Saturday, February 21, 2015

A TRIP TO THE BEACH IN THE SNOW


More snow is on the way here. Temps have been below zero all week. Winter is wearing out it’s welcome as far as I am concerned. So I have found a way to keep warm. And it involves a confession. I am embarrassed to say I have become a bit of a voyeur. But I do not think that it is a bad thing. Since I can not afford a pricey vacation, at this time… I have become an armchair traveler, instead. Everyday between 5pm to 7pm… I sit here at my desk, and watch the sun set over the ocean, down in Panama City Florida.  I do this via a BEACH CAM on my computer. Along with the spectacular ocean view… I get to people watch too, as folks stroll along the waterfront.  I live vicariously through them, imagining myself there. It has brought me such joy… to tune into the live feed… of sand and surf. It is the best entertainment there is… because it is real life, in real time with real people. And I’m grateful technology has afforded me this luxury… at this time in my life… when mobility issues make such a walk along the beach, to see a sunset, impossible.. not to mention how many miles I would have to travel to do so. Until I discovered the BEACH CAMS I missed the sea. There was a restless yearning I had to be part of it again, since I grew up having the ocean as such an integral part of my life. And thanks to Seahaven Beach Resorts Beach Cam (http://seahavenbeach.com/panama-city-beach-web-cam/) and Schooner’s Beach Cam (thanks sonya for telling me about this one)(http://www.schooners.com/multimedia/beachcam.htm ) the ocean is once again in my life. And that makes me happy, on snowy days, like this… when Cabin Fever rears it’s ugly head and there is no place to wander, except online.


PS). Just so you all know... 
The Seahaven Beach Cam 
changed it's camera location, this week,  
so you no longer see the sunset. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

SHARI'S BERRIES & MUSSELS


We decided to switch things up a little bit this year. Instead of doing the same old thing for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to try something different. No roses or boxed candy. No dinner out.  We opted for something more intimate here at home, just the two of us… without the hustle bustle of a crowded restaurant. So my hubby bought home, a good loaf of multi-grain bread. The kind that comes wrapped in paper, not plastic. Then I rustled up a couple plates of mussels, sautéed in wine and garlic. Simple, but elegant.  And the piece de resistance, were chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries for dessert.  They were sinfully delicious. And we were delighted we had deviated from our usual fare. 





Thursday, February 12, 2015

ROTO ROOTER TO THE RESCUE


At around 10pm last Saturday night, it became apparent that our sewer line, somewhere outside was backed up. This happens because of the tree roots growing out there. So about once, every year or two, we have to call a plumber. Experience has taught us, when this occurs, we need a company with at least 160 feet of snake to reach the problem. It was a situation that obviously required an expert’s hand. So we called ROTO ROOTER. That is the only plumber in the area with that much snake to handle the problem.  They said they’d be out early Sunday morning. Sunday came and damn near went before they arrived. He was supposed to be here at 10am, but didn’t arrive until almost 4pm. By this time it was snowing and windy outside. Temperatures were dropping. Not ideal conditions to be working in. Not to mention the fact it would soon be dark. So, we weren’t sure he could finish the job. But another night without a working toilet was not an option. This needed fixing now. Our backyard was a big muddy mess and the plumber had to cut away some of the bramble in his way. Then he went to work on the blockage. It was labor intensive. He needed help. My hubby assisted by running the water in the kitchen and bathroom sinks, to help clear the line. That way we avoided muddy boots coming in and out of my house. The minutes ticked away, the bill added up... snow flying, plumber outside working, my hubby in here, running from room to room.We should have gotten a discount for my husband’s participation. Thank goodness we had a coupon for $40 bucks off. Unfortunately… the plumber told us, he couldn’t take it because we needed that extra snake footage. Needless to say, we were slightly perturbed. Being senior citizens… saving a dollar here or there, really counts... so the hubby and I decided we’d complain to the main office about him, not honoring the coupon, they advertised. But surprisingly, we didn't have to, because he suddenly had a change of heart, when writing out the invoice... and did indeed give us the discount. Thank goodness. Ended up costing almost $250. But it’s got a year's warranty. Guess I shouldn’t complain, at least now we can FLUSH. Thank you ROTO ROOTER.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

GOODBYE TIME WARNER CABLE, HELLO STREAMING


With our cable bill almost $200 a month without any extras like HBO, we are being bled dry by Time Warner. With Social Security and a part-time job as our only income, that is too expensive. The main bundle they give us is overpriced and includes channels and programming we do not want. They won’t let us downgrade. But they will let us add on to that existing bundle, for more money, which defeats the purpose. We are just trying to save a buck here. Time Warner refuses to negotiate a new package deal with us at a more reasonable cost, despite being long time customers. All we want is basic cable, no frills. We simply can not afford to continue at these OUTRAGEOUS rates. So we are going to cut the service. In order to do this we have been exploring our options. Dish TV and Direct TV don’t offer the local programming we like. And the thought of a satellite dish on the property is just not that appealing. So we decided to go another route. We are going to embrace new technology. We bought an indoor UHF antenna to pick up locally broadcast channels through the air. Then we purchased Amazon Fire TV to stream TV programs and movies from the internet. To get more content we also signed up for Amazon Prime. We have been experimenting with these things to try to ween ourselves off of the cable tv. But it is hard to teach an old dog, new tricks. We love our DVR that comes with cable tv service, and so far have been unable to cut the cord with Time Warner because of it. But as the monthly bills for cable continue to pile up, it will get easier to do. Have any of you said goodbye to cable?  Or are you hanging onto it, like your landlines? 

Friday, January 30, 2015

MY NEW OLD CAMERA & ONLINE SHOPPING


I have two cameras. Both Nikons. Both Coolpix. One has a 22x zoom and one has a 7x zoom. I use both, but I favor the latter more. It is my ‘go to’ equipment. It has a touch screen that can’t be beat. Unfortunately the camera broke. To repair it would cost the same amount to replace it altogether. I bulked at the thought of a new model and wanted to keep the old one. My husband thought that was ridiculous. I disagreed. I LOVE this camera. Local stores wouldn’t have it in stock, it was old merchandise. So I searched Amazon and Ebay. There, I found some reconditioned ones, just like mine, at a fraction of the cost. It was tempting, but I passed, since I have already replaced the camera once via this method and it didn’t last. So I opted against it, this time around. Instead I bought the same model, NEW and factory sealed. I believe it’ll be worth every dime. It arrived yesterday. I plopped the battery in it, attached the strap, put in a memory card  and I’m back in business. I like the comfort of it’s familiarity. It makes me happy. Life is good. How did we ever shop before the internet?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I'M SICK AND TIRED


I’ve been sick, on and off... for the better part of the last ten days. This malady has no name. It started with my left ear hurting. After a few days it cleared. Then extreme nausea and dizziness set in. I literally was hugging the toilet. I thought if I could just vomit I would feel better. I couldn’t, so I crawled into bed trying to keep the room from spinning, instead. Eventually it did and I fell asleep. Next morning I felt better but had developed a fever. Alternating between feeling too hot or too cold, I stayed cuddled under a comforter, eating soup. What’s that old adage, “Starve a cold, feed a fever.” So I did. Then unfortunately the diarrhea came. Which had me take up residence in the bathroom again. This time for the next day and a half. Not a pretty picture at all. But I survived. The fever broke. My bowels tightened up. I thought I was healed. But a sore throat then sidelined me. It was horrible. I was convinced it was strep. But it too went away in twenty-four hours. Just when I thought it was all clear…. the fever once again reared it’s ugly head. And I began sneezing. Then the sneezing stopped. So far... no nasal congestion or coughing. But now I have swollen glands. This is getting ridiculous. I’m ready for some feel good time after the antibiotics kick in.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

SLEEP SLEEP PERCHANCE TO DREAM


Last night I couldn’t go to sleep at all. We can’t shut the door to our bedroom, so pets have free reign in there. And one of my kitty cats… the big one, Dara… decided it was party time, the minute the lights went out. She started to annoy me when she began walking back and forth across the bed, from top to bottom, pacing like a pregnant cat. I’d kick her off the bed, she’d find a way back on. It became a game of cat and mouse. Drove me crazy. Bored, she then decided to do something else to get my attention. She walked on top of my pillow trying to sit on my head. To say this aggravated me is an understatement. I’d pick her up, put her on the floor and she ‘d jump up and do it again. I  tried to ignore her. That’s when things went from bad to worse. She decided that she wanted to lay down on top of my Kindle which was sitting on the nightstand, next to the bed. Knowing she is too heavy and might break the screen I did my best to thwart her efforts. Just when I thought I had  succeeded, the cat switched gears. She cleverly plotted a way to steal my eyeglasses… knocking them from the dresser and then dragging them across the floor… making enough noise to raise the dead. At this point, I was not a happy camper. My language became colorful and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I chastised the troublemaker for disturbing my sleep. It was enough to make her scram. Only problem was... the other cat, Mira, scared by my uncharacteristic behavior, at this ungodly hour in the morning, decided to firmly anchor herself to my feet. I realized there was no rest for the weary in this house.  So  I surrendered... got up, went online and kept myself busy for awhile. Both felines followed me out to my desk. I waited for them to fall asleep, then I went back to bed and dreamed about having a dog.