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Saturday, January 20, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS *A* Air Intake, Air Horn and Awning Lock

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications in alphabetical order. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will share them with you RV blog readers!

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?

So here it goes:

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS 
STARTING WITH THE LETTER A 


Air Intake Relocation:

Our air intake for the air cleaner is located in the rear of our diesel motorhome, as most are.  But the problem is that it is located UNDERNEATH the motorhome by the engine. Things get pretty dirty and dusty back there, especially with driving on any dirt or gravel roads, out in the desert, or just around blowing winds from newly plowed farm fields. You ever see a dirt devil over loose soil? 

Steve measured and figured and futzed around... and soon he said he was ready to cut!! OH MY!  Cutting into the fiberglass on our vintage motorhome is pretty scary (to me) but he was not daunted in the least.  He grabbed his drill and made four pilot holes and used a sabre saw to cut out the rectangle. 



Here is his crazy looking inner workings for the intake vent.  It looks very rigged, but it works. Thankfully it is hidden up inside the back engine compartment and nobody can see it. LOL  PS he said that is super duper heat resistant aluminum fibered duct tape.



With a little bit of sputtering, partial swearing, and a few bruised and scraped knuckles, he got it into place.   Laying in the driveway is how Steve does most of his projects. Of course we do not have a garage space large enough to pull it inside. I am the ''gopher'' to bring him tools, take the pics, and basically support and encourage him as he does a great job.



And there it is...  all complete!  He sprayed a regular steel household vent grid with silver paint to match the motorhome color scheme.  It would have been impossible to match the blue, so he went with the silver to go along with the stainless steel lower compartment doors.



I am pleased to report that it has been 8 plus years since we changed the configuration.  It has lessened the need to replace the air filters as often because this reconfiguration works so well. The little filter minder device is only showing a small amount of dirt picked up since the replacement, so our air flow is fine. Engine temps are fine.  (on edit: we did replace the air filter about 2 years ago, so we got a long life out of the first one since Steve did this change) 


Air horn button on passenger side:
This one is a recent improvement. You are going to think it is really STRANGE.... but it is a great idea--- And it works!!  

See.....  when you are in a long long rig, with a towed vehicle behind, you can not just whip over to another lane to avoid the merging idiots who do not seem to see you.  Countless times we have had idiots who cannot merge safely into traffic.  They are immersed in their cell phones, their coffee, their GPS settings or whatever.  They cruise right alongside of us, mindlessly involved in their own little world, going the same speed until they suddenly run out of pavement from their on ramp!  We have had soooo many close calls of possibly having them crease right down the side of our rig.  We do not want to go through the trouble of being laid up for weeks to have have our rig repaired, or trying to match the stainless steel doors and paint, nor cause injury to other folks around us if we did have an accident with a dumb merging idiot. Not to mention the insurance hassles and down time during precious vacation hours to get it fixed! 

Usually Steve does not have room to move over to the left, and we find ourselves struggling with either trying to rapidly slow down or speed up to try to avoid the collision with the idiot who does not know how to merge.  ARGGHHHH   

I swear they just do NOT see us! We are blue on top and silvery/grey on the bottom. I think they think we are sky and pavement????

When this happens, Steve is busy looking in the mirrors, driving straight ahead to stay in his lane, but trying to see if he can move, trying to see the tiny car in his almost blind spot on the passenger side, etc., that he does not always have time to beep the air horns to wake up the idiot.  

I warn him to blast the horn, but he does not always have time....  when he does, it does help!  It wakes up the person who suddenly either speeds up and cuts in front of us, or drops back to safely merge behind us. 

Ssoooooooo to help with this tension filled event, Steve installed an extra horn button on MY side of the rig!  Seriously!!!



I can look down out my passenger window and determine if the person needs a blast to wake up and realize we are there!  Our dual air horns blast out sounds similar to a big ocean liner.... and it is enough to get their attention before we are both in an accident.  It is the GREATEST thing ever and so far it has saved us twice since he installed it.

Plus, it is kinda rewarding to see the idiot suddenly realize we are there and look up and react --- and either look stupid or sorry .... or worst of all angry!  Then they drop back, intending to swing around us to quickly to flip us off as they speed by. But then they meet up with our towed Tracker behind us, which makes them having to back off even more to get around behind us.  By now, they are pretty ticked and zoom up alongside of Steve to flip him off.  He smiles broadly and waves a nice wave at them.  No sense giving them the satisfaction of getting US mad... right?  



Awning locking rod:
The awning on our Safari motorhome has a ribbed aluminum cover to help protect the awning during travel. But it is possible for the awning to unwind by accident during travel. This has happened to many people over the years and once to my parents while driving on a cold rainy windy sleety winter night on an interstate. Traditional arm locks are not enough. Yes, their awning unfurled and it was dangerously flapping out like a sail into the next lane! They had to carefully pull over in the dark, and examine the damage that had ensued.  My folks were in their 70s and had no choice but to try to fix it and get off the dangerous section of the interstate where they were pulled over. They could not just roll it up, the arms had bent in the process. Now, while in the dark and wind and rainy sleet weather, they had to crawl up on the roof and strap it up around their air conditioners and vents to be able to finish their journey.  

After that happened to them, Steve started thinking.  He came up with this: 




I am pleased to say it works perfectly
and we have never had an unfurling 
in the past eight years since he made this for our rig! 


(stay tuned for more motorhome modifications in my next blog)
~~~~~~~~



We had some very very cold weather last week... and some interesting sub zero frost designs appeared on some windows that face south.  The damp moist winds from the south turned suddenly very cold and the moisture froze in the most interesting patterns.  This was only on the south side of the house, not on the east, north or west. 

Take note.. these are on the outside of the windows, not inside of our house. LOL! 







We were sure to stay in, cozy and warm during those subzero days. Besides my suffering from pneumonia, Steve was also not feeling so well.  The doggies cuddled with us in bed, and made sure we were well taken care of!




And last up, I will share a recipe for some GREAT soup I made... 

Zuppa Toscana (better than Olive Garden!)
1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor)
4-6 russet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp flour
1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.
30 minutes before serving:
5. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
6. Add cream, kale, and bacon to the crock pot, stir.
7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
BEST. SOUP. EVER!!!!
Image may contain: food




Here are pics of mine. 
I did it long and slow on the stove 
instead of the Crock-Pot or pressure cooker. 
I did chopped spinach instead of kale or swiss chard.
 The house smells great!!!



Clawed My Way To the Top and Upcoming Travel Decisions

Whew! After almost three weeks of pneumonia, and after 3 different courses of antibiotics and some steroids thrown in for good measure, I THINK I am getting better!

Clawing my way to the top of the deep fog is how I feel today. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and starting to feel "normal" for whatever that is worth for me.  hahahahaha

I am still going to lay low and be a hermit for a while, until this flu outbreak passes. The LAST thing I need at this time of my healing is to get the flu.  The doc said to avoid any crowds, wash hands and get plenty of rest.  Heck, even the stylus for signing the tablet each time I went for Xrays is probably caked full of flu germs.  I slathered myself with the antibacterial solution multiple times at each step of the process when going in for the xrays three times last week.  Touching elevator buttons, door handles, ATM buttons and checkout stylus for signing at registers is also a no-no. (especially at the pharmacy counter!) Probably better to hang out inside my own house and keep away from any flu bug possibilities.


Now for the other part of my title....  Upcoming Travel Decisions!

Steve and I had a long talk about upcoming travel plans.  Usually we head south or out to the desert this time of year for 6-7 weeks. Leaving winter in Wisconsin and getting south is tricky, timing ourselves to weather tracking, clear pavement and time off work.  This year could be different, we could leave anytime now that Steve is retired.  Also, Steve's job driving for the county is flexible and he can leave for periods of time and come back to work again.  But......  we may not leave for any trips this winter.

Steve's elderly dad is moving from one house to another. We have been helping with some of the steps to get his possessions transferred.  We helped with some of the garage items, vehicles and garden equipment.  Next will be the delicate and breakable things. It's 70 miles from us to get over to his old house, then 150 miles to his new house, and then 120 miles back to our house.   So that totals to 340 miles round trip each time.

The Big Move of most of the household stuff is coming up in early February, so we are going to be assisting with that as well.  He is using a moving company for a lot of it, but needs our help with the supervising, loading, unloading, placement etc. Getting him settled in the new house, in the middle of winter is going to be exciting.  They just got 25 inches of snow there last week, and more to come of course.

Steve and I decided to save our pennies and take maybe two trips this upcoming spring and fall instead.  We don't ever get out west to see the northwestern states.  So perhaps we will do that instead?    He also mentioned a trip to our friends in Tennessee and spend a week or two.  Hmmmmm


STATES WE HAVE TRAVELLED TO IN THE MOTORHOME:


But of course, if the winter doldrums set in, and once his dad is moved and settled, there IS a chance we might just hop in the rig and leave and head south to some warmth (and healing sunshine?) for us.  Our friends out in the southwest keep beckoning us to come on out. They are saving spots for us at a desert hot springs, a great boondocking spot, or a location by their land they own.  Ya never know?

Here are some of the trips we have taken, with our Microsoft Streets and Trips leaving mouse trails of where we have been....



I know for my RV blog readers, my blog has gotten boring and nothing much about RVing.  I see the RV readership is dropping off. But I am going to fix that now.  I am going to redux some blogs I wrote a few years back.... all about the motorhome modifications from A to Z in our rig!

I will intersperse them with some blog posts about Campground Reviews that I do of each place we have been.  Now I will have some interesting blogs for my RV readers. 

As for my fiber readers, I am working on a quilt and will soon have pics of it as I put it on the big frame to get it quilted and finished.  I am also knitting socks, weaving rugs and towels, and playing with my spinning yarns.

Steve has a few ideas of projects for Our Old House: maybe repainting the back hallway with some fresh paint.  Thinking of some trim ideas to dress up the exterior this spring,  And maybe even some more organizing and detail work in his garage to make more of a workshop area?   We will see.....

Anyhow, stay tuned for some upcoming blogs now that I am feeling better!



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Peee-Newww-Mooaaannn-Yah!

You betcha...  pneumonia. Ugh!


I am clawing my way up to the surface of fog to type a blog this evening.  A Blog Fog??

I have been down and out for over a week now.  My cold (lovingly shared from the grandkids before New Years) had turned in to pneumonia. Of course.  I knew it would.

It's only about my 23rd or 24th time having it.  Back two or three years ago we totalled up the doc visits and had 21 times in my records.  Not fun.  Since my lungs were compromised in 2002 in a chemical burn spill, they manage to be susceptible to pneumonia, I was on oxygen for a long time.  The lungs slowly heal, but are still weakened and always will be.  My pulmonologist said that for me, the pneumonia shot does no good.

So after two doc visits and xrays, back again to get even two stronger antibiotics and steroids, I am now working my way through it.  Steve has been a wonderful help, and has taken care of everything so I can rest.  He has been plying me with fruits, juices, crackers and frozen sherbet fruit popsicles. He has our whole house humidifier cranked up to keep me comfy. AWWWWW  I try to sleep when he is gone driving for the county.

But I am pouting.  Feeling sorry for myself.  I am sleep deprived. I have no energy. I wheeze and whistle and gurgle and make bubbly crackly sounds inside my lungs. The noise is in my throat and my ears on the inside. It keeps me awake. I play the tv loud enough to drown it out so I can sleep. It's like cellophane crinkling.  It's called "rales":

  • Rales. Small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lungs. They are heard when a person breathes in (inhales). ...Crackling or bubbling noises (rales) made by movement of fluid in the tiny air sacs of the lung.

And all the coughing has my ribs and muscles just aching and sore.  Soothing baths help some. Sitting up does the best so I can keep the lungs as clear as I can.

Fun, huh?

In the last ten days, we did manage to take down all of our Christmas decorations.  Bit by bit. I would do a few things at a time, then go rest. A few more, and go rest.  I am glad we splurged on 8 new green tote bins with red lids.   Now that we added the new shelves to the garage, we can put these totes out there.  Steve did all the work and carrying.  All I did was toss things in the totes.  Ha.



We sealed each tote with shrink wrapping to keep out any unwanted bugs or spiders or flies, since they will be in the garage for the next 11 months.



These lightweight totes will all go on Steve's new suspended racks in the garage.  This will free up more room in the closet in my sewing room, which previously had been packed almost floor to ceiling with Christmas stuff.



Steve took down the tree once I got it all undecorated.  The foyer looks so empty now.  I keep expecting to go through the pocket doors and see the tree all aglow.  Oh well, next year.


Steve went out and took down all of the outside lights
from on the house and the little pine tree,
 and put away the cords and timers.
It looks so dull and bare now out there too. 


Boy, I sound like a Debbie Downer, don't I? I should be thankful. I might try to do some knitting. Maybe some quilting. I have just been laying around watching tv and trying to breathe.

Check out my two nurses???  They give 24/7 care and are covered by our insurance plan.  Pay is cheap. Dog food, treats, and pats on the head. Even a belly scratch every now and then.  They follow me all around, keeping an eye on me. They wait by the shower or the bathtub while I steam to open my lungs.  They are VERY eager to see what I don't feel like eating after each meal, helping to clean up. Good team, eh?


This too shall pass. 
Sigh. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tuesday Trot-about Town Thriftiness

One word... well kinda sorta two:  Mucinex D... it's gotta be the "D" in the name that you sign for at the pharmacist's counter and pay the big bucks for. It's worth it!

I ended up with a dang blasted cold.  Suffering since about Tuesday night with it and it has settled in my lungs. If you know anything about me, I have suffered lung damage from a chemical spill and my lungs are never in the best of shape.  I am off oxygen, but when a common cold gets me down, it REALLY gets me down when it settles in the lungs.

It's Friday and I was thinking I might need a trip into the walk-in clinic if my lungs don't clear up. I end up with bronchitis or pneumonia very easily.  After steaming this morning in the tub with eucalyptus gel on my chest, then I saw a commercial on tv.  I asked if Steve could please run over to Walmart in between his clients today and could he pick up some Mucinex D?

AHhhhhhhh relief!   I could feel it going to work in the first hour, drying me up from the inside out. I am feeling comfortable and my head is not pounding. I am not coughing up a lung and feeling pretty good. I think the cold is over,  I just have to get rid of the lung gunk.  Wish me luck for a good night's sleep?  The last 3 nights have been pretty rough.


On Tuesday, before I got too sick (though I could feel it coming on) we took a run up to Appleton for a couple things.  One which was the last three remaining  tubs of Tom and Jerry Batter Mix at Festival Foods. I asked them to hold it for me! It's a seasonal drink and they only make so much each holiday.  I LOVE Tom and Jerry drinks....  it's like a thick frothy warm eggnog drink with a shot of brandy and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.


The pre-made batter is nice, because it is kept in the freezer.  Heat up half a mug of water in the microwave till almost boiling. Scoop out two dollops of batter (like soft ice cream consistency) and it melts into the hot water and mix a bit with a spoon. I let the grandkids take a sip before I add any alcohol.  Add brandy or rum to your liking and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.  YUMMMMMMMM

Soooo we scooped up the last three containers they were holding for me, and headed over to Menards for a few things.  On the way there, we saw a little antique/retro/recycle place that was open.  Ye Old Goat  is the name of the place. It's all little booths of various sellers on consignment.  We enjoyed strolling along, up and down the aisles.

And WHAT do you think I found?????  
 Can you believe it????? 


 A whole set of Tom and Jerry mugs and the big bowl to mix it up with!!!!
(guess I am gonna have to start making it from scratch?)

I looked this set up online and it runs in the $70-100 range!  I got the set for only $20.  I only have 7 mugs and one bowl, and that is enough for all of my grandkids, but I would love to get 1 or even 5 more mugs.  Gotta keep an eye out at thrift shops and rummage sales now. 

I vaguely remember one of these mugs from my childhood. I am not sure if we had the mug as kids at our house, or if it was at Grandma's house. I do remember begging for it thinking it was Tom and Jerry, you know, the cat and mouse cartoon!  LOL 



Our next stop at was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  We love browsing through there, you never know what you will find.  We found two adorable little footstools!  $10 each.  Steve hauled them out to the car for me.  The legs match my furniture style. I am going to recover them with matching paisley fabric like my dining room chairs. 



And.... I have the PERFECT place for them!!!
(for now I covered each one with a piece of sheepskin)


Finney and Binney Loom Room Window Perches! 

I had some other things there they could sit on and look out, but now they are both the same height and match, kinda sorta.  Until I get more of that fabric to match my other stuff.  They are happy with them just the way they are!


One of our other projects Steveio came up with last week as well.....

When we bought our house 5 years ago, the pantry room really contained all of the kitchen stuff except for the stove.  Yes, they had the sink, dishwasher, and fridge in this little butlers pantry room.  It was pretty crowded and we later moved things out to the main kitchen.....



We ripped it all out,
changed the plumbing a bit for the washer and dryer,
and put in new flooring.



With some fresh paint, 
it sure came out to be a cute little laundry room on the first floor! 


Now... fast forward to last week....

Steve was thinking, and when his brain gets to thinking look out! 

He took his tape measure and went up to my sewing room!  Then he removed the unused clothes pole from in my sewing room closet.  What was he up to? 




That's not a cigarette in his mouth, it's an extra screw! 


VOILA!

We now have a clothes hanging pole in the laundry room!
Previously, for the last five years,
 we had been trying to hang clothes on the back of the door,
We were hanging them on the towel bar, on an angle.  



Most of our clothes are stored on hangers, so this works out very well.
And a lot of my sweaters and shirts I do not like to put in the dryer.


Now as we  reach in the dryer to grab out something, we can hang it up and out of the way and reach in for the next thing. Instead of trying to hang it from the towel bar on the back of that doorway right across from the dryer.  That door leads up the back servants stairs to the upper floor.  With all the clothes hanging off it at times, it can't even be opened easily.  Sooooo Steve decided to change that for us! 

That is what happens when my guy
starts to "think" of something!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Family Christmas 2017

What a delightful weekend we had with all of our kids and grandkids!

We set aside a day other than Christmas Day so we can all get together, leaving the kids to spend the actual day with their own little ones... and not dragging them out and about to our celebration.  It works out best that way.

This year it was decided that Saturday and Sunday between Christmas and New Years would work out for everyone's schedule.

Some of the years, we have driven up the motorhome to park at our oldest daughter Erin and Waylen's home in Oconto. Other years we bunked out in their play room on an air mattress.  But last year we decided to rent a motel room nearby (about 6 blocks away) with a pool and hot tub.  It worked out well, so we decided to do that again.  A king sized bed on the main floor was only $85 a night, not too bad. The hotel doesn't allow dogs, so Finney and Binney would be sleeping at Erin's house in their doggie crate. They had canine buddies Biscuit, Ewok, Radar and Leia to keep them company.

We packed up the car and the dogs and their doggie crate and headed on up on Saturday morning.  They live 70 miles, and although our temps were below zero, with wind chills much much lower. We got up to their house and unloaded all the gifts and food... and stole 2 of their kids to head over to the motel.  After a quick stop at McDonalds for a special treat lunch (for the kids... ick.. not for us!)  We checked into the motel.  Nice enough room, but a chair was broken and we wanted to be sure they knew it wasn't us!  Got it replaced right away and we were all set. We had permission to have our grandkids there to swim, under our own supervision with us in the pool with them, of course.  Here are the first two, Chelsea and Clayton.  The pool was REALLY warm!



Soon the other grandkids joined in... their parents dropped off Allegra and Mason on their way through town heading to Erin and Waylen's house.  They changed into their swim suits toot sweet, and joined us in the pool.



Then Heather brought Jameson and Whitney, but she stayed to help wrangle them and soak in the hot tub with us. I took a few more pics and then set down the camera to get back in the water.



Lots of screeching and laughter and fun fun fun....



Of course Steve and I were in the pool with the kids and then afterwards in the hot tub.... the kiddos only put their feet in the hot tub, as it was pretty hot and warning signs prevented them from being submerged like us grownups could do.



After all of our little fishy kids were waterlogged and soaked to the gills, we waddled them all back to our hotel room down the hall.  After getting all six of them changed out of wet swimsuits, and hopefully back into their own dry clothes, it was time for a snack.  (last year we think the boys switched underwear by accident) 



Then.... we let them do something we always let our own kids do at hotels:



LOL LOL LOL
They "softened up the bed" for us!



When the kids were all done doing what they do best (goofing off) we herded them into their jackets and boots and hats and mittens.  We got them out the door and into Heather's Jeep and our car.  That is another reason for having another adult there at the hotel, because we needed another vehicle to transport 6 kids back over to Erin's house.

The adult children had all the food ready to feed the crew, hot chili with all the fixens on a very very cold icy day.  How great was that?  We had go-withs like veggies, dips, chips, salsa, salads and desserts.  The kids were hungry and ate well, but they were also keyed up to start opening presents.

Before we started on the presents, I decided to give each grandchild a keepsake I created the night before. Years ago, I already made myself a Christmas Village of about 30 houses and commercial buildings. I had recently gotten another 50-60 unpainted buildings that matched my set.  I decided that I would paint up one for each grandkid and have enough to gift them for the next 5-6 years!  I decided to do this at the last minute and sat up until midnight the night before--- painting seven little buildings.



First, I sat all of the grandkids down and gave each kid a battery operated flicker LED candle light.  They had NO idea what was coming next.  It was like "oh cool, Grandma gave us little flicker candles...."

Each got their very own personalized Christmas Village Building.  Even little one year old Claire. I wrote on the bottom of each building the year and who got which... I started this year with commercial buildings, so each could get excited about what one was theirs. It is a tradition I hope to continue for years and years.



Next, all of our kids had a HUGE surprise for me!  All the kids gathered around while I sat on the floor to open their gift to me. They had struggled the last month to NOT tell me what the big secret gift was.  Each one wriggled like a puppy because they KNEW and they didn't TELL!



I think they are enjoying the anticipation as much as I was....



What on earth was this?



 As I lifted the lid, I got tears in my eyes.  I unfolded section by section to reveal face after beloved face. It was a huge plush throw blanket with all of my grandchildren printed on it! In the middle was our Family Christmas Photo from last year with all seven grandkids around me.  What a treat! What a delightful blessing! I was flabbergasted!   Look at the expression on my face:


Check this out,
all of my most favorite photos of each one!



The kids loved unveiling it and unfolded it out in the middle of the room. Clayton chirped up that we should all JUMP on it!  Noooooo  this wasn't the hotel room bed. LOL.



And best of all, I got to give a Group Hug of Thanks
as they all piled on to almost bowled me over!



The wee ones couldn't wait any longer... we had to let them tear into the presents!  They took turns handing them out, as bedlam ensued.  A few gifts got opened by the wrong kids in their fervor, but all in all, we got it straightened out. We had a lot of handmade items between us adults, which is wonderful.  The kids got toys and games and books and of course jammies!



Grandma goofed up on the sizes a bit, but they didn't mind and wore them loose and comfy. 



Once the kids were all set up in the playroom with their toys and fun, we adults sat and watched the Wisconsin Badgers playing Miami U and they won!    After the football game was over, and all the little kiddos were put into bed, it was time for adults card playing time.  We all gathered around the dining room table,  It sure was fun....   Everyone had beverages of their choice, (I made Tom and Jerry's hot holiday drinks with brandy and nutmeg)   Erin had snacks and treats for us as well and jello pudding shots from Heather.


Here is our crew of adult children and spouses:

Daughters Erin and Heather


Daughterinlaw Heather (Dan's wife) and daughter Erin 


Son Dan and Steveio, father and son


Myself and soninlaw Jesse, Heather's husband


Soninlaw Waylen (Erin's hubby) and daughterinlaw Heather (Dan's wife)


Soninlaw Waylen (Erin's hubby who was feeling poorly and 
now found out he has pneumonia!)


We played cards and laughed and teased and joked around.  Nobody else was driving they were all spending the night. I cut myself off well before my limit so I could drive over to the hotel safely.



I have no words....


Steve and I made it until past midnight, but finally had to toss in our cards and leave our losing coins in the kitty.  We drove on back to the hotel for a bit of peace and quiet. At least for a few hours.


At 6 am, I was rudely awoken by the people in the next room were fumbling and slamming  the connecting door between our rooms! They were rattling it and banging around and their tv was blaring.all night long.  I shouted to knock it off, and they stopped. I knew it was an elderly couple I had seen going in there, and I mentioned it to the desk later on our checkout.  They asked if our room got entered, and I said no because the door was locked from our side.  They apologized and there wasn't much they could do I guess.  And THAT is why I like sleeping in my own bed in my own motorhome with a deadbolt on the door.

We headed over to Erin and Waylen's house by 7 am.  Most everyone was still sleeping, but the kids heard us come in.  Steve got all the dogs out to the back yard in shifts to do their things. It was bitterly cold out again and all the dogs did their things without any hesitation and zoomed right back in the house!

I started a pot of coffee, and then began the breakfast bake casseroles.... I made up three full pans, but really should have only done two. The hungover parents were not in shape for a lot of eating, for sure.



 I got in some early morning sunshine snuggles with little Claire


 All of the grandtots gathered around my old dining room table in Erin and Waylen's house
for breakfast together.  It is so good to see them all getting along and having fun.



Steve and Heather wrangled them and poured juice and egg nog and filled plates

Here are the grandkids crew:

Allegra and Clayton


Clayton and Jameson


Chelsea and Mason


And the two most wee ones, Claire and Whitney


After a sunshiny morning in the kitchen, we had special time with each of the grandkids.  All of our grown kid families now had things to do with other family members and our Christmastime was over for another year.  We said our goodbyes and loaded up our gear.  We did leave our dogs in their crate at the house and returned to the hotel.  Steve and I had 2 more hours before checkout time.  Nobody was in the pool area or the hot tub on a Sunday morning.  We kicked back and relaxed for a while in the hot tub and then back to the room for a bit of shower and nap.  By 11 am we were packed up and checking out.  Trekking on home for 70 miles with smiles on our faces and Family Love in our hearts.


Thank you kids for making such a special celebration for us, and thank you sooooo much for the love and thoughtfulness in having that throw blanket made up for me. Perfect for nap time, wrapped up in the love of our grandchildren.