Monday, December 29, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The state of Alabama has been inundated with rain the last two weeks. It has been cold, wet, foggy, dreary, foggy, wet, dreary and cold up until the last three days when it has been warm, humid, foggy, wet and dreary. Today--the sun decided to come out. It was wonderful!

Despite the wet, Patches has taken a couple of walks every day. I have yet to figure out why she'll wander for an hour in one campground yet at the next one will only circle around the perimeter of the trailer over and over and over, fearful of leaving the "yard" surrounding the trailer. In Langston, we had no one around us, there were trees and squirrels and the lake and yet Patches wouldn't walk away from the trailer except for one day. Vicki says that Patches showed her where the term "'fraidy cat" came from. Sad, but true. But this week I've taken a couple of pictures around the campground because like our trip to the beach, it's been too foggy for scenic photographs of anything in the area.

There was no mistletoe here, but we had holly.

It took me a minute to figure these out, but I'm pretty sure they are bat houses.

This ugly guy was on the side of Black Beauty and as far as I was concerned, he could just stay there because I wasn't about to try to pick him off.

A pretty blue rock?

No, a mushroom!

There's a new campground called Riverside RV Resort down the road (very nice) that also backs up to the Styx River. This is the view from one of the riverfront camp sites.

A long walk can really tucker out a little kitty. When foggy nights prevent me from taking nice pictures of sunsets, you get kitty pictures instead.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Belated Merry Christmas

I'm aware that we've gone off the radar for a while; I was being lazy while we traveled and the past ten days or so here in Alabama have been rainy/foggy/cold so we've been huddling inside the RV keeping warm and watching the world go by.

Since today was our first Christmas alone, we decided to do something different so we drove down to Gulf Shores State Park to walk the shiny, squeaky white sand beaches. Squeaky, you say? Yes indeed, due to the fact that the sand here is 99% pure quartz. Lovely soft stuff indeed.

And what did we find beside rain patterned sand? Lovely turquoisey-purple Portuguese Man o' Wars. Very nasty in the water, these were stranded on the beach and were still alive but quite frankly I wasn't the least bit interested in trying to rescue them and put them back in the surf. Often called "jelly fish" these creatures are actually made up of four parts and the transparent sac is the "sail" that catches the wind and waves that move them around the ocean.

Lovely but oh so painful if you are stung by one of the tentacles.

Normally a lovely shade of green, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico put on a silvery hue for Christmas. This is much nicer than snow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Foggy Morning in the Mountains

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals
I can always rely on Lolcats to make me smile in the morning.

Fog is in the forecast this morning with visibility down to zero at times here in the mountains. I was planning a shopping foray but that might wait a day now. It has been raining off and on since yesterday, but that's better than the snow/sleet that Ohio is getting or the seven inches of predicted snow that our son in New York will be having to plow.

There is a large indoor pool here at the campground and on Monday I did my water aerobics routine for the first time in months and months. Yesterday it was raining so I stayed home and got my exercise using my Wii Fit (love it!). Why is it that I avoid walking in the rain to immerse myself in the pool to do water aerobics? Does that make any kind of sense? So today despite the rain I will go to the pool and do my workout. I always feel so loose and relaxed after 40 minutes of moving to music and it puts me in a great mood to get things done the rest of the day. Like Christmas cards. Sigh.

Time for some Christmas music to get into the mood.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Santa Lazy Sunday

EDITED 12/27/08: An anonymous poster brought it to my attention that it was a bad idea to post pictures of other people's children on my blog without the permission of the parents, so I have removed those pictures since I specifically mentioned the town we were in at the time. Mea culpa.

As Denny and I prepare for bed, the gentle "whoo-who" of owls perched in nearby trees lulls us into an easy slumber. In the morning we're awakened by the KA-BLAM!!! of shotgun blasts as hunters in camouflaged duck blinds on the lake start shooting in the pre-dawn hours. I resolve to wait for broad daylight to walk around the campground to be sure I'm totally visible to anyone with a loaded weapon out there.

Yesterday we drove into town to surprise friends Tim and Penny who moved to Albertville just last month. Penny spotted Denny the minute we walked into the mall area so we couldn't sneak up on them as we had planned, but it was a big surprise for them. The surprise for us was that Tim was volunteering as the mall Santa Claus, so I got a few pictures before we left them to their work.

Of course, I had to take the opportunity to whisper into Santa's ear what I wanted for Christmas.

Which required Denny to get into the act and entertain the kids still in the area by having Santa sit on HIS knee.

All in all, a fun first day in Alabama.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still Cold

Would you believe we left the freezing temperatures in Ohio to wake up to 25 degree temperatures in northern Alabama? We can't win.

I'm hoping this weather pattern is a freak occurrence; even Nashville, TN had two inches of snow on the ground when I drove through yesterday. It was quite obvious that the people of Nashville aren't used to a lot of snow by the skid marks crossing from one side of the highway to the other all the way through town. I was exceedingly grateful that all that seems to have occurred the day before and that the roads were clear and dry for me.

The snow ended at the border of Tennessee but southern Tennessee and Alabama apparently were hit with five to six inches of rain over a two day period so the water level of the rivers and creeks along the roadways were only about five feet below the bridges. We're parked on Lake Gunterville at our current campground so I'm hoping their dams or whatever water control systems the state of Alabama uses is sturdy. I am not in the mood to have to hitch up and flee high water right now, since it is supposed to rain all this week. But it will be a lot warmer so I can deal with whatever else comes along.

As for today, we're going to go surprise some friends who just moved to the area who don't know we're here in town. It should be a good day.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cool, Clear Water

That is a line from one of my favorite songs by the Sons of the Pioneers (from back in the days of Roy Rogers on TV on Saturday mornings). What it means is that our water lines started thawing today and that *crossing fingers* so far there are no signs of water leaks.

Which means that once I do some final shopping, get our Christmas gifts to the grandkids shipped and take my mother to the eye surgeon for her follow up visit after the cataract surgery, Denny and I will be able to hitch up and move the rig to someplace where the temperatures are a lot warmer until Spring. Yay, and Yay, and Yay. By Saturday, we will either be in southern Alabama or northern Florida and once again will have resumed our peripatetic (Hi Coll!) lifestyle . You have no idea how good that sounds to me. We do this with the understanding that we will have to return in the Spring to take over the supervision of my mother's care until cold weather once again returns or her condition warrants a more supervised environment but until then...WHEEEE!

On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again.....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Still No Lazy Sunday Pictures

As I am still at my mother's house,there will be no Lazy Sunday pictures today.

My concern is over the water lines in the fifth wheel, as they are still frozen and now we fear that the water pipes in the walls of the rig may have frozen and therefore may shatter, which will be rather disastrous since that would mean peeling off the skin of the rig to access the internal lines. Ultimately, at some point this week we will find a RV repair service that has a large, heated service bay to thaw out the trailer and see what damage has been done, and once that has been repaired (IF it can be repaired) we will hitch up and take the trailer to Florida where we won't have to worry about frozen water lines. There will be no Christmas with the family this year, after all. This has been something I have been building up to for the past ten years, however, I wanted it to be a choice we made, rather than being forced into the decision. However, with the fifth wheel being our only home, we have to protect it as best we can and that means taking it to a warmer climate.

See? J-ello.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Here We Go Again

Many is the time you'll hear a fulltime RVer say "our plans are made in J-ello". This is simply a way of saying the vagaries of life tend to change your travel plans at the last moment. Once again, our well-laid plans turn out to have been made in J-ello. Yesterday the water lines inside our trailer froze up, as did our fresh water tank so that we have no water to the rig for cleaning, bathing and bathroom use. Since we are parked in a mobile home park there is no bath house to use, therefore it has become apparent that Denny and I cannot stay here in Ohio for the winter. I have no idea what damage this may cause and we probably won't be able to leave until after Christmas but leave we will. In the meantime, I will have to contact some of the local social service agencies to see what type of assistance I can get for Mom who can't handle the basement stairs to do laundry and who no longer has the strength or stamina to keep the house clean. Denny and I will come back in the spring when the campgrounds have opened up and all chance of freezing weather has passed, but in the meantime I've got a lot to set up and get settled so we can get out of here before too much damage is done to the internal plumbing and walls of the rig. Something folks in real houses never have to think or worry about--sigh.

The best laid schemes o' mice and men aft gang aglay.--Robert Burns

Friday, December 05, 2008

Somber Today

Well, after 26 years Denny and I have separated.

Okay,okay. It's only for a week while I keep an eye on my mother after her cataract surgery, but the feeling is strange nonetheless. When you have been with your loved one for 24/7 for the last ten years, a separation can be rather wrenching to say the least.

The surgery went well and Mom and I are going in this morning for the bandage to be removed. One eye down, one to go. Physically, my mother is still going downhill and I have to admit I've never felt more helpless. This is a journey this RV Vagabond is not yet ready to take and I will have to spend this week with my mother trying to wrap my head around the idea that my life as well as my mother's is never going to be the same. So for a while, the explorations on this blog may simply be of all the options one must examine in trying to see that a parent gets the care necessary for his/her well-being. And for the mental health of the primary care-giver and others involved.

In the meantime, I've put up the Christmas tree, gotten out the angel display and arranged the Christmas candle with its wreath. There are still leaves to rake outside and cleaning to do inside. Note to self; if you do settle down and buy a house, make sure it's out west where there is no grass to cut and no leaves to rake. Golly, I've gotten spoiled by these last ten years of travel without the responsibility of yard work and maintenance!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lazy Sunday Introspection

Ever since we left Myrtle Beach I've been whining complaining about the cold here in Ohio. Today was a typically nasty Ohio winter day; steady, cold rain pouring down with temperatures in the low 30s. We've been running through propane like crazy since the fifth wheel isn't set up for cold weather living and I've had to buy sweatshirts to supplement my summer-leaning wardrobe.

But today I realized that my idea of "cold" is minor compared to that of the men I saw huddled underneath a railroad bridge this morning as we drove to the pancake house for breakfast. Some of the men were standing, others were covered with blankets and pieces of cardboard, laying on a narrow stretch of wet sidewalk right next to a busy six lane roadway not far from downtown Dayton. These men don't have the choice of buying new sweatshirts for warmth, or refilling propane tanks to run the furnace or even getting into a warm truck to drive out for a hot meal, because they have nothing at all.

Thanksgiving suddenly means so much more to me this weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nothin' Doing, Doing Nothin'

It's gray and dreary here in Dayton--a good day to stay inside. I must admit, it feels very strange to Denny and I to be able to get up and not have to go anywhere or do anything. This day will be a day to cocoon and I like that.

This week I arranged to have an oxygen condenser delivered to my mother for use at night. It has taken her a couple of days to actually use it, but she admitted yesterday that she did sleep a little easier and a little longer while having it on. It's a small step, but it's a start. Her appetite is nil and because she has a problem with severe and continual diarrhea I can't get her to go out at all so it appears I'll be taking over the shopping and errand running from this point. I have to admit I'm having a hard time dealing with her obvious and rapid physical and mental decline. Thank goodness for Denny; he keeps me sane.

On a different note, Denny and I had to do some grocery shopping on Black Friday and we were surprised by the lack of traffic on the roadways and in the local stores. There appeared to be some really terrific sales out there and we did see some very large TVs going out the door, but there wasn't the craziness of past years. Maybe that's a good thing--I think we need to go back to "the reason for the season" and perhaps a slow economy will make that happen. One can but hope.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Acabado, Fertig, De finition, Rifinito, Finished

That's it, we're done. The house is cleared out, the trash has been hauled to the dump, we've loaded some things for storage at my mother's house (here we go again!)and tomorrow we'll toss the garage door opener into the house, close the door and walk away. Over one hundred years of Brauns living here on family land in western Cincinnati will come to an end tomorrow. And that's okay.

Tonight, Denny, Connie and I will go out to dinner to celebrate. Tomorrow Denny and I will hitch up the trailer and move it north to be closer to my mother's house.

Connie is thinking of traveling the eastern seaboard to visit friends and family and then perhaps spending Christmas in Las Vegas with a friend who just lost her husband. A move west might be in Connie's future--right now she just wants to veg out for a while. As do we.

In case we don't get the Internet satellite up and running for a couple of days after we move, Denny and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We know we have a lot to be thankful for every year, but this year we are especially grateful for family and friends who have been there for us when we needed them. Consider yourselves hugged.

Happy Trails!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ex Communicado

The first day of the estate sale is done and we are pleased with what went out the door. Tomorrow is the final day of the sale, so there will be no Lazy Sunday photos as we will be busy trying to convince people to buy cheap things they really don't need in an effort to avoid having to pack up all this crap for the Salvation Army. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for giving stuff to charity; I'm just sick of all this "stuff" already after moving, tagging, pricing and selling it over the past three days. I'd just like this whole deal do be done and over with. I still have picture of beautiful horses to upload to Webshots of the Heart Ride in Myrtle Beach, but that won't get done anytime soon either.

Denny had to change the tire that went flat in South Carolina and our water hoses are still freezing up despite heat tape and insulation. I think we're going to have to take off our outside water filters and four-way water splitters when we move north so we can having running water to the rig. Oh, the joys of living in a summer environment home in a winter environment. It's been less than a week since we left Myrtle Beach and already I long for those lazy days once again. And I miss my drinking buddy Vicki, too. It was nice this spring as well as in Myrtle Beach to step outside and see her smiling face and just chat or vent or relax together with an alcoholic beverage of the day while watching the world go by. Everyone should have a best friend like that.

Okay, I'm tired enough that I've gotten maudlin. (That word was for you, Coll). It's time to put my feet up and hope that Denny suggests dinner out someplace (please, please, please).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cold. Busy. Cold

While these strange clouds were over Tennessee as we were returning from Myrtle Beach, we have gray, dreary skies over Ohio right now along with a few snowflakes. I am cold, cold, cold and winter hasn't even hit yet. Shudder.

Denny, Connie and I have jumped in to get the estate sale set up in two days. We are going to be pooped puppies indeed by the time Sunday evening rolls around. That's when the sale is over. After that we'll pack up the leftovers for the Salvation Army and be done with it. We have a parcel of land still to sell, but that's not a priority at this time. Then Denny and I will start to figure out what we need to do to make my mother's life comfortable and safe.

It's time for some mindless entertainment with CSI. With our feet up. And wine.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Packing Up

I was up early, hoping for a spectacular sunrise, but that was not to be. Instead, the forecast was for rain and we were under a tornado watch, which did not bode well for the Heart Association Horseback Ride on the Beach. Vicki and I wandered out to the beach at about 8AM as that was when the horses were due to leave Lakeswood to walk north past our campground and on up into Myrtle Beach proper. We saw a group of four horses already north of us and then nothing. The beach was hazy with fog and mist but still we figured we should see SOMETHING! Nope, no horses anywhere. I waited for almost an hour before the lone rider above approached me and then stopped. Since I was sitting quietly in my chair, it seems that I frightened the lady's horse. Yep,that's right, sitting quietly scared the horse. I could have been up, moving around, waving my arms and that would have been fine, but sitting there holding a camera to my face to take a picture scared him. That just tickled me. Obviously his rider was used to it, as she explained that butterflies could scare him too. She questioned whether I had seen any other riders and I told her she was the first since 8 o'clock. Since it's dark here at 5 o'clock in the evening and that's also when high tide would be back, it didn't bode well for all the riders who had not yet left the campground. The state park pier pilings can be a problem to negotiate at high tide, as well as the storm runoff channels that cut across the beach all the way up the coastline. It was another hour before any other riders came by. I think the tornado watch might have bothered them. I think that a lot of the riders will have to cut their ride short this year.

Anyway, some of the day was spent taking pictures (today's are on Webshots)and starting to put away our "briar" toys (outside decorations), patio mats, chairs, fire pits and other outside "stuff". Most of that will stay in the bins when we arrive back in Ohio because we certainly won't be sitting outside enjoying the nice weather up there because there won't be any! We'll share one last meal with Don and Vicki as they too are leaving tomorrow, although they'll be heading south while we head north.

We probably won't bother to put up the satellite dish for the Internet over the next two days of travel so there will be no Lazy Sunday post this week. Actually, it's been a very lazy three weeks and we've enjoyed every minute of it. Having Don and Vicki here with us was icing on the cake, and we all enjoyed it so much that we're thinking of coming back and doing it again next year. Sounds like a plan.

In the meantime, start thinking "spring" for us, would you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Annual Myrtle Beach Horse Back Beach Ride

The annual Jack Monroe Horseback Ride for the American Heart Association is held at the Lakewood Campground just south of us here at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I've been taking photos for my own enjoyment and also to post online so the riders can have a picture of themselves riding their horses on the beach. After all, it's hard to take a picture of yourself on horseback, right?

I've posted all the pictures so far on Flickr as RV Vagabond and Myrtle Beach Horse Ride. I think I just filled up that free account so any further pictures I'll load into Webshots; look for the album entitled 2008 Myrtle Beach Horse Ride.

After taking a picture of a very nice gentleman by the name of James, he in turn took a picture of me with his very handsome horse and dog.

If you love horses and ever have the chance to be in Myrtle Beach when the horse ride is scheduled, this is a must see event.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Myrtle Beach Heart Ride Horses

The horses are arriving in Myrtle Beach for the annual Heart Association Horse Ride on the Beach. I spent much of the day on the beach taking pictures for my own pleasure when one of the riders hollered "send me a copy!" Well, since I can't do that, I'm uploading all the pictures taken today on Flickr. Look for them under the RV Vagabonds name, of course, to see the various riders and lovely horses. I can only put 200 on since I have only a free account with Flicker, so tomorrow's photos may be on Webshots. I'm going to have to spread the love, I guess.

Guy who wanted a copy; here ya go.

I absolutely HAD to title this one "Save a Horse...."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Public Service on Pop Up Ads

Vitamin Sea has an interesting and scary blog about not closing down pop up ads by clicking on the X box. Since this is the way I always close any pop ups that slip past my pop up blocker I checked out CNET's suggested method of closing down a pop up. It's simple and it's what I'll be doing from here on out.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunshine and Surf on a Lazy Sunday

Part of my fascination with the ocean is the creatures that live in it. This morning while eating breakfast at a restaurant located on the beach Denny and I watched dolphins swimming south along the coastline. They didn't seem to be feeding but moving steadily southward, perhaps in migration. What a gift that was first thing in the morning and it's one of the reasons we love this area so much.

Although I didn't have my camera with me for the dolphins, a flock of pelicans were feeding near the campground this week, gliding above the waves and diving deep for their dinner. I tried for a while to get the perfect shot of them diving but finally gave up and just enjoyed the dance.

The camera fought with the computer and the computer won, eating up my lone video of a diving pelican. I did manage to get one still shot of one.

Normally when walking the beach you find pieces of cooked crab shell, thrown off ships perhaps, but this guy apparently died a natural death and was washed ashore. He was pretty sizeable.

This little guy wasn't doing well when Vicki and I found him on the beach so we put him back in the surf to give him a change at survival. Interesting pattern on his shell, right?

Cats can't read.

This is the cut-through to the beach from our camp site. Vicki and I have tried to get a good sunrise through the two posts, but the sun rises too far to the north to center it for the photograph.

I'm not sure if there is less humidity here in November or if it is just chance, but this is the most cloud formation we've had at sunrise since we've arrived. Perhaps this week will be better.

And this week? We found sharks' teeth. No photos yet as I give them all to Vicki for her granddaughters.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Good News/Bad News

We've been having a good time here at the beach. We've lifted quite a few drinks with Don and Vicki at bars and restaurants, in our rigs and around the campfire. I think I'm at ten different alcoholic beverages tried over the past two weeks and Vicki's probably right there with me except on the Cabernet Savignon. We've eaten well, laughed a lot and relaxed in the sunshine, believing we had another two weeks to enjoy the sand and surf and being lazy bones.
Figuring that we had two weeks to skate, we lazed around, piddled around and in general have gotten little done but enjoy our surroundings.
Our days here seemed to stretch as endlessly as the beach along the Grand Strand, but no.
It seems we have an offer on Denny's dad's house and Connie has decided to accept it so now I must keep my promise to handle the sale of the contents of the house. We'll be returning to Ohio a week early so that I can have the sale before Thanksgiving as the closing on the house will be the day after Thanksgiving.

At least we'll still be here for the horses and the American Heart Association Beach Ride next week. This year we're staying at the campground just north of the one that's "housing" the horses so we'll have to walk a bit to see all the lovely critters down there and take pictures. Then it will be time to pack up our shorts and gird our loins for colder temperatures and the wearing of winter coats. I think it's going to be a long winter. Perhaps I can talk Mom into buying a motor home and traveling with us instead of us hanging around to keep an eye on her in Ohio. Sounds good to me!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Catching Up

I had a bit of a scare last night; Denny was violently ill, light-headed and his blood pressure was sky high so I took him to the ER. After EKGs, CAT scans of his head, a chest X-ray and blood work he was diagnosed with vertigo and sent home. Today he is better.

We are having a great time here at the beach and I'll detail more later. Tonight we're hosting the dinner and camp fire with Don and Vicki in return for the nice meal we had with them last night. The four of us are working hard to live up to the "Eat, Drink and Be Merry" creed. Someone has to do it!

It's all good right now.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Remiss in Myrtle Beach

One week of our month long stay has officially passed. I can't believe how quickly the week has gone by and we really haven't done anything. But when you are at the beach, that's not such a bad thing. We walk the beach with Don and Vicki, share meals and drinks with them and the days have passed in a blur--possibly due to the amount of alcohol involved. Heh.

Without further ado; things we've seen at Myrtle Beach this week.
Sunshine on the Atlantic Ocean. Lots of sunlight. It hasn't always been warm, but it's been sunny.

This mourning dove appears to be looking askance at something, doesn't it?

This is what the dove was watching; Miss Patches lurking on the sand dunes below. So many good smells here among the sea oats!

A Ruddy Turnstone seabird, for which I use the generic term of "skitter birds" as they skitter along the beach avoiding the surf while looking for tiny sea creatures to suck out of the sand.

White ibis wander the campground looking for whatever insect or seeds they can glean from the ground. I think they are prettier from a distance.

Just an ugly bug Patches and I discovered on our nightly walk. He's so ugly I'm not even going to try to research him online to see what he is. Shudder.

Ah, the ubiquitous "fulltimerous RVerous", frequently found hovering around campfires, usually with a beverage in hand. This is a mixed group of the silver haired and brown haired types.

We haven't had a really gorgeous sunrise or sunset set yet, but there's still time. The color is pretty though.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We Made It

See what my dear friend Vicki (and Don) bought me while in Shipshewana, IN? And did we take full advantage of the saying once Denny and I had gotten our campsite mostly set up? With Don and Vicki waiting with a full pitcher of frozen margaritas? Silly question!

It feels SO good to be back at Myrtle Beach. This was our starting point for our full time rving adventures and it was were we vacationed after buying our first motorhome. This year we're back at Pirateland Campground since they have finally reinstated a monthly fee (after November 1 unfortunately, since it's not ideal beach weather). So we feel like we're back "home" again. Having Don and Vicki here too is just icing on the cake.

There will be more later but nothing soothes the soul like the sound of surf and I'm so soothed that I feel a nap coming. It's a rough life we lead....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Three days before Denny and I are due to leave for Myrtle Beach, my mother passes out getting up from the john and falls face first into the bath tub. End result, a mad dash up I-75 from Cincinnati and an emergency call to my brother at work to get him over to her house since I have a 50 minute drive. Still, I got to the hospital as he was walking her out of the car into the emergency room.

A CAT scan shows no fractures, no internal bleeding in her head. She has a ginormous black eye that has moved from over her eyebrow to halfway down her nose. By tomorrow I'm sure it will be the entire side of her face. She refuses to put ice on it "because it hurts". Sigh.

I've decided that Denny and I will go to Myrtle Beach anyway, a rather selfish decision. We already paid for our (non-refundable)reservations and I have a brother and sister that live within ten minutes of my mother so I figure it's their turn to manage some of her care. When Denny and I return we'll all have a sit down with Mom to figure out where we go from here, but for once big sister isn't going to be here to take care of everything. I think it's going to be an eye-opening experience for my siblings.

And yes, I'll feel guilty and yes, I'll worry and fret, but I promised Denny time away from his dad's place and caring for my mom for a while and so we're going. Right now, life isn't very much fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wii Have A New Toy

Wii, or rather Iii have a new toy. Yep, the Christmas Club account money will be arriving soon so when Best Buy announced a new shipment of Wiis, Denny and I were first thirteenth in line on Sunday. I wanted the Wii Fit board, figuring that perhaps I'd do a bit better with exercise if it was more like a game. I managed to get all the wires in the right place and the system was up and running by Sunday afternoon and before I knew it, I had been on the danged thing for a half hour. It IS fun and yet challenging. I've discovered my balance is lousy for one thing and that I'm easily entertained for another. Yesterday we were busy at my mother's house and with doctors' appointments so I didn't use the system. Today, I was chastised questioned by the Wii about missing a day. My mother lives in the game board--who knew?

Perhaps between the Wii Fit and some long walks on the beach in Myrtle Beach next month my mysteriously shrinking clothing will start to fit better. If nothing else, I'll be entertained during the upcoming long, freaking frigid cold winter nights in Ohio. Shudder.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Beauty-er

One of the first things we promised ourselves when we bought Black Beauty is that we would take her to the Stripe Shop for some graphics to make her "ours". It is what we did when we bought Kong, our white Ford F450. Even though Black Beauty came with a more stylized paint job than our first truck I wanted something different than what came off the showroom floor.

While I've always been one to use a sledgehammer when a hammer would do, this time I was a bit more discrete with the design since we had the wide silver rocker panel on the truck. So here's what I came up with this time:

We also extended the pinstriping along the top of the truck bed. Before it ended behind the cab which to me was as sudden as tripping off a curb. Now it flows and Mama is happy. So everyone is happy.
This makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Did It Again

I had lined up the shot: the sun shining down brightly on the dew-drenched first hole of the golf course, trees with orange, yellow, brown and green leaves in the background. I snap the shot and see "no memory card". NO MEMORY CARD IN THE CAMERA! ARRRRGGGHHHH. I had been uploading photos the night before and that's where the SD card was--still in its snug little slot in the computer.

And what did we see on the golf course yesterday? Eight wild turkeys on the tee box of the second hole, no more than fifteen feet away from us. An otter playing in one of the ponds along the fairway of one of the holes on the back nine. At least thirty photos ops of fall color, blue skies, the Whitewater River and more. Naturally. Because I had no memory card in the camera.

As we were playing golf Denny and I first discussed putting an extra memory card in the truck--not good because I'd leave the truck without it and discover I needed it when we were out on the golf course or halfway to a geocache, etc. Then we decided we could duct tape one to the bottom of the camera. Okay, we'll try that.

The idea of taping a memory card to the bottom of the camera didn't work because I occasionally use a tripod and that would make the camera uneven on the base of the tripod. Hmm, next idea, putting a hole in the card case and tying it on the camera strap. No, I could see the case catching on something and ripping off. But we're on a roll here. How about if we cut a slit in the case and put it on the strap? Denny's next idea was to put TWO slits in the case and run the strap through it so the case didn't dangle loose. I came up with the idea of making the slits by heating the end of a flat blade screwdriver and melting a slit in the case, which rounded the edges of the plastic so it wouldn't cut into the woven nylon camera strap. Voila'; the perfect solution to always having a memory card for the camera.
The SD memory card is secure in its case because it has a small latch at the bottom end of the case.

Denny ran the camera strap through the slits that he melted into the case.

Put our two minds together and we're downright dangerous. ;-)
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