Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


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Some of the trees on the property here today.  Yes, it is a dull day out, and the sky is essentially the same color as the background behind this text.


No worries about it being a dull and bleary day today; I have my Happy Light!  Yay!  The above photo was taken with my “good” camera, a Canon Rebel.  I hardly ever use it, just on “special occasions,” with a smaller point-n-shoot camera kept handy.  In keeping with my philosophy of “why not enjoy something instead of saving it for a special occasion,” my Rebel is now sitting in the office ready and handy.  What exactly was I saving it for, anyway.  There’s often not much of spectacular interest to photograph around here, but perhaps I can find things to snap.  We’ll start with the lovely trees this morning, eh?

Spent part of the morning rearranging my office . . . again.  I really liked having the credenza behind me against the wall opposite my desk; however, it was up against the heating vent.  Not a good thing with Winter coming, as the credenza and its contents were getting pretty darned warm when the heat was on, and pretty soon I will need the heat on in here.  I’ve been able to get by with a tower ceramic heater so far for chilly mornings and evenings, but that won’t be enough before long. So, the credenza got moved back to the wall to my left, the back wall of the office trailer.  I brought in a stand that was outside, and that is what one of my plants is sitting on now.  Need to keep the plants near windows so they can get some light, and I have accomplished that.  Lifted up the window covering on the back wall window, so I (and the plants) get more natural light. 


You can see one of our rig’s slides through the window.  We’re parked end-to-end with the office trailer with our generator set up between the two. 

That window really needs to stay covered during the warm/hot months in order to keep it cooler in here.  That certainly won’t be an issue in Winter, when the priority shifts to bringing in natural light and, hopefully, sunshine.

Yes, it’s Halloween, or Samhain, depending on what you celebrate if you celebrate!  We obviously don’t get trick-or-treaters here on the property and in some ways I miss that.  Oh well.  Dinner is leftover chicken-and-rice casserole I concocted last night, and we plan to make it a chess evening.  Our weather is to deteriorate over the evening, with heavy rain and possibly some strong winds into tomorrow.  Sounds like a good night to put on a CD and play chess.

Hope you have a good Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by!








Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Almost a Week!

Okay, I seriously do not know where the time goes these days.  Well, actually I do.  My days and evenings are full lately with work, taking care of personal business and trying to find some “me” and chilling time after all required activities are done and dusted.

Saturdays are usually laundry days, but last week I managed to get it all done on Friday.  This really was nice, as I had the entire weekend to . . . do whatever, which included another items which needed attention and then some “me” time.

Saturday turned into a cooking day, which I really enjoyed!

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I think I had mentioned – maybe I did – that Dave and I have been “kolache hungry” lately, really missing the sausage kolaches we had enjoyed in both Texas and Minnesota in times past.  Not being able to find these in this area, I decided to make my own.  Even though the covering is not from scratch, my first kolache attempt was not only adequate  but yummy!  Yay!  I see more of these in our near future.

Saturday evening I made beef enchiladas and guacamole for us.  These were definitely edible and served us well for a couple of days’ meals. 

Saturday and Sunday evenings saw us poised over our chess board with a fave Celtic CD murmuring in the background, and I played much better.  We had not played in about three years before taking it up again recently, and it takes me a while to get back in the groove.  I almost “had” Dave’s king in a game or two, but he wriggled out of harm’s way and beat me in the end.  Chess is such a brilliant game.  We manage two games each weekend evening, with a game taking a bit over an hour to complete.

Sunday morning Dave went out to the company truck to make his morning patrol and saw this:

Suburban Tire

Well, actually what he saw was a pancake flat on the truck.  It was resting on the rim. The above photo is the tire off the truck and it’s hard to tell, but it is cracked.  Oh well!  So I’m in the process of making arrangements to have 4 new tires put on the company truck.  While the tread is still good on them, they all have a severe case of dry rot.  Bummer.  Need to get that taken care of before we get snow and ice on the roads.  The company’s great; they work with us to have issues resolved promptly.

Okay, so yesterday was insanely busy with people and deliveries, including the arrival of our replacement convection microwave!  Now I just need to get our mobile tech scheduled to come out. 

A lot of my day today was spent with the tire issue and then an errand or two for us.

Whew!  Geez, it’s been busy.  Still working my oDesk job, mainly during weekday evenings right now as there’s too much happening during the days.

We have talked a bit about returning to Texas on a permanent basis.  We have a good job here right now, but do talk about finding something in Texas; this is a conversation we have occasionally but have never acted on it.  I think I would enjoy managing a small to medium-sized RV park in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in East Texas or on the coast.  We did receive a call a few weeks ago with basically an offer . . . but it was right on the border of Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley.  It was mainly that factor and that the hiring person could not be specific about duties/responsibilities that made us decide to pass.  Compensation was not what we receive here, but the cost of living would be lower there than here in Jersey.  I’m not comfortable with accepting a position when a written description of expectations cannot be given and the job description is vague.  It would be a major move with major expense for us to go such a long distance with nothing in writing . . . no real description of responsibilities and compensation.

Oh well, we’re not in a hurry . . . who knows?  One day “the” opportunity may present itself and we’ll be headed back to The Lone Star State. 

Another day is wrapping up around here, so I guess I’ll wrap this up, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Keeping the Truck Happy


Today I took our truck (2008 Ford F350, crew cab, long bed) to the nearest dealership for an oil change.  Turns out it was time for the routine servicing of the transmission and cooling systems, so I spent the bulk of the day there.  At least it is a nice dealership with plenty of places to comfortably sit besides the waiting area in the service department.  The folks are nice there, too, and that helps when one is hanging out all day.  I prefer taking it to a Ford dealership because they give it a thorough check-up.  The brake light over the cab is out, but I can replace that myself.  I probably would never had noticed that because it’s not something I can actually see to tell if it’s working and, besides that, we rarely venture out after dark.  Other than that, the truck’s in good shape.  Yay! 


Just love this truck!  Just under 48k miles, not even “broke in” for a diesel.

Gotta keep that beast happy and healthy.  Not that we plan on hauling our rig out of here in the near future, but just in case . . .

Today was definitely downright chilly and I’m wearing a sweater with my jeans for the first time this Winter.  We had a bit of rain, just a light drizzle type of rain, part of the day.

I actually enjoyed the last hour at the dealership.  Started chatting with a lady in the waiting room.  Turns out she and her husband have been talking about making a trip down to Kerrville, TX to see friends; I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Kerrville and the surrounding area throughout the years.  She had also been a medical transcriptionist, as I had, for several years.  It was an enjoyable visit and certainly helped pass the time.

Gosh, tomorrow is Thursday and another week is flying by.  We’re almost into November, so this year is truly on its way out the door.  Dave will be going to have our propane tanks filled this week, something he has not done in months.  We have four tanks (30-pounders) of our own and have use of two more besides those.  It gets bloody cold here in NJ (the river next to us actually froze last year!), so the extra tanks really come in handy.  We talked in the past about getting a large extended-stay tank but, after weighing the pros and cons for our particular situation, decided against it.

Okay, that’s it for this evening.  It has been a long day and I’m a bit brain-tired.

Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Really Nice Day For A While


Today has been in the upper 60s with sunshine and a wee breeze now and then, but nothing annoying.  Maggie and I took advantage of what is probably the last day of nice weather for a good long while to give her a clip and an outdoor bath.  Her towels, harness, sweaters and office rug are in the washer right now.  She’s not keen on the actual bath but, boy, does she feel good and crazy afterwards!  We have towel tussle for a while and then she runs around like a loony dog!

She is so patient while I clip and brush her, has been right from the get-go.  The only exception to that are her front paws.  I can clip the fur everywhere else on her cute wee body but those front paws . . . she pulls them away, necessitating a “stealth clip” of her Lhasa fur on those two extremities.  She was distracted and fascinated watching the orange feral cat roaming nearby, so I got a good bit done.  Thanks, Cat!  Good timing!

I can touch them, massage them, etc. when she is relaxed in my lap, but grooming . . . she fidgets and takes them away from me.  Not aggressively, but with determination.

This makes me wonder what happened in her past to make her reluctant to submit those front paws to me.  The shelter where we got her knew nothing of her history; she was transferred to them from another shelter, and they had no records of her past.  Her behavior tells me something not-so-good must have occurred sometime before she came to live with us.

Glad I got this done; it just dawned on me about an hour ago that Winter will be making an appearance in about 48 hours with a bit of rain and overnight lows below freezing, so it was a good time to treat her to a bit of outdoor spa time.  Of course, she gets clipped and bathed during the winter months, but inside in the shower and bathroom.  That makes a bit of a mess in the bathroom, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Figured I might as well take advantage of what may be the last least-work bathing of her today.

Wash dog while the Sun shines, eh?

It’s been another busy day – paying bills, a report for work, phone calls and emails for work, ran a couple of errands . . . whew!  I also ordered our new convection microwave; found it for $300 at Camping World online and saved a bit because we’re Good Sam members.  It is the exact same model as our dead one, so it should fit just fine.  The unit  has been reliable up until now (it has a 2-year warranty, was made in 2009 and we’ve used it extensively for 3+ years), is roomy and has features I really like.  When it comes in, I’ll call our mobile guy to come out.


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Dave mowed this afternoon, what may possibly have been the last time this year.


Newcastle Werewolf

Dave enjoyed this over the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up


There is now a button on this site you can use to follow along if you wish.  Thanks to Judy for pointing out that omission!  There are also options to subscribe via feed readers and/or email.

The weekend isn’t over by any means, as it’s Sunday morning.  If I don’t do this now, it may not happen! 

Yesterday was busy with laundry and a thorough housecleaning binge.  Whew!  None of it is difficult, but it is hard work.  Dinner was Salsa Chicken and Rice Casserole, which I got from  I enjoy cooking, but sometimes have a brain freeze when it comes to ideas.  Now and then I grab something new and try it.  This one was a winner!  Leftovers today – yay!

Last week when I went to Harold’s RV over in Bath, PA, I stopped in at a grocery store that is a different chain from what we have around here.  It was quite enjoyable and nice to see different items.  I may go back now and then just for a bit of variety or to pick up items we can’t get here.

Hunting is big up here and it’s that time of year again.  In fact, bow hunting season started recently.  There are a few select people allowed on the property to hunt (typically have been doing so for years); they have to fill out a form in order to hunt here, and yesterday I had I gentleman stop in to complete his paperwork for his year.  The hunters are supposed to call me 24-48 hours prior to wanting to be on the property to make sure it’s okay, and I keep track of who is going to be where and when, etc. 

Oh!  Guess I didn’t mention our convection microwave freaked out Thursday evening!  I was using it on convection mode to cook dinner.  When the cycle was done, it would not turn off!  The fan typically runs for a few minutes after the cycle completes, but this time it was more than just the fan, and it just wouldn’t stop.  We also smelled . . . a “plastic” smell.  Rut-roh!  I turned off the breaker and then unplugged the unit.  Nothing appeared to be damaged in the cabinet above it (it’s an under-counter, over-the stovetop model) and nothing was on fire.  Thank goodness.  I ran our FanTastic fan and ceiling fan in the living area for a while to get the smell out.

I talked with our mobile tech; he says from my description and his experience that it sounds like the unit has died.  Oh well.  I have found the exact same model online for $300, so I’ll probably go ahead and order it.  That way when Luke gets here, he can just install it.  We have a couple of other minor things for him to fix (things that once I see how they are done, I/we can do in the future if need be), so might as well get them taken care of when he’s here.  So thankful there was no fire.  Sure miss my microwave, though.  Since becoming comfortable with the convection mode, I use it quite a bit in addition to regular microwaving.  The convection mode is really wonderful in Summer, so I can bake without heating up the rig with the propane oven.


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Dave and I played chess last night.  He won both games, but I made him work for it!

We had showers last evening, but today another gorgeous Autumn day is with us.  Yay!  There is a bit of a breeze, but it really is nice out. 

I don’t plan on doing a whole lot today.  Well, I may venture out to that market mentioned above . . . or not.  Maggie and I had a nice walk already, and probably will have a couple more!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Long Have You Had That?


I honestly don’t know where the time goes these days.  I thought it was Tuesday!  Yoinks!

Today’s weather wasn’t too bad, but it was a bit on the dull/dreary side.  We may get some showers overnight, but nothing major.  This week is still shaping up as pleasant, but we’re to see definitively cooler/cold weather next week with our first dip below freezing a few nights.

It’s time to go through the winter sweaters/tops.  I know there are at least a couple I probably should have tossed out last year, but . . . they are so comfy!  One pullover sweater has been with me for at least 8 years and I don’t know how long it was with its previous owner.  Was having a garage sale in Brenham prior to moving to Minnesota in 2005.  A friend brought some things over, including the sweater.  I saw it and said something like, “Wow, you’re getting rid of this??” and next thing I knew, it was mine!  Has been a fave ever since, I wear it regularly in cold weather and it is well-made as evidenced by its longevity, but I think it’s time to bid farewell to it.

The other sweater I know needs to go to “Sweater Heaven” is a hand-me-down from Dave.  So that’s 8 years I’ve been wearing it and who knows how long he had it before I came along. 

Speaking of having things a few years, my electric hand mixer had to be replaced.  Not because it stopped working, but the detachable power cord as been AWOL/MIA for quite some time.  I think it went missing when we traded out rigs back in December 2010.  (We moved belongings – our entire house, if you will – in about four hours and it was rather crazy).  I don’t use it often, but each time I start to do so, I can’t find the cord.  Oh well.  I’ve looked all over for it – I mean it’s just a 40’ RV, where can it be? - to no avail.  It has disappeared.

Made cupcakes the other night and encountered the same problem.  No electric mixer.  Bummer.  So today at Wal-Mart, I “splurged” on a new one, not that they are expensive.

The cupcakes have just about disappeared, too, but at least I know where they’ve gone.

So how long had I had that mixer?

Back in 1978 (yep, 1-9-7-8) I rented a wee older apartment while in college in Beaumont, TX.  When moving in, I discovered this mixer, pristine in the box, in one of the kitchen cabinets. 

That was 35 years ago. 

I’d say that’s a good, long life for an electric hand mixer.  It was used often back when I had a stix-n-brix home.  It would keep going if I could only find the freakin’ cord.

Of course, my Cutco knives are still going strong sans sharpening except for back in 2003 or 2004, when my uncle visiting from Minnesota sharpened all my knives.  Those Cutco babies date back to at least 1977, and you can still injure yourself with ‘em if you’re not careful.  Not bad, eh?

Today I ran a couple of errands and prepared some plants for wintering in the office.  The mums Dave gave me for my birthday were repotted into a larger container and a couple of plants that were in a florist ornamental basket-thing were each given their own pot. That’s seven plants indoors for the winter. 


The three plants that share my desk with me.  They are under a window and enjoy the light in this spot.

If we don’t lose power (or at least not for long) over the winter months, the indoor plants should be okay until Spring.  I hope. I’ll do my best. Once the cold sets in up here, there’s no “just covering” outside plants.  That’s it.  They’re done.  The winters are too severe.  That being said, I should have tulips again next Spring and daylilies in Spring/Summer.  Cool.

This evening I made Dave a steak bridie.  It’s really an all-day affair, with the meat cooking in the Crock Pot for several hours, then it goes through another stage with gravy, and finally put in pastry and baked for a while.  Yummy!  It’s too much pastry for me, but I do enjoy the meat and gravy.  Perhaps I’ll share that recipe tomorrow. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Went Looking at New Rigs Today . . .


Well, at least I got your attention!

Looking at the Class A’s and 5th wheels on the lot of Harold’s RV Center was just a bit of fun after making my intended purchase.  These were mainly Heartland 5th wheels and they sure were pretty; however, all the ones I looked at had significantly lower cargo capacity than our Montana (not very enticing for a full-timer) and some of the interior workmanship was not of the same quality as our beloved Montana home.  I still prefer our rear kitchen with the oven positioned so I can get in front of it and to each side; this makes lighting it and putting things in/taking things out so much easier.  I, however, really, really liked the bathroom in one of them.  It had one door only, the one in the hallway, and no sliding door to the bedroom.  There was ample cabinet storage and . . . a virtually full-sized tub with shower.  Oh my!  Wouldn’t that be grand?

The tradeoff to that, I suppose, was less room in the bedroom and no bedside night-stand shelves. 

I also noticed that the bedroom slide appeared to be a cable slide.

There was one floor plan that did sort of appeal to me, but . . .

Nope, I’ll keep our Montana and be very content with our sturdy, comfy, cozy home, thanks.

Now what did I go to Harold’s for in the first place? 

Not long ago we had a recurring issue with the bathroom rocker switch for the 12-volt lights.  When pressing the switch on, there would be a 1-2 second delay in the lights coming on and, after being on for a while, the switch would become pretty darn warm.  We changed out the switch and that solved the problem.

The switch to the 12-volt lights in the living room had been doing the same thing for a couple of weeks, and we stopped using those lights.  Harold’s had the switches in stock, so I drove the 24 miles there today to pick up some spares in both black and white colors.

I also got three new step covers; they’ll stay in their packaging until next Spring.  We have step covers on right now that have seen better days but remove them completely during Winter because of ice and snow.  No sense in putting on the new ones now with Winter coming soon.

It sure was fun looking at the different rigs today.  I was so like a kid in a candy store!  Or like Dave in a bike shop!  Haha!

What I really enjoyed today was the drive.  Just me, the truck and great road tunes.  It was a beautiful day and I had some bonding time with the faithful Ford beast.  I’ve got an appointment next week to take that steed in to the dealership for an oil change. Man, I love that truck.

Did I mention Harold’s is over in Pennsylvania?  Whoohoo!  I went to a whole ‘nuther state today!  Marveled at how the terrain could change quite a bit in such a short distance.  Hey, I got to look at something other than trees!  Sweet.

I’m visiting with you while basking in the glow of one of my Happy Lights from Verilux.

Happy Light 2


Wow!  That was fast!  I ordered them Friday and they arrived today.  The recommended usage time is 1-2 hours each day, and that can be broken up into increments.  I’ll keep you posted on whether it seems to help during the dark and bleak days of Winter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Beautiful Start to the Week


Today’s weather is absolutely wonderful, so we’ve been enjoying it while it lasts.  Right now it’s 66F and sunny out.  Who could ask for a nicer Autumn day, eh?

Work was kind of busy this morning, but I found time to take off the inside control panel in the rig where switches are located for the slides and lights, both indoor and out.  I got the wires disconnected but had to enlist Dave’s help in actually getting the switch assembly out; my fingers just weren’t strong enough to disengage the switch, dang it.  Seems the rocker switch for our 12-volt living room lights has been acting up in the same manner as the bathroom one did a while back.  We replaced the bathroom switch and it’s been fine ever since, so I’ll be doing the same with the LR switch.  The plan is that I’ll head down the road about 20 miles to an RV place I haven’t been yet and pick up a couple of switches in both black and white/bone/whatever that color is.

Yay!  I get to go to an RV dealer tomorrow!  Whoohoo!  Not that we’re in the market for a new rig or any flashy accessories, but it’s always fun to browse, eh? 

Need to get the truck in for an oil change, hopefully this week, so I’ll call the dealership and see about making an appointment. 

The light switch and oil change are really the only two “big” items on my list of things to get done before the weather turns nasty with Winter.  Oh, I’m sure there will be other stuff that needs to be done, but right now those are the two major things I want to take care of before the weather gets dodgy.  It won’t be long before that happens.  We’ve been very fortunate to have had a quiet hurricane season, but it’s not over yet.  Winter follows shortly after that.


Lovely mums from Dave for my birthday

Aren’t those nice?  I have a pot outdoors that I’ll be transplanting these to tomorrow, if not later today.  I dare not plant them outside, as we are forecast for our first below-freezing overnight temps next week.  I’m hopeful I can keep them going until next Spring, at which time I’ll find a spot for them outdoors. 

Well, that’s it for today.  I’m still trying to get back in the groove of blogging after being away from it for a while.


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Life is Indeed Guid!


Well, here I am again, starting all over with a new blog!  Did you wonder how long I could stand to be away?  I think I enjoyed my wee hiatus, but did miss interacting with everyone. 

This blog has a different look, a simpler layout.  I’ve been simplifying my life in other ways, so I suppose it’s natural that it carries over here.

We lead a very simple life and at times it’s difficult to come up with things to talk about in a blog that others might enjoy reading.  Although we are living the full-time RV life, it is with a “twist” and certainly not what I envisioned when we started out 3+ years ago.

Life has a way of taking one down different roads than originally laid out, much as does traveling.  The road we’re on right now is a comfortable one, albeit not the one I had in mind.

All that being said, it is a good road!

Winter will soon be upon us; last year saw us with dreary, sunless days.  Yesterday I ordered this . . .

Happy Lights


Happy Lights!  They are natural spectrum lights which supposedly resemble sunlight.  After researching the idea and then different kinds, I found these which have good reviews and were on sale as a package deal of 2 for 1 at a price usually seen for just one light.  They are desktop size; I’m thinking of putting one in the office on my desk and another in the rig. 

Today we’re enjoying autumn-like weather with wonderful sunshine and a bit of a breeze.  That’s certainly a relief from the rain we had just about every day this past week.

Thanks for stopping by!