Tuesday, June 28, 2011

my new car?

This will probably be my new car before the week is out.  A 2008 Toyota Yaris with 36,300 miles on it.  I drove down to Deerfield Beach (just north of Fort Lauderdale) this morning to look at it.  After the Yaris's that I saw last Sunday at an "off-lease" dealership, this one looks great.  It's considerably smaller than the car I have now, but much better gas mileage and I don't need all that extra space.  And it wasn't previously a rental car like the ones at the dealer's.

The guy who was selling it says that his uncle is a dealer, though.  I think he's sort of a dealer himself.  He says that he bought the car from a friend who was getting out of school - first he said law school, then he said medical school.  I think he got the from his dealer uncle.  At any rate, it seems to be a one car owner.  John is going to check out the Carfax tonight (I know all the lingo, now).  Also, they guy can't sell the car until Friday, when he can get another one from his uncle.

He was really interested in my present car - said, wow, it sure looks good for a car with more than 200K miles!  Wanted to know if I wanted to trade?!  I did some finagling, but when he looked it up on his computer, he said he couldn't offer me more than $500 for it.  I still think he wants it.  Anyway, all of this is in the works, and I just might have a new car soon!

Traffic got snarled on I95 on my drive down, so I got off and took US1.  The City Hall of Boca Raton caught my eye ...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rain and mezuzahs

The clouds pile up like this most every day, but nothing much ever comes of it.  Maybe a little sprinkle, but not likely.  The rains usually start by mid-May.  I only remember one other year in the last 30 that it was dry until July.  My neighbor tells me that was 1997, which sounds about right.  Meanwhile the temperatures climb to the mid 90s with a heat index of 105 degrees F.    I keep the air conditioning at 80 degrees, with an overhead fan, and that feels like an ice box when coming in from outside!

I stay somewhat busy with some computer lessons, but most everyone has headed North.  That picture on the left is a "mezuzah", which most all the Jewish people have on their doorways.  I didn't know what it was until I came to know so many Jewish people in Florida and they adopted me as their computer teacher.  I think they they've adopted me as an honorary Jew as well, which is fine with me.  Why not?  Growing up in a small town in KY, I only knew 2 Jewish families and they had to go into Louisville to attend a synagogue.

The mezuzah is actually a piece of parchment that is rolled up and placed inside the decorative case.  On the parchment is a Jewish prayer which begins with:

"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One".

It is a quite lovely custom.  Even the Jews who are not religious have a mezuzah on their doorways.

The NSS on my car is acting up again so I am really looking for a new car now, even though I'm nursing a sore throat and slight fever which mysteriously came after going to the dentist last week.  Getting stuck somewhere in this heat is not the thing to do.  Jubilee is improved and her mischievous personality has returned.  She goes in Friday for some vaccinations and a checkup.

Monday, June 13, 2011

rain, finally

Finally, we got some rain.  It broke the heat, and made for interesting skies as I took Jubilee for her walk tonight.  (Jubilee is getting better, still not back to normal, but getting there.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

allergic to Florida or the allergy pill?

It's been a very tough week for Jubilee.  Two or three days after getting back to Florida, Jubilee started showing signs of her "allergy" - itching, scratching.  In PA she seemed stable so I had cut back her allergy pills (atopica) to once a week.  They are quite expensive.  However, with our return to Florida, it seemed that I needed to up the dosage.

I don't know what happened, but every time she got a pill, she went into extreme overdrive with her itching and scratching.  It was as if she was allergic to the allergy pill.  She was tearing herself up, then rolling in the dirt to get some kind of relief.  I was giving her oatmeal baths at least once a day, and a lot of Benadryl.  She did not want to eat, swim, go for a walk, or bark.   When Mike, the pool guy, came over he was so alarmed at her behavior he called me immediately.  She usually plays with him while he cleans the pool, but this time she was howling with pain and would not stop scratching herself.  Her vet, Dr. Grigsby, was out of town until Monday, and I had an appointment Monday morning.  But I felt so desperate that I took her in this morning to have the other vet look at her.

She has eye infections, ear infections, mouth infections (she may lose a tooth), and bacterial and yeast infections all over her body.  She got 3 shots - a steroid for the itching (which they don't like to give), a long acting antibiotic, and a shot for pain.  I've got eye drops and ear drops and pills to administer every day.  And she got that blue cone to keep her away from her eyes, ears, and mouth.  She still doesn't look too good.

Whew.  I hope this works.  Vet bill: $375, which doesn't include the $100 for more of the damn allergy pills.

Monday, June 6, 2011

the mangoes next door

Update: Someone came and took all of the mangoes off of this tree.  They must've had a ladder.  Bummer.  I was very close to the previous neighbors who planted the tree, and who died.  I wanted the mangoes because they reminded me so much of Violeta.

There's a mango tree just the other side of the fence.  It seems that the neighbors over there have moved out.  Do you suppose I could help myself to these mangoes?
This is sunrise at the canal this morning.  We need rain, though.  The summer thunderstorms have not yet started. (Note: John, I've had the sprinkler's on "automatic" and this is the 3rd day in a row that they've come on every day.  Not every other day.)
Other sites from the canal walk:
 Reminds me of piano keys.
This is from the back fence of the house where all the immigrants live.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


This is really a photo report for John on the status of the landscaping around the house. 
 Sprinklers came on this morning.
 One big duck in the canal who looks like a decoy.  So far, Jubilee has not paid him, or any of the ducks, any attention.  Makes me think that the alligator is gone since there are so many ducks.
 The new plants on the side - by the German neighbors - are doing better than the ones by the road.
 One little plant looks to be the same size as it was when it was planted last year.  But it is still very much alive.
 The German side plants touch each other.
 The ones by the road do not.
 Everything looks neat.  So glad I got rid of that layer of pine needles.
 Very clean and clear around the pool pump and compost.
 Grass coming in nicely.
 Hedges trimmed to below the windows.

 All the neighbors keep an eye on things.  No need to even put away the hose.

The weather is surprisingly delightful - such a balmy breeze coming from the ocean throughout the day that it feels like you're at the beach.  Not really humid yet.  I keep the a/c at 80 degrees during the day and 78 at night and I'm fine.  A different kind of warmth than in the North during the summer.  I'm not sure what makes the difference, but I think it's the breeze that makes it a livable kind of "hot".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

made it!

I think we got here so early because it was sunny-hot both driving days and my car's air conditioning was barely keeping up even though I ran it at full blast the whole way.  I avoided all but necessary stops because I was afraid to leave Jubilee in the car.  Also, since the car was running and the a/c was sort of working, I wanted to stay in the groove.  As it was, I left Orangeburg SC this morning at 6:45AM and only stopped once for gas and a pee break.  Got home at 2:30PM.  Car ran like a new car other than the a/c being marginal, but that might be just because it is so hot.   When the sun isn't out, it gets quite cold in there. 

The scenery did not seem as interesting as it does at other times of the year, but I got a couple of photos, top (north) to bottom (south).

The Orangeburg Days Inn.  Jubilee and I have stayed here several times, even though it's kind of the pits and they are not especially friendly about dogs, always making us stay in the back in a smoking room.  It's really a trucker's hotel, but it has a great field where I can run Jubilee off of the leash after a long day in the car.
 Fog coming through SC this morning.
 The point of no return, and Florida sky.
Pool looks great!  House looks great! And, for once, the yard looks great!  Interestingly, the new yard people we hired were pulling weeds when we got home (the old yard guy never did that).  Jubilee is happy and has already been for a dip.