Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Single Occupancy

Brightly the cold December sun hung low in the afternoon sky.  Naked trees cast zebra stripes on the blacktop road.  Sun.  Shadow. Sun.  Shadow.  Sun. Shadow.  Nearly mesmerized by the light flickering through the windshield I drove. 

Sunlight changed to heat as it passed through the car windows.  My face was flush with the warmth while my feet were freezing in the shadows beneath the dash. 

As if measured by a miser, an occasional flake of snow flew through the air.  For hours the snow had
fallen thus, and yet there was no accumulation. “Where does the snow go?” I wondered aloud.  It’s too cold to melt and yet there is no sign of it on the ground.  “Perhaps it is the same five or six flakes accompanying me down the road.” 

It would suit my mood to have tiny shards of ice as my companion.  Straight and lonely this road had gone on for mile after mile and yet the scenery had never varied.  Half shutting my eyes against the sun’s glare, I thought that I should feel fortunate that I wasn’t driving directly into it. 

I didn’t feel fortunate. 
She was gone. The weight of loneliness sat on my shoulders and compressed my spine as I hunched over the steering wheel.  My mind had become numb from the sameness.  My eyes, that I had been holding half closed, were now a struggle to keep half open. Slowly fatigue overtook me and I slept. 
I awoke!  Still driving. 

The sun had dropped below the horizon and I had not noticed.  Grief and fatigue created a headache that now settled between my eyes. Beyond my headlights a sign appeared. “M  el” it blinked in red neon.  My tires
crunched on gravel as I pulled to a stop in front of the office.  Peeling paint and tarnished metal were the main decorating elements of a motel that had started out cheep and gone down hill from there. 

Ebenezer Scrooge’s twin stood up from his seat behind the counter and asked, “Single occupancy?” and I cried.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My absence from writing here has got me to thinking about words.  I'm a
consumer of words.  I love words!  Some of my favorite reading
material is the unabridged dictionary.  Marvelous things lay hidden in
dictionaries.  (Did you know that one of the definitions of
"girl" is a young person of either sex?)

I love word games. Aisle of View / I love you. Lettuce spray / Let us pray.

I read.  I ingest words.  Words fill me.

So, why do I have such trouble writing?  I seem to have a literary bowel blockage.

Words create images in my mind.  I absorb images and create images with my hands.  I want to create images with my words.

I want my blog to be less, “Cold today.  High in the 30’s.  Exercised.” And more, “Gray the sky and brush painted with swatches of cold sunlight that forms a backdrop to skeletal trees devoid of birds and beasts.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10

This just isn't working for me today.  I'm trying to add photos and video and when I click on the icons, nothing happens.  A friend, that went from kindergarten to graduation with me, posted a photo of our kindergarten class.  I wanted to add it to the blog . . . but no deal. The "helps" on the blog editor tell me how the icons are "supposed" to work . . . but nothing on what to do if they don't.  I guess I'll just post it on Facebook. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5

Okay, I know!  I haven't posted for a while.
The truth of the matter is that I just haven't felt like posting.  My life has been so mundane - so routine - that I couldn't see a reason to post.
The weather has been good for this time of year.  Last night was the first time that the temp dropped into the 20's and the high today is supposed to be in the mid 40's.  That's not unusual and it's supposed to warm up within the next couple of days.  So - nothing much to report there either.
No health issues to report - no news IS good news.
I've been reading more books on my Blackberry via KOBO. And I have followed up with books from the library.
So, even though nothing worth writing about has happened....That's a good thing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 2010

Yesterday I went to the doctor’s for a chemical stress test.  I’ll admit I was a little stressed just at the thought of them shooting chemicals into to mimic hard physical exercise.  As it turned out, other than a nasty burning sensation as they injected the chemical, it went very well.  The most uncomfortable thing about it was that I had to lay on this narrow piece of equipment with my arms over my head for 25 minutes – twice.  I actually went to sleep the last time during the procedure.
Afterwards (it lasted a little over 3 hours) we stopped at IHOP to eat. (Breakfast for me and lunch for Ella).  UMMMM! Unlimited pancakes for $4.99.  They brought 5 pancakes to start with (which is all that I ate) but then they would bring more, 3-at-a-time, until you yelled, “Stop!”
This week we put more heat-shrink plastic on windows (inside and out).  I only have 2 windows left uncovered.  I will not cover them until I have to because once they’re done, I will be unable to open a window; and I so enjoy the fresh air!  Some of our friends packed up their motorhome and moved  south for the winter and left a set of steps behind.  They told us that we were welcome to use them until they come back next spring.  So, we picked them up and brought them home.  It IS nice to step out onto a tiny porch instead of the narrow RV steps.  I may have to make a set for us to have once I return these.
This morning while Ella worked at the club house, I did some cleaning around home and then picked up our Angle Food order.  I really like the fruit and veggie box.  It’s nice to get a variety of fresh food.  3 of the items I will donate to our church. I have more cabbage and carrots than we can possible eat and the bag of yellow onions are of no use to me as I’m allergic to them.
We had a measurable amount of rain today - the first this month - but it took us out of the lead for the driest October on record.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21

It is not quite 7:30 a.m. and the sun is still below the horizon.  The eastern sky has that odd yellowish whiteness that it gets on a cloudless sunrise.  There are no clouds to paint with gold and crimson, just a blank sky that in the process of changing from black to blue goes through this strange stage of vanilla. It looks like another beautiful day instore!  How strange the weather has been.  This year is the 3rd rainiest in history and this October is the driest in history.  Until the first of October, we had not gone
14 days without precipitation all year! The Midwest has been stuck in what the weatherman called an Omega Pattern.  The jet stream had dropped so low over us that it looked like the Greek letter, omega.  And it kept any new weather systems from coming into the area.  Those who know the weather in the Midwest, know that it normally changes rapidly and wildly.

We’ve been babysitting the last couple of days.  Yesterday Rori spent a lot of time sitting on my lap (or more correctly, climbing all over me).  That is unusual for her.  She’s usually WAY too busy to be slowed down like that.  When Charlotte got home from school, she sat on my lap while I read to her.  She had brought home a book from school about a little girl and her invisible unicorn, Goldielicious.  Then we played a couple of board games while waiting for Daddy to come home.

We decided to save a little on our usual pie eating at Village Inn.  Normally, on Wednesdays, we order coffee or tea and get a free slice of pie.  My tip is usually larger than the final bill. (The wait staff LOVE us)  This month we’ve dug a little deeper into the bank account than I like.  So rather than give up our Wednesday treat all together, we just ordered one slice of pie (and got the second one free) to

About 7:30 last night I remembered that I was supposed to have gone to a committee meeting at church at 7:00.  Opps!

When I was in at the heart doctor’s earlier this month, I mentioned that I had had an episode of pain in my left arm.  It wasn’t severe and it didn’t last long.  However, it presented itself the same way the heart attack did a little over a year ago. Tomorrow I go to the doctor’s for a stress test on my heart. Because the arthritis in my feet makes it difficult to walk for long distances, they are going to do a chemical stress test.  As I understand it, they will start an IV and inject one chemical and do and EKG to get a baseline.  Then they will inject something else and do another EKG.  I believe that they will do this several times to determine how strong the heart muscle is.  The idea that they are trying to come as close to triggering a heart attack as possible makes me a little nervous.  Maybe I’ve just watched too many episodes of “House” on TV.

I have no plans for today and I’m just waiting for my bride to awake.  I get the same feeling that I did as a kid when I had to wait for my best friend to be able to come out and play! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17

Today is Heather's birthday. - Happy Birthday, kid!  I did get a chance to talk with her for a
little bit before Mike came home.  They were
going to his parent’s house this afternoon.
This was Laity Sunday so the pastor had the day off and was just another
choir member.  One of our Lay Speakers
gave the sermon.  He has some interesting
ideas but his delivery often allows my mind to wander.
It is another beautiful day of warm sun and blue skies.  Temps are supposed to be in the low 70’s.  Not bad for mid October.  Last year we’d already had several inches of
snow by this time!  It would be alright
with me if the snow held off until Christmas Eve this year.  I like snow, however, last year snowed so
much and so often that I wouldn’t mind postponing it for a while this year.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16th

Saturday, October 16, 2010
We woke up to a chilly start to the day however the sun came up and warmed us into a truly spectacular Fall afternoon!  We just returned home from being ushers at a friend’s funeral service.  It was unusual in that the graveside service was done several days ago.  He was cremated and his ashes interned already.  He was 75 when he died and it says something about the man that there were about 8 to 10 people there that had gone to high school with him!  I can think of no one that I went to school with that would show up to MY funeral.  (or I to their’s) 
I got a couple more windows covered with plastic on the outside this morning.  The days have been
so nice that I’m not in a hurry to cover the remainder of them.  With the ones that I’ve covered on the
outside, I could go ahead and cover them on the inside also.
I was going to include a photo of the insulation I've installed around the base of the trailer . . . however, I can't seem to get the upload feature on the blog to work. grrrrr

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That which was lost has been found!

I lost my aircard!
that makes it very hard to get online.
I found it.
now I'll try to get caught up on blogging.
Let's see . . . since my last blog entry . . .
I have the North Pole mostly ready for the cold weather.  Insulation around the base of the trailer, heaters installed and ready beneath us, heaters ready inside, lots of LP gas on hand, storm door installed, freshwater tank is full, and five of the windows have outdoor heat-shrink plastic on them (I'll do indoor plastic film on the rest when we've run out of 'good' weather. We've moved cold-weather stuff FROM storage and warm-weather stuff TO storage.
Ella's hours have dropped down to about 8 hours a week - which is normal for this time of the year.
We attended Brandon's first Show Choir concert for the year.  It makes me feel old to see all the energy these kids bring to their performances.
I have several bookings in December to put on the red suit and let kids (and a few adults) sit on my lap.  I'll be working the Jolly Holiday Lights event a couple of times and at Salsbury House (while seated in a 1939 Packard) on the 22nd and 23rd.  I will, most likely, also be at Lake Robbins on the 18th. And, of course, I'll be flying around the world on the 24th, as usual.
Today - Thursday, October 14th is a beautiful Fall day with bright sunshine and trees dressed in reds and golds (those trees that aren't already naked of leaves anyway).  The gusty breeze makes it a better day to see from the inside though.
Saturday, Ella and I are acting as ushers at a funeral for a friend of ours.  He passed away at 75 years of age.  At our stage of life we need to keep making new friends faster than we lose 'em.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 26 - 29

Sun 26th Our Football themed Sunday service went well.  Pastor had us switch sides at half-time.  Most people laughed at it although some really didn’t like it. However, no one refused to change seats. The “cheer leaders” led us in “Hallelu Hallelu Hallelujah Praise Ye the Lord” and actually managed to get these Methodist to raise their arms in church!

Mon 27th Ella’s payday so we went to the bank to deposit and then to the store to spend. 
Tue 28th A good day to do very little.  I’m not feeling well.  Thanks to the littlest great-granddaughter
for sharing her germs!  Speaking of the ‘greats’, we had them for a few hours this afternoon.  Normally we wouldn’t have had Charlotte.  However, she had and ‘extra’ tooth pulled –
and the one in front of it fell out at the same time.  So, since she could only eat soft food, we
took them to get ice cream at a place that puts “eyes” on all of their ice cream creations.  Rori liked them but Charlotte said she was going to vomit.  Different personalities!
Wed 29th We spent the day at Nathan’s watching Rori.  Grandma took Charlotte to school and I went to our Men’s Bible Study.  I’m feeling better today . . . but still not feeling good.  So I just vegged out in front of Nate’s big screen tv.  Rori’s germs struck again!  Nathan came home early from work . . . sick.  We stopped at Village Inn for soup and pie.  When we got home we were sitting on the patio enjoying the evening, when an old neighbor stopped by to visit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 20 - 25

September 20, Monday. We went to Home Depot and Menards to purchase items for the trailer.  We got a couple strands of rope lights, one for the patio and one for inside. Ella worked in the evening which is something she rarely does on Mondays.
September 21, Tuesday. About 3” of rain.  We had the ‘greats’ for a couple hours in the afternoon. They played with bubbles on the patio under the awning.  Charlotte wanted to play miniature golf.  Since it was raining, we didn’t think that was a very good idea.  Instead we went to Dairy Queen.  Rori wasn’t feeling very peppy and didn’t want to eat all of her ice cream.

September 22, Wednesday. Baby sat with the girls and Rori is not feeling well at all.  I took Charlotte
to school at 8:55 for a late start.  From there I went on into church for our Men’s Bible Study.  I missed most of it since it started at 8:30.  But better late than never.  After the meeting, I helped set up the fellowship hall for the UP Kids (our after school program).

September 23, Thursday Rain and cold. About 1” of rain in the rain gauge.

September 24, Friday What a nice day!  Plenty of sunshine and nearly no wind.  What a relief from yesterday.  Ella stayed home this morning while I went to breakfast with the gang from church.  After
breakfast, a bunch of us helped one of our members move from her bedroom-apartment
to another one across town.  I couldn’t believe all the stuff she had in a single bedroom.  She keeps things in plastic tubs and stacked so it is neat even if it is crowded.  The new apartment has two bedrooms, kitchen and living/dining room.  She’ll be sharing it with her mother or mother-in-law (I’m not sure which).
It was about 12:30 by the time we got the last load to the new apartment. We had filled a Suburban twice, a minivan once, and the bigger items in my pickup. I told you there was a lot of stuff!
This coming Sunday we will be doing a theme Sunday.  This time it is all built around football.  The sermon will be using sports metaphors and the congregation is encouraged to wear shirts or sweats
with logos of their favorite teams.  I’m on the worship committee that helped plan this event.  So, after helping with the move, I went to church and started decorating the sanctuary.  Previously, we had made pennants with the names and symbols of the decuples on them.  I turned them around so that
the blank side was out and hung them around the walls.  I used white duct tape to mark yardage lines
on the aisles and placed some other football stuff around.
It was around 2 p.m. when I got home.  I worked on a couple small projects.  The handles for the three holding tanks on the trailer required me to get down on the ground and reach underneath to reach
them.  I had fixed two of them earlier with extensions to come out to the edge.  I didn’t do the third one before because I had to cut the existing rod and add a coupling with a longer piece of threaded rod. Until I got my Dremel tool, I didn’t have a convenient way to cut it.  So now all three handles are easily reached. 
Our neighbor, Rick, invited us over to see his new 5th  Wheel.  It is a Sandpiper and very nice inside.  While we were visiting, his wife, Sue, came home.  She had been shopping and / or garage saleing. We visited with them until about 9 when we came home and went to bed to watch TV.
September 25, Saturday.  Cold and rainy again.  High supposed to be in the low 50’s today.  We had a town hall meeting this morning at 10:00.  The first part of the meeting was giving answers to the questions asked at last month’s meeting.  There were only two people signed up to speak and Ella was one of them.  She thanked the board and staff for the good work they were doing, mentioned areas that
needed work and then suggested that a list of projects be sent to members with a request for people volunteer to help with areas where they had the skills; i.e. carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc. The second person got up to speak and asked if Ella had been looking at his notes because he wanted to make almost the same recommendations.  After the meeting, we went for a drive and ended up at Panera Bread for lunch.  We  both had soup in bread bowls.  I had chicken tortilla while Ella had clam chowder. They were both very good and the bread was excellent.  Our assessment was that they were a little pricey, but very good.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 19 & 20th

Sunday was unusual for us.  Ella worked in the morning so we did not go to Sunday School and church. (we did go to the Saturday evening praise service).  But it has been so long since we missed a Sunday at church that it felt wrong all day.  Forgetting the sabath, I worked around the trailer.  I purchased some plexiglass and crafted a stormdoor over our screendoor.  Now when we have sunshine on a chilly day, I can open the outside door and let the sun in. 
That was the plan anyway.  Yesterday was overcast and rainy.  This morning we are blanketed in heavy fog.  Speaking of rain.  They announced on the news the other night that this has been the 5th rainiest year on record.  Now considering that we have 3 more months till the end of the year, we may move up in the rankings.  This on top of last winter being a record breaker for snow.  I'd like break a record for the most 'great days' all in a row!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sept 17 & 18

Back on the 16th I said that I was going to spend the evening reading. Well, I didn't get around to doing that.  As I was sitting on the patio watching the fire, I noticed our neighbor getting tools from his truck and doing something at the rear of his trailer.  I went over to see if he needed help.  As it turned out, he was just removing the license plate because he has purchased a new trailer.  He didn't need help, however we started talking about trailers and I heard the story of how he came to buy the
new one (even though he wasn't really in the market for a new one)  It's a good story and I'm sorry that you'll not hear it.  There's no way I could tell it the way he did.
We also talked about various things ranging from weight loss, quitting smoking, preaching and dream building.  It was by far the longest conversation I've had with the man.  I told him that next time we'd have to do it sitting on my patio where my fire had now burned down to nearly nothing.  Also, I did catch the second half of the Fringe show . . . and yes, it was a rerun.
Yesterday (the 17th) we went to Nate's to babysit with Rori.  He had scheduled a cable tech to come work on his internet connection. (You know how they say, "We'll be there between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.)  So, we scrapped our plans to take Rori to breakfast and waited for the tech.  He got there around 9 and worked for 1/2 to 3/4 hours.  There was an RV & boat show at the fair grounds.  So we took Rori
and went to the show.  I thought that she'd probably be bored with looking at RVs.  However, I was wrong.  She seemed to really enjoy it as much as we did.  Great-grandma likes to check out the mattresses by lifting the bedspread and pushing down on the mattress.  Having seen great-grandma do
it, Rori proceeded to do the same thing in every trailer.  She'd examine the bathrooms and go, "Um hm!" just like we did.  It was hilarious!

One of the trailers that I was interested in seeing was the 2011 Cameo.  It has a slide that is nearly the full length of the trailer.  I was curious as to how they had dealt with the plumbing for the kitchen sink which was in the slide.  I can see how it would be possible to use a flexible hose for the water supplies.  But the drain seems a bit harder to make use of flexible tubing.  Unfortunately, after having looked under the sink, I still don't know what solution they came up with.
After the RV show, we returned to Nate's and waited for him to come home.  He got home in time to go get Charlotte from school.  As Ella had to be at work at 5, we left before he returned with the girls.

We got back to our place in time for me to grill steaks and eat before she left for work.

Today (18th) it has been raining all morning.  Ella works from 8a.m. to 2p.m.  I dropped her off at work and then did some grocery shopping.  It is 11:35 and I'm supposed to pick up our Angel Foods order at noon.  After I pick Ella up, we're going to John's so he can work on our truck's breaks.  At least that's the plan.  With the rain, I don't know if he'll be able to do the work, since I believe he has to do it outside.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept 16

When we last saw our heros (Tom & Ella) they were on their way to Ella's doctor appointment (yesterday).  I dropped her off at doctors and then went over to our church.  When I had been there earlier in the morning I saw that they were giving away lava rock for free.  They have been doing a lot of work on the church's landscaping and several tons of lava rock were no long wanted.  I thought it might be nice for filling potholes in my drive and parking area.  Since we can not make changes to our sites without getting approval for the resort, I asked and it was okayed to use the rock.
So . . . I scooped up about a ton (just me and my trustie snow shovel) into the back of the pickup.  Realizing that every rock I put in . . . I'd have to take back out and spread on the drive . . . I stopped at a point well short of over exertion.  I think I may go get more later, if it's still there.

Today has been overcast and cool (high around 65).  It was a good day to do some simple things around home.  Our patio umberella's stand has been filled with water all summer.  With winter around the corner, I dumped the water and then Ella and I refilled it with sand.  The sand was damp and did not want to go easily through the funnel and into the umbella base.
It was also a good day to have a fire in the patio fireplace.  I love just sitting there watching the fire dance.  However, now I smell like smoke.  A shower with Irish Spring or some such soap shoud take care of that.
The sun came out just about the time Ella went to work (4pm).  So I think I'll go back outside and restart the fire. I'll sit and read until time for Fringe at 7pm. I think it is the 2-hour season finally rerun.  That way I can get caught up with it before the season premire.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sept 14 & 15

Sept. 14th, we went in to Nathan’s so that we could be there when Charlotte and Lorelei arrived. I had a doctor’s appointment/check-up in the early afternoon that lasted longer than I thought it would due to them having trouble drawing a small amount of blood. I have these large and lovely veins in my arms that the philologists lust after – until they actually try and hit them. The veins are tough and they move. After years of suffering through countless jabs and having the needles moved around under the skin as they chase the elusive veins, I’ve reached the point where I tell them up front, “leave my arms alone and use the back of my hands.” Over the years that has worked out very well with considerable less pain to me and frustration to the nursing staff. Yesterday however, I was being stingy with my blood. After repeated stabs, they gave up at the doctor’s office and sent me to the lab. The lab tech managed to get blood on the first try but even then she was having a hard time drawing enough for the test. I find it kind of amazing that even though I’m on several meds that should thin my blood; they still have trouble drawing it.
It was nearly time for Charlotte to be out of school by the time I got to Nathan’s. Her mother dropped her off and Charlotte started crying and throwing a fit because she wanted to spend time with her mom. Mom is working long hours and going to school and then there is time with the new boyfriend and the partying, so Charlotte is feeling the need for some quantity time with mom. With all the people at her dad’s house now, I don’t think she feels like she’s getting as much daddy-time as she wants either.
I remember, as a dad, how hard it is to get any kind of balance between the things that you HAVE to do and the things you NEED to do. I tried to give each of the kids the full attention they wanted but I’m sure that it never really worked out that way.
September 15th
Today started off looking overcast and I thought it was going to rain. However, it has mostly cleared off and turned sunny at 11:00 a.m.
I made it to our Wednesday morning Men’s Bible Study for the first time in a few weeks. They are on a study about ageing, which seems to be appropriate since, other than one guy in his 50’s, I’m the youngest one there. The make up of the group dynamics has a lot to do with the schedule. We meet in the middle of the week and during the time of day when most men are at work. Anyway, although I’ve missed the first 6 of the studies, it wasn’t difficult to join in the discussion. We discussed how men and women handle grieving and loss differently (mostly).
Today is Ella’s turn at the doctor’s office. So, we’ll be leaving here soon to go into town. Until then, I have nothing else to write about. So, I’ll stop for now and get this part posted.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept 13

Wow!  I can't believe that it's been so long since I posted on my blog(s).  It was on September 6th and it was photos from Sept. 5th.
The only excuses I can come up with are that Vincent was visiting and we were spending time with him rather than the blog.  And after he had left, Ella's phone started behaving erratic and the Verizon techs just wiped it clean so she could restore from an earlier backup.  As it turns out, the file marked "Ella's backup" was actually a backup of my phone.  Which was 'mostly' okay because the calender, phone book and memo pad are files we routinely share anyway.  However, she lost her games (I don't play games on my Blackberry) and although she is able to receive email from her account, she is unable to send email from her account.  We're still working on trying to fix that without wiping it and going to an even older backup file that (hopefully) really is from HER phone. 
So what has been going on since I last posted?  Glad you ask.
Vincent got here.  He had several things on his agenda: 1. a pizza buffet and 2. biscuits and gravy for breakfast.  We took him to Old Chicago Pizza for a lunch buffet and he managed to eat enough to be only slightly uncomfortable.  The next morning, we took him to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  I was sure that they'd have a country style breakfast with biscuits and gravy.  I was disappointed to find that when he ordered the biscuit and gravy, what he got was a couple of biscuits, two sausage patties and a small bowl of pepper gravy.  Ironically, after he was gone off to New York, I found that our little cafe at the resort serves a really nice biscuit and gravy breakfast. (sorry, Vincent)
We had a big family get-together on the evening before he left.  I had grilled then slow cooked a 10 pound pork shoulder.  I shredded it and served it on buns.  Ella made a potato dish with chives, sour cream and cream cheese.  Plus she also made a pasta salad with Italian herbs, black olives and mozzarella cheese.  I had also made some baked beans but they cooked too long and were dry.  We didn't have room at the 5th wheel so we used the lodge here at the resort and it worked very well for what we needed.
Yesterday (Sunday) was my last day of work-camping.  So, now I go back to just being a bum most of the time. (grin)
Now - today.
At the moment I'm sitting on the patio under the awning listening to the thunder.  It has sprinkled just slightly, however the radar shows a fair size hunk of rain headed this way.  I'm glad we got all of our running done earlier.
We got up, ate pancakes, did house work, picked up Ella's pay check, took stuff to our storage area, went to the bank to deposit the check, shopped at Wally World, went back to Verizon (3rd? 4th? time), got the oil topped off at Valvoline (by the way, they washed the windows and checked the tire pressure and added two quarts of oil and didn't charge me anything - I like that kind of service!) and watched a little TV.
Soon, we're going over to the Club House for a Staff Appreciation Dinner.
Tomorrow, I have a doctor's appointment/checkup and Ella & I will pick up the 'greats' after Charlotte gets home from school.  We'll bring them out to our place where Daddy will get them after work.
Opps!  The rain has gotten here so I'm going to post, unplug and go inside.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4

September 3

September 3
53 degrees at 6:00 this morning! You just gotta love the Midwest, IF YOU'RE A METEOROLOGIST!

Now to backdate for a little to Sept. 2. Ella's biopsy went okay. They removed all of the spots with a needle. They had trouble reaching some of them, so it took a little longer than expected. When she got home she slept quite a bit.

I got to work just an hour late yesterday. Boy was I ever busy!!! Everybody decided that yesterday was THE day to go camping. I was home last night before I realized that I hadn't eaten any supper. I didn't even have time to finish my Dr Pepper.

Now, back to today. We got to Nate's at about 6:30 and started getting the girls around.  Rori was excited that Poppa was here today.  Charlotte did not want to get up and get ready for school.  Great-grandma tried coaxing her, tried distracting her, tried everything.  I told her to get dressed and I don't tell her twice.  She got dressed and ate breakfast and was good to go. 
We got her to school and as she's getting out of the truck she asks where her backpack is.  She'd left it at home.  Her teacher said for us not to go get it and bring it back as it would disrupt the class.
After dropping Charlotte at school, we took Rori to breakfast with us.  The 'breakfast gang' was glad to see her.  It had been a while since she/they had been to breakfast with us.
After breakfast we went back to Nate's and spent the day there until time to pick Charlotte up from school.  The teacher said that everything went downhill from the backpack on.  It was a very emotional day for Charlotte.
We brought the girls out to our place and took them to the store for ice cream.  Rori went to sleep on the way and slept most of the way through the ice cream (Charlotte and I ate most of Rori's before she woke up enough to eat --- Hey! it was going to melt!)
By the time we got them back to our place, it was time for me to go to work.  Daddy picked the girls up at about 6:00.

Update. Ella got a call from the doctors and everything is okay with the biopsy, all benign.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 1 & 2

September 1 - Wednesday (pie day)

Pie had to wait until Ella was off work at 8. She got up at 5:30 so she could be at Nathan’s by 6:30 and take Charlotte to school. She babysat with Rori all day and then picked Charlotte up from school in the afternoon. I had to be at work at 8 a.m. so I didn’t get to see the ‘greats’ today. Ella said that Rori kept asking, “Where’s Poppa?” (that’s me) all day long. Charlotte used to call me Poppy and Rori called me Bampa. However, they’ve both settled on Poppa now.
Watching the rain approach number 1
Watching the rain approach number 2

It rained (1 ½”) in the early morning and then mostly cleared off for the rest of the day. I had the AC off and the windows open at the fee booth until Mike got there about 1:30. By then the humidity had started to rise again.

It was a fairly slow day at work. I’d expected people to start pouring in for the holiday weekend – but it hasn’t happened yet. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Speaking of tomorrow, Mike is going to cover the first part of my shift while I go with Ella for her biopsy. The good news is: by going in tomorrow, she’ll have the results by Friday. If she went in on Friday, she wouldn’t have the results until next Tuesday.

- - -

September 2.

Wow! What a windy night! Really shook the ol’ 5th wheel around. According to Weather Bug, we had gusts up to 42mph. I got up at around 3:30 and went out to gather our patio furniture from where it had been blown. So far this morning (10:15) the sky is clear blue and the wind is from the south around 10mph.

We’ve eaten breakfast and I went to the store for milk, bread, eggs and fruit. Now we’re just waiting for time to go to the doctor.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aug 30 & 31

Aug 30

Monday was a nice day that turned a little hot before cooling off slightly at sunset.

The first thing we did today was to pick up Ella’s paycheck at the office.

Then we gathered up Annika about 9 A.M. and took her to IHOP for a going away breakfast. We will not be able to be there when she goes to the airport tomorrow.

We spent several hours sitting and talking while at the IHOP. Afterwards we went for a drive around the area (stopping to deposit the check) and then up to Saylorville Visitor’s Center (which was closed for repairs/remodeling). Another long sit down talk while at the dam site (not damn sight).

We got Annika back to Nathan’s around 12:30 or so. Audrie was sleeping on the couch. She wasn’t feeling well. Well, to be more precise, she was feeling in pain. Her spine and hips are out of alignment and she’s going through a series of adjustments with a chiropractor.

After leaving the girls (er…women), we went to Ryan’s for lunch. With our senior discount and the free drinks the tab came to $10.58. I’ll have to add them to our list of places for cheap eats.

While we were driving, Ella finally got a hold of her doctor about her mammogram results. Several weeks ago Ella made a doctor’s appointment because she was noticing some changes in her left breast (the one where she had had the lumpectomy). The doctor set her up with a mammogram. Sometime afterward she received a letter advising her to set up an appointment for an ultrasound. She did. After the ultrasound she received another letter saying that further procedures were advised. Of course this has been weighing heavy on her (and me). So, today she finally had a chance to ask the doctor what was going on. She was told that they want to do a biopsy to be sure. However, they think it is just calcification in the breast. So this Thursday Ella will have another biopsy done.

When we got home from Ryan’s we changed clothes and then rested for a short time before going to Perry for Lucille’s visitation. We spent some time there visiting with the family and friends.

Then we had to hurry home so that Ella could go to work. She was scheduled to work from 5 to 9. However, she had asked Lisa to cover for her until she could get there. Which she did about 6.

After dropping Ella off at the clubhouse, I came home to do some posting. However, I received a security alert that my computer was being attacked by some spyware. So I spent the evening running scans, downloading updated security software and scanning again. Ella was actually home by the time the last scan was done.

- - -

Aug 31

Early morning thunder loudly announced the arrival of rain. I worked from 8 to 2:30. Ella works from 5 to 9. So I’m spending the time working on my blogs (this one and the one with the story I’m writing.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aug 29

Our day started with breakfast at the clubhouse.  Pancakes and sausage for me and French toast and sausage for Ella.  I really enjoy these community breakfasts when we get a chance to visit with friends and meet new people (and eat!).  It's sad to think that there are only two of these events left this year.  Next Saturday we'll have "eggs to order" and then Sunday it will be pancakes and French toast again.  Jesus said that his father's house had many rooms.  I'm sure one of them is set up for communal meals.
- - -
When we got to church this morning, we found our pastor walking with a crutch.  He had twisted his left ankle and shifted his weight to his right leg.  In the process, he tore a ligament in his right leg.  So his sermon for the day was delivered from a folding chair.  We had a special presentation from and for our Wednesday After School Program (UP Kids).  We also had special music from one of our members playing harmonicas.  Children's Bibles were presented to all the UP Kids.  Three of the kids who have been UP Kids members are now going to middle school and are too old for the program.  So, we are starting a middle school version of UP Kids.  These three received a Teenager's Study Bible.
- - -
I was going to work on finishing the caulking project today.  But I took  a nap after dinner and will be going to work in about 45 minutes.  Maybe tomorrow.
- - -
Speaking of tomorrow, we are planning to pick Annika and take her to IHOP as a going away meal. 
Also, tomorrow evening is the visitation for Lynn's mother.
We'll be starting the day with a leaving and ending it with a leaving.  Sure to be an emotional day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aug 28

Not much to post today.  I did go back and make a correction in yesterday's post.  I had written, "While we were eating one of our friends, Grace, fell".  Last night when I was rereading it, I started laughing.  We were NOT eating one of our friends!  So, today I added a comma. "While we were eating, one of our friends, Grace, fell".
We had the first ever 'Townhall Meeting" at Cutty's and it went well.  It allowed an orderly way for people to bring their ideas to the board of directors.  Some very good ideas were brought forth.  This is to be a monthly event during the camping season.  The items presented today will be replied to by the board next month.
I worked more on the caulking of the doghouse.  It does appear that the caulk is turning clearER as it dries.  We'll just have to see how clear it ends up.
We are planning a family get together on September 9th (while Vincent is here).  We have heard from Nathan that he and the girls as well as Beth will be here.  Adam and his kids will be (we'll know if Leigha is coming later).  Linnea has classes and isn't sure.  As far as I know, no one else has responded yet.
- - -
Well, it's work time again.  I can't say that I'm unhappy about this work camping coming to an end.  Maybe I'll go find some part-time job that pays in money instead of site rent.  Gotta go.  Later!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aug 27

Aug 27 - Friday
Woke at 5:00. Got up and made a cup of instant coffee. Went out to the patio to welcome the morning and drink my coffee. The fabric was dry on the umbrella. So I reassembled the umbrella and raised it. Everything worked fine.
- - -
I brought the laptop out and wrote another chapter in the story I'm working on.
- - -
After Ella woke, we went to breakfast with friends. We had a nice visit and got caught up on all the latest news
- - -
After that, we stopped at church to drop off pop cans (Youth fund raiser) and extra tools for the Rummage Sale.
- - -
On the way home we stopped and picked up our mail. Ella got the doctor's report she's been waiting for. About a month ago she had a mammogram. The doctor requested a follow up ultra sound. The report says that she needs to contact the doctor for a follow up procedure. Ella has called and left a message for the doctor. Now we wait to find out what is happening.
- - -
"Dog House"
I started my next project; Caulking the "dog house" (the enclosed area under the front of our 5th wheel).  Ran out of caulk and went to Home depot for more. Also purchase some DampRid.  When you live in an RV, it is important to keep as much moisture from the air as possible.
- - -
Insulation on inside
Notice the gaps between the boards
When we got home it was lunch time so we went to Cutty's Cafe for a flat bread pizza. While we were eating, one of our friends, Grace, fell just outside the laundry room. She has a big knot on her forehead and the skin is broken. Several scrapes on her nose and face. The plastic lenses in her glasses has deep gouges. Dave, her husband, is legally blind so I offered to drive them to a clinic. Ella stayed behind to take care of Grace's laundry. So here I sit while Grace and Dave are seeing the doctor.
- - -
Clear Caulking Compound
The doctor Superglued her forehead wound closed and cleaned up the other scrapes. He told them to keep it clean with a Q-tip and not to let it scab over. We stopped at Walgreen's for some Bacitraicin. I called Ella as we were leaving the doctor's. The laundry was done and she would wait for us at Dave and Grace's home.
- - -
Clear?  I'm hoping it drys clear.
I worked some more on caulking and finished the east side. I finished that about 4 PM. I work 5 - 7 today. It sounds silly to schedule someone for just two hours. However, the extra person during that busy time makes a lot of difference on Fridays.
- - -
I'm home from work.  While I was there I received an email from Lynn saying that her mother is gone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still thinking of old commercials and their jingles

Aug 26

Aug 26

It is a beautiful morning (7:30) and I’m sitting on the patio with the laptop.

I’m up and have made coffee. I’ve also been putting my new drill to use. I have a wheel stop in the drive. It’s there so that when I’m backing in I don’t have to guess how close I am to hitting the trailer. I had made it earlier this year from three 2x4’s screwed together with decking screws and “nailed” to the ground with some 12” spikes.

A couple of weeks ago one of the boards came loose and exposed the points of the screws to the tire side of the stop. Since my old drill had died I wasn’t able to reassemble it. Now I have it done, finally! This time I drilled about halfway through the boards and then inserted the decking screws.

Last evening I used the drill to do another repair job. The other day while we were gone a stray gust of wind blew our patio umbrella (and table) over. Two of the umbrella ribs broke at the point where a rivet joined them to another piece.

I was not exactly sure ‘how’ I was going to fix it, I went to Home Depot and just looked around at conduit and PVC pipe. I was thinking of fabricating a sleeve to fit over the broken spot. However, it occurred to me that since the ribs were hollow, I could insert a piece of dowel into each end and rejoin them in that manner. Which is what I did.

The ribs are not round but elliptical in shape so I had to do a little whittling on the dowel to make it fit. I inserted about 6” into each end (making sure it was a very snug fit) and then drilled a hole where the original hole for the rivet had been. I also used the drill to grind the end from the rivet so that it could be removed from the other piece of the assembly. I then used some small machine screws to reassemble the parts. It worked!

When I opened the umbrella I discovered that one of the fabric ‘pockets’ that hold the rib ends was torn. I’ll have to get out the needle and thread to repair that. (hey! The drill can only do so much ya know)
Update: I used Gorilla Glue and held it in place with a snap clothes pin.
- - -

On to other news.

Here is an update on the people we’ve been visiting in the hospitals lately. Darleen (ex’s mother. But I don’t consider her an ex-mother-in-law) is doing better and is still in rehab.

Loretta is home and they are using medications to regulate her heart rate. We’ve heard that she is doing well but was tired out with visitors on Sunday.

My sister is home. They’ve changed her medications. She was very glad to get home instead of staying in the hospital or going through rehab.

Lucille, Lynn’s mom, is not doing well. They’ve moved her to hospice care.

- - -

I received a comment from Vincent on a recent posting. It was good to hear from him. He’ll be ‘home’ in Iowa for a couple of days in September. He’s going to California to meet his father and then spend some time with us. He’ll also spend some time in New York City doing some stand-up comedy.  I don't know if he does comedy under his real name or under the name of Freddy Farzadi.

- - -
Skipping ahead in time to 1:30 PM.
I sorted through one of my tool boxes and took out the duplicates.  Our church is having a Rummage Sale the first weekend in September.  So, I'll donate the extra tools to the sale.  I have another tool box in the jobox in the truck.  However, at the moment I don't seem to be able to get it open.  I'm guessing something inside has shifted and is jamming the release mechanizm from the inside.  I may have to manhandle the thing out of the truck and turn it on its side to see if that will let it open.  If that doesn't work, I may just take my frustration out on it and beat it with a crowbar until it opens or breaks.
- - -
My next project is simple to do and difficult to explain.  So, I guess I'll have to take pictures so that you'll understand what I'm talking about.  More on this later.
- - -
Old comercial jingles started popping into my head today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aug 23, 24, 25

Aug 23  Monday
Didn't do a thing all day. I'm trying to remember the line from "Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band"  I think it was "and we haven't done a blessed thing all day!"  Hmm . . . just remembering that I had a ponytail when I heard "As I get older, losing my hair, many years from now . . .  will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four".  It has been many years alright and I'll be sixty-four in a few months!

Aug 24 Tuesday
We thought we were going to have at least one of the 'greats' for a while this afternoon but other arrangements were made.  
So, we went to the hospital to visit my sister.  We got there just in time to wait for the hospital staff to finish cleaning her and sitting her in a chair.  She was off the oxygen and doing well.  She was hoping that the doctor would send her home in the evening.
While we were at the hospital, we stopped for a short visit in Lynn's mother's room.  She is recovering from a stroke that happened on Sunday (I think).  Two of the boys (they are grown men) were there with Mom.  Lucille responded enough to look at us when we spoke to her but was unable to speak.  BJ (I don't remember his real name . . . something like Walter . . . I think) said that the kids are taking turns staying at night with their mother.  Lynn was to stay this evening.  We didn't stay long because Ella needed to get back for work.

Aug 25 Pieday . . . er . . . Wednesday.
We had anticipated going to Ankeny and watching Lorelai and driving Charlotte to and from school. However, that didn't work out. Nathan made other arrangements.
It was pay day (SS deposits) so we went grocery shopping at the new Wal*Mart near us.  I'm not a real fan of the fresh food choices at Wally World but I also wanted to look for a new drill and toaster.  The convenience of one-stop shopping won me over . . . this time . . . plus we were only getting prepackaged foods which due tend to be cheaper there.  When possible I prefer to shop at HyVee which is locally owned and employee owned.  Most of the produce comes from the Midwest rather than Argentina or Brazil. (Sorry Andres and Eduardo nothing personal, just like to keep a many of my dollars close to home as possible.)
The drill that I got is a Black & Decker 14.4v cordless.  It came with an entire tool chest of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers etc.  I could buy the drill for about $70 or the set for about $90.  So, I bought the set.  Now I need to go through my tools and get rid of the duplicates. One of the credos of living in this small metal box on wheels is: 1 thing in / 1 thing out.
When we begin to be more mobile in our turtle shell, We'll need to off load a lot of weight (mostly books and paper records in a file cabinet)  Some books will just have to go with us because they have an emotional load that is heavier than their physical weight.
I'll also need to purchase new tires for the 5th wheel because they're old (even though they aren't badly worn) and they've sat in one place for several years and will have developed a flat spot)  Not really looking forward to spending $150 or so apiece for 4 new tires.  Also not looking forward to the break job on the truck that will have to happen before I pull this load.  Well . . . I'll need to get the break job even if I didn't have to pull my home behind me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aug 21 & 22

Aug 21
Not much to report for Saturday.  I worked from 8 to 4:30.
Ella did laundry, exercised, picked up our Angel Food order and then rested and read.
After I got off work we went up to Main Street and had food on a stick (Meatballs & rice crispys).
While we were there Ella got a Facebook posting that my sister Maryann was in the hospital with congestive heart disease.  So, we went and visited her at the hospital.  She was on oxygen and doing fine.  My niece, Glee and her daughter Nickie came in while we were visiting.  They only allow 2 at a time in the room (still in the emergency room) so I stayed and visited with Maryann while Ella and the girls went out to the waiting area and visited.
- - -
Aug 22
Church in the morning and then to IHOP to have breakfast/lunch with Annika, Nathan, Beth, Audrie, Charlotte and Lorelai.  Ella worked 2 to nine and I just goofed off all day.  Other than doing a small amount of dishes I did nothing but read, write, draw, watch TV and maybe napped a bit while watching TV.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Santa's Nice List

The elves have given me an updated “Nice List” however; it looks a little short to me. So, if your names not on there leave me a comment and why you think you should be on the “Nice List” instead of the “Naughty List”
- - - - - -
Aanea, Aaron, Adam, Aidan, Aileen, Al, Alan, Albert , Alberta, Alecia, Aletha, Alexandra, Alia, Alice, Alicia, Allyn, Alma, Alyce, Amanda, Amber, Amie, Amy, Ana, Andrea, Andres, Andrew, Andy, Angel, Anita, Anja, Anna, Anne, Annetta, Annika, Anthony, Ardythe, Aria, Arik, Arika, Art, Arthur, April, Audrey, Audrie, Austen, Autum, Avanell, Barbara

Bea Beatrice

































Carl Carly






























































Doug Douglas

















































































James Jamie










































































































Lou Ann

Lou Jean

























Mary Lou













































































Rose Marie














































































Aug 18, 19 & 20

Aug 18

We had a nice, albeit, short visit with Anika, Nathan & Lorelia before I had to be at work.

Aug 19

Audrie & Anika came out for lunch and a tour of the resort. We had a little more time to visit before I had to go to work again.

Speaking of work: I got me September schedule and my last day of work camping is the 12th. Ella’s hours will be cutting back soon because of the change in the camping season. Which means we’ll have more free time and less money? We’ve both talked about applying at the new Wal*Mart near us for a greeter job.

Now that Charlotte is in school, we will be going to Nathan’s to babysit more often rather than having the girls out here.

Aug 20

It is a nice cool morning (74 degrees) with a great breeze and overcast. This would be the day to be at the Iowa State Fair (until it rains later today).

We’ve eaten breakfast (French toast) and done the dishes. Now we have nothing to do until Ella’s doctor appointment at 11.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug 17 & 18

Image may be subject to copyright.

Aug 18
Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain
Up until about 7 p.m. it rained.  Sometimes slower. Sometimes faster.  Never what could be called a storm.  Just RAIN.  I'm so sick of rain!  And it added up to only 1 3/4 inches.  I should be glad it wasn't another of those 2-4 inches an hour rains.  I think I'm growing gills behind my ears i.e. Kevin Coster in "Waterworld"

- - -

Okay enough about that!  Nothing much to report for the rest of the day.  Our granddaughter and great-granddaughters came out to go swimming in the indoor pool.  Since I was working, I saw them when they came in and that's all.  I did work a little later than scheduled because someone called to say they were headed our way and wouldn't be able to make it by closing time.  They wanted to know how they could get in the resort after the gate was locked.  I told them that I would stay until they got here.  Which I did until around 9:45.  I'm glad that they called instead of just showing up and not able to get in.
- - -
Aug 18
Sunshine and cool (65 degrees) to start the day (8 a.m.).
Charlotte starts kindergarten today.  Also Anika arrived at Nathan's last night and will be coming to see us after they drop Charlotte off at school.  We're doing some last minute house straightening/cleaning before they arrive - so I'll get to that and write more later (hopefully with some pictures).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aug 15, 16 & 17

Aug 15
Sunday morning we went to the clubhouse at 7 to start setting up for and preparing breakfast.  Pancakes (plain and blueberry) and French toast.  One other couple had signed up to help (it is a volunteer task).  We have this breakfast every Sunday during the camping season.  We also, about once a month, have a Saturday morning breakfast of eggs to order and sausage.  Ummmm sausage!
The first thing we did was start a pot of coffee for the workers.  Then we started the 100-cup pot going for everyone else.  We got the tables set up very quickly and started setting out the butter and syrup on the tables.  The pancakes are made from a mix (add water & a tiny amount of oil) in a 5 gallon bucket. (no we did not make 5 gallons worth - only about 2 to 3 gallons)  I flipped the regulars and Don flipped the blueberry.  Ella dunked the bread into the egg mixture for the French toast and Julie did the flipping while Linda (the only one who had done this before) issued orders and supervised.  Ron came in to take the money.  Everything went smoothly.  We stopped serving at 10 and had everything cleaned up and put away by 10:30.  Ella was scheduled to work the clubhouse from 8 to 2 so she just stayed there and worked when I came home.  I worked from 3:30 to 10.
- - -
Aug 16
Monday is the only day that my cardiologist is available and I had a question for him about a change in my medication.  My prescription for Simvastatin (Cholesterol med) had run out and Walgreen's said the Doctor refused to refill it.  When I explained this to the nurse at his office (Dr was busy) she checked the records on their computer and said that I was supposed to still be taking it.  The Dr. wrote a new prescription which I took to Walgreen's.
We stopped at the North Side Library in Highland Park and Ella picked up a new mystery.  We went to the credit union and deposited her paycheck.
On the way home we stopped at the Senior Center in Johnston.  We wanted to check out the facility.  Sad to say, they don't have much to do other than get together to eat.  The activity for that day was knitting & crocheting.  There is a tennis court outside and Wii bowling.  But everything else is pretty sedentary: dominoes, bingo, bridge and other card games.
We had Charlotte for about an hour.  We were the drop-off /pick-up point that was convenient for both Mom & Dad.  Nathan took time off from work and was taking her to a "Meet the Teacher" while Cierra worked.
By the way, it was a beautiful day.  Temps in the low 80's and low humidity.
- - -
Aug 17
I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the weather being good.  It started raining about 4 P.M. and is still going at noon (as I write this).  The good/strange news is: it's 68 degrees!  The high today is supposed to be about 74!  Mid August in Iowa!?  'Taint right I tell ya!
Quick update here - just got a Facebook post that Charlotte got her cast off today and starts kindergarten tomorrow.
I work from 1:30 to 9 today and Ella works from 5 to 8 after she gets back from her doctor's appointment in the early afternoon.
I'd better get around and come up with lunch and something to take to work for supper.
The rain should make it a slow day at the gate (few people will decide to go camping but it's not storming so few travelers will be coming in to get off the road.  plus people who were due out today will probably just stay another day rather than break camp in the rain)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Aug 13 & 14

Aug 13

Heather and Mike arrived (finally). We had breakfast and visited for a while and then went to Starbucks for coffee. Then we took a drive. First we drove around the resort and we showed them the various activities available. Then we drove around Saylorville Lake. We spent some time at the spillway.

By then it was time for lunch. The split pea soup (that I’d put in the crock pot) wasn’t ready so we had the pulled ham sandwiches, corn on the cob and Muscatine melon. We spent a lot of time just visiting. Heather asked if we had questions for Mike. I said that I wasn’t prepared to interview him. I was less interested in the “facts” of his life than in what kind of person he was. We swam for a while and came back home and talked and ate the soup for supper. As it approached seven o’clock they needed to leave because Heather had a surprise for Mike: she had tickets to see a comedian at Hoyt Sherman Place. She had wanted to show him the theater because of the performances she had done there while in elementary school.

The weather was overcast all morning and started brief times of sprinkling around noon. It wasn’t until we were home for lunch that it actually rained. The rain was brief but it dropped the temperature a lot and brought up a nice breeze. After the rain the sky became mostly clear but stayed comfortable.

- - -

Aug 14

It is overcast / foggy this morning. Ella has gone to work (8-2) and I work from 3:30 to 10 this evening. I’ve got the dishes washed and will go to the store for bread, milk and eggs in a little bit. I want to spend some time reading the RV Travel newsletter before I go.

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 12 & 13

Here is what our marsh looks like when it isn't flooded and part of the lake.

August 12

Today Ella did laundry at the clubhouse while I worked around the North Pole. I took Christmas decorations (from Christmas in July) back over to storage. I picked up a few groceries for lunch tomorrow (corn on the cob and Muscatine melons). As I vacuumed I rearranged some of the furniture to make it a little neater looking. We are really excited about Heather and Mike coming to visit. This will be the first time that Heather has seen where we live. It is also the first time that we get to meet Mike.

- - -

Heather called last night to get directions. We were going through the Dairy Queen drive through when Heather called. I told her that I could give her the address for her GPS but she said she was driving (coming from her mother’s house) and that I could give it to Mike. I told her I was driving and Ella could give it to Mike. He couldn’t find anything to write with so they called back later after they got to Grandma Wilson’s apartment. Grandma is in rehab after suffering double pneumonia.

When she called, I gave Heather driving directions and Ella sent the address for the GPS by text to her iphone.

- - -

The weather report is for severe thunderstorms to our north (up stream) with heavy rain fall. So, even though they aren’t talking about storms here tonight, all that water will be passing through here and adding to the flooding already taking place.

- - -

August 13


And it is a lucky day because Heather and Mike will be here shortly. I have the turkey bacon cooked and the coffee made. I’m ready to start pancakes as soon as they call to say they’re awake.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12 2010

Amazing!  No rain last night.  I've come to expect it - how sad is that?
On Facebook my niece, Aron, posted this photo of the street/stream in front of her house on the east side of Des Moines. 
My ex on the south side was with out power and so the sump pump didn't work and she has/had water in the lower level of the split level.

Heather had posted on Facebook that they had reached Oklahoma City (about 3 hours ago).  They should make it back to Iowa today.  After driving for umpteen hours they'll need to sleep and recover. 

Amber just called while I was writing this blog.  She was on the way to her new house to do some painting.  She is becoming stressed out by the construction delays.  They've given up their apartment lease at the end of this month and the house isn't ready (no toilet) to move into.  Fortunately they have friends in the area that will give them shelter when they become displaced.

The Iowa State Fair starts today.  I have no plans to go though.  The arthritis in my feet curtail doing much walking or standing. And besides that, we have some straighting up to do before Heather & Mike get here.  The 'greats' are like miniature indoor storms and it takes some cleaning after they leave!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Aug 11 2010


Another 3 ½ inches of rain and yes our lake flooded again.
Not far from here three car loads of kids were swept off the road by flood water and one of them drowned in a farm field.
The city of Ames to our north is flooding worse than in 1993. They are currently without city water. The interstate on both sides of Ames is shut down. I’m really getting tired of rain! Enough about the weather!
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Today is Wednesday and you know what that means! That’s right, it’s Pie Rush Wednesday! Only we didn’t make it to Village Inn. We’ve had the “greats” all day and they left just as Great-grandma Ella was going to work. Maybe we can make it after Mrs. Claus gets off work.
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Just a couple more days until Heather and Mike are here. I’ve got the ham bones cooked down to stock that I’ll use for the pea soup. I've cut some nice ham steaks from the ham and I'm going to slow cook the remainder in a crock pot and then shred it like pulled pork. I’ve also told them that I’ll fix pancakes and eggs for breakfast.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aug 8, 9 & 10

Aug 8th
It is a little after 10p.m. and we're in the basement of the clubhouse.  Some of us are in the locker room and the exercise/laundry area.  Others are upstairs watching the radar on television.  The reason we are here is because there is a severe thunderstorm approaching..
Somehow this seems like the way to end this day.  It started off with us getting ready for church and discovering that the battery in the truck was dead.  Looking around, we noticed that some of our neighbors hadn't left for church yet.  We called Barbara and asked if we could ride with her to church.  At first she misunderstood and thought we wanted her to take us to our church.  We explained that we would like to go with her to her church.  We did.
After church we fixed and ate lunch (spaghetti with Italian sausage), I plugged the charger onto the battery and then had a little rest before we both went to work in the afternoon.  Ella got off at 8pm and I got off at 9pm.
Now here we sit waiting for the storm.  It has started with quite a lightening show.

Aug 9th
We were at the clubhouse until the storm stopped at 3a.m.  An amazing amount of lightening throughout the storm.  Our power flickered off a couple of times but didn't stay off.  Ankeny, Johnston, Clive and the northern part of Des Moines lost power for several hours.  We measured 4 1/2 inches of rain in our gauge.
Cutty's lake overflowed.  I've not seen the water back up this high before.  (seems like I just said that a couple of days ago.)
The water washed a section of our road away.  It lifted the asphalt (1 lane wide and about 60 feet long) and just slid it off the road and folded it like a blanket at the edge of the lake.
The truck started so we went for a drive to let it charge the battery.  We drove up and around Saylorville Lake and stopped at the Prairie Flower fee booth to visit with some friends who work their.  When we got back into the truck it hesitated before it actually started so we drove into Ankeny to O'Rielly's Auto Parts and bought a battery (another $100 that I hadn't counted on).  We also did a little grocery shopping and I had one of our 100# LP tanks filled (another $70).  It has turned out to be extremely hot and humid so we'll spend the rest of the day in air conditioning.

Aug 10
We had another storm in the early A.M. which dropped another 5" of rain.  We did not go to the clubhouse last night and, frankly, we slept through most of it.  We went our and shot some video of the lake which has flooded over again, of course.  Ella just read something on her Blackberry that (written before this mornings rain) said that we are 18" short of being the wettest Summer on record for Des Moines.  We've already beat the record for August.  Well here are the videos.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 7, 2010

My second Saturday of the week

This Saturday was even better than yesterday. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything all day long. I worked some more on the Dragon Moon story that I’m publishing on my other blog: http://dragonmoonaworkinprogress.blogspot.com/

I fixed poached salmon for lunch before Ella went to work. I made a sauce of orange juice, sugar, cayenne pepper, diced green peppers and chives. I let it cook down to a medium sauce and spooned it over the fish before poaching. I also toasted some barley with baby carrot slices and then cooked it in chicken stock. Added some peeled cucumber spears with vanilla yogurt and dill to the plate and I think it turned out good enough to do again sometime.

I read my daughter Amber’s blog about cooking fish several times a month and it got me in the mood for salmon. She is writing about creating a cookbook for people with IBS. I find that amusing because she’s the only one of my four children who has never had much of an interest in cooking. (2 out of 4 are chefs) I wish her well on the project. I know how difficult it can be to adjust cooking to special needs. Since my heart attack and being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I’ve been learning to cook with less (or better) fat, sugar and salt. I’ve also gotten back into the habit of eating more fresh fruits.

I grew up on a semi-rural acreage that had all kinds of things to graze on. We had: apples, pears, apricots, plums, cherries, mulberries, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb and tomatoes still warm from the sun! No wonder I was such a skinny kid! I ate all the time but it was fresh off the tree or bush.

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6th 2010

     FRIDAY! This is Friday! The day is almost over I and finally know what day it is. For some reason this has been Saturday to me. Ever have one of those days? We even had breakfast with friends which we do on Fridays. Maybe it is because we started the day at the hospital. Ella’s mammogram was early this morning. From there we went out to breakfast.
     On our way home we dropped off the broken flat screen TV at a recyclers. Then we came home and relaxed until I went to work from 5 to 7 p.m.
     Ella vacuumed (a 10 minute job) while I was away and I remember washing a few dishes but this was totally a slacker day! I love it!

Wow!  It just occurs to me that I'll get to have Saturday all over again tomorrow!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5th

     Woke around 6 and went down to the livingroom to work on my blogs.  Fixed coffee and hot cereal and waited for Mrs Claus to wake.  Before coming down to breakfast, she stripped the sheets and mattress pad from the bed and added them to the laundry basket. This is always a good hint to me that this is laundry day.      
     Ella had received email confermation that her prescription was in at Walgreens, so I dropped her and the laundry off at the clubhouse (our favorite place to do laundry because: A. it is air-conditioned and none of the other 3 sites are; and B. because the exercise equipment is there and we can exercise while the wash is being done.) and went to pick up the prescription.  As it turns out only part of her prescription was ready because they'd run out of those pills.  However, the truck had just arrived so I waited while they unloaded and checked in the supplies.  At that point the completely filled the prescription. 
     While there I asked about one of my prescriptions that is an automatic refill and hadn't been refilled.  The doctor had refused the refill.  Now I have to contact him (he's only in on Monday's) to find out why.  I don't mind if it is because he feels I no longer need it.  But since my appointment with him has been changed/postponed several times, I want to know if it is just because he hasn't seen me for awhile. (which is his doing not mine.)
     Coming back from the pharmacy I stopped at home and worked on our shower door.  It has been neither opening nor closing all the way.  I ended up taking it completely off the stall and looking at it.  The hinge is one of those affairs where one side which is tube shaped slides into the end of the other side which is a tube with a slit in it.  It's a great concept for a shower door because it will not allow water to spray through the hinge.  However, one end of the hinge (side with slit) was bent and not closing completely over the other (tube) side.  A couple of whacks with a ballpeen hammer and it seems to be working.  A little reluctantly, but working.  I may have to find a replacement hinge.
    I am back at the clubhouse and Mrs Claus has most of the laundry done and folded and is laying on one of the exercise beds. (a flat bed that oscillates - as opposed to a vibrating bed)  It is supposed to increased circulation and relax muscles.  I don't know if it does any of those things but it does feel good.
    I have some flatiron steaks doing some dry-ageing and will fix those for our lunch this afternoon.  Both of us work this evening.
    Okay, laundry is done and I guess we're going to forgo the exercise machines and go home.