Archive forMarch, 2013

Kleenex as a siphon

Tuesday/Wednesday night/early morning (probably about 1:30) I got up to go to the bathroom, came back, took a drink of water from the glass I always leave on my night stand. I pulled a Kleenex from the box beyond the glass of water and went back to bed. All of this was done without turning on a light but that’s nothing unusual.

About dawn I went to reach for my glass of water. There was a wet Kleenex in it! Strange!! When I took the soggy tissue from my glass, it was still hooked to another and another and another in the box. All wet!

Apparently when I’d pulled a Kleenex from the box at about 1:30 a second one had stuck to the first and dragged across the glass of water so the leading end was in the water, but it was also still connected to those in the box. In the the next five or six hours, the Kleenex tissue between the glass and the box had acted as a wick. The water leached back from the glass into the nearly-full box of Kleenex. In the end, the glass was empty, the box was full of wet tissues.

Who’d have ever imagined that could happen?

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We are having an annoying problem with squirrels.

This area is landscaped with lots of native oak trees. (In fact, in order to clear the land, the original developers had to commit to keeping the native trees and planting more oaks.) This year, acorns were really plentiful. We crunched through them for months and keeping driveways and sidewalks clear of them was impossible. The street was orange from their crushed shells.

With the acorns, come squirrels. It’s not unusual to count a dozen or more of them at any time. You look across the ground and they are moving. The furry critters are fun to watch as they chase up and down trees and around the grassy area between us and the pond behind us. But their “play place” includes our screens. Our lanai screens are a favorite spot for them to chase up and down, but our new sliding door screens have also been an attractive for these furry creatures. They flatten themselves against the screen and can move easily across it.

We’re concerned that they’ll do damage. I’ve noticed they leave their tracks on the screen on the new doors and we’re not happy!! Our plan is to remove the new screens from their tracks and store them in the garage when we head back to Michigan but that doesn’t protect the lanai screens.

I want to buy some squirrel repellent (spray). I definitely plan to buy some but with our luck, they’ll love the smell.

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Cool Springtime Today Only

We’re in for a cool day today with a high of 67 but after that, in the long-range forecast, I see only one temperature below 70! Hopefully this last segment of our 2012-13 winter in Florida will be lovely until we leave. Unfortunately our return to Michigan seems like it’s approaching much too fast.

We will be leaving about May 13th.

Soon I’ll be starting to pack up our “stuff.” I’m already working on lists. This year I vow not to drag as much back and forth. Eventually I’d love to fly back and forth rather than taking our truck but haven’t convinced John yet (although at least he’s now “thinking” about it.)

John feels it’s cheaper to drive our truck down, but I really doubt it. We could save the cost of five nights in motels (going and coming), meals on the road, and the storage area here in Kings Point where we store the truck, not to mention the wear and tear on us as well as our vehicle when we drive down on the very dangerous highways. I-75 is over-run with semis that make the trip truly scary.

True, if we fly down, we’ll need airport shuttle service to and from the airport and the cost of our flights. There’s also the problem of getting Charlie, our bird, to Florida but he’s getting really old, and we could always take him in a small cage under the seat in the plane.

A bigger problem might be our musical instruments. I hope I can find a way that the instrument problem can be resolved.

There are a couple solutions I can think of: We could use our extra instruments which are currently in Michigan when we’re in Michigan. Next season we can leave our favorite instruments in Florida. With instruments in both locations, we can consider flying down the following year (in October 2014). It’s the sort of change that we’ll have to plan for. The other choice would be to wait and when we decide to start flying, we can box up the instruments and ship them down (at a cost of approximately $30-$40 per instrument).

I think we need to seriously start working out the details so we can fly. John’s not getting any younger, and flying is so much safer than 1,300 miles each way. If I can convince John, we’ll need to start the long-range plan by bringing back stuff in the truck from Michigan to Florida in October 2013.

Mailing stuff is always possible but I’d hate to have to pay the postage to get things like my favorite dinnerware serving pieces which I’m missing here in Florida. I need to carefully review both places for items that need to be relocated and bring down as much as possible in October when we come back here.

The only maybe insurmountable problem I see will be our wine supply. We count on enjoying John’s wine over the winter. (I wonder if we could ship our grapes or the grape juice to Florida at a reasonable price so he could make the wine down here. It’s something we can look into.)

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Warming up!

A very good day!! We went shopping and ended up at Goodson Farms where they have the best pressed Cuban sandwiches and large fresh strawberry shortcakes you can imagine. Today the Cubans and shortcakes were better than usual. It had finally warmed up and tomorrow will probably be a pool-day!! (mid to high 70’s) Came back and spent the afternoon compiling the info for our accountant so she can do our income taxes. (Feels good to have it ready to go to her.) Now we’re enjoying a glass of John’s homemade wine. Definitely a good day.

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Rambling thoughts

In the past, I have written a couple posts about how it’s difficult for snowbirds to keep stuff from spoiling when you leave it behind and head to your up-north home in the spring. Expiration dates are our enemy.

Here’s my earlier post: “Expiration Dates”

We have recognized the value of taking things like batteries and vitamins back and forth or storing them in the refrigerator. Shelf-life is greatly reduced in Florida’s summer heat. But this week we discovered that those hot summer temperatures cause other problems that we hadn’t considered.

A few years ago I bought three Vellux blankets to be used on our beds here in Florida because they were inexpensive, light weight and looked lovely. Recently I’ve realized that those blankets are falling apart. They should have lasted longer!! The velvety stuff is pealing off the foam core. The sluff-off was ending up all over our bedroom floor and every time you pulled the blanket up, more came off. Obviously those blankets that are loosing their skin must go! I’m sure the problem is a result of the heat in our condo over the summer months. (We run a humidistat which makes sure that we don’t have mold conditions, but the temperatures are generally in the mid-80’s from May-October.)

I’ve been looking on-line and had found some that were lightweight fiber fill “down alternative” blankets with bindings all around. Their average price was about $79 so I’d hesitated. Yesterday I bought one at Sam’s Club for about 1/3 that price. Now I wish I’d gotten a couple more. Sam’s is in Riverview so we don’t get there often, but it would be worth another trip back. I’m afraid even if we hurry back, they may not have them because they were a one-time offering. I’ll see if I can talk John into making the trip Thursday.

Speaking of “going back” to places, I left my reading glasses in a restaurant last night. They aren’t worth a special trip back, but we’ll go right past the place when we go to pick strawberries in a few weeks. (I’m anxious for fresh strawberries and hope they’ll be priced as in the past at four quarts for $1.)

Our Florida weather has been annoyingly cool. No pool time. It has been in the 40’s in the mornings and yesterday, even at it’s warmest, it hovered only around 60 degrees. Today it might get up to the mid 70’s, but then until the weekend, it’ll be back into the low 60’s. Thank heavens, it should warm up in about three days and stay that way – hopefully until we leave in May!! I sure hope so!!

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We made it!

John and I celebrated our birthdays over the past few days. John’s was Friday. Saturday we had a joint party and yesterday was mine.

The party was fun and successful with 20 good friends collecting to enjoy an evening of food and dancing. Being together was the fun part!!

We’re both nearly over our bug. Since I got it later than John I was still fighting mine when he was feeling better but I am about back to normal now.

Tonight we’ll have fun at a karaoke evening at the clubhouse. Thursday night we’ll all attend a fun “lip sync” show.

We will be leaving for home in about two months. Need to enjoy every minute of the time we have left here in paradise!!

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