Wednesday, January 31, 2007


It's starting to rain again, but the temperature is much better than it has been. However, the day was quite nice and we went on an adventure with our friends from Maryland. The sky was blue, as was the water, and the sand was snow white. We walked out on the pier and could see the bottom of the gulf all the way out to the end. It was very clear and looked so clean and refreshing. At the end of the pier I took a picture of this old man bundled up in a parka with the fur ruff around the hood. He also had a scarf around his neck, a heavy flannel shirt, and gloves on. He was fishing for something or another, but I wonder if he wasn't really just enjoying the sunshine after many days of clouds.

We then went to the nearby Navy base to eat lunch at their mess hall which I believe is called a galley? Anyhow, the charge was $7.25 per couple. The offerings were: fruits, macaroni salad, green salad with many choices of additional ingredients, soups, stir fry, brown rice, noodles, gravy, meatloaf, baked chicken, beets, and numerous kinds of cakes. The drink (soda, tea, milk, coffee etc) was included in the price. It was very good.

Then I spent the next two hours in the laundry room. Not a lot of fun, but it is nice to have all the clothes clean and folded. Guess it's time to put them all away and curl up with a good book and listen to the rain on the roof of the RV. Nite Nite.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Okay. So I wrote about someone who didn't need glasses, but had his eyes tested and ordered glasses anyhow, and they worked well and he could see better, but he really didn't need them. Today he went back to the eye glasses place and COMPLAINED that his glasses WEREN'T STRONG ENOUGH! So the man who didn't need glasses, got them, apparently to please me because he certainly didn't need them, but they aren't strong enough. Do you understand this? Me neither!

I hope we do something exciting soon because I have nothing to write about except his glasses and the weather. Pretty boring stuff. And it's still cold.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Another weather related blog. I just checked the Seldovia, Alaska web site and saw the temperature was 42 degrees. It's 41 here in Florida. I don't believe it!


Just so you Minnesota people know, it's cold here in Florida too. When hubby went for his walk this morning, there was ice on the puddles left from Saturday's rain. And this is Florida, folks! At least they don't warn us of the wind chill!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Last week I wrote that hubby actually spent money to order "real" glasses. After wearing the government issued ones for a week he was glad when the new ones came in yesterday. We went to the base and picked them up, he hung them on his ears at noon, and only took them off when he went to bed! I was proud of him! This morning when he took off on his walk (5 miles) he also wore them and has kept them on ever since. He finds he can see the world so much better. Know what he said though? "I don't really need them!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Last night I felt like we were live participants in the game of "Where's Waldo?" as we drove around the town, back and forth on the same roads, for almost an hour, looking for a hamburger place. We have met a very nice couple from Maryland and after hearing scores of other retirees talk about the wonderful hamburgers at this place, the four of us decided to check it out. We went armed with directions to go down the Business branch of the highway, go past the stinky factory, and turn right by the two abandoned gas stations, and it would be right there in the right. We found tons of closed gas stations, but no two on the same corner. We finally stopped at an open gas station, hubby went in to ask, came out shaking his head, and approached several people in the parking lot for directions. A woman seemed to know what she was talking about, so we followed her suggestions. Go back to the regular highway, not the business branch, go to such and such a road, and turn left, and it was right there in the left. We couldn't find it and finally pulled into another gas station where our friend rolled down his window and asked a fellow who looked like he would frequent this joint we were looking for. He gave us other directions which involved going back in the direction we had come and turn at the second light after Wal-Mart and it was right there. Nope. Finally my friend and I went into a drug store there at that corner and asked for directions. The young clerk we were talking to took things into her own hands. She found the phone book, looked up the number and called them and asked directions from where we were. We got in the car and drove right to the place. It was one block off the very first road we were on!

We walked in, found out that we only had ten minutes to order, quickly did so and found a spot to sit. Our burgers came in just a couple of minutes. And they were nothing special.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Today is my best friend's birthday. My friend has stood by me through thick and thin for 42 years, no easy task I'm sure, and for this deserves my eternal thanks. I am very vocal, and I can rant and rave on one subject for hours. My friend knows when to shut up and just let me yell. My friend treats me with respect and honor, even when I am not respectful or honorable. This friend of mine is so very kind and loving to my mother and sister, and actually enjoys hanging out with three strong opinioned women, no easy feat I'm sure. My friend loves the kids and grandkids more than anything in this world and I have no doubt in my mind that he would lay down his life for them or for me.

My friend is not perfect, but I am also far from perfect. Life hasn't always been a bed of roses for us, but we have always found the silver lining in any situation. So today on hubby's 64th birthday, I want to say: Thank you for being you. Thank you for being the husband and father you have been. Thank you for loving me. And thank you for being my best friend. I love you.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


This morning we were up and out of the house by 8:45. We picked up the gal next door and drove out of the campground and down the highway a short way to the Base Rec Center. There were about 20 of us retirees reporting for duty as volunteer workers for the morning. The purpose of the cleanup day was to pass the upcoming inspection. We were briefed on the jobs they hoped to get finished today, then split up into crews and off we went to work. Most of the men went outdoors to rake, haul lumber, and do the manly jobs of lifting and moving the heavy items. Us women stayed indoors and started in on the rental equipment room. I took on the task of organizing life vests, flippers and goggles. The life vests were to be lined up along the shelf, blue, green, pink, then yellow. That was pretty simple, and I finished quickly and moved on to the flippers. They were stored in cubby holes in a shelving unit, and were all mixed up, one blue XL with one pink S, or two purples, one S and one L. I washed each cubby hole before storing them away in order, by color, and then by size within color. The last task was just to straighten out the goggles, again arranging them by color and size. This is the type of thing I like to do, organize. (Yes, I store my spices in alphabetical order.) The work wasn't very difficult, and we finished in about two and a half hours. Many hands makes light work.

We then found out that they were going to treat us to lunch so we sat and visited until the manager arrived with the stack of pizza boxes and drink cartons. They thanked us and told us that on a nice day in the near future they would invite us back for a pontoon boat ride over to Shell Island. All in all, I think we volunteers came out ahead......lunch and an afternoon trip in the bay in exchange for a couple of hours of pretty easy work.

Friday, January 19, 2007


This probably wouldn't be exciting to most of you who are visited 6 days a week by the postman, but we have mail! We use a mailing service in South Dakota that provides us with an address, and gathers our mail, and then when we request it to be sent, they do that. We haven't had mail since before Christmas so this box contains a lot of Christmas cards that were sent after folks got our cards with our new address. I'm going to have a fun afternoon reading mail and I hope everyone who sent a card also wrote a letter!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Hubby picked up his free government issue glasses yesterday and found that he can see again. So today we went and ordered a better looking pair. He wants me to tell you that he paid $239 for them, not the usual $1 at the Dollar Store.

Benefits of having glasses:

1. He can see the speedometor and read the other gauges on the dashboard.
2. He can read street signs, speed limit signs and highway number signs.
3. He can see the information printed on the remote buttons.
4. He can push one of those buttons and can read the information that shows up on the TV screen.

However, when he leans way back in his recliner, he can't see the TV screen very well through the bifocals. Such problems.


Hubby and I had dreamed about traveling in an RV for years, but I wouldn't commit to it for a long time. I knew I would miss my family and friends terribly and I just didn't think that I would be able to do it because I would be too lonesome. Well, we're doing it! Oh, I'm still lonesome. Sometimes really lonesome. On those days I have a good cry, hubby is usually pretty understanding, and I grab the cell phone and call my mom, one of the kids, or a friend. This past weekend we talked with our two daughters and two of our sons in Minnesota. We called the other son in Minnesota, but apparently he was "up north" which means he was ice fishing, and son's wife was busy, but hubby talked with our grandson for a few minutes. We also talked with the son in North Dakota, and with the son in Alaska. All this within two days! It was great. We call my mom at least once, usually more often, each week. We called her this weekend to tell her of our latest adventure, not to make her jealous, but because that is the time we miss her the most. We used to take her and my sister on long rides, often on Sunday afternoons, and we know she misses those special times as much as we do.

Email is also a wonderful tool we use daily. Hubby has his circle of old Air Force buddies that he corresponds with, usually just sending jokes back and forth. I have my work friends that keep me posted on the latest happenings at the college. I get many announcements and news items from the gals, and I even had them send me a copy of the Dean's List so I could see who made it this semester! We had an emailed picture within hours of our grandson's first deer and our granddaughter's engagement ring!

We read the hometown newspaper daily and check the Grand Forks Herald, the Anchorage Daily News, and the little Seldovia weekly newspaper so we can keep up on the happenings where our kids are living. Once in awhile we see an article on someone we know, and often see items on the sports teams from the college. The college has 4 webcams that we watch to see what's happening as it's happening! The tiny fishing village of Seldovia, Alaska, also has 4 webcams, and we check there to see what the weather is doing or if the ferry is at the city dock. We even read the police report and city manager's report because we got to know them when we were visiting there this past summer.

I also read several blogs. I love my daughter's blog and enjoy the pictures of my grandkids that she often posts. I also read a blog written by a gal who moved unto the street where we used to live, three written by other gals I've met, and three written by people I haven't met but feel attached to because of our similar life travels with large families and adopted kids.

Also on my list to check daily are many CaringBridge sites. What a wonderful way to stay informed on the progress of those people who have been given some real tough situations in life. It also reminds me to pray for those folks as I read the updates. I check on a sweet little boy with a rare type of brain growth, a gal from our college who was in a terrible car accident, a woman who developed a brain illness while pregnant, and a pair of twins born too soon and too small. All of these people are doing quite well. And I read updates on a happier subject: my daughter-in-law's friend is in Guatamala to bring home her new little son. They have written a couple of updates and posted pictures of their precious baby.

Add to all this the ability to pay bills, transfer money, and check accounts, and you can see that technology has made it a lot easier for me to be off traveling, but to still stay connected with my regular world.

Three cheers for technology!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I guess I should report that it's no longer 75 degrees. It started out pretty warm this morning, but the temperature went down all day long. I think it's only about 45 now, with a low of 40 expected for the night. Highs only in the upper 50's tomorrow and most of the week. See, we get cooler weather too! (I just saw that it feels like 20 below back home. BRRRR!)

We came up for the potluck again tonight. I brought the broccoli, bacon, raisin, red onion, and grape one, and there is not a drop left. It's a good thing I didn't bring my bean dish tonight as there were about 6 different bean dishes on the table. None as good as mine, however!

Tomorrow I'm coming up to the clubhouse to the craft afternoon. One of the gals is going to show us a jacket she made, and will give out the instructions if anyone wants to make one. I think it's one where you buy a long sleeved T-shirt or sweatshirt, and then cut it down the front and sew strips of fabric on it to make a quilted look jacket. We'll see what it looks like before I decide for sure if I want to make it. I probably wouldn't have to buy any fabric to make it because I have plenty along in the RV. You know the saying: she who dies with the most fabric wins!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Our Pastor mentioned this in church this morning: We're all washed up! He based his statement on Titus 3:5-6 "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior......" Yes, we are all washed up! Thank God!

He also put it another way: God doesn't work at WalMart. God is not a clerk, standing at the register, taking our righteous deeds in payment for His blessings. Of course, we have no righteous deeds....nothing we can bring in payment. Salvation is our free gift as Titus continues in verse 7: " that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

It was a beautiful sermon today. And we sang my grandma Otto's favorite hymn:

Built on the rock, the church doth stand, even when steeples are falling.
Crumbled have spires in every land, bells still are chiming and calling.
Calling the young and old to rest, but above all the souls distressed,
Longing for rest everlasting.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Today we went on a nice adventure to St. George Island State Park, about 70 miles south along the coast from where we are in Panama City. From the town of Apalachicola to Magnolia Bluff we took a highway/bridge across the Intercoastal Waterway.....a 5 mile long bridge! Then just a couple of miles further up we took another highway/bridge from Eastport to St. George Island. That one was only 4 1/2 miles long. The Island is a long narrow strip of sand dunes with a State Park on the far eastern end. We saw this cute bird standing on the sand and he didn't move when I took several pictures of him. The feathers on the front of his neck were long and loose, and they waved in the breeze and looked like a fluffy beard. Of course when I took a picture the breeze stopped!

The waves were quite active today. In fact there were warnings to be careful along the beach.

These homes, right on the beach, were strung out like this, right next to each other, for as far as the eye could see. I think they look like birdhouses!

As you can see, the weather was beautiful! I understand that most of our family is not having quite the same weather as we are. Did I hear something like 40 below wind chill in North Dakota? I'm sorry. (Not!)

100th POST

I tried to think of something really exciting for this, my 100th post, and this is what I came up with:


Sorry. I just had to do it after I heard all the below zero temperatures this morning on FOX News.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This huge downed tree was blocking the path when we took our walk yesterday. Hubby said it was gone today when he went down that path. I guess it was rotten in the middle, and during the heavy rains it just fell over.

To make up for all my whining about the humidity lately, I must write this blog about the beautiful weather we are having today. When I woke up this morning I knew immediately that something had changed. My arms were cold! I loved it! I went to the living room, wrapped up in the soft fluffy blanket that my grand daughter Katie gave me for Christmas, turned on FOX News, and cuddled in my chair. Hubby made coffee and oatmeal, and both tasted extra good on a cool morning.

Because I hate to sweat, I decided this was a good morning to clean the RV. I put on the new sheets I had bought with money my mom gave us for Christmas, and stuffed the comforter into the new duvet I bought with the gift card my dear friend Lisa gave me. The duvet is a rich chocolate brown and the sheets are a rich cream color. It really looks nice. I have a beautiful soft throw that I bought in the Amana colonies and that is the exact color of the creamy sheets, so I threw that across the bottom of the bed. I fluffed the cream and chocolate pillows and tossed them in place, and we have a brand new bedroom! The room is still only about 6 inches bigger than the bed, but it sure looks classy!

We had to get a few ingredients for the bean dish that I wanted to make for the Tuesday night pot luck tonight, so we ran to the commissary. It was already way after noon, so we also had a sandwich and a glass of water at the food court in the BX. I have opened the 6 cans of different beans, fried the bacon and hamburger, chopped the huge sweet onion, and mixed in the other ingredients and the beans are now bubbling away in the crockpot. NUMMY! The potluck is usually a lot of fun, although it isn't good for anyone who is trying to watch what they eat. Maybe I can fill half my plate with beans and then I won't have room for much else. Beans are healthy, right?

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It started raining again about the time we went to bed last night, and it poured all night long. This morning the rain stopped, but the fog was so thick that we could hardly see the water under the bridge on the way to church. The sun came out after church and heated all this water up, so the humidity rose with the temperatures. And now it's looking like the sky is going to open up and dump again any moment. Did I tell you before that I do not like humidity?

After church we went to the Olive Garden for a very cheap lunch. We both had the soup and salad and a glass of water for the total cost of $12.80. We had a gift card for $10 that my sister gave us for Christmas. So we had a very good lunch for $2.80. Thanks Lois! Oh, he did leave a tip, too, but it's still a cheap lunch.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I knew there was a reason that I was dragging my feet about spending much time in Florida. It's called humidity. And I do not like it. Yesterday was really humid, but it wasn't too warm so I didn't complain too much. Then it warmed up and rained. All day today. Inches worth of rain. It finally stopped about 5 pm and we went for a walk, and it was awful. The humidity must still be about 90%. Wonder if hubby will let me turn on the air conditioning tonight? Probably not as he's wearing a sweat shirt.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


HUBBY TO DOCTOR: I can see fine for distance and just need reading glasses for up close work, but my wife says I need glasses.

DOCTOR AFTER EXAMINING HUBBY'S EYES: YOUR WIFE IS RIGHT! Now you'll be able to read street signs, too.

ME: I told you so!

There is only one problem. The doctor wants him to wear these free glasses for awhile to make sure the prescription is correct. There is no choice of frame. I'm guessing they are the lined biofocal lens in a thick brown hornrimmed frame. We'll find out in two weeks when they come in.


To our 7 kids, their spouses and kids, and to all other relatives and friends to whom this means something: Their stubborn blind father/brother/friend etc. is getting his eyes checked today! He claims that they will just tell him to keep going to the dollar store to buy his glasses like he has for the past 15 years. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


We went down to the beach this afternoon to take a walk along the shore. It was a mess! Pieces of wood, broken shells, beer cans, a jacket, a towel, 4 pairs of sun glasses, 3 dried up jelly fish, bones, assorted claws and jaws, fishing line, pieces of plastic, a fork, suntan lotion bottle, and many other items had been tossed up from the depths of the gulf unto the beautiful white sand on the shore. It was ugly. The beach is always so clean, so there must have been unusual wind and waves to create such a line of junk along the high tide line. The pictures below are the usual sights we see, not this one on the right.


The leader of the senior exercise group here at Tyndall AFB reminds me so much of my dear friend Audrey. There is a pool table in the center of the room with folding chairs arranged in 3 rows of a half circle in front of it. On the table is a large sheet of plywood, with a folding chair on top of it. Off to the side is a music stand with the list of today's exercises, a bottle of water, a purple exercise elastic band, and front and center is Audrey's much older sister, microphone in front of her mouth.

"Put the band under your arms and around your back. Tighten your grip, put your feet shoulders apart, and we're going to punch to the count of 24! ONE, TWO, THREE, ETC....." She starts the counting out loud and everyone joins in. As they count she tells them about the latest article she read on nutrition, heart health, diabetes, exercise, and all things healthy, never breaking a sweat or getting out of breathe.

"Now give yourself a big hug. Doesn't that feel good? Everyone needs hugs, and who better to hug you than yourself! Now you can sit down and take a drink of water. Now put your left foot way out to the left side and your arms way off to the right. Feel the stretch? Isn't that great?" And on and on and on.

Off to the right is a table of older men, drinking their coffee and criticizing every move the exercisers make, actually saying they are doing it wrong! Way over to the left are three men hunched over a computer, either trying to make something work or installing the latest phone connection. Some of these guys are really computer geeks in a grandpa's body. And in the far corner is a 1000 piece puzzle spread out on the table with a couple of retirees bent over the pieces, trying to get the frame finished before lunch.

And up on the pool table it continues: "Put your right elbow into the crotch of your left elbow. Try to hold your hands and pull. Now stand and we'll do our three way leg stretch. Hold onto your chair, bring your back foot in and................................"

Love you Audrey! You will still look great up there at 72!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


It seems that Christmas is but a memory in the minds of the retirees here at Tyndall AFB. We walked up to the club to check email and found the naked Christmas tree shoved off into the corner by the fireplace, and a shriveled up poinsettia on the green plastic potluck tablecloth waiting to be tossed into the garbage can. Around the window is a string of white, pink and red hearts twinkling where a week ago the red and green Christmas lights took center stage. Cardboard cutouts of cheribs holding red hearts dangle from the coffee bar, and a kitty in a black tophat decorated with tiny hearts swings from the red and white Christmas garland that must have been deemed appropriate to also use for a Valentine decoration. The mantle over the fireplace is no longer festooned with greens and berries, and the bare electrical cords of the TV set are now out in the open, an eysore for all to see. I just pray that the real meaning of Christmas will remain in our hearts longer than the festive ornaments decorated the clubhouse.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year to everyone! We have returned to the sunshine and warm temperatures of Panama City, Florida. We flew home to Minnesota for Christmas and I wanted to have snow when I was there. There was none. Until last night when we were sitting on the plane at the gate for over an hour. Then it snowed so they had to plow the runways and de-ice the plane before we could take off, over an hour late. Naturally we missed our connection in Memphis, but we were inpressed with the organization and precision of the rebooking process. As we stepped off the plane they directed us to gate 35 where they had already printed new tickets, new boarding passes, and coupons for a night's stay at the Holiday Inn, and for dinner and breakfast. The motel was quiet, and we heard no New Year's Eve celebrating at all. (And I was awake so if it had been going on, I would have heard it.)

We had a sorry excuse for breakfast, complete with bad coffee, before heading to the airport for our flight to Panama City. It was a small plane, and we were seated in row 2, so even the turbulance didn't bother me as much as it did in the back rows of the bigger plane. We had met a young Air Force man last night who was also heading to Panama City, and we hooked up with him again this morning. He was from Morris, Minnesota, had gone to college in Duluth, and we found out he was a WELS Lutheran. He was the nicest young man and he offered us a ride back to our RV storage place, saving us the $30 cab ride. We eagerly accepted and he drove us right to our truck and RV. Thank you so much!

So today was going well, we thought. Then I got into the RV and was so upset I cried. There was evidence that a mouse had enjoyed our RV while we were gone (I refuse to say the plural of the word) and it immediately threw me into cleaning mode. All the counters and other flat surfaces have been scrubbed down with bleach. Hubby vacuumed. I changed the sheets on the bed and cleaned the sinks. We headed to WalMart and bought two kinds of traps, the sticky cardboard kind, and the regular snap kind. We have set up 8 traps in our little space, and I will leave them up until we catch someone or at least until we have made sure that no one is still around. I absolutely hate those critters!

The campground has filled up considerably in the last two weeks, and we had to take a spot with just electricity and water, no sewer connection. I understand that several rigs are leaving in the next few days, so we should be able to move back to a full connection site. Tomorrow we will head to the commissary to replenish the frig and cupboards. We gave away all the butter, salad dressing, ketchup, etc that was in the frig, so are sitting on empty now. We bought the making for spaghetti when we were at WalMart so will have that for dinner. And we have wonderful chocolate bars for dessert. Thank you Chris! Love that dark chocolate!