Sunday, April 26, 2009


...when a cat has to vomit at 6 o'clock in the morning, it is always on the carpet and never on the tile or hardwood floor?

Just askin'.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Down and Out

High winds blew down our Internet dish last week and apparently messed it up to the point we couldn't get a good signal with it. It was frustrating since I have a lot of research to do to find values on some of the items my mother had collected over the years. Instead, Denny and I worked around the rig, getting it washed and cleaned up some and I started the lengthy process of winnowing down our possessions.

The satellite dish wasn't the only thing down this week--I was too. So much that I did absolutely nothing for Denny's 70th birthday, which was horrible of me. It just so happens that his birthday fell on the one month anniversary of Mom's death and I had spent the last couple of days catching up on my journal for the months of January, February and March and it all came crashing down. And Denny was the one who suffered. He has asked me to take advantage of Hospice's grief counseling and I'm going to make arrangements next week to do that. In the meantime, we'll be starting to paint, catalog, sort and get estimates on refinishing the hardwood floors underneath the carpet in the living room/dining room and bedrooms since that's apparently the preferred flooring nowadays. There's a ton of work to be done, but I just heard from Vicki who says she and Don have changed their minds about an Alaska cruise and instead they'll be going to Myrtle Beach in October. Well hello, good times! I'll be making my campsite reservations this week, I do believe! Knowing we're going to Myrtle Beach is a terrific incentive to get all the work done.

Nothing like coming back online and being a downer, huh? That's life.

And it's going to get better soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Back to Being a Buckeye

We're back in Ohio, parked at a campground and living in our trailer so that we don't allow working on Mom's house to overwhelm us as we did with Denny's dad's house last year. It will be a 50 mile round trip drive to get to Ketterburg, so we'll spend a night or two up there while we're working and them come back to work on the rig which has been sadly neglected. I've already scheduled a carpet cleaning, after which we'll haul in the two new LaZBoy recliners that we've had sitting in Mom's garage since March. Then we'll wrassle the mattress and memory foam topper from "our" bedroom at Mom's and switch them out with the set here in the rig. All sorts of muscle-y work will be going on here at the campground, plus whatever work we start doing on the house itself.

The trip up was uneventful, thankfully. In Kentucky we passed the remnants of a horrible accident involving a semi-trailer and by the looks of the cab of the truck it may have been a fatality. Crews were picking up whatever it was the trucker was hauling while a wrecker tried to deal with getting the truck and trailer off the roadway. Surprisingly, accident scenes like that have been rare for us, despite many miles on the road over the last ten years. For that, I'm grateful.

We also had lovely springtime scenery on the way up. Gardeners are aware of "growing zones" or "planting zones"; areas of imaginary demarcation for the best plants to grow in a particular area based on their hardiness and ability to withstand whatever temperatures are in that general area. Driving from the Gulf of Mexico in southern Alabama up to southern Ohio you can see the different rates of growth in the same vegetation; redbuds that were almost totally leafed out in green foliage in Alabama were just starting to bloom in Kentucky.

My favorite spot along I-65? Between milemarker 77 and 78 on the northbound side of the interstate where you'll find this sign: It's not the world's best shot, but at highway speeds the sign is hard to snap clearly.

Tonight, we're dining alfresco; steaks cooked on the grill and a tossed salad. Simple and simply divine. A nuthatch searches for his dinner on a tree nearby and an early butterfly provides a spot of color among trees still bare of buds, much less leaves. We may light the tiny tiki torches this evening and enjoy the stars before the temperatures drop too much. Life feels good right now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not to Be

The idea of the Horse Park sounded good to us, but it is not to be. The very nice people at the tire store tried very hard to get our tires in early but it was afternoon before they arrived. By the time we drove out there and had three tires mounted and the new spare put in place it was too late to drive to the park. I was not in the mood to be setting up camp at 8:30 at night. So there will be no horse pictures this trip. We WILL get to the Horse Park though. Someday.

We're camped on the grounds of Mammoth Cave National Park. We've done one of the tours in the past (there are several to choose from, including one where you have to wiggle through 12 inch high holes--no THANK you!) so we're thinking either a round of golf or perhaps a tour of the Corvette Museum a few miles down the road. Horsepower of a different kind, as it were. I think golf will win out, as it's been several months since we've played and the forecast is for a little sun. It feels so good to be outside I don't think I want to be underground in a cave or even inside a museum. Beating a small white ball with a large club is also very good for getting frustrations out and methinks that would be a good thing.

But I have to admit, it would have been nice to have seen all the foals at the farm. The Horse Park now officially goes on our Bucket List.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Ah, the joys of being back on the road. About two and a half hours into today's six hour drive a car passing us started honking their horn and pointing at the trailer. Oh boy--that always means a blowout and sure enough, they had seen it on the right side of the trailer, even though they were driving on our left side. Thank goodness for alert drivers! We pulled over and saw that the tire was starting to shred so it had blown a few miles back. We were fortunate to have stopped before the shredded tire started whipping around and taking out the fiberglass side panels and even the underside of the slide-out. Been there, done that before and it's expensive. It would be even worse now since the company that manufactured our trailer went out of business last year (along with four other RV manufacturers.)

Anyhoo, we called our roadside service (boy do we get our money's worth out of them), they sent someone out and an hour and a half later we were back on the road. I called the campground where we were planning on staying the night and asked the man who answered if there was a Goodyear Tire store anywhere nearby and explained what happened. This nice man took the information about the tires we use and called his local tire store and made arrangements for them to order us three tires (we're switching out our special trailer load D tires to special trailer load E tires for more weight bearing capability) As the tires blow/get punctured we have been switching them one at a time but we're biting the bullet and will have them all switched including the spare, which is now seven years old and a different type of tire from the rest. Wes, the campground owner, has arranged everything and our tires should be in tomorrow. If not, the Kentucky Horse Park is out for now. If the tires come in early enough and we're able to get in and get them installed in a reasonable amount of time, we'll trek on up to Kentucky and take pictures until the battery runs out. Yes, I left the spare battery in our newly repaired old camera and the charger in the old camera case. Too much on my mind. So the new camera battery is down to one click; I'm hoping that's enough for a few pictures at least. But the way our luck is running, that's not going to happen.

But for now, there's free Wi-Fi at the campground, I have a glass of cabernet in my hand, there are cows, pigs, goats, sheep and horses here at the campground and the lonely sound of a train whistle in the distance. This is RVing and we take the bad with the good. And for the moment, it's all good.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sad to Go

No pictures today. Denny and I headed to Gulf Shore State Park after the sun broke out through the clouds up here in Summerdale, but once at the beach the clouds let loose with rain so there was no beach walk nor pictures for us. And naturally, as soon as we arrived back at the campground the sun came back out again. *Sigh*

It's been nice to relax and not think for the last three days. I sat at the computer and realized that I had not worked on my journal since late September (!!!) so I started working on that when the skies clouded over again in the afternoon instead of soaking up some sun as I had hoped. I'm so pasty white I can't stand it but a tan will have to wait (skin cancer be d*mned) until sometime later this summer, I guess.

Tomorrow we'll head north, stopping near the Tennessee/Alabama border for one night, then continuing on to Lexington, Kentucky to visit the Horse Park. It's a lot more driving than we normally do when pulling the trailer, but we want to spend a day at the Horse Park since we've been driving by it and talking about it for the last ten years. This year we'll do it. Because from this point on, if we want to do it, we will. If nothing else the last month, I've learned that life can be too short and that there are no guarantees so we're going for the gusto from here on out. Once we take care of our responsibilities, that is. Always a caveat. For now.

P.S. In reading the fourth to last sentence I wondered how many cliches I could fit in one sentence? Too many apparently. Snort.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lions and Tigers and ...Bugs, oh my!

After a thirteen hour drive from Ohio to southern Alabama, it would have been nice to be able to say that hitching up to our trailer and moving it out of storage into a campsite and setting it up was a smooth and easy transition.

Not so.

I've already mentioned that we were out of our routine, but there was also the fact that Denny dragged the outdoor grill out of the trailer instead of picking it up so that when it slid off the carpet runner it gouged a long scratch into the wood floor. And despite leaving the refrigerator doors open to air, there was mildew in the refrigerator and the spider webs? Gah! The good news is that there are no signs of mice so far.

But as you can see from the picture above, eventually we settled in and settled down. Shorts were put on, frozen margaritas were blended and as we sat under the live oak tree enjoying the sunshine and the warm Gulf breeze Denny and I remembered why we love this lifestyle so much. It's pure laziness!

We'll enjoy it for a couple of days before we have to return to Ohio and begin to work on Mom's house but I have to say we'll hate to leave here. Sometimes being the responsible one is the pits. But eventually we'll be able to respond to the call of the road and that's all good.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Almost On The Road Again

As I write this Denny and I are sitting in our rig in Summerdale, Alabama. It was a long, hard drive of 13 hours to get here and it was also 80 degrees and humid. When my friend Vicki called to check on me I was griping about sweating and it being hot--this from the person who was complaining about the snow we had three days ago! I'm never happy.

The worst part about being away from our trailer for three months is that we had to be very careful to think about what we were doing because we forgot our "routine", plus Denny started doing my jobs so we were all discombobilated. The two of us had to step back, take a deep breath and stop to think what we should be doing next to get everything set up properly. Eventually we got it all done, leftovers from Ohio were warmed up (there was no way we were going to get into that truck again to drive to a restaurant) and the dishes were washed. The refrigerator hasn't cooled down yet so we may lose the food we brought with us, but the satellite TV is set up so Denny can watch the Masters Golf tournament this week and my Internet satellite is set up so I can surf and e-mail. Patches has had her walk, has been chased by the neighbor's dog and in general is making a nuisance of herself because THIS TRAILER IS TOO SMALL FOR A CAT AFTER SHE'S HAD FREE REIN IN A 3 BEDROOM RANCH WITH A FULL BASEMENT! Major adjustments are in store for all of us. We'll spend a couple of days here and then take at least three days to return to Ohio since our campground doesn't open up until next Friday. I'm thinking a visit to the Lexington Horse Farm would be nice, although way out of our way since we're in Alabama. Hmmm, perhaps I'll check to see if their campground is open yet--I'm always up for being around horses.

And now it's probably bedtime since we got up at 0 dark thirty this morning to hit the road. We're such wimps. Old wimps.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Walk on By

An early morning dental appointment for Denny meant he treated me to breakfast afterward. Shortly before we finished eating, a woman at the table behind Denny got up and helped her mother into her coat. The daughter appeared to be about my age and the mother was older than my mother had been. The daughter carefully adjusted her mother's coat and at that point tears came to my eyes because that is what I would do for my mother this winter as I took her out on various errands. I so wanted to get up and tell that woman to enjoy her mother's company because you never know when that opportunity will be gone forever. But I figured being approached by a blubbering idiot would be just a little intimidating so I let them walk by.

But oh, how I envied them.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Yesterday we placed my mother's ashes in the mausoleum. Well, some of them anyway--Denny and I are also taking her to Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas since those were two places she loved best in this world. I included Mom's gambling boat "comp" cards and a very large shark's tooth she had found on the beach with her urn, envisioning her perfect place as a long shell-encrusted beach with slot machines. Why not?

The picture above is the view from the mausoleum. This summer my aunt and I will take the guided tour of the cemetery to look for the Wright Brothers, Erma Bombeck, John Patterson (of National Cash Register fame), Paul Lawrence Dunbar (the poet), Charles F. Kettering and many more well-known Daytonians (including the famous Gypsy family the Stanleys which my great-great-aunt married into). My parents are in good company there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's the Little Things

I had my brother over for dinner tonight as he needed to sign some official documents for me. I mentioned that his daughter (my niece) was coming over tomorrow to pick up Mom's recipes and OMG! I WAS GIVING MOM'S RECIPES TO ELAINE????????

So tonight I am scanning recipe cards into the computer so that any and all family members who want Grandma's recipes can have a copy. *sigh* I did not need this extra work.

Apparently we're not going to fight over the antiques but over recipes. I have a feeling I'll be pulling my hair out over this estate stuff before the end of summer. I wish Mom had sold it all and taken a month long trip to Las Vegas on the proceeds. We both would have been happier in the long run.

Don't mind me, I'm still fighting this crappy cold/cough/flu/whatever the heck I have and I'm incredibly grumpy about it.

Is it Spring yet?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Day Trip

Okay, so it turned out that Mom didn't go to Massillon, Ohio with the funeral director after all--he must have heard the anger in my voice during our phone conversation so he turned around and brought her back. That really wasn't an April Fool's Day post.

Once that was taken care of it was time to take a break from all this estate "stuff" and drive down to "the boats", which is what we call the gambling casinos on the Ohio River in southern Indiana. Mom, her friend Dottie and I were going to drive down on President's Day for a day of losing money at the slots, but that's the day I ended up taking Mom to the hospital so our excursion never happened. Denny and I decided it was time to take that trip for Mom, finally. I ended up gambling for two hours on the same $20 which is some kind of record for me.

I wish I had taken my camera along with us because Spring is finally showing up in southern Ohio. The daffodils are out, tulips are starting to bloom, weeping cherry trees are a vision of flowing pinks and whites, huge magnolia trees are filled with brilliant pink flowers and the Bradford pear trees look like brides swathed in satin and lace. How Mom would have loved that drive!

We finished off the afternoon by having lunch with Denny's sister Connie, sharing our "usual", deluxe pizza and house salad at La Rosa's. Life is getting back to normal, at least for this day.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bang, Bang

I have been waiting for the funeral director to contact me about several issues, not the least of which is the return of my mother's ashes so that we may place them with my father's ashes at the cemetery (where all the famous Daytonians are buried, ahem!)

This afternoon the funeral director called to tell me that he was mailing the death certificates to me and oh, by the way, was it okay to deliver Mom's ashes on Monday because he was on his way to visit his parents and he forgot that he had Mom's ashes with him and he was already an hour away on I-71.


I won't go into the ensuing conversation, but in the end I told him to go on to visit his parents and I'd get the ashes from him on Monday. In the meantime, my mother is on the road and I'm not. How funny is that?

It wasn't an hour later that an unnamed cell phone company called to conduct a survey since I had canceled Mom's cell phone service. I told the girl whose first language was obviously not English that Mom wasn't available because she had passed away but she still wanted to do the survey so off we went with it. Breaking into her own spiel midway to explain that she knew my mother had passed on but IF she were to once again contract with a wireless company would she use "unnamed cell phone company" yes/no, I played the game and answered all the questions for a shot at a gift card for a dead person.

You just can't make this stuff up.
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