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 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 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!