Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

Friday afternoon we got a call from our son, Scott, saying that the family would be up during the weekend as 15 year old Branden, with his learner's permit wanted to get in some driving time. Helen suggested Sunday and plan for dinner. Helen prepared a major dinner of ham, potatoes, corn on the cob, and more. She baked a berry pie Saturday afternoon and I followed with a batch of brownies made just the way I like them, cake like instead of chewy and with walnuts. They rolled in a little after two and were not rattled, so apparently Branden did a good job driving here from the Tampa area.

The two older kids, Branden and Kourtnie arrived with laptops in hand and immediately set up on the counter. They quickly connected to my wifi and between their computers and their phones, were in close contact with the world outside of Inverness.

Branden, set up and keeping tabs on the world news.

Kourtnie probably keeping tabs on her circle of friends. Out of sight doesn't mean out of touch.

Kolbie, just keeping out of mischief.........for now.

Here Scott is watching Kolbie make another jump in the pool.

This is the same jump a fraction of a second later. You can see the three dogs wanting to get into the pool. As the kids would run around the pool, the dogs would run from one side to the other, trying to get in a door. Unfortunately, the dogs don't work out well with people in the pool as they tend to scratch the people while trying to play with them.

Later on during the same dive. I love the burst function of the camera allowing a machine gun effect as the pictures are taken at a rate of almost 4 per second.

Now it's off the diving board. Kolbie doesn't know the word "fear". He doesn't know the word "moderation" either.

The underwater light burned out. Replacement requires someone (but NOT ME) to unscrew and remove the module. Water is 82 degrees........WAY TOO COLD for Gramps to be in the pool. I could have done the job, as I have a wet suit and hood that would make it bearable. I kid you not! It's wet suit time until the water nears 90 degrees. I really appreciated Branden's help.

OK, work is done...... back to enjoying the diving board.

This is Branden and his Tugboat. We bought it for him about 15 years ago and it has been the vehicle of choice for him, Kourtnie, Keaton, Kolbie, and Kyle, in that order, I think. The original seat fabric rotted many years ago from immersion in the chlorinated water. Helen's Mom made a new one that has lasted ever since. Helen and i thought it might be time to pass it along to someone else, but Branden and Kolbie had so much fun with it that we may have to reconsider. What used to be Branden's Tugboat has now become his submarine when he puts his weight on it.

Kourtnie, Branden and Kolbie in a family jump.

You gotta keep up your social contacts or become a cast off!

Heather, seeming to be enjoying the day. In fact, it was an excellent day with nary a bad word between the kids, or between the parents and kids, or between the grand parents and kids and grandkids.

Would you please not stand in front of the TV? I'm trying to watch the Atlanta / Orlando basketball game!

Oops, almost a smile! It just slipped out when she wasn't concentrating

Branden refused to pose for a picture with his Mom while the big game was on. He claimed that he wasn't really rooting for Orlando, when Orlando lost, he didn't want to pose at all. Obviously Mom had an other idea.

Easter turned out to be an exceptional day. The weather was perfect. The kids and dogs were all well behaved, though Coco was a bit frustrated to see the pool in use and not be a part of it. The food was excellent, but there is too much pie and too many brownies leftover. Oh my!

Scott and at least the boys will be back during the week to do some 4 wheeling in Scott's Jeep out in the state forest. I imagine Branden will do much of the driving. I guess were going to do some geocaching too.

More later.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Today was the day that many of the AARP tax people gathered for the annual picnic. First, P.J. Cooper should be commended for the great job she did putting the whole thing together. Paul could have been more helpful if he'd watch himself on the ladder. I thank both of them. Second, I apologize right now for not having remembered the names of the attendees and spouses. My bad!

Leo and Spouse taking it easy (see apology above).

Helen and Leo in mortal
Blongoball combat!

Taking score from the other side. It might not be fair.....PJs husband, Paul, is the score keeper.

Sitting around and NOT talking shop.

Oh Boy, Names...Al, Rebecca, and John's head.

With no dogs in attendance, I had to find a four legged friend somewhere!

Aha! So that's where they've been hiding the snacks!

And we thought the tax season was over!!! Some people are determined to make it last.

Wadda ya mean I'm slow? I'm not slow, I'm thorough!!!

It's not eye-hand coordination, it's the facial contortion that helps the throw.

Joe is taking measurements and PJ is doing the QR. Soon they'll be turning these out by the hundreds.

This is just like being at the Lakes Library. Eileen is earnestly telling Bob something and Bob is not really paying any attention at all.

Blongo Ball...a spectator sport............who knew???

Oh, I hope Bill doesn't hurt himself.

Hurt myself?...Hurt myself??? Watch this Maddy!

Sherry, looking for a way to exit gracefully.

All kidding aside, it appeared the everyone was enjoying the picnic. Everyone was engaged in conversation. There was way more than enough food and drink and the weather was nearly perfect. My thanks again to those who put this together.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Over 96 degrees today!

Yes, it was a short Spring as we are now into the sweltering heat of Summer, but Summer is still months away. We are still in the process of working around the property. Helen is busy planting flowers and putting in plugs of grass. She's trying very hard to cover all the bald spots in the lawn caused by the last two cold winters. I hope it works and I also hope that we have a couple of more temperate winters.

I am still in the process of taking down trees and vines. In fact, I want to take down 15 trees along the street. They have grown so much in the last 29 years that they tower over the electric wires and lean out way over the street. Some years ago I was taking down trees at my Aunt's house and there were a lot that were very close to the wires. I have an aversion to becoming electrocuted, so we hired a commercial tree service. He gave us a reasonable price and we hired him. When I asked when he could start, he informed me that he was not allowed to trim within 10 feet of the power lines and the electric company would do that. Hurump!!! If I had know that, I could have called the electric company and finished the job myself. This time I know the system. I called Progress Energy and a man stopped by today to look at the trees and agreed to trim the 15 trees. He used a can of spray paint to put a bright red spot on the trees being cut.

In addition, I took down another mostly dead tree. The last of it is still burning, but there is very little left. It was quite a job because of the heat. I'd make a few cuts and take a wheelbarrow full of wood to the fire and then run inside to cool off. In awhile I'd be back out for a while and then I'd be back in. I'm also changing how I cut the trees. In the past, I would cut the logs into 2 foot pieces. Then I started cutting them in 18 inch pieces. Today I'm down to 10 inch sections that I can lift into the wheel barrow. When I get to the point where I'm cutting the logs into 2 inch slabs, it will be time to quit.

I've had a cool shower and I feel much better, but I AM WORN OUT!!!

Tonight Helen cooked the last piece of King Salmon that we brought back from Alaska. It was delicious. The King salmon is gone and the halibut is all gone. I have 8 pieces of pink salmon, but it's not really very good, especially compared to halibut and king salmon.

Well, it's going to be an early night tonight. The last two days of AARP TaxAide are tomorrow and Wednesday. Hooray!!!