Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good friends...good times

We hit a record high today and even there wasn't even a struggle convicing Left Brain to put the air conditioning on - he started it up yesterday and we haven't turned it off since.  So stay cool and make sure to hydrate.  If you need to go out there, dress appropriately like this couple (not that's NOT us....we don't own a bike) and wear lots of sun protection.

It's been a whirlwind of fun catching up with everyone, most of it involving food of some sort.  But I guess that's what community is...breaking bread together.

I've been reflecting on how lucky I am to have been blessed with so many good friends and such a wild variety!  Each one is special in her own way and all are loved equally.

Today we convened at the Indian buffet place again and I was graced by the Divine Miss M, Wild and Wooly Karen, the Gardener Girl and She Who Lives By The C Shore.

After leaving the restraunt Miss M came with me to the Sip & Surf Laundrymat for continued conversation.  Now this was truly a first for me...we've done a lot of things together but hanging out amidst washers and dryers was a first.

I hauled my half dry clothes home with me to put up on the line before my friend Red Rose came out to see the RV.  Yup, I've become a washer woman that hangs out the laundry.  I was so excited to buy wooden clothespin and a clothespin bag today for just that purpose.

It was my honor to show her the rig and how we live and while sitting and talking I noticed it was going on 6:00.  Since I had put together a crock pot meal and it was ready we asked her to stay for supper so we could talk some more. 

I'm having a hard time believing that we must soon depart from all these incredible women in such a short time.  I'll miss them all dearly but carry them in my heart.

Long Live the Queen
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No matter how you plan...


What!  We really have NO control over life?
Things have a way of changing, no matter how well you plan ahead.  There’s an old Jewish anecdote that asks “how do you make G-d laugh?”  The answer is “tell Him YOUR plans”.   The truth is you can plan and be ready for everything but life will throw a twist in your direction.

Monday I prepared to meet a friend for lunch.  In my mind I was driving the car and running a bunch of other errands afterwards.  However, Left Brain’s need for the car trumped mine and I got the scooter.  This was okay as I really do need to practice with it and become friends before my motorcycle class in two weeks.

So I braced myself for the trip and found I could not remember how to open the seat to retrieve the helmet.  After a panicky call to Left Brain he calmly talked me through it and all was fine.  I headed out for the highway, the main portion of the ride I was dreading.  The exit to our campground is long and windy and before I was even to the end of it I was cold.  Plus it was probably a good idea to have something over my arms in case of a fall anyway, so I returned to the RV for a light jacket.  Now I was ready!

As I approached the highway part of the ride the sane part of my mind gulped and reminded me that if I fell over on this thing at 55 mph I was gonna be roadkill.  The wild part of me smiled, gunned the motor and said “well then…don’t fall.”  And off I took.  The more I rode the better it felt.  This was indeed a good turn of events, I was getting the practice needed and conquering a fear.

Since I didn’t know how much time it would take to arrive at the cafĂ© I ended up arriving way too early.  So, I decided to tool about on my scooter a bit longer and wound my way down to Riverside Park and into the International Gardens.  It had been quite a since visiting this creation and I was blown away by the beauty is has become.  Not having to care for gardens any more I was able to leisurely stroll through the garden and sit on a marble bench under a pear tree while gazing at the water lilies.  I experienced a sense of calm and rest on the deepest level possible.   So THIS is what it feels like to relax….I like it.

Then I proceeded to have a three hour visit with a good friend and catch up with her while enjoying some of my favorite soup.  On the way home I even felt comfortable enough to stop and pick up a couple of small items I’d needed since they would fit in the seat of the scooter.

in her younger years
When I returned home I found that Left Brain had tried to call me to tell me the vet had left a message.  I guess I really should learn to listen for the phone or at least check for messages once in a while.  He had been sitting outside with She Devil so she could enjoy the outdoors and eat some grass.  He also let me know that she had been throwing up and seemed quite uncomfortable.  I felt a little guilty as I had been rationing out her pain meds to make it until her final vet appointment on Wednesday.

I called the vet to see what was up, figuring it was just one of those calls to confirm the appointment.  Nope.  It seems that my vet was not going to be able to see her on Wednesday after all.  I knew he had use of the car all day on Tuesday and I wasn’t going to have enough meds to carry her through any later than this.  On impulse (or intuition?) I asked if they had anything yet that day.  They did – at 4:10.  Knowing I probably couldn’t make it there in time I said yes and proceeded to get the car ready for her transport to the vet.

There really wasn’t time to worry about it or get teary eyed as I had to hustle to make the appointment.  Then I recalled that my friends, Eric and Colleen, were expecting me on Wednesday for the burial.


when she was a baby
While comforting a yowling cat and driving like a maniac I punched in their number to see if they’d be home.  Thank goodness they were home but were leaving at 5:00 to go golfing.  Yikes.  This wasn’t going to work.  I asked them to tell me where I could dig and leave a shovel out for me.

No problem, Eric had already prepared the hole and they insisted on cancelling their plans to be there when I arrived.  I don’t know how I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends, but this was truly a blessing to me to hear that they would be there.

We pulled into the vet’s office at 4:13, a little late but not terrible.  I was greeted by sad smiles as I entered as everyone knew what was coming and was quickly ushered into a reserved room to wait for the vet to arrive.  As I sat holding She Devil it pleased me to see that they had my issue of “Catmopolitan” in that room.  This was the magazine that She Devil bequeathed to them when we left “the big house”. 

The vet arrived with a sad face and we talked a bit before starting the process.  First she gave She Devil an injection while I held her.  This was the first shot that would relax her to the point of unconsciousness.  Then I had the option of holding her for the fatal injection of laying her on the blanket they provided.  Being familiar with death and knowing what body fluids leak out when death occurs I opted to have her lay down.  I stroked her fur and talked to her until she was gone.

The vet lovingly stroked her body while commenting that this was something she was never able to do before.  Let’s just say She Devil lived up to her name and had a reputation for being….difficult.  I asked her check the heart one more time just to be sure and then we wrapped her up in a green towel and placed her into a cardboard box.

I settled up for the procedure and took my “package” to the car and proceeded to Eric and Colleen’s house.  I tried not to look at my former house as I drove by as there were too many losses lately to deal with.  And yet I couldn’t avoid it.  I was amazed and pleased to see the growth of some of my newer plantings but a little taken aback by how disheveled everything looked.  I feel like I let the neighbors down by substituting these new owners.  Hopefully they will get things looking better as they continue to get moved in and settled.  Anyway…it’s not my worry anymore.

 There I was greeted by Eric and Colleen with open arms and warm hugs.  They had just put their cat, Yada, to sleep about a week earlier and were still grieving themselves.

We went to her burial spot and I was pleased that you could see my former back yard from there.  I think she would have liked that. The hole was deep to prevent other critters from disturbing her and Colleen had dug up a forsythia tree to plant over her body to mark the spot.  I liked that the name forsythia has kind of a hissing sound to it…so appropriate for She Devil.

As I tried to remove her body from the box her head slipped out and flopped back and I heard Eric gasp.  I tried to get her tucked into the towel and then her feet slipped out.  I’m so sorry, but humor comes at all kinds of inappropriate times and I found myself laughing and saying “even dead she’s difficult to handle” and that seemed to help ease the tension.  I lowered her into the grave and proceeded to begin filling the hole.  The procedure was done in true Jewish custom where you take the first shovelful of dirt with the back of the shovel to show this is a job you do not wish to perform.  After making sure none of the body was visible I returned the shovel to the dirt pile.  Then Colleen turn her turn adding some dirt and after returning the shovel, Eric finished up the burying and planting of the tree.  Colleen is an amazing gardener and it felt good knowing she would water the plant after I left and will keep it thriving.

We walked back up the hill to the house and went inside for some water and eventually some wine and snacks.  The sharing of cat stories and the mixed feelings of missing them and yet enjoying not having to deal with the sickness and mess anymore went on for a good two hours.  Having good friends to share this experience with made all the difference.  They are the kindest, most loving couple you could ever have the honor of calling friends.  I wish Left Brain could have been part of this with me, but he just wasn’t able to deal with it.  I felt back knowing he was back at the RV dealing with this loss alone, but I took the love and words that I needed to help me through the process.

As I left the valley I again gazed upon my former gardens and left with a very heavy heart. 

But with loss come new beginnings and I will be busy with friends and family for the next two weeks and then off to the rally, so the activity will help both of us to heal, time really is the best healer. 

Long Live the Queen

Friday, August 24, 2012

Where is home?

Where do you consider home?  There are so many places I used to call my home and now anyplace we park the RV we are essentially home. 

But what really is home?

I think it's more a state of mind than anything.  To me when you are comfortable in your own skin you are "home".  It has nothing to do with geography.

When you are in the company of those you love and that love is reciprocated, to me that's also being home.

I used to believe home was where your family resided, but many families do little to embrace your ideals and some will flat out sabotage your dreams.  So that can't be home.

These thoughts came up as I was telling my sister-in-law about how nice it will feel to be back home soon.  She just smiled and asked "where's that?"  Well, that got my mind wondering about it.


We've made the decision recently that when we are back "home" or at least in our familiar area, that it's time to let She Devil go.  Her health has been steadily declining and there's no desire to play or even sit on our laps as she prefers to just lay on the floor.  Food doesn't even seem to excite her much anymore.

So I made the appointment for this coming Wednesday to return to the vet that has worked with us through thick and thin and let her find eternal rest.  It's time to let her go "home" and leave the pain and discomfort behind her.

This was a very hard decision for us, but we realized that we wanted to keep her with us more than she may have wanted and it was selfish to continue to do this.  So this chapter will soon be coming to an end and we will be without any furry family for a while.

I imagine the day will come when either some cat finds us or we feel we are ready to embark on another adventure, but for now we'll just travel with the two of us until we get this full time business figured out better.

So it's a bittersweet moment for us to return "home" for the last two weeks before venturing onward knowing we will be traveling without her. 

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moving on....again

We left Iron River early this morning, earlier than we had really planned to, but She Devil was quite insistent.  She started to meow a little before 6:00am and would not let up.  Apparently she knew we had a big day ahead of us.

So it was time to take our last big gulp of fresh pine scented air at Karnick Acres and pack up for our departure southward.

It's going to be hard to leave this place with its forest of pine trees and twinkling water on the lake.  It's no wonder it's called Crystal Lake...the reflections are like jewels.

We had it pretty plush sitting up here watching the lake and listening to the loons singing their haunting melody.  There were very few boats or people noises to be heard at all.

Shayna is a bit of a character and we share the same love of odd signs.  Her Alcatraz sign she presented to me earlier was one of the few decorative items that "made the cut" when packing for our new lifestyle.

She and the family arrived later on Sunday afternoon and stayed until about 6:00pm on Monday night.  This gave us an entire day to sit and visit and catch up, knowing it will be a long time before we see one another again.

It was fun to watch Joel and their son, Blake, toss around the football and play catch for some baseball practice.  I think we have a budding All-Star player on our hands here and it will be fun when he's famous to be able to say "I knew him since he was born".

I had forgotten until later that I have my softball glove in one of the cargo bays!  I could have played catch with them.  But maybe it was better I had forgotten...this way I still have use of my right arm.

And I needed that for my part of the driving today.  Left Brain started out and I researched for an app on my phone called Gas Buddy to locate the best price of gas en route as it was time to fill the dreaded beast.

The verdict was a Fleet Farm just north of Wausau so we pulled in and yes indeed it was $3.86 a gallon and there was one whole bank of pumps open...almost.  Right as we approached, some old duffer cut in front of us and proceeded to block our approach to the pumps. 

We are about 50' long when you consider the 32' motorhome and the car pulling behind it.  So, we sat back to wait until he was done and could get up far enough to reach the pumps.  As we were getting ready to pump the gas a nice man in a bright red pick up on the other side of the stands approached me with a coupon.  It was for another 4 cents a gallon off up to 100 gallons.  He just looked up at our rig and said "you need this more than I do".  Such a sweetie.


We put in our 52 plus gallons of gas (we weren't running that low) and paid the $207.64 and left.  Ouch!  This was our first major filling of the tank.  But after figuring out the mileage it appears we're getting a little over 7 miles to the gallon, which was better than I had thought we might.

Then it was MY turn to drive from Wausau into Wautoma.  The beginning was a little rough but after Left Brain stopped screaming and his sobs went down to mild whimpers, it got better.  Let's just say there were no "incidents" or arrests and all went well.

So, we are presently parked in our sister & brother-in-laws neighbor's driveway.  It's pretty level at the top and then slopes down...enough that the two rear tires are completely off the ground but the jacks have us nice and level.  Our view out the front is the garage door and there's a fair amount of highway noise, but it's free! 

We even have electric and water with the promise of a dumping appointment Saturday morning at the sewage plant.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  Add to that the fact our family's wireless internet reaches across a couple of houses to our RV and that is the icing on the cake.

Sister Mary prepared a lovely healthy supper for us and we toddled off to the RV for an early night.  It's so nice to have people that will take care of you when you crawl off the road after 300 miles of driving and are exhausted.

Tomorrow will be a nice relaxed day and I hope to get some more photos prepared to share.  But for now I will wish you all a good night.

Long Live the Queen of the Road

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The murals of Ashland WI

Okay, I have internet tonight and I'm not sure when this may happen again, so I'm going to load some of the photos I've taken.

We went into Ashland WI earlier this week and they are known for their murals.

These are done by a crew of two women and I was fortunate enough to meet Kelly Meredith, one of the two. 

She graciously allowed me to take her photo. 

Well, I would have anyway...but it was nice to have her say yes.





These murals cover an entire city block and there were many different themes. I'm only going to present the ones that were my favorite. 

Well, it's my blog and that's just the way it is. If you want to see more you'll just have to drive north and see them for yourself. 

The scenes are colorful and interesting and detailed throughout. 

Note the lady standing at the far left of this photo - a close up of her face is at the end of this presentation.  This shows the full city block.


This is a little more of a close up of the street scene.

This is a little closer yet.
Remember the lady on the far left in the first photo? 

Here she is up close and personal.

This was truly impressive and was a fun day.

Long Live the Queen!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Situated in new digs

We arrived at Karnick Acres on Tuesday and have been busy ever since with our friends up north.

On Wednesday we went blueberry picking and stopped at the bars for hydration.  I sampled my first moonshine called Wedding Whiskey.  It wasn't on my bucket list but I can now add it and cross it off.  We had burgers for supper, mine was the jalepeno with pepper jack - yum!

On Thursday we headed into Ashland and I photographed the murals that cover the entire block.  And as luck would have it one of the artists, Kelly Meredith, was there to photograph.  She is one of a two woman team that create all these wonders.

Then we continued north into Bayfield and ate at the Portside Restraurant based on the recommendation of my friend, the Divine Miss M.  We got there right as it opened and were shown to a window seat overlooking the marina with all the pretty boats.  We were all impressed with the quality of the food and with a wonderful presentation.  We meandered back through the backroads on the way home, stopping at a roadside stand for some tasty bicolor candy corn.

On Friday we hit the roads on the ATV's, another new thing for me.  It was actually quite a bit of fun, more so than I anticipated (feared?).  We were doing well until on the way back our ATV kept stopping.  This one wasn't actually designed for two people so I was plunked down on two boat cushions over the wire grids in the back.  Once we got it started again they gave Left Brain the command to just keep going home and don't look back in case it stopped again. 

This simple verbal encouragement turned him into Mario Andretti of the Northwoods and we roared up and down hills and slid around corners.  Now keep in mind that the only way for me to stay ON this beast is to press down with my feet and calves when going uphill and grab onto the metal rigging in the back to avoid flying off the sides.  As we whirled over hill and dale my life flashed before my eyes.  Not only this present life, but previous ones as well.  Maybe it had something to do with the book I'm reading right now dealing with the witch trials in the 1600's.

There was one point as I felt my arms being forceably pulled out of their sockets just like being on the rack that I think I may have confessed to sorcery and being a witch just to make it stop.  Not that it helped.  I could only imagine the gleam in his eye and smile on his face as he blazed through the woods.  Oh well, at least this is off my bucket list now also (actually, it never was on it either) so I don't have to do it again.

Riding an ATV in the Northwoods seems to be the way to get from tavern to tavern and visit with friends over a drink and get the news.

Saturday Lorraine and I headed into Superior for pedicures - yet another first for me.  It wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. My first mistake was looking into his little toolbox of torture devices.  Then we went for Chinese food and I ordered curry chicken and stuffed myself.  My plan was to bring some home for leftovers but I don't know when I'd ever have a chance to enjoy them, so I just crammed it in.

Then we stopped at Rapids Riverside for a drink and found out we could walk a short ways down the path behind them to enter Amnicon Falls, so I grabbed my camera and off we went.  It's a beautiful park and I've wanted to get there for years...this WAS on my bucket list!  We made a couple of stops on the way back to her house only to find many places close up at 2:00 and 3:00 on Saturday.  Huh?   In the north where summer is only a couple months long?  I was surprised to see such early closing times.  Oh well.  We did find a Hardware Store she needed to stop at and I purchased a mandolin for slicing veggies.

The boys had not eaten anything all day as they were playing with Vern's new Harley tricycle and they were starving.  So, Lorraine graciously prepared shrimp scampi and I wasn't able to join in for any of it, just too full!  Oh such a waste!  Her scampi is to die for, but I really felt if I added anything more I would actually burst. So, I'm spending my time catching up the blog.

Sunday we stayed at the motorhome to meet up with my cousin and her family and enjoyed a very quiet day.  We enjoyed meeting up with them and starting to catch up at bit.

Monday we had coffee outside with the family and went into Iron River for lunch and then sat around in the afternoon discussing which books we are reading.  Shayna and I took a walk to her uncle's cabin and again we had a lovely quiet day.

I'm sending this using my cousin's jet pack internet access and it's a bit too slow to load photos, so this is it for now and I'll go into each topic with photos in more detail when I'm able.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time is flying!

I was so restless before, wanting to "get on with it" and start this new RV life.  To me that meant moving from one spot to another, but I think I missed the mark.  From the first night we slept in our motorhome we were already "getting on with it".

My focus had been so much on getting to the rally and taking care of changing our residency that I was missing the joy of the journey.  This is not how I want to be.  I want to savor each day fully and take it as it comes with no eye on the finish line.

As it occurred to me that our time with the kids was coming to an end I want to rewind and go back and be more patient.  When will I ever learn this lesson?  Will I ever learn it?

Now we are on the next leg of our journey and visiting our friends the Charbonneau's right now, who thankfully have internet service out in the middle of the boonies.  We may have to look into Hughes.net to see if that might be the service we want to sign up with.

Well, we gotta get going now - there's a Wal-Mart in Ashland!

Long Live the Queen

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dream interpretation

Dreams are not only entertaining, they have information for you if you only know how to interpret them.

I've been experiencing many more dreams while using the CPAP machine, which allows me to reach that lovely REM sleep state.  Aaaah.

They did tell me that eventually I'll want to replace the tubes and nose piece as they will stiffen with time and not be as supple and comfortable.  I'd been ignoring that message.  This is where the dreams kicked in.

My first dream was that I was a great white shark and was just having a blast swimming around the beach area and scaring the crap out of people.  Being a shark might be kind of cool when you think of it that way.  However, the mean old people retaliated and hired some guy named Ahab to catch me.

And he did this by hooking me in the nose.  I fought and fought as hard as I could from the pain and finally shook him loose.  This was where I woke up and found I had shook my face mask completely off and the air was making a hideous sound, much like a dying shark might sound.

Hmmm.  That was interesting.  I think that might be a sign I need to replace the nose piece.  But not the tubing, that certainly will last longer.  Right?

Enter the second dream.  I'm a tiny baby and ready to be born but I'm having difficulty.  My breathing is becoming rapid and labored.  This was how I felt when they had to help pull me from the kayak during our recent demo so I chalked it up to that experience.  Message ignored.

As I went back to sleep I was again in the birth process.  There was a pressure on the top of my head.  Hmmm. I had recently tightened the face mask straps, maybe a bit too hard.  So I eased those up and resumed my slumber.

Now I'm through the birth canal.....What!  Again with the birthing dream.  Where the heck is this going?  Okay, I get it...new birth...new life style for us.  That makes sense.  But I feel like I'm being strangled here, what's that about.  Oh my goodness...the umbilical cord is wrapped around my neck - it's choking me!  Somebody help.....oh. 

Now that I'm fully awake again I see that I must have been twisting and turning during the "birth" as the six foot plastic tubing that runs between the CPAP machine and my mask has gotten wrapped around my neck.  Good grief!

Okay...okay!  I can take a hint.  I'll get this replaced soon!  Now please...let me go back to sleep....perchance NOT to dream.

Long Live the New Born Queen

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Guess who's coming to dinner?

We had a perfectly quiet day planned but that changed when we listened to the message that was received very late in the evening.  Okay, to us that means anything after 9:00 pm, but still ....it was really late.

Our cousin was going to be in the area with his apprentice and would we like to get together for lunch?  Due to our own time mismanagement (translated: sleeping in late) this gave us about an hour and a half to be ready.

Since we had bought a bunch of different meats earlier and hadn't had a chance to fix them, we decided to have them come here for a smorgasbord of sorts and I cleaned out leftovers from the fridge.  It was our own Old Country Buffet style lunch outside under the awning.

We had a lovely visit with them and I gave my sympathies to his apprentice for having to deal with Joel all day long.  They ate, we talked and when it was time to clean up and do dishes they left.  Yup.  That's how this family rolls!

I did some running around looking for new hair for Henry who's as bald as ...well, Left Brain, right now.  I stopped at a Super Target to pick up some stuff so I could get the groceries also. It's nice that they've expanded their stores to include groceries.  It makes it very convenient for one stop shopping.

When I got home I planted my new plants in the fairy garden and added it's little gourd house and fairy.  Now it just needs to fill in.  These are so much fun as they take very little space and if I want to redo "my yard" I can just dump it into a dishpan and start over.

Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)

Then Left Brain and I headed out to Lake Nokomis for our demo of canoe, kayak and SUP (Stand Up Paddle).  I'd been waiting for this night for a long time and as just beside myself with giddiness.

Everyone there appeared to just have shorts and tops with no swimsuits so we opted to do the same.  Our first venture was to try the kayaks.  I chose the one that was small, short and wide...much like myself.   It's designed for quiet lakes and not built for speed...again, much like me.

No one warned me about the dangers of
sharks while kayaking!

It handled quite easily and soon was across the lake and exploring under the bridge and sliding under the trees edges with the ducks.  Either they were very tame or they thought I was some sort of bright fluorescent orange cousin of theirs.

I was doing well until it was time to come out of it...not so easy.  My arms are not used to this much work and I got a charley horse in my right bicep.  But I managed to extricate myself from it without getting too wet.

That having gone well, we decided to try a canoe so we could both paddle.  We've had canoes before so this didn't take much of a learning curve and it was enjoyable but nothing too exciting.

Then it was time to tackle the SUP.  I've always prided myself on being limber, strong and with good balance...but those are old memories from when I did karate.  I was a little leery after watching a young boy splash into the lake over and over, but dismissed this as his being young and silly.  None of the other ladies were falling...how hard could it be? I mean they say you can fish from them and do yoga.

The lady held on to it while I kneeled down  and slowly stood.  So far so good.  The paddle is freakishly long and I did feel like I should be singing "O Solo Mio" as I paddled gondola like across the lake.  But that vision was in my head alone.  I soon lost my balance...but not to worry.  I'll just kneel back down.  There that went well....NOT. 

I managed to kneel down quickly and then fell over the left side even faster.  There's not much you can do when you fall into the water fully dressed but laugh about it.  And since nothing worse could happen, I climbed on again and parked my butt on the board and paddled outwards.  They tell me it's less wavy further out and easier to get standing.  They lie.

Well, yes...it is less wavy.  And perhaps that should make it less difficult.  To me it just means you fall into deeper water which allows you to go under completely.  Now I'm just getting mad.  I couldn't tell from Left Brain's expression if he was upset, embarrassed or trying not to laugh.

Actually, I think I may have looked like this at
some point in my "dismount" from the board
So I decided to call it quits, the SUP board wins.  I lost.  As I slogged out of the murky water like the creature from the black lagoon, he was there to hand me a towel.  Such a sweetie.  I have since renamed it the FOQ for Fall Off Quickly.  They advertise you can glide across the water and even do yoga poses.  Yeah, right.  I wanna SEE that for myself!  My guess is there's someone underwater in scuba gear holding the board steady.

After visiting the bath house to change into dry clothes we called it a day and went home.  The driving time to and from this adventure far outweighed the actual time using any of the toys.  Left Brain is a good sport.  He believes in me and knew how important it was for me to try this.  I think he's secretly relieved that I announced we would not be buying anything like this anytime soon. 

When we come across the opportunity to do so, we will rent.  With the exception of the SUP.  I don't plan to do this anytime soon.  Here in the cities they have a "pub crawl" where you paddle from bar to bar on these things.  Who knows?  Maybe the drinking helps.

Long Live the Soggy Bottom Queen

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rolling along

The Stone Arch Bridge is behind us
Last week we went on a "date" with our adult children and had a blast. 

We met up and went downtown Minneapolis for a Segway tour.


Our group ...short people in front...that would be me
These are some photos of that excursion.  The people who accompanied us on the tour were kind enough to take many photos and post them to a website where we can access them.

On the Stone Arch Bridge admiring the water fall
The day started out drizzly and a bit cool so everyone opted for the yellow slickers that proudly showed we belonged to the "Human on a Stick" segway tour.





What a sight we must have made as we glided over the sidewalks, bridges, streets and yards of the downtown area.

Me and Left Brain
Left Brain & me
In the afternoon, after our break at Mill City Museum, we removed the raingear and enjoyed the warm summer day.


The group
During the tour we learned that the flour mills were prone to explosions.  I never knew flour was so dangerous.  It's really a good thing I cook as little as I do...just for safety sake!


The four of us on our "date"
So it's MY understanding that Pillsbury wants to share the excitement of these spontaneous explosions by creating that "BOOM" when you try to open the tube of crescent rolls, pizza dough or whatever product you are working with.







I know that sound always scares me, even though I know it's coming and am waiting for it, it still sets my teeth on edge.  This is usually accompanied by traumatic memories of the hideous "jack in the box" I used to play with. 

Steph rolling along with Left Brain in fast pursuit
Really?  Why did they give these kind of toys to us as kids anyway?  And then read story after story of orphaned children alone in the woods with witches and wolves and everything but vampires and zombies (those didn't come until much later) that wanted to gobble us up! 

It's no wonder I have sleep problems!

Long Live the High Roller Queen

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This really sucks

The great thing about living in a motorhome is that you can go where ever you want to go, whenever you want to go.

The bad thing is the dirt IN the motorhome goes along for the ride.  There's just no way to outrun the dishes, laundry and need to sweep and vacuum.  Sigh.  So much for my glamorous carefree life I had envisioned.

The cheapo vacuum cleaner I had picked up earlier was basically a hand vac on a stick.  It worked okay  put was awful to clean.  So my plan was to pick up another Dyson that I admired and invest the $300 into my cleaning supplies.

But today we were at Wal-Mart doing some back to school shopping with the grandkids and Left Brain found a Bissell for about $36.  It has a crevice tool and soft brush as well as a Hepa filter for allergies.  Hmmm.  I'm game to try this and save a lot of money. 

It's assembled and I had my first turn at terrorizing the cat by cleaning the floor.  I'm never sure if it's the noise of the vacuum cleaner or seeing all that hard work of properly layering all her cat hair over the carpet destroyed that upsets her so.  It just goes to show that nature abhors a vacuum...and so does She Devil.

Long Live the Queen of Clean

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reflections on my life

I've been trying to be a bit more constructive with my time lately.

You can only beat your own high scores so many times before it gets boring. 


I've been in a "reflective" mood lately and that's what inspired this photo.So, I've tried my hand a some poetry.


I looked at Haiku but that seemed a bit beyond me and finally settled on something more my style...limericks.

No no no!  Not THOSE kind of limericks, although they are fun.  My grandchildren read my blogs and this is strictly G or PG rated here.  So here goes....my first limerick to sum up our new life.


Left Brain and the Jester Queen
Wanted a life more serene
They bought an RV
And together did flee

And now down the road they careen

That sums up my poetry corner for today.

Long Live the Queen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Playing catch up

Really, take your time...enjoy.  We'll be just fine!
It's been a busy weekend in Lake Ham-a-lot, but I don't have many photos to show.

Saturday Left Brain and I went off to the city with our daughter and son-in-law for a day of fun.  It felt strange leaving the grandkids behind, but they are old enough to be alone for a while and can fix their own mac and cheese. I thought perhaps they'd be upset at being alone but as I watched the bouncing, dancing bodies through the window on our departure I guess I was wrong.

Not us, but just to show you what the segways looked like
We did the history tour with a segway group called Human on a Stick.  First we watched a safety video of every possible way you could hurt yourself on one of these and then we were each assisted in getting on and off and learning the basics of handling one.

My first attempt to get on felt so wobbly I wasn't sure about it, but then I remembered my recent roller skating adventure and how after a few laps I was confident.  It didn't take long at all until we were all zooming around and turning and making circles.

The tour was of downtown Minneapolis and we went over the Stone Arch bridge, on walking/biking paths, sidewalks and even into the street for a short stretch.

The weather was a bit misty so we all started out with rain ponchos and this must have looked a sight to see a group of yellow ponchos gliding along in a row.

Let me tell you, THIS is the way to travel and see the sights of a large city!  You get there quickly but are able to see everything clearly and there's no waiting for people to get off and on a bus.  The history tour was educational and informative.

We had a break at the Mill City Museum where we were treated to a cookie and soda and use of restrooms before heading out again.  By this time the sun was out and the raincoats were recovered, but the sky was overcast so it wasn't overly sunny and hot.  It was perfect weather and so much fun.

After our return we were given a segway drivers license, signed by Eileen Forward, which I found very funny.  Then they gave us a postcard for 25% off at nearby restaurants, so we went off to have lunch and were able to dine outside.  If we show our drivers license we get $10 off the next tour.

They offer another one through the sculpture gardens which would be really pretty and one in St Paul.  I have a feeling we'll be doing this again!  The cost was $80 for a three hour tour and I thought this was reasonable, especially with the personalized tour and other discounts offered.

I checked this morning and the photos from our group weren't up yet, so that will have to wait until later.

Long Live the Rolling Queen

Friday, August 3, 2012

Time to reorganize

Scruggs found a spot in the bedroom to sit
It's been three months now and we've allowed things to settle into place more. 

 So, it's time to change up a couple of things.


The G-ddess of the Ethernet
First the cupboards.

  I had all my stuff in neatly labeled baskets and it looked great, but I lost a lot of space with the baskets. 

So, those had to go and now I can get the chips and things up there also.























I found this cupholder that was designed to be used in the car, but it fits nicely between the back of the dinnette seat and the arm of the couch.



Now I have a spot to safely put my beverages while on the couch.

The fan I had in the bedroom was too loud, so I bought a smaller upright one that is quieter and takes up less space.  Added benefit....I have a second fan in the living room. 



While in that room I decided to add a narrow plastic storage unit for my unmentionables and to put the shorts and capris into a drawer instead of hanging them up.  There's probably still a great deal of clothing I could part with altogether.


This three tiered basket is for holding desserts, but it works nicely in the kitchen for veggies, fruits, nuts and small odds and ends.  This way I only have one thing to grab when I need to remove everything from the top of the stove in order to use the burners.
The mixing bowls I had were okay, just cheap white plastic ones that stacked, but then I found these!  Not only do I gain an extra bowl in the process but with the lively colors they can double as serving dishes.  They have that old time ceramic look but are lightweight and plastic.


This odd little chair was something I couldn't toss out.  It finally occured to me to use it as a phone holder since it's right next to my charger.


While reading an RV forum I found that many people store their laundry in the shower. Duh! That would look much nicer than sitting in the bedroom, and they were in my way for walking around the bed and opening my drawers. 



Don't you just hate it when you find the obvious and realize you weren't smart enough to think of it yourself?


I used the old enamel pan I kept to start a little fairy garden.  I only have two miniature hostas and some small ground cover for now, but it will get there eventually.

I've found that the drawer under Left Brain's bench seat is almost never used as it requires moving the cart with the coffee maker on it, the trash can, the cat food, etc.  So I'm rethinking what needs to go under it instead.  This helps us as we shuffle stuff around to find those oddball things that we didn't remember we had or just couldn't remember where they were.

Now I think I need to go through the outside bays again and look long and hard at what's there and if something can go or be utilized better.


Long Live the Queen of She Likes To Move It Move It

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tranquility in the Park

It's quiet and peaceful here in our little corner of the world.  We are surrounded by green everywhere we look and you don't walk far without seeing ponds or lakes...or goats.


The lake is very shallow and this allows the littler ones to walk waaaaay out there until it starts to get deep.

But my favorite thing in the lake is the swing set. 

Now how often do you see a sight like this?

Not the best for swimming as that's about the point it gets pretty weedy and a tad more slimy. 

But having grown up swimming in natural bodies of water this doesn't bother me much. 

It's a little less desirable for the city grown grandkids however.


Sometimes the girls will invite their friends out for the day to hang out. 

We were originally going to do this as overnights, but there's just no room for more people in the RV.




On one of our visits with guests we cooked wieners over the open fire and then of course had to make the ubiquitous Snores.

So, as you can see...we're eating well and doing fine.

Long Live the Queen of Contentment