Monday, October 26 - Left Summerton SC around 7:30 am to travel over 400 miles to Lakeland, FL. Overcast skies but no rain during our long drive. We arrived at “home” at 3:00 pm very happy that everything looks like when we left six months ago.
Tuesday, October 27 - Rained all night and overcast with clouds looking like rain all day. Got started on the laundry we saved up to wash in our larger washer/dryer located in the “cottage.” Loving life. Groomed and sheared Mitzy with Ray’s help. She was so hot and exhausted from our long travel time yesterday, she moves from bed to bed sleeping. Worked on garden ideas to make our site more attractive.
Wednesday, October 28 - Now in Polk City Florida with another sunny/overcast day and higher humidity and heat about 90°. What a contrast from Boone NC.
Monday, November 02 - Sunny and cooler temps in mid-80s makes it ok to work outside. Ray bought a pressure washer for the concrete patio and also to clean off the “cottage” when it needs it. It is an investment we preferred to make instead of a one day rental. The picture shows how bad the concrete was before washed.
Tuesday, November 03 - Woke up to 65° with slight wind blowing. Chilly. We had to fast and go to Watson Clinic to get blood drawn. Then we headed for Home Depot to figure out the costs for items needed for planting the Thuja Evergreen trees I ordered (8) yesterday to be shipped UPS. Ray is learning how to use the pressure washer for the 3,000 sq.ft. concrete pad we have. It did a fantastic job. We opened the windows to feel the cool breezes.
Wednesday, November 04 - Another awesome day in sunny Florida. Slight breeze blowing with high mid-80s. At 8:30 am took Mitzy to the Vet to take her blood after a fast to check her liver enzymes. If the count is higher, test for Cushing’s may be necessary. Mitzy has lost all vision in her left eye from a cataract.
We went to dinner with two couples. Our neighbors Roy and Judy, and their guests, Dutch and Marilyn. We drove 25 minutes to Haines City and Manny’s Original Chop House. www.mannyschophouse.com We drove over to be there by 4:00 pm when they open. Good thing as there were hardly any seats available at 4:05. They were running a Wednesday special chicken fajitas for $9.99 for a double order.
Haines city www.ci.haines-city.fl.us/ was platted in 1885, shortly after the South Florida Railroad reached the area. The city was first known as Clay Cut, but there was no railroad station. It is said that the inhabitants persuaded the railroad company to build a station by agreeing to rename their city Haines City, to honor a senior railroad official, Colonel Henry Haines. The early settlers planted citrus groves, and citrus growing and processing became the main industry of the city. In 2004, unusually in a city so far inland, parts of Haines City experienced three hurricanes. Hurricane Charley passed through the city in August. Hurricane Frances came right on the heels of Charley but mostly just dumped a lot of rain. Hurricane Jeanne soon followed packing a punch not quite as strong as Charley but longer lasting. The city has since recovered.
Thursday, November 05 - Sunny blue sky and 10 mph winds with cool front heading our way. In mid 70s today. Ray is now going to work on the cottage cleaning off mildew, leaves, etc. then tackle the large project of pressure washing our 3000 s.f. driveway.
Vet called about Mitzy’s blood work. She has improved with 150 points less on Liver Enzyme count. She was 681 and now is 505. She will have to stay on the same regimen and Denamarin. Normal range for a dog’s liver enzymes is 12 - 118.
Friday, November 6 - Ray completed pressure spraying about 1/3rd of the concrete slab yesterday and still working on it today.
UPS delivered the Thuja Green Giant Hybrids. www.thujagardens.com/GreenGiants.
Thuja Green Giant Hybrid has become the most desired privacy tree almost overnight, and for many good reasons. This uniformly conical tree performs well in most any soil. Virtually disease-free and strong-rooted, it responds well to shearing. Durable accent or specimen tree.
We proceeded to buy the good dirt and bark for mulch and planted the trees three feet apart to allow for steady and fast growth. We want to have a barrier eventually from the back road/fence.
Saturday, November 7 - Very windy (15 mph steady) due to fronts. Hurricane Ida off the lower southwest coast and unpredictable at 90 mph. Steven says no threat to the Keys.
Computer Issues: I had a program appear on my computer that said it was Internet Explorer Security Publisher and there had been a threat to my computer and needed to download Cyber Security. Thinking it was “safe” coming from Internet Explorer, I let the download run. It found 5 threats and 258 infections and in order to eliminate the virus, bugs, whatever, I had to pay $59.95 and offered 30-day guarantee and lifetime membership. Well I immediately went into Control Panel and asked Windows to remove the file (yes it had attached itself to my hard drive). Windows was not able to remove the file. I went online and found out that this is a “bogus” software program. I have used McAfee for three years and I have been satisfied with them. I ran a complete Windows system check that ran about 1 hour and there were no malware or virus. Everything is functioning normal.
Thursday, November 12 - Overcast sky and 55°. A fine mist and 15-mph wind makes it much colder outside.
Saturday, November 14 - Beautiful sunny day and Ray decided to ride the Gold Wing. He took some beautiful pictures.
Our neighbors, Judy and Roy, told us about the FMCA Chili cook-off over at the Section 5 Gazebo. We went over on our bikes around 4:30 and met some really nice people. The cook-off was a lot of fun, and the all the chili I taste-tested was great. Two chili cooks included spaghetti noodles in their recipe – new twist?
Monday, November 16 - Another beautiful sunny day. Ray is running errands and I’m working on our blog. Ray attended the MOS Board Meeting.
Tuesday, November 17 - Worked in the yard off and on and Ray helped Roy Anderson next door. They went to Home Depot to pick up an auger to tear up the grass and dirt in Roy’s yard to prepare the land for his Thuja evergreen trees. Ray worked on the air plants that are killing our two pine trees in back. I tried to help him, but the long pole with the sharp edge to it is more than I can handle. I would rather climb up the tree, but that won’t happen. Roy invited us to go to dinner with them to Catfish Country in Bartow. The food was good and prices were right and we shall be back.
Wednesday, November 18 - Ray is really feeling pain in his shoulders from all the work using the pole to pull down the air plants as well as the Spanish moss because it houses mites and chiggers. It gracefully hangs from the branches of the large Live Oaks and pine trees in the back yard, but too much of it will kill a tree.
Spanish moss is neither a moss nor a parasite; rather, it is a tropical, epiphytic herb which grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. An epiphyte, or air plant, has no roots. Having through evolution broken all connection from the earth, it is self-sustaining in its manufacture of food and absorption of nutrients from aerial roots. It just uses trees as its substratum on which to grow.
Ray found a leak under the truck, so before our trip to the Keys it has to be fixed. Saturday, November 21 – We heard a loud noise outside and then a very loud crash and a scream. A young woman crashed through our fence and hit the large oak tree in the back yard. Lucky for her she had air bags. But she was very shook up and our neighbor, Judy, a former nurse, knew what to do to keep her calm until the paramedics arrived.
Sunday, November 22 - Very windy day and huge falling leaves from the two 52’ Sycamore trees in back are all over the place. Major cleanup job tomorrow. Readily identifiable with broad, maple-like leaves and a trunk and limb complexion of mixed green, tan and cream.
Monday, November 23 - Plenty of fog outside around 7am. Fertilized the 8 trees in the yard.
Tuesday, November 24 - Packing up to drive down to the Keys in the morning to visit with our son and his wife. About five hours of the same drive we have taken for countless years - boring.
Wednesday, November 25 - We drove in rain most of the way to the Keys. On Hwy. 60 we smelled the heavy odor of the wetlands. There are some farming communities and a numerous acres of flat land with very few trees. Stopped at the rest stop before getting on the Florida State Turnpike. Bought us some donuts and danish as a special treat. Saw a woman walking her Havanese dog outside (looks like a large Maltese). Stopped at Homestead for Wendy burger and fries. Once we got to Steven and Gennifer’s, we had torrential rain off and on most of the evening. We went into Key West to eat at Outback. www.outback.com
Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day Gennifer worked in the kitchen all day cooking and the food was excellent. The turkey came out very moist and she gave me the recipe for the cranberry dressing. Amy, Gennifer’s sister, helped Gennifer in the kitchen. Amy brought her dog Milo and he and Indie played all day together. Their close friends, Pat and Harvey from Ft. Myers were also included for dinner. It was a lot of fun. Steven turned on the DVD of the new Transformers movie and it was a bit too much for me.
The Island of Key West is located on the southernmost tip of America. Steven’s 32’ Yellowfin – awesome!!!
Mitzy decided she didn’t get enough Thanksgiving dinner and raided the garbage in the kitchen. She chewed the turkey carcass and we only found a few remaining slivers of bone. Not a good thing.
Tuesday, December 01- It was 58° in the early morning but it warmed up to 76°. I have been corresponding by email with my friend Penny from California about their visit to Lakeland on Thursday, 12/3.
Thursday, December 03 – We had to postpone the visit from Penny and Larry from California. Ray was not feeling well with flu-like symptoms and we felt it might be contagious. We planned to reschedule before they return to California.
Friday, December 04 - It was 57° and very overcast skies. Ray started feeling much better. At noon we had torrential rains and wind.
Saturday, December 05 - It was 55° at noon. We watched the Florida Gators http://www.ufl.edu/ and Atlanta football game for the SEC Championship. The Gators lost dismally and Tim Tebow cried. He is such a special person inside and out, I pray that he will do well in whatever life decisions he may make.
Sunday, December 06 - It went down to 38 degrees overnight. No frost.
Our TV Replacement: Ray and I (helped when asked) worked on getting the old television (Sony old and heavy flat screen TV) out of the front of the RV. After almost two hours, we finally got it out. Very scary getting it out the door. Ray took all the weight of the TV on himself and staggered down the three steps. He had to wait until I was able to get out of the door to help him. Everything ended well, except we need to get rid of this bulky “anchor” soon.
Monday, December 14 - Penny and Larry drove to Lakeland from Holmes Beach to visit with us. Once they registered at the La Quinta, we went to pick them up and go to the Cobb Theater at the Mall to see Sandra Bullock’s new movie, The Blind Side. It is a true story about a typical stay-at-home mother who takes it upon herself to help a homeless African-American boy, and the impact of her giving him a steady home is that he eventually rises to be the star of the football team, then goes on to win a college scholarship. Based upon the true story of Michael Oher, this movie is particularly timely as in real life he was selected recently as a first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, by the Baltimore Ravens.
We all enjoyed the movie and had a great dinner at the local Red Lobster. The next day, Penny and Larry returned to Tampa to stay at the Airport hotel and be ready to catch a plane back to California Thursday morning.
Tuesday, December 15 - Foggy and damp outside with 70 degrees at 8am. Ray is digging the hole for the pipe/post to hold the new Satellite Dish (Slimline). Hope the installer is savvy about motorhome installations.
Wednesday, December 16 – Ray and I drove over to St. Petersburg Tyrone Gardens Shopping Center to visit with some friends from the company I worked at for 23 years. We all had lunch and caught up on what was going on in our lives.
Steven and Gennifer arrived at Disney at a rental house. We packed up to spend a night with them and took Mitzy. Mitzy can keep Indie company while we go to Epcot.
Thursday, December 17 - We drove a half hour to stay the night with Steven and Gennifer at their 3/2 rental house in a nice subdivision very near Kissimmee. We spent the night so we could get a good start on our day Friday. Gennifer had baked cookies and brought us a tin filled with them.
First stop once we arrived at the main entrance to Epcot was to get our picture taken with Daisy Duck. Gennifer and I loved it.
Rain drops were felt off and on during our trek through the Disney Epcot park.
We took a boat tour Living the Land. This engaging 14-minute boat ride travels through the American plains, the rain forest and the African desert to explore how innovative technologies permit food growth while preserving the environment. It was very enjoyable. Another ride is called Soarin' and is an exciting, multisensory attraction that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over California. Experience the feeling of free flight from 40 feet in the air while surrounded by scenic panoramas including the Golden Gate Bridge, Malibu and LA. I was in a wheelchair most of the time, but still was worn out around 2:30pm.
We returned to the rental home in time for a short nap. Later that day, Steven drove us all back to the entrance to Epcot. It was a very long walk to get from the front gates, so Steven insisted on getting me another wheelchair and quickly pushed me around the park to the restaurant.
Gennifer had purchased four of The Candlelight Processional dining packages. This allowed us to enjoy our meal while guaranteeing us a seat for the show. New for 2009, a special viewing area for IllumiNations. It's important to note that at times this is THE only way to get a seat. Those with Dinner Packages are the first to be seated - those waiting in line (a.k.a. those who didn't buy the package) will be given the very few seats that remain.
We ate at Tutto Italia Ristorante at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. http://www.epinions.com/. It is a fine-dining restaurant serving handmade, sumptuous Italian dishes for lunch and dinner. After a fabulous dinner, we waited in line for about a half hour to be seated up front to see the Disney Candlelight Processional at Epcot’s America Gardens Theater. I was thrilled. Such a great restaurant with deserts to die for. Gennifer purchased a meal plan ticket for everyone so we were treated like royalty. We waited in line for about half hour to be seated up front to see the Disney Candlelight Processional at Epcot’s America Gardens Theater.
After the amazing concert, we waited to see the light show on the lake called IllumiNations. Gennifer also bought pastries at the French Village inside Epcot. Napoleon is awesome.
Friday, December 18 - We went to Bob Evans for breakfast. Had yummy vanilla yogurt filled crepes with fresh blueberries. Went to Disney AMC theater to see Avatar in 3D at 12:30. It was an excellent movie and plan to rent the DVD to watch it again at home whenever it becomes available.
Saturday, December 19 - It was 55° and windy. Only up to 64 for the day. Heard high 29 mph winds since 2:30 am. We are so much better off than those living in Virginia and Carolina where they expected 10 - 15” snow. Huge snow storm all the way to Long Island. We drove from Kissimmee back to MOS by 5:30 pm and unpacked. Although we had a blast with the “kids”, we were exhausted.
Sunday, December 20 - Cold 42° at 6:30 am. Ray went to Home Depot and got what he needed for the post to put up the satellite tomorrow whenever DTV shows up.
Thursday, December 24 - All week Ray has been working in the coach getting the large gaping hole where the old TV was ready for the 46” television we got for Christmas. Everyone was sick in St. Petersburg, so we all opted to plan our Christmas together when everyone got better.
Friday, December 25 - It is Christmas Day. Warm night and only 71° in the house. Watching Faith Hill singing Christmas songs on PBS. Strange not planning anything with the family today. We have a large rain front heading our way and it has started to rain heavily.
Saturday, December 26 - Ray got our new Sony 46” LCD TV from Best Buy http://www.bestbuy.com/ lifted and on the mount he had installed. This TV is overkill in my opinion as for the size of it, but it is really great to look at and I can now see it from my desk without my glasses on.
Sunday, December 27 - Drizzling rain and 59 degrees. Clouds and 10 mph wind makes it very cold outside. We ate soup I made from scratch. The TV is awesome and we are loving it, so it is staying! Now I need to purchase the Blu-Ray DVD player to make it a complete package.
Monday, December 28 - We are now expecting a freeze warning tonight and high of 64 today and 60 degrees tomorrow. But the sun is out and sky is very blue.
Tuesday, December 29 - Woke up to 39° temps. At least we were still able to use the electric heat instead of the furnace/floor heat.
Wednesday, December 30 - It was 41 degrees. The sky was a cerulean blue and the sun was bright.
Thursday, December 31 – We worked around the house. Ray worked outside but took the time to ride the Gold Wing since it was such a beautiful day. It saves us about $6 a trip to the grocery store. so he does use the bike more often.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! May 2011 be a great year for everyone!b:if cond='data:blog.pageType !="item"> >