Saturday, June 28, 2008


I won't be posting for a few days. Denny's father passed away Thursday night.

Our satellite modem decided to act up this past week also, so we are without Internet access until further notice. So there will be no Lazy Sunday post and not a lot of blogging in the immediate future.

Y'all go on ahead, we'll catch up with you down the road....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

An Animalistic Lazy Sunday

It's been an emotional roller coaster ride this week. Hospice brought over a hospital bed for Denny's dad and they will start sending a nurse over once a week to monitor his health status. Dad stays in bed most days now; we're hoping a tomato or two will ripen in time to brighten his eyes once again.

I took Mom to the hospital for a MRI of her head this week; she has been staggering, kind of slurring her words and seeming kind of out of it ever since Denny and I arrived in Ohio and I'm thinking that when she fell in March she either had a stroke, or the stroke caused the face-forward fall she took or something. Something is badly wrong with her and the decline in her health since we saw her last at Christmas is appalling. And I can't seem to get her doctor to see that for some reason.

We continue to have rain here, although not in the amounts of late spring and certainly not as bad as Iowa and other states have had. Our lettuce seeds have finally spouted enough to be able to transplant them and the strawberry picking season is over early due to the rains. We may be able to pick the broccoli this week and possibly even the cauliflower and it's still hard to keep up with the grass cutting at the rate it is growing with all this rain.

Don and Vicki will be leaving in a couple of weeks, so we have to get in a trip to Fort Ancient and possibly Serpent Mound before they leave. The two of them are happily planning their travel route for the rest of the summer and I have to admit, Denny and I envy them. With what is going on with our parents, I'm not quite sure when we'll be able to get on the road again.

Enough of that. The robins are outside the window by my desk singing to greet the morning, the hummingbirds have been sucking down the sugar water from the living room window feeder since before dawn and Denny is finally stirring. All the animals are up (sorry, Denny) so today's Lazy Sunday pictures are of animals we've seen on our travels.

We first met Penelope the pot-bellied pig in Ehrenberg, Arizona and then later again in Cambria, New York. I made a special effort to make over the dog in the pen, since Penelope seemed to get all the attention from the other campers and the poor dog was exceedingly grateful to be noticed.

After I fell and broke my kneecap in 2006, we had to store our fifth wheel in the back field of a friend's stables. When we needed something from the trailer, Denny would load me in the back seat of the truck and take me with him so I could watch the horses while he did his thing in the trailer. There were several foals at the stables and I loved this little guy who used his mom's tail for protection from the biting flies.

This is an Imperial Moth. He was sunning himself near the front door of the campground office. He looked so soft it was hard to resist touching him.

I have to admit, I did not take this picture and I don't know who did; the picture was sent to me in an email. I just thought it was a lovely shot.

This is Harley, one of a pair of Mini-Schnauzers owned by Melissa and Mark. Melissa used to work with me at the PD and now lives in South Carolina where her southern accent finally matches her environment. Hi Missy!

Could there be anything cuter than a wheelbarrow full of Papillons? I think not. A friend of ours breeds them to sell, but somehow one puppy from every litter manages to worm his way into their hearts. It's not hard to see why.

Meet Noel, who owns Rene and Barb who are "retired" RVing friends. As in retired from RVing, as well as employment. Noel, while a true lady, did NOT like the pink bows placed in her fur after her grooming and they soon disappeared.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oh So Late on Lazy Sunday

Again, my post ends up being the week in recap. We did get the air conditioning repaired and found an honest RV repair business in the bargain. The service technician there actually repaired the air conditioner instead of just replacing the entire unit with a new one, which meant a less expensive bill for us. And I'm all for less expensive bills! It works fine and he'll be added to the businesses we trust page on my RV Vagabonds website. Soon.

The garden has broccoli sprouting and the fence is up and beeping at us but so far both Denny and I have refused to be the guinea pig who touches the electrified fence to see what type of "jolt" the deer would get if they tried to reach through or over it. I got knocked on my rear end once when my first husband improperly rewired a 220 volt outlet for the dryer so I'm a little cautious around electricity now. The proverbial once burned, etc.

Today is Father's Day so Darb stopped by for a visit this morning. Speaking of guinea pigs, I tested out a variation of Vicki's "Drunken Arnie" drink using my homemade bitter lemon as well as my new "Raspberry Tart" drink. Not bad, even if I do say so myself. I also may have spoiled his meal with his in-laws by feeding him strawberry shortcake made with our freshly picked berries. But then again, at times I think he has a hollow leg. For food and drink. Don and Vicki hadn't left on their bike ride yet, so they got to see Darb for the first time in 22 years. It's so hard to reconcile the adult children we now have with the small blond boys we remember playing together. As the song says, "I don't remember growing older--when did they?"

Sigh. Enough of that. Random stuff here today folks, so here goes:
St. Augustine is a pretty classy place downtown, but on the way to historic St. Augustine you have to pass this huge car wash made to look like a giant paddle wheeler. Who thought of that one?

Not that this is Denny's best side or anything, but I wanted a shot of him walking the Oregon Trail. To walk on the actual wagon ruts created by all those pioneers sent a frisson down my spine.

Zion National Park's Court of the Patriarch Mountains. Such a beautiful, magical place needs to be explored more thoroughly on foot someday.

One of the most scenic golf courses Denny and I have ever played was the Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah. Watching the play of the sun and the shadows of the clouds on the mountains was a serious distraction from my golf game. Not that it could hurt it any worse than it already is.

The view from the summit of Stinking Water Pass. From the air conditioned cab of the truck we couldn't smell the sulfur that gave the pass its name.

This common poorwill or nighthawk (I'm not sure which it is) sat so still for so long when I first notice it that I thought it was ill or dying. A quick check of my bird book informed me that it is a nocturnal creature that slept during the day. I just couldn't figure out why (s)he was doing it on a fence in the the 90 degree temperatures of broad daylight instead of finding a nice shady tree.

Coffee, tea or me?

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Mobile Money Pit

Even though our rig is tucked away under a canopy of trees, when Ohio temperatures hit the nineties and the humidity is high it's pretty darned miserable. Yesterday we turned on the air conditioner in the living room and all was copacetic until the sound of the unit's motor changed and all of a sudden warm air was coming from the vents instead of cold. Uh-oh.

We turned on the bedroom air conditioner which fortunately is also vented through the whole ceiling of the trailer and I started looking for mobile RV repair people. Two were listed for the area, neither answered their phones. Great. This morning I arranged to take our rig to Springboro to have it worked on since they could start on it tomorrow. Once the temperatures hit 90 around here they don't go down for a while so we need to get this problem fixed as soon as possible. We'll just bunk at my mom's house for the duration. Mo' money, mo' money going out da do'.

On a different note, last week I was feeling crafty so I finished off some incense burners. Denny drilled holes in the wine bottles for me and I painted them. Blue wine bottles are just too pretty to throw away.
The trillium bottle was for me. I discovered a whole wash of them at the back of the campground the first week we arrived here and I knew it would be a good flower for the bottle.

Last week ended the first full year of life on the road for Don and Vicki, so I made this blackbird design for their "anniversary" gift.

This particular wine bottle was a strange hue, so I thought a cardinal would brighten it up a bit.

Warm days make me wish for the ocean, so this former ice wine bottle ended up with a dolphin.

Wednesday and Thursday are yard and garden days for us so no blogging will be done on those days. Catch y'all later.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's a Hot Lazy Sunday

Another week has flown by. The electric fence isn't operational yet and Denny hasn't yet figured out what the problem is. He's hoping to get that done this coming week. I managed to get a pretty good sunburn while cutting the grass in Cinci, since it's been so long since we've had an extended period of sunshine that I have lost all my tan base. Next time I'll take along the sun block. We're getting things done at our parents' houses and in the evenings we relax and share our day's activities over cocktails with Don and Vicki. A nice routine.

That being said, we've not gotten out anywhere special and no scenic pictures have been taken, just pictures of the garden and of the cat. So we're going back to 2006 for this week's Lazy Sunday pix.

Vicki arranged a night out for pizza with friends. Back in the dark ages of the 70s we were the younger generation of one of the K of C groups and created a lot of good memories together. We will not bring up the "Rocky Top" incident anymore though, right Phyl and Vicki? Seated left to right, Phyllis (my former sister-in-law and always friend), her SO Pat, Tom, Don, Denny, Me, Vicki and Sue.

Bell Rock near Sedona is a popular climbing and hiking attraction. Its immense shape and size belies the ease of walking on its rust red surface and you'll always find people perched on ledges eating, reading, taking pictures or just enjoying the sun.

One of the loveliest flowers blooms on one of the ugliest of plants--the prickly pear cactus.

While wandering around the grounds of the Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner, South Carolina I discovered this unusual juxtaposition of Spanish moss and tiny ferns growing from one of the trees in the park.

The Old Santee Canal Park has a nice museum to explore, but the best part of the park is just wandering the trails looking for wildlife and enjoying the lovely fall weather.

I found the tabby walls of this magazine building are almost as study and complete as they were when they were first constructed in the early 1700s. Fort Frederica was both a fort and a town and the National Park service has done a good job of making history come alive as you explore the remnants of the fortifications that have carefully documented markers explaining the layout of the town and the fort.

I am attracted to old churches from an architectural standpoint. Plain or fancy, the older buildings have a simple honesty that I find appealing compared to the behemoths being built today. This is the Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida.

One of the attractions of geocaching is that the hunt for the caches take you to places you would never find on your own. On this day, we were only five miles from Parker, Arizona but we were also about five miles back into the desert off the main road and we were pretty much the only folks out there. On weekends in the winter this is a popular area due to the Desert Bar, but we were there mid-week and so we were unable to enjoy a cold one after hiking around searching for treasure.

And right about now, with our currents temperatures in the 90s and an air conditioner that just quit, I'd sure welcome some of that "but it's a dry heat" of the desert.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hot Town*

*Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head
---partial lyrics from "Summer in the City" by the Lovin' Spoonful

Summer has arrived with a vengeance in Ohio. Cool one day, barrels of rain and then the thermometer crept into the 90s yesterday with more of the same forecast for the next four days.

Lovely lake, right?
Nope, a local corn field and this one is just one of many. Country back roads are flooded and closed down if they are located next to a crick (creek) and corn and soybeans fields are bogs. Last year Ohio was suffering drought conditions and now this. And oh, the cicadas are here. It's estimated that 2 to 3 billion of the little critters will be coming out of the ground in southwestern Ohio between now and July 4th. It's an Ohio thing.

Time to go cut grass...again.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Summer-like Lazy Sunday

It's hard to imagine that we've been here in Ohio for five weeks already. I don't know if it's because we're busier at the moment with the garden and two yards to maintain, or if it's because Don and Vicki are next door and so Denny and I find ourselves wandering over to spend time with them. Last year at the other campground Black Beauty and some of my favorite springtime blooming bushes, the blowsy peony. To me, peonies mean Memorial Day, not only because that's when they bloom in Ohio, but we planted them around the graves of family members who had served our country.our RV neighbors either worked (construction guys) or only came on weekends so time sometimes dragged for us.

We haven't been out to sightsee yet, although I think we'll try to visit Fort Ancient and maybe Serpent Mound before Don and Vicki pull up stakes to hit the road in early July. There's the garage sale to work on at my mother's house and I'm going to try to start clearing out paints and poisons from my father-in-law's garage too. We have ambitious plans so far, but we'll see how that goes.

When we arrived here in Wilmington, the area at the back of our trailer looked like this:

Now, it looks like this:

Patches enjoys the "backyard" because there are chipmunk burrows and a robin sitting on a nest and all sorts of small, kitty-sized birds hopping around on the ground to stalk (shush--she's always leashed when she's outside).

Denny still needs to build a protective cover for the power box for the electrified fence and get some wire to ground it, but he'll have it powered up this week. That's a good thing, because one tomato plant has teeny tiny tomatoes on it now. We cheated and bought one plant with blossoms already on it. Notice the oh-so-nicely cut yard, a la Linda. Gotta love those lawn tractors.

Houston (Hi Nancy) we have tomatoes:

I kept forgetting the camera when we drove down I-71 to Cinci, where the highway was lined with huge groves of black locust trees. Black locusts have wonderfully fragrant white wisteria-like blossoms in the spring so they are not only beautiful but it's great to drive by them with the truck windows open.

Black Beauty and some of my favorite springtime blooming bushes, the blowsy peony. To me, peonies mean Memorial Day, not only because that's when they bloom in Ohio, but we planted them around the graves of family members who had served our country.

Instead of a sunset, since unfortunately we haven't had a truly spectacular one here in Ohio yet, we have my little escape artist. Patches was actually trying to catch a bird when she suddenly realized that there was life on the other side of the privacy fence at my mother's house. Immediately after taking this picture she was grabbed and banished to the house.
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