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Thursday, December 13
think weíve mentioned that weíre going to be here at MacDill AFB until after
Christmas. So there isnít much new going on with us. Weíre working
every day on the business side of life. Iíve gone shopping several times
at the thrift stores. Weíve visited with family that live here in the
One Saturday when we visited Macís mom we took the scanner with us. I
scanned the family pictures she had (several hundred) and Mac labeled them as to
who was in the picture, date, etc. We spent about 4 hours scanning photos.
Mac still has to finish labeling. When completed Mac and his mom will pick
some pictures to add to her digital frame. Weíre glad that we can do this
for her and for us. Now the pictures are stored in several locations,
where fire or natural disaster cannot destroy them.
Mac built a table for our new TV, it looks great and it is just the right height
for viewing comfort. When weíre traveling the TV can be stowed between the
legs. He used an oak stair tread for the table top and it has a nice
rounded edge. He used 4 square oak table legs. It needed no
staining, just a clear coat of varnish. It really looks nice. Oh, in
addition he covered the wall behind the TV table with some paneling and used
molding for the edge. The wall had some water damage and needed repairing.
So he covered it attractively with paneling. I really think it looks nice.
He did a great job. Now he just needs to build something for the area
where the old TV was; right now itís a gaping hole there.
Our furry companion K.C. (Kitty Cat) who was on deaths door back in September
has gone to heaven. These three months weíve struggled to get him to eat
enough. Heíd eat some and then heíd quit eating again, only eating a
little tuna juice and maybe a nibble or two of food. He again lost weight.
He never seemed to be suffering though so we continued trying to feed him and
keep him alive. Since September weíve seen all the family that loved K.C.,
everyone got to say goodbye to him and tell him what a special cat he was.
Late Monday afternoon he started throwing up and acting like he was suffering
some. We had already made the decision that if he was suffering weíd put
him to sleep. We hugged, petted, and loved him telling him how much joy he
had brought to our lives these past 18 years. He peacefully passed away at
the vets office. He will be missed.
Saturday, December 15
Sorry it's been so long since I
posted, and I'm glad that Chris posted on Thursday.
I know a lot of people try to follow our blog, and it's
disappointing for you when we don't write anything for a week or two.
We've enjoyed visiting with family lately, my mom, and
our daughter Nikki and grandson Austin. We took a few more
pictures of Austin, click on the photo of him for more.
Chris mentioned that we bought a new TV and I built a
table for it. We needed a new TV because there was no comfortable
way to watch the old TV. It was located in the front, 90 degrees left of
the recliner loveseat. The TV needed to be directly in front of
the loveseat, and with the space available nothing but a flat screen
made any sense at all. While shopping, and looking at price
tags, my scotch heritage came to the forefront and I went "bottom
fishing". I bought the least expensive 32 inch LCD I could find.
It's a Westinghouse, and was only $549 at Best Buy. We've had it for several weeks, and we're
completely satisfied with its performance.
I did a lot of thinking and planning regarding how to
mount or position the TV. We wanted it secure for travel, but at
the right height for viewing. We also wanted it to look OK.
I originally thought of a simple rectangular unit built of 1x10s.
Instead I bought an oak stair tread and 4 oak parsons table legs and put
together a simple and functional piece. It's attached to the wall
and the floor, and I hope it stays put. While traveling, we'll put
the TV underneath, and it will fit snugly between the legs. In the
before and after photos you can see the wiring is run loose. I
still need to conceal it somewhere.
Sunday Morning, Dec 15
Have you ever noticed that sometimes your brain doesn't fully
engage? It's as if only half of what comes in sticks. It's 5:00 AM
and the wind woke me up. Last night we listened to the weather report and
knew to expect windy weather. I remember hearing "north winds" which would
be the best for us since our awning is on the south side of the RV. We
have the awning tied out, and usually leave it there unless severe weather is
forecast. Well, for some reason it didn't register in my brain that we'd
have winds from the west too, before they shifted, along with some potentially
severe thunderstorms. Now I'm sitting here praying the awning makes it
through the next half hour. There's a point of no return that you pass
where trying to take in the awning may be more dangerous than just sitting it
out. We passed that point about 15 minutes ago while I was sleeping.
Hopefully the awning will make it. One concern is that
the awning is old, and could rip at the seam. I've already made a small
repair to the fabric two years ago. I think we can get another 2+ years
service from it, but not if I keep leaving it out in severe weather!
Family Photos Since I'm up, I'll tell
you about what we did yesterday. A couple weeks ago we had scanned all of
my mom's family photos, mostly snapshots. I then separated them into
individual files, rotated, cropped, corrected fading, etc. Yesterday we visited
her and reviewed all the images. She picked a hundred or so to load onto a
digital photo frame that I gave her last year. It worked very well.
One benefit of scanning is that you get a better look at the images. A
small picture when scanned and enlarged can reveal details than you haven't
noticed before. This is especially true of old black-and-white photos
which come out very nice.
Addictive Word Puzzle If you find
yourself with a few days of nothing to do try this
Chris found it in a forum discussion and we've been working on it for part of
the last 3 days.
Wednesday, December 19:
beginning to look a lot like Christmas. No it hasnít snowed here in Tampa.
The front of the RV is stacked with presents for family. Iíve been
wrapping presents the past few days and stacking them in the front passenger
seat. The stack is growing and growing.
Weíve picked up some inexpensive presents to give to family members just to have
some fun on Christmas unwrapping presents. The main gift to everyone is a
trip to Disney World as mentioned before. So Iíve had a blast looking
around for presents for everyone that theyíd enjoy and that werenít very
expensive. Iíve been amazed at how much of it Iíve found at the thrift
stores. I had a goal of brand new, still with tags, items to give as gifts
and I have found plenty of very nice quality stuff to give as gifts. Iíve
probably spent less than $100 on gifts. So again if you havenít been to a
thrift store lately you really need to check them out. Youíll be amazed at
some of the great quality items that youíll find.
While shopping at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago I picked up 2 rolls of
Christmas wrapping paper. The rolls were less than $2.00 each and are
quite large rolls too. At another thrift store I found a large bag stuffed
with Christmas ribbons and bows for less than $2.00 so I picked it up too.
I am quite pleased with the wrapping paper. It is good quality paper that
you canít see through, wide rolls to wrap even my largest present. So as
mentioned Iíve been wrapping presents and having a blast wrapping them in
ribbon, making bows and streamers and using the ready-made bows.
Speaking of thrift stores reminds me that I havenít mentioned that I started
selling my thrift store finds on eBay this year. So the front of the RV
also has some shipping supplies stacked up there too. Iím quite happy with
how much of my stuff has sold. There are a few items that didnít sell but
thatís to be expected at times. Most things do not stay hot sellers for a
long time. Back when we were living in our house I had noticed that Brown
Bag Cookie Art molds brought a pretty penny on eBay. Iíve picked up
several during our travels and now that I want to sell them they arenít as
collectable as they once were. At least the ones I have found arenít as
collectable. There still are a few molds that sell for quite a bit on
eBay, I just donít have any of the big sellers. Iíve sold several of the
cookie molds I had though. The ones that I didnít sell will be given to
daughterís family in Illinois. My granddaughter is interested in baking
and decorating so she will love having a large assortment of cookie molds to
work with. Every thing else that I have has sold and at a very nice
profit. Iím glad that Iíve finally got around to getting it sold.
Now I can start looking again for more treasures to sell.
Because I had so much to sell at once it looks like a shipping department in
here. We have some shipping boxes, a huge bag of packing peanuts, 2 boxes
of different sized bubble wrap and various other shipping needs stacked around
the RV. Once itís all sold and I can get in the routine of buying and
quickly reselling the items it will be easier to handle. You know youíre
selling a lot when the UPS store personnel recognize you! I am embarrassed
to say that I know I have more stuff to sell in storage but I donít know where
itís at. We really need to get that storage unit organized!
I havenít mentioned my parents lately so Iíll just write a bit about them now.
Back in October was when weíd gone to Livingston and helped them out. My
dad had been in the hospital and then went to a nursing rehab center from there
to gain some strength. What I had not mentioned was why he was so sick and
weak and wound up in the hospital. He had got a bladder infection due to
an enlarged prostate. He was allergic to the first medication he was on
for the infection. By the time he was on the second medication the
infection had gotten pretty bad. In his weakened condition he couldnít
even walk which is the main reason the doctor put him in the hospital. He
received IV treatment and soon kicked the infection. He had a catheter in
to fully drain his bladder so that he wouldnít get another infection. Once
he was strong enough physically he went back to the hospital and had a TURP
(transurethral resection of the prostate) operation. He recovered nicely
from that operation and was strong enough to go home. Heís been at home
now for a few weeks.
The main thing Iíve that never mentioned is that my dad had been diagnosed with
Alzheimerís for a couple of years now. The doctor and my mom had decided
to not tell my dad of this diagnosis. What good would it do? I think
Mac and I were in a bit of denial about it. We werenít around him enough
to see and notice the differences, my mom was. This last trip we both did
notice the difference though. Unfortunately he has become an unpleasant
and extremely grumpy person from this disease.
My mom called me last night crying. It seems that he has become very
verbally abusive towards her. Sheís not in good enough health to be taking
care of him and her, and to deal with the verbal abuse that this disease is
causing him to heap on her. I hope that I helped her to understand that he
needs to be in a facility that can take care of him. It wonít do either of
them any good if she gets ill from trying to take care of him. It is a
hard decision for the family members to make but I think itís the best one we
all can make.
Monday December 24:
Christmas everyone! We're in Tampa and spending Christmas with family.
The day after we're heading for Disney World with kids and grandkids in tow.
We'll try to post again before the year ends, and of course there will be Disney
Monday December 31:
back in Tampa in our wonderful RV after spending 6 days in Orlando with our
family. It was wonderful to be with the kids and grandkids, to watch them
have a good time. One of the main reasons we did this was to create
wonderful memories for the grandkids.
On the first day at Disney World we all quickly agreed to never again come at
Christmas time. It was so incredibly crowded at the parks, especially at
Magic Kingdom. Spring breaks are at different times across the country but
Christmas break is at the same time for every school. We will never again
go at this time of year. Itís not fun to be around so many people, the
lines were long, and it started bringing out the worst in people. People
just didnít seem to have the laid back letís-have-some-fun attitude as they
usually do at Disney. But overall everyone had a great time and enjoyed
themselves and thatís all that really matters.
We had rented a house for our stay in the Orlando area. It was much
cheaper than renting hotel rooms, and bigger than a condo as weíve done before.
We had a 4 bedroom, 2 Ĺ baths, 2,600 square foot house for about $700. We
had a kitchen with lots of dishes, pots and pans, and everything that we needed
to cook any meals we wanted. There was also a washer and dryer to use and
we took full advantage of that luxury. Since we knew there was a washer
and dryer no one had to pack large amounts of clothing to get through the week
there. The bathrooms also had plenty of towels; we washed those too; 8
people use a lot of towels.
We had spent Christmas day with the family at Macís momís apartment. We
had a fun-filled time opening presents and watching the kids open their
presents. Austin wasnít as interested in what was in the box as he was
interested in unwrapping them. He had a great time pulling the paper off
of the boxes. He was ready to unwrap another one before he noticed what
was inside the present. What fun it is to watch little ones.
We had lots of food, too much as a matter of fact. We wrapped it all up
afterwards and took it with us to Orlando, it didnít go to waste.
We left Tampa the day after Christmas, got to our rental house and unpacked the
cars. The girls and I then headed for the outlets. We found 3
character outlets but the only one we spent any money at was the Disney outlet.
We found some really nice stuff at very reasonable prices. I bought 2
throws/lap blankets for our loveseat. I debated with myself on getting
them and finally decided to buy them. They were only $14.95 each and are
large enough that we can wrap up in them when itís cold. They are brown
polyester fleece and have Cinderellaís Castle and Walt Disney World embroidered
on them. I really like them and think theyíll look nice on the loveseat.
We had bought everyone 4 day park hoppers and started our Disney adventure on
the 27th at Magic Kingdom. As mentioned it was very crowded and got worse
as the day progressed. All the parks were very crowded but seemed less
crowded in the morning hours. The kids visited 4 parks, Mac and I only
visited 2 parks, Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We spent a lot of time at Epcot,
there is so much to see there.
The last full day in Orlando, the 30th, Mac and I volunteered to babysit Austin.
We spent the day at the house and the kids all went to the park. We were
tired of the parks and so was Austin. We had a great time with him.
He played and talked and what a little mocking bird he is. Iíd forgotten
how much fun little ones can be. We had a blast.
The 31st we all left Orlando. Mac and I drove back to Tampa with a short
stop at Camping World. We didnít buy anything but had fun looking at
stuff. We spent most of the day unpacking and resting when we got home.
We enjoyed returning to our home. It may be small compared to the house we
rented but as Dorothy says ďThereís no place like homeĒ!
Chris said, we had a great time this past week -- having most of the family
together for Christmas, then visiting Disney World with kids and grandkids.
We try each year to get the family together at least once for a few days.
In the past it was usually at spring break, but Amanda and Lindsey's schools
stopped having spring break so we've shifted to Christmas. Next year we're
talking about taking a cruise! Not sure if that will happen, but it's one
possibility. I'm sure we'll be back to Disney in a couple of years, but
not at Christmas!
Since Chris and I only visited the parks 3 days we both have one day left on our
park hoppers. The Florida resident passes are good for 6 months from first
use, so we plan to visit once again before leaving the state in the spring.
If you're looking for the end-of-year camping summary report it's
at the end of November. The projections made at that time were unchanged
Continue to January 2008