Archive forJanuary, 2010

Kinda Quiet in Kings Point

We went out to dinner Friday night with KP friends (Mel and Jean). They had us over for a glass of wine before we headed to the restaurant and we got to see their lovely condo. They’ve made some changes to theirs that gave us some ideas.

We’ve kind of decided that, rather than making changes to ours, we’ll more than likely sell this place and buy something larger with all the bells and whistles. We’d like a larger master bathroom, enclosed lanai, more storage, and newer appliances.

Our condo is very nice, but we know, if we ever sell our Saginaw place, we’ll definitely want one that is bigger down here. We would probably have a tough time selling ours now without taking a beating so now is not the time. But when things start moving, we’ll start looking. We’ll try to stay on top of the economy and keep our eyes open.

Saturday (yesterday) we were busy all day. Got up fairly early and headed out. Stopped at Bealls for a little shopping and then drove on to Temple Terrace to the Big Top Flea Market. I got a lovely orchid. We headed back to Brandon to pick up a prescription at Costco. At noon, we stopped at Goodson’s Farms for a wonderful strawberry shortcake.

Last night we went to the Michigan Club Dinner Dance. It was a fun evening. We sat at a couple with three other couples. The decorations were really out-standing, the food good. It was a nice evening.

Today is a lazy day. Too cool for the pool, nothing needs to be done. I’ve been updating websites, and doing laundry. Wish it would warm up for an extended period. We get two or three days of warm weather, and then it cools down into the 60’s for a few days. Seems it’s been a consistent pattern that will continue for the next few weeks. Bummers.

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Today should be about 70-72 which puts it at pool temperature, since the sun should be out all day.

I’m having my hair cut this a.m. Tonight is the weekly Rockin Rendevous gathering at the clubhouse. All in all it should be a fun day.

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Quiet, cool day

Good day to work in the yard. We clipped off some of the frost-damaged plants but then tonight the newspaper and a tv program said Florida home-owners should wait until mid-February to do any trimming. We’re waiting to tackle our bougainvillea plants. They were so lovely but now they’re dead looking. I’m sure they’ll recover. We want to “trim them back” too but we’ll wait to see how they do.

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How would you recognize me?

Because I’ve had the website for many years, I’ve become a spokesperson for the ODPC Evart Funfest. I’ve been fortunate to be able to introduce lots of folks to our great event(s). I try to make sure they feel welcome, and always recommend that they “look me up” when they get to the festival. One question generally comes up when I’m dealing with these folks I have yet to meet. They’ll say, “How will I know you when I see you?”

My response has been: “I’ll be the small lady with the dark hair wearing a big hat and a long skirt.” That look has been my trademark. I was easy to spot.

But over the years I’ve tired of long skirts. I now wear capris or shorts a good share of the summer. My hair isn’t as dark and I’m certainly not as small.

But my hats, although I no longer take a gazillion to the festival, are still part of my “look.”

Here in Florida, I wear big hats at the pool. I don’t wear them other times, but at the pool they serve to keep the sun off my face.

Today I went to a dermatologist (at the insistence of a friend who said that “as much time as you spend at the pool, you should be checked for sun damage.” ) The doctor said I’ve been doing something right.

I have always thought I had kind of ugly skin but this doctor praised it. (And wow Dr. Patrick is cute. Way too young, but very good looking!)

I told him that I wear big hats and make-up with a spf 20, and we are careful not to get burned. He said I should continue doing whatever I’ve been doing. My big hats paid off.

I rewarded myself with two new ones.

We also brought home five new large plants from Home Depot to help make the backside of our condo look better. When we have them planted, I’ll post a before and after photo comparison here. I’m sure you’ll agree that the plants, the new light fixture, and the replaced back door make the golf course side of our condo look unbelievably better. (It was the pits when we bought it!)

I should mention that yesterday we had a couple and a single friend mention to us that they’d like to visit us in February and March. Having a condo in a lovely Florida community with an empty guest room is a good formula for popularity. Hope they like it as much as we do.

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Saturday Review

This week has been glorious.

We’ve had the kind of January weather that only Florida can brag about: Sunshine, moderate temperatures, but some heavy rain and moderate humidity.

Today promises to be 78 with lots of sunshine. We had considered going to Busch Gardens but decided to wait until Wednesday when it’ll be sunny but cool (60’s). Today will be a pool day.

We went to a nice Tuesday evening Kings Point Dance Club dance and sat with three other couples. It was a very pleasant evening.

Wednesday John had a re-do of his six-minute walking test but this time took into consideration his poor finger circulation when putting the oximeter on his finger. The best flow seemed to be his pinky and he aced the test, actually doing better at the end of six minutes than at the beginning.

Thursday evening at Rockin Rendezvous, we enjoyed the company of Brenda and John and Brenda’s adorable 82 year old mother as well as several other friends. It was a fun evening. Too loud, but really a good time.

Friday we had a condo association meeting in the morning.

We’ve been at the pool most afternoons for the last half of the week. The weather keeps getting nicer. Today and tomorrow should top it off perfectly. We may have cooler weather early next week before it goes back into the 70’s. Admittedly I haven’t been going in the water, but instead enjoying the sunshine. Today I hope to be floating around the pool on my “noodle.” Life doesn’t get much better than that!

I wanted to mention the frost damage which is obvious around our part of Florida.

The grass is totally brown, many shrubs have been damaged and look dead. There are no flowers. Hibiscus and bouganvilla were especially hard hit. My poinsetta is half dead. But sadder, there are no geckos. (Those are the little lizards properly called brown anoles.) Usually they scurry ahead of us as we walk down the sidewalks, but they are missing. I know they’ll come back, but I miss their presence.

We haven’t had any love-bugs. Either the frost or the season, but I’m sure they’ll return too. Even the ants were killed off.

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What awesome weather!!

After working on the Original Dulcimer Players Club invitation to workshop leaders letter (I’m the workshop leader chairman), we got on our golf cart and headed into Sun City Center about 10:45 this morning….”the Sale” was on. We didn’t buy any real bargains, but it’s always fun looking. We had our lunch at Mickey-D’s, did some grocery shopping, and headed home. By about 1:30 we were at the pool. It was sunny, mid 70’s and glorious. We saw friends who we’d missed since April, and we relaxed. (We read and then nearly fell asleep which isn’t something I usually do during the day.)

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention last night’s Kings Point Dance Club dance at the main clubhouse. It was a very nice evening. We danced to good music. It was fun. John, who has limited breathing abilities, did a great job. We weren’t “up to speed” because dancing takes conditioning, but we did ok.

Our table of four couples will continue to be seated together. They’re a good, compatible bunch. Hope we get to know them better. Next month is the KPDC “formal” dinner dance. Men are encouraged to wear white dinner jackets or tuxes and ladies formal dresses. Unless we go shopping, I don’t have a formal dress nor does John have a dinner jacket/tux, but we’ll make do. I’ll wear a black ankle length dress with a lightly sequined elegant top. John has a new black suit. We won’t be as high end as some, but I’m sure we’ll be acceptable.

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I finally put the finishing touches on Everything is working. I love the teal color scheme, (but I can switch to 23 different colors.)

This morning John and I went to “the sale” (the “Nearly New” fund raiser that is open Wednesday and Saturday mornings.) No big purchases. John got a quality duffle bag, I found a black two-piece cardigan/shell set. I also bought five more soft-cover books ($1 for five). On our way home, we stopped at Taco Bell and were back at the condo by 12:30. We had planned to go to the pool, but it looked like it was going to rain, so we watched a movie instead. After the movie, it still hadn’t rained so I walked to the pool. It was empty. I read my book and relaxed. Back home by 4:00. Football playoffs will occupy John today and tomorrow.

So nothing exciting happened. Barely enough to waste the key strokes describing. If things don’t get more exciting, I’ll have to start making up reports.

But just getting outside, even in the golf cart, is refreshing. Monday it’ll only be 65, but most of the next 15 days will be high 60’s to high 70’s. I can take it.

Next on the agenda: Get some plants for the back-side of the condo. Trim away the frost damage. Find the right furniture for the end of the living room.

I love it here!

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This is more like it!

Today was sunny and lovely.

I helped Diane, my artist friend, start her website. I felt a little overwhelmed because she’s sharp as they come and I usually work by “trial and error.” But our two-hour session flew by. She left with lots of instructions. I am sure, with patience, she’ll be successful.

After Diane left, we headed to the pool and soaked up some sunshine. Had a lengthy conversation with Dotty, a recent widow. I’d like to get to know her better. It was in the low 70’s but by 4:00 it had cooled down, so we went back home. But even a couple of hours in the sun will help us break out of our “cabin fever” mode. Tomorrow it should be about 77 but then rain later in the day.

John has a noon-time appointment tomorrow with his pulmonologist’s physician assistant. I really think the sunshine would help him more than the P.A. but he’ll meet with her and I’ll be there to make sure he digests her instructions.

Sadly my daughter, Kelly, today let me know she’s being “laid off” from her managerial job at the YMCA in the Monterey Peninsula, CA. She’s been there for 15 years, but the whole place is being reorganized (to save money). She’s such a great young woman. I’m sure she, and her husband, Dave, will find a way, but in this economy, being out of work is tough.

By the way, last night’s Rockin’ Rendezvous was a ball. We sat with some of our favorite friends including Brenda & John, Pauline & Nick. Marlene & Jim and Ellie & Joe. What a fun bunch. An evening like that makes us 10 years younger.

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Nice day…

We’re still going by car, not golf cart. Even though it had warmed up some, today was a tad too cool to go in an “open air vehicle.”

We went to “the sale” this a.m. Didn’t buy anything except five novels for $1. John did better. He got a brand new jacket for $4 and a few other items. It was nice to be back in the swing. We hit Publix and a few other stores but we were home before noon. Nothing great. Nothing exciting.

This evening, we’d planned to go to Ruskin. We were supposed to pick up a prescription from our vet and then go to the Elks Club for spahetti dinner but somehow it got messed up so when we called the vet we found the script wouldn’t be ready to pick up. We therefore cancelled our spahetti dinner plans and just stayed home. Our dinner was better here anyway (John is a wonderful cook) so I’m not complaining. We’ll get Willow’s prescription tomorrow. But it won’t be spaghettii!

I spent a good share of the day cleaning. Even in “sunny Florida” our condo requires some “up-keep.” I hate cleaning. I’d love a full-time house-keeper, but for now, the job falls to me and today I took time and did a good job on 1/2 of the condo. Tomorrow I’ll finish it.

Tomorrow night Rockin’ Rendezvous. Love Thursdays!

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Tuesday Tuesday

Lazy day. Got up with frost so heavy it looked like snow. Temps in the 20’s. We watched a couple of TV movies while I worked on my computer, straightening out a couple of glitches and setting a couple of pages up on my site.

Tonight at 5:00 a karaoke evening started at the South Club. It was fun. We had Philly cheese steak sandwiches and enjoyed a fun time listening to talented folks.

We were home before 7:00. Nice night.

The folks at Kings Point are so nice. As an example, tonight there were vocalists who were totally “off-key” but they were warmly appreciated. Folks just aren’t critical.

I had a Michigan friend mention that she’d love coming to visit us but she felt she was too out of shape to go to the pool. Heck, at our pool no one notices a paunch. No one cares about a couple dozen pounds over-weight…. or 50 or 100. She’s in the wrong mind-set if she thinks anyone cares. In fact it almost seems too prideful to think anyone would care.

I love the attitude down here because everyone is appreciated for the person they are. It is evident that folks aren’t hung up on size, shape or the ability to hit a key when singing karaoke.

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Cool Monday

This afternoon we went to the Pelican Players’ potluck. It was good to get out of the house and, although the entertainment had mixed reviews, it was a nice event.

I’d worked on my website revisions all afternoon and additionally I’m trying to get prepared to help an artist friend (Diane Simon) create a distinctive, high-end website. So I was busy all day. John was bored.

It’s only been a high into the 40’s for the past few days but it should warm up by the weekend. Can’t wait.

We have several commitments this week. Tomorrow it’s a karaoke evening at the club house and then on Wednesday we have “the twice as nice sale” (which has been cancelled several times because of rainy and cold weather). Thursday we have a Rockin Rendezvous. Friday, I’ll meet with Diane to help her with her website. All it all it should be a busy and fun week.

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No dance today

The dance today went on without us. Football won out. John wanted to watch the playoff games so we stayed in. Somehow venturing out when it’s 30-40 in Florida isn’t very inviting. Tonight… cold again. But the forecast out about a week shows much anticipated improved temperatures.

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This week in a nutshell

Besides working on my computer most of my time, we also went to John’s new pulmonary specialist (Dr. Graves) Tuesday. He was better than we could have hoped for. We were really impressed with him.  (I wish we could take him back to Michigan with us.)

He actually talked about John’s disease (which is something his Michigan doctor never does).  Dr. Graves said that Prednisone shouldn’t be helping John as much as it is so he wonders if the diagnosis is accurate.  He is having John’s biopsy sent to the Mayo Clinic and he’ll review the blood tests which have been done. 

We were feeling great after hs first comments but then he had John do a 6-minute walk test and John’s oxygen levels fell into the 70’s.

The doctor then ordered an oxygen generator for John at night. That really crushed John’s optimism.  All of the sudden, he felt things are really getting worse.

Because of my computer problems, I haven’t have as much time to keep up this blog.

We did have a good time Thursday night at our weekly Rockin Rendezvous at the clubhouse. All of our Florida friends were back and it was a fun time. We saw Susie S., Richard, Bill and Donna, Brenda and John, Pauline and Nick, Evelyn and Joe, and it was fun to feel that everyone was “back.”

Friday morning we tried a Yoga class which was a tad too advanced for us.

Next week we have a potluck Monday, a Club house karaoke event on Tuesday, Thursday we’ll have another Rockin Rendezvous, and Friday we’ll return to yoga.

Tomorrow we may go to a dance class.

I hope the activity next week will elevate John’s mood. With the cold weather curtailing the outside stuff we look forward to, he has cabin fever. He doesn’t mind Michigan but he is bored by Florida when the weather is lousy.

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100% up and running

Tuesday I was able to get my Vista/Vaio system on my computer totally restored, but that only means my computer had gone back to original factory settings with no programs installed at all.

It’s taken me four additional days to get all additional programs I use re-installed. That’s what took the time. I’m now for all purposes 100% up.

I carry a box of DVDs/CDs and paperwork for reinstalling programs, but some programs (like MailWasher, Pegasus, Arles Website program, and others) require that I get a new registration key and start with a fresh download.

Every download takes time. I keep accurate records of purchase dates, and the email address used when I bought the original copy.

I wish I could pass on all I’ve learned from this computer crash, but it’s tough to pass on all I now know.

My fresh promises. I will keep current back-ups of all “files”. For CDs/DVD programs, I’ll keep matching registration keys. I’ll make sure I also keep a copy of my “desktop.” (It’s hard to remember all the programs you run.) I’ll make sure I create frequent “restore points.” I’ll make any back up disks recommended by my computer manufacture.

I have my “favorites” on Internet Explorer but not on Google Chrome.

I realize there’s one program I haven’t heard from (my registry program) but I’m happy and if nothing else is available, I’m content.

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Day #2 of my computer drama

It still isn’t working. I’ve tried everything.

I got a price of $80-$120 from a repair person to work with the hard drive and restore the data to DVD back-ups but then I’d have to re-install all the programs and add the data from the back-ups. I figured I can do that myself.

So I got busy and downloaded all the stuff I was missing from December 8th which was the last time I did a back-up. (I found the way to get into the hard-drive and copy it to DVDs and CDs.)

I backed it all up and now I’m re-formatting.

John watched with me as it flashed through the screens. I’d hold my breath to see if it would work. (Sometimes it did and sometimes I had to start over.) When it worked, we’d both let out a celebratory yell. He got an idea of what a rush it is when things work correctly.

Even though this whole process has used up a lot of time, I will probably end up with a computer that is works more smoothly.

Now I have current (as of yesterday a.m.) back-ups of everything that was on my computer including my desktop which includes all the programs I use so I’ll know what needs to go back on the hard drive). It’ll take major time, but it won’t take long to get the basic stuff up.

I’ve also restored most everything to John’s computer (my old one), so I can use it until things are working correctly.

This sort of activity does stretch your mind. And I understand, it helps to keep you younger and more alert.

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Things were going too good

My Sony Vaio has purred along for a little over a year. In fact the service plan I had with the purchase ended the 26th of December.

This morning I worked a bit on line and updated the ODPC site and did a few other things before I decided to check and see if I was up-to-date on my Windows Vista updates. (I have it set for automatic up-dates but sometimes, for some reason, the up-date doesn’t install correctly.) There was a suggested up-date for Windows Internet Explorer and also a Windows Vista up-date. After the download and install, as normally happens, the computer asked re-start to finish the install.

It wouldn’t re-start. That was about 10:30. It still hasn’t started.

I have a call into a local computer service to see if they can offer a suggestion.

Unfortunately, because I’d been busy, I hadn’t bothered to do a back-up.

It looks like the only thing I’ll really lose are my holiday photos, and this month of up-dates to my calendar.

I know I should have backed up my computer. I just grew complacent because everything was working so well. Dern!!!

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Busch Gardens Gala

Busch Gardens Ice ShowToday was the last day for the Busch Gardens Holiday Ice Show and last weekend for the rest of their holiday presentations. We’d wanted to go on the 23rd, but Willow wasn’t well enough to leave for the day. She’s much better now, so we decided to go. I’m so glad we did. The shows were exceptional.

We planned out our day: lunch at the Dessert Grill while enjoying their holiday variety show, then at 2:15 we’d go to the ice show. On our way home we’d get John’s electric bike which had been “on order.”

The day started out comfortable at about 65-67. I had on a light sweater, but was actually a little too warm. John wore a long sleeved shirt over a tee shirt, but he shed the long sleeved shirt for most of the morning. But while we were going to “the Grill” it started raining and really came down. (Luckily we had umbrellas.) By the time we’d left the variety show, the temperatures had dropped 10+ degrees. It stopped raining before we went to the ice show, but it got even cooler.

John had his long sleeved shirt back on, but he could have used the heavier jacket he’d left in the car. I had added light a jacket but was still chilly. We left about 3:00, cold and damp.

We got John’s bike and did some other shopping. We were home before dark.

I’m really glad we went to the shows. Both were first class. The costuming was excellent and the talent exceptional

We always sit near the front. (We were in the center of the fourth row for the ice show and at the first table for the variety show.) During the variety show, an attractive Marilyn Monroe-style vocalist stopped at our table and sang to John. She ran her fingers through John’s hair and really messed it up. He loved it! Pays to get there early and get good seats.

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