Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"Lions and Tigers and..." a baby chick?

We were visited by a friendly lion and a cute baby chick on Wednesday evening...
The lion discovered the railing on the ramp could be climbed upon...

Or sat upon...

What a cute baby chick - one year old today!

Sweet brothers...

"Where is Joseph?!?!?!?"


Kendra told us that Joseph picked out his brother's baby chick costume!

There's the lion with Uncle Dwayne!

There's the face of the cute chickey - Christopher!
We got to see them pre-sugar high! They were pretty excited anyway!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Feeding the "teenagers"

Dwayne likes to help out where he can when he is at the farm (I do too), and one of the tasks that he does pretty consistently is feeding the calves across the road. They generally get fed grain morning and evening, and they know that when the pickup is coming, that something good is on the way!
Buckets of grain mixture ready to put in the troughs, and anticipating bovines just behind Dwayne!

Ah! Food in the troughs! Munch, Munch, Munch, Munch!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy 1st!!!

Christopher was born last year on Halloween, but since there are some *other* plans for that evening, we were able to join with the family celebration of his birthday on Monday evening! Since I have not been a very good great aunt in getting pictures of this sweetie, I'll make up for it in this post!
When we got here about 3 weeks ago, he was pulling up and standing, but not walking, but... that has changed now! Especially if he is carrying something, he is truly a toddler now! He has a large stuffed cow in his arms at this point...

... if you're carrying something soft and squishy, then when you crash, it is like having your own personal air bag system!

It is also a special treat to sit in Granddaddy's lap!

Let's just say that a "costume change" was necessitated, and mom Kendra was clever in not putting him into a shirt and pants again -- her cleverness will be demonstrated later! He started by opening presents...

Ripping paper is his joy! "What, you mean the ripped paper isn't the present?!?!?"

He'll get the concept of opening presents by next year, I bet!

His  cute "Happy 1st Birthday" cake...

"That looks good, Mommy, Lemme at it!!!"

"What fun! I get my own piece of cake!"

"I can take care of this!"

Joseph was ready to go with his piece of cake too!

Christopher was going to town! 

Kendra's wisdom in not putting a clean shirt on!

Older brother is enjoying his cake too!

All cleaned up after enjoying his cake, and now enjoying being on Granddaddy's lap!
So glad we were here to celebrate with family!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A picture's worth a thousand words

Do you take pictures of things to help you remember and/or to explain to someone else what you are looking for? I was looking at the pictures on my phone for the last couple of days, and that is what I have taken pictures of!

We need connecting pipes between these valves...

We need a new storage box to replace this one....

Or one like this (same box, different year) would also work - there are two spaces in the under-bus storage that need precisely these measurements!

This gas strut needs to be replaced - it has a code on it... should be able to find it!

But... if we can't find that one, we replaced the ones on the compartment on the other side in the recent past, and this is the code on those struts that we used for replacements. Maybe it would be easier to find?
Taking the pictures means that (1) I don't have to write down as much information and (2) I know where the information can be found... when I write on a piece of paper, sometimes the paper doesn't go with me where I need it, or I write many other things on the same piece of paper and have problems distinguishing the information that I need!

Do you have ways of remembering/communicating information that work for you?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Words of Wisdom

A fellow member of the Facebook group "50 and Over RV'ers" shared these thoughts:
WHAT LIFE ON THE ROAD FOR A YEAR HAS TAUGHT ME. My best friend since I was a kid, a guy I worked with in a sandwich shop in Irving, Texas, in 1977, and who was much more intelligent than I (back then), asked me the other day what living on the road had taught me.
"So, what have you learned about yourself?" asked Bill, who is to be commended for putting up with me even longer than my wife. It was a question he posed shortly before we stopped in Colorado, one of our final stops before we return to Texas.
What have I learned?
OK …well, first …
'Automatic slideout' does not always mean 'automatic' slideout.
Don't forget the wrench.
Listen to your wife.
Be patient with your wife (especially after asking her to move from a five-bedroom house to a 400-square foot travel trailer).
PBD (Pray before Driving)
The novel will not write itself.
If an RV park web site posts multiple pictures of its billiard and laundry facilities, it may not be the most memorable place to stay for the night.
When the sink gurgles, open the gray tanks.
And this: You can't go anywhere in this country without the complexities and difficulties of life riding shotgun. Like Texas flies and Georgia gnats and Minnesota mosquitoes, huge challenges and annoying little problems never fail to saddle up for the ride as if they've actually been invited.
Life's problems, while likely never receiving an engraved invitation, should at least be anticipated, trip or no trip. The not-all-bad part, though, is that the crazy ins and outs and ups and downs of life can have their positives: Like helping us enjoy the good times all the more, deepening our joy, and keeping us from getting too cocky about our station in life.
And they keep us grounded. For every success and all our up moments, life is always right there, ready to stick a big green piece of lettuce between our two front teeth without even telling us about it (Funny, God! Haha).
I walked into a meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado this week. When I did, I realized I was, at that moment, joyful. At least part of the reason I felt that way was because of other people. I had received a positive email, a welcome phone call, and a couple of pleasant exchanges with people I did not know. Their attitudes and actions fed into me — all in a positive way. Still I wondered, what if all of that had been turned around: what if I had received a terse, smelly email with bad news, and a phone call from a telemarketer, and what if, on my way to the gathering, I had been cut off in traffic and found myself on the blunt end of a honk and a middle finger. I could have just as easily walked into the same gathering with hunched shoulders and a scowl. Crappy Jimmy instead of Happy Jimmy. Despite the actions of others, good or bad, it was really all up to me.
Yet whether we like it or not, or think we can control them or not, other people affect the course of our day. Our week. Our year. We think we have mastery over how we feel about these people and their impact on us, but too often we don't. Can't. Won't.
And so what I have relearned this past year is this: Life will always be a mixture of angels on the shoulder and devilish thorns in the backside. Knowing how to entertain the angels for longer stretches and how to minimize the damage from the thorns is the key. Because there's no way the thorns ain't comin' along shotgun. Aggravating as they are, they enjoy the view of the Tetons in the morning sun just as much as you do.
When we left Texas earlier this year we were certain all our days would be filled with choirs of angels (or at least Broadway chorus lines) providing the soundtrack for our trip. But the reality has been we've had more than our share of days that have sounded more like Yoko Ono singing every part of the 'Hamilton' soundtrack.
Not to argue with a beloved American cultural icon, but life really isn't like a box of chocolates. While it's true we don't know what we're going to get, it was still all chocolate for Forrest. For the rest of us, life is more like Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans in the Harry Potter books: one day you get the red velvet cake and the next you reach in and pull out the vomit bean.
But then comes tomorrow … and you reach back in the jar - and, voila! - you pull out the caramel-corn bean. Or maybe the Peanut M&M Bean. Putting your hand back in the jar the day after you draw the vomit bean — being willing to take whatever you grab even though today sucked really bad — is what makes the journey worth taking, whether it's a trip around the country or eighty-five trips around the sun.
In her new book, "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope," Anne Lamott writes that "Grace meets us exactly where we are, at our most pathetic and hopeless, and it loads you into its wheelbarrow and then it tips you out somewhere else in ever so slightly better shape."
Our lives are filled with uncertainties and challenges every day, no matter where we are, who we are or what we are doing in life. First there's good, then there's bad. Then comes good again. And even when life is bad it's good, that's what the preachers and other experts tell us (and rightly so). Sometimes, the two will bestow themselves upon us in abundance and sometimes on the same day or even the same hour or moment.
One day this week, as Karen and I gazed out on the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, we learned that a family member had tested positive for cancer. But the good news was this: He will be cancer free and he will be fine. We learned both almost at the same instant, while standing in front of one of God's greatest spectacles. Grace overload? Misfortune overload? Both? Probably.
It is grace that gets us through the days filled with vomit beans. And faith that gets us to tomorrow.
So, that's what I have learned this year.
Jimmy and Karen Patterson left Midland, Texas in December 2017 in pursuit of the All-American RV Dream. They have found it and are ready to go home to Texas. Karen is a photographer and Jimmy writes. They are working on a book of their travels together.
As I read this, particularly the part about him walking into the meeting in Fort Collins, CO, and feeling joyful because of others speaking positively into his life... I was thinking about how blessed I am to have a sweet husband who blesses me with positive words each morning to start my day off in a joyful way!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Red in the morning....

Based on the sunrise...
"Red sky at morning...

...sailors take warning."
I think the weatherman might have it right!

Note: not some percent chance of rain for today, just "Rain"!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Is that edible?

When I'm in the pasture area right outside the dairy lot giving the calf his bottles, I frequently get individuals interested in discovering what I am doing and whether I might be useful to their needs...
"Is that boot edible?"

"It doesn't taste all that good..."
Note: I have huge over shoes that I put on over my shoes so I don't have to be careful where I walk... they are really big (my feet are not *that* big) but I like them because it is really easy to get them on and off! Jimmy gave them to me on our last visit... I think they didn't fit him (too small) so I was blessed with the castoffs!
"How about that thing in your hands, is it edible?"

"You are pretty worthless in providing edible stuff, you know? I'm kinda disappointed with you!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Thoughts please...

One of my friends posted this...

I experienced the WORST customer service today at a store in town. I don't want to mention the name of the store because I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed. Yesterday morning I bought something from this store. I paid cash! I took it home and checked it this morning and found it didn't work. I took it back to the store first thing this morning and asked if I could get a refund. The girl at the counter told me “NO” even though I still had the receipt. I asked if I could get a replacement. Again the girl told me "NO." I asked to talk to a manager because I was really not happy and I explained that I had just bought the item expecting it to work, but it didn't. The manager just smiled and told me to my face that I was "OUT OF LUCK!" No refund! No FREE replacement. Grrrrrrrrr. 🤬🤬. I'll tell you what...I am NEVER buying another Lottery Ticket from them again!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thank you for your prayers!

I am now up and running on the "new" laptop - it is again a ThinkPad, I am addicted to the trackpoint (the little red dot thingy in the middle of the keyboard). I used LapLink PCmover to move my files and applications. I haven't tried everything yet, but so far, things are working. I was a little concerned because when it had about an hour to go, it suddenly stopped on the "new" computer, and I couldn't get it to restart. But they have support via web chat and a couple of folks from LapLink guided me through what I needed to do, and the program seemed to have left a log for itself so it knew where it needed to restart.

My brother has been doing a TON of things on the bus - it has been in the shop for many days now - I need to get a list from him of ALL of the things that have gotten accomplished. SUCH a blessing to have such a smart brother who is willing to share his smarts with us!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Pray for me...

I was going to title this "Wish me luck", but I don't really believe in luck... and I need blessing... I'm going to be working on transferring from my old laptop to a new laptop today... and I need heavenly guidance! Lord willing, I hope to have my new laptop fully functional SOON!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sometimes, bus work takes the whole family!

Miss Doozie has been in the shop at the farm for almost a week... lots of things getting done... but, on Saturday afternoon, we had some very SPECIAL assistance!
Master Joseph posing with the tires

Granddad's helper!

Jimmy was putting the duals on, and to put the inner wheel on required one set of lug nuts - the inner and outer lug nuts were mixed in a pile on the floor, but Master Joseph carefully provided just the ones that Granddad needed for the inner dual wheel!

Sometimes it is hard to get a picture that is in focus when a little boy is so active!

Granddad started the impact wrench to tighten the lug nuts. Joseph's eyes immediately went wide and his mouth opened in a big "O" - he ran around the corner of the bus to see what was making that wonderful noise, and then was expressing his awe in this shot!

We had a couple of mats on the floor connected together. I got another one out and he proudly carried it to its mates and was immediately figuring out how they went together...

It only took a couple of minutes for him to get it figured out!

Granddad started making that WONDERFUL noise again!

Then he had to try on Granddad's ear protectors.

Chipmunk cheeks with the ear protectors. He has his own set of ear protectors (but they were at his house), so he obediently put his little fingers in his ears when he was closely watching the process.

It took all three generations to torque the lug nuts...

"I'm pulling down hard, Granddad!"

This is so precious to see the three generations working together - with young Joseph being encouraged to help out where he can!

Then he came inside Miss Doozie. Tabitha unwisely took off for the kitty privy... I guess the positive was that she was out of his reach, but her dash brought her to Joseph's attention, and he was searching her out with the flashlight that Dwayne provided him!

Preparing to drive Miss Doozie! (Using the flash light as an alternative to headlights, I think!)

All three generations checking out underneath the bus (carefully supported on heavy duty jack stands).
Joseph LOVES all things in the shop. I'm sure his mom was not pleased with how dirty her son had gotten, but... I think she is probably resigned to it!