Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Mood Stabilizer' Comes to the End of the Road!

Our new trailer is home!  The Nash 24M is the perfect RV for us & has the added bonus of being gorgeous!  Jim declared it very tow-worthy & he handled getting it down our driveway & onto the concrete pad like a professional.

Once the rain stops, I'll begin moving things back into MS (pronounced Mis) that were in the old trailer.  My plan is to be very selective about what goes back--there were so many things we just didn't use.  I really thought I would make smoothies on camping trips...uh, no.

We're definitely going to have to cover the sofa with something.  We opened the door, Ari ran in & promptly claimed the sofa as her domain!  She's becoming quite the Chair Dog as she gets older.

We also have the myriad questions about mods & miscellaneous 'stuff' (to cover or not, solar or gen, Calgon/Dawn or Happy Camper, which RV insurance company, remove decals from windows).  What are your top 5 recommendations for those of us with a new RV--beyond 'enjoy the heck out of it'?

Happy trails and thank you for visiting!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Rare--but Epic--Fail from Apple

For those of you with iPads or iPhones considering the iOS update to 7.0.6 I have a word of advice--first, update iTunes!  Apple does not tell users this & the end result is a long & arduous process.

I was able to update my iPhone without a problem.  My iPad is a completely different story.  I ran the update & my screen locked up.  I had to use Jim's laptop to go to the Apple Support Communities web site to find the solution which was to install iTunes on his laptop & then follow the instructions from Apple Support to restore my iPad.  It took nearly 45 minutes for the recovery to occur.  I won't bore you with all the details.  Bottom line--if you see a locked up screen with the words iTunes & a charger graphic, you will need to go through the restore process.  AND you will need a computer to accomplish this.  I think I would have had to call Apple Support if I hadn't had access to Jim's laptop.

My photos, apps, & shortcuts are all gone.  I'll be able to restore most of them but it will be a lengthy process.  Basically, if this happens to you, you get to begin again at square one.  But hey, if you didn't like your passcode, this gives you the opportunity to choose a new one!

So thanks, Apple, for giving me something to do today.   I think I would have rather had a root canal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Four Out of Seven

There are seven of us in my family of origin.  Four of us share a birthday.  My brother's birthday is three days after ours.  My youngest sister's birthday often coincides with Thanksgiving.  That leaves my middle sister, whose birthday is the true outlier.  Ironically, her daughter was born on her birthday.

Typically, when we all get together for Thanksgiving, we share something from the past year that we're thankful for.  Frankly, it's pretty predictable.  I like to shake things up so I suggested this year after dinner that we share something that other family members may not know about us.  Very few people knew that I had been my sister's birth coach when my niece was born.  We all laughed when my brother-in-law shared that he did not dye his's been obvious for years that he does so.  It was great fun...until we got to my middle sister.  She told us that the family had never celebrated her birthday & she felt left out.  Her voice began to rise as she described how she felt & I really thought she might even cry.  Well, Sis.  Message received. Loud & clear.  I knew that we must surprise her with a birthday celebration this year!

I have enlisted the help of my niece, who has enlisted the help of my brother-in-law & we're planning a birthday party for my sister complete with gobs of her favorite flowers (daffodils) and her favorite colors (kiwi & leaf green).  We're going to go with pom poms something like this

without the blue pompoms.  My brother-in-law will grill & we're asking everyone to bring a side.  It's our goal that this party remain a surprise for the next few days & that my sister will really feel all the love our family has for her.  I'll post photos after the big event!

Have a wonderful day & please.  Let one of your favorite outliers know how much you love & appreciate them.  Take good care.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Have to Take a Ferry?

We hear that a lot when people find out we live on an island.  Here's the story.  Washington State has  3,026 miles of tidal shoreland, 53 major islands and many more outcroppings in local waters that aren't named or that are named with cute names like Hat Island or Baby Island. We live on one of the 53 major islands.  The largest ferry system in the U.S. carries people to and from these islands.  Camano Island has more than 13,000 full-time residents and many of them drive (yes, we have a bridge) to nearby Everett to work at Boeing or take the train from Everett to Seattle for work (a grueling commute if you have to drive).

When we're at Camano Island State Park, we look toward Whidbey Island--it's there in the distance.  It looks close but it takes nearly two hours to drive there.  People here on the island vehemently oppose any suggestion of a bridge.  Lots of driftwood washes up on island beaches during the winter.

In addition to Camano Island State Park, we have Cama Beach State Park and numerous county parks.  During the summer tourist season, the population grows by  as much as 3,000.  With a few exceptions, Washington beaches are accessible to the public from the line of mean high tide so there are very few beaches here on the island--or anywhere in Washington, for that matter--that are not open to the public.

Some cool stuff about the island--we have a heron rookery on the north end of the island.  It means we see at least one heron when we travel within about 25 miles of the island.  There are many trails on the island.  This is my favorite--it's at the state park.  It's on top of a bluff overlooking Saratoga Passage & Whidbey Island.   It's not unusual to see Bald Eagles as we walk on this trail--they have a nest in one of the trees. At one point in the trail, you can look down & see the boat launch.  The fishing is great in Saratoga Passage.  Jim fishes for salmon from shore! People also catch thousands of Dungeness crab during the season.

But I'm getting distracted--this is about the end of the road.  There are 11 homes in our little neighborhood.  Our next-door neighbor, Dave, is Jim's ex-father-in-law.  They get along very well and are great friends.  Jim's ex-wife has moved back to her Dad's two or three times--that's an exercise in acceptance for me!  A sense of humor comes in handy too.  Once she moved a 40-foot motorhome onto her Dad's property & lived there about a year!  I'm so thankful Jim planted trees along the property line many years ago.

Our lot is quite wooded & we have a nice trail where Jim, Ari & Slim take walks.  In the spring, our crop of 'old growth' nettles pop up.  We could harvest the stuff & pay our property taxes for a year!  Nettle tea, anyone?
C'mon, Dad!  Let's go!

We have Douglas fir to the south & north of us & we have a lot of Nootka rose (a native to the Northwest--it makes the best rose jelly!!).

 This is one of the county parks where we frequently take walks.  Yes, more driftwood.  And vegetation--lots of that!
And the best part--we were married at Camano Island State Park.  Best day of our lives!
Thanks for stopping by.  Take good care.