Archive forMarch, 2011

New Friends

This year we have met lots of “new friends.” Yes, we still adore Jean & Mel, Darlene & Gary, Sharon & Alan, Robbin & Terry, Mary & Ron, Rachael & Jerry, Brenda & John and all of the super nice folks we’ve met over the years including those Brenda & John introduced us to (mostly from Maine but also a fun Michigan couple). And then there are all of our Nantucket V friends (that’s our home owners’ association), and of course our wonderful long-time friends the Conklins. There are also “pool friends,” John’s new “pickleball buddies” and the “Rockin’ Rendezvous crowd.” They all make those activities fun.

But this year we got acquainted with Richard & Shelly, Carolyn & Stephen, Sharon & Ed, Lilly & Hank and all the fun folks we know from our country dance classes (including the instructors Bill and Donna). And recently we’ve gotten to know Linda & Ron, who are shown in the photo. They all make our stay here in Florida totally enjoyable. These new friends are super additions to our “circle.” This is just a sampling of the folks who are important to us down here.

I didn’t touch on those who are in the ballroom dance club nor our pool friends, nor our previous neighbors from the Fairfield association, and I could go on and on.

My plan for this season was to have a house party but the list of folks we’d need to invite keeps growing. I can’t imagine having a party that didn’t include them all. Our place wouldn’t accommodate the crowd.

It’s not that we are popular. It’s just that the people we have met are so inclusive. They are totally approachable and caring. They make it easy to warm up to them. They invite and support you. They are what good folks should be but no where else have I found them.

One time I heard the definition of a good friend as someone who would loan you $10 in a pinch or come after you if you had car trouble. I actually feel that there are dozens who fit that description. Of course we don’t plan to test them, but they’d be there for us, and we’d do the same for them.

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Weather Woes

We’ve had lovely weather for the past month but today Mother Nature dropped over 2″ of rain on our area. Looking beyond today, it appears we’ll be back to our glorious sunshine and warm weather in a day or two.

We had to find a way to entertain Suzie and C.T., John’s sister and her guy. They had arrived Saturday. When they got here it was gorgeous and also yesterday so we got in a full day of pool time. Last night we all went to a fun dance. Today, with the rain, our pool plans were cancelled. Instead, we went shopping, to the North Club where we listened to some live music, and then to Anna Maria Oyster Bar for an early dinner.

Back at the condo, the rain really came down. We may need an ark because more is expected.

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Fun Stuff

We have had a ton of fun over the past week or so: A dance, an association cook-out, a South Club pool party, a tour of a friend’s lovely decorated new home, dinner with friends, lots of pool time, our country dance lesson, and tomorrow we’re going to Busch Gardens. (Charo will be there and she does a great show.) The whole five and a half months we’ve been down here have been crammed with enjoyable events but it’s seem that now we’re in over-drive.

We have only one more month left here in Florida. It’s hard to cram in all the good time stuff on our agenda between now and our departure.

Lots of good memories will carry us through until October when we return.

“Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

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Lip Sync Videos on YouTube

You can enjoy all of the videos from the March 8th Lip Sync Show benefiting LifePath Hospice. (Click on the title of the music, and you’ll be taken to the You Tube video.)

1. I Wanna Talk About Me – Larry and Darlene Meadows
2. Unwritten – Robin
3. Big, Blonde and Beautiful – Carol Geary
4. Soul Man – Linda and Jane
5. Golf is a Naughty Game – Sue Sussman
6. Splish Splash – Honey and Shawn
7. Paper Gangsta – Bobbi Burnette
8. Ring of Fire and Jackson – Ron and Ron and Ellen
9. All of You – Gerry Dearden and Doc
10. These Boots are Made for Walking – Brenda Hartman
11. I’ve Got you Babe – Janice and Pat
12. Sue Me – Linda and Tom
13. I Will Survive – Elaine Kijek
14. Thriller (dance routine) – Larry and Darlene Meadows
15. Hello Muddah Hello Fadduh – Tom Gasnon
16. Whatever Lola Wants – Rachel and Billy Bob
17. Forever Your Girl – Bobbi Burnette
18. Wedding Bell Blues – Bill and Donna Markman
19. Country Boy – Ted Metcalfe
20. Billy Jean – Jane Boccieri
21 My Husband is Playing A Round – Sue Sussman
22. Hey, Big Spender – Honey, Shawn and Norman
23. Alone – Brenda Wiseman
24. Too Much Too Little Too Late – Gerry Dearden and Doc
25. Mississippi Squirrel Revival – Ann Parisen
26. Middle Aged Women РSue Sussman (by Lisa Koch ©2005 Mamajune Music (BMI))
27. YMCA – Jane, Shirley, Linda, Linda and Bobbi

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Lip Sync Show March 8, 2011

John and I video’d the Kings Point Lip Sync Show last week. It was fun and benefited Life Path Hospice where my mom spent her last days. The videos turned out ok. (My view was a little “sideways” so I didn’t block anyone’s view, but it seemed to work.) After doing the videos last year for this same event, I purchased a better video camera. A week or so ago I realized I needed some “practice” to be sure I knew how to use it. And this was the first time I’d tried up-loading from that camera to youtube. I found myself stuck without the tools I needed.

I ended up with about 30 clips of the various acts. My plan is to get them up on youtube as soon as possible.

What happened was the camera wasn’t compatible with my existing editing program so I had to shop around for a simple (inexpensive) way to edit the videos. Finally I made a commitment to iCoolSoft-HD (an editing and conversion program). It isn’t perfect but was fairly cheap and allows me to convert to any format and clip the length of the video.

Preparing each video takes several steps. (Trim the raw footage with iCoolSoft-HD, add titles with WindowsMovieMaker.) Last night I up-loaded the first three acts and hopefully within the next three or four days I can complete the rest of them. (It takes at least a half hour per act to take the raw clip and get it in place on youtube and there were 28 acts.)

If you’d like to see the first ones I’ve completed, you can go to and use the search words “Kings Point Lip Sync, Sun City Center, 2011.” Eventually I’ll put links to all of the clips here.

Today’s St. Paddy’s Day so tonight I might not get much done.

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Cool Down

Yesterday and today it’s been chilly (60’s with overnight lows into the low 40’s).

It’s Friday again and another week has flown by. We enjoyed pool-time daily during the first part of last week even though it was windy. Tuesday we filmed the lip sync benefit show. It went well.

Wednesday we went to our couples dance class, Thursday we spent the day at Busch Gardens enjoying the Osmond Brothers and a great dance show. Thursday evening was a typical Rockin’ Rendezvous.

About noon today (Friday) we went to a Kings Point festival on the grounds of the North Club. After doing a little shopping, this afternoon we came home and dressed for a country dance night at the club. Tomorrow it might warm up to 70 and then next week even warmer. By next weekend, it’ll be into the 80’s.

We only have 44 more days before we head home. I hate to think of leaving. Even John is enjoying himself more than he dreamed. He’s playing pickle ball every day, we’re dancing a lot, and having lots of fun!

By comparison, back in Michigan, life will be pretty dull. The 153 days we’ll be in Michigan will be divided between our place on the lake in rural Saginaw County, our place in the U.P and the Evart dulcimer festival. By the time you subtract those times we’ll be out of town, we’ll probably spend a total of approximately 20 weeks at our house. Twenty weeks when I’ll be anxious to get back to Florida.

Even when it’s cool down here, it’s lovely. Today was a good example of that.

Our remaining time here will be crowded with about a dozen dances/parties, a couple dinners, dance lessons, karaoke night, pool parties, pool time, a four or five day visit from John’s sister and her boyfriend, and other enjoyable events to fill our days to capacity. Wish we could slow down time!

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Birthday Shopping

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a flurry of on-line “shopping.” The last time was documented in my Sharon’s Blog Post of May 19th, 2010.

Today I celebrated my 69th birthday. John and I don’t generally exchange gifts, but during the period of our birthdays, we can shop and get what we want without guilty feelings. (I don’t have guilt feelings anyway.) This week I shopped using my 69th birthday as an excuse.

I got a cute, quality, Chico’s top which came today. I also bought a pair of tan city shorts (I already have identical white ones and love them), a lovely silk very elegant strapless top, and a bargain priced pair of tops (one of which should I be able to wear over a strapless bathing suit for a totally new look). I got the two of them for about $14 with shipping. John got me a pair of lovely earrings. (Actually I got them, but they came from him because I said, “I’ll order these for my birthday and they’ll be from you, ok?”)

I love clothes. I feel best when I get them cheaply. The Chico’s top which came today cost me less than I saw similar “used” items in a resale shop. It’s already a favorite of mine and I haven’t even worn it worn it yet.

Only problem, I need a bigger closet!

For John’s birthday, which was Tuesday, we went to a lunch buffet which he selected. Today we went to Circles at Apollo Beach at about 3:00 for my birthday. Both meals were super. At this rate, it’s good that each of our birthdays only come once a year. I would definitely “chubby-up” and none of those clothes I just bought would fit me.

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I spend a lot of time at the pool and consequently have several (many) bathing suits. As you’d expect, some are “favorites” and soon they look dull and a tad worn. I stumbled on a simple way to up-date a suit.

I wear a lot of black and have several suits which are solid black. Most of my suits can be worn strapless since I prefer an un-lined tan. A couple of them I’ve had for three or more years and they’re a bit shabby, or at least I don’t feel they have the same sizzle they once had.

cute topIn January I bought an evening wear top which I thought was really cute. I got it on eBay, but when it came, I knew I’d never wear it because it was just a bit too over-the-top for me. There was a turquoise under-layer but the black, which had large flowers woven in, was totally see-through. It went into a drawer and I figured I’d never wear it. It had only cost me $12.99 but I figured it was wasted money.

Sunday I creatively put the cute (never worn) top over a plain black strapless bathing suit and voil√† I had an updated suit! I tried it with the ruffle over one shoulder and it was ok, but found that I could wear it as a strapless with the ruffle all around the whole top. It isn’t noticeable that it’s supposed to be one-shouldered (the fabric is very stretchy and the arm opening disappears making it a cute strapless top). I liked it better that way. Maybe I’ll eventually remove the bow which ties in the front because when it gets wet, it just hangs, but I’ve left it for now. And yes, I wore it in the pool and it looks great even wet.

I knew it had been a success when, after I’d worn it to pool, a friend’s husband commented Sunday night that he’d liked my “new” swim suit. He described it to his wife as cute and ruffly.

So now I’m on the prowl for tops that I can wear over my bathing suits. This one (above) is perfect I’m wearing it again today over a different black strapless suit.

I found several others on eBay (below). I can see there are lots to choose from.

Some are a bit too expensive. The stripped one, as an example would come to $36 with shipping.) But I think, if I’m patient, I can find some in the $5-15 dollar range and I’ll have a whole new bathing suit look. To prove my point, the last one (below) is $10 including shipping.

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The weather in Florida has been flawless.

We had a busy time last week.

Thursday night we performed for the Manchester I pizza party. Our performance with the Conklins as the foursome Kings Strings, was well accepted. We felt good about it.

Friday the South Club had a party to celebrate the reopening of the pool (which had been closed for a month to level the tiles which surround the pool.) It was a beautiful day, a huge crowd, and the entertainment (Elvis) made the day perfect. ….. Naw, I take it back, it was our friends that made it perfect.

Saturday I was chairman of the Michigan Club pizza party. It went off without a hitch. We had an excellent vocalist (Salvina) as entertainment. Lots of pizza, salad, and beer! We had great help at the party. Couldn’t have done it without our friends who stepped up to assist us.

Sunday we had an invitation to Steve and Caroline’s Oscar party. It was great time. We stayed to the end. Fun people and the food… Wow! I really need to watch what I eat.

Today, Tuesday, is John’s birthday. We don’t know what we’ll do but we’ll celebrate.

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