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!