Monday, February 12, 2018

Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperatures in the upper 70's all week - so I guess Spring is right around the corner.  So, while the weather has been ugly things are starting to bloom.  For those of you that are still socked in with snow or freezing temperatures I thought you might enjoy looking at some of the first signs of Spring in North Florida.

Dan and I went out in the golf cart yesterday, between rain storms and I took a few pictures with my phone.  Just thought I would share some.

Wild Plum Tree

  Tulip Tree

The next pictures are from our back yard.

Red Bud Tree

This camellia bush is right behind the pergola and the one that Dan spray painted (oh the joys of overspray).  It is covered in buds and getting ready to pop!

This the camellia bush that was frozen a month ago - now it is covered with flowers!

These two bushes are in our side yard and we almost forget they are there.  I think they are a couple of the prettiest camellia bushes we have.

Double Pink

Pale pink "Rose" Camellia

And I'll leave you with a picture of the little wild violets that are blooming all over the yard.

I'll be back on Wednesday with an update on the pergola and our latest "Coffee on the Back Porch".


Saturday, February 3, 2018


Hello all - Yep, I'm still here.  Sorry I sorta "fell off the wagon" with blogging - you know how animals go into hibernation when it's really cold?  Well, that the only thing I can use to describe me the last couple of weeks.  It seemed that instead of being all "gun ho" and getting organized and everything like everyone else in creation all I wanted to do was sit and be lazy chill.  So, that's what I did.  That is until a couple of weeks ago.  I finally decided it was time to get up and get some stuff done!

I guess it all started when Dan decided that he needed some help painting the pergola.  We had gone to Lowe's and bought a paint sprayer, as he thought that trying to paint it by hand would be too much.  So, with paint sprayer in hand and the patio cleared of all the furniture, he started.  Now, while it is true that it sped the process along, the waste of paint was tremendous.  Can we say over spray!?!  Anyway, he wanted me to move the drop cloth from area to area while he used the sprayer just so we didn't have a gray painted floor or gray plants all around (although some of the leaves of some of the plants are now gray).

 Covered the bird bath so we didn't have to worry about messing it up with paint.

 Grill and outdoor "side table" covered with plastic.

 This is a good shot of all the paint over spray.  Waste, waste, waste!  And at over $40 a gallon, not a budget friendly way to paint.

However, we used all the paint we had - we had to buy two more gallons.  It is starting to look pretty good and we are excited to get it finished.

Dan has since gotten it all done, except for a little bit of hand brush work.  He did finally admit that the sprayer was not the best option and went old school with a roller and extended handle.  It might have taken him two days to finish it up this way, but at least we didn't paint everything else in sight.

When I wasn't helping Dan outside I decided it was time to get some work done in the house.  So, while doing some early spring cleaning (or late January/winter cleaning) I did some rearranging of items, rearranged the bookshelves in the family room, and even did a little Valentine's day decorating.

 Living Room -  I haven't moved any furniture (the way the room is laid out this is the best room arrangement) so I just make little changes with the accessories.

I moved the wooden goose from the side table to the coffee table and added a heart shaped dish that I've had forever (I found it again stashed in my nightstand).  With a little Valentine's candy and it's good to go.

  I found these flowers on Amazon last month and loved the soft pastel colors of the flowers.  I knew that I wanted to put them in a square glass vase and I just happened to find this vase at the Twice Nice Furniture store here in the Village (it's a resale shop of things that are donated and it's where all our donations go).  A little moss around the sides, and I might need to fluff the flowers a little but I think it gives a hint of spring.

A little better shot of the heart shaped dish.  Don't you just love it when you find things that you have that you can use instead of having to buy things?

I also decided to group my crocks and jugs together instead of having them spread out all over the house.  The perfect spot was under the entry way table.

When we went to the little resale shop I also found this smaller square vase.
I thought it would be perfect as a candle holder and why not add some Valentine candy.  Quick and cute.

Then for the shelves and mantle.  I was just tired of the same ole, same ole.  So, I decided to shake things up a bit.  I started gathering stuff from around the house and just moved some things around and viola newly decorated shelves.

A new look for no cost.

This past Tuesday I had a check up on my thyroid down in Gainesville and I thought Dan and I could do some shopping while there (it's the closest Home Goods store and I had never been in the Hobby Lobby there).  So, after my glowing check-up - no change to the growths on my thyroid and no need for biopsy at this time, just another check up next year - Dan and I headed to Hobby Lobby, as it was the closest to the doctor's office.  I purchased a few spring flower at 50% off and a new basket for an arrangement on the front door.  When leaving the store I received a call from one of my mom's neighbors telling me mom had fallen and had messed up her arm pretty badly.  I explained I was in Gainesville and Judy said she would stay with mom until the doctor' released her.  Dan and I made a quick trip to Bass Pro shop, since we were already headed that way, to pickup some wax melts that we had wanted for a long time and then headed directly home (sorry Home Goods, maybe next time).

When we got home we stopped at mom's house, but no one was there.  I went across the street to the neighbor's house, thinking that she may have kept mom at her house until we could get home, but was told by her husband that Judy had taken mom to the hospital in Live Oak to have her head and shoulder x-rayed since our clinic doesn't have that capability.  I called Judy to see if she wanted me to come and relieve her, and she said no they should be home soon as they were just waiting for the results of the x-rays.  About half an hour later I received a call that they were home, so I headed back down to mom's house.  She did not have any broken bones, just a good knot on her head (no concussion), some bruises, and a pretty good cut down the entire length of her left arm.  The cut is not deep and didn't require stitches - just steri-strips - but she will be sore for a couple of weeks.  She is very lucky that she didn't break anything and it is something that we will have to continue to watch.  Her sense of balance is getting worse, but this is the first time she has fallen since we moved here three years ago.  She doesn't know why she fell - she was in the middle of her living room so she didn't trip on anything.  She said she tripped on her own two feet - and at this point who knows.  I will be going to a class that is being taught by Elder Care on being the caregiver to someone with Alzheimer's.  I just want to make sure I know how to make it as easy on mom as I can (as well as Dan and I).  It's a six week course taught at our local library and I am hopeful that it will give us good information.

Wednesday was my normal shift at the store (just a few lookers) and I had plenty of time to finish the bookkeeping for the month of January.

Thursday I finally decided that I needed to stop putting off the cleaning out of drawers and cabinets.  I had been putting off cleaning and organizing the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen for months, but I went in and in thirty minutes it was all done!  (Why do we put off things for so long when it really doesn't take that long to do????)

Next, it was time to start getting everything ready to send to our tax accountant.  I'm still missing a couple of pieces of information, but that should come in next week and I have everything else ready to go.  I hope to get it mailed off to her by the end of the week and then keep our fingers crossed that we won't owe that much!

While I was getting the tax stuff together I decided to get the file cabinet cleaned out and organized too.  Once again, a job that I had put off for months was completed in just a couple of hours.

Dan and I are ready for the Super Bowl - we aren't going to a party, just the two of us here with a pizza and some chips and dip.  Nothing big or fancy.  I really don't have a "dog in this race" and I really don't care who wins - I'll probably cheer for the Eagles but it won't hurt my feeling if the Patriots win.  (I know that my son-in-law will be happy if the Pats take the win, but we shall see.)

Speaking of my son-in-law - a couple of weeks ago his family had a family reunion in Texas and, for the first time, my daughter, sil, and two grand babies went.  They spent five days in Texas (Wednesday through Monday) with a trip to Waco and Magnolia Market thrown in one day.  

Melissa said the girls had an awesome time playing on the grounds.  They didn't get a cupcake as the line was wrapped around the building twice and she didn't buy anything in the store either (how can you not buy SOMETHING????  I know I couldn't - LOL!) She tired to Skype with me, but we weren't home and I didn't have my phone with me when she called - darn!  Then they had the reunion at the rodeo in Ft. Worth over the weekend. The babies got cowboy hats and they were so cute! I think they had a good time and it was good for them to get away for a little trip.

Well, this has turned into a small book - sorry for the length.  Hopefully, now that I am not in hibernation any longer I will get back to posting regularly.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Just Not Feelin It!

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday.  I'm sorry that I didn't post last Friday I just haven't been feeling all that well.  I have been just keeping a very low profile and staying inside and pretty much on the couch all the time.  In fact, yesterday I didn't get dressed and only got up to fix dinner.  

Thursday I did go to the Membership Council meeting and then Dan and I went into town to the grocery store.  Friday I cooked Breakfast Burritos for the first time in a long time - I also fixed a slow cooker meal for dinner.  Something didn't sit well on my tummy and I paid for it Friday night - in fact, I ended up finally going to sleep on the couch in the family room around 3:30 AM.  Maybe that's why I wasn't so chipper on Saturday and just spent the day on the couch, checking out different blogs and watching a couple of movies on Amazon Prime.

Speaking of Amazon Prime, did you guys know that you can watch movies as well as some TV programs on Amazon Prime??? I didn't. There are quite a few movies to chose from that are absolutely free.  Yesterday I watched an oldie but goodie - McLintock with John Wayne and then the fairly new movie Florence Jenkins with Meryl Strep.  It was a cute little movie and didn't know before that it was based on a true story.  Was it Oscar worthy?  Nope, not even close, but it was cute.  I have a few movies that I will watch in the next few weeks, months - and it's great that I don't have to pay for them.  Now, if you want there are also movies that you can rent - I don't think the "rent" is anymore than RedBox, but I don't know that for a fact as I have never rented from them.  Anyway, that's just a little side note.

Today Dan and I finally got out as the day was really nice - not too cold- and the sun was shining.  We went down to the dining room for lunch, then went for a little ride in the golf cart through the woods.

There is a nice little path through the woods that we like to ride - every once in a while we will see a deer, but not today.

This is how I ride - I know - really lazy - but it's comfortable and it's just natural way for me.

Well, that's it for today - going to watch the rest of the Jags/Pats game and then the Viking/Eagles game.  Pizza for supper.

I AM feeling much better today (except for a pain in my lower back), and I think I'll actually be up and making some changes around here tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Hope you are having an awesome day and I'll talk to you soon!!!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Brrr! It's cold outside

I think three quarters of the country could say that.  I'm not sure where it would be warm right now - Hawaii maybe???  South Florida??? (although they are suppose to be down in the 40's tomorrow - which is really cold for them).  

We have been in the 20's at night and the low to mid 30's during the day - we haven't had any more ice and no snow - just bitterly cold temperatures (for us) and the wind chill today put it down into single digits.

So, what have I been doing to pass the time since it's too cold to go outside?  Well, I've binge watched the PBS series Victoria - it is AWESOME!!!  I had read the book and then I decided to watch the series - I have been able to watch it for free on Amazon Prime Video.  The first episode of season two was on Monday night and I finished all but one episode before the premier of season two.  (I have since watched the last one of season one)  I have really enjoyed this show - now, I have to decide if I want to do a free trial of Netflix so I can watch the new season of The Crown or wait.  It's another really good series that I was able to watch last year on line - Season One.  I have not seen any of Season Two yet - so the dilemma.

I have also watched a couple of movies on Amazon Prime Video - yesterday I watched The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.  It was a very interesting movie.  Would I call it great or awesome?  Nope - but it did cause you to stop and think about social media and the part it plays in our life.

Today I had to go into the store - we weren't real busy - but I did have a couple of customer's who bought some cards and one bought a book.  After I got off work I met Dan at the CafĂ© for lunch.  Then it was time to come home and get comfy, sit on the couch and enjoy the fire.

If you're looking for me - this is where I will be!

Stay warm everyone!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekly Recap

Last week started out slow, was busy in the middle, and then slowed down again at the end.  Monday was laundry day.  I also spent some time down with mom - checking on her and making sure she has food in.  She has gotten really bad about not buying anything but junk food - cookies, potato chips, crackers.  So, I go down to the local grocery store and buy her some frozen dinners, potatoes, and canned goods.  She is a really picky eater and sometimes it is hard for me to find anything that I think she will eat.  We have tried putting money on her ID card that she could use in the Dining Room or the little deli, but she has yet to use it.  We have bought her lunches from the dining room and taken them to her - but it's hard to find food she will eat.  Anyway, I have found that there are some frozen meals that she likes - so I will continue to buy those for her.

Tuesday was spent cleaning house - you know all the usual stuff you do when you clean - dust, clean the bathrooms, sweep the floors, mop, and run the vacuum.  I waited to do the back porch on Friday to make sure it was nice for the weekend.

Wednesday was my day to volunteer down at the store - it was VERY slow.  As in, no one even came into the shop.  That's okay, as it gave me time to get some paperwork done.  Wednesday afternoon I checked on mom again - taking her another selection of frozen dinners.  I also took in some bread and lunch meat.

Thursday morning I was up early, as I had fasting labs here at the Medical Center.  Then I came home, had some coffee, before jumping in the shower and getting ready to head to Gainesville.  I picked mom up at 10:30 and we headed down for our yearly mammogram.  We were early enough that I took her to lunch before our appointment - I went back first and then it was mom's turn.  The doctor where we go has you wait while she reads the test and she comes in and gives you the results before you leave.  We both were clear and we won't have to go back until next year.  I did do the 3D mammogram as I do have a lot of false reports - it costs more than what the insurance will pay, but it's better for my peace of mind.

After the doctor's appointment mom wanted to go to the bookstore and buy a specific book - so we went to Books-A-Million and she was able to buy the two books she was missing and pre-ordered the next one by the same author.  It will be shipped directly to her when the book is released on the 30th.  Much simpler than having to make an additional trip to Gainesville.

Friday Dan and I headed over to Lake City for his follow up with his new cardiologist.  The cardiologist he had been seeing left the group - so, Dan is now seeing the doctor that performed his surgery for his ICD.  He had a good check up and the doctor has given us the goal of losing 10 pounds in 5 months (well, actually 4 months as we will see him again in May), but that is a doable goal and so we are working on it. (It would be easier if the weather would cooperate.)

After leaving the doctor's office we went down to the bank that we had the Escape financed through to close that account.  When the Escape was paid off they didn't take into account the last payment that I had made - so we had some money left in the account.  We decided that we didn't need another account in a different bank - so it was easy to just close the account.

Then it was off to Cracker Barrel for an early lunch before heading back toward home.  We did make a stop at Publix to pick up the pastries for the coffee we were hosting on Saturday (my Coffee on the Back Porch entry) before coming home and finishing up the cleaning of the house.  I cleaned the back porch but I was pretty sure that we would not be having the coffee on the actual back porch due to the cold weather.  After getting everything cleaned Dan decided that we needed to go back into town to WalMart and pick up a few other things.  While we were in town we stopped at a local buffet (Fusion Cooking) for supper before coming back home.  We stopped at mom's and I took her in some more frozen dinners (I picked up a good assortment at WalMart, as they had a better selection than our little store here).  Then it was home to get everything set up for the coffee.

Which brings us to Sunday - which was spent sitting on the couch watching the football playoffs.  I didn't even get out of my p.j.'s all day!  Now I will say that we did make a major goof - Sunday night was Pal Night and we forgot - I just plain out forgot.  I had not looked at the calendar since Wednesday so I didn't realize that it was this past Sunday.  Anyway, the point is, we just didn't do a darn thing all day on Sunday.  (No, we didn't go to church - there is a lot of flu going around and we have decided that until the "epidemic" has past we will just watch the service on TV.  So, while we didn't "go to church" we did "go to church" - does that make sense???)

So, that was my week.  Hope you had a great week and we'll "see" you soon!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Coffee on Porch

Right after we moved back into the house after all the renovations, Dan and I talked about hosting a "Coffee on the Back Porch" for our neighbors and friends.  We wanted to have something a little more informal than the Christmas Open House and thought that a drop in for morning coffee would be a great opportunity to have some time with friends.  I even went on line and found a person who made custom house flags.  I worked with her and designed a special flag for us to fly on the day of the get together.  BUT all we did was talk about it.  So, finally, I looked at Dan and said "We're either going to do it, or stop talking about it".  We decided to do it and put it on the calendar for the second Saturday of the month - starting in January.

So, today was the day - however, the weather didn't want to cooperate with us - with temperatures down around 39 - a little chilly to be sitting on the back porch.  However, that didn't stop us - no sir - we just moved it into the family room and added a nice cozy fire in the fireplace!

Before Dan started the fire - and, as you can see, it's still dark outside since we started at 7:30!

I put coffee on the buffet and had a few goodies on the table - muffins and a couple of coffee cakes.  We had no idea how many, if any people, would come since the weather was so cold.  But I brewed three pots of coffee (2 regular and one decaf) and was ready for 20 or 0.

Decaf in the carafe and regular coffee in this pot and the pot in the kitchen.

I found this little holder over a year ago - can't remember where - but I took Starbucks Frapachino bottles, cleaned them up, spray painted the tops with chalkboard paint, added the stickers, then filled them with milk, powdered creamer, and half and half.  There is raw sugar in the canister and sweet n' low packets along with regular sugar in the little basket.

 The whole set up ready for guests.

Two different types of coffee cake and two types of mini muffins.

On the table I put a simple burlap table runner and then took two metal tubs from IKEA and put coffee beans and then a votive candle.  When the candles heated the beans they emitted a wonderful coffee scent.

Well, I have to admit that it didn't really go over as we thought it would.  Even though we told everyone on our street and several of our friends - only one couple came.  That was really okay - it gave us the opportunity to really sit and talk and get to know this couple better.  I'm sure that the weather was one of the reasons and a some people told us that they wouldn't be able to be here due to one thing or another (trip out of town for a funeral, visit a sick parent, and one of our dearest friends had surgery on Tuesday and is still in the hospital).  While I was a little disappointed in the turn out - we will try again next month.  As I told Dan, I think it will get better when the weather gets better - and if it doesn't - well, we don't have to do this.  So, the plan is to give a couple more months and if the attendance doesn't get better we will just let this be a learning opportunity and "let it go".

Have a good one my friends!


Monday, January 8, 2018

A do Nothing Day

Today was just one of "those" days.  I just didn't feel like doing much of anything - I cooked lunch and I cooked supper and I cleaned up the kitchen.  That was about it.

Yes, I've asked myself why and the only thing I can come up with is I'm just mentally and emotionally drained.  You see, this past weekend was a rough one for me.  It was my nephew's memorial service outside Atlanta. 

Dan and I drove over to Lake City where we met my youngest daughter and her husband.  We transferred my suitcase into their car and the three of us headed up to Bethlehem, GA - which is outside Atlanta on the east side - close to Loganville (or between Atlanta and Athens).  We arrived at our hotel close to 10 PM and promptly got settled in for the night.  

Saturday we had to go buy Justin (my SIL) some shoes and I needed some tights to wear under my pants as the temperatures were in the 20's.  We were lucky in that there was a brand new shopping "mall" across the highway from our hotel and within a short amount of time we had what we needed.  We ate a quick lunch then headed back to the hotel to get ready (three adults getting ready in one room takes some time).  

The church was only about 10 minutes from the hotel and we arrived 15 minutes before the service was to begin.  I was able to see my sister-in-law and two nieces before the service and we waited in the "family room" and then were seated with other family members.  We were the only ones there from my side of the family as my brother passed away right before we got off the road.  My oldest daughter was going to drive down, but she has the flu.  Mom isn't up to traveling like this - so it was just Melissa, Justin, and I.

The service was very heart retching as my nephew's fiance spoke along with other family members.  It is always difficult when a family member passes away, but when the circumstances are what they were here - well, it's just doubly hard for everyone.  After the service we did go over to my niece's house, who lives in the area, for a short amount of time.

After going back to the hotel and changing clothes we went to a restaurant that was close and had dinner before going back and going to bed.  I think it was starting to catch up to all of us.

We woke up Sunday morning to temperatures  in the teens.  We quickly packed our belongings and loaded the car. Then we headed back home as it was a good eight hour trip for the kids and a four hour trip to drop me off. Dan met us in Valdosta where we once again transferred my stuff over then Dan and I went to get some lunch while the kids headed on down to Lakeland.  

When we got home I unpacked and did all my laundry - even went down to mom's and fixed her shower curtain, which had fallen, and then we went down to the "Lopin' Gopher" for dinner.  However, once I sat down on the couch I think it all caught up with me.  I was just exhausted - physically, emotionally, in every way you can think.

I took it very easy today - never got out of my pj's - and I am feeling better tonight.  I'm just going to sit on the couch tonight and cheer for my Alabama Crimson Tide to Roll all over Georgia and take home the Championship.

Roll Tide ROLL!!!!!

Hugs everyone!!!!

Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperat...