Saturday, February 25, 2012

Little Getaway Next weekend

Trying to schedule a short Alfa getaway has been a challenge.  Between each of us having a colonoscopy, my getting dental bridge work, various other routine medical appointments, and a few days (not consecutive) of having hired workmen in the house, a getaway keeps getting put off.

The weather has also been a consideration.  It s February after all!

But today I booked a spot at  the Pinnacles National Monument for next weekend.  When we were there in October we learned that in spring there are plentiful wildflowers at the park.   We said we would have to come back in spring.  And we are.  

At this time of the year there  are shuttle buses from the RV campground to the upper trailheads. This works for us because we don't have a tow car.  In fall we hiked to one of the upper trailheads, but were  wore out by the time we got there and so didn't go very far up the high trail before turning back.

This will also give us a chance to use our Senior Pass for the first time.  With 50% off, the RV spot is only $18 per night.  

So the Alfa will finally get a little exercise., and so will we! This is good.

I'm also making progress on planning a longer trip in June and July!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Craig is working hard

Just a short post.  

After all of my complaining, I just want to say that Craig has been working hard on getting some things done around the house.

It will take a long time, we don't always agree, but he is working on something every day.

Several people suggested we consult some realtors to get a perspective on an action plan.  We are not there yet.  We still have many things we know "must be done" before the "should we do thems" are considered.

Thanks for the input though.  Someday we may do that.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Small Alfa Improvement

The basement doors on the Alfa do not all open in the same direction.  On the driver's side, under the slides, they open "down", or in the case of the sewer bay door, to the side.  On the passenger side they open "up."

I have read on the Alfa forum that the latches are prone to breaking when the doors are allowed to slam down.  And once broken, it is very difficult to get the door open to fix them.  Mention was made of having a child or small person crawl into the basement from the other side!  Neither of us is small, and we have no children around!

I have tried to be gentle with the doors, and even got my finger caught in one while trying to lower it slowly! They are quite heavy and it takes some effort to keep them from slamming.

When we were at the Indio Rally I noticed the neighbor's Alfa had neat little handles on the bay doors.  I asked him if they came that way, (it seems there are many options that people could have) but he said "no", he had bought them at Home Depot.

So the last time I was at Home Depot I got some handles and Craig put them on for me.

It only took him 15 minutes, but hopefully it will save the latches and my fingers! Since I open the bay doors every few days to check for mice they will be well used.

Speaking of mice, I've  caught two in the basement since we got back from our trip, but no signs of any activity upstairs!  I keep a total of eight traps in various locations.

Anyone else have mice this winter?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Summer Trip Plans!

Got out of the doldrums yesterday and made reservations for the "key" week of our summer Oregon trip.  I knew we wanted to go to Crater Lake and I've been looking at several RV parks in the area.  I had hoped to be able to get a spot in the park, but it seems there are none (or at least very few) with hook ups.  We could do without water and sewer, but without solar, we consider an electric hook up essential.  After we have some experience, this may not be true, but as newbies we want power and WiFi!

From what I have read, Crater Lake can still be closed in late June if the weather is bad.  So we have booked a spot for the first week of July.  Of course it will include the fourth.  Since I want to take at least a week to get there, stopping at Lassen National Park along the way, we would end up spending the fourth at some RV park anyway.  So it might as well be there!

Now that I've got that week reserved, I can plan the route up and back.  I hope to leave the return plans very, very open with several options.  We went to Washington and back in two weeks a few years ago in a rented RV.  I feel we went too far in to short a time.  I want to explore and relax more this time. 

Sue and Mo of "The Moho and Other Traveling Tales" have invited us to meet up with them for some Kayaking while we are in the Klamath area.  I very excited about that!  Craig tried to get me to try kayaking several times, but I was reluctant.  Now that I have seen so many others that really enjoy it, I'm eager to give it a try. (Although I can swim, I have always had a bit of fear of lake water.  I'm OK in swimming pools, but don't like water weeds or murky water.  It's not a big deal, I'm less uneasy than I was years ago.)

One big "bummer" is we don't have a towed.  I am planning on one of us driving the Prius and one the Alfa.  That's another good reason to take our time coming home.  We can travel a shorter distance, park and explore together in the Prius.  Or travel a bit farther, stay at a park for a few days and drive the area. We have no experience doing things that way, but we will learn as we go. 

Someday we will trade the Prius in on a car that can be towed.  At first we thought we might dolly it like fellow bloggers The Good Luck Duck gals, but have concluded that was not the best way to go.  We like the economy and the drive of the Prius.  As long as we are house-bound, we will probably keep it.  My ride is a 1995 Safari Van. We will continue to need it for hauling  things as long as we are here. 

For now It feels good to have a trip to plan. After I post this I'm going to do some more research on RV parks we might stay at before or after Crater Lake.

We were going to go somewhere with the Alfa this week, but the trip got put on hold.  We are having some work done on the house by someone else, and we want to be here.  This is the week they were available, so we will stay home! 

I don't mind the delay if it means progress on the house.  Maybe we will get away at the end of next week or the week after.  Sometime soon I hope! The Alfa needs to get out!

Craig keeps working on things. He wants to do so much, and I just don't see when it will all get done. 

 We have  different ideas about how much to do, and how to do it.

I'm pretty sure we will see another winter here, but hopefully we will take a couple of trips during the year. I'm really hoping the real estate market will be better in spring or summer of 2013.  This is such an odd house, it will take a very special buyer.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Still Here

I'm still here...

I'm reading all of your posts ....

I've written a few of my own, but then delete them because they don't make much sense, like this one, or are more negative than I want to be.

Not much is happening here.

We hope to take a short trip  soon...

I'm still here ...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Blogger has done it again!  Can they make things any more unfriendly?

When I first started blogging I both used and didn't use the word verification feature on my comment form.  

Because I myself dislike having to type in the scrambled letters, I turned it "off," and have not had it "on" for most of a year.  At least I think it is "off." Please tell me if it isn't!

Occasionally I will get a strange comment, and simply delete it.  I also get several comments in the spam file from time to time.  They usually are spam, but I have the ability to look them over and publish them if they are not.  
I accept comments from "anonymous" because my family members comment, but are not followers.

I only moderate comments on posts that are over two weeks old.  I catch a spam with this from time to time as well.

I often leave comments just to let people know I am reading their posts.  Most of the time they are just friendly "right on!"  messages.

If you have the word verification feature "on" for your comments, I will continue to read your posts, but I am seriously considering not leaving any more comments on your posts. It was hard enough when I had to descramble one word, but now that blogger is asking for two it might be too much trouble unless I feel my comment is very important.

This will be particularly true when I'm reading on the iPad instead of my laptop.  The screen size leaves something to be desired when trying to decipher the scrambles words.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Condor flew over our house!

picture from web
We are pretty sure we saw a California Condor fly over our house yesterday! 

It was amazing.

Craig had stepped out onto the deck, late in the afternoon, and called for me to come look at the bird circling above.  Because it had a white head he thought it might be an eagle.  But we don't have eagles here.

As it glided high above on it's second pass, we both guessed it was a California Condor!  When we were at the Pinnacles National Monument we learned that occasionally a Condor will "take a day trip" and fly as far as San Francisco.

We think that is what this guy was up to!

I have sent an email to the Condor Watch site with the details, and hope they will confirm the sighting.  

Some of the big birds have radio transmitters that allow them to be tracked.

He was to high for us to see his tags.  

We were very sure he was no ordinary turkey vulture. We see them all of the time.  They like to snack on the road kill on the nearby freeway. A turkey vulture flying over might be notice, but not commented on.

I do like our mountain location!  We don't need to travel to see  wildlife.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bad Dream

Margie Anne, a delightful New Zealand Blogger, wrote about a reoccurring bad dream she had last night, and what it might mean. Her dream was about being in danger and asking for, and accepting help.  Something to ponder.

I had a bad dream just before waking this morning, and I can't forget it.  I don't think I have ever had a variation on it before. I do remember a lot of my dreams, but they are rarely scary.

In this dream, I was looking at used cars to buy as a towed.  I went for a test drive, by myself,  in an old, gray, dusty, junker.  I missed a turn and went into a ditch.  Suddenly the car started sinking.  At first I laughed at myself because I was not hurt, and I thought how embarrassed I was going to be calling a tow truck.

But the car kept sinking and I realized I could not get out and I was going to be buried alive in black muck.  The window was open but I didn't fit thru and couldn't open the door. I knew I was going to die and no one would be able to get there in time to help or save me.

Then I woke up. 

 I wonder what it meant.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bad Words

Blah Blah Blah Fat

Blah Blah Blah, Calories,

Blah Blah Diet, 

Blah Blah Blah Exercise!

When I was 16 my weight and my IQ were about the same.  I was skinny, and smart.

I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience over the years. 

 Do you think that is why I weigh so much more?  I have a fat brain.

I have dusted off the treadmill and dug out the lower calorie cookbooks. 

The only other option I have is to just shoot myself, and hope for reincarnation!

 But with my luck I would come back as a whale 

                                                          or an elephant.  

Best to just work with what I've got this go round.

Life is so hard.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sorting and Planning

I spent most of Thursday morning taking all of my  fake furs off the shelves in my studio and from the upper hall where I have kept the "extras."  As I did this I culled out lots of smaller pieces and clusters of odd scraps.  I filled at least two large bags for the trash, and emptied and squashed a half dozen boxes.

Some of what I culled out was too good to throw away. I filled three large trash bags with fur and fabric, tied them closed and labeled them "Flea Market or Donation."  I put these in the back of the storage closet in the studio.  I will probably forget what is there, but this is the first step in getting rid of it.  I did a lot of that last year.  I put things into bags or boxes in the garage and then six months later donated or tossed them.  It works for me.  

Friday morning I faced a huge pile of furs covering my work benches and the couch and chair in the family room. 
 I made a list of the  animals I might want to make "on the road."
 As I put the furs back onto the shelves, I sorted it so that only furs for those went on the front shelves. 

 The rest went into bags and are stored on the back shelves.  I made a little key chart of the back furs. I need to keep all of these materials because until I actually go "on the road" I will continue offering  a much wider variety of animals on my web page.

 I consider this a first step in understanding what I might need to pack along if I take the Animal Head Biz with me.  I can still cut this down some and fit it into a large car top carrier.

Thursday afternoon I started planning our summer trip up to Crater Lake.  I really enjoy planning.  I've been reading about places we might stop at and looking at maps and directions.  I would like to take a week getting there, spend a week there, and take a week coming back. 

 Maybe we won't come back!  Maybe we will keep going and have a longer trip.  It will all depends on how much we get done on the house and on what our fall trip is looking like.  (I'm figuring on six weeks in Utah,  New Mexico and Arizona!)

Craig has had a productive week.   In addition to shopping for and ordering the new shower enclosure for the middle bathroom, he reworked the drywall on one of the walls in the bedroom we sleep in. 

It is an interior wall that was an exterior wall before the garage was added. The two windows, already removed in this picture,  looked into the garage. The built in air-conditioner unit has not been used for many years.  All are gone, and it is now a smooth wall. 

There is other drywall around the house that has to be finished and textured before it is painted.  We will do it all at once, so for now this wall is just patched.

Today he cleaned up the mess from the drywall and we will be able to sleep in our own bed again tonight. We've been sleeping in a regular double bed in the guest room, cosy, but a tight fit!

Earlier in the week he fixed the broken tile edge in the front hall.  I have wanted it fixed for 20+ years!  It took about an hour's actual work.  But it's done now. 

He also did a little repair on the Alfa.  A drawer had broken on our trip and need some TLC and a few screws!

I wonder what will be accomplished next week? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back

I thought we had made some decisions yesterday, but when morning came we felt we didn't have enough information, so after the guy from the shower enclosure place came to look at the job we decided to spend the rest of the day looking at more tile and such.

I'm not sure what we will do, but now we have some numbers to compare when we get his bid via fax tomorrow morning. 

This would be so much more "fun" if we were doing it for ourselves.  

Two steps forward,  one step back.  But at least it's in the right direction!