Thursday, January 31, 2019

31 January 2019 Larkhill Community Ocala, FL

      2019 began with a flurry of parties or maybe it was just a continuation of the soirees of 2018! New Year’s Day we enjoyed 3 parties—1 was a meal of collards, black eyed peas, cornbread, ribs, and chicken in a neighbors' home down the street---our Southern Good Luck Charm for the year.

     Another neighbor needed a bit of nursing help so I hung his IV antibiotics a few times to fill in some blanks. I don’t miss getting up to go to work but I do miss nursing.

     We finally got our living room rug and the remainder of our bedroom furniture.



     There are two more pieces that don't show here but we're so excited to finally have drawers! Headboard is asymmetrical as are night stands. More narrow one on left with longer portion of headboard and the wider night table on the right with the shorter headboard segment.

       There is a significance to the canvas of an abstract Washington DC skyline and the bicycle bookends. In all of our years of cruising and although we loved many places, we spent the most concentrated time in DC and it's our all-time favorite city. We spent a total of 6 months and 1 week there, riding our bikes to Bethesda (home of NHC), Silver Spring, Mt. Vernon, Arlington, Alexandria, Capitol Heights, Georgetown, Hyattsville, Crystal City, and more places than I can name. So that's why we fell in love with the painting! THEN, Bill spied the bookends and we knew that they would have a special place beneath the painting of our nation's capitol.




     I can tell you that we weren’t sad to see the Rubbermaid tubs go that we’d been living out of for months. Oh, the things we take for granted! Several weeks later and I’m still thrilled at being able to open a drawer and finding the items that I expect to be there. With the tubs, I never knew where anything was. A rug and furniture has helped our echo somewhat but we still hear ourselves bouncing off the walls. Window treatments will probably help---one of these days.

     There’s a wonderful art instructor here as part of our Life Long Learning Center. I’ve taken classes from her before and just love her. If only I could tuck myself in her back pocket and absorb every technique that she knows. I did a little sea turtle the other day and it’s hanging in our guest room.



     We also have a performing arts center and enjoyed a dueling pianos show like none other. They play piano, harmonica, sax, guitar, and are also a comedy team. Deuces Wild is their name so if they come to your area, you’d love their show.

     Bill and I began foreign language classes and after only 1 class, I’m not sure I’ll survive. He’s taking French and I, Spanish. Now why didn’t I take French, too???  Sure would’ve made a lot of sense because when Bill worked for Michelin, a French company, he was fluent to the point that he could give presentations in French when he went to the home office in France. He’s thrilled with his instructor and just the first class seemed to resurrect all he knew but had forgotten. My instructor is also very good but when I took 2 years of Spanish in college, I never even came close to being fluent so I’m struggling. Hope subsequent classes loosen my tongue a bit.

     Andy and Dinata, boating and RV friends from Marathon, have settled in Leesburg, FL, so they drove up to visit us for a day. We had a wonderful time laughing, talking, laughing, catching up, and laughing some more.

      Bill’s Old Car Club took an excursion to the horse farm of the Gypsy Gold Vanner breed established in the 1995 by Dennis, the farm owner, and his late wife. He thrilled us as he narrated a walking two-hour tour of his farm. We met the Gypsy Gold Vanner horses in person, heard the history of the breed from its discovery in Great Britain and to its growth in the United States. Dennis discovered this unique breed in England where they were used as draw horses for the bands of gypsies and he brought the breed to America. 



     He explained the species, its history, and the unique British Gypsy culture. We walked the farm and met the stallions, mares, foals, mules, donkeys, parrots, and various other animals loved at Gypsy Gold Farm. I was surprised to not see dogs or cats there but I loved on the other creatures—although not the birds.



     The farm land and animals are immaculately maintained by 3 people—Dennis, who just had his 70th birthday, and two others.  That 3 people can maintain that level of perfection is amazing.  If you’re ever in the Ocala area, put this on your list of things to do. The tours are 3 days a week and reservations must be made in advance.


Notice the perfect heart on the flank of this horse!

     So many of our neighbors have entertained us in their homes and we haven’t been able to without asking them to bring their own chair!  😦   Now that we’re almost complete sans lanai furniture and window treatments, we've had a few open houses inviting our new neighbors. Having several nights of guests was fun and we look forward to doing that more often.

     Last month I suggested we have a Full Moon Party each month. We hosted the first one in December. Another of our neighbors, Tom and Elaine, hosted the January Super Blood Wolf Moon/Eclipse Party. It was COLD—in the low 30’s which is way below my comfort level.

     Carolyn and Don, dear friends from our boating lives, were our first overnight house guests. They’re fleeing north GA for Marathon and some warm weather. We had an exciting time of 'catching up'. 

     Our Larkhill neighborhood gathered at a local steak house to wrap up the month and, of course, food and fellowship were outstanding. 

     January ended with the Larkhill Men's Breakfast Club heading off in a caravan for Red's Cafe and Sherry, a neighbor, and I drove to The Villages for a make-over for me. Her complexion is gorgeous and flawless and and she's inspired me to buy some makeup after a decade long hiatus of wearing none. 

     An end of month report on our language classes---on Bill's 3rd class, he presented a 'story' in French and the instructor understood him and Bill understood each class member's "recital".  Hate to admit it but I'm not doing nearly that spectacularly in Spanish. Hopefully February's report will present my Spanish language skills in a better light.


Bill and Laura
9128 SW 82nd Lane
Ocala, FL 34481
     





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