Monthly Archives: March 2018

He is Risen Indeed <3

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, it’s been a looong time since I have been able to meet up with you all!!! It feels good to be back! If you would like to link up, click on the button below . Here we go.

From this Side of the Pond

1. What’s a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?

Comfortable and Grammy with her grandbaby nearby.
2. Back in my day we___________________________________?

did not eat Tide pods!
3. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

None of the above, we typically get Mediterranean for carry out. Sometimes pizza, so I guess that would be Italian. We usually go out but sometimes you just can’t get everyone on board. Or dressed. So we get takeout at least once every couple weeks, and sometimes more. We had takeout Five Guys last weekend and it was Da-Licious!

My People tend to get Chinese when I am not around, as I am not a big fan, and we would rather have Mexican at the restaurant, HOT chips and salsa are the best!!!!

4. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

There are so many things!

I respect people who have a steadfast relationship with the Lord. They live their lives with purpose, serving others, caring for their families, practicing humility, generosity and helpfulness. Loving and gracious and kind.

I also respect common sense, people who don’t whine, hard work, and folks who see a need and meet it.
5. What’s something your friends might see and say is ‘so you’?

Chai tea, something with the word Capri on it, cute longer tops that cover the bottom, jegging jeans that don’t have a zipper (pure heaven!) pretty pots of coleus, anything pertaining to the kitty-wittys, dessert. 🙂  Thanks for the help Jip! ❤
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I posted last week about how practically everyone I know has been taking these Enneagram tests and discussing their personality types! Some are spot on, others have wings that help them make sense of their number, and others, like myself, have rejected the number they initially received (because it was HALF wrong!) for another that they came up a couple times in different tests. The friend who originally told me about the whole thing recommended this book. It has a Christian focus and I have enjoyed reading it. I am getting educated on all of the numbers of my friends and family members! I have also had some insights into my own self and why I tend to be the way that I am.

Take the test and see if you see yourself in the description!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Cascades

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Well, we finally did it. After many years of cutting bait, we actually fished. We jumped off the fence we had been sitting on. We took the plunge. After much looking, ruling in and out, narrowing down, and pondering our options, we bought a place in Florida!

It’s in Estero, between Ft. Myers and Naples, in a community called Cascades. We had discovered it some years ago and it had been rolling around in our minds ever since. It had several things we were looking for, 55 community, not a HUGE amount of homes, a GREAT pool (because we know how important that was to our kids!), and low HOA fees. All of those amenities kept us coming back to look even though the layout of the inside of the homes was not our favorite. We did put a bid in on a similar layout last year but let it go when the owners counter offered more than we wanted to pay.

We looked quite a bit at homes on every vacation for the last several years. We’ve stayed in Cape Coral for the last several years because it was so hard for Honey to find weekly rentals anywhere else around spring break. We ruled it out though, because it was too stinking far from the freeway and it seemed to take forever to get through Ft. Myers.This year, since Honey’s retirement is approaching, we knew we wanted something for next winter. We were actually in Cascades looking at open houses when Honey asked a realtor what the homes rented for. When we found out we would pay around $12,000 just to rent, we decided we may as well put that towards our own place!

We had narrowed things down to 2 spec homes in Ft. Myers, a new build also in Ft. Myers and this place in Estero. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

These are the pictures from the website. There is so much about the place that we love, and I will tell you about a few things we will change.

Love the wider plank wood floors, all the furniture comes with the place (also another thing that pushed us in this direction), and the white plantation shutters are throughout!

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The kitchen is pretty small and does not have a lot of cabinets. I have heard a rumor that Floridians eat out most of the time, so I am fairly certain Honey and I will make do with this.

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I was hoping that the counters would be ugly, chipped up formica in need of replacing, but unfortunately or fortunately, it is a very nice quartz that I cannot justify replacing just because I don’t want a step in the counter that faces the family room. I’d rather it was just a one level counter. Ah well. Honey was very pleased with the appliances 🙂

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Since this is not a load bearing wall, we could remove it and really open things up. The house we put a bid on last year had done it, so we know it looks very nice. The owners only had the small table you see here, and had changed the dining area to a sitting area.

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I’m pretty sure we are going to want that dining area back. Plus, we have other ideas for that back wall in the kitchen. Will let you in on those plans in another post!

The hall entry is where the leafy plant is, just so you can get your bearings. There is the sitting area that we will change. There are plenty of chairs in this house. Any one need a couple chairs? The door wall to the lanai is to the left of the striped chairs, and the doorway to the master bedroom is straight back.

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The view from the other direction:the hallway to the second bedroom, bath and den on the right, and the hall to the front door to the left of the fern-y plant. You can also see the laundry room as well, where the door to the garage is.

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Back to the master bedroom. Very thankful that is a king because Honey and I got one a couple years ago and we are NOT going back! Besides my Uncle Bob would probably like us to get our king sized foam mattress topper out of his spare bedroom. We bought it down here one trip, when the bed in the rental was so hard I thought it was going to cripple me before we left. I can live with every stick of the furniture, a very happy surprise! Some of these turnkey places were not such a great deal! They want you to pay for their….stuff, but then you would have to pay to have it carted away! And then purchase stuff you could live with.

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They were the original owners, so they have made updates all along. The bathroom was fairly recent, new cabinet and tile. I don’t care about any kind of tub, perhaps the grandkids will enjoy it 🙂

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There were a couple of things that need immediate attention. Painting the spare room is number one. Those walls are really more of a neon yellowish green. Maybe we can stick a chair in here, because we gots a lots of chairs! We may change this out to a king as well.

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I can live with this wallpaper for now. This looks Florida-ish to me ❤

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We were so happy to have a den! It made it easier to buy a two bedroom. We are still not certain if this will be big enough for the company we envision. I guess we will find out, you’re all invited down!!! Not at the same time though!!

A few more chairs for our chair collection! They are pretty comfy too! Will probably get some sort of pull out couch or a day bed, or some kind of thing to create more sleeping space.

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This is the door to our side entry front door, with the laundry and door to the garage to the right.

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Immediate project number two, removal of the pineapples. Even a plantation shutter in the laundry, how cute is that? This house also has the hurricane shutters on the outside. I think they are pleated and you just pull them closed.

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We first visited this house at an open house. The most complaints seemed to be the fact it was on a corner. The corner of two interior streets, not on a main, busier street. We looked at a couple of those. Much more traffic.

Side entry on the right.

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Our own twin baby palm tree! There are those hurricane shutters I was so terribly describing. They must lock in the middle.

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And the lanai. I love that there is already a ceiling fan out there! Because Mama needs a fan in every.single.room. That is the street beyond the hedge. I asked Honey if it bothered him that he would not have a water (ditch view, as we call them), he said it would not, because he is nosy and could watch the people walking by. Well alright then! I may have to get a robe if I plan on sitting out there early in the morning!

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The realtor told us that the owners had received approval to extend the lanai out to where the brick pavers end, that would double its size. We will totally do that. and then we can put a table and umbrella out there, which will increase entertaining possibilities. Too bad we can’t stick some of those many, comfy chairs out there.

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The hedge will probably be a casualty. Honey may even look into taking the lanai around the back too. We say that in a couple houses. Possibilities!

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There is the corner and the streets.

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The first thing that we liked about this community was the pool!!!!

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It starts with an indoor pool,

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and you go through the water cascading to the outside pool.

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So many pretty palm trees!

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It has a very nice clubhouse with activities and a library, exercise room, pickle ball and tennis courts, and lots of other things we may or may not be involved with. We had to have three character references before they would even let us move in. They take their character seriously down there!

We are very thankful to finally stop looking and we prayed that if it wasn’t what God had in mind for us than the deal would not go through. Honey felt confident it was within our budget, and the fact that it was turnkey meant we did not have the extra expense of furniture. We will probably head down there sometime this summer to take some household things down, and we will need to buy bedding, bath and kitchen things as well.

So there you have it, our new winter digs!

79 is Fine!

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March is a big birthday month for two guys in my life, Uncle Bob and my Dad! Since both days have already happened, we will go in order of the date, so Bob’s up first.

He had a big old 79 is fine kind of day and  was celebrated with dinner, friends and a Rum Cake, so that one is in the books!!!! Maybe next year we will be down there to celebrate the BIG one that will usher him into his octogenarian years!

Uncle Bob is my Mother’s younger brother and here he is with his lovely wife, Aunt Phyllis. I was born a few months before these two got hitched, so there is not a single memory where they are not a team. Makes it easy to remember how long they have been married too!

Because it would take too long to tell you 79 things that I love about my Uncle Bob, I will settle for 9.

1. He is funny. Always a winner in my book 🙂 Although it has been noted that he usually does not laugh when you tell him a joke, but if you are ever around when he retells it? He will amuse himself highly!

2. He keeps in touch. I have to say that he and my brother Beeve both share this trait. I am not much of a phone person and I am thankful that these two make the effort. Because I am more than happy to reconnect!!!

3. He is an Iron Marshmallow. Underneath that supposed gruff exterior is a sweetheart. That’s my observation and I’m sticking to it! I have seen him with his children and his granddaughter, a big ole teddy bear ❤

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4. He is a former Marine and veritable expert on World War 2. He is a Patriot and loves the ideals this country stands for.

5. He is a student of the Bible. I see this both in habit and practice. I love to talk about God’s Word with him and Phyllis and I see him living out the B.asic I.nstructions B.efore L.eaving E.arth.     B.I.B.L.E.

6. He is generous. With hospitality, finance, knowledge, wisdom.

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7. He is the last of my Mother’s People. I sometimes think this must be like standing on a high divide, where you came from is all behind you. and the future is all spreading out ahead. Steve and I are the next in line, then his children behind us, then my children, and so on, and so on… I would feel lonely in that spot, he carries it well. It makes me want to hold him tighter. I value this connection so much.

8. After my Mom died, I asked him to tell me 3 things, every time we were together, that I probably would not know about her. He has mostly done a good job about this. I have learned that my Mom loaned him money for his first car, all about her first party with boys!, and other interesting nuggets of pure gold! Start thinking of some new ones!!!

9. I’m pretty sure he loves me!!!!! Just in the last few months I MADE/ENCOURAGED him to take a DNA test to nail down our geneology, PLUS asked him to take a personality test on Enneagram!!!! I am pretty sure he did not care to do either of these things, but he did it for me!!!!

And one more to grow on!

10. He’s my Uncle Bob. He has always been there, part of who I am. He has reached out his hand, and I have taken it. We form links in a chain that will go forward until the Lord returns. And then we will be reunited for all time.

Happy Birthday Sir, love you muchly.

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Enneagram

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Hello my People! Honey and I were gone to Cincinnati last weekend at a BSF Leaders Retreat and it was AWESOME!!!!!

I need to ponder all I have heard and learned so that’s a post for another day, but this post requires your participation!

When I was at my Tuesday Bible study last week the gals were talking about Enneagram personality tests, which I have never ever heard of. They were amazed at the reliability of them, the ability to show you parts of yourself that had you saying “WOW, that is me!”. Numbers and numbers with wings, what numbers you are when emotionally healthy, and when you aren’t so emotionally healthy, who your best companions are. My head was spinning! It was fascinating! I went home and took a quick version of the test here and turned up a 6, also called The Loyalist. Not everything was perfect, but some of it was shockingly accurate, like a window into my soul. I guess that you can be one number but have other traits that are the wings. These other number wings can help with the things that don’t really describe you from your original number.

After I took mine I had Mousey do hers, she said it was freaky correct, she is a firm 5. I want Honey and The Ab-Cat to do it as well but they BOTH keep telling me they don’t have time. Evasive little scamps!!!

As I mulled my results over in my mind I had an epiphany in my car! I saw the reason for why I could not resolve a problem that I have been struggling with for some time! It was so clear and I just thanked God for the insight. I’m still not sure how to solve the problem, but understanding the struggle was helpful, so will continue to pray for resolution.

So the next morning at BSF leaders meeting, I started telling my People that they HAVE to take this test! As it turns out, my Admin buddy Sarah had taken this test and another one that reminds me of Braxton Hicks, but is not, YEARS ago and is a veritable EXPERT on the subject! She says she even likes to figure out what other people are on her own! She says it helps her figure out people that she is different from.  After our meeting we went to lunch and made our buddy Marilyn take the test and it was SPOT ON!

In the meantime, Jip the Farm Dog was not able to join us for lunch because she had a staff meeting. She must have mentioned to our pal Melissa that I told her she had to take a personality test, and guess what? Melissa is another little baby genius about the test! She messaged me thru Facebook that we were going to have to discuss all of it, so guess what we did all the way down to Cincinnati on the bus? Tested anyone near us and DISCUSSED everyone’s types!!!

I still don’t have a good understanding about the wings and I’m going to have to read up about it in one of the evidently hundreds of books on the subject. Sarah and Melissa both said that there were books with a Christian focus, so I would probably gravitate to those.

So this is what I would like you all to do, and I know it will be a challenge for Y’All because I know you are all comment shy for some unknown reason, but take the test and post your results in the comments. Also say if you think it’s correct or if you think you must have a wing of some sort.

Ready? GO!

Second Week of Florida 2018

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We spent some time down in Naples with my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob. There was some eating and hanging out involved. One visit included a yummy rib dinner at Bricktops, and a visit with Girl Cousin Lindsay, her husband Rob B. and their sweet little baby girl, Bailey Bean. They are all known internationally as Team Levine!

Bailey Bean, who will now be called BB, was very interested in books. I bet she gets that from her Mama, who is also a book fan. Honey obliged her.

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Serious thoughts.

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With her Daddy, Rob B.

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And there’s Girl Cousin Lindsay! They are Team Levine!

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Hi BB!! ❤ ❤

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Grand-père, AKA Uncle Bob, and BB talking about animals. MOO.

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You’ve gotta be quick with her, she is moooooving on!

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Grand-mère, AKA Aunt Phyllis. In her heart she is French.

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BB came around for sugar at bedtime, she got more than that from Mousey!

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There was nuzzling and all around gittin’ her!!!!

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I think she liked it 🙂  And off to bed she went, without a peep!

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I have been asking my Uncle Bob, who is my Mother’s brother, to do an Ancestry.com DNA test for years now. I did one several years ago and was surprised by what was represented, but I thought it would be interesting to see what his would say. After all, mine had both of my parents DNA, whereas his would only reflect my Mother’s side.  After much discussion and prodding, I bought him one for Christmas, brought it down to him in Florida, and he graciously donated his spit and sent it off. Now we wait!

What I am most interested to find out is whether my one percent Jewish comes from their side!!! He has had many people ask him if he is Jewish, and even Aunt Phyllis is convinced that he is one of The Chosen People! She thinks he looks a little Bernie Madoff-ish. I just see Ummel Bob!

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We continued the eating, visiting, lounging, shopping, all liberally sprinkled with looking at houses, communities, spec homes and model homes. All beautiful and each had their own pros and cons.

We usually stay in Cape Coral because it’s hard to find weekly rentals down this way, most prefer monthly commitments or more at this time of year. Although Cape Coral has come a L.O.N.G. way since it was hit hard in the economic disaster of 10 years ago, it takes too long to get to the freeway and the traffic is horrific getting through to Ft. Myers, so we looked mostly in Ft. Meyers and Estero. We did go and look at a lovely Del Webb community in Ave Maria, about 40 minutes from Naples. The houses and prices were GREAT, but even Honey agreed that it was too far from….EVERYTHING.

We have rented homes from the same couple for the last 3 years. Every year they have had a new rental and we have been the first to stay at each! She told us that they had decided to move into the one we were staying at when we left. They liked the location and the double lot.

It sure had pretty views!

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It was a nice relaxing visit, and before we knew it we were packing to head home.

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As per usual, Honey had us there nice and early. That meant we had some time to amuse ourselves. We did right fine in that department.

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They lovin’.

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And then we started with the Snapchat. Oh.My.Word.

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I wish I could put a video on here because there was a goodie! Slapped that puppy up on Facebook.

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KITTIES!!! My favorite 🙂

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Abby collected us from the airport and we came home to a winter storm warning and dinner at Chip and Dip. I was sporting my sandals, so was a bit nippy.

Mousey’s lament the next day.

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But someone was mighty glad to see us and has sticketh closer than a brother ever since.

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Oh yes he has.

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It was a grand vacation!

First Week of Florida 2018

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Hi Guys, long time no type!! We had a delightful two weeks in The Sunshine State, soaking up the sun and warm weather! It was just Honey and I for the first week, then we were joined by Mousey on the second. The weather was stellar, the pool was warm and our view was quite Florida-ish!

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Honey got right to the fitchin’. Catch and release all the day long.

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We went to a little joint called Woody’s Waterside in St James City on Pine Island. There were some boats going by for Honey to watch.

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Loved this picture!

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One of my most favorite meals, some kind of smoked pork BBQ nachos. YUM! We enjoyed them so much we went back after Mousey arrived. They also raved about the fresh shrimp they had. DELISH!

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There’s my boyfriend, I like his face. ❤

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I made plans with my Aunt Phyllis to go with her to her BSF class in Naples.  I went with her a couple of years ago when they had an actual class down there, but now she is part of a satellite class that has it’s own discussion groups, but hears a streamed lecture from Ft. Myers. This was particularly interesting to me because our class in Wayne absorbed another class in our area, and they receive a streamed lecture at their location. So I felt like I experienced what they have every week! I know my Aunt is thankful to be able to attend class in Naples instead of driving all the way up to Ft. Myers. Traffic down there is a NIGHTMARE! It took Honey and I an hour and a half to get from Cape Coral to Naples!!!!!

While I was at BSF, Honey went to my Uncle Bob’s coffee group. There are about 7 or 8 guys and this gentleman was among them. His name is Brian McFarlane and he was, among other things, a hockey announcer in Canada, land of Honey’s birth.

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Bob had told Honey about him previously, and Honey knew who he was! Honey had the good fortune to sit right next to him as he told story after story! He said his father wrote a bunch of Hardy Boys mysteries, he regaled him with stories about Bobby Orr, Glen Hall, Eddie Shack, and Gordie Howe. He is in the hockey hall of fame and has been an author, songwriter, artist, announcer and has had a very interesting life. Honey enjoyed him thoroughly!

Every day Honey needed a picture to send to his buddy at work. He knew that in his absence, this fellow had to work with another guy. So he sent a text with a picture saying “I got to do/eat this, you get to work with *****” This was one of the pictures.

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And another.

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And this one. We stopped at a highly rated doughnut shop on the way to the airport to pick up Mousey. Apple fritters, Smore, Maple, Orange and a plain puffy one. They were good but I’m sorry, they can’t hold a candle to our own Tasty Boy in Flat Rock, MICHIGAN!!!!!

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I only eat Cheeto’s on vacation. Breakfast of Champions.

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The day after Mousey got there, Honey went fitchin’ with his buddy Bob, who retired from Ford 10 years ago. We had gone to dinner the week before with him and his wife Kay, and the guys made their plans right then.

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They did their best catching near Bokeelia. Red drum.

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Snook. Sounds like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t, I asked.

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We were happy to have Mouse-Ann with us! She likes to do all the things we do; eat, lounge, eat, shop, have ice cream, visit. And eat.

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She spent a goodish amount of time toasting herself on the dock. It’s times like this that she is sincerely jealous of her sister and brother’s ability to tan supremely easily. And neither one of them gives a RIP! She gives a RIP!

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She is a pleasure to have around! See my purty necklace? My Aunt Phyllis gave it to me after she and Uncle Bob went to Israel a year or so ago. I wear it proudly because, after all, I am ONE PERCENT Jewish!!!!!!! Doubly chosen!!!

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More tomorrow 🙂