Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5 2011

Ah the joys of sleeping until you wake up!  That is one of the great things about being retired.  Now, don’t misunderstand me here, I still set the alarm on my Droid several days a week.  I set it to wake me on Wednesday so that I’m not late for our Men’s Bible Study – although I am nearly always up way before the alarm goes off.  It is also set for Sunday morning for Sunday school and Church.  There is an alarm set to remind me that on Friday mornings we go to breakfast with friends.  Every other Saturday the alarm is set because Ella works mornings on those days.  I also set alarms for various meetings and events that I want/need to attend.  But the idea that (most mornings) I have no place that I HAVE to be, makes me smile.

            Yesterday, Friday, was one of those days that the alarm reminded us that we were having breakfast with friends.  Only one other couple, Harlan & Karen, were there for breakfast.  It was nice to have a smaller group to visit with for a change.  My hearing aids are a help to hearing – however, sometimes it is hard to follow a conversation when several people are talking at the same time.  
`          Harlan is our Sunday school teacher as well as one of the leaders of the Men’s Bible Study.  He is a strong Christian example by all the various ‘works’ that he undertakes.  I admire his intelligence and his studiousness.  Now don’t get me wrong, he has his faults.  He is a control freak who has trouble not ‘butting in’ to what other people are doing if it isn’t done ‘his way’.  To his credit, I have seen him abandon the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” attitude when a sound alternative was presented (enough times).  I told somebody once that I wanted to be just like Harlan, when I grow up. (smile)

           On the way home from breakfast we stopped at the church and dropped off some old software CDs for the next rummage sale.  We also stopped and picked up our mail from the PO Box.  There was a box with Spanish Language Instruction CDs from a company that I had previously ordered a quick and easy Spanish CD from.   These I had not ordered.  I called their customer service number and told them that I did not order nor want these CDs.  They said that they would cancel this and all future orders.  They gave me a return authorization number and informed me to mail m back – at my expense.  I told the representative that I didn’t believe it was my responsibility to pay for return postage on an item that I did not order.  I was informed that when I ordered the original order it was understood that I was to receive further merchandise for trials.
            Because I believe that nothing in the original advertising stated anything about ‘future merchandise’ that it was a fraudulent and deceptive business practice, I sent a complaint to the Iowa Attorney General’s office.  I am however going to send the CDs back at my expense just to settle the issue for now.
Have you been the victim of deceptive advertising or marketing?

            Ella worked yesterday evening at the clubhouse.  While she was working I did our laundry at the clubhouse.  I finished about an hour before the end of her shift.  I came home and watched“Chuck” on TV.  When she was done at work we were scheduled to go for ice cream with friends.  However, when we called to let them know she was off work, they said that they had “sat down and couldn’t get up”.  So, we’re going to go for ice cream around lunch time – assuming that they can get up. (smile)
            Ella works again today (2-8) and again Sunday from 8 to 5.
            It is now 7:30 a.m. and the sun is finally shining through the morning haze.  The Hitch Hiker should start warming now with the solar heat coming through the storm door and windows. 
            I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the day.  I’ve already made breakfast and done the dishes.  I’ve read my son’s blog and the RV Travelnewsletter.  By the way, the newsletter contained a link to this video about taking a shower in 2 litters of water.  I don’t know whether I think it is clever or silly. Remember that he is living in an RV where water is something that you need to think about both in ‘having’ and in ‘getting rid’ of.  (I know that I just ended that sentence with a preposition but I’m not going to reconstruct the sentence because you know what I mean.)  Here is the link to the video
What do you think?  Is it a clever idea?  Or is it just silly?

Re-post from www.adamjwilliams.blogspot.comT

This is a cut and paste from Adam's, my son, blog for November 5, 2011


30 Days Of Thanks: Dad

Dear Dad,

            You have always inspired me to use my imagination and I thank you for that. I have talked to you many times before about people wanting their kids to have a better life than their own. I am not passing any judgments on Grandma Williams, but thank you for moving up and out of the chicken shack. I believe that my kids don’t have to worry about mice eating their cereal or people breaking into our house. So progress is in motion.
            It is a running joke between Leigha and myself that I didn’t do anything fun or travel as a kid because I was poor. I guess that is only funny because I am not poor anymore. I do find that sometimes, I still stash food. The emergency beef jerky in the glove box, per se.
            I don’t know if your creativity and artistic interests stemmed from poverty as well, but if that is the case, I say that it was well worth it. I believe that once I entered into the workplace, albeit a few years too late, I have learned from you how to have fun with whatever situation that I am in, and to make friends while doing it.
            One thing that I have admired about you for as long as I can remember is your near-universal likeability. (You can’t really be like by everyone, can you?) It is one quality that I would like to believe that I got from you. You have a special quality when you are interacting with kids. You have the ability to talk to kids without seeming pretentious or creepy. And it isn’t because you look like Santa Clause, either. With the amount of times that people have told me that you are funny and have a great personality, perhaps you were destined to be fat.
            Sometimes, when I tell people that I have already read your will, they think that it is weird. I’ve never though it was weird. What I DIDthink was odd was that you kept it in the freezer. I remember that there was a line that said that I had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. That has always stuck with me. Thank you for dehydrating me and encouraging this thirst. Thank you for swallowing your pride and playing Trivial Pursuit with me again after I beat you for the first time. There is no shame in losing to me repeatedly, as I did the same to you for decades.
            I suppose that I’ve also got you to thank for my appreciation for words and the English language. Leigha says that it get to the point where it is difficult to sit in on a conversation between us when we start trying to out-clever and out-pun each other. That’s fine; it almost becomes our own language. Thank you for being a loving and caring father that has taught me to be the same.

And here is his response:

            First of all, thank you including me in your list of 30 important people in your life.
As you know I grew up without a father.  I did have a couple of father figures in my life.  One was my brother who was seventeen years my senior.  He was there when I was born.  However, I don’t actually remember him until I was in the 2nd grade.  He had graduated, joined the Navy, got out of the Navy, and gotten married to a woman who already had a son, Keith, from a previous marriage.  Even then I didn’t see him often until he moved back into my mother’s house.  By that time he had several more kids (three – I think).  This is when I got to know more about him.  And I didn’t like what I saw.  From my perspective as a kid myself, I saw him as a brute and a bully who was abusive to his kids.  So, when I had children of my own I chose to have a different relationship with my kids.  I wanted to be their teacher, their mentor, and a friend.  (Sometimes it is hard to be a friend when you are also the parent – but you know that by now.)
Another role model that I had was our neighbor, Russell.  Although I was oblivious to it then, he was my mother’s boyfriend.  Russell was my buddy.  He took me fishing – a lot.  In those days there was no trash pick up.  We had a ‘burn barrel’ to dispose of everything that would burn.  The trash that would not burn would accumulate until we had enough to load a pickup truck and take to the dump.  Russell would take me to the dump.  I loved the dump!  I think I may have carried half a load back from the dump whenever we went.  I picked up old radios, business signs or anything that had lights, bells, buzzers, or speakers.  I became a pretty good repair person for those old radios and built lots of ‘neat stuff’ from the motors, lights etc.  Yes, I have found memories of Russell.  Russell was a buddy – but he was not a father.  He would have let me do anything I wanted.  There was no discipline there. 
My best father figure was my mother.  She was fun and enjoyed my craziness and at the same time never forgot (or let me forget) who was the parent.  I got my love of books and education from this woman who dropped out before ever going to high school. (She raised her brothers and sisters after her mother’s health became too bad.) I truly believe she was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known.  I know that my sense of humor and sarcasm came from this sharp witted/sharp tongued woman.
I tried to be the kind of father that would encourage you and your siblings to become self-reliant and creative.  By the way, doing that is kind of like being in charge of a stampede.  You can get things moving but have only marginal control of where it goes or when it stops.
I’m so proud of all of you kids for the adults and parents you have become.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

2011 November 03

The day started a little chilly (37) and warmed quickly to 49 when the sun came out. 
I woke up around six this morning and decided to bake bread.  It was a perfect day to have the oven going.  While the bread was baking, I mixed up some sugar cookies. I had not planned ahead so I did not have butter or stick margarine.  I used country crock. They taste okay but what was supposed be a rolled cookie became more of a drop cookie.
Ella made chili for lunch which was good.  I really like her chili even though it is so completely different from the chili I make.  She uses diced tomatoes and adds sliced mushrooms which you would not normally find in my chili.  Hers is also very mild where mine has some heat.
Adam called this afternoon and talked about the letter he had written to me and my email back.  He is doing something for his blog this month.  He has sent hand written letters of thanks to thirty people thanking them for being an important person in his life.  He asked if it was alright with me if he posted my response along with his original letter. I don’t know when it will be posted but you can keep check his blog at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2 2011

            Rain! It is raining this morning.  This has been the driest fall on record and we are finally getting some rain.  It is just trickling down in spurts and stops at the moment.  I don’t know how it will go the rest of the day, but if it doesn’t pick up, we will not receive enough to refill any of the reservoirs.  We need to get some moisture into the ground before the ground freezes or it will really affect next year’s agriculture.

            Our Men’s Bible Study examined the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18).  We had quite a good discussion of why, at times, it is so hard to forgive.  Some of the reasons that we came up with were, it was too soon, it isn’t natural, it costs US too much, we have to give up something of our self, and several other good ideas that I can’t recall at the moment.

I stopped at Cutty’s office and paid our bills (Nov. site rent, Nov. storage, and Oct. electric).  It came to just under $500.00.  Yep! Living in an RV is pretty economical.
Any other fulltime RVers out there?  Where do you spend your winters?

            I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon at 1:30.  The report from my last blood-work was good.  Blood pressure and diabetes are under control.  Today they drew blood to test my uric acid levels since they raised my dosage for the gout medicine that I take.  Dr. Danielson examined my knee and decided to start me on a physical therapy routine.  If that does not work, he will refer me to an orthopedic surgeon. 

            It is now early evening and it has continued to rain throughout the day. There have been bits of snow mixed with it at times also.  The temperature has dropped to 37 at the moment and is predicted to get down to 30 by morning.  Tomorrow is predicted to be sunny with a high of 48.  The gray and rainy sky makes me cold even though the inside temperature is fine.

What do you do on cold and rainy Fall days?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1 2011

     I have changed the look of the blog.  I think it makes it easier to get caught up if you've been away for a while.

     I was surprised to see that the post that I thought I'd published yesterday was still sitting here as a draft.  So the post titled "October 31 2011" has the tag "Nov 1" on it.  Oh well!

     Now for something completely different.
Free Companion App
Borrowed from "Terra Nova" website
     I have been watching the new Fox TV series "Terra Nova".  The premise of the story is, in the troubled future a way is found to go to the distant past of an alternate time line.  A colony is set up in this past with the purpose of bringing people from the future to this past and starting over.
     The computer graphics are very well done and the filmography, though pretty dark at times, is generally well done also.  All in all, it is a visually interesting show.
    However after four shows (five if you count the two hour premiere as two shows) I'm still waiting for a plotline that makes me want to tune in next week.  I will watch the pretty pictures only so long before I become bored.
   Have you seen the show?
   What do you think of "Terra Nova" so far?

    Speaking of television, Ella and I watch more TV on our Droid Xs than we do on the television sets.  The flatscreen TV in the bedroom hardly ever gets used now.  I've been thinking about moving the bedroom TV down to the livingroom and selling or donating the older TV.
   Do any of the rest of you watch TV and movies on your smartphones, tablets, laptops etc.?
    Yesterday, our neighbor, Art, invited us to go look at his new trailer.  They had     sold their older, smaller travel trailer and purchased a 40+ foot park model trailer.  It has two bedrooms and two bath rooms.  Being a park model the appliances are all regular household rather than RV appliances. Yes there is a difference in how they work as well as the size of the appliance. It is a nice trailer and I'm sure that they will enjoy using it.

    This morning our neighbor, Sue, stop over for coffee and conversation.  She and Tom (her husband - not me) will be closing up their fifth wheel this weekend.  They will have our maintenance people winterize the trailer.  All the water tanks will need to be emptied and have RV antifreeze put back in.  Their food stuff will have to be packed up and taken to their 'sticks & bricks' home for the winter.  Sue said she hopes that they can come down a couple of times this winter and camp.  Tom isn't so sure he wants to do that.  We'll see.

    While I was typing this, anther friend, Glen, came by to visit.  He and his wife normally spend the summers in Iowa and the winters in Arizona.  However, his wife recently had a tumor removed from behind her eye.  She is now going through radiation treatment.  They will not be able to go south until about a week after her last treatment.  We told Glen that we'd keep praying for Joann and for him as well.

     Ella will be working this evening.  Normally the only weekday she works is Friday.  However the woman who normally works this shift will be at the hospital  with her husband.  He has been in and out several times in the last few days.  I am hoping that they get him stabilized on his meds.  Lisa doesn't need the extra worry and Ella doesn't need the extra work (though the extra money is nice).

October 31 2011

Well, first of all, the chowder turned out good.  It would have been better with a different fish though.  Really, do you have a recipe for flounder that you like?

Second of all, Ella ended up working from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.  The person who was supposed to work the afternoon shift called her about 1:15 to say she might be a little late.  She was supposed to be there at 2:00.  Her husband has a medical condition that was not being controlled by his medications and she had taken him to the hospital.  I guess that it was a good thing that we had not made plans for Saturday.  Ella was very tired and hungry by the time she returned home.

Sunday we had Sunday school and church with a catered meal afterward.  The day was spent in rest.

Today is starting off cold (31) and very sunny.  The predicted high is for mid 50s.  Tomorrow should be in the 70s which isn’t bad for the first of November in Iowa.  On the weather last night they were saying that the record high for the day was 85 and the record low was 8.  So there is a lot of range for the “average”.

Normally we would be babysitting with the ‘greats’ but their Aunt Audrie will be watching them from now until she finds another job.  I’m going to miss spending time with them.  Now, I have no plans for today.  Outside work is done and not much to do inside except putting a few things away and vacuuming.