Sunday, February 28, 2010

Morning and Evening Church Services - Concert

February 28 - Sunday 64 degrees continual all day. Bright sunshine w/ breeze

It seems strange with the sun shining brightly, the temperature doesn't go up, but who is complaining, it is warmer than what we would have at home and it isn't raining.

We had coffee and dressed quickly and set off for church. The church we are attending is down town Key West, and there isn't any place to park, so we go early to enable us to walk from a parking place. Lou and I becoming very comfortable with our church. We have become acquainted with the couple that sit in front of us. They are from Long Island and live here nine months of the year. He is a retired psychologist. This Sunday he had a wonderful pastel pink sports jacket on and don't you that caught DH's attention, although DH looked very dapper in his medium blue shorts jacket with a white and tiny blue stripe shirt w/ a blue flowered tie. It is fun to dress a bit different here in Florida.

After church today we went to our favorite Cuban Restaurant on Catherine Street - El Soboney, and today we ordered Cuban Coffee and were pleasantly surprised with a mixture of strong coffee with a hint of chocolate, rich creme and some sweetener. Of course, I had to have more yellow rice and black bean soup to put on top of the rice. I can make a meal from that alone.

This afternoon we have enjoyed the paper in a leisure setting inside. We have played with Estee until we have tired her out. Today she seems a bit more like herself. After talking with Sue yesterday, we have decided to treat her as if she has diabetes, with a very careful diet and exercise until we can get her into see a vet. We are putting her into her cage when we leave her and I know it hurts Lou more than it hurts her. This way we don't have to worry about accidents, and her little bed fits nicely inside of it.

Tonight we are going to walk back to church and enjoy a concert that is going to be held at the church we are attending. Seven choirs from the Key West area are combining their talents along with the men from the Coast Guard Ship Mohawk that were the first responders to the earthquake victims in Haiti to raise money for the cause. We checked the mileage today and it will be our usual two mile walk. Will solve two things at one time.

We have praise to offer for the safe arrival, in Rome for the kids. It was fun to track their flight, although they had a bit of a problem with pick pockets and lost some cash. A good lesson was learned by them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Changeable weather -Luscious Salad

February 27 - Saturday 64 degrees low and 73 high - Showers off and on. Typical Florida weather.

We awoke to beautiful sunshine and warm temps, so dressed in a denim skirt and sleeveless shirt, wasn't long until it had all clouded up and had a very strong shower and the temp dropped, so decided it would be a good day to stay in and clean some closets and cabinets. Good job done, even got the laundry done before dark tonight.

This has been a different day, as the four kids left on a 747 British Airline for London and then on to Rome, so we have tracked their flight. They drove to New York City and we were concerned about the drive, but the road we not too bad and their flight was on time. So we have talked to all of the kids today and got caught up on all things going on in their families and that is always a very satisfying thing to do. Guess you might say it has been a day spent on the computer and the telephone, as we have had calls from friends that are in different parts of Florida. One of the friends that called I asked him if he was warm and he said, "ya, his furnace was working well". We all agreed we were better off here cool than in PA in the snow that continues to fall.

Lou and I did venture out to the book store today and spent quality time looking for a good book and each of us purchased a new one.

While I was finishing up the laundry, DH asked what we were going to have for dinner and I told him I was going to use the left over chicken breast and fix us each a large salad and make some muffins to go with it, I came back and he had made the salad, and it was wonderful, almost too pretty to eat. We were also trying out a new wine we found at the BX yesterday, and it went well with the salad and for desert we finished up the Key Lime Pie.

Tomorrow is church and we have a special concert we are going to attend tomorrow night, and the weather is supposed to be sunny but cool, and I can handle that.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beautiful Sunset

February 26 - Friday Low - 51 degrees - High - 62 degrees Sunny all day

We awoke to sunshine and felt really cold in the RV, Lou quickly got up and turned on the generator and we lay in bed until it warmed up. Even Estee was shivering, so Lou pulled her blanket out from under her and covered her up.

After breakfast, Lou decided to needed to take the RV to the gas station on base and fill up with gasoline. We had almost used up the tank of gas that we purchased on the 13th of February, by using the generator. We laughed that this time we wouldn't check the mileage. We had driven five mile and thought our ratio wouldn't be all that great!!

As long as we had the RV out, we dumped and filled up with fresh water, so we should be good for a bit. Estee and Lou enjoyed playing Frisbee with our neighbor lady from Missouri. We still don't know what is going on with Estee, at times she doesn't act herself and others she seems fine. The sweet smell on her breath was a bit better today.

While we were out running errands, we stopped at Pampered Pets and got her a new ball, squeaky toy and a chew bone and she was happy with all of them. Kris,you will remember the little yellow balls with the squeaky sound, we found them and she sure remembered them. She was as proud as a peacock with them.

We went to Sigsbee and purchased tickets to tour The Little White House, which President Truman used along with other presidents thereafter, and we also got tickets for the Conch Train. Those are the two things we want to do this weekend.

We went out to dinner tonight, went to Duffy's Steak and Seafood Restaurant. We finally have taken a lesson from Pres and Susie. We ordered an appetizer which was Stone Rock Crab with hot butter and mustard dip and then we ordered a seafood medley which was lobster, shrimp and snapper with a baked potato, salad and shrimp bisque, hot bread and butter. We asked for two plates and it was all wonderful. The baked potato was the best I have had in years, very crispy on the outside. We passed on desert, because I had the homemade Key Lime Pie at home.

As we were walking to the restaurant we got to view the sunset that Key West is known for. All in all a memorable evening.

A note of praise, Scott called today and he had his first check up after his accident and he is healing well and the pain is decreasing. He has had time to reflect on his life and rest and stated he feels better than he has in some time. We look forward to seeing him again the middle of next month.

Preston, Susie, Ande and Sandra are all flying to Italy tomorrow and we pray for a safe memorable trip for them and especially a trip with good weather.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cool Day - Baking Key Lime Pie

February 25 - Thursday 55 degrees and very windy

The wind blew hard all night long, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour, some of our neighbors pulled their slides in; however, DH didn't think it would be necessary for us to do so. He, as always, was right we fared well.

I fixed us a late breakfast, my own version of eggs mcmuffins. Lou was pleased with the final result and wondered why I had never done that before. So may have to try it again soon.

After breakfast we set out to make a Key Lime Pie from scratch. The first evening Lou and I ate out we ordered Key Lime Pie and split it and it was much different from what we get up north, so I did some research and found that Key Lime Pie is not made from the green limes we see in the grocery up north, the true Key Lime is tiny about the size of a walnut and more yellow than green. The ones we used today were grown in Mexico. We needed to have a half cup of juice and pulp, so it took Lou a little time to soften and squeeze the limes. I made a shortbread crust, and after cooking the filling, I baked it in the oven and then it has to sit in the refrigerator for six hours prior to cutting it, so desert for tomorrow night.

I actually have spent the day cooking and baking. I fixed barbecued pork chops, a baked sweet potato, fresh spiced apples slices and brocolli for dinner and we finished up the pudding from last evening. Oh, I forgot, I baked blueberry muffins to go with our dinner.

I will try to remember to take a picture of the pie tomorrow night, before I serve it. We didn't get to play out today, so tomorrow is the day, if it isn't as windy. Estee has been abit strange today, and it gave us a chance to watch her a little closer. Lou hates to put her into her cage when we go away, so he has been letting her have the run of the house and so far no accidents. She hasn't left his side in all day, he took her for a short walk today and seemed alright outside for a short time. Perhaps we have tired her out with our long walks, usually Lou ends up carrying her back part way.

DH is awaiting my return to the living room to watch something with him. We are really enjoying NCIS.

I wanted to note the table quilt I have on our table is one that my sister quilted for me. Isn't just beautiful. The perfect size and we use it at each and every meal. Every stitch is hand sewn by her talented hands.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Rain - Pool Party

We awoke this morning to rain again, we had planned on walking early this am, before it got warm, we quickly got on line to check the radar and decided we would wait on our coffee and get our walk in before the next shower hit.
We got our 2 1/2 miles in and got back to the RV and it came down and that has continued all day off and on.

We took advantage of the rain and I made a special desert for tonight, we had an excess of milk so made a homemade vanilla pudding and made a trifle with bananas. Then we tackled our Bible studies and are now all caught up and we had some great discussions of the apostles of Jesus and did research on line and found a wonderful site that we have book marked to use in future studies. Lou started reading Matthew comparing it to what we have been reading in Mark and he thinks he likes Matthew's writing, and I have always preferred Luke as I think he gives more detail and I have likened that to him being a physician.

We had to run to K-Mart to pick up some car wax for our car and got caught in a rain storm there, so waited for that storm to pass.

We had a pool party scheduled for tonight, but was raining, then one of our friends came along and told us they were still going to have it but were going to have it in the Pavilion that way we would be dry. We had pulled pork, (80 pounds had been cooked to serve all of us) and everyone took a dish to pass and our own drink. It was fun, and it did rain and blow, we had music scheduled also, but we all decided we would hold the music for Saturday night, when we all meet have sweets and dance the evening away.

We did make plans for tomorrow with some friends, Bill and Joan and we are going to tour Key West on the Conch Train, a four hour tour, and dinner out. We are looking forward to that.

Want to get my laundry done tonight, as it has been very humid and I don't want clothes to mildew and will get my shower while the clothes dry.

Right now it is very windy with rain, and Lou has put in the awning over the slide and if this continues, may put the slide in also.

The little red plane, is what I call The Red Baron, I love to see him fly over and just had to have a picture. The "bunker" is along the road we walk each morning. This part of the base is no longer being used. These bunkers were used to store munitions and bombs. I would love to look inside of one of them. There are probably twenty of these.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Warmer -Walk - FOG

We woke up this morning with the sunshine pouring in our windows, Lou went to look at the thermometer and it was 72 degrees at 7:30 am. You know that is a great promise for a great day.

After breakfast, Lou put the awning up to keep the house a bit cooler, otherwise, we have to run the generator to use the A/C unit, and I'm sorry you northern folks, I wish we could send it up to you.

I had an appointment to get my hair cut and was sorta of dreading someone new, but she did alright, as most of you know I have a curly perm, and she played with the idea of straight hair in Florida and used a straightening rod, and pulled it all back from my face and made straight bangs, different, but showed off my gray, which I just can't get enough of. Once I wash it will have curls again, Lou said he really liked it, but one wonders, he is just a very considerate pleasing personality.

After the haircut, we ran to the BX for a few groceries and back home for lunch at 2:00 p m, then we decided we would take a walk and it was a lovely afternoon to walk, but poor Estee got tired, so Lou took her down to the shore side and she laid down at the edge and fell asleep, we sat and rested while she cooled off and while we were resting Lou pointed out a jelly fish to me and then we saw a crab along with the water turkeys. The tide came in a bit and Estee really got cooled off, but she didn't mind it at all.

On the way home from our walk we stopped to chat with Bill and Joan and while we were sitting with them, we noticed the FOG was coming in, I found it very interesting as I have never seen fog in the daytime with the sunshine, and as we sat there we could feel it get cooler, it had been 86 degrees and by the time we got home, it was 73 degrees. The fog was gone by 8:00 and was perfectly clear; however, tonight is supposed to bring showers.

Tonight for dinner DH made a wonderful Greek salad, while I prepared Orange-Maple Glazed Chicken and also had a fresh potato salad. I have found, after talking to the ladies around here, that I cook differently than most, as they buy things already prepared and just warm, but I love to cook and here, I have the time to enjoy doing it and DH enjoys helping, so these are special times for both of us.

Now it is time to get the NCIS. We have the first season to watch and we both love to watch them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rain and more Rain

February 22nd- Monday Rain, windy and 75 degrees

It started raining here yesterday afternoon, and it has continued all night and today, a few minutes it looked like it was trying to clear up and now it is black again, and looks like it would pour at any minute.

Was a good day to dump, as that is what we had planned. We congratulated ourselves, we made it through a whole week without having to dump, even giving Estee a bath yesterday afternoon. Lou and our neighbor donned their rain coats and moved cars and such and agreed they would both dump at 9:00 this am.

I found a solution to the laundry problem along with the showering. The "older folks" don't like going out after dark, but that doesn't bother me, so I rounded up all of the laundry, rugs, doggie bed and such and did laundry last night while viewed a long DVD on the history of flying, and took my shower during the last 30 minutes of the drying time of the laundry. Never saw another person while I was doing all of that. All finished in less than 2 hours. So this morning after we got back from dumping, I cleaned up the whole house. Looks pretty good, even did some mending of sofa pillows.

After we finished cleaning, Lou and I tackled our Bible studies and daily devotions, made out new prayer lists for the week. In place of giving something up for Lent, we have decided to give something, and that is going to be to do our devotions together each morning, and Lou suggested we read through the Gospel of Mark during Lent, and he caught us up for the days we had missed. We have a couple of grandkids that are starting something new and different, and want to lift them up in prayer as they prepare for a change in their lives.

We paid some bills this am and ran into town to the post office, and of course, couldn't resist a picture of the chickens and a sample of a street, the picture is of the street leading to Truman Annex. I love the pastel painted homes. Kris, you would love the houses that are painted purple and many are painted white with purple trim.

I have made a sausage quiche for dinner and want to make a salad to go with it, being a cool damp evening, won't mind having the oven on.

I have an appointment to have my hair cut tomorrow. Should be an interesting event, the same girl has cut my hair for years, but it has been over six weeks and I can't wait any longer. The majority of the women have very short straight hair here, and a I told Lou maybe I would do that and his response soon made me realize that wasn't' a good idea. Don't know what I will end up with.

Pres, can you see that your dad is wearing his hat. I knew you would be proud of him, but only because it was raining. I will work on the sunshine later, I guess.

Can you see why I wanted to keep the site that we have? When it is warm, and sunny, we get shade from the trees and it is nice to have something green outside. But no chickens here, have to use the alarm clock that DH can't hear.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday - Church - Warm and Sunny- Pink Shirts

We awoke to beautiful warm sunshine, and I sorta wondered if each of us wearing a suit to church was going to be too much' however, after Lou came back from securing our reservations to stay here until March 10th, he felt we would be fine.

Please note my handsome husband in his PINK shirt. I had purchased it for him right after we met, knowing with his coloring, it would be wonderful on him. This military man thought NEVER, so I said nothing, but put it with his favorite light weight gray suit and today, when he pulled out his gray suit, there was his pink shirt, tie and matching hanky for his pocket. He looked at it and said, where other than Key West for this shirt. Even he had to admit, it looked pretty good. After we returned home, he said he would hang it up and get another wear out of it, which surprised me, I thought it would go into the bag for good-will.

Church was a great experience. We attended Key West United Methodist Church on Eaton Street. A beautiful building with many very generous stained glass windows. The one picture shows one of the windows, but the sunshine was coming in and it doesn't show the total beauty.
There were about 250 people there, a highly talented choir with off white choir robes. Pastor Velasco, spoke about our journey through Lent, which was very insightful. I made many notes and Lou and I have talked about many aspects of it this afternoon.

The choir is going to team up with six other choirs in Key West to have a special benefit for Haiti next Sunday night and we want to attend that. Promises to be a great evening.

The picture of Christ was used in the Children's sermon, asking the children all of the fun things that they enjoyed doing. The picture was upside down and they could pick out many things of fun and he then turned the picture upside down and found the imagine of Christ, telling them, how Christ could be involved in all aspects of our lives.

After church we drove around the Key a bit and had breakfast out, which was huge, Kris, we both had grits!!! By the time we had finished breakfast, it had clouded up and a few sprinkles, we spent the afternoon, relaxing and talking, and I finally decided I would bake something for desert, I came up with Banana Choc. chip bars. While that was baking, Lou filled the fresh water tank and I gave Estee a bath.

Lou had been chatting with the man behind us from Missouri and he and Lou are going to dump at the same time, making it easier to move the rigs around. I want to wash my rugs tonight and clean up the house tomorrow, and all will be set for the week.

We are still having rain this evening, a good time for the A/C unit and drying everything out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lazy Warm Day - Key West, FL

This was the warmest day we have had since we arrived in Key West. It reached 77 this afternoon and one would think it would encourage us to get out and do, but we had a lazy day. We have had a lot of company the last few days, it just seemed good to take a slower pace.

The couple that are next to use have a small RV B body and are from Macon, Georgia and spend six months a year in their RV. We have enjoyed getting acquainted with them and today we have had many more folks come in to the part, so tonight it seems rather full and I think all of them must be on the computer, as it is taking forever to get hooked up and the pictures are loading, so will try to do them at the end.

We did drive up to Sigsbee to register for our site and found that we can't do that until tomorrow, so Lou is going to drive up tomorrow morning before church to pay and register, as we hate to give up this site, as we have grass and a tree for shade, if it gets warmer that will be nice. We opened up all of the windows today and the screen door and was so nice to have a breeze blowing through. We watched people para-sail out our front window today. I can't talk Lou into doing that, which really surprised me, as he still have his licence to fly gliders.

Estee and I rode along with Lou today to go to Home Depot, looking for a special bulb for our kitchen light, took my book along, and Estee and I sat in the car, and for all of you that don't know, Key West is known for it's chickens, they are everywhere and they crow at all times of the day. Estee was sitting in the back seat of the car and we had the windows down and this rooster came up to the side of the by Estee's door and crowed, I thought she was going to jump out of her skin. She didn't bark at him, I think she was actually afraid of him. I was able to crawl over to Lou's side and take a picture of him.

Last night when we laying in bed talking I asked Lou why there were not any chickens in our campsite and he told me simply, "it's a restricted area", gosh, I didn't know chickens in Key West could read!!LOL I then told him I remembered when we raised 10,000 chickens at a time, every nine weeks, our baby chicks came with little colored glasses once. That was before they started de-beaking chickens to keep them from pecking each other. I am not sure he believed me.

We both spent the afternoon reading until it was dinner time and we formed a joint effort for dinner. Lou made a wonderful chopped steak in the Somersize grill, also grilled a large slice of onion on it topped with cheese. On the stove he cooked fresh mushroom, shrimp and more onions in a red wine sauce that we served over the chopped steaks. Delicious.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Finally a nice long walk in Key West

Today was darn cold and windy, but the locals keep saying "it's going to warm up soon", yea, I sure hope so. It was 57 when we woke up and was 60 at the highest point today with wind!!!

Lou, Bill and Estee took a walk this morning, while I battled with several women for the three washers here on site. Finally, found the best way was to sit and wait for a washer and scramble for it with great gusto. After, the clothes went into the dryer, I went next door and did the ironing and waited on the clothes to dry.

Laundry finished, we decided to take walking short cut to the "city" and we donned sweater, socks, and jackets, put Estee into her cage and set off. Picture of the pelicans sitting and awaiting the fishing ships to come in with the catch of the day. Many of the boats, ships at the port would cost more than we would see in a life time. Very interesting to watch and view. We sort of did a walking tour to see what we wanted to plan on seeing in the time we have left here.

The picture of the man and woman dancing is outside of the Key West Museum of Art and History. One place we want to tour and the other picture is a picture that I took inside the one and only Mall at Key West, Clinton Square Market Mall, and the entire upstairs of this mall is of The Key West Toy Factory. How we wished we had our great grandchildren with us, it was just wonderful. Probably the highlight of our afternoon.

We walked through the bar area, with a mixture of different kinds of live music, but from each spot the smoke poured out. We are both amazed at how many people smoke here, men and women.

It was almost dark when we started back to our RV and we hadn't had dinner, so we stopped at Dante's and had a wonderful dinner. Lou ordered Cronk and Chips and I had Maui-Maui and chips, it came with a variety of seafood dips, one was key lime mustard and a very generous serving of coleslaw. Our seating at the restaurant was on the side with a wonderful view of the expensive yachts. There were ships that were loading for the sunset cruises; however, Lou and I decided it was much too cold to set out on the sea. For desert we shared a piece of homemade Key Lime Pie. It certainly was homemade and was just wonderful. After we enjoyed our final cup of flavored coffee, we thought we were ready to tackle the walk with great gusto and enjoyed our walk back to our site in the moon light.

We had no more than gotten home and a knock on the door and there was another couple from our SMART group. We had not seen them since last October and enjoyed catching up with them on what had happened to them since last fall. They arrive at Key West last November so they were very helpful to us regarding hair dressers and more fun things to do and the best of both worlds.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

90 Miles to Cuba - Lunch out - Sightseeing Key West

Today was cool and windy, needed a jacket to be comfortable outside. We spent the day sightseeing.

After breakfast, Lou and I put Estee's cage together while she sat and watched us. We put a piddle pad in it and her bed and blanket and she just walked in. With her safe and secure, Lou and I set our for Cuba. We were able to get to the 90 mile mark. Note picture

After reaching that point we also stopped to admire the southern most hotel in Key West. Note Picture.

After that we visited a restaurant that had been a favorite of Lou's and Dr. Thomas'. It was wonderful. We both had stuffed crabs with golden rice and black bean soup which was served on top of the rice, this came with fried bananas. We both cleaned our plates and then decided we would leave the Cuban restaurant and do some walking. Note picture of El Siboney on Catherine Street.

We drove out to Zachary Taylor Fort and toured the fort. It was built in 1845 and used in every war up to and including the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. You can note the parade ground and a cannon that was used. The cannon fired a 100 pound ball that would travel up to three miles. At one time the fort housed 600 soldiers. Note picture of cannon with Lou and the Parade grounds.

Tonight as we were just finishing our dinner, SMART friends of our arrived and spent the evening with us. They suggested many things to us that we should do, so we have decided we will stay here at least two more weeks and maybe longer. We have just started talking about the route home and who we want to stop and see and what way to travel home. We would like to see the air show that is going to be at MacDill Air Force Base the end of March.

It is almost time to shut the generator off, so will sign off for tonight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Laundry Day - Reading - Sunshine

DH forgot to set the alarm last night, we we both had the luxury of sleeping in
Later post: I don't know what happened to the rest of this lengthy post; however, I will try to re-do it at this time. This would have been the post for Wednesday Feb 17th Ash Wednesday.

I toted my laundry over to the laundry house to find there was broken pipe and we couldn't use the washers, so Lou and I loaded everything into the car and went up to Sigsbee camping area and did three loads of laundry there. He sat in the car and read his book, finishing the 5th book
in his Eagles series of William Johnstone. I also finished my last book and was ready to start a new one also. I found a new book in the laundry, where people leave their books for swapping and it looked better than the one I brought to read next, so I scooped it up and started it. Very good. Lou and I both enjoy reading and not being used to television at home, we really don't miss not having it. We did bring along some new DVD's but haven't even watched them. We do have our XM radio and it will play on AC or DC current and we enjoy that at all times. Yes, Susie, we hear Sheppard Smith twice daily and he keeps us updated on the current news. I certainly can listen to him much easier than I can take three hours of Rush Limbrough, or however you spell his name.

We stopped at the commissary for spices that we needed to some different cooking, both of us had not thought about not being able to use the crock-pot without electricity, so change of thought. For dinner we used the propane and baked a lovely pork roast, with baked potatoes and spiced baked apples and fresh green beans. Of course, Lou had to have one of his freshly baked ginger cookies for desert.

We got the coffee table out tonight and set it up, really makes the living room area look more like home. Complete with a shamrock dish filled with chocolates received for Valentines Day. Even had a doily with me that Joanne had made for us. Looks cheery.

We celebrated Ash Wednesday by starting a new book by Max Lucado to read each day along with the daily devotions we do by Charles Swindoll. Both are wonderful Christian writers that Lou and I enjoy equally.

The picture that I posted was of Lou cutting the leftover pork off the bone to make pulled pork barbecue for dinner on Thursday. We had purchased a new sauce Jack Daniel's brown sugar and hickory flavor.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Routine Day - Key West

We were up bright and early and I can't tell you why? I wondered the same thing when the alarm went off at 6:30, I thought we were on vacation!!

We had rain during the night and the temperature dropped it got to 62 today, after it cleared off and the sunshine came out in the later afternoon. While Lou was fixing an omlett for breakfast we heard a knock at the door and a very friendly familiar voice. Bill Zimmer, one of our favorite SMART members, he and his wife are camping here also, so it was wonderful to catch up with he and his wife Joan. He is retired Army and he and Lou torment each other Air Force vs Army. Their daughter is also in the high ranks of the Army and will receive a special award from the president this winter and her parents are very proud of her and have a special invitation to attend the ceremony in Washington, DC.

After breakfast Lou tackled several job that needed to be done. He was successful with everything with the exception of the light above the kitchen sink. Will need to have it replaced.
I tidied up while Lou did his jobs and put out some St. Patrick's decorations, then we were off to the grocery on base. Up to today, we had just used the things I had made before we left, so thought we did really well. Tonight I fixed chicken cordon bleu with a garlic rice that Preston had gotten for us along with a fresh fruit salad with yogurt dressing and fresh steamed brocolli with lemon. (Pres we did like the rice, very tasty, thank you)

Tonight was a first for me, DH and I made a deal regarding the water. I told him I would take my shower each night at the shower house, if I could use glass dinner ware for dinnertime, and use plastic the rest of the day. My logic being, it takes as much dish water to do a pot or pan as it does to do plates and silver. So tonight I had a nice long shower and washed my hair and even shaved my legs and didn't have to worry about how much water I used, and I simply put my nighty and robe on and walked home and washed my dishes!! I'm happy and Lou is also.

The picture that I posted doesn't show what I wanted it to show. The red lights on the base have flashing red lights around them, at first I thought it might be for Valentine's day, as they really go all our for that also, but was still the same today.

Think tomorrow will be laundry day, still having problems with the blisters on my feet, so can't walk and sight see yet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunshine - Walks - Birds - Views - Blisters

We awoke to sunshine this morning with a promise of a warmer day without the strong wind that we have had in the past. After several phone calls from family members and breakfast we decided to take a nice walk. DH neglected to tell me just how far he was planning on taking. We took Estee along with us,and left the site at 11:30. We returned at 3:00, poor puppy was tired out and actually had a sit down strike, so Lou and I took turns carrying her back. I would have had him carry me also, if I thought he could have. By the time we returned my blisters had blisters.

We did have a lovely walk, we walked back into part of the naval base that is no longer used, was sad to see all of these building with pine trees over grown around them. The street were of concrete and covered now with grass and weeds. We saw many wild straw flowers growing and lots of butterflies and birds. My favorite birds were the Ospreys, if I can get my pictures to load, you will be able to see the Osprey's nest and the mama sitting in the nest. As we walked back we saw the White Pelicans. Pelicans have always been a favorite of mine from the first visit to Florida. Our oldest daughter loved the Brown Pelican and I remember a picture of her that we took and she was almost stroking the Pelican as he sat waiting for a fish.

The view of the gulf is what we have out of our front window. It is rather amazing, don't you think? Sure better than a snow bank.

On the way back to our site, Lou suggested we walk through another park of the camp ground and we found a couple that we camped with this summer, so we stopped and chatted with them and also found out there was another couple from our SMART group that is here, we hope to catch up with them in the next day or so.

After we returned home, we had to drive the RV over to the gas station and fill up the tank with propane and then had to dump our gray and black water and fill up our water tank, and now DH tells me if we use paper plates, and watch our water we can go five days before we have to dump again. It is very difficult for me not to use glass dishes and wash dishes after each meal. I guess I can give it a try.

Had good news from Scott, they have taken out the IV's and the pleural effusion did not worsen, and he is up sitting in a chair, so he felt prayers were being answered. Please continue to remember him in your prayers. He is supposed to be in a fishing tournament the 13th of March and Lou and I were planning on being back to North Port to watch him weigh in. Only the good Lord knows the results of this.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Touring Key West

Happy Valentine's Day!!

We were up early this morning to get our assigned new campsite. We finally got moved over to out site and settled in. It is dry-camping, but a very nice location with a wonderful view of the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side. I will try and get a picture tomorrow to post. Today it was very windy and we didn't venture out to walk.

We did take the car for a ride today, Lou wanted to show me a little of the "old town". Very fascinating and reminds me of Venice, FL. Old Victorian architecture. His tour brought back some American history stories to me. I remembered about the ship USS Maine sinking here prior to the war of 1812 and the people being buried at City Cemetery. I am in hopes of being able to see that while we are here.

The pictures are of the dock in the center of town, the sail boat belongs to the Coast Guard and the Yacht to someone on the rich side.... The monument is of Henry Morrrison Flager. I have not found out what he did, as it didn't tell on the monument. More on that later.

While we were touring the city, I received a phone call telling me that my son, Scott had been in a motorcycle accident this afternoon. He and his son are both deep into dirt bikes and Scott teaches classes to young men and boys on the safety aspects of dirt bike riding and he co-sponsors many events throughout Florida where these young boys ride their bikes.

He was taken to Peace River Hospital in Port Charlotte with a punctured lung, three broken ribs, broken collar bone. He is in intensive care and will remain their until they can determine if the pleural effusion is enlarging and perhaps will need to insert a chest tube at that time. I request prayers for relief of pain and a speedy recovery and that God would share with all of us as to what lesson He would like us to learn from this incident. I praise God that there was NO
head trauma. He wears tons of safety year each and every time he and Greg ride. I am also thankful there were other men and boys there with Scott when the accident occurred to come to his rescue. That is one of Scott's rules, you don't ride alone.

Will keep all updated on Scott's progress and thank you for your prayers and concerns.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


PS It is late and now things are working much faster so was able to get the pictures to upload. Think everyone will know what they are.

Lou talked to Preston and Sandra tonight and I will try to contact my family tomorrow. We move to our new spot tomorrow.

I found an internet service that we will pay for and I think we can use it any place on this base, so hopefully, that will work out better for us to stay in contact with our families.

Destination Reached

Destination Reached - Key West -FL
Feb 13, 2010 Saturday- Day 12- Very Windy 62 degrees

We awoke to sunshine and high winds this am., we also cold, about 57 degrees. We were all hooked up, so we left our campsite and drove down the road about 5 miles so we could dump and fill our water tanks, ready for “dry camping” tonight. This took about an hour to do all of this; however, it gave us a nice place and time to check things on the RV before continuing our journey.

We again traveled route 41, which is the same route I became familiar with in Venice, called Tamiami Trail and the same name continues all of the down. We passed by active Miccosukee Indian Villages, with thatched roof homes, many people out fishing and many airboats in this area of the Everglades.

As we changed route and followed 997, which was 142 miles from Key West, we saw HUGE field of tomatoes, sweet corn and green beans. Sprinkler systems like I have never seen before and we saw bananas growing, which I have never seen before.

We stopped at Homestead for lunch and gas. I quickly picked up Hot wings for Lou and I had chicken breast along with some wonderful potatoes. For desert we enjoyed fresh oranges…

We enjoyed the drive over the extended bridges coming into Key West, it is amazing that such bridges could be engineered. We arrived at Key West at 4:30 pm and are at Sigbee Naval Housing for the night and tomorrow we will move over to the main camping area; however, it will still be dry-camping, but we will be within walking distance of the city of Key West. I am so excited to think I will get to see the museums and such.

Birds and Alligators

Key West Bound
February 12, 2010 - Overcast 73 degrees - Friday

We both overslept this morning and found it was 9:00 when we awakened. Both of us have come to good spots in our books and probably read longer than we should have, but anyhow, we got all hooked up quickly without any problems and for once we were able to do it without snow, or rain and the temperature was good for working outside.

We enjoyed our evenings with Scott and Sue and the kids and as usual Scott outdid himself with his smoker and grill. He did a wonderful roast last evening done to perfection. Before leaving Scott and Sue’s we made plans to return in March and be there for Scott’s fishing tournament and will park the RV by his house, that should be a month away.

We stopped at Fort Myers on our way south so we could go to Camping World. The light bulb over the kitchen sink has blown, so wanted to get a replacement; however, replacing the light bulb didn’t solve the problem. Another item for the “to do list”. We also decided it would be a good time to eat our lunch and walk Estee. I made us a turkey and lettuce salad and had a fresh Gala apple and we were on our way.

We were soon into a part of Florida that I have not seen before. We reached Naples and turned on our air-conditioner. The weather became very windy and Lou struggled to keep the RV in the right lane. As were exited 75 to enter 41, the road had 12 lanes of traffic, rather amazing. Thankfully, DH knows where he is going and how to get there.

We entered into Big Cypress National Preserve around 4:00 pm, it is part of the Everglades and truly amazing. Just looking along the side of the road, one can see irrigation ditches with all kinds of birds and alligators. Lou explained to me these ditches are dug to drain the water off the marsh area and the birds and alligators all feed there.
The pictures that I posted are of Water Turkeys (American Anhinga) that actually spear their fish and then flop it on the ground to eat his catch. The other black bird is Cormorants and they have a bill similar to a vulture and they catch their fish. Of course, there are many White Egrets.

We decided it might be a good place to dry-camp tonight, we are sitting next to a lake, with a Seminole Indian Reservation. We got set up and it started to rain, but we aren’t complaining, as we heard on Fox News tonight that every state in the United States has snow on the ground tonight with the exception of Hawaii.

I fixed a nice dinner of shrimp and broccoli primavera with a fruit salad and white chocolate pudding for desert.

Tonight we turned on the generator for A/C in place of heat. We plan on having a relaxing evening and an early start in the morning.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Still in North Port,FL

The guys are playing Modern Warfare in Scott'f family room.

Today turned out better than we had hoped it would. Lou got up and read all about the slides on the RV and how the hydraulics worked and decided that perhaps someone else should look at the situation, so he called a man that was recommended and as he was telling him what had happened and that he had sent his wife under the the dash of the RV to check the fuses and found them to be alright, he touched the switch that controls the slides and presto the slide came the rest of the way in and also worked to extend itself. So go figure!! So we will just keep an eye on it and see what happens.

That problem solved, he thought he would move onto the air-conditioner and darned it he didn't figure that out also, it had blown a breaker, so he reset it and that works also. I did choose to use the outside air conditioning today, and opened the windows and door and let in the fresh air. He then took a second look at the microwave, but couldn't figure that out, so we don't have that fixed. Something for another day.

I spent the day doing laundry. This situation was a bit different. I had to purchase a laundry debit card for three dollars and then had to deposit enough money into the card to do the laundry, so instead of putting coins in the washer and dryer, you insert the debit card and it then tells you the cost and what your balance is. I told Lou I was going to save the card and I have a feeling that is going to be the "way" to do laundry. I was able to get all of my rugs washed and even put up a clothes line and hung my sheets and the items to be ironed outside.

We are leaving tomorrow for Key West and that will be drycamping, so wanted to have things all done up ready for that. I even gave Estee a bath, so we are ready to tackle the unknown.

Dinner at Scott's was London broil, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, smoked mackerel dip (that Scott made from scratch) w/ salad and for desert, we enjoyed lemon cake.

I don't know when I will be able to post again, due to the lack of electricity and internet service, but will write daily and post as I am able.

I did talk to Krista today and she gave me an update of the possibility of thyroid cancer, and the tests that she will be scheduled for now. Thank goodness for cell phones, they do seem to work for us, if Lou's isn't working, mine does. Pays to have two different carriers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AT Scott's House - North Port

We arrived in North Port around 4:00, and it hasn't been the best of times. We tried to make reservations for MacDill for later in the month, when we left today and they have nothing available, so will have to do a day to day check prior to our arrival and everyone starts out in "drycamping overflow'' and must stay there for two weeks prior to going to full hook ups.....

We did have good luck stopping at the post office and mailing valentines to the grandkids, the BX parking lot was was full, so we couldn't stop for the groceries we needed.

We had made reservations at a RV park close to Scott's and received a phone call on route that they people that were in our slot had not left and they couldn't contact them, so no spot for us. We continued on and did find a spot a few miles from Scott at a place I had remembered from when I was here before. I directed Lou back into the spot and I got him back too far to connect to the sewer, so he had to reposition the RV and when he went to put the slide in it would not move, so now the slide is out and won't go back in. Lou got his book out and read about it a bit, but didn't find a solution. Looks like a service call for tomorrow.

I guess it could be worse, we could have the snow that Janet told us about today in Harrisburg, PA. They already had 28 inches and an additional 18 inches today. At least we have sunshine with a very cool breeze.

So now we are at Scotts and he is fixing us smoked fish from the smoker for us for dinner. I am using the computer at Scott's house so finally I can post some of the pictures and the blogs notes that I had typed up while Lou was driving. Will try and do a little more later.

Tampa Bound - MacDill Air Force Base

Feb. 9 - Tuesday Rainy 53 degrees

We are Tampa bound, driving in a continual car wash!! We traveled route 10 to route 75 and south to Tampa. We did see some long horned steers, wild turkeys and lots of bee hives along route 10 and after that it has been continual down pour. The forecast was 60% chance. We both got wet hooking up this morning, and changed into warm and dry clothes as we started off, but both agreed it was much better than having a wet tent!! Both of us have bad memories of that!!

We arrived at McDill Air Force Base around 5:00 pm and found all 385 sites full, so we had to park in the Overflow camp area, so that means we do not have electric, water or sewer. Thankfully, we have a generator and will have electricity until 11:00 when we have to shut it off according to park rules.

I fixed homemade Chili and homemade biscuits with sharp cheese rolled up in them. Has not been the best of evenings, we found that the microwave has decided to take a leave of absence, door won’t close, therefore it doesn’t operate. Lou also found out that the A/C isn’t working either, so hopefully tomorrow we can find a place to camp with internet service so I can search out a Camping World so we can get a couple repair orders scheduled.

I called Scott this evening and surprised him, by letting him know we were here already, and we are going to his house for dinner tomorrow evening. We are in hopes we can find a RV camping place near his home and stay a couple of days before heading to Key West.

Quilts and more Quilts

Feb 8th Monday SUNNY 60 degrees
We awoke to Florida sunshine, giving each of us a feeling of needing to accomplish something. After having our usual breakfast, I headed for the laundry, which was in a beautifully kept room at the rear our site. I was able to get our laundry all caught up. Much to my delight we even had a clothes line, and
those of you that know me, know I took full advantage of that.

Lou worked on some of the bolts of the car hitch, as they were imbedded with salt and sand, and had made it difficult for them to work properly, both of us agreed it was much easier to do those things in the warmer weather. I even got the windows on the car washed before having a light lunch and shaking the sand out of all the rugs and running the sweeper throughout the house. Finally we were ready to drive back to my sister’s house.

I am absolutely amazed at how Estee has taken to traveling, she seems happy to go where ever we go and just makes herself at home and curls up where ever Lou lands and stays there until he moves. We have noted if he goes outside and doesn’t take her with him, she sits at the door and doesn’t move until he returns. For those of you that have asked about her tongue, it has healed, but when you look it is easy to see where the piece was cut away on her tongue.

Today was about Quilts and more Quilts Lou and I just sat and looked on in amazement as they brought one after another for us to look at. The two that really caught our attention was the one that Cheryl is making called FIRE which depicts a volcano and the destruction it causes. The other one is one that Daisy and Cheryl did together that used velvet and beaded organza with each square depicting a member of the family with embellishments representing something special about that family member. They were working on the square representing my father, adding a chicken, Ford tractor, and still looking for a Holstein cow, and will embroidery on a pitch fork and a bale of hay.

Cheryl works on family history and is the “keeper of the files”, so it was fun to read information that she had acquired of our ancestries. Some rather interesting folks. Seems like each time we talk, we remember different things we can add to her notes.

We enjoyed a chicken dinner and a very special treat from Tina, Daisy’s youngest daughter. She brought fresh Florida strawberries, so Daisy and I had to make fresh shortcake for desert. Wonderful and so tasty, as Lou says!

We looked at more pictures of school mates and family after we did the dishes and all too soon, it was time for us to leave to get back to the campgrounds. Daisy made us a beautiful quilted table topper for our table in the RV Lou and I had to use it when we got back to the park, as we enjoyed a cup of tea before bed. The colors are perfect for our RV.

Live Oak, Florida

Feb 7th - Sunday 44 degrees - Suwannee Florida State Park
We arrived here around 4:00, got settled in and called my sister, and programmed the GPS for her home and set off. DH doesn’t have a lot of faith in the new instrument; however, I remembered it was very difficult to find her, so he humored me and we used it, and probably was a good thing, we were on many different sandy roads. We arrived and enjoyed a delicious roast pork dinner with fresh peach cobbler for desert.

My niece had also arrived, so we had a good time catching up on all of the family news since we last saw each other in October of 2008,when they had all traveled to Wellsboro via the train and car. My sister’s family are all sewers and great creative ladies with more imagination than I can begin to think of. My niece is nearly deaf and has been since a young child. She does read lips, and I have to remember to talk directly to her, but think I did better this year. We both enjoyed our visit.
They had not met Lou, but found my sister and Lou went to the same school and were a few years apart, but knew many of the same people. In fact, Lou had dated many of Daisy’s girlfriends. She had a photo album of school mates, so she and Lou enjoyed talking about the ones they had knowledge of.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Have just a minute to post something. I am at a Welcome Center with Wi=Fi so am taking advantage of it.
We are just about two hours from my sister's place in Live Oak. We are staying at a State Park there for two nights, and hopefully,will be able to post some pictures. All is fine, great weather, put the cashmere coat away and only a sweater. Green Grass!!


Feb. 6 - Saturday

We are at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. The temp was 46 degrees at 10:15 am. Certainly glad we arrived before the storm. Lou’s daughter sent us a picture of their home this morning with 23 inches of snow. Certainly made Lou and I glad that we had left a day early, or we would have been in the thick of it.

We had several phone calls from our southern friends wanting to know where we were and if we escaped the snow. Nice to have caring friends and family.

This morning we Lou, Estee and I went for a long walk after breakfast, the wind off the lake was cold so we hurried right along. After I curled my hair, we took Estee in the car with us and did a driving tour of the base and out to look for the house that Lou and his family had liked in when they were here. We had assistance from a young fellow that we talked to and he “googled” the address and we were within a few blocks of the house. Lou was pleased to see that it had been given good care, took a picture to show to the kids and we grabbed a sandwich at Wendy’s and brought Estee back to the RV.

Lou and I set out for a visit to the Aviation Museum. It was huge and Lou sort of dragged me through the many hangars, it was absolutely fascinating and I could have spent the whole day there. Lou did get to see his old plane. He called it Ole Shakey, which was actually C-124. It has been brought back to the base to be refurbished. I was amazed at the size of it, was huge. I was also amazed at Lou’s ability to name off every plane he saw without looking at the name pads. Not only did he know the name, but he can recite whatever information you wanted to know about the plane. I have spent the last year listening to all of these stories and it was so fulfilling to see what he was talking about. It is like living with a history lesson each and every day and I love it all. We stayed until they closed at 5:00, and then home for dinner.

I used some of the left over baked turkey and gravy, fixed some fruit and cottage cheese along with more fresh broccoli with lemon sauce.

Tonight we caught up on some odds and ends of things that needed to be done in the RV and we plan to leave early in the AM and


Feb 5th - Friday
We left Spartanburg, SC at 10:30 am in heavy rain with storm warnings of snow and ice. Our goal was to get ahead of the storm, in fact that has been the mission, as there have been warnings of 20-25 inches of snow!! Good reason to go south……

Lou drove 530 miles yesterday, trying to get as far away from the storm as possible, but both of us decided we were too old to do this anymore, the shorter trips are much easier on the old bodies.

We drove past a BMW plant and show room and it was very impressive, this was in Greenville, SC. We also noted that Hartwell Lake near the Georgia line was full and there were many streams that were flooded and of course, the mud was all red clay. I remember the first time I saw the red clay mud, I asked about it and I was told that many southern boys died in the Civil War and their blood was still in the soil. I can remember be embarrassed to have remarked about the color and didn’t know for several years that wasn’t the case.

We gassed up at Flying J and I quickly made sandwiches and walked Estee in the rain, and we were back on the road. We called Warner Robins and made reservations for tonight, so we wouldn’t have problems if it were late with the heavy rain.

We traveled route 129 through Athens, GA and found beautiful green fields that were populated with black angus and horses. The boundaries were all marked with beautiful white vinyl fences.

In Madison, GA we saw large three story homes in rural settings, all looked a bit threatened by the high water and the heavy rain that was still coming down. The temperature was 45 degrees, so we didn’t have to worry about it freezing. There also may well kept pecan orchards and a world of gourds that were arranged many different ways to make homes for Purple Martins.

As we traveled through Ononee National Forest we turned off the radio and enjoyed listening to Johnny Cash’s new release of his mother’s favorite hymns. As we approached Macon in a lighter rain, we saw people along the road selling boiled peanuts. Neither Lou nor I care for them, so we drove on past. I had always thought the only reason they sold them boiled, as they had to get them clean somehow, so why not add some salt and them sell them?

Noticed a sign that caught my eye.. “Trails End Taxidermy”, now doesn’t that just about say it all?

We arrived at Warner Robins Air Force Base at 4:30 pm and the rain had just about stopped; however, traffic on the base was heavy and the police told Lou they would give us a police escort to the RV Campgrounds. So with flashing blue lights ahead of us, we started to the campground; however, one police car didn’t know what was happening, he simply saw us run a red light and he was in pursuit of us from the rear. I was busy trying to get a picture of the escort and I should have turned around and have a picture of the red lights flashing behind us. The two cars got together on the radio and cancelled the pursuit and we continued on to our campsite.

We have a lovely campsite in the pine forest with a beautiful lake, running trails, and anything else you could ask for. We quickly unhooked and while we were doing that we heard “Taps” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” being played, Lou jumped to his feet and saluted, before I realized what was happening. Old habits die hard!

We decided we needed to stay an extra night, so we could look around more in the daylight. This is the Air Force base Lou retired from in 1966.

As I went out to walk Estee in the evening, I heard Peepers!! That made my day, and with Lou’s new hearing aids he could also hear them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On The Way

We left Mansfield this morning about 10:30. It was a cold morning to get water hoses and such in working order, but mission was accomplished and we were on the road. As we were driving towards route 15, I noted the clock told me it was lunch time, so I suggested to Lou he stop at Arby’s for a quick sandwich and some coffee. Lou did that and while he was at the window to pick up the order I noticed the clock still said 12:10,then I realized that was the station number the radio was set on, so we laughed at the error and enjoyed lunch very early. Like Lou said, we had a very early breakfast.

The further south we came the more snow we saw in the woods, but the roads were fine and it was 45 degrees when we hit Carlisle. The car looked like it had been in a mud fight. We unhooked the car, but found the doors to the car wouldn’t open and once we used my key to open the doors the car wouldn’t start either. The problem was -- I pulled the wrong fuse in the control panel in the car. Another lesson learned. Lou was very gracious and told me not to feel bad, as the men at the Saturn dealership has put the fuse puller on the wrong fuse. Thank goodness, Lou had a battery charger, so we were able to get the car started and to the Base Pharmacy before they closed. Now the drugs have been delivered and DH was able to get a hair cut.

Estee was a good traveler as she always is. She sits with me in the co-pilot seat and looks out the window. She got out for exercise at the Flying J when we stopped for gas. We paid $2.57 for gasoline.

We are going to meet Lou’s daughter and her husband for dinner at Cracker Barrel, and then back to Western Village RV Park for a good nights sleep so we can leave early in the morning. I don’t have any internet service here tonight so will have to wait until later to post this.

Just found out I do have connection, but can't find my pictures, so will post it and practice tomorrow.