Monday, August 31, 2009

Rubber Boots to the Rescue

Here are my rubber boots which were for my RV life, however to get out of today, I'm gonna have to wear them 'cause it's going to get very deep around here.  They are Rocket Dogs and Karen and I saw all kinds at a recruitment fair in University Of TN Martin.   Karen thought I needed a pair too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Retirement Eve

This is the evening of my retirement day. Believe it or not, I've been getting a little teary! Don't know where it is coming from because it's what I have worked and planned for for low these many years. It's all good.

I thought I would have so much time before I really hit the road but my 2 months are filling up quickly.

Theda, Cindy and I went boating yesterday on Ky Lake and the TN River. It was such a beautiful day. We decided that on Sept 19 we would pack a picnic lunch and head up river to Paris Landing State Park from Johnsonville State Historic Park and follow the route of the Navy during the Civil War. Should be pretty cool.

I'm about 27 days out from leaving on my cruise. I'm going to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ochos Rios Jamaica for 7 days. There are about 22 of us going so it should be a fun trip to get me started doing nothing. LOL

Gee I don't think I'm gonna miss working, in fact, good bye state government, it's been a good ride.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Julie and Julia

Cindy, Debbie and I went to dinner and a movie tonight. I had heard that Julie & Julia was a good movie and it was. Meryl Streep was an exceptional Julia Child. Is there anything that woman can't play? I highly recommend this movie. It's fun and light hearted and just a hoot. +++++

Julie is going to go through Julia's cookbook recipes and write a blog based on those recipes and do it in 365 days. It's a great process. And like this blog, Julie really doesn't know how many followers she has, like who reads it, and when she gets her first comment, it's so funny.

I often wonder who reads my blog. It's not rocket science stuff and probably only interesting to me and my close friends and family but that's okay. I want to be able to journal my life. I have fixed it so that you don't have to belong to google to post so, let me her how you like it or to just say hello or better yet, tell me some places I can't miss when I'm around your part of the country. That would be cool.

Riding in the Pace Car

Sunday evening clients of Chad Richards, Waddell & Reed,(my financial advisor) were invited to attend the Nashville Raceway at the fairgrounds in the party deck. Me and several friends of mine (all clients of Chad) went to enjoy the free hamburgers, hotdogs, beer and soft drinks and luscious fried chocolate pies. mmmmm good!

Chad came by and asked me if I wanted to ride in the Pace Car for one of the races. Sure I exclaimed!
So off I go with two other ladies. I saw the 2 door car and immediately call shotgun. I didn't want to be in the backseat. We were in there for the 30 lap race and we went out about four times because of accidents. We didn't go very fast until about the last 1/4 of the track and then the driver sped up very fast to get ahead of the pack then ducked down into pit road. Whew, what a ride on the last 1/4 of the track! Weeeeeeee!

Always a seat belt.
Kyle Bush (yuck) raced as did Bill Elliott's 13 year old son. Can you believe 13 years old racing. It was a 150 mile race and he did fairly well. There was also a 17 yo girl from FL racing. It was a good race.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Somewhere Update

This won't be a detailed update but did want to let you know that Somewhere is still in the shop. The brakes were covered by the recall but Workhorse took their ever lovin' time approving it. Also, several other jobs were covered by the extended warranty and that had to be approved. I got new tires. Carl Black Chevrolet was able to get the same tire about $200 cheaper than my bids at other places. So I now have new tires and they are on Somewhere. I'll really be able to hit the road when I get her out of the shop next Tuesday.

Not much else going on but I do have 6 work days remaining to work. I have 2 sick days to take so next week I have Dr/Dentist appointments to take care of.

I am having mixed feelings about retirement. It is scary especially knowing that I have worked since I was 14 years old w/the exception of the 3 years I was home with my son. I have so much planned that I'm thinking maybe I have too much "planned." That may sound crazy but I thought retirement was supposed to be laze fa ire, but then again, I feel good about what I'm going to do and where I'm going to be through next July. I'll put that in another post later in the year.

Okay, so I said I was scared, I'm also, happy, contented, pleased. I'm not looking back at all questioning my decision. I know it's right for me but what if the money runs out? What if Somewhere breaks down? What if I get ill? What if...What if...heck, I've asked all those questions before and have "planned" for possible answers/solutions. You know, I'm doing okay! I feel good about my decision and I'm gonna have fun!

Look out America, I'm on my way!! :) Well, almost.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sedona has been microchipped!

Thank goodness for the Nashville Human Shelter. They had a microchip clinic on Saturday so for $20 you could get your fur baby(ies) michrochipped. She was not a happy camper. Only because the last time I had her groomed at Pet Smart, they did something to her that makes her snap at people who come toward her as if they are going to take her from me. So they had to get a towel to cover her head. As the lady at the shelter said, "give me a towel, we have a biter!" Ugh, that didn't sound too good. She really isn't but it does take a while for her to warm up to strangers.

Anyway, she is now microchipped and ready to travel. I hope I never have to use the service but it's there if I need to. The company who monitors this service is the New One call does it.

I have also ordered a new collar that has her name and my cell number on it. My friend Margie has one for all her fur babies and I like them. I'll get neon pink and I'll show you when Sedona is able to model it.

BTW, microchipping is painless to the pet. I encourage this process as well as spay/neutering. Be smart pet owners.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lesson Learned

When you are parked on a slope and you are disconnecting your toad from your motorhome, make sure the car has been put in park.

Yep, yesterday when I was having my little brake condition with Somewhere, I had to disconnect my Grey Goose (HHR) from her. I had tried a few times and it was in a bind and it was hot and I was sweating, profusely I might add. So when I pulled the last bolt, yep, thar she went!!! Now I'm sure it was pure entertainment for the guys across the street at the body shop to watch the "mature" "plus size" woman running down the parking lot chasing a car and opening the door and hopping in to get it stopped before a very large tree stopped it.

OMG, that all I can say. Hope you can get a visual of that little lesson learned.



Answer: the coach shimmies, smell of rubber burning, brake peddle gets spongy and the ABS light blinks on/off.

Yep, take it from me that is exactly what happens and thank goodness for, Harpeth Towing and Carl Black Chevrolet. But most importantly I'm thankful I had a safe place to pull off at the bottom of a hill in Charlotte, TN. pulling a toad. WHEW!

This was the first opportunity I had to use Coach-net and they were so helpful, friendly and consoling that I just had to give 'em a plug here. Amy and Greg handled my/me complaint with professionalism and caring. I know that's what they are supposed to do but it sure worked for me 'cause let me tell you I was just a little bit stressed.

Then the young man, Sean, from Harpeth Towing was so nice to me. He said he could tell this was my baby and he would take real good care of her. Guess he thought it would make this old woman feel better and it did.

Carl Black left the gate open a couple of hours more than usual to be able to take Somewhere in and park her behind a gate with "puppies" running around. At least that is what Kemp, the service manager, said when I told him that MH contained my life. He assured me it was in good hands.

Here is the story:
I picked up Somewhere in Clarksville to take her to Montgomery Bell State Park for the weekend. My BFFs, Randy and Debbie, were going to stay there to just get away; Debbie to swim/RR and Randy to play golf.

I program Stella so that I could know how to go the back way at 44 miles instead of going around the world at 76 miles by coming back to Nashville. So off I go. No problems. Two lane roads (blue roads) but that is okay, gotta get used to the right? Anyway, a couple of times I pull off to let traffic go around me, see I was in no hurry and I think they were. Each time I would pull over, I'd get out and walk around Somewhere just to check make sure things are ok. No problems, get back in and off I go. The hills along this route are not big hills, at least not compared to Monteagle or Monterey MTN. The next to the last hill I go down Somewhere was not acting right, a woman knows these things, but it was short and I thought maybe I was just imagining. Nope, the last hill confirmed what I had suspected and now what was I going to do? I tried to gear down and I couldn't do that, a 4-way stop was coming up at the intersection and I was just praying I could stop, no one was there except my little mama angel on my shoulder. So yes, I did it! I admit it, I ran the stop sign and went right into the parking lot in front of The Pig Pit, yep, there I was in the middle of Charlotte, TN, do I know how to pick 'em, I was sure to have something to eat because it smelled so good. But about that later.

I got out and there was a horrible smell up front. I put the hood down (on a MH the hood goes down and not up) because I thought maybe it was the transmission since it wouldn't gear down. But that smell! Yuck! So I get back into the coach, start up the generator so get some air conditioning going, man it was hot.

I began calling Coach-net. Amy answers the phone and the first question she asks is "are you in a safe location?" I assured her I was and then we start talking. This was the first time I have used this service since I got Somewhere and it paid for itself this one time, if I never have to use them again. I also know what questions they will ask next time and will have those answers ready so I don't waste so much time, phone minutes, you know. LOL

Amy connected me to Greg who was the RV technician and he asked me questions, I had no clue, like "do you have an I beam?", "how far is it from middle of the front tire to the front of the coach?" I have no clue, should I go measure it? "yes" Anyway, Greg told me he would call a towing company for me and they would take Somewhere back to Nashville to Carl Black Chevrolet.

What? I've got a weekend planned, I don't have time for this. I sure didn't want to disappoint Debbie & Randy and I was looking forward to setting everything up and then kicking back for the evening meal Debbie had prepared, barbecue.

Amy called me back and said it would be 2.5 hours before the tow truck could get to me and I asked her what time the dealership closed, she would call me back. They would send different tow truck that would get to me in 1.5. After 1.5 I called Amy back, no tow truck, she called then called me back, 10 minutes.

While waiting I knew that I was not going to get that barbecue from Debbie that night but hey, Mr Pig Pit was right there in front of me. I had gone over when all this first happened to see if it was okay that I park in their lot. Wasn't their lot, it was the cities and they didn't care if I parked there. Okay, go get some lunch, barbecue sandwich. Yummy! I highly recommend their food. Nice clean place so if you are ever in the neighborhood at Charlotte TN you might want to try out the Pig Pit.

I asked Sean if I should follow. He told me I could but that I would probably want to go ahead of him. It might be tough to watch my "baby" being towed. He had made a few jokes earlier about this was his first time, he had only dropped a few on the interstate but then he got serious and I guess could tell this was really my first time having this done and he assured me she would be fine.

I, in the meantime, called Carl Black Chevrolet to let them know we would be delayed and he assured me they would have a gate open for when we got there. Sure enough at 7:45 we pulled into the dealership and that's where she is today.

Workhorse had a recall on the brakes saying something like this could happen so hopefully the costs will be covered by the recall. I asked them to go over her with a fine tooth comb as we were getting ready to hit the road next month. Oddly enough I had an appointment this coming Monday to do just that, have her checked out. There were a couple of more recalls that I was unsure that the previous owner had them taken care of and they were going to check those. They will check my transmission as I told him it wouldn't gear down for stopping. So I'm hoping everything else checks out okay.

Thank goodness it happened close to home, thank goodness my son answered his phone so he could hear me and give me assurance, thank goodness Debbie and Randy found reservations at Tims Ford State Park and their weekend wasn't a complete wipe out, thank goodness I had decided to leave Sedona at home, thank goodness no one or nothing was damaged, thank goodness Theda was available to hear me cry after it was over. Oh I could keep on going, but you get the drift. I'm thankful!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Maggie and Sedona

I am house/pet sitting for my friend, Sandra. Sandra will be Sedona sitting for me when I go on my cruise so this turned into a win-win for both of us.

Sandra lives in Bellvue which is on the opposite side of town from where I live and I am not at all familiar with the area. I did learn where the library was on the first night as I figured I needed to become familiar with Nevada Barr's novels. She is a good author and writes about murder mysteries in the National Parks. When you read her website and her sister's blog, she is just an amazing woman.

But I digress, Sandra's full bloodied Yorkie is Maggie. She is maybe a year old but I think maybe a few months less. Sedona will be three in September. Here they are together.
It was the best shot I could get of them together. Trust me when I say they are both only fur babies. Sedona is not used to sharing and Maggie just loves all the dogs around her and wants to give them kisses. Sedona said she was annoying.

Whew, I'm so happy that I "shaved" Sedona. I could not keep up with all the hair on a true Yorkie cut.
Maggie doesn't like to be brushed so I held her down a couple of times and said, "you my dear, are going to be brushed whether you like it or not." I was worn out when I got finished with that. LOL
After the first night of missing out on sleep, the girls settled down and now they are leaving each other alone. First night Sedona ran around the ottoman five or six times full speed ahead with Maggie hot on her hills. Sure wish I had my camera for that, it was funny. Afterwards they were both exhausted and laid down for a rest.

Both girls are used to sleeping in the bed with their mistress'. Now that get's a little complicated when they are both vieing for the same place. See with Duchess, she sleeps at the foot and Sedona sleeps at the top. Well, Maggie sleeps at the top too. Here in lies the problem. Finally after all the jockeying for position, last night was peaceful with one on one side and one on the other. Whatever, it worked!

Have you ever tried to walk two dogs on leash? OMG, they each try to go their separate ways or they cross over in front of each other to take lead and then there is a big mess with the leashes tangled up.

Good thing though, Sandra's complex has a swimming pool and not many people (none) go there and it's quite and peaceful. Should have played hookie this week from work but I have Saturday to play in the pool.

The neighborhood meets in the evening and Sandra has been used to taking treats out to the meeting place and all the neighborhood dogs are used to getting treats. I am continuing the tradition, Sedona has met some new friends. There are two little blind dogs who come to the treating. Good neighbors.

It's been fun and it will be good for both to have had time together before a whole week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Parksville Lake in Benton TN-Southeast TN

Another year has gone by and we had another terrific family reunion at the lake. The cabin is rustic, no air conditioning but holds a lot of fond memories for those of us who go down there yearly. We have already made plans for next July as my schedule is so booked already. As I am driving up from FL to head to the Rally in Louisville, KY, we set the date where I can stop and see family mid year. Thought it was a pretty good idea.

Sis Shirley brought decorations for the downstairs for all the birthdays which occur in 2009. That way everyone gets to celebrate and no one gets left out. So Happy Birthday, Moore Family.

My nephew, Jimmy, told us all a story about our great-great-great grandmother walking out of the mountains from NC (Cherokee)and how she met her husband and other geneology information for the family. He also sang a song that some of the relatives remember her singing which was a Native American song. Also, if anyone is reading this and recognizes any names and wants to contact me, post a comment and I'll be in touch with you.

I'm hoping in my travels I'll be able to stop and do some research in OK and ID to see if I can find more information. Jimmy is getting me some questions together that I will want to answer.

We had great weather and such fun at the lake. It seems we grow every year. We had two new additions this year. One was called the Gladiator, the other the Banana Split, no, they aren't family members they are pull behind the boat blow-ups. Can't really call them an inner tube but it is the same principle. My sis, Wanda, was brave enough to ride the banana split with her grandson, Heath. She is one brave 65 year old sister. Love her for her spunk! She survived! LOL

On Friday, 17 of the family went rafting down the Ocoee River. Then we went to the Ghondlier to eat and it was so good. This was the first time my gd, Taylor got to go white water rafting and she loved it. I don't think it will be her last time.

Nephew, Jerry got me a neon light of a parrot holding a margarita glass (well, it's actually a martini glass but I'll call it what I want! Ha Actually it was a replacement for one he broke of a dolphin. I think I came out better, this suits Somewhere much better than a dolphin, don't you think? It adds the ambiance I need to living.

Guess I would be remiss if I didn't mention the ping pong we play and how I had to relinquish my championship to son, Jonathan. That' all the space I'll allocate to that!

Most of the other pictures are of all of us gathered having fun, feeding our face and feeling good about life.

One things is for sure Mamma & Daddy made sure we knew how to have fun and how to love family. We learned very well from them. Those who enter our family learn quickly or they don't get to come back. LOL Actually it's not hard to learn, it's all about Live, Laugh, Love.