Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back in Austin

We headed back to Austin on Wednesday.  Johnny had an appointment Thursday morning with the prostetics group to have moulds made of his feet for custom shoes and start the process of building a custom brace for his right lower leg.  Since getting the custom shoes will take at least 3 weeks, we're headed back there on Monday to see if they can use a pair of shoes he currently has to get started on the brace.  Keeping our fingers crossed on that as it will speed up the process considerably.

After his appointment I took care of a couple of real estate things and then we stopped to look at Trikes.  We've decided that trading the motorcycle for a trike makes sense at this point.  We found a nice red Goldwing that is all tricked out with chrome and lights.  Pretty nice!  Johnny's thinking I might even be tempted to learn to drive it... Not so sure on that, but the passenger seat looks plenty comfortable!

Friday was a beautiful day.  Thought about playing golf, but the yard at the house was begging for some attention.  So I spent the day trimming back the rose bushes and cleaned up most of one bed in the front.  Filled up 8 of those paper lawn trimming bags by the end of the day.  Still have some work to do, but at least got a start.  Bet all you fulltimers out there are jealous of the time spent doing yard work!  NOT!  LOL...

Today's been pretty quiet.  Trying to go through the freezer and pantry to see what we have and what we need to turn it into balanced meals.  I need to go to the grocery soon to pick up a few things.  

Tomorrow I'm marshalling at the golf course, so that will take up most of my day.  Hope the weather stays nice!

Monday, January 24, 2011

This and That

Welcome to our new followers!  It's fun to have new folks to check in with their blogs and get to know.  It also inspires me to update this more frequently.  Although I find like some others there's just not too much exciting happening sometimes!

We've had a little bit of a set back.  Johnny's fibula is fractured -- because he has a metal pin in that bone it is partially supported.  So they are making a custom brace to support the bones and he's taking a little time off until they get the brace all fitted.  

In the meantime, all that snow and ice we had a few weeks ago caused a little problem with one of the slides.  When we got back here it was all filled with ice...  Then the ice melted and now the side wall is separated.  

We've been looking for someone to come fix it.  The only mobile RV repair guy in the area was supposed to come out and look at it the 17th.  A week later, still no sign of him.  His voicemail box says it's full and can't accept a message.  Johnny finally got a hold of him today.  Apparently he was in the hospital and will try to come out tomorrow.  Hope that is the case.

I did some grocery shopping the other day.  Do your counters look like this after a visit to the store or am I the only one?  

Okay, never mind... Can't seem to make the pictures upload, so you will just have to use your imagination...

The pantry didn't look much better, so out everything came and after a bit of reorganizing I managed to get most of the groceries stowed. 

Of course the counter still isn't clean, but it's a little better.  Good thing we're not moving soon!

Other than that, I've been trying to get in some exercise with the Wii and learning to play Wii golf for a bit of fun.  I got a good price on the Tiger Woods 2011 game at Sam's and found a WWII Flying Aces game for Johnny.

Tonight I'm making Puerto Rican Chicken Stew in the crockpot for dinner.  We'll see how tastes.  Johnny's a little skeptical so there's some leftover beef stew in the fridge if he doesn't like it.  Will let you know the verdict tomorrow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7th -- Apple Crisp Recipe

First off -- Please remind me NEVER to head to the laundromat on Friday evening again!  I had thought it would be a good option.  After all, other people have social lives right?  WRONG!  First time I've had to wait for washers and dryers at the Hog Wash Laundromat in Hope, AR.  Eventually the task was completed and I made a quick stop at Wally World for some gas and a few miscellaneous items.

Now that my venting is complete for today I'd like to welcome our new readers.  It's so nice to get to know others who are out on the road.  I was sort of afraid I would be lonely on the road and drive poor Johnny batty with my need for social interaction, but I'm finding that this blog which we started intitially to keep friends and family abreast of what we're doing is actually a great way to get to know others with shared interests and running the roads. 

One of our newer readers, Margie of RV-Adventure of Margie and Roger, asked about how you make Apple Crisp in the crock pot, so I thought I would share the recipe I used.  I found it in one of those Fix-It and Forget it slow cooker cookbooks.  This one was from Michelle Strite of Goshen, Indiana.  It was a diabetic version and I changed it a bit, but it was pretty good. 

Apple Crisp
2/3 cup sugar (I used half sugar and half splenda)
1 1/4 cups water
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 cups sliced, peeled apples (I used some granny smiths I had)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup quick oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and allspice.  Toss with apples.  Put in slow cooker and add water.

Combine remaining ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over apple filling.

Cover.  Cook on low 2-3 hours.  I actually cooked it about 4 hours on low. 

It turned out really great.  Would've been better with some ice cream, but there was no room in the freezer.  We really need to find a MH -- so we have a bigger fridge/freezer of course...

Other than that, not much news.  Gathering things up in the RV for me to head back to Austin on Sunday morning. 

I'm trying to figure out where to start on emptying the house when I get back.  I think I'm going to dive into the craft/sewing room and get it cleaned out.  Then I can have a craft/sewing yard sale when it gets a bit warmer.  Maybe if I focus in one room it will feel like I'm making more progress.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 6 -- Happy Birthday Barrett Andrew

It was a nice day here at Millwood Landing yesterday -- sunny, calm and temperature right around 60.  I think it was one of the nicest days we've had in over a month.  Just enough to make us feel comfortable before the cold fronts hit on Saturday and Sunday.  Forecast for next week is pretty awful.  Highs in the upper 20's and lows in the lower 20's.  Not much change at all.  Almost makes me glad I'm headed back to Austin for a few weeks.  ALMOST...

Last night I tried to set up the EA Sports active2 workout for the Wii.  It comes with a heart rate monitor, so you need to get the heart rate monitor to connect to the Wii using a USB connector.  I had picked it up becaues it is supposed to help you build endurance and muscle.  Seems like good things as I approach 50.  Apparently the USB connector we got doesn't work because despite multiple attempts it would never find the connnector.  So back to Fry's with it when I get back to Austin. 

On to the headline news of the day.  Johnny has a new grandson -- Barrett Andrew was born January 6th.  He showed up early in the morning and weighs 6lbs, 8 ozs.

When his big brother, Bennett who's 2 was asked if he wanted to take him home, his response was a matter of fact, "Nope."

By way of introduction since I don't think I've posted pics of the grandkiddos before, meet big brother, "farmer" Bennett.  He LOVES tractors! 

And then there are the cousins, Conly and the oldest Preston.  Preston is 10 in the red shirt and very good with both Bennett and Barrett.  Conly, 8, thinks they're okay, so long as they don't mess with his stuff.

Johnny certainly has some good looking grandsons!  I'm very lucky to have them in my life...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 5 -- Miscellaneous Random Things

Today was one of those "we really live in our RV, not just vacation there" days.  Those of you who are also fulltiming know what I mean.  It was just an ordinary day filled with the ordinary things you do to keep things running on the homefront.

Sage woke up when she heard me puttering in the kitchen and took up her usual post guarding the entry to the bedroom where Johnny was sleeping.  But she sure wasn't going to let me out of her sight so long as I was in the kitchen!

I did a little rearranging of our patio area outside.  The other evening when we had a campfire I learned that I had put the grill downwind of the firepit.  Not a good idea!  So I moved those things around and also put the tire covers on the 5er.  Since we're not likely to move until June when we head to Daytona Beach and since it was relatively dry and warm today I figured it was a good day to get it done.  Hopefully it will help with our tire life!

I also managed to take a picture of this cocoon? hanging in the tree over our patio.  At least I think it's a cocoon.  Does anyone have any idea what I might see hatch down the road?

I'm still trying to figure out how to rearrange things in the garage/living room so there is optimal storage, comfortable lounging and space to use the Wii.  The chair in the picture below has to move because it gets in the way when I try to do things like sit ups and lunges.  Or maybe not...
Johnny got a new "tackle storage system" for Christmas that is sure to make him the envy of all serious fishermen.  I'm excited because it took the place of 3 tackle boxes (1 nearly as large) and a worm bag.  Now everything is nicely organized in matching containers.  Johnny always gives me a hard time about my thing for having things in containers... lol  

As you can see our little Christmas tree is still up.  It's missing the ornaments, but it's still standing.  In my family the Christmas decorations never came down until after January 6th.  I figured it was okay to get a little head start today since it's the 5th.  Johnny's sort of puzzled by some of my idiocycracies, but he tolerates most of them...

I fried some chicken livers for dinner (lunch?) today before Johnny went to work.  I know... Wii workouts and fried chicken livers?  Well, it's not like I have them everyday... Especially with the mess they make!  And we had brussel sprouts with them...  At least I remembered to cover the smoke detector.  Does anyone else have to resort to this sort of thing when they cook?  Our smoke detector goes off whenever you do anything more than boil water on the stove.  If anyone has any solutions other than the very attractive shower cap option, please let us know!

That's about it.  Tomorrow is laundry day I think... 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Quiet Day Dealing with Insurance

Johnny was back to work last night and I spent the day checking on changing our RV insurance to fulltime coverage.  For right now we opted to stay with National Interstate.  Making the necessary changes increased our premium $150 a year, but we've been very satisfied with their claims service.  So we decided to stick with them. 

I do have to thank Gina Shaver at Epic Insurance in Souix Falls.  She was incredibly helpful talking me through the changes we needed to make to our policy even though she knew upfront that she couldn't write the policy since she's not licensed in Texas --- yet...  If you need fulltime rv insurance and your rv is not registered in Texas I definitely recommend giving her a call.

Other than that I just tried to shift to a schedule where I get up earlier and go to bed earlier.  With Johnny working nights I tend to stay up very late and sleep in.  Not the best schedule for getting anything done unless you're going to work at night...  So today I was up at 9 am and have updated our blog before 10:30!  Let's see what else I can do today!

Hope ya'll have a great one!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy Belated Christmas!

We're back at Millwood Landing in Ashdown, Arkansas and have finally had a few days to sit and try to catch up after a very busy December.  Well, at least I've been able to catch up some (no sitting)... Johnny's back at work. 

I had a great trip to Fargo, North Dakota (well, at least if you don't count the snow and cold and nearly not getting a flight out...) the weekend before Christmas to celebrate my niece, Alicia's (also Goddaughter) graduation from North Dakota State University with her degree in Repiratory Therapy.  She passed all her boards and is working at Sanford Health there in Fargo.  Here's the lovely graduate, Alicia.

This is the view from her apartment the day I arrived. 

It was great to spend some time Alicia, my other niece, Amanda and my brother John and his wife Dorothy. 

Don't I have some good looking relatives?

Made a quick run up to Velva to see mom before flying back to Austin and then driving over to Ashdown.  Luckily I was able to get a flight out between blizzards.  I got the last flight out of Minot and they managed to keep the runway clear in Minneapolis long enough for us to get off the ground.  They closed the airport shortly after we left...

For Christmas we headed down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to spend the holiday with Johnny's daughters and the grandsons.  We had a great time and it was fun to watch the boys playing with their gifts.  Preston and Conly are growing up SO FAST!  I don't remember being so mature at 8 and 10!  They recieved iPod Touches for Christmas and from what we understand they can send and recieve text messages so we're hoping that helps Paw Paw stay in touch.  Bennett is such a little bundle of energy at 2 and really loves his tools and tractors!  The family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Barrett -- grandson number 4 -- in mid-January.

Since we got back her to Ashdown on the 26th I've been trying to make sense of things in the 5th wheel and make some room for my stuff.  Funny how one person can expand to fill all the available space!  Hopefully by March I can be here fulltime.  Assuming I can get the house emptied out!

I've also had to make room for the wii and the wii fit that Johnny and I gave each other for Christmas.  I did a couple of the fitness tests -- one said my fitness age was 60 and one said 54.  I think it's because I can't seem to hit a moving ball.  Need to work on that! 

Johnny also gave me a Nook Color, so I'm trying to get that set up and figured out.  It's really cool!  I wanted to get the Nook Color because it lets you see get e-magazines that look just like the newsstand versions.  I thought it would be great when we're on the road so that we can still get magazines without the mail issue.  Now I just need to get someplace with a wifi connection so I can download some books!

We had a quiet New Years celebration.  Went out to dinner in Texarkana.  We ran into one of Johnny's co-workers -- also named Johnny -- and his wife, Connie.  Since there was quite a wait for a table we invited them to join us.  It was nice to get to meet one of the guys Johnny works with and made for a pleasant evening.  Came home and had some apple crisp I had put in the little crock pot before we went out.  It was a nice treat!  Spent New Years Day relaxing and watching college football.  Does anyone else miss the days when bowl games were done the day after New Years???  Just wondering...