Friday, February 25, 2011

We are still alive and kicking

It has been a while since I’ve done a post, so I thought it would be a good idea to bring you up to date.

Last week I was in Chicago visiting my daughter and son-in-law and their first born son, Luke.

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Baby Luke, Brad and Jennifer make a nice family.

And, while I was in the Windy City, Sandy had a close friend spend 4 days with her in Salt Springs.  Kate Stratman (on left)  and Sandy are kayaking in Blue Springs, where there are lots of manatees and other wildlife.

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And below is a photo of our son, Jamison, holding Oscar.  Jamison, Jane and Oscar live in New York.  We plan to visit them this summer.


The weather is definitely getting warmer here in central Florida with afternoon highs reaching the 80s on occasion.  Warm temperatures have brought out the Red Bud and other flowering trees and shrubs.

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While we were out walking yesterday we bumped into new friends Greg and Holly, who live in Wisconsin and are camp hosts and volunteers here at the park. 

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In addition to being a great couple these two are dedicated to their job.  They go way above and beyond the few hours they are required to put in.

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They have personally taken it upon themselves to clean up an overgrown and neglected area of the campground into a pleasant place to be.

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This is the “after” photo of an area at least two acres in size that fronts along a canal.  It has been transformed into a beautiful and inviting part of the campground. Greg and Holly have done this all on their own time.  Sandy has been rewarding them with cookies and scones. 

The other night while watching TV in the living room the picture suddenly disappeared.  No warning.  After several attempts to revive it, we determined that it was dead.

Replacing a TV in a motorhome is not a slam dunk. The old TV fit nicely inside of a custom cabinet.  I could have found a small TV to fit inside, but it would have required more woodworking skills and tools than I have.  So we decided the best approach is to hang a flat panel TV over the opening.  The TV and the wall mount are on order and should both arrive on Monday.  I hope to have it installed by Tuesday.

During today’s walk we came across this white egret who is a good buddy to local fisherman who toss him some of the fish that are too small to keep.  We, sadly, did not have anything for him.

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Originally, we had planned to leave from here on April 1, but Sandy is getting some dental work done that is going to take longer than anticipated.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Glad to be in Florida

When we were living in northern, Illinois for so many years, the ability to be in Florida in winter was something that other people got to do.  And those other people were usually "older."  Life has swung full circle and now we are the "older people" staying in Florida while family and friends in Illinois endure a genuine blizzard with winds nearing 50mph, temperatures plummeting to near zero and snow accumulating to as much as 19 inches.  Yikes!
For the past two weeks or so I've twice been replacing the one last part on our slide room mechanism that will get everything back in perfect working order.  Yesterday I ordered what I hope is the real final part to solve the issues that keep cropping up.  Here are a couple of photos of some of the stuff I've been working on.  I get good advice from my Foretravel friends and I am not paying $110/hour to a tech who, frankly, can't do what I am doing any better than I am doing it.  But his body doesn't hurt as much as mine does at the end of the day. I have to crawl into a storage bay and work on my back and reach overhead to do the work.  Whine, whine.
Here are a couple of photos of the parts I am dealing with.  I won’t get into details as I don’t want to put you to sleep.
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Here is a photo of where we are parked in the Salt Springs Recreation Area.
From time to time while walking around the campground we can hear sounds coming from the many amateur musicians  that play guitar, dulcimer, harmonica and banjo – and possibly other instruments.
pickin' 006  Last night I went to The Barn, the activities building, to hear the “Salt Springs Pickers.”  I really did not know what to expect.  Some of it was really good and some was pretty bad.  I liked the picking much more than the singing.  Some of the tunes played are probably from the late 18th and early 19th centuries and included: The Bed By The Window;  Too Old To Die, and a 20th Century song called Double Wide Trailer.

I have always loved banjo music and to hear a banjo/guitar combination with the complex blending of notes was really a treat.

I took the above picture with my little point and shoot pocket-size Canon camera. My favorite camera has developed a problem with the zoom feature so I sent it off to Canon today. Amazingly, the repair facility is in Elk Grove Village, IL where Mother Nature is busy creating all sorts of photo ops as I type.
Tomorrow I am going into Ocala to get tested for hearing aids.  I think it is important to add some of the trappings of a senior citizen. Huh?
Stay tuned.