Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday - New Year's Eve!

Ken and I were at Edgewater Church at 9:15 and had a great time talking with several folks that we hadn't seen since last March.  The music and message were so good.  Pastor Dan had a great sermon for the end of the year asking us all to find our calling for 2018 by following 4 words - Stop, Look, Listen, and then Go!  It was rather thought provoking but in a good way!

Ken and I went to Denny's where we always share a Make Your Own Slam.  It is definitely one of our favorites!  Then on to Wal-Mart for a few more groceries - we should soon have everything we need till at least the end of the week.  Well, we can hope!!!

I wanted to watch the Eagles, but that was not a game they broadcast in this part of the country, nor the Steelers.  What is wrong with the TV stations around here?  I was very disappointed!  I did watch the Patriots win while making some jewelry.  At halftime we went for a walk, but my hip didn't want to cooperate, so we only walked about a mile!

We watched the end of the game and then headed to Manasota Beach to reflect on 2017 and watch the beautiful sunset.  We both agreed that 2017 was a fantastic year for Ken and I and we feel extremely happy and blessed!

Lots of folks on the beach to watch the sunset!  Birds too!

I had to spend a little time shark's tooth hunting!

An amazing, gorgeous sunset!

Tomorrow night is full moon, but it was phenomenal tonight!
Notice the osprey on its nest on top of the pole!

The osprey up close and personal!

Love this photo that Ken took when we were leaving the beach!

We played several rounds of Hand and Foot and so far I am leading!  It is now 10 PM and I am not sure I will be up to "watch the ball drop".  Wow, I must be getting old!  Maybe I will go back to bed to read and then hopefully watch the ball drop on that TV.  Somehow I think that is just wishful thinking!

Did hear from Ernie and Noela today and they left Canada early this morning where it was minus 17 degrees!  They hope to arrive here late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday!  Their site is waiting for them!

Well, we want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2018 filled with many special moments that create lasting memories!  Make it a great one!!!

Wanted to share a photo of our home for the next 3 months -

No one behind us except the canal and Florida birds!!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday - Another Fun, Relaxing Day!

Neither of us arose too early after a later night.  We had omelettes and fresh fruit for breakfast after a leisure morning.  

We packed a few snacks and drinks and were on Manasota Beach by noon.  It was in the upper 60's and a bit breezy, so sweatshirts were the order of the day.  Ken took a long walk and found a few treasures.  I found about 20 shark's teeth on my shorter walk.  I did enjoy time playing games and reading on my tablet.

Nice view don't you think?

The water looked beautiful and yes, there were people on
the beach, it just doesn't look that way!!!

We left the beach at 3:30 and when we returned we realized we could not get the Penn State Game since it was on ESPN.  After some research we discovered we could do a trial streaming so we could watch the game and what an exciting game it was.  At halftime we did take a break and walk around the CG.

We made salads for dinner and I prepped potatoes for the grill.  Ken grilled a steak for me (it was delicious) and salmon for himself.  After cleaning up, we played 3 rounds of Hand and Foot and I have a decisive lead.

We were in bed by 9:30 so we could do some reading.  Tomorrow should be a nice day in the low 70's, but then we are looking at about 5 days in the 50's and 60's with much cooler temperatures at night.  I am grateful, for the weather back in PA is brutal!  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday - Fun Day!

We had a relaxing morning and a late breakfast.  After showers, we decided to head towards Sarasota to Costco to fill our refrigerator and I must say, we did a good job!

Costco was so busy when we arrived but by the time we got to the check-out the crowds had really diminished.  We stocked up on meat and veggies plus snack bars and trail mix.  I think Costco was happy to see us!!!!

We were back to the campground by 1:30, put everything in its proper place, and then took a walk.  

We left at 3:30 to met 4 other couples at one of our favorite restaurants near here, Farlow's on the Water, about 20 minutes from the CG.  Rick and Joyce are members of our church Life Group, but moved permanently to Venice, FL in July and they organized the gathering.  Barb and Frank attend LCBC back home and own a home in Sarasota.  They will moving here full time in the very near future.  Deb and Howie just bought a home near North Port which is just south of Venice and are both working, so they come down whenever possible.  They are also members of LCBC.  Skip and Judy moved to Florida from Paradise, PA 13 years ago and positively love it.  They live in the outskirts of Venice.  Skip worked with Lloyd and Deb Eberly and they introduced them to Rick and Joyce.  Ken and I were the "newbies" in the group only knowing Barb, Frank, Rick and Joyce.   What a delightful evening with special folks, good food, and a wonderful setting.  We only parted at 6:45.

What a Group!

We are sitting on the edge around the fire pit.  It was a cool
evening, so it felt great!

The guys decided they should give it a try!

Rick and Joyce followed us to the CG and we played Hand and Foot and then a game of double deck Pinochle.  The women won both and by a rather large margin!  Impressive!  It was a fun time.

They left around 11 and Ken and I went to bed.

We are so blessed here in Florida to have people to share life with!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday - Good in Florida!

Life in Florida is Good at our winter home!  Ken was up early to read and study but I only arose at 7:45.  I am still trying to catch up on my missed sleep!  By that time Ken was starting to feel tired (he had been up for about 3 hours), so he went back to bed for about 1/2 hour.

I got ready and then started breakfast.  We had bacon, pepper and onion omelettes and some fresh fruit - a good start for the day.  Ken started washing all of Wilbur's windows both inside and out while I did some clean-up inside.  Then we both spent time setting up outside.  I had bought some heavy vinyl material for new table covers but I had to cut the large piece to have covers for the table and the 2 benches.  We set-up the patio area and then hung somethings I had made with shells and beads plus my coconut fish on our awning.  Looking good!  Ken did more organizing in the basement of Wilbur while I went through most of the drawers and cupboards inside.  We felt good about everything we accomplished!

After lunch I sat outside and played on my tablet and then we decided to drive to Detweiler's market near Venice for some fresh fruits and veggies.  When we got back Ken connected the water filter that we had gotten in the mail today.  We also got the indoor TV antenna we had ordered, but since Ken "fixed" the TV booster in Wilbur, we do not need it at the moment.  But, we will keep it just in case we have a problem later!  

We decided to play Hand and Foot at the picnic table because it was such a gorgeous day - near 80 degrees and sunny.  We stopped after 3 rounds to make dinner which we ate inside watching the Evening News.

Before doing dishes, we left to take a walk around the CG.  We have not been walking regularly for a long time and need to get back into the routine.  It was a beautiful evening for a walk.  We walked for about 30 minutes and then finished our Hand and Foot game while watching Jeopardy - isn't that what all the "older" folks do?  For those of you who play Hand and Foot, Ken won by 55 points and that is crazy!

We watched some TV and I worked on this blog.  What a great day!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday - We Are In Florida!!!!

Ken was up by 7 but I stayed in bed until about 8:45!  I just wasn't quite ready to face the day, but a beautiful day it was - plenty of sunshine with the temperature getting up to 80!  Wow!  Quite a change from yesterday morning when we left PA!

We slowly unpacked most of the food and clothing we brought with us and made a grocery list for Wal-Mart (both the cupboards and refrigerator are rather bare!).  Ken decided he needed to wash Wilbur (quite a job for a tired driver), because we really couldn't set-up outside until that task was completed.  So that was his job for the next 5 hours - Wow!

I had phone calls from Nancy Savage (they are on there way to Florida for the winter), my friend, Jackie, from back in PA, and Joyce who recently moved to Venice.  So nice to talk to all of them.

I headed to Wal-Mart around noon and only returned at 2:30.  Ken was still washing Wilbur!  I sat on ice for my back (probably hurting from lack of movement yesterday, although it never bothers me when in the car!) and then worked on this blog.  I was happy that Ken decided to take a much needed nap!  I called and talked to Polly back home while I was sitting outside in the warm sunshine!  Did I mention how much I love Florida's winter weather???

I made salads for us for tonight and tomorrow night and sauteed peppers, onions, and chicken to put on them.  We ate our salads watching the Nightly News.  Yes, for some reason our antenna booster is now working since we returned.  Not sure what is different, but we aren't complaining.  Ken said he did "jiggle" some wires while he was on Wilbur's roof, so I think he gets the credit for "fixing it"!  We are just thankful!

I talked to my mother and they were so excited because Jamie, Lanie, and our granddaughters visited them at Masonic Village today!  Mother said the little ones were so well behaved and so polite and they had a wonderful time.  They took 6 gift cards we had purchased for mom and dad that can be used at stores where she shops for necessity items for Dad and her.  They were so surprised and grateful.

After dinner, Ken and I played a full game of Hand and Foot and he won rather handily!  It is now 8:30 and still 67 degrees!  Loving it!  I think I will soon call it a day!  Still have some sleep to "catch up on" after all that driving yesterday!  Looking forward to getting set-up outside tomorrow since Ken is finished cleaning Wilbur and he looks "sexy"!  (I mean Wilbur!)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday - Florida, Here We Come!

Ken had gotten awake at 11:15 and looked at the clock wrong thinking it was 1:15. He thought it was about time for the alarm to go off so he would stay awake.  I turned over and he said it was about time to get up and I immediately stated it was only 11:15.  I went right back to sleep, but Ken had a rough next 2 hours!

We got up at 1:45 and after getting ready and loading some last minute items we were on our way by 2:30.  It felt mighty cold, only 26 degrees so we were dressed warmly.  By 6:30 we were having breakfast at our favorite Denny's on the south side of Richmond.  Up until that time, we had experienced very little traffic!  (Do you think it had anything to do with the time we went around Baltimore and DC?)

Traffic remained rather light until we were 1/2 way through South Carolina.  At that point there were several accidents on I-95 and traffic was bumper to bumper.  Goggle told us to get off to save time and that was the right thing to do.  Unfortunately we had to get back on where there was still lots of congestion and it only got better when got to Georgia and there were 3 lanes of traffic instead of 2!  Hallelujah!  We decided to keep driving as long as we both felt good about it!

All went well until we got on 310 in Florida and again there was a lot of traffic, but it kept moving.  Google informed us of very heavy, slow traffic on I-75, so we stayed on 301 a bit longer than usual, but still got into the bumper to bumper traffic on 75.  It took us 1 hour to go 30 miles in a 70 mph speed zone.  

Long story short, we made it to Wilbur and our winter CG at 10:45 after almost 20 hours of being on the road.  We did have a breakfast and lunch stop (both very quick!) and several bathroom and gas stop (usually combined), but no dinner except for an ice cream sundae at McDonald's (we go all out!!!) around 9:15.  So, we were driving most of the time.  Ken does such a good job and I only drove a total of about 2 1/2 hours - he is quite the guy!

We were so thankful to be at our winter home safe and sound and thrilled to be able to sleep in Wilbur!  Needless to say, we did unload most of the things in the car but the bags and boxes sat in the LR until morning.

It was 62 degrees when we arrived, great temperatures for these folks!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday - Merry Christmas!

Last night I was very tired, but for some reason I just couldn't fall asleep.  I was still awake at 1:00 AM - ridiculous!  

By 8:30 we were on our way to Jamie's, another Christmas tradition, to see what Santa Claus had brought for Bria and Cali.  Dane's parents and his brother were also there.  Bria was very busy assembling one of the 3 very involved Lego kits she had gotten as a gift.  Cali, using the microphone that Lanie and Bob had gotten her for Christmas, acted as a DJ asking questions from a book she had gotten that had multiple choice answers.  It was a lot of fun and her dynamic personality made it a riot!

Bria and Cali's new Christmas outfits!

We left around 10:15 and drove to Lanie's to see what Samantha and Katelyn received from Santa.  We did call before we headed that direction because yesterday Samantha was not feeling very well and felt worse as the day progressed.  Lanie had called this morning and said both she and Samantha were up a lot of the night because Sam had a bad ear ache.  So, after another phone call with Lanie, she said we were welcome to come by and we said we would only stay a short time.  

We enjoyed seeing the girls gifts and then we had a light lunch while there.  Bob and Samantha left at 12:30 to go to Urgent Care to try to get  her an antibiotic so both she and Lanie could have a good night's sleep.  We played one game of UNO with Lanie and Katelyn - it is Katelyn's favorite game!

Ken and I were back home by 1:45 and decided to take naps.  After about 45 minutes we were up and starting doing last minute packing and preparations for tomorrow morning's early departure to Florida.  I cleaned out the refrigerator and scoured the bathroom while Ken loaded things in the car.  It is supposed to be bitter cold tonight, so we are a bit limited in what we can load and have in the car overnight!  

Ken got a call from Ernie and they had a nice chat.  Looking forward to being in the same campground with them for the winter in Florida!

Donna, who lives downstairs, invited us to meet 2 of her friends, one who lives in Venice, FL, and Marie who is moving back to Florida on Thursday.  We had a nice visit.  Back upstairs to do a few more things before sitting down to watch the Steeler's game - go Team!  Donna and her friend brought back the folding chairs they have borrowed from us and then sat and visited for about an hour or so.  We will probably meet up with them when we are in Florida!

I worked on this blog and downloaded photos while watching Jeopardy and then some of the Eagles game.  No food at the Hosler house, so we had cereal for dinner.  That was good, because we have had plenty to eat the last several days!

We plan to be on the road between 2 and 3 AM so we can get around Baltimore and DC before rush hour traffic!  It is supposed to get in the mid teens tonight, so I am ready to return to the warm weather, but we have had the most wonderful time while in PA the last 10 days.  There is nothing like family!!!

PS:  Samantha got medicine for an ear infection and their visit at Urgent Care required a rather short wait time!  Hallelujah!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday - Christmas Eve Day and Evening!

We were up by 7 and had a relaxing time before loading the car and heading to Jamie's around 9:30!  It was cloudy and damp and in the low 30's.  

Lanie's family was already there when we arrived!  At 10:30 Jamie served us a delicious quiche she had made and fruit and muffins that Lanie brought! 

Time for breakfast!!  Lanie and Jamie are ready for a party!

Our daughter, Lanie, and her daughter, Samantha!  Can you
tell that Samantha was not feeling great!

Happy Cousins!

Patiently waiting to open gifts!

What is my mom doing?  I don't know her!!!

Not sure Bob is really into this "holiday thing"!

After a quick clean-up, we decided to exchange Christmas gifts.  With Lanie and Jamie's help and suggestions, PaPa and Grandma were a hit with their gifts for the little ones!  We bought each of them Laser Tag equipment and those pillows that are popular this year that are covered with sequins and you can make a design in them.  Like I said, these gifts were a HIT!  We also gave each of them a gift card to Michael's Crafts and to Apple so they could download a few games.

The girls loved their sequin pillows!

Drawing a design in them!

Laser Tag was a hit too!

Jamie and Dane gave us a framed map of the US that has our logo "Celebrating Life Daily" on it.  It lists all the National Parks in their proper location, some trails, etc. and comes with colored pins so you can "stick" all the places you have visited.  What a special gift. 

Love it!

Lanie and Bob gave us outdoor hanging lights with a remote that allows you to change their color - red, blue, white, or green.  We are going to be "fancy" in Florida.  Bria and Cali gave us special PaPa and Grandma mugs!

PaPa got into the holiday spirit by borrowing Jamie's hat!
Love our special mugs!

Jamie, Dane, and the girls gave Samantha and Katelyn long boards for Christmas.  What a great gift.  

The long boards were a wonderful surprise!

Jamie and Lanie got cast iron skillets from Ken and I and there were some tasty treats for Bob and Dane!

Jamie is always in a festive mood!

I think Bob got a burst of energy - maybe it was the peanuts
and Wilbur Buds!!!

After we finished opening gifts, the little ones went outside to play laser tag and ride on their long boards -

Samantha did well quickly!

Katelyn is hiding during Laser Tag!

There is more than 1 way to ride
a long board.  Maybe you can give
rides too!

Here comes Bria!

Look out!  Here they come!

Katelyn is taking hers for a walk!

The men went outside to do our Christmas tradition - a deep fried turkey!  It was a cold day to spend that much time outdoors, but they did a good job and the turkey was delicious. 

The turkey fryers!

Okay, it was as good as it looks!

I think Bob ate one leg, a wing, and a lot of the skin while Ken was carving it!  We also had the potato stuffing we had made on Friday, roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, and brussel sprouts.  Yum!  Bria made a pecan pie for dessert -

Bria and her delicious Pecan Pie!

Neither Dane nor Bob are big game players, so Ken and I spent several hours playing Haus with Lanie and Jamie, something we used to do when they were growing up.  It was so much fun and the parents won "big time"!  

Our family Haus game!

Before everyone left, we got out the Christmas "props" and took family pictures in front of the wrapping paper placed as a background on the wall and Jamie had completed the set with balloons that spelled Be Merry!  Even Samson had his picture taken in his Christmas PJ's.

Lanie, Katelyn, Samantha, and Bob!

Bria, Dane, Jamie and Cali!

PaPa, Grandma and our special granddaughters!

It is a party!!!

Samson and his "mommy"!

Matching PJ's.  Actually the whole family has them, even
We were home by 9:15 after a phenomenal day with our girls and their family.  We are so blessed and so appreciative of Jamie's hospitality!