Friday, March 12, 2021

365 Days at Shelter Inn Place - Getting Out - Condo Projects

WOW!!!! It is so hard to believe this marks one year at Shelter Inn Place. Like most everyone on the planet, it seems like it has been much longer. While we pretty much are behaving the same way we have been the last year since getting both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, we now feel like the light at the end of the tunnel no longer feels like an oncoming train.
Our Lex Lakes driveway happy hour group is still gathering once a week. This week was a going away party for Claudia who has decided she does not like the heat and is moving back to snowy New Hampshire. Here are Nanc, Nick, Claudia, Hector and half of Joan giving her a farewell toast.
Jim, Mark, Cookie and Morgan enjoying the food and festivities.
Lillian, Lou and Diane. As you can see by the many bottles,it was a great send off. Lou made a special ouzo cappuccino and Lillian made biscotti to dip in it. Very Yummy!! 
A spider basket covered with dew and catching bugs on a foggy morning.
What do you do when you have a going away party and forget to bring out the champagne? Easy, the following week you get together in her driveway and salute her. Here are Jim, Lou, Lillian, Diane, Morgan, Mark, Cookie, Nanc and Jim sending warm cheers to chilly New Hampshire from sunny Florida.
A wood stork taking flight. It is neat seeing so much nature in or little community.
Another step closer to normal. On February 13 we got our second Pfizer vaccine. We are happy to report neither of us had any of the side effects we have heard so much about. After two weeks we should be at maximum immunity. That said, we will continue to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands. With the shot we will be able to go to places we have avoided for the last year. At this time we are planning to go to Mexico in April, as long as there are no new major out breaks.
We ventured to Riverbend Park near Jupiter for a nice day of bike riding on the many trails with George and Nan. (whose picture I failed to take). The park has over 10 miles of trails winding through the woods. After the ride we went to lunch at the Dive Bar in Jupiter. The dive in Dive Bar refers to scuba diving not the trashy place I was expecting. 
Into every life a little rain must fall. I took Opus for a 30 mile ride before Christmas and he ran like a top. The next time I went to the storage place, when I started the engine many lights and alarms went off. Turns out there was no anti-freeze. When I contacted our towing service they made arrangements to have it worked on at Cummins in Rivera Beach. Before Opus could be put on the hook he had to be winched out of his storage space facing against the fence. Good news, it was "only" the line running from the engine to the front. Bad news, we are paying for a repair while not using our rig. 
No rain this day. We went to our favorite beach in Hobe Sound for a day of sun and fishing. 
This guy came ashore in a very well equipped kayak that was set up for diving. He had been out over a mile diving for lobster.
He had a very successful day. The one on the left weighs four or five pounds. Unlike what we are used to up north, Florida lobsters do not have claws. It looks like a fun way to fish.
He did much better at catching than I did. Not even a bite. Still a great day on the beach in February. Nothing wrong with that.
Nancy's one dollar orchid she got at Winn-Dixie in the Keys last January. It had a couple flowers when she got it, but for most of the year it was a green stick with leaves. Nanc babied it and assured me it would bloom. It sure has, with several flowers and more on the way.
More proof we are feeling protected now that we have the vaccine. We ventured out to downtown Stuart for the arts festival. The crowd was much smaller then it has been the last couple years as winter visits are down over 20%. The vast majority of people were masked and the booths were spread out a bit more than in the past. It was great being out on a warm sunny February day. We even went to the theater to see Nomadland. There were only 10 people, counting us, so we were well spaced and felt safe.

When we hit the road in 2007 we got rid of almost everything we owned. One exception was our coffee table. It was special to us because it had been my parents' first kitchen table. When we bought our house we cut the legs down, stripped the paint, stained it and used it for over 25 years. It was the only piece of furniture we stored. When we bought our condo it was furnished and the old table did not really fit in.
Nanc wanted a place to hang our COP*R*CHEF pots and pans in the kitchen and after much thought we decided to use this small wall by the counter.
This was the table top before I tore it apart to see what I had to work with.
Sure did not look like much at this point. Since it was a work in progress, when we started we were not sure what it would look like when it was done.
Some new tools were needed. The first was a sander to remove the old stain. Using it made me realized I needed a workbench....... I ordered a Black & Decker Workmate. I got a good price and the box shows why. It works great as a bench and can also be used as a vise.
I was able to clamp the wood down with an extra piece to guide the cuts, making them very straight.
The next step was staining the pieces to better match our kitchen cabinets. It was a trial and error job with the first stain not being the correct color. 
Finding the studs resulted in several holes in the wall that needed to be spackled and painted. Of course if you are painting one small wall, you might as well paint the whole kitchen.
With my old drill and level I mounted the boards to the wall with black screws we needed to order from Amazon. The placement was important so the pots and pans did not hit the newly painted wall. 
The finished job. The pans hang on decorative black hooks. For the lids I cut up the plate rack from the picture above. The two pieces at the top were from the side of the table. We are happy with the project and the way we repurposed the old table which has so many memories.  I thought this was the end of my work in the kitchen until I was told we need to install a copper back splash under the cabinets. 
Another condo project I checked off my honey do list was painting both bathrooms. They are both very small which in many ways make them harder to paint than a big room.

It is so sad looking at the Covid numbers. When we started our stay at Shelter Inn Place on March 13, 2020 the total cases were 1,666 and 45 deaths. At that point many people were saying it was not a big deal, no worse that the flu and would soon disappear. 365 days later all that early optimism and false information has been proven wrong. One year later totals in the United States are 29,286,720 cases and 530,829 deaths. Sadly, those numbers mean the US has over 20% of the world totals.  All that said the good news is last March the idea of a vaccine was just a wishful fantasy but as of today 98,203,893 people have gotten at least one shot and over 10% of the people have been fully vaccinated. We feel the country is heading in the right direction and, hopefully, by summer we will be near our old normal.
Please stay safe everyone.