Saturday, December 26, 2009

Most extensive use of gummy bears

This young lady really liked icing. Minimal use of graham crackers, lots of icing, and many many gummy bears.

So the other categories included: Green house, see those solar panels? Santa had a bit of one of those....

And best use of candy corn fencing....

And then there's my shared castle....which I think is the best in show....

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pink Pink Pink

My neighbor who is also named Margaret is a very active Pink Ribbons volunteer. We decided last year to make am auction quilt for the Pink Ribbons Society. It took a year for us to become inspired, but we finally did it.

I had never been a fan of the color Pink, but now I think i crave it. Pink is my new state of mind. Perhaps I have been too long in my pink bathroom, vintage 1957. Re-grouting my pink tile has been on my Outlook to do list for over two years. Re-grouting is a job you could put off forever, you know? Finally, the gaps between the tiles were becoming so large that I decided 2009 was going to be the year. In the process of cleaning out the old grout, several tiles came loose, the backboard began to crumble, and finally I had to empty the closet behind the tub so we (we = Carl) could repair the backboard from behind the tub. A few hours turned into weeks.

At one point, Carl told me I might have to buy a few tiles if he broke them cleaning them up. 1957 pink tiles? Who would have thought it? I discovered that pink retro tile is back. There is one tile company in California that makes the stuff. And did you know there are message boards out there on pink tiles? In addition to advice on how to decorate your pink bathroom, there many people offering up their pink tiles as they demo their baths, others seeking the discards of the demolishers. When it comes to Pink, either you love it or you hate it.

My pink tile tedium was saved only by the creativity of making a pink quilt simultaneously, but I have finally emerged from the grout business.

One more thing about grout. My neighbors, circa 1957 green tile, also decided to re-grout. They called in a crew this week who re-grouted two bathrooms in three hours for $500. So now I have a value on my work. Let's see, by the hour I made about.....never mind, I don't want to know.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let it snow

Today we had our ten year snow day. How magic. It only snowed during the daylight hours, it never dropped below freezing, there were no traffic accidents, and definitely no snow to shovel. Just happy people everywhere. Houston is absolutely euphoric about snow. Must be similar to the fourth of July if you live on the Great Lakes.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make it a double

I was lulled into thinking donating platelets was a piece of cake, a fantasy I created when my first donation only took 47 minutes. I did not realize the blood bank had discovered I was good for double platelets. Just like tax bracket creep, my time on the machine expanded to 70 minutes. I can accept that. But this time, I was on the machine for two hours.
This is my arm Day 4 after donating double platelets. I'm keeping this photograph so I can ask for the very best sticker at the Blood Bank next time. With this evidence, I am sure I will get Patrice.

Patrice took over after I had been on the machine about an hour and a half. We had plenty of time to chat about my chart. Patrice, who considers herself a good "sticker", said I should ask for her next time, since she was the one who finished me in 47 minutes.

Bruises aside, I'm still going to do it again. First, somebody needs my platelets. Second, I get my cholesteral count, which is 213 not on medication (whoo hoo!!! keep on with the power food breakfast!) and second, with doubles I am racking up the points. Just wait till you see the Christmas gifts I am picking out for you with my Blood Bank rewards points. Hope you all like the Blood Bank logo.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Naked Truth

Some things are better done naked. Aside from the obvious.

For example, it's good to be naked when using bleach. I was reminded of this today as I sprayed bleach on the grout lines in the shower. I was also reminded how many spotted clothes I own by the end of a summer in the RV, where adding a little bleach to the water tank is my job, and a job I can't do naked. Well, I could, but that might make for a very short stay in that campsite. It's possible I could even be whisked away to Ranger jail. I can't even imagine the penalty for being naked on National Park properties.

Besides being naked for bleaching, consider dog washing. There's a job with no rewards that I know of for staying clothed. The clothes are soaked, if not from the runaway shower spray, then for certain from the dog's great fur shakedown during and after the bath.

Another ideal spot for being naked is a hot tub. Who wants a stretched out parboiled swimsuit?

What say you? What's your naked secret?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How I would look if I were a doctor


Nancy looks more official, I think, with the pens in her pocket. They definitely say research.

I am surprised how good we look after two days on our feet in the testing kitchen. I was not made for this job, not at my age for sure. This experience made weekend long campouts with 15 girlscouts seem trivial.

We had to have 8 beans and rices, 10 meats, 5 cheeses, 15 chopped "veggies", secret sauces and salsas, tortillas, chips....I get tired again just thinking of or cold and labeled and ready for 10 testers to walk through a buffet line at precisely the right moment. It had to look good and feel good. We did this 8 times in two days.

I am still pretty amazed at how good we look at the end of the day. Anyway, walking two days in my nieces shoes, I am glad I did it, and really really glad I don't have to do it every week like she does.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not boring

If I were to sum up my memories of Audrey Fox Lincoln, it would be in these two words: "not boring."

We don't get to choose the family members that come to us by marriage. But sometimes we get lucky. I got my husband's dad, Fred, the father-love of my life, and his wife, Audrey.

Coming to the family late in its history, when Carl was almost 40 and Fred's second marriage to Audrey was seasoned by many years, I had none of the usual family pathos, complications or expectations to color my experience. Preparing me for my first visit with his dad and stepmother, Carl just said, "Audrey's Audrey." I already knew he owed her a debt for re-establishing communication with his father. They had been estranged for at least ten years when Fred and Audrey married. She was their mediator.

I soon learned what he meant by "Audrey's Audrey." Unique. Opinionated. Verbally opinionated. Loving Audrey could be like loving a porcupine. On the flip side, she was: Intelligent. Well read. Informed. Interested in your family as well as hers. Had a memory for things important. Not boring.

Not boring. I wouldn't mind if that was written as my epitaph. So much goes into those words. She was a great conversationalist. A reasonable card player, but not as good as she thought. An incredible writer. Sometimes when I write, I think about her long journals, all hand written, on the trips she and Fred took to the far parts of the earth, sometimes on a freighter, sometimes a river boat, sometimes with elder hostel or Rotary. Sometimes I think about her when I plan the far parts of the earth I still want to visit. She was at least my age when I met her, going with gusto. She made me excited at what still lies ahead.

Audrey and I shared a silly game, sending each other mystery cooking gadgets in the mail. Once I sent her a garlic peeler, a tube that looked like a large plastic Manicotti. She wrote a note. "We think it is a sex toy, and goodness knows we can use all the help we can get. Tim and Candace have one too, and theirs smells strangely like garlic." I think about Audrey when I peel garlic.

She planned to live a long time. Why else would she go to Jazzercise class in her 80's? Or do a daily crossword puzzle? And she did live a long time, two days past her 93rd birthday. In the last two years, I have seen her three times. Since she lives over 1000 miles away, that says something about how much I valued her friendship. I knew the last visit I would not see her again, not in this world. She rose to the occasion of lunch, but that was all the gusto she had.

What do I wish? I wish I had taken off from work all day every day when she and Fred would visit. Then I would have had many more rounds of bridge to remember. When she didn't get good cards, she would say loudly "BORING!" (Actually, Audrey was often loud, a product of being half deaf.) I wish I had lived closer, so I could have attended cultural events with her. In her later years, I could have driven her to them. I could have gone to Jazzercise with her, joined her bridge group, her book club. I could have watched her role model for an active retired life. And it would never, never, never have been boring.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guys in Tuxes

There's nothing quite so handsome as young men 6 foot 5 and over wearing tuxes. The excitement of the groom in this photo is created by the sight of a drop dead gorgeous bride walking down the aisle toward him.

What I will remember most about this wedding are two things: getting to kiss the handsome groomsman who happens to be my godson,

and the groom's father's toast.

Posted by Picasa
I'll try to paraphrase:

Two things.

My parents have never been close to me. They moved to Wyoming, for heavens sake. But when I married your mother, I also got  her bazooka of a father and her fashionista mother. They took me in and treated me as one of their own. They never took sides in any of our issues. They lived three hours away, and we visited them often. I went because I wanted to. They are both gone now, and I miss them both terribly.

Your mom and I are 1100 miles away. But you have a new family now, living right here close to you. It is an incredible opportunity. Love them, cherish them, spend time with them.

Second thing. In your married life, there will be many happy occasions, many ups and downs. But for me, marriage is all about the extraordinary moments. My first extraordinary moment was in 1980 when you were born. It was then that I realized, this thing is bigger than the both of us. So too in your marriage, the time will come when you will stop and say, this is incredible. Look forward to those extraordinary moments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

59 years 6 months

Among my peer group of baby boomer friends, I am one of the "older" ones.  Nevertheless it may surprise you to realize that I am able now to take money out of my IRA without penalty. As with most discoveries, it is a mixed blessing.

In keeping with the theme of aging, I feel compelled to share with you that I visited the social security office today. It's been on my to-do-list for years, this visit, to correct my birth date. I discovered in filing income taxes online that my birth date is incorrect with Social Security, and frankly, I've had enough lying about my age in order to file online. Besides, I'm quite sure I won't be able to apply for social security a year early just because the Social Security Administration currently thinks I was born in 1949, not 1950.

Carl will be interested to know that marrying him aged me, because it was my name change in 1983 that triggered this error. I was born in 1950 until then.

I was under the wrong impression that after changing my birthday, I could leave my birth certificate with them and file online when the time comes.  Not so.  I have to go in person again when I want benefits.  Phooey to a wasted morning.  I could have lived with lying about my age a few more years if I had realized I could not multi-task my visit.

After I changed my birthday (and felt instantly a year younger), I decided to check a few facts. This only took two more hours of waiting, luckily with a good book to read.

Here are the facts I confirmed today.

Fact # 1. Early retirement is still age 62.
Fact # 2. Medicare is still age 65.
Fact # 3. Deferred retirement is still age 70.

So the only thing that has changed for us baby boomers is normal retirement age, currently age 66 for me.

So, do you want to guess the penalties and benefits of going on the dole early or late? 32% penalty for going early, 32% benefit for waiting till 70. I don't understand the math, but the difference between early at 62 and deferred at 70 is 75%. My brain is hurting trying to figure the rate of return for waiting 4 years or 8 years....but I'll come back with that later if I develop confidence in my calculations.

All that said, I am thinking that before I see a nickel at any age, all the rules will have changed. But today I feel really American. I've stood in line at Social Security.

Monday, September 14, 2009

St. Gertrude Celebrates National Tire and Battery Day

I knew St Gertrude was up to something this morning. The first thing I noticed was a low tire as I picked up new mother neighbor Christine to take her baby to an appointment. But we were already running late. I could easily check that tire after I dropped her off for her appointment, so why waste precious moments now?

One block later, we were headed back to exchange my flat tired vehicle for hers, moving the baby buggy, the baby in the car seat, the diaper bag, the water bottle, the snuggy, etc etc etc. We were just a few minutes late. I dropped her off and settled in at nearby Rice Stadium to read a good book instead of parking the car 14 floors up at the medical tower. Christine could call me when she was ready to go.

A few minutes later I decided to relocate to Starbucks, but the click of the key told me I wasn't going anywhere. It could have been so much worse. I had visions of the baby screaming while Christine called for help to get jump started, and I knew already that St. Gertrude was at work. It was me by myself and not a new baby in the Houston heat dealing with this dead battery. And, I was not 14 floors up in Smith Tower. How awkward would that have been?

I didn't even have the chance to call AAA when a Rice policeman on a bike came by. "How old is your battery, ma'm?" I didn't know. How do you explain to a policeman that it's not your car? That you don't know where the cables are, or the hood release or why the horn alarm keeps going off? But he accepted all this as the truth and called a mobile unit that would give me a start.

Last Saturday in meditation class my teacher told of a wonderful experience she had when a girl in the smoothie store set out to make her happy with a perfect smoothie. It made her day. Well, the Rice police made mine.

While he was letting the battery charge up a little, the policeman told me to clean the connections with a coca cola. "Diet or regular?" I asked. "Regular. And warm, not cold. One can per cable connection."

This led to a discussion of the acidity of Coke. I recalled marinating a tough cut of meat in Coke to tenderize it. He then shared that in his family they marinate their chicken in milk. "Lowfat or regular?" I asked. "Whole milk. Breaks down the proteins and makes the chicken tender. "

Then he told me that at a fish fry, I should put potatoes in the oil and leave them there all day. It would keep the peanut oil from becoming too hot.

"And, by the way, this lot is normally closed off. I don't know how who moved the barriers." I was sorry, I said, and I would move as soon as the car started. I didn't think I needed to explain how it was probably St. Gertrude who moved the barriers. It might have been too much on top of explaining how the car wasn't really mine.

He continued. "If you have grass growing somewhere that you don't want it, put salt on it. "

Huh? Really?

That's when I knew St. Gertrude was definitely in action. Christine has been searching for a way to stop the grass growing between the flagstones on her patio without using harsh chemicals or throwing pebbles into the windows while weed eating. This was it! Salt on the flagstones. The answer we had been needing. St. Gertrude, my patron saint of fortuitous timing, had come through again.

"Rock salt or regular?" I asked.

"Regular. Only costs 19 cents a box."

"Okay, start her up, ma'am."

The car started right up.

Thank you, St Gertrude, for everything wonderful that happened today. And if you are wondering about St. Gertrude and how she came to be my patron saint of Fortuitous Timing, see how this all started on the July 18 2009 blog, "Saved by St. Gertrude" and more on July 19.

It's sort of like that old TV show where the guy time traveled and woke up somewhere not knowing why he was there. By the end of the show, he would have averted some horrible historical event. One time, he stopped Buddy Holley from writing the lyrics Piggy Sue instead of Peggy Sue.....but that was a little out of the norm. Anyway, it's like that with St. Gertrude. You think things are going badly, but then, eventually, you realize there's a reason for it. Meant to be.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chapter One

“Why can’t Daisy fly in the cabin with us?” asked Louise.

“Because she’s too big to fit under the seat,” said Mr. Adams. “Don’t worry. We’ll be in Ohio in a couple of hours, and then we’ll all be with Grandma. Daisy will be too.”

“But if we drove to Grandma’s in our car, Daisy could be with us all the time, right?” Asked Louise.

“Yes, but then we wouldn’t have much time at Grandma’s. This is the fastest way for all of us to get there and be together for a nice long visit.”

“I hope Daisy will be all right”, said Louise, with a tear in one eye.

“Well, she certainly won’t be hungry,” said Mrs. Adams. “Look, she barely fits into her crate. She’s getting very round. No treats for Daisy at Grandmas’ house, okay?”

“Yes Mother”, said Louise. She looked at Daisy and sighed.

“Okay, say goodbye to Daisy now,” said Mr. Adams. “ We’ll see you in Columbus, Daisy.”

Daisy pushed her tongue out between the wires of her crate door, and she gave Mr. Adams a goodbye lick.

“Bye Bye Daisy,” called Louise as Daisy and her crate disappeared on the baggage cart.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hello Trevor

This morning I heard a hello as I weeded one little flower bed. There are SO many flower beds to weed, having been neglected for four months.

The hello was my mailman Trevor. Someone I have known more than five minutes. This is good! It is SO good to be home.

A few days in my cousin Katy's bed in Cushing OK reminded me how much I wanted to be home!!!! She was a great hostess. Her guest bed has linens just like a B & B. It came complete with Josie, the 8 month old boston terrior who dug in my hair till I woke up. Katy and I found a detox in Cushing at the Cutter Beauty School, followed by Tecates served like a frozen margarita. WOW. And a wonderful little winery, Tidal School Winery, in an old country school. They have some oklahoma wines that are not very fine, but I did love Impressao, a blend of cabernet, sangiovesse and another grape I have never heard of. I already drank it and threw away the bottle, so more information.

After Katy's house I was a horse smelling the barn. Carl convinced me not to drive the square tires all the way home in one day, so I stopped in Fort Worth, bookending my trip with a visit to Carol, now a famous internet talk show host. Catch her on Voice America Wednesdays and archived forever on a program called Stargazing Stories. She helped me drink the Impressao.

So, guess what! I wrote my children's book. Lots to do still, but I have a draft. Daisy gets on an airplane....and she gets lost. Oh my!!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

swimming with an ipod?

Yes, you can swim with your ipod! Nancy did and it still works. Maybe you can't detox an ipod, but you can swim with one.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flying Solo

I never planned to spend the night in Oakley Kansas, but I did. Oakley is home to Buffalo Bill, not Annie Oakley, in case you should be asking. Bill Cody and Bill Comstock competed against one another in 1868 for the title, Buffalo Bill.

I started my solo cross country today, hoping to log a few miles from Denver to Salina, but I got stopped short by a vibrating tire. After a while and conferring with Carl, I decided to get them taken off and rebalanced. My spare is now on the front, since they did not have my tire in Colby, Kansas. I had a separating belt. But I loved the tire place. T O Haas Tire in downtown Colby. Great home town folks wanted to take care of me. Stop by for mud and snow tires if you are in the area.

I liked the store manager, who used to work for a Dodge Dealer and was familiar with my chassis. I always quiz the experts on what will happen next. He said my headlamps (check, already got those), the turbo resonator (fixed twice, and now for good), and the trannie. I said, but every UPS truck has this chassis. And he said, Yep, and all of them have new trannies. Boy, glad we changed the trannie fluid and filter while I was hanging out for the a/c repair! Every 30 k, he said, maybe get a little more life out of the trannie.

I'm on my way again, but a bit short of goal. Thus, a night in Oakley, Kansas, where I was invited to visit and pick from the organic garden, and please, just kick back and relax at

FYI Oakley is home to the Fick Fossil and History Museum, and the area farmers grow wheat, sunflowers, corn, soybeans and milo. And FYI, I am not really all that solo. Carl is working the tire angle with me over the phone, and to jump ahead in time, tomorrow in Wichita at NTB I will find out that I simply have uneven wear from needing front shocks. The effect is a feeling like driving on square tires.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is seven hours toast?

OIY!!!!!!!! I am on a six year old's schedule this week! Seven hours today in Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool, the world's largest, the big daddy of them all. The pool includes two super slides, and they just about wiped out the six year old crowd with me tonight.

Jennifer bought Nathan and Matthew an all day slide pass. She broke even about one hour later. I cannot believe how many times they climbed the stairs to the slide. I went only one time, as pictured, and I took a video. See below. What a day!

Back at the RV ranch, I got help with the dumping from Matthew. Put the orange gloves on him and the whole nine yards.

Tomorrow we raft. I got to get some sleep!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Complicated, but not really

Today Erica and I figured out my relationship to her children Sam and Allison. I am her childrens' great aunt (step). That makes me her aunt (step), and I guess Stephen's aunt (step) in law? Technically, since I am Nancy's sister in law by her marriage to my brother, not to Erica's Dad, that might make me Erica's Step Aunt in Law, and who knows what to Stephen? The only thing I am sure of is I am Nancy's sister in law, Matthew and Nathan's great aunt, Jennifer's aunt. I might have to talk to First Cousin Once Removed Marguerite to figure all this out, since she is so spectacular with family trees. And I will definitely need to talk to my friend Beatrice who speaks Czech to find out the spelling of stářženka, the title given to the Matriarch of the family, so we can properly use it on Nancy. She only claimed the title momentarily when she wanted to sit in the only comfortable chair.

In the end, sometimes families are just matters of the heart and I keep all of these people right here in my heart.

Tonight Matthew and I are watching the Long Long Trailer. It's his night to be in the RV with me. So, goodnight, grand nephew! Sleep tight! Love to all, from Glen Canyon, Colorado.

Never Detox your Phone

At the beginning of my chick trip, friends began to arrive in Albuquerque over the weekend. Most arrived running on their reserve tanks, and so immediate intervention was necessary to get them to a Teragram state of mind. One such intervention was 10,000 Waves, a Japanese bath in the Sante Fe ski valley, where, for a price, nirvana can be found. This included a Master level massage. What is that? It means someone with at least ten years experience. Speaking for myself, I proposed marriage to Lee as he wisked me into a seated position after my master massage.

One of the things Lee told me was where to get another detox treatment. He said he goes to the Tan O2 salon for his detox treatments.

I prevailed upon my friends to go too. We all watched in amazement as the reverse ion process pulled the toxins from our bodies into the warm foot bath. One friend, who shall remain nameless, created an incredible bath of gunky stuff, and then......she dropped her phone in it.

We performed CPR on the phone immediately, but no life. We dried it for several days on the dash of Teregram until our most techie friend, Julia, arrived(so now you know it wasn't me and it wasn't Julia who dropped the phone). Julia said to put the phone in rice for a few days to dry it out. At our grocery stop, the phone owner, still nameless, bought brown rice. It's healthier, you know?

End of story, the screen never came back, but one day my mystery friend hit a speed dial button and found herself talking to home. Amazing! We tried to find the St. Gertrude connection in all this, and we decided that St. Gertrude did not want my friend to call work or listen to urgent work messages while on a retreat. Works for me!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 22, 2009

forty one years


These are my wonderful lifelong college friends at Ghost Ranch. We gave each other camp names to describe our experiences with each other. Left to Right, Julia Zena Zen Warrior, Linda Joie de Vivre, Dodie Trooper, Carol Heartspring, Mary Rising Phoenix and Margaret True North.

A plug for my friend Carol Stalcup. She just started hosting an internet talk show on Wednesdays on Voice America. It's called Stargazing Stories, about creativity. You can download old episodes to your mp3 or listen to them from the archives. She also has two books you can buy from Blurb. I own Reflective Surfaces, and I read a chapter every day for my meditation.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fear of Flying

My first trip over Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge, I was petrified. I gripped the door handle as Carl steered Teragram over the 12,000 foot summit with its dropoffs. The second time, I drove Dodie over the top, and I was calmer but apprehensive. This time, I was a tour guide. I knew where the best stops were and what I wanted to do.

First, a night in Estes Park. We left it to the parking gods to choose between a wine tasting and a beer sampling. As we approached the brewery, there was an elk jam on the street. An entire herd was grazing its way through the parking lot and surrounds. There was a magnificent buck loosing his velvet, a tame, calm specimen. I took it as a sign that St. Gertrude wanted me to have a beer.

Next day, crossing the rockies again, we experienced Bear Lake, a little jewel in a glacial bowl, and then took a climb to 12,500 feet at Rock Cut, learning all about the tundra plants. I encouraged Terry to take the four mile hike from the Alpine Center to Poudre Lake, and she was up to the challenge. This gave me time at Poudre Lake to work on my painting of Rocky Mountain National Park.

As we left the park, I was remarking how much the valleys looked like a moose should be there, and would you believe we had two different moose mama and baby pairs who were grazing near the road, unconcerned with all of us shooting photos? I have never experienced such a calm and lenghthy moose sighting. Then there was another elk jam. I said enough already, St. Gertrude, enough, we are running out of daylight.

Just south of the park, on the Arapahoe Reservoir, we stopped with an incredible lake view for the night. I noticed that the campground had many tree stumps. Victims of pine bark beetle. Colorado's pine forests are very much under attack. Entire mountainsides are dead trees.

Also for the third time, I visited Hot Sulphur Springs. I was only able to manage 9 of the 24 pools the time I tried to do all of them, but Terry did 18. She's quite the achiever. We shared the pools today with a Keystone Women's motorcycling rally. Oh my. I was glad bathing suits were required. Lots of short short haircuts on those motorcycle gals.

Sad to say, Terry's time with me is ending in the morning. My A/C has arrived in Colorado Springs, praise be, so I will be headed south for the day, and her cousins are ready for her to join them for a family visit. All good things do end eventually.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 17, 2009

Right side Forward, Left side Back!

What a Day!!!!

Terry and I rafted the Royal Gorge today, one of the most class rivers in the world, in my opinion. And we never took a swim, through class IV rapids and the narrows, et al. We talked to several outfitters and chose the one who was shutting down most of their runs due to low water conditions. We respected that, and this was one of the few sections they were still running. It was low compared to June, but we stayed in the boat and only got stuck on one rock. Great guide Tyler was very experienced and told us stories between stroke stroke stroke commands. The gorge is non stop rapids, most very technical. We rerouted our trip south because of the weather forecasts, and we had perfect weather to go with our perfect rafting.

After rafting, we went a few miles east to Dakota Hot springs. Despite our conditioning and ever youthful minds, we were a bit kinked up and sore. I thought it was Tuesday, not Monday, and the recording said Clothes on Tuesday, so I thought that fit pretty well with my age group and outlook. When we got there, it was in fact still Monday, and there weren't many clothes. I think actually it is "closed" on Tuesday, not "clothes", because they drain the pool and clean it. No matter, it was wonderful, and us having clothes on was okay with everybody else who didn't. Everybody included Edgar the resident pool cat, who circled the pool seeking bodies to pet him. He didn't comment on my bathing suit one way or another.

We were going to park the RV there after floating our sore muscles away, but they said since they were "closed" on Tuesday, we couldn't stay; they recommended a truckers lot a mile away. Later they said we could stay, but by then we were entranced with the truck stop lot and not very entranced with the two guys left over from being cool in the 80's that ran the place and invited us to stay. They looked like they were still trying to be Don Johnson.

We arrived at the truckers lot to a sign that said we needed to buy fuel to stay free. No problem. We picked a spot in the middle of a big empty lot and proceeded to cook dinner. Mid dinner trucks began to arrive. They parked right next to us, on either side. Then they started noises. Maybe a/c, maybe generators, maybe reefers? I dunno, but we were very offended. Not enough to move, however. We were too mellow from a great day. We fell asleep to sounds like lawn mowers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009



This is my current roomie, Dodie, also my college roomie. She has assumed the camp name Trooper because she earned the Straight Arrow award at Ghost Ranch for being the most helpful camper. She worked hard for it and we all voted. We don't really know what she got for the award. However, I am quick to remind her that after graduation one of my high school friends was removed from the Honor Society for putting the class treasury in an account we would spend for our reunion rather than donating the money to the school. So she's still on her toes, lest she be demoted to ordinary camper.

She's still earning her award by driving for me and being chipper. I needed chipper the last two days after running out of St. John's wort. Not that so much as driving seven hours after dropping off the rest of the gang in Santa Fe so we could get the RV repaired yesterday. Carl wants to know why, when he leaves, everything breaks. The knob came off the kitchen sink (chronic ailment), the window shade stuck in down position (also chronic), the water pump failed (this is new territory) and the a/c quit cooling (also a first). So we spent the day in Colorado Springs amusing ourselves by mostly visiting while almost all the problems were repaired. We had planned to rent a car, but all of them were sold out for Junior Olympics and the Rodeo. If Enterprise had found one to keep our reservation, it would have been $100.

The repairs took a little longer than intended because the retainer employee was assigned to the sink knobs. When we wandered back from our walking and shopping at 3:30 he was still trying to make three hole faucets fit a one hole opening, trying knobs that didn't fit, etc. I said, please go buy a faucet and don't try to save me $10. I need water. He left for Home Depot and was gone forever. Finally, on one of my trips into the office, I was told he ran out of gas on the trip. I had to laugh. What else would go wrong for him?

We had not much daylight leaving at 6:30 pm, and we had been up since 6 am, so we chose a 24 hour Walmart for the night. It's my first time to camp at Walmart. Only issue we have is that we didn't think that they might have drained the water for fixing the pump, and we are REALLY dry camping. Not to worry, it's a 24 hour Walmart. If I could only figure out how to use their bathroom sink, all would be well. I'll post a photo of the Walmart lot later. I know you readers must be needing a scenery fix. By the way, thanks to the Super 8 next door for the wifi coming in strong in the Walmart lot.
Posted by Picasa