8-30-09 Sunday (Udderly Wet)

It was nice to vacuum the RV with our REAL vacuum for a change.  We took our vacuum out of storage the other day.  We haven’t found a good place for it yet.  Chances are there really won’t be a good place for it which explains why we didn’t bring it on our year long journey to begin with.  All of the basement compartments are too small or we’ve got then jam-packed anyway.   I’ve photographed some possible storage solutions.


Above: Blocking the doorway into the coach.  Handy if burglars break in.  They’ll either trip over it, steal it, or vacuum our coach.


Above: It’s a self propelled vacuum.  Should we give it a try?


Above: No longer do I need to worry about dropping food while eating.  I can just have the vacuum running the entire time.


Above: Storing it with cleaning products does kinda make sense but it won’t fit into the cabinet.


Above: While this spot does make using the toilet nearly impossible, it may work as an odor displacing device.  It does have a hepa filter ya know.


Above: I tried the tub but Caulkenstein growled.

Something more amusing.  OK.  Up the road to Jim’s Mom’s (Ann & Morgan) house, we’d see these cows out in a field.  The field was/is very flooded from all of the rain.  We wonder if the cows are OK and if the owner knows about property flooding.  Here, property taxes are low for agricultural land so many people plop a few cows on it and there you have it.  Well, on the way to Ann’s for dinner tonight, we spotted this sign.


Above: It reads “The cows are fine – stop calling.  They have food, water + dry land.  Calling the sheriff dept is wasting tax money and unless you raise cattle – mind your own business.”

Apparently we weren’t the only ones to wonder about the cow’s wellbeing.

Dinner at the Zarbuck’s was delicious.  Homemade, from scratch oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 


Hmmm, we ate a lot of them.  Really.

8-29-09 Saturday (Strike!)

Our SaturDAY was pretty boring so I’ll spare you (for a change) the details of how many times I washed my hands or brushed my long flowing hair. 

Fast Forward FF STOP!  

OK, we’re now at dinner with Al & Jack and Carl & Tim.  We’ve went to TGI Friday’s with a coupon.  $5.00 off each friend’s meal = $25.00 off the bill. 

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Above/Below: Jack & Al.  Al has his hand up because he constantly tries to block his face from photos.  He works for the government.  I’m not sure why postal workers cover their face too.  In the photo below, Al has that, “I asked you not to take my photo and you did it anyway, you asshole” look.

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The best part about Friday’s other than the peach tea, food, being with good friends, where was I going with this?  Oh, hair.  I won’t refer to Alix over at Casa Hice’s baldness.  I try not to tease her baldheadedness.  Sitting behind Jim was this guy with the worse hair piece ever.  If it wasn’t a hair piece than I feel even worse for the guy.  Maybe not worse, maybe more laughy. 

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Dude, no one has that much hair… unless you purchased it.

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Above: Pretty sky as we left Friday’s. 

Time to bowl!  And really, the only reason I like to bowl is because the rental shoes make me feel sexy skinny taller smarter goofy.

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Above/Below: This is Carl.  Carl has a pig nose.

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Above: Tim picks out a ball.  Tim’s personal custom-made bowling ball was chipped and cracked.  By the end of the evening it had lost more pieces.  I was convinced that he’d be bring home a billiard’s ball with all that was left to the poor thing.

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Above: Go Jim!

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Above: Go Garret!  Why must I make silly faces when someone takes my picture?  Ummmm, thanks, I wasn’t making a face.  This was my poker face (which explains why I did so poorly.)

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Above: An action shot!

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Above: There’s Al, hiding himself.  He thinks FEDEX and UPS are out to get him.  Then there’s me.  Then there’s… no keeping looking at me for a while longer.  OK, then there’s Jack.

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Above: Tim will hate this picture of him but then again he hates all of his photos.  Carl (on the right) won’t care because he doesn’t read the blog.

8-28-09 Friday (A Pack Of One)

I know you’re awaiting the next misadventure.  Thanks.  If the power tripping off at 5:30am -- waking me up to the dying hum of the A/C, and me thinking the cord melted again, then waking Jim to tell him the power went off, then him finding out the inside breaker did not trip, and him going outside and then discovering it was most of the park, and then it coming back on about 5 minutes later, -- is a misadventure then there you have it.  Happy now?

I called Dr. Kagen’s office (see yesterday’s entry) and they say they don’t have a storage unit where we saw the medical files.  The woman says she pays the bills and would know if they had storage there.  With another Dr. Kagen in town, they said they’d call them.

I hit my cardio record.  I’m up to 45 minutes like we used to be.  I’m doing the bike and Jim is doing the Elliptical.  The cramps in my legs during work out have stopped.  We eventually need to work in core exercises and weight lifting.

We got invited to dinner!  We love a good meal.  Even more, we love a free meal!  Before dinner, we went to a KMart and got me a new glass pan.  Actually we got 2 pans with lids in a 2 pack value pack figamajig.


Above: Isn’t she a beaut?

Speaking of value packs, one of our stops was to a Dollar General.  I spotted this foil pan.  What amused me was that next to the word Summer is “1 PAK”.  Does pack sound better or perhaps fancier when it’s spelled as pak?  Furthermore, I don’t associate 1 item being a pack.  Maybe a 2 pack.  But one?


We enjoyed dinner at Mike & Dave’s.  The cool thing about it was watching the shuttle launch on NASA TV and then going outside to see it in the air.  It looked more like a flaming comet than a shuttle, but cool nonetheless.

8-27-09 Thursday (The Glass Chicken)

Toilet 526; Jim 1. No leaks, works like a charm. Yay!

We met Tim at Sweet Tomatoes (soup and salad bar / buffet) for lunch today. Tim is a salad lover so he was excited to go. His other half, Carl, is not fond of the place so they don’t get to go. We started off with large salads. My plan was to eat a large salad first and then some of the not so good stuff. It went splendidly. A lot of their soups, breads, sides, etc are low fat. Their website even gives nutritional info.

I’ve come to the conclusion that any type of buffet restaurant is not a good place to socialize with friends. Aside from getting fatter and fatter, the conversations get lost. While chit chatting, we’d pause the conversation, go back for more food and then return only to start a new subject. It’s fragmented socializing.

Tim had errands to do, we had a couple of things to do, so we decided to tag along for each other’s things to do.

We went to our storage unit, and got some clothes out. This is an air conditioned storage facility. Units are sectioned by chain link. We laughed at how you can pretty much stick your hand through the fence and touch things people store. Our crap is all in boxes but some people just have loose items sitting on top of other items, like a box wasn’t important or very scarce at the time? One disturbing thing is patient files for Dr. Kagen (a prominent orthopedic doctor in town) were close to the chain link. Box lids were off and some files were partially out of the box revealing names and social security numbers. I just went to Kagen’s website and found that the email link doesn’t work so that means I’ll have to call them.

Next stop was Sam’s. We needed more deodorant. By the time you read this, we’ll smell nice. Scratch HERE for the before and HERE for the after. Not bad, eh? How many of you did it? Nevermind, I don’t want to know. A funny thing happened at Sam’s. We spotted a sectional couch on display. We tried it out. It was comfortable. The 3 of us talked and talked and talked. I saw nothing of my surroundings, and then BAM the spell was broken, I was a little thirsty. After Tim finished his sentence, I pointed out my strange discovery… we had spent way too much time hanging out in a Sam’s on their very comfy sectional. Strange. Strangely fun too.

Almost the last stop, Target.


Above: Me on what I always call a big red concrete hippity hop.



Above: Jim & Tim.


Above/Below: Tim making a return.

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Above: Garret here, reporting with this season’s fashions.

For our last stop, we went to Barnes and Noble so Tim could get a new audio book. Jim found Waldo’s mother! Look!

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Ahhhh, look at the hair too! She’s someone’s mother… maybe. For sure she’s someone’s daughter.


Above: Tim reading the audio book packaging. Since it’s an audio book, shouldn’t there be a small gizmo, the size of a musical birthday card, that speaks out the synopsis?


Above: Tim reads on. Jim acts interested in a book… with a binder… with written words…

Tim went home. Goodbye Tim, we had a blast!

Well, let me tell you about dinner. A fiasco. A misadventure. We decided to bake chicken, and then top with peach salsa. Jim cut up squash, we tossed in olive oil, added garlic, a little breadcrumbs, and some parmesan cheese, then bake. I made brown rice, in the microwave. The chicken. Baked in a glass baking dish. I took it out of the oven, and stupidly decided to add water to the pan. Uh, dumb. The pan exploded. Not pretty. Hot, sticky glass on the floor and the stove. Ugh. I stood there, staring in horror. Jim rushed over (well, he was only 2 feet away in the “next room”) and joined me in the stare-fest. We got it cleaned up. I’ve tempted fate so many times in the past. I’ve always been a hot glass dish water adderer and never had a problem. I guess the dish was REAL hot and the water was REAL cold? I won’t do that shit again anytime soon.

So now what? Well, later Jim and I admitted to each other that we thought that end of the pan didn’t break and that the chicken would be OK and then realized it to be a bad idea. We went to Publix, got fried chicken tenders (which they made fresh while we waited), and still managed to have chicken. Yeah we went from baked to fried but I don’t care. It made me feel better. We ate the squash which was good, and we had the rice with some peach salsa.

Jim probably won’t let me live this one down. Farewell, glass baking dish. (I better not step on any of your offspring!)

8-26-09 Wednesday (Sausage McMimic)

ScoreToilet 526; Jim 0. Well that’s what it feels like. Every time he tests his connections it springs a leak. Sometimes, it takes a few hours to show up. It’s not the toilet but rather the connections. He tried Teflon tape, compression fittings, etc, etc. Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and True Value, all know him by name. I can tell you that he is keeping his cool. If it were me, I’m thinking things may have ended up broken… that happens when they meet with walls at a fast speed.


Jim replaced the sprayer. In an RV, many toilets have sprayers to help clean the toilet when needed. It’s an excellent skid mark remover, in case you were wondering. In the photo above, the toilet seat/back cover are removed. RV toilets (as far as I know) are all tankless. Water in a tank swishing around while driving might be bad. In the photo below, the seat has been reinstalled and at this point, no leaks.


Here’s the breakfast thingys I made this morning. I took egg beaters, cup of fat free milk, the sausage (Morning Star veggie sausage from Costco) and shredded cheese then combined them into a 9 X 12 glass dish and baked for 25-30 minutes on 350. I cut them out into squares and placed into these containers to store. We’ll take one out, microwave and put onto a toasted english muffin.


The flavor was fairly bland. I expected the sausage to have more zing. Jim said maybe less egg. I’m not sure. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good. Any suggestions?

I’m very proud of myself. Jim decided to take a nap and stated that we can work out afterwards. I went by myself for fear that something else would come up and we wouldn’t go. I typically lack motivation. I’m not sure what happened there! Whatever it was, I was happy for it. Besides, I got to watch I Dream of Jeannie while I worked out. How cool is that? Jim went by himself a little later.

8-25-09 Tuesday (Flushing Dead Fish)

Jim finished the toilet repair up today.  I washed the pet bedding.  We did cardio, pushing it to 40 minutes.  How exciting! 

I’ve been so hungry today.  I’ve eaten salad twice today and am ready for a good meal.  We went to Costco and got fresh stuffed tilapia.  I’m sure it’s not the healthiest being stuffed and all, but with a huge helping of fresh broccoli it should be good.  We’ve had the stuffed tilapia previously and I’m sure we won’t be disappointed. 

After dinner we plan to complete the rest of our grocery shopping and then do another cardio session.  We have 2 or 3 days of cardio we skipped for whatever lame reason was at hand.


OK well, we’re back from Walmart and it’s 9:30pm.  The damn toilet is leaking for the 2nd time today.  Needless to say, we didn’t get to the gym (it closes at 9).

We bought Morning Star veggie sausage at Costco today.  We have some 2% cheese and bought some egg beaters and 100 calorie english muffins.  I’ll be creating healthy breakfast sandwiches!  I’ll let ya know.  Maybe I’ll even take pictures… if you behave.

This post seems to be about toilets and fish.  It’s strange to look at the day and think that’s all there was to it.  I need a life.

8-24-09 Monday (Franken----)

The plan was to get up early and get stuff accomplished.  It was 8am, Jim still slept.  I did laundry figuring the washer noise and vibration would get him out of bed.  No luck.  I remembered he had complained of a sore throat yesterday.  I figured he was sick and wanted to sleep in.  Later he awoke, but went back to bed.  Yep, he felt ill.  I went to the public showers so as not to disturb him.  I know… I’m sweet.  You in the back, shut up and stop heckling me.  As I was about to go out and do some grocery shopping, he emerged from the cave and was “well”.  After he was ready for the day, errrrr, afternoon, we took care of Ann’s leaking fridge, did some banking, returned home, ate a snack, did 35 minutes cardio, went swimming, showered, and then made dinner.

We had veggie burgers for dinner.  Consumer Reports said Morning Star did the best, with Boca burgers as a runner-up.  The other day we purchased both figuring we’d both have 1 of each and see what was better.  The winner was the Morning Star.  I put fat free yellow American on each of mine and Jim used a low fat Colby on his.  He used reduced fat olive oil mayo, I used nothing, mostly so I could experience the flavor on its own.

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I plan to check Costco to see what they have.  Liz said via Facebook that they have a black bean kind.  We’ll be glad to go to a Costco rather than Sam’s. 

We went over to Grandma’s for some Rummikub play action.  We all love the game.  We need to teach her how to play Phase 10.

The picture below is Jim’s creation of left over soap.  We dub thee Frankensoap.

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I really have no idea why he made it.  Tired of wasting left over soap?  The challenge?  The expense?  Thrifty?  Cheap?  Not real sure.

Well, perhaps tomorrow we’ll get more accomplished than today.

8-23-09 Sunday (Over Friendly Pets)

image Get this.  We unemployed slugs actually set the alarm last night and got up at 8am so we could join Jim’s Mom and Grandma for Sunday brunch.  Please, save the applause until the end.  So, we all met at Sweet Tomatoes which is a salad bar buffet chain.  I haven’t been there in a long time as you can tell my my 190something lard ass.  It was 10am, so I didn’t dive into a salad.  There were many healthy choices there for breakfast and I may have had some of them… by accident.  Maybe we’ll go back there sometime for their salad bar.  Yeah, right.

Jim went home with his mom to help set up internet banking.  I went to my mom and dad’s for a visit.  My Aunt and Grandmother live around the corner so I visited with them too.

When Jim was done, I joined him at his mom’s.  While there I got a glass of water from the fridge door dispenser.  No one has used it in a long time since Ann has a water cooler in the utility room.  No water came out of the dispenser.  We later found out that something happened to the hose under the fridge and as I tried to fill my glass, it just spewed onto the floor underneath.  We pulled out the fridge, Jim took a hose sample so that tomorrow we could get the proper fitting to repair it.

image Tonight we walked Dasher and this is the 3rd time in this RV park that someone’s off leash dog ran up to us.  The owner apologized and did have a leash in hand.  Most of the time it’s not an apology but more of a “it’s OK, he’s friendly.”  I’m tired of that.  Maybe mine isn’t.  Today a large Boxer, the other day 1 of 2 Boxers (different owner) and last week a Great Dane.  Last night I heard from Brenda and Peggy about their encounter with a Pitbull while walking their German Shepherd.  All survived because their Shep took the bites and protected them.  Not too long ago I told you about the Pitbull that killed a friend’s Italian Greyhound.  You know, I don’t care how friendly you think your dogs are.  It’s a law.  Put them on a leash!  The way I look at it is, mine is on a leash, and you don’t know my dog’s temperament.  Yours decides to run up to my dog’s face.  If my dog reacts negatively, then what?  I plan to report these 3 owners to the office.  After tonight’s incident, the owner with the 2 Boxers drives up to us and says he’s missing one.  Well, I didn’t say it but thought, “wow, wouldn’t that leash have been a handy thing?”

It’s apparent I’m in a ranty mood lately.  Don’t let me get started on that outfit you decided to wear…

8-22-09 Saturday (I Won’t Be Back)

Caution, rant:

image So, here it is 12 days later since the “roach incident” and I get an email from the general manager, Rebecca of the local Arizona Pizza. Her email says:

My name is Rebecca Green and I am the General Manager at the Arizona Pizza at 8700 Gladiolus. I am truly sorry for your experience and would like to speak with you in regards to your dining experience. It is not our intention to provide substandard service to any of our guests and this issue will not be taken lightly. I would also like to applogize for the delay in responding as I never received your email.
If you could provide me your phone number or give me a call at 239-481-8242 we can discuss your experience further.

Once again let me express my sincere apology for our lack of service and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

I’m amazed it took this long. I’m amazed that she wasn’t given the original email which had my blog address and phone number. She mentions substandard service, which wasn’t the issue. My email states I’m not wanting anything free because I simply won’t be back. I continue that if they still insist on a free coupon, I’ll just give it away. I replied to Rebecca, included my original email, omitting my phone number and blog address, so she won’t bug (get it?) me. I’m grateful for the apology.

More restaurant rant: While in California, restaurants had their inspection score posted on their window. It was law to be displayed. I think their health inspections were more intense. Then again, California is all about complicated. Oh and bankrupt too. And Terminator. And raisins … anyway it was handy to have their grade posted on the window. There’s even websites with a way to search for restaurants based on grades. More info if you want, click here.

Dinner: We went to Brenda & Peggy’s in Lehigh for dinner. It was a healthy and delicious dinner (Brenda is on Results Weightloss). My favorite was the grilled chicken topped with a peach salsa. It’s Newman’s mild peach salsa but don’t be fooled, it had a slight kick here and there. Also in attendance was Glenn & Kevin who introduced us to these wonderful ladies.

Something cute: So I went to Big Lots today. I wanted to get a small bottle of laundry detergent that I can bring to the laundry room when I want to wash the comforter or such. It’s so hard to transport the 55 gallon drum we buy from Sam’s. So, I see the smallest and cheapest bottle. One bottle has a “free t-shirt” attached to the bottle and the other package doesn’t. I chose the one with the freebie. Look how cute the t-shirt is. It’s smaller than an apple. I bought the apple at Walmart. It wasn’t attached to the bottle. I may have included it to demonstrate the size of the compacted t-shirt. Or, I may just leave apples laying around the coach. You decide.

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Above: Once I unfolded the shirt, it was way too small (child’s large). I think the languages are English and French. No, I’m sure about the English part. The French is the part I’m not sure of.

I won't be wearing this shirt out to the Arizona Pizza Company anytime soon.

8-21-09 Friday (A Crappy Day)

image I decided to wash the sheets and comforter today. That went OK. Later, as I took a pee, I found water leaking from the back of the toilet. One of the pedals had gotten slightly stuck. During a normal flush, it was OK. If I duplicated the pedal stuck situation, it leaked. I have no idea why pressing the pedal partly would cause a leak. After having the great toilet discussion, we decided to replace the toilet. It’s bone, I want white. It leaks, we have no idea why. We may take it apart and find out we can’t buy the part we need. Part of it that’s unreachable is disgusting. Given more time and the challenge of boring you to death, I could probably think of an excuse or two more.

Off to Camping World we went. We looked at several models. They all seem more modern than ours. They even had a light weight porcelain instead of the plastic we have. We went for the plastic. We went for the foot pedal model rather than a handle. For ease of cleaning, overall design, and a fair price tag of $197.00, it won. Even though the photo shows 2 toilets, we only purchased one (you looked confused). Oh, and we didn’t get the bouquet of flowers shown to the left of the toilets. I’m sure that would have been extra.


image Of course installation didn’t go smoothly. Does it ever? The hoses don’t fit. This isn’t the same, that doesn’t fit. A trip to this store, a trip to that store. Jim took a break to eat dinner at about 9pm. He worked on the toilet again but alas, it’s working enough to use but one of the new fittings is defective. He’ll finish it tomorrow… after a trip with Grandma to St. Pete. Stay tuned.