Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Busy, but Fun 4 Days!

Monday was mostly a "catch up" day for Ken while I spent most of it with my mother and father at Masonic Homes.

Before going there, I had a dermatology appt. and she agreed that I need to use the special ointment (it really is a chemo type treatment) on my lower lip.  I have some scattered, abnormal cells that need to be eliminated.  I will start that 2 week procedure in about 2 weeks and see her again the beginning of June.

From there I made several stops, picking up things that I knew my mother needed and going to Subway to get lunch from Mom, Dad, and me.  They love subs from there and didn't have one for quite awhile - a special treat!

Mom had moved back to her original room about 2 weeks ago after the renovations were completed.  It looks beautiful, but she wanted me to help her reorganize all her closets, cabinets and drawers.  We worked for awhile, then had Dad join us for lunch, and then continued our project.  I hung pictures in both of their rooms and left there around 4:30 - tired but happy with all we had accomplished.

Ken spent the day at his desk catching up on our bills, accumulated mail, organizing his office, going through his clothing and taking a walk.

Tuesday we took a long walk in the morning and then Ken was back to his desk, getting ready for the accountant.  I spent most of the day going through all our cupboards, drawers, closets, etc. (hey, didn't I do that yesterday?) and doing laundry! Ken did some errands!

We left at 3:30 and dropped our bikes for a tune-up at a local country bike shop on our way to Lanie's.  It was Bob's birthday and we offered to spend the evening with Samantha and Katelyn while the 2 of them went out for a birthday dinner.  Ken and I had a fun time with the girls, taking them out for pizza and then to McDonald's for ice cream and playing computer games.  Sam and Katelyn were so well behaved and we enjoyed our special time with them.  Bob and Lanie were home early and we were back to the apartment by 9.

Wednesday we went to a viewing for Gary Kreider's oldest brother, Fred.  We were able to see and talk with many friends and also be supportive of the family.  From there we took our 1st trip to Alda, a grocery store that we found rather interesting - good prices and lots of healthy foods.

Ken spent a lot of the afternoon getting "stuff" together for his appointment with our accountant on Friday.  I was so excited to spend some time doing some rubber stamping and making greeting cards!  But, for some reason I did not have my "creative juices flowing".  Maybe it is because I sold so many of my rubber stamps, my paper, and my paper tools.  Also, I loaned some of my favorite stamps to my mother while we were in Florida, and I have not ask for them back - yet!  Non the less, I just wasn't very successful.

Ken grilled and then I spent the evening at my "craft" desk watching a U-Tube on how to do Iris Paper Folding to make cards.  I had learned from my friend Deb in Naples, but I needed a refresher course!  Then I made  a card with a kite on the front.  Finally I made a card!

Today was another good day!  After breakfast, I went to the local Lancaster General Hospital Lab here in Lititz to get my cytology urinalysis in preparation for my cystoscopy appointment on April 14.  I am confident that all will be well!  From there I drove to Lancaster to go to Michaels Crafts, AC Moore, and Joann Fabrics.  I needed to get some coordinating papers for doing more iris folded cards.  It was a successful trip.  

Ken did some planning for our trip to Florida in about 4 weeks. We need to go back to Lazydays to pick up Waldo and we are hoping to have a leisure trip back to PA, taking about 3 weeks for the return trip.  He was in search of campgrounds and places where we would like to spend time.

We ate lunch and left for our dental cleanings and check-ups at 1:45.  We could both have appointments at the same time - how nice.  Since we sold our other CRV before we left for Florida in December,  we are a 1 car couple, so we are thankful when we have "coordinated" appointments.  It can be a bit challenging when either one of us go away for the day, but we are doing well.

We stopped by Jamie's and met Bria and Cali on the way home from their bus stop.  It is always good to see any of our granddaughters.  

We took a walk when we got back and Ken walked about 30 minutes longer than I did.  I made salads for us and got supper ready.  Spent the evening working on this blog and watching American Idol.

Life is good and we are Celebrating Life Daily!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Day! He Is Risen! Special Day With Family!

Ken and I were up by 7:15, did some reading, had a light breakfast, and were on our way to Lanie's by 8:45.  It was a cloudy, damp day, but fairly mild.

We arrived at Lanie's around 9:20 and it was so good to see all of them.  Samantha and Katelyn had made us a large banner to Welcome Us Home!  It was so cute, well done, and had lots of special details like our apartment number, a bike rack with bikes attached on the back of our car, and lots of rainbows and special wishes!  What a nice welcome!

It has our apartment number on the house and Sam drew the
car with our bikes on the back.  Amazingly, Sam, who is 7,
did all the lettering.  I thought for sure that Lanie had
done the "balloon lettering"!

Jamie's family came at 10 and it was such a great family day.  

Lanie, Mom, and Jamie

Katelyn loves her Uncle Dane!

Bob was in the Easter Spirit!

Before our Easter dinner, the adults hid eggs in the yard, each of the girls having a particular color of eggs to search for. 

Let the fun begin -

 No, Jamie!  You can not participate!!!!

 It looks like Cali is on a mission -

Sam is posing instead of hunting!

Watch it Bria!  Mommy is going to steal your candy while she is hugging you!

These four girls had a great time!

Miss Cali, the birthday girl!

Miss Katelyn!

Miss Samantha!

...and grown up Miss Bria!

Their bags and buckets are full!

PaPa asked for a silly pose and they did just that!!!
After the Easter egg hunt, it was time to empty the eggs and see the special treats - money, shopkins, and candy -

Note how each little one had a certain color of eggs to hunt for!

I think Cali is pleased with her "stash"!

Time to put the eggs back together for next year!
And then the good part - sampling!

Lanie and Bob had a delicious meal.  Bob grilled steaks and chicken...

and Lanie made oven roasted potatoes, fresh green beans, rolls and crab cakes. I provided the traditional potato stuffing.  Before the meal Lanie had some snacks including jumbo steamed shrimp. 

Jamie brought a birthday cake to celebrate Bob and Cali's Birthdays.  It was half white cake with vanilla icing and the other half chocolate with peanut butter icing.  What a treat!

The Birthday People - Bria 9, Bob ----, and Cali 7.

2 different flavors in one cake!

Add caption

Looks good enough to eat!  It was!!!
After cake eating, the girls played Kid's Charades, a game Cali got from Lanie's family for her birthday.  They were so cute acting out the words on the cards -

PaPa and I gave the girls small stuffed flamingos and mermaids from Florida and a few of their favorite shells we found on the beach.  Before Jamie's family left at 3 to go to Dane's parents I had a craft project for the girls - making lightning bugs out of plastic eggs and putting a tea light battery candle inside.  They were really cute, but because we needed to use glue guns, Lanie and I did most of the actual work.  They did pick out the colors and help cut the pipe cleaners for the legs and antennas.  

Making the "lightning bugs" out of eggs!

It was a fun project but needed adult supervision!

This is what I created for the girls for Easter instead
of a basket!

After Jamie's family left, Ken, Bob, Lanie and I played a game of Skip-Bo which the men won.  Then we played the marble game with Sam, and Katelyn sat on my lap and was my helper, moving the marbles for me.  Then Sam wanted to teach us how to play 4 corners in her bedroom, which we all did.  

Earlier in the afternoon, the girls and I got our "calendars together" and set-up some dates this summer for camping with the girls, family picnics, having a birthday dinner with my dad, etc.  So glad we will be around this summer to be a part of all these special activities!

We had salads for dinner and then Ken and I headed home around 6.  What a special day with our family.  Looking forward to lots of fun activities this summer!

I worked on this blog, downloaded photos, and watched some TV.  Ken read the Sunday News while watching TV too!

Bed around 10:00.  We have had such a busy schedule since we got home, but loving all of it!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wow! Busy 2 Days!

There is so much to do when you have been away from home for 3 months!  After driving 600 miles a day for 2 days, we were very tired when we arrived on Thursday evening, and both Friday and Saturday have been extremely busy, but fun!

Friday morning Ken and I got up at 5:45 and left the apartment together at 6:40 so I could meet the "Curvettes" gals for breakfast.  Because we now only have one car, Ken dropped me off at the restaurant and then he went to Wal-Mart to get groceries.  Our refrigerator was bare and the cupboards weren't much better!  He came back to the restaurant and came in to visit with all the Curvettes.  It was so good to see all of them again and "catch up" on what has been going on while I was gone!  They are a very special group of friends!

Ken and I left there around 8:30 and stopped by Jamie's.  Because it was Good Friday, Bria and Cali were off school, Dane had off work, and the girls had a sleepover with each having one of their friends there to celebrate their birthdays.  Ken had brought donuts for everyone!  It was so great to see everyone and to get a tour of their brand new kitchen.  It is positively gorgeous and makes their house look so open and bright!  We got our mail from Jamie and headed back to the apartment.

It is a tradition for me to make potato filling for our holiday family meals.  The girls said they would gladly buy it for Easter since we had just gotten home.  But, it is a tradition and the very least I can do when they host all the holiday get togethers!  So, I cut up the onions and celery, cubed the bread, and peeled the potatoes.

At 11:15, we drove to Costco to get the remainder of our needed groceries.  Wow, was that place ever busy!  It was hard to find a place to park!  We took our time looking throughout the store and got back to Lititz around 1:15.

I started cooking everything for the stuffing while Ken "picked" the rotisserie chicken we had bought at Costco.  Then he made us salads for "lupper".  When the stuffing was completed and the dishes done, we sauteed onions and peppers  with the chicken to put on the top of our salads.  By then it was 3:45 and time to eat. 

By then we were tired and we both rested from about 5 to 6, getting up in time to get ready to go to 7:00pm church.  We decided to go Friday night instead of Sunday morning so the family could get together early on Easter.  After a great service, Jamie invited us back to their house along with Dan and Sue.  It was a fun evening.  We returned to our apartment at 10:30 and went right to bed!

Today, Saturday, was another busy one.  We were up by 7:30, did our devotions, ate a light breakfast, and then went for a walk around town.  It was only 34 degrees so a heavier coat, hat and gloves were a necessity for these folks!  

By the time we showered and got ready, it was 10:00 and time to leave to have lunch with my parents at Masonic Homes and then spend the afternoon playing cards.  We were all so happy to see each other!

We had a very good lunch in their dining hall (Ken had grilled scallops and shrimp) and then we went to the lounge on Mom's floor to play 3 games of Pinochle.  A winning day for the men - all 3 games.  But, we had a lot of fun and it was so wonderful to see my parents healthy and happy!  Mom's whole floor was renovated while we were gone and the improvements are amazing.  The rooms and hallways are so bright a cheery!  Everything in her room was redone including all new furniture.

We left there at 4:30 and I talked to Cindy.  They had left Florida for home yesterday around 1:00 and were within 1 hour of their home in Mt. Joy.  They made very good time.  They left Florida about 1 1/2 weeks before they had planned, because Cindy's daughter is due to have a baby very soon (about 1 or 2 weeks earlier then expected) and Cindy wanted to be here for the birth of her grandchild.

I still had some work to do on the granddaughters Easter gifts, so that is how I spent the rest of the evening.  Ken made us salads and chicken wraps for dinner while I worked on the Easter projects.  Things did not go as easily as planned and I got somewhat frustrated.  By 9:30 I was finished and had everything packed to go to Lanie's tomorrow morning.  She wants us there at 9:30, so I knew I had to get everything done this evening.

I worked on this blog and then headed to bed around 10:30.  It certainly has been a busy 48 hours, but wonderful to be with family again!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Long Drive, But We Are Home!

Ken was awake at 4:30 and did his devotions in bed.  He woke me at 5:30 so we could "get on the road again".  We got ready and Ken loaded the car while I finished the process of trying to get it together!  He had a lot to load, because ever since Ernie and Noela had their truck stolen while spending the night in a hotel on their way to Florida, we don't leave anything in the car that is valuable or not replaceable.  

We ate breakfast at the hotel and were on our way by 6:40.  We knew we had a 600 mile drive today to get back to Lititz, about the same amount of miles we drove yesterday!  It would be a long day!

The drive really did go well.  We stopped for gas and drinks not too far into the drive and then stopped for lunch at a Wendy's.  I think we made about 4 stops throughout the day, but all of them were rather quick!  Traffic was reasonable today, not nearly as busy as we expected.  We debated about going all the way on I-95, but with the lighter traffic we decided to "give it a shot".  As we got to northern VA, traffic increased and the mapping app on our phone said we should take some alternate routes.  So we listened and took Route 15 to Carlisle and then the PA turnpike. 
We could tell it was a milder winter with the blossoming of
the beautiful ornamental pear trees!

They are gorgeous!

We got to our apartment at Lititz at 5:40, 11 hours after leaving Santee, SC and we were tired.  Ken did all the driving so I knew he was exhausted.  We could hardly believe it was 72 degrees.  Usually when we come home from Florida we are freezing and wearing our winter jackets.  Today Ken had shorts on and I had capris and sandals.  Just crazy!

Then the "fun" began - unloading the car and putting everything in its proper place.  And let me tell you, the car was packed!!!!  I don't think we could find room for 1 more thing!  So, it was quite a process!  By 7:30 we were finished and ready to call it a day.  We were hungry, but there was very little food to be found and we were too tired to go out.  So we had some peanuts and fruit - wow!

Cindy called to make sure we had gotten home safely.  I appreciated her call.

I worked on the blog while watching American Idol.  Ken spent time on his I-Pad.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Good-Bye to Florida, the Eustis Area, and Our Special Friends, Chuck and Melissa!

Fortunately, Ken and I were up at 5:50.  I had set the alarm, but forgot to push the button to make the alarm go off.  Ken woke up at the time we had wanted to get out of bed - hallelujah!

We kept busy getting ready for a 7 AM departure.  By 6:50 we had the CRV in tow and went over to say our good-byes to Chuck and Melissa - a sad one!  This is the 1st time we have no set time when we will met up again and I don't like it!  So we did our hugs and good-byes and then Ken said a prayer while we held hands and shed some tears.  

By 7:00 we were on our way to Lazydays, about 100 miles south of the CG.  We arrived there at 9 (there was a detour we took because of a major accident on I-75.  Fortuntely we were able to meet with our service supervisor, Samantha, very quickly and we were on our way by 10.  I did take a few minutes to talk to our contact at Thousand Trails, Josh, who now works full-time at Lazydays making reservations and selling memberships for Thousand Trails.  He is a great person to contact if you want to do somethings with Thousand Trails.  You can call him at Lazydays and please let him know that you got his contact info from me.  I have appreciated everything he has done for Ken and I and many of our camping friends over the last 4 or 5 years.

As we were heading north on I-75, our phones warned us of another accident on that highway that would cause us a delay of about 1 1/2 hours.  The alternate route was 301, so we got off of I-75 and followed the advice of our phones.  We stopped about 3 time today for drinks, bathroom breaks and lunch arriving at a Comfort Inn at Exit 98, Santee in South Carolina.  A very nice hotel in a nice area.  We checked in at 6 PM after 11 hours of being on the road and driving around 600 miles.  Obviously, we were tired. 

During our travels today I talked to Nancy Savage and her father is not doing very well.  They are planning to head back to PA on Friday.  They actually started heading north today, but their truck developed some braking issues.  So they are staying at 3 Flags in Florida for 2 nights and Neil hopes to be able to repair the brake problem and have them back on the road by Friday.  We wish them the best.  

I also talked to my Mom and she and Dad are doing well.  Melissa called to check on us and they are driving all the way to Stone Mountain near Atlanta today.  Jamie called us while we were traveling to check on us and we had a nice long chat.  We are looking forward to seeing our families!

We had a special telephone call with Cali which began by us singing Happy  Birthday to her.  She was 7.  Then we just chatted with her and Bria.  They are a joy to talk to on the phone.

 At the recommendation of the gal at check-in we went to Pedro's, a very nice Mexican Restaurant very close to the hotel.  It was a delicious meal.

Back to the Comfort Inn by 8 and Ken watched the movie, "Enemy of the State" and I talked to Noela, Cindy, and Melissa.  I also downloaded photos and worked on this blog while sort of watching the movie.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Last Full Day In Florida for these Snowbirds!

Ken and I had a good night's sleep - Ken up by 6:30 and I got out of bed around 7:15.  

We continued packing up items to take home and cleaning out the pantry.  Since Waldo is staying in Florida until the beginning of May, we have to take many things home, defrost the refrigerator, and put perishable items in a air tight bin in the shower until we return.  The hardest part is deciding what stays and what goes.  The car is certainly getting very full!!!!

We had omelettes for breakfast and continued the pack up process.  At 10:15 the 4 of us drove to the beautiful pickleball courts in Leesburg for our last time to play together for this trip.  Again, it was a fun time and the weather was perfect - only in the 60's with very little breeze.  It had actually gone down to 45 degrees during the early morning hours.  We played until 12:45 and then went to the same Subway where we had eaten on Sunday for another tasty lunch.

We were back to the CG by 2:00 and we disconnected the refrigerator and took the few items we will take with us over to Chuck and Melissa's frig to keep the items cold until tomorrow morning.  We also had a few things that we were happy to give to them - feels so much better than throwing them away.  But, we had done a great job of using most of the food.  The freezer only had 2 Cafe Steamers that will be our dinner tonight.  Not bad, huh??????

Ken pulled in the slides and then took Waldo off the boards so he could get them dried before putting them away.  It won't take us long to be on our way tomorrow morning.

At 3:45 the 4 of us walked over to the shuffleboard courts for 2 very close games, but the men were victorious in both.  It was 74/74 for several rounds, but the men eventually won.  

Back to our RV's by 5:45 to shower and loading everything in the car that could be loaded tonight!  At 6:45, the 4 of us drove to Lake Park in downtown Eustis to enjoy the walk along the lake. 

The walkway at the park is exceptional!

 We checked out all the water lilies, some with huge leaves and buds.

It is hard to imagine how large the leaves and flowers are on
these water lilies!

Also lots of cypress trees with "knees" which are used for beautiful wood carvings like santas, etc.

A cypress tree with its "knees" along its base!

There were numerous ducks and a stately bald eagle -

We really enjoyed the beautiful sunset, and what a gorgeous one it was.  Just enjoy Ken's photos  because they speak for themselves!

I did find the aqua and orange colors in the water amazing

Isn't this a beautiful picture????  Good job, Ken!

Then when we were leaving the park we got photos of the full moon. What a great way to end a day.

We did stop at McDonald's for an ice cream cone to celebrate our last night together. 

Thanks for sharing our time in Florida.  You always make
it special.  Looking forward to the next time we are together!
Blessings on you and your family!

Back to the CG by 8:30 and we played a game of Pinochle (W) and a short Skip-Bo (M).  To bed at 10:45 after a great day shared with our special friends.