Saturday, November 27, 2010

Santa's message to Katie

WELCOME to our new Follower, Taz -  Only a Moment in the Grand Scheme of Things.  Thank you for following along with me and Katie on our journey to future RV full-timing.

My daughter sent me e-mails with messages from Santa to her kids, and I thought they were so cute, I did one for Katie.  Honest, I'm really a normal person with a dog who is a pet.  I really don't think she's a real person,  I just think these things are cute.

This is free, and you can go on the website and make them up for your kids or grandkids.  Or husband or wife.  I'm going to e-mail Katie's to my grandkids.  I doubt they will question that Santa will bring Kristy a present from the North Pole.

 Santa checking his book for Katie's file

My grandson Andrew was doing well, just needed to try a little harder to keep his room clean and help around the house - he's five.  Lauren, on the other hand, little darling Lauren who is three, Santa put her on the "Naughty List" for now, and told her she needed to keep her voice quieter in the house.  Poor thing.  Oh well, maybe she will try harder for Santa.

 Katie's file in Santa's Book

So here it is:

Santa's Message to Katie

Click on the link above; be patient, it takes a minute to load.

Have a happy weekend, everyone, from Me and Katie! : )

Thursday, November 25, 2010



I am very thankful for all my loyal Followers and also the other folks who read my blog.  I am thankful for the wonderful comments I receive.  And I'm thankful for two new followers:

WELCOME to Karen, our new follower!  It's nice to have you along for our journey.  I don't see a blog listed for you, let me know if you start one.

And WELCOME to Tom at Big Sky Chief, a man who cooks!  It's nice to have you along to share our daily adventures as we prepare to RV full-time.

I'm thankful for this RV blogging community.  I'm thankful for having my dream to RV full-time with my dog, Katie.  When I am able to follow through with this dream, it will open so many doors to  me and also solve a lot of problems I would otherwise have when I retire.  It will be, I hope, the perfect solution to retirement for me.  I can't wait! : )

The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 and lasted three days!  That sounds like a long holiday, but these days most of us get four days off, so...  Lucky Us!

I'm thankful for so many things.  I'm not going to list the things I'm thankful for - it would be too long.  Every year it grows.  All year long I appreciate my family - I have two wonderful kids who've given me five perfect grandchildren and they would top the list, and of course Katie.

I'm sitting here typing as I watch the Macy's Parade - there's a really good float of a huge turkey going down the road right now.  I'm thankful even for little things like that.  I'm in my warm home, Katie is laying out in the sun on the patio, four days off ahead of me. A fridge full of food, cupboards full enough to find almost anything I'd need for any recipe I'd care to make.  A car full of gas - I can drive anywhere I want.  Great neighbors around me.  These are the kinds of things I'm lucky enough to have all year long, and I DO appreciate them all year long.

 Isn't he beautiful?

My son and his family drove up to visit my daughter and her family in Vacaville, and I know they are all going to have soooo much fun.  The grandchildren all love to be together, so it's a treat for them when the families visit.  I'll see them all together during Christmas week down here in San Diego, and I'm looking forward to that.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving everyone, from Me and My Dog, Katie! : )

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lots of new Followers, and a First Place Winner!

Well, I have an embarrassment of riches today - four new Followers - WOW!  WELCOME to you all, and thank you for joining Me and Katie as we get ready to pursue our (my) dream of full-timing.  Well, actually, if she could talk, I think Katie would say this is her dream, too.  You've seen her in the car seat - she's always ready to go!  Just yell, "Road Trip!"   : )

Dee and Jim, Tumbleweed - I've been following your blog, too, and always enjoy your posts.  Nice article about you guys in the Garner newspaper - congratulations!

Terria Fleming from Daily Good, I LOVED the story about The Whale!  Definitely nice to read about Good Things.

Laura from Pursuit of Idle Pleasures - great blog and great house and great RV.  You've got it all covered! And you're retiring next month.  Soooo covered!

Kate and Terry - Travels in Cholula Red - I've been a Follower of your blog also and love your photos. Sunday's hummingbird shot with the feeder is fantastic. How'd you do that?

My eldest granddaughter, Kennedy, who is 7 years old, is a member of a competition cheer squad.  They practice twice a week, during the week they practice cheer, and on Sunday they have a gymnastics class.

 Kennedy's flip in September at practice

On Sunday Kennedy attended her first competition.  I called her when they were on the way home from Los Angeles (I think, somewhere up there) and she said she was kind of nervous before competing, she didn't know what to expect.  And guess what?

They won First Place for their division!  

That big trophy will be displayed at the facility where she practices, and on Tuesday evening they are having a ceremony where all the team members will be awarded ribbons.   I'm very proud of her and all the hard work she put into earning that trophy with her team!

Is Katie's Daily Puppy Pic the cutest thing, or what?

Short week for us at work.  Today, tomorrow, Wednesday, and that's it.  Nice! I'm also taking Monday off in lieu of my paid holiday Friday, which is a regular day off for me.  My boss isn't happy about me taking an extra day off, but the rest of the company gets Thursday and Friday off, paid, so we had a little discussion about it this afternoon, and he agreed to give me an extra paid day off.   From the research I've done on-line, that seems to be what most companies do, so...  He thinks I'm taking advantage - what do you think?  Any opinions?  Am I wrong?  I'd appreciate any input, and am willing to be flexible.

That's all for today - From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a wonderful Monday evening, everyone! : )

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A quiet, rainy Saturday for us, a bit of this and that

WELCOME to our new Follower TEX0322!  He has two new blogs, one shows his NetFlix Picks and the other is a blog about ways to make money online.   Since AdSense has banned my blog, your info might come in handy!  Katie and I are happy to have you along for the ride on our journey to full-timing!  Feel free to comment any time, and I hope we keep you interested and/or entertained.

Again I want to thank my readers for all the great comments.  Some are very supportive, some educational, some from "stealth" readers, and some are really funny and make me laugh.  All very supportive and I appreciate every comment.

I was "stealth" reading lots of forums and blogs when I first decided to RV full-time, and FOUND you all.  I found the forums through a Google search on RV questions I had.  Someone's blog was referenced, I clicked on the link, and WOW, a whole new world opened up for me.  Meeting new people  in the blogosphere, learning soooo much... I know things now that I didn't even think to ask earlier this year.  Another year of following along with all the full-timers, part-timers and planners will help me in each of those stages as I go through them.

This is a weird day.

I accidentally "followed" my own blog.  Then I had to figure out how to delete myself.  I was at least glad that my photo didn't pop up in the first spot.  It was way down on the second page, so I was hoping no one saw it before I figured out how to un-follow myself.

It's raining outside, so Katie and I are snuggling on the couch.

These are "rain shots," but I don't know if you can actually see the rain unless you click on them.

I made "rag quilts" for all my grandkids, my daughter and one for me (not really made out of rags, just what they are called.) Katie loves it, and when we sit on the couch, I lay it out next to me, or partially covering me, and Katie noses herself under the quilt and snuggles in and dozes. Today she is snoring.  I've never heard her snore before.  Little tiny snores. At first I thought the noise was coming from outside on the patio.

This is one of the rag quilts I made for me during my quilting days.  I made six total. Click and you can see the street detail better.  I LOVE this fabric:

This is a perfect size for a lap quilt, and fits perfectly on top of my queen size bed if I need it for a really cold night.  I usually keep it on the couch in the living room, though.  See?  As soon as I laid it on the floor, Katie was right there.  She LOVES these things.  When I was laying the squares out on the floor to see how they looked, I couldn't keep Katie off them.  I was planning to sew one up for her, but haven't yet. I still have all the material, though.  Yards, and yards and yards.  My stash.  Quilters will understand.

When I saw this fabric, I knew I'd found the material for MY quilt.  I love any material or art that has town streets, houses, windows, doors, anything to do with houses, I guess.

Another scene - looks like a cool, big city street with apartments and store fronts.

This is another fabric with lots of tall buildings, in contrasting browns/whites.

This is the back - squares of warm flannel.  There is batting inside, too, so this is a pretty snugly quilt.  It's definitely coming with us in the RV. 

Then, I  knew I was getting dog hair under my keys on my laptop, so I pried a couple up and shot them with liquid air.  I must not have gotten the space key back right, because I'm running all my words together.  I'll have to fix that!  What a pain.  (I think I fixed it - seems to be working fine now.  There's a little wire thing attached to the space key that has to fit into little tiny holes on each side.  I didn't put them in the holes the first time.  MUCH better now.)

I guess our bike riding won't happen today.  I thought we were going to have intermittent showers, but it's pretty wet out there and windy.  I think we'll stay snuggled inside today.

So, that's about it for today. Isn't it amazing how I can post an extremely long post when absolutely nothing is going on.  Sorry about that, but you should know by now... One of my newest followers, Andy, posted this: "The worst feeling in the world is when you are in the middle of a good story and realize no one is listening to you."  But it's okay, you don't have to keep reading even though I'm still writing and writing and writing.  LOL

From Me and my Quietly Snoring Dog, have a great Saturday, everyone!  : )

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our very normal Friday

WELCOME to our new Follower, Andy - his new blog is here.  I read back to the beginning, and Andy, you really have your work cut out for you!!!  It will be fun following along with you and your progress in your RV remodel.  Good Luck!  It's nice to have you following along with us, too, although my goal is going to be quite a bit easier than yours.  : )

Pretty easy week with nothing much going on.  I finally got the certified copies of my marriage certificate and divorce decree this week, and brought them to the Social Security office this morning for them to examine and copy for my file.  It's all done, and now I just have to wait till the middle of February for my first check to be deposited.  Yeah!

We needed dog food so while I was out, we stopped in at Petco to get Katie her special food, the only thing she can consistently eat without it affecting her (apparently) delicate digestive system.  We had some problems, and a co-worker who has a Chihuahua said they solved their dog's potty/vomiting issues with this food, so I tried it, and Katie has been fine since.   And she likes the food. They have different food for different dog breeds.  This is Katie's:

While there, I got her a new jacket to wear on our walks and bike rides.  Sooo cute, and it fit her perfectly. I think I used the wrong setting or flash (?) - these are kind of a weird color, but you get the idea.  I wanted to get the photos done and let Katie lay back down.  She's getting so good at being a model.  She just sat there for me until I was done.  Such a good girl.

 I'm so pretty, oh so pretty...

 Back view - see the ruffles?  Very feminine for a little girl dog.

 This shows the warm interior fleece.  Nice on cold morning walks.

The zipper makes it really easy to get on and off, and Katie seems to like it.

When we got home it was around 2:00 and I hadn't eaten.  I was going to boil up some pasta and open a can of marinara sauce.  I've been so good about not overbuying food and I didn't realize I was completely out of spaghetti sauce. I didn't want to go back out again,  but I was craving spaghetti.  I found a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a can of cut mushrooms, and I did a search on line for "easy spaghetti sauce" and got the BEST recipe!  It was truly easy, fast and REALLY good.  Probably the best I've ever made - and I used to simmer my sauce all day. It was thick and sweet, just the way I like it.  Made some garlic bread and I was set to sit down and eat and relax.

Tomorrow if we can fit it in between the rain that's expected, we're going to go for a bike ride.  Katie has her nice, new warm jacket to wear. 

Till next time, from Me and My Dog, have a great Friday evening, everyone! : )

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The bike

Good Morning - and WELCOME to our newest follower, Leovi.  I'm so happy to see you've joined us in our adventure which will end in RV full-timing.  Things seem to kind of settle down because we have a ways to go, then I get excited again and the full-time issue comes to the forefront again.  Hope you enjoy reading along.  If you have a blog, let me know - I'd love to read yours, too.

Beautiful weather in San Diego lately.  Right now it's sunny and 74 degrees, very slight breeze.

Just took some shots of my little patio to show you on this beautiful day.  It's a small area, but exactly what I wanted.  A little patio to put potted plants on, a small patch of grass, which as you can see Katie keeps pretty brown, but still grass.  It greens up nicely when we have enough rain. A little tree of my own. It gets sun and shade at the same time, which is nice.  I usually  have lots of color with potted and hanging plants, but not so much right now. 

I just love my patio, it takes so little work, and I get such enjoyment from it.

Things have been pretty quiet around my house lately.  Just the same-ole, same-ole.  I did take the bike out, finally.  About six years ago I took it in for a tune-up and check-up and everything was good to go.  I rode it only once.  I was living with my son and his family at the time, I had just arrived in San Diego and they lived in a hilly area. Too much for me to ride.  So I put it away.  I DID think about it in the last six years - but lazy me, that was all.  I never went any further than that, other than getting the dog basket free at Camping World.

So, yesterday was such a beautiful day, I got it out of my little storage area, the tires needed air and it needed some cleaning.  I had it covered, so the cleaning part wasn't too bad.  I have new neighbors - a wonderful young family moved in a month or so ago.  He's retired from the military and they moved here to San Diego County to be near her mom.  When he saw me out looking at my bike, he came over and offered to help.  He brought my bike into his garage, moved his truck out and got out a machine to pump up my tires. He fixed my light so it worked, adjusted my gears, oiled the chain and tire innards (?).  He knew all the terms for everything and explained exactly what he was doing as he did it.  He tried to fix my speedometer but didn't have the right battery, so took it out and showed me how to open it up to replace it.  What a guy!

3-speed Easy Ride - What a beauty!
But Easy ride?  Not so much - yet. : )
I took it out for a spin, and am happy to report that my balance kicked in just fine, and I did okay.  I couldn't remember the gear thing.  He told me exactly how to use each side, but when I was going down our slightly sloping street, I forgot it all.  In fact, as I was streaming along, I couldn't remember how to stop - it's been that long since I've ridden.  I backpedaled - I'M THAT OLD! - then remembered there are handles on the handlebar for brakes.  Isn't that awful?  I had completely forgotten how to stop the bike.  

I was thinking fast - okay, when I get to the corner, wide turn to the left will slow me down - hopefully no cars coming - not usually any traffic on that street.  Then I remembered where the brakes are.  Whew!  That was a relief.  I felt kind of like when you fall down and look around and realize no one saw you.  I can tell you now, but I would have been really embarrassed at the time to admit I couldn't remember where the brakes are.

This is a perfect area to ride - mostly level streets with some slight inclines, but not much, except on my street.  I rode the bike back up  to my house, almost.  Walked it the rest of the way.  I definitely need some practice and my legs are going to get a workout, which is good. 

When I got back I got Katie's bike basket out and put it on the bike.  I couldn't believe how easy it was.  Simple simple simple.  Today I am going to try it out again, then put Katie in and see what happens.  But first I'm going to Google "bike gears" and make sure I understand how the three speeds work.

Then Katie and I went to Target and I got a new bike helmet.  I know I had one, but couldn't find it, so I got a nice new one, and a headlight, too. A headlight for me, not the bike, the kind with a band around your head with a light attached.  : )  When I put Katie's basket on, the light on the handlebar didn't fit anymore, so I thought the headlight was a good idea.   I wanted one for camping, anyway, and walking at night, so when I saw one I got it, as well as some walking poles.  Been wanting those, too, so I broke the bank and got them all.  I also looked at the camping things, but reined myself in and "walked away."

I'm going to have to get good at this if the bike is going to be my transportation around parks and short distances to stores, etc. when I'm on the road.  I'd love to be able to just jump on it and go like I see kids do. But that is going to take some practice.  LOTS of practice!

I'll let you know how we do.

As soon as I post this I am going to take my coffee into my office and do some wii exercising.  Things that will work my legs.  I might as well start getting in shape now so the bike riding will be a little easier.   I've stopped using my wii and need to get going again.  I've been pretty sedentary lately and it shows and I can feel it.  I need to get back in shape.

Katie was playing with her treat ball while I'm writing - as long as I have the camera out:

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Campgrounds by Julian, CA

A big WELCOME to Levonne from A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings: An RV Adventure.  I appreciate you following along with us on our dream to RVing full-time.  You are staying in a beautiful place, Monterey County, I've been there many times and have always loved it.

So...  when Katie and I drove up to and through Julian, I decided to check out a couple of campgrounds nearby.  Here's Katie, in her car seat (well, it's really for grand kids, but Katie loves to sit in it and then she can see out the window).  She loves a road trip!

On the way to the campground there was a "view" turnout, and we pulled off and parked to see the view.  It was beautiful, with rows and rows of mountains going back as far as the eye can see.  I took lots of photos, but they don't show the beauty of the landscape like being there.

We were headed toward Lake Cuyamaca Recreation & Park District, which boasts fishing, camping, hiking, etc. in the literature I printed from the Julian Chamber of Commerce website.

Cute sign as we entered the parking area.  No ducks on the road, though.

 Here were the ducks - swimming around in the lake.

 Some of the trees in the park were changing colors, beautiful.

I could not find any camping areas, so I stopped and asked a ranger doing some clean-up in the parking area by the store.  He pointed out a few areas, and said there were two camping areas marked down the road further.

First I checked the area "at the end of the parking lot" - I didn't see anywhere I'd want to camp. I guess it was better than a WalMart parking lot, but I assume people pay to camp here.  Next we drove out - back onto the road and visited the first campground he mentioned.

I didn't take photos of the signs for these campgrounds, or make a note of the names, because I was so under impressed I'm sure I'll never camp here.  This one is right on the road, and that's someone's house across the street.  Hilly, rocky, not many trees, windy.  Where would you put a tent?  Or an RV?

This one at least had some trees, but the campsite was right out in the open and the wind was blowing, I can't imagine being comfortable camping here, at least on the day I was there.

The one that looked best to me was Ramona Canyon RV Resort. We pulled into their parking lot on the way home and I visited the office and asked if I could look around.  The very nice lady there told me it's a membership campground, Western Horizon Resorts.  It had lots of trees, a lake, swimming pool, a long list of amenities and looked really nice, but I couldn't go past the entry gate.  I checked their website at home, and that location does let non-members camp there and shows the fees for non-members, so I don't know why she wouldn't let us in. : (
That was our last stop, and we were tired and ready to drive home.  

I love it when the sun comes out and shines through the clouds - this was taken through the open window as I was driving:

This is a photo across the mountains from a trail head, Clevenger Canyon North and South Trails.

I hate to say this, but I think I'm a camping snob.  That's all we did for vacations when I was growing up (until Disneyland opened).  We went to either Big Basin or Yosemite.  Huge redwoods, lots of shade, very forested, creeks, simple gorgeous areas.  That's what I think of when I say "camping."  Of course we always tent camped. (My parents met at Big Basin while vacationing with their families when they were in high school, so it was a favorite place for them.)

I think there was an area in Big Basin where they were just starting to make places for RV's about the time we stopped camping.  My dad doesn't consider RV owners to be camping.  He's always said that.  What's funny is that we stopped camping because as we kids grew older, we started complaining a lot about how cold we were.  Big Basin is in Santa Cruz County, and under those big trees it could get cold if we didn't pick a hot week to camp.  The people in RVs, of course, were nice and toasty in their rigs, and I'll bet their kids weren't complaining about being cold. (I think he was just too cheap to even think about buying an RV!)

The last year we camped was especially cold, and we complained a LOT, and my Dad said, That's it!  This is the last time we camp!  The next year Disneyland opened and then we went there every year. 

That's one of the reasons I want a small Class C with no toad - the places I want to park (I hope) will have a lot of trees, and with a smaller, narrower vehicle I should have no problem staying in that type of terrain.  Of course if I'm at the beach or in the desert I don't expect forests, but... that's what I envision when I think of camping.

Obviously I have a lot to learn, and will probably be eating my words in a year or so when I'm trying to save money by overnighting in flat, dry, windy parking lots! 

It was a great day, easy driving, not much traffic, and we zipped on home.  By this time, Katie was laying down and trying to sleep.  Enough scenery already, Mom!

From me and Katie, have a great Wednesday evening, everyone! : )

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our road trip to Julian, CA

WELCOME to two new followers, Roxi and Annie, and John and Judy.  Thank you for following along on our journey to a new lifestyle - which seems like forever away, but I'm sure will be here before I know it.  Hope to meet you all on the road in the future!

Katie and I had a great road trip to Julian on Saturday.  It's amazing the things we saw on the way!  We traveled up Highway 78, and there were tons on things to see right on the highway.   We stopped at a few:

Would you believe a camel dairy?


A zebra? He was corralled with some donkeys, one of whom let out the loudest, longest braaaaaaaaaaaay when I went up to them.  I was afraid the zebra police were going to come and get me. 

And a kid - baby goat - from a Petting Zoo that was part of a bunch of things to do at the Julian Mining Co.
There were lots of goats, and when Katie and I went up to their fence, they all came running.  Very friendly group.

 There was Panning for gold:
 And settings from the gold rush days.

Next door on the highway was this old school - it was in excellent condition, and looked like a neat place to go to school.  Very old fashioned. 

This is the back porch of the school - looks like only eleven students in this class, if you count the names over the hooks.

There was so much to stop and see just on the way to Julian.  I kept passing things and then turning around to see something we missed.  Traffic was pretty light, but I wanted to go slower than most drivers, so I kept pulling over to let cars pass.  Felt like I was driving an RV.

When we finally got to Julian after about an hour's drive, it was sooo crowded.  I didn't know what was going on, but we didn't stop.  The main streets were completely filled with parked cars and the side streets were all filled, too.  People everywhere.  Millions of motorcycles.

I checked the Julian Chamber of Commerce website for November today, and this is what was going on yesterday in this small town:

Every Sunday (weather permitting): Julian Doves & Desperados  – historic comedy skits at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m
Every Sunday (rain or shine): Julian Certified Farmers' Market 
November 1-30: Fall Arts & Craft Show – Town Hall – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November 6: Christmas Gift Fair – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Town Hall
November 6-7: Tour de Julian – Road & MTB Rides – Based out of Menghini Winery – R&B Bicycle Club

NO WONDER IT WAS CROWDED!  How can they have all that on the same day?  It was a beautiful day, though, and perfect for all the people attending everything in town.

I had planned to stop and have lunch in Julian, but there were literally lines down the sidewalks for each restaurant, and I had grapes, apple slices and trail mix, coffee and water (plus baby carrots for Katie) in the car, so that was our lunch as we drove along enjoying the view.

Surrey with the Fringe on Top

Miniature Horse and Carriage

I kept driving and we stopped at a couple of campgrounds to see what they were like.  I'll tell you about them in my next post. 

From me and Katie, have a nice Sunday, everyone! : )