Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kelsey's Train Trip To Jacksonville

I took the train to Jacksonville to visit my sister. Pets are not allowed on trains, but I reserved a roomette and smuggled my little dog along in my suitcase. She is old and gets upset when I go out of town. The above picture was taken as we waited for the train to arrive. The lower photo is of Kelsey as she enjoyed looking out the window of our little room. The drapes were shut to the hallway, but I had to quickly zip my dog back into hiding when the steward delivered my supper. I gave him a good tip and told him I did not want to be bothered after that, and felt more comfortable allowing Kelsey to leave the suitcase and lay on he seat. We shared my dinner and Kelsey enjoyed watching the buildings go by.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Repair TV/Internet Cable

Our internet and cable reception has been sporatic at best. We have had an appointment for the repairmen to fix everything at the end of this month. I wish it were sooner!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Mark and I went to visit a nearby sulpher spring, walked in the water to help heal a staff infection/rash on the top of his right foot. (The doctor saw him mid-week and gave him prescriptions.) The water was clear and icy cold. We left and decided a visit to the beach might also help speed the healing, so we drove to Cocoa, and as we neared, Mark suggested an overnight stay. Oh what fun to get away! We had the clothes we left the house in, a bathing suit, and an extra shirt each, and we rented a room at the timeshare we have a week at each year. The beach was so pretty, the water a little chilly, but we both swam and bodysurfed in the waves. Being unprepared, we had to do a little shopping and got travel sized shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The only item the timeshare offered was soap. We had barbequed chicken for dinner, then holding hands, walked more on the beach before turning in. In the morning we took another beach walk, keeping in ankle deep water for Mark's foot, and I picked up a lot of shells, pieces of sand dollars in the low tide. We had breakfast, then drove home. I worked at the travel agency today from noon-5PM.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Looking at RVs

Mark and I went looking at RVs yesterday. We liked them, but aren't ready to buy. Two decisions were made: I can live without a washer/dryer in an RV and we will get gas, not a deisel.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Laundry, New Medication, Work

I hung a load of laundry on the clothesline at dusk last night and got chewed up by bugs. They bit me on the scalp, arms and ankles, but I got the laundry up before dark. Except for the mosquitoes and gnats, it was quite enjoyable because I watched two deer wander past my back fence. They were just as curious about what I was doing as it was thrilling to be so close to them, maybe 30 yards away. This morning I waited until the sun had been up for a couple of hours before taking the clothes down and hanging another load up. The heat and humidity had already reached the "rolling sweat" stage. I freshened up and hurried to my rheumatologist's office for an appointment at 11. I haven't been doing very well and so my doctor decided it is time for me to take another biological drug, twice monthly shots called Humira. I'm upset that my arthritis has gotten out of control and concerned about the price of the medication, almost $1700 a month. My insurance will pay all but 33%, which leaves me with over $500 due. The drug company offers some assistance, and besides having to pay more than a car payment each month, I am concerned that I will max out my prescription insurance for the year. I'll know more about the coverage on Monday I guess. Until then, I won't fill the prescription. I have pain medication and no pressing physical chores to do, so I'm alright. After seeing the rheumatologist I went to work for Bonnie at the travel agency from noon until 5:30. I didn't want to go to work, but once there, I was so busy, I forgot about myself. On my way home it started raining cats and dogs! Oh no...the clothes on the line. I wonder if they'll be extra soft after being rained on and then air dried again?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Daytona Beach and didn't see the ocean!

Today I went to Daytona Beach for a medical appointment, just the basic bloodwork and quick doctor checkup at the medical testing facility. It turns out that I developed antibodies from the experimental drug I was given a couple of months ago and they wanted some blood to do medical experiments with. This was my last visit for the rheumatoid arthritis study, but they'll call me if I qualify for any other guinea pig trials.

On my way out of Apopka, I delivered some Mary Kay products to a customer, and two doors down, saw my old friend Sue in her front yard. She was happy to join me on the long drive (an hour each way), and we enjoyed a nice flauta lunch at Tijuana Flats after my bloodwork. This was my first time eating at this restaurant, however on July 4th, I did enjoy the company of the owners, the Wheelers, who are parttime neighbors to our friends, whose second home is also in NC. We all sat together at our friend's fire pit, enjoyed cold drinks and toasted marshmallows while the rest of the crew set off fireworks on the street. Nice people.

Like yesterday, I did more laundry, hung on the line outside, and worked on my Mary Kay stuff that still is being reorganized after being evicted from what was my office and is now once again Robert's room. The camper is also getting some attention. It's hot and I really would rather just stay inside and read. I have an appointment to see my rheumatologist tomorrow, plus I am supposed to work at Bonnie's travel agency.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hot Hot Hot

We pulled out the little camper this weekend and popped it open. It's been sitting for over a year and what a mess! Bugs camped out over the winter and left their calling cards, plus that musty Why haven't you opened me in a year? smell just hits you when you go inside. I made the mistake of announcing my plan to vacuum and sanitize everything, and wash whatever I can snap or zip off, plus air out the mattresses. I stepped outside and the heat and humidity smacked me in the face. You could cut the thick hot air with a knife! Never mind. I didn't do as promised. Maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Faker Fish

My little fish is so happy now with his friends the striped danios and the sheepish little ghost shrimp that do all the gravel cleanup. He swims all day and plays hard. He loves his lilly pads and has saddened me several times now, as he is a very heavy sleeper and chooses to lay upon the highest lillypad with half his right gill, eye, and mouth outside of the water with his body hanging loosely in the water. One touch to his body and he is shocked awake and dives into the water, acting disoriented and distressed. You'd think I'd get used to his sleeping style, but it looks like he's floating dead when I get up in the morning. I leave him alone, speak nicely to him and he wakes on his own and flutters free from his plant to begin his day. Sometimes he takes a midday nap this way too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rain, Popcorn, and Movies

The laundry was in the dryer, dishes put away, dinner in the crockpot, and what to do?? I had some movies saved on my DVR, so it seemed like the perfect day to veg out and have fun. I watched my favorite, 50 First Dates, and also another Drew Barrymore movie I'd never seen, Music and Lyrics. It was cute, but not as good as 50 First Dates. The popcorn was yummy. The rain made me sleepy, but that's okay, I've seen 50 First Dates about 50 times, so a little mid-movie snooze is alright.

Rain and Green Pool

We have had daily rain, better known as "liquid sunshine" to us Floridians. It rains almost every day here during this time of the year. I like it because the rain cools everything off from the otherwise roasting temps. So in Florida, instead of a dry sauna, we get a steam sauna. Good for the skin! On the other hand, I am missing my clothesline. I can hang a load in the morning but I better not leave home if it starts to rain. It usually starts around noon though. I'm hearing thunder rumbling right now. The rain does cause havoc on the pool water, an unbalance that creates green algae. I will take a water sample to the pool shop today and get the right chemicals to get things right. While there, I need to get a new vacuum hose, expensive I think, as the current one is probably ten years old and has some cracks, letting air in.

I cook every day now that we have a house full of people here most of the time, and I keep a log of what I made in my dinner blog listed below. If there is a new recipe, it'll be added to my Marty's Family Room's Food site (also listed below).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dinner Party at Del Frisco's

Mark and I were invited to a birthday dinner for the man I work with at VIP Vacations, Bruce, who turned 59. Mark and I went to Costco and bought Bruce a bottle of Franciscan Oakville Cabernet Savignon for $20. We had a nice dinner at Del Frisco's, along with about 20 other friends. Dinner was delicious, but the prices were crazy expensive. Mark had a salad, ribeye steak, and a beer. I had petite (and we're really talking petite here!!) sirloin tips with garlic buttered spaghetti noodles and a glass of water. Total price: $76 plus a $15 tip. We could have made this dinner at home for $20 and I would have gotten some green vegetables with it! All in all, an expensive evening for us. We both had an allergy headache from whatever is blooming and the people at the party weren't my type of people. Young women with old men that had money, a bunch of single women, and I have to say, Mark and I have never seen so much plastic surgery and fake boobs in one room in our lives. One table of 40-ish single women were hooting and hollering, and and one of them sang the Happy Birthday song to Bruce, a la Marilyn Monroe. Nice voice. Mark and I left after dinner and the party continued at Bruce's house. I heard from my friend Bonnie that later that girl pulled up her short dress to show her indecent panties that said something nasty on the front - her gift to Bruce. Bonnie and her husband felt the same as Mark and I did about the people that were there. Bruce has improved, but these are the only people he can attract until he (if he ever) cleans up is own act. It's such a shame too, because Bruce is a nice person. He just must act so obscene when (other) women are around.

Hey There Lonely Boy

My new betta fish, Yul Brenner, seemed so lonely. He just hung around, leaning on his aquarium plant, lovely fins hanging down sadly. I talked to the fish experts online and they suggested that adding other fish is a good idea for a lonely bettas, namely striped danios and ghost shrimp. Mark and I went to Petsmart and bought three ghost shrimp and three danios, which aren't only pleasant fish to bettas, but also the least expensive fish in the store! When we added the new fish to the tank, I fed them very well so nobody would be hungry enough to consider eating their new tankmates. I named the three fish (from largest to smallest) Roger, Ari, and Leena. The ghost shrimp are named Susan, Julie, and Peggy. They all got along swimmingly with Yul Brenner, however I can't account for Peggy, who disappeared overnight. Ghost shrimp are pretty see-through and so he could be hiding, but I am guessing she may have become a meal to a piggy fishy. Yul Brenner is perky and seems much happier. He even comes to the front of the aquarium when I stop for a visit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mom! The toilet's backing up into the shower...

I called the septic tank folks yesterday to set up an appointment to have our septic tank drained. The receptionist asked me when I'd like to have them come by..."Now?" Ok, so I took the next available appointment at 8 AM this morning. This is only the second time in 21 years that we've had to have it drained, and I am happy to announce that our septic system is now empty and healthy for the price of $265. Each month I flush a little packet of yeast into the toilet, and the man told me this is why we've had such luck with our septic tank. It's strange to admit it, but I am excited to get to do laundry after a day of wishing for the huge pile of dirty clothes, towels and sheets to disappear, but we couldn't add more water to the overflowing septic tank.
I went to the grocery store for the first time in over three weeks, and spent $250 for less than two weeks' worth of meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, canned and dry goods, toilet paper, and large jug of bleach to scrub down the shower floor. My grocery bill has grown since Robert moved home. It is not uncommon to have six people at our table for dinner. Robert likes to bring leftovers to work for lunch and so I make sure to have enough for his extra meal when I cook. Dinner tonight was yummy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dark Eyed Junco Babies, Day 2

And then there were three! I reached my camera into the hanging plant while the parents fussed and dive-bombed me. Needless to say, the baby pictures will probably always be fuzzy, but we can see here that there are three little baby birds, with the last one freshly hatched! I sent copies of the adult bird to the local audubon society and they verified that our little birds are Dark Eyed Juncos, formerly known as the Slate Colored Junco.