Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Retired Life--We Could Get Used to This! Or NOT This!

Eldo was off and running errands today...So Sparky got into the pool. She hasn't done that but a couple of times since we've moved in, because she was sick for awhile. Now that she's back to normal, it's time to get those foam barbells and weight belt in hand and hop in the pool for some exercise! Being that Eldy was running errands, no embarrassing photos of Sparky in her swimsuit, just the equipment.

Sparky had to hurry up and get in the pool because just about every afternoon from mid-afternoon on, the clouds roll in, the alarm for possible thunderstorms with lightning goes off on the golf course, and it's no time to be in a body of water! Cloudbursts roll in faster than you can say, "Is it raining yet?" 'cuz it probably is....It rains hard but briefly, usually. Wonder when the rainy season is over in Bradenton/Sarasota? However, we don't mind it at all. Eldy likes to sit out on the deck and watch it roll in. Today's storm was a lot of noise and light, but very little rain.....

But HOLD ON A SECOND! There's an uninvited guest on the patio!

Sparky is not going OUT until this little visitor is GONE! So she went and did a couple other things, came back, and he was gone. Whew! Sparky just does NOT like anything slimy with webby, sticky little feet. And this was a TINY little dude. He just looks big in the camera lens. But, darned if there wasn't something else to worrry about-- a lizard, a little gecko, anole or something like that INSIDE the caged lanai when she went out to the pool...The little critters are getting inside the lanai somehow. Sparky is going to have to go on critter watch every day. It's only a matter of time till something gets in the house. We do have palmetto bugs that show up inside the house. Palmetto bugs are just a nice name for Florida cockroaches, BIG cockroaches. UGH!  AL, of Travels with Karen and Al, HELP!  :-)  Just kidding, Al, we'll have to call some kind of pest control, though. Insects and bugs definitely thrive in the Florida sunshine and warm weather, all year round. Oh, the joys of home ownership!

We had to get a plumber out to fix our hot water line to the washer. It was leaking badly. Eldy felt that we needed an expert to handle this job as we weren't quite sure what was causing the leak, nor do we have the tools necessary to do the job. (And that's why I need to start stocking my tool supplies and get a workbench set up in the garage, says E.) Sigh.....We consulted Angie's List, now that we are homeowners, for a reputable business. Angie's List is a paid for service that has thousands of ratings for  local businesses in your area zip code that offer repair services. If you need an electrician, plumber, roofer, etc. this is a great referral service. You can sign up for one main list or several ones, depending on your choice of what you need, whether it be just house/repair services or health or pet or all of them. We just wanted the basic house service list for who to call when we have problems with appliances and stuff like that. It normally costs 35.00 a year, but Sparky found a promotional code and got the service for around 11.00 a year. It's a consumer driven rating service--companies are rated A-F, (Sparky likes that). The ratings are checked for legitimacy, in case companies try to rate themselves, so you can be sure you are getting legitimate reviews from people who have tried the service provider--no fake or anonymous reviews. In addition to a grade rating, people tell what service was performed and how much they were charged for it. Businesses can't pay to be on the list, which is another good thing! It's a great place to find local businesses and reviews, from what we can tell. Sort of like a digital Better Business Bureau, only better.

There's a lot more to Angie's List, and a lot more options and helpful information on their website. They also have a friendly help desk. We found a plumber with good ratings, and will report back on our experience soon...

OK, here's the report...good company, ridiculous price for replacing two faucet handles and stems. Anybody want to guess how much the plumbing company (which had a B rating overall) charged to replace two handle supply stem/faucets? Not having had to have a plumber in for ANYTHING in YEARS, we were shocked at the charges...We're just going to leave it at it was ridiculous. And we understand plumbers are highly trained, have one of the dirtiest and least appreciated jobs in the service/repair home field, but a job that takes about 15 minutes shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. Next time, we go with a smaller, family owned company for plumbing!

So what's so nice about retired life? Living here in Bradenton, having no schedule, having no timetable, swimming in your own pool, having the most beautiful home we've ever lived in, and just enjoying the area permanently! Sparky has even started cooking more!  (GASP!) I'm sure that was a collective gasp from Eldy and everybody else reading, too.  Here's a little recipe for ya! Courtesy of Publix Grocery Stores....Title is my own....

Sorta Salsa Corn Salad
1/4 c.  chopped green onions
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
4 ears fresh sweet corn--cooked--I like to do mine in the microwave wrapped in damp paper towel for about 2 min. per ear, but not if you do them all at once
juice of 1 lime
1 (4.5 oz. can) chopped green chilies
1/2 c. Hidden Ranch Spicy ranch dressing
crispy corn taco shells broken into pieces or your favorite brand taco corn chips

Combine green onions and cilantro
Warm the taco chips in the oven or microwave for a few seconds
Cut corn off the cob and place in medium bowl.
Squeeze lime, add spicy ranch dressing, chilis, green onions and cilantro, mix...Spoon mix over warm taco chips or taco shells. Yum!



  1. Hmm Angies List-- I'm a nurse in a very specialized field (gastroenterology) . For fun one day, I looked up all the doctors I work with in the hospital. The ones she gave high marks to, I felt were not worth her glowing marks. Then I started thinking. If she only gets a few remarks re one person, and they are all good, does she give them glowing marks? Many people who are dissatisfied, never take the time to complain. I still think word of mouth might be a better predictor of good workers.

  2. Fun to read about what life is like for you in Florida settling into your new home. I admire that you are not minding the heat and storms. Having your own swimming pool is sure a big plus! Good for you for getting out the barbells and weights too.

  3. Cooking wow!!!
    Way to go girl, are we gonna have "Recipes by Sparky" ?

  4. You go girl! Love the recipe..and Angie's list seems like a great deal. I'm always sceptical of Yelp, you never know how many 'friends' are posting good reviews. We find getting recommendations from several locals is good too.

  5. I'm anxious to try that recipe. Looks delicious!

  6. Sparky cooks! It's a miracle!! Is Eldo next?? Cooking lessons for his birthday?? LOVE your frog picture.

  7. well. . .well. . .well. . .cleaning grout, and cooking. . .you have be busy! Don't hurt yourself. . .LOL!

    I love the pic of Eldy sitting on the lanai. . .I would consider watching the storm roll in great entertainment too!

    Glad y'all are loving it. . .

  8. Glad you got some pool time and are feeling back to normal.

    In Florida, you will always have lizards in the screen room. They can get in under the doors, so you just have to get used to them. We never had as much of a problem with frogs in the pool area, but once in a while we'd find one in the pool.

    The rainy season will start to let up a little in September, providing there are no hurricanes...but then again September is the peak hurricane season.

    That recipe looks very good...easy too.