14 April 2016

Carefree Season Comes to an End!!

13 April 2016--So I am a month behind this action, but was having too much fun to stop and do the blog contemporaneous with the events, so here I am putting our last month of activities...everything AFTER the Rainbow Olympics came to a close.

With Water Polo being such a big smash in the Olympics, and now that the pool water had heated up a bit, Cathy and I were able to join a couple pick-up games and had a blast!  Notice that in the 2nd pic everyone on the left is jockeying for position while Anita, with the ball, goes unmolested!  haha

I was going to say that the action in the 1st pic indicates the speed at which I flew by everyone as I made my way down the other end of the pool to score, (notice everyone's head is turned), but then I saw the next pic...this indicates that I have somehow managed, all 5' 3 1/2" of me, to be the goalie against the giants, and they are all salivating at taking a shot at me! (Notice the look of distress on my face as I recognize my plight!)

Miss 'giant hands' as she palms the ball! lol

This is a great series of shots...Kay pretty much molests Barb in her quest to get the ball!  Again, there is no recognition here that almost everyone in the pool is at least 60 years old! haha

Another day we had a great time playing kickball...amazing we can all still move at this age!  haha

Here's Cathy with a line drive to Bobbi!

Every 2 years there is a 3-night event, called "The Lily", where women compile pictures and/or make short movies on everything from an African Safari they may have taken to satirical takes on aging women. They are shown the 1st 2 nights, and then on the 3rd night they present awards ...the Big Event!!!

The organizers asked a few women to act as the paparazzi, and everyone coming in to the event is photographed and/or interviewed...like the Hollywood Red Carpet treatment!  Cathy was among the paparazzi...her hat says "The Rainbow Press", Kay's says "Press", and Debbie in the pink hat is from "The National Inquirer".  Kathy is the interviewer...the one with the microphone.

Some of the movie stars and wannabees!!!!


And Barb is there to catch the sundown!

Never a dull day, so off we go to the dog beach in Venice. A bunch of us, mostly dog owners but all dog lovers, drove to the beach where all the dogs run loose and generally have as much fun as the humans.  Check out the little dog in the 3rd pic...Debbie, the human, said she is a German dog...I don't remember what kind, but absolutely the cutest little thing you ever saw!

Gayle is hunting for shark's teeth while Soda frolics in the wave, and then Yvette, Gail and I took a walk out the pier.  A quick note here:  Due to my thyroid-induced thinning hair, I have to keep my hair very short or it looks terrible.  In light of this, I am just about 100% of the time addressed by strangers in stores as 'sir', which just about drives me crazy!  HOWEVER, when I looked at myself in this 3rd pic, even I thought I looked like a 'sir', so for all those people I have silently cussed out, I apologize! haha  (Gotta keep a sense of humor!)

Soda and a quick swim.

There is a Writer's Group that meets at Carefree, I think weekly, and once a year they present their papers to a very appreciative audience.  I will be honest here; our group of 5-6 only went to support our friend Barb (pic 3), and strategically placed ourselves close to an exit in case we were really bored.  Well, we should have known better.  This was one of the better events we have all been to since coming here...about 10 ladies getting up and reading their written works on everything from one lady's 1st girdle as a teenager, (which had us all rolling in the aisles), to another's visit to a 'medium' to get in touch with her recently passed dog, (which had us all laughing and crying), to Barb's reading of her initial experience contracting polio as a child, (it goes without saying how this affected everyone).  We all agreed that even if we know no one reading next year, we are all going again!  It was THAT GOOD!

At the annual Art Show, everything from paintings to pictures to crafts...all made by the women here. Mary provides a little indoor entertainment, while out at poolside, the Oompah Band performs!

And in the salon, they even managed a Chimes Group this year.  I'm thinking this may be in my future...I think I might be able to handle this. lol

I took this pic of a woodpecker in a tree outside our RV.  Cool looking, huh?

The Annual Chorus Concert was another winner!  Serious songs to skits on aging (again--haha).

To the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon...lamenting our ever-sagging arms!

And to the tune of YMCA.

A sing-a-long of When Irish Eyes are Smiling!

Gayle, Yvette, Cathy and I spent a day walking around a small tourist town called Matlacha (sounds like Matte Leche).  Like all ocean/bay side waterfronts, they had some nice shops and several places on the waterfront to eat.


Walking about and eating.  The ambiance was better than the food!  haha


I'm pretty sure this shop isn't going to be around too long, as they seem to have missed the mark with a store 'theme'!  You have to wonder who the target audience is when you claim to be having a 'huge art sale' right alongside the stun guns and pepper spray.  haha  (We didn't see any art in this place when we went in, so I can only speculate that it jumped off the shelves once the sale started!)  haha

A lot of Osprey flying around town, raising babies and fishing to feed them.  There are actually 2 adult Osprey in that nest.

A different kind of woodpecker!

Back at the ranch, the in-house band gave another of their great concerts.  One of the women explained that while Dorothy (the conductor) is a professional musician and conductor, most everyone else in the band hasn't played any instrument since high school, and/or only started playing/re-playing about 4 years ago when this band was organized.  Some people actually initially rented their instruments to get started.

Everyone taking their places, and the band's rendition of Cabaret!  

To celebrate their 41st anniversary, Cheryl and Denise held a '41 minute flash mob party' at their house, with a DJ even!  This is something they do each year, adding an additional minute as they go along, so next year we will party at their house for 42 minutes!  Too funny...and really lots of fun!


For Easter we went to a great pot luck in the salon, with Sue Coggins MC-ing, and lots of ladies displaying their Easter bonnets.  Sue B in the last pic improvises with a wine bottle!


New words to the tune of Edelweiss in the 1st video, while the 2nd video is just a hoot!  The ladies with bonnets parade thru the salon...and you have to watch to the end to get to Caja...talk about improvising!


Lots of people leave Carefree for the season on 1 April, so on the 30th of March a handful of us got together to head out to Punta Gorda to catch the sunset....seemed appropriate!  What is amazing when I look at the group pic is that everyone in it, except Maureen and Bev standing beside Cathy, has bought a house, RV lot or RV port in the past year...so we are all newcomers but feel like we have known, or should have known, each other FOREVER!



We watched lots of dolphins feeding as the sun was going down, but only Kay caught this baby dolphin in full flight out of the water!

And that's all folks!  Four months of fun and sun with some great people...it just doesn't get any better than this!!!


  1. What a great time!!!!
    I am coming next year.......
    And you look just like Dad in that picture you were talking about, but I still think I would know you were a female.

    1. haha..thanks Ellen! I really do appreciate it! And I agree that I look just like dad there!

  2. Thanks Paula and Cathy. Wonderful blog and pics. Brought back great memories for me of a great group of people and a special place.
    Hopeful that I can get back there next year.
    Have a safe and fun summer.

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!! Great photos, great memories and more fun than is probably legal!! Thanks for sharing!! Susan B XXX

  4. I'm not in any of your pictures������ Maybe next year. Hope your having fun. Played pickelball this morning. Just a few of us. Wish you could have been there. It's starting to get hot!

  5. LOVE IT! It was fun to look back. Thanks for blogging and sharing. ❤️

  6. You captured the feeling of fun and comaraderie that is so Carefree! Looking forward to next season here already! Such great pictures and videos!