Friday, January 30, 2009

Dinner with Joe & Diane

Joe phoned last night asking if we would like to get together for dinner.

I said sure, where would you like to go? Joe named a few restaurants, and we both decided on Dimetre's Rendezvous, (not sure of the spelling). So the plan was to meet there at 5pm this evening.

As Wilma and I pulled out of our driveway, on our way to the restaurant, she made a comment that Joe has not seen our new car yet. I realized that it was just too full of salt from the roads so I stopped at a car wash. Yep that did the trick...it's looking like a new car again. It doesn't take much road salt on a dark blue car to make it look really bad.

We arrived about 15 minutes early. While pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant, I told Wilma to keep a look out for Joe's Chevy Van or Diane's Buick Century. Neither vehicle was there yet so we sat in the warm car waiting.

In 10 minutes Joe pulls up in a (new to him) 2006 Chevy Denali. A white vehicle, and he didn't think to get a car wash, to show it off to us. But that's ok, it is a beautiful vehicle. He said it has all the options that Chevy could put on it. So for a couple minutes we both examined each others new vehicles. Then we all went inside to eat as we were all pretty hungry.

Our meals were delicious, the bill was not bad for the quality of food we received, and after we paid our bills we remained to chat for almost a half hour.

We did notice that the restaurant wasn't filling up like it usually does this time of day, and that there wasn't a line of patrons waiting for a table. Another sign that times are getting bad and people are cutting back saving their cash.

Tomorrow evening we are taking Mom & Dad out to Red Lobster for Mom's 81st. birthday.

I called her this morning around 9am to wish her a happy birthday, as today is her actual birthday. I then proceeded to tell her we where going to take them to Red Lobster for dinner tomorrow. Did she ever get excited, she just loves shrimp. The local "family style" restaurants that they usually go to just have the pre-frozen sea food. You know the type of food I'm talking about. It's the type that if you close your eyes you really can't tell what your eating because of the heavy coating of batter.

So tomorrow evening around 6pm, Mom & Dad should be returning home from Church, and Wilma and I will be waiting to take them out to Red Lobster. I think we all are looking forward to it except Dad. He isn't a big fan of sea food, but I told him they must have other choices on the menu. Now let's hope I'm right!

Until our next adventure, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still Cold and Mom’s 81st. Birthday

The weatherman says it's going down to 0 degrees again tonight. You would think that a person would start to get used to the cold temperatures but not me, no, I still freeze my doopa off every time I step out of the house. Especially at 5:20am every morning I have to go to work.

Just called Mom on the phone and asked what she was doing this Saturday evening for dinner.

Don't know what we are doing but remember we go to church Saturday evening. I said yes I know, so what time do you get home from church? 6pm was the answer.

OK then I would like to take you and Dad out to dinner for your birthday. Oh...that would be nice. Where are you taking us? I'm going to make it a surprise and not tell you except that you have been there before and loved it, and that it's a "special restaurant".

She says to Dad....he is going to take us to a special restaurant. Dad says "I hope it isn't one of those dark lit, bar type restaurants! No Mom, I said, tell him he has been to this place with us before and he liked it also.

Oh, now I'm getting excited she says. I said that was my plan, to make it special for you. So I'll see you Saturday evening, and after 15 minutes of chit chat I said good by and hung up.

You just got to love "Old folks" ( Dad is going to be 82 in May, and Mom is turning 81 this Friday). So cautious where they are going to be taken for dinner, instead of just going with the flow, relaxing and enjoying themselves. Oh well, I sure hope I don't get like that in my "Golden Years", but Wilma already is telling me I'm getting more and more like my Dad every year. Lord help me! :~)

Of course I have to give credit where credit is due. Wilma first suggested that I buy her some roses and just take her out to a restaurant without Dad. Just a Mother & Son date.

That would be nice, but thinking it over for a day I just have to take both of them out together. I asked Wilma if she would also go, ( I know she can't pass up those crab legs! ), which she said ok she would go if I was going to take both Mom & Dad.

So...that's all that's planned for this week, other than going to work every day but Sunday. I guess from the shape of the economy, and the latest news of more people loosing their jobs, I'm very fortunate and blessed that I'm still able to work.

Until another adventure, be safe and God Bless, and STAY WARM!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back Home

We are back home from our "Week-end" get-a-way. We decided to cut it short by a day for two reasons. One, the weather....just too much snow and cold! Two, Mom goes into the hospital today for surgery.

So....here is what our weekend was like...

Friday, Jan. 16th.
We had Dakota and Savannah sleep over last night, the phone woke me up around 6am. Angel calling to let us know that school has been canceled because of the cold. So that means that I won't have to drive Dakota to school this morning, and he gets to sleep in!
I decided to get up and let Wilma sleep in. Got the coffee going and proceeded to get my "stuff" together that I'm going to take on our weekend trip. With the temperature hovering around 5 above 0, I wasn't in any hurry to get the car loaded with "our stuff".
Everyone was awake and ready for the day by 10am, so I took Dakota and Savannah over to Angels home and dropped them off. Angel was watching them until Tina gets home from her job.
By 10:30am we had the trunk packed and were ready to leave on our week-end get a way. We weren't in any hurry as we weren't supposed to check into our cabin until 3pm. I assured Wilma that as the Park isn't busy they would let us check in early, whenever we get there.
As it turned out we arrived around 1:30pm. No problem checking in, as the "office" was closed and the security guard checked us in, giving me the key to Cabin #1. We drove over to the cabin only to find out that the water lines were frozen. Drove back to security letting them know; he told us that the manager would meet us at the cabin. The manager checked the "heat tape" making sure it had power, which it had, and then checked Cabin #2. He apologized for the inconvenience, and asked if we would mind moving to Cabin #2. Not at all we assured him, and he left as we moved our "stuff" to Cabin #2.
The first thing we noticed different, was the heat! WOW was it ever warm in the cabin, I'd guess around 80. Wilma made a comment about it being way too hot to sleep in that heat and we would have to turn off the heat, which was a combination air conditioner/heater built into the wall. I saw this was going to be a problem if I had to keep getting up during the night to turn it on and off as needed.
The second thing we noticed is that this cabin was a little larger. That was a good thing, seeing as the cabin was a total of about 8 foot by 14 foot max.!

After getting all our stuff moved in, I commenced to see what was wrong with the heater, while Wilma made the bed.

I noticed how cold the frame was, and the control knobs were next to the outside frame. Could the cold be radiating to the controls making the heat stay on longer? So I proceeded to remove the front grill and filter, then pulling off the 2 control knobs I was able to remove the face plate by the controls, then put the knobs back on so I could turn them for adjustments. Within a few minutes the heat turned off. GREAT, now lets hope that turning up the heat knob will cycle the heat with the temperature of the cabin. Yep it worked! So I was now confident we at least could control the heat in our cabin if I left the front grill and filter off. Just a lucky hunch I had, and I guess Karma was on our side for this one.
As we forgot some food left in the fridge at home, we decided to make a trip into town and get a few groceries and stop at a restaurant for supper. We did that and returned to the cabin for an evening of watching one of the three TV stations available before turning out the lights.
Saturday, Jan. 17th.
Woke up and noticed we forgot Coffee filters! Improvise...Wilma handed me a napkin which worked just fine. Turned on the TV for the local weather, more cold and snow for today and tomorrow. Brrrrr. It was 0 degrees outside, and 72 degrees inside. Another 3 inches of snow fell since we arrived on the already foot of snow on the ground.
Our plan for today was to go to the Casino and donate to the local tribe. But after seeing that the weather was going to go from bad to worse tomorrow, we decided to switch our plan with tomorrows plan. So we will go to the Casino tomorrow, if we aren't snowed in!
So today we are going to head further North.....more cold and snow.....about 47 miles to visit Denny and Kathy.

The ride there on I-75 was pretty bad.

It was 11 am and the plows had not completely cleared all lanes of the expressway. Plus the wind was blowing and snow falling adding more to the snow that we got last night.
We arrived at Denny and Kathy's home around 12:30pm safe and sound in the blowing snow. They have a beautiful home to be very proud of. Their fireplace insert wood stove kept their home very comfortable, and Denny said as long as its on, the furnace doesn't come on. A great savings in his fuel bill.
We went out to a restaurant for lunch and returned to their home. Denny then showed us his Pole barn that he and his son built. Wow is that ever nice! He has all the room he needs, and we could tell he was very proud of it. I know I sure would be! Looking how high it was I made a comment to him about how I wouldn't be able to put shingles on the roof because of the height, he said it was pretty high as he fell off of it once putting on the shingles. I'm glad for his sake he wasn't hurt as it looked about 12 foot high to the edge of the roof!

Back inside their home, they taught us a new game. Mexican Train.

Wow did we have fun. We laughed and joked with each other while playing, and Denny told us that the game can be bought at Walmart for around $10.00. Guess where we will be heading in a few days? Angel phoned us while we were at Denny's asking how the weather was. We told her the weather we were having, she said they were having a blizzard with expected 3 to 5 inches of more snow expected. Booo Hooo. More snow to shovel when we get home.
We kept an eye on the snow falling as we played Mexican Train, and around 5pm we decided that we should leave for the trip back to our Cabin. Wilma and I had a wonderful time with Denny & Kathy, and we know we will see them again in the future, as they have invited us back out in the summer.
Our trip back to the Cabin was slow because of the wind and snow covered roads, but we made it without incident. Kybee sure was excited to see us when we opened the Cabin door, as we were glad to see him also. The temperature now around 2 above outside and a comfortable 72 inside the cabin. As we were still not hungry for a large meal, Wilma and I decided to eat a sandwich and watch a little TV, (because all we could get on the small 13" TV is 3 channels!) before turning in for the night.
Sunday, Jan. 18th.
Sunday morning drinking our coffee, looking outside and noticed another 5 inches of snow fell. But the sky was clear and blue and the sun was starting to come up.

Wow....haven't seen the sun in quite a while!

Kind of cheered us both up at how pretty the sun glistened on the fresh snow....at least for me as long as I was in a warm cabin.
Watching the morning weather forecast, it was saying it was now 5 above 0. Brrrr...
We talked about going home this afternoon instead of waiting for Monday morning. Both of us agreed we would be more comfortable sleeping in our bed at home, and the weather could turn from bad to worse Sunday night. So we packed all our stuff and got it ready to be put in the car.

We wanted to make our donation to the Casino, so off we went for a little fun and to see if it was time for our dream of "hitting it big" was going to happen.

Sorry to report....our dream did not happen. But we both had an enjoyable time and will return in the future.

Leaving the Casino, we stopped at what Denny called "the really big store". He gave directions to us when we visited him yesterday. And Denny was right, it is a "really big store" with everything you could think of. And great prices too. When we come back to this area in the future, I'm sure we will stop back in this store also. We left the store and stopped at a restaurant for lunch, as it was around 1pm and we knew it was at least a 3 hour drive back home. After lunch we went back to the cabin, loaded up the car and headed home. The roads were pretty clear, I-75 had been plowed and were only a little snow covered. We made good time getting home, arriving around 4pm.
Walking into our home, where we set the heat down to 50, was quite chilly to say the least! It took the furnace an hour and a half steady running to get the temps back up around 70. I even lit the oven and left the door open to help heat the house. Wilma and I donned sweatshirts to help keep warm until the house warmed up, Kybee found the heat vent in the bathroom as the perfect place to keep warm. It feels great to be back home! The neighbors even snow blowed my sidewalk and drive! So there was little snow removal for me to do.
Monday, Jan. 19th.
Today is a paid holiday for me! So I'm planning on going to St. Johns Hospital this morning to be with Dad as Mom has surgery planned. She has blocked arteries in both legs, and the surgeon said it should take about 4 hours for the surgery to place stints in the arteries. She is scared about the surgery, but talking to her on the phone yesterday, I assured her this would be "a piece of cake" compared to her 5 stints put in around her heart a couple years ago. Hopefully it would relieve her anxiety a little, even though I realize any surgery like this is risky. She is scheduled to stay in the Hospital for 2 days, so she should be back home on Tuesday morning.
Monday, Jan. 19th. update:
Mom made it out of surgery ok. She said it was pretty bad pain wise, not where the surgery was but with her back. (She has a very bad back and has had 5 surgeries on her back alone, nothing else can be done to help her with her back.)
The surgeon spoke to Dad and I after the surgery, telling us that her right leg now has 2 stints in the main artery. One by her hip the other a little lower just above her knee. The rest of the artery looked good. Her left leg artery is also 80% blocked, but there was no hurry to repair that artery for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
So if all goes well through the evening, she should be released from the Hospital tomorrow morning.
Until our next Adventure, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More Snow....Even COLDER Cold.

The weather man was forecasting yesterday that we were going to get another couple inches of snow.

I woke up this morning to another 3 inches of snow added to the 6 inches we got last Friday. It was a fine, light snow; so clearing the drive and sidewalk was easy with the Honda Snowblower of mine.

They have been forecasting a cold front to arrive today. At around noon the temperature was 35. By the time I left work at 3:30 it had dropped to 20 degrees. The wind started blowing 30 miles per hour out of the West. Man O Man was the wind cold!

The weather men are saying that it is going down to 2 below 0 tonight. Then only up to around 8 tomorrow. This cold is expected to stay with us until this Saturday before we get back up to our normal "balmy" 34 degrees. Can you see me shivering? ? ? ??

As both Angel and Tina live in Mobil homes, I warned them to leave a faucet running slowly all night to help keep their water lines from freezing. I had to crawl under Angels Mobil home last winter to un-thaw a water line to her bathtub, and believe me that is no fun at all! It got so cold last year that her neighbor saw me under Angels home and came out to ask if I could thaw out her main drain pipe as it had frozen and she has standing water in her sinks and tub! That I just couldn't do. Her son came over with a "torpedo" heater to heat the underside of his mom's mobile home. After several hours her drain started running again.

This Friday is my scheduled day off from work, and Monday is Martin Luther King day, which is a paid holiday for us. I mentioned to Wilma that I have a 4 day weekend and that we should go up to the RV Resort that we are members of and rent a cabin. She jumped at the chance. So we will be doing some R&R this weekend.

Now it's about a 3 hour drive NORTH from our home. Do ya think it will be any warmer there??? Naaaw if anything it will be colder, so we are also packing a portable electric heater just in case we may need it.

There are no plans to do anything on any given day. All we are looking forward to doing is sitting in the "hot tub" and going to donate to the local Indian Reservation Gambling Casino. The last time we were there we broke even after 3 hours of enjoying ourselves. Of course we set our limit to not more that $20.00 each. If we donate that amount then we leave.

We are planning on taking the laptop and hopefully connecting to the web to keep our blog up to date and share some pictures with you.

So we are looking forward to our Winter break this weekend, not looking forward to the cold though. And we hope where ever you are it's warmer than where we are.

Check back again and until then be safe and God Bless.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Day In Court

You all probably don't know what led up to this so here goes my story.

Last summer, a feud developed between 2 neighbors at the other end of my block about sidewalks. It seems that the trouble maker neighbor called the city and demanded that the sidewalks be repaired, knowing that this would cost the other neighbor.

So the city worker walked down one side of the block and out of 8 homes he picked 4 of us that he determined should have some of their sidewalk replaced, to appease the trouble maker (TB neighbor).

This is the worst of mine. Not quite double the size of the nickel to the right of the Pepsi can.

I being hurt at work and un-employed at the time called the City inspector and invited him out to look at my sidewalk in question. He arrived within 30 minutes and took pictures. I alluded to him that I was un-employed at the time and would not be returning to work for at least 6 weeks. His answer was that he would let the City Manager look at the pictures and if I didn't hear from him it was ok not to do anything. Well a month goes by and he drives up and tells Wilma we have to replace the sidewalk.

I then proceeded to call him again, reminding him of my un-employment and that the sidewalk was not broken, just raised a half inch on one side by tree roots. And to prevent anyone from tripping, I applied concrete patch to the raised sides completely eliminating any tripping hazard.

The wet cement "ramp" I applied eliminating the tripping hazard.

Within a month I received a notice to appear in District Court! Great! I guess the city is almost bankrupt if they start going after citizens with shifted sidewalks for funds!

So this afternoon, Wilma and I appeared in court. At first check in the officer of the court could not find my paper work. I was told to wait in the hall. After a half hour I was called into a meeting room with a dozen other people all pleading their cases separately. Complete chaos! There was the inspector with his "city appointed attorney", a young guy looking like he just got out of high school.

The inspector explained to the attorney that he would wave the charges for 120 days, as it is winter and cement cannot be poured, but I would have to plead guilty.

I felt I was being set up as I wasn't given any choices other than a guilty plea. After signing the "agreement to guilty" paper we were led back into the court room, where the officer of the court THEN gave me "my rights" with explanations of the different pleas I could give.

See...I should of been given that paper first with the explanations of different pleas, then the agreement paper!

So I know now that it's true! All those Cop shows, detective shows on TV are true how they trap and bend the laws for their benefit.

After hearing what sentence the Judge gave me, (paying a fine of $150.00) I knew that pleading guilty gave her, the Judge, the right to fine me! Even after I was given the chance to explain to the Judge how I was planning on replacing the sidewalk, but I couldn't do it in the time frame the city wanted because of financial responsibilities. No mercy was given me by either the city or the Judge.

Nice system, don't you think? What a damn rip off. Like I told Wilma, walking out of the courtroom, that this whole fiasco was nothing but an organized robbery by the city, backed by our law enforcement. They win, I loose.

So the moral of the story.....don't fight city hall! YOU WILL LOOSE! No matter how silly or incidental it might be. I guess I learned my lesson, but it's a hard pill to swallow.

Oh yes I forgot to mention; the maximum sentence for "my offense"......$500.00 fine and 90 days in jail! What a hoot! Can you just see me sitting in jail for not replacing a perfectly good sidewalk!!! I'm sure the newspapers would love to get a story like that.

Another adventure in our lives shared with you. Until next time, be safe and God Bless. And remember.....Don't fight City Hall ! ! ! !

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Holiday is over.

It's Sunday evening, 8pm, and we just said good by to our dear and closest friends, Gary & Cheryl, who came by for an afternoon visit. They arrived around 12:30pm and Wilma had finger food for us all to enjoy. We filled our plates more than once while we played Euchre, laughed until our sides hurt, and just enjoyed each others company.

It has been a very busy Christmas holiday season for us. Wilma and I both have enjoyed every day of it. Our time spent with family and friends make us feel so blessed.

The only cloud that put a damper on things for me was that I picked up another Flu/Virus/Cold ? AGAIN! This one makes the 4th one since my hospital stay last September. I never remember having this many colds in a season. Guess I will have to start doing what the Dr. and Wilma recommends.....getting a flu shot every year. I'm also taking vitamin's to help build up my immune system. I keep telling Wilma that it's my body telling me to get down south where it's warm! Right now we are having a heat wave, it's all the way up to 36 with a fine mist of rain falling. Should be really fun getting to work in the early morning as the temps are going to drop into the low 20's tonight.

Oh yes, almost forgot, last night Wilma picked up a vicious Virus in her computer. What a mess as it took over most of her operating system and not allowing the AVG Virus program to run.

I just don't get it. We are connected to a Wi-Fi Router which has it's own built in firewall. We have AVG anti-virus program on her machine and Avast anti-virus program on my machine. Both machines are scanned once a week with a Spy-ware and Ad-ware programs. So I have done just about all I'm aware of to do to keep our machines safe. Yet this has happened.

This morning I started her machine and did a full "recover" that HP has on their computers. She ended up loosing all of her bookmarks in her web browser Firefox, all her documents, pictures and music. It's almost like starting over again when the computer was new. I didn't put the AVG anti-virus back on her machine, but did install the Avast anti-virus protection.

This is the second attack on her machine in a month. I sure hope it will be the last, as I know she gets so frustrated on loosing some of her information that she wanted to keep.

Needless to say, I'm going to teach her how to do a "Back Up" of her computer at least once a week.

Like all the computer "geeks" say.... do your back up's because it's not IF your going to need them, but WHEN you are going to need them.

So, this ends another adventure of ours. Check in again later, until then be safe and God Bless.