Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two Fires

Well, I didn't get to see my youngest daughter for Thanksgiving. She first visited with friends in Orlando and was coming to see us on turkey day and Black Friday. Instead I received a phone call on Wednesday afternoon that her home had caught fire and she was going to fly home before seeing us. Thankfully most of the house was untouched.

Since that time she and her husband have found out it may not help to have a house inspected before buying earlier this year. Both the house inspector, hired by them, and an electrician, hired by the sellers, missed the fact that the house is wired with aluminium wiring but connected to copper only outlets and switches. The inspector for the insurance company told them if the inspectors had opened the fuse box they would have seen the aluminium wiring which should have triggered a look at the outlets and switches.

You just never know. The good thing about the fire is that their roommate came home early enough to smell smoke, get the animals out and dial 911. Only the top floor was affected by the fire that started at the connection of a switch. Trouble is they cannot return to their home most likely until after the first of the new year.

They will not have a first Christmas as first time home buyers this year, but are very
grateful to have had so little damage compared to what could have happened.

Their fire was the second in the family this year. 

The first fire was my brother's home, a total loss. His wife and mother-in-law had to climb out of a window to get out in time. 
All their pets perished.
Theirs started in the garage that is attached via a closed in breeze way, all sharing the same roof. The fire traveled through the attic and burnt the entire ceiling getting the kitchen and living room areas, and mostly just the ceilings of the bedrooms, though a lot was lost.

The three of them lived with our mom for several months while deciding whether or not to rebuild. In the end they bought a house not far from mom and put a new roof and windows on their old home. Slowly they will rebuild the interior on their own.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holidays are coming, I'm tired already

I don't know if it's just because of how busy we've been at work in the pharmacy or because I'm just not feeling prepared, but I'm already tired just thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.


How have working women before me and with me do this? I've only been working full time since 2007. I waited until both girls were pretty much out of the house.


I haven't even begun my Christmas shopping.


Just thinking about dragging all the Christmas stuff out is exhausting.


Christmas just doesn't seem to last long enough for all the stuff we've collected over the years. Yet I know once I start bringing it out I'm not going to be able to limit myself. Just too many memories involved. 


Not only is there a house to decorate but a very large tree at church to do. But I'm kinda ok with that. Kind of gives me a burst of energy thinking about it. There are also garlands and wreaths to set up, and then there is the Christmas breakfast with tables to decorate. Need some ladies (and MEN) to show up to help us. There were only three or four last year to set up the tree and decorate the worship area. Got to remember to set the large wreath a little lower so we can still see it with the projection screen down. Also the "command hooks" to keep from adding holes and staples in the walls.

Wonder if we need more poinsettias?

I should make a call to see what day we are going to be setting up.

Can't wait!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Allergy Season is Upon Me

Just when I thought I had escaped!

My allergies have been activated!

Sneezing, coughing, sniffling oh woe is me!

What I don't understand are the men and women heavily 
cologne'd and perfume'd who show up at my
window at work (I work in a pharmacy, remember)
to get all kinds of allergy medications.
Don't they understand that their heavily scentedness (yep, it's a made up word, by me)
could be part of the cause that they need these medications?

How do the doctors who examine them handle it?

Why is common sense so hard to comprehend?

On the other side of the spectrum......are those older individuals
who think that because they are home not doing
much that they no longer need to bathe.

Mostly, it's men but there have been a few women too.

At least I'm no longer contributing to the stink factor at work,
since my diet changes. No longer having my greatly
missed bowl of whole grain cereal in the morning I'm no longer trailing a 
bunch of SBDs through the workplace.

Though I am still getting accused, just don't understand it.

Maybe I should get a Neti Pot as my doctor suggested.

Anyway, it's back to Allegra and Flonase for me!

Missy E ready to get the show on the road.

In Pusuit of Friendship

With a prayer and much enthusiasm, we left Jacksonville at about 8:30 am, three couples, no one under the age of 50 on three motorcycles headed for Gatlinburg, TN.
The getting there was divided into two days of about six hours travel each day. We took our time, took back roads for scenery, though it was difficult for the two of us. We are not great at taking our time while getting to a destination.

Our first night was in Thomason, GA. Not much there. We rested for a few hours once checked into our hotel then met for dinner at Zaxby's.
No we did not ride the bikes to dinner, we walked, thankfully.
After breakfast it was then off again with a prayer and much enthusiasm.

At some point during that day my youngest texted that she was going to meet us in Gatlinburg that evening. She had a four to five hour drive to get there. Couldn't wait to tell the others and little did we know just how much of a blessing her arrival would be!

We arrived at the office to check in and when it came to filling out our info it was interesting to record our make and model of vehicle . I've never put down Honda Goldwing before! I texted youngest daughter the address of the cabin, she figured she'd arrive just behind us. 

Looking at pictures of our cabin it looked as though it was a pretty flat area well at least for parking, turned out the getting there was another thing altogether. No I didn't get pictures of the road, but it had some pretty good turns up the hill. My husband's least favorite was about two thirds the way up and and the second least favorite was the turn into the driveway. Unfortunately one of our couples had a little surprise along the edge when the asphalt gave way and they ended up sideways on the ground, fortunately no one was seriously injured, though he did pull something in or bruise his leg.

We started unloading and our daughter arrived just as it began to rain. Yeah!, a car to go to dinner and get groceries! The man and his daughter had to ride in the cargo area of the Subaru, the other two men rode up front and the women rode in the back seat. Perfect fit!

We went out for a wonderful steak dinner, treated the girl, and then off for the groceries. We distributed the groceries over and under legs and laps. Oh the fun! The plan was to take turns fixing dinner and then breakfast was added as well. It worked out really well. 

So the next day which was Monday, my daughter and I visited the outlet mall ( she doesn't have a good one near her) while the others rode some of the parkway. Naturally I spent money on her. She left about 3:30 pm that day. 

The others arrived back at the cabin about 5:30, after visiting a Walmart and the Smoky Mountain winery. Our first in cabin dinner was a special salad and restaurant style chicken quesadillas, I learned a new trick. They were really good, so was the salad. We played a card game after dinner with one of the couples, the other two needed to nurse his leg a little from the fall. We medicated him and sent him to the jacuzzi.

Tuesday morning it was off to pursue the Dragon's Tail and we also drove the Cherohala Skyway . You can find pics at on October 15, starting at 11:50, the first bike is a red Goldwing, the second a dark red Goldwing, and the third bike a BMW 1600. Yep I was filming. Riding as a passenger makes for good picture and video taking. I'm still working on a shortened video of the ride. I've got lots of pics to share. Dinner that night was my chili which had been cooking crock-like all day. Boy was that easy and delicious if I do say so myself.


Wednesday rain was predicted, so we spent time in town riding Ober Gatlinburg
up the valley to a restaurant for lunch and a show of a sort.
Cow bells, an accordion and men in shorts were involved.

Once back down into town there was some taste testing of dips, wine and moonshine.
That evening we had roasted chicken and vegetables. I need that recipe too!

Wish I had thought to take pics of all the meals.
We played scattergories that evening. Did you know a dog makes a woof-woof sound?
Yep we laughed our heads off and the women won!

Alas, Thursday morning, check out time arrived. But let me back up a moment, the night before some packing up was done including a cooler with a few leftovers and uncooked beef. Needless to say when my early bird hubby got up that morning and opened the door to check the weather a certain cooler was laying opened on the ground with its contents scattered or missing. Come to find out a full grown bear had visited us in the night!

We rode to Cherokee where we took a break and the other two couples
headed back the way we had come,

while my husband and I headed to Sapphire, NC
to visit with some friends there for a night. The ride was great, we were higher in the mountains and the changing leaves were more colorful.


We were treated to a wonderful dinner, breakfast and a visit to a small waterfall in the neighborhood. We were given instructions for our back-road ride home and where to stop and see a large waterfall.


We left the next morning and stayed in Statesboro, Ga.
Our return from there to Jacksonville took about three to four hours but felt like all day. We were tired. Went out to lunch with oldest daughter, granddaughter and mom, then home and I crashed, into bed that is. My bed. My wonderful bed! 


Friends till the end!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Pursuit of the Dragon

We left on a Saturday morning with two other couples
on an adventure.

Three motorcycles, two trailers, no one below the age of 50 something.
The man took the lead and off we went.
Good bye to the flatland of Florida!

We took a relaxing two days to get to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
I can't believe the number of people who have no idea where that is???

Reserved for us was a three bedroom three bath cabin aptly named "Robin's Nest".
It was a great cabin, just not easy to get to on two wheels.
The last curve was into the driveway uphill. Only one mishap on the first try.
Not bad for a bunch of 50 plussers, wouldn't you say???

We could only hope for better luck on conquering the "Dragon"
located on US129 from Tennessee to North Carolina
with only 318 turns in 11 miles, could we do it???

Could we do it???

Of course we could, no problem.

More to come ....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


My doctor is not happy with me. My BMI is high.
 My blood pressure is good, I'm not diabetic, and my cholesterol is good as
 long as I don't eat fast food for lunch too often.
I don't sit at home eating candy, I don't buy it at the check out line
and my family says I don't over eat.

I decided to try low carb, but I can't go too low as I was reminded
the first week when I got shaky feeling, grumpy and emotional.
Had to apologize to my co-workers.
I tend to be hypoglycemic.

I have set up my self with the app "My fitness pal".
I'm limiting my self to about 1200-1500 calories and trying
to stay at half the recommended carbs.

In about four weeks time I've lost about ten pounds!

Wooo Hoooo!

Question is will I keep it up?

We are going on vacation soon!

Pics from long ago and far away, well definitely long ago.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seashells ... part two

Another memorable trip was when we finally managed to rent a boat to take to
Cayo Costa State Park , it was a lot of fun and the highlight of the trip. We did manage to get a little stuck on a sandbar, and then the youngest did an unexpected roll off the boat.
At the same time she decided to lean over the side grandpa started backing up the
boat and plunk she was gone!

Not too many years after that trip, we were joined by a son-in-law and 
a son-in-law to be. This was also to be our last Sanibel trip with Grandpa Bob as
he passed away later that year.