Thursday, May 31, 2012

RV Mods

Declo, ID 83323
RV LIFE: Just a couple of things I've taken for granted, but are handy.
Hook on screen door-Our 18 month old Irish Setter Devin, can be quite a smart dog. When we are just using the screen door, he pushes the clear part open and lays his snout on it to look and smell the outside. While laying his head there, he also can push the lever down, which then OPENS the door and Devin is free. Good for him, but not for us. So Scott simply put a small hook that we can latch to prevent the opening. Easy to hook and unhook whether inside or out.
Refrigerator fan: Frost builds up on the fins inside our refrigerator. To prevent this build up, Scott installed a computer hard drive fan inside our fridge. He wired it to the inside light.

Below, you can see the frost build up on the non fan side. We just switch the fan from side to side about every 2 weeks. Works like a charm.

Camping world sells a very blocky, battery operated unit. That would take up precious space in the refrigerator and also always having to change batteries. I would not recommend the battery operated one.
You can find the correct fan on Ebay. It is listed as Dometic Norcold Refriderator Fan for RV. It's about $16.00


Portable Ice Maker: We have an EMERSON ICE MAKER that we purchased on sale for $70. at Target. Current price is $150. We are very happy with this ice maker. You can make ice in three sizes. We prefer the large size, that is still only maybe 1 inch long. The ice comes out as bullet shaped with a hole . Easy to use.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shoshone Falls

Declo, ID 83323
Scott & I keep asking each other, "Are you happy?". I think it's because we are both enjoying this lifestyle, that we need assurance from our spouse, that they too enjoy this and that it hopefully will not be ending soon.
So our answer to each other is "Yes, very much so."
We headed out to SHOSHONE FALLS which is about 15 miles from the RV Park. It is called the "Niagara of the West". It's been a loooooong time since I've been to Niagara Falls, but from what I remember, Niagara Falls seemed HUGE! But the info claims that Shoshone Falls is 50 feet higher. Hmmmmm.  Either way, it was worth the trip.
See the Rainbow????

We walked the paved trail (about 3 miles round trip), along the gorge up to Evel Knievel's famous Snake River Rocket failure. ABC SPORTS ARTICLE
See it in the background? Impressive? Not!
It was a really nice hike, with some inclines, that my out of shape body felt. Not worth walking to see the ramp, but if you'd like to walk high up above Snake River, then it's a nice hike.

Devin never ebbed in his energy. Lyla was dragging a little, but we took breaks to let them soak in the water falling down the rocks towards the river.

Along our walk we saw these bushes ALL OVER. Are these Sagebushes? Or now that I just googled, is this BIG SAGEBRUSH? Not bush, but b-r-ush.
On our drive back to the RV, we passed over I.B. Perrine Bridge. I'm not paying too much attention because I'm knitting, but Scott says "he's going to jump!" We cross the bridge, pull over to the side. Scott jumps out to watch the BASE JUMPERS float down from 486 feet. Unfortunately, by the time I got out of the truck and helped the dogs out, I missed it.

B.A.S.E. jump means: Buildings, Antennas, Span Bridges (like above), Earth.  These are all things these adventurous nuts jump from.

(Blogging has an unexpected advantage. As I write about our adventures, I end up looking up definitions & descriptions and I learn so much!)
We visited a friend in Pocatello a few days ago. Nice visit. Don is a tinkerer...he loves to fix things even if they have to be completely disassembled, cleaned, & put together with new parts.  His home is loaded with clocks! All ticking at different times. He has a beautiful Grandfather clock.

He also has a couple of EDISON PHONOGRAPHS. These are in beautiful condition and WORK! They use WAX CYLINDERS play sound. He has hundreds of these cylinders! He played a couple of comedy routines, which are totally "politically incorrect" now a days, and also some music. Very cool!  Here's a link to some PHOTOS OF PHONOGRAPHS similar to what Don has. Beautiful.

Yes, I know, that is not a food review. I'm leading up to it. As we were leaving we were given a memento unique to Idaho... an IDAHO SPUD! What the bleep is that?  It's a candy bar. The center is sort of a dense marshmallow with a slight chocolate flavor. Then covered in a dark chocolate and the sprinkled with coconut. And, of course, it is shaped like a potato.  I love finding, trying things new. I couldn't get past the odd texture of the marshmallow center, so I won't be purchasing any of these, but it was cool to experience it. Thank you Marsha!

Rupes Burgers on Urbanspoon
Our rating 3 out of 5

I like the look of this restaurant, like an old car hop.
ALL AMERICAN BURGER: Thin burger, with lettuce, onion, pickle, sauce, Canadian bacon on a nice roll.  I enjoyed this a lot, but didn't really taste the burger, or the bacon. Maybe the combo is what makes it though.
TATOR TOTS: I thought these would be something special. They just taste like frozen grocery store tator tots, but better because they were deep fried instead of baked.
FRENCH FRIES: Slightly above average.
I wouldn't go out of my way to return, but would gladly eat here again if in the area.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Declo, ID 83323
Brrrrrrr! Woke up to 38°!!! Put on my knitted hat and cowl to stay warm while walking the dogs.  

Stayed cool and windy most of the day, so today was a "lazy" day. I sat in my rocking recliner and caught up on all my Tivo recorded HARRY'S LAW episodes. I just found out that Harry's Law has been cancelled. That stinks! I loved this show. I thought the subject matter was great! Lots of controversial subjects and/or politically incorrect.

(Soapbox warning):The last episode was about a man who's wife was murdered. Of course, the spouse is the first suspect. After a year, he is still labeled by the police as "a person of interest". No other leads, BUT no real evidence to charge the husband. So the husband is in limbo. He has the stigma of being a murder suspect. He can't get a job because of this label. He is being prejudiced against because of this label that the police refuse to lift. I say "shit or get off the pot!". Which leads me to...

Innocent until proven guilty? I don't think so. If you are innocent, then why are you thrown in jail awaiting trial? Oh, I agree some suspects should be in jail for the public's protection, but, still they have not been proven guilty, therefore, they are to be presumed innocent.  And therefore, should not be locked up. What happens if I was accused of some crime and I don't have an alibi and I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm thrown in jail awaiting trial? ...and the court system is so backed up that you could be sitting in jail, even though we are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, for years. I lose my job for no show. I lose my insurance, because I don't have a job,  I lose my house because I don't have a job, possibly lose my kids (if I had them), and my spouse, etc. Grrrrr.

And another thing, what about when someone sues you. You have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself. You need to take time off work, etc. This could devastate you financially, depending how severe the case. If you win, you should be reimbursed for the court fees, lawyer fees, wages for work missed, etc.

Another Harry's Law episode was the subject of suing the tobacco company because you developed lung cancer. You have free will! You were stupid enough to smoke for years, sucking in smoke into the organs that are used and needed 24/7 to live. How dare you sue the tobacco company. 

Should I sue grocery stores, because I they carry ice cream that I can't resist, and therefore gain weight, and then develop diabetes, and eventually lose my sight, a limb, etc. I'm fat because I CHOOSE to buy that ice cream.

An episode dealt with a family suing the high school because their son died playing football. We know it's dangerous, we take precautions. Accidents happen. Only you can determine if the risk is worth the experience.

Scott & I ride motorcycles (well did). Yes, we know the chance of an accident. We chose to still ride. And yes, I had a small accident and have a scar to prove it. I got right back on the bike and continued to ride.

Do we sue the police because our child overdosed on drugs and the police didn't do their job?

There is plenty of things available to us that are not good for us If we choose to partake, we must suffer the consequences.

That's why I like Harry's Law.
I've come to the conclusion that our dogs are smarter than Scott!  We have an African Grey Parrot, that is quite a talker. She sounds just like me. 
Swazye loves pets. 
Yes, she is funny looking. She has a psychological problem causing her to pluck. Very common in this type of parrot.

This is how Swayze SHOULD look.

Some of her vocabulary include:
Whistling portions of the Adam's Family theme song
Wolf whistle
Good night
See ya later
Go out?
What are you looking at?
My name is Swayze Buskirk
Dropping bomb
Coo Coo!
Devin no
I'm sure there's more. We take it for granted. But she says "What?" a lot. Or she'll mumble nonsense (in my voice). The dogs never pay attention, even when Swayze says "Devin, quiet!" But I can't count the amount of times Scott has been fooled and will look at me and say "what did you say?". I just look at him confused and then we realize the parrot said something.
So the dogs can tell when it's the parrot and not me, but Scott can't.
Are you smarter than a 5th grader? or my dogs?
We need to replace the door knob of our bathroom. But in the meantime Lyla "helps" us out.  Whenever I go into the bathroom, Lyla needs to be near Mom. So she comes up and plops herself up against the bathroom door. That's great! She keeps the door closed, but how am I supposed to get out? The door opens outward, so I have to slowly open and push Lyla out of the way. Do you think she'll budge? Nope!
The Bone GardenThe Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good narration by: Susan Denaker
Historical,medical, mystery and some romance.
Story covers present day and also 1830.
Present day mystery of who's skeleton is buried in the back yard,is solved by telling the story of what happened in this town in the early 1800's. The story goes back and forth between present day and past.
The historical part is quite interesting, because it describes what it was like to be a medical student at that time.  The price paid for body snatching a freshly deceased body for use at the medical school for teaching.
Jack the ripper type murders taking place, the accused and the investigation and mystery solved both past & present.
Good character development.
I also read THE SURGEON by this offer years ago. I don't remember the details, but I also rated that book 4 out of 5 stars.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 25, 2012


Declo, UT 83323
RV PARK REVIEW: It was difficult to leave Pony Express RV Resort. The cleanliness and manicured lawns were wonderful.
Village of Trees RV Resort is about 1/4 mile off I-84. What a pleasant surprise this park is. The place may not have the clean cement sites, but each site is compact gravel (level) and has a little bit of beautiful grass lawn with a picnic table.  Large trees throughout this park.  As I look out my window to my left, is the tent camping area, which is empty right now. It looks like a beautiful park. 

Very dog friendly, with poop bag & garbage stations throughout the park. Great places to walk the dogs. We are within walking distance of Snake River. We can walk along the river and among the horses in the adjacent pasture. Beautiful horses, well taken care of.
Above is a view from our site. Snake River and horses grazing.

Sites are all pull throughs, a little close together, but better than Pony Express. 
Our site #A5

Clean fairly large laundry and only $1. per load for wash and for dryer.  Small library in the laundry room with chairs. I took 3 books and left 2 books. Will I ever get to reading on my Kindle? There are so many books circulating at RV parks. 

Check out BOOKCROSSING, which is a site to register your books that you plan to pass on.  Each book is issued a registration #, and can be entered by the next person that picks up the book and you can see where your book travels.

We have yet to use a pool at any park. With my frumpy, 55 year old body, I don't see a bathing suit in my future. The pool at Village of Trees is very small. About the size of 2 hot tubs put together.

There is also a small truck stop/gas/diesel station at the entrance to the park.  I believe this is part of the park.  They have a convenience store and small cafe. The cafe is almost like room service, you call in your order and they'll deliver to your site! We haven't done that yet, but we did get take out dinner and Scott ate breakfast there.  There are a half dozen tables to eat in if you like. Food is average, not great, but not bad. It's convenient and we sure appreciated that convenience on our arrival day here. We didn't feel like cooking after a day of packing, traveling, setting up. Well, I guess that's a good excuse anyway.

We've already decided to stay a second week here.
What a difference 3 hours North makes! In Salt Lake City, UT, we left 60° mornings and 80° afternoons. Here in Declo, ID we awake to 44° mornings and maybe hitting 65° afternoons. This is fine by us. We like the cooler weather. Much easier to throw on another layer, than to peal off layers. When I hit 50 years old, I stopped dieting, since I had to diet my whole life to stay fairly slim. 5 years later and 40 added pounds, does not make a nice body, so I rarely don shorts either.

Since I knit & crochet a lot, I prefer the cooler weather so I can wear the items I've made also. I wore Lyla's swirl beret (beret crocheted from yarn spun from my Eng. Setter's fur) yesterday 

In the mornings I've been tossing on my celtic cowl that I originally made for my Irish Setter, Pillsbury (now gone), to keep his ears out of his food bowl.


Just A Little Bit Dangerous (Silhouette Intimate Moments, #1145)Just A Little Bit Dangerous by Linda Castillo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What you would expect from Harlequin/Silhouette. Not complaining, but if you are not into the sappy romance, don't read this.
The sexy hero, search & rescue cop on horseback...
Stuck in a sparse cabin with a beautiful escaped convict, exclaiming she was framed.
Hmmm, what do you think happens? Enjoyable easy read.

View all my reviews
Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
My rating 4 out of 5

This is a Chilean wine.  I tend to enjoy wines from Chile. This wine is named to honor the 120 patriots who helped lead Chile to Indepedence.
I'm sure this wine is under $15. and more likely around $10.  I've got to start taking note of the prices, so I'll know for the reviews.
I really like this wine. A bold wine, that does have a tartness to get used to when first tasting, but it smooths out nicely.
I rarely drink more than 1 glass of wine at a time, maybe 1.5 glasses tops.  This wine, I had two full glasses in one sitting. I'm a "cheap date" and 2 glasses is my limit. I got quite the buzz and knew if I had a 3rd glass, I would pay for it.
I'll be looking for this wine again!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pioneer Museum

North Salt Lake, UT 84054
Last week we went to the Pioneer Memorial Museum, run by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. What a great museum!!! The amount of historical pieces & artifacts they have on display is amazing! I thought the time period would have been earlier, more like the 1800's, but it seems many items are from the early 1900's. But still VERY INTERESTING! Baby clothes, adult clothes (people were definitely smaller back then). All kinds of housewares, jewelry, shawls, quilts, medical supplies, etc. Really really interesting. No charge, just a donation that we were not pressured to give.
Not many photos taken because the items were all behind glass and the lights and flash prevented good photos without glare and reflections.

Interesting for crafters:
Knitting Machine!

Sock knitting machine
Sock knitting has become very popular. But most knitters are hand knitting them. But I know there is a unique group that do own or are searching for these antique circular sock knitting machines, that are no longer manufactured. Here's some info on Sock knitting machines.

Weaving Loom


Spinning Wheel

Baby Carriages:


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Great Salt Lake

North Salt Lake, UT 84054
We decided to take a ride to see the GREAT SALT LAKE today. The link has interesting facts about the lake. The lake is not really impressive, except that it is very large.

We waded a little at the shore. The water temperature was very warm! The water is kind of gross looking with brown algae? At least we can say we saw it.

There is a very cool building called SALTAIR. Check the link for the interesting history.

The original Old Saltair building was magnificent! Very popular vacation spot in the late 1890's. Unfortunately it burned in 1925. Repaired and redesigned only to be destroyed by fire in 1931!
The present Saltair is nothing compared to the original, but it is still a cool building. A beautiful staircase inside and I can just imagine the potential for great parties here.

It's really in bad condition now and the outside almost looks like a bad Disney building.

While walking from the Lake to the Saltair building, I saw my first live snake since starting our travels.
His tongue was flicking back & forth.
I am a member of the CAMPGROUND CRAFTERS Yahoo Group. It's an intimate group of crafters that are also full time RV'rs. Sue M. who is currently staying in FL, mentioned cooking egg rolls. I love egg rolls. So I asked her for the recipe.
Tonight I tried them. They turned out delicious, but much too much work to be worth making again.

When we emptied the contents of our home, we did not keep our huge deep fryer. We figured fried foods wasn't good for us anyway. So for the egg rolls, I just put about 1" of peanut oil in a frying pan and pan fried, which would have worked out fine, IF I had used the RV stove instead of our induction stove top. The induction stove top works great for some things, but not for frying egg rolls. The temp goes up & down, so the oil was hot, then warm, which caused the egg rolls to have to cook too long and soak up extra oil. In spite of that, they were delicious. Thanks Sue for the recipe.
Granny Annies Family on Urbanspoon

Our rating 2 out of 5
Arrived for breakfast. Fast service. We ended up having 3 different servers, but all coordinated fine.
Pancakes are delicious and HUGE!
Hash browns for fresh potatoes, not frozen, but bland. Basically tasted like a plain baked potato shredded.
I had a Denver omelet.  Plenty of filling, but all bland.  The veggies seemed as if steamed or nuked instead of sauteed.  The omelet also looked and tasted like it was steamed or cooked in a microwave.  No buttery flavor, no crispy ends, no browning at all. Just a yellow glob with bland veggies inside.
We would not return.
Sunshine Cafe on Urbanspoon
Our rating 3.5 out of 5
Small place so tables are at a premium.  Cute atmosphere, with old time signs on the walls, and cute sayings.  Also have a shelf with magazines to read and games for kids to play.
The saying today was something like, I feel Super Lazy today. That is lazy with a cape! Silly, but made me smile.
I was able to see the cooks behind the counter which was interesting. Not hectic, they seemed to be enjoying themselves and cooking and doing what needs to be done.
We arrived at 10:45am for breakfast.  Perfect time...too late for breakfast crowd and too early for lunch crowd. We had our choice of seating.
Waitress very efficient and business like.
I ordered a 1/2 order of biscuits & gravy with eggs & hash browns. 1/2 order so 1 biscuit and 1 egg, but not half the price. Still plenty to eat and I like the option of smaller portions. Also ordered a single pancake.
Eggs over easy cooked perfectly and delicious.
Hash browns were crispy and good. Nothing special.
Biscuit & gravy was good. Very peppery so there was a bite to it. They add something to the gravy that makes it taste different than just a white sauce.  Very good.
Pancake was plate sized and good. Again, nothing special but good & fluffy.  I like that they served warmed syrup with it.
Overall, nothing outstanding, but all good.
We will return.

Nib nose

North Salt Lake, 84054
We are just below the main line of sight.
Scott has declared himself very "nibby". I have never heard this term, so I looked it up.
Here's the TWO definitions from the URBAN DICTIONARY:
1. Nibby - Mid-west country-folk slang for nosy or prying. (Gladys Kravitz syndrom from _Bewitched_)
Example: Every time I pull in my girlfriend's driveway, I see that nibby neighbor of hers lookin' out her window.
2. Nibby - A small sexual organ, aka a small penis.
A man would never admit to the 2nd meaning, so I'm sure Scott means he's becoming quite nosy. He did admit to being nibby while looking out the window at the neighbors, and not while were were----oh never mind.

So is the nibbiness  (now to be referred to nosiness so there is no confusion as to the meaning), a result of RV life, retirement, old age or a combo of all three?  Either reason, it is quite funny to see this change in my husband.  I see him quite often looking out the window commenting on neighbors or passerbys. He was just the opposite living in a regular house in NJ. He shut himself in the house with curtains closed, so the neighbors couldn't look at us.

I'm sure glad we have those tinted windows in our RV that during the day, we can see out, but nosy people can't see in!
We loved the book series "The Hunger Games". You can view my review HERE. So now that all the hype of the movie coming out is over, we decided to go to the movies. We rarely go to the movies, except when we feel the huge screen or theater sound would be worth it.
We go into Salt Lake City and let the GPS find the theater. It's right in the middle of town, with only 2 hour parking allowed on the streets.  We circle and circle looking for parking lots.  All we see are the tall covered tiered lots. At the entrance is stated a 7 foot clearance. Hmmm, how high is our pick up truck? We never measured it. Our concern is the RV height. So by the time we decide to try to pass under the 7 foot clearance and park, we realize the movie has already begun.
Although I like the Salt Lake City, surrounding area, the city itself is a small congested city. We are now avoiding it if possible.
We opted to try the smaller theater in Bountiful, UT (Cinemark Bountiful 8),with a showing later that day. Off we go, following our GPS. Where is this blinking theater??? Around and around. This time we find plenty of parking in the area, but no theater. Scott says according to Google Earth, it should be in this shopping plaza. Can't find it! I said, try the back of the plaza. Sure enough there it was. No sign stating what movies are being shown and to help locate the theater. Plenty of parking, and only $4.00 each to see a 3:30pm showing!!!!  Of course, Scott had to opt for a medium popcorn & drink. But for only 75 cents more you can get a large....oh, ok.  Total movie date was $19.00. That's still a great price!
The Hunger Games movie, was good, but the books were better. In the books you have longer to build the characters and suspense.
PETS: While going out to breakfast the other day, we opted to let Devin be loose in the RV. We normally crate him, which he doesn't mind at all, but just an extra step to get the crate, open and then fold up and put away. Devin was a good boy!!! He just settled himself on the floor of the bedroom and we assume slept.  He did not mind us being away, he did not chew anything he shouldn't etc.  We think this situation may even make Lyla more calm while we are away.  Our baby boy is growing up!

DOG PARK REVIEW: We found the Cottonwood Dog Park that was recommended to us.  Very nice park. It is located behind the Utah Dept. of Agriculture & Food, 350 North Redwood Rd. Salt Lake City, UT 84116. We went around 6pm and only 1 other dog showed up. But very large fenced in grassy off leash park.  Lots of trees for shade. Only a couple of places to sit. Water fountain for dogs provided, doggie bags, double gate entrance. No section for small dogs.
Two negatives,were the general neighborhood. This is in North Salt Lake, only about 4 miles from our RV park. But the neighborhood seems more low income and there was a homeless guy sitting on the park bench, that made us uncomfortable. The other is the dog park fence is also the fence for private homes.  One home had a larger dog that did not seem dog friendly, or he was just protecting his property. Either way, Devin wanted to say hello, which was just aggravating this dog, causing a lot of barking and attacking the fence. 
Yellow Tail Cabernet Merlot: Usually under $10.00
As described on the YELLOW TAIL SITE, "blackberry, chocolate and luscious vanilla aromas."  Of course, I don't taste anything of that, but I do like this full bodied wine. Good cheap wine, but once opened goes sour quickly.
I like most Yellow Tail red wines. 
Don Quixote Manhattan Project Merlot: $15.00
Manhattan Project Merlot
We visited the DON QUIXOTE DISTILLERY while in Sante Fe. You can view the review at THIS POST. Most wineries we go to, I am not impressed by their dry reds. Scott usually finds something he likes in the sweet reds, or fruit wines.  I was pleasantly surprised that DQ dry reds were substantial. I thoroughly enjoyed 2 bottles of the Manhattan Project.  No after taste, but pleasant going down.
Rio Grande Roasters "Outlaw"
This coffee was found at the local grocery, Smith's. They had a large selection of coffee beans and a grinder.  I like my coffee like my wine, full bodied. Hmm, maybe that's why my body shape is full bodied? Just trying to be consistent I guess.
I love the description under the name: "A rugged dark roast, so smooth it's criminal". Admittedly, that's why I chose this coffee. I was not disappointed. When I grind my beans, I always go for the espresso grind, even though I have a drip coffee maker. The smaller grind seems to produce a stronger coffee.
This is VERY SMOOTH, but not as full bodied as I'd like, but enough to enjoy as my black morning coffee. I plan to purchase a little more before we leave. More because I like the description.

Our Travels