Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Turkey, Turkey and More Turkey

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Eat Beef for Thanksgiving

We don’t always have turkey for Thanksgiving…but normally we do…and this was a ‘normal’ year.  Back in 2014 we did a Loin Roast, and that was YUM YUM YUMMY.

Loin Roast for Thanksgiving 2014

The picture above was from that meal…and boy, it was good…with potatoes, asparagus, yams and my favorite Marshmallow Salad (longtime followers have heard about that salad before). 

Slow Roasted Turkey (not my picture)

This year, though it was just the two of us, we did a turkey.  I got up at 6:30, by 7:00 I had the turkey in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour, then turned it down to 210 degrees for eight hours doing an occasional basting.  The picture above is not our turkey, but it is the closest one that I could find to what ours looked like.  Stuffed with onions, celery and whole mushrooms, spiced with pepper, lemon pepper and poultry seasoning, it turned out good…except that the thigh was not ready after the nine hours of cooking, and needed 45 minutes more at 325 degrees to reach the 165 degree mark.  The turkey was moist, tender, and real yummy.  With it we had our first baked potato in two years, and asparagus.  (Now I am not the biggest fan of asparagus, but Marcia does it just right...not mushy, spiced just right...)

Crock-Pot  (not my picture)

We have a “Choose a Crock” Crock-Pot like the one above.  I cut off much of the turkey meat, crammed the turkey bones and remains along with some water and some chicken broth into the largest of the three crocks, and let it cook on low for an hour, then on warm all night long.  It is nice because when you set it for a given time limit, it automatically goes to warm when the time is up.  The next morning I strained the bones and meat pieces from the broth, then added the meat I got out of the strainer into the crock.  As the day progressed, I added veggies and more meat, and we had enough turkey soup for three meals.

Turkey Breast (not my picture)

I got a large baggie of miscellaneous turkey meat, and another large baggie with one of the breasts.  We had Turkey Salad twice, Turkey on Burgers once, and three omelettes…and there is still just a bit of meat left for another omelette, and one large container of soup in the freezer for a cold night later on.  By-the-way…10 1/2 pound turkey at 49 cents a pound.  Not bad for just over $5 and the cost of eggs, veggies and chicken broth.   And did I mention we had baked potatoes for the first time in two years?  Winking smile  Other than the potatoes, we stuck to our diet real well...and I love turkey so much, I am ready to cook another one. 

Another Birthday

Yep, I had another one of those...never a big deal anymore.  As it falls near or on Thanksgiving a lot, I am used to people forgetting or overlooking it.  My kids remembered ok, though Stephanie did not call me until the next day just before she was getting on a plane headed back to Salt Lake City (she was in California with Michael)…but the boys both called.  Mom and dad called the next day, a brother sent me an email, talked with both my sisters within a day or two and even got a chance to talk to Arny on Monday.  Of course, when mom and dad called on the day ‘after’ my birthday, I answered the phone by saying, “Who is this?  Can’t be my parents because they would have talked to me on my birthday!”  We laughed….    I even got a blog comment from Cat Lady who must have seen it from past years and remembered, because as far as I know, I have never met Cat Lady, but at my age…you never know about these things.  (Ok, not that old…but Medicare is come up pretty soon).

Power Lift Massage Recliner Heated Vibrating Chair
Power Lift Massage Recliner Heated Vibrating Chair         Power Lift Massage Recliner Heated Vibrating Chair

Our dishwasher should be installed next week…along with a Power Lift Massage Recliner Heated Vibrating Chair that I ordered yesterday from Amazon.  Life is good…and soon life will be much more comfortable.  Smile

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I Can Blog Again…because the Florida Election is OVER

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Florida Election

We voted two weeks ago today…well, actually Marcia and I pre-voted, but election day was on the 6th.  What looked like everything was going to go along smooth and easy…by Wednesday night we knew things had taken a turn for the worse.  And when I say “turn for the worse”, I am describing for a smooth, everyone agrees the outcome, Florida election.  That, just was not going to be…

Florida is cut off

When it comes to elections, I am sure some of America just wishes we would go away.  They love our beaches, our winter weather, our miles and miles of ocean and gulf views, and even Mickey and his friends over in Orlando…and I can’t forget the Oranges.  But when it comes to easy, peaceful, orderly elections…NOT TO BE.


In the end…it is still part of America, and Florida is not the only place having election problems, but it is now time to celebrate that it is all over for another two years.  Today the State certified the election results...it is finally OVER.

Fisher Paykel Dishwasher

In the meantime…our dishwasher sprung a leak.  It is the standard, Kenmore dishwasher, 12 years old.  Marcia LOVES the Fisher Paykel Drawer Dishwashers sold by Lowes (among other places).  Our washer and dryer are Fisher Paykel…the dryer opens on the top much like a standard washer does.  Much easier for someone with MS to get clothes in and out of.  Well, the drawer dishwasher is much easier too.  At twice the amount of a standard good dishwasher one thing about the duel drawer dishwasher is that you can load and run one drawer at a time…and boy is it quiet.  Tomorrow the install guy is coming by to look things over, and in a week to ten days, it should be installed.  The price is about $200 lower than it was a couple of months ago, but the sales person at Lowes promised me that it is not part of the week long Black Friday special they are running.  Yea, 40% off would have been nice…

LED light

Yesterday our fluorescent light in the kitchen went out.  It is a 48” duel fixture.  I thought it just needed lightbulbs, but it turns out it was the ballast.  A new ballast is $22, and “might” fix it…a new 42” LED is $39 and if it did not work, I can take it back.  Well, that is what I did this morning…bought a new LED light fixture and installed it.  Getting the heavy old fluorescent down was harder than getting the light LED up…but it took longer to install than it was to take down the old one.  I think the weight difference is probably a factor of three…  As for the lighting, this is a bite whiter and brighter, and will use 1/2 the electricity as the fluorescent one.


Hope you all have a wonderful THANKSGIVING, and if you are with family…lots of family…it is best to not talk politics.  Yes, laugh at “those crazy Floridians”, but keep it civil, enjoy your family and friends…you never know when it will be your or their last Thanksgiving, last family get together.  Just have an enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

And Then There Were Tornadoes…

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

This year we have faced…ICESNOWFIRESHURRICANES…and now this past Friday…TORNADOES.  Well, at least we missed the Earthquakes!

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

As I have said in previous blogs, we have been watching side channels of local over-the-air channels…ones which don’t have political commercials, show older shows.  But on Friday I went to Google to look for something and WOW, there was a Tornado Warning for our area!  We had just heard a few distance thunder claps coming off the Gulf.  I turned to Fox-13 (I know, above says ABC, but they all had the same type of live graphic going), and sure enough, a huge storm hitting the coast from just below Tampa to about 20 miles north of us.  When it hit our area, it was strong…straight-line winds and rain, but in under 10 minutes, the storm had passed.  The actual tornado warnings were 10 miles to our south, and 10 miles to our northeast….with what I counted as six different warnings…

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

The latest report that I saw had the actual tornado count at 4.  These tornadoes were short lived, unlike the ones I was use to in Arkansas which could go on for miles.  A EF-1 tornado touched down Friday afternoon in New Port Richey, around 10 miles to our north.  Tornadoes were also confirmed in Spring Hill, 30 miles to our north, Seminole , 30 miles to our south, and Land O'Lakes (20 miles to our east).

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018    Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

The pictures above are from a condo community in Seminole…their clubhouse took a pretty hard hit, and some condos were damaged too.  Thank goodness this was not our condo area!

image   Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018   Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

There was widespread damage in various areas along the “RED ZONE” of the storm.  Fortunately, we have not heard of anyone that we know having any damage.

Bubba at Motorhome   Bubba at Dog Park

I wanted to make sure that the motorhome was ok, so I picked up Bubba, went by the motorhome (upper left picture Bubba is sitting in Marcia’s passenger’s seat), and then over to the Doggie Park (upper right, the person in blue is petting him) where there were more dogs than we have seen all year.  Bubba did his three or four laps slowly around the dog park, then he sniffed a few of the dogs, then did one last lap before we left.  He sure enjoys those Dog Park trips.  We sure wish the Condo Association would allow Bubba to live with us too….Sad smile

Note:  All but the last two pictures of the blog were taken from Google and most from news reports. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Voting, A Walker, More Condo Association Stuff

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL


Today we got around to voting…five days before voting day.  Line was non-existent…which was great.  We vote at the Public Library.  The picture above is the front of the Public Library…but they want voters to go around to the back.


We proceeded to the back, parked where the red and blue lines meet in the parking area.  Not seeing that if we followed the blue line, back by the dumpster, between the dumpster and the air conditioning units, behind the AC units, we could have avoided the red route over the grass.  However, there are NO SIGNS telling you that this blue route exists.  So Marcia struggled over the grass to the back door.  Now….how much would it cost to put in 15-20 yards of a concrete path?  Or put up signs showing the route along the sidewalk, by the dumpster, behind the AC Units…something any disabled person loves to do considering this could be a hiding place for someone with evil intentions to attack older, disabled patrons.  Anyway, we voted, and I showed Marcia the way through the Library to the front door, and I drove around and picked her up…and before she got in the car she got the sand out of her sandals from the sandy grass she walked over earlier. Voting early was easy…no line...staff was nice…and other than struggling to get inside the building, all was well.  BTW, the front door had a sign telling voters to use the back door…even though it is an easy walk through the front door to the meeting room where the voting takes place.  So instead of having Library Displays showing all these voters the benefits and resources of the Public Library…they would rather have their patrons (remember, all county residents are their patrons) to walk around back, vote, and walk back to their cars without visiting the library.  (Ok, I will get off my Library Soap Box…but after 23+ years working in a library, nearly 23 in a Public Library as a Director, I just can’t help it.

Florida Senate Race     Florida Governor Race

The BIG races in Florida are for Senate and for Governor…and they are both very close, well within the error margin, so who knows who will win.  Today we had no less than 14, yes 14 political flyers…all ended up in the garbage bin.  We have over-the-air TV, and normally watch either GRIT-TV (old westerns), MeTV (old sitcoms, Perry Mason, etc) or Laff (comedy sitcoms) …and thank goodness they don’t run political commercials.  However, when we turn it to the news (rarely), Blue Bloods (won’t miss it) or Last Man Standing (Tim is not the only funny one on that show) we get bombarded by political commercials.  And the radio as we drive…well, many times it is just turned off.  Now that we voted, we had hoped that this would all stop…but they won’t.  And the worse thing…one of the candidates for Florida Chief Financial Officer has sent out text messages to my cell phone.  This is against the law, FCC website says:
Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, prerecorded voice messages, and text messages, are:
  • Not allowed to cell phones, pagers, or other mobile devices without the called party's prior express consent.
I reported them to a TV Station, to the Tampa Bay Times, and to the campaign directly…but still got another today.  GRRRRR….  Why would anyone want to vote for the CFO of the State when they openly break the law like this???  Saw articles today that other politicians in other states are resorting to this tactic too…shows just how dirty politics are today.


Last Monday Marcia finally broke down and we bought a walker for her.  Over the past few years, it has been harder and harder for her to walk with her cane.  On the way back from Bible Study a week ago Monday, we stopped at a Medical Supply place so that she could look at what they had…and she liked one very similar to the one above.  Under the seat is a pouch to hold her purse, Kindle, or whatever she needs.  It folds up real easy and fits in the backseat or back of the HHR.  She is walking much better since we bought it, and it is probably the best thing we bought for her disability since we got the electric scooter.  She has rarely used her cane since we bought it…only in the walk-in closet where the walker does not fit. Even with this walker, getting over that grass at the Library was pretty hard…something she could not have done with her cane.

HOA Restrictions

Yes, another Condo Home Owners Association situation.  Today we got a mailer…sent out to EVERYONE.  Seems that some of the units (not us) have people under the age of 55 living in them…not visiting (limited to 30 days) but living in them.  I have noticed this since we got back, but have not said anything because it does not bother us.  Well, the letter they sent out says the following:

The state requires the enclosed survey from be completed every two years by each resident.  If more than one resident resides in a household, all residents must be listed with date of birth.  ALL RESIDENTS MUST BE 55 TO LIVE AT [CONDO NAME] AS STATED IN THE DOCUMENTS.  Any refusals to complete the survey form will be turned over to legal counsel.  Please drop off or mail…[gives unit number/address]

Well, I understand what they are trying to do here…but the Librarian in me says, “I wonder if there really is such a state law.”  So far, I have not found one.  Also, not only do they want ages and vehicle information, they want actual birthdates, occupation, an emergency contact name and number, and the final question:  “ARE YOU IN AGREEMENT WITH THE RULES AS STATED TO YOU AT THE INTERVIEW?”  (YES OR NO)

HOA Fight

Frankly, I am tired of a Condo Association which thinks they are “God” and act more like “Hitler”.  Yes, they need to verify the age of occupants.  However, when we went through our “Interview”, which was first called an interview until I said something such as, “You mean you can decided ‘if’ we actually can live here or not even though we own it???”  At which time he (old President) said, “It is more like an orientation…if you are over 55, then you can live here, but we need to orient you to the rules.”  Anyway, at this “orientation”, we actually were asked, and we consented to, showing them our Driver’s License.  Of course now, they know just how much older Marcia is than I am…which I think was his intention to begin with.  So “WHY” do we need to provide our birthdates now?  And state if we are married or not. (we are), but it asks “Married, Single, Divorced or Widowed”.  WHY do they need to know this???   What an invasion of people’s privacy.  This is going to take a bit more research…and perhaps a call to a state agency or to HUD.  (Just because someone has to take a stand….)