Archive for November, 2019

Turkey and an ice show

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

We close today of Thanksgiving with a turkey dinner and an ice show. It’s amazing to eat a turkey dinner with pumpkin pie AND see young people do ice dancing and tricks right before our eyes and Allure of the Seas is good at both!!!! Chuck and I went out for a walk in San Juan (in the oppressive heat! good grief! It’s snowing “up north”)… Glenda and I spent an hour in the pool and then we had lunch with Glenda and Milton and then… you are not far off: if it’s Susie, it’s probably a nap!!!! We continue to thank God for our friends and wish you health and happiness. All of you know who you are! God bless you.

Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Good morning from Allure of the Seas docked for 5 hours in San Juan Puerto Rico. I just got up a little after 8am and I would be watching EWTN Mass and getting ready for Mass at Saint James if we were in Lake Placid… Yesterday we docked in Saint Maarten on the Phillipsburg side of the island (Dutch). I dropped Chuck off at our favorite little out door bar (Pirates Cove) on the boardwalk, and I walked into town, past the church to verify time of Mass (noon for them, 11am for us eastern standard time people). I walked along looking for the artist whom we loved last trip and bought her work. She is gone. I have 2 of her lovely pieces and I hope I have her name. I walked back to the church streaming with sweat. It was HOT in Saint Maarten. And I sat right in front of the fan at church. I used 2 kleenexes blotting up the water streaming from my head and cheeks. There is a lovely cantor who sang 5 hymns. And she led the Amen with vigor!!! We sang AAAmen, AAAmen! AAmen, Amen, Amen!!!! Several times!!! They really celebrate Mass with Joy and I am so grateful they are there safe in Saint Maarten!

Today is Thanksgiving. I’m sitting in the Diamond club, sipping chocolate caramel Latte Machiato… with extra steamy milk. Later I’ll have a croissant with creamy butter. I look outside at a beautiful day and I’m filled with Thanks to God who allows all this! I watch the young aqua stars walk through the show in practice (we can see the stage from the Diamond club). I will walk out into the sunshine and then go to the pool. Chuck is over by the window sipping coffee, reading and relaxing. On Monday, we will be home decorating for Christmas and entertaining English friends Jane and Steve. But for now… We are Celebrating 50 years with Milton and Glenda. Milton received a tee shirt that says “I am the Captain” and Glenda’s reads, “I am his Anchor”. At first one could read that as “I’m the one who sinks him and spends all his money! but upon reflection, to be one’s anchor is to steady them, to keep them stable, to keep them in safe harbor. God bless Milton and Glenda, friends for 58 years. Keep us safe. You too dear friends. Keep you safe. Keep you praying for Peace. If we all storm heaven with prayer, God who hears us, will fill us with Peace. AAAAAmen!

It’s Betta in the Bahamas!

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

I remember a television advertisement about the Bahamas that was full of birds singing and drums and music. And I always love to come to Nassau and the straw market. Yesterday was no different except in the old days there were us and another small cruise ship and the straw market was outside!!! Yesterday, we were the hugest ship with 5 other ships beside us!!! The entry/exit hall is a medium sized building… I went ashore alone as Chuck said he’s seen it and would rather read. No problem. After an hour in the pool, I set out for the straw market which is now crowded under roof in what might have been an old government building. It is still there, noisy and looking prosperous. I kept walking to the end of the pier entertained by drums, an artist who painted palm trees, sky, and ocean on panels and sold them for $10, and shell salesmen. I stopped to turn around at a Signor Frogs. As I turned, I noticed 4 little canvas tents set up in a parking lot in the sun so I went to see. I stopped at a table of small hand made crosses made of green sea glass and sea glass hand made jewelry. I didn’t have enough cash to buy what I wanted but I bought some. Back at the ship I told Chuck we will be back next week and I can get the necklace! “No! Go now and get it!” Chuck said, digging out 20s. I trotted back out (the round trip is 1 hour… Cabin to lady with jewelry). I found her and negotiated a swap of a pair of green earrings for a blue and white necklace, bracelet and earings… Back to the ship… Long line now at the small security building! No problem!!! I talk to people while we queue. Today we sit in Fort Lauderdale while new sailors get on. Then we turn around to go to Saint Martin and two other stops. Saint Martin is my favorite with noon Mass!!! God bless you and Angels with us!!!

swim, play, read

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Hi dear, gentle, reader friends! Today is a day at sea and I’ll bet the pools are full! Yesterday in the Solarium, the pool was empty because it was raining and the water was cold… The hot tub with a max of 16 people had about 100 people in it. Drinks were flowing and the hot tubbers were in high form! Do not give people a day in Mexico and then give them drinks at the pool!!! Chuck and I had a beautiful quiet afternoon (after my walk into Mexico and out again, and after 15 minutes in the hot tub which was not covered and not in the rain… We dressed in formal wear and floated down to the Champagne bar to people watch and drink champagne. The Allure has a floating bar that actually rises up and floats up from 5 to 8th floor! When it is up on 8 there is a fountain is on its place on 5!!! We also found last night for the first time, Park Place a beautiful out door garden area with the specialty restaurants. We listened to music and lingered in the beauty of a real garden on a cruise ship. I started falling asleep and I sent Chuck off to the ice show while I crawled into my warm bed. Wow! What sleeping we have done! I’m ready now to brave the pool and hope I can get an hour of aerobics in… I have another book to read. I selected The Help as I have seen the movie but I don’t remember reading the book. Our friends Milton and Glenda will be joining us on Sunday with family members celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!!!! I will write again next week. For now… free internet is ending for me! God bless you! Angels with you!!!

What is today?

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

I bend over and look at my feet as I step into the elevator for the first time today… Ah!!!!! It’s Thursday. The elevators do not have clocks for time, only the day. We are on a very large ship that has food all over the place to accommodate over 5000 passengers. With about 2000 crew and staff that’s about the size of my new home Lake Placid!!!!! I always know where to find Chuck in the early morning. He’s sipping coffee in the Diamond lounge looking out over the Board walk. Last night we sat there after dinner while awaiting our show time and we watched an Aqua show that had high divers like the Olympics from very high platforms, gymnasts hanging on ropes and swings and diving into the pool below, clowns falling into the pool and lots of fun!!!! We have been to 2 comedy shows and tonight we will attend an Ice show. We read every day and I have finished 2 Maeve Binchy books. I adore her! She creates people in families that we would recognize… people with odd relations, wild women who run away and come back 25 years later, men who want to “do it” immediately with the girls they meet, mothers who are worn out, drinking fathers who either blend into the background and cause a lot of angst or earn a lot and lose it through fraud… etc etc. They all interact but don’t know we are watching!!! I finished two books and am starting The Help that I never read. Only watched the Movie. Chuck is reading Michael Connolly. We did not go ashore on the Perfect island Coco Cay and it turns out there were mosquitoes and the water was freezing cold. I have been in the pool here on ship every day and it has been cold except in the Solarium where I am heading when I finish this. We went ashore in Cozemel and walked about 4 miles in total along the beach. It was a beautiful day! We stopped for beer in small pubs on the water and watched swimmers in the beautiful teal waters! Back to the pool on ship for talk with others in the pool and exercise. We remembered that our last time on Costa Maya (many years ago) we found a small bar on the beach with swinging chairs and drank way too much tequila and the bar tender had a guy drive us back to the ship. There was a small wading pool that we waded through on the way back to the ship. It was rainy today so I went ashore alone to find the little pool. I found it, but the pool was full of children and the area was crowded with shops and people!!! I did not try to find the bar with the swings! We no longer drink tequila!!! Time for me to go pool swimming. Rain or shine, the Solarium calls. Tonight is formal night. Chuck and I show in black and white. He wears black tux pants and white jacket and I wear black skirt and I have 2 red dressy shirts! Just call us James and Zelda! “Having a wonderful time on the RCCL Allure.” Will need diet and sleep!!!! God bless you! Angels with us!

Good morning from Westwood Lake

Friday, November 15th, 2019

We are visiting friend Glen in Miami as I have an appointment at Baptist hospital just down the street at noon. Glen graciously opened his house to us for last night and tonight. Last night we ate at our favorite Italian restaurant Osteria. Oh my goodness how delicious. We drank wine and carried half a bottle home which the boys finished while I slipped off to bed. I’ll bet I slept from 9pm to 8am.. and now, full of coffee I’m sitting on Glen’s dock. I miss the coots and limpkins! Glen’s part of the lake is wider than our canal! No kidding! It’s a nice respite! It’s odd not to have the same view as I have from our lake house on the north lake!!! Glen is on the south lake. When you visit us in Lake placid you will notice some differences; we are not on an airport landing path, we have no ducks, no traffic. We have herons, occasional trains, orange trees, and hills. My friend Kathie is right in holding off for a place on a lake! But we are happy! Ok, Sun’s out from behind a small cloud and I’m getting hot! God bless you! Angels with us!

Sign on the Baptist Church…

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

“Our Sundays are better than Dairy Queen.” Everyday there’s something new and fun in Lake Placid! We booked cruises before we bought this house, and I hope we get to do autumn, Thanksgiving, and Christmas here next year. We will miss a Christmas parade in downtown!!! There’s always next year! God bless you! Angels with us ❤️

Big adventure Miami

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Good morning gentle readers! Today we begin our big adventure in Miami. We will go to copy my Christmas letter and mail it. Then to Glen’s on the lake and to Italian dinner tonight at Osteria Piedmonte. Yum. Tomorrow I get the CT scan and we will have pizza dinner with Glen and friends and former neighbors Kathie and George!!! The next day Saturday to the USSVI meeting in a park in Miami that has about 11 submarine sails in it. The sail is the top part of a submarine. When the boats are scrapped, parts are purchased and used as memorials. Then we will go to lunch with the submariners. That night we will be with Chuck’s buddy Rick Hartman who will drive us to the ship on Sunday morning for a 2 week cruise!!! Since I don’t plan to do tours or even go ashore at most Caribbean island as we have been there so many times, I might not blog. You don’t really want to hear about me in the pool and drinking champagne! Just know that we are doing a fun thing and I’ll be back in two weeks. When we arrive in Miami I go for a visit to cardiologist to get results of CT scan then home to Lake Placid to meet friends Jane and Steve from England who will be visiting for 2 weeks. I’ll blog then because I plan to do some stuff here in Lake Placid I haven’t had time to do!!! Like visit the art places in Lake Placid. God bless you. Angles with us!

Clean up and piles!

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

I find it a laughing matter that I wrote to my friend Karla and probably have written to many of you, “I’m cleaning up piles.” I’m writing the Christmas letter and I always consult the calendar when I review the year, but there’s nothing written on the calendar for January 2019 (we might have changed calendars???) So I’m looking back at emails and I found a note to Karla written Jan 2, 2019……. I wrote that I was cleaning piles in January 2019 with no thought to moving. In preparation for and since the move, it’s amazing how much stuff I’ve put in the donate box and or thrown away!!!! It’s as many of you have said, “Throw it away. Start a new life today.” And you know what? I go outside to turn on the hose to water our new avocado tree and I look at the caladiums and other plants someone planted in my yard, and I love all of them. I have pentas, plumbago (the blue flowered bush), lots of caladiums… nice grass mowed by a small family run group of gardeners. I walk out the front door, down my front walk to my car, and when I look back I have to laugh at all the decorations we have put out there! Frogs, rocks, shells and pots. It’s been fun. This week I have put away a lot of art work as the walls are full. You might walk in here and go “Whew! the walls are covered!” well we have a lot of great photos and art. I’ve tried to keep order.

My friend at church Elsie, a very prayerful lady! wrote that her sister in law went to the doctor for not being able to breathe…. He said he can’t do anything… she’s 86, organs are failing. Gave her lasix. so 86 is old…? My mom had congestive heart failure at about 90…. but she didn’t die until 97. I’m thinking of suggesting a visit to a specialist, but maybe this is what the end of life is all about…When do we stop going for help and going to specialists? I’m not asking for me… I’m only 72 with plenty of years left. But when? I pray every day for all of you that we remain healthy to play together for many more years. This Friday I go for a CT scan to measure the aneurism. I won’t get the result until Dec 2 when we get back from a 2 week cruise! Live life! Enjoy beauty! Thank God. Love you! God bless us! Angels with us.

small dogs and kids

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

I took a 5pm bicycle ride and encountered…. No traffic. No cars. 2 small dogs in their owners’ arms, and kids doing cart wheels in the front yard with mom and dad on the porch. How middle America is this??? Our streets are funny. My house is about in the middle of the block so if I turn left out of the driveway I go “down” to the cul de sac… turn around and suddenly realize it’s uphill! huffing and puffing, I turned left at the top of my street and turned left again onto Anderson. (in Coral Gables, Anderson was our next street too!). Swoosh! I was off like the wind. Downhill all the way to the cul de sac. UH OH.. Crawling up hill I looked like an old lady pumping those fat wheeled pedals!!!! breathing hard and sweating! and finally I walked my bike the last 12 feet to the corner! I drove over to friend Glenda’s street (Loquat) and it is pretty normal all the way to the cul de sac. All of these streets are on canals. At the cul de sac they join the one big canal into Lake June. We have not been on Lake June yet…. boat is in harbor in Miami patiently awaiting some repairs… But we know the lake is there! I can see it from the car. It’s especially exhilarating to go up a hill in the car and at the crest (top) see the lake!!!!

This week is going by fast. I was home here alone Sunday through Wednesday and I’ve been on the attack in the art room and other places. I’m trying to find places for papers and things or putting them in a box for the church who by the way wants the books from my library!!! I am so happy. I’m going to scout around town at the thrift stores and see if I can find a book shelf. The church has a social hall with about 5 classrooms attached. We have all our meetings there and Chuck and I went to October fest there. There isn’t really space for books in the hall itself, but one of the rooms has a sofa and soft chairs. I figure a small bookshelf won’t overwhelm. I have some enthusiastic folks and some who tell me there’s no space for books. I walk very softly here!!!! 5 boxes of books by Catholic writers need a home!

I’m painting my first mural at this house! On the sliding door that goes out to the porch. If we close the door… it’s too easy to run into because we keep it open most of the time. But during the summer we keep the door closed. Too hot … OK so Be Creative today!!! Paint, draw, write! There’s something fun going on that you can help others to see! God bless you. Angels with us!

A closed mouth gathers no foot

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

I did not make that up! It is the sign on the small Baptist church I pass on the way to Church. We all have been with people who “comment” when we see a friend slip up, make a mistake, be rude etc etc. I actually said, “Woah, that’s not right… ” and the lady next to me said, “Oh you don’t know the half of it and was off to the races with all the things wrong the third party does.” I am still in the throes of trying to figure out how to do my Sacristan and Lector jobs…. But even I can spot what isn’t right. That’s all I wanted to confirm. We are not in charge…. We are not to comment on the personality defects of our peers, rather ask the one in charge how something should be done. Do it and shut up.

Yesterday 8 women sat outside the library in Lake Placid with the 3 schools (elementary, middle, and high school) within sight. It’s a very small town. The library and schools all surround a big traffic circle. We women were from 2 churches in town and we were praying for the children. We prayed for bullies, for traffic offenders, for parents who neglect to teach respect, for children who are tempted by other children to take drugs and alcohol, for children who feel great anxiety…). It makes our heart heavy that children are so in need, but one of us, a very wise woman said, “We are so blessed, because we know the end of the story.” Know the end of the story… have faith that God never did and never will break his covenant. He made us; he loves us; he won’t leave us alone. Keep praying in faith and love. Pray for faith and love.

I’m home alone, drinking smoothies and trying to take off 10 pounds of anxiety fat! (I have been spreading ice cream and wine all over myself since we started packing to move!!!!). Giving those 2 up for the 10 days Chuck is away hunting, I might start fitting into my pants again! Fortunately I love salads and soup! I’m working very hard to put everything away in the art room… Getting close. I hope to paint soon. Clean something up. Enjoy giving things away to people who could use them! God bless you. Angels with you!

WOW moments!

Friday, November 1st, 2019

What if life were full of WOW! moments? Wouldn’t life be fun? Wouldn’t we all be going around with silly grins on our faces. Not silly like we are stupid, rather, silly like we love small beautiful things! Or big awesome things… Some examples of what makes me grin and say WOW!:
Chuck and I have been watching for birds at the bird feeder… I’m waiting for song birds, but any bird is good. Then: there were black birds, 3 doves and a great gray heron…. The doves were waiting for the black birds to “back off” and the heron was “just hanging out”… The heron leaned way out over the water, very still, watching the water. Then we realized the birds at the feeder were shaking it up and seed was falling onto the dock and into the water. Suddenly the heron dived in and came up with a fish horizontally in his mouth. Horizontally is important because he then has to go through some maneuverings to get that fish head down in the vertical position so it can slide down his gullet smoothly, so its scales don’t hurt the bird. Since it was a small fish, a simple throw and catch was all the heron needed. We whooped as he gobbled and swallowed. Poor fish. Like Jonah, swallowed alive. Ick…. The birds continued. This happened again the following night. Probably the same heron, but now he is across the canal on neighbor Connie and John’s dock. Watching, hanging way over the edge. “Hurry up,” I whispered, “it’s getting dark!!!” Swoop! His great wings pulled tight he dived and came up with a fish that looked to be 10 inches long; big enough to filet…. He stood in the water near the seawall. (We have discovered it is pretty shallow near the seawall that the long legged birds can stand there.) He was now looking up at the grass. Chuck said, “He has to get up into the grass because he doesn’t want to drop the fish.” Pretty smart Chuck…. a few minutes of looking at the grass in Connie and John’s back yard, and then, leap with a great flap of wings and a little shaking to dry out his wings. Ah! now the fun begins. He juggled and juggled, dropped the fish a few times. “Hurry!, I said. Now it was dark and we could hardly see him. There it goes, he finally got that fish to stop wiggling, and gulp, that fish is history. In the heron’s belly. Chuck thinks he had to wait for that one to die because it was so big. (like in the Country and Western song by the Dixie Chucks… “and Earl had to die”…). Oh that’s awful. Now the next WOW moment!
I volunteered to “help” the Sacristan at church…. HELP the Sacristan. Well I think you know how that goes. Last night I unlocked the church, turned on the lights and air conditioning and set up for vigil Mass. Vigil Mass is the Mass of the next day, but at night so people who work can attend. We are celebrating the Feast of All Saints. I set up according to a rather thorough and good list. Always give me written instructions… I enjoy lists! 5 chalices for the wine, 4 dishes for the Sacred bread. This will become the Body and Blood of Jesus when the Priest consecrates it. Altar cloths, towels and dishes of water for those giving out Communion all set up. Pray with the lectors and ministers who will process in, then go sit down. In they walked and Mass began. At Communion, the altar server (Nell) looked over at me with a question mark on her face? There weren’t enough servers for the number of chalices and dishes I put out. I didn’t know… So I let it unfold, which is usually seamless in our Church as we have a lovely priest with a forgiving nature! In the end, the priest had to put away 2 dishes of consecrated hosts and drank a full cup of consecrated wine. What happened? Well…. Despite the list, whoever schedules people only scheduled 4 wine servers and 2 Communion servers. It’s always something! How about let me know? Every time I serve I learn a new lesson (take the stoppers off the little cruets of wine and water before handing them to the Priest, put the challices on the altar for the priest to fill, look at how many are serving and only put out that many bowls and chalices.) What else???? Wash up, turn off the lights. It was now 8:30pm and pitch dark. OH! The alarm. Of course there are 3 choices… What button to push? I chose “Exit and Leave” Sounds good to me… I pushed the button and it began to click. Run to the other side of the room, turn off the entry room lights, open and close the big wooden door (why do churches always have big wooden doors???). Lock the door. Then I peeked in at the alarm. No red lights (I think…. ) Oh brother. Half way home (it’s a 5 minute drive), I thought, “Did I check the lock?” Turned around and tested the door. It didn’t open and there were no police sirens. I think my exit was safe. WHEW! … WOW! Heaved a sigh. I think the cops will not be coming this time. I hope. What an awesome, big responsibility serving the Lord!!! Go serve. Gird your loins, say a prayer, and leap!!! God bless you!