My Epic Book Length Post With Photos A Plenty

Chapter 1: It’s A Grasshopper Invasion and The Havoc They Have Caused!

Remember last post I mentioned grasshoppers towards the end, well they are still around. I walk around to do my watering and they scurry, hop, jump or fly in front of me. I will be turning on the water faucet for the hose and there are at least 6 beady little eyes watching and staring at me. They just creep me out. Oh, would you like to see me throw an hysterical, jumping, dancing around fit? Just let one of those creepy hoppers land on me. I can’t stand their grabby pokey legs gripping onto me. No, grasshoppers do NOT fall into my cute, cool creepy crawlers column!

 

They Just creep me out!

 

 

They caused lots of damage to the vegetation. I didn’t think any of my peppers would survive the onslaught. David’s okra didn’t fair much better. The irises in the southeast corner of the shed bed were chewed to the ground. There was a bachelor button and a couple of other flowers in the same corner that didn’t even get to bloom before they were turned into leafless sticks. That flowery plant that I thought was a carrot plant gone wild ( I pulled it early in September expecting a mutated jumbo carrot. There was just a regular type root. I was bummed, I wanted a giant mutated carrot! 😦 ) was stripped down to a clump of sticks. My gladiolus had trouble with the wet spring so only about eight came up. One was swelling to produce a cane but the hoppers ate it before it even got above the leaves. Even the marigolds were nibbled upon. They are usually a big bushy leafy plant with lots of blooms.

 

This was eventually eaten down to the ground.

 

 

All flowers were not doomed to be eaten. If they were low to the ground or hidden among the grass and weeds they got a chance to bloom.

Light Pink Poppy

 

 

Well by the end of August the hoppers seemed to have run their course. The peppers and the okras still had a few leaves so they started to make a come back. They put on new leaves and began to flower. The okra even started to produce fruit. So all through September we kept them watered and hoped the weather would stay nice a little longer.

I didn’t realize Okra had such pretty flowers.

 

 

September also had a few surprise late bloomers that waited for the hoppers to be gone. The zinnias were planted a couple of years ago but didn’t come up. I could have raked them closer to the surface this year. The hollyhocks were a total surprise. They must have been in the box of wildflower seeds that were suppose to be suited for humming birds that I planted this year.

Finally a marigold bloomed. You can see how sparse the foliage is.

 

 

Alas it was not meant to be. We had a freezing night on October 7th that put an end to any hope of peppers or okra.

 

The more tender flowers like the cosmos did not make it through the freeze either. A couple of petunias, the marigolds, a bachelor button, the zinnias, and the hollyhocks, and the johnny jump-up all made it for a couple more weeks until we had several freezing nights in a row. The little Johnny- Jump up was a little trooper, he just grew like crazy and was not bothered by those pesky hoppers or a freezing night or two.

Chapter 2: Crawly Critters and Cute Cats

The summer was just not for grasshoppers other crawly things could be found among the flowers and grass.
I was walking down the back steps when I saw this funnel web in the grass glimmering in the morning sunshine. It was there for several days. One day I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the spider who made this awesome web.

 

Mid September I was weeding the flower bed on the west end of the house, when I came across this praying mantis. I was about to start pulling the weeds in that area when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. I took several pics as she crawled on the weeds that I was wanting to pull. I picked her up with my outdoor walking stick and moved here to the bushes in the back yard. Then I got back to pulling the weeds.

David came in, on the afternoon of October 7th and placed this caterpillar by me as I was doing things on my laptop. Some of you may call these woolly bears. There are a couple of ole wives tales that these little fuzzy fellows can predict the weather. The one that comes to my mind is, the direction you find them crawling will predict the coming of winter. Well David just told me he was crawling in the grass by BOB. That very night we had our first night below freezing. I wonder now, what direction he was crawling?

The next afternoon when it had warmed back up to near 70 degrees. I found this praying mantis hanging out on the deck upright. She was a good size and her tummy looked pretty full. I don’t know if it was the same one I let loose in the backyard in September. They do have wings to fly so it could have been.

The other bugs will never see me coming.

 

I was able to bring Sully out quite a bit over the summer. He really enjoys the sunshine. He likes to eat grass. When he is not eating grass he is snuggling up any patch of catnip he can find.

*sniff slobber sniff drool* I just love catnip on a sunny day!

 

When I am not outside I have Little Kitty to keep me company. She perches on the DVD case and gives me the cuteness while I am doing stuff on my laptop at the kitchen table.

Even when I am outside she manages to give me the cuteness. I was doing a walk around the house to take photos. I passed her bedroom window to see her watching me. I think these photos are cool because of the reflections. That is why I called them Reflections of Little Kitty.

Chapter 3: Bathing and Covering BOB for Winter and One More Renovation Started

David decide to use one of the last nice days to work on BOB. He and Nick started on the roof applying that waterproof flex tape (As SEEN ON TV) to the cracked vent covers. David worked on sealing the leak on the outside of the loft on the passenger side. He had removed the weather stripping and sprayed foam into the gap. Then replaced the stripping after he let it dry for a few hours. He also caulked any gaps he found doing a walk around and any gaps on the roof around vents and such. Nick was put to work finishing up the bath that was started in the spring. This time he did the front of the loft and the hood of the cab. David parked the Ranger in close to BOB so Nick would have a platform to stand on because David was using the ladder to caulk the gaps on the roof.

Can you see the blackness above the window of the loft?

 

The next afternoon was spent tying down a 24 x 12 foot tarp to cover BOB’s roof for the winter. We should have been doing this every winter then maybe BOB would not have gotten so many leaks in his roof.

 

Before the weather got to cold David decided to go ahead and tear out the bathroom sink/vanity. He wants to put a large sink with more shelving under it. He wants the larger sink for cleaning fish.

Chapter 4: Old Things Become New

We had this old ratty brass chair. It was in need of a new covering. I had this old flowery flannel fitted sheet that was thin in the middle but the edges were still in good shape. I thought it would make a good cover for the chair. I removed the back from the brass bars. I didn’t remove the old cover because the back was made from cardboard that seemed like it was broken. I cut a piece of the sheet to fit around the back. I used a staple gun to fix the sheet to the back. I left one end open. I stuffed the curve of the back with polyester fiber from an old sleeping bag that had worn thin. I stapled the opening then screwed the back on to the brass bars again.
The seat of the chair became a family project. I was going to do the same with it as the back. When I got the seat removed from the brass bars I saw that it was made of particle board the was rotten and falling apart. I would not be able to put screws back in it to attach it to the bars as it was the seat was only being held in place by three screws. This is where the boys come in on the project. I needed a new seat. David does not like it when I use a hammer let alone a skill saw. So we searched the wood scrap pile and found a suitable board to cut down to size for a seat. David and Nick worked together doing that and drilling starter holes for the screws. I cut a piece of sheet to fit the new seat. The old foam cushion was rotting and becoming dust so I used polyester fiber from the sleeping bag again to cushion the seat. Nick helped keep the sheet tight over the new seat while I stapled it to the board. David was looking in the hardware coffee cans for new suitable screws while we did the stapling. David and Nick worked together holding the seat to the brass bars and screwing it back together. TA DA! We have a new chair!

 

The next old thing that became new was not as much work. A friend, of my son-in-law Justin, asked him if he knew anyone that needed a loveseat and couch. Justin said that he probably could use them. He and Kay had been looking for a loveseat for awhile. If Justin came over and hauled them away he could have them for free. So he did just that. They were able to get the loveseat into their house. The couch was to big and bulky to make it through their small awkward porch/entryway into the living room. David stopped by their house the next day, Kay asked if we would like that couch outside. David didn’t even see it when he came in. So he went back outside to take a look. He said sure, our current couch’s cushions had seen better days. So when Justin got off work that evening he brought it out. TA DA! We have a new couch!

The new couch.

 

Chapter 5: Slowly Crocheting Through Summer

I did crochet some this summer. It was another thing I just didn’t feel like doing. The heat really had nothing to do with it. I could have crocheted small things that would not be laying across my lap making me overheat.
I spent most of my time crocheting granny squares. They were finally seamed together in August to become my Psychedelic Granny Square Sweater. I got the idea to make myself one when I was making the baby sweaters. I wanted mine to be a bit longer more like a jacket. I think it turned out pretty good. A little story about my sweater jacket. I was traveling back east with my oldest brother. We stopped at a convenience store for a bathroom break and to get snacks. I was walking back to the car when a gentleman said he really liked my jacket. I said thanks I made it myself. He said his wife would like one. I said I was not local. He said neither was he. I really wished then that I had some business cards made up. I could have given him one and he could have contacted me with info to make his wife one. Then after I had been home for a few days a thought just popped into my head. I could have just sold mine to him right off my back.

 

I worked on this “Making and Joining Squares Project Afghan”. I joined larger squares, smaller squares, and triangles, to form rectangles. One section is just one large rectangle. The last section is four small rectangles to form a large rectangle. I am running short on yarn so I had to put this project in hibernation.

I had a bit of skein and another full skein of this Herrshcners “baby yarn” variegated yarn. It is on its way to becoming a baby blanket with some pink and purple thrown into the mix. I started with two granny squares that I seamed together to form the rectangle. I am now playing with adding some more squares at each end then continuing in the rectangle.

 

I was finally getting tired of crocheting squares and rectangles so I decided to make some different things. I have a bunch of Christmas sparkley yarn so I crocheted a chevron beanie. I am also doing a chevron scarf using the Christmas yarns. I had bit of scrap Caron “simply soft” yarn so this double crochet beanie was done up in no time.

 

 

I had some pink Herrshcners “kid’s brite ” 3ply yarn just sitting there along with some pink Caron “simply soft” yarn. I don’t have a pink beanie so I made myself this simple hat.

 

I have started another beanie with the above yarns using the leaping blocks and stripes pattern.

I think that covers the crocheting chapter.

 

Chapter 6: Plans They Keep A Changin’

The reason we have been working on BOB so much this year was so we could do some long term traveling.
Plan 1- Head to the gulf coast of Texas in November.
Reasons for abandoning this plan were BOB was not going to be ready to go, funds were getting low, and while researching destinations in Texas, David saw that there has been an increase in violent crimes in the state.

Plan 2Go to Washington where you can get paid to fish in April of 2020.
David was wondering if there was anywhere you could get paid to fish without being a commercial fisherman with a boat. So he Googled it. You can get paid in Washington State to catch one species of fish called the pike minnow. They pay you to catch them because the fish is eating all the baby salmon before they can swim up river back to the ocean.
Reasons for abandoning this plan were no one seemed to be really thrilled with the idea, since David wanted to be gone for 6 to 8 months. He also got to thinking that maybe we are not in quite good enough health yet for a long trip into the boonies of Washington.

Plan 3Travel around Nebraska from April 2020 – October 2020
This plan seems like it will stick. We are familiar with our home state. We know the roads. We have people we can visit. If some kind of emergency comes up we are closer to home.
We are planning to travel from fishing spot to fishing spot. Some will be familiar to us some will be new. I have lived most of my life in Nebraska, but there are things I have not seen. We think we will head south first then head east. When we have gone as far east as we want we well head back west. Then do a little jaunt near the northern border. Then finally back south to the old homestead. Of course none of this is set in stone. We will probably play a lot of it by ear, taking it at a relaxing pace.

Let Me Tell You About BIG Cities

Part 2: The Interesting Ones I Have Visited

 

Not all big city experiences were ones where I lived in that city. I had some that were just visits or drive throughs. One of the cities I visited and just drove through was Las Vegas.The first time was a visit. After I had moved in with David in August of 1991, he told me he had a reduced rate promotional package at Bob Stupak‘s Vegas World. This hotel changed its name 5 years later to The Stratosphere. They were building the big tower at the time we stayed in December 1991. He had gotten one of their mailings and decided to take them up on it.

This was all exiting for Kay and I. We both really enjoyed all the lights on The Strip. Kay (she was just 4 years old at this time) thought they were the most amazing Christmas lights ever, as it was December. I did not get to do any gambling. We were walking through the casino part of the hotel and were told that Kay could not be there. So we all went up to the room. David went down again later and did some gambling with the complimentary chips and free spins on the wheel of fortune. Even if David would have stayed in the room with Kay for me to go down, I would not have felt comfortable by myself in the casino. There were just too many people all in one space for this short, (I am just 5′ 2″ tall) small town girl. Also I still had that active imagination, I would be kidnapped by some dude when I refused to respond to his passes.

The drive through Las Vegas was on our retirement trip to Arizona. We did not drive down The Strip this time. We wanted to miss all that traffic. We were coming south on US Interstate 15. We came in near sunset. We drove past the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Nellis Airforce Base. We then took US 515 south-east and wanted to get on the Boulder Highway State Highway 582 to miss more heavy traffic. We missed the first exit so we ended up driving through on 515 for another 15 miles until we got to the exit that would take us to the Boulder Highway. Even though it was not The Strip, some of the hotels along this highway had some cool lighting displays.

Coming in north of Las Vegas. Just passed The Las Vegas Speedway on the right side of highway. Nellis Air Force Base was to the far left.

 

Albuquerque New Mexico was a drive through both times. The first time was when we moved back to Arizona in June of ’92. We were driving through during the afternoon. Some how or another we missed the exit that would put us on our way to Phoenix. So we got lost, driving through some pretty fancy residential areas. We drove past this one gated home that had Indy car shapes in the iron gates. It was the home of Al Unser Jr. So that was pretty cool. Now that I think about it we exited to get gas and were detoured because of road construction. We eventually found our way back to the highway and continued our journey.

The next time I drove through Albuquerque was at 5 in the morning on our retirement trip to Arizona. This was a crazy drive. Even though it was very early the six lanes of traffic were really hauling ass. It was hard for David to pass over into the correct lane. Other cars were just flying by us on both sides. It probably didn’t help that BOB didn’t like to go any faster than 60. You have to remember BOB is a 28 foot long high-profile RV. So when we made it through unscathed, David, I, and BOB all breathed a sigh of relief. David relaxed and quit white knuckling the steering wheel.

If you want to read more about our retirement trip and see photos just view these past articles.

1. And So It Began

2. The Journey to Meadview, Arizona Facebook Posts As We Traveled

3. Gold Claim # 2 : The Chopper Site Facebook Posts

4. Kingman, Chino Valley, and Cleater, Arizona Facebook Posts

5. The Journey Home to Nebraska Facebook Posts and Photos

Let Me Tell You About BIG Cities

Part One: The Ones I Have Lived In

 

I have lived most of my 50 years in small towns of Nebraska. I guess most people would consider them that, as the population of most of them was around 5,000. Some as little as just a couple of hundred. So when I would travel to nearby cities of 10, 000 plus I thought these were “big ” cities when I was a youngster.
When I was around the age of 5, my family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was my first experience with an actual big city, that I can remember. We moved there because Dad got a job as a draftsmen. This was after he had taken courses so it was his first job in his new career. I think we only lived in Tulsa for about six months. I don’t think any of my family liked the big city life. Here are some of my reasons for not liking it.
My Mom walked me to school in the afternoon for kindergarten. (Yes, I am from the good old days when kindergartens only went a half day. You were assigned to either the morning or afternoon class) The school was a few blocks away. I had to cross a very busy “highway” that is what a busy city street seemed to me at the time. It was manned by a crossing guard to help kids across. On this particular afternoon, the crossing guard walked to the middle of the intersection held up his stop sign and the traffic light was also red. He returned to the curb to walk me across, my Mom asked him a question and he was answering her. I thought they were talking too long. So I did what any bored kid did when their parents started talking. I decided I was big enough to cross the street by myself.
I started walking and got about to the middle of the intersection, when my Mom and the crossing guard are yelling at me. I stopped and started to turn my head towards them. Just as I was turning my head I see a silver and green blur inches from my face. I start crying and run back to my Mom.
The crossing guard tried to get a plate but the car was going to fast. The driver had run the red light. They didn’t even slow down or stop to see if they had it me. The crossing guard and Mom were both angry, but not at me. The crossing guard told us that he had actually been it before. I don’t actually remember if I attended class that day. When I was around 9 years old I thought back on this experience and made up this little song.
Look both ways before you cross if you don’t you might get smawshed! It happened one day I didn’t look both ways and was the end of MY FACE!
I had an active imagination.
Reason two was I thought the neighbor lady was kidnapping me. She picked me up from school one day because Mom had a doctor’s appointment, I think. We start driving and I notice she doesn’t take the turn to go home. I am a bit worried so I say,” You missed the turn.” She tells me to sit back, shut up, and I will get you home in a little bit. Well to my 5-year-old mind that sounded scary and a little bit was forever. I quietly sobbed in the back seat. I was thinking I would never see my family again. I don’t remember the actual return home because the fear of being kidnapped was greater than the relief. Why does the mind do that, you can remember the scary better than the relief and happiness of the experience?
This reason really could have happened at any time, anywhere in my young school years. I was waiting for one of my older brothers to come to my classroom to walk me home after school. All the other kids were picked up and I was standing in the hall alone. The teacher was on her way home, she was surprised that I was still there. She asked me who was supposed to come get me, I said one of my brothers. She didn’t want me to stand in the hall alone so she took me to the office. She explained to the secretary what was going on and left. I was sitting there for a few more minutes and the secretary was going to call my Mom, when my brother finally came in to get me. I was so relieved. Once again my active imagination had gotten the better of me. I sat there in the office quietly crying thinking my family didn’t want me any more and I would have to go home with the secretary. It turns out that my brothers had sports or band after school that day. That information was not passed on to me for some reason.
The last reason was one I was told about a few years later after we moved from Tulsa. My parents were in their bedroom and had just laid down to go to sleep. They hear what they think what maybe gunshots. Their thinking was correct, as a bullet came speeding through the window just above their heads. It was not long after this that we moved back to Nebraska.
Since then I have lived in big cities as a young adult. Those experiences were much more pleasant. I lived in Cody, Wyoming for about 6 months. It is sprawled out over many miles surrounded by mountains. I do not drive, so walking anywhere was a bit of a hike. The best part of living there was working at the Wendy’s restaurant. I was the hostess and set up the food bar. Wednesday it was Mexican foods and Friday it was pastas. When that was done I did my hostessing. You may ask what a hostess does at a Wendy’s. I just went around talking to the customers. I would help with high chairs and pass out mints. I also cleaned up after they left. When the restaurant was really busy I would take people’s orders while they were waiting in line. So by the time they got to the register it was ready and they could sit and enjoy their meal sooner. I really enjoyed all my coworkers and the manager gave me the coolest nickname. He said my name sounded royal. So he called me Queen of Arlenia. I think this was my second favorite job I ever had.
My next experience with big city life was when I lived in first Tempe, Arizona and about a year later Gilbert, Arizona both of which are suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. When we lived in Tempe we were about a block from a strip mall. It was just a short walk through the housing complex and we crossed a quiet residential street to get to it. So when David was out-of-town on business I and my daughter, Kay had things we could go do. There was also a K-Mart two blocks away. We had to cross a busy 4 lane “highway” to get to the K-Mart though. So you bet your butt I had Kay’s hand and we looked for cars with do diligence.
It was here that I got to see my first and only professional NFL game. The Phoenix Cardinals were playing my favorite team the DENVER BRONCOS. The Cards did not have their own stadium yet as they had just recently joined the league, so they played in the college stadium for the Arizona Sun Devils. It was crazy hot, but I enjoyed the game even though the Broncos lost. It was an exciting experience for this small town girl.
We moved back to Nebraska again after the company David worked for sold out. We returned to Arizona when his friend found him a new company to work for doing the same thing. This time we lived in Gilbert. I had the most happy experiences here. David and I got married there and our son, Nick was born.
The company told David they were going to keep him out-of-town most of the time soon after Nick was born. David was getting tired of the rat race again. He wanted to be around to watch Nick and Kay grow up. So we decided to move back to Nebraska to be nearer to both of our families and a slower pace of life.

It’s Thursday, So I Thought I Would Do A Throwback

This was my very first post.

A lot has changed since then

but we are still retired

and enjoying it!

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December 4, 2014

And So It Began

I was born with out hip sockets they were there but just cartilage. So I have had pain in one form or another because of this. I was told I would probably have early arthritis and would need hip replacement someday. I also had become overweight so that didn’t help with the pain.  I changed my diet and lost 30 pounds. I was not in pain all the time. So with this new pain-free life, I didn’t want to spend it working. So I decided to retire and begin a new adventurous retirement life. My husband was in total agreement as he had changed his diet too and was feeling better too. So what to do?

First step was to buy an RV. When you retire that is what you do right? It took us about 4 months to find the one that called out to be our RV. His name is BOB which stands for Bug Out Buggy. I wanted to call him Hank because he is a beast of an RV. He is 28 ft long and has a big engine. But BOB just fit better and has stuck.

We spent the next 6 months getting BOB road worthy. He needed some engine work. He had been sitting in a barn for sometime before we bought him. We had to replace his pip sensor. Change his oil and other routine maintenance. We also ended up doing some remodeling to the coach. We totally remodeled the bedroom and bathroom. replaced the plumbing system and removed the refrigerator, and the heating furnace.

We took it for some test runs before we went south for the winter,an overnight trip to the in-laws, a week-long trip around the panhandle of Nebraska and an overnight stay at a nearby lake.

Our trip to Arizona was supposed to be a stay for the winter, but it turned out only lasting a month as the weather turned unusually cold even down south. This when we discovered that we needed to put in a ventless blue flame heater. 🙂

So we returned to Nebraska with a better idea of what to do for our next RV adventure. We are planning to go south again but this time we are going to southeastern Oklahoma.

I will probably post some of my Facebook status of our Arizona RV adventure at a later date.

_______________________________________________________________________

One of the changes since then is we have a grandson now and want to spend lots of time with him.

He was born on my 48 th birthday, so I want to build a great bond with him before we head out on another extended journey in BoB.

We want and need to do more work on BoB’s coach

and of course you need moneys for that.

So on that front we have been staying close to home to save money.

We have been doing our garden, a few photos from last year’s.

and fishing to cut down on the grocery bill. Some of last year’s catches.

I have been crocheting trying to sell my items and some paperback books on Ebay.

David will be ramping up his urban gold mining this spring and  summer also.

The trip to Oklahoma is still on hold for now.

I Think It Is Full Now

 

I mentioned in a previous blog that we took a road trip to visit my father-in-law for his 89th birthday.

We were not driving BOB, he needs some maintainance done so he just drives to the ponds and back to the driveway.

We borrowed our son’s Ford Ranger for this trip.

I was crocheting on the blue hat with a floppy brim, when David says” OOPS!” I look up to see this.

The photo was actually taken on the way home.

I knew it was coming up this time so had time to get my ancient cell phone out to take a photo.

These guys were trying to salvage what they could.burst-grain-bin