Sunset on Pensacola Beach

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This was us Saturday during the day - enjoying the wonderful weather and sitting out by the pool.  The house next door has no one living in it right now and has been that way for over a year.  But how fast things can change and your peace of mind is blown to bits.

At 2:00 am I woke up with my Dad yelling FIRE AT THE NEIGHBORS!   I was out the door in less than a minute and the flames of the neighbor's house was twice as high as the house.  The picture below shows how high the flames were.   Our house is the house with the white mailbox.  This pic was taken by our friend, Sue, who lives down the street from us.  She was sure it was our house burning.  Five fire engines and many police cars pulled up.  My cell phone rang and it was my friend Nicole 3 houses down yelling to me, "Peggy, are you ok!?  We are coming!!"

I was instructed by the police and my Dad to grab the second set of garden hose by the pool and spray the roof of our house to save our house.   As the water hit the shingles, they would steam because they were so hot from the neighboring flames.   I was wearing a yellow slicker and realized it might melt on me due to heat.  Dad was on the other side of our gate and I was terrified that the flames would get to him.  We were yelling back and forth to each other.  But the sound of the fire was deafening.  Then the water pressure dropped to nothing and I realized we could not fight the heat - but that did not last long and we were back to spraying the house. The woods behind the house was burning and moving to our area.  Our neighbor Josh ran up to me, gave me a hug and took my hose.  He kept saying "It's going to be alright!"  But I didn't want to give away my garden was the only thing I could do to help save our house.

Under our fence, the flames were creeping through and Josh sprayed it down and I got a bucket and threw water on the flames.  Mom was in the back yard with us but could do little without garden hose.   I am sure that was so frustrating for her.  The fire moved toward the front of the house quicker than you would of thought possible.  It was not until then that I could pull out my phone and take a couple of pictures and noticed how many police were standing about.  Neighbors were out in both directions but now allowed to come by us.

And the firemen kept fighting the fire.

As the fire moved towards the front of the house, we were in less danger of the heat causing damage to ours.  Finally I could take a picture.

The firemen said it was a "very hot fire".

They cut an X into the garage door before making holes in it to prevent the flames from jumping out at them.

Between the flames and their lights, you felt that it was daylight.

A beautiful house! Gone.  2400 square feet.  

No roof anywhere.

Burned into the woods behind the house but Mother Nature will take care of that.

This is the backside of our new fence.  We are so lucky.  Probably 13 boards to replace.

This is part of my nightmare.  These PVC pipes hold our drying bathing suits.  I was standing next to this while spraying the roof - aware that the heat might melt my rain slicker.  My rain slicker was very wet from the spray but the heat bent these pipes.   WOW!

I was right here and Dad was on the other side of the gate.

So now what.......

  •     A destroyed house is next to us and lowering the worth of our neighbor's homes.
  •     How long will it take for this to be torn down.  It is a DANGER to children with hanging timbers throughout.  East to walk into the house.
  •     The smell.
  •     The ugliness.
  •     What the burned timbers actually represent.
  •     Why????   
Three days later.
I hate how this has made me feel.  We could of lost our home and the neighbor on the other side of the burning house went through exactly what we did also.    Worse than that, my father could of been injured or worse from the flames.  At least I had a pool to back up to - he had no where to go.  I see the flames still in my head and feel very uneasy going out to our backyard during the evening hours.  My friend down the street wakes up asking her husband if there is a fire.  

Oh, and in case you wondered - Kacey slept through the whole thing. 

Many thanks to the Gulf Breeze and Navarre Fire Departments and Police.  I am in awe of the work that you do and how calm you are during the worst of the fire.  You all answered all our questions and offered to stop by whenever we need you.   Thank you!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Foo Foo Festival

                     Who LOVES the arts!   I do!  I do!  So the next few weeks in Pensacola and Pensacola beach can really keep you busy!   First of all, you might ask "What on earth is Foo-Foo?"    Well, it is a festival of the arts from November 6th - 17th and you can keep mighty busy during that time.  Some events are free and some take tickets.   The name Foo-foo came from the music played by sailors on 19 century vessels. This music was very entertaining for everyone on board.                         Let me list just some of the events:
                  THE ONES CAPITALIZED I WILL BE GOING TO FOR SURE!   I hope to do some others also.
  • Frank Brown Int'l songwriter's Festival
  • Davis Bellet
  • 3-D Video Mapping
  • Live glass blowing and pottery demonstrations
  • Pensacola Marathon
  • Matisyahu
  • The Art of the Con  - Comic book themed
  • Japanese Film Festival
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Pensacola Craft Beer Festival
  • An Evening With The Dukes of Dixieland
  • Cher D2K Tour 2014
  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in Concert
And so much more!  Lots of culture here in Pensacola to enjoy and much of it is offered free.   I'll be talking more about this later.

Otherwise, Mom, Dad, and I have been working on some craft projects and they are coming out pretty darn cute.......even if I say so myself.  It was chilly this week-end but will warm up to the high 60's  to low 70's.  I have lots to do right now and all is well.   Hope everyone is getting some warmer weather coming in and you are not spending every moment of free time raking leaves.
Take care........

Thursday, October 30, 2014

McGuires for Lunch

After an eye doctor appointment for Dad in Pensacola, we decided to go to McGuires for lunch.  They are a very popular restaurant here in Pensacola and Destin.  I have had pictures from the one in Destin before can hang a dollar bill on the ceiling or wall and there are thousands and thousands of dollars hanging throughout the rooms. I have asked, yes the money is insured and some day will go to charity.   Don't quote me but I think they said it is up to $24,000.  So what you do is write something on the dollar bill and hang it.  Mom and Dad were their for their 60th anniversary so they wrote Ron and Elaine = 60 years.

Also, as you can guess, it is very Irish and the Notre Dame fight song plays off and on.   Makes me feel like I am back in northwest Indiana.

We chose to go on Wednesday because they have the HOPKINS HOUSE Recipe for fried chicken on that day for $8.99 which includes mashed potatoes, corn bread, and collard greens.  You can also order a bowl of bean soup for 18 cents!   Believe it and it is great!!!!

Hopkin's House is no longer in business.  It was a restaurant that served family style meals at large tables in a large house in the Historic Pensacola area.  Oh, the food was fantastic!  And you always expected a long wait on the front porch.  They were most known for their fried chicken and served every green southern vegetable possible.  A girl from Indiana did not like most of those vegetables. 

We at in one of the newer rooms of the winery.

Very cool!

Good advice, don't you think?

The wine cellar is behind these glass windows.   This is just a small portion of it.   The $2000. bottles are further up front.

This is a big restaurant with a big menu.  There are many rooms to be seated in and so much to look at.  Also, a gift shop to visit before you leave.   This is a must if visiting the gulf coast.

I have a lesson coming soon and have been making some holiday gifts with Mom.  So time for me to go................Bye!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not All Days Are Beach Days

No, I was not at the beach today.   Today was my day to move my prescriptions from Walmart to Walgreens....all but one.   I did so because there are some aspects to Walgreen's procedures that make ordering and picking up prescriptions easier.  After a long time on the phone with a wonderful lady from Blue Cross, I had some new ideas how to save some more money on my prescriptions.   I have one pill in particular that is very pricey.   After I have all my information and thoughts together, off we go to Walgreens.  They began the process of moving prescriptions and really - it was quite painless.  

Speaking of pain, I got a Shingles Shot today.    THERE IS NO WAY I EVER WANT TO GET SHINGLES!!  I know some people that had it on their back for two months and it was very painful to sit or lay down on their back.  

Then home, rested after morning duties and used the steam mop on our ceramic tile.  Boy, did it need it!   How does it get so dirty?  And I do mean that....I don't understand the amount of stains on the floor is just a couple of days!    I used to have friends that had off white carpeting!!!!  HOW DO YOU KEEP THAT CLEAN?!

Back to Walgreens to pick up meds and that was most of my day.   Some days are just busy work/organization days.   But here is one of my thoughts with medical insurance.  The price on a prescription is different at every pharmacy and is some case there is a big difference in price.   There are so many factors that determine what you will pay for that prescription that it is impossible for you to make a truly educated choice of where to purchase your meds.   Well, enough of that.

My friend Kelly and her family have been at Disney World for Fall Break.  Her pictures prove that they are having a fantastic, memorable time.   Natalie will return as a wizard (she now has her own wand)  and Colin has danced with Mickey!    Lots of things on my TO DO list off to bed.   Take care everyone!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A perfect day

Today was just a perfect day.....80 degrees, no humidity, and no clouds in the sky.   So Dad and I went to the beach.  So did lots of other people!  The water was as calm as the Gulf of Mexico can get, clear as can be with shades of blue, blue green, and turquoise.   Shells were far and few since  you do so much better with the shells when the waves are bigger and the winds are from the south.

Look toward the east.   I love the colors in the water.  Look at that sky! WOW!!

Many people where sunbathing or swimming in the water.   The water was chilly but not too difficult to get into.

There is a shell hunter out looking.

This shell hunter is relaxing on the sand.   Kathy calls him the "Shell Master".  Enjoying the sun, aren't you Dad?   We say to each other - "This is why we moved here."

And her I am......

The Navarre fishing pier - I believe the longest pier in the gulf.   This is Navarre beach on the Santa Rosa Island.  Santa Rosa Island has Pensacola beach on the west and Navarre Beach on the east with Federal Seashore preserved beach in between.  

Toes in the sand.

Again the pier.   No surfers today.   I am afraid they would just sit out there and get a sun tan.

Today I will end with a picture of Mom and Dad by the hybiscus bush in the front yard.  It might make it through winter and then again it might die.

We feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country!  How lucky are we!
Lots of friends are on Fall Break and I hope are enjoying the well-deserved break.  No one understands that more than I do.   So enjoy watching all the spooky, scary, movies on tv this pre-Halloween week.   I tried to watch Chucky.   I just can't do it.  No way!   So we went to a Big Bang rerun instead.         Take care...........Peggy

Friday, October 24, 2014

Busy Friday

Today was a busy Friday but mostly because I made it busy.   Sometimes you just get in the mood and it is: on your mark, get set, and GO!   And I did.

 I spent at least three hours working on my budget, the house budget, and more.  Makes you feel good when you are finished and you don't feel too terribly poor.  Know what I mean?
I am very organized with all of this......have always been.  I don't trust my brain to remember - all goes down in writing.

I had a lesson to give this afternoon - 8th grade french horn.  She is wonderful and fun to work with after spending so much time on the budget.

Then off we went to Pensacola.  That is about a 25 minute drive to the University Mall.   After dinner at Cheddar's, I had a coupon for JCP.  Spend $10.00 - get $10.00 off of price.  Free!  By putting this towards a Christmas gift I only had to spend $4.00 for the gift.  Can't tell you the gift - must wait until Christmas.

Then we went to the other mall - Cordova Mall and I had a coupon for a store - spend $15.00 and get $15.00 off the price.   I bought a Christmas gift for my Mom.  So between the two I saved $25.00.

Then to Hobby Lobby.   Not to buy but to look.  I bought some Mod Podge and with my Cricket and some wood blocks that Dad will cut out for me, I plan on making some Christmas blocks that say popular Christmas sayings such as Ho-Ho-Ho or Merry Christmas.  So many possibilities.   That will be so fun to do and Mom can help me do that.


I am SO SMART.   I bought this gift at Bealls over a month ago and had it wrapped for free.   They have free gift wrapping all year long.  BUT.......Do you think I can remember who the gift is for or what is in the box?  NO!   I guess I need to sneak a peak.

Working on my budget, I have my calendar next to me.  I jot down birthdays, when Kacey gets her flea and tick meds, my medical appointments - you know, all that stuff.  I love this Agenda book by Lilly Pulitzer.  It is fun, colorful, and big pages on which to write.   But it is pricey.

I have already bought next year's book but it is a bit smaller and less expensive.

And for the questions of the week:

  • Why do hot dog buns not match the number of hot dogs?  (I know, there will never be an answer to this question.)
  • Why if your tax payment is late there is a penalty but if they are late getting them to you there is not even an apology?  
  • Why do drivers not take special care when traveling on 98 in Gulf Breeze when they know it is a dangerous road.  
  • And where, oh where, do all the pens go???  I bought a new pack again - 4 pens in a pack - and I am down to one.  My parents have the same problem with their pens.   I heard Dad say yesterday, "Why can I never find a pen when I need one?"  I truly am very perplexed.  

Maybe Santa will bring me pens in my stocking this year for Christmas.

Take care and have a great week-end.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yummy recipe from Chef Peggy

Every now and then I will put a recipe up for something that we enjoy.  I always tweak them to our own family's taste as do most of you, I am sure.  

This recipe was tried for the first time tonight.   Everyone had seconds!   SUCCESS!!   Even took  it over to my friend's house and her 16 year old son loved it!

Tomato Macaroni Soup   (Easy, cheap, and delicious)
1 lb. of ground chuck
1 onion diced
4 cups of beef broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz)  cans tomato paste
½ teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce - taste it as you add.   It really changes the taste.
½ garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups elbow macaroni, cooked

Put water on for macaroni.
Brown onions and ground chuck.
In large stock pot add beef broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, basil, garlic powder salt and pepper.
Bring to boil.  Then add beef and onions.
When macaroni is cooked, add to pot and simmer 10 minutes.

We had French bread with this to soak up the delicious juices!


A neighbor and good friend of  Mom and Dad in Monticello, In passed away.  He was always so friendly and a very busy man.   He and his wife enjoyed golfing and would golf with Dad.  This is from the written obituary from the funeral home:     

John had lived in the Monticello community since 1993 coming from Kokomo, Indiana. He had worked at Continental Steel in Kokomo, Indiana for over 24 years and enjoyed farming most of his life. John was an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and golfer. He was a NASCAR fan and enjoyed living and boating on Lake Shafer and spending time with his dog Dutch. John was a member of the Friendship Baptist Church of Speedwell, Tennessee and the local Coonhunters Club here in the Monticello area. He raised and trained hound dogs

How lucky we have been to have such wonderful people in our life!   Thank you for your friendship, John!

Love to all - Peggy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Visiting in Indiana

FRIENDS ........

While in Indiana for 9 days, we visited with 31 family members and friends.  Busy little bees, weren't we?  Let's start with Kelly, Betty, and Kris.  We all work (or in my case, worked) at Hobart Middle School.  Kelly and I band, Betty FACS, and Kris foreign language.  These are the best friends you can have and I miss them!

We went to dinner at Cooper's Hawk in Southlake Mall.  With wine tasting and delicious food it was a great choice.

Betty and Kris have done interior decorating besides the teaching gig.   Talented ladies.

Kelly and I taught band together for 12? years.   We are so alike in sense of humor but I am funnier than her - right Kelly?

My brother and I - both my brothers are also my friends.   But find a spider - they are not quick to run and kill it for me.  Bad Ron!      BROTHERS should kill spiders for sisters.

Kacey and Sage - friends?   Ah, Kacey tolerates Sage.   There is a big age difference between the two.   Sage likes to block Kacey from walking to where she is going.   Oh, sorry for the socks.

Kacey and I asleep .  Sometimes you just need that afternoon nap.

Last full day we had family over.  Uncle Carl, my Mom's brother came to visit and we had seen him earlier for lunch at Friday's.

Mike and Janice - my cousins and Aunt Doris.  All part of the Ronschke family.  My Mom was a Ronschke before getting married.

My cousin Sandy from my Dad's side of the family.  Thomas/Kaiser and she is now a Basala.
Just retired and loving it.

And Mom enjoying the family stories.

So we made a fire...........

And ordered pizza from my favorite pizza restaurant.

Later Mike and his cousin also stopped by for pizza and visiting.
Mike bought the house on 2nd street that we kids grew up in.   He is doing major renovations.   Mike has had the lots of work done on the second floor where Ron, Dave, and I had our bedrooms.  A big master bedroom and master bath is going in along with a sitting area.

Ron walking down the hall.

Used to be my built in dressers.

More of the same.

It is amazing how it will look compared to the way it looks right now.

This will be the view of the lake from the windows.

Dave even drove up to visit again from Monticello.

SO IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE.   AT 4:30 a.m.   

We packed Kacey into the car.   She does so well on long trips.

Straight south down 65 almost to the Florida line.

And pretty soon you start to see the Gulf of Mexico show up on the map.   You know your almost home.

Ah!!!  Warmth and the beach!


I was not able to mention everyone we got to visit with and I actually did not take many pictures at all on this trip. I wished we could of seen even more people but just ran out of time!  We enjoyed seeing Elmer Girtz in Monticello.  Elmer lost his wife, Pat, a couple of months ago and we really needed to make time to stop by.   And Paul and Ruth Throne are such a joy to visit in Hobart.  Paul was one of my Dad's coaches in high school and Dad thinks the world of him.  Visiting with Ruth is a joy!   She is so funny.  
I got to see Eric Stoelb at school - an incredible science teacher and friend, even though he played trombone.
And there are so many more friends fellow teachers, neighbors,  and family that we enjoyed visiting with - thank you all!

900 miles away isn't so far with cell phones, Ipads, and computers.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life and the opportunity to visit.