Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update on my LEAK.

WELCOME to Ms. Fiddlesticks! (Love that name!)  Another "over 50 mom and Grammy" solo woman planning to RV full-time in the future. Like me and Katie.  Ms. Fiddlesticks, I enjoyed reading your blogs and will continue to follow along with your adventures.  I've always said, "If you want it bad enough, you'll do it!"  And we will.  Hope to meet you on the road someday. : )

Update on the LEAK - not good news.

My Homeowners Association has hired a contractor, Art, to act as project manager, and per his request, he is hiring third party companies to do the repairs and testing.  He really seems to know what he's doing.

Last weekend there were two roofers fixing leaks in my and my neighbor's roof (adjoining).  He said there were three areas that needed to be fixed.  The way my neighbor's roof was configured, any rain runoff in one area was going directly into our common wall, and probably has been for years and years.  Finally it came through the wallboard and I saw the water stain.

After a week of beautiful weather, it just started raining, and I'm sure glad the roof is okay now.

I came home from work on Wednesday, and Art had opened up a square in the wall of my bedroom.  He said they pulled it back, and it tilted back the baseboard.  He saw black and green mold on the inside of the baseboard, and the inner wall area was infested with ants, spiders and termites.  He said he put his screwdriver into the supporting beam, and it went right in. So they put the cutout back and sealed it off.  They sealed off a portion of the room from the end of my bed to the wall, put in zippers so they can move from the outer plastic wall, inside and through the next one to the wall.  There was a large hepa filter fan running.

 The dark blue strip is the zipper and the behind the sheet on the left with the red tape is the cut out area. They did take out the piece of wall Friday and sealed it with plastic.

When I mentioned I was having a tight chest for the last year and my doctor has me on an inhaler twice a day, Art said to make an appointment right away to get a chest x-ray and be tested for mold. He immediately had the worker seal my entire bedroom off from the rest of the house.  They removed all my bedding and took it to my laundry room, then took the mattress into my office/craft room, where Katie and I are now sleeping on the floor.  They covered the rest of my bedroom furniture with plastic. 
 
 Furniture covered with plastic sheeting

This thick plastic sheet covers another sheet 
that blocks off the entrance to the room 

I was able to see a doctor Thursday afternoon, they took a chest x-ray (which was the same as last year's so that was a relief), and I went down the hall for a blood test to check for mold, the results will be available Tuesday or Wednesday. While I was there I also had my flu shot, so I felt like I accomplished a lot in that one visit.  I have Kaiser, and I've always been happy with them.  I'm feeling hopeful that the mold was contained inside the wall and won't cause me any problems.

When I got home from my doctor's appt on Thursday, Art came by and said the company that is going to do the repairs inspected the area that day, and probably Monday another company is coming to test the air quality.  Once all the construction/repairs are done, the testing company will come back to make sure my condo is completely safe.

What a deal.  Hopefully in two or three weeks all the work will be done and things will be back to normal.  I've been taking Katie to work with me, and she loves it.  The first day I kept her in her little carrying crate until the weather outside warmed up, then I put her in the car which I park right in front of our office.  She can see me through the window and I can see her.  She kept barking, so I finally brought her back in.  She just curls into a tiny ball and sleeps in the crate.  I take her out for a few walks during the day.  I'm surprised she is so content in that little crate all day, but that seems to be her preference.

 Katie in her crate at work

 Sound asleep

It's been a quiet weekend for me and Katie - just staying in and taking it easy.  I'm actually looking forward to work next week, especially since I am taking Katie with me.

From Me and My Dog, have a nice Sunday evening, everyone!  : )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Birthday cake and cheer competition

This goes under the "better late than never" tab:

Sunday, January 16, was my eldest grand daughter, Kennedy's, 8th birthday.  She also had a Cheer Competition on Sunday, the only one in the San Diego area, and I had planned to attend.  It was in the arena at San Diego State University.  My kids were out of town, so I met up with Kennedy and her teammates at the arena that morning.  Kennedy had a sleepover with a teammate, and the friend's mom did Kennedy's make-up and hair and got her into her uniform and drove them down earlier that morning.  (It's quite a process!)

It was a great performance - everyone on Kennedy's team did a great job, no falls or flubs. 

Kennedy is the little cutie with the blond pony tail, back left.

 Kennedy on the left.  She smiled throughout the entire routine.  So cute. 
The poor girl being raised up is really getting manhandled, but they did it!

 The Finale!  Cheers and Applause!

Aren't they just the cutest little things?  Kennedy turned 8 on this day, and I'd guess the rest of the girls are around the same age.

And here she is - their second First Place Trophy. This is the trophy that will be in the display case where they have their cheer/gymnastic classes.  All the participants got a white participant ribbon, and the winners got a pin.

All the participants also got a "goodie bag," similar to what they give you at 5Ks, etc.  It was funny when these younger girls were opening theirs:  I think they got a headband, probably some foodie type things, then one by one they pulled out a "woman's" deodorant.  They were all saying, What's this?, turning it over, then reading it.  Kind of embarrassing for some of them.  I thought it was kind of funny. One of "those" moments. There were lots of older teams, too, and I'm sure they were the teams being targeted by the manufacturer.

There was also a team of handicapped kids - they were in wheelchairs, on crutches, in walkers, blind, deaf, mentally challenged, etc.  Each team member had a spotter helping them depending on their needs.  It was the coolest thing to see, they did a fantastic job, and you can imagine the applause when they finished.  Still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.  They also won a First Place Trophy, and it was definitely earned.

After the awards ceremony, we drove back to my house to bake Kennedy's birthday cake.  For the first time she made the entire cake - read the directions, helped me fill the measuring cup with the water and oil, cracked the eggs, etc. 

 Pouring in the eggs.

Kennedy even handled the mixer for the first time, but I helped her keep it steady.


 Pouring cake batter into the baking pan.

I have a new frying pan that can be put in the oven, and we decided to try it out with our cake, so we made a large one-layer cake, an upside-down-cake, but with chocolate batter.
 
I had some white frosting, so we divided it into three and made pink, purple and blue frosting with food coloring drops.  Believe me, this cake was a creation entirely out of an 8-year-old's creative brain!  She made three circles, one of each color, outside, middle and inside.
 

Then Kennedy used the "writing" frosting tubes I keep in the cupboard for these events.  First circles outlining the inside two colors, then four purple dots on the pink, and finally her initials in the center:


OMG!  What a beautiful cake!

All kinds of sprinkles later, with "princess" sugar decorations and candles, and we're done.    We put it in the back of the car to take home with her, and headed out to Hometown Buffet, Kennedy's choice for our Birthday Dinner Out.

 Birthday Girl with her Dinner

Poor Kennedy, her parents were out of town all weekend, and she had a sleepover for two nights, Friday and Saturday, then the Cheer Competition and coming to my house for our birthday celebration together.  She was so tired at dinner, I'm surprised she stayed awake, but she was asleep in the car on the way to her house.   A really fun day from beginning to end.

Have a great Thursday evening from Me and My Dog, Katie! :)


Friday, January 21, 2011

Virus is gone, this and that

WELCOME to our new followers, Keven and Ruth (and Whiskey) who are full-timers, and are in Mexico. They've been blogging since 2008. Thank you both for signing on to follow me and my dog, Katie as we make our preparations to full-time in our yet-to-be purchased Class C RV.

WELCOME also to Aracelis - it doesn't look like you have a blog, so I can't show it here. But I appreciate you coming on board to follow us on our future RVing adventures. Hopefully it won't be long before we're on the road.

I have my laptop back and everything is working fine. Thank goodness! Thank you for your comments, too. They were helpful. I DID change my AOL e-mail password, which was suggested by Susan and also by Tim, our IT man at work. He said to do it immediately, so I changed it before he took my laptop with him to his shop.

I had to laugh, I had a comment from The Midlife Cruizer that looked weird - she explained in her message that two keys on her keyboard weren't working. Can you imagine typing without a T or a Y? I could easily read it, though, and it made me laugh. Check out her blog and you'll see. : )

Rick, it WAS a Trojan - I thought that was a virus, but maybe it's something different?

A couple of people commented about Norton Anti-Virus. I do have a current copy installed, which may have made this episode easier. They are not 100%, new viruses are always floating around trying to get in, but having a good anti-virus is a big help if one DOES get in.

Okay, enough about that subject! 

One thing that was nice about being computerless was that I had an entire evening with no blog reading or writing, no web browsing, computer games, or e-mail.  I spent the evening reading my Kindle, then went to bed, fluffed up a bunch of pillows, got comfortable and continued to read.  I haven't done that in a long time, and it was a nice change.

Thursday I woke up with a bad headache - I don't get many headaches - but I went to work anyway thinking it'd go away.  It did, a little, but then I just didn't feel well.  I think I had the flu, so I packed up and went home.  By late afternoon I was feeling better, thank goodness.

This morning I had the oil changed in my car, filled up the gas tank, and went grocery shopping.  A handyman came over late morning to do some work around the house for two hours, and I got lots of little things fixed that were bugging me and that needed to be done before I lease the condo.

Then the appraiser from my condo insurance policy came by to look at the rain damage to my wall and carpet, took some photos and was on his way.  My HOA is starting work on the damage, the contractor and one of his workers was here yesterday and today checking things out in my bedroom, on the roof, and the outside walls.  They will start the work, I think, on Tuesday.  They are going to put up two plastic barriers from wall to wall with a "zip" (?) passage between the two just in case there is something toxic when they open up the wall.  There was a mold issue with another unit, so they are being very careful. The contractor seems to know what he is doing.

I put together a fabulous fruit salad for my lunch, along with a grilled cheese sandwich.   It had fresh Costco pineapple, super SWEET, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.  They were all really sweet, and I have half left over for tomorrow.  Great salad - it felt like a summer day, the sun was shining and I was eating a fresh fruit salad!

I cleaned out my stuck/clogged shredder, organized some files, did a little cooking, vacuumed, balanced my checkbook, ate my dinner and now I'm done.  It was a busy day, but now my weekend is clear.  I got so much done today, I think being home from work yesterday and doing nothing gave me extra energy today.

Nothing photo worthy to post for the day.  Sunday was my grand daughter's birthday and I attended her cheer competition at San Diego State University.  I'll report on that and have some photos next time.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Friday evening, everyone! : )

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Virus - part 2

Afternoon:

Our IT guy, Tim, took my laptop to his shop and will work on it for me.  He said I do have a virus, but since I have Norton it may not have "imbedded."  We'll see. 

An e-mail went to one of the woman at work and she clicked on the link in the virus e-mail.  Tim checked her computer and it was okay, so I'm hoping if anyone else did that they will be okay, too.  He checked my work computer also and it was fine. 

We're pretty careful at work about the websites we visit, and I asked Tim if it was okay for me to read blogs on the company computer.  He said they are text documents and are no problem.  If they have a link, though, be careful unless you know where the link goes.

I've tried to contact everyone I knew was sent the phony e-mails, and heard a lot of stories about recent virus attacks, so I guess something is going around that is particularly bad.  Face book goes into your e-mail accounts, too, to reach the e-mails of people you might want to friend.  So that's concerning me now, too.

I was SOOO glad blogs are not a problem and that I won't have to worry about following all of you on your adventures.  Whew!

I think we can assume Tim will kill that virus and everything will be okay.  If there is anything to report I'll let you know. In the meantime, delete any e-mails you get from me in the next couple of days. 

From me and Katie, who has no clue what a computer virus is, have a great Tuesday afternoon! : )

VIRUS?

I received two e-mails at work from my home e-mail account this morning that I DID NOT SEND, and the e-mail had copies to various e-mail addresses from my computer, a couple of them were bloggers who had sent me e-mails.

I also have an e-mail from rveducation101 . com requiring confirmation of my subscription, and also has an opt-out link.  Also one from meetup.com and craigslist.  Something is going on, but I don't know what.  I NEVER click on links from e-mails, but go directly to the website myself by entering their website address.

I am assuming I have a virus that tried to attack my laptop at home.  I don't know where it came from - possibly a computer of a friend or blogger that is infected with a virus.  I have NORTON running on my laptop and I've just run a scan, and it shows that my laptop has no viruses.  It is active and functional and set to scan on a regular basis. 

If you get an e-mail from me:

Barbara De****   sm9****@aol.com

please do not open it or click on the link. Or anyone else.  If you get an e-mail with a link, key in their website address yourself to get to their site - do not follow their link.

I know this has happened before to others who have blogs, I've seen the postings back and forth, but have not been involved before. 

I'm not sure what to do at this point, except to warn you all.  I have e-mailed our IT person here at work to see if he has any ideas, and he e-mailed back that he will check my laptop.  Luckily I brought it to work today, so maybe he will able to check it today.

If I have any information wrong, or if  you have any suggestions, please comment - I'll add your comment to this post. 

I'm sorry if this affects you in any way.  Please be careful, I'll let you know what happens and what I can find out.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Comment moderation, word verification, and blog post labels

WELCOME to Mary Ann and William of  IN THE WIND Adventures of...  Mary Ann and William!  Thank you for following Me and My Dog.  We are hoping to "hit the road" in a year, but that time frame might be changing to a date sooner.  Meanwhile, I am plugging along, taking the steps I need to take to lease my condo, sell my stuff, buy the RV and get started on our Adventures!

Jeana at Four Windows with a view asked about the purpose of moderating comments.  The discussion in her comment section went into word verification use as well.  I don't use them, but after reading Jeana's comment section, I feel newly enlightened.  It seems bloggers use either or both for different reasons that all make sense, and that was interesting.

I don't use my cell phone for comments, I'd rather check Blogger, and I haven't, until lately, had any problems with spam.  The spam I'm getting, about 30 a day, are all caught by Blogger.  Of course, I have to delete them, but that only takes seconds.

I usually go into my Dashboard and read comments from there so I won't miss any. I don't have them e-mailed to me like some bloggers do.

One thing I have noticed, though.  Last week I wasn't as busy as usual at work, and read blog posts and made comments on my work computer.  When I do this at home on my laptop which is fast, I never have any problems leaving comments, typing in the word verification, and hitting the submit button.  It's gone, and I move on. I've never lost a comment.

What I've discovered using my work desktop (I have an OLD one in my office) is that because it's pretty slow, and I move too fast for it, I hit the "back" button or the "X" on the blog tab, and when it's too late, I realize there was a window saying I typed the word wrong or I'll see the word verification too late, and the comment page is gone.  Twice I went back and re-typed a short comment, but I also lost a couple of longer ones that I didn't want to re-type. 

I can imagine this happening a lot when you are in areas with poor signals, etc.  (Another reason to LOVE this laptop while I'm still living in my condo!)  I'm going to have to learn to be sure my comment has been accepted before hitting any keys to move on to another blog.

I've been blogging now since last August, and I keep learning new things about this program.  One is how useful using "labels" is. 

I just started is the Label option. It didn't seem useful when I first started blogging, but there have been a few things lately I wanted to check on that I had posted about, and it took a little while to find them.  If I had used labels, it would have been a snap.

I decided that since I had the time last week, I was going to add labels to my past posts.  There are more than 100 of them, so I decided I'd better do it now rather than later.  I made good progress.  That's one of the reasons I'm putting recipes, favorite photos, etc., on the blog.  I'll always know where to find them.

This is the best filing cabinet I can think of to use when RVing full-time.  As long as my computer is working, and/or backed up I will always be able to find information that I've posted such as RV repair info, camping sites, people I meet, favorite restaurants, whatever.  This might not be the purpose of a blog, but it is sure a nice side-effect.  I'll bet a lot of full-timers use labels to find things in past blogs.  A real space saver!

Katie and I had a quiet Saturday. Just a bit of shopping.  Tomorrow I am going to San Diego State University to see Kennedy, my oldest grand daughter, and her team compete in their cheer competition.  This is the only one close to home, and I wanted to be sure I saw at least one this year. Then she and I are coming back to my house to bake her birthday cake, she's 8 tomorrow, hang out for a while, and go out to dinner at Home Town Buffet.  That's where I took Gavin, her brother, for dinner on his birthday, and she asked if I would take her there on her birthday, too.  So tomorrow will be a busy day. 

Nothing photo worthy today.  Next time.

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Saturday evening, everyone!  : )

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Electromate® 400 and fridge photo

I saw this on Regis and Kelly one morning - it sounded like a good thing to have in an RV. Does anyone have one, or have an opinion?  I saw it advertised on Amazon.com for $107.  

It's a power supply, jump starts vehicles, inflates balls and tires, built-in LED light that never needs replacing, and recharges with a household extension cord.    Would this be useful in your RV? Or do you have something like this for emergencies that works well?  I saw some on Amazon.com that also charge cell phones.
 
Electromate® 400 AC/DC Portable Power Station/Jump-Starter /Compressor - MODEL # VEC026BD

I'm joining the ranks of the fridge photo people.  Here's mine:


Don't hate me!  I just cleaned it out and scrubbed the inside over the weekend, which I NEVER do, and threw away all the old stuff, so it will never look like this again.  It's usually pretty full and not so organized.  LOL.  Seemed like a good time to take my fridge photo!

I had a hard time finding this refrigerator.  There is a broom closet on the left and a cupboard (top and bottom) with tile counters on the right, so I had a specific width to work with.  All the side-by-sides I found were too wide to fit, but I finally found this one. It's narrow, but it works.   


From Me and My Dog, Katie (who is happily chewing on her rawhide toy right now), have a great Tuesday, everyone! : ) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sweet spaghetti sauce recipe, finally, and a paddling Pelican

A big WELCOME to our new Follower, Michael!  Thank you for following Me and My Dog.  We are anxiously waiting until we can sell (or probably lease) the condo and everything in it, and drive away in our future RV. Not now, but in the next year. Michael has four blogs on Blogger, so I'll let my readers click on your photo and see what you're up to.

Thank you for all your comments and support after my last post about meeting with my Realtor.  It's just so hard to wait, you know?  But... I have to be realistic, and now I have some numbers so I know where I stand.  I'll keep plodding along for now, and see what's up later in the year.

A while ago I mentioned making a sweet spaghetti sauce that I loved.  It was thick and sweet, just the way I like my spaghetti sauce.  One of my readers asked for the recipe, and here it is finally:


If you click on the picture you can print it out and/or just read it more clearly.  I did make a few changes:

1.  I prefer meatless sauce, so I didn't add the ground beef (meatballs would have been great, though)
2.  I increased the sugar to 2T
3.  I used real onions that I minced
4.  I added a little wine to taste - I always have some cheap white wine in the fridge to cook with

The comments for this recipe on-line were almost all thumbs up, but most had added or substituted things according to what they had in their kitchens.  So this is a very easy recipe to work with depending on what's handy.

Here's a video of a pelican Linda and Howard (RVDreams.com) shot on their paddle trip down the Chassahowitzka River in their Sea Eagle 370 Kayak.  If you right click on the video, one option is "share" so that's what I'm doing - sharing their video.  Hope it's okay with Linda and Howard.  I loved this cute little guy with his feet padding for all he's worth.  He looks like a wind-up toy until his wings start moving.

video

Thanks Linda and Howard. I loved the Manatees on your blog, too, but this little Pelican is just too cute!

That's it for today.  Have a wonderful evening, everyone, from Me and My Dog!  : )

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Realtor results

I met with my Realtor, Doug, on Friday.  He inspires a lot of confidence and I AM confident that he really knows what he is talking about.

I'm including a lot of photos and some info here to document our meeting and my condo so if this seems like too much info, just scroll through fast.  I want to have this information and the photos where I can pull them up in the future.

We went through my condo room by room, he had a few comments, luckily very few.  The caulking between the brick wall in my bedroom and the ceiling needs re-caulking and he said a "color" would be better in the room, something soft, but not white.

 Master bedroom

I agree with Doug about the white walls - they are kind of stark looking (I've never noticed before) so I will paint them a warmer color. Only three walls. The brick wall I'll re-paint white. He said the color on the walls around the windows will make the white window frames and blinds valances "pop."  His son is available for $15 an hour to do the work if I want. 

Living room, dining room and front door/entrance area

Living room

 
Dining room

Galley kitchen

Back yard to the left

Back yard to the right

 Guest bathroom
Master bath dressing room

 Master bath

And that's it.  I love this place, it's the perfect size for me, great location near lots of shopping, restaurants, freeways. It's very manageable for a single person as far as keeping it up and taking care of the back yard/patio area. I'd love to keep it, and that's what's going to happen for now.  

Doug had a list of comps in the area, and it was obvious that I can't sell right now.  I put down 20 percent cash, and that's gone, and if I sold for it's value today, I'd have to come up with, probably, around $30K to pay off my mortgage.  That's not counting the approximately $14,000 in Realtor fees and other costs/fees to sell.  Obviously not going to happen.  These numbers are strictly based on the cost per square foot from the comps, and don’t take into account the location, condition, upgrades, view, etc., which bring the price up.

He said he feels we are right at the bottom in pricing right now, and in the next two to three years prices will slowly increase.  Five years from now we should be back to where I can sell and walk away with some cash.  That means if I want to retire I will need to lease it.  There really is no other option right now.  So at least I have that question answered - lease, not sell.

The good news is he feels I can get more than my mortgage payment in rent each month.  I'd be upside down a little because of my homeowner's association dues, but that's okay.  My monthly housing expenses when full-timing will be less than my current housing expenses, so I'd end up on the positive side.

Doug and his wife are also property managers, and he told me exactly how they work, how they prepare the property, find tenants, etc.  I was sitting there thinking, I could do this NOW.  Find my RV, move/sell everything, rent a small storage unit for whatever I want to keep, find an RV park to live in while I'm working, keep my car for now for transportation - I'd be living the full-time life in a few months!  I started getting really excited about doing this NOW.  One negative is that they charge ten percent, payable during the first month.  It would cost me almost $2,000 for the first year. 

Yesterday I found a storage facility nearby, and it looked good.  I went to the Camping World in town and looked a couple of Class Cs in my price range, and last night did a bunch of research on the Internet looking for RV's and RV parks in San Diego.  

I Skyped my daughter and talked to her about it.  Kristy is very positive about my plans, but I got the "devil's advocate" from her regarding the property manager, and whether this is a good time to do this.  I appreciated her thoughts, and her honesty.  It's easy for me to get too involved with the positive aspects and not see the rest when I get excited about something.  She had some good points.  I also talked to my son, Tom.  He had the same concerns Kristy did.  He felt that if I was going to be in the area, I didn't need a property manager.  Tom has property in Northern California, and he manages it from San Diego.  He said with Craig's List it's so easy to find tenants.  We belong to the apartment association through work, and I have already downloaded all the rental/lease forms that I would ever need.  Once the property is leased, there shouldn't be a lot of work, and he is right here to help out if needed. 

This morning when I got up I walked through the rooms and looked around.  I'm so comfortable here.  I've loved it since the first day, and every day for the last six years.  This is really tough.  I know most of you full-timers have gone through the same thing I'm going through now, so you know how I'm feeling.  Also a lot of you future full-timers.  You are probably going through exactly the same thing right now.  Or have, or will.

It probably  is too soon. I don't know what to do, and when I don't know what to do, I've found it's better to make the decision to "do nothing."  So, that's my decision for now.  I'm going to let things percolate for a few months, and then see how I feel.  With my Social Security starting this month, I'll be in a better financial situation every month I can wait.

When the time is right, it will be easier to make these decisions, but at least I have more information now.  I know what the condo is worth, what I can lease it for, I've done research on storage units close by and RV parks in the area, and I've looked at a couple more Class Cs.

I'll keep you posted.  I expect I'll go through this exercise a few more times before Katie and I are set free.

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blog ads, Realtor appointment tomorrow

Some of my readers made good points regarding having ads on my blog, and I'm taking it to heart.  You are right, I think, and for now I'm abandoning the idea of having ads on my posts to generate income. I don't really mind them on other people's blogs.  I just ignore them unless they catch my eye and I'm interested in the content, then I'll click on them.  I dont' mind generating a little income for you guys!  : )

One of my future plans is to add a second tab to the blog.  The address of this blog site is dewelldesigns.blogspot.com.  The Dewell Designs part is the name of my company.  I've used that name on and off for a few years when making cards, digital scrapbook pages, etc., and it will be the name of my company if I decide to have an Internet site for resumes, word processing, editing, etc. I had a business for 15 years, and supported myself quite well from my home part of the time, and from an off-site office about half the time.  I love working on the computer, have good skills in the word processing area, love the English language, and edit other people's work and websites.  I'm really looking forward to doing that again if it works out, and I can work from anywhere my RV home is parked.

So, if I do add that tab, I may put ads there, since it will be about a business.  It won't be the business website, but will be an overview with the link to my website. 

I can just picture myself sitting at the kitchen table with Katie by my side, in the middle of a beautiful forest (or maybe by the ocean) creating resumes and documents for my customers.  That's usually how I picture my future full-timing life.  Either that, or cooking in my little kitchen.  ONE MORE YEAR!

By the way, I have a Realtor coming tomorrow at 2:00 to take a look at my condo and see what it might be worth now, or in the coming months.  If the number is too low, I also want to know what he could lease it for.  I want him to see the bedroom before the leak is repaired and all the painting, etc., is done and it's back to normal so he won't have any questions about what he's selling or leasing and that the repairs were done correctly.
This Realtor sold the condo across the lawn from me.  The original owner, who was in her 90's, was moved to a care home, and it had no updates since it was built in the 60's.  The front was overgrown somewhat with bushes.  The Realtor, Doug, trimmed the bushes, removed some, and planted flowers.  When he was done, and he did the work himself and paid for it himself, the place looked 100 percent better from the outside. It sold quickly. 

The current owner has an out-of-town job and leased it a year ago. The tenant moved out after a year and it is now leased to the nice young couple I've mentioned before.  So, I'm thinking if I did want to purchase my RV sooner than planned, I could lease the condo and move into an RV park locally pretty inexpensively, and keep working and get used to the full-timing life.  IF the numbers work.


I'm excited about my appointment with Doug tomorrow - I'll let you know what happens.  Keep your fingers crossed!

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!  : )

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jerry Brown, blog ads, and weight gain : (

WELCOME to Cindi and Stumpy at RVly Every After!  Thanks for following along with Katie and me. I love your puppy photos, and am enjoying your new blog - especially your blogs about the RVs you're thinking about.  Maybe the same Small Class C type I'm going to be looking for.  Good luck to both of us - hope to see you both down the road. 

WELCOME to Wil Mosher - our new Follower!  Thanks for joining us, Will.  I hope you enjoy reading along as we prepare to sell everything this year, and hopefully purchase an RV to full-time in early 2012.  If you have a blog, let me know so I can follow along with you, too!

WELCOME also to the GYPSY G-MAS, Life on the Road!  I've followed your blog from the beginning and have always looked for your posts to pop up on my Blog List (no pressure!).  I really enjoy reading about your adventures.  I hope we meet up on the road some day; we can exchange "tree through the roof" stories. : )

We have a new Governor, Mr. Jerry Brown, in California.  I didn't vote for him, but have to admit I liked him the first time around, and have high hopes that he will do his best to fix all the problems in California.  I think that's how it should be:  no matter who you vote for or support, when the election is over, stand behind the winner.  I think we'd all benefit from that.  Especially at the national level.

  Governor and Mrs. Jerry Brown
39th Governor of California

Speaking of Jerry Brown, who ran against Meg Whitman, I did find out what happened to my Ad-Sense ads, and I think I know why I was dumped.  A reader who doesn't like Meg Whitman saw her ad on my blog and multiple clicked it a bunch of times, which was apparently picked up by Ad-Sense who investigated and canceled my account FOREVER.  Apparently if you are canceled due to invalid ad clicking, you can NEVER have an Ad-Sense account again.  That doesn't seem fair.  I didn't do anything wrong, and I am the one penalized.

I know that this person, who feels awful about the account being canceled, also made purchases by clicking on ads on my blog, and was just exercising a political opinion against Meg, who I actually supported.  This reader had no idea what the result of her clicking would be.  I was surprised to see a political ad on my blog, Meg Whitman was the only politician I saw advertising, but I guess she had so much money she was appearing everywhere.  Little good it did her, or me.

After seeing Tioga George's Income/Expense sheet, and seeing how much you can actually earn through blog ads, I may do some research to see if I can place ads another way. I know they can be a nuisance for my readers and apologize in advance if I do find a way.  I'd never earn what George earns, he has a HUGE following, but any extra income would be a help next year when I'm living on Social Security and probably little else. I just ignore the ads on blogs, unless it's for something of interest, then I do click. We'll see...

On that depressing note, I'll add another.  In 2010 I gained 8 pounds.  Ouch!  There was some discussion in the office today about weight gain last year.  There were four of us there, and we all gained from 8 to 20 pounds.  I know the fifth person in the next office, who remained silent on the subject, gained 15 pounds in the last months of 2010.  So, 5 for 5.  I sure hope 2011 is a year of better self control, less candy, and more exercising for me.

When Katie and I gained some weight three years ago, I put us both on a better eating plan, and we were walking a lot.  I lost my 20 pounds and she lost her 3 pounds.  Well, Katie is still thin and energetic and I'm not.  She gets two treats a day, maybe that would work for me?

Kind of a mish-mash blog today.  But, as I seem to be saying a lot lately, "It is what it is."

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Monday evening, everyone! : )

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1, 2011

1-1-11.  It's a new year, and I wanted to start out right and post on the first day of 2011.

I've been off work since Thursday, with family visiting from Vacaville and celebrating our whole family Christmas at my son's house on Thursday.

My daughter Kristy and her husband Matt, and kids Andrew and Lauren arrived Wednesday evening.  I don't how I'm ever going to keep track of what day it is when I'm retired.  I'm having a problem remembering what we did and which day while the kids were here.  : )

Kristy's family stayed with me, but we all met at Tom and Trish's house since it's a large home and had lots of room for meals, opening more gifts, the kids had lots of room to play, etc.


 Tom making the Eggs Benedict - a family specialty
The eggs were PERFECT, and the bacon crisp!

We had Eggs Benedict for breakfast at Tom and Trish's one morning - delicious!  Tom is a great cook and did most of the meal cooking, with everyone else helping out when needed.

Afterward we opened more presents and got lots of great photos for the scrapbooks.  The kids played and had a great time together.

Thursday evening everyone except me and my youngest granddaughter, Lauren, went to the Holiday Bowl. Lauren and I had a "girls night." I got some great one-on-one time with Lauren, but didn't spend a lot of quality time individually with the other grandkids.  They were so happy to see each other, the adults faded into the background the whole visit.  But I did get the next best thing, watching them all having fun and enjoying each other.  Lots of running, lots of playing, lots of noise, lots of fun.  I got lots of good photos of Lauren, here are a few:


Lauren, 3, loves to cook. We made chocolate pudding.
Lauren did her puzzle "all by herself!"

I love this photo. Lauren looks great in hats.

We had Christmas and everyone got lots of great presents.  I don't get all the grandchildren together very much during the year, so I lined them up and snapped.  They are so good about it:

They are such good "posers" except for Graydin - maybe next year : )

Another group shot.
Andrew, Kennedy, Lauren, Gavin, Graydin

Before opening presents.

Both boys like Star Wars - they loved this book.
Graydin loved his new chair!

Even Katie loves her new sweater.

Friday we all again met up at Tom and Trish's house. We ate Chili Reano, Chicken Enchiladas,  a huge salad that friends brought, beans and rice. Home made guac and sour cream - it was delicious.  Pies, boxes of See's Candies, and my home-made fudge completed the dinner.  Another great meal at Tom's house.  

We had an East Coast New Years with Champagne and Sparkling Cider, and a bit after 9:00 I drove home, followed by Kristy and her family.  They were up and on the road by 6:00 am this morning.

Katie and I pretty much took it easy all day today. The house is so quiet with everyone gone.  

We had a wonderful couple of weeks of holidays with family, and now I'm looking forward to 2011.  I wonder what it will bring.  Lots of good things for everyone, I hope.

(This is the year we're buying our first RV!)

So, on the first day of 2011, Me and My Dog, Katie wish you all a Happy New Year!  : )