Sunday, April 26, 2020

COVID 19 and a Staycation at Shelter Inn Place

We, like all the sane people in the world, are on an extended staycation at Shelter Inn Place. We have friends in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia and they are all doing the same thing to try and stop the spread of the virus. Our Aussie friends Brian and Karen (last post) where contacted by their embassy and told there would be a mercy flight out of Los Angeles on April 17 and if they wanted to head home they needed to be there. They left the RV in Tennessee and high tailed it to LA. After an 18 hour flight, they are safely back in Brisbane where the government has quarantined them in a hotel for two weeks. In many cases, Canadian snowbirds had to head home early as their supplemental insurance did not cover pandemics. Once they made it home they had to self quarantine for fourteen days. Most of our RV friends are hunkered down where ever they can find an open RV park. With all this happening we are very happy we are in a stix and brix. It is so strange because unlike natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other human tragedies that tend to be localized, Covid-19 has touched the whole world.

We started our stay at home on Friday, March 13th. Who knows if that day was an omen, as we had no idea what we were in for. That morning we had an appointment at home to sign the final papers to refinance the condo at a lower rate, saving us over $100 a month. The notary was the last person we welcomed into our home. During the first week we did go to the beach a couple times and had no problem social distancing. One advantage to being in Florida is that the weather has been great allowing us to get outside in our little community everyday for our morning walks. Since I now do not have any excuses to skip exercising, I have gone from three or four days a week to six or seven. I have also increased my daily mileage from a couple miles a day to 3.5. As a result I have actually lost a few pounds the last six weeks. As always, Nanc does more than I do. I have taken advantage of all the free time to develop new skills and master some new technology. We have been enjoying our new home and getting some projects checked off the honey do list.
A few sights around Lexington Lakes. We love seeing the birds in our yard.
This guy was moving along the sidewalk fast enough that he would have had no problem beating the hare.
A Great Egret on the shore while an anhinga dries its wings. 
A Little Blue Heron waiting to leave his mark on our car. 
My biggest project was making a place to store our bikes and to put in a shelf for storage. This is what it looked like when we bought the place. The garage is very narrow put almost ten feet high.
I wasn't sure what was above the drywall so I started with two 2 x 4's attached to brackets attached to the concrete block. Unfortunately, I had an accident doing this part and hit my assistant, Nanc, in the head with a 2 x 4. Good thing she has a hard head and we aren't going out so no one saw her black eye.
The next step was attaching 2 x 4's to the first two boards and putting in hooks to hang the bikes.
That side was done and the bikes are now out of the way while still being easy to get down. Both bikes needed some work so I replaced all four tires and gave them a real good cleaning. We still have not ridden them, but have talked to our neighbor about the best places to ride in the area.
On the other side of the garage I attached a shelf to boards hanging from the ceiling. It is well over six feet high so even our tallest friends can walk under it without hitting their heads. I also plan to hang things on the walls, but that job can wait until I can browse Home Depot without a mask.
It doesn't show very well but the CRV fits easily under the bike rack and shelf.
Publix, our go to Florida grocery store, started early morning senior citizen hours so we figured we would give it a try. We did and while we appreciate them doing it, we won't be doing it again realizing that all the shoppers were people in the highest risk category for catching Covid-19. It also seemed like some things like fresh meats and fish were not yet out to sell. We have since found that afternoons during the week seem to be the best time to shop.
As things got worse, they began to recommend masks. Nanc found a piece of material in her mother's old sewing basket that Keith had sent. The sewing machine came with the condo when we bought the furnishings. Nanc got the manual out and in no time had it figured out so we are now protected when we shop.
Those who have known us a long time know Nanc is a great cook, but she rarely did.The story was, I would hide her Christmas presents in the oven knowing she would never find them. I must say she has outdone herself while passing our time at Shelter Inn Place. In six weeks we have only gotten take out a couple times because we have been eating healthy at home. Here she is serving up a wonderful (not so healthy) shrimp etouffee.
One thing we love that we thought we would be missing is live music. Soon after the Shelter In Place started, Dan Baker, a local Washington musician, who is out of work because the local restaurants where he  normally plays have closed, began Dinner with Dan. He has a live show on Facebook Monday thru Saturday at 7:00 and at 11:00 on Sunday for a Jazz Brunch. When we first started listening we put the phone in a cup to amplify the sound.
That was not working so well so I ordered a Blue Tooth speaker and now we get great live music with dinner. Dan is trying to survive the loss of work, so tune in at 7:00 for Dinner with Dan. Here is the link to his PayPal account if you would like to contribute. Also, the Sunday Brunch Bloody Mary's were great.
Our Sunday brunch. It tasted as great as it looks and is a healthy meal.
We may change the name from Shelter Inn Place to Tidball's. Shirts are from a music venue and bar we found in Bowling Green, Kentucky. If you are in the area stop by and say hi to John.
Another fantastic meal, fresh baked Mediterranean salmon salad. While the cook has been doing a great job, I buss the table and wash the pots and pans.
Another project was replacing our outdoor entry light. As you can see the plastic on the old one literally fell apart when I touched it.
I ordered a new one from Home Depot and with only a small bit of jury rigging I successfully got it up. This one is glass so I'm hoping I will never have to do it again.
Well, one successful light fixture job was followed by a complete failure. When I was pounding on the bike rack in the garage the globe on this hall light fell to the floor smashing into a million pieces. Turns out it is cheaper to buy a whole new light kit rather than just a globe. When the new one arrived I did not change the fixture I just replaced the globe. I tightened all three screws (or so I thought) but in less than ten minutes it came crashing to the floor. I'm back to square one on this job ordering another whole new light.
Tough times call for tough decisions so I got to do something else I had never done before.  I gave Nanc a haircut!!!!  It was slow and easy with both clippers and scissors. I could not believe how much hair I was cutting off. 
Well, here is the final result. Not bad for the first time.  No cuts to the skull, no nicked ears, a smooth transition form top to sides and most importantly a happy smile. 
Dealing with more new technology. We Zoomed for the first time on March 30th when we got together virtually with several other people to sing Happy Birthday to our sister-in-law Denise. Since then we had a couple zoom meet-ups with my cousin Chuckie and his wife Deb.
Denise and Rick joined us on the latest one. It is neat to see the people you are talking with. The only down side is you have to make sure you have your pants on. 
It has not been all long boring days around here, on Tuesday my phone gave a loud, shrill buzz with a tornado warning. This was followed by texts from our neighbors, a very loud alarm from our security system and a path on the TV showing the storm coming right over our place. Fortunately, it moved a bit south and spared us. There was not much damage and no injuries in our area, but at our friends George and Nan's complex a neighbor did have windows blow out. "They" claim tornadoes are rare in Florida. We sure hope so.
Like everyone else we are missing social interaction so the neighbors decided to have a social distancing happy hour in our driveways. It was a great time relaxing, having a toddy and getting caught up with everyone's Shelter Inn Place stories. Here are Nanc, Claudia, Diane, Mark, Cookie, Nick and Morgan. I think this is going to be a Hump Day tradition. 
Check out the pot of gold we found at the end of the rainbow. Actually, it was at our front door. We got a mystery care package in the mail with some much needed supplies: paper towels, toilet paper, kleenex, disposable gloves and disinfectant spray.  We thank the "anonymous" donor very much!! Life is Good!!!

Stay Safe, Stay Home, Stay Healthy and WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!!!