Sunday, March 30, 2014


So this is an amazing day, a beautiful day that makes you believe in spring. There was frost on the grass this morning, green grass I might add. As the day progressed, it became warmer and warmer. Mike and I are going out for a walk a little later. I miss not getting exercise on a regular basis. And here's something..all the time we were in Florida I didn't have an ache or a pain and today, my hips are aching like the middle of winter in NS. I had commented to Mike before we left 304  that I was feeling really great and a few days north, I am aching again.  There's a message.

We have a few more days here and will be visiting the arch and doing the tourist scene on Tuesday. Chris made one of his psecialties for dinner so we are enjoying  post dinner tea at the moment.

This is a vey beautiful area. It's quite flat in cetain areas and low rolling spaces in others. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers affect all traffic as you have to cross   them  to get from here to there and bridges are integral to that traffic flow. Traffic is heavy and after the wide open highways in Florida with such well laid out interchanges it's quite different in this area. I navigate.  Tomorrow I will be looking to see how we make our way to Scranton as that's the target from here.

So that's all from O!'Fallon. Hope all is well where you are and that spring is showing up buy now.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday on the middle of the country

The drive from Davenport to O'Fallon was pretty awesome. As planned, we exited at five on Thursday morning and headed north and west. Atlanta was our big hurdle of the day but time of day was on our side and we blew through with not too much difficult.,So many lanes of traffic...eight going eachmway but no real problem.mWe could have made it to Nashville but by the time it was in our sights, it was four in the afetrnoon. Best choce was to pull off and settle in for the night. Nashville in our rear view mirrir and then on to the most memorable stop, Paducah.

For quilters, Hancocks of Paducah needs no explanation but for anyone else, the store is a warehouse sized building holdingnevery fabric imaginable. Really enormous. I did a bit of damage there and moved on. I did the navigating for this trip, throug states we had not visited before. I knewmO'Fallon was a burb of St Louis but I didn't take into account that East St Louis is in Illinois andmSt Louis is in Missouri. There is an O'Fallon as a burb with each ofmthe two cities. Go figure. We were headed to the wrong one, althoug we had to go throug it anyway. It was the surprise factor that I thougt we were almost  at our destination and then found we had 30 miles to go.mNot a prob, the GPS had us  on track and we arrived safely and in the right suburb.

Sorry about the appearance of m's which is just above the space bar and my correcting abilit is dreadful on my digital keyboard.

It's cooler her for sure but pretty well like spring in NS. Long pants and a sweater.

We will be here till Wednesday.

Chris is doing his famous pulled pork for tomorrow's dinner and everything else is up in the air.  Just enjoying the chance to spend time with family and that is priceless.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Terrible connection

The post below has a very scrambled paragraph that i cannot correct. Sorry about that. Working from my tablet which has not formed a friendly connection with the wireless here. Did my best, will do better tomorrow. Time for a shower, hair do and a good read. Good night for now.

Hello Nashville

We are in Music City USA tonight but not as tourists, just in a holding pattern till we can leave in the morning and get to St Louis. Looking forward to a vivit with the MO Fam for a few days and then a long ride home. The trip today was fine, in spite of the apprehension I felt re the drive past Atlanta. Time of day was in our favor and it was loose and fast but not terrifying like the last time we drove the area. No problems today, thankfully.

I guess the storm in NS was a bear and that's too bad. A mean time to have a storm. Sharon told me Shubenacadie Sam was found dead...the victim of a self inflicted gunshot for having forecast an early spring.

Yesterday we shopped at Bass OutDoorWorld, our favorite shop in Orlando. Mike decided he is going to shop only there next time. He did well, i tried a lot of things but none were just what I wanted. Anyway we love the store and its a bit of a destination anyway. Ate out last night, put the car in the garage and packed easily.  Out the gate at five on the button and away we went.

Don't know when we will leave in the morning but the shorteat way past nashville is strHaving trouble viewing this so I will sign off for this post. Tomorrow's will be from Saint Madeleine Dr!! Can't wait, but I'll be back.aight through and that's really doable only before six. We blew through Hartford like that on the way down. The circumfrential hwys are great but they certainly are the long way around so the early bird trip is straight throug. We gained an hour with the move into a new time zone so combining that with an early night in bed and we should be alright.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is it time to go already?

I can't believe its time to leave already. We like to vacate the state before the big rush of snowbirds but it seems like we ought to have another week. The car is in the garage so we cwn pack easily in the early morning and everything is ready to be stowed. We need a bigger car!

 the plan is to leave at five. We fueled up after supper at Chilis. The past three years we ate there the night before lift off. Then we dropped over to see Allan and Anne for a bit and then back here to finsh up. Whe n we are getting ready to come, it seems to take a lot of deciding...what to take and what to leave behind...but coming home, you have to take everything. Not doing as much food as we are driving oly sixteen hours this jaunt. We want to get out of Georgia tomorrow.

So...vacation is almost done. I am making lists in my head, of things that need doing. I brougt my fiddle with me and didn't practice a dozen times. That disappoints me. Should have done better. It will take me days to get back to where I wa s when we letft. Too bad.I had two new tunes with me to work on and I didn't work through either of them.

Time for bed. The last few things can only be done in the morning. I'll try to get a post done tomorrow night when we touch down.

Hope the storm is finished in NS and that no one was too inconvenienced. I'll be back whenI can, hoping for happy landings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday at the Mall

I had planned a day at the Florida Mall but a day was just too much to handle. I am a terrible shopper and after Nordstrom and Dillards, I was ready to leave. Did a little damage in the latter ladies dept but I am totally awed by the quantity of everything in the stores. Thousands of dresses in every store. Just can't do that! From there we made our way to Downtown Disney which really isn't to be missed on a tour of central florida. It's just the cradle of Disney shopping and everything you can imagine is there, if it's Disney related. It amazes me that people pay the prices in these shops. I am a bit discriminating when I shop. If I want something, generally I buy it but when I see something I like, I may not just buy it for the sake of buying it. If it's in an outlet and the price is irresistible, then that's different but the Christmas ornaments in the Disney stores are just south of $20 each and even the second nicest ones are fifteen. I bought a mug and I pay whatever the price for a mug I like because I will use it and use it and each time it will bring forth a memory of some part of the trip. My collection of Disney and trip related mugs is getting pretty large but each one is special. None are tacky; they are just sweet. So by four we made our way back to 124. We had eaten at Raglan Road at DD, an Irish style pub which was pretty nice. Like I said, PEOPLE and CHILDREN!! Probably should have gone at night. The parking was an experience in itself but we made it in and out, a master driver behind the wheel, and were happy to be in to see Dancing With The Stars and call it a Florida night.

On Sunday we found a Texas Roadhouse that we didn't know was standing in the area. We used to love the one on John Young but it disappeared a few years ago. Our first visit to Texas Roadhouse was on the recommendation of Doug Eddy, our dear and loved friend who died too soon. We have been going to that restaurant whenever we could find one as the steaks are worth the visit and are always done perfectly. Mike likes the ribs. me, not so much. Anway we ate there and were back for the curling at six thirty. It seems that we were the only people in this area who had the curling on our cable system. Not great commentators, mind you, but not too bad. A disappointing result for the Homan team but silver is sterling and upon some reflection, they must be proud of themselves to have gone through the round robin in such a stellar fashion and then, with only two ends to go, unfortunately the wheels fall off and it became the Swiss game. They were a great representation of Canadian curling.

We have had a slight glitch in our plans for these last couple of days but that's what happens when you make plans: life steps in. Today I sorted and piled and added and such. We have an errand to do this afternoon and then likely a quiet evening. All is pretty well. The pool is still warm and I have been in it almost daily. Overcast today and a light rain caused us to cancel our golf yesterday although it didn't rain here; that doesn't mean it didn't pour all over the golf course. Rain in Florida usually falls when it's forecast. The weather systems blow across this flat peninsula and nothing stops them: not a sizeable hill to be found. The systems come in and go out but they do bring rain from time to time. You never see a puddle as the sand absorbs the moisture almost as quickly as it lands. Funny place, Florida. Yet we love it.

HOpe all is well and that the impending storm doesn't bother you too much. We will head out for St Louis on Thursday morning and try to get trough Atlanta after and before heaviest traffic. I'll be back tomorrow with the last Florida post and then, it will be from Georgia the following night. Take care everyone, be safe through the nasty weather. Thinking about all of you.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sidewalk Art Show in Winter Park

Winter Park is a little spot north of the city of Orlando although I suspect their addresses read Orlando as well...close to Maitland where Chris used to work. This is our first time at the art show but it won't be our last. What a lovely event.

It's held in Central Park and the streets that border and intersect it are closed off and lined with kiosks each housing an artist of one kind or another...and of course, the dozens of food vendors serving all sorts of delicious and interesting drinks and foods. Not the carnival kinds of deep friers but smoothies and fruity things and that type of thing. There were many photographic artists, lots of jewellery, some glass...most beautiful. Pottery and leather. A pencil artist I loved. Took his card and want to share his style with an artist friend of ours. You would have admired his work, Herbie!! Sculptors, metal workers; really name it. Oils, acrylics, watercolors; flowers, faces, boats, oceans. Large. small and everything inbetween. I may have missed something, like mixed was there too. On the outer rim of all this were interesting shops and boutiques and restaurants with patios. Just a lovely event. Laura's parents go every year and now we know why. If you are here, you ought to try and see it. Always this time, late in March. Just after the wine festival. Gotta love the things to do.

Dinner with the neighbours tonight. We had a swim when we got back from Winter Park and it's a warm day here. Perhaps one of the warmest but not scorching. Low humidity which helps.

So Mass at Celebration in the morning. I will have to run to Winter Garden to Joann and get my money back sometime after that. I could go myself but Mike doesn't mind driving me around. HOpe all is well in your camp. We are counting sleeps now till heading to O'Fallon. I need a big map to get a good picture of where I am going, instead of going from page to page in the Michelin map book. Stay in touch friends, March is almost gone. I'll be back in a day or so; golf Monday morning early and likely I will play only nine as I was pretty tired after 18 earlier in the week. Cheeers for now!

Catching up

Everyone is gone and I checked to see how many were here and came up with thirty, counting us. Thirty one if we count the air conditioner repair man.

 But first ..Wednesday we played golf early, and finished at noon. By the time we had lunch and made our way home, I was ready for the pool and a good soak. I am really enjoying the pool thi year for some reason. We don't do much at night and both of us were really tired Wednesday night.

I am a guerilla shopper in that I try to get into a store and get out asap and without doing too much damage. That has pretty well been the pattern for years, unless I am at Samuel and Co in Hfx in January...that's when I take my time. So we did a bit of running through the Kohls and Bealls stores and a hit or two at Marshalls. I don't have much to show for my efforts but a few things ticked off the short list. I was in Joann and got material for a quilt project I am going to do with the Guild next year and when I got home, even when there, I suspected that the wrong price had been charged and it appears that they have almost twenty dollars of my money. Back there today to rectify that situation. I did well early in the visit but it seems that I am now holding out for shopping in Missouri where spring is just arriving. Perhaps some winter things still on the racks since winter seems to last so long in the north.

Yesterday we went to the Lakeridge Winery for a seafood and wine show. It was that kind of day that we were all meant to be alive and enjoy...sitting under massive shade trees, drinking cold  white wine, eating a crab cake, listening to a great bluesy jazzy band, with a breeze. How good is that? Unfortunately Mike made a bad menu choice and he was disappointed but we decided next year we would eat the meat and avoid the seafood which was mostly deep fried and all tasted the same, according to him. My crab cake was grilled and actually tasted better. When we got home I hopped into the pool to cool off and then we got ready for the Pictou County Social.

Just before everyone arrived I noticed that the house was a bit on the warm side and had to call the home management company. The thought of twenty people here in the house, in and out of the door, required some intervention. Within a half hour the repair man was here, fixed the problem and the thirty or so of us were comfortable. It was a great turnout. Some people were leaving today, folks who had been here since early or mid January. Nancy and John Young are on their way to NS, Terry and Linda White are en route to Myrtle. Joyce and Pat MacDonald are headed to Alma and I believe there might be another couple heading out too. The street is thinning out. The cars around here! You have to be on the alert when you hit reverse and start out of the driveway.

Off to the Art Sidewalk Festival momentarily, in Winter Park. Be back later!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Surviving St Patrick's Day

I completely forgot that I didn't write last night after getting home from Pat O'Brien's at Universal. We took a van, about fourteen of us, and met up with another ten or twelve who were staying in one of the neighboring complexes. Did I say it rained? Well it was a damp day which made a bit of a difference in the general ambience but most people were content to stay indoors and just drink and listen to the dueling pianos. Great entertainment, particularly the two men. The lady was a bit past her best before date but I rather liked her smoky bluesy voice so I was entertained by all three. I am impressed by talent and so I can sit and watch a guy play and sing all night. So we ate corned beef and drank hurricanes and can guess which was mine. Switched to V and T and found that more to my liking but the hurricane was quite delicious. One must be careful drinking them so I knew when to switch to the more controlled substance. Got back here a little before nine. It absolutely poured during the night. Buckets. Woke me and for a bit I couldn't quite figure out what the noise was. This house is very soundproof and it had to be a mighty rain for us to hear it. This morning there wasn't a drop to be seen anywhere. This state is just one big pile of sand.

Today was lunch at Red Lobster. I am happy to follow the crowd, as long as I don't have to organize it and set it up and collect the money and make the reservations...I like to show up. Same for yesterday. Today was fine but as of five this evening, my digestive system isn't thanking me. I had shrimp in several forms with salad and the most delicious rolls/biscuits that I suspect were deep fried. Can they do that, without telling you? They didn't offer butter because there was so much fat already in them. Well just too much fat, I am fearful. I will have to coast for the evening and eat fruit. The cast of characters was the women of Reserve and a few additions who are known to the c of c. I know all of them now, and they are all very nice. One of them brought fudge, that I just remembered is in my purse!! Many are leaving for Myrtle on Saturday. We are having the pictou County party on Friday night so there will be a few who will just drop in for a quick hello/goodbye and then be off. Not as warm in Myrtle as it is here. Today is beautiful. I was in the pool this afternoon and will make a return visit tonight, when it's dark. Nothing like a moonlight swim.

Went looking for pretty buttons today for my new black jacket. I think the manufacturers ought to put pretty buttons on things so that I don't have to go and buy new ones. I must go to Joann's because I didn't find them at Michael, which I really didn't think was a possibility. Just wanted to do a quick check anyway. I keep thinking about my relatively non-existent shopping list but I may wait to do a bit of looking in St Louis. I will be in the stores with Laura, I know that. Speaking of the St Louis visit, I am afraid it might be winter there, or at least cooler than it is here. I may not be ready!!

So, golf in the morning. I can't do any worse than the last day so I will go at it with that outlook. I could actually do better. Nonetheless, as I said, I am a nine hole golfer and Mike is prepared for that. I am his spotter, as his bad eye prohibits him from successfully tracking the ball after he blasts it off the tee. He needs me for that!! LOL!!! We are going for an eight o'clock tee time but will go earlier to hit all of our best balls off the practice tee. Injustice at it's worst. Lunch is included with the price of the round so it will be a rather inexpensive outing, all things considered.

I had something I wanted to write about and cannot for the life of me remember what it was. That's about it for now, in that case; stay tuned, be safe and I'll be back.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunny Sunday

The days slip by so quickly that I didn't realize there was no Saturday post. We had dinner with Laura's parents on Saturday evening which is always a pleasure. Quite by accident I chose The Capitol Grille in the convention area of Intenational Drive and it was a good choice. Another great steak house with the feeling of experienced staff and great people in the kitchen. We started with house cocktails, a pineapple martini which was quite delicious. My appetizer was fresh mozarella grilled in prosciutto and served with heirloom tomatoes in a balsamic dressing. Mike had the smoked salmon, Rich had the clam chowder and Claire had the chopped salad. We all had steaks, mine was topped with crab in a bernaise sauce. No one complained! Dessert was a  coconut cream concoction that had a most delicious cookie the size of a small plate, like a very thin shortbread but coconut flavored. DeLiSh all over the place.

Earlier on Saturday we went to The Loop to get our St Patrick's Day shirts for our outing tomorrow.  We are going in a van, twelve or fourteen of us, and so there will be no worries about parking or drinking and driving. I believe we are going to Pat O'Brien's but any more than that, I cannot say. I hear there will be hurricanes, though! Finally got the black jacket that was on my shopping list.

Another finally...we seem to have a house for next March. It has a couple of shortcomings, not the least of which is a small pool, but other than that it will probably do just fine. A couple from Stellarton is in it this year and they like it except that the pool faces the pond rather than the conservation area which they prefer. I would too, given the choice, but this time  we don't really have that choice on the table. There's a relatively long story in the category of SMALL WORLD but I am not going to go into it. Suffice to say we are set for 2015 and that's all. Details.

We visited with Aaron and Rika via Skype this weekend. Also checked in with Bhreagh and Chris while Jocelyn and Laura were having a birthday  lunch at American Girl along with Jocelyn's doll. The pics on facebook look like a good time was had by all.

After Mass today we drove to North Shore Golf to check out the location and to be sure we could get there with no problems on Wednesday. That will be an early drive.

Nothing much else going on. The race at Bristol seems to be in a rain delay. We were in the pool under the light of the silvery moon last night and again this afternoon in the heat of the day. The water is probably too warm but it was quite refreshing nonetheless.

Starting week three. That is upsetting since week three is followed by week four and that means departure. On the other hand, it's heading to O'Fallon for another visit! Hope all is well where you are; we are hanging in, vacationing for all it's worth. I'll be back.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday in a line up of traffic

I spent the morning on line trying to find another house, or a condo, or a town house...a place to stay. I don't have much patience after awhile and between the lap top and my tablet, it's not like I am getting the smooth communications I am accustomed to. It's slow. It would be great to make a phone call and have it all happen. Well that isn't going to happen. I expect to have the issue resolved in a day or three. If not, we will wait till we get home and do it from there. It's just taking too much energy and I am losing interest quickly.

This afternoon we were headed for my outing to the Florida Mall when a warning light appeared on the dash of the car and since this hadn't happened before, we thought it was appropriate to check out a Honda dealership and find out the problem. Well at home I would shoot over to Ceilidh and that would be that. It's now quite the same here. We had to first of all find a dealership/service center, then get there and then on and on. Of course this is a Canadian car with Canadian codes...I will spare you the details but to say that we were there for a bit north of two hours and left after being told that they couldn't do anything due to the Canadian nature of the car (?) but that we would be fine to drive for several thousand miles and when we got home, have it checked at our Honda dealership. Not sure how that is going to work but the second last car I had, the engine light would come on and I would go to the dealership; it would go off and then on again...well that went on for months. Finally they did something that caused it not to appear again. Hoping this is the same kind of thing: sensors are very sensitive and they respond to various things. Often, most often it seems, there is nothing to be concerned about. We are hoping that's the case here.

Did you have Pi(e) today, on 3.14? I had key lime. Did my thing for Pi day. Next year it will be a real Pi day as the date will be 3.1415!!

It's dark now and almost bed time. We are having dinner with Laura's parents tomorrow night. I am hoping to do a bit of shopping tomorrow. Still trying to find a black jacket, which doesn't sound much like a tall order but it's not simple. I may just lost interest in this quest. Nothing on for Sunday at this point.

Hope all is well in your nest; glancing at the title of this blog...on our way home this afternoon, highway 4 was a bit like a parking lot. We were in the supper time line up and it's slow slow. Our patience should be much improved after this trip as we see heavy traffic every day. It just doesn't go away. all these people going somewhere and some of them are very very important!!! So that's it for Friday, take care and stay safe. I'll be back!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It was a little cool today

I was looking at a nearly full moon tonight and I wondered if anyone else was looking at it and being awed by the wonder of the universe. One night, long before my MOther died, I was talking to her on the phone and she commented that she was looking out at the moon and so was I, at that very same time.. It made me feel very close to her that night and every time I take a moment and gaze at the sky like that I wonder if anyone I know and love or even like is doing the same. I was in the pool at the time, although this wasn't an especially warm day. I needed the relaxation of the water. Nothing does it quite like water. It was like being in the bathtub and the water didn't get cold and you had to get out. It just stayed beautifully warm and when it was totally dark, I got out.

Mike and I went to Largo today and had a little visit with Roger and Maureen. She made a great soup for lunch and we had sandwiches and date squares and muffins. They always make us feel so welcomed. We saw Sheila and her kids and Stephen, so it's now the Smith Kids and Kiddies. It's an adventurous drive through Tampa I have to say. Mike is a warrior and he doesn't mind but I am white-knuckling it all the way. I was like the Pope when I got home, kissing the ground. I didn't actually do it but I remembered when he got off the plane  in North America and kissed the ground. I was that grateful for a safe drive home!! Not kidding.

Yesterday we went to the Mall of/at Milennia which is one of my favorite places to visit. The only place I see Crate and Barrel is there so I did a great crawl through and bought a few small things. Also went to TeaVAnna  and Williams Sonoma, two more faves. There's a gadget store there that Mike likes very much and we did that one too. He looked at watches at Breitling (I am not getting these spellings correct), which is where the pro athletes buy their bling timepieces. Looked at one for $85K if you can imagine. Last night we were at Allan and Anne's for drinkies with a few of the local residents. Not a real late night but later than usual. The days are clicking by.

Coming home today it was brutally obvious that there are many crazy drivers on the highways. People don't stay in their lanes. Constantly zipping out, cutting in, out again and back. Really you have to have your wits about you at every moment. There isn't a second to have to be glued to the road and your space. I find it terrifying. There is a great deal of construction going on in this state, both on the roads and it home/office/recreational development, all good of course.

Spent a lot of time today on the hunt for new digs for 2015. I am about to throw in the towel unless something turns up. Mike suggested I just let it go and wait till we get home to make a dedicated attempt. I am fearful that I will miss the good one. Right now I have emails in to several, and I mean several, owners/agents. Being hopeful every time I open my mail.

That's about it for now. Our darling grand-girl Jocelyn turns five tomorrow and we are so disappointed that we aren't with her to celebrate this important birthday. I suppose we have been blessed that we spent five March(s) with her and saw her blow out candles on four cakes. All the same I am terribly lonely today and can't wait to see her and her precious little goblin sister Bhreagh later this month. We hope to be in Missouri on the 29th.

HOpe that bad weather I heard about (on CBC Information Morning today) didn't materialize to it's potential. It certainly sounded like NB was getting a blast. I know there was lots of water in Pictou County.

We have plans for the next two days. If the spirit and flesh are in sync we will be on the road fairly early and be back safe for supper. Not eating out as much this trip. Will be back tomorrow and I hope you are all well and swell, till then!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday done and gone

The days seem to go by in pairs. It's Tuesday evening at 304 and we had company yesterday and today. Wilma and Lowell arrived yesterday  mid-morning and we had a swell time with them. Played bridge and did a tour of the area and today we played golf at Royal St Cloud which is about a forty minute drive from here. Long drive to find a golf course. I am a nine hole golfer. A bad nine hole golfer at that. I find that once I start the tenth hole, I am losing interest, I am tired and ready to call it quits. Perhaps if I played more and was better at the game I would feel differently. For now, I am a disappointing fourth in the group and I just contribute nothing for those last nine holes. Got a lot of sun today and I feel pretty awful this evening.

It appears that someone keyed my car door during the past few days. Mike waxed it shortly after we got here and then after a day of rain, he washed it again and the scroll was on the door. What a shame and such a pointless act of vandalism. The scratch is right through the paint and can't be rubbed out like some more inconsequential marks can be. A parking lot event most likely. Very annoying.

The pool is warming up. Yesterday morning the pool cleaner was here and then in the afternoon as we were sitting out playing bridge, the mower went by the back of the house and the driver zipped up and down between the houses and when he hit the mulch, sprayed grit all over the surface of the water. I had to call the service to come back and clean it off as there is no skimmer here to deal with that kind of dirt. What a mess it made. I absolutely hate calling someone to come and deal with a problem here at the house. This is the second time I have had to do it...a few days after we got here, the remote controls for the tv were jumbled on the table and totally scrambled the important buttons. Hard to explain but we couldn't get the set back on and had to call the service. We felt quite incapable of taking care of ourselves! Help! We cannot get the television on!! GAWD!! Who ever let us out!?

A few details to take care of tomorrow and it's the middle of the week already. A couple of interesting events going on this weekend so we will probably be on the road Friday and Saturday. This is certainly a different trip for us than in the past, as I have said before. Different is not bad, just different. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods; stay in touch!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday night

It was another of those unbelievable days in the SS today. Two in a row! I was toasting beside the pool this afternoon and decided to give it a try, unheated. Well I have to say it was about the temp of the Atlantic Ocean in mid June. I got in, up to my waist, slowly and even more slowly but just couldn't do any more. Came in and sent an email to the home owner and told her to make arrangements for the pool to be heated starting tomorrow. It will take about two days to warm up but it's just not any good to me without being heated. Pretty to look at but not good if you can't just jump in when you feel like it. Over the past couple of years I have learned a lot about the charges for heating a pool. This house charges $30/day. Before you faint, the owner charges us $20 because she comes just after us and wants the pool warm when she gets here. All the same, that's a lot. The house we are looking to rent next year charges $75/week. Quite a difference. Additionally people who have shabby homes here, and there are a few in that category, negotiate to get free pool heat.  It's a bit of a racket, I think. Someone is doing well on this, and it's hard to say how it's going to play out. These houses are getting very tight. People come year after year and get the same house; friends come and decide they want to stay here too; houses get eaten up pretty quickly and landlords are starting to elevate the prices on the homes.  The one we visited on Friday night is the mirror image of this one but not as nice. No updates in the kitchen and the furniture is original, that is to say about 12 years old. Starting to look a bit sad. It's the location that's the selling point here. Not the houses so much, except for this one. If we don't take it in 2016, there will be six people lined up to get it.

Last night we went to the Grand Floridian Resort to watch the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom which is across the lake from the GFR. Well we hadn't been to this resort before and what a place. The  lobby would be four or five stories tall, open all the way up with massive chandeliers. You can walk around each floor, open to the lobby and on the second floor, an orchestra was playing. Not a orchestra. We went for a drink in one of the bars on that second floor and looked out over the pool down to the lake. What a place. Just before ten we went down to the lake and had a great vantage point to watch the display. They do this every night. No one does it like Disney.

This morning we went to Mass at Celebration and noted once again the interesting demographic which attends this church. Maybe five people under twelve. Everyone else was old, and I mean older than us. Just a couple of interesting stats:  last weekend 4433 people attended Masses at that church and the collection for that weekend was $24, 318.23. Their mortgage is $3.5million dollars. After Mass we went to the farmers market which is more of an upscale sale of foods and jewellery and things of all sorts. Quite the place and set beside a lake. Just beautiful. I love going there after church on a gorgeous morning.

Did a bit of necessary shopping today and had a Skype chat with Chris and Laura and The Littles. I can't wait to see them Jocelyn told me she would give me a big hug and a kiss when I got there. She will be five next week FIVE!! I can barely believe it. She is a sweet child in every way. Bhreagh is a going concern. Three in July. I hope to fly down for her birthday. This is the first of Jocelyn's birthdays that we have missed.

Wilma and Lowell are coming over tomorrow and will spend the night. We hope to see them before noon. Trying to find a golf time for Tuesday. Green fees are very expensive in this area if you aren't part of a group of if you haven't bought times before you arrive. You have to watch for the hot deals in the morning it you are going to do well. It's almost a full time job. Terry Dorey did it two years ago and I sure understand now the fine job he did!!!

That's about it for tonight. We sprung forward and now are back on NS time. Mike didn't change his watch when we crossed into the US over a week ago and now he doesn't have to!!What a guy!l Hope all is well with all of you and that you can drop by again in a day or two. Things are going great here; I miss my friends and the cats but I knew that was going to happen. On the other hand, tis' a lovely way to spend a few weeks, here in the sun. Big love to all!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

This is my kind of day

This is what I call a wonderful Florida March day. It's bright and sunny and no humidity due to the rain and cold that settled in here for the past couple of days. It's nothing short of majestic today. When we went out for golf this morning it was 7C and when we were on our way home it was 18C. Not sure what it is right now but in the sun it's gorgeous. Mike is out beside the pool having a little snooze and I thought I had better get something together before I start the rest of my day. I ran to Publix on the way home to get a few essentials and the weekend paper with all of the coupons. That's an hour's read, just to sort through what you want to peruse and what you are satisfied to let go to the recycling.

It rained on Thursday but into every vacation a little rain must fall. We did a bit of shopping and called it a day. Not a problem. Mike is really enjoying this vacation and he is vacationing more than me. I am trying to do a few things and work on a stitching project but the light in this house is not good unless you are right by the patio door so I work outside, which is not bad either.

Yesterday we went to the Strawberry Festival. Well that was a looker. Every sort of humanity good and bad was there. I told Mike if I was too old and worn out to be up on my feet, not to take me to the strawberry festival or out in public for that matter. The SF is like a huge fall fair, with strawberries. There are food vendors by the dozens. It looked like dozens of dozens. Every food known to man was deep fried. It took me over an hour at home to get the smell of the friers out my nostrils. I am not kidding. The strawberry shortcake was delicious and although I passed up on it, there was chocolate coated bacon! Maybe will try it myself sometime but just couldn't do it yesterday. There was a building dedicated to handcrafts and although there was some lovely quilting, there weren't many. It wasn't like a quilt show but some pretty quilts nonetheless. I believe Wilma was at a show in Bradenton but I wasn't talking to her today. I may have mentioned that she is coming over on Monday. We got home and had a little rest and then went to the Pictou County party at the Hensbees. I had never met Lois before but Mike knew her husband. There were lots of people there and we hung in till quite late. Nice get together. We ought to have it here before we leave.

Speaking of which, I think we will leave here on the 27th which will get us to O'Fallon on the 29th, a Friday. That way Chris will be home for the weekend and we will get to spend some time with him and then we will probably leave after about five days. Depending on weather and all that. At least we have an exit strategy at this point.

Daylight saving time this weekend. Who knew?! It seems early to me but it's been on the tv news and on Information Morning so I guess it's for real. Who am I to argue!?

We did a bit of outlet shopping this morning but I think I am done with the outlets. You always feel you are settling for what's on sale and not making an informed choice as to what you need or would choose if there were more of a selection. I will do some more serious selecting next week. Tomorrow morning we will go to Mass at Celebration and go to their Sunday morning market, which is really delightful, complete with classical music. The setting is very beautiful there, around a lake and just so serene. We love that market.

It's a week today since we arrived. I am in the process of finding a new house for next year. This one is booked till the middle of March and, my fault, that leaves us looking. I did book it for 2016 which is a very long time away but at least we will be back in this house that we like very much. I have spoken for a house around the corner but would like to see it; maybe next weekend we will be able to get in for a peek. In the meantime we have put it in the system, as they say, and will meet with the agent early in the week. I was dreading the thought of searching for another location when this one suits us so well. The house looks fine on the listing and till we an get in, we will say we have a place. The person we will be renting from had about a dozen homes in the general area, four at least on Reserve Drive. We want three bedrooms but would take four if that's what it came down to. The price point seems the same on the properties, regardless of bedroom number. Details details. Pretty dull but necessary.

There are a lot of retired teachers here, most of whom I don't know as they are elementary teachers and worked in schools I avoided like the plague.

Groceries here are staggeringly expensive. At one time it was fun to shop in the US where the prices were so good but in the past few years, they have crept up. Now I must admit that we are shopping at Publix which is the Central Florida version of Sobeys or SuperStore. You are getting the things that look the best and are top quality but then who of us are looking for bad quality food?!

That's about it for now. Wish I could see some of the Brier. Just can't manage to stream it live. Not watching much tv anyway, other than having CNN or the food network on as background. I rely on Information Morning when I get up and Mainstreet in the late afternoon. Mealtime entertainment. Have to look into WeightWatchers for when I get home!! I know I have put on weight already and there are still several weeks to go before I head home. Relatively inactive, that's the problem. Vacation. Gotta love it.

HOpe your day is going great. Hope you remember to spring forward, except for you Saskatchewan readers, and so still be on time for your Sunday morning activities. Thanks for stopping by; I'll be back after the Celebration market visit!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday already

Another warm day, not as hot as yesterday perhaps but lovely. Overcast for a while this morning but bright and sunny by afternoon, and that's the weather where we are....

Just finished Gone Girl this evening and if you haven't read it, it's worth the read. I got into it from the start and then it seemed to bog down for awhile in the middle and I wondered if I was going to finish it but it was just too compelling to leave uncompleted. Persevering, it picked up again and I couldn't put it down. It amazes me how an author can conceive of such an unusual style, mixing the past and the present from two different points of view. Very creative and I thought it was going to be difficult to keep sorted out but that style just kept me engaged to the very end. Just a note, and not a spoiler, these are not nice people!! A few months ago Shelagh Rodgers on Between The Covers did a segment called "If you liked that, you are going to love this" and the books were Gone Girl and The Silent Wife, in that order. I have the latter and it's my book club choice for April. I think it's too soon for me to pick up so I am going to finish Ten Lords A Leaping first and then I might be ready for another psychological thriller. I am too thrilled to continue with that genre for a few days!!

It's so different for us this year with Chris and Laura and The Littles not in Orlando and not seeing them every second day. We miss them very much. They were really the focus of the March visit. We are having a great time, vacationing. Terry and Linda White stopped in tonight to tell us where the Friday night get together was taking place. We will be there for sure to catch up with the other folks from Pictou County. We heard that last Friday's party was quite a success.

Golf will probably be postponed tomorrow as the weather is expected to be  wet. We are playing on Saturday, early. One thing about Florida weather is that it doesn't stay bad for long. Here and gone. Like the rain. Good thing as so many people are relying on good!

That's about it for now. It would be great to get a full night's sleep. It's just not working for me and I am not sure now to correct the terrible sleep pattern. I can fall asleep but I cannot stay asleep. From two-thirty on, it's nap, nap, nap, with long periods of wakefulness inbetween. ugh! Maybe tonight will be different.

HOpe all is well where you are. We're doing great. Till the next time!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Florida Rain

Rain in Florida is amazing. It comes, often without a lot of warning, and just pounds down and then stops. We are in the pounding stage right now and as I haven't been watching the weather channel, have no idea when it's supposed to stop. That's part of the semi isolation I feel when I am here: at home I listen to local radio and often check the weather network to see what's in store but here, none of the above. I confess that I listen to cbc in the early morning and today I listened to Stephanie Domet for a bit when fixing supper but the absence of regional news is odd. Used to reading two papers each morning I feel very out of the loop. Are we at war with New Brunswick?

We had pancakes and sausages for Shrove Tuesday this evening. I miss Lent each year when we are here and last year we left early enough to get home for Easter. That won't be an issue this year as Easter is so late.

We played golf this morning and had a great time. The course wasn't lush (Terry Dorey wanted to play on a LUSH course) but this one was quite nice. Everything in fine condition. Lots of water and an array of wildlife. Birds in abundance: big ones and small ones; bunnies too. We are going back on Saturday. We hit the hot deal of the day. This morning the hot deal was at Providence which is close by (and LUSH) but we already had a tee time and stuck with it. We will be checking the mail around five thirty each morning for a repeat of that one. I think everyone in Florida is looking for a hot dear, either with a coupon for a meal or at Bealls or at a golf course. Pouring over the fliers on the weekend; paying no attention to them during any other month but March. Funny.

Still waiting for the FedEx man with my bank card. They told me it could arrive tomorrow. What an inconvenience. Was told that an automatic message was phoned to me on the 11th of October. How many times have you answered the phone an heard "congratulations" or "this is a message about your credit card" and promptly hung up?! I wonder if that happened to me on the 11th of October and I hung up when I heard one more automated message? I can't help but think there is a better way, albeit more time consuming for the bank, to advise of such an event. No one can answer that dilemma.

We were going to attend the fireworks at Disney but for the rain; maybe tomorrow night. Doesn't start till ten, changed from eight.

It was another beautiful day, great for early morning golf. Did a couple of errands after we got back and then continued vacationing! All is well; sounds cold in the northern states and in NS. Hang in there if that's where you are.  I'll be back tomorrow. Happy Lent! What are you giving up? I think I will stop complaining about all things.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunny Monday

We did our first foray out to the shopping centers today. I had collected a number of coupons from Joann's and wanted to be sure to get the few things that were on my list. No one buys at regular prices at Joann's. You just don't do it. I had about eight coupons for 40% off single items so that made it quite easy. I had a few requests from friends and a few things I wanted myself. When I left, the receipt indicated I had saved $70 and I had paid $112 so that worked out quite well.  I buy things I need there; I have limited myself over the past couple of years to buying things I use. That may sound obvious but often I had been buying items I thought I couldn't live without but now I am a bit more determined to get things I am going to use. I got a new ruler and FusibleFleece which is $5 more at Atlantic Fabrics, and I got it for 40% off. That was my best purchase. Got enough to share with a friend. Also got a good book and a rotary mat for Kate which came in at $21.50.

It's hot today. We did a bit of driving around and ate lunch at an interesting pub so supper will be light tonight. Looking for a tee time for tomorrow but not sure if I will be successful. It seems to take a long time to find the right combination of price and location. If we wanted to pay $80 to $100 or more, it would be simple. That's just not realistic. That's per person, by the way. No real rush. I guess when you are on vacation the urge is to start vacationing as soon as you can!

Tended to a few more details today. We are almost ready! We seemed to have more than the usual number of issues to solve this year but things seem to be falling into place. Finally.

Terrible sleep again last night. I could use a good solid eight hours but even seven would be fantastic.

Nothing exciting to report today but my guys and girls are reading and they know that some days are diamonds and some are stones. Watched the Academy Awards last night but  I didn't have much invested in who won or lost. Just enjoyed seeing Ellen do such a great job.

That's about it for now. HOpe your day was great and that all is well in your nest. I'll be back!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday in the Sunshine State

Vacation is starting off just right. there wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning and the day continued in that fashion. Just a lovely day. We sat out this morning and enjoyed the sunshine. I was totally wasted, I have to admit. So tired. I felt like a truck had driven over me and then backed up for a second crack. Really it was late afternoon before I was coming around. I planned to go to Mass in Celebration but regrettably I was just too exhausted to get dressed and go. Chris called early this morning and when I told him my situation, he told me not to worry that Jesus was a sport and would understand that I just wasn't able to do it today! Hope he's right. The walk through Celebration after Sunday Mass is really not to be missed so we will go next week.

Red McKean dropped in for a quick hi before he headed to the Celebration walk. Eddie Hudry and Billy Mac Millan dropped in this afternoon. They are staying down the street and have been playing golf every day for the past 29 days. What troopers. Wilma phoned and she and Lowell are coming over later in the week for a visit.  That will be fun. I went over to Target this afternoon just before closing time to see if they have an optical dept but they don't. I am planning to get sun glasses made and have to find the place that does them. I suspect Walmart does but I think the closest one is in Hanes City. Not a problem but I wasn't going there today.

The volume of people in this area is quite astounding. Apparently by May, it's rather quiet but right now it's a happening place. Lots of Nova Scotia cars. We missed the Friday night gathering at Allan and Anne's so will have to count on next week. We could have it here for that matter.

Our first Key LIme Pie is history. Actually I just bought a half a pie as there is always another one at Publix and we have to exercise some restraint. I didn't come all this way to gain weight. Mike is enjoying a day of rest. We may watch some of the Academy Awards tonight. I am missing the Brier. Supposedly we should be able to get it on the internet but I haven't been able to find it. Still trying to get CBC live radio.

Well now you took the time to find this blog and read...pretty dull day I would have to say. I started reading Gone Girl and find it quite engaging so far but I understand that these are not nice people. Also persevering with Ten Lords A Leaping and that's a disappointment at this point. Perhaps just a slow section but I like everything else about the book, just the pace is a bit on the draggy side. As I said, I talked to Chris this morning and they are recognizing that March used to be spent with the parents and this year it's not. He said he will be satisfied with a week later on. Things change and life goes on.

The weather man says more of the same for the next few days so it will be more of the same for us too. Mike is planning to play golf with the friends and we will get out soon too. Not here long enough to rush!! Hope your day is going well. I'll be back.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy landings

Arrival was right on schedule. Here at eleven and the house was ready and so were we. Mike is really up for a vacation and  he has been sitting at the pool and reading and just enjoying the great weathe in central Florida.

First stop was Publix, along with a dozen others who were setling into their condo or apt or house. We have to buy eveything. Huge first visit but most thi gs, or at least many, will do for the month. I wonder why I didn't bring tea? There's a new list starting up for a visit to Target tomorrow. Mass at eight thirty and then Target.  I have coupons for Michael's so may as well go there too. All in the same parking lot. I don't remember the Joanns that I went to with Laura last year so I may have to check that with her. I miss them already.  Knew this would happen.

Got the problem fixed with the bank. My new card will be FedEx'd here on Tuesday or so they sar than ne ey. In the meantime I will hope they find the house and don't keep me waiting any longerr thzn necessary.

Both of are pretty tired tonight. Yesterday was a mixed bag of traffic problems and h.otels with no vacancies. So many people pushing into Florida for the first of the month.

Allan and Anne MacDonald just stopped in as the welcoming committee.  Just like home.

Back tomorrow night. Take care all and thanks for reading.