Monday, May 31, 2010

Water Witching, TP and Other Provisions

The guy we bought the motor home from has offered to water witch our land for a spring. We'd told him about installing a cedar fence post and hitting water one foot down. I dug deeper and the water was flowing up as fast as I stuck the post hole digger in the ground. The hole became a sloppy mess and the fence post wound up two and a half feet down - for now. When our locates a spring closer to the house we'll install a hand pump and use if for emergencies and watering the garden. Two springs within two miles of here were plugged off by the health department after neighbors complained of people littering in the area. Unfortunate that bad behavior spoils a clean water source for others, especially campers in the area.

On today's cemetery tour we stopped at Walmart. I hate the place but took advantage of some sales and Dad picked out flowers for his girlfriend's grave. Seems hard to believe she's been gone since 1996. On the way to her gravesite we stopped at a yard sale. Can you believe there were packages of TP stacked on a table? The lady running the sale was cleaning out her late mom's little house. Her mom had lived through the Depression and been a pack rat - especially with TP, tinfoil and paper bags. All the tinfoil was gone; few people were interested in paper bags, except to carry other trinkets home; and most of the TP was still there. Fifty cents a 4-roll pack for any variety.

My Dad owns a Ford SUV and you can bet that thing was packed with TP. Dad is still shaking his head. When paying for the stuff I told the woman how surprised to find any TP left. She shook her head and said, "everyone says they don't have room to store it or they only buy a certain brand." She wasn't taking it home because she had flown in from California. Today I spent $16 for 32 four-roll packages!!!!

Next we stopped at a senior high rise so Dad could pick up something from a friend. Lucky thing I entered the building with him. At the entrance we met the younger sister of an acquaintance who was buried Saturday. His sister was there cleaning out his apartment before June 1st. She had a box of groceries in her arm so I held the door and asked if she needed any help.

"Yeah, I need to find someone to take all this food," she said. Four boxes and six bags later I had those in the car too. Poor Dad had to hold three bags on the way home!

This single mom has a son with three children who I would assume the groceries would go to. I also wondered if she offered any to the seniors in the building. When I told Sweetie about this Dad said he'd overheard her telling someone that her holiday weekend had been "spoiled by a funeral and moving her brother's stuff."

Her brother was a lifelong bachelor who seems to have favored a limited diet. I have enough ketsup, mustard, canned potatoes, baked beans, oatmeal, syrup, Dinty Moore beef stew, saltine crackers, sardines, tuna fish and various soups to last a couple years.

Nearly everything I picked up today is still in his car so I'd best get busy! Have a great Memorial Day. Treesong

Sunday, May 30, 2010

When You Wake Up Tomorrow...

Just imagine that instead of winding down from the holiday weekend you hear that banks will remain closed "until further notice." While trying to wrap your brain around that news the neighbor knocks on the door and says: "Did you hear there are long lines at the gas stations?" While speaking to the neighbor your phone rings. You answer and are told not to come into work Tuesday. The plant or store or office has closed.

As you collapse into your favorite chair the sky turns dark and a fine ash begins to decend from the sky. An Icelandic volcano has erupted. You didn't hear about it because you were sunbathing at the beach all weekend and there was no cell reception.

What I want to know is how would you be affected?

Yeah, maybe all these things won't rock your world at once. But what if two or three or even one did?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"We're Too Far Removed..."

Overheard in the grocery store yesterday: "Isn't that oil spill business a scary situation?"

"Oh, we're too far removed from it for it to affect us."

I wanted to walk between the tomato and banana displays and cuff that nit wit. But, what's the point? I'd be talking to another person who resides in La, La Land. So, I pushed my cart toward the back of the store while muttering "What a clueless dim wit."

IMO there's very little in this world that doesn't affect us sooner or later. Thanks to globalization, break neck consumption and out sourcing to foreign countries today's existence is a giant web. Loosen the string in one place and the whole thing begins to unravel.

The woman's remark reminded me of those who believe Michigan's Upper Peninsula is "insulated" from the rest of the world. Another myth.

True some maps forget to include the U.P. But everything in this world is dependent on oil. Everything. You may garden and save seeds from last year but, I'll bet you used a tiller to plow your garden. The tiller takes the same fuel that was used to manufacture and deliver it to your local dealership. That store heats and cools its building with fuel and - if you're like most Americans - your vehicle used fuel to take you to the store. Take things a bit further and you must realize that the car is made of parts manufactured using fuel, as are your clothes, the razor you used this morning, the makeup you probably wear, the food you ate and the pavement you drove on to pick up your tiller. Unless you ordered it in which case you still didn't avoid fuel.

What appears simplistic - planting a seed in the ground - is connected to more complex systems. Even when you harvest your crop, you'll likely use electricity or propane to process/cook what you harvested. The implements you use to complete these tasks required fuel to make them, as did the soap suds you wash them with, the towel you dry them with and the cupboards you place them in.

And therein lies the problem. We fail to see the connections/consequences of our daily actions. The attitude in this country is: "as long as I get my (food, clothes, shelter, heat, entertainment) I'm not going to worry. It's somebody elses problem."

Reminds me of the dumb ass neighbors behind us. As long as they could dump, hunt, poach, party, or store their things on our land, they were not affected. When we installed a fence their use of our land ended. From their perspective we've changed their whole world.

I drove home yesterday along the Portage Canal which flows between Houghton and Hancock. I couldn't help but wonder how that dim wit would feel if a red slick covered the water, the beaches were closed and Peterson's Fish Market closed down.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Skin Cancer, Projects and Time Out

We returned home last night from Sweetie's dermatology appointment in DePere, WI. While there, he showed the doctor a new spot on his arm and soon a dime sized chunk was removed for biopsy. Next week we'll here if it's melanoma. The poor man's face looks like he's been in another bar room brawl but the clinic's lab report claims they "got it all."

We'd checked out of our motel at 7 a.m. and his appointment was for 7:50. I spent four hours in the clinic's waiting room, occasionally being called into the procedure room. Afterward we had to fill a prescription and headed for home. Two miles down the expressway Sweetie looked at the gas gauge and said WTF? Our fuel light had come on. Sometime while parked next to the front door of the motel a half tank of gas was siphoned. One week ago while in Marquette, he replaced the damaged locking gas cap with a spare regular gas cap we carry in the trunk. Lesson learned: keep a spare locking gas cap in each vehicle.

Today he's picking up lumber for our remodeling project and I'm cleaning house. Dad was hear for nearly two days alone. Thankfully everything went well and the cats and dog kept him company. No one in the family bothered to come by and check on him or call. Surprise, surprise.

Weather permitting we'll work on projects all weekend. Monday Dad and I are touring family and friends' graves. Sweetie wants to stay home alone. It's the anniversary of his youngest son's death in a Memorial Day car wreck.

The neighbor who decorated our fence is slowly tearing the addition to his shed off the backside. Sweetie says we'll stop by next week with fence posts and install a few to "encourage" him to continue picking up the mess. The man's grandson has been in trouble yet again and been bailed out of jail. He's a walking powder keg so we're crossing our fingers that there won't be any trouble here this holiday weekend.

We toured lots of side roads on our way to DePere. Some beautiful country and well kept farms and all I could think of was: I wonder how far in debt they are and could anyone but a corporation afford to buy one today?

Well, Dad just got up so I'll fix him breakfast. Have a great weekend. Treesong

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Fence Is Decorated

Like I said Thursday, "we'll see how the weekend goes..."

Today we took my two youngest grandkids out for a ride on the golf cart. As we rounded the corner on the private road behind us my 5 year old grandson said, "Wow, Grandma, look at all that stuff on that fence!"

Elk, deer and antelope skulls now decorate each cedar fence post. Tied between each post are Budweiser and Harley banners. At the beginning of the private road that runs between his place - and gives us legal access to our land - are two signs: "Closed for Business" and "Enter at Your Own Risk."

The man has always used this portion of the road as his driveway. Knowing the battle we'd have over him moving his crap off our land, we decided to install a gate at another location.

So despite being told the fence was well within OUR land, was paid for and installed by us and is PRIVATE PROPERTY, this ass is gonna push were he can push.

We'll think on this a few days and see if he gets the remainder of his crap off our land. Like I said, "we'll see how the weekend goes..."

Friday, May 21, 2010

We May Switch Project But We Getter Done!

My Dad says we hop from one project to the other without completing any. He's been tempermental and forgetful lately, so I bit my lip awhile. Then he said, "You two have never accomplished a thing hopping around like this!" I told him it adds variety to our lives and walked outside.

And yes, we have hopped around a lot this past month but at least we're doing something! Between working on the motor home, brush hogging, spreading free topsoil, stacking firewood, dismantling two decks and working on the bathroom, well, there's time left over for the laundry room/pantry addition!

For once in my life my Dad couldn't accuse me of tearing down a wall. It was Sweetie's idea!

After many revisions on how to best rearrange our bathroom - which includes the washer/dryer - Sweetie suggested we build a 4x8 foot bump out along the hall. I took one look at him and said, "You're a man after my own heart!" Dad just shook his head.

Today, as Sweetie tore the hall panelling down, we decided to extend the bump out a few more feet for more pantry shelves. I'll use them for medical/toiletry supplies.

Then Sweetie "hopped" across the hall to rerout some plumbing and install a frost proof hose attachment to the exterior. After our coffee break we moved the extra washer and dryer, all my container garden tomatoes and peppers and tore off half the back deck!

Maybe tomorrow we'll build the platform for the bump out. Maybe not. I'm spending the morning with my youngest granddaughter, so who knows what Sweetie will do. Maybe he'll go fishing. Maybe he'll sit in his recliner and nap the day away. After all, he does deserve some down time.

And now, to challenge myself, I'll attempt to figure out how I goofed up FinePix. Have a great evening everyone. Treesong

The Archdruid Report

It's been awhile since I've read The Archdruid Report but I will be fixated on it for the near term. He's just begun a new series and here are a few tidbits from his most recent post.

"The uncontrolled simplification of a complex system is rarely a welcome event for those people whose lives depend on the system in question. That’s one way to summarize the impact of the waves of trouble rolling up against the sand castles we are pleased to call the world’s modern industrial nations."

Read that again - a few times - and then continue on. He soon switches metephors from sand castles to icebergs but his thoughts have stuck with me like the sunset over Lake Superior last night.

And this: "Right now there are a great many dollars in the global economy that are no longer worth the same as any other dollar. Consider the trillions of dollars’ worth of essentially worthless real estate loans on the balance sheets of banks around the world. Governments allow banks to treat these as assets, but unless governments agree to take them, they can’t be exchanged for anything else, because nobody in his right mind would buy them for more than a tiny fraction of their theoretical value. Those dollars have the same sort of weird half-existence that horror fiction assigns to zombies and vampires; they’re undead money, lurking in the shadowy crypts of Goldman Sachs like so many brides of Dracula, because the broad daylight of the market would kill them at once."

A few lines later he continues with this: "Letting banks meet capital requirements with technically worthless securities is only one of the maneuvers that government regulators around the world allow without blinking. Driving this spectacular lapse of fiscal probity, of course, is the awkward fact that governments – to say nothing of large majorities of the voters who elect them – have been propping up budgets for years with their own zombie hordes of undead money.

Underlying this awkward fact is the reality that the only response to the current economic crisis most governments can imagine involves churning out yet more undead money, in the form of an almost unimaginable torrent of debt; the only response most voters can imagine, in turn, involves finding yet more ways to spend more money than they happen to earn. So we’re all in this together; everybody insists that the walking corpses in the basement are fine upstanding citizens, and we all pretend not to notice that more and more people are having their necks bitten or their brains devoured."

I could keep posting snippets from his blog but please, please, read it yourself.

The man is brilliant, IMO, and worthy of your time and attention. Do I always agree with him? No, but that doesn't mean I won't consider what he has to say.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two Old Bikers Meet

If you've read this blog for any length of time you know I'm the vocal one. Sweetie sits back and watches, offers his opinions and waits for someone to step out of line. He's a man of few words who really doesn't want a physical fight but a man who won't back down if provoked.

So today our neighbor arrived from Texas - the one who tore down the T-posts and white line last fall after helping me repair it the day before.

When he drove past our place Sweetie just smiled and said, "I'll give him a few hours then introduce myself." In the intervening hours we heard lots of noise behind us and hoped it was the sounds of trailers being loaded, etc.

Just before supper we hopped on the golf cart and took a ride. Sweetie drove by his place to "check things out" before turning around at our southwest corner. "Well, it's time to meet the neighbor and get this over," he said. I'm sitting there thinking, "Should I have brought a gun? A camcorder?"

I gotta tell you my former biker man knows what he's doing! He drove into the guy's yard at full speed, slammed on the brake, hopped out and took three huge strides toward the guy. By then the 5'5" former biker neighbor was off his cooler and heading for Sweetie.

They stopped within a foot of one another and Sweetie extended his hand, "Hello, I'm George. Guess it's time we met."

I gotta say the guy was speechless!

From there on out Sweetie had the upper hand. Biker neighbor repeatedly said, "I just got in today but I'm cleaning up." Sweetie just kept nodding his head up and down.

After a few minutes the neighbor said, "You know a lot of this stuff is family stuff every one's dropped off here during the years." Sweetie simply smiled and said, "Guess your family will be out to help you then."

God, I love this guy! I just sat there watching wisdom and power in action. A few minutes later they were discussing Texas onions, fishing and all the chores we all have to do around out places. Finally, Sweetie said, "Well, I'll be around working on the fence and in the woods. See ya later."

Now, I have to say the neighbor was sober; maybe high but sober. So now we wait and see how the evening goes, the weekend goes and the remainder of the summer goes.

On another note, the rich woman who owns the shared waterfront has a caretaker who was up to his usual asinine behavior today. Dad and I were walking down the road when a truck roared up behind us at high speed. I turned, took two steps into the road and raised my hand up and down to signal "slow down!" I then realized who was driving. He immediately veered toward us and flipped us the bird. Good thing I wasn't driving because road rage would have got the best of me.

Once home, I called the rich lady in Sterling Heights. I introduced myself and asked if she'd noticed any strange behavior from her caretaker. "No."

Last fall he accused us of trespassing on her land (which borders ours) and said we had no right to access the private road. This winter he slid on the icy road and rammed into our mailbox. When we saw him at the bank he told the teller, "These people owe me money for the damage to my truck." We ignored his insanity but wound up in line with him at the grocery store. He repeated himself and we said the mailbox didn't hit him; he hit the mailbox! To which he said, "Too bad you weren't standing next to your mailbox when I hit it."

I ended my conversation with the rich lady by saying, "You have the right to hire anyone you please but he's a poor representation of you."

She said she'd talk to him and thanked me for bringing the matter to her attention. Now either she'll follow through and he'll shape up or she'll ignore our concerns. Time will tell.

The Neighborhood's A Changing

We've been told "It's all your fault!" The neighborhood's changing!

Just imagine. Two old "city slickers" (NOT!) moved in last year; cleaned up their property; put up THE FENCE; pick up litter on the road; don't drink, steal or destroy private property and our actions have caused other people's lives to "go to Hell!"

Strange way of looking at the situation, if you ask me. When grumbling drunks can't see beyond their next drink I guess blaming us seems logical.

Here's a brief list of the "changes" we've inspired:

Pontoon boat guy (whose junk was on our land) has kicked his girlfriend out and stopped drinking. Several neighbors are upset by the latter because he was the main entertainment at their parties. A few saner neighbors are concerned because the last time he quit drinking he went off his meds too and the swat team removed him and his guns from his home. Time will tell.

A waterfront summer resident has cut down every tree on her three lots to make way for a mound septic system. The neighbors behind her aren't pleased because her trees provided their shade. She also claimed ALL of her lakefront because that's the only area where her well can be drilled. This means 200 feet of the road across the beach area must be moved closer to the water. When that occurs the party goers will have less room to spread their returnables, bonfires and picnic tables.

The elderly neighbor at the beginning of our south line asked where we got the cedar fence posts. He's buying two lots to the east of him which stretch out to the main road and fencing his east and west sides! Our fenced south line is his north line.

The "you can't walk on these roads" yapper - who's the grandson of the man behind us - is in jail again for destroying private property. His grandpa (who removed our fence and line last year) received the registered letter from the township which said he had to move his stuff from our land. Grandpa's still in Texas so his son begrudgingly moved everything of value. Surprise, surprise, the garbage has been left for us to pick up. The son says we're stupid people who installed a "pig fence." So what's wrong with fencing pigs out?

Word has filtered through the neighborhood that our three acres across the road is for sale. The troublesome neighbors behind us - Pontoon guy and fence destroyer guy - are pissed. "We offered to buy land and lots from you next to us and you're selling across the street!!!"

That's right. Why "sell" to morons who want to "use the land until they get the money for it" and have them and their junk closer to us????

Strange the way some people think.

Monday, May 17, 2010

That Ugly Jack Pine's Down!

Since moving here and setting up housekeeping I have stared out the window above our computer at a hideous, half dead Jack Pine. Today, Sweetie stood in the loader bucket with an extension ladder and rope while I raised it up nearly as high as it would go. Then I sat there praying he didn't fall while he placed the ladder against the tree and began to climb about 16 feet. Once the rope was tied around the tree I lowered the bucket and stood in the driveway with Dad to watch the rest of the operation. After attaching a chain from the tractor to the rope, he took off through the woods until he was pulling the tree over. What a sight. And being the worry wort that I am, I was relieved that he missed the two red pines and one white pine that I admire so much near the edge of our yard.

I'm having another MS flare up so not doing much other than the drunken sailor walk with Dad and small household chores. The timing couldn't be worse because we have so much to do but it's happened so often lately that I've consented to another series of tests to see how much it's progressing. Frankly, it just frustrates me and I feel myself going into a funk. Sweetie bought me some peanut butter chocolate ice cream to boost my spirits. Helped for awhile but I still want to be outside working.

The couple we bought the motor home from have visited us twice and we've discovered we have a lot in common. It's been nice to have some company and they are looking for land! When I heard that I flippantly said, "We've got three acres across the road for sale." Now, they're looking for financing and we're checking on legally splitting it from the main parcel. After selling us the motor home they bought a 1978 22 foot Shasta trailer. They used to camp down at the end of the private lake here until it was developed into high priced lots. So, they're familiar with the area and even told us of a spring on a road near here where campers get fresh water! Marvelous how things develop sometimes.

Well, I'm exhausted again so it's time to rest. Have a great week everyone, Treesong

Friday, May 14, 2010

We Still Have Room!

I spent about three hours today cleaning the rig. Ever since I've been loading it and there's still empty cupboards!

If I got rid of my paintings and photographs, our furniture and about half our clothes we could live in the RV full time. Hmmmm...

We would need a garage for Sweetie's tools and our gardening supplies but otherwise the open road is sure calling my name.

The guy that bought the acetylene torches called and wants to pick them up. Wouldn't you know that a certain mechanic can't find the gauges! Grrrrrrrrrrr....

I think he needs to downsize his collection of "stuff" in the pole barn. That would generate some cash, believe me!

Well, it's actually warmed up this evening so I'll do a bit more work before collapsing on the sofa. Later, Treesong

Wanderers and Prepping the Motorhome

Dad says my maternal grandma had gypsy blood because she moved so often. She was French, Cherokee and German. Add Norwegian from my Dad's side and you have my nationality. Looking at our family history, we've all been wanderers and adventurers.

My paternal grandparents immigrated from Norway to southern Michigan. My maternal grandparents were born in Kentucky and Michigan but moved frequently due to grandpa's jobs. The maternal great-grandparents immigrated from Canada by covered wagon. After divorcing, my maternal grandma moved at least 12 times and Grandpa wound up in Arlington, TX. But wanderlust was never far away as he travelled throughout the U.S. in his truck camper every vacation.

And then there's me. I've moved over 40 times since graduating from high school in 1971! No wonder I'm attracted to dead-end roads, two-tracts, mountains and homes on wheels. I often think how great it would be to sell everything and take off especially now that we have the motor home. It won't happen in the foreseeable future as we're current on the mortgage and have Dad to consider but I still dream of it. My other wish is that we were 10-15 years younger 'cause growing old sucks when your health deteriorates.

Like now. With two steps outside the motor home and one step inside it feels like I'm climbing Mt. Everest. With MS it's going UP stairs that's the problem, not downstairs. I've heard this complaint from fellow MSers but don't claim it's a universal symptom.

As I clean and stock the rig a conveyor belt from the house to the motor home door would sure be nice! By tomorrow I should have everything in its place and I'll await Sweetie's confirmation that we're ready to roll.

His sleep patterns have been irratic lately so he's outside at night tinkering beneath the stars and the pole barn lights. Despite the weather forecast, it's been warmer at night and cooler during the day. Today the winds have picked up and it feels like 40 though the thermometer says 52.

But back to stocking the motor home! Redundancies have come in handy! With duplicates, triplicates and more of most items, I don't concern myself with needing something and realizing it's in the motor home or visa versa. Having another "home" equipped with food, toiletries, medical supplies, tools, clothing, etc. gives us more room in our main home. In an emergency we'd grab the dog and cats, important papers and be gone. And now I see the floor in our bedroom closet which means I have another spot to stack canned goods!

Another plus of our new adventure is sorting through ALL our preps. It familiarizes us with all the stuff we haven't seen in awhile. Even though I have a list of what we own, it was out of date. Sometimes we'll look at something and realize we could use it for a different purpose. And twice we've discovered something damaged because someone stacked something on top of a box that someone else had not labelled clearly. Hmmmm...who do you suppose was the first "someone" and the second "someone?"

Well, Dad's venturing out for a walk and I think I'll tag along. Treesong

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Step Forward And Then Another

We often feel we take one step forward and two backward but lately it's been one step in front of the other! Help and resources come from unexpected places which makes life all the more interesting.

We've wanted a UTV but of course the prices - even for used vehicles - were outrageous. A golf cart was another option but they too were always out of reach - until I checked Craigslist three nights ago. A 1992 Yamaha golf cart and trailer were listed for $1,500. I kept thinking it was a misprint but emailed the owners anyway. It took 12 hours to hear back from them and another 24 hours to pick it up. And it all happened because I had an old vase valued at $600 sitting in our closet and my Dad spoke up and said, "I think I'll contribute to the cause." What a blessing to find a deal when the money has dried up and the funds come in unexpectedly. It re-affirms my belief that when you're on the right path things work out.

Even better, the people we bought the motor home from came out for a visit Tuesday. Of course the guys got to wandering through the pole barn. By the time they left some bartering had knocked $400 off the price of the Class C and Sweetie drove it home last night. I just love looking at our vacation/bug out vehicle in the yard!!! Today he's doing routine maintenance and I'll clean the inside.

We've decided to make our first RV trip June 7th, weather permitting. We'll stay at a campground two miles from here and take a day trip further up the Lake Superior coast. With the golf cart in tow we'll have transportation home if we have any mechanical issues.

In other news, the neighbor behind us, who removed the fence poles last year and whose outbuilding is half on our land, has arrived from Texas. Last week his son moved the two boats off our land, after a drunken tirade about us putting up "pig fence that looks horrible." Couldn't help think our 'pig fence' was an appropriate choice to keep the neighborhood pigs from littering on our land!

It's just started raining here and the temp has dropped about 8 degrees. I think it's a good day for homemade soup. Keep prepping and enjoy the day, Treesong

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Valid Question

An aquaintance asked: "I thought you were preppers. People who stockpile everything under the sun. What are you doing spending money on an old Class C?"

My answer: "If things fall apart so badly that we're not able to make our mortgage payment and the Social Security check stops, we'll have a roof over our heads."

Have no doubt we've often thought, "What would we do if..." so spending $2,500 on a mobile shelter seemed prudent. Next week, we've been here a year. In that time we've scouted possible bug out locations, the closest across the road from us, the furthest about two miles away. They all offer us seclusion, water, wood and familiarity. If there's an nuclear event we'd be toast; if there's a forest fire or earthquake we'd travel further. We have two 10-gallon containers of gas with an additive set aside for bugging out. In addition, there are numerous gas cans filled for the tractor, vehicles and emergencies.

Each of us has to survey our own particular circumstances, formulate a plan and begin to work the plan. None of us will ever have everything we think we need or want. But working toward being more prepared is better than doing nothing.

Of course, we hope the SS check continues to flow because it's the only income we have. That's reality, plain and simple. We know it's funded by dwindling contributions as the labor market contracts and Washington spends like drunken gamblers. Maybe someday that will stop too. Who really knows? So poor as we are and PREPPED as we are, we're hedging our bet.

We're surrounded by thousands of acres of vacant private, state and federal land. We're within a mile of Lake Superior, a few hundred feet off an inland lake and have the ability to move our preps to another location, if need be.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Camping We Will Go

Sometimes a deal comes along that you just can't resist. Yesterday, on our way home from my birthday lunch, they guys spotted a garage sale and had soon aquired a Johnson outboard and aluminum scaffolding.

But I found a 1981 Class C Rockwood Motor home with 80,000 miles on it!

While siting in the car with Dad I asked my son to inquire about it. He came back and said, "You better get out of the car. Either I'm hearing him wrong or it's the deal of the century."

After looking at it I thought, "And we just spent all our money!" You know how it is when you have four monthly expenditures that arrive simultaneously, you're remodeling and have car repairs. We had $300 in cash to our names with another payday due on the 15th. With a home full of preps and Dad as financial backup, I know we won't be destitute but what a time to find a motorhome!

Though we could have asked Dad to front us the cash, we'd rather make our own way. I asked the owner if he'd take a deposit with the balance next week and he agreed. Wow, was I pumped! Then I discovered I hadn't brought the checkbook! Ouch! I asked Dad if he'd loan me some cash until we got home. He reached for his wallet and said, "That makes two of us!" I turned to my son who said, "Sorry, I just used all my cash for the scaffolding!"

I swear it was a test of our determination!

Still determined to buy the motor home, I asked the owner if he'd hold it until today. "Sure!" he said. I wanted to kiss him!

Today we got a more thorough inspection, drove it around his yard and gave him the down payment. The owner put two spare tires in our car's trunk and next week we'll drive it home.

My head's still spinning so I'll post technical info later. It's been well cared for, was used once last year, has an Onan generator and it's very clean. Our digital camera is acting up again so no pictures yet.

We're within a mile of Lake Superior and lots of camping sights so this motor home will be our entertainment and guest house. Some day we may drive to Florida 'cause Sweetie would like to visit his old stomping grounds near Hudson.

In any case, I am still in shock. And what a fantastic birthday gift!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Keeping Busy

Here's Sweetie using his new six foot brush hog. We have about nine acres of underbrush, tree branches and ferns to clean up. All went well today until he realized his tow chain, which he'd left sitting on top of the brush hog, had fallen off - somewhere. We walked the area where he worked today and didn't spot the chain. But, it could be buried under all that lush shredded material now covering the ground! Oh what fun. I'll be back out there tomorrow looking. And to think we were just talking about painting the ends of our chains so they're easier to spot. Murphy's Law in action.

My Dad was gone to town today so we worked outside and skipped lunch. I even washed windows and raked another part of the yard free of pine cones and needles.
It rained three times today and the top of the ground is still wet. Yippee! It is so dry here and I have nightmares about a dropped cigarette butt starting a fire.

Sweetie also fixed the cruise control and horn on our car, after changing the oil. It's up to me to vacuum it. The rain water has washed it. Good enough, says I.

By supper time I was exhausted again so we had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and canned soup. I have about 18 cases of canned soups on hand for just such a day. To tire to cook from scratch and it's easy to give everyone their own soup variety.

Monday I'll go grocery shopping. The list keeps getting additions and I keep eyeing our storage areas wondering where I'll fit it all. A new resale shop has opened nearby so I've loaded three boxes of stuff to drop off Monday. Gone are the rocking horse and swan hand carved by an artist from Ishpeming; my Dad's collection of classic, blues and country CDs and assorted small things that serve no purpose and collect dust!

Well, Dad just woke up from his late nap. Time to fix him supper. Have a great week folks. Treesong

Monday, May 3, 2010

Four Years Ago Today...

My life was blessed by meeting Sweetie! We had communicated via online and the phone for a few weeks when we discovered we were both headed to Walmart. We were driving about the same distance from opposite directions and met in the parking lot. I have to say, at first I wondered what I'd gotten myself into but the minute he smiled any doubt disappeared.

It's been rocky at times and always a financial struggle but we're blessed to have one another!

Today we took my Dad to town with us for a celebratory lunch at our favorite greasy spoon. Afterward we ran a couple errands and came home to discover his trolling motor had been delivered. Now the guys are taking their naps. I may do likewise as my energy is still zapped.

We've had three days of intermittent showers and weather that changes by 40 degrees either way many times a day. Everytime we start a little project, we rush to complete it before the rain starts again. Guess it's nature's way of telling us to take it easy!

Later this week I'll post some pictures of our latest work. I turn 57 this week and Sunday my oldest son is taking us out for Mother's Day. It's great to have the life we do, despite the morons in Washington. Take care, Treesong