Saturday, December 28, 2013

In the nick of time - Health Insurance stories..

Pittman Visitor Center
Altoona, FL

We want to share a few pictures from Christmas.
My son's girlfriend, Candee, took some pictures 
for me while they were there for the day.

My Mom wearing the scarf I got her.
I bought it from Jeannie, (Where's Eldo?)
from her Etsy site.
She's got some great crafts on there, check it out!

Also, a great picture of my Dad!
He looks great, despite the hair loss from chemo.
Of course, he didn't have much hair


My son, Adam, got a lesson on cooking
Aebleskivers - a Danish donut-type pastry,
cooked in a special pan.

We wished we could have been there!

In the meantime..
George and I lost our health insurance on Nov. 30th.
I was helping out for the new owner of the water company,
but the help is not needed anymore.
We've been trying daily to apply for coverage
on the infamous Obamacare website.
I'd fill out all the information,
only to be told 
'our verification system is down, come back in 24 hours'.
Of course, I came back everyday to 'update',
meaning I had to read over everything I had entered in before.

I'm happy to say that finally, a couple days ago,
they must have verified our info,
because I was able to choose a plan for us.

We are insured through Avera,
with a PPO plan with a $10,000 deductible.
Of course, since it is a PPO, while traveling,
we will have to pay most everything out-of-pocket.
At least our prescriptions are covered!
We also chose a dental plan for me,
which is covered nationally.
We also chose to apply our eligible credit
towards the premium,
making our monthly cost around $150.00/month.

Now our goal is to stay nice and healthy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, and on to 2014

Pittman Visitor Center
Altoona, FL

George and I want to wish everyone a 
to everyone.

Yesterday, Christmas Eve,
was spent relaxing at home and
enjoying Christmas movies on DVD.
Last night George and I dined out at a Chinese buffet,
which has been a family tradition for more than 50 years.
We then attended a candlelight service at the local Lutheran church.

This morning we made our family phone calls,
and then got together with a few of the volunteers for Christmas dinner.
The local Baptist church has a community dinner,
and all are welcome!

There were quite a few people there,
with great food and fellowship..

Our group..

We enjoyed watching my son, Adam, cook dinner for my parents,
and watched part of it via Skype :-)

To all in our family, and extended family,
as well as friends we've met or have yet to meet..

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Christmas happenings..

Pittman Visitors Center
Altoona, FL

There's no shortage of things to do here :-)

We've been getting together with our new-found friends
and checking out the Christmas lights.
Saturday night we took a ride over to the Villages
to see the entertainment that they offer free every night!

We went to Sumter Landing and Spanish Village to listen to music played by a duo, then a band,
playing great country songs, oldies, and of course some Christmas songs.
It was nice to sit outside in shorts!

Yesterday we had a 'brunch' sitting outside in 80 degree weather.
We were introduced to a new way to eat omelettes.
Called 'omelette in a bag'..
Put two eggs in a freezer ziploc bag,
add chopped veggies, meats, whatever..

 Then drop it into boiling water for 15 minutes..

Viola, instant omelette!

We all contributed different brunch items..
hash brown casserole, biscuits & gravy,
fresh fruit, and bloody marys.

We all had a great time!

It's back to work in the forest this morning.
Supposed to be 85 degrees today,
but a 'cold' front is coming through tonight, 
dropping temps to the mid 60's tomorrow.
Brrr.. :-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Blue Springs State Park & Manatees!

Pittman Visitor Center
Altoona, FL

Ever since we've been researching full-time RVing,
we have been reading blogs of other full-timers who have seen the manatees.
Today, we got our chance!

which was just a little over a half hour drive.
After paying the modest $6.00 entrance fee,
we parked and walked up to the boardwalk that parallels the spring run.

I couldn't believe my eyes!!
Crystal clear water with over 200 manatees lounging around.

There were moms and babies too..

The Florida Manatees migrate into the warmer water of the springs.
The spring temperature averages 72 degrees year round.
They cannot tolerate temperatures colder than 68 degrees,
so when the water gets colder in the winter,
the mammals start making their way inland to warmer water.
They are just fascinating creatures, so trusting of humans.

We saw Wayne Hartley, Manatee specialist with the 'Save the Manatee club',
out doing his daily manatee count. The count for today was 271!

While we were there, we decided to take a cruise on the St.John's River.
The park offers a 2 hour trip with guide for only $20 each.
It was well worth it!

I took so many pictures..
We saw lots of birds..
Great Blue Herons,
Great Egrets,
Turkey Vultures..
oh my!

Of course there were lots of turtles sunning themselves..

and Alligators as well..

This guy was huge!

We were glad he was on the shore and feeling lazy :-)

George and I really enjoyed ourselves!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A little Christmas spirit..

Pittman Visitor Center
Altoona, FL

The temperatures here in Florida sometimes fool us.
Even though we lived in Pennsylvania, and it was cold,
and sometimes a white Christmas,
it always felt like the season was here.
It's been in the high 70's and low 80's here,
which makes it hard to 'feel Christmas'.

George and I went to the neighboring town of Umatilla 
yesterday as they had a Christmas festival.
It was a typical 'small-town' festival, including a parade,
local high school band playing, and some food & craft vendors.

The highlight of the festival was the unveiling of the new city sign :-)

Last night we did a few more things to get in the spirit.
The town of Mt. Dora puts on some terrific Christmas displays.
A group of us drove there to see them.
Before we looked at the lights, we had some great Mexican food!

We went to Fiesta Grande, which seemed to be pretty popular,
as we had an hour wait!
We kept ourselves amused..

As it turns out, we got in within a half hour,
and it was pretty good!

Afterwards, we took a walk around the town, and Donnelly Park.
The trees were all lit up with colorful lights..

Even some of the houses and shops were all lit up!

George and I cracked up when we saw this:

They had sled runs with snow (or ice) brought in for the kids.
We assume a lot of Florida kids may have never seen snow!

On our way back home, we took a ride by the marina.
It was all lit up, as well as some of the boats that were docked there.

Even though the temperature was 70 degrees last night,
I think we got into the spirit!

This morning we went to church, singing some nice Advent hymns,
and when I got home, I fixed fudge..
a Christmas tradition!