Monday, March 14, 2011

Old pictures

Since we got the new camera several months ago, the Sony that we relied on so well during vacations has been neglected. Never mind that it is the camera of choice when we want to carry a less bulky, less intrusive camera. So we had the small camera with us Friday when we took our grandson, Kyle, out for his birthday.

I was surprised to see some of the pictures that were taken, only to be long forgotten.

Lorena on the left, Helen and an unknown lady from the campground in Lake Panasoffkee. They organized a trip to the Dinner Theater in Hudson, Florida and Helen and i were invited. We had seats only a few feet from the stage and had a grand time. This was January 22nd and it was COLD!!!

This is the group of RV Dreamers who met for lunch at Smokey Bones in Lakeland on January 31st. In the background, under the big picture is Donna (Froggie) and Stu, who were the organizers. Nearly everyone there is a full timer and it really got me thinking. This is especially true as I continue to work in the yard. Many hours and a lot of aches and pains later and there is not much difference. What I now realize is how much more work awaits.

We had our friend, Lorena, with us for several days while her motorhome was being repaired at a body shop in Leesburg. We dropped her off Friday afternoon on our way to pick up our grandkids in Clermont. I couldn't help but notice the Harley-Davidson sitting there, though it's not really what caught my eye.

While motorcycles are very popular in Florida, especially with the older folks, you don't often see a bike like the one above. Foolishly, I didn't look close enough to get any information, I was just taken with this relic of the past. Someone has put some work into a restoration job that staggers the imagination.

Mostly, though, I can recall seeing some similar bikes and sidecars in WW II and Indiana Jones films and I don't think a fast ride over dirt roads would be that enjoyable. I'm hoping that Sam, Stu, or someone will shed some light on what this is.

This is my grandson, Kyle. Eight years old and counting. He tends to be a quiet fellow when his older brother, Keaton, will leave him alone. The brain in the family he is one of the top students in his grade.

He was a little light on the food, but he sure made up for it with the ice cream. He had me get him a cone and I got him a BIG one by my standards. He went through that one in no time and had his brother get one that dwarfed mine. No room for meat and potatoes, but a bottomless pit for ice cream. We'll be seeing more of him and his brother when they spend spring break with us.

Now I'm back to more mundane things, like cutting up the trees I've taken down. I have to admit that I'm still doing the work, but no longer suffer the aches and pains later. At the library where I work on taxes, one of the librarians thought that I looked like I lost some weight. That's always nice to hear. I think I've earned an ice cream myself.

I think I'm caught up on the blog........for now.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


I know that I have not been on in a while, and it's not that I had nothing to report, it's just that I have been very busy and when I wasn't busy, I was exhausted. No,....Really! Helen still has me taking down trees and vines when I'm not doing taxes for AARP. Then there was the Greek Festival, dinner with the Girls for Helen's Birthday, a visit from my brother, Rick, and his wife, Linda. The pups had the pleasure of a visit from Linda's Maltese, Mya. All the four legged fur babies got along fine. Mya got a little protective when one of ours got close to Linda, but not too aggressive.

Rick, Linda, and Mya.

Rick is my younger brother by two years and if I lost 80 pounds we'd look like twins. He and Linda have a home in Massachusetts and a cottage on Cape Cod. Neither of them offer much when the winter winds blow, so they also have a home in Palm Bay. Rick refuses to retire, so we see them for a few weeks in late October and then a month in February and March. Our cold winter down here doesn't compare to what they have been having up north this year.

Saturday Helen took Rick and Linda to the strawberry festival in Floral City. I was a bit under the weather and chose to stay behind and tend to the four dogs. They passed the Ferris Grove store on the way down and found that the strawberries were $2.00 more at the festival and then you had to carry them back to the car. They chose to stop back at the Ferris Grove store and get the berries there. We had a good time during the weekend just chatting and catching up on family news. Our son Paul (PT) was over and just added to the conversation.

In a previous blog I mentioned the racing boat that one of my friends has. The race was last weekend and Rick and I drove down to Lakeland to have a look. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! it was not some hick race by locals, but a fully sanctioned race of the American Power Boat Association.

This is what greeted us when we first arrived. A race was underway and the noise was incredible. All those blown gas engines with straight exhaust were something to see and hear. I believe the boat above is a "K" class, which has a conventional hull.

Next was a race of hydroplanes, but not the same class that my friend, Glenn, races. These run a lot smoother than the conventional hulls and are much faster.

This is a "Jersey Skiff" and I've never seen these before. They are a riot to watch as they roll and lurch and look like they're going to fall over. They have a 16 foot hull that must meet certain criteria and are powered by a Chevy 283 or 305 cubic inch engine. As you can see here, often the only parts in the water are the propeller and rudder. Also, this class requires a driver and a passenger, both tied into rear seats under the roll cage and strapped in with 5 point harnesses. I understand that in the old days it was common to lose a passenger and sometimes the driver, too.

Another Jersey Skiff

And a third.

This is Glenn's boat waiting for his race.

Taking off to start the heat.

Here "Southern Magic" rounds the final turn before heading across the main viewing area.

Another picture with "Southern Magic" holding it's lead.

Yet another picture

A nice picture of the three leaders heading across the viewing area.

All alone.

This is a great picture, if I do say so myself. Here are the three leaders in the modified 2.5 liter engine class. It was taken well into the race and the three boats are neck in neck going over 130 miles per hour. That is a tight race by any standards. Now, for the rest of the story......

Glenn was ecstatic about his boat's performance. The other two boats are owned by a number of people and many thousands of dollars were spent to make the boats as competitive as they are. I believe that they spent more on their engines than Glenn spent on his whole rig, and it makes Glenn proud that this back-yard mechanic can run with the big dogs. Another thing about this race is that one of the other boats is the national champion and is piloted by the father of the lad the pilots Glenn's boat

Rick and I had a great time and the Lakeland spot was ideal. Although it was not large enough to have the unlimited hydroplanes, like Miss Budweiser, it was a beautiful place. The lake is surrounded by a bicycle/running track with broad grassy shoulders for picnics or viewing the race.

This brings us to Monday. Our Good friend Lorena from New Brunswick, Canada had as altercation with another vehicle while down the Keys. The body work is being done a few miles away and we picked up Lorena to be our guest while the work is being done. It should be done by tomorrow. Tuesday evening we met with Rita and Barb and we all went to "The Cove", for chicken wings. The Barita girls have a passion for those wings, as does Helen. I chose a cheese burger.

Today was a day off from AARP, so I was back to cutting wood and burning. Oh, yeah, it's the day to catch up wit the blog.

I had to move the motorhome so the people next door can have some trees taken down. They were nice enough to let me know that a few of the trees are leaning toward our RV and didn't want to take the chance on something going wrong. When I moved the rig, I notice the rear right outside tire looked flat. In fact, it was flat and it wouldn't register a single pound on the pressure gauge. I pumped it up and took off the valve extender to see where the problem lies. What I really need is another job to do.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hello Barita Girls!!!

I have been accused of falling down on the job of adding to my blog, so I'm saying "HELLO" to Barb and Rita,........HELLO GIRLS!!

I'm also including a couple of pictures from our day at the Greek festival.

Here Rita is giving a fake smile in spite of the poor food at the festival.

Barbara trying to be interested in all that is going on.

Here I am with Alana, who is a friend of Rita's due to Alana's mother or grandmother having gone to school with Rita.

And here is Rita again, cuddling up with the youngest of all the old men at the festival.

Hello Girls!!!