Thursday, January 31, 2013

Short and sweet

The other morning the sun was coming in a high window and both dogs found a spot in the sunshine. When I transferred this photo to my computer, I thought it looked like a studio portrait.

Portrait of Katie and Cody

And here are two exhausted grandchildren:

Sometimes I feel the same way.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Family Crab Feed

Last Friday night Kristy and Matt hosted a family crab feed.  Matt's sister, Allison, and her new husband, Wes, stopped over for a few days on their way to Texas.  Wes is in the Air Force and just returned from Korea where he's been serving for a year. Matt's parents, Marie and Dave, also came for dinner, so including grand kids Lauren and Drew, we had nine people for crab legs. 

Matt was at Costco in the morning when they opened their doors and bought almost all the crab legs they had for sale.  Along with a Caesar salad and bread, it was truly a feast!

This was the first batch!

We also had some of the wine purchased during our wine tasting trip earlier in the week.

The crab legs are already cooked, but Matt put them on steamers with a little water in these big pots, covered them, and let them steam until they were hot.  A bunch of bowls of melted butter and we were ready to go.

Matt's Dad moved out of the way so he wasn't blocking the shot, and I told him I wanted him IN the shot, so we took another.  Unfortunately, that picture was blurry, so - Sorry Dave - at least I got your arms and hands. :)

For dessert, Matt's mom, Marie, baked some brownies and brought sweet strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

She bought a bottle of a desert wine from Convergence Vineyards while we were there tasing.  It's a Raspberry Zinfandel Chocolate wine and we poured it over the desert.  Wow!  It was delicious!

Here is Uncle Wes - tall, strong, and a kid magnet.  Even shy Lauren couldn't leave him alone.  He has such patience and the kids just LOVE him.  He picks them up and spins, dunks, twirls, tosses, etc., until he can't do anymore.  The kids laugh hysterically and want more, more, more.

Drew and Lauren sure love their Aunt Allison and Uncle Wes; they are now on their way to Texas and it will be a while before they can visit with them again. I hope you guys find a good house, and thank you for your service, Wes.  Safe Travels!  :)

The photo above is Kristy's family dog, Cody, and that little poodle is Roxie, Marie and Dave's new dog who is about 18 months old.  She is a pistol, and loves to run, play with toys, and generally be playing with Cody all the time.  When we first got here, Katie instantly assumed the Alpha position with Cody.  Then when Roxie was added to the mix, Katie became Cody's (unnecessary and unwanted) protector.  You can see her barking at Roxie from above when Roxie tried to get Cody to play.  Katie did NOT want Roxie playing with Cody.  Sometimes our dogs are noisier and need more discipline than our kids! 

The Crab Feed was wonderful and delicious, and I enjoyed spending more time with your family - thanks Matt and Kristy!

From me and Katie, have a great Tuesday, Everyone!  :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Advertising on Me and My Dog

You may have noticed my new advertising links from on yesterday's and today's posts.  If you have been reading Me and My Dog from the beginning, you'll remember that when I started the blog, I signed up for AdSense through Blogger to make a little extra money to help us while full-timing.

Unfortunately someone over-clicked on one of the political ads of a person she didn't like, and AdSense kicked me off.  Forever.  and Ever.  I appealed.  They said no.  Then I made an inquiry a while ago to see if they would let me back in since it had been a year or so and I'm such a nice person, but they said, Never, Never, Never.  See that post where I RANTED about it here.  I really felt it was unfair to punish  me for something a reader did - and she had no idea what the effect would be on my blog.

When they first kicked me off I was going to just forget about it, but I did search around to see if there was anything else I could do to earn a little money while blogging - and there are some other options.  I signed up for a couple of them, but never put links on the blog to utilize those money-making possibilities.  I decided I wouldn't use the blog for that purpose.

I decided yesterday to opt back in, and I've created some links on the sidebars. On the left side of my post you'll see GOLD BOX DEALS:

This link brings you to "Deal of the Day," Lightening Deals," and other deals on Check it out, and if there isn't anything you want, you can continue into the website for any shopping you planned to do, which will give me credit also.

On the right side is a text link that brings you right into with Amazon's search box below. You can use either one for more direct access.  :)

So... If you are going to purchase something on-line through, I would appreciate it if you'd use my blog links as your portal to the Amazon website.  Anywhere you go in that site and anything you buy will give me back a small percentage of your purchase.  There is a report I'll receive, but only on the clicks and purchases, not the buyers' names or any other information regarding the purchase.

I would LOVE it if Me and My Dog becomes your linking page for on-line purchases.   If so, THANK YOU!  If not, Katie and I will still love you LOTS, anyway. :)

In either case, keep reading Me and My Dog - nothing else is changing.

From me and Katie, have a great Sunday! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dog Car Seat and Lunch with Pete

My friend, Pete, drove up from Merced to visit me in Vacaville and we went out to lunch.  When I got into his car, he had to transfer his dog's car seat from the front to the back seat.

At the very beginning of our travels, I hit the brakes hard on the 5 freeway when TWICE drivers merging from the on-ramp cut us off suddenly.  The first time Katie and her dog bed went flying into the dash board while I was trying to stop the motor home and not hit the merging driver.  The driver seemed to be slowing down to merge into the traffic after me, then suddenly decided to step on the gas and merge in front.  The second time it was the car in front of me that had a merging driver speed up suddenly and when he slammed on his brakes, I had to do the same to avoid hitting him.  After the first time, Katie wouldn't come up front anymore, and I didn't blame her.

So... when I saw Pete's dog's car seat, I decided to do some research.  The other day I went to Petco and bought their brand, which was less than $40 and hangs from the headrest of the car's seat.

It was similar to the best rated on on-line that I could find, so I decided to get it.  You are supposed to hang the top straps from a headrest, but they fit around the top of my passenger seat just fine.  It was very quick and easy to attach and was looking pretty good... until...

One of the bottom straps just came loose and unraveled.  I hadn't even put Katie in it yet.  :(

Needless to say, I took it back.  This is the car seat in the box:

The photo below is of the Kurgo Skybox Pet Booster Seat.  From what I could find out researching on-line, this is the most popular one, but again, you need a head rest to attach it securely.  Or maybe it would fit around the top of the seat, like I attached the Petco one.  It's the same price, $39.67, and hopefully is sewn better.  I didn't see any reviews mentioning a flaw in the way the straps were sewn.

I decided to go back on-line and do another search for a car seat similar to the one Pete has.   One that is actually strapped in with the truck's seat belt.

The car seat below is the Snoozer Luxury II Lookout Pet Car Seat.  And you know what? I've ordered it. It's expensive, but Katie is worth it.

From the beginning of our travels I've been worried about Katie not being secure in The Palms. As soon as this arrives I'll install it on the passenger seat of The Palms and try it out with Katie.  I'll write a post about it to let you know how it works for us.  And show you a photo of Katie sitting in it. I can't wait to get it, but it will take a couple of weeks to arrive.

Pete and I went to Applebee's and had a delicious lunch of soup and a sandwich. Here's he is - sorry Pete, not the best photo, but it's the best of the three I took.  You were moving in the others and they were blurry.

The highlight of the day for me, other than visiting with Pete of course, was dessert - see below for the "Triple Chocolate Meltdown."  I don't know why, but I've been craving sweet deserts for a couple of weeks, and boy, did this hit the spot! 

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Danielle.  She and her husband, George, just started RVing full time and she has a brand new RVing blog, Exploring, RV-Style.   According to one of her posts, they  "purchased an RV (Winnebago Adventurer),and a CR-V, and been doing mods for a few months now."  It's always nice to start following a blog when it's new - not so much catching up to do.  Thanks for following along with us, Danielle, welcome aboard!  :)

From Me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lake Solano County Park and Campground/Putah Creek Cafe

On Sunday  morning, we drove to Lake Solano County Park and Campground in Winters, CA.  I wanted to check it out again and it was a nice family drive on a beautiful morning.

When I was here last time - July of 2011- I was just starting out on my new full-time lifestyle, and we visited this county campground.  It seemed cold, dark, messy and kind of scary.  Maybe there was some clean-up that needed to be done and they didn't have the budget to take care of the park property.  Or maybe I just didn't have enough experience yet to know that I could safely live there for a week or two without being nervous.  I don't know, but I had a really negative feeling and didn't want to stay there.

This time - completely different experience!  The park was clean, the RV sites looked really nice (mostly for shorter RVs), it was warm and sunny, Peacocks were roaming everywhere.  Definitely a place I would like to be.  For now I seem to be okay parked in front of Kristy and Matt's house and really don't want to pay for a campsite.  But if I had to leave, that would be the place to go.

Here are some photos I took of the Peacocks.


Aren't they beautiful?  Kristy and Matt and the kids were camped here in July with Matt's family, and they said it was really nice.  The Peacocks just walked all over, even through the campsites.  I'd love that, for sure!

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the campground, itself, but here are a couple from their website:

Lots of trees and the lake is beautiful.  (Seems more like a river, though.)

When we left we went to the Putah Creek Cafe, which has been featured on Guy Fieri's "Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives."

Here's the family, Kristy and Lauren, Matt and Drew:

Strange how different the colors are in these two photos, one clicked toward the light, the other away.

And the star of the lunch - my French Dip.



Can you tell it was delicious?  I actually brought  most of the coleslaw home and ate it for dinner.  Really good!

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Goin' Coastal!   I don't see any information about you or any blog info, but let me know if you do have a blog, or start one.  I'd love to check it out.  Thanks for following along with  me and Katie - Welcome Aboard, Goin' Coastal!

From Me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New curtains for The Palms!

This is a short post to show you my new curtains.  I have the regular accordion pleated shades that you grab from the bottom to pull down or push up.  When they are down, you can't see through them, and there are times I'd like a little more privacy without closing up shop and having no view at all.

I've been thinking about getting curtains lately, and when Hazel posted about Delores' new solar screening shades it started me thinking again.  While I was in San Diego, I checked Target, Walmart, Home Depot and finally Anna's Linens. 

Anna's Linens (click on this link if you don't have an Anna's nearby and want to check them out through was the only store I could find that had sheer window curtains short enough to work for The Palms and these were perfect.  They also had a lot in stock, so I was able to get exactly what I needed.

Because of the colors and all the palms in the motor home, I had to get a plain white sheer curtain, but they  had others.  The link above goes to another curtain that I originally bought for the kitchen. I loved it, but the colors and patten just didn't "go" with my palms, so I had to return it.

I think they look pretty good and I'm really happy with them.

Also, remember the Amaryllis bulb Hazel gave me in Quartzsite before Christmas?  It totally outgrew The Palms, and I gave it to my DIL, Trish, while in San Diego.  (Sorry Hazel, but it was SUPER TALL! and it hadn't even started to flower yet.  Hopefully it will be blooming when I travel back to San Diego in a few weeks.  I'll get a picture if it is.)

I loved having a green, living plant in The Palms, so while in San Diego I got a couple of smaller plants for the kitchen and dinette table.  I'm really enjoying them, too. 

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

We're visiting in Vacaville, CA :)

My last day in San Diego started out cold and foggy - this is the view out my window.  Just beautiful.

After visiting with my son and his family in Diego, I decided to travel north to visit with my daughter and her family in northern California.  Last time I traveled to Vacaville, there was snow on the Grapevine (Highway 5) and I had to take the coast route. I checked on-line and the road was clear this time, so I went up that way.  There was still some snow visible, but not much and it was really pretty.

While I'm here, for three or four weeks, I'll schedule my medical, dental and vision appointments which will be in San Diego.  Then when I travel south I'll take care of all those things and be free to head east to Arizona again.

It was a grueling 9 3/4 hour drive from San Diego to Vacaville. I used to make the drive in 7.5 to 8 hours in my car, not a bad drive, but with The Palms, it's just a longer drive.  California's rest stops don't allow overnight parking and their Walmarts aren't always as welcoming as other states I've traveled through, so that kind of leaves casinos for stop-overs.  Next time I'll check my casino listing and see if there are any about halfway to Kristy's house, but this time I just pushed through until I got there.

I was surprised at how bad the 5 freeway was; even before we got to Los Angeles, the 5 was in such bad shape that I actually had a cupboard open, a drawer open and spill contents on the floor, my computer fell into Katie's bed on the dinette seat, and a couple of other things.  I have things pretty well buttoned up by now when we're traveling and haven't had any problems like this in a long time, but those freeways were so bumpy, before, during and after Los Angeles, that I finally took an off ramp and pulled over to put things back where they belonged.  I think Katie was afraid to move for fear of something falling on her. 

You'd think that with all the taxes we Californians pay and the high price of gas here, some of the taxes would be spent keeping ALL of our roads in good repair.  I guess I'll go around The Palms with a screwdriver to make sure some of them having gotten loose during that trip.  I'm not looking forward to driving back along those roads, that's for sure!

I wanted to add a little warning to RVers on the road to watch out for the way some gas stations are posting their prices.

I pulled off the 5, I'm sorry I don't remember which off ramp it was and there was no identifying address on my receipt.  There were lots of gas stations, all with their prices posted.  I like Shell and their price was the same as some of the other lower ones, so I pulled in.  After filling the tank I checked my receipt to log the numbers, and found I had paid 20 cents more per gallon than the posted price.  I checked the big sign again, sure enough, it said $3.59 and I was charged $3.79 per gallon.

I went into the store and told the cashier I wanted my 20 cents per gallon back, because I wasn't charged the posted price.  She kind of snickered and said I'd have to contact the owner if I wanted to complain, but the posted prices WAS $3.79 - but only for cash.  When I went back out, I noticed the "cash" on the sign, but it's small enough that I never saw it, even when re-checking the sign after filling up.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, would you have noticed it?

I told her both prices should have been shown on that sign, and she said there IS a sign at the corner of the gas station that clearly shows both prices.  This is the sign, in the middle of the others signs - the one with the very small numbers in black on a yellow background strip:

I had to walk closer to it to read it, and never even noticed it the entire time I was there before having it pointed out.  Which, I guess, is the idea.

I CALL THIS A BAIT AND SWITCH - AND TOLD THE CASHIER I WAS GOING TO PUT THIS IN MY BLOG TO WARN OTHER RV'ERS.   She couldn't have cared less.  So, be warned, check to make sure you are paying the CREDIT price if you are using a credit card, which I always do in order to track the expense.

Anyway, we're here, parked in the street with an electrical cord hooked up to Kristy and Matt's garage, so we have electricity.  It's been really cold, so I've been going out early in the evening and turning on a space heater so it's warmer when Katie and I return for the rest of the evening, and then to sleep.

On the evening of the 19th, when I had gone to The Palms for the evening, there was a knock at the door, and this is what I found when I opened the door - Drew had just lost his first tooth.

It was pretty wiggly for a few days and was bothering him when he ate, and now it's gone.  I think he looks pretty darn handsome without his bottom tooth!!  The Tooth Fairy left him $5, which he was pretty happy about!  :)

Friday we had a ladies day wine-tasting. Kristy and I went with one of her friends, Deanna, and her sister-in-law, Alison, and mother-in-law, Marie, up to the wine country in Amador County.  Allison and her husband belong to a wine club at one of the wineries that has a free lunch every Friday, so we went with her to have lunch and taste some wines at other wineries, too.  The lunch was delicious - this photo was from Villa Toscano's website.  It was a beautiful day and we had our lunch outside - right where the umbrella is in the photo.

We had tastings at four other wineries.  I think I've re-acquired a taste for red wines, some of the reds I tasted were very good. I know a glass of red wine in the evening is good for us, but I've been enjoying white wines more for quite a while.  I'm going to go back to reds, I think.

It was a really nice day, but boy were we tired when we got home. I went back to The Palms at 7 and was in bed by 8.  Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, but it is really beautiful country.

WELCOME to our newest followers:

Gay and Joe, who are traveling with four - yes that's four - dogs, and have completed their first year as full-timers.  You guys must take a lot of walks!!  Check out their blog, good-times-rollin,

Jo, who is married to Rick, has a blog entitled Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels. There is one scary photo of their motor home in 2000 - it's on January 14's post - you have to see this.  Unfortunately the blog doesn't go back to 2000, so I guess we'll never know how that happened!

Katie and I are happy to have you all following along with us - Welcome Aboard!  :)

And that's about it for now. I have new curtains in The Palms - they look pretty good and I'll post photos next time.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year from San Diego!

It seems I'm staying much longer in San Diego than originally planned.  I  was going to be here from Christmas Eve until New Year's Eve, but we're still hanging around.  Not a lot to blog about and I've been very lazy, but I've kept up with all your posts each day so I haven't missed a thing. I've enjoyed spending time with my family and having the grandkids on overnights in The Palms.  I've taken a bit of a break from posting and carrying my camera everywhere, and have enjoyed my mini-vacation here in San Diego.

We parked across the street from my son's new house for a week so that we could visit when all the family was there and still sleep in the motorhome and have the grand kiddles over for the night.  We then moved The Palms to his old house, which is empty right now, waiting for escrow to close and the new buyers to move in.   So now we have a gorgeous yard with lawn, palm trees, flowers, etc. right out our windows, a car to use and stores nearby.  And electric hookups, too.  That's what I call comfort!

What a great campsite - Tom and Trish's old house

I've had a few overnights with my grandchildren, even the 3-year old for the first time, who was quite talkative during the night.  I finally had to tell him to go to sleep, and he did.  I was afraid he'd be scared without his mom and dad, but he did fine with me and Katie and Gavin, his 8 year old brother.

Big brother Gavin and sleeping Graydin watching movies at Grammy's

I've gotten a lot of things done while we've been here.  Today I met my son for lunch at his office, and got to visit with the women I worked with for three years while I was there.  It was really nice to see them, and also to meet Tom's new personal assistant. 

Sunday he and Trish are taking me out for breakfast for my birthday.  The plan is to head back to Hot Springs LTVA early next week, hopefully after the winds and cold weather are gone.

In the middle of their move to the new house, Tom and Trish had Tom's dad visit the week before I arrived, then while I was there my daughter and her family arrived, as well as Trish's friend's dog, Lola who they took care of for a week.  Lola is a very large dog with a great personality. She was so easy to get along with, except for Katie, who wanted nothing to do with her and let her know it anytime she got close.  Poor thing.

Tom and Trish have a lot of patience - can you imagine moving into a new house during Christmas AND having family and an extra dog or two?  While you both work???  Somehow it all went like clockwork and everyone had a great time and some great meals. :)

Lola and Trish on Christmas morning.

I've taken some photos during the past couple of weeks, here are a few of them.

Graydin, Drew, Gavin, Kennedy, Lauren at The Palms for a movie. Those are their popcorn bowls on their heads. :)

Drew and Lauren having popcorn at Grammy's.       

Drew and Lauren over-nighting at Grammy's

Gavin and Drew loved their new books. They are both great readers.

Cousins just hanging out.

Kristy, Lauren, Gavin, Drew, Graydin, Kennedy, Tom at lunch with Grammy

Son-in-law Matt with Katie

Katie's new Squeaky Duck toy

As I was leaving Tom's house one day, we saw this beautiful bird on his lawn - we watched it for a while and Tom got his camera out of the car.  These are two of the photos he e-mailed me. I'd never seen a bird that looked like this.  We called him the Bandit Bird:

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

WELCOME to our two newest Followers:

Encourage One Another, who has a non-RVing blog, but the posts are interesting - check it out.  He/She has over 5,000 Followers - WOW!  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, I appreciate it!

JoanneG, who says in her profile info, "Looking forward to half-timing in our Roadtrek! Still working full time but getting out to the wilds as often as possible!"  Sounds like you have a good plan, there, Joanne.  Do you have a blog?  If so, let me know so I can check it out.

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