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Hi! Welcome to my little corner of the world - I'm glad you are here! This is the personal journal of my life in south-central Florida. Would love for you to follow along.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We have a House!!

Okay folks, I told you that IF the deal with the house was a "GO" I would publish pictures, if not then it would just go away. Well, here are pictures of the house so I guess you can say that the deal went through. So, this is what you see when you walk in the front door of the house - the swimming pool out to the canal. Not too bad of a view. That is the good thing - and it's about all I can say is a good thing. There is so much work to do on this house - you just can't imagine. BUT, that is what Dan loves to do - actually we both love to fix up houses and change them into the diamond they can be- and it will definitely keep him busy for a while (and that's a good thing).

Anyway, I have had the home inspection done, talked to AC men - yard men - pool enclosure men - tree people - pool people - homeowners insurance people - you name it and I've spoken to them in the last two days. I have arranged for the electric to be transferred to our name - made arrangements for the water - for the yard to be mowed, the pool to be cleaned etc. I have been a very busy girl the last few days, but it is all done now and I can leave tomorrow knowing that everything that needed to be done is done. I just have to call the people I have talked to when the closing takes place and everything will be handled.

Tomorrow Melissa and I leave for Atlanta. My brother is having some problems (he is sick) so I want to see him and my mom. Plus I get to see my oldest daughter who lives in Atlanta too. I will fly home on Wednesday (early in the morning). It will be good to get "home" - I miss Dan and the girls. We have so much to talk about and plan - it will be fun. Of course, I also know that Dan will be chomping at the bits to get back down here and see the house - remember, he hasn't seen the house other than pictures of it. (Think he trusts me or what???) Anyway, I know that if we didn't already have reservations for the Redwoods, Yosemite, and the Balloon Fiesta we would be back here in Florida two weeks after we leave Juneau. As it is we won't be here until the second or third week of October (you can pretty well place it in your memory bank that it will be the second week, because after the balloon fiesta Dan will be "hell bent for leather" to get here, and that's okay.

Speaking of leaving for Atlanta - I will not be able to post again until I get back home, I don't think Melissa is going to take her computer and I don't have one with me - so I won't be able to get on line. Once I get home next week I'll get back to my normal schedule and let you know everything that is going on. Before I leave you for the next couple of days I'll give you one more picture of the house ------------------------
After we have all the palm trees taken out of the front yard and around the driveway it will really change the looks of the house, but they have to come out. Just give us some time and the place will look completely different.

I hope that all is going well you all of you - and I hope that you have enjoyed the pictures. I will do the best I can to get you all caught up on the trip and everything once I get back to Juneau.

In the meantime, take care and ------------------

I'll talk to you next week!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Waiting for the paperwork

I'm just hanging out in Lake Placid waiting for the bank to send all the paperwork so we can finalize the purchase of the house. Once we get the paperwork we can order the home inspection and have that done before I leave to go back to Juneau. (Actually we have 10 days after we get the paperwork to get the home inspection done.) Our realtor says that it will not be a problem for us to have everything done before I leave - but we have to wait to get the paperwork.

Anyway, Melissa and I went to her school and worked there today - she moved into a new classroom and all the cabinets and bookshelves needed to be cleaned. So, we spent all day getting that done so next week she can put all her stuff away. Of course, we have to go to Atlanta next weekend before I fly back to Juneau - I can help her in her room next week except when we have to get the inspection done.

I want to go to Home Depot and Lowes sometime this weekend - I want to get paint chips and I also want to look at tile and bathroom cabinets, tubs, toilets, sinks, kitchen stuff - all kinds of things. There are all kinds of things that I want to look at but we can only look at this point, but at least we can get an idea.

Well, I really don't have much else to report - I have talked to Dan several times in the last few days - he is working hard in Juneau and I feel really bad leaving him up there having to work and I'm down here, but it was his idea - okay, it was both of our idea. It will all be worth it in the long run. I guess I will sign off for tonight - I hope that you are all having a good summer - and I hope you have a great weekend. Take care and ------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lake Placid

Hello everyone - well, today has been one of those days where you are sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. We were suppose to hear about the house today - we gave the bank 2 days to let us know if they accepted the offer.

About 4:30 the realtor called and asked me if I had gone by the house today - when I said no she told me that I needed to - the bank had had the yard cleaned up - I mean the house had been deserted for over 2 years and the yard was a complete disaster - overgrown so much you could hardly even see the house. Well, you wouldn't believe the difference - you can actually see the yard - okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little - there isn't any yard or at least any grass, but there will be with some rain. The point is the yard is cleaned up quite a bit and that will save us some big bucks just having that done.

The realtor meet us (Justin and I) at the house when Justin got home from work. We went in the house and took lots of pictures for Dan (73 to be exact). I even sketched out the house layout and took a picture of it so Dan could see what the layout is. We have uploaded all the pictures to Wal Mart picture studio and Dan will pick them up in Juneau at 5:30 his time.

Anyway, we should know something tomorrow as to whether or not we have the house. Now that the yard is cleaned up and I have been back in the house I think that we can make this house a jewel - it's a diamond in the rough (okay, really rough), but the potential is there and I know that we can make this place a really nice home.

Well, I'm going to close for tonight - so you guys take care and ----------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Florida

Sorry I haven't blogged in a few days - I guess the last time I blogged was last Friday night - before I jumped on a plane and headed down to Florida. I didn't mean to be cryptic or to worry anyone - really nothing is wrong with me or Melissa. There was just something that came up that I needed to check on.

So what would be so important that I would jump on a plane and fly to Florida at the spur of the moment??? Well, actually, it's a house - and not just any house, but a house on the canal to Lake June which we looked at when we were down at Highlands Hammock State Park back last December. We had told a Real Estate agent to let us know if this house came on the market - it had been deserted and we were told involved in a bitter divorce. Well, the house came on the market and it is in foreclosure - so Dan wanted me to come and look at it before we did anything "rash". Well, we have put an offer in and the bank has two days to let us know - which means they have until tomorrow. I don't know what will happen - Melissa says that we have bought an "ugly house", which is really true. It is an ugly house right now - it has sat empty for over two years - the yard looks like heck - very overgrown - but it can be a jewel. It will take lots of work, lots of money, and many long days, but it will be a beautiful place in a couple of years! (Plus, it has a pool for me and a dock on the canal for Dan!)

Anyway, it is not positive that we will get it but if we do I'll let you know. It doesn't mean we won't continue to travel - we just won't be full time any more - we will only travel in the summer - and we won't be doing assignments any longer. We will "just" travel - I think Dan will like that much better. The house will certainly give Dan something to do in the winter time - this house is one HUGE project - you just don't know. IF this deal comes together I'll post pictures, but I'm not going to show you unless it does. Just know that we are working on it.

Okay, so now you know about the great "secret" and the reason for my quick trip to Florida. I really didn't think you guys would think something was wrong - but I'm glad to know that some of you were reading. As I said, nothing is wrong with me or Melissa (or Justin for that matter) and I'll post pictures of the "ugly" house IF we get this thing together. I will be flying back to Juneau on the 28th of July one way or the other. I'll try and blog more while I am here - so just check in and see what is up. Thanks for sticking with us!

Take care and -----------------

I'll talk to you later!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So Much Happening!

This is going to be really short and sweet because I need to catch a flight in the morning at 8:00 am. I'm flying down to Ft. Myers - long story that I don't have time to explain tonight.

If you don't see any entries for a few days I will be in Lake Placid and I'm leaving my computer here for Dan - so I'll have to borrow my daughter's. Anyway, I will do my best to blog when I can.

Keep checking back!

Take care and ----------------

I'll talk to you when I can!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finally got those berries picked!


Well, I finally got those berries picked that I talked about yesterday - I didn't get it done until today though. Seemed like all kinds of things came up yesterday to keep me from getting to the berry patch. First our "big boss" came out to see us. Actually, the Juneau Ranger District just got a new administrator (Pete, that we met when we first got here retired the first of June), and SHE came out to meet us. She brought Marc boss with her - in case you are getting lost - Marc is the ranger that is in charge of getting volunteers here at the campground. Anyway, she wanted to not only meet us but to see if we had any ideas to make the campground better, or any complaints. We have had some ideas, like putting a sensor on the gate so people can get out if they need to go catch an early ferry, and some complaints - Dan is still complaining about using our truck to do rounds with - and we also suggested that they run cable to the host spot - the host could pay for it IF they wanted to (we would), but at least they would have that option. I don't know if any of this will get done while we are here, but at least next year's host will have the option to have cable.
After we had that meeting Dan decided that we needed to go clean the other bathhouse that we had not done before. So, we went and did that - which took most of the afternoon. By the time we finished I was too tired to go pick blueberries. I did come in and fix dinner and then clean up the kitchen before watching another movie (did I tell you that we had borrowed some movies from the people that we have gotten to know through their camping here - we ate dinner with them a couple of times last week when they were camping). Anyway, we borrowed Windtalkers, Twilight (yes, Melissa, we are going to see what all the hype is about), and two made for TV movies that have been put on DVD - both with Tom Selleck The Jesse Stone series. We have watched everything now except Twilight so I guess that will be tonight's movie.
Today has been a good day - and, as I said, I got some berries picked. I guess in about 1/2 an hour we picked about a quart. I'm hoping to get enough to be able to freeze some to use this winter in pancakes and muffins. We'll see how it goes - I only picked off one bush - I don't know how many Dan picked from - but I don't think he was as thorough as I when it came to getting all the ripe berries off the bush. That's okay - at least he helped me.
The weather here the last couple of days has been great - the sun is shining and the temperatures have gotten up to about 63 degrees. So much better than last week!!! I don't know how much longer we are suppose to have good weather - I think just one more day - I think I heard that it is suppose to start raining again on Saturday - we'll see - Guess we just need to be thankful for the good weather when we get it.
I don't have much else to report today - Dan is waiting for me to go to the store (another thing we didn't get done yesterday). Oh, I almost forgot. The picture at the beginning of the blog is a Trumpeter Swan that is now on the pond in the campground. I thought that you might enjoy seeing him.
Take care everyone and ------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Berry Picking

Okay - thanks for those that are sticking with me on this journey - as I said before, this is going to tell "the good, the bad, and the ugly". I guess a couple of days ago you could say that it was "the bad and the ugly", but I think everyone is entitled to a down day every once in awhile and Monday was mine. I'm all better now and we are back on track.

There is actually some sunshine today - I would call today overcast - but that is better than "rain" - and I think that I will try and get out and do some berry picking. We have wild blueberries growing around us - not on cultivated "trees" like I used to pick in North Carolina - but on bushes that grow close to the ground. I really have a two prong plan on picking the berries - one, it will give us some for muffins and pancakes; two, it will get rid of a "bear attractor" (don't need the bear too close to the house!). Plus it will get me outside (so I guess it is a three pronged plan). Actually, last night when I took the pups out right before bed, I picked a good handful while I was waiting on them to do their thing. So, they are really close to the house. I won't have to go far to get plenty I don't think. I'll let you know.

Dan is out doing rounds this morning - he was starting doing the morning rounds without me - he has to get up so early to open the gate in the morning (he lets me and the pups sleep in) that by 9 o'clock he is ready to do something. I am usually only starting my second cup of coffee and, for those of you that know me, I don't do a whole lot before at least two cups. Actually it has worked out well - he leaves and does the rounds (checking bathrooms) while I have that second cup, then I get dressed, make the bed, clean up the kitchen, and like this morning - get a load of laundry started. It works well for both of us. If there is something big that needs to be done - then he will wait and we will do that later in the day (usually after 2 - that is when everyone who is leaving should be gone and the new people shouldn't be here yet). Not a bad schedule.

We are also going to have to go into the store today - there are a few necessities that we are out of - like milk and bread - so we will do a grocery run. Dan also wants to go by the library and see if he can find him something to read. We have tried several different books and he just can't "get into them". So, he thought, instead of spending money on books he is not reading he will try the library. Not a bad idea. I'm still reading on the ones we bought on the trip out here - have finished Laura Bush's book on my nook - and several of the paperbacked books - I think I have 6 left to read - about three quarters of the way through one. I'm good for a while. You might wonder what we do with the books that we have finished reading, or in Dan's case not read, well we have started a 'book exchange/borrow' thing here in the park. I have a plastic bin on the picnic table with a sign on it that so people know they can get a book. So far, it is working well and we have had several people use it. Just one more thing we are trying to do.

I wanted to say thanks for the words of encouragement from the person in "sun drenched Texas" - it is nice to know that people care. Thanks - and I'm back on target! Just needed to get my act back together.

Well, I'm going to sign off for now - will let you know how the berry picking goes - maybe I'll have some pictures! In the meantime, I hope that you are having a good summer and staying dry where ever you are! Take care and -----------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Strange Day

Today has been a very strange day (ending with just erasing this entire post just as I was getting ready to post it!). I don't know what has been the problem with today - it just hasn't felt right. We have done our rounds for tonight and are in for the evening - in fact, Dan is getting ready to watch a movie.

I told Dan yesterday that I don't think I could live here in Juneau ( and not just because of the winters). I don't think I could handle the rain - it has rained here for four days and it is suppose to continue until at least Friday (when they say the chance of rain showers is only 70%). Anyway, I really don't even think I mind the rain that much - if only it were a little warmer. The HIGH today was 48 - yep, you read that right. In Florida, 48 would be a nice temperature in January NOT July 5th. I have only worn long sleeve shirts since we have been here - when I start to go outside I put on my hooded sweatshirt and then my rain coat over that. I think I am just tired of being cold - I don't feel like I ever get dried out. Oh well, there is nothing I can do about it and I'm here until September 10th, so I might as well get used to it.

I have been trying to open an email that I received on Friday and had been unable to - so we loaded everything up tonight and went to McDonalds to use their free WiFi. You know that I had forgotten what it was like to use real Internet service - to be able to click on a web site and it to come up immediately. Wow! I think I have said it before , but I got better Internet service sitting on top of a mountain in rural Pennsylvania last fall than I get in the capital of Alaska. Oh well, another thing that I will just have to deal with.

It sounds like I am in a complaining mood tonight - see I told you that I just don't feel like things are right today, so instead of boring you with the complaints that I have - I'm going to sign off for tonight.

Take care and ---------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Guess what - it's RAINING!!! It rained so hard yesterday and last night that they cancelled the fireworks!! Now - that is raining. We talked to some of the locals yesterday and they said that it is the first time since they have lived in Juneau (and a couple have been here over 20 years) that the city cancelled the fireworks. The radio said that the cloud cover was below Roberts Mountain (which is where they shoot them off from) so even if they had no one would have been able to see them. They were suppose to do them tonight - but with all the rain today I don't know if they will or not. We did have a few fireworks from the people that live close to the campground and over at Skater's Cabin, but nothing worth worrying about. We locked the gate at 10 just like normal. I really think that we dodged a big bullet and I am ever so grateful!

The campground is pretty quiet today - people are staying under their tarps in their own campsite or they are packing up to go home. I think that the rest of the summer we will have mostly tourists coming through and not too many of the locals will be in the campground - unless it's the people who don't have any where else to live. We still have some people that want to stay here permanently - but, when we tell them that there is a 14 day limit and that the rangers enforce it - they move on after their 14 days. I don't know where they go, but they are not here.

Speaking of the rangers - they have told us that in August - when the rain really set in - a lot of the campground will be flooded. There will be parts that we will be able to get to because we are in a truck but the campsites will be underwater and the roadway will be flooded also. That will be something to see - and I'll post pictures IF that occurs. Something to look forward to.

Dan has gone to Walmart - Home Depot. He wants to see if he can figure out a way to do a tarp so he can sit outside and have a fire. He said that if he bought a cheap tarp that he didn't care if he got holes burned in it then he would figure out some way to string it up so he would have a relatively dry place to be outside. Seriously, the way the locals string tarps up from the trees around here it is amazing. They have their own way to do things - and the rangers don't care if they tie stuff to the trees. I know that we have been in some parks that you were not allowed to put anything on the trees - and I know some rangers in places that we have been that would have a heart attack if they saw the way things are done around here. However, if that is the way they have always done it - then that's okay with me. I don't see the problem - they are not nailing anything into the trees - just tying ropes to the trees. Oh well, maybe I can take a picture of a campsite that has a football field of tarp strung up so you can see what I'm talking about.

Well, I haven't talked about finances for a while - it was REALLY expensive getting out here - the total for fuel, camping fees, groceries, and eating out was almost $5,000.00 (that's not counting the ferry). If we add the ferry ticket to the total it was well over the $5,000.00 mark.


Now, June we did pretty good, as far as spending money is concerned. Our largest expense last month was groceries (they are a lot more expensive here and we are not eating out hardly at all - three times at McDonald's all month for a grand total of $22.50. Heh! We've figured out a system - 2 McDoubles, 2 small fries, and 2 SENIOR drinks is $7.50 - not too bad!) We did have some truck expense last month - we had a headlight burn out on the truck and so we had to replace that - which meant that Dan had to buy the special socket required to do that little job. We spent about $75.00 in entertainment - that includes books and video's and about $50.00 for the mail service. We also had to order medicine (our 90 day supply which was close to $100.00 - that is Dan's three medications and my one. We renewed the virsus protection software for the computere and our Good Sam Membership for about $50.00 - extended warranty on the truck is $160 and we did buy some clothes at the Alaska Brewrey Store downtown for about $200. Our total expenses last month was right at $2,600.00 - not too bad. We were able to put some money in savings and we will, hopefully, be able to continue to do that the rest of the time we are here. Now, that figure does not include the $700 we have spent on reservations on the way home - we have purchased our ferry tickets ($525), and a couple of reservations have been prepaid - Albuquerque (for the Balloon Fiesta) and in the Redwood Forest - we also made reservations at a place near Yosmite, but at least those places are paid for and that will be that much less we have to worry about on the way home.

I know that this trip was expensive, but it is a once in a life time trip - or so Dan says, so I guess it is worth it. The totals also included our time in the interior - which added about another $1500 to the trip. I'm not sure how much it will cost for us to get home, but what ever it is we'll handle it.

Okay, I have bored you enough with all the details around here. Dan just got back from the store and I'm sure he will want some lunch. I hope that you all have a fabulous 4th of July -

Take care and ---------------------

I'll talk to tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's Raining Again!

Well, today should be the worst day of our time here in Juneau, and it's raining! Hopefully that means it won't be as bad as if it wasn't raining. When we did rounds this morning some people were already packing up to go home - some said that they had had enough of the rain and were ready to pack it in. Other's didn't think the gate was going to be open (we have the cards ready to hand out). Anyway, it should be interesting to see how many people stay around and how many go home. Of course we will have our tourists, but I don't think they would be a problem. Of course, we did have someone knock on the door this morning at a quarter to 6 - she "forgot" she had to go to work this morning - Dan was NOT a happy host. We sometimes think that we need a sign on the door that says "Your lack of planning does not make it an emergency to us", but of course we can't. Sometimes it would be nice though.

Okay - enough of that! Yesterday I made a pot of soup (vegetable) in the crock pot. It was pretty good last night - but I think I should have saved it for today - it sure is cold and damp (47 degrees). Oh well, I did have some left over that we can warm up for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich (maybe). That sounds pretty good.

We rented three movies on Wednesday - Four Christmases, Green Zone, and The Spy Next Door. Actually none of them have been that good - The Spy Next Door was sorta cute - with Jackie Chan - at least it had funny parts. Four Christmases was pretty dumb - I thought with Reese Witherspoon it would be pretty good - not. Dan will watch Green Zone today (they have to be back tonight before midnight - not going to be a problem!)

Yesterday we went in to Home Depot to look for a new electric heater - the big one that we use in the Living Room quit working on Thursday - so we took the one out of the bedroom (which is hardly ever used) and moved it down to the Living Room. We can not find another heater around here (you would think with temperatures in the 40's you could find heaters - no they have air conditioners out - go figure!). Anyway, I guess we will just have to look for one when we get back down in the lower 48 - it should be cool enough by then that stores will have heaters out again.

We went down and ate dinner Thursday night with one of the campers here in the campground - he is a native Alaskan (actually a Tlinget) and she is a "transplant". We had grilled prawns, fried rice and green beans - can you say YUMMY! I made a peach cobbler to take down for dessert - the blueberries are starting to get ripe, so Dan picked a few and I added them to the cobbler. It turned out pretty good. I have enough canned peaches (that I had put up when we lived in Florida) to make one more big cobbler or two more small cobblers. I'll have to wait and see what the occassion calls for to make that decision. (I can always buy canned peaches - but it won't be the same).

Well, I have pretty much caught you up to date on what has been happening around here. I hope that you all will have a fabulous 4th of July - no matter what you do - please be safe!

Take care and -----------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sorry for nothing last night

This is going to be short and sweet - just wanted to let you know that everything is okay - I didn't post last night due to getting in sorta late from our dinner out and I had a headache - still do, but it is manageable. Will post tonight about all that is going on.

Hope all is well with you and that you are getting ready to enjoy your 4th of July!

Take care and -------------------

I'll talk to you tonight!!!!