Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Quiet far.

I'm trying to spend a quiet day here in the heat of summer. The noontime temperature is 85 and it doesn't feel too humid. It feels comfortable because I'm not doing anything. The dogs are in the pool and I take them outside about every half hour so they can take care of business. If left too long, Jodie will use one of the planters, and we don't want that to become a habit. We have an odd situation now that Sandy has become quite a swimmer. Now we have rafts of dark hair drifting around the bottom of the pool. We've never had that before with Jodie and Coco. When I take the hair out with a dip net, I find that it's all the long, light hair of Sandy. The labs have a waxy coating on their fur that makes them great water dogs way up north where the water is cold. They shed water very quickly, and their hair floats, ending up in the skimmer. Apparently Sandy's Golden Retriever hair soaks and sinks. It's not a problem as she has so much fun in the pool.

I've been into several camping books and on the internet trying to find out where we want to go in Mexico in the fall. Helen is absolutely against boondocking, even in a small group. I see some places that seem to be nice, only to find out that it's impossible to get to in anything longer than 22 feet. Some do not allow dogs. Some are really run down with reports of them being unhealthy to stay there. Some are very expensive, even by US standards. All I'm looking for is a secure place to camp, right at the ocean, with water, electricity, and sewerage, free wifi, and within 20 minutes of a Walmart. Also, the fishing should be good and the beaches must allow dogs. Did I mention that the people there should accept our feeble attempts at Spanish.

Like so much in life, we'll have to give up something to get what we want more. Having the dogs is not negotiable. Boondocking in a small group is OK with me, but I have to answer to a higher authority. Being NEAR wifi is plenty good enough. As the year progresses and the prospect of another cold Florida winter faces us, we will head out and trust our usual good fortune to find a way through the maze.

OK, now I've got to get back to my books. I have a GREAT DEAL to learn about Mexican insurance on the vehicles, medical insurance for Helen and me, and rules and regulations for entering Mexico proper. We were in Puerto Panesco a few years ago, but Sonora is a "free" zone where it was easy to enter. In fact, we bought our vehicle insurance in Arizona and drove into Mexico without being stopped. We didn't even SEE Mexican authorities as we crossed the border.

At the reunion a while back, many of my classmates asked if I was on Facebook. Well, I was at one time, but got tired of the intrusion, and quit. I rejoined last night to connect with some of my friends and classmates. I'm avoiding the children of friends who chatter about laundry and lawn mowing. Also, a lot of the personal stuff really shouldn't be out there. I was embarrassed by some of the statements that were made. Apparently I'm an old fogey on my way to being a curmudgeon.

We passed a milestone yesterday as it was a year ago that we picked up Sandy and her nine pups at the animal shelter. She is such a beautiful, playful, lovable dog that it scares me to think that she was about to be put down the next day. Little did I know that Sandy would still be with us a year later.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back Home in Florida

Well, I had quite an adventure last week. I flew up to Massachusetts to attend my high school class 50th reunion. No, that's not a typo. I graduated in 1961 from Quincy High School in Quincy,MA. this reunion was unusual in scope. I've complained in the past because the reunion ran from 8 to 11 PM on a Saturday night. That's not enough time to speak to all the people you want to. Another thing is the 40th was held in late October and we had snow before the reunion. I requested that the next reunion be between May and September, so we could plan a northern vacation around the reunion. That is what we had planned for this year, but family problems made it preferable to stay home. A smooth Jet Blue flight brought me to Logan Airport, in Boston, where my brother and nephew greeted me at the gate. Since they both work at the airport, they had clearance to get right to the gate as I got off the plane.

Todd Tempesta,my nephew and my ride home.

I was treated like royalty all week. If my sister-in-law, Linda wasn't cooking something great, my niece, Tammy was up to the job. Fantastic meatloaf, pot roast, and steak were on the menu, but the best had to be the dinner of steamed clams and lobster. I do not order lobster out,unless it's lobster thermidor, newburg, or lobster roll. Tammy boiled the lobster and brought me a plate with the lobster all cleaned.

Sister-in-law Linda, checking on what's cooking.

Niece Tammy, working on a batch of stuffed peppers. My mother's best recipe because they are GOOD!!!

It didn't take long for me to miss Jodie, Coco, and Sandy. Fortunately, Tammy now has a dog as does Linda.

This is Harley, mostly Jack Russell Terrier. That should say it all.

Mya, Linda's Maltese. This cutie is as friendly as can be. She's in her normal position, waiting to have her belly rubbed.

Before I get to my reunion, I have a couple of other pictures.

This is Nick, but I've been calling him Patrick for years and it drives him nuts. He's my brother's oldest grandson, plays football and is popular with the girls.

This is Jake! Now he is as quiet as a mouse when Nick is around, because he can't get a word in edgewise, but, when Nick is away, Jake becomes a regular chatterbox.

Off to the reunion. The first function was a barbecue in a gazebo over the Neponset River, which separates Boston from Quincy. First of all, there was no heat or humidity and I felt guilty reveling in the nice weather while Helen was still in Florida. The function lasted from 7 to 11 PM. Although the food was OK, the real joy was chatting with fellow classmates.

This is Judi Spellman (Judith Smollett in high school)

I did not know Judi before the 40th 54union 10 years ago. She and I made contact on and we have been friends since. She has a great personality and Helen and I certainly enjoy her company. She was in Florida some years ago and visited us with another classmate. Judi is also my representative on the reunion committee, so she is the one I complain to, over and over. We get to see Judi each time we breeze through the northeast.

Friday night I met Janice Wynot MacKay who we met at the last reunion. We kept in contact for awhile and then they disappeared. It turns out that they move to Florida and lost their email contacts. Mostly I remember chatting with her husband, Charley, but he was left in Florida. She chatted enough for both of them and kept everyone in stitches all night.

Saturday night was the big to-do. This is what the girls live for, dressing up. I have to confess that I wore a jacket and tie,( and a lot more), but the last time I wore a jacket and tie was the 40th reunion 10 years ago. There's just no call for getting dressed up in Florida. Business casual is a clean T shirt and shorts without paint spots.

Again, the reunion committee did a grand job. We were served a salad, then we approached a food line where were served. Pork tenderloin, sirloin steak, shrimp lo mein, and a lot more! The food was excellent, but again, the greatest thing was seeing old classmates. I was thrilled to see Sandra Schwartz, Patty Ross, and Lois Casagrande, classmates from Miss Ash'es first grade class in 1949/50. At the 40th, we also had Dick Sachetti, but he passed away.

Sunday morning was a brunch back at the Adams Inn. It was a good breakfast, but I was there to visit, and I did. Each day I was one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. I was such an unknown in high school and I'm making up for it now. A great time was had by all, our class president made a little speech and he reminded us that we would never again see all the classmates that were there that night. So far, about 20% of our class has passed away. The rate can only increase in coming years. I thought that this would be my last reunion, but actually, I hope to make it to #55.

Sated with all kinds of food and cookies, I boarded nother Jet Blue for the flight home.

Boston from the air. Note the clouds

Florida clouds.

We had fluffy clouds as in Boston, all the way down to Florida. It seems like the very heavy clouds started right at the Florida line. We were near 34000 feet,but off to our right I could see a large anvil shaped formation that seemed to loom well above us. That's generally a thunder storm.

When I reached the main part of the terminal I spied our friend Barbara looking for me and soon I was greeted by Helen as well. After a quick bite we headed home where I got an awesome greeting from the three dogs.

I wonder if anyone actually read this far. I was back in the groove in a day or two, cutting up my trees and burning the remains.

Whew!!! I'm out of breath!


Monday, August 15, 2011


I was up early this morning and on my way to Helton Electric, in Crystal River. I took in the blower motor and the owner said "Oh, my gosh". That didn't make me feel any better. Then he looked in his catalogs and could not find a replacement for the blower motor. Now, I'm feeling even worse. Finally he offered " The best I can do is have one of my guys make a new one using some of the old parts." I figured if that's the best he can do then I should take it. Joking, I said "What time will it be ready this afternoon?". He replied that he would have to see what they could do and call me later. I figured that by the time they got the parts ordered and shipped it would be the middle of next week. I drove home.

About 15 minutes later the owner called and said he had the stuff to make the blower motor and it would be ready by noon. While everything was apart I took the time to pressure wash the squirrel cage fan and I used my compressor to back wash the cooling coil. I got everything back together by 5:00 PM. With the clean coil and fan, and with a slightly more powerful fan, the cold air really blows out of the vents. Another summer job complete. Am I content????? NO!!! The way this summer is going I'm waiting for the next thing to break.

More later.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Catching up again!

Here I am again, behind the eight ball. I'm always falling behind in my blog. I could use the excuses that it's too darn hot and humid, or that I'm just too busy. The truth is that I'm always tired. Whether it's the heat of what, my favorite pastime is being in bed. Jodie, Coco, and Sandy are quick to join me, so I'm not alone and we all seem to be getting a lot of rest.

I got the correct torsion springs for my garage door and the door has never worked do well. Recently I've noticed how nice an smooth other people's doors work and thought I would have to change to a different brand of door opener. When I got the new springs on the opener worked like a charm. The springs that were on it were too light and were causing the opener to work so hard to get the door up. That's why I had to replace the gears a year or so ago. At any rate, the door works great and I recommend DDR Garage Doors to everyone. Don't be like me, listen to what they say!

Summer brings the Pee Wee football season and our family in Brando is fully involved. Our grandson ,Kolbie (#67), is the quarterback for the team and has improved greatly from last year. Our granddaughter, Kourtnie, is a cheerleader, but in an older division that plays later in the day. We stayed for Kolbie's game and joined the whole family at Chili's. Then we had to head home to take care of the dogs. I think that the next time we will go later to see Kourtnie do her stuff.

Kourtnie Tempesta, a cheerleader, but in civies for her brother's game.

Kolbie, waiting for the snap.

The Brandon Cowboys, ready for action!

The club videotapes the entire game. Kolbie's older brother, Branden, got the videotape and did some editing. I didn't even know that Branded was into editing but.......

To see the edited tape visit Remember, my grandson is number67. summer of 2011 is still the same. Last night Helen noticed that the central A/C to the rear of the house was not working. I checked and she was right, as usual. The compressor was working and the coil was ice cold, it's just that the blower motor was not working. I checked a few things and found that it was, indeed, the blower motor. Three hours on line and I could find nothing that matches our motor. How can that be? It's a GE blower motor and there were numerous leads, but when I looked at the picture, the motor is not the same. Tomorrow, first thing, I'm going to run to a motor repair shop in Crystal River to see what they can do.

For the time being, the main unit s doing the job, with a couple of fans pushing cool air along the floor and around a few corners.

I've been spending some time on Kevin and Ruth's travel blog. They went to Mexico last winter and will be heading back again this year. Last year they ventured way down to the southern part of Mexico where we want to go. Their pictures of Mexican towns and Pacific beaches certainly gets us wanting to go. We have a lot more planning to do, but we just might be able to make it work this year.

More later,