Thursday, February 27, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Thursday, February 27, 2014 - M RV Resort

I went to the clubhouse yesterday for line dance lessons, I have 2 down pat and another 4 that I’m ok at.  I went to one of their actual line dances this evening and asked one of the instructors how many line dances there are.  She said, “I don’t know, we know about 400 of them”.  400!!!!  Don’t they ever use them for more than one different song?  I was hoping for about 6, maybe 12 all-purpose ones – for a fast beat you use this one, for a slow beat you use another, etc.

I worked on my cross-stitch project yesterday and was coming along quite nicely until I realized that somewhere back at the beginning of the session I missed a stitch.  So, I had to take out most of the stitches I had made and start over again.

I didn’t try the bicycle again yesterday, I was kind of sore and bruised from the day before.  I didn’t ever actually fall but there were quite a few times I stopped and the bike didn’t – it was ugly.  Last night I kept trying to picture myself being successful in riding this thing.  So, I tried again today.  I made Greg ride his back and forth in front of the coach and talk to me about what he was doing.  I got on my bike and tried to imitate what he was doing – it worked!  I was able to actually ride for a good distance and managed to stop it once smoothly, the rest of the stops were a little choppy, but it’s coming along.  No new bruises today.

This afternoon we attended a program put on by the Sherriff’s Department called “How Not to be a Victim”, it’s an NRA program and has some good information, most of it we were already aware of, but it never hurts to refresh your memory.  In Florida I find that it’s interesting that you can get in big trouble for firing a “warning shot”.  If you are going to discharge a firearm for personal protection, you better be able to hit them.

This resort has a lot of activities going on during the “snowbird season”.  We will definitely come back if we are in this area of Florida again.  This same family has resorts on Arizona so we are thinking about trying one of them next winter.

I tried a new crockpot chicken recipe this morning.  It smelled good, haven’t tasted it yet.  It was really simple – mix 1 T. paprika and 3 T. steak seasoning together and put on the inside and outside of the chicken and cook on low until temperature is 165 degrees.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - M RV Resort

Yesterday we went back to Jet Blue Park.  We hoped to be able to see the Red Sox practicing before we went through the farmers market and picked up some produce.  We found out that they aren’t letting the public in to watch practice.
We opted for pulled pork sandwiches instead of the lobster rolls we had last week.  They were good, but I think I preferred the lobster rolls.
The alligators were showing a presence this morning.  We saw a small one in the ditch at the front of the campground out by the highway.  He looked pretty comfortable laying there in the sun.  This guy is in the pond that is across the way from us.  I was not as close to him as this photo looks, a zoom lens and photo cropping can do wonders.

I guess we missed some excitement last night.  At one of the other ponds on the property a small alligator came out of the pond and scared the daylights out of some people who were sitting outside.  The people ended up on the top of the picnic table.  The management of the campground called out someone to capture the alligator this morning, they don’t want to take a chance on an alligator that might get aggressive.   However, you can tell by the size of this one that he is just a baby (see the guy in the yellow shirt).  Greg and I were talking and wondered if alligators were like puppies, as they age they get more laid back.

I was making potato salad when we noticed the activity at the other pond.  I walked up to see what all of the excitement was about and noticed that the pond lilies are blooming or getting near.

I got back home and finished up the potato salad, made some cucumbers and onions and cut up vegetables to make stir fry this evening.  I’ll get out the wok and cook outside this evening. 

I almost hate to cook on the stove, Greg put in new grates and burner washers yesterday and it looks like a new stove.

We made another purchase which arrived today.

We decided that we weren’t walking fast enough to provide cardio exercise and we really couldn’t pick up the pace too much, it is hard on the knee replacement Greg has.  So, we decided bicycles would be a good idea.  All of the roads here are paved and lots of people ride bicycles.  There appears to be only one problem in this plan – I’m living proof that you can indeed forget how to ride a bicycle.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - M RV Resort

Once again I walked early this morning because the heat was going to be too much later on.  I noticed that one of the cacti here in the campground had a gorgeous bloom at the very top.

The water lilies are also getting ready to bloom.
We were certainly glad we didn’t ride the bike up to Daytona today to watch the Daytona 500.  They must have had some horrible downpours!  The race has been delayed and looking at the pictures on the TV you can see water everywhere.

I finally got out the gel gloss and shined up the shower – looks good.
I’ve been promising Greg for the last week or so that I would fix lasagna.  I finally got around to it today.  We ate early this evening and could have gone up to the clubhouse for the ice cream social, but I think we already have calorie overload from the lasagna and garlic bread.  It was good but not something we need very often.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Saturday, February 22, 2014 - M RV Resort

I was inside most of the day – it was downright hot!  Greg sat out on the patio and watched the NASCAR race.  We walked early because we knew it was going to be too uncomfortable later in the day.
Since I was going to be inside most of the day, I got quite a bit of cleaning, polishing and laundry done.  Also put together a hash brown casserole to take to the pot luck supper at the clubhouse this evening.

Hash Brown Casserole (this fills 2 good sized casserole dishes)

1 lb. sausage browned, I use Country Pride mild
1 large can mushrooms

½ large onion, chopped
After the sausage is browned, drain it on paper towel, wipe out the pan and then brown the onion and mushrooms in the same pan.
Mix together in a large bowl:

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream

½ c. milk
4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Add two packages of hash brown potatoes to the cheese mix.  I use the Simply Potatoes, but frozen hash browns work also.  Stir gently to mix evenly, then add the sausage, mushrooms and onions.
At this point you can either put it in the fridge or bake it in a 350 degree oven.

Bake in greased casserole pans for 40-50 minutes or until the center bubbles.  It may take a little longer if you bring the casserole right out of the fridge.
Walking home we noticed that the sunset was beautiful.  I was almost too late to get a good picture.  The picture I did end up with didn’t pick up the rays shining up through the clouds.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Thursday, February 20, 2014 - M RV Resort

Yesterday was my day for activities at the clubhouse.  I think I have two of the line dances mastered, a couple more are coming along.  It’s hard to believe how many variations there are.  I went up later for the unfinished crafts project group and worked on my cross stitch project.  The magnifying glass worked out just fine so there is hope for my finishing this yet.
Greg stayed home and washed dishes, took out the trash and washed windows.  Sorry, ladies I’m keeping him.

In the evening we went up to the clubhouse and played Bingo – some people are really serious about that gameJ.  Although we didn’t win anything it was an enjoyable break.
We did manage to get some tickets to a spring training game for the Boston Red Sox, just not at their home field.  We got them for a Minnesota Twins home game where they are playing the Boston Red Sox.  The Twins’ stadium is in Ft. Myers also, looking forward to that game.

Today was spent watching practice, qualifying and the duel races for the Daytona 500.  It was a great day to kick back on the patio and watch the outdoor TV.  Temperatures here were in the mid-80s but a nice breeze kept it from being too hot.
We tried something different for supper this evening – quinoa.  It’s supposed to be a whole grain that is super healthy for you.  We had it along with some of the Mediterranean vegetables we got from the Schwan man and some pork chops.  We both thought it was pretty good.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Florida, Ft. Myers - Monday, February 17, 2014 - Farmer's Market Trip

I figured out how to overcome my poor eyesight to allow me to finish my cross stitch project.  We checked out reading glasses to see if we could find some that were stronger than my prescription glasses – no luck.  On the way home I happened to think about this clip on magnifying glass that we already had, it works perfectly.
We waited for the Schwan man to arrive before taking off this morning.  I had never bought anything from Schwan, but it seemed like a good idea to look into it because the closest grocery store is 45 minutes away.  Frozen foods would probably not do too well in the bike storage compartment in the 80 degree weather we have been having here.  We purchased a few things to supplement what we already had left from our beginning of the month purchases.  It’s a bit more expensive, but the to-your-door service is nice.

Our goal this morning was to check out the farmer’s market we discovered the last time we were at Jet Blue Park (spring training site for the Boston Red Sox).  In order to get there you have to drive through the area I wrote about previously that warned of “panther crossings”.  As we were riding through that area this morning I got to wondering how many panthers had to be sighted before the state would spend the time and the money to put up 20 warning signs.  I also wondered whether a panther could outrun a motorcycle.
Jet Blue Park is located just outside of Ft. Myers and the farmer’s market is open on Monday from noon until 4:00.  There was a big crowd there when we arrived at just after noon.

They had food vendors on site and we picked the lobster rolls.  Unfortunately, I was too excited about the lovely lobster roll that I forgot to take a picture until after I had mauled it.

After storing our vegetable and fruit purchases on the bike we tried to check out the ballpark, but it was closed except for tours today.  We decided to wait until next time to do the tour or our vegetables would be cooked before we got home.  This shot was taken through the fence – grass looks nice.

We checked out the fan store.  Greg liked a ball cap, but not so much after he saw the $50.00 price tag.

They had some statues commemorating ballplayers who had retired numbers.  Jackie Robinson was the only one I recognized.

On the way home we stopped at the Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park to see exactly what it was.  I originally thought it was a “migration” park.  A “mitigation” park is an attempt to offset the environmental impacts of development on a certain species of animal or type of native plant.

The Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park was established to mitigate gopher tortoise habitat destroyed by development in southwest Florida.

The gopher tortoise is a land tortoise that originated in North American approximately 60 million years ago making it one of the oldest living species on the continent.  We didn’t see any, but this is the picture that was on the back of the map they gave us.  The info on the map didn’t say how big these tortoises get, but we saw some kind of tortoise in the Sioux Falls Zoo that looked like huge slow moving boulders.

We didn’t walk too far along the trails today.  They recommend sturdy hiking shoes and lots of water.  We had tennis shoes and half a bottle of water and it was very hot.  The only wildlife we saw was this little lizard.  Hint:  it is on the fourth stake from the left.  And we saw one turtle for just a minute.

On a cooler day this would be a nice area to explore.

There is even a picnic area.

After we got home, Greg checked out the website to purchase tickets to one of the Red Sox games – every last one of the said they were sold out.  We think we might ride back over to the park tomorrow and see if we have any better luck on site.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Friday, February 14, 2014 - Valentine's Day


We finished up two big projects today.  The tire covers are done and the tax info has been copied and is ready to put in the mail.
We really enjoyed the Valentine’s Day dinner and dance this evening.  There was a huge crowd.
We met Bob and Melody.  Bob was kind enough to snap a picture of us, once again proving that I am not photogenic.

The meal was wonderful, prime rib, baked potato, green beans, salad and carrot cake.  The meal was cooked by several of the residents here – very talented people.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Activities Day at the Campground

Happy Birthday to son-in-law, Jason.  Since I didn’t write yesterday it’s belated, but still as heartfelt.

I forgot to mention that when we took our ride around Lake Okeechobee on Tuesday that we checked out a lot of acres of sweet corn and green beans.  They are growing beautifully in black soil.  When I was gardening I only dreamed of soil that looked like that – the Indiana clay soil was always a challenge.

Yesterday was our big day of participating in clubhouse activities.  The morning starts out with a “meet your neighbors” meeting that introduces new people and gives a rundown on some of the special activities coming up for the next month or so. 

After the meeting, line dance classes are offered.  I watched last week and decided to participate this week.  I did manage to master a couple of the easier dances, but I think I may have already forgotten some of the steps.  Maybe they will come back to me next Wednesday when I plan to attend again. 

At 2:00 they have an “unfinished crafts projects” get together.  Once again I just sat in and met some of the people last week.  This week I dug out a cross stitch project I started 25 years ago.  I had no idea it had been that long, but there was a date on it.
I sat down with the group and got all ready to work on my project only to realize that my eyesight isn’t what it was 25 years ago.  I couldn’t see well enough to do more than a few stitches!  I think I am going to have to buy one of those magnifying glasses that fits around your neck.  I used to chuckle when I saw those in magazines – how funny would that look.  Guess I’m going to find out or this thing is never going to get finished.

Around 4:30 the campground management sent out word that some potentially strong storms might be hitting our area with strong winds.  They urged everyone to pull in their awnings and put away lawn chairs, etc. that might blow away.  I was impressed.  We’ve gone through some pretty strong storms and we’ve never had campground management care enough to warn people.  We usually watch the weather pretty closely on a couple of apps Greg has on his phone and we have a weather alert radio so we are usually pretty aware of what is happening on our own, but I appreciated that extra step they took to make sure everything was safe.

After we put everything away we went up to the clubhouse to have pizza and play Bingo.  They play 12 games and I won one of them - I won $17.25.  As we were playing we could hear the thunder from the storm that was going on outside.  The major storm was over by the time we headed home, but it was still raining a little.  The wind picked up during the night and has blown hard all day today.

Our mail came in yesterday and it contained all of our tax information papers.  So, today we spent getting things ready to send to our CPA in Indiana.  This is the first year we haven’t set down with him face to face and gone through things with him, hope we remembered everything.  Thankfully Greg took the lead on this project or it would probably be going on for a week or so.

Tomorrow night there is a Valentine’s Day dinner and dance here at the clubhouse.  Prime rib and all the fixings is on the menu.  A small band will be playing for the dance after dinner.  It’s a sold out function.  Tickets were limited to 120 people and we bought a couple of them on the day we checked in, looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is the largest fresh water lake in Florida and we took off around noon to ride around it, four hours later we were back.  I’m sure we spent at least an hour taking pictures, talking to a couple we met from Michigan and stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts for a break.  It was a beautiful ride, the weather cooperated – all in all just a wonderful day.

The lake has a high levy around it so you can’t actually view it as you are riding except for a couple of places.  The roads were great and traffic was minimal.  The first place we stopped for a closer look was Port Mayaca Port and Dam.  This is where we met the couple from Michigan who were also on a motorcycle.  We spent some time talking about how happy we were to be in Florida rather than Indiana or Michigan.  We compared notes on what we had seen of the lake so far since we came from different directions.
It feels like you are looking at the ocean.  We think the water level is down quite a bit because they are doing some upgrading to the levy.  Still a beautiful sight.
A boat came through the locks as we were enjoying the view.

A few waterfowl were out enjoying the sunshine.

A racing team from Elkhart, IN was doing some practice runs with some kind of watercraft (we think maybe a runabout), whatever it was, it can move!!  We didn’t stop to introduce ourselves since we figured they were busy.

At Lakeport there was a picnic area with boat ramps so we stopped to explore.  There were a lot of empty boat trailers in there but most of them must have been out so far that we couldn’t see them.  It would be easy to get lost in this maze of water channels.

The picnic area was very nice.  Public restrooms were also available here.
Most of our pictures were taken from a wooden lookout platform.  It originally looked a little precarious, Greg went first and decided looks were deceiving, it was very sturdy and we really enjoyed the view.

We decided that the best parts of the ride around Lake Okeechobee were the ones that were closest to where we are located so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them again.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Monday, February 10, 2014 - Motorcycle Ride

We left mid-morning to head to Ft. Myers to look around and maybe stop at the beach.  With temperatures in the 80s and sunshine, it was a perfect day for a ride (after I slathered on the SPF 50 sunscreen).

On the way we stopped at Jet Blue Park which is the spring training camp for the Boston Red Sox.
We plan on getting to see a couple of games here so we wanted to make sure we knew where we were going.  We were surprised to see that they have a huge farmer’s market there every Monday from noon until 4:00.  We just picked up produce yesterday and we knew we would be spending a long day on the bike so we didn’t stop at the farmer’s market today, but we will definitely be coming back, it looked amazing.
On down the road we noticed yellow triangle signs similar to “deer crossing” signs we see in Indiana, but these said “panther crossing” with a picture of a big black cat on them.  We thought maybe it was referring to a nearby high school mascot until we saw a series of 7-8 more signs in about a two mile stretch of road.  The area was wooded and open pasture and believe me I was scanning the roadside!  The speed limit through the area is 50 mph and they want you to slow down to 45 mph after dark.  We made a note to not even go through there after dark.

We stopped at Palm Coast Town Center looking for the JoAnn fabric store.  We wanted to get some binding to fix the flags we fly on the back of the bike.  We found something we think will work.  Before we moved on to Ft. Myers we stopped at Olive Garden for lunch and used one of our Christmas gift cards.
Ft. Myers was crowded!!!  I know there are a lot of retired people down here, but seriously doesn’t anyone work on Monday?  We couldn’t find parking in any of the beach access areas.  We are going to try to go back later in the week, but we’ll try to get there earlier.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Florida, Moore Haven - Sunday, February 09, 2014 - M RV Resort

Yesterday on our walk I took some more pictures of the campground and surroundings.
This is the area behind our site.  When we looked at reviews of this campground earlier this year we laughed at one of the complaints that the cows were too noisy.  This might have been where the cows were located.  Evidently they were so rowdy they were moved because we haven’t seen any J.  I take that back, as I am sitting here writing this with the windows open, I heard a cow moo somewhere in the distance.

This is the clubhouse where all of the activities take place.  It’s within easy walking distance from our site.  In fact if we go on every road in the campground and out to the highway we still walk less than a mile and a half.  There are 243 sites here, most of them are located on the other side of the pond from where we are.  We like the peace and quiet where we are located.

Just outside of the clubhouse is the swimming pool.  Too early this morning for anyone to be taking advantage of it.

While we were outside working on the front tire covers I noticed one of the alligators was out enjoying the sun.  I managed to get the camera before he was gone.

We finished the front tire covers for both sides – not bad for amateurs.

Today we rode into Clewiston.  We needed some produce and bread and I wanted to see if I could find some binding to fix the POW/MIA flag we put on the back of our bike.  We found the food, but no binding.  We stopped at Sonny’s, a barbeque place similar to Famous Dave’s back in Indiana.  Thank goodness we had sense enough to split an order, we still had some to bring home.

They are having an ice cream social and card bingo at the clubhouse this evening.  After our big lunch we are staying home, eating light and watching some drag racing.