Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
The basic structure was multiple groups of sixteen. A few weeks before the event the Activities Director posted a sheet for each group with space for sixteen people to sign. One person ineach group volunteered to be the organizer, often someone who had been a park resident for a few years. Sometimes a group consisted of friends -- but often it provided an opportunity to get acquainted with residents outside one's normal circle. About one week before the dinner the members of each group met to plan their menu and determine who would bring each item. The park Activities Director purchased all the meat (turkey or ham), but someone in each group volunteered to prepare it. If the volunteer's oven wasn't adequate, they could borrow an electric roaster from the park kitchen. Each dinner participant paid a small amount for the Thanksgiving turkey -- but the park operator provided the Christmas ham. (Following the dinner the meat left-overs were divided amoung each group's members.)
Each group was alotted three long tables, arranged end to end, two for seating and one as the buffet serving table. Some groups used the tables as provided while other groups extensively decorated their tables. Since all of the food for a group was on a table next to the group, it didn't take long for each group to serve themselves. (There were no long lines, plus seconds were close at hand.)
Tomorrow, we'll comment about some of the practices we really dislike.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Both Sandy and I have commented that the cold seems to be so much more
miserable this year! Does age have anything to do with it?
It has been a pretty quiet week in the park. We did visit with the
Architectural committee about getting a building permit or at least laying
the ground work before we leave. The answer is NO. The committee does not
want to be the depository for numerous permit applications. Okay, I guess
we will wait!
Today we were visited by a fellow who is in the park and is looking to rent
a lot so that he can stay for another month. We have a tentative agreement
and Sandy and I have to decide if we really want to leave on the 23rd of
December. His current lot rental agreement is up on the 24th and he has to
move off of the lot. We have said that if someone wanted to rent our lot,
we'd leave today! I guess someone is calling our number. It is a bit
earlier than desired for us, but it also means that the lot would be rented
January, February and March with no gaps. (We like that part of it.). I
guess the plus also is that we know how the Christmas dinner will be served
in this park and we don't like it (to put it bluntly).
So while we may leave earlier than desired, I've assured Sandy that we will
go to another RV park in or near Quartzsite for a week or two. We will make
several calls tomorrow and see what those parks do for a park wide Christmas
dinner. We've seen how various parks handle the Christmas dinner and we
have some definite opinions. So why not pick one that serves dinner like we want it?
an old ZIP code. EBay had thrown me a curveball and I didn't catch it that
the shipping address had an old ZIP. When I purchased a third item, eBay
allowed me to use the correct ZIP. Anyway, we can relax. The items were
LED assemblies that I want to get installed in the coach prior to our trip
to Quartzsite. We added one of the lights to our sink light strip and Sandy even
agreed that the new one and the old one give off enough light in the sink
area. Perhaps more would be desired, but for a couple of weeks, it is
tolerable. Each light assembly is a flexible plastic strip with 24 LED's
embedded in it. The total current consumption is about 0.1 amps, a whole
lot less that the 1.5 amperes that the incandescent bulbs consume.
Now I need to find a fixture so that I can provide more light in the living
room area. The second and third items that came in were LED assemblies
with 48 LEDs in each. The devices are in the shape of a small funnel, about
2 inches diameter and 2 inches deep. The challenging thing is that they
use a different base from anything locally available. The base is composed of two
pins, a quarter of an inch long and about a quarter of an inch apart. It
is a standard socket and I will order some via eBay tonight or tomorrow.
(If we leave on the 23rd, that doesn't give us much time either!)
This afternoon I took a long walk to the cotton field east of the park. It
is interesting how cotton is harvested. Since cotton is so fluffy, they
actually have a packing machine to reduce the shipping volume. In the
field, the harvested bale of cotton is about the size of 40 foot semi
trailer. To move the huge bale, they have large truck bed similar to the
trucks that are now used haul cars off of the highway. The truck bed
slides way out at an angle, and I think they put a cable come-a-long around
the bale to slowly winch it onto the truck bed that then pulls it up onto
the truck frame. Of course when all of this is done, there is lots of
cotton bulbs scattered around. It probably is not that many pounds, but the
white cotton on the dark soil just look like poor processing.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
north wind with a trace of moisture that has been blowing all day. As I
mentioned yesterday, this was a planned layover. And we're enjoying the
relaxation. We are on Kanopolis Lake, SW of Salina, KS in the Venango Park Campground.
This morning, for fresh air and exercise, I walked to the south end of the
campground. The real test was on the return when I had to face the wind.
It was cold and penetrating. This afternoon we walked over to the north edge
of the lake and walked on some of the shoreline rocks (like little boys do).
Since it was behind the trees it was very pleasant until I returned to the
motorhome. But you need some out time now and then.
The bonus for the day was when Sandy took advantage of the full AC power and
made two loaves of Quick bread using some of our cranberries. What a short
lived treat! It has been cut, wrapped and frozen, so again I'm on limited
rations for the treats. She believes that out of site is out of mind and
then she can be a hero when she reminds me that there is still some available.
We haven't had any real rain, but it has often misted some on the front
window. The snow in Kansas was along the western edge. Since we have a
very flexible schedule and driving might not be much fun in this stuff, we've
even talked about laying over another day. After all, the price is right! We'll decide in the AM.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
time, read the mail, rechecked all of the locks, hooked up and pulled out at
9:05 AM. It was cloudy and over cast, so no bright sunshine to get in our
face. Traffic was moderate on I-80 and we seemed to make good time.
Our route was I-80 to Des Moines, then south on I-35 to Missouri highway 36
and west to St. Joseph, MO. We arrived here at a Walmart around 2:45 PM and
proceeded to get some credit added to my Walmart card. (I get three cents a
gallon discount doing it that way.) We fueled the MH with diesel and had to
leave before we were blocked in by the fuel delivery truck. Okay, next
time. I did like the price at $2.50.9
We checked with a few people and yes, RVers are allowed to park in the lot
over night. And since the weather seems to be very cooperative, we decided
to just call it a day. It is so nice to have weather close to 70 degrees
and no wind. Actually, we'd be happy with there was some wind now to blow
the lady bugs away. It is hard to describe the number of bugs we have
inside and outside. They certainly hung on for dear life coming today,
because I don't think we're missing any of them. I rechecked the lawn before leaving for
any forgotten items and it is obvious that the lady bugs were going to make
their winter home under the tires. I'm not sure how they did it, but it
was a solid mass of squashed bugs where the tire depression was. Two good
things, they won't fly any more and they will now contribute to the lawn
fertility. A characteristic of the bugs at this time of year is that they
seem to want to gather in bunches in very tight quarters. I should have
put some boards down with about a quarter of an inch gap between them.
Perhaps I could have squashed a few hundred more.
Monday, October 19, 2009
day late! We have been invaded by lady bugs of the most aggressive kind.
It is unreal how many we have swarming on the east side of the rig (where
our door is). We thought we had pretty well escaped this year when we went
to Wisconsin last month. I guess it is not to be.
I've done my little errands in town and we're ready to depart I think.
Actually we could have left except that friends are bringing out some Chili
Soup, the main ingredient from a dinner that we canceled out on last Friday.
We were planning to compare notes about our previous outings. (They
in Ohio and we in Wisconsin.) I guess we'll wait until spring to finish
Larry W (our farm operator) stopped by this morning and said that both the
corn and the beans are too wet to combine. Of course, the price is very
decent now and who knows what it will do when the harvest swings into full
gear. Just for keeps, I did go out into the corn field this morning and
picked three ears to carry along (as reminders of my roots). I was
impressed with how well filled out the ears are, right to the end of the
cob. I also had to smile about how tight the ears are sticking to the
stalk. It was a two handed job (and then some) to remove the ear from the
stalk. Normally, that is a one handed job and too often in times past, the
ear just falls off. Not this year, at least now.
We loved the weather forecast for tomorrow here in Iowa, only a 20 percent
chance of rain late in the day. That gives us a good shot of getting all
the way to St. Joseph, MO for our first stop with decent driving. I
wouldn't mind it also if it was a bit cloudy, with a north wind to top it
off. (I love a tail wind.)
We've picked out our first stop, Lewis and Clark State Park south of St.
Joe. Our second day will be fewer miles to a Corps park near Lindsborg, KS,
where our current plan is to rest a day. A friend heading there today says
the price is right ($2 / day), so I think we can handle that. From there,
it is anyone's guess. If the weather is sullen, we'll head for Deming, NM
to hole up for a day. Other wise, we'll take I-40 I think. We have no
schedule to hold to other than our own wishes. We had wanted to do some
touring of Indian ruins in New Mexico, but with the after effects of this
cold I've had, I'm looking for some really hot weather to bake it out of
me. (Of course, that isn't want Sandy likes!)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
days. I've been motorhome bound since Thursday afternoon and it is
frustrating. Thursday night was a real bummer of a head cold when I had a
very stuffy, plugged and still a runny nose. At about 3 AM on Friday
morning I finally woke up to the idea that there were some pills in the rig
that would somewhat alleviate the symptoms. They helped some (but not
much). I spent Friday mostly on my back, on the sofa and downing the pills
as recommended by my nurse/caretaker/boss. Friday night was a bit better.
At least the pills stopped the runny nose. On Saturday, I actually felt
like I might live
Today is better, but I'm afraid I've got a ways to go. I haven't taken any
pills since last night and my head feels great. However, there is some
sinus drainage and I periodically seem to need to do a weak cough.
However, this afternoon, I finally put the coat on and went outside to do a
few small pre-departure items. It sure felt good to be outside in the fresh
air, even if it was very windy.
flexible, depending upon what the weather map looks like at departure.
Supposedly, we're to get more rain on Tuesday (not what the farmers want or
need right now as the harvest season is ready to begin when the weather
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
where we used to live. On Sunday morning, we went to our home church, which
is a rarity since we're on the road. We make a special effort to get there
spring and fall to let them know we're still around. What a joy to see
so many wonderful friends of yesterday. The other thing we noticed was
that the church is changing. I guess it can be expected since moved out of the community 16
years ago. There are so many new faces. Even the president of the
congregation is a stranger to us. Actually, that is good, as it means that
the church is growing!
For the rest of the day, we laid pretty low in the motorhome. It was just
too cold to be out wandering around in the park. This morning, Gene was up
early (he always is) to read the email and do his surfing. However, no
breakfast until nearly 9 AM because he had to have a blood test done at 8
AM. The blood suckers seem to want their share also.
off to the dentist to allow him his pound of flesh. For once I got by
without any fillings, but the bill seems plenty high anyway. We were in a
hurry and the dentist seemed to be in no hurry. I think we were his only
customers for the afternoon. One reason we wanted out was so that we could
get the RV and head to the farm. Plus the park wanted us out by 3 PM. We
were 30 minutes late, but nothing was said. On the way to the farm, we
stopped at the west side Walmart and picked up some last minute items. Then
it was on to Amana to see my mother. We wanted to park on the road and then
saw a big sign (No Parking). Then we spotted the employees parking lot that
was about half empty (it was 5 pm). So we wheeled in and parked.
Perhaps not where we ought to be, but there was lots of space.
We were ready to get off of the road and when we pulled in, I told Sandy
that we weren't unhooking the Saturn until we were parked. So we wheeled
in, did a U turn on the grass and parked in the usual location on the lawn.
Then I unhooked the Saturn and noticed that we did leave a depression in the
grass. It was a good thing that we kept it moving until we were parked. Later
rain since we left 2 weeks ago.The big disappointment is that none of the
soybeans are harvested in this area. I was hoping that they'd be out so
that I could do some work in the field before we leave. Okay, we can't win
Time to turn in.