Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Friday, January 5, 2018

J.D. Here We Come

Wednesday December 20- We were excited to get back here..Jonathan Dickinson State Park. It feels like we are coming home. We had good weather to travel in and not very far to drive. We knew the roads we were traveling on too. We are arriving before our volunteering begins. We are campers until January 1. We are on site 4. It was an easy in site, we have full hook up and 50 amp. We sat up and walked around to see who was here that we knew. We got here just in time, there is a Christmas potluck for the volunteers. We crashed it. They had a good group show up. There was food, games and lots of talking.

It was a fun night. We visited with the ones we knew from last year, and introduced ourselves to the new ones.

Thursday December 21- It was a foggy day to start, after it cleared up it was a beauty of a day. We finished setting up the things we didn't get to yesterday. I sat outside and enjoyed the day. We got a text for Jeffrey and Maren last night. They wanted to bring supper over to our rig tonight. Well we said sure, come on over. They just pulled in today. Usually we will have supper for those that pull in but they had leftovers and we said bring it on over. It was a great dinner and it was nice to get caught up with them. We always compare our mishaps and discoveries. It makes you feel better when you hear others have problems as well. It was another nice night.

Friday December 22- Today we made plans to go to Costco with Jeffrey and Maren. They are members. First we had lunch there. I got a foot long hotdog with a soda for $1.50. Jeff had a chicken thing. Then we did a little shopping. We picked us a up a rotisserie chicken for supper. They have the best ones. They are big, good and only cost $5.00...that's a win win. When I got home I did some laundry and made the sides to go with our chicken.

Saturday December 23- Happy Anniversary to us....40 years. We had plans to first go to a movie. We went and saw Downsizing. It was good but not what we had expected. We came back and made plans for the rest of the evening. Jeffrey and Maren picked us up and we went to Tiki 52, there we met up with Amanda and Kip. After some drinks we went to dinner at Outback. I celebrated with a rum punch there. It was tasty. It was a wonderful anniversary spent with great friends.

Sunday December 24- We started off the day by going to Christmas Eve service at church. We even got dressed up. Kip and Amanda joined us today. Generation Church had a special service set up. They also had special stuff set up outside for the kids. They had snow making services brought in, crafts, hot was very festive indeed. As you walked in to the church they had a donut wall. It just keeps getting better and better. We found our seats and to our surprise it continued to get better. The worship...awesome. The message was awesome too. We all left feeling blessed beyond measure. As we walked out we were greeted by the grinch. We grabbed us a donut for the road and did I say...they were awesome.

We came home and just enjoyed the wonderful weather. Took the dogs for a walk and got stuff ready for our Christmas dinner tomorrow.

Monday December 25- Merry Christmas everyone!! We had a quiet morning. The dogs had fun opening there gifts. It was Miss Ruby's first Christmas so she was quite fun to watch. We talked to the grand kids as well. They told us what they got...very excited.

We made sure we talked to Miss Maddyn our newest member. She had a great Christmas as well.

We had Amanda and Kip join us for Christmas dinner. We had ham, cheesy potatoes, asparagus and hot bread. The food was good but the company made the dinner. So glad we could share a meal with friends. The day was long, it usually is for me. With us being away from the kids I think thats why it seems so long.

Tuesday December 26- Today was a big day for Miss Ruby. We took her over to Peggy Adams Rescue. We set up an appointment on line to have her fixed. Both Jeff and I were a bit nervous. When we pulled up to the place we were both very impressed. You can tell it is well run and we felt pleased with our choice. We left Ruby and we went home for the day. I can tell you today was longer than yesterday for sure. We were to go back at 5 o'clock to pick her up. We wasted the day. We couldn't wait to get back over there to pick her up.

We were very happy to get our girl back. She was a bit upset with us for sure. We now have our hands full trying to keep her quiet. We held her all night long. She did good.

Wednesday December 27- Miss Ruby almost slept all night. She woke up at 4 a.m. and I just couldn't listen to her whine. She seems a little more spunky today, so that's good. We are having a hard time keeping her settled down. We had company for happy hour, Jeffrey and Maren came over. We also got to watch the Iowa Hawkeye's play and win in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Thursday December 28- Ruby tried to get up early again today. I just told her to lay back down and she did. It was a nice day outside so I spent a lot of time outside with Ruby in her play pen. She really likes to be outside. I also got my quilt out and started back on that.

Friday December 29- It's very gray misty and cool out today. We had planned to go to The Twisted Tuna today for happy hour. We weren't sure we were going to go because it's so chilly. We went for it. First we stopped at Aldi's then on to happy hour. We met Amanda and Kip, we also met Gator and Chris. They are volunteers at the park. They are just finishing up there gig here. It was a bit chilly sitting outside but they had some heaters going so that helped.

There was live music, special prices on pizza, drink specials and we had great company. It is a nice place but if the weather was better I'm sure it would be a great place. We will be visiting this place again....for sure. Our friends left before us because they were on motorcycles. We had a heater in our truck.

Saturday December 30- It was a gray and gloomy day. It rained a bit off and on. I decided to make a trip in to town to get a few things. I wanted to get some pictures printed off to make a scrapbook of our new granddaughter. The good news is by the afternoon the weather had improved. We had made plans to go to Tiki 52. Jeff and I rode our bikes and brought Ruby with us. We met Gator and Chris, Jeffrey and Maren, Kip and Amanda. We were having such a good time we stayed longer than we should have. It was kind of dark for our bike ride home. We have lights but Ruby kept putting her head in the way blocking my light. I don't want to ever do that again. We noticed a bump on Ruby's incision and we were concerned about that. We called the emergency number they gave us, I left a message and they called back with in the hour. They made me feel a bit better about it. We will be watching it closely.

Sunday December 31- New Years Eve....we started the day at church. It was another great message. We headed right home because today we are moving to our volunteer spot. We will be in site V-1. This is the same spot we had the first year we were here. We loaded up the truck with stuff first and brought it over. I didn't have to take apart my swing chair or pack away some stuff. We got moved without any problem. Then we got busy setting up our site. Jeff wanted to make sure everything was just right since we will be here until April 15. We got everything set up pretty good. Then at about 5 o'clock we went to Gator and Chris's site. They are having a new years eve happy hour. There were a lot of the volunteers there and we had some beverages, snacks, a campfire and even some moonshine. It was a fun evening. We did not stay up to bring in the New Year but we sure finished the year up in a nice way. Happy New Year everyone. I hope you have a healthy happy new year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

At Home at Lion Country Safari

Saturday December 9- Jeff and I were excited for today. Ashton and family are in Minnesota at a hockey tournament. They are going to live stream it. We will be able to watch him play on the big screen. He has 2 games today. Jeff spent the morning making sure we were set up for that. The first game was at was so exciting and Ashton and his team did a great job with a 5-0 win. We even got to see Ashton score a goal. I have to admit this is one thing I miss about being away from home. Technology is a good thing. We hung around the park most of the day. Then we watched the second game. The technology thing went a bit haywire. We missed the first period, then it came on. We were a bit confused because they changed jerseys. We didn't realize that at first. It was another exciting game. They actually had a come from behind win. They pulled it out with a 6-3 win. Tomorrow they will play in the championship game....go Blizzard!!!

Sunday December 10- We had a cold front come through last night. Ruby woke up early and we figured she was cold. It was 44 degrees this morning...brrrrr. This morning we left to go pick up a rental car. We are getting it for a week. I'm flying back to Iowa and leaving out of Punta Gorda. It's a 2 hour plus drive one way. It's going to be better for us all around to get the car. We got a Volkswagen Jetta. We both really like the car. We drove over to park the truck at the dog track and drove over to church. We ended up going to second service which was new to us. We usually attend the first service. We came home stopping at the dog track to get our truck. While we were there we went in just to watch a couple races..

Made our way home, we didn't want to miss that game. They didn't disappoint, Ashton scored 2 goals and they played great. It was a 6-1 win....

Monday December 11- I did some running around today. It is a whole lot easier buzzing around in this little car. I went to the post office and mailed out my Christmas ornaments. I have been getting stuff packed up for my flight on Wednesday.

Wednesday December 13- I didn't sleep that good, never do when I have to travel the next day. My flight leaves at 12:30, they want you there 2 hours early. It takes a little over 2 hours to get to the airport from here so we left plenty early. I'm only taking a backpack with me. Jeff dropped me off and then I sat to wait. Got on the plane it was blue sky and sunny. The flight seemed to last forever. As we were making our way through the clouds to land in Iowa all I could see was gray and gloomy looking skys. Just a little different from what I left. The winds were blowing like crazy so the landing was a bit interesting to say the least. Really happy to be on the ground. Seth picked me up and took me to Justin's house. Justin was still at work but Molly and Maddyn were there. I got in there and couldn't wait to grab that baby girl.

Well the rest of this day was spent passing the baby. You see the parents are both having a hard time sitting her down. I will have to say I had the same problem. She is a princess and so very tiny. I think we'll keep her.

Thursday December 14- Justin and I went to the store last night so I had some things I wanted to get done this morning. Justin took the next 2 days off. I decided to make them some homemade chicken noodles. It's perfect weather for those. Justin did some running and when he got back I took his truck and did my Christmas shopping. I found everything I had on my list.  I got back and then when Ashton and Hailey got home from school I made my way over to see them. They have busy schedules so I needed to slip in there for a quick visit. It was really good to see them and get some hugs and kisses.

Ashton had to get going to hockey practice and Hailey off to gymnastics so I went back to Justin and Molly's to snuggle with Maddyn and make my noodles. There also was a Blackhawk's game so we got ready to watch that. I didn't get to watch it all because I went to pick up Hailey at her gymnastics. That way I got to see her do her routines that she is preparing for competition. 

Hailey has really been working hard I can see a lot of improvement. She loves to have an audience.

I brought Hailey back to her house and waited for Katie to get back for hockey with Ashton. Then I went back to Justin's. It is really cold outside. I'm a big baby. I ended staying up kind of late for me but when you looking at a newborn baby the time flys by.

Tuesday December 15- After staying up late, I got up early. I was the only one up. I got my Christmas presents wrapped and sugar cookie dough made up. Tonight we are going to frost cookies with the kids and do a little early Christmas. Justin and Molly left to go shopping, I was in charge of the baby. I thought I would get some pictures of Maddyn. She is really a good baby.

She is so good that I even got some things done while watching her. They weren't gone that long, just a few hours. Then I got busy cutting out and baking cookies to have them ready for frosting when the kids showed up. I also helped wrap gifts...I love to wrap presents.

Seth, Katie and the kids showed up and we got busy frosting. Then we ordered pizza for supper. It was a great evening. Then Hailey couldn't wait any longer for gifts. We passed them out and had at it.

Everyone had a great time. It was really good to see everyone and give them there gifts in person. Ashton was acting weird, I think he was tired. They went on home. Justin, Molly and I played a game before heading off to bed. Tomorrow back to the airport and home to the sunshine. It was a good visit and I'm glad I got to meet Maddyn.

Saturday December 16-Woke up super early. My flight was at 9:30 and of course they want you there early. Well Justin drove me in and then I waited to board. The flight this time was way better and seemed way quicker too. We took off early and landed early. Jeff wasn't even in the airport when I called him. He had just parked the car. We headed toward home to see the pups. I missed them. We hung around there for awhile. We had to return the rental car so Jeff had planned dinner out after. It was super easy to return the car. Then we drove to West Palm to a place Jeff saw online. It was really busy downtown so parking was tough. We ended up paying for parking. It wasn't the paying that was bad but getting in the parking lot. They had these curbs which made it very difficult getting in without scuffing your tires. We got in found a spot and walked to the restaurant, The Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen. It was packed. We found a place to sit, the live music wasn't our favorite and so loud. We had a pizza and then went to walk around downtown. It was super festive with lights and activities. We didn't know this was all going on...just luck. 

We walked a few blocks and this is what we found. They had snow falling on the hour. They were setting up for a band, so we decided to hang around for that. To our surprise we had seen this band down in the Keys last year. They were really good and it was a fun evening. I was really tired so we didn't stay for the whole show. I was ready for sleep in my own bed.

Sunday December 17- Today we had to go pick up some batteries for the truck. Jeff ordered them on line and was just picking them up at the store. It wasn't without issues, but it turned out fine. We got them in and headed toward home with one stop at the store. I got what I needed to start on my baking for Christmas. Justin sent me some pictures of Maddyn, she had her first photo shoot today and it looks like she did great.

Hailey had her first competition today, Seth sent us videos. She didn't do as good as she wanted but we thought she looked great...what do them judges know? 

Monday December 18- Today was a lot of baking. I got laundry, hair cuts done too. The day went fast but it was a productive one.

Holiday Baking

Tuesday December 19- We started packing stuff up today. We move tomorrow. We put the kayaks and bikes up. Then we have our other stuff. We got a lot done and are looking forward to getting back to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We are going to be campers until our volunteering starts on January 1. We are going to miss this park for sure. We love all the wild noises. Jeff and I both loved this park and were surprised that we liked it so much....we will be back.