Friday, April 29, 2016

Feeling the Blahs

Every now and then I develop a case of the blahs.  I don't want to do anything...go anywhere...see anything...just sleep and mope around.  I'm never sure what causes it, but wait...there's a full moon.  That's probably it.

Part of my "blah"dom was spent having a pity party of one bemoaning the fact that I can't decorate or have cute little things around the house because there's just no room.  Oh woe is me...I suffer so.

So I forced myself into some clothes, got in the car and went in pursuit of some retail therapy.  After a little lunch with me and my best friend, the Kindle, I walked over to Shopko.

There I met a sweet little metal bird that was half price.  Hmm, he made me smile...he's lightweight and not easily broken.  Sold.

Then it was time for a trek through Michael's.  Here I stumbled across a cute little wooden box that looked like it would fit nicely on my kitchen countertop.  Yup.  It was just the right size and now I have a place for some cat food, cat treats, cooking spray and Fit vegetable cleaner.  I debated painting something brighter, but kind of enjoy the soft bluish color as it is.

I was feeling much better by the time I got to Hobby Lobby.  There I found a little metal sign for my kitchen area. This is perfect for me, because Left Brain is the chief dish washer in our RV.

It turned out to be a fine day after all.

Long Live the Queen of Blahs

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Visiting the Dentist

It was time once again for our yearly dental exams and we both came out without needing any work done.

I told my hygienist that my goal last year was to floss every night and lose fifty pounds.  Well, one of two isn't bad.

 During the x-ray procedure I gagged on the square piece of film they jam into your mouth and she hurried to pull it out for me.

It was then I made the mistake of sharing one of my secret fears with her.  I ran through my scenario of being abducted, tied and gagged and thrown into the trunk and on my way to what was bound to be a very bad experience.  This was okay until I expressed my main fear in this is that I would gag from having a rag shoved into my mouth.

She looked at me and asked "Seriously?  You're tied up in the back of a crazy persons car and you're worried about being gagged?"  I guess my priorities didn't seem in order for her.  Oh well, they're my fears...not hers.

It was when I was trying to explain the cat walk and ramp with the tunnel to the tent that she began to eye me carefully.  Then I brought up the photos on my blog to show her.  Yup..I'm sure she thinks I'm certifiable now.

Long Live the Queen of Gags

Monday, April 25, 2016

If you can't find it, make it yourself

I was getting frustrated trying to find a small bird bath to hang in our little dead tree here at Whispering Pines.  The tree's not much to look at, but it makes a great bird feeder, and that saves me from having to set up mine.

They all seemed to be the large, heavy ones that sit on the ground.  If we were here more, I'd buy one and leave it in the garden for next year, but our stay is too short.

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create one.  With a small piece of chain and some shower hooks attached to a plastic plant tray it is just perfect for my use.

It's small, lightweight and will store easily during travel.

Long Live the Queen of Bird Baths

Friday, April 22, 2016

What? What Did You Say?

I've noticed that we both need things repeated lately and decided it was time to take action.  We both had purchased hearing aids several years ago, but they are not the best and obviously technology have improved.

I mentioned to Left Brain a while back that I thought we needed some new hearing aids.  His response was "why do we need hand grenades?"  You see the problem.

He scheduled the appointments and we went to the clinic yesterday to see an audiologist and assess our options.

As we approached the front desk the lady asked "Who are you seeing today?".  Left Brain's response was "Fine, how are you?" I said we had an appointment with audiology and she nodded and smiled.

Our exam was performed by a very capable and professional young lady named Maggie.  It was very thorough and we learned that we both had more hearing loss.  Oh the joys of aging.

She went over our options and the prices (gasp).  We swallowed hard and Left Brain announced we wanted the best technology possible.  I agreed, as this is an investment in enhancing our life.  As our son says, we're spending the kids inheritance.  Yup...that we are.

We picked out our new hearing aids and then she proceeded to offer us color choices.  Whaaaat?  She fanned open a sample card of all the various colors and explained people often liked to match the hearing aid to the color of their hair.  Left Brain told her "good luck with mine".  She picked silver for me to go with the gray hair, which is coming in nicely I'm pleased to say.  I've always found gray hair attractive and because my mother had dark brown hair to the day she died, I feared it would not be in my future.  Weird, I know, but I  am embracing the aging process, not running away from it and trying to stay eternally young.  I'm no fool...I know it can't be done.

Left Brain will have custom fitting ones to further assist with his hearing loss.  Mine will sit behind the ear and have a small wire going into the ear canal. 

These new aids sound amazing and I can't wait until May 11th when we receive them and start wearing them.  We'll see Maggie again before we leave for Minnesota to make sure all is well.

The only problem is now I'll have to just "think" those snarky comments I want to make to Left Brain as I exit the room.  Of course, even though he can't hear me...he knows what I'm thinking.

Long Live the Queen of Good Hearing

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A New Addition to the RV

We have modified the RV to allow George and Gracie free rein for going in and out.  They are a couple of happy cats.

The first stage was to add the "cat walk".  This is a structure made from pvc pipes that extended six feet out from the passenger side window.  They really enjoyed that, even our cowardly lion, George would go out there.

Then Left Brain got thinking, always a scary thing.  His plan was to add a ramp so they could go all the way to their tent.  My job was to design it and make it happen.

The top portion of the tunnel is held up by a sling made of a really long tablecloth I had in storage.  So, I decided to make a similar method for the ramp.  The only alteration was to add three cross bars in the mid section, since we had three pieces of pvc pipe left over.  Then I took the other tablecloth (I still have one left) and made a pillowcase type of thing to slip over it.

We weren't sure if they'd feel comfortable going up and down the ramp as it is fairly steep, but Gracie had no such qualms.  George was more timid and got his front claw stuck in the mesh when he tried to turn around.  I managed to extract said claw and he was on his way. 

He navigates it slowly but surely.  She barrels up and down and in and out.

This morning her dismount didn't sound quite right and sure enough, she had squeezed between the end of the tunnel and the window opening.  Sigh.    Fortunately the table below helped to break her fall and by the time I ran outside she was strolling around the patio, no worse for the wear.

Now an additional tunnel has been added to prevent this and will be further secured this afternoon.  Today I will also cable tie all the zippers secure on each section.  What is with this escape artist?

She keeps me on my toes...that's for sure.

Long Live the Queen

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Settled In

On the last part of our journey we had a bit of excitement. As a semi passed us one of its tires blew out and smacked the side of our RV.  It sounded like a gunshot and we didn't know if it was our tire or his that blew.

Left Brain navigated See-More off to the side of the road and we stopped to inspect the vehicle.  Actually, he did the inspecting and I continued knitting.  The damage was minimal and we were able to continue driving.

But it did rattle us a bit and we decided it was time to call it a day.  We pulled into the county park I'd found near Madison only to find every spot was reserved.  When the ranger showed up he explained there was a horse fair coming in that weekend.

So we backtracked a bit to the Ho-Chunk casino near Madison and settled in for the night.  There were only a couple of other RVs and some semis parked off to the back, so it was an easy set up.  There were no hookups, but with our generator we were able to watch a little TV and fix supper.

The next day we got into Whispering Pines and worked hard to get everything set up.  I took the car in for washing and detailing to get everything clean and then put the things we store back into the trunk.

We have a nice concrete patio and with the sunshade down to protect us from the afternoon sun, we're all set.  I finally was able to dismantle things inside to do a cleaning out of all the dust and dirt that had accumulated and we're starting out clean for the spring.

Our first project is building the cat walk.  I had detailed drawings of how this would fit together and went to Menards in search of what I need.  They were missing one key piece, so I had to redesign a bit on the fly.  Then I found they had the pvc pipes in sections of 5' and not the 10' I used when designing.  Another quit recalculation and it was back to the RV.

Grrrr.  We didn't keep the pvc pipe cutter I used to own and since I needed a lot of cuts, I went back to purchase that tool.

After cutting the pieces up to make it work, I found that I didn't have the correct connectors for half of the project.  And I will need two more 5' pieces of pipe.  Next stop will be to return the stuff not required and purchase the remaining stuff to finish the job.  I sure hope this sucker works.

On Sunday we met our son at Red Lobster (it's a tradition with us) to catch up on all the news and see what's going on in his life.  Was too excited to see him again that I forgot to take a photo.

After lunch we hit Walmart for Left Brain's prescriptions and some vittles and then Menards to get the rest of the stuff.

The cat walk will make its appearance on a separate blog when it's complete.  I can imagine George will be afraid of it, but Gracie will venture out into it and show him the ropes.

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Still in Illinois

Man this is a long state.  It's like someone took Nebraska and tipped it up on its side.  

There was a flurry of excitement at our first stop when we noticed a rather large sized gap in the tunnel that George was looking at.  It appeared to be just about Gracie's size.  Yup, she was on the loose.  

We followed her down the row of RVs as she ducked from one to another with an audience of campers pointing out her newest location.  After a nice romp through the park for all of us I managed to snag her and carried her unceremoniously back to the RV.  She had a smug grin on her face, the little snot.  I'm thinking of adding to her wardrobe with something this:

We've added more hardware to the tunnel to try to secure this sneaky feline.

On our next trek through this state, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch because of the easy parking and lo and behold there was a PetSmart within walking distance.  So after our lunch I went and stocked up on goodies for the fur kids.

We arrived at the Tin Cup RV for an overnight stay in one of their pull thrus.  As you can see the cats only get the tunnel for a one night stay.  But!  We are planning a big surprise for them when we get settled down in Wisconsin.  I have been designing a "cat walk" where they can exit from the side window and go in and out to their hearts content.  More on that later.

Tonight will be bath night as our next night on the road will be at the Elks Lodge in Janesville WI and they only have electric to offer.  We don't want to be too rank when we finally arrive at our long stay location.

We're getting closer every day and it will be great to take everything out of the car and clean it and the RV up for the spring.

Long Live the Hunter of Wayward Cats

New Pillowcases

There!  The last of my UFO's (Un Finished Objects) are done.

I used up a bunch of odds and ends to make some new pillowcases for our bed.

Then I found more fabric I just HAD to have (it's a sickness) and then I found myself making more of them.

The ones I made previously did not have finished seams and they are not used for storing miscellaneous stuff in the outside bays.

These all have a nicely finished seam inside with no raveling problems.

Sweet Dreams.

Long Live the Queen of Pillow Talk

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Upwards and Onwards

On the day before leaving Nashville I took advantage of the laundry across the street from us.  While in there two of the maintenance men came in to replace the fluorescent tubes and as they stood there, each with a long white tube in their hands facing one another, I began to softly hum the theme song from Star Wars.

I wasn't sure they got it until one of the men turned to me and in his best Darth Vader voice said "I am NOT your father!".

I finished my laundry before they came back to complete their repair job, as they needed to make a run to Home Depot.  I had planned a rousing rendition of "You light up my life" as soon as the bulbs flickered back on.  Oh well.  Their loss.

We pulled out of Nashville this morning and landed in Marian IL for the night.  Got a pull thru for easy in and out. They have cable hookups, so we didn't even have to mess with the Tailgater.  I did about an hour and a half of the driving and even with the gusts of wind found it actually relaxing.  This was the first time I've felt totally at ease behind the wheel of the beast...and it was a good feeling.

We'll keep our drives short, usually under 200 miles to make the day more enjoyable, so we'll have two more stops to make before arriving in Holmen on April 15th.  There's no sense hurrying as the park doesn't open until then.

Long Live the Queen of the Road 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sewing with a calico cat

Gracie is a very inquisitive creature.  She always has to see what I'm doing and manages to get involved on a purr-sonal level.

This happens a lot when I'm sewing.  All my sewing materials are in an overhead bin, so when I am ready to work on a project I need to drag everything out and spread it on the bed.  This leaves the most tempting cubbyhole to be explored....great for those afternoon naps.

Then there is the project box to be dealt with.  I keep all the materials for the current project in one of these and apparently they also make for good naps.  The nice thing about these boxes is they unzip at the bottom and fold up flat when not in use.


But the real fun is checking out the project itself fits!
I really struggled with the cereal bag.  First I cut it incorrectly (never cut fabric under the influence of pain meds). So, I altered it by adding a yellow stripe at the top. This was done back when I had the shingles....I'm all better now.

Then I forgot to insert the side panels to stiffen them...still under same meds.  I had to remove the stitching of the binding to fix this.  Gracie has decided to inspect my work here.

When I noticed she was gone I went to work on it, only to find she was sound asleep deep inside the bag.  Yes, of course, I waited until her nap was finished before continuing.

But finally it was complete and you can see the ears behind the cereal boxes.  Sigh...she's always there.

There is nothing in the house that escapes having some cat hair added to it.

Long Live the Sewing Queen

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bowl Cozies

Well.  I finally finished all the bowl cozies I'd started in the past.  Why can't I learn that I don't need to sew like I'm still doing craft fairs anymore?  It's like potato just can't stop making them. But I'm drawing the line at the 35 I have created.

For those who don't know what these are, let me explain.

You put the fabric cozy under the bowl before placing it in the microwave to heat up the contents. 

When your dish is nice and hot and ready to be enjoyed, you can grab the edges of the fabric to lift it out.

This prevents you from burnt fingers and also acts as a spill catcher during the heating process or while eating.

They're fun to make (obviously!) and now I have a lifetime supply.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, April 8, 2016

Putting on the Food Bag

It's so unsightly having a bag of potatoes laying around, don't you agree?  When you live in a small area, there just aren't enough places to store things out of sight.  So what's a girl to do?  Enter the potato bag.

That's right!  Make a clever little bag to store the items!  This turned out so cute I decided to order the fabric in an onion theme for the onions as well.

I have these little suckers all over the house as they hang nicely on hooks and look pretty.

This bag stores the vacuum cleaner attachments

This one holds the cat food and is done in a money fabric theme because this seems to be where most of our grocery money goes.

But I especially enjoy creating them with the correct theme fabric.

This is to store my yarn and knitting supplies
Even though we store the extra boxes of cereal under the steering wheel table (doesn't every home have one of these?), it's still nice to have them put away nicely.  So I just had to make a bag for the cereal when I found this great cereal theme fabric.

There seems to always be a calico cat in the photo.

Hmmm, I usually have an extra stash of my Coke Zero on hand, so really needed a bag for that as well.  You can see here that my Quality Assurance rep is checking it out.

I can see where this could quickly get out of hand....somebody stop me!

Long Live the Compulsive Sewing Queen

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nashville Sights and Tastes

We started our tour this morning to check out possible places for me to play pickleball, which apparently has not taken off in this area.  The nice people at the desk said they might get three or four, but no guarantees.  I'm not going to drive a half an hour on a maybe, so there will be no play until I reach Onalaska WI, but that's not so far off.

In this same area is the beautiful Centennial Park, complete with a full scale replica of the Parthenon.  It was created in 1897 as part of their Centennial Celebration.  We did not pay to go inside since we've seen the original one while in Greece many years ago. 

After this it was off to BB King's Place for my beloved gumbo.  I've been drooling thinking about this for some time now.  The parking near here is $12 an hour, so the parking cost more than my meal.

Left Brain went for the ribs and I got to taste a bit of them and they were divine.

My gumbo yaya was a special treat and I really need to learn how to make this dish.

The weather is cool and very windy, so the afternoon was spent in the luxury of our little mobile abode reading and catching up with social media.

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Someday my Prints Will Come....

Our old printer was finally getting the best of us.  It insisted it needed paper even though the hopper was full.  It jammed continually.  It was becoming a pain in the tuckus.

Its last malady was that the yellow ink cartridge was finally so low (or dried up) it would not default to just printing in black.  I'm not sure why, but it just wouldn't.

So our day started out simply enough, have lunch and then do a little shopping.  Pick up some yellow ink.

Since we hate going to Walmart during the busy times, we stopped at Target.  Great deal, we could even get our groceries here and be done with it.

One problem.  They didn't carry the kind of ink we needed.

We looked at each other as then eyed up the printer on sale for $70.  It came with ink.  It went into the cart.

I am so glad we did this.  This printer works beautifully and will even print double sided without having to stand there and flip the paper over.  I enjoy standing there and just watching it.  Yes, I AM that easily amused.

We haven't explored all it's features yet, but apparently we can print from our tablets and phones as well.  Not sure why we'd want to do this...but we can.

It's much more sleek and stylish and simple to use.

Sorry old printer...we're kicking you to the curb.

Long Live the Queen

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Moving on to Nashville

The night before leaving Chattanooga we were watching TV and getting ready for an early nights sleep to be ready for our move.

It was late in the evening when the camper pulled in next to us.  They proceeded to drive in and then turn around again.  Finally they took the car off the pickup camper and proceeded to back into the site, with lots of coaching from the missus.

Sigh. I felt sorry for them as I remembered having to do such antics in the dark when we would leave work for a weekend of camping.  But what really frosted the cake was that all the sites in this campground are drive thrus.  All he had to do was drive into the site and park.

It was a short day of driving, which was nice as we had to get up over those darned old mountains.  All went smoothly and we arrived about one o'clock to check in.  Oh wait, it's actually noon as we are back in the Central Time Zone.  Hallelujah.  No more having to wait an extra hour for our favorite shows to come on.

Tomorrow we'll scout around the area and see what we want to do.  My first stop will be BB Kings Place for another bowl of the gumbo that I had two years ago.  It is SO good.

There were several quilt shops shown in the area, so will probably poke around in those as well.  I did finally find the fabric I had been searching for online and ordered it, so'll be getting a package soon to hold for when we arrive mid April.

There's a dinner theater that sounds like fun as well and we can get discount tickets here at the campground.

It's cold here (in the 50's) so tonight I'll mix up a batch of chili for supper.  

Long Live the Queen 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Last Day in Chattanooga

Springtime is busting out all over.
Now that I can finally spell the name, it's time to leave.  Here's a bit of trivia about where we've been staying.  We have been sleeping on a Civil War battlefield, where many fought and died over a hundred years ago.  That might explain some of the bizarre dreams I've been having during my stay here.

Ah, that sweet perform smell I've been inhaling is from these clethra bushes.

Chattanooga is the home of the first Coca Cola bottling plant in the world.  

It was first explored by DeSoto in 1540 and was founded by Chief John Ross, at what is now Ross's Landing in the early 1800's.

Our last excursion included a visit to Coolidge Park.  It is a lovely setting with a view of the city skyline across the river.

Why a purple rhino I don't know, but since the rhino is my totem animal I just had to snap this photo.
There was a monument to the Trail of Tears found in the park.

Inside the big blue building is a restored antique carousel.  

Watching the people enjoying this ride brought back some fond memories from my childhood.

As I strolled around the park one last time I had to chuckle at some of the sights.

These big blue eyes were painted on the inside sun curtain.

This sums up the RV life completely.

Long Live the Queen