Sunday, December 30, 2007
Lizzie modeling the latest in hand knit hat and mittens, fashioned by her very talented mom, Jenna.
During our 4 days there, 10 inches of snow on Christmas day, and another 6 inches on Thurs, did not deter anyone from going anywhere, especially when driving this. However, it was a bit of a challenge for Paul to actually get in this . Mike promises to put steps on it for the old folks.
One of our excursions took us to Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver's most famous place to enjoy a hot drink and good book.
We laughed and played Rummykube for hours.
Roxie has mellowed a bit from the busy noisy puppy to the princess who enjoys her new bed.
After filling up on all the Christmas goodies, we still had room for a fine Mexican dinner, despite all the snow .
We reluctantly flew home to 80 degrees. It was a wonderful few days and we will remember those special moments.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Life is quiet these days now that all the papers are signed and decisions made. I believe this is the first year I have felt none of the Christmas stress . No decorating, no baking, no shopping., well, of course I did shopping but not the frantic kind. I think everyone should take a year off every now and then. But we are SO looking forward to our trip west to celebrate with the Colorado Clan. Peace and quiet will be over and laughter and good food will prevail. We will really miss watching Andy and Mason discover Christmas morning. but I'm sure Lizzie can equal their enthusiasm. Andy said he hopes Santa brings him 'a present' but no special requests.
We enjoyed dinner last night with Ernie and Barbara after we toured the new house. They approved. In the morning, we attended a Good Golf session. A presentation on all the rules and regs of golf in The Villages. They have an automated tee-time system, accessible by phone or computer. It took one hour for someone to explain the system. They say its very equitable and Paul seems to understand it. I don't. I hope to start playing on Ladie's Day after we get back.
We attended the Inner Circle neighborhood gathering the other night. It is a very active group even tho most have only lived there a few months. We signed up for couples golf and ladies golf. We met most of our next door neighbors and liked them all. There are about 100+ homes included. They meet monthly. I don't think they give you much time to be the new kid on the block.
The Villages is made up of many villages.......We will be living in the Village of Amelia . Each villages has its own pool and mail center and several villages share a Recreation Center where there is usually a family pool, huge center with meeting rooms, some have a fitness center. Each has a different theme. They are over-the-top decorated. Yesterday's golf meeting was at Lake Miona Center which had a nautical theme. It was quite amazing down to the smallest detail. I should have brought my camera.
Time for the morning walk.....I have new shoes so there's a spring in my step.
Monday, December 17, 2007
This is the view from the front door into the great room. The kitchen is a reasonable size with very pretty granite, stainless appliances and bisque colored cabinets which appealed to me. This area is all tile, set on the diagonal and bedrooms are carpeted.
View from kitchen, across great room to french doors going out to lanai. Note the fireplace on the right, which has a window on each side. Very similar to the arrangement in our Pa. house. The cabinets look white in the picture but really are a very rich cream or bisque. And the walls are similar to the color at home also. Maybe that's why this house felt right. Our reaction to a fireplace in Fl was similar to the one we had when we saw the fireplace in the RV. But we quickly learned to enjoy that one.
Lanai with wet bar. Some have a grill built in but guess that's just something to break. This has a small refrig and sink. The other door goes into the master bedroom.View from the golf course. There is no landscaping in back and there is room for expansion should we ever want to put in that large pool !!!!! (don't think so)
View from across the golf course. Our house is to the right of center with all the palm trees.
Today we signed papers and such and they actually gave us a garage opener so we can go in anytime we want. He said to bring a lawn chair and stay awhile.!! Tomorrow evening is a neighborhood block party . We seem to arrive at the right time. So we'll get to meet our neighbors and hopefully find some golf partners.
Cold day today, low of 36 and high's in the 50's. But the rest of the week will be typical.
Anyone want to buy a house in Pennsylvania???
Friday, December 14, 2007
Congratulations to Dean and Diane and the arrival of granddaughter Jacqueline. http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071205/NEWS/712050334&emailAFriend=1 I can't imagine doing this and I would be expected to know what I was doing....sort of. Good work Diane.
It has been pretty warm these days with slightly increasing humidity. Chance of rain for the weekend and I won't mind it. I've been procrastinating the whole shopping and holiday thing. I guess if we were home, it would be different, but to me it feels like May or something. The Christmas decorations seem odd down here. They don't seem to fit in. They don't seem genuine. Not that we have always had snow up north but the glow of lights combined with a nip in the air seems right. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss all the snow they are getting. We will be flying to Colorado this year to spend the Christmas Days with Mike and Jenna and Nicholas, Becca, Alex and Lizzie.....and assorted birds and dogs. It will be very festive and winter-like and we will gladly give up our warm for a few days.
I've been getting educated on the bird life down here. The other day, these beautiful sand hill cranes came to visit. They are the most abundant cranes and are over 4 ft high at maturity.
They wandered over to where I was and did not seem at all concerned that I was there. And then quite suddenly, they began foraging in the bushes and the grasses and pulled out many wiggling geckos. It was quite a violent scene, a working model of the food chain and I found it quite disturbing and went in the house. Makes me want to build safe houses for the little things.
The other day, the local radio station hosted a NY radio personality, Joan Hamburg. For all you non-New Yorkers, she has been a fixture on WOR 710 forever, sharing her recommendations for restaurants, hotels, theatre, vacations spots and that day, she was pushing The Villages, live and on the air. So of course, I had to go down and watch. I only stayed to listen to her interview of Nancy Lopez. Nancy designed one of the Championship courses (27 holes) and has a home that she visits regularly down here. I took pictures but they aren't so good. This is a picture of the lake next to the radio station.And so, enough of the blog, next is knitting and then maybe I'll have to give Paul's sleep tonic a try......over ice.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Today, I managed to navigate from the house to the grocery store by myself , in the golf cart...or LSV as they are sometimes referred to around here (low speed vehicle). I had to go approximately 1-1.5 miles via the transportation trail (golf cart path, jogging path, bike path, walking path). I had to find the correct tunnels that go under the main roads and avoid accidently ending up on a road. There is a reported $170 fine for going where you shouldn't go, like main roads. Well, I did Ok, got there and only had to ask for directions once. Leaving , I backed out of the parking space, (2 LSV fit in one space) and when I tried to go forward, it wouldn't go. There I was , stuck in the middle of the driving lane . Some grumpy guy (they are certainly an anomaly down here) told me I had to move it out of the way and then got in his car. I got out and started to push it and he must have rethought his behavior, and came over and pushed it and then said, " I hope you have a cell phone so you can call for help" and got in his car and left. So I did but then suddenly, it decided to drive forward. This golf car came with the rental and is a gas model. Not sure of the advantage but we are not impressed with the louder noise and the gas fumes.....and the erratic behavior.
Tonight we were invited to attend a Society Hill Circle block party. There are 63 homes on the street and I would say that maybe 40 attended. We met a great number of people and they were extremely friendly and inviting to a couple of renters. At first I was suspicious, thinking that Deb, the owner of this house, had called everyone and said "Be nice to them, and maybe they'll buy my house!" But I think it was all very genuine. One side of the street brought salads and the other dessert. And it was BYOB. We had a great time and I have to say, that it would be very easy to just live here. There are 5 houses for sale. We met people who are still working, a very nice lady from Finland, a retired United pilot, many golfers and the ages varied from younger (but not by much) and somewhat older.
Here's the recipe for the Broccoli Salad that I brought. I found it on foodnetwork.com and it is a Paula Deen creation. Her food is loaded with fat and high calories but this one was easy to modify to something healthier.
A couple bunches of broccoli. I used 2 big bunches, cut into smaller pieces. I blanched them for about 1 minute (no longer) and immediately dropped them into ice cubes to cool down. Then drain thoroughly.
Chop 1/2 red onion
Cube 8 ounces of sharp cheddar (small cubes, could use shredded)
Chopped pecans......a handful or so
6-8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half......about a cup or so. I drained them on a paper towel to cut down on any excess liquid
Dressing. 1 cup mayonaise ... I used Smart Balance mayo which is lighter
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp Splenda or sugar
Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar well and pour over other ingredients....mix well
this can be modified many ways.....add peas, chicken, grapes instead of tomatoes etc........
It was REALLY, REALLY good and disappeared in a flash. I was hoping there would be leftovers.
It's very hard to imagine that it is cold somewhere else. Tonight we stood out in shirt sleeves and it was lovely. The afternoons are hot if you are standing still in the sun but mostly there is a pleasant breeze. I'm finding that sunscreen is a necessity tho. I burned yesterday..........yes , I feel your sympathy.
You too can enjoy it.......the guest rooms are waiting.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
We've been getting blisters on our hands from spending time at the driving range. I think there is hope for both of us. I got my clubs regripped today and am hoping it will make a BIG difference. No money back guarantee .
I've been walking in the mornings. I've found a looooong 4 mile loop. It even has two hills so that's added pain. I pass one of the many swimming pools and it is a lively place at 8 am. I assume it's water aerobics. The pools are heated. I should try it. We've investigated the fitness centers but haven't made a decision yet.
For all you botanists and gardeners out there. Society Hill was named after the plant called Society garlic. This area apparently was covered by the plant, hence the name. It is not actually garlic, but the leaves are very aromatic and smell like garlic . It is in the amaryllis family and has a lavender flower.
Here's a view from the golf cart.
And this is one thing we saw on our travels around The Villages. They actually have several buffalo herds. Not sure why but they make for a different Kodak moment.