Monday, July 25, 2011

Great News

Dear Friends and Family,

Good news - we found a house! It is in Englewood, FL. A two bedroom, two bath, with a garage, all kitchen appliances, an enormous fenced back yard with a lanai. It also has a washer and dryer, which means no more going to the laundry mat. The house is in a small rural subdivision and the neighborhood seems real quite. The house also has a lot of household furniture/patio furniture the owner doesn't want and we are welcome to use or get rid of. For just slightly more than what we are paying here, we will be just 7 miles NW of the boat dry dock and 7 miles NE of the beach. We are real excited. Hopefully this proves to truly be a blessing in disguise. We begin moving next week.

We had a real nice surprise on Thursday. Jimi's nephew, Robert and his wife, Michelle, were in town from Chicago, IL. They came by and spent the day with us. We went to Sanibel Island to play in the water and lay on the beach. What an amazing day when Jimi and Robert were swimming with a Manatee (Sea Cow). They got out of the water and called us girls over, then it swam right along shores edge as we walked the beach with it. Really really neat. I didn't have my camera with me, so I wasn't able to get any pictures. We also hit a sea shell gold mine. We found dozens upon dozens of Cockie shells in tact but abandoned. Jimi and Robert dove down to retrieve them, while I collected them from above. I will clean them up and make some craft project out of them. We also found many that were still occupied, but of course we threw them back. It was so nice to have family visit us.

Sunday when we went to Key Largo to snorkel. Wow, it was so great. Unbelievable to think we were swimming just inches away from dozens of species of fish. As long as we minded our own business, they were totally fine with our presence. Jimi and I (mostly Jimi) took bunches of underwater pictures with my camera. The water was so clear, the fish, coral, and plant life were so bright - we were in awe. We could see at least 15 feet to the bottom. For those who come out for our wedding, we are thinking of planning a snorkel trip on Sunday, but those details will come later.

Before I close, I have to tell you a cute story. While snorkeling, one of the Conch shells on the bottom of the ocean was upside down. Jimi went down to take pictures of it, but there was a little fish about 3 inches in size who was not having any of it. We suspect he made a home out of the Conch shell. He was trying everything he could to chase Jimi off. He would  lunge at the camera; at one point even bumping into to or biting at it. Jimi captured another picture of the little guy chasing away another smaller fish. It was quite cute; however, note to self - do not try to laugh under water, as it breaks the seal of one's snorkel gear. Lol. After getting a few pictures, we left the little fella to explore more sea life.

Love Everybody,

Lorie & Jimi

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving again......

Dear Friends and Family,
If nothing else, you can almost always count on something happening to or with us. Lol. Our news this week is we are on the fast track to move - unexpectedly, of course. We rented this place with a six month lease; however, we received a letter in the mail last week from the Lee County Court house informing us this house has been foreclosed on and will be sold in a public auction to the highest bidder on August 3rd; we have to vacate the premises. We are currently looking for something to lease beginning August 1st. We're not stressing over it. We'll just move and be done with it. I'll keep you posted.

Nothing else happened through the week. Jimi was able to get the boat completely ready for the river trip, so now we just wait for the water to rise. Currently it's just under 4 feet and we need 4 1/2, but would prefer 5. He continues to go through the mass amount of things we removed from the boat. I just work and find myself getting a bit of cabin fever. It's temporary and I'll get through it.

Sunday we ventured over to Englewood to look at the dry dock area, and while there we met with a wedding officiant and spent a few hours on the beach. Again it was amazing. The dolphins were never ending. We watch them swim by and some into the swimming area consistently. Even the pelicans hung out with ease.The shells are plentiful and I gathered another bag full.

I'm sorry, but I do not have any pictures for you this week.

Love everybody,

Lorie & Jimi

Monday, July 11, 2011

309 Square Feet and endless yard space

Dear Friends and Family,

We've had a full non-stop week.
I already told you about seeing Heidi Newfield in concert on July 4th. Wednesday, we were given tickets (by our friend Joan) to the Broadway Musical "Annie". We weren't expecting much, but it turned out to be an exceptional performance. A nice evening out and well worth it.

Thursday morning was the big day to close on our sail boat. We left home at 7am and arrived back home around 8pm. It was a long day. We met with the broker to close the sale and picked up the sails from the repair shop. The sails have been sitting at the repair shop for five years. The previous owner had them repaired and paid for them, but never picked them up. We then went to the boat to assess what we had. It was so full of junk and disorganized, we could hardly move around inside and certainly couldn't figure out what was what. We spent hours moving things around, peeking inside all the cubby and storage holes, etc. Right around suppertime, we decided to call it a day and head home. We loaded as much as we could fit in the bed of the truck.

We went back to the marina (3 hours away) on Saturday with the plan to completely unload the boat. We took the pickup and the trailer. It went well; however, it was a long hard hard day. We barely got everything to fit, but we did it and now our house is amazingly full of more stuff, stuff, and stuff. In fact we hauled more stuff out of that boat than we brought to Florida - absolutely amazing. Now we'll have to go through it to see what's what. We've agreed to ship some things to the previous owner, who lives in Oregon. Some things are no longer any good and will be thrown out, and some things will go back on the boat after it's moved and cleaned up.

Now, let me describe the vessel to you a little.

It is 39 feet long. It has a center cockpit with two companionways (doors going inside). One going into the aft berth (back bedroom) and the other going in the the saloon and galley (dining room and kitchen). We have a full forward berth (front bedroom) with a six drawer dresser, a nice large wet locker, a little sink, and it's own head (toilet). The galley has a cute little sink, and gimbal stove, a cooler, and lots of storage. The saloon looks like it would seat about six comfortably and also folds down to make a full size berth. Through the hallway is a navigation station, a closet and a workbench. A huge engine room and work area is located under the cockpit. The aft berth has a nice large closet, a six drawer dresser, a little sink, and a head with a shower. Throughout the boat there is storage in every little nook and cranny. The boat has a lot more room than we were ever imagined. I've attached some pictures, but please keep in mind the boat is messy.

Our next step is to now wait for the water to rise. Some places in the lake are only 3 1/2 feet deep, and we have a 4 1/2 foot draft. As soon as we are able, we'll motor it to Port Charlotte. More details on this later. For now we wait, but while we're waiting we have plenty of "stuff" to do. Lol

Love everybody,

Lorie & Jimi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Freedom!!

Dear Friends and Family,

Jimi and I are in awe that we haven't even been here a month yet and we are settled in place to live and have found a boat. The seller accepted our purchase offer - UNBELIEVABLE! We signed the paperwork and wired the deposit the beginning of last week, and then wired the balance by the end of last week. Now we wait for the closing, which is scheduled for this coming week. I'll be sure to send pictures on the next update.

We spent Sunday at the beach on Sanibel Island, currently our favorite place. We bought the whole beach setup: a big beach umbrella, two beach chairs, brought our cooler and big beach bag. It was great and we fit right in now. I felt the water was much colder, but Jimi thinks I'm crazy - Haha.

We watched a few movies throughout the week and managed to find a few programs on TV to get in to, considering we only get five channels on the antenna.

We continue to deal with "the house". Jimi woke up at 1am one morning last week to the sounds of gushing water. A pipe/hose burst under the kitchen sink resulting in an inch of water covering the living room and kitchen floors. He turned the water off, put jack stands under the couches, removed anything else from the floor and scooped up the standing water with a dust pan. He spent about an hour and a half cleaning up the mess. I do not understand how, but I slept through the entire thing. Lol.

We had a special treat last Tuesday when our friend and co-worker, Paul Fisher, stopped by to visit us while in the area. We went out to dinner at a great little place on that canal called The Joint. It was really neat to see someone from home. :-)

Jimi and I had a pretty special 4th! We joined thousands of Cape Coral residents for a Heidi Newfield concert, compliments of the city of Cape Coral; we got front row spots. I was great. Heidi opened singing Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' and ended by singing our 'love' song' Johnny and June'. After the concert we watched the fireworks and then drove home with the windows down, radio blasting and singing at the top of our lungs. It was a great evening.

We are excited for the week to come - so stay tuned.


Love everyone,

Lorie & Jimi