Saturday, December 26, 2020

LOOK at what Indy Got for Christmas!


Can I keep them dad?  Can I, can I, can I????

Let my leash out just a bit more dad...just a bit more, I am almost there...

WHAT?  They are not MINE?????  Please dad, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE????

Don't know HOW those Wood Storks knew she could not get to them, but they did not flinch, and she did not bark.  I really need to break my camera out and carry it with me, my phone just does not do justice with pictures.  Indy LOVES going over to the Library Pond, the smells there are way better than in our backyard.

This is Indy watching a commercial you all have probably seen before, the World Wildlife Fund's save the Polar Bear campaign.  Well, WHEN the music plays, she jolts over to the TV to watch the bears.

Here Indy is enjoying a John Denver Christmas Movie, the one where he was a widowed father Architect who is assigned to visit this town in Colorado to see about turning it into a huge tourist ski resort kinda place.  He finds out that this quaint little town, which still believes in Santa, is worthy of keeping its small town personality.  He, of course, falls in love and bingo - bango, gets fired, saves the town from the huge development, and wins the heart of the lady all to his daughter's delight (she wanted dad to find a new love as her Christmas Santa wish).

Let's just say that Indy enjoyed the show more than Marcia and I, but it was good background noise as we were busy on our computers

Of course, Christmas would not be Christmas without a visit to the Dog Park.  Well, the visit was a few days before Christmas...after all, Christmas day barely got up to 60 degrees.  Last night it was down to the mid-30's ... too cold for Santa here in Florida, so I was glad to see the cold held off until Santa made his rounds the night before.

This dog 'thought' it was king of the park until Indy arrived.  She raced right up to it, they played, he took off, she ran him down, he backed off and the rest of the time 'she' was queen of the park and everyone got along real, real well.  In the first dog park picture you can see the lady in the light blue shirt is holding a little dog.  That dog is 1/3 the size of Indy, and much older.  When she put it back down, Indy went over and the two dogs had a long kiss...yes, a real long kiss.  The lady was in shock!  Don't know how, but Indy knows exactly which dogs are there to play with, and which dogs are there to just love up to.  The lady was very protective of this older little dog, and was so happy that Indy treated it with such respect.

This is our wonderful neighbor's window.  The snow globe with the seven candles on it that is front and center in the window is a gift to her from Marcia and I.  It is a Nativity Scene, and she just loves it.

Well, our Christmas was uneventful.  We enjoyed more of our homemade soup along with prime rib roll-ups on our low carb tortillas that we get.  We both seemed to have had a strange reaction (gas pains) to our Christmas Eve dinner, and we narrowed it down to bad broccoli, which I was going to add to the soup, but added to the dumpster instead.  


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Skruffyless Year

I have many pictures of Skruffy that I like...just can't pick a favorite.  This picture above was taken April 2, 2012 while I was in Indiana getting a lift put on our Class A Motorhome while Marcia was recuperating from her hip surgery.  I had just finished my official work at the Library in Arkansas at the end of March, although I would get paid for unused sick and vacation time along with a few extra weeks tossed in for consultation work until my official retirement day on October 1, 2012.   Skruffy came into my life in late October 2009...went to work with me every day, even took her on a work trip to Colorado, putting her into Doggie Daycare during the day while I was in my meetings, and she was with me at night.  

Good bye my love...say hello to dad.

While in Alaska in 2016 she got real sick...diabetes was the major diagnosis, with many complications that went along with it.  She pulled through that, and we enjoyed 3 1/2 more years with her.  All of the sudden on December 23rd she started to act different...stopped eating (she ate two meals a day 12 hours apart along with getting her shots after her diagnosis), and by the morning of Christmas Eve I knew she needed to see a Vet, and I also knew the end was near.  In consultation with the Vet, knowing what she had gone through, and knowing that a dog with diabetes is lucky to get two more years and she had nearly twice that, the hard decision was made to let her go.  Above was her last picture...her loving eyes already lost their luster.  I held her, I talked with her, I reminisced about all our good times, and I let her know that loved her to the end and beyond.  She passed in her drug induced sleep, didn't even need the 'poison' but the Vet gave her that last shot just in case.  My heart this the floor...Between losing Dad on Thanksgiving, and Skruffy on Christmas Eve, how could it get much worse?  Well...2020 ushered in with this thing called COVID...enough said.

Indy's first day with us

The trip to Florida was so sad, and we got through winter, and made it back to California.  Then on July 4th, our new little miracle came into our life thanks to my sister Sandy...enter Independence K Burdick, or Indy for short.  ('K' is Sandy's middle name).  It took a few days for her to adjust to her new forever family...

Indy mid-July after a haircut

...but by mid-July the adjustment period was nearly over, she was truly a part of the family. 

Then in October we lost Bubba on our way home to Florida from California via North Dakota.  He made it to Joplin Missouri...his ashes were spread at a Butterfly Park, so if you see a Butterfly, think of Bubba.

Skruffy and me in my office at the Library

We figure that Indy came into this world about the same time Skruffy left this world.  What a wonderful gift she has been for us.  My little Skruffy will ALWAYS have a part of my heart...I am just glad my heart is so big that there is still room for not only Indy, but for all my family and friends.   Merry Christmas to one and all...and hoping that 2021 will be a better year for everyone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Hit a Cold Streak, Indy hit a HOT STREAK


Yesterday and today have been the coldest days since we got back to Florida. In some of the eastern part of Pasco County, it got down to the thirties Tuesday night, and it will be in the thirties fact, it is 37 in Dade City right now.  

In Holiday where we live, it was in the mid-forties last night, and it will be in low forties tonight.  However, the monthly forecast says that we will be in the forties only six more times through January 2nd of next year.  Most of the daytime temps will be in the 70' there will be no complaints about the weather from me, looks like it will be short pants weather each day at least into January.

I posted the above picture of Indy on Facebook, but it is so cute I just had to include it in the blog.  This was Thanksgiving Morning, and here on the East Coast they have the annual  National Dog Show on in the morning, and without saying a word, she just lite up, got up, and watched the show.  I tried putting a chair over by the TV for her, but she just kept getting down.  I did hold her for awhile, and sometimes she watched sitting down...but she can stand like this for a good minute or more.


Last night we watched a few dog movies, and she got right into it again.  Trying to take pictures with my cell phone of her standing like this is not easy...I really need to dig out the camera and have it by my chair.

When she was not standing, or sitting on my lap, the was glued to the screen waiting for the "Dog" to appear again.  This movie was Chuck Norris' "Top Dog" from 1995.  A few times the dog ran off screen to the left or right, and Indy would chase it to the bedroom or to the sliding glass door...she wanted to catch that dog so much...

Speaking of Indy, the girl has been in Heat again.  We think she is almost done, and I plan to keep her away from other dogs for another week.  No trips to the Dog Park, but I have been taking her over to the Public Library where she can wander on leash and smell new smells.  Plan to call the Vet soon and see when they feel she can be spayed. I am thinking it will be late January or early February.  Hmmm...I wonder what type of thoughts she was having watching all these dogs on TV?????

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Love you Dad...forever and ever


Lost him one year ago today...seems like forever...seems like just yesterday.

Back in the late 1990's he and I were talking about his parents.  I asked him if he still missed them.  He said that from 'time to time' he would see something on TV, read something in the newspaper, hear something on the radio, and he distinctly would pick up the phone to call 'DAD' to tell him about it.  I said, "But he has been gone for thirty years dad?"  His reply, "You asked if I still missed them..."

Gotta go now, need to make a special phone call . . . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Birthday Boy


Sister Patti sent me this message, and luckily I was able to see it on my flip-phone.  Ever since I got the 4G Flip, I have been able to see 'most' images sent to me, but not all...some still show up as a RED X.  Yes, I recently had a 65th.  Sandy (sister) and Arny were the first to call, talked to mom a day or two earlier so she sent her greeting on Facebook which sounded the alarm to many others who sent birthday wishes.

Signed up for medicare in August, got my supplement and drug plans in October with everything starting November 1st.  Now I will no longer 'have' to visit Arkansas to see a Doctor at a reasonable price.  For eight years since my retirement in 2012, the Library paid 50% of my insurance, but the catch was that it was the same insurance the Library/City has, and it is good if you are in Arkansas, you pay out the nose if you are outside of the Arkansas network.  Thank goodness I only had to face that once, and somehow the convinced the hospital in Wyoming to accept the terms of Arkansas Network, so it did not cost too much.  Now, I am set ANYWHERE in the USA.  

Also talked to each of my three kids, who called one after another after another that night.  Now you would think it was coordinated, but no...not 90 seconds after Steph called, Michael called.  My phone give option of sending a text to the caller, so I let him know I was talking to his sister.  Called him 30 minutes later and near the end of our talk, Ryan called.  So after nearly 2 hours, I had nice conversations with all three kids, each of whom are doing well.  

Indy is more and more infatuated with the TV, especially if there is a dog or a horse on the screen.  This was an episode of Gunsmoke (I think), and it was in Black and White...she still went over and stood up to watch it.  You can see her eyes are glued on the dog.  Sometimes when the dogs or horses move off screen (left or right) she will chase them just to find that they have disappeared.  She still watches the "other dog" in the mirror.  Caught her last night laying in front of one of the mirrors in our living room, just staring at the dog which was staring back at her.  Must have laid there for 3 or 4 minutes just staring.

She now knows the term "Dog Park", and just about every time I put my shoes on, she runs to the front door hoping that she gets to go with dad, and hoping that it is the dog park.  Poor girl is banned from the dog park for the next couple of weeks...yes, she is back in heat again.  So I have it down in my calendar to call the Vet in January and hopefully have her fixed in late January or early February.  

We are nearly done with Hurricane watch.  Some say the middle of November, some say the end of November.  This website above is active from June 1st to November 30th for Atlantic Hurricanes, and starts in Mid-May for Pacific.  The website remains active, but there are no updates until the season starts up again.  The "Disturbance" shown above moved from the Bahamas into the Atlantic over the past five days.  It probably is the last disturbance of this record breaking season which produced 30 named storms, of which 13 became hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes developed out of those 13. Twelve of the 30 named storms made landfall in the United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916.  Five Hurricanes impacted the US with Hanna hitting South Texas, Isaias hitting North Carolina, Laura hitting Louisiana (Cat-4), Sally hitting Alabama and the West Florida Panhandle, and Delta hitting Louisiana.  Louisiana took the brunt of the damage this year.  

Watching the weather forecast is like watching the COVID numbers. It is easy to get hooked on it.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and let's hope for Christmas that Santa brings a vaccine to start the process of ending the COVID headache we all have.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Eta Blows Through

Someone lost their carport at the Mobile Home/RV Park next to us

So, that was FUN!  It started to get windy and very rainy in the early afternoon.  I took Indy out, but all she wanted to do was watch the trees blow with the wind hitting her in the face.  Too bad girl, that was you last big chance.

I went to the motorhome to give it one more good look over...closed up the vents which have covers, but with straight-line wind, I just wanted to be sure.  Coming back I drove through the Winn-Dixie parking lot and they were covering the windows with these aluminum storm covers. The picture above is from the news of a Winn-Dixie in St. Pete...must be a company policy.  When I left the storm was a Hurricane, by 1:00 pm it was a Tropical Storm again.  This morning I went back to the motorhome and all was well...and Winn-Dixie had already taken the storm covers off.

Our biggest problem was that we lost our electricity last night around 9:00 pm.  They had been flickering a bit from 8-9, but that last one was not a flicker, it was total blackout, followed by a huge BOOM not too far away.  By midnight nearly the entire neighborhood around the Condo Complex was in the dark (including Win-Dixie).  Coming back from the motorhome I had hoped the electricity would be back was 9 am.  I stopped to get coffee, and when I started to pull up to our condo, I could tell there were no lights.  I had not seen a Duke Electric truck anywhere, so I pulled back out and went around towards the library, and yep, there they were.  By the time I got back to the condo, we had lights.

Saw this Tarpon Springs Fire Truck on my way back and my thoughts were, "Squad 69?  Tarpon Springs is not THAT large of a community."

Someone was passed out nearly all day today.  Poor little girl tried and tried to do her business after the storm hit, but the heavy rain and wind just couldn't let her do it.  At 2 am I noticed the storm had died, and I took her out.  Boy, she sure knows how to spell relief!  At 4 am she wanted out again...she knows how to spell relief two ways, and neither start with the letter "R" but with the letter "P".

Boat up against the bank in Madeira Beach area

Damage in Pinnellas County

Getting ready for the storm, Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs

All and all, we (Marcia, Indy and I) made it through the storm with out a problem.  The overall Tampa Community up through Crystal River did well, but there were some areas of damage, and from all reports, one death from electrocution.  Overall we weathered the storm pretty well.  Thanks go out for everyone who expressed their concern.  (The above three pictures were taken from various news sources.  The other pictures were taken with my cell phone, which is why the quality is not there.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veta Day - Veterans Day


First Veterans Day since dad passed...only fitting I start my blog off today with a picture of him in uniform.  Dad served in the Navy from 1946-1947.  Although WW2 ended in September of 1945, the dates are different for active service during WW2. The government defines WW2 service as follows:  December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service. Code of Federal Regulations, 3.2 (d)  Dad fit that time period, so he is considered a WW2 Vet.  He served in the Navy in the Pacific, and even went to Japan for at least one short time period.


After working at Bank of America, getting married, he then went to work at the Sacramento Army Depot, and retired the day he turned 55.  He started as a peon, and retired as a high level executive.  His "Boss" urged him to take his temporary high level position permanently and dad said, "What happened to the boss I am replacing?"  "He had a heart attack," was the answer.  "And they guy he replaced?"  "He had a heart attack."  "And the guy he replaced??"  Well, I think you now know why he retired at age 55.  The Army Depot served as a repair facility for electronic equipment, such as night vision goggles, electronic circuit boards, and radium-dial instrumentation.  As part of his retirement we (family) got to tour the base, some of which was normally off limits to non workers.  They let us look through night vision equipment, something was still pretty secretive in 1983.  The retirement picture above was signed by what I think was the Colonel, and if I read it right it says, "Al - Congratulations on your 30 years of dedicated service to Depot and country.  Best wishes in your retired life.  When it comes to injenuity and initative you are tops.  John M...." (can't catch that last name")

Thank you DAD for your service to our country, along with the service of many of your ancestors, brother-in-laws, sons, son-in-law, etc. etc.  

So WHY did I call it VETA Day?  Because "Eta" is now "Hurricane Eta", and it is Veterans Day, so it makes sense to me that they rename the storm "VETA".

But according to our expert weatherman, it will die back down to Tropical Storm as it goes by us...but it is also going by very close to us.

Above is the latest projected path. We are under Hurricane Watch, soon to be Tropical Storm Watch followed by Tropical Storm Warning later tonight, and Tornado Watch along with Flash Flood Watch...just about any "Watch" you could think of outside of cold weather watches.


The 1:00 pm update has already downgraded it back to a Tropical Storm!

For a little perspective...above is the latest path, the Red Arrow is where we live.  Expecting lots and lots of rain, wind gusts of 60-70 mph, and I am sure Pasco County will have Tornado Warnings soon...but thank goodness those are typically more inland.  We are about 3 miles from the Gulf.  Hoping we don't loose electricity...

Monday, November 9, 2020

Eta Bearing Down on Us


So...start with a Tropical Storm which may be a Hurricane when it passes off our coast (close enough that we will have high winds and massive rains), or do I start with pictures of Indy.  Well, as you can see, Indy wins again!  Took her to the dog park twice this week.  The first time was kind of a dud, as she had the small park to herself while the large dog area had a number of large dogs there.  But today, she had a few dogs just her size.

This dog, which is an older dog, was the right size...but too old to want to run and play despite Indy's many attempts to get it to play.  Eventually a dog about a third of Indy's size showed up, and it was too small.  I was so concerned about how she would interact with it, that I did not get pictures...but Indy did very well with the little dog.  

On our way home from the dog park, I decided to drop by the public library to see how it looks on Sunday.  Now, with voting over, it is once again closed down and no one was around.  So now my plans are take her to the library on Sundays, and to the dog park mid-week.

When I pulled up to the dog park, she got very excited.  When I pulled up to the Library and parked in front of the pond, she was not as excited...until I rolled down my window.  She jumped on my lap and stuck her head out and started to growl.

It was those Sandhill Cranes again.  Right after I took this picture, Indy nearly jumped out of the car.  She is fast, but I was faster.

Drove to another area by the pond and finally got her to see an Egret.  The Egret stood still for a long time, and she just did not take notice of it.

On Monday while Indy and I were at the motorhome while Marcia was at Bible Study, I was rolling down the driver window so Indy could look out and suddenly there is a BANG, and the window drops, and drops, and drops all the way down despite me taking my finger off the button.  I knew right away that I busted a window regulator.  Thank goodness I take my Kindle and the Air Card each Monday, and I was able to find out how to remove the Door Panel.  I then was able, using a pair of long nose locking pliers to hold the window in the up position, but it was still open by an inch.  I taped the inch portion to keep bugs out, and went to take Marcia home.

Once home I looked at another YouTube on how to get the regulator out and put a new one in.  Not much room to work with, and you have to drill out some rivets.  Also I found out that this is a very common item which breaks on the Fords.  I went back to the motorhome with a couple of clamps, bought a small C-clamp from ACE Hardware, and after cutting a wire from the regulator which was binding, not allowing the window to raise up, I got the window up, secured it with the clamps, and now we can drive until I get it fixed.  Talked to Arny, and he also told me that this is a very common breakage item with Ford, and if wait until we get back to California he has all the tools and new rivets to fix it.  I just wanted to be sure we could drive it in case this pending storm got real big and real close.

Which brings me to ETA.  Eta hit the coast of Nicaragua very close to a category 5 hurricane.  It turned north into Honduras and made another turn to the east and headed to Cuba.  It dropped to a Tropical Depression, but back to a Tropical Storm before it hit Cuba.  Now it is battering the Keys just shy of Hurricane strength.  Above you can see the current track projection, which takes it off our coast and hitting Florida between Cedar Keys and Crystal River.


Above is the projected wind speeds.  A level one hurricane has winds from 74-95 mph.  Sometime Monday and into Wednesday morning it is projected to be a Level One Hurricane.  But it is projected to drop back down to a Tropical Storm Wednesday as it gets closer to the Tampa coast...we are just north of Tampa by some 40 miles.  So if all holds, it will be a Tropical Storm as it goes by us.

Above is the radar of the storm passing over the Keys.  So far we have only had some minor winds, with no rain...but by tomorrow the rains will come and last through Friday...very heavy at times with heavy winds from time to time.  For now, we will ride it out as is...but if it intensifies, we will probably drive inland and/or south.  It just doesn't look like we will need to do that.