Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where is the Warm Weather?

Okay, it is about time for Spring to show its face!  It has been way too cool, cloudy, and now rainy!

Wednesday was a day spent with my parents.  It was cloudy and very cool when Ken drove me to Masonic Homes, after stopping at Subway to get Mom and Dad lunch.  He went back home while Cindy and I spent the morning taking the winter clothes our of Mom's closet, packing them in boxes and then putting her spring wardrobe in the closet.  The 3 of us had a good time working together.

We finished around 11:30 when Dad came to visit us.  Cindy left and Mom, Dad and I enjoyed our subs.  After some texting, I discovered that Neil and Nancy Savage were in her father's room here at Masonic Homes.  So I headed to his room to be a supportive friend since her father is in the final stage of his life. Nancy's family is with their father almost round the clock.  What a hard time for all of them.  

I went back to my parents and when Ken arrived the 4 of us spent the afternoon playing 3 games of Pinochle.  The men won 2 of the 3 games.  I appreciated that Neil and Nancy stopped by to meet my parents.  I realize how blessed I am to have parents that are relatively healthy and of very sound mind.  We had a fun afternoon and Ken and I were back home by 5:15.

By 6:30 we at Jamie's house with ice cream from Dairy Queen for their family. They were just finishing dinner, so we sat with them and had a nice time chatting with Jamie, Dane and the girls.  We left by 8 when Bria and Cali were going to bed.  It was a nice visit.

We watched some TV while I did some work on our budget program.

Today, Thursday, was another cloudy, rainy, and "raw" day.  Ken had breakfast with Gary and I spent most of the morning doing laundry and packing food, etc. for our trip back to Florida.  When Ken returned he loaded our bikes, grill, etc. in the car.  Then he did some work on the computer.  I did some clean-up around the house and by 3 we were on our way to Lanie's house, about 45 minutes from Lititz.  

We spent time playing with Samantha and Katelyn and chatting with Lanie until Bob got home from work.  Then all of us went to a local Pizzeria for dinner.  Bob went back home to pack for his trip this weekend to North Carolina for a Kubb tournament.  Lanie, Samantha, Katelyn, Ken and I went to a nearby McDonald's for ice cream and to play games on their computers.  We had a great time.

Back to Lititz by 8:00 and we watched TV and I worked on the blog.  I can't believe we leave on Saturday to go back to Florida to get Waldo and then take a slow trip back home enjoying some of the places we usually don't stop to visit - Jekyll, Charleston, and the Outer Banks.  It will be a fun adventure!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday and Tuesday In Lititz!

Monday morning, Ken was up earlier than me but encouraged me to "sleep in" - YES!!  I got up around 8:15 and we sat in the LR drinking tea and chai while discussing what each of us did the last several days!  Ken enjoyed having some time to do his thing and I had fun with my special friends who are so supportive and have added so much to my life over the last 10 or so years!

After breakfast we loaded our bikes and drove to near Columbia to ride the Enola Low Grade Bike Trail.  It is a 5 1/2 mile trail that follows along the Susquehanna River ending at the Safe Harbor Dam.  There were some small falls along the wide and well maintained trail.  It was in the 70's with plenty of sunshine, a perfect day for a bike ride!  After riding 11 miles, we headed back home!
The parking lot at the head of the trail!

It follows the railroad track and the river!

A beautiful trail along the Susquehanna!

Bag worm sacks on the trees!

They are so dense you can't see the inside!  They are killing
the trees!

The 1st little waterfalls we passed!

Looking down on the Safe Harbor Dam!

This is a great view of Safe Harbor!

A really beautiful trail!

Even some small waterfalls!

This buzzard is resting and drying his wings.  Looks like what
the anhingas do in Florida!

We had a light lunch around 2:30 and then I went to a local lab to have my blood work and EKG for the minor surgery I will have on May 25 when we return from our trip to Florida!

After dinner, Ken went to Celebrate Recovery and I made some more cards.  I had gotten some new die-cuts that I had ordered and I was so excited to try them while watching The Voice. 

Today, Tuesday, Ken had breakfast with one of the leaders at Celebration Recovery while I enjoyed time with his sister, Priscilla.  She got a tour of our apartment and then we went to breakfast where we sat and chatted for over 2 hours.  So good to spend some time with her.  We don't get to be together very often and I miss sharing with her.

Around noon, Ken and I went for a long walk (it was in the 70's and very sunny) and then he worked at his desk while I made a few additional cards.  I just can't get enough of this "creative time".  Jamie called to ask about my weekend away and we had a nice chat.  

I spent a lot of time late afternoon and evening working on this blog.  Also had a phone conversation with Melissa.  When they went to bed on Saturday night she smelled something burning, so Chuck went outside and disconnected all the electric.  They discovered that the wires were blackened in the circuit box above their bed.  Fortunately they were there and awake when it happened.  Using the battery system, they could get the slides in and drive it on Sunday morning to an RV dealer right down the road.  That dealership had a special sale that day, so they were open.  They sold 17 RV's this weekend, so they are not sure how quickly they can repair Chuck and Melissa's motorhome.  They had to unload their refrigerator and freezer and take clothes and other belongs to her mother's condo(she lives about 10 minutes from the CG) where they will stay until their home is repaired.  We are just thankful they are safe and their motorhome did not burn!

We watched The Voice and a show on the National Parks.  It has been a relaxing day.  Sometime this week we will have to take time to pack for our departure on Saturday to Florida to pick up Waldo and slowly head back home.  Sounds exciting! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Watkins Glen, New York with my Curvette Ladies!

Friday morning Ken was up at 4 and did some reading.  I woke to the 4:30 alarm so I would be ready when Polly arrived at 5:30 to pick me up for our adventure!  I thought Ken was up because he wanted to see and talk to me before I left for several days and he would really miss me!  Actually he thought he should carry my dufflebag and bags with food to the car!

The 7 of us ladies met in Akron at Linda's house and were on our way in 2 cars for the 4 1/2 hour drive.   After 2 hours of driving we stopped at Kitchen Cupboard near Bucknell College for breakfast and then enjoyed checking out their huge gift shop and bakery!

We arrived at the small house where we would be staying around noon, unloaded, chose our bedrooms, unpacked, and then had snack type food for lunch.  We were within 2 blocks of downtown Watkins Glen so we walked there and had our 1st view of Lake Seneca.  Back to the house to chat and then we drove downtown for dinner at Nickel's Barbeque because it was really raining! We had a delicious dinner, returning to the house to change to our PJ's and play games.  Most of us were up until 10:30.

We have a bunch of "early risers" in our group, so sleeping in was not an option. Also, there was only 1 small bathroom, so we needed to get up early for everyone to have their "turn".  I am not used to getting up at 5:15 (I am retired), but I was a "sport" and was the 2nd one in the bathroom!

After a delicious breakfast of lots of fresh fruit and homemade baked blueberry oatmeal (thanks, Nancy) we all got into Marcia's van and drove to Skaneateles, New York, which is a quaint town with many unique shops and nice eateries. We enjoyed going through the shops and then having a delicious lunch at the Blue Water Grill where we had a nice lake view.  The favorite meal was the shrimp and scallop enchiladas.  This none fish eater loved the flatbread margarita pizza.

Then it was time to check out some wineries.  We stopped at 3 Brothers to see how each of them marketed their specific wines (their dad had given each of them money to start up their own "operation" and their styles are so different). Then on to 1 of Nancy's favorites, Knap Winery, where Matt, a gentleman probably in his early 80's with an adorable smile and grin, and a rhyme for each wine, was our "leader" for the wine tasting.  What fun!  From there we went to Goosewatch Winery just to enjoy the spectacular view.  We arrived at Hazelit winery at 4:45 (they were about ready to close and very full), so only Marcia and Shirley did the tasting.

Our 1st view of Cayuga Lake!

The tower at Goosewatch Winery!

Back to the house by 6 after buying ice cream to have with the apple crisp I had brought.  We had a late lunch, so none of us were extremely hungry.  We spent the evening playing games and 5 Crowns seemed to be the favorite.  Since I tend to be extremely competitive, some of them were happy that I came in last! Really????  It was a fun day and by 11 we headed to bed.  It was a rather chilly day with temperatures only in the upper 50's and rather windy!

Everyone was up early again on Sunday - I was dressed and ready by 5:45. What is that about???  We had an egg and bacon breakfast and were on our way to Taughannock Falls State Park by 9:30.  Marcia was a great tour guide, driving us to the overlook at the top of the falls 1st, and then hiking the 3/4 mile path that lead back to the falls from a different area in the Park.  It was a beautiful walk but again rather chilly!  Yes, Polly, it was cool!

From there we drove through Ithaca to Robert Treman State Park.  We did get to see a small falls there, but unfortunately the trail to the gorge was closed.  It is one of my favorite hikes in that area.  By then it was 1:30 and these gals were hungry.  We headed to a winery near Watkins Glen known for good food, but the cafe only opened on May 1st.  So we drove to downtown Watkins Glen and enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Marina Bar and Grille.  4 of us got quesadillas and they were delicious.

Back to the house by 3:30 and Nancy, Linda, Deb and I packed the car to head home, the other 3 were staying until tomorrow morning.  We were on our way by 4, but made a quick stop at Montour to check out the town waterfalls.  There was a "hippie" type wedding ceremony at the base of the falls.  We only stopped 1 time for gas and arrived back home by 8:30.  ( I will have some additional photos from Nancy to post in the near future!)

This is the beautiful falls at Montour
and if you look closely you can see the
bride and groom who got married while
we were there!  Pizza was delivered
as soon as the ceremony ended and it
was the minister's 1st wedding!

Ken's Adventures at Home While I Was in New York!

Friday he had breakfast with Marcia's husband, Gary, and then went to Jamie's for a good haircut.  (Mine are a bit marginal!)  Then he enjoyed going to the movies to see "God's Not Dead".  In the evening he went to 10,000 Villages to hear 2 ladies sing and sat with Sam and Kathy.

Saturday Ken went to the Wolf Sanctuary near Speedwell Forge where they currently have 44 wolves.  He spent 2 hours seeing the different packs, hearing their history, and learning how they live in the wild.  A very interesting place! Late afternoon and evening was movie time in the apartment watching War Room and The Letters.  He really enjoyed War Room that was on the power of prayer!

This is the home of the wolf sanctuary owners and it is also
a Bed and Breakfast!  Beautiful!
Quite a crowd on Saturday!

...and now for the stars of the sanctuary - the wolves!

After Church on Sunday, he loaded his bike and went to the Riverfront Park between Marietta and Bainbridge and rode 7 miles on the River Trail to the visitors center at Columbia and then 7 miles back to the car. 

This is the new visitors center overlooking the Susquehanna River!

It was a gorgeous day for a ride and he really enjoyed the trail along the Susquehanna River.  Part of the trail was along Front Street in Marietta where there are beautiful old homes with lots of history.  He also passed by Chickies Rock, where several outfitters were helping people ascend the face of the high rock. 

Nice bike trail!

Over the river and through the woods!

This is the Susquehanna River!

Heading down the main street of Marietta!

Some folks are getting instructions on rock climbing!

An old furnace along the trail!

/The old bridge over the Susquehanna!

The supports in the water were from the original bridge over the
Susquehanna.  It was a 1 1/2 mile covered bridge that
was burned during the Civil War!  What history!

Ken spotted this red fox while riding the trail!

From there he went to Jamie's to visit and enjoy a delicious dinner.  He picked me up at 8:30 and his time of being alone and doing his thing was over!!!! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Time to Fill in the Blank Days!

Wednesday, April 20 was an early rise day meeting the Curvettes for breakfast at 6:45 in Ephrata to discuss our trip to Watkins Glen.  From there I went to Wal-Mart for a few groceries.  When I got home I started some packing for the trip and loading some things to take to mom later.

Ken and I had an appointment with our financial advisor and from there went to Masonic Homes to play Pinochle with Mom and Dad.  It was a fun afternoon.  I was extremely sleepy on the drive there, probably because I didn't have my "needed" chai this morning for that boost of caffeine.  I can't believe I have gotten so "hooked" on that stuff!

We left there around 4:45 and stopped at John and Cindy's for a short time and then took a moderate walk when we got home.  I spent the evening recording our expenses in our budget program - what fun!  Where does all that money go????

Thursday morning I did some wash and then spent a lot of time packing for the Watkins Glen adventure.  How can it take so long and do you "think" you need so much stuff for a 3 day, 2 night trip???  It's crazy, but the weather forecast and temperatures for that area caused me to pack "layers" of clothing.

Ken and I went for a long walk in the 70 degree temperature.  It was a very nice day.  When we returned we called our youngest granddaughter, Katelyn, to sing Happy Birthday.  She turned 5 today.  We grilled for dinner and I spent the evening making cards while Ken read. 

I did get a phone call from Noela today and they signed up for Passport America, a membership for RVer's that gets you in to many campgrounds at a reduced rate.  She also made reservations for the CG where we will be staying for 1 week in Mesa, Arizona when Dane is participating in the Ironman competition.  It's exciting! 

Planned to go to bed early, but only turned off the light around 10:30.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monday and Tuesday Were Gorgeous Days!

Both Monday and Tuesday were exceptional days with cool temperatures in the morning but plenty of sunshine and then afternoon temperatures in the 70's. Just perfect days to be outside enjoying all the beautiful of Spring!

After a long walk, we had lunch on our deck and then I shopped at Michaels and AC Moore Craft Stores while Ken picked up some groceries at Costco.

When we returned home we made delicious salads for dinner and prepped food for dinner tomorrow evening when Cindy and John will be here.  Ken went to Celebrate Recovery and I watched "The Voice" while working on some cards.

Tuesday's weather was a repeat of Monday so after breakfast, making a camping reservation in Arizona for November when Dane is doing his Ironman Competition, we took a long walk.  When we got back we enjoyed lunch on the deck.

I talked to Melissa today and they are extremely busy in Nashville but enjoying their time with her mother.  We had a nice long chat - so good to talk to her again.  I also talked with Noela to discuss a few more details about our trip to the southwest US in Sept., Oct., and November.  They are planning to join us around the middle of October in Utah.  We will keep them posted as we do more finalizing of our plans.  Enjoyed hearing her voice again and the excitement of them having a grandson born early this morning.

Cindy and John were here to visit, have dinner and then play Up the River and Pinochle.  They arrived around 4:30 and left about 10:30.  It was a fun evening. We realized we hadn't seen each other since camping at Winter Quarters Manatee in Bradenton, FL and that was the middle of March!  So good to be together.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Busy But Fun Weekend!

On Saturday, we both took a walk, but Ken had left earlier than me.  We left at 9:30 to get our "tuned up" bikes on our way to get Samantha and Katelyn. They were excited to see us and have a sleepover with PaPa and Grandma.

1st stop was Samantha's school playground that she thought we just had to see! It is a very nice place and the girls had a good time playing.  After unloading the car when we got to our apartment, the 4 of us walked to downtown Lititz for a pizza lunch.  Then off to Wilbur Chocolate to sample those delicious Wilbur Buds.  We did limit it  to 2 pieces each, but we purchased a special treat for each of the girls - a Rice Krispie Treat covered in chocolate and on a stick!

Katelyn eating her treat from Wilbur!

From there we went to the Lititz Springs Park to enjoy the play areas and feed the ducks.  We were there for about 1 1/2 hours and just loved watching Samantha and Katelyn play together.  Of course, Katelyn wants to do everything Sam does and she almost always accomplishes that goal.  She has no idea that she is 2 years younger!

Time to feed the duck, but because of the beautiful day
and all the folks that were at the park, the ducks weren't
very hungry.  They were well fed today!

I think you are supposed to be in the train and not on the train!

This was a new trick for the girls.  Samantha had done it
1st and of course Katelyn had to try!
You did it Samantha!

They enjoy sitting on the lion that is in the park!

We walked back to the apartment and the girls did so well playing together.  We went to Target so they could choose a toy.  After dinner at home, we had some ice cream sundaes complete with whipped cream.  They had brought the movie, "Madagascar" so we all enjoyed it together.  They were in bed by 9 and went right to sleep.

Sunday the 4 of us were up by 6:30 and the girls watched a short movie while we got ready for church and made the girls special breakfast - pancakes and fresh fruit.  Samantha and Katelyn liked their Sunday School classes.

After church we went to Jamie's house so the cousins could play and we could sip on tea.  We left around 11, stopped by the apartment for our camera, and drove to Masonic Homes where our daughters and their families met us and we had lunch with my father and mother to celebrate Dad's Birthday.  Masonic Homes has a room that seats 16 that you can rent and then they allow you to pick a meal off their menu for a small fee.  We also took a birthday cake.  It was a nice arrangement!

The "Birthday Boy"!

Jamie and Dane

Lanie and Bob

Happy Samantha!

Cali is getting ready to show us her
muscles from swimming!

Oh no, what are we going to order for lunch?

You should try the grilled cheese!

Bria is getting so grown up and tall!

Time to make a wish!

It was a gorgeous day so we did a little walking outside and then all of us left by 2:30.  Cindy's whole family had visited yesterday with cake and ice cream and both Mom and Dad were rather tired from all the excitement.

There is our side of the Althouse clan, minus the
photographer, Ken!

Ken and I went for a walk when we got back to Lititz, had a light dinner and then went to our Small Life Group from 6:30 to 9.  It is a great support group.