Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday, Sunday

Today we got up and went to St Coleman's for their pancake breakfast and picked up Danny from church. We brought him home and he was sooooo cute in the car - he waved to Jami and Kelly and said, "Bye Mommy! Bye Kelly!" Megan had had a meltdown so she wasn't at church. Kelly stayed afterward to go to Sunday School. So after we let Danny out, we went to the New Presbyterian Church. Dave really liked it - me not so much. But I'm afraid we'll go back there - the choir was wonderful though. It's the old choir from Coral Ridge, complete with choir director and organist. Unfortunately they're meeting at the Pompano High School gymnasium so the accoustics aren't great.

After church, we came home and ate our lunch. Then I took a nap and Dave read. Now we're at Jami's for a little while. About 5:30 we're going to Sudi and Howard's to head for a Mexican restaurant. I've got a craving for Mexican food! Tomorrow is moving day again!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time Flies...

Time really flies when you're having fun! It was 84 degrees here today and just beautiful - but then it's been that way for several days now. Yesterday, we actually went to the beach in our swimsuits and soaked up some of that wonderful Florida sun. We went down to Bahia Harbor Hotel to see our February digs, but the manager wasn't onsite. Our friends, however, were. So we saw their adequate accommodations - they affectionately call it "the hole"! It really wasn't that bad - we've actually stayed in worse. So, on our way home, we had to pass Aruba's and we thought we'd have lunch there. Of course, there were no parking places, so we decided to leave. As we were waiting to make a turn onto A1A, I said we'd just go home unless there was a place to park right on A1A. Wouldn't you know, someone pulled out just as we turned the corner! Then last night we came over to see the kids - the girls wanted to go to "Sweet Tomatoes" and since that's one of our favorite places, we were glad to go with them! We went home after supper and packed for our next move!

This morning we finished packing, checked out of the Sea Gardens Waterfalls unit and checked into the Ocean units east of A1A - we're on the 3rd floor with a gorgeous view out our door!! Later, we came over to Jami's to babysit the kids while Tom and Jami went to Miami for Lori's wedding. Mary Ellen came over just before they were to leave, so we didn't really need to stay. About 4:00 we went back to Sea Gardens, grabbed our books and sat out around the pool for about an hour and a half! Then we stopped to pick up pizza and came back over to feed the kids. Mary Ellen is giving them their baths now. We'll go home a little later as long as she's here to watch the kids.

Sunday we're still at Sea Gardens. We're going to go to the New Church tomorrow and then we'll eat on our own and come over here in the afternoon. Then I want to be at home for the Super Bowl. Then Monday morning we go to our Bahia Harbor digs...right in the middle of Super Bowl festivities on the beach. Should be interesting. Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Catching Up Yet Again

Well, Wednesday was a beautiful day here. Dave and I even went over to the beach and laid out for about 45 minutes. We also collected some shells - the tiniest ones I've ever seen! We came home, read books, Dave took a nap, and then last night we went to Jami's and cooked a pot roast for the family! The little girls weren't exactly thrilled with a pot roast, but they did eat everything except for one carrot - Kelly doesn't like them! She ate 2 of her 3 and I helped her out with the third one.

I felt like I was getting something yesterday and today I really feel like I got it!! I have a cough and am sneezing, but I'm still not convinced that it's anything but allergies. But today I actually took a nap. I had a free spa treatment here at the condo today and then went home to take a nap. Dave ordered pizza from Stingers and that's what we had for supper.

Tomorrow we're going to Bahia Mar to see if we can see the condo where we're supposed to be in February. If it's horrible, we're going to try to get out of it. If it's not we'll stay there and make different arrangements. It's just not where we want to be - way too busy down there! Dave checked a couple of places around here today and we'll look at more as the month progresses. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sudi, Dave, and I went to Bealls in Boca today. Had some luck getting some clothes - so did Sudi. Dave was so patient - he just carried stuff for us and waited!! He's such a good guy!

Jami is sick so we haven't seen her since Sunday. She said she's feeling better, though, so we'll probably go over tomorrow night. We'll want to know more about the continuing saga!

We finally got our computer running - Howard got on and deleted something like 36 million bites!! It still took me about a half hour to get connected here with their wifi, but now I'm on and have been trying to catch up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Catchin' Up

Here it is Sunday and I haven't blogged for a couple of days. Sorry! Yesterday we all (except for Tom) went to the Miami Metro Zoo, where Julie Lindenmayer met us for a fabulous tour! We even got to feed carrots to the giraffes and carrots and banana peels to the two black rhinos! We got to scratch the male rhino, who absolutely loved it. We also got to go into the "cage" with a tapir whose name was Adam (he was 40 years old!) He was laying down and we all got to pet him - can't believe we had all these opportunities. I've got pictures, but don't have them uploaded yet! We got to go into cages with exotic birds - it was just fabulous!

Today we went to church - the contemporary service. We decided we weren't into contemporary services at all! We're at Jami's so I can catch up on my email and blogging and now we're headed home!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Catching Up

We don't have wifi at our new condo unless you want to go out and sit by the pool - and if I'm going to sit by the pool, I'm not going to be on the computer. So, here's the latest...we moved again! I wanted to complain about the filthy couch in our condo, so we went to the front desk and the lady there told us to go check out this other condo and if we liked it, we could move! Needless to say, we liked it! It has a big living room, a big bedroom, a big kitchen, a big kitchen table, but only one bathroom. It also has a balcony!!! So we moved! Then after moving, we went shopping. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and Barnes & Noble and JoAnn's - then we went back to the condo and just hung out the rest of the day. Now, we're at Jami's waiting to go to dinner with them. More later...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We've been really busy since Friday. We have been at Jami's most of the time and just going home to sleep. Dave is fixing the roof of Jami & Tom's little storage shed. Saturday we just shopped for the options - tar paper, shingles, rubber backed shingles, tools to remove shingles, etc., etc. Then Sunday it rained most of the morning and into the afternoon. Yesterday he and Tom worked all day on removing shingles and replacing plywood and trim. Today, unfortunately Tom had to go back to work, so Dave has to rely on me or Jami to help him...and one of us needs to be available for the girls. In fact, Jami just left to take the girls rollerskating for a couple of hours, so I guess Dave will be blessed with my help only!! He's pretty sure this will take more than one more day to finish, so tomorrow it's just the two of us! We're thinking about asking Howard if he can come over just to pass things up to Dave. My arm has been hurting a lot since I've been down here, and he doesn't want me lifting a lot of weight with it! I think his concern may be a little late, as I've been lifting Danny a lot and he weighs more than my prescribed 3-5 pounds!!

Sunday we went to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church to hear the "new" preacher, Tullian Tchividian(sp). I thought he delivered a wonderful sermon, but I thought he was one of those ministers who really likes to hear himself talk. He's very dramatic when he is giving his sermon - does a lot of hand gestures, etc. The choir was only about 28 strong, but good and the organist is a young man who seemed to be able to get that 6,600-pipe organ talking. There wasn't nearly as big a congregation as there was usually and the bulletin was full of pleas for volunteers in many different areas. Even the over-flow parking wasn't open and we got to park very near the door. That in itself was odd.

I think that will catch you up. Most of the reason I'm playing catch-up is because of the fact that Sea Gardens doesn't have wireless in their rooms. You can only get it outside and by the time we've gotten back to our condo, we're too tired to care. Oh, the condo we're in is not a very nice one this time...we're in the Cabanas which are surround the pool area. The bed is a queen-sized and soft; the couch is saggy and needs replaced; the kitchen is only a one-butt kitchen. But it could be worse...and the one we're in for the month of February (which has been described as adequate by my friend) probably will be worse! Dave has asked his dad and Roberta to come over on Sunday and stay for a couple of days just because we have no idea of how bad the condo at Bahia Mar will be! Oh well, it's just making us appreciate what we have even more!

Friday, January 15, 2010


What a beautiful day we had today. It was about 82 degrees for most of the day - it's still just beautiful out tonight too. We have the door open and are just loving the fresh air! Today we went to Shooter's which is on the Intercoastal for lunch. Sudi and Howard came too. It was a great day to sit by the water!
Don't we look like we're having fun!!?? After lunch we drove downtown Fort Lauderdale and found the hotel we'll be staying in starting Feb. 1st. It doesn't look too bad from the outside. It's going to take us a lot longer to get to Jami's in the evenings, but we'll be able to have lunch with her pretty easily.

Starting tomorrow, we'll be with the kids a bunch - we got some more allergy pills so that Dave and I can handle being around Beau... Missy doesn't seem to bother us as much as Beau does. Tonight we stayed here at the condo and ate leftovers. Then after supper we went for a walk, fed the ducks some bread, and played some miniature golf. You'll have to ask Dave how we did!! We're mostly all packed and ready for our move - we'll move some of our stuff over to Sea Gardens tomorrow, but we plan to sleep here tomorrow night. We've gotten along really well in this bed - it seems to be a better one that we've had most places! For the next two weeks we'll be at Sea Gardens down by the ocean. I sure hope we have an ocean view!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We have all been waiting for Thursday to come because it was supposed to hit 70 today. So we woke up this morning to clouds and mist. It did eventually hit 70, but we were expecting sun along with the warmth. Maybe tomorrow will be sunny!

We didn't do much today. We went over to Jami's to see why her little shed was leaking. Dave thinks it's just because the roof is pretty much flat. I think he'll probably replace the shingles before we leave, but today he just didn't feel like doing it. So we came home, ate lunch here, read for a while, and then Dave took a nap. About 4:00 I decided I was going to try to nap, but I only slept for about 10 minutes. I'm reading a good book, True Compass, which is Ted Kennedy's memoir. I really enjoy it - I've always been intrigued by the Kennedys. So I read some more. They really had a lot of tragedy in their lives. Camelot wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

About 5:30 we went to Umberto's and ordered pizza and spaghetti for the family. After dinner we were finally able to give the kids their Christmas presents from Maury & Roberta, as well as from Bryan and Deanna. They really liked everything. We just got home and Dave is channel surfing. I'm going to watch Project Runway at 10:00 and then head for bed. No big plans for tomorrow either. Then Jami and the kids are off for 4 days so we'll be with them a lot!! More later...


This guy was beautiful! His body is so silky - almost looks like down. His neck was pretty much gold and his eyes are BRIGHT green! He wouldn't let me get too close though - he'd go into the water. When he went into the water, he'd go clear under and then just poke his head up. That's how he swam - with just about 4 inches of his head above water and the rest of him below the water.
This is a Muscovie duck - we have them in Iowa too, only ours are mostly white. Here they are mostly black.

Some kind of an Ibex, I think. Fun to watch!!


It's 9:30 in the morning and Dave and I just got up! That's not unusual for me, but for Dave it's unheard of! I tried to blog last night but I couldn't get on, so I'm blogging today instead. Yesterday, we just hung around the condo for most of the day. We went for a walk about 11:00 and ended up sitting on a bench around a pond here on the property, watching the birds - actually Dave came back to the room and got some bread and we fed them! The sun was shining directly on us and we just enjoyed the beauty! There were some wonderful ducks and birds. I'm hoping to be able to upload some pix later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It was a beautiful day today in S Florida. I think it finally got up to 65 degrees, but hardly any wind, so I got to wear shorts. Today Dave got the car cleaned and detailed. I knew he had spent a lot of money, because usually he comes home and tells me how much he spent...but not today! After lunch we picked up Howard and Sudi and went to Dania to the Bass Pro Shop. On the trip to Dania, Dave said he had to spend $80 to get the car detailed this year and that he hadn't even told me yet!! I sure hope no Florida bird poops on our clean car! Yesterday, he complained that we had spent $30 at lunch and that we couldn't do that very often...and today he spent $80 to have the car cleaned...where's the logic here????

Tonight we went over to Jami's - I got to help Kelly with her homework. Unfortunately it was Science so that wasn't much fun. Tomorrow is Social Studies so I told her I'd be better tomorrow night!! Jami's going to try getting Megan to bed by 8:00 from now on. She was hard to get up this morning and when they got her to school, she had another meltdown. Jami is hoping by getting her to bed earlier she'll be better. I hope so too! I wish everyone could have seen Danny eat his soup tonight. He put his two sisters to shame. It was a hoot!! He really likes soup!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fun Day

Since today was our first real day of vacation (just the two of us), we did the things we always do on our first day here. We got up, ate a leisurely breakfast, and then went out to see the sights. We then ate lunch at Aruba's and had our first rum raisin ice cream from RazzleBerry's. It was fun to see the owner and get caught up on what's been happening in Pompano since we've been gone. An investor has bought the big condo at Atlantic and A1A, as well as the lot directly across A1A from it. They actually have 48 of the units sold now and she said there had been lots of activity there the last few days. I sure wish we could afford one of those units. It is a beautiful building with a spectacular view of the ocean!! Tonight we met Jami and the kids at Sweet Tomatos which is another one of our favorite things to do here in Ft Lauderdale. After dinner we went to Jami's for a while and when the kids needed to go to bed, we came home.

Dave is having a lot of allergy problems - tonight I gave in and let him take one of my Zyrtec D pills. I think they are wonderful and I'm afraid he will too! He does seem to be breathing better right now. Tomorrow we're planning to just hang out, read a little, and eat lunch and breakfast here and then Jami is making soup for tomorrow night. The weather is supposed to be better starting tomorrow afternoon - I thought today was gorgeous!! More later...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kids Day

It's another cold night in S Florida. They even have wind chills down here. It's supposed to be about 32 tonight but it's supposed to get warmer this week. We'll be glad.

Last night we stayed with Jami and today we went to Toys'r'Us and bought Kelly a new bicycle. Megan didn't want one without training wheels, but the size she needs doesn't have training wheels. Tom is going to work hard with her and get her able to ride her new 20" bike. Kelly has already riden hers - she went out today even as cold as it was! Danny was also fun today. He grabbed my finger and we went shopping. He also said "Grandpa" and "Grandma Peg" and even kissed us goodbye tonight!! And we've only been here one day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


We're finally here! It's 43 degrees and rainy in Ft Lauderdale! Jami and Tom are doing well and we got to see Danny and Kelly. Megan is at a stayover with a friend of hers. So tomorrow we'll see her too. We even went to Sudi & Howard's tonight for tacos! We're staying w/Jami tonight and then will get to check in tomorrow. We'll be glad to get some down time. I told Dave I was ready to sleep in and just not go out for one whole day. It seems like it's been a long trip!! More later...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tomorrow - Grandchildren!!

We went shopping today and went to Cha Cha Coconuts on St Armand's Island - another one of my favorite restaurants. Then the weather went to you-know-what! It's misting here now and starting to get cold. Now cold is relative - it is probably going to get down to 40 or so tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 44 - not exactly what we were planning on when we came to Florida. By Tuesday it's supposed to be up in the 70's - I'll finally get to break out the shorts!!

We're leaving for Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. We'll stop on the way in Fort Myers to visit with Dave's Aunt and Uncle. I think their daughter and her husband are here too, so there will be probably 8 of us at lunch. Then we'll head out - can't wait to see those grandchildren!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Long, Long Ride

We're south of Birmingham, Alabama in a little town called Calera. The locals are telling us that we're supposed to have a blizzard in the morning and that we probably will be stuck here. Aargh! We're getting up at 5:00 AM and hopefully getting ahead of the storm. We're about 10 hours from Bob's in Clearwater, so we're heading south!! More later...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Today was Aunt Helen's funeral. It was a very nice service where the preacher talked about painting on our canvases and how Aunt Helen had left her mark on all of us. There were a total of 14 people at the service...Bob & Ann, Craig & Sue, Nan, Bob's ex-wife Marilyn & her husband Don, Jim & Marilyn (friends of Bob's), Bert's niece Margaret, Merrill Frescoln, Amy from Iowa Hospice, and Dave & I. It didn't really matter how many were there, it was a good service.

I just had a call from my cousin, Alma Dell, who lives in Nebraska. Her brother had called her to tell her about Aunt Helen so she decided to call me. It was really good to hear from her. We graduated together, but haven't seen much of each other since then. I think we talked for about 45 minutes. I know that Iowa scored twice and Georgia Tech once in the time we were talking!

We're leaving for S Florida in the morning at 6:00 AM. Actually, we're picking Bob up at 6:00! We'll be driving two long days to get to his place in Clearwater by Thursday night...anyway that's our plan. I'm glad he's riding along - it should be fun having three of us in the car. Of course, I'm the talkative one, so I'll be carrying the bulk of the conversation but I can do it!

That's all I know for today. It'll be a couple of days before I blog again, so until then...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Thoughts

We'll be having Aunt Helen's funeral tomorrow morning with visitation immediately before the service. We really don't expect more than about 20 people at the service. In fact, if we have 20 we'll be surprised! We couldn't get the pastor of the Libertyville Church because she's out of town on vacation, so we have Rev. Peterson, the Associate Pastor of the Methodist Church in Fairfield, who is doing backup for Libertyville. I'm really happy that we got him. He's so personable! I had taken in a copy of my blog from last night and I think he's going to use the Always Understanding Naturally Terrific part in his service. We were able to share a lot with him - even Bob was able to share some. Bob and I are both so emotional that it's very hard for us to talk about people we love without tearing up, but we managed to get through it somehow.

After the planning session, we came back to Ottumwa and ate lunch at Courtside. It was so cold in there! The bartender told us it was all the way up to 47 degrees! They're supposed to set the furnace at 45 at night and 62 in the daytime! I wouldn't work in that kind of conditions - it was too cold to even take your coat off! Of course, it was only 3 outside when we went in there, but that was ridiculous!

Once we got home Dave took off for work for a couple of hours and I took a nap! For some reason I'm pooped now. We've decided we're going to wait to take off for Florida Weds. morning at 6:00. We'll drive a long day on Weds. if possible and then another relatively long one on Thursday. We should be in Clearwater on Thursday night. Bob is going with us, so that should be fun. I'm ready to get there. More later...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Aunt Helen passed away today at about 6:10 PM. She had about 48 hours that were really bad, but she's at peace now. I, however, am really going to miss her. She lived to be 103 and 1 day old!

My middle niece gave me a necklace for Christmas that was for an aunt - it says Always Understanding Naturally Terrific. That's how I felt about Aunt Helen. My mom always said that Helen had to be a product of the gypsies, because she always liked bright colors and LOTS of jewelry. Mom also told us that while she and her older sister, Wanda, were cooking and cleaning, Aunt Helen was reading a book. She read every book at the Fairfield Library at least once! (I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but I know we would get 12-15 books every week or so and she'd read them all. When she got macular degeneration, we lined her up with the tape machine from the Blind and she went through at least 15-20 books a week. She didn't start deteriorating until she could no longer "read" her books. Then when her dementia set in, it was like she was living in a fantasy world of the books she'd read. Anyway, I'm sure my memories of her from when I was a child are the best! She loved to go to Ottumwa - loved Canteens, loved to go to the Woolworth lunch counter and order bacon, lettuce, tomato club sandwiches. She loved to have our pictures taken in those little 25 cent photo booths. She loved to stay up late and watch old movies...and I got to stay up with her! Of course, I fell asleep! I remember Bob and I sitting on Mom and Dad's bed and watching eagerly for Bert & Helen's car to come down the street - we could hardly wait for them to get here at Christmas time and again in the spring when they returned from Florida. When I was in first grade, I thought I was too "big" for a doll. Aunt Helen got me a canary for Christmas. When I went back to school after Christmas, we had show & tell where all of my girl friends showed off the dolls they'd received for Christmas. Naturally I came home crying because I didn't have one to show. Well, Mom told me to take Mickey, my canary to school the next day. I was really envied - who else had an aunt who gave them a real canary!! One time, I asked for a Stingray for Christmas. Aunt Helen looked all around Minnesota for a Stingray. Finally one store clerk told her it was a car (a Corvette) and she told me she couldn't get me a car, so she made me a knitted hat with pompoms on it - I don't know why she thought that would take the place of a Corvette, but she did! I also have about 7 oil paintings up on my walls that were painted by Aunt Helen. When she was 60 she took a class in oil painting and she loved it. She painted tons of beautiful pictures. Bob and I and all of Bob's girls have paintings of hers. I have lots of wonderful memories of my Aunt Helen - she was Always Understanding, Naturally Terrific!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Aunt Helen's 103rd Birthday

We spent the entire day at Vista Woods today - actually we (Dave/I) were there most of the morning, then Bob & Ann came about 11:30 - went back after a lunch at the Country Club. Dave and I came home and went back about 5:00. Bob & Ann left about 5:45 and we came home about 9:45 tonight. She was breathing harder, but they told us that she may last another day or two. The Hospice lady felt certain that she would go either tonight or tomorrow. So we're still in a waiting pattern. I thought it would be super cool to be born on January 2nd and to die on your 103rd birthday, but evidently God has a different plan.

I've had a migraine most of the day and evening, so I'm going to bed now. Hope I can sleep - I drank 2 glasses of iced tea at the home. More later...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010

Happy New Year! The year is now 2010 and I've already made a mistake in writing the date once - I wonder how many more times I'll do it before writing 2010 becomes automatic. Can you believe it's already 2010? Doesn't it just seem like a year or so ago when we were all worried that Y2K would screw up all the computerized stuff? When I was a kid, I couldn't imagine living in 2000! It seemed so far away and now it's already 2010!

Speaking of a new year, tomorrow is Aunt Helen's birthday. She'll be 103 years old! What an accomplishment. She wasn't very good today, though, so I hope she makes it now. Even the LPN on duty today said she was worried that she wouldn't make it until tomorrow. When we were out there, she wouldn't eat anything or drink anything, her brow was furrowed, she seemed agitated, she was reaching out, and her color was really yellow. Bob and Ann went out later and didn't notice her color so much, but they did notice that she wasn't breathing a lot. They ended up going out later this evening and said she was resting more comfortably. I just don't know what to do. I hate to take off in the morning and then get called back later or maybe a day down the road. I guess we could wait another day or so, but she might live another month - only God knows that. I just wish I wasn't so upset about this - if I thought Bob wouldn't be mad at me for leaving, I guess I'd feel better about it all. Dave and I have even been sniping at each other today - just because we don't have any idea of what to do. I've been praying about this but maybe I've been praying for the wrong thing.

More later...