Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lunch with Leslee from Alaska

Leslee Orbaugh and I accidentally met through a mistaken email in November, 2007.  We first met in person in May of 2008.  This year I enjoyed two lunches with her!  We ate at Red Lobster one day and had a chance to talk one-on-one.  

On May 25th, we dined with Lois Horne (my dear friend since 1st grade who was a college roommate and went twice to the Iditarod dog sled races in Alaska.  She got to visit Leslee at her home in Anchorage this year!) and Phyllis Flick (my high school friend who happens to be Leslee's cousin).
 Leslee is just one of those special people.  We have a lot in common and she's very outgoing and wise -- one of those people with whom you can discuss life and its meaning.  It was great to see her, though our time together was too short.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cure for Middle-Aged Middle

We've almost finished Week 1 and much to my surprise, we've both lost 5 pounds.  This diet took a lot of reading and shopping to get started -- it includes some unusual products.  The protein shakes are good and the one daily meal for Weeks 1 and 2 are very tasty.  

Tonight we had fish fillets baked in individually in foil with olive oil, diced zucchini, yellow squash, and green peppers sprinkled with cumin, chopped cilantro and basil.  Our side dish was fresh mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with garlic and thyme, followed by a half cup of melon.

If you're wondering why we haven't been calling you to get together, it's because this plan doesn't lend itself at this point to going out.

Oh, how I hope it works!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ed's Scan - May 2010

Ed had a scan last Friday and got the results on Saturday morning.  Compared to his scan in November, the tumors in his lungs have not changed.  Results were sent to his doctor in Florida and we are happy to report that nothing needs to be done.  Ed said it looks like I'm going to have to put up him for at least another 6 months -- I say,  "Gladly!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Magic Jack = A-OK

I had written on February 15 about an almost-free phone called magicJack, which is a gismo Ed bought in Wal-mart. 
The magicJack is plugged into the computer and the wire from that goes into a regular phone.  We learned that wireless phones sometimes gave static so we now use a phone with a direct wire and it's working fine -- even in these hills in the country! 

The gismo and first year is about $40 and after that it's about $20 for a whole year -- including free long distance.  
Mary is now convinced that it works well.  It's such a deal and much easier to talk on than a cell phone.  So, it's an A+ for magicJack.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Post about Posting

I am quickly discovering that weeding and spring cleaning are activities that do not lend themselves to blog posts.  I don't think you want to see a photo of all the weeds yet to yield to my hand of wrath nor do you want see all the various items I'm trying to purge, put away and gather to take to our Florida abode.

I suggest that you check back weekly or even less.   In the meantime, I really look forward to your emails, calls or visits so PLEASE keep in touch!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is

Yes, my heart is at home here in the magnificently beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  The views from our house are more gorgeous than I remembered.  Ed doesn't understand about "roots".  

He grew up in Montreal, where he went to boarding school.  (He spoke only French until he was 8 years, when he started boarding school).  His family went to Miami for the winters and he ended up going to the University of Miami.  He moved to California in his early 20's and has lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida.  Also, men don't usually keep in contact with friends and family like women do.

Several people in Florida last year commented that if something happened to Ed that I would be coming back to Florida, right?  Noooooo!  I already have my deposit paid and am on the waiting list for VMRC, a lovely retirement village nearby.  Even if the weather's bad, all the buildings are connected so I can go to the bank, the hairdresser, the pool, the gym, the library, the grille, or to visit someone without going outside.

Ed points out that my family isn't here (Anita's in Ohio, Phil's in Texas and Mother's in a nursing home near him).  He says I only see my local cousins once or twice a year and the same goes for my school friends. It's hard to put into can leave the Valley, but the Valley never leaves you.
The view from our deck is ever-changing.
p.s.  I was adamant about this until we got our house in Florida.  Maybe I'll continue my winter pilgrimage after all.....I never get tired of the cranes, storks, ducks, egrets, alligators and turtles in the lake in our backyard.   It appears that I now have the best of both worlds!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blanche was to Blame -- After All

Poor Pepper.... we thought she was the one to blame for the "calling card" on our bedspread.  This evening, we were in the bedroom and Blanche was on our bed.  Ed asked why she was scratching the blanket.  I said it looked like it felt good on her feet.  About that time, he yelled.....she was wetting the blanket.  I quickly picked her up to hold her over the bathroom sink but she had stopped.

We're pretty sure she doesn't yet understand that she needs to go out the pet door into the garage for the litter box.  She is only about 2 pounds so maybe pushing the little pet door seems difficult for her? 

Anyway, we apologized to Pepper and are still trying to give her extra attention.  Blanche will be out of the laundry room (cats' room) only when we're right with her.  Plus, we added another litter box inside the room.

Just when she was finding her way around our house in Florida, we took her in the car for 2 days, a motel for a night, then to yet another house.

Blanche will be 3 years old on July 4th but seems like a kitten.  She's lived her whole life in a cattery, which was a double garage that was tiled with cages on the sides and lots of climbing cat trees and many cats.  Besides that, she's been to cat shows -- won several ribbons, too.
She's never lived in a house, so everything is new and exciting to her. 

Poor Blanche....she's used to lots of kitties to play with all the time.  Now she only has one playmate who isn't quite friendly yet....
We're getting there little by little.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pepper is Peeved

Pepper has been the one and only queen bee Cornish Rex kitty with us for several years.  She did well traveling and living in the RV with us.  But, it did seem at times like she was depressed -- sleeping away the days.

That's when we researched, found, and bought Blanche Devereau, a small female to play with Pepper.  After almost a week in Florida, they both stayed in Pepper's room (the laundry room) overnight without killing each other or bothering us.  We thought that was a step in the right direction.

The trip from Florida to Virginia was a long one.  The cats were in separate containers and meowed by the hour -- especially Pepper.  We don't know how she didn't end up with laryngitis.  They were fine in the motel sleeping with us, although they did wake Ed several times.

Here in Virginia, we set up several beds and sleeping cubicles in the laundry room.  The nights seemed to go OK.  We began to notice that we were seeing less and less of Pepper.  Well, this afternoon she made her statement -- yep, you guessed it -- a "calling card" right in the middle of our light colored summer bedspread.

That's our warning that we've got to make sure Pepper gets more attention.  To be continued......

Friday, May 7, 2010

Heading Home

Today we finish's amazing how much time the refrigerator takes -- what to leave here, what to give to George, what to throw away and what to take.  Then George and Kay are taking us out to dinner.  

Tomorrow we are heading home.  I'm really looking forward to going to my home-home.  Even though Florida is now our legal residence, Virginia will always be my REAL home.  The Shenandoah Valley is just part of my being!

The cats seem to be at an impasse - kind of a mix of watching and ignoring each other.  So, Pepper will ride in the cage and Blanche in the carrier.

We have to return the Comcast box so will be off the internet in an hour or so.  See ya in VA!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Babysitting Blanche

As of yesterday it appeared that Pepper was going to tolerate Blanche.  When we let them into the house from the Florida room, Blanche explored like crazy.  Pepper followed her around -- babysitting her.  A few times Pepper approached Blanche in an aggressive manner, but the smart little thing flattened herself down into a humble position. 

This morning began with hilarious chases and hide-and-go-seek games.  We laughed and enjoyed the interaction.  Blanche initiated some of the chases.

We tried to practice periods of putting them in the travel cage together. At first, it looked hopeful....until Pepper started swatting Blanche.  So, we will be using both the carrier and the cage in order to provide separate quarters during travel time.

Ed's already been on the web and found motels that are pet friendly.  We plan to leave Saturday morning and we have a reservation for somewhere in South Carolina for Saturday night.

Now Pepper is sleeping on Ed's lap after a big, busy day of babysitting Blanche.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our Kitchen Geyser

Saturday we had a big, exciting event here in our Florida house.  We were sitting in the living room, minding our own business and waiting for our weekend company to arrive.  I was on the phone with Billie Brown, our friend in Virginia.  

All of a sudden we heard a sort of bang and water gushing.  I asked Ed if he'd started the dishwasher but he hadn't.  I practically hung up on Billie.  We ran into the kitchen to discover that the hot water pipe under the sink had burst and there was a major geyser pumping water all over the place under the sink and it was quickly filling the kitchen floor.

Ed couldn't get it cut off underneath the sink so ran out to the main water valve.  Then we couldn't find his wrench to tighten the tough valve.  Meanwhile, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off grabbing every towel I could find.  

It was a great blessing that we found a plumber who came within the hour.  But the biggest blessing was that we were at home when this happened!!!  What could have been a major disaster turned out to be another one of those bumps in the road to deal with.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pepper and the Intruder

Bringing Blanche Devereaux home to be a playmate for Pepper has turned out to be quite a process.  We're  on Day 4 now and Ed's been pretty discouraged along the way.

About a half hour ago, we had the major breakthrough - Pepper was eating, Blanche started eating out of the same bowl and there was no hissing or swatting.  We're almost ready to let them stay in the Florida room without us supervising their every move.

Blanche has always been on tile in the cattery so she's finding every piece of carpet to be a marvelous scratching pad! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Family Fun Times

Sean was wary of the cats at first but soon warmed up to them.  Blanche was very hyper for a while but soon showed what we hope are her true colors -- a sweet little lap cat.

 Grandfather Edmond gets a massage from Grandson, Sean!
Lorraine and Sean Angelil

Steve and Lorraine

Is Little Lorraine cute, or what??

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ed's Son & Family Visit


Ed's son, Steve, his wife, Lorraine and grandson, six-year-old Sean, came for the weekend.  The weather was perfect for sitting in the Florida room, which we did.

We went for pizza Saturday evening.  On Sunday morning, we met George and Kay at Golden Corral for brunch.  

On our way home from brunch, we stopped at the Savanna State Preserve educational center.  (A savanna is a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions.) 

This 5,000 acre preserve is on the east and north sides of our Savanna Club development.  That explains why we have so much wildlife here.
We hit a good time because there were only two other people there so Sean got the full attention of the forest ranger.  She was really age appropriate in her presentation and with answers to his questions.  

Secondly, we hit a good time because she had just fed a mouse to a small boa and we could see it moving down inside his body!

Would you like to touch the corn snake?  
Dad, you go first.

Sean was brave and touched it!

 The shininess of the skin gave the impression it would feel wet. 
Mom was surprised to discover it was smooth and silky.

This was probably a 
once-in-a-lifetime experience -- 
seeing a snake drink water!

Old Folks at Home
Ms. Mary, Sean, and Grandfather Edmond

Taste Treat was just that!

Lisa Lerz, this one's for you!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Playmate for Pepper

We did it.....we brought home a playmate for Pepper yesterday!  
Her name is Blanche Devereaux (dev-er-roe, there are several spellings that show up), named after the flirty character on The Golden Girls TV show.

Ed and I started considering other names.  In his research, he discovered that "Blanche" means "white" in French.  Since Blanche is white (with some tortie coloring on her head and tail), we will keep her name.

Bob saying bye-bye to Blanche -- I wasn't quick enough with my camera to catch the big kiss her gave her.  He said he'll cry over this one because she's so friendly and sweet. 

Blanche arriving at her new home.

 Pepper checking her out.  One small hiss then friendly sniffing from both kitties.

Just curiosity...

Ta, da!  Presenting
 Pepper's new playmate, Blanche