Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making the Best of the Situation


Wesley Chapel, Fl 


We have survived our winter  in the Tampa area.  It was definitely colder than that we’ve become used to in the Keys, but the winter was fairly mild and I don’t think we even got a freeze.  Winter appears to be over though, and unfortunately the heat has returned.   Sad smile


Mom is about the same. We make sure someone is with her 24 hours a day.  We have a caregiver with her 6 hours a day and divide the rest of the time up between me and Al, and my brother.  It limits what we can do for fun but are working on bringing some fun back into our lives. 

I have also been putting out feelers with friends and contacts and trying to find someone to live in with Mom.  I was thinking there are probably mature women who are widows and may be in financial need.  I would love to find one who doesn’t have a lot of money and could use a free place to stay in exchange for a few hours a week of caring for Mom.   We can’t afford to pay for a live in, so we’re thinking this might be a good option for everyone concerned.    If anyone has any suggestions on where to find someone like this, please let me know.  We know we can’t get one of those people along the side of the road with signs offering to work for food or illegal immigrants, so any suggestions would be appreciated.   Smile


We haven’t done much fun the past few months, but we have decided that needs to change. We have been a little depressed so we’re trying to find fun things to do that can work into our busy schedule.

In our quest to have fun we decided to bring our boat here from the Keys. Normally it stays in the Keys and we only use it when we’re there.   We plan to head down to the Keys next month to pick it up. We will leave the motorhome and cats here and make a short trip. The cats will be boarded at the Veterinarian boarding facility. I’m a little hesitant on leaving our babies but our friend Dr. Heidi and my retired USAA friend Terry will be there to help keep an eye on them.

Once we get the boat here, we will store it in a high and dry marina in Tarpon Springs, which is where we kept our boat  years ago. It’s a very convenient way to have a boat.  The boat lives inside a building on a rack.  They use a fork lift to get it down and put it in the water.  Once the guys see you drive up, they go get the boat and it’s ready for you before you get your stuff out of the car.   When you get finished for the day, and pull up to the dock, they come running out to grab the boat, and help you out.  They either put it directly away into the building or on an outside rack so that you can rinse the salt out of the engine.  It’s a wonderful way to own a boat.

The white buildings in the back of the photo are where the boats are stored.  You can see a forklift lifting a boat. The marina is on the Anclote River which is a 2 minute ride out to the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful Anclote Key which is only accessible by boat.

Boat Storage Marina Tarpon Springs Florida Tampa Bay Pinellas County

We also bought new kayaks.  We love our Sea Eagle inflatables but they are definitely more trouble to inflate/deflate than hard kayaks.  We purchased Hurricane Skimmer sit on top kayaks.

Kayaking Causeway in Hurricane kayaks

We spent a day kayaking along the Howard Franklin Causeway. 

Kayaking Causeway in Hurricane kayaks


We took advantage of a nice warm day a week or two ago and went to visit some friends who live on Ana Maria Island, which is about an hour or so south of here. 

What a beautiful island with sugar white sand.

Ana Maria Island

Ana Maria Island


While there, we got thrown in the local jail.

Ana Maria Island jail

We got a tour of Heidi and Suzanne's beautiful home and then we all walked  down to the Pier restaurant and sat over the beautiful turquoise water while enjoying dinner with our friends. Al had a football bet to pay off, so dinner was on us!  I should have taken a picture of the pier, but I didn’t think of it.  Here is one courtesy of the internet.


Thanks Heidi, Suzanne and  Ashley for a fun day!   (we needed it)

Heidi, Suzanne, Ashley, Toto, Zoey, Macey

Notice the rabbit?  She’s a sweet little thing and gives kisses.

Heidi, Suzanne, Ashley, Toto, Zoey, Macey


Since we’re not doing anything fun, we have been shopping!   We’ve made a few nice e-Bay purchases.  Thanks to Merikay for the recommendation on Magma stainless steel stackable cookware.  We saw it at Camping World for over $200 and bought it on e-Bay for $177.  I thought I got a great deal until I saw it today on e-Bay the other day for $157.  Darn it!

It’s very nice heavy cookware and nests together for those small rv cabinets.  I had considering purchasing this cookware for years, but wasn’t sure of the quality until I saw it in person.  It’s very well made and heavy duty.  The pans all nest together and the handles are removable and store nicely in the limited space of an rv cabinet.  They also sell a non stick surface, but I prefer the stainless steel.


Magma Compact Nestable 10 Piece Induction Cookware for Boat RV Camping   eBay


Another online purchase was an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.  I used a stove top pressure cooker many years ago and loved it.  I was intrigued about these new electric pressure cookers and started researching them. Everyone seemed to love them, so I decided to get one. I  purchased mine thru Amazon with an $80 off coupon, so I bought it for $56.   Here is the link to the one I have.  There are several options.  I liked this brand because of the stainless steel pot.

Instant Pot link  Instant Pot IP DUO60 7 in 1 Multi Functional Pressure Cooker  6Qt 1000W  Kitchen   Dining

I am not a great cook but I really like this Instant Pot.  It cooks things quickly with no bother. Once you put the food into the pot, you set the timer and it comes up to pressure, starts cooking for the time you set, then keeps the food warm until you take it out.  Once the pressure is up, it is so quiet you wonder if it’s even cooking.    The old style pressure cookers (which I loved) needed to be watched and you had to constantly adjust the heat on the stove. The Instant Pot takes care of all that and you don’t even have to think of it until it dings to let you know it is done!   Love it.  I feel comfortable putting the food in and going outside for happy hour while it does it’s thing. If we’re having too much fun, it doesn’t matter because it keeps the food hot until you are ready to eat.  I love it more and more as I learn to use it!   There are some Instant Pot Facebook groups, for any of you that are considering getting one.  I think it’s a wonderful thing for the small spaces of an Rv.   I have decided to toss the crock pot because with the Instant Pot, I don’t see a need for a slow cooker, and I haven’t used my Magma cookware since I got the Instant Pot.  Sad smile


So, that is about all fun and exciting we’ve done.  Mom is doing ok….she has her ups and downs. She’s driving us crazy trying to find anything she likes to eat.  She’s become like a child in that respect.

We’re going over to Mom’s today and putting up a hospital bed.  Of course that means taking the old bed out and reassembling the hospital bed.   Unfortunately, due to Medicare cuts, she didn’t qualify for a hospital bed which would have been delivered and set up in her home   Instead we had to find one on Craig’s List, haul it piece by piece down the steps from a 2nd floor apartment and haul it home in the back of the truck.   Today, we have to see if we can put all the pieces back together properly.  Wish us luck.