Monday, March 19, 2018

Rookie mistake after 23 years of Fulltiming? YEP!

A few days after leaving Laguna Seca last month we noticed big scratches and a teeny ding on the top front of the fifth wheel. We’ve been fulltime RVers for more than 23 years…we should know better!  So, how did this happen?  Heaven forbid---a rookie error!20180209_111359

The front side (the right side) overlooked the race track.


However it was backed (the left side) by numerous Coast Oak trees.


And the ding on the fifth wheel happened on the right side where there were fewer trees! 


I was spotting on the right side of the rig while GET backed out and where the oak tree growth was the thickest and closest to the side.  Oopsie, there must have been a wayward large branch on the left side that scraped the front. Neither of us noticed or heard anything but the evidence is there…luckily GET was able to rub most of the scratches out and applied a little paint to the nick.

We’ll never make a rookie mistake again…ya right…HA!

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Life in a RV…filling nooks & crannies

Cords snaking here, there and everywhere and the laptop propped against a chair, on the recliner, on the credenza and pretty much a tripping hazard!  That was GET’s laptop! (not related at all but YES, he is a diehard Raider fan!)


This is my computer desk but he had nothing!  Do you see the hook behind the chair for my purse?Another nook & cranny solution!DSCN0640

Our chairs are quite sturdy and have a solid stabilizing rung.  Umm, I had a thought: I could place a shelf on the rung for storing his laptop!


GET went in search of a board to use for the shelf and came back with a salvaged pre-finished shelf onto which we traced the chair rung outline!  DSCN0609

He then cut the board along the traced outline. Yes, that’s my picnic tablecloth! (RV’s don’t typically come equipped with a workbench so a picnic table often serves as a substitute.)


Nailed rubber feet to the bottom of the shelf in order to give it a snug fit and finally stained the one raw edge with a stain marker.


And there we go—GET’s laptop has a secure home! And convenient too since this chair sits beside his recliner .


A couple of my other “nook & cranny” storage areas:

Shoe holder for cleaning supplies in the narrow space beside the washer/dryer.


Wine glass racks in both corners under the living room cabinet.


Excuse me while I nose around for a nook or cranny for more of my books or sweatshirts or ???.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

An Accidental Family History

As Denise, Stanley and I looked at the 2016 Thomas Times Christmas newsletter Stanley asked if I had saved copies of my old newsletters, noting that they are a look at our family history!  His observation set my creative juices flowing.  I would make Christmas Newsletter albums for the grandkids!

2016-front-half fold format

I assembled all of the newsletters beginning with 1992.  (I’ve done Christmas letters many times through the years but none of these survive.)  Some of them were easy to scan, a few I have saved in my laptop so they were also easy to retrieve and a couple, which I had originally formatted on colored cardstock, were a bit more challenging to make good copies.


1995-version 1-pg 11995-version 1-pg 2

I chose a loose leaf format so additional years could be easily added (maybe they will bind them in the future?) and purchased 1” binders, a different color for each “grand”, and plastic sheet protectors.

bindersheet protector20180111_132309

In order to customize them for each kid I used actual mastheads from different years for the album covers.  The photos are a mini family tree: Us, Russ & Denise, Gary & Vivian and Kelle & Joe, and the “grands” Jorden, Stanley, Mary and William.


Finally, I slipped a little dedication card into each album:

dedication card

When I shared a photo of the albums with daughter Kelle she replied “I want one!”


I enjoy receiving Christmas newsletters but Christmas Newsletters as family history?  Quite a concept!  I wish I had saved my older ones and also those of friends and family!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Christmas Newsletter-55th Edition

I’ve used this format for our annual Christmas newsletter for many years.

2017-p 12017-p 2

Happy 2018 Blogger friends!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fulltime RVing, my five favorite places…

“What is your favorite place?” is one of the most frequent of the questions I get about fulltime RVing. After 23 years of living the fulltime RVing lifestyle this question is so hard to answer.  We have enjoyed something about every place!  Number one and two are definitely in favorite order; after that they can be rearranged depending on my mood!  And, depending on my mood and our recent travels it could be totally different!

1.  MONTEREY PENINSULA, CALIFORNIA-this also happens to be our home base and where we lived before embarking on full time RVing.  Our primary doctors, dentist, ophthalmologists, etc. are there but this is not why it is #1 on the list.  I love the feeling of both small town and city on the peninsula, I love the bay which sparkles and is rich in wild life.  The climate suits me too—pretty much 65-70 degrees year round.  And, of course, good food like artichokes, calamari and produce fresh from the fields in nearby Salinas! We’ve been live-on volunteers and active with the track rental program at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a bunch of years and love it also.  GET is Track Rental Supervisor and I am a Sound Tester and Course Marshal.

Before we moved to Monterey I fell in love with the area while taking a travel Geography class.  It was so long ago that it was a cassette-directed class but I got to explore this historic and beautiful first capital of California.  A few years later when my boss at Pacific Bell asked if I was interested in a transfer to Monterey I answered immediately: “well, I’ll check with Gary but the answer is YES!”  So, three weeks later it became our home.

Me, doing my class homework in front of California’s First Theatre.


2.  SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO has been hands down a favorite place since first stopping overnight in 1995.  We liked it so much that when we saw a Workamper News ad for hosts the following summer we immediately replied to Tom and Lisa at Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground and ended up returning as hosts for at least four years!  Let’s see, the magical sky, the Southwest architecture, the mountains, the weather including the summer monsoon rains, the feeling of small town and city AND the New Mexican food are just a few of the reasons it sits solidly at #2 on my list“

“Christmas” on the side-red and green chile and hot puffy sopapillias with honey!


Oh my oh my…I am having a hard time settling on my next three!  OK, here goes:

3.  ALASKA no, not a certain area although we loved volunteering at Alaska State Park’s Chena River State Recreation Areas in Fairbanks.  Denali National Park was awesome, Anchorage was special and I had the best halibut fish n chips ever on the spit in Homer!  The LLONNGG drive up (and back) the Alaska Highway is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  We felt we were in America’s last frontier.

Near the Arctic Circle at 1:00 am on Summer Solstice

1502995521344-d52d2ece-1dc1-4937-b85a-fbf5cd849135Gary and Betty

Camp Host site at Chena River State Recreation Area, Fairbanks


Since we couldn’t do the inside Passage in our fifth wheel we took an Alaskan Cruise a few years ago.  We checked another state capitol off our list and visited the unique Ketchikan. No words can describe pristine beauty of the glaciers!


4.  MORRO BAY, CALIFORNIA – the beach, the quaint town, Dungeness crab fresh from a huge hot steaming pot, Morro Rock hiding in morning fog, finding shells and sand dollars while walking the beach …I feel so comfortable there!HPIM2905-Morro Rock

5.  NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA just may be on almost everyone’s favorite list!  Of course, the food is a big factor:  Red Beans and Rice, beignets, po’boys (I love shrimp the most), Crawfish or shrimp etouffee, King Cakes.  The architecture, riding the trolley, the Mississippi River, tugboats and steamboats, the World War II Museum and, it goes without saying, Mardi Gras, Jackson Square and Bourbon Street!

Christmas in New Orleans.


It was a challenge to narrow it to five but I did it!

Some other places I really really like - in no particular order:

Maine – the whole state!

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Galveston, Texas

All of the national parks

Savannah, Georgia

Charleston, South Carolina

Port Aransas, Texas

Memphis, Tennessee

Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies

California in general

North Dakota, especially Minot – my home state and where my roots are planted

The more I travel the more places I find to love…we’ll keep going!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Diners Drive Ins & Dives-Yes but Food Trucks?

I’m a “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” diner.  Show me a squeaky screen door, some retro décor, dollar bills stapled over the entire place, once even a bait shop in the front or maybe devoid of any “décor” and I’m in my food zone.  But food trucks, no way!

Until a few days ago when we actually ate at one!! A BIG FIRST because I’ve always been a bit, well more than a bit, leery of them.  I remember when they were parked almost exclusively at construction sites, referred to as “roach coaches” and, to me, that just didn’t sound or look like appetizing or safe places to eat!

roach coach

In recent years they have gone upscale and are everywhere but I just couldn’t get past the old “roach coach” idea until the other day when I bit the bullet! GET and I were out shopping and wanted a quick lunch.  “How about that taco truck we saw over on St. Francis?  There are always lots of people eating at the tables.”  It turned out to be The Bonsai Asian Taco truck!  Not only had I never eaten at a food truck I’d never eaten an Asian taco!  We shared an order of shrimp tempura tacos which consisted of three tacos loaded with tempura shrimp, Asian slaw, a generous plunk of guacamole and a nice spicy aioli sauce! 

Nothing to be leery of and a meal which changed my attitude toward food trucks forever!  I’m in!

20170713_133601-1  20170713_132940-1

Now I’m thinking of the food trucks we have by-passed in our full time RVing travels.  The Monterey Street Food Truck Fest a couple of years ago when we visited and then left to have lunch elsewhere.  Oh, the possibilities! What were they serving at the Voodoo Van?  What in the world is Omininjasj?  I love Lumpia and missed it!



And in Portland…

DSCN0554DSCN0555DSCN0557Even one out on the Willamette River!


Then this week, just as I’ve gone through this great food truck awakening, there was an article in the Pasatiempo section of the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper: “Trailer-made:  Food Truck Parks.”  Food truck parks everywhere!!

I really must go now…have to try the Trinity Kitchen or Santa Famous Street Eats or Bang Bite Filling Station or….

In a few days we will be back on the road.  I wonder what we will find in Carlsbad, San Antonio, Galveston and places between and beyond?

Another thought:  maybe food trucks can be classified in the diners, drive-ins and definitely dives genre?  Umm?