Archive for2011-04 to 2011-07 – Spring and early Summer in Michigan

Still Straining

It’s a challenge. My old brain is trying to absorb the inner workings of my new Samsung Droid cellphone. Additionally I’m trying to help John get up-to-speed on his LG Chocolate Touch. All this stuff is stretching my mental resources. I am challenged.

Alao I’ve had to set up a new method for receiving my email message. (My new usb modem won’t let out-going mail be sent so I’ve had to find a way to use web-based email to send my messages.

I know eventually I’ll be comfortable with all these techie tools and I’ll be back to working comfortably, but right now I’m stressed by what I’m trying to grasp.

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We’re exhausted – but it’s a good exhaustion

We’re really tired tonight. For a little more than 24 hours, we visited Caroline and Stephen Cooper at their home in White Lake, MI. It is a lovely area and the Coopers and the Brooks (Richard and Shelly, who live within walking distance from each other) jointly hosted the weekend. We met both couples in our Florida community, Kings Point. They’re good friends both here and there.

We arrived early afternoon Friday at the Cooper’s home. It is a 4,000 sq. foot lovely tudor-style residence that is unique and totally lovely. We occupied the second floor suite.

We all took an excursion on the Brooks’ boat around the area. It was very pleasant. When we got back to the Brooks’, we were joined by more guests, Bob and Sherry, who also live in King Point, our Florida community. The evening was filled with food, beverages, and fireworks. The fireworks display was unbelievable especially for a modestly sized small community. We watched for a solid 25 minutes of constant light display. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better show even when it was an organized as a whole-community event in a good-sized city.

We finally made it to bed about 1:00 but sleep came later.

This a.m. we were up fairly early (about 8:00), and spent several hours getting to know Caroline and Stephen better. What a wonderfully interesting couple! Stephen is a retired judge, Caroline runs a business.

The other two couples joined us about 10:30 and then we took a interesting tour of the Cooper’s home. It’s fantastic. The original artwork which has been incorporated and the stories, made it even more interesting. It’s totally unique and original.

Our brunch probably started close to noon. Caroline fed us fabulously.

We then adjourned to the deck and conversed for hours. It was obvious that everyone needed a nap, but we all fought to stay awake through the afternoon.

Bob and Sherry left late afternoon and we followed shortly after them. We got home about 7:00 p.m.

This evening, John’s zonked out and I’m watching TV but ready for bed.

What a great weekend. One of the best I can remember.

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First Post

I tried to enter a post from my new Droid Charge smart phone but I have a lot to learn. Oh, well… I’ve learned a little since I got it last night and within a few days, I hope to know more.

We returned John’s Sony Kin and instead ordered a LG Chocolate Touch, a simple but multi-featu

red phone.

We will wait to leave for our friends’ house Friday until John’s cell arrives. Otherwise we’ll run into conflicts with the Fourth of July and also our departure to our huge Evart festival.

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Cell phone update

In 2003, I made a trip to Florida and John (because he was concerned) gave me a (then high tech) cellphone. It was a Motorola T-730C, a nice looking “flip phone.” Back then it was “top of the line.” But many years have passed. We have used the phone with its $15.50+ monthly pay-as-you-go service all of the intervening years. We never exceeded the total monthly 200 minute allotment (but they carried over each month so no big deal). We now have a slush fund of nearly $200 in reserve funds (yet every month we had to pay another $16.)

I’m tired of an “antenna,” which no other phone has, no-texting, and a totally antiquated system.

It’s time to upgrade. I’m known by Bluehost (my website hosting company) as their most knowledgeable “Techie Geek” and since I’m a woman, that makes me even more notable.

What am I doing with an 8-year-old cell phone? Times have changed. I’m ready to get a state-of-the art cellphone.

I’m looking at a Samsung ‘Droid Charge which is a 4G phone.


Our place in Florida is already receiving 4G service (the fastest available wireless service) and Michigan is promised to have 4G by early 2012. Here in Michigan from now until we leave for Florida in September, we will have 3G. But when we arrive in Florida, at the end of September, we’ll be able to receive the 4G service.

While we’re in Florida, we will receive at 4G from very late September until late April. When we get back to Michigan at the end of April, 2012, we should be able to receive 4G in Michigan. Can’t get any better than that.

I’ll be able to receive at the fastest possible speed (4G), work on line from my cellphone, take high def photos, and all the rest that everyone else is accustomed to with cellphones. I’m planning to commit to a USB modem which will allow 4G access directly to my computer (so wherever I am I’ll have internet access via my computer). John will also have a new camera-ready phone.

What I’m proposing is service which will replace our Vonage phone (house phone), our Verizon cell (wireless) and our 24/7 Speednet internet access with two new cell phones. Totally we’re talking about having spent $1,100 annually for our past service, but the new bill will be over $1,500 annually.

We’ll have our current house phone number (989-781-0849) ring on one of our two new cell phones, we’ll have a new Florida line (813-633-xxxx or 634-xxxx), and we’ll have our MagicJack (813-398-4670) forward our “previous” Florida number to one of our new phones.

Starting with our new commitment, we’ll have two phones, unlimited digital on my cellphone, 700 minutes on the two cells, and the usb port modem which will allow my computer up to 5 mb monthly access through my computer.

Sounds great! Wednesday I’ll order it all. (If I do it before 4:00 p.m., I’ll have it by Thursday.) Yes!

I want the best! I want to be able to do it all.

The sign-up will give us a two phone subscription so John also gets a good phone too. The KIN TWO M looks like a good choice for him.

Looks super. We’re READY! I can’t educate myself any more completely than I have over the past three days. I’ve wasted dozens upon dozens of hours.

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We got a call

Caroline and Steve Cooper (Ret’d Circuit Judge Stephen Cooper) invited us to their home at White Lake, MI, next Friday for the White Lake Fireworks show. We’re looking forward to a couple of days of wonderful socializing with these good Florida friends. Although we’re staying with Stephen and Caroline, we’ll be joining Shelly and Richard Brooks for a big part of the weekend event since they are only a step away (.1 of a mile by GPS). The schedule includes a Friday night dinner at the Brooks’ and then brunch Saturday a.m. with Caroline and Steve. Can’t imagine a better weekend.

Richard & Shelly and Stephen & Caroline are super Florida friends. We’ve spent a lot of time with them at our southern home. Can’t wait to renew our friendships!

It’ll be the first time in nearly 26 years of marriage when we can just take off for the weekend. Always before we had a dog that restricted us. Willow, and before Willow, Gizmo. Now, with no pet, we can be free. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t rather have our sweet Willow (or before Willow, Gizmo), but the commitment to our dogs did tie us down. Now we should take advantage of being committed only to each other.

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Where do I start?

We returned to our Michigan home at the end of April (from our Florida place) and I immediately tackled the ODPC workshop program. Even unpacking from Florida was put on hold so I could work on the program. Every day I’d do some (while admittedly taking lots of breaks) but the past month it became a full-time job.

I thought it was finished last weekend, but Monday evening, one of the leaders cancelled leaving me with nine vacancies. I filled in the holes but the harder part was revising the program to get it to fill the pages appropriately. Tuesday I worked from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. with only about an hour break for dinner. Wednesday I proofed the changes because it was scheduled to be at the printer that afternoon. As it turned out, the printer closed early so we didn’t get it to him yesterday.

But today, we delivered the finished project. With the program in the hands of the printer, I finally have time to do something else, but what? I’m now so far behind that I’ll never catch up. The house needs a good cleaning, the trailer needs to be prepped for the festival (we leave two weeks from yesterday), and I have sewing projects and other chores that have been on hold.

I wouldn’t mind planting a few flowers and making the place pretty.

We’ll leave for the festival either Wednesday or Thursday, the 6th or 7th of July. That gives me about 13 days to really “pick up the pace.”

I think tomorrow I’ll start with our bedroom. One room at a time.

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Papers are Piling up!

Willow, our sweet little dog helped us recycle our newspapers. She’d always been trained to papers so we didn’t have to walk her. We went through quite a few multiple times a day. We subscribe to the Tampa Tribune in Florida and when in Michigan, the Saginaw News. But when the News changed to three days a week, we found we didn’t have enough to keep up with Willow’s requirements. We added a subscription to the Wall Street Journal which provided a better grade of paper, and enough so that we could change her “area” frequently.

Now that Willow’s gone, papers are piling up. John’s now accustomed to the WSJ and the Tribune and News provide us with local input. We recycle but before we re-used them for Willow which was even better. We’re astounded at how quickly we accumulate them.

There are times when we’re really tempted to get another dog. But we know we’re better off without one. Our laundry room which was always Willow’s area for papers now has extra “space.” In Florida, my “office” can revamped and we’ll be able to make it more usable. We will be free to fly to Florida, if it’s necessary. And at our age, we fear a dog could out-live us.

Admittedly Willow was difficult for John (although he never complained), but it was a constant struggle to keep her and her area clean and she only wanted John to handle her. He doesn’t want to start over, and neither do I. We’re free to come and go. It’s a different feeling. The liberation is good for us at this time.

Another topic:

When we get back down south, we want to replace our Florida vehicle. What we have there is a 1992 Toyota which was included (for free) when we bought the condo. We drive the big GMC diesel truck down because it holds the road without being buffered around by the semis which rule the highway. But when we arrive, we park it in the garage and put it in “storage” so we aren’t paying road insurance on it. We use the Toyota exclusively. I’ve been looking into the possibility of storing the truck not in the garage but instead in the Vehicle Storage area in Kings Point. That would allow us to park our car in our garage. (It’s a two-car garage, but with the truck in half and the other half filled with our golf cart and a workbench area for John, there’s no place to put a second vehicle.)

I hate getting out of the car in the rain. And because there’s a tree over the driveway, the car is always covered with bird do-do.

John has always wanted a convertible. What better opportunity than now? But the birds and weather would really mess up a vehicle parked on the drive.

The other advantage of not parking the truck in the garage is that we can consider buying a condo with a smaller garage.

Last November, we found a place. You can read about it here: buying the Princeton Greens Condo.

The next day we tried to put in an offer, but that condo had been sold, while we were making up our minds. The main reason we hesitated was the “too short” garage. But if we drive the vehicle we’re parking in the garage is a regular car, instead of our truck, we’ll have lots of room. Most of the newer garages have about a 19 foot garage. We need at least 20 feet for the truck. The length of the garage will no longer be an issue.

We’d also gain storage space in the garage. And having an “empty” driveway so guests can park there would also be a lot more welcoming. The amount it will cost us (after paying the initial “membership” in the vehicle storage club), will be about $155 per year. Not a bad price to gain a garage.

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Any Excuse

I’m anxious to get back to Florida and I’m beginning to see that John feels the same way.

Our plan is to leave Michigan on October 1st, but we found out yesterday that if we travel in September, we will be able to buy our gas at a discount. Not much, but since there’s no reason why we can’t leave a few days earlier, we may. We need to attend a meeting on Saturday, September 24th, and on Monday, the 26th and 27th, we have appointments, but leaving September 28th would work. Why not? We’d love to get down there and bask in the Florida sun.

Maybe by September we’ll feel differently, but the 28th sounds great!

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We’re dancing again

Florida is always so much fun, mostly because of our active social calendar.

Finally here in Michigan, we have found an activity 15 minutes for our house. It’s a once-a-week dance lesson followed by a dancing. Nice, friendly people.

It still lacks some of the fun of Florida because the people don’t necessarily reside close to us, and many are at different stages of life than we are. But hopefully we’ll start to feel that they are friends. It’s an enjoyable evening.

Last night was the second time we have attended. The instructor is teaching “the East Coast swing” which is a dance we’re familiar with so it’s been comfortable for us. We mess up on some of the later activities but the lessons have been working out nicely. It’s a reasonably priced activity ($10 each) and includes some munchies. (Last night we had cake, relishes, nacho chips, etc.)

Tonight we have a Subterranean Strings meeting and tomorrow we will be attending a graduation party and a wedding, so we’re busy. Feels great!

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Getting better ‘n better

Today and for the rest of the week, the weather will be glorious!!

The ODPC Funfest (the largest dulcimer event in the world)’s workshop program (my contribution as Workshop Chairman) is READY!! It’s proofed, and re-proofed. And proofed again.

I also completed a website for my son-in-law’s business: Schmidts (It was too bad that I had to postpone the work I did for him because the demands of the festival had to come first.)

Today I spoke on the phone with Richard and Shelly Brooks, VERY good Florida friends who are now looking forward to their first Evart Funfest.

Life is good.

Tomorrow John has a breathing test at the Ambulatory Care Center, followed by an appointment with his pulmonologist. He may have to have his meds adjusted. His condition isn’t as good as it was when as he was in Florida, but maybe with a tweak in his medications, he’ll get back on track. I just hope he’ll continue to amaze the experts because he’s doing so well.

(PS for those of you who have started watching this blog fairly recently, let me explain that in 2009 John was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Normally it’s a dismal diagnosis, but he’s been beating the odds.)

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What’s with the weather?

Almost as soon as we returned from Florida, we ran into strange weather. We got back to Michigan from Florida at the end of April. The temperatures started out at about 70 but almost immediately dropped down into the 40’s and 50’s for most of the month of May, so by normal standards it was considered cold/cool.

Then it “hotted up” drastically, within a day. We had several June days in the 90’s. That’s unceremoniously high for the month of June.

But now it’s dropped back to the 60’s. In one day, it dropped 40 degrees. It’s now cool and gloomy.

Ups and downs. Unlike anything we’ve seen.

Wednesday I was dressed as skimpy as I could find. Today I’m in sweat pants and a long-sleeved top.

I can’t figure nor rely on anything to do with the weather.


I’m updating this post on Sunday, the 12th of June. Today was still dern cold. I started out in shorts, switched to sweat pants, then added a long sleeved vellour button up top and later yet another layer, another top. I also hugged my laptop for warmth. It’s not supposed to be like this here in June in Michigan!!!

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Picky Picky Picky

I’m the author of the ODPC workshop program and therefore, I have to proofread a lot of text. I was explaining to my proofreader, Nancy, why I am so finicky. I explained it this way:

My first job in 1961, was that of a proof-reader at a newspaper (the Midland Daily News). Obviously that made me aware of the problems with the “language.” It was about then that I had my two children.

After that I worked as a secretary at Dow Chemical Company for about a dozen years. I worked there in the 1970’s. (That means I am “vested” and I currently receive about $60 a month from the Dow Chemical retirement program.)

I quit working completely for a couple of years while my children were teenagers (a difficult time.) After that brief hiatus when I was a “stay at home mom,” I became personal secretary for the wealthy owner of several hockey clubs including the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a tough boss who really needed someone who knew everything.

But the job at the newspaper, at Dow, and at the hockey club, were all easier than what I encountered next… When I left the hockey club, I went to Saginaw Valley State University.

It was in the late 1970’s that I became supervisor of faculty secretaries for Saginaw Valley State University. Obviously when you are preparing papers for instructors, including the English Department, you need to be accurate.

That’s when I discovered that I could spot problems in punctuation, spelling, and language usage. I found errors when papers were handed to me by the instructors in the various departments. (Those departments included English, accounting, history, etc.) I felt there were often obvious problems.

Finally I went to the head of the English Department (Dr. Basil Clark). I told him I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t my job to tell a PhD that he’d used incorrect English, but I could tell that many of the instructors were wrong in their grammar or sentence structure. It was a problem of tact. I didn’t know how to handle it.

Dr. Clark and I came to an understanding. He had faith that I knew more about proper English usage than all but one of his instructors. After our conversation, Dr. Clark let it be known that I had his permission to change any papers that came to me with, what I determined to be, errors. (He said I knew more than his staff.)

There was only the one exception. That one exception was a Rhodes scholar, Dr. Tiner, who wanted everything the way he wrote it without exception. (And I certainly respected him enough to leave his writings and papers alone.)

For the couple of years while I worked at Saginaw Valley State University, my instruction was to proof all papers which came across my desk. I was told the reputation of the university depended on me. I needed to be sure that there were no (English language) mistakes.

It stuck with me.

A couple of years later I was sought out by St. Mary’s Medical Center to work in their Administration Department. I felt that was one of the strong reasons they had recruited me. At St. Mary’s, my first job was at an administrative secretarial level but, by the time I retired (23 years later, in 2004), my job was in administration at the hospital working as the person who wrote reports which went to the state for approval of services and equipment. I had become the expert person who worked for them and through-out the region and wrote vital reports to obtain operating rooms, lithotripters, MRIs, and other major pieces of equipment. I was “rented out” for my skills.

During my last year at the hospital, when a Vice President from St. Mary’s went to another position (Tawas City) as president of that hospital, I took over a lot of his job.

All of it took an excellence in writing skills.

But surprisingly, it was that old job at Saginaw Valley which had impressed on me the need for perfect English more than any other ability.

I can’t change now. I’m too old.

PS: Part of the problem is that rules continuously change. I just “proofed” this posting and found that the word “English” is now almost always capitalized. Previously it was only used with a capital when it pertained to “England.” Therefore the broad term, english language, would have been ok in lower case, but now it’s “English language” with a capital on the “E.” You can’t use yesterday’s rules and be correct.

And I never use spell checkers. They don’t understand English usage.

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Freezer Space

Donna Markland (of Bill and Donna, our Florida country dance instructors) called me today. It was nice to “catch up” on everything they’ve been doing. They’re super friendly folks who really help create a fun atmosphere.

Before the call ended, Donna asked if I knew anything about the dead lady in the freezer in Kings Point. It was intriguing question but I didn’t know anything about a freezer and a body.

She went on to tell me the story.

It seems that an 86-year-old resident of Kiings Point (Allan Dunn) committed suicide (gunshot) in August 2010. He had no heirs who would step up to claim his body. His children wanted nothing to do with him. Instead a waitress who had befriended him was assigned to manage his assets. After probate, she was given the keys to the condo at 201 Kings Boulevard, and she and her sister started cleaning out the place in preparation for sale.

When she opened the door of a freezer on the back porch, imagine her shock. There was a woman’s body.

Allan Dunn had cared for his wife during the last years of her life. She apparently died of natural causes but he stored her body in the freezer for 11 YEARS!!

You can read “the rest of the story” in the this article from the “Tampa Bay Tribune.”

How tragic.

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All Auto-Payments Fixed — Program Complete!!

Last night the new credit cards finally arrived at about 5:30. It took all last evening and about an hour today to notify the 18 companies where auto-payments are credited to our account. I’ll probably think of more as time goes by, but I got through the list I’d prepared.

I also finished the workshop program and now it’s in the hands of my proof reader. (Still could have changes, but it looks pretty dern good!)

This afternoon John and I are going shopping. Maybe we can find a way to celebrate the completion of my projects. John needs to feel he has his “wife” back.

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The end is in sight

Working on the program of workshops for the dulcimer festival always takes months but I’ve nearly finished. Within the next couple of days, it should be “in the bag.”

What can we do to celebrate?

John’s been patient, but he’s tired of me being tied up on my computer.

I think we both deserve a holiday.

Of course, it’s not done yet, and this weekend’s credit card problem still isn’t solved because the replacement card didn’t come today as I’d been told.

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Not a great day (but it could have been lots worse!!)

Today started out promising. Lovely weather.

We decided to buy a pedal boat. It would be great exercise and would get us out on the lake. Menards had them on sale (great price) but they’d sold out and rainchecks weren’t available. We were disappointed.

On the way home we made a couple additional stops. I was surprised when my credit card was rejected at Meijers (but figured it was a glitch in their equipment.) At Home Depot, John’s card was also rejected. Something was up!

When I got home I immediately called Chase/Visa. They said they’d spotted a problem with our account and realized John’s card had been compromised. To make sure there were no further attempts, they’d put a hold on both our cards. (They’re linked through my business.)

It was impressive to find that they’d caught the attempts before they cleared and stopped them before there were more. There were a lot of them ranging from only about $10 to nearly $300. Maybe there were even higher amounts but those were the ones mentioned. Three of the transactions showed up as pending on my on-line account and weren’t places we’d ever heard of. The customer service rep (who sounded like “Peggy” from the credit card commercial) said he would cancel all charges, and cancel John’s card, which was the only one that had been compromised.

John uses his card primarily for gas and food purchases. No big deal.

I was assured my card would not be affected.

After dinner, I went to the Chase/Visa website to check the names of the businesses and to look over our previous statements but everything was cancelled. I called Chase/Visa and found they’d made a mistake. Instead of cancelling John’s account, MY account had been voided. Our MAIN HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNT was gone. His was still active! They immediately cancelled his. There was no way to “restore” mine so two cards are being issued with new account numbers.

I did find the reason the usage had triggered concern was that John’s card was being used in New York Friday and the items purchased didn’t fit our profile. Obviously that wasn’t us. Glad Visa caught it, but wish they hadn’t cancelled my card.

That card is the one we use for all of our on-going monthly payments. Everything! Our Upper Peninsula light bill, our cable in Florida, our cellphone, my Paypal account, Wall Street Journal, newspapers, phone service, domain host, motel reservations, domain names, and several more accounts are paid from that card. There are at least 15 accounts that I’ll have to revise and/or notify when we get our new cards. Since the old card will be rejected, payments won’t be made with the old card. One due date is the 5th. I have to work fast and I hope I remember all of them. The cards should arrive Monday.

We have great credit. I never have to send checks, nor do I worry about anything being paid on time. Everything is auto-paid with my credit card and the credit card is paid off each month in full from a bank account. It was easy, until this happened!!!

I’m bummed!!!

Note: Knowing that I’m an internet techie, a lot of folks are going to think John’s problem was somehow caused by internet use. But John’s credit card numbers were never given out on line. He used his exclusively for purchases from gas stations, stores like Meijer, Home Depot, Walmart , Menards, restaurants, his dentist and grocery stores. And he never lost or mislaid his card. We can only think that a store that John purchased from, had their transactions hacked.

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Into the Warm Zone

Michigan finally feels like Florida. (And that’s a compliment.) It’s warm and balmy. For once I can’t find any complaints with the weather. It’s absolutely glorious. Today it was in the mid 70’s and sunny without any noticeable wind.

I’m perfectly content to stay here, as it is now, until October 1st when we’ll pack it all up and head south.

Today I spent several hours finding motels which fit into our itinerary for our return trip to Florida. We plan to leave Michigan on October 1st and will arrive in Florida on Oct. 3rd.

The whole landscape has changed since Willow died. No longer is it vital to find a place which accepts pets at no additional fee. Our tiny dog was a very quiet, non disturbing pet, that no one ever even knew was on site. The only choice we felt we had was a stay at the closest Red Roof Inn. Now the horizon is wider.

With Willow gone, we can consider those places which would have charged large pet fees or just said “no.”

Almost always we stayed in London, KY, at a lovely (very high end) Red Roof Inn, and then in “Valdosta, GA.”

We’re still planning on London, but in Valdosta, the Red Roof has closed (and wasn’t very impressive when it was open).

For our October 2-3 stay, I finally found that Tifton, GA, is a little further north and would probably fit the schedule even better so I went searching. I locked into a Microtel in Tifton, GA.

John definitely prefers a continental breakfast over most features and the Microtel offered one. So we took the bait and we now have reservations.

I spent from 8:15 a.m. until after 11:20 a.m. today, not counting the more than hour I wasted last night. That’s nearly FOUR HOURS OF SEARCHING and scheduling!! Certainly the few dollars I saved are worth a lot more than I invested.

It’s a problem which I haven’t totally solved. The internet has all the info but it takes so much time to scope it all out.

But at least for October 2011, I have us reserved at the Red Roof, Oct. 1-2 in London, KY, and in Tifton, GA, Oct 2-3 at the Microtel.

If we find a great “stay,” we’ll be repeat customers for all the years ahead.

We’ve stayed in London at the Red Roof countless times. It’s still our favorite stop and definitely best in that area. We have nice rooms and pleasant hosts. The restaurants in the area are good, the continental breakfast grand, and we feel it more than fits our needs.

The Microtel Motel in Tifton will be a “first time” stay. We’ll let you know what we discover.

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It may be Warming Up!

Today, finally (with the help of my proofreader, Nancy), I completed the “index of workshop classes” and “three daily workshop grids” for the ODPC Funfest in Evart, Michigan. I emailed those two files to the leaders. I’ll be hearing from them as they review their commitments.

The recent weather has been lousy. Today was another rainy cool day, but tomorrow things will change. They’re saying that, within the next couple days, it’ll be nearly 90! That’s quite a change from the 50’s and 60’s we’ve been experiencing as daily highs.

But I’m already planning for the fall. I’ve reserved a table of tickets to a Prudential Sunshine Kids (kids with cancer) benefit in October at the Community Hall in Sun City Center, FL.

And the North Clubhouse at Kings Point in our Florida community is undergoing a major renovation. Can’t wait to see the changes.

What are we doing socially here?

This Thursday, we discovered a ballroom dance group. It’s a reasonable price and includes a really good dinner plus dance instruction and free-dance time. Can’t go wrong at $10 a person.

Right now I’m waiting for the predicted warm-up.

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Grand Rapids, MI, out-did themselves

I have watched and rewatched this video which was a Grand Rapids community creation. I can’t imagine a city caring so much and creating such an awesome video.

Watch it once, and I’ll bet you’ll go back and watch it again!


Grand Rapids, Michigan promo Video!!!!!! Wow!!

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New Photo

the view of the island in front/back of our house
I don’t like to have my photo taken.

Recently I was asked to provide a photo for the ODPC newsletter (an article about the workshops). I suggested one which I’ve used for a couple of years at “my 2009 photo.”

It was rejected and I was asked to take another. It was two years old so I guess it was time to replace it. So today I did. (John took the picture) And to the left is the current photo I came up with, which was taken today.

As I get older (my next birthday I’ll be 70) I balk at photos. I know I could be worse off and I’m fortunate to be in the shape I’m in, but nevertheless I hate to see myself in print.

In fact I’ve often wondered how my family would ever find a picture of me if they needed one. I had dozens of my mother, and I know I could lay my hands on dozens I’ve taken of John, but I’m usually the one behind the lens and therefore I have very few pictures of me. So here’s the most recent from May 27, 2011.

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The three daily grids of workshops for the ODPC Funfest Hammered Dulcimer Festival are now in my proof-reader, Nancy’s, capable hands for checking and re-checking. It’s taken me nearly a month to complete the scheduling of the three days (from 9:00-5:00 each night in nine different areas).

I sent her all of the raw data as well as the three complete and ready-to-go daily schedules. (I call the grids.) The three daily grids are the back-bone of the workshop schedule. They’ll go in the final program.

Now I need to get busy with the “descriptions,” which are the elaborations for each class in the schedule.

I should have the whole 18-page program completed by the end of June. (Three pages done, 15 to go!!)

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It Ain’t Done yet!!!

A couple days ago, I thought I’d have the workshop schedule done by now but nope!! I worked a whole eight-hour or more day today. I finally sent the files to my proofreader only to find I had sent an “earlier revision” and some how the last revision was lost. I had to tell her to hold up any proofing. (I’ll re-do it tomorrow.)

My proofreader, Nancy, has helped me for several years.

I just found out, she has faced a health crisis over the past seven months with multiple surgeries and now chemo. I wish she’d shared her problems with me.

She’s a sweet lady.

We work well together.

I have sensed that she thinks like I do. She knows how I want the punctuation. She understands why I decide to do things like I do. We have an unspoken bond. Because we think alike. To find that she’s had health problems bothers me. I want to help her somehow.

What a lovely, giving person!!

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Pretty Day

the view of the island in front/back of our houseToday I worked for six to eight hours on the schedule of workshops for the ODPC Funfest, the world’s largest hammered dulcimer event.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve devoted dozens upon dozens of hours to this project. Today I set as my weekend goal, the completion of the three daily grids (for July 14, 15, and 16). I just about succeeded, but I decided to wait until tomorrow or Monday and, with a fresh start, I can get that part of the workshop program job done with greater accuracy.

Of course, once the grids are finalized, I still need to generate 16 pages of descriptions which will let those attending know what they can expect from each class.

I haven’t been feeling well, but I knew I needed to keep working. Today I had to re-do a lot of what I’d done when I wasn’t up-to-par. I now realize have to be “sharp” when I’m working with this stuff, and it’s apparent that I wasn’t. Nevertheless, I hope to spot my mistakes within the next day or two and get everything smoothed out. Then I can send it to my proof-reader while I start on the descriptions.

At least I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The three daily grids are the tough part of the project. By comparison, the descriptions are easy. I figure I’ll have it ready to go to the printer near the end of June.

At least the day was lovely and my view was grand. I took my laptop and the printouts to our deck so at least I was outside. (The photo above was what I saw whenever I looked up from my work.)

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Half a Bubble Off *

The past couple of days I haven’t felt well. It started Tuesday morning. I woke up really congested. After I got up and started moving around, it didn’t bother me much until evening and then I felt like I had a horrid cold. A few shots of nasal spray (high octane stuff) and some antihistamines cleared my head.

I felt better most of Wednesday. But Wednesday night was a repeat of Tuesday. The bad cold feeling hit me again in the evening and I really suffered. Last night I got almost no sleep.

If my problem is an allergy, I don’t know what I’m confronting but it really wipes me out.

Tonight I had planned to go to St. Charles for our sub-division association meeting/dinner, but I feared a repeat of the past two evenings, so I stayed home.

John had a practice with George Horny’s polka band so he wasn’t planning to attend the association dinner-meeting with me anyway, and the idea of driving over alone and then maybe feeling rotten dissuaded me.

George’s band is playing for a graduation party on the 11th of June.

This week it’s been wet and chilly. Tomorrow and over the weekend it’s supposed to warm up and be glorious so I can’t wait. Maybe with a little sunshine, I’ll feel better.

(*Note: My definition of “half a bubble off” means not feeling up to par. If you’re familiar with the use use of a level, you know when things are “centered” by the bubble. But when things aren’t quite right, you’re “half a bubble off.” I didn’t feel well so that’s how I described my condition. I wasn’t sick, but not well.)

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Missing the “social” life! (aka, waiting to go back!)

The pace of our life is so different in Florida than in Michigan. In Kings Point, Sun City Center, FL, we’re up and out early to get to the pool where we join with friends. There are dance classes and evening gatherings. There are spaghetti nights in Ruskin and dances at the Community Hall. We hang out at the pool on our “noodles,” exchanging small-talk. All activities are accompanied by the chatter of people who are special to us, the pleasant warmth of multiple friendships, and the feeling that “it doesn’t get any better that this.”

Here in Michigan, John gets more than enough of exercise working in the yard. I’m busy working on-line doing festival organization or web work, but that only exercises my enlarging butt. In Florida, I feel better because I walk a great deal. John gets lots of exercise with pickleball.

During these summer months in Michigan, it’s the social aspect of our day-to-day existence that is missing plus, this week, I’ve missed pleasant temperatures warm enough to encourage lots of lung-cleansing deep breaths. It’s been really cold (stay inside cold!)

Here, we have very little involvement with others.

The quiet/peaceful situation we find ourselves in here in Michigan is of our own doing. Most of it is really enjoyable. We usually love our solitude. But at the some time, we/I miss the social contacts we have in Florida. But if we want to create a social circle close to our Michigan residence, we need to work on it.

Neighborhood: We moved into our neighborhood 25 years ago. We were one of the first houses on our lake. That first Christmas we got to know all of our neighbors by hosting a party that included everyone. But over the years, the neighborhood has developed and all the sites around the lake are now filled (about 80 homes). The original folks moved out and were replaced by new neighbors we didn’t know and we’ve never met. For many years, we were working so didn’t have a great deal of time to visit and weekends were taken up with trips to the U.P. where we have a place. But now we’re retired. Most of our neighbors still work and they have their own lives. I don’t think those who live near us are a ripe source of friendships. They have their own interests. It’s possible that the neighbors aren’t good candidates, but this Thursday the subdivision is having a gathering and I’m hoping to go (although John may have other plans). We’ll see what happens.

Church: We have a bond with a congregation when in Florida at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center. It has a wonderful music program and we feel at home there. We haven’t found a church in Saginaw that has had that impact on us, but we are going to see if we can find one where “fit” like we do in Florida.

Organizations: In Florida, we belong to a bunch of social clubs: Oldies But Goodies, Kings Point Ballroom Dance Club, Baby Boomers, and the Michigan Club. We take advantage of several dance opportunities a week including our Rockin’ Rendezvous Thursday nights, our Wednesday night Country Dance Club group, and other “get out and shake you’re booty” opportunities.

I’ve been trying to locate dances in the Saginaw area. I’m still looking.

Sure we have friends who have been important in our lives for years. Most are part of the music community. But the problem is that those Michigan friends are “spread out.” Getting together involves driving a distance. These great folks aren’t next door or even a few miles away. Most of our friends are half way across the state. We see those folks at music gatherings, but they don’t occur often. Between times, there’s a void.

Our Michigan social situation is in a “rut” that is hard to escape, but it’s time that we tried. I realize that my life is “on hold” during the summer months. I find myself waiting to return to Florida.

John, on the other hand has a more active social life here than I do. He has a close, near-by buddy/friend. They get together frequently, gardening, making wine, and playing music.

John also looks forward to working in the yard. It’s his thing. (But even he admits, each year he is more content during the six months when we’re in Florida.)

But we need to create a fun social life from April until October.

Maybe, when it warms up a little, we can host have a bar-be-que on our deck. We need to do something to wake up our social life!!

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Willow’s Impact

We’ve received several “sympathy” cards from friends who know about our loss. They are thoughtful and deeply appreciated. (We have special friends!)

willowWillow was a tiny heart-stealer. She joined our family 14 years ago when she was nine months old. She died April 29th, a month short of her 15th birthday.

What a charmer! But she wasn’t easy. She had a reputation for being impossible for anyone but us to approach successfully. She’d nip (although no one ever claimed she’d successfully bitten them.) But it was fun to watch folks try to get her to warm up to them.

The secret was to grab her from behind and hold her off the ground. She wouldn’t bite the hand that was holding her if she knew she’d have a distance to fall.

Willow loved music. As a young pup, John would play his dulcimer with her on his lap.

She went everywhere we went. She never missed a festival. Everyone knew she reigned at our campsite. She had her own comfortable double-seated lounge chair, but didn’t appreciate sharing it. When we’d arrive at the fairgrounds where the festival was held, she’d have more visitors than we did.

One of the sympathy cards came from a friend representing the Original Dulcimer Players Club (the organization that puts on the big festival we always attend.) The note in it said, “We were saddened to hear of the passing of Willow. She was a part of the festival, especially being named after Les Raber’s tune. The music community mourns with you.”

She was a special little dog and a true beauty. We miss her. There’ll definitely be a vacancy at the festivals where she was a fixture.

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Playing Music

Last night John and I lead a Subterranean Strings Hammered Dulcimer Club practice. We challenged our members to play a whole bunch of new tunes. Most went well, but we did take it one tune too many. The last one didn’t work and it wasn’t anyone’s fault. You can’t over-saturate folks’ brains with new stuff and that’s what happened with the last tune.

June’s practice will polish up those that worked well and we’ll omit the ones that didn’t.

What a great bunch of friends. We love ’em all. They are the reason we enjoy Michigan.

Today we substituted for Gail Schwandt in Chesaning at the library. She’d promised to play for them today and then had to be out of town.

Gail had called us and asked us if we could fill in for her. We agreed. Gail’s husband, Lyle, came by and sat in with us, playing guitar. He’s a strong player but, as a three-some, we were a little shaky on some of the tunes we tried to play. John and I had practiced them together (the two of us), but a new person changes the dimension. Next time we’ll do better.

It’s good to be back in the music world. We aren’t the best, but we try hard and enjoy the people we know from music.

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Can’t catch up

This house is a lot of work.

We got home two weeks ago and everything needed to be cleaned. Very little has actually been accomplished. It’s hard to get motivated. We spent most of last week shopping for a washer and dryer. It took several long days comparing prices and features.

And we’ve been trying to get ready for our music club practice tonight. It’s a big job to brush off our list of “playable” music. Also tomorrow the two of us are performing in Chesaning at the library for a couple of hours.

I also need to get crackin’ on the ODPC Funfest Workshops. I am behind schedule!!

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Not another post about a washer!

Yup, I’m now going to report on our new washer. It’s purring.

I’ve washed so many loads that I’ve lost track. LOVE IT!

Nuff said!

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Forty Year “Friend” Goes to “Washer Heaven”

Our 40-year-old washer was hauled away today by the guys who delivered our new and shiny, high efficiency, low-water washer.

The jury is still out on how we’ll like the new unit and its companion dryer. It wasn’t the most expensive. In fact, we considered units that were twice the price, but this unit sounded like it would “do it all” and give us more control over the process, while costing half the price of the high-end models.

The first load is still washing.

It was delivered this a.m. but the washer hoses weren’t included as we’d thought they would be, so we had to go back to the place where we’d bought the units and pick up hoses. We also needed more vent duct parts so John could vent the dryer to the outside. Everything is now installed and it’s working.

The models we selected are by Whirlpool. Nothing flashy, just a plain-jane white washer and dryer.

John’s concerned because the washer uses very little water. After it filled, we checked and the water level didn’t even cover the clothes. We had been forewarned that the new units really conserve water and energy.

We’ll report on how it cleans, but the fact that we have a washer and dryer and it seems to be going through the motions, gives me hope that tomorrow we’ll have clean underwear.

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Regular Routine in Michigan

The house was dusty and dirty when we got home on the 27th, but we’re getting things in order. It’s not easy because I hate house-cleaning. I know there are people who actually like cleaning. I like a clean house, but I hate the process, and I’m very allergic to dust which makes it extra difficult.

John’s been working on the yard and garage. Plus he’s installed a vent system for our new dryer (which will be delivered tomorrow). I’ve tried to start on the workshop organization for the ODPC Funfest because I know I have only a few weeks before the entire program must be completed.

Things are actually shaping up. The great room is now nearly dust-free and things are coming together. Today I started to tackle the hot tub room, but there’s still lots more to do in that area. Little by little things are back in shape. The hot tub room, where we had a gazillion plants that all croaked over the winter is still not totally in order, but it’s much improved. The outside deck is cluttered but the maple trees are leafing out so it looks better.

Since getting home, John’s been cleaning the garage and working on the yard, while I’ve been cleaning, dusting, and doing some minor purging.

We have a couple of music events scheduled this week. Our club will practice on Friday and on Saturday the two of us will perform at the Chesaning Library.

We’re fitting back into the tempo of this area. There’s not much here as far as socializing, but it’s still the area where we have our roots.

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A quick review of the past week

Here’s a message I sent to Florida friends that catches everyone up on what’s been happening since we traveled from Florida to Michigan:

We got back to our home in mid-Michigan last Wednesday, the 27th.

We’d had a rather rough trip back because our little dog was so close to death. She had a seizure in the middle of a heavy rain-storm in route, but we got her home. She passed away Friday night. We’d had her for nearly 15 years!!

Saturday, we had to go across the state, to a planning meeting for the huge festival for the music community. We were gone all day and traveled almost 300 miles!

But now we’re home and settled.

The other night we had a big fire in the fireplace. It was cozy and enjoyable, but we miss the pool, pickleball, and rides on the golf cart. (But fireplaces are grand and make cool weather bearable!!)

We’ll be really busy as summer gets closer. We’re involve with the big festival during most of the month of July; and in June, July and August, we’ll be hosting three concerts in-the-park. We usually have a weekend camping event in August and we also have to find time to get to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to check on our property up there. (We only plan to go there for one week this summer, but it will be necessary to check-in at least once.)

Our clothes washer died before we left for Florida (last October.) We couldn’t do anything about it then, so we’re been in shopping mode. We finally found a washer and dryer so eventually we will have clean clothes. Delivery is scheduled for Tuesday. I don’t know yet if we made a good choice or not. but we were so tired in the end, that anything that promised to wash clothes was all we asked for. We didn’t care if the units folded and put them in the closet as some seemed to claim.

Right now I’m trying to organize the music insturment workshops which have been submitted by the best instructors in the world. I will prepare a 16 to 20 page program. It’s a huge undertaking. I figure it takes me three plus weeks of solid work (150+ hours.) I’m just starting but already I’m feeling the strain.

I’m working with hundreds of classes which have been submitted. I’ll have plenty of classes to fill my 220-240 workshop slots, but creating three days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.each day in nine different areas at the same time is a challenge (especially since each instructor has their own needs.) Last year’s three daily grids are shown here: Last year’s workshop program. You can see what an undertaking it is.

When I get into scheduling mode, I kind of lock myself away and just concentrate. That chore will keep me busy for more than the next month. John will feel I’ve “left him.” But actually our festival is not until July. Until then we’re kind of isolated in central Michigan.

John is trying to get our yard and garden in order.

When we got home, we found some of our wines were excellent but they’re quickly disappearing. I hope next year’s batch is as good. Sometimes the results are a little less than we’d hoped for.

Yesterday we attended a sad funeral. It was for my brother’s grandson. He’d killed himself. No one understands why, but it was sad.

After the funeral, we stopped and visited with my aunt who had turned 100 while we were in Florida. We told her how sorry we were to miss her big 100 birthday celebration, but I suspect she liked the extra visit more than she would have enjoyed another couple at her huge birthday party in March.

So life in Michigan goes on.

I’m sure you are enjoying Kings Point. I know I would be.

John and I are performing in a neighboring community next Saturday.

When the people contacted us about playing, I commented that’s the day of the Kings Point Baby Boomers Pool Party. I said we had a conflict but only if we could get back to Florida.

Sadly we can’t make it to the Baby Boomer party so we are now committed to making music in Chesaning, Michigan, Saturday, But believe me I’d rather be at the party. And we’ll be thinking of all of you folks having a grand time.

Wish we could be there!!

Hugs to both of you.

Sharon & John

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Washer and Dryer Shopping

Just before before we left for Florida last fall, our washer died. To bring you up to date, here’s a link to my “Drip Dry” blog post from Thursday, September 30th (we left early Saturday).

When it died, it was because our washer full of dirty clothes, wouldn’t spin out. We had a tub full of wet, dirty clothes. We ended up drying the still dirty clothes and taking some of them to Florida with us where we washed them and brought them back with us last week. But since arriving home, the remaining dirty clothes from the load last fall, plus our travel clothes and the stuff we’ve soiled since arriving, have been piling up. It was obvious, we HAD to get a replacement washer and it was time to replace the dryer too. (After forty years we doubted we could them to still come under warranty.)

Last week was spent shopping for a new pair of laundry appliances. I can’t begin to tabulate the time looking on line and in stores. (I figure about five hours each day for about three days.) We gravitated toward two flashy, sparkling, high end units: the LG Wave or Maytag Bravos. Wow they were pretty! Either pair was a marvel of beauty and energy efficient engineering. The Maytag pair had a SALE PRICE of about $1,600 and the LG about $1,900. There were so many features that you couldn’t remember what each appliance would do. (Did they put the clothes on hangers, and put them in drawers or was that left to you?) And everything was pre-programmed. If you remembered you wanted to wash another pair of socks, the water would have to drain out so you could “start over”. A load of clothes could take two plus hours to wash. It was mind-boggling. We wanted the best, but the best seemed to be too restrictive.

Friday we were so tired of shopping that I made a vow: “We would get a washer and dryer before ending our day and going home.”

We got more and more confused as we reviewed the features and explanations of those “best” units.

Finally we went back to ABC Warehouse and picked out the simpliest of the High Efficient units, a Whirlpool. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles, but more of the controls were left to the user (instead of totally automatic). It’s highly energy efficient and even qualifies for a rebate from Consumers, but it has no extra hot water header to sterilize the clothes by using super hot water. There’s no steam in the dryer. Just a plan-jane but very serviceable pair of appliances. The price was half what we would have spent on the LG Wave.

The delivery will be Tuesday. We can’t say now if we were right getting the simple units, but in the end, we figured anything will work better than our forty year old pair which we’re replacing. And we can always get the super-dooper pair for Florida where we’ll probably use it more than here. Afterall here, we will only a grand total of four and a half months out of the year.

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Bird Watching

Birds' nestYesterday morning I wondered why two robins were repeatedly flying by our large window. From inside, their destination was out of view, but apparently they were going somewhere under the eves. I went out and found a nest, or at least I guess that’s what you’d call it.

We wonder why they didn’t select a tree. There are so many of them around our house. (Maybe the neighborhood cat has something to do with that decision.)

Or maybe they chose this site because it’s protected by the roof over-hang.

But the slippery surface of the flood lights seems to be presenting challenges. There’s more stuff hanging below than there is sitting on the lights. It’s obvious that they have lots of work yet to do.

Yesterday, when they’d only carried a couple of pieces of grass, John dismantled their efforts, thinking that maybe they’d move to a better location. But they weren’t deterred. We’ll follow their progress and you’ll be able to see the final creation.

Birds' nestDay 3 of the Saga

The photo to the left was taken today, a day and a half after the top one.

You can see the robins still haven’t mastered nest-building skills. Wish we could help, but this something they have to on their own. We can only watch.

You’ll notice that there hasn’t been much progress, but they’re still flying back and forth with bits of grass and stuff. They haven’t given up. There’s a pile of grass and sticks directly below the nesting area. The heap of materials on the ground is bigger than what’s staying on top of the lights.

Our birds just aren’t very good at this nest business. I’m sure they’ll have lovely babies, if they ever get their home ready for them.


The sixth day!

Still no progress. The same amount of stuff is still sitting on the lights, but it doesn’t look like nest. I haven’t noticed them arriving and departing for about a day. I hope they’ve moved on to a better location. I’ll break in with a “news bulletin,” if I can find their new nesting site.

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Fire in the fireplace….. awesome!

John built a fire in the fireplace this afternoon then left for his friend (George’s place). I kept it going until he returned, and now the flames are warming and friendly.

I love a fire in a fireplace. I’m sitting her watching the currents on our lake (Lake Cecil, a 26 acre lake on which our Michigan home is located) and several pair of geese who are currently very concerned about their nests on the island.

The fireplace is wonderful. It’s built of split field stones and two-stories tall. It really is the key feature in our great room. Love it!

Our Michigan place is definitely different than our Florida home. In Florida, our view is of a golf course and two ponds. It’s lovely. Here we have trees and a close-by lake with geese. It’s even prettier. Just wish it would warm up here, but it will. I have faith.

Life is great!

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It’s damp, gray and a chilly 44 degrees.

John’s at his friend’s house. Before he left, he built a fire in the fireplace for me. It sure helps make the place cozier. I love the crackle and glow.

We’re expecting an over-night house guest Friday. I need to get busy and clean the whole house. It’s hard to catch up from six months when we weren’t here.

It’s difficult to get started. A day or two of this kind of cold, damp weather and I become lethargic and depressed. I really need some sun and fresh air.

I keep reading the weather reports here and in Florida. I miss the 88 degree days which we’d be experiencing in Sun City Center. Here 50 would be appreciated.

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What’s happening in Kings Point

I guess the total invasion of love bugs in Kings Point, Florida, where we live so much of the year, has occurred and consequently the pool down there has been vacated and folks are staying inside. (How sad!)

Love bugs seem to appear for a couple weeks two seasons during the year. This year they held off until we were about to head back to Michigan. Easter weekend we saw more of the critters than we wanted, but they were just a “to-deal-with” pest. Now they’re restricting the fun in Florida. This too will pass, but it’s sad to think that our beautiful life down there can be interrupted by bugs.

If you check my previous posting, you’ll understand a bit more about these critters: Love Bug previous posting

They are pesty and miserable. Yet they don’t bite or make noise. They’re just a nuisance because they are everywhere and “in your face.” The only ones who love “love bugs” are the owners of car-wash businesses. It’s said that they do a major portion of their business because of these bugs.

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Friday night, at about 8:00 p.m., Willow died as John stroked her. She’d had a rough afternoon and evening and we knew the end was near.

When she left us, we both felt it was a blessing. She’d cried out a few times. It was heart-wrenching.

John built a solid wooden box for her interment. She was gently wrapped in her favorite soft blue blanket. We buried her adjacent to the foundation of our house near our front entrance. (That’s where we’d buried Gizmo, our other dog.)

Over the site, we placed a stone marker that’s carved with these words.

Gone yet not forgotten
although we are apart,
your spirit lives within me,
forever in my heart.

Willow was a sweet dog. She would have been 15 years old on June 2nd. She owned part of our hearts. She was our “baby.” (Wasn’t she a beauty?!!! Her grandpa, was the most awarded, recognized as the best-of-the-breed chihuahua of all time!!!)

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Busy trying to catch up!

Today was a stay-at-home day. I shopped on line for a washer and drier. I worked on the additions to the ODPC Funfest Workshop classes, and I unpacked.

Willow is still with us. My hope is that she’ll pass on her own (maybe tonight while we sleep). I don’t want us to have to decide that it’s her time to leave this earth. It would be so much easier on us to have her just go naturally and peacefully… So much kinder from every angle.

I unpacked and I took time to try to get a printer to work wirelessly. I was successful!!

My HP Laserjet Plus printer, which costs a fraction of a cent per copy (in black and white), is purring along. I hope it will serve me for the entire pre-Evart festival period. Everything is working as it should so let’s hope I can get the copies I need at a low cost. (It took a while to get everything set up to work so I can print from the living room to my printer in the guest room.

Now I need to get busy and work on the scheduling of the workshop classes. I have the expansive “worksheet” done. It provides me a compact, simple way to see all the classes which are being offered. Now I need to position all the classes in timeframes that work for the leader and give me a balanced line-up of classes.

It’s good to be home, but being home is a lot more work!

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