Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Good Attitude Promises To Take You Far

While on my daily walk today I noticed a funeral sign around the bend and took note which house had the door swag.  Oh my, another death in the neighborhood.  We oldies are dropping like flies. This gentleman was the father of one of my son's high school friends.  Guess Sweetz and I need to get on the scenic roads before our trail ends.  Life is short at our age.  When young, life seems to stretch to infinity.  But after what seems like just a few turns, we wake up one morning staring at those final curves. 

One of my favorite activities is to read travel blogs of the RVers enjoying our country.  It's best when there's a bit of humor.  Some blog entries lately have shown enough humor to get an audible chuckle from me.  My favorite is the dry humor - the kind you sometimes have to digest just a sec before the laughter erupts.  I used to have lots of humor, then life happened along some curves.  But I'm  finished moping around and decided it's time to lift my face to the sunny skies and rejoin the happy race.  This world gives us more than enough pain and anguish so now I'm trying to squeeze out all the joy I can.  Sweetz would surely pop in about now to correct me to say I still have some grump days, but they are getting fewer and farther apart. 

Some blogs are drier with just day-to-day stuff while others have sprinkled their entries with helpful tidbits of life on the road.  In the meantime, I think I'll begin to make some lists of things to solve before we leave since we'll be gone from home awhile.  Things like, what to do about the mail, our indoor plants, the extra things that will be nice to take with us on this longer trip.  Will I get bored?  What about wifi, and cellphone reception? How can I satisfy my voracious need for books?  Security and winter prep of our house while we're away? The list flows on. 

Our winter get-away plan is to run south then west.  I've never been west of the MS River and those famous places need to be seen up close.  With a camera in my hand, I think I could be very happy.  My mom is 88 and will be left behind.  In preparation she is getting herself mentally prepared for our absence.  She has a darling little friend (Ruth) who is happily sharing her life with my mom.  They pal around several days a week and spend time at a lake retreat that belongs to Ruth's family.  Sometimes they have a pack of ladies join them and it sounds like they have a ball.  They even get out on the lake in the pantoon boat nearly every time they go.  So things are settling into place and soon my MainMan and I should be able to dip our toes in the gulf and then on down the road to be able see our first cactus.  I see pictures of the west that RVers take and drool makes its way down my chin.  Hopefully after Christmas our wheels can roll.   Then I will want to go again.  Why not?  It's our final curves. 

Sweetz said he was going to a hardware tomorrow to pick up a few things for the camper.  Ummm, sounds real serious!  Not sure what he's planning. Well, we'll keep busy with whatever we can find until the calendar meets the map.  We don't have a toad, our car is too heavy.  We have bikes, pedalled ones, so that's one thing we're trying to figure out...how two geezers can see the country in an RV.  He mentioned getting a motorcycle with a side car. He dropped that idea when I mentioned that I hope he didn't get stiff riding in the side car.  We saw a motorcycle for sale down the road from us a few days ago.  Guess we could ride double. 

Yep, sounds like it's time to make some lists.  And I can ponder things like: what is he planning to buy at the hardware tomorrow?  I showed him some storage holders one blogger had installed on his closet doors which I thought was neat.  Think he's planning to copy that idea?  Well, don't you think it would be a fab idea to get final approval from the little wife before anything is screwed in?  My smiling good attitude better last me all day tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Friends and Neighbors

Today was nice - and cooler too.  The day started with a light rain but eventually the front moved out and it was a nice day.  It seemed like a good day to get a few errands out of the way so after a shower I headed out to cross some things off my list.  While out and about, my Sweetie called to say he was in town too and we decided to meet for lunch.  Nothing fancy - just KFC - for something different.  Haven't been there in YEARS.  They now offer grilled chicken so I decided to get the 2 piece meal with 2 sides and I got my chicken grilled.  Wow, it was good.  In fact everything on the plate was delicious.  Sure, I'd go again.

After lunch, I decided to visit an old friend who is confined to the house because of some family issues and she was just delighted to have me visit for some adult conversation.  I took her a couple of pumpkins from our garden to decorate her porch.  She was so appreciative and wants me to come again for a visit.  We go waaaay back and I think she's just the sweetest person.  Even under great strain, she can still smile.  I left feeling so much better than when I arrived. 

It was later than usual when I got my walk in today.  On the way back home, I stopped to talk to one of my neighbors.  He's doing ok, but his wife has had a relapse in her cancer and is again undergoing another round of chemotherapy.  She's having a hard time with it.  Wow, but she's a trooper.  I offered to help however I could and hope they call if  I can be of help. 

It was a good day to slow down and enjoy people who have touched my life. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wind Wishes

Last night Sweetz suggested we sleep in the RV to verify the loft as a viable sleeping choice.  We bought a new mattress this summer and we surprisingly found it quite comfy.  The cars driving up and down the road was just enough to keep me from falling asleep easily, but eventually I dropped into Dreamland USA for nearly 8 hrs.  Of course, there were moments during the night when I realized I wasn't in my bed but I'd go back to sleep.  It was a cool night so we had a few windows open and it was quite pleasant.  We decided the loft, or maybe we should call it the upstairs bedroom, will be doable so I threw out the idea of taking the rolling wheels out for a few days.  The school kiddies are back in class so family vacations should be over for the season.  Now, it's time for the oldies to head out for some fun.  Oh, but guess our trip will be after Labor Day, mustn't forget that normally busy weekend.  We can go around those days though.  Not sure what we'll do since Sweetz is a slow decider in such things.  Gotta have everything figured out and settled in his mind before he will go to the next step.  Wonder why I didn't figure that out many years ago.  It would have made life with him so much easier.   I'm impulsive and he's...well, how WOULD I describe that trait?  Premeditative perhaps?  Anyway, I plant idea seeds and water them and fertilize them...and sometimes they sprout into his very own ideas!  He's a hoot if I can be patient and wait for the sprouting to occur.  Oh, but can't tell him.  No, he doesn't read this blog and actually will wait for me to tell him what I wrote.  hehe  He and computers don't merge - but he's ok with me being on it.  Whew.

We had two itsy bitsy sprinkles today - just enough to wet the ground, with cloudy skies most of the day.  The temps were ever so pleasant today.  Like a teaser of fall weather.  We have several LARGE oak trees around the house.  One is particularly blessed with acorns.  Thankfully, it's our only oak which seems to have a massive crop this year.  They pop off the tree all day and all night.  Sweetz said it would be over sometime in September although I'm not sure I will survive this acorn pop dance.  I sweep the porch several times a day which fills 2 gallon containers from just a portion of the porched acorns each day. The other acorns are hiding in and around the pots, containers, grill, shoes, etc.  I must do a quick sweep because if I linger, I'll get knocked on the head several times.  One day I may be knocked out with a concussion from one of those acorns. The bulk of them pop into the yard so mowing the grass might be a challenge. Oh, and yes, they are getting bigger each week.  At this point a nice windy day would be looked upon as a blessing - perhaps the bulk of them would fall which could reduce my sweeping days.  One can only hope. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My goodness!

Time sure does rush by when you're having fun.  Or maybe that's because I've been busier this week too.  We had lots of rain and the garden nearly flooded.  Talk about muddy and depressing!  But the sun came out again after several days of rain so we salvaged about half of the garden.  Most things were on the way out anyway and the extra water finished them off.  Gone are the squash and cuke plants, but we had a generous amount to eat this season and were they ever good!  I have a few squash and cukes in the veggie bin of the fridge but when those are gone, I'll have to buy produce again.  Ugh, will hate to part with my money for veggies that don't come up to Sweetz' garden fresh produce standards.

One night this week one of our town's seafood restaurants burned.  I drove through the parking lot today and checked out the building.  No pictures since I didn't have my camera.  I see no hope of that building being salvaged so they will have to rebuild.  That's where we meet some other couples for lunch after Sunday morning services.  No one has suggested where we should meet tomorrow.  I think they are all in denial. 

Dam view through the railing.  Sweetz was driving and he sees little need to slow down for any photographs!  The water is real muddy and the water was pouring over that dam.

Another view of that same dam

I picked parsley today and basil.  I stuck some of the sprigs of basil in water to root.  They root very easily and quickly.  I'm thinking it will be wonderful to have fresh basil after the frost kills the plants outside and hope I can keep these growing inside.  In the back is a jar of local honey.  Yum, yum, that will also be tasty on some hot biscuits one morning.  Oh...do I remember how to make biscuits??  It's been awhile.  And, of course, there are a few peaches in the front.  Thought I'd make another peach cobbler for Sweetz and me.  Another yum, yum. 

This jar of honey is very light golden color, although this picture doesn't do it justice.  Maybe if I took the picture in the sun, the color would be true.  But in the meantime it's dark outside so I'll have to make do with this picture. 

This is my basil pesto.  I watched a video online today which showed how to make it.  The internet is quite a learning tool!  One video suggested freezing a batch on waxed paper.  After it's totally frozen, I'll score and cut in squares then place them in a zip lock baggie back in the freezer.  That way I can use a square at a time over the winter.  Some people use this pesto with cooked pasta, or added to cream cheese to spread on crackers, but I plan to use most of mine to add to spaghetti sauce, meatloaves, and soup.  There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh basil in Italian dishes.  Yum, yum once more! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Musings

I picked two banana peppers from my porch garden today. These will come in real handy for fixing supper in a bit. I made tomato sauce today and added peppers, onions, basil, and oregano. It's in the freezer now and sure will be delicious this winter.
 This little guy is about 3 inches long and is so closely color-matched to the ground that he was nearly invisible. He's a great illustration of God's gift of camo to keep him safe. If only we humans could be camouflaged sometimes to keep safe from the barbs which come at us as we walk this earth.

This little fellow was just one of many on one of our butterfly bushes.  They flit around with seemingly one goal in mind and that is to fill up on bloom nectar.  They adore this plant and I couldn't be happier having several so we can watch all the butterflies continually enjoying the blooms.
Here's one of our enormous sunflowers which are in the process of  drying its seeds.  The cardinals who visit our yard adore these and check the drying process every day in their anticipation of some scrumptious eating in a few weeks.  Now, if we can save a head before the birds realize the seeds are ready, we might even be able to have several seeds to plant next year.  I wonder who will win?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dragon Mouth

Another shop, shop day.  Went with mom on Thursday and then today with a friend.  Sure was nice to get out of the house.  I don't need anything but being out and about with no strings attached is wonderful.  It was hot both days but staying in the stores is a fine way to avoid the heat outside.  I bought a couple of little things both days, since at this stage in my life, buying things just to buy things offers no  pleasure.   

One place we went today was to a large consignment store and there were items for sale that I already OWN, or mom has, or I used to have and gave away!  There must be a name for this stage in life.  The sad thing is that the items are given little value in this day.  The old generation's decor is out and the new generation has little interest in old things. I wouldn't want much of it either - but these things were of good quality.  There were customers lined up at the registers buying so I'm thrilled some people liked and had a use for them! Of course, there were some interesting things and I bought a cell charging station.  It's made of wood where the ones at the big box stores are covered cardboard.  I already have it set up on the counter with our cell phones hooked up.

Sweetz suggested that the charger station would be great for our west trip.  I was also thinking it will help declutter our little camper counter.  There's a little tray on the charger station where we can put change, keys, etc. so that's a bonus.  In addition to the cell phones, we can charge my camera and also the GPS there.  Hoorah for neat-nik items.  Am thinking I will use a small lightweight basket on the counter to organize our "stuff" while on our trip.  We also have a "junk" drawer which needs to be organized since it has ended up being a catch-all site.  Isn't it strange how there always seems to be a junk drawer wherever you live! I'm still waiting for lower temps before I tackle cleaning the interior of the camper.  Acorns are beginning to fall in our yard, so autumn is coming and will be here before we know it. 

My brother retired last week and he's enjoying himself - working on some projects like cleaning and organizing his garage.  He has a Mustang he has been restoring so now he says he will be working more on that and other waiting projects.  And I must not forget golfing.  He won't tell me how many games he's played but I wouldn't be surprised if it's nearly every day.  That guy LOVES to play golf about as much as he loves Duke.  He and my SIL are in the Raleigh area to help babysit their two grands with their son so little mom can attend an out-of-state wedding.  Hopefully they will take lots of pictures and he'll email me a few. 

My shopping buddy and I ate lunch at Macaroni Grill today and I couldn't eat all my serving of pasta, so brought about half home.  I nuked the remainder and had it for supper and then a serving of frozen yogurt to extinguish the flame in my mouth.  Obviously my lunch choice was way over my highest "hot" setting but fortunately my mouth has quit flaming.  I felt like a dragon for awhile - probably could have broiled a steak with the heat from my mouth. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

For Better...or Worse

Well, I signed onto Facebook tonight.  Been resisting it for quite awhile but guess it's time to get  Connected.  Who knows where all this info goes... Up and down Cyber Road I guess.  Had some chats and a few comments on my wall to answer right away.  What a hoot, guess it will get better but navigating the FB highway and people wanting to chat all at the same time kept me busy until I became more familiar with it.  I'm off now.  Took a detour to read some of my favorite blogs.  I like the traveling RV blogs best since I like to to see what the people are doing, where they are camping, looking at their attached pictures. I feel I know some of these people but they don't know I'm reading them since I seldom make comments.

Mom and I went out for a few hours today - and grabbed lunch at a soul-food restaurant.  It was good although richer and sweeter than I like.  Not a fan of sweet or buttery veggies, but occasionally I will eat there for a different dining experience.  I gave mom the option of there or a new Greek restaurant.  Umm, maybe I should have given her more options!

We went in the Tractor Supply store.  They had nearly EVERYTHING imaginable.  I bought a can of rust resistant spray paint for a project and worked on it after I got home.  Now, why didn't I take a picture of it before, during, and after?  Not sure, brain lapse I suppose.  Perfection doesn't come easy.  Anyway, it wasn't all that entertaining anyway.  Although we now have black grass in my work area.

Sweetz put the upper bunk board and mattress back in the RV today.  That's what I have been painting.  All ready and dry.  Looks ok.  The sheets are on and we plan to spend a night in the camper in our driveway when it's not as hot.  This will be a shakedown session to see if we can manage two on a queen with the added fun of a ladder.  Oh well, there's always the sofa as a backup.  I was reading two new blogs last week where both families remodeled/redecorated their RV.  Both painted the walls; made new curtains, slipcover for the sofa; used coordinating sheets, dishes, wall decor, towels, etc.  Both also ripped out the carpeting and installed bamboo laminate.  That sounds awesome to me. Loved the pictures they posted. Yep, I mentioned this all to Sweetz.  He just looked at me...Well, at least I planted a seed.  He's not one for spontaneity.  HA, that's a laugh.  He's like someone cemented down with huge bolts for added stability.  Tornadoes can barely move that man.  But he met his challenge when we married for better or worse.  I can be his worst nightmare sometimes.  Ha, but he loves me.  Right?  Well, he stays, and smiles most of the day.  I must be doing something right...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Night Fever

Walnuts on one of our trees.  They are about the size of pears and look like them too.

Nope, no fever, and it wasn't all that hot today.  Relatively speaking.  OK, 91* --- but after readings close to 100* for weeks, the low 90's are soooo much more bearable. The humidity must have been down today too because it definitely didn't seem as sticky. 

I took the bike out today for a spin - biked over 30 min and it felt good.  Even went up and down some slight inclines and it wasn't hard at all.  Guess all that walking for 3 weeks has paid off with some increased leg muscles.  Today was Saturday so most of the neighborhood was home.  As I scooted around the neighborhood, I saw some folks I don't see often.  Some give big waves, say hello, or smile. Some actually turn away as I get close.  How rude!  And this is the SOUTH for Pete's sake.!!  Yep, I'm gray headed, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid.  In fact, probably the opposite 'cause more stuff gets stuffed inside the brain cell library over my walking around years.  Ok, bear with me while I vent occasionally. 

Our son gave Sweetz two driveway reflectors for Christmas last year and my MainGuy finally got them in the ground today.  So, now it should be easier to back out or drive in without wondering where the driveway ends and the ditches begin.  I live here and it's still difficult sometimes.

Reflector got hammered in our hard clay

I painted the (hopefully) final coat on the upper deck RV bed.  We are trying to get the wheeled house ready to roll.  As soon as this heat wave is over, we'll probably head out to enjoy some rest from the usual domicile retirement life.  You know, different views, different experiences, different activities.  Makes life more enjoyable. And I can take lots of pictures while MainGuy wants to fish.

Sweetz hopes to retire the end of the year so we're waiting for that eager moment.  Then we plan to do a bit of traveling to the south and western parts of the continent.  I think that will be nice to roam while this locale freezes.  I don't want to have to even look at a snow shovel!  Hope gas is still available and  rea$onably priced.  But who knows about this country.  Will I even recognize it in a few months?  So many "changes" that I didn't ask for or deserve.  So right now, the idea of traveling to other areas seems a treat.  Hope that option remains open for all the RVers across this country. 

We need a name for the camper.  Nothing seems quite suitable yet.  Our son agreed to my suggestion that we trade cars with him (he has a little compact for computing daily to work) during our western traipsing.  We'd have to get a hitch but his car's weight of 3500lbs seems workable.  Not sure we should depend solely on the bikes for gallivanting too far from our wheeled home. hehe

It's small and cozy, just enough room for two

Today I saw a LARGE strange moth creature on the mailbox.  Not sure what it is.  Ugly would be a good descriptive word for it.  Was about 3 inches long with large wing breadth.  It stayed there a long time.  Resting?  Napping? Planning it's travel route?

One big ugly moth

Sweetz saw a turtle in his garden compost pile which he said had a piece of tomato in his mouth.  I rushed out with my camera but never could find it.  Smart Turtle vs Slow Senior?  He won.   

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day Out with Hubby

Yesterday, I went to mom to her church to a ladies' lunch.  There were two musical groups who provided the entertainment, and the lunch was delicious.  Since I've gone to her church quite a few times over the years, there were people I knew and it was good to see them again. Now, I'll invite her to attend something at my church, even though I'm fairly new and don't know many of the people.   

When Sweetz asked if I was interested in going with him on a few errands this morning, I quickly said "Sure"!!  It's nice to get out and about for most any reason.  I walked my 2 miles this morning and came home my usual soaked with sweat self.  After a shower and shampoo, I slipped on dry clothes, dried my hair, and off we went.  While he was busy doing his stuff, I sat in the car and watched people hurrying here and there, in and out buildings and offices. 

Hurrying, scurrying, rushing.  I enjoyed watching the show unfold all around me.  I had my years of that fast pace and now it's pleasant to sit and enjoy the show.  There were pretty houses, some which must be in the historic district.  Then a sad scene when I saw a huge landmark of old textile mills being torn down.  The end of a era for America.  I'd prefer to buy merchandise made in America again.

On the way home, the sky got really dark and before we could get home, it was literally raining katz and dogz.  Could barely see a foot in front of the car.  Even the wipers on "clean the windshield fast, baby" was insufficient.  We could use the rain, but it was a whum-dinger to all happen in one hour.  Lightning, wind, thunder, and rain.  I need to look at the rain gauge to see how much we got.  Are those home gauges accurate?  Well, a close is better than a guess.  Just looked - yep, hanging on to a flashlight while traipsing down the stairs in the dark to the flower bed to check it. Perhaps it needs to be moved closer to the door.  Well, looks like we got about 2.5 inches of rain.  Now, that was a lot of rain in an hour!  It's still dripping off the trees, and the humidity is 91%, but at least the temperature is 76.  Ahhh, but the AC is keeping me cool and dry inside.  Gotta love a good roof especially on occasions like this.  Thank you, Lord for all your blessings.  And now the tomatoes will grow even BIGGER.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning Curve with Blogger Changes, Must Love Patience

Yep, I walked again today, and a bit longer.  When I got back and while I was cooling off, I did some basic math trying to determine how many hundreds of miles I would have to walk to lose a pound!
3500 calories =  pound. 
Ouch.  But I'll keep trying.  It was cooler today but the humidity was still high.  Ok, one out of two isn't too bad.  I come back sweating and half wet, doubt this will get any better over time, but there's a good feeling during and after a walk.  A mini "high".  Hey, at my age a mini will have to do.  And dry clothes help me feel better too.   The hat's is ready for tomorrow's walk.
walking hat
My books are due at the library tomorrow so I need to make a trip to exchange them.  I have one to finish but maybe I can accomplish that before I pull out for the library.  Of course, it's possible to renew but it's a goal of mine to have them all read.  Nooooo renewing books.  Claire Cook also wrote Must Love Dogs.  There was a movie made from that book.  Can't figure out with the changes on this website how to underline so this will have to do for now.  

Peaches are in season and I'm enjoying them this year.  These are real sweet so are ripe and easy to eat. 
Blogger changed a few things on their website and I'll just have to figure out how to work everything.  Maybe Claire Cook wrote about loving dogs, but I have to figure out how to love Blogger again.  More changes - hey I like changes.  Just need to spend a bit more time navigating the system.  It'll come.  I'm confident.  I have time.