Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Here we are on New Year's Eve - another year has gone by and we look forward to a new one. Who would have guessed all the changes that would occur in a year? We were planning on being on the road for at least another year - we had bought the new 5th wheel, and we had the adventure of a lifetime coming up. Well, things certainly changed. Let's take a quick look back at 2010.

The year started with our trip to the Caribbean with our good friends Carol and Neil. The scenery was beautiful and it was a wonderful time for Dan to take some time to recover from his time in the hospital. We enjoyed the relaxation and the time in warmer temperatures. Then we moved up to Unicoi State Park right outside of Helen Georgia for a couple of months. We were greeted with snow a couple of days, and some people that we hope to have as friends for a very long time. Isn't it funny how you can meet someone and know that you will always be friends? That's the way we felt about Don and Judy -special people that make special friends.
The snow in Unicoi was a nice break from all the hustle and bustle that was to come - absolutely beautiful countryside.
Then before we knew it - it was April and time from my mom's 80th birthday. At the time we didn't know that this would be the last time that my mom, brother, and I would be together for a picture.

It is still difficult for me to believe that my brother is gone.

Dan and I watched spring come to Unicoi before our time working there in the park was over. We were able to spend some time in Franklin and visit our church home before the great adventure of 2010 started.

ALASKA!!! A trip of a lifetime. Dan had always wanted to drive to Alaska and see the interior - we had cruised a couple of times, but we wanted to experience all that there was to experience - and while we might not have done everything we wanted to do, we certainly did a lot. Canada, the Alaskan Highway, Tok, Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Seward, Haines, Juneau. We did it all! We will always remember this trip - we just didn't know at the time that it would be our last "full timing" adventure.
When my brother passed away I just happened to be in Atlanta - God sure does work in round about ways. Dan and I had just purchased a home in Lake Placid and when I got back to Alaska we knew that it was time to head to our new home and for our lives to take another unexpected turn.

So, we moved into the "new" house and I went back to work. (Not exactly my idea of a good time, but it is something that needs to be done so we can get some much needed work done on the house). I'm still not sure how long I will need to work - I hope that this is the only year, but I won't completely rule out working another year. I sure would like to have a better year than this one, but I guess I will do what has to be done.
For now, let's just say that this year has certainly thrown us some curve balls, but the best thing you can do is just pick yourself up and keep going. Mom has moved into her house here in Lake Placid and is just about all settled in. We had a great Thanksgiving celebration with extended family and Christmas was a wonderful time with family.

Dan and I took a quick trip to Atlanta to see Crystal and Kim the first part of this week - I also took a cold with me - woke up the morning we were to leave with a sore throat and the cold moved in from there. We came home a day early - after a quick stop in Dowling Park to drop off something there and pick up a few things that Neil had stored for Dan. We stopped by and saw our friends Bud and Joyce for a minute (thanks for the lunch Joyce - fabulous as usual!) before bringing me home and putting me to bed for a couple of days. I am feeling better today and actually think that things are on the mend.
I am as ready as I'm going to be to start back to school next week. The good thing is, I work for a couple of weeks then it will be time for our yearly cruise to the Caribbean - and another year will begin! Who knows what will be in store in 2011!
I hope that you all have a safe and healthy New Year! Thanks for sticking with me as I blog my way through adventures and change. I know that 2011 will bring changes - not only to the house with remodeling (I'll keep you posted on the good, the bad, and the ugly on that as well - I think the title of the blog will certainly come into play in the coming year - I know that there will be times that I will be screaming "Are we there yet????" even if it is only inside my head so Dan can't hear me)- but other changes that we can't imagine. Let's hope and pray that they will all be good changes for us all!
Take care - HAPPY NEW YEAR - and I'll talk to you in 2011!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Hope that you are having a great day! Will post all my news tomorrow, but in the mean time have fun with your families!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Break!

Well, I survived last week and I am officially on Christmas break! YAHOO!!!!! I can't tell you how much I have been looking forward to this break. Now, if I only had all my Christmas shopping done!

I have ordered some things on the Internet (suppose to be here on the 23rd or 24th - nothing like cutting it close!)and I know what I'm going to get my mom. Have delivered the checks to the kids in Lakeland and have bought the present for the daughters in Atlanta. So, all I have left really is Dan and I think I know what I am going to get for him. I talked to my mom today and told her what Dan wants, but it is way over the limit that we have set for each other. So, I asked mom how much she was going to spend on us and then told her what Dan wanted - I asked her to take what she was going to spend on me and put it with what she was going to spend on Dan and get what he wants. I really can't think of anything that I really need or really want - so I would rather Dan have what he wants. It will officially be a "couple's gift" and I'm fine with that. So, I need to go get mom's and get Dan's (which I know what it is - it will go with the present mom is buying - AND it's within our budget!)

This weekend has just flown by - Dan and I went to Bartow to pick up the truck - Dan had taken the truck in to Bartow Ford on Thursday, but they couldn't get it fixed in one day (something about the thermostat's sticking). Anyway, they gave him a rental car and told him they would have it ready on Friday. Sure enough, when I got off work on Friday afternoon the dealership called and said the truck was ready - so off we went to Bartow. After picking up the truck (which was all covered under warranty, including the car rental) we went on into Lakeland and saw the girls there. Then we went out to eat at MiMi's cafe before going over to Target to look around. We didn't buy anything, couldn't find anything that was on "the" list.

Saturday morning we got up, went out to breakfast then drove up to Sebring to look at some furniture stores. We aren't ready to buy new living room furniture yet, but we are trying to get some ideas about what type of furniture we will eventually get - sectional or just a couch and a couple of chairs. Both recliners, or a recliner for Dan and a chair with ottoman for me. Just a lot of different options. A lot will depend on the remodeling, but we can get a general idea. Anyway, after the furniture stores we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond shopping - found one present. Then to the little mall in Sebring. No purchases there - came home and did some shopping on the Internet. I also went and had my nails done Saturday afternoon - so they look 100% better.

This morning we went to visit at Placid Lakes Baptist Church for their Christmas Program. It was a nice program. Melissa, Justin and Mom met Dan and I there. After the service we all went out to lunch together. Then Dan and I took Mom home and showed her how to work the new microwave that Dan installed for her this week. She has also bought a new stove, but it isn't suppose to be delivered until this coming week (the 23rd I think). After we got home I did the laundry and watched football. Tonight we had pizza for dinner.

Tomorrow I think I will take Mom into Sebring and get Dan's present - then that will be done. All we will have left to do is get Mom's present. We'll figure out when we can go and get that this week. We are still trying to figure out when we will go to Atlanta and how that is all going to work out, but I don't want to be on the road around New Year's Eve. So, we'll work on that schedule also.

Well, that is about all that is going on around here right now. I hope that you are ready for Christmas and that the love of Christ is in your heart. Remember, Jesus is the best present you could ever receive and He is the REASON FOR THE SEASON. Have a good week and ------------

I'll talk to you next week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel alot like Christmas!

It's cold in Florida - I mean, not by Florida standards, but by anyone's. The high tomorrow is suppose to be in the low 40's and tomorrow night it is suppose to be in the, are you ready for this, the 20's! Yikes, this is south-central Florida. It isn't suppose to get this cold here. Anyway, I don't guess we can do anything about it, just go with the flow.

The good thing is - this is the last week of school before Winter Break - YAHOO!!! I don't know how the kids are going to be - they have been pretty worked up last week. Some of the other teachers say that a lot won't come to school this next week - which means you can't teach any new material. I have new lesson's planned, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see how many kids are there. If in fact there aren't a lot of kids there, then I'll do some review - it certainly won't hurt them!

I still haven't bought any Christmas presents - I guess IF I am going to buy anything on-line I better get it done soon! But I have completed the "dreaded Christmas letter" and have it ready to be printed on the Christmas paper. I'll get the rest of the Christmas cards addressed and ready to go so when we get the letter printed all I will need to do is fold them and get the cards in the mail.

We spent the weekend moving beds around again. We got the adjustable beds back from mom and we will eventually give our 'old' king size bed to Melissa and Justin, but they didn't want it until after Christmas when they could go buy a new "more modern" bedroom suite. Then we will move the bedroom suite they have now over to mom's and the queen bed over here. I'll tell you what - I feel like all we do is trade furniture around. Hopefully, we will get things settled down right after the first of the year.

I guess I'll close for this week. I know that it doesn't sound like we do that much, but I promise we stay busy all the time! Well, I hope that you all are having a good week and that you are about ready for Christmas - remember the real reason for the season - Jesus Christ is the best present you could ever receive!

Take care and I'll talk to you next Sunday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, I thought I would include a few pictures of the decorations around the house and the patio. Above is the tree in the living/family room -taken from the breakfast nook. (Forgive Dan's cap - he is always hanging it on the back of a chair!)
This is the entry way (my mom made the quilt wall hanging for me) ---------------------

And the patio. I don't know if you can tell the changes we have made to the patio since the pictures that I have posted int he past - but we have put a shelf up over in the corner that wasn't there before and added some decorations on it. A clock and some other things, but they are on the wall you can't see. I'll post some other pictures after Christmas when everything gets "back to normal".

Well, the first week after Thanksgiving break is over - now we have two more to go before we get our Christmas break! I can't wait. There is so much I need to do and I just don't seem to have any time at all. Between working all week (I leave for work at 7 in the morning and don't get home until between 4:30 and 5 in the afternoon) and coming home exhausted - to trying to help mom on the weekend (she is STILL unpacking boxes) I just seem to get anything done at home.
Yesterday Dan and I did decided to spend the day together and we went to Orlando and spent the day at Outdoor World Bass Pro Shop looking at boats (Dan's idea) and IKEA looking for inspiration (my idea). Actually, I wanted to look for a new slip cover for the couch that Crystal gave us, but I refuse to pay $150 for something was "just to make do". Guess I'm just too cheap. Anyway, the only thing we bought yesterday other than food was a set of plain white dishes - now I can get rid of the plates we have been using that we had in the 5th wheel. I wanted plain white dishes that I can dress up or down depending on the occasion with salad plates, place mats, and napkins. That was less than $50 and we spent less than $20 on three meals out - we hit a real deal at IKEA - buy one whole meal for $5.69 and get one free and by drinking water it cost us less than $6 for both of us to eat a meal with salad and bread. Not too bad! (Breakfast and dinner were from Mickey D's). We left the house around 10 in the morning and got home about 7:30. Of course, 4 hours of this was travel time - there and back.
Today, I have been trying to get the laundry done after spending the morning at mom's helping her some - we got a lot of thing rearranged in the garage - and I have to admit that she has made a lot of progress in unpacking boxes. Now, she is going to have to start making some decisions on what she is going to keep and what she is going to get rid of. She has brought so much stuff with her it's like trying to put 50 pounds of *hit in a 5 pound bag - if you know what I mean. I look at all the stuff and just shake my head. But, it's her stuff and she is the one that is going to have to make the decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of.
Crystal and Kim are taking one set of good china and Melissa and Justin are taking another set - that should help a little, but there is still so much STUFF! She is saying that she is going to get rid of a lot, but I will believe it when I see it gone. I just want to see her get the house in order so she will fell better about things. Right now, there is so much stuff sitting around and so many boxes that you just feel closed in. But. like I have already said, she has to decide what she is going to do with it all (including all the material and quilting stuff - don't get me started on that!)
I haven't done ANY Christmas shopping. I know what we are getting Crystal and Kim - I don't think that will be a problem. The kids in Lakeland always get cash (that's the way they want it). I think I know what we are getting mom - that just leaves Melissa and Justin and they haven't given us "the list". Until then, I'm not even going to attempt to buy them anything (they might just have cash too and then they can buy what they want, but I hate to do that. I just don't think it's Christmas unless you have something to open on Christmas morning!) You might ask, what about you and Dan. Well, I think I have already told you that we are taking a cruise in January and that is our Christmas present to each other, but we have decided that we will spend $50 each on each other and that's all - no credit cards are allowed! It should be fun, IF I can find the time to shop without Dan with me. We'll see.
Well, that has been pretty much my week - I do have all my lesson plans written for next two weeks and just about all the copies run that I will need. I have a few more things that I need to do to get through until Christmas break. Next week I'm going to start working on the lesson plans for the week AFTER Christmas break - I'm going to try and stay at least a week ahead of where we are. Then I also have to think about what the kids are going to do when I am gone for the week - I have told the Assistant Principal I would like the sub in the room to actually be able to teach so I don't have to leave "filler" work for them. We'll see who they get, but I'm not going to worry about it - if they can't get a "real" teacher for that week, at least I asked.
Well, I think I am going to close for this week. I hope you all have a great week and ---------------
I'll talk to you on Sunday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our first Thanksgiving in the new house

Well, Thanksgiving is over and we have worked hard the last week getting the house ready for Thanksgiving dinner and the 16 people we had at the house for dinner. All went well I think - the pictures I have included in the blog today are of the two table settings. The one above was the "kids" table and the one below was the "main" table. I don't know if you can tell or not but we had folding chairs and tables we borrowed from school. Wasn't exactly the most elegant dining room set, but it served it's purpose and I think that everyone had a good time - which is the most important thing.

There were no real disaster's in the food preparation - even though the marshmallows did catch on fire on the candied yams - but that is a family tradition in my house - the first batch of marshmallows ALWAYS catch on fire - thank goodness for big packs of those white fluffy things.
We have packed all of Thanksgiving and fall away and the house is now decorated for Christmas. Three trees are up and decorated - the "formal" one in what will be the dining room - it's the one that can be seen from the front of the house - then the one in the family room - which is the one Dan and I can see - it can also be seen from the front of the house IF the front door is open and can be seen from the canal also - and finally, the one in our bedroom (which is really a small table top tree, but it's still a tree that had to be decorated). We have also put up lit garland on the patio, which can be seen from the canal also - there was no way to put lights up in the front of the house - plus we had gotten rid of most of our decorations when we went "full-time". Thanks goodness we saved some stuff. Anyway, it is nice to know that everything is now decorated.
A cousin of Dan's came up from Miami yesterday and spent the afternoon with us. It was nice to see Tom and his new wife. We had a nice visit and went out to lunch at the Tower View - a sandwich was nice after all the richness of Thanksgiving food.
Today I unpacked some crates that we had in the garage and found some of the clothes that I thought was missing. Some of my seasonal things that I used to wear when I taught school before - Christmas vests and shirts - too bad I didn't find them before Thanksgiving since there were some fall shirts in the crate also. Anyway, I got everything washed today and put away - so now I 'll have the Christmas stuff to wear the last couple of weeks of school before our next break. I guess I'm as ready as I'm going to be to go back to work tomorrow. Wish I didn't have to, but it's only for three weeks before we have Christmas break. Then, I go back for two weeks and then we have the cruise. I keep telling myself I can do this - but, I sure will be glad when this school year is over and done with! I'll have to look at some other way to make some money - maybe I'll look into teaching at the private Christian school here in town. At least, that's a thought.
Well, I'm going to sign off for this week. I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you are all ready for Christmas. Take care and --------------------
I'll talk to you on Sunday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some "After's"

Okay, I promised "after" pictures today and I am delivering. I figure you can make out what these are pictures of - especially after seeing the "before" pictures yesterday.
One of the things that I am sure you will notice is we still need to have sod put in the yard - but that will be another paycheck and after Christmas - some things must come first!

But I hope you can see how much better the front yard looks. I just wish you could see what the "before-before" looked like - I'm still working on getting those pictures from Melissa. I will say that the big areas where there is no grass was where we took the palm trees out and that does make a difference.
Now, let's move on into the bedroom ---------------

The mirror blinds are GONE!! This is the same shot as one that is in the before - maybe I should have put them side by side so you could really see. Anyway, I don't know if you can tell but the walls are a nice shade of green - and we have gone "tropical" -

We will still make some changes, but the basics of the room are there. Of course, when we start the remodeling some of this room will change, but at least I have some color on the walls and I can live with some changes.
Well, I hope that you enjoy the after pictures - and If I don't get back on line before I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving - we are having 18 to the house for dinner - should be a fun and exciting day. Whatever you have planned at your house - whether you are having people in or if you are going out - or even if you are having a nice quiet day at home - may it be the best ever and remember to be thankful for all we all have!
Take care and I'll talk to you soon!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The "Before" Pictures

Okay everyone - I promised that I would have some before pictures for you this week - and I do. The first three of the yard were taken last Monday - Dan took them for me because I had to go to work. This shot actually shows the new gate that Dan installed. We had the sidewalk to the garage door, but the fence on this side of the house did not have a gate - go figure. So, Dan installed the gate. Makes much more sense now. This shot is the front of the house (duh!). I wish I had the before -before pictues that showed all the palm trees. I am still waiting to get those from Melissa's computer - IF I ever get them I will post some of those - then you will really see a difference. Anyway, this shows the new screen door that we added on the front so now we can open the front door and get a nice breeze through the house and not have to run the air conditioning all the time.
The final shot of the outside is the front/side shot. As you can certainly tell the yard needed lots of help! Well, I don't have the "after" shots today - I will take the pictures tomorrow and post them tomorrow night. I'll explain why a little later.

Now, we move into the bedroom. These are the "before" pictures of the master bedroom - remember the "mirror" blinds I was telling you about - well, here they are. I really wanted you to see that I was not kidding!
This is another shot of the bedroom - I don't know if you can tell from these pictures or not, but this is a very large room. Probably, one of the largest in the whole house. This shot was taken from the entrance into the master bath.

Now, the reason I don't have the after pictures on here tonight is - Dan and I have worked almost all day today painting and redoing the bedroom. I will take pictures of both the landscaping and the bedroom and post them tomorrow - I think that you will be surprised in the difference on both.
Well, I am not going to stay on the blog long tonight - I am really tired - but I wanted to make sure to post today - since I promised that I would. I will be spending the next few days getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. Hopefully, I'll have pictures to share from that as well.
You guys take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow (it's been awhile since I was able to say that)!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goodness Gracious I'm TIRED!

Okay - I promised I would post today, so here I am! I am soooo tired and I have to go back to work tomorrow! Dan and I have been working around the house trying to get things organized - plus we have been moving stuff over to my mom's house and trying to get it ready for when she got here today. She got to our house about 12:30 and we took her over to her new house. She was so surprised that we had so much 0f her stuff already set up for her. She had a place to sit and I made up her bed for her, so she even had a comfortable place to sleep tonight. After we unloaded her car and put her cold stuff in the refrigerator (she had bought some dry ice in Georgia, so things were still cold) we went out and ate a late lunch. Actually, it has turned out to be lunch and supper, but that is okay! After we got back we walked around in her yard for a few minutes before coming back home so I could finish the laundry and working in the office.

I was determined to get the office organized today as well as getting the walk in closet organized. When we moved into the house we had just brought stuff into the house and if we couldn't find a place for it, we stuffed it into the closet. Well, to say that you couldn't set a foot inside the closet would be an understatement! But not anymore - it is neat, and straight. We even went over to the storeroom and got the metal file cabinet and brought it over and I have it all organized and all our files put away were we can actually find them again!

Melissa and Justin gave us a desk that they didn't want any more and it has really helped me get this room all straight. We think that we will probably just put a daybed in this room instead of a queen size bed - we'll get one that the trundle pops up and makes a king size bed (it just isn't as long as a normal king size) - but then the whole room won't be taken up with a bed that will probably only be used once a year IF then. At least, that's what we are thinking right now. Talk to me in a few months when we are ready to move the wall and do the built-ins. We might have changed our mind by then.

We also got "our" bed set up in our bedroom and the new comforter on - we are just waiting for the new blinds to come - they are suppose to be here by next Saturday at the latest. Oh, we also went to Sebring on Saturday morning and got the paint to do the bedroom - hopefully, Dan will be able to paint the room next week while I am at work. I don't know if he will be able to or not, or if it will be the week of Thanksgiving, but I would really like that room finished before we have company on Thanksgiving. We'll see.

We also spent some time today cleaning and straightening the garage. The new stove got delivered yesterday afternoon - but we didn't have them haul off the old one because we didn't know if my mom would want to use the old stove since hers has the problem with the glass in the door. I don't think she wants this one - so we will probably donate it next week. However, we got a lot of things cleaned out of the garage - so it looks much better. We still have some things that we need to take to storage - lamps mostly that we just can't use right now, but I don't want to get rid of - we might we able to use them after we get the remodeling done. So, for now we will take them back to the store room until we decide whether or not to keep them.

Tomorrow the landscaper is suppose to be here to do the front of the house. I can't wait to get home from work and see how it looks. I'll take pictures and post them next week.

Well, I don't have much else to report - I don't know what to expect at work next week - this will be the first week with the kids before a major holiday - guess we'll just have to wait and see. So, since I don't have anything else to tell you about and I am so very tired I think I'll just sign off for tonight and talk to you again next weekend. I hope that you all are having a good fall and are almost ready for Thanksgiving!

Take care and I'll talk to you next Sunday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Okay I'm officially a bad blogger!

Hello all - yes, I'm still here, and yes, we are still working on the house - I just don't have any pictures to post and I've been really busy with school. I just don't seem to have the time that I used to have to be on the computer. Anyway, even though I don't have any pictures to share, I will try and catch you up really quickly.

For two weeks the guys were here working on the irrigation in the yard. Finally, that was finished the middle of the week and we have been in touch with the landscaper and all of the landscaping should be in before Thanksgiving! Yeah!!! After that, we are going to take a break before doing anything else - with the holidays we want to concentrate on that, plus my mom should be completing her move next weekend. The mover is suppose to be at her house in Atlanta on Thursday to finish the packing (they are doing the breakables), and then load her stuff on the truck on Friday. She will be here on Sunday and the movers will be here with her stuff on Monday. Poor Dan, he will have to be the one to go over and help supervise that since I will be at work for another week before our Thanksgiving break. Anyway, I am hopeful that all will go well with her move and we will be able to get her settled by the first of the year.

After the holidays - Dan and I will be going on a week long cruise (that is our Christmas present to each other, and yes, I am taking a week off work - YEAH!). Then, when we get back the middle of January, we will start back on the house. Dan has one more project that he wants to get done on the outside of the house and then we will start on the inside - Kitchen first. We did have to break down and buy a new range for the kitchen this weekend - the one that came with the house died! Oh well, at least I got to get what I wanted and it was on sale! We have also bought a few things to get the house ready for the holidays and company - we bought some new blinds for our bedroom (we are getting rid of the "mirror" blinds - no kidding the blinds that are in the master bedroom are silver reflective!) Anyway, we had to order the blinds, but they are suppose to be here no later than the 21st. I would love to get the bedroom painted, but that might be pushing it. We bought a new comforter set at BB & B yesterday and new bedside lamps today at Pier One. We will be putting up our bed next weekend - we'll take mom's stuff to her house so that will be set up for her when she gets here.

Things are coming together just alot slower than I would like. I also figure that, when we do start working on the inside, I will get frustrated before things are finished. Dan says that I want things done yesterday - which is probably true. I am going to try and be patient, but I think he is trying the patience with doing all the work outside first, instead of doing stuff on the inside. I know that we aren't doing EVERYTHING outside, but we are doing a lot more than I thought we were going to do to begin with. Oh well, it will all work out in the end.

Hopefully, I will have some pictures to post by the next time I post - which I hope to be next weekend. I'll take some pictures of the bedroom now and then what it looks like when we get out bed in and the new comforter and blinds. (maybe even the paint - but I won't push it!)

Hope everyone if doing well and I will try and do better about posting. Take care and I'll talk to you next week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hot Air Balloons

Well, I don't have any pictures of the house to post tonight - it was a week of getting estimates to continue work outside - landscaping, irrigation, concrete work, etc. Still trying to get things done outside. We know that we will be doing the landscaping AFTER we get the irrigation done - so hopefully that will be around the first part of November. We'll have to wait and see what the estimate for the irrigation runs.

The only thing that Dan and I did around the house this weekend was move the shed. I mean we jacked it up using a fulcrum and lever and put concrete blocks under it, then put big pieces of PVC pipe and rolled it about 4 feet. Dan wants to work on getting the roots out from where we took the Royal Poinciana tree out and the roots were under the shed. Plus we wanted to move it back about a foot or so after we get it level. Just a lot of work. Anyway - after we worked on that we came in and took a shower (we were both VERY dirty) and then got in the pool for a little while to relax.

I spent this afternoon grading papers and getting everything ready for the grade book program at work. I also wrote lesson plans for next week. It took all afternoon to get all the papers graded, but at least I'm all caught up now. Hopefully I'll be able to stay caught up and stay ahead of the game with lesson plans. I don't like having to write them for the week over the weekend. We'll see.

Oh, in case you are wondering about the picture that I posted at the start of the blog tonight - there was a very small hot air balloon festival out at a local winery over the weekend - this picture was taken from our back yard of one of the balloons - there was probably 6 or 7 balloons that we could see. By the time I got in the house and got the camera and changed the lens this was the only shot I could get. Dan and I went out to the winery last night (well, late yesterday afternoon), but there were no balloons out there - in fact there really wasn't much of anything going on. But that's okay - we went anyway and I guess that was the important thing.

Well, I don't have much else to report tonight - so I'll sign off. Hope you all had a good week and I'll talk to you next Sunday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Around the Pool

Okay, I know, I know. I said that I would post on Sunday - well, in my defense, today is sorta like my Sunday. We did not have school today, so it seemed like Sunday to me. So, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Of course, Dan says that I have succeeded in messing his whole week up - but for an extra day off work, I'll mess with his "schedule".)

I decided to let you guys see what we have done with the pool area of the house first. (I don't have the before pictures. At the time that I took the before pictures my laptop was in Alaska and I downloaded them on my daughter's computer. I have hard copies of all the "before" pictures, but I don't have them on my computer - maybe I can get Melissa to email them to me so I can show you before and after.) I did want you to see what we have been working on.

The pool deck has been painted - it was a light gray with "swirls" of different colored paint on it - It is really pretty hard to describe how it looked.

We have also painted the entire house - it went from a gray to white with "bronze" trim and soffets and a burgandy front door (but that will be shown on a different blog). While the house is white, the porch area we painted blue to tie in with the pool and the canal.

This picture has already changed from when I took it this morning - We have added a shelf on the wall behind the chairs and I have put a lamp out side along with a different wall decoration along with some other decorative items - we think it looks much better - plus, I bought some different dishes for the table that brings a little more color there.

The door shown here goes into the guest bathroom.

The sliding glass doors "stack", so we can completely open up the back of the house.

I don't know if you can imagine what this looked like before - IF I can get the pictures from Melissa I'll post them so you will be able to see.
Anyway, we are really enjoying this area now. Today, we had a landscape guy come out and he is working up an estimate for us - not only for landscaping but also adding a stacked stone wall between the pool and the dock area and a patio area that would be Dan's outdoor kitchen area that will be done with pavers that will match the stacked stone wall. I'm sure this will have to be done in stages - and we will have to get the irrigation redone in the yard first. Our hope is to have all the outside done by the first of the year and then start on the inside of the house. Let's see how that goes.
Well, I won't stay on here that long tonight - have a few other things that I need to do before I go in and watch some football. Hopefully, you will enjoy the pictures and will see how far we have come.
Take care and I'll talk to you next Sunday!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So very busy!

Okay - I have not been a very good blogger lately. I have been so busy with work, the house, laundry, cooking, and all the other stuff that just gets in the way that I have not been on line in "like forever". I can't even show you pictures of all the changes that have taken place around here because Melissa has borrowed my camera.

Let's just say that we finally have a bed to sleep in (we are up off the floor and off the blow up beds!) and we are no longer sitting on lawn furniture in the living room. Carol and Neil came down today for a couple of hours and I fixed lunch - pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, and watermelon for dessert. Carol had never seen the house, but Neil had been here right after we got here - in fact, it was the Monday that I had to go to the county office and fill out the paperwork for my job (don't get me started on that!). Anyway, so much has changed since then.

First, all the palm trees are down in the front yard, all the overgrown landscaping is gone - the pool has been rescreened. Dan has gotten all the maps off the wall in the guest bathroom and has painted the bathroom - also, he has installed the new toilet in that bathroom so it is now a fully functioning bathroom. Oh, BTW, the whirlpool tub is also now working - haven't used it yet, but it is definitely something that I will be doing in the near future. Two weeks ago we took my mom back up to Atlanta to start her packing her stuff - we bought my daughter's car (so I would have a way back and forth to work) and I drove back on Sunday so I could report to work first thing Monday morning. Dan stayed to help mom for a couple of days and load a truck with our furniture that was at her house and some of her stuff. Well, he was suppose to come home on Thursday, but had the truck loaded by noon on Wednesday and left then so he was home by Wednesday night at 10:30. Thursday I went into work, but took 1/2 a day Thursday and all day Friday so I could help Dan unload the truck and get things put away. Well, I didn't tell him I was coming home early on Thursday, so when I got here I found him in the swimming pool. Boy, was he surprised to see me!!! He looked like the little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar - it was really funny! Anyway, we worked the rest of Thursday and had the truck unloaded except for two pieces that I just wasn't strong enough to help him with - a "hide-a-bed" sofa of mom's and our entertainment center. Anyway, our son-in-law, Justin came over after he got home from work and helped Dan with those two pieces and we fixed dinner for the kids. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was spent putting things away. We even starting getting boxes out of the storage room and finding a place to put those things.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we actually have a house that looks like someone lives in it. Things are still going on - yesterday the painter came and pressure cleaned the pool deck - tomorrow he will come and paint it and then start to pressure wash the house getting ready to paint the exterior. Then we will check on the concrete work that Dan wants to do before having the yard graded, the irrigation system replaced, and new landscaping and sod installed - that should take all my pay through Christmas. MAYBE after the first of the year we will be able to start in the house with moving the walls, redoing the bathrooms and kitchen. Like I said - so MUCH to do!

School is school and I will let it go at that. It is a means to an end and I won't comment any more.

When I get the camera back I'll post some pictures - hopefully by next weekend. I will do my best to start posting again at least once a week and keep you up to date on all the changes that are going on - I'll try and post before and after pics. Also, on the last post in September I asked what you thought about the title of the blog - well, I think we will stay with what we have - as one of my friends said "We are never "there" in life" and that is so true - and the "there" now is the house done - that will be awhile! Once again, IF you know of anyone that wants a really nice 5th wheel have them email me - we need to sell the Montana!

I hope that you all are doing well and that you will stay with me - I will try to do better and blog every Sunday afternoon. In the meantime - take care and ------------------------

I'll talk to you Sunday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So Much is Happening

I'm going to have to take pictures so you will see how many changes have been made to the house in the last week. All the palm trees are down in the front and hauled away - almost all the plants are out in the back and around the house - there is just one side left to do. It is amazing how much better everything looks. All the neighbors have come over to tell us that they really appreciate what we are doing. I guess we are the talk of the neighborhood.

I think I am going to have to change the blog - I mean, we are definitely THERE now - and everything is going to revolve around work (which is going okay - I finally am somewhat caught up!) and the house. So "Are We There Yet?" just doesn't seem appropriate. So, I am leaving it up to a vote - everyone has a week to vote - should the new blog be - "Is It Finished Yet?" or "When is it going to be Finished?" - or add a suggestion of your own.

Thanks everyone - I will be excited to see what you decide.

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

One week down!

Sorry I haven't been posting every night - I'm been trying to play catch-up at work. I have been staying just one day ahead of the kids, but hopefully I'll get ahead this weekend. I am taking today and tomorrow off, but will go up to school on Monday to try and get my room some what arranged and decorated. Well, I said that I am taking today off, I will probably work on lesson plans today some - and maybe grade some papers - all my kids took a test yesterday - I have all of my 1st/2nd period graded and most of my 4th/5th period done. I just need to finish them and grade 6th/7th. I also need to create a new quiz for my two math classes because some didn't score above 70%. Our school has a policy that if the kids don't score at least a 70, they have to do enrichment work and retake the quiz. We will see how that works out.

I'm hoping to stay caught up once I get a handle on things. Dan and I are still trying to get the house straightened out - and get the 5th wheel empty. Plus, the guys are here working outside - we almost have all the trees down - the roof is cleaned off and the all the gutters are cleaned out. Next week they should finish with the trees and get all the overgrown scrubs from around the house. THEN we will work on getting the pool enclosure rescreened. It is just trying to get things done a little at a time. (I am not the most patient of people, so this is really bothering me, but I can only do so much - and all my time lately has just been on trying to figure out what I am doing at school!)

We have actually been in the house one whole week last night! It has been a quick week - so much going on! Now, if only the rest of the school year will pass that quickly! LOL! We are trying to figure out how we can get our stuff down and what we are going to do with the 5th wheel - we are serious that if any of you know someone that wants a really good deal on a GREAT unit have them contact us. Dan is talking about putting it on a lot here in Lake Placid that is a consignment lot - we will see how that works out. (He has already been boat shopping, but he can't get a boat until we sell the 5th wheel - only one toy at a time! Have to keep him motivated! We'll have to wait and see how that works out.)

We did get our DirecTV hooked up this past Wednesday. Plus, our friend - Neil - brought us a load of stuff that we had left at his house so we actually have a tv where we can watch football - have a college game on now, and I was able to watch the first half of the South Carolina/Ole Miss game the other night. Okay, the TV is not very big - it's the one that we used to have in the office/3rd bedroom in Dowling Park, but it is a tv and that's more than we had a week ago. The most important thing is I have TV to watch now - and the regular Pro football season hasn't even started yet - but it is just around the corner - YAHOO!

Well, I'm going to sign off for today - I will try and do better next week. Think I might go out and get in the pool and cool off some. You guys take care and have a great Labor Day week end - BTW, my youngest daughter's birthday is Monday - Happy Birthday Melissa!!! Love ya!

Take care and I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Starting to Work

Well, this weekend was spent trying to get things out of the 5th wheel and find a place for them in the house. This is somewhat difficult since we don't have any furniture yet - so, we don't have anyplace to put things. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday cleaning just so we could stay in the house. Dan and I cleaned the refrigerator before we could go over and get the stuff out of the refrigerator in the unit and then I cleaned the master bathroom so we can use it. Then I vacuumed, sprayed for little spiders and vacuumed all of the dead ones up (remember the house has been empty for over two years). Did a little mopping, but I didn't do any deep cleaning because we had already arranged for a housekeeper to come in today and clean. She got all the kitchen cabinets cleaned and ready for me to put the dishes away - I had already run the dishwasher with all the dishes in it - now, I have to do all the pots and pans. Things are coming along.

Today, I went to the county office and filled out all the paperwork that I needed to - had my fingerprints done, and my drug test done. I thought I would start on Wednesday - September 1st - that was when they said in the county office, but the school called late this afternoon and I start in the morning! YIKES!!! Not sure I'm ready, but I guess I just do what needs to be done. It's all good.

We thought the tree man was coming today to start working on taking down all the palm trees in the front yard, but he won't be here until Wednesday. We also called and the Direct TV will be installed on Wednesday morning also. YAHOO! We will have TV in time for weekend football - and before you ask - yes, we have a TV. Thanks to our friend Neil - he drove down today and brought us some of the stuff that we had left with him in Dowling Park when we sold our house there and one of the things he brought was a small TV. Hey, it might be small, but it's a TV!

Dan and I went back up to Sebring today and bought a few things for the house - like a new garbage disposer and a new door lock for the front door. We also picked up a few things at Wal Mart and I also got an office chair so I'm not sitting on my knees trying to type on the computer! Things are looking up!

Well, I need to run and go finish fixing dinner. I'll try and post more frequently, but until things get settled I can't guarantee anything. In the meantime - I hope your week is going well, and---

I'll talk to you soon!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Home Owners

Well, after a little delay and a few little problems we closed on our house this afternoon. We are now the proud owners of an "ugly" house, but it won't always be ugly. If anyone knows Dan they know that he will redo it and in a few months (well, okay, maybe a year) the house will not even look like the same house! I think I'm going to have to change the name of the blog (or start a new one) with the title "Are we DONE yet?" I'll be sure to let you know if I decide to do that.

This morning I had an appointment to have my hair cut and boy did I even get it cut - it is SUPER short - the shortest Dan has EVER seen my hair. But with a pool and all I didn't want to have to worry about blow drying my hair every time I went swimming.

Also, in case you are interested - I got the job! Yep - I will be teaching 6th grade Science/Social Studies and Math. I'm really excited - can't believe I'm so excited about going back to work! Oh well, guess that tells you what kind of person I am!

I started this last night - and didn't get a chance to post it - so after our first full day in the new house I think I am going to head off to bed. I'll try and do better about posting - but right now, with us trying to get the 5th wheel cleaned out and stuff out of the storage room and put things away - plus clean the house as we are going - I'm just a little tired at the end of the day. We did go swimming a couple of times today - once with Melissa and Justin and then tonight. It sure did feel good!

Well, I hope your weekend in going well, I'll let you know when I start to work and how things are going in the house. Take care and ------------------------

I'll talk to you soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Day in Lake Placid

Well, we did the final walk through on the house today and everything looks fine for closing tomorrow afternoon at 3. I just hope and pray that the closing goes smoothly.

I had the job interview this afternoon, but I'm not sure how it went. I don't know if I did well on the interview or not - I guess that I can't worry about it, but it sure is hard not to worry. Anyway, I just have to think that IF this is what the good Lord wants me to do it will work out - just put my faith in the Lord and all will work out. (Sometimes it's just hard to let go!) I'll let you know what happens - good or bad.

My mom also put in an offer on a house today, but I don't think that is going to work out either - doesn't seem like the bank wants to negotiate. We'll just have to wait and see how that plays out too. Seems like all we are doing right now is waiting on other people to tell us how our life is going to play out. Our closing, my job, and the house for mom. Sometimes I get a little impatient and want things to go exactly the way I want when I want it. I know that is not the way it works and I'm really trying to be more patient - but it is really hard.

Well, I'll close for now - I talked enough yesterday. Just pray a little prayer that all goes the way it is suppose to go and that I have the fortitude to let go of my ambitions and let the Lord lead the way. (I mean, He has taken care of us so far - I'm sure he will continue to do so.)

Take care everyone and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Made it to Lake Placid!

Well, Dan and I got into Lake Placid last night about 8 o'clock - which means that we made the trip from Juneau, Alaska to Lake Placid, Florida in one week - we left Juneau at 3:30 local time last Tuesday (7:30 Eastern time) and arrived in Lake Placid one week and 30 minutes later - not too bad! Dan and I spent all our nights but two in rest areas (we stayed at a campground once in Canada - Ft. Nelson, Yukon, and outside of Macon, GA on our last night). We were up and on the road no later than 7 every morning (in fact, most mornings we were on the road by 6) and we drove until at least 9 every night (most nights till 10 and one night we actually drove to 1am - but more on that night later!). Dan was determined to get here as quickly as humanly possible, but even he was surprised that we made it in a week.

For the most part, our trip across country was very uneventful; however, there were a few times that made us hold our breath. Let's start on day one - our last morning in the campground was very uneventful - we did our morning rounds, had everything packed in the unit, and had all our paperwork turned in to the Ranger Station. We left for the ferry terminal at about 12:45 and was at the terminal before our 1 o'clock time frame. The ferry came in and was unloaded - then we just stood (or sat) around and waited, and waited, and WAITED! Finally, a girl that worked for the ferry system came over and told us that they were having a problem with an area on the ferry and the Coast Guard would not allow them to load until it was fixed. They thought they had found the problem and had gone to get the part. However, if that didn't work they would have to cancel the sailing and we would have to reschedule. Well, I was getting ready to panic - I mean I was worried that we wouldn't make it in 10 days and they were talking about canceling and the next few ferries sailing did not have room for a 55 foot unit! Well, I sat and fretted for about 30 minutes when all of a sudden they came over and put us on the ferry first! Yahoo! The first hurdle was past and within 45 minutes we were underway. We arrive in Skagway about 10 Tuesday night and we decide we would just sleep at the terminal instead of trying to find a campground that late (plus, we had heard that the campgrounds in Skagway were really expensive!). Dan woke me up at about 5:30 Wednesday morning and off we went.

We didn't have any issues passing through customs to get back into Canada and we headed across the country. Our goal was to make it to Watson Lake (the place where we spent my birthday night back in May), but we were there by 4 in the afternoon and Dan didn't want to stop - so, we kept going. At about 8 Wednesday night we had made it to Ft. Nelson and decided to stop for the night - finally found a campground - got hooked up and turned the water on when the toilet starting leaking! So, Dan tried to fix it and just couldn't figure out what was the issue, so we just turned the water off and went over to the bath house for a quick shower. We were up and on the road Thursday morning by 6:30.

Thursday was uneventful for the most of the day - we made good time and Dan was feeling good about the progress we were making. We ran into some rain, but it wasn't bad. Then the trouble started. We are coming into Edmondton - I'm looking at the Milepost and having to read it backward - as it is intended for people who are heading INTO Alaska NOT coming out of Alaska. This had not been an issue until we reach Edmondton - we needed to change from the road we were on to the Expressway #2. Well, guess what - Edmondton does NOT mark their roads - I guess they figure everyone knows where they are going - NOT. So, here it is, dark, raining and we have no idea where we are going with a 38 foot 5th wheel behind us. We end up in downtown Edmondton driving down through streets that are meant for cars NOT us - well, we finally see a sign that says Route #2, but it doesn't say which way to go - so we go through this intersection and just as we are passing the intersection we see this man frantically waving for us to turn. Well, we can't and I look up and there is an underpass that is too low for us to go under. Dan gets us stopped, but we are in the middle of a busy downtown street, in the rain, and we are stuck. We can't go forward and we can't turn around - it's a one-way street! Well, Dan gets out and talks to this man who had been standing on the side of the road. The gentleman stands out in the middle of the road, in the rain, and stops traffic so we can BACK UP and go the correct way! I was so proud of Dan, backing up the unit around a curve, in the rain, and didn't hit anything or anyone. Turns out, this man was homeless, who we think the good Lord put there as an angel for us. We handed him some cash to say thanks and were on our way. It still took us another half an hour before we found the correct road and then it was just by accident - I saw a sign that said "Calgary Trail" and we turned on it - turned out to be the road we needed. I was a wreck - I can say that I said some very unpleasant things about Canada and Edmondton. By the time we got out of Edmondton we were almost out of fuel. Now, we can't find a fuel station that is open that we can get the unit into - it's after 11 by now. Well, thank goodness we had extra fuel in the back of the truck that we had talked about using. We put in 10 gallons of fuel and talked to a trucker that was at the "rest area" (which is really just an extra lane on the side of the expressway that you can pull off into). He told us that our best chance of finding fuel would be Red Deere. So, to make a long story short we make it to Red Deere, find fuel, and head off down the road again. We travel about 30 more miles down the road until we finally found a rest area that we stopped at for the rest of the night. By this time it was after 1 in the morning and Dan and I were both whipped. We slept for about 5 hours and was back on the road by 6 the next morning.

I was determined to get the heck out of Canada - and by now were were a good day ahead of schedule. So, we drive straight through Calgary and head for the border - we reach the border for the US at Sweetgrass, Montana at about 11:30 am Friday morning. It took us about an hour to get through customs - not because of any problems, but because of the amount of people that were crossing the border. Anyway, we were in Great Falls by early afternoon and Dan wasn't ready to stop. So, we kept going again until about 10 when we stopped at a rest area again - this time close to Billings, Montana.

We don't have any trouble or any issues on the rest of the trip until we reached Georgia yesterday. Everything was going fine and right outside Macon (just before we got on I-475) we decide to stop and let the pups go potty. As we are letting them run some, Dan decides to go to the bathroom in the unit instead of walking over to the restrooms. When he comes out he says that he thinks that one of the tires is low. Well, we unload the basement and find the portable air pump which he sets up to put air in the tire. After 45 minutes we can tell that this isn't working. So, we decide to drive to the nearest fuel station and see if they have air that we can put in the tire. Which we proceed to do - as Dan is filling the tire I can hear the air escaping. I lean under the unit and find a "huge" hole in the tire that is leaking air as quickly as Dan is putting it in. So, we decide to drive just down the road to a new Super Wal Mart and see if they will change the tire for us. Well, they wouldn't touch it - so, I try calling roadside assistance with our insurance company (that's why we pay for the service, right?). Forty-five minutes we have yet to hear back from them, so Dan proceeds to change the tire himself - putting the spare on and putting the bad tire under the unit where the spare should be. I call and cancel the roadside assistance. We are finally back on the road by 7. We drive for a little while, but Dan is completely wiped out by the heat, humidity, and nerves - so we decide to stop for the night in a campground. We find one right off the interstate (The Pines) and pull in - hook up the electric and water. Dan goes to the bath house and takes a shower, while I take one in the unit. We are in the bed by 10 and have a really good night's sleep.

Up early the next morning and drive down to Lake Park - there by 9:30 and talk to our dealership about a few things that needs to be fixed while the unit is still under warranty. Dan also asks where is a good place to go to have a tire fixed. We go three miles down the interstate to the tire place - Dan is thinking that we will have the tire with the leak fixed and use it as a spare, but when we get the tire place we are shown that the leaky tire is ready to separate AND that there was a tire on the opposite side of the unit that has all steel belts showing! We don't know why that tire had not blown (thank you Lord!), but we buy two new tires and put them on the unit and put the spare back as the spare. It was close to 1 o'clock by the time we left the tire place, but we are on the road safe. The rest of the trip on down to Lake Placid was uneventful.

We decided to put the unit at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, as we need to have it attached to power to keep everything running. We get it set up, in the rain, thank you very much, but it is all set up and we don't have to worry about it. We headed down to Melissa and Justin's house where we are going to stay until closing. Today, Dan just couldn't wait to see the house - so, I called our agent and she met us at the house at 10 and Dan was finally able to see what we are buying. I was a little nervous about this, because he really had no idea what we were getting - I mean, yes, he had seen pictures, but pictures are just NOT the same. Anyway, he is happy and thinks that everything we have talked about will work out. Tomorrow we will do the final walk through before closing on Friday at 3.

Also, tomorrow afternoon I have "the" interview for the job - please keep me in you prayers and pray that I get this job. We really will need this additional income to be able to afford to do all the work that needs to be done in the house. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, I have written a small book today, so I will let you go for today. I'll let you know how things go as soon as I know.

Take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the Road

We are still on the road, but are making really good time. We got through Canada in less than 2 days and are now in Missouri heading toward St. Louis. Should make Paducah, Kentucky by tonight if not further - Dan is talking about driving all night with us switching off. I'm not too sure about that one. We have just been sleeping in Rest Areas and only stopping for fuel and to potty the dogs (I fix a sandwich for us with the egg salad I made before leaving Juneau. I'm not going to talk about all the adventures we had in Canada trying to get out of there - I will save that for when I am not boucing down the highway at 60 mph.

Just wanted everyone to know that we are doing fine and when we actually stop for a time other than just to sleep I'll do a real post and fill you in on all the adventures this little cross country escapade has given us. BTW - keep praying that I get that job in Lake Placid - looks like I might have an interview when we get there.

Take care and I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost packed

Well, we have worked hard today and have just about everything packed. We are not taking the "garage" - the guy who is taking our place is buying it from us - and Dan sold my bike (I wasn't real happy about that, but he says that we can buy another one once we get home IF I want another one). This way we don't have to worry about trying to figure out how we are going to transport it. We never could find a bike rack for the unit - so we would have a problem finding a way to get it home. (Really, it's okay - it is not going to hurt my feelings but I don't want Dan to know that!)

I still have to do a couple of loads of laundry - I just sent Dan in to take him shower so I can get a load started. I might not be able to get all the laundry done tonight - but I think I will have time in the morning. We don't have to be at the ferry until 1 tomorrow afternoon - so I will have all morning. Dan will work with Tom (the guy taking our place in the morning) and I can finish up with stuff here. I still need to cook the hamburgers and put them in the fridge and I'm thinking of browning some hamburger meat, so IF I want to make spaghetti one night all I'll have to do is cook the noodles and warm up the sauce and add the hamburger meat (of course, it doesn't take that long to brown the meat, so I might just hold off on that - depends on how much I get done with the things that HAVE to get done).

We worked together today and got the basement repacked - I think we have done a much better job of packing the basement then when we were coming out. Everything just seemed to fit better and we packed some other things in the basement that we had in the bed of the truck coming out. Of course, we did put two crates in the closet, and that makes a big difference. But I still think we did a much better job with things this time.

I will try and post tomorrow night, if we get into a park early enough. The ferry leaves at 3 (I know, I said that we had to be there at 1 - you have to be there 2 hours in advance or they give your space away) and it takes four and a half hours to get to Skagway. IF we are on time that will get us there at 7:30 and then have to find a place to camp for the night. I'm sure that we will both be tired - so, I might be able to post again until we get to the lower 48. I can always post while driving in the truck if I have to when we get down that way. So, if you don't see any new posts from me until the weekend you will know that we are in Canada and headed home and I will get you caught up as soon as I can.

In the meantime, you guys take it easy. Oh, by the way, I have applied for a job down in Lake Placid - say a couple of prayers that IF it is what the good Lord has in mind for me to do, that I get this job. It will certainly help with the remodeling! Thanks everyone.

Take care and I'll talk to you down the road!

The count down is on

Well, "T" minus 42 hours and counting until we leave on the ferry. Hard to believe, but I was busy today getting ready. I made chicken salad, egg salad, pasta salad, and a cinnamon stussel bread for the trip. Tomorrow I will cook some hamburgers in the skillet and put them in the fridge - that will be supper some nights when we have driven all day and I don't feel like cooking anything else. We also have bought hot dogs and chicken patties that will be a quick easy dinner. I know, this will not be the healthiest of meals, but it will fill the hollow spot and get us through the night. We will make up for it when we get back to Florida. I also did another load of laundry today - tomorrow afternoon, after we finish loading everything we will both take a shower and I'll do the final load of clothes before we head out on Tuesday.

I still have a lot of packing to do inside - I didn't do any today because Dan talked to a guy this morning that seemed interested in buying the unit. I know it would have been a very long shot, but you never know. Anyway, he said that he had to talk to his wife and he never came back, so I guess she wasn't that interested. He was local and it would have taken a lot of work to get everything done before leaving on Tuesday, but I think we could have done it. Anyway, we will never know now. Like I said, we knew that it would be an absolute long shot, but I guess that wasn't meant to be.

Our boss did hire someone today to take our place - so we will train him tomorrow and then follow him around on Tuesday morning to make sure he understands everything that has to be done. Right now, he is camped in the campground - and he will move onto our space after we leave on Tuesday afternoon. I'm glad they found someone - and then I won't have to worry so much about helping Dan out tomorrow - I can concentrate on getting everything packed up inside the unit and pad those things that needs to be padded.

Tonight we went out for the last time here in Juneau - Dan wanted to take me to this place he found while I was in Florida that serves Fish (Halibut) and Chips. It was really very good - very expensive ($12.95 per person plus drink) but we haven't found anything here that isn't expensive. I guess we could call this Dan birthday dinner since we weren't able to go out on Friday. Of course, while we were sitting there eating (I forgot to mention this was an outdoor place on the harbor overlooking the cruise ships) there was a group of kids playing around on the dock and all of a sudden this one little girl - probably 10 or 12 climbed over the railing and jumped in to the bay. I couldn't believe it - I know that water had to be in the high 30's or maybe the low 40's, but anyway you look at it that water is COLD! Well, she just proceeded to swim across the bay to a dock that was in front of the cruise ship and climb out. Then she ran around and did it again - these kids were just playing around jumping in the water and having a great time. It was unbelievable to us! You just never know what you are going to see around here.

On the way home we went over to the Visitor's Center to see if any of the bears were out feeding - I waited very patiently for about 10 minutes and out walked this little black bear. I was not able to get a good picture of him - first he hid behind some trees, then it got so dark that the flash would reflect off the leaves and you couldn't get a good picture, but at least we saw him and watched him catch a salmon and go up the side of the hill and eat it. That was pretty cool, I just wish I had been able to get a good picture - oh well.

Actually Dan and I talked this afternoon about all the things that we thought we would be able to do here in Juneau and weren't. For example, we never had any crab (which is really very good), we never rode the tram up Roberts Mountain, and we didn't get over to Admiralty Island to see the grizzly bears. We were trying to figure out why we didn't do these things and we figured that we are just too cheap - and the older we get the more frugal we become. Who would have believed that! Oh well, the next time we cruise up we'll have to take the excursion over to the Island and see the bears, and we can always order some crab and have it shipped to us.

Well, I think I will close for tonight- I need to go in and get ready for bed - tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I know that a lot of you that are still working have to report back to school tomorrow, if you didn't last week. Dan and I wish you a good school year with good kids and no problems!

Take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Campground full again - are you kidding me??

Okay - our last weekend in Juneau and at the campground and what happens? Absolutely beautiful weather which means that all the locals have come out to camp - so for two days in a row now the campground has been full! Who would have believed it - it has been raining for six weeks straight and the last two days have been crystal blue skies and warm (for Juneau, anyway) temperatures. Dan took this picture of the camper this morning as the sun was coming up - which reminds me - I haven't told you that we actually have a night time now. It actually gets dark around 10:30 until about 6 am - that was pretty amazing to me. When I left to go to Florida we only had about 2 to 3 hours of semi-darkness - when I flew in last Saturday night at 10:40 it was DARK! Oh what a difference a month makes - can't imagine what it will be like a month of now (but we won't see it).

We started packing today - getting ready for Tuesday. We actually had someone in the campground ask about the hosting position (which is posted on the kiosk's around the park). Dan told him what the duties entailed and he said that he was interested and would come up and get the number for Marc and call him on Monday - it would be good if that could happen - Dan could train him on Monday and then just follow him around on Tuesday morning to make sure he knows what he is doing and then we could be ready to leave early - we have to be at the ferry terminal at 1:00 - the ferry doesn't leave until 3 - and we won't get into Skagway until 7:30. We will spend the night in Skagway and then hit the road first thing Wednesday morning - Dan wants to be on the road by 7 am and drive until at least 7 pm. We'll see how that works for us. We are hoping to be out of Canada and into Montana by next Saturday afternoon/evening. Only time will tell.

Oh, by the way, if any of you know of someone who would like a great 5th wheel that is less than a year old - in great shape and at a reasonable price tell them about us. We will be looking to sell the unit after we get back to Florida - probably around the 30th of August. The unit is great - we just won't need it anymore with our "new" lifestyle. Dan says that he would like to sell the unit and the large 350 and get a 150 and maybe a pull-along trailer or expandable. We still want to be able to travel, but it will only be for 2 to 4 weeks at a time in the summer - and that probably won't happen the first year anyway. Sooooo, to make a long story short - we need to sell the big unit. Seriously - let us know and people know. If we can sell it directly, instead of having to go to a dealer, then we can sell it cheaper.

Today was one of those days where you are taking stock of what you have, what you need to do, and what you need to buy at the grocery store. I did another load of laundry - so that is all caught up again. I'll do another load tomorrow - towels - then do the final load of clothes on Monday afternoon after we take our showers and get cleaned up. Tomorrow I'm going to make some egg salad, chicken salad, and pasta salad - that should give us a good variety for sandwiches for the road. We are trying to clean out everything we can out of the refrigerator as far as left-overs go - the only thing in there now is the barbecue beef that I fixed today for dinner (I cooked a beef roast in the crock pot and then shredded it and added sauce - it was pretty good). Dan started going through the stuff in the basement and seeing what we can get rid of and what we need to keep - and how to repack it so we have a little more room. We do have to make room for my bike and we have a few things that we have bought here that we need to keep, but I think we are going to get rid of some things. I'm sure that we will get all that packed up tomorrow - including taking the "garage" down. I don't want to wait until the last minute to do things - especially if we don't have someone to train on Monday. That will mean we will have a lot of cleaning in the restrooms to do with the park being full for two days.

Okay - enough already - I have probably bored you guys silly, so I will close for now. I wanted to let you know that I was able to download a couple of pictures for you tonight - only took me two hours plus. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them.

This was on the lake this morning at sunrise. I thought it turned out pretty good - hope you like it too.

Take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Dan

Just wanted to wish my honey a Happy Birthday - we were going to go out to dinner tonight, but the campground is FULL so we can't leave! Oh well, we'll just spend the night in!

Catching up on some pictures promised

Hello, everyone! The last couple of days has really been hectic! I've been trying to get the laundry caught up, all the paperwork that needs to be filled out before we leave, helping Dan with the rounds, and trying to fill out a job application for Lake Placid. I think I have just about gotten everything done. I've talked to Highlands County School Board and have the application completed. I have also email the Assistant Principal and attached a resume. (I don't know if I should also email the Principal or not). Anyway, I have explained the situation and told her when we are leaving Alaska - my daughter, Melissa who also teaches at this school, has already talked to her. So, we will see what happens. If nothing else, maybe I can do some long term substitute teaching - we know that there will be at least one maternity leave after Christmas break to Spring Break - that might just be what will work out for this year and maybe have a full time position for next school year. We will just have to wait and see what plays out and what the good Lord has in store for me.

I have also talked to the Real Estate agent today - trying to set up some things for Mom to look at before we get back. I want her just to look at a few things and get a general idea of what she can afford. I really would prefer she not commit to anything until we get back, but who knows what she might do. Anyway, we will see what happens.

I told you about seeing the bear over at Steep Creek, at least, I think I did. Anyway, in case I didn't - close to the Visitor's Center there is an area where the salmon are running and it is a big bear viewing area. Dan took me over there on Sunday to see and there were two bears up in this tree fussing at each other. One of them finally fell out of the tree and went off into the woods, but this one stayed in the tree the whole time we were there - about 1/2 an hour. We went over again yesterday to see if I could be any better pictures with the long range lens on my camera, but they weren't out and the rangers have blocked off part of the trail due to their activity. We will try again before we leave.

I also told you about the salmon run - well, this is a picture of just some of the salmon in the creeks - I probably could have downloaded a better picture, but I did the downloading while we were sitting at McDonald's this morning after working on my application and emails. I can't download pictures from the campground - the Internet reception is just not good enough - so I do the downloading there and then come home and post. When we get where I actually have good service I'll try and post some better pictures.
That is something that I will not miss when we leave here - the spotty Internet service and phone service - I just got notification on my phone that I had missed a call and the phone never rang. Such is the life in the park.
Well, I don't have much else to report right now - I will continue to work on getting things ready to go - we did go over to another park and see the people that we met on the Alaska Highway coming out and we have been out to eat with once here (Karen and John) and let them know that we were leaving. We also were looking for a guy that Dan had talked to that he thought might be interested in the Camp host position, but he has already gotten a job somewhere else. I really don't know what they will do with this, but it won't be our worry after Tuesday.
I'm going to sign off for today - hope you guys are having a good week and --------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bear in the Campground

First, let me say I'm sorry I didn't get to post last night - we had so much cloud cover yesterday and last night that I was unable to get on line, much less post. However, while we were at the Ranger's Station yesterday morning I was able to download these two pictures of the bear that has been in the campground all season.

He is such a pretty little bear - and he really isn't aggressive - just hungry. We can almost walk up to him to scare him back into the woods - now, don't get too excited - we don't get THAT close, but, as you can tell, we were close enough that I got some good pictures.

He had pretty much eaten all the food at the campsite next to this one, but we are not sure what he was after on top of the picnic table. Anyway, he finally went off into the woods and didn't mess with anyone else that day - he has been back in today and has flatten a tent (didn't tear it up) and the people have put it back up and I guess they will be staying in it tonight. More power to them.
Well, let me catch you up on what is going on - we will be leaving Juneau and start heading back to Florida this coming Tuesday - the 17th. We talked to our boss, Marc, and just explained the situation and told him we needed to get home and wanted to leave as soon as we could and still get our end of the season pay - well, he told us Tuesday that we had fulfilled our contract and we could leave whenever we had to. So, we went down to the ferry terminal to see when we could change our tickets to and they put us on the afternoon ferry on Tuesday. We let Marc know today (he wasn't in the office yesterday) and we turned in our paperwork for last month today. He told us today just to make sure that we attach receipts for the amount of the end of season payment to our last expense report and we would be getting that money in a couple of weeks - at least that will help with the expenses getting home.
Dan is excited about leaving and getting back to Florida - I mean, he hasn't even seen the house that we are buying yet - and we will possibly be back in time for closing. It will probably be closer to the fact that we will need to postpone closing for a couple of days - have it on Friday instead of Wednesday and we should be there. We will know more after we get on the road, but Dan is sure that we will be able to get there in time. He is planning on putting in some long days - probably 12 hours at a stretch - and we will see how that plays out, but I know that we will not be doing any sightseeing on the way home. Which means that I need to cancel all the reservations that I have made at the Redwood Forest, Yosemite, and the Balloon Fiesta. Oh well, maybe another time. Getting home is more important right now.
We went over to the visitor's center today and was looking for more bears - they are having a field day with the salmon on the creek there - but we didn't see any today. We did see some on Sunday - and I have a couple of pictures - maybe I will be able to post them tomorrow for you - will depend on the weather (I will NOT be sorry to leave all this rain!) Of course, once we leave here until we get back in the lower 48 I won't be able to post - just like when we were coming out. I don't know about places with WiFi going home and IF we put in 12 hour days and then have to cook dinner I don't know if I will be able to do much blogging anyway - but I will try and keep you up to date on the stuff that is happening.
Well, I guess I have bored you enough with my tales - I will need to do some emailing of places in the next day or so - I'll let you know how that works out. You guys take care and .............................
I'll talk to you tomorrow (hopefully!)

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...