Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Car Wash / We find the burger place, almost!

It seems as though we have been disconnected from the web for weeks, instead of only three days.  Judging from all the blogs that were written in that short period of time.

So today was spent reading the internet, once I had paid the $29.95 that tengo internet charges to hook up here in Mesa Spirit.  And we only have two bars of signal as well.  Not only is it weak, it is deathly slow.  So some of my time was spent waiting for the web pages to load.

Spoiled is what I am by the 8.5 M download that I have on the cable back in KC.  But this is all we can get here, so I will have to endure. 

The Satellite TV system had not been hooked to a dish since I was at the lake place several weeks ago, so it had lost its programming.  So the first task, once on line, was the re initialization of the receiver box and associated card.

You can do this on line, but I usually cannot figure out the menu system to get to the necessary screen.  Usually I succumb to calling for help on the phone.  But today I was determined to find the reauthorization on the web site by myself.

I did finally get the job done, but it would suffice to say that I know the Direct TV site a lot better tonight than I did.

By mid afternoon, I could take no more of sitting in the RV so I headed out to get the winter washed off of the car.  I turned the wrong way on Power Road and drove for about three miles to the North, before coming to my senses and heading back to the South and the carwash that hadn’t moved since the last time I was there.  Senior moment!

Later Loyce and I struck out to find the Superstition Springs shopping mall.  This is an old time indoor mall, but one of the surrounding stores is a Fuddruckers hamburger place.  Which I love, and Loyce really like the grilled chicken salad here as well.

We thought we had driven all the way around the place, and failed to find the restaurant.  So we came back home to look it up on the internet and get the address.  It was right there on the North side of the mall, as I put the data into the GPS.

Once we drove back, I found the place and determined that we had not actually driven all the way around.  We has left out a small block between two interchanges, and as all things do work, the restaurant was right there in the middle of the part we left out.

But we had the best meal, and I got sweet potato fries.  This is great for the diabetes, as regular potatoes are full of sugar, and cause all kinds of troubles.  We even got the 10 % senior discount. I guess we do look old, because we didn’t have to ask for it.

But tonight, I am fat and sassy with one of my favorite meals.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The quick trip back

Hello from Mesa, Arizona!

We arrived yesterday afternoon about 6 PM.  Bolting from KC Sunday morning, at 9:30, we drove all day long.  Kansas seems to go for ever, as it is winter and all the farm fields are harvested.

We did see the beginnings of winter wheat, as some of the fields were green with very short stubble. 

There was little, if any snow cover, but winter brown was the order of the day.  We buzzed around Greenburg for a moment, to see if there had been any progress, but it has been a slow process.  Folks are living in portable housing and trailers.

At dusk, we passed through Dalhart, Tx. There are still not very many people, but there are more cows than ever.  The feeding pens South of town are completely full.  We did not see anything that was empty.  And of course the smell out there is OMG!

We pushed on after dark to Tucumcari, Nm.  It was Sunday night so we thought that motels would not be a problem, but found that there were only a few rooms left when we arrived at 8 PM.  We have the dog, so that limits us to very few options.

When you leave Texas, into New Mexico, you pass into mountain time so we gained an hour, so the motel time was 7 PM.  We went to Pizza Hut for a quick supper.  Loyce likes the salad bar, and goes back and back.  She didn’t eat much of her Pizza.

Yesterday we were on the road before 7 since our bodies told us it was really 8.  Starting out right on the interstate, with the speed limit of 75 makes the miles pass quickly.

We ate lunch in Gallup, Nm and drove into Arizona.  We left the interstate at Holbrook, and headed South on the 2 lane still 160 miles from Mesa.  That was the fun part of the trip, even though our behinds were quite tired of the car.

Climbing up over the mountains took us to 7,600 feet and through heavy snow.  It had fallen several days earlier, and had been plowed to the side.  The roads were dry.  The scenery is gorgeous, but we were trying to make it home before dark so we didn’t stop to take any pictures.

There are large stands of ponderosa pines, and cars were parked along the roads, with kids out playing in the snow.  Obviously Arizona kids don’t get to see or play in the snow much, so this was the activity of their trip.

We came thru Payson, and traveled a nice 4 lane, highway 87 into Mesa, that kept us out of the Phoenix traffic at rush hour.

The rest of the night was setting up our campsite, as we had closed the slide and drained the trailer before we left.  The car was jammed with stuff that had to be brought in.

And of course the refrigerator was bone empty, so we went back out for a trip to Wally World.

I think travel recovery will be the order of our day here.  It was 71 yesterday when we arrived, and it is warming nicely this morning, where’s my lawn chair?

Retired Rod

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gone with the winds!

Remember how it was 65 here yesterday?  At about 5:30 AM we had a change   in the weather.  It was still overcast and warm with rain, when all of a sudden we had severe straight line winds from the Northwest. 

It is hard to guess the speed from under your pillow, but folks had all their trash out for collection.  These winds were strong enough to launch all the trash into the upstairs windows of the house.  The NOA observed winds said gusts of 37 mph but it was more like 60 here.  I was told it flipped an airplane on the airport South of us one mile.

Stuff was all over the place, with our trash can blown down the street by 5 houses.  Loyce went scurrying after the bin and brought it home.  Trees are broken and uprooted in the countryside South of our subdivision, and the neighborhoods are a mess with trash all over the place.

The truck did come at 8:30 like he normally does, but folks hadn’t cleaned up their yards yet, and of course, they only take things piled neatly for them to toss into the truck.  So the stuff that wasn’t in a neat pile was left behind.

As soon as the wind was over the temperature returned to 30, and the rain continued. 

After supper the rain became snow.  We met for a little going away party, at 5 guys hamburger shop.   I got the regular burger with the works, and a big fry that several of us shared.  Burppppp!

Lets hope this snow is cleared off the roads by tomorrow!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The day after

We were quite warm here today, (Friday) up to 65 by mid afternoon.  It was rainy, and the cold ground caused condensation to appear on everything.

Our garage floor was still so cold, that the rainy humid air condensed on it and made it seem wet.  So wet that you could have used a hose to wet it down and it wouldn’t have been any wetter.

We had our grandson here all day, to help grandma put away the Christmas decorations.  He carefully removed the ornaments from the tree, boxing them for storage.  They are mostly the glass type, and he only broke one, and then that one might have had a crack in it before he handled it.

He went up and down the basement stairs bunches of times, carrying tubs and boxes of the decorations.  Earned himself a trip to McDonalds for a happy meal and an hour playing on the playland. 

Also a big old ice cream cone.  In the afternoon, we watched Wall E again, as I had to explain why things were happening, the way that they were.  He was very interested in the aspect of all the trash that made Earth uninhabitable.

Tonight, his sisters came over and they all played old maid with grandma. Next, they were playing bingo.  By 9 PM it was well past bedtime for all of them so they went home with their mom.

I have been studying the weather for the next ten days, to see if we will have any problems going back to Phoenix.  We will not be able to leave tomorrow, as it will be rain and snow mix here by morning.  We have lightening and thunder outside right now.  Weird having the rain after such a long cold spell.

Tomorrow, we will have to get a move on, to pack things and get ready.

Retired Rod

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Christmas at Home

This day started as I suddenly realized it was 8 AM and we needed to get started on the dinner. Everyone was coming at 12:30 so that started the race to get the meal prepared.

We used to make hand prepared rolls for all the holiday, but now we mix the rolls in the bread maker. We use the same recipe, but let the machine mix and proof the first rise. This all takes time, so that is why we needed to get started early in the morning.

Loyce and I worked steadily and got the Ham in the roaster, and a chicken in the convection roaster. We made scalloped corn with the cornmeal muffin mix and pumpkin bread. And the girls all brought dishes from home as well so we were well fed.

That spiral cut ham turned out nicely, and we sent all the left overs home with the respective families, as we are going to blow out of here as soon as we can.

Everyone scattered for afternoon naps about 4 and we reconvened for second shot at the feast after 6. This time the deserts all came out.

We watched the movie Wall E that I had purchased at Wal Mart. Yea, Wal Mart must have been the model for the super shopping center that drove the world to be such a consumer mess. If you haven’t seen Wall E it is somewhat of a Hollywood depiction of what the Earth could come to, if we continue as total consumers. A green statement for sure, but still cute as the robots are a love story as well. They save the people from exile in their spaceship. They have been gone 700 years.

So its all over for another year, but I sit here reflecting on how fortunate we are to have such a nice family and great grandkids. And by next year we will have another. Isn’t that something? Who would have thought!

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Merry Christmas!  How was the dinner?  Did you eat more than you should have?

It is late at night as I write this here at home in KC.  The grandkids are at the other side of their respective families and are all due here tomorrow.  So we have had a quiet night of anticipation.

The ham and the chicken are ready to hop into their respective cookers and be all done by noon.  Well maybe we will have to assist a little bit with that.LOL

Loyce wrapped all the gifts and they are under the tree, so now if we can sleep with all the anticipation, like little kids waiting for those hoof sounds on the roof, tomorrow will come.

So get back to that big piece of pumpkin pie, and we’ll blog at you tomorrow!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In trouble at the check outs

It seemed like a simple task. To go to a local store and get a gift card. Well actually two stores and two gift cards. The recipients of the cards read this blog, so I will not name the stores.

The first store was a housewares type of a store. The parking lot was a mess, as there is a big box store in the same complex and I had to do battle with their customers, as well as the smaller store’s folks. But with in a normal amount of time I had a spot and was inside. (After Xmas edit...Bed Bath and Beyond)

Looking for the rack of gift cards, I didn’t spot them. So I got in the checkout line. Upon reaching the register, I was told by the clerk that I had to go to customer service for a gift card.

I was only second in that line, so in not too long of time, I had my gift card.

Now across the street to the bigger specialty shop (after Xmas edit, Dick's Sporting Goods) where I needed the second gift card. Parking here was impossible. So as I often do, I sat close to the front of the store and waited for someone to vacate a good spot. It didn’t take too long and I was inside looking for the cards.

That wasn’t much of a problem, as they were everywhere. On racks in the aisles, on kiosks next to check out counters. On the end caps of the long racks of shelves. I just grabbed one.

I proceeded to march to the service counter like I had done in the previous store, and got a rude awakening. There were about 6 people in line to go thru the register that opposes the service counter, and the lady in the front of the line was hollering hey buddy, you got to wait in line like the rest of us.

But there wasn’t any line at the service counter? Seems that at this particular store, they wait in line back of the actual check out counter and do not advance to the register until the previous customer has left. Kind of like waiting for a bank teller. But what was even more unusual was that the single line was breaking into one person to the register and the second to the service counter, as they were also acting as a check out, because the store was so busy. So without knowing it I was cutting in line.

Here in Kansas City, folks aren’t kinder and gentler people like us lowly Iowans. They tell you straight out what they think. Hey you SOB, blah, blah. Or flip you off in traffic, if you even look like you might do something they don’t approve of. We experienced the same attitude when we were in New York last year, but we sort of expected it there.

I had no idea that folks were that way here, when we came as week end visitors. This area is full of folks that have too much money, and are entitled to not be inconvenienced.

Hope your Christmas shopping was lighter hearted.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our clan to yours, have a Merry Christmas!

We used these two pictures as Christmas cards, but folks got one or the other, so here are both pictures.


Loyce, Danielle, Caden, Claire, Melissa and Delaney.  Emma was at a birthday party of a friend.  This was last Saturday’s cookie party.


Claire, Emerson, Caden and Delaney.  This was after about 20 cookies each.  A real sugar hi, as they were wound tight.

Our sons stay far away from the cookie party, perhaps because they weren’t formally invited.  But I think they see it as a girls activity.  Caden and I endure. LOL.

No matter how cold it is in Kansas, this is why we are here for Christmas.  One of the fellows at the RV park said that the family would just have to learn to do without us at Christmas.  “No they won’t” said Loyce.  “The RV park can do without us, during the holidays.”

And so it is, as we enjoy the frigid weather, and the snow we are to get tomorrow and on into Wednesday.  But it will be a white Christmas!

Retired Rod

Monday, December 22, 2008

Coldest day of winter so far.

The only thing happening here is the weather.  We had 2 degrees Saturday night and it got clear up to 11 during Sunday.  The sun was out on a partly cloudy day, but the Northwest wind was about 20 gusting higher, so wind chill was below zero.

We have not been out of the house except to take the dog out for her duty. Then she fools around and smells everything for just that right spot, while I freeeeeeeze.  Its midnight now and she needs to go again, if I can muster the courage to go out with her.

Other than do the internet thing and watch the very cold football games, on the TV this has been a day that did not accomplish anything.  We tend to kick back on Sundays.  And on such a cold day, that is what we did.

It is the solstice, the shortest day of the year, and perhaps the coldest day as well.  Or at least if we have  colder, maybe we will be out of here and not experience it.  One could hope.

Retired Rod

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cars Movie Quilt

Loyce came down stairs this morning and declared “It’s Done!”

The quilt project that has taken most of her free time since we came back from Phoenix is finished.  It started as a smaller quilt, and has grown into a complete bedspread size for a queen bed.


This is spread out on our bedroom floor, and is over 7 feet wide.  It covers a queen bed and down the sides far enough to cover the mattress.  They will need a sham over the box spring.  She made it long enough to tuck in over the pillows as well.  It is somewhere around 10 feet long.

It is quilted in the ditch, as Loyce explained, that means it is quilted on the seam lines where the top sheet was pieced together.  The wheels were made separately and appliqued to the panel underneath. 

I really can not explain much more as I am not a quilter, but have spent enough time going to the stores as the dutiful husband to be dangerous.

We took it over to grandson Caden’s bedroom tonight and he was thrilled.  He has watched as pieces have been slowly sewn together, but at age soon to be 7, it is hard for him to imagine the completed project.

Loyce spent the last day and a half finishing the black binding around the outside edge.  Quilting the layers together was a big job since she has a normal short arm sewing machine and the fabric had to be gathered and passed through the arm as she sewed.

Long arm machines are many, many dollars, and we do not know how to justify such a purchase.  Unless it was entertainment, kind of like the pontoon boat.

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Waiting at home, not so patiently

This was a strange day.  I was under house arrest.  Well it seemed that way.  I had to wait for the FedEx delivery, and be here to sign for the package.  The overnight with the new credit card in it.

I waited patiently all morning, and until after lunch hour.  No overnight.  I called the brokerage and we called the credit card company together.  Supplying all the necessary info to get the tracking number.  Found that the envelope was in KC and on the truck out for delivery.  That’s good just wait some more.

3 PM still no delivery.  4 PM call back to the brokerage, but the broker had gone home!  His assistant was still there, but she knew nothing of the story and what we were trying to find, or why.  I started over to explain the whole thing.

She did some checking and said she would call me back.  4:30 I gave up hope and assumed that it would be Monday before the the card was replaced.  Dug in my wallet to see if I still had other cards that were current.  Mad at myself for allowing such a situation.

You take for granted something that has worked so well for several years.  4:45, the account assistant was back on the phone, explaining that the FedEx people were way behind, but that they wouldn’t give up until they delivered all the overnights.

While I was still on the line, the doorbell rang, it was after 5 PM.  Miraculously the driver was at my door explaining that they were way behind because of the storms and Christmas.  Instantly all was well in the world.

I thanked the lady at the brokerage several times for checking for me, and I guess caring that this is a problem for me.

When you are retired and the brokerage firm represents all you have in the whole world, and that becomes compromised,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  

Tonight I went over to Wal Mart and bought Wall E the Disney Pixar movie.  Watched it on the laptop.  The kids will like that during the Christmas get together.  Took my mind off of the events of the day!

Retired Rod

Friday, December 19, 2008

Credit? Not today!

I had quite a startle today.  It seems that when I went to pay for some items at Wal Mart, the American Express was declined.  I ran it again, thinking it must be a mistake.  Declined!

Cool, I fished out another card and paid.  But what the hey?  So I drove over to the local fuel stop and passed the card thru the gas pump, See the attendant!  Aw cr----p!  My card is a debit AmEx that charges the purchases directly to the brokerage house that issued it.  It has to be good, doesn’t it?

So I come home and make the frantic call to the brokerage.  They are all at lunch.  So I take the chance and explain my problem to the receptionist and she takes it all down and says someone will get back to me.

When the broker calls me back, it seems that the bank that runs the AmEx card thinks that our card number has been breached.  So they cancelled the card.  We have no fraudulent charges, and it is only possibly breached, but they took no chances.  They are protecting me.  That is good, but that sure made me look like a criminal in the Wal Mart check out line.

The guy behind me gave me one of those judgmental looks over his glasses that communicated how he felt about fellows like me trying to take advantage of the system.  If I was way over my credit limit, why would I be in line slowing him up? You know that look.

The whole reason that I was at Wal Mart in the first place was to get some Christmas cards made from pictures that were taken at the Cookie Party from last Saturday.  Had to have the wife go back and pick them up, with her charge card.  Oh well.

So today was spent on the phone to the broker and back and forth to the store.  Loyce did write out all of the cards late this afternoon and mail them off tonight.  Another thing off our list as we get closer to packing the car to go back to Phoenix.

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 18, 2008


We saw the sun today! It wasn’t out too much in the morning, but the overcast was thin. You could almost see thru it. It wasn’t much warmer than we had been yesterday, but when the clouds dissipated and old mister yellow appeared, my mood changed immediately.

I called son Chris on the phone and reminded him that we were going to do Mexican over in Belton for the last several days. He said ”Boy you don’t give a guy much of a lead time do you.”

Now I had to clear that I was going out with Loyce. She instantly said she needed to get out of here too. So the three of us were headed to the Missouri side to get Mexican.

There are numerous Mexican restaurants in Kansas, and really close to our home, but I have a problem with these so called restaurants. Over in Belton, the folks speak Spanish to each other, and the bus help can’t speak much English. The menu is truly items as they are prepared in Mexico, by a cook that doesn’t speak English.

The waiters are all bi lingual, but they all smile when you order in their native language. We ate there a lot last summer when we were selling the cars, and they know who we are. Not that our Spanish is any good mind you, but they will help us if we are not quite right.

We all ended up having the burrito (they call it a burro) with rice and beans. Loyce had chicken, and Chris and I had carne (beef). We ate a zillion chips which the fry up right before you get them. Still hot as they are brought to your table. They do serve salsa as we make it instead of the pico de gallo found in Mexico.

I was stuffed, and then we drove through the country South of KC on our way back. It seemed warmer even though it was only in the low twenties. Sunshine is intoxicating.

Tonight we are back in the teens and the furnace is blasting away some more. Somehow it doesn’t seem so cold, since we weren’t stuck at home all day in the gray snowy fog.

Tomorrow will be freezing rain all day and into the night, but we will live that when it gets here.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I awoke this morning and heard my neighbor out in his driveway spinning his tires trying to get up his slope to the garage.  It was just about dawn, but the thick cloud cover was obscuring the sky.

I knew in an instant that the snow was here.  The heat was pounding in the furnace in the basement, and it never stopped.  Cold!  Kansas City in the winter, has only one speed on these mornings, dead slow.  But being retired, I had no where to be.  I sat and watched the neighbors from the second story bedroom.

We had about three inches on the ground by mid morning and it didn’t stop until about 2 in the afternoon.  I shoveled in about 20 minute segments, coming back inside and warming between times.  It took about four times outside to get things clean, but it kept snowing on the parts that I just did.

By 2 in the afternoon, I had the car running and the heater was melting the Ice off the windows.  I tried to scrape the mess, but it was stuck and frozen stiff.  Windows wouldn’t move, doors stuck shut.

I went over to Wal Mart to warm up the car, but the streets hadn’t been plowed at all, so the going was slow.  Bought one Christmas present and a hamburger at the Wendy’s in the outer perimeter of the parking lot.

I decided to go back home, as I didn’t want to get hit by the folks that were frantically trying to be somewhere on a schedule.

Maybe tomorrow they will have the streets cleaned up and things will be back to normal.  What ever that might be in the pre Christmas rush.

Loyce continues to spend her days working on the quilt project.  Hope she comes up for air soon.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not much warmer!

Hey I just looked and we are up to 9 degrees!  That’s the warmest we have been all day.  We were down to 3 degrees at 6 AM, and we have slooowly risen to the 9 we have now.

The wind did die down some, so that makes the cold more tolerable, when you go outside.  The heat is still running every other minute and that will be bad for the old heat bill come the first of the month.

We are to have snow tomorrow but may warm up into the 20’s.  That will seem almost warm.  Not really!

We both stayed by the fire with Loyce working on her quilt that she needs to get done for Christmas, and I have been an internet rat again today.  Never did turn on the TV.  Don’t watch that much, but Loyce has it going up in her sewing room most of the day.

I did roast a chicken in the portable glass convection oven in the afternoon, along with the classic green bean casserole, and a fresh loaf of bread in the bread maker.  That was some real comfort food in the cold weather.

From reading some of the blogs, it sounds like the winds in Arizona took a toll on the RVer’s, rocking their rigs for most of the night on Saturday.  So not everything is perfect in the old campgrounds.  Lol

Tomorrow we will be out shoveling snow!  Ah life on the Kansas prairie!

Retired Rod

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby its Cold Outside!

What the heck happened?  It was 59 degrees at 10 AM and kind of a misty rain outside.  Overcast, but warm.  And then all of a sudden, it seemed colder and then colder and then…….

As I sit here in the middle of the night, its 9 degrees outside.  And the wind is still 20 with gusts to 30 MPH.  Burrrr!  Its below zero up in Iowa, and I didn’t look any farther North.

By mid afternoon, I couldn’t stand it any longer and went shopping at the man’s toy store, Best Buy.  Played with all the latest cell phones and the verizon aircard that was hooked to a laptop and operating.  Checked into just to see how fast it really was.  Found it to be dismal into Denver.  Something like 250 K up and 350 K down.

I had to show the sales person the results, and left them checking out the connections.  Must have been on the Denver end, because Chicago showed 1.8 M.  Being the ornery fellow I am, I didn’t tell them about that reading.

Didn’t buy anything, but had fun messing around in the store just the same.

Tonight I have been playing computer, and talking on Skype, so the night passed before I knew where it went.

Phoenix is to be 47 tonight, and almost 60 tomorrow.  Can I leave right now?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookie Party

This is the day that happens each year before Christmas. The Cookie Party! We have all girls and one grandson as grand kids. And since our kids were both boys, we have two daughter-in-laws.

On a Saturday before Christmas, this all girl party and Caden, assembles to make cookies. Sugar cookies that are cut out of dough, baked and then decorated with frosting and candy pieces for the eyes and so forth.

Our grandson Caden puts up with his sisters and cousin and plays along fairly well, because he can sneak as many cookies as possible when his mother isn't looking. And bang down the hatch.

Now I tried to stay out of the way, as much as possible, and sat in the corner reading the internet, until the two year old tired of the cookie activity and came to play with grandpa.

By a little after 1, the kids were all tired and left to their respective homes. Cookies in tow.

I got hooked up in the History Channel and spent much of the day watching the multiple hour long history of the FDR administration. That is before I was born, but only by a few years, so I find it fascinating.

Now I am catching up on all the blogs that I didn't read during the day.

Check this out on Laurie and Odel's blog. Its a fifth wheel fire. Make sure your electric heater's tip over switch is working.

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crock of......Cheese!

In the 4 quart crock pot I put the following.

1 1/2 Lbs Velveeta cubed
8 Oz Cream Cheese cubed
12 strips of bacon crumbled
1 can of Rotel Original Tomatoes
8 Oz chopped Frozen Spinach

Turn on High for about an hour until the cheese melts, stirring every now and then. Then go to low for the next hour or so until you need to eat it.

In my case it got to be about 2 hours, so I added some milk to keep it at the right consistency to take to the Ham Club Christmas party. It was hot enough to burn your mouth when I left home, but it is about a half hour drive to the Christian Church 60 blocks North of here. We have a freeway that goes up that way, or it would take a lot longer in city traffic.

Man we had a spread of goodies. I had brought the only pot of melted cheese and tortilla chips, so it was popular. We had three kinds of little smokies, in different sauces. And little finger sandwiches with a liver patte. And all the cakes and cookies that I can't take. I did cheat and have a small slice of lemon pound cake. I love lemon anything and can never have any.

We had the round ten person tables, but folks mixed it up not sitting at any one table too long, so we got to talk to everyone.

We adjourned the business meeting, as the first motion, not even reading the minutes from last time. Everyone was in favor. LOL

A nice evening.

Retired Rod

Friday, December 12, 2008

Out gadding/shopping!

I was busy today, but can’t remember doing what!  Loyce worked on the quilt that she is making for Caden.  Our oldest grandson.  It is on the cars movie theme and has the center piece of fabric printed with a licensed logo lightening McQueen car. 

We had the two sisters over here from that same family for the morning.  They were all over the place as they played.  Takes us both to watch what they are into.  One goes into the living room while the other is back in the family room, and we never stop following and supervising.

Their dad came back and got them after lunch, so I saw my break, and bolted.  I had to go and get a signature notarized at the bank, and then I went to Harbor Freight.

They had a 400 Watt inverter on sale for $25, that I could not live without.  Of course it is Chinese and I haven’t opened the plastic package yet.  But it is here beside me on the table.  I plan to use it to run these laptops in the car.  Should work just fine as most computers only take about 150 watts.

From there it was over to Wal Mart, to get the makins for a spinach cheese dip to take to the Ham Club meeting tomorrow night.  It has bacon bits, velveta and cream cheese.  Along with the Rotel tomatoes in the crock pot.  Should be good.

That was it for today other than the computer time to read all the blogs, emails and skype conversations.

It was sunny and 45 this afternoon, seemed warm after the last two days of gloom!

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Crafty Day

We saw the sun today!  Yea!  It was very cold overnight down to 12 degrees at 6 AM, just before sunrise.  I was still wrapped in my trusty blanket so I didn’t much care. LOL.

By late this afternoon, we had made it to 31 for the high, but the sun was melting the snow from the house and cars.  I stayed inside for the day working on Loyce’s honey do’s. 

Would you see if you can put some screws in this craft project?  Now that that is done, can you put the legs on these baskets?  Will you bring the Christmas tree up from the basement?  I did take some time out for lunch.

By late in the afternoon, I sat down to read a few blogs, and promptly fell asleep.  I don’t usually nap, but sometimes it sneaks up on a fellow.

I just looked, and we are to go down to a low of 19 tonight again.  That new heater is getting a workout.  I do not think it has gone off at all since I connected it last night.  It has to be cheaper than the natural gas that the furnace uses.

When we get down to 20, the gas heater comes on right along even though the electric is running too.  Its only 1500 watts for 5,000 btu’s so it can’t begin to heat the place, but it will help slow the gas usage I hope.

Loyce reminded me that in a little over two weeks we will be loaded and out of here for Arizona.  Glad to see that going back to Arizona is a positive, and is on her mind too.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Trip To KC

I went over to a park last Friday and tried to take a picture of the sunset as it was low in the sky.  At 4:30 in the afternoon, here in KC the sun was on the horizon, and should have been quite bright into the camera, but we are low enough and far enough North, that the sun is mostly gray and dark.DSCN0701 

This is looking over a new sports complex that is being built.  It has about a dozen soccer fields and the softball fence in the background.   It is hard to be positive on such days of gloom.   But I thought the clouds were interesting.

This morning when I got up, there was no sun over the lake, in fact you couldn’t see the other side of the lake from our deck.  White fog!  But then I had a bunch of domestic chores to get done anyway, so sitting around and looking at the lake was out.

But at about 10 AM a wall of solid sleet and misty rain came in from the North covering the ground with pelty ice crystals.  Opps better get the hey outa here.

We have this large straight up hill behind the house, and if you get snow and ice on it you could be caught in the garage until it melts.  I packed things in a instant, and headed out.

I drove fairly quickly out of the sleet and thought I was going to make KC before the bad stuff hit,  WRONG!

After leaving Knob Knoster, Mo.  I ran head into the wall of the storm.  It was freezing rain and sleet.  I snapped this picture out of the window of the car.


In about another mile all heck broke loose.  The truck you see in front of me spun out of control sliding into the median of the divided road.  He then flipped upside down and skidded back up onto the road on his top in front of me.   His head lights were facing me even though he was traveling away from me.

That spooked the guy behind me who slammed on his brakes, which made him spin wildly out of control coming right for my back end.  I let off the gas when the fellow in front came back up on the road, but had to accelerate to get away from the guy from behind.  At that time the fellow in front slid off into the right ditch and ended up on his driver side door.

I was afraid to stop, as others were behind all of this and I am sure had their own problems not sliding into the mess.  In about a mile, I met a whole slew of emergency vehicles going the other way.  Since I wasn’t involved, I didn’t go back.  But Slooooow on into KC was the order for the rest of the trip.

After all of that hurry to get back to KC, the grand daughter’s program was cancelled.  Could have stayed at the lake.

We have dropped into the cellar for temperatures here tonight and will be in the teens by morning.  We had about 2 inches of snow on top of the ice, and it is a winter wonderland now.

I went over to Wal Mart tonight and bought another portable heater for the house here, or perhaps I will take it to the trailer when we go.DSCN0705  

It is oil filled and will not burn anything if it gets too close.  I have one like it at the lake and used it there yesterday.  I had forgotten how well it worked.  So now as is usually the case I have two, one for each place.

Perhaps it will keep the gas furnace from running continually.  Oh the joys of winter!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lake Ozark solitude!

Loyce offered the opportunity for me to see how things at the lake were going by myself. That means she didn’t want to go! LOL.

So after paying some bills that needed attention, I saddled the trusty Carolla, and headed out.  It was overcast and about to break into rain.  Sprinkles on the windshield were evident for the first hour of travel. 

But long about 4 PM I broke out into a mostly cloudy day that had some patches of yellow sun.  That seems to chase the blue feeling away, as I rounded the home stretch on the backwoods roads into the Lake’s North shore.

It was 57 degrees and still seemed as though it could rain at any moment, as I opened the house.  We hadn’t been here since mid October, so I was prepared for any problem.

It was only 47 inside the house as the heat was set on 45.  The same insulation that keeps the heat in, also keeps the cold in, when the day warms outside.  I kicked on the electric heat.  Its forced air over resistance elements.  Like a dryer, so it is expensive and not too efficient. 

To help in the warm-up process, I turned on the oven with the door open, and started a portable space heater.  It ran and ran.  The water was turned off the last time we left, so it had to be turned on and the air bled from the system.  Filling the traps on each sink and toilet.  Nothing frozen and no leaks!

All in all everything was fine.  Once I secured the oven auxiliary heat, I left for the Bandana’s Bar B Que.  Long time readers know about my passion for the dry rub meats.  That would be Memphis style.  Not popular in KC.

So tonight I have read a mailbox full of newspapers, and watched some TV.  Its really quiet here by myself, out in the woods.  The neighbors are here on the North side, but I haven’t seen them.  There are Christmas lights on the largest house across the cove.  Those folks are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and appear to be living here now on a more full time basis.  We have never met.  That’s sad, but the road to their side is not the same as ours, and hollering across the water doesn’t work too well.

Tomorrow, I will go down to the dock and see how the pontoon boat has faired in the last six weeks.  If all is well, I will be back on the road for home, by noon.  Loyce has a Christmas program that we are to attend for the three year old granddaughter.

Retired Rod

Monday, December 8, 2008

This and that

Again we were taking care of the three year old this morning, and she got up before dawn.  We encouraged her to go back to bed, but I don’t think she ever went back to sleep.

Loyce got up with her at an hour before daylight, and I tried to sleep some more, but that didn’t work.  We played the rest of the morning, until her mom came around noon.

We thought we would go for a ride after she went home, and did go up North to the Riverside area, but Loyce wasn’t feeling the best, so we came back home. That left me watching the football games for the rest of the afternoon.

I did take a moment to read the many stories on the internet about Pearl Harbor.  As a veteran, I am very conscious about the attack that took place 67 years ago.  I was in the Navy Seabees, in Vietnam and traveled thru Hawaii.  Since then I have gone to Hawaii on business many times and have been to the memorial on the Arizona battleship.  It is a very solemn place, and one that you are not likely to forget after you have been there.

Tonight has been spent using the skype to talk back to the Ham friends in Iowa.  We do this all the time, but never seem to tire of the activity.  Good friends are hard to come by, and I am lucky to have these folks.

There seems to be some sort of a large temperature change tonight, as a warm front is between here and Iowa.  It is 22 up there and it is 42 down here.  The front goes right between us.  They are to get snow tomorrow, and we are to have it by Tuesday.  I can’t wait.

But the real deal was that it was only 56 in Phoenix.  There is usually a much larger spread between Arizona and KC.  Sure hope it gets that out of its system before we go back.

With that said, we know that it is colder in Phoenix than it was in Texas where we were last year.  I am hoping that the sun shines more on the desert than it did in Texas.  Man the last two weeks of January in Southern Texas was all overcast and rain.  We will learn this year about the Arizona winter and be able to compare.

I’m about to fall from the chair, remembering how early the grandkid had us up this AM.  See you later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Traded Granddaughters

Now that title should turn some heads.  Not exactly like trading horses or cars though.

What I should say is we lost the two year old to her mommy, when they got back from Des Moines.  She was really excited to see her mommy and yelled MOMMY!!! at the top of her lungs, when her mother arrived.

But at about the same time, we gained the three year old granddaughter as her parents are going to a Christmas party tonight, and will not come home until very late or should I say early.  LOL!

I wonder if my son is wearing the lampshade yet?  He seems to be a hit at some of these functions, and I won’t say anything more, because he reads these blogs.

Tonight we went out to the local Aldi grocery store to get some of their products which we have used for a number of years.  Aldi is cheap, no question about it, but they are generic things like can goods and paper towels, so if you can’t tell the difference why pay the difference?

We had $70 worth of purchases and it filled up the back of the car.  We do follow the rule that if there is a premium grade offered, you should go ahead and get it.  You are at Aldi, and cheapening down the already cheaper products doesn’t make sense.

So then we went to Fuddruckers for a good, hand ground, hand made bun, hamburger.  I don’t know how many of these old restaurants are sill around, but we like the burger and tolerate the old restaurant.  The grand daughter had the big kids hot dog, and french fries.  Came with the cookie of her choice that is baked on premise as well.  And a big lemonade!  She was in heaven.

So another day in Loyce’s romper room passes into the sunset.

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We live on, in the cold Kansas day

We had 14 degrees here overnight.  That seems unusually cold for this early in December.  It was only in the low 20’s when we left for Texas on January 1, 2008.  I wonder if that is a sign that all winter will be 10 degrees colder, or if this is a cold snap that will play out.

Either way it is requiring a lot of heat, and consequently utilities.  I do not think natural gas has fallen much in price like heating oil has, so I am mentally preparing myself for the bills.

We still have the youngest granddaughter here since we got her last (Thursday) night.  Her folks are in Des Moines at the funeral of her great grandfather.  At age 2, she wouldn’t understand the emotional nature of the events and would tire quickly from not being in her normal surroundings.

So she is fine here and sees our crib as her crib over at grandma’s.  We also have a crib at the lake for when they are with us there.  All of the girls have used the cribs as they have grown up.  And now with another little he or she on the way for next summer, the cribs will remain a fixture in our landscape.

Today was spent doing further research on stocks and bonds, that might be worthy of ownership.  I really do not have that much to buy stocks with, but have been actively seeking positions that will recover in the playout of this negative cycle.

Once my position change orders were placed, just as the market had a mid afternoon rally, I left the house for a haircut.  Haven’t had one of those since mid October, and I was beginning to feel like a mop.  Lol.  It was 32 outside, burrrr!

After the haircut and buying gas on the Missouri side, 1.379 as the barber is over in Mo., I went to home depot.  I needed another 50 foot of 12 gage drop cord.  Last week when I was using the generator, I learned that all my heavy cords were in the trailer, and that is in Arizona right now.

If we should need that generator for real, not having a cord adequate to get the power inside the house would be rather stupid on my part.  Especially when I knew about the problem already.

This evening Loyce wanted to do some of her power shopping at the local fabric shop/shops.  So I drew front line babysitter duty, making supper and convincing the 2 year old that she should eat it.  But grandpa is weak and provided chocolate milk and then some ice cream for dessert.  We had to spend much of the evening watching sponge bob, which is her family’s favorite evening entertainment.

She sat on the arm of my chair saying spun wob gampa, and pointing at the TV screen.  She must have repeated that a hundred times.  I hope I can live long enough to see these kids grow up!

Retired Rod

Friday, December 5, 2008

Canadian Parliament Shut Down/We have more Grandkids here

Since I started this topic last night, I feel compelled to inform that today the Canadian Prime Minister did go to the Governor General and suspended the Parliament of Canada for almost two months.

This will delay the no confidence vote that the opposition parties plan to have.  Opposition plans to get around this somehow, but have not found the vehicle yet.  This will only delay the inevitable.  If the coalition of parties remains in tact and are set to vote Mr. Harper out, I wonder how he can stop it. 

The people of Canada just voted him in about 7 weeks ago, but the people must not have the final say in who their PM is.  We need to continue to watch,as this has never happened before.

I did find some coverage on this in MSNBC in their world news, but the author seemed unsure of the story.  Like me, he is unsure of the form of Government, and we both need a civics class in the British Parliament’s procedures.

Still all the US folks seem to have the so what attitude.  Won’t effect us!  So Sad.

Today, first we had the three year old, and then the two year old.  For a while they overlapped and were here at the same time.  Cousins that are only one year apart.  They chased each other all through the house.  They both had just gotten up from their naps and had an unlimited burst of energy.

Now grandpa never has a burst of energy, and I had just returned from waiting at the Wal Mart pharmacy window for a prescription that I had called in four hours before I arrived.  No matter, it hadn’t been filled yet.  Come back in a half an hour.  So I sat on the bench right in front of the window where they could see me.

That doesn’t bother them, I’m sure, but at least I felt like I was getting some mileage out of it.

So rather than a burst of energy, I felt like I needed a nap.  Not to be though.  So tonight we have the two year old overnight.  Lets hope she sleeps in some in the morning.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Its cold here now! Canada’s Coalition!!

Tonight is the first time that we have had really cold temperatures. Oh we have dropped down into the freezing temps several times, and some of those times were when we were in Arizona. This is the first time that it went below freezing in the afternoon and is headed for the basement tonight.

Our heat has switched to gas from the heat pump about sundown and is running most constantly. That won’t be good for the gas bill for this month. It is about 22 here now and is to be in the teens before morning.

We have the three year old grand daughter here tonight, and she has spent the day with us. Grandma went and got her mid morning from her preschool. We spent the day playing with the toys and mostly working on the kitchen table with paper, colors and scissors. She really likes to cut up construction paper.

She will be here in the morning, and we will see if she goes to school, or stays here again for the day.

Since Loyce has a dental appointment in the afternoon, it may make me the sitter. I am alright with that, but it will slow down any projects that might require leaving the house.

This evening in the RV-Dreams chat room, the Canadian friends were chatting among themselves as to what they thought of the Coalition. I didn’t understand the gravity of the matter to which they referred. So with some internet searching, I am now much more informed.

I tried to look up the problem in the US News media, but as usual we are so self centered in this country, we do not even report on things of the largest magnitude that happen across our Northern border.

I can not begin to report the gravity of the matter, but it appears as though the parliament is about to toss out the prime minister that was just popularly elected six weeks ago. That would be the equal of the members of Congress tossing out Obama. Wouldn’t happen here. Or it would cause absolute social chaos.

In order to get this done, the Liberal party has formed a coalition with the Quebec separatist party that wants to split the country into French Quebec and the rest of Canada. The liberals are joining with folks that want the dissolution of the country. The people of Canada can’t let that happen.

The last time we had that happen in the US, we ended up with the Confederacy and fought a Civil War over it. Lets pray that that doesn’t happen to Canada. The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is planning to suspend the parliament, until they have a new budget. Or perhaps until something makes some sense in Canadian government.

This is not good for the US either. We would be forced to take sides, which could not be in our best interest. Can you believe that something of this magnitude is going on in Canada and our news people don’t even report it? Harpers Address to the country!

We need to get our head out of the sand here in the US.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shirt Hunt

Yesterday when I was shopping at Wal Mart, I bought an insulated shirt that is Like a T shirt with a Polo style placket and three buttons down the front. It has no collar, but is nicer and warmer than a standard T shirt.

I would have bought more, but they only had one it the giant size that I need. Well in the colors that I would wear anyway. So this morning, I set out, to go on the great Wal Mart circle, looking for more shirts. You know, in the right colors. LOL.

I drove to Gardner, a town about 8 miles South of our house and went to their Wal Mart. I found one dark gray in the 2X but nothing else. So then I drove up to old Olathe, where they just built a new Wal Mart. This store is still catching on, but there were oodles of cars outside.

They had the complete display, with not many shirts sold. And hey, they are on sale here for $2.50 off. And yah, they had the gray one I just bought, at the reduced price too. Darn! Can't drive back down there and back for the $2.50. But I got a darker beige and a medium blue. So I now have four total. That will be plenty, as I am hoping they will be too warm for Arizona.

They are long sleeve and will be too much in the sun during the afternoon. But Arizona has its days where it rains most of the day and never warms up too much, and they will be perfect for that.

I went from there over to where we store the RV, thinking I would put the tongue lock on the utility trailer. My son had parked it where the big trailer goes, thinking it would deter folks from taking our spot. He had put his lock on the trailer, and I didn't have the keys.

So over to Chris' house to get the key, and we hatched a plan to get Mexican at Mi Ranchita. This is in an old Pizza Hut in old Olathe. One of our many Mexican restaurants that we frequent here in Kansas. Old Olathe has been almost totally taken over by folks moving from South of the border. So the food at these establishments is very authentic.

Once we had downed our Chimichangas, and had the locks changed on the trailer, I dropped him back off at his house.

Loyce spent the day with two of the granddaughters. They made cookies, and had fun times doing gal stuff. I was not here to see exactly what, as I had left a short time after they arrived.

Tomorrow we have the third granddaughter coming, so Loyce will be busy again. Tough duty, but somebody will have to do it.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Market Nose dive!

I spent the morning and some of the afternoon watching the market take a nose dive. I made my trades early on not realizing that the opening would be the high for the day. If only we could know just a little, to help with the trend.

But then we would only buy on an up market, and sell just before a down. Not going to happen! So you need to get what you want and then walk away for the rest of the day.

So about 2PM I set the laptop on the floor and went out and got into the car. I was headed to GNC to buy some Alpha Lipoic Acid. I'm not a health food nut, or a free radical eliminator, or anything like that. But, it is reported that ALA reduces the pain in your feet and legs from neuropathy. And I am all over that outcome.

The guy behind the counter had big pipe arms and weighed about a buck eighty. Damn I hate his type. I wonder if he takes all this stuff. And right away he started in that there was another product, that did a far better job on the free radicals. I politely said I wanted this product, but he couldn't let it go.

Then the whole explination had to come out. That they really didn't know why this helped but that it did. So I couldn't substitute. He still liked his choice better. I became quiet and had him ring it up.

To my surprise he offered a coupon, that he had on the back counter to give me 15% off, and rang it up cheaper. Now if it will work, he will sell me a lot more.

I have tried this before and it does seem to help, but then I get off of it and forget that I have it. The pain returns so often, that you tend to forget and resort to stronger prescription meds, and leave the over the counter stuff behind.

I then went to my daily store. The one you seem to go to every day. Wal Mart! With the story about the trampled and killed maintenance worker who unlocked the door at 5AM in New York on my mind, I went in. What a spookey thing to have happen over a 42 inch flat pannel TV for $799.

I bought some long sleeve T shirts and came on home.

Tonight it has been blogs as I got wound up in historical posts of Blah, Blah, Ginger. She is remodeling a one hundred year old home in the center (el Centro) of Merida, Mex. Her explanations of the language barier and problems getting money into Mexico, or out of the US is facinating.

Tonight we learned that my daughter in law's grandfather had passed away in his home. He was in his 80's so that isn't a surprise, but still is unexpected. We will have the grandkids more this week, as Ben and Danielle go to the celebration of his life. Jerry is with God now, his worldly troubles are over.

Retired Rod

Monday, December 1, 2008

Slow Day

The snow continued this morning and kept us in cold conditions. We were actually above freezing, and the snow was sort of melting off the roads, but the wind and overcast continued to make it coooool outside.

So we have stayed inside here for the day. Never venturing too far from the fire, and feeling kind of bunk o, if that is a word that means anything to anyone. I have a sinus thing going on, that has provided the headache and crossed eyes kind of feeling.

Loyce has been working on the grandkids coats all weekend, as they both have either ripped the side out of one, or ripped the teeth out of a zipper on the second. They grow so fast, it seems like a waste to throw out clothes that still fit when they can be repaired.

With that said, it took her all day to replace the zipper, as it has to be sewn into about four layers of folded material. She took it over late tonight, and the parents were elated to have it back.

After the football game last night, I decided that today would be a day with the TV in the off position. I get so tired of all the commercials, that I am willing to forego the whole process.

Perhaps the sun will come out tomorrow and remove the bunk o feeling that I have had today and we will go out and do something. Lol.

Retired Rod