Thursday, November 26, 2009

Macy's Parade Rant

OK. What is up with the ‘parade’? You used to be able to see the hundreds of members who were specially chosen for this nationally televised program, the hundreds that practiced and worked so hard, hoping to be on TV and show off their skills. But what do we see? Broadway show clips, lots of commercials, and the same ABC, NBC darlings announcing singing people on floats that half the nation doesn’t even know. I don’t want to see singing and dancing shows in front of Macy’s doors, interviews with more darlings in the bleachers in front of the doors, or more commercials. What I want to see are the nattily dressed bands, the incredible floats with (just) waving children and the balloons with all the amazing statistics relayed to us. Not another ‘SHOW’ that some producer thinks will make the numbers. sheesh.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

This morning I woke up excited. Not only was there a great thunderstorm, but after looking for hours at the Sea Eagle site, and checking all over the net and all over town, I decided that Boats 4 Less was going to get a call and an order. I had decided that the 340x deluxe was a good all around for our needs, and since we are not tall people (I’m 5’4” and Gary is 5’8”) we should be able to fit in that. But Crystal talked with me for 30 minutes and in the end the 380x sounded even better (for only $50 more). It will have the deluxe inflatable seats, a free stabilizer, two AB30 paddles that come apart in 4 pieces. When I mentioned that we have grandchildren, she said the paddles could be made shorter for them! And it is 12’ 6” long, a much more comfortable longer ride. At 42 pounds, it isn’t much heavier than the 340 and we’ll be able to fit more gear in it, too. Thanks, Tim and Crystal. She even put a rush (free) delivery on it so that it might just arrive in time for Gary’s birthday next Tuesday! Thanks, Crystal and thanks to Howard (we mentioned that “Harold sent me”). Then we decided to do a little Christmas shopping before Black Friday and headed on to Einstein’s for a lunch bagel. Gary had his favorite: an everything with smoked salmon cream cheese and I had mine: a pumpernickel bagel with plain cream cheese and cucumber slices. The vanilla hazlenut coffee was not decaf, but what the heck, it was only 2 pm. Off to Borders next door, and we found a book for our oldest GC, Lance, all about answers to questions that Lance asks like why is the sky blue, and why do chickens lay eggs? Then Gary dropped me off at Big Lots while he went to have his radiation. I got a couple of stocking stuffers for him. I love our stockings. It’s such a challenge to find neat little things that will fit all the way down to the toe. My mom made my stocking and Gary’s from a 1954 pattern using felt and beads. Everyone in our family has one and as our family grew by marriage and births, I carried on the tradition after she passed. Our daughters will someday receive the pattern from me, and hopefully they will make them for their grandchildren and sons and daughters-in-law too.
Christmas music is filling the air and tomorrow we will get our Christmas decorations down from the attic for the last time. We will be spending Christmas day with Michelle and our family, then driving to Raleigh after the new year, so I will have some time to enjoy our 9’ tree and my dear collection of ornaments one last time before we pack it all away for who knows how many years. But tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays, too! We wake up, have coffee in bed, and watch the Macy’s parade. Then the big dinner preparations begin and delicious smells swirl around the house until the feast is ready. It always amazes me how a meal can take all day to prepare and 10 minutes to eat. Well, until tomorrow… Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gary and the Doctor

Dr. Silverman called to tell Gary that the Venice office has not been able to find the equipment in storage to begin whole body radiation. Since I answered the phone, I mentioned that his eye was very bad and that he was having trouble with his vision. Dr. S said come on in today. When he saw it, he immediately wanted to treat it, but it was so late, they didn’t want to do it in haste, so they took measurements, made the mask, cut out the areas to be zapped, and made an appointment for tomorrow. I must say Gary is being very brave through all this. But surprisingly I am not worried at all. Somehow I trust that this will be controlled and he will live a very long life. My hope is that it can be vanquished into outer space to a galaxy far, far away.
Today was also my mom's birthday. Miss you, Mom. Wish you and Dad knew what we were planning. You'd be proud.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Girls' Club

I so look forward to Girls’ Club each month. Four hours or so with the my girlfriends is so nurturing and fun. I will REALLY miss this when we’re on the road. Maybe I can WebCam with them? Anyway, we talked about what was happening with all of us; we called Donna in the hospital, and called Jean who was recuperating from ‘skin revitalization’, ate, drank and talked while Debbie watched Ohio go into overtime with Iowa winning by a field kick. So SHE was happy. Thanks, Jan for a wonderful meal. We talked about us renting, and maybe Jan or Debbie might be interested – imagine that! All I can say is, we’ll see…

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Turkey Day

We would have loved to go the Tampa RV show, but Michelle was going to Hawaii during the Thanksgiving week, and asked if we could do an early Thanksgiving today. Yesterday I baked a Caramel Apple Cobbler, bought some rolls and corn and off we went after church. It was fun, but hectic and VERY delicious. We really had fun. We took home lots of leftovers that will probably last a week, but I look forward to those leftover turkey sandwiches on potato buns with mayo, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper and that’s ALL. Yes, to die for…or at least gain a pound for. No???

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Garage Sale Day

Of course, neither one of us could sleep anticipating the alarm going off – an appliance we don’t like to use. After our cup of coffee, we moved everything out into the driveway and entertained our first prospect. By noon (after our festive Bloody Mary) we had sold almost everything. One woman bought almost every children’s book for a program her daughter was implementing for low-income children in the school system. A car with three ladies and a son behind the wheel shopped from the car as I brought stuff over to them. Now I am not one to ask the highest price for anything. I want to get rid of as much as possible, so maybe I come up with a little less money, but I don’t put anything back! Yay, garage sale day over until we move. Then we will have an ‘estate sale’. Oh, joy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Garage Sale Prep

Tomorrow is our garage sale, and we have to start preparing today. I have a love/hate relationship with garage sales. The only part I really love is counting the money. The setup, selling, bargaining and cleaning it all up is yuck. But all those dollar bills spread all over the bed afterwards is so much FUN to roll around in! Also, Gary always makes it festive by having our usual Bloody Mary that we share from a paper cup. Finally at 10:30 pm we set the alarm for 6:30, and hit the sack.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turtle Steps

We packed up and headed out to LazyDayz – the World’s Largest RV Dealer and Camping World next door. We missed the exit which was before the facility, and took a long ride around back looking for it. But hey, we’re practicing for when we’re not in a hurry anymore, and we made it a pleasant diversion instead of the usual aggravated “where ARE we going?!” type behavior. We stopped at Camping World first, and browsed the whole store. I guess everything you need is in there, but it didn’t strike me as particularly large. And most of their stuff wasn’t cheap, either. A lot of things I could have purchased at Walmart for about 30% less but some things are specific to Rvers and that’s why they’re in business. We didn’t stop at LazyDayz as they are in Chapter 11 and we’re being cautious. In my research it’s well known that RV sales are down these past years, and that was obvious when the dealers showed us many repos on their lots. I’m thinking that it’s a good year to buy even though we will finance it, because we still want our house until we are sure Gary is on the road to complete recovery or even better – remission. There’s a rig out there with our name on it. I’m still enjoying the adventures of Howard and Linda Payne. I’m reading their whole blog from the beginning of their adventure until present day, and copying and pasting important parts in a folder. I sure hope we can do this. Turtle steps. Turtle steps…

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We woke to a cloudless, cool morning, ate a tiny breakfast in anticipation of lots of delicious grazing all day, drove 15 minutes, parked and entered the gates. We were so early the park wasn’t even open yet! So we shared a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and a muffin then headed left to Mission Space. Last year I went on this ride, and couldn’t handle it. I’ve had dizzy problems (don’t you say anything, now) since many ear infections as a kid, and was hesitant to do this again. Fortunately they have divided the original ride into a less intense version and the intense version. Even standing in line, the warnings made me jittery and ready to back out. But I decided I could do anything for three minutes. The first minute of launch was much easier than last time, and the rest was enjoyable. Of course, I was the navigator, a full time position I will assume very soon!! What a great day and great food. Gary thinks it would be fun to work at Disney, so we talked with Gust at the Soarin’ ride about his employment with Disney, and he couldn’t speak highly enough about how much fun he has daily after losing his 20 year contractor job. Even living an hour and 15 minutes away, he loves his fun job. Then we talked to Debbie on the shuttle boat. She is a stew and works part time when she is in town. So maybe this will be our winter job to earn some serious money, stay relatively warm and be near family for the holidays. Then off again for more adventure!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not and EPCOT Day

We decided that a 30% chance of rain was too much of a chance for Epcot, so we jumped in the car after scribbling down directions to a couple of other RV dealers around the area. One day I look forward to boating on a lake or Gary fly fishing on a pristine river and catching our own fresh fish dinner. In the mean time tonight we are going to treat ourselves (yet some more) to the Bonefish Grill for dinner using a gift card.
‘Steve’ was better than the last guy; we didn’t even get into his office. Perhaps the line “we are not ready to buy yet” had something to do with that. He politely showed us anything we wanted to look at, but was a little blank in the knowledge department. Then we went to Independence RV and what a difference. We met a young salesman, Justin, and gave him the same line. He said ‘what can I show you?’ and we said used motorhomes with: freightliner or RoadWarrior chassis, 5 or 6 speed Allison tranny, Cummins or Cat 330+ HP… and then he realized we knew our stuff. AND a KING BED. ‘That narrows it down…but’ He led us right over to a beautiful Newmar DutchStar, 2004, low mileage, light wood interior, king bed, etc. He proceeded to tell us that he had watched these beauties not mass produced, but each one built for an individual customer. Could I be gullible?, because everything he said about Newmar sold me on them forever. If we had had the money right then I would have bought that baby and driven it home.
Following him into his office, we were prepared to get up and run, but instead we talked a little about his family and how good the dealership was to him. He gave us his business card, some payment and insurance information, introduced us to a colleague who was also from North Carolina, shook our hands, and we left. We loved that rig so much it took all our willpower to not turn around and say ‘where do we sign?’ That’s the way we wanted to be treated – as customers, not dollar signs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Salesmen - Yuck

While having our cup of coffee and watching the weather channel (I’m addicted) the roll bar at the bottom of the screen mentioned an RV Center in nearby WinterHaven. I checked out the location on my laptop and off we went! Gary hates any kind of motor place. He knows that the guy needs to sell, and will usually bully you into his office, play games and offer you ‘the best deal’ before you can say no thanks and leave. That is exactly what happened. We looked at fifthwheels (I still like those) and motorhomes, which Gary liked better. Since he will be doing most of the driving, I don’t care which one we choose as long as it has a king bed. A large fridge would be nice too. This is how it went: hard sell, pretending, low offer, meet the boss, more questions, boss leaves, more questions, boss throws out a lower offer, blah, blah blah. We couldn’t wait to escape. Maybe tomorrow will be better. We’re planning on hitting up Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival before our tickets expire if the weather cooperates. But we have to check out TWC in the morning first!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Gary and I left for Epcot for our little alone vacation. Tomorrow we are going to visit RV dealers in the Orlando area. Gary has really decided that a motorhome is his preferred way to travel. But we haven’t decided on our ‘toad’ yet. If we keep the jeep, we can go off road for some fun. The jeep, even with 140K miles on her, is not even ‘broken-in’ yet, whereas the Escape has 150+K and is sounding a little weezy (and is leaking some oil). Our jeep will need some repairs and we’d like to get a new roof and some other modifications done to her, but we decided she will be more reliable (and fun!) than the Escape). Add ‘Sell Escape’ to a post-it note!