Sunday, March 7, 2010

Deja Vu all over again

When I was a little kid I was supposed to go to Disney World in Florida. I don't think any kid can get more excited than knowing they are going to Disney. The day before the trip - my grandfather wound up in the hospital and we couldn't go. Can you say disappointed?

There were a few other vacation plans where the same scenario played itself out. I got all excited and then at the last minute the trip got canceled. I stopped looking forward to trips and only enjoyed then after the fact, for a very long time.

So here I am - many years later. I am excited because I'm going to Disney World. I have been dancing around the house for weeks because, " I'm going to Disney!" I have been bugging my friend to go with me for 18 months and we finally had a plan. He was leaving yesterday to drive to Orlando and my flight was arriving today. The plan was he'd pick me up tonight, and tomorrow we'd be at Disney. Yesterday morning my phone rang. As soon as he said 'Hello' I knew something was horribly wrong. And unfortunately, I was dreadfully right.

His 18 year old daughter's closest friend, (who was a mere 21 years old), was killed riding his bicycle - on the way to see her. I can't even tell you the devastation in her voice. He was struck from behind by a woman driving a mini van. A parent's worst nightmare.

And then there is the trip to Disney - to go or not to go. And if we go - can we really have a good time. I'll let you know - I'm on my way to Disney.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is it really March already?

Where is the time going? I know I am wasting most of mine - but at least I am having fun!

I am leaving for Florida on Sunday. Disney World and a Mets/Braves game. Woo Hoo. That's the good news.

The not such good news is that my friend's uncle passed away. He was a wonderful, kind, smiling man who always had something nice to say. It is a blessing that he is no longer suffering but he will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace, Uncle Harold.

My asthma seems to be getting the better of me these last few days. I am actually using the rescue inhaler to get some relief. I just want all this to be over with before I get on the plane.

I have to pack - which means I have to do laundry. I guess tomorrow is a good day for that. Friday night we have dinner plans with our friends who watched the house for us while we were gone.

Speaking of being gone - one of the things I never posted about was visiting our old house in Lake Charles. We visited our former next door neighbor, Miss Deen, and then headed over to our house. Miss Deen informed us that the couple who bought it were no longer a couple and that the guy living in the house with the woman who actually bought it, was gay. The things you find out and don't need to know when you live next door to Miss Deen! She knows everything about everyone in that neighborhood. I wonder what she used to tell people about us! She told us again how much she missed us and how safe she felt when we lived next door. It was very nice to see her, and her schnauzer, Heidi. They were great neighbors.

Our house looks fantastic! The inside has been done over completely. The kitchen no longer has that horrible duck wallpaper. The archway is gone and the water heater was moved so the room is no longer divided by the kitchen cabinets that were hiding it. She put a wall where the door was between the two bedrooms which was something I would have done if I had been 'staying' in that house. The house now has central air and heat, too.

The paneled walls in the living room were gone and replaced with sheetrock. She had the living room set up the same way I did. The room was so wide that we both put a long, narrow table against the wall and then a few feet in front of that put the couch (facing away) making a pathway between the back of the couch and the table as the entry way into the house. Hard to describe and I probably don't have photos.

Anyway - she was so happy to show us around. Her cat was very friendly and I'm happy to know that my house is loved. She is so happy we came over and got to see what she did with the house. If only I could remember her name!

More good news - we bought tickets to a Met game at CitiField for April. We got the same seats we had last year when we brought Mom with us. We sure are spoiled. They are on the 3rd base side between home and 3rd. They are the first row from the field, closer to home plate than the visitor's dugout. Wooo Hooo. I can't wait! (And yes, we are bringing my Mom).

I went to my book club meeting tonight at the Dalton Library and we had a wonderful discussion about the book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I also checked out Jaime Ford's website and blog. He said that he would respond to any questions posted so I asked him a question. Sure enough - he answered it. He is doing a talk and a book signing in Schenectady that I'm hoping to go to.

Oh and I may have found myself a job. I was looking at the hours the library is open and most days they open at noon. I said to Dorrie (the librarian) that those were hours I could handle and she asked if I was looking for a job. I told her that I was and she said they may have an opening in a few weeks for a Page. I would be restocking the shelves and stuff like that. It requires some Saturdays but I can live with that. We'll see what happens.

I guess that enough news for one post. I don't want to overload you with boring tidbits and information. I still want to get some photos from the trip posted. I wouldn't count on that happening before the trip south.

Sorry for being a slouch and not posting lately. Happy March!
~ Kassidee

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Feeling Uninspired

Hello out there. I feel there is so much less to say now that I am home. I woke up with a sore throat this morning and it's making me feel kind of 'blah'. I found cough medicine in the cabinet. I looked at the expiration date: 2002. (I took some anyway).

Yesterday was my Remicade treatment. That went smoothly. I am grateful.

Monday night I had a 24 hour 'bug' that lasted 36 hours. I will save you from the details - let's just say it wasn't pretty.

I did read a book I really enjoyed called Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It is wonderfully written as well as thought provoking (without hitting you over the head).

Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics are tomorrow night. I never seem to watch as much of the games as I think I will. I'm not sure why that is. I feel very disconnected from the games this winter. I used to know the names of the skaters and the skiers and lots of other athletes. This year the only names I know are Bode Miller and Apollo Anton Ono. I don't think I know any other competitors. It's strange.

Last night was a welcome home dinner for Ken and me. It got usurped by Jim's 60th birthday instead. It was a lovely evening with friends. We had good food, good fun and a good time!

I am going to cut this short and go in search of some cough medicine that hasn't reached it's expiration date yet.

Sorry I have been neglecting my responsibilities out here -
Hope all is well in your world,
~ Kass

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've been slacking, lately...

(Title sung to the tune of Peace Train by Cat Stevens)

Good morning. Now that I am home and have internet access on a daily basis, I seem to be writing less and less. Go figure.

We are actually not at home right now. We are in Westfield, N.J. I will try to fill you in on the comings and goings but for the moment I just wanted to pop on long enough to apologize for disappearing.

I hope to be blogging away again soon!
~ Kass

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Morning after the Night Before

Happy day after Valentine's Day! I hope you had a day filled with love and laughter.

I am sitting at my desk, watching the snow gently fall on a chilly Berkshire morning. Our friend Jim is asleep upstairs in the spare bedroom and Ken is still sleeping in ours. My mom is watching TV in her room and she is probably asleep as well. The house is quiet and even the cats and dogs seem to be in 'mellow mode'. It's lovely.

Yesterday was a wonderful day from beginning to end. Jim arrived around 11:15 and the 3 of us drove to Lee. We had lunch at Bombay with our friends, as we do on the second Sunday of every month. It's wonderful to have a standing plan with good friends. We all schedule our calendars around '2nd Sunday'. We have a core group of 5 and usually have 8 - 10 people on any given Sunday.

We realized yesterday, that we are going on three years. We have celebrated births, and mourned losses. We have been through surgeries and hospital stays. We have shared stories of our vacations and travels and triumphs. We have gained and lost weight. We have watched the lake freeze and thaw, and freeze again. Mostly, we have enjoyed and appreciated the cycle of life, love and friendship. It's a wonderful day to look forward to each month and I hope we continue to do this for years to come.

The evening brought a very special event. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion put together a Concert for Loved Ones in Haiti. There was music in the lobby of the Colonial Theatre before the show featuring our dear friend Chris Merenda who was the M.C. as well as part of the entertainment. The show itself featured wonderful artists and a great time was had by all. The Alchemy Initiative put together a silent auction in the lobby before the show. My understanding is the event raised over 20,000 dollars that will be donated to the United Nation's Central Emergency Response Fund. It is never too late to make a donation.

I could give you the play by play of all the wonderful artists and music but if you really want that information it's easy enough to find. I will just tell you that it was wonderful night of music and love and caring and support. It continues to remind us of the quote by Margaret Mead who said, "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has."

I will leave you with that thought.

I hope all is good in your world and that you find love in all the little places.
~ Kass

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Frigid Friday

We just got in and it's a whopping 17 degrees out. Woo Hoo - we're having a heat wave.

Tonight was the Rev Tor 14th Anniversary show and we saw lots of friends, and heard lots of good music. Along with the great tunes, we also watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I have to say that with it happening every two years instead of every four years, it seems a little less special. On the up side, I haven't been watching that much television so I haven't gotten sick of the hype and the advertisements for it this year. It's the little things.

It's been a week full of doctor appointments. Mom had her annual mammogram and I had my yearly physical. I accidentally didn't move (or write down) her appointment with her oncologist so that will be next month. The good news is - I'm doing great. The not so good news is that the radiologist saw something he didn't like, and scheduled my Mom for a follow up mammogram in 6 months. It is the same breast they found cancer in 6 years ago. It is a thickening that may be indicative of heart disease, breast cancer, or, "It could be nothing." As Harry Chapin said, "Only time will tell."

I also started back up with my allergy shots and made an appointment to see the asthma doctor next month. They informed me that I was late making my appointment and should have seen him last month. I told them that would have been hard to do since I've been out of town for two months. Mom has a dental appointment Monday and my Remicade appointment is next Friday. I think that covers everything coming up in the medical department, but I could be wrong.

Last night I went to my knitting group again. I suggested we needed a name and I was told that one person already refers to us as 'The Knitwits'. I think it's absolutely perfect! It reminds me of my bowling team - 'Lost in Space'. You have to love names that really describe who you are.

The big news of the day is that I may be going to Disney World the first week of March. While in Florida, I also may get to go to pre-season Met game. Oh boy!

I'll try to post a bit more over the weekend and maybe put up a few more photos from the trip.

I hope this post finds you happy and warm - wherever you are.

Happy Weekend!
~ Kassidee

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunny Tuesday in the Berkshires

Good day! How are you doing? We are sort of back to our idea of normal around here. We are continuing to find birdseed in interesting places. We apparently have some very industrious mice. I went to get a long sleeve shirt off the top shelf of my closet and I got rained on. Not only did the mice (you'll pardon the expression) squirrel away more birdseed up there, but they also ate a hole in the very shirt I wanted to wear! The good news is that we had two. I had one and Ken had one and they both shrank so much in the dryer that he gave me his. Luckily, the mice ate the smaller of the two so I still have the one that fits.

This discovery came on Sunday as we were getting ready to leave the house. I wanted the shirt to go under my Tipitina's t-shirt that I was wearing to the Superbowl party! Geaux Saints! What a game. We had a great time at Scott and Bonnie's - they really know how to throw a party!

Yesterday we both sort of reconnected with the house. We are about done unloading the RV and most stuff is back where it came from. I balanced all the checkbooks and went through all the mail that arrived while we were gone. Ken ran a few loads of dishes and silverware and we cleaned out the drawers and stuff in the kitchen. We are banishing the mice from our premises! Or at least, that is our hope! Am I ever glad we have lots of cats. Now they better earn their keep!

Today, we have to bring my mom for her annual mammogram. This spring will be her sixth year cancer free after she was diagnosed with breast cancer from a routine mammogram. GET TESTED. Her cancer was so miniscule when they found it, that the needle biopsy they did to determine if it was cancerous had gotten it all. She had surgery just to make sure, and had radiation for 6 weeks - but that was the end of it. She took Arimidex for five years and now she is cancer and medication free. We are so grateful.

She said the worst part of the whole ordeal for her was getting on and off the radiation table. Because of her M.S., it was very difficult for her to get on the table and scary to get off. She did great though, and so did the team working with her. OK - so they lost her one day and never made sure she got back in the cabulance and home again - but you can't have everything!

To make the day brighter, we are going out to lunch afterward. I don't know where we are going but I'll let you know how it was. It's a celebration of sorts. We try to remember to enjoy little things every day.

I have my annual physical this Friday. Jim is coming over Saturday and spending the night. Sunday is Second Sunday - our standing lunch plans with friends at an Indian restaurant where another friend works. Sunday is also Valentine's Day. We also have tickets to a benefit concert for Haiti that night. More about that next post.

Life is getting busy now that we are home. It didn't take long! We weren't home 12 hours and we had plans every weekend this month. And now I think I am busy the first weekend in March as well.

Nine days to pitchers and catchers! Let's go Mets!!!

Have a great day!
~ Kass

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Settling in

Hello from sunny Massachusetts. It's good to be back. It's nice to be home. It's great to have friends. I feel like we had a giant welcome home party already, even though most of the 'reunioning' was done by phone. I did go to my knitting circle on Thursday and that was wonderful. I didn't get much knitting done, but I had a great time.

When we were driving through Pittsfield, prior to getting home, we were minding our own business and heading the last 20 minutes home. My cell phone rang and it was my friend Daltrey who said, "Did I just see you?"

I said, "Maybe".

She asked, "Are you on Elm Street?"

I said, "Yes."

And then we both laughed. As she said - we weren't in town 10 minutes and we'd already been spotted. It was a great way to 'come home'.

Friday was another wonderful 'reunion' at The Clip Shop. Barbara couldn't fit me in on short notice (I called the day before we got home), but I got my poor nails done, finally. They had a rough eight weeks. I caught up on all the goings on at the shop, and had fun (as always). The Clip Shop is the place to be if you need any salon services. I love being part of the family there. My nails look great. Thank you Rose! They are happy, happy nails. Next week I go back to my regularly scheduled weekly manicure with Barbara.

I did discover a reason to stay home in winter: mice. With the cats out of the house, the mice had free range. Ken opened the cabinet under the sink in the upstairs bathroom, only to discover a pile of birdseed that came pouring out at his feet. It seems the mice got into the birdseed bag that is on the attic steps (behind a closed door), and brought the food into the bathroom cabinet so they'd have a stash. Those are some pretty industrious mice. I won't tell you all the places we are finding mouse droppings. I am NOT happy. The mice, apparently, are!

I baked a sweet potato pie yesterday for today's Superbowl Party at Scott and Bonnie's. Today I am baking a pecan pie and making some fresh whipped cream to go with it. Go Saints! Or should I say, Geaux Saints! I am rooting for the Saints all the way but I'm not overly optimistic they can win. We'll see how it goes.

And on another bright note: Only eleven days to pitchers and catchers!!! I am psyched! I already put a call in to the Mets to get tickets in the handicap section so we can bring my Mom to a game again. I hope we can get the same seats we had last year when we brought her. More about that in another post.

Speaking of posts, I better post this and get baking. I am in search of the perfect pie crust. Anyone have any old family recipes for a great crust? Or a new, wonderful recipe - I'm not picky about where it comes from. I just want a recipe for a light, flaky, tasty, crust. Let me know if you have one!

That's all folks,
~ Kassidee

Friday, February 5, 2010

The morning after the great return

Howdy from the desktop computer with no internet issues. It's good to be home, but I already miss the open road. The house is noisier than I remember. The pipes, the heat, the way the sound travels when you are trying to sleep and people downstairs are awake, the dogs running up and down the stairs, etc.

It was nice to get home on a Thursday evening. I was able to run out to my knitting circle (I think we need a name) last night and catch up with everyone there. Our group has about doubled in size since I left. Very cool!

I have a nail appointment this afternoon at 3:30. Ken has already gone grocery shopping, made an appointment to bring the mini van in to get inspected, (it expired at the end of the January), and is now back with the mail. I guess that means it's time for me to go to work.

I'll continue to fill you in as best I can. This afternoon the RV goes to get winterized and to get the steps fixed. Next time we take a trip, at least the steps will close when we want them too instead of being stuck in the extended position. It could have been worse - they could have been stuck 'in' before we left. They would only retract once Ken put the RV in gear, but they did retract so it's all good!

Have a great day and welcome to another weekend!
~ Kass

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We're home!

We are back home - all the creatures are in the house and already readjusted. I only broke one nail getting the cats in their carriers. I am running out to see if my knitting group is meeting. I'll write more soon.

We had a lovely, uneventful trip home.

Thank you all for your good wishes and for your help in keeping the weather at bay long enough to make it home.

~ Kass

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last night out on the road

As our trip winds down I am both sad and happy. Sad that it is over and yet happy that I love our home and where we live and we'll be back soon. Unless something goes horribly wrong, we should be pulling into our driveway tomorrow afternoon. We are currently in Hagerstown, Maryland.

We planned on spending the night in the Walmart parking lot but stopped a few parking lots over to have dinner at Uno's. We had a very lovely waitress named Amy who is from Ithaca, N.Y. She asked me how my pizza was and I commented that it didn't have much sausage for a 'sausage pizza' but that it was fine. She offered to get me more sausage and I declined. I didn't want to make a big deal about it - I just thought I'd mention it since she asked. Well, she told Steve (the manager), and he came over and wanted to make things right. I wound up with a new pizza (much better than the first) and we got to chatting. He said we could leave the RV parked in their parking lot if we wanted to. Ken asked about internet and he said Panera Bread was right around the other side and we should be able to pull in a signal from there. We finished dinner and drove around to the other side of the building. If you are reading this post - Steve was correct about the internet connection from Panera!

There is so much to do once we get home tomorrow that I don't even want to think about it. We have to unload everything so Ken can bring the RV up to Bob's Camper to get it winterized. I'm not sure how we are going to empty the tanks, but that's a story for another day. It's amazing the amount of stuff you bring with you when you take your home with you on the road. I guess where I am concerned, it's amazing the amount of stuff I bring with me everywhere!

Once home, we have to get organized there. I have to pick up the mail at the Post Office and sort through and pay the bills. We have a bunch of appointments coming up starting next week. Pets to the vet, humans to the doctor, book club meeting, Superbowl, 2nd Sunday lunch - I'm tired just thinking about it all!

I guess I'll post this while my computer cooperates. It likes to lose the signal mid sentence the last few days. That is another thing on the list - bring the computer in to Scott at Mad Macs and get it looked at.

I hope this week is going well for you and that life is treating you kindly.
~ Kassidee

Heading home

It looks like we can finally make it home. We are leaving Chattanooga this morning and starting the long trek north. Wish us luck!

I have to keep this short because we need to get on the road but I wanted to include a photo from our trip to the zoo yesterday. We all had a great time and the weather held. We did not get rained on. It's not the biggest zoo you'll ever see but there was something very sweet and intimate about the place and the animals. I fell in love with Hank (a chimpanzee). I think we caught a photo of him giving me a 'kiss'. I'll see if it's worth posting when I have more time. If you are ever in the area - Wednesday is dollar day. Admission is only a buck. It's a great way to spend an afternoon. Below, is a photo of my Mom and a very friendly goat in the petting area.

We had another awesome dinner at Terra Nostra with the best waiter in the world - Ismael. I should have brought my camera - not only is he a great waiter, but he is easy on the eyes as well. He plays tennis by day and waits tables by night. I wonder if he is related to the owners - that would make a lot of sense! Anyway - he is tall, dark, (buff) and handsome with a beautiful accent. He completes the dining experience there in a wonderful way.

We are hoping to be home by Friday night. I'm not sure I'll have internet access again until we get back to the house. I will post when I can. Until then, I hope all your days are good ones!

~ Kassidee

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Back on east coast time and it feels so good!

It's nice to finally be back in my 'home' time zone. I do feel like it's not quite right to go cavorting through time zones. It even takes me awhile to change my watch when daylight savings time comes around (or goes away). Every clock in the house will be changed (by my wonderful husband) and I'll still be an hour off for a few days. It takes me time to adjust - I am not a big fan of change.

I am, however, a fan of adventure and learning. Perhaps it isn't that I don't like change so much as I do not like when things change 'for' me. I like changing them myself. Does that make me a control freak? Better not explore that here. I don't think there is enough time.

It is not currently raining so I think we'll go to the zoo. It seems the appropriate place to be on Groundhog Day. Oh yes - A very happy Groundhog Day to you! Poor little thing - all he wants to do is sleep and there are people waking him up to ask him if he's seen his shadow. I bet he didn't even know he was looking for it - so why would he know if he's seen it?

Does anyone know if he did, indeed, see his shadow this morning? I haven't heard. And why is it always a 'he' anyway? What's up with that? Where is Punxatawny Phyllis? Where is NOW when you need them?

OK - I do seem to be in a mood today. I better hit 'send' before I reread this post and delete it!

Have a fantabulous day and we'll see what I decide to write about once we get home. If this is any indication, it should be interesting.

~ Kassidee

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sitting in Tennessee

We are happily sitting in East Ridge, Tennessee. We had dinner at a little local Italian/Greek place - Portofino's. The food was pretty good and the waitress was very nice. I am stuffed full of sweet tea and chicken picatta.

I am off to feed my WoW addiction. It's supposed to be raining tomorrow (which is why we are staying the extra night) so I don't know if we'll be doing outdoor activities or not. And before I forget - Happy (almost) Groundhog Day!

~ Kass

Just when you thought you were making progress...

So much for being home by February.

And this is why there is a Jewish expression that says God laughs while we plan. There is more 'weather' headed in the general vicinity of where we'd be traveling when leaving Chattanooga tomorrow. Icy rain is what they are saying. We'll be staying in Chattanooga for two nights instead of one. We'll be back at the Travel L RV Park.

We'll eat at Terra Nostra tomorrow instead of today. That means I'll get to find another wonderful place to eat and I'll want to stay in TN longer and longer each time we go! I love it there. We've been to Rock City and Ruby Falls a bunch of times and it will be nice to have time to do something new. Last time we stayed more than one night there, we did the Incline Railway.

I am thinking either the aquarium or the zoo. We'll see what happens. More from the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. Happy Monday and Happy February. I hope you have a great month!

Time to hit the road...
~ Kass

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vicksburg, Missisppi

Hello from Vicksburg. There is not much to say. We drove all day, had dinner at Outback in Monroe, Louisiana and now we are parked for the night at Magnolia RV Park Resort. They have an incredibly friendly cat in the office.

We are having issues with Biko, who has decided he no longer wants to be housebroken. More about that when we return home if the problem persists.

Tomorrow night we stay in Chattanooga so we can have dinner at Terra Nostra again. Any excuse to eat there is a good one. One year, Ken and I drove from Lake Charles, Louisiana (where we were living) to Chattanooga for Valentine's Day. We drove 12 hours to have dinner, stay over and then drive 12 hours back home the next morning. (We'd have stayed longer but it had to fit into Ken's work schedule).

The really good news is that the holding tanks unfroze and we were finally able to dump both tanks. Ours wasn't full - but my mom's was - which was a bit of a problem. You don't want to know how we 'solved' it!

We have the Pro-Bowl on and Ken is doing some laundry. In addition to Biko - one of the cats decided to christen my t shirt I had out to wear this morning. It's been that kind of day.

I want to thank all my friends for their 'good weather' vibes. Things seem to be in our favor for making the great trek north. We are now east of the Mississippi River and will be heading north soon.

More good news: Pitchers and catchers report in a mere 18 days! Woo Hoo. Let's GO Mets!!!

I guess that's all for now. I hope you had a great weekend and that things are going well for you - wherever you are.

~ Kassidee

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safe in Dallas

Hello from the Walmart parking lot in Dallas, near our friends Shelley and Jay. Thank you all for your good wishes and thoughts today. The beginning of the trip was a bit hairy, but overall it really wasn't too bad. We made it to safe, dry roads and got to Dallas in time for dinner with our friends.

We went to The Blue Fish and had a wonderful meal. We had a great waitress and only a short wait for a table. We are back at the RV and I am managing to get a signal from a nearby restaurant/coffee shop. It's not strong, but it's enough to let me post and let you all know we are safe. What more could you ask for?

Tomorrow we'll be heading east and then eventually we'll turn north and hope for the best. As long as we are home in time for the Superbowl - everything will be good. We missed my cousin's 8th birthday party today and that makes me sad, but we'll plan a trip to see him soon.

I hope this post finds you safe and warm and happy on this Saturday night. It's actually my half birthday - so happy unbirthday to me!

~ Kass

Keep good thoughts...

...say a prayer - whatever it is you do - please.

We need all the good vibes we can get right now.

We are trying our luck at getting out of Amarillo this morning.

I'll post as soon as I can from the other side of this weather.

Happy Trails,
~ Kassidee

Friday, January 29, 2010

Leaving Amarillo - again

Hello from the frozen wasteland that is currently Amarillo. We can't dump the tanks - they are frozen. We can't get more propane - the road to the tank at the RV Park isn't plowed. We can't watch TV - the cable snapped when Ken tried to see if he could disconnect it. (I guess the answer is yes - but only if he didn't want to use it again).

I am going to keep this short because the connection is so tenuous that I never know when it will just disappear. I have not been able to get on all day after a brief time on early this morning.

Ken spent the day outside the RV in frigid temperatures with a hair dryer and an ice scraper. The sheets of ice that were on the sides of the slides and on the tops have been melted and chipped away. We can now close the slides in the morning. We have decided to head south and then east to get out of here. Interstate 40 is finally open here again but we decided we didn't want to follow the path of the storm across three states. Apparently the roads are being plowed but not salted - so the layer of ice is still there to contend with. It is still better than yesterday and this morning when all roads leading in any direction from Amarillo were shut down. They were showing footage on the local news this afternoon of all the trucks, lined up and waiting for the highway to re-open.

We have been catching up on lots of movies and eating some fine jambalaya that Ken made with the Andouille sausage we had in the freezer from our trip through Louisiana.

Please keep good thoughts for our safe departure out of here in the morning. As soon as I have access again, I'll let you know how we fared.

Stay warm!
~ Kassidee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stuck in Amarillo with the Memphis Blues again

Hello from an ice storm in Amarillo. We listened to the ice hitting the RV since about 4 o'clock this morning. Around 11 A.M. it turned to snow. We are staying put until it is safe to drive again. We'll see what tomorrow brings. We are back at Overnight RV Park and I am off to the office to see what movies I can watch today.

If the internet holds up (and that is questionable) I will try to back track a bit and fill you in on the details of our trip.

See you later!
~ (an iced-in) Kass

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life is Grants

We stopped in Grants, N.M. for the night. Ken had spotted a sign for a 15 dollar a night RV Park when we were headed west. Now that we were headed east, he made good use of it. How can you go wrong for 15 dollars? We pulled in late last night after having a (very) late lunch in Flagstaff, Arizona. We are at the Bar S RV Park.

Yesterday was a travel day. We got up early, pulled up stakes, and hit the road. We drove until about 4:30 and had ‘lunch’ (my only meal of the day) in Flagstaff at Mama Luisa’s. It was a nice little place, with a friendly waitress but the food was the most bland, unseasoned, boring food I think I ever ate. Scratch that off the list of places to eat again.

We were back on the road – until we hit Grants. I read my book club book all the way here - Olive Kitteridge. Now I can go the meeting when I get home having read the book. As soon as I hit 'send' we are off to Santa Fe for my hamburger and a one stop shopping trip. Luckily, the store is in the same building as the restaurant.

Ken is waiting for me to get off the computer so he can pull in the slide and we can hit the road. Santa Fe – here I come.

~ Kassidee

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leaving Las Vegas

We are packed up and heading out. It looks like we may spend the night in Santa Fe. I wanted to buy something there that Ken talked me out of and I want to go back and get it. Also - when we were there he had that awesome burger at The Sleeping Dog and I really want one!

I guess we won't really be starting the big push east until tomorrow - but we are officially on the road heading home.

I promise to fill you in. We were having too much fun to stop and type. It really was a wonderful week in Nevada.

More when I can,
~ Kassidee

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday night and the rain has stopped

I know I have a lot of catching up to do - and I will do it...but not tonight. I just wanted to check in and say hello. The internet access has been pretty bad and we have been pretty busy. Not a good combination for blogging but a fine time in general. I can't wait to tell you all about it. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

Happy Weekend!
~ Kass

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday night in the land of the pouring rain

Welcome to the desert - where it hasn't stopped raining since we arrived. The first raindrops of the year here in Las Vegas began to fall on Monday the 18th. We arrived on Tuesday the 19th. So far, 1.62 inches of rain have fallen over 4 days. The total rainfall for ALL of 2009 was just 1.59 inches. And just for the record - it's still raining.

We, however, are having a wonderful time. It's so nice to see friends and family, even if their city is underwater and flooding. I am not going to write much at the moment. I just wanted to check in while I had internet access. It has been intermittent to non-existent.

I'll try to fill you in soon - but know that things are going well and we are having fun.

~ Kass

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Greetings from Las Vegas

It's midnight here and things are good. We didn't hit much 'weather' at all on the drive here. There were a few areas of some wind but nothing to write home about (or here, for that matter). There was no snow at all and it didn't start raining until we were right outside of Las Vegas. It stopped when we pulled in so Ken didn't get soaked connecting everything. He did, however, get soaked when he came back from his shower. It was pouring!

We drove through the Hoover Dam to get here. They stopped us and searched the RV before letting us proceed. That was interesting. It is quite an impressive sight when you come upon it. I have never taken the tour, nor gotten out of my vehicle there - but it's a great drive.

We stopped for lunch in Boulder City, Nevada. We ate at a little place called Milo's. It is a combination wine shop and bistro. The sandwiches were lovely and we bought a case of wine and 2 wine glasses. The glasses say (I think I am remembering this correctly) 'The journey is the destination'. Pretty cool - huh?

We are staying at the Hitching Post RV Park where we have stayed before. Everyone here is very friendly and they have an enclosed dog area. After we got settled in, we went over to visit my Dad. This is the first time we've seen him since he and Leslie split up. He looks good and seems happy.

I got my mail that had been forwarded here. Ken missed jury duty and one of our cars is now in need of registration but other than that, things seem up to date. Our holiday cards caught up with us and we got a few things for tax season. There weren't too many surprises, so that was good.

We are trying to figure out a plan for this week. Thursday we are seeing friends. Tomorrow, we are having lunch with Leslie. In the later part of the afternoon we'll spend time with my half sister's 2 children. Friday will be my other half sister and her kids. At least I think that was the plan. Somewhere in there I hope to see my cousins and Ziggy may drive over from California.

I'll let you know how this all unfolds. I'm going to grab a bite to eat and call it a night. I'll write more soon.

I wonder what happened in the Massachusetts election today? I guess I'll go google that.
~ Kassidee

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Leaving (for) Las Vegas

Good morning from a bright, clear, crystal day in Arizona. There was some snowfall overnight, but it is a beautiful driving morning.

We didn't have dinner out last night. I ate popcorn instead. I had called over to see what time they were closing and they said 9. We got there at 8 and they were just closing up. They didn't even bother to say they were sorry when I told them I had called and they said they'd be open. By the time we drove around the corner, the 2 other restaurants that had been open were closed as well. I guess it's a good thing I ate a lot of cheese and crackers on the train ride back!

I'll keep this short as we are Las Vegas bound this morning. We should have internet there - so I'll post from Nevada.

Happy Tuesday!
~ Kassidee

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Grand Canyon in the snow

Ken and I took a lovely train ride back up to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Here is what it looked like today.

Needless to say, the view was not the same today as yesterday. It was still beautiful, but it was a very different kind of beauty. I am SO glad we brought my Mom yesterday!

I will put up a few more photos of the train ride and some trains. There was great scenery if you like snow!

We were in a train car with some loud and annoying people who were all but impossible to block out. Other than that, the train ride was great. There were muffins and fruit salad at breakfast time on the ride out and cheese and crackers and crudités on the ride back south. There was a Navajo man singing his people's traditional songs and other songs as well. It was a very comfortable ride and Ken and I are both very happy we did this - despite the weather.

It was cold up at the rim as you will see from the photos. We had lunch at El Tovar Hotel which is right near the train depot at the Canyon. It wasn't anything too special but it was good. We walked around for awhile and then sat by the fire at the hotel. I had a hot tea with a chocolate taco while enjoying the warmth of the fire. (Picture a taco shell shape made of hard chocolate, filled with chocolate mousse. Ken had a glass of red wine.

We took the train back into Williams, and now we are off for dinner at Rod's Steak House. I hope to write more later. Tomorrow morning (bright and early to beat the next storm) we are leaving for Las Vegas. If you don't hear from me again tonight, I'll type at you from the land of Lost Wages.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
~ Kassidee

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What car trouble?

Good evening from Williams!

We did indeed go to the Grand Canyon this afternoon. I think that the whole cause of our problem may have been a bad tank of gas. Ken doesn't know what he thinks it was/is. He had disconnected the battery this morning and reconnected it, filled the car up with gas, and after a little while, the service engine light went out. We drove the hour or so to the Canyon and all around and back again without incident. We had decided to 'risk' it since we have free towing with Good Sam. My Mom had never been to the Grand Canyon and this was probably her only opportunity to do so. We decided it was worth the risk. Call us crazy.

It was a beautiful afternoon. Sunny and pretty warm, but very hazy for photos. Upon entering the park, we saw a coyote trotting across the road. He met up with another coyote on the other side. That was very cool.

We drove the loop and took Mom out at some of the lookouts. Some of the overlooks Ken and I went to together, and some I went alone. There was one area that folks with handicap plates can cross into that everyone else has to walk or take the bus to. That was a nice surprise. Mom had a great time, and so did we. Of course, Ken and I are doing it again tomorrow - but that is more about the train ride itself than about sightseeing when we get there. We are talking about hiking it one of these years - but I doubt that will happen.

On the way out of the park we came upon another coyote. This one was having dinner - munching on the leg of a deer. He sure was beautiful.

Here is one more photo taken today while driving around the park.

Before heading to the park, Ken and I had lunch at my favorite Williams haunt: Pancho McGillicuddy's. How can you go wrong with a name like that? We watched some football there while we ate Mexican food. The rest of the game(s) we listened to on the radio on the way to and from the park. We came home in time to see the end of the Jets game. We had a lovely dinner of steak and rice-a-roni and string beans, cooked by my favorite chef - Ken.

It's supposed to start snowing here in about an hour (it's 11 P.M. here) and continue to snow all week. We are still planning on leaving here Tuesday morning for the last leg of our journey west. We will be Nevada bound. Look out Las Vegas - here we come!

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to one and all. I hope it's everything you want it to be!
~ Kassidee

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's always something.

Good evening from cozy Williams, AZ. Although the temperature is dropping now, we had a lovely, warm day in Sedona. We left later than planned because I was on hold with WMECO for half an hour (literally) trying to find out how much our electric bill was, and when it was due. I guess a lot of people are calling them for some reason. I tried calling yesterday and it was a 15 - 20 minute wait. I should have quit while I was ahead.

Anyway.....I paid all our bills and Ken made our reservations for the train on Monday and we finally headed out to Sedona in the early afternoon. We decided not to take the long way around even though it would have been more scenic so we'd have time to actually 'be' in Sedona.

We had a mediocre lunch at The Cowboy Club. I ordered my hamburger medium and Ken ordered his medium rare. We each took a bite of our burgers only to discover that his was more cooked than mine. We would have traded but he had already put mayonnaise on his and I had ketchup on mine. The waiter was nice and asked Ken if he wanted another burger but Ken didn't want to spend the time to wait for it to be cooked. He did fill out the little form that comes with the bill though. I believe his comment was he would have gotten another burger but he didn't have the time to wait for the cook to finish cooking school.

We spent the afternoon shopping - or should I say, I spent the afternoon shopping. Ken spent the afternoon outside enjoying the magnificent scenery that is Sedona. My Mom was back and forth between inside shopping with me and outside with Ken. For those of you who don't know us - my Mom is in a wheelchair if we take her outside the house/RV. She uses a walker to get around at home and inside the RV. Her M.S. has progressed to a point where this is necessary.

I didn't go too overboard today but I did get a very cool Stetson hat to go with my boots. I'm still looking for the right jacket to complete the ensemble. I bought a cool Ganesh pen and a red dirt t shirt and bag. You can laugh now - but I also got my Chakras read. I figured I was at the vortex, I should go with the flow. Apparently, my spiritual and emotional chakras are very strong but my physical chakra was in need of some help. I bought a small crystal to help balance things out. I know I was looking at a smoky quartz but opted for a different stone - but I can't remember what it is.

Everything was going fine until we tried leaving Sedona. We were on the road going up out of the canyon and the car started lurching. It did this for miles but there was no place to pull over and I also didn't have a cell signal - not a good combination. We continued up the hill not having a clue what the problem was. We finally got to a spot where we could pull over but it was dark and we had no flashlight. Ken messed around with the battery cables and then decided it was too dark to see anything else and got back in the car. Things were not perfect but they were better than earlier and we managed to get back to the main road and then back to the RV. We were over 30 miles away when the fiasco started so we were grateful to make it back without incident.

Tomorrow, Ken will look under the hood in daylight and see what he can find out. The worst case scenario is that we'll tow the car behind us to Las Vegas and get it worked on while we are there visiting friends and family. At least we'll have access to a vehicle if we need one there.

On a side note: The Saints won their playoff game today. I am happy for them. Since the Steelers are out of it, I'm going to need a team to pull for. I have lots of friends in Louisiana who are very happy right now (and one in Massachusetts, too!). We'll see how things go.

I'm not sure now if we are going to the Grand Canyon tomorrow or not. It depends what Ken finds under the hood, I suppose. Wish us luck.

Perhaps I'll be able to catch up on the past before this weekend is over. It's not looking good for that happening today. I think this post is done!

Happy Saturday to you!
~ Kass

That really big hole in the ground

Hello and welcome to Grand Canyon country. What a day! We left Santa Fe this morning and headed to Arizona. We stopped at The Petrified Forest and drove around the painted desert until they kicked us out at closing time. What a beautiful place to be, and to watch the sun set. My grandparents went there before my Mom was born. It is always wonderful be someplace I know they were together. They took a cross country trip in the late 30's (I think - though it may have been the early 40's). I found the record of the trip they kept, but every time we travel west I forget to bring it with me. I guess that's a reason to do this trip again!

Anyway - we had a lovely afternoon, once it got started. Prior to getting into Arizona we were in search of ... a battery. The RV has been having some 'complaints' when trying to start. Ken was on a mission. We were in Gallup, N.M. and he did finally find out which battery he needed and was finally able to find one. It took a while, though.

I have to say, Gallup has always been a little on the sleazy side (nothing personal to anyone from, or in Gallup) but now it has been built up and it is more than a little sleazy feeling. We had been contemplating spending the night there but after driving around looking for the battery, we thought better of it. It's not that there is anything wrong with Gallup, so much as everything there is mass produced and 'bigger and better' than anywhere else. They sell their items in bulk and wholesale and it seems to take away any notion that it is authentic or made by a Native American. It reeks of 'Made in China'.

Moving on (now that I have insulted a large group of people - or two)....

We are staying in Williams and doing a day trip to Sedona tomorrow. On Sunday we will take my Mom and go see the Grand Canyon. Monday, Ken and I are indulging. We are going to take the train ride to the Canyon. That should be fun and beautiful. I hope we have good weather. It's been mighty nippy at night. It's currently 21 degrees. How's the weather where you are?

I seem to have a decent connection here so as long as my computer holds up, I may be able to catch up on the rest of our trip. One day, maybe, I'll be up to date again. I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you.

I guess that's it for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I am sure this will be a weekend I won't soon forget!

Remember to smile - it really does make people wonder what you are up to!
~ Kassidee

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Santa Fe by Day!

Hello, and how are you? We had a wonderful day in Santa Fe. All the shops I have been looking at, longingly, through windows at night were open and I had a great time going from one to the next to the next. I'm not so sure that Ken shares that sentiment but he was wonderful about it. I am a very lucky woman!

I didn't do too much damage to our budget - but I did get a few really nice things. I got a small Ganesh (you can never have too many) and a beautiful jacket. I got a really cool top and some earrings for my Mom. We had lunch at The Sleeping Dog. It was pretty good. I got the duck and I tasted Ken's burger. I have to tell you - it was one of the best burgers I've ever tasted. The bacon on it was fresh and not reheated. It was cooked the way he asked - rare. If you go - get a burger! The butternut squash ginger soup was good, too. I would have liked some bread with it or something.

Anyway - we shopped and walked and talked to people all afternoon. I had a great time. On the way back to the RV we stopped at Book Mountain Paperback Exchange. I was able to get the book for my next book club meeting (someone had just brought it in 2 hours earlier), and a few other books for fun. Then we came back to the RV and Ken cooked dinner. Tomorrow, we are leaving bright and early. We are Gallup, N.M. bound.

More when I have access. There are still stories to tell from Lake Charles, but at least I've kept you up to date here in Santa Fe so I didn't fall further behind!

Here's to the weekend!
~ Kassidee

Good news/Bad News

The bad news is that we still aren't exactly sure what is causing the problem with the brake release (or the lack thereof). There seems to be a delay between changing gears and the computer knowing that we have changed gears. There is also paperwork that says it can take up to 15 seconds for the release of the brake in cold weather. This, however, does not explain why pulling/switching the fuse 'fixed' the problem.

The good news is that the wonderful folks at Hal Burns only charged us 195.69 and told us we can stay plugged in another night and go enjoy Santa Fe in the daylight! David (Burns) also told us that if we should have any other problems with it and we can get back here that he wouldn't charge us another diagnostic fee and they'd work on it some more. He also assured us that we aren't doing any damage, and we aren't in any danger. Once the vehicle is running down the road the brakes will not just lock up on us. That is a relief.

Life is good and we are off to shop!
More later!
Woo Hooo!
~ (a very happy) Kassidee

Day Three in Santa Fe

Good morning world. How are things out there? We are still living in the parking lot and enjoying Santa Fe by night. It's saving us lots of money since all the shops are closed by the time we get downtown.

We had dinner last night at Cafe Pasquale's. It was a delightful place. Wonderful service, amazing food, and a great atmosphere. I'd tell you more but the mechanics just got here to check out the RV. Maybe I'll get to see Santa Fe by daylight today!

Keep good thoughts!
~ Kass

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sit Rep: Santa Fe...

We are still stuck in Santa Fe and not leaving any time soon. We are here until at least tomorrow.

The owner is personally working on our RV - I hope that doesn't double the price. He was on hold with Workhorse for 45 min and finally left a message. I hope we didn't have to pay for that, too. When they called back and he tried to pick up the call - they were gone. He's calling Workhorse again.

He thinks it's a computer issue. I don't know if that is good news or bad news. We have the dogs locked in the car so he can come and go without incident and barking. The cats were locked in the bedroom but they were none to pleased about it. Eventually we let them out and we are keeping an eye on things. He said we should go to town but I am not leaving the pets vulnerable to someone opening the door and them disappearing.

I did find a dog park that is open 24 hours a day so the dogs will get a treat when this is all over. I probably won't have time to do any shopping again but Ken and I will probably go into town for dinner if nothing else.

I assume that we won't get out of here tomorrow either. Unless they fix it early in the day we won't have enough time to get 'anywhere' so we will most likely stay here one more night and leave first thing Friday morning. That, of course, is assuming the problem gets fixed tomorrow!

At least that should give me time to shop tomorrow afternoon. I think a gift from Santa Fe is in order. I just pray the cost of this repair isn't something insane. I am trying not to think about that part.

It's almost 4 P.M. and it's an overcast afternoon. Not cold but not warm either. Not much to say - not much to do. I have been knitting Ken's sock again. It is the sock from hell. I had to rip out 6 rows today. I don't want to talk about it.

Have a lovely evening. I'll be sleeping in a parking lot again. I'm really not complaining. It's free, there is electric and I have internet. It really could be worse.

:) Kassidee

Waiting in Santa Fe

Here we are - in Santa Fe and stuck on the RV until someone comes to look at it. It's the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the old news and bring things up to date. One of two things will happen. I will accomplish that goal or right in the middle they will come knock on the door!

I guess 'real' details at this point will be lost but I'll give you the basics. By the way - I was reading yesterday about how to keep your blog from being boring. Apparently mine is all the things a blog shouldn't be. Oh well. I told my friends I'd be in touch from the road and that is all this blog was meant to be - at least for now. Perhaps in the future I will be opinionated and share my feelings on topics of the day or something like that - but for now - this is all she wrote!

The first night we were in Lake Charles, we stopped by Company 9 to see Tracy and make plans to get together later in our visit. We made a great plan for New Year's Eve. We were all going to meet up at Matt and Annie's and Tracy and some other friends were going to play music. We figured we'd all bring some food and have a good ol' time. Sadly, that plan got nixed because Matt had to work. As it turned out - that was the only time we saw Tracy at all. The upside to that visit was that Paul (of fried chicken fame) was working over and he was there to make the Tuesday-Friday chicken plan for Sunday!

After we left the fire station, we drove over to Chris and Kathy's to visit with them and their 3 kids. Only 2 of the kids were home and we never did get to see Meredith. Grace is almost as tall as I am and beautiful! Sarah was a baby when we left and now she is a beautiful little girl who entertains just by being in the room. She has the most amazing head of hair I have ever seen. Take a look for yourself! Chris made an awesome venison and pork chili and we hung out and talked and laughed and had a great time. We tried to get together with them again - but we ran out of time. It was wonderful to see them!

I just got word that we are about 15 minutes from a mechanic showing up so I will post this for now rather than get interrupted mid thought and have to quit in a hurry.

I hope you are having a great day - wherever you are and whatever you are doing. I'll keep you posted as to our situation as best I can.

More soon, I hope!
~ Kassidee

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday night in Santa Fe

Well - Santa Fe may not have been in the original itinerary but it managed to sneak in anyway. I have no idea if we are here for a few hours or a few days. We tried to leave Taos this morning and we got about 4 feet and WHAM - the brakes locked up again. Ken pulled the fuse and put it back in and away we went. The good news is we were able to get to the RV repair place with no problems. The bad news is we still have the brake problem that we thought was solved.

We didn't want to take any chances so we decided a detour to Santa Fe was in order. We are at Hal Burns (the RV repair place Good Sam wanted to tow us to yesterday). So far, everyone has been very nice. We are literally living in front of the bay our RV will be worked on in the morning. They plugged us in to 50 amp service and even gave us the password for the internet. The plan is to see if the same thing occurs tomorrow morning so they will sort of know what they are looking at/for. It's odd to hope that something is 'wrong' so they know what to fix.

We didn't get to town early enough to do much shopping but we did walk around and window shop a bit. We had a nice dinner at Rio Chama. I recommend the duck crepe appetizer. It was yummy.

It was a beautiful drive here from Taos and I am really enamored of this area. I keep threatening to live here. It's good I really love home or it might be easy to move. We are toying with the idea of spending a month here next year. We'll see what happens.

I guess I'll try to fill you in on more details from our time in Lake Charles, tomorrow. I promise, I'll catch up one of these days. For now, I am happy that both my phone and my computer are working at the same time!

Hope things are going well in your universe - they are in mine!
~ Kassidee

Internet: Yes, Phone: No

It seems to be a bad week for technical items anywhere in my vicinity. Yesterday it was the internet and the fuse/brakes; today it is my cell phone. I keep getting a message saying call forwarding is on but a) I have no idea why, b) I have no idea what that means and c) I have no idea how to make it stop. I tried canceling it. It says 'canceled' and then it is still on when I make a call. I noticed it on the other day and nothing was different so I wasn't worried about it.

Today is another story. Every time I try to make a phone call today I get a 'network busy' message and get disconnected. Is someone watching us with a camera? Is Candid Camera back on the air or something? (Am I dating myself, there?)

I am going to head out to the pay phone and call AT&T about my phone issues. It will not be fun having no phone and no internet. I don't know where we are staying tonight but I believe our goal is get to Gallup, N.M. I'll try to be in touch from there. One of these days I'll fill you in on the rest of the trip. It will be one very long post that no one will want to read!

I hope everyone out there is having a great day! If you call me and I don't return your phone call - now you know why!

Happy Tuesday!
We're hitting the road - again....
~ Kass

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stuck brake and no internet – Really ‘stuck’ in Taos

Welcome to another addition of copy and paste. At least I can still type.

We have been leaving Taos since 9:30 this morning and it is currently a bit past 1 in the afternoon. We haven’t had lunch yet and I don’t eat breakfast – so I’m getting mighty hungry. Sadly, this is the least of our problems.

We tried to pull out this morning and went about 3 feet and got slammed back in our seats as if we were tethered to something behind us that we forgot to unhook. We spent a bunch of time trying to figure out what the problem was and finally called Good Sam. The mechanic there was able to tell Ken how to override the brake so things were looking good. The only problem is that we can only go 3 feet at a time and then the brake locks up again. We found this out trying to go get the propane tank filled as we are about out of propane and need it for heat and for cooking. Obviously, heat is the priority – we can always microwave.

We gave up on the idea of getting propane and Ken managed to back the RV back into the site we had tried to leave. We are currently hooked up to electric and water etc. He got it far enough back that we can also get my Mom off the RV if we need to. When we first got stuck – there wasn’t enough room to put the ramps down to get her wheelchair off the RV. At least this is progress.

We called Good Sam back and they gave us the name of a place that could work on the RV. I called it and discovered it was in Santa Fe – about 70 miles from Taos. I made a few more calls and Ken tried to find someone local. He was given the name of a local person who comes out to work on vehicles – only to find out he only works on appliances. Good to know, but not going to help us right now. He told Ken about someone else who might be able to help but Ken had to drive over to see him.

I got on the phone again with Good Sam to see why they were trying to send us to Santa Fe. Ken drove over to talk to the mechanic. I discovered that Santa Fe IS the closest place that can work our RV. Ken found the nice mechanic guy who liked his shirt (Captain Beefheart) and is willing to work on the RV. He wanted Ken to get some more information about the problem from Workhorse. Ken is on the phone with Workhorse as I type.

I called Good Sam back to make sure the towing is covered. We will need to be flatbedded (is that a word?) to Santa Fe. The brake is locked up and so we can’t be ‘towed’ in the normal fashion. Thank goodness the towing is covered. I can only imagine what the cost of the repair will be. We will have to get a hotel room in Santa Fe that takes pets. We’ll have to load up the little Honda CRV with 3 people, 7 cats, 3 dogs, one walker, one wheelchair and some clothing. Add to that 2 dog kennels and our personal items and we will look like a traveling road show.

I don’t know what the deal is with my computer and the internet. Last week I couldn’t get connected. This week it says I’m connected but I’m not getting service.

Ken is on the phone with Workhorse and they are making him do all kinds of stuff. One of the things he did was unplug some fuses. Now our jacks won’t go up. Are we having fun yet?

I will keep you posted as best I can with no internet – but we are certainly in for an interesting ride (no pun intended!)

~ Kassidee

P.S. It's now 6:30 P.M. and I (obviously) have internet. Ken spent another while on the phone with Workhorse and in the end it was a fuse! He switched it out and all is right with the world. We had a wonderful afternoon at the Taos Pueblo. We heard wonderful stories from someone who lives there, ate Indian Fry Bread (one of Ken's favorites) and I bought a cool turquoise bracelet. I should have some decent (I hope) photos to post later on. We also stopped in at a very cool batik shop that you should check out if you are looking for an original gift. It's called Good Thunder Batik.

More later, I hope!
~ Kassidee

Random photos from the trip

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's the 10th of January...

..and I still ain't had no sleep. One of my all time favorite Arlo Guthrie songs. I won't spend the time right now to tell you the impact that Arlo has had on my life. Some folks reading this already know and the rest of you will have to wait for posts written after this road trip if I am going to embark on that story.

Today did not start out in the best way possible. We awoke to find the door to the RV - open! We can't figure out how that happened but you can imagine our concern since we are traveling with 7 cats and 3 dogs. Two of the dogs are kenneled at night. The third was busy barking, and trying to get our attention because he knew something wasn't right. Next time, we'll listen to him. I guess it was something akin to, "Timmy's in the well" and that new commercial on TV where the guy is just ignoring the poor dog. Natchitoches is a wonderful dog and he stayed here to protect us instead of roaming around free - which I know he loves to do. Extra treats for him, tonight!

We did a head count of cats and we were down three. Luckily, the cat that would be the most difficult to get back (Thor) was still in his favorite hiding spot under the bed and I saw him right away. Had I not seen him, I would have been living in this RV spot until he came home - and it could have been a long wait. The last time he got out at the house, he would show up at the door but not come in. Every time I would stand up to open the door, he would run. I would put food out - enough so he wouldn't be too hungry but not enough that he wouldn't have to keep coming back for more. He managed to find a way in and out of the basement, and after 3 days of his not coming inside, we rented a have-a-heart trap and put it down there with some food inside. I know the sound must have scared him to death - but it worked like a charm. I'm not so sure if he'd gotten out here that we'd have ever seen him again. I'm SO grateful that I didn't have to deal with that. It would NOT have been pretty. (The photo is of the elusive, but lovable, Thor).

My friends can probably guess which cats got out - but for the rest of you - Joshua, Moses and Isadore. Mosey was on the steps to the RV when Ken went out and discovered the door was open. As soon as he swung it open, Moses came darting inside. We suspect it was Moses who pushed against it in the first place and got it open. We are assuming the latch didn't connect and although it was 'locked' it was on the wrong side of the latch. Ken went out looking around while I got dressed and as soon as I walked outside I found Izzy on top of the tire in the wheel well. I got a good hold on the scruff of his neck and although I tore my thumb open on the edge, I pulled him towards me and got him in my arms. I threw him inside the RV as Ken was calling to me about Joshua. Izzy forgave me as soon as I walked back into the RV by coming up and rubbing against me. He is a loner, but a love.

Joshua is another story. On our last big RV trip we were parked in a friend's cul-de-sac and Ken left a window open a tiny bit for some fresh air. Our cats are too smart for that and Moses and Joshy got out then, too. Our friends noticed, and were able to pick Moses up and put him back inside. Joshy, on the other hand, wouldn't let them near him (no surprise there) and so they called us. We were out eating lunch when we got the phone call. We ended lunch abruptly and returned to the RV. Once there, we went wandering around the neighborhood looking for Joshua. I discovered that tuxedo cats look very similar and though you think you know your cats - when they are in the street and missing - they all look alike! I almost stole a neighbor's cat. (Remind me to tell you a story about that!)

Anyway - we finally found Joshy under a truck near the RV but every time I tried to get close to him, he would run. He was so freaked out, that at one point he even hissed at me. Poor baby. I know it didn't help that other people were trying to 'help us out' and everyone was chasing him before we got there and even after we got back. I kept trying to politely tell them that he 'didn't do strangers' under the best of circumstances and they were actually hindering the chances of his return - but you know how people are when they are trying to be helpful. It isn't about you anymore; it's about them saving the day. (Or something like that).

I finally stopped being worried about Josh and tried to think like my cat. I knew he was there and I knew he was safe. I did the most logical thing I could think of. I got on the RV, opened the door, and called him home - just like I used to when we lived in Lake Charles and he was an indoor/outdoor cat. It worked like a charm and he came flying onto the RV as if he'd never been so relieved in his life. I know I was!

To make a long story short, (ha!) once Ken spotted Joshy today, he ran a bit closer to the RV and away from Ken. I opened the door and stood out of the way - called his name and in he ran. All cats were now present and accounted for. It was only then that I really started to tremble with the knowledge that I might have lost some or all of my babies. I am pretty good in a crisis - I don't fall apart until after it's over and there is time.

I put some neosporin and a Scooby-doo bandaid on my thumb and Joshy came over to sit on my lap and purr. It doesn't get much better than that! Natchitoches went over to smell Moses and make sure he'd come back 'ok'. Ken and I spent some time checking out the door and it's locking mechanisms. We'll make sure THAT never happens again!

Ken is currently out riding his bike. It is sunny but cold and I still have to actually get ready for the day. I sort of woke up in a hurry and didn't even brush my teeth yet! It's a bit past noon and I guess I should go do that.

I guess this is a pretty long (and boring) post but my cats mean the world to me and if you are going to know me and read my blog - you are going to have to get used to the occasional indulgence into the life and times of my pets. I love my dogs, as well - so no comments from the peanut gallery, please!

Here's to hoping that your Saturday is going better than mine started out going and that you have an awesome weekend!

~ (Crisis averted) Kassidee

Saturday, January 9, 2010

27 degrees and holding

It's a balmy 27 degrees and we are heading out for an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing.

I hope to be able to post later and give you actual 'details'. That doesn't seem to be my strong suit of late.

Have a great Saturday!!!

~ Kassidee

Friday, January 8, 2010

Good tidings from Taos, New Mexico

How are you doing out there? We have arrived in the beautiful city of Taos. It matters not what time of year you visit this place - it is always spectacular. We are staying at a lovely RV Park - Taos Valley RV Park. The surroundings are beautiful and the landscaping here is meticulous. I am looking forward to walking around tomorrow.

I believe we are headed into town tonight for dinner (just Ken and me [or should that be myself?]) and tomorrow we will bring Mom and make a day of it. We are hoping to see our good friend Charles Collins. If you haven't seen his work before, you should check it out. It's pretty amazing. He is also one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

Hopefully I'll be able to get up to date with my blogging while we are here. If I remember correctly, we just left Florida and spent the night in Mobile and now I have to fill you in on our visit to Lake Charles. I know I posted some of that, but I don't think I got it all.

Eventually, I will just have to post some random photos from the trip as well. Some are funny and some are pretty but they are in no particular order.

For now, I will say good-bye and go get ready for dinner!
~ Kass

Leaving Amarillo

Good morning and welcome to another frigid day in Texas. No hot water this morning - our pipes/hoses seem to have frozen. Oops. I guess the next time it's this cold we have to make believe we are home - and leave the faucets dripping. I hope there is no permanent damage.

I wanted to get on last night and tell you about our last full day in Florida but I couldn't get the internet up and running. I'll try to do it now, but we are about to head out and I don't know if I will have enough time to post the amazing photos.

We left Boynton Beach on Sunday and headed to Homestead, Florida. Ken had always wanted to go to The Coral Castle and here was his chance. Words nor photos can do this place justice. It is about a heartbroken man who spent the rest of his life creating a monument to his true love. The amazing part is that he used only hand tools, worked in secrecy, and lifted blocks of coral that weighed well over 30 tons! I urge you to check out the website because I would only be repeating what is there in my blog. I will add photos now and hope there is enough time for them to upload.
We had a crappy lunch at a supposedly 'good' Cuban restaurant and then headed back to Joan and Bernard's for a barbeque. Charles' brother and family were there as well and we all had a great time hanging out and eating chicken and hot dogs.

The next morning (Monday) was a travel day and we headed north and then west towards Louisiana. We spent the night in Mobile, Alabama at a Walmart that did not want RVs parking in their lot. When we woke up the next morning there was a car (very deliberately) parked in front of the RV in an attempt to make us unhook the toad and have to back up to back out. Luckily, we were able to make the turn and get out but boy was I ever pissed! I took a bunch of photos but I doubt I'll bother to write a letter. I almost went in and asked for the manager that morning - but I didn't want to get arrested in Mobile!

We are headed to Taos, New Mexico today and I believe I will have internet at the RV park there. Have a great day y'all!

~ Kassidee

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shoes and Socks

The socks, I knit.

The boots, I bought today in Amarillo!

Windchill temperature: 6 degrees

On the upside: 42 days to pitchers and catchers!

It is downright frigid and I haven't even ventured outside yet! I'm cold just thinking about it. I was toasty warm last night and comfortable on the new foam mattress cover. I have to figure out which pillows to use now, but I think it will be a major improvement in the long run.

I guess I should try to finish up Florida. Where did I leave off? I think I was telling you about the horrible service at the anniversary dinner. The next day was Boxing Day or Happy Katie's Birthday Day. It was also the day of the 'invasion'.

The 'small' party at the house that Joan and Bernard were throwing turned into over 75 people when all was said and done. Luckily, the food was catered so all we had to do was go pick it up. Ken made potato latkes and we did the whole crudités thing with the veggies we had gotten the day before at the Green Grocer. There were chips and dips and olives and hummus and crackers and cheeses and that kind of stuff but the big meal was just platter and serve. It arrived hot - thank goodness!

There was a huge carved turkey with gravy and trimmings. Tzimmes, string beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and challah. There were about a dozen desserts ranging from fruit pies to chocolate cakes, to baklava and cookies. There were a few musical numbers done by friends and a good time was had by all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Big Texan

Well - we had dinner and also got to watch someone actually finish the 72 oz steak dinner in one hour! I can't even imagine. I was just praying he wouldn't throw up.

I wanted to give you a quick weather update and then Ken and I are going to watch a movie and then go to sleep on our new 2 inch foam mattress cover. I am hoping this will make a HUGE difference in the horrible RV mattress on which we currently (attempt to) sleep!

It is now 20 degrees out with a windchill temperature of 9 degrees. Count them...all nine....argh! Poor Ken is out walking the dogs. He is SO good to me. The wind gusts are now up to 30 miles per hour. I am afraid Norton will blow away.

Tomorrow I am off in search of the perfect pair of cowboy boots. We'll see what happens. Ken says when I see the price of any cowboy boots I won't want to get them anymore; never mind the perfect pair! Only time will tell.

I'll try to post more in the morning before we head out for the day.
Stay warm - wherever you are!

~ Kassidee

Hello from frigid Amarillo!

It is a whopping 24 degrees here in Amarillo. With the windchill it feels like 12. The winds are gusting up to 25 miles per hour and there is a "light freezing drizzle mist" in the air. There is a wind chill advisory and we are heading out for dinner. At least the toad is 4 wheel drive!

We will be here tonight and tomorrow night and unless my computer gives me fits, I will have internet access until we leave. My plan is to finish up Florida and catch up so I don't always feel like I am behind. I don't know if I will keep blogging once I get home but I do know that it will be much easier to do when I have consistent internet access.

We are staying at Overnight RV Park and so far, we like it here very much. We arrived to sweet, friendly cats at the office, a free video lending library while we are here, and a book exchange. The only down side I can see is that we are near the airport and you can hear the planes going by overhead. So far there has only been one plane and we've been here over an hour. It actually sounds kind of neat (there goes another one) and I don't think it will interrupt our sleep. I'll keep you posted.

Tonight we are off to The Big Texan for dinner. I don't think either of us will take the 72 oz steak challenge but we are looking forward to a nice steak dinner! We are leaving Mom on board in the warmth of the RV and braving the forces of nature. Wish us luck!

See you later!
~ Kass

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Still trying to catch up

Good morning from sunny, but freezing, Lake Charles. Ken is taking a shower before we hit the road so I thought I'd try to finish up Florida before we get to our next destination. It's a race against time - we'll see who wins. (My money is on Ken).

Friday morning was Christmas and Joan and Bernard's 51st wedding anniversary. I woke up to find a gift on the kitchen table from Ken. It was a beautiful hand-made journal. I had seen it in a store in Athens and when I was busy getting yelled at for taking a picture of the cat in the basket, he was next door buying it for me. The pages are made out of completely recycled materials and it is bound and covered in leather with a beautiful design hand carved into the leather. It has a huge stone in the center and it is so pretty I don't know what to use it for. Something that nice should have extra special thoughts inside. My husband is just too sweet!

We headed over to Joan and Bernard's house and they were just sitting down to lunch with Charles and Lori and the kids. We hung out until they were done eating and then we had a chance to catch up with the Brooklyn contingency. It was a wonderful afternoon. Charles made a plane out of an egg crate and he and Ken and the boys went out to try to fly it.

When they got back inside it was about time to go back to the RV and get ready for dinner. We all got dressed up (I even put on lipstick!) and Ken, Mom, Ingrid and I headed over to the restaurant. The drive over was beautiful. We drove along the water and through some neighborhoods with huge houses. Charles' brother and his wife and son were also at dinner and so there were 13 of us when all was said and done. The restaurant was lovely. They were so fancy that although there were white linen napkins on the table when we sat down - they came around with dark napkins for people wearing dark clothing so as not to get the wrong color lint on their clothes! I must say that is the first time I ever saw that happen!

They had split the tables into one table of 6 and one table of 7 because we were at at the back of the restaurant where a long bench seat ran along the entire wall. The thinking was that everyone would have to get up and out to let any one person out if they put the tables together. We were sort of like 2 separate parties but I guess it made sense. Charles and Gordon and their families were at one table they referred to as the kid's table and the rest of us were at the grown up table. It would have been nice to all be sitting together - but such is life.

Oddly enough, the food was only good if you didn't order fish. Kind of sad since the name of the place was Charley's Crab. It seems Ilene ordered her fish dry - not well done but dry as in no sauce etc. Her piece fish, as well as Ken's, came out like shoe leather. Without knowing the other was doing it - they both sent their food back. Bernie was NOT pleased. In a place this fancy they really ought to know how to make fish 'dry' and also not to assume that because one person asks for it that way that everyone wants it that way!

I had duck and it was delicious! Mom had scallops that were amazing. Everyone had a lovely meal except for the fact that one person at each table had to sit and wait for their food. And they waited a long time. Almost as if their ticket went back into the queue instead of coming out next. Our waiter was horrible, too. He never came back to see if everything was okay. When Ken wanted to send his food back, he had to flag down a different waiter. When we wanted more rolls or needed more butter (because our waiter couldn't be bothered) we flagged down anyone we could find. We never had our water glasses refilled and no one seemed to care. Not the busboy, not the waitstaff, not the manager who brought over the replaced fish dishes. For such a fancy and expensive restaurant - they should have better staff and be prepared for holidays. All that being said - a great time was had by all and we toasted the happy couple and laughed and talked and ate and walked out smiling.

We said our goodbyes and when we got back to the RV we changed into comfortable clothes and wandered down to the boat. We hung out on the bow for a few hours, just enjoying 'being there' and then called it a night. It was a very merry day!