Saturday, March 25, 2023

Hand Chimes - Back Door View - Ft. Walton Bch

 Shalimar, FL  (Hi 75 Lo 67)  Severe Tornadoes in Mississippi  3/24

We had a cold blast down to 28 but warmed up in a couple days. I'm keeping my coat that's for sure. 
Sunday: I have played Hand bells years ago and I heard about the Hand chimes so wanted to try it so at 1:00 I joined 8 other gals. I forgot to take a picture of us all I was trying to keep the music in order and how to ring the chimes. I played with an app on the phone for notes (on piano) and remembered the notes pretty well, then worked on the timing. I didn't do as bad as I thought I would.

This is a single hand chime

This is a whole set
I was supposed to play Yahtzee with a few gals after practice, but the practice went longer than I thought it would. I sat in for a few minutes till they were done, then I went to the next door neighbor to plan out this weeks activities. There's a few things you have to sign up for at the beginning of the month but now we have to remember what we signed up for the week and checking calendars. 

Monday: I worked on some updates with addresses for companies and cancelled a couple things I'll no longer use here in Florida. I went to meditation group which was great then on to balance class. I can tell a difference in just three times going that I'm doing better with the balance.  After that was over a bunch of the gals sat outside just visiting. In the evenings I'm doing what I've done since 2007, on chat. Some things will never change. 

Tuesday:  I got a few little things done around the apartment. I'm still trying to figure out what I want on the walls and thinking I'll wait for the love seat to get here and the dresser and bed stand before doing anything else. The rest of the afternoon I worked on the chime music getting in mind when I play the notes. It was a laid back afternoon which I need to do every once in awhile. 

There's a walkway and neighbors can do anything they want outside their door. This is down the walkway from my apartment. 
The full length of my area in Village one. There's four of these and they all look alike except what people have put outside their doors. 

This is outside my door and the neighbors area. 
Wednesday: Today was basically low key.  I went to crafts at noon and started making a wreath with large pine cones for the outside door. Later  I went to a  thrift store shopping with neighbor and picked up another puzzle, a backing for the wreath and a door hanger to put it on. That was a good shopping spree for a total of $5. 
I went to watch the gals play 31 a card game they play daily. I'll  probably join them since they start at 5:30 and done by 7. I can still play and get on chat at 7:30. 

Thursday: I had a call with the financial advisor today, something else Jim did every year. I'm totally lost but I was able to pick up a bit this time since it was explained on my level. The biggest thing, hang on we're going for a ride. Keep things as they are and don't panic. We were told that in 2008 and it all pulled thru so I'll do it again. I've been advised not to go and spend a lot, but be comfortable. I wasn't expecting to spend a lot anyway so all is good. There was NOTHING going on today. It was 75 today so I sat out a lot and watched the birds and hear them sing. I did some house cleaning and actually crocheting. I'll have down time, which is good. 

Friday:  Today was very productive. I got in the car second time in three weeks and went to the DMV to get my license address changed. I had to take a couple papers with the new address, so the electric and WIFI bills came in handy. I was only there 20 minutes. They have a great setup to get you out without hours of waiting and I didn't have an appointment. I came home and sat outside listening to the birds. Later in the afternoon my neighbor wanted to show me the Ft. Walton beach. I couldn't find it again without GPS, but it's a nice area and she showed me some of the locations of restaurants I like. Later, I got home for some dinner and then the Friday chat and watched storm chasers the rest of the night with major tornadoes hitting Mississippi. I hate storms at night and feel so bad for those people. Storms are getting stronger and more south then they used to travel. 
The beach today with a red flag meaning the rip tide was bad. The seagrass hasn't reached  this area yet still south. (Click on photo to enlarge).  

Saturday: I got up in time to go over to WII bowling this morning. There were major tornadoes in Mississippi last night and I was watching the storm chasers deal with them. One chaser was hurt and taken to the hospital, he's fine I heard later. It devastated Rolling Fork, MS and so were a couple other towns. The storms are getting bigger and worse every year. I caught up on Youtube videos and at 4:00 I went for happy hour. I love being a group of people. There were a lot of us and we had a great time eating and laughing. That's a Saturday evening event every week. 

Extra:  My apartment in Illinois is rented out. It's also $55 higher in rent. I'm so glad I moved. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Band - Table Pool - St. Patricks Day

 Shalimar, FL (Hi 56  Lo 47)  Last cold blast?

I want to thank those that sent an app for bird calls. The merlin!  Wow that's a good app. I have a cardinal and house finch that's here every day. It's wonderful to know. 

I hope you liked the first couple blogs telling about my new life. I'll continue the blogs it's great to look back on what I do especially new things. I don't like routine, the more it changes the better I like it. I guess that means I'm not old enough yet to  stay in a routine. 

Sunday: It started out rainy and the threat of tornadoes north of us. I got a couple phone calls that helped pass the morning.  I worked on a few things then my neighbor and I went to the Emerald Coast Community Band concert here on site. They are all volunteers and lots of different types of music. It was very enjoyable. (Click on the photos to enlarge). 

The rest of the evening I caught up on shows recorded and started some new ones. 

Monday: There was no hurry to do anything today, but at 12:00 I wanted to see what drumming on balls would be like. No one showed up so I looked up the gal that knows something about chimes. I thought it was Handbells that I used to do in Adelaide Shores but it's chimes, which are quite different. I signed up for it and will be there Sunday for practice or to watch. I was going to play pool with my neighbor but that room was busy with people doing taxes. Yep, next year I'll have them do my taxes. At 5:00 I learned how to get the WII bowling setup and will practice that sometime before the next leagues start. My neighbor came over and we played table pool. We're pretty much matched on skill level but loved playing a couple games before we went back home and I had zoom meeting. Anne was doing quite well. 
All day we had the F35A's flying around. There were usually two at the same time. It's really loud but that's what you call Freedom. I love it.  (Click on photo to enlarge). 
Tuesday: I had a haircut in the morning. The lady has been cutting hair for 44 years. She's quit working a few times but keeps coming back. I love the way she cuts hair, she's old school and uses a razor. My hair does well with razor rather then scissors. It's a really a good cut, another plus for living here. 

When I got back, the UPS dropped off my COX WIFI box. I was worried about getting online with it, but it had great instructions and I'm up and running with my own box rather then the village WIFI which keeps dropping my zoom meetings. 

I went to the meditation group early afternoon. There were 9 of us. Very good and well worth it. That's going to be weekly on Tuesdays. I had to leave a bit earlier to go to balance class, I did better but still can't balance without the chair. I'll have to do more at home. When we left there the neighbor said we could drop off my "stuff" at the thrift store, but when we got there we were too late, they closed. I still dropped off the stuff I can't use here and then decided to "look" to see what Ashley Furniture store would have in  a dresser, nightstand and love seat. Well, looking paid off I bought all three. When it gets here I'll have pictures. It was 44 deg this morning and it didn't warm up much but there was still some in the pool doing exercises.  brrrr
Wednesday:  At noon we have a craft gathering in our village and we bring what we're working on. I brought my crochet and worked on a cat toy mouse. We basically just talk about food and the upcoming events.  At 2:30 there was a counsel meeting. I was surprised very few people come out of 500 that lives in the four villages. There's lots of info and questions answered thru the villages.
 When I left there, I sat outside in the sun with a few gals and visited and met a few more of the ladies. 
Thursday: I got up later this morning, nothing to hurry for today. I did go to the lounge to help make St. Patties Day cookies. One of the gals made the dough and we baked them at the lounge and put frosting on them. 
I'm not good at selfies, that's why I seldom do them. But the cookies taste good even if the picture isn't good. 
It warmed up a bit today so I walked just our village to get used to which direction I'm going. I can get to the mailbox and lounge and over to the commons, but that's about it. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching storm chasers in Texas. 

 Friday: I got up early and a good thing I did. The boys from the base were here by 8:00 to put up Jim's shadow box (medals) and work on the patio. There were quite a few all over the village working on landscapes and odd jobs for us ladies. They come once a month. The two I had for the shadow box were here a week ago from a base in Japan. They were very polite and did a wonderful job. They also did a great job on the patio, taking out all the weeds and leveling it out. 

When the shadow box was up they had the gang come in to be sure it was straight. 
                                            Then they took the weeds out the front door area. 
It looks so much better and I don't plan on planting anything. I'm thinking of a couple statues. 
The area of Jim's memorial. The shadow box, description of time in the service and all the bases plus the flag from the funeral. It's going to stay awhile. 
Happy hour was from 3 to 5 to celebrate St. Patrick's day. We went over early to get a seat, there's only 150 people allowed in the "ballroom, dining area". It's something you have to sign up for but we were first. This is the group I've been with, but meeting more people daily. 

                                                This is Anne, my next door neighbor
                                                Vodka and orange juice with food coloring,  very good. 
                                                This is a picture of half the room. 
I got home in time for the North Carolina with  zoom friends. That's every Friday. We got a storm and it rained hard. I looked out on the patio and water was coming up really close to the patio door. I'll have to find out is that normal, if it rains more then that I maybe getting water in the living room. This view is after it went down a bit. 

Saturday: I woke up a lot later then the past week. I figured there was nothing going on till later in the day so slept in till 9. When I checked messages on the phone I had a text from one of the gals to come over before 10 to see how the WII bowling was setup. I got there to watch them play after 10:30. I may be helping out in April. They don't play in the summer. I'll be in the league I think in October. 

At 3:30 I went to wine time and a gal made corn beef and cabbage with potatoes, onion, and carrots, another made home made bread, someone brought ice cream and we had the cookies we made on Thursday. There was a group of 22+ and at the end of the evening they tested me for names. I named them all and I've only been here 2 weeks. 
It's been a fun week and more to come. I'm so relaxed. There's BP checks every other Friday and mine dropped from 140/101 most of the time to 135/83 this Friday. No wonder people live to be over 100. Stay tuned for more blogs to come. Thank you so much for the interest. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Morning Quietness - Learning my Way Around - One WEEK

 Shalimar, FL  (Hi 70   Lo 53)

Monday: My first morning alone was impressive. I woke up earlier then normal because the WIFI guy was to be here and someone said it would be around 8, it didn't happen. I sat on the patio with coffee and heard tons of birds with different songs. I have no idea what they are and so far haven't seen any. I'm up against the woods so they're hard to see. I tried finding an APP that might help with sounds but didn't see anything, any reader that knows an app that will tell me "sounds" of birds please put in comment. I sat outside in t-shirt and shorts, not two layers of clothes. I happened to catch a bird, I think it's a Carolina Wren. 

I spent the day unpacking boxes. I hate clutter and walking around something that is in my way. Now I have room to "dance the happy dance". I'm taking my time to get pictures up on the wall, still some tweaking to do, but I have plenty of time. 

Tuesday: I worked three hours getting all the accounts updated with new address. I then went to "balance class". I saw that on the list of activities a long time ago and wanted to go, so it's weekly activity and that's on my calendar. I didn't do really well,  You hold the back of a chair and do all kinds of leg work including standing on one leg for balance. 

It's going to take some time as expected. I finally took time to watch some TV shows that's been recorded for awhile. 

Wednesday: I had to get groceries and along with that I needed a shower rod and a dehumidifier so I chose Walmart. I got the GPS setup and headed out about 9:30. I got there fine and even got home without turning around more than once. I went to an activity to make Easter baskets today for Crises for kids organization with several gals.

We were putting in Hershey kisses in the plastic eggs. Then other candies in baskets. 

That's one way of meeting people. Almost everyone I meet has been a full time RV'ers. It's so much fun talking about days on the road. I also met a couple next door which were also full timers. That's amazing. 

Thursday: It was gloomy and rainy day, but till in 70's. I wanted to get to the bank to start a new account so it's easier to get cash without all the fees. It used to be free to do banking from credit union, but no more, now both banks charge the one your getting money from and the money taken out from the second bank. I then went to the post office which was really close to the bank.

After I had some lunch, I had a meeting with the Administrator to sign a bunch of papers and learn more about the place. I had questions about hurricanes, but he said that's never been a problem. We're 30 feet above sea level and so far nothing has come up that far. I learned a lot about the area including the black bears which means you can't have any bird feeders so there goes my hummingbird feeder idea. It's going to be so fun here. 

Right after the meeting I went to the activities meeting. They discuss monthly what people would like to do and where to eat. Events like the hockey games and different outside organizations. I have more on the calendar now. 

My neighbor showed me a quiet little area by the "bay" just east of the apartment. It's so cool, one of the fingers off the gulf come in the area. nice place to sit and visit by water. I forgot to take pictures of the pavilions. 

When I left there I met up with a gal that's friends with another RV'er in Texas, (Small world) and she's been on the council and gave me some tips on the political side of the community. I couldn't stay real long because I had been invited for dinner with John and Carol Herr which are RV'ers and we've met a couple times while on the road. They took a tour of the village and put a deposit to hold a place. Now they'll sell their home and I'll see them when there's an opening. 

We had a great dinner and did a lot of visiting. They are in another building in guest quarters and will be here another night.  

Friday: I got up a little later, finally getting six hours of sleep per night. I feel so much better and not as run down also relaxing more. I was going to go to the "coffee"  activity which is new I hear, but I also wanted to order my own WIFI setup. I'm not getting good stable WIFI in the community. I'll be working with that when it gets here next week.  I was looking forward to going to Hand Bells concert, but missed the time. It's once a month and at various places in the village. I'm hoping they have an opening so I can do that again. I played briefly in Avon Park for a winter. I'm hoping to do it again.  I did go next door and meet up with more Rv'ers, Jerry and Mary Gunther. I thought I had met them in Mayport but we didn't. We had a great time visiting and talked about the campgrounds we've stayed. I forgot to take a picture. 

Saturday: I took the car to a fund raiser for the village just across the street from me this morning. I was glad to get it washed. They had three stations, soap it down, power spray, then dry. I thought it would take awhile but it didn't and I was back at the apartment in no time. I sat outside listening to the birds and watching cars getting washed. 

With the salt air, I'm going to have to wash a lot more often. 

At 2:00 I heard there was a happy hour in our village lounge so I went over and they were doing a birthday party for a little dog, gifts and treats (for dog) and little snacks for the gals. The gals came and went till it got too cool to sit outside. We carried on  with over 25 of us inside lounge area.  What a great time laughing and talking about everything. Names and finding things will take awhile to learn. 

This is my tiny area for whatever I want to do with it outside the patio. I'm going to have the "honey-dos" work on getting the weeds out and clean it up a bit on the 17th. Honeydo's are the men in the village that volunteer to help us ladies do things. I have asked for Jim's shadow box to be put up on the wall and the little patio done. 

EXTRA:  I don't have to do anything RIGHT NOW. I have time, I keep thinking this is a vacation and I need to do all the activities in one week. The ladies are amazing, so funny and so much fun. We all have so much in common. 

The WIFI that isn't strong enough to go to the living room thru the brick walls. It's located out my front door about a foot away. 

                                            My door plaque. I now have my name tag. 
In the commons area where all the activities are located is a whole wall dedicated to Bob Hope and his accomplishments and details about his life. 

The plant from the funeral made it and seems to be doing ok. It drooped a couple days then perked up. I also put up the travel pictures in the hallway. 
It's one week. I have filled the calendar for next weeks activities. Follow along. I'm making a new life with new people in a new area. So far so good. 

Hand Chimes - Back Door View - Ft. Walton Bch

 Shalimar, FL  (Hi 75 Lo 67)  Severe Tornadoes in Mississippi  3/24 We had a cold blast down to 28 but warmed up in a couple days. I'm k...