Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I'm ready for the trick or treaters who might knock on my door, but to tell the truth I hope I don't get many. I think the last time I gave treats away on Hallowe'en was when I lived in Ireland. My house in North Carolina was up too high a hill for the kids to be bothered climbing up for a measly candy bar!

I went to the farmer's market today and found that they may (or may not) be there next week. I think the one downtown is open year around, so we will go back to that one eventually. The produce is just too good to ever want to go back to a supermarket, even one with an organic section.

Then to Costco where I finally found replacement filters for the Brita pitcher. Now that I'm giving the dog filtered water as well, I will need to change the filter more often. The cost for 10 filters, about a year's supply is only $42, which amounts to approx 12 cents a day - much cheaper than bottled water, and much better for me and the environment.

I was so tired last night and even into this morning. I really feel the lack of doing my stretching exercises, so will get back to them starting this evening. I just needed a break for a day or so. I need to find a nice, not-too-large outdoor mat for setting outside the truck camper. Something large enough to lay down my exercise mat so I can continue my routine while I'm away from home.

I have just about everything I'm going to buy for the camper ahead of time, although I'm sure there will be little things I'll want to get once I'm in the camper and see how it fits my needs and wants. I'll go to Home Depot for a 1 gallon gas can (for the generator) and maybe I can find a suitable ground mat there. I hate to pay Camping World prices, although they do have some nice looking ones.

After being comfortably cool in the 60's the past week, the coming week will be comfortably warm in the mid 70's range. I think I will prefer comfortably cool, but I don't really get to choose, do I?

I was clicking to enlarge the photos I posted from the party yesterday, and saw one where Chili is in the background looking like a devil dog, with eyes glistening. I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of this very sweet Dobie that were taken a few months ago. I was getting ready to give her some treats, but of course with a Dobie it's best to set the treats in the palm of your hand. If you hold them up with your fingers, those teeth just can't get at them as well.

She is 11 years old, which is hard to believe when you see the energy level and the speed with which she can run. She is just a gorgeous, sweet animal!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Birthday party

I woke up late, for me, at 8:30 a.m., and Lady was still snoozing next to my bed. I had a very leisurely morning, and went to Joe and Sarah's for Keira's 1st birthday.

Donald made the cake. It was three layers, a chocolate, a vanilla, and a marble, with a butter cream frosting under the orange outer layer of fondant. Perfection!

Here are some shots from the party.

And a few more - One is a photo of Sarah's mom and brother, and another is of Arianna from the back. She was tinkerbell, and looked so cute from behind I just had to include that photo. One photo is of the birthday girl with her very own cake, and another is a picture of the two older girls "helping" her eat it.

I got home about 6:00 pm and walked Lady. As soon as we came back home (and she got her treats, of course) I changed into warm pajamas and fleece robe. It's only 57F but for some reason I am cold. Cold and very tired. No stretching for me tonight - I'm going to be in bed early!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Setting up the iPod

I tried last night to set the thing up, and even downloaded instructions found on the web. As could be expected, the computer screens I was supposed to see were showing nowhere on my Mac; I was instructed to register the product, but found nothing to give me a clue how to register it, and to download iTunes to the iPod. There again, no further instruction. I went through every clickable item on my Mac's iTunes but found nothing to allow me to download it to the iPod.

I decided to quit for the evening as I was too tired to go any further. Then I could not turn the thing off, and frustration was mounting. I heard the couple from upstairs talking out on their steps, so I went out and asked if one of them could turn it off for me! I'll get back to it soon, but just don't feel like dealing with it yet. I know I am going to like it though - once I can get it properly installed and running. I spent a big part of yesterday creating the playlists I want on it.

The Roadrunner has an informative link on her blog this evening: http://rvingquartzsite.com/?p=397

I thought I would post it as well, as it is an alert to folks who will soon be going to Quartzsite with their pets. Evidently there is a big problem this year with canine distemper, so it's important to make sure vaccinations are current. The Park I am going to is about 40 miles from Q, so I would think it would be vulnerable as well. In fact, anyone traveling to the southwest this winter would be wise to double check their pets' shot records. Thank you Theresa (Roadrunner) for this information.

I recently read a book about the high incidence of cancer in pets, and it was interesting to me because I seem to know so many folks whose dogs have died of cancer over the past few years, and it seems the number of pets with tumors is increasing. The book goes into many possible causes, including chemicals in the water, and vaccinations. I have started filling Lady's water bowl from the Brita pitcher rather than the tap so as to avoid some of the worst chemicals. I had just about decided to stop all vaccinations except those required by law (mainly rabies), but with the possibility of coming into contact with distemper, I'm going to bring her up to date with that one also. I don't like the way they lump so many vaccinations into one shot, and cover up to 3 years with it. I wonder if that just isn't too much for some dogs' system to handle.

Tomorrow my youngest granddaughter turns one year old, and of course there is a birthday party to go to. I'm looking forward to donning my party hat and celebrating! Actually I think most folks are going to wear Halloween costumes but I'm not doing that. I might stop someplace on the way to see if I can find a cheap witch's hat, but that's as far as I'll go.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in business

Thanks to all those who wished me well, and I'm happy to say I feel a whole lot better today. It was my own fault. I have never been a big eater, preferring small meals and small portions. Now I'm trying to put on weight while doing a tremendous-for-me amount of exercise, and this resulted in an overload on my system. I had a terrible gallbladder attack (which the doctors insist on calling acid reflux), and I took a handful of Prevacid and went back to bed to suffer it out. The Prevacid is OTC, which is only a fraction of the prescription strength, and I spaced them out over a few hours, so didn't worry about overdosing.

I felt better by yesterday evening, and now after a good night's sleep, I'm ok although still wary. I have to eat, but wish I didn't.

First thing yesterday morning, before I started feeling bad, I made my absolute last trip to Walmart. I found about half the items on my list, the unimportant half, and at the checkout asked for $100 cash back. The cashier gave me a $100 bill and said I should go to their "money center" for smaller bills. I was the 4th person in line at the money center, and didn't get to the counter for 10 minutes. The teller couldn't believe that I was sent to her to get what the cashier should have given me, and that I had to wait in line all that time. A lot of good it did me by that time.

Thanks to Karen-in-the-woods for her recommendations on a set of very small speakers for my iPod (which I haven't even unwrapped yet). I ordered them from Amazon and they are on the way to me. I need to sit down and figure the iPod out, but will wait until the mood hits me, otherwise I'll just be frustrated with it. It was nice back in the day when you went to a store, bought a product, brought it home, and turned it on. Long gone, those days. Now things must be installed, programmed, password protected, and other steps before you even know if you like the darn thing (or even if it works at all and you have to send it back for a replacement). Does this make me anti-technology? I don't think so, just pro-simplicity and customer satisfaction. And for those of you who find satisfaction is doing all the stuff yourself, I say "more power to ya".

Depending on weather and other possible circumstances, I should be leaving for Arizona in about 3-1/2 weeks. Next week I plan to start getting together the things I will need to take with me, and I'm already crossing items off the list because of space limitations. I need to get right down to absolute necessities (clothing, generator, cooler for whatever I eat/drink on the way, computer, dog food, et.) and what I don't carry with me I can buy while I'm there.

For example, I have planned on using disposable plates due to smaller fresh water and holding tanks, but if my truck is packed to the ceiling I'll just have to buy some in AZ. I don't know why I feel like I have to have everything with me, but reality is sure to set in when I start loading up all that stuff. Whatever I carry has to either be stowed inside the truck cab overnight, or carried into the motel with me.

I'm starting to get excited, but not nearly at the fever pitch I'll hit in another week or two.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No blog today

I'm not feeling well at all, so I don't think I'll do a blog today. If I feel better later on, I might be back.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More generator talk

If you can take another few remarks about my generator purchase yesterday, I would first say how relieved I am that common sense won out over whatever the female version of "macho" is, and that I bought the cute little model! I was really hurting by yesterday evening, all night, and into this morning, just from picking the larger one up! I'm fine now after stretching this morning and drinking the protein shake. (That stuff is wonderful - I must have been totally depleted of the protein I needed, but it seems to work fast.)

I should have asked yesterday if there was a remote starter available for the genny. However, in looking online this morning it seems that the remote system is available for generators about 2 steps up from mine, so I will just have to pull the cord to start it up. This is really comical to me as I normally don't have anything to do with remotes and here I am thinking about how nice it would be to have one. It wouldn't truly be like using a remote, but more like what I had in the 5th wheel which was a switch inside the rig to start the genny - I could also start it from a switch outside at the unit itself.

As for remotes, you guys reading this can go on all you like about how wonderful and necessary remotes are. You are forgetting that guys almost always hold the remotes, and that includes husbands, sons, and boyfriends. So I just got used to the fact that I never had control of the remote, and when I was by myself I could never find it - usually hidden deep down under a cushion where it would be available when the guy wanted it. I actually don't mind being remote-less - they have way too many buttons with symbols that make no sense to me. But then I don't need them for the few electronics I use - computer, printer, etc., don't even come with a remote that I'm aware of.

An advantage to the inverter generator that I bought is that it is safer when powering sensitive electronics. Now I don't understand much about inverters or converters, as much as I've tried to wrap my brain around it. I just know that somehow the power is converted from alternating current to direct current, and back again, and that my computer and MiFi should be safe, as well as any other such electronics - including a TV if I should ever get one. If I decide to add a solar system as I'd really like to do, I'll have to learn more inverter/converter-speak, but for now I just want to know that I won't fry my computer.

I had a talk with the apartment manager this morning about my parking space while I'm gone, and he assured me that it is assigned to my apartment and that there won't be any problem when I return from my travels. We also discussed the possibility of my being on the road when the lease expires, and he said he can do a 90-day lease as many times as I need one, and that if I'm not here at the time we can do it via fax. So that leaves my mind at ease about that potential problem.

I'm nearly ready to roll.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's like Christmas!

After my morning stretch routine I tried the hi-protein shake with strawberries, bananas, whole milk, and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. WOW! Very tasty.

I had located several places that advertised Honda Generators, so made the rounds to see what I could find. I tried lifting both the 1000 and 2000 models, and could lift the 2000 from the floor back up onto the shelf, but it was not easy. I think if I had to do it very often I would come to hate it, just as I found the large propane tanks barely manageable when they were full. I always got the full tanks up into the bay, but seriously thought about replacing them with the next smaller size.

I talked at length to one of the staff, and then he sent me to the desk to get more info. The man at the desk zeroed in on what I wanted it for, how I might be planning to use it, etc., and strongly recommended the 1000, which I ended up buying.

I don't like A/C and wouldn't purposely go camping anywhere it would be terribly hot to begin with, as I've always preferred cooler weather. I plan to stay well away from Death Valley! I rarely use a microwave, and don't have a TV, nor will I bother with a vacuum cleaner. The model generator I bought will keep the batteries charged, and I expect to spend more time outdoors than inside. So I'm thrilled with it. As long as I can use my computer, the lights, my hair dryer on low, I'll be happy. If I need a lot of power for some reason I will stay in a campground from time to time and plug into 30 Amp.

I realize this style of RVing, or camping, isn't for everyone. It especially doesn't appeal to most fulltimers. It's a great world when we can each do things in our own way, which doesn't preclude anyone from commenting and voicing their own opinions. So if you don't like my style, just fire away, but understand that I cherish my right to follow my own choices just as I respect yours.

I was eating my lunch when FedEx stopped by with my iPod. It is a pretty thing, and looking at the directions I think I can get started with it, although it will be much easier to have my son do it. I might as well take the easy way out on this one, as I need to save a chunk of brain power for getting to know the ins and outs of truck campers. I've learned to pace myself, and exert my energy for things I enjoy doing.

So I've given myself two presents today, and I'm pretty happy with both of them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What to do on a rainy day?

Go Shopping! I didn't get much, just an outfit to exercise in. I can wear anything when lifting weights, but the stretching routine is another matter. I usually wear my pajamas which are loose to begin with, and they get in my way, so I bought a fancy schmancy tights and top (on sale big time!). I also got some protein powder, strawberries, bananas, ice cream and whole milk, so I will try to make a shake for breakfast. I need to gain some weight really seriously and put some fat on - unfortunately my metabolism makes that a problem. My son in law has the same problem, so I will share my vanilla powder with him, and he will share his chocolate with me. I hope the ice cream and whole milk will make it more palatable.

I had forgotten what the rains can be like in a California fall and winter, but it all came back today. You can watch the rain come down in sheets, usually blowing sideways from the winds that seem to go along with the rain. The 10 day forecast is for temps in the 60's which I am happy enough with, and we'll have some sunny days as well.

I want to buy a generator for the truck camper, but don't know if I should get the 1000 model at about 26#, or the 2000 at 46#. I can no doubt lift 46# but do I want to? Some things are easier than others to lift at the same weight. I don't plan to use a lot of appliances in my shorter travels, so it's not like I absolutely require a larger model genny. And I can always hook up to 30 amp electric in campgrounds if I need to. I'm sure that whichever model I buy, I'll wish sometimes that I had the other. Murphy and his Laws no doubt have a lot to do with that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


First on the list of blogs to read this morning was Rick's. He told a familiar tale, at least one I'm familiar with, of spilling coffee on the desk where his computer is situated. I've replaced a number of keyboards in my time including one on a laptop, which isn't cheap, so I felt regret for Rick and was glad for him that nothing was damaged. He and Paulette were able to mop up the coffee before it hurt anything.

But darn it, I was jinxed from then on! While talking to Dave about his-but-soon-to-be-mine truck camper, I was rinsing my hands at the kitchen sink, cell phone between ear and shoulder, when I dropped it. It didn't fall into standing water but must have been splashed enough to mess it up.

I quickly drove to the Target where I bought it, but was told the "cell phone guy" wouldn't be in for another hour. I went immediately to a Verizon store next to Target, who said I needed to have it looked at by a tech. At this point it was getting a screen but no service. So I drove by home to pick up my laptop and Mifi, and took everything to a larger Verizon store where I bought the MiFi. The result is that since the phone is under warranty they will ship me a replacement that I should get by Wednesday of next week.

The MiFi works beautifully, but only when I tethered it to the laptop, and I knew I should be able to plug it into the wall. It took two techs to figure out that I had to "Turn Airport On" - the feature that brings up available wifi networks on a Mac. I normally had it turned off when I used the aircard, and didn't think that the MiFi needed it. So after figuring that out and re-setting the password (for what reason I couldn't determine) I'm at home now and it is working fine.

It didn't bother me to have it tethered to the laptop, except if I wanted to move to a different spot I had to carry it around with me. Also, I plug in a mouse, which I had to disconnect if I wanted to use the printer. Now I can keep one USB port open for when I need it to print or to download pictures from my camera.

Saturday is not a good day for me to be driving in heavy traffic, and on an overcast day at that. I'm just glad I got everything taken care of and now I can relax at home for the rest of the day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Miscellany

Not much happening today. There are a couple of storms brewing out in the Pacific that will bring some rain, and I have had a slight headache off and on today. I guess it's something to do with the air pressure, although I don't understand it.

I set up the ironing board and got out the iron today to press some pants that have terminal wrinkles. I have used this iron no more than a dozen times since I bought it several years ago, but it has never worked right. To make matters worse, I can't find a sturdy ironing board that doesn't wobble and make the iron fall on the floor, so I think the iron is totally worthless. I tried to use the steam function and it just dripped big blobs of water all over the clothes, and the iron didn't got hot enough to dry them.

Not knowing what kinds of flying insects I might find in Nov/Dec in the SW desert, I ordered my favorite Skin So Soft with Bug Guard from Avon, and it was delivered today. Actually, I ordered 4 bottles - 1 for me and the rest for my daughter and/or d-i-l's if they want them. It's handy to have on camping trips, or for sitting outdoors in the evening.

So you ladies who have ever ordered Avon products know what happens - you get the product along with about 100 booklets of specials and the next couple of campaigns, and quite a few small samples. It is fun to look at all the pretty stuff and ponder where in the world I would wear it. I rarely wear jewelry any more, never wear make-up or perfume, and only once in a while wear lipstick. But I'll find something I can't live without, be assured.

Thank-god-it's friday and my weight lifting will take a 2-day break. I've just completed the 5th week of faithfully lifting the weights 3x a week, and I'm looking better, I think, at least more muscular. If I hold my arms a certain way the wrinkles are just about gone, which is good. I should probably add a few more exercises but my muscles vehemently shout "NO" to that idea.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

iPod Nano; lost dog; 2nd post Thurs. 10/21

I have mentioned wanting an iPod Nano on a number of occasions, so this morning I decided to go to Costco and buy it. I picked up the card that you take to the cashier to pay for and get the item, and walked around the store for a while. Just before reaching check-out I stopped to read the card and realized I wasn't buying the iPod Nano I thought I was. The new generation is square, about the size of a large postage stamp. I set things down all the time and can't find them - eyeglasses, cell phone, keys, etc., and this tiny little gadget would be too easy for me to misplace. It's a shame because I liked the idea of the pedometer, which was one of its features.

I then went to Target but they also have discontinued the "old" model. I guess the young kids are demanding tiny, tiny, tiny! By the way, Target is charging $40 MORE than Costco. I came home, went online, and found what I want at the Apple store. It is refurbished and costs $40 less than what I was thinking I'd have to pay at Costco. I love saving money! I ordered it in the color Yellow reasoning that at least if I lose it, it will be easier to spot.

Since the weather is much cooler today I took Lady along for the ride to Costco/Target. When we got back I shut the gate (actually I slammed it because a small car was parked in my reserved spot, which is about the only spot I can fit the big truck into). It obviously didn't catch because when I went out to move my truck after the usurper finally left, the gate was wide open and no dog. I had the front door open so she could stay on the patio and come in when she wanted to.

I got her leash and started looking for her, walking up to the little area we go to twice a day, but there was no sign of her. I was walking back and at the apartment complex next to mine a man came along and asked if I was looking for a dog. I replied yes, and he said "a mangy looking shepherd?" Now I've posted a picture or two of her on my blog, and I ask you, does she really look all that mangy? Anyway, I started toward where he had seen her and called her name, and she appeared around a corner.

I didn't lose my temper and yell at her - she was only doing what would be natural for a dog to do when the gate is left open. I sometimes leave it open when I just go out to put something into my truck or to retrieve it, and she doesn't leave the enclosed area. I guess she was just giddy with the thought of freedom, and I'll be sure to check the gate every time from now on. I was a little worried because her tag is from North Carolina and I've never replaced it.

Clutter; Post #1 Thurs. 10/21

I'd like to let this subject drop because I sense I'm being ridiculed for my feelings, but I just want to say that I have no problems whatsoever with other folks who absolutely adore any new technology that comes along. Go for it. I don't quite buy the idea that everything is geared for a younger market, because if that is so then why aren't all other appliances the same way.

I can buy a microwave that will cook a turkey and perform many amazing functions, but since I don't use a microwave for anything except to warm something once in a while, I can buy the plain vanilla version with nothing except a dial to set the seconds/minutes, and another to set the power if I so desire. What is the difference between a plain microwave and a plain printer. Well, that question isn't meant to be taken literally, but figuratively, and in my mind there isn't much of a difference. I can buy a microwave to suit the use I have need for. It's the same with most other appliances.

If I never take pictures with my cell phone, why should I have to have that feature. I usually carry my phone in my jeans pocket, and sometimes I move a certain way that must set the camera in action, and I find it annoying. I'm not saying that most people don't love the camera function and use it frequently, but for those who don't why is it nearly impossible to buy a phone without it. Or a printer without menus, little screens, and a myriad of buttons sticking all over the front and sides of the printer. Hell, I just want to print a document, or copy something on a sheet of paper, and once in a while I might want to scan something. Ok, I might even like to print a photograph, and it doesn't take rocket science to do that. It also doesn't require the printer be top heavy in keys and buttons and screens.

I guess I just consider all the stuff I don't need or want or use to be clutter. I have enough clutter in my life - on my kitchen countertop, on the coffee table, and on the desk in the bedroom. I'd like to have less clutter.

In my mind I'm finished with this subject. I am not trying to convince anyone - just explaining my feelings, to which I am perfectly entitled.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Installing the printer

I retrieved my new printer today at Jeanne's house. The kids were happy to see me, and Arianna kept shaking her head "no" and wanting me to stay when I got into the truck. She makes me melt.

The installation turned out to be a little easier than the directions. I think the problem is that they write one manual to cover so many computer systems, and it drives me crazy to keep having to page back and forth. I think I will like having the capability of copying and scanning. I still wish I could just have my Lexmark All in One back (2003 model). It was easy and straightforward, with a minimum of buttons to press and lights to light up. And since there was no fax capability I didn't have all those buttons in the way. This is a good compromise though, and more to my liking than any other brand I've looked at.

This is just another example of "every new model is more complex and does way more than you need". One of these days someone in the high tech kingdom will get an inspiration that maybe some folks just don't want all the crap, but just might pay the same price for the streamlined equipment. I know I would.

I stopped by the library to pick up a book that I had requested, and got 3 more CD's, one of which is Cuban music that I'm listening to now. When I was a young child my dad had a record player and lots of old 78's that he cherished. I remember that at least a couple of them were latin music, and as I got older recognized the rhythm of Cuban rumba. I loved it then and love it now. What amazes me is that my father, who was more German than anything else, loved it as well. He also had lots of classical music which he played for hours on Sundays.

Now I have to clean up the mess from the printer box and pick up all those little pieces of blue tape they use as well as all the plastic bags. The test page worked ok, so I'm hoping that the printer will work as well when I need it to.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Printer Delivered

That seems quick! I got an email today saying the printer was shipped on the 18th (yesterday) and would be delivered on the 19th. I had it sent to Jeannie's house, as I usually do for anything too large to fit in my mailbox, and she said it arrived late this afternoon. Unfortunately I don't feel like driving over to get it this evening as I've been out once today and had a difficult time parking - the big Ford Expedition was next to my space which always causes me to make several forward & backward moves.

I took a long nap this afternoon because for some reason I was really tired. Could be because I walked for an hour yesterday evening.

I had planned to wash my truck today but the temps didn't get into the 80's as they were predicted. I think we're finally going to have some fall weather here - several days coming up in the 60's, but also some rain. Th only thing I don't like about rainy weather is coming back into the house with wet dog after a walk. I have some special towels for her but don't know where in the world I put them. I sure don't intend to share MY towels with that smelly animal, much as I love her!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music, music, music

I just returned from Steve's house where he spent 2-3 hours putting 20 of his CD's onto my iTunes. Eighteen of them are Jerry Garcia and the other two are Dave Matthews and Phish. I will have a lot to listen to for a while. Yesterday I checked out 4 CD's from the library and imported them. I listen to CD's mostly while driving on a long trip (I'm getting ready!), and once in a while at home depending on my mood, but mostly listen to Pandora Radio in the evenings at home.

I'm about convinced I need an iPod to carry all that music for traveling, but then I think of the price of one and how I will only use one application out of many, and it hardly seems worth the money. I need to actually watch to see what has to be done to listen to it - if there are a lot of technical steps then I will forget it, and fast!

When I got home I backed into my spot, perfectly on the first try. A worker who is painting the fences remarked "You are really good in reverse. That is unusual". Normally I don't do it so well when there is an audience, but I hit it spot on this time and it was all I could do to keep from shouting "DAMN, I'M GOOD". I'm just glad someone recognizes that fact. I don't know if he thought it was unusual because of my age, my gender, or just because it is unusual to be able to drive well in reverse.

When I was learning how to drive we had a very long driveway, so I got lots of practice. Some of my younger siblings were driving in reverse long before they were old enough to be on the streets with a temporary license. After several of us had moved away from home, we would always gather on Saturday afternoons so little brother Steve could wash our cars. Of course that meant jockeying all the cars around, back and forth on the driveway and into the street in front of the house, and he was a good driver long before he turned 14.

While at my son's house today I showed him how to access my blog and post an entry "just in case". I plan to live life to the fullest, but it doesn't hurt to cover all the bases.

Well it's time to walk Lady, grab a quick bite to eat, and then I'm walking this evening. All this darn exercise has me losing weight, and I can tell my clothes are a looser fit. I need to start drinking milkshakes!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Like all in the RV and blogging community who ever had occasion to come in contact with Margie and Bruce, whether in person or online, I am in shock over their sudden deaths. They made the world and our community a better place, and certainly made me feel like a better person individually just for having known them.

I will miss you Margie and Bruce!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lance Sneak Preview

I have mentioned previously that I don't want to jinx myself, but I thought I would share a photo of the truck camper I am planning to buy. I'm so looking forward to traveling in this beautiful camper, especially to the national parks and forests, and on roads and campgrounds otherwise off limits to big rigs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday rolls around again

Life seems to be in fast forward most of the time now, except when it comes to waiting for something, like a truck camper, or delivery of a printer. Speaking of the printer, I mentioned that it cost me $49.95, AFTER a $50 reduction, so it would normally be just under $100. I'm happy with the price, and pretty certain I'll be happy with the equipment.

Today is an exercise day and then I'm "off for the weekend". I feel muscles I was never aware of, but I'm keeping up with it all. The stretch routine is fun, but I think that is where all my achy muscles are coming from.

I'm stocked up with library books, most written by the woman who wrote "The Hidden Life of Dogs". As an anthropologist she has spent years observing all kinds of animals in the wild and it is really interesting to see the links to our domesticated animals. I started reading "The Tribe of Tiger" but doubt I'll finish it. I'm just more fascinated by wolves and wolf behavior than with lions or tigers, and dogs way more than cats.

I go back and forth between my old reading glasses, and the nearly useless ones I recently had made. I must have dropped the old ones in the parking lot a few days ago when getting out of my truck and didn't find them until the next evening, kind of bent. I wore them anyway and it was not comfortable at all, so I stopped by Walmart's optical department today and had them straightened out. The tech didn't take long to do it and didn't charge me anything.

Thankfully a cooling trend will arrive on Sunday and we'll have some consecutive days in the 70's. I wouldn't mind 60's at all.

I took a nice long nap this afternoon - my sore muscles needed it. I usually lie on the couch during the day but this time I fell asleep on top of my down comforter on the bed. Ahhh, heavenly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another new printer

I recently bought a Brother laser printer, simple B&W, which is incredibly easy to install and use. And for a person who sometimes has a patience issue, it prints very fast. This morning I received an email from Costco.com with various online offers. I normally just delete these types of emails unless I'm looking for something specific, but for some reason I glanced at the items on the page and a Brother printer caught my eye. It is a Brother color all-in-one printer. Yes, it has the number pad for the fax and all sorts of controls, but they seem to blend in and not stick out all over the printer, so I think I can close my eyes to all that junk unless I need it. I'll be very happy to have a scanner, and since I have been completely happy with the Brother laser printer, I feel sure I will like the all-in-one.

The price? $49.95 (plus CA sales tax), with free shipping. For less than $55 I am essentially buying a scanner, but will also have the option of printing in color, alhough I doubt I will use it for color printing unless I want to print a photo. Those things use entirely too much ink, and I never have been able to get it right on the first try, so it's cheaper in the long run for me to go have a photo printed commercially. I will also have a copier as well as a fax, but I think I would need a land line to send or receive a fax?

I walked with Jeannie at Mather Field last night. She had Arianna in the stroller, so towards the end of our hour I offered to push the stroller as I know Jeannie likes to run a few laps around the soccer field. Speaking of running, a group of teen-aged girls were practicing on the field. As we were walking I heard girls approaching, quite a few of them (I counted 14), all talking a mile a minute. As they passed me I realized they were running! I might be able to run one length of the field but talk while I'm doing it??? Oh how youth is wasted on the young. I'm sure they don't think anything about it, whereas an older person who suddenly received that gift would be overwhelmed with elation and gratitude!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Banking and RVs

Although I am not in a hurry at this time, several readers told me I should call my bank and request access to the money that I deposited at least a week ago from the sale of my RV. I say I'm in no hurry, because I can't go anywhere right now except to local stores, and I certainly don't want to spend that money yet!

I'm not surprised at all because I've been through this before. When I sold my condo in Virginia (2003) and my house in North Carolina (2008) the proceeds were wired to my account and I had instant access to them. When I wrote a check for my 5ver and truck, you might remember I sat and cooled my heels for nearly a whole month because the seller's bank held up the funds. Of course they disappeared from my account within a day or two, but the seller couldn't even see them in her account.

In this instance, the full amount I received from my 5th wheel showed up in my account, and I'm almost certain I will be credited with the interest on these funds.

I have been dealing with a Federal Employees Credit Union in Cincinnati since I was 17 years old, and have watched it grow from a two-person office, to a full banking center with a number of branches in the metro Cincinnati area. I realize how much like a bank it is today when I was kept on hold for 35 minutes while "they were assisting other customers". Since my only phone is a cell phone and the minutes were ticking against my account, I finally hung up and emailed them.

I still love this credit union and wouldn't take a regular bank in place of them in a thousand years! The system is what it is and I can't do much about it, although knowing how they work, if I told them I needed xxxxx number of dollars right now to make a purchase of an RV, I'm sure they would allow me access to it. A credit union is more likely to bend the rules once in a while whereas a bank is more rigid. They have bent the rules for me many times in the past, including when I was living in Ireland and needed to buy a car, so I will go along with the situation as it is right now. As I said, I can't go to purchase and pick up the RV right away, and the money will be available when I can.

In the meantime I'm just trying to keep my excitement down to a manageable level, and try not to make too many lists of things I want to get for the camper. And of course I need to do an attitude adjustment on the amount of space I think I need, although that shouldn't be too difficult for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My (soon to be) Lance Truck Camper

I am so eager to see this camper and to get it onto my truck, that I think of very little else during the day. I've even joined the Lance Owners group, although not yet as a paid member so I only have limited access to forums.

My bank has put a hold on the proceeds from my 5th wheel sale, releasing some of it on the 21st but the bulk of the funds on the 28th of October. So I can't do anything in October. I have a number of things coming up in November - mammogram and bone scan for instance - and I had an appointment scheduled on December 10 with the eye surgeon. I moved that appointment up to November 19, so I can just take off shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Don't want to be traveling past all the malls on Black Friday! That should give me all of December and as much time as I need to make the trip south and take care of the transfer, and enjoy the sights while I'm there.

There is a small problem with my eyes, but I am using the power of positive thinking in that regard. I will know better where I stand after I've seen the doctor, although it all seems so far off. I have my "list of 5" to start planning for and I'm anxious to get started. I still have my trip east to work toward, but at least I won't have to worry about finding campgrounds with big pull-through sites, and can avail myself of way more opportunities.

So I'm going to stay positive and keep researching everything Lance. And of course I am keeping up with my weight training as well as the stretching routine. I haven't felt as good, physically, in a long time!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why do I blog?

Sometimes it's really difficult to know why I do it. I do know, though, that it isn't the same as when I started out, and I feel bad about that. I've been tempted quite often in the past few months to just drop it, but I like to keep a journal of what I'm doing, how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, and a blog is perfect for that. I'm not sure if I would continue it if I didn't publish.

What I am going to do for at least a while is to write my blog, and read the blogs I usually read, but I'm skipping the comments. If I have a comment to make I will email the blogger, assuming his or her email address is available. And I will only comment once in a while. I don't mind it at all if I don't get any comments on my posts. I think my email address is posted, so if it's really something you relate to, disagree with, or just feel strongly about, then email me. And if you like to use the Comment feature, then go ahead, but just understand that I am not planning to reciprocate for a while. I can always change my mind, but I'd like to try something different that may keep me in the blogging arena for a while longer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

RV in my future?

Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader, I have found what looks to be a good Lance truck camper for me. I haven't seen it yet, although I've discussed it at length with the owner, so I won't write much about it now in order not to jinx myself and my chances. To say I'm excited would be the understatement of the year! So for the next 2 or 3 weeks, please just keep your fingers crossed for me.

I went to the farmer's market this morning and bought some good items, including a small cantaloupe that is so delicious I couldn't believe it. We forget how tasty fruits and vegetables can be if we don't get a chance once in a while to get them soon after being picked in the field. I almost didn't stop, as a pass through the parking lot didn't turn up a parking space I could get in to without great difficulty. I decided to park across the street in front of a for-lease building, and I'm sure glad I did.

I then went on to the library and found a book by the same author who wrote "The hidden life of dogs". The sequel to that book is called "The Social Lives of Dogs: The grace of canine company." My old canine has been very inactive the past couple of days, and hasn't eaten much although she certainly goes for her treats fast enough.

I haven't been very active today, but by contrast I'm starving! So I will stop at this point and have my supper.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My list of places I want to see

I don't have much to write about today since I just did a bit of shopping with Jeannie and only came home with two big, yummy-smelling jar candles. I probably wouldn't even post an entry, except for being inspired by Margie's blog yesterday, wherein she listed 5 places she was glad they hadn't missed in their journeys, and 5 places they want to see in the future. She invited comments and lists from readers, so here is my choice.

The 5 places I want to see when I get back on the road

1. Capitol Reef National Park, in Utah: I have seen several references to this park recently, but Laurie's recent blog cinched it for me;

2. Crater Lake, in Oregon: I have only heard wonderful things about this park;

3. Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, in Wyoming: I'd love to see these parks when the crowds are gone, and do some major wildlife viewing;

4. The state of Maine (and possibly up into Nova Scotia): I have been to Maine several times, but never in an RV, and never into the deep woods. Hopefully I will find a camper that will take me there.

5. Tied for 5th place (sorry folks, I just can't decide) are the Grand Canyon, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Unless I can figure out a time when there aren't hordes of tourists, I might forgo the Grand Canyon.

As for the 5 places I'm glad I have been to, I can easily think of 5 and more, but they weren't visited in an RV. I think Tokyo would top my list - it is beautiful, safe, the people are majorly friendly, and it is unbelievably large.

That's it for now.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Side kick - HAI-YAAAAAH!

The Taekwondo class was interesting, especially the "Little Dragons", which is the group Autumn is in. She passed the test and now has a yellow-white belt (or did they call it a white-yellow belt?).

I was very proud of my granddaughter as she was attentive, polite, and kept her eye on the instructor the whole time. Some of the little kids were nearly bouncing off the walls! She was assertive during the actual class and test, but became very shy when it was her turn to go up to receive her belt.

I was fortunate to be able to spend 5 weeks at the COE Compound in Seoul, Korea in the 1980's, and on Organization Day, which was a fun event, they had a Taekwondo exhibition that was fascinating. I'm not really interested in martial arts, but it is amazing the amount of skill, control, and grace is needed for it.

I went to Staples this morning and bought a plastic tub that has rails to hold hanging file folders, so I hope to be able to organize the box of files I have. From beautiful wooden file cabinets in NC to a cardboard box under the bed in the 5th wheel, these files have become scrambled and out of order, and in some cases obsolete. I have gone through them to try to set up an organized system, but I wish I had bought the labeler I pondered over for at least 10 minutes, deciding in the end I didn't need a labeler. If was afraid if I got into it I would be labeling everything I own!

Having been a woman of high organizational skills in my former (work) life, I reject it all now and prefer to mostly be a lazy slob. The trouble is that old habits don't want to go away, so I am only half each of an organized slob.

After a lovely week of weather in the 70's, we will head into the 80's tomorrow for at least a week. Most long-time Sacramentans are already crying about the cold foggy weather ahead, but I'm looking forward to it. Maybe by the time it gets here I will be able to head out in my new RV, whatever that may be.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My body told me emphatically first thing this morning, "No exercise at all today", and I'm trying to oblige. I have muscles that I didn't know I was exercising that are aching. Nothing really severe, but it's time for a time-out, for 24 hours at least. With all the muscle I'm building you would think I could gain weight. Muscle weighs more than fat, right? Well I have no fat to speak of (except maybe between the ears), and I've lost weight! I'm not getting on that scale again.

The MiFi is humming along at warp speeds. There are some things that I haven't figured out - it doesn't seem to work when I plug it into the wall, but only when I plug it into the USB port of the computer. Oh well, I can do that. I also think it is quirky about turning on and off, and the flashing light could get a little distracting, which was why I wanted to plug it into the wall in the first place. I'm not complaining though. I don't get this kind of connection except when I'm at my daughter's house using their broadband, so I'll baby it along.

I am several chapter from the end of the book, "The Hidden Life of Dogs" written by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, an anthropologist whose career spans nearly a half century. The book is not what I thought it would be. The author lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and studied wolves on Baffin Island (somewhere deep in Canada, is all I know about Baffin), and applied what she observed of pack behavior in a remote spot and from a small pack, to observing dogs who lived in her household for many years. These dogs mated, bore young, many of whom remained with her and gave her an opportunity to follow the lives of these animals and to know and understand their behavior, especially as it relates to their ancient wild ancestry.

Thomas has also written other books, including "The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture", "The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World", and "The Old Way: The story of the First People", among many others.

I've found this book to be fascinating, as it gives a look at animals most of which we have removed so far from their natural state that they probably have only a distant memory of what is dog. I'm definitely going to try to find some of the author's other books.

I think I will attend Tai-Kwan-Do this evening, to see my little granddaughter with her class as they are taking "the belt test". If she passes she will get her second belt. I never was tempted to enroll any of my children in a martial arts class, as they found plenty of ways to fight with each other as it was. But in my granddaughter's case, it is amazing to see a child who is painfully shy around non-family members be so at home in the group of classmates and instructors, and to follow directions so well.

So far, other than to do my laundry, it's been a lazy-dazy day for me, but I'm surprisingly anxious to get back to my exercise program tomorrow.

I'm patiently (well, trying to be patient) searching for my ideal truck camper. I have the model in mind that I think would suit me, although I'm open to just about anything. I've just about decided on a truck camper (also called a cabover, slide-in, and pickup camper), although there will be some attributes that aren't what I'd like. I like the idea I don't have to carry my entire life with me but can pack up what I will need for a week, a month, or even 6 months, and take off into the wild blue yonder! I won't even have to unload it if I prefer not to - in fact, most campgrounds won't let you unload them. But I also hope to avoid campgrounds except to take on fresh water and dump the waste tanks, and I probably could do that without ever entering a campground.

I may turn 180 degrees from my current viewpoint, which is ok with me if I find something I think will work better for me. But let's face it - I probably won't be at this ten years from now, and actually a lot less. I don't want to invest money and effort into something I will have to worry about getting rid of in the future.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trying to get fit

I think some of my recent upturn in mood is attributable to the exercise program I've set for myself. I was starting to feel that way back in the spring when I was doing a lot of walking with Jeannie, but then she went off maternity leave and back to work, coinciding with warmer daytime weather, and the walking sort of fell by the wayside.

I will have to admit I feel the aches and pains that programs with stretching and working with weights are apt to bring on. If I move my left arm a certain way, it lets me know that it just wants to rest at my side. And walking does the same thing with my legs.

No matter what discomforts I have I hope I will continue doing what I'm doing. I won't go any higher than 2# with the weights, though, at least for now. The AM and PM stretch sessions that I began yesterday are excellent. I remember now how good I was beginning to feel when I lived in North Carolina and this was part of my daily routine. The biggest problem is finding the space to stretch out in without hitting the furniture or the dog.

I have been lightly searching the ads within CA and surrounding states for the truck camper I would like to travel with. I want nothing elaborate, i.e., no slides or fancy electric things with remotes. I just want to be able to travel to places that might otherwise be off limits to a larger rig, and/or spaces that I can back in to easily.

While I like all the comforts of life, I think there are a lot of them I can do without, keeping just those that I need. I realize that I could straighten up the 5th wheel so that it looked pretty presentable, but this apartment is entirely different - don't know why that is. I can't even blame Lady for cluttered countertops!

So I will keep looking at leisure for now, and hope I can come up with something that will serve me well for a few years.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A new toy!

AT&T's air card hit my last nerve this morning, and in a fit of pique I called and cancelled the service as of today. Then I drove to the Verizon store nearby and bought a MiFi device. The salesman loaded the software and got everything set up for me, and I didn't have much trouble when I got home - just figuring how to turn the darn thing on. I hope it becomes more intuitive as I go along. At first I couldn't connect, so I used the USB connection to my computer and everything works now. But I don't want to have to connect to the computer as that takes up one of my two USB ports, so it looks like I will be buying another hub in the future. Right now I have the mouse and MiFi plugged in, but I might want to add the printer at some point. Why is nothing easy any more?

I logged into my bank account online as I usually do every day, and they have completely changed the screens. What was a beautifully simple process now is much more complex, and you have to go through more steps to see all the info you want whereas it used to be right there on one screen.

Back to the MiFi, I don't think I have ever had smokin'hot wifi that was any faster. This thing is incredibly fast, and so far I haven't gotten a "Connection was reset while loading" message even once! I just wish I had done this switch a few months back and I would have saved myself a lot of grief!

I'd appreciate comments from current MiFi users to the following questions:
1) - the service status indicator light that is on the long edge of the card flashes intermittently. Does this indicate that data is actually going back and forth over the wires, or what? Then it will stop for a while, begin flashing for a while, and stop again. I want to put this device somewhere that I can't see all the flashing going on.
2) - It also came with what I assume is a charging device. Must I charge up the unit prior to being able to use it while not connected via the USB?
3) - anything else you can tell me about this speed demon? I think I'm going to love it when I get to know it better - heck, I already love it.

I may be back to post later on today if something memorable happens. I also want to mention that it will take me a while to catch up on blog reading and leaving comments. The service I was getting from the air card was so sporadic and unpredictable I sometimes could barely read my email without going out and sitting on the patio.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moving along

It is amazing how much better everything seems to move along when something finally goes right! I've had a wonderful day today, although I did some pretty boring things - found a copy machine (I simply have to buy a scanner), took care of mailing quite a few things at the post office, and spoke with the insurance agent and my contact in South Dakota, Terri of MyDakotaAddress.

If I have understood it correctly, I wouldn't have to license a truck camper in SD, but I would have to pay the sales tax to the state where it was purchased: 6% in SD, but -0- if I buy it in Oregon or Montana. Needless to say I've been researching Oregon RV dealers and craigslist.

I returned the tights to Costco from my last trip there. I was mistaken that they were mid-rise (I am ok with mid-rise), but they were low rise and I just wouldn't ever wear them. I came out of the store with the dog book I mentioned in a previous post. It is called "The Hidden Life of Dogs" by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and I have already read a couple of chapters. Fortunately for me, the print is darker than it is in some books - not bold, but dark ink - and it is much easier for me to read although I do have to be in a decent light or preferably by the window or outside in natural light. It's a fascinating book, to me at least.

I would like to thank everyone who wrote words of congratulations and encouragement on my sale of the 5th wheel. I appreciate all your good thoughts. I hope I will be able to get back to at least a part-time RVing life because the yearning to travel increases weekly rather than subsides. There is SO much I want to see and places I want to go, and I'm hoping I can find the perfect RV in which to do it.

The weather should be in the 70's up through Friday, which is exactly how I like it, and I hope I can be a little more energetic than I've been lately. Today was an exercise day, and I went up to 3# weights in each hand. I think I will need to find some additional exercises to do on an alternate basis, although I haven't really tired of any of them since each exercise only occurs once a week. The stretch DVD arrived, and I can't wait to get back to that as well.

I didn't get to cross everything off my list for today, but accomplished enough to feel good about it. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I just signed over the title to the Hitchhiker 5th wheel, and picked up my check. I'm relieved, and I hope the new owners are pleased with what they're getting - a spacious RV that is comfortable for full-time living. It is a couple that bought it, so maybe between the two of them they can manage it better than I could. I feel great about it!
Now, the question is, do I buy something to replace it, or do I wait until my next visit to the eye surgeon?

I will have to take care of business tomorrow, cancelling insurance and sending the check to my bank, etc., but maybe I can get my camping stuff together. The big problem is how cold it will get at night in the tent. Maybe I should use my backpacking tent which has a full-coverage fly, and would be warmer than the dome tent I have been using. I don't worry about being cold once I'm in the down sleeping bag, but the dog might be uncomfortable.

I am so relieved I just don't know what to do next for now. I need to figure out an interim header picture for this blog for one thing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lunch out today

I drove to Steve & Megan's today, and went with them and Liam to a favorite restaurant for lunch. I was really craving their fish and chips, and it was excellent. The lunch is just enough for me - two beautifully cooked filets plus good french fries & coleslaw. I am not a lover of fries but these tasted so good I ate most of them.

I got an early start from home as I wanted to stop and buy a couple of items. I did the trilogy of K-Mart, Target, and Walmart, and I have to say they are DISMAL! And getting worse. They are continually reducing the merchandise I go to those stores to buy, in order to fit in their grocery departments. Walmart has even remodeled so that you have to pass through the food section in order to get to anything in the store.

I got tent stakes and doggie glucosamine tablets, and I hope I don't need to go back into one of those stores again for a long time. I should have stopped at Big 5 to get the tent stakes, but I went over some side streets and didn't drive directly past it.

I'm hoping to use the tent stakes soon, but I have a long babysitting day ahead of me tomorrow and will get through that. Joe & Sarah are going to bring their girls over to keep me company. I'm glad for it although it will mean a lot more noise and commotion with 4 little girls, but I don't think I could handle two of them by myself all day long. I'm sure past my prime in that respect. At least I can take Lady over with me and leave her in the back yard.

I didn't get many comments on yesterday's post, and I certainly hope no one took it literally! (Irony: n, The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.)