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.
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