Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year 2011, WOW!

Amazing that the year started off great, sunny Florida. We moved around a little and were at Rainbow Springs State Park, relaxing and walking.


As in life, things can change over night. We received a call from Ypsilanti that Sherry’s brother Johnny was in intensive care, not expected to live. Johnny is younger than Sherry and I by a couple years. We drove straight thru to Michigan. With no parks open in the winter the Hospital allowed us to stay in the parking lot.

Ypsilanti, JOHNNY 006

(Looking out our windshield, This was our Van with the boat on top, two days before it was in 80 degree weather)


(Elijah, Candy & Tyler) (Jerry, William and Me)

(Candy is a treasure, those are her grandkids)

We were hit by 12” of snow the first night or day. With the help of the Lord and a good hospital staff, Johnny pulled thru; also with a lot of encouragement from Candy, (his lovely daughter), Sherry, Brenda and William(Niece & Husband from Belmont).


(Sherry, Brenda & Debbie at one of our dinner breaks)


(Wild Bill (Great friend of Johnny’s) and the beautiful Candy, John of course in the back ground)


(Danny, Dave (?), Sherry and Johnny(I had a big problem here, As I  snapped this one (that is the head nurse in the back ground), she came in and chewed me out good, she would have made a good DI!).) John had so many friends stop by, Wild Bill was the most consistent, with Jerry next. Wild Bill did not miss more than 1 or 2 days, that is a good friend)

I kept out of the way in the waiting rooms and played on the computers. Sherry says an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. While surfing the net I found a house in Belmont. I knew the realtor, she had sold at least one house for me. I made them an offer and they took it.


I do not know one stock from another. So I do not look at the stock market. BUT I know houses, so when I can invest in a house I do.

Of course the house did not look like the pictures when we got there, but it was still a good buy. We spent a long time making it ours, added a great place for the motor home. We were happy with it.

We both visited doctors this summer. Bad news both ways. They put Sherry on blood pressure meds and Boniva and put me on some cholesterol med. After a month or so I quit because of cramps and a rash. Dr. Lucy prescribed Fish oil, so I am taking a multi vitamin, aspirin, and fish oil.

Sherry still takes the a handful of vitamins & stuff, to keep her young and so she will live forever.

We rented the house to our son Mark and hit the road, we weren’t quite ready to settle down yet. ‘SURPRISE!’ said Sherry. Of course we agreed before anything was done.

Carnival Legend at Sea


This was our 55th wedding anniversary year and we took a cruise.  Had a wonderful time. Since we had departed from Florida on the cruise, we just stayed when we got back.  We have had a wonderful time here. We stay a week or two weeks here and there. The life we like.

We walk and talk about 2012. We are not exempt from problems, one hangs over us like lead. At present, things are good. I try to live the serenity prayer. As I have said, the prayer is good philosophy if you don’t believe in prayer.

Thanks for looking back with me. This may never see the light of day, but I have written it.

NIte Shipslog


When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

(That is something I like to believe!)



My good friend the preacher, was telling us he had one of these that was eat up with termites. But he still dated in it. (Ford, guessing 1940/41)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Innovation, doing something different.

smith car

This is actually a Smith car. I have seen only one and touched it. Dan Doughton, a friend knew a man who owned one, I went to see it. A Smith car, an innovator..

Out of the many folk I have met, ‘few’ are real innovators. Most are like me, give me an idea and I might improve on it. Once or twice I have come up with something I would call original when I was building. Jim Walters was considered a joke when I was growing up. BUT as I looked back at his innovations in building, he was super smart. For you that do not know about walls, when I first got into building, we put up one stud at a time. Jim taught the industry to build the whole wall on the floor then raise it up. Saved many mans hours. That was only one of his ideas.

Now in cooking. I think we have folks that comment on this blog who actually come up with some NEW recipes (Since my epiphany). I have become a pretty good cook, but I copy recipes and add or take away. I have heard DAR, MEL & Cher say, I cooked something but added some extra touches to make it my meal. I have a problem of making something good, but never able to recreate it. LOL.

I saw these neat things:


Brownies baked in ice cream cones then adding the topping.

Then these little cups for fruit or pudding..

cookiecups wow

See, I wish I had thunk of that! Upside down baking!

Sometimes when I am cooking a soup, I will add an apple. I don’t think anyone knows, but it adds nutrients. I will also add a squirt of mustard (mustard must be good for something). I always add some tomato ketchup to my tomato soup because I read it has more (??? something) than regular tomatoes. I add garlic & a little olive oil to everything, since I heard those things helped you live forever. Shucks, I even drink a swig of the olive oil ( Sherry says, YUK!).OH, I always cook with onions, they must be good for something too.

I am a pressure cooking nut, we buy the el-cheapo 10lb bags of leg/thigh quarters. I skin,em and place 4 in the pot with a tbsp of Garlic and a big dash of Mrs. Dash, then stick two carrots and/or two potatoes.(If I don’t do the potatoes I fix rice using Chic Broth instead of water),

After it is done I thicken the broth for gravy. I strip 2 of the quarters from the bone and save for the next days open face sandwiches. There is enough gravy for both meals. I like green peas and jellied cranberry sauce with the chicken.

Glad you came this way, I hope to write about something tomorrow.

Nite Shipslog


Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.



1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout

This is the oldest Car in the world. It recently sold for over 4 million I think. 1884 de deon.

Now that is neat, but I wouldn’t want one except to sell it and buy me a MG hill climber.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


One of the places I have subscribed to e-mails from is our local Funeral Home. Each day we get a list of those in our area that have died. It is getting scary, I am seeing as many my age and younger as older now.  I am a person who believes in the law of averages, and by that law, my name could be in there any time.


Now basically, all I look at is the name and age. 99% of the time I do not know the person. My girl on the other hand does a lot of reading in the actual obituary.  And since Belmont is actually her home town, she finds someone in the family she knows. “Oh, that was Lennie’s friends sister.”  Of course most of the time I have no idea who they are.  If you aren’t FROM there it is hard to relate.

So, as everyone has pointed out to me, the obit is not for me, it is for the folks who might know me or know who I married. Folks that would be interested in knowing the arrangements.


Hey, how about this subject.  I think I done this not long ago. Did I do this subject not long ago? At least I am not getting forgetful.

I might not even write this entry. Who knows. I met a man this week that said at one time he was somebody, now he is somebody else. LOL

Traveling you meet such interesting people. We have a man in this park now (whatshisname), who is, in my opinion, WEIRD. He looks strange and since I tried not to hold that against him last year we talked.  Now he might be truthful (but I doubt it), he worked for several branches of the gov’t.  State Dept, CIA, and a couple more of the alphabet departments.

He said they all tried to get him fired because he told the truth about them, but he faced them and stayed where he was. He got several hi-upty ups fired though for messing with him. The stories got deeper and deeper.  This year I am avoiding the guy on our walks. Sometimes being deaf has its advantages. LOL

Anyway back to the obits. I haven’t appeared there yet.(not sure about whatshisname, though)

Life is wonderful, full of friends, interesting folks, weirdo's, kin and just plain good folk. We all make up a world that we have to share, but we don’t have to share coffee and donuts with nuts, do we?

Thanks for coming by the log,

Nite Shipslog

PS: Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes years to write, but only a few seconds to burn.



My friend Buddy’s mustang. It’s got everything under the hood. He is one of the heroes in my books. He is every bit as good as I write him. Okay, he WAS, he is as old as I.(LOL)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A coon’s age

A southern expression is “I ain’t seen you in a coon’s age!” Meaning a long time. When that expression was coined no one knew how long a raccoon lived.


So I decided to look into sayings like that, our British friends say “In Donkey’s years”.  Donkey’s typically live 45 years.  We also like to say, “Ain’t seen ya in a month of Sundays!”  meaning a long time.


Donk, from Devon village

That brings me around the long way to my illusive subject today. Dogs age.  I have asked folks how old is your dog, they have answered, ‘in human years he is 45’. That formula is multiplying the present age of the dog by 7. There are more complicated formulas, but I am a ‘ball park’ kind of guy with figures.

Staffordshire Bull and Lily

I have never had anyone say, ‘my cat is 35  in human years’. That would mean the cat is about 7 yrs old.  formula is about  5 x actual age.

A cat typically lives longer than a dog, especially a big dog. Small dogs run a cat a good race in years, 17 to the cat’s 21.

There are more complicated formulae but these work for me.

So, with all that I got to thinking. How old am I in girl’s age? Ah ha. According to Gov’t statistics Women live an avg of 79.8 years, while men get 74.4. So my actual age in woman's years is 1.07258 times my age 73. “WOW, in women’s years I am 78.29838 yrs old. Now that I am Sherry’s ELDER, 78 yrs old I expect my senior discount, taken out in trade!!!”

I’m sorry, I know some of you don’t like FIGURES, (AS IN NUMBERS JIMMY, NUMBERS!). So when you say, ‘my dog is 25 human years old’. I am saying “I am 78 years old in girl’s years. Now I am going to need help getting to bed.”

I am ole

Thanks for putting up with my nonsense,

Nite Shipslog


 What we think, or what we know in the end is of little consequence. The only real consequence is what we do.

—John Ruskin



fully customized 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline. Notice hood ornament off and door handles shaved.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I recycle, Always have

Recycling is a big thing today. Using the things we have for some other purpose once they have served their original purpose.


(OK now Listen-up!)

For years utility/farm trailers were made from old car and truck rear ends, axles and wheels. Old inner tubes were kept for tire boots or sling-shot rubbers. I have mentioned, no shoes goes to the trash with shoe strings or leather tongues, I save ‘em. Now, no scrap of wood goes to waste, it is saved for a camp-fire.

and the little piggie said

(After this story this book goes to the outhouse, ok?)

Truthfully, I no longer save and straighten nails Laughing out loud. I do save all used screws though. With mama, all cloth scraps were saved for patches and quilting.

awkiss apig

(Shirl’s first kiss,the pig had just brushed its teeth!)

I save ALL magnets. You can recycle paper in many ways. Reuse it until all writing/note space is used. Throw it in the recycle bin or send it to the dump. It is good for the soil and helps to neutralize some hazardous waste that is miss handled. DO NOT USE typing paper or Catalogs in a flush toilet. It is good to use in out houses however. (A little slick but you get used to it!!!)

black dawg sandwich

(Nap time or black and white sandwich)

Some businesses are returning to paper cups because the Styrofoam doesn’t deteriorate fast enough. Really is a good idea, but I hate those card board sleeves at Star Bucks and similar Coffee shops.

great pillow

(He is having a rough time getting this pug to sleep!)

I wish someone could come up with an efficient incinerator for ALL our garbage. One that would use the heat to generate steam that could generate electricity. My friend VonDale installed these things for awhile, he said one big problem came from the steel belted tires with the steel creating jams and stopping production.

I told mommie

(So I told mommy……)

I understand Mexico City has an incinerator with a very long conveyor belt. Using intensive human labor to pick and sort things for recycling before the furnace. Sounds like a good idea to me. Of course the smell is offensive to some folk who would be too finicky to work there.

the right pacifier

(Whew, that finally worked!)

Recycling is a fact of life now. We all need to do it, trash has become a major problem. I would like to see the trash dumped and become part of our interstate road beds. I think the Interstates should widen the center and use that area for trash dumps, or land fills as they are called today.

shelter with hiswings


Getting close to New Years, think good thoughts and tip a little extra if you go out.

nowwhatdidyou mean

(Was I going to say anything else, Yeah, the pictures are just because I like ‘em)

Nite Shipslog

PS: (I think me and Live Writer are on speaking terms again, I am saying less bad words!)

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. (Think about that one a little bit!)

—Wayne Gretzky


1929 Studebaker Commander! What a car!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

About Nothing much & The Villages

Florida is a great place to relax and walk most of the winter. It gets a little cool here in central Florida part of the winter.  This area here is known for very good Bass fishing. Many lakes around here, the largest and most popular is Lake Griffin, Lake Harris, Lake Eustis and Lake Dora.


(Sunrise from our pier on Mt. Dora, yeah Lucy I was up that early, ONCE! lol)

I love fresh fish, but Bass is not one of my favorite. When we ever caught Bass, it was usually put in stew. The BEST fish here and most places is Crappie. They are called Speckled Perch down here, or just ‘Specks’.

I was surprised to learn that the Tilapia is also big here.  It is not indigenous to this area, someone released some in Florida and they have spread like wild fire. When we lived on Lake Dora our neighbor would give us all he caught. You cannot hook the Tilapia, he must be netted. Many guys use the cast net to get their bait fish, and in doing so bring in some Tilapia.  It is a great tasting fish, but still not as good as the ‘Speck’.


(There was Gold at the end of the rainbow on Lake Dora!)


(We also had our own alligators, small one only about 6 ‘)

A person familiar with this area 40-50 years ago would not recognize it now. 99% of the land was in Citrus groves, now it seems to be 50% houses.

villages nature walk

(Nature walk in the Villages)

Have you  ever heard of ‘The Villages’?  In our RV we stay near the Villages. It was a dream of one man to have small villages nested together. It has been a big Boon for building. They are expanding now big time. Stare Road 44 was miles from the Villages two years ago, now the Villages are down to 44.

villages 2


In 2000 the population was 8,333 now it is close to 80,000. All but three of the villages are for ages 55 and up. A person 19 and down, can only live in with someone for 30 days. If you are a Golfer it is a real deal to live in the Villages. There are 38+ golf courses and two or three more being built now. If you live in the Villages you can golf all year at no cost.

villages church

(one of many churches)

One of the big advantages of the Villages is you can exist with only a golf cart if you  wish. Every convenience and amenity you can think of, is available by roads especially built for the cart. (Walmart’s, banks, jewelry stores and the high end stores also!)

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog


The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

—A. A. Milne



                                    Henry J

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Walking, Talking and Florida Citrus

Tonight Sherry and I went for a little walk. A couple circles around this small park.  It is the dustiest I have ever seen it.  Down by the dock we watched a turtle swim for a little until it realized someone was there, and headed for parts unknown.

Just about 50 yards something small and black ran thru the leaves under a big Magnolia tree and we could not make out what it was. I figured it was a Mountain Lion, Panther or a killer Black Bear.  That gets a good snuggle from my girl. HA! (I wasn’t about to say squirrel) I did get some smooching back in the woods.

We are facing some personal decisions and walking is our time to talk.  Nothing earth shaking, no personal physical problems, just a couple family things that may need some attention.  Walking helps us to make some good decisions.


(The year I took these pictures I counted a truck like this every 15 seconds for a long period of time, going to Tropi-cana.)

Oh, my son is putting his ‘92 Z-28 up for sale. It is a convertible. I think Sherry and I would look snazzy in it. hahahahaha.

But 92 is a little new for my taste.  But then it may trade for an MG  who knows?

We haven’t had a campfire in a while, I think tomorrow may be the time. Of course it is eally warm, Orlando just broke a record, 85 down there.

scan1994-96 017

Ahhhhh, Florida citrus is in. Tangelo’s, Navels, Hamlin's and Honey bells. If you squeeze an equal number, you get a GREAT juice. MMMMM good. Where we get them they are $6 and $6.50 for a half bushel.  We have picked our own cheap before, once for $1 a bushel.

scan1994-96 016

Before Dick and Kat died, and we traveled together, Dick could find the best fields for veggies. 5 gals of tomatoes for $4, 5 gal of bell peppers for $3, and strawberries $.25 a quart.  (Plus all you can eat as you pick). We don’t do that now, we aren’t close to the veggies anymore. 


But that is beautiful Florida at Christmas time. I was telling Sherry I remember when we drove down on a vacation a long time ago and I said, “I would love to live here one day.”

Thanks for coming by the log,

Nite Shipslog


Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.

—Cullen Hightower



RED 1961 Corvair for Christmas….. We had a white one like this in Cuba.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas trees

There is something  about a live Christmas tree that does a little more to light the Christmas fire.  I am speaking again from memories because it has been probably 40 years since we had a live tree.  Well maybe not that long, but the one I remember last was that long ago.



I read Dars Stuffings and her going with her mom to get the perfect Christmas tree. That brings back the times of going with my dad to cut two trees. One for the church and one for the house. Then he  just looked for a nice cedar. Once it was snowing, that was in Albemarle about 1949. It was beautiful.  Then home with them tied on top of the car. Dad always took a sharp axe to cut the tree. He hadn’t always been a Preacher, he could swing an axe.

st peters rome

St. Peters, ROME

Then back home to make a stand; sawing and nailing braces to the tree. He always had a rough time getting it as straight as he wanted it. But he finally succeeded. Once it was straight, the cotton was rolled out under the tree. (Now we use sheets) Back then decorations weren’t much. But no one expected what you see today. No matter what it looked like, it was accepted, it was THE CHRISTMAS TREE.


Portugal                                                                  Spain

I think we lived in Rutherfordton, NC. I waited until most of the trees were gone and what was left were the ‘bad looking give-away ones’.  I thanked God for Charlie Brown, because what we bought (for a dollar) was a scraggly tree, Jackie was about 5. We got excited about the Charlie Brown tree, it was probably our best decorating time, helping the tree look happy.



I hope you are happy with your tree. Artificial or real, sheets or cotton beneath, Many or a few presents, it doesn’t matter; It is Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, And thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.



At least one person reading this would like to have this for Christmas: