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Old 03-26-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
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Hi, I am...back!

Since it's been quite awhile since I visited, I thought I'd drop in here for minute to say "Hi, I am...back!".

I haven't been online very much since I left last spring or early summer. After I bugged out, I spent most of the warm weather out in my gardens....workin' some but mostly just sittin' and enjoying them! As the weather turned and the seasons changed, we went to some Bluegrass Festivals in the Fall. Then in December we went to Nashville and stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort for a week....one of our favorite places to visit! Took in a few Christmas shows, went to the Oakridge Boys Christmas dinner and concert, and a 'meet & greet' with them beforehand. Our table was directly in front of the stage, and right in the center...best seats in the house! Had front row seats for the Rockettes' Christmas show, as well as for the Grand Ole Opry! Enjoyed some great food and got to spend some time with some of our friends who work there. Also made a couple of new friends while we were there.

We stayed home through January..the IL weather is too unpredictable to make plans for much then. So spent some time tinkering around on my model railroad layout....my money-pit! Ha!

In February we headed south as we normally do, and stayed a couple of days in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Then we drove south from there to Ormond Beach for a couple of weeks. We met up with some of our friends while we were there, and went out to eat together a few times. On the 24th we drove down just north of Titusville to watch the Space Shuttle Discovery blast-off!!! We found a great little seafood restaurant, right on the intercoastal waterway, and sat out on the deck, ate dinner, and watched the shuttle head into space!!! AWESOME!!!!

On our way home from FL, we stopped in Nashville at the Opryland Resort again for almost a week. Visited with our friends, ate some more great food, and went to the Grand Ole Opry again! We also went downtown exploring a little bit.

We were home less than a week, and then headed up to Schaumburg (a northwest 'burb of Chicago) for a 3 day Bluegrass Festival....LOTS of really good music! We ran into several of our friends up there too!

We came home Sunday, and since it was the 1st day of Spring, I decided to do a little clean-up out in the gardens...then went ahead and planted up a couple of different mesclun mixes! They were supposed to take 10-15 days to germinate, but they were popping up after only 5 days!!!

I LOVE Spring!!!

Wallet-wise....everything is doing OK or at least so-so....although CD rates SUCK! We just had a CD mature last week, and rolled it into a new one....at least the rate this time is better than what that CD had been...amazingly! This one is 2.02% APY....certainly not great, but better than a lot!

The gooder financial news that I got this year, was that my health insurance premiums DROPPED 8%!!! I was shocked! I called to make sure it wasn't a typo! It wasn't! (BCBSIL)

Other than that, we went on several day trips to shows, plays, and concerts. And we've been planning out our gardens for this year....soooo many choices of interesting new plants to try! Plus, I've been working on putting together plans for some more trips, and making reservations and what not. We've pretty much given up traveling with tour groups and bus groups.....tired of the herd!!!

When we travel, I plan for driving between 350-450 miles per day. We don't have to get an early start, and we still usually reach our hotel between 2:30 and 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. That way we have a chance to relax for a while or grab a nap, and then go for a nice, leisurely dinner. Then we watch a little TV, hit the pillows at our usual time, and then after a nice breakfast we hit the road again about 8:00 a.m.

Life is GREAT!!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:26 AM   #2
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Hey Goonie, post some pics of your gardens sometime, will ya? Would love to see them.

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Old 03-26-2011, 07:52 AM   #3
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Welcome back, surpised you found time to post; I'm exhausted just reading about your activities over the last year! Sounds like you're having a blast in ER.

Reminder: Khan started a recent photo thread...

Recent Photo
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:15 AM   #4
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This is how to enjoy retirement!! Wish I could have seen the shuttle take off. Good to hear from you again.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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Welcome back, Goonie. If you have one, please share a picture of your layout with us.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:53 AM   #6
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Welcome back, Goonie! I missed your countdown to spring this year!
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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How nice to see you back.

Wow, have you ever been busy enjoying retirement and the good life. You are a role model here.

As some of the others have said , would love to see pics of your gardens if you have some.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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Welcome back. What an action packed year. I went down to see that shuttle launch in November. Not to be. I have 2 more chances left.
I am in a model train club. I am just a novice (2 yrs), they only let me work on new construction. i.e anything that will be covered by something else.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #9
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From 21 June 2010:
I'm goin' exploring!

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Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
A bit over a year ago, I took a much needed break from the E-R Forum for a few months. Not sure exactly what transpired with my attitudes and opinions toward this forum, but for me it's pretty much lost it's appeal. I've decided it's time to sail in a different direction from here on. I wish everyone on here all of the best!!!
As soon as I submit this post, I'm logging out for one last time, and moving on. And so like Calvin and Hobbes....It's a magical world full of possibilities, and I'm goin' exploring!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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Rock on!
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:06 PM   #11
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Hi Goonie, welcome back.

How do you keep pests from eating your gardens? Do you use fencing, or some other means, or do you just not have any rabbits, groundhogs, or deer?

I used to get the great enjoyment from gardening that you so eloquently describe, but my gardens became nothing but pest salad, and all the extra work and bother to try to keep ahead of the vermin became just too much.

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Old 03-26-2011, 03:51 PM   #12
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Welcome back to planet Earth.

I planted my tomato, pepper and cucumber seeds indoors in window boxes under grow lights. They sprouted just yesterday.
I plan to do a lot more container gardening inside and on the outer walkway of my screened-in porch this year. Half of my big garden out in the back yard will be tilled and planted in wildflowers for cutting. Or
maybe I'll plant some dwarf cold-hardy fruit trees on that side of the garden.
The entire garden is so big, and is getting to be too much for my hands and upper body to keep up with. Mr B is not a gardener at all.
I'm looking forward to possibly my first year of table grapes.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:58 PM   #13
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Welcome back Goonie , I was surprised & delighted to see your posts .
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #14
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Goonie, welcome back! You have been really missed by many of us, including me.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #15
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I am too new a member to remember you from before, but it sure sounds you are successfully treating your ER as an art form!
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:38 PM   #16
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Hey Goonie, nice to see you back!

I planted a few salads yesterday and they are getting a good soak today.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
Hey Goonie, post some pics of your gardens sometime, will ya? Would love to see them.

R
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerplay View Post
......As some of the others have said , would love to see pics of your gardens if you have some.
I'll try to get some garden pix posted this week! Every year I shoot a thousand or more pix of all of our gardens, containers, flowers, shrubs, etc. Then I upload a couple hundred (or more) to Snapfish to get prints. Usually during the winter, my Mom goes through all of the prints and organizes them into a photo album for that year. Then when I get time, I go through the album and write in it what each shot is and what flowers and plants are in each picture.

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Welcome back, Goonie. If you have one, please share a picture of your layout with us.
I'll do that! I need to take some new pix of the layout, as most of the older pix aren't too good. In January I bought a new Canon T1i Rebel DSLR, and I need to take it out to the train room and try to get some decent shots.

My current layout was started in 1985 and is in various states of completion...some finished....some almost...some not even close! Ha! Prior to retiring I worked on it as time allowed...some years a lot, some years not at all. Since retiring, I spend a lot of time (and $$$) on it.

I model the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy RR, circa 1967-69.....though I do fudge a bit so I can use some earlier era locos and rollingstock. I'm still running plain old DC, and don't have any plans to move up to DCC. I'm normally the sole operator, so there's no problem with things the way they are. I'm using Aristocraft/Crest 55470 Train Engineer wireless handhelds.

All of my friends model the Rock Island RR.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:06 PM   #18
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Welcome back. What an action packed year. I went down to see that shuttle launch in November. Not to be. I have 2 more chances left.
It sure is a sight to behold!!! I'm sooo glad that we finally got to see one! We watch them all the time on NASA-TV, but nothing can compare to seeing it live and in person!!! It was awesome!!!

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I am in a model train club. I am just a novice (2 yrs), they only let me work on new construction. i.e anything that will be covered by something else.
I've only been model railroading since 1968. Ha! There's new stuff to learn all the time! I'm still learning, and making changes accordingly. New scenery techniques and products. New building materials and methods. All sorts of cool things!

I'm currently ripping up my freight yard and engine facilities, and some industrial areas, to replace the old code 100 track with code 83. It's a pain in the neck, but the end result and appearance will be well worth the effort! And at the other end of the layout, I'm putting in all new structure bases and sidewalks...it's a moderate sized city business district, so a lot of work involved. But again, the end result will be worth the hassle now! (I hope!!)
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Hi Goonie, welcome back.

How do you keep pests from eating your gardens? Do you use fencing, or some other means, or do you just not have any rabbits, groundhogs, or deer?

I used to get the great enjoyment from gardening that you so eloquently describe, but my gardens became nothing but pest salad, and all the extra work and bother to try to keep ahead of the vermin became just too much.

Amethyst
I don't have too many pest problems here. The stray cats and the hawks keep the rabbit population very low! No groundhogs or deer, though I did terminate a possum last year! The only other pests that I loath here are the Japanese beetles, and they only go after my butterfly bush a couple of roses. I just knock 'em into a cup of soapy water a couple time a day while I'm out there.

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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
.......I planted my tomato, pepper and cucumber seeds indoors in window boxes under grow lights. They sprouted just yesterday.
I gave up on seed starting indoors last year. I never had any great success with it, plus we were always on the go, so they got too much neglect. There's a small 'mom & pop' greenhouse in the next town east of us, and they always have great plants! So I go over there every few days starting in about mid-April and buy most of my plants from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
I plan to do a lot more container gardening inside and on the outer walkway of my screened-in porch this year. Half of my big garden out in the back yard will be tilled and planted in wildflowers for cutting. Or
maybe I'll plant some dwarf cold-hardy fruit trees on that side of the garden.
The entire garden is so big, and is getting to be too much for my hands and upper body to keep up with. Mr B is not a gardener at all.
I'm looking forward to possibly my first year of table grapes.
I love container gardening!!! I always have over a hundred containers of various shapes and sizes! Herbs, flowers, foliage, shrubs, veggies, even trees in containers!

I have one area that was a pain to trim around, so I turned it into a wildflower patch. Each year I sow some fresh wildflower seeds in it to replace some that, for whatever reason, don't seem to make it from year to year.

I started messing around with raised-beds a few years ago. They get the garden up to a fairly comfortable level to work in. I have an "L" shaped raised-bed beside the patio that my Mom can 'play' in while sitting in her chair. I'm putting in another raised-bed this spring for more veggies!!! And I'm hoping to plant a peach tree or two also. I love peaches, and the trees don't get too big, so they may work out pretty good!
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