Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Making the Most of Down Time

Tuesday March 10 and Wednesday March 11, 2015
Quail Run RV Park
Wesley Chapel, Florida



TUESDAY March 10


Don’t go to Labcorp to get a blood test without an appointment is my advice.  I tried to get my lipid check done in Brandon while we were in Lithia Springs but they claimed my doctor had not faxed it in.  I find that hard to believe.  He and his staff are excellent.  I called yesterday back to Brandon and talked to someone else and sure enough, the order is there.  Problem is I’m not.  I ask if they will fax it up to their office in Lithia Springs.  Nothing doing.  What a cooperative business always trying to help the patient out.   So no blood check on Monday.

I have to do the blood check today since David is going in for his to the Moffitt Cancer center tomorrow and we both have to go fasting which means early morning.  The places are not near each other.  So I call my doctor back.  His great staff faxes it in yet again this time to Wesley Chapel Labcorp.  

I go out for a walk/run and then drive over there for the test.  It is 10:45 by now.  I’m still fasting.  The waiting room is full.  There are over 30 people ahead of me. Some of them wisely have an appointment.  But my order is here so I pull up a chair and wait for over 2 hours behind the appointment people and the walk ins ahead of me.   SIGH…………but at least it’s done and the weather has turned HOT so I’d be inside anyway on this day that looks lovely with its blue skies and bright sun.  I won’t have the results for several days but I’m really hoping my numbers might have dropped some more from my previous 154.

I’m finally finished about 1:15 and head down to Bruster’s ice cream for a lipid jolting treat to break my fast but they tell me that they had Jamaica Me Crazy last week but not this week.   My luck!

At least the test is done.  The rest of the day is spent sitting in the shade reading outside and inside working on the income taxes.



The most fun of the day is when we go down to the Rec Hall at 7:00 to play bingo.   It’s a dollar a card with a 4 card minimum per person.  The hall is full.  Most people have all their own chips and magnetic wands and daubers.  We are clearly the amateurs here.  Luckily they have loaners and welcome us to the fold.

We play our 4 cards 5 times for regular bingo or 4 corners.   Folks are winning right and left.  No pot seems less than $28.  Then comes the paper cards.  Those are another $1 each for 3 on a sheet.  You mark these with the daubers of which they also have loaners. 

First one played is a pyramid on the cards followed by a cover all.  The pots are even bigger.  Then comes intermission with popcorn and all kinds of sugary and salty snacks.  David has his myeloma and lipid tests tomorrow so he foregoes everything but the popcorn although it is clearly cooked in oil and smothered in that “yellow chemical” popcorn salt.  I eat too many sweet and salty treats from the table.




After intermission is a repeat.  We play 5 rounds with our 4 cards and win not a thing.  Then we buy more paper cards and daub a thunderbird pattern and a coverall.  David gets down to needing one number on the thunderbird for a win but it isn’t called and isn’t called and after 6 no calls someone else wins.  Of course his number is the very next one called as we continue on to the coverall.  Luck isn’t with us tonight but it is at our table since the 3 people sitting next to us all have won.

But we had a great time anyway and I’d come back next week if we were going to be here.  But then I learn it is being cancelled next week for something else and the troops are not happy.  They want it moved to Wednesday but that’s the ice cream social.  They say, “let’s combine them, they’ll sell more ice cream” but the caller says it isn’t happening.   Toward the end of the night a petition goes around for Wednesday night bingo.   These people are serious.  They love their bingo.  Wonder why it isn’t scheduled more than once a week.   Saturday and Sunday nights both look pretty open to me.   




On the walk back we discover that our neighbor is all lit up.  Looks like a holiday.  Not sure what the occasion is.  David says it’s been that way every night since we got here.  Don’t see how I would have missed it although I don’t tend to walk around in the dark unless it’s a full moon. 

Glad we have MCD shades given our proximity to all these lights.   In the morning I find out that they leave them on all night long.  That seems very strange to me since they pay their own electric bill being seasonal lot renters.  Besides they are asleep and so is everyone else so who is there to see them?   Maybe the people they keep awake.  <grin>

That’s Winnona off to the left in the picture.  Reminds me of Disneyworld.







Today is David’s day for the blood draw but he has to drive all the way into Tampa so he leaves about 8am for his 8:45 appointment.  It’s nearly 1:00 when he returns.  Don’t ask me what he was doing.  He did bring beer back with him of course and it can take an hour to pick out 6 bottles.

After he leaves in the morning, I go out for another 10000 steps and after once around the park, up and down every street, I decide to go outside the park and just try some local neighborhoods for a change of scenery.  I come back, get cleaned up and assume my position on the patio facing the canal.   While I’m reading, I’m glancing up to see the wading birds.   Love my spot in this picture above.


At first the little blue heron is on the far shore and the ibis nearer to me.







They both walk on down the canal and away from me.  The ibis climbs the bank and disappears into someone’s yard.  The little blue crosses the canal and the next time I look up, he’s on my side and a great egret is on the far shore.


The Great Egret has his breeding feathers and colors on. He looks fantastic.  Girls where are you?  I had NO idea he was so metallic green.   He almost appears proud of himself as he struts down the canal, fishing as he goes.  He must know how handsome he is.








The little blue heron’s bill is also very bright. An electric blue but my close up pictures of him don’t turn out as well. Maybe tomorrow.



By the time David returns it is getting to be a hot one outside.  Time to come inside and enjoy our electric hook up and the air conditioning.  It is 89 degrees and humid outside again today.  Neither of us is interested in being outside even with the breeze.  I’m glad I was able to be out this morning. 

We spend the afternoon on the income taxes.  Because of doing the solar install in the spring, I’m really hoping we might get something back this year rather than having to pay.  David says we could always lower our exemptions but they are at zero now I tell him.   Without home interest as a deduction, there isn’t much you can take off of your income.  Ours retirement income is certainly not large but we sure are paying taxes on it.

About 4:00, I walk the trash to the dumpster and go into the pool area where I chat with two people from SW Virginia who are here in their 38’ Fleetwood Bounder.  I learn from them that the pool does not have chlorine.  It is salt water.  Had I known that, I would definitely have gone swimming today and maybe even shown up for the 11am water aerobics.  I’m allergic to chlorine.  Really glad to hear this. 

Hot weather is predicted through the week-end.   Seems like we went from winter right into summer here.  No spring.   That’s too bad.  It’s one of my favorite seasons.   Hope we get north in time to enjoy some of it.




A vegan friend of David’s sent him a recipe for stuffed shells.  It looked very delicious so he makes it up for dinner.  But it requires the oven so we put our toaster oven outside and cook it out in the heat rather than run the AC to cool off the oven.

Looks beautiful but when I taste it, I know something is wrong.  It’s out of balance.  David doubled the oregano thinking the amount seemed too small.  Now it’s too heavily oregano.  I toss some extra garlic powder on to tone it down.  I’ll post the recipe when we get it perfected.  We have used unbleached parchment paper inside the baking dish so we didn’t have to grease it.   Looks pretty though and tastes fine just not as perfect as it will the next time.





During this down time we had hoped to get a number of items ticked off that ever present list.  We are closing in on it having gotten Winnona’s hydraulic hose replaced at Lazydays,  a wash/wax for her here and both of our blood tests done.   We have the taxes to finish and the blood draw follow up and treatment discussion with David’s doctor on Monday before we leave this area and head north.   I’m happy with our progress and the heat has made it so that we aren’t so tempted to drop the taxes and do something more fun.


  1. I love the green on the face of the great egret, he really does look majestic!

    I guess you aren't the only one wondering why people put up those lights and keep them on all night. I admit it looks really pretty but can be annoying to the neighbors around them plus the extra cost of the electricity even though they look like they are LED lights so they wouldn't use up much but still, I just don't get it.


  2. Love the color on the Egret! That sure is a fine spot you have for relaxing with the birds. It's too bad summer seems to have arrived already...what is up with the crazy weather all over the country!?

    Those stuffed shells look great, looks like something I'll have to attempt some time.

  3. I think I have heard of other RV'rs who talk about installing these LED lights underneath their rigs, no holiday required! Why I love dark parks in the desert! Also...just an FYI...in some web searches Oregon is not listed as a tax friendly place for retirees. Looking more closely, however, for people like us it is fabulous. The biggest thing that makes taxes higher here is that there is no property tax benefit for seniors, however if you are a normal person without a lot of huge assets, it is in your favor. Here I pay no tax on my social security income and no tax on my federal retirement pension since I earned it during a certain time period. So when you look at tax advantages or disadvantages, be sure to check out who actually benefits. Rich people would probably not benefit as much as I do in the state of Oregon.

  4. Looks like you picked a good day for bird watching. It can always make a day of chores bearable. Bingo, not so much.

  5. The green on the egret is amazing and something I've never noticed before. Breeding color? First it's cold now it's hot, is there no happy medium. I hate lights on at night outside and just don't get it. Are they afraid?

  6. Dave called many a bingo game during our time as Activity Directors. . .always a huge hit!

  7. Doesn't it feel good to check all those things off your list?
    When we worked in Activities at the RV park in Mission, TX, it was the same way with Bingo. If we had to cancel it for another activity the guests would be up in arms. We thought it was pretty funny to be so rabid about Bingo!

  8. That Egret is simply awesome. John shops like David.... slow as molasses. Funny, aren't they. It is heating up here too. Nineties this weekend. We would be running from the heat, but have dental appointments the 25th. THEN we can travel north.

  9. We enjoyed playing bingo in one park once and won. Others weren't too happy about it. Those bingo players are serious for sure! Glad you are able to get some chores done. We filed our taxes the first of February, and are still awaiting our refund! Guess the government needs it worse than we do :(

  10. I got all my tax documents together right before reading this blog - well done to us both :) Sounds HOT there - wow! It is finally nearing the 60s here - feels amazing - Spring is in the air, although there are no buds yet on any of the trees and there is still snow in parking lot piles. Too bad you didn't win at bingo - not fair! :( That egret is beautiful - I love that bright color!

  11. I don't recall ever seeing an egret with a green face. He's beautiful. I guess I'll have to look more carefully the next time I see one. I wonder where all the woodstorks went? They seemed to be pretty happy there when we left.

    When we got back from Georgia last fall, Pat had even more blue lights outside and she kept them on all day and night. I didn't understand that because she used to only use solar lights. She gets a free site and I think electricity too, so I guess she's not worried. Fortunately, believe it or not, she toned down some of the lights and turned off the horrible spotlight.

    Sorry you didn't win at bingo. It sounds like David was pretty close. It's warm here, but we have really strong breezes, so that helps. I'm also missing spring, but know I'll find it when we go to GA.

  12. I love seeing the birds in their breeding finery and the green mask on the Great Egret is among the most beautiful! As far as bright lights at night, I'm always bummed when we're near people who insist on leaving lights on at night. I knock on their doors and ask them if they would kindly turn them off. :-) But we also have day/night shades AND blackout curtains just in case.

  13. I love it...The Great Bingo Revolt!! LOL Hope you both get some good test results and I repeat...Medical care should not be so difficult:o)) In all the pictures of birds I have taken, I have never seen the Great Egret in his breeding green...how beautiful. Great photo...thanks!!! Want the stuffed shell recipe when you get it tweaked please;o))

  14. I'm disappointed, too, that we skipped spring and it's in the high eighties now...sigh...But it sure was a wonderful winter in Sarasota! Hope your blood results are good!

  15. The long wait at the lab was bad enough, but to miss your favorite flavor is the pits! The bingo folks crack me up - seems they could be moving petitions on more important issues, like the overuse of lights in the park :-) Me thinks you are feeling a bit "harnessed" this week :-( Glad you took some reading time by the creek - and got that great shot of the green bandit which I (and nearly everyone else) have never seen. We're in the 90's this week and I am so happy we won't have to spend another summer here. I have to remember the parchment paper!!

  16. Hope all turns out well with all your tests. You certainly deserved the ice cream and David the beer:)

    It has been very warm here in AZ, as well, with temps in the high 80's with 90's predicted for next week. Way too hot for me but our saving grace is that there is no humidity. We are about 10-15 degrees above normal but then it has been that way all winter.

    You do have a nice spot for relaxing and bird watching. Love that brilliant green face:)

    Aren't bingo people a hoot! They are some serious gamers. Don't want to mess with their game as you saw.

  17. Just be glad you didn't win at bingo, or you'd have one more thing to pay taxes on... :c)

  18. Fantastic picture of the egret in mating attire! I have seen him many times but did not even notice the bright green mask until I saw your picture! May be time for new glasses already. On the night lights, I agree it is wasteful for sure and the only upside I can imagine is the pleasure it might bring to the insomniac who goes out for a walk in the middle of the night because they can't sleep. It is a magical time to walk when the moon and temperature is right. I remember just such a night at Bryce Canyon and though I did not see any party lights on the coaches in the CG, the clear skies provided plenty to amaze and delight.

  19. I've never heard of a non chlorine pool before. I don't use pools because I can't breathe the chlorine it gives me an instant headache and my breathing tightens up too.

  20. That egret is very handsome! I love the longer feathers that hang below on his wing and the green on his face. If I were a female egret, I would be flirting with him.. Sorry you didn't get to enjoy the pool. I'm not allergic to chlorine but it absolutely trashes my hair. Hope the blood draws have some good news.

  21. I would love to see those breeding egret for I still have to see one with its green beak. I would love to sit next to you and make up our own stories behind those birds behaviors.
    Hope all your numbers will be in the desirable range.


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