Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back to Chico

My new glasses are in so I will drive back to Chico early tomorrow morning. I'm not nearly as excited to be going as I was this time last week. I need to stop at the Walmart this time to pick up some odds and ends that I will need this summer since it occurs to me that I probably won't be in the vicinity of a Walmart again until September. The thing I like most about Chico is the name: Chico Chico Chico!

I think I will drive to Sacramento this Saturday and return Sunday morning. My sister from Florida is visiting her in-laws in Selma, CA, and will be in Sacramento for the weekend. It is a good opportunity to be with everyone and I think my kids will all be there too. Julie was 12 years old when my oldest son was born, and she has been like a second mom to all of them ever since. Every time I was in the hospital having another baby Julie would stay with the ones at home. She says that I let her have a taste of scotch now and then, and I think she smoked a cigarette or two as well (probably not at age 12, but maybe 14, 16, or 18). I realize now what a bad example I set for her, but then was then and now is now. I'd probably do it all over again the same way!

I thought about doing some more rig cleaning today, but stepped out to a chilly breeze so I came right back inside. For some reason I'm cold to begin with today. So I'm in my rig, listening to bluegrass music, and making plans!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gypsy's in the kitchen . . .

. . . making another loaf of bread. The first loaf I made was tasty right down to the last crumb, so this morning I decided to bake another loaf. It would be easier to do two at a time, but I prefer it as fresh as I can get it so I will go through the extra trouble by just making one loaf at a time. I realize now why my right arm and wrist have been aching -- it's the repetitive action of kneading the dough. It will eventually go away and I won't have any more aches and pains as long as I keep making bread frequently. I'll make it until I start to have trouble zipping up all the new pants I bought for my summer job. Thanks to Jake in Texas for the recipe.

The RV repairman came by this morning and took the cover from the tank but couldn't find a problem with any of the connections, and of course, I couldn't recreate the problem by emptying the tanks again. So I am to call him if and when it happens again and he will try to get here to see what could be the reason for the drip. I hope to God it doesn't happen again! I can't afford any more repairs until I get my four new tires for the 5ver. I will be towing it to the campground on the Friday before Memorial Day for our family camping trip, and I plan to drive first to Les Schwab and have the new tires put on before I go. That will be a big relief to have all 10 tires under 6 months old.

You may remember all the work I did recently to clean my truck, but since it is so dry the dust has covered everything, including my beautiful truck. I might just take it to the drive through car wash in town and spray it down. I just have to remember to dress for getting wet before I go.

My two dogs are in the middle of the room, snoring away. When I get the bread into the oven within the next 20-30 minutes, I think I will join the dogs and we can have a regular symphony!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another chilly day

I was sitting here this morning, so cold that I got the electric heater out. I am running low on propane so I haven't been using the furnace, and usually it gets warmer as the day goes on. A check of my electric meter shows that so far, with only 4 or 5 days to go, I have used $21-22 in electric this month. I figured I could splurge on the heater for a few minutes. Then I decided to turn it off and just add more clothing, so out came my capilene long johns. They are so thin and silky and comfortable, and don't feel too warm when I went out to walk the dogs. The RV repairman is coming tomorrow and maybe I can fumble with getting the tanks out of the rig and into my truck while he is here, and of course he will help me. The man at the Sportsman's Mini Mart has already said they will get the tanks out of the truck and the full tanks back in, so I will save my strength for hoisting them up into the compartment on the 5ver. The two tanks of propane have lasted me for nearly a month.

What I'm going to write next may seem morbid to some, but it's actually not at all. About an hour ago I passed the exact age of my father when he had a heart attack and passed away. This has been on my mind for the past couple of years, and I wouldn't have been at all surprised if it had happened to me by now. I'm grateful it didn't. I'm probably more like my dad, healthwise, than anyone else in my family. We were both heavy smokers for a number of years, and while most people think lung cancer from smoking, it was not the problem with dad nor with me. Smoking also clogs up the arteries, which it did in the case of both of us.

So what does this mean in my case? I have hereby decided that I am going to be grateful every day of my life, give thanks for every day I have left, and treat each day as if it is my last.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nothing of interest today

I realized that I've hit on a way to gain a little weight - make bread just about every other day! I can't believe how good this bread turned out, and on the first try, so it can only get better. I dislike store bread so much that I rarely buy it at all. Once in a while I get a couple of rolls or a loaf of french bread in the supermarket bakery. While in Chico I found bread labeled "sour french bread". That is taking sourdough just a bit too far - from my understanding it was in the far west of North America that sourdough starter was first developed, but maybe I'm wrong and the French invented it. Anyway, I just love my sweet white bread! When I get really good at it I'm going to try cinnamon rolls, but the main problem is that whatever I make I must eat it all myself.

I have been waiting and hoping to hear from the RV man about the waste tanks, but so far the phone has been quiet. The drip stopped late yesterday, and this morning the ground under the rig looked ok. I have all the tanks closed and have been adding water little by little - so far so good. Maybe tomorrow morning I will release the valve on the galley tank and see what happens, then do the others one at a time.

You may remember my dilemma about how I could burn some files to cd's and free up some hard drive space, but the desktop doesn't have a cd burner. I found a fix that will work for a while until I get a more permanent solution. I download folders of photos I want to save onto a flash drive, then insert the flash drive into the laptop and burn the cd from there. It is a real aggravation because as with every other function, Vista does things the hard way and not the simplest way.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Does every silver lining have to have a cloud? I guess it's a matter of balance in the universe.

The day started out looking very promising. I decided to bake a loaf of bread, and it didn't take long to get it mixed, kneaded, and in a large bowl to sit and rise. I set the bowl in a sunny window for part of the time, and as the weather got warmer I took it out to my truck which gets very warm inside with the windows rolled up. Eventually I got the dough into the loaf pan, let it rise once again, and then into the oven. By 12 Noon I was slicing off a crusty end piece, slathering it with butter, and thinking I was in heaven!

I needed to empty the waste tanks so this afternoon I got started. There was a sound I didn't like when I pulled the gate open on the black waste tank, but I let it empty and thought no more about it. I followed that up with the galley and gray tanks. To make a long (and somewhat dreadful) story short, there is a steady drip from somewhere on the tank below the rig, and as it is accompanied by a not so nice odor, I am sure it is the black tank. Naturally after I emptied it I ran lots of clean water into it and now it seems like it is coming out drip by drip. I called my mobile RV service man and left a message on his answering machine, and hope he will be here first thing in the morning. I feel terrible that there is a rig parked right next to mine.

Wouldn't you know I'm parked about as far away from the public restroom as you can get.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Still resting . . .

. . .from yesterday's trip to the big city. It was cold enough about 4:00 am, below 55, for the heat to kick on, so I got up and switched it to the OFF position. There were too many windows open to waste heat, and I didn't want to wake myself up fully by running around closing them all. It's wonderful sleeping weather, but difficult to get up in the morning and even more difficult to get out of the shower. I got the electric heater out from storage under the bed, and aimed it at the shower door where I hoped to be hit from a blast of hot air when I got out. Nothing that dramatic, but it was better than no heat at all.

I decided to go back to the book sale today, and got there at 12:15 to find out the sale ended at 12 Noon. They were busy packing books away into boxes for the next sale in September, but they did let me go look, and I found another book to buy for 10 cents!

Then back home where I am making soup for supper. I was going to try baking a loaf of bread but I think I will wait for the warm weather to return to make the dough rise quicker. If I would just get to it earlier in the morning I could probably set it in on the counter at the back window and let the sun do the job. Maybe the mood will strike me tomorrow morning, and if I just set out the ingredients tonight they will remind me in the morning. I haven't made bread (by hand) for years, so I think I will just start with one loaf at a time.

I was a bit nervous going to bed last night - when I walked the dogs Mandy, the smaller one, kept eating grass like she was at an "all you can eat" salad bar. Nothing I could do would make her stop. It usually takes effect within seconds or minutes, and I even tied her to the picnic table and left her outside for a while, but nothing happened. I brought her inside and tried to barricade her in the kitchen on the lino, but when I had climbed into bed I heard her jumping over the things I had put down to stop her so I just let her go, thinking I would be in a terrible mood all day today from what I would find this morning. (I even turned on a light before walking through the rig to turn the heat off at 4 am). Nothing! I sure don't know what her point was for eating all that grass, but it sure agreed with her. She loves vegetables and I haven't given her any lately. Usually when I chop carrots or zuchhinni I accidentally let some pieces fall on the floor and she's on them immediately. So maybe she just had a craving for green veggies.....

I'm lining up on the side with those who wonder why in the world RV manufacturers put carpet (and especially light colored carpet) in RV's. Even I (who am nearly perfect) track in dirt from the outside, and dogs aren't exactly clean (or nearly perfect)!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home sweet RV home

Home is where the RV is parked, and I'm back home. I can't say anything negative about Chico, but I don't care for it. Too crowded, too many cars, streets, stores, and people. I visited the optometrist, Costco, and the Chico Natural Foods Co-op, but could never find the address given to me by the Avon lady to pick up my order. Ms. Garmin went crazy trying to find it, but I gave up.

I will have to go back within a couple of weeks to pick up my reading glasses. The Dr. actually wrote me a prescription for bifocals, which he said would help for things like driving at night. I don't drive after dark if I can help it, and I don't want to wear bifocals and get used to glasses all the time. Reading is bad enough, and then I have to wear the sunglasses outdoors. So at the present I'm just going for the reading glasses. Everything was covered by my insurance except that I'm paying an extra $30 for a polycarbonate lens which is lighter and thinner.

The bad news is that a cataract is forming on my left eye, and I just hope it holds out until I come back to Sacramento next March. If not I will have to get it taken care of somewhere in the east, but I don't have a doctor back there and I really need someone to drive me home and back the next morning for removal of the patch.

I was too irritated with the traffic situation to stop at Walmart or look for Office Depot so I haven't yet gotten a CD burner. Costco had several external hard drives, but that's not really what I want. Maybe when I have to go back to Chico I'll take a look.

What a tiring trip! The drive, about 20 miles each way, isn't bad - flat, cattle grazing and orchards. Time for a little rest now....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Sale!

I had to mail a letter at the post office this morning, so I stopped by the library book sale held at one of the local church halls. (There must be dozens of churches in this little town, and each is beautiful and well maintained. I don't think there are enough people living in Orland to support that many churches in such a fine style, but they must come from miles around.)

I came away with 8 paperbacks, 7 mysteries by Harry Kemelman, and "Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse. I love the type of mysteries the English call "cozies" where although the subject is always murder there isn't a lot of dwelling on the gore, but more on the solving of the murder, with a generous sprinkling of humor thrown in. When I find a mystery series that looks interesting to me, I get all the titles in that series and read them in order of when they were written. That way I can see and understand the character development better. So I have 7 of the Rabbi series by Kemelman and look forward to getting acquainted with a new detective, and I will wait for the mood to strike for reading Hesse.

The heat wave has broken and it was difficult to get out of my warm bed this morning. I had left all the windows and ceiling vents open and it was breezy in here. I've since closed all the windows that swing out, but left open the ones that slide up because they are so darn difficult to open to begin with. I think it is about 68 degrees today and will climb to the upper 70's for the next few days. Perfect!

I'm taking a day of rest from rig cleaning, although I should probably expend a little effort on the inside. Right now, though, I'm going to stretch out on the couch with a couple of maps, my favorite thing to do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A clean front cap

I was out early this morning determined to clean the front cap of the 5th wheel. I backed the truck up to the cap, lowered the tailgate so I could get close, and then set the stepladder into the bed of the truck. I was able to reach all the way to where the cap curves, and I'm not sure how much is left before the cap meets the roof. When I get on the roof one of these days I will be able to lean over the edge and get whatever I missed.

This is a really tiring job for me. First I use Oxygone, and then follow it with Dri Wash & Guard. I end up with a clean smooth surface, and hope I can keep it clean by having it washed somewhere. I don't ever want to do this again! As it is, I'm sure I will run out of product before I'm finished. I will probably try to do the back of the 5ver next since it will be easy to use the truck bed as a base for the stepladder.

I came indoors to check my email and read some blogs, and have spent quite a while reading a new one I discovered: riverearth.com. I was particularly interested in this man's journey in a small wagon pulled by a mule, Polly, and following an ancient inland sea that stretched from Neptune, Saskatchewan to the Rio Grande at the Texas/Mexico border. It is a fascinating read, although the entries are grouped by month, and to read the account in chronological order you need to go to the bottom of the page and read up - no easy task as some of the entries are quite lengthy and filled with beautiful photographs as well as audio portions. I wish there was an easier way to read a journal or blog from the beginning up to the present, but it seems they are all stored in this format. MyTripJournal is fairly simple to read as you can start with the first entry and then click an arrow to go to the next rather than having to remember a date. I keep thinking about switching my blog to MyTripJournal, but the longer I stay with blogger the harder it is to switch, for some reason. I have gone back, however, and transposed my own entries, earliest first, and organized them into book order with each month being a separate chapter. It involves a lot of cutting and pasting and gets boring after a while, but if I ever want to read it from beginning to the present, or if anyone else wants to read it, then I will be glad for spending the time converting it. Maybe one of my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will someday wonder about the travels of their gypsy ancestor. (How I digress and get off on a tangent of one sort or another! Can't help it - that's the way I am.)

Back to Bernie Harbert's Travelogue, Riverearth.com, I find the slow moving travels of Bernie and of Bob Skelding, the man who traveled in a wagon pulled by four draft horses, to be amazing. Since they stay on the country roads and lanes and away from the interstates and primary roads, and since they travel slowly and stop to meet, talk, and share meals and activities with people along the way, you get a better sense of the American spirit. (My perception of "American" is actually "North American" and I include Canadian and Mexican in this term. You don't have to agree with me and I'm sure most folks won't, but those are arbitrary borders, at least to begin with.) The true American spirit is never featured in the national media, and you won't find these little vignettes on CNN or ABC. But people like Bernie and Bob get out and meet the heart and soul of America, and you can meet them as well through the travelogues and blogs, and you can be uplifted to find such wonderful, plain and simple people leading ordinary lives.

All this talk of American Spirit has me craving one. American Spirit is a brand of tobacco and also comes in packs of cigarettes. Gotta find something else to do until it wears off!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Since the temperature is predicted to get up to 97 today, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it topped 100, I went out early and again tried the ladder at the front cap of the 5ver. This time I got up to the step just below the top, and was able to reach up to the "Hitchhiker" logo. So I worked on a small part of it, from the left side over to below the "c" in Hitchhiker and all the way down. It is really a mess with bugs and some kind of spots I can't even identify. The part I did looks good. I'm using Oxygone, but will follow it up with the Dri Wash & Guard. I'd like to finish up with something that will allow the bugs to be easily removed from now on. I've heard the name "Rejex" tossed around, and it is sold at Tru Value Hardware stores. I found a Tru Value here in Orland so I will drop by and read the label, etc. I'm determined to keep at this, at least until I run out of product. This morning I ran out of clean terry cloth towels, so I need to gather all the dirty ones and soak them in Clorox before washing them. I am so tempted to throw them out.

Just to show you what I'm dealing with -

I'm off to the laundry after driving into town and getting a roll of quarters, among other things. This RV park has a small but immaculate laundry room, and is the least expensive one I've been in for a long time.

I forgot to post today

I just realized that I didn't do a blog entry for today, not that much happened. I went out early before it got too hot and used the dri wash & guard on the front of the fiver - behind the hitch. The front storage door was scruffy looking, and the overhead part just behind the hitch was a mess. I don't know how it got so dirty and dull looking, but the dri wash & guard did a great job and it is shiny clean now. I set the ladder up hoping I could reach the top of the front cap, but I would be 12-18" short of the roof on that rounded part. I went up the 6' ladder to the 2nd step from the top and just couldn't get myself to climb any higher. If ya don't feel safe, then ya probably ain't safe! I'm going to get a sponge mop & bucket and try to clean the roof one of these days soon, and I may try to lie down on the clean roof and reach over to clean what I can of the cap from the top.

I didn't get around to doing anything about the rust because I realized I should get rust converter in addition to the primer & paint, so it's back to Ace Hardware in the next day or two. I sold a 3 bedroom house on the side of a mountain in North Carolina because I didn't want to (and couldn't do) any more maintenance. Just proves the point that "Wherever you go, there you are."

This afternoon it got too hot to do anything except languish. My thermometer made it up to 98! One online weather service gave the temp for Chico as a high of 94 with tomorrow predicted to be higher than that, and then it should cool back down and rain over the weekend. I don't think I could survive very long in this heat. I know I should turn on the A/C, but then I would perish when I took the dogs out for the 4 pm afternoon walk.

So we are suffering through the heat, sitting outside in the shade in the afternoon - the dogs sleeping, which they do anywhere they happen to be, and me looking at maps of Canada and Alaska and dreaming of a cooler place.

One thing about all this truck & rig cleaning & polishing, I am developing a nice definition of muscle in my arms. Just the biceps though, the rest of my arms have the "old lady" look.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A day of rest for me

With all the cleaning and polishing I've been doing the past two days, I decided I needed a kick-back day. I did drive over to Ace Hardware and picked up some items to tackle the rust that is forming on the hitch and elsewhere. I bought the Chico Sunday newspaper while I was at it, and sat outside to work the crossword puzzle. It is another beautiful warm day in the shade, but too hot for me in the sun and it isn't even the heat of the day yet. Inside my fiver it is very comfortable with just the windows and doors open. The winter clothes are stacked on the bed, ready to be changed out with the summer clothes, but I don't feel like dealing with it right now.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outside with the dogs and looked down to find a tick on my sleeve. Thank goodness I had a light colored t-shirt on and could see it. I know I have tick & flea medication somewhere in my possession but darned if I could find it, so I drove to the vet in town and spent nearly $100 for a three-month supply. I'm sure I will need to use it all summer long.

When I walked the dogs this morning I took them out along the highway, and noticed that the bushes across the entire front of the Park property are oleander, and a few are starting to bloom. There are red and white ones, and they will be breathtaking when they are in full bloom. I can't wait to take a picture when they do. I think they are my favorite blooming plant in California, and they are so easy to grow and so hardy that they are often planted in the median of the highways.

I'm getting a bit drowsy and I may as well go ahead and take a snooze on the couch. I love these lazy days.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Now for the RV...

The stars must be perfectly aligned for me yesterday and today, and I must take advantage of it because I don't know when it will happen again.

First thing today I went out to admire my truck, and decided to tackle the RV. I have done a few very small sections (storage bay doors, etc.) to try out the product, and today I did the largest of the three slides - the dining/E Center slide. It was covered with mildew spots and was very dirty, so I went over it twice: once with OxyGone, and the second time with the Waterless Car Wash & Protective Glaze. I don't see how I can ever do this entire 5th wheel by myself. For one thing I don't have the physical power to apply sufficient elbow grease. But I will keep on with small sections, even though it's beginning to look like a patchwork quilt. I'm also accumulating a lot of filthy terry cloth towels, and I don't know if I want to soak them in Clorox and wash them, or just toss them out. I'm going to buy another big bundle the next time I'm at Costco. They are the perfect size for wrapping glasses, coffee mugs, etc. for travel.

When I was in Pennsylvania in December, I had the window inserts in the doors secured as they were both slipping (a fairly common problem I've noticed from the RVing forums). They used some sort of adhesive, probably when reapplying the seals around the window, and it was smeared all over the door. I didn't notice it right away until it got dirty. You'd think the person doing the work would wipe off the residue, but they don't seem to care and I am 3000 miles away. I would NEVER recommend Keystone RV Service in Greencastle, PA, for any work. They also left a residue of something all around the storage door they installed under the front cap.

Speaking of Costco, you may remember a couple of months back that I picked up a box of 80 Eggos on a shopping expedition to the Sacramento store. I have only 4 Eggos left! Since they take up so much of the freezer space, I'd better hold off buying another big box as I will need to stock it with meat and a few frozen veggies when I go to Lassen. And speaking of Lassen, I just took another look at what will be my campsite there. It looks pretty spacious, and I'm hoping that with the trees, the awning extended, windows open, and ceiling fan running I won't need a/c, although I wonder if I will need the generator to run the fan. This is going to be some learning experience, and I will either love it or my personality and temperament will change so drastically that I will refuse to stay in anything except fancy resorts from then on! I shudder to think of that.

I just filled my tank after the trip to Sacramento, and figured I got about 13.7 mpg. I'm happy with it considering that when towing I get about 9.5. And of course there isn't a hill to be seen between Sacramento and Orland!

My thermometer says it is 90F outside the rig! It is getting way too warm for me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A good truck washing day

Today has been a perfect day to be outdoors, and I was out earlier trying to hose the dust off my truck. Later I went out with Dri Wash & Guard and have so far done the driver's side. I'm waiting for the sun to go down enough so that I can finish the rest of it, although I'm not sure how I can reach the very top except if I drag the 6ft ladder out, which I'm not inclined to do as I will then have to put it back! I know my limits and I am getting close.

There is nothing prettier than a clean black shiny vehicle, and I see a very pretty Ford F-350 emerging from the months (probably years) of being dirty.

With the hose in hand I squirted one corner of the 5ver and darned if a whole strip of caulking didn't come off! I have the feeling that when I finally get it clean I will have to quickly recaulk before the next rain!

I have to remember to do the tire rims also - they don't look so shiny on the photo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Afternoon dog walk (2nd post today)

I sometimes enjoy the afternoon walks. On sunny warm days, about 5 spaces down from me, is a scantily clothed man who stretches out on a lounge chair in a very provocative pose, catching the rays. (Now, mind you, it doesn't take much to look provocative at my stage of the game.) But this guy is a joy to walk past and always brightens my day. I don't have a good telephoto lens and I don't have the nerve to just snap my camera as I walk by, so you will just have to use your imagination and accept my word for it - he DOES look good!

What was I thinking?

I have had many problems with my computer system lately, and I solved some of them by installing 2GB extra memory chips. I still am left with very little hard drive space, so I went out and bought a package of 100 blank CD's, thinking I would move all my photos from my computer onto CD's. I even bought the jewel cases to hold them, and have given a great deal of thought to the organization of these photos and CD's.

To my chagrin I realized I had no RW drive, only CD-ROM. To make this really dumb error right, I will need to buy a CD-RW drive. Do I get an internal drive or an external? Where would be the best place to buy one? Would I be able to install it myself, a problem that would be lessened if I go for an external burner. What if I just buy an external hard drive with plenty of space for photos and divy up the CD's to my kids? Or maybe I should keep 100 CD's around where I can see them daily to remind me to think twice before acting. (I've learned the hard way to measure twice, cut once, and there is a similarity here.) My detested laptop has a RW drive, but nearly all my pictures are on the desktop and I can see no way to easily transfer them. There is no doubt a way to do this that is so simple I will never be able to show my face in public again!

I found an optometrist in Chico (about 18 miles from here) who is a preferred provider for my vision insurance. There is also a Wal-Mart Vision Center there, and I may just take the prescription to them to get the glasses - I will see what I think of the optometrist and the crew there. My appointment is next Friday, which means I probably won't have new reading glasses for at least two weeks. This could prove to be a costly couple of trips to Chico as there is a Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Office Depot, and Costco (and much, much more) all in the vicinity of the eye doctor's office, plus a large organic food co-op on the way back. I could probable find a CD-RW drive at most of those, though my choice would probably be Office Depot as their employees would be more knowledgeable than Wal-Mart's. Forget Best Buy - their employees would be more interested in selling me an extended warranty on a CD-RW drive, than in selling the drive itself!

Update on my Easter holiday

Sun. April 12, 2009
I left early on Sunday morning and had an easy trip to Sacramento. I drove directly to my daughter's house; left the dogs there and we went to Steve & Megan's for brunch of homemade fried rice (he makes the best!) and Mimosas for those who could drink them and orange juice for those who couldn't. We went out in the back yard later and looked at all the work Steve & Megan have done to prepare a garden plot, as well as the beautiful iris, cacti, and other blooming plants.

Then it was back to Jeannie & Donald's house to get dinner ready. Donald made a very tasty roast with all the vegetables plus desserts. Joe & Sarah came with Alyssa, plus my sister, Amy was there. The two little ones hunted easter eggs in the front yard, and they didn't realize (or didn't care) that we were constantly taking the eggs from their baskets and re-hiding them!

Monday, April 13
Donald, the two little girls and I went to Fry's to get memory chips for my computer. I took some pictures there, that I've already posted on an earlier blog.

Tuesday, April 14
I drove over to Cal Expo in the afternoon and visited with Laurie and Odel in their motorhome. This was the first time we met, and I think it was the beginning of a solid friendship. We ran out of time way before we ran out of conversation.

You may notice I mention Donald, my son-in-law's cooking quite a lot. Jeannie can cook but she doesn't really care to. Donald, on the other hand, is a superb cook who likes to try new recipes and is very creative in the kitchen, and he also is as good as any professional when it comes to desserts and decorating cakes, dipping and decorating strawberries, etc. On Monday evening he made some enchiladas and rice that were the best I've ever eaten. My sons are also excellent cooks, and between them, Donald and my brother-in-law, John (Amy's husband), we will probably have everyone at the campground wishing they were dining with us over Memorial Day. All the girls have to do is sit down and fill their plates! It doesn't get any better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back home again

I had a very long day, beginning with what was supposed to be an early appointment with the eye surgeon. He always runs late, and I believe they just book all the post ops at one time and see them on a first come-first serve basis. When I realized it was doubtful I would even get to the first stage of the appointment, that is, when a technician checks certain things, I made up my mind I wasn't having any of that today so I left after being there about an hour. My time is as valuable to me as theirs is to them, and they wasted an hour of it. I have a separate insurance policy for optometrist visits and eyeglasses, so I will use that to get reading glasses if I ever find someplace in this neck of the woods to get it taken care of.

I had agreed to baby sit my two granddaughters at Noon, so I went back to Jeannie's house. They had me worn out in about 15 minutes. Later on I fed them, and Autumn at 2-1/2 can do very well for herself, while Alyssa at 1-1/2 is a bit messier. She didn't have enough of a nap to make it even more fun. I had her on my lap and she was trying to get a spoonful of applesauce to her mouth - it fell down the front of her clothes and onto my jeans. That was about the same time that Autumn dropped her bowl of applesauce on the floor, some of which splashed on my jeans and the rest was splattered all over the floor. They are fun, but I was ready to hand them over to their parents later on. I was worried about running into a lot of traffic on the way back to Orland, but it turned out to not be so bad.

It took me a while to get the computer and all the peripherals hooked up, but now it's working like a charm. All the sluggishness I was experiencing must have been due to a lack of memory, and the 2GB that Donald added for me have made a world of difference. Of course we went to Fry's Choo Choo for the memory chips, and I bought quite a few other items as well. Here is a picture of Fry's from the outside, and you can see the locomotive breaking through the wall.

I took this picture just inside the door, when an employee came running over to tell me they didn't allow any photos to be taken inside. I apologized and turned off my camera, telling her that since I mentioned Fry's on my blog I wanted to post some pictures. She didn't tell me I couldn't post them so here it is. It's too bad I couldn't continue because there are many train cars throughout the store and the effect is just amazing.

And one more picture from the outside. We took Autumn and Alyssa with us, and here they are with Donald. Because my 5th wheel reminds Autumn of the boxcars at Frys, probably because of the ladder, she refers to my 5ver as "Nana's Choo Choo". I just love it!

Still in Sacramento

My stay in Sacramento is just about coming to an end. I will see my eye doctor tomorrow morning and will leave to drive back "home" sometime in the early afternoon. It has been a delightful interlude for me, and I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, complete with photos. But that will wait until I get back and set up my desktop, which hopefully will run much better and faster with an extra 2 GB of memory. I also bought a pack of 100 CD's and plan to move most or all my photos to CD's, which should free up some extra disk space.

We have had virus problems on the computer here at my daughter's house, which have thankfully been fixed. It has been quite a shock to see what they can do to a computer, so I will add a bit more security to my own system, assuming that it has just been lack of memory that had it running so slowly.

Today I had a delightful visit with Laurie and Odel, who are staying at Cal Expo for the next month or so. Laurie will have a cataract removed tomorrow, and I wish her a speedy recovery. I have been fortunate to meet them, and look forward to seeing them again. We talked non stop for about two and a half hours, and the time flew by. It was that way when I met Boris and Natasha, another RVing couple, during my stay at Cal Expo. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Ford is wide

I ran some errands today and found that pickup trucks with dually wheels aren't always given the room they require. Parking lots and lanes, and gas stations were my problem this afternoon. The parking spaces here in Orland are generally much wider than those in Sacramento - and this is a generalization - but I still find it difficult to maneuver in and out of the driveways at the supermarket. On the way into town I watched for diesel fuel prices. The station closest to me had a sign for diesel at #2.29, as did most others I passed. One, a 76 station, advertised it for $2.27 so I thought I would stop there. The spaces for pulling up to the pumps were so narrow I wouldn't have been able to get my truck lined up without backing up and pulling forward a couple of times, so I just backed up, turned around and went back to my favorite little sportsmen's convenience store. By the time I got back the price had risen from $2.29 tp $2.32. I have a great sense of timing, don't I.

I haven't yet opened the fridge or freezer doors but I think I will do it this evening. There is some ice and cold water remaining in the coolers, but I don't want to have to put things back into the refrigerator tomorrow morning when I will be trying to get an early start to Sacramento.

Happy Easter to the readers who celebrate it. For me, it's a time to get together with family, and those occasions are not to be missed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fridge gaskets and company

...two highlights of my day. The RV service man came with the replacement fridge & freezer gaskets this morning. It required taking both doors off which was no easy task. He set the doors on the picnic table outside and got the new gaskets in place, then re-hung the doors. It took about an hour more than it should have because of the way the doors are attached, so I am even less impressed with Dometic than I was. Now I'm supposed to leave the doors closed so the gaskets can set and mold to the door for 48 hrs. That is a long time to go without opening the fridge. I put some really important stuff in a cooler and bought ice today.

My sons Steve & Joe drove up for the day with Joe's daughter Alyssa. She loves to climb, and it was up and down on everything inside the rig. I took her upstairs and showed her how the bed lifted up, and she pulled a box out of the storage and stood on it ready to climb over and into the storage itself. We went outdoors and she nearly gave me a heart attack going up and down the steps to the 5ver. After lunch at a Mexican restaurant in town we took a drive out to Black Butte lake and the campground. They were pleased with my recommended campsites, so Steve will try to get the online reservations.

The fun began when we got back and Joe climbed the ladder up to the roof to sweep all the tree debris from the slides. Alyssa wanted to climb that ladder in the worst way, so her Uncle Steve helped her get up to where her daddy could reach her. I have a picture of Joe & Alyssa up on the roof of my 5th wheel, but since Sarah is pregnant I don't want to cause her any more worry than she has already, so I won't even acknowledge that I have such a picture. When they came down from the roof it was back to climbing on and off the picnic table, and up and down the steps. She never stops, but what a darling little girl! I had to keep Autumn and Alyssa in mind when selecting campsites - some are too close to the water, too big a drop off, etc. They will find enough mischief as it is.

I will drive to Sacramento early Sunday morning and come back after seeing the eye surgeon on Wednesday morning, so tomorrow will be spent doing last minute things around the rig and figuring how to get what I need to take packed into the truck, and still have room for the dogs and me. I'm taking my desktop computer so Donald can install additional memory, and I think I will set it into the basket of laundry that I'm also taking. I just love taking my dirty laundry "home" to the kids, although I will actually do the work. It just seems fitting to turn the tables after years of kids coming home to do their laundry!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not much going on today

Today is a very breezy, chilly day. I hesitate to get out my electric heater (and I'm not quite sure where I put it when I moved) but I'm not sure how much propane I have left and I want it to hold out until tomorrow. Joe, Alyssa and Steve are driving up to visit tomorrow and I will hit the boys up for helping me get propane. The little sportsman's convenience store up the road is charging $3.89 for it, so I may look at a couple places further into town. I'd also like to drive out to the lake and show them the campsites to see if they think everyone will be happy with them. I sure hope we can get the sites for the weekend we want them! We need to select alternative sites, just in case. My sister and her husband are joining us as well, and it should be a very good weekend. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am going to turn my 5th wheel over to the pregnant women, and I am going to stay in a tent. I'm almost as excited about that as anything. I'll be comfortable enough with a mattress pad and down sleeping bag.

Speaking of down, I think I will go crawl under my down comforter, get warm, and take a nap.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trip to the library

I had to go into town for several items today and stopped by the library to see if they had a copy of the Alaska Milepost -- they didn't. Some libraries carry it, and before I order one I would like to see the size print it uses. If it is the tiny print that Woodall's uses then I don't want it!

There is a very pretty park on the library grounds and I took a couple of pictures. I'm not happy with the composition of either of them. I can't see a thing in that LCD window and wish I had the option of looking through a view finder as on a regular camera. My old camera needs a battery and they sure are expensive, so I haven't decided yet if I just want to trash it. The digital cameras make it so easy to upload your photographs without having to get them developed. Here is one of the pictures, and you can see what I mean. At any rate, you can see that the houses along this square block are very well kept and there are some that are extremely attractive.

Other stops included Long's Drug Store, the bakery, and of course Sav Mor Foods! If I had remembered to write down the size of tire on the 5th wheel I would have stopped in at Les Schwab for an estimate. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go outside and look at them right now so I will have it handy for my next trip to town.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good New$ and Bad New$

The guys from the Mobile RV Repair service came this morning. The good new$ is that the generator started up like a champ, the oil level is full and the oil is clean, and I won't be needing any work on it now at least. They checked it out pretty thoroughly, and I now know it runs on propane. He looked at the gaskets on the fridge & freezer which are in pretty sorry shape, and told me he would give Dometic a call and let me know what the cost will be. He called back a couple hours later to tell me that the gaskets plus install kit plus labor will be about $360. Dang - there goes the wash & wax job I was going to pay for.

While here they checked the roof and the only thing wrong with it is that it is dirty. The entire rig is dirty, and I can see that I won't be able to do it myself so I thought I would have them come out and do it. I'll keep it in mind, but for now I don't want to spend the money because I still have to get four new tires.

I then drove back out to Butte Lake and to the larger of the two campgrounds to have a look around. It is absolutely stunning, although I sure wouldn't haul my 5ver up and down those narrow roads. I much prefer Orland Buttes campground for the family trip, if it happens. I took a turn-off at a sign that said "Lake Access" before I came to the CG, and it turned out to be a dusty dirt road, with big ruts and holes from the rains. I stopped and let the dogs out - Lady has this drill down pat by now, and she took off up the hill and into the tall grass. Mandy, the smaller dog, fell into a big hole that was camouflaged by tall grass, so she was happy to stay with me from then on. I tried to call Lady back with no response from her, so I just yelled "ok I'm going back". We played the game we used to play in the mountains of NC - I walked back on down the hill until I heard the sound of galloping behind me - Lady was racing down! She is beautiful when she runs - but she is a sprinter and can't run very far. I've noticed a couple of old playful habits that I always thought were so cute, and I'm glad to be reminded that she is a playful dog, but in a subtle way. No racing around chasing sticks or frisbees for her. I'm happy to see this side again because for the past few months I've only noticed the aggravating, annoying side, and she deserves better.

There is a field on the way to the campgrounds in which there are about 100 small white animals that looked sort of like dogs. Today they were closer to the road and, DUH, they were sheep that had recently been shorn.

I am tired from my outing and don't know whether to lie down on the couch, or to find something useful to do. I'll let you know later which choice was the winner.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black Butte Lake

I took the dogs over to the Orland Buttes Campground this morning, one of two campgrounds at this lake. It is the smaller of the two and less likely to be jam- packed. I found three good sites together, one of which will be perfect for Steve's truck camper and also has a good level site for a tent. It is right next to a spot that would hold my 5ver, backed in of course. I sent pictures to the kids and they can decide if they like it or want me to go back to look at other ones.

The woman at the park office told me that dogs had to be leashed in campgrounds, but I could let them off leash back in the boonies. I found a good spot to park my truck, with a very slightly defined trail leading up hill. The dogs are used to being on leash since we left NC and they looked like they weren't sure of what they were supposed to do. We got to the top of the hill and Lady found a good secluded spot to do her business. She is a very modest and private dog in that respect, and it is absolutely painful for her to "go" out where everyone can see her. Mandy took off down a steep hill chasing something I'm sure she couldn't see, and was panting by the time she got back. In fact, both lazy dogs seemed uninterested in exploring or running - maybe the heat of the day. It will be a different story if we all take our dogs camping there - two of Steve's and Joe's Dobie. I'm really looking forward to it and hope we can find a weekend that is suitable for all of us.

Exploring the buttes:

Here is a picture of the lake from one of the campsites:

I'd like to upload more pictures of the lake, but my computer has nearly crawled to a stop so I don't think I will try this afternoon. I don't know what could be wrong with this thing - I even ran the defrag program although the analysis showed it didn't need defragmenting. I use the system tools just about every day to clear the temp files & whatever else it clears.

I have a mobile RV service person coming out in the morning to start on the work that needs doing. Hopefully it can all be done in a day or two. First on the list is the generator, which should only need greasing and a general tune-up. The seals around the two exterior doors are bad, as well as the gaskets on fridge & freezer. There are many little jobs that need doing, but I have to save out enough money to buy new tires for the 5ver. Those on one side are showing signs of dry rot, so the other side can't be far behind. Better to have it done here than be at Lassen and wish I had.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow I may wash my truck. It is streaked with dust and shows it as only a black vehicle can. The windows are also coated with dust and I may as well at least squirt the whole thing with water. I wouldn't have the energy to really give it a good wash and wax - it used to take me at least two days to do the Jeep Cherokee, and I think there is about as much surface on this truck.

See ya tomorrow...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I LOVE Sav More Foods!

I can happily spend a lot of time just browsing the aisles of the Sav More food store in Orland. First of all, I like the idea that they are an employee-owned company. Secondly, I try to support local small businesses wherever I happen to be. The Sav Mor is a decent-sized supermarket, and the items they carry are simply amazing. You can be sure that their main clientele is Mexican. In the produce section there are huge galvanized tubs with about every kind of pepper imaginable. A giant galvanized tub holds dried pinto beans, and I've already mentioned the manteca. The bakery bread is good for a supermarket, and overall prices are as good as, or better than I've seen elsewhere. For years I've preferred shopping for groceries on a daily or every other day basis. I like fresh produce and meats, and while they will keep in the fridge for a while, it is much nicer to go and buy what you want for a meal or for a day or two. That is just my own preference. And the icing on the cake, so to speak, is the fact that they carry Miller High Life in glass - 12 oz and 32 oz bottles!

I took a drive out to Black Butte Lake this morning - a Corps of Engineers facility. I had hoped to see the two campgrounds and find out if there are campsites set a little apart for when my family comes up to Orland for a camping weekend. Each CG has a group site which is a little pricey, but they may be larger than what we would want. I spoke to a park ranger who told me the park office wasn't open today, but will be open during the week. It's only a few miles from here so I will try to get back tomorrow.

I wondered why the rig was so cold this morning when I got up. Since I'm paying the electric I hesitate to get the electric heater out, and I also don't want to run out of propane! Is that what is referred to as being between a rock and hard place? Well, I found the reason for the sub-arctic temperatures--I left the vent open over the shower and the cold air was coming in through it. I hate to even open the vent because I invariably forget to close it later. To really confuse me, the thermometer was pointing to 70F when I looked first thing, and by 9:00 am it was registering 100F! Now I know that isn't the case. I loved that thermometer until I had to take it down when moving here from Sacramento. It never stuck to the window properly after that. It supposedly clings electrostatically, and since by 1:pm this afternoon the temp reading is about 79F, I guess it was the sun that caused it to go haywire this morning.

I took no pictures today, but I'll try to get a couple when I go back to the lake.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday trip to town

I made a quick trip to town this morning - had to get a broom to sweep all the little things that are falling from the trees onto my mat. I can imagine what the tops of the slides look like - I'll get on the roof and clean them off before I leave.

Here is a picture I took of one of the streets in Orland. Sorry my truck mirror is in the way. You can see how wide the street is, and I love diagonal parking which makes so much more sense than parallel parking. In the middle of the big wide streets are small islands, and there is also parking in between the islands. Orland is celebrating its centennial this year, and who would have thought that in 1909 they would make the streets so wide. Some of the residential streets don't have the center island/parking, but they are still very wide.

After getting the broom at Ace Hardware and browsing but not finding anything else I needed at this time, I went to Save Mor to pick up some half & half for my coffee. I just walked around marveling at the selection of Mexican foods and spices. It's been years since I've seen a 25# bucket of manteca! (That's lard, and my arteries hurt just looking at it, but it imparts an indescribable, delicious flavor to foods cooked with it.)

I took a picture entering the RV Park. You can see that it has a long way to go before filling up, and I think many of the trailers & campers here are long term.

This place is actually called Parkway RV Resort, and for that reason I would have bypassed it if the other RV Park in town had accepted large dogs. I'm not the resort type but this place seems fine to me. It is obvious that the owners are working to make it a resort, and it is laid out well, is neat and attractive. The pool is sparkling and looks inviting, although the weather will have to get a lot warmer for that, in my opinion, and there is a small playground.

I'm going to defrost the freezer today. I haven't had to do that since I lived in Ireland, and it's a pain in the butt job in my opinion. Just get on with it, Marty! I may be back with another post later today, and maybe not!

Friday, April 3, 2009

In Orland for a month

It's my first full day here, and I didn't get a whole lot of rest last night. I was so tired from the move that I went to bed early, about 8 pm. It was a good thing, because from about midnight the wind raged, and as you can see from the photos, there were branches hanging too close to my rig. (They are trimmed now.) I saw on the internet that we have a wind advisory until this evening, with very high gusts expected. The wind rocked my RV more at Cal Expo because it was unprotected, whereas the trees in this area take a big part of the wind. It's beautiful and clear today, and I drove into town - couldn't find the RV service place but I did find the bakery! Driving back I think the snow covered mountain I saw is Mt. Lassen.

I wanted to get some pictures of the town but just never found myself in the right position to get a good shot. I don't want to stand out on the sidewalk looking like a tourist, so this will take some planning.

The pictures aren't very clear, but that is because I had to save them in Medium quality or they would have taken forever to load. I packed away the laptop this morning and set up the desktop - all I had to do to get my pictures was to click on the Camera Wizard and select the pictures to download. It will even delete them from my camera after downloading, which keeps the camera from being overloaded. All I was ever able to do with Vista's program was to look at the pics - couldn't find anything to save them on my computer. I even tried Picasa which I know many folks rave about, but it certainly isn't as intuitive as the Microsoft Camera Wizard. I don't do anything to my photos except to crop them once in a while, so I don't need anything with fancy capabilities. I'm beginning to think that simple, easy to understand and use programs are going the way of the dinosaur, and so am I!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Orland, California

The trip went well. Steve came by and watched while I got everything ready to go and hitched up the 5ver. Actually he did some small jobs inside that needed to be done and then he watched me work! By the time I had successfully hitched the RV, on the first try, I was ready to hand over the keys and have him drive. He only got me out of my space at Cal Expo because they were working on the driveway to my side of the park and there were red cones everywhere, greatly narrowing the space to drive through. He stopped by the office and I went inside to say goodbye, then started driving, with Steve following in his car. No problems - Ms. Garmin led me through all the turns to get on I-5 North, and from there it was easy. It isn't an exciting drive - flat land with orchards and a vineyard or two, and farms and cattle. We arrived in Orland about 12:30, found the Parkway RV Resort, unhitched and got the hoses hooked up, slides out, etc. Steve backed into the space for me; technically it's a pull through but it worked better backing in and there was more room to maneuver.

After getting that taken care of we drove to Orland to have lunch - found a nice pizza restaurant, and then drove around some of the town. It is a small town with very wide streets. None of the town looked at all seedy, and it's the kind of place I wouldn't mind retiring to - of course, that is just from first impressions. I'll get to know more about it during the next few weeks.

I have a very nice site on the end of a row, with a large circular area of grass and a picnic table just outside the door. I set the mat out and attached the dogs to the picnic table legs, and just relaxed in my camp chair. After all the gravel and pavement at Cal Expo, Lady is loving all the grass - she gets on her back, four legs in the air, and wiggles & squirms through the grass just like horses love to do. The sky is a beautiful shade of blue with puffy clouds here and there, and a slight breeze. Tomorrow I will drive into town and line up someone to do some jobs on the 5ver, see what it good at the bakery, and check out the price of tires at Les Schwab. Steve checked the pressures this morning and said the tires on the right side were holding the pressure but showed some signs of dry rot. I'd rather get that taken care of now than somewhere in the wilds of Lassen, or on the road back east. Also some day soon I need to go check out the Black Butte Lake Corps of Engineer facility & campground nearby. My kids all want to come up for a camping weekend and I'd prefer to get an area where we could be more to ourselves and not disturb anyone in case we get rowdy!

I don't know whether to go back outside and enjoy the breeze, or to just kick back on the couch and probably falling asleep within minutes. I'll be back with more about Orland tomorrow. I have some pictures to post but can't seem to do much in Vista, so I will drag out the desktop soon and download my pictures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The April Fool's Joke is on Me

After all the panic and moaning I did about the desktop, I am now fixed up. Steve came by today to organize my storage bay, and when he got here I was telling him about my troubles with the computers. We talked for about 10 or 15 minutes while he sat in the rocking recliner with the laptop on his lap, and then he announced I was connected. Sometimes that boy scares me. He said it was something about modem settings - it was set and shouldn't be, or vice versa. We packed the desktop & monitor and he re-arranged the storage under the bed so that now I have tons of space available even with the computer in there. He did the same thing with the storage bays. I had gotten to the point that I would put something in to the storage and close the door real quick before anything fell out. Now it looks nearly empty.

So now I am using my laptop on the dining table, along with the keyboard and mouse from the desktop computer.

I'm not cooking today, nor am I messing with the dishes. I drove to 7-11 this afternoon and bought a hot dog for my dinner.

I've already emptied the tanks and stowed the hoses. I thought I would hate the job of disconnecting them after being here for 3 months, but it wasn't bad at all. I keep forgetting to check the tires, so I'd better go get the gauge out, and hopefully I can reach all the valves.

The wind has been blowing relentlessly all day today. Steve came back from a business trip to Oregon and said that northern CA is pretty warm, namely Redding, Red Bluff, etc. I am hoping I can park under a tree so I don't have to use the A/C, although I guess it would be a good idea to turn it on and see how it works. My electric will be metered for the next month, which is another incentive to conserve resources. I have always preferred open windows and a fan to the stuffy closed up feeling you get with A/C, although if it gets hot enough I may renege.

I'm too tired to type any more. I'll be back tomorrow from Orland, California.

Problems with laptop

I have spent a big part of the day trying to get my laptop to work. I decided to turn it on just to make sure everything was working ok - I last used it when I went to South Dakota, and everything was fine and the air card worked perfectly. This morning first thing it gave me a message that updates were ready. While I usually ignore those kinds of messages until I have absolutely nothing else to do, I decided to get it out of the way. It took well over an hour to install! I tried turning the computer off, but when I turned it back on later it went directly to where it has left off in the install program, and nothing I did would disable it, so I just let it run its course.

When I finally got the normal desktop screen I tried to connect the air card, it told me I needed to install it, but the AT&T screen was showing that no device was detected. I tried it in all the USB ports but none of them recognized the air card. When I tried to do some checking on my system I noticed that it was running very slowly, and I decided to uninstall the updates. Since I am not familiar with Vista, it took me a while to find anything like a Restore function, but I finally was able to uninstall the updates. This took close to another hour, and then I found I had to restart the computer. You can imagine when I restarted and immediately the system began installing the updates! By this time I was ready to throw the laptop through the window! I let it install, and then uninstalled it again - this time it worked but the system is still running very slowly. And none of the USB ports recognize my air card, which works fine on my desktop. Why, oh why didn't I buy a Mac Book last summer when I purchased this horrible Dell laptop with Vista!

So this means that I will not be able to connect to the internet at all once I get to Lassen. I don't know where the nearest library is or if they have internet access. I am totally bummed out about this. It isn't that I can't do without the internet, but there will be no point in trying to keep up with posting blog entries even though I will continue to keep a journal of my experiences for my own satisfaction and to keep up the writing habit. But how in the world will I stop all the email.

On a happier note, Jeannie & Donald asked me over for dinner tonight, and also invited Joe & Sarah, and Amy; Steve & Megan are both traveling for their jobs, so weren't able to make it. Here are a couple of pictures - the first is Joe & Sarah.

The second is my sister Amy with Autumn and Alyssa.