Monday, June 30, 2014

The trouble with dually's

June 16 - 29, 2014
Now why didn't I think of that!

What a great idea!!!! Take a photo of where you've been in each State. Instead of just crossing out the state, or filling in the blank with a marker, cut out your own photo in the shape of the State and tack it on the map! I so wish I had seen this 3 years ago!!! I may try to search out my photos and try my hand at this anyway.

When we first were planning our RV life, and after we decided to live in a 5th wheel instead of trailer or motorhome, we knew we would have to get a truck to pull the 5'vr. Scott was totally opposed to a dually. For those who may not know (as I didn't know at the time), a dually is a pick up truck that has 6 wheels instead of two. Two wheels in front and 2 sets of double wheels in the back. This makes for a very wide vehicle. Since this would be not only our towing vehicle, but also our run around town vehicle, we did not want the bulkiness, which would cause problems maneuvering around small towns and fitting into parking places.
So our plan was a 250 pick up, with crew cab. We ended up with a 350 crew cab, long bed dually. Even though parking is a PIA, I'm so glad we went with it. I feel more secure with the double wheels in back and also the extra power of the 350. Maybe if we weren't fulltiming and pulling so much weight, a smaller vehicle would have been fine. With all the above being said. Look what I found on my windshield the other day!
Here's proof of the problem parking a dually truck. "Please keep vehicle between the lines." Really? Maybe the lines should be spaced just a touch further apart.

Hey parents and grandparents! Here's a very cool idea for the youngins. I found this from Land of Nod. No, I wasn't LOOKING for children's items. There are no children in my life and that is fine with me.
How cool is this!!! My brother and I used to love to make takes in our bedrooms. We'd take the blankets off our beds and use chairs to drape them over to make our own tent. Do you notice, there's even a fake fire? It looks like a pillow. Oh to be young again. But I still would not have had this tent. My parents couldn't afford it.
While doing a little window shopping in old town Branson, I picked up my first purchase for the house.
Sure, I could make this, but for $25.00 I thought it was worth saving the labor. I'll have plenty of other things I can make. I plan on decorating the TN house with wood & stone and experiment with splashes of color on the 2nd hand furniture I'll repaint. I'm usually fairly conservative in my color choices, but I've seen so many samples on Pinterest of people with a unicolor room, but bam! there's a pink chest of drawers, or bam! those pillows are orange! It's only a can or two of paint. I can always repaint to a safer tone if need be.
Billy Bob's Dairyland - Branson, MO
Our rating 3.5 out of 5
Just a "fast food joint" next to a gas station.
As I was searching Yelp as I usually do when we arrive at a new place, Billy Bob's had very good reviews. Scott loves hamburgers and these were supposed to be good. I've grown to enjoy cheeseburgers now. I used to prefer hot dogs at cookouts, but now, give me a burger. That is more of Scott's influence on me.
The burgers were a hefty size & juicy. You can get practically whatever you want on them. The platter came with a side of fries. The fries just looked like crinkle cut frozen, but boy were they good! I think it is something about what kind of oil they are fried in. We also ordered onion rings. Again, the batter was no big deal, but there was some subtle flavor that I think is from the oil.
Even though I was full, I ordered a malted milkshake to go. We wanted a Black & White (vanilla milkshake with chocolate syrup mixed in), but the waitress looked at us cross eyed. We both settled for chocolate malts. I was very disappointed in the shake. First, I did not taste any malt and second, it was so thick, that it was more like a Wendy's frosty or soft serve. There was no way to slurp it up through a straw. I ended up putting it in the freezer for later.
Since I heard about their fried pies, I also ordered a peach fried pie to go. Now that was a delicious snack. It was like a peach filled empanada or similar to a McD's pie. Really great crust that was deep fried. Not a heart healthy place to eat, but I would return definitely for the fried pies.
Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti
Our rating 4.5 out of 5
With the temperatures being in the high 80's/90's and high humidity, I've been spending my days inside. Of course Scott almost always has to have the TV on. So I sat through a movie or two with him.
What I'll remember most about this movie is the GREAT ACTING!!!!! 
This is basically a boxing movie, but it is also so much more. The movie is set in the Great Depression years. It gave us an inkling of what life was like. Begging for jobs, borrowing from friends, not enough food and going without to feed your own children. In spite of the down and out times, the love that holds the family together.
What a man will do for his family. Work at whatever he can, no matter how he feels. Beg or go on public assistance at the cost of friends feeling sad for your current state.
A true story about a has been boxer, and then his comeback because of the strength from his family.
I concentrated on my knitting during the fight scenes. I just can't handle that. The movie is a definite roller coaster, emotional roller coaster that is.
Renee Z. did a phenomenal job of portraying the loyal, loving wife and mother in dire circumstances. I truly could feel her making the most of a sad situation.
And Paul G. as the trainer, manager was also wonderful. I could feel my chest tighten with emotion as he fought for his friend's reputation in the boxing world.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

From cow to cone

June 16 - 29, 2014

We are still at the Cedar Creek Rally in Branson, MO. I'm starting to get socialized out. Our fellow Creekers (Cedar Creek RV owners) are in no way overbearing or needy. In fact most days, I spend inside with just socializing in the morning and evening. But that is totally enough for me. My smile muscles are aching.
Scott bought small rack of ribs that he's been wanting to smoke in his Cobb Grill, but every day there is either a large breakfast or dinner to mess up his plans.
Don't you love pot luck dinners??? There is usually always at least one dish that I've never had before. It's also fun to try the variety of the ole' standbys made slightly different by people from other parts of the country. There is usually some kind of pasta casserole, corn pudding, potato salad or deviled eggs with a person's own twist on it.
The rally hasn't been as organized as I'd like or as organized as the other rallies I've been to, but we're still glad to be here. Normally, we are given a welcome bag or at least a printout of the schedule for the week. We weren't handed a schedule (sort of) until Wednesday. A book discussion? When? What book? I didn't know. Crafting with Creekers? When? Where? I found out at breakfast, that the crafts were happening that same day right after breakfast. Things seem to be posted on the Cedar Creek Forum, but I don't want to search through Forums to figure out what's going on. There's gotta be a better way.

I keep thinking of the little conveniences of living back in a house again. I will always have an awning aka covered porch out and ready for me no matter what the whether. No worries about having to roll it up when the wind kicks up. As I think of these little conveniences, that does not mean that the RV life is bad. We have been very happy with the small inconveniences of living in an RV and reaping the huge benefits of little responsibility, travel wherever we'd like, no lawn mowing, quick whole house/RV clean up, meeting new friends, and dog rescue contacts. I would not trade our 3 years of  RV life, and in the back of my mind, I see us returning to that life again!
CRAFTS: Crafting with Creekers
Toilet paper roll crafting
I almost didn't participate in this craft. But I'm glad I did. I really like the way this turned out! My tastes are simple and I would not be ashamed to hang this on the wall of not only the RV but our house also.  This was a very simple design. If you do a search for "Toilet paper roll wall art", you'll see some nice work.

As I window shop via the internet, one thing leads to another. Our home will definitely be furnished with 2nd, 3rd, or more hand items. I buy used cars, we bought a used RV. The savings are tremendous if you just purchase a gently used model. So, I've been on the lookout for Goodwill and Salvation Army stores nearby. The more I search, the more I find out about our new home area. Coming from living in congested NJ for 54 years, living in the "boonies" will be quite an adjustment. Full time RV'ing has helped to prepare us though. We have stayed many times in areas with little around, but nature. We've had to drive 30-45 minutes to find a decent grocery store. There have been times when I never left the RV park for 2 weeks. I am fine living off what's in the pantry. Scott, on the other hand, has to always have milk in the fridge and more options for dinner. Scott is the one that will take the drive to find groceries, and I reap the rewards.
In looking for 2nd hand stores, I have so far found plenty in our area!!!! I am thrilled that we are in the country, but within a half hour, there is a decent sized town with big box stores and 2nd hand stores.
I discovered another blogger who loves to renew used items. Second Wind of Texas was posting about ReStore, which is the Habitat for Humanity retail store. They not only have gently used items, but they also have new items. I put in my new zip code 38321 and search for the nearest ReStore. I have been assuming that most things I will have to travel 2 hours to Nashville or 1.5 hours to Memphis. I have been THRILLED to find most things I'm looking for are in Jackson, "just" 30 miles away. That will become our norm to drive 30 miles to go into town. In NJ, if we drive 30 minutes, we'd be going through 15 towns!
So far, I have found a ReStore, Goodwill, Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, & Walmart. There is a smaller town of Huntingdon about 15 miles from home. It will be fun to explore and learn our new area.

Just another little thing that feels good, is my REAL zip code. Now when I sign up for something on a website or when a cashier asks for my zip code, I can be proud to state 38321, instead of a TX zip code that I don't really relate to.
Help! They've fallen and can't get up!
Any guys reading my blog, you are forewarned, this is a girl subject. If you want to eavesdrop and maybe find out how to better understand the females in your life, read on.
A Little Off Color is a recent blog I've found and love. She doesn't post often, but she is raw and honest. She is a struggling stand up comedian, so her posts are usually spiced with humor along with her struggles of life and emotions.

Let 'em go! 
Supersized Sunday
     Mammogram Monday
          TaTas Tuesday
               Whip 'em Out Wednesday
                    Thrill him Thursday
                         Free 'em up Friday
                              Sagging Saturday

I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. I've said it before...he knows how to deal with my moods, he accepts my weight gain, he accepts my aging face. I feel very loved even though many times I avoid the mirror and when I do look in the mirror, I'm not happy with what I see. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have droopy eyelids that are no long large enough to hold eye shadow. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have the ugly skin tags that seem to appear. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have droopy tatas.

College of the Ozarks aka "Hard Work U"- Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
When most people think of Branson, MO, they think of all the music and variety shows, or tourist trap. I avoid the main strip if possible. I've seen enough shows to not bother with any more. But there are a couple of restaurants that may force you on to the strip.

We are in an RV park about 5 miles from the "wildlife" center of Branson. So we are enjoying the views. We are about a mile from Table Rock State Park, and we avoid the traffic.
Scott eyed a billboard advertising home made ice cream. Thank you honey! So off I went to find it. I'm sure glad I did. It opened up a whole new place to visit...College of the Ozarks.

The home made ice cream is made from cow to cone by the college students. This is a really interesting college. The students do not pay tuition. The are required to work 15 hours a week on the campus and one 40 hour week per semester. This is a Christian based college (been there done that). There are about 40 majors. The campus is also sort of a working farm. They mill their own flour, they milk and pasteurize their own milk from cows on the campus. They have an agriculture department where they grow veggies, flowers, etc.
The beautiful lodge is also a hotel. That is one of the college majors, hotel management and hospitality.

My biggest complaint is that once on campus, there is no real info. I drove all through the campus looking for the ice cream parlor. It ends up it is in a beautiful lodge just outside the entrance to the campus.
I also heard via people talking that there is a tour you can take to see the grain mill, basket weaving, etc. But I saw no brochures about how to take the tour.

I did find the Tractor museum which was next to the Farmer's Market.
Before restoration

After restoration
Samples of the thousands of type of barbed wire below.

We tried the ice cream, we ate at the restaurant and I picked up some items at their Farmer's Market. Reviews to follow.

College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
After Memorial Day on Fridays from 7:30 - 12:30  Cash only

Small indoor market, but beautiful fresh produce available. Also available garden plants, baked goods, fresh milled grains, fresh baked bread, jams, meats.
All the available items are from the labors of the college students, even the meat.
Good prices and worth the visit. Take a tour of the campus while you're there.
I picked up these two plants. One is a purple pepper for my garden I plan to have at our new property in TN. The other is chocolate mint! A lesson learned from having grown spearmint and and peppermint in NJ. Contain your mint! They are invasive!! So I will make sure to put my mint in containers above ground. I love mint plants. Add some mint to iced tea, yum! The chocolate mint I bought is amazing. It really smells like a chocolate mint candy!!! I had to buy it because I've never seen it before. Other mints I can get anywhere.
I also purchased some muffin mix, a rib eye steak, some bratwurst and also a 1/2 gallon of fresh milk!
Where the cows are milked.
College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
Dobyn's Dining Room  
Our rating 5 out of 5

Beautiful rustic lodge look dining room in the beautiful Keeter Center.
Upon waiting to be seated, we were asked if we had any food allergies. That was a nice touch.
All wait staff was very attentive, although our waiter, Sam was definitely new and nervous. He had a heavy Asian accent and was TOO attentive. But he was so sweet, I held my Joisey attitude and smiled sweetly instead. Sam asked Scott if he could clear his plate...NO! Scott still had food on his plate AND he was in the process of cutting up his potato to eat!
The food was excellent!!!!!

Two wheat rolls and 2 cranberry muffins were in the bread basket, along with soft whipped butter and home made apple butter.
Salad does not come with dinner, but since we are now used to having salad every night, and since we don't go out to dinner much, we decided to splurge on the extras. We both ordered a simple caesar salad. Crisp, nicely chopped romaine with cheese and croutons.
We also ordered the signature smoked tomato soup with basil cream and the soup of the day being Asian Beef Veg. soup. The tomato soup was again, just a simple dish, with a definite smokey flavor. I liked it, but did not taste any basil..  Although the beef soup was very good, it had no Asian flavoring that either of us could tell.
For the main course, Scott had a 10 ounce prime rib which was delicious. This entree came with perfectly steamed broccoli and cauliflower, plus a baked potato. Very nice meal.
I chose to have the smoked catfish cakes, an appetizer as my entree. They were not only colorful and beautiful, they were also light and delicious!
For dessert Scott had the Coconut creme pie and I had the Chocolate cake with chocolate flan. Both were excellent!!!
This restaurant is higher priced that we normally go to, but I would not say it's really expensive. We're just cheap.
I would highly recommend you try Dobyn's Dining Room.

Nettie Marie's Homemade Ice Cream
College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)

I was so looking forward to the cow to cone ice cream. The college students milk the cows, pasteurize the milk and then make the ice cream. Although the home made waffle cones were delicious, like eating a lovely butter cookie, the ice cream was just fair. I had the chocolate walnut. The ice cream had a deep chocolate flavor, but was lacking in walnuts. I sampled the espresso flavor which is delicious if you really like coffee. It has a very strong coffee flavor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


June 16 - 29, 2014
While walking the dogs in the large grassy area in the RV park, I came across this cute little guy.

I picked him up from the middle of the field and placed him on the edge of the high grassy area and gave him a cherry tomato.
I had Box Turtles as pets when I was a kid. They weren't endangered back then. We had probably about six that found their way to our house. We built an fenced area outside and kept them for a couple of years. I named them and each had their own "personalities". Baby was a small turtle that I assume was still young. She liked to be held. Another turtle would stretch his neck out to be rubbed underneath. Every time we rubbed his neck, he'd pee. It was great entertainment when my friends came over. Hey, don't judge! I was only about 12 years old!
Mom actually researched about box turtles and we were able to have them hybernate over the Winter. We had to dig a slight hole and pile 3 feet of leaves on top. They stayed there all Winter and all survived and came out in the Spring. That was one of the best memories I have of my childhood.
PET PEEVE: Oppression
No worries. You don't have to brace yourself for my pet peeve to turn into a rant. If you follow this blog regularly, you know I'm quite fascinated by oppression. I love to read books about slavery, whether it be black history or unlawful imprisonment in other countries and the holocaust.  I am interested in hearing people's stories of overbearing spouses, white supremacists, etc. I think the common thread is not being allowed to live your own life. We have but ONE LIFE. As I get older, I know the time is more finite. I hope I still have 30 years left, but I've now lived longer than I will continue to live. I don't want anyone forcing me to do what I don't want to do with my own life. I'm getting side tracked.
I have known for years that Blacks are prejudiced against other Blacks for the color of their skin! Huh? You would think they would have more compassion for their own race since most, if not all Blacks have experienced prejudice because of their color/race. But nope...if you are too dark (or probably too light also), you may very well be put down by your own people! Oh come on, really? Why? Who cares what color you are!!!!!!!!! It is what is inside that counts.
Lupita Nyong'o who acted in 12 years a slave (I haven't seen this yet), won the Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Breakthrough Performance Award. Listen to her speech below. She speaks so eloquently and seems so wise. She could be the next "Oprah". I had chills listening to her speak.

Here's another example of a Black person having too dark skin.

Just an observations as I wrote the above. I noticed the spelling difference between "speak" and "speech". Hmmm. I have to "speak" while giving a "speech". Why isn't it spelled "speach"?
From what I've gathered searching the internet...
"Speech" is interchangeable with "Speach" as far as meaning vocalized communication.
But, "Speach" is only used for the definition of vocalized communication.
While "Speech" can be used for both vocalized communication and giving an address to an audience.
English is a crazy language.
Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball - $36.00
My rating 5 out of 5

A while back I was having trouble with my wireless mouse. It was possessed by a ghost! Have you ever heard of such a thing? It was news to me.
My mouse was ghost clicking. What this means is that when I would click ONCE, the mouse would automatically click TWICE. Very, very annoying. Instead of clicking on something to view the drop down menu, it would double click and open. This was especially bad while I was working on spreadsheets. Time for a new device.
I used to use a trackball, first wired which always got in the way and second, wireless, but the batteries did not last long. So I opted for the mouse. Don't you just hate when you run off the table or your arm is stretched as far as it can go while navigating the mouse? I decided to see 4 years since my last trackball if there were improvements made. Scott didn't even know if they still make trackballs. So what is a trackball? It is a mouse that stays put. You navigate by rubbing your thumb along a round ball. If you've never used one, there may be a training curve, but in the end, I LOVE that it stays in one spot. This is especially nice since I use a laptop and it is usually, my lap on a lapdesk. So there is limited desk space and the trackball is ideal.

I found wireless trackballs and reviews on good ole' reliable Amazon. Trackballs have improved! In reading the reviews, I decided to stick with the brand I previously had and am familiar with.
I chose this for 5 reasons:
1. Know brand with good rep and previous experience.
2. Price, under $50.00
3. Long Battery life (18 months)
4. Good reviews
5. The UNIVERSAL USB receiver.
See the little USB above the trackball in the photo? This is what "takes the cake" over other trackballs. Firstly, it is tiny! It only sticks out about 1/4", so you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting it. Even when I carry my laptop from one place to another, I don't have to take this out because it has such a low profile. Also, instead of needing multiple USBs for multiple devices, this itty bitty USB receiver can be used with up to six compatible devices.
A Cat Called CupidA Cat Called Cupid by Mazy Morris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very cute story. This is written from the cat's point of view. I really dislike when an animal's persona is portrayed as a bitty baby, talking about their human as Mommy, etc. This book does NOT do that. Phew! The cat is quite a smart alec and full of himself. He is playing matchmaker for his female owner. He gets himself into some trouble but all with good intentions.
Take the book at what it is. A cute story for romantics and animal lovers.
Crafts from the past...

Since I'm just starting a couple of new projects with free yarn, and have nothing really to show, I thought I'd give a shout out to a NJ designer who joins us for knitting night when I was living in NJ.
Sarah Punderson of Sarah Monti Knits, is always coming up with designs. My favorite is her Seaweed Scarf. This was my first time doing short rows. Not that short rows are difficult, I was just inexperienced. Now that I would call myself an advanced knitter instead of average, I think I'll make another Seaweed Scarf as a non-thinking traveling project while in the bouncy truck.

Did you notice I stated "free yarn" above? It was sort of. On Ravelry, you can add your "stash" (inventory of yarns). Ravelry gives us the exposure to trade or sell from our stash. We can see other people's stash. Someone saw some yarn in my stash and asked if I'd be interested in trading or if she could purchase.

I got the above ribbon yarn for free when I participated in yarn swaps back in NJ. My Ravelry friend wanted the yellow and orange which was exactly what I didn't plan to use. Great. Let's see what I want from her stash.
Free with swap
Above is the yarn I received in exchange for my original free swapped yarn. This light fingering weight yarn retails for $19./skein. I received two, so that is $38.00 worth of yarn. It cost me $15. to ship my yarn. Not a bad deal! Noro brand yarn has deep color saturation which I love. Update on projects with this yarn will eventually be posted.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

10 Life Lessons People Learn Too Late

June 16 - 29, 2014
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before. Just too much going on in this aging brain of mine.
Our Full Time RV'ing is nearing an end. We close on the house July 15. We began FT'ing July 18th, 2011.
Who knows, after 10 years in the house, we may be up for going on the road again for a year or two for our last hoorah before settling into a retirement community. Most FT'rs, it seems, don't even start their adventure until their mid 60's, so we are 10 years ahead of the game.
So I again have been on Pinterest getting ideas, for all kinds of things. This morning, I've concentrated on fencing and how to display all the shawls I've made. Here are some contenders below.

Merikay mentioned in a recent blog post...
"The KOA keeps the mosquitos under control by fogging. I heard the truck the other night.  I'm not sure what I think about that. I don't like the thought of the poison in the air and on the grass, but I also hate mosquitos. Spray or not?"

I also have the dilemma of poison or deal with the pests. I use flea/tick control liquid drops on our dogs, only when I really feel it is needed. Luckily, I only have to use it every 4-5 months, instead of the recommended monthly. What to do? Put poison on my dogs or have them suffer with fleas. Put poison on my dogs, or have them develop tick born diseases. Put poison in my dogs, or have them possibly suffer heartworm.

When it comes to skeeters, a fan is your best friend. Mosquitoes can’t land in a crosswind and hate flying against it, so they’ll avoid breezy areas. Sit directly in front of your fan and enjoy a mosquito-free afternoon. Cocktails optional.
Marc and Angel Hack Life -  Practical Tips for Productive Living

'Here are ten things you need to know, before it’s too late:

1. This moment is your life. – Your life is not between the moments of your birth and death.  Your life is between now and your next breath.  The present – the here and now – is all the life you ever get.  So live each moment in full, in kindness and peace, without fear and regret.  And do the best you can with what you have in this moment; because that is all you can ever expect of anyone, including yourself.  
2. A lifetime isn’t very long. – This is your life, and you’ve got to fight for it.  Fight for what’s right.  Fight for what you believe in.  Fight for what’s important to you.  Fight for the people you love, and never forget to tell them how much they mean to you.  Realize that right now you’re lucky because you still have a chance.  So stop for a moment and think.  Whatever you still need to do, start doing it today.  There are only so many tomorrows.
3. The sacrifices you make today will pay dividends in the future. – When it comes to working hard to achieve a dream – earning a degree, building a business, or any other personal achievement that takes time and commitment – one thing you have to ask yourself is:  “Am I willing to live a few years of my life like many people won’t, so I can spend the rest of my life like many people can’t?”
4. When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday. – But when you are proactive, it’s as if yesterday is a kind friend that helps take a load off your back.  So do something right now that your future self will thank you for.  Trust me, tomorrow you’ll be happy you started today.  
5. Failures are only lessons. – Good things come to those who still hope even though they’ve been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they’ve tasted failure, to those who still love even though they’ve been hurt.  So never regret anything that has happened in your life; it cannot be changed, undone or forgotten.  Take it all as lessons learned and move on with grace.
6. You are your most important relationship. – Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without feeling the need for anyone else’s approval.  You must first have a healthy relationship with yourself before you can have a healthy relationship with others.  You have to feel worthwhile and acceptable in your own eyes, so that you’ll be able to look confidently into the eyes of the people around you and connect with them.
7. A person’s actions speak the truth. – You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times; but in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by.  So pay attention to what people do.  Their actions will tell you everything you need to know.
8. Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. – Smile at people who look like they are having a rough day.  Be kind to them.  Kindness is the only investment that never fails.  And wherever there is a human being, there’s an opportunity for kindness.  Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile, not because you have too much, but because you understand there are so many others who feel like they have nothing at all. 
9. Behind every beautiful life, there has been some kind of pain. – You trip and you fall, you make mistakes and you fail, but you stand strong through it all – you live and you learn.  You’re human, not perfect.  You been wounded, not defeated.  Think of what a priceless gift it is to grow through these experiences – to breathe, to think, to struggle, and to overcome challenges in the pursuit of the things you love.  Yes, sometimes you will encounter heartache along the way, but that’s a small price to pay for immeasurable moments of love and joy.  Which is why you must keep stepping forward even when it hurts, because you know the inner strength that has carried you this far can carry you the rest of the way.
10. Time and experience heals pain. – Several years ago when I asked my grandmother about overcoming pain, this is how she explained it to me:  Look at the circles below.  The black circles represent our relative life experiences.  Mine is larger because I am older and have experienced more in my lifetime.  The smaller red circles represent a negative event in our lives.  Assume we both experienced the same exact event, whatever the nature.  Notice that the negative event circles are the same size for each of us; but also notice what percentage of the area they occupy in each of the black circles.  Your negative event seems much larger to you because it is a greater percentage of your total life experiences.  I am not diminishing the importance of this event; I simply have a different perspective on it.  What you need to understand is that an overwhelmingly painful event in your life right now will one day be part of your much larger past and not nearly as significant as it seems."
Have you ever heard of  Dog Shaming??? Maybe you've seen something similar on TV. When a teen disrespects or does something wrong, they are made to stand outside with a sign stating what they did? Very embarrassing for the kid.Well, dog shaming is along the same lines, although the dogs make look like they are embarrassed, I'm not sure they can actually feel embarrassment. 

Remember the Barbie doll 1800's dress I crocheted? It took me a long time because it was not enjoyable to crochet, but I loved the end result.

Well here's the doll and outfit today...
Does he look ashamed? Does he look remorseful?
One thing I have learned is to not get upset over these things. What can I do? Will getting angry put it back together? No. Will getting angry make Devin say I'm sorry? No. Will getting angry make me feel any better? No. In fact, I'd probably feel terrible if I made Devin fear me. In fact, if I would blow up, I'd also make Hubby upset. So, there's no good in getting angry.
We decided to go to breakfast and we've been having good luck leaving the dogs loose. So breakfast was within walking distance and we wouldn't be more than an hour. We put the garbage can in the bathroom, we put the dog treats high up and out of jumping reach & I made sure my knitting was not laying around. We had an enjoyable breakfast (review below). Here is what we found (besides my damaged Barbie) when we returned to the RV.
Little white dots are hundreds of beads
More beads and slobber

All the items on "display" were originally in the green and white tote bag (that I also made). The tote was hanging on a hook, NOT laying around for the taking.
It looks worse than it was. Yarn unwound can be rewound, beads strewn all over can be gathered up. He did chew part of the handle, but it has already been fixed...and the crocheted dress on the Barbie? Miraculously, none of it was damaged except the feather in the hat. But, I'll wait to reassemble and display until we move into the house.
We believe this happened because there are some loose cats outside and Devin is getting over excited. When he gets excited and he needs to release, which is usually by grabbing a toy and playing with us.Since we were home, he played with Barbie.
Our rating 4 out of 5
This rating is related to "diner" style food.
Ruthie's is located within walking distance of the RV park, in fact is it part of Branson Stagecoach Campground and also open to the public.
For such a plain building, the inside is decorated very nice in a cowboy/South Dakota kind of feel. Behind the counter is a beautiful wood background that almost reminds me of an old fashioned bar. 
We were here for breakfast.
Pancakes: average
Hashbrowns were shredded potato type and were simple, but delicious. Just the right amount of crispiness and grilled in some kind of oil/butter that gave it a very nice flavor.
Vegetable Omelet with Swiss Cheese was huge and delicious.
Biscuits & gravy was my side in lieu of toast. They gave me two biscuits cut in half and loaded with sausage gravy. I've had better biscuits and gravy, but it was really nice to see sausage in the gravy as their norm.
The coffee was better than most diners. I was able to drink it black.
There is also home made bread for toast offered.
They have a revolving array of pies and rolls. You never know what they'll have. It is at the discretion and whim and mood of the baker.
Blackberry/Cherry pie was delicious.
Cinnamon rolls are huge and very good. They are more bready than a sweet roll, but once you accept that, there is plenty of cinnamon syrupy goodness throughout. Topped with their cream cheese icing. Yum! I did go back just for the cinnamon roll to bring home.
Service is very pleasant. The servings are huge! I only ate half my breakfast. Took the rest home, which was enough to fill me up for dinner.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Been there, done that

June 16 - 29, 2014
Ugh! Baby it's HOT, HOT, HOT...and I don't like it! It was in the high 80's yesterday with humidity in the high 60%! Today a little lower humidity, but temps hit 94°. I've only ventured out to walk the dogs and one breakfast since arriving in Branson, MO. I equate this weather with being as bad as our Winter in New Mexico, when it was below freezing and windy. Too hot and humid or too cold and windy, both give us the same feeling to get inside as quickly as possible.

We are currently attending another Cedar Creek Rally, in Branson, MO...
Many years ago I took flights to Branson to visit a childhood friend. Her hubby worked as a banjo/guitar player in one of the shows, now closed, The Brascheler Music Show.
Tim on guitar
Via the show, I met the drummer, Gil. We hit it off and dated while I was in town. Because of Gil, I returned a number of times after that and even considered moving to the area. What would my life have been if I did move here 25 years earlier? I worked for the Post Office and couldn't get a transfer, otherwise I might have had a totally different life.
Gil on Table Rock lake. Gil was a "hunk" and very sweet.
Between my friend, Cindy getting "comp" tickets for many shows since her hubby was employed by a show, and Gil taking me around on dates, I've had my fill of Branson. I'm no longer into seeing comedy shows, variety shows, and touristy stuff. 
I may take a ride along Table Rock Lake. I had dreams of purchasing property there someday. Dreams change and I'm happy with my choice of location in Tennessee to settle down for a few years.

I asked hubby if he thinks we'll spend more time together when we have a house. Yes, that's what I said, MORE time. It's surprising how little time we spend together in the RV. I don't like the TV on and Scott almost always has the TV on. So we usually stay in separate areas of the RV, either upstairs in the bedroom or downstairs in the living room. If it's nice outside, I spend the day outside. 
I just wonder since the house will have a larger living room, if the TV won't bother me as much and I stay in the same room with Scott. Also, since we'll have a regular sized kitchen, Scott will be cooking more which makes me happy, because he's happy. And when I'm happy, I like to enjoy a glass of wine with hubby.

This is not a photoshop trick. Didn't you realize giants do exist???? Well, they exist in the mind of Ron Mueck and in museums displaying his sculptures. I first learned about this here

Both creepy & fascinating. His studio is in England, but his work is displayed throughout the world. I haven't searched enough to see where his work may be in the US, probably in large cities, which I avoid.
I'm trying to think of a title for life in S&B in TN. Only RV'rs know what S&B is, so I need something more universal.
We have a definite closing at 10am on July 15.
I asked Scott if we were going to "driveway dock", meaning park our RV on our property for a few days just to "claim" our house and property. He said no, he plans to sleep in the bedroom on an air mattress. Huh? There's no TV in there yet. Since we're traveling for the Summer, it's not worth moving the TV and DVR to the house. Scott looked at me funny, like he didn't understand why we wouldn't move our stuff into the house. Well Scott, we'll be needing it when we travel to the Upper Peninsula after closing on the house. Again, he gives me an odd look. Hmmm, you don't plan on traveling? Scott said no, probably not. Well, that's news to me! I'm fine with that. It sort of makes more sense to settle in, get a fence put up, change our address, license, etc., to become real Tennesseans. Travel after the closing is not erased, but there is a bold question mark.
I am getting excited to have room to use my embroidery machine, MAYBE start exercising again, do some woodworking, painting, etc. What is especially nice, is NOTHING HAS to be done to the house. Just things we may want to change, but don't have to. So we get to enjoy finding deals on furniture, tools, etc. The yard is nice enough that I don't have to do anything but mow. But I have plenty of space if I want to plant flowers or veggies. It's a very nice feeling not to have to fix things in order to move in.
Enchantress (Evermen Saga, #1)Enchantress by James Maxwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The was a free kindle download, so I don't feel so bad about not finishing.
Normally, if I can't finish a book, I would rate it as low as possible. But to be fair to the author, I think this is just not my genre.
As I began reading, I was already excited about what was to come. An orphaned brother & sister, each determined to make something of themselves. The sister wants to be an Enchantress which takes schooling and the brother wants to be a bladeslinger, which he is currently training for without the needed protective equipment. They do not depend on handouts, but have a great work ethic to improve their circumstances.
But, then the book forks off to an assignment given to the brother that leads to other countries, clans, ways of life and possible conflict. That is still fine. But where the book loses me is because of all the odd names for people, clans, countries, occupations, etc. It was just too much for me to keep track of...sort of like King of Thrones (which I didn't finish).
So if you like an epic tale with lots of names and places to keep track of, you'll probably enjoy this book. Just not for me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

COLUMBUS-BELMONT ST. PK. - Louisville, KY: RV Park Review

June 2 - 15, 2014
Columbus-Belmont State Park - Columbus, KY
Site#34   Price $28./night
Our rating 4 out of 5
Discounts: None
Sites: Large, grass, many shaded. Blacktop site. Very unlevel. Sites # 25-30 have a beautiful view of the Mississippi. But even without the view, sites are really nice.

Hook ups: W & E. Only about 4 or 5 sites have sewer (near dumpstation)
Bathrooms: Clean and modern
Laundry: only 2 washer/dryers, but clean and fine.
Pets: Welcome, with plenty of grassy area to walk them. Plenty of room at site to tether. We were disappointed with the camp host's dog. Cute little dog, friendly, but barked and barked and barked.
WiFi: Offers Tengonet or Boingo via Tengonet. Just ok, but better than our worse than dial up connection via Verizon.
Verizon Internet:: Mainly not usable
Sprint Internet: no signal
Satellite: Quite a few trees, but should be able to get a clear sky view.
Verizon cell: Zero to one bar
AT&T cell: Zero to one bar
Book Exchange: Small exchange in laundry room
Activities: A couple of hiking trails, snack bar, museum. Watching the barges on the Mississippi.
Mail delivery accepted: No
Area/Town/Sights: Not much. A cemetery from the early 1800's. Jen's restaurant. Only place in town.
Walmart is 21 miles away.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


June 2 - 15, 2014

On the road again tomorrow. We're heading to Branson, MO to meet up again with our Cedar Creek RV Owners Club. A 320 mile drive which is longer than we'd like, but we wanted to RV in Kentucky to fill that in to our map.
We've been quite spoiled by this State Park. Large sites, not a lot of sites, so the noise is minimal and really only filled on the weekends. It's so nice to be able to let Devin stay outside on his long tether without worry of tangling in the power cord, satellite dish, or sewer connection. Speaking of sewer connection, that we don't have at this park...
A bit of a pet peeve/rant...We reserved two weeks here, but could only get a non sewer hook up site for that length of time. Why oh why do the people who book for a weekend, just two nights need sewer hookups? The dump station is convenient on the way out. Because of these weekend warriors, we have been without sewer and had to use our portable sewer tank to drag, you know what to the dump station. It would be nice to need 5 day commitment for the sewer sites.
I found a definite advantage of RV'ing and still having a house. Many of the wonderful places we've visited, we attended local art shows. Oh the beautiful things we've seen, but did not purchase because we had no where to put them. At the time, I was saying, thank goodness we don't have a house. Just think of the money we'd spend and the "stuff" we'd collect. But now that we have a house (soon), I wish we could revisit these places and pick up local art.
Will we ever go back to the Pacific NW?

I would love to pick up some of the beautiful driftwood we saw on Rialto Beach. I can just imagine the furniture I could make!
I did bring back some beautiful stones from Dry Lagoon in California.

I want to make cabinet knobs like above with the stones I collected.
In New Mexico, there was a shop that had all kinds of items made out of Onyx.
This store does do mail order.
Then, while in South Dakota, we went to a great arts show in Custer St. Park. We saw beautiful iron works & bar stools made from rough logs and buffalo hide.
But then, when I think of the things I'd like to purchase, I think of the dreaded "stuff" that we just got rid of 3 years ago.
The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me take a minute to take this all in. Wow.
This book will get you thinking, about survival, guilt, forgiveness, mercy, hatred, kindness and so on. This story is mainly about the holocaust, so if you don't enjoy reading about that, then this is not for you. Also, it is not an uplifting book either. It is a dark story both in the present day storyline and the holocaust storyline. There is no nicely fitted happy ending.
In the beginning, the story is somewhat slow going, but give it time and it will draw you in. We are told the story of a holocaust survivor and the side of her tormentor, along with the after effects in present day of them and the people they come in contact with.
Oh the luxury of being retired. I can sit all day listening to audio books and knitting. The dogs beside me, the lush green lawn, the shade trees, a glass of wine, and TIME to just enjoy it all. Retirement is a wonderful experience!
View while outside knitting
I finished another shawl/scarf thingy. This was another Mystery Knit-a-long. I ordered the yarn and beads as a kit by the shawl designer. Unfortunately, she is in Malaysia and by the time the yarn got to the US, and then sat in Customs for OVER A MONTH, in NYC, the MKAL was well under way. So it really wasn't too much of a mystery, since I looked at everyone's show & tell photos.

I still have the dilemma of what to do with my finished projects. Maybe once we're settled in the house and some of my RV'ing friends come for a visit, I'll offer some of these to them.
This design was called "When the Flowers Bloom". I hope you can see the flowers and leaves.

Our Travels