Return to the Market of Marion
Bushnell, FL - Events of Friday, Feb. 24 to Thursday, March 1, 2012
Shortly after we arrived in Bushnell last December, we went to the Market of Marion, which is a flea market located a little to the north of The Villages. Paul needed a new pair of reading glasses, and we remembered from the previous year there was a vendor there who had a nice selection of good quality glasses at reasonable prices. Fortunately, that vendor was still there this year, and Paul was able to get his new reading glasses plus an additional pair as a backup.
When Paul was working on the installation of the residential refrigerator, instead of using his eyeglass carrying case, he put his reading glasses into his pocket. He forgot they were in there and stuck a tool into his pocket scratching his glasses. Fortunately, he had the second pair he could fall back on; but since he had to use his backup pair much sooner than he thought, he wanted to get another pair before we left Florida.
Since the flea market is open on Fridays (they are open Fridays during the winter in addition to being open Saturdays and Sundays year round) and since the market is a short distance north of where Freeway's vet is located, we made the appointment for Freeway's rabies shot for 9:00 AM on a Friday so we could go to the Market of Marion afterward.
We were hoping to take Freeway into the market with us using his carrier, but there were signs that said "no dogs." Even though the market was fairly busy, we had no trouble finding a nice shady parking place to keep the car cool for Freeway for the short time we planned to be in the market.
We headed for the eyeglass vendor where Paul found two more pairs of reading glasses. The same vendor has a big selection of sunglasses, and we had a good time trying some of the novelty shades.
Most of the area flea markets have plenty of nice produce for sale, and the Market of Marion is no exception.
We picked up a red pepper, several nice beefsteak tomatoes, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, a pint of Plant City strawberries, a couple of lemons and a couple of limes before heading back to the motor home.
On Saturday, we had Freeway's puppy class. The previous week's class was postponed because Terry, the instructor, was sick. In this class, we worked on leave it, drop it and down. "Leave it" is used when your dog is eyeing something or going after something you don't want him to have; "drop it" is for when he has something in his mouth you want him to let go of; and "down" means to lie down.
Terry has some very good training techniques. With a small class, she can easily run through the commands with each dog in turn to see the individual response, then give the owners specific tips for success based on their dog's reaction. Freeway seems to want to please and he responds well to praise even more than he responds to treats.
Speaking of Freeway, he gave us quite a scare on Monday evening. Margery went to the bedroom to fold clothes from the dryer, and we got both distracted for several minutes back there trying to get the TV tuned to the Daytona 500, which had been postponed for about 36 hours from Sunday because of rain. Partway through the process of fiddling with the TV, we decided Freeway was awfully quiet and that someone should check on him to make sure he hadn't gotten into any trouble. When we went to look for him, he was nowhere to be found. We came to the conclusion the screen door hadn't been properly latched the last time someone came in, and that Freeway had gotten out while we were both distracted with the TV in the bedroom.
We grabbed flashlights and ran outside squeaking his toys to try to attract his attention. We used our flashlights to look under the motor home and under neighboring rigs. Our neighbors, Gary and Pam, joined the search.
To make a long story short, after about half an hour, Margery found Freeway in the bathroom where she had stopped on her way to fold clothes. Freeway is so small and so fast he can frequently scoot through a door without being seen. When Margery opened the door to exit the bathroom, Freeway darted in without her seeing him, and she closed the door behind her trapping Freeway inside. Needless to say, we were happy he hadn't gotten out. We have been trying to make sure the screen is latched ever since we got Freeway, but we are now making doubly sure we check it every time we go in and out. Paul even adjusted the latch a bit to make it easier to close.
Freeway has been getting a little shaggy-looking lately, so we started thinking about grooming. We used to groom our previous dog, Molly, ourselves. However, Molly was at least 5 or 6 years old when we started grooming her, and she was very used to being groomed because we had taken her to professional groomers up until that time. Therefore, we thought it might be a good idea to have freeway professionally groomed, at least for the first time.
PetSmart, where we take Freeway for his vet appointments and for puppy classes, does dog grooming so we made an inquiry when we were there recently. Regular grooming at PetSmart starts at $40, but they have a special price of $15.99 for puppy cuts for dogs under 5 months of age. That sounded like a good deal to us, so we made an appointment for Freeway.
We dropped Freeway off, and then ran a few errands. Although they say to figure on three hours for grooming, we got a call in about two hours saying Freeway was done. Freeway's groomer, Alice, said he was a very good boy.
We were thrilled with the results. We have seen puppy cuts where the body was clipped too short making the puppy's head look way too big for its body. But Alice did a great job. Freeway still looks like Freeway - just neater.
Alice said Freeway had some tangles in his fur, but she was able to brush them out with a little extra effort. We had been brushing Freeway fairly regularly, but he doesn't like it so we slacked off. We need to be a little more diligent because he should be brushed fairly often since he has long hair.
We were originally scheduled to leave Bushnell on March 6. With the refrigerator project taking up so much time, we hardly feel like we have been in Florida at all except for the fact it has been nice and warm most of the time. Therefore, we extended our stay here at Blueberry Hill until late March. We plan to relax a bit, do a little more sightseeing, eat out a few more times and take some time to work on our summer travel plans.
Even before gasoline prices started to skyrocket, we were thinking we would slow down a bit this summer meaning we would travel a little less and stay a little longer at many of our stops. That plan is looking better and better every day as gasoline prices approach $4 a gallon ($5 in California) and threaten to go even higher.
After leaving Florida, we plan to go to Callaway Gardens in Georgia where we are hoping to catch the azaleas at their peak. After that, we'll head to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL for several weeks. Then after stopping in New Orleans, we'll begin to drift northward along the Mississippi. We then plan to meander back toward the east ending up in Pittsburgh in the early fall for a family visit and doctor appointments. Even though we'll be moving a little slower, we have planned what we hope will be some interesting stops.