Sunday, May 31, 2015

Death of My Kindle

I'd noticed lately that my Kindle Fire seemed to run out of battery frequently, even though I generally read with it still plugged in  This had been going on for a while and I finally decided to check the internet to see if others have had problems.

Hmmm, the first item on the Kindle Help Line was "my Kindle won't hold a charge".  There was a place to click Call Now, so I did and entered my phone number.  In seconds my phone was ringing with the support tech.  I was impressed.

She had me try what my computer guy would refer to as a "power enema" by holding the start button down for 40 seconds to reboot it.  Didn't help.  We chatted about other options and I explained that I'd tried all those provided, such as trying other cords, outlets and adapters.'s dying.

Since she was not able to do any technical CPR with me on the line I was referred to a "higher up" support person.  After checking my records he said that we had purchased this June 6th of last year, so it was completely under warranty.

He explained that a new one would be shipped out to me on Monday and it should arrive by Wednesday.  I am to use the same box and print out the return address label via an email he will send.  An even trade...a new one for a dead one.  I'm so glad it croaked when it did.  Usually things seem to die a day or two after the warranty has expired.

Then lo and behold the new one arrived already today, on Tuesday...ahead of schedule.  I have it charging up and will return the old one tomorrow.

Am I pleased with Amazon and their service...hell yeah!

Long Live the Kindle Queen

We Just Put Money Down on Our Next New Car!

We just have no idea when it might be manufactured.  What?

Left Brain recently learned about a new car, well...actually it's a motorcycle and we are both smitten with it.

The Elio has three wheels, so is technically a motorcycle, but it has all the comforts of a car, with speeds up to 100 mph. 
The best part is it gets 84 mpg.

Well, there's many pluses for this new creation.  In addition to the 84 mpg, it's engineered to the highest safety standard with three airbags, reinforced roll cage frame, anti-lock braking, and 50% larger crash zones than other comparable vehicles.

It is American made with 90% North American content. They are being built in an abandoned factory in Shreveport Louisiana, providing jobs in America. 

The cost is $6,800.  This is not designed to be the only car, but rather a second vehicle for one or two people.  It would be perfect for hauling groceries, going out and about the town and yes, it will hold Left Brain's golf clubs...but not a second rider.  So he has to decide if he takes his clubs or Larry...not both.

Here is a short video about the founder, Paul Elio and his vision.

Some parts are a bit strange, like only having one door on the drivers side.  That's because the person in the backseat enters from that door as well.  Yup, you sit one in front of another as in a motorcycle.  The difference is that you have a seat belt and two side air bags.

It comes standard with power windows and locks, AC, heat, and AM/FM stereo.

We figure we're at the age where it's hard to get people to turn heads and say "Wow!  Look at that!", so this might just do the trick for us.

Both of us enjoy trying new things and so we signed up and sent money to put us on the waiting list.  Production will begin in 2016 and I have no idea how long it might be before we will be notified that ours is ready to be created.  Then we can choose our color and whatever other options might be available by that time.

The way we look at it, if this comes too late for us, it might be the perfect car for our teenage grandkids as they become licensed.  Yes, does come in a lime green.

Long Live the Queen of Tiny Houses and Cars

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Clock Ticks On

Our stay in Wisconsin is nearing the end, with only a couple of weeks left to go.  So much to do little time. 

What!  We're moving again soon?  I was just getting comfortable here.

 Now if the weather would settle down.  We had such a downpour of rain that our street became a small river, flooding our patio.  It must be the Texas plates that brought it on.
the view out our side window
Most of the medical exams are done, or so we thought.  Left Brain has to undergo his colonoscopy yet and have a sleep study done as he may have sleep apnea.

The earliest appointment for the sleep study is July 9, but we are on the waiting list for any last minute cancellations.  It would be nice not to have to drive back for this last appointment.

The cats go in Monday morning for their check ups and rabies shots.  Then Left Brain goes back to the dentist that afternoon to finish up his crown.  

It seems every day for the next two weeks has something planned.

I did manage to finally find time to go visit my cousin Jean, something I failed to do last year.  Left Brain and I were heading to a movie, but had a bunch of laundry to do; so he suggested dropping him off with the laundry while Jean and I chatted.  He's so sweet that way and we had a great time connecting.

She and I had reconnected just before our full-time RV'ing began.  I was at an art show and this lady approached me and started talking about how she makes dolls also.  After a while she asked where I was from and then remarked that she also graduated from the same high school.

What an amazing coincidence!  Then I asked her maiden name and by matched mine.  I'd just found my cousin I hadn't seen for decades.  Seems she was on the west coast working and just moved back recently when retiring.

It was uncanny how much we have in common and as she showed me around her charming house and gardens I could feel a strong connection.  She loves to read, we like the same artists and both sew and make dolls.  She has two large dogs and a cat.  Definitely sisters under the skin.

It reminded me of a joke where two men in a bar were comparing life histories and a bystander was amazed at all the coincidences in their life.  Then the bartender explained it was just the O'Malley brothers and they were drunk again.

After my visit with Jean I returned to pick up Left Brain and the completed laundry to meet another friend, Beth, at the movie to watch "San Andreas".  She's a confirmed punster and asked me if I'd heard all the uproar about the movie from the people on the west coast.  When I replied that no, who was complaining and why she smiled and said "well, it's really nobody's fault". 

After the movie was over and we walked out, we looked at each other and spontaneously burst into singing "I felt the earth move ...under my feet".  Left Brain just looked straight ahead and tried to pretend he didn't know who we were.

Since it's impossible to find summer clothes in the south during the winter (even though it IS hot), I made it a point to go shopping for my winter wardrobe.  I just stuck to the basics and got two pairs of capris (one black, one white) and three pairs of shorts (one black, one white and one tan).  Tops are easier to find and this way I can mix and match to my hearts content. I still have this fantasy of losing all the fat so I hate to buy too much.  Also there's limited space for my clothes in our little house.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Arizona Buzzard Lives On

I launched a travel bug in Missouri a long time ago with the following mission:

"This Arizona Buzzard is fascinated by anything with the letter "A". His mission is to travel to places to preferably start with the letter "A", whether it be city, state or country.

He's not fussy (he eats roadkill for heaven's sake!) and would settle for anything with an A in the name...or not.  Perhaps a visit to Canada, eh?

He just wants to FLY as far as he possibly can.Please help him on his mission and keep him moving on his journey."

Then he just dropped off the radar and even with search attempts by geocachers at the last location he couldn't be found. I'd given up on him for a long time, reconciling myself to the fact it was dead and gone forever.

And then I received an email telling me it had been spotted in a cache named Asakusa Kaminarimon located near Tokyo.  Yeah!  He lives on! 

Here's a map of where it has traveled so far.  It's the farthest traveling of all my travel bugs with 8886 miles so far.

It's so good to know he's safe and sound, and hopefully he will travel again soon.

Long Live the Buzzard Queen

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Good Fences Thursday

This lovely fence and gate stand at the entrance to the visitor center in Lake Havasu City AZ.

The bridge you see in the background is the London Bridge.

Long Live the Queen of Fences

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

O Happy Day!

Yesterday I woke to the sound of rain (again) and ventured out for the first time in a week to play pickleball indoors at the Winona YMCA.  I'd been laid up for a week with this crappy cold and worried I might be too weak to really enjoy playing.  

But as things got going I quickly felt my muscles warming up and the drive to smash the ball returning.  It was no problem getting my 10,000 steps that day since I racked up over 11,000 just on the pickleball courts.  

When we returned to the Wisconsin area and began our long journey of dentist, eye doctor and medical exams for the year, I had the Doc x-ray my left knee to see if there was arthritis.  Nope.  Nice smooth bones, so we could rule that out.  I'd been using a brace for months and was considering having one of those injections for pain.

But then I discovered Glucosamine (1500 mg) with Chondroitin (1200 mg) and started taking one a day with my vitamins.  I didn't even realize the proper dosage is twice a day until our friend Larry set me straight.  He makes it a habit to always set me straight...and it has to be a full time job for him.

Now I'm playing with total abandon, with no brace and absolutely no pain.  I can't believe the difference.  I'm guessing it has to be the glucosamine/chondroitin that has caused the change as I've done nothing different anywhere else.

What a difference to be able to walk around without limping or being in pain all the time.  It's like having a new lease on life.

Before I leave this post, I have to share a photo I'd seen on Facebook for my friend, Miss Edna.

She's always doing battle with her dust bunnies, and now she can understand why.

Long Live the Queen of Healthy Knees

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

I haven't had a cold for a long time, and this one really knocked me out.  So for about a week now I've been basically sleeping and taking NyQuil and DayQuil to survive the duration of the cold.  Not being able to play pickleball for this long has seriously hampered my normally good mood.

Thank goodness I was finally feeling better before Memorial Day weekend when the family arrived for a visit.  Saturday was still a nice day, so we were able to enjoy them at our RV.  It's a bit crowded with the sunshade making the patio narrow, but it all works.

Even though I was feeling better, I still wasn't with it enough to think of photos, so I thank my lovely daughter for filling in for me.    I haven't had any photos of me with my son in ages, and now I have these fabulous memories to cherish.

He's such a sweetie.

But it's good to know I still have my karate moves!
Stephanie was needing some shade for her eyes and in a momentary lapse of judgement ended up wearing Left Brain's Green Bay Packer hat.  Oh oh.

Left Brain played the part of master chef and grilled up some steaks for supper.  I did the baked potatoes in the crockpot, always a nice easy way to cook without heating up the place.

The initial plan was to have the family camp on our site, but with the nasty weather forecast we ended up booking them into a motel room instead. It ended up being a nice large poolside room with a couch, fridge, and microwave, so we used it as a gathering spot when the weather went bad.

On Sunday we went to Dublin Square for lunch and then to see the Community Theaters matinee performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Then it was back to the motel room for some more killer cribbage and when we all found ourselves hungry again, Ted ran over to Edwardo's for some pizza for supper.

It was a fun gathering with a lot of good cribbage playing and laughter.  Having the motel option really made things easier for both families as it allowed them some space to spread out and us old people had nice quiet evenings to relax before going to bed.

Monday they did a brief stop by for some farewell hugs as they headed back home and to attend an annual party held by their friends.  We just sat back the rest of the day and relaxed.

Long Live the Queen of Memories

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Ultimate Cook Book

Due to space constraints I decided to ruthlessly go through each book and magazine I've been dragging around with me and rip out only the recipes I want to try.

The zucchini cheese bake was a hit and will get its own page.

Then I got the bright idea to create a cookbook of only those that are tried and true.  Currently I have all my recipes on the computer, which is nice, but sometimes a girl just wants to thumb through and look for some ideas without having to open up each file.

So, the new cookbook (in a binder) consists of untried recipes in a plastic pocket sleeve and those that have been enjoyed getting their very own page protector.  The recipes need to audition to get into this book!

It's made me rediscover several old recipes as well as finding some of the untested ones and moving them to the top of the list.

The Coq au Vin was awful and has been deleted from the computer.  I think I'll stick to things I can pronounce.

The goal now is to try one new recipe at least once a week to see if it makes the cut into the binder.

Of course, this project was much more appealing since it's been raining off and on all day and there's not much to do, so I do what I do best...fixate on food.

Now if you'll excuse me...I think I need to go make a batch of cookies or something.

Long Live the Kitchen Queen

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rubbish Tuesday

This old windmill was so pretty with the blue sky we had that day.

I remember these from visiting my aunt and uncle's dairy farm back in yesteryear.

Long Live the Queen of Rubbish

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Tale of Two Nostrils

Image courtesy of Shayna Karnick

Remember those stories of children getting beans stuck up their noses?  How silly, right?  Well, I understand now how that can happen.

It's allergy season and Left Brain and I have both been sneezing and blowing our noses on a regular basis. Therefore, a box of tissues is usually close at hand.

However convenient they may be, I still find that after one blow I tuck the slightly used tissue aside for later use.  I don't think I am the only one who does this.  You know who you are. Don't judge me.

Anyway, I digress.  The tissue that is awaiting further opportunities goes into a little pocket on the passenger side door.  Not a bad plan.

Now, this is where it went hinky.  Left Brain and I like to chew some gum after we've had lunch out somewhere, so I also like to have some waste paper or tissue in this same little pocket for when we spit it out.  Neither of us can stand to have it in our mouths more than about 30 minutes.

Not thinking, I grabbed the tissue from the door pocket and positioned it for my second blowing of the nose. guessed it.  This was the tissue that had the old gum in it, which was now wedged up my left nostril.

I'm thinking a bean would have much easier to remove since it remains solid, unlike an old wad of chewing gum that is...shall we say....sticky.  Especially when it bonds with those little nose hairs that are way in the back.  Those hairs have a purpose, but I don't think securing chewing gum was one of them.

As I'm trying to extract the gum from the left nostril, it's stretching out.... as gum will do.  It must have looked pretty gross, because the lady's face in the car that pulled up next to us was priceless.  I wanted to lower the window and explain it wasn't snot, but rather an old piece of chewing gum, and then decided that really didn't seem to be a valid explanation.

Seeing her face made me laugh and sometimes when I laugh hard I snort (and pee my pants, but that's another story).  

Did you know you can blow a bubble through your nose? 

I'd never considered the logistics of this before, but please just take my word for it that it is possible.  There's really no need to attempt it yourself to prove or disclaim my statement.

Once we arrived home I went after it with a Q-Tip to remove the left over stuff and this sent me into a sneezing spasm.  Something about a foreign object stuck up your nose causes sneezing I guess.  Another side effect is laughter.

And when your husband looks worried (and slightly appalled) and starts shouting "It's NOT funny!", well that's when I laughed so hard my tears ran down my legs.

But finally I find myself this evening all cleaned up and gum free...and it seems to have helped my allergies.

Long Live the Queen of Sneeze

Yes, I realize the pretty photo of the flower had nothing to do with the story, but it was better than a photo of my plugged up nose.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Not much going on

It's been pretty quiet here, lots of wind and some rain...springtime in Wisconsin.

Tuesday was pickleball in Winona (2o miles north of here) and I had a craving for Indian food, so drove into La Crosse to visit A Taste of India for their buffet.  Very disappointing.  There wasn't much to chose from and the flavors just seemed off.

Wednesday I met a lady I've become friends with on Facebook.  It was a bit disconcerting since the night before on TV there was a show about a person meeting someone via social media that went very badly.  However, Resa tends to post lots of photos of colorful birds, houses and I didn't figure she was on the deep web.

We were to meet at a little coffee shop, but it was closed up...apparently for good.  We opted to visit a Perkins close by to dine and visit...two of my favorite pastimes in life.

Wednesday's weather allowed for outdoor pickleball and Left Brain joined me for a few games in Onalaska.  After playtime ended we went to the home of our friends, Colleen and Eric, for hamburgers on the grill.

Doing this necessitated driving by our former property and as much as I would have liked not to look at it, it was hard to avoid.  It's so sad to see all my lovely gardens looking so shabby and unkempt and lots of junk and vehicles sitting in front.

I managed to finally get my 10,000 step goal met on Thursday.  Actually logged 11,800 steps just playing pickleball in Winona.  Of course, I started at 8:30 and ended at noon, so there was a lot of time to get those in.

On Friday Left Brain and Larry took off for golfing and Gracie was so obnoxious I left the RV to go have a bagel at Panera just to get away from her.  She's a constant attention seeker and is relentless in her pursuits.  I'm thinking there's a little kitty ADHD or OCD or something like that. When ever you turn around...there she is.

She's checking out the hanging shelves I added to the closet.

She's actually yawning here....but looks like a mighty roar.

So, pretty boring here.  But I did want to share my friend Marti's blog site.  She just posted the photos from her visit to Antelope Canyon in Arizona.  They are stunning and need to be shared. 

Long Live the Queen of Boredom

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Campground guest

I noticed the dirt and tunnel next to my bird bath, at the base of the bird feeder and wondered who it might be.

Then he popped his head up and said hi.

We have a guest on our campsite and he's so cute.

Apparently he's a smart gopher as he's situated himself near a source of water and food.

Best of all, he provides much entertainment for George and Gracie as they wait in attack mode for the perfect pounce.   
And they'd get him for sure if it wasn't for being in that mesh tunnel.

George waiting in the "pick up window" for us to carry him back inside for a snack, a drink, nap or whatever.

It's not quite the wildlife we've experienced at some places, but he's adorable and we enjoy watching him.

Long Live the Queen of Varmints

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gathering photos for Roadtripper

I've taken it upon myself to supply Roadtripper with the missing photos for this area.

It's funny how you can live somewhere all your life and fail to see the beauty.  Now I gaze with the eyes of a tourist and find so many interesting things.

During my search for the missing photos, I stumbled upon some fun images and wanted to share them.

This cat has the purrfect life sitting in the window watching all the activity on the streets below. I love the detail in the window arches.

This old building had a nostalgic lamp in the window that called to me.

Then there was this old beer sign.  Third Street in La Crosse is famous for the number of taverns to be found.

I can imagine the ballroom was quite swanky in it's heyday. I have to admit that I've passed by this door many times and never even noticed it before. What a difference it makes when you just slow down and explore.

There are some lovely buildings in this old river town, much lovelier than I recall as a young person.  I'll share more images later as I discover new things.

Long Live the Queen of Nostalgia

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fit bit

I've been bitten by the Fitbit bug! 

After having seen my friend Marti's, I forced her into shopping with me to get one, not that it's that hard to make her go into a store.  This was after a long lunch, of course, we had to sustain ourselves before shopping.

My first day I logged almost my goal of 10,000 steps as I played pickleball.

The next day I spent the day goofing off at the computer and only had 280 steps at 1:00.  I guess there's no way to cheat on this, so it should motivate me to get out there and get moving.

It's a fun little tool that tracks how many steps you've taken, how many calories burned, stairs climbed and miles walked.  

You can wear it at night to record the quality of your sleep, but my cpap does that already.

At night you remove it and place it by the smartphone and they have a little pillow talk during the night and share the information.

Marti tells me that I'll get an email from them once a week with info on how I've done, but I haven't had it long enough to see this yet.

Long Live the Queen of Fun Gadgets

Friday, May 8, 2015

We'll have fun at the Y M C A

On my first visit to the YMCA to play pickleball I was so excited to get there I left early.  Way too early.  I had the wrong time in my head and arrived an hour and a half before the building opened.  Ooops.  Even with all the time to take a photo, I didn't think of it, but I found this old image on Google.  It hasn't changed much.

Since I had time to kill, I set out for whatever might be open, which ended up being Walmart.  Of course, this being a small town I ended up waiting for a train while it slowly crept along.  Then it stopped.  Then it backed up.  And finally it went forward again and cleared the tracks.

So glad I wasn't trying to get to the hospital on the other side of the tracks!

I did resist the urge to stop at Bloedow's, the notoriously wonderful bakery on Broadway.  I drove past it twice without stopping.  Another image from Google since I didn't dare pull the car over.

Once in Walmart I went to the electronics department to look for Fitbits.  I would love to have this bracelet that monitors how many steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, etc.  My friend Marti has one and therefore I must also.  It's just always been that way with us.

I had hoped to purchase one and be able to use it right away, but I couldn't make a decision.  I think I like the clip she has as the display is much larger and easier on old eyes.

Finally it was time to return to the Y and start to play!  It was the nicest group of people you could imagine.  Of course pickleball players all seem pretty darn nice.  The age mix was from a young boy of about 11, several college aged, some in their 30's and 40's and a few old geezers like me.

After playing I enjoyed a shower and sitting in the hottub for a while.

The drive time allows for some alone time to listen to the radio station and my music and just be alone with my thoughts.  

It was a pretty blissful experience and I can't wait to repeat it!

Long Live the Queen of Pickleball

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sometimes you just need to ask

I always search out venues to play pickleball everywhere I go, like a drunk looking for the next tavern down the street I wander.

During this process I've learned not to turn away any opportunity.  When in Florida a year ago I found pickleball at the Community Rec Center.  When I contacted them for details they said I would have to purchase a membership.

Knowing that memberships are often very pricey I almost gave up when the lady told me that for $10 I would have a lifetime membership.  The money flew out my pocket as quickly as possible in case she was new and had no clue what she was doing.  But, this was the real deal.  Imagine it...for $10 I have a lifetime membership.  

We don't travel to that area often, but you can believe this will be a draw for our next trek to the south east corner of our country.

It was great finding out that a small group played nearby and I've enjoyed going there, but the weather is so unpredictable in the springtime and it seems to always be so windy.

So when I learned about indoor pickleball at the YMCA in Winona, about a 45 minute drive down the highway, I had to check it out.

Drat!  They require a membership as well.  But I kept an e-mail correspondence going back and forth with the nice gentlemen and the offer kept getting better and better.

I ended up landing a "special" membership of $30 for the month of May and an additional $15 for the two weeks in June.  Sweet!  Plus this comes with use of the weight room (I'll pass on this, thank you very much), the showers and the whirlpool.

It's an odd set up, with the gym being on the second floor. It's an old building and there is no air conditioning,but it has a core of pickleball fanatics that are fun to play with.

This perfect opportunity would have been lost if I had not "just asked" for a solution to my dilemma.  They were great people to work with and I'm loving the compromise they made to allow me some playing time while I'm nearby.

I can't wait to go!

Long Live the Queen of Requests

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day May Day

Today is the third anniversary or our living in the motorhome, a concept difficult for me to grasp. 

Friends of ours have a hard time believing we are still married.

We've learned so much over the last three years, about RV life and about ourselves.

I've found that living small has made me appreciate how much I have and how very little I really need.  

I'm living in the present more and more and enjoying the people that come in and out of my life now that I don't have a surplus of "things" getting in the way.

I had lunch with my other vagabond friend, Marti, today and we swapped stories about what we've been up to for the last few months.

She and her husband sold the house and have traveled extensively in Europe and now wander the US in their "home free" lifestyle.  She has come to a similar conclusion of how fulfilling it is to lead a simplified lifestyle.

Neither of us has any exit strategy or deadline for when this phase of our life will end.  We intend to just keep enjoying it one day at a time and not worrying about tomorrow.

They are in the process of preparing for a trip to Alaska and I for one can't wait to see the photos and follow her adventures.  

As you can see by the skydiving photo, she has a zest for life and is fearless.

If you'd like to get a sample of her experiences you can find her blog at  

Long Live the Queen of Full Time RV Life