Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I love making New Year's Resolutions, and I'm pretty good at keeping them. This year, I'm resolving to write in this blog MOST days. I won't say EVERY day, because I don't know if I'll have internet access every day of the year, but I can make a promise for most days.

Life has been good and we're staying healthy and happy. We're loving our Wii! We have several games including the Wii Sport, Wii Fit Plus, and Mario Carts. I love the fitness stuff. The tennis feels very real, and the golf makes you feel like you're in the PGA. The coolest thing is that you're playing games, moving around, and you don't have to leave home to do it!

My weight is now at a new low! This morning, I saw 132.2 for the first time in a long time -- certainly before Michael died. I think that the added exercise has helped, and it's helped to keep my eye on the ball as far as food. I'm still measuring my cereal, eating no more than half of a restaurant meal, and am really enjoying every bite that I put into my mouth. Staying just a tiny bit hungry is working, too, though I don't think that this is really recommended.

We had a really merry Christmas. We went to Christmas Eve services at both St. John's and Desert Skies. I've joined the choir at St John's and we sang! What fun. Both services were really good, and we enjoyed the camaraderie.

Besides the Wii, we got ourselves some neat kitchen appliances, including a little omelet maker and an immersion blender. We also ordered a new cooktop to replace the one that we have here. The new one has continuous grates of cast iron. We received some wonderful gifts from afar, too, including the most beautiful vase of red and white tulips, which have beautified our table for the past 2 weeks. A photo frame will be good on our TV table. We still have to sort out some good photos to put into it. We got tumblers with J's on them, and we can't decide if the J stands for Jack or for Janee. I think that half stand for Jack and the other half for Janee.

We got a wonderful box of delicious meats, which we've begun consuming. The fruitcake is about half gone. We limit ourselves to one tiny slice every couple of days, so it doesn't destroy the weight-control efforts. Delicious trail mixes will accompany us on our hikes to come. And so.. what a wonderful holiday season we've enjoyed!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another fine week!

This has been an especially good week for us. We got our storage bed completely done, including the lifts, which just came in yesterday. It works great, too!

Our hike ydy was really good. It was on Agua Caliente Hill, and included lots of ups and downs. I am noticing that I actually FEEL lighter than I used to on our hikes. Jack, Donna, Herb, and I didn't go quite as far as Duane, Mike, Pam, and Lee, but we had a great hike, anyway.

On the way back, it got very windy, and the wind continued into the night. Then it began to rain, and, this morning, we awakened to snow.. in the mountains, that is. What this means to you easterners is that we have a VIEW of snow without having to see it up close! There was reported to be snow down to 5000 feet of altitude. Mt Lemmon is about 11,000 feet, and we are down here at about 2500 feet. Now it's sunny and lovely (severe clear!) but cool, with a high today of 53.

Jack made us a fantastic dinner on Monday night -- ribs and his fabulous grilled vegetables, and rice. Last night we enjoyed a reprise, with mashed potatoes added! What a great couple of evenings of supper! We're also enjoying a chocolate orange -- just one slice at a time! (With a slice weighing in at only 42 calories, while a major splurge in mouth joy, that's just a minor splurge in calories!) Today I weighed in at a mere 132.8. That's a reduction, since August 25, of 14 lbs!

We played a bit of pickleball with Pam, Mike, Jill, Lee, Chuck, and Jane on Sunday, and that was fun. The weather has been great -- warm and sunny.

We're accumulating some pretty packages under our little tree, including some surprises, and some things that we already know about. And our fridge is full of delicious food. I don't think that life gets any better than this!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Building a Bed

For the past few days, Jack and I have been working on building our new bed. We're building a storage bed which will lift up, exposing a massive storage area. We're making a half-octagon headboard, too, and it will be covered in a leather-like fabric. All the wood is cut, the wood is sanded and polycoat is applied. The fabrics are bought and we're ready to start screwing things together!

The week's been otherwise good, too. The weather has finally given us some beautifully warm days, with highs in the 70's.

Hiking on Tuesday was the annual Donut Hike. Of course, with my current weight mission, I didn't want to eat 500 calories in the form of an apple fritter, which is mostly empty calories. Rather, I ate a banana, and it was delicious!

Speaking of bananas, if you like them, here's a wonderful dessert:

Cut up one banana into a bowl.
Cover this with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup.
Chop 3 peanuts and put these on top.

Eat slowly and enjoy every bite!
218 calories, but the best part is that it's the best part of a banana split! If your chocolate syrup is cold, you get the cold sensation, the crunch of the peanuts (6 calories each), and, hiding underneath it all, is the banana, which is actually GOOD for you!

This morning I was 134.2 again. I am very pleased with this! I know that I'd hoped to be 130 by Christmas, but.. that was sort of a silly artificial goal anyway. Now my new goal is to be 130 by 1/15/10. Another silly artificial goal, but should be attainable.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Lights

We got our Christmas lights put up in front of our cottage, and they look festive! We have a string of green and a string of red, and we've run them together, wrapped around the left steel agave and the bottom of its pot, over across the front of the cottage, and then wrapped around the right steel agave.

We also set up our little tree in the living room, right in front of the sliding door. (We don't use the sliding door for in- or e-gress because I don't think that they can be securely locked without a bar. So I installed a secure bar -- the screw-in kind -- and we use our back door and deadbolt.) We have a few things under the tree and it is just beautiful.

Tonight we went to a Christmas concert put on by the Tanque Verde Valley Singers, and it was great. It was at our church, with cookies afterward and they were plentiful and delicious.

Yesterday, we went to the play at the Gaslight Theater. It was good, getting everyone in the holiday spirit with laughs, a cute play, and singing along.

We're still enjoying our Wii. I recommend that YOU get one of these, whoever you are! It's a way to play games and get OUT of that chair. You can play tennis without having to put on one of those silly tennis dresses or drive out in the snow and ice. You can bowl, even if you can't lift those heavy balls. It's amazing the way the thing knows what you are doing, and can help you to be better.

We got a couple more games for it today. Jack got a WWII flying ace simulator, and I got a skateboard simulator. We also got another fitness coach disk.

Happy Hannukah to all of my Jewish friends and family! :)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Happy Day!

It's a happy day, but it is chilly! I guess our 55° compared to Big Rapids' 28° with snow.. is pretty warm, but it feels raw and cold here. At least we don't have much wind here today.

Last week was good. On Wednesday, we went out to dinner with Scott and Susan, and that was fun. Oregano's always has good eats, and this was no exception. We even got ours free, along with a free dessert, because we had to wait (a while) while they redid our dish. (It was served to us cold the first time.) Anyway, it ended up delish and we all had a nice time.

Thursday evening, we went to see Willie Nelson in concert, and that was great fun. We drove down with Harold and Kathy, and Rob and Ione took a van-full, too. He sang all the good stuff, along with new things. He's incredible. What a load of energy!

Saturday began with my going to the church for a ladies' brunch. The meal was good, the company was fantastic, and we did a gift exchange, which was fun, too. People got to "steal" other people's gifts, if they saw something that they wanted. The gift that I brought was stolen 2 times. :)

It was at this brunch that I talked to Susan (don't know her last name) and she told me about her Wii. Her enthusiasm for the thing was so convincing that I decided that this would be our Christmas gift for each other. So I picked up Jack and we headed out to Best Buy. We got the Wii Sport and the Wii Fit, along with the appropriate remotes.

Yesterday was good. We started the day going to the clubhouse for the music program (Christmas carol singing) and then we went to church and the potluck which followed. Even with us both working on our weight, we decided that one all-you-can-eat per week is ok. I'd brought my "glop," which is a dish that mom used to make for us. It's hamburger fried up with onions and garlic, drained, and then stirred together with tomatoes, tomato sauce, and macaroni. Although we brought a crockpot nearly full of it, we had none left.

We're having lots of fun with the Wii! We have not explored the Fit end of things, but we've enjoyed playing tennis, golf, and bowling! It's pretty easy to learn, and the feeling of play is very realistic.

We've been keeping up with our daily walks (since 11/20) and I expect that soon it'll be a real habit again. We're going to go do that now, in fact!



Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hiking the Pontatoc Canyon

Today we had a most wonderful hike in the Catalina Mountains on the Pontatoc Canyon trail. It starts out on the same trail that we took last week, going up Pontatoc Ridge, but this one is much more challenging, taking us up, up, up, down, down, down... up, up, up... you get the idea. The scenery was beautiful, and the views of the canyon and the city below -- splendid!

I was delighted to get onto the scale this morning and to see a new number -- 134.8. Ok.. I know that rounds to 135, but I still like seeing that 134. The other cool thing is that my "muffin top," that bulge of fat above my jeans, is getting smaller. Woo hoo!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boomers!

We awoke early this morning to the sound of boomers! Thunder, lightning, and hard rain fell onto Tucson off and on all day today. Skies were alternately sunny and blue or full of heavy rain clouds. Up on Mt. Lemmon, we can see snow. That's where I like to see it, too -- off in the distance, and 5000 feet higher than we are!

Church was good today, as we celebrated the first day of Advent and talked about hope. After church, we went and looked for a cover for the firepit and Jack looked at grills. Then we did our *once per week* visit to an all-you-can-eat and this week was New China.

This was a perfect afternoon for goming out here at home, and that's what we did! As rain fell, I cleaned out a closet, and that's about all we got done, and that's ok. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

OK, I'll use black in honor of the day. I hope that the nation's retailers had a palpable increase in their sales over years past. If the traffic and parked cars are any indication, the recession in Tucson is over!

Jack went out early to go and have a look at the Kohl's and Home Depot crowds. He discovered that the checkout lines at Kohl's snaked all the way around the perimeter of the store. Home Depot was more sane, but was still plenty crowded. Then he went to Sunflower, bringing me back raspberries and a chocolate chip muffin, which I was happy to have for breakfast.

The day passed with us going on a walk, driving to Lowe's and then walking to Walmart* (which really isn't yet a Walmart*, but is still a Wal*Mart), getting our cable hooked up, dining at Chuy's, and playing Farkle in between. So.. no big shopping, and a good, fun day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting Settled

I see that I've used the "Getting Settled" title before! Yes, it seems that, when one is a snowbird, at least two weeks of the year are spent doing just that. We arrived here a week ago today. We unloaded the liquids, perishables, and clothes from the RV and now we have it over in the storage lot.

We did a bunch of laundry in Willcox, and then we did a huge bunch more just yesterday. That included the sheets, blankets, and towels from the RV, as well as just everyday stuff for the past week.

We got our mail and did business, including a bank run, calling all over the country about insurance and other financial stuff which waited for our return to civilization, and reinstating our cable TV. We bought our supplies to make our trail mix and things to make our hiking sandwiches!

We've done our first hike for the 2010 season! That was on Tuesday, and it was up to the saddle on the Pontatoc Ridge. Lovely hike, and just right for us at this point in our fitness. We're back to walking every day, too. Yay! We got into the pool after the hike, and that felt good.

Socially, things are somewhat slow right now. We did have a fine dinner over at Harold and Kathy's and we've made plans for a couple of other evenings.

And today's Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for so much this year. Jack has been a lot of fun, and we laugh and love and ... life is good. I'm grateful for our wonderful friends in Big Rapids, for our Tucson friends, and for our friends who travel back and forth. I'm grateful for my fortunate circumstances that enable me to enjoy this lifestyle. (Special thanks to Michael, George, Danny, and Louise!)

I'm grateful for the beautiful house in Paris, MI where we will spend our summers. I'm happy about our location, about the neat furniture that I got, and about just the way the house is built and configured. (Thank you to Judy, Fred, Luanne, and Dan!)

I'm grateful for Michael and the love he gave me. I'm grateful to his family, who have been with me and stood beside me in my difficulties. I'm grateful for my church and for all of the spiritual and social opportunities, and for all I've learned about our wonderful world. I'm grateful that I have friends and family who care enough about me to read this blog. (In particular, thanks to Annette, Robert, Auntie Dots, John, Lynell, Ray, Charlene, Donna, Dorothy, Anonymous, and all of the rest of you who've commented on my blog postings.)

And Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where are we now?

If you're watching the Where is Janee Now? link over to the right -->, you see that we're in Willcox, AZ tonight. Yes, that IS close to Tucson. And we do that on purpose. Arrival day is always a panic, with so many things to do. I hate arriving late in the day, so .. I don't! Today we drove just 2.5 hours, from Deming, NM. And ydy we drove from Las Cruces!

In Las Cruces, we stayed at the Hacienda del Sol RV Park, and it was nice. They give you a free breakfast which is comparable to Holiday Inn Express, except that you can have a custom-made Belgian waffle!

We went to the Farm Heritage Museum in Las Cruces and it was a fun time. We got to watch a cow being milked, saw many longhorns up close and personal, and toured some antique farm machines. The museum also included a gallery of photos and story about the Mexican Banceros from the first part of the 20th century. These were Mexican workers who came to the USA, through an agreement with the US and Mexican government, to work. Interesting and some really good photos.

There was also an exhibit of photos of old schools from New Mexico, many of which closed in the 1950's, and most of which are in a state of shameful ruin now.

We had a great lunch in Las Cruces, too, at Furr's Buffet. And I've decided that Sunday is going to be buffet day. No buffets on other days. The weight loss is going well, actually, though it seems really slow. I'm at 137.0 today, and that's nearly 10 lbs that I've lost since August 18. I guess that it's better to have lost 10 lbs in 3 months than it would be to gain something. :) Ok... I feel better now!

Jack is cooking dinner now, as I blog. We're having beef tenderloin and potatoes on the grill, artichokes, and Italian bread.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday

We awoke this morning in Fort Davis, Texas. We'd already scoped out churches and found this one in Fort Davis. Seriously, click that link and look at these pictures. I took some, but I'm sure that they won't be this good! We had even read Pastor Matt's blog! (Check it out here. I have already discussed with him the idea of his updating more frequently. ;))

So we readied ourselves and headed down there. When we arrived, just 10 minutes before the start of adult Sunday school, there was no one in the parking lot. Soooo.. we parked Ruby and got out to look around.

Just then, a gentleman showed up carrying a Bible, and we assumed at first that he must be the pastor. (We were wrong. He was most genial and welcoming, but was not the pastor.) He gave us a short tour, and we enjoyed looking around in the 1906 church building.

Sunday School was in the basement, and, in this tiny community of about 1200, there were about 10 of us there, led by Pastor Matt Miles. We talked mostly about traditions for the Christian year, and I got to report on my daily blogging for Lent this year.

We discussed the notion of Lent and what its purpose is. The idea of recognizing our wretchedness (for lack of a better word) and the exercising of some discipline for the period of time seems appropriate. It reminds me of the Jewish holidays and the sacrificing as they remember what their forebears endured before them.

Church was good, too. Matt's family (2 six year-old twins and a two year-old) were there with his wife, and the kids' antics made us all smile.

Anyway... good church! We felt very welcome and everyone seemed interested in hearing our story. I hope that we pass through Fort Davis on a Sunday again!

On up the road we went. We decided to go through Marfa, hoping to visit some art galleries, something (besides the lights) for which Marfa is famous. But, upon arriving, we remembered... Sunday! We contented ourselves with a Marfa Subway sandwich and headed on up the road.

Van Horne... and then I-10 to El Paso. We ended up driving about 5 hours today, trading drivers at intervals. Tonight we're at Anthony, a western suburb of El Paso. The campground is fine, though we had to use blocks to get level. It's pretty cool here, too. Right now, under clear skies, it's just 46°.

The Marfa Lights

I finally got to see the Marfa Lights! After having driven past the viewing site several times, and always during the day, this evening, Jack and I made the effort and saw the lights!

We drove this afternoon to Alpine, Texas, and secured a campsite at Lost Alaskan RV Park. Then we did our walk, going into town with the idea of eating an early dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse (not the chain). But, when we arrived at 3:30, they were closed! Open at 5pm.

So back to the RV we walked, and then, at 5, we drove it to the Longhorn. The dinner was great. I got a filet and Jack got a sirloin, and we each had soup and salad bar.

After our dinner, we headed west on Hwy 90 the 16 miles to the Marfa Lights Viewing Station. It is quite an elaborate structure, built just for those of us who are there to look at this mysterious phenomenon. There are even restrooms!

So we joined the group of probably 8 other people, staring interestedly into the southwestern horizon. We saw lights right away, but wondered if they were *the* lights. These looked a lot like car headlights off in the distance, but they were sort of shimmery, coming and going, changing colors, and moving up and down.

But this is how they were described, and so we figured that this is it. Supposedly, the lights predated cars, since a cowboy in 1883 was said to have seen them, but that was not a sighting that he documented in his own memoirs. Rather, his heirs reported that he had seen them.
According to this site (
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4038), the mystery has been solved, and he gives a plausible explanation for the lights. I am more a science person than a mystic person, so the explanation is one that I appreciated.

Do I believe that the Marfa Lights are a mystery worthy of a "viewing site" and Roswell-style attention? Naah... But anyway... it was a fun evening!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heading Westward

Today we put the Navion into Drive and headed west again. We made it ALLLL the way (LOL) to Del Rio, Texas. That's about 140 miles. The drive was easy and pretty, as we got to see the trees gradually getting shorter, and the prickly pear cactus taking over the undergrowth.

Del Rio is right on the border between Texas and Mexico. Its main geographic feature is Lake Amistad, a lake created by a dam on the Rio Grande River. We are camped at Holiday Trave-L-Park, which .. isn't really like a "real" Holiday Trav-L-Park. This one has potted roads and unlevel sites with grass growing through the gravel. We were able to get level, only after being moved to a second site, and driving up onto all the levelers we have.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another day in San Antonio

What a fun day this was! We took the bus into town and got a transfer. This was so that we could hop the trolley down to the King William District. This is an area rife with beautiful historic homes. We toured the Steves home, saw many lovely things, and learned a lot about the history of the district.

From there, we walked all around the district, enjoying the other houses from the outside. The tour ended up down by the river, and we loved walking along there.

We caught the trolley back up to the city, getting off at the Hemisfair park. This is where the Tower of the Americas sits. This 750-some-foot-tall tower is one of the structures remaining from the international exposition that was helf here in 1968. We rose gently to the top in the glass-sided elevator.

Up there, we enjoyed a lovely lupper (lunch-supper). We ordered the scallops with ginger and bok choy rice and clam chowder. Afterwards, we shared the chocolate lava cake. This was a great meal, which we savored as our table rotated around the circumference of the restaurant, affording us wonderful views of the entire San Antonio metro area.

We picked up a pin in the gift shop before we left (We are collecting little pins from everywhere we go.) and then sauntered back to the Alamo area via the River Walk.

Happy Hour time, and we did a margarita, a beer, and a plate of fried mushrooms. By then, it was starting to get dark, and we strolled along the River Walk a little more, before making our way back to the bus stop.

City buses rock! Nothing beats public transportation for big cities. And... speaking of big, would you guess that San Antonio, TX is the 7th largest city in the US? We didn't believe it at all, till we looked it up. San Antonio is bigger than Denver, Detroit, Washington, DC, San Francisco, San Diego... I am really surprised. This town seems small, probably because of its walkability and the little neighborhoods. We both agree that San Antonio is a fun place to be, if you're a tourist!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

San Antonio

Today we awoke to a bright blue sky and that delicious feeling of having NO plans. We readied ourselves, had cereal and a pear, secured another night at the San Antonio KOA, and then went across the street to wait for the city bus.

Right on time, the bus arrived, and, before we knew it, we were at the Alamo! Jack loves historical places, and so do I, so we relished the Alamo and its museums. I loved the model of the compound as it looked back in 1836, with the thousands of Santa Anna's troops surrounding and marauding the 200 Texas soldiers holed up in the former church.

I think that the title of "hero" is tossed around too much, and too many of us are credited with "bravery." But these people who proclaimed "victory or death" and sent out letters begging for more help with the defense of the compound... heroes. No question in my mind. Brave? You betcha. This is a moving place to be -- a shrine to some great Americans.

Next we went to the River Walk. There are dozens of riverside cafes, offering all kinds of refreshment for the city's locals and for us tourists. We shared a meal of 2 beef tenderloins, a baked potato, and baked beans.

Sharing a meal is a great way to save money. This lovely meal cost us less than $25, including tip. The other thing we accomplish when we can agree on a meal to split is that we don't eat too much!

After our delicious lunch, we walked over to the River Center Mall and found a hair cutter, who sold Jack and me each a haircut. Mine's shorter than it's been in a very long time, but... it's cute!

Next, we walked the 10 blocks or so down to the Market Square. This is a huge shopping mall of Mexican goods of all descriptions. We escaped without buying anything, but it was cool to look at all the brightly colored and shiny objects.

Back to the River Walk, we were ready for a break. A guy hawking his cafe's Happy Hour lured us in, where we each enjoyed a margarita and shared a plate of onion rings -- all for $6, including tax!

I'll have time to go through my photos soon. I'm just now downloading a bunch, including ones from Huntsville Rocket Center and Disney World!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Arriving in San Antonio

We arrived last evening in New Orleans, thinking that we'd go into town today, eat at the French Quarter, groove on some jazz.... but then the lady at the campground told us that there was a hurricane which might affect the city. Well, the memory of Katrina and the still-very-present damage from that storm are too recent in our memories. So we opted to leave there this morning, not having enjoyed ANY gumbo or crawfish etouffee.

We drove like maniacs, instead, going 540 miles, and making it all the way to San Antonio! We're at the KOA, which is close to downtown and right on the bus route. We had a hotdog feast, sponsored by the campground, met some fellow campers, and we're happy to be here!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Gulf Coast

We're having a great time! We are moving slowly along the Gulf Coast in the panhandle area of Florida right now. We had a lunch of mullet (a fish that they have down here and it's GOOD!) and beans yesterday, and just snacked (Jack soup and popcorn and Janee cereal) last evening.

My somber news is that I am not going to make my weight loss goal, unless I change the date. 130 is still my goal, but this last 8 lbs has proven to be pretty sticky. My actual goal is to keep 130 for the rest of my life, so I suppose the date doesn't matter that much. How about if I make it by Christmas?

I'm starting to notice little things that signify that I'm lighter, besides just the number on the scale. I find that my rings fit more loosely and so do my jeans. I don't feel as overall stodgy as I did a few weeks ago, either, so .. that's good!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

DisneyWorld

Jack and I have had a wonderful vacation at Disney World. We arrived here on Saturday, at Fort Wilderness Campground. It is a wonderful campground, with large, well-equipped, very clean sites. There's plenty for families, and conveniences of all sorts. It's just the Disney experience for campers!

We didn't want to use a park admission for just a small part of the day, so we hopped a bus over to Downtown Disney. Since it was Halloween, we got to see the trick-or-treaters, so cute dressed as princesses, pirates, witches, and more. We ate a very good dinner at Portobello's.

Sunday we went to Epcot, and spent a long day there. We met Michele, Jack, Matthew, and Katherine there, and went with them on a couple of rides before they had to go, to meet friends. Jack and I stayed for dinner and then for the fireworks, which were spectacular!

Monday we started out the day at Wild Animal Kingdom. Again, we met the kids, so that was fun. We went with them on the Expedition to Everest and some other things. When they took off for their dinner reservation, Jack and I took some photos around the Discovery tree and then had our own supper.

Later that day, we used our Park Hopper tickets to head over to Magic Kingdom. We'd planned to meet the kids there, but we ran out of energy and came back to the campground on an early bus. Before that, though, we did get to see the light parade and the fireworks!

Tuesday, we decided to have a park-free day. We slept in and just walked around, exploring Fort Wilderness a bit. This is a huge campground! Later in the day, we did head out to Downtown Disney, grabbed some grub, and then came back to the campground. The kids came over here and we fixed hamburgers and chips for them. We walked them to their boat back to their resort, and we said our goodbyes. They left today to return home.

So today we opted to go to Hollywood Studios. We did the Aerosmith ride -- a very fast, very dark, and very intense rollercoaster ride. We did the Hollywood tower (fun!), and saw 3 3-D movies. We did the backlot tour, and .. just about everything else. The park was uncrowded, so the lines were short.

In the afternoon, we decided to head over to Epcot for some dinner. We first explored Innoventions, where we got to ride on a Segway, sent a couple of photos to ourselves, and made a video game featuring ourselves running and jumping!

Dinner proved to be a little complicated. We had decided that we wanted to go out for a nice dinner, but all the nice places seemed to require reservations. Morocco was the exception, though, seating us immediately for what turned out to be a delicious dinner with a belly-dancing show!

After our dinner, we called Linda Osborne from Big Rapids. She had called to tell us that she was going to be in Disneyworld visiting her daughters, so... we got to meet with them! We hopped a bus over to Downtown Disney for our rendezvous and had a nice visit. Whew! What a whirlwind Disney trip! We're both pooped!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ocala, Florida

It's almost too warm today! Well... almost. :) We're actually enjoying the humidity and the 80+ heat of the last couple of days!

I am feeling much better now, having recovered completely from a bout of awful flu, it seems. I was really knocked out by the silly illness. Feverish and coughing my head off, I was unable to even *drive* till just yesterday.

I was mostly recovered when we arrived at Ken & Judy's near Huntsville, AL. We stayed in the RV, but enjoyed time with them as well as time to explore the Huntsville environs. Yesterday we left there, and drove on down as far as Dothan, AL. The campground was adequate but.. not at all fancy.

Tonight's campground is much nicer, and Jack took the opportunity to do our laundry, while I caught up on my email. I cooked dinner, using some frozen cooked hamburger, rice, canned tomatoes, part of an onion, a clove of garlic, parmesan cheese, and spices. Mmmm, it was GOOD!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On the Road Again!

Tonight finds Jack and me in Cornersville, Tennessee! We left Paris on Thursday morning at 10 am, all loaded up, and the new house in good hands. We drove to Brownsburg, Indiana, and stayed Thursday night with Annette and Steve. Friday morning, we drove on down to Louisville, where I had a meeting with Danny, my financial guru.

Angie and George were out of town, but they graciously permitted us to park in front of their house and to hook up to their water and power. We didn't see them till Saturday night, when they each flew in on separate planes, from separate destinations. They had been traveling since Labor Day, so they were happy to be home.
We went out to breakfast at KT's, to celebrate my 53rd birthday, and then Jack and I packed up the hoses and cords and headed on down I-65 to Nashville. There we visited Jack's friend Diane, and her husband Max.
Meanwhile, I've been sick. I had my flu shot in Big Rapids on Wednesday, and I started feeling puny on Thursday. I felt a bit punier on Friday, and then ydy I was a mess. Today I'm feeling better again, with no more fever, cough is much less, and my throat is not sore now. The hardest part is the sheer exhaustion. I've been unable to drive more than an hour at a time, before I have to rest, or even nap. And this morning, I felt too sick to attend church, so we missed for the first time since we were at Big Bend in Texas.

Yesterday, we went walking around on Alta Vista in Louisville, and I got some photos of pretty leaves:





































Here's a photo inside the chapel at one of the beautiful seminary campuses:


Monday, October 12, 2009

I Love real Silverware!

For those who know me well, that is not real news. I've been using sterling flatware for my everyday eating since my grandmother left me hers in 1986. I never knew the name of grandma's pattern, but it is very simple, and well-used since the early 1900's when she was married. It's engraved with an M. The remarkable thing about her flatware is that there are literally dozens of serving pieces -- from meat forks to lemon forks and pickle tongs. The unfortunate thing is that there are only 5 dinner forks.

I took custody of my mother's sterling when she passed away in 1999. It too has just 5 dinner forks, though there are also 5 salad forks, more spoons, and 6 knives. She had only a few serving pieces.

I've been eating happily off of these two sets, quietly wishing that they were the same pattern. And I also quietly have been combing antique shops, looking at more sterling.

On Friday, I got lucky. Jack and I were in downtown Big Rapids, and visited the Big Rapids Antique Shop. Darlene showed us a set of sterling flatware which we both just loved. It's Reed & Barton Diamond pattern and there are 8 six-piece place settings (salad, and dinner forks, soup and tea spoons, dinner knife, and butter knife) and 14 serving pieces! I bought the set!

Yesterday, I polished each piece and .. my goodness, what a shine they make! Today we'll shop for a drawer divider large enough for such a magnificent set of silver.

I am not sure exactly when my love affair with sterling began. I remember eating from grandma's silver when I was a little girl. Of course, I remember the family dinners with my mother's sterling. And my Auntie Dots told me of her grandmother. She explained why she always ate ice cream from a sterling spoon. "Plate leaves a taste..."

I suppose it reminds me of a more genteel time -- a time when ladies had more time to set pretty tables, when people enjoyed entertaining friends, when people moved a bit more slowly and savored the finer things. That's where I am now. I have time to set a pretty table, I love having friends over for dinner, and I love taking the time to drive off the big roads, seeing smaller communities and .. just taking time to smell the lilacs. And I love my sterling silverware!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Drizzly and Cool

We have had a few really great days. Annette and Steve came up on Friday night, and we enjoyed a fine weekend with them. Saturday, we took them on a short tour of Big Rapids, dined at Pepper's, and then went to ArtWorks, our gallery which features the work of area artists. Annette bought one of Jack's prints, and I found an awesome wood burl bowl, which I'm using for a fruit bowl. I also bought some vegetable painting prints to frame for the kitchen.

We played ping pong in the evening, and that was fun! Steve had never played before, which I found hard to believe, since he caught on so fast. Jack fixed us Rock Cornish game hens, potatoes, and corn, and I made zucchini sautee with onions, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan.

This morning I had my ear congestion cured, much to my delight. This is only the 2nd time that I've had to do this, and it was not altogether pleasant. I am wondering how normal people get seen by a doctor when they need to be. The RN at the ER told me, however, that I was the 12th person whose ears she had irrigated already today.. and this was just noon! So I guess that going to the ER *is* normal for silly little things like this? I tried the local Otolaryngology office first, and they said October 12. No way could I have lasted that long! Turns out that I have a middle ear infection, and I have drops that are going to cure me.

So, with me feeling sort of puny, we just gomed out for most of the day. Late in the day, we did play a few rousing games of ping pong, and I got all caught up with Facebook. And we both had a few naps.

Drizzly and cool today, and we actually tried out our furnace to be sure that it worked. It worked so well, in fact, that we considered staying here for the winter! Well.. LOL not really, but it sounded good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Socializing

We've enjoyed having some people over to our new house, over the past couple of weeks. Jack loves cooking, as do I, so it's just been really fun. We have had two small dinner parties, and we had the joy of hosting our church's PITS group last Sunday.

PITS is always fun, but it was super-special having them HERE! When people get a new house, the PITS group blesses the house with glitter! We are still finding it around in funny places, and it makes us laugh every time.

For PITS, the hosting household usually does a meat and drinks, and the other people bring side dishes and desserts. Jack did 4 chickens and a big rack of ribs, and it was all delicious. (Note to self: 2 chickens and 2 racks of ribs would have been better.)

I enjoyed giving tours of the house, and Jack entertained the men outside. The weather was lovely, as it has been for weeks now.

We've actually gotten some rain the past couple of days, which has been fun for the geese! The sandbar outside our house has just about disappeared under the rushing Muskegon!

We just returned from a trip to Indiana, where we had to exchange our table top. Why? Well... the leaf that Gerdt Furniture had given us didn't fit, as we discovered when we were setting up for PITS! Jack brought the whole top, just thinking... just in case. Well, the leaf that they had ready for us didn't FIT our table top, so they had to exchange the whole top!

Our main purpose of the Indiana trip was for Mary Elizabeth's 90th birthday party in Bloomington. It was great fun, and it was exciting to see all the people from her family, and to catch up with some old friends.

After the party, we went over to Bob and Ann's, and were happy to have a visit with them and to see them doing well.

In Indiana, we also got our Verizon MiFi card activated by Edward, a great guy at the Verizon store in Brownsburg. Even though we are in a "trust market," because of the Alltell purchase, he didn't have access to our account, but he made a call and got it taken care of for us! He was so competent and helpful.

The MiFi card is great! It goes along with the Verizon data plan that I've had all along, but enables me to "host" up to 4 other computers with WiFi. That means that Jack and I can be on the internet at the same time! Woo hoo! And it works! It works well, and fast.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Getting Settled

We are getting settled nicely into our new house. We have almost all the furniture in place, and just a few things yet to buy. Jack is going to build us a bed for our Master Bedroom, as you see here. We have to get or build nightstands for that room.




I love the Master bathroom and the closet with clothes chute!


We are going to procure bookcases for the Library/Music Room, and that will complete this room.





Downstairs, the Game Room is shaping up, as is our #1 Guest Room.








But our forest-setting guestroom is on hold. That is because the log beds that we got are too BIG! I had been laboring under the illusion that twin beds are 36" wide. The beds that we got, with the big logs, are actually 50" wide. The nice folks at the Rustic Log Furniture store are going to help us out, though, by letting us exchange these for smaller beds. I didn't take photos of the #2 Guest Room full of unassembled logs!


Here is the kitchen:




And here's the dining room:




The living room:








The Library/Music Room:








Views down the hallways near the front door:







Here's our screened porch:




And some views of the river:











Here's the river deck, and the staircase leading down to the lower deck:





Here's a photo of the ladder that Jack built:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Been Busy!

Yes, we've been busy! Doing what? Well...

Sunday was supposed to be their last day here, but it came and went and they had not been able to get all moved out. Monday they called again and they had filled their 26' U-Haul and had more stuff than would fit into it. They would have to make another trip.

Tuesday morning we got a call that they had moved all out at 2am. So Tuesday was our day! We drove the RV over there, leaving Paris Park with mixed feelings. She'd been good to us! We off-loaded the contents of the RV fridge into the new house fridge, called the power company to be sure that our power would continue, but in my name, and just kind of walked around a bit in the house. We kept Eddie in the RV. Then the VanDries folks called to tell us that they were on their way with our mattresses and TV! Delivery went swimmingly, and then we looked at each other and said, "Let's go to Indiana!"

We drove down there in Jack's van, leaving Eddie behind to guard the RV. We didn't want to dump him in the new house without our being there. He had been comfy in the RV for months now, after all! The drive was easy, and Steve had dinner ready for us when we arrived. :)

Wednesday morning, we got up early, picked up the 26' UHaul, and then drove it up to Gerdt and Kirk, picking up the furniture that they had for us. Back to Annette's and we loaded up all the boxes and the furniture that I'd had in Bloomington, and the new stuff that had been delivered from Kittles. The truck was packed and the piano went into Jack's van. (Legs unscrewed!) Finally, Annette could put her car back into the garage, and her walk-in closets upstairs were full. The dining room was free of all my stuff!

And Thursday morning, we left for our new home with the UHaul and the van. We got back here and off-loaded most of the things on Thursday. We got our mattress for our room set up with a mattress pad and our Travasack from the RV, so we could have a place to spend our first night in the house. Boxes went into the garage for the time being, and the lighter furniture came into the house. We put together the Ekornes recliners and tried out the TV. Nothing yet, but then, we don't have our Dish Network set up, no cable, and not even rabbit ears.

Friday morning, we awoke early after our first night in the new house, and enjoyed the sunrise through the fog on the Muskegon. Lovely. Now, to work! Jack went to his men's group meeting while I got ready for the day, and started deciding where I'd put things. And just then, the delivery people from Klingman's called. They were on their way!

Soon they had our TV console, the guest room bed, and the screen-room furniture here and set up. Just after they left, Jack brought Gary back, and the two guys off-loaded the rest of the furniture -- the heavy stuff! With the LR couch, the LR was starting to look like a real room! And the downstairs game room was looking fine, with the new Century table and chairs!

The rest of Friday passed in a blur, with us working to unload boxes and just tidy things up. And we went to bed early because...

Saturday, we got up early and drove to Lapeer, Michigan, over on the thumb side, where Jack's cousin lives. All of her daughters were there, and Jack's two brothers were there, too! We enjoyed a great meal and a fine time was had by all.

Saturday evening, we drove up to Birch Run, to the Super 8, where we stayed the night. Sunday, we found a wonderful little church in Birch Run. The pastor was celebrating 20 years with that church, and it was a happy time.

Then, we did some shopping at the outlet mall and got back to our new Paris home just about the time darkness fell. We put more things away, including the new things that we'd found at the mall.

Monday, we went and got more things that we needed for the household -- a lawnmower, for one! And we put away things. And did some laundry.

Yesterday, we had our first dinner guests! Linda and Michael had called wanting to come and help us unload things, so we cooked! I made Fettucini Milano, a pasta concoction with sausage, garlic, green onions, green peppers, parsley, and herbs. A green salad and garlic bread finished off the meal, and Linda's delicious raspberry pie and cheesecake topped off a wonderful day!

So here we are and we're both just tickled with this house and the life that we're putting together here! And I WILL be posting photos very soon!

It is starting to get cooler here already, though, so we are starting to think about heading to AZ. We had a frost here a couple of nights ago, though it is still very nice in the daytime. I have to say that I really don't want to even think about leaving!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun days

Well, OK, so it's not ALL fun, but it's mostly fun.

I've started on a new journey -- one of discovery. I'm going to discover the new me that's become hidden under 16+ lbs of extra weight! I'm serious about this, too. I'm serious enough that I've started an account with MedHelp.org and have installed trackers for my food intake, my exercise, and my weight. So far it's fun and seems to have me thinking seriously about what I'm eating. (If this link doesn't work (It's for my personal profile page.), then go on to MedHelp.org and set up your own account. If you want to follow my progress, I would love that. You just have to add me as your friend. I'm in there as myjanee. :)

We've been working on Jack's house, making some real progress in his office and in the living room. Piles remain, of course, and dirt remains, but nothing like before. I've kept one of the bedrooms just as it was, so that I can go look and see that, yes, we have made progress! Oh, and I did get one of those $30 "gas mask" affairs to wear when I'm working in there. I find that my breathing has been much easier since then!

We're on track to move into our new digs on the Muskegon River! After we left Annette & Steve's, we were so excited about shopping for furniture, that we shopped some more! LOL! All of the following is to be delivered next week!

We now have mattresses for the Master, for Guest #1, and for Guest #2. We have a bed for Guest #1. (Annette, this is YOUR room!) This is a really great bed which would have been totally out of our league pricewise, but, since it was a close-out... I get it! The bed is an antique pine with black criss-crosses and little black rosettes. It is some sort of Mediterranean style, and it's almost a "sleigh" bed, but not "sleigh" enough that you'll hate it, Annette! :P That room will also have a small round side table and the antique walnut dresser that I have.

Guest #2 will be our "forest room." For this room, we chose two Rustic Pine twin beds from our local Amish furniture makers. They are something like this. Tucked in between them will be the cutest little log nightstand that you've ever seen in your life! We got a pine-cone lamp to go on that table.

We bought a TV -- one that is bigger than the one I used to have, but cost about 1/3 of what I paid for the other one. It's an LG. To go under the TV, we got a beautiful piece of furniture... Well, here it is! You be the judge. They even show it with Mission furnishings! :)

Oh! And we have our boats! We got Native Watercraft boats, which are a sort of hybrid between a canoe and a kayak -- best of both worlds, and the best boat for our river! Jack's is blue and mine is yellow!

We've been out in the boats on the river 4 times, and it gets better every time! We've been with Harold, Kathy, Janet, Pete, Linda, and Mike. Now.. as fun as this is, I want everyone I know to do this! We can arrange for a boat for you, so .. come on!

You know that I don't like to talk about the future in here, so I won't... much. We are going to be starting to move in on the 24th! We'll be having some of our stuff delivered on Tuesday the 25th, and some on the following Friday. The bulk of it will be here after the Indy-ordered furniture gets to Annette's -- or most of it, at least. I'm thinking that we can do the dining table/chairs and the recliners in Jack's trailer, because I'm getting antsy about having my stuff!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Monday!

I closed yesterday on the house, and all went swimmingly! We've been busily buying furnishings for the place. We went to Indiana on Wednesday, and stayed with Annette and Steve. We went to every furniture store in the area, I believe, and I've been collecting some cool furniture, with Jack and Annette's help! So far, I've gotten 2 queen-sized mattresses, which will sit on the floor till I get bedframes, a dining table and 6 chairs, a leather couch, 2 Ekornes recliners, a little console table with 2 small benches, 2 barstools for the kitchen counter, and a fabulous game table with 4 massive chairs for the lower level. I also chose a few accessory pieces, including a metal bird sculpture and a Mission-style Tiffany lamp.

I have yet to get a bed frame and headboard for the #1 guest room, twin beds, a nightstand, and some sort of dresser for the #2 guest room, a ping pong table, a little bar for the lower level, bookcases for the library/music room, an end table for the living room, a chair and two nightstands for the master bedroom, and a chair for the piano room.

Jack's going to build us a bed for the Master bedroom, and we're both excited about that. He's always wanted to make some furniture, and so I'm giving him a chance! It'll have 4 big drawers on the sides, and a door at the foot, which will give us access to underneath. We can keep suitcases in there. :)

We will also be building an outbuilding-shop for him, and probably a carport structure to protect the Navion when we're here. Those will be 2010 projects. We're going to build an access to the river, which is 25' lower than where our property meets the river line. This access will include an arrangement to bring our boats up out of the river.


Oh! And we're going to get boats! These will actually be hybrid kayak/canoe boats which you can see here. We just now got off the phone with the guy from Clare who sells these. He's holding 2 for us, and we can go and get them later today. Of course, this means that we have to figure out a way to carry them! LOL! I'm getting mine in yellow, and Jack's will be blue. I'm so happy, and so ready to settle into this new life!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We got the house!

It happened at 7:40 today! I signed the counteroffer on the house we had picked out! It's in Paris, MI, which is immediately north of Big Rapids. It's on the south side of the Muskeegon River, where it flows from east to west, before it bends south again. And here it is!

We struck a mutually good deal for the house, and everyone is very happy. We have nearly no furniture for the house, so we'll be doing some serious shopping over the coming weeks. We also have to have inspections done on every aspect of the house, within the next 10 days. Closing will be on 8/10, and we get to move in on 8/24! We are so excited!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some Fun!

Things have been going great for us here in Big Rapids. Over the past week, we've done lots! On Thursday and Saturday, we participated in the Tucson/Michigan party, put on and attended mostly by those of us who live in MI in the summer, and at Far Horizons in Tucson in the winter. Dinner was at Donna and Al's on Thursday, and it was great. There was pork brought in, and we all brought food, too. Jack and I played that game with balls tied together and flung over a small goal-post. Once I got the hang of it, I won handily!

Saturday, the second half of the Michigan party took place. We kayaked down the river to Harold's new dock, which worked wonderfully. Then we celebrated the beauty of the day with a pig roast at Pete and Janet's house. It was good to see everyone, and the mood was merry.

Meanwhile, we got word that my bid on the house in Brownsburg, Indiana had not been accepted. There was another offer which had been accepted, and so ours was not even considered. Down? You bet! Out? No way!

We decided to look at houses in the Big Rapids area, and look we did! We looked at a bunch of them, spending a couple of Sunday afternoons with Doug at Canadian Lakes touring some neat houses. And we looked at some around Big Rapids and a couple in the Paris area.

We found one that we liked in Canadian Lakes... and then another. And then our realtor here found one for us on the Muskeegon River, in Paris, which we really liked. Sunday afternoon, we took Luanne and Dan with us and walked through the house again. They were helpful to us in giving their opinions and we had a great time looking around with them, and imagining it as our house.

Today we met with Judy from Big Rapids Realty, and made an offer. Tomorrow we'll know if they accept it as written, or if they have other ideas. I really hope this one goes through!

If this doesn't happen, we've decided that we'll go back to Brownsburg, IN and look there again! Jack and I are the kind of people who are just plain happy, so I know that we'll be happy wherever we are.

I will treat you all with photos and a link when the deal is done. For now, I don't want to jinx things. I will say that the house has mostly hardwood floors, beautiful hickory cabinetry throughout, a great kitchen, open floorplan, a separate guest area, quality construction, and fine fixtures. Its style is what I'd call Contemporary/Mission, which is clean and sleek and very me. Oh.. and did I mention the views of the river right outside the windows?

Because I have given away just about all of my things, we'll be doing quite a bit of shopping for furniture and other furnishings. I'm very excited about starting all over like this! And, what's more, we'll be doing our part to boost the local economy. What are you doing for your local economy?

And, while all of this excitement has been going on, we have been continuing our work on -the house-. We have now taken 84 bags of mostly clothing and shoes to Goodwill. And we've loaded up Chuck's truck with yet another bed full to go to the dump. We can now walk down the hall! And the Master is almost cleared out, and Bedroom #2 is cleared, except for a monstrous pile of stuff from this and other rooms that is to be sold at Jack's yard sale.

Having cleared a bit of floor, I've actually been able to vacuum some of the carpeting! I wanted to take recycling today, but we didn't get there in time, so we have the van packed full of our recyclables.

But progress is happening on that house front, and it's visible, finally.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What's the Weather Like Here?

I thought that was a good question, because.. it's been everything today. We awoke to chill and fog, and then it was cloudy and then it was sunny and warm. Then it clouded up and rained .. hard! And now it's partly cloudy, cool, and lovely.

Progress continues on the house. I took yesterday and today off from working. Jack worked on it ydy, but not today. We have cleared out much of the stuff from bedroom #2, but there's lots of "garage sale" stuff left in there, which will remain till we're done with said garage sale.

Yesterday, we also worked on a dock for Harold, to make it easier for us all to get up out of the river when we come kayaking up to his place! It's very cool.


One reason that I have taken some time off from the house is that I'm concerned about my health. I've been suffering more with asthma since we've been here, and it doesn't seem to be getting much better. I have been using a dust mask, using Zyrtec (allergy pill which works well for me) and using rescue inhaler as needed. I think that I really need to be back on the inhaled steroid, but that involves a prescription. I miss Michael like crazy when I'm well, but even more when I'm not feeling perfect!

Paris Park has been good, though, with the weekends, we've been getting inundated with loud campers. That's typical of "campgrounds," as opposed to RV parks, though the latter are also wilder on weekends.

I have not heard further on the Brownsburg, Indiana house deal, except that the bank has the offer and another offer. And "patience" is evidently the watchword when it comes to short sales. I really want it.

I'm including some photos with this posting! These were some flower shots I took down at Oliver Winery's fabulous gardens, when we went to southern Indiana in late June:

Well.. this is obviously not working. I've uploaded twice, but the photos are not coming through.
















































Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Fine Day

What a fine day this was! It began with the pitty-pat of rain on our roof, and that's always fun. But then, it cleared out, leaving us with a cloudy day, but dry.

I used my day to work on clearing stuff out of the master bedroom at Jack's house. I filled 9 bags for Goodwill and 3 bags of trash, just from the stuff on the floor. Tomorrow.. the bed and the closet! Oh.. and the laundry.

While the job is daunting, I am hopeful that it's going to get done. This is because I'm doing the big part of the work by myself. Jack's just too emotionally wrapped up in the house and he has a hard time getting rid of things. If the bags are closed, however, he has no trouble hauling them down to the car!

I am well-suited for this job, because, while I care that his ex and his family get the things that are meaningful to the family, and I care that Jack keeps the things that are truly meaningful to him, I also see that not everything is meaningful, and not everything is useful. And, even useful things are not always practical to keep. For example, how much of a person's storage space should be allocated to bandaids? Do we have room for one box? Well, sure. But two? ...Thirty? So I keep one and give the other 29 to Starburst.

So, in this process, Jack is able to help others with his gifts. And I'm helping others, too. And I'm helping Jack. And I'm feeling good to find floors and walls and furniture under the mounds of excess.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Posting again

I have had a little brown-out spell in my blogging, because I've been unable to post! I was getting an error message from Blogger when I went to the New Post page. Anyway, here I am, at long last.

The past month has been eventful! On June 16, Jack and I took Ruby (the RV) and Eddie (the cat) down to Brownsburg, Indiana, and parked Ruby in front of Annette and Steve's house. Annette's my sis, for those of you who have not figured that out, and we had told them that we'd build them a deck. This was to be a thank you for their having helped me with moving my stuff out, and for their keeping my things in storage all this time.

So that's what we did! On Tuesday, we drove down, Wednesday we completed the plans and ordered the wood, and on Thursday, we got the delivery from Menard's at 7 am! Jack and Steve and I worked on digging holes for posts, putting concrete blocks down at the bottom of these holes, putting in posts, backfilling, installing beams and then joists, and finally the deck boards.

This was no simple deck, but included also a full pergola with beams, joists, and lattice, 3 staircases, railings, a bench, and a little corner table. It's 16' x 18'. It took us 2 weeks to build it. Then we took a couple of days to go to Bloomington to visit a couple of people and to conduct some important business. Then we returned to Brownsburg for the 4th of July. We got to visit with Annette's son and daughter and their kids, and that was fun.

While we were there, we did a little house-hunting, too. We found one that we really like, and we actually put an offer on it. There's another offer on it, and it's what they call a "short sale," so it's far from a sure thing for us. But it's a great house and I really hope that we get it! Brownsburg is just west of Indianapolis -- a city that I've loved forever. It's where Annette lives, but, other than them, we don't know anyone else, so we'd be starting fresh.

I got my RV licensed while we were there, too. Michigan wanted all sorts of proof of residence in order to do that, and I didn't have the documents. So.. whatever. I'll just be an Indiana girl.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rising Stars

It is a sad day today for me, with Farah Faucett and Michael Jackson both dying today. I loved Michael Jackson's showmanship and music, his dancing, his look. Of course, things got weird for him, and maybe he got weird, too, but I believe still that the world will miss the music that he had yet to make.

While Farah's death was expected, it still reminds us of our own mortality. She was once so beautiful and so strong. I respect how she journaled very openly till her death about her feelings.

Ed McMahon's deaths also came this week. So while everything else is going well for me, this is kind of a sad day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A beautiful day

Today is a gorgeous blue-sky, birds-singing day! Jack and I are busily getting the RV ready for another journey! We will be leaving tomorrow for Indiana to visit Annette and her family. One cool thing that we've done is that Jack built cabinets for the cabover area of the RV. Here are some photos, starting with after we got the bed taken out:


He built a cover for the "nose" part of the floor, so that our stuff wouldn't get sucked into never-never land!



He wired up a new plug for me, using the old plug that's now behind the cabinets:


And here are the finished cabinets. They are made of maple wood and birch plywood doors. That's aluminum flashing trim between the cabinets and it goes well with the trim that we have on the other cabinets! I'm amazed at how well the wood matches what we already have.


We went to the Blessing of the Boats party at Harold & Kathy's on Friday afternoon. It was great fun, with 10 of us going down the river from Harold's to Paris Park in kayaks and canoes. The river was high and fast and the day was, while not sunny, also not too hot or cold and not rainy. :) There was a wonderful picnic afterwards, and music around the fire.

We've been parked at Jack's house for the past few days, while he has been working on the cabinets. As he's done that, I've been working in the house. I got one countertop in the kitchen cleared and cleaned. I've cleared out the buffet and part of the dining table. Because we don't know yet what to do with all the stuff, I'm making piles, organizing the randomness a bit, and tossing the outright garbage, outdated food, and things that have been chewed up by rodents.