!

Well, it's been pretty quiet around here.  Weather?  well is been some pretty cold night, then some cool nights, then some warm days................and yes we are back to the high 80's & low 90's!  UGH!  Cleaning and cooking, working in the yard, and eating out have pretty much filled our days.  

Now, I know that this first picture only shows THREE items......and yes we did cook meals more than two times since I last posted......but it was eaiter leftovers...forgot to take a picture or eating out.  So the only thing I have to share is Fajitas with refried beans, a DELICIOUS pork loin, and my oatmeal raisin cookies. 

 

As indicated above...........Dinner Out!  We have accumulated several gift cards, most recently as Christmas gifts, and with Covid and social distancing etc.  we have not had the chance to use them. Since both of us have both our first and second Covid vaccine shots, we are starting to get back to enjoying dinner out.  We had an excellent at Olive Garden a few days ago, They have an excellent salad, and some pretty good bread sticks which we enjoyed waiting for our "entray"  Rich opted for Speghetti with Sausage, and I had the Shrimp and Scallop Alfredo (1/2 of which I took home and had for dinner 2 or 3 days later.)😋


When Dennis visited, he bought us a Silicone Baking Mat.  So Rich decided to see how it worked.  WOW!  What a difference... not just that dough does not stick, but the cleanup is so much faster.   Needless to say, the Potato Doughnuts were delicious. ( Old recipe of his Mom's)💖 




Seems like there is no end to working in the yard.    Earlier in the week there was some trimming on some of the Palm trees  ( next is cutting limbs) and yesterday, he was out front replacing a sprinkler head,   I happened to look out the window a few days ago while he was doing some concrete repair on the boathous steps.  About midway between our dock and our neighbor's dock was this large alegator sunning himself in the weeds!  Or maybe he was watching Rich very closely!


We'll be heading north to Black Lake in May, so I've been spending time making lists of everything we need to pack, everything we need to do before we go, and booking hotel rooms, since we usualy take our time driving - so I had to book 3 nights.   I have to have everything listed.....date to stop mail, date to put Diriect TV on "vacation".... when to order medicine refills...reminders to pay ahead for lawn work, and electric bills etc......Yes I am very very organized.


And speaking of being organized.........today is "prepare the dinner menu for the next 7-10 day, and start preparing the grocery list for Monday!  And today is Thursday, and that is "clean the family room" day.


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Dennis Comes to Visit..............Great Great Time!

 We always look forward to family visits, and when our son Dennis visits, it's always a great time!  And this visit was packed with good food, and fun events.

Day One:  Sunday, February 28th , Allegiant Flight 1644  scheduled for arrival at  9:30PM  in Punta Gorda, FL.  That's just about an hour from home, and we were there about 1/2 hour ahead of time. (Think we were excited to see him?.... Absolutely)  The ride back home was uneventful......and by midnight, after sitting and chatting for a while, I think we were ready to call it a day!

Day 2: No prepared plans for our first full day (Monday) The guys spent some time down by the dock, (not sure what Dennis is spraying), watching(or waiting to see an alligator) and they did.  We made some awesome Stromboli for dinner, and Rich made a couple of batched of potato candy for dessert. (And I think Dennis found a new dessert that he really liked!)  The guys did spend a little time in the garage getting the poles ready for fishing...........but Monday was a pretty windy day!


Day 3:  On Tuesday we headed for Arcadia, Fl, and the Peace River.  We had reservations at the Peace River Airboat Tours.  We had reservations for a one hour Airboat Ride along the Peace River, and a 30 minute Swamp Buggy Ride!  The airboat rise was AWESOME - not just the fast ride, but the scenery, and the speed, and the swamps, and the alligators.... and trying to keep your hat on........or your hair!  Would definitely do this again.  The Swamp Buggy was...... OK!  Driver was very friendly, and took a picture of the three of us.


Following our adventures in Arcadia - we drove to Sebring for dinner at the Hibachi Grill! This is one of our favorite places to eat.  And given the size and quantity of dishes in front of Dennis...... I think he likes it as much as we do.  Top left is Rich's dish, Top middle is Donna's dish.  Three dishes on bottom all belong to DENNIS!



Day 4: Another stay at home day.  Dad and Dennis headed out late morning for minnows to fish with.
They headed out to the dock early afternoon.  The water was calm, and if I remember correctly, I think Dennis was surface fishing.  After dinner (Macaroni and Cheese) they headed back out and fished till sundown.  Rich caught a couple of fish..............AND a very large Turtle!!!! Yes the center photo on the bottom row, was a fight brining it in.......but it was a large turtle!


Day 5.....On Thursday we had a late breakfast ( Oatmeal and toast), packed our bags and headed for Kissimmee Florida, arriving mid-afternoon at Comfort Suites Maingate East.  Very nice hotel!   Very nice rooms.  Our rooms were adjoining. 



We had VIP reservations for Dinner and Show at Capones.  We have been here several times, and always enjoy the show.  Because of Covid - they provided multiple choices for dinner, instead of the usual buffet. ( Hope they go back to the Buffet!!).  And generally with VIP, you get to spend some time upstairs, with one free drink, ordeovers, and dice or card games before the show.  We did get our free drink, and were  able to first in line for dinner. As usual when you enter the club - you have to give the password.........and they take a photo (which you can purchase) along with you pictures on a key chain etc.      Dinner was not the greatest..........but the show was excellent!



Day 6 and the day that Dennis leaves us, and spends time with his Step-Dad (Jack) and family. Jack will generally drive to our home, share a cup coffee and goodies from Publix Bakery! We chat for a while, and then they head out.  But because we were in Kissimmee we made plans to me et up with Jack at I-Hop in Lakeland, which would be a much shorter drive than to our place.  AND..... as long as we were going to stop for breakfast we invited Wayne & Kathy  (Dennis's in-laws) to join us.   We all hugged and enjoyed seeing each other.............and had a great breakfast.  



It was an absolutely great time!   Can't wait to see him and the rest of the family in August @ Chauna's Wedding!

Monday, March 8, 2021

February 2021 was a very busy month!

 February has been a month of Covid-19 Shots, Celebrations, and replacing what is broken!

Seems like forever, that we were waiting to get notified of our appointment for our shots.  We got on line the very first day the site was open  (which was in January!), but finally were able to make it happen .  We both got our first shot on February 4th!  A little soreness the next morning but nothing serious.  

February 4th was also the first time since we moved here to Florida that we have seen this much frost on the ground.  I know it's nothing like we we had up north - but I thought it was beautiful!


February was also a month of celebrations. It all started on February 13th, which was our grandson's (Dalton) birthday. Unfortunately - since they live so far away - celebrations are by mail, on Facebook, and telephone calls!  Here he is celebrating with Mom and Dad (Dennis & Crystal) and his Girlfriend. Briana

And, of course, everyone celebrated Valentines Day on the 14th!  Candy, homemade cards and a BIG chocolate chip Cookie with Red icing trim! 

On the 17th we celebrated Rich's Birthday!  Thanks to friends and family who sent cards, or telephoned with birthday wishes, or posted on Facebook....He did get some new binoculars!   And he had is favorite....Whip Cream Cake with fruit filling!


                  🎉

                                      💖

Our Grand-daughter, Chauna and her  "husband to be"  Ryan.....have set a date for their marriage.  So we are looking forward to our trip to Iowa.... and then a couple hour trip to Illinois, where the event will take place...........More to come!!!


                                 Beautiful Couple.............


We still have more events this month!!!  Next  was our Anniversary Celebration.  

It was 51 years ago that Rich Donald asked if he could give me a ride home, and the day I met my best friend, the man I would spend the  rest of my life with and love forever.  One the 23rd of February, we celebrated our 47th Wedding Anniversary!  We still stand together hand in hand, work together, and trust in our journey.  We have been blessed with a beautiful, loving family and so many forever memories.  Here are just a few of those memories. 


Moving right along...................Two days after our Wedding Anniversary, is Dennis' Birthday.   So our celebration was over the phone that day!  But below is the family at his Birthday Dinner.  On the left: Brianna, Dalton, Chauna......and on the right Dennis,Crystal and Ryan! What an awesome and beautiful crew!!


So that's it for February celebrations...........but somehow we managed to find time to take care of replacing a few items that just seems to stop working almost at the same time.   We had to replace our outdoor grill ( seems like a thousand pieces to put together!) The ceiling fan/light in the Master Bedroom stopped working, and we had to replace the 55" TV in the family room, while still finishing up on the back yard.  Rich finished the sea wall, had dirt delivered to level the yard down near the dock, and replaced the lights on the dock.


Let's see how March goes!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

A NOT SO HAPPY NEW YEAR....

 Hard to believe that it has been a whole month since of updated this Blog.  I have not spent a whole lot of time on any one thing..........but I have cut back significantly on watching my daily news programs.  I absolutely HATE what is happening to this country, but with the Grace of God  I am sure that we will find a way to heal.  And I will leave it at that.😟

For most of the month I have been getting physical therapy 3 days a week..........and recently changed to two days a week.  I have not seen a significant improvement, unfortunately.  Both Amanda, and Darius ( my primary therapists have been excellent. They are always so positive, they have helped me to know actions or movements that I should try to avoid, and exercises that I can do daily at home to reduce any pain.  We have succeeded in minimizing the pain, and we have seen a significant improvement in my strength and flexibility.  So that is pretty good news.  Since they are not able to stop the pain, they will be sending me back to my doctor to find an alternative. 

So.... what's been going on this month??  Well we have had some cooler weather........and we are expecting more cooler weather this week, so that is fabulous news for me.  Rich on the other hand prefers the hot and sunny days! We've been able to turn of the air conditioner and open the doors and windows,  Even the birds are enjoying themselves in the backyard, on the deck, on the grill, on the flowerbeds.......?


Only a couple of  take outs for dinner this month..........Subway and Chinese.  A lot of meals this month have depended on the weather, so we tried to make those "winter dishe w (one of my favorite nights),  Ham w/Au gratin potatoes and corn, Chicken Chile, Fajitas with Refried Beans and Rice, A delicious crockpot Pork Loin  w/mashed potatoes and veggie, and Ham and Potato Soup - another of our favorites!


The majority of our time this month was working in the yard, primarily doing repairs on the seawall, and repairing the concrete steps to the boathouse etc.... First on the agenda was the trip to Lowes for lumber, concrete etc.  (This is when we miss the truck!)  Managed to get 11 or 12  eight footers in the car by putting the front seat down, and having me sit in the back seat!  Plus we had a larger bundle of larger cuts delivered (Upper left photo). Obviously, Rich has been doing most of the work, but I have helped to carry the lumber out back, Hook up the electric cords, gofer this and go for that.........., shovel dirt, do the painting etc. etc.  Rich did most all of the work removing the old/rotted lumber (But I did help carry it all out front to be taken away, and bagged most of the loose stuff!  Picture in top center was day one of putting the new lumber on  ( to the end of the dock), and day two and three we finished it to the east - all the way to the end of the property line (bottom left photo).  Today we worked on the other end (westbound) and got a little better than half way - but we need to go beyond that blue tarp (bottom center).  Before we can finish, we need to remove some pretty ugly bushes!  And still have work to be done on the steps, concrete and painting. 


In the meantime there was a lot of regular yardwork to be done.  We do have someone come and mow the lawn (every other week in the winter), and when we are away, or if we get way behind they are very good at trimming hedges and shrubs etc.  It's looking An a whole lot better too, both the front and back yard. And we finally got the pineapple we've had rooting in the house planted.  We now have nine pineapple plants along the side and back. 


Well - I guess I'm up to date again.  It's 9;30 and I'm getting pretty tired.  Busy day toady!  

It's 64 degrees right now, and that is the high for tomorrow.  The next day we get down in the 50's !!