Archive forJune, 2012

We’ve been following the progress of Debbie, the tropical storm which is stuck over central to northern Florida.

Here’s what we read from a Sun City Center community newsletter dated June 25th:

It’s Been Raining Here

We’ve had lots of rain — I have lived here 21 years and have never seen anything like it. As of 11:45 a.m. this whole Tampa Bay area came under a Tropical Storm Warning; a tornado was reported in Seminole (Pinellas County) I called around to several places around noon with this result:
1. The Security Patrol says there are several streets (“the usual suspects”) that are flooded, but none of the Sun City Center streets is impassable — they advised drivers to proceed very slowly and “stay on the high side”.
2. The Community Association reports no problems with its buildings or property on the Central Campus; we should give lawn bowling greens time to recover once the rain ends. On the South Campus, the tennis courts, pickle ball and volley ball courts should not be used for a couple of days at least — the horseshoe pits and softball field would benefit from lack of use until the rain has stopped for a day or more.
3. Hillsborough County is making filled sandbags available to the elderly/disabled public at 8718 Old Big Bend Road in Gibsonton. Sandbag materials will be available to those physically able to make their own. Additionally, each citizen will sign their name and provide their home address acknowledging the receipt of 25 sandbags or less.
4. The Information Center is closed today. Giving tours to visitors during a Tropical Storm Warning violated common sense.

The rain is supposed to hang around the rest of the week.

The photo says it all.

Comments off

Doing Nothing!

We’ve been doing “nothing.” I haven’t left the house since last Friday. Haven’t been out of the house except to shake the dust mop for three or four days. (It’s been too hot to venture out.)

Next week will be busy busy! We both have doctor appointments Monday (same doctor/same time). On Tuesday we’ll drive to Houghton Lake to visit John’s elderly aunt with his five siblings (six brothers or sisters plus mates.) Wednesday John and I will be hosting a Haithco Concert with our dulcimer club (the start of the 20th year of concerts in the park!!!) Thursday our subdivision is having an “association” dinner/meeting at a nice restaurant in St. Charles. Friday afternoon we head to White Lake for a visit.

White Lake? you ask. What’s in White Lake?

Caroline & Stephen Cooper and Shelly & Richard Brooks will be hosting a bunch of folks who live in Kings Point (Sun City Center, FL) during the winter months. I believe the crowd will include Wayne & Linda Conklin, Cindy & Mike Baker, Bob & Sherry Walker, Sharon Nead & Dave DeVires, and maybe others. It should be loads of fun. We’ll hang out in the water, and eat when hungry. I hope someone puts on a recording we can line dance to. I’m sure some will want to play Rumicube and some will just lounge in the sun and talk or read.

Friday night (the 29th) the White Lake community will put on a wonderful fireworks show. We attended the 2011 event and it was glorious!

The Coopers have invited us to stay several days but we may not hang around as long as some because we need to pack for the ODPC Evart Funfest (aka THE dulcimer festival) since we’re leaving on the 10th for that gathering and we’ll be gone until the 22nd or 23rd!

So this week we’re resting up for up-coming fun.

Comments off


I’ve been corresponding with a fellow who lives in another Vesta Community in Florida. He saw my post about how smoking restrictions in Florida are less effective than in Michigan and leave much to be desired in our Kings Point community. This is the information I posted back in early April which he used as ammunition for his fight in his community: Florida’s smoking policies don’t go far enough

This fellow took my arguments to his Vesta board and today he received word that smoking is banned from the pool, kitchen, and dinning areas in his community.

He sent me the confirmation the message he received from Vesta.


In Kings Point we need to get management on our side. We don’t need the smoke interfering with our breathing. The average age in Kings Point is 74. Do you think the average 74 year old needs smoke in his breathing routine? Hope our community “gets it.”

Comments off


We’re spoiled by Florida’s early activities. Last night we went out for a fish dinner at the Moose Lodge. We thought we’d make a fun night of it and expected that we could go from there to an outdoor dance/concert (featuring a local band Ceyx). Although I wasn’t sure of the start time, I was pleased when we entered the Apple Mountain Golf Club grounds because there was a large sign saying “7pm fun begins.” (It was about 6:30.) As we waited, we realized the band hadn’t arrived. We finally got in a conversation with a couple near us (as they were packing up to leave). We questioned their departure and found that the music wouldn’t start until 8:00! (In Florida, most activities we attend are over by 8:00 or 9:00.)

Our conversation continued with this couple (approximately our age.) We explained our frustration because we can’t find any dances in the area. The gentleman said, that the Moose Lodge is known for line dances. We never hang around after dinner at the Moose, so this came as a surprise.

Finally at 8:00 the music started. It was obvious that the crowded dance floor wasn’t going to be a place for us. No line dancing, no ‘lectric slide, no country two-step, not even any waltzes nor foxtrots. The music was good but not what we were looking for (and the cement floor was going to be rough on John’s back.)

So about 8:15 we packed up and left for the Moose Lodge hoping that the fellow we’d spoken to had been correct.

The parking lot of the lodge was encouraging, but we soon discovered that karaoke was the entertainment of the evening. The quiet drinkers waited their turn to take the mic. No rowdy encouragement as we witness in Florida.

We were home by 8:45.

Our Friday night venture for fun and entertainment had flopped. Oh, well at least we got out.

Comments off

Again and Again!

new driveI’m a computer junkie (just ask John). And over the years there have been a few times when my system crashed and lost all my data which then took me weeks to recover. In the worst cases, I never got everything back.

Admittedly my current system is more stable (knock on wood) so it’s been a while. I’m very cautious. I run an excellent virus protection program, but that only stops “invasions” from outside. I do complete system checks on a weekly basis. (Do you know how to run sys check?)

I know from experience that sometimes the computer itself malfunctions – like a car that has mechanical problems. Believe me, I can’t take a chance! I work too hard creating workshop programs or doing websites to have to start over.

Therefore two years ago this coming August, I bought a fancy (aka “expensive”) Seagate Black Armor NAS 110 external 2TB hard drive which I thought would run daily automatic back-ups and I’d be protected. (A picture of it is to the immediate left.)

It did work for a while (maybe a month), but I can’t begin to tell you how much time it took. I was on with Seagate’s customer service for HOURS upon HOURS (sometimes from 9-9, prior to getting it to work “automatically.” It was quirky and difficult and then it quit. Fatigued, I decided to let it go for awhile.

But I couldn’t give up. I’d spent too much. I’d whined too much. I’d bragged too much. (And I’d even accepted a partial contribution toward the hard drive from the Original Dulcimer Players Club, one of the websites I host and needed to back-up.)

Before I left for Florida last October, determinedly I started over, cleared everything out, and ran a complete new back-up.

I couldn’t use my computer for a several days while it ran (because along the way I had discovered that while it was doing a full back-up the computer couldn’t be used for ANYTHING else), but I did get what I thought was back-up file that I was complete and could be restored. Sadly that that was the only back-up which was successful. I couldn’t get the automatic feature to work when I got to Florida and I certainly didn’t want to waste my precious sunshine-time trying to do computer back-ups. Therefore the Seagate back-up drive was stored away “just in case,” but as time passed it got further and further out of date.

Now, I’m back in Michigan, with more available time, and I figured I’d start over again. For about six hours yesterday I monkeyed with the installation of the Seagate hard drive. I erased everything and thought I had it scheduled to run the “first back-up” today at 10:00 a.m. but, as before, it didn’t work.

I need a back-up! I may not use it often, but I do want to have something to fall back on.

After considering all options, I came up with a solution that is simple.

I have manually backed up all of my photos to a directory on the huge external hard drive (2TB) and I manually backed up the file section of my computer’s drive which includes all the websites and workshop information. It’s true that only the files were copied and nothing will automatically update. But with a good, full back-up, I’ll try to be diligent adding to the data at least weekly. If I copy just the changed “files,” it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

The huge hard drive 2TB is still valuable when doing it this way.

It’s the old fashioned “do-it-manually” method, but a back-up will be there if I have a problem. No, in the event of a crash, it won’t let me reload every program which I have installed and put me back where I was with a simple stroke, but I probably wouldn’t want to do it that way anyway. If my computer crashes, I’d probably buy a different computer, and install just the programs I use all the time. (AND most of the time programs work better if installed from the original disks.) I would want to install the programs then copy the files which are my work-product to a new computer. (Example, if I use Word, I need the Word files I’ve created. If I use Microsoft Streets and Trips I need the route files. Photos and videos are also important. I want to make sure those are always backed up. This new back up method can do it provide I’m diligent!!

I’m still reviewing and adding to what is stored. I hope when I am satisfied that I have everything, a regularly created back-up will be fairly simple to maintain. I am determined to stay on top of it!! At least now I know it’s something I can manage without counting on the device to run and back-up from my computer. (Should have done it this way before wasting all that time!!)

Comments off

On and On

Back on June 3rd I was appointed to be a Vice President for the Original Dulcimer Players Club. It hasn’t worked out. Holding a board position is nothing like I had hoped. I saw myself as a valuable addition who could help influence the board, instead I now know I’m the “monkey wrench.” I am totally discouraged.

Oh, well… I guess that’s life but I am sad about it.

Comments off

Smells fresh

When we got back to Michigan on May 8th, our house smelled stale. No one had occupied it for seven months and you could tell. It didn’t help that when we turned on the heat the musty basement smell became pervasive. The place was dirty and dusty but I was way too sick to care. It took me over three weeks to get over my pneumonia. I’m still much weaker than normal, but improving every day.

The past few days I’ve had the windows open and I’ve been cleaning. I feel so much better, and as my energy returns, I am tackling the grime gradually.

It’s nice to have sparkling windows. I enjoy seeing the dust bunnies in the trash. I haven’t even finished the main floor (so upstairs is waiting), and what I’ve done is far from perfect, but it’s lots better than it was. I wash a window then rest. Then another window and rest. Then the grill gets polished and …. well you get the idea.

Gradually… little by little… the goal of a clean house is being accomplished. With my energy so limited, there’s no way I could dive in and get it all done in a day or even a week, but by taking small nibbles out of the chore, it’s finally beginning to show.

I’d still love a cleaning lady, but as long as I can do the work gradually, I can handle it, and John is really helpful.

We even took some time to set on the deck and enjoy the beautiful weather today. It was nice.

Hope I soon get enough energy back so we can see if we can find a dance. I miss going to dances like we do when we’re in Florida.

Comments off

My labor of love!

Since January, I have been working with my wonderful workshop leaders to create a workshop program which will be used for the huge ODPC (Original Dulcimer Players Club) Funfest. The instructors have volunteered their time and talent and I have organized the classes into a 20-page program.

You can check it out at:

ODPC Workshop Program

You don’t have to be a dulcimer player to attend the festival. You can see that lots of classes are devoted to other instruments and some are even listed for non-players. There are concerts, discussions, and a fun hammer throw. But the majority of the classes instruct hammered dulcimer, which is the focus of the festival.

The price of the 3 1/2 day festival ($5) is an unbelievable bargain. But, I’d say that if you aren’t a fan of traditional music, the festival is probably not going to be your “thing.” You’ll soon grow weary of constant music and wonderful people who love it.

Comments off

Ok, what do I write about?

Past time for another post.

I’ve been trying to think of a topic that would be enlightening. I’ve thought of several:

How I love the “wrapped in warmth” feeling that you get in a fluffy bed, a tepid swimming pool, or at night on a golf cart when it’s really about 75 degrees.
How I love the ripples on our lake and that feeling of motion.
Trying to lose weight when you don’t feel up to par.
How urine smells funny when you eat asparagus.
How aging is like “running downhill.”

Yup, I have lots of “choices.” I guess most tell the whole story with just the subject.

So what do I write about?

I’ve put it off as I try to figure out what has the most impact.

I guess I haven’t resolved it out yet. So I’ll leave my ideas and say, there’s more to come…

Stay tuned….

Comments off

Where’d It Come From?

About a week ago my Droid (smartphone) leather case disappeared.

We’d gone to dinner with friends and I figured I’d left it in the restaurant but since we’d made other stops, I couldn’t be sure. After scouring the house and determining that it was definitely lost, I replaced it with an identical one purchased on eBay for $4 (which included shipping).

The new case arrived a couple days ago. It’s identical to the first one with a magnetic clasp — Perfect for my use.

Today I spotted my original case on the floor beside my chair. (The new one was on the table.) Both of them are here!! Where was it when I was looking for it? How did it just appear? Where’d it come from? Did it drop from the sky?

I’m at a loss.

Comments off

Click here to go to the Skaryd's Biography and a link for emailing.