Sunday, February 28, 2010

We Got It!

We got the house!!! I can't believe it. The realtor was willing to take less percentage so that the seller got what he wanted out of the house and we didn't have to pay more than we were willing. Woo-hoo. Did you all hear me screaming??? Life is good...

The home is in Tampa Palms. We have gone back full circle now. We began our Florida life in Tampa and we are going back now. North Tampa is growing like crazy and there are so many advantages to living in a place where there is so much new.

The shopping around us there is incredible. We live in the middle of everything. We live on four acres here in Plant City and we'll be moving to a subdivision again with little room between homes. I love that all the lawns are taken care of by the community. It's much like a 55 plus community (the good parts) but all ages live there. There is a community pool, golf course, club house, and tennis courts.
There will be so many changes that I can't even imagine what will be involved yet.
The house is half the size of the one we live in. I think we will move one room at a time from here to there; deciding as we go what will make it to the new house and what is garage sale. The big part of the changes I spoke of is the fact that we will have much less space and we will be forced to simplify our lives. I think I'm ready though.

This is the first home we have looked for where we look just for room for us. Not for all the company that MIGHT come, for all the parties we MIGHT have, for all the room we MIGHT need. This is a home for Bill and I to live and have little upkeep and just enjoy.

We will have a lot to do on the house before we move in. We'll start with the floors and put tile throughout. We have to put in new appliances and paint the outside. Since Jeni and Tom are buying this house we are in, we can take our time getting over there.

We will close the last day of March.
I have my surgery on March 16 so I won't be much good at anything for about a month I imagine, after the surgery. So, now that we have the house we will be taking our time because Jeni and Tom aren't in a hurry either. This new home will give me the push to get over my surgery quickly so I can get things done for the house.


A quilting class in Kissimmee is the most likely choice for learning to sew on my Bernina and taking a quilting class. I signed up and am going to beginning quilting for four classes. I will miss two of those four because I’m going to Palm Springs next week and the week after that is my pre-surgery Doctor’s appointment. So, I will be able to make those classes up later.
The women in the class are so much fun. I am enjoying just being with them; especially the instructor who is my age and her life seems to parallel. Wish I could find classes like these closer. The drive is over an hour and not practical in any way. I’ll take these four classes and search for something closer. If I learn to use this sewing machine, I won’t have to be so choosy about which class will teach Bernina. The machine practically runs itself so I guess what it really needs to work well is my time and effort to learn it. I had an old Singer before Jeni was born that I made her layette with and sewed her cloths and mine for years. The machine finally stopped working all together and that was the end of my sewing career. I did enjoy it. There is no comparison between this machine and the old Singer though. Oh, my. If I had had this machine back then I just marvel at what a difference it would have made. I had to coax and prod the Singer to work and spent so much time trying to keep it in order. Instructor keeps telling me that I don’t have to feed the material through the machine, just guide it. It’s the simple things that make life great. 
I hope to add a photo of my first lap quilt in another few months. (Hope)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guillermo's Home

My nephew, Guillermo, is home on leave from Iraq. He came home to celebrate his twenty-first birthday. His mom and dad said they have seen little of him. He spends most of his time with his friends (of course) but it sure is nice seeing him.
Guillermo, Yamelis, and Wayne met Bill and me at Cheddars near Jeni's work so she could visit with him a bit on her lunch break. It turned out to be quite a long lunch break but it was so nice being together. We missed Tom but he had a meeting at his job and couldn't make it.
I'm still smiling from our time together though. What fun to be together even for such a short time.
Jeni has been sick for about a month now. She looks as beautiful as ever but very tired. She is going to work and school full time so that's a good reason to look tired. I sure hope she is better soon. She said she's had a headache for a month now. I hate that she is sick so long. I always want to make it better but I can't.
Guillermo looked tired as well from all his turning twenty-one celebrations. He looks so much more grown up. He also seems taller to us. He sure is changing and that is the way it's supposed to go. His mom is having a hard time though since he is her only child. I sure remember those empty nest days and what an adjustment it was for me. I feel for Yamelis but she is keeping busy.

Home Hunt

We have been searching diligently for a new home. We absolutely love our home here but it’s too big for the two of us. I want to live in a neighborhood surrounded by people, too. I have missed that living in the country on our property here in Plant City.
We looked first at 55 plus communities. We went to Sun City, Ave Maria, and Sarasota. We didn’t look any further away because Bill still works every day.
Conclusions: We don’t want to live in a 55 plus community. It’s just what we want on the one hand: convenience of all the amenities in the area, workout room, swimming pool, tennis courts, and activities...LOTS of activities. However, these people are old. I don’t think we met any 55 or 60 year olds. I know I’m stepping on toes to write this but it’s just not what we expected. Each home we looked at in Sun City had a lonely man or woman who had recently lost their spouse and had to sell to go be near their children. It was a bit depressing. I know we didn’t give it a fair trial or look but we left feeling that although they were very active communities, they were too old for what we had dreamed. Jeni’s in-laws live in one and it’s wonderful and I’ve never met more youthful acting, looking, feeling people as these two, and they love it there. I know it’s just us but for now, I don’t think that is for us.
We began to search in new communities where we thought there would more likely be younger old people. LOL In Sarasota some of the homes weren’t even built yet and everything was new and beautiful. However, we did think that the drive would be a lot on Bill in addition to his long days at work and auction. We decided to look closer to home, no further than Tampa.
So the hunt was on. South, North, and New Tampa became our hunting grounds.
South Tampa has beautiful areas but the homes are older ones. We realized we weren’t crazy about older homes (60’s and 70’s) . I don’t like older homes any more than I like antiques for me. I love to see them, walk in them, and appreciate antique furniture and furnishing. I’m truly awed by them. However, more modern surroundings and new makes me feel better if I’m living in it.
Our search has narrowed considerably. New Tampa. The search is on in a concentrated area that gets more concentrated as we look more. We found one in Tampa Palms and made a bid, it was rejected, they countered, we rejected, and now it’s back in their ball park. We don’t have much hope that they will take our offer now but we are sure that is the area we want to live so we will keep looking.
This place is like a 55 plus community in that they have a lawn service that everyone shares; they have a club house, golf course, tennis courts, and work out room that everyone living there has access to. The people are the young working to young with children to older and then old. Sounds just right for us right now. Now, if only we can get a house there. 
You’ll hear me screaming if we get one. I’m ready to move.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rainy Day Saturday

Bill got off work early so we could go to Lakeland's First Friday. This Friday they had dancing in the streets. The restaurants and stores would be open late for the event plus there was a car show. It had been raining hard during the day and we decided since the weather was good now that we'd take off for Lakeland. Before we got there the rain started pouring down. We were sad for the merchants and vendors, car enthusiasts and dancers because we were sure it would be called off. It was. However, we saw some restaurant lights on and a light on at Brooke Pottery. We weren't ready to turn back so, armed with our malfunctioning umbrella, we went to Brooke Pottery. This place is amazing, artists sell their works there. It's very pricey but so much fun to look at; rather like an art gallery. We enjoyed roaming around and found out it was their 22nd anniversary. They had wine and cheese and anniversary cake. We browsed, ate, and gabbed to others there and the store clerks. Since it was the only show in town, there was quite a crowd. They had a man who made balloon creations and he made a lady bug for me. Too bad it's going to's so cute!

Neither Bill nor I purchased anything but we did have fun and since my eye is still black and blue, purple and yellow, we fielded some questions about it. I told them Bill socked me a good one. Bill's reply? "She just won't listen to me!" LOL When I told the shop owners the story of my souvenir black eye from Cancun they were laughing and would bring others over to hear the story. LOL I didn't know a black eye could be such an ice breaker. I told them the story of wiggling my fingers (on my hand for every Dr. and then they finally told me, "No, wiggle the fingers on your feet!" LOL I signed up for a certificate for $220.00 as I left.

About the time we came home after dinner we received a call from the Brooke Pottery. I won the $220 gift certificate. How could that be? It had to be the rain!

After First Friday came First Saturday (cool huh?)and the Women's Expo was at Lakeland Center. I went and loaded my free expo bag with freebees from the vendors. What fun. Afterwards I went to pick up my gift certificate and trade it in for the clock I wanted. I still can't believe it even though I have the beautiful handmade clock from the shop in my home now. I would never have spent that kind of money but...I won it! I am too happy for words. This is a gift that keeps giving every time I look at my clock.

I can't believe it still but I do want to thank the rain! Without it I would be cheerless and clockless.