Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Yay - Bob & Ann got to the Ranch safely!!  Steve & Rhonda must have gotten home safely.  Linda & Al were leaving today.  Dave & I watched the Cyclone men's basketball game this afternoon and now we're seeing in the new year the same way we usually do.  We'll go to bed early and skip all the festivities!!  Every year for the last 21 has come in regardless of whether we stayed up until midnight or not!!  Sounds like we're getting old, doesn't it?!

It was 65 degrees in Des Moines today - about 57 here.  Although the wind was blowing pretty hard, so it didn't exactly feel that warm.  I have friends who said their daffodils and crocus are coming up!  Boy, are they in for a rude awakening!!  We're supposed to have a day or so of cold weather and then back into the 40s before we leave for points south!

Happy New Year to all of you!  See you next year!!  More later...

Friday, December 30, 2011


I've had a good day...however, about 3:00 it got icky!  I am really bummed.  I thought my Cyclones could beat Rutgers, but maybe there was a Yankee curse on them or something.  We just didn't play our type of was really disappointing.  Bad way to end a year.

It rained here today, but it was still mild.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be around 56 degrees - and it's December 31st!  What a nice December we've had!

Today Dave finished caulking our bathtub and he cleaned the shower doors with white vinegar.  He's so good! Then he put everything back together.  I get to use my own shower tomorrow morning - yay!!  Tomorrow he's going to work Habitat, so I'm just hanging out.  I'm hoping staying off my feet will help my knee heal!

More later...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm tired of this!!

We had a beautiful day here!!  It was in the mid 50's...hard to believe that it's Dec. fact, it's still 43 aqt 7:30 PM!

I'm tired of my knee hurting!  I talked to my surgeon the other day.  He put me on ibuprofen 3x a day after meals..and it still hurts.  The ONLY time it doesn't hurt is when I'm sitting in my chair with ice on it!  I guess I need to pretend that I just had surgery and stay off of it for 3-4 days in a row...then maybe it would get better faster.  If it doesn't get better soon, I'll probably have to have a shot in the knee - yuck!  That just doesn't sound pleasant at all!!

I worked on paperwork today.  I got all of it filed so I can bring everything with me for tax season.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  We took things over to Bob & Ann's today so they could pack their car for the trip back to the Ranch.  They're leaving bright and early tomorrow!  I'm ready to go back too...too bad we've still got another week!  Next year we'll plan differently!

More later...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I had a massage today and did I ever need it!  I haven't had one since before my surgery back in November!  My shoulders were tight, my back was tight, and needless to say, my knee was tight!  I'm pretty sore tonight, but it's a good sore.  I hope I sleep well!

I'm reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on my Kindle.  It's nothing like I thought it would be.  I don't know for sure what I expected, but I didn't expect intrigue!  I'm also reading Enchanted by Nora Roberts.  I'd started it before I got my Kindle, so I read it at night and "The Girl" during the day!!

Rhonda and family took off today to go back to Texas.  I hope they travel safely!

My mind is tired tonight.  I know I had several things I was pondering, but I can't think what they are!  We've got to take a little box over to Bob & Ann tomorrow, plus our plants and my Gulf photograph.  I sure hope they have room for them, but if they don't it's not a big deal.  I'll try to keep the plants alive until next year when we drive down again.  As for the picture, I could hang it up here, but I envision it in Florida with us.

More later...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good Day for Resting

Today was a good day for resting!  Dave and I both got a little nap in our chairs this afternoon.  I played with my Kindle for quite a while before I fell asleep.  I actually got it all set up, entered my gift cards, ordered a couple of books, and started reading one of them already!  What an easy way to read.  It's so lightweight!!  I also got online and ordered Dave a Kindle Fire.  It'll be in Florida when we get there!  I think he'll really like it! He can order his own books and we cane even share them with each other (if the author/publisher allows sharing).  Fun!!

Here are some pictures of my family taken yesterday at our family Christmas.  The first is of my three nieces - beautiful, intelligent, wonderful young women!  They are from L-R, Linda, Vicki and Rhonda.
This picture is of my "greats" - my great nephew, Kyle, his fiance (Cassie) on his great nieces in front - Cheyenne, Allison and Kaylee.
And, last but not least, this is a picture of Kaylee and Vicki "snooping" see, all of the packages are behind the tree - so I caught them trying to find packages with their names on them.  Vicki, can't you wait??
We had a really great day yesterday.  Kaylee has to be in Denver tomorrow for orientation.  She's a junior at Wartburg and her spring semester will be spent in Denver.  She is taking two classes and will be doing an internship at the Y there.  One of her classes is a required religion class and one is a writing class - based on her experiences during her stay in Colorado.  She thinks they'll be going to help various churches with homeless shelters and soup kitchens, etc.  Should be fun for her.  Her best friend/roommate is also going, so hopefully she won't get homesick.  She'll be back home about April 4th.  Linda and Al were taking her to Colorado today and tomorrow, staying in Kearney, Nebraska tonight.  Rhonda, Steve, and Cheyenne are leaving for Texas tomorrow I think.  Keep them all in your prayers for safe travels.

More later...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lovely Day

I  can't remember the last time we went to Bob's for Christmas and only wore light jackets or sweatshirts!  Well, we did today!  It was a beautiful day!!  It was also beautiful inside.  We had a lovely day with family and a wonderful Christmas!!  It started out with turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, corn, relish tray, apple salad, cranberry salad, deviled eggs, and rolls.  (I think I forgot something, but I can't think what!!)  Then chocolate ice cream pie (or Bob's pie as we affectionately call it!), pecan pie (Dave's pie from Dear Abby's recipe), and Apple Cream pie for dessert!  PLUS, there was candy and cookies to munch on!!  Quite a spread!!  Then we started opening packages...Oh my, that took us until it was dark outside!  I'll post pictures hopefully tomorrow - I'm too tired tonight!

More later...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

We had a wonderful day today!  Got up early and Bryan had fixed bacon and scrambled eggs - yum!!  Then we all went to church where Pastor David gave a great sermon!  I really miss him when we're in Florida.  His sermons are so inspiring and thought-provoking!  I can't wait for the Evangelism Commission to get his sermons on the website!  Then I'll be able to be inspired even when I'm in Florida!

After church, Bryan and I came home early.  He went to wash his car and I made a cheesy hash brown casserole that was really good, if I do say so myself!  Bob & Ann came over for dinner.  We had pork chops with a mushroom gravy, steamed baby green beans with slivered almonds, the hash brown casserole, garlic bread, and Bryan's cranberry salad.  Then for dessert, I had made a key lime pie!!  Pretty good food for Christmas.  It was beautiful here.  I don't know how warm it got, but we were outside helping Bryan load his car to go home and we didn't even have to have coats on!  It was really a nice day!

Tomorrow is our big family day.  I can hardly wait to see my nieces and my "greats"!!  We're having lunch at noon and then after the dishes are done, the festivities will begin!!  Actually, I think I should call it a marathon instead of festivities!  Unwrapping presents takes HOURS!!  It's fun though and this year we'll have another family member - Kyle's fiance, Cassie, will be joining us!

More later...

PS - Oh, I had a cute thing said to me at church today.  One lady said I could sure tell that Bryan was your son...he looks just like you!!  I didn't tell Bryan - I don't know how he'd feel about that!!  I just thanked her and told her that I was his step-mother...she said her step son looked like her too!  Funny!!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Today was a beautiful day here in Iowa...about 45 and abundant sunshine  The really good part is that it's supposed to be like this for another 7 days or so!  I don't mind cold as long as it's not gray and icky!  Bryan got here today and we decided to have our Christmas exchange this afternoon.  After that we went to church for Christmas eve services.

The choir did a wonderful job with their carols.  It was a beautiful service.  Rhonda wanted to go with us, which was really nice.  So we had 4 of us in our pew!!  Then after church we went to Bob & Ann's for chili and/or oyster soup.  It was a great evening.

More later...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Almost here...

I can hardly believe that Christmas is almost here!  Dave wrapped all the packages today and I got the tree up and lit.  I also got through a ton of paperwork and got the menus all figured out with Ann.  This evening I worked on a grocery list for Dave to get in the morning.  He goes to HyVee for coffee with the guys early each morning, so he can get the groceries while he's there!

Bryan is coming home tomorrow and will be here to go to church with us on Christmas Eve.  He said he was planning to go home on Christmas day, after lunch some time.  So, we'll have our family Christmas on Christmas morning and then go to church.  After church Bob & Ann are coming over here for Christmas dinner.  Then Monday is our big family Christmas which will start with lunch at Bob & Ann's.  Oh my gosh, I've got a lot to do between now and Sunday at noon!!  I think I just panicked!!  

More later...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back in Iowa

Yes, we're back home in cold, windy, gray and brown, Iowa!!  Sounds awful, doesn't it?  It's not all bad!  It was 31 when we landed and 27 as we left Des Moines, all with a stiff wind from the north-northwest...yuck!  Tonight the wind has gone down, so it's not quite as bad as it was.

After we got home and looked in the refrigerator, we determined that Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard was bare, so Dave said, "Let's go get a tenderloin."  We went to the Recovery Room and one of their wonderful tenderloins and fries!!  Actually we each had 1/2 of a tenderloin, so guess what tomorrow's lunch is???  We came home from there and I took a nap...a 6 hour one!!!  I was pooped.  Dave was sick in the night last night, so I didn't sleep well either.  It was only 45 in our house when we got home, but it warmed up nicely while we were at the Recovery Room.  Our Tempurpedic bed was like a cement block, but when I laid down on it, I fell asleep almost immediately!!  While I napped, Dave got groceries.  Then later this afternoon, Rhonda and her family arrived from Texas.  Since they were here, we all went to the Club for supper.  It was good to see them and Cheyenne has gotten so tall!  She's 11 and a half now, and has really shot up this past year.  It was a busy night at the to see several people and wish them a Merry Christmas!

It's good to be home.  Tomorrow we've got to wrap packages and put up a tree!  As for now, it's bedtime again, so I'm going to get the flannels out and see you tomorrow.  More later...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Going home!!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we're headed to the airport for our flight back to Des Moines.  We should arrive in DSM about 10:00 AM, give or take a few minutes.  I'm ready to go home, ready for Christmas, ready to see my family!  I finally got my Christmas cards out this afternoon and even got a few addressed to some of our neighbors down here.  I don't send out nearly as many as we used to, so if you don't get one from us, don't feel bad.  Mostly we send just to friends and relatives we don't see but maybe once a year. 

We had a nice surprise this morning.  Affordable Aluminum called to tell us that they were coming to put the vinyl windows in our lanai.  So, after coffee, we got busy cleaning up the lanai.  I also cleaned and vacuumed inside too.  At 11:45 I took Ron & Marsha to the airport.  Dave stayed here just in case AA came early...they didn't!  They showed up about 1:30 or so and were done by about 4:30.  OUR LANAI LOOKS WONDERFUL!!!  Love the windows, and especially like the door!  Merry Christmas to us!!  We took down the Christmas tree and put up the lighted palm tree, so when we get back down here we won't have but the front decorations to put away. 

Tonight, we're all packed and ready to go.  It's a little weird not packing any clothes.  I had a couple of Christmas presents to take home, plus some paperwork and some stuff we no longer need down here, like my Christmas stamp sets.  We should have some relatively empty suitcases when we return to Florida. 

That's it for tonight...more later...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This morning we went to bowling, but I didn't bowl.  My knee is still hurting, so I decided to just watch!  We all took snacks so this was kind of a Christmas party bowl!  Dave got a 148 today...good job, honey!  Tomorrow morning we'll find out if girls rule or if the guys won.  I have a feeling the guys won today. 

I had a pedicure this afternoon, so now my feet look really nice.  I think he cut my nails a little short, but they will grow out!  Regardless, they look nice.

This evening, we took our neighbors and went to this neighborhood off of BryanDairy Road to look at lights.  It was wonderful.  This is a whole neighborhood that puts out lights..then Hospice puts out maps, arrows showing which way to go, and had a spot where you can donate to Hospice.  Pretty cool fundraiser and beautiful lights!  Here are a few of the 50 or so pictures that Dave took while I drove. 

 At one house, one of Santa's helpers was passing out candy canes!
This was pretty cool - a lighted dirigible on wheels...with about 25 people on it.  They were having a wonderful time looking at the lights!
Tomorrow is coffee at the Ranch.  Then we'll come home and get things ready so we can leave the next morning.  We've got some "must-go's" in the refrigerator that we've got to do something with and we'll batten down the hatches and head out Thursday morning bright and early.  We're also taking Ann's brother and his wife to the airport tomorrow.  More later...

Monday, December 19, 2011


It's now T-2 and counting until we fly out to go home for Christmas.  We'll sure miss this wonderful weather.  We're sitting here with most of the windows open - it's just gorgeous - 66 degrees at 9:00 at night! 

Today we worked around here again.  I worked on Christmas cards and cleaned the shower and sinks in the bathroom.  I also rode my bike quite a ways today.  We had some excitement in the 'hood today.  The mobile home 2 doors down is being demolished, so we had a backhoe making lots of noise.  They got it half torn down...I'm sure they'll do the other half tomorrow.  Dave worked outside most of the day.  He moved a parlor palm, sprayed for bugs, sprayed for weeds, raked, transplanted two amaryllis and put down a bunch of mulch!  Oh, he also oiled our bikes, added baskets and a rear light to his.  I wonder what he'll find to do tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, we've got bowling and bingo!!  Plus, I'm having a pedi at 1:00.  I plan to try to bowl again...  Also speaking of tomorrow, it's December 20th...that means my big brother has a birthday!  Happy birthday, Bob!  Hope you sell a BIG diamond on your special day!! 

Something else that is very interesting happened today.  Dave was talking to the lady who lives on the other side of the house being demolished.  She asked him a second time what his name seems her maiden name was Freshour and she's from Indiana!  Strange, huh??  Maury has always said that part of the family became Freshours and part Frushours when they got to Ellis Island. 

More later...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beautiful Sunday

This was another beautiful day!!  A "cold front" came through last night, though, so it was a little colder than it has been!  Now their cold fronts are nothing like the cold fronts that come through Iowa!!  In the cold fronts down here, it drops to the 50's over night and is 69 during the day!!  Actually it was 70 this afternoon, but it's been in the high 70's most of the time since we've been here! 

We went to church at Hope Presbyterian again today.  It was much better today...the kids had the program.  It was a cute story of Christ's birth.  It was from the viewpoint of the animals in the stable.  Cute!  Two or three of the kids had singing solos and all of them spoke.  After church we went to Walmart to get a few things.  Since my leg has been hurting so much, I was either going to stay in the car while Dave shopped, or try out one of those motorized shopping carts.  I chose the second option!  Once I figured out how to run the thing, it was a pretty good way to get around that, my knee didn't hurt from all the walking!  Betty, from here at the Ranch, came up behind me and asked me if I wanted to race - she was on a cart too! 

This evening, we had our baked potato dinner at the Ranch.  For $4, you got a HUGE potato and you could have any of several toppings - cheese, cooked onions, mushrooms, broccoli, chili, sausage gravy, salsa, chives, bacon bits - you get the picture!  Then for dessert there was chocolate - someone had put out assorted chocolates!  There was also fruit cups (left over from breakfast yesterday).  It was very good! 

Tomorrow we've got a few more things to do around here and I've got to get my Christmas cards out.  I wrote the letter today and printed the labels.  I just have to put it all together tomorrow!  Plus, I want to clean up the lanai a bit.  It's gotten kind of messy out there!  More later...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


After a great breakfast in the clubhouse, Dave and I went out searching for bedside tables and lamps.  After hitting 5 consignment shops and 4 thrift shops, we still have NO bedside tables and/or lamps!!  Anything we saw that we liked was way overpriced...and most everything else we didn't like at all!  So after several hours of shopping, we came home, went to and found out thaat we can order new things for about the same price we saw used today!  We'll be ordering when we return after the first of the year.

I finally had a chance to upload some of my pictures.  Here's Dave covering up the last of the yellow on the living room walls. The yellow was under the two layers of wallpaper that we removed. 
This is a picture of the colors we used.  They're so pretty and so different in the natural light and the evening artificial light.
 This is the dining room/kitchen finished and the living room finished:

These last two pictures are pictures I took at Lido Beach yesterday:  Dave and his first whiting and a beautiful blue heron who was waiting for throwaway fish!!  More later...

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm Pooped

I am sooooo tired!  We went to Sarasota today so Dave and his dad could go fishing.  I went with them while Roberta went shopping with a friend.  We were at the beach from about 11:30 until 3:30!  That's a lot of sun and fresh air and both of those things make me really sleepy!  The guys caught and brought home 11 whitings!  They threw 4 other fish back - a flounder, a snake-like fish, a flying fish, and a baby whiting!!  It was a good day fishing!!  I had a pretty good day too.  I took my camera and got some pretty decent pictures of some birds - I think!  I'm too tired tonight to upload them - hopefully, I'll get them loaded sometime tomorrow.

We didn't get home until about 7:30.  After the guys cleaned the fish, we decided we'd better go eat somewhere.  There's a restaurant in Maury's park called Boon Docks.  They have good sandwiches, and we can eat outside.  That was good because I don't think the guys smelled very good after fishing and cleaning fish!  It was a lovely day for being on the beach! 

More later...

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The painting is DONE in the living room - yippee!!!  We've just finished moving the furniture where we want it!  It looks really nice - unfortunately, you'll have to take my word for it because I didn't get any pictures uploaded!  We're missing a curtain rod, so we've still got some curtains to hang in the living room.  We just can't figure out where that rod went to!  Gnomes!  As Dave calls them - I call them gremlins!  Maybe it's something about being from Indiana or Iowa! 

I've figured out my way around part of Clearwater-Largo...and my way to Sarasota.  Speaking of Sarasota, we're going there again tomorrow.  The guys are going to fish...Roberta is going shopping with Betty...and I'm sitting on the beach with my camera!!  My knee is starting to feel better, so I'm not going to jeopardize it again!  Plus, I'm getting a little sick of shopping!  I sure wish Ann was here, though  I need to find some bedside tables and some lamps at thrift stores and Ann's the queen of knowing where the best bargains are!  I've only found 1 thrift store so far!

More later...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Wednesdays at the Ranch are pretty laid-back.  However, today after coffee, we had our annual cookie walk, where you could buy cookies, fudge, brownies, etc. for $3.00 a pound.  They had styrofoam containers for us to put our goodies in.  We filled ours and I thought it was pretty cost us $3.00!!  Yummy goodies!  I made and took about 4 dozen cookies - chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies.  Good!  After the cookie walk, then we had our monthly meeting.  Today we had nominations for board members.  One of the people nominated was my brother.  Since he wasn't there, they asked me to speak for him about why he'd be a good board member.  I did a good job selling his virtues, much to Bob's chagrin!!  Since there were no other nominations from the floor, the 3 nominees are automatically board members.  I guess the other board members got together today and decided that Bob would be President next year!! 

Dave got all of the wallpaper off and half of the room painted today!  Tomorrow he'll finish painting.  Then I guess he's going to lay off for a while and finish up after we return in January.  I tried to take the wallpaper border off in the bedroom, but it didn't come off so well.  I doubt that it has sizing under, it could be awful to get off!  I haven't tried the bathroom wallpaper, but I'll be glad to get it off too. 

It was so nice out today that we ate both our lunch and dinner out in the lanai.  It was 75 degrees and just perfect out there.  After dinner we went for a bike ride just to look at the Christmas lights in the park.  They're judging the lights on Friday.  There are some really pretty ones!

More later...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday at the Ranch

Tuesdays at the Ranch are for bowling and bingo, remember??  Well, we didn't bowl because Dave is Hell-bent on getting the painting done here and I'm still limping!  He got the hallway/kitchen painted and it looks really nice...very clean and bright!  He's got over half of the living room ready to paint tomorrow.  But tomorrow we've also got coffee and a monthly meeting, plus a cookie walk in the morning...I made about 5 dozen cookies, but I'm only taking about 3.5 dozen...the rest broke!  I haven't figured out this oven yet..It's a little too hot, so I have to either turn the heat down and add time to whatever's baking, or leave the heat the way it is and shorten the baking time.  Either way, I haven't got it quite right yet!

Here's a picture of the hallway and kitchen.  I don't know that you can see the colors properly.  After the curtains are up, I'll get another picture with the flash which should give you a better look at the color. 

Here's more yellow.  We think this is just sizing...the other side of the living room has white sizing, but for some reason this side is yellow. 
This is what Dave has to paint tomorrow.  I can't wait until this mess is done!!

By the way...I didn't win at bingo tonight...:(  More later...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Double Yay!!

Not only did Dave get the wallpaper backing off of the kitchen/hallway, but we also got all of the wallpaper (2 layers of it!) off of the living room.  So we get a double yay!!  Tomorrow, since Dave's back is so sore and my knee is so sore we're not going bowling.  We'll be here working on walls.  The hallway/kitchen is ready to paint.  The living room has to have the paper backing removed and then it'll be ready to paint!  Tomorrow night, I'm going to play bingo.  Dave will probably still be painting!! 

Wednesday morning we're having a cookie walk after coffee and our park meeting, so I've got to bake some cookies tomorrow too!  This weekend is the park breakfast AND on Sunday they're having a baked potato bar.  Busy, busy!!

I ran errands today and I also got my hair cut.  Dave drew me a little map so that I could find Walmart, Lowes, Target, and Great Clips.  I got in the wrong lane and turned before I got to Walmart, but I was able to get turned back and get into their parking lot with a little effort.  Right now we're watchin The Closer.  I hope we can stay up and watch Rizzoli & Isles too. 

More later...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Before...and After!!

Yay, yay, yay!!  The add-on room is done except for adding quarter-round around the baseboard.  Here's a picture before the floor went in.

 Now the floor is in!
 And this is today!!  All done - this is looking north.
 And this is looking south.
Here's a picture of our living room after some of the furniture is gone!  Lots more room in here.  I think I'm going to move the couch to the wall where Dave is sitting and move the chairs to where the couch is now...we'll see!
After Dave got the baseboard on and we got the furniture in the add-on room, then he went outside and cleaned out his shed.  He even washed down the walls.  He'd come in every once in a while and we cleared out closets of "stuff" that Paulie had.  We put things outside and people come by and pick them up.  We are having trouble getting rid of the dirty recliner, however.  We may have to clean it and bring it back in :(!

I made some crockpot peanut clusters today, but they didn't turn out as good as usual.  At home I have a full-sized crockpot, whereas here I have a small crockpot.  So I only made a half a recipe...I think it almost burned so next time I won't leave it on for more than an hour.  I had it on low, so I figured it would be 2 hours before it would be done.

While Dave was outside this evening, I decided to pull off wallpaper from the kitchen.  I really wanted to keep going into the living room, but I didn't.  Now I've got to decide for sure what paint I want in there because I'm sure Dave will want to get started on those walls soon!
That's all for tonight.  More later...

PS - One of the couples from the Ranch went to the boat parade that we went to last night.  They sat for a bunch of hours in the Legion to see only 9 boats!  I guess it's a good thing we finally gave up!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Woohoo!!!

Woohoo!  My pick for the Heisman - Robert Griffin III from Baylor - won!!  I'm so happy for him AND for Baylor!  That's quite an honor!!  He is, in my mind, what college football is all about!! 

Dave and I had a busy day again.  We went shopping for a microwave - the one here kept burning our popcorn!  Dave said, "Nobody or nothing messes with my popcorn and gets by with it!"  Remember when microwaves cost $350 and were as big as a dorm refrigerator??  Now you can get them for $49 and they're very compact!  We first went to Bed Bath & Beyond - microwaves there cost $100.  Then we went to Walmart a block away from BB&B where we paid $49 for one!  We also found sheers for the add-on room.  Tomorrow Dave's going to get the trim on and we'll start putting the furniture back in the room - yay!!  I'm tired of being in a mess!

Tonight we went over to Indian Shores to see Sudi & Howard and to watch a boat parade.  The parade started at 6:00 south of them, so we figured by 7:00 or so we'd see it...NOT!  Then we waited until about 7:30 - still no boats!  Finally we just went to dinner!!  We went to Sloppy Joe's in Treasure Island.  Good place and cool t-shirts!  When we left S&H's we had to go by The Pub, which is where they were giving out the prizes for the parade.  We actually saw 3-4 boats there...I was beginning to believe there wasn't such a thing as a boat parade!  Did I hear someone compare them to snipes??  Anyway, from what we could see, they were really lit up!  Thanks S&H for a lovely evening...and for the cookies & coupon! 

More later...

Friday, December 9, 2011


We've got new laminate in the add-on room - and it's beautiful!!  I'll download some pix tomorrow, but right now I'm trying to "hear" about the ISU-Iowa men's basketball game and the UNI football game! 

Today the guys - Dave, Ron and Alan - started laying our new laminate about 9:00 11:20 or so they were done!  I can't believe how fast that stuff goes down!  I went out "exploring" while they were working and on the way home I stopped to pick up pizza for the workers!  Good thing I got home early, since they were basically done when I got here. 

This afternoon, we had "happy hour" at the ranch!  There were only about 23 of us there, but it was fun.  Tonight Dave worked on painting the woodwork.  Tomorrow he's going to try to get the doorsills done and put up the woodwork.  Then tomorrow night we're going to Sudi & Howard's to watch the boat parade!!  Should be fun!!

Woohoo!!  Indian Hills BB wins!!  Woohoo!!  ISU beats Iowa in men's basketball!  More later...

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This morning was really cold!  I didn't get up very early, but it was only 45 when I got on the computer.  I did wear shorts today, with a long-sleeved t-shirt.  It ended up being 63 out - a beautiful day!!  It was sunny all day long - in fact, it's still 63 outside!

My knee hurt really bad last night.  I guess I shopped too much!  When I woke up my knee still hurt very badly, so Dave made me sit down most of the day.  I did go out and ride my bike around the block this evening, just to loosen my knee a bit!  I'll probably take a pain pill again tonight, just to make sure I can sleep. 

Tomorrow the guys are going to work on the floor of the add-on room.  I can hardly wait to get that room put together.  Right now the queen-sized bed is standing on end and being propped up by the dining room table.  The computer desk and everything else out of that room is in the living room.  It's chaotic in here!  Ron thinks they'll get the floor done before happy hour tomorrow - yay!!!

More later...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Long Day!!

This was a long day, but a really fun one!  We left for Sarasota at 9:00 this morning.  It's a really easy drive there!  Dave and his dad took off right away to go fishing on Lodi Beach.  They had some luck, but not enough luck - they didn't bring home enough fish for a fish fry!  They each caught 2 fish and the Mennonite guy right next to them caught 8!!  They must not be living right!  Anyway, the important thing is that they had fun fishing!  Maury said he caught a flounder and a flying fish, while Dave caught a whiting and a flying fish...a flying fish????  I guess I'll have to look that one up - I've never heard of a flying fish!  Flying pigs, yes...flying fish, no! 

While the guys were off fishing and eating their peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, Roberta and I went shopping.  We went to Beall's and then decided we'd better have lunch.  We hit a little Italian restaurant called Papa Giorgio's where we split a margharita pizza.  It was really, really good!!  We had to wait for a long time, but it was worth it...I love margharita pizza!  For those of you who've never had one, they don't have anything whatsoever to do with margharitas - they have very little tomato sauce on a relatively thin crust.  Then they have sliced tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese...wonderful!  After lunch, we went shopping some more - first to Dress Barn, then to SteinMart and Bed, Bath & Beyond.  We shopped until we dropped!  I found a lighted palm tree for our lanai - it was originally $119 and I got it for $59. 

It was a beautiful day to either shop or fish.  It got up to 82 degrees.  Then, about 4:15 the "cold" front came through with a misty rain and winds.  It dropped to 59 degrees in about 45 minutes.  We had left all the windows open in the house and we'd left the big coffee table and several silk poinsettias outside for people to pick up free.  We were hoping that poinsettias weren't flying around the Ranch and we were hoping that the coffee table wasn't ruined.  We didn't see any poinsettias or the table when we got back, so evidently people picked them up and took them home!!  Yay - that's a few more things disposed of!! 

More later...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday are busy at the Ranch

Tuesdays are B days at The Ranch - bowling and bingo!  Dave and I went to bowling this morning, along with about 20 other people.  Bowling basically sucked, although I did feel more comfortable delivering the ball today....I think if I do this enough, I'll get my form back.  However, it's going to take some time...and my OWN ball and shoes!  I threw an 11 # ball today - it was too light.  I then threw a 12# ball - the thumb hole was too big so I had a hard time holding onto the ball...aarrggh!  So, my scores were horrible!! 

We came home, measured the aqua room, and then went to Floor Decor and purchased laminate for the room.  Dave and Ron moved the big couch outside and the neighbors claimed it - yay!  We moved the brown chair & ottoman outside and another person claimed it - yay!  We then moved the large coffee table outside - no one has claimed it yet - boo!  Then Dave tore out all of the carpet and padding - there's concrete under it all.  It (the concrete) really stinks!  It'll air out tomorrow while we're gone.  We're going to Sarasota tomorrow...didn't get to go today because Maury & Roberta had doctors appointments today.

Tonight, then, was bingo.  Dave stayed here and finished up cleaning out the aqua room and took the carpet & padding up to the dumpster.  I won 2 games - $48!!  I'm really feeling rich - ha!!  At least I can play 5 more weeks!!  More later...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Big Day!

This was a big day for us...we got so much done today!!  I worked on cleaning out cupboards (and washing them down) while Dave painted the rest of the yellow room!  It's NO LONGER YELLOW!!!!

Now it's a very pretty, cool aqua-ish blue!!  Dave also started pulling up the carpet, so tomorrow after bowling, we're going to a floor store to see about picking a laminate for that room.  When Dave got done painting, he came out and helped me get stuff out of the cupboards.  We got all of the upper cupboards cleaned and cleaned out.  We took 3 boxes full of "stuff" that we didn't want down to Sandy to put in the Chinese auction in January.  There's still a bunch of stuff to take to her, but we don't have boxes to put the "stuff" into!!  Hopefully we'll get more of it out of here soon!

Tomorrow we're going to go bowling...I'll see how my knee does with bowling!!  More later...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Delightful Sunday

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day...and it was Sunday too!  A perfect day to worship the Lord!  We weren't planning to go to church today, but Dave got up, looked at the soon-to-be-aqua room and decided we could go to church.  So, we found the closest Presbyterian Church and went!  It was like being in a small, old-fashioned country church, only we're in a big town and the church building itself is new.  They had a woman pastor with one of those voices that is kind of like scraping fingernails on a blackboard!  There were 23 people in their choir...and they were awful!  There was one lady (I couldn't pick out which one) who had the strongest voice, but she was about 1/2 a step off key and all the others were somewhere else - either 1/2 step up or 1/2 step down...oh, my!  The Pastor's sermon was good - it was about John the Baptist, the people were friendly, but I just didn't like it much.  Dave thought it was fine - very homey!  I actually missed the contemporary touches that we have - praise music and a fantastic preacher!  The congregation was mostly elderly...the couple who sat behind us had been together 64 years.  She asked us at least 15 times where we were from...and told us she was from Massachusetts and her husband was from Texas!  He kept telling her, "Honey, you've asked that same question 10 times already...they're from Iowa!"

After church we went to lunch at the Columbia restaurant on the Intercoastal...a gorgeous day for sitting in the sun!!  Then on the way home, we stopped at a yard sale just to see if they had any small end tables.  It was horrible...I wouldn't have had anything they had for sale.  The furniture was chewed up and falling apart. 

Then we came home and Dave touched up his painting.  We put ceiling tiles back in half the room, moved the furniture to the painted side of the room, cleaned out the carport, and Dave started tearing wallpaper border off the other half of the room.  Tomorrow he'll paint that half and by Tuesday we should be able to put that room together.  Wednesday we're planning to go to Sarasota...Dave and his dad are going fishing!  I wonder what Roberta and I will do???  Bealls, watch out!  More later...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Football Saturday

I can't believe that I'm in Florida and actually got to watch the Cyclone football game!  We played really well, I thought!  K-State is ranked #11 in the nation and either they didn't play like a #11-ranked team OR we are better than our record shows!  We played them pretty evenly and ended up down by 7.  I wish we could have won it!  Anyway, I'm proud to be a Cyclone!  This football season was a lot of fun - a victory over Iowa after a triple OT game, a victory over Okie State when they were ranked #2 in the nation, a victory over Texas Tech when they were ranked #17 in the nation!!  Throw in there games against Texas ranked #10, Baylor ranked #22, Oklahoma ranked #7 - what a schedule.  To be able to win 6 games with a schedule like that is wonderful!  Love those 'Clones and Coach Rhoads!!  Fun, fun, fun!!! 

Dave and I got some things done today.  We got all of the ceiling blocks painted twice, plus Dave got the wallpaper off of 2 walls, got the holes filled, and is ready to paint tomorrow!!  We also got the Christmas lights lit outside, cooked a wonderful supper, and just had a great day! 

More later...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back home again...

We're back in Clearwater!  We left Ft Lauderdale about 9:30 this morning and got back here early this afternoon.  Dave went out to get groceries and some stuff for removing the border in the "yellow" room.  So, tomorrow, we'll start working in there.  He got the paint for the walls and for the ceiling tiles.  I'll paint the ceiling tiles while he works on the walls!  I can hardly wait to get rid of all that yellow!!

I bought us a bedspread in Ft Lauderdale, so our bedroom is now complete until we get all the other painting done.  I washed dishes when we got here and washed down walls in the kitchen.  As soon as I get a couple of big boxes, I'll start going through drawers, etc., getting rid of stuff that we're never going to use.  I guess the park has a big rummage sale sometime in January, so hopefully we'll find room to store some of the things we no longer want!

More later...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Last day here for a while.

Today is our last day in Fort Lauderdale for a while.  It was a beautiful day here.  We finished our shopping so we were able to have Christmas with the grandchildren before we leave in the morning.  I hated to see Jami's face tonight.  She is very sad that we're only here for a weekend...she loves having her family around.  We'll miss her too!

Tomorrow we head back to Clearwater.  Check out from here is 10 AM so we'll be on our way about 9:45 AM!  We have to stop over at Jami's before we leave.  I borrowed a plastic cup from her cupboard - it's a Thomas the Train cup - and Danny asked me about it tonight!  He is so funny!  He told me I couldn't keep it that he needed it!! 

After that we need to fill up the car - there's $3.25 gas at the Hess station at A1A and Oakland Park, so we'll head there for gas, then go by the pretty beaches, out to 595.  More later...