Sunday, March 30, 2014


In a professional quandary here since Friday, and solely because I am loyal to my word, I doubt anything will change in decisions Ray and I have made these past few months.  I don't know what to expect tomorrow and in the coming days and weeks, so I will take a step back and see what develops.  I won't put into detail what transpired, and I expect confusion from this first paragraph, but just know that I am saddened by what occurrences took place this past week at my office.

But enough of that!  Let's move past all the drama of office politics and the wrongdoings of others, and let's celebrate Ray.  (By the way, I am now typing this post from a gravity chair--a lounge chair that we use at the lake.  We just saw our sunroom couch and love seat go out the door!  Six nights of luxury seating at its finest!)

Well, at Ray's big retirement shindig Friday night, there were so many loving co-workers, along with me, my daughter and her boyfriend, sharing his special day with him.  Seventy or so employees were at the luncheon on his final day which was then followed by a happy hour/dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, Los Toltecas.  I told my daughter that anyone, including me, could only hope for 1/10th of the love and joy those friends of Ray's shared with him that day.  (Maybe it was the margaritas?)  Even an attorney bellowed out to Ray down the table in front of all that he loved Ray.  He clarified it by saying that no one had better work ethics than Ray and that he appreciated the work that Ray had done all of these years.   And he went on to say that he was always grateful for all of the help Ray had given to him and all that he had done for him.  If anyone could get an answer to a question or figure out the problem, it was Ray, and it was consistently done quickly and professionally.  It was a wonderful night with great conversation and laughs.  His boss drove down from Pittsburgh with his wife (huge surprise) and his partner in crime from the Pittsburgh office also made the trip for the days events.

Like Ray, I value good work ethics.  I am extremely loyal to mostly my patients and to my co-workers.  But things took a turn on Friday that have me extremely saddened and disheartened. I have twenty-eight days to muster through.  Tomorrow I will be surrounded by several unhappy and confused co-workers.  There will be those that will be somehow be elated.  The environment is not going to be pleasant.  I have to remember that the occurrences have not affected me directly (but personally they have surprised and crushed me).  I have been reminding myself this entire weekend while I watch the stress melt off Ray's face (work stress this is...still have the house to tidy up but not too much left to do!) what my beliefs are, where my ethics lie, what I have  strived to accomplish in my career, and that I still have choices.  I do not have to be consistent.  I do not have to please everyone as long as my choices and decisions reflect what Ray and I have decided and discussed and that they are decisions I have made.  Not for anyone else, and not about anyone else.  28 days...let's just see what tomorrow brings.

For now, I will recline in my gravity chair and eat Ray's red hots!  And by the way, it snowed again today!  And rained.  And heavy winds.  We will say it was swaining while we rocked the day away.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


On Friday, it seemed like I had quite a bit to blog about--we had more snow and another day off from work, I had many more patients that came in for their "last cleaning with me" shocking news, we had eye doctor appointments made at the last minute before losing our health insurance, there was chaos at the last Homeowner's Association Meeting we attended, my sister was in a car accident on the way to meeting me for lunch (run off the highway by a maniac driver--she is okay, but her car is banged up a bit), and we sold our humungous TV today, some mugs, a lamp, a refrigerator and beanie babies this past week.

But for right now, the only thing I really want to post is that Ray has five days of work left until his retirement at the ripe old age of 47.  Gone will be the automatic wake up at 2:30 am (I think his alarm has gone off less than a handful of times all of his working years), the long hours on the road, and the twelve plus hour days at work.  His work wife has been weepy, and I think by the end of the week there will be many more tears shed by so many more good friends and co-workers.  Tomorrow he starts training the new employee that will soon sit in his chair.  She won't be given the training that Ray had hoped for (her hiring came a bit late), because he would like to know that he leaves the office in good shape and the staff are in good hands.  But everyone that knows Ray knows that no matter how much training he provides, there won't be another Ray.  Everyone also knows people are replaceable, but I wouldn't want to be the one trying to fill his shoes--even just the left one for that matter!  For now, I will just leave this post to be about Ray and his having just five days left at the law firm.  I can save my bitterness (haha) and the "this is a blog that is really all about me getting ready to retire to Panama" until tomorrow.

On Lake Anna for the next few months.

Retirement will be good :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Or in this case, nine dresser drawers and a walk in closet into half a closet and three dresser drawers.  I need to donate more.  It is going to have to wait until after we move into the lake house and out of this house, because for now, I just want it moved.  My brain is fried from trying to put everything into the right pile.  Friday, when Ray and I tackled the kitchen, we had four piles.   Fortunately, Ray had just walked in the door from work, and I had only just started the attack on the kitchen cabinets. (I timed it just right haha)  Then  the termite man was here to give us an "A-OK" on our termite inspection for the sale of the house, and while his inspection took one hour, it forced us to be here at the house getting the job done.  Dinner out for me, because now we have VERY LITTLE in our kitchen.  Case in point...we just made taco soup for dinner.  A double batch, because we are expecting MORE SNOW TONIGHT!  And Ray's office had already set a "two hour discretionary delay" as of eleven am this morning.  It hasn't even started snowing.  While preparing the soup, we realized we did keep a one cup measuring cup.  We do have a cutting board to chop the onions.  If we want the large bowls to eat out of, we have to raid our daughter's Rubbermaid bins (we will make do with the smaller soup bowls we have--better on the waistline to use smaller plates and bowls supposedly, or I will just refill many times!), and we no longer have large ladles or our favorite large blue or red speckled spoon to use to scoop it all out into the small bowls.  Oh, we can just use the measuring cup as a scoop.  Improvise.  Eat soup.  Eat out.  Order in.  Life is good.  It's all good.

Friday morning I was again having some dental work done, but I wasn't quite as numb this time, thank goodness!  I was having a new veneer done (the old one was perfectly fine in good working conditions, but it was eighteen years old and not looking as pretty).  Again, I pay only lab costs (since we have never had dental insurance), so I figure I should get things done that bother me now.  And then off to the lake house to unload some more Rubbermaid bins and clothing.  Saturday, repeat of Friday to the lake house.  Ray and I took both cars.  Again, his little car is amazing.  Then we spent some time making things work in the house.  We had unloaded our kitchen accessories into the lake house kitchen, clothing into our closet, wine and the like into the revolving cabinet and so on.  WE hung shoe racks in the garage for now, and some soccer chairs up on the rafters.  I told our Lake Anna roommates we have to enjoy many happy hours in the next four months, eat a lot of nuts (put them in pancakes, cookies, use as coating for chicken...), drink lots of iced and hot tea along with coffee, and make as well as eat ice cream sundaes every weekend, so we can get through all of the sprinkles!

And this morning, it was back to Lake Anna lake house.  We tried once before to fit a tall rocking chair into Ray's car to bring back to this house with us (to sell), but it wouldn't fit (what?!).  This time we tried to fit a smaller rocking chair (Ray's piece of furniture he is saving) into his car to take to the house, but this car has some trouble with rocking chairs.  We put together (Ray did actually) a no tools required garment holder, so we could extend our closet to the outside world for a while.  We also asked the roommates if we could move our Rubbermaid bins to some unused nook in the entryway of the house until we leave (then move the bins back to our bedroom).  No problem!  Dress it up with a curtain and the Costa Rican ox cart, and all seems well.  Busy, busy as we still move things out, and the future owners move things in.

As far as Panama goes, we have our eyes on a home in Chame to rent, and we are looking at two others now in El Valle (and there is one that our friends looked at already that is still in contention).  We have been reading on the forums that since the supermarket El Rey was built and is in operation now, along with the new shopping center that it is in, water is running low.  It is dry season and many people are saying that while the pipes are old and deteriorating and slow to being fixed, another reason for lack of water is the high demand of the new stores.  And another thing being written about is the lights are left on throughout the night of the shopping center taking away from the pretty dark skies of this charming town.  El Valle may have some kinks to work out plus the rental supply isn't great just yet.  Perhaps in a few months, the snowbirds will leave the rentals, and there will be more offerings.  Six months renting a house doesn't seem like a long time to live in a not so great house or neighborhood, but I would like to think that with as organized as Ray and I are being in this America, that we don't show up to a rental house in Central America that is not quite right.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to appear clean, tidy, organized and not disheveled.  Sounds like someone I know.

What's behind curtain number one?
Our "stuff" of course!  (Our daughter's, too)
Don't judge, there are four of us that contribute
to this cabinet--for the past five years).  

Our wine runneth over.
The sprinkles extend to the back.

Baking and cooking oils and vinegars (round and
round it goes with nuts, chocolate chips, and essentials)

So much coffee and tea to drink.

More wine here.

My half of the closet (wedding dress made it to the top shelf)
Ray's half (with china on top)

Our extended closet

Looking pretty empty in this house.

Mostly uniforms left in my closet.

Plenty of luggage.  All those work pants and shirts!  Not for long!
Ray loses a bunch of tee shirts.  Lots of luggage.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


The oak-stained pine hutch left the house on Saturday.  Yep.  That's about all I've got.  It apparently affected me enough to post something about it.  A hutch is described as a piece of furniture used to display and store dishes. This hutch was unlike all the other pieces of furniture that have been bought and taken out of the house in the past month.  I equate it with that beaten up stuffed animal or blanket that kids have that are broken down that are just always going to be there.  Not that this hutch was beaten up or that it ever kept me warm, but it was a staple and a constant piece of furniture.  For 25 years, Ray and I moved this hutch from one house to the next.  My parents bought us this hutch when we first married.  We loved anything "country" at the time.  In our townhouse (the first house we bought), the hutch stood prominently in the dining room displaying dishes and storing more bakeware and china in the cabinets below.  In our first single family home (I call it the Rockhill house, since it was on Rockhill Church Rd), we found a place for it in the dining room really never to be seen except for during holiday dinners and our daughter's birthday parties.  It still displayed those dishes and housed even more dishware that we acquired over the years.  It then came along with us to the house we now live in for only the next three weeks and stood in a nook.  Some would have a "butler's pantry" built in this nook, but our hutch had a purpose now to fill this space.  And it also had to display Mason Jars on the top of it, different colored plates and glasses passed down to me from my parents and to store bowls, placemats, tablecloths and more dishes I again acquired because I couldn't send anything to Goodwill at the time (my, my, my have things changed!).

The hutch leaving the house then brought memories back of our Persian cat, Cody, who was with us for eleven short years.  Why?  I think because Cody was a constant.  Never needed much.  Was always there.  Went with us from the townhouse, to Rockhill, to this house.  Wasn't ever really a lap cat, but he was always there.  Always in a room with someone.  My daughter would stay up until one or two am working on homework, and Cody would be in room with her not needing a thing.  Just hanging out.  Not requiring much.  The hutch needed dusting.  Cody needed grooming and shaving to prevent those hairballs.  Back on track here.  This is a blog about Panama after all.

Of all the furniture I have seen come and go these past few weeks, the hutch was something we hadn't changed.  It wasn't passed down to us, and it wasn't acquired because we moved into someone else's house (when we bought Ray's dad's house--Rockhill--we acquired a great deal of stuff!).  It was a gift that we had both set our eyes on before we married and knew we wanted it to be in our house.  So when the man and woman came to load the hutch onto their flatbed truck and take it away, there was a void.  Not to be sappy, because I know pine wouldn't last in Panama,  I know it isn't the right style, and  it wouldn't make sense to ship.  But if a piece of furniture were to be lugged along the way to Panama, it would have to have been this hutch (who needs couches?).  It was a constant, served a purpose and made us both happy to have received it.   I suppose that is what I will remember most about it then.  Not giving it away (okay, it was sold for a ridiculous price), but how excited Ray and I were to have it in our first dining room twenty-five years ago.

Now here's to getting excited about settling into our new place in Panama.  We will be in rental houses first, so I won't be able to get attached to any furnishings.  This will be a good thing.  I will find other things to attach myself to (the sunshine, the flowers, the fresh fruit) and realize that a hutch is just a hutch.  All will be fine.

Hutch sits empty at the end of the hall in its "nook" with a mason jar remaining on top.  
Cody hanging out with Kringle Bear every Christmas.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


In four weeks, Ray and I will sleeping in this house for the last time.  Or we would have already disassembled our bed (my sister has bought my bedroom furniture), and we will be sleeping on ?  Besides the snow that doesn't seem to stop, our packing and donating, loading and unloading isn't stopping either.  Not until four weeks from now that is.  And here's hoping that by April 5th, we won't have anymore snow or wintry mixes.  This past Monday we had more of this:
It won't stop.

Shoveling again.
The forecasts showed that my area (Southeast of Washington, DC) would be getting 6-10 or maybe 7-11 inches of snow early Monday morning throughout the day.  What a difference an inch or two can make here! Sunday night Ray got word that his office was opening late Monday morning, and I hadn't received any word from mine.  I didn't expect to hear anything until the precipitation had started falling.  At four am Monday Ray woke up, turned the TV on, looked outside, saw ice and decided he would not be going to work that day.  He got word at 5:30 am that his office was closed for the day.  The Federal Government also closed again.  Now the forecast was on the high side of possibly a foot of snow in some areas, or maybe just seven inches.  I woke up at six am (I did see the TV on at four am as well), looked out the window, and I made an executive decision that I wouldn't be making it to the office either.  It wasn't where I wanted to be stuck if we did get the snowfall amounts the forecasters were predicting.  At 6:30 am, my office manager texted "the office is closed".  I slept a little while longer.  Then I thought "not again".  I can't be cooped up close to another two days!  I am running out of Personal Time Off.  (Not that I care.)  The plows won't come for four days if we get a foot of snow.  Ray and I shoveled.  We watched the heavy snow.  We saw the weathermen reiterate their forecast.  We shoveled again.  We also got more cleaning done.  Kitchen cabinets were consolidated and wiped down.   More boxes for Goodwill were grouped together.  We took a nap.  And shoveled once more.  Our area had a "dry slot".  While it snowed fast, hard and heavy the first few waking hours of the morning, it tapered off by three pm.  We had a whopping four inches of snow when all was said and done.  Nice day to have off!  We wouldn't be cooped up a second or third day.  School though didn't reopen for three days.  And then yesterday morning, there was the prediction of a wintry mix.  I woke up to nothing (I had errands to run).  School was delayed two hours here.  There wasn't a drop of rain, sleet, or snow to be seen.  The high was forty degrees. Today, it is supposed to be sixty degrees.  Stop the madness.

Ray was in Tazewell, VA yesterday morning.  He left the house at his normal three am time (I think) and drove to his mom's house with a Mini-Cooper (mind you the Extended Cab version so tons of room!) loaded down with an antique sewing machine and bags and bags of clothing, accessories, computers, hair dryers (okay, I hoarded a few of those--never want one to die on me!), books and so much more.  He stopped at Waffle House for breakfast, and it was snowing.  Then he arrived to his mom's over the mountain where there wasn't any snow, and it was a sunny fifty plus degree day.  Busy day.  He set his mom's house up with a router and made it wireless.  We face-timed tonight, so she could get the concept.  When we visit this summer, we will get her a smart phone for easier access to us.  Ray was only there for an overnight stay.  Today it was back to loading and unloading again.  I surprised him, and while we were chatting over the computer, I showed him an even more empty dining room.  I had loaded my car up to its fullest potential and drove to the lake house yesterday afternoon.  I fit four Rubbermaid Totes in the car, china, three bags of shoes (I need to give some of these shoes up, I think, but I have to figure out which one's once we get to the lake house--can't decide now!), a sucked down bag of sweaters, a basket filled with music CD's, pictures and clothes into the car.  How will I get nine dresser drawers and a walk-in closet full of clothing into half a closet I will be sharing with Ray at the lake house and three dresser drawers?  Again, I couldn't decide what more to give away, so it will be a task to take on once at the lake house.  Just get me out of one house and into the next!  

This past week I had several patients that I was able to share my retirement to Panama story.  They are patients that "only see Allison for cleanings".  We exchanged emails, and I jotted my blogsite down on their appointment cards.  I also had a chat with my, stay with me here now, parents previous neighbor.  My sister owns my parents house.  Our next door neighbors growing up are now divorced. Mrs. X still lives next door, and Dr. X (a dentist) lives around the corner.  Dr. X has been dating a Panamanian woman for twenty years.  Mrs. X told me that they were considering renting a house they owned in Panama.  She gave me their phone numbers.  I spoke with Dr. X, and he told me his partner was taking an online class, but she would call me back.  He also asked if I knew what that meant with her being Panamanian.  He said it could be in an hour or two.  I also said it could be tomorrow or next week.  He was interested to hear why I chose to retire to Panama.  He has only been to the country five times or so.  He doesn't speak the language and felt a bit alone when traveling there.  I told him he wouldn't feel alone now with the many expat communities that have formed in the past ten years (he last visited eight years).  The next night I spoke with his partner about the house she had to rent.  She has owned a house in Gorgona for eighteen years.  Her family uses it often.  They tend to it.  I understand it to be a three bedroom, two bathroom house.  She is going to send pictures (we spoke on Tuesday).  Pictures will be of great value.  I told Ray wouldn't that be a kick in the pants if we ended up renting my old next door neighbors Panamanian house!  Meanwhile, our friends, Clyde and Terry, toured a condominium (too small) and a duplex (still unsure) for us.  It has been wonderful getting their feedback and opinions on these houses.  I feel like Goldilocks (too small, too big, just right?--I don't expect to find everything in a house like the people on House Hunter's International!  Open floor plan, room for the family and so on?  Really?)

 Also, this past week I became acclimated to my hearing aids, had them adjusted to a slightly higher level yesterda (Ray could hear the TV just a little bit better than I could at my normal level, so I asked that my normal level be raised.  Technology is amazing!),  I had my computer adjusted only to find that it might have hardware issues (back to the store I go), and gave my car a good washing (okay, the machines with the big rags on them did it for me, but I had a free coupon!).  I have been to Goodwill three times this week, I loaded more totes up yesterday, cleaned out my linen closets, threw in a load of laundry, chatted with the nice people at Apple support where it was determined I get to go back to the store for hardware issues, and then called it a day!  April 6th is going to be a good day.  

Ray showed up this morning just as I as getting ready to run to the dry cleaner.  He left his mom's house at 2:00 am.  Home by 7:30 am.  Wow.  It's all I can say.  We loaded up his amazing Mini-Cooper with a firesafe, a metal cabinet, one huge and long tote, four boxes, a Crockpot and roasting pan on my lap along with bags of baking items from our pantry.  Off to the lake house we went.  And then you know what we did?  We unloaded.  We tried fitting the rocking chair we bought from the country restaurant and store Cracker Barrel into the back of his car, but alas, it was too wide.  We will have to sell that from the lake house.  Back to this house where we found the FO's (Future owners) unloading bags and bags of clothing.  Down to the basement they went with their "stuff".  We cleaned all the windows except the two in our bedroom.  We vacuumed.  We emptied our things out of the dining room and into an unused hallway.  We posted pictures to Craigslist.  I really should bring all those beanie babies to Panama!  Why didn't I do this before?  Waiting on someone to come and buy a tall mirror and take it away.  Below is what is remaining to go to the lake house as far as bins (one of them is still our daughters and that Russian tea pot Samovar thingy needs to find a home--I am working on it and looking at antique shop in few weeks to see if the owners will take the bait and take it off my hands haha).  And the Easter basket will soon be filled with goodies for our daughter :)
Just a few bins remaining!
I think once April comes around, I will get to the lake house and collapse.  Oh yeah, and go to work for some rest!  I will say that on Facebook there is a movement going on called "40 bags in 40 days" for Lent.  It is inspiring to see others starting to clean up their homes, donating unused items and getting rid of clutter.  I am just thrilled I am almost at the end of my 40 days!  

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Let the countdown begin for Ray this March 1st!  He has 19 days of work left to go (he is taking one day off this Friday to drive to his mom's--delivering goods of an antique sewing machine back to her and bags and bags of clothing for those relatives and friends in need nearby).  Woo hoo.  No, they don't have his replacement yet, but they are working on it.  Looks like he might have one week of training with whoever steps in.  My job replacement is a bit easier.  Step in and perform dental hygiene duties with a certain protocol to follow, but dental hygienists out of school don't need additional training to start at an office (just need to know how the office runs, etc, and the woman replacing me has worked in the office for six years--easy enough--she knows what to expect).  Yesterday, I decided to be a patient at my office and have some dental work done while it is of lower cost to me.  I had one very large white filling in a tooth that had sharp edges, and a crown in the future had been treatment planned for this six year molar.  And I have an eighteen year old veneer in the front (bottom) that doesn't blend anymore, so for cosmetic reasons (and low cost to me again), I decided it was time to replace the veneer.  While in the chair, and getting very numb, it was determined that a filling along the gumline had fallen out, so that would be replaced as well as a small, tiny cavity (yes, even those who floss daily can get cavities) was discovered in an adjacent tooth when preparing that molar for a crown.  Two hours later and looking paralyzed on one side of my face, I had been crowned, re-filled and filled some more.  The veneer is waiting until the next visit!   It made sense to be crowned now after having just won Queen of the Prom last weekend!

Then it was off to Goodwill for two more drop offs!  I think this part of our moving "journey" is almost done.  A co-worker just bought our lawn mower and water hose with reel, she may have interest in our sunroom furniture, she picked up a few items destined for Goodwill along the way, and another co-worker is picking up the remaining Christmas Villages that I have stashed away.  The rest seems to be kitchen items.  Our daughter has to sort through the cabinets and drawers first.  She does want the bread machine (didn't even know I still had one!) and the waffle maker.  My mother-in-law, having just bought a waffle maker, would like the blender (if her granddaughter hasn't claimed it first).  My car being empty of stuff and almost empty of gas had me headed to Costco for said gas (it is $3.42 for premium there) and also to try out a pair of $1900 with remote control hearing aids!  And to think the audiologist I saw a few weeks ago wanted $5000 for the same pair!  Ninety minutes later, and without even bothering to look in the mirror (hey, I can hear now so why should I care how I look--I will let you know after a few days at work with my hair pulled back, if I care), I was eating some snacks and shopping for our dinner.
This made it to Goodwill.  I held onto the pieces for a while, but alas, I had to let them go.

Same with these huge candle sticks (!).  My dad's taste, not ours.  And I can't pack them!

As usual, I-95 traveling north at nine am and also south at twelve pm was challenging.  You know, road construction.  One lane shut down here and another there.  A little slow going, but I better get used to this since my commute is only five weeks away!  Once home, I put the top down on my car (it's twenty degrees outside) solely to be able to load it up with things going to the lake house.  With the top down, I could gently place things over the top of the doors to get them stuffed into the back seat.  Then, the top goes back up, and I load the trunk.  It was at this time I checked myself in the mirror.  My hair was a mess which made seeing the dark brown hearing aids (to match that part of my hair haha) impossible.  Back in the car and off to the lake house I go.  Yet again, I-95 south was now congested, because Mr. Policeman had pulled some guy over to give him a ticket (guess this was when he could have been speeding because we were driving about 25mph).  Once we all passed the speeding demon getting a ticket, it was 75mph the rest of the way!  I was by myself trying to notice sounds.  Thirty years ago with a new hearing aid, all I could hear in my first drive in the car was the wind against the window and not the radio.  Technology has come a long way!  These babies were calibrated right, and in a week I will go back and have some fine tuning done.  Me, Tom and the computer hopefully will get them to where it makes sense to continue wearing them (24 hours later and so far so good--a little adjustment on the part that is pulling on my ear is necessary but that is easy enough.).

Once at the lake house, I unloaded all of my stuff.  Into the bedroom, kitchen, garage, and what we call the executive suite (makes the guest room sound so lovely) things were deposited.  Just as I sat down with a light snack, Ray walked in with all of his stuff.  We both needed a break though.  Me from running around all day and through the house dropping things off here and there, and him from the commute to the lake house.  He discovered his wife has bionic ears, and now he will have to watch what he says.  After about an hour of rest, we unloaded Ray's car.  Most of the things were our daughter's totes that went into the shed.  The best part of the unloading (poor Ray's core is so sore from this moving!) was when Ray said something to me in the shed.  He was bent over placing a bin under the shelf, and I was turning around to walk away.  I commented back to him "right" (as in agreeing with him).  He repeated what he said assuming I had just asked "what?".  Excellent!  Funny!  He naturally expected to have to repeat himself and just did it.  But he didn't have to....yay!
Then, in our bedroom, my back was to the door while unloading my closet (we were purging our clothes to make room for all of the things coming to this house from our other house--still with me here?).  I heard humming.  I turned around and saw Ray standing there and just figured he was humming right behind me, but I had heard it for a minute or so.  So I asked him if he had been humming at the point or up the hallway.  Yep, you are right!  He had started humming up the hallway, and the crowned Queen over there had heard him.  So it has only been a day, and it has only been while with Ray, but so far I am liking the world of hearing.  As long as I can delete the background noise when it comes up.  Today we are seeing a movie and shopping at Costco.  I can't wait to interact with others and see (hear?) what happens!  Ninety days to try them!  Or money back guaranteed!
In the bundle pack, Costco's Resound brand hearing aids even throw bottle water and candy in the goodie bag. 

Ray wants to stop moving things for a while.  He is feeling sore these days.  His core is super sore as I told him.  Always good to work the core (like I would really know!).  Time to treat ourselves to movie theater popcorn and some resting of the brain (I missed two words in the entire movie--nice!).  Busy bees will slow down a bit here until next weekend when we load his car up for his trip to Tazewell!  Once home from the movies though, we loaded his car up with a braided rug for our daughter's classroom and two bins of kitchen items to pass along to her.  We cannot wait to see her tomorrow and to catch up on things face to face.  The new owners of our house moved in more things last night and today.  They are amazing!  I even have more food in case we really get snowed in on Monday (5-10 inches of snow now being called for)!  They brought in more shelving and put macaroni, soups, veggies and lots of peanut butter on the shelves in our basement.  I also eyed some Coach purses haha.  Wonder what they will move in tomorrow?

I am super excited for tomorrow because we will see our daughter.  I am also excited because our friends are seeing not one, but two houses for us tomorrow.  They are seeing a two bedroom house and a three bedroom condominium.  I can't wait to read their email and get their opinions on both of these rental possibilities.  For now, I will read forums and blogs about Carnivale in Panama that has begun, and I will daydream about next year at this time when I can enjoy the parties and festivities.  Remembering to pack ear plugs though!  I doubt there's much sleep going on at night with the music and fireworks going off all night.  I asked Ray today "if we were practicing Lent (giving up something until Easter which is what I did growing up as a practicing Catholic), what would you give up?"  And he said appropriately, "work".  Good answer!  19 days...