Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little More Baby and Disney

Sorry there have been so many days since last post, but we have been Busy with a capital B. Michelle and Henry came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon. All the children wanted to hold him to see if they could get him to open his eyes. He didn’t.

But he is happy tiny dude, eating and sleeping. So what’s the hurry, anyway? If I could sleep and eat without opening my eyes for a couple days, it wouldn’t be so awful. It might be kinda nice. Maybe I’ll try it sometime…

Well, Michelle had a cough when she entered the hospital, but it got progressively worse and today she visited the Dr. and came home with a diagnosis of pneumonia. My poor baby. It’s really hard to cough and hold onto your stitches and a baby at the same time. Ouch. Hopefully she will be well soon, and go back to nursing tiny dude. On the funny side, she continually calls him Graham. Graham has been her baby for four years, so she has to get used to her newest cutie. I hope I’ll have a better report when I write next.

Henry is supposed to have about 5-10 minutes of sunlight a day, so Brian strapped on the BabyBjorn
and here he is going for a walk.

Lily was very curious about this little creature arriving at home. We decided to let her sniff at Henry and surprisingly she was very gentle. She did want to get into the rocker with him which was a no-no, but generally, she was just curious.

I’m just going to show you a few pictures, and then let you know about our day back at Disney Casting.

Arriving home last night, we noticed we had a new neighbor! But we didn’t see them. This morning we needed to be at Casting by 9 am, so I had to get up early (not my favorite thing – but I used to get up at 5 am, so 7 isn’t that bad at all). Fingerprinting was first. Gary was done in 5 minutes, but it took three guys and 2 machines to get my prints to process correctly. Sheesh. That made me late for my 10 am class, so I had to wait for the 11 am class. Basically the class was filling out another form and learning how to dress for Disney University where we will train on our first day of the job. We thought our class would begin on Nov. 1, but they moved us to Nov. 6. Darn. Another week without our free passes…

Tasha had made a couple of potty mistakes while we were away. I’m not sure it was because we left her in the coach for 5 days (she had her potty, of course) or if there is a medical problem. The bed got hit again – another cleaning job for our duvet. That’s three times in 7 months. Sheesh.

Gary finally got an appointment on Wednesday at the Florida Hospital for his radiation treatment. I hope they can do it quickly so he doesn’t feel like he’s going to scare the children. (it’s not that bad at all, but I would feel the same way if it was me…)

Just as Gary was going to fire up the grill for dinner, our new neighbors rode up on their bikes. Ron and Donna from Missouri. RVers are such good talkers – especially if they are fulltimers. There is SO much to talk about! They are Disney employees, too, and start on Saturday in Downtown Disney in the Christmas store. They will definitely be busy! We finally got to eat around 8, and after putting the sheets back on the bed, we will be glad to hit the sack! Nitey, nite!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Tuesday we arrived in St. Pete to get ready for a new grandson. Michelle was due to deliver on Thursday, and there were the usual things to put together, wash and purchase and pack. Last minute things were needed for the children's school and groceries, lists and instructions for everyone. Tristan, our son, was up visiting from Miami to see his first nephew being born. Everything took all day Wednesday to get ready, so that today all we had to do was drop the kids at school and head over to Bayfront Hospital Baby Place. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining with a warm gentle breeze. We loaded the car with blankets and pillows (Brian was staying with Michelle overnight) suitcases, food, computers and cameras. But, they wouldn't let Gary, Tristan or me in with them as she was being prepped for surgery. We had more things to do (take the car in for oil, eat breakfast, get Halloween candy, pumpkins - well the list seemed endless...)

We were waiting to hear from Brian when to come in, but instead he called to let us know that little Henry Palmer Anderson was born at 11:50 am and was 8 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches. Mom and baby were doing fine. YAAAAAAAYYY. Henry has been his name for months, but Palmer was decided on this morning on the way to the hospital.

Michelle was still in surgery getting tidied up, so I asked Brian to give us a call when she was in a room. That didn't happen until 1:30, so we decided to pick up the kids and then come see them. I could hardly wait. This is the first birth I wasn't actually there for.

Three o'clock came, we picked up the kids as the teachers all wanted to know if things went OK and we headed over to the hospital. Ever since Michelle found out she was pregnant, she had given up her Starbuck's morning ritual of a vente no fat, no whip white mocha coffee. So I promised her that I would bring her one on delivery day. So we stopped at Starbuck's and I ordered her favorite coffee, but I made it decaf.

We got to her room, and there she was holding little Henry. Unspeakable joy. A new little life to hold in our arms. The kids were a little hesitant, worried if he was OK and if their mom was OK. After they were assured, they started exploring the room. Unfortunately, Michelle was not allowed to drink her coffee as she was on an IV for 24 hours, but I'll get her one for breakfast tomorrow.

As you can see, Henry is adorable and we all took turns holding him, changing his diaper, and watching him eat.Here's his Daddy, Brian, and little brother, Graham followed by Gary and my son, Tristan. About an hour later, the kids were restless and so we walked over to the playground at All Children's Hospital. Which consisted of this boat. They had a ball for 30 minutes, and then we needed to head home.

They are all tucked in now, probably dreaming of their new baby brother who won't be home until Saturday if all continues to go well. Check in tomorrow for better pictures. While we were there, we counted our grandchildren. Henry makes 8. He's Henry the Eighth - how about that!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Catching Up and Good News!

I’m going to have to go back a few days to catch you up. I’ll start with Friday.
We drove (surprise, surprise) to St. Pete to pick up Lauren (7) for her overnight stay with us. Since we waited for Michelle and Brian to come back from the Doctor’s, we got a late start back home. We had planned to cook veggie burgers (Lauren is a ‘vegetarian’) for dinner on the grill, and then run over to Downtown Disney for a little evening atmosphere. But plans changed when we suggested the Rain Forest CafĂ© instead and were greeted with cheers. It was Friday, so we knew we would have to wait, but it was fun browsing the store and watching the thunderstorm. We finally got seated at 8:30 next to the elephants who, besides being extremely noisy were also very nosey. The big one kept poking his nose near Lauren and half the dinner she was in my lap. We ended with a ‘volcano’ dessert – four huge brownies and a tower of ice cream with caramel sauce as lava running down the sides and a sparkler on the top. Yummy! The best part of that evening, says Gary, was carrying a fast-asleep Lauren inside to bed.

Saturday was another gorgeous day – a good day for eggs, bacon and toast.
Then we started making jewelry and hair accessories at the picnic table.
A swim at the pool ended her stay
and then we headed back to St. Pete to end up in Sarasota for Girls’ Club with my friends. It was so much fun seeing them all again and catching up with their lives for the last month. During our gathering, Gary went browsing at Total Wine and ended up at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Kobe, for sushi. Oooohh. He was so sweet he brought me a smoked eel and mackerel sushi. What a guy.

Sunday is pancake day at the clubhouse, and we met a new couple who come down here every year. We talked and talked ending up having to clean our own table as we were the only ones left in the building! Then we headed over to their 5th wheel where Gary helped them hook up their new satellite dish and receiver. We grabbed some lunch, picked up Mary and ran to the grocery store to get a few items for dinner. Gary wanted to cook up some of his famous ribs and Mary wanted in on that when we asked her to come over for dinner. Unfortunately Bob was working. It was a perfect evening except for the mosquitoes so we headed inside for Mary’s apple pie dessert.

Today was my interview with Disney. I met with Barbara and we talked about what jobs were available. I chose the Magic Kingdom (because that’s where Gary will be) running the rides in Fantasyland! We begin training next Monday and begin work on Nov. 1. TaaDaa! We’re really looking forward to this fun job (not to mention the paycheck). If you’re in the area, please come and see us!

Tomorrow we head to St. Pete to do some last-minute-before-baby-arrives things and we will be there until Sunday. Delivery is 11:30 am on Thursday, Oct. 21. Wish us luck! Pictures will be forthcoming and of course, plentiful!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Monday thru Thursday

Monday was cleaning day. I never mind washing clothes or the inside of the coach. It is fast and easy. I do find that I need to wash clothes almost every two days, but you put them in, and take them out and fold them. My washer/dryer does it all. Gotta love it. Some sandhill cranes visited us during breakfast.
Tuesday we needed a water filter wrench to change our filter and Central Florida RV was suggested by another camper. It took a little time to find it, but we got there. There was a little boy, Brandon, who was playing with his trucks on the floor. He told me he was four and that Laura was washing the shelves. Aunt Laura was looking after him as his mom was in the hospital having a baby sister. He doesn’t want a sister, just a brother. Well, I wasn’t going there… Meanwhile, they were hunting down a wrench they thought was around somewhere. We didn’t find anything else we needed, but he offered us some black tank deodorizer for free as the top was broken. Just as we started the Jeep, he ran out with the wrench. Just take it, he insisted. We will surely recommend him to our neighbors. Nice family run business. Makes you feel a little hopeful about the world again.
We suddenly realized we had very little play time left. Friday we will have our granddaughter, Lauren, stay overnight with us. Michelle and family are planning to come for a day’s visit with all the kids, but Lauren won’t go home until Sat. night. I’m looking forward to seeing all my girlfriends from the ‘hood on Sat. night at Girls’ Club where we have a fabulous meal by the hostess and sit and catch up. It’s wonderful, and I look forward to it every month. I wonder if they would like to come to Kissimmee for my turn??
Monday is my interview with Disney, and Tuesday we will be heading to St. Pete for the big delivery day on Thursday. We will stay until Sunday, then return home to begin training on Monday, the 25th. That’s the plan, anyway. We need to see and do stuff quick!
So yesterday, we threw the kayak in the back of the Jeep (remember, it’s inflatable) and drove the hour and half to Sarasota for a haircut for me, Dr.’s appt. for Gary, bank and storage business. After that, we took the Ringling Bridge [notice the seaplane?] to Lido Key, inflated our boat and were in the water in 12 minutes. The tide was out, and there was a little breeze which made us use our muscles to paddle. The water was crystal clear, and rounding a little island, we had some visitors. This cormorant swam up to us, under us and all around us. Then a couple more got into the act. We thought they might want us to feed them, but I think the boat created a false sense of protection for little fish. The cormorants dove repeatedly under the boat and came back up on the other side with little fish which they gulped down. They followed us all the way around the other island and then landed on this odd structure to dry their feathers. The pelican reminds me of a king with the cormorants as his subjects. A couple of raccoons were looking for anything as we were drying our boat. Reminds me of the pet raccoon my cousin had as a kid in NJ. It’s name was Mitzie because it washed everything with it’s little mitts before eating it. It was orphaned when it’s parent was hit by a car, poor thing, so a large cage was built around a tree, and they let it go when it was big enough to look after itself. It was adorable!
Today we looked in Michael’s for a little fall decorating. I’ll show you what we decided on later.
I don’t know when I’ll get back to the blog as we have a busy weekend, [and even some computer issues again] but stay tuned!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lucky Date: 10.10.10

Today, 10.10.10, is supposed to be a good luck day for some people. It's a very cool day to be born on or get married on. And it won't happen again for another 100 years. Lucky us to be able to experience it!

Friday we drove to Sarasota to get into our storage facility. We needed to find three things: Gary’s box of computer stuff, some important papers and the power washer. The power washer was easy to find. We want to clean off our cement pad. The important papers were in the desk waaayyy back behind lots of furniture. Since we take things slowly now, we just pulled out everything, got them, and put everything back. The computer stuff was a little more difficult. We had to pull out boxes and boxes to find one. Eureka. We found it. It was marked “computer stuff – put in motorhome”. Ooops.

Of course, we found lots of other things we think we will need, threw it all in the Jeep and turned the key. Ugh, oh. It didn’t want to start. After a couple of tries, she fired up. Always something. Gary BBQ’d a pork loin for dinner and then we took a starlit walk. Who needs to go north - the leaves are turning around here!

Saturday we decided to do a little job research. Disney Marketplace is 10 minutes away and we thought we would scope out the kiosk vendors. I think that’s what Gary’s job will be, but we’re not sure yet. Of course, we were hungry by the time we arrived, so stopped at Bongos for a little Cuban fare. Gary’s enjoying it! We had to take half of this home for another meal. We wandered around stopping to talk to a kiosk operator and found out that the vendors in the marketplace are not Disney employees. Well, that was no help at all, so we walked around , tried on some Disneywear, had a little ice cream while watching the balloon go up and down, then headed home.

Everyone visiting Disney seems to be having such a great time. That’s what we’re excited about most of all. Helping people have memorable vacation. We can hardly wait!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Congratulate the Newest WDW Employee

Well, say hello to a new employee of Walt Disney World – Gary Moore! His interview only took about 30 minutes, and he will be working in the Magic Kingdom as a food vendor. We felt sure that the job would be in Security, and it would have been if he made a year’s commitment. But, we have places to go and things to see, so we decided that he might move into another 3 month position at the end of January (when this job ends). We’ll see. We are fond of the saying ‘whatever’. It’s very liberating.

Tuesday we were in St. Pete to celebrate my son’s 24th birthday and our grandson’s 4th birthday. It is so much fun visiting grandchildren – extremely hectic and noisy – but so much fun being grandparents. We took pictures of the three of them in gymnastics class, took them to school, picked them up, Gary and Tristan got in 9 holes, shopped in Target and sang Happy Birthday as Graham tried to blow out the candles all during the song. On all family birthdays we talk about their special day. Often we remember something new that had happened or our feelings about a particular instance. We love reminiscing because it draws our family closer.

Cake and ice cream, photos and then our quiet drive home. I don’t think we said twenty words the whole way. I do remember asking Gary if he had fun, and after he said yes, I said I did, too. We can hardly wait until Henry (or Henrietta) is born on the 21st. Gary starts training on the 25th, and his job begins on Nov. 1. Oh, and I checked my email this morning and I have an interview next week. More on that when I have some information. YAY!

Gary’s Dr. appointment was great, too. The Dr. doesn’t think MF has reappeared, but would like to do a biopsy just to make sure. That will happen next week. Our jeep has just turned 110,000 miles and most likely turn 120,000 before we leave Florida at this rate…

We continue to meet and talk with other residents of our CG and they are a wealth of information. After I scrubbed and scrubbed to get those lovebugs off the jeep, Bob comes over and says that if you wet a Bounce dryer sheet, they come right off. Also, if you add 3 oz. of water to 1 T. Woolite and spray in on the bugs, wait a little, they wash right off. Where was he an hour before???

Tony is 94 years old and stopped in his golf cart to expound on the beauty of Alaska (to which he has been three times) and then Yuma, Mexico where his dentist had been kidnapped on a bridge and held 6 weeks for 3 ½ million dollars (which was paid after they threatened to cut off a finger a day for non-compliance). He was beaten badly and cannot work anymore, but still goes to his practice where his son has taken over. Sheesh. We were going to get our teeth done in Mexico, but we’ll need to think about that. A wealth of information within RVers. They’ve seen and done so many different things! Can’t wait to add to our repertoire. Tony’s advice: TAKE IT SLOW. We intend to enjoy every single moment. Like Tasha is.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cats, Dogs and Other Wildlife

It was a beautiful day for yard sales. Only about 6 people participated in this impromptu sale, but there is a large one in February when the snowbirds have finally arrived. As I said yesterday, I was looking for a large fan for the patio. Well, we met our friends at one house with a large fan in the back of their golf cart. He had just bought it from the house we were headed to next. He needed it for his workshop but mentioned that there might have been another one. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it had been sold, too. Oh, well. Wasn’t meant to be. We did have fun meeting some new neighbors and we did pick up a couple CDs. The rest of the day Gary puttered while I worked on some red bean soup. But Mary and Bob came over with some extra halibut fish he had cooked for us. Yummy! Tasha was curious about Princess, Bob and Mary’s mini schnauzer. She didn’t run away and hiss, but got this close before turning up her nose and walking away. Remember: cats rule, dogs drool.

Sunday we skipped the pancake breakfast for Gary’s much-needed bagel at Panera. There is actually a Bruegger’s Bagel store here but it’s north of Orlando. So we spent an hour enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze while munching on a bagel. The love bugs are still hanging around messing up the Jeep on a daily basis. Thank goodness we are not driving the coach around. If you don’t know what a love bug is, they are actually small black flies with red thoraxes. Males are 1/4 inch, and females are 1/3 inch in length. They connect their ‘back ends’ and fly around like that until the female lays 350 eggs and dies. They have very few natural predators except vehicles. They stink when they’re wet and will take the paint off your car if you don’t wash them off immediately. Needless to say, most vehicles are very clean during love-bug season. We’re all hoping they go away like – yesterday.

Gary needs a short-sleeved shirt for his interview, but Marshall’s, Target, Belk’s and TJ’s didn’t have one. Our last effort was Penney’s where we were met by a young man who handed us a scratch-off card for up to 30% off our entire purchase until 1:30. Well, immediately, Gary found a shirt, and since we both needed new sneakers, we each found a pair of Nikes for 34 bucks. When we scratched off our card, we had 30% off, so we ended up saving $56! Gary’s keeping his in the box until he finds out [if he gets the job] what color shoes he needs to go with his uniform.

Later Gary thought the fish might be biting, and threw his line out a few times, but all we saw was a green heron. They are pretty birds and love to eat dragonflies as well as fish. We watched this one catch fly after fly by leaning and almost falling off his branch as they flew near him.

Early this morning the phone rang at 5:30. I got up to answer it because it rang twice, so I knew it must have been important. I called Tristan back to see what was wrong. He wanted my advice as to what to do about the 11 x 4 foot piece of ceiling that fell in his bedroom – fortunately not on him. He called his landlord who sent her son over to clean it up. I suggested that he not sleep in that room until he finds out what the examiner says made it fall. I don't like phone calls in the middle of the dark. It usually means trouble. Am I right?

Since we were up extra early today, we wanted to see where we could go boating. I found Lake Kissimmee State Park that we drove down to check out. It was about 35 miles away and the drive was on the Scenic Highway which consisted of grove after grove of orange trees. The park looks great for trails, RVs and boating. As we entered the drive, two little bob-whites crossed the road in front of us. Checking out the RV sites, we saw a couple of deer feeding and reaching the boat launch, we looked down as a baby alligator scrambled into the water. The cicadas must have totaled in the hundreds as their song was deafening during their crescendo. On the way out of the park, a tortoise hurried away from my camera, but I got him just as he ducked into the underbrush.

We are going to St. Pete tomorrow to celebrate Tristan’s 24th birthday (the 8th) and Graham’s 4th birthday (the 9th), so I’ll be back on Thursday with some good news, I hope! Wish us luck!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Epcot and Exciting News

Thursday, we were invited to Epcot by Bob and Mary. Bob works at the Food and Wine Festival, and he gets free passes. Lucky us! We drove (they squished into the back of the Jeep) and we even got free parking! It was a perfect day, breezy, no humidity and light, fluffy clouds. The Food and Wine festival happens every year for 6 weeks during October and November, and this year was it's 15 year anniversary. About 18 countries offer samples of their food and wine and beer from small kiosks located around the World Showcase. We'd get there eventually, but the first item on the agenda was Spaceship Earth. There were very few people in line and we only had to wait 5 minutes. After that ride, we headed over to “The Land” to get Fast Passes for “Soarin’”, a very popular ride. A fast pass allows you to come back within a specified hour to bypass the people waiting in line. We had an hour and a half before our allotted time. So Gary wanted to see the Living Seas, where we dove a couple years ago with a program called ‘DiveQuest'. DiveQuest is a scuba diving experience inside their 5.7-million-gallon saltwater tank. Scuba-certified guests can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures representing over 60 species—including sea turtles, angelfish, dolphins, eagle rays and sharks. It was so awesome to wave hi to our grandchildren from under water through the 8 inch thick glass wall.

The Festival was at the preview stage, but all the kiosks were open and serving their fares. We visited various countries to have fun on the rides, Bob stopped at Norway to check his schedule for next week, but then our tummies were rumbling. Off to England for fish and chips. It was good and crispy even with the malt vinegar sprinkled on it – very British, don’t you know.

We walked around some more, enjoyed the people and asked questions from many workers. Finally, we grabbed an ice cream bar on our way out, and headed home. What a great day. Thank you, Bob!

Gary completed his on-line web interview, and at the end, they asked him to set up a time and date convenient for a face-to-face interview at Casting! He’ll be wowing them on Thursday, Oct. 7th at 10 am. Wish him luck! (I haven’t heard yet)
Yesterday we went on a search for a shirt for his interview and met some more people in our park. Some of these people have been here 26 years after planning to stay about 3 months. Imagine that! I wonder if that will happen to us somewhere.

Last night was dollar-a-dog/movie night. For a dollar you get a hot dog with all the fixin’s, a bag of chips, a drink and a movie! Even though we had seen Seven Nights, Six Days before, it was fun to meet some more residents, Disney workers and enjoy the evening.

It was cool enough to open the windows all night, and tomorrow after donut/coffee morning is Garage Sale day for some of the locals. We’ll be looking for a big floor fan to put on our patio to keep away those pesky love-bugs.