A Wild February

This February was a wild one with regard to the weather. I think we had four nor’easters, most of them bringing us snow. The largest snowfall was 6 or 7 inches with a subsequent one bringing an additional inch. Our dogs Max and Tripod really enjoyed romping in the snow. I think it may have been the first time for Tripod. Since he is a chihuahua he had a unique way of bounding through the snow. When he fell through the snow he would splay out his back legs to keep him from going deeper into the snow.

Being the new treasurer at church has kept me busy, in fact it has kept me busier than I really want to be. But it is a job that has to be done so I am not complaining too much. I am hoping to give my job as the multimedia specialist of our church to a new member as soon as he is ready to take it.

I broke down and bought another gun this month. This time I bought a Rossi .357 magnum revolver. It is not the most expensive revolver available but I am more than happy with it. It has an impressive signature when fired and seems to be more accurate than my Glock. I did some volunteer work at the Norfolk gun show last weekend for the shooting club I am a member of. Each member is required to donate time in support of the club or pay a monetary fine. It was actually quite enjoyable as I got to talk to a lot of interesting people.

Not much else to talk about except we are planning a trip to Lexington Kentucky this April for a weekend. We may also be going to the mountains in North Carolina for a week in August to share a cabin with my brothers. Both sound like a lot of fun. That’s it for now.

Back from Hawaii

Just a short post to say that we are back from our vacation on the Big Island, Hawaii. Hawaii is more beautiful than anything I have ever seen and even more beautiful than I expected. I am in the process of developing over 300 photos and 15 videos that I shot while there.

I found it amazing how much the climate, geography, and flora change from one region of the island to the other. From rain forest to cattle country to hot, dry land, the landscape was constantly changing. The water of the Pacific ocean was so warm and clear compared to the Atlantic. There was not a place on the island that was not beautiful in it’s own way. I found it impossible to take a bad photo on the island.

The people of the island were among the friendliest I have ever met. No one seemed to be in a hurry and they were always outgoing and eager to share their love of the island with you. The two B&B’s we stayed at were beautiful. Our hosts were friendly and gracious and the accommodations were comfortable. Even without air-conditioning we were always comfortable. There was none of the oppressive humidity that makes summers here in Virginia miserable sometimes.

Teresa really wants to move to Hawaii and I almost feel the same way. It would be a great place to live out the rest of our days. I will have much more to say about Hawaii in future posts but I will leave you with a couple of photos for now.

pololu valley ocean view

Vacation & Hurricane Felecia

feleciaWith just 3 days until we fly to Hawaii there is an unanticipated and unwanted complication to our trip named Hurricane Felicia. I first heard of Felicia a few days ago and was not too worried at first. Yesterday the track of Felicia took it directly over the Big Island as a TS of unknown strength. This morning it looks like it will have dissipated to a depression before it arrives. I am still worried that our flight may be delayed a day but we are hoping for the best. It will also mean that we will have a lot more rain and clouds than we would have liked. But come hell or high water we are going to go and make the best of it.

All our preparations are almost done. The dog sitter for Max came yesterday. She will pay Max a visit in the morning and the evening. She will also get or mail, paper, take out the trash, water the plants, etc. I still wish we could take Max with us but that is not practical. A little shopping today for travel essentials, a check with the TSA website to see what new travel restrictions may be in place, and a check on the projected status of our flight to Hawaii will occupy my day.

I have done everything I can think of to prepare for the trip and I just hope the  flight goes quickly and without problems and we can arrive at Hawaii safely and start enjoying ourselves. We both really need a relaxing, enjoyable vacation. There are so many places in the world  I want to visit but at my age there are some places I know I will never be able to visit.

I will be taking my laptop with me to post updates to Twitter and Facebook as well as upload photos. I may even make an entry or two here. Now I am going to go pray that Hurricane Felecia goes away and does not interfere with our plans.  Wish us luck and say a prayer for us.

Summer update

Our well has been working great since my brother Jon put the new pressure tank in. That is one less thing to worry about. We have a man coming over to do some small repairs to the house. I have gotten out of doing any kind of major repair. We have even hired someone to take care of the back yard, although I still do the smaller front yard.

We didn’t do anything special for the 4th, just cooked burgers on the grill. My son Jason and I went to the Military Aviation Museum in Creeds. I have been before and I thought he would enjoy going. We took lots of pictures and had pizza later at a diner in Pungo.

I arranged for a pet sitter for Max while we are on vacation. It will cost 34 dollars a day for  2 visits but Max is worth it. I won’t feel so guiltiy while we are on vacation in Hawaii. Still cant’t wait to go to Hawaii. It should be a memorable vacation.

Last  but not least I took a hike on the Dismal Swamp Canal trail in Chesapeake. I walked a mere 4 miles but it was very enjoyable and I say some wildlife. I miss the days when my ex-wife and I used to hike  all the time but those days are long gone. Teresa is not into outdoors things much,  other  than swimming in the pool. That is it for now.

Pool Time

We got the cover off the pool and were shocked to see that half the water in the pool was gone. At first we thought there must be a leak in the pool but it seems that the heavy rains pushed the pool cover down which forced water out of the pool. Next fall we will get a ball to go under the cover so that water cannot pool on it.

After filling the pool and adding chemicals we have beautiful clear, sparkling water. It has been much less trouble this year than previous years in getting the water clear. I have been swimming every day now and enjoying it. So far I have not even had to vacuum the pool except for the initial time.

I took my m4 carbine with the new 3x magnifier to C2 range and it worked great. I shot pretty tight patterns from 100 yards and am very happy with the  performance of both rifle and sight.

Dana and her dog have been staying here for a while now while she waits for the tenants to move out of our rental property. I will be glad when she finally gets to move into the house as I really don’t like her much and her dog is not house broken.

I spent a morning recently canvasing a neighborhood in Chesapeake for the Bob McDonnell for Governor campaign. Armed with pamphlets and our charm we visited 125 houses, talking about Bob McDonnell and the issues that everyone is facing with the economy and Obama’s controversial programs. Most everyone we met was friendly and willing to talk with us. I hope our efforts will help to get Bob McDonnell elected in 2010. The current Democratic Governor has been a disaster for Virginia.

The bladder in our storage tank for our well pump has been going bad,  causing the pump to run constantly. My brother Jon, who repairs and installs wells and pump systems, came to our rescue. He had me buy a new storage tank at wholesale price from a company they deal with and he came over in the evening and installed the new storage tank for us. Being the great guy that he is he didn’t charge us for the labor or the additional parts that he used. I have a great family and I owe my brother Jon a big favor which I hope he will collect some day.

Today I will try to get a professional dog sitter to take care of Max while we are on vacation in Hawaii this August. Failing that I will try to get one of the neighborhood teen boys to sit Max. I  hate to put Max in a boarding house as I am sure it is very stressful for him and I would not be comfortable with leaving him in one for so long.

We are really looking forward to our vacation if I can only  survive getting up at 3am for the long flight. It will be a long tiring day but it will be well worth it. On to Hawaii.

Heading to Hawaii

We have not been on a long vacation since our last trip to Key West Florida several years ago. I have always wanted to go to Alaska but Teresa is not taken with Alaska like I am. So we decided to compromise and take our next vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Actually, I am almost as excited about going to Hawaii as I would have been about going to Alaska. I was able to find plane tickets at a really good price so I  jumped on them. We will be staying on the west side of the Big Island for 4 days and then we will spend 3 night on the east side of the island.

One of the places we will be staying at is a converted Shell service station that is now a Zen Buddhist Bed &  Breakfast. It is run by a Japanese lady named Akiko. We will be staying in the Mango Tree cottage which is is the middle of a rain forest. The other place we will be staying sounds as exciting as Akiko’s. I want to see Volcano National Park as well as the botanical gardens. There are many other places that will be on our list and we expect this to be the best vacation of our lives.

In other news, I have  just returned from the optometrist where I have been fitted with a pair of multi-focus contact lens. I hope to be able to do away with my reading glasses for good but it may take another visit or so to get the prescription right.

Summer is here and I will be getting the pool ready to use. We have already had a couple of 90 degree plus days so it will be nice to have a pool to jump into. I have given up trying to mow the back yard and have contracted to have the back yard mowed and trimmed for 35 dollars. As we anticipate moving soon it did not make financial sense to buy a riding mower and the people that do the yard do a great job.

There is a lot more I could say but I will save it for another day.

Teresa un-retires.

Teresa has started a job at Jeb’s Market in Isle of Wight. We often shop there as Jeb’s has the best prices on meat, poultry, and seafood in the area. Teresa wants to make some money so that she can pay off the mortgage on the rental house in Portsmouth. So far Teresa says her new job is working out OK. She mostly works at the register but she does other tasks like pricing, stocking, and cleaning up. She is working Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm. It is strange not having her around the house for those days but since Kirk is out of school now he is around as is Max to keep me company.

I have been reading a lot and working in the yard. The last couple of days I have watched some old movies. I just watched “Dr. Strangelove” and “Dawns Early Light” both movies about nuclear war. I still have “Fail Safe” to watch. It has been nice swimming in the pool and swinging in the hammock during the day and early evening. I have been keeping busy but I am really looking forward to driving down to Florida to watch the shuttle launch in October. I have not been on a vacation in over a year. Teresa and I had wanted to travel to Charleston, SC or the Outer Banks but those trips are on hold due to issues with finding someone to take care of Kirk.

Teresa called me outside yesterday and pointed to two very large lizards that have apparently taken up residence under our house. There is a small hole in the crawlspace that they are using for access. I am going to try to get some video of them the next time I can catch them outside as they are really big and beautiful. That’s it for now, back to being retired.

Vacation plans and other news.

Teresa and I had been planning to drive to Charleston, SC for a short vacation. I vaguely remember Charleston from when our family drove through it many years ago. But we encountered problems with finding someone to take care of Kirk so the Charleston trip is off. Instead we plan on driving down to Hatteras NC for a few days with Kirk. As close as North Carolina and the Outer Banks are to us, it has been a while since we have been down there. We plan on staying somewhere on Hatteras Island, perhaps Salvo or Avalon. The trip is scheduled for the last week of August when the weather should still be warm. I still plan on traveling to Florida to see the space shuttle launch in October but I will be traveling alone. Teresa is not very interested in driving to Florida to see the shuttle launch.

In other news Teresa applied for a job working at Jeb’s Corner Market. We are regular customers at Jeb’s as they have the best prices on meat and poultry in the area. Teresa received a call today asking her if she could start working there tomorrow. I guess Teresa may be getting a little bored with retired living plus I think she wants a little extra spending money. As for me, I am not interested in any kind of part time employment, at least not yet. One other important thing happened on Sunday. Our interim pastor, Stan Peerless, told me that he had accepted a job as a full time pastor for a church in Luray, Virginia. I am glad for him and his wife but I will miss him a lot. He is a great pastor and a good friend. Our church will miss him even more. He was instrumental in efforts to revitalize our failing church and I fear that without his guidance our church will falter in its efforts for a new beginning.