Saturday, January 30, 2010


It has been another week of lounging about, reading and resting. I should feel guilty because this is an RV travel blog but even full time Rvers have some downtime once in a while. Of course, we have had every kind of weather (except snow) the past seven days. Sunshine, rain, wind, more rain then more sunshine and so on. Phil didn’t get to go fishing because his fishing partner had company all week and as I said before, handling his fold-a-boat alone is very difficult. I had a couple doctor appointments for some tests (no results yet to report), we did some grocery shopping and cooked some delicious home cooked meals but other than that it was especially uneventful around here. No pictures taken this week but I thought I would share part of one of our collections ... old theaters. Remember, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

WORD OF THE WEEK: detritus. Litter laws are relevant.

Last weeks word: rectopathic: fr. L. [recto + -pathic] /rek to PATH ic/ easily hurt emotionally; thin-skinned. (Don’t we all know someone like this?)

Best Friends by Martha Moody

When I saw the title of this book, I was hoping to read and get pleasure from how two women might go and grow through life together and how their lives ebb and flow in concert through all the years. I wanted to find my best friend and myself in this book but that did not happen. Ordinary folks rarely have that much trauma in one lifetime and over the span of years covered in this book, Ms. Moody throws every possible obstacle imaginable at the narrator and her best friend. They deal with these impediments badly because of the main character’s self-centeredness and her friend’s infinitesimal grasp on reality. Their inability to see even a small part of what should be done to solve the problems was very annoying even though they were both supposedly smart women, one a physician and the other a lawyer. I did like the brief, diary type style of writing (I prefer short chapters in a book) but over all, it was very disappointing. Rating: two

If you have been sitting, stand.
If you have been standing, sit.
If you have been traveling, stay home.
If you have been home, travel.
If you have been teaching, learn.
If you have been learning, teach.
If you have been talking, listen.
If you have been listening, talk.
Annharriet Buck
Mind-body consultant at Golden Door Fitness Resort and Spa.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time

St. Joseph, Missouri

Gallatin, Tennessee

Magnolia, Arkansas

Snyder, Texas

Carlsbad, New Mexico

Kingsburg, California

Somewhere in Nebraska (city not noted).

Chico, California

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Phil received a call on Saturday from his cousin, Randy. Randy’s father (he was Phil’s dad’s brother—the last of that group of siblings) passed away in Salt Lake City and then Randy’s brother passed away a week later. We do not want another year like 2009 but with this kind of news so soon in 2010, we aren’t optimistic! It had been an uneventful week with not much happening except for Phil and Roger going fishing on Wednesday. We did have one terrific storm the other night that kept us awake off and on all night. Rained buckets with some wind, lots of thunder and a bit of a light show. No plans on the horizon for next week so I expect things will remain pretty dull around here for a while yet.

WORD OF THE WEEK: rectopathic – Everyone knows someone like this.

Last week’s word: raconteur, pronounced: ra-kän-‘tәr. Noun: Early 19th century French Old French raconter "recount, retell”
Definition: Somebody who tells stories or anecdotes in an interesting or entertaining way with skill and wit.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: Did you know?
Horse Statue leg positions
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Sometimes I am a lazy reader. Macomber’s books do not require any special knowledge about a subject nor a PHD in English to read and understand the plot. Her books put me in mind of Gladys Tabor’s writing – about simple things like food, hearth, home, comfort and joy. A happy ending is almost guaranteed and when I’m looking for a book to de-stress (I think I may have just invented a word?) myself, her work suits me just fine. If you are a person who knits, you will enjoy this story and if you aren’t, the story line all but encourages you to learn. This is definitely a book for women, full of insight and understanding about how our minds and hearts lead us through life. The first in a five book series that takes place in Seattle, it was a vicarious trip home for me and I enjoyed the journey. Rating: seven

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Published in 1994
The second book I have read this week by a northwest author and I loved it. With a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Masters in Creative writing, David Guterson’s articulates his expertise with the English language in this exquisite novel. Taking place on a fictional island off the state of Washington he took me home on every page. I have experienced the beauty of the snow falling on cedars and his description of the landscape and the ocean seascape is perfection. This novel has so many themes, so many twists and turns relating to love, racism, community, justice and conscience it compels one to keep reading to solve the dilemma or see the outcome. The story’s main plot surrounds a suspenseful murder trial where the defense attorney at 79 years old is apparently on his last legs yet retains a judicious and astute mind. A winter snowstorm blows in that shuts down the island except that the trial must go on. All the flashbacks to fill in the back-story are detailed and a bit drawn out but fascinating just the same. If you like a good mystery and are at all interested in the historical aspect of the treatment of Japanese Americans during and after WWII, this book is a winner. It was made into a movie in 1999 and I will be looking for the DVD in our travels. Rating: TEN!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time …

Sky full of cotton balls over our park. Wierd but pretty.

Lake Tracy, Florida. The fishing lake of the week!

Yes, that darker line in the water is an alligator. Phil just missed getting a picture of him before he went under the water.

This egret better be careful or he will be dinner.

Success! Phil's first (he is sure there will be lots more) Florida Bass!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

THE FISHING WAS GREAT (the catching not so good :)

The weather here in our part of the country has turned around, temperatures are going up and Phil has caught his first real fish (there was that tiny minnow sized one back in 2005 but we won’t talk about that) in Florida. This time it was a small (single serving) crappie however he catches and releases so the little guy lived to swim another day. My avid fisherman and his friend, Roger (who did get one bite) took off and spent about four-five hours bobbing around in Lake Rochelle, which is about 12 miles from our RV Park. Nothing much happened but they had a good time just wishin’ and a-hopin’ with utmost concentration. Phil said he tried everything in the tackle box but nothing worked. Maybe next time!

WORD OF THE WEEK: Raconteur – something I strive to be.
Last week’s word:
Peripatetic: Pronunciation [per-uh-puh-tet-ik]
Adjective: walking or traveling about; itinerant.
Synonyms: 1. wandering, roving; vagrant, (full time RVer :)

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: “Learn as much as you can about as much as you can; the great disease of mankind is ignorance.” Sidney Poitier in the introduction of his book, “Life Beyond Measure: Letters to my Great Granddaughter.” An absolutely wonderful read I might add!

I love most lending libraries in RV parks because the choices are so wide-ranging. Books I would seldom consider when new - by authors I have never heard of fill the shelves. As my eyes slide down the spines of this marvelous array, I can’t explain what catches my attention—is it the author, the title, the cover? I’m not sure; maybe a mish-mash of all three but my latest bag of books is all over the board in diversity of topic. Here are the two I’ve just finished.

What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg
In this quick read by Elizabeth Berg she captures the heartbreak of losing one’s mother at an early age through desertion and although I physically did not lose my mother, as a 10-year-old, her presence fell from grace in my heart and thanks to intense self examination, I found my way back after 20 years. This woman’s children were lucky enough to have a father (something I never had) who loved and cared for them to adulthood but even so, had many ambiguous issues. How well I understood the perception that the mother came before the child/children, whether she was there or not. Berg’s characters grow to adulthood, have their own marriages and children but when the mother becomes ill (after 35 years of estrangement) literally find their way back into her arms without reprisal. It inspires hope for the phenomenon of mother-daughter bonding regardless of the circumstances of separation … rating: eight

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Once I opened the cover, I couldn’t put it down. Reviewers say this book is all about the love of a father for his son. Yes, that is highly evident but all I will say about the plot is that the potential for horror on the next page was always there (and I don’t do horror) but still I kept reading and the apocalyptic background was sobering to say the least. I kept asking myself what would I do in the same circumstance? At the end, after the fast paced chapters I found the final scenes somewhat implausible (you’ll see why if you read it) but it is fiction and Mr. McCarthy can end his book any way he pleases. I was mesmerized from beginning to end. Now I’m looking for the DVD of the movie … rating: Nine

After finally yelling Uncle we uninstalled the software and returned the first receipt scanner to Staples and convinced them it didn’t work in spite of their insistence they had never had one fail before. Anyway, with very little hassle, we came home with a new one and I started over. This time, success! I have been nibbling away at my stack of receipts, scanning them into the “in box”, then editing them for accuracy and filing them into files I have created. It is a little awkward, as I have to concentrate on each move. Nothing is rote as yet but I can see the potential. It takes two minutes to set up and if the receipts are scanned in daily it would take another five minutes and you would be done with it. Lots of other features I haven’t started to use yet but so far, I’m happy with the purchase of my latest “gadget.”
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time ...

There is our pretty little Lone Ranger, with the Porta Bote put together and loaded on the boat rack he carries around on his top. Roger came over and helped lift it because even though it is light, it is awkward for one person to load.
The Porta Bote performed perfectly

Two happy guys ... Phil and Roger finally getting to go fishing for--crappie? bass? They didn't care just as long as they were out on the water -- at last.
Snagged this picture from Margie's blog.

Lake Rochelle, Florida

And, here is Roger content to wait patiently for that one little tug on the line that kicks the heart into high gear! Not much excitement this day ...
Maybe another day?

Saturday, January 09, 2010


What are we doing? Not much! We are supposed to have three days of this abnormally cold weather (that’s their story and they’re sticking to it). Highs are barely into the 40s! Forecast was for 25 degrees Friday night and 27 degrees tonight then 31 degrees on Monday night. The original light for generating warmth in the bay burned out and we have not been able to find a replacement so Phil put a trouble light in with the water pump to keep it from freezing. He also half filled our water tank (so we can flush), bought bottled water and unhooked our water hose then insulated the city water hookup hoping to protect it as well. To put it mildly, this weather really sucks and has been trying our patience for weeks now. Honestly, if I did not have my heart set on Washington DC in the spring (Cherry blossom time) I would try to convince Phil to start moving west towards Arizona … now. We will survive of course (we are from Washington after all), but I am such a wimp when it comes to being cold, I admit—I hate it! Okay, so much for that rant … on to more agreeable reading.

Definition of last week’s word: oxymoron: [òksee máw ròn] Plural: Ox-y-mo-ra
Noun 1. Expression with contradictory words: a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, e.g. “wise fool” or “legal murder.”
WORD OF THE WEEK: This one has special meaning for me … Peripatetic


In this life I'm a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that. Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid, I could deal with that. When you are a girl bear, you birth you're children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping, and wake to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that. If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that. If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat. Yep, gonna be a bear

MOVIE REVIEW: It’s Complicated
We loved this movie. It made us laugh out loud and who can argue with that? To those who will say it is frivolous and insults the talent of Meryl Streep, I say this … who cares? It was a romantic comedy for heaven’s sake … hardly War and Peace! Don’t you suppose she sometimes like to lighten up as well? IMHO, Alec Baldwin is a greasy, middleaged womanizer so he fit his part in this movie to a T but of course, he was just being himself (Gee, can you tell I don’t like him?). Steve Martin did a nice job of playing Mr. Nice Guy and added his own touch of slap stick humor but played it down for the most part. I have not ever smoked marijuana but have to admit, (whether realistic or not) the silly scenes pertaining to it were hilarious. Meryl Streep is just the most believable, versatile and entertaining acress regardless of what role she chooses to do. The characters were a bit out of focus (successful restaurant owners usually work 12-14 hour days—she was there once I think in the whole movie), her extraordinary garden (large and lush) outside her home would require two full time gardeners to tend to it and her impressive home certainly didn’t need remodeling in my opinion but it WAS just a movie and we enjoyed the scenery.
Recommendation: Go see it in the theater … the food scenes are scrumptious!

BOOK REVIEW: Every once in awhile I want something easy, fast moving and predictable to read. In that regard, in 2009, I picked up a book by an author well-known for her happy endings. It was Sandra Brown’s Smoke Screen (published 2008). The book jacket synopsis sounded interesting and as it turned out, I really enjoyed it. My next Brown read, Ricochet (published in 2006) was both entertaining and puzzling and I could not figure out the fast paced mystery until the end. That said, after just finishing my third Sandra Brown novel, The Devil’s Own (published in 1987) this quick read was okay but it points out how far the author has come since starting out as a fledgling writer. The story line in this book is barely believeable and the sex scenes were a bit explicit for my taste but I am happy to report, since then her skills as a writer have greatly improved. Mrs. Brown published her first novel in 1981 and since then has written over sixty books. With over fifty million copies of her books in print, since 1990 she has been consistently on the New York Times bestseller list.
Rating: Smoke Screen …7; Ricochet … 8; The Devil’s Own … 5

Receipt Scanner Saga: Stay tuned … honest! I’m working on it.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,

Here are a few pictures of the homeowners at Citrus Ridge Park trying to protect their shrubs and flowers from the freezing weather …

Saturday, January 02, 2010

WELCOME to you 2010!

Absolutely nothing to report this week. We have been in the house more than out. Hunkering down taking notice of the intermittent rain showers on the roof, reading, listening to music, watching TV, cooking, cleaning up and doing all the other things you non-fulltiming folks do out there every day. No travel, no adventure, no excitement of any kind. Phil did get his fold-a-boat put together and he also bought his fishing license. I think he may be thinking about going fishing … but time will tell. Even so, as you well know, (and, as my sister, Robin tells me) even though I have nothing to write about, I can still fill up a page!

Who knew? FYI! The words on the list in last week’s blog are called, homographs=words spelled the same but pronounced differently. Since I am a lover of words aka logophile/logolept/verbivore I have decided to share my passion with my readers by presenting a teaser each week. As my English teacher used to say to me, “If you don’t know what it means, look it up!” So, let’s all learn together …

Word of the week: Here is an easy one to get us started: oxymoron

Many bloggers conclude their blogs with a "thought for the day" and I really enjoy reading them so I’m going to try and remember to add one at the end of my blog each week. I’ve been collecting these thoughts for years so it will be fun to share them and see if they mean anything to anyone else.

Thought for the week: This one cracked me up!

For all those young men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”, here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of young women are against marriage. Why? Because they realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

I’ve also decided that since I love to read and I love to read about books other people are reading (book reviews) I think as long as we are parked in one place (with a pretty good library on site) I will share my thoughts with you about the book(s) I have finished in the past week. On a scale of 1-10 (one being the least desirable and 10 being the most) I will also rate the book.


Book Review: ‘Tis by Frank McCourt … I have yet to read Mr. McCourt’s first book for which he received a Pulitzer Prize in 1997, titled Angela’s Ashes. At the time, I decided against it because the reviews made it sound like a depressing read (pain, alcoholism, destitution and the like). Then, in 1999 his second book, 'Tis also received rave reviews so when I came across it in the lending library here at the park I decided to give it a whirl. Since he taught English for over 30 years, his style of “run on sentences” surprised me. I found myself many times coming up for air mid sentence. Lack of punctuation however did not take anything away from the raw and revealing prose of his struggles after returning to his birthplace (he was born in New York City, then his immigrant parents returned to the old country). As a young man, after growing up in Ireland his descriptions of his poverty stricken lifestyle here in the land of his birth are unpleasant but they scream reality if you have ever been there. If not, they might be inconceivable and sound a bit far-fetched but whether we hide our heads in the sand or not, Mr McCourt’s rags to riches story is equally eye opening and heartwarming. Now, I am looking forward to reading Angela’s Ashes


Rating: I give it a solid seven. Not exactly a page-turner but since it was autobiographical, and I knew the ending, it was very interesting to see how he achieved his nearly impossible goals.


Note: Frank McCourt died in July 2009, he would have been 79 years old in August.


Is it just me? Why does everything have to be so darn complicated? I have taken the tutorials (twice), I have read the directions over (and over) again, I have installed, stalled, uninstalled returned and repurchased then installed again, but what to do next still escapes me! According to the reviews and propaganda on the box, my new receipt scanner sounds like the best thing since sliced bread to receipt savers like me. Okay, why then is it so difficult? Finally, it scans the receipt and finally it puts it in a “folder” and finally, it gives me a screen where I can edit the results to make sure it has read the receipt correctly. But (with me there is always a but) what do I do from here? However, never fear—I will continue to work with it until the light bulb goes off over my head. Until then … give me time, but most of all, give me patience!

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,

The orchards around us are loaded with fruit ripe for the picking!

A bumper crop of oranges in the groves around our town. The stores should be full of these delicious fruits at a very low price, right? Guess again ...

Where do you think these freshly harvested oranges are going? California maybe?

You think I'm kidding? Look what we found in the grocery store. Unbelievable!

During a break in the weather last week, Phil caught a picture of these hot air balloons out for a ride behind our park.

Well, what do you know! We put a fireplace in Penny the Pace. It came complete with Christmas music playing softly over the sound of the crackling logs.
What fun is this!!!?

When life gives you lemons ... (actually, Margie gave us the lemons), they say to make lemonade ... how about Lemon Meringue Pie instead? Made with Splenda it was delicious. Truthfully, I did use a bit of sugar in the meringue. I wasn't sure Splenda would brown as well.

The night setting on our camera requires that we hold it perfectly still for 6-7 seconds which is hard to do without a tripod.
This is the best of what we took during the Blue Moon on the last day of December, 2009. The second full moon in that month.
Pretty cool!