Archive for January, 2020

A 2 bottle lake….

Monday, January 27th, 2020

We carried a bottle of champagne out on our boat ride yesterday. The lake is SO beautiful and amazing that we drank the bottle in celebration a little enthusiastically and we had the bottle finished by the time we got half way around…. We go down our canal and turn left up a wide canal (I think it’s called catfish creek) with houses on the left and woods on the right. Birds and turtles nest along the river bank. We go under a bridge that is lower than our Westwood Lake bridge… When the water rises hgher in the rainy season the boat will fit but we will have to hug the deck!!!! Big beautiful RICH people houses line the lake on the north east side. Each one has lots of square footage and big docks, and we think most are winter snow birds! Several are for sale. I ought to find out how much!!! As we headed north, the houses got a little smaller and older. We got to US 27 end which is the north end of the lake and we turned to head west… Finished the bottle of champagne about an hour into the ride…. making the lake at least a 2 bottle lake. We continued and went about half way across towards the west. The west side is a government preserve. Probably a great bird wildlife preserve. We did not find the sand bar people talk about where folks dock up in the summer time. The ride was a little chilly; sun was shining, but wind blowing in from the north… Fortunately I was wearing one of the great big flannel shirts I got from my friend Mark… and I had another light jacket wrapped around my neck. When we turned south the wind died down and it was warm in the sunshine.

When we got back, having explored half the lake, we pulled the boat into the dock and headed over to church to pick up tabes we lent for the Trash and Treasure sale. Also carried an unsold table and chairs back across route 27 to a friends house. Well… guess what else is “across route 27″? The VFW. We don’t get over that way often so I said “let’s stop in and give them some business….” 3 beers and a pizza later we went back outside and it was only about 5pm, and one of us suggested, “Shall we go to Jaxson’s and see if we can find a way to park the boat and walk over?” Jaxson’s is a bar on one of the lakes that is connected to Lake June by a raggedy shallow little creek. We can’t get there with the pontoon boat, and we didn’t see a place to park the boat either, but stepped in to watch the Kobe Bryant news on television… and drink 3 more beers with chicken wings. We really spread ourselves around the little town yesterday!!!! This morning during the Mass on EWTN the priest talked about Kobe. He was Catholic and a real supporter of youth basketball with a young teenage daughter who was an excellent player. Unfortunately they were both killed. People were leaving basketballs out on their porches in Los Angeles for Kobe and his daughter Gianna. God bless them. What a big loss to us as people. Let this encourage us to support our youth and help them to grow to do things they maybe can’t afford or have no one to encourage them.

We are back home, sobering up from a tiny headache (me), and getting ready to face the taxman. Chuck is not allowed to have ice cream until our accountant/tax man signs on the bottom line! We need to submit completed tax form to get homestead exemption up here. So, it’s time for taxes people!!! Get it done! God bless us. Angels with us.

Trying hard !

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Hi dear Sunday morning friends! I’ve tried several times to blog on my cell phone… like when I’m sitting outside on the dock just hanging out… but my cell phone won’t save the message so my creativity just goes out wherever unsaved stuff goes… This has been a bit of a secretive time as I was monitoring Chuck’s health … he bumped his head hard enough to put a pretty bad bloody scratch on his soft spot (where the doctor did Mohs surgery last year.) It hurt and we watched him for dizziness or loss of function. He got a few headaches and a stiff neck so I finally called doctor and asked for an MRI. It showed normal and headaches have gone away. The whole event took a few weeks… So I guess you know how hard it was to keep it quiet as we remember “the last time..” In the meantime…

The pontoon boat is in the water and getting her first ride into the lake today at 1pm!!!! We got an estimate for extending our dock to give us more dock sitting party space and hold the boat too under cover. That ought to be done in a February timeframe. So when you come to visit… expect a boat ride.

We got a new sofa bed so staying here ought to be a little more comfortable! I also have half-painted the big orange shed. Need to finish detail on the street side and half the house side. I’m painting 2 big flowering pots on the back for the neighbors across the canal. I don’t want to be responsible for watering dying flowers out on the back of the shed!!! I have a whole 32 foot wall down the out side and 1/2 the shed wall facing the house. it’s big!!!! I have neglected painting on people sized canvases whil I paint 32 foot canvases!!!

I helped at the church Trash and Treasure sale. First it was unpacking and putting stuff where it goes in our large social hall. Working the sale was fun… I carried stuff around and invited people to “go into the jewelry room” I said jingling my big noisy earings and necklaces, or “go into the Christmas room,” holding up my big coffee cup saying “Peace!” or jingling my BIG Christmas bracelet. I wore a jacket around that I later wore to church… I got some good stuff and nearly collapsed from exhaustion!!! I do not have the stamina some of my lady friends do. I’m OK now and I have a week to recover before the next meeting. We will be attending a Submariners picnic in Barstow this coming weekend. I love listening to the stories and the current news about our heroes. We have no BIG trips planned uptil August so schedule a week here in beautiful Lake Placid. Love you lots! God bless you. Angels with us!

Feeling better, looking forward

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Good Sunday morning dear gentle readers. This week has been extremely personal. There is no looking out here, only looking in. I went with a few ladies to the home of Liz who just lost her son. She held a memorial at morning Mass and invited her friends back for coffee. To lose your child is so hard and Liz is bravely bearing up under the blow. We talked of others and of the friend who is currently in the hospital doing diagnostics with complications. She’s supposed to have surgery, but her body filled with fluid. The email came to pray for her as it’s cancer and … probably spread out. There is a tqble in the lobby of the church where up coming funerals are honored. A photograph of the beloved, a note with their name on it, and a white vase with a white rose. People stop and talk there…. It’s a relatively small community. Only new people like me don’t know everybody. This is the “age” when we begin to lose our fellows. The prayer list is long. I’m one of the young ones but I stand with them and pray for me too. “Lord let me live to speak in church, to serve, to paint at the 2 art galleries! and … to finish the mural on the shed!!!”

I opened with the personal nature of this week. We don’t look “out.” It’s almost if that is for the younger people and our role here at our age is to pray. When my mother retired from teaching, I said she shouldn’t retire yet; to me she was so vital! But she said, “Leave it to the young ones.” My sister once said, “I am now a crone.” Yes, I understand now… our role is advice, giving hugs, giving love and acceptance! i look around and hope the “young ones” will come to carry the load! Not only to carry the tables and chairs that are set up for the St Vincent de Paul collections, but for all the heavy lifting that “we used to do!” I will roll the little table around the church and set up the altar and the communion tables, and clean up after Mass as long as I can, and I will climb the steps and read the Word as long as my voice holds out ( I hear a lot of raspy voices here… I think that comes too when our voices go.) Let us do as much as we can… my gentle readers: get out the vote if you can! Get out there and speak, hug, and do the heavy lifting! God bless you. Angels with us.

Ah! The Relativity of Importance

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

I watched a little bit of news yesterday and today and there are 2 newsy “issues” out there floating around… Well there are many newsy items but I’ll focus on these two. (1) Has Iran backed down? Is it over and “All is well?” as President Trump says? Is the blowing up of our air bases in Iraq not really that important? Does Iraq care? Will he ever be tried in the Senate? and (2) How will Meghan and Harry ever earn a living? OH my dear. I paid attention to this one. Didn’t she save ANY money? I saw her on a Hallmark movie, and she was in several TV shows for a while and she managed to accumulate about $5 million. I saw her asset figure as i scanned thru an article and now I can’t find it. But let’s say her assets are that… $5 million… I am sure she and Harry will be writing a book and speaking (Harry will garner about $100,000 for each public speaking event.) And people are asking….”How will they live?” I’ll bet she has a closet full of clothes, and he equally a closet full of suits… They apparently get to stay in Frogmore Cottage. Have you seen a picture of it? It’s HUGE. Bigger than my several houses all patched together. I guess I’d sell that (oh wait they can’t; it belongs to England as a historical building)… So move in with Mama for pete’s sake…. Live in sunny California. Ah my dears. Could we live? Oh yes and give away much to the poor. I am going to go now and check my lottery ticket and buy more… Stay tuned to see how “Meghan ruined Harry’s life… How poor Harry hurt his Grandmother’s (the Queen’s) feelings…etc” Oh and Grandmother (the Queen) wouldn’t talk to him, she sent him to talk to his father. I’m not sure I’d want to do that. God bless us. God don’t laugh at us. Although we are funny. Angels with us.

Acck! Don’t look East!

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

This morning I had the time to turn on the TV for 15 minutes before going for a first time doctor’s visit…. I had looked at news the day before and was treated to the impeachment and Iraq news, so I guess I just had a prurient interest in whether the earth had a hole in it yet…. I was treated to all the news a person can take and it was riveting…. House of Representatives is trying to impeach a president who has fired or just not hired State Department diplomats and who is tweeting war with Iran. His attitude? “Who needs diplomats? You got me”. I’ll admit, I don’t think “diplomacy” has worked… they hate us, but generally we send in dark operators who do the dirty work and carry the body out in the dark of night as if it never happened. I can’t believe I’m writing about this, and it’s probably the cause of my blood pressure being raised after waking up after 2 nightmares!!!

I went to the doctor’s office at 10am (1 1/2 hours after that early morning bp check), and my blood pressure was nice and low normal where doctors want it to protect the aneurism. I was surprised at 126/70 which makes the doctor very happy. It might be the country music I turned the TV to and keep on. Doctor gave me the name of a cardiac vascular surgeon he wants me to see “up here.” It’s almost as if, “We got good doctors here too little lady!” He also told me not to tell the doctor what to do. Does he know me or what?

On New Years Day I made Chuck go into his shed and get all my (outdoor) painting supplies, paints, brushes, rollers etc and I harangued him about how I need part of that giant new shed for “my stuff!.” You see, I’m about to repeat my part time job as an outdoor walls mural painter. So I have been working 3 to 4 hours a day since New Years day priming and painting the new 32 x 20 shed with mountains, ocean, sky, sun. Fish and small mountain villages are still in my imagination!!!  I think of ice sculptors working with chain saws as I roll the roller and ply the brushes on this work of art! It’s half done and I can’t answer any questions except to say, “It’s coming along” when Chuck gets home from hunting this Friday! In between times I’ve been trying to put away clothes that never found a permanent home since we only moved into this house in late September! Did you ever feel, “I have too many tee shirts?” All through my business and church career I collected tee shirts with logos, charity runs, holiday decorations, etc on them… So try to fit all that into a 2 bedroom house after retirment!  I’m doing better today but now what do I do with the 100 coats and jackets Chuck has collected over the years that I threw on the floor to accommodate my clothes in my side of the closet. I would suggest to those of you thinking of moving … make it 3 bedrooms (the third is for closets.) We have collected TOO much stuff! I’m back at it gentle reader. Be sure to pause and offer a little prayer for peace in your own heart…. We can pray for the world too, but don’t let the world get to you. God bless us. Angels with us.

Are we struggling under unwarrented Guilt?

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

My friend just wrote to me that she is lectoring once again at church and she described the struggle of getting into panty hose this morning. Just imagining that made me laugh out loud. I’m over 70 (I’ll bet you didn’t know that…) and I don’t even own panty hose. If I wear strappy shoes on formal night I trim my toenails and give them a coat of paint. That’s my nod to “getting dressed up.” AND the dress rule for women who lector at her church is dress or skirt and blouse. OH boy I don’t have a dress tht isn’t floor length and I own 2 skirts. I do wear a skirt, blouse and jacket (I alternate the 2 skirts) to be a Sacristan because I am actually up on the altar a lot in the preparation for Mass, even opening the Tabernacle. This is such a lofty position, it humbles me. So today, I was a lector, it was 50 degrees and I wore pants, bright shirt and jacket and when I looked down as we entered the church, I was wearing socks and sneakers. OH NO! It’s 50 degrees. Flats without hose would have been cold. OH the guilt I felt marching into Mass carrying the Big Bible, wearing sneakers. My friend tells me she is not a libber. Neither am I. Am I? I am more like an old retired woman who paid my dues in suits, panty hose and heels … For some reason I kept those 2 skirts. Must have been angels whispering…. Wear a skirt when being Sacristan in church. At least I never wear shorts in church!

I am painting a great big shed that sits in our side yard. When Chuck and I ordered it, I didn’t think it would be so Orange!!! My goodness, every time we drive up to the house I say, “WOW! that shed is orange!” When I step out of the shower, there is a window I keep open and the shed is right THERE. Orange. So on January 2 I hauled out my outdoor paints, brushes, roller pans, rollers, rags, etc and set up to paint that orange shed. It’s huge! 12 feet wide by 32 feet long. It took 2 days to cover it with my favorite base coat, white Kills. And it’s got spaces between each board so it needed roller AND brush. Mountains sprung up and then I added the horizon. I will make little villages on the mountains like I did on the lakehouse in Miami, I’ll add palm trees and flowers, of course little water features and a great big ocean and fish. Chuck wants a leaping bill fish so I have some work to do! Why didn’t we buy a white shed? Do they make them? Ah the beauty of second thoughts!

Pray for our country today as apparently we have killed an Iranian General in front of everybody and Colin Kaepernick is calling the shot racism. Pray for America. God bless us. Angels with us.

Time is relative!

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

I was speaking with my sister Sarah and she said I haven’t written in forever… And I realized, “I haven’t”. Where has the time gone? On the 7 day cruise we took over Christmas every moment from 8 am until midnight was full. We sailed with friends Peter and Karen Skipp (Chuck and Peter friends since age 14, then I joined the gang at age 16, and Karen joined about age 23.) Peter and Karen’s two beautiful adult daughters joined us and quickly found Chuck’s and my hideaway in Vintages for pre dinner wine or champagne. I loved vintages because they have outside tables and I see a lot of people I know. At the first Mass on board I took my prayer book up to help out a girl who Father chose to sing! Then I read at a few Masses and father put me up on stage at the Royal theatre to sing at Christmas day Mass with a powerfully voiced Jamaican genteman. We sang about 8 hymns! So I knew a lot of people from daily Mass and they would stop to talk as we enjoyed the garden at Vintages (Including Father himself). The two giant RCCL cruise ships, Allure and Harmony have a beautiful Garden called Park Place on deck 8. You can’t tell you are on a cruise ship. Our cabin on the Harmony overlooked that garden and we got a huge balcony because they used the space next to us for storage but gave us the storage space’s balcony!!! Every day I woke up when I wanted (but remember the storage space is next door) so it was wake up time between 8 and 830am. Quick shower, put on clean clothes, and trot down to the Diamond lounge for latte machiato. We are Diamonds because we cruise so much so we get inordinate amounts of lattes, wine, and water all for free. I tell people to be loyal to a brand and “get the loyalty points”. After breakfast in Diamond lounge almost like clockwork I was off to the pool from 11 to 12. Lunch, read my Maeve Binchy books, and take a nap. Get up, get dressed, formal wear two nights, lovely dinner, go to shows. Amazing shows. Back to room about midnight. Meanwhile we got off the ship twice to go to Cozemel twice (the weather kept us away from the private island so we stopped twice in Cozemel where we have a cute little bar called Ernestos where we eat mexican food and drink Dos XXees (how do you spell that?). Nap after. Dinners were lovely with the 6 of us as family. Food was wonderful. The last night we all went to Chops Grill as travel agent had given us dinners. We drove from Cape Canaveral to visit Renee and drink and eat more!!! And we ate Thai food with her. Then we binge watched the 2nd season of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime. Home for 2 days, I was so relaxed and tired that I totally forgot it was New Years Eve and when I heard fireworks I thought they were practicing!!! Chuck went hunting in Georgia with Dave and Sam, but not before I made him find all my mural painting brushes, rollers, roller pans, etc. I need to get into his shed and create my own space for my outdoor paints. I have painted for 3 days since Chuck left first covering our enormous shed with a base coat and today… mountains rose up! It is a huge shed. I am having a wonderful time at St James church. Today we wrapped about a million presents for the mission children (we have a lot of farms and migrants here). The church ladies are a lot of fun. That’s about it! I need to sink into Chuck’s easy chair and rest my poor paint covered body! God bless you! Angels with us!