Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bringing in 2010

It's hard to believe that 2009 is almost over. This old saying seems to apply: "Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes."

The year has had good and bad parts -- the good being our Dream Trip Out West, the bad being Ed going through chemotherapy. His cancer seems to be stable so at the present time, there is no plan for more chemo.

We plan to stay in our Home Sweet RV here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and off the roads tonight to usher in the new year -- IF we can stay awake that late!
Happy New Year to you and yours!!
May 2010 bring you joy and all good things.
With love, Ed, MaryMay and Pepper


Monday, December 28, 2009

Search for Shelter Continues

Well, things were moving right along (meaning we've signed lots of papers) and looking good for getting the winter house we like. Then the glitch showed up -- this house does not come with land........the listing agent made a mistake!

Oh, well, we'll just continue looking. Knowing George is on our side makes me feel more secure in our search. Maybe we don't want the RV to sell too quickly!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Looking for a Winter Haven

We've pretty much decided that the Savannah Club in Port St. Lucie is the best fit for us. It's a big development -- over 1,800 homes -- which allows a great variety of activities. There are photography clubs, gardening clubs, exercise classes, a library, 3 club houses, play productions, etc. In a smaller development, there aren't the resources available to keep all those interest groups going.

One thing that Ed wants is to have a chance to make friends. When you RV, you meet people but you move on and they move on. He'd like to be able to come each winter and meet up with some of the same people.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, all those good deals we saw at the end of October are sold. In the meantime, we've pretty much decided that we're better off buying a place that includes the land rather than just renting it.

Ed's brother, George, is a realtor up there so he had places ready for us to look at last Tuesday. He had made appointments for a few and the other places were empty.

We found a place that we all like and it has great potential. It needs cleaning and painting but is open and spacious. He did the paperwork on Christmas Day for us to place a bid.

If we get it, this will be a marvelous Christmas present to each other! If it doesn't work out, we'll just keep looking. Time will tell.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

We spent the day with Ed's brother, George, and Kay, our sister-in-law. They live in Port St. Lucie, which is about 80 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. The drive was about an hour and a half with light traffic on I-95, although it was pretty heavy coming back in the evening.

During the drive and throughout the day, we talked to lots of relatives and friends. That's always a joy!


We got there late morning and started nibbling on deviled eggs, shrimp, and crab. George and Ed had some Kibbe nayeh.

Then we went to look again at a house in the Savannah Club that we like. We're trying not to get our hearts set on it because it's a short sale. However, it's been on the market almost a year and there are no other bids so George thinks we have a good chance.
Kay is still really hurting from her back surgeries and complications (She looks good in spite of pain, doesn't she?) so she rested on the sofa and I visited with her while Ed and George made the dinner. How blessed we are to have such wonderful husbands who also cook!

Kay is tired of turkey and ham so we had what sounded good to her. It was a wonderful meal of Filet mignon, baked potatoes, fresh asparagus with bernaise sauce, salad, lime jello salad and a Mrs. Smith's razzleberry pie (yum!).
A lovely table always enhances food.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve at Christ Church

We've been planning go to Ed's brother's home for Christmas. Kay's still recovering from her back surgery and all the complications following it. We feel that going up just for the day will be less stress on her.

One advantage in going for a one day trip is that we could attend the Christmas Eve service at our church here in Ft. Lauderdale. The 7:00 p.m. service seemed the best choice for us of the five services held.

As always, the reverence, inspiration, and beauty were just overwhelming. Last evening, it seemed especially sacred and our hearts were lifted as we participated in Christ's birthday celebration.

There are about 80 people in the choir and they sing like angels. Last night they also had a string quartet playing.Merry Christmas to you, our cherished family and friends. We love you and miss you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Marilyn and Mary Visit the Norman Rockwell Exhibit

There are some people who come into our lives and there are some who come into our lives and our hearts. I met Marilyn Keating in 1979 when I moved into the house next door to her in Wilton Manors, Florida. Oh, my, the experiences and confidences we've shared!! She's such a good listener and I admire her intelligence so much.Yesterday was a wonderful day. Marilyn and I went to the Ft. Lauderdale Art Museum to see the Norman Rockwell Exhibit. I've always loved his work and have a whole new appreciation of it now. I never would have guessed how much planning and work went into each of his paintings.When you go in, they give you a black remote-looking gismo to hang around your neck. Most of the paintings had a number by them. You punch in the number and hold the gismo to your ear like a phone. The commentary that played was so interesting, much of it narrated by one of Rockwell's sons.Norman Percevel Rockwell (1894 – 1978) was a 20th century American painter most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over more than four decades.

I thought that maybe he just saw something in his imagination and painted it....but it was quite the opposite....he planned each with detailed notes, numerous sketches, then he used live models.
One example of his more serious work is The Problem We All Live With, which was on the cover of Look magazine in 1964. It dealt with the issue of school integration.
Marilyn is one of those intellectuals who reads every word besides listening to the commentary.
One of the last rooms had over 300 framed copies of his Saturday Evening Post covers. It was mind-boggling to think that one person could accomplish so much.

I do remember this one from my younger days:

We had a delightful, long lunch at a restaurant near the Broward Performing Arts Center. Sitting outside seems to make food taste better and sharing with a friend, even better.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kibbe Nayeh - A Treat for Ed

Kibbe nayeh (kib'-bee nigh'-yay) is a Mediterranean food like steak tartare - it is seasoned ground raw beef mixed with cracked wheat. Their mother used to make it and Ed looked forward to going to his sister's all week for this treat.

Sisterly love!
Edmond and Lorraine
Lorraine made a salad for Mary.
Loraine and Ray Barkett
Ed likes to pour a bit of olive oil over it and eat it with crisp onions and pita bread. Here's Ed in 7th heaven!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Computer Fun Part 2 for 2009

Click on the title of each video and wait a bit for it to load.....speakers on.

Ed, his Son, Daughter-in-law, and Grandson

Ed, Steve, Lorraine, & Sean Angelil

Elfin' First Grade Friends

Bunny Spangler Turner, Lois Brown Horne, MaryMay Angelil, Sarah Swank Kastendick Mt. Clinton Elementary School, Virginia

*************************************************************

(This one isn't a video, just a message to you!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Computer Fun 2009 - Part 1

Last year they talked about Elf Yourself on Good Morning, America and I made a few of their videos. This year I also used My Face LOL. I know they're silly, but I hope they bring good cheer to the victims/recipients.

Watch soon as they're only on for a week or so. I can download them to keep if I pay, but I haven't been willing to spend $5.00 each. After they expire, you will just get to see the screen shots below.

Click on the title of each video and wait a bit for it to load.....speakers on.

The Mays' Christmas Dance 2009
Fran May (Mother), Phil May, Anita May Krull, MaryMay Angelil


My Sister and Her Family especially enjoyed theirs.
Anita, Paul, Ellen, & April Krull

My Brother, Sister-in-Law, and Nephew
Phil, Maribeth, & Levi May

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Computer Spam

I took a computer class this week where someone asked why they were getting so much spam. The reason is that forwarded messages are full of email addresses which are harvested by spammers!

I received this email this morning and it explains what happens.


Tracking Email (not to insult you, but just in case you didn't know...)

1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck or whatever, it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks and harvests the E-Mail addresses of those folks you forward to.

2) Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus ....that's E-mail tracking and they're playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease - "how would you feel if that was your child".....E-mail Tracking!!!


Ignore them and don't participate!

3) Almost all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are only another way to get names - - to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable purposes.

4) E-Mail petitions are NOT acceptable to White House, Congress or any other organization - i.e. social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you're just helping the Email trackers.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY,…….delete other people's e-mail addresses on the e-mails you send out.

When forwarding or sending, type the email addresses into the BCC (blind carbon copy) line.

When you get an email from me, you'll notice that the only name up top is mine. If you forward it, please delete my name and all the other email addresses.

Let’s put the SPAMMERS out of business!!

If you’re not sure how to forward email safely, all you have to do is ask and I’ll send you directions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blogging Blahs

It was bound to happen......after 105 days of travel with one adventure after another, life is becoming "normal", sort of. That means that this blog will not be taking you to the far reaches of the West any more.

I still plan to post several times a week but I don't want to have you keep checking to find nothing. If you would like, I can send you an email when I post something. If you want an email, you can comment at the bottom of this post.

 Click here for refresher directions: How to Comment)

p.s. I'm sure these blogging blahs also have to do with that fact that we're going to be selling the RV.

Monday, December 7, 2009

CHANGING GEARS FROM RVing TO...

Ed's decided he's had enough RVing. I make no bones about the fact that I'm not ready to sell but I can't drive it nor can I do all the sewer and electric set-up and maintenance involved or hook up the tow car.

We made this big trip out West, knowing that Ed does have lung cancer and we made the most of each day. Things appear to have stabilized with his cancer so we're not feeling quite so frantic. That gives us time to take things a bit more slowly.

He reminds me that he's 12 years older than me and he's tired of all the driving and the work the RV requires. He doesn't want to have to go empty the "black tank" (from the bathroom) any more.

He's ready to find a place where he can come for the winters here in Florida.
When you RV, you meet friends but you move on and they move on. He's ready to come to a place where you meet up with the same people every winter and establish some friendships.

I suggested we could keep the RV, store it in the RV shelter he built in Virginia during the summer, and come to the same RV park each winter. He explained that it would be foolish to try to maintain a diesel engine and all the other components of an RV. Those things need to be run and used to keep them in good shape. Driving from Virginia in the fall and back in the spring would not be enough to keep it working properly.

Most of all, he's tired of living in 400 square feet. To me, it's still a convenient playhouse!

So, it is with sadness that I let you know that the plan is to sell the RV and buy a small manufactured home here in Florida.

I am pleasantly surprised that there are very nice places ranging from 1200-1600 square feet, some fully furnished, for reasonable prices. We've looked at some places in Stuart, Hobe Sound, and Port St. Lucie on the east coast (that's north of the congestion of Ft. Lauderdale, yet there are still palm trees.) We saw some places on the west coast in Ft. Myers last winter and plan to go explore there, too.

So, it looks like we will be saying, "A revoir, RV and
bonjour, abode in Florida."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kitty Litter in the RV

I wasn't sure about taking Pepper in the RV but it has worked out very well. She has brought us some good laughs and keeps us entertained.

This new litter system is THE way to go with cat litter.
You can read more about this system at http://www.felinepine.com/
Another plus is that it's all natural.
We started this at home to be sure Pepper would use it. Ed mixed the former litter with Feline Pine but that was probably not necessary. The switch happened in one day with no effort.
Pepper is smart and, as we know, cats don't like dirty litter boxes. She waits until we're here before she goes. She gives us the signal that she wants her box cleaned NOW by her jubilation dance where she runs from one end of the coach to the other like a wild cat!
"No odor" is a good thing in such a small space. It still amazes me how well this works.
People at the cat show told us that if you go to Tractor Supply or any farm store, you can buy White Pine stove pellets for a really cheap price and they are exactly the same product.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New Program for Pepper

I recently wrote about Pepper the Pest and how she disrupts our sleep. We're trying a new approach and it appears she might be changing her behavior.

When she jumped on us during the night, we sensed she wanted attention so we've been petting her or that she was cold so we let her under the covers. We've bought her a new heating pad for her bed, so being cold is not an excuse.


The new policy is this: When she jumps on the bed, we quickly and gently pick her up and set her on the floor. She then sits at the foot of the bed on the floor and gives these pitiful little meows -- it's all I can do not to laugh out loud.

After 4 nights, she's doing better. Last night she jumped on Ed once and on me three times. After that, she meowed several more times, then went into her bed. We're also trying to give her more attention during the day. Time will tell!

Someone pointed out that this is like teaching babies to go to sleep -- you have to let them cry until they get the hint. (Why didn't we think of this sooner?)


She does sleep in some funny positions. Here she is in her favorite blanket on the sofa.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Storing Stuff - Bath & Bedroom

Here is Part 2 of RV storage tips. This shows bathroom and bedroom storage areas.

This extra rack hangs over the edge of the shower. We probably bought it at Camping World.
This soap holder is from Camping World but I've seen them other places, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Storing Stuff - Front of RV

A few friends have been curious about what goes on inside an RV and how we manage to live and keep up with things. I'm certainly no expert but you can take a tour of the front part here:

Keeping one's "stuff" is a challenge in an RV. You have to find a place for it that is convenient AND you have to remember where it is!


I'm the one who usually forgets.