Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's!

To ring in the New Year, the pickleball players decided to have a party at our favorite place-the pickleball courts.  What could be better than Happy Hour combined with playing games?  We had a great time, even if we did have to leave early because I worked the next day.  In fact, Austin was the only one that stayed long enough to see the New Year arrive!
Happy New Year's to everyone and we hope the following year brings wonderful things for you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

A few years ago, this picture of my granddaughter and her dog was snapped along with a bunch of her playing soccer.  I didn't pay much attention to it at the time.  I thought it was cute, but then again I think everything she does is cute.

Today I was going through those pictures and I saw it through different eyes.  I got it.  It wasn't just cute. Now that I'm a dog owner as in this dog is "our dog" owner...I know what this is.  It's pure love.
 If you were to follow us around with a camera right now, you'd probably catch a few shots of us doing the same thing to Ava.  She's growing rather fond of us by now too.

Living the life in Florida.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Show Us the World

We hope everyone out there had a very Merry Christmas.  We only had two of the five kids with us, and no grandkids, so that made for a very quiet and somewhat sad day.  Setting that aside, it was one of the best Christmases I can remember.  We were low on funds, so we knew we would not get many material gifts.  Which meant we had very low expectations.  The really great thing about low expectations is you are rarely disappointed and in this case, we were tickled pink with whatever gifts we had.  Nathan did all of the gift shopping and he did a great job.  I really love that man!

The boys were very mature about the light number of gifts.  I've been very proud of both of them lately for various reasons and today was another reminder of why.  I told them today that they are so much cooler than I was when I was there age.  One of them told me they are cooler than I am now.  I agree!

We did enjoy our biggest family gift, which was Ava.
 Lucky for us, we all love her and think she is a great gift.  She spent the whole day going from one of us to the next, soaking up all of the love and cuddles she could get.  Even the guy who swore he'd never get a little dog thinks she is the bees knees.  Having just written that, the fact I use the phrase the bees knees might just be part of why the kids are so much cooler than me.  Who cares.  The point is, Ava is by far the best Christmas gift I've ever received.  I love that dog so much!
 Outside of the little sweetness known as Ava, our family had much sweetness this season with those people who are with us right now.  I am really humbled by the gifts that others have given to us, especially with those given to the boys.  It has reminded me of the true reason for the season.  We really have had a great holiday so far and hope it continues into the New Year!
Hope everyone else enjoyed their day too.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays at Sea World

Today we visited Sea World, which was decked out for the holidays. It was such a treat to walk around hearing Christmas music while seeing all the decorations.  It definitely put me in the holiday spirit.
We don't even have a Christmas tree this year.  Nathan said he brought me to a place where there were tons of trees instead.
Beyond the fabulous decorations, there was holiday entertainment too.  Christmas music:
An ice skating show:
Even Shamu's show was Holiday themed.  I sat next to a cutie pie who made the show ten times better because she squealed with delight each time she saw the whales. 
We had a great time and really loved the different shows!  We hope to get back again to see the few shows we did miss before they change them out.

Living the life in Florida!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Party Time

I've never been a huge fan of work Christmas parties.  It seems when we worked for corporate America, I dreaded having to go and spend an evening with people I barely knew.  Then we owned our own business.  I wasn't a fan of those parties because I felt a lot of pressure being the bosses wife.  This year we all attended the work party here and it was "just right".  Meaning it was low key, casual and we knew almost every single person there already.  Since two of us work here...make that three since Austin was introduced as a new employee almost felt like our happy hours we have with our pickleball friends.

We enjoyed chatting with some people and getting to know them better.  We ate a great meal that Aric and Austin helped prepare and got a few nice gifts.  We left when we wanted to.  Not a bad way to spend an evening at all!

Living the life in Florida!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I've Been Up To Lately

I have written 750 blog posts here since I started this blog.  In the past two months, I am guessing I've contributed less than ten to that total.  It's been odd to not blog at least every other day.  But then again, our whole life feels a bit odd right now.  Far too many words would be required to explain that sentence and far too much time would be required to catch up on all we've been doing.  So I'll do the short version instead.

This has pretty much been my life lately:  There is my family and pickleball.  Of course.  The other things that fill my days lately are this:
Which wouldn't be so bad if I could just stay inside the RV until it gets warm.  But this requires me to be outside of the RV five days a week:
Because that does require me to leave the RV and move around for forty hours a week, I try to do this: Reach the World and this for a little down time and brain activity:
 Beyond that, there isn't a whole lot of leftover time each day.  I try to give some of that tiny slice that is left to my friends.  And then of course, this is on our minds:
Thanks again to Mira and Vicki for the ornament.  I feel hugged every time I look at it.  Let's see what else have I been up to?  Oh yeah, there is this:
Her name is Ava.  She's new to the family.  She is still settling in.  We were a bit concerned how she'd do since she is a rescue dog and had a quite literally last hour salvation from death.

So far so good.  She's a sweetie pie and even the guys who were less than thrilled about adding her to the family are in love with her now.
That's about it.  I've still been following all of the blogs I read and enjoy them greatly!

Living the life in freezing Florida!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where Oh Where Has My Florida Weather Gone?

If you were to visit, it might fool you because although it is in fact sunny as the cute picture is just downright COLD here right now.

Cold as in low of 27 degrees tonight cold.  We had an unusually cold winter last year and I'm fearing this year will be a repeat.  I hope not!  So how is the weather in other parts of the country?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by people they love.  We spent some of the day with my family and had a fabulous dinner at my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Bob's.  After that Ambir drove up to see us and we had fun catching up with her and teaching her how to play Mexican Train.  She was so surprised to see how much Austin had grown up since she saw him last.  I was so grateful that she drove all that way to spend Thanksgiving with us.  Out of all of the good things in my life I'm thankful for, my family is at the top of the list of my earthly gifts.  Days like today help me remember why.

Living the life on Thanksgiving Day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pickleball Tournament at Sun City

Rich and Donna invited us to another Pickleball Tournament in Sun City.  So we got up very early this morning and headed over there.  I saw some familiar faces from last year and many new ones.  From our Thousand Trails group there was Rich, Donna, Stan, Sally, Buddy, Tracy and Nathan, Austin and I.

The courts here are very nicely done so they are easy to play on.  We did have some wind and sun, but not so much so that we couldn't play.  I saw a lot of really good games played today.

And now, a moment to pause and brag on the boy.  Whenever we are in these type of settings, I am always so impressed with how he handles himself.  He was the only person under 40 playing and yet he acted as respectably and maturely as most of the adults there.  He's pretty cute too!
Ok, back to the tournament!  There were games for men and women's doubles in the morning.  Mixed doubles in the afternoon.  A bunch of people left after the morning games.  Some without letting anyone know.  So that switched things up in the afternoon.  They did a great job of still making it a lot of fun and working out so those of us who stayed had fun.

I'm so glad we did go, and we are already making plans for the next one in February!

living the life in sunny Florida!

On the Way Home From the Tournament

We saw this:

Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enjoying Our Time at Peace River

Thank you Sallie for letting me know that you noticed me not showing up in your Google Reader.  It prompted me to make my way to my blog and do some catching up.  We have landed safely in Florida, as I've already shared.

We are still trying to figure out what we are doing with a job and some other parts of our life.  Austin wants a job and wants to take some college classes so we are looking into how we can accomplish that.

I am trying to get back into the swing of things with doing Reach the World for our second year.  (WooHoo!)  I love doing it, but it does take some time each week to do the editing/cropping of the pictures and writing the articles.

In the meantime, we are enjoying being back with some of our pickleball friends and enjoying the beauty of Peace River.  So far the pickleball crowd includes: Rich and Donna, Rich and Dee, Stan and Sally, Jack and Diane, Buddy and some new friends.  I think Donna said we had fourteen playing the other night.  That is a really large crowd for this early in the year.

Rich and Donna had a Happy Hour yesterday.  Since she has such a great blog and already wrote, complete with pictures, I'll just point you there to read more: Florida Picklers

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clermont FL to Wauchula FL

Ahhhh...we are back "home".  Or at least our "winter home".  We are so happy to be here!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back in Florida with Friends and Family

It is so odd to go from weather where we had the heater on, to wearing shorts the next day...but that's what happens when you travel hundreds of miles in one day.  We have landed back in Florida and it's good to be back.  Last year I was a bit sad when we came back because I knew it meant travel would not be happening.  This year I couldn't get back fast enough!

We were were tickled pink that we made it back in time to see Zoe.  On top of that goodness, Auburn was in Orlando so we got to see her too.  Even though I was exhausted from the trip, I still soaked up the sunshine of the two girls that I adore so much.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One Night of Pickleball with Friends

We are in Williamsburg, but some of our pickleball friends are over at Chesapeake.  Yesterday Mira and I got our hair cut...she so kindly set up an appointment for me at her hairdresser's place.  The stylist cut off layers and layers of hair and there was a big pile left on the floor to show me just how much when she was done.  It was so good to see Rene and Mira again that we decided today to head over and see if we could play some pickleball with the crowd that was at TT's. 

Rene and Mira were not there because they were getting some work done on their rig.  Dean and Margie and Bob and Vicki where there though.  They kindly gave up their game of Mexican Train to play with us for a night.  We had a great time with them.  We are heading back to Florida tomorrow, so it was good to see them one last time before we do head south.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lebanon, PA to Williamsburg, VA

Haines Shoe House

As we were driving to the Harley Davidson factory, I saw a house shaped like a shoe.  I hadn't heard anything about it so I had to look online when we got back home.

This is what I found: The Shoe House, built in 1948, was by far "Colonel" Mahlon N. Haines' most outlandish advertising gimmick. It is a wood frame structure covered with wire lath and coated with a cement stucco. It measures 48 ft. in length, 17 ft. in width at the widest part and 25 ft. in height. The interior consists of five different levels and contains three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living room.

This giant structural advertisement was originally used as a guest house. In the first year after its completion, elderly couples were invited to stay for a weekend and live like "kings and queens" at Haines' expense.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harley Davidson Factory Tour

Today we headed over to York with Mira and Rene to do the factory tour at Harley Davidson.  Since the guys all want motorcycles right now, it was really cool to visit here.  Although it was not a production day, we still had a great time seeing the plant and hearing the history of Harley Davidson.

From the website:
Established as an assembly facility in 1973, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA. is the largest Harley-Davidson manufacturing facility. The York facility covers more than 230 acres and has over 1.5 million square feet under roof.
Employees assemble the Touring and Softail® models, as well as limited production, factory-custom motorcycles. They perform a variety of manufacturing operations – from machining, polishing and chrome plating, to forming, welding and painting.
At the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center, you'll explore exhibits that detail the plant's history, and guide you through the manufacturing and assembly processes. You'll also have the chance to sit on current production motorcycles and visit the gift shop for tour-related souvenirs.
Your journey begins with an introductory movie and continues on the factory floor where you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the people, processes and products of York Vehicle Operations. You'll be guided through various manufacturing and assembly areas, watch as parts are manufactured and see freshly painted and chrome plated parts. Then it's on to the end of the line, where every motorcycle is roll-tested prior to crating and shipping.
Over the years, thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts have made the journey to York, Pennsylvania to witness passion forged in steel.

Hershey Thousand Trails


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hershey ZooAmerica

Today Nathan, Aric and I went to visit the Zoo here.  It was founded by Milton Hershey and is celebrating it's 100th anniversary.  All of the animals are native to North America which was interesting to us.  We practically had the zoo to ourselves which meant we spent as long as we wanted at each exhibit.

We are even more fond of these majestic creatures after our time with them in Michigan.
We are less fond of these animals after our time in Ohio at a park where they covered our patio with their gifts each day.
This guy is about the same size as the bear that Nathan got up close and person with in TN.  I wish the bear we saw in the wild seemed as zen as this one.  I might have been a hair less nervous then.
These two fought the entire time, and I'm pretty sure they were males based on how they fought.
This most likely was the female, because as soon as she saw they were fighting she came over to check it out.  In fact, I think she is Mom because she has that look on her face like, "I can't leave you two alone for five seconds!"
This beautiful animal was checking out a bunny rabbit that was running free, so he couldn't be bothered with us at all.
And this is the beautiful creature I wanted to bring home with me:
 Living the life in Pennsylvania!