Saturday, October 31, 2009

The "Grands" On Halloween

Well as usual with children, our "Grands" enjoyed their Halloween Trick-or-Treating.  After we had eaten a quick supper in the motorhome, we drove back to their house to take photos. 

Grandpa stayed at their house to pass out the candy to all the little goblins that came by.  The rest of us, including DD and DSIL, went out into the dark of the night....FULL MOON, enjoy the holiday.  We were lucky this year as there was no rain falling.  It was cold outside, but not put your long johns and mittens on,  kind of cold. 

Mackenzie was a leopard and Zoey was Minnie Mouse.  They had a fine time and we didn't stay out more than an hour.  That was plenty of time for the girls to gather up enough candy to keep them in business for several weeks. 

It was a very, very busy day for us old folks.  Tomorrow we can rest and relax after church.  Hopefully, that is.

Until next long for now!

It's Spook-tacular

It really is Spook-tacular to be able to announce the arrival of 2 new "followers".  They are:

1. Randy and Pam Warner
2. Cindy
I hope they enjoy reading along and following us through this crazy journey !  Thanks so much !

We babysat today since our DD and DSIL had to work.  They have to work before every holiday since they are managers in the grocery business.  That means we get up at 5:30 sharp, no lounging under the warm covers, to be there by 7:00 am.  We are already on deck for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We're leaving Tumwater on Dec. 26th, so they'll have to make other arrangements for New Year's.

We never have a problem keeping busy when we're with the "Grands".  They like to go a mile a minute.  At one point Zoey was inspecting Bruce's head and face and she wanted to know why he didn't have as much hair now, and how come he had lines on his forehead.  Did someone draw them there?  Ah, they are honest little folks and don't mind saying it like it is.

Bruce got some tubs of ready to bake cookies, we purchased during a school fund-raiser, out of the freezer.  He decided to bake them up with the girls this morning.  They all had fun...and they ALL sampled way too many times.

I also got out the Play Doh stuff from the closet and the girl's got busy making....I don't know what.  They had fun, though.  They even cleaned it all up when they were finished without having to be asked.  WOW, that was a first and I'm not complaining.

After DD got home, we came back to the motorhome.  I needed to prepare a baked ziti casserole to take over to a family from our church.  The mom had surgery for cancer and we are taking turns bringing meals to them for the next week.  I was able to save a supply of those cookies from this morning to take dessert for the family, and we're taking a green salad over, too.

In a couple of hours we're going back over to the "Grands" to go trick-or-treating with them.  We aren't wearing a costume, except those that make us look like Grandma and Grandpa.  We won't hang around long after, that will be enough for the day.  This is turning out to be one very busy weekend. 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Until next long for now!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rise And Shine, Ready or Not !!

First on my agenda this afternoon is to welcome my 2 newest Followers to this RV blog.  They are ---

1. Kouisse and Bidou
2. Cajun Gal

Welcome along on this weird journey of the Fulltime RV life.  I hope you will be enterained by my musings, if not informed. 

It was raining quite steadily when the alarm went off at 6:00 am this morning.  The weather prediction on last night's bedtime check indicated that it would be.  So, we set the alarm for that ungodly hour of 6:00 am so we could get up and out to WalMart before breakfast.  That sounded like a good idea last night, but this morning I wasn't so sure I was ready to crawl out of the warm flannel sheets and hit the shower.

It took some prodding from Bruce, and I was soon standing with 2 feet on the floor.  OK, I was leaning against the bedroom wall, but at least I was upright.  I got into the shower first while Bruce did the early dog walking duty.  Annie takes a diuretic and these things cannot be put off.  All went well, Bruce came back and showered after me and we were soon merrily driving along to the WalMart in Lacey. 

When we pulled in, we could see several RV's parked there enjoying a "freebie" courtesy of our local Wally World.   If this WalMart parking lot should get full with the annual Canadian snowbirds heading south, there is a new Cabella's right across the freeway (Interstate 5 at exit 111) which also allows overnight stops.

Of course, at this hour there were very few customers at Wally World and we had the run of the place.  Who in their right mind would come out in this rain to begin shopping by 7:15???  Remember, I said "right mind" of which we are not in tune with apparently.  We buzzed out of there in about 30 minutes and for once did not have to stand in a long line.  They have about 25 checkstands at this location but normally only have about 5 open.  This morning, being so early, there was one.

Got home and put the groceries away....gave Annie a second walk (diuretic, you know).....and we were on our way to McDonald's for breakfast.  This is not our usual Mickey D's date, but I had the dining table all messed up with my scrapbooking stuff and I didn't want to move it just to eat oatmeal.  (sounds good, doesn't it?)

Enjoyed our usual English muffins, coffee and reading the USA Today.  I liked the fact that the Phillies beat the Yankees in the first game of the series, and that article was a favorite.  We saw some of the regular Breakfast Club folks at McD's and said our howdy's to them.  When Bruce went to get our coffee cups refilled, Kathy, our friend and asst. manager jokingly told Bruce they were going to have to just run a hose out there to our table from the coffee pot.  We get 3 cups of coffee...EACH....and then we're on our way.

Right now, I'm enjoying the quiet.  Annie is snoring on the floor beside me and Bruce is napping in the chair.  His back is hurting today and it could be late ramifications from the physical labor he put in last Saturday and Sunday.  He's such an old man!

By the way...does anybody know where the spell check tag is on the "updated post editor"?  I can't find it.

Until next long for now!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank You To My Followers

Imagine my delight this afternoon when I checked my blog and found a new "Follower".  I have to admit, I've been remiss in acknowledging and thanking my Followers.   The folks that read the blogs are what make it worth the time and effort to do postings.  Knowing that somebody out there in Blog-Land is looking in on our activites and wanting to find out about the Full-time RV lifestyle is encouraging, to say the least.  So......

Thank You to...... newest Follower
Margie and Roger
K & D in an RV
Rick & Paulette
Squawmama  (love that name!)
Jerry & Suzy
Brian 'n 'Tricia
Rick & Gail
Loopie Lucy

Even though we are staying put in one location until December 26th, I'm trying to post something of interest every few days.  Even if not on the move everyday, we are still full-time motorhome dwellers and there are certain aspects of that life that are...well...different, and possibly interesting.

 Autumn is the season, it feels more like Winter to me.  This morning when we set out for our walk at 6:50, it was 36 degrees.  I'm certain over the next 2 months, I'll have something to post regarding RV life in the cold weather.  I just hope it doesn't get to the extremes that last winter gave us.

Last year I hadn't gotten into the blogging thing very much and was still floundering.  This winter and the upcoming year, I'm hoping to post many more additions to both of my blogs.  Besides just traveling,  Healthy Living  is important to us even as we live fulltime in our RV.

So once again, while I contemplate new postings I'd like the thank everyone who is reading this blog.  Come back again, and leave a comment too.

Until next long for now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Find A Penny, Pick It Up

"Find a penny, pick it up. Then all day you'll have good luck" is how the saying goes, I think. We seem to find an inordinate number of pennies when we are out on our daily walks. On the face of our money, including the penny, reads IN GOD WE TRUST. When I pick up a penny we find, I like to think about that and know that I can, and do, trust in God. But the penny also means something else to us.
When we see pennies, we think of my Dad, Bob. My Dad loved to save pennies. In 1999, my Mom was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer and they decided it was time to move from Clarkdale, Arizona up to Tumwater, Washington by us. So, in early 2000 Bruce and I spent a lot of time at Mom and Dad's in Arizona helping them get their home ready for sale.

We spent a lot of time going through cupboards, drawers, and closets helping decide what to keep and what to get rid of. We planned for a couple of garage sales as well. While we were doing these things, we seemed to be finding a lot of pennies. My Dad was one who (for some reason) stashed pennies inside things. If we pulled a vase off the shelf in the dining room....we'd find a stash of pennies. If we pulled a collector mug out of the kitchen cupboard....we'd find a stash of pennies. If we pulled a jar or old coffee can off a shelf in the garage....we'd find a stash of pennies. And so it went. In Dad's closet and dresser he also had boxes of pennies.

I told Bruce back then that the penny shortage could be solved if we just got Dad's pennies back into circulation. Bruce went down to the Bank of America, in nearby Cottonwood, were Mom and Dad had an account. He asked them if we could bring all the pennies in, and how they wanted them. He was told that they ALL had to be rolled and could we please just bring in about 30 rolls at a time.

So each night after we had finished our chores for the day, Bruce would sit and roll pennies. Every time he thought he had finished....we'd find more! If memory serves correctly, we ended up with over $280.00 in pennies. Just pennies. By the third day of taking pennies to the bank, Bruce was known to the tellers as "the penny guy". They weren't even his pennies, and yet he still got tagged with that moniker.

It is kind of funny now. Dad is gone but his memory lives on every time we see a penny and "pick it up".

Until next long for now!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Thought Fulltime RV Life Meant No Yardwork !!

One of the best parts of being a Fulltimer and living in our motorhome, is the fact that we don't have any yard work. When we had a yard, I liked to keep it neat and tidy. We didn't let it go too long without weeding, mulching, raking and so on. So, part of the allure of a fulltime lifestyle was that we could get rid of all the yard maintenance equipment and the reason for having it. So, why did we spend 5 hours today doing strenuous yard work?

Our church had need of several volunteers today to clear out brush and limbs from some recent tree trimming on the church property. Bruce and I volunteered to join the group. Since we are gone from our "home church" a good part of every year, we like to help in the areas in which we feel able when we are here.

This photo shows some of the brush that had been collected on the church lawn. I took the photo after about 1/2 of the debris had already been chipped up. Fortunately, we had a great day for this activity. It had rained heavily just yesterday. Here is the chipper/shredder that had been rented from Home Depot to get the job done. Bruce (in red shirt) is helping the operator, John, run some limbs through the machine. There was a chute that spewed the mulch out into the lake front property. This organic mulch will be great for the forest floor. Our church owns this property across the street from our it was no problem.
We had about 7 or 8 people doing this tree limb work. I helped with that for about an hour and then went over to help with the weeding and clean-up in the area bordering our parking lot. That job was difficult, but we managed.
At 12:30, we all took a lunch break and enjoyed some pizzas and salad. It was great and tasted good....not good for my diet...but what are you going to do? This was not a time to be picky. We were all exhausted. This just shows that if we all work together, we can accomplish a lot.
Bruce and I went home to take a shower after this work. I had just gotten out when the phone rang. It was Mackenzie, our oldest "Grand", asking if she and Zoey could come over and play for a while. Oh man! That was probably the last thing I really wanted since we were so tired. How can a Grandma refuse a sweet little voice on the phone? I couldn't. So I said, "Sure come on over." While Bruce napped in the chair, the girls and I played restaurant for a while. This is their favorite thing to play. Then we needed to do some crafts (of course). At 5:00 we called Mommy and Daddy and said....time to come and collect the girls, we're ready to call it a day.
I'm sure we'll sleep well tonight. A little Tylenol can't hurt for those aching, sore muscles though. After all, we are a couple of "old folks".
Until next long for now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Windows 7

Yesterday Bruce walked over to Costco, which is across the street from our RV park, and picked up a copy of the new Windows 7 program. Like a lot of people, we have the Vista system with our PC. Over the past 5 months or so, we began experiencing aggravating problems when using the computer. So, we figured we may as well get this new Windows 7 program and see if things improve.

Our son, Dennis, came over to see if Bruce needed any assistance in getting things backed-up and saved before proceeding to install the new system. Did he think we were stupid? Well, not exactly...but he knows we are in the technically challenged category.

Everything got finished the way it was supposed to be done, we bought Dennis lunch as a thank you, and we tried the computer to see if things worked better. Yes, they do. "I" don't work any better, but the computer seems to perform better for us now.

It is raining cats and dogs, as they say, today. It will be a good day to stay indoors and hunker. We can give the new Windows 7 system a good work out.

Until next long for now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pray For The Children

Looking Up At Heaven........ I saw on the news today that the body of missing 7-year old, Somer, from Florida was found. How tragic. I cannot imagine what her family is going through. My heart breaks for them. Unfortunately, this happens much too frequently these days.

I pray often for the safety of our own girls, Zoey and Mackenzie. You try to teach your kids and grandkids about safety, but somethings just happen anyway. Sometimes when I lie in bed at night, praying for our "Grands", I wonder how many little ones are out there...right at that very moment...being abused, hurt, raped or murdered? The numbers are unfathomable I'm certain. When I think about those littlest of victims and pray for them, I am praying that God will be with them to give them whatever comfort and strength they need.

I know that this post doesn't have anything to do with our RV lifestyle, but it is on my mind today and weighs heavy on my heart.

Go out and hug your kids and your own "Grands" and tell them you love them. Or phone them. Do it...right now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Day On The Farm

At least it wasn't raining yesterday when we ventured out to the dairy farm. Once a month the elementary age youth group from church have an outing. This month it was out to the town of Elma (west of Tumwater) to the farm that belongs to Bill and Jenny from our church. They graciously offered to give the kids a tour. Bruce and I went along and took Mackenzie and Zoey. It took about 30 minutes to drive there.

Before setting out on the tour, Bill, the dairy farmer told the kids that things would smell "funny" and even "bad". That was all a part of being on a dairy farm with over 300 cows. He was right! First thing we got to do was climb aboard the hay wagon and Bill pulled us along the idyllic countryside while we enjoyed the scenery.

As I've mentioned on other posts...please double click on a photo for a larger view:

This was our hay wagon, and even though fresh hay was loaded for our ride, we still got plenty dirty from the wagon. Here's our Mackenzie riding along with her friends.
Zoey and Elijah had fun, too. Neither one had ever been to a real dairy farm before.
I wonder what Zoey is telling Bruce about?
After the ride around the fields, we pulled up to the cow barns. Here, Bill is telling us that the place smells worse than usual because the cows have been inside for 2 days. It had been raining heavily the past 2 days and when that happens the cows stay indoors. The farm hands wash out the cow barns every day, but the cows still poop in there a lot. After a few, "gross" "ewwww's" from the kids, they settled down to just listen to Bill. And...the poop wasn't just inside the cow was in a lot of places and we all have the shoes to prove it!
Bill, gave us a demonstration on how they flood out the floors of the cow barn to wash away all the cow waste and try to keep it clean. They even have a recycled water system for this.

Here are some of the cows enjoying their food. They have ear tags for identification, plus they each wear a computerized bracelet on a front leg. This sends data to the farm computer which will log in, among other things, where the cows walk each day and even how many steps they take. If they don't move around enough it isn't healthy for them.
We even got to walk back into one of the yuckiest areas (floor, that is) to have Bill show the kids where milk really comes from. He allowed any of them that wanted, to try and get milk from the udder. Some of the kid's had no idea about cow's udders and the milking process. So for that experience, it was worth the stinky, dirty floor.
We also got to go into the enclosure where the newest calves were held. They had large baby bottles with the cow's milk and those that wanted, could feed the calves. Some of the kids wanted no part of this...Zoey was one. The cows were moving around quite a bit and rubbing against us and some of the smaller children were frightened by the strength of the calves. Plus, they got our clothes all slimy and stinky. Lots of stinks going on here, let me tell ya.
Here's Mackenzie standing by one of the new calves. She wasn't afraid at all, and neither was the calf.
Out behind the cow barns, Jenny and Bill took us to see the calf houses. This is where the older calves stay until they can join the main herd.
Here I am trying to make my way through the mud. That wasn't all it was either, we found out! Good thing I wore my old shoes.
Here is a resident "mouser". Every barn needs a few of these.

This is Nellie, the farm dog. She was a real sweetheart and even rode on the hay wagon with all of us.
After the tour of the cow barns, each child got a pumpkin to decorate with markers. We also had a wienie roast and some apple cider. Zoey didn't want the wienie, she just wanted to eat the bun. OK...whatever. She'd already had lunch anyway. Zoey and Mackenzie had a good time decorating their own pumpkins.
At the end of the day, we got all the kids gathered on one of the large tractors for a group photo. They made their goofy poses....they are kids after all. Even Nellie got in the picture.
After good-byes and thank-yous to Bill and Jenny, we drove back to Tumwater. I phoned our daughter, Stephanie, to tell her we would be arriving around 5:00. I told her we were all pretty smelly and dirty and to be prepared to get the girl's showered and shampooed right away. When we got to their house, Stephanie was waiting in the laundry room. We got the girl's undressed and put their clothes (and even their jackets) into the washing machine. Off they went upstairs to get showered and Bruce and I took their shoes out into the yard and cleaned all the cow poop and mud off of them.
When we got back to the motorhome, Bruce and I did the same thing with our clothes and shoes. Yes, even our jackets got washed. They had bits and pieces of calf slime and who knows what all over them. Annie was excited to see us return and she sure spent some time sniffing all over us. Annie loves cows....really, she does.
It was a great experience for us city folk to go out on the farm. We had a great time.
Until next long for now!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day With Zoey

We had the pleasure of entertaining our granddaughter, Zoey, today. Our oldest granddaughter, Mackenzie, was off with Mommy and Daddy to her first official gymnastic meet. It was being held north of Seattle and was promising to be a very long day, so Zoey came to stay with us.

We had a few errands to take care of and Zoey was up for the challenge of going along even though it was raining like crazy. First stop was Costco for a few of their coupon specials. I got Zoey to stop by the fresh flower stand for a quick photo. One of Zoey's favorite things to do at Costco is to try the samples offered at the demo tables.
She got a piece of a power nutrition bar and thought it was great. I'm not sure an active 4 year old needs more "power", but she enjoyed it anyway.

After getting the things we had on our list, it was off to....where else....McDonald's for lunch. I let Zoey select the table today and she wanted to sit at the counter with the higher stools. Not our favorite place for eating, but it was Zoey's choice and she wanted to sit here. It was fine. Zoey got the chicken nuggets and fries with chocolate milk. Bruce and I opted for the more health conscious grilled chicken Caesar salad. I brought our own salad dressing from home as I am always working on our weight control. See it on my other blog
After lunch we had to make a stop at JCPenney's for new socks and then a final stop at Bed, Bath & Beyond. We got a new shower caddy and were now on our way back to the RV homestead.
At 3:00 we went to our daughter's house to fix dinner for the 3 of us while we waited for the gymnast to return. Bruce watched the USC/Notre Dame game and was very happy "his" team (USC) won.
It was after 7:00 pm before Stephanie, Darin, and Mackenzie returned home from the meet. Mackenzie had competed in 4 events: floor exercise, vault, bars, and balance beam. For her first meet, Mommy said she did really well. By now, Grandma and Papa were pooped. On our way home we stopped off at the corner gas 'n sip and got a coffee to take with us. Annie didn't have any.
Tomorrow will be another full day. After Sunday School and church, Bruce and I are taking the girls on the monthly outing with the elementary group from church. We're going to visit a dairy farm. Moooooooooooooooo!

Until next long for now!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Visiting My Friend, Peg

When we land back here in Tumwater for a while, I always make time to visit some of my "old" friends. I mean that in both contexts of the word. #1...I've known them for a while, so that sort of makes them my old friends, and #2...they are, well, old.

As I've written way back in the blogs beginning, we had last lived in a 55+ development where we were actually the babies. When we moved there in 2000, I was 49 and Bruce was 53. Not quite the 55 requirement, I know, but close enough since we needed to move there for my parents care. Most of the residents at Eagle's Landing were 75 years to 95 years old. This age difference was fine and dandy with us, we enjoyed all of our great neighbors and formed deep friendships with many of them.

One of those older couples moved in right next door to us just 1 month after we had also moved in. They were Bob and Peg. At the time, we had no idea that Bob was 85 years old. He was so robust and active. He was quite the gardener and he taught me a lot of things over the 9 years we knew him. I enjoyed conversations with him almost daily out in the yard over the picket fence. One night, about 3 months after they'd moved in, our doorbell rang about 10:30. Luckily, we hadn't gone to bed yet. I opened the door and there was Bob, with a doorbell from off his wall in his hands. It was one of those wireless types and he had it all screwed up trying to get it to work. We brought him in and Bruce looked the doorbell over and figured out what was wrong with it. Then we went over to Bob and Peg's house to reinstall it. I can't begin to even remember how many times over the next 8 years we lived there Bruce would have to go over and fix the doorbell. After one such time, we just went over to Home Depot and bought them a new one. They also could never program their VCR and then when they got a DVD player we had to go over quite a few times to get the movie started for them. It was quite a hoot, actually.

When we sold our house in Eagle's Landing in 2008 and moved into our motorhome, Bob had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was doing real well with it, though. He even worked in his yard that entire summer. Sadly, Bob passed away this past February. Fortunately, though, Bruce and I had gone to visit him about a week before he died and had a great time talking with him and Peg.

Bob's widow, Peg, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. We were in Florida at the time and she phoned me there to share the news. She just needed another friendly voice to hear her problems, and I felt blessed she called on me. She consequently went through radical surgery in July and had some complications resulting from that. As soon as we got back to Tumwater last August, Bruce and I went to see her. She looked great.

I've seen her a couple of times since then and she has now begun chemo treatments. This is Peg's picture from my visit with her today.
Peg has begun losing her hair to the chemo now, but that did not dim her beautiful smile today. We had a great visit and she filled me in on all the details regarding her youngest great-granddaughter. She also told me that this morning she baked 2 blackberry pies.

Peg has always enjoyed cooking and sewing, and she isn't letting cancer hold her back. She is planning an overnight casino tour in 2 weeks with a couple of her friends. I treasure this great lady, and so many of my other "old friends" back at Eagle's Landing. They are blessings to me beyond measure.

Until next long for now!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Quick Post With Trees

We had kind of a "do nothing" day today. After the usual morning routine...1 hour walk, shower, dress, walk Annie again....we ate oatmeal for breakfast. Then after that we needed to make a quick trip to Home Depot and Costco.

Over at Costco, the trees in the parking lot were turning a beautiful shade of red from their summer green. Pretty amazing for right here in little old Tumwater. We have better color displays if you venture out into the countryside, but we didn't feel like taking the trip as it was beginning to rain. This Costco store is right across the street from our current RV park.

Down by the Home Depot store, about 1/4 mile from Costco, we saw these nice looking trees. These are nothing like you can see in parts of the mid-west or New England to be sure....but it sure beats the pants off anything we had down in Southern California when we lived down there. Palm trees don't change colors!

It continued to rain lightly off and on all day. Overcast sky and sort of a ho-hum day. I think we'll head over to McDonald's and get a nice cup of hot coffee. Maybe we'll take our books and even sit long enough to get that free refill. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
Until next long for now!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Latest News on Annie the Schnauzer

We took our friend, Annie the Schnauzer, back to the vet yesterday for her check-up. It had been a month since the last blood test and visit with Dr. Mitchell. She wasn't happy about going back and I'm sure she was thinking she might have to stay overnight again. Dr. Mitchell said her blood work was good and it was time to reduce the amount of Digoxin she was taking. Her weight was up a little over 3 lbs. in just a month. That is quite a lot for a little dog who is usually only 17 lbs. I had noticed the past week that her belly seemed a little inflated. As we had suspected, she has begun retaining fluids again. So, back onto the Lasix once a day. That will mean extra walks for Annie as the fluid leaves her system.

Her heart rate was OK....not great, but OK. It wasn't in the danger zone anymore at least. Overall, for a sick dog she is doing fairly well. Her appetite is better than it was 2 months ago but some days she is still reluctant to eat right away.

She is back to taking 3 medications twice a day, so we bought her a weekly pill container of her own. Pink of course. It will be easier to keep track of the doses of Lasix, Digoxin, and Enalapril she must take.

On her last visit to the groomer, we had her shaved down pretty good. After staying overnight at the vet's, her fur was all matted. It was easier, and less stressful for her to just have Deb at Petco take the fur off rather than try to get it unmatted. It will grow again.

She will go back to see Dr. Mitchell again in one month. We may have to send Annie out to get a part time job to cover these expenses. She has no health insurance.

Until next long for now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Home Maintenance

Even as a fulltime RVer, home maintenance chores continue. is a home, after all. Today was the day Bruce needed to clean out the bathroom sink drain trap. He is so lucky to get that great job! I'll write the blogs and let him do the yucky chores. The sink had been draining slowly the past few days, so Bruce got the tools and the bucket out to fix that issue. It took a while to pull it apart and then get all the accumulated gunk out of there. I stood by with the camera. In no time at all, he had the task finished. The sink drains well now, and the stopper will actually hold water. As it should be!

It's nice to have a man around the house....especially for these jobs. I wouldn't know the first thing about doing the trap cleaning job. That is one reason I admire fellow fulltimer, Gypsy, so much! She is a solo fulltimer and has to do all of these types of things on her own. I'm not sure I'd have what it takes to manage this lifestyle solo. Amazing woman, that Gypsy. Check out her blog for yourself and see what I mean.
Until next long for now!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Preparing For Winter....Ready Or Not!

I'm not looking forward to it. I'm not really ready for it. Those of you not heading for the warm climate of points south know what I am talking about.....WINTER. We can't avoid it, though, it is all a part of nature's cycle of growth and regeneration.

It was 28 degrees in Tumwater yesterday morning. Brrrrrrr. Our heat pump is reluctant to warm us up at those low temperatures, but we still had the propane furnace to keep us cozy. With the "Grands" being here Sunday morning we didn't want the place to be too cold for them. When we are here alone, we can turn the thermostat down low at night and rely on our electric blankets for added warmth. When we've got the little people here, that do not keep their covers on, it is a different story. This morning the low temperature was only about 34 degrees and the heat pump did it's job.

Even with the onset of winter looming ahead, my little African Violet is still blooming. Given enough light, water, and fertilizer it will bloom almost constantly for me. It is the only house plant hold-over from our sticks-n-bricks home. When this one bites the plants are history for me. It's kind of cute, and for now I'll keep it. Bruce went outside this weekend and put the insulating wrap on our water hose. We bought this at Home Depot last winter and it kept the hose from freezing even when we never had a high temperature above 30 degrees all of January.
Last winter we also bought this space heater at the Home Depot. It really helped out when we only had 30 amp service. It took less to operate than our electric heat system (when it would work, that is). The main savings with the space heater was not having to use the propane furnace. This little heater keeps our main living space nice and warm. It is a Lasko brand and has a thermostat and will oscillate also.
So far, we've done all we need to do in preparation for old man Winter. Hopefully, we won't need the snow shovel like we did last year!!!
But hey!.....we only have 75 more days until we can head south for 2 months.....but who is really counting? (us)
Until next long for now!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night Sleep-Over

The "Grands" have been wanting another sleep-over, so tonight is the night. We enjoy having them over and it gives Mommy and Daddy a chance for a night out on the town with a free babysitter. Can't beat that with a stick! When Mackenzie and Zoey arrive the flurry of activities arrives with them. Makes my head spin most of the time.

It is now nearly 9:45 pm where we are (Tumwater, WA) and everyone is sound asleep except me. Now is the time for me to enjoy some peace and quiet. I can hear the rhythmic breathing of Bruce, Mackenzie, Zoey and even Annie down there on the floor in her cozy bed. I'm no where near ready to fall asleep. Thought I'd take time to document our activities for today with the "Grands".

Getting out the dress up accessories is always a favorite pastime for Mackenzie. I went into the bedroom and snapped this photo of her checking her image in the mirror.
Not to be left out, Zoey then wanted me to take a photo of her. She is the ham in the family.
Zoey and Mackenzie both enjoy pulling out all of their kitchen toys, too. Today we were all playing restaurant. Poor Bruce was trying to watch the golf tournament on TV, but he was also supposed to be eating at the girl's restaurant. Grandpa's just don't get it sometimes!!

After they tired of restaurant, they wanted to work on art projects. I pulled out their bin of art supplies I keep on hand for just such occasions. Today they got busy putting together some cut and paste Halloween pictures. Grandma had to cut out scary looking tree trunks and some pumpkins, too. Then they wanted to make Trick-or-Treat noisemakers. We pulled out some sturdy paper plates and put some dry rice in one. Then we inverted the 2nd one on that and taped it around the entire edge to seal in the rice kernels. They decorated those and then the noise began as they shook them loudly and sang cheerleading songs (don't ask me....I have no idea what the two had in common!). I kept waiting for Grandpa to ask them to pipe down so he could hear the TV....but he didn't. I guess he had given up on hearing the broadcast and was content to see the picture silently.
After all of this activity, I wasn't going to be cooking any dinner tonight. We carted them off to the Tumwater McDonald's and got some chicken nuggets for them and salads for us. We topped it all off with the ice cream cones before leaving for home.
I got them into the shower, one right after the other, and scrubbed and shampooed them both. Now it was time for a rousing game of Kings in the Corner. Zoey played with Bruce as a partner since she is only 4 and doesn't quite understand the whole process. Mackenzie eventually won the game so that made her day. She isn't really a very good loser....and we know from personal experience.
By this time I was exhausted. We made up the sofa bed in the living room and Mackenzie put on the Disney channel while Zoey and I went back to the bedroom to read books. After 4 story books, it was time for TV off and going to sleep. It didn't take long...maybe 5 minutes.....and they were both so sleepy they hardly knew I took their picture.
Tomorrow morning the request was made for "Eggs in a Hole" for breakfast. I've got the alarm set for 6:00 am so Bruce and I can get up before they do. We can shower and dress before they are even waking up. I'm taking the girls off to church by 9:00 am......Bruce is playing hooky tomorrow and going off to Seattle with our S-I-L, Darin, to watch the Seahawks game. I'll be looking forward to a few hours of quiet time.....ALONE!
Until next long for now!