Sunday, December 26, 2010

Enough of the Squirrels...Already

This might be it for the squirrel saga.  The picture on the left shows where I first hung the cob for the squirrels.  As you can see, or not, as it is hard to see, there are two squirrels in the picture and one is working on the cob.  They're hanging around in my japanese maple.  The picture below left is the new location of the cob.  I think it was Merikay who mentioned on a previous squirrel post of mine, that she thought squirrels were more fun to watch than birds and I have to say I agree with her. Which I why I moved the cob away from the japanese maple so that I now have an unobstructed view, as seen on the right.

I had a lovely Christmas at my friends house.  I wasn't able to reach my son in Germany and when he called me back I didn't hear my phone ring, so we left voicemails.  Lynn fixed a fantastic dinner and I ate like a starving person...which I was.  I think I made up for not cheating at all this holiday season in one meal. The turkey and dressing were wonderful and I ate and ate and ate.  Then I decided to have some dessert, which I don't normally do, and had three 1" slices of pie...two pumpkin and one pecan.  At one point while I was scarfing down dressing and turkey I asked if anyone thought I could gain all the weight I've lost back in one meal and was assured that couldn't happen. Phew, what a relief that was to hear. So I kept eating.  You can bet I didn't miss my workout this morning.  I was tempted to not workout and then I remembered what I ate last night. 

Speaking of workouts, my trainer is leaving 24 Hour Fitness and starting her own business.  I went to check out her new location today and I don't think I'm going with her.  Right now the gym I go to is 1 mile from my house...her new location is almost 9 miles from my house.  Have any of you noticed the price of gas going up?  I don't think I want to drive 40 extra miles a week when I could get by with four.  In fact, I could walk it.  So why don't I?  I don't have an answer for that but I'll try to think of one.  

Someone asked me the other day what my New Years resolutions are and I don't have any.  The two biggies...weight loss...smoking...have been dealt with.  I quit smoking 16 years ago and I've been maintaining my weight for a few months now.  I've been working out in a gym since March '10 so I guess that's covered too.  Do you think not being wishy washy any more could be a resolution?  Any suggestions?  What are some of your resolutions?  

Some sunshine, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese,


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all you RVrs out there.  I hope you're having a wonderful day and that the wonderfulness continues through Christmas and next year.  

Some sunshine, pleeeeeeeeeeease.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Squirrels - 1...Human - 0

It took absolutely forever to upload these pictures so when I started this post, it was squirrels - 1...human...0, as you can see in the picture to the left.  Turns out the plastic dome does have a keeps some of the rain off the feeder.  Not the original purpose, but at least it's good for something.

When I was out and about this morning, going from hardware store to hardware store, I found the  "Big Ol' Kob"  that you can sort of see in the picture's for squirrels.  The directions suggested that I put some peanut butter on the kob to attract the squirrels, which I did, and it worked!!!  Now the squirrels are chewing on the kob instead of flying through the air to reach the bird seed.  This has been quite a learning process for me. I
had no idea what I was going to go through when I decided to get a bird feeder.  Some of you are probably laughing at me out there, and that's ok, because I'm on a bird feeder learning curve and it's been rather steep.  

I'd like to say more but I have to get ready to go to a friends for dinner tonight.  I offered to fix a sweet potato dish and I need to get started on it. 

The format for this post is really screwy and I don't have time to mess with it.  Sorry it looks so weird.   

More sunshine, pleeeeeeease!!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I bought this bird feeder late last summer and until recently it's only fed birds.  I had no idea squirrels were so limber. The first picture is yesterday and the picture underneath it is today. I'm thinking no more squirrels. 

With today being the shortest day of the year I'm gratefully looking forward to longer days coming our way.  It'll probably be no surprise for me to say that Spring is my favorite season.  Dark and dreary just doesn't work for me.  I did get to wear my sunglasses for a few hours today and I hope that trend will continue.

I went to my Silver Sneakers exercise program this morning and we had a substitute.  I don't know how she did it, but I ended up feeling absolutely ancient.  I didn't like the music she played, nor the way she had us do the exercises.  Our regular leader pushes the envelope and treats us like we still have some life left in our bodies, plus she plays better music.  Fortunately, I think we only have her one time.  

My personal trainer informed me that she's going to be leaving 24 Hour Fitness and start her own business.  I'm bummed.  I love working with her but I have no desire to move to a different location.  The gym I go to is about one mile from my house and I like that.  I also need to remain a member of the gym to attend Silver Sneakers.  I think she's leaving the middle of January and I guess that means I'll be looking for a new personal trainer early next year.

I informed everyone in Tucson that I will not be buying a house, however, I will continue to visit if there isn't a limit for the Preferred Guest program.  It feels like that was the right decision.  Now that I have all that extra money I think I'll seriously look at a trip to Hawaii.  Some comments on yesterday's post suggested renting an RV and I'll look into it along with condos and hotels.  I might have a friend to go with me but I'll still go even if it turns out she can't make it.  

More sunshine please,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Catching Up

I spent yesterday afternoon catching up on the blogs I follow. Because I’m so far behind I didn’t leave any comments, which I’ll do now.

For Levonne at A Camp Host Housewife’s Meanderings: An RV Adventure…I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Victor.  I imagine there’s a huge void that he once filled and it’ll take awhile for it heal.  

About the small houses you and your husband looked at at Ocean Dunes.  I know them as Park Models and I lived in one for about three months in Tucson.  They do have all that is needed, space wise.  I like the ones with the loft, even if they aren’t tall enough to stand up in.  I think that the loft gives the perception that it’s larger than it actually is and that's ok.  I also love the front porch.  I would love to have a house with a front porch.  Cavco is the manufacturer that I’m drawn to. I might have to check that place out, but I seem to recall something about street noise.  I have that now and don’t want it anymore. 

For Barbara at Me and My Dog:  Congratulations on your 100th post!  I really enjoy your blog and I look forward to the next 100 posts.  The pictures of your grandson’s birthday cake and the Christmas fudge made my mouth water.  Unfortunately, I have to avoid sugar so I’m not eating any Christmas goodies.  While I sometimes feel deprived, to eat sugar would lead me back down the road to weight gain and I’m not going there.  One bite of sugar and I’m off…kind of like an alcoholic...only with sugar. 

Your post on the “Magic Carpet Ride” compels me to show this sculpture in one of my favorites parks on Lake Washington.  It, too, gets dressed up for various occasions and I enjoy seeing how they're dressed.  This was around Christmas last year.  FYI...the large buildings in the back are part of the Boeing Renton plant.  The buildings I used to work in are gone now and part of a shopping area called The Landing.

For Kimbopolo at The Travels of Kimbopolo:  I went online to my library and put a hold on the book A Journey of One’s Own, by Thalia Zapatos, that you recommended.  There aren’t any other holds on it so I hope to be able to pick it up soon.  Hopefully, before Christmas.  I’ll report back after I read it and let you what I thought of it.

To the rest of you…I enjoyed all your posts and I’m glad to be back where it feels right.  I hadn’t realized how much I was missing reading about your adventures…in other words…I was feeling lost and directionless. 

I agree with all the comments that were left on yesterday's post and I thank you for your comments.  I don't know what the rush is because there really isn't one.  I would like to get started on something though because I kind of feel like I'm just vegging now and I'm not liking that.  Until I have an RV and want to go somewhere I think I need to go somewhere other than Tucson for awhile.  I know Tucson inside and out and it's probably time to expand my horizons.  Hmmm, I think that's what RVing is about.  I would like to go to Hawaii and enjoy the tropics for awhile so maybe that will be my next trip.  

More sunshine please,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Being in a State of Indecision

Sorry for not posting for awhile…I’ve been in a state of turmoil and indecision. 

I had a wonderful time when I was in Tucson and, as usual, came away loving Academy Village and wanting to live there.  Then I return to the Pacific Northwest and my decisions and frame of mind change dramatically. 

I made an offer on a house for the second time this trip and got a verbal acceptance.  Last June, when I made my first offer, after receiving the inspection report I was able to get out of the offer.  Turns out it isn’t the model I really want.  I made an offer again largely because the price had been lowered considerably and it has solar power.  Due to some unethical shenanigans, some people came in behind me and got the house.  This occurred the day before I was to fly back to Seattle.  The morning before I flew back I looked at some other models but didn’t make any offers because I was upset about what had occurred.  I had decided that the house would work for me even though it wasn’t the model I really wanted.  The homeowner wouldn’t take a counter-offer from me, so I guess she got me good for backing out of the deal in June. 

A couple days ago I decided to make an offer on a model that I’ve been wanting for almost three years.  The offer contract was emailed to me yesterday and I’ve been in an indecisive state of mind ever since.  When I tried to print out the paperwork I found out that I was out of black ink.  So I plugged in my printer/scanner/copier and my computer couldn’t find it so I wasn’t able to print off of it either.  I purposely went to Office Max this morning to get black ink and came away with a new 2011 calendar and a 5” screen Tom Tom GPS ($100 off)…but no ink.  It was on the list I had in my hand, but I guess I didn’t read it.  I’m wondering if I’m getting a message here????  I need to print out the contract so that I can sign it and overnight it back.  I’m thinking that’s not going to happen. 

I think the turmoil/gut feeling is telling me something and I need to listen.  I think the message is to not buy the house in Academy Village.  I’ve been trying to figure out why and the main reason is price.  The house I'm thinking of making an offer on needs to be finished which means that I would have to buy window coverings for the whole house, adding more to the price.  If I’m truly honest with myself, I’ll admit that I don’t care for the heat of the Arizona summer.  I also think I’m trying to capture feelings I had in the past and I’m not having much luck.  The last couple trips down to Tucson when we’ve been landing at the airport, the first thing I notice is how brown it is.  Remember, I’m coming from Washington State and we’re known as the Evergreen State and I really notice the difference when I arrive in Tucson and I miss the green.  I also live across the street from a lake and I like looking at the water whenever I want. 

I also haven’t given up on RVing.  I think I just shoved it into the background, including this blog, and now I’m resurrecting both.  I don't want to be stuck in one place.  I feel sort of stuck now because the only way to get out of WA, on land, is over snowy passes and I don't do snowy passes. Living in the Southwest where you're not surrounded by snowy passes would make it easier to travel in the winter.  But, getting out of Washington before the snow is also another possibility.  

A number of bloggers show pictures of where they're at and many include water.  I just need to make note of those locations and get there.  

I'm not totally gloom and's my other Christmas Cactus in bloom.  It's a gorgeous sunny day here today and I'm enjoying it.  

I have two new followers and I'd like to welcome you to my blog.  The first is Karen and I'm not sure what your blog name is, if you have one.  Also, Kenny and Angela's Adventure /RV Life is Good.  Welcome.  I look forward to learning about your RV lives.

I hope that I haven't lost any of my followers.  I'm glad to be back and I'm going to catch up on each and every one of you.  Happy RVing.

More sunshine please,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


After I published my post yesterday I found out that a college student from the UofA was on site to help out with computer questions.  And I learned the difference between upload and download.  In case I'm not the only one that doesn't know the difference, here's what he told is from the internet and upload would be me uploading pictures to the internet/my blog. Apparently, twice a month students come to the academy for a couple hours to help out with computer questions/problems.  We decided that my problem with uploading my pictures is probably because I'm using wifi.  However, I did this at St. Mary's Hospital while I was waiting for my friend to visit with her husband in ICU and it took hardly any time at all.  I don't know what the difference is but at least I got them uploaded a lot quicker at the hospital.

Here's another picture from SeaTac that I mentioned...first the picture that I posted on Sunday (above) and then the one I took on at the airport before flying down to Tucson showing more detail... and I was right, it is fish. I think it's amazing.  

I don't know how long ago this project was done but it was created by the residents of Academy Village with the help of an artist that I know nothing about.  The residents drew pictures onto the yellow parts of the critters (I think they're gila monsters) and the artist attached them to the wall.  This is a very simple explanation for what looks like quite a fantastic project.

I would have liked to have been around when they were creating these so that I could have been part of the creation. They're in front of the entrance to the Community Center.

I'm still having a wonderful time and it's getting warmer each day.

Loving the sunshine,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunny and Warm

I'm staying at a place called Academy Village, a 55+ community, about 10 miles outside of Tucson near a town called Vail.  They have a Preferred Guest Program where non-residents can stay in a townhouse for 3 or 5 days.  This is my third stay here and I’m here for 5 days.   It’s a very active community with exercise classes 5 days a week, including water aerobics.  They have craft classes, lectures and concerts, just to name a few things that occur here.

First thing this morning I went to a cardio/ strength class and three hours later I attended a memoir reading and it was a riot.  The people had attended a memoir writing workshop and we got to listen to the first 10  participant’s read their memoir.   The last 10 will read on Thursday night and I won’t miss it. 

Some of the people who live here are snowbirds but the majority live here year round.  I just returned from the heated pool to swim off the wonderful lunch I had at their CafĂ©.

I'm having trouble up/downloading (???) pictures, so be patient with me.  I'm using wifi so I don't know if that makes a difference or not. I'm pretty frustrated because it's taking so long and I don't know why.  I also left my favorite mouse at home so I'm having to use the pad and if I look at it cross-eyed it does something I'm not expecting, so I'm afraid to mess with it too much.  

I'm off now to meet my friend for dinner.  More tomorrow, hopefully.

Loving the sunshine,


Monday, December 6, 2010

Caught Up... Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

I feel special...I get to catch up on all my blogs in the air.  This is a first for me.  It has also been the bumpiest flight I've ever flown to Tucson.  Even though I'm writing this on Sunday it probably won't be posted until Monday or Tuesday because I think I have a pretty packed day on Monday and I don't know if I'll have time to write a post.  

Everything written in purple is written on Monday from Academy Village.  I did have a packed day and I'm just now settling into the townhouse I'm staying in.  I was hoping for wifi in the townhouse, but no such luck.  But, there is a computer room in the Community Center, which is where I am now so no complaints. 

Welcome to Pidge, a new follower.  I've noticed your comments on other blogs and I welcome you to my blog.

I went back and took another look at the display I showed on my last post, and have some new pictures.  Unfortunately, the connection from my camera to computer is in the belly of the plane so I'll show them later.  I also got pictures of a floor to ceiling column that has a gorgeous mosaic, dedicated to the artist's father.   I still don't have the pictures from the airport on my computer so I can't show them yet.  Probably tomorrow.

There's one place in particular outside of Tucson that I hope to get to.  It's called Texas Canyon and has the most interesting rock formations.  There's a rest area in the middle that I'll go to and get some pictures to share.  Maybe I'll drive there tomorrow (Tuesday).  I don't have any plans until 7 PM when I'm meeting my friend whose husband is in intensive care.  I got to talk to her for a short time today and he's conscious now but still in intensive care.  I haven't seen her since June 2010 and I'm looking forward to seeing her.  I had lunch with another really good friend today who is a fantastic stained glass artist. 

I looked at a number of houses today and didn't buy anything.  There's one I really like, with a pool in the backyard, but it has street noise and that's a no no for me.  I currently live on a busy and noisy street and I'm not going to buy a house with street noise.  I also had RVing in the back of my mind all day thinking how I could just pack up and leave if it was noisy. 

Speaking of RVing.  The snowbirds are in town and I can't believe the's terrible.  I don't recall it being this way when I lived here and I can't say that I like it.  The UofA is also in session so that increases the population by 30,000+, so between the students and snowbirds...look out. 

I'm aware that I'm pretty tired so I'm going to close for now.  The weather was terrific today.  I got to wear sandals and ended up not needing the sleeveless vest I started out with.  I liked that.  Supposed to be nice all week.

Quite happy with the sunshine,


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Posting from SeaTac Airport

Welcome to my latest follower heyduke50, another one of us with RVing in the future.  Thanks for your comment about my well written blog...that feels really good.  I just noticed a picture in my Followers that I'm not familiar with and that would be MidLiFe CrUiSER.  Thanks to you, too, for joining me.

I have actually found a quiet spot at SeaTac.  I just kept walking and walking south in the airport, away from Alaska Airlines gates, and found a nice quiet spot.  I'm able to watch the planes land and take off.   Typically, I get to the airport a whole lot earlier than I need to because I don't want to be rushed through security and I like to look in the shops and generally have a relaxed time before taking off.

This display hangs from the ceiling at SeaTac (where all the crowds are that I'm avoiding).  I never noticed before that it's a bird and it appears to be reflected in water. Maybe it's even catching fish.  Do you see that, or am I delusional?  For the longest time I just saw a bunch of things hanging down from the ceiling until I decided to take a picture of it.  That enabled me to see it in an entirely different way.

It's time to go get water and walk a bit more before I get on the plane.  I glad that I can sit here in the airport and prepare and write my post for the day.  I'm enjoying the view, inside the airport and outside the windows.  

I'm excited to be going to Tucson again.  I love the Southwest and I feel so good when I'm there.  

More sunshine please,


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tucson Tomorrow

The title says it all...I'm flying to Tucson tomorrow.  Because of that this will be a really short post cause I still have lots of stuff to do.  My friend/house sitter/dog sitter is coming over this afternoon and I want to have as much done as I can before she shows up.  If I didn't need a house sitter/dog sitter I wouldn't have to clean house before I go, but I do need one so I have to clean house.  

For the first time since I started my blog I'm behind on my reading and commenting.  Sorry about that.  Maybe I can catch up at the airport or on the plane tomorrow.  

More sunshine please,


Friday, December 3, 2010

Eureka!!! My Reason to RV has Come to Me Courtesy of a Widget

After finishing my post yesterday I started reading updates of the blogs I follow. When I got to 2 Taking a 5th I noticed a new widget that said "Free overnight stops for all RVs at wineries and farms."  I checked it out and I'm excited.  I love wine.  I've only been on one wine tasting tour and it was last year when I was visiting my son in Germany.  We took a USO tour to this vineyard and I tasted the best wine ever. 

I haven't gone on any wine tastings because I worry about drinking and driving. If this trip was any indication, my fear is appropriate because there was a lot of wine to try and we did. 

Harvest Hosts will get me into an RV and on the road!!  Did I say I was excited?  I mean how wonderful to have an opportunity to taste wine and stay at a vineyard/farm free of charge.  I bet they won't all be free though because there will be wine to buy and who knows what else.  

I have a friend who owns a vineyard in Eastern Washington.  We met at graduate school and I was with her when she and her husband were planting their first grapes.  I emailed the Harvest Host information to her last night to see if it's something she might be interested in.  Since she is also a future RVr I thought this might be something she would like to participate in.  

I'm so excited that I was going to join right away.  Then I got to the part where they want the type of RV I have and the license plate number on it.  I guess my membership in Harvest Hosts is going to have to wait.

Just think of all the wonderful pictures I can take with my new camera.  I can document my way through the participating vineyards in Washington, Oregon and California.  

Did I mention that I'm excited?

I leave Sunday for Tucson and that's another thing to be excited about.  The place I'm staying at, Academy Village, is having a wine tasting Thursday night.  I just have to walk from the Cafe to the townhouse I'm staying at, so I think I'll go.  This could be the first of many wine tastings for me!!

More sunshine please,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trouble Logging On

I just had trouble logging on and I hope it doesn't continue.  When I start getting messages about cookies this and cookies that, I feel lost and don't know what to do.  Oh well, I'm here now.

This is kind of a no news day.  All I did was get a pedicure and that was before I checked out the forecast for Tucson.  It looks like it will be in the mid to high 70s and I'll take it.  While checking out Tucson weather I noticed that Europe has been having lots of snow so I sent a quick email to my son to see how he's doing.  He's in Germany and it looks like they got lambasted. 

The last report re my friend in Tucson after his latest operation is "guarded optimism."  I'll know more Monday after I get together with his wife.  She ended up going to her cardiologist today because she's not feeling well.  

My dog is doing better after two acupuncture sessions.  His third is tomorrow.  He practically leaps up off the floor now instead of struggling to get up and I'm so glad to see that.  It makes him appear younger.  

I think that's it for today.  Oh, we had more sunshine today and I didn't realize we were going to and I left my sunglasses at home.  I have them parked with the stuff I'm going to pack because I don't want to forget them since they're prescription lenses and it will be sunny in Tucson.   

I hope you're having a good day.

More sunshine please,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winnebago View

I really enjoyed all the Costco comments yesterday.  I've decided that I don't want my new camera to leave my possession so I'm not taking it on my Tucson trip.  I'm referring to the airport when I have to walk away from it when going through security and I'm not willing to do that with a brand new camera.  It's bad enough to have to do it with my old Nikon and my laptop. So, pictures from my new camera when I return from Tucson.  Also, in answer to Malone's question:  Yes, I have a tripod that was my mother's and my new camera has two telephoto lens:  one is up to 55mm and then the other one is 55-200mm. They're going to be fun to work with.  

A couple days ago on the way to Whole Foods, I drove down our Auto Row and noticed a Winnebago View on one of the car lots.  I decided to stop by there today and check it out and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  While I'm not in love with it, I'm seriously in like with it.  

The bathroom surprised me with the amount of room in it and the cupboards.  I won't bother showing the shower stall, but I think it would work.  

While there isn't a whole lot of room in the kitchen, once the slide is out, I think it's doable.  A decent amount of good sized drawers for storage are included, in addition to a pull out pantry.  For some reason, the picture with the sink won't download so I can't show it, so I'll move on to something else.

I think the largest thing inside is the TV!!  Talk about a large screen...that's larger than what I use with my laptop.  

I thought this was kind of clever.  The mattress is able to be raised and then hooked so it stays up.  Then it's easier to get up from the driver/passenger seats and walk to the back.  

What really surprised me was how quiet the diesel engine is and how I couldn't smell the diesel.  Even though the emblem isn't anywhere on the vehicle, the salesman told me that it's a Mercedes.  He also said it can get about 19 mpg.  One thing that I was disappointed in is the lack of automatic levelers.  Drive up onto levels are provided and that doesn't really thrill me.  

Asking price for this particular vehicle...$79K with 5,000 miles.  It's a 2010.

I had to wear my sun glasses for awhile today.  Walking outside I could actually feel a bit of heat from the sun.  Imagine what it'll feel like next week in Tucson!!

More sunshine please,