Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trying to catch up

I promised you photos from Florida - both of the space in which Ken masterfully parked the RV and of the view. Here they are!

Can you believe he managed to get the RV backed into this space between the two palm trees?

As you can see from the photo on the right, he had to back it in far enough to clear the tree so we could open the slide. It was pretty amazing to watch!

I think you will agree, though; the view was certainly worth it! These photos were taken from inside the RV.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another rainy day in Lake Charles

Good morning and welcome to another soggy day in the city of Lake Chuck. Today is a 'working' day. We have lots of errands to run and this afternoon I am getting a remicade treatment. For those of you who don't know me well (or at all), I have Crohn's Disease. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful doctor here as well as at home. The staff at each office are equally wonderful and I'd love to nominate them all for 'Office of the Year' awards. I am SO happy to be able to see Karen and Dr. Nichols while I'm here in La. They have been SO good to me over the years. I am so grateful they arranged for my treatment while I am here so I can stay on schedule. I get the IV infusion every 8 weeks like clockwork. This treatment is incredible and is the difference between my being a functioning human being and a crumpled version of myself, in pain, laying on the couch not able to move. Sadly, that is no exaggeration.

On the list of things to do is a med run at Wallyworld, pick up a check that should have been mailed but wasn't (ages ago!), buy stamps and mail out the cards that are late, get a new battery for my watch at the dive shop (special watch, special batteries) and we need to remember to eat lunch before my appointment.

The day's highlight will be visiting with our dear friends - Matt and Annie and their 3 kids. When we left town there were only 2 kids so this is a reunion and a meeting. I can't wait!

I'll post this now so I can get going and I promise, I will let you know about our Florida days as well!

Happy day before New Year's Eve!
~ Kassidee

My own cute cats

Here are six of the seven cats that are traveling with us. The 2 together on the left are litter-mates. Ishky and Iggy. (Full names: Ishkabibble and Ignatz). The short version of their story is that they fell through a hole in a ceiling at about 3 weeks old and their mom took off with her other kittens. I bottle fed them both and was supposed to only keep one. When it came time to give one up, I was in tears. Ken finally relented and said I could keep them both if he could name them both. They are very sweet cats.

The grey one in front and the orange one are technically my mom's cats. They are both rescue cats from the animal shelter/pound in Ma. The grey one is Izzy (Isadore) who was a kitten when we got him. We brought home Zeke (Ezekiel) the same day. He was already full grown but he was exceptionally sweet. They can usually be found curled up together, as well.

The last pair are Joshua aka Joshy and Moses. Moses is the white fluff ball who I inherited from my vet. They used to keep office pets and this one decided he liked 'going out'. He wandered into the day care center next door and would visit all the classrooms. The problem was they were on a busy road and so they decided to find him a home. Ken said his name should be Moses because he is always trying to get to the Promised Land. We were out of town when Moses brought home the black and white kitten. The kitten would run out from under the house when Moses was let out in the morning and then hide back under the house when Moses came home at night. He was so small he hid under the lawn mower, too. We named him Joshua because Joshua followed Moses. Those two were indoor/outdoor cats until we moved to Massachusetts. We used to live on a dead end. Now we are on a busy road. They aren't thrilled, but they adjusted.

Thor is the only cat not in the picture. He had a sister who was mostly black with a little bit of white. She was in my yard and hurt. She had abscesses on her legs. I brought her to the vet and 200 dollars later she still didn't make it. It was very sad. The next day I saw her brother. He was a lot harder to catch because they were both feral and he wasn't hurt. I got a 'have-a-heart' trap so I could bring him in and get him fixed. I figured even if he didn't stay with us, at least he wouldn't procreate. Well - he wasn't too keen on the humans in the house but he sure did like the 4 legged creatures. He would come out of hiding every time Moses and Joshua came in or any of the cats wandered through the room or when the dogs came in from outside. His full name is Thornton Wilder - but we call him Thor for short. He still isn't overly trusting of people but he will sleep on the bed now and let us pet him. He is very sweet but I think he still prefers 4 legged friends to the the 2 legged kind. He is white with orange spots and a ringed tail. I'll try to get a photo of him out here soon.

Now you have met the cats. I'll put up some photos of the dogs as well, the next time I get a few minutes. All donations to pet food and vet bills will be gratefully accepted! They are worth every penny but it sure does get expensive! LOL

I'm off to bed - have a great night!
~ Kass
Daagh and his kids and I were in a shop in downtown Athens. This cat was sitting in a basket on the counter. I expected the people working there to be cool since they had a funny cat - but as soon as the flash went off I was reprimanded. I was informed that they had a 'no photo' policy in the store. Oh well - I guess they should post that somewhere or not have such a cute cat.

Florida Escapades – not to be confused with Florida Ice Capades! (The last copy and paste from Florida)

I believe my post about the travails of getting to Florida ended with our arrival in the sunshine state and my husband’s miraculous job of ‘parking’ the RV. I will try to fill you in on the rest.

I must start with a HUGE thank you to Ingrid for allowing us to park in her driveway and for allowing us to hook up to her electric. That can only be followed up with another HUGE thank you to ‘my dad’ who is the one who rigged all the wiring to work in the first place. It was his invitation to the 51st Anniversary Dinner that started this whole RV excursion in the first place.

We went to dinner the first night we were here with Ingrid and Bernard. Joan wasn’t feeling well and we left mom behind as well. We knew the next few days would be busy and we didn’t want to overtax her. We went to The Clock Tower Grille only to find out it had gone out of business since the last time Bernie had eaten there. (Oops!)

On to a restaurant called Flakowitz. It sounds like a name you would call someplace you can’t remember the exact name of – but that really IS the name of it! They survive because they cater to all the alta kockers who are sad they left New York. “What is an alta kocker”, I hear you ask. The translation I found says an A.K. is an old fart.

Flakowitz serves stuff you see on Delancey Street. Knishes, kishka, kasha vanishkas, sour pickles, tongue, brisket, flanken (only on Fridays, sadly for me), chicken soup with matzoh balls, overstuffed sandwiches, potato latkes, and babka. We had a fun time in there and Ken committed the ultimate sin – he ordered a tongue sandwich and a glass of milk! That’s my husband.

The fates are against me. I cannot continue on about Florida because it is starting to drizzle and it is supposed to rain. As badly as my computer is behaving I do not want to kill it completely by drowning it! I will have to continue at another time or from a different location or both.

Happiness and Joy,
~ Kassidee

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lake Charles, La

Welcome 'home'? It is nice to be here when I know it's only a week. It is overcast and threatening to rain. I already miss Florida!

I have no time to post right now but wanted to at least say hello. I should have internet access the whole time we are here which is at least 5 days if not 7 so I should be able to catch up and get up to date.

Looking forward to that!
More soon,
~ Kass

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Moving on

Hello! This post will be short but it's better than no post at all. Tomorrow (Monday) we are leaving Florida and heading west to Lake Charles. As I wrote on facebook - I'm looking forward to seeing friends and family and then moving on! LOL

I have another post to copy and paste when I have a few more minutes and I still want to give you more details about our stay in the sunshine state.

I hope everyone is doing well and having fun. Onward and upward toward the New Year!

~ Kassidee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Copy and Paste Christmas Ramblings

Hello again and Merry Christmas evening one and all. I am staying in a very friendly community where walking down the road everyone says Merry Christmas as you walk by. In the mornings and evenings when folks are out walking their dogs, everyone says hello to each other. It’s quite nice.

I am once again having connection issues with my laptop and I am saving this to my word processor to post later. I am typing at 9:30 P.M. on Christmas night. I am down on the dock with the scent of ocean on the breeze. It is humid and warm and the wind is picking up a bit.

The boats are swaying gently and I love hearing the creeks and groans. As I look around I can see white lights adorning the homes along the waterway. If you aren’t going to have snow for Christmas, this is a nice second! The palm trees are silhouetted against the sky and reflected in the barely rippling water. It is one of those times I wish I could paint so I could capture the moment and keep it forever. The kind of memory you want to tuck away and save for those days when you need a smile and a reminder of better times. It really is wonderful to know you are in the middle of ‘one of those times’ worth remembering. I want to drink it in and I want to share it with you. Thanks for being out here in cyberspace to share it with me.

I want to wish everyone a joyous, healthy and prosperous New Year. May peace find you, and joy comfort you. May good things wrap you up like a hug from an old and dear friend and may you find the strength to cope with all the things that come your way. These are not easy times we are going through and I hope no one out there feels they are going through them alone. We are one big global family and though some feel the internet is making us anti-social, I feel that my family of friends has increased dramatically because of the internet and I wouldn’t trade these friends for the world. We might not recognize each other walking down the street, but the care and concern and feelings we have for each other are no less valid than with the people I know ‘in person’.

I am grateful for the good friends I have and the family I have created, as well as the ones I am actually related to! It is good to know you are all out there.

I am rambling and getting sentimental – and I am stone cold sober. Imagine if I drank tonight at dinner! LOL

I will tell you about our escapades in Florida in another post but rest assured we are having a wonderful time.

Merry Happy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thank heavens for copy and paste!

Welcome to Florida – the land of the missing wifi signal ☺

We have had quite the adventuresome few days. I’ll give you the highlights.

Driving south out of Georgia we were looking for a place to spend the night after crossing the border into the land of palm trees and the engine cut out. Needless to say the next exit was where we spent the night. Luckily there was a Sam’s Club and they were closed so we weren’t in anybody’s way. Ken was pretty sure it was nothing more than a gas cap issue and it seems that he was correct.

We were up at 7 and on the road at 7:45 A.M (a miracle of sorts given all we have to do before we can leave). We were tooling along minding our own business when at 8:45 Ken was told by a passing vehicle that we had a flat on the toad. (Toad = towed – as in the car we are towing behind the RV). We pulled off on the shoulder of the highway and sure enough we had not just a flat but a completely shredded tire. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo – it was a real doosie. (Where does that expression come from, anyway?).

Forty-five minutes later the tire was changed and we were back on the road. Once again, we were minding our own business when (and you can’t make this stuff up) I-95 was closed. All three lanes were closed we were detoured off the highway and onto Highway 1.

We followed the detour signs past another entrance onto I-95 and on down to where the detour had us get back on the highway. The only problem was that to get on at this location required a left turn across Highway 1. To say there was a traffic jam is an understatement. Ken was standing still for about half an hour when he decided to turn around and go back north to the other entrance to 95. Luckily, he decided right and we breezed back onto the highway. All was right with the world – except that we needed gas (badly) and the next exit was the one we had just sat in traffic at to get on the highway. We didn’t really have much choice so we got off and gassed up. At least the gas was cheap! We managed to get through the traffic and back on the highway while looking at the long line of traffic that we still would have been sitting in at the light had Ken not turned around. Argh. Sadly, we found out the road was closed due to an accident at 4 A.M. in which there was a fatality.

It took us 4 hours to go 100 miles. The rest of the drive was a breeze after that and we arrived at our destination with plenty of daylight left. When I show you the space Ken managed to squeeze the RV into – you won’t believe it. I don’t believe it and I watched! However – when you see the view we have – I think you will agree with me that it was WELL worth the effort it took to get here!

I’ll leave it at that for now and try to post this as soon as I have service. For now I will save it to my word processor. Happy Merry Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday night in Georgia

We had a lovely day celebrating 'being together' and the holidays with Ken's family. I guess after 11 years of marriage they are also 'my' family - but you know what I mean. (Don't you?)

We ate and drank and talked and watched football and talked some more. It was a great afternoon.

Now we are back on the RV and Daagh went to get his son and they will stop by for a quick visit.

Tomorrow morning we head out for Florida.

I'm keeping this short and I'm off to work on a new pair of socks. I will post a picture of the first pair I knit and also the scarf I made for Aunt Nancy. I still have to weave the ends in before we get to La., but I love the way it came out! :)

Here's to a great week - I hope your weekend was wonderful!
~ Kass

Chanukah Reflections

Although Chanukah is over, I thought this was a nice photo of my mom reflected in the mirror behind our little traveling menorah. I wanted to share it with all of you.

We are off to a pre-Christmas dinner with Ken's step-mom and step sisters and their families. Sadly, his dad is no longer with us but it will be nice to see everyone. It's been far too long.

Daagh is on his way to pick up his son so we can see him before we head out of Georgia. I am grateful for that. He is a great kid and we don't get to see him often enough.

Tomorrow morning we head out for Florida. This was a really nice campground and I wish I had more time to enjoy it. Ken and I have to take a relaxing trip in this thing rather than use it as a mode of transportation between one set of friends and the next! We'll get it right one of these days.

I'm not sure how much snow we missed up north but it seems like our neck of the woods didn't get slammed and so I am happy. If they get too much snow while we are gone, my friends will never let me hear the end of it. Also, Ken will never forgive me for the snowshoeing we are missing!

I better head out - I don't want to be late.
Happy Merry,
~ Kass

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

Hello again,

The rain has finally stopped but wow did it pour yesterday! We spent the day getting ready for the day somehow - and didn't get out of the RV until late afternoon. The honda was filled with my mom and her wheelchair, my laptop, the holiday cards I still need to write out, the 2 bags of knitting (one mine, one my mom's) and all the Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to go to Daagh and his 3 kids. We trucked it all over there in the POURing rain and unloaded the car under cover of umbrellas that couldn't keep up!

We had a lovely dinner made by Daagh (thank you again!) and then opened gifts - both Christmas and birthdays; one belated and one upcoming. Then we proceeded to have a birthday cake and then called it a night. At some point in there we lit the menorah with all the candles glowing as it was the last night of Chanukah. It was a wonderful evening!

The RV has a lot more space now that the gifts have been unloaded and we discovered one gift didn't manage to make the trip. Not too bad all things considered!

Today, we are headed downtown to wander around and check out the shops. At some point I need to get some laundry done (oh so exciting, I know) and then tomorrow we are off to Atlanta for another early Christmas dinner - this one with Ken's family.

I am off to write out more cards and try to get them in the mail on time.
Happy Merry Everything to everyone!
:) Kass

Friday, December 18, 2009

Good morning from rainy Georgia

Hello out there. How is everyone doing today? I am doing some housekeeping chores; paying bills, sending e mail and the like. It is pouring down rain and not conducive to a day of shopping in downtown Athens. There is no sign of it letting up, either. Oh well...

I am finishing up here on the RV and then I'll head over to visit with Daagh and family. We'll have a lovely dinner this evening and hopefully tomorrow it will be bright and sunny.

I'll try to post again later. Not much to report at the moment.

Have a happy day,
~ Kassidee

Georgia on my mind

Hello from relatively warm (50 degrees this afternoon) Georgia.

The good news is we got the microwave working again. Something about resetting the wrong breaker the first time around. (So not my department!) The bad news is the restaurant we planned to have dinner in last night has closed. The good news is we found a great Italian restaurant that had amazing food! The bad news is it is on the 2nd floor with no handicap access. I also can't seem to find a website for the place but I'll link a review I found - La Dolce Vita. The gnocchi was the most amazing I've ever had and the mushroom ravioli was delicious. Our appetizer was braciola and I ended the meal with a delectable chocolate souffle and cappuccino. Everything, including the service, was wonderful.

After dinner we headed over to visit Daagh and the girls. Ken didn't stay long but I stuck around and Daagh drove me back to the RV later in the evening.

While we have been having a fun time in the land of peaches, this morning we headed out to Anderson, South Carolina to go to my friend's sister in law's yarn shop. Sadly, YesYarn is going out of business (this week) but I'm glad I got to stop by and visit Margaret and also buy some more yarn. My stash is growing and I have lots of projects now to complete. I bought some more sock yarn and also yarn for baby blankets and sweaters. I meant to go back in with my camera to get a photo of Wellington the gray angora rabbit but sadly, I ran out of time.

We had a late lunch at Red Lobster - I was craving their biscuits and then headed back to Georgia where our plans for dinner had changed mid day. Instead of the family dinner tonight we will do that tomorrow night. This evening Ken and I took Tina and Ryan out for dinner at Thai Spoon. It's a cute little place in downtown Athens that has good food and is a comfortable place to hang out and get to know someone. It was a pleasure to finally get to meet and spend some time with Ryan. I hope he feels the same.

I spent some time back at the apartment hanging out with Tina and Katie and then Daagh before heading back to the RV. It is time for me to get some sleep but not before I leave you with today's billboard brought to you all the way from Anderson, S.C.

Beer Drinking...
Don't do half the harm of love makin'

The strangest part is that directly beneath that it said - Old New England Proverb!

And on that note, I bid you a fond farewell and sweet dreams.
:) Good night!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Welcome to the Peachy State

If only things were peachy. We arrived at a beautiful RV Park/Campground in Bishop, Ga. We are situated between my friends in Athens and Ken's family in Atlanta. We are staying at Pine Lake for 5 nights. It will be nice to stay put for awhile. However, there seems to be a problem with our electric. Our microwave/convection oven doesn't seem to want to work when plugged into the electric - but it works fine off the generator. Don't ask me! This should be interesting.

We are off to downtown Athens to grab a bite to eat and then I'll head over to visit Daagh and the girls. Tomorrow night we are having a family dinner and I will finally get to meet Ryan!

I will have computer access while we are here so hopefully I'll have something interesting to say. Today we drove through a town that is called "Between". You have to love that!

Today's quote that I saw on a billboard:

Recession 101
It's a test, not a final.

And that's the way it goes....
~ Kass

Change in plans

We are heading straight to Athens and will head to Whitwell on the return trip from out west. It's a good excuse to eat at Terra Nostra's again!

It is a beautiful sunny day and we are all ready to hit the road. I figured I'd post since I had internet. I got a few bills paid as well.

I am really looking forward to seeing my friends in Athens.

Have an awesome day!
~ Kassidee

P.S. This photo is for my 'Arlo' friends!

Close but no cigar!

Ok - so I thought I was in South Carolina when apparently I was actually still in North Carolina. Sorry for the confusion. I wasn't going to say anything because, after all, who would know? But that just didn't seem right.

We finally made it to Chattanooga (and yes, I'm sure that's where I am) but it took 2 detours and a few extra hours to get here. We came upon not one, but two, different rock slides that had the highway closed. It seems that there have been heavy rains and flooding and there are mini and major rock slides happening.

The town having the meeting has had the road closed for 2 months. People are having to drive over an hour in each direction out of their way to get to school and work every day.

We are staying at an RV park that is nice but has a few too many 'dont's' to it. It isn't a homey atmosphere. Rules are all fine and good but there is something to be said for leeway. I'm glad we are only here for one night.

We had a wonderful meal at Terra Nostra! I should have taken photos of the delicious little dishes that kept coming at us. It's almost like going for dim sum. You just keep ordering and they just keep bringing food. Their lamb chops are to die for and we had a wonderful assortment of dishes. Blue cheese puffs, giant scallops wrapped in bacon with a Bearnaise sauce, escargot bourguignon, pheasant breast wrapped in bacon, mustard chicken, blackened pork, trout in a yummy butter sauce over polenta, mushroom ravioli, Jamon Iberico ham with fois gras and a walnut and pear quesedilla to name a few. We haven't been there in 2 and a half years and yet, Ismael (the waiter), remembered us. He is just a doll and he makes you feel like you are their most special customer. I only wish we lived closer and could go there more often. It's probably just as well, for our waistlines as well as our bank account, that we don't!

We came back to the RV and I did some knitting and Ken went to bed early. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. First thing in the morning we are off to Whitwell and then on to Athens. I am looking forward to meeting Tina's boyfriend, Ryan. I am also hoping to get to spend some time with busy Miss Freshman in College, Katie. I think I heard that Tina has half days on Thursday and Friday so we'll be able to catch up as well. It should be a wonderful few days!

Today's message was not on the side or back of a truck but on a billboard on the highway. I have no clue who's brand of what was being advertised but it read the following:

If you love it - lubricate it.

Can you make this stuff up? (I wonder what blogs will be suggested to me after this quote gets posted? LOL)

I'm going to add a few more photos to this post and then call it a night. I hope this finds everyone doing well and having fun. See you down the road...

~ Kass

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Foggy morning in the S.C. mountains

When I said it was foggy here - I meant it!

Good morning and happy 10 days until Christmas. Because I put out the 'Jesus' quote yesterday, the blogs that keep appearing for me to 'follow' are all from Christian Evangelists. Boy are they barking up the wrong tree! I guess I better write more about Chanukah.

Speaking of Chanukah, last night I wrote out some of the cards I brought with me and wanted to send. I am hoping to find a convenient post office today to buy stamps and if I am lucky, my friends will get their cards before the holiday is over! Well, it's the thought that counts, right?

We are packed up and heading out shortly for the hills of Tennessee. We will stop either today or tomorrow in Whitwell to visit the Paper Clip Project. Ken surprised me with a visit to this awesome holocaust memorial last time we were nearby and now we are bringing my mom. If you are ever in the area I strongly urge you to check this out. It's amazing! There is a documentary about it. Everyone should see it. (If you do, let me know what you think!)

Well, the slides are heading in and that means we are about to head out so I will hit send on this post and try to catch up with you later.

Have a great day!
~ Kassidee

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today's truck quote

Before I forget - I should tell you the sign that was emblazoned on the back of a truck going down the road today. In case there is any doubt that I am in the south, today's truck message was as follows:

Jesus Christ is Lord
not a swear word

And on that note - I'm off to bed.

Sweet dreams and Happy Chanukah,
~ Kass

P.S. Why don't lord and word rhyme?

The story of Grandma's Birthday (from foggy South Carolina)

I was asked to tell the story so I'll try to make it make sense in type. When I was a little girl, I asked Grandma how old she was. I expected a number but the response I got was, "I am 8 years younger than Aunt Laika." And that was as close to a birth date as my grandmother had when she was very young.

Fast forward to when she was about 10 and she and her friends started a little play group. They each chipped in a small amount of money every week when they met. It was used to purchase birthday gifts for the girls as their birthdays rolled around. My grandmother didn't want to be left out and so she picked the next week as her birthday so she would get a gift. That is how she wound up with her birthday being December 13th. We were never exactly sure how old Grandma was but we celebrated her birthday every year with her favorite cake - a strawberry shortcake (and yes, it was homemade!)

So here we are in South Carolina visiting with Ken's childhood friends. It's always fun to listen to their stories. Ken is cooking and the RV is parked in the driveway. Tomorrow morning we are off to Chattanooga so we can have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We'll be eating at Terra Nostra. From there it is on to Athens.

Speaking of eating - dinner is being served. I hope you enjoyed the story of Grandma's birthday. I'll try to post again either tonight or tomorrow.

Happy Trails
~ Kassidee

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is the day my grandmother celebrated her birthday. She didn't actually know her date of birth but this is the one she picked. There is a great story about how she picked it - ask me if you want to know :)

We are visiting with Evan and Julie and the boys today. Dinner is cooking and we are all just hanging out. I played Monopoly with Wes and Aaron earlier and this morning we were at the Hebrew School Chanukah party. We tasted an array of different latkes (potato pancakes) and also enjoyed the menorah contest. There were probably about 20 different menorahs that the kids made and each one received an award. I am sorry that I didn't take any pictures of them. They were very cool.

I am having issues with connectivity again but when I finally got through to Apple, I was told that my extended care plan had ended in June. It was suggested that I go look on the internet. I laughed since if I could get on the internet - I wouldn't need to be there looking for the answer. Of course, Evan has computers and so I was able to find a fix that seems to be working - so far.

Dinner last night was delightful. We went to Carrabba's and enjoyed a wonderful meal and had an awesome waitress. I think she said her name was Tamela. Her husband is in Afghanistan since April and she is hopeful that he will return this coming spring. They also have an 8 year old son, so please keep them in your thoughts.

Tomorrow we are off to South Carolina to visit with friends of Ken's. These are the guys he grew up with in California and it's always fun to see them. We will only be there overnight and then we are off to Athens to visit with Daagh and the girls. I will have internet access from the RV Park in Ga. I am looking forward to that.

I guess I should go now. I feel rude sitting here on the computer. I'd go into the living room where everyone is hanging out but I'm plugged into the wall here and I don't really feel like relocating.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We are getting rained on today and it rained all night. I keep thinking if we were home this would all be snow!

Merry, Happy Holidays!
- Kass

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thank you, Barnes and Noble!

Hello everyone! Oh boy - 4 followers - I feel special. Thank you - whoever you are.

I have been without internet for 2 reasons. The first is that Birchwood RV Park where we are staying does not have internet access. The 2nd is far worse. Even when I had access to the internet I was having computer issues and couldn't get connected. I was getting an internal IP address. I was armed with phone numbers to call Apple and got to B&N and lo and behold - I have access and no issues. Go figure. Not that I'm complaining!

So - it is Saturday evening and my wonderful husband is sitting here reading a book while I check my mail and write to you. (Yes, in that order). When I am done here, we are heading out to dinner and then back to the RV for a quiet night.

Yesterday was a blast but boy are we exhausted! My friends Evan and Julie have an annual Chanukah party at their home. I believe there were about 50 people who showed up last night. Ken and I were in the kitchen with Evan most of the night cooking potato pancakes on 3 burners for 3 hours! The food was flowing and folks were having a great time. Thank you for the invite, guys!

Evan and I refer to each other as brother and sister. We grew up together in the same apartment building in Brooklyn and we are 6 days apart in age. We have too much dirt on each other to ever stop being friends! That, and we still really like each other!

Evan and Julie have 2 wonderful sons, Wes and Aaron. This afternoon we went to watch Aaron at a swim meet. That was a lot of fun. We were at Wes' meet on Thursday night but he wasn't swimming because he just had a cast removed from a soccer accident.

So far the trip really has been uneventful - which is a good thing. We left close to 'on time' Wednesday morning. We had been aiming for 9 AM and actually tried pulling out 10 AM but the tires were stuck in the 8 inches of snow that had fallen overnight. Ken had to get out and shovel the roof of the RV as well as shovel the tires out. It's a good thing we were already loaded on the RV with the critters and my mom! We were warm and cozy in the driveway overnight and it made getting on the road in the morning much easier!

We pulled out at 10:20 A.M. and drove through snow and then wind gusts that were throwing us all over the road. A few hours south and it was smooth sailing. We made it as far as Hagerstown, MD and pulled in to a Walmart parking lot for the night. We did some shopping, ate some dinner and got a decent night's sleep.

In the morning, Ken went back into Wallyworld to get a battery for the Honda because it was about dead. We got on the road by 9 AM and had a beautiful drive over the Blue Ridge Mountains and on into N.C. We got to the RV park just as it was getting dark and Ken managed to get the battery changed in the Honda before the sun set completely so no flashlight was required. We got the RV situated and went over to visit Evan and Julie. That is where I posted the short note from.

One item of note. Driving down the road I saw a truck go by in the opposite direction. In huge letters across the entire side of the truck was the following:


I thought it was worth a mention.

We slept very well Thursday night and spent yesterday helping get ready for the party. I cooked a corn pudding and Ken made a big pot of chili. We had a wonderful time at the party, eating, cooking, hanging out with old friends and making new ones. Everyone at the party was very attentive to my mom and every time Ken or I went over to see if she needed anything she had plenty of food and drink and lots and lots of desserts! She also had a wonderful time.

I know this is a long winded post but I didn't want to fall too far behind. I hope to have more regular access so I can go back to shorter posts with more detail. Tomorrow we are going to another Chanukah event at the Hebrew School the kids go to. Monday we hit the road.

I got a call from Eileen - my house is still standing. Thank you Eileen and Brian!
For Nancy - there was frost on the ground this morning and it's been chilly out. It is currently 38 degrees.

If anyone is still reading this - thanks! I know it's a bit long but at least now we are current! We are off to dinner and then a good night's sleep is in order.

Happy Happy Chanukah!
- Kass

Thursday, December 10, 2009

North Carolina and all is well!

Hello everyone! We made it to N.C. and I am typing from my friend's dining room table. So far the trip has been relatively uncomplicated. I will try to leave a more detailed post tomorrow but I wanted to check in.

I hope everyone is doing well.

And for Nancy - it's supposed to drop down to 24 degrees tonight. Keep warm thoughts :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The night before the morning after

This will be my last post from my desktop in the comfort of my own home. We are spending the night in the RV with the cats, dogs and my mom so everyone can get acclimated and hitting the road whenever Ken wakes up in the morning.

My next post will be from the comfort of my RV and I promise to post as often as I can - but there is no guarantee of internet access from here on out.

Wish us luck!
Here we go...

Bagel, Hot Tea and the Iternet

Good morning! Top of the world to you.

I am posting from my pesky laptop that wonderful Fritz at Apple Tech Support got up and running again in no time at all! (Well - 20 minutes on hold to get him - but at least he was worth the wait.)

I am sipping a lovely cup of Earl Grey and munching on a sesame bagel. When that is done (along with this post) I will start loading up the RV. The heat is on (literally and figuratively) and so I can start loading stuff that otherwise would have frozen or broken in the chilled December air.

I am slightly more optimistic that we will leave on or close to schedule - and in the interest of making that happen - I will keep this post short and get loading!

Happy little snowflakes are falling - and I'm off.....

Long day, short post

I got less done than I wanted today and spent almost an hour on hold with Verizon and then over an hour on the phone with tech support only to have them tell me I have to call Apple. I called Apple and they were closed. Whatever happened to 24/7 tech support? Tomorrow I call Apple and if that doesn't work I call Scott! It's always good to have Plan B.

I did start packing my stuff and I cleared the table off and feel somewhat organized. Part of the problem is some of the stuff can't go out to the RV until we start running the heat so there is stuff all over .....waiting.

Speaking of waiting. I am waiting for the cats to figure out what is going on and start hiding on us. They really do have a 6th sense and even though we've been getting ready for days, tomorrow they will be no where to be found. I am trying to outsmart them by packing during the day and then going out to my book club meeting. When I return we will round them up and put them and my mom on the RV. Hopefully they will all be sleeping on the bed and will be easy to deal with. Only time will tell.

Ok - this isn't so short but now it's done. Good night and good news. I hope I don't need work done to the laptop. That would not be a good way to start the trip.

Are we there yet?
~ Kass

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cheesecake High

Hello and welcome to 3 AM. Long past time for bed but the sugar rush from all the yummy cheesecake was enough to keep me wrapping gifts until the wee hours of the morning.

We had a wonderful evening with friends and lots and lots of cheesecake. We had 2 very different 'New York' style cheesecakes and one chocolate cheesecake. We decided they were all equally delicious. We were all winners in the 'bake-off' because we had a lovely evening with friends, sugar highs and football! (And there were only 2 comments about the diets none of us were on tonight!)

Mark and Nancy had an environmentally friendly fire log burning in the fireplace, football on the widescreen HD TV and the house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. There was good talk, good food and good friends. It just doesn't get much better than that!

Brian and Eileen were there as well so it was just the 6 of us hanging out and having fun. Wine, beer, Italian champagne and hot tea rounded out the event and a good time was had by all.

We are planning a Chinese evening for when we return. The Chinese New Year in 2010 will be on Sunday, February 14th. It will be the Year of the Tiger. It's never too soon to start planning the menu. This should make for an interesting Valentine's Day!

Sleep beckons - the sugar rush has come and gone. I'm going to enjoy the crash. :)
Sweet dreams,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowy Sundays

Good day to you all! (Whoever 'all' may be reading this.)

It stopped snowing before we got home last night but there is still a nice coating of snow on the ground - just enough to make loading up the RV a pain. We did manage to accomplish some stuff so far today. There are piles of clean clothes waiting to get folded and put away ON the RV instead of in the house. That constitutes 'packing' in a manner of speaking.

I got a bunch of the gifts we are bringing with us wrapped - so they can head out to the RV. I purchased a mini-menorah so we can light candles on the road for Chanukah. I have to make sure Ken brings some matzoh meal so we can have potato latkes one night.

Our dear friend Eileen came by to pick up the keys and meet the plants she will water while we are gone. I am so relieved that she offered to keep an eye on the house while we are tooling around the country. My plants will probably do much better with Eileen on the job than either Ken or I. They won't want us to come home. Thank you Eileen!!

I have about 3 more hours before we leave for the cheesecake gorge - and I hope to finish wrapping all the gifts and moving them out to the RV along with some of the stuff I can live without in the house until Wednesday when we leave.

The dryer must be running because the living room is getting cold. (The thermostat for the zone is near the dryer.) Maybe it's Ken's way to get me motivated and off the couch. Maybe he is just drying clothes. Either way, I guess I'll take the hint.

More later, I hope.
Happy Snowy Sunday,
~ Kass

Northampton in the snow

Wow! What an amazing evening. We drove through snow to get to Northampton and had a lovely dinner. It was a like a scene from a postcard or a movie about Christmas. All the twinkling lights, the shops with all their festive window displays, and the snow falling and sticking to the trees and shrubs. It really was beautiful.

The concert was fabulous, except for the two idiot women who were sitting in front of us who behaved worse than 10 year olds. At least if 10 year olds were doing it, an adult would have told them to stop. They spent the first 20 minutes of the show talking and texting. Unbelievable.

John Prine, however was fantastic! As good as ever. Iris Dement opened. Not my favorite. The sound at that gig could have been better. But overall an unforgettable evening.

He did one of my all time favorite songs of his - Standing by Peaceful Waters. I didn't even dare dream I'd hear it live. In the song, he talks about the 2 lakes, known as the twin lakes at the Illinois - Wisconsin border. Many years ago, I was at an Arlo show in Woodstock, Illinois and I got to talking to the people sitting next to me. They said they lived in Twin Lakes. I discovered I was not far from the very two lakes that I had been singing along to on my new Prine CD for weeks on end. (Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings). The next day my friend Laura and I took a drive to Twin Lakes. It was one of those perfect accidents. Somewhere there is even video of this event. But I digress...

The show was everything you could ask for. He did so many of the songs you know and love and did them all with a smile and a story. Ken and I realized what a wonderful musical year we have had and it serves to remind me that life is good! :)

Now if I can just get ready for this road trip!

Oh - I have it on good authority that my friend was sprung from the hospital and I also managed to get the cheesecake baked today. No easy task as we were out of eggs, vanilla and sugar!

Onward and upward!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is it Saturday already?

Where is the time going? Still so much to do and only so many hours in a day.

We saw our friend Mr. McD and he thanks you for your good wishes. He is doing well and shouldn't have any long term effects from this infection. I did find it a tad disturbing to see this calendar on the wall of his room. Anyone notice anything odd about it - besides the fact that it's a month behind? No wonder I keep running out of time to get things done.

Ken is off getting the oil changed in the RV and the flat tire fixed. I hope we don't need a new one - I can't imagine what an RV tire costs to replace. It would be nice to hit the road without incurring too much more expense.

I have finally figured out the problem of dog and cat tags. I am going to buy Shrinky Dinks and make my own! We can't find any local stores with ID/Name tags unless we spend 8 bucks a pop and have them engraved in a very slow machine. That isn't going to happen. That's a nice meal even if only half the pets need new ones.

Tonight we are off to see John Prine in Northampton. That should be fun! We will have dinner at Viva Pasta - a great little restaurant that we really enjoy. I also have to bake a cheesecake for a cheesecake feasting party we are having tomorrow with friends. Everyone is bringing a cheesecake and we will stuff our faces in a friendly cheesecake bake-off.

There is so much more that I want to type but there just isn't time at the moment. The snow is falling and it should be a winter wonderland by nightfall. As I peer out the window, I can see that it is starting to stick to the evergreens. I guess I should go check the roads as well.

I hope everyone has a fantabulous weekend and I will try to get back out here tonight after the show. I'm off to make believe I'm getting things done!

~ Kassidee

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flat tires and flat feet

We took the RV up to to Bob's Camper & RV to have the step mechanism looked at. We need a new switch so that the steps retract by choice as opposed to only when the RV starts. We'll work around this problem until our return. Of course, depending on how much the part is, we may learn to work around this problem for longer than that!

While we were there I got voicemail from a very good friend and found out he was in the hospital for an infection in his foot. He is diabetic and I can only assume that is where the problem started. Exit the plans we had for today - enter a rerouting of the plans to include a visit to the hospital before we leave town!

A world about Bob's - they are the nicest, most helpful and honest people you are ever going to meet. All that and a cat who sits on your lap and purrs while you wait to find out how much more money the RV is going to cost you before you even leave town. What more could a girl ask for? LOL

There is so much to say and so little time to type at the moment. More errands to run but now we'll run them further away from home and sneak in a visit to our friend. Please keep good thoughts for him - you can refer to him as Mr. McD. In addition to the infection, he is also anemic. Maybe I'll bring a steak.

- Kass

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Well - I didn't want to post on fb that I started a blog and put the address out there - but the private message thing wouldn't send when I tried to do it that way. I didn't have the patience to go to my mail program and make sure I had all the e mail addresses so I gave up and posted it on fb.

I also was reading a book on blogging today that said whatever you do - don't go with a black background. I guess I'm open to your opinion. Leave the blog design as it is or believe the book is right and change the design. I just think it's funny that the only thing I really did so far out here was pick a design and within the first few pages of a book on blogging I already screwed up!

I was going to say more but I think I'll wait until tomorrow.
Happy Dreams and Good Night,
- Kassidee

Going 'live'...

Hello again! It's less than a week before we head out and there are a few (hundred) things I should probably be doing besides writing right now - but when has that ever stopped me before? LOL

First - I finally gave the blog address out to the masses. Ok - maybe not the masses but to my wonderful friends and family. I hope you all forgive me for sending a 'group' e mail that was just written once and distributed to all.

Second - I guess I should fill you in on the trip itself. The plan is go south and then west before heading back home. Sounds simple...BUT we are traveling with my mom who has MS (multiple sclerosis), her wheelchair and her walker. If that isn't quite enough, we are bringing all of our pets. Between us, we have 7 cats and 3 dogs. Ok - two and a half is only 4 and a half pounds - but still, it's an RV-full to say the least! (And before you ask, YES they all get along!)

I can only imagine some of the stories that will come from this crazy idea of a road trip that started when my friend's Dad sent me an e mail saying he would like all his children in Florida for an anniversary celebration. With an invite like that - how can you say, "No"? I love you Bernie! You are the best!

Seriously, if it wasn't for my 'Dad' (Bernie) this trip would not be happening. The funny thing is - the last place we'll be before heading back home is visiting my 'real' father in Las Vegas. When I told him we were coming to town, the first thing he did was tell me about a hotel near his condo and how affordable it was. Gee - thanks Dad! LOL Of course, that is the joy of the RV -
Wherever you go - you are already home.

I guess that is as a good a place to stop typing as any, for now.

Have a great day~

The Gods Must Be Crazy

I found a gadget I really like and I even got it to work. The random image of a Hindu God or Goddess is making me smile when I log in and see it. Maybe by the end of this trip I will know a few more of them a bit better than I do now. Maybe not. Retaining information does not seem to be my strong suit these days.

I spoke to a few people today who I will see on this road trip. Some are 'old' friends. Old as in long time...Over 25 years...sheesh! Where does the time go? Some are new friends I met while playing World of Warcraft.

Yes, I know - I'm a non-violent pacifist (most of the time) but I do enjoy the game and I have made some wonderful new friendships through my guild and the game. I am looking forward to meeting as many guildies as I can on this trip.

I must admit that I am a bit concerned about anonymity and blogging. While I want to be honest about who I am and where I am (and where I'm not), I don't want to leave myself wide open to dangerous situations. I almost feel that my friends can put me in more risk than the people reading this that I don't know (if there are any!).

Perhaps I am just being paranoid. To quote the late, great, Harry Chapin: Only time will tell.

Speaking of Harry Chapin we are taking a drive this weekend to go see John Prine. That should be a lovely evening. Ken and I have been looking forward to it for months. Ken has never seen him and I haven't seen him in decades. There is that time thing again - rearing it's ugly head.

And speaking of's time for me to hit the hay. (My grandfather used to say that). Apologies also to my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Brotman, for starting a sentence with the word 'and'. She told us we should never begin a sentence with 'and' or 'but' - if I remember correctly. I may remember but apparently I don't listen.

Sweet dreams everyone!
- Kass

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am attempting to customize this blog space but so far with limited success. I can't figure out how to make the gadgets save the info I'm putting in instead of reverting back to their original state. I'll keep working on it.

In the next few days I will also give you the who where and what's of this upcoming journey. Stay tuned....

Another day, another post

This morning, someone asked me if I had posted to my blog yet. I asked, "Do I have to post every day?" The answer was affirmative. I replied, "But what if I don't have anything to say?" The response to that was, "When has that ever been a problem for you?"

And so, I am posting - today and every day regardless of whether or not I have anything interesting to say. If you get bored by my every day posting - I'll tell you who the conversation was with and you can blame that person. (You know who you are!)

Now that we have batteries in the RV we have discovered that the steps are not working properly. Luckily they are 'stuck' in the out position so they are still usable and when we start up the RV they do retract - but there is no way to close the door and have them retract while we are not 'mobile' and that is not a good thing. We have an appointment Friday morning to see if there is quick fix for this problem or if it is something we have to learn to live with.

Saturday morning Gizmo is going in for an oil change. The minivan has new tires on the front and I suppose we should start thinking about the CRV since that is the car we take behind us on our travels (aka the toad).

I am off to buy more yarn to knit more socks. Oh yah...and today is Ken's birthday! Happy Birthday Honey! Hmm...perhaps I should have commented on that sooner. We are going to dinner tonight with very good friends at one of our favorite restaurants in town.

Ok - I have fulfilled my 'duty' of posting today. I may or may not post again later.

Happy Travels - and don't forget to stop and smell the roses..or at least look for a rose .....or at least just stop and smile for no reason at all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We have the technology!

Ok - The RV is inspected (detected, selected and neglected) and I seem to be actually putting posts out where they are readable but others. I guess I should let folks know I'm here doing this.

We are off to run errands and get organized (ha) and all the 100 last minute things there are to do before taking an extended trip in the RV. More about her later. At last call she was going by Gizmo but I'm not sure that is actually her name. We are open to suggestions!

Later Gator!

Already Lost

Well - we haven't even hit the road yet and I'm already lost. I tried to log into this blog so I could type some more and it took about 2 hours to figure out where I 'left' the log in page. I think I figure it all out now and we'll see what happens. I guess that is the down side to doing things at 2 in the morning. Of course, if I had done it at 10 in the morning it wouldn't have helped that much! :)

That being said - Ken is out driving the RV which has been parked for far too long and trying to get the 'kinks' out before taking it to get inspected. Keep your fingers crossed. This trip may be nixed before it even starts.

I'm going to try posting this and if it works - I'll be back later to write some more.
Happy trails :)

Life is about the journey - not the destination

I am starting this blog because I am, once again, heading out on the road and want to keep in touch with my friends and family. I hope this will be a simple way to stay in touch and communicate with people I already know and maybe even some new folks along the way. Who knows?

What I do know is that it is 2 AM and I should get to bed.

We are leaving a week from Wednesday. There already isn't enough time to do everything we need to do before we leave. It should be a fun week.

Talk to you soon, I hope.
- Kass