Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Going to Alaska

No, not me.  I won't even say "someday."

 I am following three other bloggers that are making the trip this summer.

SueCyndi, and Judy and Luke are all headed there, and I will be going along in "spirit" as a virtual RVer.

I always believed books could give me the world, now blogs are my window.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homemade bagel review

Craig said he thought the homemade bagels were quite good.  The one he tried last night, baked 5 hours before, was the best, as good or better than from the bagel shop.

The one that was par-baked and then finished with 10 more minutes in the oven was next best, and the one that I just refrigerated over night and baked was a bit "wet" inside.  All had a good texture and flavor.

For Donna K, I think they were less work than the Strawberry Shortcake you just made!  If we were closer we could trade!

Wish my diet would allow doughnuts.  I'd try to make some!

Next time I go to the store I'll have to look for a nice fresh pineapple.  I want to try making one on the grill like Jerry and Suzi did.  Looked very taste, and fruit is good for you!

Happy Holiday Weekend everyone.

Remember to give all those weekenders extra smiles.  You are the lucky ones. They have to go to work on Tuesday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home made Bagels

Last week heyduke50 showed a picture of some bagels they had baked in the RV convection oven.  He has not yet posted a recipe, but I waned to try making some too.  I found a recipe for home made bagels using the bread machine for mixing, and decided to give it a try. 

It was really a lot easier than I expected. 

The recipe I used said it would make nine bagels.  I divided it into eight.  I think getting the sizes equal will take a bit of practice.

 I always use the full recipe when I'm trying something new.  
Next time I will try making a half recipe resulting in four fresh baked bagels.

This time I am also doing a couple of "baking option" experiments. 

 These bagels  are fully baked and were quite yummy.

 The bottom two of these bagels  have not been baked and will be covered,  put in the refrigerator, and baked tomorrow.  
The top two  have been baked for 15 of the 25 minutes.  I will also refrigerate them and bake them  bit more tomorrow.

I think it would be nice to be able to mix them and let them go thru the first rising, shaping, boiling and topping the night before, (about a hour and a half time). Then bake them for breakfast the next morning. 
The recipe I used is at bagels

I'll let you know tomorrow how the delayed baking and Craig's taste test went

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back on the Ladder again!

Although our long range plan has changed, I am still dedicated to seeing this house fixed up!

Last summer we had new garage doors installed, and Craig wanted to painted them the same color as the house.  They are white, and the house is a blush pink with brown trim.

Since he is still working on his long term indoor project, we decided I should take on the garage doors.  I started that job today.  If it doesn't rain as predicted I should be able to get it done in a few days.  

A small check mark in the "to do" book for May.

Monday, May 23, 2011

About Writing

So after all the positive encouragement I got last week, I will continue to write a blog, but now it will be about things other than reaching for an RV dream.

But first, on that subject, Craig and I did some talking this weekend.
 My meltdown was not his fault, and took him by complete surprise.

The trigger had to do with a house remodeling project we don't see eye to eye on.

 I'm going to try harder to be more patient,  less critical, and stop trying to save money by only doing what is necessary.  I'm still on hold with any timelines, dreams, or expectations.

I occasionally generate clouds of doom and depression all on my own.
It will work out.

Now back to "About Writing"

The English language and I have never been on good terms!  When I was growing up "learning disabilities" were not talked about or treated.  The only kids in "Special Education" were severely mentally retarded, and only the very worse case kids were held back a year.

To start with, I was a "young" kindergartener.  I started school at four years old with a late November birthday.  Add to that a series of illnesses that kept me home much of first grade, a large class size, (I was the beginning of the baby boom bulge)  left handed, and  undiagnosed dyslexia. 
I remember a discussion about keeping me back a year, but my parents were totally against it, so I was pushed on. 
 Second and third grade were a nightmare.  I was the lowest in the low reading group. I couldn't read and I definitely could not spell!  I remember quite  few tearful Fridays when I would sit after school writing out all the words I had gotten wrong on the weekly spelling test over and over. I always had to stay after far longer than anyone else in the class.

Then a miracle happened.  My fourth grade teacher was an angel.  Once again I was sick a lot, and it was recommended that I not go out for recess with the rest of the class.  Instead I spent that time indoors, in the classroom, by myself.  My wonderful teacher took that time (probably time she would have otherwise been able to take a short break) to give me special help, one on one.  We went back over lower grade readers, and somehow she taught me to read!

I went from the lowest group to the highest, and even placed very well in an all school vocabulary test at the end of the year.

I still could not spell, but reading was no longer a problem and for some unknown reason I was placed in advanced English classes in High School.  I remember getting grades of A/C.  A for content and a C  for spelling and grammar. 

Then came college.  At the University of Wisconsin, Freshman English was required for graduation.  I knew several people who never graduated because they could not pass it.  I was terrified.  I really tried hard, having Craig proofread what I turned in, but there was no way I could pass the impromptu essays that our professor was so fond of.  At the six week point, I was called into her office.  I have never had a more devastating meeting.  She told me I was illiterate, and recommended that I not only drop her class, but that I had no hope of getting a degree and should consider dropping out of college completely. 

I dropped her class.  Knowing I had to pass English I did what any smart student does.  I shopped for an easier teacher.  I found an early morning section in the summer session taught by a teacher that had a reputation for passing everyone.  I did pass, and took the second semester with him as well.

But I will never forget being told I was illiterate.  

I still cannot spell!  Craig corrects my grocery lists, and if it wasn't for Spell Check I would never be able to have a blog or answer emails.

So, thank you for telling me you like my blog.  I know not all of my grammar is up to snuff, but I just write what I think and feel.  Pretty much the way I talk.

Exercise Goal :  To walk 1000 miles on my treadmill or on trails.
miles Monday
Total walked = 364.5 miles   

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Still Walking

I haven't been copying my walking record over to my blog from my unpublished
 " notes" page recently because  by the time  I get a post ready  I forget to do it.

 So here is a catch up post.

Exercise Goal :  To walk 1000 miles on my treadmill or on trails.
20.2 miles since April ...
miles Sunday May 22

Total walked = 362.5 miles
I don't walk hard and I rarely break a sweat, so I suppose I'm really not doing any good, but I do feel a bit better after a couple of miles, and keeping track gives me a little motivation.

I have also found some National Geographic specials about the National Parks on NetFlix, so I can see the country without leaving home.

It's much like watching the food channel when you are on a diet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On the way to the park ...

Driving down Highway 1, on my way to Wilder Ranch State Park, I saw the sign for the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

I had read about it on the web.  It is the University of California, Santa Cruz, working marine science lab. It's not big and flashy like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but it had something I have wanted to see: A skeleton of a blue whale.

 Since I like bones almost more than flowers, I decided to go there instead of the park. 

 I guess that is one advantage of doing something on your own.  You don't have to make cooperative decisions. If Craig had been along I'm sure he would have liked seeing the whale too.

 Skeletons are nature's sculptural constructions. 

When I was a day-camp volunteer my camp name was "Bones." 

In the 70's, before the animal heads,  I  explored many different types of natural materials. 

 I experimented with cleaning chicken bones and reassembling them in new ways.  I wish I had a picture or two of those to share! I made up whole new animals!

Back to the Seymour Center:
Years ago, this blue whale washed up on a beach nearby.  The scientists brought the partially cleaned body to the center, and buried it.
Ten years later it was dug  up and reassembled.

They also had a gray whale skeleton on display.

  It was much smaller.

After looking at the displays inside the visitor center I went for a short walk outside on the cliffs overlooking the Ocean.  It was very windy and a bit cold, but quite beautiful.
Looking at the cliff face reminds me of how tentative many things in nature are.  Those rocks might stay exactly as they are for hundreds of years, or they might fall down into the sea tomorrow.

There were lots of these yellow flowers blooming.   I think they are Lupine.  If you look on the left side of the flower there is a big fat black bumble bee.

He kept moving around and I must have taken six pictures, but this is the one showing his red leg spot.

When I got home I read about bumble bees.  I think the red spot may be her pollen basket. I'm gong to work on my wildlife photography this summer.   I really have to start carrying the big hunking camera.

There are so many interesting place to see right here in my own back yard.  Places I have never gone to unless we had visitors from out of town.  

I needed to see a whale skeleton today.  So I did.

This will be my summer to open my eyes, and SEE the Bay area.  I am so lucky to live here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Little Explaination

First off I was amazed and much encourage by the supportive and sincere comments you all left for me on yesterday's blog.

Nothing terrible nor dramatic happened.  I am OK.  Sad, but OK.

The "crisis" has been developing for well over a month.  It mostly is in answer to having different priorities and different outlooks, as well as the fact that Craig and I rarely actually talk to each other about anything beyond what's for dinner.

That said, short of taking off by myself, (which may happen) I just don't see making plans to do anything.   So no more talk of dreams...

So,  what have I been up to this month?

I had several orders for animal heads early this month and they kept me busy.  Two horses to a ranch in California, a deer to the UK, a Leopard to Oklahoma, and a Panda to North Carolina.  Yesterday I had two orders, but they were both for the book I wrote some years ago so all I had to do was put then in Flat Rate envelopes and mail them. One to Ireland. 

Yesterday was one of the first "nice" days we have had this spring.  It has been rainy and gloomy forever.  I got my butt in gear and did a dirty spring job.  We have a tandum garage (where the bird tried to build the nest a few weeks ago) that has a half door.  Over the winter leaves and dirt blow into it.  I cut a large pile of kindling wood (from scrap and pallets) and pile it up in there in assorted boxes.

Fireplace season is over so it was time to clean it all up and sweep out the area.  Yuck.  Dirty!  I also keep a bunch of rat and mouse traps bated in there.  I check them often, but sometimes they just disappear.  I found three with dried up critters in them.  Double Yuck!

Today I am going on an adventure by myself.  In yesterday's newspaper there was an article about the wildflowers in the parks and which were the best right now.  As soon as I'm done writing this I'm off to Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz.

Pictures will be posted.

Once again thank you all so much for your comments.  It feels good to know I have friends out there.  You are all REAL.

And finally welcome to Jim and Sandie.  I hope to be able to share some local adventures this summer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Foolish Dream.

I've given up.

 I accept the fact that it was a foolish dream created for the wrong reason.

So no more talk about RV living.  No more dream.

I will  keep reading all of your blogs, but I don't think I will keep posting.

Thank You all for your support all of this time, but not everyone can make it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cut off

Did you feel cut off?
Perhaps there is something sad about feeling abandoned when Blogger goes down.

I'm glad you are all back on my computer!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eat That Frog, (or not)

"If you eat a live frog the very first thing each morning,
 you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably 
the worst thing you'll do all day"

Mark Twain

After visiting with Levonne the other day, I was looking thru the titles of "self improvement" ebooks available from the library, looking for one she was reading, when I came across a book called "Eat That Frog."

I had to check it out.  The title caught me!  

Like most self improvement books it had some good points, but also was a bit extreme.  It talks about making lists and setting priorities as a way of getting things done. The "frog" is your biggest, hardest task.  the book tells you to do that first and not procrastinate.

Anyone who has read this blog for any time, knows I keep "To Do" lists regularly.  I often set goals on what I want to accomplish on a day to day and month to month basis.

I keep it in pencil, so if I don't get something done, I can erase it!

If something is important enough, it will get done, eventually.

My approach is different!

I like to eat animal crackers,  
with frosting and sprinkles, 
and let the frogs hop away!

Yes, I procrastinate.  I  nibble away at my tasks, a little at a time. He who finishes first does not necessarily win.  She who walks in the sunshine and sees the birds, does!

Life is too short to eat frogs!  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Is it a "female" thing?

I think women need to get together with, and talk to other women more than men need to talk to other men.  

Men may enjoy hunting,  fishing, and watching sports together, but I don't think they talk as much as women do.

I went to visit Levonne again today, and we talked.  I felt very good after spending some time with her. 

I've been in a bit of a "funk" lately, and it was good to be able to talk about it.

 The last time we were together I was the listener.  This time she was.  

Thank you Levonne.  You made a nice lunch too!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What the FBI agent said about meeting other bloggers!

This is a story I have saved for several months, but I think my blogger friends will find it amusing.

When we visit our daughter in San Diego we usually end up spending some time with her friends.  There are four couples that all have kids in the same age range and live in the same neighborhood.  They call each other their "Point Loma Family," and we have gotten to know and love them all as such.

One of the couples happen to both be FBI agents.  Although we don't talk about their work, they have shared a feeling of above average caution about many things. 

At a Christmas get together we were asked about what we were going to do on our remaining days in the city. I told them we had plans to meet Evelyn and Ken, a couple from Wisconsin, who I had gotten to know from blogging.

When the "wife" learned that we had met on the internet she had all sorts of questions for me.  

She calls me "Grandma," and was actually concerned that we would get mugged or swindled. Apparently, going to meet strangers you only know from the internet is a dangerous business. And this may be true for kids and vulnerable singles.

But, whenever I think about her concern, I have to laugh.  When you have followed someone's blog for almost a year, you probably know more about them than you know about your next door neighbor! Lunch at Denny's is not a dangerous event.

It's hard to explain the "blogging community" to someone who has never been here.  I'm sure there might be some shady characters, but I also trust my own judgement.

So next time you have a chance to connect with one of the other blogging couples, remember my story.  

(And laugh.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do you write posts and then delete them?

I do. 

 Quite often.  

I delete them if they are to negative, or to whiny, or to critical. 

I delete them if they don't make  sense, or don't seem like they would be interesting to others.  

Not that I think most posts I write are interesting, sometimes I just write to keep track of what I'm doing and publish the post for myself.

I find writing  helps me think things thru, or vent my feelings, but when I do this I delete rather than publish.  

Sometimes I just leave a post in the draft state for a while.  I find revisiting my feelings helps me deal with them. 

Does anyone else do this?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


 to our 
really brave and strong 
special forces.