Thursday, May 31, 2012

Looking forward to June, Finally!

For no particular reason that I can discern, the Month of May has seemed to last for a really long time. We have been actively involved in activities with the grandkids who play softball, while also volunteering with Bountiful Baskets distribution of fruits and veggies, volunteering three times to help clear pine cones and needles at a private RV park, while we have also camped in the motor home on all four weekends, through snow and rain and sleet, wind and cold. How much fun was that?
Doug Kueffler in camp

We are ready for warmer weather. June will bring more showers, I am certain, but with that comes gardens, and lawns to mow. I swear, sometimes Life in Retirement has become simply the next stage of WORK!

We did get one pretty nice photo at Flathead Lake last weekend.  On Monday, Memorial Day, we woke up to the first day without rain, and the lake was calm and glassy, so this photo of the Flathead shoreline taken from Big Arm State Campground came out pretty good, I think.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flathead Lake Montana Big Arm State Campground

We spent Memorial Day weekend at the Big Arm State Campground on the west shore of Flathead Lake, in northwestern Montana.  From Friday night until Monday morning we endured non-stop rain.  So it is green around here.  And cold.  Forty-one degrees F on Sunday morning.  But on the positive side, everything on the motor home worked perfectly for a change.  The old (21 years old) Fleetwood Flair has only 44 thousand miles on it.  We replaced the refrigerator last year, and the carburetor on the Onan generator the year before that.


You know what?  I think we will hold off on making campground reservations for next year until we see how the weather will be.  Last year it rained so hard during Memorial Day weekend that we had to go home early.

At any rate, Monday morning was nicer and I did shoot a couple of photos that I will share.  Our rig sat right next to the water in our favorite campsite (B016).  And this photo of the shoreline across the bay showed a nice reflection in the water.

Friday, May 25, 2012

We Bought a SportBrella XL

I think you can see the attraction this SportBrella holds for me.  It is a sports fan's delight.  My wife and I set it up at all the grandkids little league games and high school softball games and people come up to us and want to know where to buy one.  (They run about $50 at Amazon, but Costco, Sports Authority and Ace Hardware also carry them.)  We bought the XL, which is 9 feet in diameter.  It comes with two different kinds of stakes along with tie-downs, which make it pretty stable in wind.  The center pole extends out and can be pushed into the ground. But it also comes out so you can pound it in, (straight vertical too, if you want to use it as a standard umbrella).  We bought the red, but I have also seen them in Blue and Green.
I know I may sound like a shill, but we love finding new stuff to enjoy in our retirement. This is something we will be taking along on our camping trips too.  One more item for the motor home.

Amazon Link:  Sport-Brella X-Large Umbrella, Deep Red

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lowe's Offers a Free Wi-Fi Connection to Customers

Now this is something I can appreciate.  My new laptop is not equipped with any 3G capturing device so I have been limiting my use to home.

HOWEVER, my wife and granddaughter noticed as we drove past Lowe's Home Improvement Center that their iPhones were picking up an internet signal from Lowe's and it was free.  (two hour limit)  I am in town at the moment, waiting for an early evening YOGA class to begin and I am connected to the Internet via Lowe's as I type this!  How cool!  I love this modern technology!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Election Judge is a one-day part-time job

Back in February I received training as an election judge.  As a poll worker I will earn $120 for a 15-hour shift.  We can't leave during the shift.  We bring our own meals or someone can deliver a meal to us.  We sit on pillows and wrap a blanket around our tired old bones because we are sitting in an unheated elementary school gymnasium.  This is what I've been told to expect on Primary Election Day, June 5th, 2012.  We use about 600 election judges in this county and most of them are over 60, many are in their 70s.  What I wasn't able to discern during our training class was WHY these old people become election judges: for the money, out of civic duty, or just to have something meaningful to do for a few hours.  Heck.  I am doing this for the first time and I really have no idea why.  Perhaps it is to fill a day with something other than house work and yard work.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

YOGA class for creaky bones over 50

My wife and I met at a yoga class in 1995.  After we were married, we didn't hang out with the yoga class people very much.  Now, 17 years later, with aging joints and bulging tummy I am again participating in a weekly YOGA ritual.  The instructor is over 50 and so are all of the students. This was not by design but happened by chance.  I am very happy to just blend into the aged crowd as we demonstrate our reduced range of motion, lack of flexibility and absolutely HORRIBLE form.  My Downward Facing Dog just wants to stay down.

Friday, May 4, 2012

35 Pounds of Lemons

We recently began purchasing Community Garden produce. Every two weeks we pick up a box of fruits and veggies. We never know what we are going to find in the box, but it is always a variety.  My wife has now discovered that she can order an "extra" item in bulk.  Last time it was a 25 pound bag of carrots from Texas.  They were good for juicing and we will run out of them tomorrow, just in time for our next pickup.  But this week she has chosen to buy a 35 pound box of lemons!  How long can 35 pounds of lemons stay fresh without rotting?  We don't have room in our refrigerator because of all the other fruits and veggies we will be picking up.  What do you do with so many lemons?  I've been thinking about how much lemonade that would make.  If I were a kid, a lemonade stand might be an option, but we use lemons for salad dressing and...and... THAT'S ABOUT IT.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Washing Machine Blues


We have a four-year-old front-loading clothes washing machine (Whirlpool Duet).  We are getting error codes F70 and F71.  The first two technician repair visits resulted in nothing being done.  Seemed to work fine when the technician ran the diagnostics and no code appeared. On the third repair visit I had the machine sitting there flashing the F71 ERR code for two days.  The technician ordered two parts: the main control board-to-user interface and a wiring harness. Visit number four, two weeks later, installed the parts.  A code popped up when he restarted the machine, but then he cleared it and ran a wash cycle and it seemed fine.  I used the machine one time and it worked fine.  Three days later my wife ran a delicate cycle and the machine stopped mid-cycle and would not drain or spin. Guess what?  ERR code F71.  It flashed for a couple of days and then went out. The start button just beeps rapidly when you push it but it does not light up anything.  Tech repair visit number FIVE is scheduled for tomorrow, May 3.  If they decide to order more parts, I imagine there will be a two-week wait again.  I have very little confidence in the repair service (A and E Factory Service).  This will be their last chance before I go to the manufacturer and ask for a new machine.  We will see how THAT goes!  UPDATE: May 4, 2012. A new repair tech has determined that the motor control board is drawing current off the user interface control board and has ordered a replacement part.  UPDATE #2: May 10, 2012.  Visit number 6 replaced the Motor Control Board. The machine seems to be working okay now. I am keeping my fingers crossed.  My Extended Warranty will cover it all.
Wringer Washer like Mom used in the good old days
Wringer Washer like Grandma used in the good old days
(My Photos of appliances located at the Garnet Ghost Town in Garnet, Montana)
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