Sunday, December 30, 2007

Five Years and Counting


December 30, 2002 I quit smoking....so today is my fifth smoke free anniversary. My only regret is that I didn't quit sooner.

The other day at Safeway I was walking past the glassed in, locked display case that holds their tobacco products. I happened to notice a carton of the brand I used to smoke with a price tag of $47 and some change. That is outrageous!! I have no idea how people afford to smoke any more. When I started smoking, cigarettes cost 3 packs for $1 at the Clark gas station in Prairie du Chien. Too bad they didn't cost $5 a pack then, I couldn't have afforded them!!

So lets really think about this for a minute. How many days have I been smoke free?? 365 x 5 + 1 (Leap Year) equals 1,826 days...

How many cigarettes haven't I smoked?? I am going to average 1.5 packs a day so let's see 1,826 x 30 equals 54,780!! My lungs must be ecstatic!!

Now lets talk money....when I quit 5 years ago cigarettes were $3.50 a pack so 1.5 packs would cost $5.25 a day. So the math for this problem must be 5.25 x 1,826 equals $9,586.50 Wow is that right??? Just for shits and giggles lets see how much money this would be based on today's cigarette prices. That would bump the daily cost to $7.50 if we are figuring a $5.00 per pack price. Here goes...1,826 x $7.50 equals $13,695. Wow how sad that so many people burn up that kind of money on a daily basis and shame on me for burning up the amount of money that I did smoking for 40 years....not to mention the havoc I wreaked on my one and only body. In fact that is the real tragedy of smoking..what it does to our bodies and, by association, the bodies of our friends and families.

I know quitting smoking is not easy.....but do yourself a favor and make the effort. It is soooooo worth it!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2008


2008 STARTS RIGHT OUT WITH "VEGAS 80", A FAMILY GATHERING IN LAS VEGAS TO CELEBRATE MY MOTHER'S 80TH BIRTHDAY.

AFTER COMPLETING OUR TASK OF HIDING FROM THE WINTER WEATHER IN THE MOHAVE VALLEY AND WORKING AT THE AVI WE ARE OFF TO CRESCENT CITY, A SMALL TOWN ON HWY 101 ON THE NORTHERN COAST OF CALIFORNIA, TO CAMP BETWEEN THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND THE GIANT REDWOODS FOR A WEEK.

WE PLAN THEN TO RETURN TO LAKE TAHOE FOR A SHORT 16 WEEKS OF CASINO WORK, AND LEAVE THERE RIGHT AFTER LABOR DAY TO RETURN TO WISCONSIN FOR OKTOBERFEST AND FAMILY VISITING.

THE FIRST OF OCTOBER WILL HAVE US HEADED SOUTH TO "BB'08" (BEACH BUMMING '08) WITH STOPS IN SPRINGFIELD, IL, LYNCHBURG, TN, SAVANNAH, GA, PANAMA CITY, FL, PENSACOLA, FL, MONTGOMERY, AL, BILOXI, MS, AND ON DOWN THE GULF COAST OF TEXAS HOPING TO RETURN TO SOUTH PADRE ISLAND. WITH LOT'S LUCK ($$) WE HOPE TO RETURN TO BELIZE, THEN IT'S I-10 BACK TO PHOENIX, YUMA, AND BACK TO THE MOHAVE VALLEY IN DECEMBER.

NOW THAT'S TRULY RV LIFE AT IT'S BEST! 3 MONTHS OF "BB'08" TO LOOK FORWARD TO.

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007


LOOKING BACK 2007 HAS BEEN A GOOD YEAR. MARY GOT TO SPEND THREE WEEKS IN THE SPRING AND THREE WEEKS IN THE FALL AT HOME IN WISCONSIN. I ALSO TOOK 5 WEEKS OFF, SPENDING A WEEK IN THE SPRING CAMPED IN PAHRUMP, AND A WEEK RETURNING FROM GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN TO THE MOHAVE VALLEY IN THE FALL.

ON THE RETURN TRIP IN THE FALL WE SAW MONUMENT VALLEY IN THE NAVAJO NATION AND HIKED DOWN INTO THE GRAND CANYON. BOTH WERE THINGS WE HAD ON ON OUR "TO DO LIST" SOMEDAY.

THE MOST UNIQUE CAMPING EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR WAS THE FOREST FIRE IN THE LAKE TAHOE BASIN. IT'S UNBELIEVABLE HOW QUICKLY THESES WILD FIRES POP UP AND THE HUGH AMOUNT OF MANPOWER IT TAKES TO TO PUT THEM UNDER CONTROL. WATCHING 40 FIRE ENGINES DRIVE BY TO RACE TO A FLASHOVER, NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE THE SUN FOR THE SMOKE, VIEWING THE AFTERMATH OF 260 HOMES TOTALLY DESTROYED, AND THE BUMPER TO BUMPER EXPERIENCE OF EVACUATION. FIRE IS TRULY A MONSTER!

IF YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND A SUMMER ONLY WORKING FOUR DAYS A WEEK, THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE THAN THE SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS. "To breath the air the angels breath-go to Tahoe".

WE WERE ALSO BLESSED WITH LOT'S OF COMPANY IN 2007. IT'S FUN TO SHOW OFF OUR LIFE STYLE AND THE WEST TO FAMILY. SPEAKING OF BEING BLESSED, WE EACH HAD A NEW GRANDSON IN 2007.

ALL IN ALL 2007 WAS A GREAT YEAR, BUT 2008 IS AN EVEN NUMBERED YEAR, AND YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE ENJOY OURSELVES IN THE EVEN NUMBERED YEARS, SO TUNE IN TOMORROW TO SEE WHAT'S PLANNED IN 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Damn Pit Bull


The long Christmas weekend is now over and I got a call from Rusty's Autobody this afternoon, the adjuster from Progressive Insurance was there to look at my car. The pit bull did $1,496.67 worth of damage of which I have to pay $250. AND because there is another holiday weekend coming up, they are saying they hope to have my car repaired next Friday....anyone want to take odds on that?? This is not fun...I really, really, really miss my car!!!

We have tomorrow (Thursday) off because we have to work Sunday for the big holiday weekend. I am not sure I am physically able to work on a Sunday, -it's been a long time-I do know for sure I won't like it. Anyway back to Thursday, we have a full day of errands scheduled. We will be picking up Rex's Mother to go with us. So far we have to go to Laughlin to the library and to Needles to get California lottery tickets. I sure wish we'd win one of these times!! Then if the wind isn't blowing we'll hit the grocery store for stuff to make pizzas on the grill. We haven't have them for a long time and they just sound good!!

One last thought for the day:

Happy Birthday to Kitty Wilkinson!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CHRISTMAS


THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT FOR US THIS YEAR THAN IN PREVIOUS YEARS HERE ON THE DESERT. FIRST OFF WE HAD CHRISTMAS EVE "OFF" WORK AND SECOND WE HAD GRANDMA HERE TO SHARE THE HOLIDAY WITH. USUALLY CHRISTMAS IS JUST ANOTHER WORK DAY, WITH BETTER THAN AVERAGE FOOD SERVED IN THE EMPLOYEE CAFETERIA.

MARY WAS HAPPY DOING WHAT SHE ENJOYS BEST, COOKING. SUNDAY SHE HAD A PORK TENDERLOIN IN THE CROCK POT AND ROASTED PARMESAN POTATOES, WITH HOMEMADE EGG NOG FOR DESERT. ON SUNDAY SHE PACKED UP A PICNIC LUNCH OF CHICKEN CORDON BLUE, RICE MEDLEY, GRAVY, AND ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI WHICH WE DELIVERED AND ATE AT MY MOTHER'S MOTEL SUITE.



DESPITE YOUR BLIZZARD LIKE CONDITIONS IN THE MIDWEST WE HOPE YOUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS CAME OFF WITHOUT A HITCH, AND WERE A SUCCESS!!!


(ENJOYED TERESA'S BLOG)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas


Today while I was blowing yet another 6 inches of fresh snow off the driveway, I was wondering what they were doing in Belize for Christmas. We have never been there at Christmas, we came the closest this year ever. They had started to put up a few decorations. Wow, did they look out-of-place. Here is Frosty the Snowman tobogganing down a thatched roof. Keep in mind that the temperature out in the sun like that is 85 degrees.........


.......this misguided lady is decorating the beach. In the foreground is a palm tree with lights on the trunk. Strange.....


........the one normal thing we found was a new event for San Pedro........ a parade. They had it last year for the first time and had fun with it. It's a boat parade!! They decorate up their boats and parade along the whole town, about a mile. Here is Santa and his helpers. They look like they are having fun.........

.....after wrestling with my camera for a few minutes (it is an IDIOT, you have got to believe me), I got a few good pictures. This may have been the winner??.............

...........although this one was nice, too...........


........pretty elaborate.



Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Uncle Hans and Aunt Wendy!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007




Saturday, December 22, 2007

WAS THAT A REINDEER?



HOLY CRAP MARY, WAS THAT A DOG OR A REINDEER?

WE WERE COMING HOME FROM WORK AT 3:15 AM IN THE MORNING AND AT 45 MPH AFTER MEETING ANOTHER CAR ON THE ROAD, BOOM RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR LANE WAS A BROWN AND WHITE PIT BULL . MARY HAD EXACTLY ENOUGH TIME TO TAKE HER FOOT OFF THE GAS AND SMACK - POW WE HIT THE DOG!

SHE HASN'T BEEN TO THE AUTO BODY SHOP YET, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE A NEW PLASTIC FRONT CLIP, YOU KNOW THE BUMPER AND GRILL, FOR THE FRONT OF THE HONDA IS NOW ON HER CHRISTMAS LIST.






UPDATE:

DO YOU KNOW HOW BIG THE HEAD IS ON A PIT BULL?

IT'S BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE OUT THE RADIATOR AND AIR CONDITIONING, AND MAKE THE HONDA UNDRIVEABLE NOT TO MENTION THE FRONT BUMPER.

AH..... GRANDMA, CAN I BORROW THE "ARIZONA CAR"?

Friday, December 21, 2007

BUD LIGHT?

video

Thursday, December 20, 2007

THE NEW $4 BILL

A Chicago family of pro football supporters head out one Saturday to do their Christmas Shopping. While in the sports store, the son picks up a Green Bay Packers jersey and says to his older sister, "I've decided to become a Packer fan and I would like this for Christmas." His big sister is outraged by this and promptly whacks him on the head and says, "Go talk with mom."

Off goes the little lad with the Green Bay Packer jersey in hand and finds his mother. "Mom?" "Yes, son?" "I've decided I'm going to be a Packer fan, and I would like this jersey for Christmas." The mother is outraged, promptly whacks him on the head and says, "Go> see your father."

Off he goes with the Green Bay Packer jersey in hand and finds his father. "Dad?" "Yes, son?" "I've decided I'm going to be a Packer fan, and I would like this jersey for Christmas". The father is so outraged he, too, whacks his son on the head and says, "No son of mine is ever going to be seen in THAT!"

About half hour later they're all back in the car heading towards home. The father turns to the son and says, "Son, I hope you've learned something today." The son says, "Yes, Dad, I have." "Good, son. What is it?" The son replies, "I've only been a Packer fan for an hour and I already hate you Illinois bastards."


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ORIENTATION


WE COMPLETED GRANDMA'S ORIENTATION TO THE MOHAVE VALLEY. SHE IS NOW ON HER OWN WITH THE "ARIZONA CAR" ALL GASSED UP.

THE FIRST NIGHT WE WENT TO EAT WITH HER AT BLACK BEAR FAMILY DINER, JUST A COUPLE OF BLOCKS FROM HER MOTEL. THEN YESTERDAY WE DELIVERED THE "ARIZONA CAR" AND DROVE HER TO THE MALL, WHERE SHE WILL HAVE TO WALK WHEN THE WIND COMES UP, AND WHERE THE MOVIE THEATER IS LOCATED. NEXT STOP, MARY'S FAVORITE, THE LAUGHLIN LIBRARY. THE LIBRARY ISSUED GRANDMA A CARD AND SHE'S ALL SET UP WITH ALL THE READING MATERIAL SHE WILL REQUIRE. SHE EVEN SCORED A BOOK ON HER SHORT LIST OF BOOKS SHE'S BEEN WANTING TO READ.

LAST STOP, I DUMPED THEM OFF AT THE LOCAL SAFEWAY GROCERY STORE AND MADE THEM WALK BACK TO THE LODGE ON THE RIVER. THEY EVEN FOUND A BACK STREET SHORTCUT.



INSIDE VIEWS OF HER TWO ROOM SUITE.......





THE VIEW FROM HER BALCONY, WHICH INCLUDES THE AFTERNOON SUN AND A SITTING AREA.....



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GRANDMA'S IN !!!


WE PICKED UP MY MOTHER AT THE LAS VEGAS AIRPORT THIS AFTERNOON, LOOK'IN GOOD AND GLAD TO BE OUT OF THE FROZEN NORTH OF WISCONSIN. HER RETURN FLIGHT TO GREEN BAY ISN'T UNTIL MARCH 5TH SO SHE WILL BE HERE TO ENJOY OUR MILD WINTER WEATHER TILL SPRING.

WE WERE UP AND AT IT EARLY, SO WE COULD CATCH PAULIE AFTER WORKING GRAVEYARD FOR BREAKFAST. HE TOO, IS DOING WELL AND WE HADN'T SEEN HIM SINCE THE WEDDING IN GREEN BAY.

WE TALKED OF "VEGAS 80" AND HAVING THE FAMILY VISITING NEVADA, SOME FOR THE FIRST TIME.

WE HAD A FEW HOURS TO KILL AND DID SOME SHOPPING AND THEN HIT THE STRIP FOR A NICE WALK ABOUT. VEGAS SURE IS CHANGING. THE CITY CENTER PROJECT HAD SO MANY CRANES YOU COULDN'T COUNT THEM ALL, AND ACROSS THE STREET WHAT WAS ONCE THE NEW ALADDIN, IS NOW LOOKING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AS PLANT HOLLYWOOD.

ALL IN ALL A PERFECT DAY WITH FAMILY ON THE DESERT, WITH SUNSHINE.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Decoration?


Did we have a busy day or what?? First of all today (Sunday) we had to get all of our weekend chores done because tomorrow (Monday) we are going to Vegas to pick up Rex's mother. She will be spending most of the winter in Bullhead City. We are really looking forward to her visit.

So back to the busy day we had......Rex got up first to watch the Packer game, unfortunately the Fox affiliate chose to show the Steelers game!! So we had to be content with Internet updates.....that sucks but at least we knew what was going on. While the game wasn't on, I started the laundry and Rex got coffee into his system. I don't know if I have mentioned this before or not, but Rex is not a real amiable person until he gets coffee into his system so we usually let him get up first!! That saves a lot of conflict.

After the expected Packer win, we went on our "run". The run consisted of a trip to two banks (for Vegas spending money) and to Wal-Mart for stuff we wanted to put in the Arizona car, such as new mats, a cup holder, and Febreze to get rid of the yucky smell.

Since it had been a while since we had an executive meeting to discuss upcoming events, we decide to stop at "Cocktails" for meeting inducements!! I had along my notepaper and pen for notes....so we are now organized for tomorrow and partially for "Vegas 80". We enjoy our brain storming sessions and usually they are productive and today's was no exception.

Then it was home to make supper and finish getting the Honda ready for the Vegas trip ...I am SO excited to go to Trader Joe's tomorrow and my list is long. I really love that store!!

Oh and I did manage to get the Christmas decorations up....here is a picture!!

And I don't want to forget to add.....Happy 9th Birthday to Mackenzie Besl!!! (Did anyone notice that this is the third birthday this week??)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

REMEMBER THE "PUPPIES"?


NOBODY LIKES REPORTING FAILURES, AND SO I'VE PUT THIS BLOG ENTRY OFF A FEW WEEKS. REMEMBER THE FOUR TOMATO SEEDS THAT SPROUTED?

THREE OF THEM OVER A TWO WEEK PERIOD WERE TRANSFERED TO THE WATER FARM WHERE THEY WILTED AND DIED. I WISH I KNEW WHY THEY DIED? IT WASN'T FREEZING TEMPS, IT WASN'T LACK OF WATER, IT WASN'T TOO MUCH CHEMICAL, BUT I DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT WAS? I'D LIKE TO AT LEAST LEARN SOMETHING FROM FAILURE.

THE 4TH (AND LUCKY) PUPPIE WAS PLANTED IN STEVE, THE NEIGHBORS, HERB GARDEN AND IS SURVIVING.


OF COURSE STEVE WAS QUICK TO POINT OUT HIS METHODS, UNLIKE HYDROPONICS, IS "OLDER THAN DIRT" SO TO SPEAK.

MEANWHILE THE ROSEMARY CONTINUES TO GROW WELL, AND IS PROVIDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH FRESH ROSEMARY WHENEVER THE RECIPE HAS A CALL FOR IT. THERE WON'T BE ANY NEW HYDROPONIC TESTING UNTIL CLOSER TO SPRING.





Happy 12th Birthday Marissa Besl!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Painting


I am sure I have mentioned, on more than one occasion, how much I like the Laughlin Library. They have a lot of activities in addition to the usual fare of books, movies, audio books, magazines, etc. They have lectures about the history of the area, the local flora and fauna, the Indian Tribe native to the area, etc, etc.

I have taken a couple of classes, one on rock painting, and another one in which we painted on glass...specifically we painted a glass container to put olive oil in. I guess for some strange reason I think I should be a painter because Wednesday morning I took another painting class. Actually I keep trying something different hoping to stumble onto something that I like and can actually do. A tall order!! This one was acrylic on canvas. The instructor paints like Bob Ross, the guy on PBS that paints with a regular 2 inch paint brush. So after 2 hours of class this is what I had to show for it...



Not too terrible for a first attempt and I enjoyed it. The instructor is having a class in January I plan to take, during which we will paint a desert scene. As far as this scene goes...this is as close to snow as I plan to get this winter!

Another service we have been using heavily at the library is their e-media. We download books to the laptop, transfer it to the MP3 player, and listen to them whenever we want. In fact I take mine to work and listen during breaks. That way I am not forced to watch either sports or news channels in the break room. I can easily listen while I knit.


Oh, remember the dish cloths I was knitting for the RV Park craft show last Saturday?? I am happy to report that I sold all the ones I made. I also sold about $100 of magnetic jewelry. All in all worth being sleep deprived at work Saturday night!!

Happy Birthday to Maxine Loeding!!!!

OOPS.................this blog entry was originally scheduled to be posted on Friday Dec. 14th which is Maxine's birthday...but for some reason Rex posted a different one. Now I am in the doghouse with Nikki because we didn't wish Maxine birthday wishes....hate it when a plan doesn't go together!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Dinner


.....Every December, on the first Friday night, We entertain the anesthetists that I work with in the region as a thank-you for their good work. Good anesthesia makes the surgeon's work easier and safer, keeping him out of the clutches of the malpractice lawyers. We have done over 20 of these dinners, and it drives Wendy to distraction.


We were in Belize until 72 hours before the dinner, making it worse this year than ever. Planning started in September. Two rooms got new paint, and other baseline d├ęcor changes were made. The tree went up about Nov 15 (it's artificial, thank God) This table was set on Wednesday..........


special tables for the bar and hors dourves (sp?) are set up in the background..........



...this is Friday morning, the calm before the storm. Wendy is an obsessive-compulsive accountant. Every step is planned out in advance. She was tossing and turning in Belize at night with recipes going through her head. D-Day (June 6, 1944) was not as well planned as this!.......



......the papers taped to the cupboards in the last pictures were recipes and the kitchen schedule. The recipes are gleaned off the Internet and carefully screened. This year's theme is "Taste of Wisconsin" This lucky recipe winner is for walnut encrusted fillet of Walleyed Pike. Jake caught the fish...........


....this beauty is for cranberry glazed breast of chicken. Wisconsin is second only to Maine in cranberries ......



.......this is the all-important kitchen schedule. We thought about having it catered, but the caterer would undoubtedly not follow the schedule, get in the way or underfoot, and then Wendy would have to kill him. No caterer.....


this little blow-up of the schedule is funny. I thought the "nap" was my part, where we go to bed and I take her mind off the hectic schedule and distract her as a calming technique with my sexual prowess. Nope. She wanted to sleep for a while! Damn!!.........


....Wisconsin=Cheese and she took almost two hours cutting and arranging the 10 varieties of cheeses. Each had to be labeled with little signs. Our Dad would have been so proud!!.........


.......three Wisconsin wineries, from Door County, Sauk Prairie, and St.Croix Falls were represented with 5 different wines........


..this in addition to a full bar..........



...........finally, it's all ready with even a fire in the fireplace (Hans WAS responsible for something).......



.....light the last of about 25 candles quick! The doorbell is ringing!! Good job! A great time was had by all. I didn't take any pictures at the party, people don't appreciate finding themselves on the internet......


Hans

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And After Belize, Spooner Snow Blowing...


A few weeks back I started a series of blogs for RV'ers who don't have to put up with the nuisance little chores involved with home-owning. There is no end to material for that blog thread. Take, for example, snowremoval...........


....snow is like a child. It is beautiful, fun, and great to have around, unless it is yours............



...I got about 20 feet down the driveway and the blower quit. I had sheared a shear-pin on this piece of wire..........


......the shear-pin is actually a small bolt, seen here in the foreground. You take the crowbar and clean out the snow from the blower (always shut off the tractor if you like hands that are not plastic and steel)....



....there is always lots of snow packed into the blower when the pin shears.........


.....with frozen fingers and liberal doses of foul language, the bolt or pin goes in place and you thread a nut on it (dead center of picture)........



..then you go back out to finish the job, wondering what the Rv'ers are doing at that moment in Arizona? Polishing their chrome hitch balls?

Bastards!!................


Hans