Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Fri, Jan 24 - Today I joined friends Cis and Sally and about 43 other ladies from Torrey Oaks for a delightful luncheon at The Back Porch Restaurant.  I rode with Cis as we caravaned the 40-mile drive to Lake Alfred and the restaurant.  Ken and I have driven pass this place numerous times and often wondered what it was.

The Barn is a unique building that contains three distinct areas -- The Stable contains a garden center with plants and gardening items; The Barn Antiques, established in 1969, has a nice gift shop and lots of antiques; and The Back Porch Restaurant, nestled between the other two, is a nice little restaurant with a dine-in back porch and patio.

Our group actually filled up the entire back porch.  I thought with our large group, it would take forever to be served.  After we had chosen seats, we were given  printed menus and pencils.  We each marked our menu with our choices of appetizer, soup, entree sandwich, and dessert.  When we had made our selections Cis and I took our menus to the front counter and turned them in to the hostess.  We each got coffee from the coffee maker and a cup of iced water and made our way back to our table.

I kid you not!!  Before I could stir my coffee, a waitress brought our lunch!!  Lunch was unique in that the waitresses brought each person a large "picnic basket" containing that person's choices.  We removed our lunch items and placed them on the table and the waitress took the basket.  Cute!!  And apparently that is the secret to very FAST service!!

For my lunch, I choose Cream of Vegetable Soup, Pasta Salad, Chicken Salad Croissant, and Unbelievable Chocolate for dessert!  Delicious!!

It was delightful!!  Thank you ladies for letting me join you all!


Thu, Jan 16 -  Thursday morning, Ken said he woke up during the night and heard a strange clicking sound.  Click, Click, Click.  What in the world was going on, he wondered.  He got up and went toward the front of the motorhome.  This is what he saw!!  The slide-out had come in by itself!!

(Picture taken Thursday morning)

And it would not go out!!  This was not good!!  It looked like we were looking at a major expense!!  The Slide-out motor or something like that!

We were planning to leave TT Orlando that morning.  What were we going to do??  At least the slide-out was in the IN position and not OUT!!  We could at least move!!

We called nearby Camping Connection as soon as they opened and asked if they could take a look at our slide-out and figure out the problem.  The Gods were with us!  Camping Connection said to bring the RV in.  They would see what they could do.

Gary spent about an hour and checked out everything it could possibly be.  Turned out the Inline Circuit Breaker had gone bad!!  A $5.69 part plus labor -- total cost $123.79!!  Wow!!  We were so lucky!!!

Thank you Camping Connection for taking good care of us!!

But, this delay leads to the next article where we are not so lucky!


Thur, Jan 16 - This morning as we were leaving TT Orlando to go to TT Peace River, we needed to stop by Camping Connection to have a repair made to our slide-out (See article Things That Go Click, Click, Click In The Night).  Because of this delay, we were running a few hours behind schedule.  That was not a problem except it meant we would arrive at TT  Peace River at about 1:30 pm, and by the time we were sat up it would be after 2:00 pm.

In my mind, that was too late to eat lunch.  We were driving at moderate speed south on Rt. 17 through some small towns; terrain was flat and fairly straight; light traffic.  I could whip up a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch on the way.

Suddenly!!  Ken had to stop quickly!  I was standing at the kitchen counter with knife in my hand, spreading peanut butter and jelly on slices of wheat bread.  I went flying toward the front of the RV.  With the slide-out in the IN position, there was very little room to navigate my fall!  I struck my side on the corner of the console and fell into the floor!

The knife went flying out of my hand!  A slice of peanut butter bread was plastered on the side of the J-Lounge on the right!!  Jelly bread was in the kitchen tile floor, jelly side up, almost under my foot!  I slowly managed to get myself up out of the floor and SIT DOWN and fasten my seat belt!!  STUPID!!!

After we had settled in at our new campsite, I drove myself to the Wauchula Hospital Emergency Room to see what kind of damage I had done to my right side.  The staff took four X-Rays of my ribs.  The ER doctor showed me the pictures and said I had fractured my #9 rib (one of the lower ribs) in two places.  The ends were not pointed toward my lungs and did not create a major problem.  They do nothing for that type of fracture except prescribe some strong pain medication.  It will take four to six weeks to heal.  In the meantime, take it easy and breath deeply every hour to prevent pneumonia.

I have been surprised that the fractured ribs have not bothered me too, too much, except getting in and out of bed.  And I have been taking it very, very easy!!  No pickleball for a while!!

So, Do like I said -- not as I do.  Don't Be Stupid!!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Sat - Sun, Jan 18-19.  State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC

This past weekend my Grandson Thomas participated in a Horse Show at the Raleigh State Fairgrounds and he made quite a showing!!  Thomas and Willy, his new horse, did really well.  Out of four classes they won two of the classes and placed 3rd in another. AND he ended up the Champion of the Division.

Here are pictures of the big event!  Both Thomas and Willy look so good together -- like the Champions they are!!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to you Thomas!  Keep up the good work!  We are so proud of you!!


Sundays, Jan 05 and Jan 12 - Frequently when we talked to Cis and Joe, they mentioned all the deer hunting their family does during the season in Pennsylvania.  And I always tell them to bring Venison when they come to Florida for the winter!

This winter, they did indeed bring us some Venison!!  My thinking was that we would all have a cookout together and they would share some of the Venison, but what happened was they brought three nice sized packages of Venison just of us!!  A package of steak, a package of chops, and a package of sausage which Joe said was actually hamburger.  We were absolutely thrilled!!  But what to do with it??

I called Cis to see how they prepared their Venison.  Cis totally surprised me when she said "Oh, we don't eat it.  We have not eaten Venison in years!!"  What??!!  We could not believe it!

What to do??  We have never prepared Venison before!!  I went on line a looked for recipes for Venison Steak!  This one recipe indicated it was the best recipe ever!!  and all of the reviews showed 5 stars and excellent reviews.  That's the one we chose. It was the right choice.  Our Venison steak was soooo good served with sauteed mushrooms!!  Melted in our mouth!!  Definitely Five stars!!!

The next week, we decided to give the Chops a try.  Another trip to the internet searching for recipes for Venison Chops.  The recipe we chose was like the one for the steaks -- the best recipe ever with 5 star ratings and excellent reviews!!  This was a slow cooker recipe.  It too was wonderful served over egg noodles!!  Could cut it with a fork!

We still have the package of hamburger to prepare.  Can't wait to try it!!

Thank you so much Cis and Joe for the Venison treats!  How can we ever repay you??


Thur, Jan 09  - Faye's brother Nelson recently moved to The Villages about fifty miles away from TT Orlando.  That is ideal because now we can visit each other more frequently.  Today Nelson came to TT Orlando and after lunch we sent to the "RV Show" at the campground.  We browsed through several of the coaches and fifth-wheels and chose the ones we wanted.  HA HA

Later, Nelson and I went to Lakeridge Winery north of Clermont for their wine tasting!

We decided to take the tour before going to taste the wine.  We went out on a deck overlooking the vineyards.   No grapes this time of year!

Our guide pointed out the machinery used to gather the grapes.

Inside there are barrels of wine being processed.

The packing room.

Next we went to the wine tasting bar.  Our guide poured the wine and explained the different characteristics of each.  Before long we had knowledgeable tastes of nine different Lakeridge wines!  One interesting point he made was that grapes do not grow well in Florida soil.  Wine makers discovered that they could successfully graft a variety of grapes to the roots of the Muscadine grape which is native to Florida and all along the east coast.  Many of the Lakeridge grapes are grown this way and the wines are a delicious blends of the Muscadine grape.

Nelson and I enjoying our wine tasting!  Do you think we might have had a little too much?

When Nelson arrived, he brought us a bottle of wine he had purchased at the grocery store and wrapped in gift paper.  We did not know what kind of wine it was except that it was a Lakeridge wine.  What a coincidence!  When we got home from the winery, we were anxious to see which of the wines he had brought to us.  Here is the bottle of Lakeridge Southern Red which is one of the wines we had tasted earlier.

After dinner, we all enjoyed fresh Strawberry Shortcake!!

Nelson really knows how to enjoy!!

That was so much fun having you visit today, Nelson.  We'll have to do it again soon!


Sun, Jan 05 - When we went to the Pickleball Courts yesterday, we were so surprised and delighted to see Bryan whom we last saw at TT Palm Springs, CA.  We were chatting and getting reacquainted when he said something like, "I'd like for you to meet my wife."  Wife??!!!  We had no idea Bryan had remarried!!

Today Bryan brought Trisha over to meet us.  We all sat out and became acquainted over ice cold beer!  What a nice lady!  And very obviously fond of Bryan!

She filled us in on the details. They had known each other years and years ago.  Each had married and had children of their own.  Trisha happened to see on Facebook that Bryan was single again and she sat about contacting him.  As a result of her efforts they got together again and recently were married.  Trisha lived on a farm in Savannah, GA and so now Bryan is a happy farmer in Georgia!!

We were glad to see Bryan again in Orlando and delighted to meet Trisha.  Congratulations to the two of you!!  We wish for you many happy years in the future!


Mon, Jan 06 - We are back at TT Orlando after spending Christmas and the New Year at TT Peace River.  Lots of Pickleball players on the courts this morning, and a lot of familiar faces!

Rick and Eve.  I caught them for a picture as they were leaving the campground to go to Three Flags RV Campground.

Toby and ? (can't remember).

 Vickie and Bryan!!

Jessie (have not seen her in ages) and Sandy.

Bob the Clown showing some of his "Silly Willy" moves on the court.

But Bob really can play Pickleball as he teams up with ?

Lil and Roger.  Have not seen him for several years since we were together in Arizona at TT Verde Valley!

Lois and Jerry (I think).

The above pictures showed the action on the three Pickleball courts at TT Orlando.  Following are the men waiting for the next round:  Ken, ?, Bob and Frank.

Also waiting to play were Faye and Roger, Jessie's husband.  It was soooo good to see the two of them again!!

It was fun seeing everybody again and having some great Pickleball matches!


Sat, Jan 04 - I knew my friend Suzanne was at TT Orlando at the same time as we were.  I called her today to let her know I had some line dance step sheets for her and when could we get together.  She mentioned that she and John were going to the Saturday night entertainment tonight at the Adult Lounge and I invited myself to join them there.

Our entertainment!  Diana Lynn and Mike Thomas. She was formerly the Recreation Director at TT Orlando.  He performs at nearby Disney World.  Great musical duo.

Here is our group.   Nearest to the camera:  John M and Marion, friends of Suzanne and John.  John B is second on the left and Suzanne and Faye are on the right.

A fun night of good listening.  I was disappointed that I could not dance because of my aching hip!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014


New Year's Day 2014 - I'm really starting the year off right - NOT!!  We had brunch this morning with good friends Sally and Stan and Cis and Joe.  And - I didn't remember to take any pictures of the occasion!!!   Are you believing that??!

Cis and Joe arrived at Torrey Oaks on Saturday afternoon for the winter.  Sally and Stan and Ken and I met them at Gloria's on Sunday morning for Steak and Eggs so we could welcome them back to Florida.  That was so good and so much fun seeing everyone together again!!

                     Joe's favorite!

Wow, portions at Gloria's are enormous!!  I decided to doggie bag my fried potatoes.  Stan and Sally donated their potatoes to my collection, too.  I ended up with a huge pile of left-over fried potatoes!  I decided to make a Spinach and Potatoes Frittata for a New Year's Day Brunch!  Never made one before -- never even tasted a Frittata!!  But I needed something to do with those potatoes!  I invited the group to share, and Cis invited us to have the brunch in their rig!!  Perfect!!

So that is what we did!!  New Year's Day Brunch!!  But I totally forgot to take pictures!  Not one picture!!

No pictures of us toasting the New Year with Mimosas of Campaign and fresh orange juice!

No pictures of my beautiful Spinach and Potato Frittata.  It tasted pretty good if I do say so myself!  But next time I'll use fewer of Gloria's potatoes!!  HA HA

No pictures of us munching my yummy Marinated Poppyseed Ham and Cheese Rolls!!  Everybody loved them!

No pictures of Cis' beautiful fresh fruit bowl!!  All kinds of chopped fresh fruit!

And no pictures of Sally's delicious mini lemon tartlets!!  Great finish to our New Year's Day Brunch with good friends!!

Sidebar:  All pictures copied from the Internet!!  They are amazingly close to our real life dishes!


Dec 31 - Celebrating New Year's Eve with friends Cis and Joe and Sally and Stan!!  We are at their RV resort, Torrey Oaks, where the resort served a delicious Prime Rib dinner with all the trimmings.

The dinner was followed by music and dancing.  The theme for the evening was "Hooray For Hollywood".  Some of the couples dressed in Hollywood costumes -- Caesar and Cleopatra, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Duck Dynasty guys, John Wayne, etc.

Here Joe and Cis enjoy slow dancing!

Stan and Sally doing the Swing!

Ken and Faye are happy to be on the dance floor again!



Dec 30 -  We have been enjoying playing Pickleball in the mornings at TT Peace River.  There have been about 12 players most mornings!  Did not get any action pictures because there is no place to stand with the camera.  Notice the nice high green chain-link fence around the courts!

Players:  Wilma, Ken, Rosa and Rick.

On the other court:  Heady, Jim, Isaiah, and Jim.

Stu, Rosa, Faye and Rick.

Becky, Art, Tom and Ken.

A good time was had by all on the Pickleball courts!!