Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting old or what?

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
1. What is the name of your vet and do you like him/her? What vets have you used while on the road and were you happy with the service?
2. Pedometer recommendations.
3. Kinect program for exercises on the road (non-aerobic).
A question that is often asked about our Fulltime RV lifestyle is if it is difficult with Pets.
For the most part, it is not.  We used to tent camp. That was more difficult because we were a slave to our campsite unless we brought the dogs with us on our outings. Many a time, I would be sitting with my dogs in the little grassy areas of the Walmart parking lot, waiting for Scott to shop. Then on to another store that I may need to go to. It was that or go separately.
With an RV, it is much easier. The RV is their home as much as ours.  It's also hard sided, so no chewing  out of the tent. The RV can be locked and it has AC & heat.
Vet care on the road has not been difficult. But, we've only been on the road for a year and a half and we did return to our original home state which enabled us to update our dogs vaccines, do blood work, and get needed prescription. Also, we finally seem to have a couple of healthy dogs now.  No emergencies, no seniors, no "TELETHON DOG", no dogs needing a wheelchair/cart, no expensive meds, etc.
We've only had 2 incidents to use a vet while on the road. One was to put sweet Ryley down because of bone cancer, while here at Four Paws Kindgom last year and once in Boise, ID for CHEATGRASS. Both times we easily got an appointment and were very happy with the office. 
I am compiling a spreadsheet of vets on the road. I'm especially interested in vets that friends, fellow RV'r, acquaintances have used-good and bad.
Here is a link to my VETS ON THE ROAD spreadsheet. 
I'd really appreciate if you would leave a comment with vet offices you have been happy with or of ones we should stay away from. 
I'm especially interested in Specialty Vet Hospitals, that are usually only by referral from your regular vet.  When or if we decide to settle down, we would like to be within 30-45 minutes of a Specialty Vet Hospital.
Back to having pets on the road...Each new park is a whole new set of odors, landscape & wildlife to explore. All Devin's leash training goes out the door because he is so excited to experience the new setting and not at my slower pace. Devin can be quite a wimp when meeting new wildlife if they are larger than himself. He was totally freaked by the miniature horses in TX. He pulled so hard, I fell on the grass and he got loose. He was somewhat better with the cows, but even then he was as far away as possible, while Lyla wanted to go up and greet them. 
The worst part about RV'ing with dogs is not having a fenced in yard. If you have small dogs it's not as much of an issue, because you can set up Xpens (exercise pens) to make a small fenced area. But with large dogs, the Xpens are too large to pack.
Midwest Black Exercise Pen Without Door - 24" - PetSmartLuckily, Devin has grown out of needing or more likely just wanting to go out at literally, the crack of dawn. He is much more relaxed and enjoys staying in bed longer. But I still have to take them out for a walk within a reasonable time in the morning. And yes, I take them out in my pajamas. Since Scott is a late sleeper and I'm an early to bed person, Scott takes them out for their final evening walk between 9-10 pm. I would much rather wake up in the morning to take them out, than to have to stay up to take them out at night. Scott is just the opposite so it works out well.
This past weekend, we played bingo. It was fun and a nice group of people participated. Every time a number in the 70's was called, we'd be entertained with an old age joke. Part of the intake after winnings is donated to a charity.  To my surprise, it was announced that the donation would be given to ABOVE & BEYOND ENGLISH SETTER RESCUE, which is the rescue I volunteer for and from where I adopted our two present setters.
Thank you very much Meik & Birgit for your generous donation  to A&B!
Our last pot luck dinner at the Kingdom. Things are winding down. It's a cool evening, very cool. The propane deck heaters are on in the pavilion where we gather for dinner.
I decided to make a recipe I've had for years. It's easily portable for pot lucks, and still tastes pretty good if not piping hot. Recipe to follow below.
After dinner, we tried to have Karaoke. It was pretty cold and I think most folks really just wanted to head back to their RV's to warm up. But one guest started it off with a couple of songs. A duet was planned, and then another guest was to sing. After the first participant, Sharon got up and sang "WHEN YOU'RE GOOD TO MAMA" from Chicago. Oh my gosh!!! All our mouths dropped wide open. She was FABULOUS!!!! No one wanted to follow her after that. Good night everyone!
I used to be quite the bowler in the 1980's and 1990's! I was on two leagues at one point. My reason for joining a league was two fold. I enjoy bowling and at the time, I was single and hoped to meet some eligible guys. Of course what happens? Since I signed up alone, I was assigned to a team. It was all the leftover people and they all happen to be women! Oh well, it was still fun.
1st place in league! (I'm on right)
Four Paws Kingdom goes bowling once a year at AUTUMN LANES in Forest City, NC, on Black Friday. Can't beat $6.50 for 2 hours of bowling, with shoes included!
Scott & I haven't bowled in about 10 yrs. Plus, when we purged our house, we both gave away our bowling balls. That was difficult, but knew we couldn't sacrifice the storage space and weight for something we may use only once a year.
With those excuses, this was my first frame.
I don't ever remember a double gutter! My game did not improve much. I finished with about a score of 70. Not worth remembering if it was under 100. I also fell and slid all over the oily lanes on the first frame, as did Scott. Our shoes stuck, really! So after that we were fearful of a repeat which really ruined our bowling.
For the second game, we were given a sack to rub on our shoe soles to make them slippery. What a difference after that. We both redeemed ourselves. My next three games continually improved.
Deb's Scores: 60 something, 143, 149, 163
Scott's final score: 187!
I miss bowling.
Aches & pains: So we both are now a little achy from bowling. You know you're out of shape when bowling makes you sore. 
I really took a big tumble on the lanes. I scraped my knee and hurt something under the skin. I cannot even kneel on the bed without screaming with sharp pain. As long as I don't kneel or knock the knee, it does not hurt.
The following day, I woke up and must have still been not totally awake. I stepped down the steps from the bedroom into the kitchen. Unfortunately, I somehow forgot there were two steps and only anticipated 1 step. Bam, boom! I slip off the second step. Feels like I broke my toe. I can't bend it and it is all black and blue. Because I can't really bend it, I walked funny all day, which then made my other leg hurt from walking weird.
We have been staying in one of the rental RV's here while our flooring is being installed. Although the bed does not feel uncomfortable, I'm not used to it and holy moley! My hip and side back muscle is killing me!
Of course my excuse is "Getting old sucks", but really this is because I've become extremely lazy and I don't not watch what I eat. I am now paying the price of not exercising for 6 yrs.
I stopped dieting at age 50 because I felt it was "my time" to eat as I please. I've enjoyed the freedom, but now I think the extra weight and sedentary life is catching up and making more unhappy than dieting would. So, let's hope I'll get off my fat ass and MOVE my body, not just my mouth!
I'm starting slow. Trying to make movement a habit. Starting with simply doing  stretching exercises 2x's a day. I want to get a pedometer, so I can walk the minimum 10,000 steps per day that is recommended. From there, I'll add some arm exercises, etc. Hopefully, I'll get to a point where Scott will have to leave the rocking and shaking RV while I'm doing my Kinect (like Wii, but for xbox) exercises. Anyone have suggestions for a decent mid range priced pedometer? 
Has anyone used a Kinect program for exercising? What program do you like?

(Similar to a quiche) 

1 9” frozen unbaked pie shell
½ pound sausage meat
½ pound chopped beef
1 onion, chopped
4 eggs
½ cup evaporated milk
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cook meats in fry pan, drain.
2. Put meat in a pie shell.
3. in bowl, beat eggs & add milk, onion, s&p
4. Put ½ of cheese on meat.
5. Pour egg mixture on meat.
6. Spread remaining cheese on top.
7. Bake 400° 25-30 minutes

Friday, November 23, 2012

Digital world

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
I've still been scanning off and on. I recently was scanning early 1980's photos. That was the first time I had been to Florida and Disney World. I then went 4 more times in 3 years.
My favorite attraction at Disney World was CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS. It was in "Tomorrowland" at Disney World in FL, from 1975-1985, until GE pulled their sponsorship. It was restored and modernized in 1994, but instead of being considered a futuristic look, it was now a nostalgic tribute to it's creator, Walt Disney.

The scene is set in a normal family home, but starts out way back in the 1800's, then progresses to the future. Well it was the future when I saw it in the 1980's. The last scene showed the family in the open concept kitchen/family room. Mom was on a computer talking and seeing her Mom, and the kids were playing some video games.  I remember thinking, I hope we never get to see each other while we talk on the phone. I'd have to put on make-up etc. Well that future is now the present. Skype (I've never used), chat rooms, video chats, etc. Oh, and I rarely wear make up now, so that's not a problem.
Thanksgiving at the Kingdom was very nice.  No cooking, no traveling...just enjoying new found friends and Chef Meik's cooking. A couple of days prior to Thanksgiving, I was told that the Workampers are requested to bake a pie or similar dessert for Thanksgiving. Huh? I guess my day was not completely free from the kitchen, but it gave me an excuse to try a new recipe I found, while scanning paperwork.
Here is the .pdf for this recipe for  PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN SWEET POTATO CAKE
I think it turned out great. I had never made any kind of upside-down cake. I was so proud of this.
We finally bought a kayak! We have been at many campgrounds with river, lake or reservoir access. It would have been so nice to float around in the peaceful waters. I've been looking for an inflatable raft or canoe. I read on many blogs people using the EAGLE INFLATABLE kayaks.  To save money & precious storage space, we purchased a 2 seater instead of 2 separate kayaks.
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe PackageNow we just need to head to warmer parts of the US to try it out.
Reynold's Release
My rating 5 out of  5
I may have mentioned this before, but maybe you missed it, or maybe I didn't mention this before. If you follow my blog, you know my memory if very bad. I lined the bowl for the cake with REYNOLD'S RELEASE FOIL
Reynolds Wrap� Non-Stick Foil Frequently Asked Questions
I absolutely love this product. I use it for almost all my baking...
line cookie sheets, cake pans, bread pans, line when baking fish/chicken etc.
There is NEVER any sticking when using this product.
I'm sure you all heard about the massive pile up on I-10 in Texas on Thanksgiving. It was caused by fog.  Did anyone notice that a 5th wheel was in the middle of the pile up? It doesn't look like it was hit or damaged, but just stuck in the middle of it all.
I had horrible thoughts of Dave & Teri from Flip Flop Vector blog, being involved in this. They were traveling to TX around this time. They had just had their truck & 5th wheel repaired because of an accident. I was happy to read that it was not them and they are safe and sound near their family in TX.

While we were in New Orleans last year, there was a similar pile up also on I-10 and also caused because of heavy fog. The TX pile up involved over 100 vehicles and 2 deaths. The New Orleans pile up was "only" 40 vehicles and 2 deaths.
Congratulations to Birgit and her Corgi, Belle. Belle ran in her first Agility Trial. She "Double Q'd". That means that she qualified in two different type of agility runs on the same day.
Monument Rock: A NovelMonument Rock: A Novel by Louis L'Amour
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book consisting of mainly short stories. All typical Louis L'Amour western, cowboy story lines. Ladies, if you never read this author, do not be put off. Mr. L'Amour is such an excellent story writer that both men and women will find them interesting. There is just enough of a hint of romance for us women and enough tough guy cowboy shoot outs (but not too much)to keep the guys interested also.
The first half of the book are short stories. I am amazed that this author can develop so many quality stories. Each story is the same old west, cowboy/outlaw themes, but they are all different enough to hold your interest.
I do find I prefer full length books. He such a great writer and I was so interested in the stories and then they are over all too soon. The second half of the book is one story, Monument Rock. I enjoyed that the most simply because it was longer and characters and story can develop more.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 19, 2012

2nd Thoughts

335 Lazy Creek Dr.
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

RV LIFE:  I was very saddened to learn that David & Terri of Flip Flop Vector & The Zen of Sweeping are turning in their RV keys. Admittedly, they stated from the start, 1 year or until we run out of cash. Neither happened, but their hearts were missing the camaraderie of in person family & long time friends. So they are heading back to TX to settle down. But they do have the life experience of their travels. They may never have that freedom again. To each their own.

Terri wrote in HER BLOG, "I love my online friendships... I really do. But nothing replaces "face time". The real face time and not on an Iphone! =)"

That is just the opposite of how I feel.  I am so much more friendly with my on line acquaintances. And get great satisfaction from our on line communication. I had few close friends while living in one place. While in face to face contact with people, I tend to shut down. I don't want the conversation to revolve around me, me, me, so I keep quiet and listen. But....when I blog, or email, or facebook, I can express what I think! If you don't like it, or are not interested, you can just delete and no offense taken.
Blogs: I've finally caught up on all the RV blogs I subscribe to. Haven't even started the food, craft and pet blogs! I truly enjoy many of the women bloggers who do open up their thoughts to their readers. I relate to many and learn from some also. After reading some of the women's blogs, I feel like I've just had a night out with the girls. Some wine to loosen up our inhibitions and say what's on our mind without worry of hurting other's feelings & still remain friends.

I'm going to refer back to Terri again. This is from a RECENT POST...
" I love wearing clothes that I love and some of them aren't "fashionable" and a bit eclectic... which causes me to stand out. I'm trying to get more comfortable in my own skin so I've been forcing myself to wear them in public...  
I struggle with being noticed though. I want to reach out to people, but being around people I don't know is stressful for me and drains my energy fast... I want to be friendly and social but I also want to be invisible and watch...I want to be my authentic self but I don't want to stand out or be the center of attention... I want to be liked but I want to be left alone too... I don't want to be left out but don't want to be included in everything either...I like observing and the freedom that being invisible brings but I also want to be a part of something." She explained the introvert personality so well.

I love wearing items I've knit or crocheted. They are beautiful items that takes time and talent to create, but, they may not be the most in style or flattering items to wear. I've decided, I don't care. It makes me feel good to wear them. I believe unless you are a naturally secure person, this "I don't care" attitude comes with age. I love the freedom of being over 50 and feeling comfortable in the like me as I am attitude or it's fine to leave me alone.  
More thoughts from another fellow blogger: PHOENIX ONCE AGAIN was talking about saving things for special occasions. 
For the fellow FT RV'rs, I think maybe a lesson is learned when we purged items from our house. All the things we have and were only used or worn for special occasions. So how many times were these items used over the past 10-20 years? 
I have a gold bangle gifted to me 30 yrs ago.  After only wearing it for special events, I realized I hardly ever wear it. I started wearing it 24/7 about 10 yrs ago. Yes, it's banged up but I'm enjoying this piece of jewelry every day.
I assess my life quite often to make sure I'm doing what I want as if these were my last days. That includes NOT saving items for special times. Life itself is a special time. Enjoy your precious things NOW.

Our time at the Kingdom is almost over. Only 2 to 2 1/2 weeks left. Only 1 week that the campground is open. I'm so excited to head to new areas, but it is sooooooo easy just to settle down. We have a great workamp site with a fenced in yard. I will miss that! We know and enjoy our neighbors. We are always somewhat anxious arriving at a new RV park. Will we have room for the dogs to be tied out while we're relaxing outside? Are there places to walk the dogs? Are we in a parking lot? Will we be able to get satellite and cable? Will our neighbors be too close and annoying?
But on the other hand, what gems we may find also. New friends, fellow bloggers, new hikes and biking, new restaurants, beautiful sights and so on. We have the health, means and freedom to do this right now. We can settle down....later.
I spoke in my post of Nov. 11, 2012, about my forgetfulness & my need for making lists and writing notes and then not losing those notes. Do you think these will help??
This past weekend was the annual leaf clearing weekend! Four Paws Kingdom Campground offered Friday and Saturday sites for free if you'd spend the day helping clear out the leaves at the park.
What a day!!! We had about 30 people helping us out. Leaf blowers filling the normally quiet campground with the noise of work getting done. The smell of gasoline to fill those hard working blowers. The sound of aluminum can tops being popped. Ahhh, a beer sure does taste good when working so hard! Husband and wife side by side working together. New friends being made.  A real sense of accomplishment at day's end. I give Four Paws credit for thinking of this great idea. We all win.

Back at our campsite, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something on my shoulder. It looked similar to a lady bug, only bigger. Well, that was just at a glance. I swiped it off my shoulder and it landed on our garbage bag. No, I didn't scream. I just swiped and it was gone. But now getting a better look, I had to call Scott over. He was getting creepy chills and I was very curious.  Can anyone IDENTIFY this spider that was sitting on my shoulder?

Meik made delicious potato leek soup for us all. And the one day workampers brought desserts for a dessert pot luck. The cool weather, the hot soup and bread, the propane heaters all made for a cozy, rewarding dinner.
The desserts were phenomenal! We had spice cake, nut bundt cake, cheesecake, crock pot molten chocolate cake, crock pot apple spice something with whipped cream on top. There were cookies, kool aide pie, mini eclairs and a few other items. I think that was my favorite pot luck so far!

RV MODS: Our fiberglass flooring for the RV has arrived. We haven't seen it yet. Between the flooring at a price of approximately $800.00 and the labor for $1200.00, this is an expensive RV mod.  And yes, I'm having 2nd thoughts, but it's too late now.  I've come to realize that I'm thinking of our RV as if it truly is our "house" for the long haul. I forget that we have no idea how long we will be living this lifestyle. Sweet Scott doesn't like to make waves so he didn't question my want of vinyl/fiberglass flooring instead of carpet.
Our RV is already 5 years old. We see all the beautiful newer models and maybe someday. Well after investing $2000. into the RV in one shot, I think we'll hang on to our current home on wheels. Which is really par for our course. We are not one for change, yet we travel to new places all the time. What I mean is while in our home, we did not rearrange the furniture, we did not buy new cars, etc. So even though we'd like a larger kitchen area, we will most likely just stick with what we have.

Burlwood Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Calif. 2011 $4.99 @ ALDI'S
My rating 4 out of 5. 
If it were more expensive, it would be 3 out of 5.
I'm finding that I'm enjoying Cabernet Sauvignon somewhat more than Merlot that I've been drinking for many years. Maybe my tastes are changing. Cabernet seems altogether smoother.
This particular Cabernet starts with a tart, spicy taste, but as it swirls in the mouth, it ends fruity and almost bland. It goes down very easy and fast. I am usually a very slow wine drinker, but this is very easy to go down. Maybe too easy and needing a stronger after taste.
PETS: Devin, our Irish/English Setter mix is just 1 month shy of 2 years old. I've noticed in the last 3 months that he is still growing. He has gotten taller and filled out nicely. He's losing his puppy physique, but still runs, lopes, gallops like a puppy.
Both our dogs are definitely "couch potatoes", or in our case, "easy chair potatoes", since we don't have a couch. I've posted numerous photos of the two of them hogging our chairs inside. Well now they hog our chairs outside also!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not enough time in the day

335 Lazy Creek Dr.
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
RV LIFE: My, My, My...I love computers, I hate computers.
I love computers because of all the wonderful things it provides. So much info at our fingertips, space saving by allowing your filing cabinet to be squeezed into a laptop, communications via email, blogs, Facebook, chat rooms, etc. Amazing. But I also "hate" computers because when something goes wrong, I am usually at a loss as to what to do about it. Thank goodness for geeky Scott. I "hate" computers because they take up so much of my time!
It is currently 12:10pm.  I have been up since 8:00am. I have been sitting in my oh so comfy easy chair with my legs up, a blanket over my feet and my laptop in my, where else?...Lap! And I wonder where the time goes?
My dogs have not been walked yet, or fed yet. I can tell I'm thirsty, but haven't gotten up to quench my thirst. One thing on the internet leads to another...and another...and another...and so on.
I started out by catching up on some email, which led to... following many links.
Then proceeded to read my digital copy of WHOLE DOG JOURNAL magazine, or the correct term e-zine (electronic magazine), which led to searching items of interest from the e-zine.
I downloaded a couple of books from AUDIBLE, which led to catching up on writing some reviews, which led back to my blog.  Only other bloggers realize how long it takes to compose a post. Especially if you are trying to be not only interesting, but informative.  I love blogs with links, therefore I try to have many links in my posts.
So now I have a headache, probably from lack of fluids, I have to go pee pee, and Lyla is now laying at the door wondering when I'll take her out.  I just hate to quick blogging when I'm in the mood.
I still have 1/3 battery life left on my laptop! But gotta go take care of business.

4:30pm: I'm baaaaack! I did actually get off my big bubble butt and accomplished a couple of things.
I have a document on my computer that I type things that I may want to add to the blog in the future. Well, I'm tired of these items cluttering up my thought process, so I'll just add them today.
There is much ongoing discussion about copyright rules to do with craft patterns and what is allowed and not when it comes to reproducing.
I believe most are in agreement that when you purchase a pattern, you cannot sell that pattern. You did not create that pattern. But the controversy begins when you MAKE an object from that pattern.
My friend Teri, is a designer of beautiful lace patterns, KNITS BY TERI, so I don't like stepping on her toes.
I enjoy knitting & crocheting, but there's only so many shawls I can use.  I'd like to try to sell items I've made on sites such as ETSY  and EBAY. Which brings up the subject of what copyright entails. The below info is what I've gathered together on the internet. I think it make sense.
Copyright protects something written.
A copyright protects the written pattern, not the object produced from that pattern.
Writing a pattern for example, a toy does not convey copyright to the toy itself, only to the pattern for that toy. If the designer sells you the pattern, she is granting you permission to make the item. The item then belongs to you, and you can do what you want with it.
In order to protect that pattern's physical construction, you'd have to Patent it or Trademark License it.
I'm sure the discussion will continue, but I for one will be selling items I'VE knitted and crocheted.
Public Service Announcement for fellow Bloggers: Speaking of copyright...while I was searching for info, I came across a blogger who was sued for copyright infringement. HERE IS HER STORY.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. 

No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. 

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:  
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;  
- Why the early bird gets the worm;  
- Life isn't always fair;  
- and maybe it was my fault.  

Common Sense  lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. 

Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. 
Common Sense  lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.  
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.  
Common Sense  lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.  
Common Sense  took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.  
Common Sense  finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.  
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.  

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;  
I Know My Rights  
I Want It Now  
Someone Else Is To Blame  
I'm A Victim  

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. 

The above was sent to me via email. The email stated it was published in the London Times. I did a search to see if it was true....NOT! Thank you SNOPES, for setting us straight.  In case you are living in the "dark ages", Snopes is a great website to find out if things are true or not.  All those forwarded emails you get, stating about missing kids, charities, microsoft donations if you forward the email, etc., Snopes researches and finds the truth. Snopes even can enlighten you to the truth behind urban legends.
This original "obituary" was written by "author, columnist, speaker", LORI BORGMAN. Of course just like a secret whispered from one person to the next, this obit is probably slightly different than her original.
BLOG TIP: I have a "Search this Blog" on top of the right column of my blog. I actually used it today to find if I had written about a certain subject. It worked great. So if you ever want to find something on my blog that is not listed as a "Label", try out the search. I was very pleased.
Question of the day: How many of you do crossword puzzles in the bathroom? If so, what is your favorite brand? Or do you do newspaper crosswords? I like the "Quality Popular" crossword puzzle magazines. Not too hard, not to easy. Quality Popular Crossword Puzzles magazine subscription

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small TownThe Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

True Crime: I couldn't finish. Simply lost interest. Is it because there are so many true crime tv shows available daily?
What really ruined it for me was reading the reviews and the  knowledge of the controversy.
Is this a totally one sided book? I don't know, but I can't read this without reading the other side and I don't want to do the research. I read for pleasure and this is too much work.

MortalityMortality by Steven Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good suspense. Sort of a medical mystery/suspense.
This is about an anti-aging spa in Florida. A Doctor is conducting stem cell research to try to find a cure for his son's Progeria.
He opens the anti-aging spa, and makes great progress, but then starts going overboard.
He brings in an aging Olympic hopeful for the diet and exercise position and a de-licensed plastic surgeon.
So who is the one causing all the troubles? Read to find out.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Snug as a bug

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Read on for explanation

RV LIFE:I love the changing of the seasons. We've been having some beautiful fall weather. Temps going down in the 30's overnight and slowly rising to 55-70° during the day. Our 5th wheel has stayed nice & cozy.
We only use the RV propane heater to warm it up in the morning. After that we use an electric heater in the main living area and one in the bedroom. Toasty!
Now that we have the time change, it's getting dark early. Which causes me to head to bed early. I love our bedroom in the RV. We have a king size bed and a 3" of memory foam on top of the RV mattress. This makes for a very comfy bed.

The Kingdom continues to be a great place to work and a great place to RV. Devin will miss his favorite playmate, Doris.
There was another pot luck dinner tonight. Since the weather has cooled down, I thought a nice hot, creamy soup would be nice. I do not cook often, but I made It's More Than Creamy Vegetable Soup for the pot luck dinner. Recipe to follow. My Dad made this for us years ago and we all think it's delicious. Below is one of my excuses why I don't cook often.
Yes, I'm quite miserable! Those are onions I just chopped. I'm very sensitive to them. I usually have to leave the RV when Scott chops onions. So the photo at the top of the post is the bread after I stuck it in my mouth while chopping the onions. I read on the internet that this works to prevent tears from onions.  It didn't! Gee, I thought everything you read on the internet was true???
I found the most consistent solution to prevent tears caused by onion is to light a candle and keep it near where you are chopping. Supposedly the candle attracts the gases released by the onions.  It seems to help, but doesn't prevent the tears completely.
I will be well remembered here at Four Paws as "The woman who kept losing things". I misplace so many items!!! How can they get lost in a 300 sq. ft. RV?? Well, some of the things I've misplaced have been somewhere on the campground property.

I've lost keys for over a week. They ended up in Scott's pocket for "safe keeping" because I had no pockets in my pants.
I've cleaned the wrong cabin because I forgot what they told me. I HAVE to write down my daily work assignments, as they change day to day. If I don't write it down, I have to trek back to the office and sheepishly ask what I'm supposed to do again.
I've misplaced my work tote that carries garbage bags, rubber gloves, my notebook & pen to write down my assignments, and my I-Pod to listen to audio books while working. This was missing for about a week also. I checked the cabin I thought I left it in, no luck. I rearranged the RV basement in hopes it was pushed behind something, no luck. I sifted through my piles & bags of yarn, hoping my tote was hiding amid my projects, no luck. Finally, Scott brings me my I-Pod, which means he found my tote. It was in an upper cabinet on top of our electric skillet. How did it get there? Who knows. I rarely use that skillet. But at least it was found.
And yesterday, I lost the campground walkie talkie while walking Devin through the woods. Oh my gosh! How will I find it with all the fallen leaves on the trail? I retraced my tracks going very slowly and sweeping the path back and forth as if looking for a pile of poop in the dog park. No luck. Now I have to let my co-workers and hubby know I've lost ANOTHER item! I ended up taking a 2nd walkie talkie and pushing the call button hoping I'd hear it on the lost walkie talkie. Sure enough about 1/2 way up the hike, I heard that glorious squawk/squelch sound. There is was on the side of the trail. No wonder I didn't see it. I don't even remember walking along that side.
I must take after my Father. I remember as a teenager, my Father misplaced his wallet. Where did we find it? In the refrigerator of course. Like Father, Like Daughter. Love you Dad.
It's more than...

1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup butter
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 medium zucchini, peeled & chopped
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
2 quarts chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled & shredded
1 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups light cream or ½ & ½

1. In large kettle, saute onions in butter until transparent, but not browned.
2. Add sweet potatoes, zucchini and broccoli. Saute lightly for 10 minutes or until crisp/tender.
3. Stir in broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Pour ⅓ of mixture into blender and puree. Return to pot.
5. Add shredded potatoes and seasonings. Simmer 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.
6. Add cream and heat through.

Makes 12-16 servings / 4 quarts.

I had been crocheting some dog sweaters for the store at Four Paws Kingdom. I've also crocheted a sweater for Doris, who is a seasonal camper and Devin's playmate.

And then I crocheted a sweater for our next door neighbor, Tucker.

I'm now using up my bits of acrylic yarn to make 6" x 9" rectangles for HAP, which stands for Homemade Afghans Project. This charity collects knitted or crocheted rectangles and then put them together to make afghans. These afghans are then sent to Veterans Hospitals throughout the USA. Specifically, these are for our wounded soldiers. We hope that a handmade afghan will not only make them more comfortable physically, but also mentally, by knowing people are thinking of them and praying for them, as they create these rectangles and afghans. We hope they realize that we make these to THANK them for their service to our country. This charity has just sent out their 9000th afghan!
Our rating 1 out of 5
Bow Wow Popcorn Dog TreatThis is microwave popcorn flavored for dogs. We received the chicken flavor when we were trick or treating with our dogs. The novelty is cute and I think it makes a great novelty gift or party favor for doggie birthday parties. I would not purchase this for my dogs though. 
This pops up just like a single serve microwave popcorn packet for humans. The difference is that there is supposedly flavoring added for dogs. Flavors such as roasted chicken or roast beef.
So with my 2 dogs gathered around me salivating, they shared their popcorn with me. Yes, I tried it. I never tasted any kind of meat flavoring at all.  It just tasted like plain unsalted popcorn, all the way to the bottom of the bag. And yes, I did shake as instructed to distribute the flavor. 
So, save your money and just throw some popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag or bowl with a steam cover and nuke in the microwave. There you have it...easy, inexpensive microwave popcorn. Yes, this does work.
The Velvet Devil 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon  (Washington) $14.99
My rating 4 out of 5.

I bought this because of the label. It was a conversation opener at dinner.
Bold taste. Tart after taste which I liked. Is that the tannin's?
I would purchase again if it was under $10.00. There are plenty of wines I like just as much or more that are less money.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages, 2010 (French) $10. - $12.
My rating 5 out of 5

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, France
Mild smooth. Still has the rich taste of a dark red, but very easy going down with no aftertaste.
Duplin Burgundy (North Carolina) Under $10.
My rating 3.5 out of 5
uploads//images/largeZoom/DW-DV105B-April2012-Burgundy.jpgMuscadine wine, makes for a soft, light and fruity flavor. I am more of a dark, tangy red wine drinker. This wine would taste fine room temperature or chilled. Because it is a light fruity flavor, it makes a refreshing wine chilled on a hot day.
If I liked fruity wines, I'd rate it higher.

We are so fortunate.

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

I know, I know, I haven't been posting very much. My motto is "no news is good news". How often do you hear positive comments as to negative. It seems so much easier to complain and voice that opinion than to voice our praise.
I am willing to learn from other's mistakes. Yes, I'm talking about you David from Flip Flop Vector blog.
Would you like me to explain, blog followers?
David & Teri had a fairly serious mishap a few weeks ago. You can follow what happened and the outcome at their blog FLIP FLOP VECTOR.
Two days after their mishap, Teri mentioned to David..."you remember last night commenting you didn't have much to blog about right now". Careful what you ask for. So with that being said, I WILL NOT COMPLAIN about nothing to write about. There's always something to post about. My post may not interest everyone, but it will interest some.
Scott & I have been very fortunate to not have any serious accidents with our rig, truck or health. We have had items to be repaired as we go along, but that is to be expected.
We are very fortunate to live in the USA.
We are fortunate that there are men and women willing to risk their lives to protect our freedom. Thank you so, so much to our Veterans and current military. It's a sad state that we do need to defend our country, but thank you for your commitment.
I saw this on facebook...
"Men who wear helmets and defend freedom should be paid more then men who wear helmets and defend a football!"
We are fortunate that we escaped NJ and didn't have to deal with the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Speaking of Sandy, I'd like to give a shout out to Tide, for setting up their washing stations in multiple areas hit by Sandy. They call this good deed, LOADS OF HOPE . We as the outsiders looking in only see the big picture. Homes destroyed, lives lost, no electric, no water.  There are shelters open to house many folks, others are staying in their homes and bundling up to keep warm. But there are the "little things", that may seem minor to us, but are a big deal when you're going through it.  I never thought about people having to do their laundry. Not only because of lack of utilities, but also from being soaked from Sandy also.
I just heard of another group that are helping the animals caught in the middle because of Sandy.  With homes being destroyed, families may not be able to take their dogs to people shelters, or if they are staying with friends or temporarily renting. SANDY DOG NANNIES OF VT has been established. Volunteers will take care of your pets in their home until you can get yourself established again. That is one less responsibility to have to worry about.
I haven't heard from any friends back in NJ, but peeked on their Facebook pages. Most without power for over a week. Some moved in with friends.
My Sister-in-law and her husband own or manage Rehoboth Bay Marina in Dewey, DE.
This is after Sandy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

So domestic

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
RV LIFE: Is it the cooler weather or just where we are presently staying at that has caused us to do more cooking & sewing?
I really think it is staying here at the Kingdom. They have Pot Luck dinners every 2-3 wks, so of course we participate.
We've made Chili, Hobo Beans (recipe further below), Chicken & dumplings, Spicy chicken stew. A couple of recipes in the crock pot and a couple of recipes made in our fryer. Skillet/Griddle review to follow.
One of my jobs here at the Kingdom is to sew curtains for the rental units. The curtains replace the blinds that get bent and are difficult to clean.
So I've been enjoying learning to use my machine. More on my machine later.
Kitchen curtains
HOBO BEANS RECIPE (Click title for printable version)

Recipe courtesy of an Escapees member we met in TX.
1/2#  grnd Beef
1 chopped onion
1/2#  Bacon
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Pork and Beans
1 can Butter Beans
1 cup Ketchup
1 cup Brn Sugar
1 Tbs Mustard
1 Tbs Vinegar

Fry Bacon till crisp.
Remove from skillet and crumble.
Brown Grnd Beef with Onion in bacon grease, add bacon back to skillet when near done.
Combine other ingredients in casserole, add meat mixture and stir.
Bake at 350, about 1 Hr.
PRODUCT REVIEW/comparison:
Rival 20" Griddle:  Our rating 1 out of 5
Under $20. at Walmart

We originally bought this to use instead of a fry pan on the stove for eggs, pancakes, etc.
The size is a nice large 20". It is also lightweight. It has short legs to keep the heat away from the counter.
But, the heat is inconsistent. It gets high to reach temperature, then basically shuts off and then on again to heat to temp.  This makes it very difficult to cook eggs and pancakes. Very frustrating.
It is now in the garbage!
Presto 16" Electric Foldaway Skillet: Our rating 4 out of 5
$50. from Amazon.

Although this isn't as long as the griddle above, it is well big enough for our needs. This piece of kitchen equipment has become our "go to" appliance. This too has a slight temperature holding problem, but no where as varied as the above griddle. It is consistent enough to expertly grill our eggs over easy. We also use this for frying & stews.
It is COMPLETELY immersible so can be washed without having to be careful.
And the icing on the cake is that this "sandwiches" together for a compact shape for easy storage.
I highly recommend this appliance.
Lift skillet off base
Put base inside skillet

Cord inside & lid upside down for snug fit

Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners: Our rating 5 out of 5
We have a large oval crock pot. These liners also fit the larger pot. Cleaning the crock pot insert is a real PIA. Especially if you have the old style that doesn't come out for washing.
With the liners, you just put in the pot, ends over the rim. Cook as usual. Clean up is a cinch! A quick wipe and maybe a few splatter clean ups and that's it.
We've never had a liner break or have a hole in it. We really appreciated it last night. I made a Spicy Chicken Stew for the pot luck get together. It was way too spicy for our tastes. I knew I wouldn't want to eat the leftovers. So as we were carrying the 1/2 empty crock pot of stew back to our RV, we passed the dumpster. We grabbed the pot liner, knotted the top and tossed the stew in the garbage. That was easy!
Evolution of my sewing.
Childhood: My Mom used to sew many of my school clothes to save money. That was back when material was cheaper to buy than to buy clothes. Mom wasn't a fancy sewer, but she did well enough to make decent skirts and jumpers. I was happy with her end results.
Teen years: I learned to sew in Home Economics class in High School. I am forever grateful for that class. I know so many people, that don't even know how to sew on a button (or that's their excuse not to do it). For my High School graduation, I sewed my graduation dress with my Mom's very old sewing machine. For my HS graduation gift, I received a used Husqvarna/Viking sewing machine that cost them $50. I had an "Aunt" that was a great sewer and I used to go to her house for sewing lessons. This was her machine I received.
I remember being able to make a t-shirt type top in a couple of hours with very little fabric. I made it to wear to go out that night. I even made a shirt out of old sheets!
Me in the middle 1975. Shirt sewed from old sheet.
College: With this newer machine I could sew straight stitch, zig zag stich and buttonholes. I made the majority of 1st year college clothes. I was very proud of myself. I also remember sewing a dress for my Mom. It was fashionable at the time in an orange print! She did wear it for years.
Wedding: Although I did not make my wedding dress, I did make the Bridesmaids' outfits, as well as the Flower Girl's. They were wide leg, flowy jumpsuits. Jumpsuits were popular way back then.
Also made the ring bearer's pillow.

Recent years: I purchased an electronic embroidery machine. I stayed with the Husqvarna brand, since it had served me well for the past many years. This "Iris" embroidery machine cost $999. about 10 yrs ago.It served it's initial purpose, being my introduction into machine embroidery. The limitation was two fold. 1. Only allowed 4"x4" design. 2. Need a special device to link a non built in machine design onto the machine.
After 2 yrs with the "Iris", I upgraded to a Brother Innovis 4000-D embroidery & sewing machine combo. New, it would have been about $7500. to $8000. I bought used for $3500. I never even tried it for another 2 yrs. Then I only used it for embroidery and used my old faithful graduation gift sewing machine for regular sewing.
Now that I have to sew here at the Kingdom, I was using Birgit's machine, but thought this would be a great time to test my fancy machine for simple sewing. I had to give away my faithful friend Husq/Viking when I purged to move into the RV. We've been in the RV for over a year and I hadn't used the machine. What a wonderful machine! It embroiders and can be switched to regular sewing mode. It's quiet. it can do designs up to about 15" long! I can use a jump drive to put designs on the machine. It self threads the needle too! Thank you Four Paws Kingdom for getting me back into sewing!

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