Saturday, September 21, 2013

Reflections 2, May Be The Future Home of Reflections

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence 2 

This blog, Reflections 2, is what I hope will be a temporary home/situation for my blog, Reflections From the Fence.

Due to a LOT of confusion over my domain name and billing, and a certain amount of uncertainty and panic on my part, I have created a duplicate blog, which can replace Reflections, if necessary.

I will be making some changes at Reflections and I am not sure if I will loose it all or not.

So, for now, I am taking Reflections 2 live.  In case - - -

Please note that Reflections 2 does NOT have all the blog posts I have written over the last 4.5 years.  They are here, they are NOT posted.  That will not be done unless it is necessary, as it will take up a major hunk of time, valuable time.

So, here we go!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's Fall RALLY Time

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

 Man and I will be attending the 10th Fall Montana Owners Club Rally next week. Almost 120 units will be attending this year, the largest Rally yet for the MOC.

In preparation, we are cleaning, gutting, organizing, doing lots more stuff in Tana and in the house. Doctor's visits abound (ya, that's a lot of fun.)  We are fussing with medical insurance and snail mail issues that also abound (and they make doctor's visits look like fun).  Yard work will not be caught up this fall, but, we are trying, and in the last week we trimmed (hacked down is more like it) three huge bushes in the yard.  I hope to get the 2 foot tall thistles in the flower beds removed before long.

Next week, getting excited to hook up and roll out, we have the hitch itch that RVers all know.  We are looking forward to visiting with so many great friends we have made over the last 10 years at these rallies, and making new.  Of course, there will be great food too.  Shopping, girls luncheons, so much to do, the week will just fly by!

See ya soon at the Rally!



Sunday, September 15, 2013

"My Physical Being"

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This blog post  is part of my participation in a weekly writing meme called, "The Book of Me, Written By You"  You too can be part of this experiment/experience, there is more information here, and at this Facebook page.

I may or may not publicly share what I write each week.  This week I share, most of the challenge, not all. 

Week 3.  Describe your physical self.

Your size – clothes size:  When I was young:  Many many moons ago, I wore a size 10 dress or pants.  I have gained a few pounds since then, I was in a 14 at one time (and honestly, I was on the way to the 16).  I was happy with the 10, not so happy with the 14.  Today I waiver around the 12 size, sorta happy.  In my mind's eye I am the size 10, wish the scales agreed. Shoe size between and 7 and 8 (American) depending on the style.

I like loose clothes so I wear a Man's large in a t-shirt, sweatshirt and jacket, I prefer the men's shirts, ladies shirts just are not comfy.   I have a long standing goal to wear blue jeans (skirts, skorts, or long pants) 365 days straight.  I keep having to reset day 1, as life just keeps tossing black pants days at me.  I like comfy, loose clothes, jeans, tennis shoes or hiking boots, t-shirts with layers of sweat shirts and sweaters and jackets, if necessary.  What you cannot see is that any day under 72 degrees F, I will also be wearing thermies under the jeans.

Here I am in Death Valley California in March of 2013.  I am dressed for comfort, do not doubt it.  I never carry a purse, always a small fanny pack, this one is by Bagallini, have had it for years, love my Bagallini. Hat to shade my sun sensitive eyes.  Keys clipped onto the belt (and tucked into the pocket).  Keys are to Jolly the towing machine truck.  I hate being locked out of stuff, so, I always have some keys hanging around. T-shirt.  Blue jeans skort. And the hiking boots.  The epitome of fashion, that's me!

There are days I really should just cover up like I did here in ohhhh, 1981 or so:

I am several pounds overweight (number withheld), and I have diabetes, which I call the Demon.  I have had any number of people look at me and say, but, you are so skinny to be a diabetic. MMM, no, I am not.  Recently I had a young spring chicken tell me I did not look as old as I told her my age in real years was.  (I am not telling you here either.)  She said both Man and I did not look that old.  Why thank you young spring chicken for the compliment, but, my birth certificate and the calendar do not lie!

Scars:  probably still have one from my appendicitis surgery when I was 8.  I think there is one on my knee from a bike fender that found it's way into my flesh many many moons ago.

Eye colour: was blue at birth, still light, but, if I wear greens, they do tend to shift a bit.

Other suggested tidbits to add to this prompt were provided at YouTube. SOOO:

I have double pierced ears, but, no tatoos, and no other piercings.These days I wear the earrings and a "I am a Type 2 Diabetic" necklace and sometimes I add other jewelry, but, usually I forget to put other lovely pieces on.  I no longer wear rings, some do not fit that size 12, ahhhheeemmm (cough cough), body/fingers.  When I do wear jewelry, it is best if I don't wear the cheap stuff, I can turn the inexpensive stuff green in no time.  And, you outta see what I can do to the letters on a computer keyboard, they fade away at a remarkable quick pace.  Guess I am "acidic"?  Hold thy smart remarks, please.

I am allergic to most makeup and hair color and perms. I save a bunch of $$ not buying makeup.  So, I wear my hair in a pony tail, I donate that pony about every 2 to 3 years for children with cancer.  They cannot use my mixture of mostly gray with a bit of the ole me, mousy blondy/brown, but, they can sell the pony and use the $$ for administrative costs or to pay for wigs for children with cancer.

I wear glasses, 24/7.  Yes, you did read that correctly.  I sleep in my glasses, one must be ready to read email at 2:31 AM, right??  We all read email and Facebook at 2:31 AM, I know you do, fess up!  My grandtwins were amazed when I admitted this recently. "But, Gramma, don't you bend your glasses?  Gramma, you must sleep on your back all night."  No, I don't sleep on my back all night, and no, I don't bend the glasses.  But, I am ready to read that email at 2:31 AM.

Teeth:  My dentist says I have good teeth.  I have had several root canals, one was the root canal from, well, from that burning place none of us ever wants to go, eh?  And, I have several crowns, one of which was applied with temporary cement well over 20 years ago.  They could not get it back off to apply with permanent cement.  It has never moved.  Go figure - -

I have no wisdom teeth thanks to some oral surgery done when I was under 20.  Said surgery left me with a very small damaged nerve that caused a small spot (bout the size of an American quarter) of vague numbness in my cheek.  I have noted in recent years that that bit of numbness now looks like I have had a bit of a stroke, causing some drooping on that side of my face.  I never was an person of "evenness", so this fits the rest of me.

I also have 4 less permanent teeth than many adults, having had those removed when I was a teen for the orthodontist to make room in my too small mouth for the remaining teeth. (Now, now, restrain thy-selves, it may be too small for my teeth, but, it is overly verbose as we all know and at times a bit outspoken).

Draw your hands.  Skipping this in the public forum. I used to paint my nails, not sure why, but sometime I stopped doing that, and now, just au natural.  The skin is thinning, there are a few age spots, one rather large dark spot on the middle finger of the left hand that has been there for so many years I cannot remember it not being there.  The knuckles are larger than they were in my youth, but, I am blessed, no serious arthritis.

Finger print.  Also skipping in the public forum. Whew, glad that challenge is done.  If you have not done so, try this yourself. Take your time, you might find it interesting and eye-opening, even if you don't wear your glasses 24/7/ like I do.



Friday, September 13, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: The Golden Gate Bridge As Seen Through The Rolling Sea Mist

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence May 10, 2013,

Man and I took Jolly and drove from Greenbrae to San Fran.  First stop Marin Headlands, which would give you a spectacular view of the bridge, IF it were clear.  It was not clear, it was rolling sea mist. Somehow I think this is more common than not.

The photos are presented in the order they were taken.  Some zoomed, some not, as we drove around the headlands area.

Approaching from the 101, heading south.  Our first view of the Golden Gate, shrouded in sea mist.

From the headlands area, above and west of the bridge:

LOTS of zoom to find the ferry.

Be sure to click on this one, I made it a bit larger than I have in the past, let's see how it looks when we click.   Looking from the Headlands east into the bay.  I liked how this really shows off the sea mist, here, there - -

Enveloped again. We did not see the tops of the bridge until later in the afternoon.

The sea mist changes the way things look from moment to moment.  It just rolls in and over and around, almost like a living thing.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Santa Rosa to Greenbrae California, San Fran Here We Come

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence On May 9, 2013

Man and I left the wine country area and drove 40 miles to Greenbrae California, which is just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Some of you may remember the flat tire issue/rant.  Sure made a LOUD bang/pop when it blew.  Man and I both knew immediately, flat tire.

After the flat tire was changed we continued to Greenbrae.  The campsites were small, but, ooh, we were so close to San Francisco.  The staff could not have been nicer, really nice!  They make it their jobs to show you how to get in and out of San Fran and not need to move your truck out of the campground.  It involves some walking, buses and ferries, but, you don't have to fight ole big butt Jolly and the narrow roads, and no parking situations.  Despite the buses and ferries, we did indeed take Jolly to town once.  Just once, tell ya about that next time.

After the excitement of the day, we decided to take a little stroll out behind  the park, maybe walk off a bit of the stress - -

The road to no where, or the road less traveled.  Abandoned rail road tracks.

This is a low lying area, a bit marshy, with well worn paths indicating that it is a area many like to walk in, many with dogs.

With much zoom, I captured this water bird stalking for it's dinner:

And to end the evening, a golden sunset, looking west:

The next few days, San Fran.  It was quite the experience.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Man, As We Do Not Forget

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is a repost of the last two years 9/11 post, with a few edits to bring it up to date. 9-11, Ten,  Eleven, Twelve Years Later, We Remember, Two Opposing Emotions

Has it really been 10 , 11, 12 years?  Hard to believe, but true.

Yes, we all know and remember where we were on that crisp, sunny, bright, September morn 10 , 11, 12 years ago.  As family historians have you recorded your thoughts, your view points, your fears, your concerns?  I did, in an abbreviated form and it is recorded in my data base.  Pretty much this is what it says:

Man's birthday, I had cooked him a large breakfast, eggs, meat, french toast. At some point, I walked into the front room to glance at Good Morning America (who knows why, I just did) and at that very moment the second plane flew into the World Trade Tower. I saw it hit. And we spent a good part of his birthday watching the television reports. Later that evening, our boys came to celebrate their father's birthday. We called around and found a restaurant open, we went there. Business was very slow. The world surely changed that day, freedoms limited, security increased.

Man had retired just 9 months prior, on January 1, 2001.  We were adjusting to retirement, reasonably healthy.  We were having a birthday celebration, and in just moments, our lives and those of everyone we knew, of the entire world, changed.  Really changed.

And, never again, would Man's birthday be the same, because it was now linked in some weird way to the events of 9-11.  Each September 11th is now bitter sweet, his birthday and the memories, always the memories.

Lest we forget - - - those lost on that horrific day.

And, Happy Birthday Man!

* Photo of Mt. Rushmore taken July 3, 2011.  Photo of Man taken in Arches National Park.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dated. Out it Goes. It IS Time

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have been cleaning files.  Some really need cleaning, they are 10, 15 and more years old.  I am a genie-pack rat.  Guilty as charged.  I have hit my personal wall, no more, the old stuff just HAS to go. I think you can see why - -

Ya, really - - (But the yorkie jar STAYS!)

These were full of CD's.  They are empty now.  The CD's were shredded.  Gone - - Now, what to do with the cases?

This pile will be going away, not trash.  Files going to a new home.  To a new care taker.

I have filled 4 or 5 bags of trash, 2 just of shredded stuff.  I gave the grandtwins a HUGE pile of scratch paper and have another pile of scratch accumulated.

Yes, it IS time. And yes, there is more to go.  And, nope, I will not get it done this week, or even this month. But, everything done and gone, never has to be dealt with again.

Tis good - -


Monday, September 9, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: The Retrospective

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

We have been back at the stick built for a few weeks, busy catching up on family, mail, cleaning both the stick and Tana, and mowing, mowing and more mowing.  We have dead car batteries, dead limbs to cut up that need to be drug into the woods.  Both mowers have issues like bad switches, need oil changes and the Gravely gave us a cheap thrill when it would not re-start and we feared the motor blew up.  So happy to report that did not happen, and after several phone calls to our local mower fixer up dude and friend, Ron, the Gravely is now back in the pole barn, and it runs!  I am faced with weeds everywhere, just like this (hey a partial selfie, see, there I am in the very bottom of the photo, well, my fingers anyway):

THE Trip, THE Encore' was 9.5 months in duration  I decided we took "long timing" to the extreme, and so I now deem us as "extreme long timers".

We drove/drug Tana about 8,400 miles, a big circle, more or less, with a few zig zags tossed in for interest.  We drove another 9,000 miles living, running errands and site seeing.

We drove through nineteen states and spent at least one night in sixteen of those.

We drove through, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and back to Michigan.

We did not stay over night in Indiana, Kentucky, or Alabama.

We visited a bunch of national parks and a few state parks along the way.   Big Bend National Park in Texas. Death Valley in California. Yosemite National Park in California. Glacier National Park in Montana. Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  Fort Davis National Historic Site in Texas.  Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas AND Red Rock Canyon State Park in California.  Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helen in Washington.  One of my favorite photos, taken at Yosemite:

We drove mountain roads, hanging on cliffs, well it felt that way in the passenger seat!  We drove on a beach on the Pacific Ocean.  We drove large portions of the Pacific Highway in California and Oregon.  We saw so many beautiful waterfalls, all taking away my breath.

We left with 2 senior yorkies and happily returned with 2 senior yorkies.  Considering their medical conditions we feel very blessed.

I did NOT count the numbers of photos I took.  I bought a new camera along the way, Sony Too.  I have 5 batteries and carry them all with me, there are days I need to charge 2 or 3 at the end of the day.

Data management is quite time consuming.  It involves daily backups and twice a month full data backups to external hard drives, I have three.  I also have taken photos with the iPhone, iPad and my little Panasonic camera.  Sony Too is still my camera of choice, quality and focus are better, in my eyes, anyway.

We had wonderful weather, for the most part.  We had 97 degree temps in Glacier National Park, 5 degrees warmer than we had in Death Valley.  We had a few nights below freezing, experienced deluge rains in Quartzsite, rain in the desert is a force to be reckoned with, and note we were not there during monsoon season.

We (make that Man) did repairs along the way, had that flat on Tana that caused some damage to her belly, we lost some parts.  The parts have been replaced and Man "wacked" the damaged areas a bit and on we went.  While the tires were being replaced and moved around, Man was able to get a repair done down under Tana, hidden between the tires that he just could not reach with the tires on.  The landing leg breakdown was more serious, grounded us for a week in Seaside Oregon, and that FAIL will never be forgotten by the fur kids nor yours truly, as we were inside during the FAIL.  Noise was startling, and the motion of the fall, un-nerving.  The FAIL caused us to change our intended route, said change was meant to be, Portland and the Columbia River and the falls were gorgeous.  That FAIL also lead us to stay near Mount Rainier for the 4th of July holiday, talk about taking a FAIL and coming out with a WIN!!

He fixed the Splendide (washer/dryer) exhaust vent.  We had refrigerator issues the entire trip, luckily we only lost a bit of food and he was able to get it to run on propane while we were boondocking in Quartzsite for two weeks.  Man tweaked and tightened and fussed with minor repairs all throughout the trip, like tightening light fixtures so they would not fall down while underway. Every day tweaking when you live and roll your house down roads that treat your house poorly, earthquake living on wheels.

There were a number of U-Turns, the most famous, or maybe infamous, was on the way to Quartzsite when we unexpectedly met up with MOC friends Ron & Mary and Coleen & Ray.  Soon we were caravaning, and having lunch, and well we did the 4 RV unit U-Turn.  They are still teasing, err, talking about it.

There were rants along the way.  If you are a Facebook friend, you will remember the Discover card rant.  It was long and ugly.  Once ALL the issues were handled we never had another problem with Discover the entire trip.

And of course the blown tire created the Good Sam rant.  Thanks to the smart phone recording recent calls I was able to prove that they have employees/contractors in states such as Tennessee.  They also heard, with much angst, loudly, that a 3 to 4 hour delay for a tow truck in a major metropolitan area is not acceptable. The stories told to us by fellow RVing friends were discerning and yes Good Sam heard that as well.

I had the opportunity to have meetups with several virtual blogging friends. We had meetups and camped with many of our RVing MOC family.  These meetups and time spent with virtual/real friends are special beyond words.  We are always deeply touched when friends take the time out of their lives to meet us, usually with very short notice.  Special moments, dear to our hearts, long remembered.

The posting of THE Trip, THE Encore' trip logs/photos and stories will continue for some months to come. The actual trip has come to the finish line, the virtual trip will carry on and on, and - - - -

* Some have asked, where are you off to next and when.  Well, hopefully around November 1, 2013. Where - - have NO clue!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

You Know You Are an Addict When:

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Since our return to the stick built I have been doing a bit of file (and file cabinet) cleaning.  Filling trash bags, finding lots of scratch paper (if it has one clean side, it IS scratch, eh?).

I found this handout from a seminar attended many many moons ago.  There is no source.  I have not attempted to find one.  Sorry.  If you know the source, leave a comment.

Just a share for my fellow researchers, who will get this.  OHHH, and number 5 and 8 may help you date this!  (We now desire scanners and high speed internet!)

You Know You Are an Addict When:

1.)  You brake for libraries.

.)  You hyperventilate at the sight of an old cemetery.

3.)  You would rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall.

4.)  You would rather read census schedules than a good book.

5.)  You are more interested in what happened in 1689 than 1997.

6.)  Savage, Torry, and Pope are household names, but you cannot remember what to call the dog.

7. ) You can pinpoint Harrietsharm, Hawkhurts, Kent, but can’t locate your state capital on the map.

8.)  You think every home should have a copier and a microfilm reader.

9.)  You know every register of deeds in the state by name, but, they lock the doors when they see you coming.

10.)  You store your clothes under the bed, because your closet is full of books and papers. 

11.)  All your correspondence begins with “Dear Cousin”.

 12.)  You have traced every one of your ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve, have it documented, and still don’t want to quit.

 * All graphics found on the internet years ago and the source data has long been lost.  Apologies to the websites and owners.  Thank you for all your work.