Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, June 27, 2010


One more wake-up and then Ara and I are on the way to camping for a week at Sly Park in the foothills of the Sierra. Today was the gathering-of-the-food day, and started with an early morning trip with Jeannie and Ara to the Farmers' Market in downtown Sacramento. I restrained myself from buying anything we wouldn't take with us - cherries, carrots, celery were some of the snack items I bought. Then I found fresh corn on the cob that looked absolutely fantastic, so I bought some of that. I shucked and cleaned it, and packed it in a ziploc bag. Usually I wouldn't do that until I'm ready to use it, but don't want to have to get corn silks all over my hands on a camping trip. The corn necessitates taking a bigger pan along to cook it, but it will be worth it.

Then to the grocery to buy items such as beverages and pasta dinners. Ara is a vegetarian which makes it a little more difficult, but I can handle it. Jeannie couldn't believe I'm going to eat packaged pasta dinners without meat, but I remember all too well the endless meals of pasta while I was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, and I can deal with a week of it again. I told Jeannie that when Steve and Donald get there I will be perfectly happy to eat grilled chicken, burgers, and whatever other good things they want to cook. I did buy myself a pack of hot dogs - something I've been wanting to eat for ages, although I usually ignore the desire for them because of the high fat content. I won't eat hot dogs labeled "65% less fat" because that always means "65% less flavor", so on this trip I'm going to eat what I like.

I was cleaning and packing the celery & carrots into snack size pieces, and then remembered I had fresh parsley in a glass of water in the fridge, so I might as well take it along to flavor the pasta. When pulling it out of the bottom shelf of the fridge I must have bumped the Brita pitcher and I ended up with a full pitcher of water over the floor. I mopped it up and am letting it dry while I'm starting my last blog entry for a week. I don't think I even cussed when it happened, so I must be in a great mood!

By the way, I just love my new voice recorder. I've used it a number of times already, and will rely on it to remind myself of the happenings on the camping trip. Between that and the camera, I should be able to come up with a decent blog entry next week.

Just a little before 2 pm it is 91F and heading for 102, before starting a light downward trend next week, 101, 97, 90, 89, 89, and so on. By contrast Pollock Pines is 93F tomorrow, followed by 88, 81, 81 and 80, plus it will probably be 10 degrees cooler at night. Lady doesn't care for this weather either, and all she wants to do on our walks is to lie down on the grass. Believe it or not, my apartment is still cool enough I haven't turned on the a/c.

I will be back in range of the internet in about a week - we will leave to return home on Sunday morning, July 4th. I hope everyone out there has a great week, and a fun Fourth of July (even the Canadians have a fourth of July!).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When I was getting ready for bed last night I took off my shirt and realized my granddaughter Autie had stuck four small stickers to the front of my shirt. But I had forgotten about it. I later stopped to talk with the apartment manager, and when I was walking lady a gentleman stopped me to ask questions about the dog, and seemed to be trying to keep me in a conversation. When I thought about it afterward, I realized he was probably trying to see what was on my shirt! I'll have to be more alert when I've been with the kids.

Today was the birthday party. The cake was created by the birthday girl's talented father! (He even inserted tiny led lights into the castle "windows", which had a really nice effect.) Most everyone ended up in the pool or the spa, which was kept warm but not hot so the kids could get in it. Included in the fun was a water gun fight among some of the men present, just overgrown boys you know.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where am I?

I woke up this Friday morning wondering, "where am I?". I thought I was in Sacramento, but I heard a noise coming in through the open bathroom window that sounded a lot like rain, and when I got up to walk the dog, found that sure enough it IS raining. It NEVER rains in Sacramento at the end of June! So what gives? I'm not quite sure but I hope it doesn't get too humid and hot today. It is supposed to get up into the upper 90's, so I wouldn't mind if it rained for a week and kept the temperatures down, but we'll see. It stopped raining before the day really got started, by the way.

Granddaughter Arianna's 1st birthday party is tomorrow, so I went to help Ara with the two little girls while she cleaned. When Arianna took her nap I did something I have never done in my life - took a nap while the baby slept. I actually just rested my eyes and stayed awake, but for an hour and a half I relaxed. The advice to all mothers, which is never followed, is to nap while the baby naps. Too bad you have to get to be my age to figure out what good advice that is.

I found Sly Park up in Pollock Pines was nearly booked until after the 4th of July, but there was a campground which had a couple of adjacent sites that hadn't been reserved. I called and talked to the woman taking reservations - she must be on site because she could tell me about the different campgrounds, and even the individual campsites. I selected two sites together at Mountain Top campground. I'm told it has the least use, is the quietest of all the campgrounds, and has the least traffic. That's because it is the furthest from the lake. With young children in the party I love to hear "least traffic".

Yes, Jeannie and Donald are bringing the girls, Steve and Megan will be there, and Joe and Sarah are as yet undetermined. I think Sunday is Sarah's father's birthday, so they haven't committed yet, and Joe is in classes during the week. Ara and I are going up on Monday and setting up our tents and equipment, followed by Steve on Tuesday, and Jeannie on Thursday.

Sly Park has fond memories for all of us, because every time I was in Sacramento before Bill died, we all got together for a weekend camping trip there, at least when the weather permitted. One trip there was pretty cold but we had great fun, terrific food, lots of laughs, and just a wonderful time. Bill loved camping and loved planning for a camping trip. As he got to the point where he was hardly up for it (but still tried to run everything), Steve stepped in and gradually took over the role of Master Camper.

It bothered Bill to let go of the reins, but as I told him - you've taught him everything you know and how to do it, so let him go for it, and let him make the decisions. He'll make you proud. And I'm sure the father beamed with pride at the accomplishments of all his children.

This is the least prepared I've ever been for a trip, and I miss Bill for that among other things. We both liked to be ready for all possibilities, like him with the food and equipment, and me packing the kids things to include plenty of extra clothes in case they fell into the lake. I don't think anyone ever fell into a lake, but I was ready for anything that could happen.

But enough reminiscing about my ex-old man and our camping days. The kids are making their own family memories and I hope their children inherit the love for the outdoors, sitting around a campfire (watching the kids get dirty and enjoying the S'Mores), setting up and sleeping in a tent, and doing without a shower for a few days, taking long walks that they call "hikes", and if someone else is up to it because I won't be, taking them out in a kayak or a raft!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The library; the voice recorder; Microsoft

I drove over to the library this morning and picked up a few books, but only one is in large print. It's amazing how much easier that is to read, but I wanted to read Walden again so I had to take the normal-sized type.

I love libraries, and have loved and been fascinated with them since my earliest memories. But living in Northern Virginia in the Metro Washington DC area really spoiled me forever. Having been just a few blocks from the Tyson-Pimmit Branch of the Fairfax Co. Public Library was one of the best things about living in Northern Virginia. Any other library can't come near it, so I am always a bit disappointed when I enter one.

I had to get down on my knees to see what is on the bottom two shelves, and I had a heckuva time getting back up. What a predicament if I couldn't have done it. I sympathize with folks who have had a knee replacement because I remember how my mom had a lack of strength in the replaced knee. She fell while going out to get her mail one day, couldn't get up, and lay in the driveway for about an hour before a neighbor found her. I still have two good knees, but they don't work like they used to.

When I returned and was backing into my parking spot, one of the landscapers was waiting to get by, so I motioned for him to go ahead. But no, he decided he needed to direct me and my truck back into the space. I can do it perfectly until I have an audience, and I wish he had just left me alone.

I found a couple of occasions to use my recorder today, and it is is so simple to do. It is NOT voice activated so I have to turn it on and off, although I believe there is a feature that is called Variable Control Voice Actuator Function, which I think may have something to do with recording a meeting or class lecture. I quit reading the instructions before I got to that function which I'm sure I won't be using.

I made an attempt to back up my desktop computer, but since I have the Home Edition of Windows XP it doesn't seem to have backup capabilities. I copied some files I wanted to be sure to save and then decided I would try to reformat the hard drive. No go. I have the original system disk, but can't boot from it. I did fool around with it and found a text file on the disk that explains how to reformat; after reading just a part of the file I decided I'm not even going to try it myself. I'm in no hurry, so I will just wait until a computer geek knocks on my door. I deleted the files I copied to my flash drive, plus removed some large programs I don't use, such as all the files HP set up (and all the space they took up) when I tried to install the HP printer. I gave the printer away because I disliked it so much, and getting rid of the files and doing a disk clean up seems to be making a small difference in performance.

I will be leaving for a camping trip this coming Monday morning and won't return until Sunday afternoon (the afternoon of July 4th). I'm sure my cell phone won't work and I'm not even taking my laptop computer with me, so I will just immerse myself in nature for a week, which I need desperately. My hit-the-road-itis is getting worse by the day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My new voice recorder

Not much happened since I last posted an entry, except that I tossed around the idea of returning the voice recorder and looking for a voice activated one. But I caved in and opened the packaging - no small feat - and began studying the user guide. It had very easy to understand steps to turn the device on and off, record, stop, play back, and erase. My mind wandered when it told me how to name and use folders, so I just skipped that part, and in fact, I skipped the rest of the guide.

I placed the recorder on a napkin on the coffee table and then set a ball point pen next to it as a size reference, so you can see it is beautifully compact but the buttons aren't too small for my fingers. I tried numerous times to get a better photo of the recorder but could never do it. The large button on the right is labeled in easy to read red letters - REC. The one on the left is labeled STOP, and the one below, in the middle, is PLAY (or OK, if you need to answer OK to something).

At the bottom of the device are black buttons for Menu and Folders, and a round button for ERASE in the middle. So easy a senior citizen can do it!

I tried it out and recorded a test message, played it back and then erased it. Perfect! I will never need to download anything to my Mac, nor will I want to place recordings in folders. In the unlikely event I do, I will ask someone between the ages of 13 to 23 to figure it out for me.

This item is an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder for which I paid about $40 plus the outrageously high percent of CA sales tax. There are 3 recording speeds, but whatever it is set on now is "Gypsy speed". There are also index markers that I can set, so I will probably keep the user guide handy in case I want to mark a recording while on a long trip, say, if I describe a place or campground. See, I'm not totally a dinosaur at all!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Along the American River

I did some walking along the American River Parkway yesterday, with Jeannie, Ara, and the two little girls. We don't get very far, very fast with two little girls, but it's fun being with them. The American River comes down from the Sierra Nevada and usually flows fast and cold for most of the summer, depending on the amount of snow in the mountains during the winter.

The pictures were taken with my cell phone, which doesn't result in the greatest quality.

I made a quick trip to Costco this morning and impulsively bought a digital voice recorder. What I've always wanted was a voice activated recorder, non-digital from back in the days before everything became digital. I haven't opened up the package yet because I'm trying to figure out if I should return it, as it is way more than what I wanted. The package says "Record class lectures, then download them to your PC." I doubt that any recording I make will be downloaded to my PC - what I want is something to record notes when I'm driving.

Sometimes I want to keep track of what I see along the way, especially on a cross country trip. Usually I grope for a pen and notebook or something to write on, and try to scribble something while keeping my eyes on the road. This unit has REC, STOP and PLAY buttons, which leads me to think maybe it isn't voice activated at all, in which case I should return it and shop for what I want somewhere else. Is analog still available?

I did some tidying up of the wires from the desktop, but the laptop wires are what I usually trip on, especially the mouse. I am forever catching my foot in it when I stand up. I'll get around to fixing them when I get a decent table or desk, and I'm not sure when that will be. I've lived here for 3 months without one and have survived it fairly well. I really miss my 3rd bedroom devoted to office and computer back in North Carolina. With beautiful matching wooden desk, hutch, 2 file cabinets, bookshelf, and table, plus really comfortable adjustable office chairs, I had a place for everything. Also, I could turn my head and look out the window at the mountains, which provided inspiration. But times change and gypsies move on, and I guess I wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wired Up

I hooked up the desktop computer today because I wanted to print part of an excel spreadsheet, hiding some columns and extending the width of others. I can't seem to do anything with the Mac version of Excel.

I still don't have a computer desk, so I operate on small patio tables, 2 of them. Every time I move I am tripping on a wire, and you can see why.

I had the air card hooked up to the desktop so I could print a couple of attachments from email. The air card works better and faster with the laptop. It was surprising to find that I have gotten used to the laptop, but the keyboard is superior to any I have ever used. I love the touchpad for scrolling, but as a mouse it is dismal.

I walked Lady this afternoon and let her lead me into some dried leaves along a fence. All of the sudden I was doing a fine jig in public - I must have stepped into a nest of ants - big black ones. I kept trying to brush them away and get back to pavement, but they were insistent little buggers. I think they just stayed on my shoes up to a little above my socks, but for a long time I felt ants all over me. That is a part of nature I'm not crazy about.

Another day has gone by and I have barely moved from the computer. Genealogy is the reason for that. I get carried away when I'm on the track of someone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A haircut, finally!

Yesterday while Jeannie was at the hairdresser, she mentioned that I had been trying to reach her. She called me right away and offered to fit me in at 10:45 today and I readily accepted. I look and feel much better now.

Somehow on the way home I must have been thinking of profound things, as one does when driving along a familiar route, and I made a wrong turn. When I passed Whole Foods on my right I knew something wasn't right. I had turned to where I was driving back toward Cal Expo, out of long habit I guess. So I got myself turned around in the right direction and made it home with no further problems. Steve has my truck again, so I will blame it on his Matrix for getting me mixed up. My truck runs on auto pilot.

I've been really lazy for the rest of the day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Barstool assembly-2nd post on Fri. the 18th

I opened the box and set out the pieces to make sure they were all there.

I assembled the upper part of the legs to the swivel.

About this time Steve came by to borrow my truck, and sat down to finish the assembly. As he was nearly finished I said "The trouble I have is that I can't see the damn thing!" His response was, "I know, I'm doing it blindfolded too". How did I raise such a smart-aleck?

There were basically just four steps to this assembly. There were four sets of fasteners, each packaged separately and marked "Step 1", "Step 2", etc. I don't think I've ever seen an easier assembly on anything I've ever bought.

And here is the finished product. I'm tempted to get another one at the sale price, but don't really need it and it will just take up space, which I don't have that much of.

I went back for the blender

It was a good deal, on sale, and has a glass jar. I am so sick of everything being plastic these days, including just about anything you buy in the grocery that once came in glass jars. So I now have a blender, but nothing on hand to blend. I also have a hand mixer, with nothing to mix.

I stopped at Walmart and Target this morning, but I'm really going to try to stay out of those places. Walmart is going through renovation which means they are moving everything around in the store, so you can't find anything. I will go to their optical dept when it comes time to get new glasses. They accept my vision insurance, and the man who helped me with new glasses about 3 years ago is the best I've ever encountered. The glasses he sold me fit perfectly and were aligned properly, and he is still there.

Target moves their products around often enough it's hard to find what you want, but they have now added a grocery department. This obviously means they deleted things from their line of stock in order to make room for the groceries. I go to a grocery store to buy groceries, and used to like going to a discount store to find good deals on other things. I would never shop at Walmart or Target for groceries, and wish I had no reason to ever go back to either of them again.

This morning the most amazing thing happened here in my apartment. I usually leave the front door open in the morning as well as the bathroom window, as this draws fresh cool air through the entire little place. All of the sudden I heard a noise that sounded like an engine - two hummingbirds had flown right into my kitchen, one obviously chasing the other away from "his" nectar. There they were circling each other, but one of them quickly found his way out. The other didn't have it so easy evidently, because he spent several minutes buzzing around the kitchen before finally flying back out the front door. I closed the door and opened the window! I wish I could just keep all the windows open as long as there is cool air coming from the shaded patio, but the screens are bowed out and worthless as far as keeping insects out. But the open door doesn't even keep birds out! The only time I am troubled is late afternoon and evening when there are biting insects, most of them too small to see.

I'm also getting a couple of larger birds who visit the other feeder, and I'm glad I hadn't taken it down yet. I have no idea what kind of birds they are because I can't see detail. I do know they are nondescript and a drab color. I miss the colorful birds I had all around me in North Carolina. Even the hummingbirds there were the ruby throated variety and had some bright color, unlike whatever kind it is that I get here.

I thought I was overdue with Lady's rabies shot, but found the certificate that says she has until November! That makes more sense because I'm usually in Asheville around Oct/Nov. and that is when I renew all her vaccinations. For some reason, the sheet they send out telling you what shots are coming up was mistakenly showing rabies due in March, so we will wait until fall to take care of it when we are back in NC.

I can't believe Friday has rolled around again so fast. I feel like my life is now on fast forward.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mini Excursion

I set out this morning to find a hairdresser, but two shops that I walked into told me it would be a wait, so I decided to wait for another day, except I more closely resemble a sheep dog every day.

Then it was to Big Lots where they didn't have anything I was looking for, and out of some of the sale items.

On to Target where I got a bar stool. I still have no place to eat except the coffee table, so this will be a nice addition if I ever get it assembled. I vaguely remember the days when you went out and bought something, brought it home and began using it immediately. Those days are long gone. I guess things ship better from China in a cardboard box. NOTE: After publishing this entry and reading it over, I realized that this was not a nice thing to say, especially since the storage box is actually MADE IN THE USA! Sorry, China.

I picked up a Black & Decker blender that was on sale. I have not had a blender for probably over 20 years, and I don't remember an occasion during that 20 years when I thought, "Gee, I wish I had a blender." I'm not sure why I decided to get it, but like a TV, every household should have one, and I'm batting zero on both. Un-American is what it is.

While in the outdoor patio furniture items I found a patio storage/seating unit which is exactly what I need to store things from the RV that I don't have a place for: air mattress, screen tent, folding camp chairs, etc. So I put the blender back on the shelf and hoisted the big carton containing the storage unit into my cart. I didn't have room for the blender and I could barely see over the storage box, so I just left it there. I did tell a clerk nearby that if he would put the blender back into the cart for me I would put it where I had found it, but he said he would take care of it.

I finally got these two very heavy items home and the boxes out of the truck. Now they need to be assembled. I got the instructions out of the bar stool box and they look fairly simple, but that could be deceiving. I will maybe attempt assembly tomorrow. I won't touch the storage box, so that will wait until one of my young male relatives comes along and I'll snag him to do the assembly. Steve can assemble anything without even looking at the instructions.

Now I don't know if my eyes are just still bad, or if it's because my hair is hanging down into my eyes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can the days get any better?

Today has been an even more beautiful day than yesterday, warm in the sun and cool in the shade. Just perfect!

Does anyone realize that meat loaf is much better the second (and hopefully the third) day around?

I am getting so irritated with Blogger I am ready to quit. Now, when I have turned on my computer even though I've logged into blogger, I have to go through the userid and password just to leave a comment to someone's blog. I had to restart my computer this afternoon and darned if it didn't ask me again. I don't believe it possibly has anything to do with security, because I'm getting tons more spam lately and I haven't visited any websites that would be the cause. It's getting to be more trouble than it is worth and I don't think I'll mind at all if I'm traveling someplace that I can't get a connection. As long as I can sign in I will be online, but if I can't connect I sure won't miss the annoying parts of it.

I stayed home today but have made my list for things to do tomorrow, so look out, I'll be on the road!

My dog is getting scary. All I have to do is think something and she responds, in ways she couldn't have known if she wasn't reading my mind. It's always been like that, but is getting progressively stronger. How in the world can you hide your thoughts from a dog?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A beautiful day!

Today has been absolutely perfect, weather wise. It's about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, for one thing. I've just taken my time doing everything today, and enjoyed every minute.

I drove to the Bel Air grocery and also visited the Western Feed Store while I was at it, to see if they had bird seed. The clerk was knowledgeable and told me the finches were no longer in this area as it is too hot. They've probably flown north to Vancouver, BC! He also said that the birds might not be visiting my feeder just because there aren't many in the area. He said he's known one house to have lots of them at the feeders, while another house just a block or so away won't have any. It fits with my experience, so I took down the thistle for the finches when I came home, and will have to figure out where to store the bird feeder until another time or place. I keep getting the hummingbirds though. Even Gladys noticed them yesterday when she was here.

It was nice going down to the Village with Gladys. She used to work there, right on the main street, and knew what had been in the buildings and what had changed. She showed me where the feed store had been, and I guess that's the one that is now all fixed up (expensive too) in the shopping center. Everywhere we went people stopped her to say hi.

One good thing about visiting the feed store is that I found out there is a visiting veterinarian who is there on Sunday mornings, and who administers vaccinations. I'm going to take Lady on Sunday to get her rabies shot that is about 3 months past due. The charge will be $10, probably a fraction of what it would cost if I went to a vet's office, and the office would no doubt try to insist on a complete exam of the dog, and figure out some medicine to prescribe.

I made a meat loaf for supper tonight, and I know I am probably the only person in the country who can mess up a meat loaf. It tastes great but it falls apart. I never could make a decent one. I also had lots of fresh vegetables that I bought at the Farmer's Market on Sunday. Good eating! I could do without the meat but I get tired if I don't eat it once in a while. I love vegetables, providing they are fresh and not overcooked.

Thanks to those who responded to my question about World War II paratroopers in yesterday's blog. Here is the article I was referring to:

NOTE: Harold had service during World War II. He enlisted April 30, 1943, at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and was posted to England prior to "D" Day. He jumped onto Omaha Beach at the Normandy invasion with the 101st Airborne Division, later in the 82nd Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belguim, serving in the European Theater of Operations until June 21, 1945. He had a further 2 months in British Guyana.

Thanks to Rick for the information about Bastogne. I should have remembered it, because I'm aware there is a "Nuts Museum" in that city. And the paratroopers who were dropped off target and got hung up on spires and buildings were in St. Mere Eglise. I can remember a movie with John Wayne, and I cringed every time he said "St. Mere-Eglise", in his cowboy accent. (I always thought he was a bad actor, but not quite as bad as Ronald Reagan.)

Tomorrow I need to find a hairdresser, as I haven't been able to get in touch with the one I last went to. She is too busy and it's always a wait to see her, so I'll have to take my chances with someone else.

In case anyone is wondering, I vacuumed the carpets yesterday and sprayed Febreeze to try to neutralize the doggie odor, and cleared some clutter off the coffee table. The kitchen counter tops were shining, although I didn't try to hide the things I normally have out. I always try to keep the bathroom clean, so that wasn't a problem. I know it wouldn't pass muster for a neatnik, but it no doubt resembles what most folks' homes look like in their normal state. That suits me fine!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Visit with my cousin

I had a very nice visit with my cousin today. She arrived at about 11:30 and we chatted for a while in my cool apartment, then left in the heat of Sacramento summer to eat at a small bistro in Fair Oaks Village. The food was good but I didn't care for the owner at all. And this is all that I have to say about that! I did enjoy talking to my cousin and catching up.

Today the thermometer hit 93F but we are scheduled for temps in the 80's for the rest of the week. I knew this was coming while I was so cold during the past winter.

I talked to the woman at Sioux Falls AAA this afternoon, and we agreed I would email her my tentative plans in an email. She will look them over during the next few days, and will call me with any questions or suggestions she may have. There will be plenty of time for coordination between now and when I will need the map.

I explained some of what I wanted to do, and when I mentioned the route I want to take through Nevada, she commented that she had never known anyone who wanted to travel on the highways of Nevada. It seems they all want to hug the interstate. Well, the interstate is fine, but I explained that I had traveled US 50 through Nevada several times and she was flabbergasted! I wanted to mention that Bruce and Margie just completed the trip in a huge motorhome, but I will definitely get that into the conversation at a later date.

Now I'm just going to try to forget about the trip for a while, at least until I hear from Heather at AAA again. It's still too far in the future to stay pumped up the entire time, but I'll keep my maps handy for when I need to renew my dream.

I've been doing a lot of genealogy the past couple of weeks, and today I came upon an interesting person. One of my cousins from Pennsylvania served in the airborne in World War II, jumped at Omaha Beach, and then at Bastogne. Surprisingly he survived both. Maybe some of you WWII buffs (or old movie buffs) can answer this for me. Wasn't Bastogne where the paratroopers were either dropped off target or were carried by the wind into the middle of town, getting hung up on church spires and tall buildings? They were sitting ducks for the Germans who occupied the town, and I think we were supposed to land away from the town and then try to take it.

It seems like I remember an old movie in which that battle was portrayed. Anyone remember the movie? Was it Bastogne, or someplace else.

So I was very surprised and proud to know a distant relative had taken part in two important drops into German held territory. One of my brothers was in the Airborne; he served in Vietnam during the early days of the war, but as he had been held over in Okinawa way past his time, they had to let him come home for a visit. Nearly his entire unit at Ben Hoa was wiped out shortly after he left.

And we never learn and we keep doing the same things over and over again.

I just looked at the calendar on my computer and realize it is June 14, Flag Day. I have a small flag on my patio all the time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's hot!

It is about 96F this afternoon, but the inside thermometer tells me it is about 75 so I suppose I'm cool. I just returned from walking Lady and even she was lagging.

This being the Sunday farmer's market day, I had planned to get up around 6 am. I awoke at 5 am to the sound of Lady, and she continued for an hour, licking, scratching, yawning, and all those annoying sounds dogs make. But at 5 in the morning right next to my bed? I would have given her away if someone had come along who wanted an obnoxious dog!

I couldn't resist the various kinds of squash - the smaller ones seem to be the most flavorful and I bought a few of at least 4 different varieties. Potatos, onions, parsley, spinach, and of course bing cherries, filled the bags I had brought with me. I mostly wandered around while Ara and Jeannie took their breakfast to the park. I knew I had enough coffee this morning and one more small cup would have caused me trouble - I don't know where the closest rest room is.

At one end are the meat and fish vendors - all organic, of course. Chickens and capons; pork, beef, & lamb. What I liked best this morning were the open tanks of live fish: white sturgeon, bass, carp, and catfish. The sturgeon are huge! Those were just the fish still swimming - another section had all sorts of fish iced down.

I was tempted to buy some raw almonds, but I'll get them another day. There were also a few garbanzo beans left, but they must have been in their very natural raw state because they didn't look like any garbanzos I've ever seen. Not being crazy about them, I've seen them in salads but that's about all. (And don't mention that yukky "H" word - really don't like the stuff!)

I have never been one to spend money buying fresh flowers, but if I did it would be difficult to choose from all the flowers there. There are also hundreds of plants of all sizes and varieties, and everything looked so fresh and healthy. I love shopping there.

I want to switch topics here and share a comment I received on yesterday's blog. I have been trying so hard to be patient about getting good eyesight back, and I believe the doctor that things will be ok, but this comment just gave me a real lift. Since I think there are a few readers who are facing cataract surgery, I know you will be interested as well. I'd like to reiterate that in almost all cases the eye heals very quickly and with little or no problem. I just had to be one of those with the problem! So here is the comment:

"I just wanted to commiserate with you on your eyes. It's been 10 months since my cataracts were removed, and I'm seeing well now. For awhile, I had the same off/on again blurriness. It will all go away. Soon.

Thank you so much "emjay" - you've made my day - and my week - and the month ahead.

I'm going full speed ahead on trip planning (actually, I'm planning for the next three years), but I will be so happy when my 5th wheel sells and I can shop for something else. I am in a real quandary about what to get. I like the idea of a truck camper (slide in), as I already have the truck, I wouldn't need to license a TC, I could drive it to the grocery, back into campsites, and so on. The main objection is that I have sworn I never again want to deal with waste water tanks and hoses as long as I live. It wasn't a big deal to me to begin with, but as time went on I grew to really dislike the task.

When I was parked somewhere for a while, as at Lassen and Fort Pulaski, I could leave the hose hooked into the sewer, and I usually kept the grey and galley tanks open. But the day before having to empty the black I would go out and close the two valves to the other tanks so I would have something to rinse the black water from the hose, and that gets old -- running in and out, opening and shutting valves. Also, when emptying the black tank I followed up with several gallons of water through the tank, and just the running back and forth was tiring and boring. It would be easier for one person to sit inside and pour the fresh water into the tank while the person outside is doing all the other stuff, but I've fretted about that long enough.

I just don't like that job, and I don't want to do it on any type of camper. This leads me to favoring a teardrop, which can be ordered any way you want - they can accommodate a kitchen sink with hot water heater and fresh & grey water storage, although the tanks wouldn't hold much. I decided if I go the teardrop route I would definitely forgo the sink. I can fill a dishpan and set it on a picnic table, and do the few dishes I have that way, and then dump the dishpan in a proper place. As a matter of fact, I have decided that for whatever type of camper I buy next (or a tent which is still in the running), I will use only disposable plates and cups. I hate disposables being tossed into the landfills, but I think as long as I stay with biodegradable products rather than plastic, I would do it for short periods of time. I might take a couple of sets of cutlery rather than use plastic, or else wash the plastic along with the cookpots.

So I'm still studying the issue and the verdict is far from being reached. Whatever I decide on will be something that meets MY needs, which are not necessarily those of the average RVer. If it was just me I would go for the teardrop, which I've wanted to own for years before I even knew what a 5th wheel was. An image recently came to my mind of stopping for the night in a heavy rain. A teardrop doesn't really require much setting up under most circumstances, but then I thought of running to get inside - WITH THE DOG! I'm not sure I could sleep next to a wet dog in such a small space. Normally I dry her paws and fur when I get inside the door, but I will have to get something that is large enough to accommodate that task. A large canopy seems to do the trick for most people, but setting it up would be much easier in good weather.

As I said, I'm looking at the possibilities and these plus a tent are my favorites. Sure, I would love a nice class B or a class C, but they cost a lot more money and I'm not keen to lose money on another RV through normal depreciation. If I could afford a late model that would be relatively problem free for a few years it would be one thing, although from what I read there are problems with most RV's, new and old. I won't return to full time RVing, but would like to take 3 month trips now and then. And finally, at my age I absolutely refuse to finance anything.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A different focus today

I have been doing genealogy all day long. From the time I sipped my first cup of coffee until now, I have been at it! My fingers hurt from the keyboard and mouse.

At least I quit obsessing on RV's and campers, travel planning, routes and maps. Maybe I'll get back to that soon, but for now I'm glad to let it go for a day.

My cousin is visiting me at my apartment on Monday, and I know her eagle eye is going to discover every box and bag of items not put away and whatever mess I don't deal with between now and then. I know I will feel like a lazy slob, but I don't think I'm going to care, although I know I'll rush around tomorrow evening to try to make things presentable. What is presentable to me doesn't pass muster with a lot of folks, but I don't really care about that anymore either. Do I sound convinced?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Great job, Marty!

I always love it when I can say that to myself. This morning I drove in towards town to the AAA office to pick up a bunch of maps. Not wanting to appear a hog, I only got half the maps I will need, necessitating another trip back. I think they told me on a previous visit that they had a limit of 10, so that's all I was prepared to ask for. Most of my maps are several years old, and have yellow highlights, pink highlights and orange highlights indicating the roads I've taken.

I drove over Folsom Blvd which takes a little longer, is probably several miles shorter, but which has traffic lights all along the way. I don't think I had to stop at very many lights, and I love that route. I decided to try the freeway (US 50) returning and I did a great job. As I was going down the on-ramp I wondered why I was going that way, but I'm glad I did because I'll have no hesitation in the future. Of course, I was driving early in the day, about mid-morning, and after the commuter rush, so there was nothing to cause me grief.

My eyes are definitely improving but I need glasses, probably bifocals, just as soon as I can be given a prescription. I have about 3 wks until my next visit with the Dr. and I certainly hope he will say I'm ready. I can see more detail although there is a blurry spot now and then, and I'm not sure why it seems to come and go. The focus is still giving me problems - I can be driving along and all of the sudden I'm not seeing very well into the distance, and then it becomes ok again. I compensate by leaving lots of space, taking my foot off the accelerator when I see brake lights ahead of me or a red traffic light, and just general caution which everyone should use all the time anyway.

I'll be ready for some serious travel by September. Now to just get the 5th wheel sold so I can buy a good camper for myself. I got a phone call this afternoon from the Volunteer Coordinator at Lassen, which made me feel good. I definitely am not ready for that type of work yet, but will keep it in mind for possibly a few weeks in August, or even next year.

Speaking of my maps and travel plans, my trip total mileage is up to about 7500+ round trip so far. I shudder when I compute the cost of fuel, but we'll see what happens between now and then. I know how to dream big at any rate, and I have some big trips planned for the this year and the following two years. The gypsy is temporarily down, but she certainly isn't out of the game!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Computers - GRRRR!

I am about to give up entirely on this thing. Not so much the computer as the internet. I can't rely on staying connected for very long at a time, and it always goes out at the worst possible moment.

I will never, ever again get any kind of USB device. I believe I will go with 3G Stores' no contract MiFi that you lease at $10-15 month less than paying Verizon, or what I'm paying AT&T for this piece of crap. It sounds like a good deal because there are no activation fees or contracts - if you cancel before 2 yrs is up you simply return the equipment. 3G is supposed to be getting back to me soon, but as yet I haven't heard from them.

My questions are: how does it work as far as power goes? I don't believe you have to plug it in, so is it battery operated? Lots of questions, and like I say, if they tell me anything at all is a USB connection I will just pass on it. Also, I've been told that you can't attach an antenna to it, but 3G advertises antennas to go along with it. I want to know how they work.

I may have mentioned before that I am planning a trip back east in September, and plan to get the old style triptik from AAA in Sioux Falls. I've been playing around with routes on Mapquest just to check mileage and routing. My first leg of the trip will be from Rancho Cordova at US Hwy 50 Freeway and Sunrise Blvd, via US 50 to Fallon NV and then north to I-80. Mapquest keeps insisting on routing me from Rancho, about 15-20 miles west to pick up I-80, to go east through Reno. I want to bypass Reno and I-80 altogether, and it won't let me! I even put the start point with an ending point at Fallon NV, which if you are familiar with the N.CA/Lake Tahoe area, will see that taking I-80 to Reno is at least 40 miles out of the way. I even tried moving those little map points manually, but it's not satisfactory at all. I will pick up I-80 further east around Lovelock NV.

I guess it's ok because I'm just going to pass along the routing I decide on to AAA, but I want a good idea of total miles, fuel cost, nights on the road, etc. I am going to try to avoid campgrounds wherever possible, particularly in the west, so this should be an interesting experience. Of course that will mean no wifi much of the time.

Before Steve returned my truck he ran it through a car wash, so I decided to wax it while it was still clean. I did the rear right panel yesterday, and the two passenger side doors today. I have to do it in increments because that's the way I prefer to do it and I have the time. I found a bottle of Turtle Wax, which I know isn't the best on the market. Unfortunately I had it sitting on the rail of the truck bed when my neighbor came home and he commented on it, and said he will bring me something from work that will do a much better job. That's ok with me - but will I now have to start over? Maybe before my trip I will take it to a car wash here in Fair Oaks and have it detailed inside and out. Wow, what a beauty it will be then!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My South Dakota Address

If anyone reads this entry who is debating about where to establish residency while living on the road full time, let me recommend South Dakota. You can't beat the costs of the mail forwarding services plus all the little details they take care of for you, and vehicle registration and getting a drivers license is a breeze.

Dealing with any governmental agency, federal, state, or local, is much easier with a local office that is not in a heavy populated metropolitan area. I found the same to be true when I lived in the Asheville, NC area, although I couldn't vouch for what it's like in Charlotte or Raleigh. My experiences with the Social Security Admin are a good example. When I registered for Medicare at the Asheville office, I was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Any questions I had were cheerfully answered, and the person I spoke with went out of her way to be helpful. Try that in any big city.

I needed to get in touch with Social Security today to change my mailing address, as they still had the old one on record, and my Medicare summary statement are still being sent to my old NC address. Since I am a Federal retiree and don't get social security benefits, I couldn't use the online change of address service. I hunted for some time around their website but never could do it because I'm not currently receiving benefits.

After much frustration on the phone trying to reach someone who could assist me, I was nearly in a rage of frustration listening to all those stupid voice prompts and never accomplishing anything. I decided to look up the South Dakota office and got the phone # for Sioux Falls. Bingo! The gentleman with whom I spoke took care of the address change in a matter of minutes, plus answered some other questions for me.

I've also had occasion to call the South Dakota DMV as well as Voter Registration. So far, everyone I've dealt with in that state has been super and has gotten straight to the heart of the matter or problem. So here is a big thanks to South Dakota and the people who live and work there.

I took my truck for an oil change this morning, as I needed a break from trying to deal with Social Security. I can always tell the difference right after an oil change - and she's humming right along. Even though it's not easy to navigate through parking lots with all their concrete barriers, I feel more at ease driving that truck than with a smaller vehicle.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I have my truck back

Steve is going out of town on business, so Ara and I drove the Matrix to his house today to exchange for my truck. Ara has been doing some painting for them in the room that will be the nursery, so we were there for a while, and didn't leave until just about the commute rush time so I drove my truck home. I had absolutely no problems, as I am used to the truck. When I finally got it home I backed it into my space like a champ!

Enrique was getting ready to leave for the day about the time I parked my truck, so we talked trucks, towing other vehicles, how one expects a man to drive something like that but not a woman (and the unsaid - "a woman your age"). I don't get offended by that because it's just the way things are, and I guess I can be a little quick to give men credit for being able to handle big rigs so well, so why wouldn't a man do the same. I guess you just have to have twice the determination if you are a woman. I try to do my best, but will graciously accept a gentlemanly offer to help.

I've thought about this before, and have come to the conclusion that there are some real jerks out there. They may even be in the majority some places. But the value and worth of the gentlemen far surpasses that of the jerks, so that I find the good ones everywhere and they seem to be the majority. I may not be making any sense, but I know what I'm trying to say, lol.

The rest of the items we took from the RV last weekend is now sitting (crammed, actually) on my tiny patio. I don't know where in the world I will put it, and I can foresee a trip to Goodwill coming up.

A blog reader, Selene, left a comment about the AAA triptiks. I replied to her that to get the old fashioned kind, you must find an office that does the "Classic Manual style". I know for sure that Sioux Falls, SD does it, but I'm not aware of which others will do anything but the computer generated triptiks. I would call the local office first, and see if they can tell you of an office that will do it. It is definitely worth it, if you loved the old style as I do.

When I figured the fuel cost of this odyssey of mine I quickly come to the conclusion that I will be doing a lot of boondocking in national and state parks, and maybe even parking lots and rest areas! It will be something new for me, but I'm eager to try it. Of course I have to recover from surgery first; then I have to find a suitable RV/camper/tent, although a tent would eliminate parking lots and rest areas! Stay tuned - I don't know yet myself what I'm doing.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The only thing that makes me happier than making lists of things that need to be done, purchased, taken care of, etc., is poring over maps and planning routes. I've done both today.

The lists are for various iterations of camping trips - depending on where we go and for how long, and who we go with. There is a possibility Steve and Meg can go with us - the time is running short for when Megan can comfortably do the camping thing (she is due around the 1st of September). If they go they will bring their truck camper/cabover on my truck, which will give me an idea of how they work, fit into the bed of the pickup, etc. Steve and I were talking about it - we can let the dogs - Lady and Rocco - ride in the camper, and we will use the back seats of the truck so all four of us can travel together. We'll carry the tent and sleeping bags in the camper. I'm getting psyched!

Then the maps. I've been considering possible routes to NY in September (and back to CA), taking in the places I have always wanted to see. Now I'm looking at actual routes and a mix of interstate plus mostly US highways with a few state routes thrown in as shortcuts. I'm certain the route will expand and contract as reality sets in, both as to time and money. I plan to mapquest it for the most elaborate, possible routing - just to see how many miles it would involve, plus estimated time. Then I will refine it to my own reality and send it to AAA in Sioux Falls, where they will do the classic manual triptik I've always used and loved. I might check with AAA Sacramento to see if they still do the classic maps, but I will have my potential route already on paper or in an email so there isn't any confusion about what I want. I don't mind if they suggest changing a portion due to construction or whatever. I no longer have to worry about overhead clearances though, as I will definitely not be getting an RV or camper that will tower over my truck and be a problem.

I know I will get comments about how wonderful Microsoft Streets and Trips can be, or other online tools for planning and routing. I love paper maps. I love unfolding them, and my heart always skips a beat when I see the familiar routes emerge before my eyes, as well as those I didn't realize existed. I love to look at the United States map, giving perspective to size, distance, and direction, and bringing back memories of so many previous trips, weather encountered, detours required, and above all, the scenery. There isn't a state in this country that isn't absolutely beautiful, albeit in its own way, and there is no reason to compare the majesty of snow capped mountains, to coastal marshes or fields of grain waving as far as the eye can see.

From the broad picture of the US map, I then go to regional maps and get a closer-up view of my options, and then, glory be, to the state maps that show those hidden little towns and byways. God, how I love this country, and I'm going to have to work hard at seeing all I can in whatever time I have left. God bless America!

(And then, I will plan my Canada trip!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sacramento Summer

Summer has arrived, and 90F in Sacramento is HOT and I don't care if it IS a dry heat!

We left Jeannie's this morning at 8:00 a.m. with Ara driving for the downtown Farmers' Market. It is held under the freeway overpass and parking is plentiful in the surrounding area. We got our coffee, and split our baked treats 3 ways each: cinnamon roll, pecan sticky bun, and fruit turnover. We took it across the street to the park and found a bench in the shade. You can barely make out the market across the street.

The market had every kind of produce imaginable, and all in beautiful condition. I can't stop eating the bing cherries I bought, plus I got straight from the farm brown organic eggs, collards and several kinds of squash. We decided to go every Sunday morning, so I didn't want to load up with too many items and then have them go to waste. So many choices, and all family farmers.

From there we went to nearby William Land Park (one of the urban hikes in my book) but since I didn't have the book with me we really didn't know where to begin or what route to follow. Jeannie likes to walk an hour at a fast pace for exercise so we found a small lake with a walkway around it - we told her to go on as fast as she wanted and we would stroll. After a couple of rounds, Ara and I found a nice shady bench and discussed the problems of the world.

From there we came back to Fair Oaks and had lunch at an outdoor-seating restaurant with a vegetarian menu. I had a veggie taco and the girls each had a nut burger. The food is really excellent and all the ingredients are super fresh, although I know there are folks who wouldn't touch it. It was cool where we sat in the shade, and of course the ubiquitous chickens were roaming around.

They dropped me off at home, and I put everything away quickly so I could take a nap.

Ara knows how much I want to go camping, and she's always been into camping and does quite a bit of it while in school in PA, so she's agreed that we should go camping for a few days at Mt. Shasta. The entire Shasta area is huge and I'm not sure how to begin looking for campsites - we both want the back country, walk-in tent sites though. I should come away with great pictures from there!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The deed is done!

Yesterday Steve towed my 5th wheel to a local dealer's lot, and this morning he drove me over to sign the papers authorizing them to sell it for me. They were very pleasant and optimistic, and seemed to be easy to work with, not something I readily say about a dealership. They seem confident that it will move fast, and they are planning to recaulk the outside and to clean the carpet inside, to spiff it up a bit. So I brought home my copy of the paperwork plus the license plate. Here's to a quick sale!

As we were driving down the road Steve spotted a Lance truck camper in another lot, so we stopped to take a look. Wowie zowie! It is a model 855, which must be a 2010 model as it was definitely not in Lance's 2009 offerings, and is just about perfect for one person and a large dog. Too bad I'm not in the market for anything new, but I can see myself heading back over steep and winding roads and into the mountain backcountry in that camper. Oh well, I have to be able to see properly in order to buy and drive any kind of a camper, or even a tent.

I didn't explain clearly in yesterday's blog that I'm driving my son's Matrix while he is having fun using my truck. He is doing a lot of remodeling at his house - right now he's building a garage + office space - and is hauling debris away and bringing in materials in my Ford. He says the hitch is a breeze to take out and put back in, and hopefully it won't have to go back in.

When he had picked me up this morning and we were on the way to the dealer, I realized he should have been in a different lane to get on the freeway. (I forgot that California drivers always stay in the far left lane until just before exiting right.) I mentioned to him that he was going to miss his turn, and he said "No, I'm going to pull out and cut across in front of this woman next to us. I know what this truck can do." I laughed to myself thinking that the soul of my F-350 was shouting, "YES!!! Finally I have someone to drive me who knows what I am capable of!" I think the truck deserves a young male owner, but she's stuck with me for at least a little while.

Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. I am meeting Ara, and Jeannie if she can slip away early before the rest of the family wakes up, and we are going downtown to the Sacramento Farmers' Market. It's supposedly a very good one, and there is a bakery in the vicinity that has legendary coffee and cinnamon rolls, which will give us some start-up energy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What a day!

I went out this morning first thing and bought some good walking shoes, and a new USB hub for my laptop. Now everything works better, but the tether from the hub to the computer is so short I haven't figured out how to work with the laptop on my lap and not leave the hub hanging.

When I came back I was trying for the umpteenth time to back this little Toyota Matrix into my parking spot. I couldn't seem to get it right, and then the trash collectors came along. They just settled down and relaxed to watch the show, waving encouragement to me. I finally got it in the spot and called it quits.

Steve called me soon after and said that he had an offer from a local RV dealer to put the 5ver on his lot on consignment. He said he has three new 5th wheels with 3 slides each and rear kitchens, and selling for upwards of $50k. I quickly agreed to see what might happen in the next week or so, and then we met at the storage lot to finish emptying the rig. He hitched it up and I followed him as far as where he turned on the freeway. I looked at that huge rig driving along in front of me, and watched him merge into the freeway ramp, and thought "How did I ever do it"! I don't really know how, but I know I could never do it again (unless I absolutely had to).

We left storage a little before 4 pm, so you can imagine the traffic he had to endure - nothing bothers a 30-something though. I got back to my apartment and again had a helluva time parking. This time I decided to pull straight in, which is a mistake because that concrete island is then on my right and I can't see way over there. I can't believe I can back that Ford 350 into a space so easily, as opposed to a smaller vehicle.

As we were getting ready to leave the storage lot Steve got a call from someone who was interested in the 5th wheel, but she "hadn't even mentioned it to her husband yet", so we left her to find something else. Please everyone, sent positive thoughts that I can finally sell this thing, and the truck will be easy to sell. Then I can find something more suitable for my capabilities.

How did I ever do it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On the road to Co$tco

I got to Co$tco about the time they opened this morning, so I had a nice leisurely walk around the store with my list. I didn't get much from my list, but I picked up a few things I wasn't looking for.

After reading Margie and Bruce's blog this morning describing their hike in Arches National Monument, I got the old urge to get out and go somewhere - do something! I'm not a stay-at-home person and this current inactivity is getting to me something fierce! It was therefore a "given" that while browsing through the book department I would come upon (and buy) "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Sacramento".

After putting my purchases away when I got home, I settled down to plot my list of hikes from the book. There is a quite comprehensive introductory section that contains good advice for hiking, and even an old hiker such as myself is smart to refresh her knowledge once in a while. I came to the section with the heading "Animal and Plant Hazards", and the first thing mentioned is "Mountain Lions". I had a sense of deja vu because I'm almost sure I read something of this nature last year in a book on hikes of Lassen. This is what the book has to say about mountain lions:

"Mountain Lions are important members of the natural community and may be found in this area. Although these animals are seldom seen, they can be unpredictable and have been known to attack humans without warning. It is best to hike with another person, and to keep children close when hiking. If you should encounter a mountain lion, wave your arms overhead and make plenty of noise to frighten it away.

This is a good thing for anyone to know who plans to hike in California, although I think mountain lions are found in just about all the states. Black bears don't frighten me, although I would hate to get to close to a mother with cubs, but mountain lions scare me to death, or at least the thought of an encounter with one scares me. But in reality, how many folks hike in the state of California each year, and how many encounter a mountain lion. Joggers have been attacked however. I'll have to be careful when planning my hikes, and maybe I'll start with the urban hike section.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lunch with old and new friends

What a treat it was to see Paul and Mary (Boris and Natasha) again, and John and Sandy, two new fulltimers I had not yet met. They drove over from their RV park in West Sacramento to my apartment, and the 5 of us went to lunch at Appleby's.

It has taken just about all my willpower in the last month to keep from falling into a real slump, and being with these friends for a couple of hours has bolstered my mood and my attitude. Mary also brought along hellos and hugs from several RVers, and I would like to send my own back to you all. I wish I could meet everyone I've gotten to know from their blogs, and hope the day will come that I can be back on the road and crossing paths with some of you.

So for me, the sun is shining a little brighter today, and I'm so grateful for the effort these folks made to get together with me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Laying low

I got a notice from my air card provider that I was approaching the 5GB limit. I can't understand why they say that because a check of my usage this month shows I have used just under 4GB so far, and my next billing period begins on June 6. But a warning is all I need and I intend to pretty much stay away from any internet usage that might cost me. I've often wondered whether waiting for pictures to load when reading others' blogs uses a lot of bandwidth. I usually scroll through a blog and read the text, then scroll back up to see the pictures that have been loaded. Sometimes they never load, at least while I'm on that website. I also wonder about making comments on blogs - sometimes it seems like forever for the comment to "take".

I had a very enjoyable holiday yesterday, as I hope everyone else did. The weather was warm although a bit overcast, but comfortable. The food was excellent and so was the company. Not being able to see clearly puts a damper on everything I do, however, and it is such a distraction.

When I dropped the rent check off at the office this morning, Wes told me had had a visit from the Census lady who irritated me so badly. He said she gave him the roll of the eyes on everything he said also. That woman gives the Census a bad rap, and I know they are just doing their jobs, but she certainly can't be eliciting much cooperation and absolutely no good will. I had given him a heads up that she would probably show up, and that I had told her I did not spend the night of April 1 in that apartment, which I didn't, because my bed wasn't delivered until the next day. I'm glad that is all over with now.

I called the DMV in South Dakota today to find out what I have to do when selling my SD registered RV and truck. South Dakota makes things so easy to do, and I'd love to remain a resident of that state. I can't figure out how to ethically do it once I have recovered from this surgery. I definitely don't want to live off somewhere far away from my family, even though there are several places in the country calling my name. That is the beauty of the RVing life, I guess - being able to pick up and go stay somewhere until you feel like going somewhere else. It's too bad I didn't start it several years before I did, and maybe I would have been able to accomplish more. But I don't live in the past and can't do it over again, and probably wouldn't change a thing if I could.

I also went to the CA DMV site to see what is involved with registering a vehicle in this state. What a nightmare! I don't think I can do it, and then have to jump through hoops to get a new driver's license? Forget it.