Monday, December 16, 2013

Congrats on the new addition

Hidden Valley Ranch, Deming, NM  
Mon. 11/25/13  Fri. 11/22/13 - Wed. 1/1/14 (5 weeks)
My life has a superb cast, but I cannot figure out the plot.  
Ashleigh Brilliant - This humorist's output is almost entirely epigrams,
which he tries to limit to seventeen words apiece.
This post's contents:
RV Life
RV Mod
Book Review
Ahhh, what a life. We've again been going through a cold spell here in the desert, so we've been spending a lot of time inside. Still reading and crafting. Scott has been enjoying a new computer game, World of Tanks.
He spends hours playing on the computer, I spend hours knitting and listening to audio books. Like I said, ahhh, what a life!
Here at Hidden Valley Ranch, there is just enough social activity. Not too much that I am burn out from the pressure of having to be "on" for being around people.
Pot Lucks every Friday, crafting together every Wednesday, ATV rides, country music, clear starry nights. Ahh, what a life!
I finally ventured a "quick" trip into town to purchase supplies for the cookie exchange. Yum! Scott wants me to make a tried and true oatmeal cookie, but I like to try new recipes. My results in a future post.
Yesterday, the temps reached 60° and sunny. I, of course took the opportunity to head outside. Read a little, knitted a lot and finished listening to an audio book.

Congratulations are in order for Jerry & Carla of Cozy Be Gone. They started full timing earlier this year in an itty bitty Casita. I was very worried for them. I know I could not full time with a spouse in that small an area. I would mention periodically that they may find it difficult and ruin their full time experience. But after a few months and some mods, they seemed happy. Good for them!!! I'm impressed.
Well, not that I would ever say "I told you so", BUT, they have now upgraded to a much more reasonable 26RLS Keystone Sprinter travel trailer! I am sooooo happy for them. The Casita is fine for weekends and temporary stays, but their new rig will feel more like home. There is a huge difference in what you want in a rig for full time,compared to vacation time. We chose a 5th wheel for the ceiling height. It feels more like a house than a trailer. But if a Casita is all you can afford, tow, or want, then that is fine. I have friends that lived full time in a Casita for 2.5 years and only stopped because family needed them.

You meet the nicest people while RV'ing...
As I mentioned in the previous post, Mike and Maryanne from Kansas City, KS are parked near us. We met them earlier this year in Port Townsend, WA. Mike is a BBQ judge and is really into smoking meats. Since they are now full time RV'rs, they gave away their large smoker. They finally cannot take life anymore without a smoker. So they ordered a smaller smoker that they can deal with while traveling in an RV.
Yippeee! That means good stuff will come our way also!
Because we have shown an interest in smoking and BBQ, they lent us a "few" books about BBQing.
I guess we have some studying and scanning to do! Thank you Maryann!

Outdoor motion lights
With the anticipation of boondocking, Scott thought it a good idea to get some outside lighting that would work on solar and/or battery. The question we want the light so an intruder will think twice? or do we not want light, so we won't be so visible boondocking alone? Anyway, Scott purchased 4 lights, one for each side of the RV. Two are battery run and two are solar run. We've had them for about a month now and I really like them. They are great when walking the dogs at night.
Our rating 5 out of 5
These are always lit dimly at night. When it senses movement, they get brighter.
Our rating 4.5 out of 5
These only come on when motion is detected. Run on 4 AA batteries.
Both lights are sufficient to light the way and safety, but not so bright that they would disturb our neighbors. 
I've been doing some quick crafts to use up more acrylic yarn. I must admit, I DO like Caron's Simply Soft. It is a drapey, soft, washable, inexpensive, easily available yarn. This is much nicer that Red Heart Super Saver acrylic which is VERY scratchy, so much so that my fingers actually get a rub burn from it's use. Caron One Pounder is similar to the Red Heart, but maybe a tad less scratchy.
I'm sending a knit and a crochet cocoon with matching hats to Bella's Babies. They try to send a going home outfit to all babies born at Southside Hospital in Long Island, NY. What is a cocoon? It is basically a sack that you place the baby in. It's supposed to feel like it is being swaddled, and gives the baby comfort & warmth.

Only Clue #1. It gets more interesting

I'm still working on a MKAL (Mystery Knit-a-long) sponsored by Boo-Knits on Ravelry. This MKAL was appealing because it was "only" a scarf and only about 3 weeks long in time. There are 5 clues and we are on clue #4. Since this is a mystery knit, we do not know what it will look like, only that it is a scarf. Each "clue" is a portion of the pattern. A group all doing the same project, finish the clues/pattern sections and then post to see what they all look like. This scarf is lace with beads. It's a fun project to do, but I've enjoyed other lace knits more, such as this Lace KAL that I did in 2010 and won first place at the Monmouth County Fair.
Courtesy of Panopticon

How many of you crafters make things for Christmas gifts?

How many wait until the last minute?

Here's a flow chart for you to use to see who is handmade gift worthy.

So, who do you make the gift for and who do you just buy for?

Scott & I have made it easy on ourselves. We do not exchange gifts with ANYONE. When we first got married we exchanged gifts with each other, family, friends, co-workers, etc. I eventually cut out friends and co-workers. Then as our relatives' families grew, we cut them out also. We are not "kid people", so just buying for the kids was not an option for us. I do not enjoy buying for kids. If I do, I try to make them educational and fun gifts.  Pardon me while I generalize...most kids do not appreciate gifts. It's all "what did I get?", "is it good enough?", "will my friends be impressed?" No inkling of the time and money and thought that went into the gift. Kids are selfish beings. And I can be a selfish being also. That's why I never had kids. We just wouldn't get along.

Nothing much to report about our reservation foster dog, Dina. She continues to be a wonderful dog. Very loving, obedient and easy going. She handles life in the RV beautifully. Dina is still looking for a home. She would probably do great off leash and maybe even make a good agility dog. She listens well, is quick and spry.
Devin makes each RV site home as long as he has his blue mushroom chair to chillax in.

10th Anniversary (Women's Murder Club, #10)10th Anniversary by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have not read all the books in this series, but a few and enjoyed the characters. 4 women, in 4 different careers that intertwine and sometimes should be opposing, but they respect each other and it works.
A pretty good "who done it", with details of the personal and professional lives of the ladie's murder club.
As far as the author, James Patterson, I have become disappointed in his later writings. It drove me bonkers in this book that a chapter lasts no more than 3 or 4 pages. He starts a new chapter in the middle of a court scene! Huh? It really only needs to be a new paragraph. Another author that has seen his time of fame come and go.

The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic OceanThe Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean by Philip Caputo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was given a complimentary copy of this book. I'm assuming because #1, I have a blog of our US travels in an RV. and and #2 we have Setters as the author does.
I was excited to read this book with common interests. The author was out to discover the different lifestyles and attitudes of the American people in different areas of the country. Interesting concept.
Unfortunately, I was very bored with the book. Maybe because I'm living it or maybe because I've read many RV travel blogs and this seemed more of the same. Yes, there were interesting parts and yes, he speaks of cowboys in Florida, when I thought they were only in the SouthWest. Yes, he speaks of entitled youth. Yes, he gets you thinking outside the box, meaning instead of looking at typical touristy things, to look at the community, the people, the history. But still, this book just did not hold my interest. I'll stick with the bloggers and read their travels and their take on the varied areas of our USA.
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2nd book in series:
Another version of vampires, witches, and demons. Some are not as bad as we formerly thought.
Some unusual romance and family dynamics.
This 2nd book is Matthew & Diana's trip back to the 1500's. Interesting, but definitely sugar coated life back then.
This book SLIGHTLY reminded me of a tame "Outlander", by Diana Gabaldon, which is an EXCELLENT series.
I liked the first book, A Discovery of Witches better. BUT, I'm not invested in the lives of these characters and will HAVE to read the third book.
The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, does an excellent job of male and female voices, as well as accents. She makes it very easy to distinguish characters, just by her tones.
7-Up Biscuits

The photos looked like these would be absolutely wonderful biscuits. They were easy enough to make. Only four ingredients, bisquick, sour cream, 7-up, and butter.

Mine didn't look so pretty, but they were pretty good tasting. Normally, Bisquick biscuits turn out very dry and heavy. These biscuits were still heavy, but not so dry. They would make a great base for biscuits and sausage gravy. I will probably make them again.

Thursday, 1/2/13 - 1/8/13 (1 week) Oliver Lee State Park, Alamogordo, NM (White Sands)

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