Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Greetings from Colorado

It is actually warmer here than in Florida. The snow resides only in the mountains and the Front Range views are very scenic. But all is to change tomorrow with BELOW ZERO weather moving in and SNOW. Not sure how much but enough to make it lovely. We don't fly home until Friday eve so are not too worried. And, if we should happen to get stuck here, it would be a good thing. We have our knitting, our various electronic toys and plenty of good company.
Speaking of good company, or at least interesting house mates.... Normally, I regale you with grandkid pictures but today I will introduce you to the other inhabitants of this large house.
Guess what Becca and Lizzie are examining?

This is a Russian Tortoise, Lizzie's gift for Christmas. It's name is Shelly and lives in a very large cage in her room. Each morning, it needs to be awakened and warmed in water so that it will eat. ( That conjures up various images and comments for the human gender but I will let it slide....)
Next, is Top Dog, Queen Bee, The Princess Roxie. She is maltese/yorkie mix and controls the house. Today she is rather plainly dressed but has quite a wardrobe.
Jake (a bichon) and Sammy (a labradoodle) are mostly confined to the large kitchen area due to bad habits. Jake is getting old but still rambunctious.
There are 3 large salt water fish tanks in the family room and they are a beautiful glimpse into an underwater world. My favorite are the Clown fish which come in black as well as the familiar Nemo orange. They are in front of the anemone named Marley ( for obvious hair similarities ).
Next up is Charlie, a Green Cheek Conure. He doesn't speak but just looks pretty.
And finally, meet Billy.... He is the star of the family room with a vocabulary bigger than mine. He sings, he whistles, he barks, he meows (there used to be cats here also). He also mimics the sound of the kids voices when he calls out their names. He answers Hello when the phone rings and laughs loudly. This is not a good picture of him as he didn't like me so close and kept moving. He is an Blue Front Amazon parrot and will live forever.
So, with 4 wonderful kids, 2 great parents, assorted friends stopping by, and the above menangerie, this home is a busy lively place to enjoy.
Maybe snow pictures tomorrow.....................Plus, I'll share what a perfect gift we got.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tis the season.......

I'd like to say that the blog has been put on the back burner these weeks because of all the Christmas preparations.....but ............the preparations are still in their boxes so that excuse won't work. Yes, the house looks like it did in tree, no trimming, no cookies (except for those who took pity on us and gifted us tasty little treats). I found that we are not alone in not decorating this year and sometimes a break is a nice thing. The best part is that I don't have to UNDECORATE.

Our trip to the north allowed us to be a part of the December rituals and we went along on the hunt for the perfect tree. Jones Tree Farm is quite the impressive operation with over 15000 trees sold during the season. It was rainy and cold but these two didn't mind one bit. After much searching, the
perfect Blue Spruce was found.....
Part of being the dad is getting to lay on the soggy ground and try and cut the trunk with a dull saw.

It had to stay in the garage for several hours to dry out but then came in to be
adorned by the little elves. It is a perfect, beautiful tree for a beautiful family.

Meanwhile, down in the land of sun and warm, the golf game has improved and we won our Couple's match yesterday. We'll spend Christmas Day with other orphan neighbors and with Aunt Romayne. Soon, we will wing our way West to hug those growing grandbaby's in Colorado.......Is Nicholas really 21 ???? And Becca a college sophomore and Alex will drive soon and Lizzie a Tween ??? Wow, we really are old!!
But life is very good and we wish all of our thousands of readers a Wonderful Holiday, A Merry Merry Christmas and a New Year of blessings .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby it's cold outside............

Because it wasn't cold enough for us in Florida, we decided to go where it really is. We got up Thursday morning at 3 AM !! and drove to Tampa International . There we went thru the naked body scanner device and one of us got a 1/4 body pat down (that would be moi). Then we flew (one of us slept) for 2 hours, enjoyed the 45" ride into Manhattan, soaked in the busy atmosphere at Grand Central (thank you Jackie Kennedy for reburbishing it) and ate a sandwich on the train north. Then , a quick hug and kiss for the boys and we were off on a 2.5 hour drive( NYC traffic !) to the JFK area for the NAA gathering of pilots, current and retired. ...... then a 2 hour ride home (one of us refused to stay in a hotel due to the possibility of encountering BEDBUGS) and a collapse into bed at 1 AM. A looooooong day for the old folks. I didn't take a single picture at the party but others did and I hope someone sends some along so I can share them. But it was so great to see the familiar faces and catch up once again.

On Friday, plans were made to cook kabobs on the one

told the weatherman of our plans but at least it wasn't me that had to stand out there and cook.

The boys love to play games on the they are ignoring everything and everyone and deep into Angry Birds. It is addicting and time consuming and I love it too.............

We will stay here for another couple days before heading back home where it is predicted to be 50 degrees on Monday with a low in the 20's.........I think we will move to Costa Rica.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Looking for someplace warm

It is very cold here. After last winter, I thought we might not have to endure another 50 year cold spell for awhile. We are to have freezes for the next couple of days and highs in the 50's and windy. This time we are not covering or moving or doing anything to save the plants. If they can't put on their own coats, they will have to suffer the consequences. Luckily, I have no golf scheduled.
The Apple geeks at the Genius Bar fixed my computer in less than 2 days. !! I went with a spring in my step and Freida at my side. The place is quite lovely during the season and it was exhilarating to be loose among the glitter and glamour. I found these pillows at Pottery Barn. I think they are just perfect but will have to think about it. Maybe one would be better in a frame. I love magnolias but found that they turn brown shortly after picking.
Remember when I mentioned that our friends , John and Freida bought the new Droid X phone? John had a 3Gs iPhone but they were interested in the Verizon network.
After about 2 weeks, they were terribly frustrated with the phones and returned them.
They now have the new iPhone 4 and life is back to normal. I think the Droid X is a very nice device with good apps and comparable to the iPhone in many has gotten good reviews . And if it were your first Smart phone, it might be a good choice. BUT, trying to switch from an iPhone to anything else would be impossible for me as it was for them.

Living here in 'the bubble', we have constant entertainment options. Most is OK and some is less than that but there is something for most everyone's taste. Usually , we get groups that are familiar names from years past. Sometimes they are still good, mostly they are 'past their prime', just like the crowds they are playing to.
Anyway, we went to the John Tesh show the other night. It really was a mixed bag.
Much of the program was light Christmas music and his 6 piece band is very good. The background lighting and graphics were excellent. When , at the end, he played one piece, you could imagine him at Red Rocks doing what he does best. He should stick to music and forget the selling of his book and boring stories of his teenage daughter. All in all, it was a nice evening. Addendum: The concert was almost 2 hours, no intermission, and ended on a very rousing number. The audience applauded vigorously for 2 seconds and then got up and walked out. No sustained applause and no encore which I thought was very surprising. Seems like most everything gets an encore these days and I was kind of looking forward to one of his better arrangements. I wonder if I had continued clapping, would they have returned JUST FOR ME ???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When last we talked................

........................... we were enjoying a Thanksgiving with family on the left coast. We had a great weekend, despite cold weather and rain. We flew home on Sunday night on the red-eye. Actually, I did sleep on the flight, a rare occurrence for me but not for my seat mate who is usually asleep before they close the door.
Coming back to the warm weather was like crawling into a pre-heated bed after being up all night. It was delicious. Only problem is that I'm just now beginning to wake up from the time changes and long flights.
My computer is currently at the Apple clinic getting it's mousepad reworked. I have never been in an Apple store that is not packed with people buzzing over the tempting display of products.
I'm typing this on the Vaio that Paul uses and I really, really, really miss my .Mac. It won't come home for about a week. I'm actually using my iPhone more than this computer to do my usual computer stuff. I spoil easily.
The only good thing about the Mac being away, is that I have to go get it and it is at the Mall of Millenia Apple store so I will just have to wander around a bit and get my mall fix. The shopping around TV is pretty lame and sometimes a dose of upscale over- abundance is just what a girl needs.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful Day

Northern California is basking in sunshine but there is no heat. The fountains at this lovely Inn were covered with ice this morning. I did not come prepared for the cold so my activities are limited to indoor. Our family gathered at Wine and Roses Inn and Spa for dinner. The grounds are just lovely and the property is surrounded by the vineyards. Rooms are quite urban contemporary but comfy with the down bedding and the deep soaking tub. (I took pics but forgot the connecting cord to download's always something !)
Patrick took pictures (my handsome nephew) and I thought this one of my younger sister Sandy and husband Tom was especially good. We dined in the ballroom with a huge fireplace and amazing food...and lots of it.
Family gatherings are all about the children and we were delighted to have these 3 well mannered and cute kids come to the party. (All pictures are clickable for a more upclose and personal view)
Jeff and Jennifer came down from Vancouver to wish his grandmother a Happy 90th birthday. And here's most of us who showed up. Those of you who couldn't make it, we talked about you alot...........all good things of course. See you next time !!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hello again....

OK, I'm trying to come up with a good excuse for not posting for all these many days. I have none. It's not that I don't care about my legions of fans, knowing that you all are waiting and waiting for a pithy update on living the Senior life. It's just that sometimes our life isn't that blog worthy. I know that's hard to believe but trust me, somedays we are just plain boring.

We have been busy. Company came and went. Judy and Guy are high school classmates (Class of 61 and 63 for Judy) and we try and connect every year or so. They spend their days traveling about the world, enjoying some exotic and exciting adventures. Egypt, Tanzania, Europe and then go home to beautiful Manhattan Beach, Ca. They know how to do retirement. !!

Tomorrow we are heading West. Thanksgiving and a celebration of Mother's 90th birthday is on the schedule. It will be very special to be with family once again. And I have enjoyed packing the sweaters and jeans and non- flip-flop shoes.

You all know that I love Apple products. I'm learning more and more about the new iPhone and the Facetime feature is way cool. But, sadly, my computer needs some work. The mousepad is acting up and altho I can tap on it, I can't click it. Thus I can't scroll and I can't click on pictures to post them to the blog. It's fixable but will have to wait til we get back. So just imagine pictures of the happy old couple playing golf, pictures of Mason's 5th birthday and pictures of the guests. And maybe your imagination is better than the pictures.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love new toys......

You all are aware of my love affair with my iPhone. It is just so impressive and besides all that it can do, it just feels good. Mine is getting older and slowing down a bit and is having trouble with any multitasking.......We are alot alike in some respects.
So, on Tuesday eve, after discussion and research , I bought the new 4G iPhone. It is pretty hefty and now has that flat not as tactile. But it has a bigger camera with flash, can multi task (Pandora while I walk and use Runkeeper) and is so fast. It has a ton of new features of which I will probably use 3 but it is still an amazing device.
Our neighbors have had an iPhone but yesterday they changed to the new Droid X. Mostly they wanted to return to Verizon. (We haven't had any issues with AT&T so far). I looked at a PC magazine comparison of the two phones and for the average older non-techy user, they are probably very similar. I like my interface with iTunes and being able to sync my phone and computer and all the wonderful Apps. I know that Droid does that also but the 'old dog , new tricks' thing would put me over the edge.
Jon says he can sell my old phone on eBay for $100 which surprised me.

Weather continues dry (NO humidity at all) and sunny......80's is just perfect.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Put another log on the fire......

A brief message from the Florida tourist bureau. Wait a few days before you decide to come to the Land of the Sun. The Sun is still shining as lovely as ever but it's appearance is deceiving. Yesterday some winds blew in from Canada and the golfers came out in fleece and gloves and long pants. It was not fun being blown about in the cold but I actually played slightly better...... go figure.
Anyway, the above pic is the current temp at 8 am on Saturday. It is to get colder and windier today and frost warnings tomorrow. I know that those of you in a more temperate climate are not impressed but you would be if you had decided to visit this weekend. Next weekend should be hot again. The actual winter is supposed to be warm and dry as we are in an El Nina or one of those patterns. All I know for sure is that I don't appreciate cold anymore.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The wine was just fine......

We have planned to view a shuttle launch ever since we moved less than 2 hours from the site. On Tuesday, we finally headed over to the coast. Here is a view of a driving aid for the "Roadblock" that I would be lost without. It's the ubiquitous blue tape marking the center line of the highway. Lined up, it centers the coach on the road and I avoid the tendency to drift right to avoid those big rigs coming from behind. It also helps on narrow construction-filled roads.

As you know, the launch has been delayed several times but we enjoyed lovely weather and a few toasts to the brave astronauts. We tried to explore the area but the Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island Wildlife areas were closed ......they are near the launch site and close 3 days prior. We stayed at a nice campground in Titusville but found the community to be mostly dying and vacant. It should only get worse as the Space program is dismantled. Knowing the weather forecast, we knew it wouldn't fly for a few days at least, so we wandered back home.
And because I have no pictures of rockets blasting into space, here are two that more than make up for it. Above is a Colorado sunset......quite amazing, that Jenna took with her iPhone. And below, is Jon's view of the George Washington bridge early on Wednesday. NOT taken on approach to Newark International. !!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sounds of silence

Do you hear that ???? Me is QUIET !!

The company is gone. The house is still. The old people have nodded off.

But it was fun while it lasted. And how many times did we say how absolutely perfect the weather was. I couldn't have ordered it any better.
But, in the past 5 days or so the weather has returned to August. It is humid, hot and foggy for the morning walk. But it's OK, the weather gods came thru when needed.

And now the winter old people are returning. It's harder to get a tee time, a chair in a restaurant and a parking space. But my lanai isn't crowded, (as long as I continue my patrol to eliminate the reptiles) and that is where you will find us. I'm hoping that more of you will join us to hit a few, tip a few and catch up.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our acorns.............

We spent the day at Kennedy Space Center. After all, when the grandkids arrive on their fall break, we can't have it be all sun and fun. Education must continue. We haven't been to the Space Center for decades.....and now that it is so close and the last shuttle flights are scheduled, we wanted to go over and get amazed once again by what great minds and brave astronauts can accomplish.
The shuttle is scheduled to lift off on Nov 1st. This is as close as the public can get.
Lizzie and Alex came from the mile high altitude but managed just fine at 29 feet.
It was a long day but we saw and did it all. These two are just the best, athletic and just plain cute and know, from mighty oaks the acorns fall......or something like that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tres Amigas

BFF since 1961................Carol, Shelly and moi !!! But except for a brief 4 hour visit last winter, we had not seen each other since 1964. We tried to make up for lost time.

It was perfect. First of all, Florida put on a brilliant display with glorious weather, blue skies, tropical breezes and temperatures designed for ideal golf. We spent one day at Epcot and 5 days of golf.
In between, we went to Homosassa State Park where the wildlife are exquisite
and the manatees float freely about.
It was a great week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The guests are arriving. Of late, we have noticed an increase in the number
of the 4 legged variety. The front of the house seems to be a popular place for these tiny frogs....brilliant green, possibly a type of tree frog I think. They surprise me when I water plants and the pop out with their mighty leaps even tho they are all but an inch or so big. Maybe they are good for keeping bugs at bay but I wish they'd call out before they leap.
And in the lanai, we have found a gaggle of geckos taking up residence. We have sealed all visible entries and urged them to go outside. But they are happy and protected from the cranes and ibis and hawks. One was doing a back stroke in the pool yesterday. They also like to scurry among the plants and give me a moment of pause. But my main concern is that they might not be happy with the expansive lanai and plenty of bugs and decide that the soft beds and cool tile might be more to their taste now that the doors are open. Sooooo, as much as I find it distasteful and just plain mean, I have taken to removing them permanently. This is carried out with sticky paper and vicious swats with a pool noodle.
It's similar to the time in Ct when we had an invasion of lady bugs. At first, I would scoop them up and move them outside. As they proliferated, I vacuumed them and then moved them outside. As they proliferated , I said to heck with this nonsense and got the exterminator to deal with them and I cleaned up the carcasses.
Cute only gets you so far.
And yes, the real guests are arriving. The next two weeks will bring all sorts of excitement. Two school friends arrive today, then two of my very favorite grandkids arrive, then friends from Pa. and then..............maybe you'll show up. !!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


As much as the world hoped and prayed and searched, the balloonists were not found. Not even a scrap of debris or hope was found. It is fitting that the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is this week where they will be remembered by all that knew and respected and loved them.

Back on earth, life goes on at a breath taking pace. I remember reading somewhere about how to capture time. If you spend your days in a routine of sameness and predictability, time flies by in a blur. One day becomes another and another and nothing defines the time......but , if you punctuate those days with bits of uniqueness and change , you define a moment and later, you can look back and remember special days or places or people and it breaks up the sameness. Sooooo, based on that theory, I am going to make my days I'm going to get a hole-in-one and tomorrow, I will plan a trip to some exotic locale........

And, for all of you without a blog of your own, a blog is a great journal of daily life. I thoroughly enjoy rereading past years and bringing back fond memories. You don't have to publish the blog, it can just be your personal memoir and keeper of your life. Go to and set one up.....its free and easy..........if I can do it, so can you.

Friday, October 1, 2010


The news of late is troubling and it is not known how long the search teams will continue. At this point they continue their search and hope hangs on.
Raggedy Ann is Carol's hot air balloon. Hopefully, it will fly again soon. She and her family and the balloon have given Mike and Jenna and Lizzie, Alex , Becca and Nicholas a gift of joy and friendship and adventure.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The USA2 team in the Balloon Race has been missing for over 12 hours in the Adriatic Sea. Carol Rymer Davis and Richard Abruzzo are highly experienced, well equipped and prepared. Their last position put them in a storm area and no word or information has been received. Italian SAR are involved. We can only remain hopeful while waiting for positive news.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ON the Edge of our Seats........

Over the weekend and into today, we have been enthralled with tracking this international balloon race . You can get all the info on it from their website. We are cheering on USA2, one of 4 balloons left flying since it's start in England. One of the pilots is a good friend of Mike and Jenna and Paul has also met her. Carol Rymer Davis has a long and celebrated history of flying balloons and won this race in 2004. It is challenging and dangerous. But compelling to monitor from afar. GO USA !! I don't have a picture of the actual balloon, but these are the type used, not the familiar hot air kind. It is filled with hydrogen and uses sand bags for ballast.

Mike and Jenna will head to Albuquerque next week for the Balloon Fiesta. We have always wanted to go but it we have a committment that first week so we will enjoy their pictures.

Rain today and tomorrow which is always a nice change. We did some planting this weekend so help from above is always, I'm deep into a new book and don't mind skipping the golf course for the couch. It's "Cutting for Stone" and I think has been out for awhile. Highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Garages, golf and garters............

Look what's heading right for P's golf bag ! ! ! It was encouraged to go outside and the welcoming door was closed behind it.
Where's a mongoose when you need one ?