Archive forFebruary, 2008

Phone Woes

Kings Point
Last night we had an ok time at Rockin Rendezvous at the South Club. It was a karaoke night so we enjoyed watching folks do their thing. It was a cool night as we drove back, but I stopped and took a photo of the lovely scene.

Today it’s warmed up a bit and over the weekend it’s going to be into the 80’s.

We finally had our phone service restored, but we’ve already decided to leave Speednet and go with Vonage. It’ll still be a VoIP (voice over internet phone) but Vonage has lots of extra features and is a little cheaper. This past week has showed us how vulnerable we are with Speednet’s phone service. At least with Vonage, we can do a lot from the internet such as: turn off voice mail, check messages, see who has called, change our phone to forward to our cell phone, have 911 service, and for less than $5 monthly get a second “virtual” phone for this area code so folks can reach us here without calling long-distance. It took me all morning to get everything straightened out and get it set up.

It’ll take up to 10 days to move our regular Saginaw phone number to this number, but in the meanwhile, we’ll be able to use the phone through Speednet. We’re looking forward to those extra features.

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Out of Touch

If anyone is trying to reach us by phone, they’re going to get our voice mail.

We use a voice over internet phone (VoIP) which requires a special “box” plugged into our high speed internet. It works both in Michigan and here in Florida so the same phone number rings no matter where we are. We really like being able to answer Saginaw calls seamlessly. It’s much cheaper than cellphone service and allows us to have a couple of “house phones.” Unfortunately yesterday our phone system “went out” and we can’t receive or place calls.

Therefore if you try to phone us, you’ll go to voice mail. Speednet (our Michigan internet service) has told us they are working on the problem.

Today it’s very windy and cool so we won’t be doing anything outside. I had planned to do some telephoning. Need to make some appointments and it would be a good time to talk to friends. Unfortunately it’s not possible.

Oh, well, there’s lots to keep me busy and no excuses. The condo needs cleaning. I also need to do laundry, organization, sewing, filing, and lots of stuff I’ve been putting off. I’m also way behind with the stuff I need to do for the Evart dulcimer festival. This afternoon we take our next foxtrot dance lesson.

So, if you leave a voice mail message, be aware that we won’t get it until Speednet’s system problems are resolved.

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The Week in Review

What’d we do this week? Don’t know where the time went… the days flew by, and we were busy every day!

The high points included: pool on Monday (see my previous post of that day); the raffle for bus seats on Wednesday (we’ll be taking a river boat cruise on March 5th); a dance lesson Wednesday; Rockin’ Rendezvous at the South Club and a “Family Night party” with my mother at her facility (Courtyards at Aston Gardens) on Thursday; Friday bus trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa, the huge annual Garage Sale held at Kings Point Friday and Saturday, and more time at the pool yesterday (Saturday) until we were rained out. Today we’ll go to dance practice and shopping.

Busch Gardens Background
Friday at Busch Gardens was a great day! Perfect weather, great shows, and lovely grounds with flowers that were breath-taking.

We purchased two-year passes so we can return frequently. It was physically exhausting to try to take in as much as we did (we’re out of shape) but would have been even worse, if we didn’t know that we can go back and catch what we missed.

The shows we saw included Irish Thunder, a talented Celtic group with dancers, singing and fiddling; two musical shows, one vocal and one instrumental; a honky tonk piano player; and a great animal show which featured cats, dogs, birds, pigs, and even a skunk.

Busch Gardens FlamingoBusch Gardens Bird Pond

I loved the flamingos. They were incredibly colorful.

Busch Gardens Gorilla

And we were both mesmerized by the primates, especially the gorillas.
Sometimes it felt like we were the captives and they were enjoying us.

We will make it back at least once in March. We’re looking forward to it!
Busch Gardens Elephant

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Drips on the horizon

Yesterday was way tooooooooooo crowded with a gazillion grand KIDS at the KP South Club pool. We struggled to find a lounge chair and then fought the kids constantly. Guess it had something to do with today being Presidents’ Day and the fact that kids had a three-day weekend. We were so frazzled from avoiding them, that we were ready to just skip the pool for the rest of the season. They splashed us (intentionally), dove in (barely missing me), cannonball jumped in (with wild splashing), and were total nuisances. But we found that kids are “fair weather friends.” Today was cloudy and threatening but we headed that direction shortly after noon. It was fairly empty and as the clouds moved in, more folks left. But just before the rain, it was heavenly to have a tranquil pool where we could converse with friends and float around unimpeded. Tomorrow the temps will be even cooler (probably too cool for us although John is saying “maybe”) but by Wednesday it should quite warm again. (Pssss — Please don’t tell the kids!)

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Wow! What a day!

The whole day was perfect.

We hit “the sale” which is the fund-raising re-sale shop in downtown Sun City Center early today. I found a whole cache of paperbacks (25 cents each or 5 for $1). I bought 10 for $2. I then discovered a pair of cute new stretchy white knee-length shorts and some other stuff. I spent a total of $3 more. John got a couple of items for less than $4. We were both totally satisfied. Then we headed to Wal-mart. Shampoo and a few other items were on our shopping list. After a stop at Taco Bell, we were home by 12:30.

This afternoon, starting at 1:00 there were open houses of condos for sale in Kings Point. We attended about six of the open houses and enjoyed seeing what was available but viewing that many in a short time blurs their distinction. Princeton Greens Court seems to be our favorite area. We found one we like there which we added to our “wish list” which includes one we already viewed on that street and an adjacent one we know is available. We really like that association. We’ll keep watching what’s available.

We got to the pool about 2:30.

The South Club pool was unbelievably crowded but perfect. The temperature couldn’t have been better. After struggling to find a lounge chair (which is your oasis amid Kings Point residents), we floated around on noodles*, chatting with KP friends. At about 4:15, I mentioned to John that I should get back to the condo to change, so we left.

I was visiting with Mom by 4:45. At 5:50, I was heading back home to have dinner with John.

A busy, perfect day. Tomorrow I hope for the same.

Weather was flawless. Friendships perfect. Lots to do. What more could we ask for?


* Noodles are the foam tubes we all use to enjoy the pool. Most folks use a style that is about 2.5″ in diameter but we have two monster tubes about 4″ in diameter. Everyone has a noodle or two. We have four but need to replace one of our small diameter ones. It’s lost it’s ability to keep it’s shape. Nothing more disappointing than a floppy noodle when you want to stay afloat in the pool.

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Will the real Morrie please stand up

John and I attended a Michigan Club pizza party the other day. The entertainment for the evening was a men’s chorus from here in Sun City Center, Florida.

When the group took the stage, John and I looked at each other and said, “Morrie?”

Yup, there in the second row was a fellow who looked just like our Evart festival friend, Morrie Holloway, who is the sound man for our huge summer dulcimer event.

Here are photos of the two guys and I’m sure you can see the resemblance. Which one is the real Morrie?

Which one is our Michigan Morrie?

Give up? That’s our Michigan Morrie on the left and even Morrie said, “WOW! He really looks like me.”

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Not seeing well (aka distorted view)

I wear hard contacts and have for years. The ones I wear now are “state of the art breathable bifocals” but still hard lenses. I love them and see wonderfully well.

Today I put my lenses in and my right eye started tearing. I took it out, cleaned it again but it kept irritating my right eye. It was awful. John was anxious to get going, so I finally toughed it out and put it in and we left the condo. My eye was a mess by then, but I was able to see pretty good. Nevertheless it wasn’t comfortable.

We were gone a couple of hours and it was getting worse and worse. Finally, while we were grocery shopping, I popped it out and saw a hairline crack on the edge of the lens. I could feel it with my fingernail, but I kept thinking it was probably some eye grunge.

When we got home, I quickly removed that right lens. I was trying to feel if it really had a crack and the lens fell a part in two pieces! Guess there’s no doubt it was breaking.

I consider myself lucky. What if it had broken in my eye? I don’t know how I’d have gotten the pieces out without hurting my eye.

Thank heavens I have some old ones with me and I can get by until a new one can be made and sent to me.

I can get by. I actually was relieved to put the old ones in. At least they didn’t hurt like the one that was breaking did. I can’t see as good, but I can manage.

But if I’d had those two pieces of broken lens in my eye, it sure would have been rough getting them out. I don’t know how they would have been able to be popped out.

Anyway that was my today excitement. It’s been cool and cloudy. Not nice as it has been. It rained part of the day but tomorrow it’ll be better and by mid week we should be back in the low 80’s.

I just realized, I haven’t posted since we found out that our sweet dog, Willow, (a 5 1/2 pound long-coat chihuahua) has a heart problem. It’s cost us a fortune to have her diagnosed and get the medications, but she seems to be doing better. We found out Tuesday, she has a bad heart valve so some of the blood is going the wrong way and filling up her chest cavity. Her heart’s enlarged and she coughs a lot because it’s causing fluid to build up in her lungs. (Her coughing keeps us awake most of the night. It’s been awfully hard on everyone.)

Hopefully we can get her condition under control and she’ll do ok. She’s now nearly 12 years old. Hopefully we can give her a few more good years. (The vet said he often has dogs with this problem who have survive in good health for 4 to 6 additional years.) The vet here is wonderful. We are fortunate to have even better vets down here than at home. We found a veterinary hospital nearby a year and a half ago when Willow got “bruised” (she walked under John’s feet in the kitchen).

The vet has been really attentive with this heart problem. He said it’s very common with small dogs. He’s called us at home several times to talk over what he’s found out. We’re not used to such excellent service from our veternarians. It’s not cheap but they are really good and we trust them.

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Updated video

I just updated my video taken the South Club Pool. Originally I put it on Youtube in November, but I’ve replaced that one with one taken yesterday (February 3rd). It was busy yesterday and a lot more “typical” of what goes on at the pool. I’ll be adding some other videos to this blog area. Watch for them.

Check it out.

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Venice Music

Yesterday we enjoyed the company of nice folks in a lovely setting at the Venice jam session. The music was so-so which is sometimes what happens when folks play together for the first time. The place was beautiful. Unfortunately hearing each other was tough and sometimes you could only hear someone playing with a beat all their own. But we’re glad we went.

Venice Jam Session

Above is a photo of the gathering. You can see John and me to the far left. John’s next to the lady with the red shirt and white hair, and I’m next to him. Our good friends, the Conklins, also attended. It’s always fun to be with them.

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This week

Another great week.

We had two or three days of “pool worthy” weather so we took advantage of it. Saw the Temptations Tuesday night (quite disappointing) and had a typical fun time at Rockin’ Rondevous on Thursday.

The Rockin’ Rondevous crowd is always fun. There’s cute Sue, adorable Brenda, and good friends Jim & Sissy. The whole bunch is animated and enjoyable to be around. Everyone seems content with where they are in life.

The crowd is broken into two bunches: the inside “dancing” crowd, and the outside “chatting” folks. Normally we’re inside, but the rest rooms are close to the outside folks, so we always get that far and spend the next half hour laughing and enjoying the company of Pat & Paul, Peg (I and II), and lots of others. (You always have to allow time for these conversations.)

This next week it’s supposed to be in the low 80’s!!! Sunshine, here we come!!

As I write this, we’re heading south on I-75 on our way to Venice. There’s a music jamboree at a restaurant called “Snook Haven.” We’re supposed to meet up with some Michigan folks. Should be a good time. It’s been so long since I’ve played that I’m sure I’ll feel rusty. Down here in Florida our music definitely takes a lower place among our priorities.

Willow (our cute little chihuahua) hasn’t been feeling well. She kept us up most of the night coughing. We hated to leave her, but she seemed fine this a.m. I’m sure we’ll cut our day slightly shorter than we’d originally planned so we can get back to her. That might allow me to be with Mom for her dinner this evening too.

I’ve been trying to fulfill my commitment to create three websites for a Michigan music group (Sonas). They hired me to do a main site for them ( with two sub-sites. I’m still working on one of the sub-sites, but this weekend I should finish it up. That’ll be a relief.

I also need to get busy organizing the workshops for the huge Evart Funfest. I’m way behind but having too much fun to think much about that commitment.

We’re nearly to Venice. I’ll write more later and I’ll include some photos from Rockin’ Rondevous. There are some attractive folks who are fun to photograph.

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