Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Yes, this is our Christmas tree.  I was lobbying for a live tree and was almost there...when our local news had a blurb warning anyone buying a live tree or fresh greens for Christmas to exercise caution.  Seems that Christmas trees are coming into Florida with spider mites and aphids.  Well, that did not help my case.  So this is our tree this year.  It got no comment from Mr. Wonderful.

This morning two little cutie pies. Dominick, age 7, and Anthony, age 5, who live across the street, came over with their Mom, Danielle, to bake cookies, dog biscuits and to make chocolates.  We had a wonderful time.  Here are a few pictures of our fun morning:

We worked in the lanai
L-R:  Anthony, Dominick and their Mom, Danielle
Anthony is wearing his Happy New Year hat and Dominick is wearing a sling because he broke his collar bone at judo. :(  And of course, he is right-hand dominant.

Our first batch of dog biscuits

First batch of cookies
Anthony thought Mr. Y. might like a sample

A tray of beautiful cookies to take home and share

My kitchen -- it looked worse than it was

Thank you Danielle for the cute napkin holder!

This week we had a new HVAC system installed by Warnky Heating & Cooling of Ft. Myers.  Before they could begin, Ralph had to lay more flooring in our attic.  It's difficult because of the trusses necessary for our hip roof, but he did a good job. 

Warnky's installers, Terrance, Bryan, Sean and Brett, did meticulous work and had a great work ethic.  They arrived each morning at 7:30.  I made lunch each day and they were most appreciative.  Their supervisor remarked they might have to drag this job out another week, which made me laugh.  We are very pleased with the workmanship and would highly recommend them. 

Here are a few photos:


Removing the old duct work

Striper came  to the garage with her little one wanted to play.

Running copper lines from the outside into the attic

Ralph heading up to the attic

Ralph's first fishing day since we've been home

Striper likes to hang around on the dock

We scooped these two coconuts and a large hunk of plastic out of the canal

New flooring in the attic -- notice the trusses for our hip roof that they had to work around.

The new unit -- it comes apart so they could take it up the pull down stairs into the attic

Another opening to the attic is in our bedroom

The new stuff

The job is just about done.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

...And now a word from our sponsor:  

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner when we're wearing shorts and flip flops.  Tomorrow Ralph flies to New Jersey to pick up his car and drive it back to Florida.   Finally everything we own will be in one place.  He'll be home Sunday evening. 

Meanwhile, Striper and I will be off our leashes for a couple days. I have plans to paint an old  ratty dresser I've wanted to paint for years and I also want to finish baking and getting packages ready to ship to  the kids and grandkids.  

The past few weeks I have been lobbying for a live Christmas tree and Ralph has opposed it.  However, we heard on the local news earlier this week that SW FL is being cautioned about infestation of spider mites and aphids on Christmas trees coming into this area.  So, now I am opposed, as well.  I didn't even use live greens in my wreaths. 

Here are a few pictures of today's projects:

Our front door

The only Christmas tree we're going to have

Today I was baking and Striper placed herself strategically


Swedish pecans

Pizzelles -- Striper's personal favorite

Friday, November 23, 2012

This is a special post for Mike and Melissa T. -- photos of how Say Good-Bye fits in our canal beside  the little Mako:

When we arrived home November 12.
Ralph took the isinglass down and is working on the teak
Turning crosswise in the canal
Turned around and heading out the canal
The boats fit nicely
This morning, a boat ride with Neil and Ron

Thursday, November 22, 2012


We spent the day with our friends, Neil and Becky Hoch, celebrating Thanksgiving with good food, good friends, and lots of lively conversation and laughs.  It was a perfect day.   We had a wonderful time.  

We are so blessed to live in America and have so much to be thankful for -- especially for Baby Ashton soon to be born.  Thank you, Neil and Becky, for your gracious hospitality in your beautiful new home.

Here are a few photos from today:

Julie and Ron Hoch -- and Baby Ashton to be born in April 2013

Becky and little Pom Pom

Eveything was soooo delicious!!

Hmmm...what's for dessert?

Pumpkin, apple and coconut cream pies...have a slice of each!!

L-R:  Julie, Ron, Becky, Neil holding Pom Pom, Celeste, Ralph and Striper

After dinner a rousing game of Pit -- we haven't played this game in years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We've been home a week and a half and are beginning to get back into the groove of living on terra firma.  Feels good!  We're once again walking 2-1/2 miles every morning in our neighborhood. Several new houses have been built since we've been gone.  Nice to be home and greeting our neighbors again.

Ralph has been busy with boat maintenance working on the teak and I've been busy getting our house back in order and finishing my Christmas shopping.  Living away now, we've got to get our packages in the mail soon.  Our Publix has had a makeover in our absence -- it was a nice store before, but is brighter and the bakery has been expanded.  That's good news.

My gym, on the other hand, has had a major change -- most of the classes I took are no longer offered and have been replaced with additional zumba classes, a boot camp, kickboxing, and a class called butts and guts. This change meant three of my former instructors are no longer there. That's bad news.   When my contract is up next month, I'm not renewing and will go to the gym up the street where my instructors are now employed. 

Our friends Neil and Becky Hoch just bought a home a block from us and they're here for the Thanksgiving holiday with their son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Julie -- and Baby Ashton who is due to be born in April 2013.   We've spent a lot of time with them this week and it's been a lot of fun.

We all went to the 26h American Sand Sculpting Championship in Ft. Myers Beach yesterday.  Here are a few photos from that amazing event:


Snow Dragons

Aurora Borealis

Piata sculpted by John Gowdy, a former Atlantic City Firefighter, now living in Italy

Another view of Piata -- Mary holding Jesus following the crucifixion

Julie (expecting Baby Asher in April) and Becky

Texas Ice Palace

Slide and Go With The Flow -- this piece won first place.  It was quite unique with wave-like structures and figures on the waves in different positions, a hand stand, several yoga positions, a fetal position, a relaxing pose -- very clever.

The Night Before Christmas -- Santa and the Grinch Arm Wrestling

Waiting for the shuttle L-R:  Ralph, Julie, Ron, me, Neil and Becky