Archive forJanuary, 2008

Warming Up

Half of today was spent with my mother in the outpatient facility at the local hospital. She needed an ultrasound test so I accompanied her.

All went smoothly although I don’t have the results of the test.

I picked her up at about 8:30 and we rode her facility’s bus to the outpatient center. We had quite a wait.

I noticed she was looking at me closely and I asked her if anything was wrong. She said “no” but I asked if maybe she’d like to fix my hair for me. She took my comb and fussed with my hair like I was a child. Mom doesn’t remember a lot, but those old memories are sometimes there. It felt good to let her be my mother. Our relationship is obviously reversed, but for that moment, I was her little girl again.


Tomorrow night we’re going to see the ’60’s group, The Temptations, at the main clubhouse. It’s also supposed to warm up into the mid-70’s so we’ll be at the pool all day. In fact, it appears that we’ll have wonderful weather for the next week. We’ve had a few days of cool temps, so it’ll be great to get back to the social center of Kings Point, the pool.


John McCainI haven’t mentioned that Saturday we went to a John McCain rally. It’s not that I’m a big fan of McCain, but I think my husband, John, is leaning that direction. (I’m totally undecided.)

It was interesting. The place was packed with loyal supporters. It was much better organized than what I witnessed back about 25 years ago when Jimmy Carter was running for re-election and visited Saginaw Valley State University (where I worked). Back then, we were given the day off. It was a mad house. People pushing and shoving. Security this time as much better.

I’ve been asked how McCain looked (older? younger?) I’d say he looked exactly as I’d seen him on TV. He was a good speaker. His answers were concise and impressive.

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Week Three and two days

We have been really busy.

I wrote the following on Tuesday (the 22nd), but somehow it didn’t show up on the blog. It’s now Thursday.

When you read what I wrote, please consider that it was posted Tuesday. It’ll then make sense.

I said. . . .

We just got back from the pool. John dropped me off so I could change my clothes and he scooted to the grocery store. He’s getting the food for dinner and when he gets back I’m taking off to go see Mom. He’ll fix dinner while I’m gone so we can eat fairly early.

Today was beautiful and warm (about 75). It had been too cool for the pool. The warm up today was really welcome.

We have been so busy it’s unbelievable. We go to dance lessons or dance practice two or three times a week, we’ve had dinners, dances, and gatherings.

Wednesday nights it’s Spaghetti night at the Elks Club so tomorrow night we’re going to be at the Elks Club with Dale and Trudy (neighbors) and some friends of theirs. Thursday nights are the most fun here because it’s Rockin’ Rondevous at the South Clubhouse. Friday noon there’s a pool party and Friday nights are fish fry nights.

We now belong to the entertainment club known as the Pelican Players and last October we joined the Michigan Club.

We have attended Kings Point Dance Club Dances and we’re on their waiting list to become a member of the KP Dance Club. We also attend some Baby Boomer Club and Golden Oldies Club events but we don’t really belong to those groups yet. It’s easier to just play a couple dollars more for a non-member admission fee to an event than pay $40 or so for an annual membership since so far we haven’t been able to attend that many events.

Last Wednesday when we went to the “raffle drawing” for the seats on the bus trips. The drawing was a huge, well-organized event. Everyone put their resident badges in a barrel (couples put theirs together so when one was drawn they both were.) All of the badges were drawn out one by one and announced. We were drawn early and we chose to go to Busch Gardens on February 22nd. Kings Point only provides you with the bus trip. The admission is extra. We’re buying an “annual” admission so we can go back every month or so on our own without paying again.

We are also on the waiting list for another trip on February 2nd to a craft fair in Sarasota.

I love it down here.

Our neighbors here on Fallow Court petitioned all of the condo owners in this association .. As a result, they changed our association’s rule about “no pets” in part because of our dog Willow. The rule change now makes Willow a legal resident!

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Two weeks

We’ve been here for a little over two weeks. We’ve gone through several temperature extremes and this week the prediction is for cool temps for at least a week. (Darn!) We had beautiful days for the first few days, then for or five days of cool, followed by several days of lovely, and here comes the cool again. By cool, I mean it’ll be in the 60’s… certainly not pool weather.

I guess it’s to be expected since January is Florida’s coolest weather. February it should start warming up. We’ll be here until April so we can afford to waste a few days.

We have lots going on: tomorrow (Tuesday) morning a condo owners meeting, a dance in the evening, a potluck Wednesday evening, Rockin’ Rondevoux on Thursday, Friday a pool party. We’re hoping to get seats on the bus so we can go to Busch Gardens in February (they do it by a lottery this week) and maybe go to an art fair in Sarasota.

I’ve been trying to get some of my business chores done. I agreed to create a website for a music group, and it’s been hard to fit it into our busy schedule but I have things shaping up at:

Today I lost a good share of our social calendar which was stored on my computer. Somehow a shutdown corrupted the datebook file and it wouldn’t boot up. I have restored most of it from an old (mid-December) back-up, but it took a lot of time I didn’t have. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything that we’d added since mid-December. I vow to be better at doing back-ups. (How’s that for another New Year’s Resolution to add to what I’m already working on?)

I’m really fitting into this “good life” life-style. John’s fighting it, but I think he’s reluctantly enjoying it too.

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THE Accident and Spaghetti

Yesterday was another lovely day at the pool followed last night by a great spaghetti dinner and dancing in Ruskin at the Elks Club. But the day had started dismally with the news reports of a horrid accident on I-4 in Polk County (northeast of us). Four people were killed in the 70 car pile up, the result of zero visibility fog/smog at about 4:30 a.m.. When we got up at 8:00 a.m. we were horrified as the news broadcasts showed cars and large trucks still burning while helpless rescue helicopters were forced to wait until the fog cleared before they could go in and move the victims to hospitals. Four deaths and 36 injured were finally tabulated. The highway is still closed. (Note: a week or more later another victim died bringing the death total to five.)

We also looked at a few more condos. We only went inside one of them. The owners are an older couple with some health problems needing to move north to be close to family. The place showed promise but would require some renovation to make it work for us. If we could get it for under $130,000 and put $20,000-$30,000 into it, it would probably be a great. The price they’re asking is higher. The setting was lovely in a neighborhood we really like. Oh, well… we’ll keep looking.

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Florida Dreamin’

The other day we visited a condo that really impressed us. I guess I mentioned it in my last posting. It was just perfect. Both of us keep thinking about it. We will probably go back and talk with the owners again yet we know this isn’t the right time for us to find something. This place is beautifully decorated and comes with all the furnishings. It’s “possible” for us to get it now, but we’d need to negotiate. It’s probably best to “just say no” but it sure is tempting.

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Different Kind of Cold

In Michigan, our normal indoor thermostat during the winter is set to about 68 degrees and at night down to 55. We are comfy.

Here in Florida, where buildings are poorly insulated, we have the inside temperature set at 75 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night, and it’s darned cold. I’m bundled up in an afghan.

Record-setting cold is predicted for tonight here in Central Florida. We had a high of about 50 degrees today with a record-setting low predicted of 28 tonight. We’ve loaded all the extra blankets on the bed and plan to snuggle in. Up in Michigan we’d be celebrating a heatwave of 50 degrees with a 28 degree freeze. Sure doesn’t feel good down here.

This afternoon we looked at “for sale” condos. We toured about a half dozen and found one that’s perfect. It’s not a new unit but it’s been renovated and decorated beautifully. Everything is first class. Lovely furnishings, color, style, simplicity, total taste. We can’t find anything that we don’t like about it except the price. We aren’t ready to buy yet, so maybe the price will come down or it’ll be sold to someone else so it’s not on the market when we’re in a position to purchase. At least we can see what’s possible to do a lot with an older unit. This unit had large ceramic floor tiles throughout, a spacious bar in the kitchen, excellent lighting, with exceptionally lovely furnishings (which would be included with the place). It even had four large screen TVs including a 58 inch LCD in the living room. A fantastic master bath including a see-through glass-type lavatory sink could have been a poster for decorating excellence. The kitchen was flawless – stainless with the black granite counter tops and some custom features that have been used in advertising brochures. The lanai faced a golf course. It was really a show-place which we were in awe of. I wish we could buy it now, but it doesn’t make sense. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. John was equally impressed. We could buy it, but it would make things difficult financially. Yet it’s sooooo nice. We can dream!! I can’t imagine finding any place more perfect.

After visiting the “for sale” condos, we stopped and visited our buddy, Bob Taylor, and then came home. It was too cold to be outside riding around on a golf cart so we came back and warmed up. Next weekend it should be warm enough for the pool, but not today.

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Happy New Year!!

Last night we celebrated the incoming year with friends at an “Oldies but Goodies” club party. It was great fun.

We had arrived on Saturday. It was the roughest trip we’ve ever made. Traffic was heavy and that rain I described continued until we got into Florida. It was hard to see and really stressful for John. When we finally got out of the rain, we ran into a major traffic jam as the result of a three car pile-up north of Tampa. But we finally made it about 3:30. The temperature was about 85.

At 5:15, I broke away from the unpacking long enough to go see Mom. I had expected that for sure this time she wouldn’t know me. I came in during dinner. She looked up and I couldn’t tell what she thought. I sat down beside her and said, “Hi. I’ve sure missed you and I’m sure glad to be here.” I didn’t know if she was aware of who I was, so I said, “Do you know who I am?” (I had been careful NOT to call her Mom or to give her any hints.)

She answered firmly, “Yes, you’re Sharon.”

Last time I had to give her hints. In September, I reminded her by saying “Am I your daughter? Who is your daughter, etc.”

But this time she said “Sharon” without a hint or a clue and I was awed!!

I said, “You’re right. I sure do love you.”

And she said, “I love you too.”

Then we went into our “routine.”

I said, “How. much?”

And she said, “A bushel and a peck.”

and I asked.. “And……..????”

And she said, “And a hug around the neck.”

It’s an old old old song from the 1940’s, which we both remember. (The lyrics are: “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, a hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap, a barrel and a heap and I’m talking in my sleep about you… about you. Yes, I love you a bushel and a peck, you bet your pretty neck I do. A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo, A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo, A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo, A-doodle-oodle-ooh-doo-doo”)

I said, “Mom, there’s nothing more in this world that could have made me happier than you remembering me and telling me you love me.” And then I started crying. It was so special. Everyone was laughing and hugging us. MOM KNEW ME!! I know it sounds trivial, but it was the best thing that could have happened. I can’t remember being so happy.

At least for that day she was so much better!

I was over to visit her Sunday and yesterday. Neither time was she was sharp as she’d been Saturday. She didn’t remember John’s name and had a fixed stare on Saturday. Yesterday I couldn’t get her to wake up and talk with me. I’ll soon go over to see how she’s doing.

Sunday, we hung out at the pool. It was fun seeing dozens of our Kings Point friends.

Yesterday was cloudy and rainy so we didn’t do the pool thing, but instead took a list of available condos and when “shopping.” It was fun. We got home late afternoon in time to get ready for the party.

So far, it’s been a great visit.

I’ve made some resolutions which I vow to keep. They include losing about 15 pounds, exercising more, and being a better wife house keeper.

Happy 2008!!

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