Thursday, July 31, 2008

Caught a rock chip today!

Have no idea where it came from. I saw it coming in a big arc and realized as soon as it hit what it was, but there was no stopping it. Only one car approaching us head on and I didn't see anyone hanging out a window tossing rocks. It was on a state highway in southern Alabama, out in the rural area. It will remain a mystery. . . a meteor? a part off an airplane?

It covered us with glass, but fortunately the safety glass crumbles more than shatters. We happened to have a dust buster in the trailer, so stopped a short time later and cleaned it up. It probably is a good thing I didn't have time to react. Had I slowed down or swerved one way or the other it may have hit lower and gone through the windshield and hit one of us.

Stay safe out there. . .

Till next time. . .


Monday, July 28, 2008

Who says it's too hot in Florida?

People seem to complain about the weather no matter where they are. Our son loves Florida weather so much, he bought a house here and does not plan on leaving. He has a motorcycle also and loves to ride and rides all year.

Is it hot? You betcha! But we left Red Bay, Alabama, last week on a day the forecast called for 97*. Now 97* is Red Bay is pretty miserable. The forecast for Melbourne, Florida, the same day was 87*. Melbourne sits right on the Indian River south of Cocoa and there seems to be a breeze most of the time. It does get hot and humid during the day, but it is nice enough mornings and evenings to sit out. Very few bugs have bothered us, an occasional mosquito perhaps, but in the evening the frogs are the noisiest. Perhaps that's why there aren't any mosquitoes. We did clear up one mystery for Brandon. He talked about seeing some kind of strange "mold" on top of the water in his swimming pool every morning. "Son," I said, "that isn't mold . . . those little black dots in the water are froggie eggs." Hah. A quick start of the filter gets rid of those top floaters. The frogs are out at night and they hang around the pool. They aren't too shy and you can usually see them. They are loud! We are usually in the pool for a midnight swim and they don't seem to like it. Something about being in a swimming pool in the dark surrounded by jungle-like plants and hearing this really loud croaking sound makes you think you are in a scene from Jurassic Park. Then you might also see a little skenk dart across the pool deck. Speaking of which, I caught one yesterday in our bedroom. Just a little guy and he was heading for the dog's pen. I got him cornered then called for backup. They are so fast! I think they are cute, but don't care to have them in my bedroom. They usually die in the house because they can't find food.

The work continues on the house. You should have to pass an IQ test to buy a house and then paint it. Grrrr. Brandon's house was a foreclosure and the only problems with it are purely cosmetic. That's good. But the goofy guy who had it painted the interior and never masked out a thing. He painted the top edge of all the woodwork the same color as the walls and that looks really tacky. So, with my steady hand, I have been slowly repainting that top edge. He also slopped paint up at the ceiling which has a popcorn finish and that is also requiring my talents. This is the most time consuming task we have had. . . well that I have had. He also had holes in the ceiling where he intended to put lights, etc. The holes are now history, thanks to Terry's drywalling skills. He had mounted a TV on a wall in the bedroom and just cut out a humongous hole apparently looking for a stud. That is filled and finished now. He stole about half the light switches and in the living room, put in black boxes with covers on a green wall. Looked really trashy. Just switching all those to white made a big difference. All the light switches and covers are now fixed and the mystery of what switch does what has been solved. Most of what we are doing now is touching up the paint and cleaning. Brandon has a new ceiling fan in his bedroom that works by remote. Very nice.

There is still stuff that needs to be done, but we are about done with what we can/will help with. I think he will eventually repaint, but with his job, he frequently has to travel a week at a time, and that doesn't give him a lot of time to plan a big painting job.

Not quite sure when we will leave. Perhaps Wednesday. I want to finish the trim painting. I will take pictures when we are done.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun in the Sun!!!!!

We are here in sunny Melbourne, Florida, at Brandon's house! We left Goshen on Sunday and drove to Cave City, Kentucky, where we spent the night at Cave Country RV Park. It was very nice and comfortable, although a little pricey. We left there at 8:10 Monday morning and drove into Red Bay at 2:30 that afternoon. The dogs are riding nicely and are cozy in their little separate beds Terry made them in the back seat of the truck. He built a console to keep them separate and to keep things from shifting when/if Neal falls over.

We talked with the service people and they were going to put the refrigerator in the next day and put Phaeton Place back in her slot and plugged in to make sure it works. We left Tuesday morning at 7:30 headed to Melbourne--hoping to get there in one day.

It was a long drive, but we got here at 11:30 p.m. Brandon was asleep so we had to call him and wake him up. He knew we were coming though. We didn't unload anything from the trailer. We just got it backed into the drive and grabbed our suitcases and went to bed. The dogs are also restless when they are "out of their element" and took a while to settle down. They both wanted to sleep with us on the airbed, but we put their cushions down and they finally slept. . . till 5:30, then they wanted up. We decided to get up and get to work.

Brandon's house was a foreclosure and people do really stupid things when they are losing a house. This guy took the light switches. Not all of them. . . just enough to be annoying. In order to get the porch light on, you had to put two wires together. Such an idiot. There were also very few switch plate covers. Lots of lightbulbs missing. . . and he bent the poles on the doorbell, so it is ruined. Really stupid stuff. He also had done some repainting and never bothered to take anything off the walls. He slopped paint on switch and outlet covers, the bathtub, etc. Fortunately, with Terry having a degree in electronics, he made short work of all the electrical stuff. They are done and finished and didn't take too much time. I like to paint, particularly the small detail stuff, so I am going to clean up the transition areas and the baseboards.

Last evening after we had worked a good part of the day, we donned our swimsuits and swam in the pool. Fortunately, the guy did nothing to it and it is very nice. It looked like a storm was brewing, so when it started lightning, we got out, but it only rained.

Brandon has to work, of course, but he is working from home this week, so at least he is handy if we have questions. Things are really shaping up and he has a nice place here. The dogs have settled in and are glad they have a fenced yard in which to wander.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again!

We are finally home again. . . and rolling down the highway. We left Goshen this morning with Phaeton Place headed for Red Bay. The only problem with this trip is that we are driving separately. Phaeton Place has to go to Red Bay and get a new refrigerator and the truck is pulling the enclosed trailer with all the furniture and stuff from our "storage condo" on its way to Brandon's new house in Melbourne, Florida. We were originally going to just take the truck and trailer, but when the reefer had to be replaced, we decided to combine the trips; and by having the motorhome with us, it gives us a place to stay for the night. We are in Cave Country RV park in Cave City, Kentucky. Plan to get to Red Bay tomorrow, spend the night, then make the mad dash to Melbourne. With both of us driving, we actually plan to make it to Brandon's in one day from Red Bay. That would keep us from having to find a pet friendly hotel, but we can if we have to.

The day started out quite nicely, not real hot, and it had rained, so everything was wet. But we were all packed and just had to load some odds and ends. Terry re-did the dogs' "nest" in the back seat of the Sport Trac and it is quite comfortable for them and keeps them separated. He built a tall box to separate their pens and it doubles as a console which will be nice when we are all together driving to Florida. There is enough room in it for our small cooler we will use to carry water in for the trip down.

Since the reefer is getting replaced, it is virtually empty except for a few Healthy Choice TV dinners. That is what we are eating on the way down since we emptied the refrigerator. Once the new one is in and we pick up the coach on the way back from Florida, we will get a few things in it.

It is certainly warm here, 96* when we arrived and we have all the air conditioners on cooling the coach. It is comfortable in here now. I think I will sleep well in my own bed tonight and the drive tomorrow will be smooth.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The quiet is eerie!

Ronan, along with Mom, Dad, and doggie Jericho, left Friday morning and arrived home in Charlottesville, Virginia, 12 1/2 hours later. We miss them already, but they had to return and we had other things on our schedule as well.

The kids did manage to sneak away for a couple days and went to the Indiana Dunes National Seashore and did some hiking and "swimming" in Lake Michigan. From the pictures, it appears my grandson loves throwing sand and sitting in the water playing with his bucket and shovel. While they were gone we kept Jericho, their black standard poodle. He is a real sweety, but stayed glued to my side while they were gone. Their departure that day led to the reappearance of Bailey. Bailey for some reason does not like Jocelyn and prefers to keep his distance. He lay in the back hallway at the back door while he was inside. Once they were gone and he realized it, he came back out and communed with the rest of us. When they returned a few days later, he was back in the hall. Hmmmm. Strange behavior.

I took the kids down to the woods south of Warsaw where Mom and Dad (my parents) and Jim and Nita (sister and brother-in-law) live. They had wanted to see where they live and see Jim and Nita's new house.

This weekend was my 40th high school reunion. Friday night there was a "mixer" at the local Travel Lodge and we always enjoy those. We had a good time and I enjoyed seeing people I had gone to school with, some for as long as 13 years. They had lots of food and drink and no one went away hungry.

Yesterday, some of us met at the Olympia candy kitchen in downtown Goshen. This soda fountain/candy kitchen is an institution in Goshen and most all of us spent time during our high school years slurping up milkshakes, sodas or rootbeer floats after ball games. It was so much fun. Then last night was the big event. We met again at the Travel Lodge and donned name tags with our high school graduation pictures on them. It's the only way to tell who people are, because that is the way we remember them. What great fun. There were picture boards posted around with pictures of the last reunion on them and lots of yearbooks and gradeschool and junior high books to help us recapture our youth. Hah. Snacks were laid out to nibble on while we mingled around and talked with people we hadn't seen in a long time. . . some for 40 years. Two of my best friends from high school were there, Luanne and Barbara. We had a lot of fun revisiting with one another. Luanne and I stay in touch throughout the year and we usually have dinner during the summer when we drop into Indiana. We are going to do the same with Barb and her husband. We just have so much to talk about!

Dinner was delicious. The committee did an outstanding job of lining up a caterer and the food was wonderful. We topped it all off with a graduation cake. What could be better! We had a DJ who started playing music after dinner and a lot of people joined in the dancing.

We really love going to our reunions. Each one is different. Terry's 40th is coming up in one month. One of the greatest despairs is that many people who don't attend are ones who live in town. It is a mystery to me why they don't come. They may think we know where they are at, but with a class of 258, it is hard to keep track of people. If you are one of those people who don't attend your high school reunion because you don't think people are interested in seeing you, YOU ARE WRONG!!! Make plans to attend your next one. You may just be surprised!

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ronan's arrival!

Ronan, Jocelyn, Tom and Jericho arrived last Thursday about 12:30 a.m., having driven non-stop from Charlottesville, Virginia. It wouldn't have been a difficult drive had the last 160 miles not been done in a driving rainstorm. But they arrived safely and I knew they were coming, so I camped out in the recliner and cat-napped so I could get a hug from my grandson as soon as they got here. At 14 1/2 months, he is a little wary of strangers, but it doesn't take him long to warm up. He is such a cutie, as I'm sure all grandparents feel about their grandbabies, so I am no exception in that department. He isn't quite walking, but "cruises" around tables and furniture, so you have to keep a constant eye on him. I had to go out and buy foam "corners" for the one coffee table in the living room as the corners are extemely sharp. We also took one of those "noodles" for swimming pools and slit it lengthwise down one side. We slipped that over the front edge of the table and that made a nice tight fit on the table and protected him from getting hurt.

Ronan particularly likes Neal, our handicapped Scottie, who he calls "ki" shorty for kitty. We keep telling him dog, but I think because of Neal's white fur, he thinks kitty. He has now started to call him "daw. ." short for dog. Neal is a rescue, surrendered because he supposedly bit a child. Neal cannot escape situations due to his disability, so we watch him carefully with the baby, but he has done nothing but show a little curiosity about Ronan. We don't let Ronan crawl on him or anything, but it is cute to see the two interact. Neal likes people and is socialable, preferring the company of his humans rather than the other dogs.

Thursday evening I went with the kids to see Uncle Bill and Aunt Francis in Niles, Michigan. Terry stayed home with the dogs. Jerry suffers from separation anxiety, so someone has to stay with him all the time. Uncle Bill was glad to see the kids and to see Ronan for the first time. Uncle Bill is recovering from lung cancer and the latest report is that the cancer is gone. Truly an answer to prayer. He has suffered some strokes and so his speech is a little difficult for him, but we have no trouble understanding him.

Saturday evening we had all my family in. . . or as many as could make it. Jocelyn's cousins came: Staci and family (they have Collin, the preemie baby I wrote about earlier and Breanna), Michelle and family with their 2 girls, Al (Carie's husband--she had to work) with their 3 boys, Kellie and her friend Ryan. Then my sister Nita and hubby, Nancy (sister-in-law) and hubby Tom, and my Mom and Dad. Whew! We had grilled chicken, brats, pigs-in-blankets for the kids, homemade macaroni and cheese, baked beans, rolls, quinoa salad, fresh fruit with dip, veggies with dip and cake. Everything was wheat/gluten/soy free because of Jocelyn's allergies. That way we could pass babies around without worrying about any allergic reactions.

We had worked hard the week before and got the basement family room all cleaned up and cleaned out so the kids would have a place to play. Boy am I glad we did. They had a lot of fun. The dogs survived and all is well.

Jocelyn, Tom and Ronan left Sunday for the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. We are keeping Jerry with us as they cannot take him out on the beach. He is sticking to me like glue. . . and I do mean glue. I have to be careful walking because he has to be touching me. Bailey is not sure he likes that, so I have two dogs on me. . . one on each side. Jerry brought his bed with him but has yet to sleep in it. Neal likes it and makes sure he is the first to the bedroom at night so he can get to it first. Last night Bailey wanted his turn and Neal was not yielding, so Bailey joined him in the bed, which made Neal extremely nervous. We got a picture of them as Bailey was exiting. Bailey only left because he doesn't like his picture taken, not because he was yielding. It was quite funny. We still put our boyz in their pen with their beds and let Jerry have his, although so far he has opted to sleep next to our bed.

We have had a few minor disagreements, primarily between Bailey and Jerry, but nothing major and things are going quite smoothly. The kids are due back tomorrow sometime, then they will be heading back to Virginia.

The last shot is Ronan in his new Bass Pro Shop camp chair which we got him.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A great story!

Last summer around Labor Day, my niece Staci went into early labor and delivered her baby boy, Collin, 7 weeks premature. Babies this young at one time would never survive outside the womb, but Collin's cord had collapsed and he wasn't going to make it unless he was born and took his chances in the outside world. While he was very tiny at just over 2 pounds, he didn't have other complications and was able to go home several weeks later. The last time I saw him before we left for the the winter was in an incubator. Last week I went over to their house and got to see little Collin and big sister Breanna. Collin is trying hard to crawl and kind of rocks on the floor. He is such a cutie and seems real interested in going after anything Breanna has out to play with. It is a wonderful thing that we have the technology to help these babies and we are all thankful little Collin is such a fighter.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

About to get my Ronan fix!

Grandson Extraordinnaire Ronan and his Mom and Dad and doggie Jericho are coming for a visit. They will leave Virginia tomorrow morning and will be here either late tomorrow night or sometime on Thursday. I am so excited to see them all, but at almost 15 months, Ronan is the one who changes almost daily. His Grandma Sharon gets to see him more often as they are closer and she sends me lots of pictures. Ronan is so fortunate to have great parents and two sets of really great grandparents as well.

Yesterday we did a lot of running around. We had the pickup loaded with stuff from out of the basement destined to Good Will. A lot of this stuff was left over from our push to full time. That job is just so overwhelming, as many of you know, and since we had an empty basement in which to store stuff, that is where a lot of it went. We have probably taken well over 10 pickup loads to GW loaded with our stuff and stuff left over from Terry's parents. We have taken a load or two to the landfill and another couple loads to recycling. We are pretty much down to the nitty gritty now. I have so many cases of photos. My plan was to scan them all into the computer and put them on DVD's. That has yet to happen however.

My sister Nita and husband Jim brought our enclosed trailer up from their woods on Sunday. It is such a nice trailer and we bought it when we were moving all this household stuff. They are expensive to buy, but resale isn't so great, so we decided to keep it. Jim and Nita were building their house and Mom and Dad had yet to move, so we figured it would get plenty of use. We were right. It is now in the drive hooked up to the Sport Trac loaded with furniture and Brandon's stuff. In a few weeks we will be headed to Florida to take it to Brandon's new house. He is getting a dining room set and a futon and then his boxed stuff he never had room for before. I am sure a lot of the stuff he will just pitch, but it is his stuff and he will need to make that decision.

Actually when we leave here, Terry and I will be caravanning with Phaeton Place. She has to go to Red Bay, Alabama, to get a new refrigerator, so we are driving the truck/trailer and the motorhome to Alabama where we will leave the motorhome. From there we will head straight to Florida with the trailer and help Brandon out with some minor work on his new house. Once we are done there, we head back to Alabama, pick up Phaeton Place and head north. Once back up here, we will be at the Elkhart Campground. Our work on the apartments is finished for the year, but our "storage unit" needs some work, so it will be easier to work on it when we are not staying here.

Till next time. . .