Archive forOctober, 2008


When it’s chilly in Florida, it seems more “penetrating.” Today it’s only 60 degrees. I’m dern cold. Doesn’t make sense. If I was home in Michigan and it was in the 60’s, I’d be using terms like “heat-wave.”

We had a new door installed. It goes out the back from the living room to the lake-side back yard. It’s a full glass door. It looks a lot better than the original one which was just a solid metal door and didn’t admit any light at all. The installer put it in yesterday and today the painter finished it up. But today the door to the outside was open most of the morning. The place cooled down.

This evening there’ll be Karaoke Tuesday at the South Club House. It should be fun. Hope folks venture out, even if it’s chilly. Maybe we can all wear our snuggies.

We’ve been planning to go to Busch Gardens, but it would be a little too cool to enjoy it today. Hopefully we can find a day before we head back to Michigan, but that only gives us this week.

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Permanent Residents

Today we received our Kings Point “permanent resident” badge. Previously we’d had to apply annually for a pass which gave us admission into this gated community, but it also gave us access to the activities. We attended the “orientation” this morning and we were then allowed to get our badge and our car pass. We’re now official.

The weather left a lot to be desired today. It was very windy and spritzed a little rain.

This evening was Rockin Rondezvous. We were glad to see that our friends, Sissy and Jim, are back. The crowd is filling in.

I also got an email from some Kings Point friends, Brenda and John. Brenda is a cutie who makes me feel like we’re soul mates. She’s fun to be around. Although we haven’t spent a lot of time with her and her significant other, John, I always feel like I’ve known them forever. They’re in Maine now and won’t be down here until early January.

We’ll be leaving on November 4th and we’ll be back on January 28th. I’m already looking forward to the fun we’ll have when we get back.

But there will still be fun times before we head northward.

We have a dinner invitation tomorrow night. We’d like to have some folks over Saturday evening. Next week we plan to go to Busch Gardens Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday we want to go to Ruskin for spaghetti. Thursday there’ll be a Halloween costume party at Rockin’ Rendezvous. Next Friday and Saturday are the Fall Garage sale dates.

I’m looking froward to the Halloween party next Thursday. Sue said she has a great costume in mind. Can’t wait to add it to this blog. She’s always fun to capture.

My daughter, Kelly, is planning to come to visit us in late February for a week. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it here. I know I sure do!

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It really feels great to have a home to call our own. We love it!

We have a few items that still need to be completed… power washing of the lanai, cleaning the carpets, hanging a few photos, a mirror that needs to be mounted on a dresser, but most stuff has been finished and our new home looks great!

Last night we went to Rockin’ Rondezvous and next week we have several parties and lots of plans.

Originally our timetable would have returned us home for a Christmas-playing gig back in Michigan (we’re musicians), but we have revised our plans and now we’ll stay a week longer. Time will still fly by, but we have given ourselves a little more time to tie up loose ends.

This next week promises to be really really busy.. we have dance practice Sunday, KP Dance Club party Tuesday, a wine and cheese party Wednesday, newcomer orientation Thursday, as well as Rockin’ Rondezvous Thursday evening, and Fun Friday next Friday. Love it all!

One by one our “snow bird” friends are returning to Florida. We’re still looking forward to the return of Liz and Dick, Brenda and John and others who we haven’t seen since last April. Today we enjoyed the pool. We were invited to take a day trip Monday with a van load of friends, but we decided to pass up the opportunity since our time is so limited.

This condo purchase has been a good move for us. We didn’t choose the time. Everything was totally controlled my my mother’s unexpected death four weeks ago, but it despite the sadness of her passing, we feel we found the perfect place for us. It’s the best of the condos we considered over the past three years. We’re here and we realize how good it fits us. We’re actually considering becoming “full-time residents.” Yup, life is grand! Of course I’m sorry to have lost my mom, but I have a strong feeling she’s smiling. What better tribute to her life than to decide to follow her direction and move to the community she loved. She has to know that caring for her was my pleasure and now, we are following her example and living in Kings Point.

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Artificial Greens

I never thought of the differences in decorating acceptance from one locale to another until this morning when I was watching the WGTV channel which shows the do’s and don’ts of “staging” a house up for maximum impact for sale. The knowledgeable person chastised the homeowner for artifical plants. She firmly stated, “Use real plants. Artificial is definitely a ‘decorating fau paux’.”

I looked around our new place and realize I now freely use artificial silk greens and flowers as accents when I’m here in Florida, but I’d never do that in Michigan. In our Michigan home, we have dozens of large live plants which fill our rooms. Yup, there’re all “live!” That’s not to say that they aren’t a pain when we head south. We’ve found that lining our hot tub with plastic and filling it half way with water makes a great reservoir for all our growing plants when we head South. The hot tub is set in the floor of its own room which can be reached from the living room or the master bedroom. It’s not easy to “clean up” the hottub after we use it this way, but it does keep the plants alive.

But why is it “ok” to use artificial here in Florida, but I’d never ever do it in Michigan? In Michigan it would be considered tacky and no-class.

This isn’t the first time I’ve notice the difference. In fact, I’ve been surprised that in this wonderful climate where plants grow with ease, some folks even use artificial flowers outside. I haven’t stooped to that ploy. My out-door stuff is all the real McCoy. We have added a lemon yellow hybiscus to the landscaping behind our new place and I have delicate orchid on the lanai.

The landscaping around our new place is lovely and well maintained. There is an attentive crew to keep everything clipped and groomed. We have palm trees, large shade trees, lots of flowering shrubs, and an abundance of color. All real and growing.

But here in Florida, no one seems to mess with live plants inside. Everyone uses artificial. Life-like orchids are common. Silk hybiscus are used as living area accents. Artificial ivy and philodendron are seen everywhere.

My question is this, “Why is it a no-no to use artificial plants in Michigan, but perfectly acceptable here in Florida, where it would actually be easier to get the plants to grow?”

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Settling in

It sure feels good to have our own place! Tonight we sat on our lanai and enjoyed the out-door scene. We have a tremendous view from our living room, but the side lanai (which is secluded and private) is an added benefit and faces another direction.

We’re so happy that we didn’t try to buy Mom’s condo. It’s in an older area with fewer improvements. We’ll never find neighbors as nice as those we left behind, but we have a condo that is “easier” and something which suits us better. We want to have our “old neighbors” come over for Mom memorial. We need to acknowledge our mutual loss. Mom was a valued member of their community for over 15 years (even if Alzheimers robbed her of the last four or so years).

Today we moved the last items. We donated a lot to the “Nearly New” charity. There were things we knew we’d never use so we contributed them. We also did some shopping. We went to the pool. We still need to “clean-up” Fallow Court. but we have moved everything that’s ours. Now we’re just trying to settle in.

John’s actually talking about how hard it will be to leave all this. I have a feeling that next year we’ll come earlier and stay longer.

He loves his garage with it’s workshop area. He loves having lots of storage. He loves the huge living space. The more formal dining room is a new feature which we haven’t previously enjoyed (even in Michigan). It’s so nice to be settled in.

Life’s good. We couldn’t be happier.

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We’ll all in..

We’re pooped, but we’re in our condo. Actually last night was the first night we stayed here. Everything is falling into place. Phone now works, the cable TV and high speed internet are hooked up, and we have most of our furnishings and about 1/2 of our clothing here.

About 4:30 this afternoon we took a break and went to the pool. It felt so great!

During dinner, we got a call from our buddy Bob. He wanted to stop by. So this evening we entertained our first guest. He stayed a couple hours. He appropriately said all the nice things we wanted to hear.

Tomorrow Bob and John will move a couple items over here. We plan to take it easier. I need to go to the bank and tomorrow night we’ll go to Rockin’ Rondezvous.

We love the view from our living room. Sure there are a few things we want to “eventually” change, but there’s no reason to feel pressure. Our place is very comfortable. The ugly door from the living room out the back will be our first concern because it’s deteriorated, but maybe we’ll wait until we return in January.

Right now we’re going to finish up the move and ENJOY our new place.

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Moving Day

Today we closed on our new condo. We started moving by 10:30 a.m. and when we called it a day, we’d moved five truckloads to our new place. We’re both plum tuckered out. Our residence is spacious and looks great with the furnishings we bought in April. It’s really lovely.

I’d love to be there to sleep tonight, but we don’t have our bed moved, nor our sofa, nor our TV set. So we’re here in our “old” place but we’re imagining what it’ll be like when everything’s settled. Our goal is to stay there tomorrow night.

A new neighbor, Gerry, brought us a loaf of “welcome” breakfast bread. I know we’re going to love being part of this community.

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Nine days to move!

This past month has been chaotic. Mom died on the 14th of September, I flew back to Michigan on the 17th for her funeral, and then back to Sun City on the 21st. That means that we’ve only had two weeks to purchase a condo, pack, and prepare to close on a new residence. The closing is scheduled for Monday. Talk about pressure. we’ve had it.

I would prefer to leave the condo where we have lived spotless, but time constraints will not provide for much “clean up” after we move out. Oh, well…. (Today I mentioned that concern to several friends who laughed at me and told me that, with a demand of 30 days, I shouldn’t worry. I guess they’re right.) We’ll be out on the 14th.

Of course there are lots of items to resolve… (transfers of the electric power, condo association dues, maintenance warranty transfer, etc.) It all takes time.

We are hustling around and packing stuff. I didn’t realize we’d accumulated so much.

Today was the “final walk through.” We had to check to make sure the items listed by the “inspection” were taken care of. One wasn’t. Hopefully they’ll have it fixed by Monday.

We met with the Vice Presient of our Condo Association. Nice guy and an equally nice wife. I think we’re going to love the neighborhood. The past two Thursdays at Rockin’ Rondezvous, we have enjoyed the company of one new neighbor, “Linda,” who lives in the next building — in the middle unit.

And on top of all the moving stuff, we are trying to get ready for a Christmas performance on November 1st in Michigan. Yup, the holiday season starts immediately after Halloween and we always play our first gig on the first Saturday of November, which this year is November 1st.

Somehow playing “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” doesn’t fit with my Florida mood. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” my be my favorite seasonal song, but when you hear it and it’s 90 degrees, it doesn’t create the same feeling, and “White Christmas” somehow doesn’t pluck the heart strings down here in the sunny South the way it does in Michigan.

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Talked to an attorney

Today I spoke with an attorney to make sure I’m doing things correctly as trustee of my mother’s trust. Armed with the lawyer’s supportive words, I now sure I’m handling everything legally.

We are getting ready for the closing on our condo Monday. It’s been hard this week because it feels like we are just waiting to “get in.”

We’ve been to the pool nearly every day and tonight we went out to dinner with Dale and Trudy (neighbors and friends) and another couple. Nice evening.

We have lots of stuff to do over the next few days. Can’t wait to get moved!

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