Monday, September 24, 2012

Days off

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

We had two days off in a row. Sunday and Monday. Sunday was credit for last week, and Monday is credit for this week.  We'll also have Wednesday off this week, waiting for the arrival of my parents from Florida. They will be staying in a cabin at Four Paws for a week.

So what did I do on my two days off? I scanned and scanned, etc. I also updated my blog. It's amazing how long it takes to write a post, or two or three for the blog. I suppose I could keep them short with no links, to save time, but then that wouldn't make for very interesting reading. Plus, it's not that I'm short on time. This life is wonderful with lots and lots of free time even with the workamping.

So what did Scott do on his two days off? Changed the water filter, repaired the blinds. Oh where is BRAD, when we need him!!!? Brad is really only a mailing away.

Scott mentioned going to breakfast on our day off. So I wake up at 7:30am., have a cup of coffee, have another cup of coffee, catch up on email, catch up on rescue data keeping. It is now 9:30am, my stomach is grumbling and Scott is still asleep. OK, I can't take it anymore! I'm STARVING!!!!
Begging Dog Holding A Knife And ForkIt's 10am. I've got to fix some toast and not go out or wake Scott up and HOPE we make it to the restaurant before they stop serving breakfast.
I wake Scott up, we head to Kountry Kitchen. I am so ready for an omelet and home fries.

Should have just stuck with my toast with PB & J. Scott fried an egg for me and we had ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. Yum!

One blog leads to another, and another, and...

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
I love Google and so many of it's features. 

1: I  use Google's PICASA photo organizing and editing program. GEEKS ON TOUR (fellow RV'rs) are experts in Picasa and have many tutorials and tips for getting the most out of Picasa.
2: Google TRANSLATE is also a nice program. I have used it a number of times and I definitely get the idea of what is going on.
3: Google PLUS is still a work in progress and hasn't quite caught on. It is trying to be like a Facebook type site. I don't understand how to use Facebook, but I don't understand Google Plus either, but I'm signed up just to show my support.
4: Google EARTH, is ESSENTIAL to my volunteer work I do for A&B ENG SETTER RESCUE. I find volunteers to conduct home visits/checks for potential adopters. We adopt just about all over the USA and some parts of Canada. I "pin" all my contacts at their address. When I need help in a certain area, I search that address and all my contacts in the area show up.
I also add places I'd like to visit on our RV adventure. Then I'll put where we are now and I can see any places that may be nearby that I want to visit.
Scott uses Google Earth to check out the RV park BEFORE we arrive, so he will know how to maneuver the RV locally and into the park.  He can also see if the RV park is wooded or a "parking lot".
5: Google MAIL is my email service. Very rarely is there a problem with it. They have a great Spam Filter. I can separate my emails into folders for crafts, personal, rescue work, etc. Within Google Mail there is also a feature of Google TALK, which is a Chat program. My friend Pete in Florida surprises me every once in a while with a window popping up and his adorable face showing up wanting to talk. I have yet to use my built in camera and microphone on my new laptop to chat. I've only chatted, via "instant messenger" type where you have to type back & forth.
5: Google DOCS, now called Google Drive. I like Docs, I don't understand Drive yet.  In Google Docs I can keep Excel type spreadsheets and share or not. I use spreadsheets for my rescue work and can share with select other rescue volunteers. You can also open all kinds of documents in Google Docs, even if you don't have that particular program.
6: Google CALENDAR is another must have for me. I can get email reminders (essential) for bill paying, chores, maintenance, events, etc.  Also different categories can be color labeled and specific calendars can be shared. I share our RV Itinerary calendar, which is labeled in green, with Scott, although he doesn't utilize it.
5: Of course I love Google's BLOGGER, for enabling me to publish a blog with ease and FREE. 
4: Google READER I use EVERY DAY and multiple times a day. Which leads me to my post title, "One blog leads to another, and another, and..."

If you've been following my blog, you know I've been scanning our photographs. While waiting for the scan, I'm finally catching up on the multiple blogs I may be interested in.  Although I may want to keep up with the blogs, I may not be ready for the commitment of actually signing up to follow their blog. That is how Google Reader comes in handy.  I can subscribe without getting emails or showing up as a "follower". Once I read a few posts, then I decide if I want to "follow". Not all blogs are as great as FLIP FLOP VECTOR or IT'S A COZY LIFE or WHEELING IT. There are many great blogs, but although I have subscribed on Google Reader, I haven't gotten to reading them yet, but they are all snug and organized waiting for me to give those blogs my full attention hopefully soon.
I could not even attempt to keep track of all the blogs I'm interested in if not for Google Reader. You read one blog and you see what that blogger follows, which makes you looks at those blogs, and it keeps going and going.
Sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to subscribe a blog to Google Reader. I have found the perfect solution. Under Google Reader, go to "settings" in the upper right corner, then "reader settings", then "goodies". Half way down that page is "subscribe while you surf". Now I have bookmark at the top of my screen in the bookmark bar. I can now drag the blog icon to the bookmark and it will subscribe easily.
We've been making friends along the way. We've met fellow bloggers, we've met English Setter adopters from our rescue, we've reunited with long ago friends and NJ friends. So speaking of friends...
Staying for 3 months in one place makes it easier to develop a friendship, or who to avoid. Luckily, here at Four Paws, we haven't found the need to avoid anyone. Only maybe certain not so friendly dogs.
We've made friends with our fellow workampers Don & Pat, and of course our "bosses", Meik & Birgit. Although I have Meik & Birgit's names correct, I had to go back through my blog posts to correct Meik's name spelling errors. I was formerly spelling it Miek...WRONG. Meik....correct. And FYI, to make it easy on us American's they introduce themselves as "Mike and Brigit" for our convenience.
A few "regulars" and "seasonal" RV'rs we've also gotten to know.
I am TERRIBLE with names, so if you read this and it's YOU I mess up, let me apologize NOW.

"I'm sorry for having a terrible memory, and not being considerate enough to make the effort to remember." 

There is the nice couple (not a couple), that we call "The Sisters". I have no clue what their names are, but I'm sure I'll remember after this blog is read. They have 2 Yorkies, are very nice and were in the cooking class with Scott.
The other couple (yes a couple), we call "The Girls". I know one of "The Girls" is Sharon. Sharon was in cooking class with Scott. The other half of "The Girls", is I think, Marion, but it could be Miriam or something similar. Of course I remember their dog's name...DORIS! These two crazy ladies have been full timing with their 45-50 pound dog in an itty bitty CASITA for almost 2 years!
The whole reason for writing about new made friends, is because "The Girls" took a day trip to ASHEVILLE, NC and brought us back an itty bitty gift with a huge amount of flavor.
Oh be still my high cholesterol arteries beating heart. 
No it wasn't empty. I just ate the two rich chocolate truffles before I thought to take a picture. Which leads to
I may be taking a day trip to Asheville with my parents, so I'll better be able to rate these truffles.
From the 2 I had, this is a wonderful chocolate shop. According to the description, the truffles are filled with a GANACHE. Smooth, rich and delicious.
Thank you Sharon & Marion.

Fun at Four Paws Kingdom RV Park!

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Four Paws Kingdom Activies: 
We are not only workamping, we are also campers. So we do enjoy the activities offered here at Four Paws Kingdom. 
We have taken advantage of the  Dog Bath House. 
This tiled room is located at the Bath House, next to the laundry. The doggie bath house consists of a large step in tub with a hand held shower nozzle for the large dogs. For the small dogs, the tub is at waist height also with a hand held shower nozzle. Shampoo is available at the camp store if needed. Four paws does ask that you mop up afterward with the sponge mop provided.

We have used the small but CLEAN laundry room.  Only 2 washers and 2 dryers, but have not had a problem getting a washer or dryer.

We've participated in a few pot luck dinners. Even though there aren't many campers right now, we've enjoyed the intimate group at the pot luck and there is always an abundance of food. This past weekend was a "Comfort Food" pot luck. I made a 5 pound bag of mashed potatoes and Scott made Chicken and Dumplings. There was also 
Beef stew with delicious gravy (thank you Sharon) to go along with my mashed potatoes.
SAIGON SUB made as a lettuce wrap instead of a sub (thank you Bridget) This was unique and absolutely delicious.
A linguine dish, a tortellini dish, waldorf salad, a boston creme deep dish type desert and cookies. 
Plenty of food for all.

I was talked into taking Beginner Agility Lessons. I'm lazy and don't feel like having to train Devin, but it IS GOOD FOR HIM (and me), so he'll be more attentive to us.

Of course we use the doggie park (1 of 8 parks) daily. Devin plays very well with Whippet mix, Doris.

There is a kiddie pool in the big dog park and the little dog park. Devin LOVES to lay in the pool and cool off.
So besides pot lucks, doggie play dates, agility training, I've also participated what was supposed to be Dog Bandanna Painting, but ended up being T-shirt stain disguise painting. How I got so many stains on my "good t-shirt", I just don't know.
Above is fellow workamper, Pat. She has been workamping at Four Paws for a almost 2 years!!! They will sadly be leaving at the end of the season for new adventures. Yep, she has lots of stains on her shirt too!
Below is the  cover up, although not ALL of the painting is covering stains. Some painting is artistic genius.
You can never have enough paw prints.
My wrist tatoo.
Over Labor Day, Four Paws catered a BBQ dinner for $14.00 (included for workampers). Some of the menu items were smoked pulled pork, home made "Grandma's" potato salad, scratch biscuits and desert.

Workampers & owners working together

Unfortunately, our pets are not invited to these dinners, so Devin was "starving" at home waiting for us to feed him.
And finally, after all our activities, Meik and Birgit arranged for a rainbow to show up over the campground.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Banana Pancakes

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Not much going on except the wonderful change in the weather!!!!! Last week we had quite a bit of rain which seemed to help cool down the temps here in North Carolina. Today I actually wore a long sleeved shirt and was comfortable. 
I'm relaxing outside in my canvas chair with attached foot rest, with the laptop in my ....what else... LAP, as I enter another exciting, well maybe only interesting, well maybe only filling up space blog post. Maybe by the time I finish my glass of wine, my writing will blossom.
Scott made breakfast this morning. His first time making banana pancakes. Since I love banana pancakes, he asked me how to add the bananas. Should he slice and just put on top? Slice and mix in batter? Dice and mix in batter? Mush and incorporate into the batter? I said slice and mix in batter. Well he decided to dice and mix in batter. And why did he ask for my opinion?? After enjoying the pancakes even though they weren't to my preference,  Scott felt there wasn't enough banana taste. (Hate to say I told you so, but...) He will be experimenting again.

What are your suggestions for how to add the bananas for Banana Pancakes?
I like them sliced and mixed in because you get chunks of banana taste and it still tastes like a regular pancake.  The sliced bananas soften up when the pancake is cooked and then after adding syrup onto the pancakes, there is a slight resemblance to BANANAS FOSTER!

Workamp: We continue to workamp. The bathrooms still need cleaning, the grass still needs cutting, the doggies still poop, so poop cans still need to be cleaned, etc. Like I've said before 2-3 hours of work for a free site and generous electric allowance is a good deal. We are saving a hell of a lot of money right now.

Workamp Crafts: I enjoyed sewing the curtains for the RV rental. Unfortunately, I talked them out of having me sew more curtains for the last RV rental unit. The blinds and curtains in their looked really nice. No need to fix what aint broke. But of course, I opened my mouth and said doggie print curtains would look so much cuter than plain yellow curtains that are presently in the cabins. Soooo, I will be sewing some updated curtains for the cabins. Yeah! I will also probably be finishing off some neck soother pillows that Birgit started, but hasn't gotten around to finishing. Because Birgit does not enjoy sewing and I do, and have been enthusiastically finishing the sewing projects, she gifted me with some doggie fabric she had. She had pulled out a who slew of different fabric and I was immediately drawn to the fabric with brown and black dogs and some greenery. Upon closer look, that is a Setter on that fabric! The colors will go great in our RV. Thank you Birgit for the Setter fabric!!!!

Workamp Nature: Who needs to go hiking when I can see all kinds of wildlife right here at Four Paws while I'm working!
As I walk out of the RV to head to our morning meeting for assignment, I see a beautiful butterfly.
While sweeping the dog grooming area (yes Four Paws has 2 grooming tables for your convenience), I see this chunky fellow and he refuses to move. I just sweep around him.
While sweeping the deck I see

The only wildlife I can identify fully is the last. That is a Blue Tailed Skink! Of course I had to google search to figure that out. The tail is blue to throw off predators. The predators will go for the obvious bright blue tail.  The Skink can live without and regenerate the tail. But if it's head were blue, then he'd be a goner!

Scanning memories:
Still scanning photographs. Any idea what this is a photo of below???
That's a photo of ME! I'm very photogenic, don't you think? I worked for the Post Office for 32 years. This is during my first few few years at the "annex". I worked midnights. This is how I spent my lunch 1/2 hour.
Pumpkin Roll: Back when we were in NJ (specifically Pennsville) in August, my sweet hubby (who has not mentioned my weight gain from age 50 to present), picked up an ARIANNA'S PUMPKIN ROLL  for "us", mostly me. We've had some delicious Pumpkin Whoopie Pies while in PA and in ME, so we were hoping to have our expectations met...and they were. Absolutely delicious!!!!!

It was a pumpkin sponge cake, so it was not very dense. But perfect combo of spices and sweetness. The cream cheese icing swirled inside was thick, not too sweet and enough cream cheese that you could really taste that it was in there. I hate to even mention this, but there was almost ALMOST, too much icing. I would love to have a slice right now. Unfortunately, they only distribute somewhat locally and are located in New Holland, PA. For anyone in PA, their site states this can be found at Redner's and Stauffer's.

Breakfast sausage: Besides Banana Pancakes, Scott also cooked up some JIMMY DEAN FULLY COOKED MAPLE BREAKFAST SAUSAGE LINKS. 
I can see me craving these. I plan to make a "PLATE LUNCH", well, more of a "plate breakfast"with this sausage. While vacationing in Hawaii, we discovered the local joints that served the popular "Plate Lunches". This usually consists of a pile of white rice, with some kind of sausage or spam and another meat all in a Styrofoam container. I will be filling a bowl with basmati rice, pieces of this breakfast sausage, a couple of over easy eggs and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup. Yum!
BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. –  A beagle named Brandi survived a 70-foot fall from a New Jersey bridge.
The dog got away from its owner during a walk along the Burlington Riverfront Promenade Friday night.
Bridge officer Rob Bittner saw Brandi walking up the Burlington-Bristol Bridge toward Pennsylvania.
Bittner tells The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill he turned on his emergency lights to slow traffic and followed the dog. Bittner says Brandi was doing fine until she got to the top of the span and her paws felt a steel grate.
The officer says Brandi jumped into the Delaware River as motorists tried to grab her.
The beagle's owner recovered her and took her to a veterinarian. Brandi was bruised around the abdomen, but didn't have any broken bones.Read more:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Lunch I didn't have...Sigh.

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Workamping: We've been having a lot of rain the past few days, so we usually don't work on rainy days. But things do need to be done eventually. So today we went back to work. Scott just had to do some spray painting of primer in the "shed", which really is a huge garage/barn. I was back to sewing curtains. Now I'm comfortable with Birgit's machine, I've already made a couple of sets of curtains, I'm more relaxed.  I put on my headphones and listen to a book on tape while sewing. This is work??? Yes, it's still work because it takes up my personal time, but it is enjoyable work. Because I was enjoying sewing, I stayed well past my two hour "requirement". I wanted to finish the curtains. Because I was staying longer, I was at the office through lunch time. Since Meik and Birgit are from Germany, they eat dinner at lunch time. And since Meik is a chef, he cooks wonderful dinners for Birgit and once in a while for his workampers, and also caters dinners for the campground guests.
Since I was working longer than necessary, Meik brought me out a portion of their dinner. I was excited! Meik is a great cook! His sauces are wonderful. Here he comes! He brings a plate full of ...oh how looks like an Asian dish. I love Chinese food!!!! He bends over like a waiter and the dish is in front of me, nose level. (Can you tell I love food??) I don't want to make a fool of myself by bouncing up & down in my chair with joy at this unexpected treasure of wonderfully prepared food. As Meik is explaining what he made, I get a closer look. He's pointing at an ingredient. OOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOO!
It's shrimp! Most people would say Oh Yes, it's Shrimp. I LOVE shrimp! But alas, if I want to continue on workamping, full time RV'ing, and living, I have to refuse this wonderful dish. I'm allergic to shrimp.

So back to Meik who seems to be enjoying explaining how he made this shrimp dish and my mind is just a blank. I've got to tell him I can't eat it.  It would be better if it was something I didn't like (which isn't much). I could at least take it and force it down. But if I eat shrimp, I could very well be down myself for the final count.
Of course Meik feels bad, I feel bad, Birgit feels bad. I hate being allergic to shrimp. One, because I love shrimp and two because I have to be picky about what I eat and I don't like picky eaters.
So Meik takes the plate away, he apologizes, I apologize. No apologies needed for either. But we both feel bad for putting the other in this situation. It's neither one of our faults.
As a compensation, Birgit brings out a huge slice of her Pear cake. Yummy, but I sure would have liked to have eaten a Meik creation.
So that is the lunch I didn't have. Sigh.

Weather: I have been enjoying the rain. I like being cozy all snuggled under an afghan on these days. Rainy days also get Scott & I in the mood for.....
                                                     No, not "that"!
                                                                                          Watching movies.
We watched a double feature. First was a cute movie called Our Idiot Brother. We both thought it would be ridiculously stupid. Why Scott even rented it with that in mind, who knows except Scott. But it really was entertaining without being utterly stupid. The brother is just a sweet, simple guy who takes life's challenges and just deals with it. He see's the world in a simpler way and gets himself and others in trouble with his complete honesty.
2nd feature was The Expendables I. I tried to watch The Expendables I, but I eventually lost interest. It was fun seeing action movie actors now past their prime, but once I got my fill, I was done. I will not be watching The Expendables II.

Purging: I took 3 or 4 tubs of photo albums out of our storage unit in NJ and stuffed them into our RV. I've been scanning and scanning and scanning: This is something I wanted to do when we still had a stick house, but of course with working, etc. there was never time. I have a lot of free time with this full time RV lifestyle. If you are a person that gets bored easily, this may not be the life for you. I spend a lot of time on the computer, reading and crafting. That fills my days just fine.
While on the computer, in between reading everyone's blogs, I've been scanning photos in these, bulky tubs that are made heavy from the photos.
Full tub of photos

Another full tub of photos

After effect of scanning
I still have 1.5 tubs to go. And yes, I am throwing out the photos after scanning. Scott better get my back up working.
My thought process is: If we were to have a fire and everything was destroyed, what would I do. I can't do anything about the lost items, so I would just have to move on. Photos used to be so precious to me. Now, not so much. I'm enjoying reviewing them, and there are many memories. But really, how often do we look at our photos? It is very freeing AFTER you do your purging. It's difficult, but ahhhhh, so much less "stuff" to think about.
So I will probably add an old photo here and there of good and bad memories as I continue scanning.
Four Paws had a photographer come in to take doggie portraits. It was $35.00 for a 20 minute session, which was between 40-50 photos taken. No hard copies, but we received a disc of all the photos.
It was a dreary day and at times there was a downpour. The "studio" was set up under the pavilion, but that is still outside. The wind & rain blew into the pavilion and some of her equipment (not cameras) got soaked. She was a trooper though. Thank you SAY CHEESE PHOTOGRAPHY, for the photos!
Here's a sampling:

 Yes, I purposely keep Devin's hair that way. It fits his personality. Lyla's hair would also do the same, but she is too pretty for that silly mop of a hairdo, so I clip down her head for a smooth, sleek, elegant look.
Stay tuned for an exciting update to Devin's bristle head.

Both dogs were very well behaved. Devin completely blew us away for how GOOD he was being. He stayed calmly in place, sat when we said, laid down when we said, stayed when we let go of the leash. There is hope for this silly boy!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Warning, this blog is not regulated

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

We've settled in nicely to workamping. Time is flying. Working gets me out of the RV. Yes, isn't it a shame, that I spend most of my time inside the RV. Or maybe that just shows that I feel so comfortable in the RV & feel it is truly my home.
I can't say enough good things about working here at Four Paws Kingdom. It's really a fairly easy job with short hours. I've now started sewing curtains for their rental units. I'm loving it. Hopefully that will get me to pull out my own sewing/embroidery machine, Brother Innov-is 4000D.

We had a local RV repair guy stop by to give us an estimate to take out our carpet and replace with vinyl, or wood look vinyl flooring (TrafficMaster Allure). Since he works by himself, he'll need a week and cost of labor about $1200.00. I have no idea if that's a good price or not, but we have the opportunity & we can stay in a rental unit here at the park while he's working on it.
It will be so much easier to clean! We could actually use our central vac system if we took out the carpet. Of course the parts for the central vac are in our storage unit in NJ and I don't plan on returning to NJ for at least another year.
Anyone have comments suggestions? We need something easy to clean and durable to hold up to our large dogs romping around. Allure from Home Depot looks like Pergo, but is vinyl, commercial grade, 100% waterproof & has a slight grip. All things we need for our dogs.
We have succumbed to the way of the RV masses. Scott & I are fairly normal, I think. Although I like to be just a tiny bit different.
I rode my own motorcycle, YEARS ago before it was common for women to ride their own.
We are LIVING in our RV. Even though there are plenty of people doing the same, it's still an unusual way of life.
From age 29 - 49 I was just a little different by having multiple beaded hair braids.
 Yes, that really is my hair. Every 2 - 3 months, my friend, Bev rebraided for me. I was known as the girl with the braids. I had anywhere from 13 braids down to about 3 braids as I got older.
So I hate to admit, that we've "copied" what we've seen many fellow RV'rs have set up.
We bought a Hummingbird feeder. I did not really expect to see any Hummingbirds since we don't stay more than 2 weeks at one place usually, but Scott wanted to try. We have a little feeder hanging on the window by my computer (dining room table) window.
Hummingbirds have been visiting at every place we've set it up!

AAPCC (American Association of Poison Control Centers) and Poison Centers Issue Warning About Concentrated Packets of Laundry Detergent 
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the experts at 
America’s 57 poison centers are urging the public, especially parents, to keep highly concentrated 
“single dose packs” of laundry detergent up and away from children, according to Debbie Carr, AAPCC 
executive director. 
Poison centers are reporting a recent uptick in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents 
packaged in small, single-dose packets. Some young children and toddlers who swallow these small 
packets have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product 
in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation. Some children have been exposed when the product 
burst after putting it into their mouths.  

Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of the Carolinas Poison Center said, “...we urge all 
parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids.”

From the Daily Caller: New York Senator Schumer stated, "...I don’t know why they make them look so delicious” — called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to impose tighter regulations on the the packaging for the colorful one-time use laundry detergents.

Now it's my turn to speak: Senator Schumer, are you kidding me???? Another regulation? Do we as adults take no responsibility for the care and safety of our children? I agree with Dr. Beuhler,

Parents & caregiver SHOULD make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids.

There are all kinds of dangers in our home and it is our responsibility to keep it safely away from kids and pets. There's plenty of cleaning products that are NOT packaged in kid safe packaging.
How about liquor? Should we have child proof caps on those?
Pens & Pencils? Maybe they should be bubble wrapped. Or maybe pencils should be banned because of the danger. I remember getting a pencil lead stuck in the palm of my hand like a splinter, I don't remember how, but that is typical of things that happens to kids.
Parenting is a tough job and part of parenting is child proofing your home. Parents, take responsibility. Don't pass the buck.
I should have had a glass of wine. My rant would probably have been much more lively.
CRAFTS: Sorry fellow crafters. Not much happening. I have yet to put the bead border on my shawl. Now that I'm at Four Paws, I'm just a factory crocheting dog sweaters for the camp store, lots of sweaters to use up my LB Homespun yarn.

Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant, Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Our rating 4 out of 5
Busy restaurant. Our waiter was very fast and efficient. Maybe a tad too fast. After our meal, he gave us the check. I had to then tell him we wanted desert.
CHIPS & SALSA: The chips were delicious, served warm. The salsa with the chips must be called something else. It was not chunky like salsa, but more like a sauce. I would have preferred to have the salsa (chunky) that came with the empanadas.
EMPANADAS Appetizer: Crispy pie shell, but other than that I felt was bland and nondescript. Accompanied by a refreshing salsa.
BEEF & CHICKEN FRAJITAS: The meat was somewhat tough, but once I piled the meat, peppers, onions, etc. onto a flour tortilla is was easy to bit and delicious. This dish also came with shredded lettuce and a beautiful red ripe summer sliced tomato, guacamole, sour cream and refried beans.
REFRIED BEANS: I am not a fan of refried beans, but these were the best I've had. I still did not finish them. I just don't like them in general.
RANCHERO CHEF SPECIAL: A chicken enchilada and also a large hunk of beef steak. Steak was very good and tender. The steak was most of the dinner with a small enchilada with refried beans. Sauteed peppers & onions and a flour tortilla included. Good meal.
Generous portions.


Kill Alex CrossKill Alex Cross by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've read about a dozen James Patterson books. The last two (including this one) have been disappointing. The basic story line was interesting. The President's kids are kidnapped. Do they live or die? But he seems to add a 2nd story line to throw us off. But in the end, the 2nd story was for nothing. It just took up space.  He did this in the last book I read also (Violets are Blue).
I think I'm finished with James Patterson. There are too many other better authors to read.

View all my reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For those uninformed as I was...YA book, means Young Adult Book. Well Duh! Can you tell I don't text either?
I am not a young adult (55 yrs old), but I really enjoyed this book.
Do you want to be a Ranger or be the over glorified Warrior with the potential of being Knighted? At first look, most boys would choose the Knight.
This book is about each group. How the boys train, mature and learn life's lessons.
In the end we realize how they differ, but are each equally as important and respectable.
Actions speak louder than words (Titles).
No sex, no romance, but kept me interested the through out the whole book.  I look forward to listening to the next in the series.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lots of books

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
WINE REVIEW Revisited:
Original review June 2, 2012
Don Quixote Sangria
I originally rated this 3 out of 5 stars. Well after a second bottle opened this past weekend, I have given this light Sangria a 4 out of 5.  This time we added sliced fresh strawberries and oranges.
Of course, my higher rating could be because we were drinking this bottle among friends at a "finger food" pot luck dinner at Four Paws Campground. Scott I had shared and finished the bottle at this dinner. Feeling goooood!
As mentioned just above, Four Paws had a "finger food" pot luck dinner. All the campers were invited to bring finger foods and enjoy the food and company. I brought LITERALLY, FINGER food.
Recipe from
Cheese-Finger Food
Fingers Made Out of Cheese Halloween Recipe
Mozzarella string cheese
Green bell pepper
Cream cheese
1.Wearing plastic gloves or sandwich bags over your hands to keep the cheese as
smudge-free as possible, use a paring knife (parents only) to cut each string in half and
then carve a shallow area for a fingernail just below the rounded end of each half.
2. Mark the joint right below the nail as well as the knuckle joint by carving out tiny
horizontal wedges of cheese, as pictured.
3. For the fingernails, slice a green bell pepper into 3/8-inch-wide strips. Set the strips skin
side down on your work surface and trim the pulp so that it's about half as thick. Then cut
the strips into ragged-topped nail shapes and stick them in place at the ends of the
fingers with dabs of cream cheese.

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I rated this 3 stars. After the initial excitement of Amy, the wife gone missing, it was difficult to follow until I realized there were two points of view going on.
One of Amy, the missing wife telling the days PRIOR to her being missing.
The second story of Nick AFTER his wife is missing.
What a sick & sad relationship.
Gary's review from June 2012, is excellent!
At the conclusion, the book kept me thinking and it all fell together. Very sad.
View all my reviews
Below is Gary's review from, which I think is well written and explains the book clearly.

Gone Girl is astounding. It is a gripping story of the courtship and marriage of a narcissist and a sociopath who appear to be experiencing the normal setbacks of life during our recent financial meltdown: job loss, relocation, mounting debt, family illness etc. etc. It is easy to identify with them individually which makes it harder to know who to root for when the wife disappears on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary and the husband becomes the prime suspect. Neither seems to be telling the whole truth yet they both remain likable. Each one alternates as narrator so not only does the point-of-view shift but so does your allegiance. Once the media circus begins we are treated to an updated Bonfire of the Vanities with a touch of Silence of the Lambs to keep us on edge. The climax is startling but also strangely inevitable. Filled with humor and insight, and enough murder and mayhem to satisfy even the most jaded reader, it is a peculiar hybrid that you won't soon forget.

In Session: Dr. Morgan Snow with Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, Lee Child's Jack Reacher & Barry Eisler's John RainIn Session: Dr. Morgan Snow with Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, Lee Child's Jack Reacher & Barry Eisler's John Rain by M.J. Rose
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although the concept of the book is very cool.
Dr. Snow is a sex therapist. This short story brings 3 strong male characters from other mystery books, to be analysed or given therapy without them realizing it because they would never come in on their own.
So the story within the story on how these men end up discussing their personal sex history, preferences, etc.
Just begins to touch on the erotic, but barely. The male narrators describing what is going on may be more of a turn on for the men, than it was for me.
Good concept, but not developed enough.
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Life's Little Annoyances: True Tales of People Who Just Can't Take It AnymoreLife's Little Annoyances: True Tales of People Who Just Can't Take It Anymore by Ian Urbina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought this would be more of a comedy read. The book was read as just everyday goings on. Those everyday happenings that can drive us crazy and make us ponder what is the point?
Do telemarketers really accomplish any thing besides annoying us?
How much harm to the environment has AOL done by sending out millions of CD's in hopes to drum up subscribers. I'm very happy with google and gmail, thank you very much.  Although the AOL CD's can be recycled into Christmas ornaments, glassware coasters, mirror balls, etc.
I like his counter-annoyance tactics. He gives quite a few suggestions.
In spite of bringing up many annoying subjects, I think this is a "feel good" book. It's not "just me"...these things bother other people also.
I will be reading/listening to this again and taking notes for my counter-annoyance action plans.

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Violets are Blue (Alex Cross #7)Violets are Blue by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've read quite a few James Patterson books and this was definitely not a favorite. Catches your attention with the gruesome murder scenes, but what was the point? Never really found out what all the murders were about.
I rarely figure out mysteries ahead of time. I like that I am not inquisitive enough to try to figure it out and "ruin" the ending for my by already knowing "who done it".
This book, I knew from almost the time a certain character was introduced that the "mastermind" was this character.
I ended up skimming over a lot of useless details about the murder scenes,the descriptions of the way a person dressed or looked, etc. Just wanted this book over with.
And then, the last chapter is titled "Violets are Blue". I never understood the meaning of this title.
I won't give up on Mr. Patterson, since this is one bad apple amid many sweet apples I've had the pleasure of devouring in the past.

View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am totally NOT interested in Wall Street. So this book being about greedy Wall street and the headhunters that go along with it was a turn off. I skimmed through all the details about making contacts and job offers, etc. But the murder mystery part was pretty good. An unexpected conclusion, but one character that was leading us to think may be crooked or a murderer, never materialized and never explained her behavior.
I did decide to not finish this about 3/4 of the way through, but the next day I picked it up because it was a good "who done it" story and I found I wanted to find out who did it.
For the most part, it kept my interest, but I felt it didn't really follow through on some of the characters and just left you hanging.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cuts and Bruises

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
So we've been workamping for just over a week. We don't NEED to work, but we really love the owners of this campground and they depend on their volunteers to keep it running smoothly.
***They are looking for a few volunteers this fall to help rake leaves. 
I believe you will get your site free in exchange for 2 hours of volunteer work per day, 5 days a week.
***Four Paws Kingdom is also looking for volunteers next season. Minimum 2 month stay, but of course would love a longer commitment. 
Again, usually just 2 hours a day. This campground is for adults and their dogs. So the bathrooms are 99% of the time very easy to keep clean, usually the woman's job.  The men usually do the yard work.  Very easy people to work with.  You may work more on some weekends that have big events.
I must admit, both Scott & I are tired. It may only be 2-3 hours work a day, but we have been a whole year since really doing any real work.  Our fulltime RV lifestyle is very lazy. We get up naturally. For me, it can be anywhere from 4am - 8am. For Scott it usually means around 10am.
About the only exercise/work we usually do is walk/hike or bike with the dogs & clean the outside of the RV. Other than that, life has been easy and lazy.
Now since we are workamping, we were having to start at 9am. That's no problem for me, but poor Scott...Well, now we are starting at 10am. Which Scott can handle easily, although I still have to wake Scott up at 9am so he'll be ready.
This isn't a large park (about 40 sites), but with working, we need to go back and forth throughout the park, so we have been using our bicycles to get around. There are a couple of slight hills that give us a short burst of a workout. For anyone in shape, this hill would be probably just considered an incline and not given a second thought. Hopefully, by the end of our three month stay here, we'll be calling it an incline and not a hill.
Our one week work report is that I must be a klutz. I have cuts and bruises all over.  The bruises, I don't know how I got them. But I sliced my finger while doing dishes.  Meik (owner) is a real chef and has a professionally equipped kitchen wagon. He caters quite a few meals on weekends for the guests. We, as work volunteers get to clean up after his delicious masterpieces. So I had dish washing duty in the deep sink. I placed utensils in the sudsy water and then proceed to swish my hands around the bottom, looking for those utensils. YIKES! A stinging sensation.  I recognize that sensation. I cut my finger on one of the large chef's knives. Meik is always sharpening those dangerous knives. 
I lift my hand out of the water and see blood dripping and dripping and dripping. That's enough. Get me a towel before we have to clean up the whole bloody kitchen!  I don't want to look! I'm bleeding through the paper towel. Now I'm bleeding through the bandage. Still haven't looked. I don't want to get stitches. If I don't look, then I won't have to go to the emergency...right? I wrap some more gauze around it and switch from washing dishes to drying dishes. 
When I get back to the RV, I get the courage to look with Scott's moral support.  Yep, still bleeding, but it won't need stitches! Yeah!!!! I sliced part of my nail off and skinned my finger. So although not deep, it is very sensitive and I'll have to keep it padded and bandaged. 
Now my second cut is across the bridge of my nose. I was putting a mattress liner on a, what else, a mattress. While pulling it over the corner, my hand slipped and I punched myself in the nose.  Thumb first, so the thumbnail hit the bridge of my nose and sliced across. Looked like I had a uni-brow!
Maybe I'm just out of practice doing real work. Hopefully, that will be the end of my "injuries".
Scott has been using our COBB GRILL quite a bit lately. 
Our favorite and "go to" meal for the Cobb is to roast/smoke a chicken. We cut up potatoes and other veggies and put them in the moat surrounding the chicken. Oh----my----gosh-----DELICIOUS!
For you "breast men", sorry about the butt shot of the chicken.

The sprinkle of rosemary on the chicken was from, Shirley's or really her husband's garden in NJ. Thank you!
RV MOD: Not really much of a mod. I brought ONE houseplant along from NJ. Simply because I think the plant is unique, the pot is a beautiful hand crafted pot from Georgia and I have a cute English Setter plant stick that I would have no where to put if I didn't have a plant!
I was told this is an "Irish Prayer Plant", but I cannot find anything on the internet, so I think the person who gave me the plant, just liked that name for it.  The leaves do close up at night, like a regular prayer plant, so maybe it is in the same general family.
**update 09/12/12: Thank you CJ, from IT'S A COZY LIFE Blog, who commented below and stated that this may be a SHAMROCK PLANT.  I googled and sure enough, that is what it is. It is actually considered a grass.

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