Friday, January 30, 2015

A Florida Sunset

Florida Sunset, Robert K Rees Memorial Park

This afternoon I suggested to Marcia that we go out and capture a sunset, then get a bite to eat.  She suggested going to Cracker Barrel, so I had to find a place near Cracker Barrel in New Port Richey in which we could see a nice sunset.  Boy, sure found a nice county park that was just perfect for it.  And one of Marcia’s first pictures (above) was a great start to our sunset collection.

Robert K Rees Memorial Park

Robert K Rees Memorial Park is a small county park in Pasco County.  Like many, if not all, of the Pasco County Parks that are along the water, it cost $2 for parking, there are approximately 20 parking places, so the crowds are not big, and the views….well…….

Robert K Rees Memorial Park   Robert K Rees Memorial Park
Robert K Rees Memorial Park    Robert K Rees Memorial Park

….you can be the judge of that.  But sunset is what it was about, so here they are…

Florida Sunset, Robert K Rees Memorial Park

This is one of my favorite shots.  Un like Marcia, I was able to walk around and find different type of shots, while she was in her GoGo with Skruffy using the older camera.  I saw this seagull sitting out on the buoy fence, and lined it up with the sun as it went down.

Florida Sunset, Robert K Rees Memorial Park

After I ran around getting a few other shots, I came back and found him still sitting there watching the sun disappear over the horizon.  I think he had the best view of them all….

Florida Sunset, Robert K Rees Memorial Park

Here is another of mine that I liked….those folks, cuddled close together, just watching the sun go down….perhaps they had the best view of them all….

Robert K Rees Memorial Park

Here’s Marcia and Skruffy on the GoGo getting their own pictures.

Florida Sunset - Robert K Rees Memorial Park

Marcia got the sun going, going and then gone….amazing how the sky changed in just a matter of seconds, right before our eyes.

Florida Sunset - Robert K Rees Memorial Park

And then it was over….and they quickly shut the park down.  She sure got some pretty shots.

Robert K Rees Memorial Park

If there is a drawback to the park for a sunset it is only that you can’t get a good view of the skies off to the north, south or east…or perhaps it was just that there were no clouds in the sky to light up.  I told Marcia that we are going to be back on a cloudy day, that’s for sure.

Leaving Robert K Rees Memorial Park

As we drove away, we pass this small inlet off to our left, I turn around at the first place I could to the questioning of Marcia wondering what the heck I was doing.  I told her I saw a shot I just had to have….and what a pretty shot it was.  I wonder what that would look like with a sky full of pinkish clouds?  Can’t wait to find out!

Map to Robert K Rees Memorial Park

Here is a map to Robert K Rees Memorial Park, which is the farthest left point of land on this map.  Click on the map above and it will take you to Google Maps, just in case you are in the area.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bubba Visits for Hair Cut


Oh look at that boy…he needed a hair cut real bad.  Last time I gave him one near the doggy park using an inverter in the car, with him in the back of the HHR while I sat on Marcia’s GoGo, but the inverter was not strong enough to use the high setting on the clippers.  So we decided that a quick visit for a haircut and a bath (well, shower with dad) was in order, so after church tonight that is what we did.


Now that is so much better. Unlike Skruffy who seems to enjoy the haircuts, Bubba is a bit indifferent about it….more of a “When is this going to be over?” attitude.  But after about 90 minutes, it was over, he was clean, and the one thing he really enjoys is being rubbed dry with the towel.


I cut Skruffy at the end of last week, and it is nice having them together, clean and groomed, and we can’t wait until winter is over and we can all be together traveling again. (Of course, they are sitting awaiting their "treat" which I held over the camera.)  And yes, that is Marcia looking on in the upper left corner of this picture above.

As you can see, one of them (Bubba) was like, "I ain't going to wait for this treat, I am going for it!"  (I know you are laughing Arny.....)


I have been refining our Alaska trip, bookmarking possible RV parks, checking other people’s blogs to see how early we can head up there and not hit too cold of weather, and refining the route a bit as to where we take he motorhome with the HHR in tow, and where do we just do day trips in the HHR.  Dogs have had their shots, although Skruffy still needs her county license which is due in March, and Marcia is nearly done with her Doctor appointments…just three more to go, mainly for authorizing refills of her drugs which are basically due to the MS.


And I have just a few more minor items to deal with before we have the motorhome ready to hit the road …. along with one major repair which we plan to have done in Sacramento (we hope...still need to make that appointment).  On our way home from California we lost the outside door light cover, and found that the light just needed to be replaced.  Unfortunately, the way the wiring was set up, I had to put the light on upside down, which cuts down on the amount of light available. I had no ladder, and no wire, so that was something we were taking care of here in Florida.  (We are taking the ladder this time, which will be carried in the car when we travel, and stored under the motorhome when we are parked for extended time periods.)  I also want to clean out our exterior storage areas and figure out a better way to store a few items down there.  There are a few other things too…probably should write these things down.   (LOL)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Can Fire Strike Twice?


Yes, Fire can strike twice…after last year’s RV Storage Fire you would think that was enough for us.  WOW, how sad……if it was true….but I am not talking about a motorhome fire, or a condo fire, or anything to do with flames at all.  For those FEW people who read my last blog, YOU should already know what I am talking about.  If you have not read it, you can click on the link above (last blog) or ….just scroll down.





I am talking about our two new Kindle Fires!!!!  They came in today!!!!!!   I know, I know … some of you have to take a deep breath now, thinking that we got “burned again”.  After last year’s RV Storage Park fire, we are hoping that type of “lightning” doesn’t strike twice.  Since my last blog posting was titled, “Not much going on”, the marking major that I am knows that this type of title is not going to get much of response.  HOWEVER, a title like, “Can Fire Strike Twice”, well, I think we will get many more hits this time.   And besides, I can be a little devious sometimes, and it shows now and then in my writing. Open-mouthed smile


Speaking of being devious, these next two pictures are for my relatives in California that have tried, and love, Marcia’s Sausage, Egg, Grits casserole…or as she calls it, “Just Grits”.  Above is a picture of it right before it went into the oven, and there you can see some of the Cholula sauce that Sandy and Arny provided to use for Christmas.  (well, actually, this is still the old jar, but it is getting down there and then we will start using the Christmas batch.)


Here it is an little over an hour later, all cooked and ready to eat….except she promised the ladies at church that she would bring them Sunday morning for the monthly “missionary fundraiser breakfast” we have each month….so chances are, even I won’t get any this time.  Crying face


But I did get to help make it, and help clean up the mess.  All of this “after” we had dinner at Panera Breads because earlier today our sink backed up….and $200 later and two snake runs the clog finally went down the main line and into the sewer.  Just years of build-up in the pipes, and a bit more “stuff” going down the drain with the new disposal. 
Glad I didn’t get a snake and try and do this myself because the guys from “The Drain Team” (a father and son combo) were wonderful.  They tried the basic snake that you can get at Home Depot and attach to a drill, and they punched a hole in it, but it still was not draining to their satisfaction…and brought out a larger snake with a curved bit on it, and took care of it once and for all.  That put us back so much that I didn’t even turn the Kindle’s on until late this evening….and that’s when the idea struck me about the title.  Now you have some insight to how this devious mind works some times. I think it was Flip Wilson who use to say, "The Devil Made Me Do It!"  Angry smile

Friday, January 23, 2015

Not much going on


Marcia and I went to our favorite Greek restaurant tonight, Mama Maria’s in Tarpon Springs.  Ran into our real estate lady, Sarah, her husband Denise, their daughter Colleen and her son Joaquin.  Sarah is a faithful blog reader, and reminded me that I had not posted a blog lately….so here it is.

michael and mama

Found this picture on the web of Mama Maria and her son Michael (Makis in Greek ).  Both were there tonight, as busy as could be because they had a funeral dinner, known as a Makaria,  being held there…..a group of twenty turned into a group of sixty….as Michael said to me, “The Greeks sometimes don’t plan too well.”  Marcia says, “They just don’t know how to count.”  Not sure who died, most of the people were from out-of-town, heard a lot of “That was some good food” remarks from those in attendance.

Issue: Rolling Ratings 2011<br />Story: Toilets<br />Product: American Standard<br />Model: Clean 2514.101<br />CU: 06533-0002<br />Purpose: ID<br />Photographer: John Powers   toilet1

Installed two toilets in the Condo since my last post.  The ones we had were very low, about 14” in height, which is very hard for Marcia to get up off of.  These ones are 17.5” high, which really makes a difference.  Replacing toilets is never a fun job, but it went just fine.  The one on the left is in our “guest” bathroom, while the one on the right is in our cramped shower/head room attached to our long sink area leading from the bedroom.  

Had a few things to order from Amazon, items we routinely order, but to get the “good price” and quantities, you have to be a Amazon Prime member….so after putting it off and putting it off, we are now Prime Members, and since Prime members can read some free books, and view some free movies, etc., I just had to order a Kindle Fire HDX…for each of us.   Somehow Marcia thought I was just getting one, and after I placed the order she said, “Well, you will probably be using it more than me….”, and was very surprised when I told her I ordered two of them.  Since we are not I-phone or Drone phone users, the Kindle Fire will provide us some of that which we are missing.  Also I have been archiving our pictures with Amazon through the Prime Membership too....unlimited number of photos, and up to 5 gigs for other things as part of our just takes forever to load them all....and I have to have free WiFi or it will eat up our aircard limit real quick.

ice2    ice1

Also ordered two sets of these Frostfire Solar Ice Rocks - Path and garden solar lights which were highly recommended by a few of the blogs which I follow.  This will help to light up the pathway from the car to the motorhome when we are parked, and since they are solar powered and no connecting wires, and they take up very little space in the storage bin.  


Gave Skruffy a hair cut yesterday, and Bubba will get his real soon.  They have been to the Vet, and the vet said that Skruffy needed to loose a little (who doesn’t), and took her by another vet where I get her licensed (different county than Bubba) and she already lost a pound….three more to go.

hobbit    unbroken

We also saw a couple of movies.  We saw Hobbit 3 with Alissa (Marcia’s granddaughter) and on Tuesday we saw Unbroken with Skruffy….her second movie.  We enjoyed both movies, and the story line of Unbroken is remarkable.

Other than a few doctor’s visits, and ordering new glasses….stuff we do each winter for Marcia while we are here, we are generally getting prepared for a April 1st launch to head west.  Plans hopefully include a visit to my oldest brother Jim and his wife Carol in San Antonio (if they are there and don’t have plans already), our friend Joyce and her daughter Laurie in the Phoenix area, a trip to Yuma so that I can get glasses south of the boarder, and eventually up to Sacramento in time for mom’s birthday (we hope).  Son graduates from Cal Berkeley in mid-May and then off to the north.

I’m thinking that between now and April we will take another trip to the east coast to visit Dean and Carol again, and one or two or three state parks or RV parks just to get away.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pantry Makeover

New Pantry Shelves

Above is the completed new shelves for our pantry.  To get this shot I had to step into the bathroom, which is at a slight it is not the best shot.  I also apologize for not having my camera with me when I took the old metal pullout shelf out.  However, I did find the picture below from the Internet which gives you an idea of what I took out.

Example of Old Pantry Shelves

The only difference is that our pantry is wider and the wire baskets were are both sides of the metal frame.

New Pantry Shelves with Old Racks showing increased space gained.

This picture above shows the new pantry with the eight old racks laying in place to show you how much room we really gained.  Since there is usable space on one side of the pullout racks, and the back of the racks, I figure we have nearly twice the space we had before. 

New Pantry Double Shelve

This is a double pullout rack on the shelf which is at the perfect height for Marcia.  The top rack has about 5” clearance, and will be a good place to store spices.

New Pantry Single Shelve

This is the bottom shelf.  Along the left of the rack there is ample space to hold Saran Wrap, Foil, etc.  All three shelves that have racks can each hold these type of things to their left, which will be nice because in the old setup they sat along the bottom and made it hard to pull out and push in the old rack unit.  Along the back there is another 4” between the wall and the movable rack, so we can store “duplicate” items there that don’t need to be on the rack.

New Pantry Top Shelve

This is the top shelf which has no rack.  It is too high for Marcia to really reach anything unless it is right up front, so a rack would be useless on this shelf.  It will be a good place store duplicate items, items that we don't use very often, or items that I am more likely to use…although I never mind getting up off my duff and getting items for her from higher shelves. 
Dollar sign
So what did it cost?  The metal racks were the most expensive part, running $185.  They are very heavy duty, and well worth the price.  Could have got shorter ones from Bed, Bath and Beyond using 20% discount coupons, but we really wanted the length of 21” compared to 18” at BB&B.  I got pine shelves at Home Depot where they cut them to length.  Had him cut some of the excess into strips to use along the back wall to “hold” the shelve down so the weight of the slide out doesn’t tip the shelf over.  I used small corner brackets in the front which attach to the front wood facing, and larger corner brackets in the back for the shelf to sit on that attach to the back wall.  I did not want to drill and screw anything along the left wall because the refrigerator is on the other side of that wall, and the right wall is just thin board and would not hold the weight.  I also bought some screws for the wood strips that hold the shelves down, and some stain so that the new wood matches the rest of the cabinets in the motorhome, along with a good wax sealer.   Essentially I figure another $50 at Home Depot, not counting some tools I purchased, so this improvement cost around $235….and worth every penny, and I am sure they will be full when we cross the boarder headed up to Alaska where EVERYTHING cost much more than down in the lower 48.

Alaska 2015

Map of 2015 Trip to Alaska

We planned on doing Alaska in 2014, but the RV Storage Fire destroyed that plan.  If you missed that, you can read about here:  Post One  |  Post Two   We were able to find a replacement motorhome, and we tested it out last year, made some improvements and had maintenance performed, and we still have one major repair to the slide out floor, and a few improvements which I have been working on, and it will be ready before we head out from California where we will be for a month or so due to my oldest son’s graduation from the University of California, Berkeley in May.

Alaska trip stops

Although the route will be adjustable depending upon the weather, there is not much one can do once you leave the Prince Rupert area in British Columbia.  We will either head out to to Dawson Creek and hit the Alaska Highway, or we will go up the Cassiar / Haines Highway along the west and meet up with the Alaska Highway at Haines Junction.  Plan is we will go up one way, and come down the other.  If we come back along the west route, we will have a chance to see bears feeding in Stewart / Hyder area if there is a late Salmon run and if we head back in August.  I do know that I want to enter Canada by June 1st, and exit Canada no later than the end of September.

Alaska Trip Miles

Estimated miles from Citrus Heights to Alaska and back to Citrus Heights, visiting the areas we plan to visit, is going to be around 8,000 miles.  This does not account for the 3,000 miles to California and 3,000 miles back.  Plan to head out around April 1st, no jokes please, and be back by mid-December.  Of course, plans are just plans….as we remember last year’s post about the motorhome fire, Man Plans, God Laughs.   Next post I will show off a major change I did in the motorhome pantry area….