Wednesday, February 18, 2015

15 February, 2014 Kayaking, outdoor cooking and more...

After looking at this segment of my blog I got to thinking that we should spend a little more time doing something productive so my wife and I spent about two hours soaking up the sun in our lawn chairs this morning and discussed the issue and came to the conclusion that ... we'd be working our tails off soon enough this spring, summer and fall.  For now we're going to spend time having fun and just enjoying life.  Of course we enjoy our life anyway and feel particularly fortunate that we can live our lives just the way we want and be thankful that even our "work" is something we enjoy doing.  We also spend time writing while we are snowbirding so even though you can't really tell it by our blog, we are still at work!  (We just don't want to let on about it!)

Scott's boots and helmet showed up for his space suit.  He loves it and insists that he's going to the moon someday.  In a sad commentary on our times the suit has a warning that it is not a real space suit! Duh!

Susan keeping up on her journal.

One of Scott's favorite activities ... wagon rides!

Odie got to try out her new life jacket.  We plan on taking her across the lake on the kayak and wanted something to keep her afloat if she fell or jumped out.  It also has a handle on top to make it easier to retrieve her from the water.  She isn't quite sure what to think about it and seemed to think it was some kind of punishment being inflicted upon her.  She got used to it though.

Scott in one of his favorite pastimes ... playing in the water!

Dinner cooked over an open fire.  In this case it's pork roast and potatoes and carrots in the pot and fried biscuits in the skillet.

Add some fresh iced tea and yes, it is as good as it looks!

One of our bicycle trips into Overton.  Depending upon where we go in town these are from 36 to 42 miles round trip.  At our leisurely pace it takes us about 4 1/2 to 5 hours of riding round trip.

In case you're wondering if this is comfortable for Scott I brought in a close-up of the top of the trailer.  He has his foot sticking out on the left and his hand on the right.  He tends to make himself at home!

When we got into Overton and opened up the canopy this is what his "office" is like.  Three empty boxes of chocolate milk and his blanket.  Under the blanket is a pillow and his DVD player (so he can watch movies while riding).

Our first stop (per Scott's request) was the ice cream shop.  They also serve food.  We had lunch while Scott chose an ice cream cone (and helped himself to our lunch).

I had Susan's bike tied up so I could crank the pedals and adjust the cables to the brakes and shifters.  Scott was delighted to turn the peddles for me.

Scott wanted some train pancakes so Susan ordered some train cookie cutters and used them for a form to make the pancakes.

They came out pretty good too!

The solar cooker making our dinner.  On a clear day the sun is intense and perfect for solar cooking.

We ordered a single wheel trailer for my bicycle.  Scott wanted a quick ride in it when I got it together.

Here it is with the bag on our way to Overton for the day.  We have one large hill to climb and the road faces straight west.  We need to leave early enough that the sun is still high because if it's near the horizon drivers cannot see on certain parts of the road.  We have no desire to become a hood ornament because some idiot didn't see us because he was blinded by the sun.  We normally head home about 2:00 pm.

We got to the post office and found out that the package we were picking up is slightly oversized for the bike trailer.  We took it to out storage unit and will take it back to the camper when we have the car next time.

Our next stop is the bike shop.  We had them order parts for Susan's bicycle.  It needs a new rear gear set and chain and I'm having them replace all the cables while they have it.  The parts should arrive in a week or so.

We often use the internet at McDonalds when we are uploading photos or doing things that take a lot of data.  It saves us money since we have to buy data cards for our Straight Talk Box.

We had a hard time getting out because Scott didn't want to leave his "girls."  He is a chick magnet and knows it. They were spoiling him rotten.  I hope he gets a little more shy when he hits the teen years.

Another meal at the outdoor serving center (fire pit).

We ordered a sand/water wheel for Scott.  He liked it and would have played with it more except the next item came in the same day.


His "space shuttle" just kind of stole the show and the sand toy was nearly ignored.

Oops ... time for repairs already?  No, just curious!

The water is about like a cool bath and feels good on a bright sunny day and not too bad even when it's kind of cloudy and overcast.

More kayaking with friends.

Scott brought along his "Cars" umbrella this time.  He also brought his DVD player and is watching it in the bottom of the kayak.  The wind began to pick up and we headed for shore right after this photo was taken.  We had some choppy water to negotiate while the wind did a complete 180.  When we got back to the vehicles the waves were going the exact opposite direction from when we launched earlier.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

January 31, 2015 Playgrounds, Leaking windows, and Camp Fires

My computer put my photos in the wrong order and wanted to argue when I tried to set it straight.  I fought it to a draw and got those that go together, together, but the rest? ... Well, they're in there too.

When we go to Overton Scott likes to spend some time playing at the playground.  Whenever possible he cons grandma or grandpa into playing too.  Here it's grandma's turn!

Grandpa catching up on his business journal and mileage log.  Scott has his own project going beside grandpa.

I bought a new ladder for some work on the motor home.  It also makes a great child's toy for Scott.

We often have a campfire on the nights the wind isn't howling.  Tonight the menu includes hot dogs and potatoes (in the foil packets).

Yep, that's what it is!

And it meets Scott's approval.

Now add some more wood to the fire.

Don't you just love it when things break when you need them most!  We'd had a couple of days of cloudy weather with no wind so our batteries were getting low.  It was also warm so the fridge was working a little harder.  We got back from town late to hear the inverter squealing that the batteries were low.  It was dark but the wind was supposed to pick up about four hours later.   We didn't want the refrigerator to get too warm so we decided to run the generator a couple of hours to give the batteries a bit of a boost in case the wind didn't blow on time or hard enough.  I gave a good pull on the starter rope and it broke.  I said some things I hope Scott doesn't repeat.  We are not impressed with this generator.  It doesn't have 25 hours on it yet and the starter rope broke?  It also has some other issues I don't care for.  But reminiscing won't get it started so I went to work.

This is the short end.  Fortunately there's enough left that I can just put the handle on the long end and still get it to work well enough to start the generator.

There's a metal piece in the handle that the cord is tied to.  I popped it out.

I removed the starter cover from the generator.  The frayed end of the rope is sticking up around the edge of the reel.


The reels have notches cut in them for pulling the rope through so you can wind some spring tension back on the reel.  I gave it a few turns so that it would pull the rope back in after I pulled it out to start the motor.  I then put the end of the rope through the hole in the case then through the pull handle and metal bracket.  I tied it off  with the frayed part sticking beyond the bracket.

I cut the end off above the knot and melted it with a lighter to keep it from fraying and to make the knot more secure.  I put the cover back on the motor and fired up the generator.  We had electricity again.  I kept the short end to take to the hardware store to get a new rope the same size.  You can buy rope kits but they cost about five times as much as just buying the rope and doing it yourself.


Laundry day.  We liked the laundry we used to use but it was about an extra 25 miles of driving.  We found this one in Henderson and began using it.  It is clean and the machines all work so it's our new stop when the clothes pile up more than we want to deal with for hand washing.

Scott was taking pictures and shot this one of Odie.  I swear that dog has the longest tongue of any dog I've ever seen.

This is Scott's eye as he looks through a ...

... paper towel tube.  He wanted grandma to take this photo so he could see what his eye looked like.

Scott dumped the pop the kids left after their visit and used the boxes as "guns and rocket launchers" on his arms like the Transformers have.

give a four-year-old a choice on what's for dinner and he'll request a ketchup sandwich.


Grandpa's turn to wash the dishes.



Scott riding around the campfire on his off-road machine.

Hmmm ... What happened to the tire chains I had on earlier!



Window sealing.  This round sealed up all the leaks except one.  We'll get it next!

Scott checking his "uniform" out in the mirror.

And now he's watching a cartoon from his crate.  He'd pop up every couple of minutes to take a bite out of his grilled cheese sandwich on the couch then snuggle back under his blankets.

The sunsets and sunrises are usually very colorful.



Late arrival here.  Scott has been anxiously awaiting his space suit and it finally arrived.  He insists that he's going to the moon someday.