Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Replaced at Sister’s House…WHAT Are We Going to Do????

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Turkey's in Sandy and Arny's backyard    Turkey's in Sandy and Arny's backyard

Skruffy:  “WAIT JUST A MINUTE!  What are those BIRDS doing in OUR backyard?”

Bubba: “Now look Skruffy, this isn’t the first time that MONSTERS have been in Uncle Arny’s backyard.  Besides, I am surprised YOU can even see them the way YOUR eyes are going downhill.”

“Well, at least my snoring wouldn’t scare them out of the backyard…heck, I can hear your snoring all the way at the condo…and you are probably miles away.”

“Look Skruff, last year we shared the backyard with two or three monster Geese.  I am SURE Uncle Arny will let me stay again…as for you, well, that I just can’t guarantee…you know, Uncle Arny LOVES me, he only TOLLERATES you.”

“But Aunt Sandy picks me up and rubs my tummy…she NEVER rubs your tummy.”

“Maybe because NO ONE rubs my tummy…I don’t like that.  Anyway, don’t panic, I am POSITIVE we will be able to stay at Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy’s house again this year.  Now, let’s plan our attack on these Turkeys…First thing, we need to call our cousins, you remember them don’t you?”

You mean the one that jumps a mile high, and the other one that looks like a Pharaoh?

Yes, our good ole pals, Parker and Charley …

Younger folks Celebrating

Monday we celebrated our 8th anniversary.  We celebrated by…

Older Folks Celebrating

No, not get in a fight…we went to our favorite Greek Restaurant…Mama Maria’s

Brother-in-law Mike

This is Marcia’s brother Mike, taken while we sat drinking coffee before church a few years ago.  Mike was the Police Chief of Tarpon Springs before he retired awhile back.  Anyway, we got a call on Friday that he was in the hospital…fainted on his bed was the first prognosis.  By Sunday they felt pretty sure he had a mild heart attack…by Monday they said he had high blockage in three arteries.  Problem is that the hospital he is in does not do bypass surgery, so off to Clearwater he went today.  They say his case is “Urgent” but not a “Emergency”, and the Clearwater Hospital was busy over the weekend.  Tomorrow they will start testing his lungs, full blood work, etc. etc. in preparation of having his surgery.  We HOPE his surgery will be Thursday or Friday…but it might be next week since he really seems to be doing very well.  I am sure he would love to get out of that hospital bed…

Nancy, Bob and brother-in-law Mike

Here that same day is Bob and Nancy sitting with Mike.  Nancy has been having problems too, and is in a Care Center, which is where they put people who need medical attention, but not hospitalization. 

Cousin Cassie and Aunt Vera

We also got notification that my oldest Aunt, Vera, up in the Kansas City area, is in the hospital too.  Some days she is back to herself, other days she is very lethargic.  Wasn’t a stroke, but something just is not right.  Above is Vera with my cousin Cassie…taken I think last summer (stole off of Cassie’s Facebook page).

Winter is tough on the elderly.  Mom and Dad always seem to catch a cough each winter which lasts for a few weeks.  Saw where a fellow Rotarian passed away a few weeks ago in Arkansas, and another acquaintance is very sick. 

Praying for the Sick

Luckily, Marcia and I have not been sick for a number of years now.  Oh there are days where we don’t feel our best…but overall we have been healthy.  Marcia completed her last yearly doctor’s appointments, and all is well.  I see my doctor in April while we are going through Arkansas, but overall I feel fine.  We sure hope you are staying away from the sick bug…if not, our thoughts and prayers go out to you too.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Winters – Florida or Arizona

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Weather Forecast for Holiday Florida

Some Snowbird RVers have to make a decision each year as to if they should go down to Florida or down to the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Southeast California deserts areas). The difference between traveling from Chicago to Phoenix or Chicago to Key West is only around 100 miles.  Of course, you don't have to go all the way down to Key West, and many want to go further than Phoenix...but it is good comparison.  If you live in Winnipeg, Phoenix is 800+ miles closer than Key West.  So for those who live in the upper mid-west, and Ontario or Manitoba areas, making a choice between Florida and the Southwest is a real one.  Some just love the desert, others hate it.  But many like both areas.  This year, if you picked the Southwest...well...you got cold and snow and rain.  Those who picked Florida, well...they don't call it the sunshine state for nothing!   Look at our weather above for the coming week...that is a repeat of the weather all last week, and the week before was a bit cooler, but not much.  No doubt about it this year, short pants each and every day for me.  Yes, it got cold for a day or two for some...down in the 30's for a few nights, but every day except one or two we got to at least 50...and only a handful more days did it not get at least into the 60's.

Welcome Sign to Joshua Tree, California with Snow

Look at this picture above of the welcome sign to the community of Joshua Tree, California, just above Joshua Tree National Park...elevation 2700 feet.  LOOK at all that snow! 

I-10 has Closures in California and Arizona

Washington Post has this picture above and reported that I-10  shutdown due to snow and ice and wrecks near Benson Arizona for awhile.  

Flagstaff has Record Snowfall

Flagstaff Arizona had a record breaking snowfall... 35.9 inches at the airport, surpassing the 31 inch record which stood for a hundred years.  Above is the public radio station parking lot...lots of digging out for those cars which you can hardly make out under all that snow.

Sunset at Sunset Beach, Treasure Island, Florida

And then there is the Florida Sunsets...like this one from Sunset Beach, Treasure Island about 30 miles south of us.  No, not my picture, but one from the Internet which is labeled as being free to use from Google Images.  Currently 87 degrees here...44 in Phoenix.  

Snow Plow near Tahoe

Above is current plowing of highway 89 near Lake Tahoe...

.1960's CHP near Donner Lake in Snow

This last picture was posted by the CHP on Facebook...an old CHP car near Donner Pass back in the early 1960's.  (What's sad is...I remember these old CHP cars...)

Currently 46 degrees in Citrus Heights where my parents, sisters and a brother are located...down to 85 degrees here (sun behind a cloud)

Well, we head out of here in five weeks!  Time to get the dogs to the vet and start getting the motorhome ready, sure hope I don't have to put a coat on to do any work on the outside.  (LOL)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Lowest Gas Prices in Ages and Flowerless V-Day

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Gas at nearly $1 per gallon!

First, the gas price.  Yes, this is not fake…gas at 1.009 per gallon.  WOW, have not paid that for decades!

Gas at nearly $1 per gallon!

So WHY stop it at 20 gallons?  Well, it was a special price due to our grocery purchases at Winn Dixie, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from where we live.  It is our go-to place to get most of our groceries.  And as you buy, you rack up points, which are automatically converted to $$$$….dollars off at the pump (selected Shell Stations) or at the register itself.  Well, I picked off at the pump, and it was $1.25 off, but up to 20 gallons. 

Gas at nearly $1 per gallon!

Oh how nice it would be if gas was this price all the time….well, I will enjoy it while we are here, and before we take off at the end of March, I hope to put another 20 gallons in it at or near the same price….that should fill us up.

Take 5 in Dunedin, Florida

I first got the oil changed at a place called Take 5, which replaced the Havoline Xpress Lube which stood here until 3 years ago.  Better yet, a Havoline Xpress Lube was located just 2 miles from where the RV is stored…but Take 5 bought out many of the Havolines in the area, and shut the one closes to our RV down…so I have to travel the 10 miles to the town of Dunedin, just to get the oil changed.  YES, there are closer places…but they don’t let you just drive in and stay in your vehicle (RV), and one in which the RV will fit…kind of fit.  After I pull in and they change the oil, I have to reverse in order to get out due to the tight left turn to exit the facility.  I decided to get Bubba and take him with me.  He is such a GOOD DOG, so calm and quiet.  As I waited my turn behind this white pickup, I noticed the flock of Geese that was feeding on the lawn as I pulled in had flown up onto the roof…and later to the lawn to my right.  Didn’t think a thing about it…until the guy came up to tell me that it was my turn to pull in…and BUBBA lets out this HUGE ROAR of a bark because one the geese was just outside his window teasing him.  I was oblivious to this…and his growling roaring bark startled me just as the guy approached my window.  Not a good time NOT to have spare clothing to change into that’s for sure!

1-800-Flowers Order

For the past eight years, I have sent Marcia flowers on Valentines Day.  The first year, about 2 weeks before we got married, and I am fairly sure each and every year after that.  Well…this year was no different…and if you do it early enough, you can get a real good deal…like the one above, 18 Red Roses for $29.99 (plus delivery and tax which makes it just over $40).  They come out of southern Florida, and last for a number of weeks.

1-800-Flowers Website Error

But this year, something went wrong…If you look just above “Billing Details” it says, "We are unable to process your order.  A few suggestions...."  I tried again, and got the same thing.  I tried a different Credit Card, and got the same thing.  All the information they requested was correct…it just would not go through.

1-800-Flowers Billing on Credit Card

OH, but it did, in a way….both of my credit card accounts were “Dinged” with the “Processing” charge….which is not really a charge until the company says the order went through.  So IT WAS NOT my credit card(s) that were the problem…it was their website.  This was Wednesday night, about 9 pm eastern time…the promotion was good through Wednesday, and I could not call without letting Marcia know that her Valentine’s Day surprise (although I send it each year, she never remembers…) would be spoiled.  So Thursday, I told Marcia I was going to get Bubba and take him to the Dog Park…but instead, we went to the RV where I could make a phone call and straighten this all out.  WELL, that did not go well.  After nearly 30 minutes, the best I could get out of the representative was “I can take 15% off the price of either a dozen roses or two dozen roses from the NORMAL price.  Well, that discount would be around $45 to $65 before shipping and tax…and it was not acceptable.  I ended up giving her 10 seconds to make good on my order or lose me as a customer…well, the 10 seconds were counted off and I hung up.  Yes, I should have talked to a supervisor…but I had already wasted 30 minutes….good bye to 1-800-Flowers….they have lost a customer.  BTW: the credit card charges vanished after a few days.

Marcia's Valentine's Snow Globe

Sooooo, plan B.  Our neighbor gave us a lovely snow globe for Christmas, so I decided to get Marcia a snow globe for Valentine’s Day (above).  In that “oval” area under the heart I was able to put a personal message…which I did…and since it is “PERSONAL”, I am not going to tell you what it says.  Winking smile  Right under the heart in the water are words that come with it…something like, “Happiness is to be loved, and to love”.   The only problem is…I did not know when it would arrive…just somewhere between the 7th and the 15th.  Thank goodness it came on the 7th…while she was taking her afternoon nap.  I put it in our display hutch, and around 11 pm I made a comment about how the hutch just did not look the same.  She finally saw it…and tears came to her eyes.  SCORE!  And this is better than flowers…she can see this whenever we are in the condo.  DOUBLE SCORE!!!

Fern (left) and Euleda (right) October 2017

On a sad note….my Aunt Florence’s mother Fern passed away last week.  She is shown above on the left, next to Arny’s mother Euleda on the right.  This picture was taken in October of 2017.  Although she was in a wheelchair, she could still stand and walk at the time, unlike Arny’s mom.  Both are the same age, around 95 at the time, with Fern being a few months older than Euleda.  I think we all expected that Euleda would pass first…but Fern caught a bug or something, stopped eating, and the end was fairly quick and easy.  At this age, death is a blessing no mater how hard it is on those who will miss their loved one.  And boy did she leave a huge amount of loved ones behind…  We miss you Fern, and our love goes out to those who mourn due to their loss