Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bonnie's Big 6-0

My gal pal, Bonnie McDonnell, and I celebrated her Big 6-0 birthday with a little day-trip to Melbourne, which is an hour north of Port St. Lucie.

Melbourne is about half the size of Port St. Lucie (PSL was about 155,000 as of 2009).  It has a street of quaint shops with a variety of merchandise mixed in with some high-end restaurants.  

Bonnie and I dined (and for once, I do mean "dined") at Continental Flambe.


We both had potato encrusted snapper with Bearnaise sauce, a salad, vegetables, and coffee.   As they say these days,  "It was all good!"
The photos of the lights don't do them justice.

Bonnie went out to dinner last night with a friend, her husband took her out to brunch, her children all called her,  and we ate out this evening, so she had several celebrations.  

It was a great afternoon with a great gal.  And it was an honor to share her big day. (No, I haven't gained a ton of weight, I have my waist purse under my jacket.)
Happy Birthday, Beautiful Bonnie!
You're still great....even if you are really, really OLD!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

40 Years for Undersea Adventurers!!!

What a milestone.....my scuba club in Ft. Lauderdale celebrated 40 years of being an active diving club this month.  I joined in 1980.  How I treasure the memories made and cherish my many dive buddies.

Click on each photo for a larger version.

Dear Clare, Julie, and Russ,

Well, you three did it again! What a totally divine divers’ Reunion and Anniversary celebration you pulled off. 
The details you thought of were over the top.....  everything from having the numerous scrapbooks there WITH lamps so they could be seen, to professional looking table nametags, to newsletters, to really delicious food as provided by Ellie's Diner. 

MaryMay, Sue Revie, Tommy Younger, and Joe DellaFerra were impressed with the little tablets AND pencils on the tables for exchanging emails, etc. with friends.

The ongoing slide-show throughout the evening represented countless hours of scanning and organizing 40 years worth of photos.  

There were 90 people present and everyone was in the show more than once.  What a fine production it was! 

The “dive flag chairs”, red balloons, centerpieces of tiny red roses on mirrors, and tons of other decorations transformed an average room into one with festive ambiance.

Linda Ianniello and Robert Weybrecht have been active members for many years and have contributed greatly to the club.

Katie Scott and John Fusco now live in the Keys.  We share some special memories.  For example, John was the favorite speaker at my school's Career Day for several years.  He was a pet groomer and the kids loved him and the dogs he brought. 

Tommy Younger also was a speaker at Career Day as a scuba diver.  He's just a great guy.

Meeting Deborah Linker in person was a joy.  I've been reading her blog, Rocky Road Adventures, for some time now and I'm one of her "groupies" (followers).
The magician show was a surprise and it was "Las Vegas quality."  When I see magic acts on a big stage, I always feel there are tricks and hidden props we can’t see. However, when the guy is right there in front of you, it’s mind-blowing!
 I was convinced that wasn’t a real bird until he handed it to Marie. (I’m still not sure how many birds he had.) 
 The bunny in his grand finale was real, too!
 The Hall of Fame is composed of members who held an active office for 7 years.
 It is an honor for me to be a part of this group.  I served as promotions person, membership chairman, social chairman (with Alan Barrows, my deceased 1st husband), and secretary.

I won a door prize!!!  The
Revensburger puzzle, an underwater scene with 3000 pieces, is awesome.   Ed is figuring out where we can set it up to work. First we must find a roll-up puzzle mat so as to store it away from Pepper and Blanche (our kitties).  

 It is always joyful for me to be with Sue Revie, one of my dearest dive buddies.
Thank you, Julie, Clare, and Russ for planning and hosting a fantastically awesome 40th Anniversary and Reunion party for this magnificent Undersea Adventurers Dive Club! 

With admiration,
MaryMay (Barrows) Angelil

p.s.  I say that you saved the club from “going under” and disappearing several years ago. When I joined in 1980, there were about 200 members, a number which has waxed and waned through the years.  You’ve lured back long-term dive buddies and generated new members with an unbelievable variety of impeccably planned activities.   

Visit the club's website at:  http://www.usadiveclub.com/index.html

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ed's New Oncologist

Ed doesn't like for me to "talk" about him on this blog.  Nevertheless, I want to give a short update because I know many people are wondering....  

His scan this fall showed a slight increase in the size of the three main tumors in his lungs.  He decided to go to a local oncologist here in Port St. Lucie.  During his first visit with Dr. Bellam he learned things we didn’t know.

After 2 courses, Ed had stopped chemo because it didn’t shrink the tumors very much. Dr. Bellam said the purpose of chemo isn’t to make the tumors disappear but to kill them and make them stop growing. When the growth stops, it’s called remission.  We had been under the impression that the goal was to make the tumors go away.

Ed has decided to try more chemo. Dr. Bellam will give him only one drug at a time and something that’s not known to cause major fatigue like when he had chemo before.

It was in October, 2008 that Ed was told he had only 3-6 months to live.  We're greatly encouraged by Dr. Bellam's prediction that, with Ed's good general health, he will likely die from something besides cancer one of these years.
We have so much to be thankful for! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kiss 3 K Goodbye!

I started with an intermittent toothache a few days ago, which showed up as an abscess.  This morning I got 2 temporary crowns to the tune of almost $2,000.00, and that's WITH dental insurance.  Ed just went to get my prescriptions filled, one for an antibiotic and one for pain (Whoo, hoo, bring on the pain pills!).  Monday I go for a root canal for a mere $1,300.00.

I mustn't complain......my dentist in Ft.Lauderdale told me years ago that I needed to replace those crowns.  So I got an extra 10+ years out of them!  I do remember reading that fillings and crowns only last about 20 years or so.

Getting old is the pits --- yeah, filling the money pits of dentists and doctors!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mini Taste Party

Yesterday I attended yet another lovely party at the Savanna Club.  This one was called "Mini Taste of Savanna."  The ladies at each table planned their own menu and decorations.  

I'll not try to come up with any brilliant comments.....the tables will speak for themselves!
Click on any photo for a larger view.


Naturally, women always have something to talk about.

Even the prizes were beautifully presented!
Doesn't it look like there's a crown on Margaret's head?  Is she giving a Queen's wave or saying "How" as an Indian maiden?

Who wouldn't succumb to the charms of Santa's elf?
Thus begins the 2011-12 year with my Savanna Club Women's Club.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TaTa Toyota and TaDa.....

 The time has arrived that we're saying "ta ta" to our 2002 Toyota Highlander.  It served us well (98,000 miles worth) but we decided a change was in order.
We went to see a Kia SUV and pretty much expected to drive home in it that very day.  Thank heavens Ed insisted on a test drive that included getting up to Interstate speeds.  That entailed a bit longer distance, which was a good thing.  When going about 30-40 mph, it seemed quiet.  However, when we reached 65 mph, the road noise was loud.  

Also, the longer we drove, the harder the seats felt.  Turns out that our top priority of dual control AC was ONLY available with leather seats.  Leather is hot in summer and cold in winter but we decided that maybe we could deal with it.  That longer ride allowed me to realize how sweaty I was in a short time! (Hey, you can't put a middle-aged woman on leather seats in summer, OK?)

Our friends asked if we'd looked at the Chrysler Town and Country Minivan.  We did and found a 2012 that had every imaginable feature, including comfortable seats.  

Watching Ed negotiate was fascinating.  He didn't raise his voice or just demand a lower price.  He'd gently point out that he didn't think the dealer fee was fair, then that he'd like a hitch thrown in, etc.  Much to my shock and delight, they just kept coming down. 

TaDa, in a matter of about 4 hours, we were owners of a Town and Country Minivan!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Some Thoughts....

Saturday we went to the Treasure Coast mall to Macy's and Dillard's to look for a square frying pan (perfect for frying four eggs) like Ed has in Virginia.  

I spent the summer in a rural area with calm, quiet malls.  The mall here was such a contrast....it was a madhouse filled with noisy people who were just buying, buying, buying.  I felt like I was in the middle of a busy ant hill filled with ants in a frenzy.

I've read that shopping and buying things gives people a "rush" or a "high" almost like taking drugs.  I couldn't help but wonder if all those people could afford their purchases.  I've also read that people have trouble separating "Needs" from "Wants."  

I couldn't wait to get out of that mall where people were buying like maniacs!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Misinformation Melodrama

We're back in Florida after a busy summer preparing Mother's farmhouse and farm for sale.  Now it's time to contribute to the coffers of our doctors and dentists.  Our doctor isn't taking our insurance next year so we're trying a different doctor.

The following is a true story....it seems that in these huge companies, the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.  Here's what happened:

I have seen several friends and relatives suffer horribly with shingles so I decided I'd best get my once-in-a-lifetime shingles vaccination.  My new doctor, Dr. Pinto, agreed and wrote the prescription, saying I could pick it up from the local Walgreens and bring it to them.  

This was VERY appealing to me because I have a phobia about shots and Sherry, Dr. Pinto's "Shotgiver", gave me the easiest flu shot I've EVER had.  Already, much of the apprehension about the shingles shot was lessened because I knew Sherry would make it quick and easy.

1.  Insurance covered shingles shot with no co-pay -- NOT!
I first called my insurance company and was told in no uncertain terms that, not only did they cover it, but there was not even a co-pay.  If Walgreens had any problem, they should call for confirmation on that.  When Walgreens did call, they were told there was a $75 co-pay -- that the person I had talked to was misinformed.

2.  Walgreens called to let me know the vaccine had arrived at their store -- NOT!
When I went to pick it up, I was told that I was misinformed --  it hadn't been transferred from their other store yet.   (I'm still scratching my head over that recorded call!)

3.  I could pick up the shingles shot for my doctor to administer it -- NOT!
Walgreens said that yes, I could do what my doctor said -- come pick it up but I should bring a little cooler with an ice pack because it needed to be kept frozen.  When I went to pick it up, I was told that they had misinformed me and either my doctor's office had to pick it up or I had to go to their clinic on the other side of town on November 9th.  (Pharmacists can give flu shots but only this certain nurse can administer the shingles shot.)

3.  My doctor could pick up the shingles shot -- NOT!
When my doctor's office called to explain their patients had been picking up the shingles shots like this for some time, they were told by a supervisor that I had to go to their nurse on November 9th.  They said I was misinformed about me being able to pick it up or the doctor being able to pick it up instead of me.

I thought maybe I could start fresh with CVS, only to be informed that they don't carry shingles vaccine.  So, hopefully, one of these weeks, I'll get a shingles shot.

This post could go on and on with the many other medical comedies of misinformation this week but I don't have the patience to even tell you about them.  It's all aggravating but must be dealt with one step at a time - whether I get information or misinformation!

"Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success."  Guess all three will come into play, especially with so much misinformation to wade through.

I do have to give Walgreen's a little credit.  They are giving me a $25 gift card that will be applied towards my $75 co-pay and they made the appointment for me to go to their nurse on the other side of town next Wednesday.  Now I have 4 more days to dread the ordeal of getting a shot.

p.s.  It appears that "misinformation" is the politically correct term to use these days.  Heaven forbid that we should say someone was wrong!