Friday, July 22, 2016

Florida Storms - Routine

(Auburndale, FL) Hi  95 Lo 79 --  I have to tell everyone about Florida storms. We've lived here for short periods of time twice, once in West Palm Beach where we met and then with the military near Melbourne. We learned quickly that you can never leave your car windows down. Storms here come up fast so fast that when you're on the beach you see a cloud and it's too late to run. A couple teens found that out yesterday. They were on the beach and before they could find shelter they were hit by lightning. It comes out of nowhere. We'll have rains that are so hard you can't see the lake behind us, but a couple doors down it's just sprinkling. We can go in and out of rain on the road for miles and still have the sun shining. Nothing lasts long, maybe 10 minutes. It's interesting for sure watching storms coming across the lake.












We're getting into a regular routine. Saturday thru Monday is nothing much happening. I crochet and we both watch TV shows we've taped during the week. Tuesday is shuffleboard at 10:00 by noon it's about 95 degrees. We come back for lunch and dominoes with a few people is at 1:00.  Wednesday is the morning meeting. There's a very few that go, but we've been discussing hurricane procedures and we signed up for a team to help others to get to safe place. We will have a team meeting next week. Thursday is craft get together. We're all working for the bazaar in November. It's been fun seeing all the neat things the group is doing. Friday is shuffleboard again. Jim does a 3-mile power walk most mornings before the real heat kicks in, but otherwise, except for our shuffleboard games we mostly stay inside and enjoy our new air conditioner. We're looking forward to going to more movies when they come out the rest of the summer.

I went out to lunch with a few of the gals on Thursday. We went to Hog Heaven in Winter Haven, which has excellent BBQ. It was a great time and I'm getting to know the people that live in the park.

Linda, Carol, Jan, Shirley, Donna


Donna, Peggy, Linda, Carol


We're staying busy watching ducks, all kinds of different birds our our big living room windows. And we're still trying to see the alligators again.

I have a favor to ask on behalf of our son Rick. He's a photographer and he's entered a photo contest. Here's the info from him:

Hi Friends. Not usually a fan of asking for "votes" but I'm in a photo challenge where winners get to sell their photos on their website. Minted.com is a cool place for artists. Voting only lasts 7 days. If you could go to the below site and vote 5 for all my photos (entries span 3 pages), I'd appreciate it! Of course there's a little work involved. You have to register, and you have to vote for 50 total pieces for your vote to count (a mix of ratings so the site doesn't just throw out the 5's you give only me). Help me out! And pass along the link to everyone you know!!

 Thank you for your support. See you next Friday. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Alligator - Movie - Okeechobee

(Auburndale, FL)  Hi  97  Lo 82  --  We have a large flea market here in the area, the Auburndale International flea market and we were curious if much was open.  It was a very hot day so we didn't bother with any outside vendors even though we saw a couple of tents. The inside was sparce but we did see some alligators that were in a large area. We felt so sorry for them. They had a water area but it wasn't much and they had three fans blowing on them.  We bought a few items that we were looking for and a few we didn't know we needed.

Doris (my sister) wanted to see Secret Life of Pets movie so we went one afternoon to see it. Great family movie   It was so right on with the dogs and how they act in real life. (Click on pictures to enlarge).



We keep hearing about alligators in our canal. My sister was sitting on the couch watching the canal and saw a long figure moving in the water. She's used to see and finding alligators and thought she saw a small one. When it came up on the bank that's what it was a small four foot alligator. It went under the water so couldn't get a picture of it. This is what it looked like (picture from the internet).



My sister has a place in Okeechobee so on Sunday I decided to travel down with her to help clean her place and do some odd jobs. It's a two hour trip but it went fast with us gabbing the whole way. There's been dead bugs and little lizards the last couple times she's been down, but this time there was nothing. The only minor damage that could have been more of a problem was an open window blown out by wind. It had a wasp nest right beside it so critters, wasps and rain could have done some damage.













One of things in Okechobee that is always interesting is the birds and canals. We have the same thing on our lake, theirs is on a bigger scale.

The Sandhill cranes come in her yard every morning and evening. They have a baby that is always with them.











The pink wormy looking things that we've seen in our place is snail larvae. It's really gooey and when they're on a boat or piers it leaves a mark when they hatch or evaporate.


Thanks to the internet here's a picture of snail laying the eggs. We see birds all the time eating the snails and the shells make great decorations along a walk or flower bed when cleaned out.













We tried to walk the levy and the canals one evening to see alligators. No luck, but it sure was pretty with storms all around us.

Pictures:  The lake is visible from the levy.
My sister walking in front of me,
The canal on the other side of the levy.
The clouds with storms looking south.
The canal runs into the river or the lake. We didn't see any signs of alligators.
























We had shrimp on the grill with bacon. The bacon didn't get done, so we learned the bacon has to be cooked first. What a meal, in fact we had a couple meals from it.


My birthday was in June, but sis took me out to eat at a great restaurant in town called the Tin Fish. I love fish tacos and on Tuesday you get two for the price of one. They were the best I've ever had and the salad was fresh, the coleslaw had a nice kick to it, but not overly seasoned. What a great meal. Thank you Doris.



This is waiting for you when you walk in the door.





We left Okeechobee on Wednesday to meet Jim in Sebring the half way point for both of us. We wanted to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond in Sebring. That store has everything, I found a nice kitchen rug to put in front of the sink. We went to our favorite Chinese place to eat, Hibachi Grill then came home.

Thursday is craft/crochet day and there were several of us. We're making crafts for our November 5, bazaar. We're advertising for vendors and getting people to make things. If anyone is or will be in central Florida in November and have crafts to sell let me know.



We'll see you next Friday.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Visit From My Sis

(Auburndale, FL) Hi 98 Lo 82 --  A quick update on knee and eyes. It's been five months since my knee replacement and I'm beginning to get up and down without a lot of pain from a chair. Finally!  As long as I don't twist it or turn it, I think the worst is now over. I also had an eye checkup and have decided to get the left eye changed from near sighted to far sighted so both eyes are the same. I'll need readers but at least I'll be able to see better and not have the right eye do all the work. I can go without glasses unless I'm reading. That appointment will be end of the month.

July 4th was exciting around here. We went to our first potluck at the clubhouse. There were 104 people at the dinner. That's about all the fulltime people that live in the park in the summer. (Click on pictures to enlarge).



There were seven areas around the lake with fireworks. One of them was just across from the canal and we watched to be sure no sparks fell on our place.



They were very pretty and the reflection in the canal was neat.







Wednesday my sister Doris arrived from Missouri. She comes down a couple months in the summer and all winter. She's staying with us a few days then I'm going to Okeechobee to her place for a few days.  We'll do quite a bit together while we're here.

It's too hot to spend much time outside (the water temperature in the pool is 90 degrees!) so I've been busy crocheting critters. I'm making different types of owls.



We have a small window in our guest bathroom and I wanted something different for a window treatment. I crocheted granny squares with shells in the middle. They match the color of the shower curtain.





It's fun crocheting all kinds of things. Now I'll be working on  getting things crocheted for the November 5th craft bazaar. We're getting people to reserve tables from all over the area.

We went to the International World Flea Market in Auburndale this afternoon, after three games of shuffleboard this morning. There isn't much around this time of year, almost everything was inside two buildings, which weren't air conditioned. We didn't go to the few outside vendors, it's just too hot. We found a few things we didn't think we needed and came home to cool down and settle in for the evening. Doris and Jim are big St. Louis Cardinals fans, so they watched the ball game in the evening and took turns yelling at the TV. :)  While that's going on I'm crocheting and chatting in the RV-Dreams chatroom.

See you next Friday.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Family Time

(Auburndale, FL) Hi 92 Lo 80 --  We were looking forward to our older son Frank and the family Angie, Kyle and Kendall arrival on Saturday, .  We all went to Clearwater Beach on Sunday. I learned real quick with a new knee, the sand isn't easy to walk on. It throws the leg sideways, beware if anyone has a knee replacement and wants to go to a sandy beach I don't advise it.  We had rain coming back home but no one got burnt and we had a great time in the gulf with very little waves. (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

















Monday, Jim and the family went to Universal Studios in Orlando. I stayed home because of my knee. They had a great time and had a long day in the sun  waiting on rides. The highlight was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  A few pictures with the boys having fun.







Long lines from one section to another, at least it's not in the sun.


Harry Potter wands.




 He looks so real!


Tuesday Frank and the boys went back to Universal while Angie hung out with Jim and me. They stayed till the park closed, which got them home late.

Wednesday the family went to Disney World. They went to a couple parks, but they liked Epcot the best.

Kyle and Kendall


Kendall


Thursday they went to a Dolphins and Snorkeling tour at St. Petersburg. They had a wonderful time and even saw dolphins playing behind the boat.



Kyle, Kendall, Frank, Angie


They came back early enough for dinner. I have small pans so all meals we fixed were in two dishes. I made a chicken casserole, which was eaten in no time. I guess they liked it.



We had time before bed to play several games of UNO. Great family time.



They left this morning. It was a wonderful time and we'll see them again next May for Kyle's graduation.

We wanted to take the boys to see the movie Finding Dory, but Kyle had already seen it and Kendall wanted to see it back home with his girlfriend, so we went to see it this afternoon



It's a great movie, and very entertaining for both kids and parents (and grand parents). We give it a big thumbs up.

See you next week.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Knee Update - Hurricanes - New AirConditioner

(Auburndale, FL) Hi  94  Lo 80 - I'm excited to say my knee is hurting less. I'm getting up and down from chairs a little easier, but still not pain free. I'm going to the pool which is helping quite a bit. For those that's been trying to get me there, ok ok, you're right. lol  I think in another couple months it will be a lot better and mostly pain free till there's storms around.

We've been gearing up for hurricanes in the area. We're 40 miles inland, but if we have another year like 2004, we'll be getting them in this area. We signed up for helping the community with transportation to shelters, or anything else that needs attention. The park will be told to evacuate if a  CAT 4 hurricane is coming in. We'll get more details next month about shelters and activations of evacuations. There's already been four hurricanes in the Atlantic. We still need to get our "to go bags" ready.

We got our new air-conditioner installed this week. The temperature was a little lower and so was the humidity, but it still was 95 in the house during the time of install. They came at 8:30 and were done by 3:00. (click on the pictures to enlarge).

The old unit, we don't think it's ever been serviced. That's a bee hive to the left.


Springer Bros, was the company we chose. The owner came out first to talk over what we needed.


Two young guys were under the house, put down a new platform 


then put up an umbrella to work under 












taking out the old ducts,











and putting in the new











Then the new air conditioner, which is a lot bigger than the old one, was finally installed. They measured for a shroud that will be in the back of the unit in a week or so. Until then they made a temporary shroud out of scrap metal.












While the guys were under the house they found a baby corn snake. It looks a little like a (poisonous) Coral Snake, but Jim learned a saying when growing up in South Florida, "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, good for Jack". This one has red on black bands, so the only thing it will kill when it grows up is mice and other little critters. (The guys let it go and didn't kill it.) I wonder it it's mama is still somewhere under the house.












The thermostat has a touch screen and is connected to the internet. So it has local weather info, plus we can operate it from our smart phones if we're gone. Technology has come a long way since 1987 when the house was built.



We're happy with the cooling and it's a quieter. Now we're set for the rest of the summer, and many summers to come. 

I've been crocheting curtains for the guest bathroom and also putting together a very pretty puzzle. I couldn't see the pieces very well so we bought a new lamp. That's going to be real handy for crocheting too. 



Our son Frank and Angie and the grand boys will arrive tomorrow evening. We're getting everything ready for them and looking forward to a great time next week. See you next Friday.