Archive forApril, 2011

Busy trying to catch up!

Today was a stay-at-home day. I shopped on line for a washer and drier. I worked on the additions to the ODPC Funfest Workshop classes, and I unpacked.

Willow is still with us. My hope is that she’ll pass on her own (maybe tonight while we sleep). I don’t want us to have to decide that it’s her time to leave this earth. It would be so much easier on us to have her just go naturally and peacefully… So much kinder from every angle.

I unpacked and I took time to try to get a printer to work wirelessly. I was successful!!

My HP Laserjet Plus printer, which costs a fraction of a cent per copy (in black and white), is purring along. I hope it will serve me for the entire pre-Evart festival period. Everything is working as it should so let’s hope I can get the copies I need at a low cost. (It took a while to get everything set up to work so I can print from the living room to my printer in the guest room.

Now I need to get busy and work on the scheduling of the workshop classes. I have the expansive “worksheet” done. It provides me a compact, simple way to see all the classes which are being offered. Now I need to position all the classes in timeframes that work for the leader and give me a balanced line-up of classes.

It’s good to be home, but being home is a lot more work!

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Home again.. Home again

Got home mid afternoon to a real mess. A mouse (or mice) got into our pantry. We tossed out most everything (except the canned goods). All the cans and shelves had to be washed. We found their entrance through the drier vent (there was a hole in the vent and easy entrance from outside.) We hope we can fix it so it doesn’t happen again. At least the pantry is sparkling clean.

Willow had a rough trip back, but she was actually very easy to travel with. She slept all the way. Didn’t eat or drink and her other functions seem to have shut down. We know we’ll lose her soon, but it’s best that it happen naturally. She’s very comfortable. Yesterday afternoon, during a major downpour and heavy traffic, she had a seizure. I held and petted her until she came out of it, but it was a tense time.

Except for the mouse damage in the cabinet, the place was in great shape. Even the lawn doesn’t look too bad.

None of the trees are leafed out yet and it’s pretty cool, but then again I’m used to 80-90 degree temperatures. I’ll adjust.

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Heading Back Home

I already miss Florida and I’m not even home yet.

We started out this morning at about 9:00. When we were about a block from our condo, I realized I didn’t know where the cellphone was. We turned around (much to the dismay of John) and went back. As it turned out it was in the car, buried in my computer bag, but that set us behind about 15 minutes.

Our tiny dog, Willow, has stopped eating and drinking. We have said all along that we know the end of her life is near, but we hope to get her back to Michigan. I don’t know if she’ll make it. She’s comfortable, but so weak that she can’t stand. I tried putting ice chips in her mouth, but they just fall out. She’s really out of it and doesn’t seem to know how to eat or drink at this point. When we stop the next time, we’re going to try using a syringe to put water in her mouth.

Traffic hasn’t been bad, but Willow’s situation and my losing the cellphone haven’t put John in a very good mood.

Tonight’s stay will be in Kennesaw, GA. We’ll go to dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s or Cracker Barrel. The decision will be John’s.

Tomorrow night we’ll be in Miamisburg, Ohio, near Dayton. I like Marion’s Pizza when we are in Miamisburg. I’ve lusted after that pizza since last year. They make it with a very thin crust with lots of cheese and pepperoni It’s cut it into small square pieces. Hopefully it’s as good as I remember.

We should get home in the early afternoon Wednesday.

Saturday we have a meeting of the Original Dulcimer Players Club in Holland, MI. It’s nearly 140 miles to the church where the meeting will be held. That means that we have to leave by 7:15 and it’ll be an expensive trip (approx. $40) at current gas prices.

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Easter Sunday

Today was our last full day of the “season.” We leave for Michigan tomorrow a.m.

We went to church, cleaned and packed, enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Wayne and Linda Conklin’s.

Our plan was to finish everything early and squeeze in some pool time but it rained hard right after we got back from dinner and it didn’t let up for a while. So much for our pool plans. Oh, well….

We’re nearly ready to go. We’ll get up early and try to be out of here by 8:30.

I’m sorry we didn’t get to say good-bye to many of the special folks who made our winter in Florida enjoyable. (Especially We’ll have to email them and

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Not up to par

Last night about 2:00 a.m. I found myself totally awake and feeling rotten with a very queasy stomach. Finally about 5:00 I got up and read until John got up at 7:00.

In addition to being tired all day, my stomach ache never went away. I’ve felt really yucky.

I had great plans for the day. I wanted to spend a good share of it at the pool saying good-bye to friends. But instead I felt it was an accomplishment to stay upright. Somehow I managed to get my packing and laundry done, but basically I vegged and complained that I wasn’t feeling well.

I have a theory that my body is rebelling because it’s being dragged unwillingly back to Michigan.

I think even John wishes we had set our departure for early May instead of April. Next year we may do things differently.

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Winding Down

Tonight we went to our last “Rockin’ Rendezvous” of this season. It started out slowly. The seats were all vacant and lonely.

Gradually folks arrived. It wasn’t the rowdy bunch we used to enjoy, but John and Brenda came to say good-bye and we also saw other good friends so in the end it was an enjoyable evening.

Brenda and John are the nicest folks imaginable. Both are fun and enthusiastic about life. Brenda’s cute and bubbly. John’s charming and every inch a gentleman.

They are people anyone would be honored to call good friends.

But as my John pointed out, there are no people in our circle who aren’t nice. Everyone is exceptional. I don’t know how we got so lucky.

As an example, we also saw our friends Sue, Linda, Bert and Cheryle, Richard, Bob, Shirley, Janice, and others. What a great bunch!

October is a long way off, but hopefully they’ll all be back with us in the fall.

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Another bad day (Saturday)

For some reason this post was corrupted so I had to re-enter it. It was actually posted on Saturday, the 16th.


Today (Saturday) we sort of “divided” the chores. I stayed home to start packing for our return home (on April 25th) and John went to play pickleball.

When he got back, he headed to town to get some groceries. I continued to work around the condo. (I have moved most stuff to the “staging area” in the spare bedroom). My plan is to have everything done so we can just relax next week and finish packing with only a couple hour’s work.

He was gone a couple of hours. Before he got back, I realized it was hot in the condo!! Usually we keep the A/C at about 75-76 and that’s where I thought it was, but the temperature was rising. At first I just though I was working up a sweat, but I checked the temperature. It wasn’t just me! It was about 82. I tried lowering the setting but nothing changed.

I listened to the outside compressor and realized it was making a strange sound. Immediately I called the repair service. (We have a contract which covers seven days a week air conditioning, heat, refrigerator and range emergency service.)

While waiting for the repair guy, I turned on all four of our ceiling fans and opened the door, but it was about 85 outside so it only got hotter.

A couple of weeks ago we’d had a service tech make sure our A/C unit was purring so we wouldn’t have to worry about it this summer. We also had a humidistat installed. We thought we’d made sure that everything was in good working order.

When the contracted repair fellow came he said the capacitor which had been replaced by the service tech had been “recalled.” It was defective. He had to replace it again. Thank heavens it failed before we headed back north. (I’m calling the service tech’s business to complain that they should have notified us about the recall.)

Waiting for the repair guy had taken a couple of hours. The whole day was shot. It was way too hot to do any more work, and too late to go to the pool.

John worked on the front door and got it so the new “sweep” at the bottom works the way it should.

The parts for the garage door came today so I’m sure he’ll get that fixed within a few days.

Bad luck usually comes in “threes” but we’ve had so many problems the past few days, that I’ve lost count. I’m sure we’re on the second or third series of three.

(Or maybe this was actually good luck because we were still here when the a/c failed.)

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An unbelievably bad morning

A NIGHTMARE type morning.

Last night we discovered the garage door wouldn’t work, and this morning the repair guy quoted us $350 for a new one.

Our old, tiny dog, Willow, wasn’t doing well at all. She can no longer stand up.

Then John, who wanted to go play pickleball, discovered that the car door had been left ajar so the battery was dead. Thank heavens he checked before he left the condo because I had an appointment to have my hair cut and had planned to use it.

While all this was going on, the painters arrived and started painting the front door.

It was one thing after another. Things got more and more stressful. I was hurrying to get ready, John wanted to leave. Willow was bad. The painters were working at the front door.

But eventually it all smoothed out.

John used the truck to jump the car’s battery.

I got to the beauty shop on time.

John went on-line and found a replacement part for $50 instead of paying $350.

He got to go play pickleball.

Willow is resting.

And painters will finish tomorrow – we hope. The windows are now covered with opaque plastic so it looks like there’s heavy fog outside. The front door is ajar to let it dry, but the sidewalks and drive have been power-washed.

We were able to go to the pool about 1:00 and stayed until 3:15. That definitely helped relax us.

Tonight was another Rockin’ Rendezvous. We danced a little and said good-bye to some friends who were leaving. We still have another week, but time’s flying.

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I have figured it out…

The reason time passes faster as we get closer to our departure date is “momentum.” It’s the phenomena that occurs when an object rolls down an incline. It picks up speed.

Our days are slanted toward April 25. Each day moves along at a faster clip. At two weeks from departure we’re really moving along, but next week time will blur past even faster.

No time to waste.

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Imagine the most relaxing place of your dreams

Today was a perfect day! We went shopping this morning and this afternoon headed to the pool. The temperatures were high but the Conklins had staked out a couple of prime lounge chairs for us in the shade.

The temperature of the water was perfect! You floated in a wonderful luxurious soft cloud of warmth and comfort. Everyone commented that it felt so good!

Last Sunday our minister asked us to meditate. He wanted us to close our eyes and think of a place where everything was perfect. I thought of the South Club pool on a day like today where your body feels caressed with the warm water.

It wasn’t overly crowded, the music was nice the people friendly, the air temperature in the high 80’s. (Humidity creeping up.)

John, who is reluctant to acknowledge that this is preferable to being in Michigan, said he’d describe this place as Paradise. He commented that, “Anything that interests you is available to you. You can relax or be busy. You can sing, or play cards, or exercise, or get involved in any of the 200 clubs. What more could we ask for?”

And to think we’re leaving it in two weeks for cool weather and solitude in Michigan.

Why do I say “solitude”? Because in Michigan we live in an area that is remote and distant enough from friends that I often go several weeks and don’t leave the house. John goes to George’s (his best friend’s house), but we really don’t have a social life there.

In Florida, we enjoy multiple daily activities with friends. It’s just the way it is.

Over next few days we’ll have a party tomorrow night with our Country Dance Class (the 9th), a dance on Sunday with the Oldies but Goodies Club (the 10th), a birthday party/dinner Monday at Anna Maria Oyster Bay (the 11th), a ballroom dance club dance Tuesday (the 12th), country couples dance lesson and a Nantucket V Association hor dourves party Wednesday evening (the 13th), Rockin Rendezvous Thursday the 14th, and that’s just the next five days!

Thank heavens for our Michigan music which helps us interact with others. Most of the month of July we’ll be able to be with music friends at the Evart festival, and we have once-a-month concerts at Haithco Park in Saginaw.

It would be nice to simplify our lives, but I don’t think John’s ready to sell our place in Michigan and be full-time in Florida. But eventually I see that happening… not yet…. someday!

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Less than three weeks!!!

Three weeks from yesterday we’ll pull into our Michigan home. (We leave on the 25th.) Can’t say I want to go, but I know that we have to get back. I have an important dulcimer festival planning meeting the Saturday after we return and before long, Spring with bring our lawn to life. There’s always a lot for John to do to keep up with the yard. We don’t want it to get too far ahead of us.

Tuesday was a rainy day. We took advantage of the time we couldn’t get out and took care of stuff inside (Believe it or not, I ironed some sheets, some of John’s shirts and other items! I-R-O-N is one of those four letter words which I avoid but it was hard to stall any longer.)

Tuesday night we attended a Michigan Club gourmet dinner and annual meeting, Wednesday (yesterday) was a pickle ball club luncheon at Ybor Grill. Even though the weather had improved we didn’t get to the pool. Instead after our luncheon in Ruskin, we went shopping and I was successful finding another “church dress.” (I’ve only had a couple down here that were conservative enough for church. This new one is perfect: a black two layer voile sundress style with a voile jacket with a ruffle on the bottom of both the jacket and the dress.) I also found a cute bright cotton trapeze style sundress with beads and jewels embroidered around a Cleopatra-style neckline. I got both at re-sale shops but both were NEW with tags!! Don’t tell anyone but I spent a total of $10 for both dresses!! I love a bargain. Yesterday afternoon we were at our second-to-the-last country dance class.

Today (Thursday) was warm and lovely. We had a Nantucket V condo owners meeting at 11:00 a.m. We were at the pool before the meeting and again afterward. We came back home about 3:30 and at 5:00 went to Rockin Rendezvous. The exodus of Snowbirds was apparent. The Palm Cafe was nearly empty until about 5:30. It finally fired up and we did a little dancing and saw a few friends but it’s obvious that the flow of folks from Florida northward is already well underway.

Time is short. We need to take advantage of every day before we join the herd heading back to their summer residences.

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Violent Weather

Yesterday we received about 4″ of rain. At the height of the storm, the wind was scary, the skies black, and the downpour volume over-whelming. We ended up with water in our lanai, but other than that, everything stayed snug. Our power had stayed on through it all, we never lost our cable, and my internet was only interrupted for a second or two.

Late in the afternoon, there was a break so John, who was antsy from being cooped up, took the car and went into town.

Stop lights were out and there were areas where the water on the road was a problem but he accomplished a few chores.

We had planned to go to Rockin’ Rendezvous, when he got back, but when the rain started up again, we changed our minds and stayed in.

Today the golf course is littered with debris from the trees, but the lanai is drying and the small pond which had formed beside the condo yesterday has dried up.

Nearby areas weren’t as fortunate. Lots of homes were damaged north of us and an air show was hit with several planes flipped over by the wind. Even a semi on the highway was over-turned by the gusts.

We may get to the pool late this afternoon, but I’m sure the temperature of the water will have dropped considerably with the addition of the cold rainwater and it’s only going to be in the mid-70s.

This weekend promises to be glorious. We have tickets for a dance tomorrow night.

I want to stretch out the time we have left and make the most of every day. It’s tough when we’re stuck inside. I should have used the time to start packing, but that’s really a signal of the end of the season and I’m in denial.

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