Thursday, December 26, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
For my Christian friends - Merry Christmas!
For my Jewish friends - I'll miss you at the Chinese buffet!
The grounds here at the RV resort are lovely and every effort is made to make things pretty.
On the back of the clubhouse there are murals all over the entire wall.
These depict a time from our childhood and bring back so many memories.
Remember those drive-in theatres? Were you the one who had to hide in the trunk to save money because you were small? Or did they just make that story up to stuff me in the trunk!
This one was quite clever as they put the bubbler right where the water faucet was. Okay, yes...bubbler is a Wisconsin term. Some of you might call it a water fountain.
There's a lot to love about this place, but we are excited to be moving on to a new location.
Long Live the Queen of Blueberry Hill
|I'm going to miss having my flock of ibis grazing next to our motorhome, as well as the|
sandhill cranes that come walking through.
My kitchen cart was supposed to arrive last Friday, but it was delayed due to the holiday traffic. The latest peek at the tracking shows it's on its way and should arrive by the end of the day.
We delayed our departure for the next park by one day to allow the PC to be finished up and for this to arrive, so hopefully I can get it put together tonight before we leave.
It's hot and humid today - 85 right now, but not complaining. They had predicted rain earlier and we were concerned about getting everything taken down and put away for the move, but it's a beautiful day.
Most of the day was spent doing laundry and cleaning up the place, I like to start a new stay with everything clean and ready to go.
We'll be hooking up with the grandkids and their parents tomorrow, so there will be no time for housework while they are here.
|This little bluebird stopped by to say goodbye to us. First time I'd seen them here.|
Here's hoping everyone has a great holiday and I'll post when I can.
Long Live the Queen
Saturday, December 21, 2013
My computer is in the repair shop currently and I might not have it back until Monday.
As much as I love my tablet, it's not the easiest to compose with so until I am up and running I'll be absent for a bit.
I wonder if it has the same virus that Left Brain and I had.
Long Live the Queen of PC Withdrawal
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The most common mode of transportation is via golf cart....and I don't mean just any old golf cart. These are all tricked out and personalized to many degrees.
The Rialto Theatre is one of our favorites to visit and it sits on the downtown square of Spanish Springs.
There is a church across the street from it which is lovely.
They have a large pool area with shooting fountains that is nice to look at.
Long Live the Village Idiot....I mean Queen
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Although I've never been a big fan of pot pies, Left Brain likes them so I gave this recipe a shot and I loved it. He said it's the best he's ever had. Please keep in mind that this is the best of MY cooking and that's another whole story.
Add to that the fact it's simple, uses four ingredients and is a cute as can be to serve makes it a winner.
The recipe I found says to use 2 cups Green Giant frozen mixed vegetables (thawed), but I didn't think the big guy would care if I used a 15 oz can mixed vegetables as long as it was his brand and that seemed easier to me.
The next ingredient is one cup chopped chicken. This was easy peasy because I had some left over rotisserie chicken from another meal. I hardly ever cook chicken anymore, it's easier to pick it up all cooked and ready and then dissect it at home.
The third ingredient is a can of cream of chicken soup - had that in my pantry, so was good to go.
The fourth, and last, thing is a 16.3 oz Pillsbury Grands flakey layers refrigerated biscuits. I couldn't find this, so went with another brand, but that didn't seem to make any difference.
Heat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, combine vegetables, chicken and soup; mix well. I tossed in some chopped onion and added some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as well.
This is where it gets hinkey. The recipe goes into great detail about pressing each biscuit into a 5 1/2 inch round and then placing it into one of the greased regular sized muffin cups. Firmly pressing in the bottom and up the side, forming a 3/4" rim. I just smooshed each biscuit into a larger circle and jammed it into the muffin tin...I mean, come on...let's keep this simple!
The next part is like a Lucille Ball comedy. They state to spoon a generous 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each, then pull the edges of the dough over the filing towards the center; pleat and pinch dough gently to hold in place. Yeah right.
First off, there's way more chicken mixture than the generous 1/3 cup they call for and I'm not throwing it out, so I wedged all it into those eight biscuits and let me tell you...there wasn't a chance in a #*@& of pulling any dough up and over, much less pleating and pressing gently to hold in place.
I left my chicken mixture sitting inside the biscuit and slammed the muffin tins into the oven.
Bake at 375 for 20 - 22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool one minute and remove from pan.
Here is a photo of how mine actually came out - I don't think not being able to fold the dough over the top hurt them one little bit.
|Mine don't have the dough pulled up like the image below, but this was easier and they were just as tasty.|
|This was the image shown for the recipe|
Okay, now that I see them side by side I have to admit that their version is cuter, but my standards are not that high and I can live with it.
My mind is spinning with all the possibilities with this. I can envision Mexican and Greek versions and some sort of egg bake for breakfasts when I want to impress Left Brain...that that need ever arise.
Long Live the Queen of Pot ..Pot Pies that is
Monday, December 16, 2013
Since the RV park is filling up we took the helicopter to a nice park we found while geocaching and Left Brain showed off his new skills.
The boy can now flip and roll that thing. He's quite pleased with this, but I'm sure if I tried the same thing in the car it would be another story.
Then we stopped for lunch at a little local place called the Odd Cuples. This is not a misspelling, they have decorated the entire place with odd (nonmatching) cups on the walls.
We both had the reuben burger and found it very tasty. I could smell the food for the first time and now could actually taste it as well. And it was tasty. It was a hamburger patty on a grilled bun that had Thousand Island dressing spread on it. Then it was topped with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Yum.
When we returned home we sat outside in the frigid weather wearing jeans and long sleeves until about 4:30 when it got too cold to endure anymore.
It's hard to believe it's almost time to move to the next campground, I feel like we've put down roots here. Which means it's been a little too long. Now we're not sure we want to commit to the full three month stay from January through March. We might keep that open in case we get hitch itch again.
Since I feel the need to show at least one photo, here is some of the classier yard art we've found here in Florida. It's a very patriotic setting of three bathtubs. I thought there'd be a statue of Mary in at least one of them waving a flag, but it was not to be.
Long Live the Recovering Queen
Saturday, December 14, 2013
There's never been much of a filter on my mouth, so that wasn't so different...although I have sensed it's reaching a new level lately.
No, it's the weird habits of some seniors that I used to find funny but now I see the wisdom behind it.
For instance, I always carry zip lock baggies with me when we go out to eat. It started out innocently enough, not wanting to place my left overs in a Styrofoam container. This is partly based on environmental issues and partly because the container is always too honking big and takes up more than its fair share of space in our little fridge.
Now I find myself pilfering the uneaten tortilla chips from the Mexican restaurant and bread from others. This still struck me as being "reasonable" if not frugal, so I wasn't too worried.
It was when I helped myself to three tiny containers of jelly at Perkins to use for toast later that I knew I had crossed a line. My rationale was that we seldom ever put jelly on toast and why take up space with two or more jars of it in the fridge when I could just stock up a handful of these little babies.
We've already planned to take our own snacks next time we go to the movie because lately the popcorn has been so icky tasting and over priced. Again...we could justify this.
I shudder to think of what's next. Will I pick up a fork or two while dining out? Will I begin carrying a larger purse and shoveling in food from buffets when I think the coast is clear?
I've already had my eye on the packets of sugar and cream for coffee, even though neither of us use this. But it would be nice to have in case we have guests who use it...which is highly unlikely.
So, I ask you. Am I becoming a senior citizen nuisance or just a garden variety kleptomaniac? I guess only time will tell.
Long Live the Queen of Free Stuff
Friday, December 13, 2013
Meanwhile Left Brain and I keep coughing and wheezing our way to better health. I managed to have a lengthy phone conversation with the Divine Miss M while doing laundry and ended up having to stop because my throat was giving out again.
But being quiet has not stopped me from doing stuff...no voice is necessary to shop online! Tis the season for giving gifts and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving than myself...so credit card in hand off to the websites I went.
I've gotten tired of having to lift the cover on my make-shift kitchen cart and decided it was time to get something better suited. The wheels on our plastic cart broke as it had more weight on it than it was really made for, so when we get ready to roll we have to pick it up and move it...not fun. It's awkward and heavy.
I found a cart online that is just adorable and should suit all our needs. The size was good, which was the most important due to the lack of space and the price was nice as well. The shipping says it should be received on or before December 23, which is good as we leave here on the 23rd for the next place.
I like the fact there is a drawer for spices and a basket for produce. The two shelves will hold the miscellaneous flotsam that never seems contained. I have a pattern for some pretty fabric boxes that will come in handy to create storage bins.
The top shelf is a serving tray that can be removed, that could be handy. And yes, I made sure the wheels lock - that is very important for when we're rolling down the highway.
I also ordered a humongous tension rod that will extend up to 120", so it will span the width of our RV for the lace curtain I want to put in the front window. The lace has already been purchased and when the rod arrives I'll make the curtains to fit it.
Pete has ordered some replacement parts for his helicopter due to some crashes while learning to do flips and rolls. He continues to get better and better at this and hopefully soon we can wow you with some of our "aerial photos" using our new G0-Pro camera. More on that later.
Since the cats claws have been tearing up the couch and chairs I've started to make some chair covers to help protect them.
We're not too worried about this as the furniture showed significant wear when we purchased the RV, but I don't want it to get any worse.
Again, wanting to grab any storage opportunity possible, I added some nice deep pockets to store books, maps and cat toys.
Bit by bit our rolling RV is becoming more and more a comfortable little nest.
Long Live the Queen of Online Shopping
Thursday, December 12, 2013
When I saw this money fabric it just tickled me. I had had some like this in my past life and had just the perfect project for it, so it wasn't a complete impulse buy.
These little pocket wallets are just big enough to hold credit cards, drivers license and some folded money. There is a little pocket for coins but I prefer to just dump that in my pocket.
Then I had to make another of my little folding bags out of it.
Not sure what I'll do with them, but the fabric has been used.
Next I plan to adapt this pattern to fit my cell phone and have a teeny weeny purse to carry.
Long Live the Queen of Money
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
When I picked up the brochure on swimming with the manatees I knew that I just had to add this to my bucket list for this trip. I had no idea of what was to come.
We pulled up in the parking lot and met Kelly, the other lady who would be part of our small excursion. We were all pumped and ready to go...until they handed us what looked to be some sort of garb for S & M and directed us to put them on.
Left Brain and I had swim suits on as per instructed, but for Kelly this was a last minute thing and she needed to use the one bathroom to slip into something much less comfortable.
Filming the donning of wet suits really would have been very funny, but since I didn't want to be the butt of the joke...get it, butt? you'll never see that kind of footage.
It felt like birthing in reverse, trying to squeeze a plump, well, okay...fat...body into a small enclosure. Left Brain and I were able to assist each other but poor Kelly was all alone.
Being the only other woman, I knocked on the door and asked if she needed any help. The door cracked open and I was greeted with a sweaty redheaded woman both laughing and in distress. In I went to assist in tugging the suit up over her rump and shove shoulders and arms into the sleeves. Keep in mind...we had just met in the parking lot a few minutes earlier and had no idea how intimate we would become.
Once we were suited up we watched a video on safety and I couldn't help but wonder why we couldn't have watched this when we weren't zipped up like an Oscar Mayer sausage. Did I mention this was at 11:00 and it was already in the 80's?
But soon we were on the water and heading out to find us some manatees to swim with. Our guide was the poster child for ADHD and there was never a quiet moment or shortage of movement. He would either be describing something, whistling, doing sound impressions, tapping on the steering wheel or conversing with himself.
We arrived at our destination and were ready to enter the water. I had worried before about being too cold, but now I couldn't wait to get into the water to cool off. This was where I asked the guide how to apply the mask and use the snorkel. Yup, I was a newbie.
I've swam all my live and enjoyed swimming underwater the most, so the idea of being able to watch what's going on down there was thrilling to me. Problem is, due to the CPAP machine I have been trained to be a nose breather and now I had to switch to mouth breathing. I know, it doesn't sound hard....but for me it was.
The wet suit provided some buoyancy and we had pool noodles to assist in floating. Floating wasn't my problem - sticking my face in the water, opening my eyes and breathing was the problem.
Every fiber in my body screamed at me not to draw in a breathe while under water, but I did and it was wonderful. What a magical feeling to breathe under water! That's apparently when I smiled and took in my first of many samples of the river water.
Try as I might, I couldn't keep my mouth shut (a normal problem) and had to splash my way to the surface many times to clear my breathing tube. This activity is frowned upon by the others in the area as they want as little disturbance as possible, but I couldn't shake the feeling of drowning. And several of them were looking like they'd like to help me drown right about then.
But as the day went on it got a little better and I was able to enjoy the sights of the manatees and fish all around me. I had the pleasure of one of these huge creatures swimming directly underneath me. We made eye contact. It was pure magic. I said "WOW"...under water. Big mistake. Back to the surface again. Geesh! Will I never get the hang of this!
I mean, how hard is it? You float and breathe...I can do this. And I really thought it was going well and I was excited at how special this was. It was such a magical moment that I felt a strong urge to...well, throw up.
Great. Now I look like an overweight eel hanging over a bucket on the boat and losing the lovely breakfast we had on the way over. How special to have an audience for such a moment. Sure hope our guide didn't need that bucket for any other use at the moment.. I wanted to curl up and die...for several reasons.
We made one more stop and after hurling I felt better so I gave it one more try. Same reaction. I heard from others that this is not an uncommon phenomenon, something about the middle ear and the body tilting at odd angles. I guess any career as an astronaut is out of the question.
It's funny when you think of it. I'm dying to lose some weight and yet weightlessness makes me nauseous. Maybe gravity really is my friend after all.
We purchased the video he shot during our trip (sans the vomiting episode) but I am still struggling to figure how to edit video and share this with you. I'd love to put the DVD he gave us on You Tube, but have no idea how to do such a thing. So in the mean time I have inserted a video from Birds Underwater, the tour group we used.
The next day I was all stuffed up and fully into a nasty head cold. Perhaps this was already in the works and was part of the nausea...who knows. All I know is I'm sick of coughing and sleeping.
Long Live the Queen of the Manatees
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
|Even though it was too late for|
I decided I needed to have more shelves in the cabinet. These are odd measurements so off to Home Depot we went. I had them cut the board I picked out to the required lengths for me.
Left Brain's grilling table was transformed into a workbench while I filed off the rough edges and then stained the boards. Then I attached the rail to the front with my killer glue. We need that extra protection of when ever See-More the RV makes a sudden turn all the dishes would come crashing to the floor. Oh the joys of living in a moving vehicle!
I goofed in that I should have used a deeper board and trying to squeeze a second shelf into the one side was too much and I created that for naught.
|Adding the two bottom shelves really increased my storage space in this cabinet.|
|I really thought I could cram a second shelf in here, but no. |
But by putting the corner shelf things back in with it, it worked out just find.
But now I do have some additional space and I put the corner shelves back in to assist in holding some of the smaller items.
I think I gained some space ...not sure.
Long Live the Queen of Storage Solutions
Monday, December 9, 2013
Left Brain is so thoughtful and willingly shares everything with me...even his awful head cold.
When I get sick like this all I want to do is sleep... sleep... sleep...and that seems to be the best way for me to rebound.
However, this seems to be taking a long time to get my energy back. But I'm being gentle with myself and sitting around a lot drinking water and watching the cats play.
My appetite is lacking, but perhaps that is a good thing and I'll lose some weight during this spell.
More to come as I continue to recover...
Long Live (cough... cough) the Sickly Queen
Friday, December 6, 2013
I'd like to hear from those who have been playing along...which do you prefer? Word prompt with wide open possibilities or a photo to work on directly?
I chose the word "storm" because there was an RV in our park that is that model and I figured I could make it look like it was in a storm, but I feel I fell short of my goal. It's not as stormy as I would have liked, but then again I did put it off until this afternoon and had limited time to play with it.
Judi came through with storming the walls - perhaps this is what Black Friday looked like.
Today is being called Ice Friday due to the storms ripping through our country right now.
We are happy to be sunny and warm in Florida and away from all that icky weather.
I'm going to wait to see what the consensus is for Photoshop Friday and may decide to put it on hold until the first of the year as this is a very busy time for many people.
Long Live the Queen of Storms
Thursday, December 5, 2013
So, since the fabric was food related I decided to create food related objects from them.
First I made reversible potholders. Here is the front version:
This is the flip side:
Here is the next set. One features a quilt piece I had left over.
Then I made a series of placemats. The reverse side is the same and features this garden scene:
|Yes, this was another batch of fabric I just had to buy because it was pretty. Now it has found a use.|
I had a lot of fun with these and they will be fun to use when having guests as each one is completely different.
Long Live the Queen of Fabric
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This is kind of like a hash brown casserole I guess, not sure what to call it.
I started with a package of dry hash browns. After adding the water to reconstitute them I dumped in a can of cheddar cheese soup.
Then I proceeded to empty the leftovers with some diced green pepper, onions, and ham.
It turned out pretty good - very tasty and not bad looking.
Long Live the Queen of Creative Cooking
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The outdoor "carpets" are a woven plastic that won't kill the grass underneath them, so are perfect for the RV life. They fold up into the size of a small suitcase and are very lightweight. They feel great on bare feet and keep us nice and dry and clean.
|Note that the cats got the OLD carpet...we really do NOT spoil them.|
They are reversible and easy to clean. The white one had red Kool-Aid spilled on it during its first use and it just wiped away.
It was pointed out that the cats did not have one under their area, but that has been remedied. I had hoped to find a matching one, but it was not to be.
This provides them a dry area for their little paws. It was snidely suggested by Chaseburg Mama that the sunscreen was actually for the cats. Doest thou think we spoil them a bit? Well, yes...that is a fact. So now they have their own carpet area as well.
I've also added a table over the tunnel and am working on a quilted cover to give it some pizazz. This gives me a bit more shade as well.
We cover the tent at night to keep their little "beds" dry and maintain the quality of their many toys. We also cover it when necessary for a wind break or to provide additional shade.
It's extremely comfortable out here and they ask (quite insistently) to be placed in their tent the minute I get up...which I do, of course.
|She loves hiding in the little pop up cube while attacking the ball in the orange circle.|
When the sky is overcast and they need warmth they have the tent opened up like this. Check out their little perches, they each have their own for naps and for lurking above the other.
|Gracie is demonstrating the "I am higher than thou" pose. George doesn't seem to care as he is busy playing with his felted ball.|
When the sky is too sunny, I partially cover it to provide some shade. George is a red head after all and has sensitive fur!
|The cover also acts as a wind break on blustery days.|
Here's a view from the inside to show them basking in the shade...all comfy cozy.
I tried to get the perspective of a cats eye view of the tunnel but every time Gracie sees the camera she comes running while shouting "I'm ready for my close up!"
I was able to find someone here in the park to give the old rug we had by the door. It is too heavy and maintains the water and dirt, as well as killing the grass. I hate to throw anything away that someone might be able to use. It was still in very good shape and can provide someone else with a floor covering so we were all happy about that.
Long Live the Queen of Outdoor Living
Monday, December 2, 2013
Gracie's favorite toy is this orange circle that has a ball stuck in the outside rim. She can dive at that, swat it to make it spin around and around before you can blink.
In the center is a scratching pad to sharpen those claws. You never know when an unsuspecting bug might make its way into the tent.
Long Live the Queen of Orange Circles and Crazy Cats
Sunday, December 1, 2013
The Flea Market is amazing, you can find just about anything you want to buy from small hardware parts to cars. I think you might be able to pick up a kidney or a lung, but we haven't found those booths.
So, the odd pieces that we were using that involved a series of hooks and clips and lots of frustration are now replaced with a one piece of fabric that slides into the slot on the awning.
It is so much easier to handle, takes up less space and looks much nicer.
The table was placed over the tunnel of love which provides a little extra shade as well as serves two functions at once...always a plus when living in an RV.
It provides an inviting living room area for our whole little family to use outside.
Long Live the Queen of Shady Deals