"Crotty News" Postings for: January 2007 !

We made it! Another year !    

Hoo Boy! 2007 ! The years are really rushing past now! When I was 17, an event such as World War II was Ancient History, even though I could remember the aftermath of the war. Now, "17 years ago" is only 1990 and we were in Hawaii - like YESTERDAY! Not to mention that some of my most memorable experiences happened in the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's! Then ... our children were born --- WHAT? WHEN? HOW long ago? (Egads)! Luckily Dale and I still have our good looks, svelt figures and youthful energy! Yessiree. No lie. Really.    

01 Jan - Here we are in Myrtle Beach. I started to take down the outside Christmas lights today and got about halfway through when it started to rain. So, I've been creating genealogy charts of my mother's side of the family - Amirault, Moulaison, Muise, Bourque, etc. French Acadiens; all the way back to the year 1663 !! I'll have to create several Excel charts since there are literally hundreds of entries (my ancestors)! It's still nice and warm here (70s in the day and it's been in the 60s at night).    

02 Jan - Okay I opened my big mouth and the weather here has turned cool, probably in the 50s, and windy. I took down all my Christmas lights today and packed them away in boxes. I still have to take down the wreaths and will do that tomorrow morning. Then must return everything to the attic via the pulldown stairs (up, down, up, down, up, down...). I had broken a connector on my tractor's steering rod but got a replacement through Sears Catalog. Fixed it, so will make at least one more run around the yard sucking up leaves before we head off to Florida. I was going to do it the other day but just as I got ready, it rained on my parade!    

04 Jan - Received an e-mail from Aussie friends Michael & Judy Krzeskowski. They're waiting in Frankfurt Airport at the moment for a flight to London, and then on to Hong Kong tomorrow. He attached a photo of himself standing next to one of many lion statues that are now scattered around Munich. His shot is near the main railway station, a place I used to go to get the best bratwurst in the world. A little cubbyhole at the end of Track 19, with little circular tabletops set atop barrels!    

06 Jan - we're at the condo in Bradenton! Drove down yesterday. It took about ten hours, which is normal, with two stops. Got in around 8:30PM, picked up some items at the local Winn-Dixie grocery store and then settled in for the night. Spent today at the farmer's market, a place called the Red Barn. The outside is like a Garage Sale (lots of booths) and market with lots of Mexican farmers selling their goods. Always good prices and fresh tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans,etc, as well as bags of grapefruit and oranges,for $3 a bag. Inside are many isles packed with vendors in permanent cubicle areas, selling books, clothes, hardware, food, knickknacks, and tons of things. Tonight we're meeting Bill & Paulette Davis for dinner at a Greek restaurant called Pegasus. They are offering a free glass of wine with dinner (turns out they don't have a liquor license so you can't order another drink)!.    

07 Jan - It's now Sunday morning here in Bradenton, Florida. The sun is shining and the temperature for today will be just over 80 degrees - wonderful. I look our my window directly onto the canal and, in the distance, can see the blue water of Palma Sola Bay behind the barrier island (Anna Maria). Greenery everywhere, with palm trees and even a grapefruit tree! We just received an e-mail from my old friend in Italy, Bruno Calo. Would love to show him this, and other places in the USA someday!    

08 Jan - Alice and Charlie Peterson arrived at Tampa Airport tonight. They'll be with us until the 16th, so we'll be packing the days with trips to see the local sights for the next week! That is, of course, after each leisurely morning, since none of us like to get up early ;-)    

09 - 16 Jan - We had a ball this last week. It was a bit cool for a few days but still much better than the weather back in Freedom, NH, where they're from! And we ended up with some days in the 80s so can't complain. We took the boat out for a spin and couldn't get much power with all the barnacles on the propellers. We drove around to Lido Key, St. Armand's Circle and Sarasota on the 9th; Venice on the 10th; Myakka State park (alligators; air boat ride; rope suspension bridge) and Crotez Kitchen for dinner on the 11th; Then it was Siesta key (beautiful, white, soft sand), Casey Key and Mansota on the 12th; Anna Maria Island, Sandbar for lunch and Desoto Park on the 14th; Cafe on the Beach and the Blue Dolphin Marina on the 15th; and then St Pete Pier (Cha Cha Coconuts Restaurant on the top of the inverted pyramid); fed pelicans. Off to Tampa Airport that evening. Nice! When we returned home from the airport and drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, we drove down into a pea-soup thick fog. The weatherman says it was sea fog coming from the Gulf of Mexico. It cleared out a little bit by the time we got back to the condo but was still eerie-looking outside! Also, on the 12th, we heard from our friends from Australia again. This time they were in Beijing and attached a photo of them on the Great Wall (Mu Tian Yu section). It was about minus 8 degrees C that morning!    

17 Jan - I just fired up Dale's laptop and saw that San Antonio's temperature was only 32 degrees. Then we received an e-mail from Chuck Crowell. Lot of damage the cold did there last night. Their exotic plants and several trees damaged by ice. A large branch fell off a tree (ice-encrusted) and busted out several feet of their back fence too. Wow! I had forgotten that it gets cold in SA! Hope those plants and trees recover. (The cold wave hit us last night too -- it's only 70 degrees now ;-)    

17-18 Jan - I borrowed an old wooden raft from the dockmaster and paddled it down the canal to my boat. I spent the afternoon with a long screwdriver and a scraper, and removed all the barnacles off the two props! Better than paying the boatyard over a $1000 to pull the boat out to do it, like I did the past two years! I am now cleaning the boat. Even though I compounded it, polished and waxed it just four months ago, oxidation makes the finish look dull. We went to the movies tonight and saw "Night At The Museum". Started off slow but turned out to be pretty cute movie.    

19 Jan - Joe Hauschild arrived for a visit today. He's now retired from the Solar Observatory in Brindisi, Italy, and lives in Brandon, FL. We made the rounds, having lunch at the Sandbar on Anna Maria Island, and then a tour of Longboat Key, Lido Key and Sarasota. We also took the boat out for a test run, now that I've scraped the barnacles off, and it ran just fine.    

20 Jan - Tracey sent some excellent shots of her recent visit to Kaua'i. We recognized all of the locations too! Kalalalau Valley, Ke'e Beach, the Dry Cave, Hanalei, Waimea Canyon, Kokee, etc. Made me "homesick" - some of our favorite places. Right now Hawaii and Florida are the only places where the temps are in the 70s and 80s. Bright sunshine today! Dale just left the condo to spend a few hours at the pool working on a tan.    

21 Jan - I spent the day waxing my boat. Also cleaning the inside. Found that a bilge cleaner also does wonders to yellowed walls! Then we went to the Cortez Kitchen restaurant at the boatyard. The Colts & Patriots game was on the overhead TV so it was a pleasant evening. Tomorrow I should be able to finish up polishing my boat. On Tuesday (23rd) we're driving to Lakeland near Orlando to see old friends, the Wahlbrinks.    

23 Jan - Visited the Wahlbrinks in Lakeland. They drove us all around the city. What a big surprise. It's very, very nice, and seems to have many small to large lakes every time you drive over a half mile in any direction. They also had lots of statues of swans, and butterflies, just like the big cities such as Chicago, which started the fad with statues of bulls several years ago. They auction the statues off for charities after months of displaying them on city streets.    

24 Jan - We heard from Mike Krzeskowski. They're now back in Australia after their five week vacation. We haven't been on the computer much. For some reason the freebie Wi-Fi networks have not been very reliable (weak signals). We were just saying that we can't believe that it's been three weeks already.    

25 Jan - Break-ins at the Waterway ! We were leaving the condo grounds yesterday morning and saw Sheriff's vehicles under Building Four in the garage, and men dusting for prints or something. Cars broken into! Went to the Board Meeting and found out that this has been happen for quite a while, and the last incident happend at 3AM. One of the residents was awake and scared the thieves off (they jumped the fence between Building Four and the Bank next door). We now have an armed guard patrolling our grounds. Today we're in the process of getting everything done before we drive home tomorrow (friday). Dale went to the doctor this morning for a continuing sinus problem. She hopes to get some antibiotics or something. I'm on my way out the door to shut the boat up for the next month or so (we'll be back in mid-March).    

26 Jan - Drove back to Myrtle Beach.    

27 - 28 Jan - Spent hours and hours on my computer. Something went haywire with my settings. Tried to "Restore" many times but even the restore points would not work. Finally got one restore point to work, and then spent more hours resetting programs and downloading new drivers. I hope that I'm fixed now!    

29 Jan - Kathy arrives in L.A. at 3:00 today and Susan thinks that she'll be there for only one night. I forgot that Kathy was going to be in California. I wonder how she did on her plunge into the frigid Maryland waters last Saturday, the 27th. She was supposed to participate in a Maryland Special Olympics fundraiser. It was cold here this morning but not bad in the afternoon. By the end of this week our low temperature should be in the 40s. Spent more hours trying to fix my computer. This time it was the FTP program. Finally got it running again by experiemnting with program settings that I know nothing about.    

30 Jan - very cold outside (20s this morning). Dale says that I have gotten her hooked on Sudoku puzzles (she even went out and bought her own book ;-)    

31 Jan - Yippee (finally)! The engineer who has had our blueprints (in digital form) since last September has finally started work on them. They will be ready for us when we get back from Maryland, so I will then be able to submit the plans for approval to our local architectural board and to the County. Hope to get a builder lined up soon after that. In celebration I'm having some of that Pusser's Rum that I picked up a few years ago in Nassau, when we went on our one and only cruise. Pusser's was the daily "Grog" that the British Navy used to mete out to their sailors for hundreds of years. My God, it is STRONG stuff!    

(01 Feb - Tomorrow we are off once again: Driving back to Maryland to attend Kathy's BIG Promotion ceremony at NSA next tuesday. If you need us, call us on our cell phones, call Kathy's house, or just send an e-mail and we'll get it in the evening on Dale's laptop, if we can access a Wi-Fi signal anywhere).

Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale