Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/27/08 Errand Running

Today was a day for errands for us. We had to go into town to get a few things at the grocery and a few other stops along the way.

Remember when I showed you this other day? This was on Sunday the 24th.

Today when we went by it was this.

The worst part was it was only $3.53 for diesel when we went into town and this price an hour later! Now, can someone give me a good reason for these prices? At least gasoline came down by two cents but that doesn't do us a bit of good.

Other than errands not a whole lot went on today.

Oh yeah, we hit the eighty degree mark today! I think we went straight to summer but we're not complaining.

Tomorrow I have the second ping pong game to play for the Olympics. Wish me luck.

Evening brought blog lessons for DeAnn and Cathy. I helped them put things on their blogs like the States Visited Map, counters and weather stickers. I am surprised at how many blog writers we have in the park. I was even more surprised to learn how many here in the park are reading this one. I knew a few were following it but after the "Spaghetti Dinner" post I was stopped during the day by several winter residents telling me how much they enjoyed that post. I had no idea that many were reading it. I had noticed the surge in numbers on the counter but I thought that was because someone found it and had started reading it from the beginning. DeAnn told me this evening that I would be surprised at how many were following along. I hope they stick with it because with all the work Bob is doing on our travel plans we're taking everyone on quite a trip this summer!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2/26/08 Bob Takes Silver!

NO, he didn't steal the silverware, he won a Silver Olympic Medal for pool playing.

He started his first game this morning playing horseshoes but didn't fare as well in the game.

After my Tuesday morning dance class I had my first Olympic game. Ping Pong! I got my butt whipped! Of course I was playing Nancy, now known as "Killer" Reid. She is a fantastic player. In fact, she is a champion ping pong player in real life and there are few, if any, that can beat her. I did manage to score 5 points and for that I am thankful. I'm also glad it is a double elimination game so I'll get to play at least once more.
From ping pong I went to horseshoes. I have never thrown a horseshoe in my life. I even had to get instruction on how to hold the darn thing!
Take notice of the follow through!

I somehow managed to get eight points. I don't think that is too shabby for a first time player.

Bob was an official for the ladies horseshoes. He had called out how many points were earned and kept the pits tidy in between players.

Marlene is sure to take the gold as she scored 25 points in her game.

Our games were done for the day and after a dinner of pizza Bob sat out with the guys in the neighborhood talking about the games and I went to the Cantina for a night of Michigan Kitty with seven of our friends. I didn't do too well but Nancy "Killer" Reid walked away with the final pot of over $6.00. When you are playing for pennies that is quite a take.

Today was a really fun day for us!


I'm a day late on this. Our Quail Run Winter Olympics actually started yesterday. I was scheduled to play Pokeno as one of my events and I forgot and we went to the Biosphere 2 instead. Oh well.

So we'll start this off with a picture of our Olympic flame.

No, its not real but then again these aren't the real Olympics.

Today's game consisted of the Women's Pool Shoot. I didn't get in that one, I don't play pool.

We had a gorgeous day today. Sunny, blue skies and high 70's. We're supposed to hit the big eight-oh on Wednesday and we're all waiting for that.

I heard all this chirping outside the door today and went out to investigate. Here's what I found.

Finches. Golden finches? Yellow finches? Beats me, I think of them as those yellow bellied birds. A close up for you.

The quail have arrived back here in the park but I haven't been successful in getting a photo as yet. With the Olympics going on so many more people are out walking in the mornings and late afternoons so they are evidently in hiding. We had wondered why this park was called Quail Run and now we know.

After dinner of meatloaf, parsleyed potatoes and carrots we settled in for some TV. We both have "games" tomorrow so we thought it best to rest up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

2/24/08 A Day Trip to Biosphere 2

Bob and I had to get out of the park today. It had been too long since we had gotten out to see something of the area. So today we headed towards Tucson to tour Biosphere 2.

We had a great day to be out for a drive. A great day that is until we saw the sign at the local gas station! WOW...what happened to the price of diesel fuel? Granted, this is the trucker's price but ours is only eight cent cheaper! The cost of diesel has gone up 13 cents in the last week! I think the oil companies the snowbirds and winter residents are back on the road, a good reason to make those fuel prices jump!
We also noticed that the abundance of rain we've had has certainly "greened up" the mountains.
As we got closer to our destination we noticed a definite increase in traffic. Lots of cars, RV's, tour buses and shuttle vehicles. What they were going to we didn't have a clue but we knew something was certainly going on in the area. Even the Goodyear blimp was there!
We've heard on the news about the all snow different sections of the country are getting and we want you to know that we have snow here too! See the snow at the top of the mountain?
A better look. This is as close to snow that we want to get!

It wasn't long before reached our destination.
Biosphere 2 was built in the late 1980s with $150 million in funding from Texas oil magnate Edward Bass, it was designed as an airtight replica of Earth's environment. This 7,200,000-cubic-foot sealed glass and space-frame structure contains 7 areas, including a 900,000-gallon ocean, a rain forest, a desert, a savannah, a marsh, instense agricultural areas and a human habitat - seven complete ecosystems.

Our first views of the Biosphere 2. I'm glad I'm not the window washer here!
In September of 1991 eight scientists from all over the world, four men and four women, entered the Biosphere for a two year stay. At least they had a nice view!
We first entered into the "ocean" area. A million gallons of water were trucked in from the California coast and even a coral reef was built.

I thought my imagination was running away from me because I was sure I could hear "waves". It turns out I wasn't wrong. There was a wave machine there to keep the water moving and also so that the water would "roll" over the coral reef so that it could get nutrients from the water and thrive. There are also fish in this ocean but we didn't see any. The water is 25 feet deep so they must been down in the lower depths of the tank.

Remember the story where the Three Wise Men brought gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense? It seems when the scientists from other countries came to work and live in the Biosphere one of them brought three sticks wrapped in paper towels and told the powers to be it was frankincense. They thought, what the heck, and put them in dirt to see if they would grow. Sure enough, it did. So you know what gold is and now frankincense and I'm still trying to figure out what myrhh is. Until today I didn't know what frankincense was!

We moved on to the rain forest. I've always had a philodenren plant, mainly because it really takes a lot to kill them. I could not believe the size of the plants and leaves that are growing here!
Now you may look at the picture above and think whats the big deal. Let me put it in perspective for you. Pictured below is Bob's hand on one of the full grown leaves. You can even see how thick the stems on this plant are to the right of Bob's hand.
Other plants growing in the rain forest. Banana's grew very well here.

From the rain forest we went into one of the "lungs". From the outside they look like golf balls that were cut in half and placed on the ground. Look to the far side of this picture below.

There are two lungs and their purpose is to expand and contract with shifts in atmospheric volume/pressure. Otherwise, the warming and expansion of air during the day could blow out glass panes or break the seals on Biosphere 2. We had to walk through an underground tunnel to get to the lung.

Inside the lung. The rubber type roof was made by a company from our home state....Dupont. Take notice of the "legs" hanging down from the ceiling. They are there in case the ceiling has to come down that low. While we were there a door was opened and we could see the ceiling come down ever so slightly.

It was up to the biospherians, as they were known, to grow their own food, they were to be competely self sustaining. Here are lemons that are still growing.

When I heard that they had to be self sustaining I asked about "chocolate" did they get chocolate. Our guide said that they got very inventive in that they had friends on the outside and when things were brought to them (through an air-lock) for the purpose of experiments, false bottoms were built into the boxes where bags of M&M's were hidden.

So these eight individuals spent two years of their lives in this enclosed, sealed, establishment and yet the experiment FAILED! They couldn't grow enough food and said that they were continually hungry considering the very active lives they lead with workdays at 12 hours long with all the experiments they had to do. Also, they couldn't keep an even level of oxygen in the air. Microbes were put into the soil to keep it fertile and viable and the mircrobes sucked the oxygen out of the air.

Back outside in the open air these are some of the things we saw. These are colorful student housing buildings, there, when needed.

Bob checking out the Santa Catalina Mountains.

We're very glad we went to the Biosphere 2, it was extremely interesting and nice day for just the two of us.

Oh yeah, the traffic, the blimp, we found out afterwards we were in the neighborhood where the PGA tour was playing. If we had known this was happening we would have tried to get tickets to watch Tiger play. I guess we better start watching the news more and reading a newspaper once in awhile.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

2/23/08 Didn't do a Darn Thing!

I took a much needed day of rest.

Bob on the other hand puttered with this and that. He stored all of our Christmas decorations and got it all down to two Rubbermaid tubs. Good job! At one time I looked out and he had tools strewn from one end of the patio to the other. I guess he was straightening out tool boxes, I never did ask. He took a nice long ride on his bike and puttered with a few things in the truck tool boxes. The man never sits down!

I did go over to Lavon's for a bit to watch Survivor which she TIVO'd for me.

Dinner was easy, I had a peanut and butter sandwich and Bob had leftover spaghetti.

Day is done.

Tomorrow we have an adventure planned. Check back to see where we go.

Friday, February 22, 2008

2/22/08 Please Tell Me This Day is OVER!

We had a day from hell! There is no other way to say it.

Today we, the White Team and some helpful members of other teams, served over 100 winter residents a spaghetti dinner. Day old spaghetti at that!

As I told you yesterday we cooked the spaghetti yesterday ONLY because that is the way the Spaghetti Lady, hereafter known as SL, always did it. I'm now a firm believer that the "usual way" is not always the best way.

So our day started at nine. We set up the tables and chairs, put the white plastic tablecloths in place, set out the plastic cutlery and salt and pepper shakers. Done, one task down, a thousand to go. Next came cutting up the veggies for the salads. Lucille and I washed all the lettuce and started tearing it into bite size pieces all the while keeping an eye on the mini golf course because I had to play at 10:15. Since that was nearly done at Tee-Time I had no qualms about leaving for the 25 minutes it would take me to play. My partner and I had a pretty good round, little did I know that this would be one of the few highlights of my day!

Lee and Bob made sure the drinks, iced tea and lemonade, were made, ice was ready in the cooler and cups set out on the drinks table. Another task down.

Bread, we don't have bread. DeAnn sent word from the Activities Office that bread still had to be picked up and Robin who was filling in for one of the White Team members volunteered to go to Casa Grande to get it. In the meantime, we were done all we could do. The roasters were plugged in, warming the spaghetti sauce, the salad fixins' were all cut and in the fridge so we agreed to return at 2:30 to start warming up the spaghetti from yesterday and finish all the rest of tasks to be able to start serving at five. So far so good. Trust me, if I had known what was to come I would have gotten in the truck heading towards I-10 and kept right on going.

At 1:30 the phone rang. It was a call to come in to the Cantina, that it had been determined that we weren't going to be ready in time? WHAT??? Why not????

So I walk into the Cantina and I find the bread being cut and buttered and ready for the oven for the garlic bread. It's only 1:30....why is the garlic bread being baked already I wondered. There were four or five of us there and we all had our own ways of making garlic bread. We had major decisions to make. Do we slice it? Do we cut in half lengthwise and then cut it in slices? Do we broil it? Do we wrap it in the foil and bake it on low for an hour? Decisions, decisions! This normally wouldn't have rattled me but I had major doubts about this whole dinner anyway because we cooked the spaghetti yesterday, remember this is the way SL had done it for years. I had visions of the noodles coming out of the fridge in huge blobs stuck together like they had been coated with superglue! It was suggested we broil the garlic bread, wrap it in foil and then put it in a roaster to keep warm. Fine, at this point I don't care. We tried that. Time got away and the first two loaves kinda, sorta, burned. I panicked. One team member assured me it was OK that she actually preferred it that way. Hmmm...charred bread, I don't think so. It was finally determined that we would slice lengthwise, cut in slices all the way through, wrap in foil paper and put in the oven at four o'clock. All 22 loaves at the same time. Again, at this point I don't care.

Our next dilemma, when (if ?) we get the spaghetti heated through, AGAIN, how will we keep it warm until serving time? After all, SL always served the noodles and then ladled sauce over it. We thought and thought. (I think it best for all of mankind if I keep the thoughts going through my head to myself at this time. Let's just say I made sure I stayed away from the sharp knives.)

Big pots of boiling water were on the stove ready for the noodles. Lee took the foil off the first tray of day old noodles and grabbed a rubber gloved handful. As he picked it up the entire contents of the tray came with noodles in his hand. The vision in my head was a three story tall tube of Superglue! As we looked at little closer we noticed little tear drop shapes on the ends of the noodles. ICE! Not only do we have a tray of day old sticky noodles, we have a tray of FROZEN day old sticky noodles. The Activities gods were not looking kindly down upon me! Why oh why couldn't SL's

specialty have been bologna sandwiches? Dry bologna sandwiches, no decisions to be made if they are made with mustard or mayo....just dry.

DeAnn and I decided that the heck with the old way, we're going to put the noodles in the roaster pans of sauce and have extra containers of sauce to ladle over the plates of spaghetti if the diners wanted more of the red stuff.

OK, its a little after four, the small apartment sized kitchen is abuzz with activity, huge bowls of salad are being tossed, loaves of foiled bread are in the oven, handful after handful of frozen globs of spaghetti are being lowered into boiling water and I have a headache the size of Arizona's Grand Canyon!

Four thirty: Questions are being thrown at me from every side. Diners are arriving already with their bottles of wine in hand. Now I'm not a drinker but I was tempted to grab one of them and chug-a-lug right from the bottle. This dinner has thrown me for a loop! I'm usually a very good event organizer, ask any of our Delaware friends, they'll tell you!

The dining room is filling up, people are talking and laughing and I stood there with visions of tiny little kamikaze pilots dive bombing the inventor of spaghetti.

Five o'clock: Everyone is seated, the serving lines are ready (?) and DeAnn got on the microphone to welcome everyone and to say grace.

It's time to start serving. I put a smile on, you have no idea how hard that was, and greeted each of our "guests" as they came through the line. I was one of the servers of spaghetti and I was a little nervous about SL being in my serving line. When she got close enough to see the noodles were already in the sauce and not separate as in years past, I equated the look with someone expecting a dinner of filet mignon with a lobster tail on the side served on fine china and instead finding those tiny little cocktail weiners and black eyed peas served in a metal Army mess kit! I just smiled and welcomed her, I didn't know what else to do. I felt bad that we changed the way things were done in the past but we just couldn't figure out how to duplicate the way things were done before.

Its over. Its done. Surprisingly enough we got rave reviews from the diners. Nothing but good comments. There is a God!

A hearty thank you to all of the Activities Team Members that helped yesterday. The White Team couldn't have done it without you!

Oh yeah, when SL left, I got a "thumbs up"! So its all good.

2/21/08 Will This Day Never End????

Oh what a day!

We started the day setting up the Carnaval Room for Bingo tonight. That done it was time to start getting the spaghetti sauce started but not before we lost electricity! We don't know what happened but it was out for an hour. Thank heavens we have gas stoves. After we had browned the ground beef and onion, transferred it to the roasters and added the sauce and chopped tomatoes it was determined that we didn't have enough sauce. Off to Walmart I went to get more. I thought it best to pick up another big box of spaghetti noodles just in case. Sure enough when I got out to the truck the cell phone was beeping that I had a message. I called Bob back and he said to get more spaghetti that the team determined we didn't have enough. Good thing I had already picked some up.

In years past the noodles were cooked the day before, I don't know why, it doesn't make sense to me and it certainly seems like double the work since it is going to be put back into boiling water tomorrow to warm it back up. I didn't question it out loud as this is the way it has been done in years past. So we got busy cooking large packages of noodles and putting a little olive oil on them so they don't stick together. I sure hope that works or we're gonna have one big mess tomorrow.

During all this I'm trying to get our laundry done and it had to be one of the busiest days in the laundry room I've seen. Did you ever just have one of "those" days?

Ok, so the sauce is done, the noodles are cooked, all the salad fixins are bought and we have a plan in place. Its time to go home for a few hours before we have to be back for bingo duty.

After dinner we made our way back to work. Popcorn was made, ice cream dished into cups for ice cream floats and sodas put on ice. We were ready for the masses to descend upon us. Well, there were no masses. In fact, I think this is one of the slowest bingo nights I've experienced while working. And to think I could have been at home watching Survivor! I asked LaVon to TIVO it for me so I'll get to watch it later.

This has been a long day!

2/20/08 Back to Work

Another work session is upon us.

Today I made up the flyer and sign up sheets for the Photo Scavenger Hunt that Marlene, a winter resident, brought to the Activities Staff. She and I will take a long walk around the park and take pictures of 80 objects which will be divided between 4 "game books". Teams of 4 will have one hour to find as many of the objects as they can in the alloted time. Each team will get two game books so they can split up if they choose to to cover more ground. The team that finds the most objects and correctly identifies what site or common area it is in will win a prize valued at $100.00.

I met with the lady who had done this dinner for the last several years to get her "recipe" and to get the particulars of how she served one hundred plus people. I wish she was still doing the dinner!

DeAnn and I went over what is needed for the dinner so she could make up the grocery list and go shopping.

I wish it was Saturday and this was all behind us! I'm not having a warm and fuzzy feeling about this project. I can't explain those feelings but I don't see this one going smoothly. I hope I'm worrying for nothing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2/19/08 Birthday, Duct Tape and Earthquakes

Well, another year has rolled around and once again I send out a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Billy. I hope you have a wonderful day Bill.

I've always heard a man's best friend is duct tape. I can believe it. Bob's bicycle seat literally fell apart and instead of buying a new one....well the picture will tell the story.

Bob finished up our counter/cabinet issue and all is good again. He no sooner got that done and he noticed our toilet wasn't holding water. Luckily that was a pretty easy fix. Its always something.

It's possible we had an earthquake last evening. It was after seven and there was a loud explosion like sound and the RV's shook enough that the mini blinds rattled a few seconds. Bob says everyone was out on the street within seconds to see if an RV had exploded or if anyone knew what had happened. No one did and thankfully all RV's are intact. I missed the whole thing. I was in the Cantina, a cinder block building, playing Michigan Kitty. We didn't feel anything or hear anything. Not because it wasn't loud enough but because we were laughing so loud.

I can't believe how much the counter on this blog is changing so much day to day. I looked at the counter yesterday (Monday) at approximately 4:30p.m. and the count was 17,898. I looked at it again today a little after five and it jumped to 18,377. Four hundred and seventy nine hits in a 24 hour period! The only thing I can figure is that several people have found this blog and are starting to read it from the beginning.

I'm going to look into getting a map to put on here so that everyone can mark it with they are from. I know there are readers out there that we have not met and I think it would be interesting to see where everyone is from.

OOPS! My bad! I heard from friends back home and it seems I've hurt someone's feelings. In my "60 things you maybe didn't know about me" post I said that I didn't have any friends with kids at home. I meant friends my age. I DO have younger friends with kids still at home. Ian and Cindy, I'm sorry and no, you aren't chopped liver!

I thought the White Team in activities was done with big dinners to prepare and serve. I was mistaken. This coming Friday we are responsible for feeding about 100 winter residents a spaghetti dinner. I guess that changes what I was planning on making for dinner for Bob and I on Thursday!

That's about it for today, I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, February 18, 2008

2/18/08 Park is Going to the Dogs!

Today I was the official photographer for the dogs in the park. All the pet owners gathered at Robin's (an Activities workamper) to have their pets pictures taken before they all left to go to the dog park in Casa Grande. Now I figured I would be taking pictures of dogs and perhaps their humans. What I didn't expect was for the dogs to dress up. There were outfits available for them to dress up in and most took advantage of this. The humans did that is, trust me the dogs weren't too thrilled.

A cowboy.

A ballerina and a bumble bee. Look at the tongue on the dog on the left!

This pooch is so pampered he doesnt' even have to walk! Actually, this pup got sick about a month ago and his humans didn't think he had the energy to take a walk so they put him in this stroller. I think now he's gotten so used to it he doesn't want to walk anymore.

After this was over I took our Olympic registrations up to the office to make sure we're in for the fun times ahead. That taken care of, LaVon, our next door neighbor, and I went to practice our ping pong in the Carnaval Room where it is set up. I never knew ping pong could be so tiring! Its tough chasing that little ball all over the ballroom floor when we hit it off the table.

Here's LaVon. What form she has!

Here I am, intent on hitting the ball.
My turn to serve.

While I was doing this Bob was hard at work back at the rig. It seems our kitchen counter was "sinking" and he had to take everything out and put a brace in to make sure it didn't sink any further. In the picture below you can see where it cracked the support rail.
Of course this meant that everything in these cabinets had to come out and put somewhere. This is a large sized cabinet where lots of our kitchens things are stored so every flat surface and a lot of floor space was taken up.

Bob hard at work preparing the brace he'll use to fix this problem.

Of course there aren't enough hours in a day for a retiree to get everything done so this job will be finished up tomorrow.

I spent some time with LaVon this afternoon playing "Farkle" a dice game. I haven't played this game in over 30 years. It was better to be playing at her house than staying in mine while Bob was working. Sometimes you just have to stay out of his way.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/17/08 Mini Golf, Ping Pong & Line Dancing

Our weather is back on an upswing starting today. Once again we're back in shorts & T's as we had the long pants and sweatshirts on the past couple of days because of the cold rain.

We had to make up our mini golf game that we missed on Friday because it was rained out. I played at 12:15 and Bob followed at 1:30. Thanks heavens my partner Garry had a great game with two, count em', two holes in one. I, on the other hand didn't have such a great game. It's a good things our scores are combined. Bob had a great game too! He shot a 22 for 9 holes.

When someone can't make a game for whatever reason we have substitute players who will step in when needed. One of these subs is Don, our neighbor across the street. Don is a lot of fun, always good for a laugh. He had the whole mini golf course in stitches today. He was needed as a sub for a player who couldn't be here. A female player. Don played the part to a T! Look at these photos below and you'll get a better undestanding.
....and of course he had to show some leg.
Bob and his partner came in 5th place during the last session of play (3 weeks per session) and he and his partner got to split their winnings of $8.00

While on the mini golf course today I couldn't help but notice that the cactus had set their blooms. We've heard with the amount of rain we've had this winter the desert will be beautiful this year. We can't wait to see it in full bloom.

Quail Run has gotten a new ping pong table. I have never played ping pong in my life but was strongly encouraged to try it by none other than our neighbor Don. Well, it turns out I'm pretty good at it. That must mean I have good hand/eye coordination. This makes Don very happy. You see, next week starts the Quail Run Winter Olympics. We won't downhill ski, the luge, ice skating or any other normal Olympic games as you know them. Oh no, we'll participate in things like ping pong, frisbee throwing, mini golf, pool, bean bag toss, dominoes, cribbage, darts, ladder golf and shuffleboard to name a few. Olympic medals will be awarded for first and second place only. We'll have closing ceremonies and a luncheon afterwards. We think it will be a lot fun. Evidently Don is a good ping pong player and if he can get enough signed up for it it will be included in the Olympics. I've seen the list and it will be part of the Quail Run Olympic games.
This afternoon brought line dancing for me. Bob wasn't feeling too good so he just kicked back and watched TV this afternoon. There is something going around the park so I'm hoping he's not coming down it. From what I hear it isn't pleasant.
Another fun day in the lives of these full timers.

2/16/08 Big Dreams, Little Pocketbook

We started out our day helping the Blue Team with the pancake breakfast. What a waste of time! We had maybe twenty come in for breakfast. I think all the activities teams are glad this was the last one.

We met up with our neighbor Don outside our RV on our return and he said LaVon woke up with a headache this morning and he didn't know if they would be taking a day trip with us or not today. We gave it a little time and then he came out to tell us all systems were go, she was up to it.

So we took off to Chandler about 35 miles away. We went to Beaudry RV which is a rather large RV dealership. They were offering free lunch, entertainment and it would give us a chance to look at all the new RV's on the lot. Don and LaVon would like to upgrade their rig and though we aren't in the market if something struck our fancy.....well you never know.

It was a pleasant drive to Chandler and gave LaVon and I chance to talk one on one. You know how it is, men in the front seat, women in the back.

We started looking at 5th wheels right away but none of us saw anything that knocked our socks off. Next stop, lunch. Beaudry offered a BBQ chicken lunch. A leg quarter, what I thought were lumpy mashed potatoes, red beans and sweet corn bread muffins. Well, let me tell you I was surprised with that first forkful of "mashed potatoes". They were cold! Turns out this was Beaudry's version of potato salad. Let's just say, I, for one, walked away hungry.

Back to touring the rigs. After seeing all the 5th wheels we moved on to motor homes. We made the huge mistake of going into the high dollar ones first. I'm talkin' $500,000.00 plus. Some were just too fancy for our tastes but there was one.....Oh. My. Gosh. It was a huge coach that priced out at $789,000.00 +. It had everything including a full size JennAir stainless steel fridge with the bottom slide out drawer freezer! It had a dishwasher. Granite counter and table tops everywhere. The leather on the furniture was as soft as butter. It even had a bath and a half! I sat in the passenger seat while LaVon sat in the driver's seat, just trying it on for size you know. Well, we discovered the seats had built in massagers or vibrating mechanisms if you will. They had three speeds, low, medium and who needs a man! I gotta get me one of those! Something else we learned about people who can afford three quarter of a million dollar rigs....they like throw pillows on the bed, twelve of them! Here I thought I was "uptown" because I have six of them on ours and to tell ya the truth I think they are a pain in the butt!

We made our way down the $200,000 + rigs and there was just no comparison. None at all. In fact, we were checking out one for $231,000 and I looked at LaVon, "sniffed" with my nose up in the air and told her we had to leave, that this rig was just too ghetto for us. In our dreams!

So the four of us decided that we're quite happy with what we have right now and that there was nothing on the lot we would trade for.....well, maybe that one coach for seven bigs one if we ever hit the Powerball numbers.

As we were heading back neighbors Dave and Darlene passed us on the road. They were on their way back from a few days in San Diego. As soon as we parked at the rigs it was hugs and handshakes all around as we welcomed them home.

After dinner we had Comedy Night in the Carnaval Room. Three comedians, one being a magician entertained us. We laughed, we were amazed at some of the magic and a good time was had by all.

What a day!

2/15/08 60 Things You Maybe Don't Know About Me

Since we didn't have the nicest weather today and you are probably tired of hearing how we watched TV, read and worked on our computers I decided to do something that other bloggers are doing when they have nothing of interest to write about. I read this on a blog that I read daily and decided I would use it here, with permission of course.

Before I start let me say that it rained,,,,buckets,,,,today and we didn't do anything until late afternoon when Bob and I just had to get out of the house. Bob went to the pool room and I went to the activities office,,,,just to see what was going on.

So here we go.

60 Things You Maybe Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your truck right now? An empty Pepsi bottle, 2 lawn chairs, an empty Walmart bag,,,,that's all I can see from the window of the 5th wheel, remember, its raining and I'm not going out to find out.

2. When was the last time you threw up? I don't remember and I don't want to think about it or I will!

3. What's your favorite curse word? Damn, how the hell do I pick that one?

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today? Bob, DeAnn and Shelley

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Watching TV

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading my daily blogs.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now? Who knows?

8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope, oh wait, do seeing the Chippendales count?

9. What is the last thing you said aloud? Bob, will you reach me a Pepsi please.

10. What is the best ice cream flavor? Butter Pecan,,,hands down!

11. What was the last thing you had to drink? A Pepsi of course

12. What are you wearing right now? My robe.

13. What was the last thing you ate? A cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? No.

15. When was the last time you ran? Ran? RAN? I walked really fast yesterday, does that count?

16. What's the last sporting event you watched? The Superbowl

17. Who is the last person you emailed? My forever friend Cindy.

18. Ever go camping? Yep, that's what started where I am today.

19. Do you have a tan? Kinda, sorta, with the nice weather we had last week I've got a bit of a farmer tan goin' on.

20. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Not on your life!

21. What did your last IM say? I don't remember but I know it was with another forever friend, Dianne.

22. Are you someone's best friend? Oh yeah, Dianne's, because I know too much! In fact, that was what my last IM said now that I think about. Dianne told me I would always be her best friend,,,,because I know too much! (oh and I do!)

23. What are you doing tomorrow? Hopefully we are going on a day trip with Don and LaVon our next door neighbors. We were supposed to go today but the weather messed that up.

24. Where is your mom right now? Hmmmm.....Delaware?

25. Look to your left, what do you see? A window.

26. What color is your watch? I don't wear one, I don't have to be anywhere any particular time in this lifestyle except on work days and then I look at the clock on the wall or at my cell phone.

27. What do you think of when you think of Australia? Kangaroos.

28. Would you consider plastic surgery? Nope, they would have to give me a needle to put me out and I don't do needles!

29. What is your birthstone? Ruby.

30. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? I go inside.

31. How many kids do you want? At this stage in life? NONE!

32. Do you have a dog? No, but I would give anything to have our little Shag back.

33. Last person you talked to on the phone? Cindy. She called to tell me that she already saw Survivor and knows what happened and it was just starting here. What a smartass she is!

34. Have you met anyone famous? Yes, Mickey Mantle when I was nine years old. Did my mom think to take a picture of us? No! I've also met Sally Starr, a Philadelphia icon.

35. Any plans today? Not with it raining the way it is, plans were scrapped for today.

36. How many states have you lived in? How do I answer this one? I "lived" in Delaware all my life. I "lived" in Florida last winter and Missouri last summer. I'm living in Arizona right now. But technically, since I've been alive in all the states I've even visited I would have to say the answer is......31

37. Ever go to college? I took a typing course at Delaware Technical Community College, does that count? In other words, no.

38. Where are you right now? I'm right here.

39. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Temperatures in the 60's. I want 70's and above!

40. Last song listened to? Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett.

41. Are you allergic to anything? Penicillan

42. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Docksiders with my sneakers a close second.

43. Are you jealous of anyone? I don't think so.

44. Is anyone jealous of you? LOL! I hear there are some readers out there that are because of what I'm doing!

45. What time is it? 10:15 a

46. Do any of your friends have children? None that live at home.

47. Do you eat healthy? Yes. I eat healthy IN ADDITION to eating crap.

48. What do you usually do during the day? Depends if its raining or not.

49. Do you hate anyone right now? No, I don't think so.

50. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? In a RV park? A hundred times a day!

51. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 55...... Yikes!

52. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Yes, Great Adventure in New Jersey

53. How did you get one of your scars? From a salt shaker. Let me explain. I had a broken one, glass of course, and when I went to take the trash out I held the bag up with one hand and twirled it around getting it ready for the twist tie with the other. When it spun around the broken salt shaker must have been at the side of the bag and cut me as it twirled by. Now I have a scar on my leg.

54. Do you like to travel? Next question.

55. What would your last meal be if given a choice? Steak topped with Crab Imperial, Baked Potato w/sour cream and chives and a big helping of Brussel Sprouts. Yummy!

56. What do you plan to do when you retire? in our RV? Oh that's right, we're doing that!

57. Bath or shower? If you must know.....shower. Have you seen the size of bathtubs in RV's?

58. How many siblings do you have? Just one brother for me but he's the best brother anyone could ask for!

59. If possible, would you go back to your teenage years and start it all over again? No, not just no, hell no! I'm quite happy where I am in life.

60. If you could change the state where you live, where would you go? This question doesn't apply to me since I change locations several times a year. Isn't life grand?

So there it is, 60 things you maybe didn't know about me.

Fellow bloggers,,,,if you have a slow news day, feel free to use this but put your own answers in of course.

Friday, February 15, 2008

2/14/08 Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

This was a total do nothing day for us! We're tired after yesterday. Neither one of us even left our site today. Both of us spent the day on our computers and watching TV and I did manage to get a little bit of reading in.

I spent my time getting this blog caught up, hopefully I'll keep to a day to day basis now. Of course that is always my intention but somehow life seems to get in the way of that.

Don and LaVon, our next door neighbors did stop over to ask if we wanted to go to Tucson tomorrow to Beaudry RV. They are having an "entertainment" day tomorrow at the dealership and this is something we've been wanting to go to. So our activity is all set for tomorrow. It should be a good time as Don and LaVon are such nice people and fun to be with. So we'll head out right after we finish our mini golf game.

So that was our day in a nutshell. A day of much needed rest.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2/13/08 Valentine's Dinner/Dance

The big day finally arrived and we hit the ground running.

We started our morning in the Activities Building in a meeting with all the Activities staff to go over the schedule for the day. Everyone knew what they were doing at what time by the meetings end.

Since there was a Resident's meeting and a concert yesterday all the chairs were still up so it was a matter of the guys on this detail moving them aside to set up tables. With that out of the way several women were tasked with putting on plastic tablecloths with red cloths centered in the middle of each table. It was at this time that the cutlery, napkins, salt and pepper shakers and 24 pats of butter were placed on the tables.
Meanwhile, iced tea and lemonade were made and the coffee pots set up and water jugs filled.

At 11:00 DeAnn and I set out for town to pick up the cakes and rolls, two last minute gift certificates and more ribbon for the balloons. We could have made the desserts but it was just so much easier to order 2 full sheet cakes plus one half. One chocolate, one white both filled with cherries. YUM! The half sheet cake was chocolate too.

We were back in time for her to meet up with three other team players to make the cheesy potatoes that we'll serve. (I don't know what was in them but they were GOOD!)

At 2pm I met up with seven others to decorate. We bought two helium canisters and lots of red, white and pink balloons. We made bouqets to sit on each table. Here are Robin and Frieda making balloons for us.

Frieda was the official holder of the balloons.

Bonnie and Shelley working on finishing touches.

What the Carnaval Room looked like when it was completely decorated. Here's a picture of one half of the room with the tables down the center that will be taken down right after dinner.

I had reason to go over to the Activities Building and walked in on the Helping Hands hard at work. Helping Hands is made up of ladies in the park who sew bibs for instance. These baby bibs are then donated to a local agency that can use them such as the local women's shelter where the women and their children often come with nothing but the clothes are their backs.

They also sew caps for chemo patients.

Here's Donna modeling a chemo cap she made.

These are all special ladies who give freely of their time for a good cause.

Not everyone sews, somebody has to iron the material! Every job is important!

With my business done in the Activities building it was time to go home and get dressed for the dinner and evening.

The doors were to open promptly at 4:30 and by 4:10 the winter residents were lined up, ready and waiting.

By now we have prepared the salads made up of a lettuce wedge, sprinkled with green onions, radishes and grated cheddar cheese. When DeAnn bought 29 heads of lettuce at the store she got some strange looks from the cashier.

The doors opened at the appointed time and it was soon after that we were confronted with the first problem of the night. Not enough seating! Oh NO! Where did we go wrong? We were four seats short and the only thing we can figure out was that someone sold four tickets and neglected to write down the sale. We kept track of tickets so that we would know how much food to buy and how many tables to set up. It was quickly remedied by setting an extra table and we moved on.

Our dinner menu consisted of salad, roasted pork loins with sauce, cheesy grated potatoes, green beans, applesauce and dessert.

At precisely 4:55 we started plating the dinners. Four team members dished up the goodies and the rest of us served it. This was a sit down dinner, not a buffet. It took us a few minutes to catch our rhythym but when we did it all went very smoothly. The Activities staff served 149 dinner guests in less than 20 minutes! That has got to be a record somewhere!

We finally were able to sit down and eat ourselves and I'm here to tell you that we made one helluva dinner! It was delicious!!!

Since we had dinner only guests we had to get the raffle out of the way right after dinner so that they would also have a chance at the prizes. I walked into the Carnaval Room and was immediately swamped with requests for raffle tickets. We sold them at $1 for one or $5 for 6. I had mostly orders for $5 and $10. It was my intention to walk around the room selling them but I never got away from the door.

We had 25 prizes to raffle off. Everything from costume jewelry to picture frames to gift certificates for area restaurants to candy to a huge decorated gourd to an income tax preperation worth $125.00 and several things in between. The winter residents were really pumped by the raffle as this alone brought in over $300.00.

When the raffle was over DeAnn thanked everyone for coming and announced that Lucille and I were the leads for this Valentine's dinner/dance and that every member of the Activities staff worked like dogs to pull this off. We got a standing ovation from the winter residents.

Out in the breezeway everyone was able to get their picture taken in front of a canvas that park residents painted. Set in front of it was a small table, two chairs, wine w/glasses and roses. Here's Gary and Buddy clowning around. That's some painting the ladies painted isn't it?

By now the dinner only guests had vacated and their table and chairs were taken down. It was time to party!

We had musical entertainment by Ted and Sue, a husband and wife duo. They sized up their audience quickly and played all the right music keeping us line dancers in mind.

When it was finally all over a lot of the winter residents stayed and helped us tear down the tables and chairs. Once again we cleared the room in record time! 8 minutes! Its amazing how fast things can go when there are a lot of hands involved.

Am I glad its over? You bet! The White team certainly can't take the credit for this event. It took every member of Activities to make it what it was.....a great party!