Tuesday, December 27, 2016

4 Days of Christmas


Skruffy scored with a new blanket from her Aunt and Uncle back in Sacramento.  Bubba, well he got a bunch of treats…but the diabetic old baby got babied with this nice fleece blanket.  She knew it was “hers” very quickly.  Can’t wait until Bubba comes over for a visit and finds that “she” has her own blanket now.  Bubba’s blanket is ten years old, falling apart, and he loves it to death…along with his backup beach towel that we use with his blanket.  Glad the post office came through and got our package to us in time for Christmas…and yes, there was a little something for Marcia and I too...and we sure appreciate that!  We sent another Arkansas Petit Jean Spiral-Sliced Smoked Ham for the family dinner at Arny and Sandy’s house.  We hope to be there for Christmas next year to enjoy one ourselves with them!  On Christmas Eve we did head to Brooksville for the Theodore Christmas Eve gathering, and then came home and watched our church service over the Internet.

Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs, Christams 2016    Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs, Christams 2016

Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs, Christams 2016

Around 11 am Christmas Day we decided to go for a bit of a drive, going over to see Marcia’s son John first..  Next stop, the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs to see what was open.  Most shops were closed, a few were open, and two restaurants looked to be a bit busy.  It is nice that they decorate many of the sponge boats, and have the large Christmas Tree near the Fisherman’s  memorial.

Skruffy at the Dog Park, Christmas 2016     Skruffy at the Dog Park, Christmas 2016

Then we scooted over to the Dog Park, which is not far from the Docks, where at first Skruffy was all alone…

Skruffy and Max at the Dog Park, Christmas 2016

Then Max arrive, and they had fun playing together.  Of course, Max can run twice as fast as Skruffy, but she is much faster this year than last now that she has shed a few pounds…Diabetes and Pancreatitis does that to you…and we have been good about keeping her weight down.

Skruffy and 2 larger dogs at the Dog Park, Christmas 2016

Then these two larger dogs came…one of which should have been in the large dog area (the other side of that distance fence…it was empty), and the other could go into either.  Well, these two just surrounded Skruffy, but she held her own.  The larger one got into a small squabble with Max, and we decided to leave.

Skruffy saying goodbye to the dogs at the Dog Park, Christmas 2016

Not sure if Skruffy is saying good bye…or telling that large dog to go to the other dog pen…either way, I knew it was time to leave, even though another small dog was arriving.

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Next we traveled back over to Crystal Beach, where there were only a handful of people, and a great skyline for taking pictures.

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016      Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Nice calm water, cloudy sky, some birds…yep, it was a nice day at Crystal Beach.

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016       Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Always birds at Crystal Beach...at a wonderful Christmas Day high of 78 degrees, around 74 degrees while we were out.

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016      Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Such a quiet, relaxing place.  We stayed for less than a half hour, enjoyed the view, and then we headed over to the local mountains.

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

You didn’t know there were local mountains near us in Tarpon Springs, now did you?  Bet you did not know that there were huge dinosaur looking creatures there too…like this one in the middle of the picture (above).

Crystal Beach, near Palm Harbor, Christmas Day 2016

Ok, so it is just those rocks in the middle of this picture…but when I saw it through the camera as Marcia was taking pictures it looked like a mountain…so I had her take a few close up pictures.  It wasn’t until we got home and on the computer that I saw the little Gecko there on the rocks.

Generic Picture of Roast like we had

After our drive we got home, got the roast into the oven, and rested until it was ready 3 1/2 hours later.  (240 degrees, slow cooked).  We also had some shrimp (which is also what we took up to Brooksville the day before).  I cleaned the shrimp tails, and Marcia lays them out on top of sliced lemons, melted butter, sprinkled with select seasonings, and cooked for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, pull out and cover for 5-10 minutes. Yummy!  

Monday we had a relaxing day at home, except for when I went over to the RV for its Monday morning start up and battery recharge.  On the way there, my sister sent me a text to say that mom had fallen around 5:30 am Pacific time, and they were in the Emergency Room…but four hours later she was headed home to the assisted living place with no broken bones, and little memory of the fall. 

Cracker Barrel, New Port Richey
Today (Tuesday) we had lunch with Cousin Mary, who we see often while here in the Tarpon Springs area.  Mary is around 85 years old, lives alone, and her and Marcia are cousins.  Mary’s sister passed away a couple of weeks ago…met her sister’s son for the first time at the Theodore Annual Christmas Eve get together on Saturday.  

And with that, you now know how our four days of Christmas went this year.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Some More Christmas Funnies

Last year at this time I offered “Tis The Season to be Jolly “, a collection of some Christmas Funnies that I had collected.  This year I have collected a few more that I want to share…and of course, many of them have dogs in them.

image    image

Above are two pictures of ONE dog.  Cute idea, not sure how much fun the dog is having.

image    image

I like cartoons with dogs in them…puts the dogs through less stress…puts reindeer through less stress too, but I doubt that reindeer is feeling any stress at all right now.

image    image

I agree with that last one…clothes on dogs just can’t be too comfortable…although I know that when it is cold, some dogs need to have a dog sweater on, with perhaps some booties to keep the feet warm out there in the snow.

image     image

Personally, I don’t think there are naughty dogs…just naughty owners.  Not to say that I have not told Skruffy she is a “Bad Dog” once in awhile, but it has been rare, and mostly when it had something to do with danger…like when she awoke in the back of the car as Buffalo were walking along the road right next to us in Yellowstone.  She awoke, got up, looked outside and started to bark…until I said, “NO SKRUFFY, BAD DOG!”, and she then sensed the danger of this HUGE beast right next to the window of the car.  She watched a few more pass by before she decided she wanted to be on the safe lap of Marcia.


Finally, it is not smart to have your password be your dog’s name.  In fact, your password she have at minimum all of the following:  one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, one symbol.  The password should also be at least eight characters long.  Even with these combinations, you “can” be hacked…but chances are good that you won’t.  And passwords should be changed often, once a year is not enough.


Merry Christmas to you all, and please remember what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Took the Motorhome for a Spin to …

Crystal Beach, Fl

Yesterday we took the motorhome for a little drive.  No, we did not go to the location above…that view is from Crystal Beach, a small, somewhat secluded area in Palm Harbor near Tarpon Springs.  The “beach” is not that type of beach one would want to sunbath on, and sometimes there are some swimmers and waders, but most people just go there to walk their dog, enjoy the view, or sit in the park.

Great Egret, Crystal Beach, Fl

American White Ibis, Crystal Beach, Fl       American White Ibis, Crystal Beach, Fl

Crystal Beach is a place where you can view a variety of birds.   The large bird on the lawn is a Great Egret, from what I can tell.  Egrets and Heron’s can be difficult to distinguish for us novice bird watcher when they are pure white like this.  Below in the water are American White Ibis.  We have gone to Crystal Beach many times and have posted pictures before…many times at sunset.  We have seen Pelicans, Seagulls, and other varieties of Egrets, Ibis and even Heron there.

Cracker Barrel, Lakeland Florida  from Google Maps

Where we did go was to Cracker Barrel in Lakeland, Florida.  That is a 60 mile drive from where the RV is parked for the winter, but really 70 miles since we choose to not go through Tampa.  Why Lakeland?  Well, it is half way between where we live, and where Marcia’s brother Dean and wife Caryl live.  We planned to meet there at 11 am.  We pulled in at 10:35, called them and they were about five minutes away.  So I walked Skruffy while Marcia went inside to secure us some seats.  By the time I was done with Skruffy, they had pulled in and the three of us walked in together.  Around 1:00 we got up from the table and sat out front…nice of them to have benches and rockers along their porch.  Of course, I got Skruffy out of the motorhome for visit outside, which lasted another 90 minutes.  Only thing bad all day, outside of Christmas traffic, it was landscaping day at Cracker Barrel…so we had to put up with gas grass blowers, gas sheers, and the noise of a lawn mower for about 45 minutes.  But by 1:00 the restaurant was very busy…so it was definitely time to vacate the premises in there to the outside.  It was nice taking the motorhome out for a spin.  It is good for the motorhome too...sitting all the time is not good, and a 140 mile trip is a good workout compared to the 10 mile trips I take it on once a month to keep the seals from drying out.


After I dropped Marcia and Skruffy off at the Condo, I took the motorhome back to her winter storage.  Stopped by the Post Office to check on the PO Box because my sister told me via email she had sent a package to the PO Box for the doggies Christmas Presents.  Sure enough, in my box is a key to BOX 90.  I go over to Box 90, open the door…and there is NOTHING in there.  The key is automatically stuck in the door when you open it, so I have nothing to even show that key 90 was in my box.  And, of course, the Post Office is closed.  So that is where I am off to this morning…let’s hope that the package is found and is not “definitely lost”.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Card from Soldotna

Skruffy wishing Soldotna Animal Hospital a Merry Christmas

We got our first Christmas Card today…actually we got two cards, one from Marcia’s brother Dean and wife Caryl, and the other from the Soldotna Animal Hospital, with signatures from all the staff.  WOW, did not expect that one.  Real Signatures, different color pens, impressive.  With that, I need to send one back to them, and this blog post is it, and that is Skruffy on our couch wishing the Soldotna Animal Hospital a very Merry Christmas.

Skruffy in Marcia's arms, Tuesday on way to Soldotna Animal Hospital

When they first saw Skruffy, she looked like this.  I took this picture as I drove from Seward to Soldotna.  She was like a limp rag in Marcia’s arms.  They said that a few more hours…2, 4, 8…who knows how long, and it would have been too late.  She was diagnosed with diabetes, dehydration, anemic, and pancreatitis…and this all caused her liver to start going down hill. 

Skruffy & Marcia, Wednesday at Soldotna Animal Hospital

This is her the next day, better, but still very, very sick.  She was in the hospital for two nights.  On Thursday she was a bit worse for our morning visit than she was Wednesday night…I convinced Dr. Bowser (Dr. Meezie was off on Thursday) that it due to her separation anxiety.  He allowed us to take her home for the day as long as we brought her back at 4:00.  When she walked in the door at 4, they wondered if it was the same dog.  She went back home with us that night, and has been with us ever since.

Skruffy & Dave, Wednesday at Soldotna Animal Hospital

We credit Dr. Meezie Hermansen with saving her life that Tuesday afternoon and into the night.  Her call to us around 8:30 that night letting us know that she was responding was like a direct answer from Heaven.  But it was more than a two week struggle to get her totally well…including a trip to Anchorage for a high quality ultrasound. 

Skruffy watching Bird in the Yukon

By mid-July she was back to her normal self…and has been doing well ever since.  She is tested for her diabetes at least twice a week, sometimes more often.  She is just doing great.

Soldotna Animal Hospital 

We are so very thankful for all the staff at the Soldotna Animal Hospital.  EVERYONE was so nice, so caring, so professional in a cheerful way.

Meezie Hermansen, Veterinarian   Meezie Hermansen, Fisherman   Meezie Hermansen, Fisher Poet

And our upmost appreciation to Dr. Meezie Hermansen…a Veterinarian by choice, a fisherman by birth, and a fisher-poet just for fun.

Merry Christmas  


Florida Merry Christmas