Monday, April 30, 2012

Whirlwind weekend

Here's a recap of the crazy weekend we've had.
Saturday:  Left Brain was driving and I should have been at shul but the allure of the RV was too strong.  I spent the day hauling stuff into the RV and hauling things back out for Goodwill.  Almost everything is put away and ready to roll.  But I've got lots of time, right?  I thought I did.

Sunday:  Left Brain continued the clean up on the outside and waxed the entire RV in one day.  He's gonna be hurting tonight! This is where I found out the date was April 29th.  Yikes!  I was not aware so many days had flown by.  We gotta get moving!  He was planning to mow the yard before we hauled it up to the kids but it wouldn't start.  Steve came to the rescue with fresh gas and a charger to jump start the battery.  Still no good, so we pushed it up on the trailer and took it as it was.  We arrived in the cities too late to run by the house first so we went right to the athletic complex where Emmy had her softball game.

We finally found our family and watched Em play for a while and we were freezing!  The air was cool and when the wind blew it was not comfortable. Kiersten was in flip flops and quite comfortable....that's kids for ya.  After a bit we decided to head back to the house and unload the stuff and get warmed up.  After unloading everything into their garage we enjoyed a nice supper and visit with the family.  This is where we learned the lawnmower will not fit their the gate in their fence.  Oh well.  Ted was getting over a nasty cold and the kids were coming down with it in full force so we all went to bed early, which was fine with us as we were running out of steam.

Monday:  Up early to start heading back to accomplish today's mission.  We stopped at Little Oscar's for breakfast - one of our favorite places to eat when en route to the cities.  Upon arrival at the house we scurried to load the car up with stuff for Goodwill.  I took that load in and then went to my 12:45 dentist appointment.  When I was ready to leave, Left Brain started driving the motorhome down to West Salem to leave for tomorrow's installation.  I met him down there and we rode back together. 

Then it was back home to put out the trash and recycling before driving down again in the Honda.  On our way back from the second trip to West Salem we stopped at Kwik Trip for gas for the other mower and to Festival Foods for more trash bags.  When I got back to the car he was on his phone with someone about the Canned Ham and he agreed to meet him at 3:30 to show it.

So we headed home to unload the gas and stopped at the storage shed to empty it out and I closed out that contract with them.  One more thing done.  Left Brain checked his email and found that we now have a Texas address for mail forwarding. Just in time and another thing off our check list!

Tired and dragging our back quarters we went out to show the caller our trailer.  I went through my standard little open house showing not expecting anything, he just didn't look that interested to me.  Then, as they say in 'The G-dfather', he made us an offer we couldn't refuse.  As the kids would say "OMG".  He wrote us a check and we took it right to the bank.  Another major hurdle jumped!

So, this evening we were able to sit back at 5:00 to watch the news, sip a cold one and sit stunned with all that has happened in the last 24 hours.  I have now met my goal (except for the finalization on the sale of the house).  We decided this in February while in Texas and I told Left Brain my plan was to return early March, sell everything, find a motor home and move into it early May.  We will be parking the motorhome tomorrow night or Wednesday at the latest if they run into trouble installing the tow bar.

Now I just need to get my dolls to Viroqua tomorrow morning, get the oil changed in the van, submit our bill for the locksmith to the insurance store, return some stuff to Shopko and Walmart that didn't work, get an emergency key made so we don't have to recontact the former mentioned locksmith and prepare for my sleep study.  It's so nice to have an easy day to look forward to!

I knew I forgot something in all this process, so tomorrow I will be wearing a pair of Left Brain's underwear since I forgot to pack those and the RV is in another city.  Oh well. I guess that's a small price to pay.

Long Live the Queen of Dreams Coming True!

PS  - I know - where are the photos?  Soon, I promise.  I will take pictures of the new RV as soon as we park it in our first RV spot.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Busy Days

Well, the motorhome is in our driveway and we've been busy working on it to prepare for our new life.  Yeah yeah, I know...where are the photos?  We've been so busy I haven't had time to shoot any yet.  But soon!  I promise.   

Our first challenge arose yesterday when one of the jacks dropped down and refused to go back up again.  Hmmm.  Our neighbor ran home and got some tools since we aren't sure where ours are right now and tried to help, but it requires a new part.  We'll have this fixed as soon as it comes in.

Left Brain was very frustrated with this and of course all the neighbors walking by wanted to stop in for a look.  Since it wasn't leveled yet, the sides were not out and I know he would have prefered to do this quietly and privately but he stayed very patient as people went in and out.  Slowly but surely we're both learning to enjoy the journey and try not to rush to get "finished" with the project at hand.

Today was more hauling stuff in and dragging out things that will need to stay behind.  It's all about making a decision and I just keep telling myself it's all just stuff and only keep that which is necessary or too dear to part with. I went up to see Eric and take a look at a computer he thought would work well for me and I loved it.  It has a 17" screen and fast processor, so I ordered it.  After this arrives I'll load Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and my HDR software so I'm ready to play on the road. 

Then I was ready to head out with Colleen for lunch at the Indian buffet with Karen.  I decided to close the door in case Ozzie stopped by and decided to roam about with muddy feet.  He's the neighbor dog and somewhat of a character - no social graces at all but so friendly and cute you can overlook it.  Who would have thought that just closing the door might lock it.  With both sets of our keys inside! 

American Lock and Key arrived quickly and managed to pick the lock on the drivers door to gain entry.  Whew!  We just took out the roadside assistance insurance two days ago and I have my very first claim already!  Then I'll be having some exra keys made up for emergencies.  I'm very glad that both of these "challenges" happened right in our own driveway while we still have a house to live in.

I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!

Long Live the Queen of Challenges

Monday, April 23, 2012

The last few days

Left Brain was working yesterday so it was a leisurely day for the Queen.  I had some lunch and then went out to Perrot Park to scout for the very bestest camping spot available to consider for later this year before we head westward.

When I got home I decided to take a little nap and stripped off my clothes and slithered into the sheets with She Devil by the side.  I was just about to the city limits of Slumberland when the doorbell rang.  Ignore it.  Ring ring ring.  Still ignored it.  Then I heard Roger's voice say "hello?"  I swear that man has a radar for whenever I have no clothes on!  I leapt from my covers and scrambled on some clothes to go out and greet him.  It's my own fault, I had told him he could come over and bring more things in.  This was actually a good thing as I'm trying not to nap so much anyway.

Today I went to see the Pulmonologist about my lack of oxygen when I sleep.  Based on what Left Brain has documented it was no surprise to any of us that I continue to have sleep apnea.  But I need to have a sleep study first before I can get back on the CPAP machine.  Thankfully I am able to get in on May 1st so it won't be a long wait.

Having a need to get outta here and away from roofers I conspired with my friend Marti to spend the day plant shopping tomorrow.  She'll be the only one shopping.  I'm just driving and enjoying her company and the fun of the road trip.  I guess I will do a little bit of shopping as I want to find a really cool hummingbird feeder to hang out where we camp and maybe a small bird bath of some sort also.  We always manage to find good places to eat and have a lot of fun on these outings.

Left Brain has made arrangements with the owners of our motor home to go and get it on Wednesday, so at least we can be working on it and getting it cleaned up and ready for our departure.  And now I'm off to get a new hair do for the new life.  I have no idea what I'll end up with except it will not be as Left Brain suggested...shaving my head to match his.  I'll still be the hairy one.

Long Live the Queen of (snore......) Apnea

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Emily Post is dead

Emily Post is gone, actually she has been since 1960.  But her standards of etiquette live on.  While good manners and civility are important to society in general and should be considered as healthy and necessary, things have changed in the last 52 years.

An etiquette subject came up in a group recently and this got me thinking.  Here's a brief synopsis of the situation:  A couple getting married had requested gifts be made in the form of payments to their travel agency.  They were an older couple and in no need of more "things" and wished for the memories of exploring the Mayan ruins for their honeymoon.

Several of the group were appalled at this lack of manners and breach of impropriety, some where silent and I was confused.  Apparently it is considered tacky to ask for money in your invite,  and yet it is an accepted practice to mention where you are "registered", which is a thinly veiled request for gifts.  What's the big deal?

Perhaps my opinion is influenced by my recent decision to become basically trailer trash on wheels and I'm the only one in this group who doesn't have (or want) the expensive clothes and jewelry, great hair, nice nails.....and on and on.  It should come as no surprise that when we all pull into a parking lot there are an abundance of white vehicles and I pull in with my shiny black sheep mobile.  I am the odd duck among swans.  They are Republicans, I am a get the picture.

My thinking is that you want to provide a gift to show your joy in their union.  I would prefer to give them something they can actually use and enjoy.  My gift should reflect their wishes, not my own thought as to what I think they should have.

Different couples have different needs.  Younger couples may need more household items than an older couple, so the registry makes sense.  However, I for one hate printing out a twenty page list of gifts and then having to decide what fits in my budget, locate the gift, pay for it, wrap it and bring it to the wedding.  They need to haul it home, open it, toss all the paper, boxes, ribbon and mess that go with it. Write a check and let them decide what to do with bet.  Tacky?  Maybe.  Practical, simple and always the right color and size and never to be returned?  You bet.

I will also acknowledge that my opinion reflects my desire for travel and memories versus collectibles and material things.  There are others who love decorating their homes, and I used to be one of them.  But to let the world know you have enough stuff and want to visit the Mayan ruins instead....tell me how this is offensive.

To me this was an honest and open request and I found it refreshing and fun.  I still believe that the invitation should be sent in a paper form and a formal paper handwritten note should be sent to the gift-giver.  Not that I'm old fashioned or nostalgic, but I do believe each person invited is entitled to a handwritten thank you note.  And I'm sure the Postal Service welcomes the business.

In this scenario it would be fun to receive a photo of the happy couple at the top of the ruins and a brief note reminding me that I helped to make this dream possible.  I'm all about helping to  achieve the dreams of those who dare to dream them.

Long Live the Queen of Practical Tackiness

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thursday night was fun with the garden club group as they put together floral arrangements.  I opted to pass on playing with them since I am homeless and my main interest in going out at night was to enjoy real furniture and running water.  We will be able to flush the system and have water again tomorrow...but for today, nada. 

 The real estate guy showed up at 9:00 with new papers to sign to cover all the new owners "stuff" in our house to make sure they are responsible for having insurance on it.  The roofers continued to peel away the old roof and lay new shingles.

I ran off to the funeral visitation and met more family and cousins I never knew existed, this side of the family is a total mystery to me and probably always will be.

Then I headed to Pickerman's to pick up soup for lunch.  No time or desire to cook anything in this state of limbo.

My doctor called to tell me I flunked my oxygen test, apparently I had 308 episodes during the night where it dropped significantly.  Rats.  This looks like another sleep study may be in order.

Our daughter arrived to go over photos again and we had a quick lunch of salad with pears, walnuts and gorganzola with the loaded baked potato soup.Then they got down to work.

I went off to get a much needed haircut and picked up groceries for supper.  Left Brain and Steph got a lot done and we all have a nice visit afterwards.  I especially enjoyed my chatting with Steph in the hot tub under the stars.  We all headed for bed early as they both had to get up very early for the next day.

My intentions were good for Saturday.  I got up and tried to do something with my hair.  Not loving the haircut, it seems we had "a failure to communicate".  I left a message for her to call me and see if we can work out something else to do with it.  Since she layered it in the back I may have to go quite short to get the haircut I actually wanted. Oh more new thing to enter my life.

Then it was off to synagogue and after staying long enough to chant the morning blessings and listen to part of the service I had to leave...just twitchy and jumpy and unable to sit still.  I ended up going back home and unable to settle down so crawled back into bedfor a nap.  The nap lasted until about 5:00.  I had thought the need for these naps lately had to do with the emotional upheaval and unrest of the move, but maybe it's the low oxygen in my blood.  I will be so glad when things settle down and my energy revs up again.

Left Brain returned about 5:30 and we watched TV while he tried to communicate with me, which didn't go too well.  I just can't seem to track at all and feel cold and achy.  Maybe I'm coming down with something as well as having sluggy blood flow.

So, it's off to bed early again tonight and attempt to get rested and hopefully the weather tomorrow will allow for some time outside in the gardens.  I don't feel any desire to work on them, but I need the physical release it brings and it would be nice for the new owners to have it looking decent when they move in.  Good night y'all.

Long Live the Queen of Sloths

Friday, April 20, 2012

One Day at a Time

My double bloodroot
While having my massage recently Kathy and I were discussing the lifestyle of having "just enough" that I'm embarking on.

She had recently read something on the Lord's Prayer that struck home with her and shared it with me.  It was the line that states "give us this day our daily bread".  Probably sounds familiar to most of us, but when you read it as "give us THIS day our daily bread" it has a newer meaning.

It isn't a request for sustenance every day - but rather just THIS day, because the present is really all we have.   It's better not to worry about tomorrow or the week after that - but focus on what is right here...right now.  It's really the only thing we have and too often we miss it as we plan the next activity in our lives.

fiddlehead fern erupting -up about 12" now
This is why the Jews have a joke about how to make G-d laugh - tell him YOUR plans.  Too often we are rushing through life trying to pack in more than humanly possible like greedy little kids in a candy store when all we really need to be happy is to breath deeply and just relish what we have right now at this precise moment.

In all our rushing and scheming to "have it all" we are usually actually missing it because we don't have time to hold the cat, walk the dog, talk to the neighbor, stop to help someone, do some small good deed, listen to an older person tell their story....when these little things are what makes life so full.

Slow down, you move to fast.  You gotta make the morning last now....Hey, that would make a good song.

Long Live the Queen of Feeling Groovy

Thursday, April 19, 2012


She Devil relaxing outside on a sunny day after her "hair cut"
Doing a blood oxygen test is a bit like sleeping with a mousetrap on your finger.  I'm what you might call an "active" sleeper (Left Brain calls me Flipper) but the test gizmo thingee stayed securely on during the night.  I can't say the same for the sheets.

The well will be cleaned this morning, which means no water for 24 hours, so I scurried to get laundry done, dishes, etc.  I may end up showering at the neighbors if necessary.

I'm hoping to get in a walk with my neighbor (however, it's starting to look like rain now) before running my sundry errands.  The carpet cleaner needs to get back to my son, the credit card machine goes back to the bank, the sleep thing to the clinic, the prescription to Walmart and then I'll have a relaxing lunch somewhere before heading to the car dealership. 

It's time to turn over the Saturn and take possession of the new Honda CRV.  I still can't figure out my android phone, I'm not sure how I'll remember all the bells and whistles on this vehicle.

If I can figure out how to drive the new car I'll head over to the eye doctor to verify the exam he did late last year is indeed correct after clearing up the dry eye issue.  Once that's done, I need to find some new glasses for my new life.  So many choices lately - so much money being spent!

Then to wrap up the evening I have my garden club meeting and will take photos of the floral arrangements we're doing.

I wish I could say tomorrow is quieter, but my uncle died so there's a funeral.  My daughter is coming down with a sleeping bag (no bedding on the beds) to finish going through photos and I will sneak off for a hair cut.

Thank goodness for the Sabbath on Saturday...a day I know I will be able to sit quietly and calmly and reflect.

So, I'm going to make a break for it now because once my feet hit the ground I won't be stopping until late tonight and I don't want to wait to post this then.  Wish me luck!

Long Live the Queen of Speed Living

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Catching up

Our current digs - the recliner belongs to the new owners
Tuesday started with a nice breakfast with a good friend.  A very good friend.  One willing to lend us the money needed to pay off the motor home until the house sells.  This was our step one of being proactive and not just "waiting" for things to happen.

a few of the new owners things in my former studio
This was followed with a visit to our State Farm agent to see how our insurance is affected by our crazy change of life plans. It appears that after the dust settles the premium will be about the same as before - that was good news.

and a few things in the basement
Then I went to see my doctor to find out if I am healthy enough for so much fun. After being poked, prodded, pinched and groped I was sent out with a prescription to start at WalMart and instructions to be set up with an overnight oxygen test to see if another sleep study is in order.  All the labs look good and it will be fun to see if by next year this time they are better from eating more healthy and walking more.  We'll see what the overnight test reveals and if Left Brain is right about my apnea and snoring.

and filling all three stalls of the garage
Wednesday we went out looking for cars after getting a list of suitable tow vehicles from our friends we haven't met yet....thank you Kay and Tom!  I fell in love with the Honda Fit - it was not only cuter than can be, but there were so many great puns I could come up with for a car called the Fit.  But Left Brain didn't deem that a good reason for buying a tow vehicle.  We ended up buying a Honda CRV that is just gorgeous.  It's black with black leather upholstery and handles nice.  Oh, and it has a moon roof...our concession to not being able to have a convertible. 

We went back home to get the title for his Saturn and to write a check to pay for the vehicle.  Left Brain called up our friend to explain we just blew his loan on a car and could we have some more money.  Now that we have a car we could order the towing bar and make an appointment to have it installed.

So, things are on schedule - the roofers should finish in a day or two if the weather holds and then we can get the appraisal done and close this deal.  We will get the motor home next Monday or Tuesday, which will allow us a few days to clean it up and start to load it with our things.

May 1st we take it in to add the towing bar first thing in the morning and should be able to take it to the campground that very night.

Day by day....each day bringing new surprises and pleasures, including supper.  I accepted the neighbor's kind offer of chicken, potatoes and salad with fresh morrel mushrooms and Left Brain stayed behind to rest (early day tomorrow) and heat up some left overs.  It appears that containers of vanilla yogurt look an awfully lot like mashed potatoes but once heated and butter added are not the same at all.

Long Live the Queen of One Step Closer to the Goal

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taking a proactive approach

frog in my pond
We've both been suffering a bit from sadness and feeling out of control with everything happening so quickly.  I had my first wave of sadness when watching the waterfall and walking through my gardens and Left Brain was feeling pushed out of his home and out of sorts in general.  Transitions can be rough...they usually are.  This is where one grows and develops.  So, to combat these sensations we decided to form a plan for each day of the week to keep ourselves busy and active and part of the process instead of feeling like we are afloat.

fish in my pond
The first thing we did was haul the canned ham to Cordell's Park and Sell in Holmen to give it more exposure.  We were no sooner backing it in when a lady came running over and wanted to see the inside of it, so we gave her the tour and took her information.  That was promising.

Second task was to visit my little bank where I had my business account and close it out and say goodbye.  They've been very good to me as a small (some might say miniscule) business. 

Then we took that money to the other bank to deposit it into the checking account.  I plan to use this money to get a faster computer to dedicate to my Photoshop projects and will keep the older one for other documents and email.  My computer has better memory than I do, but it's slowing down as well.  At least I can change that, not much I can do for myself.  While at the bank we made use of their notary public service to finalize the application for mail delivery service with Escapee's RV Club.

After that was done we took that to the Post Office as I had another book I sold to mail out.  Since most of the chores were done we went to various car dealers to find out what can be towed with all four wheels on the ground.  Not many as we have found!

I needed something to rev me up again as I was beginning to droop, so we stopped at Pickerman's for a bowl of soup.  Nothing like their incredible soup to warm one's spirit and keep you going!  While we were slurping up our comfort food I had a call from the lady we met at the Park & Sell.  She wanted to meet with us at 5:00 so she could show her daughter the R-Pod.

We stopped off at the house for a bit and then went back to the Park & Sell with high hopes.  They were definitely interested in the canned ham, but her current vehicle isn't quite enough to pull it safely any distance.  However, the mother wants to buy a truck, so maybe this will happen anyway.  Tomorrow I'll run the ad with the new reduced price of $9,500 and hope for the best.

It was important to remove the canned ham for two reasons.  One to make it more visible and another to protect it from the work on the roof that should start tomorrow.  The roof has to be replaced before the appraisal can happen.  It's always something.

Long Live the Queen of Control

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend frenzy

Saturday was a leisurely day as Marti and I attended an all day camera workshop presenting Lewis Kemper.  If you ever get a chance to hear this man's presentation...GO.  He's informative, keeps a nice pace throughout the presentation, stays on time and will throw more information at you than humanly possible.  He had the good fortune to graduate as a fine art photographer and actually work with Ansel Adams.  Let's just say my brain was buzzing with all the things I want to do and need to buy.

After the workshop I relaxed on the deck for an hour with Left Brain and She Devil until it was time to visit our friends house for supper.   We had been invited to The Johnson's for supper and this has never failed to be pure bliss with good food, fine wine and camaraderie. During this visit we learned that Owen had been to Nicaragua on a humanitarian mission as their photographer.  I want to do this!  He's going again in November, so I think Left Brain and I need to find some skill they simply must have, brush up on our Spanish and sign up.

When we got home I finally looked at my phone messages and realized the livestock had been stolen!  Well, not so much stolen as kidnapped.  My rebar deer and two large metal birds were the victims of a Passover theft!  This is actually a wonderful thing as they are now residing in a lovely valley where they can live free and I can visit them when we are back in this area.

Wisconsin is now officially part of Tornado Alley....great, just when we give up having a basement.  Oh yeah, we won't be staying here all the time so I guess it's okay.  It was rainy when we went to bed and we enjoyed listening to the thunderstorm as we drifted off to sleep.

I woke to what I thought was thunder, but it had an odd rhythm to it.  Then I recognized the hesitant sound of a large truck backing up and pulling forward...backing up and pulling forward....backing up and, well, you get the idea.  Seems Roger had arrived a tad earlier (6:30am) than he had said.  So I jumped up and put on clothes, opened up the door and prepared myself for the day.

Well, at least Left Brain had a chance to talk to Roger about how the appraisal was coming, which is the last thing we need to do before completing the sale of the house.  Bad news.  Apparently the appraiser hadn't been ordered yet because the roof wasn't replaced.  This was not our understanding.  So now we need to wait until the roof is replaced and THEN the appraiser can do her thing and we can finalize this deal.  This is good as we are running out of room to live in our own home.  As I right this at 7:00am Roger is sawing lumber to build a ramp for the garage door.  Oy.

The good news is that hopefully the motor home will become available in another week and the roof is scheduled to be done next week.  So, it appears (at least today) that we will be out of here come way or another.  This is if the weather cooperates, there's rain scheduled for most of the week.

Now we just need to sell the canned ham to get the extra money to purchase a newer car to fix up for towing.  Then we are ready to roll....literally.

Long Live the Queen of Patience

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ladies that lunch

Today was a nice easy pleasant day...aaah.  I called Whispering Pines again (it still sounds like a nursing home to me) and arranged to stay for May and June.  Then I left another message for the place in Minnesota for July.  I'll feel better when I get that nailed down, then I'll work on August.

Roger arrived prior to my clinic appointment for lab tests so I got to help him unload his washer from the truck.  Thankfully this just went into the garage and not downstairs or anything.  Whew.

Then I went to have my lab tests for my physical next week to see if I am fit enough to enjoy this new lifestyle.  Although I have lovely big veins, Countess Dracula had to fish around a bit and then go in again - ouch!  But at least that is done.  I even watched the needle poking in and around until the light in the room changed color and started to slowly spin counterclockwise.  I'm getting braver, but obviously still have a ways to go.

Next stop was Panera to meet up with JuJu Bean for a quick breakfast and even faster talking as we both had places to go later.  It was great to laugh and visit and catch up with each other.  She has friends in Yuma that I definitely want to meet up with. 

I was going to sign up with Escapees for mail service; but it requires both of our signatures being notarized, so that will have to wait until Left Brain gets home this weekend.

Finally I ended the day with a little retail therapy and bought a new mattress pad and nice set of sheets for the motor home.  I'll get those washed up and packed tomorrow.  I also picked up a copy of "Now Eat This!" by Rocco Dispirito.  It has 150 of America's favorite comfort foods all under 350 calories.  This will be fun in my new life as there will be much more emphasis on home cooking.  It's harder and harder to find things I can justify buying with this new lifestyle.  I think Left Brain's right - this change is going to save us money....even with the cost of the gasoline!

Long Live the Queen of Day by Day

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another fruitful day

Today had absolutely nothing scheduled to do.  Wow!  These days bother me the most because the possibilities are unlimited and therefore overwhelming.  So I did what my kind do in this dilemma.  I made a list.

Then I helped Roger carry in lamps and clothing.  This inspired me to move everything out of the guest bedroom into ours, so my clothes are nowsharing space with Left Brain's in his closet. This frees up both bedrooms for his use in storing things. Not on the list, but it felt good.

Since that went so well I moved the printer and all the other stuff in the studio out as well and put it in the family room.  Not being able to stop myself, I cleared out the things I'd started to pack in the dining room and hauled them to the back door in the family room as well. Not on the list, but might as well do it since I have time today.

While I was doing this, I washed and dryed the new sheets and mattress pad for the bed to have it ready for the motorhome as soon as we get possession of it.  Then I cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes and vacuumed the floor and carpet. Okay, not on the list, but still....

Now I feel better - a list with things to accomplish and cross off I loaded up my car with several items that needed to travel and set off on my course.

First stop was at the hospital to meet up with my funny friend and deliver a basket of fairy garden things for her son.  While there I had a chance to ask her advice about doing stand up comedy for the RV crowd and get some pointers.  Then I ran into Beth and chatted for a brief minute.  I wish it could have been longer, but I'll take what I can get.

Second stop was Battery Mart to drop off two old disgusting batteries that had been sitting in the garage forever.  I was able to get rid of the jug of used oil earlier at Greased Lightening, so all those icky things were out of the car.

Third stop was to return the huge oversized portrait of Left Brain to the artist that painted him.  Stops at Peggy's are never less than an hour and we had much to talk about and share so a good deal of my time was spent there.

By this time the sun was going down and I was hungry and tired so the last thing in the car will have to wait.  I've been carrying around the previous cats ashes for some time now trying to find just the perfect place to bury them.  Inspiration hit the other day and now I just need to get there when it's nice and quiet and dig quickly...for reasons I can't go into here.

It sure was nice to have such a quiet leisurely day!

Long Live the Queen of List Mania

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looking for a place to park it

I thought I was being so clever...looking for a place to park our new motorhome before we even had it.  It seemed so early, how hard can it be?  Well...harder than I had imagined.

We both fell in love with Goose Island after driving through it, even though there's no sewer hookup...but the seasonal rate is very good and there's wildlife everywhere, not to mention ta lovely view of the Mississippi River and bluffs of Minnesota.  However, apparently other people love it also. 

It is reservation only and there is a two - three year wait for seasonal sights.  Oh well, we'll pay the monthly rate.  It's a little more expensive that way, but who cares.  Oh.  Those are all taken also.  Hmmm.

Left Brain had checked out Whispering Pines earlier and didn't think it was that impressive so I hadn't even bothered to look.  But when we both went to check out the other one a bit further down the road, it looked much better.

This place had gaudy fake palm trees as well as a little bar.  That wasn't the problem.  I felt like I was driving through a scene from Blue Collar Comedy - or Red Neck Central - whatever.  For whatever reason the theme from Deliverance kept running through my mind.

Then we both went to walk through Whispering Pines which was clean, organized and enforced with a gate and rules listed about quiet hours, etc.  It looked much better to Left Brain on this visit.
So now my mission is to call Goose Island to get on the "waiting list" for a seasonal site and check in with Whispering Pines to get something arranged.  Our concern is not having any place to park over Memorial Day weekend. 

It will be easier in the South as there are several large RV parks since this is where the seniors tend to head.  It appears our local area is not a hotspot for that same population heading back north.  But this is where my friends and family are and we need to spend some time in this area each year.

Our neighbor's driveway is looking better and better!

Long Live the Queen of Red Neck Trailer Parks

Monday, April 9, 2012

A most perfect day and much needed

Tulips that Steph gave me last week, she's such a thoughtful girl!
Today Left Brain left on a bus driving job long before the sun reared its head.  She Devil and I also got up early as there's much to do each and every day lately.  I stripped down the guest beds and started doing the laundry of sheets, blankets, mattress pads, etc since those will no longer be used.  And today I was going to have visitors!

Although I love my daughter dearly, my mind was questioning why she had to visit right now...and bring along a friend of hers as well.  I'm too busy...I'm too tired...I'm sick of people in my house all the time....I want to be alone....wah wah wah.  Then I told that cranky old woman to put on her big girl panties and just deal with it.  At least it was just for the day and not overnight as previously planned.

I was in the midst of gathering trash, doing laundry and helping Roger get settled in with some of his things into my house...his's so confusing, when they arrived.

Steph and Belle in our luxurious living room
The minute we greeted each other and hugged and all started talking a mile a minute I could see the wisdom of her ways.  This was exactly what I needed right now.  I'd been so busy pushing through to achieve the goal that I'd forgotten to embrace the journey.  We did a tour of the house and garden and introduced them to Roger and suddenly I felt lighter.

Then we headed to the Indian buffet only to find they were closed on Monday...oh no!  What to do!  What to do!  Well, we needed some kind of ethnic food, so we opted to visit the Irish pub downtown.  We were loud and boisterous and either entertained other customers or annoyed them...I'm not sure, nor did I care.

We laughed and giggled and carryed on until Belle mentioned it was 3:00.  I guess the lunch got a bit out of hand.  So we hustled back home and packed up the car for their return to the cities.

After they left I continued with my mundane chores of laundry, trash collection and draining the hot tub for it's spring cleaning.  By the time it was done and refilled and all the chemicals applied, Roger arrived with yet another load of boxes to haul in.

I heated up some frozen entree that I found in the freezer as I continue my quest to eat myself out of house and home in preparation for the move.  She Devil and I watched some TV and Roger finally departed about 8:30PM.  So, we're both ready to shut down and head to bed to read and sleep.  She Devil and I, not Roger and I....just wanted to make that clear.

Tomorrow is the inspection of the well and septic.  Then we just need to get the appraisal done and it should finally be over.  So, I need to just keep pacing myself and enjoy this somewhat quieter week and brace myself for the flurry of activity that awaits later on.

Long Live the Queen of Pacing

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sabbath bliss

Ah, Saturday at last.  Nothing scheduled except attending synagogue and checking in on Yada one last time and relaxing.

I'd thought about jumping into the hot tub since THAT should be safe today.  Roger has a way of showing up unexpectedly but since he's a Seventh Day Adventist I know he won't be hauling anything today since this is his sabbath also.  But, She Devil was clammering for her tuna and then I started to play some computer games instead of going outside.

Good thing.  As I was typing a shadow flickered across my computer screen.  I turned to look out the window and expected to see a deer walking down towards the feeder since it was a fairly large shadow.  Nope.  Just Roger.  He's out walking around on the hillside behind the house.  Really glad now that I wasn't in the hot tub, that would have been MOST embarrassing. 

This should bother me more than it does, but since I will be giving up my private life soon and living in closer proximity to my neighbors I figure I might as well get used to it.

I had some friends shocked that I was giving up my doll making stuff to prepare for this journey.  It seems odd to me also, but it's just "stuff" and can be replaced.  What can't be replaced is the smooth beginning to a new live.  I want to do this right and it requires removal of as much dead weight as possible.

While watching my favorite show last night (In Plain Sight) she commented on how having too many choices often leads to the wrong one; or worse yet,  no decision at all.  This is how I felt about all my dollmaking stuff staring me down.  It was overwhelming to have so many options that I couldn't focus on any one theme or idea, so nothing got done and then I felt like a failure and a fraud.

Here I was with this huge gorgeous studio that many artists would kill for with a basement full of fabric and props just waiting for that inspiration as well as books and patterns galore.  The problem was I had too much inspiration and not enough ability to see any one thing through to the end.  This made me feel like an imposter, as if having the things could make me an artist.  I was approaching it backwards.

In one of my new favorite blogs, "A Big Creative YES" I learned that people often feel they must HAVE things to DO what they want and then BE the person they desire to be.  When in reality you should BE the person you admire most, then DO the things you must do and lastly HAVE the things you need.  The least emphasis should be on the "have".  I am trying to switch this around in my life.

Long Live the Queen of BEING not having

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fabulous Friday

It was a very productive and yet relaxing day today in Spam-a-lot.  Roger arrived earlie with a trailer load of stuff to unload and I cleared out the third stall of the garage for him to do so.  One more section of the garage done!

On the way to my massage I dropped off a bag of groceries and cleaning supplies at WAFER.  Then I relaxed under the skillful hands of Kathy at Caring Hands Massage for an hour while we caught up with each other.  Some massages I like silence and others I enjoy the chatter, this was one of those chattery days.  She brought up several issues I had not thought about in living in the Southwest that she learned from her mother's experiences. 

Then I meandered over to Pickermans for some loaded baked potato soup...yum.  After leaving there I set out on my tasks of the day.  First stop was Petsmart to return three tire biters I had purchased earlier.  Does She Devil have a major chewing problem you might ask?  Nope.  I used to make tire swings for the dolls with these and now that I have retired from this occupation (at least for the interim) these can be returned since they have the tags on them yet.  I used the in-store credit to purchase kitty litter, some treats and a new kind of cat food to try out.

Then it was next door to TJ Maxx to return the slew of wine bottle toppers I bought to use making all those wine theme dolls.  That gave me an in-store credit that I will use later for some shopping therapy.  I don't have much in the way of sleeveless tops, so I'll get some nice little schmatta later on.

Last stop was Goodwill, my new favorite destination.  I parted with most of the dollmaking supplies I couldn't part with before...and it felt GOOD.  I was having a little trouble the other day and was able to talk to my friend, Beth who encouraged me not to rush and listen to my gut.  As I placed the items in the car for either Goodwill or the storage shed it felt good.  I could hardly wait to dump it off.

Now I'm not totally crazy...mostly, but not completely.  I still have plenty of favorite things and one box of odd props that have no purpose but they just make me laugh.  Those I'm keeping...I don't know why, but my gut was saying not to part with the.  At least not yet.

Left Brain had fulfilled his missions today also and went out to Whispering Pines to see if this might be an option for our summer stay.  Thumbs down, so it appears to be Goose Island for us this year.  He was home to assist the people buying the armoire and managed to sell them the recliner also.  Now all the furniture is gone! 

After a supper of sirloin steak, mashed potatoes and aspargus we decided to take in the Escapee's Escapade and Boot Camp in Missouri this September.  The timing is perfect for us and it feels good to make this decision.  As we sit in our yard furniture and plastic tables watching the last small TV we own we are happy campers.  She Devil is settled in on her little bed on the floor and probably has the more comfortable of all the chairs right now.

Tomorrow I will be able to enjoy a leisurely day at synagogue reconnecting with my friends and spiritual connection.  It is a day I have been hungering for!

Long Live the Queen of Contentment

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sleeping in....or not

After a long dark night of moving furniture in my head I finally got up about midnight and sauntered out to the hot tub.  I just can't get to sleep!  Oh...full moon.  Well, now that might have something to do with it!

When I returned to bed I was almost settled in when Left Brain started arguing with someone in his sleep and after he finally managed to get the guy to board the bus he settled down again.  I could see it would not be a restful night for either of us.  But at least we can sleep in tomorrow.

But NO!  At 8:00 I heard the doorbell.  Groan....I'm going to just ignore that and pretend we're not home.  Of course, with two cars parked outside the garage it's hard to pull off that little bit of deception.  Then they commenced to banging the door knockers.  I hate it when someone bangs my knockers...don't you?  So I shrugged into my slippers (and pajamas) to address them.

It seems that the roofers were here to load the shingles onto the roof so it's ready for it's repair later.  Now?  Seriously?  Okay.  They needed me to move the cars so they could get closer to the garage, which I did.  Then the real noise began with thumping and banging on the rooftop.  It sounded like Santa Claus practising some touch and go's for the main event.  She Devil immediately went into hiding.  She hates it when Left Brain walks around on the roof (we aren't sure why he does that), so this must really be freaking her out.

Not to mention that they are continuing to show the house in the midst of all this mess.  Well, at least THAT'S done with for now.  Hmmm.  Now who is at the door.  Roger.  With another trailer load of furniture. 

I helped him clean things off one side of the garage wall in the third stall and move the shelves over.  Then I swept up the dirt and leaves from the area so he could put more things into that area.  I also mentioned that the studio and both bedrooms are open.  They close on April 13th on one of their houses and need to be out by then so he is working feverishly to move everything into ours.  I think I'm going to see a lot more of Roger in the next week.

Left Brain and I met our son, Joe, at the Indian buffet to introduce him to the new flavors.  This is not Left Brain's favorite food, but he's a good sport and gave it a try.  Afterwards I went to the storage shed to sort out some more items to donate to continue paring down my art supplies even more.

the forsythia is bursting out bright yellow
So as this day draws to a close we are both pooped and content to sit and watch the news on TV and catch up on some reading.  My plan was to fix supper in the crock pot and enjoy some photography...maybe tomorrow.

Long Live the Queen of Chaos

One step closer to the dream

After working feverishly to rid the house of furniture it has suddenly filled up again!  Our garage is stuffed to the max with all kinds of belongings...but the good news is that none of it is ours!

The buyers of the house just redid the contract to remove their contingency of selling their house to get things moving quicker and are storing the first shipment of their furniture in our garage.  This is a good sign. 

The couple we are purchasing the motorhome from are paying off their loan and should have the title back in about two weeks.  Then we can meet with them to pay off the balance and take ownership.  This should coincide with about the time we will be closing on this  house.  Note the words "this house" and not our house or our home.  It really doesn't feel like we live here any more, but more that we are here temporarily until the new people take over.  It's an odd feeling but a good one.

I managed to sell off another bunch of stuff yesterday, including the large Amish armoire.
The day before I sold the pie safe that managed it and that has been removed already.
This piece will go soon and then I'm down to one large rocker recliner and a couple of beds that will be given away at the end after my daughter and her friend have one more visit.

I sold a bunch of my art show supply yesterday as well so that is down to a manageable pile.  Then I retrieved a bunch of stuff from storage to re-examine it and pared it down even more.  It's an ongoing process of cutting away everything not absolutely necessary.  I just keep reminding myself it's just material "stuff" and of no real importance and let it go.

It's looking like Left Brain will be hired to do one more longer trip this year, either to Alaska or out West, so we will park the motorhome near La Crosse so I can be in my old stomping grounds during that time. 

We never know what the next day will bring.

Long live the Queen!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A most unusual RV park

While having lunch with a friend recently I found that she had a park model home north of the Twin cities where my grandkids live.  This is perfect! An RV park where my buddy is and near my family.  Perhaps we could rent there for the summer months if this sells quickly.  Or maybe not? 

It appears this is a nudist RV park.  Rats!  And it sounded so perfect.  I do prefer the layered look myself, but at my age and weight I could probably pull that off while naked also.

Although, it is hot and humid in the Midwest during the summer - maybe this isn't such a bad idea.  I'll need to give that one some thought.

Long Live the Fully Clothed Queen

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Sunday started with Left Brain organizing breakfast for the six of us and getting everyone on task to hustle to meet our 10:30 deadline of getting out of the house.    This is much like herding cats.

It helped to still own the canned ham as this was where She Devil was sequestered during the packing and open house showing.  Not so sure she loved the concept, but it made life easier for the rest of us.

We all scurried like rats on a sinking ship and began hauling furniture out to put on the trailer, clean up the kitchen and pack up their stuff to return home.  It was close, but we had time for a brief moment of prayer and thanksgiving on the deck before the realtor arrived.

Then we headed out for Panera to hide until the open house was over.  Left Brain and I led the charge while the Rossings manuveered the trailer and we watched as Ted became familiar again with the workings of a stick shift.

As we watched them pull in with the massive haul behind them all I could think of was the Beverly Hillbillies do Panera.  We managed to get a nice big table for everyone to sit at and we enjoyed a loud and noisy meal.  Not because we were at Panera - that's usually pretty relaxing, but it seems to become loud and noisy whenever this group assembles.

Shortly before 12:30 we figured it was safe and did the required kissing and hugging as we separated paths again and went back to the house.  There is one large recliner left and he claimed it immediately.  She Devil took the lounge chair and I got her chair and a TV tray to work on. 

Then I felt an overpowering need to just go lay down on one of the last remaining pieces of furniture we own and just rest and reflect.  I relaxed as well as I could until all I could think of was how badly the ceiling fan needed cleaning.  Arrgh!  So I got up and went to post today's blog.

I look forward to the future of a moderate sized motorhome with one bathroom to clean and no yard to maintain.  As I gaze upon my gardens I know I will miss this incredible oasis I've created - but I know that my new horizons will include sights not otherwise possible.

This coming week I will meet with people to sell off some of the few remaining possessions and go through stuff in the storage shed again to see what other cuts can be made to pare it down even more.  I'm sure there will be another trip to Goodwill soon. 

Long Live the Queen of Chaos