Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My apologies for not updating the blog in TWO weeks. I heard from all 3 of my readers that I was remiss in not wishing you all a Merry Holiday at least. And in this update, I don't even have pictures. I am operating under a handicap. Despite the fact that we have 3 laptops in this house, I am unable to post the blog in my usual manner, complete with Kodak moments, on any of them. Believe me, I have tried. Right now, I am on the new MAC and altho I've fiddled with the font size, I am typing in this micro mini font which I can barely see. When I tried to download pictures, it gave me the dreaded spinning beach ball and I've had to reboot. The other computer is currently unusable because the power supply failed and one is on order. The 3rd one is just too ancient to consider handling an issue so important as this blog.
But aside from those difficulties, we had a very special Christmas. Jeff and Tracy decided at the last minute to come on down. The weather was lovely, the golf courses had tee times and they explored the gulf beaches.

(Just thought I'd help a bit by posting this Wii pic.
Our family gave us a Wii.....popular among the young and seniors alike. We also got the Wii Fit Plus which is an interactive fitness tool. After going thru the set up and jumping thru hoops, it gives you your BMI and your fit age..........Mine came in at 73 !!!!!! Well, that made me REAL happy. Paul refused to get on the thing. I'm hoping that they based this on a balance test that I couldn't even figure out until it was half over because, other than wt and ht and age, that's all they tested. So, I will reset it, avoid wine before the test, and try again and hopefully, it will decide that I am 42 and a real blond.

And now, I'm going to spend the day trying to figure out some computer issues so I can come back and dazzle my audience with witty repose and blog worthy photos.

Addendum: My use of the word "repose" was totally inaccurate. I guess I meant "prose". Sometimes my fingers get ahead of my brain.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Progress and the past

We flew home during the early hours of Monday via the "red eye" which is exactly what it left me with the next day. It is very convenient to spend the night winging one's way east but there is payback. And I don't sleep except for brief catnaps. After all, I need to keep that plane afloat in the air by sheer will power. But my traveling companion logs many zzzzzzz's knowing I am doing my job.

The worker bees were quite busy in our absence. The spa is in place and the lanai screen has been removed. No more enjoying the warm evenings until the screens are up again.
The tile work progresses around the pool. I like the blue tile. It matches my eyes.
We had a nice 4 days with family and I also managed a mini reunion with 2 of my classmates from nursing school ......... FORTY FIVE YEARS AGO. And don't we look great!!! (that was rhetorical....no comment needed). In a round about way, I managed to get Shelly's email address (on the Right) and she in turn contacted Carol (on the left) and they live within an hour of Mother's house. We reminisced and caught up on all those years. After lunch, Paul joined us to help fill in more blanks. He actually ran into Carol in Hawaii, on a street, in 1967 as he was heading to SE Asia and she was a nurse working there . We have a lot of good memories....some not blog worthy or for grandchildren's ears.

I didn't get the memo on the wearing of the Christmas clothes. But then, I don't have the tree up or the cards done either. I'm waiting for winter to arrive and the temperature to drop below 80.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Westward Ho Ho Ho

If you fly west for over 6 hours, you will be bored silly and and rendered incapable of standing straight but eventually you will land in cold and wintery California. We are making a quick trip to see Mother and most of the west coast family. This view was over Lake Tahoe....since that picture , they have had a couple feet of snow. It is colder than I remember this time of year. And it has rained torrentially since we arrived and the winds are fierce. It made us cancel a planned trip down to visit with sister Sandy in Monterey County today.
Mother has done her usual over the top Christmas decorating, both inside and out. And at a young 89, she does it all herself.

For those of you with a green thumb and lots of time, here is a good project. This Christsmas Cactus came with the house almost 50 years ago and it was big then so not sure how old it actually is. It spends the summer outside and then returns to the same room for the winter and blooms vigorously during the holidays. It has a gazillion buds on it. Mother used to have a beautiful jade plant that also came with the house. It was like a small tree and I would snip a few cuttings to carry back home. It lived outside until a year or two ago, the cold finally did it in. Mother has several green thumbs and fingers. That particular gene passed me by. We head back home on the midnight special Sunday night. Warm will feel really good.

Monday, December 7, 2009


This is how I spend my hours...... I should be getting ready for Christmas with shopping and decorating and baking and.......oh yeah, I forgot , that's what I did in my previous life. I'm retired now and I do what I want , when I want. So I sit for hours delving into the intricacies of the MAC and trying and eventually begging it to make sense. I read the book, I read the tutorials, I call tech support ( #2 son Jeff), I write notes to myself and then I begin to look like this poor woman......well, minus the eyes, the hair , the 20" waist......but you get the idea. Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets about going in this direction and I know that I could just go to the Genius bar at the Apple store and they would make it all crystal clear, for a price. And I know that Paul will easily step into the abyss and understand it all. But I want to do it all MYSELF. I'm realistic enough to know that I will need a lot of help soon but so far I've actually done quite a bit. I can get my email, get to the internet, search my favorites and do it all wirelessly. But I can't transfer pictures or find my address book. And much of what I do is cumbersome and slow. I think I could write the blog but it wouldn't have any pictures and what fun is that. So, for now, I use two computers of different persuasions and keep hoping the lightbulb will turn on.

Meanwhile, life goes on ..........

Andy and Mason enjoying the first substantial snowfall. I think this picture describes their personalities pretty well. Andy (almost 7), the cautious one, tentative and serious. Mason(just turned 4), freewheeling headlong down the hill with a big smile on his face ......no fear.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


On Monday, November 30, this world famous blogging couple journeyed down the turnpike to celebrate over 50 years of joyful togetherness, 46 of those years legally sanctioned. We arrived at Gaylord Palms, a huge resort all decked out for the holiday season and our arrival. The hotel is built around a huge tropical atrium.

This is an out of order picture but finds us waiting for breakfast the next morning.

There were rivers and ponds and this area had smallish alligators and larger turtles. Another area had beautiful large koi.

The seasonal flowers were perfect.

Over in the adjoining convention center is the ICE show. A massive collection of ice sculptures. Pardon the blur of the picture....this is at the entrance where we don the warm parkas and gloves to protect us from the NINE DEGREES inside.

Everything inside was made of ice, some clear, some colored and all lit with beautiful lighting and appropriate music.

A frequent admonishment.

I liked this little fisherman and his dog.

There was a full sized carousel. The ice was carved by Chinese artists and zillions of pounds of ice. It just glowed. This is an annual event and each year is different. I just wonder how they melt them and where does the water go.

And there were 4 ice slides of different heights and lengths.

The final sculpture was a huge nativity scene but my camera just didn't capture it well.

And then there was this sign at the end with handy dispensers.

We lasted a grand total of 15 minutes in the frigidness. It was COLD. At the end, we were greeted by the ubiquitous gift shop and tickets for hot chocolate.

Why don't you all come down and we'll take you to this beautiful place.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm sorry Michael....

I have a camera full of pictures of our lovely overnight stay in Orlando. But I can't download them for some unknown reason so you'll have to imagine lovely strolls thru colorful lush plantings and Christmas decorations. A 15 min visit to a stunning hall full of ice sculptures....and 15 min because it was 9 DEGREES in there. It was a fabulous anniversary celebration and pictures will be posted when I can get them into the computer.

And because of the above situation (the pictures, not the anniversary) and numerous other annoyances with this computer, I am waiting for FED EX to bring me a brand new MacPro laptop. But please, please don't tell Michael that his mother has defected to the dark side. Once I discovered the iPod and then the iPHONE, I just couldn't go on anymore unless I had the ultimate toy. I hope he understands.

Monday, November 30, 2009

11-30-1963 to 11-30-09

A day to celebrate 46 wonderful amazing years.....actually over 50+ years if you add in the years of togetherness. It's been a beautiful ride and there is more to explore. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


When last we visited, we had a big hole in the back yard. Yesterday, in the rain, the cement showed up. It had been dry most of the morning and I even got 7 holes of golf in before the deluge. The concrete is blown on the sides and floor. Apparently, it sets quite quickly and doesn't just run down the sides as I expected.
I'm sure it would be messy on a sunny day but these guys were soaked and up to their ankles in concrete.

It took them about 3 hours to get it all formed and by that time the rain was too heavy to even take a picture outside so I tried one thru the screen.

Meanwhile, inside, preparations were ramping up for Thanksgiving. We are having 6 in for dinner. Good neighbors and Aunt Romayne. Weather is cooling off after the rain and I feel bad for all those grandkids arriving and hoping for sunny, warm days. Since the Village pools are all heated, and it will be in the high 60's, I'm sure the northern kids won't mind.
Yes, this is a rare picture of the male species polishing silver....... We wish you a wonderful day, surrounded by good friends and family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

In the Beginning

The past couple of days have been a beehive of activity in back of the house. It is exciting to know that in about 6 weeks , we will have a large addition to our yard. We have pondered various changes after we realized that we had space just burning a hole in our imaginations. Space is at a premium, both inside and out, and maximizing it's usefulness is always a challenge down here. Since we live on the golf course, we don't need an actual back yard full of grass and plantings. But we would like more space on the screened lanai. So, putting pen to paper and tape measure to yard, we figured out what might fit. After a lengthy process of meeting with the builder, we settled on a plan and it all passed the very stringent Architectural Review.
And then we waited and waited for our turn on the construction schedule. The economy may have tanked in most parts of the US but down here, there is building and buying and selling and changing and growing. It is quite remarkable.
So this is what the first week's work looks like.

Stay tuned....................................

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Join us on our morning walk

It dawned a beautiful morning. Perfect for a scheduled walk with
Sonja. We usually walk about 45 min to an hour around our end of TV but we decided to make more of an adventure of it, with rewards at the end for our efforts. We met at the corner of Inner Circle and Inner Circle (because we live on a circle !!) at 7:30. Sonja always wears shorts and a teeshirt, never a jacket or pants. I , on the otherhand, come prepared for the chilly 60+ degree morning with a sweater. But I promptly sweat it off.

We pass the golf course behind our house, still dewy from the night's sprinklers. If you can hit straight off the tee, you don't have to deal with these daunting moguls.
We come to a "hill", Florida style. And view the sea of roofs.
But there are other things to notice along the way. This is an old black cemetery, here long before TV was even a thought. Fortunately, it has been preserved and maintained. It sits in the middle of a Village and most people have no idea what is behind the hedges.

There are flowers everywhere and it seems strange to see petunias in full bloom this time of year. The coleus have about seen their peak but I love the masses of color.

Getting nearer the town center, we need to cross the main road via one of the many tunnels.

The next 2 pictures off of my phone are out of sequence but for what ever reason, I can't move them . Anyhow, one of the many APPS on my iPhone (have I mentioned what I think of this amazing device ?? ) is called Run Keeper. It keeps track of your movements , whether walking, riding , driving, swimming etc by GPS. It then gives out a summary and a map of your trip. I use the free APP and it has some serious limitations but I'm not ready to pay for the better version.

We started at the green pin and ended at the red.

This was our destination. Lake Sumter Landing is built to resemble an early- century Key West type village.

And this was our" final destination", to quote the redundant announcement by flight attendants.

Breakfast outside at The Veranda. I forgot to take a picture of this 'healthy' meal before I dove in.

And, I don't care if it is mid-November, it's still too early for Christmas trees.
And then we wandered over to do some window shopping at the new bathing suit/tropical wear shop and found it to be open. It had some lovely things and I became fond of a bright "Jams" brand shirt. I glanced at the price (sans glasses ) and thought it a bargain at $35. When the clerk suggested that I pay $101 instead, I decided it wasn't to my liking after all. And reminded myself that 95 looks like 35 without glasses and that I should bring them when shopping.
We did not walk back home. Another hour hike back might have necessitated more eating.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Results of living in a Republican stronghold.....

Yup, she's back.......In her up and coming bus tour to promote the book and whatever else, the Palin forces have decided that 76,000 old people just can't wait to welcome her back. She arrives sometime around the end of the month at the local Barnes and Noble. When last she was here, via helicopter, dropping into the Town Square on a Hot and Humid afternoon, the local rag reported that 60000 cheering loyals were on hand. There is NO WAY that even 1/3 that number could have fit in the square. Plus it was so hot and so crowded and the wait was hours and no chairs and no umbrellas were allowed and those on the Right were dropping like flies. I hope they have a better plan this time.....at least it will be cooler.


The Moving Roadblock literally lived up to its name this week when we brought it to the house for a thorough cleaning. It took up half the road and the first night we had the flashers on so that someone coming home from the Square and a bit of libation wouldn't plaster themselves and their golf cart against the end of it. And now it's shiny and clean and waiting for our next foray ..... thinking of a few days near a beach.

The back is better thank you and today was a trip to the dentist. We found a lovely office , staffed by 12 women , including the two dentists. Just seems to make for a calming environment for those of us with anxiety issues in that area.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My final medical update.....

Not that I'm planning any imminent departure but I'm just tired of PAIN and I"m sure you don't find my latest complaining to be so readable either. Since we last talked, I have been unable to walk WITHOUT PAIN, or sit WITHOUT PAIN, or lay down WITHOUT PAIN, or draw WITHOUT PAIN, or shower WITHOUT PAIN. About the only thing I have done is study this required book for my class. But the title is misleading in my instance. It's a pretty good book and if any of you have an issue with perspective in your art, check it out. After a looooooong night of misery, while Paul slept soundly I might add......the least a fine husband could do is be miserable too....but then he has done his share. I finally gave in and payed a visit to the local Urgent Care Ctr. There are several in TV (The Villages) but this one is close and staffed entirely by physicians. And as my luck would have it, the young Dr on duty was an MD and a CHIROPRACTOR. How fortuitous was that !!! After X-Rays and such, he said it was my sacroilliac joint that was out of whack. After two injections (a steroid and a strong non narcotic anti inflammatory) and prescriptions for more drugs including VICODIN, I was out the door feeling a bit more mobile.

I am truly grateful for modern medicine and DRUGS...... So this is the last of blogs about my state of health.....I promise.

We're thinking positively about Lizzie today who is in a major twirling competition , wearing a stunning outfit of lace and appliqued flowers and 1500 hand applied Swarosvsky crystals , all fashioned by her talented mother. Pictures of course when I get them...............................