Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

I know I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I was busy working to get stuff done before taking vacation to spend time with my 2 youngest kids. It was a great time and went by way to quickly.

Day 1 started with a very loooonnnnngggg 10 hour drive. First to kids house to pick them up and then back down the mountain to my grandmothers house located in Costa Mesa, CA. The weather looked pretty iffy but it ended up being a perfectly clear sunny day albeit a bit cold.

Because we knew we would be on the road so long we decided to do most of the grocery shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner in Costa Mesa. Well that was a HUGE mistake. The grocery store was packed and to top it off they were having a food drive complete with cute firefighters, police officers, and tons of newspeople. I felt like I was in the black friday shopping craziness.

We spent the days watching movies, looking at old family photos, and playing games. Typical fun family time spent with everyone. We would eat at the house for breakfast, ate out at tons of great restraunts for lunch, and usually had munchies and leftovers from lunch for dinner.

Yummy Luch on the beach

It was so great to see the california coast again. Being a california girl I miss the beach area terribly. Weather was crazy and different everyday. One day ended up being perfect and the kids got to go to the beach and play in the water. It felt great laying out on the beach in the sun even if I was wearing clothing instead of a bathing suit.

 Thanksgiving was a wonderful day and grandma spent the whole day with us and didn't want to go back to her place. She lives in a wonderful assited living facility and we took her back late that night before they called the police saying that we kidnapped her.

The drive home was killer because of traffic. It was amazing how many RV's we saw on the road. Mom and I were commenting on which ones we liked and didn't like. She likes the class B's and I like the class A's and bus conversions. The killer part of the drive was getting stuck in road construction traffic on I-10. It was down to 1 lane and very slow going, averaging 2 mph for over an hour. It was funny because we had 3 big rigs in front of us and 4 behind us and they were all in sync going the same speed. Because they were in low gear and taking their time, we cruised at the same speed so no braking or gas pedal, just cruising along at the car's idle speed. It was great and I am sure miffed off some motorists behind us as the grouping was quite spread out and nobody was getting by us. Made me feel special being mixed in with the group. A trucker even honked at us when we finally got off the road at our exit. Wished I had a CB to wish them a good trip and Happy Thanksgiving.

The trip ended with many smiles, memories, and a ahhhhh moment when I was back in my own bed for the night with Sweetpea snuggled next to me. Life is good.

Have a great day and wishing you a great holiday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Entertaining the kids on road trips.

My Mom and I are planning a road trip with the little ones to see my grandmother in California. While I was busy planning all the details I got to thinking about all the road trips taken over the years with my parents and ones with the kids.

Many years ago on a long road trip with my Mom and all 4 of the kids Mom came up with a game. It was something to keep them entertained and it surprisingly has continued to this day. So everytime we are in the car for a bit the little ones ask to play the game. It has kept them occupied, prevents the arguments between them, and gives them something to take their minds off the long drive. They even ask to do it on short drives now. Go figure!!!!

The game is pretty simple. A person picks a letter. Lets say it is R. Now you take turns saying a word that starts with the letter R. Race car, Roadrunner, Rocket, and you keep going until a person can't think of a word or duplicates a word said earlier. That person is out and you keep going until there is one person left. It is pretty interesting what words the kids think of. And it is actually helping them learn words that they never think about. Sometimes we even have arguments on the proper spelling of a word because the sound of a word is different then the spelling.

Who knew that all these years later that something so simple would entertain the kids all these years later.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sundays, love and hate it!

I both look forward to and dread Sundays. I look forward to it because it is my coupon day and I dread it because it is laundry day.

I love doing my coupon shopping because it is a game to see how much I can save. I especially love finding the FREE ones. I belong to a online club, The Grocery Game, where they put out a list of sale items and where to find the coupons needed. It is great because it lists how good of a deal an item is and it cuts out the time wasted wondering where that coupon was. I have saved a ton of money with it, especially when Max was still living here. He was a typical teenager and ate more food than any normal human being yet stayed skinny as a stick. If you still live in a stix & brix then this is great but not so much for a full-time RV'r.

That will be something besides my online shopping I will have to give up one day when I go on the road. But until then I am hunting for those deals and saving up my money to go on the road. As for the online shopping you might want to look at this website, Teri GG Messageboard. It has tons of tips on deals and the best one that I love is the Hot Tips forum. It has awesome finds that members post for everyone to use. It could be a rockin' deal, free shipping codes, or unpublished sale deals. Recently there was a tip for a 6-CD music album set for only $5. Yes, only 5 measly dollars plus free ship to your local store if you live nearby. Yes, I did get that one. One more item checked off my Christmas list.

The thing that I dread is doing laundry. I have to lug all the stuff down to the laundry room and nice as it is to do all of it at once it is a pain to drag it all there and back. Bleh!!!!! Max spoiled me when he was here because that was one of his chores. And as usual Sweet Pea has to lay in the CLEAN laundry, not the dirty pile of course.

Max's other chore was taking out the garbage. Why is it that the men always end up with taking out the trash chore?????? The way I figure it they get off easy compared to alot of the other chores around the house.

Have yourself a great day today.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's my lucky day today.

It has turned out to be a lucky day today. I need to explain the back story of this. If you have not read previous old posts I am pretty much deaf except for a little residual hearing in my left ear since birth. I wear a hearing aid and supplement my hearing with lip-reading. I do so well that most people don't realize that I am hearing impaired when they talk to me.

A month ago my hearing aid disappeared. I had been leaving it off a lot that weekend because my ear was sore.  One morning my mom called and I told her to hold on while I went to put my hearing-aid on. (Phone lights warned me that there was an incoming call).  Lo and behold I couldn't find it! I told her I will call her back as soon as I get it on. I searched and searched and ended up putting on my old one that I keep as a back-up and also use when I am out running. I hate my back-up aid because it is old and temperamental. Also the sound quality sucks.

I was freaking out as to where it was. I tore my whole apartment apart for 2 days looking for it and couldn't find it. So many sleepless nights wondering where it is and where I was going to get another $3000 to replace it. OUCH!!!!!

I finally found it today. I was cleaning out the summer stuff and found it in a box of swimwear! Don't ask me how it got there. All I care about is I FOUND IT!!!!!!!! Now I need to seriously think about getting a warranty in case something happens to it. I do not want to go through that again.

Living life dependent on technology is pretty expensive and a pain in the butt. But I would go crazy if I couldn't hear simple things like my kids laughing, the wind in the trees, or someone saying "I love you".

So enjoy what you have and apreciate the simple things that we take for granted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salute to all our veteran's and those currently serving

I want to honor all veteran's on this special day. I come from a long line of veterans and my son is currently serving in Afghanistan.

I honor my family who have served going all the way back to my great grandfather who served in the Navy. Then my grandfather served in the Marines and then the Navy. My father served in the Army. And now my son proudly serves with the Marines. 

I also want to honor all the veterans for all that they have done and sacrificed. It would be a different world today if they hadn't gone and served for us. I have the pleasure of knowing many veterans and they are truly a humble group. They think of nothing of what they did. They sacrificed time with their family and missing special occasions, some missed the birth of their child, some sacrificed their health, and some sacrificed their lives for us. We could never begin to repay you for your service other than to salute you and say a most heartfelt Thank You.

My son wrote to me the other day and he said that despite being in the middle of a war zone he is happy because he is with his family. His brothers will take care of him and he will take care of them. He looks forward to the opportunity to make a difference just like his family did before him.

So to my extended family I send you my thanks, prayers, and love.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Past vs. Now

I am teaching my mom the basics of blogging and how it works. She is still trying to get the hang of computers and just recently joined Facebook. She is amazed at what you can find on the Internet. It has enabled me to find old friends, make new friends, and keep in touch with the kids and family.

I was working with my night shift partner and we started talking about the good ole' days. Days before video games, computers, and the Internet. Yes, I am giving away my age with this. But I know alot of you will know what I am talking about. 

In those days we had to use our imagination for entertainment. We would spend hours playing outside with our neighborhood friends. Try to get kids to do that nowdays is impossible!!!!

This summer when the 2 little ones were here they actually had to play outside with their friends and ended up having a blast. We played board games and even danced to music on the Ipod. That was hilarious because of the different dancing styles between the generations.

One night at dinner I was telling them about what we had for entertainment and they looked shocked. They said "Wow, you must have been soooooo bored!" I said "Well we did the same thing that you have been doing with the neighborhood kids this week". Well that got them thinking. They started asking all about when different stuff came along.

Video games - Pong started it all for me. It is boring now but I thought it was the greatest thing when we got the game console for Christmas.

I would spend hours playing. My all time favorite to this day is Ms. Pac-Man. If I ever win the lottery I am getting one!

VHS tapes - Renting a movie and the tape player to take home and watch. You brought home a big honking huge case with a tape player and hooked it up to the TV and prayed that it worked. Sometimes it didn't!. Thinking about it now it was so cumbersome to deal with compared to DVD's. 

Computers - Opened a whole new world and made life much more easier and much more complicated. I think it has it's pro's and con's. But that is a debate better left for another day.

Music - LP records, 8-Track tapes, cassette tapes, and my favorite item Ipod. Music has changed so much and access to it is so easy compared to the old days. I remember going to the music store and digging around to find a particular album. It was like finding gold when you actually found it. Now all I have to do is download it and presto, song at my fingertips. I Luv My Ipod.

I hope you have as many fond memories of the good ole' days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Freedom from life's handcuffs.

Photo courtesy of Luke Air Force Base
I live next to an Air Force base. When I was leaving for the grocery store I saw some jets taking off. Oh, what a thrill that job must be. It got me thinking about freedom to do things and what I want to try in the future. Flying in a jet is one item that is on my bucket list.

I belong to an RV group and they have an attitude that is similar to mine. I believe you should live life everyday to the fullest. Don't let life handcuff you. Most people when I tell them of my dream to travel full time are doubtful. They say you can't do that. What about this, that, yadda, yadda. Well, you only keep yourself from attaining that dream. 

Most people end up having to give up dreams because of responsibilities at home. They get trapped by having a huge mortgage payment, car payment, maintenance, cable bill, ect. If you get rid of the extras then you can find the freedom to do things that would seem impossible. For example, if you cut out that fancy cable bill and save it you can take a nice little trip somewhere. That I believe is worth much more than watching shows because you will have memories that last a lifetime and have experienced new things.

I live in an apartment and have a cat. This gives me the freedom to move if I want to. I also have the ability to travel because I don't have a huge house payment and all the stuff that comes with it. I have a cat to keep me company and someone to talk to so the neighbors don't think I am crazy. Plus she can take care of herself when I leave for a trip. Granted she is usually miffed at me when I come back.

Most people believe that if you attain the stuff that society seems to judge you by, you are successful. Well I am successful because I have a great life and have seen and done so many things that most people dream about.

So what do you want out of life and what does freedom mean to you???????

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mom's Cooking.

When mom visited me on Friday we got to talking about different things I ate when I was younger. Her favorite thing to serve us during the summer was pita bread with alfalfa sprouts, avocados, and just a sprinkle of onion salt. Yummy. Sometimes we would even have a piece of bread with avocados spread on it and the onion salt. It was simple but yummy. Thinking about it now, I haven't had it since I went out on my own. I think I will try to get some and have it again.

My mom was an interesting cook when I was growing up. She liked to try new things and sometimes it didn't turn out so well. There were lots of nights when we would end up eating PB & J sandwiches. But it was funny to see what she made and we got to experience some pretty unique food.

One of her disasters was Beef Tongue. Ewwww!!!! When I saw that on the butcher block I ran to the phone and was calling all my friends to try and get a dinner invitation because it looked creepy and icky. No such luck!

It was a very long dinner because it took all of us kids forever to choke that stuff down. Tough, chewy, and no flavor. Today my friends tell me it really is good and she probably didn't cook it right. Well, no thanks. I will stick with regular meat cuts.

Another thing my mom taught us was table manners and how to eat in different settings. One of those lessons was how to eat a formal dinner. She showed us all the different place settings and what all the different silverware pieces were for. This paid off one day when I went to the Marine Corps Ball.

Here I am at a table with a bunch of Marine buddies and their girlfriends. They were looking at all of the different silverware and looking mighty confused. It was funny seeing a large marine holding a tiny escargot fork with a puzzled look on his face. I told him that it was for the snails that they would be serving for appetizers. Now mind you these are big burly, macho Marines dripping with testosterone. ALL of them had a scared look on their faces. It was too funny. They never served it, but I wish they had. It would have been priceless seeing them try to eat that. I don't like them.

I spent the night teaching them what each one was for and it led to stories of dinner with mom and her lessons.