Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ed's Sister Visits

Lorraine (Ed's sister) and Ray Barkett came from Ft. Lauderdale to see our "new" home. Ray's brother, Tom, (one of our favorite people) came, too. George (Ed's brother) and Kay joined us. They got a tour of our little abode and oooo'd at how skinny Pepper looks. Well, you'd look skinny too if you had no topcoat!

We went to a nice restaurant in Stuart that's right on the water and it was a gorgeous day (except that it's still cold). It took a few tries to get hot French fries and everything wasn't perfect but everyone did agree that their fish was good.
I took my camera but forgot to get it out of my purse -- the best laid plans. I don't have a photo of Tom but here are the rest of us from Christmas 2008.

Oh, well, everyone looks fine and Ray is as feisty as ever! We appreciated them coming up to see us and we enjoyed everyone's company.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Key, The Key

The people who bought our Chevy Malibu already have an RV so were pleased to find a car with the towing apparatus installed and included.

Ed got ready to remove the tow bar from the RV but didn't have the key for the padlock. He thought and thought, then remembered it was in Virginia.

He called Jim,, our cousin who watches our house, to see if he could get up the driveway yet to send us the key. Jim said, "Driveway, what driveway?!!!!

There has been so much snow and the temperatures have stayed so low that there has been very little melting. Jim said that maybe a bulldozer could get up our hill.

Not to worry.....the guy buying the car brought a special saw and they were able to saw the bar off the RV.

Car Sale

Ed and I admitted to each other that the embarking and disembarking of the Chevy Malibu seemed to be getting more difficult. (Of course, we all know this has nothing to do with old age, right?)

Getting in wasn't so bad but getting out from that low seat seemed to take more effort lately. We became aware of this because the many errands involved in setting up a home required getting in and out numerous times in a day.

Joan Benson, a good friend from our condo in Ft. Lauderdale, and I have kept in touch by email. She lives in Stuart, which is just south of us. Her son has a used car place called Luxury Cars and Trucks, which is right by our Wal-Mart.

When it looked like the car would be included in the motorhome deal (the deal that fell apart a couple of weeks ago), we started car shopping. Joan instructed her son to help us find a good car for a good price. And that he did!

When neither the car nor the RV sold, we almost let this SUV go. However, when Ed started shopping on the internet, he realized what a good deal this car was and that there aren't that many around. We both really liked it so decided to take a chance and get it......luckily, the car did sell this week.

Our "new" car is a 2002 Toyota Highlander. (This was built back in the days when Toyotas were made in Japan.) It's a grayish blue and in very nice shape.

The best part is that we came out ahead of the game money-wise. We have an older car but a more comfortable one for us. It will also work well as we travel to and from Virginia with Pepper and other "stuff".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Table Arrived!

We've been waiting for several weeks now for our table and 2 chairs for the breakfast nook. Finally, they were delivered on Saturday afternoon.This is one table I'll have to keep clean -- glass shows every tiny piece or smear of food! It does make the room lighter and brighter and the square-round shape gives more surface space than the round.

In reality, the table will seldom be that cleared off. You know who likes having his computer there. In fact, he sometimes uses his 'puter as his placemat.I really liked the design and workmanship on the chairs and base of the table.....they have a bit of pizazz!We all have our pet peeves. Ed's having a fit because we'll need to loosen the screws to get the plastic off the chair seats. He said his dad used to get a nice car and immediately cover the seats with plastic so the future buyer would have nice seats. HE wants to enjoy the nice fabric instead of "saving" it for the future. So, it's off with the plastic very soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ed's Question

During Huntley Brown's concert, Ed leaned over and asked me if it was possible to wear out a piano!

Polished Piano Player's Performance

We went to the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie this morning. Besides friendly people and a well-spoken female minister, we were blessed with piano music by Huntley Brown.

Before the service began, he played in a trio with the organ and another piano, played by the church's regular pianist. Her name is Dr. Montague and she introduced Huntley Brown.

Long ago she taught in Jamaica and there
were many who wanted piano lessons. So, she gave piano classes to 50 students. Then they signed up for 15 minute practice sessions on the only piano. As she began to work with individual students, she met Huntley. She soon figured out that he played by ear and didn't read music.

Huntley learned to read music and later came to the U.S.and earned a Master's Degree in piano performance and pedagogy. His music ministry has taken him all over the world.

In the United States, he has performed in places like the Crystal Cathedral, Willow Creek Community Church, and one of Bill Gaither’s popular Homecoming concerts.

He was also the regular crusade pianist for the recently retired Dr. Ralph Bell, an associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Association.
He is now the pianist for Ruth Graham and Friends Ministries.Huntley played a few more times during the service and we went to his concert this afternoon. He is a minister with his words and his music. One friend has said, “Huntley plays as if God is whispering in his ears.”

This video is one of the pieces he played today:

You can get a sample of one of his unique techniques in the following clip at about 4:30 (I dragged the slider button to 4:30, waited a moment, and the music started):

Huntley Brown knocked my socks off and I wasn't even wearing socks!!

Here are a couple more good clips:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pleasant Bedroom

NOTE: This is a post that mostly gals will find interesting.

When a room gets finished, it's a small victory. Our bedroom turned out to be a simple, pleasant space. The pale green of the bedspread goes with the kitchen cabinets and the leaves match those on our dishes. Doesn't everyone want to coordinate their dishes with their bedspread?The 4 sliding doors for the closets are mirrors, which adds to the light.

Once I saw this set, nothing else was appealing. The wood is lighter than the dresser but there is darkness in the woven part and the dark handles help the various pieces "blend". I usually think you should see the bed when you enter a bedroom. In this room, the bed would have filled the space between the windows and the night stands would have to be at an angle. So, Ed convinced me to try this and it does work rather well.
The previous owner also left this nice bookcase, which we use for our decorative pillows at night.

Ed never reads in bed so didn't want a light on his side. I really liked this little lamp for the dresser and it matches the night tables and headboard.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crane Dance

When the Sandhill Cranes come around, which is several times a day, (until we had company, then they were nowhere to be seen!) we can step out the door and get about a foot from them.

They're about 4-5 feet tall.

Twice Ed's gotten a dance show that I've missed. They just look at must be his handsome bald head that turns them on. There was more to their dance but here are the shots he managed to capture.
What a dancer!

Here's a Picasa color adjustment on the same photo.
This next one, to me, is a FANTASTIC photo! Take a moment to click on it for a larger version.
Maybe the evening light makes it all the more dramatic. Here's the same photo after Picasa adjusted the light.

This was one of those nights I couldn't sleep so got up to read. The cranes were still warbling and carrying on at 1:00 a.m.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Help Name Our New Pet

We haven't named our daily visitor here on Marlberry Court in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We welcome your suggestions.

This is a
sandhill crane. "Most sandhill cranes live in freshwater wetlands. They are opportunistic eaters that enjoy plants, grains, mice, snakes, insects, or worms. They often dig in the soil for tubers...."

We were telling our neighbor how much we enjoyed them. She said that when we come out and find our driveway full of dirt, we might not be quite so charmed.

Great Blue Heron, often called a "crane," is smaller, lacks the fluffy rear end and the red forehead, and flies with its neck curled against the body instead of straight out.

He ignors the ducks as they swim and fly all around.
They are 3-5 feet tall.
Evening meditation.A shy guy?
Their wingspan is up to 80 inches.
Notice the neck is straight out when flying.
So long for now!Don't forget to suggest a name for our shy guy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Heart's Day 2010!

Ed and I went to the New England Fish House in Jensen Beach and surprised Kay for her birthday. We enjoyed some good fish and chips, then went to our house for birthday cake to celebrate Kay's birthday.

Kay, the birthday girl!

Almost-Free Phone Service

Our cell phone doesn't always work here in our new-to-us Florida home. There is often poor reception and calls get dropped. Perhaps that's because we're 1.7 miles from the highway in the front and there's a preserve and a river behind us.

Ed's been seeing this magicjack gismo in Wal-mart for quite a while and researched it. We bought one this week and it seems to be working, the jury's still out on this -- I had trouble with calls breaking up and my brother said on his end I was muffled and breaking up, plus the call dropped.

The magic jack is plugged into the computer. Then we use a regular telephone and we can move anywhere in the house. We bought a cordless phone that has two handsets -- the 2nd one has a base only.

If someone calls when you're not at home, you get an email that shows who it was and their number. You can click on the email and it'll call them. How cool is that??!!

The one thing that isn't available is a setting to let it ring more than 4 times and they're working on that. They also say that you should have another phone available in case you need to call 911.

The long distance is unlimited! So far, so good???.....not so fast....will report later on this. Ed declares it works perfectly for him so it must be something I'm doing that makes it not work right.

Leave it to Ed to come up with the latest gadget, huh? One drawback for me is that I'm still struggling to remember our new address. Now I have to learn a new phone number, too. Oh, my poor feeble, fibro (fibromyalgia) brain!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Review - How to Comment

Some people missed the post for how to comment. Click here: How to Comment

Friday, February 12, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Take

The song goes, "They say that breaking up is hard to do..." and I say that things breaking up is hard to take. Supposedly problems come in threes and I hope that's right. When we moved in, things were all working and we used them several times.

1. Ed noticed a water trail across our driveway and discovered our hot water heater was leaking. Getting a new one was our only option.

2. The dishwasher was fine until two days ago when the cancel button light started flashing and it wouldn't run. The manual said if that happens, it's a disaster. The repairman said it's something with the electrical board and has ordered parts.

3. Mary's teeth were functioning well until out of nowhere a molar broke. She got crowned on Friday, which wasn't cheap!

Hopefully, that'll be the end of things breaking for now!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

RV Newbies Visit

Our dear friends, Jan and Dave Clements, came from near Ocala to visit. This was their first voyage in their coach. As I mentioned before, we were paid through Saturday at the RV park and there were no refunds for days not used. So we invited them to take advantage of "free" nights. They could only stay one night but we managed to cram in lots of sharing time.

I planned to take pictures but we were so involved talking that I forgot. Here they are arriving at the, no.....arriving at the RV RESORT!
While Dave and Ed were outside doing manly hook-up-ing and unhook-up-ing, Jan and I were inside and she was picking my brain. If nothing else, Ed and I realize how much we've learned during our RV experiences and it's a joy to share. Of course, a realtor's work is never done and Jan's phone rang several times during their visit. She manages to sound so patient but, as with any realtor, the calls never stop and some people never seem to stop talking. The calls are from other realtors needing lock box codes, then if the owner is still living there Jan has to call for permission to show the house. Perhaps the most irksome calls are the owners who call for feedback......hey, get a clue.....if the people liked it, they'll make an offer!

Anyway, as I was saying.....before I interrupted myself, Jan and I are close enough that I can be totally blunt with her. She's already taken in many tips that we've shared by email and phone. I've sent her copies of our emergency form, log format and other things. She's used my sheet as her template, after all, why reinvent the wheel?

They don't have a tow car yet so we drove them to our house for lunch. Then we returned to their RV and out to supper.

This morning Ed and I set a record -- we got up at 7:30 a.m. (That's the earliest we've been up in ages and we were both beat this evening.) We went to breakfast and Jan and Dave hit the road by about 11:00 a.m.

That gave us time for an errand, a 99 cent burger at Wendy's, and a trip to to be "crowned" by my Florida dentist who went to VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University).

Tonight, we're going to bed early. Nitey, nite!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Progress with Printing and Putting Things Away

I haven't fussed about the printer box mess because Ed's been working so hard to get our wireless printer to work.
He's been on with tech support for several sessions of over an hour each (good thing our cell minutes are free after 9 p.m. and that so many companies have 24/7 coverage.) Then it became a battle that he was determined to win. He finally returned the %$# thing and bought a different one.

Would you believe he started having the same problems as with the first printer! After a couple sessions with an excellent tech support guy from the Philippines, along with his own skills, he got both our computers to print wirelessly. YAY!!

This small green shelf holds an amazing amount of stuff and makes everything easy to find. It fits EXACTLY between the guest room door and closet.
Now I'm getting to the point I can feel something is complete and pretty. The guest room is almost ready so you all come visit us any time.

Happiness is a growing pile of empty bags and boxes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

RV Deal Disaster

We were so close to having the RV AND the tow car sold to a guy from Texas. Ed jumped all sorts of hoops to get the titles here and ready to transfer, along with faxing all sorts of forms and papers. At the last minute, the guy changed his mind, eerrrgh!

Today Ed is adding some oil and has hired an RV repairman to install the new Progressive surge protector. Progressive has been so supportive and sent a new unit at no charge.

We're keeping it at the campground and have the site
until Saturday (no refunds after paying for a month). Our friends, Jan and Dave Clements, just bought their first RV and are coming down from Ocala for their first trip. It works out well that they can stay in our site for a couple of nights.

We've got a couple more leads and must remind ourselves that it only takes one person to reach success.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The question I've been asking myself all week is: "How did we EVER get all this stuff into the RV?"

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Case of the Dining Chairs

This post is silly details so only read if you've nothing better to do.......

The house came with this lovely teak table and 4 chairs -- two with arms.It bothered me to no end that the chairs with arms wouldn't fit under the table. Also, the 2 armless chairs must have been bought at a different time because the fabrics are different from the armed chairs. In a used furniture store, we found a teak table with 6 armless chairs. I tried to buy just the chairs but they wouldn't split the set. The price of the table with the 6 chairs was about what you'd pay for one teak chair. Therefore, I couldn't pass up the deal.

To my eye, these chairs that tuck under the table's edge look much better. The color's not perfect but the fabric does have green palm trees which tie in with the green in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, I'm blessed with a teak armchair for each bedroom -- men need a place to tie their shoes and dump their clothes. The two plain chairs are our breakfast nook chairs until our order comes. Then I'll have a place to sit for my crafts.

The teak table that came with the chairs is a bit beat up but will be a great place to work on my shell projects. It opens out to 90" so we could have a BIG Thanksgiving crowd. I declare this to be a good buy, don't you?
One minor problem -- Pepper just LOVES the fabric on the chairs and I've caught that naughty girl scratching several times, in spite of the daily feliway spraying.